Are we there yet?

You don’t particularly expect happiness out of the path. However, you do expect sophistication and a sense of relief or confidence that something is actually happening. You don’t have to know where you are on the path but you need to know that you are moving and you are going to get to your destination.... Continue Reading →

Adverse circumstances

In prison Khenpo Münsel Rinpoche taught me this: "The extent of your realization will be known when you encounter difficult circumstances. You will not know the extent of your realization when things go well."When you find yourself in a troublesome situation, when you are in great pain, when an intense emotion arises, only then will... Continue Reading →

A path with a heart

In undertaking a spiritual life, what matters is simple: We must make certain that our path is connected with our heart. In the end, spiritual life is not a process of seeking or gaining some extraordinary condition or special powers. In fact, such seeking can take us away from ourselves. If we are not careful,... Continue Reading →

Concept of God

We can never achieve union with God, because there is a fixed concept, a pre-fabricated conclusion, which we have already accepted and we are merely trying to put that great thing into a small container. One cannot drive a camel through the eye of a needle. So we have to find some other means. And... Continue Reading →

You can’t hitchhike spirituality

Whether you sit and practice alone or in a group situation doesn’t make any difference. If you find it difficult to meditate and want to stand up and walk out of meditation, the group situation does help you not to chicken out. It also provides a sense of fellowship. At the same time, whether you... Continue Reading →

The aim of spiritual life

Buddhist monks begin each day with a chant of gratitude for the blessings of their life. Native American elders begin each ceremony with grateful prayers to mother earth and father sky, to the four directions, to the animal, plant, and mineral brothers and sisters who share our earth and support our life. In Tibet, the... Continue Reading →

When the night has ended

Whenever our goodness is seen, it is a blessing. Every culture and tradition understands the importance of seeing one another with love. An old Hasidic rabbi asked his pupils how they could tell when the night had ended and day begun, for daybreak is the time for certain holy prayers. “Is it,” proposed one student,... Continue Reading →

The middle way

The term Middle Way is commonly misunderstood. We may interpret middle to mean “finding a balance.” For example, in the way that we might pursue, say, material fulfillment on the weekdays and try to balance that with something “spiritual” on the weekends. Or we may think the Middle Way refers to something in between two... Continue Reading →

Transcending spiritual materialism

In other words, to make this perfectly clear, the difference between spiritual materialism and transcending spiritual materialism is that in spiritual materialism promises are used like a carrot held up in front of a donkey, luring him into all kinds of journeys; in transcending spiritual materialism, there is no goal. The goal exists in every... Continue Reading →

Practise the teachings

If you’ve been practising for years, you should be seeing some results, If you’re not, you may be missing the point. The result of spiritual practice should be our inner transformation into better human beings. After practising for months or years, we should be less prone to anger, pride, and jealousy. Our practice should lead... Continue Reading →

Querencia

“In bullfighting there is an interesting parallel to the pause as a place of refuge and renewal. It is believed that in the midst of a fight, a bull can find his own particular area of safety in the arena. There he can reclaim his strength and power. This place and inner state are called... Continue Reading →

All the irritations are crucial

All the things taking place around our world, all the irritations and all the problems, are crucial. Without others we cannot attain enlightenment—in fact, we cannot even tread on the path. If there is no noise outside during our sitting meditation, we cannot develop mindfulness. If we do not have aches and pains in the... Continue Reading →

Drop the judgement

By and large, human beings tend to prefer to fit in to society by following accepted rules of etiquette and being gentle, polite, and respectful. The irony is that this is also how most people imagine a spiritual person should behave. When a so-called dharma practitioner is seen to behave badly, we shake our heads... Continue Reading →

Drop Specialness

Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa warned against this common pitfall for aspirants on the spiritual path: “The problem is that ego can convert anything to its own use,” he said, “even spirituality.” In The Myth of Freedom, the Tibetan teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpochetalks about the very un-specialness of the Buddha: “. . . that total... Continue Reading →

The Wisdom of Shambhala

There’s always the primordial dot: that spark of goodness that exists even before you think. We are worthy of that. Everybody possesses that unconditioned possibility of cheerfulness, which is not connected purely with either pain or pleasure. You have an inclination: in the flash of one second you feel what needs to be done. It... Continue Reading →

Developing a sense of balance

From the echo of meditative awareness, you develop a sense of balance, this is a step towards taking command of your world. You feel that you are riding in the saddle, riding the fickle horse of mind. Even though the horse underneath you may move, you can still maintain your seat. As long as you... Continue Reading →

To open deeply courage is required

What I discovered was wonderful news for me. To open deeply, as genuine spiritual life requires, we need tremendous courage and strength, a kind of warrior spirit. But the place for this warrior strength is in the heart. We need energy, commitment, and courage not to run from our life nor to cover it over... Continue Reading →

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