A poem for the Vidhyadhara

Today marks the 30th anniversary of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s parinirvana.

Although I never formally met you or experienced you in your nirmanakaya from, I’ve been blessed to be under the guidance of one of your students. My teacher has shared many wonderful stories and it is quite clear to see that you are very much alive in her heart and every moment. I did had a wonderful, powerful dream with you many years ago, one that I still remember vividly. I was in a line, a procession, heading towards you. You were giving everyone a blessing. I remember you were dressed in white robes, and thought how odd? I was used to seeing Tibetan monks in their marooned robes, although you left your robes behind some time ago. Then as I arrived in front of you, you placed your hand on my head as I bowed. Then, like a rush of electricity, I felt an energy come from my feet, up through my body and out of the top of my head! At this precise moment, my eyes opened wide, I gasped, and woke up from the dream! It was an amazing experience. When I shared it with my teacher, she laughed and said,

“I see Rinpoche visited you.”

.

A poem for the Vidhyadhara,

In the dhatu of beginninglessness and endlessness

Thank goodness there is the death of concepts

And the deathlessness of basic goodness

What About Now? – Khaydroup visits Long Beach Meditation

Khaydroup at Long Beach Meditation

Khaydroup at Long Beach Meditation

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Intention – Khaydroup visits Long Beach Meditation

Khaydroup teaches at Long Beach Meditation

Khaydroup teaches at Long Beach Meditation

Bodhisattva Ninja Turtle

Not for Happiness

Not for Happiness

I noticed a friend last night at our meditation group reading this book at the break. It was a book I had given him a few months ago. Another friend, who I had also given a copy to, also noticed and a short discussion began about the book. I loved the book. For me, a good kick in the ass when needed. For my friends, a little bit of a demanding read. The title itself shatters whatever grand illusions we have of a spiritual practice. Not for Happiness. Happiness seekers need not apply. But as my teacher said last night, relative happiness. Conditioned happiness. So, for awakening, for enlightenment, for the benefit of beings, should be, I believe, our motivation. Our intention. It is mine for sure. And still a work in progress. My teacher Shamar Rinpoche, a great master who we lost last year, said this to me many years ago when he noticed my urgency in wanting results from practice, “Be like the tortoise, not the rabbit.” I have cherished that teaching ever since. It continually reminds me that it is not necessarily speed, but consistent determination that will benefit us on the path. I also realized this morning that Rinpoche was advising me in the ways of a bodhisattva.

Shantideva says,

“For those who wish to go across the water,
 May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.”

Even a turtle.

Sarva Mangalam

Bodhisattva Ninja Turtle

Bodhisattva Ninja Turtle

Using Habit Against Itself 

Each step may seem to take forever, but no matter how uninspired you feel, continue to follow your practice schedule precisely and consistently. This is how we can use our greatest enemy, habit, against itself.

– Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, “Tortoise Steps”

Awakening to What Is

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 11.32.06 AM (2)Khaydroup teaches at Long Beach Meditation

The Fully-loaded Lama

Shamarpa and me - Buena Park 2011

Shamarpa and me – Buena Park 2011

How do I begin to describe the Shamarpa? I leave this question as it is. So it may resonate within our being. I know we can all relate to this question. How do you describe Shamar Rinpoche.

I found Bodhi Path Pasadena in 2005 and began a lifelong friendship and commitment to study and implementing the Buddha’s precious teachings. I quickly took refuge only a few months later, with Dilyag Sabchu Rinpoche. Early the following year I met the Red Hat Lama, Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche. I was in awe and somewhat on shaky ground. Rinpoche seemed amused by my appearance and inquired where I was from. I told him I was from Peru and he proceeded in asking me if I had heard they had just discovered the smallest man in the world there? He seemed very interested and genuine. I was hooked.

