Our geometric culture with its plethora of sensations but without deep experiences, with a fantastic accumulation of knowledge but with lack of wisdom, with too much vigor of bodybuilding, sexuality, the artifacts of destruction shown in serial killer but without tenderness, affection and the ability to care for each other, care about the Earth, care about our children and animals, for the common future of us all. Our invincible strength comes from the tenderness with which we surround, treat, love and respect all sentient beings without exception.
Just as we experience the fear, love, and humor of the characters in a movie, so do we experience the enlightened mind of the entities that we visualize. When we visualize an enlightened entity, we are able to recognize its enlightened mind because it is our own – it is inherent within us and it is the basis of our consciousness – so when we call upon it, we find it to be there.
Every day we see people hiding their true feelings and living to fit in with external demands. People bury what really matters to them, their deepest values in exchange for meeting the expectations of others, to be accepted and to feel superior in some way. So they miss the core of life: creating authentic and true connections.
Studies find that people in more diverse countries, countries with great numbers of immigrants, rely on smiling to build trust and to build cooperation. A simple reason for this is the fact that we don’t all speak the same language. But there is a different, and I think, more meaningful reason for smiling in countries with more immigrants, and that is that smiling is a way to bond socially. A smile is a rather universally understood thing. Surely we can recognize a fake smile, a genuine smile, a wicked smile, a forced or sarcastic smile. But we know a smile when we see it.
My teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist Mahamudra, Dzogchen meditation master and artist, was the most profound teacher of life, art, and mind. I received pointing out instructions from him which brings the investigation and recognition of mind’s flawless nature into personal experience cutting through conceptual obscurations, that is our endless, dualistic thoughts and emotions. My abstract contemplative art practice is completely informed by these realizations.
Your world has no hypocrisy. It is bright; even darkness is bright; dinner happens in the morning light. Your speech, so well remembered, cuts through naïve beliefs, pops depression, brings a smile to the eyes. To the one who showed me the world, I sing this little song of remembrance and pay homage ceaselessly.
Go for the highest goal, the real deal: full buddhahood in this lifetime. I’m not saying lower goals aren’t needed. The simplest meditation attainments help, of course. However, going for the highest goal opens more possibilities and yields more benefits you are probably not aware of.
Chanting creates a bridge between the understanding of the head and the understanding of the heart. It brings body, speech and mind together in one flowing gesture. It is a joyful thing to do, which naturally brings forth your dignity; effortlessly you sit straight up, you concentrate, you relax and go through the words without any hesitation.
One of my first questions to a teacher was about emotions. In my mistaken view, Buddhists were people who had subjugated all their conflicts, and so they lived continually in a state of equilibrium, which, for me, made them unshakable, but also somewhat insensitive. If I practiced Buddhism, would I become a person in total self-control, cold and without emotions?
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Love understands the other. It is bonded by what we have to offer, not by what we have to gain. It is said that, as we develop the mastery of the natural potential of our mind, we will have much more to offer others and to the world. There is richness in a relationship when there is trust and joy in sharing the good things.
Taktsang is indeed a special place. It is the most holy and revered temple in all of Bhutan, perched dramatically on the edge of a cliff with a 900 meters drop beneath. The Indian yogi Padmasambhava, affectionately known as Guru Rinpoche in the Himalayas, flew to this cave on the back of a tiger.
When we look inward and ask how is my mind we are not looking for an answer. If we are seeking an answer then we have already fabricated. We have already prepared our parachute and are holding it in our hands, ready to deploy.
Nepal, the fragile beauty of this moment, celebration and mourning dance of what is and what is not, and what is yet to be.
The vision of Shambhala is not a vision of something seen, but rather a way of seeing and perceiving and acting in the context of the phenomenal world. The Kingdom of Shambhala is an innate and spontaneous longing to realize the freedom of the awakened state within the context of our existing social life.
In this way, photography is part of my spiritual practice, not spiritual in a special way, but in a very ordinary way, just simply being with whatever is. My teacher speaks about meditation not as meditating on something but being with. I find this to be an incredibly helpful instruction.
A turning point for spirituality in the West occurred with the publication of a book with radical new perspective. The principle of true spirituality presented as demasking the ego, was in many ways groundbreaking and opened up for authentic meditation training for young people all over.