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Free Buddhist Audio

The Tumble Dryer of Karma

Wed, 15 Jan, 2020 - 00:00
Up and Down, Round and Round... The Tumble Dryer of Karma. The second ring of the Buddhist wheel of life shows beings moving up then down, rising in light then descending around in darkness, and describes the law of karma. Karma, literally 'action', means that actions influence whether we experience happiness or suffering as well as determining the kind of person who we become. In this talk, Moksatara explores what karma really means and how we can work with this law of the universe to leave behind the 'snakes and ladders' game of repetitive ups and downs, moving instead on a liberating path of growth. By understanding the importance of conditionality and ethics, we can take charge of our lives and move in the direction we want to go. This series of talks explores three great Buddhist symbols that describe the way things are: the wheel of life, the spiral path and the ultimate goal of Enlightenment. Together they form a guide to escape from the ultimate vicious circle into the complete freedom and fulfilment of Awakening. Questions for reflection and discussion: How could you act to strengthen the stands of personality that you want to grow? How have your actions lead to positive or negative consequences this week? Do you feel happier and more connected when you act in line with the precepts? Recorded at Sheffield Buddhist Centre on 14.1.20
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Free Buddhist Audio

The Wheel, The Spiral and The Goal

Wed, 8 Jan, 2020 - 00:00
This series of talks explores three great Buddhist symbols that describe the way things are: the wheel of life, the spiral path and the ultimate goal of Enlightenment. Together they form a guide to escape from the ultimate vicious circle into the complete freedom and fulfilment of Awakening. This first talk is an introduction to the theme from Vadanya, focussing on the wheel. He explores the symbolism of each of the four concentric rings which make up this rich representation of samsara, the never-ending repetition of habitual patterns in which it feels our life is lived for us. The scenes described within the wheel help us to recognise the states of mind we inhabit and offer guidance towards healthier realms from which we can make real progress. Ultimately the aim is not to conquer the world but to go beyond it altogether, escaping the wheel and enter upon the spiral path, the threefold path of ethics, meditation and wisdom. Questions for reflection and discussion: Have you weakened an unhelpful cycle in your life since coming to the Buddhist Centre? Which realms do you often inhabit and what helps you to become more human? Recorded at Sheffield Buddhist Centre on 7.1.20
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Free Buddhist Audio

Tantric Scrooge

Wed, 18 Dec, 2019 - 00:00
With his cold personality, cynical speech and rationalist mind set, Scrooge is an unattractive and decidedly miserable character. Yet perhaps he isn't so unusual in these aspects - perhaps we are more like Scrooge than we would like to think! Fortunately, Vadanya's Vajrayana version of 'A Christmas Carol' has plenty of hidden tantric teaching and offers hope for even the most miserly 'bah humbug' character of all. Vadanya shows us how Scrooge carries his hard demeanour as a shell to protect against emotional pain from the past, until one Christmas when his inner Tantric guru can bear the spiritual stagnation no longer, and makes him leave this self-made prison behind. Through the shocking action of three ghosts, Scrooge encounters the Four Reminders and traverses the Five Aspects of the Dharma Life before being spiritually reborn as a happy man. Questions for reflection and discussion: Are there reasons for the ways in which you might be like Scrooge? Have you ever met your inner Tantric guru or noticed your daemon at work? Do you listen to your daemon? Recorded at Sheffield Buddhist Centre on 17.12.19
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Free Buddhist Audio

Falling In Love, the Vajrayana Way

Wed, 4 Dec, 2019 - 00:00
The Vajrayana, or Tantric Buddhism, is a path of radical transformation that harnesses the energy of life's deepest and strongest experiences. Falling in love is one such experience that can provide great masses of energy to power our spiritual development. Vadanya reveals how in the Vajrayana we fall in love not with other people but with the person who we can become - with the ideal of the Enlightened mind - especially as experienced in the figure of the Buddha. He explores our attraction to beauty and the qualities of our future self that we are intuitively drawn to. Using the magical rite of fascination we can develop sraddha, respond to our longing and follow the call from beyond. This sangha night theme explores the scary, exhilarating, radical and challenging nature of the true Dharma. Over the course of these talks we will be forging a Western tantra to bring the spirit of Vajrayana teachings into our here and now. Questions for reflection and discussion: What do you find beautiful? What do you love about the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha? Recorded at Sheffield Buddhist Centre on 3.12.19
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Free Buddhist Audio

Urgyen Sangharakshita: The Bodhisattva's Reply

Thu, 28 Nov, 2019 - 00:00
Urgyen Sangharakshita - Bhante - who died last year, is not only the founder of the Triratna Buddhist Order and Community, but also teacher and spiritual friend to Padmavajra. Padmavajra first met him when he was 17 and in this talk he shares some of his own most cherished memories of Bhante, including his experiences of being with him in India when he returned there in the 1970's to found the Order there. This is the third talk given as part of a very special day at Sheffield Buddhist Centre devoted to the lives of two of the most important and influential Buddhists of modern times: Urgyen Sangharakshita and Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Padmavajra is a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order in the UK.
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Free Buddhist Audio

