In the presence of a Buddha

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As my Lama spoke to a respectable guest, a firm Dharma practitioner of 40 years… My Lama says: “These (gesturing the whole of my Lama’s organisation) are just buildings… What I truly hope is for my students to gain attainments and realizations through their Dharma practice”

And at that point, a thought just arised… I’m sitting infront of a Buddha. For how can anyone who mention these words, with full sincerity that moved many to tears, not be a Bodhisattva?
This is not something that is said once, but Rinpoche has mentioned it several times… About making Kechara a place where the study of Dharma continues for a long time. Just having a temple is great for people to make offerings to the Buddhas to collect merits… But the true value of a spiritual institute is where people can learn the Dharma and through that, be on the road to enlightenment.

For a moment, I was dazed… Drowned by the amazement on how lucky I was to be there. And at that moment, I also knew, I have been neglecting my Lama in my heart and practice, which if not, thesd thoughts would always prevail in my mind.

Never take for granted your Vajra master, alwayd reflect on His great kindness in showing us the right path to freedom. After all, if there is no Lama…. There is no Buddha, Dharma and Sangha…

Sarah Yap

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Lip Service Dharma

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Being in Dharma for a couple of years, there is one thing very apparent and not unique to one… But all Dharma societies, the lip service of Dharma.

I have seen people that have benefitted from my Guru for 20 years, neglect the Guru over personal reasons.

I have seen people that know my Guru only a few years do the same…

And then there are people that know my Guru just a few years, but grow spiritually and beautifully.

Seeing all of this makes me reflect, not on the perfection of my Guru, but as practitioners being in Dharma, the years doesnt really matter if practice is not internalized… After all, even the Buddha had Devadatta as a disciple, but at the same time, he had many other great disciples.

So when I look at my surrounding, sure Samsara is never perfect, and I’m even more imperfect than Samsara. I dont claim to be a great Dharma practitioner, but I am glad Im trying to get there, with the support of good Dharma friends.

If there was anything that I have learnt from watching others, its the damage and danger of lip service… And that, is not the route to go.

Sarah Yap

Miracles?… Anyone?…

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I have always heard of incredible miracles that happened to people… They would tell me, if it was not for Dorje Shugden’s protection, things would be so different for them.

I have heard people being saved from black magic, their finances improved, their near miss from entering the bardo prematurely… So many… And then I looked at myself and thought… Where’s my miracle? Did everyone’s scream over powered my soft cry for help? Hahaha Im just kidding about the last part.

So yeah… I mean, I want my share of miracles too! I have seen people lived through adversities in life, and that made me admire them… And then I look at myself, I had a pretty smooth sailing life… Not perfect, but smooth. Its not that I’m not ‘thankful’ for having a life that is free of ‘unpleasant circumstances and events’… The truth is, from the outside everything may look smooth sailing… But my samsara, manifest its worst… In my mind.

Well, all that bad karma’s gotta appear one way or the other, and in my case since the environmental does not condition it, I guess that’s why it arised in my mind. No one is every free of suffering in Samsara. This make things reallyyyy tough for me, as I’m in a constant battle against my negativities. And one moment of weakness would reward me with a boarding pass on ‘The ship to Avichi’.

Despite being weary of Samsara, I have my weak moments. One thing we all must firmly understand is, Samsara is a losing game. Its like a video game, that has its setting on ‘impossible to win, until that hero appears to save you, peasants’… Its like the movie Maze Runner… 

You see, on the outside, Im a pretty quiet person. But when Im playing tug of war in my head, it sounds like your morning bazaar, multiplied a hundred times. So, although sometimes, good friends try to talk to me, they cant really get through, coz… Well, all my mental capasity is spent on… The noise within lol.

It is at these weak moments, when I am on the verge of raising the white flag on life, that my protector comes to my aid. And in the midst of all that noise in my head, a very random thought would appear to me, and I know damn well, its not mine. And it is the type of thought that is so Spock logic… That if I dont listen to it, I would feel like the donkey of the century – stupid and stuborn.

I will not share in detail, coz I feel it is not appropriate… But I do hope that my small sharing will help all those, who are suffering in their mind, just like me.

Dorje Shugden exists, and you have no idea how closely he watches over our wellbeing when we start being honest with ourselves.

Sarah Yap

So… You dreamt of Buddha

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I was once told the story of how Vajrayogini (Narokacho) came to be. Her present form came about when the great Mahasiddha Naropa meditated in a cave, and during his practice of Vajravarahi, Vajrayogini appeared to him, in her glorious form which we know of today. It is a form that is more potent and spiritually connected to the people of this generation.

