Tsoknyi Rinpoche: Healing our Trauma and Stress
Theses days, it seems like nearly everyone is barely managing to cope with the stress of day-to-day life. In addition, we are often reacting to situations based on unhealed wounds…
Transcending our Addiction to a Busy Life
A busy life can be experienced as an addictive video game, comprising the twisty route from a morning coffee to the time we return home and close the door on…
Sogyal Rinpoche - Awake 2013 in Sydney
Here is a full teaching from Sogyal Rinpoche on meditation and understanding the mind which he gave in Sydney at the end of March 2013.
Phakchok Rinpoche - Creating space in daily life
Sometimes it seems so difficult to meditate. We might try to sit, but our minds are all over the place; or perhaps we have too much pressure and stress in…
Sogyal Rinpoche - Who are we?
In this video, Sogyal Rinpoche suggests an alternative to the habitual self-identification with our thoughts and emotions. Normally, it is as if the thoughts about who we are or what…
Adam Engle - Creating a planetary awareness of fitnees for the mind
Adam Engle argues that most of the biggest problems in the world and for individuals are made by human beings. But recent developments in contemplative science are paving the way…
Adam Engle - Is enlightenment still relevant?
Adam Engle and Erric Solomon discuss whether the traditional goal of profound spiritual transformation, popularly referred to as enlightenment, has any role to play in the new emotional/mental fitness industry.
Sky High Meditation with Tsoknyi Nuns in Muktinath Nepal
A group of us joined Tsoknyi Rinpoche on a trip to Muktinath in the Mustang district of Nepal. At nearly 4,000 meters (or 13,000 feet), the views of the valley…
Having Nothing to Do
I never have nothing to do. There is always something awaiting my attention. I never get writers block, there is always something to write. Inspiration is never far away. Until…
The discipline of Happiness
It is easy to spiral into depression or to find our lives suddenly stressful and racing along at a clipping pace. It easy to stop it too, but we think…
Meditation meets technology
I’m a geek. I love technology. I feel it empowers me to get what I need, or mainly what I don’t need but want, almost instantly. I want a movie,…
To give your sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow is the way to control him. If you want to attain perfect calmness in your zazen [meditation], you should not be bothered by the various images you find in your mind. Let them come, and let them go. Then they will be under control.
COME BACK HERE FOR MORE QUOTES ON MEDITATION
- May 2013 (4)
- April 2013 (7)
- March 2013 (8)
- February 2013 (4)
- January 2013 (3)
- December 2012 (3)
- November 2012 (3)
- October 2012 (11)
- September 2012 (14)
- August 2012 (7)
- July 2012 (8)
- June 2012 (7)
- May 2012 (13)
- April 2012 (12)
- March 2012 (15)
- February 2012 (16)
- January 2012 (16)
- December 2011 (13)
- November 2011 (18)
- October 2011 (19)
- September 2011 (11)
- August 2011 (15)
- July 2011 (19)
- June 2011 (19)
- May 2011 (17)
- April 2011 (25)
- March 2011 (16)
- February 2011 (15)
After creating and performing in Visual Theatre shows for 20 years, I'm now a bone-fide expatriate of the performing arts. I live in an Australian rainforest, am married with a teenage daughter and love cats, but I don’t have one because they eat native birds.
Along with some others, I set up the Rigpa Australia Distance Education Centre (The Bush Telegraph) in 1998 and was the Teaching Services Director until early 2012. I have instructed for Rigpa since the year 2000.
It is easy to spiral into depression or to find our lives suddenly stressful and racing along at a clipping pace. It easy to stop it too, but we think it's difficult and so we make it so. Really, it's not. We just have to have a daily mediation practice.
But even if we know that a daily mediation practice will help us, we see it as just another thing we have to try to fit into our day, and our ego battles us all the way, always finding some reason why we can't to it today. Then we may feel guilty, which adds even more stress to the situation. And on it goes. It's easy for not mediating to become a habit. Even if we're just taking a break for a while, the break can become our routine. Making ourselves happy, as in truly deeply happy - the kind that doesn't rely on anything external - does take discipline. There's no way around it.
