Stepping into Your Compassionate Power
Online Practice Day
Sunday 21st June 2020, 10am – 4pm
Led by Choden
THIS PRACTICE DAY IS NOW FULLY BOOKED, TO BE ADDED TO THE WAITING LIST PLEASE CONTACT INFO@MINDFULNESSASSOCIATION.NET
STEPPING INTO YOUR COMPASSIONATE POWER
This retreat day is inspired by the wisdom of the great bodhisattva of compassion, Chenrezig (Avalokitsvara). We will explore how this practice can inform a different way of practicing meditation and a more engaged way of living.
This practice rests on the Buddhist distinction between relative and ultimate truth. The former is about responding with sensitivity and kindness to the world as we know it – the world of experience. This is where compassion is crucial. Here our attention to the detail of our lives is as fine as the grains of sand in a vast sand dune. The latter is about sensing the non-solidity of experience and appreciating the openness and space within which everything exists. This is the domain of wisdom. Here our view is as vast as the clear open sky. The key point is to bring these two truths together in the way we live and practice.
The retreat day will be made up of four sessions of one hour each. It will build on my last retreat day: Buddhist Practices to Deepens your Experience of Mindfulness. But it is not a requirement to have attended the previous retreat day.
Each of the sessions will focus on different themes. The first theme will be how to step into the part of us the is flawless and free – our Buddha Nature. Once we step into this compassionate power, the second theme is how to bring this to life. This will involve radiating compassion out like sunshine in all directions. But we do so with an awareness of the dreamlike nature of all things. This is the third theme. We learn to see reality as being not solid and rainbow like. This is confirmed by neuroscience research which shows how our waking reality of life is like a conscious hallucination of the brain. We think it is reality ‘out there’, but actually it is a movie projected outside from ‘in here’.
Through practicing in this way we learn to perceive the world through different eyes. This is called sacred outlook in Tibetan Buddhism. This is the fourth theme. We begin to sense the subtle fabric of interconnectedness running through all things, and delight in the wholeness and peace that lies behind the world of experience. Once we touch the ultimate truth in this way, we learn to hold the suffering of the relative from within this space. In this way we bring together the practice of wisdom and compassion.
We will use visualisation methods as a way of stepping into our compassionate power. In some of the sessions we will use the mantra of Chenrezig – om mani pemay hung – as a focal support and gently chant it as a way of awakening our inner qualities of wisdom and compassion.
When we chant the mantra we will imagine radiating the energy of compassion to all those many people in the world who are suffering during this time of the coronavirus pandemic. Chanting the mantra in a group makes in so much more powerful.