Four Travel Essentials Part 3: Tricks from Tibetan Medicine to help avoid exhaustion from holiday travel

Upcoming Events

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

February 26, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

March 4, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Free Intro to Empathy Training – Online

With Pema Khandro, Aruna Rig'dzin and Satya Shiva

March 9, 2020
Join Pema Khandro Rinpoche, Aruna Rig'zin and Satya Shiva for a free introduction to the upcoming Empathy Training. The training details will be covered along with time for Q&A.
Register Now

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

March 11, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Dakini Day Chod

With Pema Khandro

March 18, 2020
Chod Meditation in Charlottesville. Practice the Laughter of the Dakinis once a month on Dakini Day. A small group that meets with Pema Khandro at the Stupa or at Khandro Ling in Charlottesville, VA. If you are interested, send us your email and phone number to info@buddhistyogis.org and we will put you on the list to get emails or texts for time, date, and location. Free.
Register Now

Empathy Training – Online

With Pema Khandro, Aruna Rig'dzin and Satya Shiva

March 25 - May 13, 2020
Why Take Empathy Training? A happy life. Loving relationships. Peace with family. Deeper friendships. Real Love. Emotional Maturity. Spiritual Maturity. Socio-Emotional Intelligence. Harmony with Co-workers and so much more.  Join three Buddhist teachers for an eight-week course in the core skills you need to live with an open heart. Designed and led by internationally renowned scholar and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, Pema Khandro. This training is also led by Aruna Rig’dzin Ross and Satya Shiva, Co-Directors of Ngakpa International and the Yogic Medicine Institute. Research shows that 8 weeks of empathy training is enough to significantly increase our ability to…
Register Now

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

March 25, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

April 1, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

April 8, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Dakini Day Chod

With Pema Khandro

April 17, 2020
Chod Meditation in Charlottesville. Practice the Laughter of the Dakinis once a month on Dakini Day. A small group that meets with Pema Khandro at the Stupa or at Khandro Ling in Charlottesville, VA. If you are interested, send us your email and phone number to info@buddhistyogis.org and we will put you on the list to get emails or texts for time, date, and location. Free.
Register Now

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

April 22, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

May 6, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

May 13, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

May 27, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]

Retreat with Pema Khandro

With Pema Khandro

May 29 - 31, 2020
Details tba
Register Now

Retreat

June 1 - 7, 2020
Details tba
Register Now

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

June 3, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

June 10, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

June 24, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

July 1, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

July 8, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Dzogchen Meditation Retreat

With Pema Khandro

July 21 - 26, 2020
Join Pema Khandro Rinpoche for a five-day meditation retreat in the lush meadows and scenic rolling hills of Northern California’s Tahoe National Forest. This retreat is an immersion in Tibetan Buddhism’s restorative practices to awaken [...]
Register Now

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

July 22, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]

Free Intro to Meditation Instructor Training – Online

With Pema Khandro, Aruna Rig'dzin and Satya Shiva

August 3, 2020
Join Pema Khandro Rinpoche, Aruna Rig’zin and Satya Shiva for a free introduction to the upcoming Meditation Instructor Training.  The training details will be covered along with time for Q&A. For full details and curriculum, visit: https://ngakpa.org/meditation-teacher-training/
Register Now

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

August 5, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

August 12, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

August 26, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

September 2, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

September 9, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

September 23, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]

Vajra Sangha Retreat

With Pema Khandro

October 1 - 6, 2020
Closed Retreat, for the Vajra Sangha only.
Closed

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

October 7, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

October 14, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

October 28, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

November 4, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

November 11, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

November 25, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

December 2, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Vajrayana Training

With Pema Khandro

December 9, 2020
Vajrayana Training is offered in modules with ten classes per year and six classes per module. The courses are non-sequential and can be taken in any order. In web-classes, meeting once a month, students will discover how to understand the pivotal principles of Tibetan Buddhism, make sense of empowerments, and go deep into understanding oneself, one’s […]

Buddhist Philosophy Online, Open Teaching Webcast

With Pema Khandro

December 23, 2020
A 30 minute guided meditation and online teaching with Pema Khandro. Free and open to the public. Click Here to Register What is Dakini Day? The Dakini (known in Tibetan as Khandro) is the principle of spacious dynamic wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a monthly class to support your meditation practice and meet the […]

