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The Buddhist Society of the NT


Buddhist Society of the Northern Territory


Buddhist Society of the NT Newsletter; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Buddhist Society of the NT Newsletter




Date:2009-07; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).




Buddhist Society of the Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Buddhists -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Buddhism -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Buddhist Society of the Northern Territory

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Buddhist Society of the NT Newsletter


v. 17 no. 2



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Buddhist Society of the Northern Territory



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NEWSLETTER Buddhist Society of NT July 2009 Page 4 PROSTRATIONS Many Western newcomers to Buddhism are taken aback by the idea, as well as the act, of prostration. Lama Yeshe, a renowned Tibetan teacher had this to say about prostrations as he began a 5 day retreat near Melbourne in 1975 Why do we make prostrations at the be ginning of teaching and meditation sessions? Its to beat our ego down a bit. Ego-centric pride looks at things very superficially and never sees the nature of reality. When we prostrate, were not prostrat ing to the material objects on the altar but paying homage to true, understanding wis dom. People who have taken Dharma teach ings before know this well, I mention it mainly for new students. Prostration isnt just a Buddhist custom. To make sure that giving teachings does not become an ego-trip, even great teachers like His Holiness the Dalai Lama will prostrate be fore they get up on the throne. In fact to dimin ish pride and become more grounded in real ity, both teacher and student should prostrate before a teaching. Otherwise, theres no space for understanding wisdom. The proud mind is like a desert; nothing can grow in a mind full of pride. Thats why we prostrate toward the altar prior to giving and taking teachings. In our everyday lives we prostrate to things that are not worthwhile. Of course we dont say that were prostrating, but in fact we constantly pay homage to our pride and ego. Instead of pros trating to pride and ego we should prostrate to understanding wisdom... When we prostrate our mental attitude should be one that recognises the harmful nature of ego-centric pride and understands that knowledge wisdom is the only worthwhile guide. If you dont have this respectful attitude, you might as well not bow down. If youre not prostrat ing with your mind theres no need to prostrate physically simply for the sake of show or custom. Tradition is not that important. But if you recog nise how your pride functions and prostrate to wis dom instead, that is very effective, and doing so makes prostrating a means of training your mind. From Lama Yeshe 2006 (Ed by N Ribush) Ego, Attachment & Liberation. Overcoming your mental bureaucracy. Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive (p3-4) DHARMA & THE BROADER COMMUNITY School groups and other people visiting the Centre are opportunities to introduce a Buddhist viewpoint to the broader community. Some schools regularly bring students to the Centre either as part of a religious studies or multi-cultural communities curriculum activity. Kormilda College students visited over three days in May where Geshe Kunkhen answered their many questions. Geshe Kunkhen also visited Humpty Doo School as a harmony day presenter.