Dear BOD, Respected Pastors and Students,
Be kind to each other. Work with each other. Do not ask for exceptions, special treatment for oneself or one’s family but be leaders that make policies in all our departments and facilities that benefit the organization and our future. Make policies that benefit the organization as a whole and not oneself. When you come across a situation, do not see how it can be self advantageous, but how you can turn the negative to positive situation that will benefit others and Kechara long term. That is the key, long term. Do not try to bend the rules to make exceptions for oneself and one’s family because this is not sign of a leader/or sincere dharma person and will not garner respect. For example, if we say there is to be no cactuses in Dukkar Apartments, don’t say well this or that person has an exception and ’request’ exceptions for oneself. Rules can be made or amended by community vote and I can ‘presidential veto’ it too if I see huge harm to ensue as a result of the decision. Some of the rules I made can be amended too with appeal and logical reasons presented just the same. Don’t make the reasons or attempt to change for one’s self benefit but think of the consequences. What happens if Dukkar Apts is filled with massive amount of cactuses everywhere and pricking us as we walk by? That would be damaging. So we don’t want cactuses all over…. LOL. That is just an example. This applies to everything. Don’t look for exceptions to make it easier for yourself or your close people, but think of the organization also. I thank you.
Be on time, be ready to speak up and be courteous. Only having the support of one’s own department is not enough for success because we are a part of our whole. We have to have the support of our department people as well as be friendly with the people of other departments. Department heads must be friendly with each other to send a good example to those working with us. Be genuine. Very important. Do not let anger, ignoring each other, missing meetings, not responding back, keeping quiet due to anger, black faces rule the day. I am asking this of you to not do this please. You may be exacting revenge on someone you don’t like, but guess what, you end up losing the respect of people you do like. We have to be friendly and have the support of the BOD and pastors too. There are people who will perform more and some less for now, but the key is we should be inspired by those who do more and not be uninspired by those who do less. Don’t use those who do less to do less yourself. Don’t use the excuse of people who do less to do less ourselves. If I did that, would you respect me?
We should make our departments grow and have more people. VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT TO INSTILL MORE DHARMA IN OUR DEPARTMENT PEOPLE. Our departments should not be in Kechara name only and become our personal vessels to do our personal work or promote our personal ‘glories’ only. We must increase manpower, find funds via talking/showing good example/reaching out to more to increase the manpower and produce real tangible work. Beg for help and resources. I do that all the time and so can you. We sustain on donations. It will always be like that so get use to begging. Although be classy in your begging. LOL. We must produce work to impress upon people we deserve the help. Don’t live on past accomplishments as the crowd is fickle but always new accomplishments. We must present BOD with our plans and update along the way and produce the results as per presented timelines.
Those who produce results may have less time to eat, ‘enjoy’ or have ‘personal free time’ it seems but MUCH HAPPIER AT THE END OF THE DAY for sure. Those who produce less, avoid, hide or wait for others to do more, have ‘more’ personal time and less headaches it seems. But in the end, the ones who do less ARE BITTER, UNHAPPY, DEPRESSED AND EMBARRASSED. They look back into their lives and know they have not done anything much..so with all the food, money, trips, branded items, deep down inside they are unhappy and know they wasted so much time. We can keep wasting time or do something now. We can change what we do with time, but time cannot be changed. To keep saying you will do more and you will this or you will do that, is nice and sounds nice. Future tense used always is sort of a closet we hide in to avoid. To fool ourselves. You may even get support from other like minded people who don’t do more out of fear, laziness and justify your gripes and support your complaints. But examine the results of people complaining carefully. But strong and successful people do not hide or make excuses for failure, THEY PRODUCE RESULTS THAT ARE TANGIBLE. Even when they fail, they keep at it. What’s the secret? HARD WORK AND CARE FOR OTHERS. How do you produce results? Well, whatever you promised to do, you do it starting now one day at a time. No one forced you. You offered, you said you will do it, so do it. Just do it. However we feel about ourselves can change. Make it change. How do we feel about people who give up, give ‘great’ excuses and justify? Are they people you want to be around with (sorry), respect or feel you have something to learn from them? Not really, but in hindsight, we can learn from them. Learn what?? How not to invite their results in our lives. This is not to criticize them as we didn’t make them fail, they did it and we can see this clearly. So we can use it positively or be downed by it. In life, there are people who hide behind excuses to fail, not do their part or have others do for them. These types of people never end up well or happy. Because people will who do things for them will not last. Never. Who can be happy being deceptive or criticizing or avoiding inner and outer progress? Who can be happy scoffing at others progress and results. Who can be happy being unhappy? Unhappiness always comes from wrong projections, greed, expectations, spoiled or laziness. Think about it. Not having results is the number one cause for depression. Or having it all and knowing it is all material gains only, is another great cause for depression.
