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April 02, 2007

Life As A Resident Teacher In Losang Dragpa Centre

It was after I was given the Geshe title and confirming my date of graduating when Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche (Rinpoche) advised me to go to Losang Dragpa Centre, Malaysia to be their resident teacher. So on the first day of Chinese New Year (2007), under the instruction of Rinpoche as an auspicious day of dharma relating to LDC students, I came for a day visit. Rinpoche asked me to start my service from that day but due to my responsibilities in Sera and Kopan plus my graduation on the way, I had to go back. I was very happy to come to Malaysia to fulfill the holy wish of my gurus and to benefit others through dharma. No matter whatever lineage, I will provide my dharma brothers and sisters who had karmic link with blessing and knowledge with the same lineage gurus especially when a large number requested me to come a few years ago. I felt sometime ago my dharma karmic link with others is very much in Malaysia. Even when I was studying in Sera, Rinpoche advised me to visit LDC once a while to help with teachings and rituals or whatever help I can offer. In fact I have dharma connection with Malaysian even before I was officially appointed as the resident teacher. So for me to come to LDC is not like I am going to a new place or meeting strangers or coping with unfamiliar culture..etc. Since I am so familiar with everything and everyone here, it actually felt like it was in my genes so that made me even happier that Rinpoche decided to send me here. After all, I am sure he has to send me somewhere and I am quite sure it’s not going to be in the cave. So LDC is a right place and at the moment I can say that I am enjoying my time here. I felt that I am doing something which I am supposed to do and I got this opportunity to use my past efforts such as in studies, receiving proper lineage teachings and relying on very rare precious gurus. All these services that I can provide in complete way and I receive great courage and support and response that they appreciate.

Rinpoche’s wish is for all his students, spiritual sons and daughters to come together to practice the entire Buddha’s path, support and help each other and to be in one family plus give opportunity to those new people who has karmic connection with Buddha dharma and Lama Tsong Khapa’s teachings, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. I have seen really all these things are actualizing within these few months. All LDC students come together in their dharma practice with good progress in realization. Rinpoche also wish for a large number of new comers coming into contact with dharma. In fact, we have new people coming into the centre everyday. On average I have 10 – 15 appointments a day, consisting consultations, meeting people and pujas conducted in and out of the centre. And many people from other towns and countries come to consult and get some advice. Some want to know about Rinpoche and his qualities or about His Holiness Dalai Lama. I also receive a lot of calls each day pertaining various matters. I become known to many through our centre, LDC website, Mahayana magazine, the press, public events such as Thousand Offering event and public speaking or teachings in other centers. I also have many friends from all over the world where we met in Kopan and through them I get linked to their friends as well. I received emails and calls from all over the world such as America, Europe, Hong Kong , Taiwan, and Singapore …etc on a daily basis. They try to get some help from me and are all dharma related.

I felt LDC is doing great job because from the people I’ve attended to, 99% of them come back with great appreciation after they receive some help. This is exactly what Rinpoche wants me to do, help the sick people, those who have karma but waiting for condition to ripen to meet dharma, those with a lot of personal problems pertaining to relationship, business, financial, education..etc. So with the blessings of my gurus even though I don’t have any realization or any knowledge, I try to provide my service to them wholeheartedly and 100% sincerity. As Rinpoche’s wish is for dharma to reach all types and ages of people similar to my philosophy, and since death is certain for everyone and time of death is uncertain for everyone, at time of death only dharma can help to bring better rebirth. I always like to provide the dharma teachings and advises in every level and ages of people such as the complete path such as Lam Rim to kids and that’s what we are doing in LDC. There are over 40 children that have completed learning preliminary practices such as refuge, set proper motivation, seven limb practices, six perfections and now they are into learning the graduated path to enlightenment (Lam Rim). They are aged between 3 to 17 and there are also a number of adults who join in the young people program to learn the simple ways of Buddhist practices, all totaling up to 50 in the class. I am very happy to see the good progress in the kids.

To upgrade their knowledge of senior students, we have complete the studies in philosophy such as Buddhist Tenets conjoined with Ground and Path, Mind and Reasoning and now we are strictly practicing the actual purpose of Buddhist teaching such as to transform our ordinary mind. This subject strictly follows all the past Kadampas teachings which are the different teachings on mind training. We have covered 8 Verses of Thought Transformation and we are now doing the 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas which strictly follow the graduated sequence in the path of Lam Rim. All the verses categorized into the stages of the path from preliminary to the teachings on the 3 capable being’s path and especially emphasizing on conventional and ultimate bodhicitta. We are getting into the teachings on six perfections and we will continue with Kadampa teachings of mind training which always conjoined with stages of the path (Lam Rim).

We are doing introduction to Buddhism for the new comers in various topics such as refuge and the basic practice of Buddhism in particularly Tibetan Buddhism. It is very encouraging as there were a large number of turnouts both old and new students who attended the class. We also have plans to provide Buddhism conjoined with science seminars or dialogue sessions targetted to college and university students. It’s also important to reach the people who live a life as a Buddhist by praying to Buddha and deities by introducing Lam Rim to them. I pray and wish that next year we start a one year Discovering Buddhism Program and a two years Basic Buddhism Program.

In short, all of us here including myself are to accumulate extensive merit and do great purification of past negative karma by relying of great gurus such as His Holiness Dalai Lama and Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. All senior students here therefore should feel this centre as your second home, encourage new comers with your knowledge and realization and upgrade realization up to Buddha hood by making the centre strong and complete in every aspect. It’s the great responsibility of the senior students as a great service and practice to your guru and for your spiritual development. I feel its very fortunate for the new comers to be able to link with this centre because their purpose to get into Buddha dharma is to become Buddha themselves. By knowing this centre and meeting the purest teachings of the Buddha which is the great complete pure lineage of Buddha’s teaching of Lama Tsong Khapa, a complete form of study with contemplation, meditation and blessings by the perfect qualified enlightened Mahayanic gurus such as His Holiness Dalai Lama and Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. This is the centre of their lineage, this is the centre of great tradition, this is the centre which has proven to be a qualified pure Tibetan Buddhist centre and a valid spiritual organization under the guidance of them both. The connection of this lineage is definite one link to Buddha hood. So I rejoice to those whose karma has ripened meeting LDC, the precious teachings and precious holy gurus for your benefit of enlightenment and I pray for your good karma to ripen without delay.

photos at LDC courtesy of Ven. Osel and others by Candy