Podcast

Nuts & Bolts - Practice paths

Is Vajrayana an appropriate path if you have with limited access to your root guru or if you’re unlikely to attend a three-year retreat? After a new practitioner has worked with the breath to gain experience and develop stability, should they then meditate on impermanence or the four immeasurables? How do you incorporate what what you learn from teachers in other Buddhist traditions?


Podcast

N&B - Paths, Teachers, and Traditions

Some brief background information on the Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana traditions. A discussion on finding a path and teacher.


Article

Understanding Refuge

passage from article: The aim of Buddhist practice is to end suffering. A refuge is a place where one goes to be free from harm, fear, and suffering. In Buddhism, refuge is a metaphor for wakefulness or presence. It is reminder of the basic orientation in Buddhist practice, namely, that suffering comes to end only through being awake and present.


Article

Wake Up Call: Relationship with the Teacher

passage from article: Pawo Tsulak Trengwa, a Kagyu teacher who was the principal scholar of his time, wrote an extensive commentary on this topic, which I studied when I was in retreat. He excoriates the view that the first root downfall means absolute obedience to the guru. He is very explicit: you have to do everything your lama tells you only as it pertains to your spiritual practice. He says that the first root downfall doesn’t apply to how you live and function in the world.


Translation - text

How I Live The Practice

passage from text:
Not contaminated by holding to other and self,
Natural presence arises on its own.
This is the great power assembly that benefits others.
All samsara and nirvana are pure in this single mandala.
Holding to ground,path and result subsides.


Translation - prayer

The Ship Which Sets Beings Free

passage from text:
By understanding the effects of good and bad actions,whatever their importance,
May I be able to keep to the workings of seed and result.
By seeing clearly the suffering in the three realms of samsara,
May I develop the renunciation to leave samsara’s domain.


Translation - prayer

Devotion Pierces My Heart

passage from text:
Even with a free and well-favored birth, I waste this life.
The meaningless activities of conventional life constantly distract me.
When I work at freedom, which is truly important, laziness carries me away.
Because I am turning away from a land of jewels with my hands empty,
Guru, think of me: look upon me quickly with compassion.
Give me energy to make my life worthwhile.


Translation - prayer

Mountain Offering Ritual

passage from text:
May we acquire all the abilities of the ground, path, and fruition.
And clear away all disruptions in outlook, practice, and behavior.
In the infinite expanse of the wonderful mind of Ever-present Good,
May we take hold of eternal being in the youthful vase body.


Podcast

A Trackless Path II 4

Clarifying your questions; trusting the unknown; three vows: individual freedom, bodhisattva,Vajrayana; dealing with difficult emotions; experiencing resistance.


Article

Imagine You're Enlightened

passage from article: A student asked Dezhung Rinpoche about visualization practice and deity meditation. Dezhung Rinpoche closed his eyes, scrunched his forehead, bobbed his head up and down as if he were concentrating very hard and said, “You visualize the head of the deity, then you visualize all those arms, then you visualize the implements, then the palace, then you try to see the whole deity clearly, but you lose one part, so you go back to visualize that… And it’s all gone. You start again, and the same thing happens, again, and again.” Then he opened his eyes wide, looked right at the student, smiled, and said, “And then you have a headache!”


Podcast

Ganges Mahamudra 1

Introduction to text; historical context; Tilopa and Naropa; three doors to practice; mahamudra as a way of experiencing; metaphors of space; letting experience be just as it is; meditation instruction for the next week: rest in experience of breathing, open to sensory experience.


Podcast with transcript

Awakening From Belief 5a

Overview of Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana traditions, problems of factionalism and sectarianism, and a short Q&A


Podcast with transcript

Releasing Emotional Reactions 7

Q&A based on the students’ experience with direct awareness, simplified instruction in the five steps, common difficulties and how to work with them, connecting the three methods, how to use these in life, the student-teacher relationship, challenges in practice.


Podcast with transcript

Guru, Deity, Protector 1b

Are you suitable for Vajrayana? two dangers, review of prayers used in the retreat, questions regarding the retreat structure


Podcast with transcript

Guru, Deity, Protector 1a

Retreat structure and intention, comments on the Vajrayana path – how it is different and the same, how it is based on compassion and emptiness, which naturally evolve into mindfulness and presence


Podcast with transcript

Mind Training 10

Vajrayana approach to taking and sending; exploring imbalances in experience; moving right into experience.