The Earring Game – A Reflection of the Mind

25 February 2010 - 1:08am 2 Comments

Heard of the infamous Earring Game? Read Call Me Paris to find out more!

In brief, it is a game that was devised by His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche and involves searching for a very small object (or objects) hidden in a large room (or rooms!). The game began with Rinpoche hiding an earring, but it can be anything small that is hidden – a slip of paper, a ring, a piece of string…

No place is too inconceivable a hiding place when it comes to The Earring Game

The person who finds the object wins a prize which is always of great Dharma value and highly coveted, like the latest Kechara Discovery pendants, very old and fragile tsa tsas, ancient thangkas or intricate silver mandalas.

As fun as it may sound, The Earring Game is not without its Dharma lesson, for a person’s searching method generally reflects their mind and attitude. Some have a haphazard method of searching; others may be very methodical. Some may be less thorough than others, opening fewer jars, uncovering fewer cushions and lifting fewer bowls; others have no qualms about tearing the place apart!

In people's eagerness to win, they will look anywhere, including the inside of a karaoke machine!

It is not just a person’s searching method that determines their result. Finding the object is also a matter of karma – often times, the object is hidden in plain sight and you might walk past it repeatedly, never seeing it until someone else does!

With much hilarity, the game was played for the first time in the new Ladrang, and included our guests, visiting from Gaden Monastery. Knowing the prizes up for grabs, all decorum was thrown into the wind (well almost – the monks remained very gracious!) as participants scrambled and overturned the Ladrang’s ground floor looking for the hidden objects.

The monks gamely took part, hunting high and low for the objects that Rinpoche had hidden

There is usually a twist to the game and this time, it was no different. In the final round, the winners were invited to swap their gift for a chance at winning the grand prize…the first statue lovingly blinged up by Datin Ng Wee Chin, and offered to Rinpoche at the first liaisons’ meeting held in the ladrang!

And so the game was played once more, with everyone scrambling to find that elusive hidden object…and the winner was none other than Chia Song Peng, whose sharp eyes spotted the hidden slip of paper on the bhumpa of Rinpoche’s previous life statue!

Knowing how much she wanted it, and how she had not won anything thus far, Chia kindly offered the statue to Kechara InMotion’s Jace Chong, who was undeniably happy to receive the gift.

A very very happy Jace receiving her statue from Chia

As one of the last gatherings involving the Gaden monks, the Earring Game was a very nice way to end what has been a very productive and happy five weeks with two more Sangha members living in the Ladrang. Come to the Ladrang more often and who knows, maybe you’ll get to play the Earring Game too…

2 Responses to The Earring Game – A Reflection of the Mind

  1. The earring game brings back memories of Tsem Ladrang in Gaden Monastery. Rinpoche use to play hide and seek games with my handbag. At first I did not know there was a lesson to learn from Rinpoche playing this time of games. I thought he was bored staying in the Monastery. Later I understood why he play this type of hide and seek game with my handbag as there were no other things for him to hide. the last game he played on me was in Tsem Ladrang KL. One day when I visited him in his Ladrang he hid my canvas monk bag under his pillow in his bedroom knowing that I wont dare step on his bed. After a few trys looking for it I suddenly notice Monlam his attendant pull out bag from under his pillow. What I learn from this game is to teach us to be sharp and to be quick in our thinking.

  2. [...] games that I like to play with my students. One of them is called the ‘Earring Game’, it was covered by earlier last year. I call it the Earring Game because when we first played it, I used an earring. [...]