Kopan Course No. 14 (1981)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, By Lama Thubten Yeshe
Kathmandu, Nepal November 1981 (Archive #119)

The following is a transcript of teachings given by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at the Fourteenth Kopan Meditation Course in November 1981. The teachings include a commentary on Shantideva's Bodhicaryavatara [A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life] and a short talk and "Question and Answer" session with Lama Thubten Yeshe.

You may download the entire contents of these teachings in a pdf file. You can also listen to the recordings of lectures 1-5 here.

Section Eight: Lama Yeshe Lecture and Q&A

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December 9th am

Good morning and I am sorry, I’m late. I’m criminal. I am too much in samsara and you are having a good time in Dharma.

I thought you have received a lot of information from many geshe-las, so you’re very fortunate. So today if there are any questions, maybe because of the gap between Eastern and Western culture, I try to mediate for you as much as I can; but I can’t promise anything. So please, if there are any questions, you are welcome. Maybe somebody should organize.

Q: (To tell something about the five precepts)
Lama: I can only do quickly; detailed is extremely difficult. First of all, five precepts are to keep the mind in a peaceful atmosphere. Let’s say many Western people like to have good meditation, but many times they don’t create the foundation for good meditation.

Let’s say somebody is putting me a knife like this, saying: “You meditate, you meditate, you meditate.” But how can I meditate while somebody is putting a knife in me or something like this? I can’t, because there’s no fundamental support; we need support for the mind.

The ordination is making a peaceful foundation, making the foundation of liberation, then also, by the way, not so much expectation, not so much looking. In the Western world we are constantly looking: “Where can I get happiness? I can’t find happiness in America, I can’t find happiness in Germany, I can’t find happiness in Italy, I can’t find in England. Oh! It must be that in the Western world there is no happiness, so I go to the East.” You know? [Lama laughs, general laughter] the East. And then you see the primitive life: “Oh, I can’t take this life.” So it’s trouble. It looks good, Dharma, people live in simplicity, it looks good but you can’t take it, isn’t it? Many times it is like this. So the complication comes from not understanding and not having the foundation for peace within oneself.

That’s why I think to some extent it’s very important to have like this: “I shouldn’t do this way I’m going into extreme, I shouldn’t do. In this way I am going enough, so let’s go.” One should have some experience; it comes through one’s experience, and that is why ordination, precepts are very important. Especially Lord Buddha’s precepts are extremely logical. Because as long as one has no control, as long as your mind leads you to dissatisfaction, to anger, hatred, you need some way to control, you need to find the best way to control. Otherwise you can’t discriminate which way leads to miserable, which way to happiness. It is because we don’t have this kind of thing that the world becomes so impure, so much aggression, so negative. That’s why it’s very useful to some extent.

I’m not saying you become extremely religious, extremely pure, something like that. That’s not what I’m saying; it’s not necessarily that kind of idea. But you can judge what your problem is. So through understanding of your own negativity, of your ego, you know that some control is needed. That’s why I think it’s very useful. Especially, the idea of taking precepts is as long as you have this complication you need to keep precepts. When you reach arhatship, beyond ego—I’m sure you know this terminology—then you don’t need to keep precepts. You’re free.

Western people understand well this way. Let’s say for example intoxication. As long as you have energy inside that makes you uncontrolled by taking whatever it is, you need control. But if inside you don’t have this magnetic energy which makes you become intoxicated, then the outside doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how much you take because you’re free, isn’t it? Does that make sense or not?

OK! That’s the main point; if you have inside that kind of problem you need control. Otherwise you can drink maybe ten gallons of wine or alcohol if you are clean-clear, then where is the problem? Isn’t it? No problem. Maybe only you have to make pee-pee all the time but that’s no big deal. OK. So that’s why it’s very logical.

First of all there is the motivation. Before each action that we do first comes the thought, what we call motivation. This we often don’t know; sometimes you have the intention consciously, sometimes unconsciously. Let’s say suddenly you are in Boudhnath. “Why am I at Boudhnath? I never thought I would go to Boudhnath, now I am at Boudhnath.” You see, many times it is like that. All of us, we have been like that, at a place suddenly, with no reason, “Now I am here”. But Buddhism has no surprise. The thought process has long history, consciously and unconsciously, so what leads you to Boudhnath isn’t something that accidentally happened. You think that it happened accidentally, “What led me here?” There’s a long history, an energy in us. OK? That is the problem of the consciousness, not the nose or the blood or the bone.

So that’s why it is a simple thing. Each precept is a different thing, five precepts vow, and the way you break is a different thing. For example, with intoxication; it is not so that when you drink you break the precept. Western people understood it like that many times: “Oh Lama, I broke”, crying. So I say: “How did you break?” “Because I went to a party and I drank.” Then I ask: “Were you intoxicated?” “No, I just drank.” So I say, “You didn’t break, you didn’t break.” I will make an example. Being at a party and drinking a glass of wine, doesn’t necessarily break your five precepts. But that doesn’t mean monks and nuns also drink [laughter]. It’s just different; for the lay people, they can drink; for a monk, maybe if they have control they can do, but its not good vibration, is it? Worldly people expect monks not to drink. Maybe Westerners say: “Please drink”, maybe a different culture, maybe. It’s true, it depends on many factors.

For that reason I am really concerned. Many students have problem, they don’t understand how, with what motivation, what action, what result, so each time they cry because they think they break. They don’t break. For example, drinking a little bit of wine doesn’t necessarily break the five precepts. Breaking is a matter of attitude. There should be a sort of negative force in the mind: desire or anger or super-ignorance, something like that. This way leads to an action that breaks the ordination. Western people can see that the action is not right, but they have to watch, to have more consideration of what is behind the action, what kind of mind. That is the nucleus. So, one has to see.

Now with killing, one has to have the wish to kill, but this have to be a negative mind again in order to break. If it’s positive mind like great compassion, then you don’t break the vow. And killing, motivation negative mind, then also there is the method, the way to kill, directly or indirectly one can also order to army or friend to kill. But if you don’t have the motivation to kill, then you don’t break. For example: when I walk from my house to here, I’m sure I’ve killed a couple of sentient beings, I believe so. But it is no break. It doesn’t have this connotation of a break. I don’t have the will if I am just coming like this [Lama laughs, general laughter]. Well, maybe some negative energy just to have this body, you understand, but no breaking, not this connotation. Then indirectly killing can be many things. I don’t think I need to explain, you understand.

Also looking peaceful, that is a quality. If one is always acting with aggression, but wanting peace, it doesn’t work. Like nowadays the Soviet Union keeping peace, America keeping peace [Lama laughs]. It is a kind of different connotation, isn’t it? Well, it’s complicated, isn’t it? I can’t criticize. There is also some political evidence, that in order to keep peace, one should make more weapons [laughter]; there is something like that. We cannot say it’s totally wrong; it is so complicated. Samsara is too complicated, isn’t it? So better I stop talking about these things! From Buddha’s point of view, if one wants to generate peace, one has to act as much as possible according to this. All right. Anyway, most times in the world people kill out of anger or desire; sometimes also with jealousy, maybe.

Then stealing: the motivation is desire, also jealousy maybe, I don’t know. People are so rich in the West, also in the East, actually the same thing, samsara; then the poor people are so jealous of rich people, they just think, “I don’t care these people are so rich,” that kind of feeling, motivation is not desire really but anger, jealousy.

Stealing is also by manipulating, like I can say: “Oh, this is too nice, can I borrow it from you, can you lend it to me for one year?” [Laughter] But inside in my mind, I wish to have it. One year you leave it with me but I develop attachment, attachment; so after one year I hope you have forgotten this one now [laughter]. According to vinaya, this is stealing. When the time comes that now you know he has forgotten, at that time you fully break. “Now it’s mine”; at that time it is the full break of vow.

Actually complicated, we have so many details. Also killing does not mean necessarily with a knife. Telepathic meditation can kill other people. Like transference of consciousness of other people, so that means you are killing. That is also something that is explained in the vinaya; not something which is just Tibetan style. There’s a long history of this.

Then sexual misconduct: if you are married you have obligation to each other—we are couple, we work together, we help each other, we are dedicated to each other. So in certain things you make obligation; then if you act in a distrustful manner, that is sexual misconduct. We consider as such. But if you are free, if there is no obligation to each other, human beings meeting each other and this thing happening, sexual contact, then it is not sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct is misacting, a wrong acting. But sexual contact is not necessarily bad. Because our parents have done that thing we did grow, isn’t it? We all grow from our parents; without their unity, it is impossible that we exist. All right.

Nowadays in the Western world, marriage is a great problem. At least five times we have to marry in one lifetime [Lama laughs, general laughter]. I am not sure, maybe exaggerating. OK? Anyway so complicated, isn’t it? Human relationship is so complicated. In third world countries, it doesn’t matter, but in rich countries somehow it goes complicated. I think all your couple problems come from the dissatisfied mind, looking for something else. In that way problems come. Anyway, one has to understand one’s lifestyle, one’s own experience, one’s confusion through such actions. That’s good enough. So, considering this, one has to decide.

Then, what? Telling lies, that’s right [Lama laughs]. I don’t like to talk about telling lies because all my life I’ve got to tell lies [Lama laughs, general laughter]. Since I left Kopan, how many times I’ve been telling lies? [Lama whistles and laughs, general laughter]

Now, telling lies is the attitude that I want to cover something. I want to change the other people’s concepts, change other people’s minds, to cover something, isn’t it? That is the motivation. My perfect example is that Western people come to this Tibetan monk, asking, “Are you enlightened?” [Laughter]. “Lama Yeshe? Are you an enlightened one?” And I say… [silence, pulling an all-knowing face]. You see? I don’t need to say any words [laughter]. That’s my way to tell a lie [Lama laughs].

That’s why telling lies is so easy. Telling lies can be without telling words, by like this... [Lama laughs, general laughter] or this.... or this.... You know what I mean, you know. Or by wearing glasses; possible that you show some kind of artificial action, to cover you see. Well, I’m not sure. I should be careful, sometimes I am uncontrolled.

For example, many times ladies cover these things, lipstick. It’s possible that it is done with a motivation that is all right; it depends on the motivation. I think if you have the motivation to show a different reality to the world - I don’t put it down. If you are showing an artificial action, imitation, and you want a certain reaction from other people. So be careful [laughter], to put some red here becomes telling lie. It’s easy, isn’t it? Possible.

It’s complicated, telling lies is so complicated. But it only comes from the motivation, wanting to change other people’s minds. Actually it’s painful, because for example I have already enough confusion, enough ego problems, enough ignorance, enough desire, enough anger, then if somebody is putting me more ignorant, do you think that’s fair? It’s not fair. That’s why; with telling lies you cheat other people, you are showing a false reality by covering some other reality. It’s simple, isn’t it?

Also, it’s not easy to tell lies in control. I think it’s very difficult to tell a lie in control. Somehow you know, the karma; because you repeated telling lies so much, every time it comes again.

Let’s say I meet her, blah, blah, blah, suddenly something comes out you didn’t even want to talk. You don’t want to tell lies but somehow, but somehow telling lies is some kind of instinct. Telling a lie is easy, especially when we talk too much, isn’t it, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. People who keep silence maybe they control easily. But when you talk twenty-four hours blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, it is not easy. All right. So it is simple. That is why silence is very useful. If you stay in silence then when other people talk you are kind of shocked. That time you are shocked, kind of: “What are you doing?” Before you never noticed that it is useless talking; that conversation doesn’t do any good job, doesn’t bring any happiness.

So telling lies is that way. But it can also be telling a lie with words is positive. Let’s say Hitler manifests, he comes here and asks, “Are there some Jewish people in this tent?” I say, “I don’t think so.” [Lama laughs, general laughter] You understand—I’m joking. I don’t want to cover something, it is only for the sake of other people. This is not telling a lie. From the Buddhist point of view it has to be negative, basically attachment; telling lie for your own reputation, your own wealth, or your friends, or your neighbors, or your sister or your brother or your wife or your country. Normally we are telling lies that way, with selfish attitude. But with great compassion if you change words, that’s not telling a lie. I mean according to the words it is telling a lie—if somebody says: “You are telling a lie, Lama, there are so many Jews here”—but from the Buddhist point of view it is not the words. Telling lie has to do with a false concept; the attitude brings you to act in such a way. You understand; all right.

Then what? Then intoxicated, isn’t it? It is so simple. Since we’re looking for a clean-clear mind, when we are acting opposite it is not good isn’t it? And intoxicated can be any kind, drinking, drugs, any kind which makes you become unconscious, drinking, drugs, unconscious, anything.

Q: How about smoking cigarettes?
Lama: Does smoking cigarettes make you unconscious? I don’t think so [laughter]. Of course it depends: if you put some heavy drug inside and smoking [laughter]. Do you? Then, I think so.

