Ayurveda Buddhism Cosmic Culture & Art Daily Life Environment Ethnic Lore Family & Community Fear Feelings & Emotions Guru Yoga Happiness Hinduism Holiday Life & Death Poetry Religious Studies Shamanism Social Issues Tara The 4 Noble Truths Women's Affairs Yoga

Green Tara Fear

Fear Feast of Halloween and All Saint day makes for Mayte two scariest months of year. Green Tara the Goddess of fear and clarity presides on fear offerings during this darker time of the year. Her care and enlightened mind carry wisdom that can be intuited in the moments of silence.

Her mantra Om Tare Tu Tare Ture Swaha guides reciting minds to clarity out of shadows of confusion and into the harmonious sense. As a Goddess of fear Green Tara liberates from fear and puts fear where necessary for obscuration to be lifted and replayed by fixing done damage.

Green Tara protects all of those people who were robbed of the love of Mother.

Family & Community Feelings & Emotions Poetry Psychology

Inside a problem [Poem]

Choppy yet together with fragments all displaced in oneness.

God what a mess you are.

Seeing as life can get so complicated and stress takes darker shade.

God you don’t know what you are doing.

No people of kindness in site and exacting location of sensory deficit.

God you have no help to give anyone.

Kindness kills and love wars and remnant images of past so happy.

God is inaccessible and we all are looking for honesty.

Lies lead to grief and anger and words of truth and value bond us together.

God is palpable in merging of true feelings.

I hear the fragments of my conversations and I hear when you care amongst words that cover up the love you fear to give.

God when you look at the world what do you see?

I am perplexed.

Buddhism Contemplation Daily Life Discussion Ethnic Lore Family & Community Feelings & Emotions Kabbalah Life & Death Meditation Poetry Religious Studies Shamanism Vajrayana World Matters

Dark mistakes [Poem]

And when you stop for a moment and see

The mistakes you made and your incapacity to deal with the dark shades of your psyche,

When you see you have no answers for the problems that eat you up

Day and night

That you put away and tried to deny them as not important

When you see that.

And the grim perspectives you weave for others, in defence of love and community, in secrecy because you were not open enough in your heart and mind to express your true intent.

When every intellectual book you ever read brings you no satisfaction,

Imposes of your mortality and moments of withheld love and caring

When you won’t be able to do any more but to fall down on your knees and pray,

For the grace and love of Buddha’s to surround you,

So your mind one pointedly can go in the direction of enlightenment.

When you see that hard work lies ahead of you and within the work out of resentment hope will glimmer that for those little details of life where you know you were terribly bad and hid away in various ways you will see that you are able to be a student in the Buddha Dharma

Buddhism Environment Ethnic Lore Feelings & Emotions Guru Yoga Nature Poetry Women's Affairs World Matters

(2) Beach [Haiku Poem]

dancing with softness
feminine embraces life
listening to wind

the lake shimmers waves
finds mind caressing in time
meditative ease


Image: Dr. Wangmo

Buddhism Contemplation Daily Life Guru Yoga Life & Death Poetry Yoga

Instructions for the path [Mention]

Do not forget the Lama,

Pray to him at all times.

Do not be carried away by thoughts.

Watch the nature of mind.

Do not forget death.

Persist in dharma.

Do not forget sentient beings,

With compassion dedicate your merit to them.

His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Buddhism Guru Yoga Poetry The 4 Noble Truths Women's Affairs

My Buddha [Poem]

I heal deeply every time I love you,
My Buddha
Every time I look into the eyes of samsara
with courage
embrace this life and this living’s dying
I realize just how precious is everything
that we do to realize in one lifetime

Life and Love finds itself anew
when I close the doors on a few
past memories and let them go
from my heart and trust in you
My Buddha

For all that has danced me and played
me into now, into this new beginning
has been a past offering
and a guidance
of the moments
that did not open
and perished

So here I am with you
My Buddha
and I love you
so much, because you understand
the love of a Tara
and I understand yours too

Rev. Dr. K. Sonam Wangmo

Bön Buddhism Guru Yoga Poetry Shamanism The 4 Noble Truths

Not ever night [Poem]

Do you believe in your dreams?
The ones you have at night?
Do you believe the messages
they contain and how they
turn you inside out?
Sometimes not every night
these dreams just drop on by

on a quiet field, on a horse
and into the conversation they adore.

