July 2018 Newsletter

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July 2018

Tonglen, the Practice of Taking and Sending

I was sitting with a group of people years ago for a healing practice, and I suggested naively that we breath suffering into our hearts and then breath out happiness. They were horrified. Why would I do that?? I let them know that it is a Buddhist practice, in fact, perhaps the heart of Buddhist practice, and explained as best I could how it is practiced. They were not convinced, and not willing.I have not been a consistent practitioner of Tonglen, and yet it is always near me, a profound possibility. When practicing Tonglen, I experience an opening in my heart, and I sense that this is the ultimate purpose of our Heart, to take in suffering and transform it, generating a deep, causeless joy that flows outwards with the breath. Flows outward, meaning that it is not hoarded and kept only in my heart. I suspect that when I am not partaking in a disciplined practice of Tonglen, the suffering, the pain, the negativity could find a camouflaged place in me to hide, and take hold in the background. I would then experience the secretion of this accumulated negativity.

If this is so, why then are we cautious of holding another’s pain, negativity, and suffering. Perhaps it touches too closely what we might feel within ourselves as well, despite our massive efforts to pursue pleasure. In practice, I recall a feeling of the suffering being embraced by the heart, held gently and then dissolved, liberated.

I am writing about Tonglen because Chamtrul Rinpoche will be with us in July, offering a teaching on Tonglen. (please refer to his schedule below.) When conferring with Lama Google, I came across this quote from Chogyum Trungpa Rinpoche:

“The more negativity we take in with a sense of openness and compassion,
the more goodness there is to breathe out.
So there is nothing to lose.”

If you are unfamiliar with Tonglen, and are curious, please visit these sites:


Coming Up at Tibetan House

  • Gift Shop and Mediation Class Schedule in July & August
  • Murals of Tibet Book Release with Thomas Laird
  • Chamtrul Rinpoche Teachings in the Greater New Orleans Area
  • Mind-Body-Spirit Based Relapse Prevention for Addictions
  • Mindfulness Meditation and Tibetan Buddhist Practice, Group Trip to India
  • Ayurveda Events with Bethany Cantin in September and October


Tibetan House Gift Shop and Meditation Classes

Friendly reminder:
In July and August
Tibetan House Gift Shop
will be closed.
If you would like to come in, please contact us at
and we can make an appointment.’Sitting In Stillness’ Meditation Class
will only take place on
Tuesday evenings at 7pm.

There will be no class on
Tuesday, July 17 or
Tuesday, July 24.

Murals of Tibet Book Release

Saturday, July 7, 2pm
Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library
4747 W Napoleon Ave, Metairie LA 70001

On July 7 Thomas Laird will present Murals of Tibet, to the public in New Orleans for the first time. He has been on tour with the book in Europe and Asia since first copy was presented to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in India, four months ago.
For more than a decade, New Orleans based photographer Thomas Laird traveled the length, breadth, and far-flung corners of Tibet’s plateau to capture the land’s spectacular Buddhist murals in all their sublime vastness, intricacy, and their spiritual, emotional, and psychological enrichment. Deploying new multi-image digital photography, Laird compiled the world’s first archive of these artworks, some walls as wide as 30 feet, in life-size resolution. TASCHEN’s breathtaking publication, Murals of Tibet assembles Laird’s portfolio in extra-large format—29×19 inches– with six fold-outs, printed in five colors including gold. Featuring both complete murals and copious details, it immerses readers into these precious, extraordinary masterpieces. This rare two volume, 1,025 pg. work, in an edition of only 998 copies, on a table by Shigeru Ban weighs 130 pounds and is available at 13 TASCHEN galleries worldwide, but not in New Orleans except through the TASCHEN website.
A World Heritage landmark, this SUMO-sized publication presents the most precious surviving murals of Tibetan Buddhist culture. For the first time, these astonishing and intricate masterpieces can be appreciated in blazing color and life-size resolution. Signed by his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the book is a revelation for scholars, aficionados of Tibet as well as for practitioners of Buddhism, yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. Laird will discuss the narratives within these murals as well as how this unique book was created.Contact: John Sameluk (504) 430-9792 / Email: jsameluk@yahoo.com

Event sponsored by
The Theosophical Society of New Orleans and
Tibetan House


Chamtrul Rinpoche in New Orleans

Chamtrul Rinpoche is the recognized reincarnation of a great master and scholar from the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, the oldest school in Tibet.

Having studied many years, he holds a vast and profound knowledge of sutra, tantra, and dzogchen, and has been conferred the title ‘Khenpo’ – roughly equivalent to ‘Doctor of Buddhist Philosophy’.

Known for his nonsectarian quality, he has received all the cycles of teachings, empowerments and transmissions from more than twenty five accomplished masters and scholars from all four major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism – namely, Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, and Gelug.

Chamtrul Rinpoche currently lives and teaches in India, in the Himalayan town of Dharamsala. Dedicating his life to helping people find inner peace, he also travels the world each year to teach and guide many old and new students.

