Shambhavi talks about the personal commitments that guide and organize her teaching and relationships to students. A lively discussion about the nature of commitment in the context of spiritual practice follows.
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ABOUT THIS PODCAST FROM SHAMBHAVI
My Dzogchen teacher, Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, published an article about some commitments he made when he started teaching. He wanted his students to know about them.
I also have personal commitments. These have emerged naturally over many years. They guide and organize my teaching and relationships to students and Jaya Kula. They are practical and at times very nitty gritty aspects of my day-to-day sadhana.
Reading my teacher’s article, I felt that it is a good idea to share my commitments with my students, other teachers and friends on the path. And this turned out to be the case.
On April 16, 2017, I gave a satsang elaborating on my commitments. Many people felt motivated to consider and write down their own commitments. Also, I believe there was more understanding that, although we may keep our commitments imperfectly at times, uncompromisingly making the effort to keep them gives us a wonderful foundation for sadhana and leads to the direct experience of our own essential goodness.
1. To teach only what I have practiced and realized myself;
2. To be honest and transparent in my dealings with students;
3. No matter what the circumstance, to try my best to embody open-heartedness and skillful compassion toward all;
4. To always and only teach what is useful and appropriate for students; to never give teachings to students who are not prepared to practice them, or teach only for money;
5. To only act for the sake of the teachings and students and never for fame or recognition;
6. To guide the Jaya Kula community to the utmost of my capacity so that it can be an authentic crucible for people who want to self-realize;
7. To respond immediately to any actions or circumstances that limit Jaya Kula’s ability to offer teachings and support to people who desire to self-realize; to not let unhealthy or harmful circumstances continue;
8. To protect and honor the teachings by never authorizing unqualified people to teach; and
9. To be ready and willing to let go of any student, any teaching, any earnings, any recognition, Jaya Kula itself, the good opinion of others and any other circumstance if doing so would serve the purpose of supporting myself and others to self-realize.
May this be of benefit.
FIRST WORDS FROM THE PODCAST
Most of you have heard me say that you really can’t make a commitment that you haven’t already made because every change in our way of doing things, or every way that we bind ourselves to a certain way of doing something, that time has to be right for us to have the capacity to do that. We may have a desire to do something, but it’s not the right time. Then it means that we don’t have what’s called the bhumikhara. We don’t have the actual, practical ability to put something into action because of the times, because our desire isn’t strong enough, or the circumstances and our desire are not quite right.
Some people quit smoking so many times because they know smoking is bad for them and they don’t want to get sick, but yet somehow, the desire to smoke is stronger than the desire to quit until that day when all of a sudden, it’s over. I’m sure a lot of you have had that experience with something or other, where you try to change something a lot of times and it never worked, and then one day, it was just easier and you just did it. Right? You can look at these things in terms of astrology, too, and see, you know, when it might be easier or less easy to change some particular pattern. That’s one of the useful pieces of information that you can get out of astrology. Commitments are really made before you make them. And at the same time, they’re regularly imperfect. When we make a commitment, especially a commitment that has to do with our spiritual development, in a sense, we’re making a commitment to be enlightened, or to behave in an enlightened way; but we’re not enlightened. We’re only partially enlightened. And we’re partially ignorant.
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