|1. DO YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE BUDDHA NATURE IN YOU?|
|2. PRELIMINARY PRAYERS AND EXPLANATIONS|
|3.PRELIMINARY PRAYERS AND EXPLANATIONS(part2)|
|5.ALL ABOUT MEDITATION|
by Geshe Tenzin Zopa on 4th JAN 2008 @ Losang Dragpa Buddhist Society
(The teaching starts with recitation of the Heart Sutra)
BENEFIT OF RECITING HEART SUTRA
While reciting the Heart Sutra you can dedicate this recitation of Heart Sutra to clear obstacle in your spiritual development. In order to gain the realization in spiritual development, one needs to contemplate. In order to contemplate, one needs to listen and study the Dharma teaching. And especially to establish realization within one’s mental continuum, one has to receive the teachings of the profundity of lineage. So, therefore the purpose of discussion of the course is to habituate the teaching in our mind and to gain the realization up to enlightenment.
In order to do that, there is so much obstacles to clear. The obstacle in obstructing the opportunity to listen to the teaching such as not finding time, or maybe dinner party comes when the teaching starts or something goes wrong with family. So, these all are obstacles. In order to gain the realization, you need the direct oral blessing of the lineage teaching from Buddha up to the lineage holder - those masters who received the lineage from the masters, then master of the master up to Buddha , such as from Buddha Manjushuri, Buddha Maitreya, or Buddha Shakyamuni, Buddha Tara, Buddha Amitabah, Buddha Amitayuh and all deities. So all the teachings should be unbroken lineage. And that is not sufficient to study just from the books. For knowledge it is beneficial to study from the books, but if your purpose is to establish realization then knowledge is not enough. So therefore since it is so precious, some how always there is obstacle; because it is so precious, that’s why there are lots of obstacles. So, you see, the Heart Sutra is very powerful practice to clear the obstacles.
Also after listening teaching then again obstacles appear for you to contemplate the teaching. Contemplate means to digest teaching that relates to your day to day life. Whatever information you received, motivation you listen, day to day in your daily life, sometimes you may not find suitable time or disturbance by your family members, noise, or busy schedule in your life, there is no proper time for us to contemplate. Even then there is obstacle, so you need to clear the obstacle. So then even you receive the teaching you contemplate, but to gain the realization much more heavier obstacles will occur. Such as like superstitious mind, doubts, and disturbing thoughts while you perform the meditation. The worst one is falling into wrong view; and encountering obstacles of six delusions. You have more than that; once you copied these 6 delusions, there are 20 more to copy at the back! So those are the obstacles normally occur when you do meditation. So this is the 6 root delusion and 20 secondary afflictions or delusions. It is our purpose of studying the teaching and taking the teaching as the antidote to eradicate these defilements. So these are the greatest obstacles. It is far more dangerous than the outer enemy with guns and troops. It’s far more dangerous, so therefore during recitation of Heart Sutra, individually try to dedicate the recitation to be the antidote to clear all those obstacles, and may we able to achieve the realization of the path up to enlightenment within one life time. With that motivation please recite the Heart Sutra.
(Recitation of Heart Sutra by all, followed with short Mandala offering)
IMPORTANCE OF ACCUMULATING MERITS – MANDALA OFFERING
(Geshela explained the Mandala offering itself is a very powerful practice to accumulate merit.)
Just an example, during Lama Tsongkhapa’s great effort to study Buddhist philosophy, he become a great scholar where he was able to compose many commentaries and even some of the root text on the emptiness teaching, which is one of the most difficult topic, and one of most profound teaching, and some of the teachings received directly from Buddha Manjushri. But still he was unable to actualize the realization on emptiness in his mental continuum. Even though he can express how to realize what about emptiness, one of the most profound commentary he composed but still was unable to realize the realization. Then one day, he just asked question and did strong prayer to Buddha Manjushri that why is it like that. Manjushri replied that it is lack of merit that is why he is unable to gain realization. So, if you don’t gain the realization, you cannot directly abandon the defilements. In order to abandon the defilement you must be able to have the direct opposition, which is the antidote, which is the wisdom realizing emptiness directly. Then Manjushri advised Lama Tsongkhapa to go and accumulate extensive merit by performing the preliminary practice, the Mandala offering.
After he accomplished certain great amount of the Mandala offering using the Mandala base as exactly how we do Mandala offering with similar visualization, one day just suddenly he gained the realization with the understanding of the emptiness theory, and by the support of blessing, which the merit is the source to drag the blessing, he was able to obtain realization. So therefore, same to us here, even though how much we know the theory, that is not sufficient. We need so much merit in order to gain the realization. So therefore every time before teachings or discussions, even in your house, even before reading teaching books, even before you meditate on certain topics, such as you want to do meditation on Guru devotion, before that you can just offer Mandala offering. Even before you contemplate on teaching, even before you just read certain books, you can just make offering of the Mandala to the Buddhas and Gurus. Just because of that action, you accumulate so much merit that will affect and help us to gain realization.
So here one should offer the Mandala offering to all the past lineage Gurus, which involve many bodhisattvas and many Buddhas. To hold this proper instructions of Buddha’s advise which is direct from his own holy speech, not just somebody who make up, or some ordinary people that make up like a story, it is not like that, so in order to digest within one’s mental continuum, in order to gain the realizations, and for one able to be liberated, do this Mandala offering with extensive motivation, visualization, thinking that even though forget to bring your mala, just with empty hand, just by doing this Mandala mudra - the center one symbolize the Mt Meru, this 4 corners symbolize the 4 continents, your offering of the entire 4 continents, the Mt Meru, and whatever possessions and beings exist within these four corners as wish fulfilling jewels, you offer in that respect to the Buddhas in order for me to gain the realization in emptiness, just like that.
(Offer Mandala and recite refuge prayer)
So please kindly feel comfortable yourself and relax and treat this session as form of enjoyment, form of relaxation, form of like vacation from busy schedule, from your family, from your work etc. To try to relax both physical as well as your mind, that is very important.
DO WE HAVE BUDDHA NATURE?
Today is the first day of that you are studying the teaching program in LDC . Hope that within this year we may be able to achieve the understanding on the foundation for all the understanding on the stages of the path up to enlightenment. Even though you might find some of the topic may be very simple, maybe you might already know, but still it is very important, to re-energize within your mental continuum. So, even though the speaker doesn’t know how to express, don’t know how to put the phrases, or even misinterpret! I hope not, in case very dangerous if it happens. For people who listen you should know how to listen. There is a saying that even though speaker don’t know how to speak, as long as the listener know how to listen, then its OK. Otherwise, even how perfect the speaker speaks if the listeners do not listen then it doesn’t work! So, that is very important!
Anyway, I would like you to copy this 6 root delusions, after that there is 20 more verse to copy. So, this is your homework. Meanwhile, if you feel bored listening to me, you can copy; or maybe at the end once we stopped for Q and A you can copy.
Today’s topic is “Do you believe you have Buddha nature in you?” THAT IS A BIG QUESTION! This is really, really the foundation for us to really gain faith in Buddha. If we do not have Buddha nature within us, then there is not much purpose for us to accumulate merit, there is not much purpose for us to purify negative karma, and no purpose for us to practice!
Since there is Buddha nature within us, that’s why there is a reason for us to practice dharma; to accumulate merit; purify past negative karma. But we have to convince ourselves that there is Buddha nature within us. As far as concern with me, yes, there is Buddha nature in me. There is Buddha nature in everyone, in all living beings equally per ser has Buddha nature in the mental continuum.
So now, the second question is, “what IS that Buddha nature?”
In order for ourselves to understand WHAT is the Buddha nature within us, we need to put tremendous effort to get into that understanding, that realization, to see by yourself that definitely there is Buddha nature. So in order to see for yourself, tremendous effort is needed to fight with the obstacles. Those obstacles are the 6 delusions, 6 types of different delusions, and 20 secondary afflictive emotions. So we need to fight.
First of all, we need to recognize what are the 6 delusions? Every single delusion we need to know their nature - How they live in us? How they perform their activities within us? How they control our mind? How they control our action? It is the same thing with the 20 secondary afflictive emotions, and also how they are involved in our daily life.
OVERCOMING DELUSIONS/ UNDERSTANDING OF MIND
Therefore the first task, the first job is to recognize those obstacles! In dharma word we say first to recognize the NEGATION. These are the things that we have to negate. These are the things we have to purify, abandon and then only you can able to see the true face of Buddha nature.
Such as anger, first of all, we have wrong view within us, seeing the anger mind exist innately within our mind. We have a wrong view - seeing our anger mind, our attachment mind, our jealousy mind, all these deluded minds exist or manifest INNATELY from our mind. Innately in the depth of our mind means there is no different nature from our fundamental consciousness. Such as anger, do we ever find or do we ever differentiate the angry mind from the clear light mind? The subtle mind that we possess, the continuum of the mind that we possess, continue from life to life, which come from beginingless life time up to today, which will travel up to enlightenment, we always see the angry mind, as no different from that consciousness. That mind which travels from beginingless life time up to now; and which will travel from life to life up to enlightenment.
The second task is to CHECK and see whether this afflictive emotion, whether this deluded mind is the same nature with our mind or not! Same nature with our clear light mind or not? Same nature with our mind that travels from beginingless life time up to now? And which travels from now to enlightenment? Whether it is the same nature or not? This is the second task. This is a meditation process. If we really want to find out, we need to analyze, we need to investigate.
MIND PLAY ,ANGRY MIND, IGNORANCE AND AFFLICTIONS
So now we ask a question, “If the angry mind is the same nature as the fundamental mind that possess in us life after life, that means whenever the mind exist, it should exist in the manner of hatred!” This anger mind is hatred, the mind of hatred which consciousness is overwhelmed in the aspect of over estimated in the wrong qualification. Like somebody, such as your enemy, why you get so angry? Because you over estimate on the negative quality of that person, more than the actual amount of fault that the other party has. Such as if I get angry with somebody, maybe that person just punched me one time, that’s it, but I over estimate and I over emphasize that he punched me, and I put an extra and over projection, thinking he punched me because he had very negative mind, negative intention, he had a mind to kill me, that’s why he punched me. Even though he didn’t have the thought to kill me, just wanted to punch me, that’s it. But I label extra qualification in negative way, that’s how you generate hatred. You know he punched me with the intention to kill me, last year I gave him a dumpling and he thought I put poison in there, that’s why even today he try to kill me. He never think about this, not even the dumpling that I offered to him; but you over judged, over exaggerate, over estimate, over react on the negative qualities on other, then you hate, you can’t tolerate, you hated that person. So that means this hatred mind should exist whenever the mind exist. That state of hatred mind is not at all in the state of peace and calm, so that means our true nature of mind, the conventional true nature of mind shouldn’t even have a single moment remain in the aspect of calm and peace. Because, the inner conventional nature of the angry mind and the conventional nature of our own clear light mind is the same. Do you get what I mean? I hope so ya, some time my word too long after that I don’t know where to connect. (Laughter)
In short this angry mind, if it is the same nature with the conventional nature of our mind, it should arise and manifest as like the hatred mind. That means the hatred mind is in the nature of never calm and never peace, so that means there won’t be even a single moment our conventional true, clear light mind, which can able to experience the peace for a moment. Do you get what I mean?
The fact is, the nature of the angry mind, nature of the deluded mind, and the clear light mind is in different nature. Even though both minds possess the same definition of consciousness, but they manifest in different manner. Because they manifest in different manner, they are never the same nature. So they never the same nature in conventional way, they never the same nature in ultimate way also, you see?
TRUE NATURE OF MIND
So, what is the conventional, the true nature of our mind which is totally different from the afflictive emotion or afflictive mind such as the 6 delusion minds? The different is the conventional truthful mind is just in the nature of clear and cognition. It has the foundation of improvement, foundation of perfection. What is the foundation of improvement? By putting effort of purifying the afflictive emotions, afflictive mind, it can able to possess such as positive attitudes such as compassion, loving kindness, bodhicitta and wisdom realizing emptiness. By purifying, by negating the negative afflictions can able to improve the positive imprints, the positive mind, can able to develop. The reason is it has a truthful foundation which is clear and cognition; that refers to the clear light mind; in fact that is the Buddha nature. The clear light mind is the Buddha nature. The foundation mind is the Buddha nature. With the Buddha nature is the mind which is clear and cognition, which has the truthful, firm foundation to improve if you put an effort to abandon the negative afflictions. It has the power; it has the ability to improve positive attitudes such as compassion, loving kindness. It is not like the unstable foundation, like the physical form such as if you train your body for jumping, the limited training can only able to perform within certain limit. By training on jumping, even if martial art or whatever, no way you can jump more than 100 meters or whatever ( Geshela paused to ask if can jump 100 or 1000 meters, answer 100 meters also cannot)
So, 100 meters also cannot, you see it has a limited foundation, which is the physical form. Such as the development of the negative afflictive emotion also has an unstable and untruthful negative foundation. So by developing negative emotion, there is no stage of development; there is no stage of perfection. If you train in attachment, there is no sense of development, even though you find attachment getting bigger, that doesn’t cause development of attachment. By meditating on attachment, no way you are able to perfect your mind. You see, as far as virtuous thought such as loving kindness, compassion and wisdom realizing emptiness, because of the fundamental, the base which is clear light mind, which is the Buddha nature, by training it, one can able to develop unlimits. Since one can develop to no limit, limitless! Then one is able to obtain the state of perfection, which is the omniscient mind. So you see, my English, don’t know how to put, for me it sounds quite ok. (Geshela laughed) What I am trying to prove is this Buddha nature can ever bring us to perfection. The most perfection stage is omniscient mind. I am trying to prove that we ordinary being, who possess at the moment all the negative emotions, such as 6 delusions, and the 20 secondary defilements; and thousands and zillions of the secondary of the secondary defilements; by purifying, we can able to achieve Buddhahood. Just try to encourage us that this is a fact, that is what I am trying to tell.
Therefore, the second important point is, after finding out what are the negative afflictive emotions, then eradicating one by one. By eradicating jealousy mind, you are able to accomplish certain realization on the positive development in your mind. Because of that your clear light mind able to arose in certain level. Because the clear light mind itself, which is the Buddha nature, even though its within us, but its totally dominated, totally covered, like totally protected by the negative emotion for ourselves not to see that we have the Buddha nature, not to see that we have the potential to become Buddha! Those obstacles are totally guarded by the 6 deluded minds especially the ignorant mind. Within the 6 delusions, the ignorant mind is the main force, the main general who gathers the troop of the 20 secondary emotions and rest of the 5 different delusions, to make sure that for us not to realize the Buddha nature; so that we can able to continue to suffer in samsara; we can able to continuously take rebirth in samsara.
DISCOVERING INNATE BUDDHA NATURE IN US
Now, through the blessings of the past good karmas, which is related to the Triple Gem, we realize our main purpose is to fight with this negative afflictive emotions. Only by then one can able to see the true nature of oneself. Therefore, it is says that in fact we already obtained the state of nirvana, it’s shocking to hear. In fact, we ordinary being, including the cat, rats, and cockroach already obtained nirvana. In general, in the scripture, nirvana categorized into two, 1) the Hinayana nirvana and 2) Mahayana nirvana, but the fact is there are 3 types of nirvana, 3) the nirvana of the clear light mind, the Buddha nature.
We have obtained the state of nirvana, having the Buddha nature, which is no different from the omniscient mind. The innate nature of ourselves, the clear light mind what we have is no different than omniscient mind, and that we have already obtained. The only fault we have is we never cognize that, WHY? Because we totally hand over our responsibility, our body, speech and mind actions to delusions and ignorance. We are totally under the guidance of ignorance! Since we take refuge under ignorance, ignorance happily protected us, to make sure he send all the dharma protectors such as attachment, anger, hatred, pride, jealousy. If somebody try to look down on you, straight away you will chase away that, ignorance will make sure that no, no I am better than you! So proud, so egoistic! So you see, ignorance been taking care of us so well from beginingless life time! Ignorance did a best job, even today we are unable to see the nature of our mind. This ignorance is so good, so good that it protected us 24 hours, every life time, even during the intermediate state! Even at the time in the womb, when we are nine months in the womb. The moment when you are conceived, ignorant mind is already there, even before consciousness enters into the substance, ignorant mind already there in existence!
Make sure that attachment is standby, the anger is standby. The very first moment the mind conceived, even that moment, that being has a feeling of care, has a feeling of hate, and has a feeling of relation. These are provided by ignorant mind.
So, you see, how can we ever win from ignorance? Even in the day time we cannot win, even in the dharma center we cannot win, even doing meditation we cannot win, even when listening dharma teaching also we cannot win. When we are not meditating, for sure ignorant will, even during meditation we cannot win. Therefore as mentioned earlier, we need tremendous effort to find out the Buddha nature.
FAITH IN BUDDHA AND THE TRIPLE GEM
Even though it sound a simple subject, but without knowing, our
faith in Buddha is just bla bla. If somebody come and squeeze you, you have no
answer, our faith is just not convinced. If someone put a gun here, you are
ready to die. But I swear to u, even if I am not in robe, I totally have faith
in Buddha. If you totally have faith in Buddha, totally have faith in refuge,
the refuge will save you from lower realm. If you have to die now, are you
ready to leave?? No! No! You have family member, you need to live, you still
enjoying my life. You will just skip. That means your faith is shaking, still
shaking! As long as you know you have the Buddha nature even though you don’t
have the word to express it, but you are totally convinced. That is why you
will definitely receive the blessings from Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. You will
definitely gain the realization. Because your devotion, your conviction, faith
is totally dedicated, 100% dedicated. You pray to
Now we pray to
MINDFULLNESS , INTROSPECTION AND MEDITATION
So, we have been taken care of very well by the ignorant mind, so now from day one, we need to guide ourselves by the different guidance. What is the different guidance? Up to today we are guided by ignorant mind with the help of all these afflictive emotions. Now from today on, how to guide in the proper manner? We have to guide ourselves by the mindfulness and introspection, that is the solution. We have to guide our mind, we have to guide our motivation, we have to guide our action which is provided by the motivation, such as body, speech, we have to be guided by mindfulness and introspection.
How to do that? Yes, it is true that mindfulness and introspection can ever guide me in the right path, can ever liberate me from suffering again and again, and the suffering in samsara which is by the force of ignorant and negative karma. But how to gain the mindfulness and introspection? The initial method, that is to do some simple meditation. So, what is that meditation? That meditation is focusing on our present mind, by avoiding the superstitious thought. The superstitious thought of memory of the past and the superstitious thought of the plan of the future, focus in the present. The very present mind is very clean, soft, clear, calm, gentle, this very moment of mind by skipping the thought of past and future. Past is all the memories and future is all the plans, and one should do this meditation. The very moment after you wake up in the morning, not the time that you wake up blur blur, eyes not opened. Even phone call come, you said …hello.hello…..but the moment you are able to say ‘hello, good morning, yes fine’ very light! The AFTER moment that you really wake up, and the moment BEFORE you really perform your daily actions. Such as first thing we do is go to the toilet like most people would. After whole night, so have to go to toilet, some people maybe no need to go toilet, straight go to brush teeth. Those are the activities. Some people the moment you wake up, you just let your ignorant mind again to handle you. Straight away dial’ hello, Have you have breakfast or not?’ or ‘ ok, we still seeing today or not?’ ‘ Do you have any plan today? We still are carrying on dinner?” You still have not yet have breakfast but already planning for dinner! Like that, before all these things happened, that very moment, it can be half an hour, it can be one hour, it can be 10 hour, it can be whole day, but it can be 5 minutes, it can be 2 minutes or it can be one moment! It can be one second. We have to start with one second. At that very moment, you check yourself; you go and analyze your self. At that moment, your mind is not really dominated by the plans, or clear with previous memory. Your mind, that state of mind is quite calm, quite clean, fresh, and you want to impute anything, or want to dilute anything, so easy you know, easily digest. That kind of clean, clear mind. You go and check, definitely there. There is such a mind there. THAT is the moment that you should meditate. Meditate on what? Meditate on that own mind. You divide one portion of mind, which is mindfulness, one portion of mind, introspection. The mindfulness catch that very moment of mind, which is calm, clear, still and try to remain this clean, clear, still mind. So, like that. So introspection mind quite alert, make sure that your hand naturally don’t go to the hand phone, dial the number, make sure that your hand don’t get the make up things, make sure that your mindfulness not distracted by any kind of other actions, other performance; any performance, physically, mentally, verbally.
You try to remain in this meditation, just focus on that clean, clear mind, that’s it. No other thing. Just focus on your mind which is clear. No need to remember any Buddha’s image, no need to remember any Lam Rim teaching, just focus on that clean, clear mind. You can even say that blur mind, that kind of state mind is very calm. So it is not really active, that’s why it looks like a bit blur. In the sense that, not really aware of the plan, not really aware of the memory. In that sense it is blur, but doesn’t mean it is blur in the cognition. So you try to do one moment, 5 minute, one hour, you can have that moment as the best moment in that day. Very peaceful, it is very good for your health, very good for your mental health, and very good for spiritual health. The reason is there is a benefit. The benefit is you will ever to provide stable mind. First benefit, instant benefit, on that particular day, stable mind. Some how your mind will be more stable than the previous mind, previous days. Some how due to the result of that meditation, your mind is able to be very calm. It’s kind of quite flat, not too exciting, and not too depressing. It’s like quiet. When your mind is quite and flat, that is the happiest time. When you are too excited, one moment so happy, sure next moment will drop down; very unhappy. You know, because it is unstable. If you are able to achieve that, you are able to achieve some percentage of control on your mind. The purpose of our practice is to control our mind, control our emotion. Why are we so easily upset, because we cannot control our mind? So this will able to teach us to habituate our habit. To be able to control our emotion. This will able to bring peace, certain amount of peace, certain amount of calmness, certain amount of stability in your mind. Certain amount of controlling ability. Because of that if you train, train, train; one day, even before going to the cave, you will be able to achieve clairvoyance. This is instant you know, not like you need to go into 6 year or 10 year retreat. This is the immediate benefit. This is stated in the teaching. It is immediate result, that you can able to achieve clairvoyance. If you can achieve clairvoyance, you don’t have to worry about your stock market. (laughter) The business whatever you people do, you don’t have to worry. Clairvoyance is able to see, isn’t it? Sit there, enjoy..(laughter) Yes, oh yes, yes, we must.
CORRECT LIFE STYLE
The problem here with us is we are so worried about cleaning outside, but never think about cleaning inside. We got to wash and wash this and that, maybe one or two hours in the shower room, whatever. Early hours in the morning we already spend so many hours in the bathroom. After that, you rushed to work, how many hours spent? Come back, how many hour spoilt? After that snore, (Geshela made sleeping sound) so where is the time to practice? So, that moment, before our mind will be totally busy, will be distracted later. Like me, the moment I enter into my wash room, first thing go to toilet, then I see the tooth brush, same time I see the soap, same time I see the water tap, same time I see the towel, my mind is already busy with 5 or 6 types of things, how can I make my mind still? No way. Even that much, on top of that, today lunch appointment, this and that, and then the friends, so many things already coming in. The moment you wake up, straight away catch the mind. That time meditation is the best. If possible, sleep alone, very good. (laughter) solitary sleeping, so nobody will disturb you, isn’t it?
It is not just this meditation, even any other meditation, even you want to meditate on Lam Rim, or single pointed concentration whatever. I don’t do meditation, but I try only one day. That moment is the best. In my own experience of trying one day for one second, that period is the best! Even if you want to do meditation on Guru Devotion, most effective. You want to think of Guru, most effective. Otherwise, you think of Guru, straight away you think of burger also. Burger is more effective in the mind, or maybe like coca cola is more effective on the mind, more straight come into mind. The heavier imprint or the more heavier reflection come into your mind, that much imprints it leaves in your subconscious mind. That is how you differentiate how strong the karma comes to function. So anyway, that is the best moment. I don’t want to go further into this.
So in order to actualize that, the preliminary practice best is not to eat afternoon food. Afternoon, just drink liquid, not to eat heavy food. For sure, it is very bad, like eating meat, garlic, onion, are one of the main obstacles for you to achieve this alertness in the morning. You try to sleep best, is around 10 o’clock. If not 11 o’clock. If not, at least before mid night. Many of us don’t sleep till 2 o’clock, isn’t it? It’s so difficult to have meditation the next morning. Even for health it is necessary, even for spiritual practice, very necessary, to practice to sleep before mid night. Best is 10 o’clock, 10 to 11 is the best time. Maybe first one or two nights will be very difficult habit, later you will have the best sleep. If you are able to sleep around 10 to 11 o’clock, you will have the best sleep and be able to wake up 4 or 5 o’clock naturally, very fresh. 5am is the best quiet time. So try not to eat meat, try not to eat garlic, try not to eat onion, especially afternoon or dinner. I hear sometime people do this liquid diet, very good. You eat breakfast, you eat lunch, then at least you can able to stay and have liquid diet, very good. You have energy, at the same time it can be effective. So those wish to slim down, very good also, liquid diet. To live on empty stomach, again it’s not practical; especially those who have gastric, not practical. These are the methods provided for us to actualize, for us to see the Buddha nature. The reason is for us to see the Buddha nature, for us to see the omniscient mind, means for us to see and gain for our self the enlightenment. IF we don’t do this, even we meditate on bodhicitta, loving kindness, all these are like a wind in the tornado, totally shaken, constantly trying to hold, no concentration, nothing. So, that’s why there is benefit to practice vegetarian; if not, at least eat morning and lunch, evening light food, those can able to do liquid diet that is very good.
This is how to gain mindfulness and introspection. These are 2 important tools. Without these two, no way you can take over the responsibility for the ignorant mind. As long as we cannot take over responsibility of ignorant mind, there is no way that we can be free from karma and delusion. As long as we cannot be free from karma and delusion, no way we can be free from death, birth, rebirth in samsara. All of us come to this world, unless you are Bodhisattvas, your own rebirth is up to you. Like me totally by the force of karma and delusion, I was forced to take rebirth in samsara. To free from samsara means to be free from rebirth. Those Bodhisattvas came to benefit us, we don’t necessary said they take rebirth, they are called manifestation, existence in human form to benefit us. So we start from tomorrow, first day is quite uneasy. We must start, from there you will be able to train in concentration. This is the best method to train the concentration.
First stage to train the concentration. Best time, best method, just look into our still mind, that calmness mind. No need to think of any deity, just remain 5 minutes, 10 minutes. If you can able to remain 5 minutes, marvelous. I mentioned earlier, the immediate result is peace and calm and you can able to control your emotion. So now people ask, “How to control my anger? So easily get angry, please teach me the method. How to control my anger? How to control my attachment? If I see my neighbors and my friends improve their business, I can’t handle myself …so jealous, how to control?” This is the best method. To control your emotion, this is the best method. It’s so simple. I hope you can edit yourself; my word is everything here and there, I throw everything, so you edit yourself , very simple, apply tomorrow morning!
So now, here you can able to achieve deity yoga practice. Otherwise deity yoga practice, how to achieve with no concentration? No stable mind, how to practice tantra? Tantra means transformation; protect your mind from ordinary, ordinary emotions of all superstitions. Now here, you see ordinary minds, ordinary thoughts are all superstitions. So tantra is so powerful. That means you should be free from superstitious mind. Tantra is so powerful teaching for you to be free from superstitious mind, this is the point you need to grab!
WHAT IS TANTRA?
What is mantra? It means protect. What is tantra? It means protect,
transform, but from what? From ordinary thought, ordinary mind; because the
ordinary mind is not valid. Ordinary mind is so deceiving. Look, ordinary mind
when you pray to Tara, you are deceiving
DHARMA & NON-DHARMA
As long as 8 worldly concern, impure dharma! It’s not even dharma.
Dharma means correction, protection and fixing. Dharma mean fix, fixing it from
worldly to be non worldly. To fix our mind, our attitude, to fix our purpose
from worldly performance. So therefore, whether practice is dharma or non
dharma is whether your purpose is for this life or beyond this life. If it is
for this life, it is non dharma. It’s
worldly dharma. So how can Tara be able to grant blessing to us when our
purpose itself is totally mistaken, we cannot blame
SUPERSTITION VURSES BUDDHA DHARMA
So, so here the actual meaning of tantra comes in, free you from superstitions. Even the meditation we discussed earlier, also to be free from superstition. The thoughts of the past memories is superstition, the thought of the plan of the future is also superstition. To relief your mind free from superstition; whole day from the superstitious mind, can only be one second. Just one second, that moment is like as I mentioned, clean, clear, calm, peace. That’s it; there is no other than that. So we have to train our mind into this so that we can able to achieve single pointed concentration; can able to achieve clairvoyance, then be able to achieve the realization in the graduated path to enlightenment. So this meditation very, very important, and the benefit, one is able to control one’s emotion. If one is able to control one’s emotion, you can live quite happily in this samsara, you know. You can live happily in samsara and you can able to transform this suffering samsara into opportunity; to develop the FREEDOM in living in samsara.
Now, for me I can see this particular practice is so important. For me right this moment it is more important than meditation on emptiness; more important than meditation on bodhicitta. Because this is the foundation, without this, as I mentioned, our mind is a very light leaf. When you think carefully, we are like that; our mind is like a very thin leaf in a tornado. Think about it! Think this very moment. How many thoughts you have in your mind? All those are superstitions; without meditation, you don’t realize! Now this superstition, you don’t realize this ignorant mind is so clever. What we call ignorant is very alert! Very scary, very alert! It is almost like equal to the power of the wisdom, the wisdom realizing emptiness. Only called ignorant, dark, covered like that, but the cleverness is almost like the wisdom realizing emptiness. Sharp as the wisdom. The moment you try to move this way, he will move the other. The moment you try to cross this border, it will cross double. So, the moment when superstitious mind come, then it will immediately send the grasping mind! Grasp, grasp, cling on it! Somebody punched you, the superstition mind label, exaggerate, that he wants to kill you; even though he didn’t have that thought. Who knows maybe punching you as what you called the word ’sayang’ , maybe the punching could be sayang but your mind exaggerate, he will kill you that’s why he punched you! Then the ignorant mind sends the grasping mind, another mind called the grasping mind, send! Grasp! , say yes, yes! definitely yes! He really wants to kill you that is why he punched you, yes! Then the ignorant mind quickly go, go, go, go send the clinging mind go,go, go. Yes, I will hold the revenge in my heart, definitely I will revenge him. Make sure I will revenge, if possible now, if not tomorrow, if not before I die! Cling, hold, very tight! So if we are not clever to apply our own way, so dangerous. So obvious, this is so obvious, it we think about it one day even if we think about it 5 minutes, it is very clear. But if we don’t think, then fine, enjoying our life.
Superstitions, define superstition! Whatever mind you have now is all superstitions. Totally superstitious! Until you realized the lack of inherent existence of all these thoughts, even one thought, and that thought is not superstitious mind, other than that all are superstitious mind. That means, like me, whatever thoughts come into me are all superstitious; because I can’t see the lack of inherent existence in my way of thinking, in what I perceived, in what I cling. I don’t have realization, so as long as you don’t achieve emptiness mind, superstitious! As long as you don’t achieve emptiness mind on this mike, cup, mug, table, work, car everything is superstition. Superstition is ordinary mind; and that have to purify! Have to negate it. So, ok, superstitions in delusion mind. Superstition is a secondary afflictive emotion. That is why Buddha Dharma , you really have to be careful, to interpret. Buddha Dharma is 100% not superstitious; and you know many people do think that Buddha Dharma is superstitious!
Religion is superstitious? As for Buddha Dharma I invented myself
these reasons. First of all, imminently it’s a religion, and we follow one
particular track, Shakyamuni Buddha. Second thing it is philosophy, there is a
huge reason of things and many other reasons. Thirdly I say, it is a science,
it is a reality, it is a fact! Lastly it is lifestyle. That is my grasping in
Buddha Dharma. My interpretation in Buddha Dharma. For me, so as long as it
does not fall into this qualification, I will regard as superstition. So, I
find this qualification in Buddha’s teaching; even in teaching of compassion,
teachings of prayers, teachings of blessings, and teachings of praying to
BENEFIT OF MEDITATION
So, the benefit of the meditation like I explained before, the ultimate benefit, one will able to brighten the clear light mind up to all knowing mind. At the moment, due to the domination of those afflictive emotions, is unable to cognize the truth of all phenomena, unable to cognize the conventional truth of all phenomena; that’s why the person who possesses that remains as an ordinary person. But if that ordinary person through tremendous practice of purifying and negating of those afflictive emotions, the same clear light mind will be able to actualize to become a subject of all knowing. All knowing means all knowing in the conventional truth and ultimate truth of every single phenomenon; means all knowing state of mind is called the omniscient mind, Buddha mind. That is the moment we achieve Buddhahood.
So the ultimate benefit of doing this meditation, one will gain a stage of stillness, the end kind of object of meditation; such as you want to remain in the unification stage of great bliss and emptiness, through the practice of meditation. One can able to remain still without distraction, for days, months, years, and even eons. That’s why one will be able to achieve the perfection stage. That’s why Buddha has no difference from the subject, they don’t define the two different kind of mind, two different kind of concentration, divided in the effort by two different ways. For ordinary beings, when you meditate on conventional, you loose concentration on the ultimate; when you meditate on the ultimate you loose meditation on the conventional. As far as Buddha is concern, one single pointed, one mind; one subject, one mind; can able to remain in still, single pointed meditation simultaneously, both conventional object, ultimate object. That’s why here, can able to remain in still meditation of unification of great bliss and emptiness. Great bliss is conventional, emptiness is ultimate.
For ordinary being, if you want to meditate on great bliss, you will loose concentration on emptiness; when you mediate on emptiness, you will loose concentration on great bliss. As long as these two cannot go together, as long as you cannot remain in still meditation, single pointedly, simultaneously, one is unable to eradicate this subtlest of defilements. The reason is the strength of memory is very limited. Like in ordinary being, we can only remember up to certain limit. Even within all of us here, we have different levels of memories, but still all us have very limited status of memory. We cannot remember every minute. Why? Because the concentration, what we use is the gross mind; we never touch the subtle mind. We only use the gross mind, gross mind to remember things. We use the gross mind to concentrate, that’s why we cannot remain in long term concentration. We forget, we forget the object, we forget most objects. We want to concentrate in this life, using gross mind. You may remain 5 minutes, maybe 10 minutes, you loose it. Because the gross consciousness, the gross mind it has a very limited gravity to hold the object.
GROSS & SUBTLE MIND
So, the meditation technique, what we learned before is the technique for us to learn to use the subtle mind to concentrate. Up to today we are only using the gross mind. By avoiding the superstitious mind, we are able to compress, hold a tight rein on the superstitious thoughts; compress the gross mind and reach to the subtle level of mind.
So, first we have to train in the most gross level of mind to compress it, then we have to train in the secondary of gross mind to compress; then gradually, the subtle level mind to compress. Then we go to the subtle mind. Then we go to the subtle of the subtle mind. Then we go to the subtle of the subtlest mind. And that subtlest wisdom, subtlest mind, subtlest consciousness can able to see the clear light mind.
So it’s like pressing you down and down with great concentration, So like that. So, subtlest mind subtlest concentration can able to cognize clear light mind. That is why many practitioners, they use the opportunity at the time of death. They practice in day to day life when they are alive. First they practice in day to day life in day time, and then they train in dream. Because when you sleep, your gross mind naturally ceased. In order to be able to do that when we are alert, we have to at least try to avoid the very gross mind. Such as you want to focus on teaching, at least don’t think of your family member, or whatever party you have, just be here; you are avoiding the most gross mind. Leave the most gross superstitious mind aside. After training into this, you are quite able to have control over the gross mind, then you check yourself in the dream. In order to check in the dream you need certain technique. Again you can use the same kind of habit of your life style, eating less, don’t eat at night time, then when you sleep, you will not go into deep sleep. You will go into very light sleep, but very good! When you go into too deep sleep, sometimes the tiredness will not go away. There is a type of sleep state, right food, that type of life style, then the mind is not totally dead, not totally sleep, totally deep sleep, but you are sleeping and resting. Then the dream mind, mind in the sleep can able to control the dreaming mind.
Then when you wake up, you able to remember your dream clearly, including how you control. Just to remember the dream is easy, how you control, how you analyze that dream as a dream. Not just wake up and say you have a dream like that. You have to remember your dream, how an elephant entering in your door to your room. You have to cognize in your dream telling your subconscious mind that this is dream, this is not real! Because the door is so small, the elephant is so big, so you have to communicate in the dream. And that communication you can wake up and be able to tell yourself you achieved certain level on concentration. So then after that, you use this technique at the time of death. Because when you die during the death process, you can see slowly. We look at our natural death, old aging death, slowing down, the eye vision not so good, ears cannot hear properly, taste can’t taste properly, these all are degeneration stage, dissolution stage. Unlike when we were babies, skin so sensitive, is 1000% more sensitive that our present skin sensitivity, even sound, touch, smell, far more sensitive than now.
So, the gross mind dissolved, in medical point of view, the person is dead. No breathing, cannot see, cannot breath in or out, cannot hear, even touch no feeling. Medically dead but not necessarily spiritually also dead. Conventionally, not necessary dead. Conventionally, the mind is still in the central channel. If you cannot accept that, then why the body only degenerate after some pus or blood has passed out .The Tibetan or Chinese do that after some blood has come from the nose, even if they are very weak, the blood will not come from the nose, will come from the secret part. But definitely either from secret part or nose or mouth, 100% it will come. So until that has come, consciousness is still in the body, the same body. So during that process, every single living being including cockroach, experience clear light mind! But don’t recognize that is the clear light mind. That time at least you see your own Buddha. You own self in the state of Buddha, so clean, clear, cognizing state of mind which is the Buddha nature mind….
