Tara Mantra

There are many videos on Tara Mantra on Youtube, but this one stands out for its very beautiful music setting. You see a girl sitting and meditating. On top of her head is Master Tsongkhapa. Deep in his heart is the Bodhisattva Tara, and deep inside her breast is the letter TAM, her seed syllable, surrounding by the ten syllables of her mantra – Om Tara Tuttare Ture Svaha. This the standard method of meditating on Tara. The idea is to visualize that one ultimately is identified with the Bodhisattva herself. What this means is that one accepts all the qualities of Tara into oneself, so that there is no distinction whatsoever between oneself and Tara. Or to put it another way, one does actually become Tara in one’s meditation. This does not mean that one is having an illusion or is becoming crazy, like a patient who thinks that he is Napoleon; but it means that the aim of the meditation is to acquaint the mind with Tara herself. To become one with Tara means that one is losing oneself —  one is letting go of one’s own ego and one’s own personality, and merges into something much larger. It is pure spirituality. After identifying oneself with Tara, it is necessary that the practitioner ends the session with the ‘dissolution’ or ‘completion’ stage, where one visualizes that Tara dissolves back into her seed syllable, and finally into empty space, and then one remains within the meditation in emptiness — no thought, no fabrication. The two stages of the meditation — the visualization and the completion stage — always complement each other and the meditation will not be complete without both of them.




วันจันทร์ที่ 4 มิถุนายน กิจกรรมเริ่มเวลา 11.00 น. ถึง เวลา 13.00 น. ของวันอังคารที่ 5 มิถุนายน 2555
ศูนย์ขทิรวัน หัวหิน

มูลนิธิพันดาราขอเชิญกัลยาณมิตรร่วม กิจกรรม “วิสาขโพธิจิตภาวนา” (Visakhapuja Bodhicitta Meditation) ในปีพุทธชยันตี ณ ศูนย์ขทิรวัน หัวหิน เพื่อน้อมราลึกถึงการตรัสรู้และเสด็จดับขันธ์ปรินิพพานของพระสัมมาสัมพุทธเจ้าและถวายเป็นพระราชกุศลแด่พระบาทสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัว

กิขกนนใประกอบด้วยการกราบอัษฎางคประดิษฐ์ร่วมกันในโครงการ “26 วัน ศิโรราบ ปราบอัตตา” สวดบทเจริญโพธิจิตอันเป็นบทหัวใจของการตรัสรู้ธรรมเดินเวียนเทียน ถวายดวงประทีป 1000 ดวง ณ บริเวณก่อสร้างพระศานติตารามหาสถูป ทาสมาธิและเจริญหลักธรรมเรื่องความเป็นอนิจจังและความตาย พร้อมทั้งสวดมนตราอุทิศบุญกุศลให้แก่ผู้ล่วงลับ

การแต่งกาย : เสื้อขาวหรือสีสุภาพ กางเกงใส่สบายขายาว หรือขาสามส่วน สีสุภาพ

ที่พัก : ศาลาปฏิบัติธรรม ห้องพัก เตนท์เดี่ยว หรือเตนท์ ครอบครัว ห้องน้ารวม

อาหาร : อาหารมังสวิรัติ 3 มื้อ มีน้าปานะบริการผู้งดอาหารเย็น

กิจกรรมนี้เป็นส่วนหนึ่งของคอร์สอบรมเจ็ดวัน (3-9 มิย) “เตรียมตัวตายอย่างมีสติ…ในวิถีพุทธทิเบต”

ลงทะเบียนภายในวันที่ 30 พฤษภาคมที่
1000tara@gmail.com โทร 0878299387, 0833008119

หลังการอบรมเตรียมตัวตายจนถึงสิ้นเดือน จะมีการจัดภาวนาเงินโดรสาหรับผู้ผ่านหลักสูตรศานติแห่งชีวิตหรือคอร์ส อบรม เตรียมตัวตาย และในช่วงเดียวกันคือ 4-30 มิถุนายน ขอเชิญทุกท่านร่วมกราบอัษฎางคประดิษฐ์วันละ 9 ครั้งเพื่อสลายอัตตาตัวตนและตั้งจิตทาความดีเพื่อผู้อื่นซึ่งจะเป็นกุศลที่ยิ่งใหญ่

