Raising Consciousness with Thich Nhat Hanh

Just back from a long weekend with the Thai Plum Village people (not to be confused with the Village People) (sorry, I couldn’t help myself), which is the local sangha of revered Vietnamese Buddhist teacher and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh. We spent the time in the mountains near Chiang Dao, in NorthernContinue reading “Raising Consciousness with Thich Nhat Hanh”

Ashtanga Yoga and Beginners Mind

20 years ago this month, I had the good luck to find myself in an Ashtanga yoga class taught by Richard Freeman. It was my first yoga class. Richard’s specialty was (and is) his Level 1 class for beginners.  We never did more than one or 2 sun salutations, a few standing postures and perhapsContinue reading “Ashtanga Yoga and Beginners Mind”

a vote for independence–and integrity

“Despite the clarity of the teachings, we often lose sight of this essential aim of eradicating mental poisons and self-clinging. In fact, instead of eliminating those poisons, we often end up increasing them. For example, people that practice the Dharma have a tendency to gather together and organize themselves. They create institutions, Dharma centers, andContinue reading “a vote for independence–and integrity”

Karmapa’s New Year’s wish

“Many people have expressed anxiety about disasters that might befall the world in the year 2012. In fact, we never know what any given year might hold. But if we are sincerely committed to following a path of compassion and wisdom, this uncertainty about the future need not cause us any concern. Whatever happens, weContinue reading “Karmapa’s New Year’s wish”

Thrangu Rinpoche in Malaysia

Rinpoche was in Sibu, Serawak, on the island of Borneo this past weekend to give the Green Tara empowerment. It was also his birthday! Many lamas were there from Thrangu Rinpoche’s numerous centers in Malaysia. Being one of only 3 other foreigners there, the local sangha took such good care of me! Clearly the paramitaContinue reading “Thrangu Rinpoche in Malaysia”

settling the mind with shamatha meditation

We’ve just finished the last day of the 8 week shamatha retreat with Alan Wallace in Phuket, and what a gift. It’s amazing what arises from simple attention to the breath. Since I arrived here 3 weeks ago, I’ve had the good fortune to attend Alan’s teachings both morning and evening. The simplicity of sittingContinue reading “settling the mind with shamatha meditation”

Our Dear Acharya and Vijaya

Something about seeing old friends always reminds me of the journey we have taken together and how far I have progressed (or digressed, as the case may sometimes be.) When those “old friends” are wise teachers who have guided you through the rough patches, the path comes into new focus. I look back on myContinue reading “Our Dear Acharya and Vijaya”