View everything as emanated for your training
Shakespeare said in Hamlet, “things are neither good nor bad, but thinking makes them so.” The same is true in life. Geshe-la explains that anger is an inability to accept things as they are and patience is the ability to do so. How do we acquire this ability to not only accept things as they are, but to wholeheartedly welcome them as they are? By knowing how to use everything for the accomplishment of our purposes. If we found a $100 bill on the ground, we certainly would not view this as a problem because we know very clearly how to use money for the accomplishment of our purposes. In exactly the same way, somebody with a mind of patient acceptance knows how to use everything they encounter for the accomplishment of their spiritual purposes. Therefore, nothing is a problem, indeed everything is fuel for their eventual enlightenment.
At present, every situation we encounter gives rise to different delusions, such as attachment, anger, miserliness, jealousy and so forth. The entire purpose of Dharma is to train our mind. Every situation that gives rise to a delusion likewise gives rise to an opportunity to train in that delusion’s opponents. The hot babe gives us a chance to train in non-attachment, the annoying person gives us a chance to train in patience, the beggar gives us a chance to train in giving, the person who has got it all gives us a chance to train in rejoicing, and so forth. For a spiritual practitioner, all of these delusion-provoking objects are $100 bills lying around just waiting to be picked up. Because there is nothing that doesn’t presently give rise to delusions within our mind, there is nothing that does not provide us with an opportunity to train our mind.
Indeed, we can view everything we encounter as being specifically emanated for our training. This is why Dorje Shugden is so important for modern practitioners. If we all lived in monasteries, it would not be hard to practice Dharma all of the time. But in the modern world, most of us work, take care of our kids, and we go out to dinner, the movies and on vacation. Dorje Shugden’s job is to arrange all of the outer and inner conditions necessary for our swiftest possible enlightenment. What does that mean? It means when our boss comes into our office and yells at us, we can say his coming in was an outer condition emanated by Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden sent him into our office to give us an opportunity to train. Inner conditions means Dorje Shugden blesses our mind to know what we need to practice when he comes in. With these two – the outer and inner conditions – everything is giving us an opportunity to train, and every situation is teaching us some aspect of the Dharma. The prayer to Dorje Shugden ends with, “all the attainments I desire arise from merely remembering you.” All we need do in any situation, good or bad, is just remember Dorje Shugden. When we do so, we will view whatever is happening as an outer condition being emanated by him and we will receive the inner blessings to know what it is we need to be practicing at that given point in time.
If we are in doubt how a given condition is perfect for our enlightenment, we can simply ask, “help me understand how this situation reveals the truth of Dharma,” or “please reveal to me what I should be practicing now.” With faith, a close karmic connection to Dorje Shugden and familiarity with these types of requests, we can quickly get to the point where we get answers to these questions almost immediately. Instead of being buffeted by life’s waves, we learn how to always maintain our spiritual balance no matter how extreme those waves might be. We can do this with anything, from winning the lottery to losing our job, from stubbing our toe to getting cancer, and even unto the death of a child.
The doubt may arise, if my boss has already come into my office, how can I still view it as emanated when I wasn’t remembering Dorje Shugden beforehand? The answer is Dorje Shugden has the power to enter into any situation, even ones that started long ago. Unlike us, a Buddha’s mind and their body are the same nature, so wherever their mind goes, their body goes too. A Buddha’s mind is omniscient, which means they know all objects of knowledge, past, present and future, directly and simultaneously. Since a Buddha’s mind pervades all phenomena, so too does a Buddha’s body. In this vein, Dorje Shugden doesn’t actually enter into the situation, rather he has been with every aspect of it from the very beginning. By “remembering him” we “make manifest” to our mind the realization that everything is emanated by him for our training. Dorje Shugden has the power to control what karma ripens, when and how. If we offer him all of our karma, then he has all of it to play with. He is not limited to just causing good things to ripen and to holding back the ripening of our negative karma, rather he has the special ability to make even the ripening of our negative karma propel us towards enlightenment. Our faith in him opens our mind to receive his special wisdom blessings that enables us to “see” how everything that happens to us, even those uncomfortably situations we would rather avoid, are in fact “perfect” for our practice.
In short, if we view everything that happens in our life as emanated by Dorje Shugden, we quite literally live within his mandala. Everything becomes our Dharma center. Then we too can be like those who live in a monastery able to easily practice Dharma all of the time, even as we go about our working, shopping and taking care of our families.