Gen-la Dekyong began her commentary to How to Transform Your Life by talking about the qualities of a Buddha. Quoting from Introduction to Buddhism, she said that just as the sun’s nature is to shine, ‘being beneficial’ is a Buddha’s nature. Later she explained we have two things to do everyday: 1. Improve ourselves and 2. Benefit others. In fact, by improving ourselves we naturally benefit others, because then our nature is becoming beneficial and day by day we are drawing closer to enlightenment. Giving ourselves clear direction in this way makes our life simple, Gen-la said, and finding our purpose in life makes us feel fully alive. Otherwise we can be like a dog chasing its tail, a lot of activity but not a lot happening.
At the Festival we train in both improving ourselves and benefiting others. Through the guided morning meditations, the teachings, the discussions about Dharma spontaneously arising over lunch, between sessions and during walks, and the sublime evening Wishfulfilling Jewel puja everyone is engaged in practices of self-improvement. And as for benefitting others … opportunities abound. Because the Festival depends on everyone contributing, the Festival becomes an everyone benefitting everyone else bonanza. Which means everywhere you go, you receive service with a smile! Or else you are the one serving with a smile.
In the afternoon teaching Gen-la Dekyong gave us the transmission of the Introduction to How to Transform Your Life, in which we are introduced to the profound change of attitude from self-cherishing to cherishing others that lies at the heart of this practice. How to bring about this radical transformation will now be explained step by step. Bring it on!