การจัดคอร์สภาวนาเหล่านี้เพื่อให้ผู้มีจิตศรัทธาได้บาเพ็ญบุญุกุศลและให้ทุก ท่านที่สนใจได้ปฏิบัติธรรมเต็มที่ในเดือนที่มีวันวิสาขบูชาซึ่งงถือว่าเป็น เดือนสาคัญที่สุดเดือนหนึ่งของการบาเพ็ญบุญกุศล ส่วนสถานที่จัดกิจกรรมคือศูนย์ขทิรวัน ซึ่งมีความงดงามและเป็นสัปปายะ เหมาะแก่การปลีกวิเวกบาเพ็ญเพียร

Heart Sutra

I planned to blog about the Heart Sutra for quite some time, and now I am attending a seminar at my Faculty and there is a computer at the back so I got the opportunity to write about it now.

The key message of the Heart Sutra is nothing less than the key message of Buddhism itself. Let’s look at some of the most important passages from the Sutra:

Body is nothing more than emptiness,
emptiness is nothing more than body.
The body is exactly empty,
and emptiness is exactly body.

Volumes and volumes have been written on what the Sutra is supposed to mean, but the key here is that words alone are never enough. One will not be able to attain Nirvana through intellectual understanding alone. That is, attaining Nirvana is not something you can achieve by thinking and ratiocinating. One has to “see” reality, but it is not the kind of reality that we are accustomed to. It’s on the one hand the same reality, but on the other hand it’s completely different. It’s the kind of reality that one sees when one goes beyond all conceptual distinctions. This is not something that we can do just by deciding to do. It’s a highly advanced skill that requires a lot of effort and practice. The Buddha laid down the path toward realizing this skill through his teaching of morality, meditation and wisdom.

But the point I would like to emphasize here is the ultimately paradoxical character of the Buddha’s teaching: Emptiness is form; form is emptiness. What is there is exactly speaking what is not there, and what is not there is what is there. This way of speaking is not a play on words; it is the most direct expression of the core of the Buddha’s teaching. Some scholars try to interpret the paradox away, saying that the ultimate message beyond the paradoxical sentences is devoid of the paradox. But in fact the paradox is there, staring us at the face. Our task is not to shy away from it, but to face it and live with it and ultimately try to realize that the real truth is the paradox itself. The truth is what the Sutra says: Form (or the body in this translation) is emptiness and emptiness is form. We try to see the truth of the paradox, trying to realize its inevitably impossible and contradictory nature. It is through the contradiction that the point of the Buddha is carried through.

So this is all I can say about the Heart Sutra. So this is not quite a commentary because the point is that no commentary is possible. The Heart Sutra can also be used as a tool for those who meditate. You can memorize the whole text and when the mind is stilled within deep meditation, perhaps a breakthrough can happen. But that is not what we are looking for. The spirit of the Heart Sutra is that there is no goal while in fact there is a goal. It’s of course difficult, but one can certainly try.

Journey of Life and Mind

Public Talks on “Journey of Life and Mind”


The foundation invites the general public to attend  a conference/seminar on “Journey of Life and Mind” at Room 105 Mahachulalongkorn Building, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.

There will be two public talks by Latri Khenpo Geshe Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche on “Samsara…Journey of Life and Mind” and “Life’s Last Journey”. There will also be an introduction of Rinpoche’s book “Opening the Door to Bon” in the occasion of  its being translated into Thai.


