Date: 14 June 2015
Location: Vajrayana Institute – Sydney – Australia
Topic: Joy of Compassion
Type of Material: Unedited Transcript
Language: English only
Joy of Compassion
With Lama Zopa Rinpoche
[There are two versions of the prayer book in use. Look for the title if the page no. does not make sense.]
Praise to Shakyamuni Buddha, p. 3 or 6
To not commit any unwholesome actions. To create wholesome actions. To subdue the mind. This is the teaching of the Buddha. This is the condensed teachings of the Four Noble Truths.
Buddha does not have death. He is an Arhat, who is free from samsara. The cause of samsara, delusions and karma, …
Even the subtle obscurations, the knowledge obscurations, have been purified. There is no way for Buddha to experience death.
He passed away to show us that life is impermanent. The nature of our life is impermanent. If we are not freed from the causes of suffering, delusions and karma, then we would experience death. If we are freed by actualizing the four Noble Truths, by being free from delusions, we would not experience death. That’s how we can purify death, old age, sickness, etc.
We achieve the ultimate happiness, blissful state of peace, everlasting happiness. This is a mere cessation of the disturbing thoughts, obscurations. The gross obscurations. Buddha showed one of the 12 deeds, the passing away, showing us that life is impermanent, we are sure to die.
As I mentioned yesterday, body and mind, mind continues, the continuation of the mind has no beginning and no end. Even when we become enlightened or still in samsara, it is endless. There is no third alternative. You can get reborn in lower realms if negative karma is more powerful. Or else, if virtue is stronger, then you get reborn in higher realms. Pure land, devas or human realms.
We want only happiness, we don’t want suffering at all, even small suffering, even those in dreams we don’t want. We want small happiness. The solution is to… negative karma that we collected from beginningless rebirths, we purify that negative karma. By learning Dharma, listen, reflect, and meditate, practice, you abandon negative karma and practise good karma. You don’t get reborn in lower realms and get higher rebirth.
There is a method. If you don’t know Dharma, if you have no idea of Dharma, abandon negative karma and create virtuous action, practice of morality, etc., if you do that, you get higher rebirth, you save yourselves. You don’t have to be born in lower realms. If you don’t practise holy Dharma, you don’t engage in creating perfect wholesome action, positive action, healthy action, if you don’t do, …
With negative mind, negative motivation, create negative actions of body, speech and mind, disturbing to you and cause suffering to others, harmful to others, this becomes causes to reborn in lower realms. This is totally in your hands.
In order to achieve ultimate happiness, everlasting happiness, liberation from oceans of samsaric sufferings, suffering of narak hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, humans, asuras, and suras, intermediate state beings. To free from those oceans of samsaric sufferings of six realms, achieve the ultimate happiness, blissful state of peace for oneself is totally in your hands. Where to go, to be in samsara or out of it, it is totally in your hands. Whether to be in hell or be enlightened, it is totally in your hands. It is up to your mind.
Whether you create the causes for hell or peerless happiness, it is totally in your hands. Up to your mind, how you use your mind.
Understanding Buddhism, knowing the teachings of Buddha, the more you come to know, the teachings of the kind, compassionate one, the omniscient one, the more you know, it makes you to realize how to have freedom, discover how much freedom you have. You should know that.
Life is not hopeless. So many millions, millions of people in the West are suffering from depression.
Thinking that life is hopeless.
American army went to Iraq,… to do war, you use bombs to destroy, kill so many people, even those who survived, those who came back, everyday 20 army veterans committed suicide. Someone from the army came to Solu Kumbu where I was born, this person fought in Iraq, his job was to communicate, high tech communications in the army. That’s his job. He came back and told me in the cave of Lawudo, I have a talk with him in my cave, to find out more. He told me that 20 veterans from the army committed suicide. Soldiers. 20 soldiers committed suicide. That is because they came back, having done so many violent things, they are so shocked, they think, they questioned, what is life? Violence, unbelievable, … they wondered, they questioned about life.
Because they have not met Dharma, the awakened teachings, the freedom from samsara, from the cause of suffering, they do not know, no knowledge at all of what is right thing in life, that brings happiness to your mind and to others, the wrong things that bring confusion to your life, suffering to you and others. In life, the most important decision, doesn’t know the omniscient one’s teachings, what the Buddha has taught.
Life becomes so difficult. Even simple thing like that, they have no idea. It becomes huge question regarding one’s own life. All these violence, you have seen and done, very difficult, so shocked,
They don’t know how to live life meaningfully, no idea what is meaningful and what is meaningless, in other words, what’s right and wrong.
So, they commit suicide, when their minds are so depressed.
What happens nowadays, American government uses meditation, use of drugs slow down the mind, thinking becomes very slow, becomes violent, they bring mindfulness meditation to the Army. This is what happens nowaday. Because in mindfulness meditation, you stop thinking about past and future, you only think of this moment. There is mahamudra that does this, meditate on emptiness, even then the conventional nature of mind…
The military uses meditation to stop thinking about past and future, … he said that.
