Dharma Teaching by Singha Thekchen Namdrol Rinpoche
A summary by Anne-Marie Wagonis
Rinpoche begins this teaching by telling us that we will all be reciting Cundi prayers together today. “This is for the purpose of receiving very special blessings so as to be able to fulfil your own holy and dharma needs”, Rinpoche explains.
First, Rinpoche responds to a question concerning reincarnation. “Buddha’s teachings are not about trying to convince people that there is reincarnation. The teachings are for the purpose of deepening one’s own understanding of nirvana and samsara so that we can become free of it. That is more important than questioning whether reincarnation exists or not. Personally, I would not bother trying to prove something to someone whose mind is not ready to hear the truth because no matter what you say it won’t make this person understand. That’s why I say that Buddhism is not for everybody. So, you have to know whether you are being asked a question in order to answer to someone’s ego or trying to match up to that person’s expectations. The problem many times is that people only want to hear the kind of dharma that suits their own ego and only if it does not challenge their own expectations. If dharma must be taught to satisfy one’s ego then it cannot be presented as it is. That defeats the whole purpose of dharma. You must be willing to accept the way that things really are. It’s not about whether it’s suited to your lifestyle or to the way you think. Dharma is supposed to fulfil our inner search; to help us to find the answers to waking up. It does not solve all of our own problems. It is not there to service our own personal cravings or desires. Very honestly, dharma practice is here to help us to rethink our lives. When you start to rethink your life, that is the beginning to having a life with real meaning. If you don’t think about your life, your life will have no meaning. It becomes only a series of habits. You wake up in the morning, look at your Facebook, go to work, etc… So when we come together to practice dharma, if it causes some suffering in you, that means that something is working into you. If you come to practice dharma and you only become more glorious, more famous, more proud, achieve a higher status; that seems good, but it means that something might be working upon you, but not into you. The truth is that we all need to suffer. If we don’t suffer we become creatures that are very aloof. We don’t care. If we don’t lose things, then we don’t learn how to treasure anything.”
The Cundi prayer recitation begins. Rinpoche explains that Cundi is a female Buddha. He also tells us that in the Pali tradition it is held in belief that a woman cannot attain enlightenment in a female body form. “This is not the case in our practice, Rinpoche notes.” In fact we believe that women can attain enlightenment in this one lifetime. And that women actually have more root of wisdom than men.” Rinpoche also explains that the words of this prayer should be recited and then deeply reflected upon in order to generate the proper feeling of the text. “So, close your eyes and meditate to generate this feeling. The words here are used as tools in order for you to generate the genuine feeling of the prayer.”
After the recitation of the Cundi prayer is completed, Rinpoche offers us a complete and very meaningful explanation of the prayer in its entirety, line by line. Personally, I will listen to this teaching many more times. Rinpoche’s explanation of this prayer is truly a sacred treasure to embrace!