All posts by skhayes

Help Build a Temple

Got a few extra dollars looking for something important and valuable to do?

An-shu Stephen K. Hayes is working to assist his friend Lama Kunga Dhondup, principal of Sakya Pema T’sal Monastic School in Pokhara, Nepal, in fundraising to build a traditional Tibetan temple at the site of his monastery for young Tibetan monks.

An-shu says, “My young monk friends hosted me and a few of our SKH Quest Center Black Belt students in their monastery a few times in years past. They generously helped me translate ancient Tibetan texts that teach important exercises for the liberation of the human spirit. These are teachings that will add great value to our spirit-building training in the Western world.”

Here is where we need to help. “Temple construction is well underway – and along comes a world economic disaster. Funds pedged to my friends disappeared. I promised the Sakya Pema Ts’al monks I would do all I could to help them finish the financing of their temple building. Rumiko and I have the Blue Lotus Assembly charity that we use to send donations to great causes like this. If you have a few dollars you can share, please join us.”


Instead of automated donation, contribution checks can also be sent to:

Blue Lotus Assembly

c/o SKH Quest

6236 Far Hills Avenue

Dayton, OH 45459

Avalokiteshvara – Kannon – Chenrezig – Yoga Meditation

HOMBU DOJO – DAYTON, OHIO
Wednesday June 30, 2010 8:30 – 9:30 pm

An-shu and guest Sakya Lama Rigzin Wangdu from Sakya Pema Ts’al Monastic Institute in Pokhara, Nepal, presented a meditation practice in generating awareness of our inherent proclivity towards compassionate intelligent encouraging engagement with the world, through identification with our own inner nature of being a “heroic bright light who hears the sorrows of the world”.

Earthquake Victims in Tibet

April 14 was Rumiko’s and my 30th wedding anniversary. We celebrated with joy and then were dismayed to hear about the Tibetan earthquake tragedy that day. More than 1,700 people have died and an estimated 10,000 mostly ethnic Tibetans were injured and left homeless in near-freezing temperatures after an earthquake struck a region of Kham, Tibet. More than 85 percent of the houses in Kyigudo, a town of 100,000 people nearest the epicenter, were destroyed along with a major monastery.

I encourage friends to donate relief funds, either directly to an appropriate organization like The Tibet Fund Emergency Earthquake Relief, or by sending a donation to Rumiko’s and my charity Blue Lotus Assembly to form a collection we will donate as a group.

May 13 update: I made a presentation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on stage in front of the audience when he visited us, and requested that he add ours to his contribution to relief work. We collected over $3,000 in donations. That goes a long way in Tibet!

Please join us in keeping the victims of this earthquake in our thoughts and prayers and assisting financially if you are able. So far, the following friends have contributed:
Curtis Adkins
Jacob Bassham
Boulder Quest Center
Brent deMoville
Maison Dhondt
Daniel L. Dunn
Tori Eldrige
Michael Erwin
Tony Griffin family
Richard Harrington
Jackie Haviland
Marissa Hayes
Reina Hayes
Stephen & Rumiko Hayes
Rick Jurvis
Christos Karatsalos
Jesper Ljungquist
Joel Minton
Eamonn Mullaly
Neal Nemhauser
Russell Nemhauser
Newbury Park Martial Arts
Steve Pavlovic
Michael Piper
Robain Polly
Kyle Smith
Marco Tillmann
Richard Titcombe
Jerry C. Townsend
Gail Whipple





How To Meditate

Meditation is the practice of focusing the mind’s attention for channeling energy, properly integrating mind and body, and experiencing personal growth

Meditation Posture

In a quiet place, relatively free from distraction, sit in a straight-backed chair or on a firm pillow.

Your seat should be higher than your ankles. If your knees stick up way higher than your seat, use a firmer pillow to lift you higher. If you are uncomfortable on the floor, sit on the forward edge of a straight back chair.

Sit up straight. Allow your muscles to work actively to keep you upright. Leaning back leads to drowsiness.

Fold hands together palms-up. Fingers of one hand rest on top of the insides of the fingers of the other. Flatten your thumbnails with the tips barely touching. When you look down you should see the flat thumbnails and upturned palms beneath them.

Sit with spine straight but not stiff. Imagine a straight line running from each ear lobe to the top of each shoulder. Elbows are not too far in, not too far out. Tongue rests lightly against the back of your front teeth and the roof of your mouth. Rock slightly in all four directions to settle yourself in.