So basically that’s good enough. Shakyamuni Buddha gave these vows, which are extremely useful because many times religious people become hypocritical; we talk so much what Buddha talked, we have intellectual words, but we are not acting. So no result, no sweets, we are not getting any sweets. We know so much here (Lama hits his head) but no action, so the sweet cake disappears. But if you take even one precept, you just taste and the inside transformation begins to come, which is not possible without action.

But of course, again, we cannot force. As much as you can, try, that’s the way isn’t it. There’s no push, press, saying, “I want to become a perfect Buddhist, I want to discover peace.” If you use too much squeezing, it doesn’t work. One should be skillful: “As much as I can I keep. If I break, I confess, I try to understand”. That’s good enough. Breaking is also the nature. If you ask yourself “Why did I break?” and if you know why, I think there is some realization. My understanding is that one knows. “With an uncontrolled berserk mind breaking, such and such things are making me miserable.” If one understands this through one’s own action, I think it is a realization; realization of karma. You say, “I don’t have any realization, but I have some realization of karma,” isn’t it? Not some intellectual Buddhist thing but through your own action, through your break, you understand. I think that is great, especially because realization of karma nowadays is very difficult. The concept of karma is burnt out, I think. [Laughter] But we live in karma, it doesn’t matter if we accept or do not accept.

So that’s why it’s very useful, as much as you can you try the precepts, very useful. But of course there is no pushing. It depends completely on the individual, on one’s need. If one doesn’t feel the need one shouldn’t take. I mean, actually we all know. We have inner experience in our life; if we are aware, if we recollect our own life experience, we know. Our relationship with people, we know. You have to analyze your life, how it has been, what makes you confused, what makes you dissatisfied, what makes you joyous, relaxed, peace. One has to understand.

Yes. Better than me talking, I blah, blah, blah, I don’t know what I’m talking about, so let’s do question and answer.

Q: What process do you go through if you break one of the vows?
Lama: If you break one of the vows, let’s say telling lies. The best way you can do is strong meditation: “Today I did this and this, telling lies, useless, there is no point, if I tell lie to other people I make them experience more confusion. It’s not fair, so tomorrow I do strong meditation, for me and for the others.” That’s good enough. This also I want to emphasize because some people think if they tell a lie, “Oh, I broke, oh now I broke my vow, I have to go to hell” [laughter]. One understands that way, that telling lies is some concrete, self-existent negativity. From the Buddhist point of view this is wrong. Telling lies is energy and if you act against it, that is another energy. Otherwise it is ego.

Let me tell you. Some religious people in the world have this super-belief—that negative is self-existent negative and positive is self-existent positive. So if you break a vow you go to hell. You cannot change, you understand, “I can’t purify. I have to go to hell.” Why? “Because Buddha says so, because God says so.” Not like that. It’s energy, how much energy involved you know, mental energy, physical energy, you know how is that. You put such different energy. The other way is ego, and then there is no result.

That’s why the Prajnaparamita emphasizes so much bodhisattva; one should understand that the entire negative ego is also non-self-existent, that it is impermanent, transitory nature; the path to liberation is also transitory, non-self-existent character, non-duality character. Because this is my observation, people hold such an incredible religious fanatic view. I mean it can be Buddhism, it can be Muslim, can be Hinduism, can be Christian; I am not criticizing religion, but a poor quality of wisdom individual is holding nonsense, extreme religious view, which has nothing to do with Buddha or Dharma or I don’t know, Krishna or whatever it is. So one should be sort of Middle Way: “Yes, I did negative, also I did positive; I can go extreme positive, or extreme negative. I can go anything, this is my free will. But of course I have to deal with my previous negative karma; uncontrolled mind coming so I have to deal with that.”

I think it is very important somehow to have a neutral feeling, otherwise religion becomes some kind of heavy blanket, cover completely, you become more deluded. Then sometimes religious people more deluded than non-religious people. This I feel sometimes because of misunderstanding.

For example, let’s say for one year you keep five precepts. After one year you discover that it is too complicated, so maybe you let go. But you check, and you can see some value. I think that’s good enough. Keeping even one year pure, not harming others. Basically that’s what it is. Basically ordination is not to harm other people and not to harm also oneself. The Buddhist idea is that one should not harm oneself too, besides others. Everything is important; when you tell lies, of course you harm others; stealing of course is harming others; with sexual misconduct also harming others, making the relationship of another couple bad; intoxication becomes harming, because when you become unconscious you can do anything, isn’t it? You can steal, unconsciously you have grasping mind for other people’s material and pleasure; you can do anything. The point of what Buddha said is that it is better if you do not drink and become intoxicated, because this leads you to break everything. The one action of drinking leads you to sexual misconduct. It’s true, many drinking men do that. And also many times a monk breaks vow if sometimes the situation comes that he drinks, and he becomes berserk. And then, by sexual misconduct, has to tell wife, tells lies, so he is stealing other people’s wife. So, breaking one leads to breaking five.

I think somehow Buddha’s path is middle way. Reasonable understanding of how much this negative energy is involved and that that leads to vanish another energy. This is good enough. Even it’s equal then it cannot explode, like America and the Soviet Union, if there is balance of power, remember.

Also, purification is maybe, if you see a person who gives purity you just go, make prostration, you say, “I did this and this, please purify me and I’ll never do again.” Somehow we also have that idea of each month monks and nuns to purify. Each month, two times, we have the purification, we call sojong. There are many different ways to make purification, but I think best way is to meditate, to make yourself clean-clear. That is the real purification. Not project a confused situation. Yes. Thank you. You’re welcome. Then?

Q: (If the vow of not killing means that one must become vegetarian.)
Lama: No, not necessarily. This is a very important question, people always ask this. Not killing means with intention. But for example when I eat rice every day, that would also mean I am killing. I think some people are very extreme. “I am Buddhist religious people; I don’t want to kill anybody.” That’s ego. [Laughter] How can you survive without killing? This much vegetable contains so many insects. Sorry, not possible.

Of course, if this is vegetable, it is better than eating meat. It’s better, but I mean, one should not be extreme. “I eat vegetables therefore I don’t kill anything, I am so pure.” Ego. Big ego. Big ego is problem. Rice; if you eat rice, of course you people know that if we have this much rice, if you eat this much rice, how much it involves; people who work the ground, put water, all these things, that much insects you kill. My mama used to say, “There is very much killing involved in eating rice.” I would say “Why?” And Mama says: “When you put rice you have to kill so many insects.” It’s true. And Western world you can see more. First of all the ground doesn’t have much water. Then they put maybe this much water, up to this level, where so many insects live. So how many get killed? Then those poor Nepalese have to go in without shoes, each day, how much suffering, incredible suffering. So concerning this I think it is difficult not to be involved in taking other’s life. That’s why the Christian way is simpler: if you don’t kill a human being, that’s good enough. [Lama laughs, general laughter] But Buddhism is so complicated.

