Category: Buddhism, Tibetan



Culadasa (John Yates, Ph.D.) is a meditation master with over four decades of experience in the Tibetan and Theravadin Buddhist traditions. He taught physiology and neuroscience for many years at the Universities of Calgary and British Columbia. Later, he worked at the forefront of healthcare education and therapeutic massage, serving as the founding director of the West Coast College of Massage Therapy. Culadasa retired from academia in 1996, moving with his wife into an old Apache stronghold in the Arizona wilderness, where they deepened their spiritual practice together. He currently leads the Dharma Treasure Buddhist Sangha in Tucson, Arizona and holds retreats across the United States.

In addition to teaching meditation, Culadasa is the author of the groundbreaking book, A Physician’s Guide to Therapeutic Massage, which has been through several editions and is still frequently used in classrooms today. He is also a lifelong sitar player and an amateur woodworker, with several hand-carved canoes hanging from the ceiling of his workshop. His wife Nancy and he run Cochise Stronghold Canyon Nature Retreat, a nationally recognized B&B featured in the travel section of The New York Times.

Culadasa’s forthcoming book, The Mind Illuminated, is the first comprehensive guide to Buddhist meditation for a Western audience. It combines age-old teachings with the latest research in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, providing meditators with step-by-step guidance for every stage of the path – from your very first sit, all the way to mastery of the deepest states of peace and insight. This is the clear, friendly, and in-depth meditation manual that people have been waiting for.

Let compassion and fearlessness guide you and you’ll live wisely and effectively in good times and bad. But that’s easier said than done. Here Pema Chödrön introduces a powerful, transformative method to nurture these qualities using a practice called lojong, which has been a primary focus of her teachings and personal practice for many years. And for centuries, Tibetan Buddhists have relied on these teachings to awaken the deep goodness that lies within us.

The lojong teachings include fifty-nine pithy slogans for daily contemplation, such as “Always maintain only a joyful mind,” “Don’t be swayed by external circumstances,” “Don’t try to be the fastest,” and “Be grateful to everyone.” This book presents each of these slogans and includes Pema’s clear, succinct guidance on how to understand them—and how they can enrich our lives. It also features a forty-five minute downloadable audio program entitled “Opening the Heart,” in which Pema offers in-depth instruction on tonglen meditation, a powerful practice that anyone can undertake to awaken compassion for oneself and others.

PEMA CHÖDRÖN is an American Buddhist nun in the lineage of renowned Tibetan meditation master Chögyam Trungpa and resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for Westerners. She is the author of many books and audiobooks, including the best-selling When Things Fall Apart and Don’t Bite the Hook.

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Pema Chödrön – Full Lecture On Pain And Compassion

Published on Oct 7, 2016

Pema Chödrön is an American, Tibetan Buddhist. She is an ordained nun, acharya and disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Chodron has written several books and is the director of the Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, Canada.


A senior Buddhist teacher offers six fundamental body-based meditation practices that show the reader that enlightenment is as close to you as your own body.

Many of us experience life through so many conceptual filters that we never recognize the freedom and joy that are inherent in us—and are in fact the essence of who we are. We can grow old not realizing that one of the most powerful tools to escape the painful knots we tie ourselves in is, literally, at our fingertips: our body.

Here, Reggie Ray cracks open the shell of the mind-body dichotomy and presents six fundamental body-based practices that connect us back to who we really are. These practices cut through the mental fabrications through which we experience our world and lead us directly to the richness of living a fully present, embodied human life.

DR. REGINALD “REGGIE” RAY is the co-founder and Spiritual Director of the Dharma Ocean Foundation, dedicated to the evolution and flowering of the somatic teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. He is a lineage holder in the tradition of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Reggie is the author of several books–including Indestructible Truth and Secrets of the Vajra World— as well as and audio programs–including Mahamudra for the Modern World. He makes his residence in Crestone and Boulder, Colorado.

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Reggie Ray ‘Finding Realization In The Body’ Interview by Renate McNay

Reggie Ray ‘Finding Realization In The Body’ Interview by Renate McNay.

The transcript of this interview is available to view here.
http://www.conscious.tv/text/89.htm

The transcript of the somatic meditation is available to view here.
http://www.conscious.tv/text/90.htm


Ego is not the enemy, ego is Absolute Consciousness you no longer have to fight it. This is an excerpt from Daniel Odier’s Tandava the Cosmic Dance day long practice at SAND16 in Italy.

