Mindfulness – A Way of Being
In March 2014, I spent three days with the Dalai Lama. As always, I was struck by his humility and his warm heartedness. Reflecting on my own intention, I thought, why do I practice meditation? As we become more aware of our own suffering, more accepting of it and more compassionate towards ourselves, the benefit of the practice can no longer be limited to ourselves. The warm heartedness and humility that I experience from the Dalai Lama is for me a manifest example of the depth of his practice. It is a deep recognition of interconnectedness with others experienced through a tender and compassionate nature.
The Dalai Lama recounted the story of an elderly Tibetan monk who had been in a Chinese Gulag for eighteen years. When asked about his experience and the dangers he had faced during his long detention, the monk replied, ‘Yes, on two or three occasions, I felt I was in danger’. When the Dalai Lama asked if his life had been in danger, the monk replied, ‘No, I mean I was in grave danger of losing my compassion for those who were torturing me.’
Listening to this narrative, many among us were moved to tears.
Why do we need a compassionate mind and a recognition of the inter-connectedness of all? The practice of compassion, the Dalai Lama tells us benefits us. It offers resilience against trauma. It certainly did for this monk.
Is it possible to find peace in the midst of suffering? Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh speaks of two arrows and distinguishes between pain and suffering. The first arrow is the arrow of pain which is inevitable because we have a human body. But most of us shoot a second arrow at ourselves. Thus, while pain is inevitable, suffering is not. The second arrow of suffering is where we have choice in how we attend to the inevitable first arrow of pain, which is part of the human condition.
Mindfulness meditation is a systematic practice to discover intimately the presence of suffering, its causes and the ways of accessing wellness and peace. We start with the self, but we don’t end with the self.
It gives me great joy to offer this forthcoming course in London which combines insights from the Mindfulness tradition and Existential Therapy. I will be delighted to welcome you if you are able to attend.
- Mindfulness Course in Regent’s University, Central London : ‘Mindfulness – Nourishing the Domain of Being’. Starting Sun 12 Oct, 11am – 6 pm, followed by Sundays 19 Oct, 26, 9 Nov, 11 am – 6 pm. CPD 24 hours. Fee £305/£280 students.
To register, please use link below. For any queries regarding the course, please contact Jyoti Nanda at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
w: www.mindfultherapy.co.uk e: firstname.lastname@example.org