The dreams they come from so many
different dimensions
and you in the dream
need to remember it too,
it is not at all what you dream
but your attitude and alertness
to the details and to the scope.
Are you holding the vast view?

So she told me the Elder Shamana from Chile
that the dreams they are
the astral dimensions of the healer,
the wisdom there is weaved through
the times we do not recognize
yet here on Earth unless we are prepared
and know how, they do bear fruit.

So we can than say as above so below.
We can align the planes of existence
into the same Middle Path
that wants to express itself so clearly.

In the present moment and in every other way
you are called to reexamine
how you relate to the time and to the space
and when you know yourself within this place.
It is multidimensional,
your energy balances and mixes
with the time of the people
who have you deeply in their hearts.
Do you understand this?
Because you see not everyone
holds you deeply in their heart,
like I hold you in me.

Those who hold the Buddha Mind
Yours and mine and ours
the shape of Peace is like that,
to bring in the global understanding
of the compassionate love
that you already hold in your being,
Buddha Nature and the fresh wakeful mind
they are your home you cultivate
with awareness and the seeds
of this mystery bear beautiful fruits.

Rev. Dr. K. Sonam Wangmo

Image by Nandha Kumar PJ on unsplash

Buddhism Poetry Tara The 4 Noble Truths Women's Affairs

A world of Harmony [Poem]

Through these times of big changes
through the days of old dying
Emerges the time of a New Dawn
we stand at our own awakening.

For what we will do we don’t know
yet our abilities are strong within us.

Where we have been we know
and lessons are plenty
moving forward is the way of Compassion
it is a way of knowing and understanding.

While we are in this body
and while we have this time
opportunities are coming to
those who reach for the stars,

To those who understand that power
is a gift, that needs to be shared
and developed with care,
taught to use properly
to benefit all
So here we are,

Once again in this story
changing our walk in a new way
for the benefit of all and in
benefiting the planet

Compassionate Understanding Love wins
Healing and transforming, living in Peace
I see a world of Harmony

Teaching and awakening
to walk in One Compassion
Bringing graceful creations into manifestation
for living in natural mind brings in much more
possibilities than you know.
I rest in Rikpa, and I trust there.

Changing perspectives and points of view
allows us all to see everything through
into One Heart, and into Love
For one and for all.
Harmoniously auspicious beginning I see

Rev. Dr. K. Sonam Wangmo

Image by PK Kasyap on unsplash

Buddhism Guru Yoga Poetry Reincarnation World Matters

Reincarnation [Poem]

Buddha family knowingly recognizes itself
wisdom so ancient and cognized
affecting the world with the seeds of compassion
to overcome and bring an end to samsaric turning of time.

The kind voice of the masters is so near and close
they understand the effects of creation
the signs are read and seen and interpreted
without doubt and in clarity of wakefulness.

While you pushed me to say yes in a different way,
and I know that I am thrilled to know this
Love of great Buddha of the Family
and the Family that is known to me
for eternity, I welcome the freedom of enlightenment in me.

I trust in the auspicious circumstances of this happiness.
The great kings are those who with wisdom guide
and pay tribute to their linage and ancestry,
Proclaiming the truth of the Dharma
and acknowledging the tenderness
of their feminine counterparts.

The emptiness that is present
is the ground on which we are born and die,
is the perfection and the essence
and is the wholeness that embraces it all.

The women of the land are the wealth of the country
and they are seen with such encouraging dedication
attuned to the rhythm of the Earth and their own,
dancing in the light of the emptiness
and while the blossoming flowers and trees give fruit
the feminine wisdom supports the elemental balance.

