Only wonderful beings have this simple, refreshing and most innocent sense of humor. Enjoy!
Endless streams of rushing people
Quickly moving at frantic pace
Minding the gap
Minding their phones
Minding their kindles and their books
But not minding their own mind at all.
By all means mind the gap – the one between thoughts
And find the silence amidst the noise
The stillness behind the movement.
Tuesday, 15th October, 2013
“Meditation and Mind Training” with Tsering Paldron
As well as providing meditation instruction for beginners and those who already have some familiarity with meditation, we have asked Tsering to teach on Mind Training as we are currently using a book by Ringu Tulku on Mind Training (known as Lojong in Tibetan) to provide some structure, continuity and perspective to our meditation evenings.
Lojong (Mind Training)
“Lojong is not simply a mental exercise or a new intellectual approach, it is a profound education. It creates a radical change in our usual pattern of thinking. The meditation instructions and advice are plain and straightforward. This is a practice for ordinary life. There is no complexity or formality involved. No special ability is needed. Anyone can train their mind. The wisdom of these slogans is not exclusive to Buddhism. It is universal and goes beyond any particular religion.” Ringu Tulku.
Tsering will also be teaching at the Bodhicharya London Day Retreat on Saturday, 12th October.
A few years ago I wrote three stories for children. My intent was to create stories that wouldn’t just be another battle between good and evil, wrapped up in lots of fantasy. There is much more one can offer a child and it is possible to talk about the deep truths of life in simple words.
Thus Tachi – a funny and mischievous Tibetan cricket – came to life. It was illustrated by a Belgian young artist, Cécile Eyen, and Ringu Tulku Rinpoche was kind enough to write a Foreword. It was published in Portugal in 2006.
Thanks to several friends, the book was translated into French, English and German but those versions remained unpublished. Now, using Amazon’s direct publishing services, it became available both in e-book format and paperback.
“I like stories, and I especially like stories that have meaning; stories that are strange, funny and eventful. When I pick up a book like that I can’t put it down until I reach the last page; and then I’m sorry it is finished.
These stories not only have the capacity to hold my attention in this way but they also give some understanding of the Ancient Wisdom which has been preserved in Tibet for over one thousand years.
I do appreciate the way the book has been illustrated, and hope and wish that the stories will educate and entertain many people, both young and old.”
Ringu TulkuBuy it on amazon
Saturday, 12 October, 2013
“The Perfection of Meditation”with Tsering Paldron
Retreat day The Perfection (Paramita) of Meditation
To learn how to tame our “monkey” mind is an essential point of Buddhist training from which all transformation can arise.
In the Paramita of Meditation, formal meditation practice is just one of the aspects of the fifth Paramita. Learning how to focus and direct our life, by looking deeper into our habits and values, is also a very important part of the Paramita of Meditation in the path of Bodhisattvas. Formal sitting practice is, of course, included.
During this retreat day we will explore together both the formal practice and the day-to-day aspects of Meditation.
I will also be at Southampton, Brighton and Rochester.
There is a poem written by Portia Nelson – and actually a book too – called “There is a hole in my sidewalk”. The poem talks about how we fall into the same patterns over and over, until we gain awareness and discover we have the freedom to choose something else.
At first we believe things happen to us, coming from outside. We are the powerless victims of random events and whatever happens is not our fault. Feeling like this means we are deeply unconscious and mainly ruled by habitual patterns. It is usual, then, to complain about others and how they are the cause of all our troubles. We feel helpless to change our life, since it doesn’t depend on us.
Buddhism tells us a totally different story. We are responsible for our choices, whether we realize it or not. Even when we fall in our habitual patterns of behaviour, we are still choosing. It’s a by default choice, but a choice which will entail it’s own consequences.
Awareness may come, at some point, when we start to wonder why a certain thing keeps happening to us. Asking this question means we are starting to wake up to the possibility that events may not be random, that maybe they are related to what we do, say or think.
From then on, awareness may come quickly. We start to see ourselves falling into the same inadequacies as before – except we now do it knowingly. We may not yet be able to change our behaviour but at least we see it. And when consequences arise and we find ourselves in trouble, we no longer pretend it came out of nowhere. We know we are responsible.
Then, eventually one day, as we are about to react in the same way as we always did, coming from the spaciousness of our own mind comes a question: why not to something else for a change?
The sky and the bird
Tibetan teacher Chögyam Trungpa once opened a class by drawing a V on a large white sheet of poster paper. He then asked those present what he had drawn. Most responded that it was a bird. “No,” he told them. “It’s the sky with a bird flying through it.”
How we pay attention determines our experience. When we’re in doing or controlling mode, our attention narrows and we perceive objects in the foreground—the bird, a thought, a strong feeling. In these moments we don’t perceive the sky—the background of experience, the ocean of awareness. The good news is that through practice, we can intentionally incline our minds toward not controlling and toward an open attention.
Tara Brach, Adapted from “True Refuge” (2013)
Luminosity of the mind
Mind, on the ordinary level, is obscured by concepts, different states of thinking and preconceptions, and so on. In order to recognise the essential nature of the mind, therefore, we have to peel off these different layers and clear away these obscurations. Then we shall see the true face of our own minds.
If you undertake such practices, such experiments, when you say ‘consciousness’, it will not be a mere word. You will be able to understand what it is. Consciousness is a phenomenon that is nonobstructive; it is nonphysical and has the quality of luminosity. It is analogous to a crystal. If a crystal is placed on a coloured surface, the real clarity of that crystal will not be seen. If it is removed from anything coloured, however, then its real form will be seen.
The luminosity of the mind, the nature of clarity of the mind, is something that I cannot simply explain in words to you. But if you undertake this kind of experiment on your own, you will begin to understand,’ Ah, that’s the luminosity of the mind!’
From Dalai Lama’s Teachings
Finding deep stillness inside the busy mind
Inside our frantic mind lies the deepest, unsoiled serenity. By not following or fighting the thoughts, we can be present in an intense, relaxed way. Then, as the observer melts away, we discover the deep stillness of now, the timeless awareness from which rise the waves of pure compassion.
Let’s explore together the freshness of awareness and the warmth of true heart. Everybody is welcome!
with Tsering Paldron