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.
Here is the recording of the satsang and the lively discussion that followed.
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.