Thursday, October 23, 2014

Finding the Head of the Knot, by Jen Wen


Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche Student Jen
Jen Wen
Ever since I was 16, I’d been smoking and dabbling in drugs; first marijuana, later hard chemical drugs. I also had a short stint with being an alcoholic in my 20’s.

Since I could remember, I have always had trouble with my identity, controlling my thoughts and their effect on my emotional state. Growing up in the states, I oscillated between fighting with my grandma on cultural issues and arguing with my father - who lived in Taiwan - on the phone, about my obligations and how I ‘should be’. Needless to say, I was more than ready to flee the nest! I accumulated enough credits to graduate high school in 3 years and I was college bound!

It was there that I started experimenting with hard drugs, smoking pot daily and ‘raving’ for days on end (sometimes without any sleep). I managed to barely get through sophomore year with a 1.01 GPA. A relative was diagnosed with a variety of deathly illnesses and I found my escape through alcohol- lots and lots of it! I would drink until I would black out, and in one particularly memorable situation, I got behind a wheel and hit a car when I pulled out. The owner of the car chased me down and never pressed any charges, but instead, saved my life by calling a relative to get me home.

Those days are way behind me now… but the imprints they left are never too far away. Looking back, things people would say or something that would happen would easily throw me off my balance, causing me to act impulsively and rebelliously. It made me feel helpless, lost, and unhappy.

But then I met Rinpoche.

Shang Rinpoche started to help me to understand my afflictions, getting to know them instead of being afraid of them. He empowered me with confidence to be able to overcome challenges, however big or small, and become the person I wanted to become. Slowly, I relied on solely myself to get through hard times, instead of external things (like drugs, alcohol, etc.). And now, more often than not, I am able to find the head of the affliction… one by one, unraveling them…

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