If we truly believe in interdependence, what does it mean for us to have ‘personal freedom’ while others are not free? There is a story* in the Buddhist sutras which emphasizes how when we watch our own mind, cultivating its positive qualities, we are better able to protect and care for others. We can’t just focus on others, thinking we are wonderful, caring people, and not look at ourselves honestly. When we are stuck in our own confusion and carelessness, we will not be so useful to others, and may even cause them more harm. This is why meditation and mindfulness are not simply selfish methods for passive, personal comfort and satisfaction. Through ongoing, proper practice and really honest reflection, which can be difficult at times, we begin to see far beyond our limited ideas about self and others. Then, self-cherishing can become the cherishing of others, of all beings. Thus, as in the words of Lord Buddha, we not only protect ourselves but we truly can be the protectors of others.
*The Sedaka Sutra as translated by Bhikkhu Nanananda (from Access to Insight)
Jigme Tromge Rinpoche in Sebastopol, CA
Friday December 9th, 6.30-8.30pm
Public Talk and Meditation on ‘Finding Freedom’
Hosted by Kuma Kai Aikido
What do we mean by freedom, and do we understand its cause, and the true causes of happiness? In this evening teaching, which will include time for silent sitting as well as questions, we will explore how we can work with our emotions and experiences to become truly free from suffering.
VENUE: Kuma Kai Aikido, 925B Gravenstein Hwy South, Sebastopol, CA. Some parking available opposite dojo.
All are welcome; no previous experience of meditation required. Please bring a cushion to sit on.
Suggested donation $20 (free for under-14s). Nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.