Chögyal Namkhai Norbu at the General Members Assembly
Merigar West, August 15, 2014
The blue, yellow and red gakyil members presented their yearly reports to Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and the members and invited Rinpoche to comment.
“You explained everything very well and in detail and more or less we have understood what has been done. What is important now is how we will continue.
The gakyil. In general we have big, medium, and small gakyils. But in my experience, travelling to many parts of the world, when we have a big gakyil this delays things so they are not done at the right time, and this is not positive. If, for example, there is a nine-person gakyil and those people are not egoists and really put the interests of the Community first rather than their own ideas and points of view, then problems do not arise. But since humanity is very egotistical in this case its much simpler to have fewer people [on the gakyil] who know what they have to do, and even if something doesn’t correspond, these people don’t just stick to their point of view but adapt and do what needs to be done at the right time. Otherwise everything becomes, just like the Tibetan saying, “When there are the circumstances, you don’t manage to do something, then when you want to do it there are no longer the secondary causes”.
My idea is more practical and what I personally try to do – and I also hope that others try to do – is not to complicate things. We already live a complicated situation, everything limited in our society, so we should go towards simplifying, doing what is indispensible, first of all, and not going with our fantasy. Many people say that they are experts in this field and that and even though they may have good intentions it doesn’t correspond with the circumstances and everything becomes complicated.
It is my hope that you do things more simply and apply what is indispensible. Even practitioners should concentrate on these things when they do practice because it can have some concrete benefit.
Many years ago I told my students that I will be very happy when the day comes in which they will all be satisfied with doing only the white A instead of lots of pujas and secondary practices. It doesn’t mean that you become a do-nothing but that it is more important that you understand what the real sense is and concentrate on that. It is the same in our social life – we should concentrate in this way.
In our society there is no lack of bureaucratic complications but with the teaching we have to find a way of simplifying everything. At least people can be a bit more relaxed and enjoy life a little more for the few years that we have because in some way we have to live and work in dualism so if we work in the correct way, it also becomes easier. I also hope that the gakyil will work in the same way.
I want to thank the gakyil very much for doing such a good job because it’s not an easy job. There is a lot of work to do and it is complicated when you want to do something in the Community because there are a lot of people with a lot of ideas and a lot of ways of seeing things and when you want to do something public it isn’t easy at all. In fact, it’s very difficult. And above all the gakyil has undertaken this commitment voluntarily, something that people should really acknowledge. For this reason I would really like to thank them. What you have managed to do up to now – all the programs and the work – should go ahead.”
The current gakyil consisting of three people – Giovanna Natalini (blue), Gianni Totino (yellow) and Dmitri Fieri (red) – offered their services for another year and were accepted by Rinpoche. The Geko, Nikol Stanisova, also offered to continue her work.
“There is a Tibetan proverb: when you fill a sausage [casing], you should know how to tie it. If you don’t tie it well, you lose all the filling. So if we choose a new gakyil who doesn’t know what they should do, we risk losing all the good work you have done.
When we have a meeting here, some people might think that they have a good idea and want to express their opinion about something. But if we listen to everybody’s opinion it would take months, I know very well. The human condition is like that.
In the Community, the gakyil represents the Dzogchen Community. We also have ASIA, the Shang Shung Institute etc. It’s very important that we go ahead in a simple way and collaborate as much as possible. It should be like a family, not something separate. When we feel like we belong to a separate group this is not good for the Community.
There are many people here who have collaborated for the organisation doing all sorts of different things and I would like to thank them very much. I think it is very important to collaborate. This is not only true at Merigar but when I travel around the world visiting the different Gars, wherever I stay I feel that people are like my family. If you consider yourself to be a Dzogchen practitioner, you should feel this way. We are all in the Dzogchen family, so you should all try and do this.
This is all I have to say and I want to give you my best wishes that everything goes ahead very well.”