Here are some pictures of yesterday’s event at Buddhasavika center, a beautiful nunnery in Chonburi run by Maechee Narinrat, one of the outstanding women awardees.
Sensei Joan speaks about her work with post-tsunami victims in Sri Lanka. She trained Sri Lankan volunteers to be counsellors based on western psychotherapy and Buddhism. Sensei is a meditation teacher in Zen Buddhism. Next to her is Bhikkuni Silananda, a former awardee and one of the organizers for the award event and yesterday’s seminar.
Bhikkuni Ratanavali, Zhazhi Zhouma Rinpoche, Bhikkuni Pannavati, Bhikkuni Dr. Lee, and the audience most of whom are nuns. It’s wonderful for me to be able to spend a day with him. Yesterday’s seminar will remain in my memory.
Dr. Lee, an American Bhikkuni who speaks Thai fluently. She organizes the event, moderate the sessions, as well as translates for Thai audience.
“In order for you to know about my master, you need to know about me.” Janice shares with us her childhood, how she feels about American dream, the conflict in her mind, and her teacher’s wisdom. She urges us not to take the relationship between master and student for granted. Do your best and open your heart to your teacher. (Story in Thai is in the previous post.)
Ajarn Udom, a peace activist who has been leading numerous dharmayatras all over Cambodia. Her admirable efforts for peace make a great impact in my mind.
Debra talks about Lama Tsutrim’s teaching on “feeding the demons” based on the Chod principle. Demons are not outside us; they are our inner obstacles like fear, which causes suffering. “Don’t be afraid of these demons. If we do and try to run away from them, it’s like we cut our own hand and arm.”
Khun Maechee Narinrat presented me a candle after my talk and my presentation of the Shanti Tara Maha Stupa project. May the candle mark a lamp of understanding among the three yanas of Buddhism. May it bring peace and love everywhere in the world!
Yesterday gave me a good opportunity to answer questions about Vajrayana Buddhism and its role in Thailand. I’m grateful to Bhikkuni Ratanavali for addressing the issues so that we can talk about them openly.
Bhikkuni Pannavati gives a lively and profound talk on how we should exercise our mind and cultivate the innermost type of wisdom. “Buddha teaches us to investigate and think for ourself. Don’t believe what others have said, or even what he has said. You must learn from your own experience. If any teaching does not lead you to liberty from suffering, there must be something wrong with that teaching. In that case, don’t waste your time by applying that teaching to your life. Go to the right teacher and the right teaching. Don’t blame others for the work that they don’t do for you. Instead of criticizing them, you do the work yourself. Conserve your energy for actions that lead to enlightenment. Don’t waste your time thinking about the past and the pain you’ve experienced.”
Nuns and Ubasakas/ubasikas do the evening chant.
The event inspired me a great deal. It gave me strength and confidence. I would like to thank Bhikkuni Dr. Lee, Bhikkuni Ratanavali, Bhikkuni Silananda for their hard work in bringing these great daughters of Buddha together.