Dharma teachings and Chenresig puja at Bodhipath Kuching Centre
His Holiness the 17th Karmapa gives Dharma teachings and performs Chenresig puja at Bodhipath Kuching Centre.
On the last evening of His stay in Kuching His Holiness visited Kuching Bodhi Path Society to meet with organisers and devotees, give teachings, answer questions and conduct a Chenresig Practice.
Kuching Bodhipath Society is characterised by its warm and friendly atmosphere. When Gyalwa Karmapa arrived, the shrine room was already packed, and the throng of devotees spilled way past the entrance gate into the street outside.
His Holiness started His teaching by complimenting all those present on their courage and openness, and acknowledged that practising the dharma was not easy and required considerable energy and patience.
He then warned everyone against what he referred to as the “microwave factor” which was so characteristic of our day and age: just like so many of us when hungry tend to grab some food and shove it into the microwave, in search of instant gratification, instead of taking the time required to cook a proper and nutritious meal, in just the same way we tend to use dharma practice with the expectation of a “quick fix” for our problems.
His Holiness went on to explain that this tendency was largely due to the materialistic influence of our modern times, where we have so many “magical things.”
“So you really need to develop patience – not just in terms of bearing with all kinds of obstacles with closed eyes… […] but patience in terms of developing the courage of lifting yourself up. Lifting yourself up is a great practice. Often nowadays we are dealing with problems such as low self-esteem, low confidence, lots of doubts… these are largely due to the microwave factor.”
Before starting the practice of Chenresig, His Holiness gave explanations about the kind of compassion that aspiring bodhisattvas should strive to cultivate, and how to go about it:
“That kind of compassion is known as timeless compassion, because it doesn’t require a reason or a cause. That’s the kind of compassion we try to achieve through the practice of Chenresig. […]
Initially of course we may not be able to generate that timeless kind of compassion, which is all right, which is very very acceptable. It’s absolutely normal for us, because after all we are human beings […]”
Gyalwa Karmapa then used the example of a big majestic tree which grows out of a tiny seed to illustrate the importance of time, patience and the right conditions:
“Just like the tree needs time, nourishment, cultivation, fertilising, in the same way we as practitioners, in order to become beneficial beings, decent beings, for the sake of all sentient beings, we really need to cultivate ourselves, cultivate our quality, our nature.”
His Holiness finished His teaching by giving instructions on the attitude to develop when training in cultivating compassion:
“So when we practice compassion, when we apply compassion in our daily lives, we really have to tell ourselves, “That’s me, that’s who I am. I cannot change that; no one can change that.”
You ARE compassion, and your very existence is an embodiment of compassion, a manifestation of compassion. So constantly develop that kind of attitude, as regularly as possible. And by doing so, then naturally your view on life, your view on the difficult experiences of life, the challenges of life will have a completely different look.”
At the end of the session His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa joined the gathered Rinpoches, monks, organisers and devotees in a group practice of Chenresig.
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