Buddha Shakyamuni also said in the vinaya, that a monk who takes water should use a strainer as much as possible, in order to protect from killing insects, but you can’t. Some insects are like atoms; so incredible small, invisible by sense perception. That is the scientific explanation; so that’s why it’s difficult. But of course it’s better not to kill; not directly, not to have the motivation to kill and not to order other people, that’s good enough. And if you buy meat from the market, then one person who buys does not increase the killing, and one person not buying does not stop it. So it’s no use to bother too much, I think. Also for some people because of habit of eating it is better not to stop eating meat, because of the health.

Q: (Is homosexuality sexual misconduct?)
Lama: No, not necessarily. You mean, man go with man, female go with female [laughter]? No; but if making disunity, yes. For example, if there is wife and husband, a couple, I think it has some effect. But if it’s a free man and a free woman, it doesn’t matter. But if one has too much grasping mind, a conflict result comes. Also, society’s view sometimes considers it as not good action. I don’t know. My own view, man stay with man, female stay with female, I don’t consider it good or bad. This is my opinion. It’s just no big deal, no big deal, that’s all.

Q: In a big city in Germany, they squat houses. A rich man possesses houses and only keeps for speculation, and young people move into them when they are empty.
Lama: Oh, I see, I think I have to meditate more, I can’t say. [Lama laughs, general laughter] Let’s say it depends on the conditions. If he is tremendously rich, and those German people are young and poor, or who are miserable if they don’t get a place to sleep, then maybe it is a good joke, it’s like playing a game. Anyway, life is a game; the entire German life is some kind of game. So he still has a big house, a comfortable life, maybe psychologically a little bit sick [laughter]. No big deal, I think.

But I don’t know about the karma, I think it’s not sure with those things. Sometimes it’s true. Let’s make an example, an obvious example. Let’s say in Germany 50% of the people belong to the entire German poverty, has not even a room, no house to put their body, and experience much misery. Well, maybe as you say, that is better. These people are physically miserable and mentally miserable. The other people, this rich man he is only this miserable here, he still has plenty in his life. But I don’t know, be careful—better to control [laughter]. Of course, if I am an individual person in Germany, world, I don’t need to do that one. I have opportunity given by society, I can make good business. I can work, earn good money. So why bother, let him have, he is enjoying his life. I take care of my bread and butter. I think so.

Some young people are weak, I am sorry to have to say. They’re so weak themselves and they’re uneducated, they can’t get a job, some way maybe their karma. But you open, you have the opportunity. I think I am not afraid, if I live in Germany, I take care of my own life. Isn’t it? Human beings can do anything. We can become Buddha, we can make big samsara, we have big liberation, so I think individually, I don’t care if a rich man has so much; I don’t care. I take care of my own. I work. I think so. Germany is so lucky. I understand through my German students, if you work six months, you can do so much. What’s wrong with these people, they don’t have job? They have education, but no job.
Students: They come to the big city to study but they don’t have job.
Lama: Really? Oh I see, then it’s understandable. I think it depends, it’s so complicated. I can’t tell you, it depends on the situation. Samsara is so complicated. It definitely depends on the situation.

Q: (Inaudible)
Lama: It depends. If one is not strong enough, one needs a strong impact, a strong dedication, somebody who really has some energy of the ordination. Anyway, better to check. But if you are super-controlled, if your level is higher, you don’t need to take. I cannot judge, it’s completely up to the individual; I cannot judge a human being. According to Buddhism, I cannot judge, who can do and who cannot do. Buddhism believes that all human beings have a completely different level, so therefore I cannot judge. You judge, that’s better.

And also Buddhism believes that some people are born beyond ego, some human beings are already beyond ego as a baby. They are born as bodhisattvas. So they are our prostration object, our refuge object already. And my observation of the Western world, of different nationalities, is quite interesting: some people can do so easily, and for some it is so difficult.

Q: (Is it possible to take drugs for better concentration, just the right dose.)
Lama: Sure, possible. If you make some kind of wisdom-tranquility-peaceful drug [Lama laughs, general laughter] It depends. No, I want you to understand: in Tibetan Buddhism, especially in tantra, we believe we can manipulate our entire nervous system energy, heart chakra, navel chakra, all chakras, and we can change, producing another aspect of energy. Possible, I think possible. But it is not good to lose awareness, you understand? If the mind is sort of penetrating and concentrated, awareness is there. If it helps to eliminate distraction it is all right.

Tibetan Buddhism believes human beings have pleasure centers. And if we put our entire nervous system energy into the sushumna, the central channel, then we always feel blissful. OK? So it is possible. What you make, then we keep it for meditation, then we keep it pure [Lama laughs]. What do you make? Scientifically it’s true. Yes, one of our American student’s husband discovered a pain killer within our nervous system. So I believe we can discover pleasure chemical within our system. Why don’t you research that one? [Laughter] True. Possible. We do have, that’s why tantra has much emphasis on the kundalini energy. Much concentration on the different chakras, and the point is to raise kundalini blissful energy.

Then any questions? I think what is important is that I don’t want you people to be uncomfortable or create difficulty. So anything you are uncomfortable with, you just ask. I want you to go clean- clear from here. Otherwise you go home: “This monk hypnotized and brain-washed us”. We don’t like to create this kind of problem.

Q: If one has taken refuge, to what extent can one follow other religions?
Lama: Sure, of course. This is an interesting question. Now this is an essential question, let me repeat it to you. The question is, if you take refuge in Buddha, can you take refuge in Jesus Christ, Krishna and Mohammed? Does that break the refuge commitment? Well, philosophically this kind of question is a garbage question. [Lama laughs, general laughter] Doesn’t have solid meaning, but of course it’s common so therefore I like to answer.

So I think this way: First of all, who is Buddha? The question is who is Buddha? This is Buddha? This is Buddha? Can you say Jesus is not Buddha? Jesus is not bodhisattva? Can you say Krishna is not bodhisattva? Can you say Mohammed is not bodhisattva? Can you say or not? Can you say me is not bodhisattva? [Lama laughs, general laughter] That’s big joke isn’t it? Big joke, yes, big joke [Lama laughs, general laughter]. This is a good question, actually.

