How can we balance caring for others while looking after ourselves?

People often ask how to balance caring for others while looking after ourselves. If we look in our hearts and realise that what we really want is the happiness of others, then we may feel inspired to try and make everyone happy. What often happens though is that we can’t do it: instead we get exhausted and decide that what we really need is to look after ourselves. But that doesn’t sound like Bodhisattva activity does it? Continue reading How can we balance caring for others while looking after ourselves?

social anxiety and buddhist practice lama shenpen hookham

Practising with social anxiety: Can I still align with the ethos of the sangha if I sometimes avoid groups?

Our vision, values and ethos express our aspirations – our agreed and shared values that we are training ourselves in – training ourselves to live in alignment with them – learning from our mistakes and working with our shortcomings over time – it is our ethos to do this with openness clarity and sensitivity – which means we are constantly noticing and acknowledging to ourselves just how much further there is still to go – and that includes not letting ourselves get too discouraged! Continue reading Practising with social anxiety: Can I still align with the ethos of the sangha if I sometimes avoid groups?

Lama Shenpen Hookham motivated to help others

Am I a fraud? Am I craving the approval of others through my good actions?

The chances are that your actions are mixed with some elements that could be purer but if we had to be pure before we could accumulate punya how would any of us purify ourselves?  Good actions that are directed at benefitting others always bring punya (often translated as merit) – i.e. good karmic results. Continue reading Am I a fraud? Am I craving the approval of others through my good actions?

How can I develop compassion towards myself?

I often get asked about compassion towards oneself. A lot of people feel more comfortable when they are suffering than when they are enjoying themselves. It is curious isn’t it? All this is very confused thinking and needs to be sorted out right at the beginning of the path. Otherwise there will be a tendency to look on meditation and Dharma practice as some kind of self-punishment and that won’t lead to liberation, peace and happiness at all! Continue reading How can I develop compassion towards myself?