When I heard of that story… And as a student of little knowledge and close to zero sense of Dharma… I thought “Wait a minute! How do we know Naropa didnt just dreamt up of Vajrayogini?!”. LOL! And my Lama, with great patience, answered these thoughts of mine.

A little side track from the story… Many times, I am actually thankful for being an idiot student. Coz everytime my Lama answers questions that I have in my mind… I am filled with thoughts of how awesome my Lama is hehe.

Back to the story… So one fine day, Rinpoche was talking about how some great practitioners are able to receive liturgies, practices, sadhanas etc of a deity through their dreams, meditations or even direct visions of a particular deity. And these practices are not just blindly accepted, but through the results from these practices, when people engage in them and gain spiritual results and attainments… Then we know it is genuine and can be passed down in the lineage.

When I heard that… I went like… Oh, that’s simple, why didnt I figured that out haha…

Just like the famous saying: “No matter how much you churn water, you will never yield butter”. Similarly, no matter how much time and effort spent on unauthentic practices, it will yield no results.

So with that in mind, it often made me wonder how people can declare Dorje Shugden as non beneficial… We now know that being part of the lineage obviously means the practice have yield practitioners positive spiritual advancements for the last 400 years!

When we engage in spirituality, it is so important for us to check out the lineage instead of just blindly following it. Its just like how we buy a car or a house, we would check it out.

I have checked mine, and I choose to trust that all the Gelug teachers for the past 400 years are authentic and has passed down the pure unbroken lineage within our tradition. What about u?

Sarah Yap

Working for the benefit of others

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Just this morning, my Lama sent me this picture. I love this picture, and I will never forget the significance of it being taken.

On that day, Rinpoche and a few of us worked all day to fine tune a wonderful teaching, which would aid people in their most difficult time. It was the day that Rinpoche published the article on Dorje Shugden Trakze practice on the blog.

I must say, the few of us must have read through the article close to 10 times! And Rinpoche went through the whole article word by word several times.

When it comes to Dharma, Rinpoche is a perfectionist… Perfectionist not for any reason either than to ensure accuracy is delivered. Even if it took hours of taxing work, even if Rinpoche was not feeling well… Rinpoche always make sure things are perfect. It is Rinpoche’s way of showing his immense care for others. It was through this that I learn of my Lama’s immense selflessness and it developed a wish in me, to follow this wonderful quality of my Lama.

And when it was time to publish… Rinpoche made a strong dedication with the 3 of us… That may those that come across this practice be free of their afflictions, and may those afflicted with difficulties, come to meet Trakze’s potent practice.

It was a great day, one that I will always remember, and this picture is just an external form of memory, but I will always remember it in my heart.

It was a great honor, and a great blessing to be part of such a meritorious deed with my Lama. If I ever have one wish, it would be that may I have the clarity and the ability to assist my Lama’s works in all lifetimes.

Sarah Yap

Maitreya, the Buddha of our future

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Glorious Maitreya, the next Buddha to turn the wheel of Dharma after Lord Shakyamuni’s time.

I have always loved His image, even before I became Buddhist… I even love the chinese depiction of Him.

Through His great love for all sentient beings, Maitreya declared:

“Anybody keeping just one vow of moral discipline purely during the time of Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings will become my personal disciple when I appear and I shall liberate all such disciples”

When I read this promise, it reminded me of the time when my Lama, with great compassion, said we must always do our best for others in Dharma. To bring those within this fortunate aeon to enlightenment, and those that cant, they will meet Maitreya in the future.

When I heard my Lama said that, the first thing that run through my mind was, I dont want to overflow into Maitreya’s time… I want enlightenment NOW! lol

So, these days… whenever I look at his holy image, the first thing that crosses my mind… ‘Practice NOW and do it seriously’… And then, the thought of making connection with him comes…

Whether this thought is right or wrong, who knows… But if it gets to kick the mule in me to practice Dharma, I think it’s a good thought lol.

Sarah Yap

Facing Hypocricy

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If there’s anything that I hate most, it would be hypocrisy. The unjust within a system of corrupted individuals.

The moments when blanket rules turn out to be a joke.

The moments when self importance outweigh the system.

The moments when our actions are motivated by our need for praise instead of out of compassion.

The moments when one tells you something, but they themselves act differently

It is these moments that always get me down. Although I know we live in samsara and hypocisy is everywhere… But sometimes being in a spiritual environment makes it more difficult to stomach non-sense like these.

But a wise friend recently told me… As you age and mature, u will be able to tolerate more and if you don’t like it, make steps to improve it.

So I thought to myself… Do i want to be a contributor to this legacy of indecency? Nope, I do not.

Sarah Yap