An excerpt from an informal talk given by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu on his birthday, December 8, 2012, in Tenerife, after a session of Khaita Songs.
“Most of these [Khaita] songs are like this – no-one is singing about being really happy. Some of the songs seem to be joyful, but this is Tibetan culture because when Tibetans feel very sad they don’t show it. They don’t look like they are desperate.
One of the songs says that when we walk up in the valley snow is falling down, but even though it is snowing, we are not worried. We know that after the snowfall there will be sunshine because we are living in time. Things are interdependent and there is good and bad. When we have bad things, after we will have good. It is impossible that only bad things exist. So even if they are suffering and have many difficulties, Tibetans have this kind of courage, they relax and don’t get wound up. This is Tibetan philosophy and it works.
We have a song from East Tibet, Kyong Khadro Chig, that we sing very often [Rinpoche sings]. When we sing it, people think that it is a very joyful song because of the melody and they sing it in a happy way because it doesn’t seem to be sad. Many people know this song but it isn’t a happy song, it is sad, but the way it is sung is joyful. This is how it should be.
Some people get upset about just little problems. It seems that tomorrow we are going to die. But it is not that way. Problems always exist for everybody because we are in samsara, not in paradise. In samsara all problems exist, but if we are practitioners we don’t get upset; we understand how the situation is. If a person is not a practitioner when they get upset and consider things to be terrible, they don’t know what to do. When some people have very heavy problems they even go to a high place, jump down, and die. But when they die that way, there is no guarantee of what will come next.
This is our condition in samsara. Many problems exist but if we are practitioners, we know that and don’t get anxious. It is normal. We can always have problems but we don’t give too much importance to them and we relax. When we relax, there are no secondary causes for creating more problems and it is much better.”
Transcribed and edited from the Dzogchen Community Video Journal, web edition, clip 2013-1, Shang Shung Institute.