Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by windblade, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    Hi there,

    My husband is reading a book on Tibetan Buddhism, by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. He was born in 1975 in Nubri, Nepal. His book is called 'The Joy of Living: Unlocking the secret & science of happiness. It also is about neuroscience.

    My husband asked me to ask you if you have ever heard of this author. He said he wanted to go right to the horse's mouth to get an opinion. Ha ha.

    Sending prayers your way. Know your struggles.

    Love, Judy
  2. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    Good to hear from you. Was wondering about you.

    No, I have not read this book or heard of the author although i might have seen it here in a bookstore..we have many many books on buddhism and its different takes..

    I just got a call this morning from a nun who looks after my paternal uncles house. He is also a Buddhist lama. She told me his son Dzongstsar Khyentse Rinpoche had come for a few days and was giving lectures in English at a monastery. I will be going to see him and if i do get to see him in person I will ask him about this book and his take on it.

    Since both ma in law and husband are leaving for out of Kathmandu I think i will be busy for two three days; and then go to see my cousin. I will let you know.

    Take care

    God Bless

    [This Message was Edited on 06/04/2009]
  3. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    Just wrote you a long post, and it didn't submit. ARGGGHHHHH - total frustration!

    I want to thank you for offering to ask your cousin about the book. But it's not really an important enough book to bother with. I'll explain more when I have the strength to do my post over.

    I found some interesting videos by your cousin online. I'm just going to listen to one where he spoke at Yale on dharma. There are 2 other Buddhist teachers - one with Jamyang as a middle name. Thinking that is someone different.

    I will return! You know how it is when you finally capture everything you want to say, and it all evaporates, like disappearing ink.

    Blessings, and prayer for you, and all in your family!

  4. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member


    this link is to a trailer to a film about Spring's cousin, as opposed to a film by him - they also exists! He has that marvelous quality that one sees in great Buddhist teachers. Prepare to fall in love, just a little bit, after watching the trailer.

    Our Spring has quite the illustrious family! But, around here, she's our dear Spring.

    Peace out,

    who is sleeping sooooo much!
  5. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    Rafiki - I had watched the talk at Yale on Dharma, and felt the beauty, intellect, wisdom; and did fall in love a bit!

    Yes, this was the filmmaker. I thought at the time that it wasn't Spring's cousin. Because I had seen, both on youtube, another video of what seemed to be a much younger teacher, speaking about dzogchen.

    And I remembered from a post of Springwater's, saying her cousin was 'cheeky'.

    Anyway, Spring dear, how exciting to be going to hear your Cousin's talk. I hope you get a chance to visit with him. He seems very wonderful, and that's just after hearing him twice now. I read his biography also.

    My husband loved Pema Chodren's book very strongly. He is in a searching stage in his spiritual life, in studying, and participating in praise and worship in different ways now, through yoga, Sufi dance, Kirtan.

    My conversations with him are a joy, sharing all we're reading, and our spiritual experiences.

    Rafiki dear, rest up well. We are praying for you everyday! Thank you for the link. I heard the cousin /Rinpoche? speaking about his films in the Yale talk.

    Does Rinpoche mean teacher, I wonder?

    Love to both,
    [This Message was Edited on 06/07/2009]
  6. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    Now I think I have it - Dzongstsar Khyentse Rinpoche was born in Bhutan in 1961, and is also known as Khyentse Norbu, which is the name he did his films under. Yes, this is a fascinating teacher!
  7. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    It sounds as though you are on such an interesting journey with your beloved!

    I think Rinpoche means: precious one, but I'm not sure. I should have checked first. I'll come back if Google says no. If it says yes, I'll take a nap :eek:)

    I do hope Vivian found SJ's message. Poor SJ, what a trial!

    Yours in profound sleepiness,

    ETA Yes, "precious one" but I should have added that it's used for tulkus - of which Spring's family has a bunch! Oh, tulkus are incarnate lamas. So, although Spring is very precious to us, it wouldn't be stricktly kosher to call her Rinpoche - would it Spring-la!
    [This Message was Edited on 06/06/2009]
  8. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    I'm finding many riches. My husband sent me an e-mail on 'Brother Thay' -Thich Nhat Hanh. I've come across his writings so much over the years - in small amounts, but even a sentence could be so nourishing.

    And now I see Spring's cousin has written a book also. I came across an interview with him, where he was explaining the different viewpoints of ego, in the East and West.

    This fits in with Huston Smith's writing on secular modernity, where 'individualism' is carried to such an extreme at the cost of community, narcissism, etc.

    Huston Smith was one of the people who led me into an interest in other religions. He is a scholar who has never lost his passionate love and delight in his finding treasure in whatever he is learning about.

    Whewww - dealing with brain fog a lot lately. Going to rest up.


  9. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    Rafiki, Judy

    Im back! Cousin Rinpoche had left word to meet him at 12:30 which was his lunch break. He is the very same as he has been since I first met him properly when we were in our 20s and I was yet unmarried. Quick, restless, dry humour. He is only one year elder to me.

    Rafiki – I have some illustrious relatives, but my family is the proverbial ‘black sheep’.Lol. But that’s okay, what had to be, had to be. It just is. Maybe karma has something to do with it. And what can you do with karma except accept it, and work on purifying it. As it is, my family has come a long way from what we were 20years ago and we are trying to make sure gen next (my kids and my brothers) progress upward, in every way.

    Judy I asked him about the book by Mingyur Rinpoche and he said “yes, that’s a good book.”

    Rinpoche asked me if I was doing the meditation he taught me on our last meeting in winter…and was pleased when I told him yes. He said that was a calming meditation,
    Concentrating on the breath, the feelings etc. it was like a muddy pond and I was making the mud to settle down at the bottom so the waters could be clear and transparent. (the mind)

    Now, he said, I should start learning something which would throw the mud out of the pond; because that pond might look clear but the mud was still at the bottom. He said I should concentrate on an object of worship, whom we strongly connect to, like Guru Rinpoche or Buddha Shakyamuni.
    (It can be anyone we worship) For maybe five mins. If the mind wavers inbetween, bring it back. Then put on some music (he said any, even rap!) and concentrate on that for what time I could. If the mind wavered, bring it back to the music. I knew Rinpoche didn’t have that much time to spare and my brother too was asking him stuff so I didn’t ask him to elaborate.

    I did ask him if he could recommend a simple Buddhist book, the basics, because I found Tibetan Buddhism with all that it entails daunting…and he said no need for books ….no need to know at this stage…that it was like I was riding on a bicycle trying to get somewhere…no need to try and find out what parts a bicycle is made of, who made it, etc.just concentrate on riding and get to your destination.

    He made us join him for lunch and during the conversation dropped a bombshell,, he said he was writing his autobiography. And that he had included our family in it. He said people will know what a ‘mad’ clan we are. In fact, he introduced my brother and me to his followers saying “these are my two cousins, we have two family things in common, our noses, and our madness.” He has asked my brother for photos of my father and asked him to try to get those ones which show him at his ‘hippiest’ best. Yes, in the early 70’s my dad used to sport long hair, goggles, t shirt, he was an artist. I must admit I felt a little dizzy at the speed with which Rinpoche moves from topic to topic. He is like that by nature.

    Tomorrow me and my brother have planned to go and listen to his lecture.

    Judy, Rafiki is right, Rinpoche is a term for ‘precious one’, and normally is an incarnation of another teacher. And no, none of my immediate family qualifies..lol!

    Rafiki, Judy, never in my life when I joined this board and came to the worship board did I think I would be discussing Buddhism. Its truly remarkable what with Cate also knowing something about it and Judys husbands interest in the workings of other different religions, the ideas that can be explored.

    I have Monk Thich Nhat Hanhs book ‘Transformation and Healing’..it is such a simple but useful guide .to meditation. More like a handbook than a real book, I treasure it. He had been invited to the Indian parliament for a talk..the essence of his talk was
    ‘when dealing with other countries, listen to what the other one is saying’.Really listen.

    God Bless
  10. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    My brain has not worked for quite some time now. It is a temporary situation, I'm sure, but makes the act of dredging each word I write out of the muck of my brain sheer... sheer... uhm... sheer awfulness.

    A quote from Thich Nhat Hanh is my email signature:

    Smile, breathe and go slowly.

