I remembered way back in the days when there was only Kechara Paradise Dharma (KP) store in SS2, it was probably 2002 or 2003, when I was volunteering a lot of my time there painting Buddha statues. It was a very small team that cared for KP and everyone treated each other like family. One day I decided to make din din (another word for dinner inspired by Tsem Rinpoche) to treat those I was working closely with.
Out of courtesy I had also passed an invitation message through one of Rinpoche’s assistants at that time, inviting Rinpoche to join our dinner if Rinpoche was available. Traditionally out of respect, we should always extend an invitation to our Lama for any special event (except for weddings) even though the Lama may not necessary come to the event. At the back of my head I thought “I’m sure Rinpoche will not come, surely Rinpoche had better things to do then to come to my silly dinner”.
On the night of the dinner, just when everyone had all turned up, I suddenly got a call from Rinpoche himself! Rinpoche had called to ask for directions to my apartment and said He was coming to join us for dinner! I almost flipped and I thought… “wow Rinpoche is actually coming to my house for dinner?!” This just goes to show that even though Rinpoche is a High Lama, yet Rinpoche is always so humble and kind, who would always find ways to connect with us at our level.
That night Rinpoche had asked me a lot of personal questions in regards to what I wanted to do in life. It was the first time Rinpoche ever asked me if I have ever thought of becoming a nun. I remembered not giving a solid yes or no answer but a ‘maybe’ kind of look. Rinpoche teased me saying I would be the only nun with hair and laughed. I remembered this event quite strongly because the question really made me think more deeply over the years. I guess I wasn’t sure how to answer as I was still quite new in Buddhism then. But deep inside my heart I thought “yes”, but my head was not in sync due to many attachments. Probably the lack of wisdom and merits did not help either. But I’m glad I did not answer “no” either for that would be inauspicious.
Rinpoche’s gracious presence that night made a mark and a big turning point in my life. I knew from that day on I’ve found my spiritual path and it felt like I’ve finally found home. I also knew then it is probably time to take Dharma more seriously, instead of it being just like a hobby. I’m just so very grateful and humbled that Rinpoche showed up that night, giving me a direction in life as I was in limbo for some time. It was definitely one of the most significant moments in my life… who would have thought making ‘din din’ could change one’s life’s destination. So because of Rinpoche I am in Dharma today, doing Dharma work, and now looking back I feel extremely blessed. Without the Dharma it would have been harder for me to accept and cope with a lot of life’s challenges. Being in Dharma doesn’t change or stop the “difficulties” that life brings, but it provides you with the tools to handle them better and that’s what Rinpoche always gives us – Dharma knowledge.
We can replace fear with hope by knowledge ~ #Tsemtulku
I can’t imagine where I’d be today without Dharma, for I am sure I would be in a far worst state of mind than where I am now. So I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and I thank you, Rinpoche.
“Being firm in our spiritual path is the key to results”~#Tsemtulku