In this morning’s teaching, Gen-la Dekyong mostly focuses on the third preliminary guide of purification. She interweaves passages from the book Oral Instructions of Mahamudra with her notes from the transmission Geshe-la gave to a small group in London, adding in some personal encouragement from her side. The clarity of the new presentation combined with the surprisingly personal stories from Geshe-la has us all enthralled.

What do we need, Gen-la asked. The answer: a pure mind. Samsara is the appearance to an impure mind. Happiness is the appearance to a pure mind. If we transform an impure mind to a pure mind, there is no suffering. Therefore we need to purify our mind.

In addition to explaining the powerful purification practice of reciting Vajrasattva’s mantra, Gen-la said the main Kadampa purification practice is happily accepting whatever arises, especially difficulties. Quoting Geshe-la, she said that for lojong (training the mind) practitioners samsara is like a pure world for them personally. They are not harmed by external bad conditions because they happily accept.

Although in general the conditions here at the Festival are wonderful, we still need to practice happily accepting. After all there are around 3000 people gathered together here. There’s a lot of queueing (easily transformed into Dharma discussion), some accommodations are less comfortable than others (although one camper told me she sleeps better here than at home!) and we might get rained on. Of course, some people are experiencing grave difficulties such as sickness. And yet everywhere you look you see smiles. People are happily accepting, and hence purifying, accumulating merit, receiving blessings and acquiring an invaluable skill to bring back home. We are all learning naturally just through being here how Dharma solves our problems.