About Shang Rinpoche

Rinpoche’s spiritual pursuit began at a very young age and has spanned many years, in which he received lineages of all four major Vajrayana Buddhist schools—Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, and Gelug—from numerous lineage holders and great yogis of our time in India, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Rinpoche has acquired all the necessary empowerments, transmissions, and teachings to become a fully qualified Vajrayana master. Furthermore, Rinpoche is a recognized tulku (reincarnate lama), authenticated by eminent lineage holders and distinguished masters of our time.
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2015年6月16日 星期二

How to Get Along with Yourself

Many people have things to discuss with themselves, but don’t know how. But please, at least give your mind a chance to settle.I ask you first to carefully observe your mind. Remember that you are the closest friend you’ve got. In no way are you your own worst enemy or karmic debtor. It is time for you to become your own teacher, or the friend who knows you better than anyone else. Allow yourself to let go of all doubts and all things that bind you inside. Sit down and have a serious chat with yourself. Set this time aside for you and you alone. Give yourself the space to speak openly with yourself about what is really going on deep down in your heart. Take advantage of this rare moment with yourself. In truth, much of the time your mind is filled with anger rooted in the unknowing assumption that you have been treated unfairly. Sometimes your heart is restless and filled with a pervasive fear stemming from your constant worry about being unable to accomplish something that you nonetheless must do. Much of the time your emotions sway between forgiveness and blame, all the while asking yourself why could have let something like this happen. For reasons you can’t quite figure out, you often end up inexplicably in a bad mood over something trivial, perhaps the weather, wondering why nothing ever goes right. Just one sentence or one action and you become preoccupied or start to think negatively, feeling like despite all that you have given, people still don’t understand you. Out of the desire to put forth your best and most efficient performance in completing a task or anticipating its next step, you work yourself up until you can’t eat or sleep properly, all because you can’t control and deal with your anxiety. While everyone left and right is telling you how to do this and that, inside you are grumbling and rejecting everything they say, questioning, in your inflated arrogance, what right these people have to push you around. Then there are those insatiable desires that spring up, desires to buy a luxury home, diamonds, gold and everything that you have been wanting, even though you know you can’t afford them. Your mind goes through all kinds of turmoil.

The above-mentioned are just a few examples of what it might look like if you give yourself a chance to communicate with yourself. You could easily come up with more things to say and more ways to talk. It’s almost like, since your youth, all of these things have been buzzing around in your head, all of these different voices constantly echoing through your brain. It’s just that nobody has taught you how to communicate with yourself and become as close to your mind as that friend to whom you could tell anything. Without this, many people lack self-esteem and self-respect. They take all of their mental garbage and secrets and stuff it deep inside of their mind, where it sits festering, decaying and reeking until they become sick. How is this worth it?
It’s simple: when you find yourself at home and nobody is around, completely clear your mind. All you need is a space to talk to yourself and you can start to work on this. You can get a pen and a blank Starbucks notepad and chat with yourself on paper. You can go to the beach, set up an umbrella and a chair, and sit there in the shade with your favorite drink chatting with abandon about everything under the sun. Believe me when I say that you can make this a good habit and will like it the more you try it. You will become your own best friend. Gather up your courage and let down your guard. Lay bare the weakest, most damaged, most secret parts of yourself, parts that you won’t show anyone else, and bravely bring them all into the conversation. In the vast and borderless world that exists inside, there is no doubt you can treat yourself with warmth and propriety. In this inner world exists only gentle forgiveness and it is without harm. No one is going to get up in arms over a word. No one is going to pick a fight or judge between right and wrong.
Just give yourself a chance to talk. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll even find the real you. Maybe, in a flash of brilliant insight, you’ll discover that this is what your mind looked like all along.

2015年6月15日 星期一

To Regard All Beings as your Parents

Too many acts of unthinkable violence have occurred in recent years. Other than the problems with the educational system, at the root of this problem is the built-up negativity within the hearts and minds of those who are acting out these terrible scenarios. If you seek an earnest understanding of it all, besides the compulsion of the karma carried over from past lives, one other important point is the ability of those perpetrators to transform their habitual patterns.