THE CLEAR LIGHT MIND
So practitioners know, using this life time, using the subtle mind, since the subtle mind is already there and through the past habituation; that’s why meditation so important. Through this habituation of meditation, can able to hold one part of the mind to cognize that clear light mind and in that clear light mind try to cognize true ultimate nature of the clear light mind! That true ultimate nature of the clear light mind is lack of true inherent existence of that clear light mind. Same time when you cognize the true nature of the clear light mind, it has the instant bliss.
In normal life, sometime in your mind, suddenly you have instant bliss come. Like father mother bliss, there is an instant bliss, that kind of bliss, it’s far more subtle when the time you cognize the true ultimate nature of the clear light mind. That’s the reason we call union, of bliss and emptiness.
Union of what? Union of bliss with cognizing ultimate truth of the clear light mind, experience the subtle bliss and the wisdom realizing this two simultaneously; this is what we called wisdom realizing great bliss and emptiness!
That’s why at the time of dying, they use the opportunity. That’s why many practitioners gain enlightenment at the time of dying, during the time of clear light experiences. If they don’t gain enlightenment, they at least try to realize emptiness directly at that time. Many practitioners take the opportunity to realize emptiness at the time of death. That’s why in saying, why we practice dharma, practice to prepare death. Dharma means to prepare death. What it means is to prepare for peaceful death, calm death, concentrated death, death with lots of blessings. Because it is so crucial point, so crucial point. In our day to day life, so much distractions, we still possess the gross senses; we cannot skip from there. Our meditation we cannot handle it. So the best opportunity is at the time of dying. So, that’s why prepare for death.
Those great practitioners, they are so happy to die! Because their liberation so close, their liberation is so near, the moment the gross consciousness dissolved, naturally they can go into the subtle, subtlest concentration, cognize the emptiness there, apply the antidote of all their defilements and gain enlightenment! Within 3 days, one week clear light meditation, some do one month, some do one hour, some do one morning like that. You hear a lot of masters they do clear light meditation, is using this technique.
The middle capable being, quite good practitioners but not really 100% successful practitioners, they don’t at least regret to die. The reason is that they have the confidence in their practice in day to day life can able to handle at the time of clear light process, to at least realize emptiness there. Even though not confidence to successfully achieving enlightenment but least be able to realize emptiness, so you do not have regret for your life. So, when the time comes, they do not regret their life, they are not overjoyed but they do not regret. The lousy practitioners, they tried but didn’t do very well they at least don’t fear the death. They have confidence that they at least will not fall into lower realm, understand what sort of karma they have got, will definitely reborn in the human realm and at least try their best again there to practice. Then at least can be joyful at time of death and laugh. For very low practitioners, somebody like me lost in the desert, so scare to die! So fear to die! The moment hear of death, freak out! Some fear, because can’t face it. There is no rebirth, why there is rebirth? Almost try to avoid. Free thinker doesn’t mean its good, you know? Free thinker doesn’t mean they are brave. Free thinker does not mean they have a lot of wisdom. Free thinker doesn’t mean they know a lot!
Free thinker can be two types;- they are born as a free thinker meaning they are totally not aware of any education, of death, aging, rebirth. But there is very limited in the world may be one or two who don’t understand aging! How free thinker you are, you understand aging. You were born before, you are a man, now you like at least 30 years old, before you know you don’t have wrinkles now you know you have wrinkles! Before you don’t even have one white hair, now you have more many white hair! How you don’t feel about it? This itself is fear for the death! So best thing try to avoid as much as possible, no rebirth, no death, only this life!
They understand there is something there but they get fear. They fear, like me, freak out. The moment they talk about death, they don’t believe, they don’t listen, please excuse, because they are scare.
So, we cannot overestimate those who don’t believe in it, in rebirth, they could be very fear of the death. That’s why they don’t believe. Their subconscious understand but they want to avoid it, they can’t face. I have a lot of westerner friends, they are so scare of death. The moment you speak of death, ‘oh, don’t make me suffer!’ So suffering, don’t talk about it! Don’t want to hear, they are scare they understand who they are. So that is like the last practitioners who is scare, so much fear especially at the time of dying, can see all of types of suffering expressions, so scare, you can see the expression on the face, the worries, all sorts of things. Some very peaceful. Some even with suffering of cancer, but well peaceful face. Some even at time of passing scream and opened twisted mouth. Scream like they see what is happening, they see their karma. In fact, only Buddha can see their subtle karma, but all the gross functioning karma, this dying person is able to see.
So scare! Die with open mouth and grasping hands! Before when all the gross consciousness alive, that time could be due to sickness or pain, that is a different thing. You can analyze about duration of one minute to see the person, how and what kind of rebirth he is going to take, and at least can predict from there. So like that. Thank you very much.
Q: clear light mind…?
Ans. Clear light mind, the subtlest consciousness which continuously travel from beginingless up to now and which will travel continuously up to end, which is in the continuum forever. Why is called clear light mind? The nature is cleared of obscurations, clear in nature. Light? Its so bright that cleared of outer obscurations, you can able to see the every single phenomena. That is omniscient stage. So, that is clear light, mind means consciousness.
Q. Meditation on death, do we have to meditate on union of great bliss and emptiness all the time?
Ans: Yes, this we have to practice all the time. In our daily life, the unification practice is bodhicitta. The bodhicitta mind, when you generate the bodhicitta mind you have an instant patience, instant feeling in your mental continuum, especially the spontaneous feel of bodhicitta is the equivalent of great bliss and the wisdom realizing emptiness. When you conjoined these two practices together, try to work for the other being, such as performing the 6 perfections practice, means you are practicing the unification of method and wisdom, and in the tantric practice you use great bliss and emptiness and in sutric practice, you use method and wisdom.
Transcript & lightly edited by Elsie Ng. All errors and mistakes are entirely that of the transcriber.
Buddhist Foundation Course –
2.Preliminary Prayers and their Explanations
Prayers to develop bodhicitta
By Geshe Tenzin Zopa on 9th January 2008 @ Losang Dragpa Buddhist Society, PJ
Good Evening! Today’s subject is very important for our daily life practice. Whatever practice we do, it supposed to involved the three important point: 1) motivation 2) actual form of practice 3) end with dedication. These two classes will covered on how to actualized one’s practices in most essential and most complete way.
As a Mahayana practitioner, we introduce our form of practices through bodhicitta motivation which inspire by the object of Triple Gems, which is the object of refuge. That’s why in Mahayana teaching, Refuge and Bodhicitta prayer form in one paragraph.
In Tibetan phonetic:
Sang-gye cho-dang tsog-kyi chog-nam-la
Jang-chub bar-du dag-ni kyab-su-chi
Dag-gi jin-sog gyi-pe tsog-nam-gyi
Dro-la pen-chir sang-gye drub-par-shog
In English translation:
I go for refuge until I am enlightened
To the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Supreme Assembly.
By my merit of giving and other perfections,
May I become a Buddha to benefit all sentient beings.
These four lines prayer condense the practice of both refuge and bodhicitta. The first two line contain the object of refuge which is Triple Gems – Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and the inspiration to take refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. The second two line is the most inspiring thought or attitude, the supreme inspiration which is called bodhicitta.
Some of you become Buddhist more than 20 years, some 15 years, some 2 years, 3 years or 1 month, first thing what we need to know is refuge and bodhicitta, especially the Mahayana Buddhist practitioner. Even we do daily practice, the first thing is refuge and bodhicitta. Our entire action, entire form of practice should introduce through refuge and bodhicitta, perform with the thought of refuge and bodhicitta, so we suppose to be very familiar with what we are talking about.
If I asked a question:
Just by reciting Refuge and Bodhicitta prayer verbally, is it sufficient for us to actualize the meaning of this prayer and practice?
The answer is: It is absolutely not.
Another question: But is there any benefit just by the recitation?
The answer is: Yes, there is benefit, but it is very limited. It is definitely will leave an imprint in our heart, but there is not much chance that it will move our heart, give the actual habituation into our mental continuum if without reflecting on the meaning.
Important of imprint
If we cannot reflect the meaning in the depth of our heart, it is quite impossible to leave very strong deep imprint in our mental continuum. As long as we cannot implant the deep imprint in our mental continuum, there is not much chance we will benefit greatly at the moment of time of death, or next life time. It is very limited benefit.
The most effective influence to our life now, and at the time of death for our future life time is the imprint of practice. There is positive imprint and negative imprint. Positive imprint help to actualize positive result, this mean is positive karma which bring positive result which is happiness. This refuge and bodhicitta practice will implant positive imprint, it means it will accomplish positive action, positive karma or merit or good cause which can able to bring happiness now and in later part of our life, at the time of death, and guide us at the time of death, and bring us to higher rebirth, the best is enlightenment, if not, at least certain highest stage of bodhisattva; if not, at least ordinary bodhisattva; if not, at least high realized being such as human being who had not obtain the Path but possess good heart. Some human being has inborn compassion, inborn bodhicitta mind which is always wanting to help others, always practice tolerance, compassion, loving-kindness, these are special beings, high realm beings, great beings, so at least we will take a higher rebirth such as human rebirth which all of us have obtained now. Just by taking refuge and having refuge in our mental continuum it will protects us from falling into lower realm. Even our rebirth is by the force of karma and delusion, but still we will take rebirth in higher rebirth such as human, so this is the benefit. By leaving strong imprint, it does bring great benefit.
We need to reflect on the meaning rather than just reciting it, it is like parrotry, even you teach this to parrot, it cannot reflect the meaning but it can chant, then there is no different. So as human being, specially those who possess the imprint of bodhicitta, who possess the karma to meet the bodhicitta and Mahayana teaching, we must cultivate the deep meaning and use our action to benefit infinite beings as motivated in bodhicitta prayer.
Here I will explained through the Tibetan word. This is also like a Tibetan class, you can learn Tibetan from here.
The meaning of Sang-gye
‘Sang-gye’ means Buddha. Whenever you hear ‘sang-gye’, it means Buddha. But for some it is just a label, it doesn’t mean Buddha, like some of the refuge name, the lama give ‘sang-gye’ etc etc.
‘Sang-gye’ contains two important meaning. ‘Sang’ means ‘purify, abandoned, overcome’. What to abandon, purify and overcome? The two obscuration. 1) obscuration to nirvana 2) obscuration to omniscient mind.
Obscuration to nirvana & Obscuration to omniscience
The obscuration to nirvana is the self-grasping mind, obscuration to omniscient is the cherishing mind toward oneself and phenomena, grasping mind toward oneself and phenomena. We called it defilement which obstruct us to obtain full enlightenment. In short, we can refer it to ignorant mind. Ignorant mind is the obscuration to both nirvana and omniscience.
Buddha has obtained the qualification of overcoming the ignorance, overcoming the two obscuration – the obscuration to nirvana, the grasping mind; the obscuration to omniscience, the cherishing mind to oneself and phenomena. So ‘sang’ contains this meaning.
When you recite “Sang-gye cho-dang tsog-kyi chog-nam-la”, the moment you hear the word ‘sang’, straight away you have to reflect the disadvantage of grasping mind, ignorance, defilement, then you will get the meaning of what it means by ‘sang’.
‘Gye’ means obtained. What has been obtained? It has obtained all the qualities, Ten Power, method to benefit numberless beings, Four Bodies of Buddha, Five Concentrations, perfected the Six Perfections, and omniscient mind. So whenever you recite ‘gye’, you should reflect all qualities of Buddha. That means you need to know what are the Six Perfections? Then you reflect on the meaning, reflect on the stage of the Six Perfections.
In bodhisattva path, ordinary path and our level, we have the practice of Six Perfection, but we have not perfected it yet, we have not obtained the state of perfection yet, we are only practicing the practice of Six Perfection. Who perfected the practice of Six Perfection? It is Buddha only. So these are the Buddhas’ qualities. Because of perfected the Six Perfection, that’s why it is called ‘gye’. So now you can able to reflect ‘sang-gye’.
‘Sang’ refers to all the negation, obscuration, defilement, the 6-roots delusion and 20-secondary afflictions. When you chant ‘sang’, at that time you have to remember 6-roots delusion, 20-secondary afflictions, and small small problem and obstacle, ignorant mind, grasping mind, and see the disadvantage of not being aware and not being mindful to be free from that, then you meditate and reflect on the meaning of ‘sang’.
‘Gye’ is to admire on all the qualities of Buddha, think of the practice of Six Perfection, and think how nice and wonderful if we can also achieve that, therefore Buddha is the supreme, who perfected the perfection, he is the sole object of refuge because he has already overcome the entire defilement, problem, obstacle, delusion, who has obtained all the power. If I don’t respect this person, then to whom I should respect? If I don’t take refuge in this person, to whom I should take refuge? Now you really will feel who is Buddha. Otherwise Buddha, Buddha, Buddha, or sangye, sangya, sangye… but now you really feel it. If you do meditation on this two word, you can really feel it is amazing. So ‘sang-gye’ means Buddha. Buddha has two important meaning, the negation part and antidote. In short, you remember the negation which is the defilement and antidote which is the qualities. If you want to chant quick, just give a glimpse reflection on negation to defilement and antidote which is the qualities of Buddha, like the perfection of Buddha.
The meaning of ‘cho’ - Dharma
‘Cho’ is Dharma. Whenever you hear about ‘cho’, it means ‘Dharma’. The word here is ‘cho’, but literally the meaning is ‘choe’, which mean fix or transform. Fixing what? Fixing delusion, transform delusion. Dharma is direct antidote to change, to fix and transform our deluded mind. What is Dharma? Dharma is the antidote which is direct realization on emptiness. All the different advice of Buddha which in number of 84,000 is Dharma, all these are antidotes for different defilement. Such as there is 84,000 different defilement, obscuration, so then Buddha taught 84,000 teachings which is the 84,000 antidotes. In short, dharma can refer to two truths: 1) ultimate truth 2) conventional truth, or you can refer to emptiness which is the direct antidote, in which when apply into our mind, it can be able to fix and transform disturbance emotion and defilement. Without applying emptiness, without using the tool of two truths, there is no way we can be able to awaken from defilement. So this is Dharma.
‘Dang’ is joining word. In English you called it ‘conjunction’.
‘Sang-gye cho-dang tsog-kyi chog-nam-la’
The meaning of ‘tsog’ - Sangha
‘tsog’ here is not our tsog offering ‘tsog’, this ‘tsog’ refer to community, or group. Here talk about Sangha refuge, the community of Sangha, which is companion for us to actualize the practice of applying antidote into our daily life and to cease all defilement. Buddha is a doctor, Dharma is medicine and Sangha is nurse. Buddha who is like a perfect doctor who gave prescription, and diagnosed patient like us that our sickness is delusion – the 6 root delusion and 20-secondary afflicted emotions – now Buddha will give prescription on medicine which is Dharma, which is emptiness, and ask the nurse to go feed the medicine to patient, so Buddha ask the Sangha as companion to help to practice and inspire to live a life to obtain enlightenment. It is like the nurse encourage patient to take medicine, to take care of servicing part. After taking medicine from time to time, and following exactly the advice of doctor, then you can able to cure from the sickness. So it is exactly like that, after taking the perfect medicine on Dharma by practicing it from day to day life, by the inspiration from Sangha, then one is able to achieve the awaken mind which is omniscient mind.
So where do you refer to as Sangha? Innate Sangha refer to those being who obtain direct perception on emptiness, those who realized emptiness directly, those beings are the Sangha refuge. And those beings are not necessary to be monks or nuns or who live a celibacy life, even as lay person, as long as you obtained emptiness directly, you are Sangha refuge.
Why Respecting Sangha
As like me, even though I am Sangha, I am being called Sangha, I have Sangha vow, but since I have not obtain emptiness directly, I am not the actual Sangha refuge, I am just an example. By having you people respect Sangha like me, there is benefit because I possess 253 vows, the highest vows that Buddha had, I also have. The highest vows within all the vows is the 253 vows, there is no higher vows than this, for this I possessed also. Because of these vows, and for those who doesn’t have these vows but showing respect to those who has, it will receive benefits.
Monk and nun are like the son and daughter of Buddha. So Buddha has all rights to say and order whatever he likes, just like father and mother can order anything they like to their son and daughter. Nowadays I don’t know, but when they are young parents can do that. So Buddha asked all the novice monks and nuns who possessed 36 vows, and labeled them as slave or attendant to fully ordained Sangha. This mean you should regard yourself like a servant, how you serve to the master and senior. Because of the vows, there are benefits for them, that’s why Buddha mentioned this, it is not that the fully ordained Sangha should earn respect, and remain in the aspect of bossy like a master. Buddha doesn’t mean that. Buddha means that there is benefit by serving to fully ordained Sangha, even for novice they got so much benefits, so much purification and so much merit. So if somebody who doesn’t possess any vow at all, if you serve, there are great amount of merit.
But of course for those who obtained 253 vows cannot take advantage on those who come to serve, you should have pure motivation, should be humble, and accept the service. While they serve you, it is for the purpose of accumulation of merit, that mean you have to be in the position of respect. But if you obtained 253 vows and do all the non-sense thing and ask somebody to serve you, it is not right. That’s why the senior have to stay in the manner of senior, junior have to stay in the manner of junior. Anyway, this is for Vinaya, so please don’t worry about it, and don’t take serious about it. It is Vinaya rule and practice. Please don’t misunderstand I asked you to serve.
One time I was questioned by somebody because there were some misunderstanding. There were a lay person asked me to go to make a drink while there were many people together on the same table, and there were one person who knows about I possessing the vows, but I accepted the lay person, in fact I was the one who requested whether I can serve some drinks, so then this person say “yes, yes, yes. Good. Bring me this drink.” Of course the manner is like ordering. But in my mind, I was very happy, so I went. The period when I went out to make a drink, they got very strong discussion or debate, one person said, “How dare can you do this? Because Geshe la is an object of respect, so you cannot do this to him!”. The other person said, “Why cannot? We are still human being, we are the same”. Later on, I was questioned by this person, “Is it ok to ask you to make a drink or not?” I reply, “Yes, sure, of course! You sure can ask me to do, there is nothing wrong for me to do. But you cannot ask other Sangha like that”. Then the person asked again, “What’s wrong for me to ask you to go make a drink? There is nothing wrong because I treat you like a friend.” I said, “Yes, it is nothing wrong, totally no wrong. You can order me, you can ask me to go, for sure! There is nothing wrong. But it is wrong for you to ask other Sangha like that.” So that is my answer.
Here we cannot misunderstand, we have to be flexible, all the practitioner on bodhicitta, it is all from your side, whether the other party deserve the respect or not, for you is to respect every single living being, including Buddha. If Buddha manifest in front of you, maybe Buddha might respect you more than you respect Buddha, Buddha might show respect from speech, body and mind to you more than you can able to show to Buddha.
Showing equal respect to Buddha as to Sentient Beings
Also in various teaching it said that while you see so important to respect to all Buddhas for your liberation, and if you don’t respect to ordinary living being, it is a form of laughter, it is a joke. It is like one-sided. If you are respecting Buddha for the benefit of your liberation, you should have equal respect to all the mother sentient beings, if it is not more, then should have equal respect as to the Buddha for your liberation.
That’s why in tantric teaching, it advices you to see every single living being as a Buddha, every single mother beings as a Buddha, all male beings as daka, all female beings as dakini. It is stated in teaching.
Ordinary Sangha & Arya Sangha
So Sangha is not necessary have to be ordained monk or nun, as long as you possess direct perception on emptiness, you are Sangha refuge. Sangha refuge in Hearer practitioner, when they reach the Path of Seeing, they become Arya being, they are Arya Sangha. For practitioner of Solitary Realizer, when they reach Path of Seeing, they become Arya being, they are Sangha refuge. When Bodhisattva practitioner reach Path of Seeing, they are Arya Sangha.
Another thing is if the practitioner practice Hinayana path first, entering from Hinayana first, and complete all the practice and paths from Hinayana, that means went over Path of Seeing in Hinayana practice, then upgrade themselves entering into Mahayana path, the first level of Path of Accumulation, then Path of Preparation. This ordinary Mahayana practitioner who just obtained Mahayana first path – Path of Accumulation, is already a Sangha Refuge because he/ she already gained the direct perception on emptiness, because he/ she was the practitioner of Arya being in Hinayana level before, now he/ she just continuing his/ her practice. So even though from the Mahayana Path, he/ she is ordinary Mahayana, ordinary Bodhisattva practitioner, but he/ she already in the category of Sangha Refuge because he/ she already obtained direct perception on emptiness.
Those practitioner who directly enter from Mahayana path, like some of you before practice Hinayana, then gradually you come to Mahayana Center, then you learn Mahayana teaching, now some of you even learning tantra, but some of you use to be either free thinker, then your first encounter is Mahayana teaching, so you are the direct follower of Mahayana teaching. Those direct follower of Mahayana path, when they obtain the first Path of Accumulation and the second Path of Preparation, they still not qualified to be Sangha Refuge because they have not obtained direct perception on emptiness. When they enter into Path of Seeing, Seeing means seeing directly on emptiness, from there they become Sangha Refuge.
Ordinary Sangha or ordinary monk or nun are the example of Sangha Refuge, therefore by showing respect to Sangha, it has great benefit of connecting your karma for yourself to become Sangha Refuge, it means for yourself to obtain realization on emptiness directly.
When you reflect on the practice of refuge, ‘sang-gye cho-dang tsog…..’, the moment you hear ‘tsog’, you should admire the community, and those who have obtained direct realization on emptiness, then meditate and make prayer “May I able to achieve that realization on perceiving emptiness directly.” Because without perceiving emptiness directly, you can’t cease defilement, therefore seeing so important on actualizing emptiness directly in your mind, and in order to do that, for you to accumulate the cause is to take refuge under Sangha and from day to day life, follow the advice of taking refuge under Sangha such as not following the negative friend. This is the ethic. By taking refuge in Sangha, by doing this prayer from day to day life, sometime you do this prayer six times a day, or at least three times in morning, so the moment you do this prayer, make sure that you remind yourself – today I will make sure that I will not be influenced by negative friends.
Who is virtue friend & negative friend?
Negative friend is whoever ask you to avoid refuge, to get into evil action, to harm others, to get into intoxicants, courage you to engage into negative influence to five senses such as object of attachment for eye, ear, tongue, smell, whatever bring greater desire and greater grasping that base on the object of five perception in us. Somebody who encourage and influence you to engage into that, these are negative friends. By reciting ‘sang-gye cho-dang tsog…..’, if possible when you are doing practice by yourself, you pause here for a moment - ‘tsog’, admire the Sangha Refuge, and remind yourself make sure not to fall into negative friends’ advice. This is very effective. Just by reflecting into it, it is already protecting you, directly it protects you, directly it implants very strong imprint to be mindful, to make sure not to be influence by negative friend, it is a direct effect. If you meditate, it helps; if you don’t meditate, it doesn’t help.
As well as the reflecting on Dharma, ‘sang-gye cho…..’, ‘cho’ when you reflect that, remember the advice of taking refuge under Dharma. The advice of taking refuge under Dharma is not to kill, not to harm any living being, so on that day you pray and remind yourself, and make sure that you will not harm other. Intentionally I will make sure that I will not harm other, unintentionally I will also put full effort and full mindfulness in even one step of my movement or my feet, I will make sure not step on ants, I will make sure my hand movement not harm somebody else, not knock on somebody or kick on somebody, even the style of walking, I will make sure people not to create negative imprint in me because I don’t want to become the victim of other’s negative karma. So taking refuge under Dharma, you are already protected to be so good person, at least on that very day. So naturally you accumulate so much merit, and naturally make you to become better person. If you can do this everyday, one day you will get into perfection.
So taking refuge under Buddha, again reflect the advice – I cannot take refuge under spirit, or worldly god in whom themselves are not enlightened and not liberated from samsara. My purpose is to liberate myself from samsara, if the person in whom I take refuge is not liberated from samsara, how is he going to liberate me? He himself already lost the way, how is he going to guide me onto the right path? So I will make sure that I will not be influenced by the negative guidance, here you can also say negative friend. Because whoever guide you onto proper Dharma you can refer to as Dharma friend, or virtuous friend. Even Guru normally you refer to as virtuous friend.
Other than Buddha, for example worldly god or spirit are non-virtuous friend. Why are they non-virtuous friend? Because they bring suffering, we have to think about it - how can by praying to worldly god such as landlord or naga, it will bring suffering? Praying to naga and worldly god, sometime bring wealth and protection also, but how can you say they bring suffering? Here the suffering, I am referring it to samsara. Suffering refer to contaminated suffering, because it is cause for samsara, it is not dharma. Making incense offering, light offering toward spirit by pleasing the spirit, or taking sole refuge under them, it definitely will bring some benefit, but the benefit is temporary. That temporary benefit sound like happiness or gain, in fact it is form of Suffering of Change because it is not ultimate happiness, it exists in the manner of changes, changes to what? Changes to failure. Such as we take refuge under worldly god, when the next day we stop praying, most of the time we will get harm either next day or one year later or ten years later, you will received the harm, so you have to do it continuously. Some of the spirit, your grandparents prayed to for whole life, and your parents also pray to for whole life, after that you are the grandchildren, you also pray whole life, and your commitment is to make sure to pass this on to your children, and this also have to make sure to pass on to your grandchildren, why? It is almost like you have no choice, you have to do it, otherwise it brings harm into family, it does happen. So it is so important not to take refuge under spirit or worldly god. Now you are secure, just by the first line ‘Sang-gye cho-dang tsog-kyi chog-nam-la’, ‘sang-gye’ is Buddha; ‘cho’ is Dharma; ‘tsog’ is Sangha.
Jang-chub bar-du dag-ni kyab-su-chi
‘Jang-chub’ refer to enlightenment, the state of perfection, the state where Shakyamuni Buddha got enlightened. Normally the bodhi tree, we called it ‘jang-chub-shing’, ‘shing’ is tree, ‘jang-chub’ refer to bodhi, bodhi is in Sanskrit. ‘Jang-chub’ also refer to the state of Buddha, Buddha refer to enlightenment.
‘bar-du’ means ‘until’.
Dag-gi jin-sog gyi-pe tsog-nam-gyi
So, ‘dag-gi jin-sog gyi-pe tsog-nam-gyi’ means ‘by my merit from giving and other perfection’. ‘Giving’ means generosity. ‘Other perfection’ means morality, patient, joyous effort, concentration and wisdom.
Generosity is the mind of giving. By the inspiration of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, I practice the practices of Six Perfection such as generosity. Remember there are three types of generosity? 1) Generosity in material 2) Generosity in protection and 3) Generosity in Dharma.
Morality refer to at least the human good ethic, a good person, wise person, truthful person, dedicated person, responsible person, loving person, compassionate person, kind person, this is morality. If we want to go further more, the morality of practicing ten virtue actions, avoiding and abandoning ten non-virtue actions, living a life with ten virtue acts, being mindful not to encounter ten non-virtue actions. If you want to go further more, the five lay vows, pratikmosha vows, bodhisattva vow, tantric vow, three perception of ordinary vow, thirty-six percept of novice vows, 253 vows of fully ordained Sangha, day to day life precept such as 8 Mahayana precepts, so living a life in that, or at least living a life in one of that, or at least living a life of avoiding killing, or avoiding telling lie, so this is morality, we have to cultivate this practice in our day to day life. The most important thing is to make yourself so pure, so honest, so dedicated. Even if you cannot do much service physically, but mentally you are there for others, you are completely belong to others, that also equally with no discrimination, like who come first, you serve first, for any form first come first serve so there is no discrimination. Living a life of morality is so important.
Patient is so important, living a life with the practice of patient, or tolerance. We are almost like in the nest of very poisonous snake, with total naked and our skin and flesh are very delicious and very attractive to snake, we are thrown in there, we are born like that. At any time, in any moment, we are bitten up by every body, when we think about it, sometime it can be more scarely than actually in that state. In our human society, it can be more scarely than that. We are thrown like that into the human society, we born in the human society, because human’s mind… ai yooo…. my goodness! If want to destroy, one person can destroy everything, and very small number of beings do things to benefit others, mostly people find way to cheat or deceive or offend, work with arrogant, jealousy, anger, frustration. You look at the world, it is like that. You look into our own world, it is also like that. You don’t have clairvoyant, you don’t know who is biting you. It sound like it is feeding you milk but you never know. You see, it is so scarely.
There is a saying, “Solitary Realizer or solitary practitioner practice solitary, they don’t practice in group. Sometime they even avoid their teacher, they live totally solitary. Even at the time of liberation without relying on teacher and anybody, I myself alone achieve liberation.” They have such kind of mind. Sometime in school we used to say that they are really poor thing, because they also used to work like us so called Mahayana practitioner wanting to benefit numberless beings, trying to help friends or family, but it ended up that everybody disappointed you and bite you, so you have no choice to run and live in solitary. It was not motivated to live in solitary but force to live in solitary for your own liberation. This is just a saying.
But there is this danger that when we practice Dharma, when we come into community, if our mind is not strong, we will encounter so much difficulty. It is like in Dharma center, as a new comer, when you first come in, you expect everything pure, the place has no ghost, no spirit, first thing you will think that there are so many holy scriptures and statues, so the first thing is that there is no ghost and no spirit, and you will expect the light even brighter than your home, and you will expect the cushion is more comfortable because it is a compassionate place, and there should be water to drink, nice toilet to use, and whoever you see in this hall, you will expect they are like bodhisattva just to serve you, smile at you, think pure on you, never comment bad thing about you, only give respect and service to you, as a new comer, we will expect all these, but if when we come in, we see all the opposite, it is very disappointed, it might occurred, we have to be very careful.
If we are in family, let say the wife go to learn dharma, and husband never go to learn Dharma, then the wife wants to convince the husband from two years ago up to now to go to learn Dharma, but always husband rejected, doesn’t want to go. So I say,
“I support your husband. I don’t support you. Why do you push your husband to go to Dharma? Look at yourself, so impatient, so much anxiety, small thing you can’t give way. Although I haven’t met your husband but I am sure your husband is much more calm than you. I guarantee to you that your husband is more tolerance, more acceptance, more letting go than you. So how can you convince your husband to go to Dharma center?”
I encountered this two year ago, not in this year or last year. And I want to ask her,
“This kind of impatient, it get worse when you come here isn’t it?”.
She replied, “Yah! Some how… since last two years I have been practicing very hard.”
Then I said, “Oh! This is the result of your practice. And you gain realization on opposite way. This is totally wrong. So from now on, you stop asking your husband to come to Center… no need. Now your homework is to set yourself as an example for him, instead of asking him, just be yourself to stay calm, gentle, acceptance, letting go, patient, respect, more smooth in word, more gentle, more sweet, more smiling face. If you do this, I will guarantee your husband will follow you to the Center. So just be yourself as an example to convince others, don’t just simply say and ask them to come, use yourself as example, they will come. Why they don’t want to come? Because they scared that they will become like you.”
I think the
mother is a bit upset with me, she thinks I am insulting her, in fact I didn’t
see her in the whole of last year. This is in
Benefit of practicing patient
One of the benefit of practicing patient is that you will receive beautiful and attractive body, attractive speech in future life time. Even in this life, you will earn lots of respect, you will like by many people. When you have patient, you are gentle, nice and look good. People come near to you is because you look good, if you look filthy and ugly, of course people will not come to you isn’t it? Filthy and ugly doesn’t mean to face only, for example nasty word, very negative face expression and negative mental thinking, people will slowly run away from you, so difficult to come. So why do people come to you? It is because you are beautiful, your speech beautiful, your mind beautiful, your appearance attractive, that’s why the result of patient will achieve in future life time the beauty in your speech and body.
The quality of samsara
For example, offering of flower, accumulate merit of achieving beauty as a result in future life time, but being patient is much more effective. Going to beauty parlor for beauty, that is temporary. The moment you take out your make up, the original thing maybe is no good, so rather you try to actualize the innate beauty, the natural beauty, the inner beauty, then you can attract those who suppose to attract. The external beauty has the danger of attracting those who not suppose to attract. Just a simple example, when we talk about make up, maybe talk about lady is easier. Let say one young girl always prefer to live alone, simple, don’t want much companion or attraction from other, the innate wish or hope is like that, but the outer sensor following the desire mind, you always want to go make up, make nice and look attractive. At the moment you look attractive, girl attract by boy, the moment boy attracted by you, when all the boys attracted by you, it is not the fault of boys, it is fault of you because you create the attraction to attract them. You want to look beautiful. Also at the first moment you might feel very good when somebody come near to you, look at you, talk to you, but maybe about one to two minute later you feel irritating, now you want to avoid, you get angry, upset, thinking ‘why this person following me? Why this person don’t give up me’, all sorts of obstacles come. Now there is the danger of blaming the boys, because whenever you see the boy, you never show the exact appearance, you always show the make up one, thing happened like that. I don’t know how to explain it nicely. You do not want something but you create that to happen. In fact this is samsaric qualities. We do not want suffering but we always create cause of suffering. We want happiness but we never engage in the creation of cause of happiness. So this is in fact samsaric qualities, this is all about samsara.
Innate beauty is the result of good karma
In our day to day life, be yourself – simple, just be natural, I am not saying don’t go to make up or beautify yourself, this is your business, there is nothing to do with me, also I am not talking about anybody here, I am just talking in general. Having the natural beauty is necessary, natural beauty is the result of good karma, you will deserve it. And you will definitely attract somebody who suppose to be attracted, or somebody who could be very good for you. For that, one of the best cure, best antidote, best method is to practice patient. If you practice patient, whatever problem you have in your relationship, immediately will cease.
patient is to give in, the first step to practice patient is to give in – no
problem. If you bang me – Thank you very much! If you scold me – Oh! Wonderful!
The beauty of inner & outer world
Actually there is a meditation when you practice the Highest Yoga Tantra deity, whatever sound you hear, it is the mantra of deity. Whatever image you look or see, it is the image of deity. Whatever thought arise toward you, it is the deity’s thought. Whatever appearance you show to others, it is deity’s thought, deity’s speech and deity’s appearance. So this practice relate to others, you will always be acceptance and not defensive, always seeing word as mantra, even so wrathful or ugly or angry image show to you, it is daka or dakini to you, it is the manifestation of wrathfulness, so it is ok. If it comes to bite you, you push away, sure you will get a punch, if you don’t push, maybe lesser chance to get punch. The moment you push, that will build the strength for you to get the punch, even for this, you just smile. If people scolding on all sort of things, even you didn’t do, but people say you did this and that, just remember the mantra of the deity on whichever you familiar with. Now this practice apply into you, so since deity will not get angry, deity will never scold other, deity will never think bad thing, even the wrathfulness in fact is compassion, they will show wrathfulness with compassion only, if they don’t have compassion, they don’t dare to show wrathfulness to others. So you protect your mind, that’s how mantra means protection, tantra means protection. How it helps in referring to other and in you, so you will be totally guarded in action of your body, speech and mind. So patient is very very good, one of the best antidote and best method to accumulate beauty, the innate beauty in us.
The better the practitioner the greater the patient; the worse the practitioner the more the impatient. This is the sign, we don’t have to go check observation with lama whether how much realization I achieved? You should check yourself, you will know by yourself all these. That’s why we say dharma practice is to look into ourselves and see what kind of negative emotion we have. If it is subside, that means our practice is helping.
“thoe-dak shi-shing-dul; gom-dak nyon-mong dul”
“thoe-dak shi-shing dul” means the effect and result on if you have receiving the benefit of hearing Dharma, the sign that you actualized is humble. The more you hear Dharma, the more humble you get in your speech, mind and action.
“gom-dak nyon-mong dul” means the sign on meditation and contemplation in Dharma teaching from what you have learned, it is the lesser it go on your delusion.
So we have to see inside, up to today I have been practicing refuge and bodhicitta, it is a pure Dharma practice, but is there any improvement in my mind? Lesser in delusion, lesser in anger, hatred and jealousy or more? If it is more, it means something wrong, the way of practice is wrong. If it is lesser, it means now you should put in same effort because it is getting lesser. This is how you should check by yourself, not by others.
In Dharma practice we need a lot of effort, in our day to day life we need a lot of effort especially to transform our samsaric life into Dharma practice, we need tremendous effort. In Lo-jong teaching, it says that we need tremendous, tremendous effort, that tremendous effort is not hardship or torturing, it is joyous, it is a state of mind with so much joys and inspiration, you are completely inspired to do Dharma practice, to cultivate refuge and bodhicitta practice. When you look at the quality of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, naturally it brings so much inspiration in your heart, that inspiring mind is called effort, that’s why the word they use is called joyous effort.
The different of Joyous Effort and Normal Effort
Joyous effort is not like normal effort. Normal effort sometimes you need to force yourself, dharma practice you cannot force. The moment you force, it will direct you onto mistaken path. Why? Mistaken path in the sense that your practice will not actualize your purpose, rather it will fall into mistake. The moment you force, the instant effect is agitation and discomfort in your mind, we cannot let this happen and arise. Therefore we cannot force, we have to put effort, in order to put effort, we need to learn the benefit and advantage of practice. By knowing the advantage on practicing refuge, you even cannot wait for one moment to practice refuge. You will feel that your whole life just to practice refuge is enough, because the advantage is marvelous, the greatest benefit is there. So effort is important.
Even attending classes or any dharma activities, you need so much effort, you need tremendous effort. If you come to listen dharma or discussion on dharma subject, if you don’t cultivate the benefit and advantage, most probably you will give up, you would rather go to have some nice dinner or meeting up with friends to gossip about other’s faults, it is much more fun and live, so we need to put effort to avoid that and come to listen Dharma, and in order to do that, we need to see the benefit and advantage.
