Here Samantabhadri expertly and imaginatively tackles the theme of Wisdom, using the verses in the third section of Tsongkhapa’s short text on the “Three Principal Aspects of the Path.” Dharma themes of the laksanas, suffering, niyamas, self - and no-self - are interwoven with more personal reflections, and with thought-provoking quotations - “…. emptiness, activity and compassion are not three things, but one thing looked at from three different points of view….”
Dhivan, author of ‘This Being, That Becomes’, talks about some of the historical Buddha’s ideas on how conscious awareness can influence unconscious patterns that keep us imprisoned in a fixed sense of self.
Maitreyabandhu reminds us that the Buddha was cautious to describe things that were best directly experienced. The Lakshanas are not a metaphysical description of reality. Impermanence, insubstantiality and suffering show us there is something wrong with our perception.
All conditioned things are impermanent… Not just a truism, but the central teaching of Buddhism upon which so much else follows. Jnanaketu starts off a three-part series on the lakshanas, or ‘marks’ of conditioned existence, by tackling this most crucial of insights that is easy to say but a great challenge to live by.
Karunagita, author of A Path for Parents (Windhorse publications 2005), gave this talk at the first weekend retreat for mothers held at Taraloka Retreat Centre, 2014. Here, she introduces the gifts of parenting, including the development of patience, maturity, opening to love and the development of wisdom through direct experience of the three laksanas, as well as the inherent challenges such as lack of time and how they can be approached.
Nirvana is described as great bliss, that arises when grasping at self and other has vanished. A stream of uninterrupted creative activity, the Buddha is the supreme example of this. Here Padmavajra offers a deep dive into the Dhammapada, verses 277-279, on impermanence, dukkha and insubstantiality.
Parami starts by singing ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ by Christina Rossetti. She then goes on to bring out the underlying meaning of some of the imagery in the poem.
The first metaphors are about bleakness, with the earth as hard as iron and water like a stone, times when we struggle and it seems as if no growth is possible. She talks about her early experience of doing the metta bhavana and...
Starting with a story from the Rastrapalapariprccha-Sutra, Vajratara draws out the significance of Sangharakshita’s paper on the Fourth Laksana. This is the path of beauty, from contemplation of ugliness to the gateway of liberation called ‘the beautiful’. To be on the path of beauty, we don’t merely enjoy beauty, we have to surrender ourselves to that beauty. Given on a weekend retreat at Tiratanaloka.