Guest Contributors – Gabriel
Article submitted by Gabriel
[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!”
While my external life has always been easy and comfortable, even as a child, I had severe depressions starting at the age of about 9 years old. I did not fully understand what was going on within myself back then, I only knew that I was sad, depressed and often had suicidal thoughts. The world seemed like a dark and ugly place to me. For a long time no one, including myself, could understand why I was so depressed because my situation was in many ways ideal (loving parents, comfortable economic situation, good school grades, etc.). It took me quite a long time to find the Dharma and to finally start to understand the root of my issues, and that while I projected an outward image of being nice and peaceful, inwardly I was deeply attached to my own comfort and feeling entitled while not getting what I think I deserved. In fact after almost ten years in Dharma I still struggle with those things, but my resolve not to give up and to continue trying until I succeed continues to increase.
I was fortunate enough to find a Dharma centre and teacher relatively quickly after I found the Dharma. The first time I saw Khensur Rinpoche I just knew. I knew I had found what I was looking for all my life, and that I would follow him until my death. When I approached him on the throne after teaching to offer the kata, I remember shaking uncontrollably and being on the verge of tears. Now it’s been almost ten years and I am still confident that I have made the right choice.
After first meeting with my teacher, I had this feeling that everything would be all right. However in my head, I thought that from this point on everything would be smooth and wonderful, and that I would peacefully progress on the path of Dharma until I reach some higher level of spiritual attainment.
The Sutras say that when you engage into the Dharma, there are many obstacles that arise. And, in my own experience, I am forced to face the things I didn’t want to face or had been avoiding all my life. In some way those obstacles are blessings in disguise, difficult situations that force you to progress. I am far from being a great practitioner of Dharma, but over the years I have found that if I just persevere, even though I might have freak-outs or become desperate at times, in the end my mind does improve and over time I am able to deal with things that I wasn’t able to deal with before. My Guru used to tease me and tell me “cannot” all the time, and looking back I have no doubt that from the start he already knew that I needed to become more courageous and learn how to not to give up. He stopped teasing me after I took the resolve to get back up as many times as needed until I actually succeed.
In this aspect, Tsem Rinpoche’s teaching has also been very helpful, and now I know that even if I fail 1000 times, if I do not give up and succeed the 1001th time, in the end I will have succeeded. When I feel discouraged because problems and difficult situations seem to come without end in sight, remembering this has been very helpful.
I would also take this chance to express my gratitude to His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche for his teachings and the kindness of his students in making them available for the world to benefit. My own teacher was born in Tibet in the 1930s and in many ways is very traditional, and being a westerner growing up in North America, there are many times I did not understand things which are granted for people of oriental background. I was fortunate enough to have some close Dharma friends to explain many things to me and to have met with His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s teachings through the internet, which have clarified a lot of things for me. In fact, looking back on the past few years, I think I could have damaged my relationship with my Guru severely if it wasn’t for Tsem Rinpoche’s teachings, and for that I am immensely grateful. I sincerely wish that one day I can meet Rinpoche in person.
Lastly, I do not think that I particularly deserve to win the blog contest. In fact, reading the other entries I can easily tell what many of them deserve it more than me, as my issues are only internal and self-created. My only wish is that my words might be read by Tsem Rinpoche and that this creates the causes for us to meet in the future.
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