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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Unshakeable in the Midst of Adversity From Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche
We need to understand that the essence of compassion - benefitting self and others, attaining liberation for self and others - is one and the same. A person unable to cherish and care for themselves doesn’t realize the precious opportunity of a human life, and because of this they constantly harm themselves, either consciously or unconsciously. Examples are smoking, boozing, eating irregular meals, leading a haphazard lifestyle, taking on more than one can handle physically or mentally, doing work beyond one’s capacity, engaging out of desperation in acts that fill themselves and their families with worry and fear. Still others back themselves into a tight corner, able neither to advance nor retreat, making others extremely uncomfortable and only in the very end feeling a sense of having wronged someone. Life in hindsight is passed in days imbued with a perpetual sense of remorse. Some obsessively chase perfection, actually quite a bizarre attachment because it is in itself flawed. Yet so many people demand from themselves and others such unequivocal perfection in their pursuit of self-satisfaction that it verges on perversion. Still others believe themselves to be so inadequate that they are terrified of being around or interacting with others. When you make eye contact with such people, you can feel their insecurity and uncertainty as their eyes dart back and forth. It is nearly impossible to get this kind of person to commit to or promise something. Some people let misguided kindness trap them in relationships that should have ended long ago, but instead they stay, applying incredibly confused and tenuous methods to a situation with no future and ending up buried under a mountain of pressure.
In reality, the majority of people cannot courageously face the suffering that afflicts them. Some hide behind religion to evade their pain and difficulties, hoping to find consolation and serenity. Little do they realize that their shelter does nothing to address the root cause. Even if they bury themselves in the folds of the Buddha’s robes, in the end they will still have to walk cowering into the shadows of their mind.
Whatever you do, don’t go diving into religion spurred by your frailty and fear, because without faith coming from the right motives, you will only suffer all the more. The worse of all human habits are a lack of confidence and perseverance. Human beings are classified as primates and humans as such came into existence about 3.5 billion years ago, based on the earliest physical records. In the struggle for survival against the odds of natural forces, about 3 million years ago humans naturally developed weapons like axes, ground to sharp points and edges with stone tools. These were used for hunting animals and cutting tasks in daily life. These were also the earliest tools used in Africa, about 500,000 years ago. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, humans were already forming groups and honing their skills in social. They started to understand the importance of an organized society. As mentioned above, humans are classified as primates, who are the most advanced animals and all have social instincts. The most unique trait is their physiological wiring for social classes/ranks, which shows that humans have the capacity to strengthen their self-will. No one needs to worry, then, that they would not be able to handle great pressure. Modern people are easily thwarted because their ability to resist pressure from adversity and their surroundings is far too low and they don’t give themselves more chances or room to maneuver. Only one or two failures is enough for them to lose heart. But out of people’s innate instincts, the greatest is the ability to integrate and become interdependent. It is therefore impossible for us to leave behind societal constructs. This being the case, next time you encounter frustration, why not temporarily put down your self-clinging and meaningless attachments and listen to the voice and intuition from the depths of your being?
In my experience, because most people are used to running away from their problems and, combined with their existing delusions and attachments, their only choice is to pile more fears upon more anxieties upon more troubles. The greatest tragedy in all this is what I mentioned in the beginning: not knowing how to put a stop to the harm we do to ourselves and so constantly letting negative afflictions and emotions occupy our minds. We squeeze our clarity into a blurred mess; this is the tragedy of humankind. Nature is not capable of hurting us, unless the heavens and the earth suddenly collapsed in on each other or our own karma from previous lives ripened to bring us disaster. Beyond that, no external forces can harm us; the only culprit left is ourselves. Let us learn from the author Wilson and his indomitable spirit. He completely forgot about physical pain for his life’s ideals. He even ruptured an artery from exhaustion and would often vomit blood. He didn’t tell anyone and instead kept dedicating himself to the education of others. He once said something that deeply moved me, “If one morning you discover me dead, don’t panic, because someone who doesn’t fear death lives all the more freely and beautifully.” Although he is not known everywhere, his life story has become a spiritual model for people today. So I want to tell all those who keep hurting themselves: the time has come to bravely pull yourself up by the bootstraps.
From Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche