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Mala: “Just for counting” or “Profound sacred practice”? A Buddhist Guide to Practicing with a Mala: Mantras, Blessings, Reverence, Color, Power, and Profound Realizations

What is a mala? Why is a mala special? What difference does it make how many beads, the size of beads or the color? Does a mala have to be blessed? How do you use it? Ask a Zen or...

A Picture is NOT worth 1000 Words — the Buddha Dharma is a Tradition of Words — A Guide for Those Who Can’t Visualize (Aphantasia)

"A picture is NOT worth 1000 words” when it comes to Buddhism. Buddhism is an oral tradition, handed down by lineage to written sutras and written tantras. The words transcend any images that might arise from their messages. [For visual...

Commentary Heart Sutra — Most Famous of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras in Buddhism: Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form

Introduction The Heart Sutra is the most famous of what are called the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras in Buddhism. These were written down sometime around the first century AD, and so there was a period of about five hundred years...

Buddhist Healing: Vajrapani Hayagriva King Garuda Healing Practice, Guided by Venerable Zasep Rinpoche — Video Teaching

Venerable Zasep Rinpoche leads a short healing teaching and mantra with visualization on Vajrapani Hayagriva King Garuda. He teaches the mantra and describes how to visualize the healing, both for people with initiation, and without. This famous healing practice, combines...

Video: Purification of the Obstacles of Dharma practice: Doubt, Fear and Restlessness. Buddhist Ngondro Foundation Teachings, Part 3 –– a Teaching from Venerable Acharya Zasep Tulku Rinpoche

"Today, I will speak of the general obstacles of spiritual practice. One of the very first obstacles is doubt. Too much doubt, doubting, so that you spend so much time on questions, instead of just doing the practice. Questioning, is not...

Video: Did Buddha Suggest a Vegetarian Lifestyle? 5 Buddhist Teachings Recommending Vegetarianism.

Did Buddha actually teach or suggest a Vegetarian lifestyle? Does the First Precept of Buddhism prohibit killing of animals? Does the First Precept of Buddhism prohibit killing of animals? What 5 Buddhist Teachings Point to a Vegetarian Lifestyle? What 5...

Interview: Author of Allow Joy into Our Hearts, Chan Dharma Teacher Rebecca Li, Ph.D.

Rebecca Li, Ph.D. is a Chan Buddhist Dharma teacher and founder of the Chan Dharma Community. In her new book Allow Joy into Our Hearts she takes on the question of how to "find ways to allow joy, kindness, and...

Buddhist Practice: Practicing Joy in Difficult Times — Excerpt from Rebecca Li’s Allow Joy into Your Heart

IF YOU HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THE NEWS THIS WEEK, the theme is: When are we going back to normal? When are we opening things up? As some places return to normal, there’s a lot of anxiety about when we will...

Book Excerpt: Gelug Mahamudra, Eloquent Speech of Manjushri, a commentary and practice guide on Sutra and Tantra Mahamudra by H.E. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche

The book, Gelug Mahamudra Eloquent Speech of Manjushri, is a rare commentary and practice guide in English, written for Western Buddhist students. Why is Mahamudra an advanced and special practice? Rinpoche explains: "Mahamudra meditation is awareness and understanding of the...

In Buddhas Words: “The person who clings to nothing of the past, present and future…” #InBuddhasWords

“The person who clings to nothing of the past, present and future, who has no attachment and holds on to nothing — that person, I call a Holy Person.”  — The Buddha Cited from Dhammapada 421 As with all Dhammapada...

In Buddha’s Words: “He who is possessed by constant virtue…” Path of Purification #inBuddhasWords

In the third of our quotable quotes  (#inBuddhasWords) — verified quotes with citations to Sutra — we draw from the Vissuddhi-magga, Path of Purification (S I 53): 
He who is possessed of constant virtue, Who has understanding, and is concentrated,...

In Buddhas Words: “Be… Refuges Unto Yourself Seeking No External Refuge…”

In the second of our "quotable quotes" — verified quotes with citations to Sutra — we began by exploring a very popular online web quote attributed to Buddha — but fake and misleading. Although the gist of the "fake" quote...

Peer-Reviewed Science of Meditation: There are At Least 10 Reasons to Meditate: From Boosting Your Immune System to Increasing Cognitive Function

Science and Buddhism are often harmonious. Buddha taught the benefits of meditation more than two-thousand years ago. Today, medical professionals, scientists and psychiatrists almost universally endorse the tangible benefits of meditation. All the mechanisms for realizing these specific benefits may...

A Wheel With Eight Spokes: Why Picking and Choosing “Beliefs” — or “Revisionist” Buddha Dhama — Can Obstruct Your Buddhist Practice

" The eightfold path is often represented as a wheel with eight spokes. Pick a wheel with just one or two and it won't take you very far." — Mark Vernon [13] "Some traditional Buddhist teachers tend to serve "Dharma-Lite"...

Scientific Buddhist: Peer Reviewed Studies — Buddhist Metta Loving Kindness Meditation Can Slow Aging —10 Benefits of Compassion

In two recent Buddha Weekly advice videos, teacher Zasep Tulku Rinpoche explained that mindfulness meditation and loving-kindness meditations were among the best therapies for bereavement, stress, cognitive issues, memory loss, and even Alzheimer's. (Bereavement Video>> and Cognitive Video>>) Perhaps not...

Buddhist Healing: Vajrapani Hayagriva King Garuda Healing Practice, Guided by Venerable Zasep Rinpoche — Video Teaching

Venerable Zasep Rinpoche leads a short healing teaching and mantra with visualization on Vajrapani Hayagriva King Garuda. He teaches the mantra and describes how to visualize the healing, both for people with initiation, and without. This famous healing practice, combines...

Wrathful Deities: The First Responders in Meditation; the Psychology of Fearsome Enlightened Buddhas

If you were facing a life-threatening scenario, would you dial 911 on your phone — the law-enforcers or well-trained first responders — or call your kindly relative? If disaster strikes, we inevitably first think of our wonderful first-responders. In almost...

Research: Meditation Benefits Students With Enhanced Intelligence, Reduce Stress, Improved Academic Performance

Student life can be very demanding, but that doesn't mean that students should let stress and anxiety take over. Sometimes college experience conjures up pictures of sleepless nights before exams, at other times – nonstop partying. Regardless, many students use...

Wrathful Deities: The First Responders in Meditation; the Psychology of Fearsome Enlightened Buddhas

If you were facing a life-threatening scenario, would you dial 911 on your phone — the law-enforcers or well-trained first responders — or call your kindly relative? If disaster strikes, we inevitably first think of our wonderful first-responders. In almost...

The Foundation Practice of Prostrations: Humble Bow, a Method to Connect with Buddha Nature; the Psychology of Buddhist Prostrations

Psychologically, in modern times, we resist the concept of the bow or prostration. It is considered demeaning. Even the very idea of "bowing" causes our pride to flare up. This is, in fact, its main purpose, at least as a...

Wealth Deities: Generating Karma for Prosperity by Practicing Generosity. How to Reconcile Renunciation with Wealth Practices in Buddhism.

Lama Atisha, the revered lama and Mahasiddha, came across an old man, dying of starvation in Bodghaya. Lama Atisha offered his own flesh, cut from his body, to save the old man. But the old man said, “How can I...

Commentary Heart Sutra — Most Famous of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras in Buddhism: Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form

Introduction The Heart Sutra is the most famous of what are called the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras in Buddhism. These were written down sometime around the first century AD, and so there was a period of about five hundred years...

Why is pride a poison — and overcoming ego with the wisdom of Equality; practicing Ratnasambhava and the Ambhattha Sutra

One day, Buddha came across the "untouchable" Nadhi carrying excrement. Nadhi tried to avoid the Buddha — out of respect, as was the custom — but Buddha intercepted the modest man. In a panic, Nadhi spilled the excrement. Buddha, with...

Bringing Love and Compassion to the Path: Avalokiteshvara Chenrezig, the Buddha of the Three Worlds

The face of Loving Kindness? No image, no face, no Buddha could be more inspiring than the image of the Lord of the Three Worlds, Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig, Guan Yin, Kuan Shi Yin, Kanon). His "lotus" face conveys the ideal of...

The Foundation Practice of Prostrations: Humble Bow, a Method to Connect with Buddha Nature; the Psychology of Buddhist Prostrations

Psychologically, in modern times, we resist the concept of the bow or prostration. It is considered demeaning. Even the very idea of "bowing" causes our pride to flare up. This is, in fact, its main purpose, at least as a...

Buddhist Ganesha: popular Ganapati’s many forms include enlightened Yidam, protector, and “bringer of success”…

Buddhist Ganesha's appeal is wide-reaching, not just amongst the spiritual. Ganesh tatoos and t-shirts are very popular worldwide. There is, a "life-affirming" quality about his image, even for the non-religious. Ganesha has star power. He even appears in brands, marketing,...

Youthful Manjushri: the flowering of wisdom; the gentle Buddha who cuts through ignorance with his flaming sword

Of all the Buddhist meditational deities — and, of all the Bodhisattvas we meet in the sutras — the overwhelming feeling with Manjushri is “gentle wisdom” and “gentle friend.” We feel warm, comforted, and supported in the youthful arms of...

The Foundation Practice of Prostrations: Humble Bow, a Method to Connect with Buddha Nature; the Psychology of Buddhist Prostrations

Psychologically, in modern times, we resist the concept of the bow or prostration. It is considered demeaning. Even the very idea of "bowing" causes our pride to flare up. This is, in fact, its main purpose, at least as a...

Mala: “Just for counting” or “Profound sacred practice”? A Buddhist Guide to Practicing with a Mala: Mantras, Blessings, Reverence, Color, Power, and Profound Realizations

What is a mala? Why is a mala special? What difference does it make how many beads, the size of beads or the color? Does a mala have to be blessed? How do you use it? Ask a Zen or...

“Dharma in motion”: Buddhism, Vajrayana Buddhist Tantra and Zen have as much in common with martial arts as religion?

Premise: Buddhism, Vajrayana Tantra and Zen have as much in common with martial arts as it does with religion. Second Premise: Martial arts skills are helpful to meditators and helps develop practice discipline. That may seem like an absurd or...

Wrathful Deities: The First Responders in Meditation; the Psychology of Fearsome Enlightened Buddhas

If you were facing a life-threatening scenario, would you dial 911 on your phone — the law-enforcers or well-trained first responders — or call your kindly relative? If disaster strikes, we inevitably first think of our wonderful first-responders. In almost...

The Foundation Practice of Prostrations: Humble Bow, a Method to Connect with Buddha Nature; the Psychology of Buddhist Prostrations

Psychologically, in modern times, we resist the concept of the bow or prostration. It is considered demeaning. Even the very idea of "bowing" causes our pride to flare up. This is, in fact, its main purpose, at least as a...

Wealth Deities: Generating Karma for Prosperity by Practicing Generosity. How to Reconcile Renunciation with Wealth Practices in Buddhism.

Lama Atisha, the revered lama and Mahasiddha, came across an old man, dying of starvation in Bodghaya. Lama Atisha offered his own flesh, cut from his body, to save the old man. But the old man said, “How can I...

Mother Tara’s many-armed protective embrace: 21 Taras according to Surya Gupta — with 8 videos and mantras and stunning art

There's something very precious and special about Tara, the protective Mother, adored by millions around the world. Her energy is, at its root, wisdom — the female Enlightened Buddha. Tara is as approachable as our own mothers. She embodies the...

Tara, the Saviour, and Vajrayogini the Sarvabuddhadakini: how are they different, and how are they the one? The importance of Female Buddhas: Wisdom personified

Vajrayogini “is the original and prototypical female Buddha of the Tantric pantheon… compassionate, all-knowing, and supremely blissful… Vajrayogini reigns supreme as the Sarvabuddhadakini, ‘Dakini Whose Essence is That of All Buddhas.’” [2] On the other hand, Tara appears as the...

Book Review: Tara in the Palm of Your Hand: a guide to the practice of the twenty-one Taras in the Surya Gupta lineage

"Tara is without a doubt the most beloved female deity in Tibetan Buddhism, revered for her swiftness in helping those who rely on her... Of all the Buddhas, Tara is the most accessible." — from Tara in the palm of your hand, Venerable...
Buddha Weekly’s Special Section

Tara, Mother of all Buddhas

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Loving face of the Mother of All Buddhas Green Tara. Detail from art by Ben Christian.
Karma Mother

How does Tara Help?

Tara, like any Mother, is ready to jump to our aid, even in mundane areas of life. She is the “practical Buddha” — the “Karma Mother” — the Buddha most active in our lives. Her Sanskrit name translates as “a star by which to navigate” — and like a star, she is always with us whenever we look for her.

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Don’t miss this online event

21 Tara’s Special Event

21Taras teachings and mantras — one Tara each week starting with Green Tara Empowerment.
June 5 to October 31, 2021New! Saturday, June 5 empowerment, and 22 consecutive Sunday’s with Venerable Zasep Rinpoche with precious 21 Taras according to Surya Gupta teachings.