The first advantage is that I will leave a strong imprint whether I understand Dharma or not, it doesn’t matter, the first thing is that I will leave so much imprint, and this imprint is virtue, and the result of this virtue imprint is happiness, I want happiness, I do not want suffering therefore I go to listen Dharma is to create cause for my happiness. I go to gossip about other’s faults is to create negative imprint, this mean negative karma, it will bring suffering into me. So you see the disadvantage of negative involvement and benefit or advantage of doing virtue action such as discussing dharma. So if first thing you think like that, then you will not give any excuse not to go, otherwise you will have so many excuse on because the rain is heavy, or traffic jam, or distant very far, or even I go there I will not understand, or I have understand that before, or even if I listen but I don’t practice so let just forget about it, or if I go today then tomorrow I might not have time, so better I don’t go at all, many people give up in this way. These all are excuses. Now you check, other than this, what else are you going to do? You ask yourself, are you going to do meditation? Or social service, go out to help other beings? This is also good. So now you ask yourself what are you going to do within one and half hour time. You ask and give answer to yourself. After understanding, when you come, you will not feel tired, you will enjoy, you will see the benefit otherwise it is very tiring especially to listen to somebody who is not a good speaker, who speak blur blur broken English, and the sequence also upside down, and the speech go everywhere, fly everywhere, not focus, try to talk about four line but it took two hours, all these are so boring and difficult, making your life so difficult, it is true, it happened like that. Anyway, first thing as I said before, it will leave strong imprint, whatever it is, it will leave a strong imprint which is virtuous imprint, and this is the whole purpose you come.
In your daily life you need so much concentration, as well as in your practice of Dharma. Without concentration there is no achievement, even you do generosity without concentration, you will not achieve the greatest purpose. Concentration involve mindfulness and introspection, whatever you do you need mindfulness and introspection. Concentration means involvement of mindfulness and introspection, without that you will not be able to manage in what you suppose to achieve.
Wisdom is so important, even doing generosity, you need wisdom, all the rest of practice, without wisdom, we are unable to actualized the rest of the perfection and the rest of the five practices to be perfected to become Buddha. What we called wisdom, it is not necessary referring to wisdom realizing emptiness. Wisdom can refer to alertness in what we do, understand the object, our action and our motivation. All these you need wisdom, all those mind are wisdom. Even you want to do generosity, you have to make sure that you spending this money will definitely go to benefit somebody. My generosity of this money will go to spoil somebody’s life or will benefit somebody’s life? Even making donation to some project, by understanding that the project is innately, truly need my donation, they are truly waiting for my help, if I don’t help, they don’t get what they deserve to get, so I exist for them, therefore I come out whatever I can. If somebody just ask, and you give happily, at the end so much regret, “Oh! I shouldn’t give donation to this person, I heard this person doing this and that..” then you lose your money, your merit and everything, you see? Even that you need wisdom. As long as you given the donation or generosity, then you close the chapter and rejoice, wherever the money go, it doesn’t matter, your purpose is just to give, then finished and rejoice. If somebody said, “Oh! Your money is used for this and that purpose.”, you just closed your ear and rejoice that your responsibility is to give, that’s it! Or other way is that first you check carefully then you give, then it is good, even that you need wisdom otherwise instead of creating good karma, you might create lots of negative karma, so rather be careful.
Dro-la pen-chir sang-gye drub-par-shog
May I become Buddha to benefit all sentient beings. Why we are practicing practice of Six Perfection? The reason is to accumulate two type of merit: 1) merit of action, or merit of method 2) merit of wisdom.
This mean the merit accumulated by performing the action or method such as action of bodhicitta, compassion. This mean generating compassion, generating loving-kindness, generating bodhicitta will accumulate merit of method, or merit of merit. Merit of wisdom is to actualizing the realization on emptiness, then accumulate extensive merit is called merit of wisdom.
By performing the practice on Six Perfection, we accumulate two types of merits. These two types of merit will become antidote to overcome or eradicate the two types of obscuration to enlightenment, so the purpose is for that. Therefore may I become Buddha to benefit all sentient beings. To become Buddha, what is the purpose? It is to benefit all sentient beings.
‘dro’ mean ‘dro-wa’, it means sentient beings.
‘pen-chir’ mean ‘to benefit’.
‘sang-gye’ mean ‘Buddha’.
‘drub-par-shog’ mean ‘able to become Buddha’.
Here to benefit all sentient beings, sentient beings mean the six realm beings. As long as it is sentient beings, it must be within the six realms – the three higher realms and three lower realms. The three higher realms are human, god and demi-god; the three lower realms are animal, preta realm and hell realm.
Suffering of Three Lower Realms
To free hell realm beings from tremendous suffering such as Eight Hot Hell, Eight Cold Hell, Black Line Vajra Hell which is one of the most suffering hell, then there are many small other thing which is the only form of suffering, so to free those beings from there. Then there is ghost realm or preta realm, their general suffering is Pervasive Suffering in samsara, the individual or specific suffering of hungry ghost or preta being is hunger and thirst, and to be free from that. The purpose of taking refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the purpose of practicing Six Perfection, the purpose of actualizing Buddhahood is to free those beings from general suffering such as Pervasive Suffering and individual suffering which is thirst and hunger. The general suffering for animal is Pervasive Suffering, and the individual suffering is torturing one to another, bringing suffering from one to another, for example: bigger animal eat the smaller animal, this is their individual suffering.
Suffering of Human Realm
Human beings’ general suffering is the Pervasive Suffering - suffering of samsara, individual suffering is the suffering of birth, aging and death. Birth by the force of delusion and karma, the cause itself is so impure. The moment push from the womb, it is huge suffering, but the innate suffering push by the karma and delusion, it is much more heavier suffering in which the sub-conscious mind feel, the baby unable to express but can feel, even the suffering in womb for nine months is almost like making a small hollow in a huge iron ball, then you open it and put yourself inside there, then you close it and seal everything. The darkness and pressure are there, and the most disgusting smell and pain. Sometimes in new house, the new paint smell you can’t stand, it is like that kind of disgusting smell. But you want to open your eye, you can’t see, in fact you can’t even open because you are pressurized. Then from high mountain, you roll it down non-stop, how are you going to feel? Inside there is so dark, you don’t know where you are rolling, it is so smelly and so filthy, you imagine?! Nine months in the womb is like that. When mother get up, it is so fragile, you are totally covered with bag, sometime inside is so painful. You have sensor, eye sensor, ear sensor, the moment the mother make a big sound like calling husband to come over, this sound is almost like a microphone put to your ear, it is that much sensitive, or sometime mother sing a song to baby, play nice music, but the baby get a lot of difficulty. As for the taste, I saw this one from hindi movie, so how true is this I don’t know, there is one actress acting to be pregnant, and she has so much craving in food, sometime take sour food but over sour, hot food take over hot, she just have craving for certain thing, but of course she feels very relief after eat, but at that time the baby suffer so much, then when mother drink coca-cola, these are unbelievable suffering. When the mother get up or sleep, it is exactly like rolling the ball from high mountain.
When baby come out, nowadays got caesarian, even to get caesarian it is due to karma, but I am sure coming into samsara, there are so much different pain. Normally for natural birth, the moment they are born, it is like a crack, it is huge, you can see in some of the movie that the mother bite and scream and yell because the mother has so much pain, and when that fragile thing squeeze to come out, also doctor help to pull out, there are so much pain. In the teaching it describe that you are squeeze in between two huge rocky mountain, I am not discouraging you not to have baby, ok? This is your business.
Born into the world with prayer and compassion
I am saying in general all of us, first thing should avoid birth. To come to samsara, first thing we engage in birth, so we should not take birth, to avoid suffering mean to avoid rebirth in samsara, unless you coming to this world with compassion or you choose to descend, that is another thing because then the mother doesn’t have pain, and baby doesn’t have pain, for nine months it was just showing an aspect, there is no pain, it is all due to their wish. But by force of karma and delusion, then better don’t come back, better not to take rebirth, there is that much tremendous pain. After that every single moment you feel like growing but in fact you are degenerating, every single moment degenerate, we even don’t realize how we degenerate. Up to now we are like 30 over years old, already there are white hair and wrinkles, all the things that we don’t want, it comes.
Urged to get old
2003, I live in Sera which is near
Death – dissolution of Four Elements in us
Death, the scary time, one of the most scary time! During the dissolution, when the water element dissolved, it is like in every single area, even though the water element degenerating, but the water element appearance to you is every single corner filled with water, it is like there is no mountain, no boat, no tree, every single thing is totally water, and you are sure to sink into the big ocean. This water is very scary, like wave coming up, and the water also very filthy.
When the fire element dissolve, every single aspect is fire burning you, the flame is in front of your eyes. Then when wind element dissolve, you are totally wipe away by wind, in fact the wind element is dissolving but the experience is the opposite way, there are so much wind. Then when earth element dissolve, every single earth and mountain is falling onto you. All these flesh are also like falling down, limbs falling down, mountain falling onto you.
dissolution go deeper and deeper, at one stage it is a total darkness. You are
totally lost although your consciousness is there, but you don’t know where to
go, suddenly there are very scary image appear, that’s why in Tibetan some of
the lama dance, they performed specially to leave an imprint because certain
dance is very scary dance, and those are the thing appear at the time of death.
So if you have an imprints at least you are more familiar, and will not scare
much, the Tibetan in
Suffering of God & Demi-god realms
God, one of the most suffering is during the time of dying, at the time of leaving the god realm, that suffering is almost equal suffering as in the hell. During their rebirth in god realm, they born in the god realm is due to past good karma, when they are there they have everything, even for crops, they just wish and it comes; for friend, they wish, then they come, everything is wish fulfilling. They are totally absence from restoring good karma, only exhaustion of good karma.
In our life some people are so successful in business or family, some of them even involve in negative action, either cheating or destroying others, but some how they are very successful, however this is not necessary good sign. In life when it goes up and down, it is good sign. For some people it totally go down, it is not so good sign; totally go up also not so good sign. Unless when you totally go up, you are so smart to re-accumulate merit, then is ok, otherwise exhausting, exhausting so fast. Some people achieve everything and they never generate good heart and respect other from body and speech, so they never accumulate new good karma, the moment they finish the good karma, it is so difficult to revived. Because to start from zero, it is so difficult. In our life, even in our business, to start from zero, it is so difficult. That’s why we normal people sometime we forget about practice, sometime we do practice, so it is like sometime we enjoy but we can re-accumulate, at least some balance is there, so it is quite good.
In god realm, they exhaust everything. From one week before they die, they see their next rebirth and everything as in television on where they are going to be born, when they are going to die, in which minute and which moment, and what kind of experience they will experience, all these demonstrated. Within that one week period of time, they experience as heavy suffering as in hell because most of them when they die they go to hell, and their rebirth is show and manifest earlier in a week because of their total exhaustion in good karma, then negative karma overwhelm and throw into lower realm, so even demi-god also the same.
‘Dro-la pen-shir sang-gye drub-par-shog’, the purpose for taking refuge, practicing refuge, practicing Six Perfection and becoming Buddha is to free all those six realms beings from individual suffering and common samsaric suffering. Now you think, when you do this four line prayer, if one can able to meditate on this, you are meditating entire Lam-rim, entire stage on the Path. Whether you went through all the Lam-rim teaching or not, if you can able to meditate properly on this four lines, it is perfect and it is most meaningful. When you hear this, it is almost like you don’t want to touch any other practice, just want to do this four lines.
So this class and next class on Buddhist Foundation Course is to introduce one sequence of daily practice such as refuge and bodhicitta, the Four Immeasurable Prayer, then Seven Limbs Prayer, and before Dedication, it is up to individual to insert your own deity yoga practice, or mantra recitation, whatever you like, if not you can follow just this much, just two page, then end with dedication and multiplying mantra. This is very meaningful practice, we try our best to do meditation when we do this practice, it is very unique.
Important on glimpse meditation on Lam Rim
Like Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, if we offer to him to lead the prayer, or if we do prayer with him, he has a lot of paused session during chanting, because Rinpoche try to contemplate on the meaning of each important point, so he does this kind of meditation. So if we are doing individual practice, it is good to reflect, otherwise it becomes just like word, merely word, so reflect the meaning, then you are doing glimpse meditation on the whole Lam Rim.
When we do glimpse meditation on whole Lam Rim, even we die today, we already plant a seed in our subconscious mind the whole complete stages of the path. With your good karma supporting you to get the blessing of your guru, some how you can manage to get enlightened. Otherwise if you only know half way map, even how much master you are, but just for half way, then you don’t know anything, you will be lost. Like for me, if I go up to the gate here, I know everything inside here, I can say I master in LDC, I know which room inside has what exists, but the moment I get out to the gate, I lost. Unless somebody bring, otherwise I totally lost. It is like enlightenment, you have to know every single stage of the path up to there, then recall again and again, so glimpse meditation in Lam Rim is very important.
Buddhist Foundation Course
3.Preliminary Prayers and their Explanations
The Four Immeasurable Prayers
The Seven-limbs Prayers
Correctly Relying on the Guru Prayers
By Geshe Tenzin Zopa on 23rd January 2008 @ Losang Dragpa Buddhist Society, PJ
06:45 start teaching
As Nagarjuna stated in his teaching that we should always make ourselves available for the welfare of all sentient beings just as earth, water, fire, wind, medicine and forest are available for all.
The purpose of learning Buddhadharma, especially the purpose of learning Mahayana Buddhadharma is to make ourselves available for the need of all living beings by abandoning or eradicating the self-grasping mind through the cultivation of cherishing to others, and do one very best from day to day life to benefit others, that’s the whole purpose why all of us are here.
So both from my side and your side, we should take this session as part of meditation to habituate the advice of Buddha and apply it into one’s day to day life with the influence of great habituation into one’s imprint in one’s mental continuum. It is not just learning the theory, not just come here to gather more information, rather take the essence of this very moment to listen, contemplate and habituate to one’s mind. Not only that, in our day to day life, if we don’t make ourselves certain ground rule, our day will be wasted by constantly committing or collecting the cause for samsara and suffering. Therefore even though one might not be able to transform entire moment and 24 hours into practice, but at least spare 5-10 minutes in morning and at night before going to bed to seriously look into oneself and make use of this precious human rebirth to accumulate extensive merit and purify immense negative karma which accumulated in the past, and cultivate one’s manner of life to benefit other. As Nagarjuna said that to make oneself available and benefit to others, so one should be ready to serve any kind of need of other. For that reason, we do various meditation, sadhana and prayer.
Today subject is related to daily prayer which organized in very condense, very short yet complete practice. This practice can manage to perform in any lifestyle, it doesn’t matter how busy we are, there is no way we can skip by excusing that we have no time to practice, that’s how the last class had covered the topic of Refuge and Bodhicitta, and today suppose to cover Four Immeasurable Thought, then Seven Limbs Prayer, Dedication, and end with Merit Multiplying Mantra, as well as to actualize one’s merit and one’s prayer.
In our day to day life, first we definitely have to do Refuge prayer conjoin with Bodhicitta prayer. If one is able to do some meditation to cultivate the meaning, then one can refer to the explanation in the previous class. After that one can engage into the way of thought in four different manners, the way of performing the virtue acts in four different manners and thoughts, so here the Four Immeasurable Thoughts, the first one is:
Sem-chen tam-chay de-wa dang de-wai gyu dang den par gyur chig
May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness
The meaning here is one needs to contemplate whatever action one is going to perform, include accumulation of merit and purification of negative karma, and the act of benefiting others, with the understanding of sentient being who is so necessary to experience happiness and encounter the cause and condition of happiness. Even though every single living being equally wish happiness and do not wish suffering but they don’t know how to accumulate the cause for happiness, and constantly through the guidance of ignorance, accumulate the causes of suffering, therefore experience endless suffering, there is not even a single moment of experience the genuine happiness, so here to contemplate the six realm beings such as hell beings, hungry ghosts, animal, human beings, god being, demi god being, each and individual has their own individual suffering, as well as general suffering of samsara. So by contemplating on that, one can able to make one’s inspiration on immeasurable thought stronger, whatever prayer one makes, whatever action one is going to involve in dharma practice, it will become more effective, then one engages into the act of creating causes of happiness for others. Just by wishing that may all beings be happy is not enough, because most of the beings are totally dominated by ignorant mind, so what we need to do is to awaken them, educate them, create a condition for them to ripen their karma to encounter the means of accumulating cause of happiness. Therefore the best tool to create the condition and the environment for other living being to encounter and to inspire to accumulate the causes of happiness is to make oneself the example of virtue, make one’s action of body, speech and mind in example of virtue.
Virtue is the cause of happiness. If one lives in virtue act, if one generates virtue thought, virtue intention, and one live one’s physical as well as verbal in virtue act, that is the most powerful tools to influence or create the environment for other’s accumulation of causes of happiness, which is the virtue act.
Therefore first of all, one needs to engage into virtue in order to influence others to practice virtue. Therefore it is so necessary for oneself to always cultivate loving mind, respect mind, compassionate mind, forgiving mind, tolerance mind, mind of generosity, good ethic, effort, concentration and wisdom, always should live one’s mind in that kind of manner. And one’s mind should live in the thought of cultivating ten-virtues actions. Once one can able to live in that manner, naturally one able to draw or influence others to follow one’s example. That’s how one can able to benefit gradually toward numberless beings, that’s the first thing one has to focus while one is reciting the prayer of “May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.” Otherwise it doesn’t hit our feeling, at the same time it is very artificial for others, there is no heaviness and weight in the prayer even thought it sound great.
One should remember how important one should obtain happiness, and in order to obtain happiness, how important one have to accumulate the cause for happiness. Without cause there is no result and effect, in order to gain the effect of happiness, one have to create the cause of happiness, this is very logic and realistic. So in order to inspire oneself to benefit other, it is so necessary for one to understand how suffering oneself has, at the same time to understand how other beings are suffering, it is in equal situation. In general the possession of contaminated aggregates which has only fault and suffering, if one has time, one should reflect on hell being and preta being, meditate on how they suffer, try to meditate on the suffering of Eight Hot Hell and Eight Cold Hell, even in human being, the suffering of birth, aging and death, then the suffering of intermediate state, so all those if one can able to do some meditation, one is able to make stronger will for oneself to accumulate the cause of happiness in the most fastest and efficient way, that’s how one should go about.
Sem-chen tham-che dug-ngel dang dug-ngel gyi gyu dang drel-war gyur chig
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
One should reflect on the suffering of six realm beings, after that one should reflect on how to free them from the entire suffering. One word I missed out in the first verse is that you need to reflect on the practice of love, you have to focus on the practice of love. The intention or thought of love is wishing somebody to obtain happiness, so one should focus on the meditation on love. If you don’t have much time to meditate on what I explained before, at least focus on the meditation on love, thinking that may all living beings obtain happiness.
The second one is to focus on the meditation on compassion. What is compassion? Compassion is the mind or thought seeking every single living beings to be free from entire suffering. Love is to bring them into the state of happiness, compassion is to liberate them from entire suffering, innately the meaning is same, but when you express, you express in different way. One is to free from suffering, another is to bring them into state of happiness. So the second verse is to reflect the meaning on compassion.
order to generate compassion, one should reflect on the suffering of individual six realm beings, on top of that, the general suffering of samsara. Since here it is Mahayana practice, then one should generate great compassion, not just compassion. Great compassion is to take the responsibility by oneself to cause every single living being to be free from entire suffering.
Therefore first of all one should live in great example to perform this practice, to perform the task to liberate every single living beings, and free them from entire suffering. Therefore one should avoid ten non-virtue actions, one should live in the life of avoiding ten non-virtues actions, even the five root vows or the five downfalls of killing, lying, stealing, sexual misconduct and intoxicants, or you can say the four root downfalls which is excluding the intoxicant, so to live a life avoiding in this. One should also practice abandoning miserliness, all the negative side, or impure ethic, or being as negative or cunning or cruel person, harmful person, unstable person, or total ignorance person such as never put effort to differentiate what is virtue and non-virtue, living a life in total darkness and mislead by negative friend and negative guidance, avoiding all these are the act of oneself performing liberating others by being oneself as an example. If one is unable to do that, there is no way one is able to help other beings to bring into that kind of practice, therefore one should start from one’s side.
Innately the causes of suffering is ignorance and karma, these two are the causes of suffering. So one has to eliminate negative karma, and in order to eliminate negative karma, one has to create virtue karma and guard one’s body, speech and mind to not engaging into non-virtue act, from there one will be able to stop creating negative karma. The moment one stops creating negative karma, at the same time one perform purification practice to purify negative karma which accumulated in the past, that is the moment you obtained ceasing the causes of suffering.
The second category of ceasing the causes of suffering in oneself and in others is to obtain the awaken mind which means seeing the true nature of existence which is emptiness. Here the conclusion is we need to reflect on compassion, and focus on the two causes of suffering which is karma and ignorance, and to cease that.
In order to cease all these causes in others, the same act you need to advice them and influence them, or you need to save them from falling into such kind of negative act, that’s how you can able to bring them to be free from causes of suffering. And the state of peerless happiness is where one can liberate every single living being by abandonment of entire suffering which is enlightenment.
The third verse:
Sem-chen tham-che dug-ngel meh-pey de-wa dang mi-drel war gyur chig
May all sentient beings be inseparable from the happiness that is free from suffering
What is the state of inseparable of oneself or somebody else from happiness? It is the state of Buddhahood, the state of nirvana, that is the only place where we can live inseparable from happiness, other than that in samsara we are inseparable from suffering, even human being we are inseparable from Suffering of Suffering, Suffering of Change and Pervasive Suffering.
In day to day life we experience contentment or happiness, but if we look carefully, this contentment don’t have any heaviness, there is no weight for that happiness, it is just in the manner of temporary. The reason is it is only in the matter of moment of change, when the changes come, it encounter suffering, so there is no complete duration of oneself being inseparable from happiness because the duration is always very limit, which could be a moment, a day or a year, and after that end up with suffering, in fact that happiness in samsara itself is the Suffering of Change. The reason is the aggregates itself is in the manner of suffering, the container itself is in the manner of suffering, so whatever feeling or things happened in life, it absorb by the impure container which is the contaminated five aggregates, and the moment it absorb into the impure container, it just naturally turn into total impure which is the total suffering. Therefore in order to liberate oneself into the state of inseparable from happiness, that means one needs to liberate oneself totally free from samsara and to obtain everlasting state of happiness which is the state of omniscience, which is the state of Buddhahood, the total freedom from suffering is also the state of liberation.
Here liberation refers to enlightenment, but in general in Lam Rim teaching, liberation can refer to three categories:
1) Hearer Liberation
2) Solitary Liberation
3) Liberation of Bodhisattva
Since here is base on Mahayana teaching, the total freedom from suffering refer to enlightenment which is the everlasting happiness, which is the state of inseparable from happiness that is why it is called the state of everlasting happiness.
The moment you chant “May all sentient being be inseparable from the happiness that is free from suffering”, you should contemplate the quality of state of enlightenment, you should be inspired by the ever lasting happiness state of enlightenment, then to wish oneself to be born there and to be liberated to there as soon as possible, at the same time wishing all living beings to be born there and be enlightened there.
Even to inspire oneself to practice Dharma to obtain enlightenment which is just for the benefit of others, the innate benefit toward all other living beings is to bring all other living beings to the state of inseparable happiness, this mean that one will not fulfill the goal of the Four Immeasurable Thoughts until every single living beings is enlightened. This is a very heavy message. Because inseparable from happiness is the state of enlightenment, so for one’s purpose to become Buddha is to bring every living beings to the state of inseparable from happiness, that mean until you bring every single living beings to the state of inseparable happiness, one will not finish one’s task.
That’s why it say that even for enlightened beings, they just don’t sit there and do nothing. In fact the enlightened beings have more jobs, greater jobs, and more busy than us because their mind is so big and they try to reach every single living being. And the beings are very untamed and naughty, how much you try to teach them but they do the total opposite thing. You ask them to quit smoking, so if you say quit one stick of cigarette, in the person’s heart it will courage to smoke 2 cigarette, that kind of urge come. At the moment you say ‘no’ to him, he feels like doing more, human beings are like that. The moment you ask them not to lean on wall, some how they feel like leaning on wall. The moment you ask not to lie, they feel like lying. That’s why sometime it said that there is no rule is even better, but in fact it is not, it is still under the rule is better.
There is a question arise, “How about those enlightened beings? There are many many enlightened beings but still cannot liberate every single living being to the state of inseparable from happiness?”. The answer is that every single living beings has different karmic affinity with different being, therefore even we have the full responsibility to obtain enlightenment and work for numberless beings. It is because the numberless beings have special karmic affinity with every single one of us, and those being who has special karmic link will be liberated to enlightenment when you have enlightened only. So Shakyamuni Buddha has liberated numberless beings and Buddha Maitreya also liberated numberless beings, Tara also liberated numberless beings but still there are numberless beings suffer, so those beings maybe 95% is waiting for your enlightenment. So if you delay to gain enlightenment, you naturally making them suffer more. When you think like that, you really have to practice hard, you have to be so serious to become Buddha right now, otherwise you become kind of victim to other beings to carry on suffer for longer period of time. Because those beings has karmic link with you, their liberation is depends on your blessing.
Everyone of us has the same potential to become Buddha, we all have to put the same amount of effort to become Buddha. You cannot say that only those practitioner in cave have to put in more effort and I as ordinary Malaysian human being have to put more effort in earning money, working in busy life, so I deserve not to practice hard, you cannot say like that. Every single living beings has our own responsibility to become Buddha as soon as possible otherwise there are many numberless beings are suffering due to you cannot provide the full amount of blessing. So here you should contemplate that if you don’t practice seriously, there are so many beings have longer time to suffer, so you can’t bear of their suffering, therefore you must engage into the cultivation on path to gain realization on path and to obtain enlightenment, you should focus on this particular recitation. You should feel that you has the full responsibility, and it is very necessary for you to practice very hard right now, and to be enlightened right now, so that you can able to enlightened numberless beings into the peerless happiness.
Sem-chen tham-che nye-ring chhag-dang nyi-dang drel-wei tang nyom-la ne-par gyur-chig
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free from desire for friends and hatred for enemies
Here one should focus on the practice of equanimity, this mean one should practice in good ethic, respect, eliminating pride, jealousy, hatred, attachment, anger and ignorant mind, one has to practice these. If you don’t abandon hatred and anger, no way you can achieve the practice of equanimity.
Why we get angry? Why we generate anger? Because there is an enemy. We generate anger only to enemy, whether we regard the person as the loved one or enemy, as long as we generate hatred and angry toward the person, the person is in the state of our enemy. Enemy is not necessary to be labeled as enemy, as long as from your side you generate hatred or anger, in that very moment the person in front of you or somebody in front of you is your enemy, so if you don’t abandon that, no way you can practice equanimity.
If you don’t abandon attachment, no way you can practice equanimity. You obsessed on someone, you over impute, over exaggerate the contaminated quality on someone, that itself become the object of your attachment, it could be in material or human being or any kind of existence. As far as concern, as long as you over exaggerate in the contaminated quality which is the fruitful cause for samsara, then you cling on it, you grasp on it, you attach on it, you don’t let go it, you hold it supreme than neutral being and enemy, that become object of attachment. So if you don’t abandon attachment, you cannot practice equanimity, so you should inspire to abandon attachment.
If one don’t abandon ignorant mind, one will never ever practice equanimity because the state of equanimity practice is to bring every single living being without discrimination to the state of dearest and purest mind of respect. In the manner of dearest such as the only one son, how much respect, care and pure heart provided by the beloved mother, it is only then one can able to practice equanimity, so one has to gain that much strength in one’s mind in order to practice equanimity.
Why there is stranger? It is because of ignorant mind. The first ignorant mind is not recognizing all beings as one’s mother and all those beings who has benefited to you. Why do you get near to somebody? It is because somebody has benefited you. Why do you put somebody a bit far with hatred? It is because somebody harm you. Why do you put somebody as unknown? It is because you don’t remember either any harm or benefit, that’s why you put in neutral kind of state, those are not equanimity. Equanimity is as what I mentioned earlier, like a mother to her only dearest child.
So here one should focus on purifying the three poisons. Within the twelve links drawing, in the central, you can see one snake, phoenix, and pig. The phoenix come out from pig’s mouth, and the snake come out from phoenix’s mouth, then the snake hold the pig’s tail. Here the pig represent ignorant mind, from ignorant mind it bring attachment, which is represent by phoenix. Because there is an object of attachment, so you generate hatred to somebody. The moment somebody bring harm to the object of your attachment, you get the hatred mind, you get the thought of harm. Although it is sort of like a thought of protection, but in fact it is a thought of harm to protect the object of attachment, that become the object of hatred, which is represent by snake, then the snake hold the pig’s tail. If one still don’t become awaken, these three are the fault, it is like a circle, it will carry on, the three poisons will carry on. Because of attachment, then hatred come, because of hatred, then still don’t realize the fact, again enhance the ignorant mind, and again generate greater attachment, greater hatred, and again enhance the ignorant mind, then create limitless and endless circle of karma, that’s how we suffer in the cyclic existence within the six realms. Anyway there will be one class cover on this.
To obtain bodhicitta mind, it is necessary to have equanimity as a foundation. Without equanimity mind, there is no way one can generate bodhicitta mind, no way one can able to respect equally to every single living being. As long as we cannot do that, we are not able to understand the reality of innate being, the reality of existence because our emotion is totally dominated by ignorant mind. As long as one doesn’t free from ignorant mind, one is unable to see the clear light mind, if one unable to see clear light mind, one is unable to achieve the subtlest antidote which is the wisdom realizing the clear light mind, as long as one cannot achieve that, one cannot cease the root of ignorance, as long as one cannot cease the root of ignorance, there is no liberation, it goes like that. That’s all about the Four Immeasurable Prayer.
After doing the Four Immeasurable Prayer, your mind is already in very good shape. Now you know what is the purpose of your practice, you know how much ability you have to benefit others, and you will also know how much weakness you are in the state, you will know the truth of yourself, this mean you will know how much negative karma you have, you will know how much merit you have, you will know what to proceed to enhance the merit, and you will know how to eliminate the negative action which accumulated in the past, then it comes the Seven Limbs Practice.
What are the Seven Limbs Practice? The limbs of prostration, offering, confession, rejoice, requesting, supplication and dedication, also we refer this as Seven Branches of Practices which is very very important.
So the first line:
Go sum gu pai go ne chag tsal lo
Reverently, I prostrate with my body, speech, and mind;
This is the limb of prostration. Here when you recite the first verse, it is very important to set in the manner of prostration. If possible one stand up and do long prostration, if cannot, at least short prostration, if that also not possible, then sit down and at least put your palm together. To put the two thumbs into palm which represent wish fulfilling jewel, free from empty handed to the Triple Gems in which you have taken refuge, and you have generated the altruistic mind. Now you understand who you are that you need to do a lot of purification and accumulation of merit, so the first thing is to engage into the practice of respect which is through prostration. At least with a very proper manner, with the gesture of truly, innately, whole heartedly respecting Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, from there one accumulates extensive merit and purify immense negative karma.
Tibetan it said ‘chag-tsel’, it means prostration. ‘chag’ means ‘clean’ or
‘wash up’, after cleansing it become very clean isn’t it? But cleansing what?
Cleansing negative karma, then you become very clean. Now you have already
clean, you have become a pure container, then ‘tsel’, it means give or grant.
Grant what? Grant your blessing. First I clean and make pure container, now I
am requesting you to grant me something. What do I request you to grant? To
grant me blessing. So whenever we do practice, we first start with ‘chag-tsel’.
First we start with prostration which is to really receive the blessing. And in
order to receive the blessing, you must have a pure container. The stain
container cannot hold pure blessing. There is a saying in
I prostrate to Buddha, I prostrate to Dharma, I prostrate to Sangha
I prostrate to Guru, I prostrate to Guru, I prostrate to Guru, I prostrate to Buddha, I prostrate to Buddha …..
to Tara, I prostrate to
prostrate to every single statue, every single Buddha. When you recite ‘I
I also heard it is a very good practice for gastric. If you have gastric problem, doing long prostration is one of the best cure. Of course you have to eat food on time, you have to follow some system of doctor’s advice, on top of that if you do prostration, especially with the prostration of body, speech and mind, it is very powerful. If you don’t do, then it is like me, you will suffer, then it is your fault, it is not Buddha’s fault. So this is the Limb of Prostration. At this time you should focus on generating great respect, purification thought, accumulation of merit, requesting the blessing, after that you get into particular practice of accumulating extensive merit which is the Limb of Offering, so the second verse:
Ngo-sham yi-trul chho-trin ma-lu-bul
I present clouds of every type of offering, actual and mentally transformed;
The ‘clouds’ refers to ‘infinite’ offering, ‘infinite’ refer to vast length of space. Space is infinite, there is no particular length for space, so it refers to the space that completely fill with clouds, it means the clouds is infinite, so like that, the offering should be infinite like the cloud pervade entire space, the offering should be infinite, always should offer in infinite, so what kind of offering should offer in infinite? Every type of offering. Some are actual offering like light offering, flower offering, nectar offering, perfume offering, music offering and including keeping gompa and house clean and tidy. Even the flower, if you keep too long on altar, it doesn’t benefit, if you put the flower in front of you too long until the flower sleep, and didn’t change the water until smell come, how would you feel? You rather prefer no flower at all isn’t it? So this mean offer fresh flower, the water should be clean, and the flower also should offer something that you are attractive to the most and the most beautiful one. If you like red flower the best, your offering to the Buddha best flower should be the red color, if you think colorful is the best, you should offer that. Of course for different deity it has different color and different meaning, but when you offer, you offer the best from your heart. It is not related to other person as if other person offer pink color, maybe you don’t like pink, but if you also try to offer pink, it is wrong, rather it will accumulate negative karma because you are competing “Oh! My friend offer pink color so I also want to offer pink color.” This is negative, it should be avoided and not to cultivate. It will accumulate what? It will accumulate negative karma, it will not accumulate virtue, rather don’t offer.
Even if somebody offer food, let say food offering to sangha, there is so much merit, especially you look into the Theravadan practice, you will see even the manner on how they offer food to the sangha, from the scenario you can see how much benefit there is, but if you look into the benefit in scripture, there are immense benefit. Buddha purposely ask all sangha not to have kitchen by themselves, and not to go to shopping but go to beg because that provided opportunity to offer dana to sangha. How? To accumulate extensive merit. But when you want to offer, and see your friend offer rice and dhal, so you also offer rice and dhal, if it is competing, then better don’t offer, it is negative, there is no benefit, it will accumulate negative karma because competition is negative, it is one of the afflictive emotion. 1:06:52
If somebody offer to your guru a very beautiful flower, a diamond or whatever, maybe this much big diamond offer to your Guru, and because of the offering, your Guru’s manner will show appreciate, happy and gratefulness, but then other friends see and think “Aiyo! There is so much attention given to my friend.” And you think you would also like to have that much attention, but you don’t have money so you went to borrow money, you do this and that, and you steal money to go get a much bigger diamond and offer, although you will also get some attention but it ended up with full of negative karma. Another person accumulate full of virtue karma, although your diamond is bigger but full of negative karma. It is because of the mind competing with friend, competing in practice. Even dharma practice, as long as you compete, there is no meaning. So it is the same, if some people offer candle light, you think about it, do you really like to offer? If yes, then you offer. If you think that you don’t have the heart to offer, then better don’t offer, save the money, save the candle, so making offering should be from the depth of your heart. When you have the sincere offering from the depth of your heart, it is not the matter of size, or the value of the object, it is the matter of your heart, your sincerity, and total respect, this is very very important. Many people get into this kind of mistaken practice, this is the reason to bring about it here.
Now you have to make sure that when you offer, you offer by yourself, there is nothing to do with whatever, more than that, offer with the mind of not return, offer the offering without expectation. The moment you expect a return, 75% of merit will drop. So to get the benefit by making offering to Buddha, you need to create the cause, what is the cause? It is merit. With a total dedicated offer, you accumulate immense of merit, even if you don’t want, it will also come, that’s the logic, even how much you say you don’t want, they will still come to you.
you offer candle light to Tara by knowing that Tara is one of the most
effective Buddha to grant you success, so you come in to the Center, buy a RM50
candle light, put on Tara and requesting that “by tomorrow, you have to give me
at least profit of 50% more, that mean RM100.” So you offer RM50 candle, and
you are requesting RM100 by tomorrow, you are not calculating in this way but
you are calculating more than that, then tomorrow in case you didn’t receive
any benefit then you blame Tara that you wasted RM50 to offer candle and
Without cause there is no effect, so the cause for success is merit, without merit, how to gain big benefit? Rather with the thought to total offer for the benefit of numberless beings, with a wish to gain great success in business for the benefit of numberless sentient beings, even if nothing happen, never mind, this is the purpose for me to accumulate extensive merit which is for the benefit of numberless beings, then you offer one candle light tomorrow, sure you will get success, you try yourself.
One more thing to add here, just now I say ‘sure’, for this ‘sure’, one thing I have to add, otherwise I will get into trouble. Because of too much negative karma already in the past, that might obstruct in certain time, therefore you already should put great effort on the first limb practice - prostration, otherwise even though you are accumulating so much merit, still there is very heaviness on negative karma, some how unable to bring the full benefit, although still there is benefit, but there is a danger of might not get what you suppose to get.
The actual offering are all the beautiful thing that you can see with your eyes, or what you have in your hand, what you can smell, you can hear, you can taste and feel, whatever that you have, you just offer. On the way to town, those Christmas lights on street, you recite OM AH HUM and offer, those flower also recite OM AH HUM and offer, all those are actual offerings. On the way, there are so many beautiful trees and rivers, recite OM AH HUM and all offer, all the beautiful people, recite OM AH HUM and offer, beautiful shopping center and beautiful car, recite OM AH HUM and offer, everything you recite OM AH HUM, OM AH HUM and offer. This is actual offering.
