Cancellation of Gyalton Rinpoche’s visit

Rinpoche advises us to use this situation as an opportunity for personal practice and reflection on Dharma teachings that we have already received. He is also using this time for retreat and personal practice, dedicating it for the well-being of all those who have been affected by the pandemic, as well as for the frontline workers and those who have lost their lives.

Rinpoche would like to share some thoughts with us. Usually, we receive many different Dharma teachings, but we never have enough time to reflect on them. The present situation offers us an opportunity to do that and to apply whatever we have learned in our life. It is often said that we should see unfavourable circumstances as a spiritual teacher. If we are able to do that, it can be really beneficial and it can make a big difference in the progress of our inner development. This means not being overwhelmed by the present challenging situation, but instead transforming it to our own advantage to develop the qualities that are inherent in our very nature, such as loving kindness, compassion, and wisdom, through which we can genuinely help ourselves and others.

We are all in this together, so we should sincerely develop loving kindness and compassion that encompasses all beings and sincerely dedicate our practice to liberate them all from the present difficult situation, turning this into a meaningful opportunity to develop ourselves as well. Usually we tend to always focus and rely on external conditions for our wellbeing and overlook the importance of inner development, which is essential for our genuine happiness.

In these times, we all have a great opportunity to sincerely apply the teachings that we have received and genuinely develop inwardly to become a better person. In doing this, even a simple Dharma instruction that we have received has the power to transform us. In order to truly develop internally, connecting with ourselves is very important. If we are not able to do that, no matter how many instructions we receive, it is not going to be very transformative. With the present situation of self isolation, if we take it as an opportunity to connect with ourselves, it can have a meaningful outcome. However, if we see this difficult time as negative, then it will only have an adverse effect on our mental and physical wellbeing, as well as on our surroundings.

Great spiritual masters emphasize the practice of isolation and solitude by going to the mountains or staying in retreat to connect with oneself, which is the stepping stone to inner development. If we are able to connect with ourselves, then we will also be able to connect with others in a more genuine way, because unless we are able to genuinely recognize what is truly meaningful and beneficial to ourselves, we won’t be able to genuinely benefit others, as we are all the same in searching for happiness and liberation. Therefore, if we are able to uplift our spirits, be positive in our outlook, and develop our inherent positive qualities, we can turn this difficult situation into something beneficial for ourselves and others.

Rinpoche prays that may you, your families, and everyone be safe and healthy in these challenging times and always.