Also with Tibetan people—now I make a cultural shock for Tibetan people, ok? Anyone who is Tibetan is going to be shocked. Primitive, uneducated Tibetan people also think: “I take refuge in Lama Tsongkhapa. I don’t like Avalokiteshvara.” [Laughter] “I don’t like the Indian great pandits, this I don’t like, the Indian saints I don’t like. I only like the Tibetan meditators.” You know what I mean? I talk about Tibetan people’s way of thinking, psychologically. There are some people like that. That’s why you see even Tibetan people, some not take refuge in Lama Tsongkhapa but take refuge in Padmasambhava, and if you ask them “why you take?” you don’t get a good answer. “I am Gelugpa so therefore I take refuge in Lama Tsongkhapa”. That is ridiculous. That’s not good enough. Then I’m going to say, “Why are you Gelugpa? What makes you Gelugpa? Because you think you are?” No. You think you are Nyingmapa you become Nyingmapa. You think you are Kagyupa, you become Kagyupa. No. It is the inside quality, isn’t it?

I think that most people who think they are Buddhist, are not. Most people who think they are Gelugpa, they are not; most people who think they are Nyingmapa, are not; most people who think they are Christian, they are not; who think they are Hindu, they are not; who think they are Muslim, they are not Muslims. That is my scientific research—unfortunately. But the quality, it is a matter of quality.

I tell you something. Any time, any culture, you investigate; if they make a Buddha, if the Chinese make a Buddha, it has a Chinese face. They cannot make a Tibetan face, they can only make a Chinese face. Then the same thing with the Japanese; they make a Japanese-faced Buddha, they can’t make Indian-faced Buddha. You saw? No way. That shows human limitation, human experience. Same thing with my students who hope to become painters - Westerners, they make Buddha, if you check up, they make westernized Buddha. They copy exactly this drawing but you can see completely different. So you see when you check up, the quality comes from you. You cannot say this is a Buddha, I understand. Not like that. Buddha is come from you.

For example, my own experience: I have also many different Tibetan teachers in my life. Somehow it comes from me, some of them I just see the figure, don’t have words, just seeing them touches my heart, and some of the teachers, even if they say so many words, somehow they cannot reach my heart. This is my life, isn’t it? It has something to do with my karmic relationship with my teachers. Some of them, I just feel, if he is not bodhisattva then there is no bodhisattva in the world. You know, somehow inside, if he is no Lama Tsongkhapa, then there is no Lama Tsongkhapa. Somehow, this is my small feeling, sometimes. I feel that so I feel closeness.

Therefore, whatever you are, Western culture, Tibetan culture, Indian culture, Chinese culture or Japanese culture, as long as you are taking refuge in Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, you take refuge in all universal beings who are beyond ego, no longer ego, having realization of shunyata. It doesn’t matter whether he is beggar or rich, dark, brown or white, doesn’t matter looking like monkey, it doesn’t matter. It’s true. When I saw many Indian saints like Tilopa, Naropa, they look like [Lama laughs, general laughter] poor beggars, isn’t it? They are awful looking. I bet you, if you saw Milarepa here, you would just go like this. You see, that’s the point. The persons who are really higher beings, doesn’t not depend on the color, the external appearance, it’s absolutely internal realizations.

So therefore my opinion is, if you really become Buddhist, truly you are Buddhist, you have to take refuge in the ten directions universal tathagatas, bodhisattvas. Then what happens? You going to take refuge to African bodhisattva, who is in really hungry aspect, bones showing here—you take refuge or not? You are not going to take refuge. It’s awful, such people’s suffering. Although a bodhisattva sometimes is suffering too; maybe externally they look like suffering, internally maybe he is blissful.

For example, we have a chowkidar, housekeeper here, you saw him, the old man. You saw him? Each time I come back from the West, I look at his face. He is really blissful. I could not believe this old man is always happy. I have been with him for ten years. He is a good example. He has a simple life, dhal, rice, dhal, rice, “Are you healthy?” “Oh, ya”. Sometimes I try to make him angry, “Oh, you are not good, you blah, blah, blah, blah”. “Oh, you don’t worry, you just do puja”. He said, “You do puja, four hours you do puja, you don’t worry”. [Laughter] Really, I like him so much, an incredible man, this man. I want you to watch this man. You irritate him, he is never getting angry. Somehow mind peace. I make him meditate, “You never worry, I don’t worry.” That is a good example; such a simple life, these people, such a happy feeling.

I am not doing my business: taking refuge. Oh no, I like to make another example: Lama Zopa’s uncle, he considers he is Nyingmapa. He told Lama Zopa: “Gelugpa taking refuge and Nyingmapa taking refuge is different.” This is a good example, historical. I am not making up something artificial, you ask again Lama Zopa, okay? Then he told Lama Zopa it is different because we have this prayer in Nyingmapa, the Gelugpa don’t say. That is his argument. I translate for you: ma means mother, nam kar means space, embracing all mother sentient beings, space, and taking refuge in Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. These are the words contained in the Nyingmapa refuge. Then he saw some Gelugpa refuge prayer and this doesn’t say this. So his conviction is there is a big difference.

But Gelugpa also has the preliminary, Jorcho, “dag dang dro wa nam kye ta dang” – dag dang means myself, dro wa all sentient beings. “I and all mother sentient beings taking refuge in Buddha, Dharma, Sangha…” Same thing as Nyingmapa taking refuge, in my opinion; but unlearned, just words, I don’t believe that way. I refute that way. That kind of taking refuge is so narrow, you understand.

Gelugpa should take refuge in all buddhas, all Nyingmapa yogis and yoginis, all Kagyupa yogis and yoginis, all Japanese yogis and yoginis, all Chinese yogis and yoginis, all German yogis and yoginis. [Lama laughs] You should do. That’s the way it is. Narrow mind, culture is so narrow, so narrow so they can’t see. That’s why religion becomes fanatic. Does this help you? That’s a good example, isn’t it, incredible clean-clear.

So when you take refuge, you have to take refuge in all the ten directions buddhas and bodhisattvas, without discrimination. All right.

So now, my opinion is even if you are Buddhist, but if you see Krishna is bodhisattva, good enough. If you see Jesus is a bodhisattva, good enough. It’s a quality, isn’t it? A quality. So my opinion is, let’s say all of us, we take refuge to him, to this great Australian man. My belief, now I will tell you. But not because of Roger: by only understanding the bodhisattva quality within him. I don’t care Roger he is hungry ghost, I don’t care, [Lama laughs] as long as I understand the quality of the bodhisattva, by his quality of bodhisattva. What do you think of that one? No good? No, it is true. I think this way. I don’t care whether he is higher or lower, I tell you. If he is a hungry ghost, I don’t care. His hungry ghost quality I never take. But his quality of universal compassion, great love, concerning more other people than himself. By understanding this quality I prostrate to him, I take refuge.

