Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My parents meet the Buddha

My mum rang up on Wednesday and said they may come down to KL on Friday to see 'My Fair Lady', which was on at the KL Convention Centre. Might, I asked? Please let me know.. She confirmed on Thursday and asked if she could bring her friend. I said of course and promptly went into overdrive, cleaning up the house. Her friend would take my master bedroom, my parents take the guest room and I would sleep with Sean in his room. Since the driver was coming too, the maid would sleep in Sean's room too as he would occupy the maid's room. Webby had to move to Pyng's place - for the sake of simplicity rather than duplicity. It would just be too complicated to explain. And the house was full anyway!

I asked my mum - since you're in KL, would you like to meet Rinpoche? She was lukewarm at first but appeared to be slightly more enthusiastic later, saying her friend was also keen to meet Rinpoche. So I contacted Ruby to find out if the audience was possible on Saturday evening - probably the only time conducive for Rinpoche. There was no news. My parents had to plan their time because they were just there for the weekend. When my parents arrived on Friday and mum asked me again, I just said I thought it was unlikely because it was too short a notice. I asked Ruby again and she kindly confirmed that there was still no news. Finally I just told my parents to go ahead with their plans and they decided to have dinner with the GM of Park Royal Hotel and his wife.

On Saturday itself, Ruby (poor Ruby - always so busy on other people's behalf) smsed me - Rinpoche did agree to a meeting at 10.30pm! I quickly asked if it could be more towards 11pm, to give us time to get from Park Royal to KH. It was all set! I didn't know if I was happy or nervous.. maybe a combination of both. It was like presenting the one you love to your parents and hoping for approval on both sides.

Finally, at 11pm, we got to KH. The all night migtsema session was in progress and I introduced my parents to KH, Setrap as well as many of my KH friends. At around 11.30pm, we were finally ushered in to see Rinpoche.

Rinpoche greeted them and the four of us - my dad, Puan Sri, my mum and I - sat down in front of him. After some small talk, Rinpoche asked if they had any questions, to which there was no response. Rinpoche then asked me if there were any questions of a spiritual nature that they had asked me before. Actually there weren't any because we didn't really discuss anything much anyway, whether spiritual or not! I said that while we were Buddhists, we didn't actually do anything Buddhist except for Ching Ming, which wasn't a Buddhist ceremony anyway. My mum said that she did it by rote but didn't really see the point of it, especially as she did not know her mother-in-law, who had passed away before she met my dad.

Rinpoche proceeded to give a brief history of Ching Ming and that it was mostly about filial piety. He also gave a brief description of the death process, which struck a chord with my parents. Also, when we make offerings at Ching Ming, it's to say thank you to the ancestors for loved ones - in this case, thanking her in-laws for her husband. Talking about filial piety, Rinpoche brought up that I was doing a lot of Dharma work and dedicating it to my parents, and that my hope was for them to learn more about Dharma. And that I was not just concerned about this life but their future lives as well. I got a bit emotional at that point and so did my Dad.

When my dad first came in, he had his arms crossed and I wasn't sure how he would react to Rinpoche, but later on, he relaxed and was even nodding at what Rinpoche was saying. When my dad wept, my heart really went out to him and I hope Dharma seeds will be planted for my parents so they can benefit forever.

As always, I was - and am - truly grateful to Rinpoche for spending the precious time with my parents, despite his busy schedule. And for the precious gift of touching them with the Dharma.

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