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As the practice of Buddhism (or self-discovery or yoga or mysticism) has moved from land to land, from age to age, from culture to culture, it has always adapted. The articles in this section explore some of the ways in which our practice has blended into this modern world. Bodh Gaya Buddhist Centre offers weekly drop in classes, beginner meditation classes, day courses, classes for kids and families, short and long retreats, and in-depth study programmes. Bodh Gaya Buddhist Centre was founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and is a member of the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT-IKBU) a global network of over 1200 Centres and groups around the world. Bodh Gaya Buddhist Centre is a registered charitable organization (#CC27862) and all of our staff are volunteers.
When things go wrong in our life and we encounter difficult situations we tend to regard the situation itself as the problem.
On this day course we will learn Buddhist techniques to help us respond to difficulties with a positive mind.
The teacher of this course is Jake Zakarauskas, a disciple of renowned teacher Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
Get Email NewsletterTo receive our monthly e-newsletter with our upcoming courses, please input your email and hit the sign up button. Meditation is a way of calming the mind, making us more peaceful, balanced and focused in our daily lives. We are pleased to be able to share with you the inspiring poem below, written and submitted by Shalom sangha member and energy healer Cerridwen following the Shalom Mountain Wisdom School in Livingston Manor, NY, October 10-13.  Dr. Note: The following dialogue transcript is taken from the conversation between Marc Gafni and Dada conducted in December 2012.
Egocentric: my felt sense of concern is me and my people, my family, people who help me survive.
Ethnocentric, which is a leap of consciousness: I have expanded my circle of care and concern to those in my circle, my country, my tribe, my religion. Worldcentric: I actually have a felt sense of caring and concern for actually every human being in the world. Those four levels of consciousness, ego-, ethno-, world-, and cosmo-centric: that’w what I mean by levels of consciousness. In the fourth segment of the August 2012 dialogue between Ken Wilber and Marc Gafni, the issues are front and center. One of the most interesting points is made by Ken who uses strong language to criticize the doctrine emergent from Theravadan Buddhism and forms of Western Buddhism which are heavily influenced by it. In this fireside chat, Marc Gafni and Doen Silberberg Sensei each discuss creativity from their own lineage and perspective.
More years on the path brought more Zen boyfriends and infinite variations on the theme, not only for myself but from my clients and from readers and seekers everywhere. It is clear that the time for the emergence of Spirit’s next step is now, and that the emergence of a World Spirituality is an evolutionary step in human history.
In this week’s innovative dialogue, Reggie Ray, a long-time teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, and Mariana Caplan, author and co-founder of the Center for World Spirituality consider the application of Tibetan Buddhist practice for the Western practitioner of spirituality and the benefits and challenges of applying Eastern practices to the Western psyche.
Meditation will show you where you need to work on yourself, but your very awareness of an unconstructive mood or behavior is actually the first step to changing it.
Maybe you get the flu, or your back goes out, and you realize how cranky you feel when you’re physically uncomfortable. The gift of meditation in these situations is that you have resources that can let you shift out of these patterns—sometimes right away. That’s why an experienced meditator knows that the moment when you see your own stuff is valuable, especially if you can resist the impulse to kick yourself across the room for not having it more together.
Most of our more disturbing emotions or behaviors come from areas of the psyche where we have chosen to remain unconscious.
But the kind of practice that transforms us is not a mechanical accumulation of rituals and focus exercises. This principle holds true for any situation we face, whether internally or externally generated. Awareness not only illumines the dark corners of our psyches but can also transmute the strange energies and raw feelings that dwell there.
The sages of Vedanta gave the name atma vichara, or self-inquiry, to this act of becoming aware of ourselves. Vichara is not just thinking about something, nor is it the same as psychological self-analysis. Only when we can recognize and identify the actual inner sensations of being out of alignment with ourselves can we get back in touch. This moment of stopping, turning inside, checking yourself out, noticing how you feel, and observing your thoughts without buying into them is a profoundly significant moment of yoga.
For me, the second step in realigning with my deep center is to bring my attention into the heart. A friend once told me about a practice she used during a particularly difficult season at her university department.
So once you have paused, checked yourself out, and recognized the way it feels to be out of your center, you have many options for beginning to come back to yourself. Sally Kempton An internationally known teacher of meditation and spiritual wisdom, Sally Kempton is the author of Meditation for the Love of It and writes a monthly column for Yoga Journal.
Lama Surya Das, Dzogchen meditation master and one of Buddhism’s true pioneers in the West, will share with us the unique contribution of Buddhism to the evolution of love.
Join one of today’s most innovative and inspirational teachers as he explores the revolutionary idea reshaping the way people around the world are understanding their self, their world, and just about everything.

We are creating books which over the next decade will evolve the source code of human existence for the 21st century. Scholars at the Center for Integral Wisdom are conducting research and co-creating publications which can help to chart the course for the next step in the emergence of humankind. The aim of the Spirit's Next Move weblog is to provide a window to the world informed by Integral and evolutionary principles and the Unique Self teaching. Kadampa Buddhism brings the teachings of Buddha into the modern world and shows how anyone, Buddhist or not, can benefit from meditation and improve their quality of life.
But we can be happy all the time regardless of our circumstances if we learn to maintain a peaceful mind. In this way we will be able to accept painful feelings, overcome minds such as anger and frustration and discover true inner peace. He inspires people to use Buddhist meditation to improve their lives through his sincere example and clear teachings. Ultimately, it enables us to awaken our spiritual potential and find lasting joy and contentment. Marc Gafni, Wisdom Teacher in Residence at Shalom, unfolded teachings on Pleasure, Addiction, and Eros at this retreat, and the sangha celebrated together the Outrageous Love dharma. The entire dialogue is currently available for a very limited time at the Imaginal World website. I have a felt sense of care and concern for every sentient being, for the cosmos, for past, present, and future, and I’m awakened to the divine in me and I’m acting as a divine agent catalyzing and taking the responsibility for this whole story that we’re in, because you started the story. The pandits find a common ground in their distinction between True Self and Unique Self, and its importance for changing today’s conversation around enlightenment and all that follows from that. Much to my surprise, a little piece I published over 10 years ago, about a certain type of spiritual guy I found myself dating in my early twenties, set alight a dormant flame throughout the world. He could be a Tibetan Buddhist, a Sufi, or even a practitioner of some obscure brand of yoga. Our complimentary dialogue series, Spirit’s Next Move, brings together leading-edge integral thinkers, teachers, and scholars from all the great traditions to chart the principles and practices of a sustainable World Spirituality. They also consider the importance of accessing consciousness within the body and integrating body-consciousness when envisioning a World Spirituality.
Not only does it show you where you need to work on yourself, but your very awareness of an unconstructive mood or behavior is actually the first step to changing it.
It is practice with awareness and practice of awareness that actually changes the texture of our consciousness. Because our awareness is a small-scale version of the great Awareness that underlies all that is, when we direct attention non-judgmentally toward something that causes suffering either to ourselves or to others, we are actually bringing that state or mood or behavior into the light of the great Awareness itself. Then the energy that has been tied up in them is freed to become available for more creative endeavors. It is a yogic practice or self-reflection in which we hold our attention on inner phenomena in a steady, focused fashion without going into meditation. When we feel out of sorts, instead of giving way to the feelings or getting lost in the story we are telling ourselves about them, we focus our attention on the feelings themselves. Without that recognition, we only know that we are uncomfortable, and we have little chance of adjusting our state.
It is early morning, and you have been up late working on a project that is approaching its deadline.
Instead of letting yourself careen into acting out of your panic and anger, you consciously pause.
It will give you the power to act from a more resourceful, skillful place, rather than simply reacting to the difficulties in the situation. Once I have recovered my wits through a few rounds of steady, deliberate breathing, I drop a sort of inner plumb line inside to the area of the middle chest, beneath the breastbone, and I let my attention rest there until I feel the inner heart space relax and expand.
My teacher used to say that the reason we study spiritual texts is so that they’ll come up when we need them and help us coach ourselves into a more resourceful state.
She had a hostile colleague who would interrupt her, question her agendas, and generally harass her.
Contemplating this resonant, mysterious teaching helps me detach myself from my fears, my wants, and my expectations so that I can act more objectively.
As you keep working with this threefold process of recognition, self-inquiry, and practice, you learn to navigate your own rough waters and to find the harbors that are always there. Marc Gafni engage in an exciting and cutting-edge dialogue on Turning the Bitter into the Sweet. Surya has often expressed the importance of asking probing and intelligent questions as necessary to spiritual unfolding.
Surya Das teaches and lectures around the world, conducting dozens of meditation retreats and workshops each year. Marc Gafni, The Center for Integral Wisdom has released an official public statement, with comments below it.
Some of our authors have traditional academic credentials and others are independent scholars and thinkers who bring unique perspectives to bear, often informed by real world involvement in putting insights from World Spirituality into practice. By developing a more positive outlook, and in particular by deepening our wisdom and compassion, we can improve the quality of our life and gain great power to help others.
Marc speaks on creativity from the perspective of the enlightenment teachings and explores inquiries such as: What is the invitation of creativity? I hope you enjoy the snippets from the original writing and revised theater production, and please share your stories! Without even a word or a glance in my direction, he would roll out of bed and head for the bathroom.

If you’re interested in the relationship of Tibetan Buddhism to World Spirituality, this audio dialogue is for you. When meditation is really working, it has a way of showing you unknown parts of yourself—pockets of your psyche that are beautiful and sublime, but also parts of yourself that are not so tasty. Or, as happens regularly to a friend of mine, the moment of truth can come from a co-worker asking you pointedly if you would be acting so prickly if you’d meditated today.
In other words, the awareness that allows you to recognize your state is also the source of the energy that can transform it. Awareness itself, with its clarity, its impersonality, its spaciousness, and its capacity to hold everything within itself, is the fire that will cook or ripen our immature feelings and behaviors.
We are spiritually ripe, baked, when all our knotted energies and feelings have been freed and re-channeled to manifest as wisdom, power, and love.
You need to get to the office early to meet with your team to finalize some important loose ends. You make up your mind to pay attention to your own state and to deal with it before you try to take action. Now instead of blocking your discomfort or trying to distract yourself, instead of overriding your emotions and plunging ahead regardless of how your inner energy feels, instead of letting your strong reactions overwhelm you so that you blow up at your daughter or paralyze yourself with resentment or paranoia, you use these feelings as a signal to stop and return to yourself. When you grab hold of the breath and just follow its rhythm for a moment or two, or take a couple of full breaths, it will eventually center you.
When energy is stuck in the head, your thoughts tend to go in circles and you come up with rote, uncreative solutions to your issues.
You might decide that you need to spend some time soothing yourself, perhaps by replacing your agitated thoughts with a more positive thought.
Based on his relationship with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Surya Das founded the Western Buddhist Teachers Network and has organized three week-long conferences of Western Buddhist Meditation Teachers with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. What defines a Zen boyfriend is the manner in which he skillfully uses spiritual ideals and practices as an excuse for his terror of, and refusal to be in, any type of real relationship with a woman. I would listen with mounting rage as he gargled his Chinese herbs, did an hour of tai chi on the creaky hardwood floor, and then adjusted himself on his zafu to meditate. In fact, there will be periods when your life seems to bristle with situations that seem designed to reveal your most embarrassing reactive patterns and unskillful ways of coping. Just holding these feelings non-judgmentally in Awareness—being their witness without either acting on them, trying to suppress them, or getting lost in our stories or beliefs about what is happening—is often enough to change their quality from raw to baked.
One is the contemplation we do to get in touch with our deeper wisdom, to open the space of revelation, to understand a spiritual teaching, or to touch our Self. As you are putting the coffee on the stove, your 10-year-old daughter announces that she feels sick.
You notice a clenched sensation in your diaphragm and stomach muscles and a tightness in your chest.
Once your attention moves into the heart, you are automatically in touch with your intuition.
Some of the ideas we will explore in this conversation is the difference between personal and impersonal love in spiritual practice, developing love for the master, for the teachings, and—maybe hardest of all—for the sangha of other practitioners. He is the director with Ken Wilber, Sally Kempton and Diane Hamilton of the Integral Life Spiritual Center and core founder and faculty member of iEvolve: Global Practice Community. Because it’s your story, step up, take responsibility for it, play in it, in all the ways you can in your life. He is both too identified with his balls to become a celibate monk, and at the same time too little identified with the wider implications of them to take responsibility for them. And I’m not even talking about big crises, just about the normal irritations of life. What we do know is that the act of turning Awareness toward our inner moods, states, and feelings is the great tactic for setting that alchemy in motion. You realize that your heart is also feeling tight and closed and that there are threads of fear shooting through it.
He has written seven books, including the national bestseller Soul Prints, and The Mystery of Love, an exploration of the relationship between the sexual, the erotic, and the sacred.
Doen Sensei offers his perspective on creativity, deeply rooted in the Zen Buddhist tradition.
At times it can be helpful to trace a feeling back to its source, perhaps to discover the frustrated desire or fear or expectation that may have triggered it. Your energy is alternately fluttering and sinking, sometimes rushing through you in waves of panic, sometimes flattening out as depression and a feeling of helplessness. Gafni is considered by many to be a visionary voice in the founding of a new World Spirituality. Don’t miss this exciting video dialog between the traditions as we unfold the vision of a World Spirituality together.
But the most important thing is to keep noticing our inner feelings and the state of our energy until it becomes second nature to notice the symptoms of being off-center.
You realize that there isn’t anyone you can get to stay with her at such short notice.

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