OT Rinpoche told a funny story the other day. It came up as he was speaking about the hardships some of his ex-monks were facing in “the Pure Land of Belgium”, where life had turned out to be much more expensive and difficult than they could possibly have imagined—”Living is expensive, eating is, of course expensive. Even dying is expensive!” They had dreamed of coming to the west where they imagined everyone was spontaneously rich, but the reality was quite different. And in this context, Rinpoche told his story.
A few years ago, Rabjam Rinpoche bought himself a shiny new Range Rover, and the moment he laid eyes on it, OT Rinpoche wanted one for himself. But he had a problem: he was broke.
Undeterred, Rinpoche remembered that HH Dalai Lama often said western people seemed willing and able to help whenever money was needed, and decided to launch an appeal. The Chokling monks were doing a drupchen for Sogyal Rinpoche that year in Bir, and so OT Rinpoche had a notice written explaining precisely why he needed money and displayed it prominently next to a collection bowl.
A few days later, once all the rituals had been successfully completed, a monk was sent to pick up the bowl. It contained just $15 (US).
At around that time, two women asked to see Rinpoche and brought with them a beautifully wrapped gift. As they presented their offering to Rinpoche, they said they were giving him something they knew he really needed. Intrigued, he opened his present and found a Range Rover. It was exactly like Rabjam Rinpoche’s, except that it was plastic and only three inches long. But it was, without doubt, a Range Rover…