What is a Blessing?
Blessings: the sight of one’s spiritual teacher, a holy object placed on one’s head, an inspiring Dharma talk, a spontaneous act of selflessness…these awaken wholesome seeds that we have planted in the past and that can put us on ‘the right track’ now, reminding us of what is worth cultivating and setting our priorities towards happiness that lasts.
Okay good. Tonight, what I wanna talk about is this: I wanna talk about blessings. Malaysians like blessings. Malaysians are interested in blessings. Malaysians are fascinated by blessings. When a high Lama comes, they wanna go and get a blessing. When there’s a holy object there, they wanna get a blessing. When a temple medium takes trance, they wanna go get a blessing. When a great Guru from India – like Shri, Shri, Shri, Pahar, Nanda, Avatar, Wakar, whatever I don’t know, comes from India, we all wanna get a blessing. When a great Lama from Tibet – His Holiness, His Eminence, His Indestructibleness, Venerable Bloo-Bloo Rinpoche is coming from Tibet, we all want a blessing.
And then when His Holiness the Pope comes, we want a blessing. We all want those. We all want a blessing. We all are interested in the blessing and then, we all leave… you know sometimes they have special lecture halls set up and we all run there. We put our little ten ringgits in there you know, into the donation packets because that’s the “requirement” for the blessing. Mine’s cheaper, mine’s 9.99! Much cheaper… and mine is very good because I know you’re Malaysian and I’m becoming Malaysian: you get one blessing, you get one for free. So you get a blessing voucher card. Alright?
So what happens is this: is that we all want a blessing. What is a blessing? How do we get a blessing? Why do people have the power to bless? Why does an object have the power to bless? What happens after a blessing? What do we do with the blessing? And that’s what I wanna talk about with all of you, is what is a blessing. What does a blessing entail? How do you know you’ve been blessed? How do you know that this Lama didn’t just put some empty little gold thing on top of you and bless you and collected your ten ringgits. Just think, ten ringgits from here, after this I can go Shangri-la, have a nice dindin, with a few friends. There used to be a time before that I relied on Thursday blessings to survive… but never mind, let’s not go there!
Now, I’m going to talk about blessings and afterwards, I’m gonna have a question session cos everybody’s here… we do it untraditionally like, unlike in our Tibetan monasteries where the teachers teach and you don’t ask any questions because most of the people who go to the teachers don’t know much to ask questions, they’re not very educated. But all of you are very educated and all of you are very smart and all of you can think and put two and two together. So I encourage questions because I don’t know everything but what I do know I’m very happy to share. And I have full confidence in what I’m talking about and I have full confidence in Lord Buddha’s teachings so I don’t have an issue with questions.
I don’t believe in religious organizations that don’t allow questions or questioning or doubt. When they say, “Oh you have doubt, then you’re bad, you’re going to hell,” I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that. I think I’m in hell if I have doubt and you don’t let me ask. So for me, asking questions is very integral because if you’re confident about what you’re talking about, why can’t people ask you? And if you don’t know something, you just tell people you don’t know, you’ll look it up and let them know, cos it’s not possible, one person knows everything. Alright?
That’s one. The second thing is… so I like questions, so afterwards we’re gonna have a question and answers sessions. Everyone except Paris may ask me questions, everyone. Paris is not allowed to ask me questions because we’re gonna be here til tomorrow morning… but if she gives me ten ringgit per question, then she can. And knowing Paris, she’ll limit down to one question. Yes, she has friends to support!
Alright, and then now that Geraldine has had her 15 minutes from now she’s gonna be kind, gentle, soft, giving, loving, very polite, never raise voice her above a whisper, she’s gonna wear clothes that less than two people can fit (we’re gonna work on that), she’s not ever gonna sleep again, she’s gonna do things the way I want and it’s back to control! And she has to do everything I say and when I say and she can pretty much kiss the sunlight goodbye.
And has everyone seen Geraldine’s car? Lemme tell you, we’re gonna paint that up into a love mobile, we’re gonna put peace signs and Dharma wheels all over it – big and yellow. We’re gonna revive the 60s – the love, hair, flower-power thing. She’s gonna be driving around all over KL, Klang, Puchong, Cyberjaya, Melaka, JB, everywhere with that little car, and if the car can’t move, she’ll push it. And we’re gonna make sure we’re gonna send a little spy there, put a spycam in her car and make sure we know what she’s doing and we’re gonna make sure we dismantle the air conditioning for her. You know what they say – when you sweat, you lose weight.
She loves it! She’s never loved abuse as much as she’s loved it from me, trust me! For her, abuse is love. You know the best way to get to a man’s heart is through his stomach, people say; the best way to get to Geraldine’s heart is abuse. That’s what Buddha told me in a dream. I did a divination with Ming and she told me that.
Oh yah, and wow, you guys are gonna start something up huh? You and Ming? Wow. There are wonderful, honest people out there and we’re gonna get our refunded money back and start something else, huh? Wow! Ming’s practicing Dharma too. I just can’t wait, I just can’t wait for Ming to take me out to dindin and gimme my money back – thank you very much! Wonderful! I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting, “Where’s my money? Where’s my money? Where’s my money?” Oh… expose! Now you guys know I like money. Oh well, what to do!
You get your 10k, we have that agreement remember? So don’t laugh too loud because you know…. Oh I don’t want her to hurt herself! I know I’m such an evil Rinpoche: “Where got like that? Holy from Tibet, talk so nasty and so bad and vulgar to people.” Look! I gotta be your friend. I gotta come down, I gotta come up to your level… Ah… ok…
Those little buntings are from my designs, I thought of the idea, I thought of the concept and also I thought of the models and those models are all in-house. All those beautiful people you see on there are all in-house models. And we’re gonna have a whole series of buntings going out and out, promoting the Dharma in a modern, fun, sophisticated way. No more of this, you know, you burn incense here, you sit there, you know, “Namo Amitofo” or if you’re Hindu, you know, you wear nothing and we poke a lot of pins through you and you carry a Buddha statue up the hill, up down. I’m not putting that down. I’m just saying that’s not for me! Alright? I’m not putting any of it down…
Or I’m not gonna be like Mr. Singh, you know, wear three, four metres on my head all day and you know…. Isn’t Mr. Singh wonderful? He’s Sikh and we can be together and pray. He’s my old friend, I haven’t seen him in a long, long time. He found another Guru and left me. But now we’ve reconciliated and we’re lovers again. Guru-disciple lovers. Yes. M. Singh is wonderful, he’s been attending my talks for years. How do I know it’s him? Because nobody behind him can see me! They’re always like…. Cos Mr. Singh’s got that great hat on.
Isn’t it weird? Buddhist shave off their hair, Sikhs keep their hair. Wonderful expressions of their way to God. I find it very interesting. I don’t find one better or one worse, I don’t. But I save money cos I don’t need shampoo! Well… Buddhist monks don’t, I do alright? but not as much as Mr. Singh though. Have you seen when Mr. Singh lets his hair down? It’s a lotta hair!
Okay, anyways… what’s a blessing? A blessing is something that is conferred upon us that we feel is holy that will change our lives. That’s what a blessing is. Malaysian view of blessing: “After I get a blessing, I will be rich, I will hit the 4D, I will finally find the prince in shining armour or the princess sitting there waiting for me to kiss her awake.” Or “I get a new car or a new house”… Malaysian version of blessing. A: 4D. B: Love. C: House and car. That’s Malaysian version of blessing. Okay, no problem.
Buddhist version of blessing: when you get a blessing, your minds open up and transform. You see, many of us have had many lives, we’ve had many, many lives. All of us in this room are Rinpoches, it’s just what we were doing in our lives makes us different Rinpoches. Some of us were prostitute Rinpoches, reincarnations; some of us were you know, hoodlums; some of us were, you know, CEOs; some of us were soldiers, some of us were nuns, some of us were Christians, some of us were Buddhists, some of us were Hindus, some of us were White and Black.
We were born all over and everywhere on this planet and that’s something not accounted for, not identified with just Buddhists. That’s also identified with Western theory and psychotherapy now cos it’s something that people can’t deny anymore. Past-life regression therapy is very big in the US. Very, very big because it has effects.
In any case, my points is this: is that we’ve had many, many lifetimes and in those many lifetimes, we’ve come across something holy, we’ve come across something powerful. Maybe in a previous life, we went to a temple and in front of the Buddha, we offer some fruits, we offer some rice or we offer some noodles or whatever, or we offered some incense and we really made deep prayers. Maybe in a previous life some great monk, somewhere in Japan or Cambodia or Taiwan or Italy or wherever gave a discourse and talked about selflessness. Maybe some time in the past, we were very great charity people, so we gave a lot of charity to people, we gave a lot of things away and we were able to raise a lot of charity for people – and we did that in our previous lives. Maybe in our previous lives, we were great artists and great carpenters and we painted beautifully and our paintings brought joy to many people. We decorated churches and temples and mosques and synagogues – we did that to bring beauty to something holy.
All of us had done something our previous lives. It is said, in the Lamrim, the Buddhist bible. Don’t forget that – Lamrim. Alright? That’s the second bunting from the right. That’s the Lamrim, alright? That’s held by our beautiful model, Joann Tan from JB. We also have an Amber Chia here but her name is Joann Chia. She’s our bunting supermodel… but don’t tell Tan Sio Chian! We don’t want Sio Chian – small money, let’s just call her small money lah, easier – to be upset.
But my point is this: is that it says in the Lamrim that we have taken so many rebirths that every single person in samsara has been our mother or our father at one time or another. That many times. An example is if you live in a small town, if you lived there long enough, you’re gonna know everybody. If the population is 1000, 2000 people in a small town – many small towns in the US – you’re gonna eventually know everybody there. Even if someone is you know, totally a hermit, introvert, and they stay home, they leave their house once a month to get groceries, you will bump into them one time or another. Why? When you live in place long enough, you will meet up with those people.
Similarly, we always say KL’s a small town. Go there we see them, we there we see that, we go there, “Oh my God, I don’t wanna know them…” You know, we wanna avoid people we’ve seen? Why? Because they’re nasty, they’re ugly, they’re horrible and we’re Buddhas! That’s why!
Anyways, so when we’re in a place long enough, we see these people. Similarly, samsara – listen carefully – samsara’s sentient beings’ number doesn’t increase. It decreases. When one person becomes a Buddha, that’s one person less. So there’s 100,000 people in samsara, when one person because a Buddha – Shakyamuni – that’s one person less. Then Lama Tsongkhapa becomes a Buddha, that’s two persons less. Two beings less. Two Beings. When Tara becomes a Buddha, that’s three beings less. So that’s 99,997 people or beings left.
But you may say, “Oh well, human population is growing.” Yah, human population is growing, so what? When we talk about sentient beings, we’re not talking about only humans, we’re talking about every single being in existence including animals, hell realms, including spirits, including the gods and demigods, including not just our teeny little planet which is a speck in samsara, including all the vastness of the universe – because Buddha talks about other planets. Buddha talks about other beings.
In fact, I talked to my American friend two nights ago. She told me she sees Aliens. I said, “Whatever!” Anyways, I believe her but she’s the type of people that would actually see aliens. I was thinking, “I see aliens everyday!…” In fact, last night I was hanging out with an alien. His name is bloop! I see aliens everyday so I’m thinking “whatever!” Anyways, some aliens, they couldn’t fly back because they’re a little… they came here skinny, they ate too much and they couldn’t fit back in the flying saucer anymore! So there’re all kinds of aliens out there, you know… I wouldn’t laugh too loud Margaret! Some aliens come here and meet *ahem* “friends” and they can’t fly back anymore to their solar systems… Margaret’s like “ah ah ah!” Aren’t I evil? I make fun of everybody. Some people wonder why. Well, if you can laugh at yourself, you grow. That’s why.
Now, so we’ve taken rebirth in samsara everywhere and we’ve come across different situations. Certain events that we have done in our previous lives has a huge impact in our minds, due to our attachments. Huge impact. Sometimes, sometimes doing huge charity works in our past, has a huge impact. Sometimes making a beautiful painting and it pleases so many people, it has a huge impact. Maybe in our previous life, we saved someone and it has a huge impact. Maybe in our previous lives we were firemen or we were people that were nurses and doctors and that we did this all the time and the great pleasure we derived from helping others is very strong in our mind. Some people were Dharma teachers in their previous lives and by teaching the Dharma they were able to move many people’s minds and change their lives because our action and speech come from the mind. Some people in their previous lives maybe served Lamas or sponsored Lamas or helped their Gurus or helped the temples.
We did many, many things. So these things that we did are stored inside our mind. It is stored inside our consciousness – that is called a karmic imprint. So these things that we did in our previous lives – religious or not religious, doesn’t matter – are stored in our subconscious mind and carried with us life after life after life after life. So if it’s something we have done for many lifetimes – the same thing – of course that very thing we’ve been doing for many lifetimes becomes stronger in our mind. Much, much stronger.
So if something we have done for many, many lifetimes, again and again and again and again, it will have a very strong imprint so that in this life, when we’re born, we will have a natural liking, a natural disposition towards that object or towards that activity. Lemme repeat again – listen very carefully because I’m teaching you the workings of the basics of Buddhist practice, the fundamentals which is karma.
When we have done something many, many, many, many times in previous lives, we become familiar. When we become familiar, that sticks out in our mind, very strongly. Now it could have been something we have done for the past 10 lifetimes or 15 lifetimes. Maybe we were leaders, maybe we were leaders of a county, maybe we were mayors or maybe we were, you know, ministers, for a few lifetimes. And in that lifetime, as a minister, we did things that were tremendously beneficial, then in this life, we will have these kind of qualities or we’ll have this kind of look, we’ll have this kind of appearance where we can lead people and that our appearance can lead and guide and help people if we concentrate our efforts and go toward that direction.
Simply having done something in your previous life doesn’t mean in this life, you’ll be very good. It means you’ll be going toward that direction and you’ll like doing that. It means that you are drawn towards that but it doesn’t mean that you will be good at it instantly but you will be faster and quicker than other people who have not done it in their previous lives.
So in your previous lives if you enjoyed eating and eating and eating, eating – maybe you were animals for a few lifetimes, you enjoyed it – this lifetime you’re gonna enjoy it. You’re gonna look forward to it, you plan yourself around dindin, you plan yourself around meals, you plan yourself around restaurants, you wanna get dressed for it and you want eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat. You’ll discuss the menu, you’ll talk about it, you have meetings, you do divinations (“what food shall I eat tonight?”), everything! I’m not putting anyone down… because that’s what you’re used to.
