How does our experience of Dukkha – unsatisfactoriness & Suffering – connect to our innate quality of Sensitivity?

The essence of the actual feeling of suffering or pain (beyond all the conditioned thoughts and feelings that are associated with it) is nothing other than the fundamental quality of sensitivity that is the Indestructible Heart Essence.  When we touch this we touch something that is profoundly sacred. Continue reading How does our experience of Dukkha – unsatisfactoriness & Suffering – connect to our innate quality of Sensitivity?

Suffering in Buddhism Lama Shenpen UK female Buddhist teacher

What to do when we respond to the suffering of others with feeling powerless and guilty?

This is such an important question for so many people. I think the problem arises from approaching the whole thing from a Western cultural point of view. We value a sense of social responsibility and abhor hypocrisy and self-deception. We tend to believe in just this one life we are in now and that we have to solve the world’s problems… Continue reading What to do when we respond to the suffering of others with feeling powerless and guilty?

How do you feel when you open to the suffering of others?

How do you feel when you open yourself to the suffering of others? Does it leave you with a hopeless feeling? Do you find yourself closing off very quickly? Since others are always going to suffer is it possible ever to experience complete joy and freedom from suffering? The Buddha, the Awakened One, said it was… Continue reading How do you feel when you open to the suffering of others?

What is Real? The Path to Truth & Lasting Happiness

We need to discover what is real – there is a path that leads to discovery of what’s real. Samsara is hard! But if you are on the path there is a sense that even the suffering is somehow a sign of deepening understanding. Without the suffering we might think it was all going to be easy.  The suffering tells us that it’s not easy and that we need patience and determination. We need to slow down, relax and reflect gently. Continue reading What is Real? The Path to Truth & Lasting Happiness

Meditating with physical pain – how can we make pain our practice?

If you can relate to your present suffering with some kind of sense of it being your path, then the suffering itself becomes your practice. Just being able to let go of negative thinking and struggling with the pain and being more simple about it, that already means you are making the suffering into the path. Continue reading Meditating with physical pain – how can we make pain our practice?

Why can an insight arising in meditation cause panic?

The panic reaction is as deep as samsara [the endless cycle of birth and death] itself. There would be no samsara if there were no panic. Sometimes we let things get so close to the edge that the panic manifests as raw panic and we have to start working with the reality of that – not running away or trying to avoid it. Continue reading Why can an insight arising in meditation cause panic?

If we weren’t already in touch with an inherent sense of well-being, how could we know we are feeling miserable?

How do you know that you feel miserable and out of touch with a sense of well-being? What is that miserable feeling or that dead, lifeless, depressed, can’t see the point in anything feeling? When you really turn your attention to it, what is it? Continue reading If we weren’t already in touch with an inherent sense of well-being, how could we know we are feeling miserable?

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?