Vimalasara talks to TEDx about her "stinking thinking"
On Thu, 12 December, 2013 - 07:18
Triratna’s Vimalasara (Dr Valerie Mason-John) talks about her recent talk to a local TEDx conference in Vancouver, Canada. (TED stands for Technology, Education and Design and is dedicated to the promotion of “ideas worth spreading” via its now world-renowned conferences featuring short talks by gifted, expert speakers.)
“I was between retreats and out of the blue an email came inviting me to give a local, TEDx, talk. I was curious; my partner eats, breathes and sleeps TED talks, but I had never imagined myself giving one.
I said Yes and the rollercoaster began. I had to apply and say why I wanted to give a talk and which was my favourite TED talk. Well, I had only seen My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, so I quoted that.
I decided to speak about my addiction to my “Stinking thinking”.
But why did I want to give a a TEDx talk anyway? If I had been asked 10 years ago my motivation would have been a desire to be famous, to be noticed. But the shift of my practice has changed.
I was teaching the Four Reminders a few years ago, and I reflected quite deeply on my precious birth. I asked myself, if my birth is precious why do I want to live? Every answer was ego-based. So I flipped it over and asked: “Well why don’t I want to die?” Still my answers were ego-based. So I sat with it.
A few months later a scary thought arose. “What I have to offer is my recovery from addiction.” I wanted to push it away, but in the same breath it gave my life meaning and I could see why my birth was precious. And what better thing to do than to walk in the Buddha’s footsteps? So I knew that if I was to give this talk I wanted it to benefit other human beings. That was my volition, my inspiration.
Giving a TEDx talk has been a beautiful gift, I have already impacted people’s lives. At the conference, I could not walk more than five steps with people coming up and saying:
“I never thought of my thinking being an addiction.” “I’m inspired to keep on working on my stinking thinking; seeing how you worked with yours gives me hope.”
What more can I ask for? I would encourage everyone to give a TED talk or TEDx talk if they have the opportunity. We all have at least one talk in us. But of course there is still a bit of ego left. I would love the talk to go viral; my motivation for that is to help save as many lives as possible.”