Lesson from Self-introspection

I have always heard people say “Treat others as you would want to be treated”but never “Treat yourself as you would treat others.” How many times have you told yourself off in the last few days? We would never tell others off in the same way as we do to ourselves and yet we are always super hyper critical of ourselves.

Think hard and very hard and if you can notice it, there is a profound wisdom in this teaching of self-introspection to extrapolate and help you become better than you already are.

Have a healthy happy day!

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Happy Choegi Khorlor Korwai Duechen

Today is one of the most auspicious day in #Tibetan and #Bhutanese calendar to mark the turning of the wheel of Dharma – also referred to as Drukpa Tse Shi (4th day of the sixth month). All your good actions will multiply exponentially!

Choegi Khorlor Korwai Duechen means the occasion of the turning of the dharma wheel which commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon and the teaching of the Four Noble Truths. It is an important and very auspicious day to the Buddhist for it marks the day when Gautama Buddha turned the ‘Wheel of Dharma’, by giving his first ever teaching on the Four Noble truths and the eightfold path to his five disciples at Deer Park in Sarnath in India near the modern day place called Varanasi.

Four Noble Truths are:
1- the truth of suffering,
2- the truth of the cause of suffering,
3- the truth of the end of suffering,
4- the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering.

Eight Noble Paths to end the suffering are:
1- Right View
2- Right Intention
3- Right Speech
4- Right Action
5- Right Livelihood
6- Right Effort
7- Right Concentration
8- Right Mindfulness

Hope you are blessed spiritually and have a good happy healthy life.

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HOPE

Have you heard of the HOPE programme, I haven’t until about a few months ago and they have been providing service to our locals for a while. The programme is called HOPE (Help Overcoming Problems Effectively), and is based on a several week online independent self management course and Cafe style meeting online, attended by people who has similar needs. It is not a clinical service rather based on helping people come together to support each other with shared problems.

The programme is completely virtual broken into several week’s sessions (6 to 8 weeks) and people can complete at their own pace. I feel so privileged to be part of this programme and to co-facilitate the Long Covid sessions for the next eight weeks. Long Covid has been debilitating and crushing blow for so many people for so long and this programme will support them to manage this dreadful after effect of Covid illness.

Whilst doing this, I am also working my weekends towards gaining a accreditation certification to become a HOPE Facilitator, which is completely managed as voluntary service to help people. I am hoping that I can give something back to my community.

One the things as facilitator in the session is to encourage participants to create small achievable goals aside from other activities. Research have shown people who create goals are likely to

On the Hope course a kinder view of success is adopted, one that sees setbacks as normal. Here is a lovely quote from Samuel Beckett, which reflects Hope’s approach to goal setting.

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Agent of Hope

We can all be the agent of hope for ourselves and for those around us. Hope is the only thing often some people have and we need to help the seed of hope to germinate and grow for them. This is what Rabbi Jonathan Sacks said.

“Optimism is the belief that things will get better. Hope is the belief, that if we work hard enough, we can make things better. It needs no courage, only a certain naivety, to be an optimist. It needs a great deal of courage to have hope.”

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Lesson from Nature

Walking in the path today with my dog and these leaves 🍃 fell on my hand. I can imagine the scene when Newton felt the apple 🍎 on his head. My thought was entirely different though as I was thinking what was needed to form these beautiful leaves which we know will parish in a few days time. We are no different and subject to dust, just like leaves.

If you can grasp and understand the wisdom of dependent origination in Buddhism, you will understand the nature of life and celebrate the wisdom of emptiness.

Have a great day and do whatever you are doing to become better than you already are.

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My Favourite Theatre Musical Show

We saw Les Misérables, last week in Theatre Royal, Plymouth. What a show! What an experience! and I have to say it is one of my very favourite theatre shows thus far. I cried, I laughed, I reflected through out the show. I was absolutely blown away by the incredible talent on the stage and the sets. Les Mis is a timeless treasure and what a story Victor Hugo has written for us to enjoy now. We are truly blessed.

The musical show takes us on a journey of courage, love, heartbreak, passion, and the resilience of the human spirit that undoubtedly transcend time and place. Perhaps the most relevant themes are related to the kindness of the human person portrayed in the musical show that evokes compassion, mercy, and forgiveness. This is depicted so well in the show how one seemingly insignificant act of compassion can change so much.

Here is the brief summary of the show. Jean Valjean is the main protagonist who is released on parole with papers branding him as a former convict. He is unable to find work or housing for many days until a bishop invites Valjean into his home to spend the night. In the middle of the night, Valjean tries to sneak off with silver candlesticks, the only piece of wealth in the bishop’s home. Valjean is stopped by local policemen, but the bishop covers for Valjean, saying he gave the silver as a gift. The bishop then tells Valjean to use this silver to become an honest man. The bishop could have easily written Jean Valjean off as a sinful, unappreciative scoundrel. Yet, he is the first to see him as more than a number and more than his past crimes: He gives Jean Valjean the opportunity to realize his own worth and potential for excellence. And it is this seemingly simple act of human kindness, that creates a “ripple effect of compassion,” eventually giving hope to an entire community, despite the tragedies of loss and heartbreak they must face together.

