The Silent Chant

An excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo on October 18, 1995

We are talking about the Lama as being our own precious nature.  Someday when we die and all the elements fall away, what will arise naturally is the natural state, free of contrivance.  And they say for the practitioner there is realization, simply because, the practitioner that has meditated properly will recognize that natural uncontrived state as the very primordial mother from which they have sprung.  And like a child who has been separated from his mother for a while runs to the mother with happiness and joy, and practically rips open his heart, and sits on the mother’s lap and doesn’t wish to separate from the mother at all —  like that, if we are meditators, we will run to that nature.  We will recognize with fervent regard, but so much more than that.  I don’t even have the words.

Here in our lives, due to the force of our fortunate meritorious karma that we have accumulated in the past, when here in this life, that same uncontrived nature, that same pristine quality appears in samsara to speak to us, to see us with its eyes, to hold our hand, to teach us how to practice, and how to recognize in our practice, we’re drunk, light in the head, stupid.  We can’t care, we can’t get it together.  Our minds are just weak that way.  And yet, even with all of that, even with all of our terrible practice, we are still hoping that when we die and those elements that make up our samsaric existence begin to disintegrate and fall away that somehow, magically, we will recognize the primordial wisdom nature.  Boy, are you thinking like Peter Pan!  That’s what I call magical thinking.  The only way it is going to happen is if we can begin to recognize that nature now.  And the only proper way to recognize the nature of the Guru is to simultaneously recognize our own nature as well, and to know that they are indistinguishable.

It is not possible for us to look at the Guru and find fault, because that would mean that we are acting with samsaric intention, with samsaric mind, and the result is samsara.  There is no practice there.  That is nothing.  You do that all the time.  You do that every moment.  That’s not practice.  But if we think and practice in the way that I’ve just discussed with you, then instead, when we see the Guru we see literally the face of salvation.  We see literally:  “I am that.  That I am.”  Even though, of course you can’t say “I.”  “I” separates us, but in the beginning, we have the intention of understanding: that is the nature that is my nature also.

And so inside — instead of judgment, hatred, greed, ignorance, jealousy, pride — there is a soundless chant that says, “Holy holy holy.” and that is the practice.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

Astrology for 8/31/2015

Monday by Norma

Ready, set, charge! You are back in the fray, going full blast and woe to anyone who tries to stop you. Step aside if someone comes toward you in a hurry: join in, don’t be an obstacle. Billy Graham said, “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a strand,the spines of others are stiffened.” Use the energy to press forward in matters that bring happiness. Avoid confronting authority, it will not work out in your favor. This is an excellent day to meet with important people, to honor others, engage in sports and begin a new love interest! Just remember to keep plugging away at work.

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will impact people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

The Nature of the Teacher


An excerpt from the Mindfulness workshop given by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo in 1999

The most important thing you can do to develop spiritual discrimination is to elevate the Root Guru. The Root Guru is the source of how you have come to the path, is the root teacher who gives you the preliminary teachings, is the one who hooks you onto the path.  For these reasons you elevate your teacher in such a way that you begin to awaken.  You are not awakening to the appearance of the teacher, but to the nature of the teacher.  Again, eventually, you will be able to see, not your own appearance, but your nature, and that’s the goal here.  That is the point of practicing Guru Yoga.  Otherwise no one else would care, because certainly the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas don’t need it.  They’re happy the way they are. The Lamas offer themselves to be used in that way. We have this extraordinary opportunity.  So it behooves you to accept that offer and use the Lama.  It behooves you to take the opportunity to see that this is the appearance of Dharma in your mind, of Dharma in your life, and to lift it up within you in your mind. Lift it up and see it differently from the other ordinary things that are in your life and be able to distinguish that.  You want to be able to get past the point where you say, “Well now, I like this about the Lama; I don’t like that about the Lama; I do like this about the Lama, I don’t like this about the Lama, blah, blah, blah.”  That’s what you’re doing about everything.  That’s what we do about each other and, most of all, about ourselves.  This mind training is meant to wean us away from that kind of conceptual proliferation.  It is meant to allow us to begin to taste the nourishment of pure View.

