Giving is the cause of receiving

The first of the six perfections of the bodhisattva is called generosity. Lama Tsongkhapa, the fourteenth-century lama, says in one of his lovely lamrim texts, the very poetic little verse text called Songs of Experience, “Generosity is the wish-fulfilling jewel with...

The benefit of vows

  We don’t like the sound of vows: we feel as if someone is forcing us into a corner, or that vows squash us down, or that we’ll get punished when we’re naughty and break them.   But if we think about it, when we learn to do anything,...

The mind is like a mirror

So, what’s the definition of mind? Well, there are two parts of a definition and the first part tells you its conventional characteristics: it’s that which is clear, or clarity, meaning it’s not physical. Big surprise! The second part of the...

We need to learn to greet problems

  I think we all have a misunderstanding of patience. We actually think it means passive aggression, kind of gritting your teeth and waiting for that horrible thing to go away. That is not patience; that literally is aversion or anger, but suppressed. “Passive...

We all need knowledge-holders

  When I first met Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, at Chenrezig Institute in Queensland, Australia, in 1976, I knew I wanted a spiritual path but I didn’t know I needed a spiritual teacher: a mentor, a lama, a guru.   The fact is, whatever we learn, the...