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Buddhism

Buddhism is one of the oldest and biggest religions in the world. It comes from the historical Buddha Shakyamuni, who was born around 560 B.C.E. in Northern India. After years of meditation, aged 35, he reached Enlightenment – the state where there is no division between the experiencer and the experience, where the space does not divide things, but it encompasses them.

It is not nothingness, but the experience of openness, in which outer phenomena and inner experiences arise, play and disappear. When we realize this state, we are no longer dependent on the constantly changing circumstances, things and feelings. Instead, natural qualities of the mind manifest, such as intuitive wisdom, fearlessness, unconditioned joy and active compassion.

After he reached the Enlightnenment, over 45 years, the Budda gave 84,000 teachings. In Sanskrit the teachings are called „Dharma“, which means “the way things are”. They are not prohibitions or imperatives in their nature. Studying the trachings, practising meditation along with the application of the Buddhist view, lead to the full development of the Mind, that is the Enlightenment. That is why Buddhism is called a religion of experience, as opposed to Christianity and other world views which assume the existence of an outer God and base on faith and dogmas.

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.

Budda, Kalama Sutra

The Karma Kagyu lineage

The Karma Kagyu lineage belongs to one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism – the remaining three are the following: Nyingma, Sakya i Gelug (the school of the Dalai Lama). Kagyu is the lineage of a direct oral transmission, which especially treasures meditation. The methods of the Karma Kagyu lineage come from the historic Budda, who taught them to his closest students. These methods were later passed on for 1500 years in India through the Indian Buddhist masters (Mahasiddhas) like Padmasambhawa, Tilopa, Naropa i Maitripa, and then in Tibet by the yogis Marpa and Milarepa and monk Gampopa in the 12th century the 1st Karmapa became his student. Thanks to successive rebirths, the Karma Kagyu lineage remains a living, unbroken transmission until today. As one of the few Buddhist traditions, it contains the teachings of the Diamond Way.

The Diamond Way

Budda gave teachings depending on the abilities of his students – this way many traditions, schools and styles of practice came into existence. The Diamond Way represents Budda’s highest teachings. Here, the aim is to use the potential which is present in every situation.

The Diamond Way Buddhism practice is supported on three pillars: the view that all beings and phenomena are perfect, meditation, which transforms that view into direct experience, and effective actions, arising from the insight obtained in this way. Practice is thus not limited to meditation, but is possible in every moment, which particularly suits people in the West, whose lifestyle is very intensive.

Meditation

Buddhist meditation is a very precise method of working with the mind. It enables direct experience of phenomena as a free play of space, which we also are an expression of. Meditation balances the mind and makes it independent of ever changing conditions. It transorms disturbing emotions, such as aversion, attachment and confusion into corresponding types of wisdom.

Diamond Way meditations use a language of symbols and work based on identification with Buddha forms which represent perfect qualities of the mind. Thanks to regular practice, everything that happens is experienced as fresh and interesting, and acting for the benefit of others becomes natural and spontaneous.

Buddhism in the Western world

Westerners often imagine Buddhists as monks dressed in colourful robes. Meanwhile, most practising Buddhists in Europe are lay people who enjoy both professional and family life. As Buddhism is based on values which are inherent in Western culture – such as independent, critical thinking, freedom and altruism – the teachings of the Diamond Way have spread widely in the Western world in the past thirty years. The goal of the practice, which is to be able to discover the potential in every situation, ideally fits our modern lifestyle. At present there are more than 600 Diamond Way Buddhist centres of the Karma Kagyu lineage worldwide. They were founded by Lama Ole Nydahl and are under the spiritual guidance of H.H. the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje.

Buddhist centres in Polish citiese

The first Polish Diamond Way Buddhist centre was founded in Kraków in 1976. Since that time Buddhism has been rapidly developing in Poland. At the moment there are more than sixty centres and meditation groups that belong to the Diamond Way Buddhist Association of the Karma Kagyu lineage, which is the largest Buddhist school in Poland. Their contact details can be found at www.buddyzm.pl.

The basic practice performed at the centres is the three lights meditation, which the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje composed especially for Western people and transmitted to Lama Ole Nydahl. Meditation sessions are held on a regular basis, usually a few times per week. They last approximately half an hour and are conducted in Polish. The sessions do not require special preparation and anyone can participate free of charge. The members of the centres cover the costs of their operation by making voluntary contributions, conduct meditation sessions, answer questions and organise lectures of Buddhist teachers. Several centres also offer lessons on Buddhism designed for students of junior and senior high school, which are taught as part of ethics classes.

The Lublin Centre

The history of Diamond Way Buddhism in Lublin started in 1986, when a meditation group was formed. This gave rise to the establishment of the centre of Buddhist Association of the Karma Kagyu Lineage in Lublin in 1993. In the beginning the group had only a few members, who would meet in private homes. However, when the group became so numerous that private homes could no longer accommodate it, we started renting places where we could meet. In 2003, when we had left one of the places we had been temporarily renting, one of the members decided to give us access to 50 squares of space in his house. After few months of working with bare ground, an uneven ceiling, bare walls and cobwebs the size of blankets, we managed to create a place which the yogis in Lublin could have only dreamt of. The place we had refurbished on our own served us for about 6 years. For the following 3 years we rented a two-storey flat in a detached house and some of our friends lived there at that time.

Lama Ole Nydahl has visited Lublin four times (in 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997), each time delivering profound teachings on the mind. His teachings are inspiring an increasing number of Westerners, and our Centre has experienced a steady influx of newcomers who have joined our meditation sessions.

For more information, please visit www.lublin.buddyzm.pl and https://www.facebook.com/bomlublin.

Project under the auspices of the Stupa House Foundation Fundacja Stupa House