So how do we make the leap? How do we fit mediation into our day?
I never have nothing to do. There is always something awaiting my attention. I never get writers block, there is always something to write. Inspiration is never far away.
I find myself in a top year ten Maths class without internet connection and without my computer. I brought my iPad with me, thinking I would answer some emails if the kids didn't need my attention. I left my laptop in the staffroom, but I can't connect to the Internet. Everything on my to do list requires the Internet. They're good kids. Great kids actually, they don't need my attention.
Clearly it's time to write something.
What is the point of all this posturing? This defending and promoting your point of view, as if only you know the truth and everyone else must have it wrong unless they agree with you. Why is it so important to be right when rightness and wrongness of ideas are only mental constructs, merely different ends of the same sliding scale, a scale that is evaluated differently depending on who is looking at it. Does it even matter where you tip the scales from wrong to right when your ideas about reality are merely that, ideas, and not reality itself. Why spend your life trying to affirm your ideas about reality when you can experience reality directly?
How often do you stop? Really stop? Stop so that your mind is still, stable in the moment without reaching forward to what you're planning to do next, or roaming over something that happened in the past? If you're like most people, the answer is probably, rarely or even never. Our minds tend to constantly whirl ahead of where we are, perhaps to the next thing on your 'to do list,' the date you're planning for saturday night, or the destination of your journey. Even when we think our minds are still, there's often a subtle reaching towards the next moment.
When we start to meditate, we usually use our breath as the object of our meditation, then we might make sound or a visual object the focus for our practice.
The sound could be any sound we can hear, or we could make the sound ourself using a mantra which has the added advantage of working with our energy and having a meaning that evokes our deepest nature. In the same way as singing an inspiring song lifts our spirits, so does a mantra.
The Buddhist teachings tell us that wisdom and compassion are like the two wings of a bird that will fly you to enlightenment and that you need both wings in order to fly. What does that mean for us?
First of all we might just reject this as irrelevant to us because we don’t think we want to be enlightened, we’ll settle for happiness. What we don’t realize, however, is that enlightenment is just a fancy name for the highest form of happiness, a state that is not only our birthright but the end point of our evolution. We’re heading there anyway, whether we think we want to or not. Some of us aren’t moving of course, some of us are even going backwards, but our innate desire for happiness will keep pulling us towards it.
We think we see reality as we go about our day, but do we, really? See that person over there whispering to a friend and looking at you and giggling. Are they talking about you? Are they saying horrible things about you? That’s what it looks like to you, but what if they’re actually looking at the person behind you or they’re planning your surprise birthday party, not talking about what a terrible person you are?
We make assumptions all the time. My mother used to call it ‘jumping to conclusions.’ It means that we perceive what is happening based on what we think, rather than what is. Sometimes it might be the same, but when we get it wrong, we can make a real mess of things. For instance, if we decide to spread bad rumours about the friend who was whispering about us because we’re sure that’s what she was doing to us, that surprise birthday party will probably never happen and we’re likely to lose a friend as well.
Happiness doesn’t depend on what happens to you, but on how you see, think and feel about what happens to you.
Here’s an example: John and Jenny are visiting their Grandma. She serves them a cream filled chocolate cake. John is happy because he likes chocolate cake but Jenny is unhappy because she has sworn off eating chocolate cake and having one in front of her is making it extremely difficult for her to stick to her vow. It’s the same external situation for both people, but one is happy about it and one is unhappy.
What do you do with your mind when you drive? Do you think about what you have to do when you get where you’re going? Do you mull over your problems? Do you sing along with music and lose yourself in the words and a memory of the video clip that goes with it? Are you cursing the idiot in that Porsche up ahead, or getting irritated because the traffic is too slow? If you’re doing any of this, ask yourself if you’re as aware of the road as you could be? Is there a safer, more relaxed way to hold your mind as you drive? Answer – yes.