Hi everyone, friends of Tig-Le,
I wanted to introduce myself and answer the question, What is a Tig-Le House? For anyone who hasn’t met me, my name is Ian Hackett; I am the owner, director and teacher-trainer at Tig-Le House. Tig-Le is located at my family’s home at 11 Tingle Avenue in the township of Margaret River on Wardandi/Wadandi Pibelmum Boodja, Western Australia. Western Australia is my family’s home State. I was born in Perth on Whadjuk Noongar Boodja. I have lived and worked throughout rural, regional and remote Australia in the agricultural, organics, Landcare, and regenerative bushland management industries. I have trained and practised various meditation techniques under the guidance of experienced teachers since the late 1980s. The Southwest of W.A. has been home with my partner Wendy and our family since 1998. We have lived in Margaret River since 2006.
Explaining what the word Tig-Le means and what is a Tig-Le House sounds helpful.
Tig-Le, also spelt tigle and Thigle, is a Tibetan word cognate with the Sanskrit words Bindu and Bija. It has a beautiful and expansive meaning. Tig-Le translates directly into English as either, and all the following terms – dot, drop, point, origin, essence, centre, periphery, source, nucleus, cipher, seed and sphere. The constraints of the English language don’t allow a single word to encapsulate the fullness of meaning. To convey the understanding requires an explanation accompanied by creative descriptions.
At its core, mindfulness is a training for the development of Refuge. The term mindfulness was initially translated from the Pāli word ‘Satipaṭṭhāna’ into English as ‘recollection’. But what are we recollecting? Through mindfulness practices, we are purposefully recalling, remembering, and returning home to the wisdom source of our innate compassionate human nature, regathering with the seed (Tig-Le) of compassion. This seed of wisdom is ever-present and pre-existing, there at the source, a vital essence of the fabric of the world and a living aspect of the body, sphere, of life and the cosmos.
The source or origin of this wisdom, the Refuge of mature compassion, is present within us all as a Tig-Le, a state or point of being that can be recollected and returned home to. And, having a cyclic nature, we can re-arrive at this origin, at this source point, again and again through practice and insight.
This seed of energy or droplet contains the root source of all wisdom and is simultaneously:
- The point from which all wisdom germinates.
- The active growth and unfolding of the wisdom of compassion in worldly life.
- The result and outcomes of the activity of the wisdom of compassion.
- The source and sphere of all existence.
- The moment of reunification with the original source.
It is an all-encompassing big mind picture. Using language and concepts to explain is dualistic, making it difficult to encapsulate and share a complete understanding. So here are some descriptive ways to convey the essence of the meaning.
“Like a single drop of water in the vast ocean of earth, an individual molecule of water is simultaneously one drop of water indistinguishable from other drops, and is every ripple, wave, tide, and the whole ocean”.
“Imagine the cycle of life of a bean seed. Contained inside each seed is the source of knowledge and wisdom for this seed to be awakened when coming into contact with the right conditions to become alive, actively germinating and growing, producing leaves, stems, flowers and pods. It carries within its form all the knowledge and receptivity for pre-existing deep relationship with the world system, including the Sun, moon, water, soil, other life forms, pollinators, mycelium and more that allow for it to produce seeds that will carry the wisdom of these relationships, mutual support and benefit, forward into the future. The plant has gone through a cycle of sprouting forth from the source and returning to the source”.
I will give you another description because it’s such a beautiful notion.
“Think about the life-giving Sun at the centre of our solar system. Imagine all that came before it going back to just before the Big Bang, back to the origin. Imagine all that unfolded since then that is the cause of this present moment and your life, this unique expression of life and nature existing as you. Now, think of all the possibilities for love and understanding that exists in you. Imagine this heart of compassion within you is like the warming feel of a spring sunrise shedding radiant light and awakening all the warmth of compassion in all beings. Now, think of actively growing and developing this potential. Think of all the seeds of love and care you could spread across the day, igniting and uniting with the seeds of compassion in others. Think of the ripple effects of this activity and how it can echo through the lives of those you interact with and connect with each day. Consider the flow-on effects of this activity of compassion for all life that will come into the warmth of being after you. The Tig-Le of mindfulness within you is shedding light and creating the conditions for the growth of the seeds of future goodness in the world. The Sun is the source and sphere of all this warm-hearted, compassionate energy and life in you now. It will be the same source of energy shedding the warmth of compassionate care on the lives of those who will come after us. A sharing and cycling of the warmth and energy of mindfulness that nourishes all life”.
