Friday, September 19, 2008

Introduction to Meditation - Sogyal Rinpoche

Introduction to Meditation - Sogyal Rinpoche
This is a two hour video in iPod format. The author of the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying explaines what meditation actually is - probably simpler than you thought it would be . A world-renowned Buddhist teacher from Tibet, Sogyal Rinpoche is also the author of the highly acclaimed The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.



  1. I knew a woman in London who had been sexually abused by this man in the 80's so this came as no surprise:

  2. It does not suprise me. Even the Dalai Lama is only human and makes mistakes. People need to use more common sense and not blind faith. This reminds me of the story of Maezumi Roshi who admitted to his students that he was an alcholic, and the reaaction of one of his students. "Disillusionment is great," "It means I've stopped being illusioned and from that point of view my relationship with the teacher has worked. I am not angry, but free."
    See the full story:

  3. I'm not sure I would call systematic sexual abuse of numerous vulnerable women over a long period of time a mistake. It is a crime and an indication of spiritual corruption. An invalidation. Inexcusable. Bad bad karma. And comparing it to Maezumi's alcoholism, although I appreciate your point, makes light of the trauma and irreparable damage done to those women.

  4. Was Sogyal Rinpoche only accused by that woman or he was also found guilty in a court of law? This is extremely important. Was he found guilty in a court of law, with proofs?
    If one is not found guilty and his guilt cannot be proved then we, the general public, who never known that women and we were not present and saw with our very eyes, have the right to doubt that incident really happened.

  5. Yeah agree with josho. No courtcase? no evidence? And real gurus are spiritual terrorist, they might fuck u in all holes...

  6. I wasn't there to witness the allegations, I'm sure Osho had a few of his followers too. However, if you want to dig up dirt on Spiritual people I'm sure everyone has a history. Richard Baker did the same thing, all I'm saying is that you should be smart enough to see through peoples bullshit spirituality. If Soygal did what he was accused of then hes a douche bag, but he still has good books. I learned a few things while I was involved with Kadampa Buddhsim, today I think it a cult, but I did gain some wisdom from the experience.

  7. About what Steven moore says:

    This is a hard issue. And important too.

    Beside the case proven or not (important too), I remember a couple of quotes:

    "Real compassion extends to each and every sentient being, not just to friends or family or those in terrible situations. To develop the practice of compassion to its fullest extent, one must practice patience. Shantideva tells us that if the practice of patience really moves your mind and brings about a change, you will begin to see your enemies as the best of friends, even as spiritual guides.

    Enemies provide us some of the best opportunities to practice patience, tolerance, and compassion. Shantideva [in "A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life"] gives us many marvelous examples of this in the form of dialogues between positive and negative aspects of one's own mind. His reflections on compassion and patience have been very useful in my own practice. Read them and your whole soul can be transformed. Here is an example:
    For a practitioner of love and compassion, an enemy is one of the most important teachers. Without an enemy you cannot practice tolerance, and without tolerance you cannot build a sound basis of compassion. So in order to practice compassion, you should have an enemy.
    When you face your enemy who is going to hurt you, that is the real time to practice tolerance. Therefore, an enemy is the cause of the practice of tolerance; tolerance is the effect or result of an enemy. So those are cause and effect. As is said, "Once something has the relationship of arising from that thing, one cannot consider that thing from which it arises as a harmer; rather it assists the production of the effect.
    --from How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins


    Pema Chodron


    "Spiritual practice is not a shortcut to the American Dream nor is it an embellishment to a comfortable life.
    Dharma addresses the root causes of suffering and requires that we take a hard look at the preconceptions that maintain our worldview and perpetuate our problems.
    As much as success seems to be the source of the good things in life, happiness included, success isn’t the goal of spiritual practice.
    Our ideas about success are themselves based on preconceptions and are also part of a self-perpetuating cycle preventing us from achieving the genuine success and happiness that we seek.

    The Buddhist tradition addresses preconceptions about success head-on with an eight-term differential diagnosis called “the eight mundane concerns,” eight orientations toward the pursuit of happiness based on unexamined assumptions. Fixation on these concerns subverts our best efforts, leading either to counterfeit success or true frustration.

    The eight mundane concerns consist of four pairs of priorities:
    [1] the pursuit of material acquisitions and
    [2] the avoidance of their loss;
    [3] the pursuit of stimulus-driven pleasure and
    [4] the avoidance of discomfort;
    [5] the pursuit of praise and
    [6] the avoidance of blame; and
    [7] the pursuit of good reputation and
    [8] the avoidance of bad reputation.

    There is nothing bad about having material acquisitions — a car, a house; and, conversely, poverty is not necessarily a virtue.
    There is nothing wrong with enjoying a sunset, a good book, pleasant conversation, or beautiful music.
    It is not a bad thing to be praised.
    Being loved and respected by others is not bad either.

  8. On the other hand, it is not bad to be rejected by others if you are leading a wholesome and meaningful life.
    Many accomplished Dharma practitioners are content and happy living in total poverty.
    Reputation may go up and down, but it is possible for contentment to remain constant.
    The true source of happiness does not lie in mastery of the eight mundane concerns.
    Rich, poor, praised, blamed, stimulated, bored, respected, reviled — none of these mundane concerns are in themselves sources of happiness.
    Nor do they prevent happiness.