There’s some people who don’t care about food, they care about the way they look. “How I look! Is my hair okay? Is my skin okay?”… Alright, alright, quit looking at me! And they worry about are they skinny? Are they fat? Every time they see you, their mantra is “Am I fat?” Of course I’m not guilty of that because I stay skinny effortlessly…I don’t gain any weight, I can eat whatever I want! I never gain any weight. And gym? What’s that? How do you spell it? G… Y… UUM? I don’t know! Never heard of gym, never went to a gym, don’t want exercise. Treadmill? What’s that? Is that something you sit on and you know, meditate? I don’t know!
Anyways, if you’re very interested in the way you look – it isn’t just for women. Women are more obvious about it because society says so. There are a lot of men who are quite vain. You know, when you’re not looking at them, when they’re in the bathroom, they’re there for hours! Doing what, I don’t know! Hours! So just cos you’re a woman, doesn’t mean it’s just you. No, no. Vanity is how you look, it’s not just woman or man. Men just do the *ahem*, you know… you know how your boyfriends and husbands were before they met you? And then after one, two years, you know what they look like? Well, you know already what. You know when they first met you, they got V-shape, they look like a lion, great hair, they smell good. After about one year, their shoulders drop to their stomach! Their hair… well.. they got hair what! I mean, be happy they still got hair! I mean, ask Jeevan’s wife! Okay? So what’s the big deal?
My point is this: is these are things we’ve done for many lifetimes and the imprint will be very strong. So people who are very attached to their looks and how they look, maybe in their previous lives, they were people who were very beautiful and so they used their beauty to acquire things. And it’s not necessarily negative things – maybe very handsome men, you know, they moved on in business or they moved on in things, you know, get a beautiful wife or whatever because they were handsome. Beautiful women maybe in the past they got things because they were beautiful, whatever. And so they have this attachment towards beauty.
And then, maybe in their previous lives they were wealthy and in this life they have a big strong grasping and fear of losing wealth or getting wealth or trying to get wealth. We all want wealth and we all want money. None of us – even me – nobody’s gonna say [if they say] “You want money?”, you say, “No.” They say no, they’re lying! I’ll say no but I’ll send my assistants to collect. What do you think I got seven liaisons for? They’re here to collect donations, what! Without me knowing, they pass baskets around on Sunday but anyways, never mind. As long as I get a percentage, pass it on! Forget the basket, I’ll give you a bucket.
But anyways, my point is this: is that we have done many things and it’s imprinted in our mind and in this life or in our life when we have the opportunity to come across environmental cause – listen carefully, I’m giving you big Buddhist terms here but I’m putting it into words that all of us can understand, layman’s words. Environmental cause we need a karmic cause – that is something we had done and it’s been imprinted in our minds. We need an environmental cause – that is something to open. Means the object we have planted or the seeds that we have planted to grow, to manifest, to germinate.
So therefore if in our previous lives, we were great artists and this life you know we’ve been a housewife, we’ve been cooking spaghetti all day, we’ve been cooking meehoon all day long, rice, you know, and our wonderful lion-husbands ([gone]the other direction), lion’s come home and then we have wonderful eight kids you know, and they all need to go to college, and you know, we make 1500 dollars a month. We have a happy life what.
In any case, all of a sudden our wives see art or see something on TV or go to an art class or one of their friends introduces them to art. All of sudden she goes, “Ah!!! I love art! I wanna do it.” And the husband’s like, “Ah! Crazy! Reincarnation of Van Gogh here? No lah! You’re crazy. Cook my meehoon.” No actually, very strong inside. She thinks, “I wanna do art.”
This is protection just in case any of you wanna throw magic at me and take my money. I keep my chakra here which I got from KMT, DMT, KP. In case any of you are not educated, Kechara Mystical Treasures, Dzambala Mystical Treasures and Kechara Paradise. Get one if you want protection from the evil eye. That’s how I walk around so I’m protected what. Good marketing also. Anyways, oh yea Sio Chian what. OK so what happens is this. These are very blessed. I’ll talk about this in a little while because it’s connected with blessings. Especially if it’s from your guru. Anyways, so your wife becomes very interested and she wants to do it and it comes from where? It comes from a previous life where she has done this and it had a huge impact. A huge impact, very strong. So therefore it comes from somewhere. Some people can say, “What happened to you all of a sudden?” Similarly, some of us in our previous lives have done meditation, some of us in our previous lives have met our Lamas and practiced with our Lamas; some of us in our previous lives have listened to the Dharma; some of us in our previous have prayed to Lama Tsongkhapa.
So when we hear Lama Tsongkhapa’s name, when we hear about our Lama, when we hear about the Dharma or meditation, you know what happens? Something inside opens up. That opening is called the karmic imprint germinating. And the condition for it to open is external, environmental. So when we come across a Dharma talk and we listen to the truth, it opens us up.
And sometimes we don’t know why. Sometimes a husband says, “Oh I love the Dharma talk and I wanna go” and the wife says, “What’s going on? You’re crazy what! Why you go all the time? Why, why, why?” It’s not that the husband is crazy or the husband is like or don’t like. It’s just something from a previous life opening up. And – listen carefully – the people around this person – let’s say it’s the husband who likes to practice Dharma – the wife and the children will have had some connection with this person in a previous life. Perhaps they went to meet monks together, perhaps they had prayed together, perhaps they were Dharma brothers and sisters, perhaps they had the same Guru.
So sometimes, the husband has a very strong practice and this husband doing the practice and meditating will bring incredible benefit for the family. Why? It takes one person to open up the seeds. Maybe in a previous life, the husband did a little bit more than the wife so the imprint in the husband is much stronger. So therefore, whatever it is, whatever you love in this life, you will continue to love – never fear, the husband will not leave the wife, the husband will not abandon their job and abandon their responsibilities.
They will do what they’re doing in this life. They will do but along with that, something that had a huge impact for them from a previous life, it will open up and they will incorporate into their life now. And when they incorporate into their life now – in the case of Dharma – and they practice, they transform cos what they left off in their previous life, the level they had practiced, they will continue in this life. They will catch up very, very fast.
And when they continue and catch up in this life, and they transform, they will affect their wife, their kids and everybody around them, even their neighbours and the people they meet. So what happens is like, if someone was practicing Lama Tsongkhapa and even [if] they say, “Oh my god, I don’t want, I don’t want, I don’t want, I don’t want” or they say, “Oh, I don’t want Buddha, I don’t want, I don’t want, I don’t want, I don’t want. Don’t want, don’t want, don’t want, don’t gimme, don’t gimme,” they see, they run away.
Yes, that’s not something bad. It’s a good sign. Why? When they actually say they don’t want, they don’t want but someone in their family is doing, you know what it means? That the collected karma of the family is opening up for blessing. How can bringing a Buddha and praying to the Buddha bring disbenefit to the family? Impossible.
It’s like saying I give gold to someone, a big bar of gold, and it’s bad. Who will say that’s bad? Buddha is much more than gold. And then when we bring a Buddha to our family – whether it’s like that, like that, like that, like that – if your luck is great and you want to accomplish big things, you have big statues. If your luck is like that, it’s like that. If your luck is like that, it’s like that. It’s up to you – how much you want to accomplish. How much?
Some people. they say, “Hey! My luck is good, I want a big car what! Why you got a small car?” Some people want big ring, what; big watch, what, to represent their luck. Well your watch, your car, everything is wonderful but a Buddha statue – how big it is – is really your luck.
If you go to Yonghegong Temple in China, Beijing – Go. I went! Go – the emperor Qing Long of China built a huge Lama Tsongkhapa there. Now. Go to China, go see. I wanna go again but don’t come along with me because you know, you guys can’t meditate and stay up all night like me and practice Dharma and be holy what. You guys wanna eat, go here, go there, so you can’t follow along by “busy Dharma schedule.” Plus I wake up very early in the morning… Well actually I got to sleep very early in the morning… but never mind. Go see! And Ching Lung himself… Emperor Ching Lung, his yidam is Lama Tsongkhapa.
So this not some weird Tibetan Buddha, this is a China Buddha. This is a Buddha that all of China respects. Go lah. During the cultural revolution it wasn’t destroyed, I’m shocked. I’m shocked. This fella is predicted by Lord Buddha to come to give teachings. His teachings come from India. He himself is Tibetan but he’s spread all over China, now all over the world. I know some centres that have… over seven, eight hundred centres in the world and every single centre there’s one image of him. All over. If you go to Tibet, if you go to China, if you go to Nepal, if you go to India, the biggest statues of the Buddhas, are him. The biggest brass statues of Buddhas, in the world, indoor, is Lama Tsongkhapa. The biggest one. You go on the net, you take a look.
Why? Lama Tsongkhapa brings harmony to your family. Lama Tsongkhapa stabilizes your wealth. Lama Tsongkhapa gives wisdom to your kids. If you recite Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra, short form – Om Ah Ra Ba Dza Na Dhih – and your kids meditate, it helps them in their study. Lama Tsongkhapa calms down the negative energy of your area. Very, very powerful. Lama Tsongkhapa practiced Indian Buddhism from Lord Buddha who’s of course Indian… don’t look at this statue, looks like Chinese, Tibetan, some mixed pan-Asian face, I don’t know. But actually he’s Indian. Indian lah! You go to Japan, China, you look at Buddha, you say, “Buddha?!” He looks like your uncle that is too prosperous!
No, Buddha is beautiful. Buddha has golden honey skin, he has beautiful big nose and beautiful large eyes like Indian people have – very beautiful eyes, very beautiful body, you know V-shaped, and gentle and soft and sloping; masculine yet very, very pleasant to look at with golden lights coming out. He has pure Indian features. So whether we make him Indian looking, Japanese, Chinese, it doesn’t really matter. The spirit of Buddha is there. The spirit.
So my point is this: is that Lama Tsongkhapa practiced Lord Buddha – Indian – to become a Buddha just like him. And then from Tibet, he manifested all over Asia, and now all over the world, definitely. So if we like Lama Tsongkhapa and we have the fortune to invite Lama Tsongkhapa home, you bless all your future generations. And that is not a joke. Not a joke.
Then you say, “What about about Da Pei Kong? Mu mu kong? Ni ni kong? All that?” Yes, good. Wonderful. Tibet also has those gods. “What about my house god, my land god, my kitchen god? All that god?” You know, everybody got a god what! I’m a god too! What about all that? They get upset? No. If you’re best friends with the minister of Selangor and he comes to your house and visit you all the time – with respect to him – then all of a sudden the Prime Minister comes. Do you think the minister of Selangor is gonna be upset? Oh no – He’s your best friend! Every party you throw, he’s there!
Da Pei Kong, Ka Kei Kong, Ma Ma Kong, all that is wonderful. They’re gods and they have power but they cannot equal that of a Buddha. So when a Buddha comes, if you can see them with your third eye, if you can see, they will be kowtowing, I promise you. And they will be very happy. In fact, they’ll be very happy because Buddha or Lama Tsongkhapa will bless them. They will be under them, I promise you. I promise you.
So if you have Lama Tsongkhapa – how big it is, it shows your wealth, it shows your luck, it shows your prosperity. And do you think you’ll meditate in a cave? Do you think you’ll even go to the mountains and meditate and pray and all day “Om mani peme hung, Om mani peme hung?” No way! You’re lucky, once a year you recite one “Om mani peme hung.” I’m Buddha what!
So if you have a big statue, you make big offerings, big silver bowls and big beautiful lamps all the time. Wow. And I’m not talking about this – there’s a lot of Malaysians and Singaporeans now who have that. You go Maple’s house – she’s now got a whole chapel. Pretty soon she make her husband a Guru Rinpoche and that’s it. Not come here anymore. She’s got a huge chapel, a huge Lama Tsongkhapa.
Ruby same thing. Ruby’s got a big one. Her house becomes smaller, statue become bigger. First time I met her, house very big, very nice, she has small Tsongkhapa. Now Tsongkhapa very big, house small. Things grow. Definitely. There are many people. My friend Datuk Eric Tan had many statues. All over. It will grow, and more and more. Why? When people realise the benefit. You say, “Can we move? Can we change?” Yah of course you can. You can move, you can change, you can clean it, you can say, “Excuse me, move over?” It doesn’t matter.
Lama Tsongkhapa never gets angry. He will benefit your kids, he will benefit you, he will protect you, he will increase your wealth and what you put inside Lama Tsongkhapa – the mantras and the wealth vases – are very important. What you put inside are very, very important. Okay?
So, if you’re depressed, Lama Tsongkhapa is it. If you have disharmony, Lama Tsongkhapa is it. If you’re scare of ‘hantus’ (ghosts), Lama Tsongkhapa is it. If you want your kids to be good in school, Lama Tsongkhapa is it. Why? he embodies three Posats, so three Bodhisattvas. If kids are very smart and they have problems in school and they have bad memory, they can’t remember tests, I’m not kidding you, you meditate on Lama Tsongkhapa and you recite Om Ah Ra Ba Dza Na Dhih and at the end of Om Ah Ra Ba Dza Na Dhih, at end of one revolution or two or three, you hold your breath and you recite the last syllable, dhih dhih dhih dhih dhih dhih dhih dhih dhih. And then swallow, it will move the chi in your body to increase your memory and you will see the difference day by day by day. No kidding. This one, I will tell you because I have horrible memory before; now my memory much better for many things. Certain things I don’t remember.
Like my personal bank account – two, three digits, I don’t remember anymore. Don’t need to remember, what for? Got three digits, why remember lah? Got six, seven, I remember! I don’t need Tsongkhapa to remember that one, thank you! So right now, I don’t need Tsongkhapa yet because I don’t have six digits yet but I will and I’ll make it, seven, eight, nine and ten. Of course I can draw that on my statement what. Nobody’ll know.
Anyways, so what’s a blessing? Example, if your previous life – very auspicious – if your previous life, if you had prayed to Lama Tsongkhapa and you had done offerings – even if you’re a layperson, not necessarily a monk – and you have done offerings, a little bit of prayer, a little bit of offerings, maybe you even sponsor Lama Tsongkhapa to be made in retreat centres or temples and you sponsored, maybe… in this life, somehow you will reconnect back with Lama Tsongkhapa. Somehow.
Your monster husband might bring it back home, your monster kids might bring back this yellow Tsongkhapa back, maybe you go to Beijing, you run around temples, you see Lama Tsongkhapa, maybe when a Guru talks about Lama Tsongkhapa, inside jump up and down. I have many people, when I talk about Lama Tsongkhapa, the first time, inside they go like that. They don’t know why, they feel excited. When I talk about other Buddhas, they say, “Yah, it’s nice, I respect” but when they say Lama Tsongkhapa, they freak out. They freak out.
And sometimes when we meet our Lama that we have practiced Dharma with in our previous life, maybe it’s a Lama that we’ve received Dharma from our previous life, when we meet that Lama, we don’t know why, we like him, we want to listen and we automatically trust. People who are intelligent and educated and trust their Lama very fast, don’t think they’re stupid and put them down. It’s because they followed their Lamas in previous lives and they developed this kind of trust already. For many lifetimes. So when they see this Lama, they can sense it, they can feel it and they will know.
It’s just like a dog, when they’re very young and you take care of them, then when they grow up a little bit, they go to another place. 10 years later, you see them, although you look different, you’re fat, you’re big, or you’re skinny, you’re whatever, when the dog sees you it will whine, it will cry because it remembers.
Similarly, we will whine and cry when we see something that we have done in our previous lives. None of us are here by accident. Some of us will be able to listen to the Dharma talk, some of us will feel anxious, some of us will leave. Leaving, staying doesn’t make a difference – if you have the affinity from previous lives to improve yourself, you will stay and listen. If you don’t have the affinity to improve yourself, you will not stay and listen. Why? When something good come to you, cannot receive.
So what is a blessing? A blessing in the highest form is when you come across something you have done in a previous life – one example, pray to Lama Tsongkhapa, immediately in this life when someone mentions to you, you will like it. Second, is even if you don’t like it, even [if] you don’t want, Lama Tsongkhapa comes to you. It comes to you, naturally and easily. Even [if] you say, “Eee yerrrrr, you know, my monster uncle bring Lama Tsongkhapa home. Why ah? Eeee eeewwwww What’s this? Eeech!” They freak out. Even [if] you don’t want, it still comes. You know why? I’m not kidding you. It is a sign that in your previous life, you have a strong connection.
And when Lama Tsongkhapa comes to you, step by step by step you will your mind love, respect, when you read more, when you understand more, you’ll understand. Just like that. Sometimes in our previous life, we’re connected to certain people. You know in this life, we marry, we go, “Eeeew, why ah?” After one, two years [of] marriage, “eewww. Aiiii….” And then someone explains – maybe their mother, their father or whatever explains, “Oh, they’re like that, they’re kind, their work is like that, their attitude like that. They explain and you go, “Ohhh….” then you understand, you let go. Why? cos you understand.
Similarly like that, a blessing is when you come across a certain situation and it triggers… the environmental situations triggers your mind to restart what you have done in your previous life. That is called a blessing. Why is it a blessing? Blessing is an English word meaning getting something good, divine providence, something borderline miraculous, something that’s positive, something that improves your life.
So if a blessing improves your life and you come across something that makes you do something and changes the course of your life to positive, you’ve received a blessing. Why? That instant you change? No. That instant you transform? No. That instant you become different? No. But from that point on, it becomes better for you. Then that is a blessing.
Now if you say, “Oh god, you know, I got Mr. X., Mr., B., Mr. C., they’re my good friends from previous lives. You know the medium at the temple told me the four of us, we were the four musketeers in Tibet in our previous lives and we ran around on yaks raping nuns, you know. Isn’t that wonderful? So I met them again and guess what? We’re gonna run around raping people again. Isn’t that a great blessing?” No!
A blessing is when something brings positive energy into your life and changes your direction into something positive for you, for your wife, for your husband, for your kids, for your family, for your parents. And just think, some of us, we have very old parents –they’re 50, 60, 70 years old, they gave us love, they gave us birth, they gave us life, they feed us, they give us money, they give us job, they give us face, they give us reputation, they give us their name and they give us even the clothes on our back… Our very kind parents.
And some of our parents are fine, they don’t need our help. Some of them, we help. But do you think only food and water and nice house and nice words will help our parents? Is that how much we love them? It’s very small. Even animals can give food to other animals. That’s not a big deal. But when our parents are old – with respect to everyone – they will die. When they die, do you think it’s enough just to celebrate Cheng Beng to them once a year?
When they die, there’s nothing you can do. But if you dedicate a statue, if you make a statue, if you make a stupa – stupa or a statue – if you make a stupa, or you make a statue, or you build temples or you build retreat centres, or you build meditation centres and you dedicate it to your parents, it is tremendous benefit for them.
Correct, they don’t get 100% of the merits but they get a large portion dedicated to them. You know why? Because that place will be used for people to find peace, to find love, to come to terms with themselves, to become better people, to learn the Dharma. And every time someone learns something very good and every time someone improves, that was because of your dedication to your parents, because you made it because of your parents.
You’ll say, “Well, I gave the money, how come my parents get it?” Because if it wasn’t for your parents, you wouldn’t have any money, you wouldn’t have anything. You would have nothing.
So if you make something like that and you dedicate to your parents and it’s grand and big – according to your income – and you dedicate it to them, you will help them. You know how you will help them? Maybe they never encountered the Dharma, or maybe they’re too old to practice the Dharma, or maybe their minds are not in the direction of the Dharma. But that doesn’t mean the Dharma is not good, doesn’t mean the Buddha doesn’t have power.
So when we do that for our parents, we make sure that we help them to take a good rebirth. A good son and a good daughter who is filial will not only think about their parents for food and house and car. No. They will think about their parents for their future life. That is our responsibility.
Our parents are the most kind to us, the most kind. So when we do Dharma or we do Dharma work, it will be of tremendous benefit to our parents. And not once, not twice, why? How many times have your parents fed you and taken care of you and loved you and helped you? How many years? One statue is not enough, one temple is not enough, one charity… no, it’s not enough.
And then some people say, “Well I don’t have to do Dharma work, I can do charity.” Yes you can. You can – but there are many levels of benefit, many levels. For example, if we do charity that gives food to people, if we give charity that helps the earthquake victims, that’s wonderful. Wonderful! But you can’t help every earthquake victim, you can’t help every person that’s starving, you can’t help every person that’s hungry and sick.
But if you give Dharma to them, when they encounter these problems, they will know how to deal with it without creating more unhappiness for themselves. So when you create Dharma institutions for people, and it teaches Dharma and it gives Dharma to people, you know how you’re helping them? You’re helping them from their mind, not just their body.
It’s wonderful to heal the diseased – and we should, we should do that – but I’m talking about the different levels of charity and different levels of help. The highest charity in the world is to give people peace of mind, freedom from anger and harmony within their family and their community and their world. That is the highest giving we can give.
And even higher, the most supreme, is freedom from the fears of samsara. That is the highest gift we can give anyone, highest. So you wanna talk about charity – wonderful. I do charity, I do plenty, I love it. But I know that that’s not enough because they’ll be hungry again, they’ll be sick again and it’ll be endless.
So how? I don’t stop but I do something higher: I take care of their mind. Because when someone actually is dying, when someone is dying, what do they need? They need the Dharma to calm their mind, to give peace to their mind, to give peace to the people around them who suffer. That is the highest. Where can you get that?
So when we do Dharma work and we do Dharma images and Dharma statues and Dharma temples and all that, it is the highest form of charity. That’s why everywhere in the world – whether it’s in the holy Islam religion, the holy Hindu religion, or the holy Buddhist or Christian religion, or the Jewish religion, wherever – when it comes to building a temple or building a house of god, it is the most prized and highest charity. Why? Everybody knows that this one gives you peace of mind, and that’s what we need.
We can be hungry, if we have peace of mind, we’re alright. We can be very rich but if we don’t have the peace of mind, what’s the point of having money? I’m not putting anyone down. We need the peace of mind and that one can only come from knowledge.
So therefore, when we support the Dharma, when we help the Dharma, when we do it in that way, we bring supreme charity to others. Supreme. This isn’t something Tsem Rinpoche made up, this one you can check in the scriptures. This one you can check in Buddha’s teachings.
And if you think that Buddha is doing this because he wants something, he’s dead! He’s gone, he doesn’t get anything, nothing at all, he doesn’t need anything. You see all the things he has – he has a bigger car than you! He drives around in a big sports car somewhere up in heaven, fabulous, with Tara as his friend – you know, Tara is beautiful. Can you see Buddha and Tara? But they were caught by Tsongkhapa so they stopped… There’s a Buddha police up there.
And so what happens is when we come across a situation and we have done this before or we have met this person before or we are familiar with this activity, when we come across it, it will open our mind. When our mind is opened to that positive action we have left off, that means we have received a blessing.
Who can give blessings? Who can? People who practice great compassion, people who practice forgiveness, people who practice love. Love – what kind of love? Not love towards our family because that’s bias. Love that is not based on getting something back from the other person. That type of love that is practiced by a person – those people can give you a blessing.
I’ll tell you why: an example of those people are like His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Her Holiness Mother Teresa. When we come across these people – the great soul, the great soul Mahatma Gandhi – when we come across these people, because of their selflessness, because of their dedication to others, because of their love of others, that they find that others are more important than themselves and they have this energy within them, when we hear about them, when we see them and when we see their activities, it moves us to tears, it resonates inside of us very deep. Do you know why? Because we had done something like this in the past.
We have made prayers, we have aspired to something like this in the past. So therefore when we have done this in the past, in the present when we come across that, we will be moved. Well some people say, “I don’t wanna go to Dharma talk, I don’t wanna pray, I don’t wanna do meditation. I don’t want to.” Even when you don’t want to, it’s a sign that in your previous life you didn’t do much, but you did enough that it still comes to you.
Yes, why? Because you’ve done it and if you’ve done Dharma practice in your previous life, you should be very proud and very happy. Not tell everybody like a big peacock – “Oh I’ve done Dharma practice, oh I’ve done Dharma practice, oh I’ve done Dharma practice” – but you should be very proud and say, “I’ve done something good.” Cos if you say, “In my previous life I was king, I was a minister, I was rich, I had twenty kids,” so what? Animals can have 20 kids.
And just cos you’re a king doesn’t mean you’re a good king. And if you were a beautiful lady in your previous life, look at yourself now! If you’re a big handsome guy in your previous life, look at yourself now. If you’re a big, handsome guy now, you’re a big beautiful lady now, so what? What about your next life? Do you think you’re going to be handsome and beautiful in your next life? Are you sure? Just wishing that you will be doesn’t make you. Wishing doesn’t make it happen. No.
So my point is this: is that if you’ve done something in your previous lives and it’s very strong inside of you, very strong, and you’ve done it for many lifetimes from a very young age, when you’re very young, you will start to be drawn towards this. Even if you’re in an environment that’s completely foreign to it, you will be drawn to it, you’ll look for it, you’ll want it and anything you hear and anything you see about it will resonate inside of you very strong.
How much you’ve done it in your previous lives will be how strong it resonates inside of you. But – listen carefully – but if it is something very good, even if you’ve done little, it will still resonate in this life. Why? Example, if it’s the power of Lama Tsongkhapa and you’ve done it, Lama Tsongkhapa’s power is incredible. One diamond that is small, one carat, one diamond is worth much more than a hundred pieces of crystal, two hundred or three hundred pieces of crystal. One diamond will surpass many crystals.
So in your previous life if you had many crystals but you had one diamond, in this life that one diamond will outshine all because its value is more. Like that, even if [in] you’re previous life, every day you prayed to Lama Tsongkhapa just five minutes, you offer one butterlamp, in this life, even though most of your life you have not done, you don’t know, you don’t understand, but it comes to you. It just comes to you, you don’t know why. Even [if] you don’t want, it comes to you. It means you have affinity.
So a blessing is what? A blessing is when someone, something, some situation, some friend, some event reconnects you back to what you were doing that was very good and you will feel comfortable. And many cases of people, upon sight of their Lama, they’re moved. That’s what happened to me with Zong Rinpoche. Upon sight. I couldn’t control myself. And I found out that the very Lamas that I love – when I was a very small child I used to look for their pictures, I don’t know who they were, I’d look for them it in books and stuff, that I kept on my altar – were the very Lamas that I practice now in this life and that I met, and what I’ve done in my previous life. I’m told by my Gurus.
Shocking. Why? No one was in America when I was there. No one told me, I didn’t know. I just looked for it and I found it. And it’s the very Lamas I’ve reconnected with in this life again. So am I great? No. But I’ve got a blessing. I’ve got a blessing.
So my point is, is that when we do good things… let’s say we did a lot of charity in our previous life, in this life when someone says to us, “Hey, you know, you’ve been going partying, disco, running here and there, running there, you have this, you have that and you’re really busy, but can you help me with this?” and you’re like, “Okay!” and you do it and you like it. You know what that means? It means that in your previous lives, you’ve been doing charity, you’ve been helping people in one way or another.
The way you do it will be different because time, place, space, culture, people change but the technique and the motivation remain the same. There are some people who just all the time do charity. Why? Some want face, some wanna help, some want prestige, some want name. It’s okay, but they still do it. And people still get the benefit. It means they’ve been doing in their previous life.
So a blessing is when we come across a situation and it opens up. And if that good thing is very far in all of us – very, very far and distant – then it will take several times where it opens up. If that blessing is very strong – a Lama placing something very holy on top of your head, that contains relics of high Lamas and high meditation masters – will open up that in you. How will that open in you?….
Because you see rainbows! You see Tsongkhapa appear to you and talk to you. “My son! My daughter!! *kiss kiss kiss* come here, I miss you! Where are you? *muak*” And Buddha Shakyamuni throws you some money, “Here ya are. I’ve been looking for ya!”
No, that’s not it. When you get a blessing, you know what happens? Is that from that point on, if you’re Hindu, you become a better Hindu, if you’re a Christian, you become a better Christian, etc. If you’re atheist, you become a better human. If you’ve been abandoning your parents, you start taking care of your parents. If you’ve been a greedy little monster and your favourite mantra is “Om money peme hung” – not mani, money! – “Om money peme hung, money, money, money, money,” everything is “Gimme money, money, money, money, money, money!… but I don’t want money what, I’m doing Dharma!!!”… If your favourite mantra has been money and all you focus on is money and you want money money money money money, then when you hear a blessing, it will create waves in your mind of guilt, fear, your future, results and what will happen to you. Do you know why? Because you are deep down, a good person. You’re a good person inside and you will feel uncomfortable and you will feel guilty.
People who “lose face,” people who feel guilty, people who feel embarrassed, it’s a sign they’re a good person. Do you know why? At least they have some conscience left. That’s good.
So in any case, for people who kill and cheat and lie and damage us, we should show the most patience to them, we should show the most love to them. Why? We don’t let them do that to us anymore but we show patience because we need to understand that to help a person means sometimes we have to sacrifice, we have to give. Sometimes it’s more than time.
