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Last week at the BBG: Useful links

​Each week links to videos and readings from our weekly meetings will be made available

18th July 2019  Vipashyana and the 'Wheel of Life': a perspective from Sean Davidson

Sean’s session was based on Wheel of Life - Teaching by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, February 2016

Sean's explanation of the 'Wheel' was very helpful so I have reproduced it below:

‘Behind our meditation practice lies the question about why we might want to meditate and even begin to start 'dealing with' the mind. Questions of this nature can perhaps be referred to as 'vipashyana' (or 'vipassana'), or 'insight' meditation, and is the counter-part to Shamatha (calm-abiding) meditation that we practiced in the last session.  The Dalai Lama defines vipashyana as 'contemplation of the real nature of reality'.

The Buddhist idea is that because of 'basic ignorance' ('Avidya') we don't perceive or relate to reality properly and this leads to a misconception about the substance of those things we distinguish as 'separate' in the everyday world and then also misconceptions about our own 'self'. This misunderstanding of reality and ourselves leads to confused emotions (Kleshas) and then confused actions (cause) which lead to results, or 'Karma' (effect) - hence, Buddhists refer to the 'law of cause and effect' - and this cycle constitutes 'Samsara', or 'Samsaric Existence'.

This chain of cause and effect, and the psychology it manifests, is described by the 'Wheel of life' and this is where Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche youtube presentation on it comes in. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is fully trained in Tibetan Buddhism but his presentations often use examples and references familiar to westerners in order to help us to get a clearer perspective on what can be quite abstract and exotic concepts and ideas.

At the centre of the ‘Wheel of life’ are three animals, a pig, a rooster, and a snake. The pig symbolises our basic ignorance of things as they are - their interdependence (with other apparently separate things) and their impermanence. The basic mistake about things we identify as 'separate' leads to the emotions of hope and fear, which manifest in turn as desire (grasping, attachment) symbolised by the rooster and as anger (hatred, aversion) symbolised by the snake. These are the 'Three Poisons'.

The basic ignorance (or 'delusion') that is represented by the pig is also the origin of our experience of the world in terms of time and space. And, thus, the duality of 'subject' and 'object' is created.  The problem of 'duality' and the possibility of 'non-duality' ('Advaita') are important concepts of Tantra and 'Transcendence' and is referenced again by the famous quote from Chandrakirti that 'an idiot does bad things and goes to hell, but an idiot also does good things and goes to heaven; only a wise person goes beyond doing good and bad and reaches liberation'. This is something to do with the 'indistinguishability of Samsara and Nirvana' that is mentioned in the opening prayer of the Chenrezig Puja that we chant on the first Thursday of every month.

The psychological experience of this cycle of ignorance leading to action is captured on the wheel by the next layer outwards of the 'Six Realms', three higher(God realm, Asura realm, and human realm and three lower (animal realm, hungry ghost realm, and hell realm). Dzongsar Rinpoche describes these realms in terms of our wordly psychological experiences rather than being metaphysical, 'other-realms' outside our ordinary experience. You might sometimes see each syllable of the mantra 'om mani padme hum' in different colours when written in Tibetan. These colours also symbolise the six realms whose inhabitants we cultivate compassion and the wish for liberation for and to whom we refer in the opening prayers of the Chenrezig Puja.

The next outward layer of the wheel is that of the Twelve Nidanas and it describes the links of causation by which the cycle of death and rebirth of Samsara is created. They are also known as the 'twelve links of dependent origination'. Given that the twelve nidanas are connected by a circle, the starting point of their explanation is somewhat arbitrary but, traditionally, it starts with 'basic ignorance' (avidya) and ends with 'old age and death' and each link in the chain is both the result of the previous nidana and the cause of the next.

