After almost one month traveling in Vietnam and Taiwan, more than 110 of us are now back, preparing for our next eco Pad Yatra. I want to especially thank all the volunteers and sponsors for making the trips possible. I was very pleased with Gyarawa Rinpoche's dedication to the lineage and the spiritual path. I am sure that with the help of all of my students and friends, my next visit to Taiwan or the next visit of my friends and students, old and new, to Druk Amitabha Mountain or to the next Annual Drukpa Council, will be able to benefit many, many more people. My nuns, my entourage and myself appreciate the joint effort by everyone to make both visits successful and pleasant.
I was really happy that many new friends have come directly to me, telling me with the genuine heart that they are interested in a genuine spiritual path. My style is very direct, I am free to connect with everyone and anyone and I am free to teach and share, because my only agenda is to help and benefit, that's all. If this doesn't work with some people, it would work with some other people. Without names mentioned, from the depth of my heart, I thank and appreciate those who have been quietly helping me make genuine connection with sincere individuals who wish to walk the path with me and my entourage. This is a great way to accumulate merit and everyone should rejoice. There are many beings in this world who need support, so we all should be directing our energy for positive reasons and causes. This is why great teachers like Shantideva say, we have to be in the company of virtuous friends, avoid unvirtuous company. Virtuous friends are not people who superficially say and act according to your wishes, but friends who live in accordance to the universal truth and friends who support you in your spiritual practice. If people around you are only saying things that you like to hear or acting superficially according to your wish, maybe they are encouraging your emotions and keeping you away from your true nature. These are not virtuous friends.
Although I know that behind the scenes, there were some emotional "accidents", which is expected, I would advise that those who are genuine spiritual practitioners, ignore them. If ultimately, the lineage benefits and the beings benefit and one is doing completely free of selfish motivation, then everything is okay. However, if one is the cause of these, then look at oneself and improve. My advice is for everyone to practise and improve. Whoever has good and bad karma depends on his or her motivation, nothing to do with anyone else. Just mind your own business and guard your mind, because the mind is the controller of your speech and your actions.
In one of the interviews, a very experienced journalist asked me a very interesting question. She said, "You have been living in this world for more than 1000 years, are you tired?" I am of course tired. When I say something on my web, people use my words to judge others whom they do not agree with or whom they are angry with. Spiritual advice is for you to check yourself. Unless you are enlightened, you have no right to judge. So sometimes, I laugh to myself, should I be wasting my energy to polish my poor English and my grammar? As you all know, I never went to school, so you can imagine trying to write all these different sorts of things in English must be so difficult for me. Well, it's your choice. If one chooses not to improve, then while you are making lots of negative comments about others, your mind will deteriorate. Dharma to you is just a drama. So do not let your emotions become your boss, you are your own boss.
Actually where is the path? The path is within you yourself, I can only show the way, but it's up to you yourself to walk it. If someone or some masters tell you that they can walk the path for you, don't believe it. YOU have to walk it yourself. That's why I always emphasize that look into your mind, look at yourself, do not point the fingers at others and blame others for your own problems and your own unhappiness. You are the only person who can make yourself happy and unhappy. Most people react unnecessarily and create more negativity. The wise man is the one who is able to look at his or her own emotions, and transform them, do not react to your emotions or others' emotions. As I always say, emotions are killers to your relationship with others and your relationship with yourself. First, you criticise and blame others and slowly by slowly, you end up blaming yourself, because you would suddenly realise that there is no one else around you for you to blame, since everyone would run away from you, and you would end up blaming yourself. I do not believe that there is ultimately a bad person or a bad or negative being. There is always a chance to improve but this realisation of needing to improve has to come from within yourself, then willingly and voluntarily, you will improve, by improving yourself, you are walking the spiritual path.
What to do when someone keeps gossiping nonsense about others to you, especially sometimes when you don't even know the persons that he or she is talking or complaining about? Do not listen, do not believe and do not judge, and if you know that your mind is too weak to handle, ignore the gossipers. What to do if you are the subject of malicious criticisms? Then I have to congratulate you, this is a great chance to practise Bodhicitta and patience. Someone has offered a great opportunity for you to transform intellectual understanding into experiential understanding. Thank them and dedicate your merit to them. If there is no one to make you suffer, if there is no suffering, it is sometimes quite difficult to develop wisdom and compassion. If you cannot deal with them, then ignore them externally, but never give them up in your Bodhicitta practice. Whenever I have this sort of experience, first I try to look at myself. It is always difficult to look at yourself and say, "Hey! There is something wrong with myself, I have to improve." Then I try to understand why people are reacting so negatively and so angrily with me. After that, I try to develop my own strength. The strength I am talking about is not Kung Fu fighting, like what my nuns are pretty good at, but the strength of understanding through development of wisdom, love and compassion. With this understanding, my emotions are dissolved and transformed into a great path. Emotions are not bad if you know how to deal with them. They can be used as engines to help you on your path, especially when you are a good practitioner. If you are a so-so practitioner, then you have to cut them off and work with them until you are ready to transform them and dance with them.
There is a saying, whoever reacts to emotions is the loser, big loser. So do not react to emotions, if you are not able to dance with them harmoniously, ignore them. That's all for now. Since there are hundreds or thousands of photos that I could see on Facebook, I didn't think I should be spending so much time putting all of them here. So I just take the liberty to choose a few and share with those of you who have no access to the activities in Taiwan that have just taken place. I will share my thoughts again in a day or two, I hope the translators of the different languages are keeping up to date! Sorry for my long windedness.