I have always been inclined towards Buddhism from a young age, but my knowledge of Buddhism was limited to its founder, Buddha Shakyamuni. Anything beyond that was unfamiliar to me perhaps because in Malaysia, Dharma teachings were not readily available and the influence of simple practices that involved offering incense and mindless chanting prevailed.
In this age of information, it is easy to get knowledge and teachings online, and what little I read about Buddhist philosophy at the time resonated within me. I liked the teachings of Buddhism that supposedly led one to obtain lasting happiness through inner transformation such as letting go of attachments.
But although I understood the concepts that were presented to me, I had no idea how to implement them in my life. In this sense, the Buddhist teachings that I read became mere leisure reading, which in turn had little effect on my personal growth to become a better person, a better Buddhist. It was during this time, when my spiritual calling was strong, that I searched for a Dharma centre and came to meet my Guru, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche and his Buddhist organisation, Kechara.
When I first connected with Kechara, I had no idea what Dharma Protectors were. However, after learning how Protector practice could remove obstacles towards Dharma practice, I started practising without delay. It was not long after that when I began to notice many changes in my life, particularly in relations to my mind. My mind became more stable, allowing me to focus better and stabilise my emotions that went up and down according to external factors.
I also became more aware of my mind, which enabled me to control myself from acting out negatively, an essential improvement especially if one believes in the law of Karma. I became more open towards other people’s difficulties and was able to empathise more than I previously could. As a whole, I felt these were spiritual milestones for me, as I now see less conflict and anger in my mind, and through this, I can focus and understand the Dharma better as time passes.
Not long after I began volunteering for Kechara, I was offered a full time position in the organisation. I was shocked, amazed and yet felt conflicted. At the time, I had just received a lucrative job offer in Germany and although I was looking forward to embarking on this new opportunity, I was also reluctant to go as leaving would mean being away from my Guru. Until today, I still feel strongly that it was my Protector who created this opportunity and provided the conducive conditions for me to be in an environment where work becomes my spiritual practice ground and my tasks are all for the benefit of others.
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