Weekly Insights from Meditation Classes You May Have Missed
By Joseph Giacona, Williamsburg Meditation Teacher
Everyone wants to be happy and no one wants to suffer. Buddha said we all share these two basic wishes. So why is it so hard to be happy? And why does suffering come effortlessly? In Buddhism we place all the blame on one thing and one thing alone: delusion. As Geshe Kelsang says in How to Understand the Mind, " ... delusion is a mental factor that arises from inappropriate attention and that functions to make the mind unpeaceful and uncontrolled. If we did not have delusions we would experience only peace and contentment. When our delusions are not functioning strongly our mind is relatively tranquil and contented, but as soon as anger, jealousy or desirous attachment arise they destroy our peace of mind like a sudden storm destroying the tranquillity of an ocean. Even if we are in good physical health, when delusions manifest our mind becomes ill at ease."
Normally, we think suffering comes from the outside - from the government, from irritating people, from the weather, from our partner or lack there of and so forth. Yet, if we didn't have delusions it would be impossible for us to suffer. Our mind would remain contented, peaceful, joyful and comfortable. Therefore, we need to develop a heart-felt wish to become free of all delusions – anger, attachment, jealousy and most importantly, the ignorance that misperceives how things exist.
Meditation for this Week
Recall a situation when you became angry and think, "This is anger. This is an inner poison whose only function is to cause harm to myself and others. How fortunate I am to recognize the anger in my mind, get to know it, understand it and become free of it." We don't repress our anger; we accept, acknowledge its presence in our mind and learn from it. Alternatively, you can recall a time when you developed strong desirous attachment and think, "This is my attachment. It's projecting happiness to exist outside, separate from me. It's creating a gap between myself and happiness, so that I always have to search, look for and hanker after happiness. It turns me into a needy person. Even if I do obtain my object of attachment I'm still not happy. How fortunate I am to see my attachment. I'm like an inner scientist directly seeing the source of suffering. In order to become free of these delusions I need to see them directly." Every time you are deluded it's an unparalleled opportunity to learn about these harmful states of mind. From this perspective, it's almost as if the more deluded/crazy you are, the better!!
The Unmistaken Dharma of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Geshe la says. . .
“When a magician creates an illusory horse, a horse appears very clearly to his mind but he knows that it is just an illusion. Indeed, the very appearance of the horse reminds him that there is no horse in front of him. In the same way, when we are very familiar with emptiness, the very fact that things appear to be inherently existent will remind us that they are not inherently existent. We should therefore recognize that whatever appears to us in our daily life is like an illusion and lacks inherent existence. In this way our wisdom will increase day by day, and our self-grasping ignorance and other delusions will naturally diminish.” - From How to Transform Your Life (FREE E-BOOK)
KEEPING A HAPPY MIND
with Venerable Geshe la
An extract from a teaching by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Summer Festival 2009, July 31.
National Kadampa Festivals are arranged each year in various countries. They are a wonderful opportunity for people to get together with fellow practitioners in their country to listen to teachings, practice meditation, and engage in discussion.
What's Happening at the KMCWB ...
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NOTE: Though each day covers a specific topic, each session is a stand alone lesson and can be taken in any order.
NEW! Wednesday & Thursday After-Work Meditation
6:30PM - 7:00PM
Sunday - Journey to Lasting Happiness
11:00AM - 12:30PM
Monday - Meditations on Love
7:00PM - 8:30PM
Wednesday - Freedom from Anxiety
7:30PM - 9:00PM
Thursday - Freedom from Painful Emotions
7:30PM - 9:00PM
New class series will be added to the schedule in the coming weeks and months.