So many of you have been writing me and asking me how to fit spiritual practice into your fast paced modern life that I felt that it was a worthy topic for my session at the second International Conference on Tibetan Buddhism, at Emory University in Atlanta, with the Dalai Lama, a truly joyous occasion. The session titled, Encountering Modernity: Buddhism in the Modern World and Western Culture, discussed the challenges and opportunities we find now with the tremendous spiritual hunger and need in the fast-paced and changing world today, while we have a great reservoir-like treasure trove in the Tibetan tradition and that we as Bodhisattvas and teachers need to work on the skillful means and delivery systems to serve and supply this demand.
I would like to share with you some of the luminous thoughts that can help you in your journey of finding a place for spirituality and mindfulness amidst the chaotic, frenetic pace of life today
His Holiness the Dalai Lama was quoted as saying:
“America is the symbol of the free world. If it gets demoralized, it’s the end of the free world. So be strong and decisive. Help develop world peace through inner peace along with altruistic social engagement and compassionate action. Take responsibility for a better and safer world.”
Acharya Dr. Judith Simmer-Brown of Naropa Institute said:
“Not just thinking individually as Buddhist practitioners but also communally, and collectively developing strong practice communities and uplifted households for now and the future.”
Sogyal Rinpoche summed up our mission by saying, in his keynote,
“The real nonsectarian Buddhism is all of us working together— friendly, collaborative and collegial, so that a new way of Dharma will emerge and contribute to the future of Dharma and society.”
Mr Tibet New York, Professor Robert Thurman, talked about demilitarization and disarmament, and the need for wisdom and mind training in higher education. Gelek Rinpoche stressed basing Dharma in the modern world essentially on the three liberating trainings— ethics, meditation and wisdom— and the view meditation, action and result of the deepest teachings.
There is no need to feel alone in your challenges. The greatest minds in the Buddhist community recognize modern day life presents unique challenges to seekers.
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