All of this is what is meant by the word Tig-Le.
What is a Tig-Le House?
So, what is a Tig-Le House? A Tig-Le house is a teaching house, a place for the emergence and nourishing of the seeds of mindfulness and compassionate living within us, supporting us to find our way back, recollecting, remembering and regathering with this vital source. Like a single drop in the great ocean of times, places and peoples who in the past have shared the wisdom teachings of the dharma and created the conditions for its continuation and expansion. Through Tig-Le House, we continue this tradition, making the teachings accessible in practical and understandable ways so that we can reunite with the essence of Refuge and contribute to the unfolding of health and peace in our lives and the world. The world is filled with Tig-Le’s taking immeasurable shapes and forms, expressed in myriad ways.
My family and I established Tig-Le and opened it to the community in 2010 following a request from my root teacher Lama Chime Shore of Coorain and The Origins Centre, Balingup, W.A., for me to teach mindfulness and share the universalist buddha-dharma tradition. Having spent thirteen years as a formal student from 2006 – 2019, receiving training under Chime’s guidance, I took up this request and, in 2010, began teaching firstly at the Centre in Balingup and then through Tig-Le House. I have also received classical training from prominent Karma Kagyu Tibetan Buddhist tradition teachers, whom I acknowledge below. Tig-Le House is the vehicle through which I continue the tradition of sharing mindfulness and the dharma teachings and trainings in the universalist approach.
Universalist in the context of mindfulness and buddha-dharma refers to the open and all-inclusive nature of sharing wisdom teachings amongst peoples free from dogma and the exclusions that can arise from hierarchies, institutional structures and the misuse of power. In the universalist dharma tradition, teachings and knowledge are shared freely across cultures and peoples from all places and all walks of life in a common accord.
Universalist also refers to acknowledging the peoples, places, times, cultures and traditions in which the world’s wisdom emerges and is illuminated into human awareness. It includes making these teachings and living practices accessible to all in support of all lives, all beings, and the world itself. All wisdom arises from the natural world. The wisdom of humanity is to know the world’s wisdom and to develop ways of conveying this wisdom as teachings and cultural practices. It is essential to create understandable and transmittable methods relevant to the people, time and place, allowing transmission so wisdom can be enacted and applied within daily life for the benefit of all. There is a beautiful tradition many centuries old, a universalist cross-cultural transmission lineage sharing wisdom amongst people in service of calm and peace, the heartfelt understanding of compassion.
Remaining true to this universalist nature, the teachings shared through Tig-Le have a living transmission lineage and networks that actively work to transcend the real and perceived boundaries of race, ethnicity, religion, politics, wealth, and misconceptions of gender. We maintain independence from potentially unhelpful forces and influences of unhealthy institutional power and organisational structures that segregate, marginalise and oppress. Universalist approaches to the dharma pass from person to person, openly between peoples, with a heartfelt intent to cultivate a healthy, compassionate, peaceful human culture.
All teachers and practitioners of mindfulness and the dharma must find connection through study, practice and direct experience, forming understanding and finding appropriate expression of the teachings. Knowledge grows through interweaving our own experiences of the world and life, merging with the transmission lineage and formal teachings. Practice and dialogues are essential.
It is essential for me to share with you an outline of the specific lineage of dharma transmission I have received, along with other people and places that have had a significant bearing and influence on my own lived experience and understanding of the dharma, the world and nature.
My root teacher, Lama Chime Shore, was a student of the Late Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche – Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche. Rinpoche was a student of Sayadaw U Thila Wunta, Mon Mahathera – Ven. Sayadaw U Thila Wunta in the tradition of Bodaw Aung Min Gaung of the Northern Burmese Weizzer Theravadin forest tradition. Rinpoche also studied extensively as a student of XVI Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje – The Life of the 16th Karmapa of the Karma Kagyu Tibetan Buddhist Tradition and the Kham shamans of Eastern Tibet. My own experiences of the lineage tradition have come through the teachings of HH XVII Karmapa Thaye Dorje, Lama Choying Rinpoche, Lama Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche, Ven. Dupon Nyigyam, the Late Ani Manjula, and Ani Tsultrim, of the Chokor Dechen Ling nunnery Rumtek, Sikkim.
