Juniper Foundation

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Juniper Foundation is an organization that works to adapt and promote meditation tradition in the modern world. It was founded in 2003 by five individuals, Segyu Choepel Rinpoche, Hillary Brook Levy, Christina Juskiewicz, Pam Moriarty and Lawrence Levy.[1] Juniper calls its approach "meditation tradition for modern life" [2] and it emphasizes meditation, balancing emotions, cultivating compassion and developing insight as four building blocks of meditation training.[3]

Approach[edit]

Juniper holds that Buddhist ideas have enormous potential to benefit modern culture but, to do so, their religious and cultural wrapper must be removed so modern individuals can access these methods in a way that matches their sensibility and psychology. These methods must become integrated into modern culture just as they were in the cultures of India, China, Japan, Tibet and others.[4] The 14th Dalai Lama acknowledged this principle when, in his book The Meaning of Life from a Buddhist Perspective, he wrote

“It is important to adopt the essence of Buddha’s teaching, recognizing that Buddhism as it is practiced by Tibetans is influenced by Tibetan culture and thus it would be a mistake to try to practice a Tibetanized form of Buddhism.”[5]

Because Buddhist ideas value inquiry and critical thinking,[6] Juniper holds that we can apply these to build a bridge from ancient culture to modern life, one that is grounded in tradition but evolved to embrace discovery and modern social norms.[7]

Lineage[edit]

Buddhist thought is not based on a centralized authority but is held in lineages. Juniper’s lineage is from an Indo-Tibetan Buddhist tradition dating back over two thousand years to the time of the Buddha. This lineage passed through India and Tibet[8] and came to Juniper through its Brazilian born co-founder Segyu Choepel Rinpoche. In 1984, Segyu Rinpoche was recognized by the 98th Ganden Tripa, the spiritual leader of the Gelug (Dge-lugs) school of Tibetan Buddhism, as a master and holder of a Gelug lineage known as the Segyu (Sed Gyued).[9] Segyu Rinpoche’s primary teacher was Kyabje Lati Rinpoche (1922-2010), the former abbot of Ganden Shartse Monastery, under whom Segyu Rinpoche received the full gelong monastic ordination. For over twenty-five years Segyu Rinpoche studied under, and received initiations from, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, Khensur Tara Tulku Rinpoche and other masters of the Gelug school.[10] In tandem with his training, Segyu Rinpoche studied Tibetan Medicine, a tradition of healing that integrates the philosophy and practices of the Buddhist path. Through Segyu Rinpoche, Juniper works to pass the knowledge and methods of its lineage to others in a manner that propagates those methods in a secular form.[11]

Publications[edit]

  • Awakening the Mind: The Path of Meditation [12]

Location[edit]

Juniper is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Redwood City, California.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Juniper Team" Juniper Foundation. Retrieved 2011-03-03.
  2. ^ "The Juniper Story" Juniper Foundation. Retrieved 2011-03-03.
  3. ^ "Awakening the Mind: The Path of Meditation". Juniper Foundation (2009). p. 10.
  4. ^ "Heirs to Insight: Assimilating Buddhist methods into Modern Culture" Juniper Foundation (2009). p. 2
  5. ^ Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and Jeffrey Hopkins, The Meaning of Life from a Buddhist Perspective. Snow Lion Publications 1992. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-86171-096-6

    “It is important to adopt the essence of Buddha’s teaching, recognizing that Buddhism as it is practiced by Tibetans is influenced by Tibetan culture and thus it would be a mistake to try to practice a Tibetanized form of Buddhism. By trying completely to Tibetanize your practice, in time there come to be difficulties, since such a system could not fit with your own mind and makes interaction with society difficult. Nowadays, some people are acting like Tibetans even to the point of keeping their heads down in an abject manner. Instead of copying such cultural forms, you should remain within your own cultural forms and implement Buddha's teaching if you find something useful and effective in it.”

  6. ^ H.H. the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso Path to Bliss: A Practical Guide to Stages of Meditation. Snow Lion Publications 1991. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-937938-92-8 “After all, the basic approach of the Buddhist is to subject concepts to rigorous logical processes, and if anything contradicts direct observation and logic, it should not be accepted just because it is taught in the sutras or the texts.” Also, Ven. Soma Thera, Kalama Sutta: The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry. accesstoinsight.org 1994.
  7. ^ "Heirs to Insight: Assimilating Buddhist methods into Modern Culture" Juniper Foundation (2009). p. 2. "We present here five principles we believe are necessary for the remarkable Buddhist system of inner development to take root and flourish in modern soil:
    1. Integrate science
    2. Integrate modern education
    3. Train gradually
    4. Provide equal opportunity
    5. Cultivate modern teacher relationships"
  8. ^ "Awakening the Mind: An Introduction to Buddhist Training". Juniper Foundation (2009). pp. 6-7.
  9. ^ Lauren Cottrell. "A Precious Jewel for the East and West" The Snow Lion Newsletter Fall, 2001.

    “For those unfamiliar with the Segyu lineage, it was started by Jetsun Sherab Sengye at the request of the Great Lama Je Tsongkhapa near the end of his life in 1419. Je Tsongkhapa asked which of his disciples would preserve his Tantric teachings. One of his heart disciples, Jetsun Sherab Sengye, came forward to fulfill the request. With specific instructions from Je Tsongkhapa, Jetsun Sherab Sengye went to the 'Sed' district of the Tsang region of Tibet and established the Sed-Gyud Gaden Phodrang Monastery along with Dulnagpa Palden Zangpo in 1432. The Segyu monastery was the first Gelug Tantric College.”

  10. ^ Lauren Cottrell. "A Precious Jewel for the East and West" The Snow Lion Newsletter Fall, 2001. “Venerable Segyu Rinpoche sought spiritual guidance from Venerable Gashar Khensur Lati Rinpoche and Venerable Gyuto Khensur Tara Tulku Rinpoche. Recognizing Venerable Segyu Rinpoche's gifts as a teacher and healer, they blessed him with many instructions about meditation practice.”
  11. ^ "Awakening the Mind: An Introduction to Buddhist Training". Juniper Foundation (2009). p. 8.
  12. ^ "Awakening the Mind: The Path of Meditation". Juniper Foundation (2009).
  13. ^ Juniper Foundation. juniperpath.org 2009.

External links[edit]

  • Juniper Foundation - official website [1]
  • Tricycle Magazine, Buddhist Training for Modern Life, An Interview with the Founder of the Juniper School, Segyu Rinpoche [2]
  • A Precious Jewel for the East and West [3]
  • Juniper: pragmatic Buddhism for secular seekers? [4]
  • The Secular Buddhist [5]
  • Modern Meditation Washington DC [6]
  • Tibetanlama.com [7]
  • Ipeamarelo: treinamento budista para a vida moderna [8]
  • PAULA EL PAIS, Un Espíritu Terrenal [9]