Keep eyes open just enough to be aware of light coming in under lowered lids. With eyes half-open and half-closed, gaze at the ground in front of you. Allow your eyesight to reach out in front effortlessly. Do not concentrate fiercely. Meditation with closed eyes can result in “inner television”. Shopping lists, old quarrels, and “if-onlys” begin to sneak onto the screen.

The Mind

Center on breathing to channel the mind. Sit lightly and observe your breath. Lightly examine its quality. Is it deep or shallow, tranquil or in turmoil? Observe your breaths as they arise and fall away. Repeat to yourself, “Breathing”, once for the inhale and once for the exhale. Repeat the process for ten repetitions.

If you find yourself thinking, do not be annoyed. Inwardly smile to yourself, remind yourself “not now”, and let the thought go. Observe in unattached fashion and return to following the breath without any self-criticism. Do this practice long enough, often enough, and ever so gently the thoughts begin to retreat and you will find the mental stability you seek.

Suggestions…

Since the beginning of history, people have disciplined their minds to stimulate states of well being with the release of endorphins. Recent research indicates these potent natural substances are byproducts of physical and mental well-being in people who have a positive viewpoint of themselves and others.

Remember that enlightenment is not some external thing you have to “go get”. Its potential is inherent in us all. We find it within ourselves. Kukai (774-835) and Saicho (767-822), founders of the Shingon and Tendai esoteric traditions in Japan, advocated “realizing enlightenment in this very body”. The monk Hakuin said that all beings are enlightened, just as all ice is by nature water. Lin Chi (ca. 866), the founder of the Lin Chi school of Ch’an in China (Rinzai Zen in Japan), commented on this dormant potential in the core of all of us, “When you split open the cherry tree, where is the blossom? Yet in the springtime, see how it blooms!”

Click to go to SKH Quest Shop for Meditation for Martial Artists DVD instruction in mind centering practice.

Sakya Lamas at Miami Valley Meditation 2008

In June 2008, An-shu Stephen and An-shu Rumiko’s friends Lama Pema Wangdak of New York Palden Sakya Centers, and Lama Kunga Dhondup, ritual master of Pema Ts’al School in Pokhara, Nepal, returned to Dayton’s Miami Valley Meditation with an initiation and teaching in the spiritual practice of White Tara longevity meditation. Participants travelled from as far away as Florida, Colorado, and North Carolina to be a part of the illumination.

Vajrapani Empowerment with Dagchen Sakya Rinpoche

HH Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Rinpoche of Sakya Monastery in Seattle, Washington, visited the Chamseling Temple of Dalai Lama elder brother Thubten Jigme Norbu and Kunyang Norbu (youngest sister of HH Dagchen Rinpoche) and presented this empowerment into Vajrapani “Grasping Unbreakable Truth” on Sunday September 19 2004 at Tibetan Cultural Center in Bloomington, Indiana.


The Vajrapani empowerment was sponsored by Stephen K. Hayes.
SKH Quest Marishi-Kai protection team members worked to keep the event smooth and safe for all as part of the TCC’s weekend Mongolian Cultural Festival.

Sakya Lamas at Miami Valley Meditation 2004

In June 2004, Lama Pema Wangdak of New York Palden Sakya Centers, and ritual master Lama Kunga Dhondup of Pema Ts’al School in Pokhara, Nepal, presented public programs on spiritual practice, ritual, and meditation in everyday living, and conferred on Stephen K. Hayes a 5-day depth instruction in the practice of Vajrakilaya – “truth like a dagger blade” that removes obstacles to brightness and wholeness in life.

Support the DharmaVenerable Lama Pema Wangdak has been a monk since 7 years old. A student of His Holiness Sakya Trizin, he graduated from Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Benares, India in 1980 with Acharya (Masters) degree. In 1989 Lama Pema founded the Vikramasila Foundation, and then Palden Sakya Centers in New York City, Woodstock, NY, Philmont, NY, Charlottesville, VA, and Cresskill, NJ. Lama Pema is the creator of “Bur Yig” Tibetan Braille, and founder of Pema Ts’al (“Lotus Grove”) Schools in Mundgod, India and Pokhara, Nepal, and Pema Ts’al School in New York City based on the curriculum at Sakya College, India. Lama Pema has been guiding western students for over 20 years through his marvelous command of the English language and his knowledge and compassion.