Okay you can ask some questions now.

YouTube video: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Love & Relationships - Q&A section, 8 April 2012, Singapore.

To all the lonely ones – see the Value and Merit of Loneliness…it’s a good investment; it’s the Dawn of Wisdom (Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche)

Question: Why people always feel loneliness? Is it because we are insecure or lack of sense of belonging and also we do not know who we are? And it follows with the second question: why do we need companions? Why can’t we live alone?

Rinpoche: Well, if we can live alone, that would be very good. This is what the yogis are good at; that’s why they are free from all kinds of baggage. Eh, well, the loneliness – this is kind of philosophical question for me actually. The loneliness is rooted, according to Buddhism, again to this insecurity that I was talking about. When I say ‘insecurity’, I am talking about basically - even though we say me, I am David, I’m this, I’m that, even we have a name, a position, a job, a husband, wife, a degree, mm, I don’t know, a flat, car, eh, I don’t know, mm, penthouse, all of these – on going, there’s an on-going insecurity which is we never, have never been proved one hundred per cent that we exist.

And actually all these like wrapping the skin, you know, cutting the wrist, getting a degree, and getting married; all of these is actually we are doing this so that it’s temporarily giving us some sense of existence. So this insecurity is actually; it can manifest as one because you know, you know. You know, I was talking to you earlier – the flower that I see, you’ll never see. So we can never share real flower. We can just pretend that we are sharing. And that is so lonely. I can never share with you what I am experiencing. It’s, it’s so lonely. What I’m experiencing, only I can do it.

That, that is; now if, if you are a Buddhist, loneliness is ‘dawn of wisdom’. You’re supposed to invest on this loneliness. If you are lonely, you are feeling awkward with this samsaric life. You can sense it is not working. You can kind of feel that it’s all a little bit, what you call it, overpromising, you know, sort of. So you can feel this. So this feeling awkward, feeling not belonging to this – is actually a very important mental factor that a practitioner is supposed to invest. Dezhung Rinpoche said this, if I modify this a little bit; you know when we, when we were young, the whole of our value is going to the beach and build, you know, sandcastle. And we get excited about it. We just love that castle.

After a while, when you’re around teenage age, sandcastle doesn’t do the trick anymore. It’s then, I don’t know, fast cars, video games; but then when you are around middle age, that doesn’t work. Then it would be job, it would be, I don’ t know, position, it would be colleagues, marriage, blah, blah, blah. Then when you’re around

ninety, that game doesn’t work anymore. Then you, I don’t know what; when you’re around ninety, you begin to value things that you never, you overlook like salt shaker, table cloth and stuff like that.

Then, so you have changed the toys but some of us – we can sort of fast forward this within few months. Okay, and then look at our lives –wow, it’s kind of, you know like meaningless. So that awkwardness will make you lonely, and that loneliness, for the spiritual people, is very important. When a bodhisattva visits Buddha – it’s in the Prajnaparamita Sutra - and the bodhisattva complains to the Buddha that “I feel so sad. I feel so sad about this, this meaningless life and all of that and it’s almost painful”. Then the Buddha said “You know, this is a noble wealth. You have so much merit, that’s why you are feeling sad about these things”.

If you don’t have that merit, you’ll be distracted to all these gadgets and think this is life. By the time you reach to a point where you actually see “Wait a minute. What happened, all this ninety-five years?” Then it’s too late. So for the spiritual person, it’s important, okay, the next question, next question?

Transcribed from YouTube video: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Love & Relationships - Q&A section, 8 April 2012, Singapore.

On those who have a different sexual orientation… (Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, Love & Relationship Q & A)

Question: I have been the victim of discrimination at work due to my sexual orientation. It reached a state where I handed my resignation. I did not disclose my orientation, sexual orientation. In hindsight, what could I have done better? Looking forward, should I disclose my orientation to employers from the start. I seem to observe that people gossip or hint less when I’m more upfront.

Rinpoche: Yeah, it’s a very important question and I totally understand. Myself, a few years ago, I performed several marriage ceremonies. I do that by the way (laughter). And I married two men and I also married two women. Lots of eyebrows were raised. I mean, of course, they must be out casted; maybe not so much in America but maybe, yeah. But I, myself, the performer of the marriage “How can you do this? What are you doing?