Daniel Odier became a disciple of Kalou Rinpoche in 1968. Following his teachings, he receives the transmission of Mahamudra. Daniel taught Tantrism and Buddhism in several American universities before founding in 1995, the center Tantra / Chan in Paris. In 2000, he dissolved the center to encourage independent practice and today leads seminars in different countries. His books on Tantra, have been translated into eight languages and deal with the deeper aspects of the Shaivite and Tantric way of Chan.

Recognized as Sifu (Chan master) Daniel brings together budddhism and direct contact with the daily essence of Chan. The practice is centered on meditation in the style of Zhao Zhou, with moments of meditation alternated with free-style walking, in pure presence. (www.zhaozhou-chan.com)

The Buddha of Love

Excerpted from Embracing Each Moment by Anam Thubten

The Buddha Maitreya is considered the buddha of the future. His name, Buddha Maitreya, translates as the “Buddha of love.” To me, Buddha Maitreya is an archetype, a sacred allegory representing something profound and innate in each of us, our innate love. Love is innate to all of us, and we can regard love and compassion as our basic instincts. Our basic instincts are not all dark and impure. Love is our most basic human instinct, along with intelligence, compassion, and courage. There is love in all of us. There is even universal love, all-embracing love, in all of us. This is part of who we are. There are many forms of love. Love comes in a variety of flavors and textures. We experience love for family members, love for friends, love for animals, and love for the world of nature. Love is this authentic feeling that transcends judgment, hatred, and envy. It embraces one person or a group of people in our hearts with trust and kindness. This unconditional acceptance and affinity is what love is.

We feel love for many people in our lifetime, and it is quite easy to love the world of nature—the beautiful forest, the majestic mountains. Our hearts open when we are standing before sunsets or mountains or great rivers. We all love nature easily. We don’t have to meditate for a long time or go through psychoanalysis to love nature. At a very early age, we humans start demonstrating our intrinsic love toward the world of nature as well as toward the animal kingdom. We love animals most of the time. It is easy to love our pets, and of course, they love us unconditionally. They often show their unconditional love and their loyalty toward us. Not only that, they are extremely charming most of the time. Some animals are much easier to love. Those little dogs you see now and then are so sweet and adorable!

However, our love toward humanity is very complicated. When we love a human being, that love can be quite heroic. Perhaps it is much more heroic or profound than our love of nature or anything else. When we really love somebody, we are able to sacrifice ourselves.

We have this selfless, big heart, through which we can have the willingness to carry the other person’s suffering and pain. And we can have unquestioning determination to share our happiness, our glory, and our richness with that person. It is said that this kind of love toward all living beings was felt by Buddha himself all the time. Many great, awakened masters felt this love too.

At the same time, it is very difficult to love humanity. When you walk on the street or drive on the highway, try to look around. Make sure you look around and recognize all the human beings.

Can you love them? Can you find sacredness, holiness, or some kind of charming quality in them? You know that sometimes it is very difficult to open your heart and find the beauty and holiness in human beings that you can find quite easily in nature or even animals. That is why many people have a much easier time loving animals than loving human beings. Sometimes it is very difficult to accept human beings with their complex personalities. Yet this is the only way we can evolve. Sooner or later, we must learn how to love all humanity. We must learn how to recognize the charm, the sweetness, and the adorable qualities in humanity without any exclusions. Perhaps we may think that such love is impossible, but the truth is that this love is very possible. Having this love in your heart is the only way you can evolve. It is the only way you can find healing, transformation, and true happiness. So Buddha Maitreya, the future buddha, is only an archetype. We all are future buddhas. We all are the Buddha Maitreya. The Buddha Maitreya symbolizes this all-embracing love.

One time, the Buddhist master Asanga was meditating in the forest. He was hoping that soon he would see a divine vision of Buddha Maitreya. He meditated for twelve years without any sign of achievement. After meditating for twelve years in the forest and hoping to see the divine vision of Buddha Maitreya, he was quite disappointed. He decided to quit his quest. On the way home, he ran into a wounded dog lying on the street. This poor dog’s entire body was covered with maggots. He felt genuine love and compassion toward this wounded dog. He wanted to help it and remove all the maggots eating its body. First he tried to remove the insects with his hands, but then he also felt love and compassion toward those embracing each moment insects. He was afraid of killing them with his hands. He decided to remove them with his tongue. The sight was so grotesque he could not touch the maggots with his tongue while his eyes were open.

