Lama Shenpen’s Visit to Worcester

Tibetan Buddhism Buddhists Worcester

Last week we were blessed with a visit by our Tibetan Buddhist teacher Lama Shenpen Hookham, who came to our weekly meditation and Dharma discussion group in Worcester.

Tibetan Buddhism and meditation in Worcester

Lama came to answer our questions which ranged from asking about how our own suffering can help others, how consciousness relates to plant life, how to explain reincarnation to others, what was our experience of ‘knowing’, plus what is time and much more!

Tibetan Buddhism inWorcester

Lama is always very generous with her time answering her students’ questions and it was very much appreciated. It gave us lots to think about and will generate even more questions I’m sure!

We’re all studying and practising Lama Shenpen’s Living the Awakened Heart Training – a comprehensive, structured distance learning course in Tibetan Buddhist meditation, reflection and insight. To find out more about it visit www.ahs.org.uk/training.

 

Discovering the Chitta

Tibetan-Buddhism-Worcester

“Play with that edge between a sense of heart and a sense of mind-space…’ – a quote from Lama Shenpen about how to relate to the ‘chitta‘ – the heart-mind in Buddhism.

The quote is from the Indestructible Heart Essence book, from the ‘Discovering the Heart of Buddhism’ course, part of Lama Shenpen’s Living the Awakened Heart Training, which we’re all studying.

At our weekly Tibetan Buddhist meditation, study and discussion group last night in Worcester, we were learning about the Chitta and how we in the West tend to separate our heart from our mind, which can lead to different and misinterpretations to Buddhist texts and practice.

In the short video below Lama talks about the importance of understanding the correct translation of Chitta and how it effects our understanding and practice and relates to letting go of attachments that lead to suffering:

For more information on the training in Buddhist meditation and insight, visit www.ahs.org.uk/training

Discover the Heart of Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism Distance Learning CourseAs members of the Awakened Heart Sangha we’re studying Lama Shenpen‘s Living the Awakened Heart Training – a distance learning/home study course in Tibetan Buddhist meditation, reflection and insight.

At our weekly Wednesday evening Tibetan Buddhist meditation sessions in Worcester, we’re now going through the training that starts with the Discovering the Heart of Buddhism course, and the first book ‘Indestructible Heart Essence’.

The training is designed especially for Westerners and is based on learning from your own experience, rather than academic learning or having to remember lots of Sanskrit or Tibetan terminology, yet it gets to the heart of the most profound Tibetan Buddhist teachings of Mahamudra and Dzogchen. It’s flexible and designed to fit around busy modern lifestyles, so you can set your own pace.

“The training is a search for truth, a process of exploring our experience and coming to understand and relax into our true nature. In the midst of all the pain, doubt, hesitation, stress and confusion of our lives, there is something that keeps us going. We talk of losing heart and yet, somehow, there is something deep inside us that spurs us on, restores us and gives us hope.” from www.ahs.org.uk/training

The approach to the training is spiral learning, so the core themes of the course are ones we keep coming back to, so it’s equally suitable for those who have practised meditation for some time and for those who are completely new to it.

Some of our members have been through the course materials several times already, going deeper and more profoundly into the themes each time; others are just starting. The beauty of the course is that we can all study together, using our own experience as the basis for our reflections and discussions.

Our sessions in the centre of Worcester include meditation, reading, reflection and discussion, as well as tea and biscuits!

It’s really helpful to have a community of practitioners around you to support your meditation practice and study. Being able to discuss our experiences, practice and thoughts each week as we go through the training course books is beneficial and can be really inspiring!

If you’re interested in the Living the Awakened Heart Training you can find out much more and sign up at www.ahs.org.uk/training. It’s donation based too, so there’s no set fee, you only pay what you can afford.

If you join the course and would like to meet up with fellow meditation and Buddhist practitioners in Worcester, just get in touch!

 

 

 

Malvern Teaching: The Three Mysteries

Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Worcestershire

On Saturday 17th March Awakened Heart Sangha teacher Pema came all the way from her home in North Wales to Malvern, Worcestershire to give a teaching organised by Sangha members, which many local AHS members attended, others from farther afield, as well as other Dharma practitioners from another lineage.

The teaching was called The Three Mysteries: Body, Speech and Mind and Pema used a  supplication to Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) as the basis for the teaching. The prayer can be sung, which is something our sangha is known for, thanks to our Tibetan Buddhist lineage connection to the famous singing yogin Milarepa, and Lama Shenpen‘s teacher Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, another yogin linked to Milarepa because of his profound extemporaneous songs. You can find the prayer and a recording at the bottom of the page HERE.

Tibetan Buddhism Worcestershire
Pema teaching on the supplication to Guru Rinpoche at Elmslie House, Worcestershire

Pema taught us about the connection between our ordinary body, speech and mind and the Buddha body, speech and mind, the three kayas.

We looked at the interface or ‘play’ between our unenlightened and enlightened aspects and that by exploring and understanding our ordinary experience, we gain greater insight and confidence in our Buddhanature.

We listened, sang, meditated, reflected and discussed the subject throughout the day. It’s such a profound topic with so many layers, it gave us all lots of different areas to reflect on and practise with.

Elmslie House in Malvern was a wonderful venue with a nice atmosphere and a lovely bright teaching room.

Thank you to the organisers and to Pema for such an inspiring day!

How to Meditate

learn to meditate in worcester worcestershireThere’s a new website from the Awakened Heart Sangha which is a great introduction to the type of Formless Meditation we do.

The new website – www.howtomeditate.org.uk – contains lots of helpful information about how to meditate, meditation postures, taking meditation deeper and the importance of finding a good teacher or mentor to guide you. There are also some guided mindful meditations and introductory videos. Please take a look!

Formless Meditation is the cornerstone of our practice. The Living the Awakened Heart Training, the distance study course in Buddhist meditation, reflection and insight from the AHS, starts with the Heart of Meditation course which gives a foundation in Formless Meditation. Find out more HERE.