Explanation of the logo
The five hearts represent love from five directions, coming together in unity and harmony. The orange light in the centre represents the sun (of hope), with its glow of sunrays gradually growing to become red, the colour of strength and energy. This symbolises a heart full of love that illuminates from self to others, with the thriving selfless energy to extend love in the form of humanitarian activities to those beings in our world. The external circle which is orange in colour symbolises the perfection of the beneficial activities that are carried out with fearless confidence and definite success.
Live to Love
Tibetan Buddhist masters and followers have always been perceived very much as a closed community, not very much involved with the communal happenings. "Live to Love" is an idea which has been in my mind for many years. I feel that both the masters and the followers of our 800-year-old Drukpa Lineage must now get ready to expand and extend the idea of "Live to Love" to everyone in their individual communities, irregardless of faiths, nationalities, cultural backgrounds and other conditions. We do not live in this world independently on our own, and the practice of Bodhicitta essentially requires us to interact with other people and other beings in this universe.
While we continue to engage ourselves in formal spiritual practices, such as group and solitary retreats, mantra recitations, prayers and all other different formal practices, to strengthen our mind and to develop our Bodhicitta, we should also get ourselves ready to face the world we live in with the love that we have developed through these practices, sometimes on our own and sometimes with the support of our gurus and friends. When natural disasters happen in our communities, where are we? When our living environment is increasing facing all kinds of threats, what are we doing to help?
We live to love, and we don't live to hate. It is time to extend this energy of love to everyone in our world and every sentient being that we can imagine. Some people find formal and serious practices very easy to be carried out, but when it comes to interact with others, they are lost and become very frustrated. I hope "Live to Love" will be able to help everyone, at least those connected with me and my lineage, to open up themselves and to share their love and happiness with all others connected with them.
Whether this little vision of mine will come into materialisation, it all depends on you, my colleagues, my friends and students. I cannot do this on my own. Therefore, although Druk Foundation Ltd. introduced this idea of "Live to Love" on my behalf in Hong Kong during my birthday celebration in March, this year, I want to launch this in a big way in Ladakh, where the blessings of our forefathers are still active and where this idea of "Live to Love" is very much needed, because of Ladakh's physical conditions and the insufficient resources that are encountered by many Ladakhi villagers and people.
The five directions
Although we are a very small community right now, we can start bringing to life this idea of "Live to Love" by interacting with the people and beings around us, and by being "Messengers of Love" to any being that comes into contact with us. Sharing with others and expanding our inner love outwardly to others will nourish our own lives.
"Live to Love" is actually not a new idea. Many Mahayana masters are already doing so in their own communities and countries. Catholic and Christian communities are most notable for this.
To me, with our existing resources, we can start with the following categories, in the practical sense. Some of my colleagues may be able to lead our small community to start some of these beneficial activities, first in a small way, and then see what happens:
Education - such as building schools (Druk White Lotus School), and eventually being able to provide scholarships
Medical Facilities - such as the various clinics in the Himalayas, providing the basic medical facilities for the needy and cooperating with other hospitals for relief assistance in other areas of medical expertise
Relief and Aids - such as providing human resources and other resources for relieving those affected by disasters, whether natural or manmade
Heritage - such as providing support to preserve the spiritual and cultural heritage of our 800-year legacy, and gradually, depending on our resources, extending this to include others
Environment - such as educating our communities on environment preservation and waste management
Launching of Live to Love
Live to Love! - I have been thinking about this and practically, we all should be doing it together. Instead of only myself and a few of us practically doing this, I think everyone, starting from my monasteries, nunneries and centres worldwide, can start thinking about how to do this based on the 5 directions I have given. I feel that, all my organisations and those of my colleagues who would like to join us (no obligations, of course), should dedicate the 3rd Sunday of each month to carry out activities in regards to "Live to Love".
For example, some activities such as joining with other humanitarian organisations or doing on our own about helping other human beings, releasing lives, visiting homeless people with genuine and sincere care for their well-being, look around the areas where the centres, monasteries or nunneries are located and see if our own local communities need any kind of help. We can provide this kind of very simple and convenient help, to start with. Some people will ask why the 3rd Sunday, why not 1st Sunday, 2nd Sunday or 4th Sunday? Well, I have a few reasons. One is that the number "3" represents the Three Jewels; second is that most people are very busy in the beginning and at the end of the month, for various reasons. I am not daring to ask everyone to do on every Sunday, because this is just the beginning, to do something good and beneficial to your own local communities, practically, this should not add to your already stressful life. Let's start to do this once a month, 12 times a year, to be living genuinely for others' benefits - Live to Love!
I hope that everyone who follows my simple advice is able to do this happily and willingly. I don't know how this will affect your daily life, but I am sure taking 12 days out of 365 days to do genuine beneficial deeds for the sake of others is not asking too much, I hope. This should be a support to your formal practice, that is to say to put your formal practice into practical use, and you can check then how much Bodhicitta you really have, you should at least be honest to yourself. I would be so happy to get news from all my organisations what they are doing every 3rd Sunday and I would love to have these news posted on my web or the live to love website, which I hope someone is doing up now. I was told that Druk Foundation Ltd. has registered this Live to Love logo and the words for the lineage, so it's good that if we can all use "Live to Love" to represent all the humanitarian and beneficial activities, without boundary of religions, nationalities, etc.
