Week 9 – Online winter retreat, presented by Deer Park Monastery. To follow along copy and paste this in your browser, there are talks, questions and readings posted every week: http://deerparkmonastery.org/teachings/the-ten-gates-online-course-winter-2012-2013/the-ten-gates-online-course-winter-2012-2013
1) How have you created meaning and purpose in your life?
The first thing that comes to mind is sangha and the practice. I find meaning and purpose in my opportunities to create and nourish sangha. I cannot think of anything more important to do with my time than to learn how to be in relationship with myself, cultivate community and connect deeply with the present moment.
2) What activities do you find most meaningful? Which ones are difficult? Why is that do you think?
I find sangha, meditation, mindfulness practice, getting together with friends and creating music as some of the most meaningful things I can do with my time. I would say meditation for me is the most difficult to do. I sit every week with my sangha but I sit on my own very little outside of sangha. I haven’t created the discipline around it is why it is challenging. I haven’t decided to make it a priority.
3) What does it mean to you to be “useful” or “beneficial” to others?
To see myself as not separate is one of the deepest teachings I think there is in this practice. When I work on the lessons associated with non-separatness I can benefit others on the most important levels. When I practice inter-being with myself, life situations, others, my environment and the here and now I am also practicing non-judgement, letting go, embracing things just as they are, compassion, understanding and an offering of gentle and confident energy at the same time in balance and harmony.