Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ocean of Definitive Meaning

In preparation for the upcoming Stages of Meditation course, I would like to introduce the text that we will be using as a basis for study and contemplation.  While the weekly meditation sessions will focus on practical experience and techniques of meditation, each week there will be blog posts that further clarify the meditation sessions and serve as a platform for discussion and inquiry. 

The text we will be using is the Ocean of Definitive Meaning, written by the Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje in the late 1500's. This text is one of the most detailed and direct instruction manuals within the Mahamudra tradition. 

We can broadly distinguish the Mahamudra tradition into two categories: the path of liberation and the path of method.  The path of method is characterized by the practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa.  The path of liberation is exemplified in this present text by the Ninth Karmapa.  The true nature of the path is to tame this mind of ours, whether it be according to the Mahayana Sutra, Mahamudra or Dzogchen vehicles.  This present text serves as a step-by-step guide by which we can accomplish this primary aim- to gain our own experience and to realize the ultimate meaning, our own self-arising primordial wisdom. 

The text is divided into three main sections- the preliminaries, shamatha or calm abiding, and vipassana or insight.  Each week we will address the main topics in a rather brief way, though it will provide a firm support for your own study and investigation. 

I am really looking forward to this upcoming class, as always feel free to ask questions and look forward to starting class soon!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tibetan New Years!

This is a guest post by Daniel Patrick McNamara

This Tibetan New Year is, officially, no time for celebration-
too much loss, too much sadness, too much tribulation.  

So in lieu of celebration, aspiration.

May we all meet this Year of the Water Dragon with our heads held high, determination in our minds and deep compassion in our hearts.  
May all be free from suffering and its causes.
May all those whose minds churn with storms of judgement and negativity be calmed.
May we all let go of anger, of the urge to blame and seek retribution, so as to finally end these endless cycles of suffering.  
May all beings find contentment, freedom and peace.

Happy Losar!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Random Acts of Loving-Kindness

In celebration of Generosity Day I would like to invite everyone to engage in random acts of loving-kindness.

3 Simple Steps
1. Act out random acts of generosity towards your friends, loved ones and strangers.
2. Rejoice in the act, feel free to share it using the #generosityday hashtag or post on
3. Share this message with your friends and family.

May you bring generosity to the world around you.
May you encounter happiness around every corner.
May you find love in all those you meet.

Happy Generosity Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Generosity Day

February 14th

Are you ready for Generosity Day?  Big things are about to happen.

As you act generously, and as you witness acts of generosity, please keep folks updated using the #generosityday hashtag or post on

For more information, visit Sasha Dichter's blog.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Barefoot Living

You've heard the news,
barefoot running is the hot new trend.
Its benefits are applauded-
Less pain in the feet, better form and more fun.

What if we made the jump to barefoot living?

What if we simplified all our projects, goals and expectations?
What if we freed all our pains, plans and problems?
What if we opened our hands, hearts and minds?
What if we lived in the present, opened our hearts to tenderness, and enjoyed the rawness of every interaction in the world around us?

It is possible.
Everyone would applaud its benefits-
Life would have less pain, better form and be more fun.

Go ahead.  Take your shoes off.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Path of Discovery

'The bad news is you're falling through the air,
Nothing to hang on to, no parachute.
The good news is there is no ground.'
Chogyam Trungpa

Scientists are often surprised.

A routine experiment yields a new discovery.
New evidence provides another lead to follow.
A changing landscape provides the opportunity to plot a new course.

Setting yourself up for discovery is a conscious choice.

The meditator never believes they have it all figured out.  Their experience never testifies 'this is it' but rather continues to open up new ground.  Contemplation, investigation and insight are all indispensable on the path to discover the awakened mind.