News and Stories from Shenten Dargye Ling

Pearls of DailyGelek 1: JOYFUL EFFORT

As a response to the covid times and the imposed seclusion, for a couple of years Khenpo Gelek Jinpa gave support to Shenten´s community with his regular online teaching from Gyalwa Chaktri, the famous practice manual of Bon Dzogchen. At the beginning, those one hour long meetings took place every day, and combined thirty minutes of teaching with meditation. They were attended by up to three hundred people and many of them expressed their gratitude to the lama. During those encounters, Khenpo la repeatedly shared his key instructions. We decided to collect some and present them as a series of daily reminders. We start with JOYFUL EFFORT and what it means in the context of Dzogchen practice.

(Daily sessions on ZOOM were called DailyGelek initially; later, Geshe Samten, Geshe Lungrik and Geshe Kalsang joined and the meetings were renamed DailyShenten).

In the teaching of Dzogchen we hear about “effortless state” or “effortless meditation”. Some people may misunderstand this. “Effortless” is a meditation that does not fabricate anything, this is the main characteristic of Dzogchen, compared to other kinds of meditation. But it does not mean at all that a Dzogchen practitioner should not be diligent and energetic. “Develop joyful effort” is what Tonpa Shenrab recommends to his disciples when he leaves them to go to for teaching in other places. When we know the purpose of our meditation and we trust in the result, then we naturally develop dedication and enthusiasm for it – joyful effort. When we have it, we do not divide our time between “practice time” and “leisure time”. Our mind does not wait for a formal meditation session to practice, it is naturally more and more engaged all the time. When we have joyful effort, we do not need to force ourselves to practice. Our practice does not feel dry and tiring, it is energizing and leads to a relaxed state. It is what we want to do more and more.

Photo: Yana Karamari

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