No More Caves was Kechara’s first ever quarterly newsletter conceptualised by His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche back in 2004. Rinpoche wanted a newsletter to highlight events and teachings at our newly established Buddhist Centre, Kechara House which we just acquired. At that time the birth of Kechara Media and Publications (KMP) department have not yet manifest. Perhaps we could say that this newsletter was probably the seed catalyst for the birth of Kechara’s publishing arm. Like what Rinpoche always says; everything has to start from somewhere small first.
The title “No More Caves” was Rinpoche’s idea. It’s the very essence of Rinpoche’s teachings which is about practicing Dharma now. It reaches out to modern spiritual seekers who want to add something more meaningful in their daily lives.
Many people think we need to “give up” modern living and run into some remote cave to practice Dharma, but that’s a misconception. Rinpoche’s message was that you don’t need to “run” into any cave to practice awareness, generosity, kindness towards others, controlling one’s anger, and other neurosis. You can do it immediately right from where you are, in your own modern homes and daily lives.
Irene and I were the very lucky ones who had this great honour to create Kechara’s first ever newsletter. When we first got this assignment, I remembered feeling very nervous and thought it was huge monumental task. For one I never did enjoy writing and both Irene and I had zero knowledge in publishing. But somehow with Rinpoche’s great blessings and guidance, surprisingly enough we manage to pull it off!
I realised when in Dharma, you don’t always get to do the things you “like”, often it’s about doing the things you “don’t like” because that’s what helps us break through our comfort zones. So I noticed that most of the assignments given to me were things that would challenge me to face my fears. This was the Gurus task… to press all your “dislike” buttons until they become nothing – no likes nor dislikes, instead just get the job done. This makes us more pliable in accepting whatever comes our way so we can deal with it better. And the trick is to deal with it with a calm mind. To me this was the greatest lesson I learnt from Rinpoche in all the assignments such as this one.
I also realised that when we accept and trust in whatever assignments our Guru gives us, we will grow from these assignments. Through experiencing them we discover our own strengths and weakness, thus we can improve. Each time we gain some knowledge and a new realisation about ourselves.
As with any assignment given by Rinpoche, it would have already been well thought out by Rinpoche, knowing you can achieve it. Nothing is ever random because at the end of the day, Rinpoche only wants us succeed. This is the kindness of Tsem Rinpoche.
We often fall trap in our own negative self-destructive false projections. If we’re fortunate, we may come across someone who’s compassionate enough to see pass beyond these false projections and show us the way to break free from it. And in shinning the light on to our darkness, it also gives us the chance to create our own light, from where we can become more for others rather than just for our ‘self’. For me this someone is my kindest Guru Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. With much gratitude, I thank you Rinpoche for those challenging assignments for they are part and parcel of this spiritual path.
“No assignment my guru ever gave me was easy or without tons of obstacles, but my guru is not my enemy. I will not quit.”~#tsemtulku
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