Dear Dharma brothers and sisters,
It’s a pleasure to be writing you on this Guru Rinpoche Day. I’ve been on the road for the past few days driving from Cooperstown, NY through Middlebury, Vermont and I’m now in Northampton, Massachusetts. Tomorrow, I’m off to Bedford, NY, and that is the final part of my East Coast program here in the United States. The long and scenic drive gave me ample time to recite mantras, reflect on things, and make aspirations for your happiness: thinking of all of you in your different cities and time zones.
During the annual Nine Yanas Retreat in Gomde Cooperstown, I had the pleasure of spending some quality time with some of you discussing your practice and meditating together on the lawn overlooking the meadow with an infinite open sky above us. During the length of the retreat, I’ve probably heard the word “meditation” mentioned at least a hundred times, repeated constantly like a mantra. But now since you are back in your daily life and no longer in a retreat setting, I hope that you’ve not detached yourself completely from your practice and that you are dedicating some time for your meditation. Also, while you are so busy with your work, family, livelihood, responsibilities, obstacles or difficult times, please remind yourself to constantly check your emotions.
When we let our emotions overtake us completely, we wind up on the same road making the same mistakes. Again and again, this happens. Why do we have to be so blind and stupid? Therefore, STOP, take a moment to look at your emotions and then and there deal with it. Always remember the Lion!
On another note, during this road trip I saw many dead animals by the road, and personally when driving in Cooperstown, I ran over two squirrels which left me very heavy-hearted. Immediately after the incident I recited a Manjushri mantra. When we accidentally kill without any intentions of killing like for say when we are walking or driving, I suggest that you recite a mantra from the Root Tantra of Manjushri seven times and then blow on your feet (traditionally) or perhaps your car/motorbike/bicycle tires. I have listed the mantra below for your convenience.
OM KAY TSA RA GAM HUNG HRI TRA
Take care of yourself, all of you.
Much love and good wishes from a simple man.
Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche