Grace, Strength and Dignity in the Face of Loss

In this blog, our friend and sangha member Jennifer Dunn shares an experience during her hospitalization at UCSF a number of years ago. It is a lovely story of two strangers who share the pain of serious illness and loss of a loved one.  Their open-hearted sharing transformed their experience, easing their pain at a most difficult time in their lives.
A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO, I was admitted to the hospital for a five day regimen of chemotherapy. The unit I was assigned to had patients who were [...]

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    Tara does come to the Rescue: Three Personal Encounters with Tara

Tara does come to the Rescue: Three Personal Encounters with Tara

A most beloved female buddha, Tara is renowned for her swift and compassionate activity. It is not hyperbole when we say she rushes to the aid of beings when we call upon her with heartfelt devotion. Below are three students who have experienced Tara when she was most needed:

From James Coleman, Pd.D, author, teacher
I have been fortunate to learn a wide palette of Vajrayana techniques and approaches from Lama Palden, and at first Tara practice was just one among many.  But when I experienced a health crisis and [...]

A Good Way to Die

The Dalai Lama and other great teachers tell us that to die with bodhichitta,the wish to be of benefit to all beings, is the best way to die. The heart that is filled with love and compassion is the essence of the enlightened mind.
“While I live, I shall meditate on bodhichitta.  This is what gives meaning to my life.  At the moment of death, I will meditate on bodhichitta.  It will help me continue on my way to enlightenment.” 
     -Dalai Lama 
We can begin to develop [...]

How Can We Help? Never Forget the Power of Love

In today’s world, when we are faced with the suffering of so many around the globe, our own communities, and our own families, we can often be left with the question “How best can I help?”  “ How can I keep my heart open?” And with the enormity of some of the challenges that arise, we wonder how we can possibly make a difference.

We forget that love and compassion, which is awakened presence, is the power to heal ourselves and our world.  In her unique and timely way, Lama [...]

Meet the New Sukhasiddhi Outreach and Membership Director

With the changes occurring at Sukhasiddhi, a new role was created, the Outreach and Membership Director, and Greg Garner has happily stepped into it. Here are a few words from Greg:
It is an exciting time to be involved with Sukhasiddhi, particularly with the new Wisdom River initiative being developed, Lama Palden’s anticipated new book and class, Love on Every Breath, along with the ongoing breadth of offerings at Sukhasiddhi. The Sukhasiddhi center is truly a special place that’s made that way by all the people who walk through [...]

Happy Losar! The Year of the Earth Dog

Happy Losar to All! As they say in Tibetan, Lha Gyal Lo! This means Victory to the Awakened Beings in their activity to benefit beings.
This is Earth Dog year and is known for the qualities of fairness, equality, integrity and honesty. May these qualities bloom in all of us, and all of humanity. May we come into great cooperation and peace with each other. May we all thrive!
Love to you all,
Lama Palden

Sharing the Dharma in a Troubled World

A new initiative is being introduced at Sukhasiddhi. It’s called Wisdom River, and features a stream of teaching that will be especially welcoming to those new to dharma and to the center, but also practical and integrative for those who are engaged in the deep practice programs.

“When you think about it, Vajrayana was traditionally practiced largely in isolation, with three-year retreat being the centerpiece,” said Lew. “Lama Palden was trained in Asia very traditionally, and her natural way is deep, intensive practice. This has been the gift that has [...]

Meeting our Experience

As people on the spiritual path it is imperative that we not only hold the awakened ones and our teachers with honor and appreciation, but we need to relate to ourselves, each other, animals, our earth mother and all that is with reverence, kindness and love. This can start from the inside out with they way we treat ourselves and those close to us. We can bring a sense of openness, kindness and patience to meet our experience. What happens is mostly not in our control, but how [...]

Liberating Difficult Emotions into Wisdom

An Interview with Lama Palden

Editor’s Note: Lama Palden will be teaching a four-day non-residential retreat from February 1-4 on Mahamudra meditation and liberating emotions. I spoke with her by phone about the special usefulness for Westerners of this profound meditation practice.

– Jane Brunette

Q: What is the benefit to a modern person of focusing on Mahamudra meditation?
Lama Palden: The 16th Karmapa said that Mahamudra is a good practice for the West because it is instantaneous — on the spot. We have very challenging, busy lives with a lot to [...]

An Incubator for Bodhisattvas

by Lama Annik Brunet, December 5, 2017

Sixteen years ago, Lama Palden had the inspiration to offer her serious, committed students the opportunity to do the practices usually only undertaken during the Shangpa Lineage traditional 3-year retreat – while still engaged in work and family life. She believed that doing intensive, semi-retreat practice while remaining active in the world could allow for a continuous integration of our spiritual development with the physical, psychological and sociocultural dimensions of our lives.

It has been a daring experiment! I was part of the first [...]