30 Jul

Impermanence, the Mark of Samsara

We just finished some parts of our programs in Ladakh. I could barely remember when we started, it felt like only yesterday that we were busy preparing for different sorts of activities. Time really flies and this is a great teaching of impermanence. Most of the things that I had planned didn’t really happen. I wrote a couple of messages, hoping that they would appear by themselves on the “pre-destined” date and time, but I had forgotten to select “yes” on the “Published” button. So it looks like I will have some time to expand on these few messages before showing them to you.

This is a snapshot of our life. We plan so many things at one go. We wish to achieve this and complete that. Most of the time, if you check properly, unless you are really divine or lucky, things do not happen exactly according to our plans or our wishes. This is why I always say, “Be in the present!” Yesterday is already gone, tomorrow will never come, but if we are smart enough to appreciate and catch the present moment, our tomorrow will be in our control. This is the trick. Asking you to live in the present doesn’t mean that you should not have a future. Because of the nature of samsara, we are being pushed all the time to move on and on. So long as we are able to grasp the present moment, every moment, as much as we can, that itself is a great achievement, because if we do everything mindfully with a sense of what is happening at the present moment, then we are actually living in meditation or meditating on our life. Whenever we are aware, then we will be mindful of our actions, our speech and our thoughts. For example, since we know that if we do bad things, they will lead to bad results or problems in this life or lives to come, then with this understanding, if our mind is focused on the present, we will not be going on the wrong track. Not only we will not harm others, we will end up helping others, making others happy and benefiting others, this will definitely lead to our own happiness.

Many people requested me to give instructions on meditation. There are of course many different methods. One of the most practical methods is to live in the present moment, and to understand that impermanence is the characteristic of samsara. Without understanding this and if we live our life with a lot of attachment, this means that we are asking for trouble. The nature of samsara is suffering because we cannot hold on to the things we love and avoid the things we hate. We are always in the circle, running after something.

Should we be despair now that we know we are in the suffering cycle. Of course not, we also have a lot of great opportunities to transform our life from negative to positive, by transforming our mind. The way we look at others, the way we live. The Buddha taught us about the 4 Noble Truths and the 8 Paths. Theoretically it is for us to understand, practically it is for us to live with the understanding.

Thanks to the government of India, who had provided security and all the necessary arrangements to ensure my visit was smooth and easy. With help of security and all the local people, more than 10,000 people were able to stay enjoyably in Nyoma, which is very rarely visited by tourists. We finished programs without any problem. Special thanks go to the organisers, especially my beloved colleage Drukpa Choegon Rinpoche, who kept me in a very comfortable way, and who happens to be the chairperson of the forthcoming ADC. I have strong confidence that he will definitely show us a great time and ADC will be held with his full blessings and blessings of the 3 Jewels. I know for sure that the 3rd ADC will be very exciting and fruitful.

I would like to see all the same people among the tens of thousands of people from other locations in Ladakh who have been together for more than 10 days this time receiving teaching and instructions again. Here are some photos for you to enjoy.

I was a little sad these few days hearing that one of my beloved dogs, Shonnu, has expired. No one knew what happened, my parents and our people found him dead. The doctor said he was poisoned. I wonder how poisons went into his mouth. Maybe he had been doing some naughty things, maybe he had killed some wild animals, like rats, or somebody might have thrown some poisons into the garden. Selfishly speaking, it feels like I have lost one of my family members, so it was very sad for me. But I can understand that many people are killed and many animals are slaughtered everyday, I should not be only highlighting my own dog, because it is embarrassing. However, I take this opportunity to share this news with you, my friends and students, because it is a great teaching, not only pitying my own dog. You can be a king, an emperor, a super rich person, or you can be a beggar, a thief, a murderer, whoever or whatever you are, you are members in samsara, meaning that one day we all will die and we will part with our beloved ones, our enemies and our possessions. We will not be able to bring anything with us when we leave this world, only our karmic imprints, our spiritual qualities, such as the compassion, the love and the wisdom that we have developed, otherwise, we have nothing to bring with us, only karmic debts and a lot of creditors.

I feel great pain when I know of some friends who, despite the knowledge of Dharma and the knowledge of karma, continue to do harmful activities, especially those who make their wealth through indescent ways, such as taking the lives of others or harming others. Some people admire them because of their wealth and their power. But if you check what awaits them at the end of the tunnel, there is nothing except karmic debts and their creditors. There won’t be peace and there won’t be light, just more suffering, whether we believe in karma or not. It is important right now and immediately that we make a point for ourselves not to waste our life. If you only have this life, what would you do if you want to be happy and free? Ask yourself if harming others will bring ultimate happiness, I can tell you 100% that it will bring you more suffering.

The Buddha tells us very clearly, “This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky, rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain.” So why not appreciate and value this very life, make ourselves happy and live our life to the fullest through beneficial activities. This is my short advice to you, my friends and students.


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