Jan 17 2024
One Community Sangha Gathering - Lama Tsomo

January One Community Gathering with Lama Tsomo


About this event

This month’s online Sangha gathering: Tuesday, Jan 17 @ 5:30-7:30pm MST

Offered in-person in Missoula and online (Address and Zoom link sent upon registration)

*In-person space limited.

For one evening each month, we come together as a community to deepen our understanding of the dharma and connect with our fellow sangha members. Each gathering is facilitated by a different Namchak teacher, thought leader, or staff member and will revolve around our theme of the month. These gatherings are two-hours in total. The first half will consist of a dharma talk and the second half will offer an opportunity for participants to reflect on the teachings through small group discussions in short break out sessions. These group discussions will be followed by a Q & A session with the teacher. Participation in small group discussion is encouraged but not required. You can always sit these out! We encourage Learning Circles and meditation buddies to attend together. Inviting friends, partners, family members, neighbors and co-workers is always welcome.

This month, Lama Tsomo will discuss aspirational and engaged bodhicitta. Shantideva says that the difference between aspirational bodhicitta and engaged bodhicitta is like wishing to go somewhere and actually going there. Aspirational bodhicitta is the wish to free all living beings from suffering and bring them to the state of buddhahood, and engaged bodhicitta is taking the steps to do so. We practice engaged bodhicitta by practicing the Six Perfections of generosity, discipline, patience, diligence, meditative concentration, and wisdom, which we will review in-depth at future One Community gatherings.


About the Teacher: 

Lama Tsomo is an American lama, author, and co-founder of the Namchak Retreat Ranch. Born into a Midwestern Jewish household, she followed a path of spiritual inquiry and study that ultimately led to her ordination as one of the few American lamas in Tibetan Buddhism. After a decade of practice, she became fluent in Tibetan and now teaches students in the U.S. and abroad. She is particularly passionate about reaching young people and supporting those working for positive social change. Fascinated by science from an early age, Lama Tsomo often weaves research findings into her candid and humorous teachings. She holds an M.A. in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Jungian studies. She is the author of Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling?, the Ancient Wisdom For Our Times series, an exploration of Tibetan Buddhism meditation that includes: Why Bother? An Introduction; Wisdom & Compassion (Starting with Yourself); and book three of the series, Deepening Wisdom, Deepening Connection just released this October 2022. Along with the Namchak Community, she created Taking a Breath: A Meditation and Reflection Journal, a hands-on guide for developing and improving meditation practice.

Our Community Commitments:

In order to co-create a brave, inclusive, anti-oppressive and learning centered space, in our community we each agree to:

    • Be inclusive of diverse opinions and backgrounds through treating each other with respect and appreciation.
    • Commit to words and actions of non-harm within our group interactions.
    • Learn by immersing in and committing to the practices at hand.
    • Hold personal sharing in confidence.
    • Be present, practice mindful listening, and not offer unsolicited advice.
    • Allow and invite for equal sharing of voices as well as the right to pass.
    • Take care not to speak for others in the group.
    • Assume good intent and come from a place of curiosity and care.
    • Come as we are with permission to be “raggedy.”
    • Be mindful of and take personal and collective responsibility for our own biases including the use of language that may “other,” “cancel,” or dehumanize any person, groups of people, and/or their experiences.
    • Ask for consent before hugging or initiating physical contact during in-person gatherings.
    • Perfection is not expected although personal and collective responsibility always is.
    • Use the “Ouch/Oops” tool to address hurtful comments and language in the moment and to allow space for repair.*

We aspire for this sangha to be a place of refuge

*Ouch/Oops . This is a tool for addressing hurtful comments/language in the moment. If someone says something hurtful, anyone can bring attention to it in the moment by saying “Ouch” and then explaining what was hurtful. If it is a word choice issue, be sure to give the first speaker the chance to rephrase and try again (remember, it’s okay to be raggedy, and we are all assuming good intent!) When someone says something that comes out wrong or hurts someone else, they should start with “Oops” – first, acknowledge the impact of their words, and then try again. This can also be done outside of the event if someone feels an “Ouch,” but does not feel comfortable sharing it with the group at that time. We aspire for this sangha to be a place of refuge.