Mark Leach

Mitra

After practicing on my own for 4 or 5 years with only the aid of books and tapes, I realized I wanted the depth of inquiry and practice that is possible from engaging with a community of practitioners and devoted teachers steeped in this centuries-old tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. I was a student in the Margha program for two cycles of the Natural Meditation and Bodhicitta series, and have had the honor and joy of accompanying others in their spiritual unfolding as a Mitra since 2017. I especially love the experience of sharing, mutually with students, the liberating practices at the core of the Margha program, and exploring together where we get in our own way, where we have breakthroughs—and how these practices free us to be ever more who we are in our most essential being “for the benefit of all.”

As a lifelong social justice activist I have always been committed to relieving the suffering of others. But not until now, in my early sixties, have I begun to understand how having an ever deepening inner practice and an ever growing field of benefactors makes the outer work of activism so much more joyful, effective, and sustainable—and how I have actually done harm to myself and others by being so externally focused. Being a Mitra is one of the main disciplines I have for increasing the chances of staying on the path and being more fully present, human, courageous and loving as I’m engaged in the external doing.

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