Saturday, June 03, 2006
a taste of mindfulness and compassion
Last week I went to a retreat in Boston (led by one of Sogyal Rinpoche's senior students, Andrew Warr), where we focused on meditation and lojong (mind training in loving kindness and compassion), which was really quite inspiring. It's amazing how being in a quiet environment and listening to the teachings can dramatically bring you back to yourself. It was also very inspiring to see the teachings being presented by someone who clearly had done a lot of practice. In my experience, this gives people often a very profound element of lightness in their being, tranquility and yet very down-to-earth and flexible.
We studied and practiced some of the bodhicitta teachings. I thought one of the most inspiring exercises was a very simple one: putting yourself in the shoes of another person, seeing other people as a another you who also simply want happiness (this was in the context of developing the equanimity aspect of the Four Immeasurables (love, compassion, joy, equanimity)). If we could only practise this in our daily lives, the world would look so much different.
Last week I also saw the movie windhorse, an incredibly inspiring yet very sad movie about the intertwined lives of a nun, an alcoholic and a singer in Tibet (the singer is a Tibetan girl who sings Chinese songs in a discotheque), in occupied Tibet. It's a story about the Tibetan people who want to be free to practise their religion, and the ruthless suppression of that by the Chinese government. I think the most horrible part of such movies is to know that these things are now happening, in Tibet, but also in Iraq, Afghanistan... The windhorse (lungta) is the powerful symbol of being free, when your mind is in harmony with its nature.
Speaking of that, a new, and supposedly quite good, movie has come out, an inconvenient truth, which I hope I will have time to watch in the coming days.