  11. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    Praying for you, I know you are having difficulties with brain fog and other issues. Today was Full Moon, and the day of Buddha Shakyamunis enlightenment. I went and lit butterlamps and prayed for you and Saja and Judy and others. Come on the board only when you are able to, we will understand.

    God Bless
  12. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    Thank you so much for asking your cousin Rimpoche's opinion of the book! This is the first Tibetan Buddhist book that my husband is reading, so he really appreciates your cousin's validating that it is a good book. He said to send his 'thank you' along to you.

    Spring, what a gift of friendship you gave us, when you had such little time with your cousin!
    I think it's wonderful that your cousin/Rimpoche remembered the meditation that he had given you, and asked you about it. I'm so excited and hopeful for you about the new meditation. Because I see in your daily life how the meditations/breathing allow you to draw forth energy, physically and emotionally. I've been able to see for quite a while how this is your medicine.

    I'm wondering what you're hearing today in his talk - I'm eager to hear about it.

    I hope also that for your brothers and niece this was a strengthening, inspiring meeting with your cousin.

    I have so much more to say, but feeling rather sick today. So will save my thoughts until my energy replenishes.

    Blessings to you!

  13. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    I was groping around in my brain for a way to say hello to you two but the fog is dense lately.

    Suddenly, I imagined a beautiful spring with wind blowing the mist around a really befuddled looking monkey! LOLOL!

    It's a nice image for which I thank the Wind and the Spring but the monkey still can't think.

    If you, like me before SJ explained, don't get this reference, "Rafiki" is the same of a primate character in The Lion King. I did not know this when I chose the Swahili word for friend as my username.

    Take care of yourselves,
  14. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    LOL LOL LOL! Yep, really funny image that conjured up! I got to know Rafiki was a meditating monkey on this board in one of your exchanges with others, Rafiki. But i find the name so pretty. I would love to have a daughter named Rafiki.

    Its 12pm now and my son just finished(?) his homework; researching a poem. And i have the computer. But, its been a long day - had a Parent Teacher meeting in morn, lost my way to the school coz i went by cab and the cab driver took me an unfamiliar way..then i killed time by having my lunch outside and browsing some second hand books (Judy, I saw Mingyur Rinpoches book but it was in hard cover and expensive so i passed it over for when i wasnt feeling broke); and then i went and visited my uncle and aunt who'd come back from attending their daughters graduation.

    And after coming back home, and resting a bit, i again went and reached some mutton curry and pancakes to my bro in law coz ma in law is out of town. And then, i WALKED back in the dark; took me one hour..i do seem to have had an active day....normally i would have been knocked out by one outside errand.

    I will write more next time, about the lecture Dzongstar Rinpoche gave and i hope to attend his lecture again tomorrow morning..had to miss it today due to the PTA meeting.

    Saja and Rafiki, hope both of you keep feeling better and more energetic

    God Bless

  15. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    I never saw the Lion King - and that is humorous about the monkey's name.

    But I hope that you will never change your name here, Rafiki. You are a teacher, and such a good, kind, wise friend to all of us. That is what your name means to me.

    I am praying for you everyday, as many others are, and are sending healing thoughts to you.

    I wonder if your deep fog is from lack of nutrition. Please let me know if I am stepping out of boundaries here.

    I care so much about you, your health and well-being.

    With love,

    [This Message was Edited on 06/09/2009]
  16. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    My goodness, what a busy few days you have had. I'm so glad that you will have the chance to hear your cousin/Rinpoche speak tomorrow.

    One reason that I find him so interesting is that he knows the West well, and compares different viewpoints. That is very interesting to me. I looked up his book at Amazon last night, and what excellent reviews he had! It's funny that just by chance his book was placed next to Mingyur Rinpoche's.

    I have many thoughts percolating, but will save them for when his talks are finished in Nepal.

    My husband is interested in reading, and seeing the videos I mentioned of your Cousin's teachings. Then, I'll be interested in hearing his responses.

    I'm resting up too, trying to organize some Dr. appts. Just for general tests.

    It's a lovely cool, rainy day here, with the fragrance of Honeysuckle and Mock Orange flowing through the house.

