Friday, April 26, 2013

A Spring Day

You know it all too well-
that unending winter gloom, so cold and dreary-
How we long for that first beautiful spring day,
to sit without a care in the world, 
basking in the warmth of the sun, 
the sheer radiance of the sun in the wide open sky 
instantly remedies all of our restlessness and discontent.

But alas, that day comes and we have to work, 
resigned to take an occasional glance through building windows.
Others rave of its greatness, and though we know it is right there, 
We are unable to experience and enjoy it ourselves, 
left to hope we can enjoy it the next time around.

You know it all too well- 
this ordinary mind with its gloom, anxiety and restlessness-
How we long to rest in the nature of mind, our innate buddhanature, 
freeing our minds from ruminating on the past or projecting into the future, 
we can sit without a care in the world,
basking in the warmth of bodhicitta, 
the sheer radiance of compassion in the expanse of awareness
instantly remedies all of our restlessness and discontent.

But alas, even when we catch a glimpse of our own nature, 
we think we have to do something else, 
resigned to our thoughts and emotions we hope to steal an occasional glance, 
we hear others rave about its greatness, and we know it is right there, 
but we are unable to experience and enjoy it ourselves.
That is why we practice, 
because hoping to discover your natural freedom is not enough.
Time to go sit in the sun.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dzogchen Summer Retreat

Join The Venerable Younge Khachab Rinpoche and the YDL sangha in their annual Dzogchen retreat. This year Rinpoche will be transmitting the Dzogchen Longde (“Space Division”) cycle of teachings, the second of the three Dzogchen cycles. The Longde teachings emphasize emptiness, and in particular, the view that primordial awareness as well as all the phenomena that arise within that awareness are naturally free and pure. This enables the practitioner to gain certainty in their true nature by removing all doubts that this wisdom inherently exists. This is a rare and unique opportunity as the majority of Dzogchen teachings currently taught are on the first (Semde) and third (Menagde) cycles. Rinpoche, in his inimitably skillful style, will be distilling the essence of the Longde teachings in a direct and practical way throughout the retreat.

The retreat will be practice intensive, with meditation, Dzogchen teachings and guided instruction sessions throughout each day. Anyone is welcome to attend with a sincere interest in Buddhism and the Dzoghen teachings. As there will be many hours of meditation practice each day, prior experience with meditation and retreat is helpful, but not required. As Rinpoche will will not be giving this transmission again in the future, it is especially important for his long time students to attend. 

Friday, 31 May - Friday, 9 June
Registration begins 1pm on the 31th and program starts at 7pm; program ends 1pm on the 9th.
Required Participation:
Rinpoche would like to add depth to the Summer Retreat by having the participants live together and interact together for the retreat, allowing Rinpoche to teach higher and more in depth. Rinpoche has requested that the students attend the full retreat. No one will be allowed to come and go for the retreat.

Providence Zen Center
99 Pound Road
Cumberland, RI 02864

Each person is guaranteed a bed. The first 10 people to register and complete payment in full will get first choice on single rooms. All others will share a double room.

Three vegetarian meals a day are included in the fee for the retreat. Meals will be provided by the Providence Zen Center staff. We will eat together as a group in the dining hall.

Please notify us if you have any health conditions, food allergies or food restrictions. The kitchen will try and accommodate these but please only mention true dietary needs since the kitchen needs to keep meals as simple as possible in order to accommodate such a large crowd.

Center will provide all cushions for practicing.
Not permitted on the grounds: meat, including fish and poultry; alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs; firearms. Pets are not allowed.

For more information visit


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Your Practice

All teachings are instructions for practice.

In our pursuit of happiness we are all practicing something.  

Central to all of the Buddha's teachings is the notion that all teachings are instructions for our own spiritual practice.   Every day we engage in actions of our body, speech and mind that seek to bring about our own welfare, our own happiness and peace of mind. 

If you understand the principles of cause and effect, or karma, then you also understand that we continually shape our experience and reality each and every moment.  But are we really sowing the seeds of our happiness or are we sowing seeds for our own suffering and discontent?  Are we planting seeds that bear their fruit one time or are we planting seeds that bring a bountiful crop year after year? 

Are you practicing generosity, patience and integrity? 

What about the practice of love, compassion, joy and equanimity?  

Do you find yourself unexpectedly practicing anger, attachment, jealousy or arrogance?

Would you like to be practicing for peace, contentment, mindfulness but instead find yourself practicing anxiety, stress and delusion?

If your life is your practice then what are you practicing?  Are you experiencing the desired result?  

Sorry if this seems rather heavy, but it is.  

What is your practice?