Throughout the ages, people have misinterpreted and misused philosophies and religions. The essence is there. It is available. If you can filter out what works for you, it can be helpful. Not only can it be meaningful in your life, but it can be meaningful to the people who surround you.
The first step of change is to be aware of your bullshiiiieet. I am sorry about my French. It is true. That is exactly what I am talking about, spiritual bypassing. You do not check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Ok, so, it is interesting. Eastern tradition is mixing with Western culture. Some fusion is starting. This is exciting. I love to be part of that.
I am Asian. I have a Tibetan point of view. I am very traditional. I grew up in the Tibetan culture. My first language is Tibetan. Most of my life was spent in the monastery with Tibetans. I have a very traditional, oriental kind of slant to life.
After that, I spent the next 17 years in the West living my own life. So, I am happy to be a bridge between the West and the East. I am happy to share what I have as much as I can.
Yes, so, I am learning as I go. Although I will share what I know, I do not know much. I only know a little bit.
The reason I learn little by little is that I want to put into practice what I am learning. I want to experience it before I share it. Otherwise, it does not make sense. It is just an interpretation of the interpretation.
I am not the person qualified to talk about these things. I am just a friend. I am not a guru. I am not a teacher. I am not qualified, at all. I do not know what I am doing saying this, but I am happy to try my best to share my experience with the hope it can help you have a better life.
It has helped me. Dharma has helped me a lot. Not just Dharma by itself. Dharma is complementary to the life that we have. We must be able to adapt the Dharma to our life or it does not make any sense.
It happened to me. I visited the master’s program in Italy at Lama Tsongkhapa Institute. It is a four or five-year course. One of the questions I asked was, “Ok, so, you are studying the intellectual concepts, but do you meditate?”
The answer was, “I will find a cave when I finish my studies so that I can meditate.”
So, it is already like a faraway thing. It is already idealizing, “Oh, I will have a cave once I know everything.” Already, we are separating. Already, we are putting things in a box. It should go hand in hand, you know.
If you think about it, we are all good meditators. We are professional meditators. We spend nine months in the womb. All of us spend nine months in the womb meditating, 24/7.
Then, we spend around a third of our lives sleeping. This is a kind of meditation. So, we are expert meditators. You cannot deny that. You have no excuse!
Every moment in our life can be a meditation. It is about being aware. It is about being conscious. It is, also, about our emotions. You know it is. Many times, we allow these destructive emotions just to enter. You know what I mean. We invite them into our lives. I mean, they are uninvited guests, but we allow them to take control.
It is like a guest who comes at three a.m. He comes to your house. He starts banging on the door. He is not even a family member. Even if it were a family member, you would be like, “What are you doing here? Now? Do you know what time it is?”
If he was a stranger, then, you would be even more skeptical, right?
Even with a family member, we are like, “What are you doing here? Excuse me. It is three a.m. Are you ok? Is everything ok?”
You are concerned about the person, right? Still, you do not open the door completely. We are just opening the door halfway, like suspiciously.
So, with a guest we do not know, that is how we react. We do not open the door at three a.m. to a stranger. We are not like, “Oh, yes. Please, come in. Would you like a pot of tea? Would you like some biscuits with your tea? The whole house is yours. You can do whatever you like. If you want to burn it down, do it!”
Do we allow guests to do that? No, we do not allow guests to do that!
Why do we do that to the destructive emotions that appear uninvited? Why do we offer those emotions full power over our bodies? Why do we offer them full power over our minds?
These are questions we must ask ourselves many times. Just because we think we are right, then, we allow our anger to take control. We think we have the right to be angry. We think we have the right to shout. Spit is flying all over the place. We are insulting. Dadada… Then, we are setting ourselves up to feel bad when the rage ends. At least, if we have a conscience, we feel bad.
Otherwise, “No! I am right. He is wrong. He has to say the apologies. I did the right thing. I have put him in his place,” or whatever.
However, you are the one who is channeling that vibration. You are the one who is channeling that energy. Nobody else is doing it. When you talk, you are the one who channels it. When you shout, you are the one who channels it. When you speak badly, you are the one who channels it. That vibration, that energy stays in your body.
We have a responsibility, you know. We have billions of cells and life forms that are part of our bodies. They are working 24/7 for us. They are at our service. This body is working tirelessly for us to be able to use it properly, right? The only time that we remember this body is when it is not working properly. Otherwise, we do not think about it.
