Keeping Things Neat

Saturday, 05 April 2014
Strictly speaking, the retreat cabins here at Vajrapani are not empty. They have a bed, blankets, pillows, a chair, a closet, cupboards and a counter, a carpet, a few lights, a meditation desk, mats, a cushion, and an altar. The altar has an assortment of its own smaller objects as well; books, incense, tea lights. However, upon arrival the cabin is empty of you and whatever you decide to…
I love Vajrapani.  I had retreated twice before, each time a solo retreat of about 5 days each.  I’ve learned a lot about being present and being peaceful while staying in retreat. Recently, I was working a stressful job in the area and had planned a three day retreat.
Ever wanted to know some simple methods for dealing with those first waves of intense, difficult emotions?  Well, here are some tips from the wisdom of psychotherapy and meditation.
Body awareness has a direct affect on our emotional health. Our posture usually reflects how we are feeling. If we stay present in our body, we can start to have a felt sense of the contraction that our body is creating around an emotion. Taking a proactive stance when you have these emotions and doing Somatic exercises will greatly reduce the charge of the emotion.  Somatics help us to…
Last Summer Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi attended a 6 week teacher training program in Mexico on Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB), developed and led by the eminent psychologist Paul Ekman and Buddhist teacher Alan Wallace PhD.  We asked Ven. Tenzin to share with us a bit about the program and why she is interested in now sharing it with others.

End of Retreat

Wednesday, 26 March 2014
This three year, three month, three day expedition into my mind – the culmination of more than thirty years of Tibetan Buddhist study and practice – is soon to come to an end. I have followed a path blazed by contemplatives of the past.

A Visit from Geshe Kelsang Wangmo

Wednesday, 19 February 2014
This past November we were blessed to be able to host a talk by Geshe Kelsang Wangmo. Originally from Germany, she was the first nun to receive the Geshe degree. In her talk, which you can listen to here, she describes the struggles, small triumphs, and lessons that defined her 17 years of study.   Here you can also see her give a series of teachings on the Lam…

Taking an Expedition

Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Retreat affords us the opportunity to take an intimate look at our mind – up close and personal. What is mind? How does it function? Where do thoughts come from? Are thoughts “real”? How do they change? How do thoughts create our world?   By sitting, asking, probing, analyzing, and watching I see that the fundamental nature of my mind is simply clear awareness. All thoughts, feelings, mental images…

Beloved by a Monk

Monday, 17 February 2014
Suddenly awake, I listened: Bodhi’s breathing sounded labored—but only a little.  Relieved, I reached over to flip the light switch.  In the blaze of sudden illumination, she turned to me and smiled.   Despite her lively enthusiasms, Bodhi valued her privacy. That is why I choose not to speak of her year of physical decline even if I did continue to relay her usual commentary.  Suffice it to say…

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