For those who have a different sexual orientation, eh, many cultures, many habits, is unfortunately not tolerant. And this is so unfortunate. I don’t have a, a clear answer for this. I don’t know whether you should be disclosing this or whether you should be hiding this. It depends with the different situations, I think. I can only say this is very unfortunate. I hope, I think because of the communication and the infrastructure, it’s kind of it’s getting better, but at very slow pace.

I have myself acted as a messenger, even as recent as about a week ago. You know this, you know, like this boy, who is now like almost forty-five years old and his very traditional parents – just wandering, you know, why he’s not interested in girls. And I know all the situation, and then this boy is asking me to be the messenger, you know the negotiator with the parents. And I did that actually; I did it, surprisingly the mother took it quite well. The father was a bit tough. During the conversion, I have noticed the father unnecessarily opened his mouth many times and paused, you know, he opened his mouth and paused. I could feel that this was not accepted that easily, but, eh, very unfortunate.

I don’t know, I don’t have any, eh, what you call it, mm, practical answer. All I can say, if you are a follower of the Buddhist teachings, you should have aspiration so that not only yourself but those who are going through with the same problem will also liberate from this kind of pain. And if you are one if you are one of those busy mantra lovers, you should chant mantra called Mantra of Interdependence – OM YE DHARMA HETU…This somehow works for some people, so maybe you can try, you know. You have nothing to lose…okay.

( note : Mantra of Interdependent Origination = In Sanskrit this mantra is: om yé dharma hetu prabhawa hetun teshan tathagato hyavadat teshan tsa yo nirodha ewam vade mahashramanah soha which can be translated as: “All dharmas originate from causes. The Tathagata has taught these causes,

And also that which puts a stop to these causes. This too has been taught by the Great Shramana.” ) Transcribed from YouTube video: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Love & Relationships - Q&A section, 8 April 2012, Singapore.

Ending Difficult Relationships? How to do it and know when to end (Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, Love & Relationship Q & A)

Question: How to end difficult relationships? How to know when to end it? (Laughter)

Rinpoche: This’s so difficult. (Laughter) Very difficult – I don’t think you can decide; I told you, remember, it’s all, you know, if only that’s easy – like life is like a light switch, you know, like you can switch it off and on. It’s dependent on so many different cause and conditions. Many times, the fact that you cannot just end, also could be with many, with really inspiring and good reasons; you don’t want to hurt other person, you don’t want to hurt a lot of other people. Eh, you know, in our, in many times we say to be strict is important, you know, to be honest and strict is important, but I don’t know - I doubt.

To be skillful is very important too, you know; because you don’t want to, you may be straight and end a relationship but you may suffer whole life with the guilt. Again here, I have no specific answer. You just, my only answer is you just have to know that it depends on so much cause and conditions. We are basically so dependent on that. I mean, this ending a relationship is equally difficult to beginning a relationship, and it’s equally illusive. We never know but as I said when the karmic wind blows, it will end and when it ends, nothing you can do again.

My only Buddhist answer, if you like, is to simply put - go with the flow. You’d better because if you’re trying to resist, it might break yourself and others. It’s very difficult to answer this one – okay.

Transcribed from YouTube video: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Love & Relationships - Q&A section, 8 April 2012, Singapore.

Your partner says “Now you should have less expectations of me”. How do you react? (Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, Love & Relationship Q & A)

Question: We are given, Rinpoche, examples of being nice, expectation, like “Are you hungry? Are you cold?” And your partner turns and says “Now you should have less expectations of me.” What and how should we do to react to this?

Rinpoche: If your partner says you should have less expectation from me, is that what you are saying? And if you are a follower of the Buddhist path, sounds like you have quite a good partner (laughter).

As soon as you hear, your expectation will grow ninety degrees, I have a feeling. It will annoy you, that’s the problem. Okay, the next question, anymore?

Transcribed from YouTube video: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Love & Relationships - Q&A section, 8 April 2012, Singapore.