He looked into the computer, saw Nepal, Lawudo, this place, hence he came to Lawudo. He is a quiet person. He worked in FPMT centre before and went to Lawudo when I was there. He has to go back to Root Institute.
Nowadays, they use mindfulness meditation so much in the Army, for those who have suicidal thoughts, so many returning soldiers have this problem.
Mindfulness meditation is also used in business. Lots of business people use that. Maybe too much thinking makes the mind not relaxed, unhappy, too much thinking and the meditation brings quietness.
Big business, big company in Holland, 25,000 employees, they want to use mindfulness meditation, one student from Holland came to Kopan course or maybe in Lawudo, he talked to that company about mindfulness meditation, I got a letter, invited to talk about mindfulness meditation. By checking Mo (divination), it was cancelled. I don’t know what happened. That’s just news. That’s just, not BBC, …
We do the last prayer, what Buddha said, at the end of the Vajracutter sutra. This verse is there. Also in another teaching. I am going to recite. I shall chant in Tibetan, to give time to meditate for everyone. It is mainly about impermanence, the nature of life, the other thing is emptiness, the meaning of dependent arising. (p.9 3rd verse)
Instead of trusting, believing as real the hallucination that appears, the I, action, and object, the way they exist are in mere name, they do not exist from their own side. Whatever appears as real is hallucination. Whatever phenomena appear as real are all hallucination. We completely trust in them as real. We need to recognize dream as dream. Even though dream appears as real, we do not believe it as true. When you don’t recognize dream as dream, you entrust in it completely as real, you lose something, you get upset due to your self cherishing thought. In the dream, you can get so exhausted, so difficult, … you have this problem, that problem in your dream, the hair becomes white, wrinkles on your body, so much changes, happen in the dream. Even within five minutes, so unbelievable…
So appearance and reality, when you recognize dream as dream, you do not believe in it at all, it is just a dream. Like a mirage, you came across hot sands, the sunlight, the heat rises from the sands, when you look back there appears to be water, but there isn’t. You know there is no water. Things appear, the way things appear to your hallucinating mind, you completely entrust, here introducing the thinking that in reality it does not exist from its own side. Meditate in this way, especially if you realize that. Then no problem. Totally trust that, even though it appear, it does not exist right there…
Arya Sangha who has direct realization of emptiness, in meditative equipoise, they do not have this hallucination. The I, action, object appearing as real, this do not appear in equipoise meditation. When they arise from that meditation, they would have these false appearances. Until subtle imprints are completely removed by actualizing the path, the path to full enlightenment, when the remedial path is actualized, that subtle negative imprints left by past delusions, that project dual view, everything appear as real, this is gone. Then, there is no dualistic view, no hallucination. No more there. Buddha does not have hallucination. Not the dualistic view. Because there is no cause that projects that dualistic view. He has no hallucination. Otherwise, even arya bodhisattva, until he achieved Buddhahood, would have dualistic view.
Like the example, the illusion created by a magician, using a material, causes people, the audience, to see by transforming… he causes hallucination to the senses of the audience using a mantra and a material base, those who don’t know that they are experiencing hallucination, they believe in the transformation he creates… an elephant, beautiful man or woman, different manifestations, even a city, the magician can do through magic. Those who don’t know that their senses are hallucinating, they would believe in these appearances as real, not only do they appear to them, on top of that, they entrust in them, thinking they are real.
The magician, himself or herself, and the audience who is aware of the illusion, these people have the appearances of the hallucination, but they do not believe. Like Arya Sangha, not just ordained persons, even lay persons who have direct perception of emptiness, to these people, things appear as real, they do not totally trust in those appearances, due to their realization of emptiness. They see a hallucination as a hallucination. Like recognizing a dream as a dream. Those who senses are not hallucinating, they don’t see the appearances at all.
The Buddha without the subtle negative imprints left by delusions that project everything created by the mind. This does not mean creating with hammer and other tools. It means to merely labeled by the mind, on a valid base. Given a name, merely imputed by the mind. Merely imputed by the mind, relating to a valid base. This and that, relating to that valid base… They exist in mere names.
Buddha does not have those subtle negative imprints, that project everything as real, as truly existent, as existing from their own side. These are purified, he does not have hallucination.
Like those whose senses are not affected by the magic.
Somebody recognizes hallucination as hallucination. First thing is a star, phenomena are like star (in the verse), in daytime, there are stars, but due to sunbeams are so strong, veiled the stars, so we don’t see the stars. It shows emptiness of all phenomena, they exist because they are empty. They exist because they are empty because they do not exist from their own side.
They exist in mere name, merely imputed by the mind. The meaning of emptiness is dependent arising and the meaning of dependent arising is emptiness.
