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

October 1: Hugh Joswick  “Clearing the Mind”   Can meditation develop an open clarity of mind that transforms consciousness? Nyingma Institute instructor Hugh Joswick will discuss and present meditation practices that show how to enter more fully into a peaceful mind that can sparkle with insight. 


October 8: Mark Henderson  “The Eight Manifestations of Padamsambhava”   With traditional thangka art, along with writings of Tarthang Rinpoche and the treasure text The Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, we will explore the unique stories and enlightened qualities of the eight manifestations of the Lotus-Born Guru. This talk by Nyingma Institute Instructor, Mark Henderson, will also include group practice of the Vajra Guru mantra. 


October 15: Erika Rosenberg “On the Gifts of Impermanence” The notion of impermanence often seems overwhelming to people. This is quite understandable, as some life changes are emotionally excruciating, such as the death of a loved one or the loss of a relationship. On the other hand, impermanence offers a guarantee that no matter what situation we’re in (whether easy or difficult; pleasant or unpleasant), it will change. This can be a relief. It can also be an opening to possibilities we never imagined.  Recognition of impermanence is a call to be present with open hearts and minds. When we bring awareness to the changeable nature of things, there’s a poignancy  – a tenderness. It underscores the preciousness of each moment.  Erika Rosenberg, PhD., Scientist, compassion educator and Nyingma Instructor, will discuss how acceptance and appreciation of change with both mindfulness and compassion reveals gifts for our living each day fully and with joy. She will discuss how to cultivate the appreciation of impermanence in daily life.


October 22: Hugh Joswick  “Reading the Mahayana Sutras: The Teachings of Vimalakirti”  Approaching Mahayana sutras for the first time may feel intimidating. You might recognize a reluctance that even advanced disciples of the Buddha and other bodhisattvas have when conversing with the figure of Vimalakīrti, a realized master in the sutra called The Teaching of Vimalakīrti. However, Vimalakirti’s incisive comments and miraculous powers present the Mahayana path with great clarity. A recent translation from the Sanskrit makes this sutra a suitable and entertaining entrance into the Mahayana. Nyingma Institute instructor, Hugh Joswick, will present. some of the themes and incidents from the sutra that may speak to students who may not be familiar with it.


October 29: Women’s Meditation


November 5:  Olivia Hurd  “Cultivating Joy”   What brings you joy?  If you are cultivating a meditation practice over time, paying attention to whatever it is that is going on within you – head, heart, feelings and senses, you may notice a gradual shift in sensing spaciousness, quietude, and harmony within.  Maybe even a quiet joy? It is important to listen to those feelings, drink them in, allow them to nourish you.  Tarthang Tulku says in GESTURE OF GREAT LOVE, … joy is essential.  Your well-being depends on a positive foundation, and so does the well-being of others.  Enjoying what manifests in the moment is the opposite of selfish: it is a very reliable pathway to love and compassion.  And in JOY OF BEING: Abundance of joy inspires generosity of heart and the wish to bring joy to others. Instructor of meditation and Nyingma Psychology, Olivia Hurd will discuss how to cultivate joy, and present practices from these texts. 


November 12: Pauline Yu   “Death and Illness as Teachers” During his early life as a prince, the Buddha encounters the four sights, which include aging, illness, and death. Each of us will meet these on the journey that is our life. From a Buddhist perspective, what can one truly take refuge in? Let’s take a moment to reflect on how we can prepare to meet these messengers with awareness, kindness, and appreciation. For this Sunday Talk, Pauline Yu will share a few thoughts on this topic and facilitate basic guided meditation practices for the group. 


November 19:  Santosh Philip   “Beyond Kum Nye; What is Possible? Kum Nye and Meditation Instructor Santosh Philip will give a talk and offer practices on what more is possible, beyond Kum Nye? A good question, leading to more…. From time to time, we have the opportunity to see that more is possible.  More happiness, more meaning, more joy.  If we look this way, the heart opens and the mind becomes more clear.  We see the value of teachings and practices that can help us; we understand the importance of taking care of our bodies, senses, and mind.  (Tarthang Tulku, JOY OF BEING.)  Teachings based on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness will be presented. On cultivating the foundation, Tarthang Tulku says, At the instant a sense of beauty arises, before mind grasps it and propels it down the perceptual track toward identifying, cognizing, objectifying and possessing, there is only a sensing, an inner response, a faint movement of feeling.  In that nanosecond, we can be completely open to beauty, just as it is.  That emergent sensing, that stirring of inner response, is the foundation that we can expand and build upon. 

 November 26: Women’s Meditation


December 3: Suellen Ehnebuske “Strengthening Inner Confidence” Confidence in yourself is the basis for all spiritual progress. It derives from appreciation of your life and your capacity for growth. These two kinds of caring help you to be honest with yourself and give you the strength to grow beyond the boundaries of your current way of being. (Tarthang Tulku)  In this talk, Nyingma Psychology Instructor Suellen Ehnebuske, will look more closely at how inner spiritual confidence can deepen when we open ourselves to our innate wisdom—seeing through the false assumptions and deceptions of our conditioning, and developing and trusting a sense of knowing that we can rely on. Several meditative practices and reflections will be offered to support and encourage inner confidence.


December 10:  Richard Kingsland  “The Life and Times of the Great Patrul Rinpoche   Richard Kingsland, one of Tarthang Tulku’s first students in the U.S. from the early 1970’s, has been giving a series of inspiring Sunday talks on great masters in the Nyingma Lineage.  This talk, on Patrul Rinpoche, 1808-1887, will highlight the ongoing importance of Patrul’s lasting legacy of inspired wisdom teachings, including such texts as WORDS OF MY PERFECT TEACHER, from which guidance is given for the Ngondro practices. Lama Mipham, a student of Patrul Rinpoche, wrote CALM AND CLEAR, still used today as one of the greatest guides to learning meditation.   

December 17:  Laurie Hopman, MD “After Meditation: Bringing Calm Awareness into Every Day Life”   In our everyday lives we have unceasing opportunities to notice how our minds can create tension and suffering, or instead, open up to joy and peace. How can we soothe disturbances like anger and frustration that make our worlds so unpredictable? Learning to bring the calm awareness of our meditation into ordinary events and interaction is a skill that can be developed.  In this talk, Laurie Hopman, long-time student of Tarthang Tulku, will explore ways that this happens, and do some practice to help teach ourselves to catch our mind’s momentum before it becomes a speeding train doomed to derail. Tarthang Tulku tells us: “Awareness mind can forestall mistakes and lead us toward virtue, joy, compassion, and effortless effort. Mind can be our best friend, supporting us in every difficulty, or our fierce enemy, turning even simple acts of perception into occasions for devastating suffering.” –Milking the Painted Cow