White Tara Meditation Group

White Tara Group is a meditation group that usually meets once or twice a month on a Sunday, in Wolvercote, Oxford: meetings are continuing online.

The group evolved out of Ringu Tulku’s yearly visits to Oxford, to provide a continuity and format in which to meet and practice together.  We are part of the Bodhicharya & Bodhicharya UK umbrella. The format of the group includes: silent sitting practice, listening to a recorded teaching by Ringu Tulku, discussing what we hear in the teaching, relating it to our own lives and experience, and seeing where that takes us each time. 

Occasionally we invite other teachers and experienced practitioners to come and give a short teaching, holding that within our usual format, giving time for meditation before and after the teaching and discussing together over questions that arise out of the teaching. 

White Tara herself is a female Buddha, an embodiment of enlightened qualities.  The image of her here was painted by Ringu Tulku's brother, Salga, a well-known thangka-painter.  She symbolises limitless wisdom and compassion, particularly directed towards health, long life and the wisdom of seeing all things, clearly.  Her meditation can help us connect to an innate and completely pure awareness which, ultimately, is also a ‘deathlessness’ (a quality her practice is traditionally said to bestow).  In this capacity, she supports all spiritual enquiry and practice, which is why we chose her as our 'banner,' or inspiration, to oversee our gatherings.  

In 2015, after we had been meeting for several years, Ringu Tulku came and gave the empowerment of White Tara at the barn in Wolvercote where we usually meet.  Since then, the group has also learned and practised the traditional practice of White Tara, as a sadhana.  We hold separate meetings specifically dedicated to studying and practising this together once a month.


Online meetings from Jan 2021, Sunday AFTERNOONS :

In our usual White Tara group meetings we are studying Ringu Tulku's teachings on the Bodhicharyavatara. 
New members are welcome to join from 17th January to recap an overview of the text to orientate ourselves.

Sunday 17th January 4pm - 6.15pm White Tara group meeting by Zoom
Overview of Bodhicharyavatara and the story of its author Shantideva (see Archive for full written story and also texts recommendations). Listened to Ch 6 Teaching 19, particularly on Bodhicitta (Teaching 18 also covered).

Sunday 14th February 4pm - 6.15pm White Tara group meeting by Zoom
Summary of Bodhicharyavatara teaching on the first two paramitas, Generosity and Conduct: 
carefulness and awareness.
Ch 6 Teaching 20.

Sunday 7th March 4pm - 6.15pm White Tara group meeting by Zoom
Summary of Bodhicharyavatara teaching on the 3rd paramita: Patience.
Ch 6  Teaching 21.

Sunday 11th April  4pm - 6.15pm White Tara group meeting by Zoom
Continuing with Bodhicharyavatara teaching on the 3rd paramita: Patience.
Ch 6  Teaching 22.

Sunday 23rd May  4pm - 6.15pm White Tara group meeting by Zoom
Continuing with Bodhicharyavatara teaching on the 3rd paramita: Patience.
Chapter 6  Teaching 24. 

Sunday 4th July  4pm - 6.15pm White Tara group meeting by Zoom
Continuing with Bodhicharyavatara teaching on Patience to Conclusion
Summary of Chapter 6, Teachings 25 and 26, and listened to Teaching 49 (50)

Sunday 1st August 4pm - 6.15pm White Tara group meeting by Zoom
Recap of some of Ringu Tulku's recent summercamp teachings on 'Dealing with Life, Death and Beyond' 

Sunday 26th September 4pm - 6.15pm White Tara group meeting by Zoom
Continuing with Bodhicharyavatara teaching : Chapter 7 Diligence, Teaching 1.