He closed his eyes and stuck out his tongue. Suddenly there was no more wounded dog. He had a vision of Buddha Maitreya. Of course,this is a very famous story that you don’t have to take literally. It can be a metaphorical story. You are Buddha Maitreya, and you are the future buddha. There is an all-embracing love inside you. You are born with it. This is your basic instinct. You just have to find a way to rekindle it.

Again, there are many forms of love. There is spiritual or divine love. This is love without any object, which is a very powerful love. There are many beautiful and powerful practices than can help us to evoke this spiritual, objectless love. Most of the time, our love has an object. True spiritual love, divine love, has no object. This is why the Hindus often practice bhakti yoga, which is the yoga of divine love. You can feel this spiritual love, love toward Avalokiteshvara, love toward Guanyin. Guanyin is not an object. Avalokiteshvara is not an object. The truth is that you will never find Avalokiteshvara from outside. As a Mahayana and Tantric Buddhist, I have practiced many sadhanas, Buddhist versions of bhakti yoga. For a long time, I practiced the Avalokiteshvara sadhana. I felt this profound, almost transcendent level of love toward Avalokiteshvara. For a long time, I wanted to see Avalokiteshvara. Of course, in the end I could not find Avalokiteshvara because Avalokiteshvara is not an object.

When you can’t find Avalokiteshvara and still love Avalokiteshvara, that is true spiritual love that is transcendent love.

Source: Spirituality Health

View Here on Embracing Each Moment

Mantra Of Avalokiteshvara | Medicine Buddha Mantra, Mantra Of Avalokiteshvara, Mantra of Avalokiteshvara Tibetan..
Mantra Of Avalokiteshvara Lyrics:
……………………………………………
Namo Ratna Trayaya,
Namo Arya Jnana
Sagara, Vairochana,
Byuhara Jara Tathagataya,
Arahate, Samyaksam Buddhaya,
Namo Sarwa Tathagate Bhyay,
Arhata Bhyah,
Samyaksam Buddhe Bhyah,
Namo Arya Avalokite
shoraya Bodhisattvaya,
Maha Sattvaya,
Maha Karunikaya,
Tadyata, Om Dara Dara,
Diri Diri, Duru Duru
Itte We, Itte Chale Chale,
Purachale Purachale,
Kusume Kusuma Wa Re,
Ili Milli, Chiti Jvalam, Apanaye Shoha.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama provides intimate details on an advanced meditation practice called Dzogchen using a visionary poem by the 19th-century saint Patrul Rinpoche, author of the Buddhist classic Words of My Perfect Teacher.

The Dalai Lama deftly connects how training the mind in compassion for other beings is directly related to—and in fact a prerequisite for—the very pinnacle of Buddhist meditation. He presents his understanding, confirmed again and again over millennia, that the cultivation of both compassion and wisdom is absolutely critical to progress in meditation and goes into great depth on how this can be accomplished.

While accessible to a beginner, he leads the reader in very fine detail on how to identify innermost awareness—who we really are—how to maintain contact with this awareness, and how to release oneself from the endless stream of our thoughts to let this awareness, always present, become consistently apparent.

HIS HOLINESS THE FOURTEENTH DALAI LAMA
is considered the foremost Buddhist leader of our time. The exiled head of the Tibetan people, he is a Nobel Peace Laureate, a Congressional Gold Medal recipient, and a remarkable teacher and scholar who has authored over one hundred books. JEFFREY HOPKINS is Founder and President of the UMA Institute for Tibetan Studies. He is Professor Emeritus of Tibetan Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia, where he taught Tibetan Buddhist Studies and Tibetan language for thirty-two years from 1973. He served as His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s chief interpreter into English on lecture tours for ten years, 1979-1989, and has translated and edited fifteen books from oral teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He has also published numerous translations of important Buddhist texts that represent the diversity of views found in Tibetan Buddhism.

