I have been a little bit sad as of late, wondering especially what I should be doing with my life. I have been interested in Rock Climbing for a long time, and have had a crazy dream of climbing Everest sometime in my life. Recently I have had an urge to go to Tibet, consciously, I think maybe because of the mountains. The 'roof of the world' seemed like a pretty awesome place to go. Strangely enough, as I was getting excited about the thought of possibly going to Tibet, I had a dream where someone laughingly told me that the Chinese would not give me clearance to go there.
Then I got some movies to learn about Tibet, one of which is Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion. It was very interesting to watch, but heartbreaking to learn of the 1 million Tibetans killed and 6000 monasteries destroyed by the Chinese. I didn't understand a lot of the rituals, at first glance it seems odd to see people spinning prayer wheels, I wondered what they were doing, actually, at this time, I wondered what the wheels were. Other things, even though they seemed foreign also seemed alluring, such as the people it showed prostrating down the road all the way to Lhasa. That type of devotion seems amazing to me.
I watched other movies such as 7 Years in Tibet and Kundun and for the first time really learned who the Dalai Lama really is, my knowledge up to this point had been severely limited.
I wanted to learn more about Buddhism, so last week, I was searching YouTube for Buddhism. After watching an anger filled video called Buddhism is evil by a very angry, self righteous atheist who hates all religions, I was watching the replies which made a lot more sense, then linked to a video called fun with Tibetan Monks which showed some Monks living with a host family in America. From there I linked to Tsem Tulku Rinpoche's video Don't EMBARASS the Buddha!!! I found it incredibly interesting and true, almost as if he knows me and was talking directly to me.
Since then I have been hooked on Tsem Tulku's Dharma. I watched the Be Happy Videos, Journey to Gaden, many of the shorter 10 minute ones, and I started on the Let's Get Serious series. I also replaced the usual music in my car with his audio such as Introduction to Buddhism, and I am almost done with Sayonara to Depression.
Tsem Tulku's Dharma changed my life in less than a day. I already have double the patience that I used to have. I always used to think "I'll treat people nicely as long as they treat me nicely." But when they yelled at me, I would yell back. Rinpoche taught me that I should instead continue with kindness, and it would end the cycle of Anger. I have better relationships with my parents, and pretty much everyone else since I have been practicing this Dharma to the best of my ability. I try to think happy feelings about everyone. As a result, people I have seen for weeks but never talked to me have come over and started conversations with me. I am also working on becoming less lazy. I feel much happier and lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I have been getting less sleep, largely because I have been staying up late listening to the Dharma, but I am less tired.
I really enjoy the fact that Buddhism accepts other religions as well. I was raised Roman Catholic but I never could reconcile certain teachings such as that their followers are the only ones who will go to heaven. My world cultures teacher always would say "Far too many people have died fighting over which is the proper way to love thy neighbor." It is good to see proper logic being used in religious practice.
One of the most interesting parts of Rinpoche's Dharma talks are that most of the things that he says are things which I have said myself in different words, or otherwise knew to be true all along.
It is truly amazing, and I am very thankful to him and the media group at Kechara House for making the teachings available. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche has had a life changing effect on me from half a world away.
I look forward to learning much more, I have several hundred more hours available just on the web site so it will take me quite some time.