Sunday, March 04, 2007
Most Precious Gift
Today was the last day of this most incredible first mindfulness retreat in Vietnam. It began with nearly a thousand taking the 5 mindfulness trainings. After breakfast came the Rose ceremony in honor of mothers. Thay reminded us to say something nice to make our mother happy, as she is a precious treasure. We could wear a red rose if she still is living and a white one if she is no longer living. If father is not living you can wear a second white flower. Up to 10,000 came for this ceremony and dedication to the monument for mother.
I was moved to see the local people practice so well, so quickly. Thay reminded parents that the most precious thing we can pass on to our children is our happiness. They don't learn from our lecture, but rather from our true way of living. Very skillfully Thay was able to inspire traditions of respect for ancestors and family.
Thay concluded the retreat stating that the purpose has been to generate reconcilliation and bring peace within the family. Participants learned deeply how to offer their true presence to loved ones. After the retreat they could continue to practice and build sangha. Participants were told how lucky they were to practice with the international western sangha friends. They were given the 3 mantras to allevate trouble in relationships: "dear one, I am angry and I want you to know it"; "Darling, I am trying my best"; and, "Please help me."
When Thay said we will now listen to the bell and enjoy our breathing I was so happy to see the difference four days of practice could bring. An attendee wrote a nice poem to Thay about having to wait many years to see you, and now as she sits in the breeze of the spring with her teacher is has great happiness. I too feel great happiness to have experienced this event. Now it is time to sleep, deeply.