Wisdom Sun is about bringing Buddhist meditation teachings home: Home to our own culture and locale; home to our daily life; home to our mind, body, and heart.
Bringing meditation home, we learn to live fully and fearlessly, with joy, humor, and love. We begin to genuinely connect with who we are as individuals, and strengthen and enrich our relationships with others. We develop a clarity and depth of awareness—wisdom—imbued with warmth—like the light of the sun.
Inquiry and Transformative Discovery
One of the extraordinary qualities we possess as human beings is that of self-reflection. “Who am I, really?” “What am I actually doing here?” “What is life really all about?” are timeless human questions. The motives for asking them can include experiences of pain and confusion; a desire to search for more meaning in life; or simply a sense of curiosity about what is true beneath the surface of things as they appear to us.
These questions are the starting point of Buddhism’s “wisdom teachings,” which explain how to make this kind of inner inquiry become a path of transformative discovery.
To be genuinely transformative, this path needs to be much more than just dry philosophy or abstract speculation. When we open all of our mind, body, and heart to our inquiry and meditative experience, we begin to discover something profound and amazing.
The quality of this discovery is difficult to describe, yet it is directly felt. It is spacious and transcendent, yet immediate and personal. It is at the heart of what Buddhism’s yogic tradition has been passing down from teacher to disciple for generations. Experiencing it makes it so much easier to feel true happiness, to be at peace, to relate to others—to live in a way that feels like we fit well in our life. We begin to feel an innate sense of self-worth, and to see that our daily worries, struggles, preoccupations, and fears do not define us. This gives us an anchor in this uncertain, changing world—a genuine sense of confidence that whatever happens in life, we are going to be just fine.
This is not about ecstasy or feeling superhuman—it is calm, deep, genuine, and joyful. It is open; it is bright and alive; and it naturally emanates warmth and love. This is the Wisdom Sun.
The best thing of all is that the Wisdom Sun is already fully present within us—it is our authentic nature. So we do not need to struggle to acquire or achieve it. We simply need to learn how to open to its natural presence in our body, mind, and heart.
A Common Path Practiced by Individual People
As an organization, Wisdom Sun is about a path of Buddhist meditation practice focusing on the wisdom teachings, and about a community of individuals who share the longing to learn, practice, and develop along this path. The path and the community are equally important—Wisdom Sun honors and respects both the universality of the teachings and the individuality of the people practicing them.
The Path: Teachers and Teachings
Wisdom Sun’s path of Buddhist practice is grounded in the extensive teachings given to us over the course of many years, often in a personal one-on-one context, by our spiritual guide, the Tibetan master Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. During his teaching career, Khenpo Rinpoche was renowned for his highly original, profound, and engaging presentation of the wisdom teachings. He was particularly revered for his teachings on the “view” of the true nature of reality. Khenpo Rinpoche presented this view in a series of progressive stages, providing a sound foundation for our understanding and meditative experience to gradually develop and mature.
These stages begin with the question “Who am I, really?” and an exploration of the true nature of the individual. They move on to examine the nature of the phenomenal world in which the individual lives, as described in the different levels of teachings on emptiness and prajna-paramita (transcendent wisdom). They culminate in the highest teachings on the true nature of the psycho-physical continuum, found in the Mahamudra (Great Seal), Dzogchen (Great Completeness), and Vajrayana (Adamantine Vehicle) traditions.
Wisdom Sun’s path of practice also owes a great deal to the teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, whose brilliant, rich, and eloquent expositions are an inconceivable treasure. Trungpa Rinpoche and Khenpo Rinpoche held each other in the highest esteem.
A Spirit of Innovation
These two masters, trained in the ancient Tibetan style yet teaching in the modern West, were fantastic innovators. Their primary loyalty was not to tradition for tradition’s sake, but rather, to helping their students connect with their tradition’s heart. Their openness and willingness to engage with their students in a deeply intimate way produced a transmission of Buddhist teachings that was both original and true to its roots.
We feel that this spirit of innovation is part of the tradition our teachers have passed down to us. We seek not to simply repeat the teachings we have heard, but to continually consider how we can make the teachings fresh, accessible, and meaningful for people. And we are open to the wisdom and beauty of Western and Eastern traditions of the arts, sciences, and humanities for insights to help us do this.
A Buddhist Path for Mind, Body, and Heart
In this day and age, we often live and work in a way that our intellect is highly active and constantly stimulated, but not necessarily in a way that feels very balanced or connected with our body and heart. Meditative practice helps restore this balance and connection, and the resulting experiences of grounding and opening are wonderful. Rather than just speaking or thinking of wisdom, we come to actually embody it.
This is why Wisdom Sun’s path of practice encourages body-based meditation, including lujong (Tibetan Buddhist Yoga), singing yogic songs of realization, and Buddhist dance. These practices are profound, enjoyable, and easy to learn for people of all ages and levels of physical ability.
Reconnecting with Tradition: Meditation Practices for a Community of Individuals
Another key feature of this modern environment is that the community of Buddhist practitioners is a group of individuals. We aspire to have shared goals and purpose that fosters a strong community, but without asking people to sacrifice themselves for “higher purposes.” Having a healthy balance between community and individuality is positive and inspiring.
One way to achieve this balance is for people to have the opportunity to receive regular individual practice guidance. With this, we can insure that the clarity and warmth of the practices meet each of us where we need it most. This makes the path feel genuine and authentic, so we do not feel we are just practicing by rote, in isolation, or mindlessly following the herd. It allows for us to manifest the qualities of enlightenment in our own personal way.
A relationship of regular personal contact between teacher and student is in harmony with how Buddhism was traditionally practiced. And Buddhism’s high esteem for individuality appears in the teachings on the different enlightened qualities of the five Buddha families, which are born from the different psycho-physical make-up of each individual. These qualities become endangered, however, when Buddhist practice gets too uniform and monolithic; when people feel that they are forced to fit themselves into a cookie-cutter style of meditation where “one size fits all”, rather than getting the help they need to figure out what the meditation teachings truly mean for them. That is why in-depth, individual practice guidance can be so beneficial.
Wisdom Sun’s Offering
Wisdom Sun offers an invitation to individuals to be able to participate in its community, and by participating, to grow into who we actually are. In our world there is so much hesitation, uncertainty, and tension that there is not always much chance for us to do this. But it is possible to celebrate individuality without ego-clinging; and to allow our individual nature to manifest and have its own ground that is stable, open, and filled with love.
With this emphasis, Wisdom Sun becomes a community that is fulfilling. It becomes something that we can take with us wherever we go. We learn to shine our light of wisdom and warmth, in ourselves and in our world.