Dr Bill Genat, is an Australian lay meditation teacher in Melbourne, Australia. Bill has been studying and practicing Buddhadharma for over 30 years, primarily influenced by the universalist approach to the Buddhadharma developed by his late teacher (who was also my teacher), the Venerable Namgyal Rinpoche. Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche was a Canadian, recognized as a reincarnate Rinpoche by the late 16th Karmapa, head of the Tibetan Kargyu lineage, who bestowed upon him key teachings of the Tibetan Vajrayana. Bill has a PhD in medical sociology and is a senior lecturer in Aboriginal Health at the University of Melbourne.
In this (50 minute) interview Dr Bill Genat speaks about some of his understandings of the universalist approach to Buddhadharma and Vajrayana teachings and how he has integrated these understandings with his professional academic and community development roles. In particular, he speaks about his experience of setting up a meditation centre and building a community of practitioners that support each other.
Bill has a number of interesting things to say about how the spirit of sangha develops through service, mutual support, shared aspiration and exploration of the dharma. He describes his experience of the benefits for himself and others in taking up the teaching role and reviews how he has integrated classical Tibetan Buddhist teaching, ritual and language with awareness of basic principles that are common to all the major religions. He demonstrates his depth understanding of cultural differences and ways of finding common ground and language to bridge these differences. His guiding aspiration of engaging body, speech and mind to promote calm, wisdom and compassion has led him to explore a range of methods to explore the body and its senses.
In conclusion, he emphasises the importance of direct experience to bring one into the body and the present moment. Consequently he and his partner, Kathryn, have developed a number of ways of working with the body to promote centred groundedness and increased calm and clarity. His emphasis with dharma students and in his work with Aboriginal communities is to encourage friendly, compassionate relationship and actions that make you "feel like a cool stream", with no regret. In his work as a teacher of dharma and as a community developer he seeks to create interest in liberation and a sense of wonder and curiosity. "Everyone's liberation is tied up together!" he concludes. More information about Bill's teaching is available on the website http://www.openpathmeditation.com.au