I was born in 1991, and since 2014 I have been dedicating myself full-time to the study and practice of Dharma. It was in 2015 that I first met Alan Wallace in person, during the 8-week retreat he was leading in Australia. I had been following his teachings by way of books and recordings for quite a few years prior to that. Since then, I have been preparing to go into strict long-term retreat in order to single-pointedly put these precious teachings into practice, and I am very happy that this has finally become a reality. I feel very fortunate to have been accepted to do long-term retreat at Samten Hermitage, under the guidance of Alan Wallace, and it is my heartfelt wish that I may be able to make the most of this rare opportunity.
Throughout these years I have also been exploring my own spiritual heritage of the Islamic/Sufi tradition – so far on an amateur level, mostly through my own efforts; though I do intend to further and deepen my studies in the future – and it is my aspiration to make use of the methods, skills and insights that we will be cultivating at the CCR, to help rediscover the spiritual depths of the Islamic tradition.
I find this quality of non-sectarian openness, integral to the CCR’s vision, very inspiring and refreshing. I really appreciate that this project intends to speak to and benefit not only people of different spiritual backgrounds, but also those who do not identify with a specific spiritual tradition. Moreover, I admire the CCR’s willingness to work together with the scientific community; not claiming to answer all of the big questions or solve each and every conflict the world is facing, but gently working towards greater understanding and harmony among all humanity, on a level that cuts across different worldviews.
Specifically, I believe the methods of shamatha and vipashyana – which as H. H. the Dalai Lama has remarked, are practiced in all of the great contemplative traditions of the world in one form or another – will play a key role in reaching an “inter-contemplative”, as well as a scientific understanding of the nature of the mind and of the true causes of suffering and of genuine well-being; and these are the practices that will be our main focus at the CCR.
I believe it to be an important part of my calling as a Truth seeker and contemplative, to keep my expenses to a bare minimum, and that is what I strive to do; as for the expenses that I do make, I depend on the kind support of others, and so it would be greatly appreciated if you could help fund this retreat in any way you can.