This weekend I was fortunate enough to attend two lovely teachings. One given by Ven. Tenzin Chogky who I will be studying with at the Root Institute this December/January and the other by the Bhutanese Lama, Film Maker and writer, Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche. 

Ven. Tenzin Chogkyi is a lovely American Nun and her teachings on developing loving kindness were just wonderful. She spoke mostly about bodhichitta and the only reason to become a Buddha is to help all sentient beings. We worked on developing bodhichitta through meditation. Equalizing and exchanging the self and other was the method she focused on which consisted of putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and she also talked about the disadvantages of self cherishing and the advantages of cherishing others. 

What I really loved was when she talked about how the more misguided someone’s approach to happiness the more compassionate we should be. She also spoke of the Dalai Lama’s “Enlightened Self-Interest.” 

What I really gained from the talk was the advice she gave me about balancing compassion and wisdom and how we need to act with as much wisdom as we have in the moment. She recognizes times when her compassion has outstripped her wisdom and the need to practice. This is part of the reason why she went into a 6 1/2 year retreat. It was so nice to be with an American and I laughed so much when she talked about how some times us Americans mix Buddhism with the Protestant Work Ethic. 

Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche spent the evening teaching on one of Milarepa’s songs. I like his style. He’s kind of bad ass and I could see his appeal to many Westerners. He jokingly said that Bhutan was the Saudi Arabia of Buddhism. He talked about how hard it is to be a dharma practitioner. When one of my friend’s asked him to inspire us to practice deeper he said, “You need sadness in order to not put off your practice.” At that moment I started to cry because I realized what a gift the sadness I’m feeling now is.

Well, some of my favorite lines from his teaching were:

We suffer because we are afraid of being pointless. When you appreciate things that do not have a point then you become spiritual.

Life and Beauty have no logic. 

Milarepa’s path was an escape from reasoning. 

We are in constant delusion because we are always poking. If you look for the Buddha you will never find it. 

The Berlin Wall between our meditation and post meditation should collapse.