These talks have all been given at Padmaloka Retreat Centre and uploaded to the Free Buddhist Audio website.
Padmasagara invokes the Dakini to examine the horizontal dimension of spiritual friendship and encourages us to develop strong positive emotion, honesty and openness, and enter the cremation ground - or 'crucial situation' - with our spiritual friends. The talk is both mythic and practical, and provides a brilliant crescendo to his series 'Of the Mysteries of Spiritual Friendship and the Three Tantric Refuges'.
The imagination is the faculty by which we can liberate ourselves from self-preoccupation and increasingly identify and empathise with our spiritual friends, but this is easier said than done. In the third talk of the series, Padmasagara explores the obstacles that prevent us seeing people as people and suggests ways in which they can be overcome. Replete with quotes, stories and images from the Pali Canon, the Mahayana Sutras and Sangharakshita's memoirs and lectures, this is a rich, insightful and challenging talk.
In the second talk in the series, Padmasagara gets to grips with concepts such as spiritual hierarchy and offers a commentary on the Buddha's encounter with a young hedonist named Yasa to demonstrate the importance of the vertical dimension of spiritual friendship. The talk concludes with a wonderful evocation of the beauty of the path to Enlightenment and its manifestation in those we look up to as our teachers and guides.
In the opening talk of the series, Padmasagara explores the profundity of the Buddha's statement that spiritual friendship is 'the whole of the spiritual life' or, in other words, the whole of the Going for Refuge. He emphasises the "guhya" (secret or hidden) nature of spiritual friendship and demonstrates how its emergence in the world was inseparable from the Buddha's ineffable Nirvana. The talk concludes by drawing out some important implications and challenges us to reflect on how central spiritual friendship is in our lives.
In this short talk given during the Young Men's Weekend retreat at Padmaloka, Khemabandhu shares some experiences of his personal encounters with Guru Padmasambhava, the effects that those had on his life, as well some reflections on Bhante Sangharakshita's teaching on energy.
In this short talk given during the Young Men's Weekend retreat at Padmaloka, Padmabhasa shares a bit about his first encounters with Padmasambhava. We'll hear about the mysterious treasure of Sri Singha, Padmasambhava's subjugation of the Gods of Tibet, as well as some practical advice that Padmabhasa was given by his own teachers on what we can do to reveal a deeper beauty of life.
In this introduction to Padmasambhava Vidyadaka guides us through the symbolism of Padmasambhava's appearance on a lotus, in the centre of Lake Dhanakosa. We hear about the qualities of the lake, the land of Uddiyana, King Indrabhuti's plight and uncover their deeper meanings and relevance to our own life. Vidyadaka also describes Padmasambhava, his own initial discovery of him and Bhante's first glimpse of the Great Guru in Darjeeling.
In this talk given during the Winter Retreat at Padmaloka, Padmavajra explores the profound truth of the Diamond Sutra, Bhante Sangharakshita's relationship with the text, as well as providing us with inspiration and instructions for practicing patience in our daily life.
In this talk given to the men at Padmaloka during the Autumn Great Gathering 2021, Padmavajra explores the myth of Tharpa Nagpur from the Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava. In this stirring talk, he explores the demon in society and in ourselves and how to transform it. This talk is the second part of the series: Padmasambhava - the Master for Troubled Times.
In this talk given to the men at Padmaloka during the Autumn Great Gathering 2021, Bodhinaga explores the myth of Padmasambhava arriving in Tibet. When he meets the king he refuses to bow. And then, by taming the demons of Tibet, he builds Samye Monastery. Who are we serving in our life: the king or Padmasamhava? Who are our inner demons? And how can we use their energy for the Dharma? This talk is the first part of the series: Padmasambhava - the Master for Troubled Times.
Spiritual friendship is not an added-on part of Going for Refuge, nor is it the Buddhist equivalent to having some mates - rather it is of the essence of the spiritual life and a vital means of communication, emotional development, and meaning - not to mention challenge and enjoyment. But how do we do it and what does it look like? During the 2021 Spiritual Friendship Retreat at Padmaloka, three Order members each gave a talk exploring different aspects of Spiritual Friendship. The talks were given to men training for ordination and Order members. In the third of these talks, Jnanavaca draws out perspectives on the theme in a talk called ‘The Friend of the World’. This talk is part of the series ‘Padmaloka Spiritual Friendship Retreat 2021’.
Spiritual friendship is not an added-on part of Going for Refuge, nor is it the Buddhist equivalent to having some mates - rather it is of the essence of the spiritual life and a vital means of communication, emotional development, and meaning - not to mention challenge and enjoyment. But how do we do it and what does it look like? During the 2021 Spiritual Friendship Retreat at Padmaloka, three Order members each gave a talk exploring different aspects of Spiritual Friendship. The talks were given to men training for ordination and Order members. In the second of these talks, Vidyadaka draws out perspectives on the theme in a talk called ‘Meeting Spiritual Friends’. This talk is part of the series ‘Padmaloka Spiritual Friendship Retreat 2021’.
Spiritual friendship is not an added-on part of Going for Refuge, nor is it the Buddhist equivalent to having some mates - rather it is of the essence of the spiritual life and a vital means of communication, emotional development, and meaning - not to mention challenge and enjoyment. But how do we do it and what does it look like? During the 2021 Spiritual Friendship Retreat at Padmaloka, three Order members each gave a talk exploring different aspects of Spiritual Friendship. The talks were given to men training for ordination and Order members. In the first of these talks, Padmavajra draws out perspectives on the theme in a talk called ‘A lovely intimacy’. This talk is part of the series ‘Padmaloka Spiritual Friendship Retreat 2021’.
In this talk Padmavajra explores the Meghiya Sutta from the perspective of Spiritual Friendship and the supportive conditions that flow out of spiritual friendship. Talk given 18 September 2021 in Padmaloka during the Going For Refuge Weekend on Love, Friendship and Freedom.
In this talk given on an online men's Great Gathering. Padmavajra reads and comments on Bhante's short poem 'I Want to Break Out..." In this talk we hear about Bhante Urgyen Sangharakshita in the very early days of starting the Order and Movement in London. We hear about tramping the windy moor, about friendship and communication. We hear about "cutting up the Void with a knife", pitching the stars from their place - and being blinded by the sky blue eye of Reality. This is a talk about a poem filled with ecstasy of breaking out and breaking through...
In this talk, Surata explores the last of the four acceptance verses or vows and clarifies the true nature of ordination into the Triratna Buddhist Order, which one accepts for the benefit of all beings.
When we Go for Refuge, we can only Go for Refuge to that which is lokuttara - 'beyond the world'. In the third talk in this series, Satyaraja speaks of the need for a total orientation of our being towards Enlightenment through setting up conditions (pratitya samutpada), and the development of the Five Spiritual Faculties.
Through looking closely at 'In harmony with friends and companions' Vidyadaka explores the conditions for disharmony, and talks about envy and miserliness. We need to overcome these two unskilful mental states in order to discover harmony and to keep the pathway open to the dharma. By developing kindly speech and generosity we discover that a deep harmony can arise which is symbolized by the 1000 Armed, 11 headed Avalokitesvara.
In the first of a series of talks on the four ordination acceptance verses or vows, Padmasagara begins with the theme of loyalty towards our spiritual teachers by exploring the Buddha's encounter with a young hedonist named Yasa in the Deer Park at Isipathana.
In this talk Dharmadipa looks at the third part of Dhardo Rimpoche's Motto "Radiate Love". The talk begins with the significance of the Metta Bhavana as well as practical tips about the practice. This is followed by an exploration of the Bodhisattva Ideal, connecting teachings from the "Mind Training" tradition with Shunyata and the Mahayana Sutras. Finally Dharmadipa explores how the three parts of the Motto hang together and support each other. This talk is part of a series on Dhardo Rimpoche's motto 'Cherish the Doctrine, Live United, Radiate Love'.
In this talk on 'Live United' Vidyadaka explores how we actually do this and draws out deeper aspects of its meaning. Firstly, we need to live united with ourselves, then learn to live united with others, with our teachers and with reality. Covering themes such as the true individual, spiritual friendship, vertical communication, and renunciation. This talk is part of a series on Dhardo Rimpoche's motto 'Cherish the Doctrine, Live United, Radiate Love'.
In the Amitayurdhyana sutra of the Pureland tradition, the Buddha Shakyamuni manifests himself before the imprisoned Queen, Vaidehi - thrown into the deepest dungeon by her son, Prince Ajatasatru - and teaches her to meditate on the Buddha Amitabha in the western Buddhafield of Sukhavati, the Land of Bliss. In this talk, Padmasagara draws themes from the sutra to demonstrate that in order to 'Cherish the Doctrine', we must understand its value, appreciate its beauty, and connect to it on the basis of Imagination. This talk is part of a series on Dhardo Rimpoche's motto 'Cherish the Doctrine, Live United, Radiate Love'.
