Conference: The Teachings of Buddha, an Alive and Up-to-date Answer
The evening programme included a public conference at the Tres Reyes Hotel, Pamplona, entitled "The Teaching of Buddha, an Alive and Up-to-date Answer". At the beginning Shamar Rinpoche reminded the numerous people present of the close relationship he had with Bodhisattva Lama Jesus. He expressed his happiness for having finally been able to visit his Centre to meet the Buddhists of the area, who he has kept present in his mind throughout all these years.
Shamar Rinpoche introduced the topic highlighting the role that the teachings of Buddha are having in both the East and the West in enabling people to live in a more balanced and fuller way.
The conference focused particularly on two points which are basic to Buddhism: The Four Noble Truths and the notion of Karma. These enable people, independently of their beliefs or religion, to analyse their present situation and understand that suffering, on the contrary to what is usually believed, does not come from external causes, but rather from the lack of peace in our mind.
In this way we are able to understand that what has always directed our thoughts and our acts is the clinging to a non-existent ego. If we modify our internal attitude with the help of meditation we can calm our mind and discover its authentic wisdom nature, thus achieving temporal and absolute happiness for ourselves and for all sentient beings.
Teaching: Lodjong - Refuge and Amitabha Initiation
On Sunday 22nd at 10.30 in the Iruña Park Hotel, Pamplona, Shamar Rinpoche gave a teaching on "Lodjong. The training of the mind in seven points."
Lodjong is a simple practice, but at the same time it is extremely vast and profound because it leads us to achieve Awakening. Shamar Rinpoche explained the first two of the seven points, which are the most important, the remaining five being a help to develop the first two.
The first of the points of Lodjong is the Preliminary Practice, which consists in a profound reflection on the Four Fundamental Thoughts.
- Awareness of the value of the Precious Human Existence, which is the only form of existence which allows us to achieve Awakening.
- The impermanence of all things and the fragility of this life.
- The Law of Karma: the law of cause and effect.
- The unsatisfactory nature of Samsara, full of the problems intrinsic to human existence, among which we find illness, old age and death.
This reflection allows us to become aware of the need to take advantage of this life to follow the path towards Awakening.
The practice of Shine meditation is also essential as a preliminary meditation to calm the mind.
The second point is the practice of the two Bodhichittas: the relative and the absolute.
Relative Bodhichitta is the main practice of Lodjong and is called Tonglen, which consists in taking the suffering of all beings and exchanging it for the maximum happiness.
Absolute Bodhichitta is the way to eliminate the mind's ignorance and recognize its real nature.
To end this memorable visit, in the evening at the Iruña Park Hotel, the Initiation ceremony of Buddha Amitabha was held, preceded by the taking of Refuge for all those who wanted to begin practising Buddhism.