Celtic School of Buddhism
Whether we know it or not, we are all struggling with the fact of transience, the question of our own existence. This existential suffering is implicit in the knowledge of our own mortality. Yet beyond the apparent hopelessness of the human predicament, the light of the Self shines out.
The Buddha said that "LIFE IS SUFFERING". Buddhism tries to guide us out of suffering. No matter what we have done in our lives or what has happened to us, there is a path out of the suffering that is life. Ironically, the path only opens when we acknowledge hopelessness. As a source of ‘pro-active’ compassion and forgiveness, the Celtic School of Buddhism holds the possibility of becoming truly free from all suffering, free from all form. It is therefore extremely relevant and to the point.
Meditation creates space for the subconscious mind to show itself. It takes the bravery of a warrior to completely open up to yourself, and to face the shadow. This basic human courage goes to the root of the world's problems, as it starts at the only place where change is truly possible: within yourself.
Perhaps the most influential lama of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in the 20th century was H.H. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Towards the end of his life he read the story of St. Columba (a name meaning 'dove'), later called Columcille ('dove of the church'), and saw in it an echo of his own pre-Buddhist faith with its natural affinity with nature. The Celtic School of Buddhism develops Trungpa's original vision further to create a fresh and new mind-stream within the Buddhist cadre.
Columcille was above all a bringer of peace, symbolized by a dove in many portrayals of the saint. Yet it is interesting to note that his father was a Druid and some even argue that Coluncille took pre-Christian symbology into Christianity (Columba, the Last Irish Druid, Chris McClintock, Aesun Publishing 2012). Columcille went on to found a monastery on the Scottish island of Iona in the 6th century. Visitors to the island are often struck by the sense of peace they experience there.
The Celtic School of Buddhism emphasizes the Drala* elements to Columcille's story. It offers a practice based on self-study and Buddhist principles yet deeply rooted in European soil, and in communion with the mind-set of our European ancestors. Their songs still sing in our blood today if we but listen, encouraging us in our search for peace. They too had contact with, and learned from, the East.
Despite the pressures of modern life, it is still possible to find the door to inner calm. This door is easier to find in what the Celts called 'thin places' in nature, where the local gods can touch us in the heart and show us the door to an experience of the infinite openness that is our true selves.
"The seed-idea is one of an informal, digital school of spiritual warriors engaged in supporting each other in the individual search for the peace of 'enlightenment'. Meeting when we can!" Aindriu
Dra means 'enemy' or 'opponent', La means 'above'. Drala therefore means the wisdom above or beyond aggression, beyond the ego.
"The dralas are elements of reality (the water of water, fire of fire, earth of earth), anything that connects you with the elemental quality of reality, anything that reminds you of the depth of perception. Dralas [are] in the rocks... trees... mountains... a snowflake or a clod of dirt. Whatever is there... those are the dralas of reality. When you make that connection... you are meeting the dralas on the spot." Chogyam Trungpa
The “drala principle” refers to a body of teachings the Tibetan Buddhist meditation master Chögyam Trungpa presented in the last decade of his life, from 1978 to 1986. The roots of the drala principle precede the introduction of Buddhism into Tibet and are found in the indigenous traditions of that country - as they are in all countries. Perhaps most notably in Celtic cultures. Drala is the elemental presence of the world that is available to us through sense perceptions. When we open to trees, flowers, a river or clouds we encounter a wisdom that is not separate from our own.