Namchak Community Blog

What Science Says About Gratitude

Being grateful can be difficult when we’re on the precipice of the unknown. It can be a struggle to go from our current mental state to one of gratitude when we’re encapsulated in fear and anxiety. We’ve all heard that gratitude cultivates more gratitude, but is that really the case? Here’s what science says about the benefits of gratitude and...

Meet My Teacher

When I first met Tulku Sangak Rinpoche, I wasn’t expecting to. In fact, I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone. It was my first solitary retreat, for ten days in the desert outside Santa Fe. I was working on the first two sections of the Preliminary Practices—the Ngöndro—a set of very foundational Vajrayana practices. I’d made great progress on the...

Finding Gratitude in Times of Transition

It’s easy to talk about transitions, like a cocoon becoming a butterfly or some similar beautiful analogy. However, times of transition may include anxiety, grief, and simultaneously joy, which is a lot to feel all at once. The cocoon-to-butterfly process is not smooth or simple. In order to fly, the butterfly has to break out of the cocoon....

Building Resilience in the Face of Change in the Workplace

Resiliency is an ambiguous term that’s used a lot these days, particularly around the themes of adversity and transition. What exactly is it and why should we care? How is resiliency good for us and how can it help our workplaces thrive? To craft a resilient workplace, we need to start understanding resiliency and how cultivating it can send out...

Springtime Mix-Up Challenge

Taking some inspiration from the Buddha himself, let’s enrich our practice with a little springtime mix-up. Siddhartha Gautama was born a prince. As an adult, he secretly left the palace to begin his journey to enlightenment. He traveled for about six years, learning from monks and religious teachers. Eventually, he sat beneath the Bodhi tree for...

For real-it’s not you, it’s me

Let’s talk about projection. Not the old way our grandparents used to watch movies, but the way we tend to project our insecurities on those close to us, often seriously damaging our relationships. It’s fairly easy to know when someone is projecting on us. Most likely we feel as though we have been grossly misinterpreted, or that someone’s...

Cultivating Your Inner Voice

One of the unique aspects of Buddhist practice is the freedom to challenge the teachings. Buddhism invites us to question our own perceptions and convictions, even question ancient wisdom and insight. Questioning encourages us to be active in our own awakening, and demands that we fully engage rather than operate on blind faith. This experiential...

A Reflection from the True Connection Retreat

“You have a long way to go,” I said to myself as Lama Tsomo called our awareness back to the room. It was a bright, slightly chilly Saturday morning at Lama Tsomo’s True Connection Retreat in Oakland, CA. My eyes welcomed the energizing light as I rubbed the still present tiredness from them. We had just finished a 45-minute meditation on the...

Community Member Insight: Why Meditation Is Good for Me

This week’s blog is written by a Namchak Learning Circle member and meditator who is doing his best to keep a calm and balanced mind. At 6 a.m. my alarm rings. I put my clothes on, go in the washroom to shave, and get ready for the day by…sitting down and closing my eyes. I open my meditation app, chose the meditation of the day, and follow the...

Living with Anxiety

I don’t know how old I was when I started to recognize unease: that hollow, edgy discomfort that inhabits the space under your ribs. The emotion was easily overlooked on good days, only to return with certain triggers, like dealing with the mean kid at school, or the test I wasn’t prepared for. In my understanding, the causation was always...