The Dharma wheel remains the same
and maintaining balance
in environment and at home,
The sangha always knows where to find their Master.

Rev. Dr. Sonam Wangmo
Inspired by recognition of Tenga Tulku.

Buddhism Feelings & Emotions Poetry

Unsustained heart [Poem]

In this pain of letting go
in this unsustained heart
In this complexity of Life
and unexpected disharmony

In this Love that wants to live
and express itself true
in the opening and falling
and the grace of us two

Love has ways to bring us light
beyond what we can imagine
the clear connection in the Source
of Love and Heart

Mystical dancing of the grace and
the power of Living
the Wisdom of the Buddhas is such
that their prominent compassion
In the century dedicated to Love
knows no bounds

Integrity leads the way and such
miracles are possible
without dying or killing
we can really find a way

To Live In One Heart and in this transition
To Live in One Love and in the kindness
of the Power of Wisdom and Integration
Where the healing comes and there is Grace

For Love in Oneness, really lived is understanding
much more than your mind
it is knowing that there is harmony
internally sustained from the Peaceful Place
The sharing of space with the means of Love
While helping each-other study life
The Inner Garden
The Holy Way,
the Blissful Moments
In The Names of Enlightened Buddhas

Rev. Dr. K. Sonam Wangmo


Buddhism Dzogchen Guru Yoga Mahamudra Poetry Vajrayana World Matters

Teacher’s Samsara [Poem]

In the endless possibilities
that can emerge from the universe
are the places where we all can get stuck within
the limit of lack of understanding of our mind,
the boundary is not the essence

The stuckness fades away by itself again

when we are able to realize that it is there
Into the vastness of luminous emptiness.

The awareness that we cultivate on the cushion
moves us into the practice of living
in the moments of direct experience and some pressure
we create more opportunities for Rikpa

…for us to enter and be present with the natural mind
and to cultivate the peace that is found, obviously there.

The teachers role than again and again
is to find unlimited ways
to point the student in the same direction
and have them realize that for themselves.

The unique strategy of karmic connections
and the perfect trust in the intuitive knowing,
the comfort that comes from trusting the Master
and the natural faith that needs no defence
are the essence of Guru Yoga.

While the repetition can be mundane
the knowing is that it unfolds like this

you go out into the world refreshed
and often times you forget quickly who you are,
you return then back, to the teacher you see
and yet again the samsara reminds us both
that I need to teach you many things
and that you need to practice my friend everyday.

The practice lessens the grip of condition
and of the mental obscurations
so that you can grasp for a moment the natural mind.

Once you have rested in the depth of peace
you will quickly realize it is the best place
and reach there yourself as many times as you can,
while life can really still go on its way.

The further you go to clearly bring samsara to its knees
the more you will see it around you and in what you do
the fear of it will not frighten you at all
you will understand your ultimate goal.

Things are unfinished you see, until we are all
on the same level and comfortable
with living in harmonious peace,
until then and even after the perfect hierarchy
of the enlightened masters
and Holy women will point the way.

Rev. Dr. K. Sonam Wangmo

Tilopa, founder of Kagyu

Image from unsplash

Buddhism Environment Poetry Shamanism Women's Affairs

River’s expression [Poem]

The ways of love are many it seems
and yet somewhere deep in the heart we know
that love really knows itself first
and it knows well right from wrong.

Love is so clear on the winds that bring change
I can see it in the Pachamama ways
It is in the temple of the Moon and in the gaze
of the rays of Taita Inti’s play in our universe.

The river’s rapids show the flow
of the feminine held firmly within her bounds
contained power between firm river banks.

Moving and changing, sounding and healing
With her freshness, and wetness and her flow
so unified in forceful expression
water so soft and gentle in the cool
far reaching drizzle.
She gives the image of feminine freedom.

