The term ‘Guru’ is a Sanskrit word that means ‘Spiritual Guide’. A Spiritual Guide can be eastern, western, male, female, ordained or lay. Our Spiritual Guide is any Spiritual Teacher who leads us into correct paths to liberation and enlightenment by giving teachings and showing a good example.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso~ Modern Buddhism, p. 207
This Thanksgiving weekend as I sit and reflect back it dawns on me what a special gift I have been given. I am grateful for many things but for the purpose of this post I would like to give thanks and a shout out to my sons, Brian 11 and Alex 10. They are my little spiritual guides bringing to life my Lamrim meditations and teachings. Here are some examples of my spiritual guides at work.
They make it possible for me to receive dharma teachings that lead to liberation and enlightenment.
Today the three of us spent a good part of the day at the Dharmapala Kadampa Buddhist Center. I arrived expecting to teach a Dharma for kids class followed by the three of us attending a mala making class. When no children showed up for class I asked the boys if they wanted to join in on the Introduction to Meditation class being offered at the same time. They said yes and away we went. They did wonderful with the meditation, participated in the class discussion, and seemed to really enjoy both the meditation and mala making class. Their willingness, great behavior, and enthusiasm make it possible to attend classes.
Alex teaches me how precious and rare our human life is and spiritual practice is important.
The other day we all got into my van to go out to dinner. The Prayers for Meditation cd was in and playing. Alex was sitting in the back seat singing away. He did not ask me to put on his favorite pop station. He was content and happy singing the prayers. This makes me recall the line; practicing dharma and not wasting our human life on meaningless activities, from the first Lamrim meditation.
Our dog had surgery this week and when we brought her home I could see the pain and worry on his face. Alex loves our dog and hates to see her suffer in any way. He continually expresses his wish for her to have a human rebirth so she too can reach enlightenment. The love and sincerity of his wish reminds me how rare and special this human life is.
On Thanksgiving as we all stated the many things we were grateful for Alex said he was grateful he was a Buddhist. I can’t help but see in his statement the reliance and understanding of going for refuge.
Thank You Alex
Brian sets the example of all living beings are our mothers and cherishing others is most important.
One day Brian asked if we would allow him to stop eating meat. One of his reasons stated was that he could not harm or eat another living being. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s contemplation for the meditation Advantages of Cherishing Others: The precious mind that cherishes all living beings protects both myself and others from suffering, brings happiness, and fulfills our wishes.
He has scooped up bugs and carried them outside instead of killing them for as long as I can remember. We even joke calling him the stink bug whisperer because of how often he carries them outside and never once gets sprayed. His compassion for all living things brings to my mind the realization that all beings are our mothers.
Two weeks ago I took Brian to a occupyroanoke meditation event. I did not realize it was not a guided meditation until the last-minute and had no time to prepare him. So I just whispered say a mantra or think about wishing peace. It was a 30 minute meditation and he did great. Walking back to the car I told him how I was wishing the 99% happiness and freedom from suffering. He explained that he too started out with that wish but felt like it was mean to leave the 1% out and so included them in his wish for happiness as well. I am humbled and inspired by his realization to cherish all beings.
Thank You Brian
Peace and Flowers