About Live to Love
Several of my people have asked me whether Nyungnay practice, Ngondro practice and retreat of all sorts are considered as part of "Live to Love" activities. As I said several times in my gossips, compassion is a practice needs to be developed and cultivated, love is a practice that is needed to put compassion into action.
To be clearer in this explanation, relating this with the formal practice of Nyungnay, Ngondro, retreat and etc. as well as the "Live to Love" activities that I am encouraging everyone to be doing, it is like this: The orange light in the centre of the logo is your own heart or mind that is supposed to be full of love so that it can share this selfless energy with others. To do that, you need to have foundations or fundamentals that help you to carry out "Live to Love" activities without having any problems and confusion. This is like the story of doctor and patients. If a doctor is not well-trained, how can he or she be saving lives of the sick ones? So theoretically and basically, you need to be trained. I have not been talking much about this topic, maybe I have the impression that people do understand why I am promoting "Live to Love" activities like nobody's business. This does not mean that I am encouraging you to forget about meditation, about doing retreat, about reciting mantra, about Nyungnay, about Ngondro. No! This is not true. I am really sorry to tell you that in fact, "Live to Love" activities are additional things that I am encouraging you all to do for the sake of actualising what you are practising in your visualisation of Bodhicitta, loving kindness, compassion and wisdom.
This is like using a knife to cut something. To do that, you need to sharpen the knife, the sharpening process is the formal practices you are encouraged to do. The actual cutting is the "Live to Love" activities, this means that you are checking how sharp or how blunt is your knife. If it is not sharp enough, reflect and meditate on the reason why it is not so, and go back to sharpen your knife again.
If you don't have the foundations or the understanding of compassion and wisdom, if you don't develop this inner qualities within yourself, you would be banging your head against the wall when you do "Live to Love" activities. Why is it so? There will be a time when you feel very tired, very disappointed, very outraged with "Live to Love", because the essential part that forms the pillars supporting "Live to Love" activities is not there. What is it? It is the inner strength that needs to be developed and cultivated through formal practices. I am sure that you have never heard of a doctor (whether traditional or western) being qualified without having to study in a medical school or without having to be trained in many different ways. If ever you know or hear about this kind of doctors, I don't think you would even have the confidence to consult them, wouldn't you?
So it is the same thing with "Live to Love" activities. You will bang your head against the wall if you don't have the inner strength to deal with the sufferings that you see and observe while doing the "Live to Love" activities. You may end up thinking that you are hopeless to remove sufferings in samsara, or the other extreme is that you may end up thinking yourself as a great hero, thinking that you are doing such a great job saving lives, giving things away to poor people, etc. It's not like this. "Live to Love" activities should be strengthening your understanding of the Four Noble Truth and other wisdom and compassion teachings of the Buddha as well as giving you a great support for your formal practice. At the same time, the formal practice which you should be consistently doing to develop your inner compassion and wisdom should be helping you to deal with many issues that come with "Live to Love" activities. The "Live to Love" activities and the formal practice of Nyungnay, Ngondro, etc. come together as the right and left hands. "Live to Love" activities are like the software and the formal practice is the hardware. So can you imagine a computer without hardware or software? Of course not, both are badly needed. You cannot do only the formal practice and ignore the "Live to Love" activities altogether and you cannot replace formal practice with "Live to Love" activities. In the short run, you may not feel any difference, it seems either way would be okay. But I can tell you that in the long run, if you want to improve your spiritual practice, you would be better off to do both at the same time.
By the way, a thought just came to me: a genuine spiritual lineage or the blessing is the electricity, without that, even if you have the best software and the most extravagant hardware, the computer will not work. Some people do such a good job with formal practice, but when it comes to dealing with others, they cannot succeed. There is a missing link. Some people do such a good job with "Live to Love" activities, but when it comes to formal practice, they can't even sit down for 5 seconds to meditate, their mind is so restless. How can a restless doctor perform a successful operation on a sick person? How can an uneducated or untrained doctor help a sick person?
Although I wouldn't say that formal practices are a part of "Live to Love" activities, because in a way, I cannot fit them in any of the 5 categories. But formal practices are the pillars of "Live to Love" activities. What I am saying is that those who are doing formal practices, obviously should have more confidence to do "Live to Love" activities, once in a while they should come out to join "Live to Love" activities and test how sharp or blunt their knives are. For those who are already doing such a good job in "Live to Love" activities, they must also check themselves whether these activities have increase their wisdom, compassion and loving-kindness. Even a sharp knife needs to be sharpened all the time, so that it can maintain its sharpness.To be clearer in this explanation, relating this with the formal practice of Nyungnay, Ngondro, retreat and etc. as well as the "Live to Love" activities that I am encouraging everyone to be doing, it is like this: The orange light in the centre of the logo is your own heart or mind that is supposed to be full of love so that it can share this selfless energy with others. To do that, you need to have foundations or fundamentals that help you to carry out "Live to Love" activities without having any problems and confusion. This is like the story of doctor and patients. If a doctor is not well-trained, how can he or she be saving lives of the sick ones? So theoretically and basically, you need to be trained. I have not been talking much about this topic, maybe I have the impression that people do understand why I am promoting "Live to Love" activities like nobody's business. This does not mean that I am encouraging you to forget about meditation, about doing retreat, about reciting mantra, about Nyungnay, about Ngondro. No! This is not true. I am really sorry to tell you that in fact, "Live to Love" activities are additional things that I am encouraging you all to do for the sake of actualising what you are practising in your visualisation of Bodhicitta, loving kindness, compassion and wisdom.
For more information information : http://www.l2love.org