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

A comment on "Criticize me"

December 18, 2015 2

CriticizeMeDid you know that there are pujas in the Tibetan tradition that are specifically for averting the energy created from negative talk, bad speech and gossip? One such puja is called Miga Tramdo; it clears obstacles and negative energies created by other people gossiping about you.

You might wonder how gossip can create obstacles. Well, gossip is speech and speech is just a pattern of sounds that we ascribe meaning to. Sounds and specific patterns of sounds definitely have power because well, mantras are sounds too. Mantras are a specific set or pattern of syllables that have the beneficial effect of invoking upon a deity’s qualities. If sounds can therefore have positive effects (when they are in the form of a mantra), then sounds can also have a negative effect (when they are in the form of negative speech, criticism and gossip).

So the next time you are gathered around the office water cooler (or some other such equivalent!), please think about whether your speech is compassionate, kind and true. For a few moments of pleasure to reaffirm our own self-righteousness, or ill-gotten sense of self-worth, we may actually be doing a lot more than engaging in a little “harmless gossip”.

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I really appreciate reading posts like these because they show me that what I am doing is the right thing. Although whatever I have experienced TOTALLY pales in comparison to what Rinpoche has had to face, the fact Rinpoche is in the position he is in today – no anger, no bitterness – despite all of these experiences gives me the confidence that what Rinpoche is practising and how Rinpoche teaches us to deal with such negative experience does have positive results.

When we focus on our guru, it has many benefits. The first is that the guru becomes an external focal point so that whatever negative talk you experience matters less, because you are thinking less about yourself. You are thinking less about how the talk hurts or impacts you. In simple terms, it hurts less when you focus on yourself less, because you’re focusing on your guru.

Let’s get real, we are not Buddhas. So negative talk, criticism, being cheated and lied to, all of these do hurt. But when we have our guru, the hurt doesn’t stay around for as long because through our gurus, we are given reasons to move on and think about other things.

Because you are less affected by negative talk, it results in greater stability in our practice in the sense we will not swayed by the talk of false friends, whether it’s positive or negative talk. False friends are those who appear to be on our side, but in reality are reinforcing and encouraging the aspects of us which generate more karma for us to suffer and remain in samsara.

Then, using our lama as a focal point, we train ourselves in not transferring our frustrations from one unrelated situation to the next. In an ordinary level, when most of us are frustrated / angry / upset with something, we tend to let our emotions spill over from one event to the next. For example, if someone cuts us off in traffic and it angers us, when we step into the office, some of us may be very curt and rude with the first person we come across (even if the interaction with them is very neutral and mundane). Why? Because there is still leftover anger from the traffic incident.

But if we have respect for our teachers, we will learn not to project our frustrations onto our teachers, regardless of how our teachers treat us and of whatever else happens around us. When we learn and practise this, we can transfer that skill to everyone else. So training in this way, we learn to create harmonious environments around us.

So people talk about guru devotion being cultish and enslavement but I tend to err towards the opinion that they are uninformed. Even if we don’t go into the esoteric benefits of guru devotion, on a practical level using your lama as a focal point is very beneficial for our spiritual practice.

Reflections and Teachings, Dorje Shugden

2 Comments → “A comment on “Criticize me””

  1. shuseka3 5 years ago   Reply

    Very usefull.tnx.

  2. Jacinta Goh 5 years ago   Reply

    It makes sense. Thank you for bringing me into another perspective on why Guru Devotion is very important.

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