For our hallucinating mind, emptiness does not exist. Ultimate truth does not exist. What does not exist is actually the hallucination, things existing from their own side, these real things never exist even for one second, from beginningless time. The real ones, even the size of an atom, do not exist at all. We, according to our hallucination, our concepts, the I, action, object, hell, heaven, samsara and nirvana, all appear as real, but they do not exist at all. We completely entrust, believe in them as real. We do everything.. If you have power in the world, to get happiness for this real I which does not exist, you could kill millions of people in the world, those you don’t like, those who don’t have blue eyes, blond hair, you kill everybody. If you have power to do this, you give power to this I, for its happiness, even to kill millions of people. You would kill, steal, sexual misconduct, telling lies, gossiping, harsh speech hurting, could be very soft, nice sounding speech but it can hurt others. Not just harsh speech. Hurtful speech. You do all kinds of things to get happiness for this I. Harms to others, wow wow wow.
You go to school from kindergarten, till university, … for this real I , to give power to this real I, but it is not there. This real I, if you look, where is it? You can’t find. Not only nowhere, inside this body, in the chest, not in the brain, not in the heart, not in the chest. It does not exist at all in the world. Also in your room, in this gompa, in the world, can’t find. Those who realize emptiness don’t see, … higher bodhisattvas do not see at all, especially Buddha does not see that appearance [of a real I]…
It is said by Nagarjuna:
The person, the I, is not earth, which means body, not water, not fire, within the body there are the elements, not wind, also not sky or space, the I, the person is not consciousness. Then, not space. Not one by one. Even all of them are not the I. The I does not exist separate from these. The I, the person is all these or not. The I does not exist separately from these.
The next one is: earth is not I, water is not I, the person, fire is not I, the person, wind is not I, consciousness is not I, space is not I, even all together is not I. even altogether is not I.
The real I does not exist at all. There is no real I.
Real I, starting from the tip of hair to the toe, you cannot find if you look for it. Nowhere can you find it. From hair down to toes.
What exists is on the valid base, the aggregates, mind which is focusing on this base, this valid base, that mind then makes up a label of I, creates the label, I. The merely imputed I, relating to the aggregates, which are the valid base. It is a merely imputed I. That’s all, nothing else. What experiences suffering, happiness, what creates virtue or non-virtue, who becomes free from samsara, who achieves nirvana, or enlightenment, that is the merely labeled I.
Since I am talking a bit on this, I mentioned that those who have never heard, those who have heard, as a reminder, ignorance is the root of oceans of samsaric sufferings, to feel that, to recognize that. This is what needs to be abandoned. How important that is in our life.
The aggregates, the valid base, upon them the mind makes up, merely imputes the name, I. Even that is merely imputed.
The next second, it should appear back to us as merely labeled by the mind. But that does not happen. That should happen to us, that’s the reality. In the next second, it should appear as merely labeled by the mind. The Arya Sangha who are in meditative equipoise, they do not have this hallucination. Another one is the Buddha who does not have this hallucination.
Appearing as real, as existing from its own side, as never labeled by the mind, as not coming from the mind. This is the gross object.
Appearing to us as not merely labeled by the mind. The total opposite of how it actually exists. This is what the omniscient one has explained.
For us, the next second it appears to us, it should appear as merely labeled by mind, but it appears as not merely labeled by mind, as a false I, totally opposite to how it actually exists.
Why? Due to past ignorance, concept holding the I to exist truly. This left negative imprint in the mind. That negative imprint, as soon as the mind merely labeled the I, this negative imprint immediately projects hallucination. Like the illusion created by the magician for the audience. Exactly the same. This negative ignorance, by leaving those imprints, projects. All merely labeled objects, causative and non-causative phenomena, everything that exists, are all merely labeled by the mind. But in the next second this imprint projects and makes them appear as real.
We live our whole life with that hallucination, which we completely trust in it. The whole thing, samsara and nirvana, we completely trust in what appears as real, as true.
Even relationship problems are viewed as real. Like a balloon getting bigger and bigger. That is how we create hallucination. Our life, is one whole hallucination. Everything we do, business, university degree, the whole thing is a hallucination. Our job, the whole thing, the happiness for this I, children, business, everything is not there. The real I is not there. This huge thing appears as real, really really… If we see the emptiness, it would be a big shock to us. If we see the ultimate reality of the I, the emptiness of the I, then we see that what we believe is not there, it would be a huge shock. It would be a huge fear. This is stronger than seeing a tiger on the road, in your room. Because our mind has been habituated in believing that everything is real, from beginningless rebirths, so habituated. We totally live our lives with this hallucination. You go to supermarket, with this understanding of emptiness, then …
In America, there are 30 or 40 different types of cheese, maybe 60 or 70 types.