And that one day we have hopes and prayers that they will reform, they will transform, they will change and that we can avoid the negative karma that they will experience in their previous life – we hope. I sincerely mean that. So to be patient with people that damaged us: “When others mistreat us with abuse, slander and so on, may I suffer the defeat and offer the victory to others. When one who I trusted very deeply hurts me unreasonably, may I view him as my supreme Lama.” The Eight Verses, there. That should be our main practice.
So those people we forgive, we love, we have patience and we talk and we help them. We help them to not do what they do. It’s very important. And when we do that, you know what happens? They also help us. They help us because we gain patience, we gain love, we gain understanding. All of us were crooks and robbers and we cheated and rapists in previous lives – one time or another, all of us. None of us is “innocent.” All of us have done bad things in this life and previous lives. We all need to come to terms and move on.
You know what brings unhappiness to one person’s mind? It’s not what other people do to us. It’s what we know we’ve done and we cover and hide. That brings the most damage to us. It destroys us, it destroys the relationship, it creates loneliness and unhappiness and mistrust. All that will manifest unless the Buddha is wrong. So either we’re right or the Buddha’s right – we have to pick.
So a blessing is when we come across. So people who have meditated, people who’ve practiced and people who’ve generated compassion and they’ve forgiven, they do mantras, they do their sadhanas and most important, they have Guru Devotion and they have strong commitment to their Guru – samaya is clean – their energy (from their meditation, from their mind) will pervade their body, will pervade their robes, will pervade the things that they wear, will pervade their possessions, will pervade their malas. All this energy of love, all this energy of forgiveness, and all this energy of meditation and invoking the Buddhas will pervade and touch and go into the very objects they wear, their house, the things that they have, even their statues.
Even their statues will be different than other people’s statues. Why? The statues will glow from their spirituality. I’m so sorry to say if you look at a person’s statue, it’s not the newness or the perfection of it, or it’s made perfectly, or it has jewels or it’s painted in gold or it’s done well – it’s not that. The statue itself will have an energy, it will come to life. Why? Because the person praying will imbue that statue and invite the Buddha to enter.
And I’ll tell you why. You think, “Well, the Buddha’s compassionate. He should enter for everybody.” He does but it will be more manifest for people who are sincere. I’ll tell you why. Because their prayers are not selfish, their prayers are for others. When their prayers are for others, everything around them will manifest to benefit others, even their statues.
So when you look at the statues of beings who pray for others, who have compassion, who will forgive, the statues will glow, it will come to life, it will look supreme, and very strong. And there’s the way to check… sorry to say, there’s a way to “check” spiritual practitioners. You look at their altar, you look at their statue. You look at how they take care of it, how it’s maintained and you look at the glow of it and how it grows.
And some people even say it smiles at them. For some people, I tell them to get help! Get medication! If your statue is smiling at you, go get help! Some people tell me, “You know, my statue got moods one. Sometimes got angry face, sometimes smile at me.” I say get help!
If the Dalai Lama tells me his statues are talking to him, I say, “Ohhh, can you introduce me please?! How??” If Tsem Rinpoche tells you his statues talk to you, and Tsem Rinpoche tells you his statues are smiling and all that, you give him a lot of money so he can go get help. He’s expensive, but he needs to get help too.
At our level, no one can see statues talk or manifest. No. You know why? We’re all normal people but we’re good people and sometimes statues can manifest some special signs, they can… not because of our power, because of our prayers.
So you can look at a person’s statue. If the statue is dark and down – dark not in colour, I’m talking about energy, you can see it, it glows – it will reflect the person’s spirituality. Why? How sincere the person is, it will manifest somehow. And that statue, whoever sees it, it will bless many, many, many, many, many people. Many people. Why? Statues becoming holy is an extension of that person’s prayers to benefit others.
So therefore when they always pray to benefit others, when they touch you on the head with their mala, when you have a piece of their clothing, if you have their items, if you have their ritual objects, if you have a piece of their mala, it’s very blessed. Why? The extension of their meditation power, the energy is put there. That’s why when high Lamas sell their items, or they auction off in centres to raise funds, people grab at it, they’ll pay astronomical amounts. You know why? They wanna take home a little bit of holiness… literally.
And so when we have a holy mala or a holy book or a holy item or a holy statue that belonged to someone who meditated on compassion… Christian, Buddhist, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter, don’t make distinctions. Holy is holy, kindness is kindness. This is not only about Buddhism, if we think only Buddhism can create holy people, we are wrong. No. Holy can be anyone.
So what happens is when these become blessed… so since we’re here talking about Buddhism these become blessed, for example by reciting Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra. And this person have done it hundreds and hundreds of thousand of times with the correct mind and good attitude and focusing on others, then this becomes very powerful. Why? Because when you touch it, or when you come near it, it will help you to remember that person. One.
Two, if you don’t know that person, by the power of their prayer and their years of aspirations and meditations – and some high Lamas, many lifetimes so when they even touch a person, it blesses them – it will open up the seeds that you have in your previous life and set you on the path.
Therefore in Tibetan we call it chak wang. Chak wang or cha wang is hand initiation, hand blessing. When we go see a high Lama, if we’re very fortunate, the high Lama will actually put their mala on our heads or they will touch our heads with [their] hands. So when we go see a high Lama, we don’t see there and say, “Hi Rinpoche! *slurp* How are you today? Wanna go for a beer? *grunt*” We can do that with all our friends, what. I mean, if you wanna be the Marlboro man with your Guru, you know, that’s your problem. But you can get more.
Your Guru can go and have a drink with you, he can. Have some sake or some beer, he can have a drink. But you can get more from your Guru, you can get something higher. Why would you wanna hang around with your Guru and tell him, “Oh, you know I’m not getting a girlfriend, I’m not getting a girlfriend. I’m not getting a boyfriend, I’m not getting a boyfriend, I’m frustrated, I’m frustrated, I want a relationship, I want a relationship, I wanna get boobli, I wanna get boobli, I wanna get boobli!” Why would you want to go your Guru and tell him all that?
You know, it’s not you’re unholy or you’re bad. Your Guru can give you much more, much higher. He can solve your problems on a very high level. Why would you wanna go to your Guru and say, “Ohhhhhh, tell me how to make money, money, money, money, money.” Look, your Guru’s not a financial planner! Your Guru doesn’t work for Maybank, he’s not a financial advisor. Your Guru know how to make money, you think he needs to collect ang pow from you ah? He give you angpow!
Gurus who collect angpow means no money wan! Okay? No money! So if you see a donation box in the centre, put your donation and help your Guru. Help! When they pass the bucket around, throw it. If they don’t come fast, say, “Faster! Gimme faster!” Put your credit card in, we can swipe it lah! Modern donations… yah, I think we put that in the centre. Donation: swipe! You know some people come in: “Oh… I forgot my wallet…Oh I don’t have any cash, all I have is my Visa.” No problem! Swipe the donation! Swipe it lah! We’re modern what! I think we should put a swipe machine in here. Maple’s like, “Good idea!” Maple’s our liaison of this place with her wonderful husband.
Yea. So why would you go to your Guru for that? You go to your Guru for a blessing. You know what kind of blessing? To help you to learn something that’s very high that will take you out of your depression, your anger. You don’t go to your Guru and complain, “Oh, this person did this to me, this person did that to me. Oh, they were mean to me! They were ugly to me! Oh, this person yelled at me, they cheated me! Oh… ah ah ah ah ah…”
Aiyo! Year after year after year – what do you think your Guru is?! Your girlfriend? You think your Guru is your drinking partner ah? “Let’s go have a drink and talk about why the girl dumped me.” Cos you’re fat and ugly, what – that’s why! If you’re short, fat and ugly, don’t get hair, some more don’t got red car, you think your lover like you ah? Aiyooo!
You want a relationship? I tell you how to get a relationship: Om Gym Hung Phet. You want a relationship, go to the gym, lose the weight, discipline yourself, improve the points in you that are not good. You may not become super model but you might become something much better than what you are. So if you want a relationship improve your body, improve your mind, improve your speech – then you will!
If you don’t want to put any effort towards yourself and towards your body and towards what other people need and then you cry wolf, what’s the point? So if you want a relationship, make yourself more attractive. Why? An attractive person walk down the street, we all drop our fork, we all look! Then we tell our wife, “No, I wasn’t looking what. I was catching mosquitoes with my mouth!” Easy what! Think!
So what why would you go to a Tibetan Guru, “How? How? Gimme a mantra I can get a lover, then I can be happy and then I can practice Dharma and then I can help you.” Huh? They will practice the Dharma and help me and they give donations and they will help me build a temple and join up if I give them a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Can you believe that? It’s a trick! It’s a trick! What am I gonna do? Bomoh someone? “Booooom!” I don’t have any power. I told you, I’m just a stupid monk. I don’t know anything. I don’t have any bomoh power. You want bomoh power? You go to the forest, over there Kelantan or something! I don’t know! Hatyai or I don’t know, you go meet somebody there. One of those people a lot of tattoo wan… I teach Dharma! You see any tattoo? No tattoo… see?
So what am I trying to say? You want a relationship, please – I don’t have a solution but my solution to you is this: if you practice the Dharma and you control your anger and you try to make yourself more nicer and you’re consistent and you improve your physical outlook, you improve your clothes, then chances are it’s higher.
If you don’t wanna invest anything in yourself and you’re lonely and you’re unhappy and you’re looking for a relationship and you cry and you want, you demand other people’s attention all the time, you know what happens? You’re wasting your good time. You’re wasting your good time because when the prunes are dry, no matter what you do, nobody’s gonna wanna come pluck ‘em! So while your prunes [are] not dry yet and still got some juice, do something.
Cos I have some friends that look like dried up prunes! I told them, “Forget it lah!” I say, “There’s nobody on this earth that can help you already!” so if you’re young and you’re single – or youngish… if you’re young like me or youngish – and you’re still looking for a relationship, don’t come and talk to Tsem Rinpoche. Tsem Rinpoche will tell you “Om Gym Hung Phet.” You don’t have money for the gym? Run on the street! That’s what I used to do. Cut the carbos. After five, no carbos! That’s your Dharma talk. Okay, that’s your blessing.
No carbo after five lah! You wanna eat carbo? Each time you eat: “Lonely, lonely, no boyfriend, no girlfriend, I go to bed alone and I make love with my animal lah.” That’s it! Every time you put that food in your mouth, you just remember, “lonely, lonely, no boobli!” So if you wanna make love to your food, make love to your food lah! Some people find pleasure in making love to their food. You know, when they go, “Ohhhhhh…..” Then they put another bite in there and they, “Oooooooooh.” So you’re sitting in the next room going, “Who they have inside?!” You open up, they’re having love with a pizza! Mee hoon! Laksa!
You tell anybody… you tell any Chinese, not vegetarian, “You want bak kut teh?” “Oooooooh!!!!!! Aaaaaaaaah!!!!” Better than boobli what. So if you’re in love with food, don’t complain you’re lonely. Why? You have to give a little to get a little. If you don’t want to give, you’re not going to get. Okay?
Then some people say, “Well, he’s fat what. He got no hair, how come he can get beautiful girl?” Cos he’s got money! “Why he got money, he can get and I can’t?” Because he must have taken his time away and sacrificed something to get the discipline to get the money. People don’t get money for nothing. You have to give something.
Some people put their actions into discipline to get money, so they attract girls that way. You know… not all girls, some girls like money, some girls, who if you got red car, they marry you lah! Some girls are, you know, that level. You got money, Hello! They give you everything. Some girls, no.
Everybody is different. Not all girl like that, not all boy like that. These days it’s different already. You got money, boy come to you also! Very different! These days got money, everybody come to you – boy, girl, boy, girl and boy girl. Many.
My point is if you have something to attract it means you put some effort or discipline into getting it. So whether it’s your body, whether it’s your money, whether it’s your house, whether it’s a car, you have to give something. If you’re a loser, if you can’t .. you always don’t have, if you always no money, you don’t wanna take care of your body, you don’t wanna change yourself, you don’t wanna transform the way you are, and you don’t have what it takes to attract, how?
If you wanna catch a big fat whale and you go into the middle of the ocean, you have one bait, a little worm: “Come, come eat! Come eat!” The whale won’t even see your worm lah! You wanna catch a whale, you’re gonna need a big, big, big, big bait. You wanna catch a little goldfish, no problem! No need a bait, just catch lah! Right? You think!
So people wanna complain about relationships to me, they want a blessing. This is your blessing: give a little into yourself. Sacrifice into improving yourself and change yourself. Don’t complain, “Look, I can’t be MTV skinny.” You don’t have to be MTV skinny, but you also don’t have to be fat-farm fat, right?!
So you think: if this is the pervading times, people require this, this, this, you have to fit the group to get what you want. You can’t expect the whole world “to accept you as you are.” Why? You don’t accept them as they are. If you don’t accept them as they are, how are they gonna accept you as you are? And if you’re depressed, unhappy and lonely all the time, that’s not the world’s problem. That is your problem. You need to put the time in.
And then if you’re always complaining about money, “I gotta survive, I gotta survive, I gotta survive, survive, survive, survive,” you’re hanging on the edge of a cliff – “I’ve got to survive.” Malaysians’ favourite word. They’re making 500 million dollars a year –“I’m surviving.” They got a house bigger than the President’s house, they’re “surviving.” They got ten cars in the garage, they’re “surviving.”
Nobody in Malaysia “survives.” This country is fabulous. If people wanna work, no one starves. That’s the blessing of the government here – with respect to politics, I don’t wanna get into it, I don’t know anything. Nobody. This country is fabulous. You guys have not lived in America and seen real poverty. You have not. You don’t look at those tired movies. They come out from Hollywood, they’re not real. I lived there and I’ve seen poverty. Nothing compared.
My American friends who come here and visit, they’re in shock. They say, “Oh my God, you guys live better than us.” I said, “Yes!!” I had one stupid American friend ask me do we have televisions here… Well! He’s American, what to do?! No offence to people who’s listening from America now. I’m sorry ah… I’m American too but anyways, there are some people who live in trees in American… what to do?! Palm trees, but trees lah! Here we live on the ground in nice houses in PJ, wherever lah…
Or some people choose to live in Cheras, I don’t know why! Cheras, Shah Alam, Cyberjaya, Putrajaya, I don’t know why… maybe because they have helicopters what! But me, you don’t put me out there lah! I don’t even know where to go. I ended up in Shah Alam three, four times. God! I [got] lost! I was trying to look for Subang, I ended up in Shah Alam. I don’t know why. All of a sudden it says, “Shah Alam.” I was like “Oh…” Too far, I don’t like I don’t like I don’t like! Unless you gimme a helicopter, I don’t move there, thank you. I stay PJ PJ PJ.
So PJ’s not the best place but I know how to get around. I don’t get lost. Actually when I first moved to my house, I was throwing a bitch fit. I was like, “Oh I hate it, it’s far. I don’t like blah blah blah.” Geraldine’s the one told me, “Once you get used to it, you’re gonna love it.” She’s right. I love it. I’m never moving out. I’m buying the whole neighbourhood. I’m staying. I’m taking over.
So in any case, my point is this: is if you want a blessing, a blessing can also – on a highest level comes from a Lama, comes from a high monk, high practitioner that gives you something. They’ve put their prayers on it. Do you know why their prayers are effective? I’ll tell you why. Because they’ve spent most of their lives in prayer. They spent most of their lives in praying to Lama Tsongkhapa or Buddha Shakyamuni.
And so when they pray, it’s not that Lama Tsongkhapa likes them more, they’re able to get that energy better. Example, if you have a good relationship with a bank officer and they’ve known you for years and they know your credit, when you go for a loan, it’s much easier than if you just walk off the street what.
So like that when a holy person or a person that prays all the time… What’s a holy person? Not someone wearing robes and from Tibet and called a Rinpoche. No. holy means someone who thinks of others more than themselves. That’s holy. So all of you are holy too if you do that. Alright?
So when they pray and they give you something and you keep that on your altar if you have the fortune and luck that a Lama or Rinpoche really prays and they make their prayers and they offer you something, a gift, something, a Buddha, a statue, anything, or even a ring or even anything, trust me, they had made many prayers on it for you. And when they give it to you, it’s from their heart and it comes from many people’s donations. It comes from many people – sick, old, poor – that give their donations to their Lama and the Lama buy these things and get these things and do blessings or put it in front of their altar and their statues and do pujas and bless it and give it to you.
So if you have the great honour to receive something like that from your Lama, it is to change your destiny, it is to change your life and it will bless you. If you are so silly and you refuse it or you think negative things, no bad things happen, no, but you delay what you’re supposed to do, that’s all. You just delay.
So that comes from the highest. Our parents can bless us too. How do our parents bless us? Our parents show us by example. Their dedication and love and selflessness towards us. So when we open our hearts and our minds to our parents and we listen to them….they do make mistakes because they are humans but most of the things they do, don’t make mistakes. And they gave us a place to live, and they gave us love and you know what? What’s beautiful about parents? They accept us for what we are and they push us to become more.
So when we listen to our parents and we do good things, that’s a blessing. Do you know why? Look at children who listen to their parents and look at children who don’t – when they grow up, they’re very different people. They won’t have good friends, people won’t respect them, they’ll be very lonely, and when they have children, their children won’t listen to them. I’ll tell you why. Not because of only karma but because they have this energy of fighting, hostility, which will be felt. Even if the child comes from you, the child is another person, it’s a different person. The body is from you, not the mind. Will be different. And so, that can happen.
And even a good friend – you know how we know a friend is good or bad? Let me tell you right now. If a friend is good… how is a friend good? When the friend encourages us to do good things, leads us to the right direction and is happy when we do good things. When we do bad things, they encourage our anger, they encourage us hostility, they encourage us to stay away, they encourage us to think negatively – that’s not a good friend. No, that’s not a good friend.
Their words may be nice but they’re not good. Why? Maybe they’re not very good at this moment so they want more “company in arms,” more company in their sorrow. So they become like our friends, and they become close to us. Why? Because they themselves are a little naughty at this time. So they don’t want to feel like they’re the only one. They want to show others that, “See, they’re right too.” But that’s temporary.
All negative things are temporary. Positive things are permanent. Why is positive things permanent? Because we are pervaded by goodness in us. That’s what the Buddha teaches – innately, ultimately within us, we are good. We are good.
So when we go to a holy temple, when we go see a holy statue, when we go see a holy being – like Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama, if we go to the mausoleum of Mahatma Gandhi – their energy is there. When we go see a great Sikh Guru – I’ve met great Sikh masters in Sikh temples in India – you feel. You can feel their love, you can feel what they teach and what they explain.
I have wonderful Muslim friends in India – India is great because all the religions are there and everybody gets along because everybody’s exposed to everybody. Everybody knows they’re people – I’ve had wonderful Muslim friends that blessed me. How did they bless me? Because they teach me what a real Muslim is – kindness, compassion, openness, and they taught me something that that’s what religion’s all about.
Not the superiority of a religion, no. It’s that we all need a way to become better. And that’s a blessing. I’m not trying to be gracious here, I really mean it. A blessing is a person, a situation that opens our mind to something higher. So in most cases, when we go for an initiation or a teaching, even if we’re in the room of a Lama, of a person who meditates, who holds their vows, who practices compassion, who forgives, who accepts you as you are and who teaches you patiently again and again something that is the truth… even being in the presence of such a person, in a room, I promise you, will bless you. It’s called liberation upon sight.
When we say in Tibetan, liberation upon sight, it doesn’t mean once you see, you become liberated, no. Liberation upon sight means what? His Holiness the Karmapa has that title – Eh Ma Ho Karmapa Khen means liberation upon sight to see his Holiness Karmapa. What does that mean? There are holy beings like the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama and Trijang Rinpoche and Ling Rinpoche and Dromo Geshe Rinpoche and Pabongkha Rinpoche and His Holiness Karmapa Rinpoche, Sakya Tenzin – that when we see them, in the same room, upon sight, we gain liberation. What is that? It means that from that point on, our minds are turned that we want to do Dharma.
So they don’t have to be people with big titles. They can be ordinary people like just you and me who practice forgiveness and kindness and if you’re in the room with that person, you know what happens? You gain liberation upon sight. You know what that is? Liberation upon sight? Liberation upon sight is when that person speaks to you, or gives you something, or says something to you, it changes your mind. It makes you think different.
He didn’t give you physical, he didn’t give you anything verbal, he gave you a perspective and a thought that changes your mind or helps you to start changing your mind. That is liberation upon sight. Why is that? Because this person has been practicing that for many lifetimes, for many years, again and again. He’s been speaking about the same thing, consistently over and over again and practicing. Therefore this type of person will create faith in your mind, liberation upon sight, and if you help this person in any way, you know what will happen? You will start gaining the qualities of this person: compassion, forgiveness.
So you have the honour… that’s why in the Tibetan tradition, in the Chinese tradition, Japanese tradition, whatever, when we come across our sifus and we have the honour to work with our sifus, we have the honour to do Dharma work with our sifus or donate or be sponsors or help in any way, it’s a great honour. We don’t say, “Oh, I don’t want…” or “I want” or we don’t look at it as a halfway place – you know, “until I get a better job, I stay here” – we don’t look at that. We find it a great honour. Do you know why? Because you’ll never be able to work with someone outside, very rare, that actually has compassion and love.
And whatever politics you may suffer within a Dharma community, or whatever politics you see or whatever dissatisfaction or unhappiness you see, or even a lower pay, you’ll be rewarded back in many other ways. What is that? Peace of mind, knowing you’re doing something that’s beneficial and that you have a purpose in your life.
Just like Geraldine said earlier – and I totally agree because I worked before – when you work on the outside and you just go there, you have to *kiss kiss kiss* their big butt, right? You have to kiss big butts, you have to kowtow all the time, at the end, you have to put up with politics, and what you get is a paycheck but you’re not happy.
Why are you not happy? Yeah, you have a car, you have a house – you’re not happy. Why? Because [of] what you have to go through to get it. And year after year after year, your situation doesn’t improve. Why doesn’t it improve? Because the people, the environment, their attitude and you’re not strong enough to bring them up. If you’re strong, you work on the outside, you will bring them to the Dharma. If you’re weak, you work outside, you’ll be pulled away from the Dharma. Very simple – it’s your strength, it’s your mind.
So when you work on the outside, when you run around with beautiful girls, when you run around with beautiful boys, you see how much you go to the Dharma and how much you practice. If you get pulled away, it’s a clear sign your mind is not Dharma. If you get a lot of money and you change, you run away with it, you steal it, you cheat or you manipulate or your cover to keep the money, right? If you do that with money, the minute you get it, it means you will never, ever get rich, you will never, ever get money. You will never be able to keep it. Even if someone gives you a million, you’ll not be able to keep it. I’ll tell you why. The karma created will make you lose.
And it shows you your level of your mind – that everything you say is a lie. Why is it a lie? Cos when you get the money, what do you do with it? You hold it, you lie, you cheat, or you cheat to get it, you manipulate, you do wrong things with it – it shows you, you are not Dharma.
So if you come across a beautiful girl, you come across a beautiful boy, and the minute you come across a beautiful girl and boy, whatever they say, whatever they do, they’re your Buddha already lah. Whatever they want, they do; whatever they say, you do. And you spend all your time and all your energy with them and you justify it by saying, “Well, I gotta make my relationship strong, what.” You justify it by saying, “I gotta secure my position what.” You say all these things, you know what happens? It shows your state of mind.
Because whatever you do in life, if your mind is focused and strong and you have practice behind you, no one can drag you down. You can go into a disco and stand on top of a podium and dance up and down like crazy, and when you leave you have brought some people to the Dharma. If you are practicing the Dharma, you can walk up and down the street and bring people to the Dharma. No one can drag you down. Wherever you go, you will bring people to the Dharma.
If you don’t bring them to the Dharma, at least you will bring them to a neutral point where they don’t have negative thoughts about Dharma. You’ll be able to do that. Why? By the power of your practice.
So how much you can bring other people, is you. Then you may look at yourself: you may talk Dharma, how many people did you actually bring to the Dharma? How many people did you introduce? How many people you actually brought and introduced and can influence in the Dharma? If it’s zero or it’s very little, it shows you don’t have the power of Dharma. Why? You didn’t practice. You talk well but you cannot. You cannot.
Then people who say they don’t have time for Dharma – okay. You don’t have time for Dharma – my favourite saying – you don’t have time for Dharma, you need to survive. No problem. If you have put your energy toward the Dharma, everything around the Dharma, around you will grow. Whatever you put your energy into, blessed by your Dharma protector, you will see things grow.
So if you’re not interested so much in putting Dharma, you’re interested in making money, fine. So say you’re busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, you don’t have time, you’re surviving. Okay. So that means you have to have a big car, a fancy schmancy car, you have to have a big house, you have to be able to pay your bills, you have to be able to buy whatever you want, you don’t put it on part payment. Why? If you put it on part payment, and then you say you got job, and you’re busy, then it contradicts. How can you put things on part payment, how can you not be able to afford this or buy this and you have a shitty car and your house not so good and you wear not nice things…
Because in Chinese society everything is what you wear, what you see. Don’t say “I’m simple”, it’s not you’re simple, you don’t have money what. You’re not simple, you don’t have money! I didn’t meet anybody who got money, who’s simple. Nobody. Nobody. And when I get money, I’m not gonna be simple! No way! I’m gonna show it off. “I got money, thank you! I got money!” I’m gonna wear a shirt, “I got money!”
Okay, now, so if you’re not putting energy into Dharma, you have to put energy into your worldly life, your worldly work. So you have to have a car, you have to have a house, you can afford things. The minute you say, “I cannot afford,” then what have you put your energy into? And if you’re above 30 years old and you’re still “I don’t have, I don’t have,” you complain don’t have money, don’t have, don’t have, don’t have, all the time don’t have, what do you have? You don’t have Dharma, you don’t have money. Then that means you have not been doing anything and you have just been lying to yourself. New people believe you, people who know you, bye bye.
So either you’re rich, you have nice house, nice car – because that’s what you put your energy towards – or if you’re not interested in that, you have attainments: you have compassion, you have Dharma knowledge, you can do the rituals, you can do the prayers, you can help people, you can counsel people and you’re stable and you’re firm. So you have the richness of Dharma. Or, if you’re very lucky, both (my goal – both!)
Why? If you put your energy towards something, you must have it. If you don’t have that result, you didn’t put the energy. So by clarity of sight, by clarity of logic and deduction, can see you have put no energy toward anything, everything you say is just a cover up and excuse.
So what’s my point in saying that? A blessing is when a Lama shares this with you and gives you Dharma information and tells you how to examine yourself, how to examine and help. And then when you improve, things change – that’s a blessing.
So when you leave this room in a short while, when you leave, some Dharma knowledge has gone into you, some changes in your mind; maybe some of us some guilt feelings and that’s very good. You know why? Guilt points to conscience. Guilt points to conscience, uncomfortable feeling points to conscience.
And so when we leave this room, it’s shaken our minds a little bit, it’s given us new directions and some of us fortunate ones will say, “I wanna do something, I wanna learn more, I wanna understand more.” And some very fortunate ones actually, the more they listen to Dharma, the happier and happier and happier they become. And they look forward to it, when they hear “Dharma talk,” they don’t think “torture session,” they think, “Oh, I’m so excited!”
I’m very excited, I received so many SMSes, indirectly from my liaisons telling me people were very excited. I’m very happy. I don’t feel honoured like “I’m a great teacher,” but it shows me that people’s good merits is opening up.
Example – if I may use this example and I mean it with respect, I don’t mean it as a joke – look at Mr. Ngeow. Mr. Ngeow is a very successful businessman, he has a lovely wife, he has a family, he has everything, but he’s dying for Dharma. And when there’s a Dharma talk, he’s there. You can’t contact him, he doesn’t give you his handphone (I don’t know why, maybe he works for the CIA, FBI and KGB lah! I think he works for all three, he’s a triple spy!)… so he doesn’t give you his handphone ever, you can’t get him, he gives you a cheap little lousy phone machine for his office that nobody picks up. Nobody. I don’t think he has an office. I think it’s just a table with a machine on there and it’s a pretend. “Ngeow’s business and associates.” Doesn’t pick up ever.
But if there’s a Dharma talk, Mr. Ngeow’s here. He’s a successful, good business man – I don’t know him very well, I just met him recently but from observing his “simplicity” I think he’s quite alright. He can be there counting money, he can be at the bank, you know, he could be over there playing with his chequebook, torture his wife (“You give me this, I give you that”), I don’t know, he could do all kinds of things what, but he’s here.
And he’s excited for Dharma talks. Why? I’m sure he wasn’t excited in the beginning, he was, “Oh god, my leg hurts, this is boring. Can I go get some bak kut teh? Why sit over here? Boring! Fanatical. What’s this Tibetan Lama all the time talking like this? Crazy.” But when he listens more and more and more and more, he realizes there’s truth. Why? All of us are smart and intelligent. When we’re told the truth and we understand and we transform, you know what that’s called? A blessing.
