He knows travel is the best teacher and when the destination is spirituality, the experience is more than just sightseeing. It helps you pack young and vibrant viewpoints in your intellectual bag of traditional Buddhist teachings.
He’s the young spiritual leader Gyalwa Dokhampa, who believes Buddhism is not a religion but a way to find happiness. How important is materialistic happiness in your life, asks the spiritual leader, who has lived most of his adult life in the 21st century.
“Many people want to become rich or become successful. Why do we want to become successful? Because we believe that by becoming successful we would be happy and comfortable,” he explains.
In an interaction in his Druk Ralung Shedrup Choling Monastery in the hills overlooking this Bhutanese capital, he says: “If I ask you: Would you be willing to sacrifice all spiritual happiness or happiness of the mind in exchange for materialistic gains and fame?”
Explaining how the chase for happiness works, he says: “We want something because we think that it will make us happy. We go for it. When we get it, it is not enough and it doesn’t make us happy. We want something else and we get that. We need something else again.”
“Young people,” he says, “will think that the old people who are successful must be happy. Old people are still chasing after something they feel is significant. So all our life we may be chasing after happiness and never getting it.”
“And in the process of getting that happiness, we sacrifice our friendship, our emotions and our health and life. We might end up sacrificing everything and not getting anything,” the 36-year-old spiritual leader says.
The Gyalwa Dokhampa is a family member of the Gyalwang Drukpa and has been recognised by Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama as the ninth Gyalwa Dokhampa.
Based in Bhutan and Nepal, he teaches worldwide and brings a young viewpoint to traditional teachings.
The Buddhist monk, who believes that the source of all happiness and pain is none other than one’s own mind, asks: “Does happiness come from a sense of satisfaction or from external, something outside?” (MR, Inputs: Agencies)