#420: Thank You, Young Aspiring Tenzin Chodon
- TheDailyEnlightenment #420 ~Share your Enlightenment Here!______________________________________________
Realization: Thank You, Young Aspiring Tenzin Chodon (Nepal)Tenzin Chodon is from Nepal and is fifteen years old this year. She has seeked permission from her parents to take up the robes and to train to become a nun one day. She is now residing and studying at Koppan Monastery’s nunnery. She is also a friend of mine who writes to me whenever she finds time. Her days are filled with lessons and blessings that she writes and shares with me. And she always remembers me in her prayers. However little I can offer her, for one reason or another, she is always thanking me for being a friend. In true, I have every reason to be grateful to her than her, me.
Fiona was one of the youngest of all my girlhood friends and she had gotten married before she reached thirty years old. I make a point to treat myself well and celebrate my independence after her wedding. At thirty-two years old, I have not even started trying to find a life partner. My excuse being, people like things will come. I am in no hurry to give up the space and time that singlehood has ensures.
Some Buddhists have pointed out that husband and wife are people who fell in love with their own quarrelsome enemy. Children are like debt collectors, trying your patience and pushing your limits before you break down in frustrations any time. To this group of people, they are always congratulating me for not having found a ‘quarrelsome enemy’ and that ‘debt collectors’ are yet to be on my back.
The great Victorian writer Jane Austen wrote six great literary classics that carry only one simple theme; “A woman shall never marry for the sake of marrying.” On reading that, it makes perfect common sense. Marriage is a partnership to ‘give’ and share a common future. To go in with a selfish agenda that it is my needs not to be alone and that somebody has to be there for me sow seeds for future discords when two self-obsessing individuals put self before the other.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama pointed out that it is good to bring forth human lives to Samsara. By offering mother sentient beings the opportunity to take a human form would mean giving them a chance to learn the Dharma, and seek liberation from suffering. Children being the hopes of our future will hence be in a position to help other mother sentient beings too.
So thanks to Tenzin Chodon, I found a ‘daughter’ in her. Asian parents are notorious for putting sons before daughters. Girls are usually entitled to the remains of what their brothers need. The boys will have the best of food and medicine and the right to an education hardly extends to their sisters. When Tenzin Chodon chose to take up the robes, she has unknowingly too earns herself a chance to be fed, clothed, educated and be given medicine when she falls ill. Her parents must have foreseen what a life of training in a nunnery can offer to their daughter. By giving their blessings to Tenzin Chodon to fulfill her virtuous aspiration, they are helping her as well as all mother sentient beings who shall benefit from Tenzin Chodon’s future spiritual accomplishments.
And thanks to Dave Teo (Please contact him if you wish to help: dave_rona@... / Pg: (65)9318-0261), one of the hardest working spiritual brothers from Amitabha Buddhist Centre (http://www.fpmtabc.org.sg), Tenzin Chodon and I were brought together with a simple sponsorship programme (Ladakh Nuns Association: http://www.ladakhnuns.homestead.com). A salaried worker like me in First World Singapore shall remit a small amount of money every month to Third World Nepal for the upkeep and well being of a child like Tenzin Chodon. And it is not any other child, a child that is as good as a ‘daughter’ in far flung Nepal who cares and prays for me and all mother sentient beings to be in good health and be happy always.
Due to the tireless effort of part time Dharma workers like Dave Teo and the rest, a single woman with no strong aspiration to marry for the sake of marrying is in a position to contribute to a child’s need. And the option to compromise and make do with any one who comes along need not even be entertained. I do seriously doubt if as a couple both will be happy if that is how they come together. The children shall suffer if a harmonious and reassuring environment is not available for their growth and development.
I shall enjoy the full option of being honest with my personal aspirations despite social pressures. And singlehood needs not be a selfish or totally individualistic ‘me only’ options for which to Tenzin Chodon, I am truly grateful.
Last but not least, to be in chorus with The Straits Times journalist Clarissa Oon: if there is more good men who reads good books there will be less good women left on the shelf. For me, quiet evening involves a cup of tea with classical music and a good book on my lap. Casual dates are still inviting and forthcoming but I must admit I have always find good books more interesting than most men. (Just my personal point of view.) [Ed: Interestingly, many good books are written by men!]
The wonderful world of Dharma is just so reassuring and a great blessing itself! The option of an intelligent spiritual life has been an empowering experience, I am grateful for this Precious Human Rebirth. And for all my shortcomings as a person, may my faults and failings set not a bad example to others and should I be of no help, I pray may I not be hindering others. Om Mani Padme Hum.
By Santi Yeo Her Chuen: santi@...__________________
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