Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lineage of a Good Heart

This morning,  via the wonderful internet, I watched the ceremony at Lerab Ling (France) for Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche to celebrate the centennial of the birth of H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.  It also served as the first public address by the young tulku in the West.  As I watched the young man, I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for him as he appeared extremely uncomfortable in the overwhelming setting.  With over 1000 in the audience and the HUGE Buddha statue behind him, Yangsi Rincpoche spoke on "The Lineage of a Good Heart"; He's an expert on that subject.

I can't imagine what it's like to have the expectations of thousands thrust upon you from birth.  I reminisced back to myself as a 12 year old at my grandfather's church.  It was small, only about 150 members and we all had a position.  My was Sunday School Music Director.  I would lead the small congregation in a couple of songs and ask someone to pray prior to being dismissed for classes.  It didn't matter that I couldn't carry a note in a wheelbarrow much less a bucket,  I was the preacher's grandson so I could handle it.  I was so nervous every Sunday I couldn't stand it.  My younger cousin had it worse.  He was actually good at public speaking and teaching and over time basically the congregation expected him to pick up the mantle of my grandpa and preach.  He has decided its not for him.

What happens if the young Rinpoche just doesn't like speaking?  Dilgo Khyentse spent nearly half his long life in solitary retreat.  His young tulku might have rather been there today.  I'm sure that as he finishes his education and continues to travel, he will become much more accustomed to crowds and his wisdom will inspire thousands as his previous incarnation's did.  He remarks were not remarkable but they didn't need to be.  He simply needed to be there, to teach by example the lineage of a good heart. Today, I saw a nervous young man balancing the weight of the world on his shoulders,  a boy growing into a lama,  a child becoming a guru, a great teacher's lineage returning to continue his work.