So much of this and is such a powerful reflection
like the moon’s face in a calm lake.
The feminine waters within our bodies,
Flowing and mixing and transforming,
healing and mending, always merging
striking their limits with their natural flow
and pushing against them,
yet never able to overstep.
Not so soon, and with time and diligence and patience
able to even shape a stone.

This river that flows so deep and wide
in my heart it carries me,
to distant lands within
Shaping the destiny of the compassionate way
that is patient wild free and affirming.

This being and living in harmony, honesty
and blissful knowing of One compassionate Love.
Understanding the inner working of the heart
as well as extending that to our relations
with trust in the Buddhas that guide the path.

Rev. Dr. K. Sonam Wangmo

Buddhism Guru Yoga Poetry The 4 Noble Truths World Matters

The way of Prajñaparamita [Poem]

In The Name of Prajñaparamita (The Great Mother)
In this pain of letting go
in this unsustained heart
In this complexity of Life
and unexpected disharmony.

In this Love that wants to live
and express itself true
in the opening and falling
and the grace of us two, and three
and millions more.

Love has ways to bring us light
beyond what we can imagine
the clear connection in the Source
of compassion and Heart.

Mystical dancing of the grace and
the power of Living
the Wisdom of the Buddhas is such
that their prominent compassion
In the century dedicated to Love
knows no bounds.

Integrity leads the way and such
miracles are possible
without dying or killing
we can really find a way.

To Live In One Heart and in this transition
To Live in One Love and in the kindness
of the Power of Wisdom and Integration
Where the healing comes and there is Grace.

For Love in Oneness, really lived is understanding
much more than your mind,
it is knowing that there is harmony
internally sustained from the Peaceful Place
The sharing of space with the means of Love.

While helping each-other study life
The Inner Garden
The Holy Way,
the Blissful Moments
In The Name of Prajñaparamita

Rev. Dr. K. Sonam Wangmo

Buddhism Family & Community Guru Yoga Poetry Politics Unity Women's Affairs World Matters

Innocent are known [Poem]

The innocent are known,

for their simply ways
their truth in the eyes
and the wisdom they hold

The Holy woman sees things this way
the Innocent are the ones
who will lead the way.

The innocent are speaking
in the subtlest ways
in the ways of the Dharma
and in the ways of grace

The innocent trust the Buddha
and the Sangha
and the innocent realize
the luminous essence.

The innocent will stand
against the injustice and hatred
against the tortures and pain of this world.

The innocent are not rebels,
although they still might have to deal with anger
the innocent relinquished the violent fight.

The innocent deeply realize the samsara’s nature
and know the distance it takes to walk
out of the wheel of pain and suffering
and into the compassionate heart.

Blameless, truthful, honourable
is the path of the innocence
without the game,
without the perversions of the mind

Faultless and pure they maintain their vows
and recognize the totality of what is asked of them.

Incorrupt is the essence of an innocent woman,
and recognition of the deep compassionate core value.

The innocent are seen by all who meet them
the innocent are known and respected.
The innocent will teach how to walk the distance
to those who are still locked in their minds

The innocent know and realize the walk of peace
The innocent know and realize the way of compassion
The innocent are not stupid or naive,
they may be your big lesson

Rev. Dr. Sonam Wangmo

Inspired by two French women

Bön Buddhism Daily Life Poetry Unity

Into harmony [Poem]

Through these times of big changes
through the days of old dying
Emerges the time of New Dawn
we stand at our own awakening

For what we will do we don’t know
yet our abilities are strong within us. 
Where we have been we know
and lessons are plenty
moving forward is the way of Love

While we are in this body
and while we have this time
opportunities are coming to
those who stand up

To those who understand that power
is a gift, that needs to be shared
and developed with care,
taught to use properly
to benefit all

So here we are,
once again in this story
learning to walk again in a new way
for the benefit of all and in
benefiting the planet
Love wins

Healing and transforming, living in Peace
I see a world of Harmony
Teaching and awakening
to walk in One Love

Bringing creation into manifestation
for remembering Buddha Nature brings in much more
possibilities than you know.
Changing perspectives and points of view
allows us all to see everything through
into One Heart, and into Love
For one and for all.

