Festival Diaries 2021

Festival Diaries 2021

June 9Public Talk

An Inspiring Pre-Festival Public Talk

During the Pre-Festival Public Talk – Living the Life you Long for – given by Gen-la Kelsang Khyenrab, our National Spiritual Director, everyone, beginners or more experienced people, certainly enjoyed the many wisdom gems we received. After all, it’s so simple: meditate every day to maintain mindfulness and alertness and to develop love, compassion, patience and wisdom. Then, practice the Buddhist way of life: put the instructions into practice in your daily life and continue to receive teachings regularly. How fortunate we are to have access to these life-changing teachings! Many people from all around the country were deeply inspired and shared their experience with us…

This talk was amazing and showed me once again that everyone in this world needs Buddha’s teachings, whether Buddhists or non Buddhists. – Gabrielle

What touched me the most is the reminder that there are two types of happiness, temporary happiness and pure and everlasting happiness. – Claire

June 11 – Day 1

Relaxing in the ocean of Buddha’s teachings

“Everybody is welcome to participate in the next few days.  And I would suggest we give ourselves a mission… to relax.  Relax into this ocean of Buddha’s teachings, the Dharma. And enjoy, mixing our mind with these pure instructions. I would like to suggest that over the next couple of days, all of us listen carefully to these teachings and put them into practice purely and sincerely.”

With these words, Gen-la Kelsang Khyenrab introduced the 2021 Online Canadian National Festival. And what an ocean of teachings did we get in this introduction! Through answering three very common questions and giving Venerable Geshe-la’s answers to these from the Mirror of Dharma with Additions, Gen-la Kelsang Khyenrab expounded teachings on the causes of happiness and suffering, the nature and function of the mind, the existence of past and future lives, faith, moral discipline, conscientiousness, mindfulness and alertness! He concluded with introducing us to the meditation on renunciation.

What an ocean to relax into! Are you up for this mission? Just relax and enjoy the next few days.

June 12 – Day 2

Receiving the Blessings of White Tara

How fortunate we are!

Today, Gen-la Kelsang Khyenrab granted the blessing empowerment of Buddha White Tara. An empowerment is “the gateway through which we enter tantra and that bestows upon us special blessings that heal our mental continuum and awaken our Buddha nature.” Gen-la then proceeded to give the first of three commentaries on how to put the instructions into practice. Explaining the common paths of refuge and bodhichitta, he explained specifically how to develop the mahayana refuge and tantric bodhichitta, preliminary practices for a successful meditation on self-generation.

From that state of truth, emptiness […], we can arise as whatever we like!”  We learn to change our basis of imputation. “We generate ourself,  imagine ourself,  impute ourself,  think of ourself as an enlightened being. How wonderful!

Steve, Ottawa, ON: Hello Canadian Kadampa family! It’s so lovely to connect with you through this Dharma Festival. I want to offer my profound thanks to Gen-la Khyenrab and to all the people who have worked behind the scenes to make this possible. Much love.
Judy, Mission, BC: Mike, myself and our new family member, Bodhi have just received the Empowerment of White Tara. Thank you Gen-La Khyenrab for an inspiring commentary and explanation of how Tara will influence our lives.

June 13 – Day 3

Receiving the most profound instructions

This last day of teachings with Gen-la Khyenrab was packed with treasures of Dharma including a profound oral transmission of Venerable Geshe-la’s explanation of merit so that we can identify in our own mind what this good fortune really is. Gen-la Khyenrab concluded the first teaching of the day with very practical applications on how to accumulate merit, the seeds of Dharma realizations, in our daily life through engaging in very simple activities that any of us can do.

In the afternoon, we received powerful, profound teachings on the seven types of wisdom, all of which we can use to solve our daily problems and avert obstacles. While relaxing in the ocean of the Dharma we received, the last wave of teachings on the sixteen aspects of the four Noble Truths might have woken up some of us. 😉 

What an incredible weekend to encourage ourselves in our practice, to find this inner Spiritual Guide of wisdom and to use our precious human life as an opportunity to accumulate a great amount of merit every day. This way we can fulfill our deepest wish to help all living beings to find everlasting happiness. Now, for the next two days, we can further enjoy taking to heart these Dharma Jewels with the post-festival retreat.

Aurore, Montreal, QC: Today was a beautiful and meaningful day with the White Tara empowerment that Gen-la Khyenrab granted to us. Theses blessings and instructions gave me the wish to accumulate ever more good fortune. I will not allow untimely death to stop my dharma practice. It’s now the time to do long life practice, no time to waste!

KMC Canada students, Toronto, ON: There is no doubt that the Dharma wisdom that flowed, through our kind Teacher Gen-la Khyenrab, directly to us today, was pure blessings. How fortunate we are.

June 14 – Day 4

Time for retreat!

Venerable Geshe-la designed our Kadampa Festivals in such a way that we first receive powerful blessings during the empowerment, then we listen to commentaries to the practice and finally, we engage in meditation to take these teachings to heart. If we follow our spiritual guide’s special method, we get the opportunity to gain the attainments of the practices we engage in. Yesterday, Gen Kelsang Zopa guided four retreat sessions in conjunction with the very concise prayers of the Yoga of Buddha White Tara so that we can train in meditation in order to become Buddha White Tara ourself and attain the immeasurable long life. We therefore accumulated a great amount of merit and increased our wisdom. 
Are you enjoying relaxing in this ocean of blessings?

June 15 – Day 5

The festival is over…

Five days of amazing teachings, blessings, meditations, inspiration… and time to soak in, relax and mix our mind with these pure instructions as suggested in the introduction. Thank you to our kind National Spiritual Director Gen-la Kelsang Khyenrab for these priceless instructions, and thank you Venerable Geshe-la for leading us, guiding us on our spiritual path. Now is the time to put the instructions we received into practice in our daily lives.

See you all again soon for the next opportunity to gather together as we connect with the International Kadampa Family for the Summer Festival 2021!

Also, don’t miss the next National event Entering the Pure Land Retreat in January 2022!