What do you think? That brings conflict to you? I don’t need to give him even one rupee [Lama laughs]. That is not the main point. You understand, taking refuge is not giving one rupee to him. Taking refuge in him is being so grateful to discover universal wisdom and compassion, and being free from the fanatic wrong conception.

That’s enough. That is my point of view, that is my answer to that question. You are taking refuge to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha and you are taking refuge in Krishna—it is possible? I say it is possible. Okay. Any argument?

Q: (In other teachings they don’t talk about reincarnation.)
Lama: Right, that’s philosophical only. Who cares philosophical? So many words, dualistic, all words are dualistic, isn’t it. All words are contradicting each other. Like a supermarket contradicting, this is that, therefore it’s worse, therefore you pay more [Lama laughs]. I think I don’t worry so much. I understand what you are saying. There is some kind of controversial philosophical argument, sometimes, I don’t know, those things maybe just a waste of time. We are very busy; twentieth century life is very busy.

Q: (Karma and reincarnation are very essential.)
Lama: Yes, Karma is very essential. Karma is action and reaction, that way, interdependent relation. So you act and you have got some result. I think to understand is very important, but reincarnation, whether you believe or not, maybe not necessary. If you are a good meditator, you discover. Don’t be forced, “I have to believe in reincarnation.” No. I don’t think so. By meditation you discover certain thought patterns which have nothing to do with experience of this life, coming from other lives, maybe monkey life you know.

My opinion is understanding karma is very essential thing but one should not push, “I have to believe in reincarnation; therefore, I should practice”. No, not necessary; slowly, slowly. Intellectually you may understand but to totally realize it takes time until certain understanding comes. Don’t push, okay? Anyway, it is a graduated path towards enlightenment. It is a graduated process of transformation. Transformation you cannot make intellectually come, you understand? The way you are, let go.

Q: (About bodhisattvas sometimes obviously having human feelings)
Lama: Well, I believe that if one has inside some magnetic bodhisattva energy, somehow you can easily see outside bodhisattva. But if you don’t have some energy inside within oneself you should never expect; my opinion is I never expect an external human bodhisattva to exist. So first of all to see another human being as bodhisattva is a big thing, one has to generate some kind of energy within oneself in order to be able to project bodhisattva on others. That means if one doesn’t have a magnetic good quality within oneself one can never see an outside bodhisattva. If I am an angry person, I always see other persons as angry, you know? I can’t see a peaceful situation. Okay. So this is the first one.

Second one is, Shakyamuni Buddha himself came on this earth with an already enlightened bodhisattva quality, but he shows us according to our normalization perception. Therefore, we should not expect that a bodhisattva comes with great light, like sunshine. You should not expect. For that reason a bodhisattva never comes with radiating light. It is a human thing. You understand. So, being a highly realized bodhisattva but comes with earthly qualities, as human being. Therefore if you do become a bodhisattva, you come in the ordinary aspect of a human being, in this earth. To benefit all mother sentient beings, in order to communicate. That is good enough?

Q: But then we have our faults.
Lama: Well, you can always see some white, some black. You cannot avoid. So therefore, if you can see some white bodhisattva energy, that’s good enough. You are satisfied. You feel you are lucky that I’m able to see such only person in this world who has a little bit of white bodhisattva energy. I am the most grateful man.

Q: (about seeing faults)
Lama: You can check, yes. My opinion is you can never push that my lama has no faults. I think wrong. You should expect my great lama, he can be bodhisattva or he can be ordinary man, but better than me. I’m grateful. Good enough for me. Better than me, I’m so grateful; enough for my taking refuge. I am so grateful, something like my lama on this earth existing. I can rely, I can trust, it is getting something within me. I am so grateful. That is good enough. But one should never get the idea “My lama, I never can see faulty things”. One should not think that way.
Q: So we should see him as person along the path, at a higher level than us.
Lama: Absolutely. Good enough.

Q: But this is Sutrayana. When it comes to the Vajrayana, what then?
Lama: Then you become Mahayana siddha. Mahayana is doctrine, Mahayanist is the being. Then you can see better quality. For example I am philosophical Mahayanist I am not Mahayana siddha. So therefore I cannot see higher being. Communicating? Mahayana philosopher, but you cannot say they are Mahayana siddha. Most Tibetan people are Mahayana philosophers but you cannot say those are Mahayanists. Same thing with the Nepalese culture, philosophically they are Hindu. They are not. They just talk philosophically. Me too; I talk philosophically about bodhisattva but I am not a bodhisattva.

Your question is very important. Many times when we talk about Mahayana and Hinayana we talk about only philosophy. But as a matter of fact to be Mahayana, Hinayana, it comes gradually, gradually. First renunciation: beginning with “I am tired of this world, tired of being involved with ego. I have to make a little bit clean-clear myself in order to bring myself a little bit together.” This is like Hinayana. From there: “Well, I am a little bit happy but I am so selfish: only myself, me, me, me, me. I wish somehow I dedicate a little bit”. So it has to do with internal transformation, not just words. Actually most Tibetan culture is like me, not even Hinayana, forget about Mahayanist. Understand? All right. Then? Something else?

Q: What is the action of taking refuge?
Lama: Taking refuge is an inside thing. Completely inside, a personal experience in the true sense. Okay. Therefore you don’t have to take from a lama. But taking from a lama is sort of helping how to take refuge in Buddhadharma. And especially that ceremony makes a strong impact, “Instead of taking refuge in ice-cream and chocolate, I am taking refuge in the qualities of Buddha, who has great compassion, universal love and wisdom, free from any ego conflict.” This is the way to make a strong situation, to make a strong impact, determination. That situation helps those persons who have no determination. All right? I mean taking refuge is a completely personal experience.

Q: Which meditations are the best to do when we go back to the West?
Lama: Okay, one get up early, do a hundred prostrations. [Lama laughs, general laughter] You have to have these thangkas with you [Lama laughs] My goodness, yes. I tell you one thing, we are so conditioned, our mind is so conditioned. Many times new students have difficulties, cultural shock. Here it is all so easy, with Dharma brothers and sister. We all help each other to participate, to organize. We don’t have any kind of obligations, paper this, going there, so life is set up easy; when you go back to society, so many obligations.

So one should not think my conditions for taking refuge should be shrine room, Buddha statue, many Buddha statues, bodhisattva history giving impression to you. One should not expect. Most time in the West the advertising, the impact is jealousy, lust [Lama laughs]. Well that is Western life.