What and how can I be open and straightforward with my family and friends with regards to my ‘gay’ sexual orientation? (Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, Love & Relationship Q & A)

Question: We have a very long question, but it’s actually a statement. Rinpoche-la I’m openly gay with my friends and family. Before coming up to

them, I was socially withdrawn. Now after coming out, I feel more complete and didn’t feel that I am living a lie. However my parents, I feel, do not fully accept me and insist that I continually keep it a secret from my extended family – it has many years already. What should I do to reconcile the hurt that I feel and the grief my parents feel with having a gay son?

Rinpoche: In, within this context, as I said earlier, within this kind of culture, I don’t know what you can do. I don’t have a, eh, what you call it, easy answer to this one.

See I was saying, we don’t know many times – to be, to be straightforward, to be open is cherished and valued, but to be skillful is also, has to be valued - because many times the truth, the honest truth cannot be easily, eh, appreciated by others; cannot be digested. Even the Buddha, if you look at his teachings, the absolute teachings; you know there are many different levels of teachings. Many, many, many teachings are we call expedient teachings – teachings that require interpretation.

The direct, you know, naked absolute teachings such as Vajracchedika Sutra, are very difficult to adjust, I mean digest. I mean here Buddha says there is no Buddha, there is no form of the Buddha, Buddha never taught, so on and so fort h. And that’s shocking; you know that’s like un-digestible. So in many other sutras, Buddha talks about his past life. Once when he was a rabbit, once when he was a peacock, so on and so forth – Jatakamala Sutra. And then there are other sutras he says there is something called Sukhavati, Amitabha realm, where there are lotuses, their swimming pools, and stuff like that. So Shakyamuni Buddha was being very skillful, you know the approach.

So I would suggest it’s very good of you for wanting, you know, to be open but I like you to be also skillful because, eh; actually, the fact that you want to be open is already very wholesome enough. Then we have to think about consequences of your truth; eh, if it is going to disrupt family, friends, parents – this is where you have to be very skillful. And this particular issue, this particular phenomenon seem to be one of the most stubborn problem that is, eh, kind of, especially; it dwells specially with culture, specially the society that has, that has, you know, old long tradition. And the; yes to be skillful – that’s about all I can say.

Transcribed from YouTube video: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Love & Relationships - Q&A section, 8 April 2012, Singapore.

We are inviting questions now. If you have anymore, I can pass the microphone to you, because if you are unable to walk to the microphone, I understand.

Rinpoche, perhaps you should write a book …(Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, Love & Relationship Q & A)

Question: While waiting for a little while, I like to draw one question. It’s actually a conclusion question. I help to read out from one of the students here. Rinpoche, in summary, what would you be, what would be your advice for a successful relationship. Please give your main points. Perhaps you should write a book or the next one.

Rinpoche: What was the question? Question: Perhaps you write a book.

Rinpoche: Oh, cannot this one (laughter). You should, eh; oh, I just finish reading a book that’s quite good. It’s really good. I am sure many of you have read. Eh, it’s a Japanese author. What’s the…Murakami; it’s called Norwegian Wood. That’s quite a good love story – profound, I think. You should read that.

Murakami “Norwegian Wood”. Norwegian Wood is a Beatles’ song, isn’t it? (Yes – reply). Right, it’s good. It’s kind of tragic, of course (laughter); that’s why it’s good. But it has a good insight – it has. That’s about the most pure love as you can imagine, I would say. So, forgiving, so compassionate, so, what you call it? Yeah.

Transcribed from YouTube video: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Love & Relationships - Q&A section, 8 April 2012, Singapore.

From the Buddhist point of view, is engaging in a gay relationship or gay sexual activity a Breaking of the Precepts? … ((Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, Love & Relationship Q & A)

Question: One more question; this is a popular topic. Just adding onto the gay issue – from the Buddhist point of view, is engaging in a gay relationship or gay sexual activity - a breaking of the precepts?

Rinpoche: NO, that’s easy. (Laughter). And this is; I need, I need to build my answer for this one otherwise a partial answer might miss, make you, mislead you.

