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To mark the start of our Home Retreat on the theme of turning towards difficulties and moving through them well, a great, practical conversation with Yashobodhi about the meditative, reflective work of the Seven-Point Mind Training tradition in Buddhism.
A mythic image to sum up and symbolize this is that of the Buddha on the cusp of his Enlightenment. He is sitting still at the point when Mara attacks him with all the weapons he can muster. But, as the story goes, even though the Buddha is attacked he does not react with anger, hatred or defensiveness. Instead he sits in complete peace and openness; the arrows from his opponents drift and float down around him as flower petals.
Drawing from the Tibetan traditions of lojong (Dharma slogan) and tonglen (meditation sending and receiving kindness in an awareness of suffering), we explore ways to transform adversity. How do we face up to difficult emotions? Find the opportunities inherent when there are obstacles in our lives? Considering the central role of body and breath awareness in this, Yashobodhi also emphasizes the importance of a sense of imaginative connection to the suffering of others.
Referring to the classic fairy story of Rumpelstiltskin, if we do this work, she says, we too can turn the straw of our lives into gold with the spinning wheel of the Dharma… Delightful!
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