So when we come to the centre, and we make prayers and we kowtow to the Buddha – not to me – when we kowtow to the Buddha, it’s a blessing. When we show respect to our parents, it’s a blessing. When we have harmony in the family and we are honest to our husbands and are honest to our wives, it’s a blessing. Do you know why it’s a blessing? Because we have everybody in the family respect us.
And when we make statues and we make temples and we work for the Dharma, it is the highest charity. I’ll tell you why it’s the highest charity. Because it brings relief and happiness to people’s minds. Please let me reiterate again. A person can be poor or rich, have a lot of food or no food but if their mind is happy, they suffer less. A person can have a lot of food, a lot of money, and a lot of clothes and a big house but their mind can suffer tremendously.
What makes you suffer is your mind and your perspective. What makes you suffer is how you take things and how you look at things. Listening to Dharma gives you wisdom. Listening to Dharma gives you understanding. So that’s why when we have holy items from Lamas, we have holy stupas – you know we’ve lucky if we have a yard in our house, imagine if we can build a stupa. Because Tibetan tradition – Tibetan, Thailand, everywhere – has a tradition of building stupas. Stupas can be six feet, 10 feet, 12 feet, 13 feet on our house, and we can put thousands and thousands of Buddha tsatsas inside and Buddha scriptures inside and we encase it and bless it. And when we do something like that, even the birds and the environment and our house gets blessed.
So if we can’t build, if we build at the centre, we build a temple, whatever.. that’s why in the future I very much want to get land for our centre. I’m not gonna pass it down to my kids, I don’t have nothing. It’s not for me, it’s for the Malaysians here. That’s why I wanna get land. I wanna build a retreat centre where we can build beautiful stupas.
My dream is to build a very big Dzambala statue, a very big one. I would love to build a very big Dzambala statue outdoors on our retreat centre. You know for what? I would like to dedicate that to Malaysian government and Malaysian ministers. Not one person in particular because I’ve been very lucky to live here and I’m having a very good life and I’m very blessed. So I’d like to dedicate that to the Malaysian government’s growth, health and happiness and harmony and the land and no earthquakes, no more tsunamis… Well, anyway Penang’s not a part of Malaysia, some weird island, we ignore that lah….
I would love to make a big statue, a huge one of Lord Dzambala and put a lot of wealth vases. You guys know what wealth vases [are] right? You don’t know, get the CD and listen! I wanna put a lot of wealth vases and dedicate for Malaysians, for the beautiful Malay people here, for the beautiful Indian, beautiful Chinese, beautiful wonderful and beautiful whatever and beautiful foreign, gwai lo’s living here, all, everybody.
I know I’m a foreign devil! And yes, I wanna make a big Dzambala and dedicate it to everybody here. And that will stabilize the country. Why? We need to bless the whole place. Why not? Beautiful! We have a beautiful temple up there, beautiful retreat, beautiful place where we can meditate. And I wanna have cells where people can go up there to do one-week, two-week meditation retreats in the forest, away. Hopefully, it’s cool. I hope I can get somewhere up in the mountains, you know. Cooling. Then you know why? I tell you why – save on air con! No need air con and no need pay for electricity. Natural air con. Don’t get me some land around here lah, Gombak or something so hot, aiyo…
So yah I want a land somewhere up in the mountain with green trees. Why do I want trees? Because we’re becoming like Singapore – all we see is concrete, everywhere, not so high but got concrete what. You wanna meditate in this kind of building, no windows, locked in? Look no windows! You’re like, “What kinda retreat? Jail!” I want up in the mountains where we can see the trees so in between retreats we can go walk in the forest. We can walk around the Dzambala garden, a Tara garden – imagine that. Walk around the forest – beautiful. Malaysia! We don’t like that anything here – yet.
And we have beautiful Buddhas outside, trees and animals and then we have a beautiful temple where we can give Dharma teachings and on special retreats we can go up there and do retreats for a weekend, we can stay up there, we have our own dormitories. Isn’t that nice? With toilets inside the room, thank you. No, no, don’t worry. They think, “Oh no, we gotta collect leaves and poop outside.” No.
Rinpoche don’t do leaves and poop outside anymore. He did that in India for years. Can you imagine running around India pooping in the forest, with leaves? Ohh! Sometimes you cannot find leaves, sometimes a leaf pokes through. Ahyooo! I went through too much. Sometimes no leaves, you have to find bark, tree bark. Sometimes no bark, rock! Sometimes no rock, you just shake it!
Cannot, Malaysians cannot. Cannot tahan. We’re gonna have nice retreat centre with nice rooms and nice toilets, everything wonderful and fabulous there so that people can come and do retreats. Yes. I would love that. That would be wonderful…
So what’s my point? Yes, we need to expand, we need to make it grow. And everybody needs to help, everybody needs to give. This is the highest charity. The highest charity is not helping me, the highest charity is helping Dharma to grow. Helping Dharma to grow, you bring relief to others.
And this is the kind of Dharma I like to teach. I have read the scriptures extensively and I bring you the type of Dharma in your language, in your thinking, in your example so it can grow faster in your minds. And I don’t encourage you to take refuge, I don’t encourage you to convert, I don’t encourage you to run round being Buddhist. I encourage to be good citizens of Malaysia, and to keep your culture and to keep who you are. But come and listen to my Dharma talk because I’ll show you how, by Lord Buddha’s principles.
You don’t have to run around saying, “I’m a Buddha” or “I’m a Buddhist.” What for? If you’re a Buddhist and you run around, you’re mean, you’re not nice, you’re bitchy, you greedy, you drink all day, you run around with 500 women, you say you’re Buddhist – no thank you! Rinpoche’s already doing that, so why I need you to help me?! Don’t need lah.
I’m already bitchy, difficulty, and temperamental… when people ask me am I Buddhist. I say, “No, I’m not Buddhist, I’m atheist.” I don’t wanna embarrass Buddha. Every time I go in public, I see Buddha going….
Yes, so a blessing is when in your previous life, you’ve done something and an environmental cause helps you to open that up and when that opens up, something in you changes and you go towards the right direction. And when you go towards the right direction, you create harmony in your life, in yourself, in your family, in your precious wife and husband.
Remember our wife and husband are the ones that’s gonna be with us til we die, they’re the most important person we need to make happy. Our wife and our husband are the most important people we need to make happy and to treasure and to love. And sometimes, with time, we get bored; sometimes with time, we can’ hug our husbands anymore because they eat, they’re “prosperous;” sometimes we grow apart, sometimes we argue, sometimes we become distant and we don’t have harmony – we can’t have that because it affects the kids. And the kids affect other people and affect other kids and they’ll live like that for many years.
So what am I trying to say? Is Dharma will help us. If you don’t meet Dharma, you won’t be bad people, but Dharma gives you a higher perspective. A blessing is when you hear something positive and it changes your mind and it leads it to the right direction. That is a blessing.
A blessing is not simply getting 4D or finding a relationship. No. A blessing is when you change your mind to a higher purpose, higher goal. Example, when we’re very impatient, we want this this way, this way, this way, this way, this way, me, me, me, me, me, me, me and we don’t care how other people feels, and after a Dharma talk, we calm down.
Maybe next time we have an argument with our wife or husband, we let them win. Maybe we don’t even have an argument. Maybe we become closer. Maybe people we have hurt…
That is what Dharma’s about. That is what Dharma is all about. And the more we listen to Dharma, the better people we become. Do you know why? Because we are good people and we just need a little bit of direction. We are good people. If you’re not good people, you will not be here. I’m not giving a lecture how to be rich, or become slim or “Ten steps to becoming fabulous”. No. I’m becoming one step to become happy – transform your mind.
This talk has been focused on blessings. I will give many, many talks in the future. I will give many talks and I won’t get into big philosophical debates and large philosophical texts and all this to you and perhaps lose you, lose your mind, you’ll fall asleep. I will give it to you just like this. Why? It’s in advice form from a person who is not perfect but who has studied a little bit more than you and who can speak your language and I know your culture, I’ve been here for 12 years, (very lucky to be here for 12 years), so I know your culture a little bit more than when I first came. I don’t know it perfectly, it’s a very big culture, very rich. I cannot be perfect in it but I know more than when I first came.
So I’ve become like a Malaysian kind of Rinpoche. Maybe I can “forge” myself and say, “The first reincarnation in Malaysia!” If it gets me ang pow, why not lah. Yes. And I’m the only reincarnation in Malaysia. For some reason, I have some affinity here. And I wanna make the Dharma grow. I wanna make what I’m explaining to people grow, in [with?] respect to the law.
And why not? If we can make families closer, more harmony, people happier, children respect their parents and good citizens, why not? We’re not a government group, we’re a group that teaches kindness, compassion. That’s what a blessing is.
So when a Lama has he or his assistants come around and put something on your head, inside contains many holy objects from very high monks, high Lamas – so usually at the end of the Dharma talk, if you’ve been lucky to hear the Dharma talk and you’ve stayed, you’ll receive a blessing.
Sometimes after you receive the blessing – listen carefully – something bad will happen to you. And you think, “But, but I was blessed!” No. It is to avoid something bigger and worse to happen to you. Sometimes after a blessing, our mind becomes clear. Sometimes after a blessing, our heart becomes more open. Sometimes after a blessing, we understand things more and harmony comes. A blessing is to make you become better.
So at every Dharma talk, this contains the holy ashes of my Guru, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, one of the most elite Gurus. It contains the hair of His Eminence, Khensur Rinpoche, it contains the robes of His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche, Pabongkha Rinpoche and the bones of Pabongkha Rinpocheit it also contains the robes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It contains chakras made by Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s own hands and mantras written by him. It contains many, many holy objects. Many holy items.
So when this holy stupa is placed upon your head, then with reverence… you’re not doing this to the person [but] to the stupa and the holy beings contained inside to get a blessing. Everybody needs a blessing.
This is the Buddha of Wisdom, merit, long life and health – this is the Goddess Tara in her supreme White form. So this one also contains many, many holy relics. Cos I was told in my previous lives I used to pray to Tara a lot, by many, many people. So I’ve decided to have her around for people. So when the beautiful Goddess Sitachakra Tara Devi (We say in Sanskrit Sitachakra Tara Devi, the wish-fulfilling wheel of merit, life and wisdom), this beautiful female Buddha is placed upon your head (again it’s a blessing, I’ll do it all the time at the end of teachings), so that what I’ve taught, goes in and stays and obstacles are cleared for you.
And when these are placed on your head, you should recite the mantra – either Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra or Tara’s mantra. If you know Lama Tsongkhapa’s, fabulous. If you don’t, Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha, it’s very blessed. Very, very blessed.
And if we have our own Gurus, if we’re very fortunate to have our own Guru that cares and loves us and we have a samaya, then we receive their hair, we receive their holy items and we also put in a stupa and place it on our altar and make offerings. It blesses the whole family, very, very much.
Questions and answers
Q: You were saying that just having a stupa or a Buddha statue blesses even the birds and the animals around the area. So I take it that it would bless people who are averse to religion…
A: Oh yes!
Q: How does it do that? Just by seeing it?
A: Oh! You have not been listening to our products class, have you? How does it bless people who are averse to holy objects? You see, whether a person likes Vitamin C or doesn’t like Vitamin C, if our mother forces us to take Vitamin C, doesn’t it have benefit? It does.
So like that a Buddha image itself does not depend on our belief for it to have power and to bless us. It itself has power because it is a Buddha; it itself exists on its own merits and exists on its own power so whether we’re adverse, we’re neutral or we like or we don’t like, it blesses us because the energy of a Buddha is to bless, is to benefit, is to eliminate problems and difficulties.
So by the power of the virtue of the object alone, it will bless us. If that is coupled along with faith and understanding its nature and understanding its function, then the blessing will be much, much more. Why? Let me explain. Because if we know its nature and we know how to propitiate its blessing, the blessings will be instant – that means at that moment something can happen to us.
Whereas a person who is adverse or doesn’t know about the blessings or doesn’t understand, the blessings are planted in their mind to resurface or open up or germinate at a future time. So a person who sees it adverse, is adverse or doesn’t understand, the seeds are planted and it will open at the future.
A person who knows will immediately, immediately receive the blessings. Example, someone who’s very angry, someone who’s very, very angry and they’re very faithful to the Buddha. The minute you mention or you show them a Buddha statue and say, “Don’t. Don’t act like that. Remember what the Buddha has taught us,” immediately their anger calms down. They have the immediate benefit. Whereas the people who don’t know nothing about the Buddha, they say, “Oh, what’s that? Who cares?”
So in that way, it has immediate and long-term benefit. For people who have faith and who understand the blessings of a Buddha image, it has long-term benefit and immediate and short-term benefit.
So to have a large Buddha image – for example in our house – is very, very holy and very blessed and it blesses our family, it blesses our neighbourhood, our environment, it blesses our partners, it blesses our children, it blesses our parents, it blesses our future generations. Why? Whether we believe or we like or not, it itself has power.
So its blessing is based upon its own power, its own nature that’s not dependent on us. Comprende?
Q: How does it bless you? Is it on some kind of energy level?
A: Oh, that’s what I just said. It plants seeds in your mind.
Q: But how?? Like just you see it and it’s planted in?
A: Okay, yesterday you learned a lot of things in school, how to write, right? Where is it planted? How? Where is it? How?
Q: Because somebody sat down and told me how to do it. But if you’re just looking at it or you’re an ant and you don’t understand…
A: Okay, when you look at a very successful, wealthy writer and author, how does that person affect you? You know their background and that’s what you wanna be – you wanna be a successful writer, you wanna be famous, you want people to kowtow to you, you want money and when you see someone who has reached that level and you go and listen to them, how does that affect you?
Q: You’re inspired.
A: How? Where?
Q: But if you’re an ant and you don’t know anything…
A: Let’s not talk about the ant. All beings have consciousness and that consciousness is at that moment subjugated or under the influence of their current karmic body. So they’re under a certain karmic body and they cannot function or manifest the blessings. They will be able to at a future life. Example, if you being such an educated young lady, who knows how to write but I stick you in a cheap hotel, no electricity, no computer and a little crappy typewriter and no paper and you gotta type on toilet paper, how? It’s not you at fault, it’s the facilities you have.
Similarly, sometimes if you take reincarnation as an ant and you even go around the stupa, you will be blessed. Meaning what? The power of the enlightened body, speech and mind of the Buddha will be implanted in your consciousness for a future time to manifest.
