When it’s gone, we still have the desire

May 13, 2012 | Views: 1,488
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The other night I was with Paris, David and a few others and I gave them a talk on how when we have something now, we don’t have it later, but the imprints to desire for it are still there creating alot of trouble for us continuously. How does that work? What are the karmic mechanics behind it? Why is it like that?? Well I gave the explanation then asked Paris and David to write it out on their blog so I don’t have to write it..heheehe..

So Paris did. I read through it and she has captured the essence and meaning of my talk VERY WELL. Everyone has to please read it…it will help you.. Read what I explained for the few of them present with me..I get in moods to explain things and this was one of them..Paris captured it brilliantly with her delicious writing.

Please let me know what you understood from this. Name the main point I am making and give your own example of how you understood it please. You want to learn dharma and life, well here’s another opportunity!!

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

From Paris’ blog:

As far as desire goes, I think most of us are quite full of it – we run on it, like gas. It’s what fuels us to do what we do, good, bad, ugly and all the in betweens. Buddhist scriptures describe us as existing in a desire realm – we are born as a result of desire and then we live our whole lives in desire, clamouring clamouring after things we think we love, we must have, we cannot exist without.

Now here’s the tricky thing. Desire isn’t just a pair of Calvin Klein jeans, or a new shiny bottle of perfume; it isn’t necessarily anything sexual or about wanting-needing-having relationships. It isn’t just about the desire for physical things, things you can touch or taste or see. Please continue here
 

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57 Responses to When it’s gone, we still have the desire

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  1. Vinnie Tan on Aug 21, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    It is very true that desires would lead us no where in the future. We will just be driven by them, in the end, we would not experience any happiness or get anything from it at all. It is just sad to see things going on like this. It is a constant pointless chase of “happiness” that we will never be able to get no matter how many times our desires are met.

  2. Wah Ying on Aug 18, 2012 at 1:32 am

    What I understand from this article written by Jamie is we should shift from preserving something not permanent or belonged to us (body, look, money, children, house etc) to something will follow us from life to life.

    Main points from the post are:
    *We exist in a desire realm, we are the product of desire and live in desire.

    *Desire can be something physical or intangible. Whether you are materialistic or simple, quiet or loud, introvert or extrovert, you still have the desire. Desire can be in aggressive form (to have things done our way) or passive for (longing for comfort).

    *Reincarnation is not only about past and future lives, but also what we’re doing right here right now.

    *We all have our wanting, things we hang on or attached to. Things we have/get this life (beauty, money etc) are not inherited when we take birth next life. But our attitudes, tendencies and habits arise from our mind are still there. We suffer when gap appears between who you were vs how you lived then; who you are vs how you’re living now.

    *The only thing we take with us from life to life is our mind. So better spend time & effort to strengthen, improve & develop our mind; to get a more open and strong mind.

    This post makes me think of seeing my ageing face, body and comfort I have; I definitely want to maintain them, even now I am in Dharma, but lucky if I am not in Dharma sure I will stupidity pour in time and effort to maintain them but without seeing much result…I am happy I have save money, time and effort not chasing something that will disappear anytime.

    And, I understand also, wanting comfort, to have a simple life (vs to earning big money, driving big car and stay in big big house), is also a desire…haha. Knock me at my head and realize it’s so much true.

  3. Sheryl KH (JB) on Jun 27, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    This is a great teaching, for I learn that from one lifetime to another, what is contained in our minds – our attitudes, feelings, tendencies and habits stick with us.

    It takes time to develop good qualities, but it is rewarding to know that once these qualities are developed, they follow us from one life time to another and gradually we can become better person.

  4. Sam on May 22, 2012 at 12:10 am

    I must say thank you to Jamie for putting Rinpoche’s teaching into such comprehensive article. I enjoy the article a lot. I must say that everything changes and at the same time nothing changes. Nothing is permanent and everything is an illusion. What i own this moment, will eventually change in the very next moment.And sad to say that, everyone of us live with desires wanting this and that due to attachment. There is a phrase that i always remember, when you were born to this earth, you were crying and you bring nothing to the world. When you died, you also cant bring anything with you. No matter how wealthy you are, how pretty you are, how much fame you have…its a bye bye to all of this coz the coffin is just too small to fit all these…

    I like the phrase “Love the things you have and the person you are but forgoodnessakes don’t make it your entire mode of being. Having said that, live free this weekend. Loosen the strings you’ve tied on your attachments, just a little so you can breathe better.And then feel for a moment what it’s like to own nothing – but to live with the possibility of having doing living everything in the world”. Let go, forgive, transform and change because time is running out.

    Thank you Rinpoche for your teaching. Thank you Jamie for putting this up for all of us. Take good care 🙂

  5. James Long on May 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    我们还是可以拥有车、生意、孩子等等。可是不要执著在“这永远是我的”。

    我们现在所用的任何一物都是前人留下给我们的,我们的屋瓦砖块或许还包含我们祖先的遗体!毕竟尘归尘土归土。我们带不走什么,只有我们的善恶业。

  6. ECheah on May 21, 2012 at 12:14 am

    What keeps popping up is this message that everything we’re going about in this secular life is a whole waste of time. Nothing of it matters anymore at the point of death except if it was for the development of our mind. Whatever we usually cultivate, relationships, wealth, “talents”, degrees, careers, are a total waste of time. Whatever short lives we have left should be used to cultivate what matters most, our future lives. We came alone and will leave alone. So ideally, it might be better not to chase after any of these. The fact that we are doing so is because of our desire and attachment to them. It’s difficult when you want them and have to give them up. But it would be easy when we developed to a point when we don’t want any of them anymore. Then “renunciation” is a state of being and you didn’t have to give anything up. The focus is elsewhere.

  7. Diana Pereyda on May 18, 2012 at 6:54 am

    being female, my desire is basically to take of my family, close friend, and husband. However, i am learning not to kid myself. That my family is not there to take of me, entertain, or even be there in need. At this point, i want to take care of beings, be entertaining if possible!! and be there in need for them. Its sad that you learn all this at such a late stage.

  8. Terri on May 18, 2012 at 3:35 am

    i like the shirt!!!!

  9. Datuk May on May 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    As I grow older, I began to think that I have no more desires. What a delusion, although I have gotten what I want in life, it is all materialistic. With age my desires get to be less tangible and even I begin not to recognize them.

    With understanding of Dharma with Rinpoche’s teachings I begin to acknowledge what I want and desire now.

    For now I desire calmness of my mind, inner peace, acceptance of what I see as being not up to standard. Imagine, when such desires are unfulfilled what happens to my mind and on my death, I guarantee I will come back an angry ghost.

    So I question myself and reflect how to live for these desires and be ok with them. I am practising to experience my desires a 100%(pleasant or unpleasant) communicate my experiences and then let go.

    Will I be ready for a better rebirth and have less negative imprints in next life? I am working on this hard, hard work will have good results and may I succeed.

  10. Jeffrey Yee on May 17, 2012 at 2:58 am

    What a clear explanation about desires and attachment. I agree that many people do not believe in the existence of karma and reincarnation, thus they try so hard to satisfy their desires that does not matter one bit when their time is up.

    Your explanation on how beauty goes away in time gives me a very good picture about impermanence. I believe most people can relate and benefit from it after reading your post. Thanks for the great write up Jamie

  11. Koh Hee Peng on May 16, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    The best way to give up our attachments to physical things is to give them away, by offering them to our Guru, Buddha, or those people who need them more than us 😀

    The best way to give up the desire in a passive introvert – for comfort, for quietness, for preserving our precious reputations, is none other than challenging ourselves to becoming the opposite, with the motivation of benefiting others.

    By putting others before us, we are letting go of our desire, our attachments.

    Dear Rinpoche and Jamie, thank you for sharing the wonderful teachings with us. Thank you very much 😀

  12. Uncle Eddie on May 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Yes, life is stressful and the cause of this stress is craving. The Buddha taught that this craving grows from ignorance of the self – because we go through life grabbing one thing after another to ease our stress. We are attached not only to physical things, but also to ideas and opinions about ourselves and the world around us. Physical things can be lost and we get frustrated, when life doesn’t conform to needs and opinions, we get disheartened. By our practice, we can realise the true nature of self and other, and put an end to craving. It is said that the truth of Buddha’s teachings must be intimately experienced and realised for oneself, as Buddhism is more a discipline than a belief system. People go through life running toward what they desire and away from what they dislike. As a matter of fact, we’re being jerked around by attraction and aversion. Our culture tells us that its good to acquire things like material possession and fame,so there’s nothing wrong with desiring and pursuing them. But the moment when we acquire them, we dont stay happy for long before we start chasing something else. Whatever we think will make us happy can also make us miserable. Realising non-attachment is not easy. Ironically, its a practice that requires giving up ideas about goals and rewards, or escaping to a better place, but the better idea is to stay put and practice deligently on how to rid ourselves of such negavities. Realising this is non-attachment!

  13. andrew hibberd on May 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    here is my lesson on desire nearly every night my sons five of them at least one come to me and say daddy can you come outside and help me let this lizard moth bug go so they can fly one day again

  14. lucy yap on May 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    An excellent Dharma writer you are,Jamie!To let go of attachments lifts a tremendous burden on oneself.Life is happier and more pleasant.I have many attachments too and am working on it.
    Rinpoche’s teachings have helped me to realised a different view on life,impermanence and death itself.
    Thank you my kind Rinpoche for reminding us not to be trapped in our deluded mind.

  15. MayOng on May 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I desire for anything that brings forth positivity and spend more time and effort on the effects and results it can and will bring.

    Then the balance will be left to indulge in some “negative” samsaric normal pleasures of life.

  16. sweekeong on May 15, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Whatever I desire I spend a lot of time, effort, and money to have it. But it never last long, the euphoria of owning something of having something will go away after I have acquired. Then I see someone has the latest cool stuff, I think I want it for myself as well. The cycle repeats. I desire it for myself.

    From the article another form of desire is inner at peace desire, I do not want to do anything, I do not want to be involved, so I become peaceful. A fake peace of existence, a passive desire, as Jamie put it. It is the fear of rejection of not being accepted.

