What the teachers say about restarting your Buddhist practice: overcoming obstacles, bringing back the enthusiasm, re-establishing faith and commitments
Video mantra chanting: Lama Tsongkhapa’s Migtsema wonderfully chanted by Yoko Dharma. Benefits: healing, compassion, metta, wisdom
Video teaching: Metta and Karuna, the “most important” Buddhist practices of Love and Compassion, from H.E. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche with Lama Tsongkhapa Migtsema mantra chanted by Yoko Dharma
Sacred outlook – Seeing beyond ordinary perception in modern culture, and American Buddhism
Why is pride a poison, and when can pride of accomplishment be considered a good thing? With full Ambattha Sutta “Pride of Birth and its Fall.”
Vajrasattva, the Great Purifyer, among the most powerful and profound healing and purifications techniques in Vajrayana Buddhism
Family lay Buddhism: What the Teachers Say about keeping motivated in your Buddhist Practice as parents — and coping with every-day family life in a modern stressful world
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Video: Buddhist Teachings on Ngondro, The Foundation Practices with Venerable Zasep Rinpoche
Kucchivikara-vattha: The Monk with Dysentery (Sutra teachings) “If you don’t tend to one another, who then will tend to you?”
“Putting Compassion on the Scientific Map”: Compassion Boosts Happiness/Health; and Research Indicates That Practicing Buddhists Are Happier than Average.
Video with wonderful mantra chanting: Om Gate Gate Paragate Para Samgate Bodhi Soha, the essence of Heart Sutra and Emptiness
Music Mantra Video: Taking Refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and the Four Immeasurables wonderfully sung by Yoko Dharma with video visualizations
Broken Commitments: 3 Teachers weigh in on practice “overload” and breaking Vajrayana practice promises. What do we do about it?
Dalai Lama and Lama Tsongkhapa: teachings on calm abiding meditation that go beyond “the breath” as the focus — targeting the main affliction
Music Mantra Video: Om Mani Padme Hum wonderfully chanted by Yoko Dharma, the sacred sound of compassionate Buddha Chenrezig
Tara Book excerpt and teaching: Who is Tara and how can She help us? An introduction to Tara, Karma, Shunyata, Dependent Arising, and Buddha Nature by Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche
What’s with all this consort union in Tantric Buddhism? No, it’s not about sexual fantasies. The psychology of Yab-Yum consorts, union of wisdom and compassion
Video: “How do I deal with my anger? Sometimes it consumes me and hurts others”: a Buddhist student asks teacher Ven. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche
Video: “Experience Buddhism” with Namdrol Rinpoche “Buddhism emphasizes, and lays its very foundations on, equanimity.”
Lama Zopa Rinpoche and other teachers recommend Kṣitigarbha mantra and practice for times of disaster, especially hurricane and earthquake, because of the great Bodhisattva’s vow
Medicine Buddha healing mantras chanted by the amazing Yoko Dharma
Why 35 Confessional Buddhas practice and “The Bodhisattva’s Confession of Moral Downfalls” is a critical purifying practice for Buddhists
What the Dalai Lama and Patch Adams Have in Common: Laughter, and Compassion, the Best Medicine
“Preliminary practices… clear and enrich our minds, allowing practice to progress smoothly” — Thubten Chodron. Why Ngondro is a lifetime practice, and a “complete path”
Tantra Helps “Stop Ordinary Perception”, and is the Fast Path to Enlightenment. But How Do Modern Buddhists Relate to Deities?
Painter and digital Thangka artist Jampay Dorje aims to bring “Thangka painting into a modern era” with spectacular art, lessons for students, and a life-long project to illustrate all of the 11 Yogas of Naropa
Buddha teaches us to view every meal as if we were reluctant cannibals: Samyukta Agama Sutra 373, the Four Nutriments
Letting Go — letting go of past, letting go of future, letting go is the hardest thing to do: Na Tumhaka Sutta
Becoming Gesar, the fearless Buddhist: How to overcome fear in uncertain times, according to Pali Sutta, Mahayana Sutra and Tantra
The Hand of Buddha defeats the three poisons : Vajrapani (literally, “Vajra Hand”) — Guardian of Shakyamuni Himself; Vajrapani, the power of the mind to overcome obstacles such as pride, anger, hate and jealousy
Tonglen video: Why giving and taking practice is an important kindness meditation and Bodhichitta practice; how to do it: taught by Zasep Rinpoche
Understanding Dependent Co-Arising is critical to Buddhist practice: The Great Causes Discourse Maha-nidana Sutta
Pali Sutta for Our Age: Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Book Review of a Classic
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“Every one has Buddha Nature.” A teaching video: Venerable Zasep Rinpoche with mantra chanting by Yoko Dharma
Random Acts of Kindness Creates Good Karma. Mindful Acts of Kindness Refines Practice.

Random Acts of Kindness Creates Good Karma. Mindful Acts of Kindness Refines Practice.

“As a mother even with her own life protects her only child, so should one cultivate immeasurable loving-kindness towards all living beings.” — Buddha, The Metta Sutta


Sharing with people is an act of kindness
Random acts of kindness, in the moment, are acts of mindful meditation—and positive karma.


Mindfulness helps us overcome striving, judging and clinging—and can be thought of as a remedy for attachment which keeps us suffering in samsara. I usually think of ten mindfulness principals in my practice, of which I believe kindness to be the most important:

  • kindness
  • patience
  • trust
  • non-striving
  • a beginners mind
  • no judging
  • letting go
  • acceptance.

