First Session:
 
The monk shared 3 ideas to work on on forgiving others which was today’s topic. 
1) see the bigger picture. Everyone wants to be happy. Whatever they did / said etc is meant to bring them happiness. But more importantly does this resentment help in the long run? Holding onto it? Do you remember a trivial incident your buddy did when you were 7? Holding on is punishing you and not the other person because you are in pain with the negativity. After a period of time our perception towards this painful incident would change so why not forgive now.
 
2) see the purity / the Buddha in that person. Our true nature is that. We have got lost along the way and are covered with illusions of who we are. We are mentally confused no different from those in the mental hospitals. We need to see beyond what the person says & does because he / she is deep down pure & right now stuck in the illusion. 
 
3) karma. We don’t know what we have done to those we hold grudges or resentment towards. We have lived hundreds of lives before this body and have had relationships with all sorts of people including the one we are holding a grudge against. Letting go helps because we could have possibly done some wrong in the past. It’s our karma. Everything comes back. The good and the bad. So forgive.
 
Second Session:

An amazing session on pride and how that gets in the way. Pride is an illusion that inflates our ego. Thinking we are superior whether through identity, or position or even knowledge. This pride can hinder us from growing and learning. He said when we feel defensive from a criticism then we have pride cuz we think it’s unfair and probably believe we are perfect. Also, he said to truly be humble and have no pride is to accept everyone like Buddha. Really think that those you see on the MTR are probably Buddha. Believe and be that mindful like you’d be when you see your idol like Nelson Mandela or Gandhi. All the people around are for us to learn something, whether it’s patience, tolerance, unconditional love, non judgmental etc. it’s observing ourselves and our thoughts towards strangers. Do we think we are better, do we look down or them or do we look up to them and admire them and see the Buddha in them?
 
Third Session:

Today he talked about self esteem in terms of it on the spiritual path. Do we give up after a session of meditation because our mind wandered or do we keep trying? That self confidence in trying is what is needed on this path because this journey is long and results take a long time. 
Also he talked about how self esteem when derived from destructive ways can be dangerous.
1) when we compare ourselves to others and want to be better or the best at something.
2) to feel the need of being accepted or praised etc. 
Our self esteem through these means is fragile because other people’s views change and that can then affect our state. Also what we are best at can change in time. And example he gave was boxers. Those that were good in the past aren’t now because of age etc. So we then won’t feel good about ourselves if our sense of self esteem is derived from that. 
 
Forth Session: 

Last night he talked about happiness & forgiveness.
We all want to be happy. It’s a state of mind so it’s not a situation that makes it happen or takes it away. It’s how we feel inside and when something occurs that seem bad how we react reflects on our state of happiness and peace.
He talked about how everyone is here to teach us something. Everyone could be a Buddha. Even the people on the ferry. It’s an awareness and being mindful to that. 
He said in short be nice as in be selfless and be happy. When you are being selfless you are looking 
out for others. Be happy is looking within and ensuring you’re in a calm & peaceful state. Being nice doesn’t mean saying yes to what should be a no. Not to confuse what is at the best interest for them. So for example a mother will pull her child back with all her might if he’s crossing the road on a red light. Her action seems not nice but her intent is nice. It’s for him. What I also learnt when I chatted with him after is at times I shouldn’t intervene because then the people involved don’t learn to deal with it on their own. I can be loving & supportive but I don’t have to DO anything to exhibit niceness.
 
Fifth Session: 

Introduction to Tantric Meditation:
In a nutshell it’s like an express lane to attaining bliss but it needs to be learnt slowly and properly.
It’s usually misunderstood with sex which is a very small insignificant element of how tantric meditation can help. 
Tantric is integrating and being fully immersed in the doing. Is giving to others love & happiness because them being happy makes you happy. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing a happy face? That’s what the meditation was focused on: to give what they (family, friends etc) think they want so they are happy. 
He also mentioned about chanting and being immersed in it can reach nirvana. He gave an example of a lady who didn’t understand anything. She didn’t need to question and didn’t understand the mantra she was given but she happily did it anyway.
There are 2 ways: top bottom and bottom top approach. 
The first is using the mind to understand then to internalize. The second being using the root mind which is the soul and having it seeded in the root mind then going up. That can be easier. Which also means it’s unimportant to comprehend as long as there is faith & imagination. Faith in believing that you are Buddha & so is everyone else. Imagination because it’s believing or thinking out of your norm-being Buddha isn’t something we normally think. So visualizing & imagining creates that belief. Having faith in that imagination. What you imagine and have faith in is your reality. 
He also spoke about the channels in our body and how it is clogged and needs clearing and that’s what meditation does. We can imagine little Buddhas in the channels and chakras.:-)
He also spoke about this body being like a jewel box like a temple and in which the Buddha resides. 
Cleansing the channels so it flows well is vital. Something that we have ignored for lifetimes. 
Sixth Session:

Last night he talked about happiness, death & truly living in the moment. He explained how we don’t quite understand that. Living in the moment isn’t indulging because we misunderstand it by thinking 
we’ll die anyway so why not eat whatever I want or get all the fame and success I can. What we realize eventually is that these pleasures don’t give us happiness or contentment so the question then is what is happiness. He explains that to give to others. Happiness is not from getting more. 
Seeing others happy makes us happy. 
Living in the moment means to be ready that death can come at anytime and so do what matters most and be in the state of mind that helps feel peaceful. 
He explained how when we are stressed we tend to think we don’t have time but when we are centered it takes lesser time to get things done. Spirituality helps with daily chores. Using living in the moment, being happy for others, being aware that death can be at anytime brings things in perspective. When we are calm and centered things get done a lot faster and better. He gave an example about when he was in charge of the kitchen in the England branch and there were 2000 people to cook for in a small kitchen and for 3 times daily. Initially he thought he could never do it but after sometime he was not only able to do but had more time to put his feet up! The more you stay focused, centered and do it more it becomes natural. Meditation is that too. 
 
 
Seventh Session: 

He started by saying that if we want to enroll for this course we can. He explained why enrolling would be good. He said by committing to attend we then make sure we are there even when there are reasons not to like being busy, lazy or dinners to attend. Our commitment will pull us to attend. Today’s class focused on the book Modern Buddhism. He covered the preface. He explained why the preface is important. He said we tend to overlook the preface of any book we read but the preface is the foundation like how a building requires prepping before it is built. Similarly the preface is the foundation to the stages of spiritual development. He explained that the book has 2 parts: sutra and tantra. Sutra being the long long road and tantra the fast car. However we need them both to reach our goal. The focus or goal is to know that happiness is within us. So when we are unhappy or angry because of a person or situation we know that we can’t change it, we may try but we can’t. We can only change our mind and the problems won’t seem to be there. Also what is bothering us is what’s not dealt with in us; it’s our own malfunction. One thing we know is we’ve always had problems and we want to be happy and be free from them. So we need to work on our mind. Train our mind. Watch our mind. He gave an example about how everyone is trying to be happy. Some can be the richest and aren’t while some can be the poorest and yet are. We clearly know that our happiness isn’t about what is out there or what we have it’s from the state of our mind and how much mind control we have.