Where the Rubber Hits the Road

So much is happening around us today.  The political world is very uncertain, the economic world is very unstable, and in the midst of all that, we are in the midst of a pandemic that our country is unprepared for.  It would be easy to just give up and be fearful or despondent. But, as I am fond of saying – this is where the rubber hits the road.  As Buddhists, we do not bury our heads in the sand when things are hard to look at.  We have agreed to take a front row seat to the suffering of the world.  Why would we do that, anyway?  Because we have something very powerful to offer.  You might view it at spiritual medicine.  The recitation of mantras is a big part of our Vajrayana practices.  Mantras are considered to be protection for the mind.  Not just our minds.  By dedicating the merit of our practice to the benefit of all sentient beings, we made a difference in the world, in others, and in ourselves.  This difference is called transformation.  The Tong Len practice that most of you have learned is a practice that sends the loving, healing light of wisdom and compassion out into the world/cosmos, and takes in the suffering of all sentient beings, then transforms this suffering back into blessings of light.  

Many of you know how to do the Vajrasattva practice, which is an act of ultimate purification. Through it, our body, speech and mind are completely purified. Lama Thupten Rinpoche has asked us to recite one mala of the Long Vajrasattva mantra every day.  Beginning at 11:00 am today, we will do this practice “together”, as each of us practices from home at the same time, doing the same practice.  Afterward, let Lama Palden know how many recitations you made by emailing him at:  uslgonpa@gmail.com.

New methods are called for in the midst of change. Technology can be a powerful spiritual tool. It’s time to rely on that even more, to bring us together during such turbulent times. I am calling this approach Virtual Buddhism.  My own goal is to find a way to offer a Virtual Buddhism Green Tara Practice on Friday morning 9-10 am, and the Awakened Mornings practice Sundays from 9-10 am.  Video and audio would be best.  Stay tuned for news on that!

Please know how much I care about each of. you.  We are all here, having received the priceless and precious human birth that is so extraordinary.  Let’s make good use of our time.  This is a time for spiritual warriors!  Give up all hope and fear, and just practice calmly and also with fierce determination in the midst of the storm.  Be wise, and curb our outward activity for the sake of others.  It’s a perfect time to be in retreat, if your life allows. 
Thank you!Lhamo Khandro

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