    Spring, I'm so glad that you are under your cousin's wing of teaching, and he is giving you meditations, and that you have this spiritual strength in your family.

    You are caring so wonderfully for your niece and nephew, and your brothers. I admire your husband so much for all that he has helped them over the years.

    So, I am hoping that you will receive strength and help from all that your cousin/Rimpoche has to give to you.

    Rest well,
    Sending prayers to you, and your family.
    With love, Judy

  17. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    That is a funny image you conjured. I'm laughing now as it just settled into my mind.
  18. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    Dear Wind and Rafiki

    Well, I didn’t get to go to listen to the teachings after all. My brother didn’t turn up till late. And today I had to stay because the DH was coming back. (He’s arrived).

    The 2nd day also we got there a bit late at around 11 morn because brothers motorcycle got spoilt and he had to take it to a workshop and fix it, before he could get to my house,.
    But I did get there in time to listen to the question answer session and some meditation time.

    Since most of the people there were further along the Buddhism path than myself, I didn’t get all that was said…there was a lot of talk about non duality etc.which went over my head..but some of what I got is below….(obviously much shortened for reasons of clarity)

    There was an American lady who asked a couple of questions and Rinpoche after her third question asked her if she was a psychiatrist/psychologist. He said if she were he should be lying on a couch answering questions put by her because as a monk who was put into a monastery at a very young age, he was the perfect example of a person who was ripe for questioning along Freuds principles, because he must be having all the neurosis suffered due to whatever.

    Another man asked Rinpoche ‘what is mind’. Rinpoche answered that to know the mind and state what it exactly what it is, one has to go through a lot of experiences, and that for now, he would answer him with the statement that ‘mind is like the waves on the surface of the ocean.

    Then someone asked him, if everyone became enlightened, what would happen to the world. Rinpoche said “I suppose that would mean all the Boddhisattvas and Buddhas would become jobless.” (Great big laughs all around).

    Someone told him, he thought it was wrong of little kids to be taken to monasteries and made to study in a particular way and live a certain way as they are now, maybe they were suffering as a result of too much discipline and their natural inclinations as kids being quashed…Rinpoche said he agreed, that people should be allowed to feel the full gamut of emotions, learn from their mistakes and get wisdom that way. He said he thought every Rinpoche/ teacher should fall madly in love with a woman, be wholesomely rejected, suffer the hurt/pain of rejection., otherwise how would he counsel others who were suffering such an emotion such as romantic rejection?

    Also that he wished he had the courage to deviate a bit from the norms that existed in the monasteries such as more freedom for the little monks but that he too was afraid to push too hard against the social norms which are accepted by the people, who put their little ones into monasteries wanting them to get rigorous training and discipline. He said when he went to Lhasa he put on his brocade robes and sat stiff and upright in his seat because that was what the people there expected and wanted to see of their gurus. If he tried to relax and be less formal, the people would write him off as a ‘bum’, imposter.

    (springwaters thoughts :Im glad societal norms didn’t prevent him from trying to make movies); I think he likes rebelling against feudal rules and norms.)

    Here Rinpoche talked of the feeling of chafing against societal norms, and recounted how when he went to London, he was walking and saw a man selling pamphlets advertising escort services. Rinpoche approached the man, and asked him if he would let him take over his job for a few mins and so for a few moments he stood there distributing escort services and felt the exhilarating experience of doing something he would never be allowed to do in asia. Everytime he saw an Asian face, his heart would go into his mouth and he’d think, maybe he’s Tibetan/Taiwanese, there goes my reputation, a rinpoche standing and hawking escort services!

    Another man during the Q&A session told him that enlightenment was such a daunting goal to attempt, he always thought there should have been a halfway point where a normal human being moves beyond normal grasping and samsaric living, but to a point more within reach of a normal person with normal shortcomings than complete buddhahood, and which would still allow him freedom from suffering.

    Rinpoches answer: ‘Join the club! That’s exactly what I have always thought. I always thought those Arahats had it good. Freedom from rebirth. And no need to come among sentient beings again and again in samsara and suffer many times over. Not all of us have in us this ability to feel unquenchable desire to keep suffering for the sake of others

    (springwaters own thoughts) : I wonder if arahats are those beings who are enlightened through pure and good conduct, but prefer to stay out of the world as we know it, the angels with special powers, we hear so much about, who come and help people in need, or those ‘,masters’ of whom Brain Weiss speaks who give out words of wisdom and advice when he regresses people into past lives, and they enter an ‘inbetween’ state where they are floating between lives and speak thru the regressee?

