Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche
Love, Work, Music
Advice for young people, Q&A in Menz, Germany
July 3, 2010
Note 1: This transcript is not an official publication of Siddhartha’s Intent. Every effort has been made to ensure that this transcript is accurate both in terms of words and meaning, however all errors and misunderstandings are the responsibility of the editors of madhyamaka.com. Please see note.
Note 2: This transcript includes footnotes with clarifications and more information about Tibetan and Sanskrit Buddhist terms used in the teaching. Please click on the superscript number to read the footnote. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche’s name is abbreviated to “DJKR” throughout.
Love, Work, Music
[DJKR]: So, we’ll talk about relationships first. Relationships, you don’t have much choice. When it comes, it comes. The only people who have a choice are those sublime beings who have no more karma, no more emotion. Then they can choose, “Oh, okay, today I’m going to have a relationship. Maybe tomorrow I’m going to pause the relationship. And then start [again] the day after tomorrow”. Like that.
But for people like you and me, we have no control. Even when sometimes you think “Oh, I have [had] enough of relationships. I’m not going to have any [more] relationships.” Or “I’m not good. Nobody is going to like me”, this kind of thing. Even if you think like that, when your karmic wind blows, relationships will just come out of nowhere. And if there is no circumstance like that, even though you’re the most beautiful, the most good-looking, you have everything, you are confident, you think you can have relationships – it will be dry like the Sahara desert. Nothing. No relationships.
So the important [thing] about relationships is not to have too many expectations. A little bit of expectations, you know we human beings have [that]. But many times we have too strong expectations, both negative and positive. “Oh, I’m going to have it”. Or “I will never have relationships”. Or “This relationship is going to be very good. He or she is my soul mate”. Or “No, he or she is not good for me”. Too strong decision and expectation, and that always ruins the relationship.
So if you’re a couple, I think it’s good to think like, your attitude should almost be like you have checked in to a hotel for a few days together. But soon the guests are going to go away, separately. So it’s a temporary thing. If you have that kind of attitude, “I might never see her again [after] tomorrow. This may be our last goodbye or kiss” or whatever, maybe it will help. It will bring the preciousness of the relationship. And I think, yes, when a relationship comes you should not be afraid. You should have relationships. If it doesn’t happen, then again you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself.
[DJKR]: I have noticed that many young people are too idealistic. They [would] all like to do things that are idealistic – [be] musicians, [make] art, things they like. They end up mixing their hobbies and work. In your life you want to do this, this, this and this [DJKR counts on his fingers]. You really don’t want to do this [other thing], such as plumbing. You know, fixing toilets or whatever. But my advice for younger people is probably you should do this [other] one, the one that you don’t like to do. So that you can do the rest.
It’s kind of unfortunate [that] we live in this world where the system – like bills, telephone bills, grocery bills – every step we take in this modern world, it costs. So I think it’s good to have a job [that] already aims for something practical. I think things like a PhD in physics, yes maybe it’s good, but it’s too hard. And a PhD in poetry, there are no jobs. I would rather that young people learn [to be] plumbers and electricians, something that the world needs in the future. So that you work, save money, and [then] do whatever you want. Dharma practice, if you want, of course [it’s] the best. But if you are not practicing the Dharma, holidays. And you are your own boss.
[DJKR]: Yes, people should listen to heavy metal, whatever. What’s his name, the one with the biggest makeup? [Inaudible] Yes, [he’s] really good. They should listen. Nothing wrong. If you block your ears to this kind of thing, close your eyes to this kind of thing, then soon you might have to lock [yourself] inside [your] room. Because nothing is perfect in the world. So better not escape like that. They should listen to whatever they want to listen to.
But to be kind. To believe in cause, condition and effect. To be not extreme. To be gentle. As long as you have these things as a base, [between] heavy metal and Mozart, there’s not so much difference.
Transcribed and edited by Alex Li Trisoglio