Positive activities are needed to support our daily life and our mind. Without positive actions, our thoughts tend to be distracted and similarly, without positive thoughts, our actions tend to be affected by negative emotions. Therefore I appreciate everyone who had put in a lot of effort to organise different positive activities in the name of my birthday celebration, which took place recently. After all, life is short and precious, we should use it for positive purposes.
Live To Love organised a very successful eye camp that helped more than 240 people who were able to regain their eyesight. There were 7 days of spiritual practices in the name of longevity prayers, led by Gyarawa Rinpoche and presided by Kyabje Namkha Drimed Rinpoche who is one of the most accomplished yogis of our time. Of course, all these could not have happened without the capable organisation of Jigme Jampal, our Drukpa Asia chairman. Everyone, including all the participants, my sincere Sangha and friends who came and joined together, did a great job. On top of this, I want to thank all the nuns who worked tirelessly day and night. Last night one stranger came to tell me that throughout my birthday, the entire Druk Amitabha Mountain was lit up and everyone who saw it felt that there were so many activities going on. I know that this sort of activities could not have been possible without my nuns' commitment and dedication.
The earthquake in Japan that happened shocked everyone. In a way, this is very understandable, because everywhere around the world such kind of disasters are happening. We all have to understand and be prepared. I have said many times and I will continue to say that we have to be very friendly with the nature in order for it to act friendly with us. Forget about blaming the disasters on somebody else, even on God or the divine forces. No one is creating these disasters for us. Even if some people are very nasty, they cannot bring such kind of disasters to us. One needs to be very kind to the nature, so that the nature will be very kind and gentle to us individually and collectively. So this comes back to the eco friendly way of living, which is the key point. The key point is to be mindful about our environment, especially about respecting the lives of others.
We all have to creatively promote this correct attitude of living so that each and everyone of us will have some understanding about this. We talk too much, in fact millions or billions of people are talking too much and doing nothing. We have to talk less and act more, to set up examples for others so that they will be encouraged. On behalf of everyone, I have been offering prayers for all the victims and all the survivors. We should not let this sort of disasters and this sort of traumatic experiences go to waste, we should use this as an opportunity to alarm ourselves, before it becomes too late.
Right after the birthday programs, we moved to the base of Swayambhunath Stupa for 13 koras, followed by a very successful annual grand prayer for universal peace and happiness. In fact, we completed the 100,000 "King of Aspiration Prayers" earlier than expected. Nuns from Druk Amitabha Mountain, Kyabje Sengdrak Rinpoche's retreat centre, monks from Darjeeling and Kathmandu all joined together to make this excellent prayer gathering not only successful but also auspicious. The moment we completed the 100,000 recitation, heavy rains, lightning, thunders and all the different signs appeared. As you all know, this is still a very dry season in Kathmandu, there is hardly any rain. Having this kind of unusual weather gave us the confidence that our prayers for the longevity of our precious masters, for the victims of the recent disasters and for the happiness and wish-fulfillment of all the genuine practitioners would be answered.
Just after the hard work practising and months of retreat, I took my nuns and my friends for a break, we went down to Chitwan and Pokhra for a few days of holiday. In Chitwan, we saw poor elephants taking tourists including few of us to the jungle safari ride. But I must say these elephants are much healthier and good looking compared to some other elephants provided to tourists in other places. Looking at the elephants, I thought of these elephants, horses, donkeys and all the other poor animals, who have been working for generations, and yet get nothing but only abusive treatment. My tears came out by just looking at them. For this reason, I often think that inventors of cars, 2 wheels or 4 wheels, are no doubt Bodhisattvas. These modern vehicles are not only fast and efficient, they have helped to avoid many people from torturing animals. They took almost all the burden from the animals who had to pull the carriages, take the logs, etc. While I asked nuns to feed the elephants with bananas, I was thinking of all these things and wishing for their liberation. We could all see that the elephants never had the luxury of enjoying so many bananas in one go. Once in a while, one guide or tourist may be running after an elephant and feeding him with one banana. But one banana is not sufficient because elephant's stomach is like a universe, very big!
I enjoyed looking at the nuns feeding bananas to the elephants. Sometimes elephants were so happy that they used their mouths directly and not their trunks, to let the nuns put a bunch of bananas in their mouth. Some nuns managed and some nuns didn't dare. I knew that this was the way these elephants were showing love to our nuns. They trusted our nuns and felt so close to them so they preferred to have the nuns feed directly through their mouths. I was happy to see that these elephants looked very good, we could hardly can find anyone torturing them, while they were carrying the passengers. Of course they must have been trained and tortured for years, until they were tamed. It's like our wild mind, until we tame our mind, our mind is like a wild elephant or a wild monkey. Once it's trained, our mind will be very smooth and controlled, very much in shape.
I was looking at nuns learning how to ride bicycles in Chitwan and Pokhra, even the 40 years old nun was learning very hard. They are afraid that if they don't know how to ride bicyles, they will be left behind if we have a bicycle yatra. They all were learning how to ride bicycles very hard. I don't know how much money they had spent, I could only see that their faces were sunburned, some of them even fell down and got bruised, fortunately not many of them were injured. By now, many of them are well tuned for the bicycle yatra. Now I am starting to worry about myself, how to catch up with these nuns.
We just came back with my Sangha, students and friends, all having very happy smiles on each of our face when we reached back to Druk Amitabha Mountain. If ever we have done something good and positive, we should dedicate this merit, happiness and joy to all sentient beings, especially for universal peace and happiness. If we ever accumulate negative deeds, we should confess, purify and vow never to repeat again. Relatively speaking, we are happy and satisfied, so we all are up in the mountain and will be getting ready for retreat.