Appearing as real cheese, appearing as real vegetables, appearing from there. They appear to you. How they appear to you is the main question. How many thousands of dresses appearing from there, thousands of make-up, the red.. whatever colours, appearing from there, if you go to the supermarket, they all appear from there,
Reality, if you think, does not exist from its own side, it is empty. It exists in mere name. merely imputed by the mind. This is the reality. You see that everything you see in the supermarket, the food, the department store, all the things, when you go into there, all things, so shining, bright, the whole thing is a hallucination, things appearing from there is a hallucination. Something real appears to you but it is a hallucination. So, you are buying a… from the person who appears to exist from its own side, to totally exist from its own side. Existing in mere name. The opposite of that is to appear as not merely labeled. The reality is merely labeled, but it appears as not merely labeled by the mind. This is to go more subtle. The person who sells you food, clothing, is a hallucination. The seller is a hallucination. You pay the money, which again appearing as real to you, when it actually exists as merely labeled by the mind, this money is merely labeled by the mind, but it appears as totally opposite, as not merely labeled by the mind. You pay with your hallucinated money, in your illusion, not real, not true money. You pay this money to a person who is also not true. Paid by an I who is also merely labeled by the mind. So, buying and selling are all done in hallucinations. Coming back in a car, which is also a hallucination, not appearing as merely labeled by the mind, to a hallucinated house, hallucinated kitchen. The whole thing, the whole life, we believe in what appears to us, we entrust in them, we do everything for this ignorance. You do actions of body, speech and mind for this real I, which is not there. By going more subtle, this I which appears to not merely labeled by mind. Such a I has never existed, not in the past, not now and never in the future. But we never question and totally believe in this real I.
Realizing emptiness, for lower intelligent ones, will give rise to great fear. You think that you are falling into nihilism, you have so much fear. You tend to think, the I exists, the I exists. Either fear comes, when you realize its emptiness. You look for the I from the hair down to toes, you don’t find that I, that I you don’t find. I think there won’t be nihilism. Now, There won’t be that much fear arising because the way you meditate does not harm that ignorance. The real I is kept here, and you meditate for the I, looking for it somewhere else. You look for another I, so you don’t experience real fear. Because you do not hurt ignorance. When fear arises, that is very good. Your meditation is working in the right way, hitting the ignorance at the right way. Ignorance that believes the I merely labeled by the mind as true, as real. This is the root of samsara. When it hurts the ignorance, you start to see what ignorance is believing in, entrusting in, then your meditation, the real I which is not there, is being hit. To see what is not there at all, you start to see it as not being there. It is hurting the ignorance. When it harms ignorance, fear arises. It harms what ignorance believes, the real I which is not there, which ignorance totally holds onto.
Because we are habituated to these concepts from beginningless rebirths and believed in them. Therefore fear arises, when suddenly we come to know that there is no I there. There is nothing to grasp, to hold onto. When we start to realize, fear starts to arise. Those with lower intelligence will experience unbelievable fear from deep in your heart. Those higher bodhisattvas, when realizing emptiness, would experience so much happiness, even tears start flowing, totally opposite experiences.
When we recite the Heart Sutra, fear comes, then it is a very good sign. That means your way of thinking has gone to the right point, the ignorance holding the I as really exists is being hit. It harms ignorance. If you are of lower intelligence, fear would arise. It is a very good sign.
For that wisdom, my guess is that, those experienced meditators, those lamas, as they explained, for that wisdom, it appears that there is no I there, the I that has been held since beginningless time. Suddenly you see it is not there.
In the view of that wisdom, there is no I. If you don’t know, if you didn’t hear the full experience of realizing emptiness, then you may think that you are falling into nihilism. And you try to protect from that fear, by thinking yes, yes it is there. You are about to realize emptiness, but by protecting, you are prevented. Without realizing emptiness, you will never eliminate the causes of suffering, never achieve liberation from oceans of samsaric sufferings. Even subtle defilements have to be removed by direct perception of emptiness. It cannot be removed directly by bodhicitta. Direct removal is only by wisdom. Even removal of subtle obscurations does not happen without wisdom. Bodhicitta alone cannot counter that.
It is mentioned by …, in the Mahamudra teachings, you see that there is no I, you feel that. The reason that there is no inherently existent I, to prove there is no inherent existence on the I, when you see, for you, there is seeing that there is no inherent existence on the I, it is not falling into nihilism. It is realizing, discovering there is no truly existence on the I. You are seeing the emptiness on the I. There is great meaning. You see the hallucination, the true existence on the I.
First, there is the merely labeled I. Then, projected on that is the truly existent I. Therefore, it makes sense that there is a hallucination on the I. You see that it does not exist at all. You are seeing the emptiness on the I, as opposed to the hallucination on the I. This I is the merely imputed I. “On the I” makes great sense, great meaning.
When the fear arises, you have to go through that, like crossing the river. If you try to stop the fear, then it becomes a great obstacle to the realization of the truth.
