27 May 2010
Today we went directly into practice, which I removed from the recording to make it easier to listen to. As you know by now, just do your own practice and then press play! Alan suggests that if we are just feeling “ordinary” or with no specific need to balance emotions, then Loving Kindness or Tonglen are always magnificent go-to practices.
After the meditation (and where this recording starts), we had an extremely juicy lecture. I usually say “juicy” when Alan gives marvelous scientific explanations but this time it was pure heart-food, with no physics attached.
The first minutes have a lot of short answers on different topics, such as a very brief recap on yesterday’s eating meat discussion (which did not make it to the podcast), some of the possible benefits (for some people, or for a period in our lifes) of celibacy and monastic ordnation, highlighting the simplicity that both bring. We also had a wonderful question from Ilse about beauty, which started with “Does a Bodhisattva enjoy flowers?” and the role of beauty and joy, followed by a very practical question from Ivan on the topic of Organ Donation and after-death awareness, to which Alan gives very practical points to reflect upon. All this in 15 minutes!
Then comes a question which might be extremely useful for all of us. It deals with how to acquire self-confidence and remedy problems such as low self worth and self esteem while avoiding pride completely. In addition to Alan’s brilliant answers, the question made him recall his first encounter with H.H. the Dalai Lama and the question he asked him back in 1971, which he was kind enough to share with us (and all of our worldwide listeners!) once again. It is a very touching and extremely meaningful story, in which H.H. The Dalai Lama’s words and actions serve to really overcome pride of any kind.
The photo is of a red lotus, both in reference to Ilse’s question and because of it’s connection to Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion (and I really don’t need to tell you why he is relevant to this episode... HINT: 1971)
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