No Effort Necessary

I have a new office. It sits in the middle of a rushing mountain stream, with aspen trees dancing on eight sides. Periwinkle butterflies flutter about in clouds, sometimes stopping to perch on my hand as I write. I fling off my shoes and soak my feet until they are numb. Then I get toContinue reading “No Effort Necessary”

The Nature of Mind

Garchen Rinpoche taught in Albuquerque last weekend, so I drove down to meet him. He gave a Milarepa empowerment, and discussed one of Milerepa’s songs of enlightenment. The gist of the teaching was on how to realize the nature of mind, the clear and unencumbered state of primordial awareness. At one point, Rinpoche looked atContinue reading “The Nature of Mind”

Here Today…..Tomorrow?

Over the winter I got to know a lovely young man at Vajra Vidya retreat center in Crestone. He was the kind of man that would make any mother  proud: polite and charming, always ready to help out with smile or good-natured joke. He would make a girlfriend proud: handsome, strong and athletic, intelligent andContinue reading “Here Today…..Tomorrow?”

Two Great Masters in Sarnath

One of the saving graces of samsara at the end of the dark age is that there are bright points of light that punctuate the darkness. I have the incredible good fortune to spend a few weeks in Sarnath (where the Buddha gave his first teachings after attaining enlightenment under the bodhi tree) with notContinue reading “Two Great Masters in Sarnath”

Kagyu Monlam

I’ve spent the last two weeks in Bodhgaya with 5ooo devoted Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world and dozens of high lamas leading us in chanting and prayers for peace. Each morning from 6 am we follow along with our chant book, sometimes chanting, sometimes reading the English translation, sometimes simply sitting quietly toContinue reading “Kagyu Monlam”

A New Season

Mornings are cooler these days as the mountainside turns to yellow. The shift has been accompanied by a visit from Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, with his profound Dzogchen teachings from the Bon Tradition. According to Dzogchen, the “Great Perfection,” the natural state of our mind is spaciousness, and everything that occurs in our mind arises fromContinue reading “A New Season”


Sometimes the most important practice is to ground in the present moment, doing everyday things with awareness. Nature, physical exercise, and…cooking! I’m cooking at the Buddhist center for a couple of weeks until their new chef arrives.  I’d forgotten what an amazing practice this is….there is no room for discursiveness or fantasy when the soupContinue reading “Crestone”

A Visit from Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche

My neighbor from Bhutan is here in Crestone. As a result, we’ve had a whirlwind morning preparing chai and offering rice to host our young dignitary with his entourage. His Holiness is on his first ever tour outside of Bhutan, and the excitement is palpable, with old students of his predecessor, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, havingContinue reading “A Visit from Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche”

The Fruit of a New Season

It is a strange phenomenon in the universe that when you are not meant to do something, you can work and work, and nothing will come of it. By contrast, when you are meant to be somewhere, there is absolutely no effort involved and things just fall into place. This has been my experience inContinue reading “The Fruit of a New Season”

Ask and You Shall Receive

A  few days ago I walked up the hill to see Rabjam Rinpoche.  I had a few questions about how to proceed in my life.  I asked him to do a mo, or divination for me.  It turns out he refers all mo activity to one of his monks who is apparently the mo specialist. Continue reading “Ask and You Shall Receive”