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Erric Solomon

Insights from the What Meditation Really Is 2012 retreat

We just finished the 2nd annual What Meditation Really Is retreat at Lerab Ling, France. Here is what one of the participants, Drew from Ireland, wrote about it:

On this retreat there have been many moments of beauty, learning, breakthrough, breakdown, pain (both physical and emotional), truth and realization. But really, it all comes down to the teaching, “Water, if you don’t stir it, will become clear; the mind, left unaltered, will find its own natural peace.’ When I first came, I had many questions. Some I asked, many I kept to myself. All were usually answered fairly quickly.




Then I came to the question: “Is there any need for me to ask questions?” If water when not stirred becomes still, surely if I can accept exactly where I am, where my mind is, then if I do not alter with ‘Is this right, Is this wrong?’ then my mind will actually settle.”

This has been a profound insight. I feel now that my thoughts and emotions are neither ‘bad’ nor ‘good’—just as a river, which can feed or destroy crops when in flood, is neither bad nor good; it just is.

Thanks hugely to the power of the teachings, I feel more now that I am a ‘human being’ rather than a ‘human doing’.

I have always found the word retreat strange, that somehow life was ‘attacking’ us and that we had to run away from it. This retreat has been a re-treat, a gift to myself and so much more. I hadn’t expected to also be a gift to everyone I meet from now on, a wave of compassion that will ripple off and affect everyone. A deep feeling of love from Rinpoche and the other teachers is now embedded in me and I am certain, thanks to them and to the What Meditation Really Is course, that I will carry this love with me and add my own to pass on to the world.

So, a deep and heartfelt thanks. When I was asked at the start of the course to set my intention, I did not know what I wanted and so I thought there was something wrong with me. I realize now that my mind was not tamed. Now I have had a taste of the beauty, ordinariness and simplicity of ‘tame this mind of ours’: a universal truth so obvious, which is why it resonates with us all on such a fundamental level.

So my intention now, as I hadn’t realized had always been, is to tame this mind of mine. Thank you Rinpoche and teachers for helping me take my first steps along this path.