Q: As one of the young gurus, do you have any thought to change the old traditional way of practice? Because the younger people are more attracted by the modern style.
Me myself was brought up in a very traditional way. And I respect the traditional way because there are many things that when you speak of tradition, it comes along with history and culture etc. And I think what we really have to understand is that, at first we must explore, experience, everything. Instead of saying this is modern or this is tradition. Because different individuals need different methods. So it not always like ‘Ah, maybe tradition is not going to work for the modern times.’
Example like extreme worshiping, maybe that has to kind of keep distance on the side. But other than that, you know, taking a commitment or having a principle, or chanting a mantra and doing a visualization. All these are necessary. And then also being disciplined.
Many people when they think about the Buddha dharma, they compare themselves to the Lord Buddha right away by saying that, ‘Oh I have abandoned everything in order to practice the Dharma.’ Yes, you can do that. But you should keep in mind that, even in that particular life that lord Buddha reached enlightenment, he didn’t become a Buddha right away, it was not that he stumbled on and then became a Buddha. He had been accumulating, practicing and keeping on with his commitment for millions of lifetime. And then, slowly you know, then in that very life which was a few thousands years ago, he obtained the enlightenment.
So, I think that’s something we have to understand. You know, before you do your such things, of course, wisdom has to be there, qualities have to be there, and of course, your realization of the state of suffering has to be there. But most importantly, you have to see your quality first. I think that’s quite important. Because many people they assume that, just because they know everything, they can achieve everything in every single step of the way. That is good. But at the same time, knowing your capacity is far more important.
Many people when they start the journey with the Buddhism, with the Dharma practice, with the lineage and tradition, they just to do some preliminary practices, or just think of samsara once or twice, maybe in the beginning of their journey, and then after that, they think : ‘Oh, may be my practice needs to go higher or deeper or like…you know, something that is not really well known, something very mysterious. ’ And people get dragged into that kind of illusion. So at first we have illusion of the samsara. Then we have illusion of the Dharma, that we put the concepts of hierarchy into the Dharma. That is somewhere that we are wrong.
The Dharma is the truth. And it is not the property of anybody. It belongs to everybody. But, yet at the same time, to let it belong to you, you also must have a capacity within you, which means that the reflection of samsara, the reflection of the reality, and reflection of our Dharma practice and the Guru’s teachings, I think these are very important.
With love and respect from your Kalu Rinpoche
Live talk Q&A on Facebook, 2ed, Sep. 2018