Want Spiritual Power? Rely on Je Tsongkhapa!

Because Je Tsongkhapa is the embodiment of all Buddhas’ wisdom, compassion and spiritual power at once, by relying on him we can attain these good qualities.

Je Tsongkhapa empowerment leaflet, ed.

_/\_

Blessings of Spiritual Power

Bodhisattva Vajrapani

Je Tsongkhapa is an emanation of Buddha Vajrapani, whose function is to destroy the negative minds of living beings by bestowing power on their body, speech and mind.
Liberated from the oppressive weight of negativity, we are free to power on with our lives, and reach the desired goal.

Asking for help from the holy beings is like opening the shutters on a sunny day, and letting the sun in. The sun’s always shining, all we have to do it let it in.
Buddha’s blessings are the same.
They’re always blessing the minds of living beings, it’s their job. By opening up to these blessings, we can transform our mind, and therefore our world.

Like this:
Manjushri mantras are good for dispelling mental cloudiness: Clearing the Confusion with Buddha’s Blessings
Lama Yeshe: benefits of relying on Lama Tsongkhapa

Kadampa Life: What are Blessings? As Shantideva says in the beginning of Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, Buddha’s blessings are like lightning during a dark night, quickly illuminating the environment and so forth. Similarly, Buddha’s blessings suddenly illuminate our mind with positivity, peace, and calm. At that time we are happy.

Credits:
Je Tsongkhapa Empowerment notes from Gen Chönden’s empowerment teachings 20th April 2013, via Aileen Glen.
Ref: Heart Jewel, by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
Original flyer by Becky Maybury

Click on images to make biG 

Make the Perfect New Year’s Resolution Based on an Awareness of Death

…Continued from HAPPY NEW YEAR! Buddhist Meditation on Death

Excerpt from Amitabha Centre publicity:

Death Med GKG text

As the New Year Begins ~
Make the Perfect Resolution 

Gen Chönden’s advice to “Follow the path of peaceful, positive minds” sounds like the perfect New Year’s resolution.
But for this to work we have to want that change.

⌛    ✞    ⌚

But really, do any New Year’s resolutions last longer than a week? It’s not that folk don’t want to stop procrastinating, exercise more, or to learn how to meditate.
It just doesn’t seem to happen.

My take on that is that if you’ve got time to breathe, you’ve got time to meditate. But I’m a fine one to talk, I’m a terrible procrastinator.

New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” Mark Twain

More

HAPPY NEW YEAR! * as the Old Year dies, can contemplating our own Demise make us Happy?

 Excerpt from Amitabha Centre publicity: .

Death Med GKG text

Meditating on our own Death makes us Happy 

It sounds counter-intuitive, but Buddha taught that meditating on the inevitability of our own demise is an uplifting experience. The death meditation being one of my favourites, I can definitely vouch for this.

To meditate on an idea or a course of action means to focus all of our attention on it. As Chönden said “to take it to heart“. He added that to focus our mind on our own death means to “follow the path of peaceful, positive minds.”

This is because thinking about death stops us from getting so uptight and stressed by things. It frees up space in our busy mind, so that there’s space for peace and feeling OK about life instead.

Death Meditation Analogy

For me it’s like clearing the internet browser’s cache when it gets overloaded and confused trying to deal with badly formatted and incomplete web pages. Emptying the computer’s cache is like clearing your mind from all those thoughts and worries, so it can start afresh.
And just as that makes surfing the web a lot smoother, a clear mind can relax and let go, because there’s no need to worry so much. Freeing our mind up from the daily stressors and concerns means we can “enjoy life instead of worrying about it.” Chönden

⌛    ✞    ⌚

Death course GKC

Personal experience of this on here: David Thomas on Buddhism and Looking Death Straight in the Eye

Continued here:
Make the Perfect New Year’s Resolution based on an Awareness o
f Death
and
Kill Procrastination ⌚ image

Brilliant article on Learning to meditate in 2013 from Kadampa Life 

These notes taken in Gen Chönden’s first teaching on the death meditation at Amitabha Centre, new year’s eve.
Top image from Amitabha Centre publicity, click on it to make biG

Comment below ⤵ on this classic Buddhist meditation.

Vajrasattva Purification Practice and Empowerment

Vajrasattva Empowerment
with Gen Chönden

~ Sat 8th Dec 2012 

Buddha Vajrasattva

Vajrasattva is a Buddha of purification. The practice of meditation and recitation of Vajrasattva’s mantra is a powerful method for purifying our impure mind and actions. This makes us feel better now, and prevents us experiencing a similar but worse event in the future. (See karma articles for more on this.)

