Joy of Living Level III in NYC
- October 25, 2012
By Amy Reyer, Tergar Hudson Valley, NY
At Jewel Heart meditation center in NYC, (October 6th-8th), Tergar Instructor Myoshin Kelley introduced a group of us to Mingyur Rinpoche’s Joy of Living Level III teachings. On Friday evening, Myoshin addressed a gathering of Tergar community meditators as well as some newcomers with a talk titled “You Don’t Need a Cave To Meditate In: Awakening in Everyday Life”. Her discussion highlighted the search for a deepening practice that many of us seek and the reminder that the opportunity is right here, in each moment. The challenge lies in sustaining meditative awareness and remembering to return to it. Myoshin talked about her own shift in perspective about meditation and how it unfolded from a place of stagnation in her practice. As a meditation student in the Vipassana tradition, her experiences during sitting meditation and retreats were often pleasant and transformative, but upon re-entry to daily life, particularly at work, her calm and grounded sensibility escaped her. Sound familiar? Her poignant discussion about the intention to bridge meditation practice with the way that we live echoes Mingyur Rinpoche’s theme throughout Joy of Living: our areas of struggle are inevitably our best teachers.
Learning ways to calm and focus our minds (Level I) and developing compassion for ourselves and others through greater awareness of our thoughts and emotions (Level II) serve as foundations for the Level III teachings, which explore the ways we create our own suffering and how we can access our greater wisdom to recognize the fallibility of perception and our long-held false beliefs. Throughout the weekend we were introduced to techniques that invite a deeper line of inquiry about the nature of perception. After watching Mingyur Rinpoche’s video talks and with Myoshin’s expert guidance, we were able to begin to tour our minds in a new way.
Myoshin balanced the time between Mingyur Rinpoche’s video teachings, meditation practice and Q&A sessions. We digested a tremendous amount of information over the weekend and left with a lot to contemplate and practice. From my experience as a newcomer to the Tergar community with a background in the Vipassana tradition, the Joy of Living curriculum has been extremely accessible and eye opening (figuratively and literally, I now open my eyes while meditating—less wandering mind and more presence—who knew?:). Each level of these teachings have helped me to understand just how powerful the mind can be and how much suffering and joy it has the potential to create. What a world this would be if everyone could learn these techniques and practices as children! Thank you to Mingyur Rinpoche, the Tergar instructors, practice leaders, volunteers and other Tergar students who make this learning community such a fertile place. Tashi Delek!
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