Kadam Bridget sets the tone for the day with a heart enriching meditation on relying on the Spiritual Guide.
Gen-la Kunsang is full of encouragement on this final day of teaching. Describing a new Tharpa Publications card depicting the principal Kadam Lamrim Lineage Gurus, such as Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa, she recommends we contemplate it so as to increase our faith. But, she adds, our faith isn’t passive: Venerable Geshe-la’s plan is that we ourselves become lineage Gurus.
She continues with her encouragement:
Every day rejoice in our good qualities, develop gratitude towards our Spiritual Guide and our precious lineage, take the precious nectar of Kadam Lamrim, and become truly human (instead of a bad-tempered monster!)
And, of course, rejoice in others virtues and good qualities. “Our Buddha nature wants to be free,” she says. “It’s just waiting to sprout.” She says that through focussing on our present peace we will naturally want to experience this peace all the time. How? Through Kadam Lamrim.
In the final teaching Gen-la says, If a mother saw her child drowning she wouldn’t just think, ‘wouldn’t it be nice if my child didn’t drown’. Instead she jumps right in to save the child.
At the Festival, we learn to jump right in … right in to the Bodhisattva’s path to enlightenment. Just being here is powerful encouragement to fulfil our spiritual potential It’s a full on immersion in the Bodhisattva’s way of life, the 6 perfections, as explained today by Gen-la. Naturally we end up giving, being kind and patient, giving joyful effort, training in concentration and wisdom.
And because the International Kadampa Festival has arisen through the universal compassion of our Spiritual Guide, the wish to benefit the whole world and all living beings permeates everywhere. The Festival feels like a launch pad to enlightenment.
At the end of the teaching, we realise that, amazingly, Gen-la has taken us through the whole Lamrim and set us up perfectly to receive the empowerments. How wonderful! Thank you Gen-la! We conclude, with deep gratitude, with the long life prayer for Venerable Geshe Kelsang.
Tomorrow we enter into retreat.