This morning we began the preliminary activities required for our retreat at KTD. Each activity is planned to experience, in real time, the compassionate love towards all beings. Karma Yoga practice is one of the activities that all the retreatants get to participate in on a daily basis. Its basic orientation is to offer H.H. Karmapa, Rinpoche, the lamas, the monastics, and the sangha as well as every person at KTD, the qualities, skills and resources that each participant has to offer so that we can share in an experience of harmonious coexistence while on retreat together. We delight in offering loving service to this beautiful place that opens its doors to us, with the kindness and generosity that characterizes KTD, and so that it remains in the best of conditions.
Prior to our arrival at KTD, the participants took an online course in which the significance of this practice was described. Venerable Dämcho taught us that Karma Yoga is the opportunity to practice kindness, patience, effort and collaboration and in so doing, we find the clearest manifestation of interdependence without which our mere existence would face multiple daily challenges.
Upon arrival at KTD, after registration, each participant identified one of the activities that he/she would most like to do to be of benefit to the people gathered here. We had many options to choose from: kitchen clean up after every meal; cleaning the bathrooms and common areas; or assisting with meal preparation. We could also choose to help maintain the physical grounds, mow the lawn or water the plants, whose beautiful colors delight us every day. Other participants assist with the online transmission of the teachings so that those who were unable to attend the teachings can benefit. We also have people volunteering to administrate the sound system, take photographs of all of our daily sessions and report on the retreat’s development.
As you can see, while all these activities are valuable on their own, when joined together, they show concretely the importance of how each participant’s actions can be of benefit to others, not only here at KTD, but in everyday life as well. There are many people who offer their support and willingness to collaborate and without whose effort, it may not be possible to live as comfortably and easily as we have the fortune to do.
Karma Yoga is a great opportunity to practice generosity and compassionate love and rejoice in it, always finding a reason to serve without minding which activity we do. It is so beautiful to see that everyone does their daily chores with a smile and happily. Everyone is doing more than just a daily task when they are washing the pots or cleaning the bathrooms, they are making an offering on behalf of others. With Karma Yoga, participants learn how to serve joyfully.
RETIRO DE TARA VERDE, KTD 2014
Writers / Escritores
Translator / Traductora
Editors / Editores
Photographs / Fotografías
Coordinators / Coordinadores
Ven. Tenzin Dapel