    I should have written down the points but I didn’t and this is what I can remember. It was a good experience and as usual with Dzongstar Khyentse Rinpoches lectures there was a great deal of raucous laughter from the audience.

    I wish I had Rinpoches energy and focus. I have never seen him down (not saying that doesn’t happen)….and his courage, he is unafraid to admit his shortcomings.

    Well, I will keep doing the meditation he taught and hopefully gain some control over my own moods and feelings.

    God Bless


  19. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    I'm glad that you at least got to hear part of your cousin/Rinpoche's talk. My first question is, do I speak of him as Dzongstsar Rimpoche or Lama Khyentse?

    It's good that you wrote down here all that you remembered. That was a lot, for not taking any notes!

    I think it's very valuable that you were able to meet with him in person that first day at lunch, and receive your own specific meditation. I can see how the spiritual practice of meditation, and deep breathing (pranayama?), and prayer at the monastaries is such a strong part of who you are, and how also we help our illnesses.

    I just got a book from the library today that someone wrote about on this board. "How God Changes Your Brain : Breakthrough Findings from a Neuroscientist." This seems to be about all religions.

    I'm looking for a strengthing and healing to add to my therapy work, dealing with depression, anxiety, painful recurring emotions from the past, etc.

    I liked how in the Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche book he writes about his anxiety and panic attacks, very honestly. I can't manage to do any meditation - maybe the tiniest bit now and then. But I am working on doing many visualization exercises, where you go back to the childhood part of your mind and emotions, and bring adult love and understanding to those parts of the psyche. It's really amazing that this can be done!

    I'm trying more and more to integrate my spiritual life with my emotional healing. In therapy, I don't talk about my spiritual self much, although probably a lot more than other people might.

    Because it's the strongest part of my identity, and getting stronger. It's hard to always have to separate these essential parts of identity.

    When I just mentioned depression, I felt that I should pop over to the Depression Board. But my whole focus right now is on my whole self. My whole life - and the way I work with it. I'm tired of being fragmented.

    Well, I ended up writing in a different direction. As I'm reading these books, I'm looking for things that might possibly be a help to you too.

    I have more thoughts on the subjects that were brought up by Dzongstsar Rinpoche.

    I had read an interview with him online in a magazine called Spirituality & something? Forget the title, but was struck by his stunning honesty.

    Well, my husband just got back from his yoga class - going to have some dinner.

    I really enjoy this conversation we're having.

    Love to Rafiki - and prayers for you to regain strength.

    Love, and blessings, Wind

  20. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    guess what, I too hve been unable in recent years to meditate to that level which i used to a couple of years back. The mind has become so scattered and im mostly too tired and fidgety to be able to sit in that upright posture for long. I do do it for like five mins, take a break and another five mins, like that.....

    i, however, have had the experience of being able to meditate for at least fifteen mins or half an hour, wasnt timing myself so dont know for sure but i did used to hit those levels of 'calmness, and clarity' which was simply amazing! The body used to just sort of 'lift' and every ounce of exhaustion and worry would fall away and i would be able to go about my chores for about two hours after that as if my very lifes purpose was housework and i lived for it!!! This is the same feeling i used to get when i used to practise the art of living breathing techniques, for a while...i think i gave that up during one of my set backs...(as u are aware they keep happening). And i never got back into the groove.

    Judy, from what ive been reading of PTSD; it truly appears to be very challenging for the sufferer and my heart goes out to you and the others on this board who have gone through it. I am so glad you are working on healing and are being patient and diligent. Isnt it great that we both are in a situation in our lives where we are out of the traumatic situations we used to be in and are now in situations where we are working towards out healing?

    Im also happy you have the husband you have, he seems to be the ideal companion, support, friend, carer, nurturer all in one. And i know he treasures you for the wonderful person you are. I love your calm unwavering spiritual strength very much. Your spirituality comes out in your posts.

    God Bless

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