Tsony visits Pasadena Bodhi Path

DT Tsony

Dear friends,

Here are links to the 2 talks we had with Lama Tsony. For better results, download the files first before listening.

Thanks! – cesar

A Project for an Awakened Life.
The Condensed Practice of Mind Training with the Five Forces – October 25

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B5T2BOYSSJTVTkJQRjJmMXF4c3M

Anuttara Puja
The Sevenfold Prayer as an Ideal Lifestyle – October 4

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5T2BOYSSJTVLWlmTmZzNXp3Z2M/view?usp=drivesdk

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What About Now? – Khaydroup visits Long Beach Meditation

Khaydroup at Long Beach Meditation

Khaydroup at Long Beach Meditation

The video begins at the 15:43 minute mark. Please make sure to replay from the beginning.

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Now’s the Time – César visits Long Beach Meditation

Cesar visits Long Beach Meditation

César visits Long Beach Meditation

 

For some reason the video begins at the 24:25 minute mark. Please make sure to replay from the beginning.

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China’s stressed-out ‘millenials’ embrace Buddhism.

Buddga Amitabha

Beijing (CNN) – Five years ago, Beijinger Robert Zhao went on a trip to Tibet. What he encountered left him confused but intrigued.

A science graduate from China’s elite Tsinghua University, he had been taught to mistrust superstition and religion, but in the culture and devotion of the Buddhists he met he found something worth knowing.

Now 25, he is considering giving up his job and becoming a monk.

“It means I will have to give up everything of the ordinary world,” he told CNN.

While Buddhism has a long history in China, entering via missionaries from India during the Han dynasty, it was repressed during the Maoist era — many monasteries and temples were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and monks actively punished for believing in “superstition.”

But now, a growing number of Chinese are rediscovering the country’s dormant Buddhist traditions.

Some, like Zhao, are looking for a spiritual anchor in a competitive, fast-changing society. Others take comfort in meditation and enjoy volunteering.

Robert Zhao is considering becoming a Buddhist monk.

However, it’s not always easy to combine Buddhist beliefs with the demands of modern life.

Zhao works as an assistant to the boss of an environmental company. His religion means it’s difficult to entertain clients and partners — a key part of the role.

“Not drinking, smoking or eating meat affects my socializing. So the company has to send someone else to go with me, which creates extra expenses,” he says.

Zhao has not told his family about his desire to become a monk yet, fearing that they might oppose it.

Treated more favorably?

Fenggang Yang, the director of the Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University, Indiana, says it’s difficult to explain exactly why so many young people are turning to Buddhism.

Some discover it at university, where Buddhist groups are active and famous monks and lamas give lectures. Others have devout parents and grandparents.

He also says that the Chinese Communist Party policy has “moved toward treating Buddhism more favorably than other religions.”

Christianity has also been growing in popularity in recent decades but church leaders say there has been a crackdown on Christians, with authorities demolishing churches and removing crosses from skylines.

In particular, it’s the Tibetan strain of Buddhism, rather than the Chan (also called Zen) tradition once popular in China, that is attracting new converts, particularly students, young professionals and businesspeople, he says.

“It appears that both the chanting and the physical, spiritual practices of Tibetan Buddhism are appealing to some people,” Yang added.

Longquan Monastery on the outskirts of Beijing.

Lifestyle choice?

To what extent these new converts are committed to Buddhism as a religion, with its strictures and rituals, is an open question.

A former leader of a university Buddhism group, who didn’t want to give his name, told CNN he thought its members were more interested in the religion as a lifestyle choice.

Activities that his group organized focusing on relaxation and stress relief were always more popular than reading groups and lectures that examined Buddhist scriptures, he added.

Yang at Purdue University says that for most people in China, Buddhism is treated more as culture than a religion.

They may visit temples or read Buddhist books, but few people treat it as a religion that requires serious commitment.

“Indeed, people who identify as Buddhists do a lot of non-Buddhist spiritual things, such as believing in feng shui, consulting fortune-tellers, practicing qi gong and sampling books and practices of other religions,” he says.

Retreat

On a recent weekend, more than four hundred people attended the annual gathering of Beijing Ren Ai Foundation, a Buddhist charitable organization, at Longquan Monastery on the mountainous outskirts of the capital.