One should read the Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion well. BOD/Pastors should read just the stanzas at the beginning of every meeting and absorb the meaning. I always do this. It’s part of my personal practice and it has helped me so much. The facilities of one’s lama is not for you to see how it can turn into an advantage for oneself. The resources, possessions and properties of one’s lama and his personal household people should not be seen as something that can benefit us personally. As Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Jampa Yeshe told me once in Gaden, “We should think how to offer to our lama and not take from our lama.” This impacted me very much. Giving and taking is NOT only material things, but time, energy, advice, promises, hope, trust, integrity all the more so. If you promise your lama something and not complete due to sheer laziness, distractions and procrastination or wrong influences from others, whether you approach your lama regarding it or not, you still take from your lama. Whether you ‘hide’ and not say something or give excuses to your lama openly about not completing it, it is the same. You are taking from your lama. Taking what? You take his trust, hope and belief in YOU away. You take the years of love, Dharma and care he has bestowed upon you and your family. Whatever loans, borrowed items or properties, have spiritual integrity and return to your lama and others and never make them wait. Before you buy yourself this or that, pay your spiritual and material loans off. Don’t carry with you. Daily it collects karma. Money can be the one defining factor people can lose all trust in you and whatever you say will hold no weight. The more we make others wait, the more we collect demerit to suffer financially in the future no matter how ‘rich’ we are now. Think: cause and effect. Don’t lose your lama’s trust, belief and hopes in you. Never burn your bridges with your lama who only has the genuine best in his mind for you from the onset. From the first day a genuine lama meets you, he is already planning steps to improve your mind, projections and situations. Not change you or who you are but bring enlightened views into your world to make your world and the world better. The more you cooperate, the more a lama can help. Cooperation by being consistent and completing your tasks (big/small) and updating are the keys. Your lama has never hurt you. Your lama will never do that. Your genuine Dharma brothers and sisters will not hurt you. Who hurts you is yourself and ‘friends’ who entice you and distract you to materialism. That is not wrong statement because from day one, Lord Buddha’s teachings is all about giving up attachments. You were not fooled. You were taught this essence of the Buddha’s teachings from day one. Lam Rim chapter one is Death and Renunciation by Tsongkapa, Pabongka and Atisha.
Whatever works you start or volunteer in, do not ever have the lama or others remind you to do it, show up on time with it and completed. For example if you volunteer as a writer, then show up and write. If you volunteer to garden, then keep doing it and don’t fade. Don’t find reasons to fail. Do not let it fade after a while. Do not hope everyone forgot your duty, they just keep quiet, because they lost respect for you. But you can gain it back by doing it no matter how long you lagged already. If you volunteer to build, then build, and don’t slink away. If you volunteer to do any work big or small, then do the work and complete it. Never be reminded at any age.. This is good spirituality but also good for our lives. Not good for you or your lama to remind you. If he or his assistants or your department head have to remind you, don’t see them as enemies, but they are kind enough to remind you. The day they stop reminding you or the day your lama engages skillful means to stop reminding you or even speaking to you is WHEN YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO WORRY.. and not leave it like that, but do something. Everyone may or may not be watching, but karma is. If there is no karma, then when you have frightening spirits afflict you, and pujas are done, how come the situation is rectified? We have illness or obstacles and when we do pujas, they get cleared and we see results. This is clear indication there is karma.
On social media, be humble. Talk more on spiritual subjects. Our posts on social media should serve to ‘enlighten’ others on our spirituality and not drag them back down into the quicksand of materialism. Why? Because we want Kechara to grow. Want our spirituality to grow. We want those we love to grow. We want others to grow. Don’t try to show how handsome we are always, our wealth, good food, spas, trips, branded items and tons of selfies alone….and then you are known primarily for just that. Show more spiritual things and the spiritual path. We are marketing our spirituality to get the resources we need to build. We are sincere and we have done so much. How? By sharing our spirituality and not our materialistic attachments and hence got the support of many- we must continue down this road. We improved and attracted others by our spirituality ultimately. How? By showing them our personal spiritual growth. If we didn’t grow much, it will reflect in our jumpy minds, lack of results and lack of results in our departments. This all can change. YOU CAN CHANGE IT. SO CHANGE IT. If we show we are filled with resources and personal wealth, it might not match the image of the majority of Kecharians and give the wrong impressions to others and they will not donate. We can post personal things and why not. But we have a goal, which is to make Kechara grow and be global and these are the steps to accomplish this in the public eye. Less of ourselves and more of spirituality/depts./etc is the method to engage in. People will say you don’t need their donations because you always show eating in great restaurants, branded items, trips and the such. This is not trying to infringe on your personal freedom to post as you like or live as you like, but to say we have a goal and this is the method to achieve it.. Show more on social media of the people in your departments. Praise the other departments is important. Be department centric in work but in praise and friendship, unite all departments into ONE KECHARA. Some of you plan KFR as your home, then advert your home more to build it up. We need to sustain. How to sustain. We need stipends. Some complain stipend are not enough – I apologize, but what are you doing about it for everyone’s stipend and not just your own? Are you finding donations or businesses. Don’t sit there and ask for more, but find a way to get more for everyone. You are supposed to be spiritual, so show spirituality from your social media pages. That is the most important message you should send out to the world. That is the most important message you should send to yourselves. We are here for spiritual progress. Don’t regress or go backwards. You’ve come a long way. Don’t waste it. Thank you.