Rev. Dr. Sonam Wangmo

Bön Buddhism Dzogchen Guru Yoga Life & Death Poetry

At the door of Death [Poem]

My Deepest Fear
My love,
When I look into your eyes I wonder
What is it that you look into inside me
Where is your gaze hooked upon
and in what ways you find your own.
How you connect with this heart and when
Do you know to let go and to what?
For the love we share is far from a space
and time we both know.
Here in this plane it will never be
And on this earth not understood
When the condor dances with snake
I see the eyes of the puma in you.
I bowed to The Death in us last night
Saying my prayers one last time
To teach you a lesson you will understand
when surrenders one final touch comes your way
For the way of the snake teaches like this
To know they self in this Mystery
When Death comes knocking on your door
Nowhere to hide, plead, or tell stories
Your presence and your wondering ways,
Your imagining and your illusion’s veils
No one will bargain in this ways when Death
Comes in her way.
The Darkest sister we will know,
don’t ever stir her unknown
Don’t ever invite her in before her time,
Her ways are understood by few.
Over the spaces of life we tune
into what we believe to be important
Into the heart and into grace
to enter a portal of One Way.
While we all do it and while we all feel it,
While we all touch it and want more of it
When Death comes unexpectedly,
you must surrender to the unknown
For she is a portal, a gate, a transition
Without opinions and without your default ways
She does not judge nor complement you
Neither she cares who you love
For her time is her time and your times
makes no difference
and this I know
Deeply makes you sad.
It is like walking through the eye of a needle
For while we still can play a game here
In the way of the passage there is no escape.
Ancient wisdom teaches us much
on how to prepare and how to go
To a timeless dimension into unknown
Into what we all will one day face.
There is a resting, unlike no other
dropping into something unfamiliarly known
deep trusting and letting into
space that has always been there
grasping that has no bottom
and a holding that pulls you closer
Into a space from within your own being
into a way that you hold within
Into something deeply holy
That is uncorrupted by any, and by all
Invisible and present always
Real and untouched
Hidden for most
I bow to you Death,
please stay at bay with all respect
For no-one really knows of your ways
You are no anger and no Love
You are empty and are misunderstood
For you take, there is no exchange
You cut the cords that hold everything
And bring a timeless place of silence
You yourself make no noise
And dance this way upon me
I feel the beating heart in me
Feeling my ways and giving thanks
For while what I do, does not concern you
I know you understand the Buddhas ways
and the Masters know how to tame you.
The open door you hold is big
The Buddhist wisdom knows this well
And trusts the timing of your arrival
Knows how to shift you out of your place
and dance our way into a light
You open gates into the luminosity
Of the land of Pure Bliss
With wrathful, peaceful and joyful deities
you merge and converge in a familiar way.
I hear the spirit of Shekinah calling
As I stand on this threshold
Here is the fertile land and soil
Here are the teachings, and our meeting
Here I can bring the wisdom of old
And integrate it into One teaching
Respect the traditions of the ones you don’t know
For wisdom of ancient it all holds
While some corruption happened in wake
Know that the Heart Heals itself
Know that the Mind can rest in Peace
And that the Peaceful ways are possible
For this is not our eternal home
This is a meeting place for all
Where we all go
I will not tell you
For your work here must be done
You have to figure out your way
And know that it all starts and ends with the Three Jewels.
In our heart we hold divinity and access
to more than you can even imagine
Once you trust the heart you resonate and change
the ground of your frequency.
The wisdom of presence is the only way
Into the moment and its grace
Into the essence of understanding
into the Masterfully prepared meditation.
For you can run my friend, you know
But then again, you can always rest
In the compassion that fills your heart and mine
And in the Love that can heal all
In the space beyond the time
The Shekinah comes and go
They open this mystical passage upon asking
For those who have cultivated practice
And know and teach of ways you will understand
So one and all can awaken I this way
The Buddhas know and guide this precious wisdom
The Mystery likes for you to believe her
While I see you and I wink at you
Know that this play will end some day
Rev. Dr. K. Sonam Wangmo
Bön Culture & Art Dzogchen Life & Death Vajrayana

