Sundays, 6:00 – 7:00 PM / Dharma Talk or Gathering

September 13th: Donna Morton “Moving Into the Autumn Season with Greater Balance and Ease”

Each season of the year manifests particular qualities that call for adjustments to our diets and lifestyle routines to balance body, mind and spirit. The autumn season, which we are entering, is typically characterized by dryness and wind. Unbalanced, these qualities can provoke such symptoms as anxiety and insomnia. In this talk, we will explore ways to balance the qualities of autumn through Kum Nye Yoga practices, seasonal food choices, and lifestyle adjustments. Come join us and learn to move through the season with greater balance and ease.

September 20th: Santosh Philip “The Beauty of Being”

During these difficult times, we can easily miss simple joys presented to us through nature, which can serve to uplift, nurture and hearten us, in order to strengthen our being.

Instructor of Meditation and Kum Nye, Santosh Philip, will speak on how we can learn to take a walk in nature differently: It can be a practice in itself that can transport our experience through deepening communion, to bring more satisfaction than our daydreams and fantasies. Instead of waiting for our expectations to be met, we should awaken to present wonder. (Tarthang Tulku, Seeing the Beauty of Being.)

September 27: Women’s Meditation

October 4: Mark Henderson “Perfect from the Beginning: The Origins of the Nyingma Lineage in India”

The Nyingma tradition, introduced to Tibet in the eight century by Guru Padmasambhava and carried forward by his 25 Disciples, is a pure lineage of timeless awakened being going back to Buddha Shakyamuni, his Sravaka disciples, the Bodhisattva masters, the 84 Siddhas, and the 8 Vidyadharas of India. This talk will explore the deep roots of this vast and sublime tradition.

October 11: Suellen Ehnebuske “Finding Refuge in Stillness and Calm”

The power of relaxation is a first step toward easing agitation and restlessness of mind and body in meditation, and in our everyday lives. This talk by student-teacher Suellen Ehnebuske, will include practices using breath, massage and visualization, to loosen the hold of reactivity, touching abiding calmness. During times of great uncertainty, we may be less at ease, but these practices that cultivate calm and rest for body and mind are a great reminder that we can develop clarity, balance and ease. The mind and body naturally respond as we come closer to our natural state, a refuge inherently part of us, and always available.

October 18th: Hugh Joswick and Celine Dizon “Reading the Sutras”

What is the value of reading the sutras today? Nyingma Institute members Hugh Joswick and Celine Dizon will discuss the merit of studying the sutras and how that can improve understanding of the spiritual path and deepen practice. They will present short passages from the Buddha’s teachings, particularly from the Mahayana sutras, that they have found particularly inspiring and meaningful.

October 25: Women’s Meditation

November 1: Santosh Philip “Cultivating the Interrelationship of Body, Mind and Environment”

How is it possible to fuse matter and spirit? What, in the process, are we transforming, and creating? What does it look like? How can it be of benefit to me, and to all living beings, as well as the environment in which we live our lives? Come hear about the experience Santosh Philip, instructor of Kum Nye Tibetan Yoga and Meditation classes, has gleaned from his years of practicing in different ways with awareness of body, mind and environment.

November 8: Olivia Hurd “What Does it Mean to Age Wisely?”

How can we make good use of our experience of aging? Can this important phase of life open doors for us, rather than close them? Nyingma Psychology instructor Olivia Hurd will talk about how it is possible to shift our experience to an expanded perspective, beyond what becoming older typically brings to mind. As we move closer to the end of life, there are rich opportunities available to mine. Each day is a precious opportunity. Through closely observing our habitual patterns of mind and body, we can learn from repetitive life experiences, encouraging what brings us joy and satisfaction, and letting go of what annoys us. We can let what is, be, rather than focusing on how we think it should be; open to the richness of what the present moment offers, instead of jumping ahead to tomorrow’s fantasy, or reverting back to yesterdays disappointment. The secret? The truth of impermanence.

November 15: Suellen Ehnebuske TBD

November 22: Vicki Riskin “Buddhism and Human Rights – An Engaged Life”

All the world’s great spiritual traditions entreaty us to follow what the Judeo-Christian tradition calls the Golden Rule – to treat people in a way that we would wish to be treated ourselves. In Buddhism the development of compassion and caring for others is the very cornerstone of a Buddhist’s ethical and spiritual journey. In the secular world we talk about human rights, principles encoded after World War II in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 with the idea to protect the dignity and rights of all. Perhaps now more than ever we might want to breathe new life into these shared spiritual and secular values as we think about the future.

For the past forty years, Victoria Riskin, has been both an advocate for human rights globally and a student of Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche. “With the daily flood of news, it’s often hard to see all the progress that has been made in human rights, but small armies of good people are making a difference.” In her Dharma talk she will tell stories of challenges and victories in human rights from her experience, her vision of a better future and the important Buddhist principles and practices that have sustained her efforts. Her current focus is on human rights and climate change.

November 29: Women’s Meditation

December 6: Vicki Riskin “Telling Our Stories – A New Perspective”

Everyone has a story to tell, either memories of growing up, powerful experiences, observations about the world outside or inside them. From the perspective offered in Tarthang Tulku’s writings we begin to recognize our experiences as our ‘stories,’ our narratives shaped overtime by our unique reactions to events. Our stories become cemented in our minds. Dense and fixed. They drive our behavior and feelings without our realizing it. What really did happen? Does it matter if it’s true? What happens when we explore more fully our narrative or shift perspectives to take the position of other characters in our story. Writing about our experiences, past or present and seeing them anew, can open us to creativity, understanding, wisdom, and can shake out cobwebs of fixed beliefs to lessen the rigidity of the narrative. The idea is not to wipe out our narrative, but to see its operation like a mirage in the desert, and even enjoy it.

As a screenwriter, memoirist, and student of Buddhism, Victoria Riskin, will talk about the rich opportunities available in writing and will offer those who attend the talk an opportunity to reflect on what stories they might tell.

December 13: Hugh Joswick “The Quality of Caring”

Deep inside all of our cares and concerns there is a quality of caring. Sometimes it is almost invisible, crowded in by worry or resentment, or covered over by exhaustion. But it persists beneath all this, and while it may not always be easy to contact, it has the power to nourish us. —Tarthang Tuku, Caring, p. 73

Can we contact a quality of caring that could nourish us in each moment of our lives? What would such a fundamental caring be like? Could we learn to develop our awareness of caring and give it a chance to grow? Through discussion and practice, Nyingma Institute instructor Hugh Joswick explores aspects of Tarthang Tulku’s Caring that open the quality of caring in our lives.