Thank you so much for your feedback. Frankly, you are not the first person who showed clear sign of doubt and reservation, when I connected our mental state to ‘Tom and Jerry’. The immediate reaction was what and how on earth these cartoon characters would have anything to do with our minds! But once you have attended my class, the way that you view ‘Tom and Jerry’ will never be the same again!!! Right?
There is one very obvious phenomenon among my students, who have learnt about their very own version of ‘Tom and Jerry’. The use of their language when expressing their mental matter, whether it is positive, negative or neutral, they simply round everything up and use the term ‘Jerry’ with the specification of either being black, pink or white Jerry. So, ‘Jerry’ has become a daily frequent-used word among my students now.
I am glad that the format of this course is exactly what you need and want to learn. It looks like I am heading towards the right direction in term of sharing the essence of Buddhism to western audience especially the absolute beginners.
I really hope that we have more participants on the 2nd July retreat. I’ll see you then.
An excellent and informative day at the Silent retreat on Saturday. Your course outline certainly has me engaged and hopefully the others too. This is what this and other Thai Temples in the UK seem to be lacking to reach out to a western audience and in time hopefully the Sangha will see the value of this also.
Your approach was very direct and left no room for ambiguity which is much needed. The analogy of Tom & Jerry and our minds really did take me by surprise. When you first mentioned this a few weeks ago, I was very sceptical of using such terminology in this area, however listening to your talk on Saturday has totally changed my view on this and I can now see its effectiveness through its simplicity. Having studied mindfulness for some years now, there are many different approaches all using different terminology and often overcomplicating the practise. Your method really gets to the core of what this is all about and will no doubt enhance the lives of those who can attend the classes and follow up with their own practise.
The simple instruction ‘don’t answer back to Jerry’ is an invaluable one, to anyone practising mindfulness. By not answering back, we simply recognise ‘Jerry there’, we don’t push him away, try to ignore him or engage him.
Those who already have an understanding of mindfulness and the nature of our minds will know what happens if we engage Jerry. As always, simple but not easy without practice. However, I’m sure with your guidance, the students will learn to trust and stay faithful to the instructions/techniques and see the rewards within all areas of their lives.
Take care and speak to you soon