Gen Kelsang Dawa
I am a Kadampa Buddhist Monk,
based at the Khedrubje Centre on the Central Coast
I give talks on Buddhism and meditation once a month in Dubbo. It used to be less
regular, but we had so many requests we now hold a monthly class at Western Plains Cultural Centre. We were running a day class, but we have moved to an evening slot and the numbers are just incredible now – with sometimes 60 people coming.
In each talk, I guide people through meditation and then teach them meditation
techniques to overcome stress. My hope is they can get a direct experience of having a peaceful mind – which is quite easy to develop, but quite difficult to keep.
As a result, not many people have what Buddhists call ‘inner peace’, which is a
shame, because it is so easy to develop. That’s what Buddhism is all about.
I’ll give practical advice on remaining patient in difficult situations, such as a
relationship at work, or with a family member – how to view them in the best way possible, even if their behaviour is inappropriate. It’s about understanding that if your mind is peaceful, if you have to say something to them, what comes out is a lot more constructive than if you were angry. So it is all very relatable.
I was raised a Catholic,
then when I was a teenager I started to read about Buddhism and meditation and started to develop an interest. Professionally I was a chef. I’d lived in the Whitsundays in an island community and I really enjoyed living in a big group. I wanted to experience community in a spiritual context, so I moved into a Buddhist Centre. I knew nothing, apart from what I’d read. I hadn’t even been to a meditation class before.
The biggest reward for me from my teaching is seeing the positive change in people.
People want to learn how to destress and how to reduce their anxiety. I appreciate that not everybody wants to follow the Buddhist path, but if I can explain it in a practical way, then people can appreciate that there is something there for them.
I used to be in the yoga studio on the main strip (Macquarie Street, Dubbo). The lady
that ran the yoga studio at that time came here 20 years ago, and people thought she was leading a cult. Yoga was that foreign to people! I think things have changed a lot since then!
What I am hoping to achieve here in Dubbo is a meditation centre, so that the
classes that are monthly can become weekly.