2016 Sacred Practice: Buddhist Meditation with Anam Thubten

Welcome everybody. There’s a deep silence that we can all tune into. It is the state of our being. Our consciousness prior to concepts, ideas … a state that is intrinsically peaceful and sacred We’re going to maybe just utter one word. This syllable The syllable is used as a mantra and also many times it’s a syllable that
has no conceptual meaning It’s one of the Sanskrit alphabet, quite easy to pronounce It’s just an “a” and has no conceptual meaning. It’s not a Hindu mantra, it’s not a Buddhist mantra, it’s just a sound Sometimes we just say this “a” to allow ourself into that dimension That peaceful sacred dimension in each of us, filled with silence. and let’s maybe say “a” three times if you are comfortable – otherwise you
can just enjoy somebody else saying this syllable. ahhhhhhh … ahhhhhhh … ahhhhhhh … Now we’re going to close our eyes for just a
few seconds relax our shoulders and then gently bring our attention to our body Notice that you are here right now. You are alive. Notice your feet touching the ground. Feel all these subtle sensations in your body and then we’re going to take a few deep breaths. When we inhale we can imagine that we are breathing into every part of the body, in every cell and then when we exhale we can imagine that we are releasing and letting go of discomfort, anxiety, and mental agitation. and then relax you can keep your eyes closed or leave them open now start noticing that you’re breathing in and you’re breathing out. Sometimes you can even count your inbreath You can count your inbreath any number between five and ten and then recount. Like, one in … two in … We are always breathing except you are not aware of it. breath is a wonderful force element. As you know, in some
languages the word for the breath is a spirit which is also similar to the
notion of sacred The sacred is everywhere including our own breath. You might like to think that right now you’re drinking the nectar of the sacred every time you inhale. Thoughts of the past, future, whenever they rise don’t give your attention to them for the time being keep coming back to the breath. and also allow yourself to become aware of even the subtleties of each breath their temperature, their flavor, and their
duration. also aware of all the physical sensations accompanying each breath When you inhale, notice that your shoulders rise, your belly expand When you exhale, your shoulders drop down and your body contracts little bit Keep paying this gentle attention to your
own breath each moment so all your thoughts, worry, and anxiety will dissolve on there own breath in … breath out … breath in … breath out … enjoy the sacred of each breath breath allows us to feel that we are alive in a joy and peace breath is also a wonderful dimension in which there are no concepts, there are no fears there are no judgement, there are no delusion Breath is beautiful like flower, pristine like water Breath is also an amazing door into transcendence, the great emptiness or Divine The breath has the sacred power to quiet our mind and calm our heart and perhaps you are already enjoying the quietness of your mind and peace of your own heart Now you can let go of the concentration on the breath, and then just relax Relax. Let go go of all your mental thought. relax into each moment relax in this way … present moment And then enjoy experiencing and the life and the play of existence enjoy the color, the sound, the movement enjoy experiencing both the outer world, the world of appearances and the inner world, the world of mind such as a thoughts, feelings enjoy the whole existence as a sacred universe Let everything arise on their own and let them also dissolve on there own When a thought rise, let it unfold and experience it don’t follow it and don’t try to eradicate it Thoughts, emotions, rise on their own and they dissolve on their own, just like waves on the great sea. and here we don’t do anything. We don’t hold on to anything, we don’t reject anything, we just keep open in our own heart and to welcome everything. welcome the whole world. Welcome every expression of life. and let all of them flow through us. this is a very precious moment, a sacred moment in our ordinary life a moment is which we are no longer reacting from our old habits such as anger, fear, judgment instead we are responding to each moment with an open heart, compassion, and also with a sacred outlook please take a few seconds to recognize the very state of consciousness that you’re residing in right now and then remember that this state of mind is always available to each of us whenever we want to go there In my tradition we always did this loving kindness meditation Let me invite all of you to practice a very simple meditation on love and compassion and the four immeasurables please close your eyes and then try to imagine that the whole humanity is sitting around us Now I’d like you to invite your family members, your friends, your neighbor, and also you might like to invite people who are suffering, who are in pain, great sorrow who are traumatized by war and violence Imagine that you are looking into the eyes of each of them with this loving expression. and then now you are about to offer the most precious gift, the gift of love and compassion I’m going to recite this liturgy. It’s a
traditional liturgy. It’s very much a nonsectarian prayer you can be anybody and still can really connect with the spirit of this prayer I’m going to recite this liturgy. You can meditate on each of those four lines. May all beings have happiness and cause of happiness. May all beings be free from suffering and the cause of suffering. May all beings never be separate from happiness that knows no suffering. May all beings abide in equanimity free from bias and hatred. Let’s take a few moments to bring our whole attention to our heart and feel that your heart is a very spacious, gentle, forgiving, compassionate. Thank you everybody for meditating this morning I feel extremely honored to be at this wonderful Festival with all of you and this kind of Festival is very much needed right now when there is so much
misunderstanding, conflict, violence, spreading everywhere in the world of course we have to remember that there are many blessings kindness, compassion, and good things are happening everywhere. kindness is also spreading everywhere too. for example this
very Festival is an expression of that that widespread all present goodness kindness which is happening everywhere in this world even today It is very important for us not
to be lost and all this information about the negativities the ugly side of this world We have to open our eyes and heart to also recognize the spiritual side, the nobel side of this human world and this is perhaps one of those sacred
sanctuary where we can see that there’s so much compassion and goodness happeningmeverywhere in the world This Festival is also time to celebrate this human goodness, the
collective goodness You notice that there are two very important words In relationship to this Festival, which are … sacred and nonviolence these are two most important practice They are timeless special practice transcending all the
traditions and the differences A great Buddhist Philosopher the essence of all the dharmas is nonviolence the dharma is a Sanskrit word for
spiritual traditions from that point of view we can regard me we can regard all the spiritual traditions as a dharmas There is Dharma of Christianity. There is Dharma of Hinduism. There is Dharma of Buddhism. There is Dharma of Islam. The very heart of all the spiritual traditions is a nonviolence It is true that we do have differences such as our own doctrines if we have the willingness to look into other’s tradition beyond our own doctrines then we may find amazing common ground. of course we can love, we can cherish, our own doctrines our own doctrines are also profound and sacred. We don’t have to let go and reject our own doctrines, our own tradition and its uniqueness. but at the same time we have a responsibility right now, almost a moral responsibility to be open-minded and to have the willingness to look into the depth of our own tradition as well as the depth of the other traditions and when we do that, there’s a common ground which we all agree with each other and then we realized that we can listen to the same music, the same sacred music, the music of nonviolence, the music of love So the very heart of all traditions is nonviolence Buddha taught nonviolence, Mahatma taught nonviolence, Jesus Christ taught nonviolence, Krishna taught nonviolence The way to the nonviolence is in walking the wisdom of the sacred. I come from a tradition of Buddhism that is all about awakening to the sacred. The all pervasive sacred The idea that the world is sacred, the nature is sacred, every tree, every rock, every cloud every drop of rain is sacred, every living
being, every animal, every human being is sacred when we are able to truly
experience this all-pervasive sacred then we are able to also exercise
nonviolence, reverence to the world of nature to the living beings, and above all, to each other as a human being one of the
source of violence is actually lack of this wisdom that we don’t recognize their sacred in all of us the violence can be sometimes very gross such as a war killing. And other times of violence
is very subtle. So subtle that most of the time we don’t recognize that we might be actually engaging with violence. We can be violent towards oneself If we judge, if we hate ourselves, then that is a form of violence unconsciously we are committing violence to oneself When we judge other people, or
we exclude other people from our own heart, when we label people, when we create invisible barricade between oneself and others, and then or so we are actually engaging with violence that is so subtle The medicine, the spiritual medicine, the sacred medicine, the timeless antidote to violence, is actually the visit among the sacred, and that is to open our heart and to practice recognizing that there is a sacred in every human being no matter who they are man, women, young, old, European, American, Asian, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and nonbeliever In other words, every human being is a sacred and there is no hierarchy in this universal sacred, there’s no such thing that we’re all sacred but some people are more sacred than others we are equally sacred. This sacred is also great equality. Maybe, since we have a few minutes left, we might like to hold our hands together it’s a mudra, it’s a sacred gesture the significance of this of mudra, this hand gesture, is to show reverence to respect somebody as a sacred so we might like to join these hands together and to feel that we are sending this gesture to the entire world, to every nation, to every community, to every tribe, to every family, to every human being We are right now sending this gift to this invisible flower this sacred gesture and we are offering our
highest reference to each of them as a living Sacred and then we might like to
turn around and offered this mudra to the person sitting next to you and
recognize the very person next to you is also a living sacred Let’s try this exercise. Thank you for being so courageous to
open your heart. Thank you. We need people like you in the world. now I’m going
to offer a very simple prayer to give my aspiration, my blessing, to this wonderful Festival which is about to open I’m going to recite this very simple Buddhist mantra known as the mantra of interdependence It’s a mantra that has no doctrine, there are no Buddhist doctrine, this mantra This mantra has a meaning that all the auspecious causes and conditions come together and then auspicious fruition takes place. May there be an abundance of auspicious cause and conditions for this gathering. and so many colors, auspecious wisdom, understanding, love, harmony, unfold
through this meeting and may that force go everywhere in this world. To everywhere in ten directions.

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