Tibetan Buddhism; Protectors

This is a very big topic. You must have a profound connection with the Buddha dharma to understand this topic. These are some clear points about the protectors in general terms.

It dates back to the tradition of Bön with the wrathful demonic presences and the elemental beings. When Padmasambhava came to Tibet with his wisdom and compassion he was able to incorporate the wrathful presences and the elemental beings into the Tibetan Buddhism as protectors. These protectors became incorporated into tantras, namely Vajrayana. Protectors are everywhere.

The protectors are very misunderstood by the westerners, particularly those who hold a belief of God who punishes them for their actions. The frightening look, perhaps the unusual ways in which they are portrayed, with human flesh hanging off of them as scarfs and khatvangas in their arms and bowls of amrita, may cause a westerner to feel terrified.

The protectors are extremely powerful essential beings. They come from the primordial place, the dharmakaya and are independent and interconnected to the Buddhist Dharma.

The protectors role is not to frighten, although that may be part of their work, they are intricately connected in the affairs of the Buddha Dharma.

They are vital beings who understand the conditions, the environment, the visible the invisible and the negotiable and the non-negotiable. They exist on every level of the mind.

There are many many many inconceivable amounts of protectors and their retinues in Buddhism. Every linage has its main protector. For some it is Ekajati, for others it is Dorje Legpa and for others it is Mahakala.

The Dharmapalas are most commonly presented in three as: Ekajati, Dorje Legpa and Rahula. Each protector is responsible for something. Each protector has an unique to them history and also may have been a living being in the ancient times like Dorje Legpa.

It is very important to receive proper transmissions from qualified teachers before working with the protectors.

The reason why the protectors are so important is that they guard the precious dharma teachings, the teachings within the teachings, the secrets and teachers and students. The protectors have their own language and they know how to communicate on subtle level with other beings. They are not only tantric beings they represent a multitude of inner expressions of the Dharma. Just like the Dakinis who also represent the inner manifestations of the Buddha Dharma. They are active beings.

They point the practitioners in the right direction, help form right relationships, they make sure the Dharma maintains its traditions and that the teachers have the right relationships with the students. It is healthy to have great deal of respect for the protectors. They communicate with great ease with Enlightened Buddhas and they are also enlightened. They have their own superior intelligence. They have made certain commitments to the Dharma and this is why it is so.

Protectors are misunderstood because they are not understood by the lay-people. Similarly to wrathful deities, but differently, protectors may show us the parts of our mind that both needs to be purified and reinforced and thus transformed into wisdom essence.

Their images are reflections.

Rev. Dr. K. Sonam Wangmo

Dzogchen Feelings & Emotions Mahamudra Meditation

Understanding emotions

Disturbing emotions.

They happen to us all. Practice of meditation allows us to really understand the nature of our mind and to rest in emptiness. The more time and sincere effort we place on our practice more we get to experience the natural fruits of emptiness.

Every once in a while we face a disturbing event in life, may be we hear something on the news, or we read something in the paper. We discover that the natural compassion we have moves us towards helping those who are in need. When we are unable to help someone we experience suffering, and as a result of that difficult emotions.

There may be other occasions when we experience negative emotions, and it is good to know how to handle the challenges of emotional attachment.

Whether female or male it is important to understand our essential True nature as emptiness. Once we understand that, we can then appropriately direct our energy when dealing with disturbing emotions and suffering present.

