Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche Revisits DDM and the Altars of Great Compassion Water and Land Dharma Service
On November 27, 2013, the 4th Trungnam Gyaltrul Rinpoche of the Kagyu tradition in Tibetan Buddhism paid a return visit to Dharma Drum Mountain(DDM). Abbot President of DDM, Ven. Guo Dong hosted and accompanied Rinpoche and his group who also visited the Altars of Great Compassion Water and Land Dharma Service which will be opening soon to the general public. In the afternoon, Rinpoche gave the keynote address to the teachers and students of Dharma Drum Buddhist College (DDBC).
During the afternoon session, both Ven. Guo Dong, and Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche expressed happiness at being able to meet again after two years. Ven. Guo Dong praised Rinpoche for his wonderful ability to be able to teach and make the Buddha Dharma relevant to people in this day and age. He added that people often feel pressured and frustrated when they cannot cope or adjust to the fast pace and ever-changing demands of modern society. This is where the Buddha Dharma becomes so useful and necessary to help people find peace and tranquility in their lives. “We are very lucky and blessed to have people like Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche, a Harvard University graduate, who, with his eloquence and deep knowledge of the Buddha Dharma, is able to help and guide people from all walks of life to become close to the Buddha and walk on the right path to ultimate liberation from suffering,” he added.
Ven. Guo Dong accompanied Rinpoche and his entourage to visit DDM’s latest Altars that would be opening on November 30, 2013. Guests were impressed at the eco-friendly arrangement of the Altars as well as the technology-driven capabilities which enables global joint practice via the Internet as well as the introduction of digital tablets replacing the traditional paper ones. Ven. Guo Dong reiterated the fact that DDM was constantly at the forefront of modern technology and harnessing it to spread the teachings far and wide.
In his talk entitled “Dharma in Modern Academia”, Rinpoche highlighted the observation that very often Buddhist practitioners focused their attention on the “form” of the teachings rather than on the”substance” or “concentration and awareness” of the practice. He gave an example of when reciting Sutras; the focus should be concentration on the meaning of the Sutras rather than on just the lines and sounds of the Sutras. Throughout history one can find innumerable examples when there is a clash between practitioners who concentrated on “the method of interpretation (substance) ” and “the method of conduct (form)”.
Although trained mainly in Tibetan Buddhism, Rinpoche explained that due to his good fortune to be able to study and observe different Buddhist traditions in different parts of the world, he was able to open his mind to varied Buddhist practices and interpretations. This in turn gave him the opportunity to view things from various angles and motivate him to study and be even more diligent in his daily practice.
Rinpoche ended his talk by taking questions from the audience. The reincarnated Lama candidly answered many varied questions including questions like: “Do you remember your last life?”, “Why did you go abroad to study?”, “How to face emotion?”, “How to distinguish the truth of a sutra?” and so on. He ended with a wonderful message to the audience, requesting that they continue to encourage and reward the younger generation whenever they performed good deeds. This helps to constantly remind people to be always aware and mindful that they should conduct themselves in the right way, always doing good deeds that do not harm oneself or others. Through right mindfulness and right effort, we can all help to reduce suffering to all sentient beings in the world.
(Translated by Tom Hsieh/Edited by DDM Editing Team)