Notes on Healing Yourself From the Past

This post was written by Rebecca as a follow up to her course earlier this month.

Thanks to everyone who made our Duncan Day Course a warm insightful day!

let-goHere are a few notes from the class:
We all have wounds from events that were painful or confusing.
We can easily heal from some of these events and others are still not healed 20 or more years later.
“Forgiveness” on an intellectual level isn’t enough.
We need answers to “why bad things happen to good people.”

Buddhist teachings can provide answers that satisfy the “why me” question. We looked at suffering from three levels: 1) the gross or obvious level; 2) the subtle level of past lives and karma; 3) the ultimate level of emptiness of inherent existence.

First we looked at six general sufferings as described by Venerable Kelsang Gyatso in his book, “Joyful Path of Good Fortune”:
1. Uncertainty
2. Having no satisfaction
3. Having to leave our body over and over again
4. Having to take rebirth over and over again
5. Having to lose status over and over again
6. Having no companionship

Then we looked at how, in all our past lives, we have created the causes for suffering in this life. We haven’t always been nice people but have done negative things, ordered others to perform negative actions on our behalf, and rejoiced when our “enemies” have suffered. Our own negative actions created the karmic potentialities to experience the sufferings of this life. (Also from “Joyful Path of Good Fortune”)

Finally, we looked at the very subtle cause of suffering: a wrong view. We’ve always thought and believed that everyone and everything we experience happens apart from our minds. We are “in here” and they are “out there” and all is inherently existent. The truth is, everything is a karmic appearance from our mind and to our mind. Everything is changeable and we can change what appears to our mind by using our mind correctly. (As found in Gyatso’s “Transform Your Life”, new edition.)

We had three meditations during this day course, the first on was on the karmic causes of our suffering and the last two meditations were spent dissolving the wrong appearances that have been hurting us into the emptiness of inherent existence.

It was a wonderfully sweet day together. Thank you everyone!
I hope to see you in at future classes in Duncan.

Rebecca Hanson


This post was written by Julia

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