Day 5 ~ others are so precious
Yesterday, Gen-la introduced the practice of cherishing others according to the Eight Verses of Training the Mind. These times are very degenerate - our delusions give us no rest, diseases are always ahead of medicine - the world is characterised by impurity. But we can live happily in the midst of our impure world by practicing these instructions. Adversities become powerful fuel for our spiritual practice.
Gen-la asked, 'In our world, what hope it there? What guidance is there? What results are there to see?'
The path to enlightenment is very simple. Sometimes we feel it is difficult. All we need to do is stop our bad habit of cherishing ourself and learn to cherish others. All other realisations will naturally follow from this. We can encourage ourself to cherish others by contemplating holy speech, good examples and valid reasoning. Whoever we see in daily life, we remember our view of cherishing others. These instructions have so many blessings to touch our heart.
why living beings are so precious to us
In the afternoon, Gen-la gave a commentary to the first two verses of the Eight Verses of Training the Mind. She told us that Venerable Geshe-la once explained that if we want to play football we need a ball, and in the same way if we want to attain enlightenment we need living beings as a basis for developing universal love and compassion, the main causes of enlightenment. Therefore living beings are very precious to us. This view cuts through all our unbalanced attitudes like a wisdom sword. We hold this intention in meditation. This is real nectar for our mind.
Gen-la asked, do we value humility? By practicing humility we accumulate vast merit moment by moment, and we save our merit for spiritual realisations. We should view our self or I as something we need to neglect or forget. This will open up so much mental space. The best offering that delights the Buddhas is Kadampa views and intentions.
We can also think, ‘Perhaps this person is an emanation of Buddha’. This view leads us to abide in a pure society. By practicing humility we learn from everyone and every situation. Just as water cannot collect on mountain peaks, so good qualities and blessings cannot gather on the steep peaks of pride. With pride, love, compassion and faith will not grow, so how precious is this instruction on humility!
Today, more nectar-like teachings from The New Eight Steps to Happiness. As today's feature video shows, these precious books are the link between our heart and the venerable Guru's heart.
Happiness is a Peaceful Mind
Heart to Heart
Kadampas in Perth
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videos from the home front
Kelsang Yonten, France
Adrienne, Gina, Niko, & Russ, USA
We are two Kadampa couples and long -time Dharma friends from Dharmachakra Center in New Jersey, USA.
We usually enjoy attending festivals and retreats together so for this special Amitayus Empowerment, we wanted to recreate that festival experience by joining together in our efforts. Helping each other understand the teachings and take them to heart while cooking and doing other activities during the breaks really feels like we are at the festival doing some volunteer work!
Together we overcome distractions and remain happy. We love our Kadampa sangha family and are overjoyed to be virtually with all of you!
Kelsang Osel, UK
To my worldwide Kadampa family , I am so happy to be enjoying the festival with you.
With this online festival, it seems like our special festival blessings have expanded and the three jewels are binding the whole world
Hello dearest Kadampa family,
I miss seeing you all this summer. I hope you are well. Sending you all so much love and happiness ️
Kelsang Jikyob, Switzerland
Happy whatever happens,
Seeing others as important,
Deep respect and selfless behaviour.
How wonderful if we become just like
Our Spiritual Guide, Geshe Langri Tangpa.
Nora & Sascha, Germany
We made our own registrations passes!
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WHEN THERE'S NO CREPERIE
Making my buckwheat pancakes with my "T stick" the other day, i couldn't help but think about the Summer Festival creperie that the Canadians (I'm Canadian 😉) helped with for quite some years now.
Then i thought, once again through his very skillful means, Venerable Geshe-la had found yet another way for us to use our daily activities to gather merit through the practice of giving. Paraphrasing Gen-la Dekyong from a previous festival, when she was talking about our usual way of thinking that we need to "treat ourself" to a cake or another snack from the coffee shop after listening to a teaching, she joked "Buy 2! Profits go to the International Temples Project (ITP) Fund!"
This led me to think, well this year, there are so few opportunities for us to accumulate merit in this and other ways! Think about it! No veggies to chop, no toilets to wash, no food to prepare and serve, no long queues to manage and greet ("bags" "no bags"), no shrine to set up, no patrolling, and no cakes, sandwiches, coffees, teas, healthy juices, hot healers, burgers... or crepes to serve or to buy... The list of "nos" goes on... we could almost realise emptiness contemplating this!
And yet, we, from the comfort of our home, have the unimaginable good fortune to receive a wealth of incredibly accessible teachings, empowerments and meditations!
"I can't just use up all my merit!"
Conclusion: "Well i would normally have had a "spending budget" for Summer Festival. I now saved on flight, accommodation, food, transport... so why not donate that amount to the ITP?! And maybe inspire others to do the same so that Kadam Dharma may continue to flourish throughout the world from generation to generation until all living beings find the supreme happiness of enlightenment.
Of course these trying times are uncertain and not everyone can contribute in that way, but the wonder about giving is that it can be done in so many different ways. Just participating in the festival, sharing the festival info on social media, putting the instructions into practice, being an example of a happy person and mostly dedicating and praying that everyone can have the same great fortune we have are just a few ways to do so.
And with the powerful blessings of Buddha Amitayus, we've just increased our merit further!
Happy festival to all!
Today, Gen-la Dekyong gave commentary to the Yoga of Buddha Amitayus and began the teachings on Eight Steps to Happiness.
The teaching covered a number of different points from the book, but she also reminded us that this book is the practical guide to living a true Kadampa life, that it is this book that allows us to develop true Kadampa intention and view, and therefore enables us to engage in true Kadampa activities and behavior.
One of the core aspects of a Kadampa life is that we should always judge ourself and respect others. “Judging ourself” here means that we need check our own mind in the mirror of Dharma, the Dharma of this book in particular.
She reminded us how to read this book so that it can actually function as a mirror and move us forward - take your time with the sentences, don’t just move on from one sentence to the next. Memorise and think them over until they touch your heart - and quite naturally each sentence will suggest a question.
Hold up the mirror for yourself and ask, 'Am I thinking / acting / living like that?'
The Festival shops are immensely popular.
Support your study, meditation and practice with items from the Festival Shops:
- Browse a range of 'Festival Bundle' special offers and featured items designed to give you everything you need for the Festival teachings and empowerments.
- Tharpa books, sadhanas and other items are available for purchase in multiple languages and formats, including downloadable editions.
Statues and artwork can be purchased, including new items from the Kadampa Art Studio.
- Ritual items are also available, including vajras and bells, malas, mandala sets, offering bowls and much more.
- Get the Festival T-shirt, specially designed to mark the occasion of the first year of online Kadampa Festivals.
There are a number of Festival Shops and shipping points located in centres around the world run by Tharpa Publications, each with a different variety of products and shipping options.
All profit from your purchases on tharpa.com is dedicated to public benefit through the International Temple’s Project.