Lama Yeshe was in Ashland and Washburn, WI and taught on the topics of Mindfulness and Meditation and how techniques can help us to maintain balance when times get stressful. The meditation practice helps us to be more mindful as we learn to synchronize our body and mind. That means when we are doing the dishes we are actually focused on doing the dishes, not planning the next meal or reviewing a past event. As we learn to be more present for the moment at hand we develop gratitude. We start to be thankful for the warm water with which we wash the dish. We appreciate all of the things that have come together to make this moment possible.
Meditation also helps us realize that thoughts that come up are just that, thoughts. They have no substance or reality. An angry thought can quickly be replaced by an image of a bird flying by. That thought gets replaced by the sound of a truck and then you feel your foot tingle. Next you imagine what you might eat for lunch. It can be a whirlwind but meditation helps us to see what is going on, and as we watch and let the thoughts just flow through, we are not as captivated by them. We are able to let them go and this opens up a whole new way of relating to our mental activity. It becomes more spacious an open. We become aware of our habitual patterns and realize that we have choices regarding what we think and how we react to what comes up.
Lama Yeshe presented the techniques of Tong Len, also known as Taking and Sending. This is a compassion building technique that helps us recognize what all beings have in common. We all want to be happy and have the causes of happiness. We all want to be free of suffering and the causes of suffering. As we imagine the many ways that others may suffer and mentally offer them our happiness, things can change within us. We realize that even those we view with animosity are suffering. We may not understand how their suffering manifests but we know that, just like us, they would rather be happy. We start to see how alike we are and how all beings are worthy of our compassion. Compassion is the wish that all beings be free of suffering and its causes.
Lama Yeshe is the resident Lama at the Hay River KTC Buddhist Meditation Center near Ridgeland. He is a fully ordained monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. For more information and a calendar of upcoming events see our website at www.ktcHayRiver.org.