|Peace by Tsem Tulku Rinpoche|
Despite busy month, I still spared my time to read books :) Last week when I went to the library, I had a good karma to borrow another book written by Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. It seemed that they knew I was looking for a guidance, yearning to know more about Buddha Dharma, and hopefully be able to practice it into my daily life.
The book title is "Peace". It's a compilation of short teachings. I loved the way he convey the Dharma starting with the first chapter - Peace beings with the people you live with.
Lots of us may have no idea what Dharma is. We often think that practicing Dharma is difficult. Below, I summarized what he wrote at the first chapter. Since most of you may not be able to access this book, I hope he won't get angry if I share what he wrote there here as I find it useful and can be practiced by all of us.
|"Take full responsibility for your action" - Tsem Rinpoche|
“Dhamma is the love, harmony and the greater understanding between you and people surround you. It is when there are fewer arguments, and brings people closer together. It always encourages us to love other people, to forgive the wrongs that others have done to us and to forgive ourselves for the wrongs we have done, to live harmoniously with our partners and to create more peace. Then we move on to becoming happy, light, carefree individuals who can bring this light to other people.
Buddha is not trying to turn everyone into monks and nuns! That may have been the predominant method and practice during Buddha’s time, but the situation and times have now changed. To be a monk or a nun, for those who can and want to do so now, is certainly incredible and beautiful, but the main Buddhist teachings at this time are about creating inner and outer peace, because peace is very important to all of us, within and without. Right now, we may not be able to do anything about things happening on the outside, but we can do something about what is within, here and around us.
We must realize that everything that we have is only for a very, very short time. And the most important thing in our lives is the people who care about us – these are the people who have loyally stayed with us and have been by our side through all our bad habits, bad temper, bad words and anger. It is these people – who have stayed with us over time – who are important.
We may have had a lot of bad experiences with some of these people but it does not have to remain this way forever – we can change it. And this change begins with very small steps in whatever you are already doing. If you have one less argument with your partner, that is Dharma. If you have one less attachment, that is Dharma. If you control your anger once a day, that is Dharma. If you forgive your partner, that is Dharma.
Dharma is about harmony, love, care and forgiveness. The most important thing we must learn to do is to let go. Stop looking for money, windfall, for the other person to change, for outer transformation – instead, look inside and transform ourselves immediately. Change yourself, not them. By accepting who they are, it is transformation.
Gifts do not necessarily have to be material. Sometimes, living peacefully with our partners, friends and family, and not screaming and fighting are a gift in itself. We must not wait for other person to start. We have to start. Your effort to bring harmony to your family has to be continuous.
You know what you are inside. You know your good points and your flaws. Start Dharma practice today by transforming your few flaws. It is to stop being cold, calculative and angry, and stop holding on to the past. It is to begin to forgive, to let go of envy and expectations, and to stop blaming and pointing fingers at others.
I am not asking you to chant more, or recite more prayers and mantras. I am asking you to practice real life Dharma. The real practice right now, for all of us, is to bring incredible harmony and love into our families and to every single person who comes into contact with us. Start there.
Our ability and motivation to create harmony does not come from some mystical sign, like Buddha appearing to us in a dream. The motivation comes from knowing that life is a very short and we have already made a lot of mistakes. It comes from an awareness of our own shortcomings and knowing that if we let them continue, they will only become stronger and bigger. However, when we face and overcome those shortcomings, and when we are nice to people regardless of whether they are nice to us – that is Dhamma.”