In the footsteps of the Buddha is a blog with reflections on how to live a meaningful life inspired by “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche and teachings from other Buddhist masters.
I started this blog mainly for my own benefit. Writing about the teachings I study and try to apply in my practice helps me to clarify my own understanding and bring the teachings deeper into my being. When I put my thoughts down in writing, I find I am more precise than when I just vaguely reflect in my mind. This helps me to make my thoughts clearer and deepens my understanding.
Since my main interest is to learn to apply the teachings and embody them, this is the main focus of this blog, rather than general discussions about Buddhism. It is nice to share and I thought if I publish my reflections online, maybe some of my Dharma friends and other fellow practitioners might be interested in engaging and exchanging thoughts and inspirations. Feel free to leave comments, if you wish.
This blog is not meant to present an introduction to Buddhism. It is simply about reflections on the teachings I study, and the practices I do. Of course, everyone is welcome, but if you are new to the teachings, I would suggest you read some books, take courses or attend retreats that present a thorough introduction to Buddhism. An excellent introduction to these teachings can be found in “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche, who is my main teacher. I have also received many teachings from Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche and Tulku Thondup and find their books very inspiring introductions to the Buddhist teachings, too. Rigpa, the sangha I belong to, also offers a comprehensive study program of course and retreats all over the world and even offers introductory courses on Buddhism online.
My reflections will be mainly based on the Longchen Nyingtik Ngöndro, the preliminary practices of the Longchen Nyingtik tradition, which are called “The Excellent Path to Omiscience.” I have studied these with my teacher Sogyal Rinpoche and practice them everyday. They are part of the Vajrayana and Dzogchen traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. While there are unique teachings and practices in this school that are not found in other schools and traditions of Buddhism, this blog will be mainly about basic Buddhist principles and practices that are common to the Sutra Mahayana (the path of the Bodhisattva) and, mostly, also to the Basic Yana, (e.g. the Theravadin tradition).
My goal is to post a reflection on this blog, and an inspirational tweet on twitter, every day or every other day.
I am just someone trying to live a meaningful life. My journey has led me to the Tibetan Buddhist teachings which have given me guidance and inspiration for over twenty years. In terms of my Buddhist background, as mentioned above, my main teacher is Sogyal Rinpoche and through him I have had the good fortune to meet and receive teachings and empowerments from some of the greatest meditation masters of our time including HH Dalai Lama, Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Kyabjé Penor Rinpoche, Kyabjé Trulshik Rinpoche, Kyabjé Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche and Orgyen Topgyal Rinpoche as well as from many younger teachers like those mentioned above.
I live on the Big Island of Hawaii together with my wife Sandra. If you would like to find out about my work of teaching Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Living there, please visit my web site www.positively-living.com.
The Zen Master Linji believed the true human being was someone without rank or title who was freed of all that binds him. Such a person, he said, existed concretely in the present and was lively, dynamic, attuned to nature, and dependent on nothing.