To conclude, the merely imputed I… it appears in the next second as a completely false I. In the third second, you completely trust in that, believe in it 100% as true. That concept holding the I as not merely labeled by the mind, that very subtle concept is the root of all suffering of rebirth, old age, sickness, death, all samsara pleasures, music, sex and all that, why are they temporary? Because they are of the nature of suffering. They cannot continue, like Dharma happiness. They cannot increase. They come from delusions and karma, motivated by delusions. All samsaric pleasures are temporary, because their nature is suffering. But Dharma happiness can continue and increase, up to enlightenment.
Third, where does true suffering come from is the pervasive compounded sufferings. His Holiness explained that pervasive means the aggregates are under the control of delusions and karma, hence they are of the nature of suffering. Why we experience suffering? We experience suffering of pain, old age, rebirth, death, etc. This is the first type of suffering. Why do we have to experience all that? A most important question.
The second type of suffering is suffering of change. The third is where these two came from, the one… In Hindu religion, they can develop renunciation to those suffering, except that of the peak of samsara. This is because the way they develop renunciation is by checking the suffering of the lower level and seeking the happiness of the higher level. But in the formless realms, there is no higher level than the peak of samsara. Therefore, the Hindus have no remedy to renounce the attachment to the peak of samsara. They don’t get renunciation to the entire samsara, they are still attached to the peak of samsara, the highest level of the formless realms. When we reach this level, the delusions become so subtle.
The delusions can be divided into great, middling and small. Each is further divided into three. The delusions become so small that you don’t see that you have delusions. You believe that you have achieved nirvana, when the delusions are not ceased completely. They are so subtle, as if there is no delusions. Believing that they have achieved nirvana, when the karma to be born there is exhausted, they die and see the past life, now and where they have to be reborn, maybe in the desire realm, even lower realms. They feel totally heresy, thinking that achieving nirvana is not true which causes them to be reborn in hell, due to arising heretical thought.
They do not have the way to renounce attachment to the peak of samsara. They do not have emptiness, bodhicitta, and their renunciation is incomplete.
Their renunciation of this pervasive compounded sufferings,… consciousness carries the karmic imprints that bring suffering in future lives, we create karma to be reborn in suffering rebirths in the next life.
These aggregates are the pervasive compounded sufferings. This is a particular Buddhist view, to get renunciation is to realize the suffering nature of this third type of suffering. If you have renunciation of this, then you can be freed from suffering of pain and suffering of change. There is a quotation from Panchen Losang Chokyi Gyeltsen, but I don’t remember by heart.
The I, in the second moment, appears as real, existing from its own side due to ignorance. In the third moment, you believe in it, totally trust in it. As not merely labeled by the mind. In reality, it is merely labeled by the mind. Ignorance causes the opposite, see it as not merely labeled by the mind. Recently His Holiness said, when we walked at a dangerous path and fell down, the fear becomes very strong. The emotional I becomes very strong. His Holiness explained that this may be explained in the teachings as a way to recognize the I. But recently he said that this is just an appearance of the self sufficient I, not the I that exists from its own side.
When the emotional I appears to you, the I appears as permanent, existing alone, without depending on parts. Then, without depending on causes and conditions. This is what the Hindus believe to be the Atman, the soul. This is the meaning of soul, the Atman. In the Buddhist philosophical schools, Vaibhashika, Sautrantika, Mind-Only and Middle Way schools… all of them do not accept the I as permanent, existing alone, without depending on parts, causes and conditions, etc. Buddhist schools do not accept this type of I.
In Vasubandhu’s text, there are listed 18 schools, there is one school that held the view that I is neither permanent nor impermanent, it does not decide on the I in either way.
In the West, the emotional I would also be permanent. There is the wrong concept believing in the I as permanent.
There would also be an emotional I held to be a self-sufficient I.
In the Mind-only school, there …
Existing from its own side, as held by Svatantrika Madhyamika, believing the I as truly existent, this truly existent I, not labeled by the mind, is also the emotional I.
In Prasangika Madhyamika school, there is the subtle object of negation, the inherently existent I that is not merely labeled by the mind is also an emotional I.
All these are different wrong views regarding the I.
How do we create the root of samsara, oceans of samsaric sufferings? This is an example how we create those suffering. It is not created by gods, husband or wife, by parents. Each sentient being creates its suffering. God does not create suffering.
Buddha gave teachings to help us remove these sufferings.
Ignorance creates suffering. It is the root of suffering. It is soooooo important.
Each of our suffering is created by ourselves, by ignorance, the root of suffering. Ignorance, anger, and attachment, all delusions… After trusting in things as real, from there, anger and attachment arise.
There is a quote from Lama Tsongkhapa…
From virtuous actions, even with attachment to future samsara, even with the practice of morality,…
With virtuous actions, good karma..
With non-virtuous actions, we create negative karma, the causes of rebirth in lower realms.