Whatever works you have in the departments and you have volunteered or stipened to do so, don’t have others chase you. You must do it. Integrity. In the secular world, no one should chase you for what you should be doing or promised to do and they would not tolerate it. All the more so in the spiritual sector you should do it well. It is for self development and that is the whole reason you are here. If they have to remind and chase you, then you open the gates to failure and loss of respect. Don’t show anger or avoid others’ calls when they are forced to ask you why you are not doing your job as promised because you didn’t do it. Don’t cover others who don’t do their jobs because the message you send them is it’s ok to fail and they may not always have you to cover when bigger failures come to them in the future. They wouldn’t be able to cope because they have been trained to fail. The people who do ask you what happened care about the organization and you. Don’t make exceptions for relatives. Be fair always. Don’t only speak up for your friends, spouse, kids, parents, but speak up for the benefit of everyone. Be fair. Being fair is being spiritual too. Perhaps you don’t care so you don’t perform, but don’t blast the people who do care and query you. They care. Don’t forget that. Be grateful. Don’t lose the people that really care. Never never never burn your bridges. You can only shout or show bad behavior to people who care, those who don’t you wouldn’t dare. But don’t take this for granted. You don’t know what life has in store for you.
How much Dharma your department has is 100% a reflection of the Head of Department. How much manpower you can sustain is a direct reflection of the Head of Department. How much results or output from each department is a direct result of the Department Head also. Many or most (with some exceptions) came to Kechara for Dharma, to have them in the departments and not give Dharma more or inspire or arrange more Dharma for them is not correct or fair. Almost using them. Sorry. Whether they like Dharma or not, is up to them, but you have it available is your job. This of course does not apply to our lovely non Buddhist staff and volunteers. Be a good BOD and pastor on your term. Leave a good taste in the mouths of the future leaders.
As spiritual director it is my responsibility to gently and politely remind everyone of their duties and what sometimes I see must be amended. Please do not be offended. May my reminders in the future become an extinct species (LOL) because you are doing your part.
Choji lah’s visit has been a success so far. Choji lah is VERY COMFORTABLE AND VERY HAPPY HERE he told me himself. He finds the environment very suitable and said we will grow. Of course if we do our part to grow and not wait for it to grow itself. Those of you who have sent people to help or volunteered yourself so far, I rejoice for your service to Dorje Shugden. Remember, don’t ask what you can do or just wait to be told, get involved. There is so much to do in KFR even not directly related to Choji lah now and always. Don’t say when you are done with this or that, then you will do more. If you don’t do more now, maybe by the time you are ready to do more, there will be no Kechara to do anything for or your time has passed. Open one’s eyes, ears and heart and look for work to do and dedicate it to your big day which is not far away. Dedicate all your merits to the big day.
Do read this message to your department people. You do not have to forward to them, but read to them gathered as a group please. Make sure they are in the know about my message here. Read it slow and nicely. Would be good if translated into Chinese too. I mean well by this message. Please appreciate my good thoughts, my good intentions and my wish for your success. Please appreciate this as I do you.
All that I say although direct or may seem critical, I do not mean it in this way. I don’t think we need to mince words back and forth. I love you and most of you love me and we’ve had a long spiritual relationship. We’ve come a long way. I would like to work with you for the rest of my life and I would like to together with you bring tremendous benefits to others as we have been doing and we can reach out to more. Since meeting the Dharma, Our mission in life is not to gather more personally, but to release more. Since meeting the Dharma we have to let go more of our attachments and materialism because that is the true path to our goals. We cannot take anything with us. Nothing. Why gather so much then? This is what Lord Buddha has taught us. We should trust Buddha more than our wrong views and attachments.
Much care, Tsem Rinpoche
(This can apply to any student or person in the dharma anywhere. Thanks)