Every religion has an enemy; looks like. Like Christians and Muslims, they have like Satan and so on and so forth – right, every religion. And Buddhism also has one – that, that devil of Buddhism – and what is that? It’s called DISTRACTION.

Constant distraction – that is the Satan of Buddhism, so this. So understandably the main quintessence of the Buddhist practices – obviously, MINDFULNESS; this is where mindfulness is taught in the Theravada tradition, in the Mahayana tradition, in the Vajrayana tradition. Mindfulness is the thing, okay.

So what I want to say is this. Eh, that, that’s one part; I want you to keep that in your head. okay. Distraction is the main problem, okay. Now in connection to that, in Buddhism morality is secondary, wisdom is the primary. Shantideva said (Tibetan phrase) – a morality without the wisdom is a pain in the neck. It is, it actually makes you hypocritical, it makes you judgmental; it makes you puritanical, so on and so forth.

This is true, you know. When I was growing up, my tutors – they used to really, you know like “Watch out for this, you know like Western girls. They’re immoral, they’re, you know, they’re like blah, blah, all of this; you know like American girls, you know English girls, they’re immoral. American girls are so immoral, they wear short skirts, all these blah, blah, you understand.” They used to tell me this. Much years, years later when I went to America, for my surprise, I found out and I realize Americans are much more moralistic. American society, American value is so much into more moral, moralistic; this is why, if you can recall, the whole nation debated where, where Clinton’s cigar went in – remember? Who cares? (Laughter)

As long as he’s doing his job, good as a President, who cares what he, did with his cigar. But Americans care so much about morality; so this is the thing.

Actually in Buddhism, wisdom is much more important. Without the wisdom, everything makes you proud, makes you hypocritical – basically it’s pain. You got that. I want to keep that in your head to answer this question.

So, in Buddhism, generally they; these are general, you know, very, very general sort of rule; such as like, eh, you should not kill, you should be generous, you should not steal, so on and so forth – so-called non-virtuous action and virtuous action. You must have heard this before: ten non-virtuous actions and ten virtuous actions and so on and so forth.

But how do you define what is virtuous and what is not? If an act, if an act brings you closer to the truth, it’s a virtuous action in Buddhism – okay. If an act; okay, so if an act of whatever, for instance, if in order to save like these two; let’s say these two are being chased by a, you know, murderer. In order to save these two; the murderer asks me – have you seen these two? I say no; that’s a blatant lie. There’s an act “lying” but I’m saving them. Such kind of act; see outwardly it’s a non-virtuous but actually it’s bringing you closer to the truth, through the compassion, love and all that.

So therefore, especially in Mahayana Buddhism, action that brings you closer to the truth is virtuous. Action that does not bring closer, that brings you further from the truth, even though it may be seemingly virtuous such as going to Bodhgaya and do hundred thousand prostrations; and making sure anybody looking at you so that you become famous, whether anybody is taking photographs of you, you know, to cherish all of that. This brings you further from the truth.

That is not virtuous. So therefore there are categories - such as non-virtuous and virtuous. In the non-virtuous there is something called, you know, like sexual activities are generally considered non-virtuous. But it’s never specified without what orientation; even on the Mahayana level. I am even talking about the Tantra; that’s, that’s even more beyond our normal thinking; but even on the Mahayana level.

So it doesn’t matter what kind of orientation you belong to. As long as you have this kind of sexual activity that takes you away from the truth – yes, it is non-virtuous action. But that could be anything; it could be shopping too. It could be, I don’t know, anything that takes you. So, bottom line – my answer this is; my answer to you is that, eh, what you call it; Buddhist sutras and shastras would not say, eh, heterosexual is lesser non-virtuous than, you know, homosexual, understand. That, there is no this, you know what you call it, eh, discrimination like that.

Having said that though - Buddhism is influenced by culture a lot; a little bit unfortunate but unavoidable. So when Buddhism travelled to Tibet, Japan, China, of course India, that’s where it originated – the cultural value may have an influence, right. So this is why even in Singapore, I’m sure many of the Mahayana Buddhists; I don’t know whether any are here today; when Tibetan Buddhism come here with these hideous thangkas, you know, like thangkas with the father and mother consort embracing – basically PORNOGRAPHIC, you understand. (Laughter)

So, so the Mahayana people go bananas – oh, what is this? What is, THIS is Buddhism? Can’t be; this is some, you know, Hindu, I don’t know, some cult stuff. So culturally, you know, I cannot wipe out that problem. That is so much into the culture. So, of course, the tantric method of this practice of consort and the deities with the consort is not; eh, it has amazing wisdom, amazing, amazing wisdom.

Eh, if you want to make a fire, what do you need? - Wood. If you want to make, if you want to bring wisdom, what do you need? – Emotion. That is the beauty. And if you have water inside your ear, what do you do? The simple and most economic way is put more water, and it comes out. Likewise if you want to get rid of emotions, what do you? - The best and the simplest way – practice emotion, so on and so forth. But those are, eh, X-rated; the best, exclusive, only exclusive, only for people who can chew it basically, who can digest it.

Yes, we have problems with mm, eh, more orthodox, you know, thinking, of course but you know, like, it’s quite interesting actually, it’s really interesting. When you go to places like Sri Lanka, they have like Avalokiteshvara, they have like Manjushri also, but they are treated as, you know, like, eh, clerk; you know, like go for the boys. You know like - oh, yeah, they’re Buddha’s students, you know, those lay people. They happen to be one of those nice boys, but they didn’t have the guts to renounce the world, so they still wear jewels, they’re still lay people basically - but, so that level.

But now we come to Mahayana, Mahayana places like China, Japan; of course Avalokiteshvara, even the Taoist shrine, you find her, you know like great bodhisattvas; accepted even though they are not a monk, accepted as an object of refuge – right. Even in the Mahayana monastery the monks shave head, all of that – they prostrate to Kuan Yin, who is a woman, with all the jewels and all of that. Mahayana - so the wisdom is much more different. But in the Vajrayana, also it’s much more different than that level; that, that depends on the culture and how much you can; you know different culture, acceptance and stuff like that. Okay one more question and then I think we can end. Two more questions, is it?

Transcribed from YouTube video: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Love & Relationships - Q&A section, 8 April 2012, Singapore.

Attendant: If there is any more question, can the person go to the microphone? I’ll conclude with the last question, a whole list of it. Rinpoche: Do you want to go there?

Question: Rinpoche, how do we personally respect this high policy during the process of sexual activity when we tend to be distracted from the police of various when we come to the most exciting part? (Laughter)

Rinpoche: Well, this is actually quite, you know for someone who is a student of Vajrayana, myself, it is a very valuable question. But I don’t know the audience here so much, I mean; therefore I cannot give you the complete answer. But it’s a very valuable question. You know, I appreciate this question very much.

Please ask again in, in the future, but probably in a different sort of surrounding. But since you ask, I will just briefly eh, answer you because, within the Mahayana context, okay.

Attendant: We have a string of questions after you said that ….

Rinpoche: Wait, wait; so what I would say, eh – basically mindfulness teaching, especially in the method of vipassana and categorize into four categories, you know body, feeling, mind, and the dharma – right. We have the four categories; you know mindfulness of body, mindfulness of feeling, mindfulness of mind, mindfulness of the references, dharma.

So during the intimacy, you can actually, if you are experienced, you can actually use first two. And if you are practicing the Mahayana, Mahayana practice, I don’t see any wrong by thinking that this is all, you know impermanence. This bliss, this seemingly temporary bliss that I am experiencing is an illusion. But this seemingly blissful experience; may all sentient beings also have this kind of blissful – you know, like that.

So Mahayana, you can, you can trigger this kind of activities with this kind of thought. You know I cannot say it will become virtuous, but I can also say that since we are such a deluded being and since we are stuck as a samsaric being, and yet we are trying so hard to follow the Buddha’s teachings, and if you are so sincere to incorporate everything that you do as a path of the dharma - there’s, I can, I don’t see any reason why not incorporate mindfulness even in this kind of activity. Okay.

Transcribed from YouTube video: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Love & Relationships - Q&A section, 8 April 2012, Singapore.

