Friday, May 22, 2020

The Role of Technology and Social Media in the World Today

In this blog, I would like to speak a bit about technology and social media.

Until I travelled outside of Tibet, most of my life I had little exposure to modern technology. I spent my earlier years in the Kham region of Eastern Tibet. Life in the remote villages of Tibet was very simple and pure, and villagers’ way of living was quite spartan, but truly people were happy and content. Modern conveniences and facilities were unheard in those days, not to speak of modern technologies. To illustrate, it wasn’t until 1997 that I first used a phone. 

During this time, I was forced to flee in secret to the capital of Tibet, Lhasa. None of my family knew of my whereabouts, so in order to inform them, I had to seek out a telephone. In those days, there was a sort of public phone in downtown Lhasa; so many people were waiting to use this one telephone, and the line was 4 hours long. At the end of the line sat a telephone operator stationed in a small booth with the telephone next to her. People would pay to use the phone, and because so many people were oblivious to the workings of a phone, she would assist users and instruct them on how to place calls and generally how the phone worked. When I reached the end of the line and it was my turn, I didn’t know how to dial and even placed the phone incorrectly against my face. She then took the phone and reoriented it, explaining to me how to place a call. My family did not have a phone, so I had to call my aunt’s neighbor who was one of the only people in the village who possessed a phone. Even though she was my aunt’s neighbor, their homes were still around 10 minutes walking distance apart. When they answered, I explained who I was and requested that they retrieve my aunt. They were very happy to help and immediately went to call my aunt. In the meantime, I had to wait and the person next in line made their phone call. When it was again my turn, I called back a second time, and upon calling I was able to connect with my aunt. I lost my mother when I was only 3 months old, and my aunt took care of me like a mother during my parents absence. Because of this, I used to call her “mom”. She said to me, crying, “My son, are you alright? Where are you?”. I told her, “Yes mom, I am doing well. I am in Lhasa now. I have visited many monasteries and have seen many nice things, and have been pursuing Dharma-related activities. Please don’t worry, I am ok.” She didn’t know but eventually I escaped to India without anyone else knowing. In 1999, while in Dharamshala in India, some Tibetans asked me whether I had an email. I responded that I didn’t know what an email was. My friend then told me, “You need it; I will help to make one.” India was more technologically advanced than what I had experienced in Tibet, and eventually I made my way to Malaysia, which was even more developed.

In 2003 while I was living in Malaysia, my students took me to visit the city of Kuala Lumpur. We saw many skyscrapers and modern buildings. Everything was so clean and beautiful. As I was gazing into one of the shopping windows, a student of mine asked me, “Rinpoche, do you have a cell phone?” I did not own a cellphone, and even if I had wanted to, I did not have the money to purchase one. She said, “Many of our Teachers now have cell phones, and we are able to contact them. You also should have one.” I responded, “Oh no, thank you; I don’t need it.” She then told me, “No Rinpoche, I need to call you, this way if you have the phone I can call you anytime.” She purchased a small Nokia cellular phone for me. At that time, this phone was quite advanced and very popular. When I showed my fellow monks my new phone, they were all saying, “Wow, this is a really good one, Khenpo.”

While I was in Malaysia, I saw that one Rinpoche had a laptop. At that time, not so many Lamas had computers. He showed me how the laptop worked and how he was able to download things in Tibetan, to read, write books, etc., and that it was a great benefit to him. Before, I was only accustomed to reading and writing with a paper and a pencil. He showed me how much easier it was to use a computer. When I asked him how much it had cost, I realized that it was a little bit too expensive for me. Then I thought to myself one day I would like to have a laptop.

One day, another student took me to see a different city in Malaysia. As we were walking around, she asked me, “What do you want Rinpoche, I will buy something for you.” I responded, “Oh, I am just looking around. I like to look at new things.” As a Tibetan, I had never seen these sorts of interesting goods and products. Later we walked into an electronics store. As I was looking at one laptop there, she asked, “Do you want a laptop, Lama?” I told her, “No thank you, maybe some other time.” She said, “No, if you want anything at all, I would like to help you.” I tried to kindly decline her offer again, but she said, “No, if you like it, I would like to purchase it for you on behalf of me and my family.” Malaysian people are very generous and are very respectful towards monks. Then I said, “Thank you very much, that is very kind of you; it would benefit me greatly and I will be able to use it. Maybe I would like to buy this”, pointing to the laptop. At that time, there were no Apple MacBooks. The computer that my student bought for me was a Toshiba; it was black, very thick and heavy. It is not like computers today which are very thin, light, and easy to carry. I brought it back with me to Nepal where I downloaded the Tibetan language onto the computer, and I used it everyday to read, write, etc., and it was very beneficial for me. Now, I have an Apple MacBook that I use quite frequently to write my blog, check my email and social media, live stream teachings, among many other activities.

