Rays of warm sunshine and birdsongs greeted us in the morning on the first full day of the festival.
Some people took the opportunity to sit outside in the gardens and along the pathways, reading Dharma books and engaging in quiet contemplation. Many others enjoyed breakfast with their Sangha friends, including discussing the previous night’s teaching.
Soon we will all gather in the Temple for two meditations as preparation for the empowerment in the late afternoon.
Each part of the Festival is designed to help us deepen our understanding and experience of Dharma and thus to improve our experience of inner peace. As Gen-la Thubten quoted Venerable Geshe-la last night, “Forget all the problems and difficulties you may previously have had and concentrate on developing a peaceful mind all the time. You should do this by listening to, contemplating and meditating on the teachings, and through our own determination.” We were encouraged to keep this advice in our heart.
During the guided meditations, Gen Rinchung helped us to gain deeper experience of what had learned in Gen-la’s first teaching. Following her gentle and clear guidance, we meditated on a determination to believe in karma – the cause of suffering is non-virtuous actions and cause of happiness is virtuous actions. With each passing moment, we were mixing our mind with Dharma and increasing the light of wisdom in our mind.
During the spacious afternoon break, many people enjoyed the forest trails and the scenic walk along Morecambe Bay. The sun was out and shining all day long.
As the golden light of the afternoon sun poured into the Temple, Gen-la Thubten introduced us to the Great Mother Prajnaparamita. He explained that, because all Buddhas are born from the perfection of wisdom, she is the mother of all Buddhas. Her function is to pacify our obstacles and bestow upon us the higher perfection of wisdom, which is union of great bliss and emptiness, through which we can attain enlightenment in this life.
Gen-la then skillfully guided us in a series of profound and blissful meditations whereby we received the special blessings of Prajnaparamita’s body, speech and mind. It was like bathing in the warm sunlight of Buddha’s wisdom – how wonderful.
There is nothing quite like receiving an empowerment in the first Kadampa Temple for World Peace, especially when it is filled with Kadampas from around the world. Through the power of this holy place, it is truly a magical and transformative experience.