In 2007, Ven. Khandro Rinpoche gave a remarkable weekend teaching at the Shambhala Center in Berkeley, CA. Motivated by compassion, she laid bare the strengths and weaknesses of Western Buddhist practitioners with her characteristic humor and candor. She highlighted our tendency to over-intellectualize the Dharma and to lose track of the fundamental purpose which is to cultivate kindness.
She laughed at how many Western students have lost the ability to carry on an ordinary, normal conversation. Instead we get caught up in delusions of emptiness and other mind games. Competition, jealousy, and rivalry with others particularly among Vajra brothers and sisters is common because of our insecurity. While the majority of us are clearly lower scope practitioners, we lie to ourselves saying that we are great scope practitioners.
Anyone who has studied the Dharma in the West should listen to Venerable Khandro Rinpoche’s teachings. Her directness definitely hits close to home — she debunks myths about Buddhism and gets us back on track with the business at hand — helping ourselves on the path to Enlightenment so we can eventually develop the capacity to help others.