Brisbane has an annual Tibetan Festival that was celebrated last weekend. At the Powerhouse they had a free talk with the very appealing title – Luminous Nature of Mind. We arrived at the Powerhouse to find folk in traditional Tibetan costumes and stalls selling Tibetan wares and food. On the Turbine Platform was a monk working on a sand mandala with careful attention, which set the scene for the arrival of Buddhist master, Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering. Born in Tibet he has been a teaching between Australia and India since 1990. Accompanying him was a female monk to translate his teachings. As they settled onto the stage in their maroon robes there was contagious giggling from them both. It was a delight to look at their faces, which seemed to shine with loving-kindness. Watching them made me want to seek out the knowledge that had led them to this state.
Khensur Rinpoche started by explaining the three parts that make a sentient being – body, mind and I/me. The body we get from our parents, the mind is by its nature clear and knowing or LUMINOUS. Sadly we let mental factors, afflictions suck as jealously or a sense of entitlement enter into the nature of the mind resulting in a muddiness. “Our responsibility is to EDUCATE our minds!” We need to choose to educate our mind, we can choose either wisdom or ignorance, happiness or suffering. Happiness is a positive virtuous state of mind. Suffering is caused by delusions, ignorance, attachment, indifference and anger or negative emotions. We need wisdom to listen carefully, with wisdom comes less mental affliction, less negativity and it reduces doubt. Therefore because the nature of mind is luminous negative emotions can be got rid of.
When someone hits you with a stick, do you get angry with the stick? No because the stick is not in control. Khensur Rinpoche urges us to think in the same way about the person wielding the stick, they also are not in control of their mind. In this way we can tap into our compassion and think “Oh you poor thing”. So the way to educate your mind is to study and practice: Loving-Kindness + Compassion + Meditation = Wisdom
Listening to Khensur Rinpoche helps me to rejuvenate my meditation, which after eleven years of almost regular practice still faces harsh resistance from my sub-conscious.
Also helpful is reading Jon Kabat-Zinn, in Coming to our Senses he gently challenges our way of thinking about meditation. “Meditation is a way of being, not a technique, meditation is a way of being appropriate to the circumstances one finds oneself in, in any given moment… Awareness itself is the teacher, the student and the lesson.” He then continues with a succinct expression of the profundity of the practice,
“I have come to see meditation as an act of love, an inward gesture of benevolence and kindness toward ourselves and toward others, a gesture of the heart that recognizes our perfection even in our obvious imperfection, with all our shortcomings, our wounds, our attachments, our vexations, and our persistent habits of unawareness.”
With the words of these two seers in my ears I am illuminated and rejuvenated.