Buddhist Monk enlightens students
Monday 19 April 2010
Words of wisdom and enlightenment softly echoed off the walls in Todd Lecture Hall April 6 as Buddhist Monk Geshe Thupten Phelgye spoke during the "Ethics for a Happy Society" program.
Todd Hall was packed beyond capacity as the Tibetan monk shared stories and advice relevant to maintaining a satisfactory life. His subtle smile and heartfelt laugh counterbalanced the heavy subjects he discussed such as politics, death, meditation and compassion for all living things.
"To promote peace and happiness on the outside, we must begin within," Phelgye said.
Phelgye is a PhD in Buddhist philosophy. He works with the Sulha Peace project in the Middle East and is the Tibetan ambassador for peace for the Dalai Lama.
Phelgye works with all religions to achieve universal enlightenment and says it doesn’t matter what religion you follow "if you have a strong compassionate feeling toward all living beings."
"A being that has a consciousness, that can feel, that can enjoy happiness and pleasure," Phelgye said, "from that angle, we’re all the same: humans, animals, insects, even spirits."
"Meditation," Phelgye said, "is not blocking all your sense and going into blank. It’s looking inside and using wisdom."
Phelgye said it is important to look within to find the cause of unwanted feelings, and that much of those unwanted feelings come simply from our own personal consciousness.
This was Phelgye’s fifth time visiting campus.
He will be involved with other teachings, blessings and retreats revolving around happiness, peace and compassion while in the area.
One event he participated in was a pet blessing that took place Sunday at Highbridge Park just outside Spokane.
Eric Stone, 27, mechanical engineering major, was present at the monk’s lecture.
"He impressed upon me that happy societies begin with happy people," Stone said. "Or, in other words, that change starts from within individuals, even societal change."
Stone said that after the program he was left with an urge to cultivate good, responsible qualities.
Phelgye is involved in a project that sponsors other Tibetan monks.
He explained that many who want to become educated Dharma students must risk their lives to cross the Himalayas and will barely make it to India with the clothes on their backs.
Many are orphans or from impoverished families in the Himalayan region.
To sponsor a monk, it costs about 50 cents a day or $180 a year.
The website for sponsorship is http://www.universalcompassion.org/sponsor-a-monk/.
Source : http://media.www.nicsentinel.com