They say a picture paints a thousand words and that is so true when I look at this picture, but it also comes with a short message teaching by Rinpoche.
“She has to collect wood daily and carry her baby for safety. Her work is backbreaking and there is no pay. Her situation is really difficult.” ~Tsem Rinpoche
The message is obvious. Look at this woman’s eyes, what she has to go through day in, day out. How uncertain her days are. Will her baby even have a future? Immediately what came to my mind was quick reflection of my life and my own situation, how lucky and blessed I am.
Yes it humbles one when we are shown such harsh realities, knowing that there are those out there who may not even have a home while we sometimes pick, choose and complain about the most trivial of things in life. Indeed it is a good reflection and a great reminder for me to be grateful for where I am today; to be able to work in Kechara Forest Retreat, doing Dharma work, surrounded by greens and the peacefulness of nature. How fortunate I am to have such karma and never should I ever complain again. In fact I feel tremendously bless to be born in a country where there is no natural disaster, with proper infrastructure, electricity, water, abundant food, no wars, and I have religious freedom in a harmonious multi-racial country. That’s pretty amazing. Most importantly I am very blessed to have found a Dharma teacher of such a high calibre – His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche who expounds Dharma knowledge in a language we can all understand. On top of all of that, I’m able to work in a Dharma institution, get a stipend while collecting merits! What a one in a billion chance is that?! Sometimes I do wonder what good did I do to have cross path with Rinpoche?
It also made me realise how much time I have wasted and if only I had met the Dharma at a younger age. Whatever it is what we do now is what matters most as it will shape our tomorrows and next life. All I can say is without Rinpoche or the Dharma I know I would be far worse off than where I am today… mentally, emotionally and physically. I’d probably be drowning in samsara’s endless deceptions, being disillusioned, killing myself with all of its fake, empty promises on happiness presented in pretty packages. Quite unbelievable as I used to work in an industry that markets and sells this nicely packaged empty happiness and I’m so glad I am no longer a slave to this deception!
Thank you Rinpoche for this profound Dharma teaching from just a simple picture; a precious reminder to wake us up, to be grateful for what we have daily. Yes nothing should be taken for granted, especially once I’ve chanced upon a precious Guru who gives meaning to my life. Every day is a blessing to be alive, doing Dharma.