Good morning everybody. I am just talking for myself I am not representing any side of the organization. I am just a student of Rinpoche. But I have a feeling I have something to share with you, which are my personal opinions, and I know this is the year of mourning and silence, so we are still mourning and dealing with our emotional and deep suffering.
I want to offer just a few personal reflections, very personal, on our Dzogchen Community after the passing of our beloved Master. So as I said, it is just my opinion and you can take it the way you want to. Don’t take it as anything very important, it’s just my opinion. If you like you can agree or disagree.
For over 40 years Rinpoche has been teaching us. Besides his activity as a teacher, he has been the heart of our Community; the source of all inspiration as well as the source of our supposed identity. So as long as he was with us physically, his presence did not raise in us the question of what we are and how we want to be perceived.
And now he has passed away we begin to feel the need to define what we want to be and how to present ourselves as an organization. So the first point I see like this, it is just a question I am posing to myself. This is the question: Are we defined as a religious group, or as a spiritual group, or as a social aggregation of individuals with an agenda, a specific agenda as much as you want, but social. Or what else?
We know very well that the Dzogchen Teaching is not a religion. It is not a philosophy. It is not even just a set of rules to live a better life. It is much less than that but much more than that. But you know these Western definitions of the Western culture are kind of wide. And what really counts is the actual presence of the IDC in the world, and its function in the world. We are here. We are living here.
Anyway my personal reflection is always limited to how we can continue as individual practitioners because my feeling is that the Community is made of individuals. And the value of the Community is because of the value of the individuals inside. If the individuals do not have any value then the Community doesn’t have any value.
For this issue of transmission I have something to say that is very similar to what Steven just said. Until now the transmission has been given to a number of persons around the whole globe for 42 years. That number is now closed. We can no longer facilitate new people’s access to Rinpoche. Rinpoche is in another dimension. So our concern now I think is to make Rinpoche’s precious legacy mature and bear fruit within each of us. We are the ones who one day will become a testimony of the teachings through our realizations, our conduct and through our example in this world.
There is no one now who can teach Rinpoche’s teaching. There is no one now who can be Rinpoche. What we can and must do is gather together, practice together, do our best to deepen our understanding of what we have received without forgetting the real spirit of relative and absolute bodhicitta, which is the base of everything.