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 "Serving"

November 20, 2015 0

Rinpoche recently assigned a group of us to complete some online tasks each day. One of them involves reading a blog post and leaving a comment of five points about the post that stuck out for us.

The object of the exercise is to encourage us to contemplate on the material and to truly understand it, instead of writing cursory ‘thank you’ comments. With understanding hopefully comes practice, and with practice we can develop attainments.

So although some may find it to be a chore, I actually quite enjoy it. The assignment forces me to sit down, to focus and contemplate on Rinpoche’s blog post. In other words, I have an ‘excuse’ to sit and stare at my computer and try to think of something intelligent to say 😉

Since my comments tend to be quite long, I thought I would re-post them here because to be honest, given their length, they could really be blog posts themselves. It will also be helpful for me to be able to revisit my thoughts on some posts, and refer to them at a future date and who knows? Perhaps some of the stuff I come up with may help someone some day. So without further ado…

Yamantaka

Blog post:

http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/serving.html
 

Comment:

What struck me about this post was:

1) serving is just an action like any other, but the result we gain from this action is up to our motivation. How Rinpoche refers to serving here reminds me of a short teaching Rinpoche gave the other day about how we as laypeople make so many things our guru, instead of practising real guru devotion and showing real deference to our teachers’ instructions.

So for example, we make money our guru and we are completely guided by money. We work to acquire money, we worry about not having enough of it, we don’t want to give it away. We are totally enamoured by the concept of money, and don’t realise how much we allow it to dictate our every decision.

On the other hand, we don’t show anywhere near the same kind of deference to our teachers whom we supposedly seek refuge in.

So in this same case here, we serve our selfish endeavours by doing everything we can to fulfil our self-centric aspirations but we neglect to show the same kind of devotion and enthusiam in fulflling our teachers’ instructions.

2) it is amazing how powerful our mind is, and the capacity it has to change our state of existence. We can be in the exact same situation and either suffer or enjoy it. The real enemy is our mind which we have no control over, that runs amok and leads us to experience extremes of emotion.

3) that an action can be different based on our motivation seems to me to be the essence of tantra. For example, Vajrayogini uses our desire energy to draw us into her practice, then uses the same energy to propel us along the path.

4) on further contemplation, calling it our “personal Samsara” is very appropriate because what we suffer is personal to each individual. What I find unpleasant will not be the same things another person finds unpleasant, and likewise with things we find attractive.

It’s also personal to us because our “fates” and the rebirths we will take, and the karma we will accumulate is dependent on our actions and ours alone.
It’s also personal in the sense we personally perpetuate our cycle of rebirths so yes, it really is our “personal Samsara” in more ways than one.

5) where Rinpoche wrote “Knowing this”, I was led to think that on knowing the mechanics of our “personal Samsara”, it gives us more motivation to hold our vows well. When we study and examine more, we have more incentive to hold our vows because we know the importance of holding them well. So studying, learning and understanding are actually the basis for consistency in our practice.

It’s like someone who knows what their disease is, and the doctor explains the treatment very well to them. The fear of the treatment becomes less, because the patient’s understanding of the method grows. Once the fear becomes less, the likelihood of the patient following through with the entire course of the treatment becomes higher.

A short but profound post, thank you Rinpoche!

 

Reflections and Teachings

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