Blog

Buddhism and the Path of Service

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 ...
The Refuge of Simplicity

The Refuge of Simplicity

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 ...
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Healing Into Simple Living

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 ...
Angelika Walker

Millennial Perspectives on Spirituality

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 ...
Youth and the Three Dimensions of Social Space

Youth and the Three Dimensions of Social Space

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 ...
Planting the Seeds of Enlightenment

Planting the Seeds of Enlightenment

Just over a year ago, when Gendun Drubpa Buddhist Center in Canada requested me to continue as resident teacher as my initial three-year commitment was finishing, Lama Zopa Rinpoche decided that, instead of that option or any of the others available to me at the time, moving to Vajrapani Institute ...
Spirituality for Kids “Lama Yeshe Style”

Spirituality for Kids “Lama Yeshe Style”

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 ...
The Power of Teen Camp

The Power of Teen Camp

The following article appeared as part of Vajrapani Institute's 2015 Annual Report The Wise Heart Teen Camp officially started in the Summer of 2014, however it had it beginnings in the the “teen tracks” taking place during Wise Heart Family Camp. Within this ten-year span, huge shifts in technology and ...
Transforming Adversity

Transforming Adversity

A key Mahayana Buddhist approach to eradicating problems is the practice of Thought Transformation (Lojong in Tibetan). This practice, when viewed without some understanding of Buddhist ideas, can seem quite bizarre and even counterproductive. It is a practice and theory where one uses problems, difficulties and challenges as an actual ...
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One Dharma: Two dynamic monastics share their traditions

Perhaps one of the greatest gifts of living in this current era in a country where freedom of religion is still strongly upheld, is the opportunity to explore and grow, courtesy of the dazzling array of jewels brought to us by the world’s different wisdom traditions. For centuries, largely due ...

Cultivating Inner Strength

Teaching by Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi for Shantideva Meditation Center in New York, NY on May 29, 2015 Related Events The Bodhisattva and the Arahant: One Dharma ...
Confessions of an Activist Nun

Confessions of an Activist Nun

Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi, our resident teacher, shares stories and insights from a Dharma journey that brought her back to Vajrapani Institute for the third time in late 2015. I want to offer the whole package ... I don’t want to ignore the ultimate goals of Buddhism, which really are Liberation ...

Upcoming Retreats

Online Book Club – Vol 3: Samsara, Nirvana and Buddha Nature

Venerable Gyalten Chimé

January 31 - March 20, 2024
When On Zoom Every Wednesday for 8 weeks (January 31-March 20) 6:30 - 8:30pm Pacific Time   About the book This weekly online book gathering will feature facilitated conversation, discussion and meditation sessions with Buddhist monastic Venerable Chimé.   Knowledge of buddha nature reveals and reconciles the paradox of how the mind can be the basis for both the duhkha of samsara (the unpurified mind) and the bliss and fulfillment of nirvana (the purified mind). To illustrate this, Saṃsāra, Nirvāṇa, and Buddha Nature first takes readers through Buddhist thought on the self, the four truths, and their sixteen attributes. It then explains…

Transforming Problems Into Happiness – an Experiential Mind Training Retreat

Don Handrick

March 14 - 17, 2024
About the Retreat "Transforming miserable conditions into necessary conditions that help us move along the path to enlightenment has great benefit, especially in the exceptionally difficult times in which we live. … If you cannot make use of every condition that arises, both undesirable and desirable, you are in danger of losing the Dharma, and you will never achieve the unsurpassed and lasting happiness of enlightenment." – Lama Zopa Rinpoche   Just before the Buddha attained enlightenment, Mara and his demon army shot scores of arrows at him, but as the arrows approached, they turned into flowers and fell harmlessly…

Vajrapani Institute is affiliated with the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition www.FPMT.org