Footprints of the Path So Far

Hello everyone! This is my debut post on this blog, so perhaps an introduction is in order.

My real name is Geoff. However, I have decided to post using my refuge name "Jinpa". I hope that it serves as a reminder to myself, to remember the relevance of the Dharma and it's application in my daily life. Like many people, I find it all too easy to get distracted while going about my daily life. So I like to make use of any opportunity to put myself back on track.

I grew up in a fairly typical middle-class family. We went to church on Sundays, and I had a nice happy childhood. I attended a Christian boarding school during the last four years of my high school education. It was during this time that I experienced a great deal of harassment and conflict, most of which was during my final two years there.

As you might imagine this contributed to much suffering, not only at the time but some years after as well. There was a period of my life, from the last two years of high school until another several years afterward, that was a truly dark time in my life. Anger, depression, loneliness, and a general sense of loss, are just some of the many feelings that I had trouble dealing with.

I tried blaming everyone and everything. I spent a great deal of time searching for the culprit. Searching for the person, or thing, that was responsible for my dissatisfaction. But no matter who or what I pointed to, they were truly not to blame. It wasn't until I started reading books about Buddhism, that I started to see a way clear of my suffering.

I remember a time when I was reading a book by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Unfortunately I am unable to remember the name of that book. But I remember the message of it seeming somewhat familiar and valuable. I remember reading that book and thinking, "There is something to this. This makes sense."

Over the years that followed I continued to read a few Buddhist books here and there, but I made no real effort to apply any of that knowledge until more recently. It might have been close to a year ago that I made my first visit to a Buddhist centre. And that visit left a strong impression on my mind.

I attended a mini open day at Chenrezig Institute, which is near the town of Eudlo. The first thing that really surprised me was the sense of calm that pervaded that place. Even though it was situated at a fairly remote location in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, I had never experienced a sense of peace like this ever before.

I made my way up to the Gompa for the guided meditation session, which was lead by a softly spoken nun. I remember thinking to myself, "She seems so peaceful." After a truly amazing meditation session, there was a guided tour of the centre. This was led by Ven. Lhamo. She was about the last thing that I expected of a nun. She was vibrant, enthusiastic, and absolutely full of energy. Very out-going. I was expecting nuns to be very serious people. I was pleasantly surprised.

After lunch that day, there was talk given by one of the resident Geshe's. The combination of Geshe Jamyang along with his translator made for an interesting teaching. So many laughs combined with a wealth of information. I thought to myself, "If this is what Buddhism can do for people, then I want in."

So here I am today. I'm writing a post on a blog that I only found a few days ago, while keeping myself distracted by playing an online game, and struggling to stay awake after a full day at work. I can't help but smile to myself. I look back on my life - My childhood, my teenage years, and the path that I have walked so far. Absolutely amazing. All the dreams and wishes, along with the failures and disappointments, and here I am. Happy. I hope you all are too.

Much love to all,

1 comment:

nick said...

Being one who goes to a christian boarding school, what school did you go to?