No matter it if is greed, hatred, or ignorance, these habits are as impossible to discard as your own cells and blood. If a method for transforming or counteracting them is not found, they will certainly accompany you life after life. If a practitioner is able to realize the relation between the cause and effect of samsara and the force of karma, and through this realization succeed in effecting transformation, the habits which are brought about by this practitioner’s karma will also fall away. Long ago, there was a practitioner of great achievement who begged for alms as he travelled and helped sentient beings. Once, he arrived at a village in which he observed a person sitting in his doorway nibbling and sipping away at a bowl of mutton soup. After finishing the whole bowl of soup, he tossed the bones off to one side, at which point a dog immediately appeared and snatched the bones away. This man angrily picked up a stone from the ground and launched it at the dog, while in his other hand he held a cute newly born infant. The great yogi, as the reincarnation of a bodhisattva, actually possessed psychic abilities. After laying eyes upon this scene, he felt that it was both saddening and unfathomable. He was able to observe that the bowl of mutton stew held by the man was made from the body of his father who had been reborn as a lamb in this life. Who would have thought that he would be killed by his own son? The dog, on the other hand, was the reincarnation of the man’s mother, only to end up being smashed with a stone at the hand of her own son while trying to snatch those mutton bones. Yet the focal point of all of his love, the child whom he now held in his embrace and whom he loved like life itself, was the reincarnation of a creditor whom this man had once killed in a previous life. Take a moment to think about it - how peculiar is this story of samsaric rebirth!

When you possess great wisdom and the ability of clear discernment, you will discover all the more that throughout our lives, anyone whom we’ve met, family or friend, are all the reincarnations of beings who were once our mothers and fathers in previous lives. Just as described in the aforementioned tale, after you understand more clearly the relationships between yourself and others, will you still give rise to such thoughts of anger or possessiveness? Actually, not a single genuine enemy has ever appeared in this world, external to yourself. You need not search for the enemy which truly poses danger to you, as that enemy is your own mind. As such, if you possess compassion and bodhicitta, you will be well equipped to transform your greed, hatred, ignorance, and all of the five poisons. Although we may not have psychic abilities, we can use the power of bodhicitta to regard all beings whom we encounter as our parents and family members from past lives. If this is the case, will you still spend unnecessary time and energy in bickering with them?

From Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche

2015年6月12日 星期五

It is Better Not to Read, than to Read Lousy Books

Bookstores these days are filled with an abundance of literature on the study of strategy and tactics from experts of old. You can see this ideological trend everywhere in society, indicating that places with frequent human interaction adopt a lot of covert phenomena; competition, the strong preying on the weak, and the survival of the fittest. In terms of positive influence and their significance for human nature, these things are actually negative.

A person’s wisdom and skillful means should be cleverly used to help others. This kind of wisdom rises above worldly strategies and, combined with integrity and compassion, can benefit people. By contrast, those who are driven by the benefits and desires of their own personal gain, if followed to the extreme, in the end might just be caught in a trap of their own making, even forfeiting their lives. If you want to gain the admiration and support of others, rely on selfless devotion and compassionate generosity, rather than narrow-minded scheming.
When their wants are not met, these calculating individuals will exert unrelenting pressure on others. And in the end, they’ll bring disgrace upon themselves, as others turn against them. An ancient saying goes, “Sages do not worry that they lack wisdom, worrying instead that their virtue is lacking.” In the Han Dynasty, there lived a strategist whom I greatly admire named Chen Shi. His wisdom was impressive, but everything he did was to help sentient beings. Even when he was subjected to indescribable injustice, he always repaid such unjust treatment with graciousness, earning the respect of high officials and commoners alike.
He once said, “If my life were spent merely in the pursuit of trifling possessions, such foolish conduct would be a disgrace to my reputation and dignity! Those who give their life in the greedy pursuit of wealth are too numerous to count, yet there are plenty of clever strategists and advisers among them. If they meet their end today, what then? This would certainly never happen to a sage or to a truly wise strategist.” Chen Shi at one point served as a county magistrate and miraculously there was not a single litigation during his tenure. The magistrates from other counties begged to know his secret tactic. To this he replied, “The best strategy is to have none. I treat people sincerely every day, never resorting to dishonest rhetoric, and my intentions are benevolent, believing that so long as we trust one another fully, a day will come when the truth will become thoroughly clear to all. This is truly the best way to strategize without a strategy and the best way to inspire the whole world.”

Even the greatest mind is no match for the eyes of the common people. I also believe that the person with a glib tongue cannot overcome the voices of the masses. Although one’s words can hurt others, this actually deals a crushing defeat to one’s own dignity. This world is brimming with such distrust, discontent, resentment, meaningless gossip and nonsense; all of which are linked to the tongue (speech). The wounding effect and speed of the tongue is even more fearsome than a bullet. One wrong sentence, spread through the Internet, can influence the whole world. Eloquence will never surpass the importance of good personal character, and if someone unconscionably uses convincing words, schemes, and other despicable means to draw out far-fetched analogies and hurt others, they are no different than flies and maggots stuck to festering, putrid food. Schemes which are of no benefit to others are the customary trickery of unseen assassins, and the karmic retributions from such designs are fearsome. Furthermore, if in the pursuit of selfish interest one is unconcerned with cause and effect, disregarding one’s body, speech, and mind and shirking one’s moral responsibility, only one of the three most sinister roads will be available for this person to tread.