The best way in Western life is a little bit of meditation in the morning. Getting up and then somehow in the morning a short meditation is good enough in Western world. Ten minutes just sit down; better a short time, not too much prayers and words, just contemplate, mindfulness, and dedicate: “Today I dedicate my action as much as possible for others”. That’s good enough. If you are too much excited or angry, you just do breathing meditation, to get balanced, to balance the energy. Many times when we have anxiety we breathe too much in, no out [laughter], then lung. Tibetans call it lung [Lama laughs]. Then there comes air here, too much gas, producing too much acid. Then you just relax, this also touch, touch here or touch here. Just relax. Touch mother earth, breathing becomes normal.

Q: Ten minutes?
Lama: Yes, ten minutes. Only breathing, just simple, don’t think “I am meditating,” don’t think, just breathing. Somehow this manipulates, the mind becomes balanced and neutralized. Then you contemplate. Okay? So simple, very simple. You can teach other people also. The nine-point analysis breathing is very useful. Especially if it’s blocked, if you do this analysis it becomes open, this is my experience. Breathing; it helps for me. Then, good enough; it’s not necessary to have a public place to do prostrations or these things. Just be normal. In the train or in the subway, like this, people think you are sleeping, but you can meditate [laughter]. I think so—much better than reading newspaper.

Q: [Inaudible]
Lama: Try to adjust to every situation with different meditation. Different situation, different environment, you do different. Use your skill. I cannot say like this. But in every situation you have to be skillful. If the situation is everything hatred, then you do much meditation on compassion. Everything desire, then what do you do? What does lam-rim say? Do you have some idea? Most of the time you overestimate, so you look at it as a skeleton. You take it out. It is a skeleton, so it disappears. That’s why Buddhism is so simple. Buddha taught for every situation how you deal with it. So that’s what you do.

Don’t fix: “I am Buddhist, therefore blah, blah, blah”. It’s not like that. Situations change. If time and space change concepts also change, delusions change, precepts also change. Buddha said in the vinaya rules for example that monks supposedly cannot eat in the evening, but in some place you can eat. Why? Because there is no kind of limitation. I think perhaps Western world monk can eat in the evening because the West is so wealthy that eating is not such a big deal. In the third world maybe sometimes it is a big deal, so you stop. That is why it’s a concept.

Let’s say if all international world’s men and women learned to become completely free, no sort of ownership [Lama laughs] to each other, at that point maybe the precept is going to change. You see, completely different view. Feeling between female and man have different energy, I think so. For example in the Western world it has completely different energy from here in India and Nepal.

Q: Mind-only philosophy. As I understand, our experiences are merely the result of karmic imprints, like the negative of the slide. When I follow this to the logical conclusion, there is no way to experience new things. Invention could not have taken place, and also enlightenment is not possible, because I have not experienced it before.
Lama: Oh, I see. Well, when you eat ice-cream, each experience of eating ice-cream is different taste, and habit produces one stronger reaction. So therefore, you can experience new things but it has a similar kind of nature, similarity of karmic connection. For example, let’s say you are looking for universal compassion; any living being in this earth having the same quality. No strong desire or hatred. Equal universal compassion you wish to achieve in order to eliminate dualistic concept. This is the idea. You can achieve, why? You already have, to some extent. For some people a little bit equal, space, compassion, love. Sometimes one strong love coming, but no, no, no; “I should be equal,” you talk to yourself. “You are ridiculous; you think this is a friend, because yesterday he gave you ice-cream. That’s why you are ridiculous. You know that is not the point. You should be equal,” talking this way. This small experience can be brought to equalize even good friendship, somehow connected with universal compassion. You see, you have some experience, which develops in this way. Each time you experience compassion it becomes bigger and bigger and bigger, so a new experience comes. Communicating or not?

Other example, negative, the same: the habit is so strong, so each time you get angry you produce stronger anger next time. But each time anger is a different anger, character and cause are different, but it produces bigger and bigger each time—so the same thing, in a positive or in a negative way. Because it is a habit they become bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger. That’s why normally we say, “This time I lie, a little bit telling lie. But I should be aware. This small lying, it is nothing, a joke, playing, but then develops bigger telling lies, bigger telling lies, bigger telling lies.” Therefore, even with a small negative thing it is sometimes better to be aware.

It is simple, so reasonable. Buddhism believes, you and me, we are not highly realized but somehow we have small compassion, small love, isn’t it? This we can develop. Fundamentally we have some existent already. We are not working with nothing isn’t it? Sure. That’s why from the Buddhist point of view we never criticize Hitler. Who knows, maybe he is a great bodhisattva? You never know. Who is the president in America that created Vietnam war? Nixon. Who knows Nixon, we cannot criticize Nixon, he has bad quality, negative karma, I cannot say. So many people started saying, “I want peace”. Many thousands in America wanted peace. If he wouldn’t have demonstrated all these negative actions, there might already be a third war. After this so many American people went into the peace movement. Isn’t it? Good karma or not? I think good karma; lucky, because human beings learned.

Q: How important is ritual, for example to take precepts in the morning?
Lama: Yes, I think those rituals are very important. For example to take precepts in the morning makes a very strong imprint, I feel, very strong. If you act, something happens. If you don’t act, nothing happens. I really feel. For example I like prostrations so much. When I do prostration I feel something happens within me, something helping me. It looks like ritual but very powerful. It is very powerful. You touch the earth; we have so much ego, and prostration is giving me space to do something. So I think very worthwhile, if you can do. You can see the result right now. If you act one morning strong, keeping yourself in the situation, you feel the result right now. Many people say “Well, I meditate but I cannot see much result”. Maybe, I say, you are not acting. Then they go, “I meditate.” Meditation means what? If my meditation means I go like this [laughter] I am not meditating. I am just squeezing myself. But internal experience takes time. So only if you act you get, which is skillful. I think very useful.

Example, let’s say yesterday I did something incredible berserk, I got confused, I don’t understand almost relatively who I am. I tell myself, “You can’t go on like that. First of all you are confused, secondly you are dissatisfied and full of anxiety, emotions.” Tomorrow, PAM! Morning get up early, take precepts, meditate, and do much prostrations. Evening I bet you are clean-clear. Somehow it works that way. We need to create the foundation, to create atmosphere peace and tranquility, so those kinds of rituals are useful. But maybe heavy prostrations, or simple blah, blah, blah, maybe those rituals not necessary. But meditation, those things are important; control, peace that is important. It doesn’t matter where you go, but control over body, speech and mind I think is essential.