The tenth, of course, is “living in the present” which anchors all the rest in real practice.


Sharon Salzberg, author of Loving Kindness.


“The difference between misery and happiness depends on what we do with our attention.”
― Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

Transforming mindfulness with kindness

Bringing kindness can transform the quality of your mindfulness practice. By focusing on kindness in practice, the quality of mindfulness tends to shift from just “being as it is” to “being as it is in a positive way.” Of course, karma is inextricably linked to kindness, since even your thoughts have karmic potentiality according to many teachers. Approach mindfulness with kindness transforms the experience.

The Eleven Advantages of Practicing Metta:

  • One sleeps Happy!

  • One wakes Happy!

  • One dreams no evil dreams!

  • One is liked and loved by all human beings!

  • One is liked and loved by all non-human beings too!

  • One is Guarded & Protected by the divine Devas!

  • One cannot be Harmed by Fire, Poison, or Weapons!

  • One swiftly Attains the Concentration of Absorption!

  • One’s appearance becomes Serene, Calm, & Composed!

  • One dies without Confusion, Bewilderment, or Panic!

  • One reappears after death on the Brahma level if one has penetrated to no higher level in this very life!

Anguttara Nikaya XI.16

Every act of kindness is good karma. Mindful acts of kindness is good practice.

In practice, how does it work?

In the same way you focus on the present second or minute in mindfulness, with kindness training you just observe what’s happening, but always notice the “positives” and the kind moments. In the same way as a journalist can “spin” an article to be either positive or negative with the same facts, you can spin your mindfulness experience positively or negatively. This is concentrated kindness, a passive mindfulness techniques.

Also, acts of kindness are active mindful techniques—in the same way archery or kung fu are active mindfulness techniques in Zen/Chan Buddhism. Other examples of active kind mindfulness would be to stop and help when a person is in need, an injured person, simply opening a door for someone with too many bags, or any random act of kindness. Somewhat active, when you can’t stop and help, might be to say a sutra or mantra on behalf of a person or animal in need. I regularly say mantras to road kill along the highways.



“Kindness is my Religion.” Dalai Lama

Active acts of kindness are mindful

As a general concept, current, in the moment acts of spontaneous kindness are a form of mindful kindness. This is the more active form of the meditation. Going out of your way, while late for a meeting, to give money to a homeless person is an act of mindfulness. You are mindfully half-running to your meeting from your parked car, you see a homeless person across the street, on the wrong side, and — even though you are late— you cross over and give him money. Then, you arrive at your meeting with a smile in a positive state of mindfulness.
Other examples of active kindness might be

  • Thinking to bring bunny food or bird food with you on your morning jog
  • Focusing on waving at other drivers who cut you off on the highway
  • Thanking someone genuinely when you lose
  • There are hundreds of more potential daily examples.

“Letting go —— abandoning, relinquishing –— is actually the same mind state as generosity. So the practice of giving deeply influences the feeling tone of our meditation practice, and vice versa.”
― Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

Passive concentrated kindness is also very powerful

Although mindfulness should be about being the the present moment, and one method advocates the “observer” mind where you simply observe, kindness mindfulness can take observation to the next level by allowing you to see the up side to any situation.


According to peer-reviewed research, pain reduction and relief from depression are two major benefits of mindfulness meditation.


I’m in pain, how can that be transformed?

A classic example is my painful knees. A result of years of sport, my knees are now painful even in daily walk — and also for simple sitting meditation. Mindfulness helps me push through the pain. I focus on the pain — with kind attention, not as an antagonist — and the pain become quite manageable. I find myself understanding the pain is warning me not to push my body. I tell myself pain is telling me I’m alive to experience this. There are all sorts of positive spins you can put on any mindfulness observation.


Pain can be reduced through mindfulness meditation according to research studies.


I’m stressed by work, how can that be transformed?

I can’t keep up with deadlines these days. But still, I slow down and practice kind mindfulness as I face these deadlines. I don’t retreat into meditation, but I turn my work into meditation, concentrating on the immediate task with enthusiasm and forgetting “at this rate I’ll miss my deadline.” What do you know, I feel better, and I make my deadlines. I want to shout at someone, how can that be transformed?


Simply thinking of the kind face of Avalokiteshvara, the Compassionate Buddha, can be transformative.



The Metta Sutra

Simply reading or contemplating the Metta Sutra can be an act of mindful kindness. Here is a translation:

This is what should be done

By one who is skilled in goodness,

And who knows the path of peace:

Let them be able and upright,

Straightforward and gentle in speech,

Humble and not conceited,

Contented and easily satisfied,

Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.

Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful,

Not proud or demanding in nature.

Let them not do the slightest thing

That the wise would later reprove.

Wishing: In gladness and in safety,

May all beings be at ease.

Whatever living beings there may be;

Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,

The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,

The seen and the unseen,

Those living near and far away,

Those born and to-be-born — May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another, Or despise any being in any state.

Let none through anger or ill-will Wish harm upon another.

Even as a mother protects with her life Her child, her only child,

So with a boundless heart Should one cherish all living beings;

Radiating kindness over the entire world:

Spreading upwards to the skies,

And downwards to the depths;

Outwards and unbounded,

Freed from hatred and ill-will.

Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down

Free from drowsiness,

One should sustain this recollection.

This is said to be the sublime abiding.

By not holding to fixed views,

The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,

Being freed from all sense desires,

Is not born again into this world.





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