Unless otherwise indicated, all content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons 3.0 US License. Video: Buddhist Teachings on Ngondro, The Foundation Practices with Venerable Zasep RinpocheOur third Buddha Weekly teachings video introduces the first three outer preliminaries of Foundation Practices in Vajrayana Buddhism. What the Teachers Say About Doggie Dharma: Did Buddha Teach That Dogs and Cats Have Buddha Nature? Science: Research Proves Vajrayana Meditation Techniques Involving Deity Visualization Improve Cognitive Performance and May Be Promising For Degenerative Brain DisordersScience, and in particular the medical profession, has long accepted the positive benefits of all forms or meditation. The stirring beat of many drums and a festive rise of musical voices broke the serene silence of a sunny and warm Saturday morning on sparkling Georgian Bay.
The row of drummers accompanied a smiling Rinpoche into the hotel, down the halls to our meditation room, drumming and chanting the entire way. A full-capacity audience was captivated by a full day of Mahamudra teachings with Zasep Tulku Rinpoche in Owen Sound. The crowd in the full-capacity conference room heard the approaching drums, echoing down the halls like a rhythmic heartbeat, and the lovely rising voices of the singers. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche is a highly realized teacher, spiritual head of several Buddhist centres in North America and Australia. Some in the audience were past students, others might have come out of curiosity to see a well-known Buddhist teacher. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche began the teaching session with chanting of the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra.
Rinpoche introduced the series of five meditations to follow with an explanation of Mahamudra. Shamatha is basically the practice of calming the mind through some form of single-pointed meditation—such as watching the breath. For this practice Rinpoche instructed us to sit in a comfortable position, “however you feel comfortable.
He instructed us in the mudra of meditative equipoise, and demonstrated the ideal seated position—vajra or lotus with hands in the mudra of meditative equipoise.
He instructed us to try to breath only through the nose, and half-close our eyes, with head slightly tilted. Rinpoche taught that the best posture and meditation position for Mahamudra is the Lotus position if possible, as long as it’s comfortable.

The correct posture, if we are physically able to do so in comfort is called the Seven Dharmas posture, the seven aspects which bring mental focus.
Neck slightly bent forward (which tends to naturally happen when seated with a straight spine).
At the end of the one day retreat on Mahamudra, Rinpoche took time to speak individually with many guests. Rinpoche said it can be thought of as a purifying, settling practice, “purifying our mind, purifying our body, purifying our karma. Rinpoche explained that the subtle channels, winds and energies of our subtle bodies flow best if posture is straight. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche is an internationally respected teacher, spiritual head of several meditation centres in North America and Australia. Rinpoche is the spiritual guide for Gaden for the West—with several meditation centres across Canada, Australia and the United States. Theodore Tsaousidis is a meditation teacher who lectures regularly at Gaden Choling Toronto and at Medicine Buddha Toronto events and retreats. People from all walks of life have used Buddhist techniques to ‘relax’ and ‘de-stress’, despite neither being practising Buddhists nor indeed understanding much (if anything) about Buddhism itself.
Many studies across decades of research have proven meditation is simply good for the body—and your health. Born in Alberta, Canada — now residing in Nevada — Sean Walking Bear is a full Cree, trained by the Medicine Men of his community.
They continued to drum as Rinpoche crossed the room to the altar, where he would make his prostrations to the Buddha. There are teachings and instructions, as Rinpoche was about to explain, but it can be practiced anywhere, anytime, in any environment (even if this day had turned out grey and cold). He explained the entire seven point posture of Mahamudra, but then invited us to remain comfortable, not to force our posture.
Rinpoche added that the ideal seated position, is the vajra position (also known as Lotus position)—as long as we can manage it without discomfort. Rinpoche didn’t miss a beat, continuing in his soothing voice, he coached us to keep us mindfully focused on the breath. He travels extensively, teaching several times each year in parts of Canada, Australia, the US and Mongolia.

Born in a rural community in Greece surrounded by mountains and valleys, he was profoundly shaped by nature and the ancient tradition of village elders and healers. In What Other Ways is Vajrayana Buddhist Deity Practice More Science than Religion?Deity Yoga in Tibetan Buddhism is very often misunderstood. A new study from the National University of Singapore, attempts to differentiate the relative benefits of different types of meditation….
On the full moon of this month, Buddhists around the world celebrate Wesak (or Vesak) with simple and elaborate ceremonies.
The large gathering was quiet and respectful, so much so that during mindfulness practice it was easy to simply focus on the breath.
He advised us not to worry if we had to use a chair, bench or support, but re-emphasized the straight back. As we relax our minds, saliva continues to flow and can fill our mouths, forcing us to swallow constantly. Rinpoche received many teachings and initiations from other great lamas, legendary teachers such as: Yongzin Trijang Rinpoche, His Holiness Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, Venerable Geshe Thupten Wanggyel, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, Venerable Lati Rinpoche, Venerable Tara Tulku Rinpoche and Venerable Khalkha Jetsun Dampa Rinpoche.
His connection to nature and the spirit world is an integral part of who he is – as is his dedication to the Zen training he has followed for 30 years.
During contemplative moments, the only sound might be birds, muffled yet audible through the windows.
Mahamudra is famous for its ability to reduce stress, stir the joyful mind, and even as a healing practice. Most of the time, mantras are uplifting, helping our mind go to the transcendental state of meditation, beyond worldly concerns. My kind teacher, Zasep Tulku Rinpoche, smiled as they lifted the pup for a blessing after the teachings.
Theodore sees shamanism and meditation as a great alchemy for the healing of self and other.

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