Are you sunbathing or meditating?

“Are you sunbathing or meditating?” Gen-la asked a festival goer. The answer: “Both.” “Beautiful answer,” Gen-la told us in this morning’s teaching. We should always be able to say this: showering or meditating? working or meditating? Both! This is the essence of modern Buddhism: It looks like sunbathing or working but inside it’s meditation.

Gen-la continued with her commentary of Heart Jewel. Among many things, she explained the meaning of the different types of offering, emphasizing how the main offering is the practice of compassion. She also gave a sublime explanation of the ‘heart commitment’. In the final teaching she spoke about the longer sadhanas of Wishfulfilling Jewel and Melodious Drum. She explained that when the sadhanas refer to enemies it always means the inner enemies of the delusions and mistaken appearance. Kadampas have no outer enemies. Living beings are always objects of love and compassion.

As always her teachings were full of inspiration and amazing quotes from Venerable Geshe-la. Particularly inspiring was Geshe-la’s devotion to Je Tsongkhapa aand how he has dedicated his life to repaying Je Tsongkhapa’s kindness by helping to spread Kadam Dharma throughout the world. And how he has given us the opportunity to participate in this extraordinary endeavor. I think we were all inspired to ‘give energy’ to helping Kadam Dharma flourish in our own hearts and beyond.

The evening ended with the first session of retreat with Gen Losang, a guided meditation on Heart Jewel. After encouraging us to stop distraction and focus our mind on the meaning of the words, the meditation began. The Festival has entered its final phase and those of us who are able to stay and participate are feeling very fortunate.