Dharma Connections

Buddhist teacher, Lama Shenpen responds to a student's worry regarding their spending more time and energy practising Buddhism. Liverpool Meditation Group.
Empowering Dharma Connections

Buddhist teacher, Lama Shenpen responds to a student’s worry regarding their spending more time and energy practicing Buddhism and engaging in the Sangha activities, resulting in a sense of losing touch with old friends.

A meditation student writes:“I  am increasingly moving away emotionally and physically away from my non Dharma friends. The spare time that I do have I am either studying or contributing to the Sangha. I’m starting to feel torn and saddened by this distance, it feels like a loss. But, on the other hand I am choosing to study and be part of the Sangha as this is very important to me.

Is it really OK to leave your old friends behind?  I enjoy being with them but I’m finding it increasingly obvious that things have changed, or maybe it’s just me that’s changing. When I’m with my Sangha friends there is the deep and real connection of a common purpose, this is now lacking on my old friendships.

Should I just allow this distance to happen as the natural course of things? Or should I try to maintain these old connections, as these are friends who have been with me through good and bad times?”

Lama Shenpen: “It is a question of time isn’t it? It is not that you are choosing to distance yourself. It is that you are choosing the Dharma as your priority and that makes sense. As you say ‘the spare time that I do have’ – we don’t get that much spare time to study, practise and contribute to the Sangha do we?

Yet by prioritising our Dharma connections we are empowering our personal mandala to be able to help all those connected to it from now until we and they are all enlightened.

They don’t understand that right now but in future lives they will benefit from what we are doing now.  You will always remain connected to them. For many of them you will be the closest they get to a Dharma connection in this life.

So you need to remember that you are not neglecting those old friendships – you are trying to do your best to honour them by your Dharma practice.  There is no need to cut off from them and when they really need you you will be there for them.

They may feel disappointed at not seeing so much of you and it may be that because you see less of each other a distance develops between you – but you know that when there is a genuine friendship between people it never changes, even if you do not see each other often.  The connection is always there and in the end we all recognise that don’t we? What do you think?”

You can find out more about Lama Shenphen’s Buddhist Meditation training at www.ahs.org.uk or by visiting our weekly group in Woolton, Liverpool.


Trungpa Rinpoche Remembered

Great Buddhist Teachers Liverpool
Trungpa Rinpoche with his teacher H.H Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche – two Great Buddhist Masters

Today we celebrate the anniversary of the passing (Parinirvana) of the great Buddhist Teacher and meditation master – Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987).

Trungpa Rinpoche received a classical monastic education in Tibet before the Chinese invasion. The last generation to do so. The eleventh Tulku in the Trungpa lineage of incarnations, he was trained in both the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions and was head of the Surmang group of monasteries.

Leaving Tibet he became an early pioneer of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. He studied at Oxford before founding Samye Ling monastery in Scotland with Akong Rinpoche. Later, he founded the Shambhala tradition in the USA, which later became a worldwide Buddhist organisation.

A prolific author and discoverer of secret treasure teachings (termas), Trungpa Rinpoche was widely regarded as an awakened master, translator, calligrapher, poet and brilliant orator.

Founder of the Awakened Heart Sangha, Lama Shenpen Hookham was advised to travel to India by Trungpa Rinpoche. It was on his advice that she met her main teachers and spent many years in meditation retreat.

Later, Lama Shenpen married Rigdzin Shikpo, one of Trungpa Rinpoche’s early and senior British students, further cementing the lineage connections.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Trungpa Rinpoche’s son, and heir to the Shambhala lineage,  told Lama Shenphen that he regards the Awakened Heart Sangha and Shambhala International as being closely related, with positive karmic bonds.

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/222732668″>Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche on Trungpa Rinpoche</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/chogyamtrungpachronicles”>Chronicles of Chogyam Trungpa</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

In this short video Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche, the tulku (incarnation) of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, one of Trungpa’s most eminent teachers, rejoices in the remarkable and groundbreaking life of the 11th Trungpa Rinpoche.

Why not find out more about the Kagyu / Nyingma lineage of teachings at the Woolton, Liverpool meditation group, every Tuesday at 7pm.

Annual Sangha Celebration

Liverpool Buddhist meditation group invited to annual sangha celebration
Come join in the fun!

Members of our Liverpool AHS Buddhist Meditation group are warmly invited to join the Sangha for our annual celebration at the Hermitage in North Wales.

This weekend event runs from Friday 25th May to Sunday 27th May.

We celebrate our commitment to the Buddha, Dharma and specifically the Awakened Heart Sangha. A weekend of vows, feasting, teachings and entertainment. This is a joyful weekend of connection and fun!

You are invited to join us for all or part of the weekend. Children are very welcome at this event.

Saturday morning will be to celebrate those who are taking refuge or Bodhisattva vows, the afternoon for those who are making commitments to the Sangha, with their Mahayanagana or Mentor vows.

On Sunday we receive teachings from Lama Shenpen (theme to be confirmed). We finish with a wonderful feast, entertainment, singing and dancing.

Please visit the Hermitage website here for more information and booking form.


Loving Kindness

We will be meeting tonight (Tuesday 6th March) to meditate together and to study and discuss a Buddhist teaching called the Metta Sutta or The Discourse on Loving Kindness.

Tonight’s meditation class is in Woolton and starts at 7pm. As usual, the class is open to all and beginners are always very welcome.



Connections exist outside time - buddhist quote for Liverpool meditation students
Connections are Mysterious

Connections made in this life may be the most important things that we do. The teachings of Tibetan Buddhism talk about our connections with each other (Tib. Tendrel) as being lasting and meaningful and that they can continue between lives.

Here, Lama Shenpen has an interesting discussion with a student about how we can begin to understand these connections. View their full conversation: https://tinyurl.com/yd2r5yep

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

For more information about the training visit: www.ahs.org.uk/training

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: www.ahs.org.uk/training

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:https://tinyurl.com/ybrmv3er

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: www.ahs.org.uk/training 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: www.ahs.org.uk/training

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.