In 2009, when I visited my Sangha in Boston, one of my students, an American, asked me whether I had a Facebook. At the time, I had no idea what Facebook was, nor had I even heard of the name Facebook. Actually, in my mind, I tried to translate the word into Tibetan and separated it into two words “face” (donh), and “book” (dheb); this did not make any sense to me. My student then said to me, “Rinpoche, you should have Facebook because right now, you are living in the United States. Everyone has a Facebook. Moreover, most of your students and friends are based in Asia. They would love to see and to hear from you and know your where you are.”

I responded to my student’s request, saying, “That’s a very good idea, please help me right now!” My student then set up an account for me. When I first opened Facebook, I didn’t use my name; instead, I created a profile for the Manjushri Dharma Centre. My student showed me how the platform was set up, how to navigate the web page, and how to post things. I completed my profile by filling in information, adding some photographs, and writing a few messages. Amazingly, very quickly I discovered that people from many different places were able to find me. Students from Asia wrote to me saying that they were so happy to see me on Facebook. Many told me, “We haven’t heard from you in over 10 years and thought that we had lost you!” It made me feel very happy to hear from them.

Once I discovered how Facebook worked, I thought to myself, although I’ve lost my country, I would love to connect with those still in Tibet. I wished to see my brother and I hoped to reach my Dharma brother monks, other family members and friends, and I wanted to see photographs of my beloved homeland and my old monastery. I inquired, why don’t Tibetans have social media? I did not know that the Chinese government blocks these websites, including other social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc., and google products like YoutTube in China and Tibet. This is very unfortunate and made me quite sad; the internet is like a bridge or road which connects people, and in this case I was unable to make this connection with those dear to me.

Since 2009, I have used technology, the internet, and social media a lot because, as a Dharma teacher, I have a commitment to all of my students and friends from around the world. We have a connection with one another, and I want to maintain my closeness and relationship with them. 
Given the way that social media, such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, etc., is viewed in society, occasionally a few of my students are taken aback when they learn that I, a renunciate who has taken vows, have an account on social media. They often say to me, in a surprised manner, “Oh Khenpo, you also have Facebook? Oh no… I don’t even have a Facebook page; I don’t like social media. Humph!” I find it very humorous when I receive this feedback. Even some monks feel that social media and technology are unnecessary and improper for Buddhists and don’t understand why a Lama would use these things. Of course, they may think that social media is definitely and completely a bad thing. I think that this is a wrong view. I tell my students, “Yes, of course I use social media. In actuality, my social media is an extension of my Dharma Centre.” I feel that if the Buddha were alive today in the 21st century, he would definitely use technology and social media. I say this because the Buddha was possibly the first scientist Master in the world; today, modern neuroscientists and quantum physicists have found similarities in recent discoveries with things that the Buddha had said almost 2,500 years ago.

Nowadays, so many people have joined social media; currently, there are almost 2.5 billion active users on Facebook alone. I myself have many connections and friends on the site, and so many have found me through the Dharma Centre webpage, my blog, social media, email, etc., and they use technology as a way to stay connected with me. My blog has been a way to disseminate my teachings online to people from many different countries. To date, my blog has been viewed almost 75,000 times; almost half come from the United States, and many read from Russia, Bhutan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Germany, and Taiwan. There are also three Tibetan Lamas from Switzerland, Canada, and Minnesota who told me that they really like the teachings and check the blog every week. In addition to the blog, the main Manjushri Dharma Centre website has general information, events and class schedule, various teachings, contact information, etc., and on YouTube one can find videos of my live teachings and songs among other things. Actually, some of my students have told me that, although they previously did not have social media, they created an account to stay in contact with me, to watch live streaming from the Dharma Center, and to see and hear updates on what I am doing, etc., and others tell me that they really enjoy what I post, such as my teachings, photographs, and videos. 

