Love Without Agenda
This is one of the Dharma talks that I gave in the past which many responded that it had helped a great deal in their healing and to understand what true love is. Love has always been a human mystery it seems. We all want it, but when we have the chance to get it or keep it, we lose it or don’t understand it… it seems very elusive, maybe even unreal. Love exists, but maybe not the way we think?
Please realize there is a difference between love and love without agenda. See what I am talking about here…
Much Care, Tsem Rinpoche
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Ok, as in with every Dharma talk or Dharma action or Dharma session, it’s very, very important for us to train up our minds. [Rinpoche addresses attendants] It’s very, very important to train up our minds to create a positive motivation from the outset. If we create a positive motivation from the outset, our actions will be multiplied. If we create a positive motivation from the outset, our fruitioning of our actions will be much, much more. If we simply do an action and we don’t create a higher motivation, a motivation the level of a Bodhisattva – not that we are Bodhisattvas but we create a Bodhisattva motivation – then it is very difficult that the action itself has great impact or has great effect. So what’s important is the reason we need to make a motivation all the time. And if we find it difficult to make a motivation, that’s the very reason we need to make a motivation because it hasn’t arrived spontaneously. When a good motivation doesn’t arrive spontaneously, it shows us that our mind is preoccupied with a different type of habituation. So when our minds is preoccupied with different type of habituation, it’s very, very hard for us to make a good motivation. So the mind has one space, just for a rough example, that space can be occupied by A or B. A and B is very, very difficult. A or B. So therefore A is good motivation, B is bad motivation. So therefore what is important is we fill our space with A. How do we do that?
When our space is usually filled with B through habituation, when we put A into it – good motivation – and we do it again and again and again – we consciously do it, we consciously focus on it, we consciously make it happen – although in the beginning, it may seem superficial but after a while you will find that it becomes easier and easier and easier and easier. Whether it is superficial or not depends on the effort we put into it. How much we are able to do it, how much we are able to do practice, how much we are able to transform, how much we are able to bring benefit, how much we are able to embrace spiritual practice is dependent on how much we are ready to give up of our selfish mind. If our selfish mind is very strong then it is very hard to give up. Why? Actions contrary to the Dharma, we don’t need to label it positive or negative. Actions contrary to the Dharma is against universal truth. When it is against universal truth, there is no one punishing or no one saying you are good, or no one saying you are bad, or no one putting you in a box but you automatically create a type of action that creates the same type of result.
Remember – my favorite line is action resembles the result. So therefore if we do actions contrary to the Dharma, if we speak contrary to the Dharma, if we act contrary to the Dharma… and when I say Dharma, it’s different in the monastery than here. Here, “contrary to the Dharma” takes a completely different meaning than in the monastery. Completely. Many, many, many great teachers in the monastery, the way they act in the monastery and the way they act outside the monastery, is very different. And the reason is simple. Very, very simple. If you live in a very cold climate, if you go to a warm climate, you are going to change your clothes. So they say why are you not consistent? Why are your clothes changing or why are your clothes different? Why is he not consistent? It’s not that you are consistent or not consistent. It’s the environment. So therefore many teachers, when they leave the monastery, they are quite, quite different.
Even very conservative teachers in the monastery are very, very different when they leave the monastery. I saw that in the example of His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche who is extremely conservative. One of the most stalwart conservative lamas I have ever met. So therefore it’s not a contradiction, it’s a skillful means. So therefore how much we are ready to give up… and the word ‘give up’ is very negative. ‘Give up’ actually means you lose something. And when you say you lose something, it’s also very negative because losing something in English has a connotation of “you have something and you don’t have it anymore”. So when we even use the wrong words because we are attached to words then we also get caught up in the words that we are attached to. Therefore when we say ‘give up’, it has a very negative connotation. When we say ‘renounced’, it’s a different connotation also. Actually ‘renounced’ means ‘to give up’ but ‘to give up’ and ‘renounce’ doesn’t mean to give up happiness. It means to give up the methods that bring you to unhappiness. So if you are presented with the methods that give you happiness, and you say, “Oh! I can’t accept it” or “I can’t do it” or “I can’t be engaged in it”, actually you are not giving up. What happens is this, is that the methods that we have are not methods that are inherently positive or inherently brings us to a happy state of mind. And hence, daily we feel happy, we feel unhappy. We feel disturbed. We feel not disturbed and as time goes on, as sickness catches on, as age goes on, and as our bodies start to deteriorate, the unhappiness increases. It definitely increases.
So what happens is when we accept the Dharma path, we say “renounced”. ‘Renounced’ actually refers to the methods that bring on happiness to ourselves and the people around us. So if we say the word ‘give up’, if we say the words ‘renounced’ – like here “gave up his monk vows” – if we say the word ‘renounced’ or we say the word ‘give up’, it’s actually… to ordinary people they will think, “Oh yeah! I have to give up. I have to give up something. I have to give up something to gain something. I have to give up something to be spiritual. I have to give up something to adopt a path.”
That’s wrong view. That’s totally wrong view. Why is that wrong view? What we are not ready for is not Dharma or giving up or not giving up. What we are not ready for is for our ego to be destroyed. As long as our ego is not destroyed… what is ego? There’s many definitions, let me give you a simple one. Simple definition of ego is the mind that cherishes oneself more than others. When the mind that cherishes oneself more than others, the ego is very strong. Every action that we do, we feed it. When we feed the ego, when we feed this mind through lack of awareness for others, through not carrying out responsibilities, to not keeping promises, to not keeping commitments, or not putting in effort or giving up, in another sense, meaning not able to have patience enough to go through difficulties – that’s giving up, that’s a different type of giving up – when we do those actions, what happens is we can explain it away to the people around us and to our friends and all that. They are probably at our level so they will accept and understand. But the truth of the matter is we actually feed the ego even more. So when we feed the ego very much and more and more, the very actions, the very reason we cannot give up becomes the very reason for us to suffer even more. And create the karmic circumstances for other people around us to suffer even more. So therefore, that concept is not very hard to understand. It is not very hard to understand. It is something that we are not used to hearing. It is not. It’s something we are not used to hearing. But when we hear it, whether we accept it at this moment or engage it at this moment or not, we remain. We remain and we listen and we contemplate and we think because deep down inside, we feel that it resonates with something. We feel that it is true, that it does make sense. Because if I were to say to you something very negative, most people would get up and leave. But when we say things of this kind of nature to people, they don’t get up and leave. They may or may not accept at that moment but something inside resonates with them to say, “Wait, that makes sense.” And that’s what keeps us in the Dharma, that’s what keeps us in spiritual practice. That’s what keeps us in pushing ourselves towards a spiritual practice because these words resonates and it also matches what we have done with our lives. What we have done.
Not being aware. Not being aware is a facet of the self-cherishing mind. People, whatever they do if you think about it, whatever they do, the very basis of anyone doing any action from going to the toilet, from taking a nap, from getting dressed, from going out, from conversation with associates, with friends – whatever actions that they do is to bring themselves some kind of happiness or some kind of relief. That is the ultimate motivation from the smallest ant on the ground who create anthills to the supposedly the highest form of intelligence, ourselves. Every action we do, we don’t need to think about it, we don’t need to generate it – “I want happiness for myself. I want something for myself. I want to gain something for myself.” That is the basic fundamental automatic thought that we have. What happens is if we meditate or if we focus and we think about that, it doesn’t bring us happiness, what we have been doing. And we may call it diverse or different or hobbies or passions or we can label it anything we want. It’s just a label. Label means that it itself doesn’t exist on its own from its own side. Exist from itself from its own side doesn’t mean the action doesn’t exist. It means the reason for the action and the result of the action doesn’t exist so therefore that action is empty of existence. Please listen very carefully.
When we want to steal from someone, the very motivation of stealing from someone is to gain some kind of happiness. But that stealing from someone is empty of existence. Why? It’s empty of existence because the reason for it will not bear fruit. The very reason you engage in that action will not bear fruit, meaning to have peace, to have happiness, to have wealth, to have respect. So if we cannot get the result of that action and we engage in that action, in Buddhism on this level we call it empty of its existence. So please listen carefully.
“Empty of its existence” doesn’t mean that the action doesn’t exist. It doesn’t mean that the person or the doer or the receiver or the recipient doesn’t exist. It means that the motivation for the action and the reason for the action and outcome – that’s the secret – the outcome we want for the action is empty of existence. Why? Because when the method is incorrect, the result cannot arise. So therefore when we engage in spiritual practice, it is hard. It is difficult. The harder it is, the more difficult it is shows us how strong our ego is. It shows us how incredibly strong our selfish mind is.
However strong our selfish mind is, is how hard spiritual practice will be. Why is that? Because you are going against your normal habituations for a long, long time. So people who find spiritual practice very difficult… if people even like listen to spiritual practice and it’s very difficult to listen or focus or stay awake, it shows you that you are going against your grain. There are many people if you check it out…if you feel tired during a Dharma talk and you find it difficult for one or two hours but if you put yourself in another situation – whatever situation you are in – for one or two hours, if you listen and you find it difficult, then it is consistent. But if you find some situations is very easy, some situations very difficult, it’s purely habituation. It’s not good or bad or evil or not. It’s purely habituation. So in that way we can track our mind. In that way we can track the way our mind forces us to become its slave.
So therefore if we find it very difficult to read Dharma books but we find it very easy to read fashion magazines for example, very easy to flip through it, very easy to look through it and we are intensely reading it, if we find that… reading is reading. Words are words. Meaning is meaning. Why is one meaning difficult and the other meaning not difficult? So that’s how we can check our mind. To say, “Oh, we don’t have time to read. Oh, we can’t read. Oh, I am not really a reader. I am not able to read,” we have to check if our mind is consistent… is it consistent or not.
So if our mind is consistent in all forms of reading… and maybe we are even illiterate, that’s a different story but luckily, most likely it’s not the case. So the important thing is this, is if we come across a difficulty – make it simple – it is difficult because we have not pushed ourselves towards that direction. If we don’t push ourselves towards that direction, we may be losing out on something very great, in the sense of spiritual practice.
Some people can go through tremendous spiritual hardships and difficulties. Tremendous, throughout their lives, one obstacle after another, one suffering after another, one let-down, one disillusionment after another. Yet they don’t ever stop practicing. But for them, for worldly things maybe if they try business, or maybe they try cooking or maybe they try fishing and they are not successful, after a few times they give up. Why do they give up? Because their habituation is not towards that. Some people when it is towards Dharma practice they give up very easy but towards fishing or entertainment or singing or lying around or having a good time, they don’t give up easily. Why don’t they give up easily? Because it is a clear indication of the state of their mind.
Again I want you to get out of your framework that this is criticism. It’s not, I am giving you a guideline. I am giving you a guideline to check. It may seem like criticism. Some people who are guilty, self-guilty of the action so they feel uncomfortable but it is not criticism from me. Why? It’s presentation of information. Presentation of incredible information that we can use as a guideline for our lives, for our relationship, for what we want to accomplish and for the people around us.
Therefore… therefore if we always find something difficult – and I am talking about in this case spiritual practice – then that can be very dangerous for us. Why? The mind can make many types of excuses, justifications, covers and fears to not engage in spiritual practice. Not engage or while we are engaging, it’s not sincere and real and then our minds are distracted and we make our time up by substituting with other things that make the time go away.
So the important factor here is we must examine our minds. We must confront our minds. We must face our minds. If we don’t face our minds, the people we feel secure around will one day be gone. That is for sure, that is definitely for sure. Then one day the people we feel secure around will one day be gone or we will be gone before them. If we don’t confront our minds, the very opportunity we have in front of us at this time – health – can be gone. The very opportunity we have in front of us such as a Dharma center can be gone. Dharma centers have closed. Great monasteries have been destroyed. Great teachers die, great masters get killed.
So when we have the great opportunity in front of us and we don’t engage in it, what we need to do is, what I was told by my teachers was to in fact meditate and contemplate, truly contemplate and meditate on the impermanence of everything around us. Whatever we are attached to, whatever we want to escape to, whatever we want to hold on to, whatever it is, we have to concentrate on its impermanence. Why? Because it is the truth.
Impermanence is the truth that cannot be taken away by any philosophy, any religion or anyone. You see, there are philosophical methods that different religions can debate on each other, and the debate goes on and on. But there are ultimate truths such as impermanence that no one can debate on. That no one can take away, and no one can demean or no one can say it doesn’t exist.
So those are the universal truths that Buddhism likes to focus on. It’s not debatable. You want to debate, you can but there will be only one conclusion. If you talk about meditating on Buddha or Jesus, there are many debates and that debate has no conclusion. It’s either; it’s either or, no problem. But if you talk about impermanence, to apply to making ourselves feel an urgency not to lose a chance, that one is not debatable.
Why? Why is it not debatable? Because it is the truth that encompasses all cultures, all people, all races and time. So we meditate. If we meditate on impermanence, that the person we are very attached to…usually in life it’s people, it’s money, it’s entertainment, those are things that we are usually attached to, most of us, most of us. Attached meaning what? Let me give you the definition of ‘attached’. ‘Attached’ meaning we feel that this person, this situation, this activity will secure us what we want in life. That we have this person. If we have this activity, if we have this action we are secure. Hence when we feel that – think about it – when we feel that and we engage in it, we are still insecure. The person we are with might be taken away by someone else. The person we are with, their mood might change, thoughts might change, our karma with that person might end. We ourselves may not like that person anymore. Or the person might be separated by sickness or death or other reasons. And so when any of these reasons arise for us to be separated from that person, we suffer tremendously. Why do we suffer tremendously? Because we held on to this person as security and permanence, and that’s where the suffering comes. So people blame the person. It’s not the person, it’s our projection of the person. We have to think about that.
So therefore, if we are attached to some activity, if we are attached to some activity such as frivolous entertainment and we are very attached to it…‘attached again means what? Thinking that this activity brings us secured, constant, non-stop happiness if we are attached to it. That’s the definition of attachment. So don’t take it as a negative connotation. Take it as just an explanation of how the mind works. When we are attached to frivolous entertainment, that moment we feel peace but we find that we gain less and less and less and less and less peace. Less and less security, less and less respect, less and less achievement. Why is that? Because frivolous entertainment take us away from achieving our work, achieving our assignment. Achieving our goals, achieving our spiritual practice. Achieving our manifestation of love for the people we love, for example our parents, our partners. It takes away from it. Why? If we engage our time in frivolous entertainment again and again, it’s not negative in itself but its repercussions are negative. Why? It takes away from something else that we can accomplish that would gain us respect. That would gain us love. That would gain us friends. That would gain us – inverted commas – “samsaric security” of some level. Some level. So when we are frivolous…just very simple – if we’re supposed to do an assignment or we’re supposed to do something for work and we don’t and we are sitting there staring at the sky, we’re imagining things, we’re watching TV, we’re surfing on the net, we’re running around with friends, we’re gossiping – you know, we’re doing these kinds of things – the actions that we are supposed to do we don’t get to do. And when we actually get to it, we do it very fast, haphazardly, as quick as possible or we altogether forget. So what’s the repercussions of that? It’s very clear. Our bosses and friends and our co-workers will not respect us. We lose respect for ourselves. It’s only so much we can hide. It’s only so long we can hide. That is just an example that we can apply to everything.
So when we are attached to frivolous activity, the frivolous activity of watching videos and surfing the net and running around and talking, gossiping and going out to eat and all that, well in itself is not negative. Those itself are actually neutral. What makes it positive or negative is the result that it bears for us and others. So what makes it negative is the result that it bears for ourselves and others. So how…if people ask how do I know if it’s good or bad? You look at the results, look at the results. That’s very, very simple. How do we know? Example, this one it says “How do you know if the lama’s actions is good or bad?” Look at the senior students. Look at their mind, look at their level, look at how they think, look how hard they work, look how devoted they are, look at how they change their lives and other people’s lives. So how do we know if the lama’s action is good or bad if we are confused? We look at the senior students. We look at the results of it. We look at how other monks react or other teachers react. We see how the students react. We see those actions as a result of whether our lama’s actions are good or bad. So I will get back to that because that talks about unconventional methods, number two as Joe has put here.
So the important thing is this is, if we use any labels to not engage in Dharma practice, if we use any labels to not engage in Dharma practice then let’s make it very simple and let’s make it very direct – the people we love, we actually don’t love. The people that we love, we actually don’t love and that stems back from Shantideva’s Bodhisattvacharyavatara. If we don’t engage in spiritual practice, we don’t love the people we love although we say we love them. Why? There is ultimate love and there is ego love.
