What message did he bring?

13 December 2010 - 7:22pm Comments Off

Question:

I‘ve seen videos prior to this one so I’m sure he has some key points in his arguments…but I just can’t stand the annoying overacting behaviour and down-talking and finger pointing. To be like that to make a point, I’m sorry but it’s not for me!

I’m clever enough to question / analyse everything…whether it be me, my environment or my behaviour for that matter! I can see that some people need the hard approach or need to be entertained to be attentive.

So tell me, what is the message he was giving?

(Source: A comment off the video Don’t EMBARRASS the Buddha!!!)

Answer:

His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche teaches the Lamrim (Stages of the Path to Enlightenment) in all of his talks, though not in a conventional manner.  His methods do not mean that his message is any less valid. In your question, you’ve provided your own answer – you’re right, different people need different methods.

We should not take things literally; that is, someone who is rough isn’t always unkind and someone who is gentle may have ulterior motives. Think about it this way – a conman will always be very nice to suck you in, but a mother might shout at you so you stop behaviour that harms yourself or others.

Have you seen Buddha’s Lost Children? It is about a Theravadan monk who helps children on the dangerous Thai-Burmese border. As a former kickboxer, this monk literally kicks ass to get his point across – some may not agree with his methods, but he is very effective in training his students, teaching them to care for others and taking them out of a potentially dangerous downwards spiral in their lives.

Within Tibetan Buddhism, we have other iconic figures like Chogyam Trungpa who acts or acted in unconventional ways to benefit their students. Our guru’s behaviour will only seem crazy or strange if we project onto them what we believe is the ‘right’ behaviour for a guru…and if we are going to teach our guru what is right, then is there any point in having a teacher?

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