It is completely natural that thoughts keep on arising. The point is not to try to stop them, but to liberate them. This is done by remaining in a state of simplicity, which lets thoughts arise and vanish again without stringing onto them any further thoughts. When you no longer perpetuate the movement of thoughts, they dissolve by themselves without leaving any trace. When you no longer spoil the state of stillness with mental fabrications, you can maintain the natural serenity of mind without any effort. Sometimes, let your thoughts flow and watch the unchanging nature behind them.
Come and see the film about Dilgo Khyentse, Saturday 23 August.
Belladrum Festival 2014 just finished, and we were there, providing some quiet space and meditation in our yurt in the corner of the Walled Garden. “Quiet” in a relative sense, because we were right opposite one of the stages!
But it was a good time and a joyful fixture in our yearly calendar. Here’s a few pics:
Padmolka has been leading us through the Brahma Vihara meditation practices on Sangha nights, and we had some interesting discussion this Thursday. I think it’s fair to say that most people found the karuna bhavana (development of compassion) easier than the mudita bhavana (development of sympathetic joy, or gladness for someone else).
I wondered why. It seems that we all are very aware of our own experiences of suffering, from one extreme to the other, stubbing your pinkie to the loss of a loved one. At some level we know it, and readily empathise. But when it comes to joy, it seems we are looking for the big things, scoring the winning goal in the World Cup, and perhaps we usually do this in everyday life as well as when practising the mudita bhavana. If so we risk losing out on an awful lot of joy.
When I got into my car to go home and turned the key, immediately there was the sound of some fabulous Argentinian tango music; my heart lifted instantaneously, and I thought yes, joy! Then going through Inverness, six green lights in a row – “oh joy oh rapture”, as my head of 6th form used to say. Well I think he used the phrase ironically, but there are lots of moments each day which we could celebrate with it. Sitting outside this morning to meditate, birdsong, warmth of sun, the coolness of a passing breeze…
If we make a habit of recognising and rejoicing in each and every one of these moments of joy then my theory is that our practice of the mudita bhavana will just flow.
Next Saturday 12 July we’ll be celebrating Dharma Day. This is one of the four main Buddhist festivals, usually held at the time of the full moon, and indeed there is a full moon this coming Saturday. It’s a traditional time for Buddhists to come together to practice meditation and share teachings. We’ll also be having a Full Moon Puja.
This year we’re delighted to have Lokeshvara with us to lead the day. Lokeshvara lives at Adhisthana, the home of Sangharakshita who founded Triratna, and is the Men’s International Order Convener.
After years of searching and months of preparation, the Triratna Highland Buddhist Centre is now open. Sadhu!! Here are a few photos from this afternoon’s ceremony:
She should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.