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Wisdom Spotlight - Issue #4 - Dharma Practice During the Pandemic

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Wisdom Spotlight

May 7 · Issue #4 · View online

A monthly spotlight on Dharma education and practice resources from Samye Institute.


Dear Friend,
The third point in the Lojong text “The Seven Point Mind Training” is “Transforming Adversity on to the Path”. In study groups on this text, one usually hears groans when we reach this point. Much discussion ensues. But right now, right here, the pandemic presents many kinds of adversity for us to work with- fear of resource shortages, illness, loss of dear ones, blame for leaders, isolation, loneliness. How can we deal with these feelings in a positive fashion? And how can we use the pandemic to strengthen our practice?
First Address the Frightening States of Mind
In March, as the world began to fully recognize the extent of the contagion, Erric Solomon and Phakchok Rinpoche posted some advice about these fearful states of mind that arise in disastrous situations. The three part series was titled “What Can We Do if We Really Start to Freak Out” and presented meditations and exercises from their book “Radically Happy”.
Part 1- Relying on the Love of the Buddhas
Part 2 - Creating Space
Part 3 - Liberation Through Feeling
Then Open Fully to Whatever Arises
Having offered methods to help us stablize our minds, Erric now presents a four part series “Relying on the Four Immeasurable Qualities During a Pandemic”. Although traditional Mahayana texts usually begin with Loving Kindness, Erric begins with Equanimity, as it is often taught that way by disciples of the Nyingma tradition. Without equanimity the practice of the other immeasurables can be hindered by bias and preference. These presentations include detailed meditative reflections to expand our positive states of mind to help ourselves and others during this pandemic.
Relying on the Four Immeasurable Qualities During a Pandemic
Part 1 - Immeasurable Equanimity
Part 2 - Immeasurable Loving-Kindness
Part 3 - Immeasurable Compassion
Part 4 Immeasurable Sympathetic Joy
We hope you find these resources useful. If there is anything you would like us to focus on in future newsletters, please feel free to hit reply and let us know.
With Blessings
Ani Marcia
Latest Blogs on Samye Institute
Samye Institute posts regular wisdom blogs, covering various aspects of Buddhist practice, ritual and education. Here’s what we posted in the last month.
Seeking and Practicing the Dharma
Repaying the Kindness of One's Parents
Being able to see your faults without losing your dignity and being patient without any regrets
Courses Available on Samye Institute
About the Author
Ani Marcia was a resident for 16 years at Rangjung Yeshe Gomde in California engaged in study and center administration. Prior to that she was a student at Green Gulch Zen Center near San Francisco for a decade. She was a midwife and midwife educator prior to her move to Gomde. She now lives in Singapore near her family and is involved at Rangjung Yeshe Oddiyana.
About Samye Institute
Do you know that we’ve published over 500 pieces of content since our inception? On SamyeInstitute.org we offer a large archive of audio, video, and written teachings including many teachings directly from Phakchok Rinpoche.
All of these articles include key points and many offer reflection exercises or contemplations. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to or watch these teachings before, we hope that you will take the time to explore them.
We encourage you to regularly browse the archive or search it for topics that may be of particular interest.
Please Support Us
Here are a few ways you can support the activities of Samye Institute.
  • ​A regular or one-time donation - We are a non-profit organization that relies heavily on volunteer and donor support. You can either become a supporting member by making a regular monthly donation or make a one-time donation by visiting https://samyeinstitute.org/donate.
  • Volunteer your time and skills - We welcome you to form an auspicious connection with Samye Institute and to volunteer your time or skills. To view our application form, please visit https://samyeinstitute.org/volunteer
  • Contribute to a fund for retreatants - One of our deeply held principles at Samye is to facilitate and inspire long-term retreat amongst our global community. We have recently made a small fund available to support dedicated and serious practitioners who want to spend time in retreat. If you would like to contribute to this fund, please visit https://samyeinstitute.org/donations/retreat-fund.
  • Sponsor our monks’ education and living expenses - You can help support our young monks living at the Lotus Light Dharma Institute in Chapagaon, our artisan monks living at our Riwoche Monastery near Boudha and our Tibetan medicine doctors and students practicing near Boudha by visiting https://samyeinstitute.org/donations/monk-sponsorship.
  • Set up a local Dharma-stream group - Dharma-stream is a series of regular video teachings directly from Phakchok Rinpoche, designed to be viewed in a group setting. For more information about Dharma-stream and how to start a group, please visit https://samyeinstitute.org/dharma-stream.
An Announcement from Lhasey Lotsawa Translations
A brand new look for our translation group, Lhasey Lotsawa!
It is with great joy, and after many months of dedicated work, that we are announcing the launch of our new Lhasey Lotsawa website. This launch auspiciously takes place on the festival days of Dükhor Düchen in the Tibetan tradition, celebrating the Buddha’s first teaching of the Kalachakra cycle, and Vesak in the Theravada tradition, celebrating Buddha Śākyamuni’s birthday. It also falls within the Tibetan Year of the Mouse that marks both the 150th anniversary of Chokgyur Dechen Zhikpo Lingpa’s and the 25th anniversary of Kyapjé Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche’s parinirvāṇas. 
On this new website, you can now find more than a hundred new or revised translations ready for you to explore and enjoy—and there will be many more to come! With time, our aspiration is to become a hub for all Chokling Tersar-related materials, and to thereby contribute to the spread of the New Treasures of Chokgyur Lingpa (Chokling Tersar) in particular, and Buddhist wisdom in general.
If you are interested in supporting this work, please consider joining us on Patreon, or visit our Support Us page for further information. We want to thank all of you who have contributed to our endeavors to this day, and hope to continue serving the wider Dharma community with your support! Also, if you would like to stay posted about upcoming translations and publications, please subscribe to our mailing list at the bottom of our website page.
Wishing you a happy Dükhor Düchen and happy Vesak.
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