Za Choeje Rinpoche (Tibetan Buddhist Leader) Special Interview 3 : How to overcome struggles

He was recognized, at the age of 16, by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama as the 6th reincarnation of Hor Choeje Rinpoche of Eastern Tibet, and received extensive training…


He was recognized, at the age of 16, by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama as the 6th reincarnation of Hor Choeje Rinpoche of Eastern Tibet, and received extensive training in the traditional Tibetan Buddhist method of listening, contemplation and meditation.

Za Choeje Rinpoche Special Interview Vol.3

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Part 3

Part 4

Interview Script

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Part 3 : I was chosen because I was lucky and…

――Some people might think that the you are a chosen few, or just lucky to be selected. I don’t know if it happens in Tibet, but it happens in other parts of the world, right? So when you look back, what made you to be who you are right now?

Rinpoche: Yes, I think that maybe I’m lucky. You know, it doesn’t happen to everybody that way.

Out of many people, I got the letter, which was saying that you are, you know, a spiritual boy, sacred boy. And that would not happen to many people.

So somehow it happened to me. And why it happened to me?

Maybe it is a luck. So I was lucky.

But then, after that happened, basically it really changed my life.

Somehow I was lucky that I was going in a different direction and then you know Dalai Lama picked me up energetically, saying “No, no, no. You’re not going that way. You are going this way.”

So, it’s just kind of like putting me on the different path, which I always feel honored and privileged.

And I’m always thinking what karma I did in my past life that happened to me.
So maybe if you look at it from a general point of view, it is a luck, but then from a Buddhist point of view, then we say it’s a karma.

Like maybe I did something in my past life, you know.

Many times, there is a prayer. Prayer is very powerful. Like something needs to happen.

First, we need a prayer and then take action. You know, we need to have intention and wish first. And then not just staying in the wish, take action.

I don’t know maybe this is called incidents or something. But my previous one, you know. He died in the prison, in a Chinese prison, communist prison in nineteen six something.

He was a political prisoner. And he spent four years in prison and died.

There was a lot of stories actually. I met with some of his prison mates later.

He was a short guy. He was playing with other cell mates.

This life, my body, I’m short. I don’t like it. So, I am praying. He always said I pray that next life I will become tall. So I’m praying and then he was like joking, sort of like playing with them. Maybe you will see maybe you will hear that my next body will be tall.

That’s what he used to say.

And the same thing like he didn’t actually complete his studies. We say graduation is like Geshe is a degree. Geshe Lharampa means kind of degree.

And he actually didn’t get to to study too much in the monastery. And he said “I really regret that I didn’t complete my studies.”

“And so I’m praying. Next life, my reincarnation will complete my study and get a Geshe degree.”

So those things actually, kind of like he said and he prayed… but many things that he said and he prayed, it actually happened to me.

I don’t know maybe that’s what I believe kind of thing. Sometimes, you know, maybe it is not what I did in this life. Maybe something I did in my past life.

Part 4 : Life may be full of struggles but they are not always bad

――What was your hardest time or hardest struggle in your life?

Rinpoche: Hardest struggle. Hardest time. Hum… There are many occasions, right? Life is actually full of struggles.

We struggle many times. When we are studying, we are struggling. And we are actually working we are struggling. There’s a lot of struggle.

I don’t know if you ask me what is my hardest struggle.

Generally I think life is full of struggles. And so it depends on how you actually see the struggles.

You know like it can be same struggle, but if you look at it with a narrow mind, then even though the struggle is small it will become very big, huge.

You know just for example, like if I am looking at a pen. So if I look it from here, it is small, right? Like more distance, it is small. So the more closer I take it, it becomes bigger and bigger.

So sometime I have this kind of like… maybe I don’t know, because of my meditation or spiritual kind of practice, every time when there is a situation, difficult situation that I see, I always look at it to sort of like… “okay, so this will go away.”

And this is not a life and death situation.

So then I always find some positive things to look at the struggle. You know, all the struggles are not bad.

You know struggles… like many times, challenges come in our life. And then the challenges actually are sometimes given by other people sometime given by a different situations, circumstances in our life.

But those circumstances, situation difficult, I think thay will make you stronger. So we should actually use our struggles or challenges to make you stronger.

So my view on the struggle is kind of like that.

So every challenges that comes I will try.

You know, maybe sometimes I succeed or sometimes I don’t succeed but at least I will try to look, find some positive thing in that challenge.

What to do if you really hate what you’re doing

――This radio program has three themes. One is English. Two is mathematics. And speaking in front of people.
Many people hate these especially in Japan. So if you want to be good at something, love it first. Love what you do. This is the theme of the program. What do you think about this concept?

Rinpoche: I think that’s important.

Do what you love. Love what you do. That’s like a slogan.

Do whatever you love. And then love whatever you’re doing. And when these two things combine, I think it is more creative and more successful.

Because if you are not happy doing what you’re doing, then the result is not so good.

And you are doing it, but if you’re not enjoying it, if you’re not loving it, then it creates a bad energy and bad result.

So if you have to do something, then just learn how to love doing it and just try to find what you love about it, and then I think it will be better for yourself and for other things.

――If you really really hate something that you’re doing, what’s the start, you know, to find something you like. What should you do first?

Rinpoche: I think if you really really hate doing and you have to do it, then I think maybe why you have to do is maybe it is for your living, right?

So some people do it because it is for their living. So this is giving me my living. So if I don’t have this, and then I will be in a very difficult situation.

So at least this is like an ancient way of saying, this is giving you a bread and a shelter. And maybe you will hate less.

If you think “okay, I just have to do it because this is my bread.” You know, “this is my food.”

――Then you may be able to start appreciating…

Rinpoche: Yeah, I think you will at least look at that in a positive way a little bit because it cannot be totally negative.

Because, you know, in many situations maybe you’re just doing it even though you hate doing it. Maybe you just have to do it because you have a responsibility.

So it is actually serving your purpose. Some purpose.

So just think of it that way and then maybe you will start not maybe loving it, but you will maybe stop hating it.

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