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Waterfordman Spiritually Re-charges in Cavan
Tuesday March 27, 2007 21:55 by an searbhán lochlannach
3 days at Jampa Ling Buddhist centre in Cavan help recharge the batteries
I’ve just spent 3 days at Jampa Ling Buddhist centre 2 miles from Bawnboy in West Cavan. I’d been thinking about going there for over a year, having heard a very favourable account about the place from a friend. Then, due to start out on a new job, I finally decided to make the time and go, to think and meditate, to re-organise my brain and my heart, to re-evaluate my priorities in life.
Jampa Ling Centre
The ingredients to Jampa Ling are simple: a house in the country, a genuine welcome from staff and residents, cheap comfortable accommodation, 3 square meals per day and optional participation in the 3 daily meditations. All for 32 euros.
Jampa Ling welcomes people to Owendoon, a restored 19th century building, surrounded by woods, gardens and lakes. The only rules, I was told, are no killing, no stealing, no argumentative talk, no drugs, and no sexual misdemeanours.
It used to be:
“Oh Stony Grey Soil of Monaghan(Cavan)
The laugh from my love you thieved…..”
As a symbol of how much Ireland and the world has changed since Paddy Kavanagh wrote those lines about neighbouring Monaghan, Bawnboy Co. Cavan is now home to an important figure of Tibetan Buddhism: Panchen Otrul Rimpoche.
Jampa Ling (meaning ‘place of loving kindness’) was set up as a charitable trust in 1992, under the spiritual direction of Panchen Otrul Rimpoche.
Although traditionally very uninvolved in the outside world, the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, and the colonisation of Tibet and the destruction of Tibet’s monasteries, has led to Tibetan Buddhism establishing itself in exile around the world.
So there I was. Arriving to have an intent look at myself, who I had become, in this my 31st year.
What are my values?
What do I believe in?
What kind of thoughts am I having?
How are my actions?
Am I sincere?
Am I honest, Am I going in the right direction? What is the right direction?
I’m not a practising Buddhist, or a practising anything. My own experience and thinking led me to abandon Catholicism as based mostly on arbitrary dogmas and unquestioned authority. I based my own behaviour on non-religious principles of justice and ethics, and out of this was also very politically motivated. Yet after a while, these seemed to provide an ever unsteadier guide for my personal morality.
I have met people who at this point in their lives have either abandoned all serious questioning and principles and embraced materialism, just gave up, or actually regressed to a fundamentalist belief system, like 6-Day Creationism etc.
My own spiritual transmitter has always remained on, though it’s rarely been pointed consistently in any particular direction. I have experienced the personal disintegration that persistent doubt and question can bring, accompanied by a lack of spiritual practice. I have questioned my motivations, values and actions until I doubted anything that I might do, which has led to intense loneliness and depression.
In the last 2 months, I have again begun to re-focus….part of my renewed strength and focus has been a fervent faith in the sense of life, in the sense of striving, in the sense of developing oneself, in the sense of contributing to the world, in the sense of doing ones best. Recognizing how some people seem to use spiritual beliefs to cop out of thought and analysis, it has, nonetheless, always been clear to me that life IS a spiritual experience. The confusion I experienced was in how to develop that understanding into everyday life.
Part of the spiritual path seemed to suggest opting out of community/political involvement.
Part of the political part seemed to suggest opting out of one’s own spiritual development.
NOW, I feel that spiritual practice is an integral part of taking responsibility for who your are. You can’t be fully involved in the world without it.
In the past I’ve experienced a certain self-defeatism at the heart of many left-wing beliefs, for many it serves as a cop-out of personal responsibility, “it’s the system that’s to blame, not people, or their actions”.
What are people’s actions based on? Their personal morality/ethics.
What are people’s personal morality/ethics based on? They system? Which system?
I don’t pretend to be giving answers here, just raising some questions, that I will tackle in future articles.
Subjectively speaking, this weekend I have re-affirmed my commitment to social justice, but also my commitment to spiritual advancement.
I have realised that, for myself, without the daily commitment to spiritual development, and deep dedication to consciousness and awareness in all my actions, it won’t work out. For me that is….
I go back into the world, with renewed strength and vigour, to elevate myself, my own actions, thoughts and behaviour, to build a life that reflects this, and to work with compassion for the elevation of all living beings.
Jampa Ling Centre is open to everyone, whether Buddhist or non-Buddhist. Length of stay varies from days to weeks, and visitors are free to establish their own daily programme or join in the daily meditations.
To arrange a stay phone 049-9523067
(The stated aims of Jampa Ling are:
- To preserve the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and culture through teaching meditation and practice
- To work for peaceful co-existence between all living beings
- To create a meditative and educational environment, in which people can find peace and loving-kindness
- To promote inter-faith dialogues at a deep spiritual level and work for harmony in Ireland
To encourage conservation of the earth’s natural resources and to develop an awareness of the oneness and interdependence of existence. )
Tara House visitor accommodation
prayer before food
Spring time in Ireland
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Visitor accomodation from the garden
Prayer after food
A lone tree standing
Sic transit gloria a nail
and never more return for to plough The Rock of Baw
Whilst the Chinese invasion was to condemned let us not forget the fact that Tibet under the Lamas was a feudal society with slavery widely practised until the 1950's. Buddhism is a nice individual experience but is very much a middle class pursuit and is inclined to idealise societies that were not the least bit ideal.
