The Concord sanghas recently had the honor of a visit from Geshe Dondup Tsering, a friend of Venerable Lobsang’s. Geshe-la gave us a two teachings on Kamalashila’s stages of meditation. We had studied this years ago with Lobsang, and it took several months, so this was more of a welcome refresher/overview of the material.
Geshe-la went over a few different types of meditation used during the stages, for example, equanimity meditation. In this meditation, you envision someone you are very close to and care deeply about, someone you don’t like or regard as an enemy, and someone you don’t know and are neutral about. By examining these perspectives, we may find that is is possible for people to travel between these states very easily, sometimes during the course of a single day! Seeing how ephemeral our impressions can be, we might over time reduce our overall attachments, and approach people and situations with a more open mind and heart.
Geshe-la was brave enough to broach the topic of emptiness, which can be difficult to grasp. He had some wonderful analogies, and also led us in an analytical mediation on the suffering of animals who are killed for food. It was a sombre, but thought-provoking exercise.
At the beginning of the new year, Geshe-la will undertake the Kalachakra Initiation conducted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Bodhgaya, and will follow that with a commitment to complete 100,000 prostrations. One of our sangha members suggested that we would pray for the well-being of Geshe-la’s knees! He hope that he meets this daunting and impressive challenge and visits us again next year.