Feelings are part of our life, being human means feeling many things throughout a day. A deep capacity to feel and be in touch with life, allows us to cultivate sensitivity to life’s issues and approach them with greater care and compassion.

Feelings are meant to be experienced and we need to learn to channel the energy of our emotions appropriately. A feeling of Love and Joy that we have in our hearts towards our family needs to be expressed and shared. It is a shared fuel that allows us to continue to grow and work together.

Disturbing emotions serve as tools to point us in the right direction.

We can see that throughout history emotions have also been used to manipulate and distort people. Inappropriate use of shame and guilt in certain cultures makes people feel timid and disempowered. When these feelings arise out of natural mind they point the practitioner to what needs to be corrected in a simple and graceful way.

We have to remember that it is our attachment and aversion to feelings and emotions that creates these problems and disturbances.

For example when we see injustice in the world, like abuse and violence done on women, instead of fighting back we can use this fire of crossed boundaries into bridging gaps that are lacking in education, and creating appropriate places to help women. We can teach women educated means to defend themselves without the use of violence, we can educate and show people ways and practical tools to relate most of all appropriately with their own body and with the bodies of other people.

We need to understand that due to karmic causes some people naturally are more inclined towards peace and others struggle with this. Compassion and Buddha Nature is an inborn quality of every human being.

When dealing with disturbing emotions we need to learn to understand that the emotional reaction and behaviour of people has to do with their capacity to rest in emptiness, and understand their own mental patterns.

Compassion is what arrises out of natural mind/emptiness. It leads to right action and naturally dissolves conflicts.

Rev. Dr. Sonam Wangmo

Daily Life Dzogchen Life & Death Vajrayana

Essence of Vajrayana

When I begun to practice Buddhism I was drawn a great deal to Padmasambhava. The great Vajradhara of Tibet with his Khatvanga, fabulous boots and unique moustache made a huge impression on me as a woman. He was not an ordinary white lotus sitting Buddha. He was a powerful Buddha with a very unique eye on the world, with a huge retinue of what appeared to a lay-person as demons and monsters and magical abilities.

‘I am never far from those with faith,

or even those without it

Though they do not see me.

My children will Always

Always, be protected by my Compassion’

– Padmasambhava

The magical and secret wisdom as well as deep compassion and love is what drew me deeply into Vajrayana, a Tantric tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, promises enlightenment in one life time with a solid practice. Today as a Tara I can tell you that following your own intuitive wisdom into spiritual practice is very rewarding, but not easy.

Vajrayana is mostly focused on esoteric wisdom, dream yoga, and what we would call in the western world – embodiment practices. Through the use of purification practices, mantras, mandalas, healing sounds, meditations (Mahamudra, Dzogchen), visualizations we aim to experience śūnyatā (emptiness) and realize the True Nature or reality as luminosity not separate from emptiness.

For most part when I was teaching yoga in the west I discovered that for the lay westerner, introduction of meditation is the means to help relieve stress, develop a more sincere and authentic connection within one’s community and to improve one’s productivity.

For some this is the end as well. For others meditation practice and improved well being is a new doorway into a world of mystical wisdom, greater compassion and more profound knowledge. For the Buddhists it is a way of life and an understanding that ALL of Life is suffering.

What is very enjoyable about Vajrayana, and what I say to my students is that Vajrayana doesn’t stop. It is never-ending. We practice Vajrayana all the time, and then Vajrayana practices us.

We develop a personal relationship with the Buddha Dharma. The Dharma (one of the three jewels) is an entity and having a good relationship with the Dharma is essential to success of a practitioner. As devoted, or respectful you are to a teacher, and as important as it is to your success, the relationship you have with the Buddha Dharma is more significant to your enlightenment.

It is said that each one of us who is practicing is able to not only reach enlightenment but to also elevate and liberate all other beings. The Buddha Nature lives within all human beings. This is why it is a great gift to have a human life, intelligence, and means to practice.