In his own words:
“Teaching is what I do in this life, wherever someone asks me to teach, I am there. Without discriminating against anybody based on their gender, race, creed and so forth, I wish them to enjoy excellent peace and harmony. I try to the best of my ability to promote the view, meditation and conduct of non-violence, which is the indispensable source for the spread and enhancement of the inner peace of mind.”

For more information about Chamtrul Rinpoche, visit his website: http://www.chamtrul-rinpoche.com

Tuesday, July 24,
10:00am-12:15pm: “
Relationship between Body, Mind and Energy
1:30am-3:45pm: “Meditation On Selflessness”
Clearwater Sanctuary in Covington
For more information, contact:
info@clearwatersanctuary.org or (985) 630-1009

Wednesday, July 25
10:00am-12:15pm: “Meditation Teaching With Guided Practice ”
1:30pm-3:45pm “Overview Of Vajrayana and Dzochen”
Clearwater Sanctuary in Covington
For more information, contact:
info@clearwatersanctuary.org or (985) 630-1009

Thursday, July 26, 7pm-9pm
Practicing the Union of Emptiness and Compassion
Mid-City Zen Center
3248 Castiglione Street

Friday, July 27, 7pm-9pm
Tong-Len: the Healing Power of Compassion
LHA Community Center
623 North Rendon

Saturday, July 28 – Sunday, July 29
Tonglen Teachings with Guided Meditation
LHA Community Center
623 North Rendon
Saturday, July 28, 11:00am-1:00pm & 3:00pm-5:00pm
Sunday, July 29, 11:00am-1:00pm

Monday, July 30, 6:45pm-8:00pm
Topic to be announced
Samten Choeling Dharma Center
For more information and to RSVP, contact:
Ngawang Legshe at (504) 723-1317

Mind-Body-Spirit Based

Relapse Prevention for Addictions
with Dr. Jose Calderon

Stay tuned for date announcement!
Fee for the workshop is $80.
Wanting, aversion, and confusion are at the core of many unskillful behaviors including addictions. Entering and sustaining recovery often requires skillful use of psychological, behavioral and ethical/spiritual tools.
This is a 4-week workshop for those wanting to learn or modify skills to sustain sobriety from chemical or behavioral addictions. This workshop teaches mindfulness, mind-body medicine, and cognitive behavioral skills to support your practice and complement any other form of addiction treatment, 12-steps, SMART recovery, or Refuge Recovery work you may be doing. Selective mind-body skill may include gentle mindful movements and other forms of embodied mindfulness practices, meditation, imagery, cognitive behavioral skills and other.
Participants are required to attend all 4 sessions, come to sessions sober, and commit to practice between sessions.To register please contact Tibetan House, info@tibetanhouse.com or
(504) 897-9339.

About Jose Calderon-Abbo, M.D.

Dr. Calderón is board certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine, with an additional certification in mind-body medicine. He is a long time Vipassana practitioner, and mind-body medicine group facilitator. Dr. Calderon is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry with LSU School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, Clinical faculty at Tulane University, and is the Medical Director of the New Orleans Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. He is Senior Faculty at the Center for Mind- Body Medicine in Washington DC. where he conducts national and international trainings and supervision in mind-body medicine skills for the general public, healthcare providers and the department of defense. He is developing and studying an emergent model for relapse prevention and mental health care combining neurosciences, mind-body medicine, and functional medicine for mental health, wellness, and addictions.


Mindfulness Meditation and
Tibetan Buddhist Practice
Group Trip to India

September 7 – September 21, 2018
Destinations include:
Delhi, Agra, Dharamsala, and Bir
This small-group adventure to visit Tibetan Refugee settlements in Northern India will provide a foundational understanding of mindfulness meditation in the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The core concepts of Tibetan Buddhism and culture will be explored through readings, lectures, site visits, and discussions. The group will meet with a wide array of teachers and lay persons living this ancient tradition.
Visit important cultural landmarks, like the Dalai Lama’s templeEngage with the Tibetan refugee community

Tour local social service organizations

Lectures and teachings by Tibetan Buddhist teachers and elders

Opportunities for mindfulness meditation and yoga practices

Participate in spiritual practices
Trekking or relaxing in the Himalayas

Visit the Taj Majal, one of the seven wonders of the world

Trip Guides

Neil Guidry is a founding member of the Louisiana Himalaya Association, established in 1997. He has lived and worked with the Tibetan community in northern India for six months each year since that time. Neil has now been the main guide and a lecturer for over 50 groups to India. Over the past 12 years his courses at Tulane and these India groups have focused on Mindfulness, Meditation, Buddhist practices & Global Social Work with Tibetan Refugees. The host organization for this trip is LHA Charitable Trust in Dharamsala, India, where he serves as Advisor and Consultant.
Venerable Tsering Phuntsok is one of the 250 monks of Palyul Nyingma Monastery. He specializes in Sacred Lama Dance and Ritual Ceremonies. His main position for the monastery is overseeing the general health of the monks. Tsering has assisted Neil with international groups since 2002. He speaks fluent Tibetan, English, Hindi and Nepali. His happy demeanor paired with a vast knowledge of the cultures and traditions of the area make Tsering the perfect guide.
For more information joining a Mindful India Trip,
contact Trip Coordinator, Jocelyn Pinkerton at


An Introduction to Ayurveda for

Vibrancy, Longevity & Optimal Health

Led by Bethany Cantin

Sunday, September 16
Tibetan House, 4900 Tchoupitoulas Street
Cost $35
To register, contact Tibetan House: info@tibetanhouse.com

Ayurveda is a 5000 year old sister science to yoga which translates to “life knowledge”. Ayurvedic principles connect us to the daily rhythms of nature through proper seasonal diets, daily routines (called dinacharya) and simple lifestyle changes, which can increase your vibrancy, longevity and create greater joy and balance in your life.

In this hands-on workshop we will discuss the great elements of Vata (air/either), Pitta (fire/water), and Kapha (earth/water) and how they apply to the seasons, times of day, stages of life and to you as an individual.

We will determine your unique blend of these elements, known as your prakruti, and you will leave with seasonal dietary suggestions, daily routines, as well as suggestions for the best practices to balance your unique being.

Bring a notebook, a pen, and an open mind.


Ayurvedic 8 day Fall Cleanse
for Optimal Health and Longevity

Led by Bethany Cantin

Pre Cleanse meeting
Saturday, October 6, 11:00am-12:30pm
Fee $110

Cleanse Dates
October 14-21

Cleanse Wrap Up Meeting:
Saturday, October 20, 11:00am-12:30pm

To register, contact Tibetan House: info@tibetanhouse.com.

Ayurvedic cleanses are used for optimizing health and prolonging life by removing physical, chemical and mental impurities from your body to restore you to a balanced, healthier way of life.

Ayurvedic philosophy believes that food is medicine and that healthy, nutritional, seasonal foods, whole grains, healing spices, along with disciplined self-care are the only medicines we need for vibrant, healthy living.

Fall is an excellent time of year to create physical and mental optimal health and to connect with the rhythms of Mother Nature for rejuvenation, clarity and transformation.

We start with a 1.5 hour meeting a week prior to the cleanse start date to familiarize ourselves with the many details of the cleanse. I will provide everyone participating in the cleanse with an in-depth, 20 page manual that will detail every single aspect of the ayurvedic cleanse and this will be reviewed and handed out at the meeting.

In a nutshell, the cleanse is 8 days long and starts with a 3 day diet of whole grains, seasonal fruits veggies. This is followed by 3 days of a mono diet of “kitchari” which is a wonderfully healing, warm, deeply nutritional and cleansing dish of basmati rice, mung beans, spices and vegetables. We finish the cleanse with 2 days of a rejuvenation phase of slowly incorporating smart food choices back into your diet.

Daily rituals that balance and restore you (called dinacharya) are incorporated into every day of the cleanse.

I will send daily emails to everyone participating in the 8 day cleanse to support you in the process and to share additional ayurvedic wisdom that will deepen your experience each day. I will also be available to answer any questions you may have each day of the cleanse.

Please reach out with any questions to: Bethany@NolaAyurveda.com

If you have specific health concerns it is advisable that you see me for a private ayurvedic consultation before the cleanse starts.

Ayurvedic Consultations

An Ayurvedic consultation first answers the question, “What is your prakruti?” Through a series of questions, observations and pulse assessments we will determine the unique blend of the elements you were born with. We then take a look at your current lifestyle patterns, food preferences, daily and seasonal routines and we will evaluate your health on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. We will discuss your vikruti (current imbalances) and set smart and simple goals and encourage subtle changes to your diet and daily routines to bring you in the direction of true balance and harmony. Follow up consultations will assure you stay connected to the path.

Consultation fee: 1.5 hours $140



“In order to have compassion for others, we have to have compassion for ourselves.
In particular, to care about other people who are fearful, angry, jealous, overpowered by addictions of all kinds, arrogant, proud, miserly, selfish, mean—you name it—to have compassion and to care for these people, means not to run from the pain of finding these things in ourselves. In fact, one’s whole attitude toward pain can change. Instead of fending it off and hiding from it, one could open one’s heart and allow oneself to feel that pain, feel it as something that will soften and purify us and make us far more loving and kind.
The tonglen practice is a method for connecting with suffering—ours and that which is all around us—everywhere we go. It is a method for overcoming fear of suffering and for dissolving the tightness of our heart. Primarily it is a method for awakening the compassion that is inherent in all of us, no matter how cruel or cold we might seem to be.
We begin the practice by taking on the suffering of a person we know to be hurting and whom we wish to help. For instance, if you know of a child who is being hurt, you breathe in the wish to take away all the pain and fear of that child. Then, as you breathe out, you send the child happiness, joy, or whatever would relieve their pain. This is the core of the practice: breathing in other’s pain so they can be well and have more space to relax and open, and breathing out, sending them relaxation or whatever you feel would bring them relief and happiness. However, we often cannot do this practice because we come face to face with our own fear, our own resistance, anger, or whatever our personal pain or our personal stuckness happens to be at that moment.”

May all beings never be apart from the supreme bliss
which is free of all suffering!

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