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Welcome to our News

Welcome to the Pure Land Centre News. This page contains a list of news in reverse chronological order (most recent first)


Twenty Non-Medical Ways to Cope With Pain

Twenty Non-Medical Ways to Cope With Pain [1]

There is a difference between physical pain, which is a physiological process, and suffering, which is our mental and emotional response to the pain. In general, in addition to physical pain, there is mental pain, from a mind agitated and disturbed by negative thoughts.

Between 2008 and 2012 members of the Wheel of Life Palliative Care Support Group at Hayagriva Buddhist Centre collected from various sources twenty non-medical ways that people had found useful in trying to cope with their pain.

Here are three of those methods:

  • Realize that there may be others who are experiencing similar or even greater pain than you. Generate the wish that they may be freed from their pain.
  • Realize that reacting to your pain with anger, frustration or despair will not help ease the pain.
  • Given that your pain is not over yet, decide that you will tolerate and accept it. Then you will no longer be its victim.

Read more on Twenty Non-Medical Ways to Help You Cope With Pain and Suffering

[1] Contents of this page prepared by Len Warren for The Pure Land of the Indestructible Buddha, November 2018. Content assembled by Wheel of Life, Hayagriva Buddhist Centre, 64 Banksia Terrace, Kensington 6151, Western Australia, 2008-1012.


Visiting Those Dying and in Pain

Visiting Those Dying and in Pain [1]

Before meeting a friend who is experiencing physical or emotional pain, and/or facing the end of their life, sit quietly for a few minutes. Become aware of any thoughts or fears that might impede your receptivity, and connect again with your inherent openness and love by reflecting on your friend’s suffering.

As you settle quietly in meditation and watch your thoughts, you might find that you have fear about the other person’s anguish or concern about your ability to make him feel better. Perhaps you’re already trying to plan what you will say, to feel some control in the uncertain situation ahead. Acknowledge these thoughts and fears, and then allow them to dissolve. You might imagine setting your fears, plans and thoughts in a box next to you and leaving them behind, before going into your friend’s room.

Reflect on your friend’s situation, and let his suffering touch your heart, awakening your compassion and love. No matter how painful the circumstances or how disturbing the physical appearance that you will encounter, remember that your friend has, at the core of his being, the innermost essence of wisdom and compassion. Your role, then, is not to rescue him or give him your solutions, but to help him recall and turn toward his own inner resources.

Read more on What To Do When You Visit Someone Who is Dying and in Pain

[1] Contents of this page prepared by Len Warren of Pure Land of the Indestructable Buddha, Hayagriva Buddhist Centre, 64 Banksia Terrace, Kensington 6151 Western Australia, November 2018. Selected extracts from Chapter 5, Facing Death and Finding Hope: A Guide to the Emotional and Spiritual Care of the Dying, by Christine Longaker, Broadway Books, New York 2001, p. 54


Responding to the Suffering of Others

Responding to the Suffering of Others [1]

One of the hardest parts of caregiving work – or life, for that matter – is being asked to help someone whose particular form of suffering we have not experienced ourselves, perhaps one that triggers our deepest fears – for example, the sudden death of a child. How can we respond to a young father’s pain when we don’t even want to imagine what he is going through? What can we possibly offer him?

My experience is that each of us has the same needs when we are suffering. We all need to have our suffering and emotional pain validated. We need to feel safe speaking about and expressing our pain, and to trust that others will understand our feelings. We need to feel that whatever our experience and circumstances, we are respected and unconditionally accepted.

We all need basic human qualities – the reliable presence and love of another person, someone willing to be in regular contact with us for the duration of our journey through suffering. We need others to simply listen and bear witness to our pain, offering support, encouragement, and honesty, tempered with compassion.

Read more on Responding to the Suffering of Others

[1] Contents of this page prepared by Len Warren of Pure Land of the Indestructable Buddha, Hayagriva Buddhist Centre, 64 Banksia Terrace, Kensington 6151 Western Australia, November 2018. Selected extracts from Chapter 5, Facing Death and Finding Hope: A Guide to the Emotional and Spiritual Care of the Dying, by Christine Longaker, Broadway Books, New York 2001, p. 54


Good News from the Pure Land

Good News from the Pure Land

We have some good news to share with you. Recently, our application to the State Government to become an incorporated association was quickly approved, without any changes to the constitution. For this our thanks go to our Secretary, whose skills in this area ensured a smooth passage.

Now we can make contracts and accept liabilities without committee members having to take on liabilities personally. It’s like a company but we are a not-for-profit incorporated association. We are all protected now. So we are ready for example to rent premises or accept low or no-interest loans. Of course, there are also certain commitments for us, as an incorporated association, to meet, and the Committee will be assessing these in coming months.

Thanks to the kindness of the Buddhist Society of WA, we were invited to make a Friday night ‘Rains Retreat’ presentation at their Dhammaloka Centre. We gave a talk/meditation on Healing a Relationship by Completing Unfinished Business (view the video of this talk/meditation) and talked about the concept of and recent progress with the Pure Land project. As a result, we welcomed eight new Friends of the Pure Land.

And when you have time please check out some of the articles relevant to preparing for your own death and how to help others who are dying, on our website, for example, how to “Create a Conducive Environment for a Peaceful Death“.


Fear, Stress and Anxiety

Fear, Stress and Anxiety [1]

As we approach our death, it is natural to experience fear, stress and anxiety. People often say, “I’m not afraid of death; it’s the pain and turmoil of dying that worries me.” Others are genuinely concerned about leaving behind everything that has any meaning to them, their family and friends, their possessions, and losing their faculties and ultimately their body. “What will happen to me?” So it is good to learn now about the causes of fear and anxiety and to practice their antidotes. However, modern life is not a help in this regard, because many of us live in constant states of fear, stress or anxiety. This is not necessarily to do with dying; it is the nature of modern life.

As chronic stress becomes a global epidemic, our stress response is being studied intensively to see if we can unwind its mysteries. It turns out that our perspective has a surprising amount of influence over our body’s stress response. When we turn a threat into a challenge, our body responds very differently. What we need is stress resilience. This involves turning what is called ‘threat stress’, or the perception that a stressful event will harm us, into what is called ‘challenge stress’, or the perception that a stressful event is a challenge that will help us grow.

The remedy is quite straightforward. One simply notices the flight-or-fight response in one’s body – the beating heart, the pulsing blood, or the tingling feeling in our hands or face, the rapid breathing – then remembers that these are natural responses to stress and that our body is just preparing to rise to the challenge.

Read more on Fear, Stress and Anxiety

[1] Extracts from: The Book of Joy, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams, Hutchinson: London 2016, selected by Len Warren.


Coping with Pain

Coping with Pain [1]

“Archbishop Tutu, many people, when they get ill, don’t feel very joyful. You’ve been able to maintain that joy in the face of suffering. How have you been able to do it?”

“Well, I have certainly been helped by many other people. One of the good things is realizing you are not a solitary cell. You are part of a wonderful community. That’s helped very greatly. As we were saying, if you set out to be joyful, you are not going to end up being joyful. You’re going to find yourself turned in on yourself. It’s like a flower. You open, you blossom, because of other people. And I think suffering, maybe even intense suffering, is a necessary ingredient for life, certainly for developing compassion.

The Dalai Lama agreed, “So as you have rightly mentioned, a self-centred attitude is the source of the problem. We have to take care of ourselves without selfishly taking care of ourselves. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we cannot survive. We need to do that. We should have wise selfishness, rather than foolish selfishness. Foolish selfishness means you just think only of yourself, don’t care about others, bully others, exploit others. In fact taking care of others, helping others, ultimately is the way to discover your own joy and to have a happy life. So that is what I call wise selfishness.”

Read more on Coping with Pain

[1] Excerpts from: The Book of Joy, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams, Hutchinson: London 2016, selected by Len Warren.


The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life [1]

In 2015, His Holiness the Dalai Lama turned eighty. Archbishop Desmond Tutu made a special trip from South Africa to Dharamsala to be with his old friend and to discuss in depth how to find joy in the face of our daily troubles. The record of this meeting is The Book of Joy. There is a wonderful section about the meaning of life, and excerpts are presented below.

