Host: When you see people, you see a lot of people who enter the practice of meditation, and you also meet many long term practitioners. What are the qualities that you can see increase over time of a person that practice meditation on regular basis?
Kalu Rinpoche: I think, as long as people are not in the Buddhist communities, their spiritual improvement is always there. The moment they sucked into some sense of communities, a much more rigid communities, let’s put it this way, and then it becomes a, slowly it becomes into, how should I say, “who has the title”, “who has the more recognition”, and all of those things, you know? And it goes to quite a vast range, it’s not something very small. And it is a problem. And it’s been a problem for the last thousand years.
If you read the biography of the different masters, and it has been like that. It’s not something new because some people, because of some Western people, or some Eastern people. It has nothing to do with different nationalities. It’s everything to do with, as a human being.
Like an example, Milarepa. He is a great practitioner, great meditator, equal to the mahasiddhas of India. The one thing that you have to understand is that yes, he has endured a great hardship, but his intention was pure to practice Dharma. Even though he did not receive any Dharma for many years, until he was quite old. And then when he finally received it, and then he simply left from the community, because he told to go and practice. And eventually he became the great yogi. And then his students just like that.
And also in the Shangpa Kagyu lineage, we also have the exactly the same things like that. Many great masters, they did not become great masters because they get sucked into the communities. Of course they engage with the communities for the first several years, but not the rest of their life. So they just kind of leave everything behind, receive many teachings as they should, and receive all the empowerment and transmission, and the moment their teacher says “okay, seems like you’re good to live life by yourself” and they just simply practice by themself. And that makes them a great practitioner. A great big change and improvement, and so on, so forth.
So even nowadays, when I see people, when I see people and they say “Oh Kalu Rinpoche, I want to be your student”, and I say to them “okay, then if you want to be my student, then you stay away from me”. That’s what I say. Whether I meet them, whether they have a very good life, or whether they have a poor condition in life, doesn’t matter, I give the same answer. And I say to them, “the first thing you need is Buddha’s teaching. Not in a religious way, but rather just simply try to study.” That’s what His Holiness Dalai Lama always says. Study little bit, have an analytical approach, and then eventually you will come to the clear result over time.
So that’s what I am trying to do. I’ve been doing for the last 10 years. I’ve been telling them. And I said “If you want to practice Dharma, then come to see me, when you really need to see me, and practice. I’m happy to help you, but at the same time, keep a distance from the sangha, from the centre, and from me also. Because I will provide with everything I know, and I cannot provide what I do not know.”
To be continued…