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Talks and Articles

In this part of the site you will find a selection of articles and transcripts of talks that I have given over the  years.  I add to it fairly regularly, so do come and check it out from time to time.

Walking into the Forest

This is an article that I wrote in 2001 for a magazine called Madhyamavani. It recounts the story of my ordination into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 1974, on a night of wild imaginings. Then it jumps forward 27 years to being on the other side of the fence, performing ordinations myself.

Patrul Rinpoche talk: ‘Here You Are Again, Driving Yourself Crazy!’

This is the edited transcript of a talk that I originally gave in Manchester. It was the first of a series of three about Patrul Rinpoche, who is one of my Dharma heroes: a 19th century Nyingma lama, Dzogchen master, and amazing character! The talk focuses on his encounter with someone who tries to steal a nugget of silver from him, and draws out some pointers to help stop us driving ourselves crazy…

Here Be Dragons – Disasters, Dilemmas and Dead Ends on the Spiritual Quest

This is a talk that I gave in 2002. Traditional Buddhism has several ways of mapping what happens as you follow the Buddhist Path. But many of them bear little resemblance to the actual experience of Westerners trying to practise Buddhism in the 21st century. This talk draws on my experience of some of my own spiritual disasters and Dharma dilemmas over the years, to chart some aspects of what you may find as a Buddhist practitioner in the West. It was given to an audience of men (members of the Western Buddhist Order who had all been practising meditation for several years) but several of my women friends have told me they’ve found it useful too.

 

The section below is likely to be of particular interest to people in the Triratna Buddhist Community. At the moment it contains:

Articles on insight and post-insight practice:

The Unexamined Selfand Giving the Six-Element Practice Its Full Weight, which forms a kind of appendix to it. These were originally published in Shabda in May and June 2012.

 Insight – To Say or Not to Say?, an edited version of my article originally published in Articles Shabda in May 2013.

Some Notes on Post-Insight Practice, in Articles Shabda, November 2013.

Post-Insight Practice and the Khemaka Sutta, from Articles Shabda, February 2014.

Articles on rebirth:

Some Problems with Deciding there is No Rebirth, a lightly-edited version of my article in Articles Shabda, November 2013.

More on Rebirth, from Articles Shabda, February 2014.

Rebirth Revisited,  a lightly-edited version of my article in Articles Shabda, May 2014.

Also here you will find:

Spiritual Receptivity and Just Sitting, the text of a talk  that I gave at the European Order Gathering at Wymondham College in August 2012.

Responding to Unusual Experiences, an article I wrote about how our sangha responds to people who have unusual meditative experiences. It appeared in Articles Shabda, November 2014.

My responses to Subhuti’s paper  Reimagining the Buddha. These were published in Shabda in 3 parts in 2011 and 2012..