Throughout the following years I attended mostly all of Rinpoche’s visits to California and also traveled to Natural Bridge for his annual teachings. I remember having such a warm feeling in my heart when he began to recognize me and remembered my name. Silly confirmation perhaps, of not wanting to be left behind by this great Bodhisattva. My teacher, Khaydroup, said to me once, “Don’t worry, he remembers everyone.” Later on there was no question of this. My meetings with Rinpoche were always a joy. Sometimes brief, sometimes extended. I always felt that Rinpoche was completely authentic when I was around him. No nonsense. He would ask about my practice and even gave a thumbs up when I shared the completion of ngondro. I thought that was cute.

A couple of memories I have about encounters with Rinpoche? Well, first that I remember that Rinpoche didn’t seem to like prostrating to him when we were in his presence. A form of bowing that one performs, laying one’s body completely on the floor in reverence.  I remember I tried to always remember his dislike, but sincerely wished to pay my respects to my teacher and a Dharma King. But I worked with this and brought it to the path. I remember one time after seeing him and not prostrating that I didn’t feel good and I promised myself never to let a moment go by when I can prostrate to my Guru. The next time I saw Rinpoche in Menlo Park I remembered this promise as I waited in line to approach him and traditionally offer him a scarf. But again, my mind was so busy, yes, no, yes, no? I resolved to do just one long short prostration and visualize limitless prostrations in one, using the Bodhisattva ideal of big, big, view. So as I approached Rinpoche, I did one long prostration, and as I arose waiting to hear his admonishment for doing this, I was met with the most brilliant smile and warmth. He seemed to have seen what was in my mind and heart. I know he did. He could see everything.

Another time when I met him I shared that I had attended a teaching by a Dzogchen Master. I told Rinpoche I had received an Ati Yoga instruction and had been doing this along with the practices he had given us. Rinpoche said that it was good to get the blessing but that I should not mix. He seemed very determined to get this across to me. I said I would follow his advice and proceeded and let others approach him. Towards the end of the event as the remaining people approached him, I was nearby having a conversation with Lama Jampa. At the conclusion I bid farewell to Lama Jampa and moved to the exit. As I walked past Rinpoche’s seat, he reached out and grabbed my hand, while he was in conversation with a person offering a scarf. He pulled me close, looked at me and said, “Do not seek esoteric teachings.” I can still feel his grasp of my hand. I said, “Ok Rinpoche” and headed home. The event displayed to me how much Rinpoche cared about me, us. I felt great love and devotion.

I will miss my precious teacher very much. But I feel well equipped for the journey ahead. Cheers to the fully-loaded lama. Shamarpa Khyenno!

Love & devotion,
cesar

Shamar Rinpoche: The Road To Kalimpong

Road to Kalimpong

Road to Kalimpong

 

Shamar Rinpoche’s Kudung makes the journey from Karmapa International Buddhist Institute in Delhi to Diwakar Buddhist Academy in Kalimpong, as hundred’s line the road to pay hommage to their teacher.

Everything, everything is impermanent.
Nothing is permanent, so you should be aware of it.
Therefore, you should not be surprised when something is changed.
Yes?
Not permanent.
So you should accept it, you should understand that things are not permanent.

If you think whether there is a chance to be liberated, or get out of these problems of suffering or whatever,
Yes, there is!
Why?
It’s naturally there, naturally.

It is not that you have to depend on a kind of, somebody’s blessings,
The cure is within you.

All the phenomena does not carry any substantial existence, or ultimate existence.
It is, it carries, the quality of illusion.
Therefore, Buddhism is a great knowledge,
Buddhism follows the nature of phenomena.

The Buddhist view follows the nature of phenomena,
and by knowing so you can cure the problems,
you can develop the cure from within it.

So meditation follows the nature, it is a natural antidote.
Yes?
So once you learn the meditation and how to improve your wisdom,
How to overcome all your illusions, all your ignorance.

Everything, everything is impermanent.
Inevitable,
It is, you will change, it will be changed.
So, yes, change is inevitable.

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