‘What if today were your last day?’ Gen-la Dekyong asked a few days ago during her teaching on the meditation in death. ‘What would you do?’ Gen-la’s answer was ‘to spend it with her Spiritual Guide, mixing her mind with his.’

Of course, the point is that today could be our last day. This could be our last meditation session. If you knew that to be the case, would you allow your mind to be distracted? Or would you ensure that your mind is deeply and joyfully mixed with the blessings of your Spiritual Guide?

Today is the first of two retreat days, two days to take the teachings of the first week to heart. In each session Gen Losang is making sure that we are mixing our mind with the completely pure mind and powerful inspiring words of our Spiritual Guide. He begins by guiding us into a state of heartfelt connection with Guru Buddha Shakyamuni envisioned in the space in front. For the contemplation Gen Losang simply reads to us from How to Transform Your Life, today mostly from the Introduction and first chapter. He reads slowly and contemplatively allowing the full impact and meaning of the words to resonate. There is something very powerful in his rendition. Phrases suddenly reverberate in your mind with new meaning. What becomes clear is how these words of Geshe-la are pervaded by the experience of his mind, how they naturally evoke the peaceful expansiveness of the meditative state, and are designed to induce that state in the heart of the reader or listener who reads or listens with an open, fully attentive, faithful mind.

He leaves space at the end for us to hold in placement meditation the pure intentions or insights that have arisen. And finally he beautifully guides the dissolution of Guru Buddha Shakyamuni’s mind into our own at our heart, allowing us to envision the blissful clarity of enlightenment free from all mistaken appearances. He then encourages to remain mindful of our Spiritual Guide and the illusory nature of appearances during the meditation break.

In the first few sessions the temple and marquees resounded with the sound of wind and rain from outside. But in the afternoon it cleared spectacularly allowing for crystal clear expansive vision, a lovely echo of the power of Buddha’s blessings to clear our mind.

What if today were your last day?