Dharma centre’s growth depends on our individual growth

2009年8月13日 星期四 下午4:56 评论关闭

I have done everything – a little bit of acting and commercials in America, worked in retail, secretarial jobs, gardening, cooking, dish-washing. I know what it is to have to survive. I went through a lot of ups and downs. Please do not think that I have been sitting in the mountains meditating and that I know nothing about work. I know more than you do about work!

The most difficult industry I have seen and been in is the entertainment business. When I did those fashion catwalk shows I saw all the things that people talk about in the fashion industry. The designers, the make-up artists and the coordinators actually scream and shout. Some of them are not nice. I saw models being screamed at in the back until they cried; when they went out onto the catwalk, they had to pretend that everything was alright. All we could do was to walk by and pat them on the back. I have seen it all.

What is all that suffering for? What do all these designers, models, entertainment people, retail people, business people do it all for? You make the money and then what? At least in Dharma, we suffer for a reason – we suffer to get happiness and to bring happiness to others. The suffering has a purpose.

Other jobs have a purpose but the purpose ends when we get our money. Yes, in Dharma we still fight like cats and dogs, we hate each other, we hate the Guru, we disappear, we send nasty text messages to each other, we do not like this or that sometimes. But it is like that everywhere in life.

People ask why there are these problems in Dharma. That’s ridiculous! It is like asking why everybody is ill when you go to a hospital! Similarly, when you go into a Dharma centre everyone there is also “ill”; that is precisely why they are going to a Dharma centre, they need mental help! At least they are going for help.

The purpose of suffering, fighting, working, getting tired, pushing, putting our effort and exerting ourselves in a Dharma centre is for something higher: the happiness of ourselves and others, to gain spiritual attainments and practice.

We should never see our involvement in a Dharma centre as work because it is not work. Work is when we do things just for this life and it ends when we die. Dharma is when we do things for future lives and for Enlightenment, it does not end.

Therefore, be happy to suffer for others. Be happy to attend meetings, Dharma talks and pujas for others. Be happy to fight for others. Be happy to be patient for others. Be happy to participate for others. Teachings can be difficult – they are long, they make us sleepy, sometimes they criticise or hurt us, but when we attend teachings and we stay awake out of compassion, we collect merit, because we are attending the teachings for others and we are “suffering” for others.

A Dharma centre’s growth depends on our individual growth. If we do not individually grow, the centre will never grow, even if we acquire a hundred buildings. It just becomes a business and we do not need to use religion as a business.

Every Dharma centre must judge its growth by the members in it, how they improve with each Dharma talk and Dharma session, and how the harmony within and between the members grows.
Tsem Tulku

Excerpts from
Gurus for Hire, Enlightenment for Sale
An insider’s guide into the relationship between spiritual teachers, students and centres