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Monty McKeever's picture

Hi Pat,

I'm going to email you in a moment.

best,
Monty McKeever
Tricycle

Pat Collingwood's picture

sorry to begin my first contact on the discussion board with another plea to be able to view the video?
I am trying to view from Scotland on my Mac and although the first time I opened the video I was able to watch I have been unable to watch since then although I do keep on trying to join in.
Hoping you can help??

joriki5's picture

Am I the only one who can't view the video?

Sorry
The creator of this video has not given you permission to embed it on this domain. This is a Vimeo Plus feature.

Monty McKeever's picture

Hi Joriki5,

I am going to email you, we should be able to troubleshoot this.

best,
Monty

mobbins's picture

Dear Pamela and Khedrub,
Thank you for your generous teaching and articulate and warm methods of sharing this practice.
I am finding your encouragement to let go and follow the journey of unpleasant emotions extremely helpful. I have a very painful injury that may take a long time to heal. When I allow myself to just feel the pain and how it moves and changes without letting my emotions create panic, it is all much more manageable.
I look forward to the next part of the retreat.
All the best,
Marjorie

Khedrub Zangmo's picture

Dear Marjorie,
Thank you for applying the teachings and confirming that it helps! I am grateful to everyone who practices when the going gets tough. We all tend to forget to put the teachings into practice in the heat of the moment and therefore find it so helpful to be reminded. Without modern day practitioners and living examples these precious teachings would get lost. May your recovery go smoothly.
In gratitude,
Khedrub

binidoo's picture

Dear Pamela & Khedrub:
Thank you so much for your teaching. I am going to try and "trade places" with my husband and sincerely wish for his happiness when he gets under my skin, rather than getting angry at him. Please wish me luck!
I'll let you know how it goes. :)
Katharine

Pamela Gayle White's picture

Good luck Katharine! That's the wonderful thing about this practice - there's always an opportunity to apply it! Warm wishes, Pamela

HT's picture

I'm afraid of boredom and what letting go may mean to my life. The Buddha before his enlightenment lived a life of unsurpassed luxury and leisure and at the height of it abandoned it for a life of asceticism. I'm still bound by my desires. Even though I know they ultimately lead to suffering, I really cannot imagine a life without desire. I feel it is what connects me to this world and I am fearful of the emptiness from the absence of it.

Khedrub Zangmo's picture

Dear HT,
You bring up a very important point. What does it mean to let go of desire? It means to let go of suffering when desire is unfulfilled or when the objects of our desires are taken away. It means to release ourselves from the addictive cycle of desire that causes us to want more and more of a good thing even when having it is destructive. We still highly recommend appreciating life and it's pleasures without doing harm. This takes cultivated and refined awareness. Appreciating life means appreciating every bit of it, whatever comes your way. So rather than thinking things have to be a certain way to be happy, we make the most of the opportunities right in front of us. We connect to everyone and everything through our interest in the well being of all.
Thank you for this excellent question,
Khedrub

Will.Rowe's picture

I went through a process of letting go of resentments several years ago. By getting them out of my head and on paper, I was simply amazed that I had allowed them to make me miserable for so long. It made no sense; it made me feel bad, and did not hurt the ones that I believed injured me. Then I looked closer and saw that it was mostly trifles anyway. And I had caused plenty of harm to others, so how could I hold on to the "injury' that I had incurred. So I was able to let them go. It was really easy, but my heart had to be where my head was for this to occur.

However, not allowing resentments to enter in has been at times much more difficult, as anyone in a relationship surely knows. Daily meditation has allowed me to make progress here. Simply by allowing the thoughts or emotions to leave me for the time on the cushion brings me relief and gives me some clarity, and even some honesty. And guess what? I often find that I bear much responsibility too.

Confronting emotions, I have found to be much more difficult than confronting thoughts.

Once someone close to me put me into a financial debt for which I was responsible and for which I am still paying. I was off for vacation, and my initial thought was that they have ruined my time off. Yet I sat everyday more than once and confronted a wall of emotion til eventually I overcame it. Finally, I realized then that life is sometimes unfair, and I must accept this. It took me a few weeks to get there, but it is so much better then trying to escape reality, which I once did. No matter how far I ran, I never escaped it anyway.