Program of Rinpoche’s Talks in English (with Thai translations)

Saturday 11 February 2012

9.10-10.15 hrs: Samsara…Journey of Life and Mind

10.15-10.30 hrs: Refreshments

10.30-11.30 hrs: Opening the Door to Bon. An introduction to Tibetan ancient wisdom

Sunday 12 February 2012

13.00-14.30 hrs: Life’s Last Journey

14.30-15.00 hrs: Refreshments

15.00-16.00 hrs: Discussion

For registration, please email us at 1000tara@gmail.com. There are no registration fees. Donation to support the activities are welcome.



Going Beyond Fear In This Dark Age

A Dharma Talk with Bruno Nua

“The Buddha taught that the mark of an enlightened being is fearlessness. Someone who has gone beyond fear is free from all the obscurations and obstacles that prevent us from manifesting as buddhas and ultimately benefitting others.
Fearlessness is that which literally gives birth to a buddha. It is the Mother of all the buddhas.”
[from BUDDHA’S FAVOURITE WORDS, Bruno Tashi Rabjay]
Dwelling in the realm of ego breeds delusion. Not resting in our true nature gives rise to a vicious cycle of attachment and aversion, which manifests as afflictive emotions. These come in many forms such as addiction and anger, but they all boil down to the same disturbing forces: I want … I don’t want.
Also known as Hope and Fear, the chaotic emotions that spring from our ego-clinging are the very things that make us suffer. If we could only cut through any one of them, the whole deluded house of cards would crumble and fall. Then we would be liberated forever and enlightenment would flow like a river.
For this reason, the Buddha taught that the mark of an enlightened being is fearlessness. Someone who has gone beyond fear is free from all the obscurations and obstacles that prevent us from manifesting as buddhas and ultimately benefitting others.
We are deeply afraid of so many things: fear of the unknown, fear of losing our minds. We are all but completely paralysed, not living to our full potential. This fear comes from our utter distrust of letting go and opening up – it is also a primal fear of the openness and the emptiness of our Buddha Nature.
In this light, the high point of the Heart Sutra is said to be the line:
There is no fear.
The full name of this sutra is The Heart of Transcendent Knowledge. By definition, it teaches that the key to full enlightenment is fearlessness. The whole theme of this particular sutra [Skt. Prajnaparamita Sutra] is Going Beyond. The preamble describes the Buddha Nature as being ‘beyond words, beyond thought, beyond description. Prajnaparamita … unborn, unceasing, with nature like the sky’. The essence of the sutra is its mantra:
Gaté, gaté, paragaté, parasamgaté, bodhi suaha.
It is the perfect utterance of one who has already gone completely beyond all fear: Gone, gone, gone all the way over, completely gone over to the other shore. Fully awake, Yes.
The openness and contentment it describes is a total fearlessness that is egoless. Because of this earth-shattering breakthrough, one is freed up to focus on the ultimate welfare of others. Consequently, the Mahayana lineages call the Prajnaparamita the Mother of all the buddhas. Fearlessness is that which literally gives birth to a buddha. Tibetan Buddhism even goes so far as to depict the fearless mother of all the buddhas in female form as Tara.
In this way, we come to an understanding of the essence of the Buddha’s teachings. The core message is not about elaborate philosophical treatises. Nor is it even about depicting the Buddha Nature in one form or another. All this serves a much simpler purpose. They lead us to a basic truth: Through meditation practice, we can awaken and connect with our true nature. By developing an unshakable conviction in our primordial purity, our aim is to go beyond all philosophies, all images, all concepts. Then we become completely free to lead others out of their suffering.

About the author

Bruno is a Meditation Instructor, Dharma Educator, and a dabbler in the Creative Arts. He was born in 1965 in Dublin, Ireland where he later trained as a Philosophical Theologian at Trinity College. While still working as an educator in that area, Bruno encountered the heart of the Buddha’s teachings when he first met Sogyal Rinpoche in the early 1990s, which also quickly led to meeting Ringu Tulku Rinpoche and Thich Nhat Hanh.
Since then, while continuing to be a student of Buddhism, Bruno has taught meditation and presented the Buddha’s teachings in many Dharma centres, including Rigpa Dublin where he was Managing Director for some years. He has also engaged with presenting these teachings in prisons and hospices, education and training establishments, and in Non-Governmental Organisations dedicated to Caring in the Community.
He is the Founding Director of many pioneering projects such as Buddhist Network Ireland, Dublin International Buddhist Film Festival, Open Space and Lotus Temple, and has represented Irish Buddhists on the Inter-Religious Council of Ireland.
Nowadays, as well as teaching Meditation and various courses in Applied Mindfulness and Engaged Buddhism, Bruno is also very much committed to guest-lecturing a variety of programmes on Buddhism in Colleges and Universities.