Mentally transform offering means there is one flower, but through the power of your mind, concentration and visualization, you emanate the flower totally fill the entire space and earth in universe, then offer them to Buddha. Mentally transform offering such as emanation of water, light, beautiful scenery, incense, perfume, food and every single thing, don’t just make one single thing like that, you must transform infinite. On top of that, transform into divine offering, transform into nectar, all the things that we can eat and drink, or something that can put into our mouth, create and transform into nectar. The moment it reaches to everybody’s mouth, it is total bliss out, and achieved the inseparable happiness, that much you can transform your mind and object also. Like stone, water, tree, house, car, watches, diamond, pearl, whatever beautiful thing, you just transform them into wish fulfilling jewel, transform through the power of your mind, your visualization and concentration, and with the power of faith and conviction. Then think that “yes, this is a wish fulfilling jewel, I offer it not just to one Buddha but to every Buddha, infinite offerings to every Buddha.” All these are mental transformed offering. You will gain the benefit and you will achieve so much merit, you accumulate so much merit like that.
For offering, if we want to make it easy, it is so easy. Everywhere we go, just make offering immensely, every single moment we can accumulate so much merit. But if we don’t know how to offer, even one small orange, we feel stingy to put on altar, this is very difficult, then how to accumulate so much merit? But at the same time if offering is to only mean to put on altar, your altar is so small, so how to get so much merit by offering just this much since the table is so small? Therefore it is nothing to do with that, you must transform and emanate infinite nectar and wish fulfilling jewel, remember – offer those thing that cannot eat and drink as wish fulfilling jewel, those thing that can swallow, drink and eat are in nectar and offer. Another thing is to remember to offer infinite, thirdly, you need to remember to offer with conviction and faith that you have definitely did this offering. 1:17:51
Thog-meh ne-sag dig-tung tham-cha-shag
I confess all my negative actions accumulated since beginningless time
In order to purify negative karma, one should apply the Four Opponent Power. It is said in the teaching that there is not a single negative karma which cannot be purified by applying the Four Opponent Power. This mean that as long as you apply the Four Opponent Power, including the Five Heinous Crimes, it can be purified. Therefore one of the Four Opponent Power is what here talk about the confession, when you involve the confession ceremony or confession practice, you need an object in front to express the confession, so the object is Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, or in your house you have an altar, or if you don’t have an altar, then your Buddha nature, the Buddha in your heart, that is the object where you are going to confess, then regret all the past negative karma. It is almost like you just swallow one full mug of poison which you can confirm that you will die within 5 minutes, this kind of regret. You will then try everything, even to eat so many vomiting medicines to try to vomit out the poison, or maybe eat so much tablets for diarrhea, so many things you can do. But this is nothing, it should be more than that, you should reflect that if you don’t purify that negative karma, you will be born into hot hell, and how to face the hot hell? There is so much unbearable suffering. Even toothache I can’t bear, but to born in hell, how? That much regret, that regret will bring the mind of will not do again, will not commit such negative karma again, the mind of resolve. Even at the cost of my life, I will never do this again, I will never commit such negative karma. Then the opponent power of antidote is to recite Vajrasattva mantra and prostration mantra, or any most powerful practice of purification mantra or any kind of Buddha’s name, or at least focus on the Buddha image, look at the eye, emanating light and blessing to you to purify, all these are antidotes. Or you can meditate on emptiness, which is one of the most powerful opponent antidote. So by applying these four, one can purify any kind of negative karma but one has to do the confession practice. That’s why it puts here on the third limb of confess – I confess all my negative actions accumulated since beginningless time. One have to do this again and again, if possible one should do this everyday, one must do everyday, because life is beginningless, even this life, even yesterday negative karma we don’t remember, if we want to count yesterday negative karma, we cannot count, it is countless. Even during sleeping time we also accumulate negative karma, wake up also accumulating negative karma, every single momentary of movement of body, speech and mind is accumulation of negative karma. Most of those movement are negative karma, so you see, you need to do confession again and again, if possible, two times a day, 6 times a day, as many times a day, if possible, every moment, every minutes, but at least should do one time, must do one time, so that one can purify all the negative karma, so you see it is so powerful.
If you are not inspired to do this practice, then think of your beginningless rebirth, think of the moment of the past, yesterday and day before yesterday, then go back to childhood, go back in the womb, go back in past lives, and go back to the lives when you were taking life as crocodile, eating fresh meat all the time, think about that, or like a shark open up big mouth and hundred of small fish go inside the mouth, the moment shark closed the mouth, hundred of lives in one moment has gone, we have taken such kind of lives.
Now you understand how much negative karma accumulated just to do with killing, we had lie, we did sexual misconduct, stealing, we break all the ten non-virtues vows, all sort of negative karma accumulated, so today we confess, then gradually purify, then we become lighter and lighter, brighter and brighter, and good thing will start to fall in our life because we are getting purer and accumulated more merit, and will get into success.
Kye-phad ge-wa nam-la je-yi-rang
And rejoice in the virtue of all holy and ordinary beings
Rejoice is so important because it is one of the easiest thing, it doesn’t need to put any physical effort. If we really can’t perform any material offering or any kind of practice such like accumulation of merit, then one should just sit there and rejoice, feel happy on other’s virtue deed, feel happy on one’s virtue deed. If you remember on what you have done on something good yesterday or the year before, you should feel happy about it – ‘oh great! I have done something good, I am happy for myself’. This is the mind of rejoice. Or ‘oh, I heard that my sister or my brother or my family member did a big charity or an act of benefiting other, I am so happy for them even though I am part of the family, I was very busy in KL but they did very good job, and I am very happy for them, may I be able to do so in future.’ That’s rejoicing.
Here it say ‘virtue of all holy and ordinary being’, ‘all holy’ means the Buddha, Bodhisattva, Arya being, ordinary bodhisattva who is normal human being that has obtain realization on emptiness, bodhicitta etc, all these beings are holy being, they accumulated immense of immense of virtue action and merit, so we rejoice, we feel so happy for them. I am so inspire by them, I am so happy for them, may I also be able to do so. This is rejoice to holy being.
Then rejoice to ordinary being like ourselves, although I accumulated lots of negative karma yet I also try to accumulate some virtue action. And my friend even though he always get angry and do all sort of negative actions, but today he saw one cat on the road lying, and a car is coming down, he even put his life in danger to save the cat, this is great, saving somebody’s life, this is wonderful, I rejoice, I feel happy for him, may I be able to do so. Even though it is ordinary person but that is a great deed of merit so we rejoice for ordinary being’s virtue action. Such and such when people do meditation or listen to dharma, or people practice their very best to virtue thought or virtue act, everybody do their best, so we just rejoice and feel happy for them.
Rejoice is one of the best antidote for jealousy mind. If you rejoice you will not get jealous, if you don’t rejoice, the opposite mind is jealousy. Jealousy is very unpeaceful mind, very disturbing mind; rejoice is very peaceful and happy mind.
Khor-wa ma-tong bar-du leg-zhug-ne
Please, remain until the end of cyclic existence
This is one
of the most powerful practice to request your guru to remain. This is one of
the best practice of long life for your guru and yourself, and also best
practice of long life for your parents, family members. As long as you perform
this practice, when you reach fifth verse, you should dedicate to the long
life, good health of anybody you wish to dedicate, especially your spiritual
related guru, and Buddha, Bodhisattva, holy being, dharmapalas, protector to
remain within your mandala, your aura, your mind. If they remain within your
aura, you will be fully protected. When Guru, Buddha,
When you invite holy object such as statue and thangka into your house, to make full use of those holy objects is to bring lots of benefit and lots of blessing, so you should perform this practice so that their blessing always will grant to you. They will grant you the blessing by having themselves remain within your aura. So this is one of the very powerful practice to prolong your life. By practicing this, it is equivalent to practicing White Tara mantra, Amitayus mantra and Namgyalma mantra etc. also as performing Long Life Puja to your guru, if you practice this, everyday you are performing Long Life Puja to your guru.
Dro-la cho-kyi khor-lo kor-wa-dang
And turn the wheel of Dharma for sentient beings
Again here it is so important, in order for you to gain enlightenment, one needs to receive blessing of Dharma from Guru and Buddha. Without sincere requesting, whatever teaching you receive it will not bring the greatest effect. In order to treasure and respect the teaching, one should request the master to teach, that’s why putting palm together and kneel down, holding dharmachakra and blowing conch shell, then request, “Guru, please teach me Dharma, please turn the wheel of Dharma.”
Even for Shakyamuni Buddha, He has to live 49 days in jungle without teaching because nobody request. If He teach without people’s request, the teaching become like so easy, there is no weight in the teaching, people will not treasure, because people will not see the important. People come to request is because people see the important. If people don’t see the important, why people go to request? Therefore even to receive one single mantra oral transmission, one should request with sincere manner, then there is possibility of receiving blessing. You cannot take teaching so easily, some time there is also a danger of complaining the Guru that he has all the knowledge but is not vomiting out from the mouth, so what is the use? There is a danger of blaming such as “I requested how many times but still there is not a clear answer. What is this? It is so difficult to receive teaching. How come?” We complaint isn’t it? “How come the Lama who gives teaching is very stingy?” In fact they have so much respect, and they want to see the sincerity of the disciple. If disciple really want to learn, then they give, disciple will learn. If disciple don’t want to learn, just bla bla bla… it is wasting their time, rather meditate in cave is more effective. Therefore here it teaches us to always request in every single day and moment, at least once a day we remember Guru and we request. It doesn’t matter whether he or she is in front of us or not, or whether the Guru is still alive or pass away, it doesn’t matter, whether the Buddha is here or not, it doesn’t matter, we just request our guru and all Buddhas to guide us with teaching, to turn the wheel of dharma everyday, then that will accumulate the merit for you to meet the right guru, for you to receive lots of teaching. Some people wish to receive teaching but don’t get opportunity, some time the car break down, or busy with dinner party, or friend comes to talk about hundred dollar then you forget about teaching, or friend ask you to go for pop, sure you will give up teaching, so all these are because of not enough merit.
In order to receive Dharma, you need so much merit. In order to receive dharma into your mind, you need much more greater merit. In order to gain realization through habituation of dharma in your mind, you need great huge amount of merit, that’s why we are doing Seven Limbs Practice.
This practice will also accumulate the karma of never separate you from your perfect guru from all the life time. You will all the life times meet your perfect guru until you achieve enlightenment and ever be guided. Especially when you do this, whoever Guru comes into your mind, you pray, this will create a cause for you to always having Guru around you. Even at the time of death, when the consciousness is leaving, your Guru will be there to transfer the consciousness to pure land. Even in the intermediate state, through the power of Guru’s mind and prayer, he will guide you through the intermediate state, it will bring you up to the right parent. If you are unable to get enlightenment in the intermediate state, at least it will bring you to a perfect family where you can enjoy Dharma again, and connect with Guru.
Even to enlightened you at the time of death or intermediate state, Guru is the main channel, main person who introduce you. Such as the practice of Vajrayogini or Tara where oneself is going to gain enlightenment in intermediate state, who will connect your realization mind up to Vajrayogini’s enlightenment? Guru is the one who connect. It is like when you go to some place, you need someone to introduce isn’t it? So Guru is the one who introduce and bring you up to there, otherwise you will get mix up. There will be many Buddha waiting, if somebody don’t introduce, you will come back into samsara. That’s why we call it the supplication prayer which is like expressing all wishes, it is slightly different than dedication. Here is making strong wish to link your merit and practice to Guru’s and Buddha’s heart, so this is called supplication prayer.
Dag-zhan ge-nam jang-chub chen-por-ngo
I dedicate my own merits and those of all others to the great enlightenment
This is so important - to dedicate all the virtue of myself and others to the great enlightenment. One should dedicate in the greatest way, dedicate to enlightenment.
If you dedicate to the highest goal, in between all the small achievements naturally will come. If you dedicate to small, the greater benefit one will not achieve. Therefore one always should dedicate in the greatest way which is the state of enlightenment. So whatever accumulation of merit that I accumulated, through the practice of earlier six branches of practices, may they be the complete causes for myself and all other living beings to get enlightenment. Another way is that whatever virtue accumulated by me and by others, may it be the complete cause to enlightenment for every single living being.
So these complete the Seven Limbs Practices.
Now we go to the Dedication Prayers:
Ge wa di yi nyur du dag
Due to the merits of these virtuous actions
La ma sang gye drub gyur ne
May I quickly attain the state of a Guru-Buddha
Dro wa chig kyang ma lu pa
And lead all living beings, without exception,
De yi sa la go par shog
Into that enlightened state.
Due to whatever merit accumulated in the past through the practice of Refuge, Bodhicitta and Four Immeasurable Practice, and all the Seven Limbs Practice, may I quickly attain the state of Guru-Buddha. Guru who is Buddha, and Buddha who is Guru, Guru who is yidam, Guru who is daka, Guru who is dakini, so to quickly attain in that state mean without delaying for even a moment.
Due to the merit, there are two types of merit, Merit of Method and Merit of Wisdom. All virtue actions will compile into two types of merit – 1) Merit of Method and 2) Merit of Wisdom. Merit of Method is which that enhance the practice of compassion, loving kindness and bodhicitta. Merit of Wisdom enhance the actualization of the wisdom realizing emptiness.
May I quickly attain the state of Guru-Buddha. Quickly means without delaying even for a moment. State of Guru-Buddha is enlightenment.
And lead all living beings, without exception, this mean that you cannot leave out cockroaches, you liberate all living being but you leave out cockroach because you don’t like cockroach - cannot! Here, to lead all sentient beings without exception, this mean no exception for even a cockroach or whatever, every living being you have to take full responsibility to liberate. Liberate to where? Including cockroaches, where to liberate them? Liberate them into the enlightenment state which is inseparable from happiness, omniscience mind, a state of peerless happiness and a state of Buddhahood.
Then follow by bodhicitta dedication:
Jang chub sem chog rin po che
Ma kye pa nam kye gyur chig
Kye wa nyam pa me pa yang
Gong ne gong du phel war shog
May the supreme jewel bodhicitta
That has not arisen, arise and grow;
And may that which has arisen not diminish
But increase more and more
May the supreme jewel bodhicitta, why call supreme jewel? In ordinary life, the greatest wish fulfilling jewel will grant you whatever you wish. Here the supreme jewel thought, the supreme jewel attitude, the supreme mind, the greatest altruistic mind is bodhicitta mind which is as wish fulfilling jewel that can grant you entire wishes of peerless happiness and knowledge. And this supreme jewel, for those who has not gain, not arisen, not obtain bodhicitta mind, may it arise now, may it gain bodhicitta now. For those who has arisen, may it grow, this mean to develop greater. Such as from the Five Paths, the first Path of the Five Paths is the Path of Accumulation, when you reach there, you obtain the bodhicitta mind but you are not enlightened. Even that bodhisattva also need to grow and to arise bodhicitta mind greater and travel all through the Five Paths and Ten Grounds, that bodhicitta mind is to be a companion for wisdom realizing emptiness which is the antidote to cease all defilement and then obtain enlightenment.
In our ordinary life we also practice bodhicitta, but how? One inspire oneself to obtain full enlightenment by understanding oneself is full of suffering, then inspire oneself to liberate all living being, thinking that may myself obtain enlightenment for the benefit of entire numberless sentient beings, therefore I must cultivate the practice of Six Perfection, that mind is bodhicitta mind but that is in the process of practice to arise in our mental continuum, that is just a preliminary stage. Even that have to arise, and for those who has that much practice already, they need to grow, this refer to those in ordinary level. But for those who already in bodhisattva path, those who already arisen or those who have achieve bodhicitta mind, even that need to grow and make stronger until you achieve full enlightenment.
And may that which has arisen not diminish, for those who have obtained bodhicitta mind, which could be one of you or could be somebody, for those who has achieved bodhicitta mind, maybe the practitioner just achieve the Path of Accumulation from the Five Paths, who achieve very freshly on bodhicitta mind, but then suddenly meet a self-liberator, a Hinayana master, telling the practitioner that you yourself haven’t free from samsara, you are just the first stage of bodhisattva, you haven’t free yourself from samsara, how are you going to manage to get enlightenment and free all living beings? This is something that you will not be able to do it. Rather first you come down, practice for yourself and gain liberation, which is the Hinayana liberation, which is called self-liberation, then you think about it. “Oh ya! It sound real. What can I do? I have bodhicitta but I cannot do much. If I have to wait to gain enlightenment, it may take eons, rather I first liberate myself.” Then you give up the bodhicitta mind, that is call diminish. So we have to make prayer that for those who has arisen bodhicitta mind, never to diminish, never give up. And they need our prayer, they need everybody’s prayer to not give up bodhicitta mind. Because if you give up bodhicitta mind, as I mentioned earlier, your duration to become Buddha is very long. And the moment you delay to become Buddha, the longer time the sentient being suffer.
But to increase more and more, so instead of diminishing, rather you dedicate your merit to become a cause for bodhicitta mind to increase immensely in every single moment. Such as those tantric practitioner, why they can achieve full enlightenment within one life time, within this very cushion? The accumulation of merit of three countless eons is equal in every living being to become Buddha, but why some people need to take three countless eons times, and why some people can become Buddha right now? And why some people might not take three countless eons but hundred thousand countless eons time? The reason is the matter on accumulation on merit by practicing bodhicitta and emptiness. So if you increase now the bodhicitta mind, you can accumulate the merit of three countless eons merit within one very moment, no need to wait for three countless eons time. So that is the reason that we have to dedicate our prayer for our own benefit and benefit for other to increase bodhicitta mind more and more.
Jam pel pa wo ji tar khyen pa dang
Kun du zang po de yang de zhin te
De dag kun gyi je su dag lob chir
Ge wa di dag tham che rab tu ngo
Just as the brave Manjushri, and Samantabhadra too,
Realized things as they are,
Also I dedicate all these merits in the best way,
That I may follow their perfect example.
The meaning is that just as the hero Manjushri, or just as the supreme daka Manjushri has understood and like wise Samantabhadra too, I dedicate this virtue that I may follow their way or their example on whatever accumulation of merit that they accumulated, I will follow the example of Manjushri and Samantabhadra, not only that, just as all the Buddhas of three times too. So to make dedication to that which is well praise, this mean that I will dedicate in the greatest expression, greatest purpose such as bodhicitta dedication, such as how Samantabhadra dedicate their merit, such as how Manjushri dedicate their merit for the purpose, such as all the past Buddhas obtained enlightenment through accumulation of merit by dedication, I also express my dedication in their manner. So do I dedicate all my virtue that I too dedicate in that way, may I be train in goodness, may all those merit become complete cause of goodness for oneself and all others.
Now go to Multiplying Mantra to increase one million times from the merit created, you recite this mantra at the end of session. So after every session, it is good to recite this mantra so that whatever accumulation of merit, through the power of this mantra, you accumulate one million times.
Chom-den-de de-zhin-sheg-pa dra-chom-pa yang-dag-par dzog-peh sang-gye nam-par nang-dze o-kyi gyal-po-la chag-tsel-lo
Recite this one time or three times, but it is good to recite three times.
Jang-chub sem-pa sem-pa chen-po kun-tu zang-po-la chag-tsal-lo
Recite this one time or three times, after this recite this mantra:
Tayatha om pencha griya ava bodhani svaha
These two mantras should be recited seven times.
After this, in order to actualized our prayer as well as multiply the benefit by 100,000 times, this means that whatever prayer and wish that you make, in order to actualize the wish, because our concentration is really not enough, our visualization is really poor, our purity of practice is really poor, so we need some divine help, so from which we can get help? It is through this powerful mantra which provided by the Buddha. By reciting this mantra three times, whatever prayer you make, it become the actual cause to actualize your wish, so recite
Chom-den-de de-zhin sheg-pa dra-chom-pa yang-dag-par dzog-pey sang-gye ngo-wa dang mon-lam tham-che rab-tu du-pe gyal-po-la chag-tsal-lo
Due to the power of the blessings of the eminent buddhas and bodhisattvas, the power of infallible dependent arising, and the power of my pure special attitude, may all my pure prayers succeed immediately.
Due to the power of the blessing, blessing is to bring the cause for you to success your prayer. In order to success you need immense blessing from Buddha, so there are infinite Buddhas, not only that, also Bodhisattavas, not only that, all the tathagatas and pure beings, you need even blessing of pure beings, and in order to success your prayer, one of the another most powerful practice is to think of dependant arising.
Power of infallible dependent arising means to think of emptiness, every single phenomena, including yourself which is the dedicator, and the material to dedicate which is merit, and the object of dedication which is the state of enlightenment, which is the state of your wish, if you wish to become Buddha, that is the goal or the purpose of your dedication, so all these three things: 1)dedicator 2)the material- dedication, or whatever virtue accumulated 3)object of which oneself wish to obtain. All these three things are dependent arising, they are lack of inherent existence. This is very important. To dedicate in emptiness will able to protect not to degenerate one’s merit because eons of virtue accumulation can be destroyed by one single moment of anger. One single moment of frustration mind will cease eons of virtue action, so powerful the anger, so to guard that. Because we ordinary being get angry again and again, so the moment you finish your prayer, make sure you dedicate with emptiness, make sure dedicate in this way.
I, with the merit accumulated, and the object for dedicating, every single thing is dependent arising, it is lack of inherent existence. At least just to say or to think that every single thing is lack of inherent existence, every single thing exists base on cause and effect, that’s it! If you can feel, good! If you cannot feel, at least think in this way, that will seal your merit in the save box, you will never loose, plus will increase the interest. So what you will do? You will enjoy every single moment from now on up to enlightenment, you will enjoy the happiness by the interest of your merit, although the capital is still there. When you become Buddha, you can take whole thing - the capital to share with everybody and all living beings.
The power of my pure special attitude, I always say about the power of the mind, even here it say the power of my special attitude. Virtue mind, the strong virtue mind is the pure special attitude, so the power of that pure special attitude can able to actualized your prayer and your dedication fruitfully.
Then may all my pure prayers succeed immediately, all these ways of dedication with the blessing of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, with the understanding of dependent arising and dedicate with emptiness, and through the power of my pure attitude, pure intention, pure practice, it is to success my prayer immediately.
What you do is that for those who has very busy life, at least should refer to this practice. You start with Refuge and Bodhicitta, then Four Immeasurable Prayer, then Seven Limbs Practice, in between if you like to insert any kind of personal practice, just before the prayer of Dedication, you insert here whatever prayer you like to do, like those sadhana practitioner can insert sadhana here, or mantra, Tara mantra, you can insert here, if you want to do some meditation on compassion, you can also insert here, or if you want to do meditation on Lam Rim, you can also insert here, whatever prayer you like to do, you insert here, after that you can do dedication. If not just do this much, and end with final dedication, this is very meaningful life.
Thank you very much!
Transcript prepared and lightly edited by Ven.Osel
BY GESHE TENZIN ZOPA ON 30th JAN 2008 Losang Dragpa Centre
Good evening and hello to the new comers or welcome to the new comers! (laughter)
Today’s subject is about karma, which is the fundamental teaching of the Buddhas. The fundamental advice of all the past Buddhas, which is the essence of the 84, 000 teachings; the supreme ethic which should be preserved, practiced by all the living beings who wish to experience happiness and who do not wish to experience any suffering.
As one wish to achieve happiness and do not wish to experience suffering, one has to remain in the ethic of karma, which is the ethic of all the good qualities up to the stage of enlightenment, from very slight happiness up to the ever lasting happiness. Therefore, this topic is one of the most important topics that we need to study, cultivate and apply into our daily life with single pointed mindfulness in our actions of body, speech and mind. Only then there is the possibility of liberation, otherwise there wont be the end of constant circling existence in samsara.
We have already seen how important, how beneficial, and what great advantage of becoming Buddhist! By taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha and remaining under the protection of Buddha, Dharma, Sangha with the full conviction and faith that one will definitely be protected from falling into the lower realms such as animal realm, hungry ghost realm and hell realm. Our coming journey to the next life, it is definite! It is definite we already established conviction in our heart. It is definite that by taking refuge under Buddha, Dharma, Sangha one will definitely be protected from taking coming rebirth into the lower realm.
So now here, even just taking refuge there is great benefit that one will receive. But at the same time, we have to ask ourselves “IS this refuge vow, is this protection, protection of refuge will remain in us forever life time, until enlightenment or not?” The answer is NO!
The length of the refuge protection, the length of the vow of the refuge is up to this very life until death only. The survival of this refuge vow from now up to the death, that’s it! When we take rebirth the next life, we have to take refuge again, otherwise, one doesn’t have refuge! So here it is definite that refuge vow will protect us from falling into lower realm in the coming life. But is there any guarantee that refuge vow still will help us and protect from falling into lower realm from next life time? Maybe for hundred rebirths, one hundred thousand rebirths from next life time; is there any guarantee or not? The answer is NO GUARANTEE!
Then one will ask question” How one will be able to actualize the guarantor for us to completely ceased to go to lower realm for the entire life time?’ The guarantor is yourself! The vary guarantor have to be yourself, not from outside.
How to qualify, how do get a certificate to be a guarantor? How do qualify your self to be the guarantor where the guarantee is given to you to be completely protected every life time, up to enlightenment? The answer is, remain in the ethic of karma, LIVE A LIFE IN THE ETHIC OF KARMA! Practice karma, practice cause and effect.
By living in the proper creation of karma, means by living a life creating virtuous karma, one will able to enjoy virtuous result which is higher rebirth up to enlightenment. If we don’t practice accumulating good actions, good karma, one will constantly accumulate negative actions, and negative karma which will constantly produce suffering result and lead to the suffering in hell. So now here we understand the main guarantor to protect us in falling into lower realm the entire life time is to live in the ethic of good karma. To live a life constantly creating good karma, good ethic, good action, and then only one will be able to protect one self from ever falling into lower realms; including taking rebirth in samsara. Otherwise, even Buddha cannot save us.
Even at the time of our dying, Buddha appears in front of us he can’t save us. One hundred thousand sanghas surround you, some of the sanghas pulling from your thumb, some sanghas pulling your finger, some sangha pulling your head, some sanghas pulling every single corner of your body, even try to control your mind, dominate your mind by the blessing, still you are unable to succeed not falling into lower realm if we don’t live in the ethic of karma. So you see from here, we know how important the karma is.
So now, we need to know the creation of karma is based on 3 bases, the base of physical form, speech and the mind i.e. the body speech and mind, so the ACTIONS of body speech and mind. Through the actions of body speech and mind, we actualize 3 types of resulting karma; such as virtue, non virtue, and unfluctuating. So these are the 3 types of resultant karma created by 3 types of base which is body speech and mind.
So, such as based on the physical form, one will accumulate the action; perform the action and perform the karma of creating the action. Virtue such as merit, such as good cause, which is virtue. Through the physical action you will create the karma for the action or the cause of non virtue .Non virtue created in physical form will provide the result of suffering. Then the unfluctuating, even based on the movement, the action of the body, there is a moment that one might create the resultant action, which is neither virtue or nor non virtue which is called the unfluctuating karma.
So, such as virtuous action through physical form, verbal and mental, can create 10 virtuous actions; such as actions of avoiding killing, actions of avoiding stealing, and actions avoiding sexual misconduct. So these are actions related to physical form. By avoiding that one will accumulate merit. By engaging in the action of killing through physical form, engaging into stealing, engaging in sexual misconduct, one will create the negative karma and non virtue which will bring the suffering result.
So, non involvement in the action of killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, neither preserving the ethic vow, the mind of precept that holding in your heart that ‘I will not perform the action of killing, I will not perform the action of stealing, I will not perform the action of sexual misconduct’. Neither of these two, there is a moment of action of the physical form that is the unfluctuating action; which neither brings happiness nor suffering.
It is the same for verbal speech. The not lying, not engaging in slander speech, not engaging into harsh speech and not engaging in idle gossip then one will accumulate the virtuous action, which will bring happiness, related to the action of speech. Then engaging into the action of lying, expressing lies, expressing slander, expressing harsh words and, expressing slander and idle gossips then one will accumulate negative cause, or negative karma through negative action and will bring the suffering result. And neither of these two will accumulate the unfluctuating karma.
So now to the mind, to the mental consciousness such as motivation or thoughts, avoiding covetousness, (in Tibetan called ‘narpsen’), this covetous thought is due to the thought of attachment and malicious thoughts (in Tibetan called ‘nersen’), this malicious thought is part of thought of hatred. The first one covetousness is part of attachment. So this is the difference. The third one is wrong will, avoiding wrong view. So these are the virtuous action relating to the mind or motivation. In engaging into that, is the non virtue and bring suffering result. Neither of the two, is the unfluctuating action. So, like that.
So not only preserving and engaging in 10 virtuous actions, abandonment of 10 non virtuous actions, and engagement of 10 non virtuous actions, or neither of these two particular involvements is the unfluctuating action; still there is zillions and zillions of negative karma, negative cause which one perform through our physical form, through our speech, through our mind. Same thing through non virtuous actions. Same thing to unfluctuating actions, so its zillions and zillions. So whatever non virtuous actions, through our body speech and mind it has to be introduced by our ignorant mind, or the delusion mind. The 3 poisons, such as ignorance, hatred and attachment plus 20 secondary afflictive emotions. So this will perform the acts of all sorts of non virtuous acts and will accumulate the karma of non virtues; which has the power to bring suffering result.
Same thing with virtue, there are numberless actions through body , speech and mind accumulate, which inspire by the respect, true love, compassion, bodhicitta, emptiness, emptiness mind. By the force of these mind express or perform the actions through speech and body including the compassionate stage of loving, the mind of understanding the reality of existence, or the mind in the aspect of respect, mind in the aspect of forgiving, mind in the aspects of all the six perfections practices, all those are virtues. Virtuous acts which will accumulate virtuous actions and which will bring happiness result.
So, this is the general function of how our body, speech and mind bring about the 3 types of karma that can bring about the 3 types of happenings, the result of happiness and suffering and the result of neutral.
TWO TYPES OF MENIFESTATION OF KARMA
Then, second thing we need to know here, there are two types of manifestation of karma. One is called ‘sen-bey-leh’ i.e. ‘Intention’ the intentional karma, and the karma of performance of intention. Intentional karma is the moment you motivate, you perform the action, and itself is the karma. That is called the intentional karma. The performance karma of intention. The karma of performance the intention, which is the second type of karma, is the physical form like speech and so forth. Such as coming to class, just the innate intention itself is the karma; the intention itself is an action. The intention itself is creating the cause. Go to class to learn about karma, so that I can be able to preserve the ethic of good karma, so that I can liberate myself from suffering, so this one is intentional virtuous karma. Just by thinking, one single moment, already created karma. Within that word, every single momentary accumulated momentarily amount of virtuous karma. So now, after that intention, you start to take your bag, search the key for the car, and getting into the car and drive and take one hour or two, I don’t know, to come here, up to now, throughout going back until you feel “‘yes’ I did it! I went to class, I did learn about karmic theory, so that I can able to perform the ethic of karma from tomorrow on, perfectly!” All those momentary movement of body, speech and mind every single thing is the resultant karma of performance of intention karma. All the action, this is the result. So the resultant karma performed by the intention. So there are two types of karma, so it is confirmed, there are two types; the intention karma and the performance action of intention karma.
HOW DO ACTUALIZE COMPLETE FRUITFUL RESULT?
How do actualize the complete set the fruitful cause, the fruitful karma in order to produce the fruitful result? Either fruitful happiness, fruitful suffering or nothing? Neither suffering nor happiness, wasting time!
So how do actualize that? It had to be qualified with the 4 points. First the base, which is the object, second is intention, which itself has 3 types; - 1) Recognition 2) Motivation
3) Delusion. Third qualification is an action and the 4th final one is the completion.
So now here, in order to perform fruitful cause, fruitful karma you need to actualized these 4 points. Without performing these 4 points, one will not be able to actualize either the fruitful cause of happiness or the fruitful cause of suffering. It will be half way, like such as killing, the action of killing. The object is what? The object should be life! Such as, fish, fish tank in the restaurant, or maybe prawn or crab or beef. The object is the life, the animal. Now here, the object qualifies. Suppose you are in the restaurant; first of all, you created the karma of intention. Suddenly called up friend, “Hi dear, can we go for wonderful seafood dinner?” ‘Yes. Of course” “O yes in Bangsar” You already chosen the restaurant, you already wanted to eat seafood. Particular delicious seafood, you know? That intention itself is intentional karma! You already created intentional karma. So now this intentional karma will bring you the RESULT of the action of the intentional karma. Drive fast, because hungry and all the seafood are appearing in front of your eyes. Rolling in the hot oil, frying, and some sambal around it, and whatever you want to put and saliva is coming down and at the same time you cannot find any tissue! (laughter) and you will be wiping with your hand like that....(more laughter) So, now you get there walked into the restaurant, chatted a little bit and pointed to the waiter the fish or prawns that you wanted to eat. That is the object!
Now in order to accomplish the second qualification which is intention, and recognition, yes this fish, fat, a lot of meat and looks a very healthy fish, it will be good for my health. Good protein! Some how, you will excuse “Doctor said don’t eat red meat…”. Your recognition already actualized at that time.
Now after that motivation! Yes that is the fish, hopefully cook and fried exactly the way you like it, if not will return and choose another fish to cook the way you like it. So already the stage of motivation. Thirdly, delusion! Yes it I eat this fish sure as doctor said it will bring lots of protein in me, and I will live healthier. And I will live a longer life. That is the delusion. That is the misconception. So, these 3 always come there, whether we are aware or not. That actualized the second qualification called intention.
Now thirdly, an action! The moment the cook chops or cuts the head of the fish or put in hot oil or whatever, that is the moment you perform an action. You are actualizing the third qualification of performing the action, even though somebody else cuts it.
So finally the food comes onto your table, the moment you tasted it and you expressed “exactly! exactly what I want“ You thanked the waiter 100 times first and after that put ‘ang pao’ for the cook! ( laughter) “Cook, exactly how I want! Next time you should cook like that…” telling him you will come again for his good cooking. After that, you are full, satisfied and think that you have a good meal and go home will have a good sleep. That is the moment you complete the final completion. So here one performs the complete fruitful cause, karma, action of killing being!
(Audience raised question of eating meat in daily life)
EATING MEAT THROUGH TRANSFORMATION
Every individual should try our best, if not, at least try to seek some divine help; like recitation of the mantras, ”OM AH BIRA KHE CHARA HUM” 7 times then blow to the meat. Even we want to do actual purification, I think we might not even be able to purify that perfectly because you must apply the 4 opponent power; and in applying the 4 opponent power, the 4th one said you will not repeat the action again. That means you will never eat the seafood again! So that will not happen most probably. So, therefore I think try everybody’s best and at least has the full conviction in the mantra and at least try to do some mantra recitation.
There is also a method, through the transformation, then power of your mind, power of compassion, you regard which ever bodhicitta mind at the moment, you generate the bodhicitta mind and you regard yourself as the bodhisattva. You do not intentionally kill the animal but you knew the karma of that fish is death, if you don’t somebody else will eat, therefore I motivatedly be there to at least create the opportunity of generosity of physical form to the bodhisattva or arya being; so from there through the power of your bodhicitta mind, can able to create great amount of virtuous action into that being, whatever the fish or whatever into that being. That karma, that also is karma, you influence, and you provided condition to create karma in that fish, in the mental continuum of that fish. There is opportunity in bringing higher rebirth such as strong dedication to never born to be a fish again, and encounter such cruel sad situation. Pray that the fish to obtain precious human rebirth and practice the karma law and effect and able to gain enlightenment, such and such. From there you can benefit, There are some practitioners who purposely, even though they don’t like to eat meat; they purposely do taste some meat. But you cannot taste the meat which intended to kill. You have to taste the meat wherever you go, suddenly you see meat, such as like a small piece, and then you just taste it through the mind of bodhicitta. So through that little substance of the meat which belong to that animal, by being taken by the bodhisattva or the arya being, it will generate the great merit of the actual physical form , through that accumulate extensive merit for that animal to be reborn in higher rebirth such as human and to meet dharma. Such are some practices. In order to do that, you need to have at strong sense of bodhicitta mind, a compassionate mind, and more than that if possible; you should know how to transform it.
Even these two not possible, at least to chant some mantra, but best thing is not to eat meat with attachment! Not to eat meat with hatred, not to eat meat with ignorant mind.
