Buddhist stress relief

by Myles Wearring, SSONET.com.au, Nov 10, 2006

Stresses of modern life can be eased with a little Buddhist know-how

Sydney, Australia -- Buddhist leader the Seventh Dzogchen Rinpoche is currently in Sydney giving talks on coping with stress and healing the mind.

One of the highest lamas in the Tibetan tradition, the Seventh Dzogchen Rinpoche had his education closely supervised by the Dalai Lama. Today he oversees the Dzogchen Monastery, one of the six main schools of Buddhism.

It was founded in Tibet in 1684, but rebuilt in 1992 in South India where many Tibetan refugees moved after Chinese occupation in the 1950s. There are over 200 monks studying there today.

Dzogchen is a Buddhist practice which means “great perfection” and is described as a way through which to realise the innermost nature of the mind.

The Seventh Dzogchen Rinpoche spends a few months each year travelling to spread the teachings of Buddhism to the Western world.

“Buddhism is not like a religion, it’s a type of mind, and intellectually or beyond intellectually everyone can experience something within that. This is my wish, to bring this,” he told Sydney Star Observer.

“I’ve studied Buddhism 30, 40 years almost now, and I don’t want to rest. I want to serve the people who don’t have the time to study 30, 40 years. I want to give them some bullet points, to help from the root, not just from the symptoms.

“There’s so much to learn and so much to do, but I think in this generation no one has the time, so I want to really bring [Buddhism] out to the West wherever it’s needed.”

The Seventh Dzogchen Rinpoche’s first talk in Sydney is called The Suffering Of Change and is about avoiding the stress brought about by changes in our lives.

“From the Buddhist point of view we try to recognise the stress, to minimise the stress, and not to add more stress. We find the solution to how we can change this stress, how we can change so we don’t have stress,” he said.

“It’s about resting and recognising and being more calm, and that way you have less stress. Do meditation to relax and it will definitely change. Physically you can relax and mentally you can relax too.”

Part of the problem with stress is that people don’t identify what is causing it, he said.

“I think people have to learn to accept what the problem is. There’s an opportunity there, a possibility to change and find a solution and that is really wonderful. I think you have to look for solutions and also to accept the changes.”

The second talk he’s giving in Sydney is called How To Heal The Body And The Mind.

“In Tibetan Buddhism we believe all health issues come from major stress and unbalance, so that’s why we try to heal the mind first,” he said.

“Sometimes we have more sickness in the head than in the physical. That’s why we must know the differences. Sometimes physically we’re not sick but it’s a belief that something’s wrong.”

The talk "The Suffering Of Change" costs $25 to attend and will take place on Saturday 11 November, 7pm, at Y On The Park, 5 Wentworth Ave. The talk How To Heal The Body And Mind is $80 and will take place on Sunday 12 November from 10am at Y On The Park. For more information visit the Shenpen Australia website.