Saturday, January 05, 2008

Dear Frustrated Buddhist

I read your comments to the UR@1ness post with great interest.

You seem to be feeling some sort of difficulty attached to (a) being a householder, (b) being a dharma student, and (c) doing both in the context of living in the Bay Area.

The cost of living in the Bay Area being what is, maybe I can't blame you.

The thing is, none of the above is the real issue. The real issue is making your life your practice.

In the good old days in the Bay Area, you could drop by Tarthang Rinpoche's house on Webster Street in Berkeley, his wife would make tea for you, and he would spend an hour or more talking to you. Those days are gone, but you can still drop by the Nyingma Institute for a class, or you can still drop by Dharma Publishing, and volunteer an hour or so.

I am suggesting that you begin by establishing rapport with Tarthang Rinpoche's organizations because he is expert in dealing with the issues that confront you, and you are lucky enough to be "local."

Gradually, the nature of your connnection with the Dharma will make itself felt in wholesome ways. It is not necessary to engage in extremist behavior such as leaving your wife and children, quitting your job, and running off to the nearest cave. Instead, I would suggest you take as your example the great married, householding practitioners of the past. Your status will, in fact, deepen and enrich your practice in many beneficial ways, as I am certain you will come to know.

The most important thing with respect to the Dharma is kindness, so if all you do is extend kindness to everyone you meet--- if you become known as a kind man, and if you are genuinely so-- then you can hold off everything else until it naturally arises.

There are other aspects to your issues that I will address in future, but for the moment, this is what leaps to mind.

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3 reader comments:

sburris said...

I've been following Tenpa's comments with great interest, although I missed Al's. Although I haven't had the vast number of empowerments that many of my fellow practitioners the ones I have had lead me to believe that Tenpa is right: it's the deity, however defined, that authorizes the empowerment, not the vehicle through which the manifestation arrives.

Of course, from a philosophical standpoint, it's pertinent to ask what's meant when Joe or Josehine Rinpoche "get it on," manifesting the deity. I realize, of course, that asking about the composition of the arrow that's stuck in your chest is less important than removing the arrow, but still, on this point, inquiring minds want to know . . . any help?

TENPA said...

That's my obligatory Americanism of the day.

TENPA said...

I'm moving this dialogue to the "Lost Comments" post.