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The prevailing theme of Geshe-la's teachings was how easy
it is to practice Dharma purely.
All we need is to develop a
pure view and a pure intention and then put that into practice
in our daily lives.
In particular, Geshe-la
stressed the importance of viewing others as precious and
developing a strong intention to cherish
them in everything we do.
And it works!
We saw it work during the two weeks we were
together as, through the force of Geshe-la's blessings, the
Festival became the practice.
Being with three thousand people all sincerely striving
to cherish others more than themselves was an extraordinary experience.
It was a glimpse of the Pure Land.
Throughout the Festival the rarest
sight was an unhappy face and the rarest sound an angry voice.
Despite the fact that we were far from the comforts and
convenience of our own homes, and despite the fact that mother
the opportunity to deluge us with the worst summer storms in
living memory, everybody stayed remarkably happy and positive — and
kindness was in abundance.
It became infectious. The more you showed consideration
for others, the better you felt!
During those special days we lived in a pure
Kadampa society — and it was wonderful.
If three thousand people can do it, why can't thirty thousand,
three hundred thousand, three million . . . ?
When, at the end of the Festival, Geshe-la encouraged us
to dedicate all our merit to the flourishing of Kadam Dharma
throughout the world, it wasn't difficult to get behind that thought!
4,000 meals were prepared each day by a team
20 - 30 people (provided by the German centers) worked
two 3-hour shifts each day to chop and prepare vegetables
14 cooks each worked two days on, one day off in temperatures
The chief cook and kitchen coordinator (both
Resident Teachers) spent 156 hours in the kitchen and 16
in the Temple during the
Other volunteers helped to carry the food
to the dining areas ( through all weathers) serve the meals,
clean the dining areas, and wash the dishes
Elsewhere a team of 100 volunteers
worked tirelessly to keep the Festival grounds and common
areas clean, while others worked in the Temple, offices,
car parks, etc.
The entire Festival was
run by hundreds of Kadampa students volunteering their services,
in some cases months in advance — a perfect example
of cherishing others
Thank you everyone!