From Tara

Hi Aunty Shakun,

Three years ago, I embraced Tibetan Buddhism when I found my Guru quite unexpectedly. A close friend of mine from Malaysia had made an appointment to meet Lama Zopa Rinpoche when he was visiting Singapore but couldn’t make it. Knowing that I had been to Tibet and collect Tibetan artifacts, she felt that it would be meaningful for me to meet him. Little did she nor I know that my life would be transformed. 

The meeting was the culmination of years of searching for that elusive happiness and peace of mind through life’s ups and downs. When I found my Guru, I realised that I’d found my path to mental freedom; by investigating the characteristics of my mind and how it works, I was able to witness my life experiences as unfolding inside my mind although I was perceiving it as being external. 

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is a Holy Being, a Living Buddha who emanates compassion and kindness. He exists simply to lead all beings out of mental suffering. Born in Nepal, at the age of three, he was recognised as the reincarnation of the Lawudo Lama who had meditated in a cave for twenty years in Lawudo, the Solu Khumbu region of the Himalayas. 

A Guru to me is a spiritual teacher-cum-doctor. As human beings, we all suffer from a fundamental anxiety that creeps into all our activities and makes lasting peace or joy impossible. We are born with mental hang-ups, attachments, aversions and anger, and I never understood the real cause of my unhappiness and dissatisfaction in life. If there was a small change in my life circumstances, I would immediately get upset, worried or depressed. So meeting Lama Zopa was to me like meeting a wise and compassionate doctor who could diagnose my mental pain and teach me his way to end this mental suffering. 

I have learnt from Lama Zopa Rinpoche that lasting happiness in life is not dependant upon material wealth and comfort but it requires a method through meditation and other practices for a sure and inner transformation of the way I behave and lead my life. We are all subject to birth, sickness, old age and death, and without an awareness of death, life can only be lived on a shallow level. With the help of our outer teacher, we can discover the inner teacher, the true nature of our own mind which is free from the tyranny of ego. Through the power of devotion and the blessing of the Guru, a moment will come when a transformation takes place, in which the student recognises the Wisdom mind of the Guru to be no different from his or her own mind and boundless realizations is born. 

The most precious medicine I have received from Lama Zopa are his teachings which have helped me slowly cure myself of my mental hang-ups and delusions. In my spiritual life, I am self-employed. I work on myself and no one needs to know about my inner job and practices. As a result, I feel fulfilled and see the purpose of my life is not to live for my selfish ends but to work towards benefiting others as well.   

Tara Melwani   

“We make a living by what we get, 
but we make a life by what we give” 
                         -Winston Churchill