Example, I read in the sutras, that during the time of the previous Buddha Shukrachandra, there was a stupa. On that stupa was a pathway where people have been circumambulating. There was many leaves that had fallen. On one leaf was an ant. It rained. It lifted up the leaf and the leaf circumambulated by the power of the wind around that stupa. By circumambulating around that stupa, that ant planted very small seeds that in his next life, in his next life, in his next life for the next few eons, he did not receive any Dharma at all – nothing.
But during the time of Buddha Shakyamuni he was reborn. He received teachings from Buddha and he became an arhat. Why? How small a seed is, it can grow. When you plant an apple tree that provides apples for years, in the beginning it was just a small seed. It needs to germinate and it needs to grow by cultivation.
So like that, even an ant can receive benefit from a stupa in your yard. Why? It is not by the power of the ant. It is by the power of the stupa. Similarly, skin cancer can be obtained if you lay out in the sun a lot right? Whether you know about it or not, if you lay out there, is there a chance you’ll get it? But you didn’t know. How will you get it if you didn’t know? Because the object itself can create that problem in you, which is the sun and UV lights.
So like that, when you implant seeds in an ant, definitely it plant seeds. Definitely it benefits them but the benefit will not be immediate and it will take a long time to manifest. That is why we don’t want to practice the Dharma when we become an ant. We want to practice Dharma now while we have a good body, with the opportunities and endowments of life. Okay? Does that answer your question? Are you sure?
By the way you look great! She does, she looks great!
Q: I have another question though. It’s about dedicating our merits as a kind of blessing to our family or to people we love. How does that work? If they’ve got really bad karma, they’re gonna be reborn in a place that they have to live out that karma anyway so how does it work if we say we dedicate our merits to help them have a better rebirth?
A: Very good question. On two levels again: immediate and long-term. When we dedicate our merits for someone else, if we are new and we’ve just started our dedication of merits doesn’t have much power. But when we dedicate our merits for other people, we are in fact progressing in our spiritual practice where we destroy the self-grasping mind.
Why? When we do something good, we always wanna say, “I want the benefit, I want the name, I want the face, I want the luck, I want the merits, I want every thing good for me. Me, me, me, me, me. Give it to me, give it to my children, give it to my family. Me!” So when we think like that, actually whatever we have done minimizes the dedication and blessings. Why? Blessings increase the mind that cherishes others. It doesn’t increase. So when we do anything that increases the self-cherishing mind, the blessing is minimized. Why? That’s not the way a blessing works.
So what happens is when we do something good – example, we do some meditations or offerings or candle to the Buddha – and we dedicate it for others and it’s really from our heart, actually others don’t get it, they don’t get it. We actually get it… but we can’t be sneaky and say, “Well, we dedicate it for others and we know we get it.” Why? The more you think about others, the less you think about yourself, this process of transforming your mind for others to oneself is called tonglen or exchange of others for oneself.
When you exchange others for oneself, when you exchange – then you purify your karma. You don’t collect further negative karma. Why? You’re reconditioning your mind to think about others and not yourself.
So therefore when you dedicate the merits to others, you in fact, increase the merits to come back to yourself. It becomes much more powerful and more immediate and it progresses your spiritual practice to become a Bodhisattva. Why? Because a Bodhisattva has beauty, immortality, control, no suffering, happiness – everything they have. Why? Because they have purified the negative karma not to receive it.
How did they do that? By eliminating the self-cherishing mind. How did they do that? By thinking about others. So when we dedicate our merits for others, we are progressing and pushing our spiritual practice greater. What Buddha do you know is selfish? What Buddha do you know is not compassionate and not forgiving? What Buddha do you know doesn’t have wisdom?
Well, how do you do think the Buddhas obtain wisdom, compassion and power? How? By practicing, by starting like us. One day at a time, one level at a time. How can red produce green? Red must produce red. How can evil self-grasping mind that is selfish produce loving, open, accepting mind? Impossible.
So therefore Buddhas have compassion and power and skill. They have that. They have that because they have created that cause. So when we create that cause, we become a Buddha because we are going toward the direction of reaching that state of mind.
So therefore when we dedicate towards certain people and we dedicate towards others, actually they don’t receive much – it’s true – because if they can receive much then our parents don’t have to do anything, we do everything for them, they can become a Buddha. But at the same time, because we have some kind of karmic affinity with them, we’re connected for them, when we do prayers, we can affect something.
Example if your mother is supposed to have an accident (sorry) and you’ve been praying to Tara and you’ve been dedicating your merits to Tara for your mother to live long and everything will be wonderful (because we have to do that) and on that day your mother asks you, “Well, we’re gonna go here, we’re gonna do this” but by the blessing of Tara, you lose your keys and you can’t go. And your mother’s screaming away at you and jumping up and down and hellfire, but she doesn’t have an accident. You have prolonged her life, you have helped your mother, you have served your mother.
So when you dedicate something towards your mother and father, it helps them immediately and ultimately. Why? You will have more ability to help them. Let’s put it this way. If you knew Dharma much, much more than you know now, you’ll be able to benefit your parents much more than you can now.
The more you study the Dharma, the more you practice the Dharma, the more you understand the Dharma, the more power, wisdom and knowledge you will have to transform, change and educate the people around you. Very simple.
So when we dedicate towards our parents, we also create a karmic affinity that in this life we will be able to offer the Dharma to our parents with respect. Or if not in this life, in the future we will meet them again and offer them the Dharma.
That’s why in Buddhist dedication, we say may we benefit all mother sentient beings because all beings have been our mother and been very kind to us. So it’s our hope that in the future we will meet them again and teach them the Dharma.
Why? Just giving our mother food and clothes is very nice but it’s not enough to relieve them from suffering. And what about our mother’s next life? And her next life? And her next life? Don’t we love her? But you say, “But my mother was a very good woman in this life.” Yes, she was, but will she have the same situation in her next, and next? And how about her previous life, what she has done? We don’t know. (And that’s with respect).
So when we do practices well and we really love our mother, if we love our mother and we’re not using our mother, we will do Dharma practice. And when we do Dharma practice and we dedicate it towards them, we create a karmic affinity to be able to offer the Dharma to them in the future, to dispel their ignorance and we will be able to avert different disasters that might harm them coming from our side.
And when we dedicate towards them, there is the power to bless them by the power of the Buddha because we bring the attention of the Buddha to them and we’re putting energy there. And in the future life, we will meet them again and again in positive circumstances to serve them and to help them.
And therefore in this life and future lives, may I meet all mother sentient beings and expound the Dharma to them and help them. And Buddha showed us an example that after he became enlightened, when his mother Maya Devi passed away, he ascended Tushita heaven to give her teachings. And the day of his descent is a very, very joyous day. We call it Lha Bub Duchen in Tibetan. It’s a day where Lord Buddha descended from Tushita from teaching his mother the Dharma, to repay her kindness.
So we can benefit our parents directly and indirectly. And if we make statues to our parents, if we make huge statues and dedicate it to our parents, and we make prayers every single day, what we’re doing is we’re creating the affinity that they will receive the Dharma somehow via or in connection with us in the future. Definitely. Because what we you pray for is what you get. You understand that? Any questions?
Q: I would like to know… I only come to know lately that any statue, Buddha statue, you all stuff mantras and gold and jewellery inside. Whereas, former days, they have statue which is fully made of stone or whatever, and they don’t put all those stuff. What’s the difference? Why [do] they need to put that? You mean those that they don’t have the mantras and all that is not powerful? They cannot protect? What’s the difference? Why they have to do that?
A: Okay, good question. There is no difference from the side of the viewer. From the side of the viewer, from the side of the person going to make offerings to the Buddhas, there is no difference at all – a Buddha is a Buddha. But we are in a situation where we are stuck in samsara and we need to leave samsara. And to leave suffering or to leave samsara – leave doesn’t mean physical leave, it means that samsara doesn’t affect us anymore – for that to happen we need to go through a process of purifying the negative karma and its imprints in our previous lives and we need to collect merit and plant imprints for now and for our future lives.
So when we have a statue and it’s hollow, it’s not more holy than a statue that is solid and not hollow. It is much more beneficial. Why? Because if you put many statues, example in Lama Tsongkhapa statue, we will be putting many sutras, many prayers, many small images, even we can microfiche. In Tibet we don’t have that but we can microfiche small images of Lama Tsongkhapa – 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, 50,000, 100,000 and we can put it inside. When we prostrate to that image of Lama Tsongkhapa it will be equivalent to prostrating to 100,000 Lama Tsongkhapas.
So when we don’t have anything inside, it’s solid, it’s just as blessed, it’s just as wonderful. But it will be more towards our [Malaysian shopper’s] delight if by having one statue, when we pray or we prostrate, it will be equivalent to offering 100,000 prostrations. So what is that? It’s a “Buy one, get 100,000 dollar free” scheme for you Malaysians.
And if inside you put wealth vases, precious wealth vases (wealth vases stabilize wealth, increase wealth), if you put wealth vases inside and the rituals are done, you put certain mantras inside – example, listen to me carefully, if you live in a house that has a lot of disharmony, fighting (with respect), you can put special types of prayers and sutras inside and images that harmonises the place. Why? Those sutras have the power to neutralize disharmony.
If you live in an area where you actually have four family members but there’s 10 “things” living in your house, and they’re always touching you, tickling you, pushing you, waking you up, and you always see them running around the house and it’s not Mommy, Daddy or your brothers and sisters, it’s something else living there… so if you’re living in a place that has spirits and that’s very violent or not clean, then instead of putting [for] disharmony, you can put other sutras inside that has to do with dispelling or blessing or purifying the environment. So when you put that inside your Lama Tsongkhapa and you bring it to your house, it dispels that energy. Why? You may look at it like a piece of paper, but when those “things,” your extended family members see them, they will run, they will be scared.
So the difference between a hollow statue and a full statue is not how holy or how effective. It’s that you can collect more merits. So if you have a solid statue of Lama Tsongkhapa, it’s fine! For me, I’d rather have it solid because I’m lazy. But for smart people, they rather have it hollow so they can put a lot of mantras in. If they go shopping at KMT, Kechara Mystical Treasures or Dzambala Mystical Treasures, Kechara Paradise or you can go on our online store kechara.com and you can order all these wonderful things to put inside your statues and dedicate.
Or “I dedicate this to my grandfather, I dedicate this to my grandmother, I dedicate this to my mother, I dedicate this to my teacher.” Maybe you have a lot of people you wanna dedicate to so you can get one each and put it inside and it has benefit. Why? You’re dedicating a holy image to someone who has been very kind to you.
So has not more benefit on the side of blessing but on the side of collecting merits. And an image is not holy or unholy if it has something inside or not. It’s more collecting merits. You understand that Madam? Okay, good. Isn’t this nice? This interaction.
Q: I would like to know… why is it the holy Lama malas that is so powerful, you know, instead of giving it free as a blessing to whoever needs it, why do they demand such a high price to be bought?
A: Oh that’s a very good question. Because places like Malaysia are not geared toward the support of Buddhism and its growth. Buddhism here does not collect money. Buddhist doesn’t require 15% from your salary. Buddhism doesn’t demand you to give money. Buddhism is on the basis of begging and Buddha started that.
And so, many people, when you beg, they give very little. How do you sustain such a place? How do you make the place comfortable? How do you give? Because we’re not a culture of giving and supporting Dharma.
Whereas if you go to a place like Taiwan, wow! You just name Dharma, you say Buddha, you say monk, they immediately give. Even the poorest give. If you go to Tibet, the minute you mention Lama, they see saffron robes, they give immediately. Cos here, there’s not a culture of that to support yet. So therefore, it’s much harder for Buddhist institutions here to gain support, to gain money, to gain donations, to gain help because you have to deal with sponsors, you have to deal with people, you have to deal with their lives and their funding, how much they have – it’s a lot of effort to raise funds. A lot. And some more, very few people will give and not want something back. Very few will just give.
So what happens is Buddhist organizations around here have been forced into a position – in order to survive, literally – to donate and auction off high Lamas’ things to support. And that’s a shame. It’s a shame for the public, it’s a shame for the people who claim they want Dharma, it’s a shame for people who walk into a Dharma centre and do nothing to help it and to make it grow, they just walk in and sit down and say, “I want the Dharma and I’m holy and I chant. Because they’ve done nothing to help it, they do nothing to help it.
So when they do nothing to help it and they come in, they demand all the rights of people who’ve done so much work, how will it survive? So in order for Buddhism to survive, it has to reach that level where in a country where they’re not so sure on how to make it survive, things like that are done. And it’s not good for the public, it’s not good for image, it’s not good for anyone – that’s correct. But what other ways will it survive?
In Tibet, sponsors and patrons will come and just donate. India, Tibet, Nepal, China, Taiwan – you know like… they just come and they give land. They don’t demand the Lama to give this, they don’t demand a blessing, they don’t want this or want that, they don’t want…. They know the benefits of Dharma, they know it helps, so they don’t demand. They don’t even demand to see the Lama. They just say, “I will donate” Because they know it’s good. “I donate in the name of my beautiful mother. I donate in the name of my beautiful son.” Whatever. They just donate and they give.
And when they give, the Buddhist organizations can grow because it’s easier. How do you expect Dharma to grow with no money? It cannot. So the only thing they have is the precious items from the Lamas. So in these countries such as Taiwan and Tibet and China and all these places where actually sponsors give precious items like money to help the Dharma grow, the Lamas and the people remember their kindness and they ask the Lamas to give something holy to them, to bless them.
Here, it doesn’t happen like that. It doesn’t happen. Even in here we have tables for our Tsok people to use. Even that when we ask them to pay RM50 a month, please to add to our temple, they say no. They say, “We can’t afford, we don’t want.” Even 50 dollar a month, cannot. Even 25 dollars a month cannot. They make it very difficult for the temple to survive.
So, no choice. In order to pay the bills, in order to sustain until sponsorship does come (but eventually sponsorship will come if you do well and correct) then you have to donate and auction off these holy items which, sad to say, should not be. It’s not bad karma but it reflects the public. Alright?
So they’re very high prices. Do you know why? Another reason is some Lamas have kept their malas for 10 years and they used it every single day. Imagine just getting one piece. It’s worth much more than 5000 dollars.
I know one Lama, he has recently passed away. His name is Jordenla Gen Nyima Rinpoche. He did his studies in Gaden monastery – listen carefully, it’s very beautiful. He did his studies in Gaden monastery and just before he graduated and finished, he ran away. He split and disappeared to Bhutan. We never heard from him again.
