This past week I spent in silence at the Introduction to Buddhism meditation retreat at Tushita. It was a very very incredible experience in which I learned alot about Buddism as well as myself. Between the notes that I took from the teachings and all of my thoughts I filled an entire journal. I definitely hope that I’ll be able to come back here some day, or maybe visit another monastary somewhere else in the world!
Things I Like About Buddhism:
- We are not told that this is ‘the way’ and ‘the only way’. In fact, we are told to be skepticle and chek thigns out for ourselves, see if they fit.
- It’s all about truth, compassion and love.
- Karma encourages you to do good things
- Mindfulness and awareness are key.
- All that is wanted is the end to suffering.
- The idea that everything exists dependently.
- We are required to pay close attention to our intentions
- Our idea of ‘reality’ is really just a projection of our minds. Attachement to these ideas we create result in us (and others in many cases) suffering. We have the ability to recognize that we do not know the true reality of things and therefore are able to prevent suffering due to attachment.
- Prostrating (bowing down) to the statues of Buddha or the teachers isn’t actually bowing down the Buddha or the teachers, it’s bowing down to the enlightened mind and the teachings. “Look at it like a dipper: It won’t fill up unless you lower it into the water” It’s opening ourselves up to the ideas and teachings.
- Faith with reason is a very important factor.
- Within Buddhism there is something for everyone.
- It’s about your mind, your meditation, your own experience.
- It’s a search for happiness, not only your own but everyones.
- There’s debate if it’s even considered a religion.
- Meditration is a way to ook into yourself for explaination and happiness.
- There is no judgement.
- There is recognition that acting out your negative emotions of reacting in negative ways are not good things to do.
- Observation of your thoughts lead to clarity.
- You don’t need to believe in anything to have results from meditation, just like you don’t need to believe in anything to get results from lifting weights.
- You’re encouraged to step out of your shoes and look from another perspective.
- Trying to understand the reality of other people, with compassion, is very important.
Ex) We should prevent ourselves from acting in agner, but we should not hold other people to this same standard. Instead we should act with compassion.
Things I Don’t Want To Forget About Tushita:
- The coldness and the coziness of bundling up.
- The one girl with the ridiculous giggle that broke the silence so many times
- There are so many stars and they are so bright!
- The lovely Australian lady that sat next to me in the gompa
- How almost everyone is so sick and coughing and making meditation almost impossible because its so hard to concentrate
- The sound of our voices chanting the mantras
- Breakfast – porridge, biscuits and bananas. Lunch – dahl, rice and vegetables. Dinner – souo and biscuits.
- Lemon ginger tea, chai, hot milk and black tea served all day, every day!
- The monkeys stealing food during our meals and watching us do yoga on the rooftop
- The earthquake that woke me up one night at 2 am and scared the pants off me
- The gong waking us up every morning.
- The world in a nutshell: people from all over the world and all different ages.
- The power of meditation