One Big Love

By Tenzin Ösel Hita
Ocean of Compassion Buddhist Center, Campbell, CA

Tenzin Ösel Hita gave this talk on Dharma in daily life at Ocean of Compassion Buddhist Center, Campbell, CA, on August 10, 2019.

Tenzin Ösel Hita at Institut Vajra Yogini, France, May 2019. Photo by Fabrizio Pallotti.

Yes so we can start talking about that, what is precious to us? What is the most precious thing we have to share? Our time, our space, our energy, our attention, right? Our values, all these things are the most precious things we have. There is nothing more precious than that.

How you relate to the people, the circumstances you encounter, how you relate to the environment, so that is also very important; and the way you relate is based on your perception; the way you perceive something. Based on that you react one way or another; attraction, rejection or indifference. And through that reaction we are creating the condition. So in Sanskrit or Pali it is called sankara, I’m not sure. Sankara is Sanskrit? [Inaudible response] Sankara means the conditioning we are creating, we’ve been creating for many lifetimes; and even this lifetime is huge. Every moment we are following this kind of conditioning. We are creating this conditioning, by reacting to the perceptions, toward what we perceive. The sensations come through the five senses, that is basically how we interact with reality, through the five senses, we don’t understand very well that it is an interpretation, what we see, what we understand is only an interpretation, if you think about it if there is nobody to perceive that reality, it doesn’t have a color, or a form or a smell, there is nobody to perceive it, it is colorless. [Short pause, Ösel breathes.]

So only through us does it become what we perceive ...obviously every person perceives things in a different way, we are in a different place, a different evolution, or a different circumstance, I mean everything, I mean in every aspect we are different, because of our background, because of culture, where we were born, how we grew up, the experiences make us what we are today. Many times of course our perception is based on memory, if you took away our memory we can’t even open the door. People, patients who have Alzheimer’s, it gets to a point where they don’t know how to open the door, because they don’t have the memory. So a lot of our perception is also based on memory, we make sense of our reality because we have a certain memory that helps us to relate to that, to put things in place. So all of these conditions are part of our understanding of what we are perceiving, but the issue here is not that we are perceiving something, it’s how number one we cling to it, number two how we believe in it completely, like we really truly believe of what we are perceiving is exactly that, what there is. But it has absolutely nothing to do. Of course there are lots of experiments, optical illusions that show how the brain tends to trick you in a way, just to make it easier for you to perceive.

In the first place if you think about it, everything we see is upside down in the brain, right? The eyes see it upside down, the brain sees it upside down, and then it turns it around, for us to be able to (kind of) make sense of it; but that is happening automatically, we are not aware of that process. In the same way, we can’t control our heart-beating. Well we think we can’t, but there are meditators who can change their heart rates, it is possible. Well most of us are not aware of what is going on inside of our body. Let alone what is happening outside. [Laughter]

So we can’t really think what I see is what there is. Believe if it is so hard, that even our passions, and our depressions and our worries are all based on that – this perceptions. If you think about it, if you really start to understand the reality of what really there is, then all these things, these emotions that move us from one place to another, like the wind moves the grass. All of that would disappear because you would be able to see; and that’s one of the names for that would be renunciation. But when you say in Tibetan nge jung, it has more meaning than just renunciation, that would be just one part of it. But the other part would be to understand the reality to see the reality.....so through that understanding, you are not so attached, you don’t get so clinging, the grasping. That which creates suffering basically.

Not only material grasping, but the formless grasping also. That one is very important to be aware of. There is many aspects of that, the grasping for the sensations, the grasping for the state of mind, grasping for the adrenalin, grasping to be with someone, what do you call it? The endorphins, when you are in love, like the oxytocins, the dopamines, all these things. Hello Richard [Laughter] Good to see you.

That’s grasping, that’s formless grasping. So we also have to be aware of all these aspects. Attachment when we, that grasping is based on the fear of losing, wanting more not living the moment, being unsatisfied. The only reason we are not satisfied is that we are not living the moment. If you were living the moment, you would be happy with what we have. Because we are grateful for what we have, so that’s very important; gratitude is a very important key to the whole concept of a happy life. If you want a happy life you start with gratitude; and so Dharma really helps us, one of the very important aspects of Dharma, practicing Dharma. Not just Dharma by itself, because Dharma by itself is just like a light bulb without the electricity. We are the electricity. We are the ones that give it its purpose.