Khedrub Zangmo's picture

Dear Will,
Thank you for sharing your practice experiences. It takes courage and perseverance to face the mind when it is filled with afflicting emotions. And this is what we need to do to gain clarity and insight. The notion of reality is interesting because it actually changes as we go along. We refer to "things as they are" which includes both absolute and relative truth. What is curious is that cultivating awareness of the ever-changing relative flow of experience leads us to an awareness of absolute reality because these realities are inseparable. If we persist in focusing on the physical energy and sensations of powerful emotions while practicing letting go of the story that catalyzed these emotions we will come to see absolute reality and realize the ultimate nature of mind. This way of practicing gives rise to tremendous gratitude to all the various circumstances of life that give us the opportunity and impetus to train this deeper awareness of reality.
Best wishes to you,
Khedrub

richard.murden7's picture

Beginners Mind~~~So beautiful. As a daily practitioner for the past 18 years, I never tire of sitting. Just keeping it simple requires so little and gives so much. Thank You !

Richard Murden

be's picture

I have recently moved to a very beautiful rural area that is a blessing in its peacefulness. The path of meditation is a road less traveled here and you are helping to restore my sense of spiritual community.
Thank you. Kori

Danzen's picture

Pamela & Khedrub, thank you for the help with my meditation skills.Your retreat on letting go and calming the mind has been a great help.In these days of all the crazy things that life can throw at us it is sometimes hard to calm the mind.But I have found that the more I practice and concentrate on my body and breath the easier it gets for me to get relaxed and meditate.Until next weeks retreat and your dharma teachings metta to you both. Dan

Pamela Gayle White's picture

Hello Dan and thanks for joining us! Yes, the simple fact of settling the mind on the moment's sensations or the breath can be such powerful magic! It is a revelation when we realize that we don't actually have to grasp all of those thoughts and disturbing emotions... Warm wishes your way, Pamela

pierrerowe's picture

Hello, I practice Zen in the Soto tradition and at first I was reluctant to listen in because I have had some "bad" experiences with stuff from other traditions-in particular, a book by Alexandra David-Neel called the Buddhism of the Buddha-which got me totally off the track because the Tibetan tradition is in many ways so different from the Soto tradition. At least in terms of the way we meditate. I listened in though because I had read the little text on the site before the retreat and found the advice sound, and profound. Like at first I thought "naah, stick to your tradition" but then I found myself coming back to this "idea" of letting go, despite myself, and the I said "no, listen, you can learn from all the traditions. Buddhism is one big river, isn't it ? You gotta live that too". I listened in, was immediately and discreetly infused with the warmth of what you are saying, put this stuff into practice, and found I hadn't stopped being a Soto Zen Buddhist anyhow. What was I afraid of ?

Khedrub Zangmo's picture

Protecting ourselves can be very intelligent, like new little plants that need a hot house environment. At first we are very vulnerable and so we need to take good care. And this care enables us to grow stronger. Being in an authentic lineage like Soto Zen is really helpful and has protected you so that you grow stronger in practice, in confidence and in trusting your own intuition.
Best Wishes, Pierre.

tetunney's picture

Pamela and Khedrub,Thank you for the important teaching. Watching you work together is so lovely and, in and of itself, inspiring indeed.

Many years ago I began to use the phrase, "let it be" rather than let it go and, on a personal level, I found this to be quite helpful. I had always felt like I was trying to push unwanted thoughts away and struggling to let go. Of course, when one pushes we set up the opposite force.

I so enjoyed your very helpful presentation and wonder if you would care to comment on the above.

Khedrub Zangmo's picture

I am happy that you found a phrase that helps you so much. I think you found a skillful way to let go by using a phrase that resonates with you. We all come from such different experiences and we all need to take the teachings and make them work for us, make them personal to our life. My comment to you is, "Bravo!"

Pamela Gayle White's picture

Thank you for joining us Thea! That poem was from the book, but five of Gendun Rinpoche's poems rendered by his translator Lama Rinchen, including her translation of the one I read during the meditation video, can be found here:
http://www.dhagpo-kagyu.org/anglais/science-esprit/themes_supplement/cha...

thea03's picture

Thank you, Dharma Teachers Pamela and Khedrub for your beautiful and skillful teaching on letting go, and on your instruction and demonstration of meditation. Would it be possible to post the reading from Gendun Rinpoche on meditation?

alalaho's picture

thank you for reminded us that we have a choice and encouraging our willingness to change our mind.
it would be wonderful to learn more about this great Master, Gendun Rinpoche. perhaps a review of this book on his teachings, "Heart Advice from a Mahamudra Master", would be a good start.

thank you Pamela & Khedrub,
cesar

Pamela Gayle White's picture

Hello Cesar! In addition to what Khedrub has posted, I'd like to add a quick sketch about Gendun Rinpoche.
He was from eastern Tibet, a profoundly accomplished meditation master who was sent by his teacher, the 16 Gyalwa Karmapa, to France to establish centers for learning about the Dharma and putting it into practice. His presence, compassion and dedication were the key factors in establishing the Dhagpo Kagyu mandala, an extensive network of Tibetan Buddhist centers throughout France and beyond.
He lived simply, practiced all day long, loved to laugh, was unimaginably patient with us, his unruly and stubborn students, and was a shining beacon of wisdom and kindness in these dark and troubling times.
We never saw any traces of ego, of self-interest, of self-indulgence in him.
He left us in 1997, soon after our retreat cycle was over.
You can get a glimpse of him on youtube - search for Gendun Rinpoche; refuge & bodhicitta.

Khedrub Zangmo's picture

Thanks for joining us, Cesar. Apart from the two book reviews on Amazon.com I know of no others as yet but the book is newly translated into English. The best way to know Gendun Rinpoche is through his teachings. He was a humble yogi who lived to serve all sentient beings. He spent 37 years of his life in retreat and the rest building a retreat center and hermitage monastery according to the wishes of his teacher the 16th Karmapa. He lived beside the 3 year retreat center and personally guided the retreatants in their practice. He cared for his students like a mother with an only child. You can actually see some clips of him on youtube.com.

Edith's picture

What really strikes me about your presentation here, apart from its loveliness and deep sense of peacefulness and tranquility, is how you seem to be applying what one learns on the meditation cushion to our daily lives. You are teaching us here practical measures for integrating the message of the Buddha into the next moment and the one after it and the one after that, how to live like a Buddha every day and everywhere, in all situations. Thank you.

Pamela Gayle White's picture

Thank you so much for joining us! The poem is from Heart Advice from a Mahamudra Master, a book of Gendun Rinpoche's teachings. With warm wishes, Pamela and Khedrub

Happiness cannot be found
through great effort and will,
but is already there, perfect and complete,
in relaxation and letting go.

Do not worry, there is nothing to do.
Whatever appears in mind has no importance,
since it has no reality.
Do not hold on to it, and do not judge.

Let the play happen by itself,
arising and passing,
without changing anything -
everything vanishes and reappears, without end.

Only your searching for happiness
prevents you from seeing it,
just like a rainbow that you chase
without ever reaching it.

Although happiness does not exist,
it has always been there
and accompanies you
in every moment.

Do not believe that good
or bad experiences are real.
They are like rainbows.
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,
you exhaust yourself in vain.

As soon as you relax this grasping,
space is there - open, inviting and joyful.
Make use of it.
All is yours already.

Do not search any further.
Do not enter the impenetrable jungle
to search for the elephant
that is already quietly at home.

Nothing to do,
nothing to force,
nothing to wish for -
and everything happens by itself.

Work4Justice's picture

Thank you so very much for posting the poem. I really enjoyed reading after having heard you read it last weekend! Enjoying your retreat very much. Thank you!

Brucio's picture

Hi Pamela and Khedrub,

When I read "There is nothing to do", I think back on my day: all the focused conversations, the apparently endless to do list, the thinking, thinking, thinking that my job seems to require. Here at home in the evening, I feel the rightness of "nothing to do", but how to reach that point when I'm trying to understand the details of a student's computer technology, or figuring out how to motivate him? I'd love to stop in the moment, even when the other members of the school team are waiting for me to say something relevant. I wonder what they'd think if I just looked at them!

Bruce

Khedrub Zangmo's picture

Dear Bruce,
I asked Lama Gendun the same question once and he made the clear distinction between being on the cushion or off of it. The poem refers to the attitude we take on the cushion. In post meditation we do have to respond as best we can in the situation. And after the fact we may wish we had done it differently. The more we practice and become attuned to our wisdom/compassion mind the more our words and actions will come from this pure place. Until then, well, we muddle along learning how much we have to learn. This is a good thing! It is a bit of a messy job but this only bothers the ego mentality. The Enlightened attitude loves the process of purification.
Best Wishes,
Khedrub

Brucio's picture

Thanks, Khedrub. I will be patient with myself in all those focused moments at work, trusting that more and more my words and actions will come from wisdom and compassion.

Bruce

BeardedOne's picture

Yes, thank you for the early post. What a great way to focus on what is needed. I, too, would love to see a printed version the poem. I look forward to each week of retreat & anxiously look forward to the rest of this practice. Again, thank you for your time in teaching us.

Work4Justice's picture

Thank you for posting the talk early. It has set my weekend on the right path and gives me much to contemplate. Could you share a printed version of the poem about happiness? It holds so many truths that it would be a helpful daily reminder. Thank you for reminding us that the ultimate happiness is already within us and not in some distant, unattainable place. Now we just have to learn to let go of all of the emotions that stand between our hearts and that happiness. In gratitude!