On November 19th I attended a Dharma and Meditation workshop hosted by Wade Gotwals at Nature Yoga Sanctuary. The evening was led by Buddhist monk Kelsang Dorje. "His humorous approach to challenging life subjects will truly give you the tools to change your perception and change your life".
The evening started with some light pranayama (breathing) and yoga to prepare our bodies to sit, led by Wade and then Kelsang Dorje spoke on life. Our life is based on our perceptions, we all are intertwined, and how to live in love. Our worlds are based on our own experiences and perceptions. If you see the world through rose colored glasses it will be a rose colored world. Knowing this it is easy to change the way you choose to see and experience the world. Kelsang Dorje compares it to a hot coal. If someone were to throw a hot coal to you and you catch it, you would choose to drop it immediately because it burns. And the next time someone threw a hot coal at you, you wouldn't even reach to grab it. However, so many times in life we choose to carry or hold onto this hot coal as we move through life. He relates this to carrying negative thoughts, images, experience and perceptions. We need to learn the lesson and make the choice to drop the coal and not pick it up again.
He spoke on "love". That to love someone basically means to wish them happiness and an end to suffering. That there is no limit to the amount of love we have to give or receive. Therefore why not give love to everyone. Wouldn't the world be a much nicer place to move about if while passing people in the world they were sending love to you and you to them. Yes, there are different types of love and different karmic connections which allow us to relate deeper to one another but the basic feeling of love is the same. When you look at it from this point to love someone doesn't mean you have to agree with them, approve of their actions, or want them to become your best friend or lover. It just means that you wish them happiness. Seems easy enough, right? Easy to do when you are in the community that is supporting that common good, much harder to do in the busy city when someone has just cut you off. There is the challenge. When that person cuts you off, can you take a deep breath and wish them happiness and an end to their suffering. Choosing to see that maybe they really do need to get somewhere before you. Or at least not let it be the hot coal that you carry around for the rest of your day passing along to others. Instead of tossing or carrying the coal, the challenge is to carry or pass the love.
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Kelsang Dorje and hearing his teachings. I am trying to meditate more throughout my week and move through the world with love in my heart.
If you would like to experience Kelsang Dorje and his teachings. Here are a few of his upcoming workshops and website. For more info and upcoming events visit www.meditateinchicago.org
Believing Karma: The Power to Change our life
Vajrayana Kadampa Buddhist Center
13 Harison St, Oak Park 60304
November 1 - December 13
Center on Halsted
3656 N. Halsted St Room #202
Chicago, IL 60313
November 2 - December 14
Feel free to drop into any class. Everyone is welcome. $10/class
The Blessing Empowerment of Enlightened Mother Arya Tara
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Cost: $65 (includes light vegetarian lunch)
Vajrayana Kadampa Buddhist Center
13 Harrision Street
Oak Park, IL 60304
To register for this special event email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 708.763.0132