‘In the experience of the meditation on emptiness there is no obstacle to generating our self as Buddha Maitreya’, Gen-la said in his beautifully clear morning teaching. ‘The self that we normally perceive as an ordinary, ignorant person can’t change, feels stuck. But in emptiness that self ceases – we realize it doesn’t exist – and all its faults and limitations cease as well and we are able to identify with our limitless pure potential.’
‘There is no obstacle.’ Gen-la Jampa showed us clearly how the experience of emptiness, and the extraordinary methods of Tantra (practiced in conjunction with Sutra) can bring us to enlightenment is such a simple, direct way. He showed us how in Sutra we can begin to identify ourselves as a ‘future Buddha of Loving-kindness’. And how in Tantra through correct imagination and wisdom we believe our potentiality is an actuality right now and identify with it, thinking “ I am the Buddha of Loving-kindness’. By remaining there, completely identified with that correct belief, the mental action of meditation will lead us to Enlightenment.
Now that people have settled in to the Festival, everywhere you go you see people discussing the teachings, reading their notes, contemplating the teachings. As one person said to me, there’s something about being at the Festival, and the power of the blessings here, that allows the teachings to go in deeper, to be heard and experienced at a different level.
In the afternoon, Gen-la Jampa again draws us into the beautiful and clear simplicity of the teachings as a direct path to Enlightenment. He explains the process of successful meditation and in particular the development of mindfulness and concentration. How eventually we can hold the pure appearance of our self as Buddha Maitreya in Tushita pure land for one minute (‘the best minute of our life!’), then five minutes, and so on, until we have the perfect concentration of tranquil abiding. ‘Cherish your formal meditation time,’ he said, ‘Enlightenment is not far away.’ He concluded with the explanation of the sublime practice known as the ‘the yoga of non-dual profundity and clarity’, whereby we experience the appearance of Buddha Maitreya and the pure land, and the emptiness of all phenomena, as non-dual, one object. Quoting Geshe-la, he said, ‘Emptiness and appearance are very comfortable together.’
After this profound teaching I turned to a friend, who, new to the teachings, is attending her first festival. I was a little concerned that she may not have been able to follow. Quite the contrary! ‘That was so beautiful’, she said with a serene look in her eyes.