    On another note to have a lot of friends because the desire to be validated by others, which cannot stand loneliness and desire to have companionship. Therefore most of thoughts of myself is mostly operated from desire for something or avoidance of something. Thank you Jamie sharing a deeply meaningful on desire to us all. 🙂

  17. Julia Tan on May 15, 2012 at 3:19 am

    My lovely Jamie, at this hour normally my brain already shut down, and my fingers are on my iPad but not typing anymore cause my eyes already closed. Hehehe.. But after reading your blog sharing about Rinpoche’s beautiful teaching I’m now all awake and I wanted to write something about it. 

    Since I was born.. I am getting what I want using what was born into. Alright alright .. I fail for my marriage but I’m glad I did if not I would not have the chance or the freedom i must say to do what I’m doing now.

    I walked into the kitchen when I turned 39! I am experiencing what you had just said in Rinpoche’s teaching,  It has helped me understand what I’m going through now. 

    The kitchen is hot and I’m sweating like a pig everyday. Cutting garlic and onion made my fingers smelly, washing and cleaning made my hands dry! My face and hair are oily and sticky all the time! 

    I am so sorry everyone.. I am truly not who you think I am. I am a totally kitchen idiot who is still struggling to remember all the vegetables’ names! And you know some food their names are soooo long.. 

    I am letting go the life style that I’ve been living into for ages into a new environment. What pushes me to go on is my wish of being able to serve my guru. Everyday I tell myself I can do better.

    Thank you Rinpoche for giving me the opportunity to put Rinpoche’s teaching into action! To learn how to let go of who I am! When I pass the test, I can be who I am whenever I want to. Yay!!

    I like what you said:

    It’s like being given a beautiful fur coat while you’re living in Alaska. You love it for its warmth, comfort and protection from the cold and do everything you can to preserve it. Then, you migrate to across the world to a place like damnbloodyhot Malaysia. That very same thing you Loved Cherished Preserved becomes something that creates discomfort, suffering, aversion.

    WISH ME LUCK! 

         

  18. Li Kim on May 15, 2012 at 2:17 am

    This is one topic which hits close to the heart for me… I AM the Poster Child for Desires. Jamie and I are true sisters from this realm of desires, if I may say so.

    I have always had everything I ever wanted – shoes, clothes, money, opportunities, friends and yes, men too… But I was never satisfied. The happiness I had was temporary, and I always ended up wondering. I always wanted more – more shoes, more friends, more this and more that… Before I got married, I even collected boyfriends like how someone would collect stamps. Unfortunately, boyfriends unlike stamps do not appreciate with time. Yes, I was no angel and I dare not say I am now.

    Meeting Rinpoche and learning the Dharma from him has made me see and realize what I am and how my desires dictated who I am. I was what I wore…very shallow indeed. One teaching Rinpoche gave me which stuck like glue was that today with dharma, I can be whoever I am but the icing on the cake of my personality is Dharma – wanting to serve others through sharing myself and my knowledge of the Dharma.

    I would like to say dramatically that Dharma and Rinpoche saved my life BUT in honesty, Rinpoche and Dharma saved WHO I am and can be, and it is this person who will save my life. This life and I hope many next lives.

    Do I still have desires? YES I DO but does it dictate who I am and what I can do… NO. I now realize that what I want is really not that important. And more importantly, if I do not get it, LIFE goes on. So, I better focus on making my life better and not indulge in the fancy desires I have.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this teaching and to Jamie for ever so beautifully writing it up. Thank you for saving ME.

  19. Christine Wang on May 15, 2012 at 1:23 am

    What I have learned is that the desire we have in this lifetime is the imprint of past lives. We always say people are born with different characters , you can even see a baby’s character. Who we are now and our desires are just an accumulation from many lifetimes. Can there be “good” desires? For example, the desire to help others. And then there are “bad” desires, like the desire for fame and beauty, which are not permanent. I should learn to keep the “good” desires and tame the “bad” ones in this lifetime. Just like some character traits that we grew up with, we only realise which ones we should keep when we grow older and wiser. But there are some traits that we wish we were not born with but can’t change because the imprint is so deep that bad habits keep repeating themselves even though we don’t like them. I ask myself why I was born with these bad character traits. I want to “wake up” in the next life without asking the same question again and again. But if I don’t work on the bad qualities NOW, I will “wake up” in the next life asking the same question again.

    I desire to be recognised as a smart person. I have the desire to be beautiful and have beautiful things around me. But with Dharma, I now realise that so many things that people keep saying you must have in life are not that important.

    I still have my desires but I’m aware that the “desires” I have are not that important but which I still can’t give up. I hope this awareness will keep me going in this life and be a better person than my last life. In doing so, I hope this will create the cause for me to become a better person in my next life and so this awareness will become stronger with every lifetime to come.

    Christine Wang in Shanghai

  20. su an on May 15, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Jamie Paris thank you so much for remembering and sharing Rinpoche’s precious teachings to us, written so humorously and understandable for us.

    Some of the points i learned from your post is that desire is so sneaky! And one of the key antidote to conquering desire is… to remember that death is just a breath away. And that whatever we have been trying to hoard to make us happy in this life, does not carry forward like an asset account balance. So what’s the point of letting desire control our lives and be miserable in this life to maintain our desirous lifestyle?

    And the great thing about this teaching is.. you don’t have to be a Buddhist for it to “work”! Really, it applies whether we believe in Buddha or not.

  21. KYC on May 15, 2012 at 12:32 am

    The main points of the teaching have been outlined by Tat Ming. I remember once Rinpoche said that ignorance is the cause of suffering but desire is the fuel. The teaching is about not being attached to things that are impermanent and to develop our mind to overcome the endless suffering of cyclic existence.

  22. Sean Pang on May 14, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Thank you, Rinpoche, for this lesson, and thank you, Ms Paris, for an entertaining and very informative write-up. And to all the lucky ones who were there when Rinpoche was in the mood to explain things… you’re SO lucky…

    It’s true that desires come in all shapes and sizes and can take over a weak will silently, disguised in the most innocent form. Desire doesn’t only come in the form of an Aston Martin DB7 (I wonder who on earth would desire this subtly gorgeous “please bring me home” car…), it comes in a bowl of laksa, it comes as an appreciative glance from a stranger when you put on your best suit, it’s the ultimate ninja! But it’s much easier to remember the “big” desires, like beauty, a great paying job and that amazingly crafted Aston Martin, and consciously tell ourselves that it’s a bad, bad thing to NEED these things. It’s the “little” desires which are much harder to watch out for, because these are fleeting desires that come and go in a flash. You don’t even know when you’ve been sucker-punched. Then when their gone, they’re forgotten. But the fact remains that we have DESIRED something. When something like this happens so fast, how can we work on it? That’s the thing, we have to start somewhere else.

    There is a difference between WANT and NEED. Desires are based on needs but we don’t really need anything except for the most basic things to keep us alive. So is wanting something better? I suppose that depends on the motivation. If I WANT an Aston Martin (no, no, I don’t really WANT an Aston Martin… really…) because I WANT to look cool, then I NEED the attention and adoration from others, and if I lose the car, I lose face. Boing! Zero marks! But if I WANT an Aston Martin simply because I think it’s a good car and if I lose the car, I lose a car, then I would have had no attachment to the car and still have enjoyed having had the car! Isn’t it such a relief knowing that you can have something without fear? No fear of losing something also means no fear of not having it in the first place, so having something without desire or attachment is a bonus!

    Easier said than done though. Even with the most noble thoughts and motivations, we can easily slip and give in to a subconscious desire. I’m not rich but I’m committed to doing Dharma work. I want more because I want to do more good and I know I can do much more (Rinpoche said I’m greedy: yes, dear Rinpoche, you’re right, I AM greedy!) but I’m still susceptible to day-dreaming about that Aston Martin. Do I need an Aston Martin to do Dharma work? No. So what is it for? I have a million damn good reasons why an Aston Martin is good for Dharma work – and some of them may even be true! – but the simple truth is that I DESIRE that vroom vroom. By no means do I waste my time pining for it but every time I see one on a magazine or on the street, there’s that ever-so-slight skip of the heartbeat…

    We were born with nothing and when we die, we bring nothing with us. Whatever we may come to have, we should put it to good use and not let it serve as our prison. Whatever we see that we may not have, leave it where it is and not let it serve as our prison. Only then can we be free.

    Much to learn. Much more to work on. But I take PLEASURE in learning and working on my own development: with NO DESIRE!! 🙂

    Sean Pang in Shanghai

  23. Sock Wan on May 14, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Thank you Jamie for blogging it and sharing the teaching with us. It is our desire that creates attachment. We thought our attachments are going to to bring us happiness when in reality attachments bring us sufferings.

    We work on the basis of ‘ME’, what ‘I WANT’ and what ‘I NEED’. We want money, we want career, we want a relationship, we want recognition, we think we will be happy getting what we want. Then we have stress, we are sick, we become depress, we have to watch our back, we have less time, we are unhappy, then we die. When we die, we lose everything we used to have, but our mind does not cease its existence, it takes rebirth. With an unhappy mind, we continue with another unhappy life.

    Now, what Jamie explains here completely makes sense to me. Lot’s of my attachments do not bring me to a happier life. By letting go of ‘Me’, ‘Myself’ and ‘I’, I am happier each day. Now, not having attachment does not mean we refuse to have or not to have something. It simply means if we have it, it’s ok. If we don’t have it, we will still be ok!

    • andrew hibberd on May 15, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      my conclusion is we are just as happy with little as a lot each one of us humans has to decide the complex difference in our own minds today there are 7.5 billion of us by my reckoning sensus will tell us 7.1 and within fifty years we will be 11 billion people and in or wake thousands of precious species will leave our present life stored only in genetical dna profile in a lab somehwere , love it like it is sure love it like it will become sure

  24. Louise Lee on May 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    拥有与占有,只是一线之差!欲望让我们争取 ! 但是过分, 就很强求,甚至会让人难堪!