Other prominent influences fostering a deep love, bond, and understanding of life, the natural world and the dharma have come through connection and relationships on country with traditional custodians, including as a young boy in the virgin forests of Yued country North of Perth. I worked on environmental programs with Miriwoong elders (unnamed out of cultural respects) on country in the Kununurra, Keep River, Lake Argyle, and Purnululu areas of Northern Western Australia. I have been privileged to spend time on country with Muli Muli community members of the Bundjalung Nation in the Northern Rivers Region of NSW, with Menang and Goreng cultural custodians in and around Denmark and Albany in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, and recently with Wadandi Elders of the Margaret River region.
There are many other sources of wisdom and inspiration to all. I offer my most profound respect. The following are people I read and listen to extensively and include H.H. the XIV Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Joanna Macy, Nelson Mandela, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, Kalu Rinpoche, Mary Robinson, Tarchin Hearn, Matthieu Ricard, Vessentara, Nyanaponika Thera, Khandro Rinpoche, Megan Cowan, Bhikkhu Nanamoli, and Chogyam Trungpa.
There are immeasurable sources of wisdom and inspiration that I have received support from over the years through inspiring teachers during my school years and further education, chance meetings with many people, times and places both directly and indirectly related to mindfulness and dharma. I deeply recognise the Sangha of friends and community who have attended Tig-Le, some for many years, sharing in dialogues that foster mutual respect, continual development, and deeper understanding of the practices revealed through the dialogues and life experiences we all bring. You all become a living confirmation of the effectiveness and reach when applying the teachings to daily life. To you and all the sources of wisdom, my sincere admiration and respect.
Since 2010, through Tig-Le House and in partnerships with local businesses, I have had the good fortune to share mindfulness, meditation, and universalist dharma studies and practices supporting the local and broader community. Many people from a wide and diverse range of backgrounds and from all around the globe have attended sessions at Tig-Le, sharing in the teachings and practices that, over centuries, have been designed to support a unified, healthy, calm, coherent and peaceful humanity working for the health and peace of the world and life itself.
I have the privilege and responsibility for supporting many people locally and abroad, including individual personal health and well-being, families and friends, community groups and their members, the local government and small business sector, local clinical health professionals, and a diverse community of people faced with the challenges of living a life who are looking for the common ground that a mindful Refuge brings. As an independent community resource, Tig-Le can support anyone interested in health and peace. Creating partnerships supporting an all-encompassing inclusive health and peace at all levels of experience is equally important and valuable, no matter how grand or small.
The wisdom teachings of the dharma tradition handed down and explored in the context of our own contemporary lives are a great gift. In future blogs, I will share some of these teachings and methods of practice, along with commentaries and guidance on mindfulness and various meditations, many of which are shared in person through our group sessions, retreats and workshops. I will also share excerpts and teachings from traditional dharma studies, including Puja and Sadhanas, which we work with as part of our ongoing regular study and practice groups. I will include associated contemplations, teaching supports and guidance. There is much to share, and I hope these teachings and practices will be understandable and helpful to you in your daily life.
The blog also presents an opportunity to address any questions after reading these pieces. I receive many questions in class and on retreat that may be helpful to address here relating to mindfulness, the Buddha-dharma, and Ecodharma perspectives. If you become inspired to ask questions in reading these posts, please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will reply, sharing my understanding and thoughts along with traditional teachings.
The Buddhadharma teachings are a vast ocean with a complex and diverse range of views, perspectives and beliefs. There are many ways to express understanding and knowledge. These writings do not seek to be the ultimate in experience or knowledge; no perfection is claimed, nor is there any finality to the possibilities and potential within. My main aim is to illuminate practices and teachings through the lens of mindfulness, making them comprehendible. Often, I use examples from nature and the natural world as a foundation to share understanding and highlight meaning. Some of Tig-Le’s blogs will be readily embraced, calming and supportive, whilst others will stir and challenge existing perspectives, views, and beliefs.
I hope you enjoy the variety of pieces and that I can convey some of the wisdom and insights I have encountered through study and practice.
ARAHUM – With the intention of a warm, strong heart
METTA – And the possibilities for deep friendship
Ian Hackett – director and presiding teacher at Tig-Le House