It’s almost a week since we arrived in Vietnam. I have always wondered how Drukpa Vietnam in such a short time is able to organise such large scale event for the lineage, whereas other parts of the world seem to be facing some obstacles in small and big ways. I asked some of the key Vietnamese Sangha how is it so. Besides telling me that they had started preparing since March this year, they said, “Harmonious relationship and understanding.” This is a great thing I have never heard for such a long time. I have been saying and sharing that “harmony is the key”, “understanding is the key”, but almost everyone does not understand. Most people’s understanding of “harmony” is “you have to do this and that according to my terms and conditions, if you listen 100% to me, then we can maintain harmony and peace.” Still I am surprised that people don’t realise that I do somehow in very strange ways know about these sorts of things.
Drukpa Vietnam is successful because all of their members from top to the bottom have only one focus, which is to promote the teaching of love, compassion and wisdom through the lineage of Dragon in order to benefit all beings. If I can daringly say, there is not even one second that they have any interest to fufill their personal agenda, in fact I can’t see any personal agenda. I always say that when one is involved in a great Bodhisattva activity, even a small wish for personal gain can bring harm and disharmony, at the end not only the activity will suffer, your personal wish will also suffer, because it will not be fulfilled. The important thing is we all have to keep on checking our motivation, whether we have gone off the track.
Next, there should be very good communication, whether we engage volunteers, professional help or centres. Without proper communication, there is no way to have a common understanding and goal. This is always the reason why some of us even though we are not supposed to be involved in mundane matters, have to come in to sort out matters. When you are doing Bodhisattva activities, keep your samsaric motivation and mundane emotions outside of these, because by messing up beneficial activities, it is a great way to accumulate negative karma. Everyone should keep on checking his or her motivation, whether you are speaking and acting with your emotions or with your wisdom and compassion. As I always say, unless you are very strong, be in the company of positive minded people. The meaning of “friends” in Dharma or spiritual terms is people who are able to support and increase your positive attitude and behaviour. If you cannot cope with some of the people around you, you have to keep yourself away from them. At the same time, you should keep checking yourself if you are a negative or positive friend for others.
Being a positive friend means that you do not directly and indirectly encourage others to engage in negative body, speech and mind activities, and that you encourage others to focus on Bodhisattva motivation and activities. There are some smart people who they themselves don’t do the dirty jobs, they encourage others to do them indirectly not directly, sometimes people don’t even know that they have done the dirty jobs on others’ behalf. Are you that sort of persons? I hope not, especially for a spiritual practitioner or someone on the spiritual path, this can have negative results. So you have to keep on checking whether you yourself are a positive or negative friend. Well, as I said many times, don’t use my words here to judge others, which I know almost all my readers do that, this is to remind you to always look into yourself, look into your mind. Spiritual practice is for self improvement!
Even though the programs in Vietnam have started a week ago, I have not seen nor heard in any day or any moment an outburst of negative emotions. Everyone had only one focus, that is to organise the programs to benefit all beings. Not even a bird nor an insect, if I may say, care about giving trouble, because the energy is simply too positive that negative minds are transformed. Therefore visit till now is tremendously successful. As I always say, I don’t look for quantity, I always wish for quality, but sometimes I think without the quantity, we cannot find quality.
Truly harmonious and full of understanding, I think are the two most important foundation for a successful Bodhisattva activity. This attracts many people because everyone wants to be a part of this blessed opportunity. Every time, there is no less than 15,000 to 20,000 people attending the prayers and teaching and all of them are so excited, satisfied and happy. Every schedule is so well organised, well communicated and there is a lot of mutual respect for each other. I would say, it is civilised and not uncivilised. Everyone has only one direction under the guidance of Drukpa Vietnam’s committee. Even the distribution of blessing threads, tea, cookies and everything is done in an organised and harmonious manner. The people are so happy to watch the nuns performing Dharma dance, because they deeply believe that this is a sight liberating opportunity to remove obstacles in their life, not only spiriitual obstacles, but also obstacles connected with their own material life. So everyone is very happy, full-heartedly watching and enjoying.
I remember one day, all the people were waiting for me from 4am in the morning, and yet they did not show dirty faces or scream at Drukpa Vietnam as organisers, can you beat it? I had to go for a talk show at Vietnam TV, and it was quite a long engagement, I did not manage to make myself available until 1pm. So 15,000 poor people had to wait from 4am. 15,000 were only those who could enter the temple. Because of security issues, they had to close the entrance, we didn’t know how many more were outside. It’s just unbelievable. Not only the quantity of people, 98% of this crowd definitely have the devotion and appreciation towards the lineage and spirituality. This was the reason why they were waiting for that many hours without any complaint. And at the end, they were so happy, almost singing and dancing by themsleves spontaneoulsy. When I went back with my entourage to the hotel, which was almost a 25km drive, on the way everybody was waving at us, fully smiling, rejoicing and happy. This made all of us, not only myself, but also the nuns, so happy and impressed. Until now, all the people are so happy. Even though it’s may be just temporary happiness, it shows a great potential of getting things done very harmoniously.
With a big smile, I am staying in the suite where George Bush and Hilary Clinton stayed. I thank my students and friends at Drukpa Vietnam for seeing me as such an important person, though I am nobody. Not that I am fanatic about this sort of things, I am rejoicing in the effort Drukpa Vietnam together with their volunteers and professional teams has done, I know how difficult it has been for them. I may not be the President or the States Secretary of the United States, but I am happy that I can do a little to help Vietnam and its people hopefully to live happily with the support of spirituality because without spirituality, there is no hope for this world.