Wednesday, 23 March 2011

This blog is no longer current, please go to my author's blog.

I should have blogged this some considerable time ago ... but life has been excitingly full of new and continuing ventures. My second book Relaxing into Meditation was published in 2010 and at that point I decided to launch a new blog that was not specifically tied to one book. As I currently have at least three writing projects on the go it is my intention for there to be a gradually continuing stream of books.

This Spacious Passion website will remain as a static entity for those who wish to visit it and read Spacious Passion for free. The Spacious Passion blog is not going to continue because I am using the author's blog as my primary sphere of communication with regard to writing.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Pilgrimage to Boudha

In 2007—with my husband Ngakpa 'ö-Dzin— I visited Kathmandu in Nepal. A few of our students joined us there, with members of Ngak'chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen's sangha, and also with Ngak'chang Rinpoche himself. The primary purpose of the visit was to meet Kyabjé Künzang Dorje Rinpoche and Jomo Sam'phel Déchen – the root teachers of Ngak'chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen.

It was most inspiring to meet this elderly Tibetan couple who have been practitioners all their life and are highly regarded for their presence and realisation. It was also inspiring to be with my own Lama in the presence of his Lama, and feel the great affection and respect between them. There are many wonderful pictures of Kyabjé Künzang Dorje Rinpoche and Jomo Sam'phel Déchen on the Aro Encyclopædia website – although none of these were taken in 2007 as Kyabjé Künzang Dorje Rinpoche did not allow photography during our visits at that time.

There were many opportunities during our two weeks in Kathmandu to purchase practice items and artefacts, as well as clothing. Here we are pictured wearing the Tibetan costume we purchased, taken before the beginning of the celebration at our apprentice retreat in Abergavenny later in 2007. Ngakpa 'ö-Dzin and I are hoping to be able to visit Boudha again later this year, and meet with Kyabjé Künzang Dorje Rinpoche and Jomo Sam'phel Déchen. We are also hoping to take our sons with us to meet these great Lamas.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Audio teaching

The Aro Lineage website has a number of audio teachings that can be listened to or downloaded. One of these recordings is of me teaching an introduction to shi-nè meditation. Recently I received a nice comment about this audio from a man called Balaam.

He said, “.... the woman’s voice is very good, almost hypnotic – I mean the one with the description of shi-nè meditation. She seems to be a very good teacher. I am listening to the piece now and it’s very good. It is educational and she leads you slowly into the meditation with ease.

I am happy to hear that the teaching is proving to be of help to people.

The photograph is of our shrine room at Aro Khalding Tsang.

Best wishes from,
Ngakma Nor’dzin

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

A day of teaching and practice – May 16th

Ngakpa 'ö-Dzin and I shall be hosting a day of teaching at Aro Khalding Tsang in Cardiff, on Saturday 16th May. The topic will be The Four Noble Truths.

The day will be an opportunity to practice meditation and yogic song; to hear teachings on one of the foremost Buddhist topics; and to meet informally with new and experienced meditators in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

The first Noble Truth examines the universal experience of dissatisfaction. The second recognises that this experience of dissatisfaction has a cause that can be identified and understood. The third is the possibility of the cessation of the experience of dissatsifaction. The fourth Noble Truth is that there is a path which can be followed to realise complete happiness and satisfaction.

"Through understanding that unsatisfactoriness is something we create, we can undermine our own creation. We can discover the function and value of spiritual practice. In fact, not to practice becomes madness. If you realised you were drowning – would you refuse to accept a lifeline? If you realised you were sick – would you reject life-saving medicine?" Spacious Passion, Chapter 7, 'Sparkling Puddles'

The day will be from 10 am till 4 pm with a break for lunch, which is provided. The cost is £10 which covers the expenses of lunch and advertising. No charge is made for the teachings and the teachers receive no remuneration.

To enrol for the day or for more information please visit the Aro Buddhist Meditation Group Cardiff meetup.

Sunday, 22 February 2009


It is interesting how we let previous experience get in the way of the present moment. I have been wanting to jump my horse over a log in the wood for a long time, and every time the opportunity presents itself I have lacked the courage to try it. I know that jumping can be an exhilarating and enjoyable experience – so why have I been avoiding it?

We own two horses, Dee and Red. My relationship with Red started badly, owing to an accident caused by a saddle slipping. I suffered an injury to my knee that took a long time to heal. This was the first past experience that was getting in the way of the present moment.

The other past experiences that were preventing me from seizing the moment, were times in the past that I have actually fallen off while jumping. These incidents have always been on riding stables' horses that did not really want to jump, and—sensing my nervousness and reluctance to push them on—swerved away at the last moment, or almost stopped and then did a huge leap from a near-standstill.

However jumping logs in the wood is fun. Riders enjoy it; horses enjoy it. The logs in question are quite small—probably only 1 ft high—so there is no reason to doubt the willingness of a horse to jump them. Jumping such a small log is not really very different for the rider than continuing at a canter. I know all of this, so why do I let past unfortunate experiences and projection of possible problems prevent me from enjoying jumping a log?

Yesterday, I seized the moment, I relaxed into the confidence of myself as a rider and my horse as a sensible mount. We sailed over two logs – and it was indeed barely perceptible as a change in canter pace. But Red and I thoroughly enjoyed it and our relationship has grown because of it. Our confidence in each other has deepened, and the moment of presence we shared was most wonderful.

Monday, 9 February 2009

New website launched

The new Spacious Passion website has been launched.

The content of the site will be mostly fixed, as its purpose is to display the contents of the book. I shall use this blog to announce teaching events, to report on events that have happened, and for anything else for which it seems useful.

May I also offer this blog as a means for readers of Spacious Passion, and those interested in the practice of Nyingma Buddhism to make contact.

May I thank everyone who has shown an interest in the book, and for the many friendly and appreciative comments I have received.

Photograph: Southern Beach, Dinbych y Pysgod (Tenby), Wales, 2007, by Ngakpa 'ö-Dzin.