The implication is that our basic ignorance is maintained by the habitual nature of aspects of our mental life be it our thoughts, emotions or dispositions or of feelings and how  these habits affect how we relate to the world. These habits might not initially be problems in and of themselves, but they are 'addictive' and eventually there will be some sort of disconnect between reality and our view of it, which can be the starting point for very real everyday suffering. There is also another sense of suffering; the Buddhist term 'Dukkha' refers to a sense of dissatisfaction simply at not relating to reality fully and that these habits seem to rob us of a full appreciation of what is actually happening right now.  Dzongsar says this sense is traditionally termed as 'your Buddha nature is kicking' and a recognition of this experience is key in what he calls 'cultivating renunciation' - the realisation that, even if we win at 'the game of Samsara' we can never really be fully satisfied by it.

It is an aspect of, if not the aim of, many Buddhist practices to overcome our own particular habitual tendencies and thought patterns - in order to make ourselves 'aware', 'awake' and 'present' ('in the moment').  This is particularly so with the Mahayana practice of 'Seven Point Mind Training' - something I hope to cover in a future session.’

27th June 2019: Pema Chalmers facilitated a discussion on addiction based on a Tara Brach teaching

Tara Brach: Healing Addiction: De-conditioning the Hungry Ghosts


20th June 2019: Sean Davidson presented an Introduction to Meditation Techniques

What Meditation Really Is ~ Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

First, watch your thoughts: Dealing with Emotions ~ Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

The meditation approach in these videos cultivates detachment from our thoughts and the significance they might otherwise have for us and this, perhaps, generates space around them in which we can slow down our responses and perhaps eventually and ultimately this can give us the chance to respond differently allowing us to control our emotions and our actions better. This activity implies both courage, in letting whatever might arise simply arise whether it is a positive or negative occurrence and therefore also an openness and vulnerability, from which softness and gentleness can arise. In the second video, Rinpoche tells a story in which a shepherd goes to see a renowned Lama for some simple instruction in the Dharma, who tells him to watch his thoughts and use different coloured stones to  simply count positive thoughts and negative thoughts during periods of watching the mind. This sort of meditation is categorised in Buddhism as 'Shamatha' - 'calm abiding' or 'tranquillity' meditation.

21 Breaths • Meditation ~ Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

Count 21 breaths as a way to begin a meditation session

Alternative meditation technique suggested by Sean; Simply sitting still 

This is apparently a very traditional technique which involves sitting with an upright posture with legs crossed or sitting on a chair and keeping the body absolutely still for 15-20 mins. You can blink if you meditate with your eyes open, swallow, and, of course, breathe! But nothing else. You don't though particularly have to watch your thoughts - watch the body instead - and just let yourself think of whatever. As Rinpoche Ringu Tulku suggests  'bring the body to the seat, bring the mind into the body, and open the heart'.

Rinpoche Ringu Tulku's 2019 visit: Living with uncertainty

Tuesday April 30 2019

We invite you to attend this public talk given by the celebrated Buddhist Teacher Ringu Tulku Rinpoche on ''Living with uncertainty".

It has been said that the one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable. So why do we fear uncertainty? Ringu Tulku will give us his unique perspective on understanding impermanence and valuing the essential nature of life as ever-changing. Ringu Tulku's friendly practical approach has inspired audiences around the world. No booking required, but we recommend you arrive when the doors open. All donations will cover costs only and all profits go to Rinpoche’s charity the Rigul Trust. All are welcome. The doors will open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. To avoid disappointment please arrive in plenty of time.


COST: £15  (Concessions for low income are available on request)

TIME: 7.30pm - 9.00 pm

VENUE:  Leigh Park Community Centre, Dunsbury Way, Havant. PO9 5BG

Craving and how to deal with it

Thursday November 15 2018

​Tsering Paldron,  a Buddhist Nun, is back in Bosham for one night and giving a public talk in her usual friendly and relaxed style. 



We all crave things in life: approval, love, forgiveness (for ourselves and others), self-acceptance, material or spiritual success (whatever we perceive that to entail), to name but a few. Lama Tsering will be reflecting on the true nature of craving and how we might be better able to deal with it in order to move closer to genuine happiness.



COST: £10 at the door

TIME: 7.30pm - 9.00 pm

VENUE: Hamblin Hall,Bosham House, Main Road,Bosham, Nr Chichester,PO18 8PJ.

