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Teachings from Retreat:
Cultivating a Compassionate Heart: The Yoga Method of Chenrezig

by Ven. Thubten Chodron©
Menla Mountain Retreat, Phoencia, New York.
21-22 Apr 2007

Part 1. Introduction to Chenrezig and the practice.
[35 min] : Download mp3 file

What visualization means and why do it? Is visualization and chanting of mantras just extra added stuff that encourage unnecessary conceptualization?

What would compassion look like in a physical form? Compassion and total acceptance.

How to have compassion for ourselves and others for all the mistakes made.

How compassion counteracts the judgmental mind or the ‘opinion factory’.


Part 2 - Q&A [48 min] : Download mp3 file


  • What happens when we meet somebody who is doing something that makes us fearful? Is there any kind of valuable judgment that could come from there?
  • How do you translate what you are saying to a situation of domestic violence, especially women who are most often the victims of domestic violence?
  • If you’re a bodhisattva, you want to help everybody, but practically, it’s difficult. For example, in India, how do you go help every beggar?
  • Is there a vibrational tone in Buddhism?
  • More about tonglen (taking and giving) practice. Can we really change people’s situations through this practice?
  • Virginia Tech incident: how can we look at it with compassion but also understand it beyond that, for example, can we see it as having a purpose or as some kind of karmic manifestation? Is there any place for randomness?


Part 3 - Q&A cont'd. [42 min] : Download mp3 file


  • Even with situations of horror and grief, they can shock people so much that they generate a lot of virtue and positive and constructive attitudes and actions. So can we say that maybe these victims in some way created something positive by giving up their lives?
  • I’m thinking of the parents of the victims and the suffering they experience of having their children killed. Is this also the result of karma?
  • Is there any way to repent past karma?
  • What’s the meaning of karma being expandable? How does it work?
  • I can see why doing charity work would be a remedial action. But I have difficulty understanding how prostrations could also be a remedial action.
  • What is a Ngondro?


Part 4: Introduction to the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation. [16 min] : Download mp3 file


Part 5. Eight Verses of Thought Transformation - Verses 1 to 3 with many illustrations from both Ven Chodron's and others' experiences. [47 min] : Download mp3 file


Part 6. [25 min] : Download mp3 file

Some advice on daily practice and what Ven. Chodron thinks is an important element in the cultivation of compassion.

Eight Verses of Thought Transformation: Verses 4 and 5. [Note: Recordiing of Verse 5 explanation is incomplete.]

Question: How do we handle an aggressive person?


[ Click here for more materials on the Chenresig practice. ]


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