Ego love is “this person gives me security, this person helps me to distract me, this person helps me to make my time go away easier, this person helps me to relieve my stress”. It’s always about me, me, me, me, me. So what happens in fact with this person, we create even more negative karma. We create even more negative affinity. So that’s why certain people we meet in life after life after life after life after life, even in certain situations if our relationship is very pleasant with the person, if we look on a very superficial level, yes it’s a result of good karma. But think now, for a lot of you we can go to the next level now. If you think about it carefully, a very pleasant relationship is very dangerous. Why? It takes us away from spiritual practice. If that’s not the case, Buddha would not have become a monk. We think about that. So if we have a very pleasant relationship, the key is of course we can stay in the relationship. But we must stay in the relationship with awareness of its truth, so that we will engage in spiritual practice that ultimately helps the person and ourselves. And that’s why I always stress if you love your mother, if you love your father, if you love your friends and you love the people who are kind to you, you will engage in spiritual practice. That is what I have told many people for many years. A lot of people look at it on a very superficial level – “Oh, I make offerings for my mother. I dedicate for my mother. I help my mother.” It’s very good but that is very superficial and that doesn’t go very far.
If you really love your mother, if you really love your father, if you really love our teachers and our friends, and our Dharma brothers and sisters and people all around us – if you really love them, do you know how you love them? By doing what Shakyamuni did. Confronting your attachments. Why did Shakyamuni leave the palace? Why did Shakyamuni at such a young age give up his beauty, his hair, his clothes, his ornaments, his kingdom, his life, his position, his fabulous wife, his beautiful son, his dancing girls, his mother, his father, his food, his palace, his servants, the walls, the riches? Why did he give all that up? Openly, directly for a normal mind, it looks like he gave up. He didn’t give up. He didn’t give up at all. In fact, he loved them so much, he went to do something about his love just like Jesus Christ, just like Jesus. Lord Buddha loved so much and how did he love?
This level, that level of Bodhisattvahood, it was his last lifetime. It was absolutely his last lifetime that he would be in samsara uncontrolled, supposedly uncontrolled. Let me use that for convenience sake. Because he loved his mother and father, and all the mothers and fathers he had in his previous lives and his wives, his sons, his servants, his attendants – he loved everyone so much, he cut his attachments. And with so much obstacles, with so much obstacles from his parents… and his obstacles weren’t just one year or two years. It was from the time of his birth that they protected him and avoided him from seeing the truth and the sufferings and the difficulties of human existence. Old age and sickness and separation, they separated him from that. They avoided him from seeing that. They did everything they can to stop that but because his imprints were so strong, with so much obstacles… if it was our case imagine, just imagine. Imagine Lim Tat Ming, you surround him with 900 beautiful dancing girls, voluptuous and then we say, “Go be a monk.” Maybe, but it would be very hard, very, very hard. Imagine Korky, we fill the room with Dharma books and pizza and we say, “Go be a monk.” Oh yes, forgot air-conditioning too. Think about that, it sounds like a joke but all of us have these attachments. I do too. If we pile the room with lots and lots of money, lots of money, FDs and gold bricks and diamonds and it’s just filled with all this money, filled, and it is overwhelmed with money…it’s just tremendous, you know, you can’t get away from the money – since he psychically knows he is going to be picked, Joseph…. he’s psychic because he’s sitting there going [imitates a face]…he’s a good sport. He’s a very good sport, really is a good sport but he has to be a good sport because he wants to be enlightened.
So we have to get our mind away from “I like this, I don’t like this”. Lamas tease students to death. They stop when it doesn’t bother them anymore. The lamas are very kind to put themselves in people’s view as nasty. They break their conventions and people question, “Why is the lama so nasty?” Lamas are very kind to put themselves in that light openly. So therefore if you put Joseph in a room full of money and FDs and gold, that’s the same attachment as the videos and the pizza and the books. Why is Korky’s – inverted commas – attachment bigger than – inverted commas – Joseph’s? Attachment is attachment. It is what keeps us away from spiritual practice. One is not worse than the other. So if you keep a roomful of that and you tell Joseph, “Go be a monk, give up everything,” – ‘give up’, that’s a negative connotation, ‘renounce’ – quite hard. Quite hard. Quite, quite hard. That’s why we respect monks and we fold our hands to monks and we support monks. We don’t say negative things about them. We don’t put them down. We don’t slice them up. We don’t criticize them cause we have never reached that level where we can give up anything. So even if you have a monk that is – inverted commas – “bad”…“He seemed a little fat. He seemed a little greedy. They don’t meditate as much,” they are still better than you. They are still better. They are still much better than you. That’s what the older monks tell us when we are in the monastery. You don’t look at the few vows that they have damaged. You look at the vows that they haven’t damaged, it’s much more – 253 to be exact. So if they damaged two or three vows, they still have 240 plus. That’s more than you will ever be able to even think about.
So therefore Lord Buddha loved everyone so much, he renounced and look what happened. Look how much benefit he brought to the world for thousands of years. That is an example that inspires me. That is an example that we should learn to be inspired by. We shouldn’t be inspired by any example lower than that and I will tell you why. Because we have all along been inspired by examples lower than that, our whole lives, our previous lives, but look where we are still. We are still confused, we still get thrown off. We still give up. We still feel angry. We still feel happy. We still feel exuberant. We still feel totally depressed. Those are all the same two sides of a coin. So therefore Lord Buddha showed us by example how he loved all sentient beings.
So if we want to follow a certain percentage of what Lord Buddha did because we have taken refuge and we believe in Lord Buddha, or we believe in human qualities – you know, not even Buddhist per se, human qualities, we really believe in that – if we believe, we will start with the very people we love. We will start with the very people that have been kind to us, before and current, by engaging in spiritual practice.
People feel that if you engage in spiritual practice, you don’t spend time with this person, you don’t do this for this person, you don’t give them this, you don’t give them that, that you are selfish, you are uncaring and not nurturing – that’s wrong view. Then Buddha was uncaring and un-nurturing. Don’t talk about, “He didn’t spend time with his wife and kid and he said, “See you later” and in fact he ran away in the middle of the night.” If you did that today, if you did that today, how would they look at the husband? Imagine the husband in the middle of the night getting into his car and speeds away into the forest. Think about it. But how come it’s ok for Buddha to do that but if a normal guy does that today, it’s not ok? Think about it. Why is it if a guy gets into his car, packs up his bags and then his driver takes him out – if he has a driver because Buddha had a charioteer-driver – and then when he reaches a certain point he says, “bye bye,” why is that looked upon as a negative? When Buddha did that, we go, “Wow, he is so renounced. He is so fabulous. I want to do that. I pray to do that.” Why? Let me make it simple, motivation and goal. Motivation and goal. So if we are getting into our cars, saying goodbye to our wife, bye bye, in the middle of the night cause we’re going to our mistress, no one is going to go, “OM MANI PADME HUM.” No one. If we are getting in the car because we’re a loser and we can’t support our wife, we can’t support our kids because we are a loser and we don’t push ourselves to be a winner, and we get into our car to drive back somewhere else to disappear, no one goes, “OM MANI PADME HUM.” No one.
So the action is the same. Today if the husband gets in the car and says, “See you later wife! See you later kids! See you later lovers. See you later whoever,” why don’t anybody fold their hands and say, “Wonderful”? Because the motivation is different. You think about it. It makes total sense. But when Buddha left his wife, when Buddha left his kids, we glamorize it. We talk about it. We write about it. We carve it on the Borobudur stupas in Indonesia. We draw thangkas of it. We write books on it. We write scriptures on it. We recite it. We admire it. We praise it. We recount it. We share it with our children – “Buddha left his kids, Buddha left his wife. Buddha left his parents. Buddha left them” – we share it. We love it. We fold our hands to it. We prostrate to the man who abandoned his family and his parents. Think about it. That’s what he did. He gave up everything. He renounced and yet we are sitting there prostrating to him. Why do we prostrate to something that we don’t admire? Of course we have to prostrate to something we admire. Because deep down inside, we know what we need to do.
We know what we need to do. And if we don’t do it, I’m not going to tell you a Dharma Protector is going to get you because they won’t. I’m not going to tell you that it’s bad karma because it’s not that directly. What I am going to tell you is, you are asking for trouble. Why are you asking for trouble? Because for trouble and the energy for trouble will build up. How will it build up? How can actions coming out of the ego bring good results? Do you want to fill the lake with more toxins or fresh water; eventually it will flush out the toxins? Do you want to fill your body with more toxins or fresh water to flush out the toxins? Obviously you must put in fresh water.
Similarly if you keep feeding the ego and keep feeding with more toxins and negative actions that are motivated by the self-cherishing mind, how can your mind be happy or bring happiness to others? Please think. You are here for two, three hours, use this time open your minds and think. Think! Utilize this moment and think very hard. Why do we admire the actions of Lord Buddha and what he did, whereas in today’s terms it will be considered very bad? Motivation. Totally motivation, totally the end.
So therefore if we love our husbands and wives, if we love the children that we have got – if we got or don’t got – if we love our parents, if we love our friends, if we love anyone – and by the way the ultimate one is do we love ourselves – we will engage in spiritual practice. We will engage. Why will we engage in spiritual practice? We say we work very hard because we love other people. We give up our time and energy because we love other people. So if we love other people so much and that we can do so much, wouldn’t we want to do something even more than just money and house and company and security and entertainment and watching TV?
Wouldn’t we want to do something more if we truly love them? So that’s how we examine. Do we really love another person? Do we really love the people that are kind to us or we are actually using them? ‘Using them’ is harsh but I don’t mean it in a harsh way. Are we using them? If we are using our parents, using our lovers, using our husbands and wives, and using our co-workers around us, then we will not be motivated to do spiritual practice. Why is that? Because when we don’t gain attainments, when we don’t cut the self-cherishing mind, when we keep engaging in activities that makes us deeper and deeper and deeper in activities that feed the self-cherishing mind, how can that be love? How can that be love?
It’s actually using, using others, using situations. So why do I say that? Why do I say that? It leads directly to what Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche is teaching us in this book. So therefore, people say, “Oh! I need to spend time with my, my…”, I hear that for last 15-20 years, “I need to spend time with my wife”, I need to spend time with my husband”. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful and the more you spend time with them that’s wonderful. But ultimately what do they get and what do you get? What do they get and what do you get? And when you see your partner’s life ebbing away and they are dying, what can you do for them? Even holding their hands brings no benefit anymore, they cannot feel it anymore.
Or if you are going away, your life is ebbing away and the partner is looking at you, you create even more suffering for them because in your life you gave them nothing to benefit others and you have done more negative actions, you create more suffering in your partner. Why? Because your partner will be very worried for you, very worried for your rebirth, very worried for what’s going to happen to you. Why is that? They may have been patient with the way you acted during your life. But in death the truth comes out so you create more suffering for your partner. So therefore what’s my point? These words are poignant, they are very strong but they are the truth.
Everything that I talk about right now has nothing to do with you praying, meditating, chanting mantras, kowtowing, offering incense – that’s not the religion that I teach. Everything here I am teaching you is every human being can think and examine and use their brain. The type of Dharma I like is use your brain, not listen to gossip, not listen to criticism, not listen to negative talk, not listen to talk that drags you down or makes you confused or makes you feel even more unhappy – that’s the kind of Dharma I like. And sometimes when we give that type of Dharma, it must be dispensed at the level of the person and their karma.
For example a skilful lama who knows that if a person does this action, the results will be like this and this and this and this later, and they have tremendous compassion for their friend or their student, they may ask their friend and student, “Hey, please engage in this practice, do prostrations or go do Vajrasattva or do 35 Confessionals, and do that for a certain amount of time.” Why? After they finish their Confessions or Vajrasattva, they may not feel anything but it avoids the karma from accumulating and growing big, and getting them back years later. So the lama is very kind. The lama is very kind because they know, they understand either by studying the scriptures or clairvoyantly. Either way. There are some lamas who are clairvoyant, they know what is going to happen to people a few years later. Some lamas are not clairvoyant, some lamas are very well-read in the scriptures, so they know if you do this action, this result will come, because the Buddha has stated clearly about karma, as best as we can comprehend it. So therefore, the lama may say, “You do this, you do this, you do this” and then the person says, “Oh I did my Setrap. Hey I did my prostration but I am still out of a job. I am still unhappy. I am still angry. I am still not doing well.” Like a little tagline I read recently on a stick-it, “I drink green tea, I light candles and I meditate, but I still want to slap you!” Don’t you like that? I think that’s great. It kind of sums up our spiritual practice, something along that lines.
So therefore, sometimes the lama knows that if this action that you do is very negative and it will bring many negative effects to that person and other person, and they know that person will not do any spiritual practice to purify it, the lama may use very wrathful means to make the karma come up now. And when the lama use wrathful means to make the karma come out now, now, the lama puts himself at risk to lose your respect, to lose your confidence, to lose your faith. So the lama is willing to do that, why? The lama had no agenda to get something from you, to get money from you, to get your praise, to get your admiration. The lama is out to save you. So if the lama is afraid of how he looks, when it comes to saving someone – “saving” – he has an agenda.
So lamas in our country such as Zong Rinpoche that have no agenda, we can see clearly in their actions. They are very spontaneous. They are very wrathful and they kind of…they are very peaceful, it depends on the situation. Why? They have no agenda. They have no agenda to win your praise, win your confidence or win you over in any short-term way. And even maybe you will never meet the lama again but they removed that karma for you so in the future it will manifest again that you can do Dharma with someone else.
There are many lamas who plant seeds in people’s minds. So they know that during this time that person can’t practice Dharma. They plant seeds and make prayers that when Maitreya Buddha manifests, their seeds will open and they can receive the Dharma. Some lamas plant seeds for people a couple of thousand years later, a couple of hundred years later, definitely, that is definitely. I know that because I know some lamas who told me very privately that sometimes they give initiation to people although they know the person is going to hell. Why? When they leave hell, they will have the initiation seeds so that they can do Dharma. Whereas another person is going to hell, they don’t have the seeds at all. When they come out, they are empty-handed. Oh yes, I have heard, my gurus tell me that quietly. Of course they don’t tell the student because no student wants to know they are going to hell. I mean, they say to the student, “Hey, you are going to hell.” They’ll say, “You go to hell!” These days the student tells the lama back, “You go to hell.” Last time, “Oh! What can I do lama?” Times have been different.
So therefore, some lamas are very skilful. Some lamas are very compassionate and very caring with zero agenda, and they are willing to put their reputation, their name, their learning, their status, who they are, on the line by serving other people. By giving their money away, by scolding people, by listening to them, by staying up with them, by entertaining them, by giving them gifts. Why? The lama has no agenda, definitely not for himself. That’s how you can check. So if you want to check your lama before you take him as a lama, that’s how you check if he has an agenda. If the lama is very “oh, uh, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah” all the time in front of people but behind he is a monster, then he has an agenda.
If the lama in front is a monster and behind he is a monster, he doesn’t hide that he is a monster, he has no agenda. Why is that? He is not protecting anything except you. So we label that what? A state that is less with ego or egolessness. Those methods are very powerful. If we are very, very, fortunate, if we are very, very lucky – and I don’t mean to be diplomatic in words, I mean it – if we are very lucky, we are very fortunate, if the lama knows many negative things will happen to you and they have so much love for you, the lama may even beat you. The lama might beat you and hurt you physically. And you may lose respect for the lama or you may gain more faith, but definitely the lama is purifying your karma.
Why? The karma can manifest in any type of pain. Physical pain, humiliation pain, emotional pain, psychological pain, any type of pain – why? That karma comes out faster. If we have a disease, it is easier to take it out if it is very new. If you let it take over your body, it is very difficult. So therefore the lamas with no agenda, they are very kind. Chogyam Trungpa had no agenda and therefore, in number two, he shows very unconventional methods. Why does he show unconventional methods? He has no agenda. He is not trying to impress you or to succor or to coddle your fears and your mind and your attachments. He is not trying to.
So when he is not trying to coddle, to succor or to nurture your ego and to make it bigger, he uses what you call unconventional crazy wisdom. Why is it unconventional and crazy? It’s crazy because one culture feels another culture’s actions is crazy. Hindu Sadhus who penetrate their bodies with spears and ropes and all that stuff, we call them crazy. When we don’t do that to show an act of devotion, they call us crazy. So ‘crazy’ is from a reference point from which you are born. ‘Crazy’ is culturally conceived, culturally conceived. So in this culture I think if you eat dogs then you are crazy and disgusting. If you go to Vietnam, you don’t eat dogs, they wonder what’s wrong with you. So it’s culturally conceived, culturally conceived. In this society here, if you live with your mother, even you are forty or fifty it’s alright as long as you are not married. But in America if you live with your mother or father after you are 18, you are crazy and your parents are crazy, and you hear that all the time.
