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Natural Water Fountains


In the inter-tidal zone, a celebration of life occurs.

His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama

“At the heart of the Buddha’s teachings lie the four seals, or axioms, of Buddhism, and when we summarize the essence of everything the Buddha taught, we find that the basic framework is presented in the context of these four:

  1. All composite phenomena are impermanent.
  2. All contaminated phenomena are unsatisfactory, or in the nature of suffering.
  3. All things and events are empty, or devoid of self-existence.
  4. Nirvana is true peace.”

Illuminating The Path to Enlightenment

Tenzin Gyatso
His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama Of Tibet

A Commentary on Atisha Dipamkara Shrijnana’s A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment & Lama Je Tsong Khapa’s Lines of Experience

Translated by Geshe Thubten Jinpa

Edited by Rebecca McClen Novick, Thubten Jinpa, and Nicholas Ribush

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A Crow With A Message


This crow seems to be trying hard to have his message heard. Port Hardy, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama

The importance of bodhicitta

“The highest perfection of altruism, the ultimate altruism, is bodhicitta complemented by wisdom. Bodhicitta – the aspiration to bring about the welfare of all sentient beings and to attain buddhahood for their sake – is really the distilled essence, the squeezed juice, of all the Buddha’s teachings, because ultimately, the Buddha’s intention is to lead all sentient beings to perfect enlightenment, complete omniscience. Since it is bodhicitta that determines whether or not our practice becomes the path to enlightenment, bodhicitta is truly the heart essence of all the teachings of the Buddha. Thus, all 84,000 discourses of the Buddha can be seen as either preliminary to the practice of bodhicitta, the actual practice of bodhicitta, or precepts and activities in which we must engage as a result of taking the bodhicitta pledge.”

Illuminating The Path to Enlightenment

Tenzin Gyatso
His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama Of Tibet

A Commentary on Atisha Dipamkara Shrijnana’s A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment & Lama Je Tsong Khapa’s Lines of Experience

Translated by Geshe Thubten Jinpa

Edited by Rebecca McClen Novick, Thubten Jinpa, and Nicholas Ribush

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Seabus Approaching North Vancouver


Watching the Seabus come into Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama

The nature of wisdom

Lamp for the Path: Verse 47

Understanding emptiness of inherent existence through realizing that the aggregates, constituents and sources are not produced [do not come into being] is described as wisdom.

“This reference to the emptiness of inherent existence of all things refers to the ultimate nature of reality. In our ordinary perception of the world, we tend to perceive things as enjoying some kind of absolute status, as having concrete, objective reality. If we subject them to deeper analysis, however, we find that things do not exist in the way that they appear to us. All things and events lack inherent nature, and this absence of inherent nature is their ultimate reality, or emptiness.

Given that things lack inherent existence, their properties, such as coming into being, abiding and ceasing, also lack inherent existence.”

Illuminating The Path to Enlightenment

Tenzin Gyatso
His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama Of Tibet

A Commentary on Atisha Dipamkara Shrijnana’s A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment & Lama Je Tsong Khapa’s Lines of Experience

Translated by Geshe Thubten Jinpa

Edited by Rebecca McClen Novick, Thubten Jinpa, and Nicholas Ribush

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A Creek In The Kootenays


Enjoying the flowing water and views along this creek outside of Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. This water is heading towards Kokanee Creek Provincial Park flowing from the Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park.

His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama

“This transient and impermanent nature of reality is not to be understood in terms of something coming into being, remaining for a while and then ceasing to exist. That is not the meaning of impermanence at the subtle level. Subtle impermanence refers to the fact that the moment things and events come into existence, they are already impermanent in nature; the moment they arise, the process of their disintegration has already begun. When something comes into being from its causes and conditions, the seed of its cessation is born along with it. It is not that something comes into being and then a third factor or condition causes its disintegration. That is not how to understand impermanence. Impermanence means that as soon as something comes into being, it has already started to decay.”

Illuminating The Path to Enlightenment

Tenzin Gyatso
His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama Of Tibet

A Commentary on Atisha Dipamkara Shrijnana’s A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment & Lama Je Tsong Khapa’s Lines of Experience

Translated by Geshe Thubten Jinpa

Edited by Rebecca McClen Novick, Thubten Jinpa, and Nicholas Ribush

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A View From Mount Douglas


Hiking Up to the top of Mount Douglas in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada yields incredible views of the city and area.

His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama

“If things and events did not have the nature of changing from moment to moment, we would be unable to explain how transformation takes place over time. When we reduce vast passages of time down to very brief ones, we can realize that things are actually changing from moment to moment. Modern technology helps us see some of these changes; the development of a biological organism, for example, can be observed through a microscope. Also, at a subtle theorectical level, certain observations indicate the extremely dynamic nature of physical reality. It is this fundamental law of nature – impermanence – that creates the potential for our own change, development and progress.”

Illuminating The Path to Enlightenment

Tenzin Gyatso
His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama Of Tibet

A Commentary on Atisha Dipamkara Shrijnana’s A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment & Lama Je Tsong Khapa’s Lines of Experience

Translated by Geshe Thubten Jinpa

Edited by Rebecca McClen Novick, Thubten Jinpa, and Nicholas Ribush

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Ants


These ants were busy working on something.

His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama

“How do we know that it is possible to transform our mind? There are two bases for this. One is the fundamental law of impermanence; that all things and events are subject to transformation and change. If we examine this more deeply, we will realize that at every instant, everything that exists is going through a process of change. Even though, for example, we speak of yesterday’s person as existing unchanged today, we are all aware at a gross, experiential level of the laws of impermanence; that, for instance, even the earth on which we live will one day come to an end.”

Illuminating The Path to Enlightenment

Tenzin Gyatso
His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama Of Tibet

A Commentary on Atisha Dipamkara Shrijnana’s A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment & Lama Je Tsong Khapa’s Lines of Experience

Translated by Geshe Thubten Jinpa

Edited by Rebecca McClen Novick, Thubten Jinpa, and Nicholas Ribush

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Japanese Garden Bamboo Fountain

This feature of the Japanese Garden (at the Butchard Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia) caught my attention.

His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama Of Tibet

“Conclude, therefore, that under the control of self-cherishing since beginningless time, you have made one mistake after another, and now, it’s enough. Generate the strong determination never to travel this deluded path again. Compare yourself with great beings such as the Buddha and the bodhisattvas on the path to enlightenment and realize that all their achievements have come from working for others instead of for themselves.”

Illuminating The Path to Enlightenment

Tenzin Gyatso
His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama Of Tibet

A Commentary on Atisha Dipamkara Shrijnana’s A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment &  Lama Je Tsong Khapa’s Lines of Experience

Translated by Geshe Thubten Jinpa

Edited by Rebecca McClen Novick, Thubten Jinpa, and Nicholas Ribush

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Ducks Starting To Fly (In Slow Motion)

These diving ducks, known as Common Goldeneye, were just starting to fly off from the Pacific Ocean.

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Sunset At French Beach On Vancouver Island

Taking in a sunset at French Beach, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

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Chipmunk

This chipmunk was a great subject and posed perfectly still as we both enjoyed the peaceful surroundings of Champion Lakes in early spring.