What About Now? – Khaydroup visits Long Beach Meditation

Khaydroup at Long Beach Meditation

Khaydroup at Long Beach Meditation

The video begins at the 15:43 minute mark. Please make sure to replay from the beginning.


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,

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.
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!
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.
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.
It is, you will change, it will be changed.
So, yes, change is inevitable.

A Few Things I know about Shamar Rinpoche – By LT

Rinpoche and Lawrence

Rinpoche and Lawrence

Today is the sixth day after Shamar Rinpoche passed away on 6/11/14. I have read a few eulogies and attended two sermons in remembrance of him. Unlike some of the sangha members, I didn’t get too emotional on the loss. However, there are a few things that I haven’t seen from other writings. So, I would like to write down my own.

When I decided to explore more about Buddhism many years ago, I came across “The Karmapa Paper” in a small library. Being both a history & detective novel addict, the Karmapa controversy has all the interesting elements: betrayal, greed, political conspiracy. I also know that there are two sides of the stories. There must be lairs there. I just don’t know whom. However, putting aside who is the real Karmapa, Shamar Rinpoche needed to stand up against the Dalai Lama, the Chinese government and Tai Situ Rinpoche about the recognition of Trinley Thaye Dorje as the 17th Karmapa. To withstand the storms, he was either a determined liar or a determined monk. Through the years, I have taken the latter stand. Why? You can see my reason below.

I waited a year for his visit to US. There were many devotees in the Bunea Park center. With my little doubt, I took the refuge vow from him anyway for I didn’t want to spoil the big ceremony. I confided my hesitation to CC afterwards. She was surprised and thought I always wanted it. I should have told her earlier. Her silent support was thanked silently.

In the text we recited during the ceremony, one part was about dedication to the pass masters, one by one. He asked us to take out the current Karmapa. His reason was that there was a controversy behind the identification. There was no need to introduce confusion. As a supporter of Trinley Thaye Dorje, I thought he would do the reverse. I believe he did it to protect his student’s devotion.

They said it would require master & student to check against each other. I began to track his activities on the web. I heard that there was some advanced Varjayana practice that would be considered as sexual activities. Then, I heard about a little scandal in France. One lama was put into solitude and stripped of teaching activities. Then, a while later, I saw his announcement about turning Bodhi Path centers into a Mahayana teaching without Varjayana. He mentioned about slanted Westerners’ view about sex and by being a Mahayana center, no more confusion is possible.

Later on, he stripped off the lama title from many teachers in our centers. He said it would avoid confusion with the lamas who strictly follow the precepts in the monastery. I admire his courage since people made easy conclusion from the label lama. Many famous lama out there couldn’t simply follow a lama rule at all. Without a “lama” title is a good move to clear confusion though not necessary good for publicity.

Then, he asked people not to call him “His Holiness”. I couldn’t agree more. I don’t believe a monk is a king and it still strike me uneasy when I see the “H.E.” or “H.H.” title before any monk, no matter which religion. He is the first one in public to do so.

Several years past, the sangha has been praising him but I haven’t had a chance to talk to him in person until this March. He came to the states for a book signing tour. He stopped by Pasadena and asked us to meet in one student’s house. I was the first one to arrive. They just finished the dinner. I haven’t had dinner yet. RF generously offer the dinner to me. Shamar Rinpoche asked me to come to him for my questions. I felt it would be impolite to ask questions while eating dinner. So, I stayed in the dining room and told him I would be in the living room right after the dinner. He then walked from the living room to dining room to attend my questions. I felt honour and appreciate his humbleness.

Some people are writing about miracles around him. I couldn’t tell what is miracle and what is not. (In fact, CC or CS would know there might be a miracle when I first read “The Karmapa Paper” in Mi Piace the time I first came to Bodhi Path center. But I don’t feel there is a need to put it here). So, I could only write about my concerns that is common to be seen. I don’t know about the identity of Karmapa. He changed the text to address it. I worried about the sex scandal. He changed the centers to non-cult, Mahayana centers. I felt weird about the “H.H.” title. He dropped it. I didn’t raise these concerns to the teachers and he addressed them all. I develop a trust by his judgement. From the roots he built, I feel comfortable with the Bodhi Path and would wait for his next reincarnation. I hope my last doubt about reincarnation will be eradicated then.

Om Ami Devi Hri

Pasadena Bodhi Path with RInpoche

Pasadena Bodhi Path with RInpoche

Courtesy of Lawrence’s Zone


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