Marcus Prade is a primary school teacher from Dresden, Germany. He has attended Kadampa Festivals since 2004 and has been back every year.
After one week of helping with preparations for the Festival, everyone has arrived and it feels like Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre has come alive. Manjushri is fulfilling its function – helping others to overcome their daily problems and to become happier people. It is also the first day I opened my tent to discover there was no rain, just a few clouds, lots of blue sky and inviting sunshine.
I really enjoyed my hot cup of tea during breakfast and went into the Northwing Meditation Room – a beautiful and peaceful place inside the castle – and did my personal meditation practice with the sun streaming through the windows.
At 11 o’clock, the teaching started and Gen-la Kelsang Kunsang gave an amazing talk on the presence and kindness of Venerable Geshe-la. She encouraged us to think about the main goal of our human life. It was helpful and very inspiring to remember where our daily meditation practice should take us – to the supreme state of enlightenment, an inner light of wisdom that gives us real inner peace.
After enjoying a meal with my Sangha friends, my teacher and I walked through the forest and out to the stretch of pebbly beach. The view across Morecombe Bay is captivating but even our brief stop to buy ice cream at a stand perched 10 minutes along the beach, didn’t distract us from discussing the teachings we received so far and our experiences of them.
Later in the afternoon we had the possibility to deepen our understanding of Gen-la’s words during the Review with Gen Kelsang Odro. Gen Odro encouraged us to imagine a life free from problems, one that is peaceful and meaningful.
Everyone seemed to enjoy and relax on this first full Festival day: the teachings, the sun, the cafes, meals, talking and meeting with friends and hopefully also meeting with their own minds. Because as Gen-la said: Everything depends upon our own mind!