59 Where Do We Go From Here?

 
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Prior to meditation Alan reviews the progression of the teachings. We begin by opening the door to Dharma by creating authentic motivation, which, he points out, is not necessarily Buddhist. We move from this spirit of emergence to cultivating the four immeasurables through meditation, beginning with loving-kindness. This begins with ourselves, gradually ‘spreading the net’ wider to those around us and beyond. Subsequently we progress to the remaining three. We then develop the ‘Greats’, for example great loving-kindness, culminating in great equanimity, which was addressed yesterday. The initial cultivation is couched in aspiration but the ‘Greats’ are couched in intention. So where do we go from here? The next step is to develop extraordinary resolve to free all sentient beings. This might seem so high it appears unattainable, but we bring it down to right where we are now, aligning our lives with Dharma. Each of us has a unique web of sentient beings around us, therefore we can be of unique service to them. Alan points out that we are not an homogenous Buddha, but the unique Buddha we realise ourselves to be. The emphasis in this marvellous resolve is to start right now, to practice Dharma in our everyday lives, so that sentient beings benefit. During the mediation we are asked to use our best facsimile of this intention, whatever we have at the moment is good enough for now. Alan also quotes from inspiring verses from Shantideva. Meditation is on Relative Bodhichitta. Following meditation Alan emphasises the importance of starting immediately to practise Dharma. He refers to one of his teachers (Geshe Ngawang Dhargye) who told him not to let his life slip by without cultivating Bodhichitta – start now. Meditation starts at 20:00 ___ Course notes, other episodes and resources for this retreat are available here The text for this retreat can be purchased via the SBI Store. Finally, Please contribute to help us afford the audio equipment we rent to make these, and future podcasts freely available.

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