Most students will like to have a Yidam deity, whether it is Padmasambhava, Green Tara, Manjushri, a protector deity, Avalokiteshwara, VajraYogini, Machig Lapdron, and others.

The practitioner gets to develop a relationship with the essence energy of the yidam deity. Some become those deities during a lifetime, and commit to return in subsequent lives to help liberate sentient beings. This is the way of Vajrayana to purify the obscurations and help resolve inner conflicts so to become a bodhisattva that returns.

A bodhisattva is dedicated to awakening and empowering realization in human beings. A bodhisattva is not an all-giving-provider. Bodhisattva will give you what a bodhisattva can give you, and what they can not give the practitioner must figure that out for themselves.

It is a great practice to remember that not only it is essential to be in the time of regular practice, but to embody the practice in day to day life. To eat, dance, work, play, work, make-love and live in EVERYTHING as the deity you have chosen. Vajrayana is not a part time work, you do for some time once a day. Vajrayana is something that you do/are everyday and every night. This way we get to have not only more fun, we get to experience emptiness further and increase our compassion towards ourselves, our condition and all other sentient beings.

Rev. Dr. Sonam Wangmo

Buddhism Daily Life Dzogchen The 4 Noble Truths

It matters what you believe

When we are in touch with the reality of impermanence then we know that at some point everything will come to pass. This includes our lives, and the lives of those who we care about. The connection to impermanence is an important clue on our human journey. We can realize then, what are the most important things to us. In this inner value we bond with others who share similar views. This is a gift of reciprocity with life that allows us to focus our attention on serving each other rather than destroying each other and our planet.

Impermanence is something that we do not like to hear about in the occidental world. By most part everyone is focused on maintaining status quo. The lay-person’s status quo allows for feeling of false security and deepens our connection with samsara. When we examine this illusion we can see it is based in fear.

Realizing samsara in our everyday life is the first thing in understanding the core of Buddhism; The 4 Noble Truths. Whether we are happy, indifferent or unhappy we are always suffering. Our attachment, aversion, ignorance, inauthenticity and inability to face reality is what causes our suffering.

When we begin to practice the dharma something fundamentally begins to shift inside of us. We begin to realize our nature. Our nature has an opportunity to be unobscured by the conditioning. It is empty. These moments of emptiness deepen with practice, both on and off the cushion. Each moment when we connect with our unobscured nature we can realize the precious gift that it is to practice the dharma and share life in a compassionate way.

It is a blessing to find, learn from, and remain connected with a great teacher. The right teacher is like a torch of light in the midst of our confusion unraveling itself. The teacher has compassion, wisdom and skills to guide us in an appropriate way. Each student is unique and different and at various levels of their journey towards realization. The goal of the practice is realization.

For some people it is very painful to be aware. When we connect with our true nature we can train ourselves to practice awareness and mindfulness. Everyone who is intelligent to practice the dharma has an intrinsic understanding of awareness and mindfulness. In this way we can enter into a relationship with our mind and start contemplation and meditation, we can begin to make a noticeable change in our lives and help to improve the lives of others.

Our approach to mind is crucial. We need to understand our mind deeply. What we believe matters a lot. A non-believer is also a believer of a kind. A belief is a set value within a person. It is a value that can be altered and it can be deepened or discarded. Beliefs form after certain reinforcements have been put in place. The way our beliefs reinforce themselves and why they differ from person to person has to do with our karma and conditions of our life. Our individual karma is what makes us so unique on the human level.

Our beliefs shape the way we relate with the world around. Our nature is empty and has no beliefs, yet our karmic causes and circumstances make us uniquely who we are, the way we move in this world is affected by what we believe.

How we treat our mind is very essential to leading a good life. A daily discipline is what allows us to shift habitual thinking patterns, beliefs and gives us a deeper sense of meaning to the daily life. It brings us in touch with what is real, what we value and lets us find the middle path in the midst of projections and those who ask for change but don’t want to change themselves.

Rev. Dr. Sonam Wangmo