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Dalai Lama Talk : Awareness of Peace, Mindfulness And Wellbeing

Dalai Lama Talk: Awareness of Peace, Mindfulness and Wellbeing

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama Emphasizes his belief that the entire concept of war is based on the “…us and them…” or “…we and they…” way of thinking.
The wars of the last century stem from a “…self-centered attitude…”

His holiness talks frankly about meeting world leaders and discussing the reasons and thinking behind nations going to war. When meeting a world leader for the first time”…not mentioning any names…” the first visit is very stand off-ish, the next time a little closer, the third visit they would talk. And his holiness suggested that this type of gap between people is a contributing factor in the reason nations engage in war.
With emphasis on George Bush and the Iraq – Afghanistan wars. He says he believed the presidents heart was in the right place but his method was wrong. Using force was wrong.

The Dalai Lama also speaks about overcoming tragedy by always trying to see things from different angels. He speaks of losing his country of Tibet and becoming a refugee and how that was “…most fortunate…” because he was able to leave behind a mostly ceremonial life in Tibet and travel, meet new people and speak all over the world. His Holiness say’s that the tragedy of losing Tibet, woke up the Tibetan people.

“..200,000,000 people killed, such immense violence and suffering and including the use of two nuclear bombs once Nagasaki once Hiroshima, I personally visited these areas … men use these things out of strong anger, hatred…” Now the next 100 years will not be free of problems, global warming, population explosion etc. but we have the opportunity for nations to approach these problems with “…peaceful means…” and “…non violence…”.

“…My body speech and mind I dedicate to the wellbeing of others…” – His Holiness the 14Th Dalai Lama.

Delightful and accessible teachings on the path to liberation from a Tibetan Buddhist master who makes the teachings accessible to one and all.

The main themes of the popular Bay Area Buddhist teacher Anam Thubten’s Buddhist teachings are presented here in a concise collection of his teachings. His Tibetan Buddhist wisdom has broad appeal, to the extent that non-Buddhists are often in attendance at his dharma teachings. He focuses on traditional teachings on non-grasping, non-self–but also on happiness, love, and the sacred nature of all things. Reading this book is like being there at one of his inspiring presentations on the basics of the Buddhist path.

Anam Thubten grew up in Tibet and undertook Buddhist training in the Nyingma tradition at an early age. He has been teaching in the West since the 1990s and is the spiritual adviser and Dharma teacher for the Dharmata Foundation.

Beyond Division – Awakening to Sacredness: An Interview with Anam Thubten

Anam Thubten is a teacher in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Born in Tibet, he received traditional Buddhist training from a number of teachers at a young age, and was particularly inspired by a hermit called Lama Tsurlo. In the 1990s Anam Thubten went to the US, where he lives today. He is the founder and spiritual adviser of the Dharmata Foundation in California, and is becoming increasingly well known both in the US and abroad. His books in English include “The Magic of Awareness” and “No Self, No Problem.”

This interview was recorded on a visit to Hong Kong in late 2014.

Be inspired by more Buddhist content at our main website, Buddhistdoor: http://www.buddhistdoor.net/


http://www.DalaiLamaFilm.com – Your Transformation is NOW… NEW ‘Dalai Lama Awakening’ Film (narrated by Harrison Ford).

Critics say: “Brilliant” – “Transformational” – “a Stunning Tour-de-Force” – “a Powerful Cinematic Documentary”

Available on DVD NOW, and iTunes in June 2016: http://www.DalaiLamaFilm.com

The film also features: Thom Hartmann, Amit Goswami, Fred Alan Wolf, Jean Houston, Vicki Robin, Elisabet Sahtouris, Vandana Shiva, and others

NEW Dalai Lama Awakening (narrated by Harrison Ford) – Official Trailer #2

http://www.DalaiLamaFilm.com – Your transformation is NOW. Experience this film in a cinema in your area soon. ‘Dalai Lama Awakening’ and Director Khashyar Darvich are touring the U.S.-Canada from Sept 2014 – Feb 2015. For the full tour schedule, please visit: http://www.DalaiLamaFilm.com. This is the first trailer for the new transformational documentary film ‘Dalai Lama Awakening,’ which features the Dalai Lama and is narrated by Harrison Ford. This is the Director’s Cut and New Poetic ReVision of the Award-winning ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ film. Others featured in the film include: Quantum Physicists Fred Alan Wolf and Amit Goswami, radio host Thom Hartmann, Revolutionary Social Scientist Jean Houston, Michael Beckwith.

According to Pema Chödrön, we might think that knowing ourselves is a very ego-centered thing, but by beginning to look clearly and honestly at ourselves, we begin to dissolve the walls that separate us from others.

The journey of awakening happens just at the place where we can’t get comfortable. Opening to discomfort is the basis of transmuting our so-called “negative” feelings. We somehow want to get rid of our uncomfortable feelings either by justifying them or by squelching them, but it turns out that this is like throwing the baby out with the bath water. According to the teachings of vajrayana, or tantric, Buddhism, our wisdom and our confusion are so interwoven that it doesn’t work to just throw things out.

By trying to get rid of “negativity,” by trying to eradicate it, by putting it into a column labelled “bad,” we are throwing away our wisdom as well, because everything in us is creative energy—particularly our strong emotions. They are filled with life-force.

There is nothing wrong with negativity per se; the problem is that we never see it, we never honor it, we never look into its heart. We don’t taste our negativity, smell it, get to know it. Instead, we are always trying to get rid of it by punching someone in the face, by slandering someone, by punishing ourselves, or by repressing our feelings. In between repression and acting out, however, there is something wise and profound and timeless.

If we just try to get rid of negative feelings, we don’t realize that those feelings are our wisdom. The transmutation comes from the willingness to hold our seat with the feeling, to let the words go, to let the justification go. We don’t have to have resolution. We can live with a dissonant note; we don’t have to play the next key to end the tune.

Curiously enough, this journey of transmutation is one of tremendous joy. We usually seek joy in the wrong places, by trying to avoid feeling whole parts of the human condition. We seek happiness by believing that whole parts of what it is to be human are unacceptable. We feel that something has to change in ourselves. However, unconditional joy comes about through some kind of intelligence in which we allow ourselves to see clearly what we do with great honesty, combined with a tremendous kindness and gentleness. This combination of honesty, or clear-seeing, and kindness is the essence of maitri—unconditional friendship with ourselves.

This is a process of continually stepping into unknown territory. You become willing to step into the unknown territory of your own being. Then you realize that this particular adventure is not only taking you into your own being, it’s also taking you out into the whole universe. You can only go into the unknown when you have made friends with yourself. You can only step into those areas “out there” by beginning to explore and have curiosity about this unknown “in here,” in yourself.

Dogen Zen-ji said, “To know yourself is to forget yourself.” We might think that knowing ourselves is a very ego-centered thing, but by beginning to look so clearly and so honestly at ourselves—at our emotions, at our thoughts, at who we really are—we begin to dissolve the walls that separate us from others. Somehow all of these walls, these ways of feeling separate from everything else and everyone else, are made up of opinions. They are made up of dogma; they are made of prejudice. These walls come from our fear of knowing parts of ourselves.

There is a Tibetan teaching that is often translated as, “Self-cherishing is the root of all suffering.” It can be hard for a Western person to hear the term “self-cherishing” without misunderstanding what is being said. I would guess that 85% of us Westerners would interpret it as telling us that we shouldn’t care for ourselves—that there is something anti-wakeful about respecting ourselves. But that isn’t what it really means. What it is talking about is fixating. “Self-cherishing” refers to how we try to protect ourselves by fixating; how we put up walls so that we won’t have to feel discomfort or lack of resolution. That notion of self-cherishing refers to the erroneous belief that there could be only comfort and no discomfort, or the belief that there could be only happiness and no sadness, or the belief that there could be just good and no bad.

But what the Buddhist teachings point out is that we could take a much bigger perspective, one that is beyond good and evil. Classifications of good and bad come from lack of maitri. We say that something is good if it makes us feel secure and it’s bad if it makes us feel insecure. That way we get into hating people who make us feel insecure and hating all kinds of religions or nationalities that make us feel insecure. And we like those who give us ground under our feet.

When we are so involved with trying to protect ourselves, we are unable to see the pain in another person’s face. “Self-cherishing” is ego fixating and grasping: it ties our hearts, our shoulders, our head, our stomach, into knots. We can’t open. Everything is in a knot. When we begin to open we can see others and we can be there for them. But to the degree that we haven’t worked with our own fear, we are going to shut down when others trigger our fear.

So to know yourself is to forget yourself. This is to say that when we make friends with ourselves we no longer have to be so self-involved. It’s a curious twist: making friends with ourselves is a way of not being so self-involved anymore. Then Dogen Zen-ji goes on to say, “To forget yourself is to become enlightened by all things.” When we are not so self-involved, we begin to realize that the world is speaking to us all of the time. Every plant, every tree, every animal, every person, every car, every airplane is speaking to us, teaching us, awakening us. It’s a wonderful world, but we often miss it. It’s as if we see the previews of coming attractions and never get to the main feature.

When we feel resentful or judgmental, it hurts us and it hurts others. But if we look into it we might see that behind the resentment there is fear and behind the fear there is a tremendous softness. There is a very big heart and a huge mind—a very awake, basic state of being. To experience this we begin to make a journey, the journey of unconditional friendliness toward the self that we already are.

Source: Lions Roar

“Fully Alive,” a Retreat with Pema Chodron

In this clip from Pema Chodron’s 2011 Omega retreat, “Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change,” Pema teaches us how to change the way we relate to our experience when we wake up feeling depressed.

Pema Chödrön – Why I Became a Buddhist

by Robert Thurman Ph.D:

Why do bad things happen to good people? Does karma play a role?

Abstractly speaking, karma is not really a theory of fate; it’s a causal theory. And it says that anything bad that happens to you is a resonance of something bad that you perpetrated in a previous life.

The main thing about karma, what we might want to call collective karma, when there’s a disaster where people haven’t done anything and a terrible thing happens from nature, is that the bodhisattva, or the outside person looking at the situation, never invokes the karma theory and says, “Well, I don’t have to worry about them because that was their bad karma and they got wasted and too bad–as if it were some sort of fate or a way of writing off the disaster. It should never be used that way.

The bodhisattva never accepts the absoluteness of that explanation, although she would be aware of it. She would think of it as a terrible tragedy, unprovoked and unmerited, and would try to do everything possible to save the people from the disaster and help the survivors.

On the other hand, the karma theory that everything bad that happens to me is from my own negative action in the past is always useful for the person who suffers. In other words, using the karma theory to blame the victim is good for the victim to do about themselves. This is a very surprising idea. If the victims just sit and shake their fist at the universe, shout at God (if they are theists) or shout at karma, then they weaken themselves in the sense that they have just emphasized their helplessness.

Whereas if they say, I’m going to use this disaster that happened to me as if it were expiating previous things that I did to the world that were negative, and I’m going to grow stronger from it….In other words, I can’t do anything about the disaster but I can do something about my reaction to it. I’m not going to add to the suffering it has caused with a new suffering of agonizing about myself and feeling helpless and feeling angry at the external world. I’m going to take responsibility for being in the way of the disaster as part of my own karma and therefore I’m going to use this tragedy as an advantage toward freedom, towards Buddhahood.

Is that a way they can find meaning in their suffering?

They find meaning and they find advantage is the main point. They can say, this is going to be a conscious effort I’m going to do.

Now if they got killed, of course they’re not going to do anything in that life. But from the Buddhist point of view, if they have a lingering memory of a catastrophe because they died in a moment of panic and fear and worry for their loved ones and so on, if they retain some memory of this death-which often the just-dead do, in the Buddhist view in the bardo, the between state-and they’re saying, well, this is a terrible karma thing that happened to me and others. I will try to make my suffering a sacrifice, an expiation of previous things that I caused, and I’m going to have a better life in the future. And I’m going to try to help the beings who died, my loved ones and others, and be of more help to them in my next life.

So that they would try to take advantage in the between-state in the after-death state in order to improve their rebirth, rather than just freak out.

What solace can Buddhism offer to survivors who have lost loved ones?
The solace to survivors who have lost someone is: Well, they lost this life, I lost my contact with them, but moaning and groaning and freaking out about it and being angry about it isn’t going to help. I should send them good prayers and good vibrations about their rebirth. If I dearly love them, I will pray to meet them again in the coming life, in wherever they are reborn, to make the world in general a better place for them, and vow to rejoin them (if it’s a soulmate sort of thing) in another life. So the consolation of karma is not just identifying the lost beings with the embodiment of a particular life, but feeling a sense of spiritual connection to their larger continuity of life and sending good vibes toward that.

The theist says it’s God’s will and God took care of them and hopes to join them in heaven, which is also good consolation and sort of leaves it up to God. But the karma is seeing it as a process in which you are also a responsible actor. Otherwise the vastness of the causal mixes is so huge it’s pretty incomprehensible, and no wonder some people call it God, or God’s will, or providence.

