When the Center Director Is Changed

When the Center Director Is Changed

Date of Advice:
January 2000
Date Posted:
January 2018

Rinpoche sent this advice to a student who was no longer director of a center.

My very dear one,
How are you? I wrote the first part of this letter on the postcards, but it is very long so I am having the rest typed.

It has happened before that there is discomfort for the director when the time comes to change. The center has become very important to the director, like a child.

There are many reasons why it’s necessary to change the director. Sometimes the director resigns due to personal reasons, and sometimes the director is changed because of too much disharmony. Or it can be because of too much pressure, too much to handle, or the director is burnt out and can't take the responsibility any more.

At the beginning of the term as director there is the good heart and guru devotion, but due to many pressures and responsibilities, sometimes there is degeneration of that. After some time the mind of guru devotion degenerates and the mind becomes very different, with no compassion or affection or kindness or a warm heart. Then the director’s actions are negative and miserly, and due to this many other people become negative or unhappy because they are not able to keep up with Dharma.

But this depends on the person’s attitude. In some cases when directors are changed they feel liberated. They feel at rest, very happy, so it is all up to that person’s attitude.

You may be aware of your own situation, but that can still be just one view. It’s your view with your own mind, and not the positive mind, but the negative mind. Your view with a positive mind—patience, compassion, bodhicitta, a loving mind—would not see problems.

For example, when there is desire, there is pain and dissatisfaction with the object, however, when the mind is transformed into renunciation, there is contentment in the next minute. When there is a detached mind, there is no sign of pain, there is no problem with the object and that object doesn't become a problem.

Similarly, when there is anger in the mind, the object becomes negative and bad, and we dislike it. But the next minute, when the mind is transformed into patience, that object becomes the kindest person in our life. This transformed mind takes responsibility for the object, for helping that person instead of harming them or taking revenge.

In short, without Dharma the way we deal with things with the emotional mind is to kill each other or commit suicide. We are creating the same karma again and again, and we will experience the same problems again and again for hundreds of thousands of lifetimes to come.

This is completely foolish. That is why in Buddhism the understanding and practice of karma is the most essential and most important thing. This is the basis of happiness in this life and future lives, and is the cause of our liberation from samsara and enlightenment.

With much love and prayers ...