So here not to eat meat with attachment means because of just for the purpose of satisfaction of my taste, I must take this life and eat this meat. Not like that you know, rather the motivation, with no choice my this rebirth is through the precious human rebirth, through the force of karma, through the force of my existence, in order to survive the inner elements, to exist in harmony to able to sustain your physical form, so that this meat is necessary for the purpose of greater benefit! Only for that purpose then you can choose the meat which is not intendedly killed. Suppose somebody invite you for dinner, unintentionally you go and they have already prepared food for you the meat, then you eat. With this intention you eat rather you will benefit more by eating. The best is bodhicitta mind, not at all eating meat, and perfect! In case your physical form is surviving with that, then not intentionally order the meat, kill it like that, eat the meat already killed. Eat the meat already killed and past one day. You cannot eat the meat which killed today. You should eat the meat which is at least one day already passed. From there you will know its quiet high chance that the meat is not killed intended fro you. So like that, more than that in the tantric practice, you can perform this into transformation of meat into nectar. If that can, you really can create benefit for the being. Again not intentedly killed for, and the highest realization in tantra, highest realization in bodhicitta and bodhisattva path, if u want to eat the meat ……then…did you watch the movie on ‘Chi Kung” monk? The “Chi Kung Master” ‘the movie name is what? long time ago in China, the mad monk, very nice movie. Have to be like him, like he eat chicken, chicken thigh, people criticize’ …you are monk, you are eating chicken…’At first he answered” I don’t have mouth? I don’t have stomach? You are a lay person, you have mouth you have stomach. I also have mouth and stomach!” “Lay person means can do anything, monk means cannot do anything. Why you can eat I cannot eat?” So he gave his answer, I quite like it! (Laughter) So he showed the way he eat meat not like how you eat meat. He eats the meat; throw the bone there, again the chicken come out. The bone came into life. So if you can do that you know that means you can do anything you like! (More laughter)
Anyway, so it’s the same thing for stealing, lying, sexual misconduct and all the rest of the 10 non virtuous actions. In order to complete the full performance of the action or the karma, you need qualify these four things. Such as stealing, the object may be this one (showed the microphone) so the object is in existence, the quality of object is there. Now the intention, recognition, yes! I don’t want to steal this I want to steal that, I don’t want to steal that I want to steal this, I need to get this! Then the motivation, I steal this so that I can use for recording. That is the motivation. At the same time I can’t afford to buy, so I steal it. Delusion, all sorts of excuse, I record the teaching can benefit to other people. Never mind, without knowing just take it. So that is the delusion, all the excuses are the delusions. That accomplished the second qualification (intention). An act, the moment I grabbed with my hand, hold back here, run, that is the moment I actualized an action. In the final, the moment I get into my room and I use for recording Hiddi songs, instead of teaching. Then I said done it! Good use, I can play lots of Hiddi songs by recording here and I think Osela did not realize you know and she will never realize also. That is the moment you accomplished the final act of stealing.
The object should be regarded as one’s possession; you take away without permission and it is stealing. In order to accomplish full set of the karma of stealing, you need to accomplish these four qualifications. So here, the object regarded as a possession means like in LDC garden, one single stone if you take that is not regarded as steal. As with that LDC does not regard that as a possession, or grasp that as a possession. Even you take that is not regarded as stealing, otherwise if you go pilgrimage you take little bit of the stones, it also become stealing. You check carefully in fact all these 4 things are there, already qualified. Then you go to holy place and get holy water that might become stealing; but that holy water was not held or grasped as possession by anybody. So you take and it is not called steal. Like if somebody come and take all the dust home from LDC, then doesn’t call stealing. That is not held and grasped as possession of LDC. If somebody takes, we will be most happy. It is like that you see.
Lying is the same thing, the
object is a person. I want to lie to you about her; you and you both are the
object. So then intention same thing, recognition. Yes I need to give all sorts
of excuses in order to lie to you. Motivation is to perform the intention of
lying, whatever the purpose it is. Delusion is you feel some form of reliving,
Even though your pray”….for the benefits of all sentient beings…” you have created the result and completed the cause
You go and ask for prediction from mirror lady, or even ask Geshela, or a medium or whatever, I am not a medium ya? (Laughter) and check”What is my past life?” No need to check to go and ask, look at yourself now, who you are, don’t think of yesterday, think now, who you are, What kind of opportunity you have, how good you are, how virtuous you are, look yourself, if you are good now,then your past is very good. You are still kind, no matter what and how good you about, you are still very bad. So look yourself, don’t go and ask, you can predict. Same time no need to go and ask prediction what kind of life you will take. Look at your present action and act now don’t say tomorrow I will do dharma, tomorrow I will accumulate all the good karma, don’t wait for tomorrow, you are not sure of tomorrow. Maybe before tomorrow gone to next life!
So now! Right now, what you
are doing, if you are doing a good job, dharma, pure body speech and mind, your
next rebirth is 100% sure.
5.ALL ABOUT MEDITATION
By Geshe Tenzin Zopa on 6th March 2008 @ Losang Dragpa Buddhist Society. PJ
Today subject is about meditation. What type of meditations can be meditated and what is the definition of meditation. How to actualise meaningful meditation and what sort of obstacles to be aware during meditation in order to be successful and the purpose of meditation. So, first of all meditation is one of the most crucial and essential important practise that all of us have to cultivate. Without meditation there is no opportunity for us to actualise the purpose of Dharma, the purpose of what we have studied , the purpose of what we know about Dharma, Only by engaging in meditation from there one will be able to actualise the purpose of practicing Buddha Dharma overall. Especially one wishes to actualise the stages of realisation and the path up to enlightenment. Every single step one have to engage in meditation, without that, even one Master, contemplating on the theory , his great study and knowledge on the theory of the stage of the path, without engaging in meditation, one will be unable to actualise the purpose which is to gain realisation.
So, what is the definition of meditation? It means being habituate in virtuous act is called meditation. Being mindful & alert and live a life with virtuous act is called meditation. So, this term meditation from Dharma point of view is used for habituating mind into virtuous act so called is the meditation. In ordinary word, meditation can even used in any kind of habituation in anyone’s body, speech and mind is called meditation. The meaning of meditation itself is habituation. So , as long as our act of body, speech and mind are not habituating within ones mental continuum, then we are not in meditation. How about contemplation, there are 3 important steps, 1) Study or learn 2) Contemplate 3) Meditate. What is the difference between contemplation and meditation? Contemplation is the mind, the attitude of one’s mind which is aware or alert on the meaning or the essence which understood by the intellectual knowledge of study. Meditation is different from contemplation. Meditation is whatever essence or the meaning actualise by contemplation and to habituate and to live a life to that is called meditation. It is very similar but it has a different flavour to it. So, if we don’t differentiate in this way, contemplation and meditation sounded similar and the same but it is in fact not.
Whatever we know whatever we learn through our analytical wisdom confirming whatever you have studied is beneficial for the imprint of virtuous. The realisation which achieved by the contemplation is to analysed whatever essence we have studied. Once we have gain the analytical realisation by applying our own wisdom on analytical wisdom in order to establish the essence, the meaning , the truthful , the beneficial meaning of our study, that achievement of the essence of our study is the realisation of contemplation. That essence, that antidote , or that theory or that essence of the contemplation apply into our daily and living our life to that is called habituation or we can call meditation.
In order to do proper meditation, there is a different beneficial condition to actualise such as physical posture. We have discuss about previous postures in different classes so no need to go into details . In short it is called 7 meditation postures of Vairochana that is mostly and widely used. It is regarded as most beneficial even though there are many other different postures that one can use for meditation. But most importantly, even the physical posture, it is so important in actualising the meaning of meditation and the 7 meditation Vairochana postures are recommended. But still we have to rely mainly on our own comfortability of our own physical structure. If one can do meditation without gaining any disturbance from our physical posture by just lying on the bed instead of sitting straight then one should do meditation in the posture of lying down.
I have mentioned and shared one of the stories in the past class. There was one Mahasiddah when he was trained to do the meditation in 7 postures of Vairochana and he was unable to gain the realisation of doing the meditation. After that he went to seek his guru, through the clairvoyance of his guru, that Mahasiddah physical structure was over influenced by his past karma of being born as a cow. So, his spine, channel and nerves instead of being straight it was bended. In order to actualise the meditation, you need to have a very smooth follow of wind and energy which travel through your nerves connecting through different channel within your physical form which is very necessary. So, this Mahasiddah, his nerves becomes very active when he bend his body instead of sitting very straight. Therefore, whenever he applied his concentration and his mindfulness into his meditation, for him to gain the clarity and focus of the object of his meditation, it was easier for him when he bend his body rather than sitting in the straight posture. So same thing for us, not necessary we must sit in the same posture of Vairochana Meditation Posture. One can learn through experience by trying to do meditation, after few time , one will knows what kind of body structure is more beneficial for our meditation.
Even in the teachings, it advised one should follows through our experience to your own physical structure of the meditation. So, the seven points of Vairochana meditation posture , each point has a reason, a meaning. I have already covered this area before but just an example, putting 2 palms together and connecting the thumb and putting at the centre of the navel , the hollow is at the centre of the navel, about 4 inch above the navel you put the thumb and about 4 inch below the navel you put the connecting palms and join the thumb together is the aspect of the dharmadhatu. Which is so called as the fire mandala. By connecting the 2 thumbs together as well as the right rings fingers resting on the left rings fingers connecting together it brings about the flow of activating the bodhicitta channel, activating the compassionate mind, activating your soft mind ,activating the clear light mind. You know, putting ring fingers on top of each other, then put the palms together at the navel there 4 inch the fingers above the navel and the connection of the palm 4 inch below the navel. Just this posture itself brings about the activating of bodhicitta heart which resides deep in your consciousness.
The moment you are born, you are born with the seed of compassion. No matter how cruel a person you are, you are simultaneously born with the seed of compassion, seed of love, seed of mercy, seed of bodhicatta. The seed is there but without activating it, it doesn’t develop. Even if you have the seed of compassion if you don’t activate it, it doesn’t develop. You can’t feel it even the suffering beings are right in front of you. If your inner channel is not activated, you can’t feel pity of the sufferings beings in front of you. The moment you activate the inner channel within yourself, even when you closing your eyes, you think of the hell beings sufferings, you literally can’t bear of their suffering. You can’t bear of not doing any beneficial things for them. You can’t even wait, not even a second , a moment not doing any beneficial deeds for the suffering beings. Some of you ,even somebody talks of sufferings of someone else, you just can’t bear and wanted to help them ,you feel so pity of them, that means your compassion is strong. Sometimes even your own love one suffers so much right in front of you, you are totally numb, you don’t feel anything. That doesn’t mean you don’t have any compassionate value. You do have. Even the outer environment for you to generate compassion, for you to generate pity, mercy but somehow the inner condition is not mature yet, not develop yet and not activated, it is like you are feelingless.
There is a saying that the women are more emotional than men. It says that women are much more easy to generate compassion, much more easy to gain the realisation of Bodhicitta. It is stated in the teachings that females are easier to cultivate compassion and Bodhicitta , loving kindness than male. You can see that women are quite easy to cry , quite easy to laugh compared to male with a good reason that their heart are softer than male. But if you don’t use that with the good purpose to generate compassion, the emotion can brings you trouble. Small things can be easily upset and cry. Especially those of you who knows Dharma and are women, you have far more potential and opportunity and are far more effective to generate compassion and the realisation of Bodhicitta .
So therefore through meditation posture to activate the elements , you can use the palm putting together especially resting your right ring fingers on top of the left ring fingers and put at the navel. At the same time this hand gesture also activate the inner energy the inner elements to develop emptiness realisation. The reason is by using the hand gesture especially at the navel that it will bring about the inner wind element. By activating the inner wind element, which will bring about the flame or fire element .By bringing about the fire element, that will activate the drops, the energy within our physical forms. Especially the subtle energy which is the essence every living beings has. By generating the essence within the practitioner, that will bring about the subtlety stage of your mind. Through this meditation, the outer senses will cease and bring about the subtle mind. The more you generate the wind energy, it will bring about the fire energy. The greater the fire energy, it will bring about the heat to melt the essence within the beings especially from the crown. The more the essence melt. The greater the effect to cease the gross mind. The more you cease the gross mind , the nature will bring about the subtle mind. The more you bring about the subtle mind, the nearer you are to bring about the subtle concentration. The more you bring about the subtle concentration, the nearer you are to the clear light mind. The more you bring about and are nearer to the clear light mind, yourself are closer to the faithful and ultimate nature of your mind. The more you are nearer to the ultimate nature of your mind, you are getting closer to the reality of your mind. The closer you are to the reality of your mind , that is the point you are closer to the clear light mind. When you see the clear light mind, you realise emptiness directly. So this gesture will activate this and will bring about realising emptiness directly by using the most subtleness mind. So each seven different postures has different meanings.
After learning what sort of posture , what sort of meanings,
what sort of benefits using different postures for different meditation. Now it
is necessary to know what kind of different mediations we can do or actualise. There
are two categories, 1) Meditation focusing within, 2) Meditation focusing on outer phenomena.
The meditation that is focusing on outer phenomena is again categorised into
two. 1) Analytical Meditation 2) Absorption Meditation(Still) For an
example , if you want to do analytical meditation using outer object such as
Buddha holy object and image of
Shakyamuni Buddha. You sit in a posture whatever is comfortable to you.
Then you bring about your concentration, your mind focus on the Shakyamuni
Buddha holy image. Either you sit in front of the image solemnly or through
your visualisation. You can use either.
If you are using the meditation object such as Shakyamuni Buddha’s statue, there is an
advice one should see the meditation object 4 feet distance and the height
slightly above your forehead. The size is bigger than your thumb and not
smaller. It can be huge like a
Now, one should remember what to focus and during meditation and how to actualise the purpose of meditation. Two things we have to keep in our mind is the clarity of the object through the meditators mind. 2nd thing, clarity is not enough, you need one extra, that is the clear and firmness of the mind to be free of distraction, very still. If you are doing meditation on Shakyamuni Buddha’s holy statue, first of all, you have to be very clear of his image , your focus on Shakyamuni Buddha Image and no others then that. Whatever aspect of his body you are meditating, either meditating on his whole body, whatever you are meditating you have to be very clear. Your mind has to be very firm, very still and free of distraction.
We are using this meditation in Analytical meditation, so now how to do the analytical meditation using outer object such as using Shakyamuni Buddha holy image. With total control of your mind by the mindfulness and with the help of introspection mind , so the mindfulness have to be focus. Let say Shakyamuni Buddha’s crown, knowing this is Shakyamuni’s crown and this crown is achieved by Shakyamuni Buddha when he was an ordinary being accumulating immense of merits, immense of purification of negative karma. So that he has that Usnisha Crown which I don’t have Thinking to yourself how amazing, brilliant and great it is , try to inspire yourself. Then go down form Usnisha to his head which has curly hair , it looks beautiful , it is not ugly which suited to his face. Which stated in the teaching that one of the most difficult Buddha’s outer quality to achieve within hundreds and thousand of different qualities that Buddha has, the curly hair and the eye brows in Tibetant is called “Zuku”. One of the most difficult quality to achieve. If I have this kind of hair I will be laughed by all human beings. I would look very strange and ugly. But on Buddha it looks so beautiful , so nice, you are full of admiration. Then go to Buddha’s eyes, big eyes, very beautiful with long narrow ends, full of compassion and very inspiring. The moment you look at his eyes , it is the greatest inspiration of compassion. No need to remember anything else just one look at his eyes and he has achieved such power to attract you. Because he has trained in compassion and now he has perfected the compassion and you feel so inspire. Then one by one , think of the full aspect of his holy body, his quality, his wisdom, the beauty of his image , the emanation of his holy light. Then think and inspire oneself to become like him. That is the purpose of your meditation during the analytical meditation on Shakyamuni Buddha holy body. It brings about the greatest inspiration. After that, then during the post session, you work hard, you try to do some social work , if someone sick , you visit them , help them ,If someone is crying , you encourage and console them, if someone wants to give up, you advice them not to give up their life. Talks all the good things, make yourself to be happy, make yourself a better person after the meditation. That is the benefit of meditating on Shakyamuni Buddha holy image in analytical way. Innately , you have receive the benefits of accumulation of so much merits, innately you have receive the benefits of extensive purification of your past negative karma.
As a Buddhist practitioner or any other religion advice on
meditation, here in particularly the
Buddhist meditation always recommend and always encourage it is much more beneficial if use meditation
object such as Buddha’s image. The image itself has the power to bring the
effect of purification and at the same time accumulation of merits. So that is
the innate benefits. So , now , you can also do analytical meditation on
celestial mansion like Mandala. You try to have every clear picture of the
whole Mandala. If possible study the Mandala, learn the art, study the art,
study all the drawings, study all the colours, study all the meanings of every
steps of Mandala if possible. After you have all the knowledge of Mandala, then
you try to do contemplation on Mandala. Whatever you have studied, try to use
logic, try to use reason, try to use your faith to convince this is the real
After gaining the contemplation, the conviction of complete
convinced that this is exactly what it should be so called as the The Compassionate
Buddha Mandala or
You can also use offering of flower to do Analytical Meditation. You pluck one lotus flower, you already learnt how much benefits that you will receive by offering flowers to the Buddha. Through study, you already know there are so much benefits. You also apply logics and reasoning that whatever you have studied. In fact it makes sense if I offer flower to Buddha definitely there are so much merits that I will be accumulating , so much purification and you are totally convinced by the practise of contemplation. Now you need to bring about greater benefits that is by doing meditation even in the offering of flowers to the Buddha. So whenever we want to do meditation , first we have to Study, 2ndly we have to Contemplate , 3rdly we have to Meditate. This is the sequence , without study there is no contemplation, without contemplation there is no meditation. Therefore must study, must know the steps then you have to be 100% convince what you have learnt .That is called contemplation. You need to gain the realisation of contemplation. Once you are 100% convince then you perform the meditation. So again mediation is habituation. Habituation in the sense of using the firm concentration. So, this is another example , the lotus flower, so use your mind, use your mindfulness, the petal is not that beautiful in the conventional way, but through the power of concentration, through the power of your mindfulness, through the power of your inspiration, you completely transform the flower into one of the most beautiful flower. Not just a small flower but it is huge , one petal could fill the entire space. The beauty is such that non of any other beauty can dominate it. If you want to visualise more petals you can visualise more than eight petals, zillion of petals.If you like pink colour, completely fresh pink petals. If you like red colour,completely beautiful red petals. Whatever colours you like, through your concentration you actualise whatever you visualised. This is the purpose of concentration. We called it the power of mind. The power of mind can only actualise through concentration only.
Our mind is very powerful , but without concentration , the mind is useless. But if we concentrate enough, the mind has the potential to actualise into the most powerful way. We can really actualise infinite amazing beautiful lotus flower and holding it in your hand in front of Buddha and offering it to the Buddha. The ultimate benefits you receive is enlightenment. Because the instant benefits you receive is accumulation of merits and purification. And this is not imagination, this is Visualisation Meditation. We are not imagining, in fact using our concentration to actualise that symbolic conventional truthful object into real marvellous conventional truthful object as offering to the Buddha.
So, these are the three simple example, you can use in every aspect of outer practise, including the practise of generosity, the practise of patience, the practise of morality, the practise of concentration, practise of effort and the practise of wisdom. All these practises, you can use meditation to actualise into greatest benefits. Just by contemplation is not enough so we must use meditation. When we use meditation such as in generosity, when you make generosity and apply through your meditation, by using the method of meditation, your generosity becomes far more powerful and effective. Even with just a single cent if we make the generosity with meditation with single pointed concentration, with your mindfulness, it will bring greater benefits than just ordinarily giving money to someone else. So, those examples are called the Analytical Meditation.
The 2nd method of meditation is the Absorption or Still Meditation . Within the outer meditation , meditate by using outer object such as using Shakyamuni Buddha two eyes. Just focus on Shakyamuni Buddha two eyes and that focus mind is called the mindfulness. One has to spare another type of mind within yourself called the introspection mind which goes around here and there. Introspection mind is the mind that always stay besides the mindfulness. Always be there to protect in case your mindfulness on Buddha’s eyes are interrupted by the two obstacles. The 1st obstacle is called the Excitement, 2nd obstacle is called the Dullness. The excite mind such as the flip in of seeing other objects while concentrating on Buddha’s two eyes. Suddenly light rays are coming out from Buddha’s two eyes. It is wonderful but while you are meditating it is an obstacle. Even the beautiful light rays come out , you feel that your eyes can see the light rays. That means the force of your concentration is not use on your mind but rather are use more on your outer conscious. The responsibility to focus on Buddha eyes are focus more on your eyes conscious not mental conscious. Here in meditation , we have to use more on Mental Consciousness.
Most of the time, the meditation failure comes about the distraction of other outer senses such as ear senses, eyes senses, nose senses, tongue senses, feeling senses, these are the obstruction. So whenever we said we do meditation, it means we are definitely talking about using our mind, using the force of our mind. Nothing to do with looking here and there. The moment you are concentrating on Buddha two eyes and suddenly light rays shines and your mind is informed while focusing on Buddha’s eyes. You might think , wow, wonderful light rays come from Buddha’ eyes, you can be very excited . You might have thought that your meditation must be very good but in fact obstacles occurred while you are doing the still meditation. That means the introspection mind didn’t do a good job and at the same time you didn’t know your focus should be on your mind not on your eyes. So the seeing of the light rays mainly perceive by the eyes perception. Now you understand this is the obstacle, you just try to skip from that perception.
Let say you are successful in skipping the perception and seeing no more. Again you are able to bring your mind of seeing Buddha’s two eyes. Your concentration is very fragile but still you are able to bring back the concentration. Then suddenly Buddha’s eyes are blinking, again the obstacle comes and that again within the category of excitement and obstacle. Now this time your mind is no longer happy and excited like before. The introspection mind informs that obstacle occur. It took only short moment to bring your concentration back again on concentrating on the two eyes. Your focus on meditation is not on tears falling from Buddha’s eyes or the blinking, just “still” focus on what you see on the very 1st moment. If you see Buddha’s eyes like that , you must focus like that, if you see Buddha’s eyes straight, your focus must be like that. If you see Buddha’s eyes with tears , your focus must be like that. If you see Buddha eyes with light, must focus like that. The 1st moment of your consciousness perceive, that picture is the thing you have to concentrate.
Let say for 5 days you have been doing this meditation but somehow it didn’t work perfectly. Then you have to find a way to calm your excited mind. How to calm your excited mind ? Use again the Buddha’s advice , the best as a Buddhist practitioner is to contemplate on the sufferings of the beings especially the hell beings. If your mind is overly excited, at this very moment, you put yourself in hell realm. You Imagine, now you can use imagine. Imagine yourself in hell realm , in the centre of a big fire of a huge pot of boiling metal liquid and your body is conscious with sensitivity and been chopped into thousand of pieces. Each of the pieces has the feelings of greatest unbearable suffering. You can reflect that you are imagining and you are not there, but it is equal that you are there. I might not be there now, looking into my karma, I have the fruitful karma of experiencing exactly the same as what I have just imagined . So what is the difference, it is just the matter of time. The longest I can live in this physical form is 100 years. I can guarantee myself that I will not live more than 100 years. But I look at the attitude of my body , speech and mind, creating constantly heavy negative karma. The result of the negative karma is born and experiencing exactly the same as what I have imagined just now. So may be 30 or 20 years left, after 20 years I am going to be there. Suddenly the fear the moodiness come almost like you want to give up everything. That loosen the nerves and cool down yourself. You won’t be too attracted with external disturbance. Because of this thought and advice by Buddha, you will hold your consciousness into control, more aware and more mindfulness.
You can also think of hungry ghost realm, animal realm and even in the case of practitioner experiencing headache. Then think of headache, very painful and not good , due to bad karma. Before I actualise my meditation ,If something happen in my life I might experience more painful than headache if karma throw me into lower realm. Therefore there is nothing to be excited about. I should be very concentrated in my practice. My practice is my meditation, to accumulate merits and purify extensive negative karma so I can liberate. There is no time for me not to be serious. Then naturally your mind will be together and calm and then you continue your meditation. Let say today you did this kind of meditation and your mind is already calm , you go to bed. Tomorrow morning when you get up, when you do meditation, the label and quality of your mind naturally will be different. That is how you should avoid one of the obstacles of mediation which is the excited mind. Which is a distraction of concentration.
The second obstacle is the Dullness, the moment you focus on the Shakyamuni Buddha two eyes, use the same meditation object. It is like you suddenly put on a pair of thick glasses. Everything is blur even you feel that you are quite fresh, but the clarity of the object is not that. You are already distracted by the darkness, very serious obstacle. Whenever you do meditation you require two things, 1)Clarity and 2)Stillness. So here the clarity is not there. That means your mind is not alert enough. If your energy is not alert, your mindful is not strong and your introspection is naturally loose. So you can’t handle yourself and end up you fall asleep. You end up losing everything, the Meditation. Otherwise the moment you try to focus on Shakyamuni Buddha two eyes, somehow you start to see three eyes moving around instead. This is also dullness, either you are very tired or you are not focus. Before this, you were too excited ,all sort of things coming , here you can’t focus seeing two or more than the actual object.
The 2nd obstacle which is the dullness can cause the mind to be very down, low, total lack of inspiration. This is the obstacle of dullness occur. In meditation we need inspiration, you have to be very fresh. You have to know exactly what you are doing. You have to focus exactly what you are suppose to focus. Because of lack inspiration, it will bring about the dullness. The external condition to input to be free of dullness the obstacle during meditation, once a while , let say you can’t focus when you do meditation for few days or whole week and dullness come. Not because of excitement rather, the moment you do meditation you feel lousy, the moment you try to do meditation, you don’t feel like doing it, the moment you do the meditation you feel like sleeping. Ok before I forget something, I insert something. The 1st obstacle, whenever you try to do meditation, the business plan, your programmes is like naturally come to your mind. Normally you have to think what to do tomorrow and even put it in diary it is always unclear. It never remains in your mind. The moment you go for meditation one after one becomes very clear. The people you have forgotten for few years become so clear. The phone number that you have forgotten started to appear during your meditation. The visualisation of beautiful garden that you previously wanted to offer to Buddha never appear. But then during the still meditation, beautiful and colourful garden appear right in front of you. All those are the obstacles of still meditation.
The external condition to overcome the obstacles and dullness of meditation is .... may be one can go to a high cool mountain looking at very beautiful vast and wide and not narrow view with different colours of trees and flowers. Bring about the natural energy to counter the low inner energy. Like beautiful waterfalls , listen to inspiring teachings ,music or look at the object that is very lifting. Whenever you talk to the person you always feel very inspire or whenever you look at that person , always very bright and very wise. It’s a very happy and lifting person , not lousy. Some people whenever you get near to that person you also feel the disturbance. Some people the moment you talk to them ,you feel very fresh. So , In the teaching it says that you should engage in this kind of environment then gradually your mind will become lighter and clearer. So this is the outer condition. The inner condition is to meditate on precious human rebirth and qualities of the Buddha. The compassionate act of the Buddha, the compassionate act of your Guru, think of those beings who are always benefiting the world , benefiting all beings. Especially those who practice Bodhicitta tirelessly using their human rebirth only to benefit others . At the same time they are very joyful. Reflect into yourself, you have the same physical form, if you want , you are able to do exactly like that guru and the holy being who has done so much benefits to the world. That kind of inspiration, then it will bring the inner inspiration, especially cultivating or thinking the potential of precious human rebirth within you. All the freedoms , all the opportunities, all the leisure that you possessed to do exactly like the Buddhas by actualising Buddha.
Thinking like Milarepa, thinking like those great living practitioner, they are also in the beginning like us. In fact when we think of Milarepa , the Great Yogi of Tibet, his early life is more discouraging more horrible than who I am. At least my past years of my life I didn’t kill people, I didn’t do black magic to harm people. Ya.... I did lie a little bit but that didn’t really harm much and I did steal also a few dollars from my mama’s pocket. But I didn’t destroyed village and killed hundreds of people. I didn’t do that. Milarepa did that , you know. Milarepa , who achieved Buddhahood within one lifetime. He destroyed whole village, killed hundreds of people including killing his aunty. My goodness and he achieved enlightenment in one lifetime and the body and the rebirth he has achieved was exactly the same as my rebirth. The only difference is he was Tibetan and I am Malaysian. Maybe Malaysian is smarter who knows. You can think of all the good part. Then, you convince yourself , yes...... it is a valid reason. Tomorrow when you go for meditation, no more dullness and no more sleepiness. You will be very fresh, you will be totally insipired. The internal energy are totally activated by yesterday, visiting beautiful place talking to very wise person thinking about Milarepa. Your internal channel is totally balanced, totally inspired. Today when you do meditation, you want to focus on 2, you can only see 2, when you want to focus on 3 , you can only see 3, no more extra. So like that.
Again as a Buddhist Practitioner , it’s advisable to use holy object like holy scripture and letters, OM, AH, HUM, Or just OM , or just AH, Or just O or just MA or just NA , whatever mantra syllables. Or use Buddha’s eyes, Buddha’s crown, Buddha’s hand or even one strand of Buddha’s hair or one single light ray from Buddha’s crown or Buddha’s feet and Buddha’s robe. When you do the still meditation, the main purpose, the instant purpose , the ultimate purpose is to become Buddha by accumulating merits and purify negative karma. That is the ultimate purpose. By focusing on the holy objects, by the power of the holy objects, it has the power to bring about the effect of accumulation of merits and purify negative karma naturally. Instant purpose is to actualise single pointed concentration, “Samatha”, calm abiding single pointed concentration. Because of your instant purpose is to achieve single pointed concentration, even though you are focusing on Shakyamuni Buddha’s two eyes but happen to see the whole face, it is a distraction even though it is holy, it is a distraction, because your instant purpose is to actualise single pointed concentration.
In any meditation either Analytical Meditation or Still Meditation
the innate sign of one has achieve certain realisation, certain development and
improvement in meditation is to gain the mental and physical bliss. In Tibetan “LUE SEM DE WEI SHIN JANG
” LUE , body, SEM is
the mind and SHIN JANG DEWA means very innate
inexpressible bliss. Whenever you do mediation, the most enjoyable part,
mentally and physically is the inexpressible bliss. If you taste that, if you
experience that, then you are totally kind of renounce to do anything except
meditation. That means your concentration is very powerful, gradually the
greater the concentration goes, you will even renounce sleep, you will renounce tiredness, you will even
renounce gross food. You will innately renounce all the external needs,
shelter, food, comfortable cushion and air-cond or heater. If you are happen to go to the
mountain , you need heater, if you happen to come to
You see, meditation is so powerful, only meditation can bring about this, nothing else. How about us, may be this was during Milarepa time, for us it is just a story or is this possible ? It is definitely possible, our own Guru, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, it is not just a rumour, I live with him and has travel with him day and night for three years. He never sleeps, he eats food......anyway we force him to eat. He doesn’t sleep. I don’t know his mind, his speech is like... unless he is going on meditation otherwise like non-stop, teachings, consultation, whatever... non-stop . Physical movement , nonstop......either meditation, prostration, Mandala Offering, circumambulation or reading text, or teachings or travelling. Like for what I know..... since 1984 since I know him from my own account for more than 24 years. Never even for one day he said “ I am tired” there is no such thing, it is non-stop ....like that.
So, It is so difficult to convince today’s time like when you
look into our own self it is almost like
impossible but there is. There is a living Practitioner who practice that. And
that is whole total Samathi. My late Guru Great Mahasiddha Lama Kunchog, when Geshela Lama Kunchog travelled together with Lama
So all these are due to concentration and meditation, just knowledge alone is not enough at all. Must do meditation, especially to the beginner, meditation is one of the most essential. Whatever you study, you must contemplate, whatever you contemplate, you must do meditation. As I mentioned earlier, meditation is habituation, live a life with that. If we don’t do meditation our head will get bigger and bigger, because the storage of the information. There is a danger of bursting up. The sign of burst up doesn’t mean we will crack our head. The sign of burst up is that you will become more and more ego. The more you learn Dharma , the more and more ego and impatience you are. More and more attachment like can’t let go. Everything becomes very uneasy. That means with all the knowledge but didn’t do meditation, all just stored into the brain, that is the sign of crack the head. So here... have to go inside here, and here have to roll and transmit to entire aspect of your channel of your physical form and also to your verbal and your speech. The sign of how much you learn Dharma is to see how much you become humble. The humbler you become is the sign that you have really learnt Dharma. The sign of how much you meditate is to see how much your delusion subsides. The more delusion subsided , it is the sign you have done more meditation on Dharma.
In outer aspect at least we can see in our Dharma brothers and sisters, ....example...Oh ! Ya... actually now you are more proud, last year when you were a beginner you used to be very humble. Last year your speech was very soft and the aspect of your physical form was very respectful. After one year now it’s like you only put one hand last time there were two hands. So, that means the teaching was not able to transmit, that mean they didn’t do meditation. They didn’t live a life with Dharma, they didn’t habituate, you see. That one you can see within our own Dharma brothers and sisters. You can see how much this person in fact learn Dharma, you can see the changes , you can tell each other whether you say it or not you can see that , I can see that myself. But the inside really how much you meditate or not I can’t see. We, each other can’t see. That you have to look and check yourself. That is where it comes about inner meditation. Check your mind , nothing to do with outer aspect. Just look into your mind, your innocent mind is in the manner of clear , calm , gentle, contended , luminous and cognising. It’s like a big fish open it’s big mouth , you can see that in the TV channel of National Geography and the Animal Planet, the big fish like the shark just open it’s mouth like that, so many fishes go inside, doesn’t matter whether it is good or not , once they go in just close the mouth. The nature of our mind is like that, whatever you put in it is just dissolve, cognise, and digest. If you want to give good information, good information digest, bad information, bad information digest.
Very fragile , very cognising, very calm , very gentle, very contended, clear and luminous , when you look into yourself, you need to go and find that mind. In some of the Dharma tradition, they talk about finding your mind which means to go and find that mind. Which qualify all these qualifications. The moment you look into your mind, where you see the very unsteady like a boiling hot water, your enemy keeps on appearing in your mind. That mind is not the nature of your mind, that mind is like a very dark cloud. If you see that, the inner meditation means you have to kick that out. You have to find every means to avoid that. So you might need to accumulate merits to overcome that at the same time you might need to put lots of efforts to practice forgiveness, the karmic law and effect. The moment you look into your mind, you mind is like overwhelm with anger. Somehow the moment you look into your mind you only see the enemy. You always planning how to harm , how to revenge. Some people are like that, the moment you look into your mind, enemy comes in your mind. Therefore we have to put effort to eradicate that. It could be my past karma, why this person harmed me last year it is because of my karma. Why I can’t let go, if I don’t let go , same thing I am creating karma ,and next time it will be the same thing it is almost like a cycle like an exchange, passing from left to right and right to left, it never end. I better let go, this thing will only bring suffering to me, bad karma , I better let go. Then you start to teach yourself and learnt that it makes sense. Then naturally that mind will cease, the moment that mind cease, you will be much more closer to your natural mind, which is calm , clear , contended, very happy and wonderful mind.
Sometimes when you try to do meditation on yourself, not looking into yourself but rather which is looking into your mind. Like the object of attachment is so strong, when you sit you feel like getting up , when you want to get up you feel like sitting. When you go to the south, you feel like going to the east, when you go to the east, you feel like going to the south. When you eat chilly , you feel like eating sweet, when you eat sweet, you feel like eating chilly. When somebody is overwhelm with attachment it becomes like that. When we look into our subconscious mind of attachment , the true face of the attachment mind is like that. Even though we don’t really be ....like so unstable but our subconscious mind is very unstable. That unstable mind is suffering, disturbance plus it is negative. That one is called action, and that is negative action, constantly creating negative karma. On top of not having peace, you create negative karma. If you have peace and you create some negative karma maybe at lease there is some benefits, at least you experience some peace. And here no peace, no happiness and no contentment plus you accumulate constant negative karma and you have to constantly suffer the result. When you suffer the negative result, again that is also act and is also creating negative karma. That is why samsara circle is non-stop. That is how samsara circle is, most of the time we are unaware of that. When we think like that, we think of karma, we think of suffering and we try to eliminate it then pray to Shakyamuni Buddha, pray to Guru please bless my mind. I am totally control by attachment , bless my mind Buddha, you have all the power, I have full conviction in you, I have full faith in you. You have all the potential. I am sincerely whole heartedly seeking your blessing to bless my mind. If you want me to do purification practise, I am ready. Get up , do prostration, then do all the 7 limbs practise. Apply the four opponents power. Now I understand you want me to accumulate merits, you want me to be free from here. Ok... I’ll do extensive offerings to Buddhas, I do extensive charity to the beings and rejoice to the Buddhas holy deeds. And inspire yourself to follow the steps of the Buddha, then at the same time do extensive dedication. This seven limbs practise is so useful so simple and is used in every corners. Every corners it follows, So powerful, so like that.
By putting effort into your own body , speech and mind into practise, you purify the negative karma. For the success of that purification was inspired by Buddhas, which means you have received the blessing. This is how we should receive the blessing. If we are requesting good job and wealth. Pray here, pray there, go to office same routine ,it doesn’t help. You pray to Buddha bless me to get rich, how to do business. Then you work extra hour, then naturally your money will grow. Sit there, never change karma and just asking blessing is not enough. We have to combine together because we need to purify the past negative karma of miserliness. Untill we purify that, we will always get into the failure of business, the failure of the wealth. Because karma will always obstruct. Buddha has already said your karma, I am unable to wash like washing clothes, you have to wash it yourself. He is just giving you the right advice like a prescription and you have to follow. If you follow, don’t talk about getting rich, you will even achieve Buddhahood. So now here, it makes sense. So this is also part of analytical meditation. We apply reason, in discussion , in making senses and convinced, generate more inspiration. So like that.
Now, attachment and anger, when you look into your mind, your mind is like totally cold, down, lost like no sense of feelings. Like a sense of negligence to yourself and to whatever in contact with you. Almost like total loss, that means your mind is totally control by ignorant, which is suppose to be and that is not the nature of your mind. The nature of your mind is suppose to be very bright, very light, illuminating, contented it’s like very happy state of mind. This one like I just now explained , it is not your innate mind. That is the influence of ignorant , you see. So , now same thing, pray to Buddha, bless my mind to get rid of this and recall the teaching of equanimity and great compassion and Bodhicitta. Then ,that is how you eliminate attachment, you eliminate the anger and hatred and you eliminate ignorant. Your meditation is totally fighting with the 3 poison, the 3 delusion. So the more you do meditation like this, 1st the gross level of delusion will be subsided. Then the secondary level, then to the subtle level then one will go to the subtleness level of defilement. When you go up to the subtleness level of defilement, you need very subtleness, very powerful antidote. Then you start to see the clear light mind. The moment you clear the gross mind, you naturally go into the subtle mind. The moment you go into subtle mind, the point where you reach is the point of the nature of your mind which is the clear light mind. That is the point, whatever meditation we do we will reach there. That is the whole purpose, the more you are closer to the subtle clear light mind and through the understanding the theory you have learnt about emptiness, using the object of your analysis of emptiness is your clear light mind.
