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.