You hear parents tell other parents, ”Your kids are 18, you still have them in your house? You are destroying their lives. You are crazy!” Well kids…peers will tell their children…other peers, “You still live with mom?! And you are 18?! Like, grow up. Get a life.” But here they say, “Oh! You are single and you don’t live with your mum, and you are 45? Why not?” So which one is right? Which one is wrong? What is my point? If we come from this culture and we go to America, it looks odd and crazy to us. When we come to this…when we go from that culture to here, we look at it as very odd. Both have benefits and disbenefits, one is not better than the other. I am not being diplomatic. Think about it. Think about it.
There are people who never grow up who should live with their mum for the rest of their lives, unfortunate for them. And there are people who are grown up, who could do much more if they don’t live with their mums their whole life and go under their protective wings. They have talents themselves. So it’s not right or wrong. Similarly when we say ‘crazy wisdom’, it’s crazy because we are at this level operating from this level, operating from this reference point at that level. So when we operate at that level, when we operate at that level and someone is judging from this level, they will call it crazy. Why? Because this person has no agenda, this person does.
So to operate from no agenda perceived by an agenda-crazed person, the agenda-less person is crazy. It’s very simple; it’s very, very simple. So you say, “Well, you put us in a very difficult predicament. You Tibetan Rinpoches, you put us in a very difficult predicament. Then you tell us to check our lamas before we hook up with them.” Yes! How do we check if we are here and they are there? By their students, by their long-term actions, by what they do for their monasteries and their organization. How much they can give up for others. How much time, energy, sleep, love, care, finances, reputation, they can give up for others. How much. How much they can give for others. You can see the result that matches the person’s motivation.
So we can’t examine the gurus. I certainly can’t go run around examining some high gurus to see if he is pure or not but I look at the actions. I look at his residence. I look at his people. I look at what he does. I look at his possessions. I look at how he acts. And if he is totally obnoxious and loud and whatever, I will look at what’s the effect on the students later on to them. Even if some students have run away, do they have regrets? Do they still love the lama? How do they feel? Then we know the lama’s motivation. We know. That’s how we examine.
So how do we examine a lama before we accept the person as a lama? By the result of the person’s action. To examine directly you will have to be at that level or higher, at that level or higher. So if you are not at that level or higher, you are not able to examine so you are confused. But if you are at a higher level or equal level, you can examine. So therefore, that’s why I say here, we shouldn’t criticize lamas. We shouldn’t criticize lineages. We shouldn’t criticize teachers and practices and centers, why? We are not at the level to criticize. And if other people criticize, are they at the level? How do you know they are at the level? How much they have sacrifice in their lives. Are they monks? Are they nuns? Are they meditating? Are they in retreat? Are they learned? Are they devoted? What do they spend their actions on? So if they are not at the level to criticize, and they criticize and you believe them, you at their level too. So that’s why it’s very important in spiritual practice, particularly in Buddhism, to use our eyes, to use our ears and input information and then use our brain, not to depend on other people. Why? Other people maybe as ignorant as us! As us!
They can be as ignorant as us. ‘Ignorant’ doesn’t mean they are bad. It means they don’t know. So when they don’t know and they blabber on and they talk on and they criticize on and on and on, they can be potentially taking you away from something that can be a potential benefit to you and many other beings. So what is important is, since we can’t examine into the person’s mind and action, we can check – I’m sorry – a person’s mind and motivation, we can check their action. So we don’t have to talk about a lama or Dharma teacher, which is kind of beyond our scope. But we can talk about myself, I can talk about another person, we can check the other person what activity they are very interested in. And for most cases, their body shape, the discipline of their body, their physical appearance, the way they dress their clothes, their house – if we get to see – how neat or un-neat, their car, how they drive, how they focus. All these things we can see into another person because that is the result of their mind, to see what level they are at, very clearly. I am not asking you to be judgmental; I am using that as an example, logically, to tell another person’s state of mind. So the person is consistently overweight, consistently. Due to that they are unhealthy or they become lazy, that shows you clearly their mind, that they don’t exert any type of six paramita effort, zero effort. Sometimes, they have a family problem of obese or whatever, that’s different. I am talking about normal, normal. If some people are very attracted to gossip, very attracted – the minute you tell them something negative, they are very interested but when you tell them something positive, they are not interested – it tells you the level of their mind.
What is the level of their mind? They don’t judge or come to conclusions based on facts, based on information or based on research because they don’t apply the effort to know more. But they based their conclusions on hearsay and gossip and therefore if they do that, they bring harm to themselves and others. Why? If they can gossip about others, they create the karma that others will gossip about them. When others gossip about them and say negative things about them, they cannot cry or be sad and say, “I am misunderstood! Nobody understands me! Why did they say that about me?” Because you create the karma for them by being that same way. And if we gossip about someone or something that is higher level than us, in this case like a high lama or reincarnation or a great master, the karma is even more powerful to come back to us. Why? Let me give you logic. If you slap a dog, it is very bad. You slap a monk, it is even worse. If you slap the Buddha, the karma is even higher. So therefore if the object which we do negative actions to creates the level of karma that we get, definitely if we criticize high teachers and high masters, it’s very dangerous. It’s very dangerous. Why is that? If we can make offerings to Kuan Yin and we get blessings as opposed to making offerings to a dog…if we make offerings to a dog, we get some good karma but if we make offerings to Kuan Yin, we collect merit and the merit is much greater because of the object. So if we give an apple to a dog or we give an apple to Kuan Yin, since the result is different, if we do negative actions to them the results will be different also. Very different.
So therefore if we lose confidence due to our laziness, inability to push ourselves, and hiding and more ego-filling toxic actions, and we lose confidence in the Three Jewels, or our lamas or our practice, it’s very dangerous. Why is that very dangerous? It’s self-inflicted danger. Why is that self-inflicted danger? Because we didn’t put in the energy to gain confidence, to gain faith. We didn’t put in the energy to actually bring ourselves to the next level so then we lose out. So therefore if we can make offerings to Kuan Yin and to the high monks to have our wishes fulfilled, if we criticize them the karma is even stronger.
So therefore, if you hear people criticizing lamas and teachers and masters, if you hear them, if you have the wisdom and you have the mind and the learning – many years of learning and study and meditation – to debate with them politely, to change their minds, engage. Because why? If you keep quiet, you are a part of it. But if you don’t have the wisdom and you don’t have the study and learning and your knowledge is based on gossip and you debate, you might follow them. You might even become their group and that’s very dangerous. Why is that? You lose out. So a person who is used to coming to conclusions with facts, with examination, with logic, with thinking, they will apply that in all areas of their lives. That’s what we call a person who is intelligent. The person who does it on gossip, we call them shallow, superficial. Why? They don’t want to exert their energy into thinking deeper so they are shallow. They are superficial. And therefore, their mind will go this way when someone says something and when someone says something else, they go this way, then it goes this way, this way – in the end, they are alone. They are alone. Why are they alone? Because they never confirm here or there or there or here, they don’t confirm.
As Gangchen Rinpoche said recently in Thailand – we met him two weeks ago approximately – if we cultivate beauty, if we cultivate outside beauty, physical appearance, it will last us a short while. But we are not beautiful inside, people go away even if we are beautiful on the outside. But if we cultivate inner beauty – we put the time to cultivate that through the Dharma – if we are beautiful on the outside and beautiful on the inside, he said is a double plus. But if we are not beautiful on the outside and we are beautiful on the inside, people will follow us. So beauty is initial attraction, like, “Oh wow! You are beautiful. That’s a beautiful girl!” “That’s a beautiful man! Oh wow., I want to know you better!” But when we talk to them and they are shallow, they are bimbos, they are gossipy, they don’t know much, they are interested in their hair, their makeup and their muscles and they are just interested in their sports car – they are very shallow, they are very bimbo-like – no matter how beautiful they are, you get bored very, very fast. Very, very fast. And that proves that even without Dharma, what the Dharma is telling us is the truth. How our eyes look, how our body looks, how our face look and our body actions will send a message to the other person very clearly what kind of person we are. So in Dharma when we learn these things, it is very helpful. Do you know why it’s very helpful? If we are embarrassed about them then we know we are guilty.
Some people react in embarrassment by being more humble, by saying, “I am going to do something.” Some people react in embarrassment by telling off the teacher or fighting the teacher because they don’t like what the teacher has said and they want to put the teacher down. So if they put the teacher down they are right, but actually they are not right. Some people cover their embarrassment by arrogance, silence; kind of fold their hands, they kind of look like “I don’t care.” They kind of sit back and say, “You know that’s not me” but that’s all cover-ups. Why? If we feel embarrassed, we should take a positive action. What’s the positive action? To do something about it, to do something.
That’s how our teacher approached us in the monasteries, that’s what teachers told us. You see, how we learn in the monasteries is different than here but what we learn is not different. How we approach the Dharma here and in the monastery is different but the result and the motivation is not different. It’s not different. So therefore lamas, high lamas, can manifest incredible crazy wisdom. Why is it crazy? You say, “Oh! Why would the lama act like that, embarrass himself?” Because he love you so much. “Why doesn’t the lama act the way I feel the lama should act?” Because you are so attached to the way a person should act, that’s why the lama doesn’t act that way. To break your attachment. If the lama is like that all the time, he would be like that with every person. With every single person he would be like that. How come he is selective with whom he is like that with? Selective. If he is selective with who he acts with like that – crazy or loud – it means he is training. If the lama is like that with everybody, then he is not training, he is like that. If you go to a crazy house, no matter who comes to the crazy person, they are going to act crazy to you. You can be the president, you can be the prime minister, you can be the most beautiful lady, you can be a bum on the street – they react to you the same way they would react. But if a person reacts differently with another person, two ways, two, two conclusions – either they have an agenda or they don’t have an agenda. Isn’t that tricky?
So if a person acts differently with different people, either they have an agenda or they don’t have an agenda, a bad motive. Agenda is bad motivation. It’s very tricky. So how do we look at that? Let’s go deeper – by seeing the results of the actions, long-term. We check the lama’s motivation. Is the lama surrounding himself with luxury, wealth? Is the lama surrounding himself with jewels and lots of money for himself? Is the lama surrounding himself with beautiful houses and beautiful women and beautiful everything that you have, or is the lama trying to surrounding himself with Dharma, Dharma objects, Dharma items, Dharma people, Dharma motivation, Dharma work, Dharma projects? That’s how you check. So if the lama is always talking about Dharma projects and Dharma work and Dharma motivation and moving you ‘dharmically’, and talking about Dharma all the time, he must be without an agenda. But if he lets you be who you are and as you are, and he doesn’t even move one inch to change you or transform you because you are giving him things that he likes, he has an agenda. Why? He is afraid to upset his rice bowl, very logical. A little blatant, a little too open but no one has ever said Tsem Rinpoche is diplomatic. I have never ever heard that negative comment. “Tsem Rinpoche is very diplomatic. Oh, he is very, very diplomatic. He is an emanation of Joseph Chan, very diplomatic.” I have never heard that.
You see if lamas cannot manifest anger and wrath then you better tell all the wrathful deities to throw in the towel. You tell Vajrayogini, Yamantaka, “I don’t understand why you are so pissed off and you scare us like that. Can you take a hike?” And the next time you go see Setrap and cover his face and say, “I don’t like the way you look but help me!” How silly! If the deities can manifest wrathful expressions, definitely the lamas will take on those personalities to transform the person. Why? You need an ambassador of wrath between the wrathful deity and yourself. You need an ambassador. What do you think, Yamantaka is going to emanate as a gentle little nun, smiling, hitting a fish-drum, “NAMO AMITOFOH, don’t hit people, don’t be mean to people, don’t run away, don’t be a lazy bum, OM MANI PADME HUM, OM MANI PADME HUM,” – no. Yamantaka will manifest as Tsem Rinpoche and slaps you around and tells you off. You want to sponsor him, he don’t care. You want to hang around and help him up, he don’t care. You want to gossip about him, he don’t care. Why? Maybe he cares about you more. Maybe. Maybe.
So are there ambassadors of Kuan Yin? Yeah, they show up like Ben over here, all nice and smiley and sweet and fabulous. Ambassadors of Vajrayogini who are funky and wild and obnoxious – Paris. Yeah, there is nothing wrong because they are all Buddhas. Ambassadors of Manjushri are someone like Andee who has got the eloquence of speech. He does speak well and he does write very well. In fact, I am amazed at his writing, I was talking about it with one of the liaisons last night. Amazed. Oh yes, so you have ambassadors of different types of energies. So we don’t start questioning and then we say, “Well I am not ready for that energy.” How do you know you are not ready? How do you know? If you know you are ready or not ready, that means you know more than the Buddhas, you know more. If you know more, why do you need to take refuge? Have the Buddhas come take refuge with you. Give Shakyamuni his new refuge name. Give Tsongkhapa his new refuge name because you know more than them so you give them refuge. And then you send Setrap to the corner and tell him to calm down and have a glass of milk before he comes for refuge. I mean how ridiculous.
There is nothing to understand because you are not at the level to understand, there is only the examination of the result. Are these tricky words? No. I am not telling one person in the room without recording. I’m being recorded all over the world. I have got plenty of people in this room and most of you are intelligent, most, who can say, “Wait a minute, there is something wrong there.” And most of you are awake, most. So if I am going to tell you in the room secretly, you know I give you a drink and after you drink the drink, you are kind of sleepy, you don’t know why, you say, “Wait a minute. There is something wrong here.” I am saying it openly in front of everybody. It goes all over the world. It gets broadcasted everywhere. So if there is something wrong, you are going to get bombarded with emails. I am not afraid of what I am saying. I am confident. Why am I confident? I have watched my mind trick itself that way. I have seen my other friends’ minds trick themselves and I have a lot of friends, not even in this country, outside that you guys may know or not know about. And some of them are in desperate, in very desperate situation these days, very desperate, where they have actually gone back to their countries and went back to square one. All the things that their lama told them to do, they didn’t do. Recently I met one of our lamas, he told me, we are talking about this one student and the student had to go all the way back to their country, and go back to study and go back to work, and go back to live with his mother. He is already in his mid-forties and when I talked about it with my lama, my lama says, “Yeah, that is exactly what I told him to do many years ago, to study and he would be in a different situation now. But he didn’t listen.”
So my point is this is that how we gain confidence in a Dharma path, how we gain confidence in our Dharma teacher, how do we gain confidence to know they have no agenda? How do we know they don’t have agenda? They act different than us. They are not diplomatic, they don’t tell us nice words and they are different with different people. They are straightforward. They don’t mind how it looks on their reputation. I am not praising those qualities. I am asking you to look at that as symptoms of a person who has no agenda. That’s what I am saying. So therefore, during Chogyam Trungpa’s holy life people didn’t call him a mahasiddha, they didn’t call him a legend. They reported him to immigration as we read in the book. They criticized him. They said many nasty things about him. They didn’t like him. Many people were against him and I know many people who have left him because I have met some people in Los Angeles who left Chogyam Trungpa because, “We don’t understand his crazy ways” – no, no, they didn’t say that – “We don’t understand his ways.” But now they regret. Why do they regret? Because when Chogyam Trungpa had died, his work has grown. His work has benefited so many, even after his death. They called him a mahasiddha. They didn’t call him a mahasiddha when he was alive. They called him a disrobed disgrace to Tibetan Buddhism. A disrobed disgrace. And during that generation, 30 years ago, 40 years ago, they are even more conservative than now.
Now I can go to the abbot and say, “Oh blah, blah, blah, blah, that’s why I am dressed like that.” “Ok not bad, you explained.” Last time there is no room for explanation, none. None at all. In fact there was a saying in Gaden. There was a saying, “Once he is disrobed, tsa tsa res,” means he is finished. Now they say he is disrobed, “Oh, we hope he continues to do Dharma work.” They will say that now. Why? Because time and people have changed, completely.
So how…what do we do? What’s important is this, is not whether a person is robed or disrobed or dresses this way or looks this way or acts this way or fits your concept of what a lama should be. Which of you have been to Tibet? Which of you have stayed in the monastery? Which of you actually knows how a lama should act? Which one of you have spent the time and energy to be able to come to that position to even say? Even the great lamas don’t criticize other lamas although they know what is right and wrong.