There is perhaps thing more joyous than birth, and yet so much of our life is spent in sadness, stress and suffering.

No dark fate determines the future. We do. Each day and each moment we are able to create and re-create our lives and the very quality of human life on the planet. This is the power we wield.

Lasting happiness cannot be fund in pursuit of any goal or achievement. It does not reside in fortune or fame. It resides only in the human mind and heart, and it is here that we must hope to find it.

“Joy,” as Archbishop Tutu said during his momentous week-long meeting with His Holiness the Da-lai Lama, “is much bigger than happiness. While happiness is often seen as being dependent on cir-cumstances, joy is not.” This state of mind – and heart – is much closer to both the Dalai Lama’s and the Archbishop Tutu’s understanding of what animates our lives and what ultimately leads to a life of satisfaction and meaning.

“One great question underlies our existence,” the Dalai Lama says, “What is the purpose of life? After much consideration, I believe the purpose of life is to find happiness. It does not matter whether one is a Buddhist like me, or a Christian like the Archbishop, or any other religion, or no religion at all. From the moment of birth every human being wants to discover happiness and to avoid suffering.”

Read more on The Meaning of Life

[1] Excerpts from: The Book of Joy, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams, Hutchinson: London 2016, compiled by Len Warren.


The Nine-Point Death Meditation

The Nine-Point Death Meditation [1]

The nine-point meditation on death is a powerful meditation that can motivate you into studying and practising the spiritual teachings. You can overcome your laziness. You can decide: “I must not postpone my practice day after day because something more important crops up.”

The nine main points are summarised below. For a MORE detailed explanation of their meaning, see The Nine-Point Death Meditation

Death is certain: no power in the universe can stop death; with every moment that passes I come closer to my death; the free time I have left in my life to study and practise the spiritual teachings is extremely limited.

The time of death is most uncertain: the lifespan in our realm and time is uncertain; the things that kill us are many, the things that keep us alive are few; in general, the body is extremely fragile.

Only my mental and spiritual qualities will help at the time of death: no money or possessions can help me; family and friends cannot help; not even my own body can help me at the time of death.

[1] From: Extended Lam-Rim Outlines: Beginners’ Meditation Guide, compiled by Karin Valham, Kopan Monastery, Kathmandu, 2007, (Page 24) and Venerable Thubten Dondrub’s teachings at Hayagriva Buddhist Centre. Presented by Len Warren to 24th Annual Reiki Day on 1 July 2018.


The Harp Concert 14 Jul 2018

Harpist: Shamarra de Tissera
Venue: Hayagriva Buddhist Centre
64 Banksia Terrace, Kensington WA

Donation: $30 p.p.

On Saturday 14 July the Pure Land Project will present something very special, The Harp Concert, with harpist Shamarra de Tissera.

Book and Pay Online using the form below

This is our first fundraising event and we would be so pleased to see you and your family or friends on the night. The hall at Hayagriva Buddhist Centre holds about 70 people so if you want to reserve seats, please use our online booking form below.

Program

6:45 pm

Arrive

7:00 pm

Start of concert
The Healing Power of Sound and Silence

7:45 pm

Supper
During supper, you can experience the Reverie Harp

8:15 pm

Optional Extra (for those who wish to stay longer)
Loving Voices at the Bedside

9:00 pm

Finish

The Harp Concert – Sat 14 July 2018 from 7pm with harpist Shamarra de Tissera at Hayagriva Buddhist Centre, 64 Banksia Terrace, Kensington WA

The concert will feature chant, song and story from several Buddhist traditions, interwoven with an introduction to the benefits of bedside music and the Reverie Harp.

Shamarra de Tissera is the President of the Harp Society of Western Australia, runs a private music studio teaching harp, voice and piano and plays therapeutic music in private homes, hospitals and aged care. Shamarra is in collaboration with Amana Living Aged Care.

Thanks to Penni Sutton for creating the image.

Bookings have closed for this event

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