Life Lessons

"Figuring out our gifts in life is part of our journey to becoming enlightened human beings.” – Allison DuBois

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Be Present

Video - Non-Meditation and Natural Wakefulness by Pema Chodron

I know of an amazing woman with twinkling eyes and a delightful smile.

Her name is Ani Pema Chodron and she has the most beautiful teachings.

I was introduced to her writings & tapes about 10 years ago.  She is an inspiration.

Sakyoung Mipham Rinpoche's chair on our left and Pema's chair on the right.

Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of participating at an event at Craneway Pavilion in Point Richmond.  The title of the event was "Being Brave - Is Enlightened Society Possible?" and the speakers were Ani Pema Chodron, a Buddist Nun living at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia and Sakyoung Mipham Rinpoche, head of the Shambhala community. 

There were also two guest speakers on the third day -Buddist scholar, Acharya Adam Lobel and Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California.

It was an amazing three days of teachings, meditation and dialogue and almost too much wisdom for my little brain to absorb!

At first I was surprised that they would hold this event in Richmond but after being in this incredible building on the waterfront, I now know why.

Originally it was The Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant but during the war it was used to build tanks.  They had old photos of the plant on the wall.  Doesn't it just seem incredible that this beautiful building was used to build tanks and here we were at a convention for Peace and enlightenment in the exact same space?

It was also the space for Rosie the Riveter and there is a museum next door in her honor as well as a small restaurant and marina.

That's my friend Ellen reflected in the doorway of the museum and the SF bay behind her.

The space was very large but set up with more intimate spaces inside. There was an area to sit and visit, a meditation space, our event space and a lunch space.  I went with my niece Katie for two days and my friend Ellen on the third day. 

On the final day, as we were leaving the building, Pema walked near Ellen and myself to receive a Khata, from a Tibetian woman.  The traditional ceremonial white silk scarf is a symbol of purity and compassion.

It will be a weekend that I will remember with joy and gratitude.

"We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” -  Pema Chodron

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