About Shang Rinpoche

Rinpoche’s spiritual pursuit began at a very young age and has spanned many years, in which he received lineages of all four major Vajrayana Buddhist schools—Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, and Gelug—from numerous lineage holders and great yogis of our time in India, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Rinpoche has acquired all the necessary empowerments, transmissions, and teachings to become a fully qualified Vajrayana master. Furthermore, Rinpoche is a recognized tulku (reincarnate lama), authenticated by eminent lineage holders and distinguished masters of our time.
More Info Please click Here.

2014年7月31日 星期四

Inspiration of Li Bai

Li Bai of Tang Dynasty, is considered one of the most colorful and romantic poets in Chinese history. He had a legendary life decorated with the ups and downs of his political career, and had been exerting great influence on Chinese poetry for over a thousand years. In his youth, he dedicated himself to Chan (Zen) for a long period of time. One day while he was walking on the street, he came across an old woman sitting by the road, grinding an iron stick. Li Bai watched her for a while, and couldn’t help asking her why. The old lady replied, " I am chafing the iron stick to make needles for sewing." Li Bai was greatly inspired by this encounter which aided his understanding and practice of Chan and later contributed to his literary success.

In my youth, I spent seven years studying and practising the Pure Land School of Buddhism, and delved deep into all kinds of contemplation methods. During that period, I was a strict vegetarian for many years, meditated all night without lying down, and read all the sutras of the Pure Land School as well as writings of achieved practitioners. All these only led to a glimpse of the surface rather than arriving at the ultimate truth. After realizing that reciting the Buddha’s name and mantras is but skillful means taught by the Buddha in countering illusions with illusions, I was at once free from my attachment to the means. This realization greatly expedited the progress of my subsequent study of the Mahayana and Vajrayana Schools.

Nowadays, many people are sloppy, self-limiting, disorganised, and hesitant in conducting secular affairs and in their pursuit of the Dharma. Actually, the same principles apply in handling mundane matters and in practising the Buddha Dharma. Those with a thorough understanding of the Dharma are well on top of their worldly affairs; conversely, those whose life is plagued with obscurations must be somewhat unyielding and inflexible in character. Therefore, apart from having single-minded focus and dedication, it is crucial is to apply Buddha’s teachings in both secular and non-secular context without differentiating between the two. In so doing, we will truly understand all of Buddha’s hard work. 

From Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche

A Lament to Passing Water and Life

While Confucius was traveling throughout various countries, he frequently had time to contemplate in solitude. One day upon finishing their meal, he and several close disciples went strolling through the fields, deep in thought and sighing quietly. After stopping by a lake beneath a waterfall, Confucius stood still for a long time before, in his melancholy, he said to them, “Thus things haste away, never ceasing day and night.”

Many students come to tell me about their plans to travel to Europe, a holiday in Spain or a sightseeing tour of the cherry blossoms in Japan. I reply in a happy, congratulatory tone, because some people spend a hard year earning money so that they can reward themselves with a holiday. Some go for a drink at various nightclubs after work, crowding into dimly lit spaces filled with smoke and noise, in the hopes of setting themselves free from the day's toil. Still others round up their friends for a scooter ride to the Waishuang stream where they spend all night shrimp fishing, just to feel the sense of excitement when the shrimp takes the bait. I am often dumbfounded by the unbelievable leisure activities modern people undertake.

Upon seeing the ways by which modern people escape stress and soothe their troubles, a certain (Buddhist) verse instantaneously springs to mind, "With the passing of the day, a length of this life is thus reduced; Just as fish in scant water, what enjoyment is there?" Life advances relentlessly, much like a beam of sunlight passing through a crack in the wall. Just like the blazing clouds at sunset are snuffed out in the blink of an eye, so too does life pass away, swiftly and unmercifully. Those with even a smattering of wisdom would not let their days pass wasted. For them, every second counts. Similar to the inspiration Confucius drew from the river, the flow of one's life is unstoppable once begun, and it can never be turned back. If you fail to come to grasp every moment, you will have no choice but to fall prey to the pursuit of Death. Those who do understand how grasp the current moment should also know that in addition to doing so, most significantly, they should not allow their thoughts to be limited by time. Those who are not restrained by time and space truly know how to seize the day and comprehend the true essence of this precious human life. 

From Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche

2014年7月14日 星期一

Dwelling Place of the Mind

People often ask me, “Rinpoche, what do I have to do to find my true self?” My answer, “Returning to your self is finding your true self.”

There are many aspects to “self” of which you are mostly unaware. However, when external circumstances effect changes on your mind or when you are focused on something you like or to which you are attached, you might be able to catch a glimpse of the silhouette of the “self.” In most cases, it involves your attachments. For example: it could be someone you like, something you are partial to, an environment that pleases you, etc.—in other words, whatever draws you in, agitates and disturbs your mind as a result. These attachments are the favourite haunts of the “self.”

The search for “self” is like stripping off layers of clothes in the winter—peeling off layer by layer until you see your naked self. On the other hand, every time our eyes, ears or nose sees, hears or smells something we like, it’s like adding another layer to our outfit. In reality, when our heart’s desires become progressively insatiable, our mind has already been lassoed and harnessed by the object created from that longing. In this state, the true self becomes increasingly distant and blurred. Eventually, it disappears completely and can never come back again. Using phenomena as mind training is the only way to help the mind return to its dwelling place. When the mind is completely unaffected in any state that arises but, instead, transforms it—this is being in the moment. In another word, the moment lies in the dwelling place of the original mind.

From Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche

2014年7月5日 星期六

Revelation of a Horse

What constitutes a horse of the finest quality? According to ancient Chinese text, " An excellent horse leaps as soon as it sees the shadow of a whip". That means the finest horse will instantly gallop full-steam ahead upon seeing the shadow of the whip in his master's hands, there's no need to wait for the the whip to fall on him. However, the truth is the horse is still kept under restraints and his mind is uneasy, therefore the horse is not really a first-rate horse. When selecting the finest horse from a herd, the horse breeder or trainer prefers to choose the most unconstrained horses, those that follow their instincts and jump wildly to and fro. Consequently, the horse turns out to be brilliant and exceptional. 

The same applies to people - with a free and unaffected mind, one is able to be carefree and enjoy oneself in worldly affairs. Only from being apart from desires and attachments can one have the ability to be free and at ease. An adept is someone who is sentimentally non-attached and is therefore naturally unhindered. The worst of human suffering stems from our mind being bound by attachments and soiled with concerns. Hence, the key lies in seeing our mind in the world over, then letting go after realising that the mind is nowhere to be found, and finally relinquishing even the thought of letting go. This is to reach a truly boundless, unhindered and carefree state of being!

From Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche

MDT Newsletter issue 02