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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Letting Go is the Key to Success
A person who has self-confidence will be able to achieve miraculous feats. Everyone comes to this world equal, born with a soul inside a physical body. Although, aside from the individual’s karma, each person is inherently provided with the same opportunities and means, most people lose their poise and cannot remain unperturbed in the face of everything that happens in life due to their fear of failure and setbacks. To non-practitioners, the fear of failure is a dark shadow forever lurking in their mind. In spite of learning a great many real life stories and proverbs about not giving in to this fear, people are still concerned with the prospect of failure mainly because of their sense of pride which can be a hefty burden. The experience of our predecessors tells us that by being appropriately open to, and accepting of our own weaknesses, we enable ourselves for even greater success in life.
Ever since a young age, each of us has been taught to strive with all our might to be successful, to be the exemplar that everyone looks up to, to gain public recognition, to win respect and admiration everywhere we go; more importantly, we must take the stage and bear witness to endless applause. It is because of these notions that we are easily unsettled in the face of setbacks. Everyone believes that success is right in front of them and the whole world is running after it. Sometimes, we should try to slow down and calmly contemplate whether success is always right there for the taking. While everybody spends their whole life charging forward, very few take the time to look around, even look back－perhaps it is your success that is having a hard time keeping up with you! If possible, we should occasionally give ourselves some space and time to catch our breath instead of manically charging ahead like a blind horse without direction or goal. In fact, many people have gone off the charts in this manner, straying miles away from the finish line in the race for success.
Human life is like clouds in the sky, fleeting and unpredictable like a magician’s tricks. When faced with life’s challenges, a Tang Dynasty poet lamented, “Drifting cloud looks a white robe, Morphing instantly into an old dog; Since ancient times, Life has always been filled with all kinds of changes.” There are just too many things in life that are out of our control; at times everything looks bright and sunny, at times turbulent and threatening; conditions can change from completely tumultuous to serene in an instant, and we can never be certain whether, in the next moment, we’ll strike gold or step on a landmine. We must understand that it is impossible to be the winner all the time. On the contrary, joyful times are often followed by a sense of guilt, just like people who consume a lot of meat are more susceptible to parasites; worries increase with wealth; concerns grow as the family grows; with followers and subordinates comes betrayal. In order to achieve liberation and enlightenment like a Zen master in this transient and fleeting human life, we must try to make peace with impermanence and coexist with it by immersing our mind equally in both happiness and suffering and allowing our mind to adjust itself－we must have faith that our mind is infinite and boundless, capable of transcending the world and beyond. Only someone who can remain unperturbed and impartial to wealth and poverty, sorrows and joy can be considered truly unhampered and free. Personally, I greatly admire a poem by Su Dongpo which goes, ”Misty rain of Lu Mountain and the waves of Zhejiang River, Before witnessing them all the longings could never be quelled; Once in their presence it turns out that there is nothing but Misty rain of Lu Mountain and the waves of Zhejiang River.” Facing the striking, rugged terrain during our journey of life, sometimes being driven along in the thrashing tides, we try to attain true happiness by wearing a smile, unfazed, pacifying the unending stream of melancholy!
from Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche