Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Love & Relationships – Q&A section-1

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

To all the lonely ones – see the Value and Merit of Loneliness…it‟s a good investment; it‟s the Dawn of Wisdom (Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche)

Question: Why people always feel loneliness? Is it because we are insecure or
lack of sense of belonging and also we do not know who we are? And it
follows with the second question: why do we need companions? Why can’t we
live alone?
Rinpoche: Well, if we can live alone, that would be very good. This is what the yogis
are good at; that‟s why they are free from all kinds of baggage. Eh, well, the
loneliness – this is kind of philosophical question for me actually. The loneliness is
rooted, according to Buddhism, again to this insecurity that I was talking about.
When I say „insecurity‟, I am talking about basically – even though we say me, I am
David, I‟m this, I‟m that, even we have a name, a position, a job, a husband, wife, a
degree, mm, I don‟t know, a flat, car, eh, I don‟t know, mm, penthouse, all of these –
on going, there‟s an on-going insecurity which is we never, have never been proved
one hundred per cent that we exist.

And actually all these like wrapping the skin, you know, cutting the wrist, getting a
degree, and getting married; all of these is actually we are doing this so that it‟s
temporarily giving us some sense of existence. So this insecurity is actually; it can
manifest as one because you know, you know. You know, I was talking to you earlier
– the flower that I see, you‟ll never see. So we can never share real flower. We can
just pretend that we are sharing. And that is so lonely. I can never share with you
what I am experiencing. It‟s, it‟s so lonely. What I‟m experiencing, only I can do it.

That, that is; now if, if you are a Buddhist, loneliness is „dawn of wisdom‟. You‟re
supposed to invest on this loneliness. If you are lonely, you are feeling awkward with
this samsaric life. You can sense it is not working. You can kind of feel that it‟s all a
little bit, what you call it, overpromising, you know, sort of. So you can feel this. So
this feeling awkward, feeling not belonging to this – is actually a very important
mental factor that a practitioner is supposed to invest. Dezhung Rinpoche said this,
if I modify this a little bit; you know when we, when we were young, the whole of our
value is going to the beach and build, you know, sandcastle. And we get excited
about it. We just love that castle.

After a while, when you‟re around teenage age, sandcastle doesn‟t do the trick
anymore. It‟s then, I don‟t know, fast cars, video games; but then when you are
around middle age, that doesn‟t work. Then it would be job, it would be, I don‟t know,
position, it would be colleagues, marriage, blah, blah, blah. Then when you‟re around
ninety, that game doesn‟t work anymore. Then you, I don‟t know what; when you‟re around ninety, you begin to value things that you never, you overlook like salt shaker, table cloth and stuff like that.

Then, so you have changed the toys but some of us – we can sort of fast forward this within few months. Okay, and then look at our lives –wow, it‟s kind of, you know like meaningless. So that awkwardness will make you lonely, and that loneliness, for the spiritual people, is very important. When a bodhisattva visits Buddha – it‟s in the Prajnaparamita Sutra – and the bodhisattva complains to the Buddha that “I feel so sad. I feel so sad about this, this meaningless life and all of that and it‟s almost painful”. Then the Buddha said “You know, this is a noble wealth. You have so much merit, that‟s why you are feeling sad about these things”.

If you don‟t have that merit, you‟ll be distracted to all these gadgets and think this is life. By the time you reach to a point where you actually see “Wait a minute. What happened, all this ninety-five years?” Then it‟s too late. So for the spiritual person, it‟s important, okay, the next question, next question?


On those who have a different sexual orientation… (Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, Love & Relationship Q & A)

Question: I have been the victim of discrimination at work due to my sexual orientation. It reached a state where I handed my resignation. I did not disclose my orientation, sexual orientation. In hindsight, what could I have done better? Looking forward, should I disclose my orientation to employers from the start. I seem to observe that people gossip or hint less when I’m more upfront.

Rinpoche: Yeah, it‟s a very important question and I totally understand. Myself, a few years ago, I performed several marriage ceremonies. I do that by the way (laughter). And I married two men and I also married two women. Lots of eyebrows were raised. I mean, of course, they must be out casted; maybe not so much in America but maybe, yeah. But I, myself, the performer of the marriage “How can you do this? What are you doing?
For those who have a different sexual orientation, eh, many cultures, many habits, is unfortunately not tolerant. And this is so unfortunate. I don‟t have a, a clear answer for this. I don‟t know whether you should be disclosing this or whether you should be hiding this. It depends with the different situations, I think. I can only say this is very unfortunate. I hope, I think because of the communication and the infrastructure, it‟s kind of it‟s getting better, but at very slow pace.

I have myself acted as a messenger, even as recent as about a week ago. You know this, you know, like this boy, who is now like almost forty-five years old and his very traditional parents – just wandering, you know, why he‟s not interested in girls. And I know all the situation, and then this boy is asking me to be the messenger, you know the negotiator with the parents. And I did that actually; I did it, surprisingly the mother took it quite well. The father was a bit tough.

During the conversion, I have noticed the father unnecessarily opened his mouth many times and paused, you know, he opened his mouth and paused. I could feel that this was not accepted that easily, but, eh, very unfortunate.
I don‟t know, I don‟t have any, eh, what you call it, mm, practical answer. All I can say, if you are a follower of the Buddhist teachings, you should have aspiration so that not only yourself but those who are going through with the same problem will also liberate from this kind of pain. And if you are one if you are one of those busy mantra lovers, you should chant mantra called Mantra of Interdependence – OM YE DHARMA HETU…This somehow works for some people, so maybe you can try, you know. You have nothing to lose…okay.

( note : Mantra of Interdependent Origination = In Sanskrit this mantra is:
om yé dharma hetu prabhawa hetun teshan tathagato hyavadat teshan tsa yo nirodha ewam vade mahashramanah soha
which can be translated as:
“All dharmas originate from causes. The Tathagata has taught these causes,
And also that which puts a stop to these causes. This too has been taught by the Great Shramana.” )


Ending Difficult Relationships? How to do it and know when to end (Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, Love & Relationship Q & A)

Question: How to end difficult relationships? How to know when to end it? (Laughter)

Rinpoche: This‟s so difficult. (Laughter) Very difficult – I don‟t think you can decide; I told you, remember, it‟s all, you know, if only that‟s easy – like life is like a light switch, you know, like you can switch it off and on. It‟s dependent on so many different cause and conditions. Many times, the fact that you cannot just end, also could be with many, with really inspiring and good reasons; you don‟t want to hurt other person, you don‟t want to hurt a lot of other people. Eh, you know, in our, in many times we say to be strict is important, you know, to be honest and strict is important, but I don‟t know – I doubt.

To be skillful is very important too, you know; because you don‟t want to, you may be straight and end a relationship but you may suffer whole life with the guilt. Again here, I have no specific answer. You just, my only answer is you just have to know that it depends on so much cause and conditions. We are basically so dependent on that. I mean, this ending a relationship is equally difficult to beginning a relationship, and it‟s equally illusive. We never know but as I said when the karmic wind blows, it will end and when it ends, nothing you can do again.

My only Buddhist answer, if you like, is to simply put – go with the flow. You‟d better because if you‟re trying to resist, it might break yourself and others. It‟s very difficult to answer this one – okay.

Your partner says “Now you should have less expectations of me”. How do you react? (Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, Love & Relationship Q & A)

Question: We are given, Rinpoche, examples of being nice, expectation, like “Are you hungry? Are you cold?” And your partner turns and says “Now you should have less expectations of me.” What and how should we do to react to this?

Rinpoche: If your partner says you should have less expectation from me, is that what you are saying? And if you are a follower of the Buddhist path, sounds like you have quite a good partner (laughter).
As soon as you hear, your expectation will grow ninety degrees, I have a feeling. It will annoy you, that‟s the problem. Okay, the next question, anymore?

What and how can I be open and straightforward with my family and friends with regards to my „gay‟ sexual orientation? (Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, Love & Relationship Q & A)

Question: We have a very long question, but it’s actually a statement. Rinpoche-la I’m openly gay with my friends and family. Before coming up to them, I was socially withdrawn. Now after coming out, I feel more complete and didn’t feel that I am living a lie. However my parents, I feel, do not fully accept me and insist that I continually keep it a secret from my extended family – it has many years already.
What should I do to reconcile the hurt that I feel and the grief my parents feel with having a gay son?

Rinpoche: In, within this context, as I said earlier, within this kind of culture, I don‟t know what you can do. I don‟t have a, eh, what you call it, easy answer to this one.
See I was saying, we don‟t know many times – to be, to be straightforward, to be open is cherished and valued, but to be skillful is also, has to be valued – because many times the truth, the honest truth cannot be easily, eh, appreciated by others; cannot be digested. Even the Buddha, if you look at his teachings, the absolute teachings; you know there are many different levels of teachings. Many, many, many teachings are we call expedient teachings – teachings that require interpretation.

The direct, you know, naked absolute teachings such as Vajracchedika Sutra, are very difficult to adjust, I mean digest. I mean here Buddha says there is no Buddha, there is no form of the Buddha, Buddha never taught, so on and so forth. And that‟s shocking; you know that‟s like un-digestible. So in many other sutras, Buddha talks about his past life. Once when he was a rabbit, once when he was a peacock, so on and so forth – Jatakamala Sutra. And then there are other sutras he says there is something called Sukhavati, Amitabha realm, where there are lotuses, their swimming pools, and stuff like that. So Shakyamuni Buddha was being very skillful, you know the approach.

So I would suggest it‟s very good of you for wanting, you know, to be open but I like you to be also skillful because, eh; actually, the fact that you want to be open is already very wholesome enough. Then we have to think about consequences of your truth; eh, if it is going to disrupt family, friends, parents – this is where you have to be very skillful. And this particular issue, this particular phenomenon seem to be one of the most stubborn problem that is, eh, kind of, especially; it dwells specially with culture, specially the society that has, that has, you know, old long tradition. And the; yes to be skillful – that‟s about all I can say.

Question: While waiting for a little while, I like to draw one question. It’s actually a conclusion question. I help to read out from one of the students here. Rinpoche, in summary, what would you be, what would be your advice for a successful relationship. Please give your main points. Perhaps you should write a book or the next one.

Rinpoche: What was the question?

Question: Perhaps you write a book.

Rinpoche: Oh, cannot this one (laughter). You should, eh; oh, I just finish reading a book – that‟s quite good. It‟s really good. I am sure many of you have read. Eh, it‟s a Japanese author. What‟s the…Murakami; it‟s called Norwegian Wood. That‟s quite a good love story – profound, I think. You should read that.

Murakami “Norwegian Wood”. Norwegian Wood is a Beatles‟ song, isn‟t it? (Yes – reply). Right, it‟s good. It‟s kind of tragic, of course (laughter); that‟s why it‟s good. But it has a good insight – it has. That‟s about the most pure love as you can imagine, I would say.

So, forgiving, so compassionate, so, what you call it? Yeah.

Transcribed from YouTube video: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Love & Relationships – Q&A section, 8 April 2012, Singapore.

To Be continued….

Click Here: Part 2