31 Oct

Be A Good Example

My beloved uncle, His Holiness Kathok Moktsa Rinpoche and I were having a great conversation about how these days being a spiritual master and a spiritual follower is not an easy job. We are not surrounded by positive conditions and we have to be very firm on our commitment to the Bodhisattva path in order to move against the strong waves of negativity. Therefore seeing others doing positive deeds and appreciating these are so important for us, as an encouragement to walk on this spiritual path. Hopefully, we will be improving, a little by little, and then going in the direction of enlightenment.

Most of the things we praise and aspire to be these days are mostly about materialism. When there is a major imbalance between materialism and spirituality, then the world becomes chaotic. For example, we would no longer respect others, we would think that since we are more powerful and more resourceful than others, we are naturally permitted to bully others, kill others or take over others’ possessions, heritage, and lineages. This is not correct. These days, it’s happening all the time and everywhere. As Buddhist and spiritual practitioners, we should at least refrain from harming others. When we see others helping many other beings, we should rejoice from the depth of our hearts. So it seems that these days rejoicing is also a very difficult practice.

My uncle and I were discussing Gets Chogon, an Eastern Tibetan whom we don’t know, and who bought 256 yaks that were going to be sent to some butchers and released them in nature. He is not rich, nor is he powerful, he did it because of compassion, thinking that the idea of killing is not good. I cannot help but want to share his photos here. Many of my friends and students keep telling me that they will only be able to help others when they are that much richer or that much more powerful. But let’s look at Gets Chogon, just a normal boy, going out to buy 256 yaks. This is not a joking matter. Yak is very expensive. He was doing it purely out of compassion. I was so moved. Motivation is so pure and therefore actions become like sunlight, shining everywhere.

I presume that he was holding a picture of his Guru, His Holiness the late Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok. I have great admiration for His Holiness because he walked his talk. There are many spiritual, political, social, and corporate leaders who do not walk their talk. We talk about saving and respecting others, but most of the time, we do the opposite. How can we lead by example? Once again, I cannot help but mention Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro. There are very few spiritual masters that I truly respect and admire from the depth of my heart. I have been following Khenchen Tsultrim’s activities. I can see and feel that his genuine motivation as a Bodhisattva practitioner has encouraged him to work as a bulldozer for the sake of many beings. If someone asks me right now, “Who do you think is a genuine spiritual master?” I would anytime recommend anyone to meet and learn from Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro. I myself too look forward to making a personal connection with him.

In these times, each of us needs to learn the good and positive things from each other. Therefore we should always, all the time, remind ourselves that each of us, no matter who we are, has a big and heavy responsibility to be a positive example for others.

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