We had a wonderful weekend with Tulku Damchö’s first teaching at KTD, and we very much hope it won’t be the last. “My job description is doing what Thrangu Rinpoche tells me,” he said as we begged him to return at the end of the teachings. “If he becomes aware that it is beneficial for me to come here, I will return.”
We were all astounded by the strength, beauty and power of this young tulku’s teachings, and it comforted us that, even with the loss of great masters like Traleg Rinpoche and Tenga Rinpoche, the future of the great Kagyu lineage is secure.
He taught on “The Precious Garland of the Supreme Path” by Gampopa, the father of the Kagyu lineage who lived from (1070 – 1153). It is truly miraculous that these teachings have survived, and been passed down in a pure form from master to student all the way to beginners like us, listening to the precise instructions that can lead us to enlightenment, from a modern master.
“It’s the best presentation of how beginners can practice,” Tulku Damchö explained. The path is precious because it is hard-to-find, and the garland refers to jewelry, like a necklace or bracelet, that only the most fortunate can wear.
“Everyone would like to wear the nicest jewelry, but you have to amass the causes and conditions,” Tulku Damchö said. “Everyone wants to practice perfectly, but few are able.”
Tulku Damchö brought a fresh feeling to teachings I have heard before, and I hope to apply them to a great tragedy.
In a few days, I will be sitting in a courtroom with the men accused of killing my dear brother, Wesley Brown, an innocent bystander shot by a stray bullet in a gang shooting at Best Buy in Tulsa, Oklahoma, July 14, 2012.
Tulku Damchö said it is hard to admit we have negative habits, or kleshas. If we admit it, it’s hard to apply the remedies. And even if we apply the remedies, it’s hard to choose the remedy over the klesha when we’re in crisis.
But I hope to sit in that courtroom with those men, who come from a world I can hardly imagine, and think, “they were my parents in a previous life. They cared for me, fed me, clothed me, protected me, and I cannot abandon my kind parents through hatred.” That is my aspiration.
“We make great aspirations at the temple, then we go back to our lives and forget,” Tulku Damchö said. “That is not good enough. Our aspirations must be constant.”
Please pray that I can fulfill my aspirations in this one small thing.