Summer festival 2020 diaries
A chance to review and share the Festival Diaries for the 2020 International Summer Festival.
See you for the Fall Festival.
Through the great kindness of our Founder, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, over 5,000 people from every corner of the globe will tune in Friday to take part in the 2020 International Summer Festival Online. As with all Kadampa events, everyone is welcome regardless of age, nationality or culture.
“There are so many firsts in this Festival, and there is so much we will receive. This is the most accessible Festival we have ever had.” With these words Gen Rabten introduced the Summer Festival 2020, whetting our appetite with a menu of delights that lie ahead over the next two weeks. Today is a special day.
Our main obstacles to enlightenment are ignorance and death. These can be overcome by practicing the instructions of Buddha Amitayus, which are now reaching every country and every nationality — something that has never happened before!
What is the real meaning of our human life? It is to realise our very subtle mind. Then we will become a Buddha in this one life. Whether modern technology helps or harms depends on whether we have a good heart or not, but Tantric technology fulfils our deepest wishes.
Today, more nectar-like teachings from The New Eight Steps to Happiness from Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong. As today’s feature video shows, these precious books are the link between our heart and the venerable Guru’s heart.
Gen-la Dekyong gave a powerful explanation of identifying and overcoming the self-cherishing mind. Our self-cherishing abides at our heart. It is the mind that thinks, ‘I am important’ while neglecting others. In truth, this mind is ignorance and an object of ridicule.
During the last few days of teaching we enjoyed five powerful sessions of meditation with Gen Rabten. Yesterday, to conclude the first week of the Festival, we began three days of retreat with Gen Losang to take the teachings to heart and mix our mind with the sublime practice of the Yoga of Buddha Amitayus.
Today, this amazing week comes to an end and tomorrow the teachings move to IKRC Grand Canyon in the United States where Gen-la Kelsang Jampa the Deputy Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition will grant the empowerment of Buddha Tara and teachings on Advice from Atisha’s Heart.
Through the inconceivable kindness of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche, today we have the great good fortune to begin the second week of the 2020 Summer Festival. The day begins with two meditations guided by Gen Rabten at Manjushri KMC. Then this afternoon, at 16.00 UK time, we will receive the empowerment of Buddha Green Tara from Gen-la Kelsang Jampa at IKRC Grand Canyon in Arizona. How wonderful!
Yesterday Gen-la Jampa took us to meet Buddha Tara in her Pure Land!
Yesterday, following the sublime empowerment on Saturday, Gen-la explained how to rely on Arya Tara in practice with a deeply inspiring commentary to the sadhana, Liberation from Sorrow – truly a wishfulfilling practice.
Yesterday, Gen-la Jampa began four teachings on Kadam Lamrim based on the famous text Advice from Atisha’s Heart. Atisha is the original author of Kadam Lamrim. He was very close to Tara and she promised him that in the future she would take special care of his followers. For Kadampas, therefore, this is a special opportunity to receive core teachings that are the very backbone of our tradition.
Gen-la explained how the joy of our Kadampa life comes directly from Venerable Geshe-la. From one point of view it is impossible to repay our Spiritual Guide’s kindness, but from another point of view we can greatly delight him by offering our practice of Kadam Lamrim and helping Dharma to flourish to the best of our ability.
With this extraordinary Festival entering its final phase, yesterday we joined Kadam Morten at KMC New York City for three days of blissful retreat on Arya Tara and Kadam Lamrim. Following step by step each piece of advice, we will have a chance to develop a strong and sincere wish to attain enlightenment, and the determination to follow our Spiritual Guide until we achieve enlightenment.
In every respect this has been an extraordinary Festival – an epic spiritual journey taken by thousands of people of many different nationalities and cultures travelling together under the guidance of kind and skillful Teachers.
On the final day of the 2020 Summer Festival we enjoy the play of the Life of Buddha and a beautiful talk given by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche in 2009. As Venerable Geshe-la says in his talk, the play encapsulates the life of Buddha in dramatic form and teaches us how to live a meaningful life by following his example. It is the perfect way to end the Festival.
After the Festival play, The Life of Buddha, Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong gave this concluding talk, formally bringing the 2020 Summer Festival to a close and leaving us thoroughly inspired for the journey ahead.