Category Archives: Buddhism

Midweek Mindfulness with Pema Chödrön — February 22, 2017

Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we already are. — Pema Chödrön

Pema Chodron 2017 wall calendar by Amber Lotus Publishing

Image from our Pema Chödrön 2017 wall calendar. Japanese white-eye on blossoming plum tree, Honshu, Japan © Toshiaki Ono.

When people start to meditate or work with any kind of spiritual discipline, they often think that somehow they’re going to improve, which is a sort of subtle aggression against who they really are. It’s a bit like saying, “If I jog, I’ll be a much better person.” “If I could get a nicer house, I’d be a better person.” “If I could meditate and calm down, I’d be a better person.” Or the scenario may be that they find fault with others; they might say, “If it weren’t for my husband, I’d have a perfect marriage.” “If it weren’t for the fact that my boss and I can’t get on, my job would be just great.” And, “If it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent.” Continue reading

Eight Stanzas for Training the Mind

A Thought From His Holiness The Dalai Lama:

Photograph by Oscar Fernández featured in our Dalai Lama 2017 wall calendar.

Photograph by Oscar Fernández featured in our Dalai Lama 2017 wall calendar.

No matter whom I meet and where I go, I always give the advice to be altruistic, to have a good heart. From the time when I began to think until now, I have been cultivating this attitude of altruism. This is the essence of religion; this is the essence of the Buddhist teaching.

We should take this good heart, this altruism, as the very basis and internal structure of our practice and direct whatever virtuous activities we do toward its increase higher and higher. We should suffuse our minds with it thoroughly and use words or writings as means of reminding ourselves of the practice. Such words are the Eight Stanzas for Training the Mind, written by the Ga-dam-ba Ge-shay Lang-ritang- ba (1054 – 1123); they are very powerful even when practiced only at the level of enthusiastic interest. Continue reading

Contemporary Tibetan Art — Sharing Light

Images from the Contemporary Tibetan Art 2017 wall calendar. Click for more info.

Images from the Contemporary Tibetan Art 2017 wall calendar. Click for more info.

We are so excited and deeply honored to present the 2017 International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) wall calendar: Contemporary Tibetan Art. Not only does this edition continue to reflect the valuable relationship and collaboration Amber Lotus shares with ICT, but it is also particularly special, beautiful, and significant in its importance.

The 2017 edition features twelve arresting works of art that showcase the unique beauty and tragedy of Tibet. Twelve contemporary Tibetan artists living in exile offer a compelling glimpse into a new realm of Tibetan cultural expression, through the use of vibrant colors, gouache, acrylic on linen and canvas, silk brocade fabrics, white and yellow gold leaf, photography, collage, and other mixed media.

Many of their powerful and engaging works challenge the boundaries of what is permissible by the Chinese government in current Tibet. For this reason alone, the work of these artists needs to be seen, heard, and shared. Each calendar month suggests a message of hope, struggle, liberation, oppression, compassion, and peace.

While Tibetans have little say in many of the rapid changes being driven by the Chinese government in Tibet, they have been dynamically active in areas such as music, art, literature, and film, working not only to preserve their culture but also to redefine and push the boundaries for new meaning and expression of Tibetan identity in the 21st century. This calendar helps to bring awareness and to give Tibet and the artists a voice that will reach a vast international community.

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Meditation: Our Awakened Nature

Meditation 2018 wall calendar

Image from our Meditation 2018 wall calendar. Tree ferns and waterfall © Andrew Watson. Click for more info.

It is often said that there are as many paths to meditation as there are meditators. These paths can be likened to streams flowing into the ocean. Each stream takes a unique course, but they all return to the source from which all waters originate.

The most commonly known forms of meditation share a few basic characteristics:

  • Posture: Bring your body into a stable sitting position, in alignment, spine straight.
  • Solitude: Bring yourself away to a quiet place where you may be relatively undisturbed.
  • Silence: Bring yourself to silence.
  • Mental quiescence: Bring your mind to stillness.

Continue reading

Happy 90th Birthday to Thich Nhat Hanh

Greeting card artwork by Nicholas Kirsten-Honshin.

Greeting card artwork by Nicholas Kirsten-Honshin.

For almost 15 years, it has been our great honor to share the words of wisdom from beloved teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. Our hope has always been that our calendars and greeting cards will serve as helpful tools for people in their everyday practice to live more mindfully. His words inspire so many to find deeper meaning and to cultivate more compassion. As many of you know, Thay experienced a stroke in November 2014, and he has made remarkable progress toward improved health since then. Please join us in wishing him a happy 90th birthday (October 11) and continued wellness.

❤️ Much gratitude for the wisdom he shares with the world and his work toward peace. Continue reading

Midweek Mindfulness with Pema Chödrön — September 7, 2016

Image from our Pema Chödrön 2017 wall calendar. Red Cullin, Isle of Skye, Scotland © Jim Richardson. Click image for more info.

Image from our Pema Chödrön 2017 wall calendar. Red Cullin, Isle of Skye, Scotland © Jim Richardson. Click image for more info.

Awakening is not a process of building ourselves up but a process of letting go. It’s a process of relaxing in the middle – the paradoxical, ambiguous middle, full of potential, full of new ways of thinking and seeing – with absolutely no guarantee of what will happen next.
Pema Chödrön


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Midweek Mindfulness with the Dalai Lama — July 27, 2016

Dalai Lama 2017 wall calendar

Image from our Dalai Lama 2017 wall calendar. Photograph by Olivier Adam. Click image for more info.

Inner development comes step by step. You may think, “Today my inner calmness, my mental peace, is very small,” but still, if you compare, if you look five, ten, or fifteen years back, and think, “What was my way of thinking then? How much inner peace did I have then and what is it today?”– comparing it with what it was then, you can realize that there is some progress, there is some value…. Progress comes by maintaining constant effort in daily practice.
H. H. the Dalai Lama, from Kindness, Clarity, and Insight


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