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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To Regard All Beings as your Parents
Too many acts of unthinkable violence have occurred in recent years. Other than the problems with the educational system, at the root of this problem is the built-up negativity within the hearts and minds of those who are acting out these terrible scenarios. If you seek an earnest understanding of it all, besides the compulsion of the karma carried over from past lives, one other important point is the ability of those perpetrators to transform their habitual patterns.
No matter it if is greed, hatred, or ignorance, these habits are as impossible to discard as your own cells and blood. If a method for transforming or counteracting them is not found, they will certainly accompany you life after life. If a practitioner is able to realize the relation between the cause and effect of samsara and the force of karma, and through this realization succeed in effecting transformation, the habits which are brought about by this practitioner’s karma will also fall away. Long ago, there was a practitioner of great achievement who begged for alms as he travelled and helped sentient beings. Once, he arrived at a village in which he observed a person sitting in his doorway nibbling and sipping away at a bowl of mutton soup. After finishing the whole bowl of soup, he tossed the bones off to one side, at which point a dog immediately appeared and snatched the bones away. This man angrily picked up a stone from the ground and launched it at the dog, while in his other hand he held a cute newly born infant. The great yogi, as the reincarnation of a bodhisattva, actually possessed psychic abilities. After laying eyes upon this scene, he felt that it was both saddening and unfathomable. He was able to observe that the bowl of mutton stew held by the man was made from the body of his father who had been reborn as a lamb in this life. Who would have thought that he would be killed by his own son? The dog, on the other hand, was the reincarnation of the man’s mother, only to end up being smashed with a stone at the hand of her own son while trying to snatch those mutton bones. Yet the focal point of all of his love, the child whom he now held in his embrace and whom he loved like life itself, was the reincarnation of a creditor whom this man had once killed in a previous life. Take a moment to think about it - how peculiar is this story of samsaric rebirth!
When you possess great wisdom and the ability of clear discernment, you will discover all the more that throughout our lives, anyone whom we’ve met, family or friend, are all the reincarnations of beings who were once our mothers and fathers in previous lives. Just as described in the aforementioned tale, after you understand more clearly the relationships between yourself and others, will you still give rise to such thoughts of anger or possessiveness? Actually, not a single genuine enemy has ever appeared in this world, external to yourself. You need not search for the enemy which truly poses danger to you, as that enemy is your own mind. As such, if you possess compassion and bodhicitta, you will be well equipped to transform your greed, hatred, ignorance, and all of the five poisons. Although we may not have psychic abilities, we can use the power of bodhicitta to regard all beings whom we encounter as our parents and family members from past lives. If this is the case, will you still spend unnecessary time and energy in bickering with them?
From Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche