Day 5: Summoning the World to Buddhahood

On Thu, 23 March, 2023 - 09:42
Vidyamala's picture

Today we moved on to Chapter 8 – The Perfection of Meditative Absorption. This is the longest chapter in the Bodhicaryavatara and has two main themes:

  • The importance of renunciation of craving and attachment if one is to achieve any sense of calm and stability in meditation
  • The exchange of self and other as a profound meditation to overcome self-clinging and cultivate the Awakening Mind

After hearing the verses (where Santideva doesn’t disappoint in his direct, challenging, even shocking language), we heard a wonderful talk from Jnanadhara. He sensitively and beautifully unpacked and explored the main themes. He brought these quite complex verses down to earth with a lot of perspective and lightness. [Do have a look at my notes from the talk here]

It has been a real joy listening to the talks from different members of the team each day and hearing how these very experienced and deep Dharma practitioners approach the various topics. I think this has been one of the strengths of this retreat. In the team meeting tonight Saddhanandi said how she feels she is living in a great cloud of Dharma and I echo that. It’s amazing!

This retreat is part of the Adhisthana programme run by members of the Adhisthana Teaching Community. The vision is to have large teams for at least a couple of retreats a year which means we can have a real sense of shared practice, as well as building sangha and friendships with one another. All while exploring key themes and texts that were important to Sangharakshita and have played seminal roles in the unfolding of our community.

I hope we’ll be able to lead a similar retreat next year and would really encourage people to book if you can – either in person or online.

To conclude today let’s here from Santideva:

Whoever longs to rescue both themselves and others should practice the supreme mystery: exchange of self and other.

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