It has been a week since Lhasray Rinpoche returned to China. I thought of special friendships developed between Rinpoche and his new students as well as between me and friends of the Foundation. I thought of the many places we visited during Rinpoche’s stay including Areerat’s special land and and a gigantic Buddha stone carving factory in Chiang Rai. I thought of many activities we did at Khadiravana, countless preparations Prachum and Yontan did before the Stupa ceremony and “namjai” special support from students and friends. There were difficult moments when we were tired and pressured by the work. But there were also special moments of joy, peace and compassion when we recited the Guru Sitthi mantra while visualing that the mantra goes everywhere in the universe.

One morning at a hotel lobby in Chiang Mai, Rinpoche suddenly taught me a Dzogchen lesson. He urged me to look at Dharma practice from everything a practitioner does. Dharma practice doesn’t occur only when a practioner sits cross-legged, with palms folded, but it is inseparable from his or her action, behavior and personality. Dzogchen perspective holds that Samsara is no different from Nirvana. Nirvana is here and now. There is neither purity nor impurity. Everything is only the state of our mind.

Rinpoche’s visit not only helps me see things more clearly but it enhances my understanding of faith and relationship between teacher and student. It also gave me a hard lesson of seeing the “ugly” side of myself when the “self” that I hold on to got challenged in situations that provoke anger, jealousy, insult, and disappointment.

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