I have been searching for dharma doors (practice methods) in order to make progress in my practice. For example, I have been practicing Dharma Master’s TL [a well-known senior seated monk in Vietnam] meditation method but have not been able to increase my samadhi (concentration power).
Since you have been following my Dharma for several months now through Ven. PT, allow me to be direct with you.
If it does offend you, please accept my sincere apologies. I have been spoiled by my followers who graciously allowed me to speak my mind without having to beat around the bush.
As I see it:
1. I understand that you are committed to the orphans at your temple. That is most remarkable. However, do not forget that you are a left-home person. You severed family ties and renounced love to become a nun. How could you allow yourself to be tied up again in another family (of your orphans) at your temple?
2. Ven. PT made progress very rapidly because she has the proper Dharma door, right environment and appropriate guidance. In contrast, you have none of those and are further encumbered by the temple work that can be just overwhelming. No wonder you can’t progress in your cultivation. I would say that you are more committed to cultivating blessings than cultivating samadhi and wisdom. You get what you sowed.
3. If you do wish to work on your gongfu (samadhi and wisdom) then you should unburden yourself with the temple responsibilities. I am sure that they will do just fine without you. No one is that indispensable, really.
4. You are getting older. Time is running short. It won’t be long before you have not much strength and energy to cultivate. You’ve generated a lot of blessings so far. Isn’t time for you to shift gear and try to use those blessings to cultivate wisdom? May I suggest that since you are so often afflicted by your daily responsibilities, it is very hard for you to ascend to higher realms at your death time?
5. If you do decide to change emphasis, then you need to go to the mountain because “the mountain does not go to Mohammed”.
6. Pick a jeweled mountain and go there to amass true jewels. That would seem to be more appropriate for a person of your caliber and aspirations. End birth and death before you have the wisdom and strength to help a lot more people (i.e. right now, you have inadequate samadhi power and wisdom to effectively help others). You have to think bigger.