What is the subject to perceive the emptiness is again one portion of the subtleness mind. Now , the mind realise the true nature of the mind is realising the subtle perception subject and realising the innate nature of the subjective mind. So , normally when we talk about emptiness , we always talk about subject and object. Subject is always talking about the mind, and the Object is outer phenomena. But here is all about mind, nothing to do with outer object. Within the mind itself , it comes into two portions. Both are subjects as both are minds relate to the cognition mind , this clear light mind becomes an object. In fact it is not an object as it is still the mind, it is a subject. Which means that you already get into the subtleness point. All outer phenomena is like secondary things ..... gross. All outer phenomena is gross, very easy to analyse the true nature. The most difficult one is the subtleness mind, the true nature of our mind. Our true nature of mind is completely dominated by delusion as like the clear space is completely cover by the clouds. After all the cleansing all the clouds of attachment, clouds of ignorant, clouds of hatred, somehow you are able to see the conventional subtleness mind which is your clear light mind. On that convention clear light mind, one portion of your subjective mind perceive to cognise that true nature of that clear light mind is the wisdom which is realising emptiness by using the clear light state of mind. So this is the most subtleness point where you get by doing the meditation. If you do meditation now and then , then gradually you will start to see your clear light mind. The moment you see the clear light mind, that means you started to see the most subtleness mind of yourself. When you see that , that is the convention level only , you still need to realise the ultimate. What is the ultimate ? Lack of inherent existence of clear light mind is the ultimate nature of your mind. The ultimate conventional truth of your mind is the luminous, clear, contended , remember ? That very wonderful mind, that is conventional label only. But to realise the ultimate label of that, which without realising the ultimate nature of your clear light mind, you cannot fight with the subtleness defilement as subtleness defilement is also a mind. It is so subtle you need stronger antidote if the antidote is not stronger how you going to dominate isn’t it. You need a subtle defilement, you need a subtle antidote. And that subtle antidotes has nothing to do with outer phenomena , it has to do with mind.
The defilement is also mind. It’s exactly like in the dark room, darkness and the light, that’s it. The matters of that... in the room, everything is totally shut...darkness, you called as the darkness and on the other hand, you called it as light. But if you want to go and catch, you can’t catch. if you want to gradually separate the darkness like go this side and the brightness go another side, you can’t differentiate anything. It is just that when the light comes darkness disappear, when the lights go darkness appear. This emptiness mind is the antidote and the subtleness defilement is like that. The emptiness realising wisdom manifest and the defilement just disappear. And that is called the eradication of defilements. The moment the subtleness defilement disappear or the subtleness defilement eradicate, the brightness of the greatest wisdom is enlightenment. Now it is like totally dominate by the darkness which is the defilement, even though you purify all the anger mind , you don’t have an anger mind now. You are totally free from anger, you are totally free from attachment. You are totally free from ignorant also, from Karma also. Completely wash out but still you didn’t achieve enlightenment because the imprint which is exactly like the darkness is like totally cover. You need antidote for that. That is just the opposite mind , which is the clarity, the light which is wisdom realising emptiness. On to the clear light mind as up to now the clear light mind is completely dominated. It makes sense ? Ok.......Thank you.
Innate meditation will bring up to there. It means innate meditation will bring up to enlightenment. That is the conclusion , therefore through training of the different meditation, most important thing is to realise the emptiness. Able to generate , able to actualise the most powerful antidote for the defilement. Once the defilement is eradicated, you will get enlighten. Again here is the Analytical Meditation and Still Meditation. So I will not go too much because the time is over. Analytical Meditation is analysing , using your wisdom and logic analysing into different stages of the mind, different labels of the mind, different subtleness of the mind. Gross to the subtle then meanwhile , you actualise the antidote and purify. Then go to the subtle one , you need subtle antidotes. You go to the most subtle, you try to actualise the most subtle antidotes and purified. That is how you gradually through meditation , you get into purification of the defilement. That is why here it comes about five path and ten grounds. It is far more deep again.
All these meditations , you need to divided into 5 paths. Within 5 paths, Paths of Accumulation, Paths of Preparation, within these 2 paths , you are in the process of accumulation of merits, you are in the process of accumulation of knowledge. You are in the process of accumulation the realisation of contemplation, let say on emptiness. For the accumulation of merits , you use the tools of Bodhicitta, compassion, loving kindness. For the antidotes to subsides the gross defilement , use understanding of emptiness. Your mind go lighter and lighter, clearer and clearer. Most subtleness of subtleness. Once you get into the Path of Seeing , now from there how many paths left, 3 paths. Paths of Seeing, Paths of Meditation and Paths of No More Learning. So Paths of No More learning, the last one is the stage of Buddhahood. Paths of Meditation and Paths of Seeing are still within the sentient beings. Not enlighten yet , before we become a Buddha. So within the Paths of Seeing and Paths of Meditation is again divided into 9 circles, 9 circles of antidotes and 9 circles of negation. What is the negation? Defilement. What is the antidotes ? Wisdom Realising Emptiness . Whatever we have talked before , subtleness all have to insert within these two. But divided into 9 different circles. All these different 9 different circles or 9 different portions of defilement, from gross defilement to the subtle defilement. The first is to purify the gross one then go to the subtle one. The moment before you are enlighten, the defilement that you have to purify is the imprint, the subtleness by using the 9 circles of antidotes from the lighter to the stronger antidotes. The first for the gross defilement, we just have to use the light antidotes. Then gradually apply stronger and stronger .When you get to the last defilement which is the most subtle, by using the strongest antidotes which is still wisdom realising emptiness by using the most subtleness mind, the force. The moment antidotes manifest, the defilement ceased. The moment the defilement ceased, you get the sensation of enlightenment. So like that.
So this one is categorised into Analytical and Absorption Meditation. Firstly to check on your mind, meditating on your mind. Meditating on the still very nature of your mind and remaining focusing on that is Still Meditation. Analytical Meditation is gradually analyse what are the defilement there and applying the antidotes.
So, these are about the meditation. In order to actualise that we need to accumulate so much merits as I mentioned earlier doing the 7 limbs practice, doing the Mandala Offerings, Prostration. It is very crucial practice for us in order to be successful in our meditation. In every religion, meditation is one of the most important practice especially in Buddhism, Buddha Dharma practice, meditation is the superior the supreme practise for the beginner and also the senior practitioner. Without meditation, the teachings are just roll into the memory and never ever to actualise subduing your mind. Because as Buddha said , his teaching is all about subduing the mind. If you are ever able to subdue your mind, it’s about practising Buddha Dharma. If you are not able to subdue your mind then even the greatest scholar completely capture with all the scriptures there is a danger of becoming the cause of arrogant. As I mentioned earlier, there are two things we always have to be aware is to watch our body, speech and mind. Mental behaviour and physical and verbal behaviour. We are not here to judge people but no choice we all see the outer aspect of our speech and body , we all see. So, always have to be cautious always have to be mindful. I am learning Dharma is to be humble, more caring and more soft. And look into your mind and how much delusion that you are able to subside. Then you can see that the purpose of me practising Buddha Dharma has really achieve the purpose. In case that you didn’t get the opportunity to enlighten in this life. At least you have the budget, the capital to follow up in your next life .Then may be who knows , your next life can be a Buddha. If that cannot make it then maybe next next life. So now you can see it really make sense.
Now the most important thing is your own responsibility, I Just try to share the unstained information, valid information, Buddha’s own information. I can add some example but I cannot fix and add on Buddha’s own advice. So therefore I try my best to share the valid information but to fix the structure is your responsibility. After all, so many information, you can make a structure. Maybe you can make a structure only on two things. You can edit and summarised into two things and keep that in your mind and live your life with that. I think so.
Thank You very much .
I remember one thing, I better say this. After training so many different meditations and the most essential of all is you can use the meditation tool to analyse the “I’. And “I” , as well as the Outer Phenomena, especially the “I’ , the self grasping “I’ is very strong in us . Therefore all of us know the theory of how to go about in searching mind in the aggregates. When your head is pain, I am sick, I have pain. So it sounds like you are in pain. But in fact it is not you that in pain, it is your head. So , by knowing this, you analyse whether my head is me or not, or my hand or any parts of the limbs. As well as including the compositional factor. All the 5 aggregates you go and search yourself. “I” into the 5 aggregates. Then once you cannot find that “I’ within the outer aggregates then you go to find it within the mind.
There are different stages of mind from gross to subtle. Many momentary are also mind. If the 1st momentary of the mind is you, what about the 2nd one, the 3rd one. There are zillion momentary of you within one second. Then there are zillion of “I’. Once you have zillion of “I” when somebody hurt you and said your mind is very bad, so hurting which one ? All the zillion one or the “I” hurt or only one “I” hurt. But assume only one “I” hurt. In whatever aspect you go and search, you can’t find the “I”, you see. So the state of non existing independent “I” is called the ultimate truth of “I’ . Now after this research, you are unable to find the “I’ that doesn’t mean “I” is not existent. If “I” doesn’t exist , then who create the Karma. You are the one who is responsible. “I” is the one responsible. “I” accumulate merits, “I” purify negative karma, “I” become Buddha or “I” go to hell and “I” abandon hell and “I” becomes enlighten. “I” must be there , and now you go to search. Before you can’t find at all in every aspect, you even go and find in every single cells within you. You will fail to find the “I”. It is a totally different entity. Subject and Object, the label “I” is the subject, every single cells including your mind is the object. You see, my head, my body, my mind . Two things isn’t it, very clear. Subject and Object, 2 things. So you can’t find.
We are not blur to think subject and object are the same. So, subject and object will never mix together, it is so clear. So now you couldn’t find the “I’, the state of not finding independent existence “I’, within the aggregates , within your mind is the ultimate truth of “I”, the ultimate nature of yourself. That doesn’t mean “I” is not existed, if “I’ is not existed , who accumulate merits, who purify karma and who becomes a Buddha. So , now you start to fix the puzzle together. All the 5 aggregates bring together, karma bring together, father and mother bring together, all the environment, everything comes together. Then comes about the mind enter into those aggregation of the 5 aggregates. Then your parents happen to label as Mr and Mrs so and so, somehow, dependently everyone has a name except you. Mother always call that person “you” only. He also said “you” means “i”. So that itself is just mainly label. That name, that “you” or that “I’ or that label just happen to designate on the aggregation of those incident ,all those phenomena like 5 aggregates, environment , particulars parents. They didn’t find name in the whole world or dictionary. That “you” is the conventional truth of “I’ , the conventional truth of “you” or the conventional existence of the person. That person is the one who accumulate merits. That person is the one who purify negative karma and that person is the one who came from beginningless life time , and the one who will go up to enlightenment. Not that other “I”. That “I” is non existent. But in our ordinary life we are always follow the instruction of the non-existent “I”. The non-existent “I” always encourage us to cling, grasp, hate, ignore , all these negativities bring about. So by meditating on the selflessness will bring about detachment, letting go including , contentment, including enlightenment and all the happiness. Therefore meditation on emptiness is one of the happiest thing as it just naturally bring about letting go, nothing to grasp, it’s a contentment. The highest contentment is also the enlightenment. Therefore this is one of the very important meditation that we have to do in order to gain the selflessness.
Therefore It is a very powerful tool that we have discussed to actualise happiness and enlightenment so all those merits we dedicate to whatever we wish to actualise, especially to actualise the fully enlightenment , which is to benefits numberless beings. Then we recite the bodhicitta prayers.
Transcript & light edited by Christopher Kok. All errors
and mistakes are entirely that of the transcriber.
2008 SPIRITUAL PROGRAMME
LOSANG DRAGPA BUDDHIST SOCIETY
Spiritual Advisor & Guru: Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Resident Teacher: Geshe Tenzin Zopa
Buddhist Foundation Course Semester 1
6.Meditating on the Precious Human Rebirth
By Geshe Tenzin Zopa on 12th March 2008 @ Losang Dragpa Buddhist Society, PJ
With right motivation to attend the course, we motivate that the purpose of our life is to bring benefit to numberless beings, including ourselves to be liberated from entire suffering and the causes of suffering and reach the state of full enlightenment. To remember the qualities of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, at the same time also remember His kindness that it is completely due to the kindness of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha that today we have the opportunity to cultivate virtue practice which make ourselves have the opportunity to be liberated from suffering. It is not only that, by the blessing of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, we have the opportunity to practice bodhicitta and great compassion, so that our purpose of practice become the cause of liberation of all other living beings, therefore by remembering the kindness of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, we recite Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s mantra together:
Tayatha Om Muni Muni Maha Muniye Soha
The most essential practice in Buddha dharma
Today subject is about ‘How to Meditate on Precious Human Rebirth’? The meditation on precious human rebirth is regarded as one of the essential, powerful, important and necessary practice. If one’s purpose of learning Buddha Dharma is for liberation, without the practice of meditation on precious human rebirth, one will not be able to bring the sincerity and engaged in the practice of Buddha Dharma whole heartedly, sincerely and in most meaningful way.
In various teaching by Indian Pandits, as well as the great Tibetan Kadampa Masters, all the time they emphasized that in order to practice in the most meaningful way, one has to remind the practice by cultivating or meditating on the preciousness of one’s human life. If that also unable to introduce or courage oneself to get into serious practice of Buddha Dharma, then there is only one more chance left. There are two tools to inspire oneself to get into the practice of Buddha Dharma innately, sincerely and whole heartedly. They regard the meditation on precious human rebirth is one of the most powerful. If even meditation on precious human rebirth can’t inspire, that mean either one’s mind is so heavily dominated by negative karma or one’s inspiration is completely directed by the influence of ignorance. Then it is recommended to meditate on Death and Impermanent. So these two are the important points recommended by the great practitioner, the great Indian pandits, and great Kadampa Masters of Tibet. If one wishes to practice seriously, the cultivation and meditation on precious human rebirth is one of the essential meditation.
How to meditate on Precious Human Rebirth?
If it is so important to meditate on precious human rebirth, how to do the meditation? Just by thinking that my life is very precious, can that alone able to inspire oneself to take the practice seriously? Just by recalling the name of my rebirth is precious and my precious human rebirth, just that alone is not enough, so how to inspire and meditate? First is to remind yourself on what sort of opportunity and freedom you had obtained base on this human rebirth, we called the Eight Leisure and Ten Endowments, also what sort of obstacle is overcome and free on this human rebirth? By meditating on these, one will be able to treasure the preciousness on this human rebirth, and one will engage into practice because it will be great fool for oneself if one is not using this precious human rebirth for the purpose of actualizing the greatest meaning in life.
What is the greatest meaning in life? The greatest meaning in life is to actualize the full enlightenment in one very life time. If that is unable to do, at least one should extract the meaning in life by actualizing the realization on Three Principal Aspect of Path which is 1) renunciation 2) bodhicitta and 3) emptiness. If that is also unable to do, at least oneself cultivate the teaching on The Four Noble Truths and try to actualize the causes to liberate oneself from samsara. If that also unable to manage, at least one should secure oneself to not fall into the Three Lower Realms such as hell realm, hungry ghost realm and animal realm by engaging the practice of antidote such as cultivating the Ten Virtues action, that’s how one should secure one’s precious human rebirth which one has obtained.
As like Shantideva stated here,
Leisure and endowment are very hard to find;
And since they accomplish what is meaningful for man,
If I do not take advantage of them now,
How will such a perfect opportunity come about again?
The Eight Leisure and Ten Endowments are very hard to find, even one happened to take rebirth of a human being, it is not necessary that one will obtain the Eight Leisure and Ten Endowments. Therefore there is no way that one can able to attain the Eight Leisure and Ten Endowment if one happened to take rebirth even in god realm, or the three unfavorable rebirth such as the three lower realms, therefore it is very hard to find.
And since they accomplish what is meaningful for man, so since we have accomplished this Eight Leisure and Ten Endowments which is one of the most meaningful to actualize the purpose of ourselves, so if we do not take advantage of them now, even though we have obtained it, but if we don’t use the advantage of Eight Leisure and Ten Endowments right now, we might ever lost this opportunity. Because the opportunity of having this Eight Leisure and Ten Endowments is like a day star, once in ever, we might not ever obtain again in ever future life time because the state of who we are right now is that we are completely dominated and overwhelmed by the two causes of endless circle of samsara such as karma and ignorance. Without abandoning and eradicating them, one will have to ever experience the suffering of cyclic existence or samsara.
Also if I don’t take the advantage right now, there is no guarantee that we might ever take the advantage of Eight Leisure and Ten Endowments tomorrow, or maybe later moment, or one minute after, or ten years later. The reason is that the time of departure of this very life is uncertain. Death is certain but the time of death is uncertain. Even through the example up to today, including Shakyamuni Buddha, the Fortunate Buddhas of the past, our great enlightened master, Nagarjuna who live 500 over years by practicing great Long Life Deity, but today none of them alive. Shakyamuni Buddha who has obtained the indestructible vajra body, even him is not alive today. Therefore our human rebirth on what we have obtained now, it is definitely going to cease, it is definitely going to end, this mean it is definitely going to die, it is definite. But the time of ending this life is uncertain, it can be hundred years later, or 80 years later, or 20 years later, or tomorrow, or the very next moment of this moment, there is no single person or doctor can guarantee and for sure that oneself can definitely live alive up to next moment, therefore we must take the advantage of this Eight Leisure and Ten Endowments accomplishment as a precious human rebirth right now.
How will such a perfect opportunity come about again? This is a big question. It is an indirect comment that there won’t be such an opportunity again. Therefore how to meditate about? First of all one needs to think and meditate and look into oneself that life is very fragile, death is certain but the time of death is uncertain. At the same time the opportunity on what I had obtained is definitely all the opportunity, such as the Eight Leisure and Ten Endowments. Therefore the advantage of taking the opportunity of this precious human rebirth is to practice Dharma.
The reason is that at the time of death, none of the outer phenomena, including your family members, the holy object on the altar in front of you, the fire fence, the vajra fence, dharmapalas, dearest son, husband, father or mother, none of these related phenomena will be able to assist you or save you from not dying and from not falling into lower realm. The only thing that can assist you, or save you, or direct the right direction, or choosing the right rebirth without suffering in intermediate state and suffering in death, and without experiencing great suffering on your own rebirth, it is your own imprint.
What is this imprint? It is the imprint on Dharma. What does it mean on imprint on Dharma? It is the mind which is in the state of subdue, the mind which totally subdue in the aspect of loving, kindness, compassion, bodhicitta and emptiness. So this mind, this imprint, this consciousness is the only thing can able to assist, guide, accompany yourself alone when you are dying, in the intermediate state, and at the time of taking rebirth to next life. Therefore I must practice Dharma because I have obtained such Eight Leisure and Ten Endowments, then you get into meditation step by step.
1) Freedom from being born in the hell realms
First you meditate on the freedom from being born in hell realm. You sit on meditation posture or you can lie down on bed or sofa, and reflect on who you are? The life that you have obtained now is very fragile, it is definitely in the nature of ceasing, but the time of death is uncertain, yet I have obtained the precious human rebirth, and at the time of dying, only dharma can help, only by subduing my mind it can assist me, guide me and help me, therefore I have all the reasons, including the Eight Leisure and Ten Endowments are the reasons to encourage myself must practice Dharma.
Now think about hell being, in this moment if I have taken rebirth in hell realm, and experiencing either one of the hot hell or one of the eight cold hell, or vajra hell, or general suffering of hell which are unbearable, which are in total lack of freedom to practice Dharma, loving, kindness, compassion and bodhicitta, so you should feel that how fortunate that you have not born there yet. Now look into yourself, even though you have not born there, but if you don’t actualize the meaning of this precious human rebirth by practicing Dharma and purify past negative karma, and actualize the merit and virtue causes by engaging your life, your body, speech and mind in the practice of loving, kindness, compassion, bodhicitta and emptiness, it is just a matter on time, maybe 20 years later you might born there because you have all the fruitful causes to be born in the hell.
You have committed immense negative karma from beginningless life time, you are completely overwhelm by the heaviest ignorant mind, you are completely directed into the act of three poisons, completely directing your life in creating negative karma by the force of attachment, anger and hatred. So by the result of great anger, great attachment and great ignorance, it is the fruitful cause for you to be born in the hell, so the matter is only in 20 years time, the longest matter is 100 years later, and you can guarantee yourself that you won’t live longer than 100 years. If you don’t purify this karma to be born in hell, you will definitely born in hell. And if you born in hell, you are completely dominated by unbearable suffering, there is not even a single moment for you to have the awaken mind or inspiration to practice Dharma, therefore if you don’t practice now, you will be the number one foolish, you will be the one who is the greatest deceiver of yourself while you obtained this precious human rebirth.
At this time one should try to generate some fear for death, try to generate some fear to be born in hell realm, generate the mind, the enthusiastic mind of rushing toward the practice. If you are not able to generate in this way, then you visualize Guru Shakyamuni Buddha above your forehead, about 4 feet away, visualize He is in live form, looking toward you, radiating various light and nectar entering toward your crown, gradually enter toward the throat chakra, then center channel, and the light and nectar touch to your subconscious mind which is the clear light mind. At the moment the light rays and nectar touch the clear light mind, instantly you should remind yourself that you are total awaken – “yes! I do really feel the help. I do see all my past negative karma which has the fruitful cause to bring me into the hell, now by the blessing of Buddha, I truly inspired to practice Dharma!”
Again here, you should recall that death is certain but the time of death is uncertain, therefore you must practice Dharma. Then you sit there and recite Guru Shakyamuni Buddha mantra: Tayatha Om Muni Muni Maha Muniye Soha. Or you can meditate on your guru or whatever Buddha you have the closest affinity, then you recite the name mantra and receive the blessing through light rays or nectar and visualizing purify the negative karma accumulated by ignorance, anger, hatred, attachment, pride etc, including the negative karma created by the 20 afflicted emotion. It is not just the negative karma of this very life, but the negative karma created in all the past life time, you feel completely purifying. Then sit there and recite until you feel satisfied and delightful that “Yes! I have definitely purified the heaviest negative karma which will bring me into the suffering of hell realm, it is completely purified!” Then you express rejoice, happiness, and supplication prayer to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. If you are visualizing Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, and if you remember any quality of Shakyamuni Buddha, then you express here, if not, then at least you express that Shakyamuni Buddha is your ultimate supreme object of refuge, Shakyamuni Buddha save your life to be born in hell realm, so you meditate like this.
2) Freedom from being born as a hungry ghost
Although you have purified the negative karma to be born in hell realm, but you still have so many negative karma left, you have negative karma which will bring you to hungry ghost realm. So first reflect the suffering of hungry ghost, then visualize yourself right now in the manner of hungry ghost which is totally torture, completely dominated by the unbearable suffering of hunger and thirst.
You are desperate for liquid because you are totally dominated by the suffering of thirst. If you don’t meet liquid within 1 second, you feel like you are definitely dying. You rush and run to search water, then you see a very beautiful lake with lot of water and beautiful water fall and river, and very clean, but at the moment you reach there, the moment you want to scoop water by your hand or put your mouth there, every single liquid turn into either thorn or iron liquid. The moment you put one single drop into your mouth, it completely burn up, or thousand of zillion of very sharp and fine needles’ tips spread in ten direction corner, at the moment you put your mouth there and try to swallow, everything stuck there, how much suffering you will get? So here we have to make sure that we don’t waste food and drink otherwise this karma will be born in hungry ghost realm.
You are totally torture by the suffering of hunger, at the same time you can see a lot of beautiful food. But the moment you reach there to grab the food, they all turn into thorn, needle or iron liquid. In case if you happen to find a liquid and try to swallow one drop, the moment you put inside your mouth, your tube in the throat is much much more finer than the thinnest needle, there is no hole for the liquid to go in. Because of that, through your karma to be born in hungry ghost realm, your stomach is so big, and because of no liquid, in the stomach is all heat, and it form into fire flame burning, but you still alive and have to experience the suffering. It is because you created the karma to be born in hungry ghost realm, so now imagine that you are there. This is not a fairy tale story, this is real.
If you are in hungry ghost realm, how are you going to manage? It is so unbearable. Do you think you can recite Om Mani Padme Hung at that time? I don’t think so. Do you think you can put your palm together to Buddha and request to bless you to purify your suffering and karma? There is no way. All there are unbearable suffering, and it is constant suffering, there is no pause, there is no one minute that you will not suffer. The life there is to suffer for eons, so you put yourself there.
Now you reflect on yourself, at the moment you are still a human being, you have not born there yet. But look into your attitude, your account of past karma, it is completely rich, your bank is totally full of karma to be born in hungry ghost realm, especially you have created so much karma on miserliness, so much karma of not giving, so much karma of grasping our loved one and possession, including grasping on our own physical body, name, fame, color, every single form of grasping, in our every single aspect of life, all the time we are grasping. If we reflect on all the past lives time, without break for even one life, we are totally overwhelm by grasping mind, especially the self grasping mind, it is so strong and so heavy, very deep in imprint, that is the fruitful karma for us to be born in preta or hungry ghost realm. Again the matter is only 100 years, for sure it is not more than 100 years, we will die, and the next rebirth is to be born there, because we have the fruitful cause. The soonest maybe the next moment we will be born there, so therefore I must purify.
Again visualize Guru Shakyamuni Buddha in front, recite His name mantra and derive His blessing through nectar and light, enter through crown, throat and heart chakra, it hit to the subtlest mind where the imprint and karma remain, hit the karma, and it completely purified. You should feel that you are completely purify by the blessing of Shakyamuni Buddha, then make praises and thankful prayer to Guru Shakyamuni. Then reflect yourself that you have not born in hungry ghost, you have the opportunity to really purify all those negative karma because the potential is that you have not born there yet, this is the first reason. At the same time, you have all the potential to purify your negative karma to be born in hungry ghost. Here again you purify the negative karma to be born in hell and hungry ghost, but you still have negative karma to be born in animal realm.
3) Freedom from being born in the animal realm
Now you are put in the position of a form of a shark in
Pacific Ocean, you visualize yourself as a biggest shark in
Look at this shark, can this shark remember to chant Om Mani Padme Hung? And to do purification practice? No way! Even all ten direction Buddhas surround this ocean and pray for this shark to chant Om Mani Padme Hung, there is no way, in this life there is 100% sure of no way it can do any purification practice.
At the same time, through the ignorant mind, even though there is consciousness and there is mind, but there is no inspiration to differentiate on what is good and what is bad, or what is negative karma and what is virtue karma. Therefore for this shark to eat other fish, it is a normal routine, so constantly create karma by ignorance.
Here you reflect that you have not born as the shark yet, you are still a human being. Look into yourself, your ignorance is so thick and heavy, and this ignorant mind is the fruitful cause to be born as the same as the shark, or worse than the shark and those animal, and the fishes in animal realm, then you visualize Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and do the same technique on meditation and purify negative karma of past and present, particularly negative karma on ignorance. Now I must practice Dharma because I have the freedom of being born in animal realm.
4) Freedom from being born as a long life god
In case I born in god realm, even though it is a higher rebirth, but supposing you are born as long life god, this is not the Chinese long life god, we are not talking about that one, this is the long life god in god realm, all the god are in the category of long life god. Why do we call them long life god? Because their lifespan is very long, they can live for thousand of thousand of years. The next rebirth for god realm being most probably is in the hell realm, if not, in hungry ghost realm, if not, in animal realm, that is the three choices. It is depends on the heaviness on how much exhaustion on the past merit.
To be born in god realm, even though it is higher rebirth, but it is in the state of exhausting the past good karma and entire past merit. You might live there for thousand years, let say a thousand year and a week, within the thousand years, every single moment you are totally and completely overwhelm by the sense pleasure, pleasure of good sound, good taste, good sight, good vision, good feeling, and pleasure on mental satisfaction. The moment they wish to have a beautiful flower in front, the beautiful flower just ripen there. The moment you wish to have thousand of goddess perform dance for you, thousand of goddess just manifest in front of you and perform dance for you. The moment you wish to eat corn or the moment you think on corn, the unplant corn and crops are there for you. There is not even single moment of suffering on senses, every single moment is pleasure, completely numb your senses by the pleasure.
Unfortunately you will never ever remember even a single moment of Dharma, never ever remember loving, kindness, compassion, bodhicitta and emptiness. All those luxury and pleasure of the five senses in god realm are the result of past merit and past good karma which could be accumulated in numberless live times in the past. So within the period of yourself in the god realm, you will completely exhaust the good karma.
When is the time that you will see the exhaustion on good karma? One week before you take the next rebirth, one week before you depart from god realm, suddenly everything within a moment all the brightness turn into darkness; all beautiful goddess turn into mara or ghost, appear like ghost; all beautiful flower that you enjoyed are death and smelly and full of thorn; all grass get rotten and death; all beautiful waterfall, river, pond completely dry and bring filthy smell.
When you born in god realm, either is male or female, you are born in very beautiful perfect figure, even your ear and eye senses are so good, your five senses are perfect, your figure are perfect in number one. But in the one week before you depart, in that very moment, your skin start to fall, the smoothness completely turn into wrinkle, just like the old lady and old man, when you look at them it can be scarely, it is like the skin fold on one after another, that kind of look is also like a witch, isn’t it? It is scarely. The things is that they obtained the smoothness of their body, that smoothness is due to past good karma, and the sign of the exhaustion of the merit of that is it completely turn into opposite of that, like skin disease start to fall in, and wrinkle rotten, then smell come. You have all the time showering the fragrant, or saffron water, but now everything become most filthy and disgusting liquid, and when you need to shower, the moment you pour, it is very filthy and dirty.
The food on whatever you eat, all are rotten and completely disgusting. Whatever you drink, it is completely disgusting. All the clothes you wear, the color and the smoothness, everything completely become opposite, all these are the sign of exhaustion on merit. So whatever obtained there in the first day or within the thousand years, you know and you can see that every single thing turn into complete opposite and complete disgusting. These are the few examples just to give an idea. In short, everything turn into complete opposite. Then you start to see your next life, if you are in the state of the heaviest exhaustion on past good karma, then you will be born into hell, and you will start to see that you are going to be born in hot hell, you will start to see that your body is already there and experiencing the suffering. The same act that you will experience in hell is demonstrating to you, the fear and suffering that the god being has is the equal unbearable suffering as in the hell. You see? It is like that.
In Tibeatan we said, “Lha-chi poh-way dug-ngel.”
“Lha” is god;
“chi-poh-way” is the transaction from god realm to other realm;
“dug-ngel” mean suffering, this mean as suffering as equal in hell.
Even though everything is perfect but there is not even a single moment you will remember Dharma, which is the only way to restore merit and good karma, but there is not even one single moment to remember that, so it is complete exhaustion. When you fall into hell realm, there is eons of eons life times you have to experience the unbearable suffering. So you meditate yourself in that state, if you are in god realm, at the end during the transaction period, think about yourself there, it is such terrifying.
Now look into yourself that you have not born in god realm, you are still a human being, on top of that, you have precious human rebirth, you are totally qualify by the fourth leisure, the fourth qualification which is the freedom from being born in long life god. Therefore if you don’t practice now, if you don’t make sure by now to create the cause not to be born there, it is just a matter on time, you will be born there. If you are born there, it is the same thing.
Then again, in order to receive the blessing and make your practice stronger, sincere and whole hearted, you visualize Guru Shakyamuni Buddha in front, dissolve nectar and light, and visualize that you are purifying all negative karma in past, in particular the ignorant mind which mistaken to discriminate the temporary pleasure is suffering.
In our life, we experience temporary happiness, samsara happiness and senses pleasure all the time isn’t it? When we are hungry, we eat food, then we feel good, this is temporary happiness, this is samsara happiness and senses happiness. When you go to movie, you enjoy beautiful show for your mind, eye senses, your ear, the good sound, good music, good drama for eye, and good story for your mind, then comfortable seat for your feeling in theater, these are the total fulfillment of your five senses, these suppose to be Suffering of Change, but instead of reflecting on the Suffering of Change, we grasp it is a wonderful happiness, and must create more karma to enjoy it.
Living a life of admiring myself and others having such a wonderful karma to watch movie all the time, this is called the ignorant mind which is unable to discriminate the Suffering of Change as suffering, and the temporary happiness in samsara is Suffering of Change. I don’t know how to put it in English word nicely, so you edit yourself. What I want to say is that the mind which cannot differentiate Suffering of Change as suffering is due to our ignorant mind, and constantly living a life in that is the fruitful cause to be born in god realm. We have accumulated such karma in infinite past lives times, therefore now I must realize that this is the fruitful karma to be born in god realm, and if I happened to be born in god realm, I just meditate on it, it is terrifying, therefore I must purify, I must live a life practicing Dharma.
But what is that Dharma? Dharma is recognizing Suffering of Change as suffering, recognizing samsara pleasure as suffering. By knowing that and not engaging yourself in that kind of manner, that mean all the time cultivating renunciation, the best solution is practicing renunciation. By practicing renunciation and living a life with renunciation, one will not attach to the samsara pleasure. Once you don’t attach, you gain detachment, once you gain detachment, oneself eradicating creating the causes to be born in god realm. Then you do the same way of meditation, visualizing Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and purifying. After you purify the karma to be born in hell realm, ghost realm, animal realm and god realm, there are so much reason to practice Dharma because you have obtained the freedom of a founder Buddha has not appeared.
5) Freedom from being born at a time when a founder Buddha has not appeared
Even though I realize I have not born in the three unfavorable rebirths, but still I have no excuse to not practicing Dharma. First of all it is that I didn’t born in unfavorable rebirth, on top of that I have obtained the freedom of not born in the time when the Buddha has not appeared because Buddha did appeared in this world therefore I cannot excuse that how to practice Dharma because the Buddha haven’t appeared? So I must practice Dharma because Buddha had appeared in this world and definitely Buddha’s blessing is still remain in this world, and I am so fortunate to be born in this time.
Even though I am born in the stage of five degenerated rebirth, the five degenerated time, our delusion is much more stubborn than the beings of thousand years ago, our delusion is more stubborn than the delusion in the past. Thousand years ago the human being also has delusion but their one is very easy to remove, our delusion is very tuff and stubborn. So even though we are born in the completely trapped five degenerated times, but still it is fortunate because Buddha has appeared and Buddha’s blessing is still there, therefore I must practice. If your mind is not inspired by that strongly, again you visualize Guru Shakyamuni Buddha in front, and receive the same sequence of blessing, after that inspire yourself to engage into the practice right now.
6) Freedom from being born in a place with no Dharma
It is not only that, you also obtained the freedom from being born in the place with no Dharma. Even though free from unfavorable rebirth and Buddha has appeared, but in case if you took a rebirth where there is no Dharma, again you will have excuse on how to practice Dharma because you are born in the place where there is no Dharma. But as far as concern for all of us here, there is no excuse, we have born in the place where there is Dharma that we can practice freely and we have all the opportunity. You have the karmic link with Guru to receive all blessing, you have teacher for you to relate and discuss, and valuable and reliable books on Buddha’s teaching, all the conditions are available, so you have born in the place where there is Dharma, and not only that, you have the freedom from being born with defective senses.
7) Freedom from being born with defective senses
In case if you are born as deaf, mute or blind, even with problem on nose senses, feeling sense and mental senses, or defective senses and non-mature senses or useless senses, but now you are completely free from that. If you don’t have eye faculty, many opportunity to practice Dharma will not be there. For an example, the opportunity of making beautiful flower offering to Buddha which has so much opportunity to accumulate extensive merit and extensive purification, if you don’t have eye senses, you loose the chance. Now because you have eye senses, so you can choose all the beautiful objects which pleases the eye senses. You can either actualize it as real offering or through visualization you offer to the Buddhas. It is the same thing to ear, if you don’t have ear senses, there are so many opportunity will be loose, so you have all the five senses in perfect. If you want, you can accumulate so much merit through the object of eye senses, ear senses, nose senses and feeling senses, that also mean entire phenomena by the force of one of your perception, they can be actualize as one of the infinite offering, and offer to Buddha and purify negative karma.
Now you might arise a question that if no eye senses, it is never mind, you can use your finger to read the letter and even go to school without eye senses, it is alright. But you have to think on the other side that you will lose so many other opportunity. Now we have obtained the entire opportunity to practice Dharma, even from the senses, even that if you are not inspire to practice Dharma, then try to do the visualization on Shakyamuni Buddha to receive blessing, and to inspire you to engage in the practice especially making use of the five senses to actualize extensive two types of merit and purification on two types of obscuration – 1) obscuration to nirvana 2) obscuration to enlightenment or omniscience mind. By using the perfect five senses as a tool to accumulate the greatest cause to enlightenment, which is the accumulation of two types of merit – 1) Merit of Method 2) Merit of Wisdom.
8) Freedom from holding wrong views
It is not only that, we also have freedom from holding wrong view. Even though we have all those opportunity but if we are holding wrong view - oh my goodness! Our precious human rebirth will be completely wasted. The wrong view such as not having faith, trust or believe in past, present and future live, having a mind of not accepting, believing and convincing that there is past lives, present life and future life. Another wrong view is not accepting, not convincing yourself the karmic law of cause and effect, this is also wrong view. Or one is not convincing, not having faith in The Four Noble Truth, or The Two Truth – 1) Conventional Truth and 2) Ultimate Truth. Or one is not convincing and not having faith that one’s own suffering and happiness is from the creator of one’s own mind, this mean that if one believes and convinces that the creator is outside or a god, that means it is wrong view from Buddhist point of view. As not holding wrong view in Buddha dharma, one needs to convince and believe that the creator is inside which is one’s own mind. Also if one is not convincing or not having faith that the Triple Gems – 1)Buddha, 2) Dharma and 3) Sangha are not the sole refuge, as a Buddhist and as teaching from Buddha Dharma, if you are not convinced and don’t have the mind of believe, then you are holding wrong view. These are the few categories.