See our map.


Introduction to Mindfulness : NEW 6 WEEK COURSE RUN ONCE A MONTH FROM SEPT-FEB

13 September, 11 October, 8 November, 13 December, 10 January, 14 February


This course  will offer participants the opportunity to find out more about mindfulness meditation and learn some simple techniques to practice it in a group and at home. The course will run monthly on a Thursday evening on the second Thursday of the month at Hamblin Hall from 7.30 – 9.00 pm during our regular Bodicharya Buddhist meeting slot.  


This course will be run by Liz Shelley an Accredited Psychotherapeutic Counsellor who herself is a long-term practitioner of meditation under the guidance of Tibetan Lama  Ringu Tulku Rinpoche and other Western  teachers such as Adyashanti.


Mindfulness meditation is a form of attention and awareness training that helps people relate more effectively  to their day to day experiences. It involves paying attention to thoughts, feelings and body  sensations in a way that increases awareness, acceptance and self-compassion to help manage difficult experiences, and create space to make wiser choices.


The themes covered across this six week course include:


Week 1 (September 13, 2018): An introduction to mindfulness


Week 2 (October 11, 2018): ‘ You are not your thoughts’


Week 3 (November 8, 2018): Responding not reacting  


Week 4 (December 13, 2018): Managing difficult experiences  


Week 5 (January 10th, 2019): Acceptance  


Week 6 (February 14, 2019): Compassion and kindness


 Who is this course for?


Everyone can benefit from mindfulness. We all face pressures and stresses and can get stuck in our  personal reactions. The things that stress and challenge us may not change, but the way in which we  deal with them can shift, making day to day life feel easier. Being more aware and accepting of our thoughts and feelings means we are in a better place to make wise choices and deal with difficulties more  effectively.  


How can it benefit me?


Benefits of a regular mindfulness meditation practice can include:


more energy and enthusiasm


a greater capacity for relaxation


more self-confidence


greater clarity and focus


increased concentration


Recording of Rinpoche's 2016 Visit To Bosham - What A Joy!


Thank you Rinpoche for your inspirational teachings.  It was really heart warming to see you back in Bosham again and to see lots of old and new faces. To everyone who attended,  who so generously contributed to both a delightfully tasty shared lunch and a worthwhile charity - thank you.  You all made it so enjoyable, and together we  raised £700 for Rinpoche's charity, Rigul Trust! Thanks to our friends at Bodhicharya International, the Buddha Nature teachings from the Friday evening are now available online. Click here Enjoy! Let's do it all again next year :0)

New Study Group The Six Paramitas, Starts 08/10/15

starting on 8th October 2015

As voted by the group, the new study evening will be devoted to the six Paramitas .


In Buddhism, these six virtues are cultivated as a way of purification, purifying karma and helping the aspirant to live an unobstructed life, while reaching the goal of enlightenment.


All are welcome to come to some or all of the evenings. The schedule for these study evenings will be as follows:


• 8th October 2015 showing Rinpoche video/audio on Generosity. 

• 12th November 2015 - Elsie will present an evening on Generosity. 

• 10th December 2015 showing Rinpoche video/audio on Discipline

• 7th January 2016 - Pema will present an evening on Discipline. 

• 11th February 2016 showing Rinpoche audio/video on Patience.

• 10th March 2016 - Caro will present an evening on Patience.

• 7th April 2016 showing Rinpoche audio/video on Joyful Endeavour.

• 12th May 2016 - Graham will present an evening on Joyful Endeavour.

• 9th June 2016 showing Rinpoche audio/video on Mediative Concentration.  

• 14th July 2016 - Yeshie will present an evening on Mediative Concentration. 

• 11th August 2016 showing Rinpoche audio/video on Prajna (wisdom). 

• 8th September 2016 - Rob will present an evening on Prajna (wisdom). 


* this schedule has changed please see our latest programme


This schedule may well be subject to change - any changes will be posted on this website.



Hope to see you all there :0)


+ Read more about these and other meetings


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