    从小就习惯不可以有太强的欲望,因为爸爸又两个家!我们两家人都可以和睦相处 , 就是因为爸爸会做人!我们也很明白事理!

    拥有,不代表可以持续! 我们要学会珍惜当下!失去了, 也不是什么大不了!

    这是我过去的经验, 谢谢大家!!

  25. Su Ming on May 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Ethan,

    It is so true, everyone whom i have come across always asked me about Dharma ie MUST YOU GIVE UP smoking, drinking, clubing, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, eating & etc. My typical answer is “HELLO, do you think I have given up on all those?” After a few moments of silence and staring at me, then they come to their own conclusion, NO CHUAH SU MING has not given up on any of those.

    I am very fortunate to have A LOT of moments Rinpoche has given me teachings/advices & etc directly. One of the pivotal teaching which made me contemplate really hard was on “losing one’s identity”. And the main purpose is for us to succeed in whatever we are doing. That teaching really blew my mind.

    We are so fixated with our own identity ie : Chuah Su Ming is fun, loving, soft, impulsive, slow & etc. Once we are fix on what we can do and cannot do, we set our own perimeters thus it affects the results we want to achieve. For whatever reason, we are failing is because we are attached to what we can do and cannot do. BUT once we have let go of that, we are able to fly and succeed in what we thought we cannot achieve. And that for me makes me want to do more.

    Yes, I have not given up on some of my attachments till today but I have started to let go of the expectation of what my attachment should give me. I am loving every moment of it cause you are in control.

  26. Lim Han Nee on May 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Desire(what Kahlil Gibran describes as “life’s longing for itself”) is what causes us to be reborn again and again in this Desire Realm of existence.

    The scary part is that one makes the pursuit of the objects of one’s desire the central focus of this life -one’s life revolves around these objects of desire which are impermanent. Suffering comes when change sets in and that which makes us desire a particular object is no longer present.

    Worse suffering (suffering of the most unimaginable degree) sets in when we die with a mind that is still grasping at the objects of our desire. Then we are reborn in a place where the scenario drastically changes.”Everything that was important and central to (us) before is no longer there”. Unfortunately, we still bring the same grasping mind, same negative attitudes,same negative habits, same negative tendencies, to a new rebirth, where things are the entire opposite of what we had experienced in a previous life.This huge gap or difference is what will cause unimaginable suffering.

    The only thing that travels consistently across lifetimes is our mind. We can’t carry anything else we have in this life over to another one.This mind that travels across lifetimes carries imprints of all our negative actions and negative habituations , attitudes and tendencies.

    Hence, in order to avoid suffering, we need to work on our desirous attachments that give rise to all our negativities in our mindstream. Let go of them,loosen them starting from NOW, if we haven’t already done so.

    Desire for me is more of the subtle kind, desire to remain in my comfort zone and to have things done my way. So I must constantly whittle at these if I am to ultimately find peace and freedom from suffering.

  27. henry ooi on May 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I have similar mind and physical attachments like the vast majority of people on this planet.

    The GRASPING of some ATTACHMENTS are so strong that I CLING on to them like dear life because I thought they make me feel good. Like a sense of achievement, gratification, etc. But these DO NOT LAST forever. When the so called euphoria is over, I search for the high AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN. These WANTONS and NEEDS HABITUATE my mind and body over the years and it is so hard to re habituate them into positive energies. But I STILL plod on…..

    I count myself, among others, very fortunate to have met Rinpoche, for whom without, I would not be in DHARMA.
    Rinpoche is continuously teaching us to contemplate on DEATH, playing the process of death over and over again in our mind. Like looking at my corpse, like some people described as out of body experience, laying in the coffin in those wakes that I have been to, going through the funeral rites, being pushed into the incinerator with my corpse inside the coffin and imagining the searing heat melting my rotting flesh (of course I would not feel it then but if I cannot withstand the pain of my finger being burned when I am alive then the heat intensity in the incinerator must be thousands of times more unbearable,. This, I imagine, to have a comparison), and then my loved ones collecting my bones and ashes to be strewn out in the sea/river.

    Yes, it sounds kinda morbid but the stark truth is that one day I WILL be really going through it.

    What I am saying here is dharma is so profoundly delivered by Rinpoche with examples so that I and others could comprehend. But understanding is one thing, PRACTICING is experiential. Rinpoche is continuously reminding us of letting go because at the time of death, we may not then.

  28. Mc on May 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    There is a very important and powerful lesson and Jamie’s write-up superbly captures the crux of the teaching and expresses it in simple terms.

    Human beings are so driven by desire but we hardly recognize it and it comes across so natural and instinctive. I find it helpful that Jamie pointed out that desire is not always expressed in raw and tangible displays of wanting, but can also be as subtle as a benign need to be accepted and loved.

    To be able to cast light onto those invisible things that drive our thoughts and decisions, to be presented with methods to check if these things are good or bad for us, and then to be taught ways to look at these desires differently, is very liberating. In the past, “happiness” was being able to fulfill a particular desire and it is the ability to fulfill things that are of no real importance that drives us deeper into our mistaken views.

    I like what Jamie said, “what i want ,I also get” and our entire live is trained on GETTING, instead of letting go.

    What is taught here is so logical but we would not have gotten it until it is spelled out for us. How remarkably ignorant we are.

    • Martin on Dec 27, 2012 at 5:13 am

      Come to think of it, getting everything or even most of what we want and desire in this life may not be such a good thing after all. Not only is all that wanting and having futile because eventually we have to let everything go when we die, but our minds carry forward that wanting AND expecting into our next life and the odds are, that is when we will suffer because the desire will still be there but the conditions of fulfillment probably won’t. And hence the unfulfilled expectations become a longing that expresses itself in many different ways. As I am writing this I am also checking all the things I long for and most are intangibles. Where do they come from? It is not as if one day in the past I came across a shop that sold “Acceptance” and I thought I wanted that and have longed for it ever since. It is the desires I developed from previous lives that came with tragic expectations of having all my desires fulfilled. This is what is causing the pain and discomfort…and I am doing it again in this life! The sense of longing can become acute over time as the sense of being unfulfilled builds up and we start to behave out of an unidentified and unending need.

      It is not like we should go through life without any desire. That would be boring but it certainly helps to give pause to urge that can be overwhelming until you shine light on it and recall what it actually is and where it comes from.

      Wouldn’t it be the greatest thing if we could channel all that desperate energy into a desire to do something good with our lives, something that could benefit others per the Dharma. That would be a great desire to carry forward to our future lives.

      I am glad I revisited this post and Jamie, after reading what you wrote 20 times, it is still good! I guess the truth is the only thing that doesn’t age or expire.

  29. Joe Ang on May 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Dear Jamie,
    thank you for this wonderful article written about desire. The word desire, is far more profound than just wanting things… money, status, sex, sports car, a mansion and the list goes on and on. Some people might think, I’m ok, as I do not crave for all these (a few things listed above).

    But (taken from your article above), desire could manifest as a silent but overwhelming need for acceptance, or to be left alone, to do nothing, to have things done only the way *I* want things to be done. The desire in a passive introvert – for comfort, for quietness, for preserving our precious reputations – could well be as strong as it is in an extrovert.

    If only people realize, at the time of death, none of the material things we chased after and try so freakin hard to preserve really matters. Even our body which may be beautiful now, in 10, 20, 30 years will be crumpled and wrinkly…
    So, what matters and will be with us even after death, is our MIND. A tenant that lives temporarily in this body. A body that is deteriorating every second and eventually rot whether we like it or not.

  30. patsy on May 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Thank you, Jamie, for this write up. This is a meaningful and profound teachings but you presented it in a fun, interesting way to read and digest.

    Desire and attachments are my worst enemies and for the past years I have tried to lessen them. It is not easy but knowing that the results will be beneficial in the long run, I will put my effort into letting go of my attachments.

    Contemplation on death and impermenance can wake us to realize that everything we chased, craved or desired for in this life will be taken away at the time of death. We take nothing except our imprints and our karma which will follow us wherever we go. If we do not transform and change our habituation of self grasping, we will suffer even more in our future rebirths as our self grasping will be ingrained much more deeper. I am so glad that we have met Rinpoche who has taught us so much dharma. Without his kindness, we will still be trapped in our self-cherishing mind.

    Well I still love all things nice but that doesn’t mean that I will chase after them. There’s more to life now than just self indulgence.

  31. KH Ng on May 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Jamie captured the meaning of the teaching very well especially for the world at large. I like the takeaway summary;

    “Love the things you have and the person you are but forgoodnessakes don’t make it your entire mode of being.”

    Also, the desires that we have this life is mostly from the habits that we had in our past life. Jamie’s version is more romantic but the truth is that not many has such “privilege” past life. Most of our past life habituations are most ordinary yet as negative and as deluded as her examples. We may lived the same type of lives as this one in an unending cycle and if we do not take the opportunity to practice in this life, it will be worst.

    • pastor ngeow on Jun 24, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      yes KH, the essence of Buddha’s middle way wisdom is to avoid extremes. It is not about giving up the necessities of life , including sense pleasures otherwise we can’t function as an unimpaired human with full sense faculties.We should not be obsessed with worldly things and devote our whole life in pursuit of them , with no space for spiritual development.Rehabituation , change becomes impossible.

  32. Wendy Loh on May 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Thank you, Jamie for a writing such a “fun and easy” article on Dharma. I am sure many people can relate to it. Ultimately, we are all programmed to function and play in a dualistic existence, meaning things are either right or wrong, beautiful and ugly, rich or poor and bright or dark. Our mind is wired to perceive the external environment this way since birth and perhaps since the beginning of time and civilization. Desires…oh… very yummy…will always pull us to either side of the yardstick. We either go to the left or right, go up or down etc. The thing is, like Lord Shakyamuni Buddha himself, we gotta release the yardstick of duality and transcend even the middle path because there is only a mid-point when there are two extreme ends, no? Just something to think about. 🙂 Cheers!

  33. Deborah on May 14, 2012 at 10:23 am

    i think the lesson is that what we crave will never satisfy us and that’s why no matter how much we have we’re never really happy inside. so life has to be more than Me, Myself & I. The change is not an easy road but we have to start somewhere.

