Gelek Rimpoche on Overcoming Suffering

Gelek-Rimpoche-145May 23 – 26 renowned Buddhist teacher Gelek Rimpoche leads a retreat on “Manjushri’s System of Blasting Through Ignorance,” exploring Tibetan teachings about breaking out of the “unquestioned assumption of a permanent self” that underlies suffering. 

That’s an insight that sounds a lot like the CBRT white paper on resilience, which argues: “People often view themselves as static entities, when in fact they are  dynamic systems who are constantly in flux. As such, individuals have the capacity to sustain themselves through disruption and the capacity for reorganization and self-repair when they have been physically or emotionally harmed—that is, they have the capacity for resilience.”

Gelek Rimpoche has seen firsthand how contemplative practice can help relieve sufferings of people who experience trauma.  He escaped Tibet in 1959, so traumatized by the fighting between Tibetan and Chinese soldiers that he hallucinated the sound of gunshots. Here’s how he told the story at our 2009 Transforming Trauma symposium:

People affected by trauma experience tremendous suffering. Does contemplation help people who are suffering? I can’t tell you so scientifically. I wish I could, but I don’t have [the data]. Yet I’ve seen it many times and it is true [that contemplation helps].

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