Sunday 24th October 4pm - 6.15pm White Tara group meeting by Zoom
Continuing with Bodhicharyavatara teaching on Diligence

Sunday 7th November  4pm - 6.15pm White Tara group meeting by Zoom
Continuing with Bodhicharyavatara teaching on Diligence

Sunday 5th December  4pm - 6.15pm White Tara group meeting by Zoom
Continuing with Bodhicharyavatara teaching on Diligence


Orienting to Ringu Tulku's online shedra course of teachings on the Bodhicharyavatara : 

Rinpoche has been giving these teachings, one by one, compiling a full and formal course covering this core and seminal text, for a while now.  The course is available on the Archive to study in its entirety, up to the point Rinpoche has got up to.  He gave teachings on the first 6 and a half chapters years ago and then it sat fallow for a while.... till the coronavirus hit us all and he started up again, in lockdown, delivering around one teaching each week, of around 20 minutes each. There are now over 200 teachings altogether.  Rinpoche himself has, time and time again, recommended that we all study this text, it is so widely applicable and comprehensive and incisive, and covers the whole of the Buddhist path.

We will start in January with an overview, and a teaching Rinpoche gave as part of a synopsis of the text, when he restarted teaching it last year [Ch 6, teaching 19].  The following month or so, we will continue with his recap, to orientate ourselves to the text as a whole.  Ideally, individuals may like to listen to earlier teachings in their own time.  As a group we will not be able to listen to them all so we will then go to the start of Ch 7 of the Bodhicharyavatara - and the teachings Rinpoche has been giving during these 'lockdown' times.

The Bodhicharyavatara, also called the Bodhisattvacharyavatara, is the Way (or way of life) of a Bodhisattva.  It is about how to enter into that and live it.  It is about how to develop and sustain and build up Bodhicitta, as the core of the Buddhist path.  It is a central teaching, it is timely and I’m sure we will all find much richness in these teachings over as long as we have to listen to them.  So… if you are interested, you might like to pass your mind over a couple of things before we meet, to remember what you already know and then hear what Rinpoche will add to that:

What is your understanding of the idea of a Bodhisattva?  And of Bodhicitta?



White Tara Sadhana practice and study group : Sunday MORNINGS 
All welcome

From Losar 2021, we will be holding monthly online sessions to practise and study the White Tara sadhana.
Anyone who would like to join these sessions from the wider sangha is very welcome.
 
Sunday  21st February  11am - 1pm White Tara sadhana practice group  
Overview and intro I

Sunday 21st March  11am - 1pm White Tara sadhana practice group  
Overview and intro II

Sunday 25th April  11am - 1.15pm White Tara sadhana practice group  
Ringu Tulku teaching on White Tara sadhana
We listened to the first 22 minutes of Day 1 of teachings including
an introduction to the text and teaching about Refuge - being a practise of loving ourselves
(Refuge showing compassion for ourselves, Bodhicitta compassion for others)

Sunday 30th May  11am - 1.15pm White Tara sadhana practice group  
Ringu Tulku teaching on White Tara sadhana
We listened to the next 20 minutes of Day 1 of teachings, up to around 40 minutes in: 
Generating Bodhicitta, mantra proclaiming emptiness and building up the visualisation, 
including the two radiances of light that give rise to Tara.

Sunday 20th June  11am - 1.15pm White Tara sadhana practice group  
Ringu Tulku teaching on White Tara sadhana
Final part of Day 1 of teachings, up to the end of Rinpoche's description of the sadhana.

Sunday 18th July  11am - 1.15pm White Tara sadhana practice group  
Ringu Tulku's Day 2 of teaching on White Tara sadhana: Q & A

Sunday 8th August  11am - 1.15pm White Tara sadhana practice group  
Ringu Tulku's teaching on White Tara sadhana Day 2 cont: Q & A

Sunday 19th September  11am - 1.15pm White Tara sadhana practice group  
Ringu Tulku's teaching on White Tara sadhana Day 2 cont: Q & A

Sunday 31st October 11am - 1.15pmWhite Tara sadhana practice group  
(NOTE: end of British Summer Time: clocks go back that morning) 
Ringu Tulku's teaching on White Tara sadhana cont: Q & A

Sunday 14th November 11am - 1.15pm White Tara sadhana practice group  
Ringu Tulku's teaching on White Tara sadhana cont: Q & A

Sunday 12th December  11am - 1.15pm White Tara sadhana practice group  
Ringu Tulku's teaching on White Tara sadhana cont: Q & A

We will use the short practice text written by Tenga Rinpoche.  This can be downloaded below, at the bottom of this page, including the translation we will be using (please note this translation is a work in progress and supplied for personal use only).

