home from meditation retreat

August 18, 2007   |   Leave a reply

There is no way to describe the magic that happens when 100 or so people work at studying their own minds from 7am to 9pm. Our retreat was a combination of practice and study. We heard amazing, incredible, generous, inspiring talks from our teacher, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. The students were in love with the teacher and it seemed mutual. During one of his talks, I asked a question about the practice of compassion which is so essential to the Buddhist path. But what does it mean? I asked, “When I cultivate compassion, I end up feeling very sad much of the time. How to retain equanimity? (Moping and whining can’t be what’s meant by compassion…) He suggested stabilizing whatever part of my mind I could–10%, 15%–while I was so sad, and seeing if I could increase it bit by bit. He also said, “Some of the greatest meditators have cried a lot,” and this gave me courage.

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