Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Buddhist Youth Festival

Awakening the Rimé Spirit!

I just came back from the Buddhist Youth Festival, and like all participants, my heart is filled with love and inspiration. Probably a little more than half the participants were new to the Dharma. From what I've seen, every single one of them has made a good connection with the Dharma and many want to start meditating at home and learn more.

Wonderful as that is, I took home even more! I'm deeply touched by the Rimé spirit; the ecumenical or eclectic movement of respecting and studying all different schools and lineages of the Dharma. Sharing our devotion for our teachers and the Three Jewels I have been deeply moved by practitioners of different lineages, that I know little about. It has filled me with enthusiasm to study different traditions and receive teachings from many more teachers.
My master, Sogyal Rinpoche, encourages students not to shop around too much but first to establish a solid basis in one tradition. At the same time, he invites many of the greatest teachers to teach and give empowerments in Rigpa's main retreat centre, Lerab Ling.
So it has been through his kindness that I've received teachings from some of the greatest masters of our time, from all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, such as H.H. The Dalai Lama, H.H. Sakya Trizin and Kyabjé Trulshik Rinpoche and will receive teachings from the 17th Karmapa next summer.
In my experience, even having received teachings from many other masters, it's easy to think that your teacher and your Sangha are the coolest. Simply because it takes a long time really to be able to see the amazing qualities of a teacher and the practices you do. Superficial knowledge of other traditions can never bring such appreciation.

But what I have found during this festival, meeting other devoted and dedicated practitioners, opening your heart to them and celebrating the profound beauty of the Dharma, can bring about this appreciation!
There is a special joy in sharing your love for the Dharma with other young people. Those of us who are part of a Sangha mostly find ourselves amongst a majority of 40-60 year olds in our own groups. There is a kind of almost instant connection and depth of intimacy when you meet one of those rare young people devoted the to Dharma and dedicated to benefit all sentient beings.

I hope to make many more of such friends in the future and will make every effort to do so!

Thank you!

Find out about the Buddhist Youth Festival
or the Rimé Movement.

This is not meant as a report of the Buddhist Youth Festival 2009, describing the different workshops and the kick-ass new years eve party. I'm just sharing here what the experience has brought me.

Read a more general report on the festival in the Shambhala Times!

1 comment: