Manjushri and Prajnaparamita Teachings - June 2005
Residential Retreat with His Holiness 12th Gyalwang Drukpa Gaunts House, Dorset 30th May to 2nd June 2005
by Margaret de Bethlen/Jigme Tenzin Chodron
Of course any retreat with His Holiness is a great blessing, but somehow this retreat in the beauty of Gaunts House was exceptional for me. His Holiness taught on three texts nearly simultaneously- Manjushri Tantra Chitta, Prajnaparamita and the preliminaries.
Rather than limiting himself to explaining each separately, His Holiness blended the three with an emphasis on the insight of transcendent wisdom. As His Holiness pointed out, this is rarely done. I felt that we were really being given the main key to the jigsaw puzzle by this in-depth layering of meaning. It was as though His Holiness was hammering the three texts together with the 'nail' of ultimate truth.
He gave us quite direct and uncompromisingly clear explanations and advice on integrating our lives with ultimate truth: 'Have pleasure with satisfaction, not dissatisfaction' ' we should be aware of where satisfaction and dissatisfaction come from' . . 'if you don't find the cause of dissatisfaction you will run until you are exhausted and it is too late, led by that feeling of dissatisfaction'
He strongly re-emphasised the key importance of bodhicitta in achieving transcendent wisdom : 'Knowledge can only radiate with the presence of loving kindness'. This transformed and deepened our understanding, especially of the daily practices we feel so familiar with. At the end we promised ourselves, as His Holiness advised, to diligently clear out the samsaric sludge of our 'nonsense boxes', giving way at long last to the beautiful lotus of transcendent wisdom. Hopefully His Holiness will soon catch a glimpse of this happening, feel encouraged and continue treating us to such essential teachings!