Practices and talks

Loving Kindness practices

You who thoroughly cultivated loving-kindness are the spiritual guide of all beings. Unshakeable like Mount Meru, you remain utterly unperturbed.

The King of Meditation Sutra, Chapter 14

Popular and warm Geshe Tenley, from Kurukulla Centre in Boston, gives a four minute short talk on how to cultivate loving-kindness, for Shantideva centre in Israel. To illustrate the need for compassion to arise as the basis for loving-kindness, he tells a story of how the Buddha can manifest in various forms to help others.

Geshe Thubten Sherab, is an FPMT Geshe (professor of Buddhist philosophy) resident at Thubten Norbu Ling centre, Santa Fe. Before the COVID pandemic he spent half the year touring centres around the world teaching. His style is clear and accessible, with a gentle humour, and he teaches in English. Here he guides a lovely 20 minute meditation on Loving Kindness.

At a time when we are facing the challenges of depression and anxiety, because of the COVID pandemic, the Black Dog Institute (a mental health organisation) has recognised the traditional Buddhist practices of loving-kindness, as a way to help heal negative attitudes towards ourselves and others.

Glen Svensson is an FPMT teacher, who presented a four part course on the Buddhist practice called the Four Immeasurables for the Langri Tangpa Centre, Brisbane. You can see the full version of the Four Immeasurables prayer and accompanying advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche here. This talk by Glen Svensson below is on the topic of Loving Kindness (and overcoming attachment).

Lama Zopa Rinpoche says: ‘Although we have different definitions for love and compassion, and during tong-len practice love and compassion are practiced at different times, actually, they are not separate.

Just as smoke is a sign of fire, and with fire there is smoke, so, too, where love is present, so is compassion. In practice they come together.

When you are wishing to take on the suffering of others sincerely, then you are also wishing for their happiness. And when you are wishing sincerely for others’ happiness, then you are also wishing to remove their suffering.

Although the thought of love and compassion does not arise simultaneously, in practice they appear together.’


Compassion practices

We can live without religion and meditation but we can’t survive without human affection.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Venerable Sangye Khadro became ordained as a nun in the 1970’s at Kopan with Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. She has offered service at many FPMT centres and has supported Venerable Thubten Chodron at Sravasti Abbey, a Tibetan Buddhist nunnery for Western nuns. She wrote the best-selling book ‘How to Meditate’. Here she skilfully guides us through a half hour compassion meditation.


Venerable Thubten Chodron leads a short meditation and then gives a talk on how to cultivate compassion, through recognising our attitudes that need to be transformed and undertaking contemplative practices. This talk is based on one of her books, ‘Open-Hearted Life: Transformative Methods for Compassionate Living from a Clinical Psychologist and a Buddhist Nun.’

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gives a 20 minute teaching on developing awareness and compassion for all sentient beings, not just those in the human realm, but those in other realms. He provides the examples of the stories of Buddha’s disciples, such as Sharipu, and how the Buddha Maitreya manifested as a maggot infested dog, to illustrate how compassion can be cultivated.

Venerable Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, humanitarian and photographer. Here he leads us through a guided compassion and altruistic love meditation, which is relevant for both beginner meditators or those with some experience.

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Overcoming Fear

Taking a realistic view and cultivating a proper motivation can also shield you against feelings of fear and anxiety…This inevitably gives rise to the question – can we train the mind? There are many methods by which to do this. Among these, in the Buddhist tradition, is a special instruction called mind training, which focuses on cultivating concern for others and turning adversity to advantage

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

In this short 8 minute video below, His Holiness demonstrates a yoga practice that is used for calming our mind of disturbing emotions.

Venerable Robina Courtin has a worldwide reputation as a dynamic and incisive Buddhist teacher. As a nun over many decades she has been an editor of Buddhist texts and teachings and has taught across the world. She specialises in sharing her experience and knowledge of Buddhist psychology in Western terms, particularly to students new to Buddhism. In this teaching she deconstructs the mental components of fear, and how to deal with it.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche takes us through an 8 minute meditation practice for Anxiety and Panic.

In this uplifting 8 minute video below, His Holiness the Dalai Lama says that in our world if we have been taught to fear others, how can we develop trust and affection? He speaks on how loneliness afflicts our societies. The Tibetan musician Tenzin Choegyal’s poignant song ‘Himalaya’ is featured throughout the video. His Holiness demonstrates the reputation that he has for putting others at ease with his humour and humility, and recounts a story of when he had ‘gas’ during an aeroplane journey.

Mindfulness practices

Look past your thoughts, so you may drink the pure nectar of This Moment.

Rumi

Our Featured page also contains links and resources on Mindfulness Meditation which can be accessed here.

Alan Wallace is a world-renowned teacher of Shamatha (also known as Mindfulness) and Dzogchen meditation. He has taught for many decades, including regular retreats hosted by Vajrayana Institute, Sydney. The video below is an introduction to a Shamatha retreat that he led in 2019 and comprises a talk, followed by a 15 minute guided meditation at the end of the recording.

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