Pujas

Recently on the 25th of April we celebrated Offering to the Spiritual Guide, as we always do twice monthly on the 10th and the 25th. I like pujas and find them inspiring, but I never stopped to think much more about then. What exactly is a puja? I think I know. But what do I…

I survived Nyung Na

Recently the annual Nyung Na purification and fasting retreat was held at Compassion Centre and for the first time I participated, with much trepidation. Trepidation? All right terror. Fasting? Forget it. Something however made me want to try. Was I mad? A whole weekend? Why punish myself in this way? The two retreat sessions per…

Restless, contentment, rest

Desires wear us out. We are perpetually on the hunt for something new we want; or something better than what we already have- an upgrade if you will. These desires are often accompanied by a narrative that goes something like this: If I had this person; object; vehicle; holiday, I would be happy. Strange thing…

When did you last enjoy the stillness of your own mind?

A great technique to make our mind peaceful and strong is to read Venerable Geshe-la’s books in an active manner. This means slowing down and reading with a special focus on particular terms, words and phrases, in the text. Since we have recently finished the chapter, ‘The Pre-Eminent Qualities of the Instructions,’ in The New…

Rest and Relaxation

I am tired. More than tired. Exhausted. Again. Recently I bought a new mattress in the hopes of improving the quality of my sleep. From a shop called ‘Dreamland,’ my mattress promised not only a good night’s sleep, but excellent support conforming to the contours of my body with memory foam insuring enhanced comfort and…

New Horizons

In our General Program classes [GP] we began reading the book, ‘The New 8 Steps to Happiness’. A short review of what we were reading follows. The Introduction Every reader will have their own takeaway from the readings – and that is the beauty of reading such profound texts. Still we can observe a theme…

Thought for the Weekend

Pacifying Minds – The Unbelievable Value of Compassion This week on The Life Scientific on BBC radio 4, the interviewee was Dr Gwen Adshead, a forensic psychologist and psychoanalyst who treats the most violent in our society. When asked whether people who have committed the worst offensives deserved treatment, her answer was very interesting from…

Thought for the weekend

Who has access to your imagination?? Few weeks ago Margaret alerted me to a radio show she heard on BBC R4 where the presenter said that the technologies we use allows tech companies to access and influence our imagination.As Buddhists who understand and therefore respect the power of imagination we were both quite alarmed by…

Happiness and the mind

Last week we looked at the Buddhist presentation of what the mind is. In many ways, this is one of the most challenging Buddhist claims/concepts/truths [you choose]. When we look at the world we can see that there are many debates about what the mind is. Many philosophers argue from different positions – Monism, dualism,…