- News / Media
- Mandala Magazine
- FPMT News
- Important Announcements
- Lama Zopa Rinpoche News
- RSS Feeds
- Social Media
- Videos, Photos, & Publications
- Education News
- Prayers & Practice Materials
- Mantras and Sutras
- Death and Dying
- Teachings and Advice
- Holy Objects
- FPMT Service Seminars
- Offer Your Support
- Buddhism FAQ
- Spiritual Director
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama
- Lama Thubten Yeshe
- Lama Zopa Rinpoche
- Rinpoche’s Teachers
- Resident Teachers
- Touring Lamas
- Shugden/Dolgyal Information
- Make a Donation
- FPMT’s Charitable Projects
- Animal Liberation Fund
- Big Love Fund
- Education Scholarship & Development Fund
- International Merit Box Project
- Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund
- Lama Zopa Rinpoche Bodhichitta Fund
- Long Life Puja Fund
- Online Learning Fund
- Padmasambhava Project for Peace
- Prajnaparamita Project
- Prayer Wheel Fund
- Preserving the Lineage Fund
- Puja Fund
- Sera Je Food Fund
- Stupa Fund
- Stupa to Minimize Harm from the Elements
- Tibetan Health Services Project
- Translation Fund
- News about FPMT Projects
- Other Projects within FPMT
- Support the International Office
- Give Where Most Needed
- About FPMT
- Join Friends of FPMT
- Osel Hita
- International Office
- Regional & National Offices
- Statements of Appreciation
- Volunteer & Jobs
- Annual Review
An Interview with Khensur Jampa Tegchok
Ven. Lobsang Drolma recently sat down with Khensur Jampa Tegchok of Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa and asked a few questions about his work teachings Westerners. What followed was a touching and insightful exchange.
Ven. Drolma: Geshe-la, how do you see us Westerners?
Khensur Jampa Tegchok: There are clearly different types of people studying the Dharma, people who learn wholeheartedly and some people who are learning for the benefit of themselves in order to get a job in the future. And some people are in the middle. So there are different types of people.
VD: It is very difficult for us to live a simple life. I see you are like a Kadampa geshe, how can we try to live a little like that?
KJT: I think it would be difficult in the West to try to be like a Kadampa, to do like the kadampa tradition. Not just only because there are a lot of distractions from outside, but also the mind is the most difficult to control. Holding the mind and trying to be like the Kadampa tradition is not so easy because it means the person is capable of not letting ignorance take power over him, not surrender to the ignorance. So, a little bit difficult.
VD: Meditation is not always happy. It takes a lot of effort and there is craving to go do activities – how can one cut that, this not being happy while sitting?
KJT: To be happy in meditation means having reached single-pointedness. To get this single-pointedness, to reach it, you have to work a lot. Generally people have a lot of distractions and there is also the power or the influence of the ignorance. Of course, during the first stage is not easy to have joyful meditation.
VD: And when we will get calm abiding, when is the moment to go for that?
KJT: All these things will be happen after a lot of effort. Effort means that there is a lot of struggling. It is not something that you will get without struggling, without effort. This joyful state will not come just like throwing one cat out from a house; it is not that easy because you will have to struggle and apply a lot of effort always, everyday. After that you will get calm abiding.
VD: Is it good to practice calm abiding together with tantra?
KJT: There are different methods depending on different capacities. Some people are good doing it with tantra, but generally it is advisable to start your basic calm abiding with objects of observation, like an image of Buddha.
VD: Will your teacher tell you when to go for it?
KJT: Generally, you will have to get information from other sources. Do not think there is always somebody available in front of you to teach – you should try yourself.
VD: How would you explain this emptiness we are studying? How does it feel, what is it? Is it like a kind of place where everything changes and one has a kind of freedom? What is the experience of someone who knows emptiness?
KJT: Just by understanding, just knowing that emptiness has so many subtleties. A person who understands emptiness has clear in mind the way, where he wants to go. Maybe you rejoice after seeing all the texts, scriptures and so many sutras. Then you rejoice that at least you understand the core meaning of the sutra. Maybe for this reason you might get some kind of rejoicing feeling, but there is not pervasion that you feel certain state of happiness. This is just talking in terms of subtle feeling. Just knowing emptiness is not enough to get that kind of feeling easily.
VD: And the experience of great love, how is it? How can we have a taste from it?
KJT: This we can prove by just seeing His Holiness the Dalai Lama, without reasons. Maybe you didn’t know His Holiness before, but just by staying near him you feel some kind of peace, trust, love and more tranquillity, this is the power of compassion.
VD: When looking back on your life, how do you think it has been?
KJT: There is not much to think about. Also I do not having so much of a vivid feeling that “I did this, I did that in the past…” It seems more like somebody just flowing, not having an idea of what he did previously, just flowing with the time.
VD: And in the West, what is your feeling, travelling from one center to another, knowing many people?
KJT: Generally, I keep in mind to try as much as possible to teach to Western people the profound meaning of the sutras and in order to do that, I trying to put in as much effort as possible from my side to be able to teach meaningfully. This is what in this moment I have in my mind.
VD: If you had to give one piece of advice, what is the most important thing?
KJT: The only advice I could give is that the person should take ethics and truth as principles. And then try to stay in peace as much as possible.
VD: Gesh-la, please, always take care of us, will you?
KJT: Yes, yes … So, are you learning well these days?
VD: I am very lazy, but I think something is coming.
KJT: Sometimes it happens – feeling lazy, to feel that you cannot do this or that. But it is not something permanent; it is something to be changed. So, just try to do your best, make effort, and by effort you will get near the perfection.
- Mandala eZine FAQ
- Mandala for 2014
- Mandala for 2013
- Mandala for 2012
- Mandala for 2011
- Mandala for 2010
- Dying is Better than This Flower
- Like Nectar on Flowers: The Selfless Service of FPMT-Registered Teachers (Geshe Section)
- Like Nectar on Flowers: The Selfless Service of FPMT-Registered Teachers (History Section)
- The Ever-Changing Forms of Buddhism
- An Interview with Khensur Jampa Tegchok
- Meeting Ven. Amy Miller
- FPMT News Around the World
- Still Cooking
- The ‘Roo from Black Saturday
- MAITRI – Where Every Individual Matters
- Welcome to Root Institute!
- Tara Children’s Project
- Editor’s Choice
- FPMT TEACHER TRIVIA ANSWER KEY
- Mandala for 2009
- Mandala for 2008
- Mandala for 2007
- Mandala for 2006
- Mandala for 2005
- Mandala for 2004
- Mandala for 2003
- Mandala for 2002
- Mandala for 2001
- Mandala for 2000
- Older Archives
- Spirituality and Materialism
- Mandala Magazine for Prisoners Fund
- Mandala Advertising and Bulk Sales Payments
- Preliminary Practices by the Zillion
- Thank You!
- ‘Subduing the Mind, Actualizing the Path’ Resource Area
- Maitreya Buddha Statues Photo Gallery
- Khensur Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup Rigsel
Subscribe to our Feed
Don’t forget that the starving person preoccupied by hunger and the person obsessing over what to buy next at the supermarket are basically the same. Mentally, rich and poor are equally disturbed, and, fundamentally, one is as unhappy as the other.
Portland, OR 97214-4702 USA
Tel (503) 808-1588 | Fax (503) 232-0557