Title: Equanimity in Uncertain Times
Date and time: May 31, 2020, 11pm
The essence of patience is the mind of resilience
Now I would like to discuss “patience”. Nowadays there’s a lot of uncertainty. People don’t know when the quarantine and lockdown will end. We don’t know when we can go back to our normal life, to our study or business. People are waiting, and there’s uncertainty. So it’s very important to know about patience. What is patience? The essence of patience is a mind of resilience. Your mind is open, big, and there’s some kind of courage. If there’s no courage or peace, the mind will have no resilience, then it becomes very sensitive. When something goes wrong, we get very upset. When a slight problem occurs in our life, we get disappointed easily. Even if you don’t want to be disappointed, even if you don’t want to have panic, even if you don’t want to get angry … even if you don’t want to worry, you worry. So the mind should be more resilient – that is patience.
For patience, one of the very important things is to accept reality as it is. What we say is, “life is like the waves of the ocean”. As I had mentioned many times previously, life is up and down, so we should accept the ups and downs. But at the same time, the essence of life is full of great things. Who we are – we have awareness, wisdom, capacity, skills, love, compassion, wisdom. There are so many great things within us. Accept and recognise this. But at the same time, whatever we do, it won’t always be perfect. So it’s up and down, up and down, up and down. Therefore, let go. Life is like the waves of the ocean, accept the ups and downs. But don’t give up.
Use your wisdom, knowledge and skills. Whatever you can do, try your best. You have to try your best, but your mind should not become too tight about the result. Enjoy the course. With whatever you can do, try to do your best, then you will find the balance. Then you can easily follow the natural rhythm. When things go up, you can go up; when things go down, you can go down. You know how to dance with life. Life is like dancing. Life is like the stock market – I mentioned this before. So accepting that is letting go. But don’t give up – use your innate qualities and try your best. Then it becomes really powerful.
No straight path to the top of the mountain
Let’s say you want to go to the top of a mountain. Is there a straight path to go to the top? Impossible. Such a path does not exist. What happens is, you will start from the bottom, go up a little bit, and you will come down. Don’t give up, learn from your mistakes. Learn from the obstacles, learn from the problems. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has some kind of problems. Life has problems, but the problems and obstacles can become opportunities. Problems can become solutions; obstacles can become opportunities. So don’t give up. You will go up a little bit, and you will come down again – up, down, up, down, up, down. Each time you will learn and grow more. Then you will reach the top. So it is like this (On a piece of paper, Rinpoche draws a spiral moving upwards)…That is our life!
But what happens normally? What we expect is a straight line, like this (Rinpoche draws a straight line). When we don’t have that straight line, we get upset. We make a big deal out of it. We blame ourselves, blame others, blame the environment, make a mess of it. In the end, we might need to give up, because we were too tight or too loose. So to be patient is to find the natural rhythm.
Finding balance: not too loose, not too tight
In Tibet we have this famous story. When I was young, my grandfather told me this story about how to be patient, how to make right effort. The story is about a turtle and a rabbit. The rabbit and turtle want to race to see who can reach the mountain top first. Before they started, the rabbit thought, “Oh, I can jump a few times and I would reach the mountain top. The turtle is so slow, how can it compare with me?” Then the rabbit quickly jumped and almost reached the top, then it felt tired and went to sleep. As for the turtle, it slowly climbed up without giving up, relaxed and not too tight. In the end it reached the top of the mountain. The turtle then called out to the rabbit. The rabbit woke up and looked down, “Where’s the turtle? He is calling me. But I can’t see him.” Again the turtle called the rabbit. The rabbit looked around, “Where is he? Maybe he’s nearby?” Again the turtle called. The rabbit looked up, and the turtle is there. Therefore, continue to try, don’t give up, learn from the mistakes, grow from the obstacles. In the end, everything adds to whatever you want to achieve – it will become like that. So finding this balance is really important.
For example, if you’re an artist, once you have learned well, then when you work on something and the painting comes almost effortlessly, then the art becomes very good. Similarly with singing. When the singing comes effortlessly, the voice, everything, becomes very good. There’s effort. It feels like it’s effortless, but actually it’s not effortless. There is some effort. But that effort follows the natural rhythm – not too tight. So that is the real patience and equanimity. Equanimity means “not too tight, not too loose”. Hate for the enemy, or being overly attached to your loved ones – in these situations you become unbalanced. So you know there are people you do not like, and there are those whom you like; you can learn from both, both can help you to grow, to transform, to learn.