To introduce a series of talks on the motto 'Cherish the Doctrine, Live United, Radiate Love', Padmasagara gives a biographical sketch of Dhardo Rimpoche's life, told primarily through the eyes of our own teacher - Urgyen Sangharakshita - who came to regard Dhardo Rimpoche as a 'living bodhisattva' and from whom he received the bodhisattva ordination in 1962. This talk is part of a series on Dhardo Rimpoche's motto 'Cherish the Doctrine, Live United, Radiate Love'.
In this series of talks, Satyaraja introduces us to the Just Sitting practice. The talks were given during the 2020 online Winter Retreat at Padmaloka on the theme of Just Sitting and the Diamond Sutra.
In this very personal talk given to the Padmaloka Community and streamed to the Dublin Men's Sangha (who requested the talk) Padmavajra talks about his connection with Bhante Urgyen Sangharakshita, including his first and last meetings with him, as well as a number of other significant meetings in between. Padmavajra is in no doubt that his meeting with Bhante completely changed his life. The talk was given on Bhante's second death anniversary on Friday 30th October 2020.
In his final talk exploring Bodhicaryavatara, Padmavajra introduces us to Shantideva's exposition of the Prajnaparamita, the Perfection of Wisdom. Here, Shantideva tells us about the two truths, the conventional and the ultimate, as well as of the true meaning emptiness, which is the cure for the terrible sufferings that we undergo. In doing this he gives us a glimpse of the Bodhisattva "respectfully teaching emptiness ... to those who imagine a real world". The vision of emptiness opens into the final chapter Parinamana, in which Shantideva dedicates the merit of his Bodhicaryavatara for the benefit of all beings. Shantideva's dedication describes the boundless creativity of the Bodhicitta. "It is for the sake of Wisdom that the Muni taught this entire collection of preparations. Therefore, in the desire to put an end to suffering, one should develop wisdom."
"What is so special about me?" - Shantideva's Perfection of Meditation In the penultimate talk in his series devoted to the Bodhicaryavatara, Padmavajra explores chapter eight, the Perfection of Meditation (dhyana paramita). In this chapter, Shantideva tells us that in order to go deeply into meditation, we need to go into the solitude of body and mind, renouncing all worldly attachments and the usual way in which we relate to others. Having doing that, he shows how to develop an entirely new mind and heart, with a completely different way of being with others. This is achieved through the realisation of the sameness of self and others and the exchange of self and others. "Why say many words. Fools do things for themselves, the Buddha works for the welfare of others. Just look at the difference".
"Like someone hankering for the pleasure and fruit of love-play" Padmavajra's seventh talk on Shantideva's Bodhicarayvatara is an exploration of chapter seven, the Perfection of Vigour (virya paramita). In this chapter Shantideva, makes it very clear that without virya there is no Enlightenment. He tells us what virya is, as well as what opposes virya, which include, sloth, laziness and self-contempt. He explains that virya is developed through the application of six powers: desire; pride; delight; letting go; dedication; and self-mastery. "Having become patient one should cultivate vigour, because Enlightenment depends on vigour. For without vigour there is no merit, just as there is no movement without wind".
'Serenity, freedom from disease, joy and long life, the happiness of an emperor, prosperity; these the patient person receives while continuing in cyclic existence.' Padmavajra's sixth talk on the Bodhicaryavatara explores Shantideva's thorough exploration of the perfection of patience. In this chapter, Shantideva brings our attention to the seriousness of the faults of hatred and anger. He shows how such states of mind arise and gives a number of ways in which patience can be cultivated in relation to the various sufferings inherent in life, especially towards those who cause us - or our nearest and dearest - harm. It is clear that the practice of patience requires tremendous faith, strength and vision if it is to be perfected.
'One should speak confident, measured words, clear in meaning, delighting the mind, pleasing to the ear, soft and slow, and stemming from love' In his fifth talk devoted to the Bodhicaryavatara, Padmavajra explores chapter five 'The Guarding of Total Awareness'. In this chapter Shantideva makes vividly clear the importance of mindfulness and awareness of purpose in the Bodhisattvas life. Shantideva tells us about the centrality and power of the mind and the need for scrupulous attention to every detail of our lives. His discussion of mindfulness embraces the importance of mindfulness of the body and it's movements, mindfulness of things, as well as mindfulness of others. He also reveals how we can develop and protect mindfulness. Shantideva's discussion makes it clear that the development of total awareness is achieved through a life wholeheartedly devoted to the Bodhisattva training.