Those who have known me for any length of time know that my practice is all about Guru Rinpoche.  There are many reasons for that.  One is that I have a strong connection with Guru Rinpoche. That’s my great fortune and my great blessing.  In my mind and in my heart, there’s nothing else.  I don’t see anything else.  I’m not saying that I’m a great practitioner, but I’m giving an indication as to how this could work and what kind of formula we can develop in our own practice and in our own quest for mindfulness.  When I think about my practice with Guru Rinpoche, I look for him everywhere.  I look for the speech, for the method, for the intention of the Guru everywhere.  My experience has been that when I ask Guru Rinpoche for help, for receiving strength, receiving health, receiving whatever it is that I need in order to be strong enough to be of benefit to others, it is always there.  Even though I haven’t had the training from childhood that many other Lamas have had, when I ask Guru Rinpoche for help, it is always there.  There have literally been times when I have not known what my class was going to be about until I got there to teach, and sometimes those are the best classes, because I know that I am nothing but a vessel that Guru Rinpoche’s blessing simply pours through.

We are not talking about being falsely humble.  Remember that when you do prostrations, you always get up.  We don’t lie on the floor for hours!  We get up, and the reason why we get up is because that’s what’s supposed to happen.  Through prostrating the body, through practicing this with body, speech and mind, it is our nature that rises up.  The ego gets laid down.  We lay that down, and the nature is what rises up.  Symbolically that’s what’s happening with prostrations.  It’s all about learning to have View in a different way.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

Astrology for 8/30/2015

Sunday by Norma

Matters associated with work and health continue to improve. If you are feeling overwhelmed by demands on your time, organize yourself and rank order your projects. Decisions about estates, mortgages and finances must be made, and someone comes up with a workable plan today. Follow your hunches here. George S. Patton said, “A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.” For greatest happiness spend time in bright places, with cheerful companions, dressed up and ready to go!

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will impact people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology for 8/29/2015

Saturday by Norma

Balance work with rest today, moving back and forth between a project and relaxation. Indecision is an issue: talking things over with another person helps firm up your thinking. Elie Wiesel said, “Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps. I am the sum total of their experiences, and so are you.” Three main factors occupy your time: work, rest and having fun. Do all three for best results today!

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will impact people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology for 8/28/2015

8/28/2015 Friday by Norma

If today is a horse race, a small unnoticed nag is coming up fast on the inside, leaving the rest in the dust! A long-term project characterized by steady, humble work, is paying off now. Don’t stop what you’ve been doing and don’t let success break your stride. David Bly said, “Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.” What’s good today? Groups and friends are fun and a celebration is in order! Someone is very happy to see you, be sure give that person plenty of time.

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will impact people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology for 8/27/2015

8/27/2015 Thursday by Norma

Groups are highlighted as is partnership today. Find a buddy and everything you do goes well. Friendly people strike up conversations and decide to do things together, signifying a new beginning where you thought you’d gone stale. Arnold Glasow said, “The future is the past returning through
another gate.” Cheerful conversation, supportive encouragement and expanding opportunities appear today. Be gracious to someone who wants to take center stage; offer applause and compliments and watch your own mood expand. What’s good today? Travel, attention to detail, happy people and diplomatic interactions with others.

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will impact people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology for 8/26/2015

8/26/2015 Wednesday by Norma

A disruptive situation upsets your sense of decorum, but pay attention! Disregard the manner of delivery and listen to the message. The image of a distraught person yelling at a 911 operator is appropriate. Don’t demand courtesy: ask how you can help, take prompt action and things turn
out well. John Updike said, “Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right.” Men are cheerful, women serious, and together they work well as a team. What’s good today? Enthusiasm, love, diligent work, improving health and an increasingly bright future on the horizon.

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will impact people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology for 8/25/2015

8/25/2015 Tuesday by Norma

Working too hard? Obsessed with result? Break your goal into small increments and perform each task; this will satisfy your need for accomplishment and bring a sense of peace where none was before. The more you work the happier you feel today! Robert Nathan said, “There is no distance on this earth
as far away as yesterday.” A problem is receding, and happiness is on the horizon. Face forward. Engage in sports, in ceremonial activities and dress your best. Careful thinking and cheerful diligence make this an excellent day.

em>The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will impact people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology for 8/24/2014

8/24/2015 Monday by Norma

One person decides to fly to the moon, and someone else says the rocket can’t do it- offering helpful ways to correct the situation. Swallow your pride, follow directions and you’ll succeed. This awareness creates a conundrum: would you rather be right or be successful? This is the choice today and it applies to everyone. Emily Post said, “The most difficult thing is the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch someone else doing it wrong, without commenting.” Which role are you playing? This is an excellent day to make progress on a project, to engage in happy interaction with loved ones, and to improve a tricky situation.

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will impact people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!