Vajrapani Institute

Vajrapani Institute Blog

Thrashed by Extreme Storms

By: The Vajrapani Institute Team

First published on: 30th of May 2017


Mother Nature has a habit of showing us that we are not invincible and that everything we build and strive for is impermanent. Bizarrely, though, (and the Buddha had a thing or two to say about this) we humans insist on forgetting this basic truth again and again. Denial never really works for long, however.…


Highlights of 2016

By: The Vajrapani Institute Team

First published on: 10th of May 2017


Celebrating Our Record Breaking Year This was a record-breaking year. In 2016, you helped us share more retreats with more participants than ever before, spreading the wisdom of the teachings in a world that is so hungry for it. We invite you to take a minute to see the great things your support helped achieve…


The Poetry of Giving

By: Catherine Slocock

First published on: 6th of December 2016


It is my fervent wish and belief that in helping to manifest Lama’s vision we will truly benefit all sentient beings. Soon enough, I will, as will we all, no longer be able to enter the door, to pass beneath the Redwood arch welcoming me to the land, to see the white gompa watching down…


The Gift of Time

By: Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi

First published on:


The gift of time, attention, presence. Listening. Being. In the traditional Buddhist texts, the presentation of the paramita of generosity includes several components: giving of material things; giving the Dharma; giving protection, or fearlessness; and sometimes the generosity of loving-kindness is included. How do we offer loving-kindness to others? With our time. With our attention.…


Buddhism and the Path of Service

By: Julia Hengst

First published on: 26th of November 2016


In November 2016, Vajrapani Institute invited me to do a presentation for their Buddhism in Action webseries on the topic “The Path of Service and How Not To Help.” Most of my material is sourced from Dr. Isa Gucciardi, founder and director of the Sacred Stream Center in Berkeley, and Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche. For many…


The Refuge of Simplicity

By: Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi

First published on: 4th of September 2016


People often ask me why I decided to ordain as a Buddhist nun. “Why did you choose to give up so much?” they ask. “Isn’t it hard? Why do you have to give up pleasure in order to be a nun?” The answer is simplicity. From March 2000 to July 2006, I lived mostly in…


Healing Into Simple Living

By: Catherine Slocock

First published on:


Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. These words were first published back in August 1973 by E.F. Schumacher, a British economist with a deep interest in Buddhism. They surely ring as true today…


Millennial Perspectives on Spirituality

By: Catherine Slocock

First published on: 8th of June 2016


We live in a culture that idolizes and glamorizes youth, but being young in today’s world is not always easy. Stress, self-hatred, self-consciousness and confusion in the face of the seemingly limitless possibilities new technologies have made available to us are just a few of the challenges facing the millennial generation. And our mainstream consumerist…


Youth and the Three Dimensions of Social Space

By: Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi

First published on:


Young Muslims from North America and Europe leaving home to join ISIS, much to their parents’ alarm. Several years ago, college students joining the Occupy movement in large numbers. Urban youth joining street gangs with strict codes of honor and loyalty. Do these phenomena have anything in common? Dimensions of Social Space Recently I’ve been…


Spirituality for Kids “Lama Yeshe Style”

By: Catherine Slocock

First published on: 1st of June 2016


According to the Buddhist worldview we have all been reincarnating since beginningless time, a rather mind-bending thought! Nevertheless, even though this means we come into the world with a great deal of preconditioning, and not as “blank slates,” it is well-known that the influences we are exposed to in childhood and the habits we form…