Why not try a different way?
Sometimes when you try to do something or to achieve something, you reach a dead end. What happens then is most people give up. Or they bang their head on the wall – you will hurt your head this way, right? Actually, although you may not cross this way, there are different ways – right, left, up, beneath… there are many different ways. In fact, you may cross the wall, just not that way.
For example, I went to a retreat for 4½ years, then I came back to Tergar Osel Ling in Kathmandu, Nepal. The old monastery that was here was broken and damaged by the earthquake that happened before I came back. The moment I saw the monastery, woah, that was a shocking experience. I had a lot of memories there of my father, I learned meditation there with my father and my grandfather, and now there were cracks all over the place and some walls had fallen. I had a big shock. Then I suddenly remembered: impermanence. I tried to think about impermanence. Impermanence does not mean death, then nothing. Impermanence means change, so it’s full of possibilities, full of different doorways and paths.
I thought, “How can I transform this into something beneficial for other people?” So I created different projects, and some of them are developing and in progress, and soon will be of benefit. We have a monastic college here, and we plan to have international meditation teaching and learning. Now many institutes teach Buddhist philosophy and philosophy about meditation, but they don’t teach the techniques. And some retreat places teach the techniques, but they don’t teach the background. So, here, the scholastic and meditative aspects are joined together, and we will have a new and very exciting curriculum. Soon, nice things will happen around this monastery because of the earthquake. I am not saying it was good to have the earthquake, which caused a lot of damage and took many lives. But for those of us who are here now, don’t let the disaster take away our aspirations, our courage, and our resilience. So don’t give up. Continue to learn, to grow, to transform. This is really important for our lives.
■ 安忍的精髓 是種開放、有彈性的心
什麼是「安忍」呢？「安忍」的精髓是一種有彈性的心，你的心開放而強大，帶有一種勇氣 ; 如果沒有勇氣和平靜，心就會變得沒有彈性和敏感。即使是一點小事不對勁，你就會覺得很不安。生活中出現一點小問題，我們就很容易失望。即使你不想感覺失望、恐慌，不想要生氣、擔憂，卻無法控制自己的心。事實上心應該更有彈性，而這就是「安忍」。
■ 人生如登山 迂迴上下才是自然
■ 不鬆懈且不緊繃 學習找到平衡
西藏有一個著名的故事。小時候外公跟我講了這個關於耐心、正精進的故事 — 烏龜和兔子的故事。烏龜跟兔子賽跑，看誰先跑到山頂。比賽一開始，兔子就想：「我蹦幾下就到山頂了。這隻小烏龜慢吞吞地爬行，怎麽能跟我比啊？」於是，兔子快要到山頂時覺得很累，就先睡了一覺。而那隻烏龜慢慢地一直往上爬，不放棄，但也不緊繃。最後，烏龜先爬到了山頂。於是牠呼喊著兔子，兔子被叫醒了，向山下看去，但牠左看右看都沒看到烏龜。接著又聽到烏龜喊牠，兔子往上一看，沒想到烏龜已經在山頂了。所以，要持續、不放棄，從錯誤中學習，從障礙中成長。到最後，其實每件事都在輔助你達到自己的理想，都成為了你的助力。所以，真正的重點是要找到平衡，這點很重要。
2020年6月6日（星期六）2:30-3:30pm 將開展「開心禪」一階的網上共修，主題為「開放的覺知（上）」。 歡迎已完成「開心禪」一階課程的學員參加！
禪修時，你可能沒有特別執著在什麼對境，但是你還是有覺知，還是清楚當下發生的一切，這就是自心某種程度的呈現，可以概括地說是一個覺性的中心。— 摘自《世界上最快樂的人》 P182
#德噶 #德噶香港禪修中心 #開心禪 #禪修 #共修 #練習 #覺知 #開放的覺知#Tergar #Tergarhongkong #meditation #joyofliving #groupmeditation #onlinegroupmeditation