May’s Learning Resources


Meaningful Work 

Our personal practice isn’t just for our own benefit but for others, too. We dive into the meaning of work, consider our gifts, and examine work as an environment to practice being in community and contributing to the greater good.


* Namchak Foundation and Lama Tsomo do not receive any monetary or other benefit from the purchase of this book.


10 Minutes of Shamata When we asked Lama Tsomo which practice goes best with this theme of “meaningful work,” she responded “Shamata.” She used the analogy of sitting by a murky pond. It is murky because there are so many waves and all of the silt has been stirred up, so we can’t see to the bottom of the pond. When we practice Shamata, the waves and the silt settle, and we are able to see all the way to the bottom. This helps us to uncover our purpose and our passions and we are able to see our meaningful work more clearly.

One Community Agenda

💫  Opening, Community Commitments, Check-Ins

  • Invite a moment of silence and give rise to Bodhicitta.
  • Read Community Commitments.
  • What is your intention for being here tonight?
  • What was your first experience of ‘working’?

🎦   Watch and try out the exercises in this video (10 min): Qigong Routine to Soften Tension in the Body with Jeffrey Chand

  • When we are out doing our meaningful work in the world, we may accumulate stress and tension in our body. This qigong practice will help us move and transform that stressful energy in our bodies so we feel vitalized enough to continue the work!

📖   Dharma Exploration from Lama Tsomo’s book, Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? (5-10 min)

  • Introduce reading: “Methods So We Can See for Ourselves” from Why is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling (pp. 127-129)
  • Ask for volunteer readers to act out conversation on pages 128-129.

📝  Journal (5 min)

  • What’s a typical motivation for you when you sit down to do a meditation session?
  • Then, dig deeper! Ask probing questions like, “Why do you want to do that? What are you looking for? What are you hoping will come of that?”
  • Take a few moments to journal your responses to these questions.

💬  Small Group/Partner Discussion (10 min)

  • Break into smaller groups/partners in breakout rooms.
  • Make sure each partner has a chance to share the response to their journaling. (5 minutes each)
👥   Group Share (5-10 min)

  • Come back as a large group and share takeaways from partner discussions.

🧘‍  Choose Your Own Meditation and Bring Your Motivation (15 min)

  • Now that we’re a little clearer on our motivation, let’s bring that to our meditation cushions/seats. Tonight, as is often the case in life, we have a choice to make as to how we will be in the world. In this moment, we will dare say meditation is the most meaningful work we could do together as a community.
  • Open three breakout rooms and choose a host for each room to share the following meditations. If your group is smaller, you can choose just one meditation to practice together in one large room.

🌀  Debrief of meditation (5 min)

  • What was your experience of your meditation?
  •  What difference do you feel your motivation or intention made for you?
  • What ideas are you having for your personal practice moving forward?

🙏  Dedicate the merit (1 min)

By the power of this compassionate practice,
may suffering be transformed into peace.
May the hearts of all beings be open,
and their wisdom radiate from within.

Keep Learning


The Gift of Community 

Having spent the dark winter months reflecting on our personal practice and spending the holiday with friends and family, embrace on the new year with an appreciation for both self-compassion and compassion for others, focusing on our interconnectedness and what it means to live in community.


Finding Belonging

As our awareness of our interconnectedness expands, so too does our sense of belonging in the world. This month, through exercises focused on our individual and shared stories, we explore how we can open our hearts to experience an expansive sense of love and true connection. We’ll look at the four “immeasurable” qualities of Compassion, Loving-Kindness, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity.


Tackling Stress

Modern life brings unprecedented stressors, from personal challenges to global ones like climate change. Shamata helps us expand our mental awareness of the causes of stress, allowing us to cultivate a greater sense of calm in our lives and find the joy that is always available.


Practicing Inclusion

Treating people of all backgrounds and identities with fairness and respect is an ongoing journey for most of us, including our team at Namchak. We share our experience with the practice of nonviolent communication, which teaches us how to listen deeply to our own needs as well as those of others, helping us connect to our innate compassion.