Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The awakening of a non-Buddhist

Over the years I have received feedback from readers who came across my blog and enjoyed reading some of my posts. These readers, both Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, especially enjoyed reading those entries which are related to Buddhism or Tibetan Buddhism.

Long ago I posted an entry on Tara, and also embedded Tara's mantra from Youtube, sang so beautifully by Ani Choying Drolma. Tara is a female Buddha in Vajrayana Buddhism who is able to fulfill all the wishes of beings. Tara is the manifestation of the compassion of all the Buddhas of the three times. She is also the goddess who carries out and accomplishes the enlightened activities of the Buddhas.

A week ago, a reader, R, commented on this Tara entry: "Don't know why but I teared up very badly when I heard the Tara mantra sang by Ani Choying Drolma. I don't understand the context but something inside me was very deeply moved. Thank you for posting."

I replied R: "Thanks for listening to Tara's mantra! You may have some connection with Tara. Please do get to know Tara, she is known to eliminate obstacles swiftly. May you be blessed by Tara".
Then 2 nights ago, R sent me an email. I was so touched after reading her email  that I obtained her permission to publish the contents here (excluding some parts which are confidential):

I am the same person who left the comment about the Tara mantra. Just to give you a little background about myself - I have been attending Sunday school since young, a Christian secondary school and have been a Christian for more than 30 years. In the past year, I have felt an unrest in my heart - I don't know exactly how to describe it but it's like a calling to find something else, to search for something, someone who's there for me. I also don't know why but I was compelled to go to your blog.

This is the strangest thing. I had known your blog through another blogger, and had only commented once or twice in your blog. But I felt a very strong compulsion to visit your blog and to click on your Buddhism tag. And I read through all your posts on Buddhism, regardless whether I understood the Dharma terms or not. And like I told you, I heard the Tara mantra for the first time and without knowing the words or understanding why, I not only teared up but started sobbing very badly. I do not know why too. Following your comment to know Tara, I started to read up extensively (but not enough!) about Tibetan Buddhism and Dharma teachings. And I have found answers to many questions I had been pondering over for the longest time. I also found an inner peace and happiness that I have not experienced in a long time. I had been indulging in lots of material comforts and luxuries but nothing seem to satisfy after a while. I would be thrilled for a while and then I would be extremely dissatisfied and bored, looking for the next high. This is an extremely disruptive cycle of unrest and samsara in itself. Not to disrespect the bible or Christian teaching, I do not feel the same inner peace, much less happiness. Indeed, I would in fact be angry after attending church!

Sorry to write such a long winded email to you but I just wanted to give you some background before I thank you.

Thank you very much for your efforts and sincerity in writing about your experiences and learning of the Dharma. I am deeply appreciative of your generous and unselfish sharing which had brought immeasurable peace, a peace that I had not felt for a very long time. Following your blogging about the grand pujas by Dro-Phen Ling, I also attended the three day event, which had blessed my family with great merits, karma purifications, health, wealth and wisdom blessings. I had learnt even more during these three days. I felt very touched by Dagyab Kyabgon Rinpoche, who never fail to fill me with immense warmth with his kind gaze and wise eyes. Sometimes when he looks directly into my eyes, I feel a very indescribable disquiet yet warmth. During the Chenrezig empowerment on the last day, we queued up as usual to get blessings from Rinpoche. He touched my head and placed a bag of herbal beads into my hands. It is just so.... filled with warmth, kindness and compassion.

I also wanted to tell you that although I do not know who you are, I view you in my heart as my Dharma friend and I am most grateful to you for being the person who is the bridge to Dharma teachings, which is more precious than even the Hermes Birkin (that my samsaric heart still hankers over, lol). During the merit dedications and prayer dedications, I actually prayed in my heart for merits to be dedicated to you - I actually went "to the lol8 blogger/ stumpbo....". May you be blessed with many merits, bliss, good health, prosperity and Enlightenment!  I think you are doing a very good thing with your blog which I hope will reach even more people who have the Dharma seed in their hearts just waiting for the right moment to flower. Om mani padme hum!"

Truly, I have not been so touched before. I replied R that our plight and experiences are pretty much similar. Like R, it was like a calling for me to search for some meaning in life. It just clicked and it felt so right when I met my root guru, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, that tears just came, uncontrollably. This is not an uncommon phenomenon with many Buddhists I know. It was like an awakening, the seed which has been planted from previous lifetimes between the master and student. Hence in this life when we meet the same master again, it is like a reunion, with tears of joy. And when we achieve realisations, it is due to the kindness of our gurus' teachings. The great masters have been taking rebirth again and again to help us till we gain enlightenment. In Buddhism, everything is interconnected, and I believe if you have the affinity with the Buddhas, something in you will be awakened, when the time is right. I cannot explain this feeling, but one will have to experience it to know what I mean.

R's reaction to hearing Tara's mantra is definitely an affirmation that she has a connection with Mother Tara or the Buddhas. I am so happy for R that many of her questions to her problems, she has found in the Dharma, in such an unbelievably short time. In Buddhism, there is no forcing people to accept anything. Just as many gurus have taught, take your time to observe and assess and learn, listen to their teachings and make your own judgement. Ask yourself whether the teachings make sense, and whether you are comfortable to know more, then when you are ready, slowly learn. There should never be forcing, because ultimately you are transforming your mind and not someone else's. Eventually you are training your own mind to achieve realisations and enlightenment.

Dear R, thank you so much for your dedication of merits to me. As a stranger to you, I am truly touched. And it was so nice meeting you finally in person. As they say, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Let's learn together as students of the Dharma.  

Below is the said Tara's mantra. May anyone who hears this mantra arise in them compassion and receives Tara's blessings. Om tare tuttare ture soha!


  1. it is true that you have put much effort into making a beautiful blog with informative posts about spirituality, Buddhism and kindness and life in general eg, nice delicious food too... such a mixture is hard to resist as reading on the net.

    thanks alot for it and may your blog benefit many beings to enlightenment.

  2. So happy to finally meet you too. I don't have an elder sister so I see you as my Dharma jiejie :)

    PS - after the puja yesterday, I felt an extreme fatigue (not usual) and slept till 1pm!!! Have not slept so well in a very long time! lol

  3. Hi tortoiseshell, thanks for reading my blog. May you be greatly blessed by the Buddhas.

    Hi R! Happy to hear you have gone through some purification. See you soon! ;D


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