A Trip to Dharamsala
I just got back from my first teaching with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamsala and I think it is the most significant awakening I have experienced in my life.
Having lived all my life in Singapore, I have no concept of refugees. There are Tibetans, born in Dharamsala India, who have never been to their motherland. Not because they do not want to, but because they can’t. They hold a refugee passport (what is that?!) that only allows them to travel within India and to a few other countries that are pro-Tibet.
The Tibetans try their best to make a living, raise kids and at the same time preserve the diminishing Tibetan culture by selling Tibetan handmade products and His Holiness’ memorabilia. It’s a hard life and I felt their pain intensely but at the same time felt helpless.
Fortunately, there are many supporters of Tibet in Singapore. There is the Tibetan Buddhist Center which was the main organizer of this trip to Dharamsala, the famous Amitaba Buddhist Center (a.k.a ABC) and the inspirational Tara, who has devoted many years of her life to helping Tibet and many others. All of this came about because someone felt strongly about it and did something.
That is why, single pointed concentration is so important. It is the practice that makes all great things possible. Co-incidentally (or was it?), the Dalai Lama’s teaching was on Chapter 7 of ‘A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ – Meditation. And it comes as no surprise to me that we are two weeks away from our first Shamatha (single pointed concentration) retreat with Douglas Veenhof ! I feel like I just hit the jackpot.
With love always,
(and the ACI Singapore team)
A Final Thought