It will be ideal if participants have received the White Tara empowerment but it's okay if you haven't, other people in the group have received it and you could hold an aspiration to receive it when circumstances allow.  

The format of each gathering will include: Shammatha / calm-abiding meditation
Listening to some of Ringu Tulku's teaching on the White Tara sadhana
Discussion and questions
Practice of the full sadhana together

Over several months we will go through Ringu Tulku's teaching together, which he originally gave over zoom in June 2020, so that we can work with his instructions as we go, discuss them, and gradually deepen our appreciation and understanding of the practice.  
See Ringu Tulku's Archive - the page for his 'White Tara Sadhana' teaching.

Ringu Tulku giving the White Tara empowerment at the barn, Wolvercote, 8th July 2015


Ringu Tulku's public teaching at Friends Meeting House - Bodhicitta - 8th July 2015

Sunday 2nd October 2016: 5th Birthday of group 
Visit of Lama Wangmo & talk on the practice of Tonglen


Ringu Tulku's teachings we have listened to include:

Daring Steps Towards Fearlessness
The Eightfold Path
Bodhicitta

Sometimes, we send out a short excerpt from the teaching listened to each month.  Some past transcripts are available below - to read or download (for private use only).  Transcripts from earlier meetings have been published in a small book as part of Ringu Tulku's Heart Wisdom Series, under the title "Journey from Head to Heart" (see the Books page), which also includes some teachings about White Tara.  Available from Bodhicharya Publications and Amazon.

Transcripts of some Ringu Tulku's teachings on the Eightfold Path: 

Transcript 1 

Ringu Tulku introducing The Eightfold Path 1

Transcript 2 

Ringu Tulku introducing The Eightfold Path 2

Transcript 3 

Ringu Tulku Looking at Right View

Transcript 4 

Ringu Tulku on Humility

Transcript 5 

Ringu Tulku on Right Thought

Transcript 6 

Ringu Tulku on Love and Attachment

Transcript 7

Ringu Tulku on Right Speech

Transcript 8 

Ringu Tulku answers questions about Right Speech


2015:  Dr Mingji Cuomo came to White Tara group to talk about the newly set up "Snow Lotus Tibetan Medical Foundation":  The aim of this charity will be to provide basic health care in rural areas of the Himalayan countries where Tibetan culture is practised.  Health care provision in some areas is so minimal as to be effectively none.  The project aims to address this, using Mingji's network of contacts in Tibet, both in Lhasa and rural areas, and contacts in Oxford University to guide research into what is appropriate.  Crucially the medical model used will be taken from Traditional Tibetan Medicine, thus preserving this fount of wisdom and cultural knowing.  The aim is to incorporate basic international public health approaches to an essentially-Tibetan model.  Transcript available to download below.


Quote from His Holiness 17th Karmapa:

“I want to share with you a feeling I have.  I feel that my love does not have to remain within the limitations of my own life or body.  I imagine that if I am no longer in the world, my love could still be present.

I want to place my love on the moon and let the moon hold my love. Let the moon be the keeper of my love, offering it to everyone just as the moon sends its light to embrace the whole earth.”     


ĉ
Mary Heneghan,
22 Oct 2015, 11:41
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Mary Heneghan,
4 Jul 2021, 10:54
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Mary Heneghan,
11 Feb 2021, 10:25
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Mary Heneghan,
4 Jul 2021, 10:55
Ċ
Mary Heneghan,
4 Jul 2021, 10:55