So we have to check if the person has an agenda, and the agenda is positive or negative, before we take on the commitments of the lama. Not after. We don’t marry our wives and then check her out. We check her out before we marry. We don’t check our husbands out before we marry, and then after we marry we find out he is a big loser. We have to check them out before we marry them. If after we marry them, we are stuck. We are pretty much stuck so we need to work on it. It might be our karma, it might be our karma. So therefore how come some people with a little bit of criticism, they flutter away? How come some people you can scream and shout at them after year after year after year, they gained more faith in their lama? Must be, not the lama, must be the level of the person. So the level of…the person says, “Oh! I am not at that level.” That is a cop-out. Why is that a cop-out? Then you don’t love people around you. You don’t love yourself. You don’t love anyone. Why don’t you love them? Because you are ready to escape from facing yourself. That’s the truth. That’s what my lama told me. That’s what Kensur Rinpoche told me before. I used to go to his room and complain and bitch and tell him everything that was wrong in the world and all my disillusionment. I was, I was very disillusioned. Many times. I was very disillusioned many times. There was one time, out of the many times, I was disillusioned. The good thing about me was I didn’t jump out of the Dharma. I stayed in it although I was disillusioned.
One time I was very disillusioned, very disillusioned that – I have a great altar – I covered the whole altar up with a sheet, the whole thing. I said, “That’s it! I am not going to look at the Buddhas, I’m not going to look at Tsongkhapa, I’m not going to look at my gurus, I remember even Zong Rinpoche – sorry – I am not going to look at any of this. I covered it up and I didn’t make any offerings, you know, it was a protest, really. Definitely, that’s it.” I didn’t remove them yet because I wasn’t sure I wanted to go that far but I covered them up, I wouldn’t make offerings. For me not making offerings is a very, big, big deal because I have big beautiful offerings, very big. So I covered them up and “no, that’s it.”
Then I said to them through the covers, “I am not going to pray to you anymore, I am not going to study anymore and I am not going to learn anymore and I am not going to do this anymore because you don’t help me at all. I am still suffering and I am so unhappy and these people are doing these things to me and you are not helping at all, any of you. There is so many of you, there’s just one of me. Why doesn’t anybody help? Does anybody listen?” Yeah I was thinking that. And I said a lot of nasty things, I can’t remember now. It was along that lines when I covered them up. One day went by and I was very adamant. Yeah, I was just very adamant. The second day went by, I was very strong, I was like, “I am right!” The third day went by, “I am totally right!”
Then I went for my teacher’s teachings, you see because although I was disillusioned and was unhappy with my teacher at that time and with the practice and me not having results, I still loved him because I saw all the benefits he brought. So I went to the teachings and I listened and my mind changed. After the teachings I remember I went back to my room and I was thinking, “How to make up?” I was! You know when you break up with your girlfriend, you think okay, you know you were wrong, you don’t know what to say or what to do and you want her to come begging – you want your partner to come begging – but actually, you want to say something but you can’t because you feel so stupid. So it’s like that, I was looking at them thinking, “So who talks to who first? Now, how do I resurrect my pract…how do I go back to my practice?” and I didn’t do my sadhana for three days. Oh my god, it was very big for me. Three or four days. So I was a kid, I was about 18-19, I lift up the covers and I went like that, “Are you there?” I did, I asked, “Are you there?” because the pictures are empty, the enlightened beings have already floated away. So I just went, “Are you guys still there?” and I removed everything and I looked at them and I folded my hands and said, “I am sorry.” I did that. I said, “I am sorry” to them. Yes, yes I am a Rinpoche and I do that too. Sorry to disappoint you. You came to see a living Buddha and in fact you came upon a living fart, what to do?
Well at least I am honest, I tell you I am not a living Buddha. I am not. So I lifted the covers and I looked at them and I said, “I am sorry.” I cleaned it up, I sat down and did my sadhana I think three or four times, to make up for the days that I missed and I was crying quite a lot. I cried quite a lot. You know why I cried? I am not going to give you this kind of religious fervor, “Oh, they were always there, they were in me, they were around, I just didn’t see them.” No. You know what I realized, is that I didn’t overcome the qualities in me that treat people and things and objects that don’t fulfill my wishes, I didn’t change. So when I want something, when I expect something, when I need something, when I feel I need something and I don’t get it and I don’t fulfill my expectation, I need to take it out on them and I even went to the level of taking it out on the Buddhas. That’s what I realized so I am not going to tell you, “Oh I opened up…” – they are always there. That’s so tired. You know, you hear religious people say that, “Oh, they were always there and I just found God.” You found God. You find four-leaf clovers and you find coins on the street, you don’t find God! And then they say something like, “Oh, God was always there.” Like where? Where? Where? Show me. So “Buddha’s always there” – show me where. Where? But Buddha is when I let go. When I come to terms with myself, when I realized that I am the one who needs to do something about the way I feel Because I am not happy about the way I feel and I need to apply the right remedy to the way I feel. Not the wrong or immediate remedy that is right in front of me. That’s what I realized at that time.
When I was in Gaden I ran away several times. Several times I packed up my bags and left in the middle of the night cause that’s it. I am tired of the poverty, I am tired of the mosquitoes, I am tired of no water, I am tired of no electricity, I am tired of going to classes, I am tired not understanding the classes, I am tired of the classes going on for hours and hours and my legs are killing me. I am tired of not getting enough sleep. Oh yes, over there you know – cause I have insomnia, I can’t sleep till around 2-3 am – we have to get up at 5am for pujas every day. Every day for years and I couldn’t stand it, the lack of sleep. I suffered tremendously and sometimes the pujas are two to three times and all day long. You know, Setrap Puja in Gaden are two full days. They start somewhere around 5 o’clock in the morning and they finish somewhere at 11 o’clock at night. Two days every month. All day. You have a lunch break of course. You go take a nap for two hours, all day, and it’s every month. So I love Setrap but I hate the mornings; I love the pujas but I hate the mornings. I used to…my guru was the Abbot. I used to say, “Can’t you just change it? Can’t we have pujas in the evening? What’s the difference?” I used to tell him, “There is no light in the morning, there is no light at night so it’s the same what.” You think I was into doing pujas in the dark or starting in the dark. I told him. He looked at me and like [imitates staring], “Practice the Dharma.” I had to tell him that. You know we go to the puja and it’s all dark And then when we leave the puja it’s dark. So why don’t we just start in the night and finish it in the morning before the sun comes up? What’s the difference? He just said to me, “You are crazy.” He doesn’t even want to justify that ridiculous comment because it was all ego.
It was me trying to adjust everything for me. I did that in the monastery. I ran away two to three times, I was caught. I was caught by the monk police. Brought back, dragged back, bag and all, to my guru. Yeah and my guru, I’d be scared to walk into the room. I’d be so scared. I’d be trembling. You know why I was scared? Because I know what I am doing deep down inside. I am trying to run away. Yeah I am trying to run away. I was scared. I know Kensur Rinpoche was going to scream at me but he is not going to scream at me…he does scream at me. He screams at me very loud, very loud. You can hear it at the neighbors, and I am a Rinpoche and I am getting screamed at. How can a Rinpoche be wrong? Sigh! Uh oh! Big ego time. Yes, he used to scream at me really, really loud and I would be like, “Oh no, all the neighbors know.” So when I go to puja the next day, when I walk up, they all look at me like [imitates people pointing and laughing], and they tell other monks and they tell my other friends and say, “He got screamed at” and they tell them the details.
And I’m like, “You are a monk, keep quiet.” Everybody knows. “Tsem Rinpoche got screamed at, Tsem Rinpoche got screamed at. Neeneeneeneenee!”
“Wait till I tell Kensur Rinpoche about them!” But of course it never worked because Kensur Rinpoche is not stupid, I couldn’t manipulate him. Sometimes I’d go to Kensur Rinpoche and say, “Oh! Guess what I heard about that monk?”
He said, “Who cares?” he’d say to me, “Who cares? Do your sadhana!”
I’d go, “Okay but don’t you want to know, they’re your students, don’t you care?”
He’s like, “Of course I care, that’s why I am doing my sadhana.”
Ok, “Oh dear! Let me go back to my room. It didn’t work again.”
Oh yeah! Don’t…you see I know all these things, I can teach you so well because I am a holy living Buddha? No. I did it myself. I tried all types of tricks to escape my ego, to escape my responsibilities. Don’t think I went to Gaden and I just stayed there and I was all “holy schmoly” and I came out here to Malaysia and I am the living Buddha. I had run away from Gaden many times – and I will talk about that in my biography – many times. I thought about it countless times and I found out I am not the only monk who tried to run away or who thought about running away, it’s really hard. It’s really, really hard but the good thing is I stayed. I guess my spiritual commitments and convictions were stronger than I thought. Never went back to the United States, left in ’87, did not go back until now. It represents everything I left behind.
There is a lot of things I miss in the States. I don’t want to live there but a lot of things I miss but I think to myself, “Never mind.” Sometimes when I’m in Malaysia I miss the United States, even now. Some kind of cultural aspect, some kind of ways of expression and the way people act and stuff, I miss that. I miss it very much but I think, “Ok, never mind.” I go back there, what happens? I enjoy two, three weeks and I come back here, it’s the same thing. I might as well control my mind. So what happens is this is that, how am I able to lucidly explain all these things to you? That I am some high lama looking down on you? No, I am you. I am you. I think like you. I have the same problems as you. The only difference is because I am given the name Rinpoche and I am thrown robes, and I am given a throne and I am shown respect. I am not allowed to act like other people; I am supposed to act like it doesn’t affect me. You guys have that option – you can jump out there and scream and shoot people in the university, 32 of them to be exact – you can do whatever you want and it’s all right. But the minute Tsem Rinpoche even slurps when he drinks, he is not enlightened at all! He is just a slob. Because I have a name and I have a title but I am not allowed to be ordinary. Why am I not allowed to be ordinary? Because everybody has a projection, everybody has a thought of how a Rinpoche should be.
If we talk to everybody in this room and interview them separately, alone, without listening to another peer, they will have a different version of how a Rinpoche should act. Some people will say, “Hey, it’s no problem, you know Rinpoche, it’s no problem. You can go to disco with me and hang out and dance, he is still enlightened and I can go for Dharma teachings.” Some of you say, “Oh no! No, he needs to sit on a throne and live on there and stay there and meditate on there and camp out there and sleep there and also teach us there, just stay on the throne and never get off. That’s what a Rinpoche is supposed to be.” And some people will be like, “Well, we can have both.” Some people say, “Oh! Rinpoche has hair!” Which Rinpoche don’t have hair follicles, ar? “Oh! Does that mean he is not qualified because he has hair?” “But the other Rinpoches we saw didn’t have hair.” Maybe they were bald, I don’t know. “Does that mean that if he has hair, he can’t teach or he teaches less?” You have hair! Does that mean you are less than who you are if you don’t have hair? “He doesn’t wear the robes.” You wear robes in Malaysia! You run around Malaysia wearing 15 meters of maroon robes and let’s see what happens to you. You’ll look like a fat Indian woman with a maroon sari and if they ask you what’s going on, “Hari Krishna!” That’s nothing wrong but what’s the type of people you are trying to penetrate? What’s the type of people you are trying to talk to? If you are in robes, you better make sure your students know how to serve you correctly. They know how to drive you correctly. They know how to set up your throne, they know how to make the arrangements because you are in robes, you can’t do anything yourself. Why? If you do anything, the minute you see a monk in a shopping mall, “Oh! Consumerism!”
So you want to make sure your students are not blur, they go to the shopping center, they buy you the right cottage cheese. And sometimes, sometimes lamas are incredible, sometimes lamas they use food and very simple ways to train up the students. Sometimes they will send them out many times to get the same food or different foods. They are not attached to money, they are not attached to the house, they are not attached to themselves, they are not attached to anything but suddenly they are attached to food? So people who have a higher intelligence think, “Hmmm, how come he only does that to only one person or two people, and not me?” And then other times, he’s not…how come someone be attached to food and nothing else? That’s ridiculous! And is your lama 350 pounds? 400kgs? Korky looks at himself. He did! I saw him look at himself when I said that.
Well what can that be? Maybe he is checking the attitude of that person out and they work and how they operate. Maybe. Maybe the lama is crazy? Definitely not. See, the lama has to do one action that fulfills the needs of everyone. He has to do something that fulfils the needs of most people. And yes, there’s going to be some people who are disappointed. It’s always like that. Why? Level, skill and the lama and the perceived. If the perceiver’s level is very high, everything will be perfect. If the perceiver’s side is very low, everything will be questionable. From the lama’s side, if the lama’s level is very high, everything he does still can be questioned. Imagine Buddha Shakyamuni walking up and down Bukit Bintang begging for food these days? He will be arrested. Not allowed anymore. Can you imagine Buddha opening up a retreat center in a rubber plantation, no license, restrictions for building statues all that? Of course, he’d be slapped with the same thing. Imagine Buddha today standing up and saying, “I am a Buddha.” They’ll say, “Yeah right, get a life!” Times have changed. Methods have changed.
Lamas who are willing to change their methods like Chogyam Trungpa, lamas who are willing to change their outlook, their robes, their criterias, how they talk, how they act – they are very kind. You know why they are very kind? They risk their own reputation and life and rice bowl to bring the Dharma to people who ordinarily not be touched. And the people who criticize would be people who don’t fit that style and their level is to criticize. But definitely people would be benefited.
I am telling you, I heard about him when I was in America many years ago, I’ve heard nothing but nasty things, nothing. When I was in the Dharma circuit in Los Angeles, I was at the center there, I heard nothing but nasty things about Chogyam Trungpa, nothing. I never heard one good thing and I am not going to repeat what I heard because it was very, very bad. Over and over, people actually say, “Don’t go to him.” You know, “people running away from him”, on and on and on. And now I am studying about him; now I fold my hands when I read about him, sometimes it brings a tear to my eye. But it wasn’t like that 30 years ago. I never criticized him either because I know ex-students of his. I know them. So my point is this is, I am not promoting him because I have reached this level. I am not saying he is wonderful because I am a little chip of the old block. On some levels, I have seen through what, been through what he is doing through thirty years of being in the Dharma and experienced, thirty years. I have seen through not all, because I am not at that level, but I have seen through. I have seen through much more than many people here, if I may say so with respect, much more. So I have seen through and therefore I can accept. I don’t accept because I am disillusioned. I don’t accept because I don’t have anything smart to say. I accept because I have seen through and some more, his actions have proven beneficial to many, to many. So therefore usually these kind of beings are not considered legends in their own time or they are wonderful or they are mahasiddhas, actually it’s usually when they pass away.
Even in the Christian tradition, someone like Joan of Arc is only granted sainthood many years after her death. Even Mother Teresa is still under observation, many years but during their lifetimes, no. When Mother Teresa first did her things, if you read her book, it was totally out of the question. Nobody accepted it, there was no such order, no such thing. It went through many years of proving that, that she got the Pope’s approval many years. He is very kind that time. But my point is in the Chinese tradition you have Ji Gong. Nobody thought he was a mahasiddha in his life. Now people make statues of him, worship him and say he is an emanation of Avalokiteshvara because why? He dared to be different. I like that style. I am not like them, I am not like Mother Teresa and Ji Gong, that kind of level of spiritual maturation but I like that style. Do you know why? I like it when Chogyam Trungpa threw pee all over Akong Rinpoche’s altar. I like it. I like it very much because that is something I would like to do but not around here. You don’t pee on Malaysian’s altars. You’d be lucky if they pee back on you; they’ll call the police on you. But in America you can get away with it, it’s like in Scotland you get away with it. People are like, “Oh no whatever. It’s his way of expressing art.” They do!
So, I like that kind of directness, I like that kind of energy. I like it very much because one thing that bothers me very much about others and myself, that really, really disturbs me to the core – let me tell you a secret – is hiding behind a façade. Pretending that people don’t know who you really are or how you really are, or trying to use all types of games and words and explanations to cover who you really are when it is so clear to see. That really bothers me and some people do that for years and years and years. I know some people who do that with me for over decades. They can still cover up, they can still not change and transform. So for those people, there is nothing left but wrathful actions. Why? Death is very near; death is not far so you have to use actions to help them before it’s too late. Why? Peaceful means didn’t work anymore and that is the compassion of the lama. How does that happen? Because whatever you manifest to them is at the lama’s own expense. So the lama is willing to accept the expenses behind that kind of wrathful action in order to help that being. There is nothing to understand or not understand. It is the method. Why is there that method? Because they’re that type of beings, there is that type of beings.
