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Lama Tsomo on Buddhist Practices That Assist Us Domesticate Knowledge & Connection


Lion’s Roar’s Rod Meade Sperry talks to trainer, psychotherapist, and creator Lama Tsomo about Deepening Knowledge, Deepening Connection, the third e book in her Tibetan Buddhist apply collection.

Lama Tsomo

Lama Tsomo is a trainer, psychotherapist, and creator who has simply launched E book 3 of her “Tibetan Buddhist Apply” collection, printed by Namchak Publishing. The collection is titled Historic Knowledge for Our Instances, and this new quantity is named Deepening Knowledge, Deepening Connection. (The primary two volumes are titled, provocatively, Why Trouble? An Introduction, and Knowledge and Compassion (Beginning with Your self).)

I just lately had a possibility to talk with Lama Tsomo for The Lion’s Roar Podcast. The next is an edited excerpt of our dialog, which will likely be shared in full within the weeks forward.

Thanks a lot for becoming a member of me, Lama Tsomo. 

I’m so joyful to be right here.

Congratulations on this new e book. Does one must have learn the “prequels,” because it had been? 

Properly it does progress from one e book to the subsequent. It relies upon partly in your stage of apply. However I’ve just lately heard from individuals who have had a sneak preview, and regardless of my saying that this can be a development and a newbie can actually profit from going step-by-step by means of it. It’s been discovered fairly accessible. I’m pondering of 1 individual specifically a few days in the past, and different folks have stated the identical: it’s really accessible even for novices. After which they discover they wanna return to the prequels and discover out extra. So, you may sort of go at it from both course.

The e book covers two major topic areas. One is the “4 boundless qualities,” often known as the brahmaviharas, or the Divine Abodes, or the 4 immeasurables. These are equanimity, loving-kindness, compassion, and sympathetic pleasure. And it must be famous that each one of those are associated to us as issues that must be thought of for our functions, boundless. (Which could be very beautiful.) After which the second a part of the e book is Vipassana, or Perception meditation. Why these two areas collectively, and the way do they relate to your title, Deepening Knowledge and Deepening Connection

Properly, they dovetail collectively. It’s nearly like two wings of a chicken, if you’ll. In order we’re seeing how we’re really not separate — and that occurs by means of Vipassana fairly naturally, as you see how issues actually are — you perceive that all of us come out of the identical floor. And so, that’s one wing. Then the opposite wing is the connection piece, the place we really feel by means of our hearts how we’re not separate. I like to incorporate each of these in every meditation.

All through Buddhist apply, there are these two parts: the seeing for your self the way it really is, that we’re not separate, and, then the feeling how we’re not separate.

You’ll discover all through Buddhist apply, regardless of how excessive or how profound you get, there are these two parts: the seeing for your self the way it really is, that we’re not separate, and, then the feeling how we’re not separate. I believe particularly in these occasions, that’s terribly vital for us to really feel and see for ourselves, as a result of proper now we’re feeling very separate; there’s a whole lot of us/them pondering. All people’s pointing fingers at one another and blaming one another for all of the difficulties occurring. And naturally, that’s not producing a whole lot of nice options, and doesn’t really feel so nice.

The factor that’s boundless about these “boundless qualities” is that you simply’re going past your little group. It’s not me, it’s not my group, it’s not my something. It’s really taking you step-by-step from loving myself and having compassion for myself ,to these I simply really feel it for, after which so on and so forth all the best way out to all and everybody who’re fellow creations of this floor of being.

Are you of the thoughts that these teachings usually are not solely useful to us on a private stage, however by way of the sociopolitical local weather? That means that they’re useful to us as a result of they assist us to be higher residents?

Yeah. I work with activists lots and do a few of it myself and we discover that we will make a whole lot of messes attempting to repair the world if we don’t begin with ourselves. And as soon as we get our understanding of how issues actually are extra consistent with how they are surely, we make fewer messes as soon as we apply compassion — which is a ability, not only a passing sentiment. As soon as we construct that and the opposite capacities you enumerated, we’re in a position to step into the world and be way more efficient.

And once we additionally apply knowledge, as we do with Vipassana, then we’re combining knowledge with compassion. And we’re not simply working round like a rooster with its head lower off.

Have a look at His Holiness the Dalai Lama for instance, who has expanded each his capacities for knowledge and compassion to such an excessive extent that I’ve to choose him for instance.

He’s doing a implausible quantity of fine on the planet as one individual. , this one refugee. And it’s as a result of he’s developed these capacities so strongly, I consider.

What sorts of methods will we study on this e book for doing so ourselves?

