Following my earlier post on Intents and Moelam, I had a few questions, which I share here.
I start with a story.
A lazy pig was once basking in the Sun and sleeping his day away when a pack of dogs pounced on him. The pig dashed for his life and without realising, he ran around a stupa three times. There was a teaching going on at the stupa and though the pig went around the chorten without even realising it, he was never reborn again in the lower realm.
So, first question: Is there benefit of just listening to the prayers, and teachings, even if you don’t understand it?
Yes, it does. Your mind may not understand because of the language you speak, but your conciousness, which is language-free and pure, is believed to absorb it.
It is said that when Buddha Sakymamuni spoke, every sentient being – humans, animals, devas, asuras, hungry ghosts and sprits, all understood every word he spoke.
Why am I not attending the teachings at Kuenselphodrang?
As a lay person, trapped in the BS of life, I don’t have 30 days to go there every day.
Why I don’t go when I can?
There are different types of teachings. The one currently being conferred should be attended in full. There are other teachings, which you can jump in and out. Consult your teacher, your lama.
What do you do then?
Buddhism, especially Mahayana/Vajrayana Buddhism has no meaning or benefits if you don’t practice loving kindness and compassion. So, you just don’t sit, listen to or recite mantras. You must practice them.
Make a trip to Kuenselphodrang. Make your wish. Volunteer there even for a day, or an hour. Drop some offerings (amount does not matter. Your intention and moelam do). Drop some foods or fruits. Give a ride to some old pilgrims. There are many ways to practice Buddhism. Or like the lazy pig, go and run around the big Buddha statue three times.
Addendum to the Pig Story.
The young Yangma Rimpoche, who has his center in Phobjikha, told me another version of this story when I shared with him that I was helping build a chorten in Zhemgang,
This pig was playing in the mud the whole day, and feeling tired, he dozed off when the dogs attacked. As he was running for his life, and around the chorten, the mud from his body got rubbed against the chorten at the exact point where the clay of the chorten had peeled off.
The pig, therefore, managed to repair that hole with his mud on the body. And in doing so he was released from the animal realm and reborn in higher realm.
Such is the merit of building a chorten. And yes, your consciousness – your soul, can understand the teachings, and absorb the merits of listening to the sacred verses.