This is my first Buddha image given by my dearest Lama, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche that must have opened up some Dharma imprints in me; hence I’m now connected to the precious Buddhadharma.
When I first met Rinpoche, it was a huge surprised to me as I was not told anything about meeting a monk. I was casually invited by my sister to join her and some “friends” for dinner. Little did I know I was about to meet a Buddhist monk who I would a few years later be my spiritual Guru. I’ve never actually met a Buddhist monk before in my life so I did not know what to expect.
Rinpoche was actually in the car when my sister came to pick me up. I could still remember I was waiting in BSC (a shopping mall) lobby and was stunned by my sister’s driving as she swerved in to the lobby. So when I got into the car, I started having a go at my sister for her reckless driving, then I suddenly noticed the strange stares and weird silence in the car, when a friend indicated to me we have a guest. Oops! I did not notice there was a person (Rinpoche) sitting in the front passenger seat of her car. I later discovered when we arrived at the restaurant and got out the car, that that guest was H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. Naturally I was terribly embarrassed and shocked but before I could say anything to further embarrass myself, I was warmly greeted by a very lively 6 feet tall monk in maroon robes with an American accent. My jaw almost dropped as I’ve not see such a tall person/monk before in my life. Rinpoche was larger than life and I was speechless. Rinpoche cracked a joke to break the ice about how he goes everywhere wearing 8-meters of maroon clothe which I found amusing cos I’ve never seen a monk so up close before. Everything about Rinpoche was so animated and captivating, and I swear at that time I thought my sister was pulling a joke on me and that Rinpoche was another comedian friend of hers! Of course later I discovered Rinpoche was not a comedian. Throughout dinner, Rinpoche cracked jokes and shared a lot of stories about His past and how He could have been a Hollywood actor but choose to be a monk to benefit more people instead.
Just when we were about to call it a night, Rinpoche suddenly pointed at me and spoke directly to me about my problems and things I was unhappy about in my life. It was then Rinpoche spoke to me about Tara for the first time. I was so shocked when that happened; I mean how did He know about my problems and what I was going through? So many thoughts and questions came to mind. Amazingly Rinpoche answered each and every question that popped up one by one, as though He was reading my mind! You see I was Catholic in faith at that time, so it was all very strange to me. I did not know anything about Tibetan Buddhism, so in my head I was questioning “Who is this Tara? I don’t know any Tara? Why Tara?… etc.”. Rinpoche very skilfully calmed my thoughts and explained that Tara was exactly like ‘Mother Mary’, appearing in a different form, at a different time to suit different mind sets. He instructed my sister’s friend to pass me Tara’s image when we got home. I knew at that time that Rinpoche was NO ORDINARY PERSON.
As we were driving home, I felt so excited and eager to receive this Tara image. I kept asking my sister’s friend when was he going to pass it to me? Rinpoche had described her and her iconography to me during dinner which mesmerized me and my very imaginative mind. So when I finally got her, I was awed by her beauty and gentle divinity; something definitely struck a chord in me and it felt like I found a missing treasure. Someone once asked H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche to bless a Tara statue, but he replied it wasn’t necessary because “if it’s Tara it is already blessed”. This marked the beginning of my spiritual journey into Tibetan Buddhism.
Thank you Rinpoche for connecting me to Tara, the precious opportunity to do Dharma and giving me this holy Tara image, which up till this day, whenever I feel lost or down, I would stare at her blazing gentle gaze – giving me hope, comfort and much blessings. This Tara image feels so alive to me and is one of my most prized possessions.
So doubt not about imprints especially from a Buddha image, it certainly bestows blessings and evokes positive imprints. If you’re attracted to a certain Buddha image, it is most likely you’ve got a connection with that Buddha. Rinpoche told me recently when I was in the US that I should have a Tara image in my room where I can see, so that She is the last thing I see before I sleep and first thing I see when I wake up. I am sure this blessing advice applies to any Buddha image for anyone. Therefore it is good to be surrounded by Buddha images, statues or stupas as it brings tremendous positive blessings that can open up Dharma imprints.
To know about imprints, how it works, check this teaching out given by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche. It will blow your mind how we everything happens for a reason and really there is no such thing as “coincidence”.
1. You and Your Imprints…How To Break Bad Habituations