Good-bye In This Context

It was a week ago that the Venerable Geshe Sopa took his last breath. I have not had a chance to make it to Deer Park to join in with others to chant and pray. In my heart I say good-bye to Geshe-la “in this context.” I am sad that such a beautiful teacher has left us, and grateful for all the teachings I received and for all the teachings and guidance he left for the whole of humanity. He will be missed in this context. This is how I say good-bye to those in my life, “Good-bye in this … Continue reading

Your Lasting Freedom & Happiness

This fifth “lesson before the lesson” completes the introductory teachings from Nagarjuna, Letters to a Friend, Verse 14 (see past blogs) by Geshe L. Sopa. On Monday I offer the 2nd teaching on Creating the Causes and Conditions of True and Lasting Happiness, a lesson taken from Shantideva, Bodhicaryavatara (chapter 4, verse 18). (My translation of Geshe-la’s words continue to be in blue). My commentary and spiritual writing prompts follow the lesson.  You don’t need spiritual teachings to help you be temporarily happy in this lifetime. For such temporary happiness you don’t need to study or practice the Dharma. If you are hungry, you know … Continue reading

The Transformative Power of Regret

This is the fourth piece in the Venerable Geshe Lhundup Sopa’s introductory teachings, the “lessons before the lessons.” We are still on the verse taken from Nagarjuna, Letters to a Friend.  (For first three blogs click back to previous articles.)     “Whosoever was negligent previously But later became attentive and careful, Shines forth like the moon freed from clouds, Just like Nanda, Angulimala, Ajustastru, and Udayana.”                                                —Nagarjuna, Letters to a Friend, Verse 14 (Leslie Kawanura) After his … Continue reading

A Skeptic Awakening at the Foot of One Sage, 2.

This is the next piece in the Venerable Geshe Lhundub Sopa’s introductory teachings, the “lessons before the lessons.” We are still on the verse taken from Nagarjuna, Letters to a Friend. After his teaching, I offer up a commentary, along with some exercises.  Whosoever was negligent previously But later became attentive and careful, Shines forth like the moon freed from clouds, Just like Nanda, Angulimala, Ajustastru, and Udayana  —Nagarjuna, Letters to a Friend, Verse 14 (Leslie Kawanura)   Making Use of Your Basic Intelligence Most of us have the opportunity for liberation because, unlike all other sentient beings, we humans have … Continue reading

Dharma and the Turtle

I hear jam jars “popping” their successful sealing while I sit and consider what to write about on my first week of teachings at Deer Park. I just finished my second batch of black raspberry jam from this year’s abundant crop. Also made banana-black raspberry bread and blueberry-raspberry pie. And there are still many berries waiting to be picked.  A loud “pop” again is heard and I am brought back to this moment – what to share about my first week at Deer Park? On a personal level I feel much gratitude being able to take these teachings and from … Continue reading