There are so many wisdom to extrapolate from this show; one simple act of kindness can change the lives of others beyond one can imagine. The choices we make not only for ourselves but of other people around us can constantly impact positively or negatively through our actions, believes, ideologies, conversations, and lifestyles. Our actions can ripple across to those who we influence, in turn, go on to influence others. So each of us has the ability to offer a unique kind of hope and encouragement, kindness and love, even through seemingly insignificant decisions. As we affirm the power of human kindness and generosity, we plant the seeds which have the potential to blossom beautifully in our families, friends and in our society.

Hope you get the chance to watch the live theatre show, read it or watch the film and enjoy it as much as I have.

Pictures: from theatre royal website and couple i took before the show.

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TASHI DELEK! TEACHER’s DAY

A good teacher is like a lamp, it consumes itself to light the way for others

To all the teachers present and past, my family, my friends and acquaintances in teaching profession, in Bhutan. To you all I wish you a happy teacher’s day on May 2nd and Tashi Delek!

I made this graphic to commemorate teacher’s day and this quote is just apt “A good teacher is like a lamp, it consumes itself to light the way for others”

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Parting From the Four Attachments

Sachen Kuenga Ngingpo was one of the greatest Sakya master and an accomplished meditation practitioner. On one occasion when he was in retreat doing the practice of Arya Manjushri, he had a direct vision of the deity who spoke the following words (see image above). This teaching is known as the Parting From the Four Attachments or in Tibetan ཞེན་པ་བཞི་བྲལ།

“If you are attached to this life, you are not a true spiritual practitioner.

If you are attached to samsara, you do not have renunciation.

If you are attached to your own self-interest, you have no bodhichitta.

If there is grasping, you do not have the View.”

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Bodhicitta Heart

Happy Weekend Message

Our heart’s capacity to love is vast; it is gentle and warm and spacious filled with compassion and goodness for all. The bounty of joy is there to be discovered within us and not in the thick clouded consumer society we are in. This inherent ability of basic goodness in all beings is called Bodhicitta in Buddhism and that we all have it, just need our self awareness to be fully awaken to realise this precious wisdom.

May you realise your Bodhicitta and find happinesses in the state you are in and once you have them, may they never be separated from you. May they continue to make you a better person than you already are. 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

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Counsels From My Heart by Kyabje Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje.

Practicing the Teachings without Sectarian Bias, A Discourse on the Importance of Practicing with Trust and Devotion the Teachings to which One Feels Drawn (part 3)

What is evil? What is negativity? Evil is action that harms others. Moreover, it is said that not only should we refrain from harming others in the present, we should refrain from doing things to harm ourselves in the future (as the result of evil karma). Again, what is virtue? It is the good heart, the wish to benefit others. This is what we call bodhichitta. If we have a good heart, wishing the welfare of others, and if wehave a good heart, wishing the welfare of others, and if we bring benefit to others and to ourselves, we are practicing virtue. 

Virtue depends exclusively on a good heart. We may well recite the refuge prayer, but if we harbor evil thoughts, it is meaningless. As the saying goes, “With good motivation, all the grounds and paths are excellent. With evil motivation, all the grounds and paths are ruined.”41 A good motivation, a good heart—this is what we must have at all times. This is the Dharma and nothing else. It is not something grandiose or elaborate.

To illustrate this truth, there is a story about three men who all attained buddhahood thanks to a single clay tsatsa. One man made the tsatsa with great devotion and faith in the Three Jewels. Later, another man found it by the roadside. He reasoned that if it were left there unprotected, the rain would damage it. Since he had nothing better to cover it with, he took off his own boot and placed it over the tsatsa. A third man found the tsatsa thus covered, and was shocked, thinking that to put a shoe on a tsatsa was disrespectful and the wrong thing to do. He therefore removed the boot. Of course, it is not right to cover a tsatsa with a shoe, but since the intention of the second man was sincere and good, and since he had perfect confidence in the Three Jewels, his act was positive. All three men are said to have attained enlightenment.

The Buddha said that we should completely subdue our minds. Whatever we do, for good or ill, it is our mind that is the true agent. In the very depths of our being, we all desire one thing: we want to be happy. We don’t want to suffer. But because of this—this wanting—the three defilements of craving, aversion, and ignorance arise, and suffering is whatcraving, aversion, and ignorance arise, and suffering is what we get. 

It is because of these defilements that we accumulate actions that prevent us from escaping from samsara. So it is important right from the start to see the difference between a good motivation and an evil one. Our own mindfulness should be our teacher. We must examine what is positive and what is negative with mindfulness. 

If positive thoughts arise, we should go along with them. If nonvirtuous thoughts arise, we should put a stop to them. A virtuous mind is the source of happiness. An unvirtuous mind is the source of pain. It’s as simple as that—as we can see from our own experience. When the Buddha spoke about the hell realms and the pretas, he wasn’t making it up. He was simply talking about how things are.

Furthermore, all objects to which we show respect and make offerings are simply supports with which we practice Dharma. But the Dharma itself is in our own minds. It is not something outside. It depends entirely on our good or evil intentions. So it’s very important always to have a good heart. If we do, this itself means that we possess the Buddha’s teaching. If we practice virtue properly, if we reject evil, if we have confidence in the karmic law of cause and effect, and if we have real trust in the Three Jewels, we will never do anything to be ashamed of. It is important not to do things that we will regret in the future. 

Because of the places where we live these days, we are constantly in contact with foreigners. Our young people are falling under their influence and are losing their faith. There is a risk that they will lose interest in the Dharma. We shoulda risk that they will lose interest in the Dharma. We should think about this carefully and try to find ways that this can be avoided. Never give up the Three Jewels!

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