Let me first start by saying that I am not just a newbie to Dorje Shugden’s practice; I am also new to Protector practice in general, to Dharma and to spiritual practice of any form. I have gone through life very much like any other person: enjoying my life and chugging along thinking that all there was in life was to live life to the fullest for ME! The art of burning one’s candle at both ends was like a special ability to have and that the more people I knew the better. Sure, I knew a whole lot of people! I am good at remembering faces. But because of the sheer number of people I met and befriended, I often became atrocious at remembering names!
Yes, I was guilty of that and more! I will be the first to admit I was a social butterfly, a bee even, busy collecting nectar and invariably collecting pollen too. With my limited knowledge of the Dharma now, I equate nectar to good merits and pollen to be negative karma. And boy did I accumulate more pollen then nectar without truly realising this!
The reason I am sharing this is to put into perspective what has transpired over the last 8 months for me. I ‘tripped’ over Buddhism some time back but it hardly left a ‘bruise’. This time, I stumbled upon it in a big way and I must say it has left quite a scar. I’m not equating what I am learning as a negative imprint but a positive one. What I mean is that this ‘scar’ now permanently reminds me of an important turning point in my life.
Looking back now, I think it all started exactly eight years, six months and 13 days from today, as I write this. It was when I met the love of my life, a love at first sight! It is this same person that led me to the Dharma and I believe this is not the first time he is doing this! Perhaps I was fortunate enough to accumulate enough merits to be given another chance? If so, I best not blow this one!
It is through this Dharma path I am now on that I have ‘chanced’ upon Protector practice. I am still very much a fly on the wall in the grand scheme of things. However, I am absorbing and learning a lot being this fortunate insect with a poor excuse for a brain. Even if I do not have a first hand experience to share, I can see the impact it has on the life of my partner and the people around us.
Our business went through a 180 degree turn for the worse at the height of the financial crisis back in October/November 2008 and we were both extremely close to throwing in the towel. But I know now, through the Dharma and inevitably because of Protector practice, we are still afloat and we do see some land ahead. In fact, in hindsight, where we are in our business is so much healthier for us now. Living out of a suitcase and jet setting around the world for work was not a life. How we delude ourselves into thinking we are happy!
We are both much calmer individuals now. We have both grown in our relationship. We are both enriching our lives in ways we never thought we would even have the chance to. Overall, I know we are being ‘looked’ after and that I am blessed to be able to have the opportunity to practice in this lifetime and wish I may continue to do so in lifetimes to come.
~ Oliver Stansted ~