Because of the current pandemic, places of worship are closed throughout California; consequently, all in person activities have been suspended at the Manjushri Dharma Centre in Pacific Grove. Fortunately, in this situation, technology has permitted the continuation of activities and the practice of holy Dharma during the lockdown. For example, we have held Facebook live streaming of Green Tara and Red Avalokiteshvara practices in the past few months. Additionally, since the onset of COVID-19, we have conducted chanted prayers of Medicine Buddha Monday nights via Zoom meetings for all those suffering, especially from illness and death. We have also conducted Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) sadhana practice Trinley Nyingpo, The Essence of Enlightened Activity, via Zoom.

Through Zoom, we practice for one hour and are able to see one another, pray together, and even share Dharma texts. In many ways, Zoom really has become our Dharma Centre. In addition, because we are cautioned not to meet, technologies such as email and phones allow us to stay in contact with one another. Some students, including those who live far away, may not have access to local Dharma Centres or may not be able to see Dharma teachers. In this way, technology can help those who need it. This is especially true today; these various technologies allow us to safely maintain distance to limit the spread of this disease and in doing so we are able to follow government guidelines. Two of my Singaporean students have told me that during this time there are many more Dharma activities going on than before and so many Lamas are conducting teachings through technology. Instead of being stuck in their office, they are staying home where they can practice and listen to many different teachers. This use of technology, for the benefit of all sentient beings and the practice of holy Dharma, is certainly a good thing!

I also want to mention an important point. Right now we live in the information age of the 21st century which has been marked by advances in science and technology. It is arguable that to live today, we must rely on and use some form of modern technology. That being said, how technology is used, however, is completely dependent on the person. These examples of technology that I gave, such as social media, can be good for human beings, but it entirely depends on who is using these things. Benevolent people, such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, use these technologies, such as social media, in order to benefit all sentient beings. For instance, HH graciously gave a two-day teaching on Master Nagarjuna's "Precious Garland" through his website during the pandemic, all together, around 900,000 watched. Technology permits many more people to listen to these precious teachings; having this many people in one space physically would be extremely difficult and without technology this could not be done easily.

It is therefore not the technology that is in itself bad; it depends on the person and we have the choice how to use technology either to harm or to help. It is entirely dependent on you and it is in your hands how to use these things and for what purpose. This is true even with simpler inventions, like the hammer. A hammer can be used to build things, to work and provide for one’s family, etc., which are constructive actions. If you use the same arm and same hammer with a negative mind, this tool can instead be used as a weapon to strike another sentient being. You cannot say the hammer is fundamentally bad and that it hurts people; the same person can both build things and hurt others with one tool. As I wrote in my blog, A Dharma Gong to Wake Us from Ignorance:

Again, happiness and suffering of samsara and nirvana all meet back to my own mind.
Furthermore, whether I ascend or descend is entirely up to me.

We should be careful, for instance, with young children whose minds are not fully developed. Things such as video games and cellphones can negatively impact their young mind, especially those which are violent. It is certainly not good when someone uses technology with bad intentions for negative ends or to harm. Instead of hurting others, we should use technology in the best way possible to help other sentient beings. Therefore, use your mind, knowledge, and right understanding to use technology in the best possible way.

In the 21st century, we live with technology, which has become truly ingrained and a part of our life. Even though some of us may not like this fact, it is a fact that we cannot easily escape; we cannot just throw all of these things away. Some express a wish to return to more austere times; as a Tibetan, my mind naturally goes back to the 7th, 8th, and 9th century in Tibet. Even in relatively recent times, life there was very different and people lived without what we consider basic comforts and facilities. Nevertheless, this made for a very simple, fulfilling and happy life, but that was a different century. They lived in a very different way, but we cannot live in the past and we cannot escape the present moment. We must live in the now and recognize our relationship with technology. Let’s say that you want to live peacefully in a home, just like a family; if you live with your parents, spouse, children, partners, etc., if there is a family member who is not agreeable or whom you do not like, what should you do? Do you want to fight with them everyday? This is not a good idea and will not solve anything. Accept them; be nice; live together; and help each other. The same holds true for technology; we didn’t choose our family, nor did we choose the time period in which we are born. Still you lived together with your family. Just like family, we currently live together with technology. We must use these things even if you don’t like it, you should accept them and use them in a positive way. 