    The problem is that when we focus on mundane concerns as a means to happiness, life becomes a crap shoot.
    There are no guarantees.
    If you aspire to material wealth, you may not get it, but if you do, there is no guarantee you will be happy.
    If you aspire to pleasure, once a stimulus is over, so is satisfaction. There is no lasting happiness in scurrying after praise.
    People who are respected and famous tend to have the same personal problems as everyone else. The fatal shortcoming of the eight mundane concerns is that they are counterfeit Dharma, misguided ways of seeking happiness, and by habitually mistaking mundane concerns for genuine Dharma, our efforts to achieve genuine happiness are continually undermined.


    In the early 1970s, a friend of mine complained to the Dalai Lama about how difficult it is to become enlightened in such a "degenerate time" as ours.
    This has been a familiar refrain throughout the history of Buddhism, with just about every generation referring to its own era as a degenerate time.

    But the Dalai Lama's response cut him short.

    He told him that the only reason so few people attain enlightenment these days is that they are not practicing with the same diligence as the great adepts of the past. If people were to practice today with the same dedication as such great contemplatives as the Tibetan yogi Milarepa, they would achieve the same results, regardless of how degenerate their times are.

    A key element in realizing the potential of our precious human life of leisure and opportunity is faith.

    Faith is also a prerequisite for a successful career.
    If you don't have faith in your chosen field, physics for example, it will be difficult to complete a Ph.D. As in many endeavors, in science it is necessary to take many things, such as research outside your specialty, on well-grounded faith. Well-grounded faith in our potential for wisdom, compassion, and power is an important part of what Buddhists mean by "opportunity." Another type of faith, blind faith that has no basis in reality, is useless at best.

    The preciousness of life is having time and circumstances to fulfill what Tsongkhapa, a great fifteenth-century Tibetan Buddhist contemplative, called our "eternal longing."
    This is a very significant statement because the Buddhist meaning of "eternal" includes all previous lifetimes, a very long time. The Seven-Point Mind-Training advises us to recognize right at the beginning our opportunity and potential. Also, be effective; don't get sidetracked.
    In this life, you have a precious opportunity to fulfill your eternal longing to find genuine happiness.

  9. Leisure and opportunity are precious and rare.
    The Buddhist meaning of "rare" is based on Buddhist cosmology, which in some respects is similar to modern astronomy concerning the size and age of the cosmos. Western astronomers speak of solar systems, galaxies, galaxy clusters, and galaxy super-clusters. Western astronomers attempt to pinpoint the date of the Big Bang, one estimate being thirteen billion years ago. Buddhist cosmology agrees in principle with the theory of the universe oscillating between cycles of Big Bang/development/Big Crunch, another Big Bang/development/Big Crunch, but it places the history of our present universe at considerably longer than thirteen billion years.

    The Buddhist meaning of "rare" is embedded in the Buddhist cosmological worldview. Within the vast, oscillating billion-fold world systems inhabited by sentient beings, Buddhists speak of six different modes of sentient life, each with a different range of experience. Some beings have incredible misery, some incredible bliss. Human beings have the widest spectrum of experience extending from misery to bliss. Hell and heaven, it is all here, giving "rare" a special meaning.

    Within this cycle of existence, rebirth after rebirth, extending back through immeasurable time in an infinite cycle of universes, there are rare occasions when we rise to a human rebirth of leisure and opportunity.
    The Buddha used a metaphor to exemplify the rarity of a precious human life of leisure and opportunity: Imagine a tortoise swimming submerged in a vast ocean and resurfacing only once every one hundred years. The times of human rebirth are similar to the infrequent times the tortoise comes up for air. Now imagine an ox's yoke floating on the same ocean. Consider the tortoise's chances of poking his head through the yoke when he comes up for air every hundred years. This is the meaning of "rarity" in "rare and precious human life of leisure and opportunity."
    The object of discursive meditation on the rare opportunity of a precious human life of leisure and opportunity is to motivate us to use our rare opportunity wisely.

    There is another layer of meaning here which addresses basic assumptions about our life.
    Just as Buddhist cosmology describes the outer world as infinite in space and time, Buddhists also describe human potential, the inner world, as infinite. Lama Yeshe, a fine Tibetan Buddhist teacher who passed away some years ago, used to tell this parable to his Western students: "You are like beggars living in a shack, ignoring your poverty. Meanwhile, just under the dirt floor, there is a treasure of immeasurable value. You just need to scrape off the dust and you will find it."

    The treasure is really within your own mind and heart.
    Teachers, traditions, techniques, all have the single purpose of helping unveil that which is already within you.
    If you think otherwise, if you believe happiness is "out there" in a religious tradition or "with your teacher" or "in the spiritual community," you are missing the point.
    Dharma consists of methods to unveil what is already within you.

    The preliminaries require us to examine our basic assumptions about the nature of life and its potential.
    This examination shifts the focus of attention and shakes loose preconceptions. Buddhists aren't alone in realizing the crucial importance of focus and attention in the quest for well-being and psychological balance."
    ("Buddhism with an Attitude"- B. Alan Wallace)

    May this help to you or somebody else.

    Maybe tonglen could help

    Whatever it is, best wishes.

  10. I think Steven Moore is a wise man here. I agree with what he pointed out,". It is a crime and an indication of spiritual corruption. An invalidation. Inexcusable. Bad bad karma. And comparing it to Maezumi's alcoholism, although I appreciate your point, makes light of the trauma and irreparable damage done to those women.".

    I liked the book he wrote about life and death but he was just using the knowledge passed down to him. I like the religion but that doesn't mean I have to offer him personal favors and defend for his wrongdoings.

    In Buddism, you don't need to seek magic or anything miraculous. Just remember, it's the simplicity in everything, deep respect & love for lives and HONESTY that is making us a better person everyday.