Margha means “path” in Sanskrit and refers to the path to enlightenment envisioned as a process of deep, gradual and individualized development. The Margha Program—in the spirit of its name— is a path-based curriculum that provides an opportunity for students to train thoroughly and deeply in a variety of meditative practices, in a way that is flexible and recognizes the uniqueness of individual students.
Vajrayana means “the diamond vehicle” and refers to a branch of practices that flourished in Tibet. These practices work with the principal of pure vision, in which we embrace ordinary thoughts and emotions as the unlikely catalysts to recognizing that our nature, and the nature of others, is love and wisdom inseparable. In the practices of Vajrayana, we especially welcome the challenging aspects of life—our difficult thoughts, emotions, and physical reality—as the fodder for awakening.
SanghaCare is a network of mutual support connecting NDF members who need temporary or supplementary care due to illness, surgery, natural disaster or other critical event with other members who are able to meet those needs. Both practical and spiritual support is available.
Lama Willa Miller
Willa B. Miller, PhD is the Founder and Spiritual Director of Natural Dharma Fellowship in Boston, MA and its retreat center Wonderwell Mountain Refuge in Springfield, NH. Continue reading
In this new Lion’s Roar article, Lama Willa Miller offers nine pieces of advice for women who find themselves in secret relationships with their teachers. In the past week, like so many women, I found myself hashtagging #MeToo. I wish also that I could go back and be an older, wiser sister to my 22-year-old Read more about Advice for Women in a Secret Sexual Relationship with Their Buddhist Teacher[…]
The 2017 NDF Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, 8 October 2017 at Wonderwell Mountain Refuge in Springfield, NH. The brief meeting will follow Dharma Sunday’s teaching and potluck lunch. An annual financial report will be presented as well as an update on so much that is happening at our dharma center, after which Read more about 2017 NDF Annual Meeting[…]
In this blog post for the Garrison Institute, Lama Willa details how fierce compassion helps us move towards inclusive altruism. None of us know if the extreme winter of 2014 in New England was a result of climate change. Climate scientists tell us that we have rougher weather to look forward to. Other prognostications include the Read more about Fierce Compassion in the Anthropocene[…]
MAR 27, 2017 by AMELIA DIEHL “Love is the strategy” against systems of oppression and violence, but, he added, “you have to be fierce.” He chooses the word “fierce” to acknowledge the ancestors in the black gay community who “embodied fierceness” in being “out and proud.” While Owens said he grew up with love, he Read more about Lama Rod Owens brings ‘Fierce Love’ to Beloit College[…]
In her first Tuesday night talk after the 2016 election, Lama Willa Miller discusses what we can learn from the way Bodhisattvas such as Chenrezig meet life’s challenges. What can we learn from falling apart?
In Volume 35 (2015) of Buddhist-Christian Studies, Lama Willa discusses discusses how the the effectiveness of educators, ministers, and dharma teachers might be enhanced by training in the art of listening. Like an Elephant Pricked by a Thorn: Buddhist Meditation Instructions as a Door to Deep Listening Willa B. Miller The phrase “deep listening” has been circulating Read more about Buddhist-Christian Studies Article: Deep Listening[…]
Lama Willa was interviewed by the Council on the Uncertain Human Future in northern New Mexico in February 2016. There is more than enough in this moment to fill our human heart with joy and with gratitude and with wonder. Right now. So the pause gives us the space to discover that maybe all the things Read more about Interview with the Council on the Uncertain Human Future[…]
In the August, 2016 article on lionsroar.com, Lama Willa discusses how the teachings of Mahamudra can help transform our relationship to meditation. BY WILLA MILLER AUGUST 26, 2016 Mahamudra, or “the great seal”—along with Dzogchen, “the great perfection”—is one of the simplest forms of meditation in the Tibetan tradition. In its most essential form, it is the Read more about Lion’s Roar Article: Meditation Only Goes So Far[…]
In this Dharma talk, Lopon Liz Monson explores the sixth of the seven Aryan qualities, the qualities of the Noble Person, the quality of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm in the Buddhist tradition points to a transformation in how we approach the mundane activities of our daily lives. We all want to feel happy and enthusiastic about what Read more about Enthusiasm[…]
Lama Willa was interviewed by Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women on July 7, 2014 in a post called Interviewing Buddhist Women: Lama Willa Miller. To view the full interview, click here. Monday, July 7, 2014 Interviewing Buddhist Women: Lama Willa Miller Harsha Menon When you open up institutions to the possibility of leadership on the basis of talent Read more about Interview with Sakyadhita International[…]
Lama Willa was interviewed in the Excellence Reporter on September 3, 2015 in an post called Lama Willa Miller: The Meaning of Life and Making the Planet a Better Place. To view the full interview, click here. BY NICOLAE TANASE ON SEPTEMBER 3, 2015 In Buddhism, there is something called “the middle way”. The middle way Read more about Excellence Reporter Interview: The Meaning of Life and Making the Planet a Better Place[…]
In this meditation session, Lopon Liz Monson leads us though an Earth Body Shamatha meditation followed by chanting the mantra of Tara. Download for later: Click here Also, check out the upcoming retreat Embodied Awakening on April 25-29 at Wonderwell Mountain Refuge. This was originally recorded in December 2016