~Khenpo Karten Rinpoche

I, Khenpo Karten Rinpoche, dictated this blog in English, my second language, which was subsequently transcribed by my student, Karma Choeying, over the span of a few days in May in order to demonstrate the benefits of technology and how to live technology in our the current age. Tashi Delek

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

་༅༅། མགུར་གླུ་ཆོས་ཀྱི་ཅོང་བརྡ་གཏི་མུག་གཉིད་དཀྲོག་ཞེས་བྱ་བ་བཞུགས་སོ།། A Dharma Gong to Wake Us from Ignorance

།དྲིན་ཅན་རྩ་བའི་བླ་མ། །ཐར་པའི་ལམ་སྟོན་ཆེན་པོ། 
།བདེ་ཆེན་ཆོས་སྐུའི་ཀློང་ནས། །ཡེ་ཤེས་སྤྱན་གྱིས་གཟིགས་རོགས། 

Most kind and benevolent root Lama,
great revealer of Liberation’s path!
From the space of your Mind of great bliss,
please watch over us with eyes of wisdom!

།བུ་ལ་མོས་གུས་ཡོད་ན། །བླ་མར་རྒྱངས་འབོད་མི་དགོས། 
།འོན་ཀྱང་དེ་རིང་མགུར་གླུ། །ཡེ་ཤེས་དབྱིངས་ནས་གསན་སམ། །
If a disciple has devotion
they need not call their Lama from afar.
Yet, from your sphere of timeless wisdom,
will you listen to my Dharma song today?

།དི་རིང་ང་ཡི་བསམ་ཚུལ། །དྲན་ཚད་ཡི་གེར་བཀོད་ནས། 
།ཆོས་གྲོགས་ཕོ་མོ་རྣམས་ལ། །གང་དྲན་ཚུལ་དུ་འབུལ་བསམ། 

I thought, by putting into writing
what I was thinking about today,
I might also offer my thoughts
to my Dharma brothers and sisters.

།ད་རེས་ལུས་རྟེན་འདི་ཉིད། །ཡར་འགྲོ་མར་འགྲོའི་ས་མཚམས། 
།མ་འོངས་བདེ་སྡུག་ཚང་མ། །རང་གི་ལག་ཏུ་ཡོད་འདུག

The body I have right now is a crossroads
from which I can ascend or descend.
All future well-being
is in my own hands.

།མ་ཀི་འཁོར་བའི་སྡུག་བསྔལ། །སུ་ཡིས་བཟོས་པ་མ་རེད། 
།ཡ་ཀི་ཐར་པའི་གྲོང་ཁྱེར། །གང་གིས་བཀོད་པ་མ་རེད།

The suffering of samsara, below,
was not made by anyone.
The city of Liberation, above,
was not built by anyone.

།ཕྱི་ནང་སྣོད་བཅུད་ཐམས་ཅད། །རང་སེམས་ཙམ་ལས་དོན་དུ། 
།ཡུལ་ངོས་བདེན་གྲུབ་མེད་པ། ཁོ་ཐག་སེམས་ནས་བཅད་ཞག།

Beings and the world are just my own mind;
in truth, they don’t exist
from the side of the objects:
Settle, mind, deeply certain of this!

།འཇིག་རྟེན་བདེ་སྡུག་ཚང་མ། །རང་གི་སེམས་ལ་ཐུག་འདུག། 
།སེམས་སྲུང་བརྟུལ་ཞུགས་འདི་ཉིད། །ཆོས་ཀྱི་སྙིང་པོ་རེད་ཞག

All happiness and suffering
meets back to my own mind.
The conduct of training the mind
is the very essence of Dharma.

།འཇིག་རྟེན་མི་ཚེ་འདི་ལ། །དགོས་རྒྱུ་ཧ་ཅང་མང་ཡང་། 
།སྙིང་པོ་དམ་པའི་ལྷ་ཆོས། །འགྲུབ་ན་དེ་ཀས་ལུས་ཆོག། 

In this world, in human life,
there are so many things we need.
But if I realize holy Dharma,
the essence of it all, that is enough.

།ལུས་ཚོར་ཕྱི་ཡི་བདེ་སྐྱིད། །འགྲུབ་ཀྱང་འགྱུར་བའི་སྡུག་བསྔལ།
།སེམས་ཚོར་ནང་གི་བདེ་སྐྱིད། །འགྱུར་མེད་གཏན་བདེའི་བདེ་བ། 

Even if I attain physical, outer happiness
it is the suffering of change.
The feeling of mental, inner happiness
can be unchanging, eternal happiness.

