I am a father, the President of Younge Drodul Ling, a certified meditation instructor, pharmacist, writer and Tibetan translator.
My writing reflects my understanding and practice of the teachings of my teacher, the great Dzogchen master Younge Khachab Rinpoche. His teachings have left an indelible imprint on my mind and so I write only to habituate myself to their profound impact. My practice thus strengthened for a little while, others may chance upon my words and their practice too may be equally strengthened.
Appointed as President in 2015, Khachab Rinpoche challenged me to build a strong community of dedicated practitioners, men and women who use their daily life as the basis for their own practice and care enough to make an impact in the communities around them. He stressed to me that this lineage is unique in that it is an accomplishment lineage, that students don't only need to know how to do the practice but also how to carry it forward.
This is the challenge that we all face as practitioners.
How do we carry our practice forward?
As a meditation instructor I have been leading our Sangha and meditation groups in Seattle since 2006. Currently we meet once a month on Sundays for a public meditation workshop. These workshops are practice intensive and interactive. Our core group of practitioners is solid and they have a wide range of experience that brings out a lot of depth and insight in our discussions. New students always feel welcome and walk away with the essentials for starting their own daily practice and how to look deeper. You should probably join us.
I also work as a Pharmacy Manager for Bartell Drugs, a local Northwest pharmacy chain in the Seattle area. We are a small company that moves quickly and likes being the best pharmacy in your neighborhood. Recently I helped develop the Pharmacy Intern program to train the next generation of pharmacists. We hope to create a learning environment for pharmacy students who are motivated and passionate about caring for their communities.
I don't know if you can teach someone to care.
I do know that you can teach people how to deal with all of the resistance that comes with caring. You can learn how to maintain openness, how to dance with fear and how to use generosity to make an impact in the lives of others.
As I dug deeper into my own practice, I was naturally compelled to learn the Tibetan language to really flesh out the meaning of what I was practicing. It wasn't enough that I was told what to do, I had to look deeper. Over the course of the last decade I have been learning Tibetan and working on numerous translations, primarily sadhanas used by students of YDL. In 2012, I presented Rinpoche with a request to establish a translation group and he founded the Samye Translation Committee. We have been working on various translation projects over the past few years for the benefit of his students and we are currently working on publishing a book.
I am not a professional writer (you can probably tell). I write because it clarifies my practice and because I believe that I have found something worth sharing.
Your practice won't look like mine. Mine probably doesn't make much sense to you.
Look into your own life. Dig deeper. Where are you stuck? What problems are you having? How do you work with resistance and fear?
Most of us have one major source of resistance in our lives that we spend all of our time fighting against. It could be our job, our relationship, our health, or something deep inside of us. That problem can take any form in our life and we spend so much time fighting against it that we never get around to doing anything meaningful. We keep waiting for our problems to go away so we can do something meaningful, something important.
We keep waiting for the resistance to go away so that we can do something we care about.
But problems never stop. The resistance never vanishes. Pain never goes away.
In the context of your own life, what does it look like if you have a strong practice and learn to share generously?
Use your practice as a platform to work with your own resistance, your own problems and your own situation. Use it so that you can maintain openness, dance with fear and share generously.
That is how we use our life as the basis of our practice. That is how we build a strong community of practitioners. That is how we make an impact in the world around us.
Start with yourself, then share your heart with others.
Fulfill your own and others aims simultaneously.
siddha- accomplish or fulfill
artha- aims or meaning
I hope you enjoy reading this blog. I look forward to hearing about your practice, your stories, your struggles and your generosity.
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