So the lama may be very peaceful with some and give gifts and smile; with some, very wrathful depending on the person and time. If some person has been acting negatively towards the lama, towards the Dharma, towards others again and again, year after year after year – basically almost lying – karmic retribution is very heavy. The lama will always show a wrathful face towards that person. Why? Because the lama cares. To ordinary beings, it’s viewed as frustration or anger from the lama. That’s their level, that’s how they perceive it, that’s how they perceive it. When Kyabje Zong Rinpoche screamed and yelled at people and beat monks, we folded our hands and prostrated and secretly hoped we’d be beaten, scared to death. But we secretly hoped because there were some monks that Zong Rinpoche beat and some monks he didn’t, in the same room. The next day the monks that weren’t beaten died. He made their diseases manifest, that’s very well-known. Even sometimes, the fierce protectors like Setrap comes, very fierce with some of the monks. Sometimes they are very fierce with some of the monks, they’ll actually catch them and throw them – catch them here – in front of thousands of monks and throttle them and throw them. But you say, “Oh but you are supposed to be compassionate, Setrap.” The next day we find out the monk is disrobed. He was deceiving people so his karma is very heavy, and Setrap was purifying it. Purifying by his humiliation and nobody knew. We have seen that in the monasteries. It’s very rare Setrap comes and talks nicely. It’s very rare unless it is one of the high lamas who have worked very hard for others; if he comes in the presence of Setrap in the monastery, in the oracle monk, Setrap calms down, calms down. The great Nechung of Tibet, takes the oracle in trance and meets the high officials and meets the high lamas in Tibet once a year on Losar to give prophesies for the future and he is very fierce, very, very fierce. You can do a search on him – Nechung. N–E-C-H-U-N-G. He is very fierce but in the presence of the Dalai Lama, he is very calm and very quiet. Always, in every single lifetime of the Dalai Lama. Similarly, Setrap is very, very fierce but to a person he doesn’t need to be fierce, nothing. When I went up…when there was a whole bunch of Rinpoches, we are sitting up on chairs and a whole bunch of monks from the monastery who went up for audience, I was trembling. I was trembling, I am not kidding. I was trembling on my knees thinking when I go up there, “Uh oh! Is he going to be nice to me or I am going to be humiliated?” And there goes my ego not wanting – I want to be enlightened but I don’t want to go through the process of being enlightened. Isn’t that so silly?
“I want to be happy, I want to be enlightened. I want peace. I want to be a mahasiddha. I want to benefit the world. I want to have Bodhicitta. I want to be a Buddha but don’t make me go through the hard work. Let me get enlightened on my couch watching a DVD, eating a pizza, making love to my couch and sofa. So let me be a Buddha but please don’t make me go through it.” Huh? “Can I please be a professor of physics but I don’t have to go to school, just buy me the degree?” – yeah, some people out there who think like that, “Buy it for me; buy it for me…berapa? Buy it for me, how much?” Yeah, there are people out there like that. So imagine you want to get enlightened but you don’t want to go through the methods and actions. So let me put it simply, and I base it on Bodhisattvacharyavatara, I am not making it up…I can’t make it up. There is too many smart people. If you really love yourself and you really love the people around you and you really love the people that love you and have helped you, and they are very kind to you, you work very hard for the Dharma. You work very hard on the inner Dharma of transformation, and you put yourself in situations where your ego will be battered and smashed. You put yourself in that situation where your ego will be battered and smashed if you love yourself and others. Why? If you operate from an egoless base, you won’t create sufferings for others and yourself. If you operate from an egoless base or less ego, the results will be different. Ego-based motivation, ego-based results. Ego-based… egoless motivation and action, egoless results. So what happens is, how can we not become changed will make a difference in our lives, to the people’s lives that we love. If we say we love them but we continue to torture them, if we say we love them, we don’t transform our habits, if we say we love them and we really want to do Dharma and we really want to help but we don’t transform an iota of ourselves, in fact we escape from ourselves. We escape from the actual place or path or persons or beings or vehicle that can transform us. Impossible.
That’s for whatever religion you are in, even if you are not in religion. Don’t think, “Oh okay, I am not getting into religion.” That’s for anyone. Anyone even not in religion. Even if you are not in religion, you can’t escape from yourself. You can’t get away from yourself. So if we do things…and then ‘ego’ and ‘egoless’ or ‘ego-based’ is not religious words either. It’s not religious words either. ‘Ego’ means doing things from a selfish attitude. If we do things from a selfish attitude, the result will be selfish results and we always have to protect our results, and the results are not lasting. So what is very important is what…through study and through time and through understanding, we know is really the priority in life. So that’s why I always start on the basis of love of ourself, love others, love the people that love us, to repay their kindness. That’s why I always focus on that because no matter how you go on the teachings, it leads back to that. How much you care about others is how much effort you put in. How much effort you don’t put in is how much you don’t care about others, no matter how pleasant you look or how beautiful you look or how nice you speak or how your time just passes by. If you cannot change your body actions, your facial actions, your body language, and you cannot change your mind, you cannot change your effort, you cannot change your laziness – if you can’t change any of that, no matter how many times you say ‘I care’, ‘I love’ or you have guru devotion, it will come out the opposite. Why? It’s plain to see. It’s very plain to see. If we say if there is a Dharma talk or Dharma activity, you are spontaneous to go and learn and listen, it means you want to transform.
Some people when you say there is a Dharma talk or Dharma teaching or puja, they don’t have time. They are busy. They are trapped. They are overwhelmed. They have to make a living, etc., etc., etc. But if for any entertainment or parties or fun or meeting or social events, they have plenty of time. They will squeeze the time. On their way to work they will make the time. They are good or bad, no. It’s not judgment of good or bad. It’s how we can examine the state of the person’s mind. In fact, we can have more compassion for them. Individually, it’s different – for those who we can approach the soft way, approach the soft way. If you need to approach the wrathful way, approach the wrathful way because why? Different types of minds. If…in fact it says in the Bodhisattva vows, if you have taken the Bodhisattva vows and you don’t break a vow and you have to break it to help another, you broke a vow because it is repairable. If you don’t break and you are supposed to help someone, you break your vow. In the Bodhisattva vows. So what happens is if you need to speak up and you don’t speak up – as Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche said in his book – then you are a part of it. If you keep quiet then you let it happen, or you expect other people to show you the way or you expect other people to guide you or give you the direction and you don’t want to be the leading light, you don’t want to be the direction, you don’t want to make an effort toward it, you expect others to and if they don’t then you…then you say, “I didn’t get the direction.” Then that’s incorrect. Why is it incorrect? To a certain level you are correct if you are a child but if you are an adult, no. You must make an effort to know. You must make an effort. Buddha went to the forest and meditated on his own. He didn’t blame other people when he didn’t get enlightened. He did not.
So therefore what’s important is not to think that our enlightenment is dependent on how other people act towards me, or my spiritual development it is how important that people act towards me. How they act towards me. That’s not the attitude to have. Why? Then it’s letting laziness take over again. Then if laziness takes over we become disillusioned, we give up, we don’t want to do or we just become like Sunday practitioners, we just recite empty but we don’t actually apply it. That’s very dangerous, we become a Sunday practitioner. Why? Every other day you are just yourself, you don’t care but on Sunday you are all “holy schmoly”. No. So what’s important is we need to check our mind. We need to check our mind, clearly, the directions we going into and we need to ask ourselves one question. And I use this one because this is fundamental for all of us – “Do we love the people we say we love?” And even if they don’t know what we are doing, we know especially after we’ve listened to the Dharma. We know. “Do we love the people we love?” If we love the people we love, we will stop making excuses for our lack of transformation, Dharma practice and inabilities. We will stop. If we don’t stop, it’s very clear we don’t love anyone but ourselves.
But the ultimate joke is we actually don’t love ourselves because in the end we are alone and we suffer even more. Even eating requires effort, you have to chew and swallow and digest. What in this world doesn’t have effort? So if we love others, if we love people we love and if we want to, never mind, repay their kindness, even not burden them, we have to transform ourselves. We have to. So if we have a lama who is kind enough to guide us and show us the way with no agenda, no agenda, we should grab that opportunity. We should grab it. If we have met a lama, if we met an organization, if we have met a place we feel loved – love on the ultimate sense, of caring for our future and our rebirth – we should grab the chance. We should promote it, we should sponsor it, we should help it, we should do all the work we can. Instead of being afraid of commitment, we should commit. Why? It’s the only shred of hope we have for ourselves and others and not make excuses. Not let time pass by, we lose more hair, we lose more of our energy and our health. How much time do we actually have left?
Even the high lamas have to pass away. I went to my guru’s funeral recently, they opened the funeral pyre and I saw his body burning in front of me. It woke me up. Why did it wake me up? I am going to tell you the truth. I pray, “May I never have relationships in this life and future lives. Never, that distract me away. May I never have children, never.” I prayed in front of his body, “May I never be engaged in work that just focuses on making money for the sake of it and I pray if I am going to be born in a rich country and rich family or poor country, poor family, may I use the circumstances to turn it around to bring Dharma to others.” That’s what I prayed in front of his burning body. Do you know why? Because I was scared. I visualize myself inside there, and my legs and my body burning away and melting. I was scared. Even when Rinpoche passed away, he was burning, I received a Dharma teaching. Even when I saw his body burning, I received a holy Dharma teaching. I was scared. He is so incredibly advanced in his practice. I know it for a fact. I am not the only one; I am not some kind of fanatical follower. It’s recognized by thousands and his body was inside the fire burning, and they are throwing wood on him, I mean the funeral people, and making it burn more. It smelt very nice, different camphor and saffron and flowers there. But I saw it and I saw his legs distinctly. Top part I couldn’t see well but bottom part I saw distinctly, burning and it create fear in me. I thought, “Even in the end my lamas are gone. The only thing that is left is the teachings he has given me. If I don’t practice it, that is my destiny.” I was so scared. I stayed out there by myself, I waited for the crowds to disappear. I waited for the crowds to go do their pujas. I am not really interested in pujas because I know – I am sorry to say – he doesn’t need the pujas to help him. They need the pujas to help themselves for his reincarnation but I stood by his funeral pyre because I selfishly wanted a last teaching. I wanted to see a body burning and it was very dramatic to see my lama’s body burning, the one I received so much initiations and teachings from.
And I said to myself, “I am going to push myself even more towards no agenda life, no agenda. No accumulation of wealth for myself, in itself, no accumulation of reputation for myself in itself. I will not…I don’t want any relationships, I don’t want any in this life and future lives because it ends up nowhere.” I am sorry, no offence to anyone. I prayed for that very hard and, “to be happy, to benefit others, to use my life for others”, I pray for that very hard. I didn’t pray for very high things but I prayed for things that are better. Why? One day my students will put me in the fire. One day my body will be burning in there and I visualized that. One day, all of you will push me in and I will be burning. One day soon, in fact very soon. Then no matter what pujas you do for me, it’s not going to make a difference for me. It’s what I have done when I was living. How much I have done, how many centers I have, how many students doesn’t matter. How much I have transformed my mind. And that’s what hit me very strong. I am not here preaching to you, really I am not. This is what I was thinking about. I am not preaching to you at all. So I put myself in the funeral pyre. So these days when I do my death meditations, I lock myself in my bedroom. I stay in there. I do all kinds of things in there. People can assume whatever they want I’m doing in my bedroom. But I know what I am doing in my bedroom. I lock myself in there, I don’t leave for hours – 12 hours, 15 hours. When I do my death meditations, when I do my practices, I don’t like to let people know. I like to make them think I am doing something else. It’s more exciting that way, much more exciting. I like to pride myself as the secret mahasiddha. I know it’s another fantasy trip, I’m wrong, but it’s ok, at least I pretend to be a secret mahasiddha than a rockstar. Can you see me like Aerosmith screaming on the stage? You are like, “You already scream off the stage so why not?” Ok, never mind, thank you, you win.
But when I do my meditations, I have added that to the equation, seeing myself in the fire. I used to see myself being buried but now I see myself in the fire because it is much more dramatic. Much, much more and I have a visual aid. So my point is what, why I talk about that? It helps us get a grip on reality and what is really important because regardless of religion or race or background, that is going to happen to us. That is going to happen. That is going to happen to us. And if we don’t meditate on it, if we avoid it and don’t think about it, we won’t change. If we don’t meditate and think about it, we won’t have our priorities correct. If we don’t focus and meditate on it and we are afraid of it, then you know what happens? We don’t love the people around us. Don’t talk about the whole world, even the people around us. Why? We didn’t do anything for them. In fact, we become a burden and that’s the difference. So if people tell me they want to do this and this, you know what’s the first thing that pops in my mind? I am so sorry. “How much time do you have left? You still want to waste your time on that?” That’s exactly what I think all the time.
Even people who read a lot of Dharma books, I look at them and say, “any attainments? Or is it just puffed up knowledge like a peacock? Any attainments? So you have read 3000 Dharma books and you can recite it verbatim, you know it very well. Any attainments? Any transformation? Any?” If it’s not, they’ll just have more fuel to burn you up with – your books. Doesn’t make a difference. So whether you read a lot and you are very knowledgeable in Dharma or not, or you are not very knowledgeable like me, we’re still going to burn but when we burn, the actions we’ve done in this life… you know, you know gross actions are very easy to see. Subtle actions are more dangerous. Subtle laziness, subtle pride, subtle arrogance, subtle feeling of superiority, subtle lack of care, subtle lack of discipline, subtle giving.
See when you don’t discipline yourself and you don’t inspire people, you are not giving, you are not practicing the six paramitas at all. That’s subtle. So for ordinary person they can’t see that. They see, “Oh you are doing Dharma, you are teaching, you are meditating, you are practicing, you are chanting, you are ‘pujaing’, you have an altar, you’re making offerings, you are wearing a pendant, you are doing your mantras, you hold a mala, and you go to a Dharma Center and maybe you even hold a position.” These are all gross types of manifestations but actually more important is the subtle. Why? Because the subtle controls the gross. The subtle is the factor behind the gross. So are we subtly selfish? Are we subtly very lazy? Are we subtly unwilling to change, to transform and discipline ourselves? If we are, it’s very dangerous. Why? Gross can be taken away. You know, if you like to…if you waste your time in discos, you can take that away but they can’t take your gross attachment to discos away, very dangerous. Very, very dangerous. So for some people who are overtly attached openly, but if you talk to them and they try to transform, that’s good. But if they are not overtly attached and they don’t manifest that, but introvertly they are attached… and they are very subtly attached to themselves, therefore they have ego. They are attached to their knowledge, therefore they have pride and arrogance; they are attached to their activities, therefore they don’t want to bend for others and justify it with Dharma – that’s very dangerous. Why? Because it’s their subtle mind. It’s what travels with you and the subtle mind is what karma attaches itself to. So you may be fooling others with gross Dharma actions or yourself. ‘Fooling’ doesn’t mean in a negative way, some people don’t even know, but subtle you cannot. Subtle you cannot.
That’s why sometimes you examine our actions by inner, sometimes. But if we are going to apply that to Chogyam Trungpa, impossible. Why is it impossible? Because he is beyond reproach? No, we are not at that level yet. ‘Yet’ is the key. Yet. So therefore why? Number six, why did he not remember his wife’s name the day after they were married? Why did he not remember his wife’s name right after he was married? JP can you share with us what you think about that?
JP: I think it was because he was more interested in connecting to her mind and not the external factors, the external aspects of her. It was a lot. It was beyond that. So that’s why he did not.
Rinpoche: Why did you think Andee? Microphone time. Chia already got it ready…er, in ten thousand words or less. Thank you. I forgot.
Andee: I don’t think Rinpoche forgot his wife’s name because certain beings have the ability to…
Rinpoche: Which Rinpoche? I don’t have a wife.
Andee: Trungpa Rinpoche.
Rinpoche: Got make it clear because there are some newbies here.
Andee: So these type of Rinpoches have the ability to work on several dimensions at the same time. So I think, I would say he was a little…
Rinpoche: When you say that ‘dimension’, do you mean a different plane of existence?
Andee: Yes, like so when we begin this story, well he is just in an absolute so he forgets, he doesn’t even care or remember her name but…
Rinpoche: If you are in an absolute, how do you forget?
Andee: That’s a very good answer, yeah.
Rinpoche: That’s a good answer? That’s a question.
Andee: So, well people like us, we can only be at one place at the same time; with people like them in the absolute, they can be in another reality at the same time.
Rinpoche: So maybe his focus was somewhere else…
Andee: Yes but I…
Rinpoche: Maybe he was day-dreaming.
Andee: I don’t think he forgot her name at all. Maybe it’s his aim of teaching her non-attachment.
Rinpoche: I think that’s good.
I think he was letting her know to get ready what she was in for. I think that’s what he was doing. To let her know “Get ready” because in the conventional sense, if you are married to someone and you can’t even remember the name, hello! And now let’s be a little nasty, we can’t never get away without talking about sex because this is Kechara House. You know when you are in bed with your partner and you are doing your thing, and when you almost finished, you call out somebody else’s name? How does your partner feel? Similarly, in a conventional sense when they are getting married, that’s even worse. It’s not even you got old with your partner and you found somebody else. It slipped on that day! You forget their name and in the conventional sense, how do you feel? In the conventional sense you feel totally insulted. So his wife, in order to get ready for the Dharma work she will do in the future, in order for her to get ready for the amount of crowd she needs to get ready for, in order to get ready for the busy life and dedicate herself to others, he is getting her ready by making her blow her mind away of her identity. Blow her mind away of how she thinks it should be so she doesn’t suffer as much and she can reach her potential. He gave her total direct mind-blowing training and you know what’s wonderful about Diane Mukpo? She didn’t run away. Diane Mukpo did not run away and 20 or 30 years down the line, she can even write a book praising this. Talking about this and giving us an explanation. That’s the level she has reached due to Rinpoche’s kindness. She probably has very strong connection with him for some reason to spread the Dharma with him.
