Women and the Dharma

November 6, 2014


Prajnaparamita, mother of all the buddhas.

Merton & Trungpa

November 27, 2011

Thomas MertonThomas Merton and Chögyam Trungpa: a dialogue and collaboration continued.

Old Folks

September 16, 2010

Mad Monks

For discussion of matters related to the aging front of the greater sangha, including resource issues, such as mutual support, finances, accomodations. As John Perks recently wrote (on 2010/09/16):

Sometimes as we get older and have health problems, we also have financial problems. I was wondering if there is any Shambhala sangha organization that helps out with older Shambhalians in terms of giving some monthly stipend for healthcare, or food for that matter. If not, maybe we should start something.

Shambhala Constitution

July 19, 2010

Edicts of Ashoka

Edicts of Aśoka

What would the constitution of an enlightened society, country, state look like?

How could it offer a better balance of care, authority, transparency, monarchy, democracy, socialism, checks-and-balances, church and state?

Topics studied could include study of past and current societies, constitutions, and political theories.

Resources identified here will be collected into a Vajra Politics class style curriculum, published on this site.

This table is an initial gathering point around such aspirations.

The Blue Sangha

May 21, 2010

One out of every six people will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetimes, making it virtually impossible to go through life without knowing someone, a parent, a spouse, a child, a friend, a fellow worker or an acquaintance who will struggle from one of these afflictions. Unlike other illness such as Cancer or Heart Disease, the stigma of mental illness isolates those who most need to be included by society, to be bolstered by compassion and understanding and not to be made into an object of fear.

It would be comforting to think that practitioners, due to their years of meditation practice were somehow immune from Mental Illness. However, we have seen where this type of thinking leads and the consequences it incurs.

In the past the Sapashana group was very affective in helping practitioners get sober and remain that way. The purpose of The Blue Sangha is to facilitate a conversation and get practitioners, anonymously if they wish, to start talking about their struggles with Mental Illness whether it is Depression or Bi-Polar. If it’s in the DSM-4, you’re welcome here.

I have no idea if anyone will come and sit at this table but, that isn’t important. What is important is that a conversation has begun, a one sided conversation so far but, I hope that we can change that.

Love, Lhagthong Norbu    /   Kevin Lyons


April 30, 2010

The Celtic Buddhism table.

Celtic Buddhism

Glen Ard Abbey

Sunshine Cafe Tables

April 25, 2010

In discussing how to create enlightened society, Chögyam Trungpa suggested, with the Standing Committee for Nova Scotia in 1982, the idea of using a coffehouse form for conversation, and proposed the name Sunshine Café. I hosted such a café at my home for a while back then.

Here we could do a virtual, on-line form of that. I have created a Sunshine Cafe “category” for articles. Each such article can serve as a table, with some people sitting at that table. Conversations take the form of comments, hopefully mindful of speech, attentive to elocution, aware of intention.

For example, such a table could host the ongoing Ash – Rita – James conversations. Anyone is free to join it, but that table is a place for Ash and Rita and James to continue their discussion, and for their comments which might take off from another article’s topic but which drift from it.

I have received lots of feedback from RFS readers that the sheer volume of some comment threads is drowning out the conversation on those threads. Hopefully café tables can be one way to provide an outlet for such discussion.

As head waiter here, I will try the experiment of being diligent about attending to comments, pruning them if they seem to digress off topic, while at the same time encouraging their authors to use café tables for those.

If you or a group would like a café table, let me know.

Your comments on and participation in this experiment are welcome.

– Mark Szpakowski

James Rita Ash Table

April 25, 2010

James Elliott, Rita Ashworth, and Ashley Howes can often be found in conversation at this café table.

Cafe Table