Kersten Ancheta is one of the Directors of The Joru Foundation. She shared that Tibetan Buddhism can help us deal with and solve issues we face everyday such as depression, anxiety, violence, and environmental destruction. The distinct lineage of “Vajrayana” Buddhism cannot be found anywhere else in the world, but the Tibetan culture is close to extinction. The Joru Foundation is dedicated to caring for and educating orphan and impoverished children so that they may reach their full potential. They are also teaching the Tibetan culture, traditions and language, and in doing so, preserving the Tibetan way of life.
Lama Lakshey Zangpo expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to dialogue and share the story of Joru.
He studied under some of the greatest Tibetan Masters and became a monk at the age of 11. He now lives in Spokane, Washington where he heads the Tibetan Buddhist Cultural Center. Two of the Joru children are also attending university in Spokane on 3-year scholarships, which is no small feat to say the least. Imagine raising and educating 2 children under the extreme conditions of remote Tibet, and then bringing them to the United States to attend college — ALL on donations (and we haven’t even begun talking about the 300 children back in Tibet at the Sengdruk Taktse School…)!
There were many nuggets of wisdom from Lama Lakshey Zangpo, so check out the video if you are interested in hearing more. Here are just a few from his main talk, but there are more from the following Q&A session!
* We may be different in terms of background, language, culture, etc., but we are all human beings. We all share human emotions such as frustration, anger, anxiety and depression, so we can share our experiences and help each other.
* Be content and enjoy what you have, and be mindful of constantly pursuing materialistic things. Material things are not qualified to satisfy human desires. Don’t rely on it for your happiness, peace and joy.
* It is our birthright to be successful and have a happy life. Happiness and joy rely on our internal world, not on the external material world.
* We need to learn “preventative care” for our internal world. Just like we go to the dentist for checkups to take care of our physical hygiene, we need to meditate and have tools for “mental hygiene” (love this one!)
* Meditation will help calm our mind and take care of negative responses before they arise. We have marvelous human intelligence. The consequences of anger and negative responses can create damage in one’s own life and that of others. We can prevent this from happening (don’t add fuel to the fire!)
* Watch your thoughts, focus on your breath, and view things optimistically. Optimism gives us the hope and courage we need to deal with difficult situations. Watching our breath without distraction is enjoyable. We can expand on these moments of enjoyment and mental ease, which bring clarity and calmness, so we make decisions we won’t regret.
* Breathing is precious, that is life. We can make breath more precious. You are precious.
What I most appreciated was Lama Lakshey Zangpo’s humility and humanity — he spoke to all of us like equals, like friends. He was not “teaching from up high”, but rather sharing what he’s learned from his vast life experience dedicated to helping others live a happier, more peaceful and fulfilled life.
All in all, there was much to ponder and digest. He inspired me, and I’m sure many others that day in different ways.
Thank you all who attended this special event — we raised some great funds from the donation and sales for the day! If you did not have the opportunity to attend, please check The Joru Foundation website. You can provide one-time contribution, or you can sponsor a child with a monthly contribution.
A big THANK YOU goes to the amazing Stella community for your support and enthusiasm!! More to come in 2014!!