Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Exploring the Spiritual Landscape

Here's a picture of the carpenter's helpers that have been staying off and on at our house. Sometimes they get a bit bushed from all the work they do and sneak into the zendo to do a little closed eye meditation.

On a slightly different topic from cute little puppies....or perhaps we can say i've been following the scent of something that's been enticing me, at least spiritually. For a while now I have felt drawn to the Bon tradition of Tibetan Buddhism (dare I call it Buddhism?). I started with a book by Lama Surya Das on Dzogchen and then stumbled across some talks by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and loved the simple directness of his guided meditations and his talks. It felt like the Tibetan version of Zen and I felt somehow at home here. There was a sense that I could connect easily with the meditation instructions and the directness of the teaching. I liked the earthiness of it, the shamanic connection to the earth, the use of the body. I like that it addresses healing of the body, mind and spirit through its practices of healing sounds and dream & sleep yoga.

While the practice feels simple enough even for my pea brain, there are many aspects of it to add and build on as you explore the tradition, breathing exercises, yoga, healing sounds and the intriguing dream yoga. And of course like many Buddhist traditions it works with our pain and encourages us to develop our compassion toward ourselves and others.

There is also a Bon Sangha nearby and Geshe Yong Dong who leads it does Tibetan astrology and offers it on-line. I gave my daughter a reading for her birthday which seemed appropriate as she embarks on professional life as a nutritionist.

Recently after circling them for a long time, I finally closed in on some books on the Bon tradition and bought them. I am currently reading and listening to the CD that came with "Tibetan Sound Healing". Also on the reading list is "The Tibetan Yogas of Dream & Sleep" and "Wonders of the Natural Mind", all by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. I will keep you posted as I explore the tradition.

Where are your spiritual explorations leading you these days?


  1. We are so in parallel! I relate so much to your calling and meanderings into the beautiful Bon tradition.

    In my case, I have had one foot splashing around in the kundalini tradition for many years. But all the while - since I was in college - I was practicing Zen in some capacity, They are two vehicles that carry us to the other shore.

    But I recently decided to finally commit to the teacher-trainer program in kundalini under the teacher I have adored for so long, and all feels right with the world. Funny, it is as you describe Bon; I love the sound therapy, the advanced and holistic methods of working with the body's energy in balancing the glandular and nervous systems and ultimately, in nurturing our awareness.

    Can't wait to read more about your own journey!

  2. Best wishes on this journey you are approaching. All things are in place to move forward...reads as if you have clearly found the perfect time.
    Two years ago I found myself in a place of powerful peaceful grace and have been aware of that force in my everyday life...even with my ordinary stumbling.

  3. DQ- Yes I have read your stirring post about committing to the Kundalini training and could feel your whole self breathing this sigh of rightful path. And interesting that the obstacles the mind threw up disappeared when you made this commitment! It sounds like such an amazing experience. I am looking forward to finding a group to practice with and hope one canbe nurtured here on the island. Yes parallel universes are fun!

    Blue Sky- I do get that peaceful state of grace from your writing and art. And the stumbling it seems, can be embraced by that state of grace?? As my Zen teacher used to point out, until we are enlightened there is always stumbling, it's just part of the process. It's just hard for me to remember when I'm in the middle of a stumble!

  4. I love your explorations. At the moment I am in a transition phase apparently - needing to let go of old structures and paradigms; finding myself in a place of "unknowing." Needing to just be still (in body, mind and spirit) and wait. I also feel a pull to a more "cosmic cosmology" - whatever that means!

    I also love how the little dogs have made themselves at home in your meditation space... Animals seem very in tune to that kind of energy... :) Looking forward to your sharings in your new areas. Christine

  5. When I traveled to Tibet I was most intrigued by the Bon caves carved deep up into the mountainsides and all the stories of shapeshifting that align (as much of the Tibetan history does) with our First Nation peoples...the blending of mind training and ecological spirit dancing brings profound nourishment to my art/life...albeit stumbling and bumbling along the path with no particular place to go ...other than toward the ever present 'opposite shore'.

    The dogs are so happy...the photo is so fine.

  6. lately i have been at the fountain of daehaeng sunim's message ('no river to cross'), to drawing and painting as a Path, to the breath as a Path...

    this dream yoga intrigues me, and i feel i somehow know the bon tradition. it feels like it's been inside of me for a long long time...

  7. MeANderi - looking forward to hearing what cosmic cosmology turns out to be! And I see that transition happening on your blog. I sense a real connection with the seasons.

    Merci33- Hmm to have peeked into those caves! interesting this connection with the First Nations people. The Bon Geshe in Courtenay mentioned being invited to Aboriginal gatherings. I do sense this wonderful connection to the natural world. yes stumbling and bumbling, that's how it goes, it seems!

    lynne h - now I am not surprised that you would feel connected to this tradition as a regular reader of your blog. Of course art as path, so evident too in your blog. I love your wanderings, reminds me of a poem of Mary Oliver's sent to me recently by a friend.