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Inter-faith Talk on ‘Meditation and Mindfulness’

Lama Dondrup Dorje with Reverend Marc Palmer outside St. Chad's Church

Following a request to give teaching on Mindfulness and Meditation at a local church, Lama Dondrup Dorje visited St. Chad’s Church in Bensham, Gateshead, UK on the 8th October, where he was greeted by the vicar of the church, Reverend Marc Palmer, and by local Chaplain Reverend Jim Craig. The teaching was attended by members of the congregation who offered khatas in welcoming Lama Dondrup Dorje to the church.

During the talk, Lama Dondrup Dorje spoke of the common ground between Buddhist and Christian teachings, and the need for all people, regardless of faith, to begin by being a good person, to calm their minds and not to be overwhelmed by emotion and opinion, giving others the benefit of the doubt and not judging others.

Encouraging the congregation to follow the teachings of their own faith, Lama Dondrup Dorje explained the value of the teaching of Jesus in advising us to ‘love thy neighbour’, and showing that followers of the teaching of Jesus, just as the followers of the teachings of Buddha, should think of other people first. As Lama Dondrup Dorje explained ‘All the happiness the world contains comes from wishing happiness for others, and all the suffering the world contains comes from wishing happiness for ourselves.’

Lama Dondrup Dorje then gave an explanation of the principle of Buddhist meditation practice, which is known as Shinay in Tibetan, Chan in Chinese and Zen in Japanese. This explanation included instruction on the quiet sitting practice of watching the breath, and the practice which can be applied throughout the whole day of bringing your mind back to the teaching. Lama Dondrup Dorje highlighted the benefit of returning the mind to the thought of loving kindness for all beings, and encouraged church-goers to use this to replace other thoughts.