Rinpoche’s opening remarks:
Welcome to everyone inside my laptop. It’s amazing that you can all fit in my laptop. Fifteen inches. Anyway, thank you so much for making this time, I am sure some of you are missing sleep, some of you are getting up very early.
It is good to remind ourselves of what is our aim, what is our mission. Because we can sometimes get derailed or distracted. So I would like just to remind everyone, including myself, that the sole purpose of Khyentse Foundation is to nurture and take care of the dharma.
If you look at our world today—and I am sure you are very well aware of this—it seems to be more and more an age of friction, an age of fanaticism, an age of extremism, an age of unreasonable greed. The only way we can bring happiness and liberation from the entanglements of aggression, passion, and ignorance, and to take a higher or more sublime birth, and eventually achieve enlightenment—is following the wisdom of the Buddha.
This is not just an arbitrary statement, this is not just a belief. We know this is true without any doubt. It has been proven logically, it has been tested, and it has worked for us on an individual level. Following the wisdom of the Buddha has even worked for big societies. We are some of a very fortunate few, a small handful of people, who know the true benefits of following the path of the Buddha. There are still so many who don’t know this, who are maybe looking for this kind of relief, but they have no access. They have no means to encounter the path.
When there is that curiosity and when there is that kind of demand, as the follower of the Buddha, it is our duty to create an environment, a situation for all of these unfortunate beings. As a follower of the Buddha, it is our duty to embrace, to hold, to propagate, to create the situation for people to get acquainted to the dharma. It’s not just a duty, it is the practice. To hold the dharma, to protect the dharma, to propagate the dharma, and to make it available for other is really our practice.
There are only two ways we can do this: study and practice. So for this, we need to create situations where people can hear the dharma, where people can contemplate on the dharma, analyze the dharma, and eventually, people can actually put that dharma into the practice. This is what we have to do.
So I’d like to remind ourselves, Khyentse Foundation’s core mission is to facilitate whoever wishes to study or practice the dharma. And to cultivate the circumstances to protect and propagate the dharma. Therefore we need to think about producing the people who will uphold the dharma. And here I am not talking about only producing tulkus or khenpos. Of course we must help do that. Traditionally there is lot of support for that.
But when we look at Buddhism 50 or 60 years on, or even 100 years on, we have to think about producing the holders of the dharma lineage, who may not necessarily be tulkus or khenpos or even monks. They definitely don’t have to be Tibetan or a citizen of a traditionally Buddhist country. This is obvious. We really have to think about how to create those conditions, how to prepare for that.
I think it’s also important that we think about the future Buddhists: our children. We don’t believe in any sort of false conversion, of course. But I’m sure, some of you are parents and your kids are growing up in your environment, where you have things like thangkas and Buddha statues. I am sure there are so many times when questions will be raised, and if we can give the proper environment, these children will be a very important asset for the future of the Buddhadharma.
We always say that Khyentse foundation doesn’t build monasteries, we build human beings. So this is a reminder of that spirit. We have to think of producing people, scholars, practitioners, and also we should think about producing future Buddhist business people. And probably future Buddhist politicians, Buddhist economists, scientists. Not only just rinpoches and tulkus. Creating people who will uphold and protect the Buddhadharma—this should be, and has always been our aim.
You have all been very generous, with your time, energy, resources, and you have all been very dedicated, for which I offer my gratitude. I have a lot of appreciation. So far, I think it is safe to say, we have been doing things that not only benefit one or two monasteries, we have gone beyond this narrow zone. And we have begun to help many.
So remembering this, please think that all your effort is creating a very important seed, and you are nurturing this seed, and even after many, many decades, after you die, your work, our work, is going to leave an imprint, a very important legacy of propagating the Buddhadharma in the world. So please continue to dedicate as you have been. Thank you.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, October 20, 2014