Q: I have a picture with all big lamas on it.
Lama: Good dear, very good, [laughter] only big lamas?
Q: All the high lamas.
Lama: Then you get good vibration from them or not? Sorry, before your question I give you question [Lama laughs]
Q: I am wondering why there is not one woman on the picture. [Lama laughs, general laughter]
Lama: There is. Here, twenty-one green ladies here. In Kopan every month we pray.
Q: Why not living?
Lama: Yes, in Tibet for example, there are many. I heard, Dorje Pagmo, she is a great yogini; all Sera collage monks go to see her. She is Kagyupa, but all Gelugpa people go to do prostration for her. She is a miracle lady. When I was a young boy I asked her how is this, my uncle is so strict, and he doesn’t allow me anything to go somewhere. I ask her to do a miracle. Today maybe she became this much, tomorrow she became this much. Her body is an incredible miracle. When she died, only this much left only, she is super—super lady. Incarnation also come. Anyway, from tantra point of view there is no distinction, male and female are equal. No distinction, but according to vinaya there is some distinction.

I think also women have to understand, men also have problem, but women have to understand, by monthly period women’s mind becomes banana. [Lama laughs, general laughter] It is scientific, because the body has stress. Men also have problems but different problems, isn’t it? Maybe men’s problems sometimes easier but depends also on the men. But sometimes this monthly losing energy makes it very difficult to concentrate. When you have monthly period, can you concentrate well or not? Well?
Student: No, not very good.
You see, that is the point. [Lama laughs] This is in the ordinary sense. But you watch Tara. She puts this foot here: blocked. She controlled losing the energy. So women can do. They can learn this position. This foot is put here, controlled. I hope you can learn, you can learn sure. I think that is the beauty of a human being, of the human mind: inner skill, inner intelligence to control the body.

The mind tells the body. I make example: when I watch Western women the way they walk, the way they look; somebody is acting this way, they think “Oh, the way she walks is good,” so you imitate. You imitate sometimes? Do you? With clothes, desire, the way we are acting. This one this way, or this way, or no, all these things are imitations. The mind tells: I should do this way so it is a good image; like this mind controls the internal energy too. My point is the mind can direct the energy. You can control. I am sure Dorje Pagmo nun controlled her monthly periods. So you have to learn.

Q: (Why are gelong vows not given to women?)
Lama: Because gelongma vows are particularly made for females, according to the female mind. Gelong vows are psychologically conditioned for man. But female can do. They can receive gelongma, but the lineage is broken, that is why. Anyway that is not the point. My opinion is that the gelongma female higher ordination broke, is not because female is not worthwhile, that is not why it broke. It is just that the lineage dropped out at a certain point. Actually monks and nuns receive a much higher ordination now; the bodhisattva ordination is a hundred percent higher and more sensitive. And tantric vows are much more sensitive, super sensitive, much higher than even bodhisattva vows and vinaya.

Q: What are dakinis?
Lama: Dakini is a female who practices Tantrayana and has some kind of realization. But there are many levels of dakinis.
Q: What does the phrase in Guru Puja mean: “the dakas and dakinis within the body of the master?”
Lama: Because inside all men dakinis existing, within oneself. Inside I don’t miss female because I have so much female energy within me. So I don’t miss you. [Lama laughs, general laughter] I am joking. That’s right. You also have male energy in you. That is also why Dorje Chang is holding a female, because of the unity of the highest male and female quality existing within oneself. Not the physical joining of male and female; it is symbolic of the inner unity.

And also, this is my observation, in places where there are females, even ordinary like us, there is some energy. If there are men it has some particular energy and men and women together have particular energy too. Some places, our centers, there are many females having babies without the father; I feel they are missing something. Children not healthy, female not healthy, just hassle the children. There is something about being together, some kind of unity. Even in a relative way I feel it has some effect for the life.

Q: Is it then fair to say that one has to work towards a balance between the male and female?
Lama: I think so; somehow it has to be balanced. I think that could be at many levels. If you have discovered enough inside, then you can balance inside, but if you not discover inside, maybe somehow externally you can have some kind of compromise.

Q: (It seems almost impossible to achieve enlightenment unless you become a nun or a monk. How can people use relationships to further themselves along the path to enlightenment?).
Lama: I think possible. I think we cannot judge. We cannot say in order to become enlightened you have to become monk or nun. This is not true. In relationship that can be done. It depends on the relationship. Some females give you energy, isn’t it? I talk about the female aspect because you and me are men, isn’t it? [Lama laughs] Some females give you energy instead of taking energy away. That must be a dakini, must be high. Those females who have developed bodhicitta and who have understanding of inner energy, how to manipulate, how to give it, then I think it is possible to help on the path towards enlightenment.

We can never judge. For example Marpa, he is a lay man, he leads a normal life. But he is completely Buddha. He has consort, his wife; and Milarepa also didn’t become monk. I think he is great, we all took refuge, we believe he is Buddha; same thing with Tilopa, Naropa. They are not monks. Those are super examples. Also in the Tibetan tradition there are many high lamas, Nyingmapa, Kagyupa, Gelugpa too, some are lay aspect. So you can only judge yourself, I can only judge myself. I think so clear, definitely it is possible. But it is very rare that man and woman are coming together not for physical relationship, that main idea is to help to direct the energy in a higher way, another way. To grow each other, that is the way. Normally it is the samsara mind, grasping for each other, expecting only samsaric happiness in return. Today is happy, the next day is not happy because I am not getting my chocolate from him or her.

So that is the lower communication. We are not communicating from here, not from here, not from here, only from the lower chakra we communicate. Isn’t it? I think that’s the point. Understood this way it is poor quality. For example women now in the West, last year when I was in California and a woman made an advertisement on TV, sort of the way they use women no good, that woman are not only for sex. Something like that. You know what I mean, American stuff, you know [Lama laughs]. It is true. That is the way it is. People projecting, so woman feels: “That is not right. We are not for men’s sex. We are human beings”. I don’t know any more I am confused too. [Lama laughs] In a way it is true, man should not look at woman only for physical usage. Woman is also a full powerful human being, recognized as Buddha. So in a way it is true, the idea that man’s attitude of looking at women is like an animal, sort of to use. So nowadays men getting difficulty, like that, that is good. I think so. In the West it is so complicated. Instead of men’s pleasure women become men’s difficulty now [Lama laughs, general laughter].

Maybe that is enough today. I am keeping you so long. Thank you so much. So maybe we do a little bit of dedication: to benefit others, to bring peace in this earth to all mother sentient beings.


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