Longquan Monastery on the outskirts of Beijing

Zhong Ying, the group’s 32-year-old deputy secretary general, said the group’s most active volunteers were between 20 and 35 years old. In the past five years their numbers had doubled to 200.

For attendee Geng Hui’er, a 26-year-old who works and lives in Beijing, Buddhism was something she rediscovered after returning from studying abroad in England.

Growing up, her family had raised her Buddhist although she says she never really “felt it.”

She now regularly attends meditation activities in monasteries or study groups organized by volunteers.

Geng says Buddhism has given her a fresh outlook on life and past difficulties. It’s also helped her establish a network of people she can talk to and socialize with.

“We sit together, sharing things that have happened in our lives and how we dealt with them, which is more helpful than reading books”, she says.

For Zhao, the aspiring monk, Buddhism has been a balm while dealing with poor health, as well as work and relationship problems.

“My life has been tough for years. (Buddhism) keeps me away from the negative thoughts, like a reminder that’s always there, which has helped me a lot.”

Source: CNN

Whatever You Meet Unexpectedly, Join With Meditation

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The idea is that whatever comes up is not a sudden threat or an encouragement or any of that bullshit. Instead it simply goes along with one’s discipline, one’s awareness of compassion. If somebody hits you in the face, that’s fine…

Generally speaking, Western audiences have a problem with that kind of thing. It sounds love-and-lighty, like the hippie ethic in which “Everything is going to be okay. Everybody is everybody’s property, everything is everybody’s property. You can share everything with everybody. Don’t lay ego trips on things.” But this is something more than that… It is simply to be open and precise, and to know your territory at the same time. You are going to relate with your own neurosis rather than expanding that neurosis to others.

In a sense, when you begin to settle down to that kind of practice, to that level of being decent and good, you begin to feel very comfortable and relaxed in your world. It actually takes away your anxiety altogether, because you don’t have to pretend at all… There is so much accommodation taking place in you. And out of that comes a kind of power: what you say makes sense to others. The whole thing works so wonderfully. It does not have to become martyrdom. It works very beautifully.

 

From Training the Mind & Cultivating Loving-Kindness by Chogyam Trungpa , copyright 1993 by Diana Mukpo.

 

Bodhisattva Ninja Turtle

Not for Happiness

Not for Happiness

I noticed a friend last night at our meditation group reading this book at the break. It was a book I had given him a few months ago. Another friend, who I had also given a copy to, also noticed and a short discussion began about the book. I loved the book. For me, a good kick in the ass when needed. For my friends, a little bit of a demanding read. The title itself shatters whatever grand illusions we have of a spiritual practice. Not for Happiness. Happiness seekers need not apply. But as my teacher said last night, relative happiness. Conditioned happiness. So, for awakening, for enlightenment, for the benefit of beings, should be, I believe, our motivation. Our intention. It is mine for sure. And still a work in progress. My teacher Shamar Rinpoche, a great master who we lost last year, said this to me many years ago when he noticed my urgency in wanting results from practice, “Be like the tortoise, not the rabbit.” I have cherished that teaching ever since. It continually reminds me that it is not necessarily speed, but consistent determination that will benefit us on the path. I also realized this morning that Rinpoche was advising me in the ways of a bodhisattva.

Shantideva says,

“For those who wish to go across the water,
 May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.”

Even a turtle.

Sarva Mangalam

Bodhisattva Ninja Turtle

Bodhisattva Ninja Turtle

Using Habit Against Itself 

Each step may seem to take forever, but no matter how uninspired you feel, continue to follow your practice schedule precisely and consistently. This is how we can use our greatest enemy, habit, against itself.

– Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, “Tortoise Steps”

Mindfulness: Three Buddhist Perspectives

Taigen Dan Leighton, Ajahn Brahm, and Jonathan Landaw discussing mindfulness.

Taigen Dan Leighton, Ajahn Brahm, and Jonathan Landaw discussing mindfulness.

Wisdom Publications recently hosted a Wisdom Event in Berkeley, California, featuring Ajahn Brahm, Taigen Dan Leighton, and Jonathan Landaw discussing mindfulness.

The Wisdom Event features Ajahn Brahm, Taigen Dan Leighton, and Jonathan Landaw as they compare and contrast mindfulness practices in three different traditions: Theravadan, Zen, and Tibetan. They will provide their personal perspectives, informed by their traditions and then comment on the modern mindfulness movement.

Click here to watch a video of the event.

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