Today is another big surprise.
Very pleasantly so, and powerfully so, at that.
I was running late for the Dzambala Puja in Kechara House.
Ok, I’ll explain what Dzambala Puja is all about – a mini version.
Well, I can’t be doing all the work for you, right? You got to put in a teeney effort and find out more for yourself. After reading this blog post, naturally.
I promise you, it’ll be worth it.
And then, you can come back and share what you have learnt and even teach me. Won’t that be lovely?
All right, Dzambala is the Buddha of Miserliness.
Don’t gag or gasp. Yup, Buddha of Miserliness. You got it right the first time. And you wonder why we need to practise HIS mantras and do HIS pujas, right?
Please allow me to explain.
Dzambala helps us to collect merits for prosperity, success and good luck. Hence, HE helps us in cultivating our “inner wealth” first and foremost, before we see and receive the benefits of the “outer wealth”.
Dzambala purifies and removes the actual causes of our negative Karma in order for us to gain the results of the “outer wealth”. Not just symptoms. Yup, imagine the cancer that causes us to fear, to fail and to continually have bad luck, etc -all of that will be purified by doing Dzambala Puja and mantras.
In the most simplistic analogy, to help everyone to relate and understand, let's use this -
If our “inner wealth” is not developed, then most likely, we are grouchy, moody, unkind and we won’t work well with others, and we will most likely not have friends either, and our family members probably do wish that they were not related to us in any way. I think you go get the picture. So, how can we achieve success, happiness and harmony when we are so miserly in our thoughts, emotions, etc? How caan we even have prosperity of any sort when we are so badly behaved, from inside out?
But if we change, and we become more friendly, caring and helpful, and we begin to work hard, things will begin to change. People around us will also begin to like us more because we are carrying a better version of ourselves, not the worst or the ugly version.
As a result, we may get involved in projects that we could not before, our friends might even start recommending our services or talents to others and we will start to have some measure of success.
I hope everyone reading is able to follow me so far. *BLINK, BLINK*
Hence, this is why Dzambala will begin by 'attacking' our miserliness within, and at the same time, helping us cultivate our “inner wealth". Most importantly, HE will remove the cancer of our bad Karma so that we can truly get well. After a period of time, our “outer wealth” will also be materialise as a result of the good actions of Body, Speech and Mind.
There is no magic wands or special spells. Dzambala is not a Harry Potter or Gandalf.
And there is no short cut either. We truly have to work at it ourselves. This is Buddhism, you know. Not Fantasy Island.
Please do read more about Dzambala or just google HIM. HE is truly worth knowing.
So, that is why I was rushing to at Kechara House on this very night. I did not want to miss the precious opportunity to do this Dzambala Water Offering Puja.
And by the end of the evening, our Guru, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, surprised us all by an un-announced visit and ended up giving a Dharma Talk.
See, I told you that Rinpoche will always give a Dharma Talk wherever HE goes.
That is what makes Rinpoche a true Dharma Teacher at heart, regardless of what HE himself may say. HE loves sharing the Dharma because HE truly loves the Dharma.
Would you believe that Rinpoche even blogged about this night, after it was all over? Yup, you can all check it out at http://tsemtulku.typepad.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/2010/04/last-night-i-spoke-about-death-meditation-in-more-detail.html.
I’ll even be so nice as to paste a "sneak peek" of what Rinpoche wrote in his blog.
So, please do read Rinpoche’s blog for the full version, and not just this little excerpt -
“ Death, the meditation of it, the thought of it and the fear of it always motivated me to not hurt others, to give, be generous and to let go. Just let go. It has kept me in the dharma all these years.
Sometimes when something really frustrates me to no end, I think about my mortality and death, and I lighten up to the point of being able to think things through with some sanity.
Death has been my strongest motivation to try something even knowing I might fail. I don't want to fail. The fear of failing can be paralyzing. But then when I contemplate how many years I've wasted, I figure what is there to lose? Only death makes me lose everything, so what is there to be afraid of? Just go ahead and try it out.
When I am insecure, I contemplate how many years I have left to live, and not knowing that, makes me let go.
When I am upset with someone or a situation, I really just think, does it matter if I was going to die today? Is it such a big deal after all? Would I be upset if I was going to die today?? Then again my mind releases whatever upsets me. it doesn't release all the way, but enough to not be some wrapped up that I can't do anything else.”
By H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
None of us can escape death.
And when the day comes for us, and we have gone cold and are just lying there, dead to the world, what difference does it make whether we are rich or poor, young or old, black, white, yellow, or brown, or even Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Catholic or Buddhists?
What difference does it really make then?
So, do we have to wait until then in order to become better people, better examples of humanity, better representatives of our own faith, be it Catholic, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist, to become a better mother, father, sister, uncle, husband, wife or children?
And what if the people we love may not even be around by the time we are ready and willing to be better and nicer, what then?
Because apart from being final, death is also very unpredictable. It can come and get us at anytime.
So, who will really lose out in the ultimate sense?
This is not the first time I have heard Rinpoche talked about the Death Meditation. But tonight was the first time, the Death Meditation struck to the heart of me.
I was beginning to understand.