From that, when we die, it may be possible when we are alive, but when we die, the karmic formations that were planted as karmic seeds, imprints on consciousness, from that, when we die, craving and grasping, which are attachment to…
Like a butterfly, a nice bird, a parrot, you may develop craving for that animal, something stronger, in the shop first you wish to get, then the grasping becomes stronger and you buy.
This gives rise to the next link of becoming, when the seeds planted previously, according to Madhyamika, these are left on the mere I but other Buddhist schools hold that they are left on the mind.
This causes the karmic seed to become stronger, able to throw us into the next life.
Ignorance and karmic formations could be from billions of eons ago, or several lifetimes ago.
Consciousness, body and mind, … there is not one being that realizes that there is no rebirth. But there are numberless beings who have realized that there are reincarnation, rebirth. Even the other religions also accept rebirth. Consciousness is conceived in the mother’s womb, where name and form arise. Name refers to the mental parts. Next link comes the six sense bases. Then comes contact, followed by feeling. When we are born from the womb, …
What’s left among the 12 links of dependent arising are old age and death.
At this moment, we have yet to experience the last link, death.
Every day, hour, minute… not even realizing emptiness, bodhicitta, not even renunciation, there is no antidote. Continuously believing in the I as real, delusions arising, negative karmas are created.
Even when we try to practise Dharma, but since we don’t have realization of three principal aspects of the path, mostly we create negative karma. Karma within one day, hour, minute and second, with this ignorance, we are creating samsara. We create samsara, more 12 links of dependent arising, so many cycles are started by us. We are like in the prison of the 12 links of dependent arising. Numberless prisons. You finish one prison, there is another one. We are always creating new cycles of 12 links of dependent arising. When we think like this, it becomes frightening. To have to go through endless prisons of samsara.
In this life, when we receive the human body, when we are born in this Southern continent, where Dharma exists, not just Theravada, sutra teachings, but also Mahayana teachings , tantric teachings, we are so fortunate.
To realize renunciation, bodhicitta, and emptiness, is most unbelievable.
How important the lam-rim realization is. Particularly, the tantric realization. First we need to create the base: three principal aspects of the path.
We can be free from samsara with renunciation. Then, renunouce attachment to this life and future lives. With emptiness, the realization of which is the only thing that can directly cease the root of samsara. Therefore, we have to take the opportunity to learn the Buddha’s teachings on this, Nagarjuna’s teachings, to hear from qualified teachers, each centre has such qualified teachers, who studied in the monasteries, studying and debating. We are so so so fortunate. We can listen, reflect, and meditate on emptiness. To learn as much as possible in this life. To leave so much imprints in this life, so next life you will become expert, just by hearing the teachings you can realize it.
A very good meditation. If you really want to practise, for example, you can think, each week, month, meditating on emptiness, looking at everything as empty, wherever you are, at home, working, shopping, whatever work you are doing, empty of inherent existence. Not nihilism, as not existing at all.
Another month or week, you can meditate on, looking at the real I existing from its own side. The I, action and object. Your house, the road, the car, whatever. In the shop. All these are recognized as hallucinations, as truly existent, real I, real objects, continuously recognizing them as hallucination. To recognize a hallucination as a hallucination. Like recognizing a dream as a dream. In daily life, whatever you are doing, continuously keep the awareness that the I, action, and object appearing as truly existent, is a complete hallucination. Keep mindfulness: this is a hallucination. Everything appearing real to you, even when you are giving teachings, having meetings, if you are able to meditate in a meeting, the emotional I does not arise. It keeps the mind so peaceful, with inner happiness and peace, you can talk nicely, don’t get angry.
For example, when we get angry, if we suddenly remember that the I is merely labeled by mind, no way to get angry. The anger is gone. Just by thinking that this I is merely labeled by the mind. It is so powerful.
The hallucination is a hallucination. You recognize that. You practise awareness, mindfulness like this all the time. It is so good.
When you go to shop with a meditation like this, it is so great. You have so much happiness, so much peace. Even if there is nothing to buy, you go there to meditate.
Days, weeks, months, another meditation is dependent arising. You know that the I is merely labeled by mind.
Whatever is merely labeled by the mind. Everything is labeled by the mind, when you see this, you realize that everything is empty. Not nihilism, but as empty of existing from their own side. You are thinking of reality.
For example, hallucination is like this. Merely imputed by the mind, suddenly in the next moment, due to ignorance that left negative imprints on the mind, it projects and makes everything real. Now there is hallucination. That ignorance is the magician, everything is illusion. Here, illusion is all your views. Your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body are illusions, affected by hallucination.
That is a very good logical reasoning. Dependent arising gives you real good understanding. You can practise mindfulness on this.
I am supposed to speak on compassion.
You kill animals, you cheat, you did many harmful things to sentient beings, but then you make so many water bowl offerings to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, and you did all the bad things to sentient beings.
This would not please the Buddhas, by harming sentient beings like that.
There is no pleasing the Buddha and bodhisattvas.
