Finding the Right Doctor

Ashlee Tam

A year and a half ago, my husband discovered a group of Dharma friends through a relative. It was only the first week and he was already attending “retreats” practically every night consecutively for a week.

I was truly frustrated with him and classified him as being “obsessed”. I mean, what was he thinking? At this time when we were facing financial difficulties, how would we get through this period with him just praying and meditating everyday? Bills were pilling up and all he did was to pray everyday at home and go for retreats and Dharma talks.

I still remember the first time I ever got to meet the weird guy who they happened to call their “Guru” and “Rinpoche”. My hubby told me that he’s a very highly attained Lama and a very precious one. I told myself, “He looks more like a dictator and slave driver, making all these silly people around him treat him like a king.”

My hubby persuaded me to attend his Dharma talks and out of curiosity I did attend some of them to find out what was it all about. It turns out that the stuff that this Rinpoche talked about all made sense and was very logical. But I told myself that I had to focus my time on working so that I could help to bring the family’s finances back on track, instead of spending time in religion. “God won’t help me if I don’t help myself”… that was my motto.

Half a year passed and things hadn’t brightened up. I was shattered when my beloved grandma passed away so my hubby requested for Rinpoche to come over to bless my grandma. I didn’t think that he would come and bless her for free, but due to his kindness and compassion, he came with his entourage. I was really touched.

And a week later, my boss reluctantly broke the news to us that they were winding up the company. Anything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. “What am I gonna do?” I started asking myself. “Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? Is this what life is all about? I can’t go without a job…not at this time.” I was really depressed and at the same time scrambling to hunt for a new job. Thank goodness I found a job within three weeks. Within the first month there, I found out that I’d hopped onto another sinking boat and my salary never came on time.

The job hunting started again…and voila! I found myself a job in a multi national company. WOW!! I had always wanted to work for a multi national company. How did I do it? The power of trust in the Three Jewels and the Guru. And not only that: within less than a year of working in this company I have already received a promotion and a pay rise.

You see, most of the time medicine tastes bad but we need to take it to cure our sickness. I never knew that I had so much poison in me (bad karma, pride, ego, selfishness, laziness, anger, bad habits, lies) until I met my dear Guru, Tsem Rinpoche. I’ve discovered the doctor (in this case, Rinpoche) who can prescribe me the right medicine to cure me… provided that I take the medicine.

I am really thankful to him for his Dharma teachings and how it has transformed my life and my way of thinking. For example, I now understand the meaning of impermanence. He is indeed a superb Lama and one with a lot of fashion sense too! I pray for his long life so that he can continue to prescribe happiness to more people.

Sad to say, I have collected a huge amount of bad karma for having had the wrong views of him initially. I regret this and shall work to purify it and serve my beloved Guru; I pray that I can benefit others as he much as he has benefited me. Thank you my precious Lama, for persistently trying to cure the sickness that I have in me and for your kind and compassionate prescriptions.

** Ashlee and her husband Alex are regular volunteers at Kechara House, and are particularly involved in the Manjushri Kids Class every Sunday at Kechara House.