today it´s Guru Pema Dorge Tsal - When her father, the King of Zahor, tried to get Mandarava away from Padmasambhava, she clutched the rock with such fierce devotion for her Guru that her fingers left holes in the rock.
a teaching: "The colors and patterns are vivid. The instruments are unfamiliar and interesting--to say nothing of the ritualistic and formal practice of Vajrayana Buddhism. And there are . . . thrones. Our initial attraction to Buddhism may be superficial. "It's a little bit like falling in love," points out Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, KPC Spiritual Director. "In the beginning, we think it's enough to see these things, be struck with the exotic nature of these things, and maybe only make some small changes . . . because now these things have made me a Buddhist."
Now we've done it--we've said the "B" word, and some people never go beyond that point. But for the student who really commits, she says, "As you sink into your practice, you develop the capacity to see the depth of it, the multi-layered intricacy of the philosophy, the thought associated with Buddhism." The student learns more, and "Gradually you move from a superficial perspective to a deeper perspective." The stakes are high, Jetsunma says. Eventually, we realize that the goal of practice is not personal fulfillment: it is enlightenment. We realize that because we are not separate from all others, we must achieve enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. And we accept the responsibility to liberate all beings from suffering.
For ourselves it starts with looking at suffering and saying, "Enough is enough!" After that, Jetsunma says, "Slowly, slowly, we begin to understand that Buddhism is a step-by-step, life-building method of functioning . . . and that there is a method and a path that will lead to this state of liberation." Nevertheless, as we adopt the method, and adapt our lives to it, we may find ourselves at odds with our culture's values. Jetsunma acknowledges, "You have to sit down every day and you have to meditate, and you have to learn to pronounce these strange Tibetan words. Suddenly you find you've got an altar in your house. Is that weird?" We may be afraid we're becoming . . . too religious. Jetsunma insists, "So you have to ask yourself, is it worth it? What's your goal? Do you want everybody to approve of you? Or do you want to end suffering?" That point is the turning point. Jetsunma says, "At that point perhaps we can decide to practice the Buddhadharma, to practice it sincerely, to learn it completely, and to practice it day and night, to transform our lives into a vehicle by which all sentient beings can be benefited."
We learn to change--for the benefit of all sentient beings. And that is the point at which we learn to accept and live by the real "B" word: benefit."