  34. Jay Jae on May 14, 2012 at 9:27 am

    In the Buddhist scriptures we’re always told that the root cause for us to be involved in this cyclic existence is out attachment to things, people, feelings, situations, trauma etc. Buddha of course had it simple in a one-liner which I had a tough time understanding where it came from and what he really meant.

    We can’t get away with being without our favourite stuff, loved ones etc. The effort we’ve put into getting them is already a production by itself. If we have the karma to get it and our desires and attachment towards it doesn’t blow up any bigger, chances are, we can be well sedated with a dose of contentment. More often we’re propelled to want more, get more and the entire production of getting it will go on and on and on……

    I like adapting the new idea of keeping what we have and not to over react to it to achieve a healthy state of mind. We won’t wanna find ourselves in a mental hospital over a 24 karat diamond, would we? Likewise we won’t like to find ourselves being reborn in an animal realm from over repulsiveness of our attachment over a comfortable pair of pig-skin shoes!

  35. Irene Lim on May 14, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Jamie, you an excellent Dharma writer. You captured the essence of Rinpoche’s teachng and conveyed in your stylish manner to suit sophisticated people in this era. You are a shining gem in the making.

  36. Vincent Cheng on May 14, 2012 at 3:36 am

    Aim for #1 and get all the rest. I desire the highest. I desire Enlightenment.

  37. David Loh on May 14, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for opening our thick skulls and sturborn minds. As always it’s presented most excellently by Paris.

    I’m a ‘desire’ being of the highest degree. I have wants and needs if put into writing would probably contain more pages than our Lamrin book. Still learning to let go of feeble attachments that initially I thought would lead to my ultimate happiness in life. I have to constantly remind myself that life is uncertain but death is. As we can’t turn back time, the only thing we can do now is to let go, let loose and stress less because when the cravings stop the disappointments will too.

    We are all so attacheded to our youth, our good looks (applies to some), wealth, title, beautiful wife or handsome husband etc etc. Growing old, plastic surgery disasters, losing money, business fails, losing trust and title, wife running away or husband vise versa; happens to many. What happens next? Are we prepared for such change? We shouldn’t give a damn about all these when we are in Dharma but, we are still unknowingly so caught up with feeling good during whatever remaining time in this miserable existence of ours.

    I just hope that when my time is up, I would have done ‘enough’ to at least secure a good rebirth. Achieving enlightenment would be a sure plus plus though! Or at least be good enough to sweep floors for Buddha in Tushita. Hahahha.

    Will start pondering on the eight worldy concerns, make notes and ‘strike’ out as I progress in life. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing and Jamie for putting this in writing.

  38. Sharon Saw on May 14, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Thank you Rinpoche for this teaching and to Jamie for her brilliant sharing in her inimitable style (yes you’re the best writer i know)… this teaching underlines what Rinpoche has always taught:

    1. Everything is impermanent.
    2. We cannot take anything with us to our next life except our state of mind. Thus whatever we are attached to in this life will mean nought in the next.
    3. Everyone operates from desire because this is the strongest affliction of this era.
    4. Desire and attachments bring suffering, not the objects in themselves, because we suffer when we do not have what we desire.

    The key of the teaching is that whatever we are attached to in this life will not serve us in the next life because in our next life, we may not have the karma to have whatever we have in this life.

    For those who do not believe in the next life, despite so many documentaries which have pretty much proven it such as in the video Rinpoche referred to, we can look at our attachments in this life and how they do not bring us long lasting happiness.

    Personally, I realised the futility of desire a few years ago, when i used to hanker after the Porsche 911 (the model of that time) then a few years later, when i looked at that same model, i realised that i did not like it anymore because it was an old model by then, and instead, i liked (and wanted to have) the new model. Then I realised that if i had this new model, in a few years i would not want it anymore because a newer model would be out and i would want that.. and so the cycle would continue with the a desire which would never be satisfied. Any satisfaction of that desire would be only temporary (very). From this very superficial ‘want’, i realised that all desire was impermanent. Whatever material item that we seek for “happiness” is illusory thus the happiness is fleeting.

    Attachments are not just to material things though – attachments to our opinions, our presumptions and assumptions, attachments to our attitudes, our self perceptions are equally illusory and equally damaging. Especially to ourselves. We often enshrine our own qualities as if they are the 6 perfections. I used to be very bad tempered… and i would tell proudly my partners, i am like this, take it or leave it. Then after learning dharma, i realised that why do i want to be like “this” if “this” is not a good quality. So i changed. Ok, so the temper still resurfaces now and then (but don’t tell anyone), but it’s a work in progress. And that is why i love Dharma. Dharma, as taught by Rinpoche, teaches us that we are in control of our lives… if we are sick of suffering, these are the roots of our suffering… and how to cut it. Desire is one of the 3 root delusions – the other two being ignorance and anger (read Rinpoche’s teaching on this in the brilliant book, “Snakes, Roosters, Pigs” http://vajrasecrets.com/books/english-books/snakes-roosters-and-pigs.html).

    Thank you Rinpoche for the valuable reminder of how deluded desires are our biggest obstacle to real, permanent and true happiness.

  39. lewkwanleng on May 14, 2012 at 12:59 am

    This topic is reincarnation and attachment are the basics of Buddhism, but the teachings are indeed profound. I hope I get it right. What stand out for me are:

    1. There is no point talking reincarnation if we only care whether we remember our past lives. Accepting reincarnation has the important impact of NOW and FUTURE.

    2. The only thing we bring with us into another life is our mind stream, behavior, attitudes, tendencies and habits. Not wealth, clothing, cars, houses, etc. Therefore, it only make sense to train and accumulate positive qualities for our mind; not our wealth, etc.

    3. I have always thought of attachments as something BIG and MATERIAL. What I realize now, is that those not-so-obvious such as attachment to comfort zone, laziness etc are indeed the killer. Being attached to comfort zone and laziness will get us to stay put and do not improve.

    4. Letting go of wealth, fame, etc does not mean we give up EVERYTHING and live on the street. It is a state of mind, and a context to operate from. Even though we have the wealth, we do not operate as if we spend our entire effort to protect it, and if we lose it, we will go crazy.

    Thank you for sharing such important teachings.

  40. June Kang on May 13, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Dear Jamie

    Thank for the following saying:-

    “While reincarnation and karma forms the cornerstone of every Buddhist teaching, it’s not just some trip on what we were before or where we’re going to next. Actually, it’s about what we’re doing right here, right now” .

    The above is a very good checking tool to keep reminds me on whatever I am doing now.

    “Loosen the strings you’ve tied on your attachments, just a little so you can breathe better. Yes, would start to let go some of the attachments, otherwise suffering would follow me and end up I cannot breathe. Thanks again for all the “reminders” to wake me up.

  41. pastor ngeow on May 13, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    This is a deeply meaningful teaching and very well explained by Jamie. It holds the key to freedom from continuous suffering.When basic desire develops into craving and intensifying into grasping , attachment sets in and we are super glued to the object of desire.
    The deception is that we think getting what we want brings pleasure and leads to instant sense gratification. This is very addictive and a main reason we keep repeating this formula to the extent that we will reject or even harm anything or anyone that stands between us and the object of our desire. If we stop to examine this we will find that it is very costly and foolish for us to continue with this pleasure formula as the short term benefit we receive will result in endless suffering. Even this short term pleasure is a falsehood as we all know experientially, that once we have obtained that object, we are never satiated and we want more of it as in money or we turn to other objects when the object which appeared so attractive before quickly lose its appeal once we have got it.
    At the time of death , we can take nothing with us , things that we have spent so much effort and caused so much harm to ourselves and others to get it. This attachment to or grasping at worldly concerns of fame, wealth, possessions etc and our own body , at time of death, will dominate our last thoughts which trigger the karma to keep going through the suffering cycle of samsaric existence. The imprints from such delusions unfortunately will continue into our next rebirth. These imprints which are the substantial cause for us to repeat the same tendencies to chase after things will not even provide temporary benefits as our next rebirth may not have the same environmental conditions for them to operate like in our previous existence.
    It make sense to let go of or at least loosen our attachments which only lead to negative karma now and in future.We must not waste time to train our mind , purify the negativities and accumulate vast merits which is what matters at time of death and which will ensure good rebirths.

  42. Yoke Fui on May 13, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Attachments come in various forms- things we think are the source of our happiness, security,fame , comfort zone or power.

    When we take our last breath, we will have no clue as to where we shall be when we open our eyes again and look around us. Being attached or having the imprint of things we are attached to will be the direct cause of our next uncontrolled rebirth of suffering. Attachments to all our worldly happiness will never give the ultimate contentment because they will only bound us to another round of birth-aging -death.

    Yet, we are so fixated with our many life times of habits that attachments / desires are like our inborn nature. The sutra says humans of the desirous realms are like moths flying into the fire . Rinpoche uses various methods to wake us up, to shift us from the comfortable habits of always doing things our ways. These methods may be painful at imes, in long term spiritual goal they are necessary.

    On the path of Guru Devotion, out of his great compassion the Guru will continuously work on the students till all traces of negative imprints are completely purified and at the same time the Guru will create virtuous projects for students to accumulate the necessary merits to support the training.

    Thank you, Rinpoche.

  43. Lim Tat Ming on May 13, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Dear Rinpoche

    Below are my understanding of the main points from the teachings on desire and attachment based on Jamie’s excellent write-up.

    1. We are desire realm beings.

    2. Our desire for things are unlimited, it includes everything that is perceivable by our 6 sense doors.

    3. We become attached to these sensory objects when we come into contact with them.

    4. Objects do not remain the same, objects change when the causes and conditions change.

    5. We cannot bring with us whatever we desire or attached to when we die.

    6. Our past attitudes, feelings, tendencies and habits travel with us from life to life.

    7. There is a big gap between what we were, what we are and what we will be. The conditions of the three times are different. Due to our past habituations, our experiences of them will be different from the past, at the present moment and in the future. And that creates suffering for us.

    8. Everything is impermanent. We will die eventually.

    9. We have a choice now: (a) To be attached to our desired objects and not letting them go even when we die (b) To let go of our desired objects now

    10. We should develop the good qualities for our mind now because these good qualities can travel with us into the future lives.

    11. Why spend our limited time and so much effort on things that we can’t take with us when we die?

    12. It doesn’t mean we cannot experience all these sensory objects. We can but we should not be attached to them and be controlled by our desires. When the time comes for us to die, we leave freely without attachment.

    13. It is the state of our mind – desirous attachment – and not all the objects that we desired that we need to be mindful of all the time. We must develop and realize the quality of non-attachment.

    Thank You.

  44. Lim KSJC on May 13, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Whats a beautiful quote in Jamie blog,

    “There’s a choice we can make now, a little gamble, like the biggest game show of our lives:

    – Keep everything exactly the way it is – be obsessed with your beauty, relationships, wealth, everything everything – and risk losing it all completely, nada, back to zero in that bank account of Life (with a capital L)

    OR

    – Let go of your obsession with it now, live peacefully and die freely with no encumbrances. (Letting go doesn’t mean you have to give it up – it doesn’t mean you go live on the streets and scratch up your face with a blade – it just means you start not operating solely out of that and being so attached to having it / needing it).”

    Although this quote is simple to read and understand but the most challenge is HOW to back to Zero in that bank of Life??? I think this is very hard due to our ignorance but IF we Try to Step Out first move to transform sure we will make it one day…

    Thanks Rinpoche and Jamie for sharing…

  45. Han on May 13, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Joey, I agreed with what you wrote :

    “The post has gave me an additional checking tool on how i can use to undo my desires or keep it under control: by realizing that I have something better to do rather than indulge in it. ”

    This life time, we should not just indulge in ME ME ME, or just to satisfy own desire.
    Its a hard journey to abandon attachments that we been very good at since young,
    I am letting go of my attachments and when come to crucial time, I still feel that the level of letting go is not 100%, because anger, jealousy etc still arise. Checking my mind if I am still attach or non attach is a key when dealing with daily life.

    This wonderful teaching by Rinpoche and written by Jamie remind me always check my mind not to attach, not to indulge in personal desires, but indulge more in helping others.
    There are more important things in life than self indulgence.

  46. william on May 13, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Desires and attachments- I have lots of them and still hang on to them. Travelling, sleep and hanging out with friends are what I like. To let go of them will take a very long time. I always tell myself that I am ok if I do not go somewhere and I feel alright. But the devil in me will always turn things the other way around and make me think otherwise. It is always a war inside my head.

    Anyways, I believe that all these desires can be lessened and then eventually becomes non-attachment anymore. And that is we give them up for something greater. After all, we can’t take them to our graves or next lifetime.

    What I understand is that we will have desires, whether we already have it, no longer have it or want to have it. This is because we have had the experience (good ones, that’s why we want it) and want it to continue. However, when circumstances change and we are attached to the desire, then we will crave and seek for it.

    The main thing is not to be attached to the desire. Great to have it but ok if we do not have it.

  47. Valentina Suhendra on May 13, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Dear Jamie
    Your blog post, as always, has been very entertaining. Thank you for writing about desire. I guess many of us have been the victims of desire. Not looking outside for examples but looking inward, from the day I was born until now, I have always been enveloped by desire. The more I get what I want, the greedier I become. The mind has always played tricks, “if you have this, you will be happy. If you have that, you will no longer be left wanting.” But the minute I got what I want, I keep wanting for more and sadly fear developed because I am afraid of losing the things that I have just obtained that my monkey mind said will bring tremendous happiness. So, what supposed to be happiness, became fear and I have to spend more time maintaining what the thing that I have just obtained that suppose to bring me happiness. It is pure suffering of the worst kind – at least for me.
    In one of my contemplations in the past, I have been thinking whether it would be easier for me if I just get rid of some little privileges that I have and born with. Perhaps, I would be calmer and happier. But as years goes by, I noted that not using my privilleges impeded some of the work that I wish to do such as giving and helping others in my charity works. Perhaps, some of the privileges can be leveraged to help others instead of for my own benefit.
    So as you said in you blog, getting rid of desire and attachments is not about throwing what you have and live in the street. But it’s about how you view and use what you have and not get attached with them.

  48. joey wong on May 13, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    I find the talk and Jamie’s summary very powerful as I do have issues with my attachments. I tend to allow them to override my life and motivations for the day. I have only been suppressing and distracting the urges to get something for example, but very rarely i get to the bottom of it and cut it from there.

    The post has gave me an additional checking tool on how i can use to undo my desires or keep it under control: by realizing that I have something better to do rather than indulge in it. It also reinforced what I have already realized: taking things on the surface and being attached to that brings nothing but suffering in the long run. I have stopped doing that for sometime.

    It also helped drilled down deeper that there is nothing permanent in samsara and there is no use hanging on to anything here. I understand that point intellectually but i find that i have not been able to operate from that way and this post gave me another angle to it.

    Thank you Jamie for writing this down as it does help me a lot.

  49. DR on May 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Jamie, your comprehension of dharma and then elucidating it in a style that makes the reader want to carry on reading is amazing.

    Just want to add on to it as i have been asked this many times. Having finer things in life is itself not attachment. Attachment is when you have it and your fear of losing it. It is when you dont have it anymore, and you suffer from it. Desire is when you wish for something so badly that you suffer along the way to get it or worse still, suffer because you never get it.

    When I first met Rinpoche, 17 years ago, one of the thought provoking questions he asked me then was ” have you ever seen any baby born with all the material items he accumulated from his previous life? If the answer is no, then the focus on this life should not be on desiring and working towards it but developing qualities that you can bring along to your next life.”

    In summary, yes sure i love nice things but they don’t define me and there are certainly more important things in life than a preoccupation with Birkins!

  50. Jace Chong on May 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks Jamie for your write up, you are very talented and I enjoy reading your blogs.

    What you said (Rinpoche said) is very true. Beside knowing that, what we have in this life we can not bring forward once we are death; the more important thing is that the desire that we posses bring us no where but let us become worst in each rebirth.

    I do have an experience to share (not sure is it a suitable one), which I was really shame to talk about all these years, but it’s something bring me to Kechara, it’s my craving for relationship. I have ended a 6-years relationship many years ago. Then I found that I was too used to have somebody with me when I need, I started to look for a new relationship, just didn’t want to be lonely.

    I went out with friends, for drinks, clubbing, like everybody else, looking for somebody as I didn’t want to be alone. Even having meal alone made me sad, I thought I deserved to be with somebody. I hook up with a guy and I thought, yea…no more loneliness.

    But the feeling of loneliness become worst whenever any little things happen to the “relatioship” (it was not really a relationship, it’s my dependency on him to find hope). I never imagine I could be so angry and feeling so bad when he refuse to answer calls and sms.

    After a few months, the guy felt bored and hook up with some other people, surprisingly at that time although it hurts, I could accept that and still hoping him to be with me as I really has no one else with me. My tears started to flow when he left my house every time, yet feeling angry about myself to be so “fragile”. Then he did something really bad to me and left me. The hurt was so so bad, worst than the broke up with my previous boyfriend.

    How much I want a relationship became how much it hurts me when it didn’t turn to something I wanted. It’s not his fault and anybody’s fault, it’s my desire set me in the jail of loneliness.

    I realized this in some Rinpoche’s teachings when I first in touch with Kechara. I decided to let go, to accept the truth that I am alone, and feel ok about being alone, and do something else for others instead of keep thinking about me me me…

    Then I found, I am not lonely anymore, I am not the pathetic woman looking for partner around anymore. I feel there’s something more meaningful in life which will not back to zero even when I die. Like Jamie mentioned, why not spend time to develop more good qualities in the mind so it could bring to next life? I totally agree and thanks for speaking the truth that everybody should realize. We have to use desire in good way.

    And thanks to Rinpoche to give me the courage to love again after some years. I am not scared to be hurt anymore as I understand we do what we can do when we can, and we let go what we can not control and accept it. It’s actually been a wonderful journey for to undergo all ups and downs in relationship. They teach me great lessons to become a better person too.

    • Kwan on May 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      Hi Jace, your phrase “we do what we can do when we can, and we let go what we can not control and accept it” is a simple & practical method to let go of attachments.

      I remember one of Rinpoche’s teachings where Rinpoche explained the method to deal with attachments. He said that attachment is like a man putting his hand into the fire. And the suffering occurs when the man does not realise that he is hurting himself and continues to let his hand burn, thinking that the attachment (in this case, putting his hand into the fire) is good for himself.

      Being deluded by the nature of attachment, I often wondered how is it exactly to let go of attachments. Rinpoche’s solution was straight forward and simple – just remove your hand from the fire! In other words, just let go of the attachment! Simple easy, yet difficult to put into practice when one is very dependent and too attached to desires.

      It would be silly and hilarious, when the man, aware that he has to pull his arm out of the burning, still kept his hand stuck in the fire pit just because he is deluded.

      Good teaching from Rinpoche and thank you Jace for putting it nicely, “we do what we can do when we can, and we let go what we can not control and accept it”

      • Lawrence Wong on May 16, 2012 at 1:24 am

        Hi Kwan, I don’t agree that the way to let go of attachments is to let go of attachments. This hasn’t given any solution to those who theoretically want to let go but psychologically (then manifest into their speech and action) fail to do so, because this is simply repeating what we want to achieve again. That’s why we would not teach by saying that to attain buddhahood is to attain buddhahood.

        To me in order to let go of attachments, first I choose not to think so much about “I must succeed in letting go an attachment!” and not to think so much and deeply that being able to let go them means I succeed otherwise a failure. I would give myself a chance, some period of time during which to experience how it feels like when I’m not having any contact with the stuff that I love to attach to. Continue to regularly give myself chances not to deal with the things I attached to. Gradually I’ll begin to feel that attaching to those things doesn’t imply I’m happier than not attaching to those things. Realizing that attachment to X does not necessarily bring us more happiness, we can more easily let go and be more willing to let go of X. For attachment consumes us more energy and resources than non-attachment and we tend to choose a more comfortable and easier way to achieve happiness.

