Do Not be Fooled by My or any Other Ordination
From across the restaurant
she flagged me down.
“I can tell from the way you’re dressed
that you’re a Buddhist monk.”
“How can I find a legitimate
For if anyone one finds any fault with a monk
then they are not worthy to teach me!”
“It is not your fault
that your criteria
for selecting a lama
fails to align with the Buddha’s teachings
for they are infrequently taught
and practiced even less.
It is not your fault
that you seek to measure
a lama’s qualifications
based upon his or her
beauty, popularity, prestige
wealth, or age.
Nor is it your fault
that you were taught
that either your intellect or intuition
are valid means of measuring a lama.
Also, it is not your fault
that you were taught to evaluate a lama
in terms of convention’s standards
of: resume, credentials,
and letters of recommendation
as if you were interviewing
to hire a personal assistant.
Nope, none of these things are your fault
because until this moment
you did not know
that in the Buddha’s
discourse of the Kalama’s Dilemma,
as well as his Pa-ri-nib-ba-na Sut-ta
he actually taught the opposite.
But tonight you are learning
that the Buddha explained
that the ONLY valid test of a teacher
is the efficacy of his teachings.
No, it doesn’t matter
that I’ve received the four sets of vows
in the tradition of Karma Chagme Rinpoche,
nor does it matter that I’ve received teachings
of every lineage: Theravada, Mahayana, and Tantrayana;
as well as some Hindu, and Taoist as well.
It does not matter that I’ve sat for eight,
nor that popular teachers
have publically named and lauded me.
It does not matter
that I dress in the manner
of Tibet’s wild mountain yogi’s
nor that I have been teaching
for more than twenty years;
for according to the Buddha
the only test of a teacher
is the efficacy
of his teachings.
But how could you know,
how could you really know,
in your viscera,
or shpilkes if you prefer Yiddish,
Simple! Attend one of my livestreams,
eagerly, and enthusiastically.
Listen to my explanation of the Buddha’s teachings,
and practice his techniques along with me in real time.
When confusion arises,
as it inevitably will,
exercise the courage to ask me questions
in the chat window or comment area
and receive answers
in real time,
or, if you’re watching a replay,
type your questions in the comment area
that you might receive the answers you seek
in the next livestream.
Practice with me on YouTube
live, or through replay,
every morning and every evening
for seven consecutive days.
At their conclusion
engage your judgement
and evaluate the results you’ve experienced
in body and mind.
After a week of practice with me
have you grown more anxious, angry, or blue?
If so, then clearly I’m a dreadful teacher
and you simply must continue your search
for a worthy lama.
However, if after seven consecutive days
of livestream practice
you experience an improvement
in peace, love, and resourcefulness
then perhaps it could be in your best interest
to continue learning from me
and practicing with me.
By the way,
in the Jeweled Rosary of Gampopa
we read that we are not
to ransom the Dharma.
For although the Buddha
did accept donations
he charged NO fees
excluding no being
from the teachings;
and neither do I.”
Her eyes were wide
and her hand had come to rest
upon her wine glass:
nearly empty and lipstick smudged.
Her momentary peace
was shattered as an inebriated fellow
at a neighboring table
shouted something quite rude
regarding the cut of my robes
and my worthiness
to perform a sexual favor
upon his person.
Smirking, she turned back
to her dining companion
“Someone does not approve of him,
so I’ll have to find a better teacher!”
Was she really seeking a teacher
or was she seeking a self-righteous excuse
to avoid the teachings
with our undermining the illusion
of her spirituality?
Few people know
that there is no way
to answer a pointed question…
without giving away
far too much
of one’s personal power.
And as such they persist
in demanding credentials
treating many they encounter
as if they were unfortunates
vying for the privilege
of being their underling.
Come, let us exercise the courage
to learn from our errors,
and practice the two Bodhichittas
of love and letting go
that we might tread this earth
in peace and with gentleness.
Let us conclude
with a simple
call to action
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not by monasteries but by students
as such the production of these livestreams,
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just like you.
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