Wisdom and Compassion

Lama Lekshe

Buddhism for here and now. The Wisdom and Compassion podcast is an offering of Dekeling, a Buddhist community in Portland, Oregon, dedicated to sharing the principles and practices of Buddhism in an accessible and inclusive way, to human beings everywhere. We support your right to awaken to your spiritual potential in whatever way inspires you. read less
Religion & SpiritualityReligion & Spirituality
BuddhismBuddhism
SpiritualitySpirituality

Episodes

Guided Meditation: Tonglen for a World in Conflict
Apr 10 2024
Guided Meditation: Tonglen for a World in Conflict
Step into a space of introspection and compassionate inquiry as you embark on a contemplative journey through the landscape of global conflict. If you are an experienced practitioner of Tonglen, you already understand its profound power to use suffering as a springboard for compassion; to allow fear to be a foundation for courage, and for contemplation of conflict to blossom into a wider and deeper understanding. Today, we'll practice beyond the boundaries of our personal experiences and into the expansive realm of global discord.Together, in quiet reflection, acknowledging the complexities and pain woven into the fabric of our world, we breathe in suffering with the compassionate wish to take it on. With each mindful breath, we will draw in the collective suffering of those embroiled in conflicts near and far, feeling the weight of their struggles, their hopes, and their fears as they mingle with our own breath.And then, as we exhale, we us offer boundless compassion and healing energy to all beings affected by strife and discord, visualizing rays of light emanating from your body, reaching out to touch the lives of those caught in the throes of conflict. With each exhale, offer whatever is needed to heal and soothe. if you have peace, send it all, without any exclusion. As you navigate through this contemplative session, stay grounded in the present moment, noticing whatever arises in your experience, allowing sensations to arise and pass without judgement or commentary. Trust in the innate wisdom of your heart to guide you through this journey of profound interconnectedness and the learning of direct experience, free from storyline. As usual, after using this guided audio a few times, move to Tonglen without any audio so you can rest all attention on your direct experience, unimpeded by words. The music for this episode is “Starlight” - by Podington Bear of Portland, Oregon - Thanks to composer Chad Crouch. Support Chad here.
Guided Meditation: Tonglen Practice for a Dying or Dead Animal
Apr 10 2024
Guided Meditation: Tonglen Practice for a Dying or Dead Animal
As we journey through life, our paths often intertwine with those of animals, who become companions on our journey. Their presence enriches our lives, offering us love, loyalty, and a profound connection to the natural world. In their eyes, we see reflections of ourselves, reminding us that their lives and deaths are no less significant than our own. In moments of transition, such as when a beloved animal companion approaches the end of their life, we may turn to practices like Tonglen to offer comfort and support.Tonglen, a Tibetan Buddhist meditation technique, invites us to breathe in the suffering of others and breathe out compassion and relief. In this practice, the familiar sequence remains, yet with a heartfelt integration of animals. As we sit with our dying animal companion, we visualize taking in their pain and fear with each inhalation, allowing ourselves to fully acknowledge and empathize with their experience. With each exhalation, we offer them peace, comfort, and love, surrounding them with warmth and tenderness.One of the beautiful aspects of Tonglen is its flexibility. We can adapt it to suit the needs of the moment, pausing the guided audio at any time to extend the meditation if needed. This flexibility allows us to linger in moments of connection and release, honoring the unique journey of our animal companion. Another approach is to engage in this practice several times with guidance, allowing the rhythm and familiarity to deepen our understanding. Then, as we become more comfortable, we can transition to practicing on our own, moving through the meditation more spaciously and slowly, allowing for a deeper, more personal connection to unfold.In these tender moments, as we navigate the inevitable transitions of life and death with our animal companions, Tonglen offers a pathway to grace and acceptance. Through our shared breath and boundless compassion, we honor the sacredness of their journey and find solace in the interconnectedness of all beings, thereby also extending our direct experience with impermanence, interconnectedness and the truth of suffering. Remember to do Refuge and Bodhicitta and Dedication if these are a part of your practice. The music for this episode is “Starlight” - by Podington Bear of Portland, Oregon - Thanks to composer Chad Crouch. Support Chad here.
Guided Meditation: Stages of the Bardos
Apr 10 2024
Guided Meditation: Stages of the Bardos
In Tibetan Buddhism, the term "bardo" refers to the intermediate states between death and rebirth. The most well-known bardo is the "Bardo Thodol" or the "Tibetan Book of the Dead," which describes the experiences one goes through during the intermediate state after death. According to Tibetan Buddhist belief, how one navigates these bardos greatly influences the next rebirth.Meditations on the stages of the bardos typically involve practices aimed at familiarizing practitioners with the experiences they will encounter during these intermediate states and training them to recognize and utilize the opportunities presented therein. Here are some key stages of the bardos and corresponding meditative practices:Chikhai Bardo (Bardo of the Moment of Death): This bardo begins at the moment of death and involves the dissolution of the elements composing the physical body. Meditation practices in preparation for this stage focus on cultivating awareness of impermanence, letting go of attachments, and maintaining mindfulness in the face of the dissolution process.Chönyid Bardo (Bardo of the Luminosity): This stage is characterized by the appearance of clear light, which is considered the fundamental nature of mind. Meditations in this bardo aim to recognize and merge with the luminosity of mind, leading to liberation from samsara.Sidpa Bardo (Bardo of Rebirth): In this stage, the consciousness seeks a new rebirth. Meditative practices here often involve cultivating virtuous thoughts and intentions to guide consciousness towards a favorable rebirth, such as in a human or celestial realm.Meditations on the bardos are often part of advanced tantric practices within Tibetan Buddhism. These practices require guidance from qualified teachers and are typically undertaken by experienced practitioners who have developed a strong foundation in foundational Buddhist teachings and meditation techniques. The aim of these meditations is to transform one's understanding of death and rebirth, leading to spiritual awakening and liberation from cyclic existence (samsara).The music for this episode is “Starlight” - by Podington Bear of Portland, Oregon - Thanks to composer Chad Crouch. Support Chad here.
Short Chenrezig Compassion Practice
Jun 11 2020
Short Chenrezig Compassion Practice
In Buddhism, Avalokitesvara bodhisattva is regarded as the embodiment of compassion. The Tibetans call this embodiment Chenrezig—the ‘one who watches with a steady gaze.’  To do this practice, take refuge in the Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.  Recognize the universal wish of sentient beings to be from suffering and its causes—while imprisoned in the context of delusion, oppression, hatred and greed. Allow yourself to feel the tension in between their wish to be free and the seemingly impossible web of conditions that bind them to suffering and its causes. Feel this.  Give rise to the wish to free them. Can you connect with that? To taking it on? To the understanding that they can be free because they too have ‘buddha nature’, the same potential for awakening as the Buddha? Set a determination to make their compassionate liberation your most heartfelt vow.  To begin the main practice, in the space in front of you, bring to mind Chenrezig, as vividly as you can. Imagine this being of light, radiant with joy, gazing upon you with warmth and affection, delighting in your evolution of virtue and wisdom, while also filled with loving-kindness and appreciation for every being of every identification, every intersection of qualities and existence. Chenrezig is completely free from the fetters of conditioning, judgement, and prejudice. The very embodiment of impartial love and equanimity.  As you chant the mantra OM MANI PADME HUM as many times as you like, imagine a torrent of light, Chenrezig’s heart. This light is of the nature of immutable love, joy, compassion, and healing. Imagine the light coming to the crown of your head; flowing down through your body, saturating every cell and immediately dispelling all negativity, any trace of previous unwholesome actions, and dispelling all confusion. Afflictions of the body and mind disappear, leaving only the experience of your body as light. Insubstantial.  Now, at your invitation, Chenrezig diminishes in size to the height of about an inch, and appears instantaneously on the crown of your head, facing in the same direction as yourself.  Imagine a soft, glowing, white eight-petalled lotus at your heart, in the center of your chest, and invite Chenrezig to dwell in the lotus of your heart. Accepting without hesitation, Chenrezig dissolves into light, descends through the central channel to the heart chakra in the center of the chest, and forms again seated in the meditation posture on a lotus, facing the same direction as you.  Imagine a tiny pinpoint of radiant white light in Chenrezig’s heart, the light of your own buddha-nature, the expression of all your innate wisdom and compassion and power. Rest your awareness on that light.  Now, originating from that single point, light radiates in all directions—this light of the nature of joy, of compassion, and of purification.  It fills your body, and then extends out through every pore, above and below and to all sides, reaching out to every sentient being around you. Every. One.  As this light touches each being it fills them completely. Their suffering and the sources of suffering are removed and their most cherished wishes are fulfilled.  This light fills everyone around you, expanding in all directions, out over your home and neighborhood and city, touching every living being. It extends again in all directions over the globe, and then continues beyond this world, beyond the galaxy to all the infinite worlds. Imagine the entire universe suffused with this light. Imagine the universe in the nature of light—whole landscapes of light, and finally dissolving into a soft shimmer.  This universe of light is now absorbed back into your body and your body now rests as a body of light, with Chenrezig at your heart.  Let your own body dissolve into the body of Chenrezig.   Let the body of Chenrezig dissolve into the seed of light at the heart and let this seed of light dissolve into empty space of infinite energy.  Now from that emptiness, your own body again appears as a body of light, softly glowing, serene and yet indestructible.  For the rest of the session, place the mind simply and quietly on the sensations of the breath entering and leaving the body. End by resting without any concept or effort.  Offer the benefit of your practice to all.Get the image of Chenrezig here. The music for this episode is “Starlight” - by Podington Bear of Portland, Oregon - Thanks to composer Chad Crouch. Support Chad here.