        Thank you and good night!

  51. wei theng on May 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Very meaningful and profound… at our last moment, it is our attachment will bring us to where we will be in our next life. pastor Ngeow always emphasis to us, the only way we can do is to change the habits NOW. plant good seeds for good things to grow. Less attached now and we will gain more.

  52. Elena on May 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    When Rinpoche gave that talk, he told us to meditate on it everyday because it will really help us to lessen our attachment to things.

    I’ve been thinking about it since, and how it connects to the other teachings Rinpoche has given on desire and attachment. That’s what I like about Rinpoche’s teachings, that they are like building blocks. Rinpoche gives us a part of a teaching when we’re ready for it, then gives us another part that complements the original so all of the pieces fit and make sense.

    Over the last couple of days I’ve been thinking about something Rinpoche said in a liaisons council meeting a few months ago. Rinpoche said that at the time of death, what we desire the most will hamper our rebirths. Rinpoche said it’s like our consciousness is trying to leave, but can’t do so freely because we’re chained to our attachments of this life.

    The attachments can be something as great as our wealth, our children, our families or something as small as the way our hair looks, our weight, music, shopping, singing, the way food tastes.

    It made me think about the value of those attachments. Actually they only serve us in this life, but at the time of death our attachments can cause so many problems for us by making it difficult for us to take a rebirth.

    Then, combined with the teaching Paris has just blogged about, in our next life, these desires won’t even serve us. Maybe I’ll be reborn in a formless realm where looks, weight, hair, etc do not matter because I don’t have a form…but I will still have that desire from my previous life. Or maybe I’ll be reborn as a human who is deaf and mute, but the desire from my previous life to sing or play music is still there.

    So temporarily, we might find pleasures in our attachments in this life, but at death and in our next life, we gain no benefit whatsoever. The only thing that is constant, that we can take with us is the attainments of our mind…which then links back to what Rinpoche said about how this meditation will lead us to lessen our attachments. If I realise that my attachments in this life do not benefit me at the time of death, or in my next life, then I will let go because they serve no useful purpose to me.

    I’ve been thinking about this teaching, and chewing over it from every angle in my mind ever since Rinpoche spoke that night. Thank you Rinpoche for the awesome teaching!

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Blog Chat

BLOG CHAT

Dear blog friends,

I’ve created this section for all of you to share your opinions, thoughts and feelings about whatever interests you.

Everyone has a different perspective, so this section is for you.

Tsem Rinpoche


SCHEDULED CHAT SESSIONS / 中文聊天室时间表

THURSDAY
10 - 11PM (GMT +8)
5 - 6AM (PST)
星期五
9 - 10PM (GMT +8)
4 - 5AM (PST)
(除了每个月的第一个星期五)
SATURDAY
11AM - 12PM (GMT +8)
FRIDAY 7 - 8PM (PST)
SUNDAY
9:30 - 10PM (GMT +8)
4:30 - 5AM (PST)

UPCOMING TOPICS FOR MARCH / 三月份讨论主题

Please come and join in the chat for a fun time and support. See you all there.


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Please let this be a conducive space for discussions, both light and profound.

KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

Here is the latest news and pictorial updates, as it happens, of our upcoming forest retreat project.

The Kechara Forest Retreat is a unique holistic retreat centre focused on the total wellness of body, mind and spirit. This is a place where families and individuals will find peace, nourishment and inspiration in a natural forest environment. At Kechara Forest Retreat, we are committed to give back to society through instilling the next generation with universal positive values such as kindness and compassion.

For more information, please read here (english), here (chinese), or the official site: retreat.kechara.com.

Noticeboard

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  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 04:15 PM
    Very clear explanation of what is Vajrayogini’s left foot stepping on. Each time when i have a look at the beautiful statue of Vajrayogini this question will comes back to me. i am glad came across these blog by chance, i saw and read to understand better.A clear explanation ..stampling left and right foot significant of desire ,hatred and ignorance that cause us to be in samsara and she she able to control.Vajrayogni’s practices is so powerful in heliping us and that is the reason Rinpoche always ask us to start now.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these short explanation in the video and the interesting story of Mahadeva.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/facebook-question-what-is-vajra-yoginis-left-foot-stepping-on.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:44 PM
    Rejoice to all the families who had setup a Buddhist altar at home and conducted a house blessing puja. There are diverse benefits of conducting the house blessing puja, which ranges from bringing well-being on all levels – in one’s health, relationships, business, and family – to purifying the home. The puja ceremonies will purify the environment which helps the people who live there and people who are visiting there to experience general well-being. The puja can be personalised based on the request or need of the individual. Thank you for sharing with us the many photos of the beautiful altar of these families, it is very heartwarming to know that they will always be blessed by the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/10-amazing-house-blessings-by-kechara-pastors.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 02:24 PM
    Thank you for sharing this mindfully planned itinerary for everyone who is interested in visiting Kechara Forest Retreat. Kechara Forest Retreat has different facets that showcase different elements of spirituality and Tibetan Buddhism in this wholesale venue. One can enjoy the flora and fauna of Mother Nature, or embrace the contemporary architectures that feature many magnificent Buddha statues and authentic Himalayan decorations. Not forgetting to mention, in Kechara Forest Retreat sits the largest Dorje Shugden statue in the world! This is a holy place we must never miss to pay homage for blessings from the Three Jewels.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/go-bentong.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Sunday, Mar 26. 2017 01:07 PM
    金泽“财王”护法殿

    在禅修林的入口处的左边有一间小佛堂,是全天候二十四小时开放给大众的。这间佛堂的一砖一瓦都是由不同善心人士捐增的。也因为他们过后发了一笔小财,所以在大马文东,金泽护法一般被简称为“财王“。

    根据佛陀教诲,五蕴是组成众生的五个方面,分别是色、受、想、行、识。证悟者如多杰雄登能将五蕴分别化现成不同的本尊。金泽是多杰雄登“受”蕴的化现,作用是协助我们增长世俗和修行上的财富。“受”蕴是我们对愉悦或不悦感受的认知。我们执着于愉悦,避免不悦,而这正是导致我们受困和造下各种业,继而产生痛苦的因(此段原文: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_6d7edf5f0102x1n6.html)

    来到这里,我们首先要上香。做生意的朋友可要趁此机会拜拜,供养一个大的莲花蜡烛,上三根大香,祈求今年一帆风顺哦。

    摘自“GO BENTONG!与菩萨有约”
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=120808
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 11:02 PM
    Can’t imagine that a priest actually stabbed Pope John Paul. How can he do this when he as a priest is suppose to be compassion and love everyone but kill the religion leader. he should remember that he carries the name priest and hence must show good example and behaviour to others but instead took another person’s life.

    I respected Pope John who continued his trip even though he was injured. That shows the determination he had to teach so it can benefit others. Always put others first more than our own needs.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/pope-john-paul-stabbed-by-priest.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Saturday, Mar 25. 2017 08:13 PM
    It is admirable for Sine Lindholm & Mads Ulrik Husum to place their design as open source for everyone to download and copy to manufacture. This shows how farsighted they are in propelling self-sustainability. The first step is always the hardest, and I believe what Sine and Mads had done is towards the right direction. In this way, people from all the around the world who genuinely are passionate and interested in growing own vegetables will be able to start on their own. Without needing to rely on middleman or manufacturer who might end up making the brilliant idea a commercial white elephant. Thank you, Rinpoche for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • Alice Tay
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 10:05 PM
    Many companies especially in overseas are very considerate and allow their employees to bring their dogs to work. I personally think that this is a very good practice where the employees no longer have to worry about leaving pets at home alone. The work environments that cultivate loving kindness, caring and compassion create a much more positive and productive place to work. Besides, it may influence everyone especially those who do not have pet to be more kind to the animals.

    Nevertheless, the employer and employees may have to work together to maintain the safe and cleanliness work place such as reduce odour, provide clean air and many others.

    Thank you for this interesting article as a reminder to us to love and be kind to animals no matter where we are.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/inside-the-worlds-most-dog-friendly-office.html
  • Lin Mun
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 07:06 PM
    Superb idea and very creative. Home farming in the cities ! Appreciate all the hardwork and ideas to produce Growroom. It’s just like putting a big puzzle and making the whole process so much easier to plant in cities where we always have limited spaces.

    We should support more people to come up with such ideas so we can eat our own food and cultivate self sustainability.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • Pastor Shin Tan
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:40 PM
    When on the hospital bed nearing our last breath, nothing matters except for the practice and transformation we have done in dharma in our lifetime.

    Our money, wishes, houses, clothes, jewelry, reputation, spouses, desires, dreams, greed, anger, possessions, explanations will be of no use at all. It will in fact even be a hindrance scratching at our mind’s energy to let go and we cannot.

