One can be near the Lama, near the most beautiful Buddha statue, near the most elaborately decorated stupas, and near the hundreds of volumes of the Kangyur and Tangyur. But without practice its as if one has never met the Three Jewels.
Just as sitting infront a bowl of rice without eating it does not make one full, so it is similar as one sitting infront the Lama but partake no Dharma.
Looking at this image of my Lama, I can only imagine what the mind of a Bodhisattva would think. Perhaps it goes along the line of “May I be able to be like the sea, that nourishes and supports billions of beings selflessly”.
A Bodhisattva who loves all sentient beings as a father loves his only son. Perhaps for some it may be easy to understand, while for others it may not. But there is a story that’s easily told…
It reminds me of a story I read, about a rich man’s son who left the family only to end up as a begger many years down the road. When the rich man finally saw his son in a pitiful state, he sent his servants to take the young man home. But the begger did not recognize his father and instead of rejoicing of a reunion, he became afraid.
Out of great love for his son, the man thought of various ways to help his son. So instead of scaring the boy away by insisting of forgotten family ties, he offered the begger a job in his mansion, as the janitor. As the years passed he nurtured the boy patiently, from when he came in as the janitor, he now manages the rich man’s estates.
Finally the day came when the rich man is to leave this world, and the boy who regarded his boss as a father could finally see that he was actually his father. “I have taught you everything I know, now I leave all my wealth to you as they were yours from the moment you came home as a janitor”.
The lama is like this old rich man. He offers us the greatest riches of all in the world that is the Dharma. And through his skilfull means, he educates us, he is patient and guide us along the gradient path of enlightenment.
There is no work or instructions too small that’s given by the Lama. Everything is tailored for us to eventually obtain the greatest jewel of Enlightenment… Just like the wise rich man who made his son the janitor in his mansion.