Losang Rinchen

Rinchen (Part 2 - english)

February 2013

Nicole:
And now, when you became a monk, does your family and your friends at home or somewhere else in the world, do they know about it?

Rinchen:
Yeah … it took me a little while before I told my family.
I waited like three weeks till I had enough guts to tell them.
And then I told them and they were all pretty and supported it. Except one brother, I haven’t heard from him yet and I tried to reach him a couple of times … I haven’t heard yet. So … but the other three siblings were all positive and my friends were all positive.

Nicole:
So do you think, that they understand your life and your path you are on now? Is that understandable for them or do they just accept?

Rinchen:
Well, they know, that I’ve been a Buddhist-Christian for many years … fifteen years. But since I was an ordained reverend … or I’m still an ordained reverend … they thought ‘that was it’, you know, they thought ‘that’s good enough’. I went to school for that three years, to a seminary to get ordained. That was the big horror for me. And so that in some point is a little bit shocky. But they pretty much supported me.

Roland:
What was the first reaction of your sisters and brothers, the first reaction as you told them or as you wrote them?

Rinchen:
I wrote them an e-mail. Yeah, I wrote them an e-mail. And my sister was the first, she say ‘Oh, that’s great, I’m proud of you, I’m happy for you’ and she was the most supporting me in the beginning. And than my brother, one of my brothers, he seemed O.K. with that. And I sent them a picture. I said, you know, cause I had my robes and my hair was shaped, I said, I hope you won’t be upset of by this, this is how I look now. They liked, ‘You look fine, your nice robes, you look great’.

Nicole:
Do you have some close friends which are sharing your path, so close friends from earlier time, friends which whom you can communicate in your way of life?

Rinchen:
You mean like Buddhists?

Nicole:
Yes.

Rinchen:
I have some close, I call them my Dharma mum’s. I have two Dharma mum’s in San Francisco bay area. And they are very supportive and, you know, they took me up when I went to San Francisco the last time … and they are very supportive of me. So I have those two and I have some other Dharma friends. And this ‘regular’ friends who are supporter of my path as well.

Nicole:
Since two month you are a monk.
Does your monk-being fulfil your hope so far? And is it now like you thought about or you imagined?

Rinchen:
Yes, so far it’s been wonderful. I enjoy it and it’s being great. The only thing I’m missing is, not having a monk community like other people were like me, cause I had to go to monastery to get this experience.
But yeah, being a monk, being a meditation leader, it has been really great for me.
My friends and my family, I sent them pictures and they said ‘You look so happy’ and I sad ‘Yeah I am so happy’ – but it’s funny, they can see it in the pictures.

Nicole:
You told us, that you had some time when you were really depressed. Does the meditation have positive influence on such kind of feelings in your case?

Rinchen:
Yes, meditation has an effect on your mood, can elevate your mood. Yes it’s a wonderful thing. Some of the meditations are sad, like forgiveness can be. It’s uplifting, but it can also be sad.

Nicole:
The own death?

Rinchen:
Yes, visualizing our own death is one of them. But it has an uplifting ending. You will reach entrance to know yourself deeply.
But in general meditation helps to clear your mind and refresh your mind.
So it’s really a good thing.

Nicole:
Would you recommend some psychological clinics to introduce meditation as a healing therapy?

Rinchen:
I think so. I mean, just doing the mindness meditation every day can just help to start your day upright. And the positive attitude, you know, having a wonderful attitude for the day. I think, mindness is a great thing to start the day.

Nicole:
What is your greatest hope for your own future?

Rinchen:
My greatest hope? Mean in reality or like what’s gonna happen or what could happen?

Nicole:
What ever your wishing could be.

Rinchen:
It’s a hard question. Well, I wish that I could do the masters program in five years instead of seven years. So it’s probably getting me seven years up to the masters program. Than become a teacher within the FPMT, the organisation that I am a part of and then teach in Dharma centers.

Nicole:
Do you have any regrets about having chosen your way, so far?

Rinchen:
I don’t have any regrets, yeah. But I’m a kind a bit of in the honeymoon period, as they call it. So it’s really wonderful right now. I don’t know if that’s gonna get tougher later on.
I’m in the honeymoon period, so everything is wonderful.

Nicole:
What would you like to do if you had one million dollar?

Rinchen:
One billion dollars? …
Build more monasteries and be able to have a, what is it called, a fund which should continuously pay for the monasteries upkeep and everything forever.
And having for them food and drink and clothing, to take care for the monks forever. And to support other monasteries around the world. And nunneries, I mean when I say monasteries I mean both, the monasteries and nunneries.

Nicole:
Do you think the environment you are in – so for example we are here in India, India can be very loud, India can be very hectic – does it influence your being as a monk? So imagine if you would be on a small island only alone like Robinson Crusoe. Does this effect your way of living as a monk? Would it be different?

Rinchen:
Mean, if I’d gone to quieter?

Nicole:
Yes, I think, does this hectic around and all this noises, does it influence your thoughts and your feelings, or do you think you are here as quiet as you would be on an island in the middle of the ocean.

Rinchen:
Well, I came from an island in the middle of the ocean_(Rinchen grew up in Hawaii)_.
I think the noise it’s what’s in your mind.
It’s not so much the street noise and honking horns and things like that, but it’s what’s in your mind already. And trying to quiet the mind is what’s difficult. That’s kind of what you need in terms of having realizations and things like that when you are meditating.
But Tushita itself is quite quiet. It’s very quiet. Just monkeys making noise. So I have an idea of this up there. Yeah, it’s noisy in McLeodGanj.

Roland:
Do you want to tell us something additional … so to speak to give us with?

Rinchen:
I think for everyone on the spiritual path, it’s very helpful to have a teacher, to have a valid teacher. Someone who is very responsible, who cares about you. I’ve had a good teacher, venerable Robina Courtin, and she is really special for me. I have another teacher now who got very sick, so it’s hard. He is my teacher still but he is not in communication with me. So maybe have more than one teacher. But it is very important to have a teacher on your path who can help to guide you.
And they say the teacher is the lamp on the path to enlightenment.
And that is very true. So the need for a good teacher, honest teacher, someone you can look up to, is very important.

Roland:
Next step for you will be to go to France for studying Buddhism, you told us. Maybe you will find an additional new teacher for yourself.

Rinchen:
Yeah.

Roland:
We wish you all the luck for your next step.

Rinchen:
Thank you.

End




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