Guest Contributor – Jim Yeh
Article submitted by Jim Yeh
[TO BE VOTED ON! The article or video with the most number of views by 21 April 2013 will win a Manjushri statue!]
Submitted article for “BLOG COMPETITION: Invite back a Manjushri statue!” – http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/blog-competition-invite-back-a-manjushri-statue.html]
August 12th, 2012. 5:50 AM
As I speed at 165 km/hr on the 407 highway, I thought to myself “I don’t care if I die today.” I hated and loathed my life, my work environment, the people around me. I wondered why I am such a screw up and why nothing has worked out for me in the past 5 years. It felt like the whole damn universe is against me. Boo-hoo. Somehow, I knew that fire inside me has fizzled out.
Yep. This is the kind of man I was. A very flawed man, a perfect example of someone Rinpoche would love to mock at during his various teachings. My colleagues saw me as someone who is quiet and shy, little did they suspect, that I’ve been dishing out judgement on them in the quiet comfort of my troubled mind all along. Close friends and family saw me as a selfish, immature and stubborn brat who is growing increasingly petty as the years pile on. Ouch. Well, they aren’t completely wrong. My passion was to do whatever it takes to avoid people.
I wasn’t sinking, I’ve already sunk.
January 9th, 2013. 6:45 AM
Months flew by and my situation remained stagnant.
At the office, while I wasted time at my cubicle and brooded about why I am still stuck in a rut, the voice inside my head tells me to check out this blog site my sister Mavis has been harping on and on about constantly for the past 3 years. I began to type “Tsem Rinpo-…” on google and the search autofill guided me to the blog site.
I explored the site and stumbled upon a post titled “Designing and Spirituality.” Hmm. The graphic designer in me became curious. I clicked on it and began to read.
I paused a moment after reading the last paragraph and realized that I felt the same way about my career as a graphic designer, at anytime it would go kaput. I continued reading.
“What? That’s all it took to turn Eric Choong’s life around?” I thought. “Everything changes but nothing changes?” I didn’t quite get it. I wanted more details. I needed to know more.
I began to search the blog site frantically and found the video titled “Nothing Changes. Everything Changes.” The title appeared familiar to me and I recalled, that couple of months ago my brother Erik asked me to watch this video, much to my chagrin, I never did.
I make the effort and watch the video intently this time. An hour later, something inside my mind switched back on.
January 19th, 2013. 1:00 AM
I am still wide awake. Intently watching the video on the “Condensed Tsongkhapa practice for Happiness & clear mind.” Who is Tsongkhapa? How come I never heard of him before?” I thought. It takes a full week for me to watch all 4 videos and digest what Rinpoche taught.
The very next day, I decide to see how many days I can go on without consuming animal flesh.
January 29th, 2013
At work, I began to greet all my colleagues with a smile. I happily took on more responsibilities and slaved away with more diligence than usual. Outside of work, I attempted to get in touch with people I’ve avoided for over a year.
Since January 19th, no animals were harmed in the making of my meals. I remain determined to stay vegetarian . My occasional cravings for meat makes me think “Damn, I can’t go to that sushi place I love so much again.” But I quickly silence that voice by reminding myself why I do this.
In the evening, I visited the Humane Society of Canada website and committed myself to set aside funds to donate to the organization on a monthly basis. I then proceeded to visit Vajrasecrets.com to make the same commitment when the Lamps for Life and Slice of Heaven promotions grabbed my attention, I immediately made a sponsorship on the butterlamp and dedicated it to my family. Few days later, I sponsored the Slice of Heaven and dedicated it to Rinpoche and my loved ones.
I finally memorized Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra and ordered an 8” Lama Tsongkhapa statue. I began to recite the mantra consistently everyday.
February 11th, 2013
At the office, I cleared out the trash on my cubicle book shelf and made space for a Lama Tsongkhapa thangka instead (which was given to me by my sister Amy), accompanied by smaller statues of Shakyamuni and Kuan Yin. Now my colleagues get curious whenever they pass by my cubicle, some eventually stop and ask me what they are. I converse with them about dharma when I gauge that they are genuinely interested.
I became more active on Rinpoche’s blog chat corner. I get acquainted with Sharon Saw, Wai Meng, Freon, Paris, Kwok Wai and many others including the blogchat bully….Joy Kam (Haha.)
February 19th, 2013
A parcel for me arrives at the office and instantly I knew it was from Tsem Ladrang , I quickly ran to the front desk and picked it up. Upon opening the package, I felt ecstatic to find dharma books and two very beautiful Shakyamuni pendants enclosed, a generous gift to my sister Mavis and myself from His Eminence himself! I get no work done for the next hour due to my sheer excitement.
February 21th, 2013
A second parcel from Tsem Ladrang arrives for me at the office. His Eminence has gifted me with more dharma books and dvds. As my excitement level rose, my productivity level fell again. No mortal man can continue to work after receiving such generosity from His Eminence.
March 17th, 2013. 2:30 AM ( Present day )
As I type away in my den. I reflect and think about all the positive changes that have occurred in my life, changes that have only manifested after I practiced what Rinpoche taught.
My social circle has expanded and I actually look forward to social gatherings once more. My diligence at work has earned me a significant increase in my salary and my colleagues grew to enjoy my company. Instead of staying up late at night filling my head with the scum of the internet, I now stay up late to absorb more of Rinpoche’s video teachings. My life has become a lot less directionless now, I know where to focus my energy on, rather than dispersing them haphazardly in all the wrong places. I feel prepared to endure and overcome obstacles without showing a “black face” to people around me. And when I really do need some advice, I know I can count on the the full might of the people of Tsem Landrang, who are always ready, willing and patient.
Can you guess who Roland is? I’ll give you a hint, it’s me!
Rinpoche’s dedication to help everyone tirelessly has made his aura radiate halfway across the globe and rekindled my fire. I don’t fully understand how his teachings somehow carry a sense of command that magically makes me want to absorb, understand and practice dharma earnestly, but I feel very happy and fortunate that I have just the right amount of merits to understand his teachings.
Wow. I am actually happy. And I know I’m not the only one who has benefited from Rinpoche’s blog.
Thank you Rinpoche, from the very bottom of my heart.
I will see you all in May!
[DISCLAIMER: The above timeline is an approximation and may not be entirely accurate due to the author’s lack of timeline recalling skills. Please don’t sue or disqualify me :)]
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