Friday, February 23, 2007

Walking with the Buddha

A couple of days ago, i went to pick up webbie from the ladrang for dinner. As i was just round the corner, she rang and said Rinpoche wants to go for a walk at TTDI park, do you want to come? I was more than happy to - but i was wearing clothes for dinner, not for walking! When i arrived, Jenny Wong lent me a pair of brightly coloured shorts which came down to my knees, and Webbie had a spare T shirt in her drawer which i quickly changed into. They decided to go in my car but I was a bit nervous about driving Rinpoche so i asked Jenny to drive instead. I sat in the back with Webbie and we waited for Rinpoche outside his house.

He got into the front seat of the car and being over 6 foot tall, he had to push back the seat to the max. My previously spacious toyota altis seemed filled with Rinpoche! It was a quick drive to the park and the park was quite deserted at 7.30ish in the evening. Rinpoche had brought handfuls of fruits to feed the monkeys, and they scampered up as they saw us. "Look, they remember me," Rinpoche said with a smile. He whispered om mani padme hum as he happily doled out the fruit to the group of congregating monkeys. We also brought nuts which were strewn in corners for the monkeys to help themselves.

When all the fruits and nuts were given out, we started to walk round the park. Rinpoche's stride is like twice any of ours and we trotted to keep up. We talked about a variety of subjects - from the frivilous to serious - and the two and a half hours passed in a blink of an eye. If not for a blister on my foot and my muscles which were objecting to the uncommon demand to move, i could have walked all night. During the walk, Rinpoche had kindly advised me on some personal matters and that i should let go of certain attachments which made things much clearer for me.

It was such a luxury to have the precious opportunity to walk with the Buddha. I hope he'll invite me again :)

Monday, February 05, 2007

The kindness of my Guru

Gosh - it's been an age since i last wrote in my blog! I've been so busy that blogging was the last thing on my mind...So many things have happened - and i'm not about to rechronicle them all in one long monologue.

I'd just like to share something that happened in December last year.

Webby, her mum, Sean, Pyng, GL, Serina, Pik Choo and myself had booked to go skiing in Whistler in December. The trip had been booked almost a year ago. I hadn't skied for over 10 years and couldn't wait. It promised to be a fabulous trip!

Then one Sunday morning, a week before our departure, i received an SMS early in the morning - it was a message from my Guru, advising that i don't ski. I was caught in a flux of emotions - disappointment and gratitude. I shed some tears of disappointment that i couldn't ski, but yet i was so touched and thankful that Rinpoche is looking out for someone as insignificant as me. He has so many students - how does he look after them all, i wondered.

Anyway, i pulled myself out of the disappointment and dwelled in the gratitude of my Guru's kindness. Around that time, the writers group were going to be given a project of transcribing a marathon 3 day talk of Rinpoche's and publishing it as a book in one month. Webby and i knew we were going to be travelling so we had been wracking our heads how to do our portion of work.

When i received the sms advice that i shouldn't ski, i replied to Rinpoche to thank him for his kind advice and that on the bright side, i could do more transcribing!

Anyway, i had happily accepted the fact that i wasn't going to ski - after all, i could even save money as i wouldn't be renting skis and buying the ski pass. When i told some of my friends about Rinpoche's advice, they had asked me - so are you going to ski? I was like.. dur.. of course not!!

On Wednesday, the first day of the 3 day marathon teaching began.

Rinpoche came in, sat down and asked me to come up front..

i was a bit taken aback and wondered what i'd done wrong! I felt like i was back in school and was summoned by the teacher to the front of the class.

i sat down in front of him and i don't remember his exact words because i was already in a daze but he said said something to the effect that because i had faith in his advice and would follow it without question, that faith would allow him to do a ritual which would remove the obstacles that were before me. The ritual was dependent on the subject's faith - if i didn't have faith in my Guru, the ritual wouldn't work.

After the ritual, he smiled and said to me, "Now, you can ski.."

i was completely dumbstruck.

As i wrote to Rinpoche later, thanking him again, whether i could ski or not ski - to me, that was irrelevant. What touched me so deeply was his kindness. His advice to me not to go skiing was already more than enough kindness, yet to go through the time and effort of removing the obstacles simply showed his sincere compassion for little schmucks like me.

It may not be a big deal to other people but it was a huge deal for me.

Everyday, i am grateful for Rinpoche's selfless kindness - his kindness in spreading the Dharma through his teachings, directly and indirectly, and his patience with me - and am thankful for just having the merits to be in his presence.