Vajrapani Mantra

Vajrapani is the Bodhisattva of power and energy of enlightenment. He is usually depicted in a wrathful emanation, complete with a ring of fire to signify the power of “breaking through,” i.e., destroying the wall of ignorance that has enveloped us and kept us from being free. His basic mantra is “Om Vajrapani Hum.”

More of Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche on Happiness

Here is the remaining portion of Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche’s talk on “Path to Happiness” at Chulalongkorn University that I talked about in the previous post. May all beings be happy and meet with causes of happiness!


Ordinary relaxation depends on external situation, but real happiness comes from inner realization. This is what the Buddhas teach. We have to use our opportunities for good causes. Material things can be either negative or positive, depending on how they are going to be used. We can use the material things to benefit people; we can make differences in their lives through these material things. This is a way to gain merit. Thus wealth can be meaningful. When you die you are left only with your own store of merit. You cannot bring your bank account with you when you die. You can use only another kind of account, the merit account that shows how much merit and demerit you have accumulated in your lifetime. So having wealth is not necessarily a bad thing; it can be a force for good and a considerable amount of merit too, if the wealth is used wisely, which is to benefit those who are in need.

Happiness only comes when you wish and act so that other people become happy. If you think only of benefiting only yourselves, thinking only that you yourself alone shall be happy, then you won’t be happy at all.

Be satisfied with your life. Be content and happy at every moment. Look into yourself. Look at your own mind, and then you will become more relaxed. Do not look up to other people. Don’t think that you need to be as rich as they are, as intelligent as they are, and so on. If we do, then there is no end. We will always look up, up and up and we will not be satisfied with what we have at all. You may aim at a certain level, but once you reach that point, there will be more and more higher up so you will always feel lacking and deprived, no matter how much you have already. Moving up, you will never be able to touch the sky.

Do not waste your life. It is very difficult to be born a human being, so let us not waste this very precious moment when we are human beings who are intelligent enough to understand the Buddhas’ teaching.

Things are always impermanent; they are always changing at every moment. However, many of us do not get this point so they act as if things are always permanent. The result is that they are mired in all sorts of suffering, including wandering around in samsara.

So when you are stressed or depressed, practice meditation. With proper way of practicing meditation, the genuine door toward real and lasting peace and happiness will lie open for us. The goal is to perceive things as they actually are, without any fabrications. Stay focused on things as they simply are. Discover the deep silence inside when your mind becomes still. This silence inside is none other than the happiness that we have been seeking. In that state of true meditation, your mind will simply dissolves into this state of pure, deep state of silence. But if you do meditation incorrectly, you will be full of endless chatters – your mind, instead of being calm and still, will be all the busier and noisier.

During your meditation, all kinds of thoughts will arise. They come spontaneously; they just come. So don’t be alarmed or stressed when thoughts arise. This is a very natural occurrence. What we need to do is just to leave those thoughts where they are, and then they will go away on their own. Don’t try to force the thoughts out of your mind. You will never succeed in doing that. It will only invite more and more thoughts. Then we will realize that there are actually no boundaries between thoughts – all thoughts dissolve into one another. This is the direct entrance into Emptiness, śūnyatā.  This is the state where we are truly free from all stresses, all fabricating thoughts, all defilements. We have full potential, full energy. This is the best way to combat the problem of unhappiness.

We need to practice in order that we can overcome the five poisons that have been afflicting us for so long. Then you don’t need to run around searching for cures anymore. The cure is already there inside your mind.