If we are in one of the category, we are holding wrong view, that’s why we have to be free from that. It is very important to educate ourselves that we are not in these categories. Here all of us are 100% convinced and sure that we are in right view, we have taken refuge. But why do we take refuge? It is because we see Buddha, Dharma and Sangha is the sole refuge, so we took refuge. The first step to become Buddhist is to take refuge so you have the refuge.
And also you definitely accept karmic law of cause and effect - Do good action, good ethic, and accumulate good karma which will be happiness result; if accumulate negative karma, it will bring suffering result. We have totally convinced and have total faith. We definitely convinced and have faith in The Four Noble Truth that there is suffering, therefore there is cause of suffering; there is nirvana therefore there is causes of nirvana which is the Path. And because there are causes of suffering, therefore there is result of suffering; because there is a Path therefore the result of the Path is nirvana, so this is The Four Noble Truths.
We can see that we are total convinced and have full faith that there is past lives, present life and future life, isn’t it? Although we say “yes” here, but if we check carefully, it is questionable that we are not 100% convinced about past lives, because how do we prove it? Anyway, there will be another session to do debate about past live and future life, so we will talk about it on that time. This mean that we need to study, we need to learn, we need to explore the scripture and teaching of Buddha, then we will not just convince by faith, we will be totally convinced in philosophy way, and convince by reason. So you see, we have obtained all these Eight Leisure, therefore we must practice Dharma. If not, death is certain but the time of death is uncertain, so we must practice right now. But what do we practice? The Three Principals Aspect of the Path.
The Ten Endowments – Five Personal Endowments
Here the Ten Endowments which has Five Personal Endowments such as 1) being born as a human being, 2) being born in the center of a religious country, 3) being born with a well-functioning body and mind, 4) not having committed any of the five heinous crime 5) having faith in the Dharma.
We need to know the Five Heinous Crimes which we also label as Five Uninterrupted Karma. The reason why we call them the uninterrupted karma is because once we created one of the Five Heinous Crimes, there is no interruption on the next rebirth between to be born in hell realm. This mean that you committed the Five Heinous Crimes, your next rebirth is definitely in hell realm. Even by inviting lama to do powa practice, or putting relic on your crown, or chanting prayer for 49 days, nothing will help. Other than the Five Heinous Crimes, even how heavy other karma you have, by putting relics on crown, or swallowing relic during the time of dying, or by doing powa practice or prayer, even if you have such heavy karma to be born in hell, but this immediate condition which is also karma will interrupt you to be born in hell in next life, rather it will pull you into the human realm or god realm, or at least into the hungry ghost realm, the best is to pull you into pure realm, if not, at least in human realm, if not, then in god realm, if not, then animal realm, if not, then hungry ghost realm, and not directly born into hell realm. This mean that the karma is interrupted.
For the Five Heinous Crimes, they are uninterrupted karma, which mean that once you committed these five actions, nothing can handle you, you will be directly born into hell. So what are the Five Heinous Crimes? 1) the karma of killing father 2) the karma of killing mother 3) the karma of killing an Arhat 4) the karma of drawing blood from Buddha and Bodhisattva with evil and harmful intention 5) splitting the community of Sangha.
As for the karma of drawing blood from Buddha, if that person is bodhisattva, even if you jab once, saying that you want to do donation for somebody else but with evil thought, then you draw the blood out from bodhisattva, or if you have bad intention to cost the life of bodhisattva by drawing the blood, or weaken the body, or because he/ she is great Buddha and bodhisattva so you would like to draw one drop of blood because you have very unhealthy cell and contaminated blood which you will offer back to him/ her as an exchange, this is drawing blood from Buddha and Bodhisattva, it is heinous crime.
As for splitting the community of Sangha, I had mentioned in many classes before that Sangha is not necessary have to be monk or nun community, as long as there are four Arya beings, it can be lay community also. Let say group A and group B, the rest of the people maybe ordinary being, but there are four of you who are Arya Bodhisattva but manifested as ordinary person. Over there also the same having the rest of the people as ordinary but four people is Arya Bodhisattva, then I came in between and gossip about you two groups by saying, “Do you know that this group always hate your group? So you should make sure that whenever this group come to LDC, you people don’t come. And whenever you come, I will make sure that they never come, because these people hate you.” So I split these two groups, even entering to my own house, or wherever. Whenever we have puja or class, all of you used to come together, but from today onward I split into two different groups. This means that because there are four Bodhisattva there, four Arya beings there, this is the Sangha community, it is not necessary to be monks or nuns, because Arya beings are Sangha. If I spit this into two groups, then I committed the heinous crime, and the result is the uninterrupted karma to be born in hell realm, and most probably is the vajra hell which is the lowest hell.
So you see, in our community, we have to be very careful
with our mouth, very careful with our intention, we cannot say these people are
good and that people are not good, or this is my group and that is your group,
we can’t guarantee there is no Bodhisattva, if in case there is Bodhisattva,
then how? Even in this small society, if we are not careful, there is high
potential and high chance to create heinous crime because we really don’t know
who is Bodhisattva. Therefore we never ever say this group click with me, this
means that we are saying these are my groups, and that people click with those
people, this mean that we are already discriminating people are belong to them,
then gossip about all the wrong things. The moment each party senses the
creation of disliking between these two groups, it is already complete the
karma, no need to become separated, even if you come together, but the heart is
already separated. In Tibetan we say,
This is the direct word stated in Vinaya, this is the
moment when the karma is complete in creating the crime, we have to be so
careful, it can be so dangerous. Therefore, although it is not nice to talk
about election, but have to be careful, whoever you like, you just go, don’t
say this is no good and that is no good. Who knows that within this parliament
group maybe there might have Bodhisattva? Then how? In
Vinaya is not necessary just for monk or nun, Vinaya is the richest commentary, root text, root advice and teaching from the Buddha about the vows. In the Center, for those who has the karma to learn about bodhicitta, Mahayana Buddhism, Sutrayana and Tantrayana, I am quite sure there are Bodhisattva, and Arya Bodhisattva, otherwise you will not meet this kind of Dharma. I am sure there are lots of Bodhisattva here, of course people will not show as Bodhisattva but just as an ordinary people and sometime show getting angry, and with lots of attachment, but maybe that is just a form of an act, but who knows maybe he/ she is already Arya Bodhisattva.
The best reason is that you don’t have clairvoyant mind and omniscience mind therefore there is Bodhisattva, and how can you say that there is no Bodhisattva? If you want to say that it is definitely there is no Bodhisattva, then you have to convince yourself that you are somebody that possess if possible omniscience mind, if not at least clairvoyant mind. There is a saying,
“kang-sa gyi kang-sa-la tsoe-sung-war mi-jia-de nyam-par gyur-dar-rey”
Here ‘kang-sa’ means a ‘being’,
another ‘kang-sa’ means another ‘being’;
‘tsoe-sung-war mi-jia-de’ means ‘cannot judge’;
‘nyam-par gyur-dar-rey’ means ‘will be a total failure’.
If you happened to judge, you will be failed. Because as an ordinary being, we will most probably judge other through either the projection of our illusion or superstitious mind, or the worse is to judge through our delusion, and then we will be fail, but fail to where? Fail to lower realm. This is a very famous quote. During the philosophy debate, sometime we say ‘you don’t have good answer, you are very bad, and this and that.’, then straight away they can say, ‘what about kang-sa gyi kang-sa la tsoe-sung-war mi-jia-de nyam-par gyur-dar-rey?’
So the Five Heinous Crimes is very dangerous, even our guru cannot save us at the time of death, even our guru is in front of us trying to do powa, it can’t save us, we have to go in to hell realm.
Also there are two quotes from the Buddha’s own words, one quote stated that there is not even a single karma cannot be purified by applying the Four Opponent Power. This mean that by applying Four Opponent Power, even the Five Heinous Crimes can be purified. But there is another quote saying that except Five Heinous Crimes, the rest by applying Four Opponent Power can be purified. Both are Buddha’s words, and you need to merge them together. So the answer is a very flexible and nice answer, which is in the middle of both, and both are correct. How?
By applying the Four Opponent Power, all karma can be purified in the manner of purifying the duration, shrinking the duration of pain, and subside the suffering of pain. Let say you have accumulated Five Heinous Crimes and you are sure to be born in hell realm, and your karma is to experience there for 1000 eons, so now you know that you have committed the crime, and now you do the Four Opponent Power purification, you will definitely born in the hell realm, but instead of 1000 eons, maybe you will stay there for 1 day, so the duration is shrinked, and you definitely have to experience the vajra hell, but instead of experiencing for thousand eons, you will experience for one day only. So the quote is saying that it is not just heinous crime, all definite karma have to experience the result, that’s why in Buddha’s teaching, there is a word called definite karma.
What does it mean by definite karma? It is definite in experiencing the result. If you create any form of negative karma, you have to experience the negative result, it is definite. But how about applying the Four Opponent Power? How about the other quote saying that it can be purified everything by applying Four Opponent Power? Here the meaning of the quote is that by applying Four Opponent Power, it will shrink the duration and subside the pain, but definitely have to experience the result.
If it is indefinite karma, by applying the Four Opponent Power, you can purify without experience the result, this is what is called as indefinite karma.
So the above are the Five Personal Endowments. Now there are Five Circumstances Endowments. It is not just the personal endowments are there, even the circumstances endowments are necessary for us to practice Dharma.
Five Circumstantial Endowments
So here 6) Being born in the fortunate period when a Buddha has appeared, which we have now the Shakyamuni Buddha’s teaching period, and we are born in this same world where Shakyamuni Buddha was born. 7) Being born in the fortunate period when a Buddha has taught the Dharma. There are certain Buddha appeared but they don’t teach Dharma, or certain Buddha appeared but they don’t teach all aspect of Dharma, there are many different Buddhas. In our time, we are so fortunate that we have the Buddha who taught complete teaching on Sutrayana and Tantrayana. All Sutra and Tantra, everything the Buddha has taught.
In early Buddha time, or in future many Buddha times, most of the time they only teach Sutra, but not Tantra. Up to today, Shakyamuni Buddha is number 4 Buddha only among the Thousand Buddhas. There are Thousand Fortunate Buddhas within this era before this world distinguish, so Shakyamuni Buddha is number 4 Buddha, and Lama Tzong Khapa is one of the Thousand Fortunate Buddha.
The number four Shakyamuni Buddha taught the complete set of teaching – Sutra and Tantra. When Lama Tzong Khapa comes to this world to turn the Wheel of Dharma, Lama Tzong Khapa will also teach both Sutra and Tantra. This is almost saying that there is only 2 opportunity to even received and actualized the complete set of Buddha’s teaching. During other Buddha’s time, there is only Sutra teaching, therefore we are so fortunate! So the Buddha has taught the complete set of teaching, at the same time we are here to meet the complete set of teaching.
Some people just appreciate Hinayana teaching and totally
neglect and avoid Mahayana teaching, some practitioner even criticize Mahayana
teaching. There is a criticism that Mahayana teaching is like a flower in space.
In the space there is no flower, flower doesn’t born in space, this mean that
Mahayana teaching is just like bla bla, there is no such teaching, there is
such criticism. In fact Mahayana teaching is Buddha’s teaching. You know why?
Because Buddha taught the Heart Sutra which is Mahayana teaching at
Tantrayana, they said is Lamaism, it is not Buddhism, it
is Tibetan Lama practice, nothing to do with Buddha Dharma. Buddha Dharma
should come from
We have faith in Sutra, and many of you have went through the practice of Hinayana earlier, in Tibetan we say ‘tog-pa ngon-sum’, but we don’t have to explain here. Anyway, you have enter into the Hinayana practice, you went to some Theravadan temple in earlier time, then you actualized all knowledge in Theravadan teaching. And because you have the knowledge, you see, you know, and you want to be upgraded, and you see the value of Mahayana teaching. So you take Hinayana teaching as foundation, as preliminary, because without that, Mahayana teaching has no value, so now you want to upgrade yourself, you engage into Bodhisattva practice, then you practice Six Perfection, Great Compassion, Bodhicitta, and after practice all these, you are inspired.
When you practice Hinayana, you realized that just for your own liberation, it is not enough, there are so many other beings are suffering, and you can see that every living beings is related to you, so you have the full responsibility to liberate them, so you better practice Bodhicitta, then you get into Bodhisattvayana practice. But without understanding on the Four Noble Truths, which is the common Hinayana practice, you will not be matured to learn the Bodhisattvayana practice. So now you see you are mature by practicing Four Noble Truth which is the common Hinayana practice, from here you upgrade to Bodhisattvayana practice and engage into the Six Perfection.
Now you see that if you practice Hinayana practice and Bodhisattva practice, but the duration for your enlightenment is three countless eons time, this is so long and too much! If you delay for three countless eons time, how about your karmic link mother sentient being, there are numberless of them waiting for your enlightenment, they will be suffering for three countless eons time, therefore you must find a way to achieve enlightenment in this very lifetime. There is Buddha taught on Tantra which talk about Deity Yoga, Causal Enlightenment and Resultant Enlightenment, Four Kayas, so now you are inspired to practice Tantrayana practice. Then you get into Tantrayana practice, but even to practice that for three years or the duration of one whole life, let say 80 years, you also feel is too long, you want to practice and achieve enlightenment right now, so you engage into three years great retreat. But even for three years great retreat also too long, you want to achieve in this very cushion, then you meditate on the union of great bliss and emptiness, then you become Buddha. So all of us have this potential and we have achieved this opportunity.
8) Being born in the fortunate period when Dharma exists
and flourishes. It is definitely that Dharma is exists now and is flourishing,
and is overwhelming, especially the complete teaching which preserve in
9) Being born in the fortunate period when we are able to meet with pure followers of Buddha’s teachings. Pure followers can refer to meeting with pure, qualified, realized Guru, and Dharma brothers and sisters who inspire to accomplish the realization on practices.
10) Being born in the fortunate period when practitioners can enjoy kind support to each other with the feeling of kind and compassion. All Dharma brothers and sisters knowing the important of enlightenment, because we practice Bodhisattvayana practice, we should inspire each other with the thought or feeling of kind and compassion - “I have so much compassion to you, and kind feeling toward you, all the time what I want on you is to please practice, live a life with practicing, please take the meaning of your life, please don’t waste your life, please don’t go to pop, drink or smoke, and wasting time in watching TV, please come to learn, to study and to meditate.” Like that, with kind and compassionate thought, you can call each other to find out,
“Are you coming to class or not? Are you coming to meditation or not?”
“Oh no… today I have a dinner party.”
“What about dinner party? You can have party any time a week, but having class is only 1 or 2 times a week, so come for class, must come to leave an imprint.”
Having very kind and compassionate manner to inspire you, helping you to courage you to come and leave an imprint on Dharma.
“Oh today traffic is very bad, normally Saturday traffic is very bad, at the same time very heavy rain, so I don’t feel like going.”
“No, no… there are so good karma, don’t waste the opportunity, death is certain but the time of death is uncertain, so better come and take the opportunity.”
So with kind and compassion to inspire each other, some people might say want to go for holiday, you can tell them to go for holiday on another time. So we must inspire each other with kind and compassionate feeling. If somebody say,
“If I go to class, I don’t understand”. Then you can reply that,
“No… the understanding is not the main point. The main point is leaving an imprint of your faith and conviction. What faith and conviction? The faith and conviction on just go to listen to Dharma, this is enough. When you are there, whether you understand or not, just having your faith, it is enough. Even if you totally not understand, it is also enough. As long as you have faith in Dharma, you are inspired by Dharma that’s why you go there, otherwise you will not go, that’s why the faith is good enough. So you should go.”
“No.. no… no… I don’t understand, I think better not….”
Then you should asked a question, “If you stay at home, what are you going to do? Cooking? Watching TV? Or go to massage? There are 24 hours but the class is only 1 hour, and also once a week, so do you think is too much for you? I don’t think so, so you better come” Even that if he/ she cannot listen, then “After class, I will bring you for good dinner.” Then he/ she will say “Ok.”. Even this is a kind of compassion, or you can say,
“Next day I will sponsor massage for you. I will pay for your two hours fare of massage.” All these are feeling of kind and compassion.
When you go back to home if you summarize yourself and put the above Eight Leisure and Ten Endowments into your mind in every day to day life, you think about it, you will feel inspire to practice, that’s why it is very powerful tool to inspire us to practice. If this cannot inspired, then we must meditate on Death and Impermanent, strictly on Death and Impermanent, then we will be awake and rush to practice. But first try not to use that tool, better use this one the very pleasant tool first.
Many westerner in Kopan when we do course, most of the time when they study meditation on Death and Impermanent, they try to skip because they feel scary and too much! They already have a lot of tension, come all the way to Nepal, and again you talk about Death and Impermanent, they don’t want any more, because it is very frightening.
For Dharma, it has to be frightening, but frighten in the sense that it is not like you are totally bring into suffering but to inspire to secure yourself, that’s the whole purpose.
Question & Answer
Question: On the Eight Leisures, Geshe la explained that every time we meditate on one leisure and one visualization, can we not do all at once?”
Geshe la: Can… can… definitely can. You can first do whole thing, then in the end you do the Shakyamuni Buddha visualization. But if you have time and wish, it was just a recommendation to do one by one. Because sometime it is more effective if you can specify certain karma. Even today if you want to purify some negative karma, and if you remember the negative karma, and do the purification with remembering the negative karma, it is more effective. But if you don’t, then you can do in overall.
Question: Just now you mention there are Buddhas and Bodhisattvas among us, I was wonder why don’t they stay up there in pure land?
Geshe la: I don’t have clairvoyant to see the pure land, the real thing is right in front, the real challenge is in front of us. If there is pure land, pure land should be within us; if there is Buddha, Buddha should be within us; if there is Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva should be within us!
If we cannot challenge to whom we face, most of our practice become bit bla bla. Our mind very easy to fly because there is no challenge. Because Buddha don’t directly come to us and take all offering, that’s why we say we offer everything. I offer all my money, all my jewel, including my house and my car, I offer to Buddha. But in your subconscious mind, what are you thinking? Because the car and money are still with me, that’s why I dare to offer. You think about it.
Now if I visualize you as Buddha and offer, and if you come and really take my car, if I can able to practice, that is the true practice!
At the moment we are ordinary being, we are building up the strength, that’s why we are practicing, making our mind stronger, but the main thing is to face the being in front of us.
For generosity, you must start with the being in front of
you, you cannot say you will make sure to make generosity in
So pure land is here, it is within the being. Why? For me, I am not enlightened, it is definite, 100% sure and 1000% guarantee, I am ordinary in everything, every single thing make my mind up and down and with all sort of judgement, like a boiling water. But if you are enlightened, every single aspect of being you see are so beautiful and so compassionate. Even they scream at you, you see them as Buddha, scolding at you, also is Buddha enlightened being. You see the Buddha in them because you only see the perfection in them, and because I am ordinary that’s why I only see the imperfect in them. Maybe she is serious, but her heart is very compassionate, she must be a Bodhisattva, but my own delusion and disturbance mind reflect on her and exaggerate to say that she is not happy with me. If you are enlightened, nothing can bother you, that mean this is your own pure land, there is no extra pure land some where that can be travel by rocket.
Like Milarepa, his cave is terrible, for sure there is no bed and dusty and poke and rocky. I went to Milarepa’s cave, it is terrible! If you ask me to sit there for one hour, I don’t want, the wind is so harsh, so cold, but Milarepa attained enlightenment there, that is his pure land. For him, it is like as smooth as silk, the wind is so wonderful, all tree are like wish fulfilling gems, everything is like pure land. But for me as ordinary being, it is so harsh, everything is harsh.
Even the Buddha said that your best practice is able to manage to see every single living being as Buddha. But how to bring this realization? Start with your Guru, especially good to start with your ordinary Guru, he maybe ordinary or maybe Buddha. Buddha Vajradhara quoted by himself that in degenerated time, the ordinary being will not have enough karma to perceive him directly, therefore he will manifest in ordinary form in Guru. Guru Vajradhara will manifest in degenerate time the ordinary form who is your Guru. So Guru Vajradhara has to appear in ordinary form as you so that you can communicate with him, that mean the Guru have to show the aspect of having attachment, anger, hatred but without having anger inside, so that you can challenge, and show you the aspect that you can improve, while normally you are very pampered, but as time go by, you can see that you have improved, and you can refer this to your own Guru.
Ten years ago, your Guru maybe a bit funny, but now you can see the Guru is very calm, very subdue, you can see the changes. But Buddha Vajradhara said that it could be him, so it is his manifestation. That means anyone of us could be the manifestation of Buddha. So first thing is to start the practice with Guru, seeing Guru as Buddha, seeing Guru in Buddha, that’s why in Lam Rim, one of the most crucial practice, in Foundation of all Good Qualities, the first paragraph is Guru Devotion.
The realization on Guru Devotion is able to see Guru in Buddha, as long as one is unable to see Guru in Buddha, that mean your Guru Devotion practice is not complete. Within the whole Lam Rim, the Stages of the Path, from the first chapter to last chapter, from the first point up to enlightenment, the most difficult and hardest practice but at the same time the most essential practice, there is only one, what is that? Guru Devotion. Even in the teaching, it is advice that even if it takes 10, 20 and 30 years or whole life to actualize the realization on Guru Devotion, you must take the time. Once you realize the realization on Guru Devotion which mean seeing your Guru as Buddha, the rest of the realization is like a moment of snap. Once you have Guru Devotion realization, once you have the mind of spontaneous seeing Guru in Buddha, then the realization on Bodhicitta, emptiness, realization on Six Perfection, realization on giving and taking, realization on Five Paths and Ten Grounds and realization on enlightenment, all just come! It is stated in the teaching, so the most crucial is Guru Devotion - Guru seeing by you as Buddha.
If you want to relate to Guru, even it takes 10, 20 or 30 years, you learned from him but you still check. Or even at the very first meeting, if you feel you have the affinity, and you feel that this is your guru, your enlightenment, then that is the moment you should always practice and see him in Buddha, inseparable from Buddha. This mean that even if Guru happened to act like a street dog, maybe one day somebody throw the Guru into the state of street dog, even in that moment, you are able to see and respect and pay homage and devote him as Buddha, that mean you have gain the realization on Guru Devotion. Once you have that, all the rest of realization is like a moment of snap, everything will naturally come.
It is the same thing as the training on bodhicitta, the six causes and one result. In order to gain bodhicitta realization, you have to train in six causes, for example, seeing all being as mother, remembering their kindness, repaying their kindness, special love, special compassion and great compassion, there are six causes, so within all of them, what is the most important? People will say either it is the great compassion or bodhicitta. In fact, the most important is seeing every living beings as mother. As Kadampa Master said that if you wish to gain bodhicitta realization, the thing you have to focus and spend time to actualize is to see all living beings as mother, that’s the point. Once you gained the spontaneous realization on seeing every single living being as mother, the rest of realization on great compassion is just a moment of snap, even bodhicitta is just in a moment of snap, everything will come.
So our challenge and practice is with our Dharma brothers and sisters, start from there, and then see them as Buddha.
Question: Many of us here have more than one Guru, we may not see all Gurus as Buddhas, maybe can see only one or two….
Geshe la: WRONG! That mean your Guru Devotion fail. It is said that even if Guru is thrown into the state of street dog, even the Guru is completely criticize by the whole world in the worse nasty way, but for you and for your own enlightenment, he is Buddha. It has nothing matter with male or female, sangha or lay person, poor or rich, whether has knowledge or no knowledge, for your practice, your purpose, your enlightenment, your benefit, you have to see as Buddha. But of course this is individual choice, if you don’t want to see, then you delay your practice, so this is individual’s choice. But if you really want, that is the best practice, that’s why it is so difficult, it is not easy.
Question: How do we know which is the right Guru? Does the Guru find you? Or you suddenly realize this is your Guru?
Geshe la: Oh! This is very difficult question. Sometime Guru finds you, sometime you find Guru, sometime it just happened, so all three are possible. But most importantly you should go to find. The initial stage is that you regard as the ordinary teacher, because Guru is somebody that from whom you can learn. There are a lot of qualification to be a Guru, it has to be more compassionate than you, higher knowledge than you, all sort of qualification. But in short, it is somebody who can inspire you to be a better person, bring along into the Path of liberation. Even you see that but you are not convince he/ she is your Guru, then what you can do is that to regards he/ she as a respected teacher, then you learn and study from the person, then you will see the rest of quality and rest of qualification. There are ten over qualification on Guru, and you will start to see that this person is an object of your respect, is your liberator, is the one who can guide you, bringing you along to liberation, and whenever you see, you think, you hear the name, it is also inspire in your mind. One day when you are convinced, then you regards him/ her as your Guru.
It is not necessary for Guru to say that ‘I accept you as disciple’, it is not necessary. Your heart is the principal to regard that person as Guru, then you devote, then that is your Buddha. It doesn’t matter that person is ordinary person or enlightened being, female or male, poor or rich, but for you, is the Buddha. You devote to him/ her as Buddha, that will definitely bring you to enlightenment.
It is good to check, sometime on the first meeting, maybe you find very interesting, or introduce through your friend that this Guru is very good and very wonderful, then you commit, but rather you should learn, it is very necessary to learn. Therefore those very short time visiting Guru are very dangerous, because most of the time they do initiation, anyway there will be one subject talking about initiation, vows, oral transmission, and how do you come into conclusion on the commitment of Guru and disciple, there will be one day lecture talking about that.
Here it is a very serious matter for new student to meet with new Guru, and especially following the rumor that this Guru is very high and respected, but who know that you might not have the karmic affinity, and if you happen to commit but later on see fault and criticize, it is a huge heavy negative karma. So the best thing is that you live a life together, and best way is to learn from that person, then observe for 10 or 20 years, the moment you convinced that this is your Guru, from that day, even people say that you make a worse decision in the whole world, it cannot be destructed, this is your Buddha, then your enlightenment is 100% guarantee, this poor little Guru will be able to bring you to enlightenment, even if it is really ordinary. In fact, this is the fist step, it is so important. I can see that many people criticize their Guru, they don’t devote properly, and this is not healthy, and I can also say that it is not their fault, most of the time is their friend’s fault, because the friends themselves is not mature, they don’t know how to choose Guru, and they just throw everybody into that kind of category.
In Malaysia I didn’t meet much, but in Singapore at one
stage it is like a transit airport for Lamas, so when Lamas go to Taiwan, they
also go through Singapore, go to Europe, also go through Singapore, go to America
also go through Singapore, all the Lamas from Tibet, India, everybody transit
Therefore I can say that Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s center is very lucky because we try to educate, for me, I am just an ordinary person who come here to lead discussion, if I go back after 3 years and you forget me… but I hope I don’t forget you, because it is like going to college, after you learn you forget about your teacher, it happened! But for this it is ok. At least there are time to educate yourself. Like Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche don’t just send any monk to do puja, He didn’t send me here to lead puja, He asked me to go educate people in Dharma, educate Lam Rim and Buddha’s teaching, He didn’t ask me to lead puja, sleep and stay, He didn’t say that. But many Center maybe somehow due to collective karma, is difficult to get teacher, even though FPMT Centers are under Rinpoche’s guidance, His focus is to educate, and He select the people whom He wants to send, you can say that there is a reliable person in whom can bring about your connection with you and your Guru, but even for that, you need to observe.
Let put myself as an example, you need to observe me, my speech, if possible even my mind, my physical action, whether this person can trust or not, you observe for 1 or 2 years, even whatever I say, you don’t have to make conclusion, but whatever Dharma advice I give, you have to accept. But such as like if I ask you that because Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche is my Guru so you have to be Rinpoche’s disciple, so next year when Rinpoche comes, you have to be his disciple, in fact I cannot simply say like that. What I have to do is that I have to educate you on who Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche is, who His Holiness the Dalai Lama is, and if you see they have the qualification and you are convinced with that, then when they come, you can devote to them, so I am kind of like a bridge.
But sometime in between, your Dharma brother or sister is too kind, they take you so fast to here and there and end up with ten Gurus when you come back. Then commented that this Guru come here for fundraising, making you headache so you give up, then another guru sitting on high throne but in fact it is not like that. All the blames come to me, then I asked how does this things happened? And the replied come that it is because of your dear friend. So what can I said? You committed the cause so you have to experience the result.
As I said, in Singapore in previous time, many people get difficult, in certain case it ends up so much disappointment and people even give up refuge, it happened. You know Buddha, Dharma, Sangha is the sole refuge, so you give your heart completely to the person but the person completely disappointed you, of course you will be ready to give up everything, it happened!
Rinpoche said that His main purpose to set up Center is to educate people in Dharma, it is for education. Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama praises Lama Zopa Rinpoche that His Center is not really fancy, like big house and big temple, it is simple but He is putting so much effort to educate. Rinpoche has to get about 200 over teachers because He has 200 over Centers. He has to go and find, and it is very difficult to find. I think this is very good.
For you people, you should feel very comfortable, I am
just a discussion leader, I am not your Guru. My responsibility is that I have
to make sure that I tell you the right motivation, but sometime my English
problem it may come into mistake, also to have sincere heart to serve you
people, and to have confident on what I say, and every single word I need to
have back support and quote from Buddha, so I need to have a source for every
single thing, because this is Dharma, this is not a normal language study. And
if I happen to do a mistake, your whole map will be in wrong direction. You suppose
to go to Amitabha pure land, but you totally being lead to
Question: Sometime the Guru doesn’t even know the disciple because there are so many disciples?
Geshe la: That’s why you need to practice Guru Devotion. If you practice Guru Devotion, you should see Guru as omniscience, isn’t it? Omniscience mind see every single existence, for a handful of disciple, sure He can see, sure no problem, that’s not our worry.
Also it doesn’t matter whether Guru knows you or not, your purpose of devoting to Guru is to practice. Who practice? Not him! You have to practice! Practice what? To develop your heart. Guru is to inspire you to be more compassionate. For example, you meet the Guru two days ago and now you become much more compassionate, every day to day, step by step developing your heart, that’s the whole purpose.
Today we have a lot of questions, that is very good!
Transcript and lightly
edited by Ven.Osel of
2008 SPIRITUAL PROGRAMME
LOSANG DRAGPA BUDDHIST SOCIETY
Spiritual Advisor & Guru: Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Resident Teacher: Geshe Tenzin Zopa
Buddhist Foundation Course Semester 1
7.Learn to Differentiate between initiation, oral transmission, commentary and lecture etc.
By Geshe Tenzin Zopa on 19th March 2008 @ Losang Dragpa Buddhist Society, PJ
We should set a right motivation as stated in The Graduated Path to Enlightenment – Lam Rim. If any of you is a new comer, you can set a simple motivation in bodhicitta by thinking and inspiring your heart that the purpose of your life is to bring the everlasting happiness which is totally free from entire suffering within myself and all mother sentient beings who at this very moment is completely dominated by the three types of suffering in samsara. So for this purpose I seek refuge from Guru Shakyamuni Buddha by remembering all His qualities such as the Ten Power, Five Wisdoms and all different quality of enlightenment. Then generate full faith and conviction that the Buddha definitely can liberate myself and all other living beings from the entire ocean of samsara. And in order to derive the Buddha’s blessing, I will call the name by reciting the mantra of Shakyamuni Buddha,
Tayatha Om Muni Muni Maha Muniye Soha x7
Today subject is to talk about The Difference Between Initiation, Commentary, Oral Transmission, Vow and General Lecture. It is to talk about their definition and their important stage in order to actualize the different purposes.
First of all, the subject is very important for serious Dharma practitioner to know. The reason is that the root of all realization is your guru. Relying on your guru is base on your connection within the different type of teachings, it is not just mainly on word to rely somebody as guru then you can gain enlightenment, that is not the way. In order to actualize the foundation of your enlightenment, you have to actualize the practice of Guru Devotion within your mental continuum. In order to do that, you have to first find a Guru.
How does one become your Guru?
There are different stages and aspects in searching for one’s Guru. At the same time, due to the lack of knowledge, many people get into the conclusion on relying on one’s Guru by committing the commitment base on different teaching such as initiation. Once one committed to receive an initiation from somebody, without any second thought, the person naturally become one’s Guru. On second incident, without any second thought that one fall into the conclusion of Guru-disciple relationship is that by receiving oral transmission. And thirdly is by receiving commentary, as well as by receiving vows.
The purpose of having Guru is to receive the blessing of realization. In order to receive the blessing from realization, one has to devote in both mental and outer aspect such as physical respect or verbal praises, as well as living a life or using one’s precious human rebirth to just serve, fulfill and not disappoint Guru’s holy mind.
Therefore because we are ordinary person, we don’t have clairvoyant and omniscient mind, at the same time, in the environment such as in Malaysia or in foreign country, the time with one’s Guru is very limit, to learn about one’s Guru or the person who is initially one’s teacher or discussion leader, there is very limit time. Especially one comes into conclusion base on one’s own interest, it could be due the lack of one’s knowledge that one brings the decision to realize somebody as one’s Guru through the attraction of fame, or high throne or any recommendation base on other’s friends interest, then it ends up with lot of criticism arise toward the Guru because of not acceptance the manner, behavior and qualification of your teacher or discussion leader. Therefore it is very important for us to know the basis circumstances on how we fall into the conclusion of Guru-disciple relationship. As long as you engage into initiation commitment, naturally it becomes Guru-disciple relationship. As long as you commit to receive oral transmission, commentary or vow, naturally you commit to Guru-disciple relationship.
The meaning of Initiation
What does it mean by receiving initiation? Initiation is the sequence of practice or ritual which provides permission for oneself to practice different Deity Yoga. It could be within one of the four Tantra school such as 1) Action Tantra 2) Kriya Tantra 3) Yoga Tantra and 4) Highest Yoga Tantra.
‘Jenang’ is the initiation of blessing of body, speech and mind. Many people have doubt that whether ‘Jenang’ is in the category of initiation or not? It is in the category of initiation. As long as one receives ‘Jenang’, naturally one is committed one’s relationship with the particular teacher in Guru and disciple relationship. ‘Jenang’ is a simple initiation in the form of blessing by the deity through the Guru or teacher bestowing the purification practice of body, speech and mind to the student and actualize the divine body, speech and mind of the student by the deity through the teacher.
As for the Great Initiation, it involves the preparatory stage which is called ‘ta-gong’. This involve teaching on the preliminary practice, The Three Principal Aspect of the Path, analyzing one’s connection with deity through the sign like analyzing dream as well as analyzing one’s ability of conviction and faith on the first day before one gets into the actual initiation on the second day. Through the explanation on preliminary practices, one then looks into oneself on whether one is ready and qualify to accept the Great Initiation, and to commit the commitment given by the teacher? After that one can get into the conclusion on accepting the actual day initiation which is called ‘ngo-she’ - the actual performance of initiation. Some initiation takes two days, some take one day, it depends on the different lineage lama. When you take the Great Initiation, it involves four initiations, anyway I won’t go through the details here.
As long as one commits and presents with full decision to receive the initiation, one should participate in the ceremony. In the end of the session, one pledge to oneself and convince to oneself that ‘I have definitely receive the initiation, and I will follow exactly the comment of this particular teacher.’ That’s the moment that one committed one’s relationship with the particular teacher as Guru-disciple. On top of that one committed the relationship of Vajra Guru and Vajra disciple.
Why do we receive oral transmission?
With the inspiring motivation and understanding that by receiving oral transmission, it will bring benefit in future when one’s achieve the Path of Preparation - whatever the oral transmission one received into ear senses, it will actualize as direct understanding on the meaning; whatever scripture one received from oral transmission, it doesn’t matter on how many volumes of scripture, one will actualize all the meaning, including the memory on word that one have heard during oral transmission. So by seeing this benefit, one attend the oral transmission ceremony, and in the end of the session, one have the mind of satisfaction that one have gained and received the oral transmission. In that very moment one committed one’s relationship with that particular teacher as Guru-disciple, but here it is not necessary as Vajra Guru and Vajra disciple.
With the motivation to inspires to learn the meaning of scripture, one comes to receive the benefit of explanation by particular teacher, and in the end of the session, one feels convince and satisfy that one has received the meaning of the commentary on particular text, that’s the moment one commit one’s relationship with that particular teacher as Guru and disciple.
As far as concern with vow, when one come to relate with particular teacher with the motivation of either restoring the vow or to receive new vow, including refuge vow, or 5 lay vows, or Bodhisattva vow, or Tantric vow, or initiation vow, or sangha vow such as novice vow, or pre-ordination vow, or fully ordained sangha vow, at the end of the ceremony, if one gain the satisfaction in one’s mind that one has receive and achieve the vow from the particular teacher, that’s the moment that one’s relationship with the particular teacher become Guru-disciple.
Just by attending the ceremony will not receive initiation
If you come to attend initiation which is introduced by your friend saying that this lama is very powerful, who can able to enlightened you within 2 hours after bestow the vase on your head, then you feel inspired so much and attended the initiation. Through the ceremony, you find out that this is not possible, even at the last stage you still find that what your friend has commented to you, it is only to inspire you but in fact there is no way the teacher can enlighten you within the session. So in the end you feel this is non-sense, and you return to home. In fact you didn’t commit your relationship with this particular teacher as Guru-disciple. Because first of all you haven’t receive the initiation, just by attending the initiation you will not receive the initiation.
