This week I went to a meditation and talk at inner city Sydney sanctuary Anahata Therapies, with the Venerable Lobsang Tibetan Buddhist Monk Tendar. Through his eyes I learned about a Monks secret….
Monk Tendar passionately shared with us growing up in poverty, being held captive by Chinese military for many months with little food, light, clothing or warmth whilst exposed to constant brutality and beatings. This was not because he had done anything wrong; it was for his Buddhist beliefs, which included not harming others, mediation, education, love and compassion for all.
“Our bodies” he explained “are merely vessels for our soul on this earth. When we go to sleep at night we don’t know where our mind goes – it can go wondering to any part of the world or universe. It can go here, there and everywhere! We can learn this through meditation too.”
With deep meditation Monk Tendar was able to silence his mind and ‘remove himself’ from his body whilst being tortured. He grew from this learning ignorance was not bliss and how having a compassionate mind not full of hate was his saviour.
Monk Tendar explained your mind has to be strong. “Like an athlete each day you can train your mind to learn wholeness and not be caught up in small things that don’t matter like attachment and anger, which can make you weak in character.” Through meditation he was able to take his mind to another place, this kept him strong in spirit; and without this he explained would not be alive today.
His Tibetan family, friends and community are still in Tibet, with little education and hope for a new way of life. He was cheerful though; “Our mediation group was helping through being here today.” Monk Tendar’s mission in life is to give his community the chance they deserve and teach us, in the Western world about true compassion and unconditional love, which leads to understanding, growth and enlightenment.
“A dog” he explains with a cheerful grin “can be left in your house all day. However if you come home your dog will wag it’s tale and be very excited to see you. However you leave a child at home, the child will not be happy to see you. They will be very upset. We can learn from the dog, they love us no matter what – it’s unconditional. The dog knows true love without expectation. This of course (he explains) does not mean we should leave child in the house alone – nooo don’t do that!”
He gave another example of attachment. “We have attachment to things that can make us very, very upset. Take for example your cup. You have a cup and it’s ‘your’ cup. Somebody touches your cup. No you say that is my cup!
But what does it matter? It’s only a material thing. Why does it make you upset? Why not share your cup? Why does sharing make you so unhappy?
This attachment you have created is not real it’s only by limiting your thoughts. Attachment leads to ignorance, which is not for our wholeness of wellbeing and growth to enlightenment.”
Monk Tendar explained we have options in life unless being held captive it’s our choice with whom we’d like to surround ourselves with. It’s also our choice on how we respond to ignorance and negativity, which is a heavy energy to be around especially if empathic (able to feel things).
I met with my friend during the week telling him about my meditation experience. Not the most ‘spiritual’ of people but an amazing friend and soul. Doing his best to understand – “So Tameera what did you come away with from all this?”…”A Tibetan blanket made with Yak hair and a meditation cushion…”
I laughed – “All the money goes to the Buddhist community in Tibet. Not the answer you were looking for?!” “I learned about enlightenment and hope you did too…”
Life is what we make of it – it’s our choice on how we grow. Daily meditation even 5 or 10 minutes a day can help take you out of yourself, to center and feel the wholeness around.
Monk Tendar suggests surrounding ourselves with the people we feel good with and can grow living positively. Anything less is quite simply stunting our growth to feeling light.
Do you have an enlightening experience you’d like to share?
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