As you all would know by now, I was a sloth and an impatient one at that. Laziness lived through every fiber of my being. As a result, I did very little and always quit when the going got tough. Urgency and consistency were words that did not exist in my world.
Then Rinpoche said that I should start doing the Death Meditation, and do it with detailed visualizations. I even wrote about it in my old blog post entitled, The Words That Launched My Journey.
But I never did understand it fully or correctly, until now.
And as with everything else in our lives, until we understand something fully and correctly, we cannot adopt it, we cannot bring ourselves to do it wholeheartedly, we simply cannot commit to it.
Rinpoche told me on the night of my private audience with him (Monday), that being in Dharma 100% for me does not mean that I must make an announcement to the world that I have quit secular life and have started taking on a “post” in the Kechara Organization.
Rinpoche said, that for me to be in Dharma 100% means that whatever I do and how I do it, it is all for the Dharma. That I take the Dharma to heart and everything I say and do, arise from there.
And that is exactly what Rinpoche is waiting for.
HE will always be waiting for me to come home to Dharma.
In this respect, I believe this is what every true Dharma Teacher waits for, and is waiting for.
They wait for each student to come home, life after life.
Now, that is what makes them such MAGNIFICENT, SELFLESS GURUS.
So, this is how my Day Eleven unfolded -
Weight: 54 kg (Aiyo, will you just go down already... just go down lah!)
No. Of Prostrations: 25
Daily Sadhanas: Check and Done! I have begun doing the Death Meditation and will be doing it on a daily basis.
Physical Exercise: 1 hour and 35 minutes
Daily Reflection from "IF NOT NOW, WHEN?" – Here we go. My eyes are closed my eyes and I picked out page 121.
*Speechless and goose bumps all over*
I know some of you will not believe that I actually sit here and open the book up and pick out a page at random. I know some of you may think that I scan through the book first, and pick out what I like or want to pick out.
As Buddha is my witness, I am telling you that I do not. It is totally picked at random.
So, when I get something like this on page 121. It becomes just as unbelievable to me to have to read out and type out. Especially, after having just shared at length of what Rinpoche was talking about.
Read for yourself and then tell me, is this just too much of a coincidence or what?
Quote from Page 121 for Day Eleven:
“No matter how beautiful you are, you will not be beautiful one day; no matter how rich you are, your wealth will be taken away at the time of death.
If we were to die tonight, close our eyes, have an accident; if our plane was to crash, if we ate something wrong, if we choked, got robbed or shot – if any of these things were to happen to us and if today was our last day to live, then what would be the value of the things that we have done from the time we were born until now?”
Personal Thoughts and Feelings:
Here, I say it again - *Speechless and goose bumps all over*
It is not important whether you believe that I did pick out the page at random or not.
What’s more important is whether you find value in what has been written and shared. And if you have found value in them, then please don’t just stop at just reading and spend all your time questioning my honesty in picking out a page each day.
Then you would be losing a great deal more than just your time.
I did not start this blog to convert anyone to Buddhism. Hell, I can’t even convert myself fast enough!
I certainly did not start this blog to impress anyone or to preach.
Shucks, if I were so good and holy, I’d be hanging out with the Buddhas already by now. I would not be stuck here, still.
This is not why I started the blog post.
This is not why I put myself through the challenge of 100 days with If Not Now, When?
I did this because my Guru says that I should start caring, and with great urgency. Rinpoche advised me to use all my talents and resources available to me in this lifetime to do what benefits others. Go for greatness, and NOT just for personal excellence. Because greatness is all inclusive, where as personal excellence is very self-serving.
Rinpoche explained that we do not stop caring because others decided to stop, we do not give up because others gave up and quit every time they feel like it. We do not stop believing just because others can’t or won’t.
“The value of Dharma is more precious”, Rinpoche said.
In our society today, the value systems have become so twisted.
For example, celebrity stars are more glorified than teachers. Movie stars get paid more than teachers who devote their entire lives to enriching the future heirs of our planet earth.
That, to me, is just too bizarre. I should know, I am in media!
We would go after material things rather than investing in our inner wealth.
We are ruled by our lusts and desires, rather than our values, faith and virtues.
We pursue temporary pleasures in life rather than work hard to achieve lasting happiness.
Then, we wonder why we are not fulfilled, and we question why we are so unhappy.
Hence, the value system in Dharma and the Guru is completely different from ours.
They do not quit on us and change their minds, just because our feelings and thoughts fluctuate like Wall Street.
Imagine if all the Gurus and teachers quit on their students in the exact same way as the students would do so freely and casually.
Imagine if the Gurus/Teachers say that they do not feel like teaching today because they are having a bad day, or that they don’t like your face.
In truth, we do not realise the value of the Dharma or the Guru.
If we truly value something, we will not give up so easily and treat it with so little respect and care. Above all, we will automatically go all the way and will not feel that it is suffering or hard work. The same applies to the people we love.
So, if you value Dharma, that means you understand life and death very well. Because Dharma is life and life is Dharma.
Please do not just read and then stop as the last word ends.
Incorporate what’s of value into your life, think about it, evaluate and begin living your life with meaning, purpose, passion and joy.
Then every living moment is a moment worth living, a moment to behold.
This is what this blog is all about.
Thank you for being here with me.
I look forward to seeing you tomorrow – same place, but at your own time.