The short version of Vajrasattva’s mantra is:

om Vajrasatto sarwa siddhi hum

More

Local News : Training in Mindfulness & Concentration – Afternoon Course

Gen Chönden

This short course on training in mindfulness and concentration, will present methods for developing the main mental functions that we use when we meditate.

Sunday 28 October, 2 – 5pm*
Amitabha Buddhist Centre, Bristol, UK

* There will be an opportunity to do a short retreat in December for those who follow the training.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the life force of meditation” – Geshe Kelsang.
It’s function is to prevent distractions, so that we don’t forget what we’re meditating on. It’s that simple, and that difficult!

Concentration

Concentration depends upon mindfulness. It is the ability to focus the mind on a particular object, and remain there without moving away from it.
We use these two mental factors to meditate on an object – penetrating deep into the heart of it, staying with it, and fully understanding it.

Retreat

It is important to study and learn about Buddhist teachings, and to meditate daily. But it is only on retreat that we really familiarise ourselves enough with Buddha’s teachings to change our minds on a fundamental level.

 


Meditation descriptions from ‘Understanding the Mind’, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
For booking information see Amitabha Buddhist Centre’s website
NZ Group photo credit 

Kadam Bridget in Bristol UK!!

Free Public Talk with Kadam Bridget Heyes at Colston Hall

 The teachings of Buddha show how to find pure happiness through developing deep peace within our own mind. In the text ‘Modern Buddhism’ Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso has presented these teachings in a way that makes it easy for modern people to gain experience of the profound path to inner peace.
(Free download on right.)

Ancient Wisdom in a Modern World

“Through reading and practicing the instructions given in this book, people can solve their daily problems and maintain a happy mind all the time.”
Geshe Kelsang
So that these benefits can pervade the whole world, Geshe Kelsang wishes to give this eBook freely to everyone.

 The instructions given in this book are scientific methods for improving our human nature and qualities through developing the capacity of our mind.

 .• *

The speaker will be Kadam Bridget Heyes. She is a strong and dedicated disciple of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and is the UK Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) and Resident Teacher at Nagarjuna Centre in Northants. Bridget will explain how Modern Buddhism is inspiring for those seeking solutions to the problems of their everyday life, as well as for encouraging
practitioners of all faiths to deepen their understanding and practice of the spiritual path.

* •.

Details:
Tues 23rd October    7~8pm (please arrive early)
Colston Hall,  Bristol, BS1 5AR

David Thomas on Buddhism and Looking Death Straight in the Eye (part 2)

Buddhism helped me replace the fear of death
with 
peaceful acceptance

via Bristol Evening Post

 

Death is the ultimate human fear

– one we generally put to the back of our minds until we are forced to face it, but confronting our own death is probably the most difficult psychological hurdle we will ever face.
For 52-year-old Dave Thomas, who is terminally ill, his own mortality is a fear he has grappled with thanks to his powerful belief in his Buddhist faith and by using the meditation techniques he has developed over two decades as a practising Buddhist.

.• *

 ​
  • * •.

“This dying lark isn’t nearly as awful as it’s cracked up to be,” the former Fleet Street journalist tells me, flashing a warm smile, as we meet at the Buddhist meditation centre he has attended for the past four years – the Amitabha Buddhist Centre in Gloucester Road. Amitabha is a residential and teaching centre,  housing lay and ordained Buddhists; including Dave’s meditation tutor Kelsang Chönden.  Chönden bristles with kindness as he comes out of the room in his full monastic habit to arrange the coffee.

A Bishopston landmark for the past 20 years, the centre, now based in an old vicarage, has trained more than 5,000 Bristolians in the ancient Buddhist art of meditation.

Amitabha Buddhist Centre

For Dave, the calming aspects of meditation came into their own after being told he had only a short time to live.
“I was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis back in 2010,” Dave explains. “I had found myself getting increasingly breathless, and had no idea what was causing it. But the consultant at the BRI explained the condition to me – essentially the air sacs within my lungs are increasingly failing to transfer the oxygen from the air to my bloodstream. Sadly it is terminal without a lung transplant.