If you treat sentient beings badly and at the same time you make so much offerings to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, you will not please the Buddhas and bodhisattvas.
Sentient beings are most precious, most kind, most dear, every sentient being, every insect, mosquito, millipede, …
The bodhisattvas renounce self cherishing thought and only cherishing other sentient beings, thousand times more than the love of a mother for her child, bodhisattvas cherish even the enemies. Numberless bodhisattvas do that. If you were to take one sentient being, and make offering, it is the best offering to numberless bodhisattvas. Buddhas who have completed the path for sentient beings, striving for eons, they do so for sentient beings, they cherish sentient beings the most. So, they did all that for the sake of sentient beings, including achieving enlightenment for their sake.
Like if you praise the child, it would make its mother soooo happy. If you said something bad, it would make the mother so worried. So sentient beings, even small benefits to them, become the best offerings to Buddhas. Whatever service, big or small, you can offer. Anything you can do, even praying, it becomes best offering to numberless Buddhas. If you hurt somebody, it hurts numberless bodhisattvas and Buddhas. It becomes displeasing to them, like the case of mother and child. We must think that in everyday life we practise mindfulness.
By cherishing sentient beings you can achieve enlightenment. If you renounce the person who abuses you, there is no enlightenment. What really pleases Buddhas and bodhisattvas is compassion.
Compassion is like a seed in the beginning. …
In India, when a dog chases a pig around a stupa, the pig escapes by going around the stupa, due to this, when the pig died, it was born in the heaven of Thirty-Three, just by going around the stupa once.
Like the monk who practised Dharma when he was 80 years old. He achieved the arhat state. Because in a distant lifetime, as a fly, it goes around a stupa by following the smell of cowdung. This karma leads to rebirth as a monk and achieves the arya path, and later entering into Mahayana path, to achieve enlightenment. All due to going around the stupa by following cow dung out of attachment.
“Circumambulating them, even by chance.”
There is no limit to the benefits of generating compassion.
Many people with suicidal thoughts, you give them advices, talk to them, help them, when they become free from such thoughts.
Also when you liberate animals from the danger of death.
It is the most important practice.
Three negative actions of body, four of speech and three of mind. Even these, with great compassion, can be transformed into virtue.
Like the past life story of the Buddha, when he as a bodhisattva captain of a ship, in order to rescue people, he is willing to be born in the hell by killing the potential murderer. But his act of killing purifies 100, 000 eons of negative karma. It becomes so close to be free from samsara and achieve enlightenment. This is what happens when done with great compassion. With strong compassion and bodhicitta, even those negative actions can become virtue.
If you can practise compassion in daily life, so much problems made up by your mind would be gone. You won’t have them. The greater your compassion, the lesser the problems you have in your life. It brings so much happiness in the world, in your country, society, family and in yourselves.
Thank you very much.
There is a praise, 108 praises to compassion. I don’t remember by which lama, not sure there is a translation into English or not.
Thank you very much.
There is now the refuge ceremony.
I am giving the rlung of the bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s long mantra. To stop the earthquake, we did the short mantra of Ksitigarbha.
I received this from Kirti Tsentsab Rinpoche. To receive this rlung, to achieve enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings, please think that.
Ksitigarbha is the practice, not common in Tibetan society, but it is very common in Chinese society, in Singapore, Hong Kong, in China. In Malaysia, someone has got needle in his body and one young girl recited the Ksitigarbha sutra and that needle came out.
Buddha explained the qualities of Ksitigarbha, which are unbelievable. If you make offering and pray to him, it is 100 million times more powerful than praying to other bodhisattvas.
During the fundraising dinner, I brought or bought a Ksitigarbha statue. But I didn’t realize that it is slightly broken.
Maybe each week we can make offering to it. By making offering and prayer, it is so powerful. Not just for business, also for Dharma practice. 100 million times more powerful than praying to other bodhisattvas.
I will recite Namgalma mantra that prevents rebirth in lower realms. Up to enlightenment you will always be with Buddhas and bodhisattvas. It has incredible benefits.
Now Maitreya Buddha mantra. By hearing it, you will never be reborn in lower realms. There are many benefits. This is one of the best mantras to recite to animals, birds, cats, etc. To get a higher rebirth.
Then, Medicine Buddha mantra, with similar benefits. In general, it is for bringing success.
Longer mantra in the Medicine Buddha Sutra. The fifth Dalai Lama composed a text and it is found in that text.
Due to all the past, present, and future merits collected by me, all the three time merits collected by numberless sentient beings and numberless buddhas,
May bodhicitta, the source of all happiness and success including enlightenment for sentient beings, may it be generated in the hearts of all the six realm sentient beings, in the hearts of everybody in this world,
Not only human beings, also the insects, hungry ghosts, devas, especially in the hearts of students of FPMT, centre benefactors, volunteers working for the centres,
Especially all those who rely upon me, all those whose name has been given to me, all those for whom I have promised to pray for, in all their hearts, especially in all of us here, people who came to Vajrayana Institute, in the beginning, now, and in the future, and the staff, including our family members who died and are living, in everybody’s hearts
Without the delay of even a second and in whose heart it has been developed may it increase.
