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Practicing Dharma in Daily Life
Alan Joyce, founder of the Dharma Foundation in Bogotá, has been working with dying children in Colombia for 12 years. The former mechanical engineer and his Colombian fashion designer wife, Monica, have been married for 30 years. Ten years into his Buddhist life he stopped manipulating the Dharma to suit his own ego – “I can cheat on my wife but I’m going to be honest about it because we Buddhists don’t tell lies.” It was around then that his work with dying children began.
From Mandala December 2001 – February 2002
Is it possible to be a Buddhist and compete in your job? Or spread the Dharma in the workplace? Depending on your field, your motivation and your karma, it may not be easy. Or it may.
From Mandala September-November 2002
Consider putting the inspiration of this article into action by supporting Work a Day for Rinpoche, celebrated on Saka Dawa (today!), the day commemorating Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and parinirvana. Donations made to this fund go to FPMT International Office, which works to support Rinpoche’s vast vision. If you are inspired by Rinpoche’s limitless compassion, please consider making a contribution to the Work a Day for Rinpoche Fund.
Is work necessarily mundane? Is there a way to make it sacred? Psychologist Karuna Cayton explores the relationship between work and spirituality.
From Mandala June-July 2005.
In Training for Buddhahood Ven. Tenzin Chonyi talks about the lam-rim, the genre of Tibetan Buddhist literature the serves as a step-by-step manual for spiritual and psychological development. “If you want to become an Olympic athlete,” Ven. Tenzin Chonyi points out, “you train your body. You find out how your body works, how it can be trained, and what to expect as you keep up your training schedule. And you would need to know what not to do.
“What if you want to train your mind? What if you want to train your mind? How do you join the ranks of the great spiritual teachers, yogis and saints? Is it really possible for an ordinary person to become fully enlightened? All these questions, and more, are answered in the lam-rim teachings.”
From Mandala June-August 2003.
Dr. Renuka Singh interviews His Holiness the Dalai Lama for her book Women Reborn. In it, His Holiness discusses his greatest spiritual accomplishments and struggles, celibacy, and separating from his mother at a young age, among other topics.
From Mandala January-February 1998.
As president of the Tibetan Women’s Association, Rinchen Khadro was the inspiration and energy behind many of the social welfare projects to help the Tibetan refugee community in India.
American nun Ven. Thubten Chodron talked to Rinchen Khadro (in October 1992) about her views about social work activities.
From Mandala November-December 1999.
Adèle Hulse remembers some of the experiences that her son T.Y. had early on as a young resident of a Dharma center, concluding that ultimately her wish is to let him “find his own way in Buddhism.”
From Mandala July-August 1998.
FPMT News Around the World
It’s no surprise that meditation continues to draw the media’s attention. More and more, its positive effects on the mind and body are being documented by scientists and its techniques are being taught in clinical settings. A 2007 national survey in the United States found that “9.4 percent of respondents (representing more than 20 million people) had used meditation in the past 12 months – compared with 7.6 percent of respondents (representing more than 15 million people) in a similar survey conducted in 2002.” In fact, U.S. National Institute of Health has a dedicated webpage on meditation’s health benefits, which include helping with anxiety, pain, depression, stress, insomnia and coping with chronic illness. All signs indicate this interest will only continue to grow. The inaugural International Symposia for Contemplative Studies recently brought together more than 700 neuroscientists, educators, and contemplative scholars from around the world to share cutting-edge research on the nature and workings of the human mind. We can sincerely rejoice in the benefits that people throughout the world may experience from this increased interest in and use of meditative techniques.
But for students of Mahayana Buddhism, a meditation practice has benefits beyond improved health (which is still important). Developing the ability to calm the mind facilitates one’s ability to progress towards enlightenment, when one can be of most benefit. Fortunately, FPMT offers many resources online to support the development of this kind of meditation practice. Discovering Buddhism’s Module 2 “How to Meditate” is available free of charge on the Online Learning Center as well as instruction on shiné or calm abiding meditation. In addition, Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive offers many teachings from Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and other qualified teachers on meditation. These resources are freely available to you to deepen your Mahayana meditation practice and to share with others who might want to take the altruistic path of Dharma.
With 160 centers, projects, and services around the globe, there is always news on FPMT activities, teachers and events. Mandala hopes to share as many of these timely stories as possible. If you have news you would like to share, please let us know.
“Sitting Easy” by Julia Hengst. Uldis Balodis talked to Julia Hengst about how his specially designed meditation chair evolved. From Mandala April-June 2012.
“Retreat in Everyday Life” by Pam Cayton. From Mandala April-June 2012.
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About Mandala Publications
Mandala Publications is the official publication of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international charitable organization founded by two Tibetan Buddhist masters, Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-1984) and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. FPMT is a vibrant international community, with a network of 160 affiliate centers, projects and services, and members in more than 30 countries.
Mandala print magazine is published in January, April, July and October. Mandala is available via the Friends of FPMT program.