by the lazy Buddhist

Happy New Year! It’s 2022 and I’m probably not the only one who happily waved goodbye to 2021 and its challenges. Early on in the year, I came across a Facebook post in which H.E. Garchen Rinpoche talks of what Khenpo Munsel Rinpoche taught him while in prison. ‘When you find yourself in troublesome situations, when you are in great pain, when an intense emotion arises, only then will you know where you are at with your practice. Adverse circumstances will reveal your hidden faults’.

So, where are we all at with our practice? It’s an intriguing question, and goodness knows, we have certainly had ample adverse circumstances to test our mettle over the last two years. How have you navigated the pandemic and the many other issues you’ve faced over the last months?

In explaining what he learned, Garchen Rinpoche said that if you are able to hold awareness unwaveringly during adverse circumstances, and thus if you are not carried away by the force of the emotion, it is a sign that you have gained experience in practice.

As I mulled over some of my ‘no longer quite so hidden faults’, I thought of Lama Yeshe Rinpoche. In the midst of travel bans, new Covid variants, and his own health issues, Lama Yeshe Rinpoche is in South Africa building a Temple that is going to benefit countless people. 1008 Buddhas are coming soon and people all over the world have an amazing opportunity to contribute and be part of this wondrous venture.

What a blessing to have these incredible teachers in our midst, reminding us of our potential, exemplifying how to not get carried away by strong emotions, showing us what unwavering awareness achieves, and demonstrating the power of working steadily towards a vast vision, despite the obstacles.

In my own practice, while I have most definitely not maintained anything near unwavering awareness, Lama Yeshe Rinpoche has inspired me to remember the bigger picture. There is so much we can do when we don’t get carried away by emotions and when we are not fazed by obstacles and difficulties.

Instead of throwing up my hands in despair saying what can I do, I am asking, what can I do? How is that for progress!

Till next time,

Tania Potter