Tag Archives: buddhism

Tilopa’s Mahamudra

This song of pith instructions was transmitted from master to disciple through the ages, and as I was watching I felt quite inspired and excited so I thought I would share it. I hope you enjoy – I listened to it with my own soundtrack though!

If you would like to read more translations of this song I found this website which seems to have a wonderful selection. The joys and good fortune of the internet age!

Universe as Teacher, Universe as I

I write this, and decide to break a long silence. I had a copyright claim against me, and a divorce to cope with, so despite writing at length of pain, and of ways to cope with pain, I have felt unable to publish this yet. I have written much for people in recovery which I will post soon, and have more recently been exploring shamanism and druidry, and a living connection with nature which is inspiring me beautifully.

I don’t see this as separate or different from buddhism, the buddha having lived in connection with the natural world and its spirits and beings. I started to write about the way in which nature can sometimes seem to communicate with us, teach us, connect us with our wild nature, but this article evolved into something else.

Continue reading Universe as Teacher, Universe as I

Ratnasambhava – The Golden Buddha of the South

To understand the significance of the Buddhas, it may be worth reading the introduction to the mandala of the five Buddhas, which explains a little more about what they really are and how they evolved in the archetypal Vajrayana Buddhist imagination. Effectively how real they are, and in what way they are real, is left to you. They are not like Gods, they represent aspects of the enlightened mind, and as such, are both real and unreal, both archetype and other power.

Ratnasambhava is the gorgeous bright Buddha of the southern realm, made of golden light, made of the summer, of generosity and abundance, giving and equanimity. He is the sunshine at its bright zenith, the reworking of the mind and heart to include all life in one’s outlook rather than the limited one self. Continue reading Ratnasambhava – The Golden Buddha of the South

The Five Buddha Mandala – A Brief Introduction

I have been writing a series about the mandala of the five buddhas, or jinas, or conquerors. This is because I recently gave a talk about the Buddha Amoghasiddhi, and found the writing of it very inspiring. I published articles about Amoghasiddhi and Akshobya late last year, and have articles coming up on the other three Buddha figures; Ratnasambhava, Amitabha and Vairocana.

Buddha, means one who is awake, and this represents the pinnacle of human potential, the teacher of gods and men. What this means is beyond the scope of either our minds or our words to understand. We are however treated to glimpses of spiritual qualities, of higher states of consciousness, and of true reality as we walk our path through life.

Perhaps we might notice the dance of the leaves in the breeze, or the amazement of a beautiful sunrise, or experience stillness, expansion, compassion, or are struck by a feeling of awe, of beauty, of something that is beyond. Continue reading The Five Buddha Mandala – A Brief Introduction

Full of Emptiness Like Sky, Nowhere the Mind’s I


When the sun of prajna shines, all notions, all ideas, all perceptions of how things are vanish like the stars at dawn.

Vasubandhu 

(Prajna – Wisdom, insight into the nature of reality)

Sometimes if you read dharma books, you can be struck by insight, a penny drops, and a teaching becomes clearer. It may be particularly well-written, or from a perspective you hadn’t come across before. This happened to me over the holidays,and it was the teaching of emptiness, or voidness,  in this case through the lens of anatta or selflessness.

Anatta is one of the three portals to insight, or lakshanas, the lack of any lasting true self is a window looking out onto enlightenment. Indeed, this selflessness is one way to the end of selfishness, the end of duality, a way of approaching the great voidness, the great light.

It is so clear that the assumption of the self, in everything we do or think, is the fundamental root of all craving, all suffering, and all the other defilements such as greed, hatred and delusion. Without a self desiring, where can be desire? Continue reading Full of Emptiness Like Sky, Nowhere the Mind’s I

Four Mind-Turning Reflections and the Threefold Way

Another year has passed, and we are reminded of the passing of time. The numbers change, the years of our lives pass. To recollect the preciousness of our time is not depressing, but a reminder that it is to be cherished, this gift of life. Yesterday I wrote about setting goals and deciding to achieve them, and also about the joy of giving, and ways we might better serve our communities and our world.

However, I want to suggest that whatever your faith, however you define or label yourself in religious or non-religious terms, that one of the best and healthiest resolutions you could make are to turn your mind to its patterns and conditioning, and begin to know freedom from the processes with which the mind decides that things are not right, and that you need x or y to make you happy. I want to offer the possibility of freedom from craving and grasping and clinging, I want to suggest you learn to meditate. Continue reading Four Mind-Turning Reflections and the Threefold Way

Akshobya – The Deep Blue Buddha of the East

Once upon a time, in a world far away, a monk made a vow. The world was called Abhirati, the world of intense delight. Here there lived a Buddha called Visalaksa, and one day the monk told him that he wished to gain Enlightenment for the sake of all beings. The Buddha warned him that this would be an immense task, but determined and fearless, the monk took a series of vows. He would never again give way to anger, or hatred or malice, and never engage in unethical conduct, among other vows.

As he took the vow, he touched the earth, which shook, which trembled in response. So for a very long time, and over many lifetimes, he was unshakeable (Akshobya) and held to these vows. Eventually he achieved Buddhahood and created a pure land called Abhirati. Continue reading Akshobya – The Deep Blue Buddha of the East

Anapanasati – Breath Meditation in the Ancient Sutras

This sutra is a direct teaching on meditation from the Buddha, and is one of the core texts for meditation on the breath. I recently studied it and was surprised at how much I learned and experienced. Anapana literally means in and out breath, pana being the pali for prana, which is breath or energy in sanskrit. Sati means mindfulness or awareness. So the name literally means the mindfulness of the in and out breathing.

Breath meditation is the way in which the Buddha is said to have attained his enlightenment, so its importance cannot be underestimated as a method of development.  I associate the breath with images of clouds and skies and mountains, with elevation, coolness, freshness, spaciousness, brightness and majestic beauty. Continue reading Anapanasati – Breath Meditation in the Ancient Sutras

Shall We Evolve?

It would not be a completely unreasonable assertion to say that people today are the fruit of the endless and beginningless conditions of evolution. Although many are open or even fully believe in more advanced species occurring elsewhere in the cosmos, we are at least the most advanced species most of us have actually seen.

If we are an advanced species, then it is clear that we are not advanced enough. If we were, we would immediately cease all acts of hatred, greed, and selfishness, and behave as though we respect our habitat. We are behaving like angry children, creating mess and throwing tantrums around the world. It is very simple, if we don’t make a serious effort to grow up then the choice will be removed. There will be no habitat.

Fortunately, change is inevitable, and we are able to change and grow for the good. We can simply decide to evolve. Continue reading Shall We Evolve?

The Sutra of Golden Light

I knew that this sutra was for me when I first came across the title of it. If you have read my early posts about sunshine, and the connection I make between the highest spiritual experiences, and infinite light and infinite love, then you will understand what it is I call sunshine. This blog could almost be called the Way of the Golden Light.

I believe there is a realm, a plane, beyond that which is seen or sensed, a kind of field, which is just like sunshine without any limit or edge. It is the space from which it all emerges and to which it all returns, it is the illimitable, the absolute, the tao, the great spirit, the godhead and the buddhafield.

This boundless light is known by many names, and is accessible in meditation. There are traditions which centre around unity with this light, and contact with it.  Continue reading The Sutra of Golden Light