Nelson Buddhist Centre

TARCHIN’S RECENT TEACHINGS AT NBC

A highlight for us all in April was Tarchin Hearn’s weekend of teaching. Having just completed a retreat at Wangapeka Retreat Centre, it was a supremely generous act to offer us two weekend teachings.

Our new Centre is proving to be a warm and inviting space for visiting teachers and students alike. Tarchin’s teachings were well attended and the shrine room pleasantly full. There is no substitute for being present in the room, as these occasions are immersive activities, whole body-mind experiences for teachers and students alike.

We’ve probably all experienced occasions in teachings, when the teacher appears to be teaching directly to us, and it was delightful to sit with a sangha member who had just asked a question about breathing and walking meditation. Tarchin illustrated his answers with a reference to the loss of a wallet – my friend’s wallet had been misplaced that morning!

Tarchin suggested four supports for walking meditation:

1. The breath.

2. Smiling [checking eye tension] – smiling in all parts of the body.

3. Appreciation of the body moving in space.

4. Recognise that each footfall is supported by/takes the life of numerous beings.

Walk at your right pace with the right flow – fluid and pleasurable. Occasionally stop and use all the senses – appreciating, breathing in, breathing out, relating to…

What follows are a few more take-aways from Tarchin that weekend:

Trade ‘I’ for ‘we’

Sentience is sensitive responsiveness

Meditation is a lifelong journey of attunement

Relating is non-negotiable

Refuge – feeling welcome

Dukkha – off-centre – Tarchin talked at some length about ‘truing our dharma’ much as one trues [centres the hub of] a wheel. The Middle Way – centred.

He talked of the two works of a bodhisattva – working in the lab [exploring] and in the hospital [on difficult days] and that they/we are always on call.

There were so many beautiful teaching moments and it was an absolute honour to be in the room together.

Tarchin left us with his blessing for Nelson Buddhist Centre:

 

A Blessing of Remembrance

for the Nelson Buddhist Centre and all who teach and study there

Dharma is easeful resting.

Dharma is moving in heartful confidence.

Dharma is utter interbeingness.

Dharma is a pathless land –

It is also a landless path.

 

Dharma is walking - completely in step – savouring

the vast mystery becoming.

Dharma is remembering the blessing of mindful breathing

when conflict and disharmony abound.

Dharma is not rushing – don’t worry, death is always on time

- you won’t be late!

Dharma is letting go

falling into love

a flowering of presence

into presence.

 

Dharma is my friend

is

thus.

 

AHHHH!

 

May the N.B.C. become

A sanctuary for all in need

A place of healing and meaningful learning.

A place for meditation and remembrance

A jewel of peace and beauty,

reflecting the great mystery of nature-in-process.

And an open door to love and clear seeing

for all beings

This is my heartfelt wish.

 

Tarchin 6/4/24

MISSION JOY – FINDING HAPPINESS IN TROUBLED TIMES

What a perfectly titled movie this is. This celebration of the relationship between H.H. the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmon Tutu was such a joy to watch. We witnessed a most special friendship, forged over many years, between these two outstanding emanations of true compassion and joy.

We learned much about both of their earlier lives – for me His Holiness’s was the more familiar of the two, so it was intriguing to see how such wildly different early years and very different outer trappings in their lives, could result in such parallels in the hearts and minds of these beings. That the apparent tragedies and difficulties of their lives could bring about the astonishing transformations in society makes one truly grateful to have lived through some of these years oneself. To be instruments of such very needed changes – to the world view and attitude to apartheid on the one hand, and the absorption of Buddhist philosophy in the West on the other, are such monumental achievements in the lives of these remarkable men.

Although we can put heroes on pedestals, it was humbling to witness the very human qualities of these men unfold in their interactions and conversations. We needed tissues. There were not too many dry eyes in the room by the time the movie was over, believe me, which made watching it together all that more enjoyable.

Thanks, Andrea, for initiating and organising this showing.

PIG AT THE CROSSING

It was an intriguing title, and anything put out by Khyentze Norbu [Dzongzar Khyentze Rinpoche] is always going to be intriguing, at the very least.

This was definitely a movie for Buddhists, as there were so many references, both subtle and more obvious. I’m sure I missed many of them and some have been realised on the back-burner. Why ‘Pig’ for instance? Those quicker than me would have got the reference to the inner circle of the Wheel of Life and the Pig denoting ignorance. But it’s fun when the penny finally drops!

We were so pleased that this ‘once-only showing’ was subsequently made available a second time; Andrea was pro-active in suggesting we watch the movie together at NBC, and we did this after Prayers, the first Sunday in June – a busy day, as we had Rinpoche’s teaching almost directly afterwards. Something of a feast!

The storyline took us through a young man’s sudden death and his confusion in the bardo – not realising that he was actually dead, despite the strangeness of the proceedings unfolding before his eyes [essentially his family’s response to his death]. Unfinished business underpinned his attachment to his former life and the difficulty he had in moving through the bardo experience, despite the guidance that appeared. It was easy to empathise with his confusion – who of us wouldn’t have unfinished business if we died suddenly? It was a good reminder to keep our own lives and affairs tidy and as wholesome as possible, especially relationships.

This is a movie that is never going to grace the big screen, but if it becomes available again and you didn’t catch it this time, make the effort to see it. Time well spent.