On the Attitude/Action of a Bodhisattva towards the partner...(Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Love and Relationships Q&A)

Question: How would a bodhisattva or one gone beyond react or not react to a partner who may be forgetting emptiness, is suffering from expectations of you? Rinpoche: How would the bodhisattvas what? Question: How would a bodhisattva react to a partner who is forgetting emptiness and expecting a lot of the bodhisattva? Rinpoche: Oh, well; if this bodhisattva knows emptiness, then he or she must have compassion. So someone who is compassionate will look at the partner with compassion like a mother who has extra love for sick person, eh, sick child. The bodhisattva will have more love and compassion to the partner who doesn’t understand emptiness. That’s easy to answer. That’s very Buddhist...okay.

Transcribed from YouTube video: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Love & Relationships - Q&A section, 8 April 2012, Singapore

Insights into How Partners could help each other in the Spiritual path... (Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Love and Relationships Q&A Question: Thank you. Rinpoche, share some insights on how people could use each other as merits for each other’s spiritual quest. Rinpoche: That, that’s possible. That’s possible. You just; you know, I was telling earlier beginning to give freedom to each other – that is always the key. And especially if both partners have a, you know, same direction such as if both believe in the same spiritual path. Then they can exchange their notes. They can volunteer to be the object of patience. You know, the Sunday, maybe you take over; you know, Monday, the partner – you know like that and remind her. Oh, that’s very possible. You are talking about the Mahayana level, right? - Yeah, very possible. Question: Thank you. I just like how to – the suggestions? Rinpoche: As I was saying, really, I wasn’t really being amusing here to actually; eh, I suggested to a few people to take turns, like this week the husband is not allowed to lose patience; next week, you know, like that, eh, and contemplation. Eh, and you know it’s like this; so co-spiritual path requires, let’s say mindfulness; spiritual path like mindfulness. It’s easy to be mindful when you are sitting on a cushion inside a shrine room. It is – that’s good; but you have more bonuses if you can be mindful when you

are losing your temper or emotion. So that you can exercise with your partner; you can also pledge together that’s what you too will do. And it really works...okay.

Transcribed from YouTube video: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Love & Relationships - Q&A section, 8 April 2012, Singapore

The LAST QUESTION and the CONCLUSION …. (Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, Love & Relationship Q & A)

Question: The greatest love is to love oneself, right? If I love myself enough, then I don’t need any love from others, right? How to gain my internal strength to love myself in order to love others?

Rinpoche: I see. This is a little bit tricky question, eh, because generally we do love ourselves, eh, but I have a feeling in this case, the term is not really love. I think it’s more like respect.

Eh, of course, when we say love someone, we actually mean that I love myself, I want you to also love me (laughter). It’s kind of; we’re looking for double happiness (laughter). But eh, gaining the respect for oneself, especially in Mahayana Buddhism, we must have the confidence of having the buddha nature. I think that is probably the best.

Okay, I think; I know there are many questions but time is running out. We have, I am sure there are a lot more exciting things to do today for all of you. And eh, I’m happy that we have this encounter and this discussion. I don’t, recalling what we have done the past two hours, I don’t think we have done anything meaningful but it was eh, good that we sort of stuck together. Anyway, mm, try to reflect our emotional life a little bit.

I don’t know; so therefore I don’t know whether there is any merit in what we have done the past two hours. But IN CASE there is, then let us dedicate this merit to all those who are looking for love or those who are longing for love, those who are already in love, those who are struggling with a relationship, those who are struggling not having a relationship, those who are, eh, what you call it, eh, longing for companionship, those who are lonely, those

who are overly not lonely, all of those – may they all see the fact and the truth of our existence.

And if you were there last night, as I said, eh, the relative truth of, I mean the truth of this cyclic, samsaric existence is, at the end of the day - eventually samsaric life cannot be fixed. You have to accept that. You have to accept that we all have terminal disease. We just have to accept - sooner or later, everything is going to fall apart. That is a good beginning. Thank you. (Huge applause)

Transcribed from YouTube video: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Love & Relationships - Q&A section, 8 April 2012, Singapore.

THE END

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