    Since they are no use at that momentous event, we should continue that thought now and understand what we should truly cultivate now. This thought must translate into action not just scholastic thoughts and meanderings of the mind for self deception or imitation spiritual satisfaction. This is what I think daily and everyday as part of my meditations on death and impermanence according to first chapter of Lam Rim.
    ~H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche

    Learn more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-dying-process.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 12:11 PM
    Amazing and very creative architecture designed space for our home grown foods.It is a good idea for those living in the cities.The Growroom is beautifully produced made it convenience which enables people to connect with nature surrounding with plants. The smell of herbs and plants makes cities dwellers to live in happiness and healthy.
    Its takes alot of effort and determination for anyone to build a growroom.Well they can do it,if they have the will power….hoping someday KFR will have one too.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/build-your-own-growroom.html
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:39 AM
    Lazynnes ,negative karma!and mends samajas …ITS very very , inderdependent motivations lewwels of awareness Teacher’Quality &sangha quantity ,first when samajas ARE pure Empowerment full blessings later?so give less Empowerment ITS OK.ccTR IS Wise.
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:32 AM
    http://www.aikidosydneycity.com/interview-with-takeda-shihan-by-aikikai-hombu-dojo/ yes yes sumikiri!i m sure HE practice martial arts in many previous lives AS well AS have family’karma conected with ai!ki flow,,,so NEUTRAL his re:for attacks ARE.,above normal fighter skills!___and i m skull in maya astro,fine and wanth share:#####paranormalTSEMsection on:::: antarctica aliens& JFK ,Peru as egg skulls.________________have a good day&nice PRactICE.____THE LIGHT be?or just show options that can be used.
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:23 AM
    For example B_LOCK can be neutral karma ,butRE_PLAY reactions can make diferent results in second person?
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:22 AM
    NEUTRAL karma not make good ,not bad result!but ITS STill karma so IS not done from lewwels of acomplishment where IS NO NEW karma acumulations.
    [no sender]
  • nut
    Friday, Mar 24. 2017 01:16 AM

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CREDITS

Concept: Tsem Rinpoche
Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
Design: Justin Ripley, Cynthia Lee
Content: Tsem Rinpoche, Justin Ripley, Pastor Shin Tan, Sarah Yap
Writer: Pastor Loh Seng Piow
Admin: Pastor Loh Seng Piow, Beng Kooi

I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

Tsem Rinpoche

What Am I Writing Now

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
7 days ago
Click on picture to enlarge and see what Milarepa says. Profound.
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don\'t have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
7 days ago
We are always trying to get somewhere, try something new, find some friends, get some entertainment and in the end we end up in the same place. Time to really practice Dharma seriously and stop wasting time we don't have. ~Tsem Rinpoche
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
7 days ago
March 20, 2017-Mumu is just so adorable with his bright eyes.
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
More and more people inviting Lord Dorje Shugden home to connect with on their shrines. I am so happy to see this as it will benefit them and their families so much. That is the purpose to be alive which is to benefit others as much as possible. Tsem Rinpoche
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 week ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
1 week ago
His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche is a good sport watching his students do Halloween drag costumes for a charity show. Funny!
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
The Japanese are very innovative. Tsem Rinpoche
Read this as it will be interesting
1 week ago
Read this as it will be interesting
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Recite this before any meal or drinks for blessings of abundance. Tsem Rinpoche
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
This sacred statue of Buddha is in Nepal brought originally from Tibet and has spoken on many occasions. Very blessed to see this holy image and keep a picture...bless you always. Tsem Rinpoche
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
I love Mumu boy tremendously. We went through so much together for so many years. You are a great being to be with. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
Dear everyone, I am sharing this beautiful and modern altar to Dorje Shugden in Malaysia. I am glad to see more and more people creating sacred spaces. Tsem Rinpoche
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one\'s head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book \"The Female Buddhas.\"- Glenn Mullin
2 weeks ago
Lhamo Karmo, a female buddha form visualized above the crown of one's head at the time of death, to encourage consciousness to leave the body via the crown aperture. From my book "The Female Buddhas."- Glenn Mullin
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
2 weeks ago
The Tibetan female tulku Dorje Pakmo, from a fresco on the wall of the Dorje Pakmo monastery (Samding) in Tibet, near the Turquoise Lake. In Tibet the Dorje Pakmo was ranked with the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Sakya Trizin as the four highest lamas in the country.-from Glenn Mullin
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
4 weeks ago
Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl checking out the scene..cute
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
4 weeks ago
My Dharma boy has such a cute expression here. He is a good boy!
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
2 months ago
February 9,2017-My Mumu boy and Oser girl are just relaxing together..super cute
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
2 months ago
Click on the picture to enlarge and see what Suzy from Hawaii commented on the Dorje Shugden issue after much research. She is very candid and honest. Refreshing. Original is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-4lIwxph4
This is a good one to read
2 months ago
This is a good one to read
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
2 months ago
Mumu is silly and cute and funny
Mumu\'s hair is messy and he looks funny
2 months ago
Mumu's hair is messy and he looks funny
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. 
I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. 
Feast your eyes! 

Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
I am in the process of creating beautiful Dorje Shugden and Kechara Forest Retreat watches at this time. So we can take precious protector and Kechara Forest Retreat wherever we go and be blessed everytime we see what time it is. I am perfecting the designs with a great team and will update when done but these are just some samples that arrived. Feast your eyes! Tsem Rinpoche
                        Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini\'s path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html  Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Pick the practice, devotion and precepts of Vajra Yogini's path over everything and anything in samsara. Samsara has nothing of value and nothing lasting to offer. You are born in suffering, live in suffering, die in suffering and enter bardo and future lives expecting more sufferings. This is not a negative way of looking at things but the truth. If the truth is negative, so it is the truth. Devote oneself to the guru, dharma work, dharma practice and bringing dharma to others compassionately. Choose to practice Vajra Yogini now with the preliminaries. You can start right now: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/starting-on-vajra-yogini-now.html Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
Message to Tibetans in English
3 months ago
Message to Tibetans in English
Message to the Tibetans
3 months ago
Message to the Tibetans
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
3 months ago
Left to right: Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche, Sharpa Choeje Jetsun Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche, 101st Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Great lamas of Gaden Shartse Monastery
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
3 months ago
A beautiful Indian rendition of Gyenze Dorje Shugden manifesting in wealth form
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
This is my thoughts and determination to share with you. Please open and read. Thank you for your time. Tsem Rinpoche
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
3 months ago
Nepalese King Birendra receives His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche in Nepal
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
3 months ago
Guess what Zava Damdin Rinpoche did in Mongolia recently with 7,800 people??? Very interesting and it is a must read:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=116206
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
4 months ago
This huge Buddha in Korea is magnificent
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
4 months ago
The very first oracle of Dorje Shugden in trance statue. I have commissioned this.
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
4 months ago
Such a old and ancient thangka painting of Dorje Shugden. He has been around in Tibet practiced for hundreds of years.
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
4 months ago
One of the "Four Exalted Brothers" Avalokiteshvara statues, Phagpa Wati of Kyirong, which is now with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
4 months ago
Kyabje Zemey, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Kyabje Pabongka Choktrul Rinpoche
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
4 months ago
My Oser girl and Mumu boy are so adorable
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Wow this meditator in his cave in front of a painting of Yamantaka draped with a white khata of respect. He sits among bones to remind him of impermanence and our future. The bones inspire him strongly to let go of all attachments in this life and focus on dharma, meditation and liberation and he is doing so. Very beautiful and inspirational. Tsem Rinpoche
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
5 months ago
Tenzing Norgay found this in Nepal. Guess what it is?
Sir Edmund Hillary
5 months ago
Sir Edmund Hillary
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha\'s teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
5 months ago
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Wild natural plants and flowers are my favorite offering. Buddha's teachings on meditation and Yidam practice bring the ultimate results and happiness. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I\'ve seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Previous lives do resemble current lives especially if they are a recognized incarnation. If notice how similar the previous and current Trijang Rinpoche looks. The eyes, bone structure, expression, long neck, thin and overall look. Beautiful. I've seen this phenomena over and over in many Rinpoche incarnations. Especially when you compare them with pictures of previous and current lives at around the same ages. Something powerfully karmic about this. Tsem Rinpoche
It\'s nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
6 months ago
It's nice to have monks visitors and resident monks in Kechara
                         Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
6 months ago
Taken in Lake Champlain in Canada. A huge water monster...neat...
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Beautiful! His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang has always been good friends with His Holiness Karmapa. No wonder H.H. Karmapa never spoke against Dorje Shugden. Two reasons perhaps: One is he knows the qualities of Trijang Rinpoche who is a attained being. And Karmapa himself has clairvoyance to perceive the true nature of Dorje Shugden directly. I love to see great beings like this manifesting closeness. When I see, I just want to prostrate to them and thank them for sharing such good examples to someone like me. Praise to the ego-less mind! Tsem Rinpoche
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
6 months ago
Serkong Dorje Chang on the left and his son Serkong Tsenshab Rinpoche on the right.
High lamas in France September 2016
6 months ago
High lamas in France September 2016
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden:   http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
6 months ago
༧གོང་ས་ཆེན་པོ་སྐུ་འཕྲེང་བཅུ་བཞི་པ་མཆོག་དང་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན། - Interesting relationship between 14th Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109757
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
6 months ago
Dalai Lama Says We Can Practise Dorje Shugden Finally! Read more on this development--- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=109777
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Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

