HELD AT KAMALASHILA TIBETAN BUDDHIST CENTRE 3-5 JUNE 2022
On 3 June the opening evening of the Autumn Buddhist Philosophy Course Retreat commenced, students having travelled from as far away as Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney. There was a large group of online students attending too who could not be at the centre in person, as well as all of our mentors as part of this program. Khenpo la discussed the intention of the course to help foster and nurture the students’ potential, to sprout fully in the coming of spring. It was a wonderful first weekend retreat of this particular three-year course.
Reflections from Tjenka
The Autumn Buddhist Philosophy Course Inaugural Retreat was held at Kamalashila. This retreat was the culmination of the first Semester of the course and the first big get together of all the students, mentors, course convener, Carole Kayrooz, her husband/assistant/tech guy, Robert Garran, and our precious Teacher Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe.
The Gompa was full of 43 students and 14 mentors, there were also 13 students on Zoom – that’s 73 altogether! It was a lovely atmosphere of keen investigation and discussion of the Dharma and how we try to apply it in our lives, there were interesting question times and of course great mealtime conversations.
Students have been meeting with their mentors on Zoom and listening to Khenpo la online during this first semester, so it was a buoyant feeling by meeting everyone and Khenpo la, in person.
This semester Khenpo la has been teaching on the Foundations of the Buddhist path from the Hinayana perspective, beginning with the Four Common Foundations – having a precious human rebirth, the law of karma, the truth of impermanence, and the sufferings of samsara. Then continuing on to learn about The Four Noble Truths – suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the path that leads to the cessation of suffering.
Lastly Khenpo la wove it all together explaining how following a teacher, leading a virtuous life, and understanding how to live ethically supports our entire Dharma path. There were many smiles and a strong feeling of sangha as people said farewells till the next retreat at the end of Semester two, as we continue on our three-year journey together.
Finally, as one student said, drawing our attention to Ann’s words of wisdom in her orientation talk: “stay on the path!” (meaning the path through the bush), though as Dharma students we knew it really meant “the path that leads to the cessation of all suffering!!!”.