So, on the day of their marriage he was letting her know, “Get ready, your life will be to benefit others, to help others, to open yourself to others, to sacrifice yourself to others and I am letting you know, get ready.” Of course at that time she was like, “Am I marrying the right person? He can’t even remember my name!” But 30 years later when she writes this book she is very emotional, she is very moved. It’s too late. He is gone. It’s an incredible teaching. And mahasiddhas or highly advanced beings or beings who have no agenda, they will teach us in such a way that puts their reputation on the line. Chogyam Trungpa puts his reputation on the line with his wife, totally, he put…his reputation with everybody around him. They’re like, “What? This is a freak!” He put his reputation on the line. A person who is not afraid to make themselves look bad to help another person, even long-term, is a person with no agenda. A person with no agenda is practicing Buddha’s teaching. So for the rest of us, we look at them as, “That’s obnoxious, that’s so bad, that’s so disrespectful. What kind of person is that?” All kinds of debates ensue. Why? Because we operate from a different level. What an incredible teaching and true to his form, for the rest of her life, willingly and sometimes unwillingly – with respect to her – she gave herself to others. She gave herself to others. She is still giving herself to others and for the rest of her life, she will give herself to others due to the kindness of her guru lama or lama guru, who dared to lose his inhibition and his reputation to change a person’s life who will be instrumental in benefiting many beings in the future. What else could it be? What else could it be? Why? Look at the result. What else could it be?
Am I glamorizing it? Am I justifying it? No, I am not connected with them. Chogyam Trungpa ain’t my cousin and you know, if he loses his reputation, I lose inheritance. He is nothing. He is nothing to me. He is something but to me, he is nothing meaning I am not related to him. You know, unfortunately I am not connected to him or nothing. So I have no motives for saying that, definitely, but what I am trying to say is teachings are not always on the throne to students on the cushions. Teachings can be just like that and if we are afraid and we escape and we run away from the teachings just like that, we lose our chance. And if we say, “We need to love ourselves more and that’s why I can’t do the teachings,” actually its contradictory, we don’t love ourselves. We don’t, why? Everything we have done proves it. Everything we have done in our lives proves that we haven’t loved ourselves. It’s very, very clear. So many people thought that Rinpoche had lost his mind and he was an alcoholic. How can we determine if a lama’s actions are beneficial or not? I don’t want to hear any stereotypical answers. I don’t want anything quoted. Some things I have read were exactly written from the book, no self-explanation, nothing. People just say, “Oh let me write down what’s in the book” and it looks very nice, it sounds very nice but that’s not the way the person would have spoken when I ask them so it looks different. Never mind. That’s what they are doing at this time, better than nothing.
So number 7. Number 7, how would you answer that, Chia? Many people thought that Rinpoche had lost his mind and he was an alcoholic. How can we determine the lama’s actions are beneficial or not? I think these are very good questions, they are all made up by Joe. He is heading the class, quite good questions. Got me thinking too. The microphone is sleeping, Chia. Wake it up. Ah! See, karma.
Chia: I think we never judge about the lama actions whether even he’s alcoholic.
Rinpoche: Ok, what I want you to do is this, I want you to benefit everybody. I want you to tell us in Mandarin. Yes and Joseph will translate. That will be a new one, new twist. Actually I’d put a couch here and call people up and talk. Wouldn’t that be neat? We’d do that soon. You forgot Mandarin? Ok, you speak Hokkien right? You forgot that. Thai language? Chinese characters? No, no, I want you in Mandarin. Why are you shy about about speaking Mandarin? The guy goes for Madam Chua’s classes for tuition for a while. Now he is like totally English. Ok, I think we should change his name. We will call you Edward. Ok, Edward. Good.
[Chia speaks in Mandarin]
Chia [translated by Joe]: Chia is saying that when we see the lama is engaging in actions that are contradictory, for instance drinking alcohol , then the lama…we should not hold, we should not have our projections about the lamas because the lama’s intent maybe to use skillful means to check on the students in the same situation.
Use skillful means to check on the student’s situation. You have to understand something, a lama’s body – a highly realized lama, not me – a highly realized lama’s body can be affected by alcohol, by wind, by sickness, by viruses, by people, by car accidents. They can be affected but their mind cannot be. So no matter how drunk they are, how paralyzed they are, their legs are amputated, or how skinny or how fat they are, it doesn’t affect their mind at all. It is just something within their body to use, to benefit others around them, the type of people around them, the type of people they need to subdue. So he is with students who are hippies, at that time, students who are wild, do drugs and students who don’t want to listen about Dharma, don’t want to listen about changing the mind, don’t want to listen about taking responsibility. That time, doing drugs is associated in America with not taking responsibility, it’s a cop-out. “We are against the establishment. We are against the government. We are against materialism. So we are going to hang around in the mountains and do drugs and wear flowers because we are against the establishment.” That was the thinking at that time, you guys have to put yourself there, not today. So, to do drugs at that time was somehow an anti-establishment, anti-materialistic, anti-material thinking. But there were a lot of people who did that as an excuse because it was just a cop-out, because they didn’t want to take responsibility. So they just did drugs to get out of that, they did alcohol. It affected their minds because they did things that were negative. They did things that were harmful. They did adultery. They killed. They robbed. They shot people. People get drunk. People do drugs, they shoot people sometimes, they hurt people. They hurt themselves. Chogyam Trungpa doesn’t do that. Chogyam Trungpa, in order to reach these people…and not every lama does that. Because why? There are different methods for different groups of people. That method wouldn’t work here. That method of getting drunk and coming to teachings three hours late and drunk – that’s what he used to do and he is famous for – wouldn’t work here in Malaysia. It wouldn’t work at all, why? The mentality is different.
Here, if the lama wears sleeves and has a little bit of hair, it’s already controversial. Here. But we are going to change that. We are going to make it different. We are going to grow our hair down to our backside and we are going to weigh it and we are going tell you to smell it and, “What do you think? Shiny or not?” Here, that’s the mentality so the lama’s very kind. Why? They break your mentality with that. That’s enough. They don’t have to go to the level of alcohol in order to say, “Oh, even that person looks like that, still can be like that. Oh! Not bad. I will practice.” But in America, they don’t know anything about vows. They don’t know anything about monks; that time, they don’t know anything about monasticism, nothing. Here they know, eastern culture know more about monks, eastern culture more based on monks. Over there not so much. Not everybody but pervasively, if I may say so, with respect. So what happens is there, for Rinpoche to grow his hair and disrobe, it’s like, “Whatever, welcome! Welcome back from planet Mars.” Cause out there, they think you are a freak if you are a monk. There you make jokes – if you wear robes, you walk around the airport and say, “Hey Hari Krishna!”. You’re not even…I am not even Krishna! Ok so they will do that.
So over there you have to go one more step, extreme, and I feel that’s what Rinpoche did. He drank alcohol with them. He explored drugs with them. I have never taken drugs in my life. I am allergic to alcohol so even if I wanted to, I can’t. So what happens, he went to extreme and he got their respect because even when he was drunk, even when he was high, he was focused. He was teaching them the Dharma and when they got out of it, they will be in depressions, stupors and unhappiness. But he wasn’t, he was clearly focused. So they say, “There is something with this guy’s mind.” That’s how he got a lot of those people who never have done Dharma into Dharma, by doing what they did.
Another lama may not do that but you see a lot of people at that time lost respect for him. A lot of the Tibetan community – I am sorry to say and that’s the truth – lost a lot of respect, criticize and ran away but not anymore. Not anymore. Even myself at that time was thinking, “What’s going on?” but I dare not criticize, really I dare not. I don’t dare criticize lamas. Now I go, “Wow!” But I don’t want…see, in my situation now, I don’t want to look at my lamas and look at other people and look at students and go – 20 years later, I am not going to be around – and go, “Wow!” I want to go “wow” right now. I want to go “wow” right now by (slam!) doing that to my ego. Because my ego has been doing this (slam!) to me my whole life. So I am going to like this [overturn] to it now and I am not going to make excuses anymore. What kind of excuses? “I am not ready, I need this, I need that, I want this, I need time.” There’s no time and you’ve gotten all you need your whole life and it hasn’t change you at all. That’s how I really feel. That’s how I felt my whole life. How do I prove it to you? I am here talking to you. I am here working hard for the Dharma. I am exerting myself toward the Dharma. I do Dharma 24 hours a day. I prove it to you. I didn’t say I am attained, I said I am doing Dharma work non-stop so I prove it to you that what I say is what I mean. I am here.
I can do what you are doing too. I can go get myself a relationship, easy. No problem to get a relationship. Just snap your fingers, they will come running. There is a lot of weirdos out there whom I would match up. Plenty. I can go and be a gogo dancer in Pattaya. I can go to Pattaya and be a gogo dancer. Oh kiss my grits! You are thinking, you so fat and old. Yeah! There’s fetishes out there. Yeah, there are people into older man. I can do business too. I wouldn’t be good at it right now but I will get better. If I don’t have a name of Rinpoche, if I don’t have to be all goody-goody, if I don’t have to worry about karma, I can be cut-throat, I can be mean and sneaky. I will be very good in business, very good. Sure, I can do business, I don’t know about being a millionaire but I will definitely be a ‘thousandaire’. Definitely, I would be good in business. You think you can have relationships? I can get people even better than any of you in this room, I guarantee you. I am showing off now but I am confident.
Some of you think well…I can get a better lady than any of you can get in this room, I promise you. I can get a better guy if I want, than any of you can get in this room, it’s whatever is up your alley. I can even get a better in-between if that’s what you are into. I can if I want to. Why am I confident? Because I don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. If I take ‘no’ for answer, I usually have a reason. I have a long far-fetched reason. Either I want the students to solicit and make request to create the karma again or there’s damage. That’s up to the students to decide and check, for the students not to give up. If you believe I have no agenda. If you believe I have an agenda, then you take whatever I say on a face value. Then you take Chogyam Trungpa’s drinking on face value. I am not his level, really I am not, I don’t think so, I doubt it. But I can imitate him, I can be a mini-Chogyam Trungpa. I can be a baby Chogyam Trungpa. I am a mini-mini Chogyam Trungpa, 1%, no problem. So what happens? We think about that.
When he came out of his drunken stupor, when he was in it, he was totally focused. He knows what he was doing. He knows exactly what he is doing. We can see his results now. At that time cannot. At that time cannot. That’s why I will agree with you to say that method doesn’t match everyone, correct. But I will disagree with you when you say that method wasn’t correct. But I will also say to you is, if that’s the only method you have available – it’s either that or stay in samsara – grab that. You know, you don’t go to…you know, you don’t go to your house when it’s burning and someone is going to rescue you and you say, “I don’t like the way you look, you are ugly, I don’t want you to rescue me.” The fireman says, “What?! But you are burning up!” “You are too skinny, you got weird hair and I don’t like the way your eyes look and you twitch! And you got a twitchy look and you are a pervert and while you are holding me and taking me down the ladder from the burning 3-storey building, you might feel me up so I don’t want to go. I am going to wait until the next person comes along”. The fireman is like, “What?! You have got to be kidding.” So next fireman goes up there. You say, “I am not going to go with you, you’re fat! You are not my type.” “But the other guy was too skinny.” “Yeah but I don’t like fat either.” Sigh. God, burn, burn, baby, burn! I mean, you know think about it. So if you are around this Rinpoche, there is only one Rinpoche and you say, “That doesn’t fit me, this doesn’t fit me. I can’t learn that, that’s not my style,” it’s a cop out. It’s a cop out.
If you are starving, grab whatever food you can eat. If the building is burning, the fireman is scary, just never mind la! If he is going to feel you up while he is going down, feel away. You know, I can die what! Think about it. That’s how people are. You are in a burning building, the fireman comes in, you don’t like the way he looks, he is too skinny, he is too fat, his eyes twitch and “I am not going with you, he is a pervert!” Dear! That’s what people do, they look at the small picture, they don’t look at the big picture. You are burning in samsara, you are wasting your life away. Your time is withering away. It’s disappearing and then you are still saying, “But it has to be this way, this way or this way or I am not going to be a Buddha.” You are like, “What?!” “Yeah, [in a jingle] I am not going to be a Buddha. I am going to stay in samsara, I am going to go to hell and you can’t do anything about it.” And you’re like, “Hahahaha, mwah! Good luck!” That’s what you would like to say but since you have Bodhisattva vows, you go, “Oh no, compassion. I will teach you, I will help you, never mind, never mind. Come to Rinpoche, tell Rinpoche what’s the matter, come, come. Come, come, kiss kiss!” “I hate you Rinpoche! You are mean. You scream, you tell me off. You embarrass me.” “Oh I am sorry, Rinpoche is wrong. Rinpoche will do Vajrasattva tonight. Rinpoche is sorry. Rinpoche is so sorry for screaming at you. So sorry. Can Rinpoche prostrate to you?” “No!” “Please, can Rinpoche prostrate and offer khata to you and say he is sorry and do a 35 Confessional Buddha retreat for screaming at you?” “No!” “Oh, well what can Rinpoche do to purify his karma?” “Let me think about it.”
That’s how people are. It’s reached the level where Rinpoches have to confess their actions and purify their negative karma to students. The students all sit there and go, “You can’t do that to me. You can’t say this to me, you can’t act like that to me. I can’t…you can’t do this to me and you are unskillful and that’s not my way, that is not my type, I am not ready, I am ready, I am partly ready, I am maybe ready, I am not ready anymore.” And you are like, “What?” And you are looking at them going, “Alright dear student Rinpoche, can you tell teacher Rinpoche what confessional prayers he should do to do that bad karma to purify you?” “Hmm, let me think about it.” Oh dear, that’s how it’s become.
Rinpoches are under scrutiny. Teachers are under fire. Teachers are scrutinized for everything, the way they dress, the way they eat, the way they look. The pimple on their face. Whether they are beautiful. Whether they are groomed , they have hair, they don’t have hair. They are scrutinized, they are watched and checked out for everything. And any little mistake, “Ah ha”! But what about if the Rinpoche points out your mistake? Cannot! Bad Rinpoche, bad! So how do you help people become enlightened when you tell them a lie? “You are wonderful. You have no ego, you are generous, you are not lazy, you have no subtle obscurations and defilements. You be exactly as you are. Keep doing what you are doing and you know what? See you in Kacho heaven, see you in Vajrayogini’s heaven.” Why, you want the teachers to lie? They can’t lie, they can’t tell you the truth – what you want the teachers to do? So the teacher’s kind of stuck. So what this teacher does is, “Ah, just tell them whether they like it or not.” Why? Time is short and I don’t have time to pussyfoot around like a little cat. No time. You don’t have time and I don’t have time. My time is short and some of you, time is even shorter. And in some of your cases, very short and that’s the truth. Just think these days, Rinpoches go to students to ask for purification practices for scolding them. “I am sorry for scolding you.” Where got like that?
That’s what Kensur Rinpoche told me in the monastery before, “Pretty much soon, you want me to apologize to you.” He screamed at me and it woke me up. When Kensur Rinpoche screamed at me, I got screamed at many times but I didn’t complain about that. When he screamed at me, it woke me up and I thought, “Why is he screaming at me and not the other students?” Initially I thought, “Oh because he didn’t see what I really am, who I really am” and then when I woke up, I said, “No, I needed it.” Because why? That student stayed in the monastery. I have to go out and I have to deal with the public and I have to deal with criticisms and I have to deal with disappointments and I have to deal with people lying and tricking me and breaking commitments and breaking samayas, and giving up and going away and coming. That’s what Gangchen Rinpoche also said to me. I have to deal with all of that, they didn’t. So Rinpoche got me ready and now I realize. So for all the times Rinpoche told me things that were wrong about me – I know they are wrong but he is still insists that I am – now I realize. Because I am accused of things I don’t do now. But it doesn’t bother me because Rinpoche already got me ready. Now I realize the people he didn’t criticize in the same house and I saw them doing… some of the monks were not studying! They were not meditating, they were sleeping! And they were eating! They were sleeping and they even watched movies, which I did later. And he didn’t say anything to them. In fact he praised them! Some of these monk-students, they were filled with arrogance. They expect you to put a cushion for them and they come in front of Kensur Rinpoche with their robes like, “I am also a great master.” I saw it and I am like, “I am groveling around, I am prostrating to Rinpoche. I massage him, I wash his clothes. I am a slave! And I am always wrong!” but what I realize now is these people are still there and they don’t have to do any work – why, I have no idea – but I have to go out.
