El·e·na [el-uh-nuh, uh-ley-nuh; It. e-le-nah] /ˈɛlənə, əˈleɪnə; It. ɛˈlɛnɑ/ –noun a female given name, form of Helen // A proud student of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche // Personal assistant with a BSc (Hons) Psych from Uni of Warwick // These are snapshots of my life, in words and pictures

"What do you do?"

June 15, 2013 1

A loaded question, if there ever was one. What do I do? What is my ‘average’ day like?

In a nutshell, it’s busy from the moment I get up. Correspondence, cleaning, prayers, counselling, choosing gifts, packing, construction, photography, travelling, sourcing, purchasing, social media, video editing, coordinating, inspecting, talking, attending meetings, researching, writing, editing, uploading, HTML…stuff, learning, serving…on any given day, I do a combination of that (and on most days I feel like I do much less compared to many other Kecharians!).

And then there’s the people. I have to deal with people. Ah, people. People who are depressed, people who are demanding for things to be their way, people who demand attention at the drop of a hat, people who tell lies, people who make excuses, people who defend, people who play mind games…did you know all of this is VERY much possible on the Internet? And so much harder to deal with because they get to be anonymous?

People, people, people – so I ‘do’ people too. On top of all that, I have to be patient, keep my cool and remember I am associated with good work so I had better reflect it (goddammit, that means I can’t mouth off when I want to hehehehe)

I don't always look this serene!

I don’t always look this serene!

When I do say something, I am requested to develop forbearance, tolerance and compassion. And I can’t argue with that because that is what Buddhist practice is all about, and that’s the reason why I am here, to practice…to treat these testing individuals as my precious gems so I develop the true gems of the Six Perfections / Paramitas. What does it mean to practise Buddhism through my work? Think of it as a Personal Development Programme, an extended super-charged version because it’s not just about developing my skills but also my mind towards an ultimate goal that I cannot even fathom at the moment.

So again, what do I do? What is my ‘average’ day like? My day usually starts before noon, and ends at about 5-6am, with all of that stuff in between. It’s busy, it’s hectic and I don’t really have time to myself save for the half an hour before I nod off to sleep, when I get to scroll through the Daily Mail app on my phone (my guilty pleasure!).

Am I worked to death, like some people have implied? Heavens no, far from it. I don’t stay up because Rinpoche forces us to stay up; it’s simply because I work better at night and I like to work, to get things done and be able to cross stuff off my To-Do list. I like to accomplish stuff.

Look at it from another perspective – hundreds of thousands of people around the world do the same amount of work as me, day in and day out, every single day for year after year, and all for what? A pay cheque at the end of the month, the ability to buy more stuff you don’t need (and the stress of paying for the stuff you bought which you don’t need!) and a richer boss. That’s essentially what it boils down to.

So why is it that when I work this hard for Dharma work, it’s considered cult-ish and illogical? Why is it that when I do it, I am told I am wasting my talents and youth? Because it’s a religious organisation? Ah but you see, I’m trying to make kindness my religion where some have made money theirs. So why am I the weird one? 😉

Well there you have it – what I do. Then there are the other questions that come as a follow-up to the “What do you do?” one but I’ll leave that for another blog post!

ps. if you think I do a lot, you should see how much stuff Rinpoche does, because it’ll blow your mind away. Fo’ shizz.

Reflections and Teachings

One Comment → ““What do you do?””

  1. Jim Yeh 4 years ago   Reply

    Wow. The people part sounds tough. Whenever I think of “Kecharians,” hardworking and dedicated people like yourself come to my mind. Keep on rockin’, you’re an inspiration to us whether you know it or not.

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