That is why gratitude is important starting with our body. We should have gratitude for the heart. The heart starts pumping two weeks after the fetus is conceived. Two weeks later, there is your little heart beating. Since then, it never stops pumping blood through the heart. How amazing. That is love. That is true love. That is why the heart represents love. It represents love because of its unconditional offering.
It is just like water. Water is love. Water is pure. It always maintains its pure form no matter how polluted it gets. It can always go back to its pure form. It will always give life no matter what. Unconditionally, it will always adapt to whatever circumstance. You put it in a cup, it becomes a cup. You put the water in the teapot, it becomes the teapot. That is what Bruce Lee says. “Be water, my friend.” It is true. It is true.
So, yeah that is what Dharma is telling us. If we practice Dharma properly, then, we will be able to adapt to any circumstance or society or culture or belief.
The circumstances do not matter. It is your choice. Who you want to be, how you react is your decision. Your decision is based on your choice of how you want to perceive things.
That is what Dharma is telling us. We have that choice. I can perceive things as positive even though most people may say, ‘Oh, that is negative.’
Everything has a positive part in it. If we observe that, if we focus on that, then, we can use some of the negative parts to learn and improve.
Do not take the negative personally. Do not absorb it. That is not helpful.
If somebody says some harsh words to you, do not take it personally. Be aware that that person has conflicts. That person is suffering. That is how he or she reflects that aspect.
They are suffering. They are frustrated. They are unhappy. They are depressed.
So, the way they express all of that is through pain and anger. If we take that energetic snowball and throw it back, then, all we are doing is just making this negative toxicity bigger. How to neutralize that snowball is by recognizing the dynamic that is in play. Have empathy towards that person. See that they are suffering. Give back love. Give back understanding. Give back recognition.
Many people are only looking for recognition. What they want is for you to listen to them. That is it.
Most of us do not know how to listen. Believe it or not, one of the main components of communication is listening. Talking is not as important as listening is. Listening is an art. I am not saying listening to an answer. I am talking about listening to understand. These are the two types of listening.
The one type is when the other person did not even finish speaking, but you are already interrupting them, to answer. That is not listening. That is just imposing your ego.
So, yeah, listening is important. There are so many people. How many times do you find that all they want is for you to listen to then, to recognize them? That is it! You need to show that you are trying to understand them. That is it!
So, that is why many people may be like, ‘I am upset, I am unhappy.’ Then, they say some harsh words.
Then, you go, “Ohhhh! That is already an excuse for me to, “Rahhhh!” Then, I throw my shit on that person. You know what I mean.
Well, that is completely unacceptable, especially when it happens with familiar people. Maybe it happens with close friends or close family members.
Do you know why? We know that they are going to forgive us. That is why. So, we can say all kinds of things without any control. We just let loose our emotions because we know that tomorrow everything will be ok.
However, that is not always the case. Many times, it is like that. There are times when things are not good the next day. In Spanish, we have a saying which means, ‘Trust is disgusting.’
It is true. Sometimes, when you are close to someone, you have that trust. Then, you spill all your problems, all your shit on that person. You do that because there is that trust.
Just so you know, you must be careful with that. Like, for example, if you are a couple, many times this is what happens with your partner. You get into a relationship. Maybe, the first two or three months are amazing. You are respectful. You are trying your best to appear like you are awesome. Right? So, you are a different version of yourself. You are a good version of yourself. You do like that until you get used to the other person. Then, suddenly, you start getting lazy. You are like, “Oh, ok, it does not matter. It does not matter if they start seeing my bad habits. You know, when I get nervous, I am going to start shouting. I am going to start raising my voice.” You act like that because of that trust.
That, for me, is important. Whatever relationship you are in, no matter which relationship you have with anybody, never pass that boundary.
Always be humble.
Always be patient.
Always be grateful.
Always be forgiving.
Always be understanding.
Always be empathic.
Those are the true values that we have. Those are valuable values. They are the interior values that are the true gold. That is true wealth. When you share those values, they multiply. Nobody can steal them from you. They are yours. You get to keep them when you die. You take them to the next life. You do not have to worry that somebody is going to steal them. On the contrary, when you share them, they multiply. How amazing is that? Now, that is real wealth. That is true value.