As Dr. Rapgay put it, “Abuse is always going to happen, because it’s human nature.” But there also seems to be a particular set of circumstances that gives rise to a situation the Western Buddhist community in particular has seen again and again: a lone teacher rises to power and attracts a devoted following.
In the East and particularly in Buddhism, it's epistemological based. It's all about the knowing, how we experience things. Western thought and our whole philosophical tradition has a more ontological orientation. It's about what is this. What is being? These are questions Buddhism has always skirted, saying, That's just a rat's nest. Don't go there.
While its no longer true in many universities, the presentation of Tibetan Buddhism in western academia—and the books that came out of it—was heavily skewed towards the Gelug philosophical view and its traditions. There are various reasons for this. . .
There is still a significant learning curve that has to happen on the both sides of the East-to-West transmission. It will take time and courage to find the clarity and understanding we need. Shared wisdom and compassion are the only way forward.
What is “divine” about deities, dralas, devas, yei, and so on? Perhaps it is partially because each is itself unbound by any of those attempts to capture, own and freeze it. Impervious to attempts to subsume them under any conjectured umbrella of enforced “unity”. The attributes and descriptions of deities themselves convey this intangibility.
While one might expect ongoing scriptural revelation to be innovative, Nyingma Treasure is in fact strikingly conservative. Despite the colourful personalities of individual treasure revealers, and the sometimes dramatic public displays accompanying revelation, finished Treasure works are faithful to age-old tradition.
Neuroscientists refer to "direct" mode when we pay attention to our senses, as opposed to "narrative" mode when we're caught up in our inner narrative or thoughts. Unsurprisingly, there is a powerful and positive correlation between being in direct mode and being happy.
When I hear best selling authors saying that we don’t need to step back from our everyday life in order to gain the advantages of meditation, I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Really, I do. A few of their points are sound, that what is found in time apart is also available here, and that ultimately we need to bring the practice home, and I give them credit for saying this much. But when they deny the value of retreat, they go too far.
Video (48 mins): Prof. Cathy Cantwell presents the ins and out of drupchen, a great accomplishment ritual in a public lecture at the Intersectional Center for Inclusion and Social Justice, 2017 at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Most of us do not associate spiritual practice with practicality. This is an interesting phenomenon, since Western society and culture tend to be both practical and pragmatic. Why do we lose our heads when it comes to the Dharma?
In the West, despite an established tradition of poetry in Dharma literature, few Tibetan teachers have used original poetry or poetry in translation as a way of communicating with their students and their audience in general. This has not been the case with Asian teachers in other Buddhist traditions
Every day, I am exhorted, from within myself and by others, to "do something." It would seem that in our culture, the only way to create change is to take action. However, Vajrayana teaches that being is doing ..
Dharma teachers have been telling us for centuries that our enemies are the best teachers. How can that be? When we perceive enemies, powerful emotions arise, coursing like wildfire through our being. That’s when it’s time to ask, as our teachers advise: What can I learn from this?
We want to be constantly informed. And why shouldn’t an aspiration for knowledge not be a good thing? Yet, as I came to discover in myself over the past week, this needing to know represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the type of texts that are at hand, that is, living literature.
My longtime friend Lama Wangmo asked if I would pen a few words on the state of Buddhist publishing, wearing my hat as the president of Shambhala Publications since 2010 and Snow Lion Publications since we acquired them in 2011.
Give me energy so that belief in self falls away. Give me energy so that I see through life’s illusions. Give me energy so that reactive thinking comes to an end. Give me energy so that I know mind has no beginning. Give me energy so that ...
Life is filled with change and uncertainty. As many times as I've experienced this reality in positive, negative and neutral circumstances, I'm still surprised by my seemingly innate ability to forget. Fortunately, there are teachers and practices that give us a glimpse of what is truly innate.
The light of the guru is a lamp that never goes dark. My root teacher is still the North Star in the night sky, though he passed into parinirvana on 22 July 2013. I miss him deeply, yet the bond endures.