TAMARA DIAZ GARCIA (CHÖKYI)
I longed to enter retreat from the first time I came into contact with Lama Alan´s shamatha and Dzogchen teachings in 2016, even though at the time I barely knew any Buddhist dharma and I didn’t really know what retreat would entail. In less than a year, and with very little preparation, I had left my job to join the winter retreat in Holy Island, followed by Lama Alan’s 2-month retreat in Tuscany. Shortly after, in July 2017, I entered solitary retreat under his guidance and I have never looked back.
Previously, I had enjoyed a career in the design industry, but in the midst of it I trained to become a complementary therapist, moved by a deep wish to help alleviate the suffering of others.
My interest in meditation began when I realized, after years of practice, that sustainable and genuine wellbeing, the authentic alleviation of suffering I wished for my clients, comes only from deeply understanding and transforming the mind. Looking for methods to achieve this, I trained as an MBSR teacher, but I found that the secular approach to meditation did not offer the depth of practice and knowledge I was seeking. It was then that I encountered Lama Alan´s meditation teachings and became interested in shamatha and the Buddhist contemplative approach.
Central to this tradition is the concept that the mind is the source of our negativity and suffering, that the chaotic world that we experience is an expression of our inner chaos, turmoil and imbalance. Over centuries, Buddhist contemplatives have developed sophisticated methods by which to know the mind and the nature of consciousness, by which to purify, balance and heal it.
I believe that sustainable positive change in the outer world can only occur through the radical transformation and healing of one’s mind, and I am committed to attain and embody the highest expression of this I am capable of. It is my heart’s deepest wish to fully devote my life to the path of Dzogchen, exploring the potential of the mind and of human consciousness through contemplative practices.
I feel this is the most meaningful way I can be of service to this world, and I hope the insights and experience that I am gaining will contribute to its positive transformation. That’s why I am thrilled to be a volunteer for the CCR, which will enable me to participate in their scientific research program, helping to acquire the knowledge and to develop the methods for cultivating the inner harmony and peace urgently needed for the flourishing of this planet.
As Lama Alan has said: “This is not a path of escapism but of immersion to a more authentic way of being and acting in the world so that we may become agents of healing. We are not retreating from outer service, we are engaging in very deep inner service.”