Properly, as I form of hinted at, we start with ourselves. In any other case it may be an mental train. So, within the earlier e book I used to be educating Tonglen, which is a compassion apply, for instance, and I like to start out with one thing that’s actually up for me — one thing I’m affected by proper now. And, maintain myself in compassion and apply it for myself. After which, as soon as I’ve completed a few of that and actually shifted that — since you take away the struggling and change it with the enjoyment and happiness that’s naturally there within the floor of being, you’re bringing that forth — after we’ve practiced with ourselves, then we step it out to folks we simply really feel compassion for, we already care lots about. However as a way to make it boundless, we don’t wanna cease there.

We wanna step out and out to folks we don’t actually take into consideration an excessive amount of. : the one who checks us out on the grocery retailer or you understand, folks we move within the hallway at work or one thing like that. And we expect, Properly, they wanna be joyful they usually don’t wanna endure. So, you understand, I guess they’ve suffered from one thing like this that I’m affected by, too, in some unspecified time in the future.

And, linear time being an phantasm, we will apply for them proper now. And so we do, after which we step it out additional. And when you’ve completed this some time, you may really even do it for folks you’ve had difficulties with. However I wouldn’t begin out with that instantly. That’s just a little more difficult. However you then lastly step it out to all and everybody, as a result of in some unspecified time in the future all people’s suffered from one thing comparable — possibly an much more excessive model than what you’re affected by for the time being. In order that’s an instance with Tonglen, however you do the identical factor to make it boundless with all the boundless qualities.

Now, these practices of those qualities, and of loving-kindness, are in all probability most strongly related to Theravada Buddhism and the Perception meditation motion, however they’re frequent to many Buddhists.

Oh yeah.

“Deepening Knowledge, Deepening Connection” by Lama Tsomo
Namchak Publishing, 2022
190 pages
$14.95

How would you characterize the Tibetan Buddhist method to those concepts? 

A pair issues. One is, we hear lots about metta (loving-kindness) in Theravada. There isn’t (in Theravada) the apply of Tonglen as a approach to apply compassion and develop your capability. And sympathetic pleasure, I don’t, I don’t recall having skilled that within the little bit of instruction I’ve had on Theravada meditation. However that’s emphasised too in Tibetan Buddhist apply. After which equanimity is, as you may sort of inform, working all through all of those boundless qualities, as a result of you may’t make it boundless when you’ve got choice. The purpose is that you simply care as deeply for everybody as you probably did for your self whenever you began the apply. So every session, you’re beginning with the place you may really feel it strongly, as a result of indifference isn’t what we’re going for. That’s not equanimity. That’s a close to enemy, as a matter of truth, and I discuss that within the e book. However we wanna begin with that. So we develop a whole lot of compassion after which transfer that out so it’s simply as sturdy for everybody.

I wanna say just a little bit extra about what’s particular concerning the Tibetan Buddhist apply of the brahmaviharas, or the boundless qualities, and that’s that each one all through Tibetan Buddhism, you’re doing practices that form of take our recurring tendencies as human beings and sort of simply transfer them just a bit bit in order that now they’re really a part of the trail to enlightenment as an alternative of you simply going round and round in struggling. So, with the brahmaviharas, what you’re doing is, you’re taking our tendency to have inner conversations, the place you think about any individual in entrance of you after which you have got this interplay. In order that’s principally what we’re doing with these practices: you think about any individual in entrance of you and also you do that interplay, it’s simply a way more elevated interplay.

That’s lovely. Once we get to Vipassana/Perception within the e book, you notice that you simply’d want your readers had a longtime apply of shamatha or calm abiding meditation. Why?

Properly, any apply that you simply do requires that you simply be capable of put your thoughts on one thing and have it keep there some time, and that at the least it slows down. And that’s actually arduous for us to do, significantly today once we’re measuring display time in nanoseconds. So we’ve an additional problem as fashionable folks. We drive in vehicles that go so many miles per hour, for instance. That wasn’t the case when the Buddha and his college students had been strolling step-by-step from one place to a different. It was a lot, a lot slower. And I believe it was simpler then to gradual your thoughts down and have it choose one in all these practices. And so you may accumulate fairly a profound expertise with that apply whenever you’re sitting and doing it, however when your thoughts is racing round like a pet canine, to get it to do a “down/keep” instantly is gonna be sort of arduous to do. And as a matter of truth, the pet’s gonna be pissed off and it’s not gonna work, they usually’re gonna hate coaching periods. So in order for you your thoughts to like coaching periods and be capable of do a “down/keep” for some time, then one of the best is to start out with quick periods and skillful practices like shamatha, which implies peaceable abiding.

So it’s not pissed off abiding, however peaceable abiding, and your thoughts can develop in its capability to have the ability to try this so it will possibly comfortably sit with practices and you’ll actually develop some power with them.

To apply shamatha meditation together with Lama Tsomo, preserve an ear out for her full look on The Lion’s Roar Podcast, coming in November, which may even embrace her ideas on discovering a Buddhist trainer, and extra.

Deepening Knowledge, Deepening Connection is accessible now from Namchak Publishing.

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