This is from Karén, who came all the way from Moscow, to attend the What Meditation Really Is 2012 retreat:
I have been interested in Buddhism since the age of 14 when I read my first book about it. Since that time I’ve read a lot of books but never really practised. First of all because, there are very few Buddhists in Russia, especially where I live, and I couldn’t find a master I could trust.
We just finished the 2nd annual What Meditation Really Is retreat at Lerab Ling, France. Here is what one of the participants, Drew from Ireland, wrote about it:
On this retreat there have been many moments of beauty, learning, breakthrough, breakdown, pain (both physical and emotional), truth and realization. But really, it all comes down to the teaching, “Water, if you don’t stir it, will become clear; the mind, left unaltered, will find its own natural peace.’ When I first came, I had many questions. Some I asked, many I kept to myself. All were usually answered fairly quickly.
Some children are very curious when they see their parents meditating and are eager to have a go, they happily join their parents in meditation - sitting on their lap, or pulling up a cushion beside them. Other children are reluctant to do anything that involves sitting still and being silent, even for a moment - they can’t see how that could possibly be interesting or enjoyable. And then there are some children (such as my own!) who love questioning almost everything their parents do.
This year is the twenty-year anniversary of Sogyal Rinpoche’s The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. To celebrate this auspicious anniversary, there is a new website: The Tibetan Blog of Living and Dying.
At his playfully provocative, incredibly pithy and insightful best, Sogyal Rinpoche is teaching children and adults the key points of meditation practice.
In this video, Sogyal Rinpoche explains that we are usually lost in the appearance of mind, our thoughts and emotions, instead of recognizing the essence or nature of mind.
This video features Sogyal Rinpoche “hot off the press” from his Easter Retreat at Haileybury College in the UK. At his playfully provocative, incredibly pithy and insightful best, he is teaching children and adults the key points of meditation practice. Best would be to find your cushion and then press play, but you do not want to miss this one!
Recently I've been taking to heart the connections between meditation and compassion. There are times in my meditation practice when I've found these sweet, inspired and clear moments - glimpses actually - where I can actually see how the suffering that I endure in my life really is due to my mind. And, with these glimpses I've begun to emerge from my claustrophobic "me" in realizing that we all suffer due to our mind.
In this video, Sogyal Rinpoche explains that we are usually lost in the appearance of mind, our thoughts and emotions, instead of recognizing the essence or nature of mind. Essentially, we are turned in the wrong direction. This is the root of suffering and dissatisfaction. But by turning our attention to the essence of mind itself and learning how to simply be, we can find true contentment.
The Wisdom of Compassion: Teachings with Patrick Gaffney in San Francisco
When I think of my list of great teachers that almost no one knows about, Patrick Gaffney is at or near the top. For those of you lucky enough to come to the Wisdom of Awareness seminar last June, you know what I am talking about as he was one of the speakers.
For most of his life Patrick has preferred to stay in the background. But he was the co-editor of Sogyal Rinpoche’s Tibetan Book of Living and Dying as well as an accomplished translator of Tibetan texts into English. Now, Sogyal Rinpoche is asking Patrick to teach publicly. Rinpoche has said of Patrick, “he is one of my oldest and closest students; and if anyone were to understand my mind or my work, it is him.” Anyone who has seen Patrick teach before knows that he brings a clarity and depth of explanation to the teachings that can really transform our understanding.