Thursday the 18th of September we were once again gathered together at Dragvoll. Three members had also met and seen a video of Ven. Khandro Rinpoche talking about compassion vs. competition earlier this week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOBqMuNZTFE
This Thursday we meditated again upon Sharon Salzberg’s guided meditation about metta (loving kindness/compassion). We then drank some tea and listened some more to her teachings. We then discussed and reflected upon the five mindfulness trainings.
The Five Mindfulness Trainings represent the Buddhist vision for a global spirituality and ethic. They are a concrete expression of the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the path of right understanding and true love, leading to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world. To practice the Five Mindfulness Trainings is to cultivate the insight of interbeing, or Right View, which can remove all discrimination, intolerance, anger, fear, and despair. If we live according to the Five Mindfulness Trainings, we are already on the path of a bodhisattva. Knowing we are on that path, we are not lost in confusion about our life in the present or in fears about the future.
See http://plumvillage.org/mindfulness-practice/the-5-mindfulness-trainings/ for further information.
It is important not to forget that the trainings is not promises, but practices. Just to be aware of the trainings themselves is a blessing indeed. And to strive to maintain them may not only bring happiness upon yourself, but to others as well. They can also be summed up as the following:
1) To undertake the training to avoid taking the life of beings.
2) To undertake the training to avoid taking things not given.
3) To undertake the training to avoid sensual misconduct.
4) To undertake the training to refrain from false speech.
5) To undertake the training to abstain from substances which cause intoxication and heedlessness.
We ended the session with a mundane prayer, and then a few of us took refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha by making prostrations.