It’s a rainy, drizzly day. Or as Gen Devi puts it, a perfect day for retreat. A perfect day to go in, to go inwards to our heart. It’s amazing, she says, that the way out of our suffering life is to go in. And in we go, deeply in, right in to the central channel and the indestructible drop within our heart chakra. Today we do the three completion stage practices known as the yogas of the central channel, drop and wind. If done skilfully and correctly, on the bases of a pure motivation, reliance on our Spiritual Guide and wisdom, these practices can help us to swiftly actualize our very subtle mind, the mind of clear light. Through manifesting this mind we can achieve enlightenment swiftly. In his new book, Oral Instructions of Mahamudra, Venerable Geshe-la presents these practices so succinctly and precisely. Gen Devi guides the meditations with her soothing voice and delighted manner, and it’s amazing how still the temple, brimming with bodies, can become. You sense everyone going in, deeply in, and then gently abiding there. It’s a wonderful feeling.
And even when the meditation session finishes, everyone stays in. Due to the rain, almost everyone seeks shelter. They huddle inwards, beneath the raincoats and the umbrellas. The cafes and creperie are fully occupied. The normally voluminous main corridor of Manjushri KMC is overflowing with people, every seat taken. Trying to find a place to drink tea with a friend I ended up having to walk to the top floor to find a step on the staircase to sit on! And everyone you talk to is so encouraged. ‘These meditations make it feel like enlightenment really is possible,’ someone comments.
Every session is just as still, just as focused. There is a pervading sense of immense good fortune. We know how rare it is to have the opportunity to receive such teachings, let alone do retreat on them amidst such a great assembly of practitioners from all over the world. It’s inspiring to see such dedication and such joy. It’s … a perfect day.