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A Good Heart, Kindness, Meditation, and The Home Depot (2.5.2012) (part 2)

Sunday Morning Sangha, Ven Losang Samten.  A few closing thoughts following our Panden Lhamo practice on this date, on the mind, and the importance of a good heart, on kindness, meditation, and the Home Depot.  The recording begins with a long life prayer for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

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The Heart Sutra and Eight Verses for Training the Mind: Emptiness as a Gateway to Compassion, and the Bodhisattva Ideal. Senior Teacher, Beth York (01.29.2012)

Our Sunday Morning Sangha.  "Form is emptiness; emptiness also is form.  Emptiness is no other than form; form is no other than emptiness.  In the same way, feeling, perception, formation, and consciousness are emptiness.  Thus, Shariputra, all dharmas are emptiness."  As part of our ongoing Introduction to Buddhism series, senior teacher Beth York shares how the profound insights of the Heart Sutra, inevitably lead not toward a negation of the authenticity of our experience, but rather to the full embrace of it, and toward a greater sense of compassion toward others, and the Bodhisattva ideal, all embodied in the text, Eight Verses for Training the Mind.  The hour is marked by earnest discussion among the group about how we as individuals grapple with this challenging topic.

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An Introduction to Dzogchen, Sunday Morning Sangha, Ven. Losang Samten (1.15.2012)

Called "the Great Perfection," "the Pinnacle of all Teachings," and the heart essence of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Dzogchen is as multi-faceted as it is profoundly simple.  It can be understood as a description of how to meditate, as much as it can also be seen as a guide to the nature of the mind.  Here, Ven. Losang continues his series, Introduction to the Buddhist Path, with an introductory discussion of this jewel of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and practice.  This talk goes with the handout edited by Ven. Losang which may be downloaded as a pdf file, just below.  This recording begins with a brief talk on compassion, and concludes with about a five minute silent meditation.

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Introduction to Dzogchen (Handout) (pdf)

Without straying from the firmness of view, remain free, releasing all the perceptions of the five sense-doors in their natural state. Do not meditate on particulars, thinking “this is this, this is that.” If you “meditate” that is the intellect. There is nothing to be meditated upon. Do not let yourself be distracted even for an instant. If you wander from dwelling in awareness itself, that is the real delusion, so do not be distracted. Whatever thoughts arise, let them arise. Do not follow them, do not obstruct them. You may ask “then what should be done?” Whatever the manifestation of the phenomenal world may arise, remain in the state of natural freshness, without grasping at them, like a small child looking inside a temple. If you do so, all phenomena remain in their own place, their aspect is not modified, their color does not change, their luster does not vanish. Although the phenomenal world is present, if you do not contaminate it by wanting and clinging, all appearances and thoughts will arise as the naked primordial wisdom of the radiant void.  Jigdral Yeshey Dorje, (p 16-18)  This handout accompanies Ven. Losang's talk on Dzogchen, as part of the series Introduction to the Buddhist Path, given on Jan. 15, 2012 (above).

Sunday Morning Sangha, Ven. Losang Samten, A Short Talk on Refuge Vows, and Three Questions for the New Year (1.8.2012)

A short talk by Ven. Losang on Buddhist vows, and in particular, lay or refuge vows.  The talk was offered at the conclusion of our morning meditation practice, in relation to our upcoming Saturday retreat this February (date to be posted very shortly), when refuge and Bodhisattva vows will be offered (or people may renew their vows) prior to the start of the retreat.  The retreat will be on Chenrezig, Buddha of Compassion.  We'll try to have the complete calendar listing up very soon.  This brief talk concludes with three questions to consider for the new year.  The audio may be a little less clear than normal on this recording.  Thank you.

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Sunday Morning Sangha, Ven. Losang Samten. (12.4.2011) Mantra Meditation, Medicine Buddha Practice for Healing Ourselves and Others.

Preliminary prayers, followed by about a 20 minute silent meditation (edited to about five minutes or so for this recording), followed by beautiful mantra meditation, OM MANI PEME HUNG, a reading of Eight Verses for Training the Mind, and then a short break.  Lama Losang then talks about some of the thangkas at our center, followed by a beautiful Medicine Buddha practice for healing ourselves and others, and dedication prayers.  The texts read here can be found on the Prayers and Practices page of our website, and on www.losangsamten.com .  May all beings benefit.

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Sunday Morning Sangha, and some thoughts for the holidays. Venerable Losang Samten. (11.27.2011)

Sunday morning gathering.  Preliminary prayers, followed by a shamatha, or silent, one-pointed meditation practice, a discussion about concentration, and maintaining mental alertness, a second silent meditation, and, thoughts for the [Thanksgiving] holiday, and equally applicable to these winter holidays as well: on beauty, impermanence, helping others, and rejoicing.  Homage to Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion, followed by mantra meditation, OM MANI PEME HUNG, and dedication prayers.  For peace, for all living beings. (Notes: Some of the "silent" part of the first silent meditation has been abbreviated for this recording.  Also, kindly note the occasional and unnanounced ringing of bells (singing bowl, etc.)

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Introduction to the Buddhist Path: Death and Dying (part 1) (12.11.2011)

The first half of Ven. Losang's talk on death and dying.  There are few occasions in this human life when we can access the nature of the mind, and even fewer where we can sustain it. During these times, our subtle consciousness awakens. In Vajrayana or Tantra, tantric practitioners strive to awaken the nature of the mind and sustain it in their lives. The best training for this is meditation on death and dying, and for this reason death and dying is a very important subject in Buddhist Tantra.  In this summary, Ven. Losang explains what happens during the death and dying process and how we can use this understanding to realize the nature of the mind, and to be of benefit to others, as well as to ourselves.  This talk goes along with the written teaching materials (pdf) prepared just for this class, below. 

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Introduction to the Buddhist Path: Death and Dying (part 2) (12.11.2011)

Part 2 of Ven. Losang's discussion about the Buddhist view of the death and dying process, and what we can learn from this, and its role in helping us to be of benefit to others, and to ourselves.  This second part includes readings from the pdf teaching materials, below, and closes with a talk on kindness, simplicity, and some thoughts for the winter holidays.

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Introduction to the Buddhist Path: Death and Dying (pdf)

There are few occasions in this human life when we can access the nature of the mind, and even fewer where we can sustain it. During these times, our subtle consciousness awakens. In Vajrayana or Tantra, the tantric practitioners strive to awaken the nature of the mind and sustain it in their lives. The best training for this is meditation on death and dying, and for this reason death and dying is a very important subject in Buddhist Tantra.  In this summary, Ven. Losang explains what happens during the death and dying process and its role in realizing the nature of the mind.  This summary goes along with Ven. Losang's talk on the same subject, scheduled for Sunday, December 11, 2011.