Personal Experiences of Dharma

9 February 2010 - 11:02pm Comments Off

We had a very special Manjushri class on 7 February 2010. Liaison Jamie Khoo and Apprentice Liaison David Lai, both full-time with Kechara Media & Publications, were there to discuss their respective biographies and, more specifically, how their lives changed when it was spiced up with Dharma practice under the kind guidance of their guru.

Jamie started by explaining that their biographies are less about themselves than they are about Dharma and guru devotion. The very fact Jamie and David describe different experiences with His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche indicates the advantage of submitting to a guru: he has tailor-made teachings just for you, to make you grow faster (very fast in fact!) on your path to true happiness.

Very simply, Rinpoche’s methods are different because they target people with different types of problems, just like a doctor gives different advice and types of medicine to people suffering from different diseases.

David shared with us his experience of the first ‘Dharma house’, the first of many.

The idea of a ‘Dharma house’ was conceptualised by Rinpoche. He envisioned full-time Dharma students sharing a house and applying Dharma in the resolution of conflicts, tensions and problems arising from having to live closely along other people, sharing chores, sharing a fridge, etc…

The result of resolving daily problems – and sometimes huge conflicts – amongst Dharma students is that there is tremendous support from each other. Them helping you is as much part of their spiritual growth as you getting help from them.

David explained that although some people think they lose their freedom if they move to a Dharma house, from his experience, it is not so. In fact, the opposite happens; it is liberating when one frees himself just a little bit more every day from his “like”, “don’t like” and “don’t care” attitudes.

Jamie shared that she hesitated before moving into a Dharma house. She thought that perhaps it would be disrespectful to her parents. Plus, she could easily stay at home for as long as she wanted to!

Yet, after moving out, she understood very quickly that leaving the parental nest and taking responsibility as an adult was showing respect to them. It was showing them that they did not need to worry as she could take charge and be a responsible human being.

Many other stories can be found in Jamie and David’s books, with each and every single one being a direct teaching from a guru to his student. Jamie shared with us something that Rinpoche told some of his students only a few days before class, which she felt summarised perfectly the guru-student relationship. He had said, “I’ll never stop bothering you, messing up your plans and making you upset because if I stop, it means that I have stopped caring.”

Through a guru’s actions, we can confirm their motivations. By acting in this way towards you, a guru is taking the risk that you may take offence, give in to anger and leave. If he were after his students for any other reason than their spiritual growth, he would only flatter them, please them and pamper them.

Instead, Rinpoche challenges his students, pushes them out of their comfort zones…and does all that to help them! With a kind guru, we learn to get over ourself; with a kind guru, we learn to become a happy person.

Read more about how Rinpoche trains his students! David’s book, There’s No Way But Up, and Jamie’s book, Call Me Paris, are available now in all Kechara Paradise outlets or online at the Kechara eShop or VajraSecrets.

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