“That was a couple of years ago now, and as things currently stand the doctors believe I may have just a couple of months to live. Being told you are dying is an extraordinary experience. Suddenly you are facing the big one. It’s an awful lot to get your head around.
But the meditation has helped me enormously – both in terms of having already developed an accepting frame of mind, but also practically, in terms of helping my breathing as it increasingly fails.”

Dave uses a mobile oxygen canister, which pumps oxygen into his nose to assist his breathing, but when he meditates he doesn’t need to wear it.
“It’s not a psychological effect,” he explains. “I regularly visit Southmead Hospital to have the oxygen levels in my blood tested, and the consultants there have been able to actively see that the oxygen levels in my blood are improved when I am meditating.”

“Dying isn’t all bad”

–  he says. “From the moment someone tells you you’re dying, you see the world very differently. You value everything so much, it’s actually quite wonderful.
I was recently walking in some woods near my home, and it struck me that the last time I was there I was jogging through in a track suit.
This time I was shuffling through, struggling for breath, but because I was walking so slowly I was able to pay attention to things I wouldn’t previously have noticed – individual trees and flowers. The beautiful detail.”

Dave says he was “the typical old-school Fleet Street hack” when he first discovered Buddhism, while working on the Sunday People at the height of the Maxwell era in the 1980s.
“I had a wonderful time, doing a job I loved, and with a beautiful family, but I was conscious that for some reason, at the back of my mind, I was not contented. I didn’t feel complete happiness.

“I decided to give meditation a try – but I was a cynical journalist, and didn’t really expect to get anything from it. After about five sessions, I was all ready to pack it in. But then I had a big story fall down, and I found myself accepting the disappointment in a way that I would never previously have been able to – previously it would have at least ruined my week.”

Chönden and David

Meditation was changing my mindset – calming me

“I realised that slowly, subtly, the meditation was changing my mindset – calming me. So I carried on with my meditation sessions, and over time, together with the Buddhist teachings that have come with it, it has had a profound effect on me and my ability to find peaceful acceptance when bad things happen.

“At first I was ribbed mercilessly by my newsroom colleagues about it,” he says. “But slowly they too could see the powerful effect it had on me, and increasingly they became genuinely interested – some even took it up themselves.”

Dave moved to Bristol in the 1990s as one of the founders of news agency South West News Service, and later founded another media business, Medavia, but was forced to retire a couple of years ago as his health deteriorated. He has now reached an extraordinary level of acceptance as he faces the end of his life.

I thought I was hours from death,
but what is left is pure peaceful acceptance

“I have been admitted to an intensive care unit twice in the past few months, and on both occasions I thought I was hours from death.

“So I’ve been very lucky to have had two dry runs – so I know that through using compassionate meditation, that is, meditating on the sorrows of the people around me in the intensive care unit, I was able to focus my mind entirely away from any fear about my own death, and what is left is pure peaceful acceptance.

“What concerns me much more is the suffering I know it will bring to my family and close friends when I die.

“After my diagnosis each one of my children separately offered me one of their lungs, which was heartbreaking – it showed so much love, but concerned me that they were unprepared for my leaving them, even though I have been able to come to terms with my own mortality.”

Meditation takes away the fear of death

“I know I will feel sorrow about leaving behind my family and friends and all that I have worked towards in my life, but I also know that through meditation I will be able to take away the fear of death. Once you take that away, there really is nothing left to fear. Acceptance is tremendously liberating.

“In one way I’m actually sort of excited about the challenge I will soon face. The next time I am in an intensive care unit, it will no doubt be the big one. I am excited to be facing the final challenge of this life – to put into practice all that I’ve learnt through meditation over these past 20 years.”

Dave smiles that warm smile once more. He glances briefly at the enormous figure of the Buddha that dominates the room, and briefly at his meditation mentor, Kelsang Chönden. There is so much peace in his eyes, it is impossible to feel sad. I shake his hand, and he returns to his meditations.

* •.  

Source
Upper images and text taken from the Bristol Evening Post, Weds 19th Sep ’12
(edited to make it more accurate and blog friendly)

See also David on Buddhism and Looking Death Straight in the Eye (part 1)
and Beauty is to be Found in the Moment  – images.

 Kadam Bridget Heyes is giving a free public talk on Modern Buddhism, at the Colston Hall, Tues 23rd Oct. Knowing the power of Buddhism to heal our minds, and society today, David’s paid for 10,000 card flyers to advertise it.
For more details, visit Amitabha Buddhist Centre, or see Kadam Bridget in Bristol!!  here.

 

 
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Send prayers and loving energy to David

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