I was kicked out, I was sent out, I was forced out. One time I was trying to escape Gaden, now I’m trying to run back in, that is how samsara is. Now I am like, “I wish I was in Gaden. I wish I was in Gaden.” I don’t hate Malaysia. If you lived here as a normal lay person, fine. If you are a monk trying to spread the Dharma, don’t be a teacher in Malaysia. Anything else, wonderful country. Wonderful. Let me make it better, don’t be a teacher in samsara. The end. Don’t talk about Malaysia. Anywhere on the planet, don’t be a Dharma teacher. They got their rocks ready. Oh yeah that’s the truth. Don’t be a Dharma teacher. The expectation on you is beyond the Buddha. The things you ask your Dharma teacher, you wouldn’t even ask the Buddha, you wouldn’t. You would be too shy. So what I know is now is the times my teacher put me down, now I know why. The times my teacher accused me, many times…you know sometimes they screamed at me – you can ask Mamie – my other teacher would scream at me in public. But I would never react back. There was one time I was in Thubten Dargyeling Center. His Holiness Ganden Tri Rinpoche was coming to our center to give a Dharma talk. So we are in our center with Geshe Tsultrim Gyaltsen getting the center ready, I mean we were really rushed for time. We just finished painting the Gompa, it’s the prayer hall – gompa, G-O-M-P-A – we are in the gompa, like this is a gompa. Putting the statues on and getting the last touches and Ganden Tri Rinpoche showing up any time, that Ganden Tri Rinpoche, Jetsun Jampa Shenpen. And so I was in charge of the altars, as usual, I love it. So I put up the scriptures on the altar because it has different layers in the different cabinets with windows, I put that this… I put the statues there, I put it here and there so it wouldn’t be empty and would look beautiful and it was my job. And when Geshe-la walked in, he looked at that and he says… he screamed. He screamed. I mean he was so uncharacteristic. He said, “Who put that in there?” I am like [imitates scared face] My ego was so embarrassed because there were so many people watching but another part of me was saying, “But that was what you told me to do!” And Geshe-la screamed, “Who put that there?” And then the other students kind of walked away and I was thinking, “Traitor! Traitor!” because they were like helping with the chair, they opened the cabinet for me and they were like handing it to me. I’m like, “Traitor, you wait! Wait! Wait till you need help or wait till we go to tsog and you need to make offerings, I will say I am not available.” So I went [raise finger]. And Geshe-la said, “I didn’t say for you to do that. I didn’t tell you to do that. We don’t have enough time. Ganden Tri Rinpoche showing up any minute and do you think it would look good for him to walk to the Gompa and you are on the ladder putting things on there?! I didn’t tell you to do that!” And he was going on and on screaming so everybody around him was like this [folded hands]. I prostrated, I folded myself and I said, “I am sorry” and I prostrated. I was so embarrassed. I was angry, I was embarrassed but not angry in a bad way. I was thinking, “What did I miss here?” and I kept trying to explain to myself, “What happened?” I was around 17, 18 and then like 45 minutes later, Ganden Tri Rinpoche still didn’t show up. We found out he is late, there was no handphones that time in the 80s right? So Geshe-la just sat down on his throne and he says, “Alright, Ganden Tri Rinpoche is late.” And you know, my first thought was, “See!”, I didn’t say it but I said that, I was thinking in my mind, “See!” And I checked my ego out and Geshe-la said, “Actually,” my name was Burcha in America, “actually Burcha didn’t do anything wrong. He did it right. I just didn’t think we’d have any time. The end.” And I am like, “But that’s what I said!”
And I checked my mind out and out of all the people. Geshe-la rarely screams, rarely he screams at me really loud. You can ask Mamie, I think she was there. Anyways what I realized is they were preparing me for what I need to do in the future. They were preparing me. None of the other students except for one is teaching and he was quite fierce on this nun, very fierce. She is very gentle. She is very gentle. She is still there, she is still teaching. She serves Geshe-la a lot. She is in the center schlepping away in the last 20 years! She even opened up, had another center where she teaches for Geshe-la, and he was very harsh and very strict and very fierce on her, I saw it. She never talked back. Now she is a Dharma teacher, I heard from Mamie, she is teaching. She in fact goes to prison – listen to this – she goes to prison and teaches Dharma in prisons. Not female prisons, male. And that’s how Geshe-la trained her up to get ready for really tough people. We didn’t know back then, really. I mean it could be a coincidence or it could be real. But that’s what happening now. I am teaching here in the east, she is teaching in the west but he was quite fierce on her. At that time, people will go up to her and go, “Oh never mind. Geshe-la has a reason. We don’t know, even we don’t know the reason. Never mind, never mind.” I saw that, I saw. So what I am trying to say is, am I justifying for me? No. But I will tell you one thing straight out and clear, straight out and clear – I did not detect agenda in me. I do detect ego but I don’t have any materialistic agenda for people. If I did, I would obtain it, many times over in the past. I have many opportunities. So am I praising myself? No, I rejoicing in the one quality that I have, that I know is very clear. I don’t any materialistic agenda. So when I say that, I can tell you that there is a higher level of operation for the great teachers. There is a higher level of operation. There are people that actually take the Dharma and you know what? Listen to this, they are actually who take…people who take the Dharma and they don’t find it hard to practice. There are people like that. Unlike me or some of us, there are people who don’t find it difficult to practice the Dharma. So what I am telling you is that I don’t have a materialistic agenda means that I being who I am, a nobody, a nobody can reach a slight better level than a normal who I was 20-30 years ago, to have no agenda for material gains. I know that another level is possible. You see, when you gain a certain level, you know another level is possible. You have no level, you don’t believe any level is possible. You think it’s hard. I don’t have clairvoyance and power, I don’t have control but I definitely don’t have a materialistic agenda for myself. That I know. I checked myself and I have many people check me. So if I can gain that quality in my life, I know I can gain better qualities and I know there are people who have gained more qualities. So therefore, if I can gain that, if other people can gain better qualities, there is a thing such as a Buddha. Steps, that’s my logic behind believing in a Buddha. That’s my logic, think about it please. Think about what I said.
So therefore, we have covered all eight points, all eight points are covered in my Dharma talk, all of it. I have intertwined it together and I am finished. It’s my sincere hope, it is my sincere hope – and I can swear by it – that you all will take from this and make a difference in your mind, and not be the same the next day. It is my sincere hope and the reason for that is love. The correct way, the people around you. Love the people around you correctly by your practice and the difference it makes in your minds. Show love to the people around you that way. If you need to be fierce, be fierce with compassion. If you need to be gentle, be gentle with compassion. There are some people who are quite sneaky and tricky but they talk very soft and talk very nice. But they are very sneaky. They don’t ever raise their voice. They’re quite sneaky. So if you want to talk gentle, even talk gentle with compassion. If you want to go to sleep, sleep with compassion. How? I will rest my body so that I can do more Dharma work to benefit others. Therefore I will go to sleep. Even sleeping becomes meritorious. Don’t go towards, gravitate towards, pray towards, increase the habituation and make it stronger the habit of attachment to a partner, attachment to food, attachment tow money, attachment to material, attachment to name, position. Why? Why? Why? Because it will all be taken from you sooner or later. So the energy you put into it is not worth the result that you get. Because the energy you put into it is not worth the result that you get. Isn’t that the truth? I am not giving you some Dharma fear, “you’re going to be punished, you are going to hell.” I am not giving you, “Oh, Dharmapala Setrap is not going to help you.” No, I am not going to give you any fears. You can’t be scared. You know enough Dharma to rise above the superstition, most of you.
So I am giving you the truth and I sincerely hope that the effort that I put in opening a center and putting in liaisons, the effort I put in nurturing people and giving gifts and spending thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars a year giving gifts, and spending literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to help my students who are in danger and problems – hundreds of thousands – and I hope thousands of hours that I have spent in teaching, and I hope thousands of hours I spent in buying food and arranging, and the hundreds of hours I have spent SMSing Dharma messages to people, and the amount of time I have given from my personal life – because I don’t have any personal freedom at all, I can’t do what all of you can do – that all of the time I have given in the monastery and all the effort I have given toward guru devotion and practice and learning the Dharma in my life, I dedicate it to you. I dedicate it to everyone listening to this teaching who will hear. I dedicate it to you and I pray your mind will transform. I pray you will create less difficulties in your mind for yourself and others. And I sincerely dedicate it and pray that my life in the Dharma, teaching, the monastery, the poverty that I have suffered, sleeping on the streets, what this incarnation has gone through, and all the money, energy and I have spent, everything I have given, I dedicate it to all of you and I am not being dramatic, I really do. Everyone who hears this, transform your mind. If you can commit to doing Dharma work, commit. Forget about yourself. If you can donate to Dharma work, donate. Forget about the next car you want to buy, adding to your eight cars. If you can be patient and not show ugliness to your partner and lover and friend, control your anger. Control it and don’t show it. If you can…if you can fulfill the dedication by being very patient and not complaining to others, do it! If you want to give up attaining enlightenment and practicing, you are going through the difficult methods, I dedicate you don’t. A lama, and I am trying to be, will dedicate his life for all of you. You will never hear him say anything besides, “GE-WA DI-YI NYUR-DU DAK,” “DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE” or “CHO KHI GYAL PO TSONG KHA PA”.
No lama will ever dedicate any dedications for their self or achievements, for their self-gain, no lama. Every lama after every Dharma talk, every Dharma action, every Dharma day, every Dharma session will dedicate it for others. Why? That is what a lama’s life is about. It’s not in just beautiful words. If you attended today’s talk and you’ve heard this, let other people know. “Tsem Rinpoche dedicates his merits to all of you, that your mind please transform, that your actions please transform. Please think about others more than yourself. Please put your reputation on the line; please look bad if it benefits another person. Please use methods that you are not used to, to help another person. Please!” Why? That’s the only way to leave any unhappiness you have in your mind and it’s much more difficult. It is much more difficult but the result will be lasting and permanent. Is this an appeal? Yes.. Is it a request? Yes. Is it a dedication? Yes. The rest of your lives, commit to spiritual practice and transformation and dedication to others.
How do you do that? If you are good at complaining, don’t complain. If you are good at anger, don’t get angry. Control yourself. If you are lazy to push yourself, push yourself. If you can’t commit, commit yourself. Whatever you find difficult, remember my dedication – transform that difficulty through you. May none of you ever take rebirth in a horrible situation. Horrible. May you change your destiny. I can’t change it for you but I can give you the teachings. I can’t take your problems away but I can share you…with you Lord Buddha’s method to alleviate them long-term. If you are lazy, face it. If you are manipulative, face it. If you are stingy, face it. If you have a big ego, face it. If you always run away and escape, face it. How you face it? Don’t do it. I dedicate to this and I am not trying to criticize you.
I dedicate it for this. Hence always I recite this – “GE-WA DI-YI NYUR-DU DAK, LA-MA SANG-GYE DRUP-GYUR NA, DRO-WA CHIK-KYANG MA-LU PA, DE-YI SA-LA GO-PAR SHUG. May sentient beings reach the Guru-Buddha state of enlightenment.” Hence that’s why I am explaining this to you. So the thousands of hours I have taught, the 42 years of my life – I am forty-two – that I have given to the Dharma, the many years I have slept on the street…even to attend Vajrayogini teachings when I was very young when I was in 12, 13, I got slapped for, I got beaten up for and after Vajrayogini teachings, I left my home immediately because I was not allowed to stay home anymore since I wanted to practice the Dharma. I was disowned. I never saw my mother and father ever again after I left. That was their wish, that is the sacrifice I went through. I worked three jobs. I worked very hard in America to support myself to stay in the Dharma centre. I worked very, very hard and the reason was to stay in the Dharma center.
I gave up everything in America at 22, 23 to go to India to become a monk. I stayed in the monastery starving to death, studying with my teachers. I was forced to go and teach, I wasn’t allowed to go into retreat. I have not been able to work for my own sustenance. There were many times in Malaysia, many times, I had no money. I had very little people to support and help me. There were many times I had nothing, that if I didn’t work for the Dharma, I would have ‘something’, inverted commas. And that the work that I put towards here by building a center, raising funds, making sponsors happy, begging, asking, talking, convincing, the thousands of hours I spent out of the limelight, out of the throne, behind the scenes, in my private house, in my private Ladrang, in Dame Khang, the thousands of hours that I spent with people individually – and I mean thousands – and the thousands of hours of retreats I have done and the daily practices I have done, and offerings and the generosity of saving my students, helping financially, so many ways, so many years of helping my students – all that must mean something. It must mean something. All my suffering and problems, ‘sufferings’ inverted commas, it cannot be wasted so I dedicate it.
I really do, I dedicate it that everyone may be liberated. First step? To transform your mind, transform your thoughts. Repay the kindness of the people around you in the real way. Repay the kindness of the people around you in the real way. Please listen to me, the real way. Don’t give up, push. Make the Dharma grow from compassion, not bias. Follow your lineage, follow your teacher, follow your center loyally, not from bias. From focus of one path. I dedicate it for that, I truly do. I can’t dedicate it for anything else because if I dedicate it for myself, all that would have been wasted. If I dedicate it for everyone else, it would not be wasted. I will tell you why. Because that’s the qualities we need to achieve and have, to become a Buddha. So how can I dedicate opposite the quality of a Buddha? I must dedicate it in accordance with the path of the Buddha to become a Buddha. Cause resemble result, result resemble cause, ying guo. So like that, there’s no other way I can dedicate it if I am smart and it’s…it’s less courage to dedicate it for yourself. It’s more courage to dedicate for others. No. Actually, it’s more courage to dedicate it for others and less courage to dedicate it for yourself. Why? If you dedicate for others, the results takes longer but the results is permanent. When you dedicate it for yourself, the result is quick but it’s not permanent and it gets taken away. Don’t we want permanency? Isn’t the Noble Truth talking about impermanence and when things change we suffer? I mean every word I say. Time is short. Life is short.
Do your sadhanas, give your time over to the Dharma. And those of you who have the honor to receive tantric initiation, do your sadhanas long, hold your commitments, do tsog. Don’t make it a joke, don’t switch your practices back and forth – you like this one, you like that one, you don’t like that one, that way. Don’t switch Gurus and practices like we switch our menu. And if you have a lama – and I don’t refer to me but may look like that or indirectly it may become that – follow your lama. Have faith in your lama and no matter how your lama manifests, think of it the higher purpose. Support the monks; support the sangha because they are studying, they are holding their vows. Support the nuns, they are holding their vows. They are beautiful women and men who have dedicated their lives to the Dharma. That’s what we do. Make Dharma books happen, support your Dharma center, support your Dharma people. And those people with position such as liaisons and committee, do your job. Don’t complain other people are not doing their job. Don’t complain no one showed you or taught you, you don’t know anything. That can be true but if that’s the situation, how do we turn it around? That’s the secret. And if your lama has called upon you to do things, please do it. Please do it because he has dedicated his merits towards you. And if he has asked you to do something, you can be sure he is at his house secretly making offerings and doing pujas to empower you. You can be sure of that, every lama will do that. So if the lama has asked you to do something, do it from your heart. Even if you fail, you didn’t fail because perhaps it’s the work; perhaps it’s your attitude that he is trying to transform. Maybe he is trying to transform your attitude; maybe he is trying to transform the work. We are not sure but definitely if the lama calls upon you to do work, don’t refuse, don’t stop. It will change your karma; it will change your destiny. It will change what will happen to you later. Trust the lama, if you believe the lama has no agenda. After you have checked your lama, if you feel he has no agenda, that means ulterior negative motivation, that when he calls upon you to do the work, do it. I am not talking about here. I am talking about every single student out there who is blessed by the presence of their lama, in every lineage and everywhere. And when you come across obstacles, it is your lama’s blessings so your negative karma will purify and you will become stronger. This is what I was told by Lati Rinpoche. I believe it.
So whatever the lama has said and asked you, do it. There could be higher reasons; there could be a long-term reason, do it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be magical. A parent can tell a daughter, a father can tell a daughter, a mother can tell a son what to do and predict the future by saying do this, do this and do this. It’s just by logic. A guru can also, one who practices and knows the Dharma. It is not psychic powers, I am not trying to pretend like I have powers so think about that.
