Beginner’s Mind

Those with little or no knowledge of Buddhism are welcome at the Chenrezig Project. We believe there is a simple, universal message in Tibetan Buddhism that can benefit everyone, regardless of faith or background.

397002510_5ff0f5c29e_mSiddhartha Gautama was a prince, a man of noble birth who lived in India approximately 2,500 years ago. He “awakened” (i.e., became a “Buddha”) at the age of 35 and spent the rest of his years practicing and teaching what he came to learn as a result of his enlightenment. His teachings are brilliant in their simplicity.

At their core is the intention to avoid harming others while helping them as much as possible. One does not have to be a “Buddhist” to understand the wisdom of living life in that manner. The people who come to our meetings represent a wide-range of experiences and backgrounds. Some had formal experience with Buddhist philosophies and practices, most came for the first time with none. (And quickly learned they knew more about Buddhist ideals and values than they thought.)

What is common to all of us is a deeply felt sense that there must be “more” to the way our lives are being lived in this 21st century Western culture. And the Buddha’s teachings go right to the “more” of that sense. While one might feel they are a “beginner” when it comes to Buddhism, they are certainly not a beginner when it comes to living life, and that is what Tibetan Buddhist philosophies are all about — living our lives in the most beneficial manner.

It is not our intention to “convert” people from their faith or religion to Buddhism. Rather, we believe people are best served by learning (and practicing) Buddhism’s ideas and methods and then integrating those they find to be compatible into their own lives and faith-based practices. So please don’t be intimidated by what our website seems to portray as great knowledge of Buddhism . . . we are not “Buddhist-only.” And while we do have an understanding of what the Buddha taught, we are all learning together and talking about things of great value to everyone, regardless of religion or faith.

Our work is learning how to turn knowledge into practice — practice that combines our intentions and actions in dedication to the benefit of ourselves, our friends and loved ones, our community and our world.
In Tibetan Buddhism, the people of Tibet have given us an enormous gift: the knowledge and methods of living a life in which cultivating wisdom and compassion are the “main events.” In gratitude to them, we are honored to invite and welcome you — whether you think you know anything about Buddhism or not — to join us in learning how to best use that gift.