Long Life prayer of His Holiness
Due to all the past, present, and future merits collected by me, all the three time merits collected by numberless sentient beings and numberless buddhas,
May all of us be guided by Lama Tzongkhapa in all lifetimes, may he be our direct guru, and …
In all the lifetimes,
Due to all the past, present, and future merits collected by me, all the three time merits collected by numberless sentient beings and numberless buddhas,
May all problems in the world, countries, society, family, etc. that came from ignorance, anger, and attachment be pacified.
May everyone receive perfect peace and happiness in their hearts.
May everyone be able to meet the Dharma and achieve enlightenment.
May we able to cherish every sentient being more than skies of diamonds and gold.
May yourself become wish fulfilling jewel that fulfills all the wishes of sentient beings, according to the Dharma.
Which are merely labeled by the mind, may the I, who do not exist from its own side, who is merely labeled by the mind, achieve the state of enlightenment, peerless happiness, which do not exist from its own side, and lead all sentient beings, who do not exist from their own side, to that enlightenment, which does not exist from its own side, by myself alone who does not exist from its own side.
Thank you very much. There are 7 people taking refuge.
Page 34 short mandala offering
Page 34 request for the Lama to remain long
Three things to abandon, three things to practise, as the refuge precepts.
There is a refuge book. Everything is in it. Very helpful, when there is no time. The benefits of taking refuge and precepts.
The last prayer in that book is a Christian prayer of St Francis, I have included it here. I only changed the last one, regarding heresy. I thought it is very nice. Please read this, it gives good explanation. Geshela would explain more.
Until I become free from oceans of samsaric sufferings, achieve ultimate happiness, until then, I have to suffer, not only beginningless experience of oceans of samsaric sufferings of six realms, again I have to experience them. Unbelievable. I cannot help sentient beings, if myself is in this state. Cannot help them, cannot liberate them from samsara.
Therefore, I am going for refuge to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha to achieve enlightenment for sentient beings.
I go for refuge to the Buddha, as founder of refuge, Dharma is actual refuge, and Sangha is helper of refuge. Like a doctor who discovers the disease and gives medicine, the medicine that actually helps, and the nurse that helps with the taking of medicine.
First is taking refuge in Buddha, who has ceased gross and subtle obscurations and completed all realizations. That is the Buddha.
With whole heart rely on Buddha, 100000 times more than outside doctors. With Buddha you can be freed from oceans of samsaric sufferings.
Now, taking refuge in Dharma. Buddha has both absolute and conventional forms—dharmakaya and nirmanakaya.
Dharma has two. Absolute dharma is the wisdom directly perceiving emptiness that totally ceases obscurations. Conventional dharma is the three baskets of teachings, like lam-rim, those texts. Take refuge in both.
Sangha has two—absolute Sangha are those who have direct realizations of ultimate wisdom directly perceiving emptiness. This can be an ordained person or lay person, with such a wisdom. Who has cessation of obscurations and sufferings. Conventional Sangha is four fully ordained monks or nuns, not arya persons, ordinary persons living in pure vows.
Someone who wears red robes, brown robes, blue robes, … as long as they are Buddhists, you think that they are the Sangha who helps me to be free from samsara.
If you are taking the five precepts, or four, or three, or two, or one. Or you can just take the refuge. Buddha is so compassionate, he gives much choice. The five precepts are to abstain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct – not having sex with people who belong to others, telling lies – the heaviest lie is when you have no realization and you tell others that you have. The last precept is to abstain from alcohol and also drugs. It destroys jobs, proper livelihood. From those five, if you are taking any number of them, or only taking refuge but not any of those five, it is still okay. Buddha is so compassionate and gives so much choice according to our capacity.
Rely on Dharma more than 100,000 times on external medicine. By rely on Dharma you become free from oceans of samsaric sufferings.
You rely on Sangha more than 100,000 times than on external nurses, with the result of being freed from samsara.
You get so much merits day and night by taking the precepts. You stop giving harm to other sentient beings, you bring happiness to other sentient beings. This is your contribution to world peace.
May I complete the pure morality, by keeping without mistake, by keeping it pure without pride.
To meet Lama Tzongkhapa teachings, and to actualize Lama Tzongkhapa teachings.
Which are merely labeled by the mind, may the I, who is merely labeled by the mind, achieve the state of enlightenment, which is merely labeled by the mind, and lead all sentient beings, who are merely labeled by the mind, to that full enlightenment, peerless happiness, which is merely labeled by the mind, by myself alone who is also merely labeled by the mind.[END OF TRANSCRIPT]