The Trouble with Truth: Confusing the terms Relative and Absolute Truth – Why Lama Shenpen Prefers to teach about One Truth.

I like to emphasise that there is one Truth, we already intuit it, we are already it, and the best things about us are related to that. We’re already ‘there’ but we overlay it with all these doubts and confusion, which is what we’re working with. Continue reading The Trouble with Truth: Confusing the terms Relative and Absolute Truth – Why Lama Shenpen Prefers to teach about One Truth.

Lama Shenpen Hookham Female British Tibetan Buddhist Teacher

How does Lama Shenpen tailor her teachings for a Western audience?

I start where people are. I start with what is motivating people to come to learn about Buddhism in the first place. They are looking for a spiritual path, for meaning, for truth, for peace of mind, for a path to happiness, for a way of overcoming their feelings of hopelessness and lack of direction in life. They are looking for something that will make their life make sense to them and enable them to live out their deep wish to be of benefit to others and to the world. Continue reading How does Lama Shenpen tailor her teachings for a Western audience?

Student’s Question: What is the meaning of worship in Buddhism?

A Student asks about worship in Buddhism A student asks:  “I feel that in Tibetan Buddhism there is a worshipping of the Buddha and other deities – do you think that I have misunderstood things? I thought that the Buddha emphasised that he didn’t want people to follow him, even less worship him. So why do we seem to follow that practice?” Lama: The Buddha … Continue reading Student’s Question: What is the meaning of worship in Buddhism?

How should we approach online Dharma teachings and downloaded texts?

These days we surf the net and find a likely looking Dharma website and feel that parting with even a few hundred pounds is to take a risk, since who knows who the people are and what they’re are up to. So often it is with suspicion and scepticism that we embark on a course and the practice, hardly knowing what to expect and wondering if this is yet another internet scam.
Hardly the best way to approach the holy teachings! Continue reading How should we approach online Dharma teachings and downloaded texts?

Our Mysterious Connection With Others

Lama Shenpen on our connection to others: “Our living connection with other beings is mysterious. We cannot find any boundary to our awareness and yet another being is another being to be loved and responded to. They are not just our imagination. So that living connection or boundary between one being and another is deeply mysterious and wonderful. It is the source of all joy … Continue reading Our Mysterious Connection With Others

Lama Shenpen Hookham The Buddha Within Female Buddhist Teachers

Article: Keeping The Precepts – Sexual Misconduct & Buddhism

There are five precepts that all Buddhists are committed to keeping. These are to not kill, not steal, not lie and not commit sexual misconduct or take intoxicants.

In the training for the Mahayanagana, students examine these precepts and consider the nuances – what do they actually mean in practice? What happens if we find ourselves acting contrary to these precepts either in spirit or in practice?  There is much to consider. These days there is a lot of anxiety in the Buddhist world, as in other areas of modern life about abusive behaviour and how to safeguard the vulnerable by adhering to firm moral principles. We have been working on such a policy within our Sangha along lines laid out by the government and charity law. How best to safeguard the vulnerable, which could be any one of us in fact.

As we in the Shrimalagana (the inner body of the Awakened Heart Sangha) consider this we realize that however careful we are with our rules of engagement in actual fact the only safeguard is our sangha ethos and for all of us to embody it. If we all take care about how we are communicating and connecting to each other, then we will not make mistakes that leave people feeling abandoned and abused.  Mistakes will happen.

We all tend to project onto each other and misunderstand each others behaviour and intentions. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) helps us to learn how to meet our own needs and be able to speak from a genuine and honest position which enables others to more readily understand and connect to us on a level that is meaningful and mutually supportive.  We all have a responsibility to learn how to communicate in this manner and this way we will all be able to play our part in safeguarding the vulnerable.

So how literally are we to take the way sexual misconduct is presented in the traditional texts?

Continue reading “Article: Keeping The Precepts – Sexual Misconduct & Buddhism”

Intuitively relating to the words Openness, Clarity & Sensitivity

Yes, it is interesting that the words openness, clarity and sensitivity mean something straight off don’t they? You say to someone that you meditate or practice awareness and they might think you’re a bit odd. But if you say I try to be open, clear and sensitive people will think, well that’s good, even if they think you’re not much good at it! Continue reading Intuitively relating to the words Openness, Clarity & Sensitivity