Joelle is from Glasgow and this is her third time to Manjushri. She has been really looking forward to the course, ‘How to Enjoy a Happy and Meaningful Life’, held at the same time as the Highest Yoga Tantra teachings.
Dearie me, so much has happened today that I’d like to tell you about! I’m not known for my succinct tendencies but I will try to describe the most powerful bits.
I am attending the alternative course, with teachings delivered by Kadam Morten Clausen, on ‘How to Enjoy a Happy and Meaningful Life’. Although I’ve been involved with the Vajrayana Centre in Glasgow for a couple of years, I felt I wasn’t ready for the Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment and teachings.
I began my day at breakfast talking with my boyfriend and Kelsang Osel, who was taking a kind interest in my job as a social worker. The job involves people being angry with me on (what feels like) a daily basis and criticising the decisions I make about the best interests of their children. There was some discussion about how painful it can feel having people respond to me like this, as well as it being a fortunate opportunity for me to practise patient acceptance and compassion.
Then, in meditation with Gen Thekchen, I felt agitated and struggled to find the peaceful feeling that we were being guided towards. All I could think about was (supposedly) witty things that I might write in this blog! I tried to counter the delusion with limited success and pride had its way for a while.
There were so many inspiring and incredible things in Kadam Morten’s teachings today. A really helpful bit for me was about the versions of ourselves that we project and then grasp at. We were encouraged in meditation to bring these up and see how painful it can be. I thought of how hard I find it to feel ok about myself unless I have the approval of others. This is why social work hurts me at times, and why peace of mind eluded me in meditation, as I actually believed that I would feel happy if I wrote something fabulously clever.
Kadam Morten asked us, why do we protect these insecure selves and hide them from each other? We need to expose them as an illusion and get rid of them forever. So that’s what I decided to do by telling you about my insecurity in all its pointlessness (and not believing that it matters whether you like me as a result!).