It’s almost 12 o’clock and we are all Cinderellas. We need to get out of here by 12 but today you spent three hours in listening to something that helps your life. You spent three hours in something that transforms your life and we spent three hours, which was probably the best part of your month, in Dharma. Why do I assume that? Not because you saw Tsem Rinpoche, because of the message. Transform the mind, change your attitude, let go of those who hurt you, forgive those who hurt you, forgive yourself for your fear of failure, let go of your failures, you have failed and you are afraid to fail again. That’s why we run. We run because we are afraid to fail again. And when we see failure coming around the bend, we run. Don’t be hard, forgive your failure and don’t run. Continue. Be generous with others. Share your bounty and good fortune. Don’t be calculative, the results are harsh. And watch ones’ speech. Anything you say about another person will come back to you. And if that person is realized or practiced or has vows, it will be even stronger, the karma that comes back. Hold your tantric vows, hold your Bodhisattva vows, hold your refuge vows, hold it more precious than your own eyes, and do what the lama has requested of you. Not when he is watching, not when other people are watching. When you are watching and then you will find purpose. Any questions?
It’s been a great pleasure. Although I hate teaching, when I actually teach, I feel fulfilled but I actually hate teaching. You don’t ask me why. You see, if you are a trainer at the gym and the guy who has been training for the last five years is so fat and overweight, you are going to hate your job. Let me give you a hint, since I need to end this with a little bit of reality show emotions. So therefore, I don’t know when, I don’t know how, I am working on it because I am afraid to work with this, in a situation where people can’t make it, they cop-out, they can’t do it, they give up, they are not committed, or they do it half-way, but I would like to do a talk-show as I told all of you guys. And I want to interview people just like this. I want to bring Dharma out via the people. So I want to have a couch and I am going to be the Tibetan Malaysian Oprah Winfrey, and I am going to ask you wonderful questions that make you think, that make you answer, that make you talk, and that will make you know what you don’t know, that will make you know what you do know, not to embarrass you, to embarrass you, to irk you, to push you, to also make you feel good. So I will ask you in such a way that you will convey the Dharma to others. I have my ways. And that will be exciting, we will have a live audience. We’ll have a live audience, we’ll have one or two guests. We will have subjects like, “How did you feel about going to Gaden? What did you think about Gaden Monastery? What was your first experience when you came into a Dharma center? Did your mother freaked out when you said you were a Tibetan Buddhist? And what was your first thought about Tibetan Buddhism? The lamas all want money? Let’s talk about it. The lamas all want money, let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about controversial issues, let’s talk about non-controversial issues. We are just going to talk. We are going to talk and we are going to air this all over the world.” Why? Because it is going to be a lot of people who think just like us but dare not air it, dare not say it. So Tsem Rinpoche is going to be that, Tsem Rinpoche’s going to be a show host that interviews you, that asks you questions and you are going to be sitting there watching and interacting. Instead of sitting there and listening to him talk for three hours, we are going to listen to each other talk and we are not going to be afraid. So it’s going to be this – the theme is knowledge through students, Dharma through students. And I came up with that because I have a sore throat and laryngitis, and I was heaty from talking so I thought, “How do I get away with not teaching but still teach?” Ta-da-ta [victory tune].
So imagine if I get Wai Meng who has been in Dharma for so many years. I want Mr Korky, we are sitting down there, we talk. There are going to be things he knows, there is going to be things he doesn’t know but that’s the whole process because everybody else can relate to that person. Either there is some people thinking, “I hope I don’t get called on.” Like silly Milly, she is thinking, “Please not me, please, please, please not me. Not me. Not me.” Definitely and then Tashi sitting there saying, “I will not sleep for a whole week and live in Ladrang and do whatever you want if you don’t call me up. Nothing, I won’t sleep for two weeks. Nothing. I won’t sleep for the rest of this year if I don’t get called up.” I know Tashi is thinking that. She’s going to write little notes and SMSes, round and round, you know, like bargaining. But the people who bargain are going to be the ones who get called up first. And then there will be people who are dying to get up there, who is dying, “Thinking what will I wear, what will I wear, what I will I wear?” like JP. It’s like, “What do I wear?” He is dying, you know why? He doesn’t have ego about talking. He talks well, he has got great speech, he looks good. Paris was in love with him for four weeks but now it’s over. And he looks good and talks well and if he talks, there is going to be a lot of people out there who are just like him, who can relate to what he’s going to talk about. So that’s what it’s about. You see, you are going to appeal to certain groups so we need to have a variety of people so it appeals to everybody and that’s fun. And sometimes we are not going to talk to them Dharma. We are going to talk about what we had for dinner and why.
We are going to talk about why you…why you…why, why, why were you born in JB? We can talk about a lot of things. Yeah, we’re going to talk about balding, without losing a lot of hair. We’re going to talk about balding, we’re going to talk about how you feel about it in relations to balding, and Dharma and karma. Balding, Dharma and karma, somehow weave it in. We’re going to talk about a lot of things. We are going to be open and easy about it. Why are we going to do that? It’s going to be another way to express, to learn, to share Dharma with many people out there. and that’s our job, to bring Dharma to many people as we can, through many methods. And we can fail, make it, we can fail, we can make it, we can fail, we can make it in many ways, but we can’t stop trying in this life and future lives. Why? Because we have compassion. So we are going to have that. I don’t know what’s it going to call? Maybe it’s going to be called the Tsem Rinpoche Show. We are going to think of something really catchy. The Neon Lama Hour. The Neon Lama Speaks. Trash Opens His Mouth, something. Trashy Lama. Tibetan Goes to the Dumps. A Tibetan Lama Finished. Something like that, you know I get accused of being disrobed – I am not disrobed – I get accused that so we can talk. Disrobed Opens His Mouth. So I will be like all tears, “You know, I have been disrobed because I was in the train station and I was raped.” Oh yeah right! And we’ll get Sio Chian up there and we talk about Rod Steward and hair. Isn’t that great? We’ll get Mr Ngeow up here. We’ll talk about very sensitive issues like his previous affiliations and every time we mention the name, we go, “Bloop!” And then we get Krystal up here: “How do you feel about the title Madam Migtsema? What’s the pressures? We are going to talk about it. Madam Migtsema has a lot to say, can you do a little chanting for us?” “Mig-me…[operatic voice]”
We will get Joy up here. Joy is a beautiful young Malaysian lady with a beautiful young New Zealand man, and they are a wonderful little lover here, couple. We’ll get Joy up here and say, “How do you feel about statues and painting? Why?” She does a great job, incredible paintings. We will talk about it. “Why do you paint? How do you paint? And when Rinpoche first told you, did you think it was some kind of trick to trap you into Dharma work and don’t work outside? And what did your friends tell you and what did your sister tell you?” We’d say all kinds of things. And you know what? Whatever she says is going to benefit a lot of people out there, because there’s going to be a lot of young ladies and men out there who are just like her, beautiful, intelligent but they are spiritual. And people want to hear it. People talk.
We will talk about Ben, we will ask him, “Um Ben, why is it when I ask you a question, it takes five minutes for you think and answer?” 10 minutes later, we go for commercial break. We can talk about that. We can talk about how to speed-talk you know. Then we get Chia, you know, you know he is on TV. We talk to him but we wake him up first. ”Wake up. Wake up. Wake up.” That’s right. We will get Andee up there and we’ll have cue cards – ‘Commercial Break’. Oh yes, we have a lot of people. It will be very, very fun. We will get James up there. James is a great singer. We can ask him, “How do you bring Dharma into your singing life?” We’ll talk about it. You see James, he is very sneaky, when he is…when he is featured on programs for singing, he puts he is the head of Saraswati, Kechara House. And they are very subtle. So people ask him, “What is Kechara House? What’s that? What’s that?” And then he starts talking and you know, he becomes a preacher, “…and you have to take refuge in the Three Jewels.” And we have a beautiful lady here, Wan. She is from Thailand. We’ll ask, “Why does a young intelligent educated beautiful lady from Bangkok hang out in Malaysia?” We will have her change the reasons. Anyways we’ll think of more diplomatic reasons, we won’t show her the result of her bad karma. “And how do you feel about working in Kechara Paradise, running over and all that stuff?” And we got to get JT. We’ll have a fashion show you know – yeah why not – we have a 10-minute little fashion show, our fashion JB princess here Joanne Tan parade up and down her outfits and her heels. Have you seen her somewhere in JB downtown? Beautiful fashions, incredible. So we have her walk up and down. Of course, we have Rudy, he will be our male model. We call it Tsem Rinpoche and Neon Shirts. Rudy is fabulous. I like him. I am not even joking, we can have these kinds of things, we will be creative. Why?
That’s today’s world, my friends. That’s how people need the Dharma my friends. There’s conservatives out there. There’s old-fashioned people out there, there’s new fashion. They are all correct. Old-fashioned people, old-fashioned lamas. New-fashioned people, new fashioned lamas. Nobody is right, nobody is wrong. However we can bring the Dharma message to people, let’s do it. Let’s do it and we…if people criticize for us to do that, never mind because we dedicated ourselves to others. So they are going to put you down because you are different, they are going to put you down because you are acting non-Buddhist or non-Tibetan lama or non-conformation style. You are not conforming to the way you are supposed to be. If they criticize you for that, be patient and dedicate it back for them. In response to their harm, give them love. “When others out of jealousy, treat me with abuse, slander and so on. May I suffer the defeat and offer the victory to others.” May I offer the victory to others. So sometimes when we offer the victory to others, we might have to tell them off, we have to shout at them. Why? If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t do that, would we? If we didn’t care enough, we wouldn’t shout at all. Offer the victory to others. Offering the victory comes in many ways, that’s what we are going to do. When or how, where? The best way is Buddha Oasis but Kechara House moves at the rate of a very fast turtle. So it’s going to six months, eight months, I don’t know how long but I am praying, I am doing pujas, saying, “Setrap show me a miracle, please!” We don’t have a lot of time before you are enthroning my new incarnation. So now it’ll be great in Buddha Oasis, we set up a couch, we talk, just like this very casual. We have drinks. We have interviews. We’ll have different subject matters and then we’ll air it. We’ll air it. Why do we air it?
Well it was Pastor Loh Seng Piow’s idea last year, to tell me to get on the net, you don’t need a big budget. You don’t need a TV; you don’t need to buy airtime. “You can just do it over the net,” he told me last year. Yesterday, he tried to remind me that it was his idea again. I told him to shut up. I did, I told him shut up because I saw on CCTV – China news – that today, the internet is in competition with TV. The competition is taking leaps and bounds, that there is more people on the Internet than there is watching TV now. It is free, it’s innovative, it’s fun, it’s informational, you can surf, you can watch – you can just watch CNN on your computer, why watch it on TV? And computers you can get everywhere and more functional. So there are more people looking at the free Internet than costly TV. So it’s coming into competition. So immediately it was born in my idea thinking, “Why not convey Dharma through the Internet?” And then I said I came up with the brilliant idea, you know the lights all went on, Pastor Loh Seng Piow came and turned it off: “It was my idea!” so we had an ego battle, whose idea it was. I said, “No, it was my idea because two, three years ago I tried to get on TV. Four years ago, I tried to get on TV; you were just sitting around in Singapore changing your diapers. I was trying to get on.” But of course I won the debate because I am your guru. Shut up! Sometimes you have to use your guru status to shut them up, to win. Win what? I don’t know. Let them win. Sometimes when you make them shut up, they win because they learn how to shut up. Different methods for different people. Yes. Different methods. Sometimes you tell people to shut up. Quiet! Don’t! You are wrong! To help them to win because they are grasping onto right or wrong. Cut it off. Didn’t Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche said you’ve hired your guru to be your professional assassin? So if he is going to assassinate your ego, why do you protest? Why do you make noise? Why is the teaching beautiful when it happens to someone else but when it happens to you, you can’t take it? Why is the teachings beautiful when you read it in a book and it happened 30 years ago to Rinpoche and blah, blah, blah to Student X but if it happens to you and your Rinpoche, it’s wrong? Why is it ok for everybody else but it’s not ok for you? Ego, ego, ego! So if we have ego, you know the results of ego. “Why is it ok when it is in the book?” that’s what I used to tell myself, I told myself all the time. So that’s what we are going to do in the near future – when, who, how, what is nothing. It’s just a concept that came in my mind. Most likely here because it is more convenient but even who is going to form it, who is going to do, who is going to be involved, I don’t know yet.
I have gotten a few strange offers, indirect SMS from people who want to be involved on a committee to do it immediately. I didn’t reply them at all because the people who committed and the people who want to come on, they just want to steal the limelight, I know it. I know they want to look better and be the star. Don’t think I don’t know their evil plots. “Dear Rinpoche, I think your idea is so innovative, so fabulous and so wonderful, and I will do anything to help you on this set or in any way!” Delete! It’s my turn. It’s my turn. Me! To be the star! Pastor Loh Seng Piow tells me, “But you are already an internet star.” I said, “Where is the money? Show me in money.” He says, “But not everything is in monetary gains.” I said, “I don’t care. Money! I have got enough merits. Money!” He said, “Later, later!” I said, “Later how many years? Contract. Money!” Well if I have more money, I can expand more here. What am I going to do with it? Buy myself another little black Merc? Buy myself a house that I need very badly? What am I going to do with the money? If I go party, if I get caught anywhere in town, “Look! That’s Rinpoche, look! And he’s buying drinks for the whole group!” I have nowhere to escape to, Kuala Lumpur, if I had money. What else is there? So I drop it in the Dharma center and expand. Can you imagine I get caught in Louis Vuitton in Bukit Bintang? LV shop, I am buying a bag, Annette’s there, “OHHHHHH! [imitates shocked]” Can you imagine? Annette, I get caught. Or imagine I’m in there with dark glasses buying, you know, an LV wallet and guess who I’m caught by? “Hi Rinpoche!” Everybody in the shop like, “That’s a Rinpoche?!” “Uh oh!” What would I do with all this money? What? Have silver spoons and gold spoons? More diamonds? No, no, no! Rinpoche definitely wants money. Definitey. All Rinpoches wants money, every Rinpoche wants money. What they do with it is different. I am not justifying, I am just telling you the truth. My old students will know that. My old students will know all that. That’s why I am very daring. Yeah, so I always tell these people all, “Ok I am giving all this, I am giving all this. Money?” But when I check my account, I went into a very scary fit. I got to cut down offering even more. Yeah it’s very scary. But anyways, I can die first or run out of money first. So just keep living, I guess. So any of you who are rich, you want to throw some money, throw it. Throw it right here. Ok. Good, good, good. That was a good session. I went 15 minutes beyond but I finished my Dharma talk. You see I was explaining something else so I was still within the border. I don’t know who gave me the rule but I think 12 o’clock is good.
DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE
TAN-DANG DRO-WA KUN-LA GANG-PHAN DANG
CHE-PAR JE-TSUN LO-ZANG DRAG-PA YI
TAN-PI NYING-PO RING-DU SAL-SHEH SHUG
JANG-JUB SEM-CHOK RINPOCHE
MA-KYE PA-NAM KYE-GYUR CHIK
KYE-PA NYAM-PA ME-PA YANG
GONG-NA GONG-DU PEL-WAR SHUG
TONG-NI TONG-WA RINPOCHE
MA-KYE PA-NAM KYE-GYUR CHIK
KYE-PA NYAM-PA ME-PA YANG
GONG-NA GONG-DU PEL-WAR SHUG
GE-WA DI-YI NYUR-DU DAK
LA-MA SANG-GYE DRUP-GYUR NA
DRO-WA CHIK-KYANG MA-LU PA
DE-YI SA-LA GO-PAR SHUG
CHO KHI GYAL PO TSONG KHA PA
CHO TSUL NAM PAR PHEL WA LA
GEK KI TSHAN MA ZHI WA DANG
THUN KYIN MA LU TSHANG WAR SHOK
DA DANG SHEN GI DU SUM DANG
DRIL WA TSOK NYI LA TEN NAY
GYA WA LO ZANG DRAG PA YI
TAN PAR YUN RING VAR GYUR CHIG
May everyone be free from the battle with yourself. May everyone be free and have control of your destiny and rebirth and death. May you be able to forgive and let go, and bring purpose to your life. May you stop thinking about yourself, directly for a bigger purpose. May you transform your mind immediately. May all of you become a fully enlightened Buddha. May I also become a fully enlightened Buddha.
GANG RI RAWE KORWAI SHING KHAM DIR
PEN DANG DEWA MALU GYUNG WAI NE
CHENREZIG WANG TENZIN GYATSO YI
SHA PEI SITHAI BARDU DEN GYUR CHIG
GE-WA DI-YI NYUR-DU DAK
LA-MA SANG-GYE DRUP-GYUR NA
DRO-WA CHIK-KYANG MA-LU PA
DE-YI SA-LA GO-PAR SHUG (3x)
Transcribed by Joey Wong and Lily
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