The concept that peace starts in the mind goes back centuries with interpretations on how to achieve it carrying forth to the present day.
Tibetan Buddhist Lama Khentrul Lodrö Thayé Rinpoche, in town next week to teach, has had more success than most when it comes to transmitting the practical application of ancient Buddhist texts.
Rinpoche is the author of “Power of Mind: A Tibetan Monk’s Guide to Finding Freedom in Every Challenge,” which is an introduction to the Seven Key Points of Mind Training. He is giving a talk at Juneau Arts and Humanities Council on Thursday, Sept. 14, from 7-9 p.m., and conducting a longer teaching at the Aspen Suites Hotel on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16-17.
“It is rare to have a teacher of this caliber, with this experience, come to Juneau,” said Karin Dvorak, an organizer of the event and a Buddhist. “It really is a special opportunity.”
Rinpoche’s book is based on the Seven Key Points. That classic Buddhist text, known broadly as Lojong, was developed between 900 and 1200 A.D. It has been the basis for contemplative practices taught by lamas ever since.
“What he has done with ‘Power of Mind’ is to elucidate the ancient text in a way that makes it really practical,” said Sudie Hargis, another event organizer and a Buddhist. “The book provides contemplations and everyday actions to integrate the teachings into people’s lives.”
Rinpoche has groups around the country who practice and study under his guidance. In Juneau the group is called Katog Ewam Ling, which translates loosely to “Katog place of awakening.”
Hargis said it is a small local group that gets together every Tuesday, keeps in touch with Rinpoche and studies online, and participates in Compassion In Action. That is a program Rinpoche established to facilitate his groups’ participation in their larger communities while also building spiritual bonds.
Katog Ewam Ling teams with local nonprofits as part of its connection to Compassion in Action, generally through food banks.
Rinpoche’s visit has three components: the talk, two-day teaching and time for exchanges with students. Hargin and Dvorak stressed that all are welcome.
“It’s not about religion,” said Hargis. “It’s practical tools that bring peace. We may need it more today than we ever have before.”
Know & Go
What: A talk by Tibetan Buddhist Lama Khentrul Lodrö Thayé Rinpoche.
Where: Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, Main Hall, 350 Whittier St., Juneau.
When: Thursday, Sept. 14, 7-9 p.m.
Cost: Free to the public.
Weekend Teaching: Aspen Suites Hotel, Saturday, Sept. 16 and Sunday, Sept. 17. No cost, but donations are accepted. Organizers request people register for the weekend by emailing KATOGEWAMLING@gmail.com.