Qualification to receive initiation
In order to receive initiation, what sort of
qualification one needs to actualize? First is the motivation to receive the
initiation, at the same time, one need to know and recognize the deity. If it
is Tara initiation, but one confuse that Tara initiation as Chenrezig
initiation, then one will not received the
During the ceremony, in the initial stage, the Guru will explain the preliminary practice especially the foundation practice such as renunciation, bodhicitta and emptiness. Even though one might not have any education on that, but in that particular session, one have to follow and put full concentration on Guru’s explanation, at least one have to follow exactly as what the Guru explained.
Then the Guru will also provide many sequences on the
repetition on mantra, request, supplication. All the time it happened that
during initiation, there are many repetitions such as repetition on vow, if the
Guru ask you to repeat 3 times but you only repeat 2 times, it is incomplete,
then you will not purely receive the initiation. If the Guru ask you to repeat
3 times, you have to repeat 3 times. If the Guru ask you to visualize Tara on
top of your crown, you have to visualize
Why initiation is so powerful?
Initiation is so powerful, but why didn’t you even actualize the proper causal stage of enlightenment? During initiation, there is stages on actualizing causal stage of enlightenment and resultant stage of enlightenment. But why is it that you still fall into very ordinary aspect? It is because due to the lack of concentration when you receive initiation. Therefore the actual ceremony of initiation we have to focus on repetition and explanation from the Guru, and we have to follow exactly the guidance.
Receiving initiation is to completely surrender your body, speech and mind under the total guidance of the Guru
Initiation cannot be interpret base on Guru’s intelligent, in fact it is not only initiation ceremony, even receiving the vow, it has to be present in the ceremony base on the sequence of different step of practice. Therefore you have to follow the sequence step of practice on which the Guru guide you. If you miss that, then in fact you might end up in not receiving the initiation, not only that, at the end of the session, when the Guru ask a question on whether you have receive the initiation or not? You have to reply on the repetition that the Guru advice you to repeat. It is not just repeating the word but you have to feel from your heart that you have receive the initiation therefore you are expressing that you have received. This is one of the very very important part which is at the end of the session.
In every initiation, the Guru will ask,
‘tso-wei ji-tar ka-tsel-wa; di-tar tam-chye dag-gyi gyi’
‘tso-wei’ here refers to ‘Guru’ himself;
‘ji-tar ka-tsel-wa’ means ‘whatever the Guru advice or comment’
‘di-tar tam-chye dag-gyi gyi’ means that ‘every single thing I will do as it is, as what the Guru have commented.’
You have to express this from the depth of your heart.
This is the moment that you are completely surrender your body, speech and mind
in 100% total under the guidance from your Guru, and protection under your
Guru, and taking him as an object of your refuge. From that very moment, you
promise to follow and do all the samaya. If it involve Bodhisattva vow, your
samaya is to practice Bodhisattva vow. If it involve Tantric vow, your samaya
is to practice Tantric vow, that’s the moment you commit that you will do
exactly as what the Guru commented. If what the Guru commented or advice is to
live a life in Bodhisattva vow and Tantric vow, and if you happen to break the
Tantric vow before the end of the initiation, in fact it will become
incomplete. Because there is a session at the very end during the dedication
that you have to feel that you have definitely receive the initiation, and you
will live a life as commented, this is the ending of the final agreement, by
then you are genuinely, naturally, spontaneously, wholeheartedly become the
Vajra disciple, and the teacher become Vajra Guru. And the practice is that you
need to live a life on seeing the Guru in Tara if you received
The compulsory three conditions to receive complete initiation
So you see, the preliminary, actual and final practice, these three things have to be involved, if you miss the preliminary – the motivation and the cultivation on the teaching on Three Principal Aspect of the Path, it is incomplete; the actual process is like the repetition or visualization, if you miss this, then it is incomplete; at the end you have to surrender your body, speech and mind under the guidance of Guru, and to follow the samaya. The commitment is that you need to feel full confident that you have definitely receive the initiation, that kind of satisfaction you need to have. In Tibetan, we call it ‘tob-lo’, it is that ‘I have definitely obtained the initiation!’ This is very important for the end. Even if you have done all the preliminary and actual practice, but if in the end you didn’t gain ‘tob-lo’,
‘tob’ is gain;
‘lo’ is mind;
This is ‘the mind of gain’ in initiation to confirm that you have definitely receive initiation at any cost, so if you have these three things then you have received initiation.
Up to now you went through many different process of initiation, so you can look into yourself, if you find that any initiation that you didn’t do properly, then in future you educate yourself to receive proper initiation and follow the proper practice, then this Tantric initiation can become one of the most powerful practice to bring your enlightenment within one life time.
It is important to know the commitment before you take initiation
Guru will provide commitment such as doing sadhana or recitation on mantra or doing different practices, it is all up to the Guru, because he is your creator now. Maybe one Guru will say after received the Tara initiation to recite 21 times on the mantra but the other Guru might say have to recite 1 mala every day, so it is up to them, because you have already surrender yourself, so you have to accept it.
Here the important thing is that the organization or the Guru have to tell very clearly on what sort of the commitment are there before you come to the initiation, this is very important, otherwise the disciple will get into very difficult position. In conventional life, there is no time to do the commitment but at the same time if you don’t do then you break the samaya, so it is very important to know what sort of commitment are there. If you think that you cannot do the commitment, the best is not to take the initiation. If you take the initiation, that mean you must do the commitment, there is no short cut or excuse.
Requirement on receiving Oral Transmission
With the motivation of giving oral transmission, it is to read the text or reciting the prayer, it doesn’t require the student to understand the meaning, the requirement is that the student have to hear the recitation. That’s why in the previous class when we talk about the precious human rebirth, if we don’t have the proper ear senses, we will lose the greatest opportunity to receive oral transmission, because in order to receive oral transmission, you need to have the ear senses.
The great benefit on receiving oral transmission is that, whether it is recite in Tibetan or English or whatever, as long as you listen to whatever the Guru recite, that’s it!
Speciality in receiving Oral Transmission
The very special and extra ordinary benefit in receiving oral transmission is that in the Five Paths of the Mahayana Path, the first Path is Path of Accumulation, second one is Path of Preparation, then Path of Seeing, Path of Meditation and Path of No More Learning, when you reach the second Path on Path of Preparation, whatever oral transmission you received in the past, everything instantly actualize all the meaning, including the word, you will remember every single word that you have heard, there is no need to sit for memorization. Every single meaning and word you have heard you will be directly realized them, every thing become direct perception, that’s the most greatest and speciality in oral transmission.
So after you receive different mantra oral transmission, when you reach the Path of Preparation, every single word on the mantra you will remember and the meaning will directly reflect on your mind. If you happen to receive oral transmission on the whole Kangyur and Tengyur, the whole collection on Buddha’s teaching, when you achieve the Path of Preparation, 84,000 teaching will just realize in your mind. It is very rare though on this oral transmission, but if you have chance, it is a great opportunity.
One has to be very alert when receiving Oral Transmission
During oral transmission, if you fall asleep - gone! Gone case! Let say the oral transmission is 20 pages within 1 hour, but for 10 pages you are able to receive, after that maybe for the next 9 pages you fall asleep, then you lose, it become incomplete teaching. So when you gain the Path of Preparation, it become incomplete teaching, so you have to be very alert.
During oral transmission, even when you swallow your saliva, you have to swallow very gently, because when you swallow your saliva, there is an effect bring to your throat which can block the ear kennel inside, you will not realize but when you swallow your saliva, there is one single moment that block your ear kennel, even that you have to be alert when you swallow the saliva.
To receive Oral Transmission require you to hear the sound of the Guru
But here when you receive the oral transmission, it doesn’t require full concentration, this is very interesting, as long as you hear, as long as there is no blockage for your ear senses, that’s enough! So this mean that your eye can be looking here and there, or reading scripture, as long as your ear can still hear the sound although your eye sense is distracted by other thing because this is just one portion of your senses, also if the feeling is distracted by other thing or one portion of mind is distracted by other things, it is ok, but as long as you hear the sound, it is consider that you receive the oral transmission.
Once your ear kennel is block, then cannot! Even if you block for one word, that mean it is incomplete. For example ‘Bodhisattva’, suddenly during the oral transmission you swallow your saliva, and you didn’t hear the ‘dhi’ but only hear ‘Bodh-sattva’, unless you get chance to receive again, then is ok, but if there is only one chance to receive oral transmission from those who has the lineage, then we have to put that much effort.
At the end of the session, when Guru make dedication after the oral transmission, that’s the time that one has to feel that ‘yes, I have definitely receive oral transmission.’
The important points on receiving Oral Transmission
It is very important to know what subject, how many pages, the text composer, and of course you have to know the Lama also. The master have to tell you that he has read from here to this page, and from tomorrow onward he will continue from where. But if you are also carrying the text, that mean you are also reading together, then the master is not necessary to tell you where to stop and where to start because you should also know already. Otherwise the master should tell on which subject, and from which page to which page, these are the requirement during oral transmission.
During oral transmission, it doesn’t require visualization. If you do, of course is good, also it doesn’t require understanding on the meaning on any form of teaching, as long as you have motivation to receive the oral transmission by understanding its benefit, that it is for the accumulation of merit and particularly when you obtain the Path of Preparation, you will actualize the direct meaning on all the transmission.
During the actual oral transmission session, you provide your ear senses with all the conditions that I have just mentioned, then in conclusion you should feel that you have receive it. The moment you commit that you have definitely receive the oral transmission, that particular person naturally become your Guru.
Requirement of physical, verbal and mental’s respect to receive vow
It is the same thing for receiving vow, you need to know what vow that you are receiving. If you are receiving refuge vow, you need to know that you are going to receive the refuge vow. It is not necessary to know the detail of the vow, but you need to know that you are committing to take refuge vow, then you need to know the person on whoever is granting you the vow, and you have to convince yourself that by receiving the vow, this person is going to be your Guru in respect of your vow. Then you inspire to take the vow, and follow the ceremony, once you sit for the ceremony, you cannot miss the repetition. Receiving vow require the repetition, also cannot miss the visualization and explanation, so here the requirement you need to understand is that whatever the Guru provides the vow, you need to understand.
Such as refuge vow, if you attend the ceremony and you don’t understand what is going on, you will not receive the refuge vow. You must understand the every single detail of the vow that you are receiving, so the master have to explain every single details on the vow until the disciple understand and convince, then follow the different sequence of the ceremony which require prostration, making offering, different form of respect in verbal, physical and mental.
Verbal requirement is that if possible to express the name of master, if not at least you need to reflect the master while recite the supplication prayer during the ceremony. Physically need to perform different sequence of prostration or putting palm together. During initiation you require to stand up and make prostration to different direction, certain initiation is to put palm together, so all those respect is requirement from the disciple, but the master have to explain. In the end you have to feel that you receive the vow and have a sense of joy, in that very moment, the relationship with the master become Guru-disciple. If it is tantric vow, the relationship is Vajra Guru and Vajra disciple. If you only receive refuge vow, it is just Guru-disciple relationship and connection.
As for commentary, you need to express from your heart that you are going to receive the explanation on the Buddha’s scripture such as Lam Rim, or receive the commentary on Lam Rim by this master, that is the motivation. Then you participate in the teaching. During the teaching you reflect the meaning according to the explanation, in the end you feel that ‘yes, I have definitely receive the commentary from this guru.’ That’s the moment you commit your relationship with the master as Guru-disciple.
The different of attending General Lecture and receiving commentary
Just by receiving explanation, it is not necessary and require to have the connection of Guru-disciple. Let say now you come to listen to this teaching that I am explaining now which is the Buddha’s teaching, so you come here without motivation, so the first requirement is not there already, secondly you only come here for knowledge, you regard this as discussion, sharing the knowledge between Dharma brother and sister, or you just come here to listen on what sort of comment I will give on this topic, maybe you already know much more than me, but you want to know how much I can say about this topic, so you just investigate. Or with pure motivation that you wish to know about all these different topics therefore you want to learn from this particular person, so you come here to listen, then in the end we dedicate the merit for whatever purpose of bodhicitta or whatever you like to make, then we say thank you and good night, so this is just a lecture. It doesn’t commit the Guru-disciple relationship, it is just an exchange on knowledge.
How does the master become your Guru after receiving commentary
In order to actualize Guru-disciple relationship, you need to have the motivation to accept this particular master as your Guru of commentary. The commentary is the explanation of teaching, that’s it! So you want to receive this explanation and regard this master as your Guru, and in the end you should feel that how fortunate you have receive the commentary. If it is your first time, then you should feel that how fortunate that you have establish your relationship with this particular master as your Guru, then it become the Guru-disciple, otherwise it doesn’t become the connection with Guru-disciple. These are very important to know.
It is very necessary and important for new comer when you relate with Buddha dharma teaching with somebody, the best is not to commit yourself accepting as Guru-disciple in the beginning, it is always safer for your own benefit as well as a true respect to the master from whom you learned. You can participate in the lecture, show sincere respect from body, speech and mind while learning from this person until you are convinced that this person can inspired you in the practice, bring protection to you, brighten your life, and you are convince with all his/ her knowledge and compassion.
Who can be your Guru?
Guru definitely require to have much more compassion than you, Guru also means is somebody who has much more knowledge than you, Guru definitely required more skill to bring benefit for others, Guru require the qualification on others are more important than himself or herself. By analyzing while learning from this particular person, you experience the positive and virtue part of the Guru and it convinced your faith to accept this particular person as your Guru, then that’s very good. Otherwise in the beginning you regard as Guru but meanwhile you start to see fault and doesn’t provide the need of your spiritual practice, then if you feel disappointed, it is very heavy negative karma. Rather in the beginning, you should regard as a respected teacher and learned, and one day when you are convinced then you regard as Guru.
Guru is your liberator, without him, everything is impossible!
The thing is that if you regard and have faith that the person is your Guru, then you receive teaching from him/ her, definitely it has greater effect due to Guru-disciple relationship. When you devote to somebody as Guru, that mean you definitely have faith. We said that this faith is the root of your virtue, and the root of your enlightenment. When you receive even one word as explanation or commentary, one word of oral transmission as mantra, one simple vow of not killing, or even ‘jenang’ on Kriya Tantra which is the initiation on blessing the body, speech and mind, because of your relationship of Guru-disciple, the merit that you will accumulate and the benefit that you will gain to bring blessing to your heart, it is zillion and billion greater benefit, numberless greater benefit. That’s why your Guru is your sole refuge, is your liberator, is your foundation of all good quality, your guru is your yidam, your guru is your daka and dakini, protector, dharmapala and everything! Your guru is your father, mother, all the dearest one!
Once you commit your relationship with that particular person as Guru-disciple, from that very moment, it doesn’t matter whether the Guru is qualified or not qualified, whether it is pure or not pure, whether it is ordinary or enlightened, black or white, small or big, whether live in celestial mansion or live on street, whether act like a king or act like a street dog, it is nothing matter. The matter is that he is your liberator, he is your Buddha and your yidam and only he can liberate you, without him there is no liberation, without him everything is impossible.
In Guru Puja it said,
Kyo-ni La-ma kyo-ni yi-dam
Kyo-ni ka-dro cho-kyong-te
Deng-ne zung-te jang-chup bar-du
Kyo-min kyab-zhan mi-tsol-way
Di-dang bar-do chi-meh thar-yang
Thug-jey chag-kyu zung-dzo-la
Si-zhi jig-drol ngo-drub kun-tsol
Ten-gyi drog-dzo bar-cho-zung
You are my Gurus, you are my yidams,
You are the dakinis and Dharma protectors
From now until enlightenment I shall seek no other refuge than you.
In this life, the bardo and all future lives,
Hold me with your hook of compassion;
Free me from samsara and nirvana’s fears,
Grant all attainments,
Be my constant friend and guard me from interferences
If your mind is not clear, even Buddha appear in front of you, you can’t see him.
The above is true, it is fact. The problem is that it is easy to commit, it is easy to relate somebody as Guru, but after that there is so dangerous of criticizing, fail in faith, seeing negative in Guru, and this negative is 100% projection of your own negative. The negative appearance from your Guru is 100% projection of your own negative. The Guru could be totally ordinary, but in the state that relate to you as Guru-disciple, whatever negative appeared, it is only your projection, there is no negative in Guru because he is Buddha. He is your Buddha, your yidam. Again here your illusion, your superstition, your deluded mind is the one who fail to see the enlightened one, fail to see all the qualities of Buddha, the failure is you, it is not the object – the Guru.
In order to be secure on this matter, it is always recommended that for you to relate the particular master as teacher first, then you study and live a life together for many years, and you observe until your heart is convince, total unshakable, your faith is total unmovable, this is regard in a more safer way. But this doesn’t mean that you must check and keep carry on and on because your life is indefinite, the time of death is really indefinite, it is really uncertain. If before you rely on somebody, you happen to die, then you lost the greatest opportunity because only this precious human rebirth is able to find the precious Guru. In case if we are born in hell realm or other realm, even in god realm, there is no opportunity for us to find such wonderful Guru, and that Guru is the manifestation on Buddha Vajradhara. Buddha Vajradhara himself stated that in degenerated time, due to the lack of merit of degenerated being, he will manifest in ordinary form, so we totally miss the chance, we miss the chance to connect with the liberator even the liberator is in front of you. So both recommendation is relevant, important, we have to decide by ourselves, it depends on individual.
The story of Buddha Maitreya and Asanga prove that as long as your mind is not clear, even Buddha appear in front of you, you will never see the Buddha. Asanga meditated to see Buddha Maitreya for 12 years, in fact Buddha Maitreya is ever in front of him together for 12 years, but Asanga only able to see Buddha Maitreya after 12 years. So the matter here is that it proved as long as your mind is dominated by delusion, you will not be able to see even you analyze somebody for 12 years. The matter here is on your mind, you analyze your mind, if your mind is ready, if you are firm enough, then it is beneficial to devote.
A single syllable from the Guru can be a liberator for you
Once you devote to somebody as Guru, is it necessary to receive the entire set of the teaching of Buddha? If you don’t receive the complete set, can that Guru regard as incomplete? The answer is ‘No’. As long as you regard somebody as the Guru, it is not the matter on how many times you receive the teaching, how many number of initiation you receive. It is not the matter on how many times, how many number and how many volume, the matter is your faith, and your reliance on Guru. Even one single mantra such as Om Mani Padme Hung, if he give you oral transmission, it is sufficient and enough to tie your enlightenment and clear light mind to his enlightened mind and bring up to enlightenment. In order for this Guru to enlighten you, it is not necessary that the Guru have to provide you the 84,000 teaching, all the volume in many days and many months, that’s not necessary. The things is even one single syllable teaching such as a syllable ‘NA’, or let say ‘Om Mani Padme Hung’, it contains the blessing of 84,000 teaching, the commentary of 84,000 teaching, the oral transmission of 84,000 teaching, the initiation of 84,000 teaching. The six syllable mantras contain the entire aspect of Buddha’s teaching. If you connect your spiritual path with this particular Guru and this particular Guru happen to give only one single ‘Om Mani Padme Hung’ oral transmission, that could be the liberator for you. Here it means that it is not necessary to receive every single sequence of teaching.
Our Guru such as Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche have to take care many Centers, we see him only once every 2-3 years, and his time to stay here is very limit, let say only 1 week or the most is 10 days, the teaching what we received is something like previous year the Tara initiation, but our time of death is uncertain, some people already leave to next life after the teaching, then we might find it is incomplete, but never mind, it is complete. As long as you have connected with the enlightened Guru by the condition of the complete mature faith and conviction, that is the complete cause to bring to enlightenment.
How to generate complete mature faith in your Guru?
Therefore in order to mature your innocent faith and conviction, it needs lots of effort. You need to study, contemplate on Buddha’s teaching, meditate, and put so much effort in order to bring about the complete mature faith, therefore as far as concern in relate to Guru Devotion, or somebody as Guru, it is very necessary that you have to learn. And whatever teaching you receive you need to contemplate, and whatever contemplation you have done, you try to habituate your mind, then you have to see whether this teaching really benefit or not?
Sometime if you don’t have karmic affinity with that particular person, although the teaching is very elaborate and vast, but it doesn’t hit your heart, but certain teaching that is very simple and limit, but it hits your heart, so here again it is necessary for you to understand the fundamental important is to learn, to meditate and contemplate, then you convince yourself with all the reasons, then you devote.
The advantage and disadvantage on devoting to one’s Guru
Once you devote, you have to put effort all the time to not encounter any misconception, or failure in faith. If you fail, if you generate misconception, there is danger of degenerating your practice, and also accumulate negative karma, especially if the relation with Guru is to do with Tantra. If the relation is between Vajra Guru and Vajra disciple, then it is stated that it will bring the karma to be born into the Vajra hell, that’s very heavy negative karma. But if you able to devote purely, then the benefit is that the Guru can able to provide the right teaching, prescription to actualize your enlightenment within one life time, so you see the advantage is very powerful, and the disadvantage is also very powerful. For this reason, we have to devote with full understanding.
In fact there are not many things to say or clarify on this topic, in the very beginning of the class, I thought to do more on question and answer because many of you already into Buddhist practice from long time, and many of you have many Gurus, so if you have any difficulty or doubt, we can do question and answer. But anyway, whatever I say is just for rough idea to get some information.
Question & Answer:
Question: Other than taking refuge vow, if you don’t take initiation vow, oral transmission or commentary, does that mean we don’t have a Guru?
Geshe la: Just for refuge vow, it is already your Guru.
There is certain occasion during the refuge ceremony, the refuge master will provide an option in one session where you have to fill up 2 words - one is just to participate the refuge ceremony for your knowledge, another one is to commit yourself to take the refuge, so there are 2 options. When the master explain it clearly, you can either just participate in the refuge ceremony or you can choose. There is a word call ‘lo-pon’, and another word ‘tsun-pa’. If you are regarding the particular master as Guru, then you need to add ‘lo-pon’. For certain master, whether they do or not, I don’t know, but when we do the refuge ceremony, we recommend the choice to the participants. If you only participate for your education, you can participate, there is nothing wrong as far as concern for the Refuge vow and Five Lay Vows.
As for Sangha vows, you require the ground rule that when you come here, you have to accept the vow. For example during Nyung Nay practice, we do take Eight Mahayana Precepts, for the beginner on the first day, one of the senior sangha or the somebody who possess the Eight Mahayana Precepts does grant the Eight Mahayana Precepts, but that is in the form of reminder, in fact you can receive Eight Mahayana Precepts from altar and statue, so if you are attending Refuge ceremony for knowledge, then you have to add this ‘tsun-pa’ word. But if you are committing as Guru-disciple, then you have to add ‘lo-pon’ word. So in order to accept as Guru, you don’t have to receive oral transmission, commentary or initiation, just for one it is already done.
Question: Would you advice to the follower to take initiation or oral transmission by various Guru in different Center or stick to your own Guru and Center?
Geshe la: Of course individual has their own choice, but just a suggestion and very pure advice, if you reflect yourself as a very fragile person, very limit in understanding of Dharma, very limit faith and not strong faith, then I recommend you to just stick on one Guru. Especially if you already know your Guru, like our Center here, we have our own Guru – His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, so we just refer to them because they are qualified, this is enough and you don’t have to go to search for other Guru.
But of course if your faith can manage it is fine. As I mentioned that if you happen to fail your faith, that is very heavy negative karma, rather better secure your limited faith which is much more beneficial than having faith to many masters but in the end you fail, because that create such heavy negative karma. So it is better to stick with one Guru yet at the same time you have to devote to qualified master which I have mentioned all the qualification.
Lama Atisha has 150 Gurus, but he manage with his faith, he devote every single Guru as Buddha. Within his Guru, there are different label, some are enlightened, some are ordinary, some are the follower of lower view than him. Lama Atisha himself follows Madhyamika view which is the highest view, but his Guru Lama Serlingpa follow Cittamatra view. So from the view, Lama Serlingpa is much more lower in view. But Lama Atisha’s purpose to relate with Lama Serlingpa is for the purpose of the blessing of bodhicitta, because Lama Serlingpa has obtained Bodhicitta mind and is a living great master of bodhicitta who really transform Lama Atisha’s heart into bodhicitta heart. It is because of that, since that practice is principal, so Lama Atisha regard Lama Serlingpa as root Guru within all the 150 Gurus, and without failing in faith in all the 149 Gurus. Every single Guru he respect as seeing them as Buddha, so he manage and it is the greatest benefit, and he extracted knowledge from all different Gurus without fail in faith.
But in our cases, we do go and collect knowledge from different Gurus, and we commit with different master as Guru-disciple, but most of the time we don’t devote to them. Let say we receive initiation from this Lama, the next day we even forget the name of the Lama, or forget the date on the initiation, sometime even don’t know what exactly the commitment is given, but then you already committed to regard him as your Guru but at the same time you don’t even know what sort of thing need to follow up. So this mean that you are creating good cause but at the same time you are creating negative also, in that kind of cases, so better be careful.
Relate to this question, in Tibetan Buddhism, there are many tradition such as Nyingma, Kagyur, Sakya and Gelug. So there are many different Lamas come to visit, the Kagyur Lama is giving Kalachakra initiation, and Sakya Lama also giving Kalachakra initiation, and Gelug Lama also giving Kalachakra initiation. Some students came to ask my opinion that whether they can go to receive Sakya Kalachakra initiation or not because a His Holiness is giving Kalachakra initiation? My answer is that I don’t know. Because I don’t even know what sort of commitment the Sakya Kalachakra provide because I never receive the initiation. But what I know is that I receive the initiation from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I know all the commitments, and if whatever help you need, then I can provide to you.
So if your faith manage and if you have the devotion, as well as you know what is going on, it is up to you, for me without knowing your karmic relationship, I cannot stop you. But I also want to tell you that after receive initiation, please don’t come to me if you got problem. I already said that you have to refer to the Guru in whoever you receive the initiation, because you receive initiation from this lama and now you come to ask me about the practice, it is very unfair, so I said to please don’t come to me. One thing is that I might not know about the practice, second thing is that since the commitment is given by this Guru, this Guru might have his own specialist on his practice, so you should 100% follow his way. Even if I happen to give right explanation or comment on the teaching, but it could be in different aspect, then it doesn’t benefit much.
Sometime this kind of circumstances happen, so I will said that if you are ready, it is up to you. But who stay on here? I am the one who stay here. Those Lama today they give initiation, tomorrow they leave, but the problem come from next day onward, and then you come to me, so I said better don’t do that. I encounter many like that. So it is very difficult to say. You should really check carefully, you must at least have the understanding on the Three Principal Aspect of the Path in order to receive any initiation, that’s what I can provide as an advice. And the lama who give initiation has the full responsible for the requirement for the disciple.
Question: As for oral transmission, can we receive from CD?
Geshe la: Cannot, you have to receive from direct oral lineage, directly from person to person.
Question: Even for Guru Devotion? It also must be directly from person to person, it doesn’t matter if the Guru is alive or pass away?
Geshe la: Once you devote, even if the Guru pass away, then never mind, you should continue to devote. As for this one, I am not sure how it works, because I encounter my late master Geshe Lama Konchog, after he passed away, he has the Lam Rim teaching book in Chinese language from Taiwan, the books also go into China, at one stage, in Taiwan as well as in China, somehow people’s karma, they just devote to Geshe Lama Konchog base on this book and they regard him as Guru, they didn’t even rely on other Guru. They do discussion, and their sole Guru is Geshe Lama Konchog, this is what they express, but whether it is really happen or not, I don’t know, and I have no idea. This is a good question.
Because they didn’t have direct contact, they didn’t commit any form of such as vow or oral transmission or direct instruction or initiation, they just rely on book. So it is better that I say I don’t know, I think you can ask your Gurus on how this actually work? As for oral transmission, then one cannot receive from CD. But just to regard somebody as Guru, whether can or not, I have no idea.
Question: Let say if you receive initiation from Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the commitment is to recite 1 mala on Medicine Buddha mantra, later if you take the same initiation from your Center teacher, and the commitment is also to do 1 mala of the Medicine Buddha mantra, so do you have to do 2 malas?
Geshe la: No, one mala can do. If in case the other teacher provide you 2 malas, then you have to add 1 extra mala. Also it is like when you receive initiation from different lama, most of the time they provide you the commitment to do retreat, such as 100,000 retreat, then the next time another lama provide you to do 400,000 retreat, so you don’t have to do 500,000 retreat, you do 400,000 that’s enough. Also when you receive initiation now, later you keep receiving the same initiation again and again, and every time they will recommend you the commitment to do, so you don’t have to do it again and again, one commitment is sufficient for all the commitment.
Once you have receive the Chenrezig initiation, in fact it is better to receive again and again, it is always the more the better, you receive the initiation again and again, and the commitment is still the original one. As for teaching, it is also the same, and also the same for oral transmission, commentary, you can receive again and again, and it is better to receive again and again.
Question: Since our Lamas come here so rare, if we were to organize a video conference online for transmission on initiation, is it possible?
la: I think this
is very difficult to answer. I have the doubt because in a few years past, in
Taiwan there was a huge earth quake, this is in my own experience, at that time
Geshe Lama Konchog was in Taiwan, and Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche was in America,
there was a prediction that there will be another heavy earth quake, so
Rinpoche check in observation and it came out that if Geshe Lama Konchog can
give Eight Mahayana Precepts to the whole Taiwan, then it can prevent the earth
quake. So Rinpoche requested one of the disciple there who has the ability to
provide the TV channel and they advertise from TV and newspaper that this Lama
is giving the Eight Mahayana Precepts in early morning, they broadcast in whole
Question: As regard with the TV station, I did correspond with Ven.Holly, it is said that the Lama has to be in the same room together and see each other.
Geshe la: But let say here when Rinpoche comes, the hall here is completely full, so some people have to stay upstair and we put a TV upstair, then how does it works?
Question: I think it is about motivation?
Geshe la: I think motivation alone is not enough. If that is enough, it is quite easy to answer, everything is motivation.
Question: Because some motivation is not strong…
Geshe la: Oh… strong motivation, then everything is possible? I think we still need clarification on this. So for this few questions, please note down, this will clarify many doubts, when your Guru comes, it is the best to ask your Guru directly.
Question: When we receive initiation from Rinpoche, some time we don’t get the commentary from Rinpoche, so is it ok if we seek on other books for commentary?
Geshe la: Can.
Question: In relation to Guru, does the Guru have to be a Rinpoche or have to be a Geshe in order to be a Guru?
Geshe la: Rinpoche, Geshe, ordinary monk or nun, even novice monk or nun, or fully ordained monk or nun, even lay person, woman or man, as I mentioned earlier, it is mainly depend on you. Somebody who inspire you, the most important thing is who can inspire you and to sustain the inspiration, also always there for you and encourage your spiritual path and always there for you for your purification of past negative karma. That is I think the best. For that, it is not necessary that the Lama have to be alive. I can tell you one small story.
Such as my late master Geshe Lama Konchog, in any circumstances, in the happiest moment and in the saddest moment, he come into my mind the first, just naturally, without any force and effort, he comes. Sometime I lose my mind, this mean in the sense that sometime suddenly I feel like doing negative thing because thought arise and action start to form, but instantly it is like I am completely surrounded by him, it is almost like I can hear his voice saying, ‘woei, this cannot do…’. I experience this all the way. Here you can see that your Guru is your protection, he is your everything, he protect you, he help you when you are sad. Also like participate in your happiness, every single aspect, and all the time you are inspired by him. It doesn’t matter how cruel you are, but still all the time try to inspire you for virtue act.
I think it is very necessary that in our life we should have at least one person like this, but if you have many that is wonderful. I think that is the purpose of having a Guru in our heart. The one person who leave so strong imprint, and that doesn’t matter whether it is Rinpoche, or ordinary being, or whoever, as long as your karmic affinity is there, it is very powerful, it is much more powerful than the outer aspect of discipliner and anything. Then either you lock yourself inside the room or you stay outside the room, it is the same, you are really true person because you assume that inside the room no human being can see you, but the moment your thought click, this Guru just come in, it is very scary, you know? It is like suddenly he block you, it is so amazing.
One time I was traveling from Sera Monastery to Banglore
during my study time, we have a group of monk, about 5-6 of us, that’s during
our holiday, so everybody suggest that maybe we wear shirt and short to go for
holiday. But if we were to wear it in the monastery and if the discipliner see,
then we will be kick out, for sure we will be kick out, so we plan to go to bus
station around mid-night, there is one place call Kushalnagar. So when
everybody sleep, we wear short and with back pack, we go for holiday. We hire
the small auto rikshawl, from Monastery about 20 minutes to reach the bus station,
otherwise even in that small city of
Then in my room, I try to change to shirt & short, but ‘woooorr…..’ it is like the whole room is completely fill with Geshe la, until my heart is bumping and beating. I try to avoid by thinking on other things and doing other things, but I can’t avoid, it ends up that I have to go with robe. So I got scolding from my friend that I spoiled our plan! Because we thought to go to cinema to watch hindi movie! So sometime is very inconvenient with robe. So I told them that whatever it is, if they don’t want me to follow them, I will still go to Banglore, because they can’t stop me from going into bus, so we went together, and in hotel we stay in separate room, so I will not follow to go to cinema, I stay in hotel and watch TV. It ends up like that.
Sometime when you feel sad, the best consultant is somebody like that, it is very very good, if you wish to do something, the most powerful to inspire you is somebody you have in your heart to whom you regard as your father, mother, Guru, liberator, yidam and everything, it is also very good to chant this praises again and again with remembering on this.
Last time when I was with Geshe la, I scared of him a lot, he is very strict, I really regard him as terribly ordinary person. Sometime when he wore robe, I feel proud that I wore even better than him. He was a very senior monk and he just wore anyhow, but at least I wore it properly. However at the moment when you are alone and away from this person, every single corner he follow you. And during the worse time, he is the one who help you, he just come into your mind.
At one time there is one woman from
“Don’t I look like Princess Diana?”
I said, “I don’t know who is Princess Diana.”
Then she told me that she is more prettier than Princess Diana. She asked me one question,
“Don’t you miss your mother?”
I said, “No.” Then she said,
“Oh, you are like a jungle man. It is shocking that you don’t miss your mother!”
Somehow karmically we become very close, but all the time
end up with argument, and she used quite rude word, but she is not Buddhist,
but very good hearted. So I try to prove her that she is a jungle woman, and
she try to prove me that I am a jungle man. We were so close that she even
follow me all the way to Sera, when I was in Sera, she came up to Sera, but all
the time we argue, and I always said that I will make sure I will convert her
into Buddhism, and she will make sure that she will convert me into Jewish. And
also she said that she will make sure I will go to
I told her that since I was in the age of 3, it is not because of somebody treat me so nice so I remember them, but I just miss one person in my life, when I feel very bad or very good, only this one person come into my life. Anyway, it is really important to have somebody in your heart, especially link with Guru-disciple, because from there you gain so much benefit which is meaningful and worthwhile. I find it is the best protection, sometime we wear all sort of protection wheel, but the best protection is that you keep your Guru inside, and that’s the best protection, it is very helpful. This will make sure that you will not in depress, and make sure that whatever you do you will accomplish, and you are not lonely, wherever you go, make sure that you don’t do bad thing although all the time I do bad thing, but it does help. From a very cool person and negative person, at least it help to reduce some negativity.
Question: We meet so many Gurus along the way, for example, there is Khenrinpoche, Choden Rinpoche, how do we know who is our Guru?
Geshe la: As I mentioned earlier, you commit yourself with your faith, let say maybe Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Choden Rinpoche or Khenrinpoche, all three of them you regards as your spiritual guidance who is in the aspect of your Guru, who is your protector and inspiration, if you feel you always receive inspiration from them, whenever you think of them, your practice grow, and your faith is always respect them, then maybe you relate them as Guru.
Question: Do we have to choose one as our root Guru?
Geshe la: It is not necessary. You can accept all Guru as root Guru also, or you can choose one Guru as root Guru.
You learned different teaching and different field of knowledge from different Gurus, let say you have 10 Gurus, maybe some Guru you only receive initiation, and some Guru you only receive teaching, or commentary, and some Guru only receive oral transmission, so within the 10 Gurus, who inspire you the most? Who comes into your heart the closest? Who is the most spontaneous in your heart? That Guru you regard as root Guru. And all the other Gurus you see as the emanation of that root Guru. When you can’t manage to visualize every single Guru, you also can say that all the Gurus of the past, present and future are in oneness with the root Guru in whom you can visualize, all of them are in one manifestation. So that your faith in other Guru will not be different, otherwise there will be different stages of faith, and we cannot allow our mind to respect them at different stages of faith, you have to respect and see every Guru as Buddha, you have to respect equally to all Gurus. But because of the kindness and karmic affinity, in order not to happen to see the fault, you see them as emanation.
It is the same thing as Buddha. If you have a close
affinity with Tara, you cannot neglect the faith and respect to Shakyamuni
Buddha or Chenrezig, so what you can do is that all other Buddhas are the
Question: Sometime we meet certain Guru, we just cry endlessly, why?
Geshe la: Some people is so sensitive, they just cry, or some people see very powerful holy object, then goose bump stand up, some time you go to the most negative place, then goose bump stand up, so it depends on where and who. It is the same that just by having goose bump standing up, it doesn’t mean holy, it could be very negative energy or scary, so it influence you to have goose bump standing up.
Also for tearing, some time there is inexpressible link with your heart to that particular person or a particular Buddha, then tear come. As for the sign on whether it is good crying or not, so you see either during crying or after crying, whether you get spontaneous faith arise, or spontaneous compassion arise toward other beings, then that mean it is very good sign. Sometime you cry then people become very irritated, angry and start to not liking yourself or your emotion, this mean it is negative, it is not good, it means that maybe your system is not good.
and lightly edited by Ven.Osel of