  • March 27, 2017 04:19
    Dongho asked: I have been reading on the tunes of certain sects and would like to ask on this. From what I've read, there are certain tunes to each sect and school of certain chants. Exactly where can I find the sheet music for these percussion and horns with the chants, such as to the one for invoking Kache Marpo or Dorje Shugden? Would it be possible to use school instruments for this?
    No reply yet
  • March 26, 2017 02:14
    Kunga asked: Does the Gelug have Begtse a protector? If so, could you please provide a sadhana for him here?
    pastor answered: Dear Kunga, Yes the Dharma protector Begtse exists within the Gelug tradition. He is also known as Chamsing. Begtse’s practice stems from India and was introduced to Tibet and therefore Tibetan Buddhism by the translator Nyen Lotsawa. Marpa Lotsawa also practiced Begtse, and so the practice exists in the Kagyu traditions. This practice was eventually transmitted to Sachen Kunga Nyingpo, the first of the five patriarchs of the Sakya tradition, who were the founding fathers of that tradition. Over time the practice of Begtse was incorporated into the Gelug tradition, founded by Lama Tsongkhapa, and was notably practiced by the 1st and 2nd Dalai Lamas. Over time the practice gained popularity within the lineage, especially when it spread to Mongolia. There the practice became an important one within the lineage as upheld there. Begtse is also affectionately known as the Dharma protector of Mongolia, because his practice is so popular there. If I am not mistaken, there is an oracle of Begtse in Mongolia as well. There is a mistaken account that the practice originated around the time of the 3rd Dalai Lama, with the subjugation of a Mongolian war god, but Begtse was definitely practiced before that time in the Gelug, Kagyu and Sakya traditions. While the practice of Begtse is very effective, I have not come across the practice of Begtse in my personal practice, therefore I do not have access to the Begtse sadhana to provide to you. Instead Begtse is propitiated in prayers that incorporate many other Dharma protectors, and Begtse is also considered one of the nine protectors of the Hayagriva (Tamdrin) cycle of tantric teachings. Therefore Begtse is included in the Dharma protector sections of the Hayagriva tantras. Surrounding Begtse are his sister, Sing Ma, and his main minister, Le Khan Mar Po. His inner retinue comprises of eight butchers who wield copper swords in their right hands and skull-cups full of blood in their left hands. They are portrayed as naked and are very ugly. His outer retinue comprises a further twenty-one butchers, who hold copper swords in their right hands, and this time, the entrails of butchered enemies. They wear the skins humans and oxen as clothes, with ornaments made from human bone. While this may seem violent, Begtse is actually a very powerful and beneficial protector, who helps practitioners clear their obstacles and create conducive conditions for their spiritual evolution. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 24, 2017 20:12
    Azair asked: Venerable Rinpoche, I am doing a study in Kalachakra Tantra and I've heard from most of the lama's too that if you practice the Kalachakra Tantra, you'll be able to take control of your next rebirth. Ofcourse, it has been said that we will get our rebirth according to our Karma and desires but whether those dreams will get fulfilled will depend upon the actions that we take in this life. Thus, practicing the Kalachakra(till the end) after initiation will give you the opportunity to take rebirth anywhere you desire regardless of your Karma. My question is that, is there some truth in this statement.? Does this statement hold true for other tantra practices, such as Vajrayogini Tantra, Ghuyasamaja Tantra, Heruka Tantra, etc. I would really really like to know. Thankyou in anticipation, regards, Azair
    pastor answered: Dear Azair, Thank you for your question. Yes there is truth to this statement, both from a scriptural perspective and also by example, as the great masters have shown us. This is a unique feature of all Anuttarayoga Tantras or Highest Yoga Tantras, which Kalachakra, Vajrayogini, Guhyasama and Heruka are all examples of. This category of tantric practice can actually lead a practitioner to full enlightenment in this very lifetime. Even if enlightenment is not reached, very high levels of attainment can be reached nonetheless. This includes the ability to take control over your next rebirth. This is primarily engaged in so that the practitioner is born in an environment where they can eventually pick up their practice and further their spiritual path to enlightenment, or in order to be born in a place where they can benefit sentient beings the most, as part of the spiritual journey over many lifetimes. One of the reasons such an ability is very necessary on the spiritual path, is that usual death and rebirth occurs at the mercy of ones karma, specifically what is known as the ‘throwing karma’ or the karma that dictates what sort of rebirth a person is going to take. This opens up at the time of ordinary death, which most people have no control over. During the death process, many of our disturbing emotions will arise. Whichever of these is the strongest at the point of death triggers open a latent karmic potential, which becomes the ‘throwing karma’ and dictates where we are going to take rebirth and if that life will generally be full of suffering or not. Within Anuttarayoga Tantra, one of the key points of practice is to prepare for one’s death. This is done by simulating the dying process during one’s meditations, so that one becomes familiar with it. At the most pivotal part of this process, one practices achieving either the rainbow body or great bliss (in the case of the father tantras); or clear light (in the case of mother tantras). The tantras themselves are not defined in terms of the gender of the central deity, but by the method used to gain enlightenment. This is either the rainbow body/great bliss (classified as male, therefore labelled ‘father’) or clear light (classified as female, therefore labelled ‘mother’). Non-dual tantras such as the Kalachakra tantra can employ either of the two methods, a mixture of both, or alternate methods. In the case of superior practitioners, due to the power of their practice, they can achieve either of these two methods in their current body. Since they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, and a particular method of practice, they can also achieve enlightenment during their physical death. The great Lama Tsongkhapa is said to have achieved enlightenment at the moment of physical death, using the second of these. For other practitioners, they may not be able to achieve this either in their meditations while they are alive, or during the death process. However because they have familiarised themselves with the dying process, they remain in complete concentration at the time of death, not allowing any disturbing emotions to arise. Due to this level of concentration, meditation and awareness during the dying process, they are able to control where they next take rebirth. This is evident in the tantric scriptures themselves, and the life stories of many masters, who can state exactly where, when and to whom they will take their next rebirth, as they are in full control of the dying and rebirth process. There is a type of meditation called ‘thukdam’ which has been translated into ‘death meditation’. This is a final meditation some masters choose to engage in. During this meditation, the master themselves consciously begin the physical dying process themselves, engage in the meditation of dissolving the winds into the heart centre and remain in the most pivotal part of the death process, the mind of clear light of death. During this point they engage in meditations, either the methods of the father or mother tantras as mentioned previously, and or consciously choose where they are to next take rebirth. They can remain in this death meditation for long periods of time, days at an end, in which their consciousness has not yet left their body, although for all intents and purposes they are dead according to medical science, e.g. they have no heartbeat. At the end of their meditation, a drop of blood will be emitted from their nostril, and their head will slump over a little. Masters who engage in this meditation usually sit in full meditation posture, and their body remain supple and soft even though they have passed away from a medical point of view. I hope this brief explanation helps. Thank you.
  • March 23, 2017 23:01
    Brad asked: What is the significance of offering the Seven precious emblems of royalty to the Buddhas and enlightened Dharma Protectors? What are we symbolically offering up?
    pastor answered: Dear Brad, Thank you for your question. The ‘saptaratna’ or seven precious emblems represent on the one hand the ultimate state of temporal power, and on the other hand the ultimate spiritual attainments that we can achieve. By offering these to the Buddhas, we are actually creating the causes to achieve what they represent. Therefore it is good to know the meaning of each, so we can understand what we are creating the causes for by offering them up: Please see below for an explanation of the seven royal emblems: 1. The Precious Wheel: a thousand spoked wheel, representing the universal power of the Buddhas, as well as the teachings of the thousand Buddhas of our aeon. It is represented by the Dharmachakra, symbolising the ‘turning of the wheel’ or teaching of the Noble Eightfold Path. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, especially that of our own mind, thoughts, delusions and afflictions. 2. The Precious Jewel: an eight sided wish-granting gem, which fulfils all the needs of a universal emperor. This jewel has eight special qualities: it illuminates the night sky for hundreds of leagues; it is cooling when the temperature is hot and warming when the temperature is cold; it makes manifest whatever the holder wants; when thirsty it causes a fresh-water spring to appear; it has the ability to control the nagas, and other supernatural beings, as well as preventing natural disasters such as storms, floods, etc.; it gives off multi-coloured lighted which heals the various mental and emotional afflictions; it cures all illnesses; and it ensures that one dies a natural death, not an untimely one. It is a symbol of a universal emperor’s spiritual and temporal power. It is also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect mindfulness, or perfect discrimination, so one knows what to abandon and what to keep in the mindstream during the spiritual journey to enlightenment. 3. The Precious Queen: the most beautiful and virtuous of all women. She is described as a goddess who is the epitome of someone: with devotion; without jealousy; who is the embodiment of fertility; who works for the welfare of all beings; who possess feminine wisdom; speaks the truth; not attract to sensual pleasures or material possessions; and does not have false views. She is adored by all. She also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect effort. This is necessary to keep meditating until one gains spiritual attainments. 4. The Precious Minister: who has sharp intelligence, patience, and the ability to give wise counsel to the emperor. He is so attuned to the emperor that even before the emperor has spoken, the minister is already carrying out his command. He only wishes to support the Dharma, help sentient beings, and is an excellent strategist. He also represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect joy. This is also akin to the attainment of the first bodhisattva level, because you have come to an understanding of your own mind, which is like pouring ice-cold water into boiling water. The water stops boiling, as does the thoughts, projections, and delusions in the mind. He represents the path of the bodhisattva. 5. The Precious Elephant: who has the strength of a thousand normal elephants. He is white, with the perfect features that an elephant could have. He is majestic, graceful, and gentle, but in battle is fearsome, fearless and unyielding. He communicates with the emperor through a telepathic link. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect adaptability. This is important, as one needs to be able to adapt to the various mental afflictions as they arise, and suitably counter them. 6. The Precious Horse: who has all the marks of a celestial horse. Known as wind-horse, he is able to travel extremely fast, and can circumambulate the entire universe three time in just a single day. He is never fearful or startled, never makes a sound when galloping, and has extremely soft hairs on his body. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is single-pointed concentration. This is important because without this form of concentration, once cannot engage in the analytical meditations that lead to an understanding of emptiness, and therefore enlightenment. 7. The Precious General: who has mastered the arts of war and always wins in battle. He wears battle armour and holds many different weapons. He tries to avoid battle, but when necessary fights, and never gives up until he has won. He is fearless, and courageous in carrying out the emperors commands and ensures the emperors army carries out their duties. He represents one of the factors of enlightenment, which is perfect equanimity. This is because he overcomes all warfare, which is akin to the battle between things were are attached to and things we have an aversion for in our minds. In short, what you are offering up is the highest of all temporal treasures and abilities, as well as the entire path of the Dharma. Doing so creates the causes for you to receive all of this on your spiritual journey towards enlightenment. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • March 20, 2017 10:16
    Grigoris asked: Excuse me, but I would like to ask, what does the prayer to Shangmo Dorje Putri say exactly? I can't read Tibetan, but would like to see the description that the prayer gives. I am not planning to say the prayer or make interaction(as it would be very dangerous), but would like to see what it actually says from the Tibetan text. Here's the link: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/shangmo-dorje-putri-the-bamo-of-sakya.html
    pastor answered: Dear Grigoris, Thank you for your question. Shangmo Dorje Putri is indeed a fascinating unenlightened Dharma protector. Unfortunately at the moment, we do not have a translated copy of the text in English that we can provide. The usual format for such texts, would include an invocation, making offerings to appease them, and then exhortations for them to perform their activities, possibly followed by thanking them for their help. One thing is for certain, due to the nature of Shangmo Dorje Putri her prayer is sure to include violent imagery, just like many other Dharma protectors, such as Achi Chokyi Drolma (who even though has a peaceful appearance, has a lot of violent imagery in her prayers). The reason behind the violent imagery is explained in the post about Achi Chokyi Drolma here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/achi-chokyi-drolma-chief-protectress-of-the-drikung-kagyu.html
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Dorje Shugden
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