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03 July 2023

US Festival 2023

Living in the Pure Land of Compassion

This past week, almost 400 Kadampas gathered in person at the Temple for World Peace in Glen Spey, NY to receive the blessing empowerment of Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshvara and teachings on universal compassion. To have the opportunity to forge a connection to Avalokiteshvara in this way is extraordinary. It's through receiving his blessings that we can actualize our mind of compassion. This mind becomes our gateway to the attainment of full enlightenment.

"On Friday night, Gen Rigpa opened the festival with an introductory talk in which he encouraged us to rejoice in our incredible good fortune and contemplate the many different causes and conditions that contributed to this wonderful appearance in our life.

Kadam Bridget Heyes then granted the empowerment and gave commentary to Venerable Geshe-la's 2008 Lojong (training the mind) compassion teachings. In essence, these teachings reveal how we can authentically switch the object of our cherishing from ourself to all living beings. When we can do so, compassion, the wish to alleviate all of the suffering others experience, arises. Finding their suffering unbearable, we then naturally develop Bodhichitta, the wish to attain enlightenment for their benefit. This is a very powerful mind. It is the highest motivation we can generate on the spiritual path. By then engaging in the Bodhisattva's path, the six perfections, we will soon accomplish our goal and become an enlightened being."

"For these teachings to truly impact our mind, we need to take them deeply to heart through meditation; intellectual understanding simply isn’t enough. The US Festival gave us many opportunities to contemplate and meditate on cherishing love, universal compassion, bodhichitta and ultimate bodhichitta. During the teachings, Kadam Kyle led a meditation each morning, and we closed out the Festival with a 7-session retreat led by Gen Gomlam."

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