But the key thing is that karma is not the exercise of a particular agency or divinity; it is an impersonal process of causality. I call it evolutionary causality.

What do you mean by that?

It’s a causality by which beings evolve. Like if they do an action of a certain type, they get an effect from that action because it changes their being and their being evolves. It can evolve in a negative or a positive direction depending on whether the actions are negative or positive. In a way, karma is a biological theory just like a Western genetic biological theory. And it is very like a genetic biological theory in that it has humans being reborn as animals, animals as humans. And it adds to that also the idea of the spiritual gene or the soul gene being interwoven within that genetic rebirth process. So that your own individual consciousness can become the animal or become the god or become the human or whatever it becomes.

It’s hard to generalize across cultures, but is there a traditional mourning period for Buddhists?

In the Buddhist context, they consider that the weeping and wailing and shrieking and tearing hair and clothes, that kind of thing, is not actually a good idea. It doesn’t really relieve the bereaved; in fact it even pumps up their emotion. But the main point from the Buddhist point of view is that the one who just died, being still aware of what those left behind, the survivors are doing for a while–the departed one gets very anxious and upset and preserves that raw emotion as very disturbing. So whenever someone is overcome by grief, the tendency, especially in Tibetan Buddhist culture, is to try to calm that survivor down and have them think of good and positive thoughts and send good vibes.

So the nature of their grief should take the form of looking forward and being compassionate with others?

Yes, that’s considered better–sincerely sending really strong caring and loving vibes toward the one who passed away. Because the main person in transition at that time, the most difficult transition, is the death-rebirth transition in the Buddhist view. The one left behind is not that drastic in the sense that they’re still in their familiar embodiment, even though it may be a big disruption for them. So the priority is to send the good vibes to the departed, in the Buddhist world view.

Robert Thurman holds the first endowed chair in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the United States, at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of the international best-seller “Inner Revolution,” and the co-founder and president of Tibet House U.S., a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture.
Source: Belief Net


Published on Dec 30, 2015

http://scienceandnonduality.com/

We here a lot about compassion nowadays, along with mindfulness, and there is no doubt it is the essence of all spirituality and also essential for any viable society or world. In the famous phrase of the title, the great Indian philosopher Nāgārjuna states emphatically that truly universal and unconditional compassion arises in a being who encounters the deepest nature of reality – or perhaps that compassion is the most realistic way of engaging with life realistically. This talk will elucidate the passage of Nāgārjuna’s Jewel Rosary in which this phrase occurs, connecting Buddha’s revolutionary physical theory with the supremely positive human emotions of selfless love and compassion.

Robert A.F. Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of the Tibet House U.S., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a non-profit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and dedicated to the publication of translations of important artistic and scientific treatises from the Tibetan Tengyur.

Time chose Professor Thurman as one of its 25 most influential Americans in 1997, describing him as a “larger than life scholar-activist destined to convey the Dharma, the precious teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, from Asia to America.” The New York Times recently said Thurman “is considered the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism.”

Thurman is known as a talented popularizer of the Buddha’s teachings. He is a riveting speaker and an author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture, including The Central Philosophy of Tibet, Circling the Sacred Mountain, Essential Tibetan Buddhism, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, Worlds of Transformation, Inner Revolution, Infinite Life, the Jewel Tree of Tibet, Why The Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet, and the World, and, most recently, with Sharon Salzberg, Love Your Enemies.


Robert A.F. Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of the Tibet House U.S., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a non-profit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and dedicated to the publication of translations of important artistic and scientific treatises from the Tibetan Tengyur.

Time chose Professor Thurman as one of its 25 most influential Americans in 1997, describing him as a “larger than life scholar-activist destined to convey the Dharma, the precious teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, from Asia to America.” The New York Times recently said Thurman “is considered the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism.”

Thurman is known as a talented popularizer of the Buddha’s teachings. He is a riveting speaker and an author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture.

