SERVICES and PRODUCTS
How to Cultivate Resilience in Tough Times - Lions Roar
Clarity & Calm: An Interview With Mingyur Rinpoche - Lions Roar
In this exclusive interview, Mingyur Rinpoche tells Lion’s Roar’s Andrea Miller how he learned to befriend his anxiety. We all have an innate well-being, he says. And we can all experience it. From the November 2023 issue of Lion’s Roar magazine.
For me, when it comes to bearing the suffering caused by dying and death, Buddhism has been like my grandmother, who was the only person I trusted to ask when I was a child, “Why did my father die?” With tears in her eyes, her big arms wrapped around my little body, she held me, and answered with empathy, wisdom, and nurturance.
Buddhist teachings on being with dying, when practiced, are like being held in an empathetic, wise, and comforting embrace by a council of unknown and known elders who have already seen the countless joys and sorrows in life, and therefore are prepared to help us be with the reality of profound loss, with equanimity.
Lion’s Roar’s free online summit beginning October 12,Death, Love, and Wisdom, explores these teachings through the lens of esteemed Buddhist teachers, chaplains, educators, and pioneers in Buddhist-informed end-of-life care.
Buddhism, when we are immersed in its ancient teachings and practices on being with death and dying, positions us to be beneficiaries of the legacies of teachers throughout the centuries and in various lands, including contemporary forms in the West, and as such puts us in the streams of being held in the wise and compassionate embrace of a council of great-grandparents. No matter how old you are now, can you accept your inescapable vulnerability, like a small grandchild dealing with a painful mysterious loss, and allow yourself to soften into and be held in wisdom’s embrace?
Siddhartha Gautama, before he became known as the Buddha, was said to have experienced the reality of illness and death long after his contemporaries had already faced these facts many times. As such, Siddhartha, like many of us, was a late bloomer. He had been protected from knowing about humanity’s existential threats. This part of the Buddha’s story is so relatable and explains why Buddhism is the progenitor of many of the world’s leading experts on the compassionate and wise care of dying people.
In this Weekend Reader, we offer you a few teachings from a contemporary council of Buddhist elders featured inDeath, Love, and Wisdomwho, through their decades of life, teaching, and leadership, are living members of the council of grandparent compassion and wisdom. You’re never too old, or young, to benefit from their teachings and if you think now is not the right time to confront your true impermanent nature, I’ll end here by recalling the "Evening Chant," with which Zen practitioners end their day of temple practice:
—Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Associate Editor,Lion’s Roar
Pema Chödrön's Wisdom for Waking Up to Your World - Lions Roar
Throughout your day you can pause, take a break from your usual thoughts, and wake up to the magic and vastness of the world around you. Pema Chödrön says this easy and spacious type of mindfulness practice is the most important thing we can do with our lives.
In mindfulness meditation, you’re trying to stabilize and calm your mind. With some dedication, you will begin to discover that this calmness or harmony is a natural aspect of the mind, which mindfulness meditation practice helps develop and strengthen. Eventually, you will be able to remain peacefully in your mind without struggling.
“Calmness, a natural aspect of the mind?” you ask. “Remaining peacefully in my mind without struggle? Are you serious?”
This may seem like a tall order, but as the late teacher of Zen, mindfulness, and peace, Thich Nhat Hanh, encourages the reader in “The Practice of Mindfulness”: “You don’t have to wait 10 years to experience this happiness. It is present in every moment of your daily life.”
It’s easy to become swept up by worries about the future or regrets of past mistakes, forgetting where you truly belong. “Our true home is in the here and the now,” continues Thich Nhat Hanh. “Life is available only in the here and the now.”
The three teachings by Thich Nhat Hanh featured below offer a series of exercises that will help you release tension, harness compassion, revere life, and become more mindful.
May they help you find your way back to the present moment this weekend — your true home.
—Ross Nervig, Associate Editor,Lion’s Roar
Mindfulness is the energy that helps us recognize the conditions of happiness that are already present in our lives. You don’t have to wait ten years to experience this happiness. It is present in every moment of your daily life. There are those of us who are alive but don’t know it. But when you breathe in, and you are aware of your in-breath, you touch the miracle of being alive. That is why mindfulness is a source of happiness and joy.
Detox Your Mind: 5 Practices to Purify the 3 Poisons - Lions Roar
We all experience moments of heightened perception, when it seems the universe has a message for us, one that is filled with profound but inexpressible meaning. suddenness, the sense of being taken by surprise, before ego has a chance to put up its barriers, is often important here. Any of the five bodily senses can open this door for us. The sense of smell, in particular, is well-known for arousing deep-buried memories, which, if we let go and do not grasp at them, can open up the dimension of timelessness. such experiences are often intensely emotional, and we should not forget that in Buddhism the mind too is a sense-organ, whose objects are thoughts, feelings, memories, and so forth. These too can act as symbols.
