Kadam Mick Marcon has been practicing meditation and Buddhism since 2004. He became the Resident Teacher of Losang Dragpa Centre in Newcastle in 2009.
1) What first drew you to Buddhism?
Originally it was due to boredom at work that drove me to read a Buddhist book, which my flatmate at the time had given me 🙂 From then on it was the truth of Buddhist teachings that attracted me; especially those on death, emptiness, and how powerful the mind is in creating our reality. It helped me to understand the experience of a close friend who was suffering from anorexia. There is nothing more powerful than the mind. Even if we stockpiled all the nuclear weapons in the world, their collective power, even though great, could not destroy a moment of unhappy feeling in the mind. Love however can. Mind has the power to create a pure world, and it also has the power to create a living hell. How important is it then to learn how to control the mind. The more we tame the mind the happier we become.
2) How would you explain the benefits of meditation to someone new?
It depends on the person really. In general though I would explain benefits such as having a peaceful/happy mind, freedom from stress etc. Meditation is like good food for the mind. It’s a special tool to control our mind.
3) Has there been an aspect of Buddhism or meditation that has really struck a chord with you?
Meditations on death and emptiness (the ultimate nature of reality).
4) Has meditation changed your relationships, and if so, how?
Yes. I have less attachment to others and more understanding of why people are the way they are, enabling me to be more accepting of them.
5) Do you feel that Buddhism has something to offer the world today?
Yes I do. As Geshe-la says, the only method to solve our human problems is the practice of dharma. Why? Because all problems can be traced back to one source in the mind; self grasping ignorance and selfish intention (2 sides of the same coin). Only in Buddha’s teaching can we find the technology to identify, reduce and finally abandon our delusions such as self grasping ignorance. The world we live in is the result of the collective actions of the beings within it, all these actions stem from mental intention. From selfish intention comes selfish actions, from these impure actions come impure effects and thereby an impure world. The opposite is true for actions coming from pure intention such as cherishing others. From pure actions come pure effects, thereby a pure world. Therefore, the only method to solve our daily problems is to improve our intention and improve our wisdom. In other words, the actual method to solve our human problems is to develop the capacity of our mind through spiritual training. Actualizing our spiritual potential by training the mind in wisdom and compassion is the actual method to liberate ourself and others permanently from unhappiness, stress and other forms of suffering, and enjoy the unchanging peace of enlightenment. Within Buddhism we will find a complete set of instructions to take our mind from it’s current ordinary state to the sublime state of enlightenment! How fortunate we are to have this opportunity!!
6) Do you have a favourite quote from one of Geshe Kelsang’s books?
It’s a deep one! ‘Whatever exists in mutual dependence does not exist.’ ~ Ocean of Nectar, p 239
7) Have people noticed a difference in you since you started meditating?
Family and close friends have made comments from time to time.
8) Do you have a burning question about meditation or Buddhism that has yet to be answered?
All my questions so far have been answered, but there’s much still to learn… so many more questions to come 🙂
10) Can you use 3 words to describe the benefits of meditation?
Inner peace, freedom, meaningful life.