The Burning Ground

Wed, 20 Nov, 2019 - 00:00
Moksatara introduces the dakini, the tantric embodiment of what's possible when all of our energy is completely engaged, alive and flowing. These beings of limitless space have complete freedom of mind, fierce energy and a full emotional engagement with life. In order to meet the dakinis we must travel to where they dwell: the cremation grounds, where bodies are taken to be burnt. The deepest, darkest energies to be transformed are associated with fear. By deliberately plunging into crucial situations which mirror these burning grounds, old ways are forced to change and we are compelled to grow. This sangha night theme explores the scary, exhilarating, radical and challenging nature of the true Dharma. Over the course of these talks we will be forging a Western tantra to bring the spirit of Vajrayana teachings into our here and now. Questions for reflection and discussion: Where is the risk for you? In which situation could you find a dakini? Do you have a particular relationship where communication could be a cremation ground, an opportunity for challenge and growth? Recorded at Sheffield Buddhist Centre on 19.11.19
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Free Buddhist Audio

Living Backwards

Wed, 13 Nov, 2019 - 00:00
Tantric Buddhism begins at the highest point: Enlightenment. Vadanya explores the yidam visualisation practice, a defining feature of Tantric Buddhism which enables us to live from our future potential rather than letting the past govern how we are. By keeping constant mindfulness on a Buddha or Bodhisattva that embodies Enlightenment for us, we can bring the future into our present experience and live filled with confidence, joy, wisdom and awareness. In a sense, Vajrayana practitioners are like magicians: living backwards, transforming and liberating their minds. This sangha night theme explores the scary, exhilarating, radical and challenging nature of the true Dharma. Over the course of these talks we will be forging a Western tantra to bring the spirit of Vajrayana teachings into our here and now. Questions for reflection and discussion: Is there a Buddha or Bodhisattva figure that you connect with? How would your future self advise you to act today if you could hear them? Recorded at Sheffield Buddhist Centre on 12.11.19
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Free Buddhist Audio

India's Dhamma Revolution

Wed, 13 Nov, 2019 - 00:00
Amoghasiddhi talks about his personal experiences of Buddhism in India, both for himself and the community of ex-Untouchable people who converted to Buddhism with Dr Ambedkar. It was Dr Ambedkar who brought about the rebirth of living Buddhism in India in 1956. As well as converting to Buddhism himself, he initiated hundreds of thousands of others into Buddhism. Dr Ambedkar, like his followers, came from the most downtrodden section of Indian society and Buddhism for him and for them was a means not only of individual liberation but for the transformation of the whole society. The Triratana Buddhist Order continues Dr Ambedkar's work in India. This is the second talk given as part of a very special day at Sheffield Buddhist Centre devoted to the lives of two of the most important and influential Buddhists of modern times: Urgyen Sangharakshita and Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Amoghasiddhi is a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order in India.
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Free Buddhist Audio

Dr Ambedkar: Healing the World Through His Vision of Sacred Humanity

Fri, 8 Nov, 2019 - 00:00
It was Dr Ambedkar who brought about the rebirth of living Buddhism in India in 1956. As well as converting to Buddhism himself, he initiated hundreds of thousands of others into Buddhism. Dr Ambedkar, like his followers, came from the most downtrodden section of Indian society and Buddhism for him and for them was a means not only of individual liberation but for the transformation of the whole society. The Triratana Buddhist Order continues Dr Ambedkar's work in India. This is the first talk given as part of a very special day at Sheffield Buddhist Centre devoted to the lives of two of the most important and influential Buddhists of modern times: Urgyen Sangharakshita and Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Vajratara is a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order in the UK.
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Free Buddhist Audio

The Buddha Here and Now

Wed, 30 Oct, 2019 - 00:00
Padmavajra evokes the spirit of Tantric Buddhism, which transforms the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha from abstract ideals into living qualities of our present experience. He explores the guru, the yidam and the dakini as Tantric embodiments of Enlightenment here and now, sharing stories from his own experience of practice. This sangha night theme explores the scary, exhilarating, radical and challenging nature of the Tantric Dharma. Over the course of these talks we will be forging a Western tantra to bring the vital spirit of Vajrayana teachings into our actual lives. Questions for reflection and discussion: How much are you giving yourself to Buddhist practice, prioritising ethics, meditation and study in your life? Are there people in your life who face you moments of 'stark confrontation with reality'? What are you prepared to give for Enlightenment? Recorded at Sheffield Buddhist Centre on 29.10.19