Column: We need meditation more than ever before
Regular meditation boosts mental and physical health, and is easy to incorporate into your daily routine, writes Buddhist monk Ringu Tulku Rinpoche.
It is a pleasure to be a student
I am a student.
I have been a student as long as I remember
And it is a pleasure to be a student.
It is a pleasure to learn that I don’t know.
It is a pleasure to learn that I already know.
It is a pleasure to learn that I was mistaken.
It is a joy to learn from Great Masters.
It is a joy to learn by sharing what I learnt.
It is a joy to learn how to be what I am.
I seek to learn about the world around me.
I seek to learn about what I actually am.
I seek to learn how to be a proper human being.
Clouds show me the nature of my world.
Rivers show me the nature of myself.
Babies show me how to be more human. I am a student.
I will be a student as long as I live.
And it is a pleasure to be a student.
Gangtok. 18th Jan, 2003
Prayer for Peace
I invoke the blessings of All enlightened and realised beings,
I dedicate all the power of positive deeds that I have done and will do.
May the suffering of violence and bloodshed come to an end in this world.
The cause of violence is hatred, greed, jealousy and prides humiliated.
May the people of this world learn to love their neighbours and understand each other.
May we learn to tolerate the varieties of peoples, cultures, beliefs and ideas.
May we be able to clear all misunderstandings and ignorance.
May we be able to help each other and not harm each other.
May we learn to live and let live.
Ammersee, 1st April 2003
Bodhicharya Winter Retreat, Berlin - January 2013
Cold, wet, and gray as it gets in January, city of Berlin hosted the first Bodhicharya winter retreat very well. First wave of confusion was overcome easily as registration went on smoothly and retreatants settled in cosy future cafeteria of great Berlin Bodhicharya center. Warmly greeting each other we kept our best face for Rinpoche who, due to sore throat and loss of voice did not show up for the first teaching. Well, things happened, don't they?
Over the next few days we received what I humbly consider as complete Buddha's teaching, in simple, direct, and precise way. It started with preliminaries and it ended with deathlessness. Rinpoche covered it all in three and a half days. It is difficult to say how much of it we could conceive, but there is no slightest doubt that he gave it all out. He kept nothing for himself. An ultimate gift of love, said someone who received similar teachings years ago on different continent.
People who hold the Berlin center are hard workers, fully dedicated to assisting Rinpoche in every task he performs. Always on time, precise, and most of all kind, they run this retreat as smooth as possible. Meals were tasty and yet easy to digest, as retreat meals should be. Dishes were carried in and out, full or empty, nothing got broken. Toilets were always clean, and there were these pretty blue vases, feng shui, I guess. Even the gift shop was always open, in case someone felt like offering gift to themselves or to someone else. It seems that everybody was doing everything, and yet in harmony. Maybe it has to do with what is commonly referred to as traditional German discipline, but I think it takes more than that. Perhaps, an insight that it is meaningful to do things in good way, to assist our teacher properly, and most of all, to know that all of this is Dharma practice as Rinpoche teaches.
The center itself, half finished or half unfinished, depending on how optimistic one is, is a story on its own. It is huge indeed, and yet, easily observable in sense of unity. There is a main gompa as it should be, then, everything else is working it's way around it. Hallways, lamas rooms, balconies, future organic gardens, who knows what else. The big part of this project is a hospice center with people who work as volunteers with terminal patients and their families. This is to embody Rinpoche's teaching on Dharma practice in social action.
To conclude, just to say that every part of my experience with this retreat was inspiration to be more useful and active part of Rinpoche's vast mandala of teaching, practice, and activity.
The next Bodhicharya winter retreat is going to happen around the same time as this one. Dates are to be announced soon.
Recent visit of Ringu Tulku Rinpoche to Brussels - January 2013
Rinpoche was radiant and transparent as always. His wisdom shone as compassion towards all of us without any discrimination whatsoever.
Patiently repeating the same words regardless of topic or the center where he was giving teachings, he kept everything as simple and humorous as possible.
Rinpoche makes Dharma accessible to every level of understanding and that, I think, is a quality of real master. Of course, there is also that warmth around him, and when he takes your hand there is a gap. At least, that is my experience.
Attending to some of his needs, such as food or transport is also a teaching in itself. He lets you feel comfortable, but there is precision to that comfort. You better be ready on time with everything. Also, it is good not to guess, but also not to ask to much. What shall we do then, one may wonder. Do the right thing, in the right time, and in the good way. And, keep it simple.
As for the confusion part, may it arise as wisdom, as soon as possible :).
Meeting Kasung Jetsun Pema - December 2012
Few days ago my husband Emeric and me were invited to dinner party held in excellent Tibetan restaurant here in Brussels called "Le Tibet".The dinner was held in honor to HH Dalai Lama's youngest sister Kasur Jetsun Pema, also known as Ama-la.
Ama-la shook my hand twice that night, upon arriving, and when leaving. Both times her familiar touch made me remember my grandmother Pemba whose arms and lap were my ultimate refuge while growing up. And, her vivid kindness and laughter which totally resembles the one of HH the Dalai Lama, dispelled my fear about being inadequate to represent Ringu Tulku Rinpoche and Bodhicharya sangha on this auspicious event.
Emeric and me are very grateful to Ines Wouters for entrusting us with this task.