Q: Rinpoche, what are your views on Buddhism and mental health?
A: From my side, so far, I have some experience that some people when they are going through a lot of sufferings, when they have many different problems in their lives, when the families and children are going through a difficult time, they don’t want to explain to other people but they want to explain to me. For many of them, I could say, and of course, I mean it with everything I say, that I make prayer for them, and then, of course, I give them advice and my support to, regardless whether they come from the rich family or poor family. Doesn’t matter which class they come from. There is no class, just bunch of people who are going through sufferings. They want to express their sufferings that they are going through a very difficult time. They don’t want to express that to everybody. They are not expecting everybody to understand them.
In that way, of course, Buddhism has to provide them support, prayer, and so on and so forth. But as a dharma instructor at the same time, for people who are having different kinds of difficulties, I think we have to keep it balance between. To people who are going through realistic issues, such as family issues, difficulties, or other issues, you have to give them realistic advice. But then if they are having a different kind of difficulties (non-realistic issues), then you have to make prayers and pujas, so on and so forth.
So I think Buddhism (help to mental health) in general, it depends on the mindset of different dharma instructors, and how they provide their help to people. For those who are having really mental issues, like they could not control themselves, a little bit like that they don’t want to be out of control, but they are out of control, due to unfortunate events of their lives, for these people, I think that in the future that science and Buddhism can come together and benefit these people as much as possible. I think that is important.
Because I do believe in Buddhism. I do believe there are special qualities that you can recognize, that you can live through with the practice and so on and so forth. But my belief towards Buddhism is not based on miracle, it is based on the dedication. The more you dedicate yourself, the more understanding you would have naturally, isn’t it?
When there is such kind of issue that you need to provide help, I cannot say that: ‘Hey, guess what, I am the hero of everything.’ I cannot just pretend and say that. ‘Hey, I will give you a blessing, everything will be fine.’ I mean that’s a lie. That is not good. And you know that is not going to help them. They need a practical help. So in order to do a practical help, I think the science knowledge, and Buddhism knowledge combining together, providing this kind of help, is quite important.
With love and respect from Kalu Rinpoche
5th. Sep. 2018 Facebook Live