།འཁོར་བའི་ཕྱོགས་ལ་བརྩོན་བརྩོན། །དམ་པའི་ཆོས་ལ་བརྩོན་ན། 
།ཐར་པའི་གྲོང་ཁྱེར་ཨམ་དེ། །ཐག་རིང་དེ་འདྲར་མི་འདུག། 

We are always striving for samsaric things.
If we would put some effort into holy Dharma
the city of Liberation
is not so far away.

།ཡུན་ཐུང་མི་ཚེ་འདི་ལ། །དགོས་པའི་བདམ་ག་མ་ནོར། 
།ནོར་བུ་རང་ལ་ཡོད་བཞིན། འཆིང་བུ་ཕྱི་ནས་མ་འཚོལ། 

Don’t make mistaken choices
about what is urgent in this short life!
While the precious jewel is within
don’t hunt for trinkets outside!

།བདེ་སྐྱིད་སེམས་ནས་རྙེད་པའི། །ཐབས་ལ་འབད་མཁན་མི་འདུག། 
།ཐམས་ཅད་ཕྱི་ཡི་འདོད་ཡོན། །རྨོངས་པས་མགོ་བོ་འཁོར་ཞག།

No one puts effort into the methods
for finding happiness arising within.
Delusion fools everyone
to seek external sense pleasures.

།མ་དུལ་རྨོངས་པའི་སེམས་འདིས། །འབྲས་བུ་འཁོར་བའི་སྡུག་བསྔལ། 
།དུལ་ཞིང་ཞི་བའི་སེམས་འདིས། འབྲས་བུ་ཐར་པའི་བདེ་བ། 

This untamed mind of delusion
results in the suffering of samsara.
A subdued, peaceful mind
results in the bliss of Liberation.

།མདོར་ན་འཁོར་འདས་བདེ་སྡུག། །ཚང་མ་སེམས་ལ་ཐུག་ཞག
།དེ་ཡང་ཡར་འགྲོ་མར་འགྲོ། །ཚང་མ་རང་ལ་ཐུག་འདུག།

Again, happiness and suffering of samsara and nirvana
all meets back to my own mind.
Furthermore, whether I ascend or descend
is entirely up to me.

།ཡར་བལྟོས་ཐར་པའི་བདེ་བ། །མར་བལྟོས་འཁོར་བའི་སྡུག་བསྔལ། 
།གར་འགྲོ་རང་ལག་ཡོད་དུས། །རང་གིས་རང་ཉིད་མ་བསླུ། 

Look up at the bliss of Liberation!
Look down at the suffering of samsara!
While the destination is in my hands,
I must not fail myself!

།རང་སེམས་གཙང་མ་ཡིན་ན། །ཕྱི་མདོག་ངན་རུང་མི་སྐྱོན། 
།མ་རུང་སེམས་ངན་ཁོག་བཅངས། །ཕྱི་ཚུལ་མཛེས་པས་ཅི་ཕན། 

If my own mind is pure
bad outer appearances are not a problem.
If negativity is kept in my mind
what good is outer beauty?

།སེམས་ལ་བགོས་པའི་དྲི་བཟང་། །སྐྱེ་བ་ཕྱི་མར་ཁྱེར་ཆོག། 
།ལུས་ལ་བགོས་པའི་དྲི་ངན། །ཕན་མེད་འགྲོ་སོང་ཙམ་རེད། 

Good fragrance clothing the mind
can be taken to the next life.
Perfume anointing the body
benefits nothing; it just costs a lot!

།དགེ་སྡིག་རྒྱུ་འབྲས་བསླུ་མེད། །དཀར་ནག་ལུས་དང་གྲིབ་མ། 
།འོན་ཀྱང་ད་དུང་སེམས་ཅན། །ཡིད་མི་ཆེས་འདི་ཀྱེ་མ། 

Karmic causality never fails;
good and bad karma shadows me.
Yet there are sentient beings
who still don’t believe it; alas!

།སྔ་མ་ཅི་བྱས་ད་ལྟའི། །ལུས་ལ་བལྟོས་དང་གསལ་ཞིང་། 
།ཕྱི་མ་གར་འགྲོ་ད་ལྟའི། །ང་ཚོའི་ལག་པར་འདུག་གོ། 

How did we act before?
Look at our present body and it is clear.
Where will we go next life?
That is in our hands right now.

།དེ་ཕྱིར་བདག་ཅག་སེམས་ཅན། །ཡང་དག་དམ་ཆོས་སྙིང་པོ།
།དགེ་སྡིག་ལས་ཀྱི་འབྲས་བུ། །མིག་འབྲས་བཞིན་དུ་སྲུངས་ཤིག

Therefore, people, let’s observe the natural law of karma,
this essence of the right and holy Dharma,
and watch over the karma we create
as carefully as we protect our eyeballs!

།རང་སེམས་ཡིད་བཞིན་ནོར་བུ་། །བདག་པོ་རྒྱག་མཁན་མི་འདུག། 
།ཐམས་ཅད་དབང་ལྔའི་རྗེས་སུ། །གཅིག་རྗེས་གཉིས་མཐུད་འབྲངས་སོང་། 

Nobody takes care
of the wish-fulfilling jewel of mind.
Everyone chases the five senses,
one after another.

།རང་ལ་ཆོག་ཤེས་མེད་ན། །སེམས་ལ་ཁེངས་དུས་མི་འདུག
།ཡུན་ཐུང་མི་ཚེ་འདི་ལ། །མང་པོ་དགོས་རྒྱུ་འདུག་གམ།

If I don’t have contentment
my mind will never be satisfied.
Is there so much that I need
for my life, which is so short?

།སེམས་ལ་ཞི་བདེ་མེད་ན། །བསགས་སྲུང་ནོར་གྱིས་ཅི་བྱ། 
།ནོར་གྱི་མཆོག་ནི་ཆོག་ཤེས། །བདེ་སྐྱིད་མཆོག་ནི་གཞན་ཕན།

If I have no peace of mind, what is achieved
by collecting and hoarding wealth?
The supreme wealth is contentment.
The supreme happiness is in helping others.

།ལུས་ལ་ལྟ་སྐྱོང་བྱས་ལྟར། །ཁྱོད་ཀྱིས་སེམས་ལ་བྱས་ན། 
།ད་ལྟའི་སེམས་ནད་དཀའ་ངལ། །ཡུན་རིང་མྱང་དགོས་མི་འདུག།

If we take care of our mind
like we take care of our body,
we will not much longer have to experience
mental difficulties like we do now.

།བུ་ཆུང་ཤར་ཕྱོགས་སྟོར་ཡང་། །མ་ཡིས་ནུབ་ནས་བཙལ་ལྟར། 
།སེམས་པ་ནང་དུ་བཞག་ནས། །བདེ་སྐྱིད་ཕྱི་ནས་མ་འཚོལ།

Don’t be like a mother, searching in the West,
for a child she has lost in the East!
Having turned the mind inwards,
don’t seek happiness outside!

།བདེ་སྐྱིད་རྩ་བ་གཞན་ཕན། །སྡུག་བསྔལ་རྩ་བ་གཅེས་འཛིན། 
།ངོ་མ་བདེ་སྐྱིད་དགོས་ན། །བདག་འཛིན་འདི་ཉིད་སྤངས་རོགས། 

Altruism is the root of happiness.
Self-attachment is the root of suffering.
If you really want happiness, please abandon
this grasping of self!

།ཁ་ནས་མི་རྟག་ཟེར་བཞིན། །དོན་དུ་ཡུན་རིང་འདུག་ཆེས། 
།འཆི་བ་ཐོག་བབས་བྱུང་ན། །མི་འཇིགས་གདེངས་ཞིག་ཡོད་དམ།

Though we talk about impermanence,
We act like we’ll live a long time.
If death comes suddenly by surprise
do we have fearless confidence?

།སེམས་ཉིད་ཡིད་བཞིན་ནོར་བུ། །གད་སྙིགས་ནང་དུ་གཡུགས་ནས། 
།འཁྲུལ་སྣང་མགོ་བོ་འཁོར་བའི། །ཀྱེ་མ་བདག་འདྲའི་སེམས་ཅན། 

Buddha nature is a wishfulfilling jewel.
How sad that sentient beings like myself,
deceived by our hallucinations,
would throw it in the trash!

།རང་སེམས་ངན་པའི་དབང་གིས། །ལུས་ངག་བྲན་ལ་བཀོལ་བྱུང་། 
།དེང་ནས་སེམས་འདི་ང་ཚོས། །བཟང་པོའི་ལམ་ལ་བཀོལ་རོགས།

Our body and speech are enslaved
to our own negative minds.
From now on let’s all please
use our minds for spiritual development.

།དགེ་དང་མི་དགེ་ཚང་མ། །བདེ་དང་སྡུག་བསྔལ་ཐམས་ཅད། 
།རྩད་བཅད་ལེགས་པར་བྱས་དུས། །རྩ་བ་སེམས་འདི་རེད་ཞག། 

Virtue and non-virtue,
Happiness and suffering,
when I really think about it,
the root of it all is mind.

།བསྲུང་རྒྱུ་ལུས་སེམས་གཉིས་ལས། །ཡོད་ཚད་ལུས་ལ་སྤྲད་ནས། 
།སེམས་འདི་བདག་མེད་རེད་ཞག། །དེ་འདྲའི་སེམས་པ་སྐྱོ་བ། 

Between body and mind
we give all care to our body
and leave no one in charge of our mind;
how sad is such an attitude!

།སེམས་ལ་བདག་པོ་རྒྱོབ་དང་། །ཁོ་ཡིས་བདེ་སྐྱིད་སྦྱིན་ཡོང་། 
།སེམས་འདི་བདག་མེད་གཡུགས་ན། །ཁྱོད་ལ་དཀའ་ངལ་སྤྲད་ཡོང་། 
Take care of our mind
and it will grant happiness.
If we leave our mind ownerless
it will give us difficulty.

།དྲི་མེད་འོད་གསལ་རིག་མཛོད། །ཉོན་མོངས་གད་སྙིགས་མ་བཀང་། 
།རྙེད་དཀའི་མི་ལུས་རིན་ཆེན། །འཁོར་བའི་བྲན་གཡོག་མ་བྱེད། 

Don’t fill the stainless treasury of luminous awareness
with the garbage of delusion!
Don’t make this difficult-to-find
precious human life a slave to samsara!

།ལྟད་མོ་ཕྱི་ལ་མ་བལྟ། །ནང་ལ་ལྟད་མོ་བལྟོས་དང་། 
།སྔར་མ་མཐོང་བའི་ལྟད་མོ། །བསོད་ནམས་ཡོད་ན་རྙེད་ཡོང་། 

Don’t look for shows outside;
watch the show inside!
If you are lucky you’ll discover
a show like never seen before!

།མཛུབ་མོ་ཕྱི་ལ་གཙུགས་ནས། །གཞན་གྱི་སྐྱོན་འཚང་མ་སྔོག།
།མཛུབ་མོ་ནང་དུ་བཙུགས་ནས། །རང་ལ་ཞུ་དག་གཏོང་རོགས། 

Don’t dig for other’s faults!
Don’t point your finger outward!
Pointing your finger inward,
correct your own mistakes, please!

།ཕྱི་ཡི་དཔལ་འབྱོར་ཁང་ཁྱིམ། །སྲུང་ལ་ཉིན་མཚན་བྲེལ་ཅིང་། 
།ནང་གི་སེམས་ཉིད་འདི་ལ། །བདག་པོ་རྒྱག་མཁན་མི་འདུག།

Taking care of external house and wealth
keeps us busy day and night,
leaving no one to take care of
the inner essence of our mind.

།ཀྱེ་མ་འཁོར་བའི་སེམས་ཅན། །མི་ཡི་ལུས་རྟེན་འདི་ལ། 
།དགོས་པ་ངོ་མ་གང་ཡིན། །ཞིབ་ཏུ་བསམ་བློ་གཏང་རོགས། 

Alas, samsaric sentient beings!
Please think carefully
about what is the true purpose
of our human lives!

།བདེ་བ་སེམས་ནས་འདོད་ཀྱང་། །སྡུག་བསྔལ་རྒྱུ་ལ་འབད་ཅིང་། 
།འབྲས་བུ་སྡུག་བསྔལ་མྱོང་བའི། །ཀྱེ་མ་བདག་འདྲའི་སེམས་ཅན། 

It is so sad, poor beings like myself!
We want happiness in our minds
yet apply ourselves to actions that cause suffering
and have to experience the painful results.

།བདེ་སྡུག་འཁོར་འདས་གཞི་མ། །ཀུན་བྱེད་དབང་གི་རྒྱལ་པོ། 
།སེམས་ཞེས་ད་ལྟའི་རིག་པ། །ཐམས་ཅད་འདི་ལ་ཐུག་འདུག། 

The basis of happiness, suffering, samsara, nirvana,
the powerful king creator of it all,
we call ‘mind,’ this present awareness;
it all meets back to that.

།སྒྱུ་མའི་གྲོང་དུ་འཁྱམས་པའི། །རང་འདྲའི་སེམས་ཅན་ཐམས་ཅད། 
།རྨོངས་པའི་གཉིད་ལས་གྲོལ་ནས། །ཤེས་རབ་སྣང་བ་རྒྱས་ཤོག། 

May all sentient beings like myself,
who wander in the cities of illusion,
be awakened from deluded slumber
and expand in light of wisdom.

།འཁྲུལ་སྣང་འཁོར་བར་འཁྱམས་པའི། །མ་རྒན་སེམས་ཅན་ཐམས་ཅད། །
།གཏན་བདེ་ཡང་དག་ལམ་ལ། །མྱུར་དུ་འགོད་པར་གྱུར་ཅིག། 

May all aged mother sentient beings,
who wander through deceptive appearances of samsara,
quickly be set onto a perfect path
to eternal happiness.

ཅེས་མགུར་གླུ་ཆོས་ཀྱི་ཅོང་བརྡ་གཏི་མུག་གཉིས་དཀྲོག་འདི་ཉིད་ཀྱང་། དེང་དུས་ཕྱི་དངོས་པོ་ཡར་རྒྱས་ཚད་མཐོར་སླེབས་པའི་སྐབས་སུ་མི་རྣམས་ཕྱིའི་འདོད་ཡོན་གྱི་རྣམ་གཡེངས་ལ་མགོ་བོ་
འཁོར་དྲགས་ཅིང་།དེས་རྐྱེན་གྱིས་ལུས་སེམས་གཉིས་ལ་གཅིག་རྗེས་གཉིས་མཐུད་ཀྱིས་དཀའ་ངལ་སྣ་ཚོགས་འཕྲད་པ་དངོས་སུ་མིག་མཐོང་དུ་སོང་བའི་རྐྱེན་བྱས། རྟག་པར་གཞན་ལ་ཁ་ཕྱི་བལྟས་སུ་བཤད་ཆོས་སུ་མ་སོང་བརརང་ཉིད་ལ་དམ་པའི་ཆོས་ཀྱི་དྲན་བསྐུལ་དང་དེ་ཉིད་ཚུལ་བཞིན་སྒྲུབ་པ་དམ་བཅའ་དང་བཅས་ཞོར་དུ་བདག་འདྲའི་སོ་སྐྱེ་ཐ་ཤལ་བ་འགའ་རེ་ལའང་ཕན་པའི་བསམ་པས་ཀུན་ནས་
བསླང་སྟེ། ཆོས་སྨྲ་བའི་མིང་འཛིན་མཁན་པོ་ཀར་བསྟན་ནས་༢༠༢༠ སྤྱི་ཟླ་༥ ཚེས་པ་༦ ཉིན་ཨ་རིའི་བྱང་ཕྱོགས་ཁ་ལི་ཧྥོ་ནི་ཡ་ཞི་བདེ་རྒྱ་མཚོའི་འགྲམ་ངོགས་སུ་གནས་འཆའ་བའི་འཇམ་དབྱངས་ཆོས་འཁོར་གླིང་ནས་ཕུལ་བས། ཀུན་ཀྱང་ཡང་དག་ལམ་གྱི་སྣང་བས་འཚོ་ཞིང་ལུས་སེམས་བདེ་དགའ་རྒྱ་མཚོར་གནས་པའི་རྒྱུ་གྱུར་ཅིག། སརྦ་མངྒ་ལམ། བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས།

         About this Dharma Gong to Wake Us From Ignorance, I wrote it upon seeing how, these days, when technological development has reached such heights, people are tremendously distracted to outer sense objects, and so experience many physical and mental problems one after another. In addition, as Dharma is not taught by always looking outwards at others, I have written it as a reminder and exhortation to myself; and as my own commitment to practice accordingly. Along with that, I thought if I wrote it down it might also benefit a few people who are like me. It is with this motivation that I, Dharma teacher Khenpo Karten, offer this, written on the 6th of May, 2020 from Manjushri Dharma Center, situated on the shore of the Pacific Ocean in California, North America. May this be a cause for all beings to live by the light of a perfect path, and to have endless bliss of body and mind.

Sarva Mangalam   Tashi Deleks

English translation by Jampa Tharchin