On Expedience

TrafficIn discussing the Buddhist practice, the word “expedience” tends to go hand-in-hand with “wisdom.” One slant of expedience can be seen as “appropriate to the situation,” as in, there exists a way that works for you. For example, a scientist, may tend to look at things the scientific way. Even it is not always the only way to look at things, it is still a valid (starting) point.[1] A common Buddhist saying is that there are 84,000 practices to Buddhahood. It is likely analogous to “all roads lead to Rome.”

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Below the Fold (Part 3 of 3)

In my line of work (education), an oft-cited sales pitch is the search query “acid rain.” The topic of “fish” is relevant. The topic on “sulfur” is relevant. So are “fossil fuel” and “carbon dioxide.” But what about “Scandinavia”?

So what about Scandinavia? It turns out that it was in Scandinavia where instances of acid rain were first observed in the 1950s. Without encountering the right material, mentions of Scandinavia would go unnoticed, or if noticed, be deemed irrelevant. Such examples are everywhere. A colleague of mine discovered the connection between ice-cream and Missouri. It turns out that the first ice-cream cone appeared at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. Such discovery is accidental. When searching for something, there is obviously a target of search. But when something accidental occurs, one does not veer off course, it is just that the outcome is beyond one’s expectation. There, I believe, lies the spirit of the practice.

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Below the Fold (Part 1)

Since 2005, we have opened our centre to the local community who are interested in meditation. While accessible by car and by public transit, the centre is situated in a business/industrial complex on the edge of a residential community. There is no question that people are interested in exploring meditation. How do you let people know that such a venue exists?

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Can your mind walk the dog?

bulldog2Can your mind walk the dog / Can a flying bird leave footprints?

Open to the local English-speaking community since 2005, we (Vajrayana Buddhism Association) offer meditation classes following the Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist teachings. We begin by introducing a seated meditation in which the participants are asked to keep their eyes open (same goes with all their senses). Because in real life, it is like walking the dog or riding a bike, you do not ignore your surroundings or suppress your instincts. Slowly, step-by-step, one can become at ease, even when actively engaging in challenging situations. This natural ability to be at ease is like the sun and its warmth that are never departed from the Earth.

UPCOMING SESSIONS:

Nov. 5, 19, Dec. 17 (Wed, 7-8:30pm) at Community Centre 55 (www.centre55.com), 97 Main Street, Gerrard and Main, a 10-minute walk from Main Subway Station.

Dec. 8 (Mon, 6-7pm) at St. Lawrence Community Recreation Centre, 230 The Esplanade, Parliament and Front, a 10-minute walk from St. Lawrence Market, and a 5-minute walk to the Distillery District.

Bring a towel or a yoga mat if you want to sit on the floor.

To register, contact Vivian: canyourmind@yahoo.ca.

For more info about us and upcoming classes in the GTA, visit http://www.vbatoronto.org/en/default.aspx

On Meditation

It has been said that meditation is the way of letting go.  In meditation, one let go of the complexity of the outside world so as to reach a blissful tranquility within.  In many spiritual traditions, meditation is the path to achieve empowering insight that lead to spiritual fulfilment.

In this increasingly hectic and stressful contemporary life, it is clear that personal meaning can never be found in the seductive and bewildering technological and material paraphernalia.  History cannot be changed, but a greater vision can be found in order to strike a healthy balance between the main stream culture and spiritual renewal naturally.

The goal of meditation is neither relaxation nor therapy, though it is often confused with them.  Meditation is not introverted contemplation but rather a process of expansion, a means of complete personal transformation.  It is a deconstruction of the old and a reconstruction of a fresh new perspective.   Sure enough, there will be challenges to overcome, but the voyage will be one of clear self-awareness and bright self-knowledge.  To the novice, these words might not inform much but let them be an invitation to begin a fruitful journey of a lifetime.

For more information on our meditation class in Sept. 2014, contact registrar@vbatoronto.org.