Recorded 10/25/2015 at the Science and Nonduality Conference

In Zen’s famed 10 oxherding pictures, the ox is enlightenment and the herder is you, the meditator. Created by 12th-century Chinese master Guo-an Shi-yuan, the oxherding pictures have mapped the path for Buddhist practitioners ever since, inspiring countless commentaries and new renderings. Here is a contemporary take by graphic artist Mark T. Morse, with commentary by Boundless Way Zen teacher Josh Bartok and a Vajrayana perspective from the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

1. Searching
2. Seeing the footprints
3. Glimpsing
4. Catching
5. Taming
6. Riding home
7. Transcending other
8. Transcending self-and-other
9. The source
10. Returning

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This book takes a bold new look at ways of exploring the nature, origins, and potentials of consciousness within the context of science and religion. Alan Wallace draws careful distinctions between four elements of the scientific tradition: science itself, scientific realism, scientific materialism, and scientism.

Arguing that the metaphysical doctrine of scientific materialism has taken on the role of ersatz-religion for its adherents, he traces its development from its Greek and Judeo-Christian origins, focusing on the interrelation between the Protestant Reformation and the Scientific Revolution. He looks at scientists’ long term resistance to the firsthand study of consciousness and details the ways in which subjectivity has been deemed taboo within the scientific community.

In conclusion, Wallace draws on William James’s idea for a “science of religion” that would study the nature of religious and, in particular, contemplative experience.
In exploring the nature of consciousness, this groundbreaking study will help to bridge the chasm between religious belief and scientific knowledge. It is essential reading for philosophers and historians of science, scholars of religion, and anyone interested in the relationship between science and religion.

B. Alan Wallace began his studies of Tibetan Buddhism, language, and culture in 1970 at the University of Göttingen and then continued his studies over the next fourteen years in India, Switzerland, and the United States. After graduating summa cum laude from Amherst College, where he studied physics and the philosophy of science, he went on to earn his Ph.D. in religious studies at Stanford University. He then taught for four years in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and is now the founder and president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies (http://sbinstitute.com).

He is also Chairman of the Thanypura Mind Centre (http://piamc.com) in Thailand, where he leads meditation retreats. He has edited, translated, authored, and contributed to more than forty books on Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, language, and culture, and the interface between science and Buddhism, including Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic: A Manifesto for the Mind Sciences and Contemplative Practice, Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism, and Christianity, and Hidden Dimensions: The Unification of Physics and Consciousness.

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A Radically Empirical Approach to the Exploration of Consciousness, Alan Wallace

Published on Nov 14, 2015

For centuries, theologians and philosophers have proposed a wide range of hypotheses concerning the origins and nature of consciousness and what happen to consciousness at death, without reaching any consensus. Over the past 140 years, cognitive scientists have likewise proposed a diverse array of definitions of consciousness and theories attempting to solve the mind-body problem.

Materialists have tended to dominate such discourse, with some arguing that subjective states of consciousness must be equivalent to brain processes or their emergent properties, while others deny the very existence of subjective, conscious experience. Virtually none of these theories lend themselves to scientific validation or repudiation; they do not appear to moving towards any kind of consensus; and they all lack of any rigorous means of investigating subjective states of consciousness firsthand. In other words, they have all overlooked a key element that initially set “natural philosophy” apart from all other branches of philosophy and theology in the 17th century: the precise, rigorous observation of the natural phenomena under investigation.

While all subjectively experienced mental processes and states of consciousness are undetectable by the instruments of technology, they can be observed with refined attention and introspection. William James, one of the foremost pioneers of experimental psychology and neuroscience, proposed that introspection should play a central role in scientifically exploring the mind.

But ever since the rise of behaviorism in the early 20th century, his radically empirical approach proposal has been ignored. Buddhist contemplatives, on the other hand, have adopted this radically empirical approach for millennia, and they have established a large body of consensual knowledge. Thus far, their methods and discoveries have been almost entirely overlooked by the scientific community and the general public. It is high time to correct this oversight.

Alan Wallace, Lecturer, Scholar, and Prolific Writer on Tibetan Buddhism

Dynamic lecturer, progressive scholar, and one of the most prolific writers and translators of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, B. Alan Wallace seeks ways to integrate Buddhist contemplative practices with Western science to advance the study of the mind. Dr. Wallace, a scholar and practitioner of Buddhism since 1970, has taught Buddhist theory and meditation worldwide since 1976. Trained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk and ordained by H. H. the Dalai Lama, Wallace went on to earn an undergraduate degree in physics and the philosophy
of science at Amherst College and a doctorate in religious studies at Stanford. http://www.alanwallace.org

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