Part 3: What to do when it’s the Destination Not the Journey

One of the most stressful memories I have of traveling was not the time when I was on the way to teach a retreat in California and was detained in Canada. My passport had been lost, meanwhile the retreat participants had already arrived and were waiting for me. I was separated from my husband and taken to some strange room for many hours where I was searched and detained for questioning. Another time that was not the most stressful travel memory was when I was stuck in Kathmandu during chaos – the King had been killed and no one was allowed to leave. There was also the flight to India – not the most stressful memory – we received five minutes notice that myself and all the passengers were now going to have pesticides sprayed on us through the air ducts. Its interesting to note that these were some of the most dramatic memories but not the most stressful moments! The most stressful travel memory was one time on Air China. I had not slept for thirty hours and the plane was really crowded. The flight attendants where in a horrible mood, the flight was late and the passengers were all being rushed, pushed, forward when the attendant scolded me for not getting my suitcase into the overhead bin fast enough. Sputtering out some insults and rolling her eyes the flight attendant grabbed the suitcase from my hands lifted it up and the whole thing opened, spilling all of the contents out all over the aisle. She then rolled her eyes and walked away. Meanwhile I was trying to pick everything up as quickly as possible and another flight attendant came and yelled at me for holding up the line while the person behind me tried to climb over me and stepped on my hand, smashing my fingers. It was the perfect storm of grumpy passengers, little time, no room, grumpy flight attendants and exhaustion. I endured the rest of the flight in a drained exhausted haze counting down the hours, waiting for it to be over with.

Based on that experience, I can give the following travel tip with sympathy for our situation as tired travelers, its easy to have the whole experience be all about the destination and not the journey. That is the very definition of plane travel after all! That is why it is important to remember Tonglen when traveling.

At such times it may help to remember the Jataka tale of the Buddha’s past life. These are the stories where we learn exactly what led to the Buddha becoming the Buddha. In one life he was a strong man in hell, miserable, having to act as an ox carrying a cart on his weary, sore back day after day. One day he looked over and saw another person in the same situation who was weaker than him. He felt compassion for that person. That was the beginning of bodhichitta, the aspiration that leads to enlightenment.

I appreciate this story because sometimes we are in rough situations which may feel like hell, situations we cannot fix or change but nevertheless must be endured. But even in hell there is a practice we can do – we can generate compassion for others. Of course, if stress while traveling is your worse problem this holiday, you should count yourself as highly fortunate. Often, those hours on the plane are just one of many thousands of less important moments in life that slide by without much attention. But life is made up of those ordinary moments, which accumulate and add up to habitual ways of being that permeate all our moments including the most important ones.

respiración-de-Luz1One of the most difficult things about learning to use meditation practice in times of high emotion is to remember to practice in the moment. Its easy to be too caught up and remember when its “too late.” We rarely have enough warning to know when these times are coming and before we know it – a knee jerk reaction… Therefore times such as travel may have a greater value than we realize. It is a time when we will know in advance that we will deliberately enter chaos and stress. We may be stressed, grumpy and tired or surrounded by other stressful, rude or tired people. We may lose control, see our plans spoiled, rushed or be stuck waiting for hours… This is a good opportunity to use the time as a training ground for rehearsing compassion in times of high emotion, in times of loss of control, in times of inconvenience. Its for this reason that when we travel we should take Tonglen practice with us, so we can make it about the journey and the destination.

Take tonglen with you while you travel – this is the third of the four travel essentials in this series.

Tonglen is a Buddhist meditation practice of generating kindness, compassion and awareness of our interdependence with others. It involves visualizing extending compassion towards others in the form of relief giving light. Then it involves visualizing taking on the hardships of others ourselves, feeling their pain and therefore relieving them of these hardships. While some people became afraid of doing such practices, there is no harm. Generating compassion is always safe.

Basic Instructions for Tonglen while you travel:

Visualize white light streaming from your nostrils as you breathe out. Become aware of the other passengers, their suffering, their sorrows, their worry. Sit with your chest and shoulders open and a sense that your heart is also open as you tune into their stress and tension. Allow yourself to sense other’s tensions and be aware of these rather than push them away. Inhale this sensation and imagine the tensions and worries are  leaving them. Every time you inhale open your heart to their experience and envision them in becoming free of suffering, misery, karma and pain. Every time you exhale visualize white light and a sense of freshness expanding outward from the center of your chest. Imagine on each exhale that this luminosity fills the other passengers and relieves them of their pain and sorrow. The light melts their stress and worries, washing them away, leaving them joyful and clear. Continuing with these inhales and exhales until you are able to imagine them full relaxed and joyous. Then sit silently letting go of any techniques of meditation and simply being present and aware of sitting.

Pema Khandro
Pema Khandro is a Tibetan Buddhist scholar, humanitarian, and teacher in the rare lineage of Tibet’s Buddhist Yogis. Raised in the west, ordained in the Nyingma lineage, enthroned as a tulku and trained as an academic, Pema Khandro presents both a traditional perspective and a modern voice. Read more at: https://www.pemakhandro.org/pema-khandro-extended-biography/

  1. That is the most inspiring travel tip, to shift attention from my own self-involved mind to bodhichitta in times of stess. Thank you!

Comments are closed.