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Book details
  • SubGenre:Healing / Prayer & Spiritual
  • Language:English
  • Pages:130
  • eBook ISBN:9781881847458

Change of Heart

The Bodhisattva Peace Training of Chagdud Tulku

by Lama Shenpen Drolma

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“Chagdud Rinpoche was an outstanding Buddhist master. In Change of Heart he hands us an extraordinary gift—a wise and gentle guide to the compassionate path of the bodhisattvas. Confronting directly the dilemmas and uncertainty facing people today, Rinpoche shows how anyone at all can follow this training and use its methods to discover inner peace, reduce suffering, deal with violence and aggression, awaken the Good Heart, and so live in the world in such a way as to benefit all those around them.”—SOGYAL RINPOCHE, Author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying “An ordinary being cannot even begin to fathom the infinite compassionate action of a bodhisattva, so only a bodhisattva can provide such guidance. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, in my opinion, was a true bodhisattva who worked tirelessly to eliminate suffering in many different parts of the world. I rejoice that his teachings have been compiled into this book, and it is my aspiration that every single word of his will be put into practice.”—DZONGSAR KHYENTSE RINPOCHE, Buddhist teacher and founder of Siddhartha’s Intent “Change of Heart offers a deceptively quiet conversation about profound potential transformations in ourselves and in our efforts to bring peace and justice to our world. In these teachings, every social activist acquainted with sadness, despair, and rage will be challenged to find renewal and hope.”—ANN JONES, Author and Activist
During his lifetime, His Eminence Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche created vast benefit throughout the world. He demonstrated the unceasing activity of a bodhisattva—one who is committed to alleviating the suffering of others while simultaneously establishing their enduring well-being. That he taught extensively concerning how we could do the same, bringing his depth of wisdom and compassion to the everyday dilemmas we all face, is a cause for great rejoicing. Through the teachings found in this book, we can begin to experience the embrace of wisdom and sanity that comes from giving rise to awakened mind, the very heart of the bodhisattva. Truly the remedy for all that ails this world, it can be nurtured and expressed by anyone, regardless of religion, nationality, race, gender, income, health, or age. Of the vast array of thoughts and experience the human mind can give rise to, there is nothing more transformative than the simple profundity of a genuinely kind and good heart. Many of the principles articulated here are relatively easy to comprehend and common to a variety of spiritual traditions. However, the actual experience of awakened mind takes place beyond the confines of any teaching, and ultimately beyond the realm of conceptual thought. Leading us skillfully to this awakened mind, Chagdud Tulku guides us through a time-honored instruction made accessible to our contemporary lives through the Bodhisattva Peace Training. This practice involves three essential steps. First, we encounter teachings from a qualified lama or instructor. Then, we deeply contemplate what we have read or heard in order to determine its validity and relevance. We ask questions, identify doubts, and resolve confusion and misunderstanding. Finally, we meditate, blending the teachings with our mind and heart until we become one with them. Being honest with ourselves about what’s actually arising under the surface of our mind and heart at any given moment, and genuinely transforming anything other than good heart, takes years of experience. Stabilizing, deepening, and expanding that kind heart into a seamless experience of the awakened mind is ultimately a lifelong practice. What matters is not how long it takes, but that it happens authentically, for it is the accumulation of choices we make, moment by moment, that determines our future experience. In our contemporary world of instantaneous access to knowledge, immediate gratification, and instant pain relief, we are accustomed to quick fixes. It would therefore be understandable to think that simply through reading, we could be changed permanently by a book like this and carry its meaning consistently into our daily lives. But reading is only the first step in a lifelong journey. If we don’t thoroughly engage the training, the values we hold so dear can be swept away by the tsunamis of our daily existence. We have spent a lifetime developing responses to pain and difficulty. Changing these old habits is like trying to reverse the momentum of a boulder tumbling down a mountainside. It requires great effort, skill, patience, perseverance, and no small amount of courage. But as we move closer to the realization that life’s meaning and purpose can be found in benefiting others, the strength and sincerity of our efforts will be reflected in the world around us. Through this process that is at once tender and profound, a metamorphosis occurs that fundamentally alters our understanding of ourselves, of others, and of reality itself. If you feel a resonance with Rinpoche’s words—a yearning, even, to make your life and heart one with their meaning—spend time contemplating them, deeply, as they apply to life as you’ve known it. Then meditate on them, again, and again, when alone and in the world, throughout the day, every day, until their essence arises spontaneously as lived experience. Only when we genuinely live these teachings can our lives and our work in the world be transformed.
About the author
Lama Shenpen Drolma was ordained as a Buddhist lama in 1996 by her teacher, Tibetan meditation master Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, whom she met and began studying with in 1987. She served Chagdud Rinpoche as a translator and administrator as well as collaborating with him on several books, most notably Gates to Buddhist Practice and Change of Heart. Lama Shenpen is the resident lama at Iron Knot Ranch, in southern New Mexico. She has taught the Bodhisattva Peace Training extensively since 1991, drawing on prior feminist and battered women’s activism as she works with community activists, those in the helping professions, educators and counselors. Under her guidance the Peace Training has expanded into several countries of South America where it provides a compassionate perspective to persons in situations of extreme disruption and violence.