Through the gateway of our senses, we can enter a realm infinitely wider and deeper, where the limitations of time and space dissolve and the whole universe is present in one moment, in one single point.
The Dharma of Distraction - Lions Roar
It goes a lot deeper than how many times a day you check your phone. According to Buddhist teacher Judy Lief, distraction is the very foundation of ego, the way we protect ourselves against both the pain of life and the open space of awakened mind. You could even say that letting go of all distraction is the path to enlightenment.
How to Practice Chanting - Lions Roar
How to Trust Your Basic Goodness - Lions Roar
Painting by Vicky Alvarez.
How to Be Kind to Yourself - Lions Roar
In my late twenties, a near-constant thought looped in my head: I wish I’d never been born. Whether waking up for work, trudging through the snow, or lugging grocery bags on the bus, this unfriendly phrase was my closest companion.I can recall a dark moment when a frozen pizza I’d bought wouldn’t fit in the tiny freezer of the tiny fridge of the tiny apartment I coined “The Gloom Tomb.” In a rage, I shrieked a string of curse words that I suppose were meant to articulate the question: Was I born to suffer? I proceeded to hit the frozen pizza against the wall until both the box and pizza were pulverized into a smaller formation, allowing me to shove the cold, crumpled mass into the freezer.I laugh at this memory now and my comedic level of existentialism, but at that moment, I hated everything. I hated myself, the pizza, the freezer, the city I lived in, and the friends I had. I even hated my parents for having me. Objectively, I knew others had it worse and that there were much larger problems to be had than the puzzle of fitting a too-large pizza into a too-small freezer, but at the time, I was enthralled with my pain and the question of suffering.Now, as a parent myself, I sometimes catch myself worrying if I’ve brought another being into this world to experience suffering. Have I doomed another to the same pain and frustration that inevitably comes in life? So far, Buddhism has provided the only adequate answer I’ve found to the question of suffering, an answer I could potentially give my son if he ever comes to me with the question: Why do we suffer?Suffering, I will tell him, is the first step on the path of knowledge — it’s right there in Buddhism’s four noble truths. The concept of suffering, or dukkha, is pivotal in understanding and embarking on the path to waking up. Without it, we’d never be invited to courageously face our own vulnerabilities and explore the labyrinth of attachment, unmasking the roots of our inner struggles. Suffering isn’t merely a phenomena we’re trying to escape through Buddhist practice, but the threshold through which we must pass to begin the journey. The Buddha emphasizes that understanding suffering is central to his teachings and the journey toward awakening. "I teach suffering, its origin, cessation, and path,” he once remarked. “That's all I teach." Suffering serves as the first step on the Buddhist path because it propels individuals to seek answers beyond the transient pleasures of life. By acknowledging the reality of suffering, we become motivated to understand its cause and transcend them. The three teachings below offer insight on the truth of suffering and how we can enrich our lives by facing it with compassion and understanding.—Ross Nervig, Associate Editor, Lion’s Roar
Thich Nhat Hanh on the Miracle of Mindfulness - Lions Roar
When we practice mindfulness in our daily lives, says the late Thich Nhat Hanh, we open to the wonders of life and allow the world to heal and nourish us.
Right Here With You: Buddhist Chaplains' Inspiring Stories of Spiritual Care - Lions Roar
Liberation for All Women - Lions Roar
Green Tara: You Are the Divine Feminine - Lions Roar
For writer Pico Iyer, travel is a spiritual experience that shakes up our usual certainties and connects us to a richer, vaster world. Iyer talks with editor-in-chief Melvin McLeod about his new book, The Half Known Life: In Search of Paradise, and his eclectic contemplative practice. From the September 2023 issue of Lion’s Roar.
Listen to the full interview with Pico Iyer on The Lion’s Roar Podcast.
The Lion’s Roar Podcast: Travel as a Spiritual Experience with Pico Iyer - Lions Roar
Read this article here: The Moment is Perfect -- Thich Nhat Hanh Lion's Roar (lionsroar.com)
The Dharma of Fiction
Novels, fables, and plays—they’re stories that are made up, yet they often express deep truths. Five writers and thinkers explore the spiritual teachings they’ve found in fiction.
“Our existence, we learn, is suffused withdukkha; every second is touched by its turmoil. It can be subtle, or it can be extreme. But being aware of this is a momentous beginning. A flower finally noticed. I find the dharma most present in the last line of the novel. Mrs. Dalloway steps into the middle of her party, her thoughts silenced for just a moment: ‘There she was.’ I see a woman at peace. Awakened to her life.”
Read more here:
The Dharma of Fiction - Lions Roar