Seeing Through Grasping

Buddhist quote for Liverpool grasping at what cannot be grasped
Grasping at what can’t be grasped

Lama Shenpen continues her conversation with a student about working with their experience, in relation to desire, aversion and indifference. Click here to read the full question and answer.

Each week Lama Shenpen answers a student’s question. The students are studying her ‘Living the Awakened Heart’ Training courses. Become one of Lama Shenpen’s students and ask her a question, Lama loves  a good questions.

For more information about meditation training in the Awakened Heart Sangha visit:

Losar Celebrations

Buddhist retreat centre the Hermitate of the Awakened Heart
Hermitage of the Awakened Heart

You are warmly invited to join us for our Tibetan New Year Celebrations at the Hermitage of the Awakened Heart in North Wales.

This year we will be welcoming in the Year of the Earth Dog.

The weekend will be one of celebration, feasting, chanting and meditation. Practice done at this time is said to be especially auspicious.

All welcome!

In addition to our usual Losar celebrations, this year we will have a special treat – a double celebration, greeting back our old friend Dashu as he brings to an end his one year retreat during this weekend!

You have a choice of dates to attend – coming for Losar itself on Friday 18th February or staying for the whole weekend (Friday to Sunday).

Please complete the booking form here to reserve your place.

There is no charge for this event, optional donations are always welcome.

The Essence of Meditation

Buddhist quote, the essence of meditation is the confidence to simply be
The essence of meditation practice

“The essence of meditation practice is the confidence to simply be. With no sense that you have to do anything or change anything”. This quote from Lama Shenpen Hookham describes the radical simplicity of the approach taken in Formless Meditation.

Rooted in the Dzogchen and Mahamudra meditation lineages of Tibetan Buddhism the Formless Meditation practice requires us to have the bravery to turn directly towards our experience, good or bad with radical acceptance.

Whether this is the first meditation practice that you learn or one that you come to after years of complex meditations, mantra recitation and visualisation practices, it is the one that cuts to the heart of the matter, the one that we always have to come back to.

To learn more about Formless Meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, join us at our weekly meditation group in Liverpool.



Practice from your Heart

heart advice form meditation students in Liverpool
Follow your Heart and confidence in meditation

Lama Shenpen gives meditation advice to a student about prayer and how to relate to praying and recitation in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Read the full question and answer here:

Each week Lama Shenpen answers a student’s question. The students are studying her ‘Living the Awakened Heart’ Training courses. Become one of Lama Shenpen’s students and ask her a question, Lama loves questions! For more information about meditation training visit: or visit one of our classes in Woolton, Liverpool.

You are Buddha

Buddha by nature. Lama Shenpen advises a meditation student at a difficult time in their life
You are Buddha by Nature

Most of us love Christmas and New Year. It is a time to celebrate and connect with those closest to our hearts. For some though, this time of year can provoke feelings of depression, low energy and loneliness.

In this short article Lama Shenpen advises a student who is experiencing a  low and difficult point in their life. Click the link to read Lama’s full response:

Each week Lama Shenpen answers a question from one of her meditation students. The students are enrolled on her ‘Living the Awakened Heart’ Training course. Why not become one of Lama Shenpen’s students and ask her a question? Lama loves questions! For more information about experiential training in Buddhist meditation visit:

Smile at Fear

Buddhist teacher and modern day master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Here, the Buddhist master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche explains how the ego constructs itself:

“The ego feels rather lonely and, at the same time, keeps busy trying to defend itself. It finds that it consists of a collection of desires, expectations, ideas, conclusions, memories, and many other things.

“This collection is too complicated for the ego to grasp; therefore, it conveniently constructs “I am” or “I am the ego” and puts this label on itself as if it were a real individual entity.

“Having found a name for itself, the ego has to constantly work to secure itself, because fundamentally it knows that it is not real and sound.” From the book Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery published by Shambhala Publications

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987) encouraged a young English woman called Susan to travel India to learn Buddhist meditation. After decades of meditation practice Susan became known as Lama Shenpen.

Without Trungpa Rinpoche’s encouragement, the Awakened Heart Sangha may never have come into being. By extension our meditation classes in Liverpool have come about through the influence of this modern day master.

Meditation on Emptiness

Progressive Stages of meditation on emptiness audio book
A Classic work on Meditation

Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness is a seminal work by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche (edited by Lama Shenpen). It is a classic exploration of the philosophical views found within Tibetan Buddhism, how they fit together, and how to use them in meditation.

The paper copy was revised and re-issued earlier this year and is now followed by the first audio book ever produced.

Narrated by Ken Cohen the audio book is available on Amazon alongside the recently revised paper and e-book versions.

Lama Shenpen has so far given eight talks on the “Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness” at The Hermitage this year and you can catch up with them on the Hermitage YouTube Channel:

Meditation & Teaching 11/11/17

Lama Shenpen indicates the Buddhist stupa at the Hermitage in Wales
Lama Shenpen Teaches the Dharma

The next meditation and Buddhist Teaching day at the Hermitage will be held this Saturday 11th November. You are very welcome to join us in person at the Hermitage in North Wales, or live on the Web through our Zoom broadcast.

For those attending in person, meditation guidance for beginners will be available in the morning session.

In the afternoon, Lama Shenpen will be giving the next instalment of her teachings on the Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness, which will also streamed live online. Full details of how to join us in person or connect online are in the event page below. We hope you can join us!

The Hermitage is a little over two hours from Liverpool by car. So why not make a weekend of it? Participants are welcome to join us anytime from Friday night until Sunday lunchtime. Please book online to arrange accommodation or contact the Hermitage team to discuss your needs.