Guru Rinpoche Day Teaching

~ May 28, 2015 ~

Compassion in Action

Guru Rinpoche Day Teaching • Article


Dear Friends Near and Far,

We are trying our best over here in Nepal. Thank you all so much for your support. On this Guru Rinpoche day I would like to remind you of a few things. Through the earthquake relief efforts we have been undertaking for the last month, I realized that compassion as a mental state and compassion as physical action are quite different.

Compassion is a positive motivation. Compassion is a positive dream. Compassion is a positive wish. But to actualize this and in reality put this into practical action—that kind of active compassion is very different to mental compassion. What I’d like to share with everybody today is that through the earthquake relief efforts we have been undertaking for the last month, I realized that compassion as a mental state and compassion as physical action are quite different.

Cultivating compassion as one’s motivation, sitting down on your cushion and contemplating compassion is very important. It reminds, refocuses, and reconnects one with others, with the basic empathy that regards oneself and others equally. This is extremely important.  But at the same time, we should not feel superior to the objects of compassion.

When it comes to practically dealing with people, dealing with situations, and dealing with yourself then we should always apply the six paramitas. This is how we put dharma into action. For instance, generosity or giving, being disciplined and respectful. Not reacting with emotions is patience. Acting consistently and with perseverance is diligence. Whatever you are doing, not getting distracted from the larger goal and maintaining equanimity is meditative concentration. And not having too strong attachment to your own opinion and your own ego is wisdom. Putting these six paramitas into action is so important.

We all have our own capabilities and our own limitations, whether it be our character, emotions, intelligence, and wisdom. We should be aware of this. I think that it is very important to find balance and calm within yourself while at the same time maintaining your motivation to do what you are doing.

Throughout all of this, I feel it is very important not to let go of one’s confidence and dignity. When you don’t let go of your confidence and your strength of mind, you will always succeed. We need to remind ourselves repeatedly of compassion.

As a simple person who happens to have the title ‘Rinpoche’ and who tries to do something to benefit others, what I would like to share is that through the last month’s relief work I saw my own strengths and limitations. I also saw how important it is that when you are physically tired you rest, when emotionally tired you don’t judge, when mentally tired you meditate, and when you find that you lack wisdom you remember the kind pith instructions of the teachers. It is so important to remember the dharma practices. They are the most worthwhile thing.

It is our actions that show who we are, and our motivation that decides what we become in the future.

Having been in the recent earthquakes myself, I have seen how many people are suffering and in real, immediate need. Since this is the situation, we cannot spare time to plan and discuss things as we usually would because as we use precious time to leisurely sit down and plan people are suffering intensely. At the same time as mentioning this, I would like to thank the many, many people who have helped Nepal’s earthquake victims so far. In particular, I would like to request all of you to keep on practicing compassion in action like this and contribute whatever you can, whether it be time, energy, donations, raising awareness though the media, telling your family and friends, and so on.

And let’s all remember that this is an opportunity to practice. Don’t wait for people’s appreciation. Don’t be attached to what people say. Go with your heart and follow through with your actions. Then you will see the worthwhile results. I am not saying that we shouldn’t respect others; what I am saying is don’t be too attached to such things.

I am sending this simple message in the great month of Saga Dawa, the month of the birth of Buddha, on the tenth lunar day, the anniversary of Guru Rinpoche and reminding myself and all of my friends of the precious teachings that are still alive in this world. Please remind yourself and keep practicing. At the moment we are trying to help rebuild people’s schools, homes, and community temples. So please help as much as you can. Right now is the time to help. We are trying our best over here in Nepal. Thank you all so much for your support.

Reminder: Candlelit Vigil for Saga Dawa Düchen

Lastly, I would like to remind you all about the candle-lit vigil that is taking place on the auspicious occasion of Saga Dawa Düchen, on the 2nd June 2015. It is my wish that our global sangha can come together on this day to join in prayers and to light candles for the victims of the recent earthquake in Nepal.

Click Here For Details

Sending much love and prayers and good wishes, from a simple person with a simple compassion,


Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche