I went to a two-day workshop recently.
The Tibetan monk speaking at it was purported to be the reincarnation of a Buddhist master from the somethingth century. In this current carnation, he studied for ages in a Tibetan monastery under another very distinguished master.
Now, the skeptic in me needs to express that I don’t necessarily believe in reincarnation, but for a monk to be raised from childhood like that — believing he was this other person and being so soundly steeped in the ways of Buddhism — all of that has to change him. So I went figuring I could probably learn a thing or two.
Changing the air in the room
Now, I don’t know for sure how all of that might have changed him. But he sure changed the air in the room.
There are some people who leave in their wake a trail of peace. He was one of them.
Different levels of practice
Anyway, the monk spoke in broken English and referred to Buddhist concepts I can only guess at. So, I missed a lot of what he said, but I also learned a lot.
He said that there are different levels of meditative practice. The first is to do things to ease your own suffering, to help yourself. But then there is the other level where you do what you do to ease the suffering of all sentient beings.
Since then, I’ve found myself trying to dedicate what I do in meditative practice and elsewhere to the benefit of all sentient beings.
If it ends with me, it’s a dead end
It sounds corny, I know. But I think that mindset may just make me a better person.
I’m now weighing the possibility that positive ends that stop with me are dead ends. I want to, instead, place myself as a conduit for goodness.
I’ve got a long, long way to go, but, I must tell you, those dedications are helping me find a peace I’ve never found before.