In May 2016, Lama Willa Miller gave a talk on “Awakening through the Body” at Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. Although the body is often neglected in the life of many spiritual practitioners, it can be a door for us into compassion. The body can teach compassion. Listen at cimc.dharmaseed.org Also, check out the upcoming retreat Read more about Awakening through the Body talk at CIMC[…]
In September 2016, Lama Willa Miller gave a talk on Natural awareness at Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. Natural awareness is not something that we create or fabricate, and it is not something outside of our everyday experience. Natural awareness is present right within the everyday, every moment. It is our birthright. Listen at cimc.dharmaseed.org
The highest expression of enlightenment is not an intellectual exercise. It is the realization of a non-dual, non-conceptual state. With this in mind, Lama Willa Miller guides us through a meditation and then gives a Dharma talk on the subtle body in Tibetan Buddhism. Listen now: Download for later: Click here This was Read more about Subtle Body Meditation and Teaching[…]
A new video dialog, including Lama Willa, is being released through Clark University. It is the Council on the Uncertain Human Future and includes reflections on how the contemplative perspective is important in the process of healing the earth. The original Council on the Uncertain Human Future held a reunion meeting at La Mesita Ranch (Pueblo of Read more about Listening for Signal | Council on the Uncertain Human Future[…]
Lama Willa was interviewed in The Center Post: the Journal of UU Rowe Center. The following is an excerpt from page 17 of the printed journal and page 9 of the PDF. Click here to download the full Spring/Summer 2016 journal. WILLA MILLER: One of my most memorable meetings with a teacher was with Dilgo Khyentse Read more about The Center Post Interview: The Teacher Who Changed My Life[…]
In September 2015 Lama Willa was featured in an interview series called Meet a Teacher in Shambhala Sun, now Lion’s Roar. To view the full interview, click here. BY WILLA MILLER| SEPTEMBER 26, 2015 I grew up in a blended counterculture family in Berkeley, California, in the 1970s. My mother was a cell biologist with spiritual leanings, Read more about Lion’s Roar Interview: Meet a Teacher: Willa Miller[…]
Help us Raise 2.5 Million Dollars for Needed Renovations Donate through PayPal Wonderwell reopened on May 6, 2016 after completing the first phase of a major renovation project to make Wonderwell safer, more accessible, more energy-efficient, more comfortable, and more beautiful than ever. We still need to raise over 1.2 million dollars for the next Read more about Wonderwell: The Next 100 Years[…]
Wonderwell 2017 Schedule Update For 2017, Wonderwell’s Schedule webpage will list all upcoming retreats for the year. These retreats will be open for registration. We hope that this will allow everyone to see all retreats offered in a given year and plan for which ones you may wish to attend. Please note that this is a Read more about August 2016 Newsletter[…]
Update on “Wonderwell: The Next 100 Years”: Phase I Has Been Completed! This month, we are devoting the NDF Newsletter to updating you on recent developments at Wonderwell Mountain Refuge. As you may know, the Town of Springfield brought to our attention last year that continued occupancy of Wonderwell would require us to bring the Read more about July 2016 Newsletter[…]
In this video, Lama Willa discusses the Six Paramitas in the context of Natural Meditation. What does meditation have to do with ethics and compassionate action?
Wonderwell Opens For 2016 Retreats On May 5th, Wonderwell joyfully reopened for retreats! So far, five retreats have taken place. The Foundation for Active Compassion Teachers’ Retreat explored the practices of devotion and compassion. Lama John Makransky continued his exposition of the Tibetan Buddhist sources for the practices of sustainable compassion. Dzogchen yogi, Brendan Kennedy Read more about June 2016 Newsletter[…]
UPDATE: WONDERWELL – THE NEXT HUNDRED YEARS Construction at Wonderwell is in full swing as we approach our early May re-opening date. When the community returns, Wonderwell will be safer, more accessible and more energy efficient than ever before. Among the changes that have occurred are: • A new wheelchair-accessible entrance and wheelchair-accessible bathroom. • New Read more about April 2016 Newsletter[…]
Wonderwell Recognized as Historic Site We are pleased to announce that Wonderwell Mountain Refuge has recently been added to the New Hampshire State Historic Registry. This recognition not only confirms the value of our lovely retreat center, but also allows us to focus on preserving the particular historical elements of the building that help to Read more about March 2016 Newsletter[…]
Update on Wonderwell: The Next Hundred Years Many of you may know already, but for those who have not heard, Natural Dharma Fellowship’s retreat center Wonderwell Mountain Refuge will be undergoing renovations and upgrades to bring our beautiful old building into fire, food and life safety compliance for the State of New Hampshire. Because these Read more about February 2016 Newsletter[…]
Wonderwell: The Next 100 Years Wonderwell Mountain Refuge has launched a fundraising campaign to pay for necessary upgrades and renovations to bring our historic building in food and fire safety code compliance. While these renovations are in harmony with the long-term vision of Natural Dharma Fellowship, we should be very clear: For Wonderwell to stay Read more about October 2015 Newsletter[…]
Ecosattvas Unite! Lama Willa, Kaira Jewel Lingo and Thanissara (Mary Weinberg) have been invited to kick off the first session One Earth Sangha’s Ecosattva Training Program on August 13, 2015. Join 300 aspiring ecosattvas in ten weeks of online sessions, under the guidance of a wonderful line up of Dharma Teachers, including Lama Willa, Joanna Read more about Eco-Sattva Training: An Online Course for Aspiring EcoSattvas[…]