Yes! we can

This is from wor Arleen.

Remember that when you think I cannot change – according to Dharma this is both wrong and lazy. Another inspiring example.

Thank you Arleen

Arleen’s set-up for Dharma class

My name is Arleen Hull – and I’m becoming, what I believe is commonly called, a ‘silver surfer’ as I’m definitely a regular (though not necessarily an enthusiastic) user of the internet.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve learned how to engage in ‘UTube streaming’ and instant video conferencing, who would have thought!? Certainly not me!! So, what’s my motivation for all this ‘newfangled’ technology I’m getting to grips with? It’s so I can keep in touch with the Compassion Centre, my Teacher, Buddha’s teachings and my Sangha – my spiritual friends. And, as one of the Teachers at the Compassion Centre, I’ve also led a video conferencing meditation session, which definitely shows that ‘an old dog can learn new tricks’! 😊

As Geshe-la said in his message to us for NKT day on the 4th April,

“we see an unusual situation “.

It certainly is unusual, our current situation of social distancing, to name only one aspect, can definitely be described as both unusual and uncommon. However, unusual also has a variety of definitions, it can also be described as remarkable, different, interesting and extraordinary and those are the definitions I like to think about.

I find it remarkable how quickly we’ve all adapted to explore different ways of coming together, how our community has developed and expanded. It’s extraordinary that we’re all interacting so closely together with the aim of wanting to develop a peaceful and happy mind.
I was also so happy to see that 5000 Kadampas worldwide joined together to celebrate NKT day and tomorrow and on the 8th of each month we can globally join in Tara – Liberation from Sorrow prayers. The distance in miles may be there but I definitely don’t feel distant from anyone praying and meditating together for the well-being of everyone.

Something happened to me recently that made me realise how easy it is to forget that everything – including ourself – changes. My Financial Advisor phoned me, he’s someone I’ve known for years and, before I retired, we worked for the same boss. He was phoning to discuss the current situation and how the stock market was reacting on a world-wide scale and he was very apologetic, saying how he realised how worried I was bound to be etc. When he realised that far from being worried, I was very calm and totally able to accept that whatever the future holds, is fine by me. He even remarked how much I’d changed from the Arleen he knew 10 years ago. That Arleen definitely wouldn’t have been so calm and accepting. It made me realise that – yes – I had changed, and for the better and that’s what 10 years of being part of a Buddhist Community and listening to and practising Buddha’s teaching can do.
For me, it’s the feeling of connectedness I have rather than isolation, that’s the most interesting aspect of this present situation. I stay at home – alone – doing as I’m told and only shopping once a week and going out occasionally for exercise and yet, after 4 weeks, this usually fairly gregarious, some may even say extrovert person, doesn’t feel at all lonely, I feel more peaceful and more closely connected to others. In fact, my experience of this unusual situation has been one of becoming simply – more content.