A Conversation on Faith
In this post, Elizabeth is joined at Windhorse Community Services by Gretchen Kahre (Windhorse Senior Clinician, and Elizabeth’s fellow student and close friend), and Chuck Knapp (Windhorse Co-Director).
Besides allowing us to hear about Elizabeth’s initiation and evolution as a student/teacher of the Dharma, the dialogue invites us to reconsider our understanding of faith. As Elizabeth and company address the interdependent relationship of all things, a way to engage with the complexities of extreme mind states is illuminated. Enjoy!
The Nyingma Summer Seminar (NSS) July 14-22, 2018 (at Phuntsok Choling in Ward, Colorado) featured nine days of teachings and presents a complete survey of the Buddhist path through teachings on the Three Yanas: Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. These yanas or "vehicles" are understood not as separate and distinct schools, but rather as three bodies of knowledge. The program begins with Hinayana teachings and ends with Vajrayana teachings. The central part of the seminar focuses on Mahayana thought, the essence of which are the teachings on bodhichitta. In this year's Mahayana section, the text is the Seventy Points of the Abhisamayalankara.
Each full individual talk is available here.
From time to time Elizabeth participates in Mangala Shri Bhuti's weekly podcast. The teachings are free of charge and available through iTunes. You can listen to Elizabeth’s Link entitled “Burning With Love in A World We Can't Fix” here.
MP3 CD and Digital Download
Recorded in 2016 at Phuntsok Choling, Ward, Colorado • 5 Talks • Running time: 9 hrs, 44 mins.
The Liberating Practice of Looking and Not Finding describes a traditional Buddhist meditative practice of exploring mind and its world, often referred to as “analytical meditation”. These teachings were brought into this world by the renowned 2nd century Indian practitioner, Nagarjuna. They are investigations designed to interrupt our misconception that things intrinsically possess the characteristics we project on to them. This is crucial, because it is the very misconception that things are limited to how we think or feel about them, that fuels reactive mind.
"These teachings have personally 'rocked my world.' As I travel and share these uniquely powerful methods, I am delighted to see how easily people take to them. The contemporary mind is looking for a way to bring clarity to spirituality in the most practical ways." -- Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel
These teachings capture a 5-talk weekend given at Mangala Shri Bhuti’s Colorado center, Phuntsok Choling, in September 2016. They include a discourse and guided meditation in each session, as well as lots of lively discussion.
Video version of these teachings is available
View a free trailer from the program, or purchase the video version at the MSB Vimeo page: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/liberating
Recorded in Rochester, New York, April 2013. • Four Talks • Running time: 7 hrs, 7 mins.
We often find ourselves struggling with our inner lives of thoughts and emotions as they relate to the pain and uncertainty of life around us. How does the mind rest at ease with its world? Meditation is a powerful means of working with challenges and helps us habituate our mind to a different way of understanding and relaxing with experience. Elizabeth examines this topic in a lively series of talks, discussions and meditation instruction. These teachings on shamatha or calm abiding, the basic meditation practice of Buddhist traditions were given at Dharmata center, the sangha of Anam Thubten Rinpoche, Rochester.
Recorded in Halifax, Nova Scotia, CN, May 2012. • Four Talks • Running time: 5 hrs, 51 mins.
These teachings on one of the most important and
easily misunderstood aspects of Vajrayana Buddhism
were originally given at the Halifax Shabhala Center,
Halifax, NS Canada, in May 2012.
Vajrayana Buddhism introduces us to a sacred world through the rich and magical imagery of deities and mandalas. But until we understand the wisdom behind this imagery it will have no personal meaning for us.
The Vajrayana challenges us to question: “How do we understand the deity beyond conceptual fabrication? What is the nature of the deity and how do we genuinely cultivate “pure appearance” when the world around us seems so imperfect?” Such questions take us deeper into the practice of sacred world. We learn to value and utilize all of our experience to free the mind, which brings us to a very different way of seeing things.
Elizabeth’s teachings have the kind of blessing power that comes from someone whose mind has been touched and transformed by the Buddha’s wisdom. With fresh language, jarring insight, and a contagious enthusiasm for inquiry, Elizabeth invites us to find our true resting place, the place where the heart is big enough to allow, with ease, all of life’s experiences. This series is a gift for seasoned practitioners and those just beginning to explore the path of wakefulness and compassion. -Sue Kochan
Recorded in Crestone, Colorado, August 2012 • Four Talks • Running time: 6 hrs, 3 mins.
We often hear the term “Middle Way” in the context of the Buddha’s life, teachings and meditation practice. But what exactly is the Middle Way? Most essentially, it refers to a genuine insight that we experience when our mind finds its natural resting place through study and meditation. It also refers to the path that leads us to this natural resting place. Elizabeth clarifies and leads us through an exploration of this topic in a lively series of talks and discussions.
Elizabeth originally offered these teachings as a primer to the Pundarika foundation's Summer retreat with Tsoknyi Rinpoche and the MSB Shedra, both in Crestone, August 2012. A shedra is a Tibetan Buddhist college of philoshpy, whose traditional thirteen year curriculum includes the major treatises of Madhyamikan thought. In these talks Elizabeth draws out the essential concepts of the Middle Way teachings and shows the relevance of the often challenging ideas to our everyday experience.
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Life is uncertain. We never know what happens next. And yet, despite uncertainty, we continue to search for a place to rest. Trying to find security in a fluid and changing world defines our struggle as human beings—our predicament.
Elizabeth delights in wrestling with difficult and juicy ‘koans’ that tend to plague modern day practitioners, while maintaining a deep respect for the tradition she comes from.
Mind at Ease at the Festival of Faiths
Elizabeth speaks to the audience at the Festival of Faith in Louisville, KY on one of her favorite topics: How does the mind rest at ease with its world? Meditation is a powerful means of working with challenges and helps us habituate our mind to a different way of understanding and relaxing with experience.