Wasn't there some bloke murdered at the Buddhist gaff near Skibbereen a few years ago? So much for contemplation and peace.
Check this out for a more realistic appraisal of Tibetan Buddhism: http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html
it's hard to know how to react.....the problem is actually that the preceeding contributions provoke reactions, they are themselves reactions....
there is a lot of that on indymedia.......so often it happens that 'comments' are latched on to published articles...
comments that seem like knee jerk, cloaked or open insults.....given by those who seemingly already know the answers......
Indymedia, remains wonderful, despite this, and i remain a contributor, however, i would make the suggestion to the All knowing commentators, that they could pitch their comments in a less abrasive way....
they might even just read something, realise that it is some one's else's valid experience, and make the choice of keeping their tuppence of negative reaction in the own pockets, and spend it on something a little bit more creative....
I love indymedia because it allows us all to publish such a variety of things, reflecting our varied human experience, which thankfully doesn't and never will conform to the narrow strictures of left or right wing ideology
My belief in it is absolutely unshakeable, and an infinity of negativity wouldn't make one jot of a difference to me.
However, i wonder, say people coming online here for the first time, to publish something near to their heart, encountering such know-it all armchair intellectual posturing, would they be really put off by it? i'm inclined to think they might....
as regards, the "true picture of tibetan buddhism", even a cursory reading of the above article would make it obvious that it NEVER made ANY claims for either tibetan or any other form of buddhism, it was simply a personal account of a rewarding trip that i made to that place, Jampa Ling, in Cavan, and that i wanted to share with people out there. I have done that, and this article now cannot be unpublished, despite the negative knee jerk know it all ness.
The link to Michael Parenti is probably interesting, and i'll probably check it out, when i have more time or if i should ever feel like engaging mr. Wan More Ting in debate.,
but that really wasn't the point.
d'you get me?
Please don't go all sensitive on us. Indymedia, as you are aware, is primarily a place for airing and arguing various political viewpoints and is not group therapy. I don't think it's advertised as doing happiness or bliss. Your contribution is littered with political points from the so called futility of left wing views to the the colonisation of Tibet and the 'destruction' of monasteries. Again I would ask you to read the blog of the Yale academic Michael Briganti on Tibetan Buddhism. The following is just a sample:
" 'Whatever wrongs and new oppressions introduced by the Chinese in Tibet, after 1959 they did abolish slavery and the serfdom system of unpaid labor, and put an end to floggings, mutilations, and amputations as a form of criminal punishment. They eliminated the many crushing taxes, started work projects, and greatly reduced unemployment and beggary. They established secular education, thereby breaking the educational monopoly of the monasteries. And they constructed running water and electrical systems in Lhasa."
Elites, Émigrés, and the CIA .
"For the rich lamas and lords, the Communist intervention was a calamity. Most of them fled abroad, as did the Dalai Lama himself, who was assisted in his flight by the CIA. Some discovered to their horror that they would have to work for a living. However, throughout the 1960s, the Tibetan exile community was secretly pocketing $1.7 million a year from the CIA, according to documents released by the State Department in 1998. Once this fact was publicized, the Dalai Lama's organization itself issued a statement admitting that it had received millions of dollars from the CIA during the 1960s to send armed squads of exiles into Tibet to undermine the Maoist revolution. The Dalai Lama's annual payment from the CIA was $186,000. Indian intelligence also financed both him and other Tibetan exiles. He has refused to say whether he or his brothers worked for the CIA. The agency has also declined to comment."
No one's attacking your right to go all mystical just be careful with the baggage that goes with it.
you might try actually reading what i wrote, first time, then again in response to your "comments".
Just now, again, you have proven that it wasn't comment at all, but rather a reaction, and an attempt by you to score points, and perhaps even pat yourself on the back by proving, "why I am so clever"....that's what seems to me, in any case..
in essence, i have no argument with you're statements on tibetan buddhism,
BECAUSE I WAS NOT TALKING THAT......
i was describing a stay i had, in Cavan, of all places.....there is nothing there about mysticality..
nor is there any baggage, i suggest perhaps that you look at possible baggage of your own, ie your seeming need to score points, and create divisive argument.....
There is nothing "mystical" in stating that there are other aspects to intelligent human experience than just rational intellectual debate & understanding, the humans, (and probably animals too, but i can't prove that) have an intuitive and spiritual side which is just as alive, only that we don't engage with it as much.....
You may feel free, if you like, to de-value that aspect of human experience, which i have (partly)written about above....
i'm not keen on de-valuing your ability to know stuff and be excellently well informed....
but i do feel entitled to point out to you, rationally, that you've actually missed the point, .
This is NOT a news report. At best it's an opinion, but actually it's more accurately described as an advertisement for a particular buddhist centre.
I don't know much about Buddhism, but I know marketing when I see it.
i wrote that piece, and have actually just come back to check if anyone had put any posts up...
an now there you go "i know marketing when i see it"....why are you so distrustful....
its not marketing, i am describing a nice place, a nice experience i had, sharing it with you and others...
so i'm afraid, you too are completely,