Join Our New Open Meditation Group!
Starting this Thursday, May 19, join us for the Longchen Open group, an hour’s session of teachings and meditation open to all. The hour starts with a Longchen instructor giving simple instruction on formless meditation, followed by roughly 20 to 30 minutes of formless meditation practice. The final 15 or 20 minutes are an opportunity for open discussion about meditation or other practice topics. The group will be led by senior teachers of the Longchen Foundation. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn the meditation and to be able to practice with other members of the Longchen Foundation. For more information and to get the Zoom link, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Path of Freedom Retreat Returns
After such a very long time practicing together over Zoom, we are overjoyed to return to our annual Path of Freedom retreat in-person! This retreat is taught by Rigdzin Shikpo, the Dharma Director of the Longchen Foundation, and is open to all. The retreat will include teachings on core aspects of the Buddhist path as well meditation sessions throughout the day. Whether you are new to meditation or a practitioner of many years, this retreat is ideal to receive teachings directly from Rigdzin Shikpo and to deepen your meditation practice in a group context with the guidance of experienced Longchen Foundation teachers. For more information and to register, visit the Eventbrite page here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/path-of-freedom-retreat-tickets-335712163117.
The Path of Freedom programme covers essential topics in Buddhist thought and practice and is a supplement to the Lion’s Roar training. Understanding the core Path of Freedom principles is essential for continuing the Indestructible Heart Essence training, such as the training in the Bodhisattva’s way of life as taught in the Endless Compassionate Vision.
Ongoing Teaching Groups
For those who live in South London, the Lewisham Path of Freedom group has returned to in-person meetings. This group meets weekly on Mondays, 7:00 to 8:30 pm, at the at the Lewisham Unitarian Meeting House, 41 Bromley Road, Catford London SE6 2TS. For more information see the event pages here: https://www.longchenfoundation.org/event/pof-lewisham-summer-2022/all/.
The Oxford Path of Freedom group meets online on Zoom every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. This group is currently teaching from Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s book, The Myth of Freedom. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was Rigdzin Shikpo’s principal teacher and so his teachings and approach are at the core of the Longchen Foundation. For more information see the event pages here: https://www.longchenfoundation.org/event/pof-oxford-spring-summer-2022/all/
The Path of Freedom local groups are opportunities to hear weekly teachings on Buddhism and in particular the Maha Ati approach that is the essence of the Longchen Foundation. These programmes are a great way to learn to meditate and to deepen one’s understanding of the Buddhist teachings.
For those who have attended Lion’s Roar Gate 2, don’t forget that every Sunday we meet online for 40 minutes of open meditation during Longchen Together. This practice session is to allow us to come together as a community, no matter where in the world we may be. There is also an open space for us to share whatever we feel inspired to share after we finish the meditation session. For more information and to receive the zoom link, please email email@example.com.
Monthly Dharma Quotation
Usually when we notice our thoughts we notice the content of the thought, not what a thought actually is in itself. Often when we are meditating we notice thoughts and we might think, “Oh not that same old thought again!” or “I shouldn’t be thinking that!” or “There I go, day-dreaming again” or “Oh dear, here comes my depression again,” or “This is interesting,” and so on. In other words, it is the content, flavour or effect of the thought that concerns us. But there is something very remarkable not so much in the content of the thoughts as in what they actually are. Any particular stream of associated thoughts is quite complicated. We can become quite fascinated with that and try to analyse why we are thinking what we are thinking. But there is something very simple that we are overlooking when we do that. It is the simple but very profound question of what a thought actually is.
This is not some great philosophical question that has to be approached in a speculative way. Speculation is irrelevant here. It just creates more thoughts. What is the experience of having a thought? What does it mean to say, “This is a thought?” What is it you experience that tells you that you are thinking? What is that experience? Is that experience any different from the “you” who experiences it?
These questions are extremely profound, but also extremely simple. It may take you a long time before your mind becomes simple enough to be able to ask such questions and to appreciate their significance. Nevertheless, such questioning is the key to the whole process. On the path to awakening you can afford to take nothing for granted; absolutely nothing!Rigdzin Shikpo
This month’s Dharma quotation comes from Rigdzin Shikpo’s book Openness, Clarity, Sensitivity which can be purchased in our bookshop.
As always we encourage you to keep practicing! If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.