Do you know that he went to the darkest and deepest forest of Bhutan, away from the capital of Thimphu. He engaged in meditation. Do you know his hut is a size of a bed. So it’s about this size of my throne and the table, slightly longer where he can just lay down, there’s some space in between. He has a picture of the Dalai Lama and Lama Tsongkhapa there, a thangka. Just one thangka, a painting of Lama Tsongkhapa. And he has a bed and he has meditation and his texts. That’s it!
And he has to walk to the river everyday to get water to meditate, to cook up his things with fire. And he stayed there in the forest. Do you know that he was in the forest for 15 years meditating, this great Tibetan Lama. What happened was some villagers of Bhutan happened upon him by accident and they had some problems and difficulties and they asked Gen Nyima Rinpoche to bless them. Do you know when Gen Nyima Rinpoche blessed them…He has a pipe, a long pipe because he’s not allowed to touch women. He blew on the person, the person’s disease healed.
His fame grew. You know what happened? More villagers came and that’s not what he wanted. In fact, he wanted to stay away to complete his meditation. In fact, he became so famous that the Queen of Bhutan and the Princess of Bhutan built a road from the capital of Thimphu all the way into the forest (which did not make him happy!) and then hundreds of visitors every day.
And then he collected all these donations and money which he doesn’t care, and every time someone was going down to India, he would take all this money and ask them to donate to the Dalai Lama. He says, “I’m a monk, I don’t need cos I’m not gonna build a temple.” So all this money was sent to the Dalai Lama and sent down to Gaden Monastery. He also sent a lot of money down to Gaden Monastery from his donations, a lot.
And so, the Dalai Lama himself sent instructions for him to go back to Gaden monastery. So he says, “There are people who have shown the power of meditation. You go down there and show them, inspire.” So he went down to Gaden monastery and he built a house behind me…. well his students built a house behind me, right behind. You see where that pillar is? From that pillar to where I am, is the distance of his house.
And I became very close with him because I used to joke and play with him and go there and you know, and wreak havoc. I would say all kinds of things and tease him to death. He would love it, he thought it was funny. You have to understand: busloads of people came every single day from all over (even local Indian people) to receive his blessings.
I saw with my own eyes. People would be carried in paralysed to his shack and carried out, carried in for a few weeks and then after a few weeks of him blessing them, blowing his mantra on them, they will walk out – I saw it. Not once, not twice, many times.
I saw one time, the Indian villagers there – they’re very beautiful people there – came out and requested him to please make the rains fall because the rains were out of season and the crops will die. You have to understand, over there it’s crops you know. It is crops. You don’t have crops, you starve! Literally!
They assist him outside. He has a pipe. He did his mantra, he blew it in the air (I saw. I was in the window looking). He blew in the air, within a half hour, it rained. I saw. And not once, not twice – many times. So if anybody tells me the power of mantra or the power doesn’t work, I will never believe you. Never. Because I lived in the holy Gaden Monastery, which I will be visiting very soon and I’ll invite all of you to join me.
I’ll invite you. The ones who are lucky, who have luck, who are fortunate and who love your parents and who love your children, who want to create merit for your lineage, you come with me and make offerings there with me, to the holy sangha – 3000 monks. Those of you who are too busy, itchy backside, don’t have time, no problem. When I sit on the left-hand side of Buddha, I’ll be waving at you *kiss* So it’s gonna be a difficult journey, not hard. But if you’re smart, nothing comes without difficulty.
So what happens is this: is that this holy Lama has a mala, he’s been using for 15 years. He has used it so much, that there’s an imprint in his finger, indented in of his mala. His name is Gen Nyima Rinpoche. His divination is clairvoyance – he tells you upon sight. He’s done it to me many, many times. Many times. I was shocked.
And his main practice is Lama Tsongkhapa – he told me – and Yamantaka. He told me directly. I said, “Excuse me…” (cos I wanted to learn the secret) “What mantra do you do to stop the weather?” I thought he wouldn’t tell me because it’s a secreto. He said to me, “Yamantaka.” I was like, “But I do Yamantaka, why can’t I do that?!” I was outside, when everybody went to sleep, I was like “Pfffff!Pfffff!Pfffff!” No rain! Nothing! I did it in the dark, so I don’t lose face… I blew all over the place, nothing came down.
And this high Lama can stop the rain too. I’ve seen it. And do you know, he’s an old gentle monk… I’ve seen people… cos he used to tell me to sit around with him and joke with him, he likes me. I’m his court jester lah. I used to sit there and make all kinds of jokes and tell him stories for hours. If nobody’s there, he’d say, “Stay here, stay here,” he’d laugh and laugh. And his attendants tell me, “You’re funny huh? He usually doesn’t like people to gossip and play with him, he’s very serious. But he likes you.” I was like. “Of course he likes me!” I was his court jester.
In any case, I saw a lady possessed, screaming and jumping – I saw, I was sitting there. I didn’t want it to touch me cos I didn’t want whatever was inside to jump in me. Then how? I lose face – Rinpoche got possession! Do you know Gen Nyima shouted at that thing and said, “Who are you? You go away” and he blew his mantra on it, the lady collapsed. No more. I saw. Many times. I know the power of Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra.
So he was doing that mala 15 years. 15 years in the forest, that’s all he had. Do you know, in the Tibetan tradition a Lama has no attachments. If you have a purpose for the mala, you can ask for it. If you don’t have a purpose, you’re just greedy, don’t ask! So what I did was, I thought I can use this mala to give to people in the future. This is what I thought. I thought in the future, I’ll build temples and centres and I need to give it to special sponsors so I better have it for because nobody’s gonna want my mala I was thinking.
So I went up to him. The tradition is you make one mala exactly the same as his, new, and you ask for his old one. So I went there with a khata and I made sure the attendants were gone (and they were). And I said, “Gen Nyima Rinpoche, may I have your mala?” He says, “This?” I said, “Yeah.” He says, “Here.”
I said, “Here, I offer you a new one…” I grabbed it. I put it in a khata, I grabbed it, I left, I ran. I’m not kidding – I ran, I put it in a safe and I have it with me now. And then I gave him a new one and let him use it for another year. I grabbed that one too. Yah. I have it. Do you know why? People there can bless these things and they can bless themselves. People here like us can’t have these things. We don’t have the power to bless so much. So if it helps people here…
And if people are gonna give you, you know, so much money and they’re gonna help you grow, they’re very kind. They’re very generous. What do I have to offer back as a monk? My Dharma talk and blessings of holy Lamas. What do I have to give? I have nothing. I have nothing of value. So I collected these things to give away. I have the cloth of the Dalai Lama that I can cut to give people and Khensur Rinpoche did a three year, three month, three day retreat of Lord Yamantaka. He did 100 million mantras on his mala. 100 million. I went up there, I gave him a new mala and I grabbed his! I didn’t even ask him if I can have it. I said, “Here! I got you a new mala. You don’t want that one.” He’s like “blubluahblubluah,” I grabbed it!
I’ve got that one… and that mala is falling apart because he used it so much it’s like grainy. So what I did is, it’s so precious to me, I took one bead and I crushed it and I distributed to different people to put inside their stupa and I marked it. And on top of that, when Khensur Rinpoche cut his holy hair (he’s been a monk for 60 years), I grabbed his hair.
Oh yes, I have these things. I have very precious things to offer people in the future. But who should I offer it to? I’m so sorry – with no offense –people who just waltz in? And don’t wanna put any effort, don’t want to help, don’t want to put anything for anybody, they just think of themselves – me, me, me, me, me – I will give them things, I will give them whatever I have. But these beads are limited.
So people who work so hard – blood, sweat and tears – and they donate or they help (not even just money; time and energy), I will pass it on to those people. And I’ve left a few to the outlets. Not a lot, you can ask those outlet people. 5 or 10 pieces, I don’t remember what, that they’re allowed to sell to raise funds to support the outlets… because our outlets do not make money and they have to pay their bills. They’re very hard to pay those bills.
And I’ve opened those outlets in order to spread the Dharma to people, to spread the knowledge of Dharma. So those outlets make very little money. You know, if we buy a statue for 10 dollars and we sell it for 15, you think we can buy another statue with that? No. We make one third or half what it is and we can’t buy. So when we run out statues and we get the profit, what are we gonna put in there? What? People don’t understand the practical side. They just walk in, they say, “Oh the centre’s beautiful, wonderful. Why do you want donations? Why do you want money? Why?”
So when I get those statues from India, Nepal, I go there myself. I pick it out myself – it’s a lot of hard work – because I want people to have quality. So when those statues cost six dollars and we sell it at… we definitely cannot sell it 100% and then you sell it seven or eight dollars, people still want discount. (It’s a Buddha statue, don’t ask for discount – you’re degrading it). And on top of that, when you sell it and you make three dollars, what do you do with the three dollars? What do you do? You pay your rental and how do you buy your next statue?
So no choice, have to auction off these holy items in order to support and sustain until a very virtuous, kind and generous person comes and says, “I like your work and I will donate to help you. You do not need to struggle. You do not need to beg. You do not need to auction off your things. You do not need to degrade yourself. I will support you.”
Every single Lama, every single monk, every single teacher in the world have sponsors. The more sponsors they have, the more the lama can do. If you go to Taiwan, you see sponsors that those great monks have? Huge and they can do huge works. What is the monk gonna do with the money? What is the monk gonna do with the sponsorship except to promote the Dharma in one way or another. And also give to his flock, to take care of the people in his group that cannot take care of themselves for whatever reasons.
So it’s become like that, yes, unfortunately. So from Khensur Rinpoche I have holy beads, two sets. From His Eminence, Gen Nyima Rinpoche, I have two sets. And I know it’s a little silly, I’ve done many retreats for the last 10 years before I came to Malaysia. Many I was put into. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands, millions. And I have my mala that is worn down and used, it’s dark and light on the inside from you, and I offer that up for auction also.
Why? Let me tell you why: to raise funds to build a retreat centre, to raise funds to pay off the bills, to raise funds to hope for sponsors to come in so that in the future, it can sustain itself. That is why.
So if they’re high prices, I want to expand. I want to expand. And anything that I have – a nice car, a nice house – anything that I have, it is donated and offered to me by generous and kind people who want me to represent Dharma well, who want me to look correctly for the Dharma. If I’m supposed to be a high Lama, I have to look the part. Whether I’m interested or not, I have to look the part. I have to look representative. So I have no choice.
So we do these things not because we like to – or I like to – oh no. You see, I give away more statues than I sell. Sometimes I get, 40, 50,000 dollars donation from someone, sometimes and I buy it all in statues, I give it away. People who know me here for over 10 years, they’ve seen me give away statues many, many, many times. Many times. I give away statues and thangkas and gifts. I give away things that you would never imagine. I give 2 to 300,000 dollars worth of things away as gifts to people, a year. Where does that come from? That comes from generous people who give me angpows and say, “We like your work – help people.” That’s how much I give away, all the time. The more I have, the more I’ll give because what I have is enough. What I have is more than enough.
So if you want to make Dharma grow, you help. If you see us selling beads and all that, it is raising funds to make the Dharma grow. And I say that to you with respect.
So I have very precious beads from real Lamas, Lamas who blow in the sky and they can make things move. Not from Lamas who blow until they’re blue and the only thing that moves is their wind.
Any more questions?
Q: Do we have the power to bless other people?
A: Of course you can, that’s a very good question. If you have a pet that’s sick, if you have a friend that’s not well, if you recite Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra and you blow on them, it will help them to get better. You and I are exactly the same, we don’t have power, but if you and I pray to Lama Tsongkhapa and recite his mantra, and we blow on someone, it will definitely help them.
So yes, we can bless people through the power of Lama Tsongkhapa. You understand that? Very good question. What a nice young fella who has interesting questions. So patient, huh? You make your mother very proud.
Q: What difference does it make if a statue is big or small?
A: Oh, what difference does it make if your bank account is big or small? As long as you can pay your bill. If your bill every month is about 3000 dollars, if your bill every day is about 3000 dollars overhead, and you make 3000, what’s the difference? If you make 10,000, 1 million, 2 million, what’s the difference.
The bigger the statue, the more benefit. It is said that every single atom contained in the statue is the amount of merit you make every single day that the statue exists. So the bigger the statue, the more benefit. And if it’s in a temple or a Dharma centre, if the statue is bigger, more people can see, more people can enjoy, it can fill up the room bigger and more people can view, it blesses more people.
And also, the more materials you put into the statue, to make it that big is how much expenditure you have used. That expenditure is very, very much so the expenditure you put in is how much you could have used for something but you didn’t, you sacrifice and put towards the image. That collects you merit also. Why? It takes you away from me to give to others. Okay? Questions?
A: Whatever offerings we make and whatever altar, it doesn’t make a difference. If it’s our personal Lama’s altar, there’s a double purpose. We also help our Lama, due to his busy schedule, to maintain his altar and make offerings to collect merits for the organization. And at the same time, we collect merit for ourselves.
If we don’t have the fortune to make offerings to our Lama’s altar directly, if we make offerings anywhere and think that the offering we’re making to is one with our Lama, the merit is exactly the same.
Q: When the stupa is placed on our head, does it activate our chakras in our body?
A: If you make your mind focus on Bodhicitta – Bodhicitta is the altruistic motivation to be of benefit to others, free of benefiting oneself – if you think like that and it’s placed on your head, yes, the chakra of compassion will be activated. Yes.
A: Male and female energy is not male or female. It is a label that we put on in order to identify the energies we have in our body. One is more softer, one is more gentler; the other seems more rough and more hard. Therefore this rough and more hard energy, we call male. This more softer energy we call female.
Males use more method, males use body language to get things done. Females are not physically as strong but mentally equal, so they use ways to get things done – methods and ideas. So this method and idea is related to wisdom because Buddhas who emanate in wisdom form, Buddhas who emanate in female form, we associate with wisdom or female energy because females use more thinking energy to get things done. Males use more physical energy.
That is not a rule that pervades but that is something that is just identification of energies – identification. So male energy has to do with compassion and method. It has to do with day, it has to do with sun, it has to do with more force. Female energy is just as powerful, equal but it has to do with the moon, it has to do with the night, it has to do with wisdom, it has to do with gentler energies.
But one cannot be without the other. Both are within all of us. All men and all women have equal male and female energies. It’s what manifests more according to their body. So if they reincarnated as a male, the male (well for most people) the male energy will come out more, the female energy is there by latent. And the same for women – the women, the female energy is more stronger but the male energy is latent in there.
So when we do tantra practice such as Heruka, Vajrayogini, Gurusamaja, Kalachakra, we activate both energies to become enlightened. So we’re like we have two wings instead of one. Okay? That’s a little more subtle, we have to talk about that during tantra class.
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