I am new to Dharma!

25 July 2010 - 5:20pm 1 Comment

Manjushri Class saw something a little different last week, as one “oldie” and one rather new member got together to give a sharing. Liaison Jamie Khoo the “oldie” paired up with new (but very active) member Andrew Boon to talk about what it means to be new in Dharma – how to navigate the rather tricky path of Dharma, how to get involved and how to make the most of your involvement with a Dharma centre.

Among the many good pointers shared by Andrew and Jamie, one of the key points they brought up was about getting as involved as possible when you join a Dharma centre. Keep an open mind and be ready for anything! The best way to learn is to really get stuck into the activities: explore the work and practice found within every department and in the process, get to know the many diverse people who make up the organisation.

They stressed that above all, Dharma practice is not just about sitting on a meditation cushion and chanting all day. Rather, it is the application of the teachings that is the most important. Being actively involved in the many works and events of a Dharma centre gives us the perfect opportunity to put what we learn into practice – dealing with difficult people, overcoming our weaknesses and fears, learning new skills, and challenging ourselves to confront tough situations in a peaceful, positive way.

One of the participants of the class, Ng Yew Seng, noted that although he is not working in the organisation full time, he has already noticed a great difference in his attitude and way of thinking. This comes from his involvement as a volunteer and from attending Dharma classes. However, he did also say that it has taken him almost a year to get to where he is now.

Jamie and Andrew then both added that being more strongly involved on a more frequent basis can help to “speed up” this process of mind transformation, to experience positive shifts in our attitudes and ways of thinking. When are you are surrounded by a supportive community that is also traversing the same path as you, that provides you with plenty of opportunities to interact directly with the teachings, there is no way but to improve and change for the better.

So what now? And how to start? Just get stuck in! There are always opportunities for being involved, especially in Kechara. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, keep a big open mind that is willing to learn and most of all, have fun while you’re doing it!

One Response to I am new to Dharma!

  1. I am sure that must have been a more than interesting sharing while we are on the other side teaching and sharing with the kids.

    Personally, I think the best way is to just participate, whether as a volunteer helping out or as a signed up participant/guest for our outdoor activities like our up & coming family day and lantern festival, to simply enjoy and get a feel of things.

    We have many activities – which are from one-off, to regular once-week, to more challenging timelines – like helping to proof
    read, translate text from ‘serious, scholastic & those that require a bit more discipline’ ( helping KMP, attending pujas, helping out in our librarary,etc ) to those that requires a pair of hands for arts & crafts be it helping the MKC, KSA that nurtures one’s creative and imaginative soul…

    The bottom line? You’ll never know unless you try! Who knows you may have a knack for creating beautiful crafts for our MKC activities or for languages – picking up Tibetan just like that!

    The best thing? So many departments and activities to choose from – learning grounds to create, explore and share!