The Words That Launched My Journey

These are the actual words of my Guru, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, to me –


Time is short. Opportunities once lost cannot be gotten back. Friends die. Tsem Rinpoche also dies. Activities are forgotten. Even a memory of us will be totally gone. The only thing that remains is karma and its effects.



You know so many ppl. You have met so many ppl. How do they benefit you and you benefit them? But we have met and my benefit to you is the supreme dharma. Don’t seek new dharma or another angle of what I have already spoken, but master and adapt what you have heard already from me. If you do so, you will see your whole being completely change. The reactions from others towards you will totally change…it is beautiful that way. I wish that for you and everyone.


Do your work, complete and must do real dharma work continuously before I am gone.

Then my Guru asked me to do an exercise – to imagine my death, my very last moments on earth and imagine my last breath leaving my body.


Then my Guru asked me to contemplate on these questions –


1) What have I really done with my life?


2) Who have I benefited or helped in any way?


3) What are the things I really wanted to do?


4) Why haven’t I done them?


5) What was stopping me?


6) What can I do now?


That day un-ravelled me. Because for the first time in my life, I began to look inside and not outside.


It was the first time I used the eyes in my mind and not the eyes on my face.


So, let’s answer some of these questions.


1) What have I really done with my life?


Answer: Nothing much. I have only dreamed about doing the things I wanted to do, talked about them, and even whined about them and complained how others are doing them, but I didn’t lift a finger to do anything about them. While many are living out their lives by being authentic to themselves, I have not even begun to live.




2) Who have I benefited or helped anyone in any way?


Answer: I could not even help and benefit myself to begin with, how on earth could I do anything for someone else. I was too pre-occupied with justifying to everyone else why I wasn’t doing more, giving more and living an authentic life that was mine.


3) What are the things I really wanted to do?


Answer: Now, this stumped me. I seriously did not know the answer to this question for many years. To give an example of how little I knew myself back then – I didn’t even know how I like my eggs done for breakfast. So, after that ‘defining’ session with my Guru, I decided to find out exactly how do I like my eggs for breakfast. For one whole week, I ate all kinds of different brekkies, only to come to the conclusion that I really love Eggs Benedict but minus the bacon because I have just turned vegetarian since October 2009. See how lost I was. But one thing remained clear to this day, I knew what I didn’t want to do. And that is, to remain that over-pampered, over-fed domesticated fat brat who was only famous for her volcanic temper and her bitchy sound bites.




4) Why haven’t I done them?


Answer: Here, I can share a long list of whys – Lazy to the core, Cowardly, rather have things easy, bolt at the sight of trouble or challenges, no conviction in oneself, hence can’t bring myself to believe in anyone or anything else, was completely clueless as to what I was good at and could be good at, was too gifted at making excuses rather than doing the actual deeds, didn’t have the resolve to even clean up my own mess, and it can go on and on.
I was dwelling in self-pity so that I could feel sorry for myself and perpetuate the cycle of ‘delusions’ of grandeur and vicious barking.


5) What was stopping me?


Answer: Me, Myself and I. There are no other culprits and no enemies – only those that reside in my head. And I have allowed them to rule over me so that I can continue in my self-piteous state and pretend that I am not responsible for all of them. Now I know better. If we truly believe in something and want to do something, if we are deeply rooted in our conviction, nothing and no one can stand in our way, let alone, stop us. Challenges and adversity become our fuel, because we will use them to propel us further and not allow them to kill our dreams off. This is the huge difference between dreamers and achievers. Achievers are dreamers who act on their dreams. However, dreamers remain in their dreams.


6) What can I do now?


Answer: Whatever that I have been doing in the past, I’ll do the opposite now. Because I have literally done nothing back then. Now I work thrice as hard to do everything I can. As long as I am still breathing, as long as the last breath is not leaving my body as yet, while I still can, I am fully commited in doing everything I can for something much more important than me.


I am un-important. I am not significant. Because it is everyone else who is truly everything.


I want to be worthy of this human race and this beautiful space called earth.


It is for these reasons and more that I undertake this journey.


I would like to give the best of me to those I love and care before it is too late.


And so, yes, I believe this journey will bring out the best of me and make me into a much better person – one I could never become if I continued living within the confines of my gilded cage, one I could never become on my own.


I have complete trust in my Guru. And my Guru says, do media. Go all the way, my Guru says.
So, media is where I am now.


In the process of doing media, I realised that I am deeply passionate about reaching out to the youth.


Hence, I started to create programs that are aimed at getting the message out to the youth in a fun, engaging and creative manner.


I WILL NOT REST UNTIL I HAVE COME TO DO WHAT IT IS THAT I MUST DO.


AND WHEN I AM DONE, I WILL GO QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT, FOR THE FUTURE LIES WITH THE YOUNG.


This media is my gift to them. Perhaps it would become my final gift as it will take me to the rest of my life.


I gave my Guru my word. I am going all the way.


THE YOUTH IS OUR FUTURE LEADERS. AND THEY WILL DO A BETTER JOB THAN WE EVER COULD. THEY WILL BE THE LEADERS WE COULD ONLY DREAM OF BEING.


And when the time comes for the last breath to leave my body, I can smile and say, I did try all my best, I did do something for others and not myself. I will be glad to close my eyes then.

Being Afraid Is Human, But Staying Afraid Is A Choice.

4 Comments
  • Anonymous
    January 1, 2010

    I am going to use these set of questions and reflect on myself. Thanks.

  • Cleo-Jean
    January 13, 2010

    What a great set of questions to help us evaluate our life. Thanks

  • Damien
    March 24, 2010

    Yes, this is a useful post to re-read and reflect upon. Thank you.

  • Pobrecita
    April 4, 2010

    from the depth of my heart thankyou for sharing the wods of your Guru with us, which started me crying like a baby. and it didnt help that Sinead O'Conner's "Nothing Compares to You" was playing just as I began to read. . it touched my heart right now reading that your Guru asked you "Don't seek new dharma or another angle of what I have already spoken, but master and adapt what you have heard already from me"These are things I think of and I do alot of reading between my 'chores'…to sort of get me thru my days and to redirect me when I stray from the path that I intend to be on. i believe i am better for it though i know the true value is the action that comes from it. and i fail to act and overreact, everyday i have to start again. we are all sisters, brothers-and its comforting to witness others experiences and awakening which are very similar to my own.