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.
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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