Episode 193 :: Ken McLeod :: Reflections on Silver River: Tokme Zongpo’s Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva

| February 16, 2014 | 1 Comment


Ken McLeod

Ken McLeod joins us to speak about Reflections on Silver River: Tokme Zongpo’s Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva.

One of the difficulties we have in our modern, information age is … information, of the overload kind. There’s so much to read coming out every day, it can be difficult for us to contemplate one more thing to digest. And sometimes we may have a tendency to set aside old works, particularly more obscure ones, simply because they are obscure. How good can it be if it’s not well known?

But the simple fact is there are many smaller, rare texts that speak to our contemporary life every bit as much as they did in their day, when read with the depth of attention we give to poetry. The richness of these works is often overlooked in our modern day haste, and sometimes we may want to slow down, smell the roses, and take another look.

Ken McLeod is well known as a translator of texts, practices, rituals, and structures into forms suitable for this culture. He was among the first westerners to complete the traditional three-year retreat training in Tibetan Buddhism, and then assisted in teaching during a second three-year retreat. Authorized to teach by the late Kalu Rinpoche, he has successfully pioneered a private practice model for teaching, made the esoteric traditions of Tibetan Buddhism practical and accessible in his book Wake Up to Your Life, and mentored teachers from various traditions of Buddhism. He has set up a number of teacher training programs, including “Passing on the Dharma” in 1999 with Yvonne Rand and Ajahn Amaro.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice yak butter tea.


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Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez

The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. The track used in this episode is “Beneath High Cliffs” from his CD, Traditional and Modern Pieces: Shakuhachi.

Category: The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

Comments (1)

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  1. NewPilgrim says:

    Thanks so much for bringing Ken onto your show. Although the Buddha warned that one should never become over-identified with a teacher, when Ken was teaching at Against the Stream out in Hollywood a few years ago, I would re-schedule whatever I needed to to make sure I could attend his teachings. For someone interested in studying Buddhism and the practice from a practical, secular perspective, Ken is clear, succinct, profoundly insightful and extremely pragmatic. I continue to read his blog posts at Unfettered Mind and miss his classes at ATS, very much.

    I credit Ken with continuing my practice, as a humanist. Wherever you are now, Ken, thanks so much!

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