People always ask me about who I really am. For me it is complicated. To have to be in this situation and act this way is not who I am. This is not at all me. I am not Lama Ösel.  I am not a teacher or any of that. Yet, somehow, it happens like this.  Somehow, I end up in this situation. If it makes people happy… if I can help people…I am happy.

So, for me, I have my life. I am who I am in that sense. It is my concept of who I am, at least. It is just a concept. Plus, I have a son.  He is my main project, my main priority. So, everything else is secondary.

I am happy to be of service. I am happy to talk to you, but it is not my style to sit on a throne. Talking like that is not my style. If we talk, and I am not on a throne, at least we are at the same level, right? So, we can see each other in the eyes.

You can call me a virtuous friend, if you want, even though I may not be too virtuous.  Just to make things clear, I am not a guru or a teacher or anything of that nature. It is an exception for me to put myself in this situation. It is not something I do that often. So, it is a thank you to all of you to let me come like this to communicate with you! From here, I am sharing this with you – this experience. I have learned that every time I communicate, I learn. I really receive, also, a lot of love and understanding and caring and enthusiasm. So, I am grateful. I really hope to be able to help you.

So, someone said they want to know the beginning of how I know who I am.

We are starting hard. Wow! That goes on forever. It is a lifelong experience. Many life times.

To start off with, let us say, “Number one”, I do not think I will ever know who I am.  In one way, maybe, hopefully, that is what Dharma is helping us with, but, of course, it is our own job, our personal job to get to know oneself.

I do not think we ever actually really do get to know ourselves because we are always happening. Right? You are not something. If you are just something, then, you could not continue. Really. You are happening. It is changing all the time. It is the second after the second after the second. You are the result of the cause, continuously changing.

So that is why we currently say, “Oh, I know who I am.” Or, we say, “I am this….”

This does not make sense. Of course, it makes sense in your head because that is where you like to put things in boxes to make sure that we think that we are in control. We think we are in control but what do we control? We control our choices. Maybe. Partially. Hopefully. We control our karma. That is one thing we must take responsibility for is our karma. Our merits. Right? Our values. How you relate to people. How you relate to life. These are our actions we are responsible for. So, you could say you are in control sometimes but, many times, we do not have control. We are not in control. We just have the illusion of thinking we are in control but that is why we suffer so much. We create these expectations that we can be in control or that we  are in control.

For example, with me, my issues, I can talk about that. With my mother, for example. Or with the mother of my son. These are the only two people that I have difficulties with in the whole universe.

It is true. A householder’s life is, I think, an exceedingly difficult one. It is a great opportunity to practice, to practice Dharma, to understand samsara. While I was in the monastery, I studied philosophy, but it did not make much sense. I was not able to relate to it. I could not apply it to anything until I left the monastery.

Oh! Then, I was sucked into samsara. Thanks to that information I learned from my time at the monastery, it really helped me! If I did not have that information, I think I probably would have ended up somewhere else, not here. So, I am grateful for that information!  It has really helped me. That is why I, also, want to share it for people who are struggling.

I have struggled all my life. I am still struggling. I still have a lot of difficulty. Now, probably, I will continue having difficulty most of my life.

The first step of change is to be aware of your own bullshit. Ok. Maybe that is a swear word. I do not know, but it is specific. I am using language, words. Sorry. We humans created those words. So, at least, if you understand what I am trying to say, then, I have used the word correctly.

I know I have had people telling me that I should stop swearing but I am not going to change the way I am.

It is true. It is true. The first step of change is to be aware of our own, you know what.

So, this is, also, a good time to tell you about confronting our self. That is how it is for me every time I make a mess of a situation. Like, I am number one in getting myself into trouble. That is what I am good at, somehow.

I mean, look where I am, right now. So that is, that is one of the issues that somehow, because of my ego, my pride, I react sometimes. Or I feel this is one of the things that affects me a lot is when I try my best to be a nice person, to be a good person, to be a considerate person, to be a patient person, to be a humble person, to just give the best of myself and the other person just throws it all in my face, turns it around and acts like I am the worst person in the world.

The lung, the winds, are coming up. So, it is strong.

“Me? I tried so hard. My intention was good.”

What? Excuse me? Did I hear correctly?

If the intention was good, you would not be like that. Right? You would not be in that state of mind.

So many times, I want to offer and act like I am nice just to kind of self-fulfil myself. Sometimes, if I check-up, I do it to feel good about myself. That is spiritual bypassing, for example. Not spiritual but you will be more self-gratifying bypassing. Taking refuge in self-gratification. You do this by making yourself believe you are a good person. You do this by repeating that you are a servant to everybody all the time. “No, I’m a really good person. I meditate and I dedicate. I pray for all mother sentient beings every day.”  Really? Check-up!  Then, why do you go crazy when the other person says something you do not like?

Then, your lifestyle is another story.

So. My case is like that. I really must be aware of all these aspects. If I am not, I just keep repeating them. I go nowhere. I am stuck in the same place. So, I must thank my mother and the mother of my son for really being there to help me all the time.  They are just relentless.

Now, finally, I relax more. I do not take things personally, anymore. I try to not take it personally and then haaaa, I can breathe. I am much happier, now. Whatever anybody does, whatever anybody says, however anybody acts, does not matter. I give my best. I am happy.

Even if I am not wrong, I still say, ‘Sorry.’ That is good.  It creates space for the other person to, also, try to communicate like that.  To forgive. Even if the other person did something unforgivable. When you forgive, you take away that space from ourselves. That weight.

Yeah, I know. It has been difficult. But, actually, not for me. I am living the happiest time of my life. Well, it has always been the happiest time of my life. Every day is the happiest day of my life. That is how I try to live.  I think it is a great way to perceive life.

Then, always, people want to know about my leaving the monastery.

Well, I did not, “Take off my robes.” I offered back my robes, my vows. It is a little bit different because they represent many things, like, for example, celibacy. That is one example. Vows are a very personal thing. For me, I just wanted to live my life. It is as simple as that. When I was 18, that was it. It took me about 15 years to understand what Dharma was talking about. I suffered a lot. I think suffering is, also, a good thing because that is how you learn. If we did not suffer, it would be like gods enjoying so much.  It would just be burning our merits and not practicing Dharma. So, you do not want to be all the time enjoying. You want, also, to be able to recognize samsara so that we can create renunciation. Otherwise, we do not know that there is suffering so we are not going to create the cause to get out of it. Recognizing suffering helps us to get out of it. So, it has many aspects, but, especially for me, I just want to be me. That is it. I do not want to be anybody else. That other way is a concept of what I am supposed to be. I did that for 18 years. That is enough time. It is more than half of my life already.

Okay. Thank you so much! Let us dedicate all the beautiful energy that we have created. Let us send it out to the collected memory. Let us send it out not just of this planet but to the infinite sentient beings in the infinite omniverses of all times and all dimensions.


Submit a Comment

More Posts

See Osel’s talk in Kopan

See Osel’s talk in Kopan

Tenzin Osel Hita gives a talk at Kopan Monastery, April 18, 2023, several days after the parinirvana of Lama Zopa Rinpoche.   En français:   En español:

Retreat with Ösel in Mexico

Retreat with Ösel in Mexico

Ösel will be leading a retreat in Mexico from Thursday March 30th till Sunday April 2nd 2023. For more information please visit the website of the event.

Subscribe for new posts

Get notified when a new story has been added.

You have Successfully Subscribed!