Like a fish in the water…
Why is it these aquatic metaphors come to mind while listening to Lama Rinchen unfold the quintessence of the teachings and instructions Gendun Rinpoche gave from his arrival in Europe until his death in 1997? She shared with us for four days, under the magnificent gaze of the Institute’s Buddha.
Her words flow—tranquil, fluid, in perfect French set off by a slight English accent just for the pleasure of our ears. The forty or so people present listen, soak up, and duly appreciate the value of the gift being given to them; everything is there, from the profound meaning of the Dharma to concrete instructions for facing different types of suffering, from the precision of Mahamudra to the quasi-palpable apprehension of this leitmotif of bodhicitta: “all beings,” from Rinpoche’s life before the Dordogne to the history of ten generations of three-year retreat…
All the classic themes, as it were, crossed, recrossed, embroidered, and embroidered again…
Far from a list or a summary, these are the connections between all the aspects of the Dharma and of practice that Lama Gendun, through Lama Rinchen, bring to the surface. Everything appears simple and clear, can apply to anyone and at the same time, is meant for each person individually. Gendun Rinpoche questions me: Have I let myself be “impregnated” by the Dharma? Am I a “stone” or a “sponge?”
The care with which Rinpoche provided this precious spiritual nutrition, continuously adapting to Westerners, whom he hardly knew before his arrival, touches me profoundly: it is the care of a loving mother, of an attentive father. What other reponse to such love can one give but an unconditional commitment to the path?
I didn’t know Gendun Rinpoche, and yet I had the impression of hearing him throughout these four days. For the second time in this life (the first was during Trinley Rinpoche’s homage to Shamarpa last July), I understand from the heart the words “lineage,” “transmision,” “master-disciple relationship.” I realize in what way these are unshakeable points of reference.
Lama Rinchen’s teaching is indubitably one of the most beautiful gifts—and without doubt the most precious—that the year of Dhagpo’s 40th anniversary has offered me.
To nourish your reflections on Gendun Rinpoche’s teachings, here’s a quote from the Mahamudra1:
“When we find ourselves in a situation where it is impossible to help some one; let us make the sincere wish to have this capacity in the future. We can thus transform every situation we come across in life into a means of progressing on the path to enlightenment.
We may find ourselves in situations where we don’t have the ability to offer others aid. Some one, for example, may refuse the help we have proposed and we feel powerless. If this happens, we should not turn away from the person, but rather accept the fact that, for the moment, it is impossible to help him directly. But this does not hinder us from making wishes for him, and when the day comes that the situation evolves, we will see the result of our wishes; we will be able to concretely come to his aid.
This attitude is entirely in accord with the Buddha’s teaching. Do not carry out harmful acts, but always seek that which is positive. This is the conduct we need to uphold, whatever the situation: to act in relation to what is possible in the moment—either directly or through the means of wishing prayers.”
Bibliography (in French)
1. GUENDUNE RINPOCHÉ, Mahamudra, Editions Dzambala, 2007