Guest Contributors – Sheryl Low
Article submitted by Sheryl Low
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Submitted article for “BLOG COMPETITION: Invite back a Manjushri statue!”
I first come in contact with Dharma through participating in 100 Million Mani Recitation Retreat during late 2010, and then followed by visit to a Tibetan centre and some encounters with respectable Rinpoches. I remember that at that time I could hardly pronounce the word ‘Rinpoche’.
Ever since then, Dharma comes into my life and I elaborate briefly below how Dharma has benefited my life in four principle ways:
I searched for answers to my life, and this I found through Dharma teachings. While I am still an early learner of Dharma, I feel that answers to my life questions lie within precious Buddhism books such as Lamrim. Buddhas have given us all the teachings that we need for our lives. Prior to knowing Dharma, so much time has been wasted on conventional channels such as mediums, card readings or fengsui. All these things gave me only temporary solutions or satisfaction, something that I ran for and held onto so strongly for the hope that they gave me, and which got burst time and again like bubbles. They are like sink-holes. I should have worked on my own karma, read more dharma books and transformed my mind, because these are what makes results permanent. Now I rely on the Three Jewels, for they give me true reliance.
Karma is quite a centre topic to BuddhaDharma. After having come to understand more about Dharma, I learn the importance of purification of negative karma and accumulation of merits. I have learnt that karma explains the inequalities in people in many aspects, from wealth, health, look and to all things about ourselves and in our surrounding. I have learnt to be more aware of my own conduct, because everything that I do is a cause and there is an ensuing result. Karma is constantly looking at me and this understanding leads me to be more conscious of my own actions, because ultimately I am the creator of my own destiny and this is so important in the long run.
While I am still pretty elementary in my Dharma learning, in suitable cases I share my Dharma knowledge and do whatever that I believe Dharma can help to my friends and animals that I come across. These may seem to be benefits for them, but when I have more knowledge and capabilities, I can do something in needy situation, rather than feeling and acting helplessly. It is beautiful to be able to share with my friends the truth in our lives, such as impermanence and karma. And it is beautiful beyond words to know how to chant some mantras and blow them on animals knowing that this will benefit them if not in this life then it will be the next. Being able to create and provide benefits for others can be very satisfying.
Dharma brings me peace and this I feel is the highest gift that I receive from accepting Dharma in my life. This sense of peace comes from basic things such as admiring at Buddha statues or images or simply smelling the fragrance exuding from the incense, I am deeply grateful that I have now found a place where I can rest my mind after so much of the twists and turns. Everything in life can be so illusionary, now we have it the next moment it is gone, and this can be so scary, especially that we tend to rely on things that we all thought will be with us forever. No, things do not happen this way. Everything in life can go off like sands in our hands; they will leave us. There is no other thing than Dharma in this world that can give people eternal peace because of the true reliance and the compassion of the Buddhas.
I believe in the importance of Guru Devotion and trust that this will lead me to receive Buddha’s blessings. Buddha’s blessings and thinking about my Guru give me peace, because they are the truth and they are compassionate beings. I cannot go wrong with this.
Now looking back at the path that I have walked through, I am amazed at how things come and fit together like jigsaw puzzles in such a beautiful way that I am now led to Dharma, which I am so grateful for. Dharma has benefited my life through providing me answers to my life, making me more aware of my own actions, allowing me to know more ways of helping people as well as animals and giving me internal peace and true reliance. Last but not the least, I see myself extremely fortunate to be able to cross path with Tsem Tulku Rinpoche and to have him as my Guru, this is my greatest blessing in this life.
** All pictures provided here are taken by myself. I provided the original copies as separate attachments for you in case the pictures do not look sharp on this word document.
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