Rinpoche on Gliding with the Changes

Our goal has not changed. The goal of Khyentse Foundation is to support the study and practice of the dharma. But since we are victims of causes and conditions, we are very much victims of time and space, and as you know, in the past few years the world is changing so fast. Not just geopolitically, but also the human mind, the way humans think—moral values, spiritual values, emotional values are changing—although maybe not really changing. In one way it’s not a big deal; samsara has always been kind of like that. But on the other hand, it seems to have different nuances, a different kind of color, and a different kind of taste. Accordingly, we in Khyentse Foundation must try to glide with these changes.

We don’t know whether the dharma practice phenomenon is flourishing or declining. We may say that it’s declining, but how do we know? Individually, people practice in different ways. On the relative level there are concrete things that we can do, such as facilitating study, research, and translation, and organizing events. These are the sorts of things that we can do.

But as I have said, the times are changing—how we communicated with people 20 years ago, or even 5 years ago, [is different from] how we communicate with people today. And [how to communicate with] young people—that is really beyond older people like me. There is just so much information, so much education, so many things to read, and so many things you hear. So how we facilitate educating, teaching, and translating—that is going to be a forever, ongoing, evolving challenge. Challenge is maybe not the right word, but it’s something that we need to be aware of.

We must try to let go of the old habits of how we communicate, how we talk to people, how we translate things, how we organize things—even how we organize events. Even in the choice of a table or a chair, we can be so attached. Of course, we are human beings, and we have so much insecurity. We talk about not having the courage to get out of the zone, get out of the box. Every time we feel that we are sort of out of the box, we realize that we are really still in the old box. We may have been out of the 1980s box during the 2000s, but now it’s 2023. We should also be out of that box, but that is difficult. This is something that Khyentse Foundation should be aware of.

I address this so that we will have the ability to facilitate, and to help and assist students and practitioners, and also what we call traditional monasteries, both in India and beyond. We can be brave in investing in projects, maybe by closing one eye and jumping in to see whether they could lead us somewhere. This is just to remind ourselves that we always need to think ahead.

Other than that, I thank the volunteers, executives, and sponsors—all of you. You have put so much dedication into this Khyentse Foundation endeavor, and for this I am very, very grateful. On behalf of all sentient beings, I hope you continue to dedicate your time, energy, and ideas.