Two hundred and fifty-four people gathered into the basement performance hall on Sunday morning, February the 13th at Jogyesa Order Administrative Building to hear Mingyur Rinopche speak about Tergar meditation. This form of meditation helps calm the mind, open the heart and develop insight. From the first smiling word spoken by Mingyur, his being radiated happiness to all those in attendance. Each word chosen to communicate with came from a well of knowledge and wisdom. Every gesture and movement captured the audience’s attention with genuine kindness behind every thought presented. Over the next two hours during the talk he imparted the joys of meditation, techniques to improve meditation and the benefits of meditation.
Over the first twenty minutes he spoke about the two most important things “body” and “mind.” Beginning with “body” he spoke about posture. Condensing proper seven-point posture into two main categories for this lecture: breathing and relaxing. In order to breath properly sit up straight. The head along the spine to the backbone must be kept straight. There is to be no leaning forward; nor backward. Just keep the body in a straight line.
Sitting straight inhale one long breath through the nose pausing for a brief
moment and exhaling out your mouth, this technique should relax the body. Continue deep breathing while meditating. Second part is relax all muscles. He calls this 100% relax. Every muscle should feel calm, no tension. He stated, "just feel natural."
From here he went into 'how to relax the "mind"' stating this to be extremely easy. Through several examples Mingyur explained the state of "mind" to search for. At the end of a long arduous project at the completion of it, most people feel relieved. This relieved feeling is the state of "mind" needed for meditation.
After three examples he asked the audience, “do you have an example?” A woman in the third row said, “After I finish meditation.” She laughed. Mingyur, laughed replying, “me too!”
Spoken softly with a smile he imparted to everyone meditation is a simple process. Just remember to relax, listen to the silence and continue to practice relaxing. Following this he spoke about, “none meditation is the best meditation.” Two main points about this: one if the mind were lost this would be the same thing as normal consciousness. And two none meditation has awareness. It's truly simple. In order to meditate you
must be aware and to be aware means you cannot be lost within your environment.
To demonstrate this awareness he asked “everyone please sit up straight, take one deep breath, pause, exhale and continue deep breathing, until you feel the awareness.” After the five-minute exercise he went on to explain if you are having trouble with meditation you can meditate with an object or with sound. When meditating with an object or sound, the thing is not an enemy. The thing is your friend. An object or sound becomes part of your meditation. “Simply know the sound and listen.”
His final words were about his debilitating anxiety disorder as a child. Through meditation and relaxing his mind, he learned to accept his disability. This is when he learned to become friends with the anxiety, then it disappeared. After the talk and meet-in -greet with Mingyur, I had the privilege of walking to lunch, sitting down with him and asking a few questions. During lunch the two biggest questions on my mind were;
+ Did he believe children today with attention deficit disorder (A.D.D.) or attention deficit hyerpactivity disorder (A.D.H.D.) could benefit from being taught Tergar
meditation? And how would children be taught about proper meditation?
Smiling after each question was asked, Mingyur replied to the first question with "all children all over the world could benefit from being taught meditation. Meditation helps calm the mind. It makes the child confront his/her fears and make friends with their disabilities. Once they have made friends, they will be able to live more freely." And "children can only be taught properly by their parents. The parents need to learn proper meditation themselves to impart this onto their children. It can only work if they are both involved. Because they neither can derail the other."
+ Do you believe meditation could help world leaders dealing with political crisis's? These leaders are constantly under pressure to make decisions for entire countries at a time. What would the benefits to world leaders be?
Considering the second question, Mingyur took a few seconds to collect his thoughts. When he spoke, it came from deep within his heart. "Yes, meditation could help many of the political leaders of today. They need to collaborate on projects. There is a need for clear discussions if they were to meditate first. This would help everything from current business problems to financial crisis's. Today, there is a spiritual crisis as well. But the overall problem is with the leaders of today."
Thanking him for answering the questions we continued to eat lunch with the other thirty-five monks, two reporters and the translator at the table. With the meal over nearly two hours later, we walked back to the temple with Mingyur who slowly accepted people who approached him. He shook their hands, bowed and imparted his wisdom of meditation upon them. For five hours I observed him accept questions, disclose wisdom, speak from his warm open kind genuine heart. Everyone he interacted with he gave compassion to them. In the wake of his departure, my being felt uplifted as we parted our ways.
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