Thinley Namgay

His Eminence Gyalwa Dokhampa delivered a talk on “Transformation: Values, Spirituality, and Progress” at the Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies (RIGSS) dialogue in Thimphu, focusing on understanding and implementing values such as wisdom, compassion, and cause and effect in daily activities to foster a better society.

Rinpoche emphasised the importance of service beyond oneself, having a positive motivation before engaging in any activity, and exhibiting good leadership qualities.

The dialogue, moderated by director of RIGSS, Chewang Rinzin, on February 13, drew the participation of the prime minister, dignitaries, and a large audience at the RUB hall.

Responding to a query about the rigid civil service system, Rinpoche expressed its significance in maintaining uniformity but suggested flexibility when necessary for the country’s greater interests.

Here is an excerpt of the dialogue between Chewang Rinzin and His Eminence Gyalwa Dokhampa.

Rinpoche, what is human transformation? In the context of personal growth and spirituality, what are some of the fundamental values and principles that guide human transformation?

Transformation has been an ongoing process since time immemorial. From birth to adulthood, we continually undergo changes. Embracing transformation, though challenging, is crucial. Compassion and wisdom should guide this process, leading us to think beyond ourselves and towards a shared vision. Recognising the impermanence of reality is essential.

Is enlightenment a possibility, Rinpoche?

Complete understanding of ignorance can lead to enlightenment. Each individual has the potential to attain it, as enlightenment is a matter of the mind. We cannot judge others’ potential, as even civil servants may possess enlightenment.

Rinpoche, how different is spirituality from religion?

Spirituality involves the transformation of the mind, while religion encompasses visible practices. Both serve as vehicles for personal growth and development. Religion aids in crossing the ocean of life, while spirituality cultivates awareness and compassion.

How does individual transformation lead to societal transformation?

Individuals should aspire to positive motivations and actions in life. Reflecting on the Buddha’s life, we see the importance of benefiting others and understanding cause and effect. Every action we take has consequences, emphasising the interconnectedness of all beings.

How can government policies lead to inner transformation?

Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) values are integral to policy-making. Social policies should align with GNH values, recognizing the contribution of spirituality and religion to the country’s economy and hospitality. Policies should aim to preserve these values while minimising adverse impacts.

Rinpoche, what can we learn about leadership from Buddhist teachings?

Spiritual leadership revolves around four principles. First, defining whom we lead and for what purpose. Second, leading with compassion or wisdom, catering to diverse situations. Third, understanding others’ aspirations while balancing compassion with wisdom. Finally, having a clear vision of where we want to lead.

Rinpoche, how does Gelephu Mindfulness City manifest all the essence of GNH?

Gelephu Mindfulness City embodies the wisdom and compassion of our kings. Building on Bhutan’s mindfulness culture, the city will showcase GNH values and spirituality. It will serve as a testament to Bhutanese values, offering a transformative experience to visitors.