Welcome to our twenty eighth online suggested practise for the week. We are now broadcasting a live teaching each Monday evening. If you would like to participate please contact us using the contact form on the homepage.

1.0)  If you feel so inclined, begin by reciting the usual prayers (please follow below links for text). Alternatively, try to think or articulate a wish for all beings to achieve liberation from suffering, etc .

Four Thoughts: contemplating each in turn – http://northantsbuddhists.com/the-four-thoughts/

Refuge Prayer: twice in Tibetan, once in English – http://northantsbuddhists.com/the-refuge-prayer/

2.0) Vipassana Meditation. Insight or clear awareness. – Presented by Helen Puk.

This is seeing the world for what it really is by direct experience.

To do this and face up to it can be painful. As Lama Jiga said Enlightenment is not pleasant, to see your mind for what it is and the world for what it is, is not pleasant. The greed and egocentricity. Although you may think you see it as it is, we don’t want to see it subconsciously. It is like when you are a child and think your parents are perfect. You can’t see a partner is an alcoholic or having an affair. The impermanance of life and death there are many things we pretend are ok so we don’t have to face it. We make a preference for pleasant thoughts.

Therefore it is seeing life for what it is and constantly observing the thought process.

We have consciousness or direct experience. What happens it there is a recognition due to familiarity. This then leads to a evaluation from this we have a reaction. What we are trying to do is recognise any reaction evaluation is just the nature of mind and remove the judgement. It is the repeating of the judgements and reaction that makes the thought more ingrained ~In insight meditation we are trying not to get drawn in to the thoughts which then cause a reaction in the emotions.eg the Boss looked at me funny he doesn’t like me and off on a tangent I will get sacked then I will be homeless and hungry. The mind loves to make up scenarios
Once you recognition the reality is not as your mind thinks it is. The scenarios are not real. Everything is impermanent and the situation will not last forever .As they say the nature of desire is desire itself.

To begin with vipassana is done by becoming aware of the breath

Exercise 1
Look at something in front of you in awe, the beauty of it the workmanship. That awe with no judgement is direct experience

Exercise 2
Sit in a cross legged or in a chair
Straighten the spine lengthen it and allow it to drop gently back down. Sit the tongue gently touching the front top teeth.
Become aware of a point between the breast bone and gently allow the breath to come in to that point.
Now look at your object of awe. Observe it. What is looking at that object
You can do this with a thought if a thought comes in. What is observing that thought. WHO is the observer?
This can be repeated throughout the day whenever you remember. Become the observer.



2.1) Awakening the Buddha within by Lama Surya Das – Eight Steps to enlightenment, Tibetan Wisdom for the modern world. = Presented by Geoff Warren

All Teachings Are in Agreement
The original root text translates this as ‘All Dharmas agree at one point’. This slogan addresses the issues of ego. Whatever form of Buddhist spirituality you are studying, they are all in accord: Ego, self-cherishing & clinging stand between you & liberation. Step out of the rut of narrow egotism & enjoy the mansion of boundless freedom & ease. Truths are many, but truth is one. There are many teachings, but only one core: the vital throbbing heart of bodhicitta. Everyone wants & needs the same things. With all the beings you encounter , try momentarily to step away from your self centred concerns & reflect on what you are experiencing. This practice can be very rewarding.
‘Always Reflect on What Provokes Difficulties in Your Life’
What attracts you? What repels you? What pushes your buttons? Does the slightest bit of criticism wipe you out? Are you easily manipulated by flattery? Do you sexualise every situation? Are you struggling against anger? Reflecting on what pushes your buttons helps you go deeper towards developing equanimity & spiritual detachment.
‘Don’t Transfer the Bull’s load to the Cow’
We are all carrying burdens – emotional, financial, spiritual & physical; & we all carry psychological issues that come from individual family dynamics. The spirit of boddhicitta suggests that we do not transfer our problems to others; they have their own stress, & they well be weaker. Clean up your own room; pick up your own belongings. Don’t think of yourself as a helpless victim & let the tail (emotions) wag the dog (entire being).
‘Don’t Wallow in Self Pity’
Do you become so intensely involved with ups & downs of your life that you sometimes feel as though your thoughts are glued to your own problems & that you are like a human yo yo? If so, it’s extremely difficult to feel love & compassion for others. But give self self preoccupation a little tug & see if you can detach yourself from your personal ups & downs.
‘Always Maintain a Joyful Mind’
Why not be cheerful? Why be miserable? Why not pretend to be happy instead? In fact why not pretend to be happy, free & complete instead of pretending the opposite is true? The spiritual masters of Tibet say that the ability to maintain inner joy & a larger perspective in the face of adversity is a sign that mind training is taking effect & transforming our lives.
Meditation on 8 verses of Lojong

May I always cherish all beings
With the resolve to accomplish for them
The highest good that is more precious
Than any wish-fulfilling jewel.

Whenever I am in the company of others,
May I regard myself as inferior to all
And from the depths of my heart
Cherish others as supreme.

In all my actions may I watch my mind,
And as soon as disturbing emotions arise,
May I forcefully stop them at once,
Since they will hurt both me and others.

When I see ill-natured people,
Overwhelmed by wrong deeds and pain,
May I cherish them as something rare,
As though I had found a treasure-trove.

When someone out of envy does me wrong
By insulting me and the like,
May I accept defeat
And offer the victory to them.

Even if someone whom I have helped
And in whom I have placed my hopes
Does great wrong by harming me,
May I see them as an excellent spiritual friend.

In brief, directly or indirectly,
May I give all help and joy to my mothers,
And may I take all their harm and pain Secretly upon myself.

May none of this ever be sullied
By thoughts of the eight worldly concerns.
May I see all things as illusions
And, without attachment, gain freedom from bondage.