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Lama’s whole being was about service

06666_ng_gFrom  1980: The teachings are all about you! by Adele Hulse, Big Love author:

Lama Yeshe held a special concern for the children of his students and their care and education. He specifically addressed this issue with his center directors.

Concerning families and children, if we have the resources we should make a school. The center directors should have a plan for this. If you do not express that this is what you would like to do then no one will know, so you should write it down in big huge letters: THIS IS WHAT WE WANT TO DO! And as much as possible you should do it. But energy is like dreams—sometimes it comes suddenly then it suddenly disappears. You never know who will give you energy and who will not. I truly believe that lay people love their children and that they want a Buddhist-style education for them. It is a pity if we do not put that together for them. So far we have tried but what we have done is not really sufficient. Sorry! We should put this into reality.

In Buddhism we have such material for children’s education. It is a pity that no one has developed it, because we have the potential and the methods for making books and other things for children. There is so much material, so much information, but instead of using it we are wasting so much energy. It is especially good if our center directors take an interest in this. I’m not criticizing, I understand that energy builds up slowly, slowly. First we have to take care of our urgent fundamental needs. Then when we have extra energy we can spread out into other endeavors. But even now we should have a broad view of what we want to accomplish when we have sufficient energy. Center directors should have a broad view rather than a limitation mind, which can keep the center from growing. Also, you shouldn’t keep this total view inside your mind. You should put it out there. Write it down and let people know.

11736_ng_gMax Redlich (now Thubten Gelek) paraphrased Lama’s speech for the first edition of a magazine published by Tara House in Melbourne. (Tara Magazine produced fourteen issues over four years, then folded.)

The very next day after Lama gave specific rules for the establishment of new centers, he broke them, cutting right across his own guidelines to give someone permission to start a new center. Everyone was a little bewildered by that, but knew Lama’s mind was without bounds. The CPMT also issued a formal invitation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, inviting him to tour Europe later in 1980 and give ten-day courses at each of the FPMT centers there. The invitation was extended to include a similar tour of Australian centers in 1981.

Max Redlich (now Thubten Gelek) paraphrased Lama’s speech for the first edition of amagazine published by Tara House in Melbourne. (Tara Magazine produced fourteen issues over four years, then folded.)

The very next day after Lama gave specific rules for the establishment of new centers, he broke them, cutting right across his own guidelines to give someone permission to start a new center. Everyone was a little bewildered by that, but knew Lama’s mind was without bounds. The CPMT also issued a formal invitation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, inviting him to tour Europe later in 1980 and give ten-day courses at each of the FPMT centers there. The invitation was extended to include a similar tour of Australian centers in 1981.

12729_sl-2_g“At the CPMT meeting Lama drew a square diagram of what the ideal center should look like,” Peter Kedge recalled. “It should be away from town but not too distant, and on elevated land with a view, which is important for the mind. The gompa, monastic and teaching areas should be in the middle with the lay community at the periphery. Lama was very specific that communities should grow in this way.

“In the early days when centers were being established and people became residents, it frequently happened that their initial gratitude at having this opportunity changed to claiming ‘rights’ as tenants. Lama was very clear. The reason centers were established was to serve. As soon as they turned into what he called ‘clubs for people who have been to India’ or private homes where people forgot about giving service, he preferred to have those people gone and the centers empty. Sometimes people in centers formed cliques, which Lama put a stop to very quickly.”

Peter continued, “Lama’s whole being was about service. When he spoke to new monks and nuns he explained to them that their purpose was to serve. It wasn’t to become a yogi or a retreater or to escape from anything—it was to serve others. And you could see that’s exactly what Lama and Rinpoche did. I found a tremendous difference in the vibration at Kopan to the great monasteries in the south, or even in Dharamsala. People would go to those places to become monks and study, but Kopan was different. And what made it different was this huge underlying emphasis on the lam-rim and the practice of bodhicitta, on going out to serve. Of course there were wonderful monks in the big monasteries, but the overriding feeling was that those places were centers of academia rather than service.”

 

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