So one of the things that Dharma gives us, very important, it helps us to be able to adapt, positively to any circumstance. That so we are capable of doing it; but many times we give way to stress, give way to that small mind. We give so much importance to it, we get so stressed, so agitated, so disturbed. So this, so that. But it’s just extra weight you are putting on yourself.

That happens if everyday many aspects like road rage, I don’t know about road rage, a little bit. When I came to America, I realized it’s a big, big thing here, I mean Europe also but normally people, I don’t know, I think there is a lot of traffic in America. [Laughter] Many, many cars some time each family has five cars. Two parents, three kids, you have five cars. Of course that is probably because the public transport system doesn’t work very well. Anyway I didn’t come to talk about that. [Laughter]

I came to talk about One Big Love. Is that correct? The slogan is that one. One Big Love is just a name I came up with, because I mixed Lama Yeshe's Big Love concept, and Bob Marley’s One Love concept. [Laughter] I fused them. One Big Love and because very interesting is the same thing. Bob Marley his One Love, means all the same love. Everybody, same; like you would love yourself or your mother would love a son or a daughter. One is Universal, there is one, and there is no separation. Then one Big Love from Lama Yeshe. So that is where the name came from. They liked the names, they said you could talk about love, but I said it is very difficult to talk about love. You can’t talk about love; because love is just one word to try to in Spanish you say abarcar.How do you say in English to cover, to include, or to explain? One word to explain love; it is impossible; it doesn’t make any sense.

So I can try to talk a little bit, about concepts of what is love. It is difficult for me to talk about love, but I can try to cover a little about the aspects. So it is like talking about karma. You can’t really cover everything. Because one word it is just not enough; we like to put things in boxes, because we like to feel like we are in control. But we are not even in control of what’s happening in our body. We can’t even control that. How do we expect to control the outside world?

Many times people think, this people doesn’t change, they need the circumstances to change, the easiest thing is that you change, you adapt to the circumstances. Very nice story, about a king in India. I don’t know if it is a true story or not, it could not be a true story. Is a very beautiful metaphor. About a king, at that time everybody would be walking barefoot, and the king did not like to walk barefoot outside, because of thorns or stones, so he ordered for there to be pathways made of leather, all over the country; for him to walk on; barefoot. So there was going to be a lot of work, and a lot of leather they were going to have to use. So there was a minister, he was very intelligent, came to the king and said may I make a suggestion? [Laughter] Don’t you think it is easier to put the leather on your feet instead of covering all the surface with leather for you to be able to walk on it comfortably? He convinced the king it would be much easier, so the king put the leather on his feet, and said, “Wow that’s a great solution.” So I don’t know if that is true story, but it is a metaphor of what we should do with our minds.

We are capable of doing but we choose not to, even though it will complicate things much more; it will make it much more difficult, and it will create, because we have to channel that. If we get angry and we don’t forgive. We talk badly at someone, we feel resentful, or even if we feel guilty sometimes. We have to channel that vibration, that frequency, that energy. Our body, it goes through it…we have to take, we have to go through it, and we have to channel it. So it’s all that it’s a lot of work.

They say it takes so many more muscles to frown, than to smile, it’s true. A lot more muscles to frown, it is very easy to smile. Some of you people will love to frown. [Laughter] I used to have–sometimes when I used to have problems. So in the universe there is only two people, and I have communication issues, and I don’t get along sometimes. Really have to work on it; there is these two people one is my Mother, the other is the Mother of my son, which we separated, but we are trying to be friends, to keep the friendship alive. Because our son is the most important thing, right?

So those are the two people I have so much difficulty with. Many times when I talk, we have difficulty, frustration communication, and I end up frowning and then maybe for one or two hours I am frowning and I don’t realize it....Then maybe I am in the elevator, and I look at myself and whoa...! So I try to open up the frown, [Laughter] and so don’t frown so much, so, [Ösel exhales] like that. [Laughter] It goes back again, but a little bit less. Open, open, open, [Laughter] and it really changes, and when you are like that, it changes your whole attitude, your state of mind.

Some people, they put their hands in their head, and ooohhhhhh, it is creating that energy, self-pity. Oh very dangerous this one. It is extra. It’s an extra burden, extra weight, and the same way experiences you don’t like happen to you in your life. Things that is difficult for you to overcome trauma, hard experiences that have a big impact on you. Gives you a post-traumatic. All these things if we carry it with us. This happened to me, now I can’t change, I can’t move, I can’t be a functional person. I can’t fuse, blend into society. If you have that kind of mentality; then yes it is going to be a backpack, it is going to be a burden, is going to be a weight on your back. So if you say this happened to me I am going to use it to be a lesson, a learning experience.

In order to help other people; to overcome that too, for example. To share that good part, that good aspect. So you have to be able to overvalue the positiveness, most importantly; and the negative-ness, you don’t have to buy in so much. Unless you want to learn from it, then it is good. If you don’t learn from it, then no point so much in valuing it; because most of the time people overvalue it, negativity so much, somehow. We are wired that way somehow, a little bit.

The mother that raised her children, by herself passed them through university, five children something like that. After twenty years she won’t make headlines. But the mother who kills her child, in a moment of rage, that will make headlines. Even though it took one second to do it; and the other one took twenty years, of everyday effort.

That’s what I am talking about, overvaluing negativity. We do that every day, but if we are able to change that habit, just focus on the positive things. Overvalue that! That is what is going to prevail in your everyday life. What you project, what you create, that is what you are going to attract. If you have fear, then you are going to attract what you are fearful of, but if you are confident, good, happy, then you attract that. There is a saying that I like very much. Prepare for the worst, but expect the best. So that is very helpful, but when I say prepare for the worst, does not mean, project the worst. Just be ready, be aware. Life is all about transformation. We are transforming, we are changing. So we have to go with the flow that is about adaptation. That is how it is meant to be. It is a process of learning, understanding, sharing, growing, of evolving. [Ösel sighs]

Maybe we can do some motivation? We can do some prayers.

[Tibetan prayers]

Sorry I forgot to do that at the beginning. [Laughter]

So maybe we can do some workshop. So maybe teamwork. So if anybody interested in me talking about something, some aspect, subject or even question. So there is a microphone, so raise your hand, and we will pass you the microphone. So have more subjects to talk about, I know a little bit, like which direction to take.

Student: It is an honor to meet you, Lama Ösel.

Ösel: Thank you so much.

Student: I have heard about you for so many years, was looking forward to see you some day, and today is the day. I have got one question, I’ve got a lot of questions, but I’ll just ask one for now. So Lama Yeshe had said, in regards to what you are talking about love, loving kindness and so forth. Lama Yeshe had said that for a man, and it would also be true for a woman, the sense of in the case of a man, a feeling, a longing for the other, the yin, the feminine, and the man he feels lonely without a woman because he feels he is only half of a whole; and in my life that has been an ongoing theme. I have experienced a lot of rejection. So there are obviously relative and ultimate aspects of how to address that. I remember reading that...

Ösel: I’ll talk about that first.

Student: OK.

Ösel: Otherwise I am going to forget the first part. [Laughter]

So this is a very good subject actually, because it happens every day. So mainly, there is many aspects to that, different perspectives. Let’s say. 

So I want to touch on all of them. Or at least the ones we will touch on now. So one aspect of course you say is that we are male, we don’t have female. We want the female or something. So this is actually incorrect, because we have both. We have the male aspect, and the female aspect, within us. When we were conceived at the beginning, there is no sex, and it is only later on that it happens. The base of the fetus is exactly the same.

Another thing also is rejection. Rejection is a good question about this. This aspect, because we are scared of rejection, we don’t take the initiative. Sometimes we are scared of making mistakes, we cut our creativity. We shut down our creativity, because we are scared of making mistakes.

So many times, we set ourselves up for rejection, basically. Because we have that fear that our hope attitude is based around that fear; and that can be sensed. Or it can be felt, that energy. Like evolution and nature has been created in such a way, there are many, many aspects of the human form, of life that we are not aware of, very, very subtle ones. So these things, they are all part of that. There are lots of details of this aspect. Then of course, so basically, many times if we are not comfortable with ourselves, if we don’t love ourselves. If we feel we need something from the outside, that we are not complete, in other words, then that is also going to reflect in our energy, our attitude right?

So that is also something that is not attractive. Whichever sex that it is. That is how it works. You are attracted to somebody who is very comfortable with themselves. Who really loves themselves, doesn’t need anybody, who is not a needy person. Or physical contact or I want to be next to you, like you get attached to the formless, that is what I am talking about. The feeling, that many people mistake the word love for that. The feeling that the other person makes you feel. You get attached to that, I love you. No, you don’t love that person, you love the feeling that they create in you, or that you have when you are in the presence of that person. So you love that. Then I love you only, if you stay only with me. Then, boom, you see there is a condition. Many times the result can be suffering. So then if it is true love, then there can be no suffering, because it is unconditional love, universal love right?

So the suffering doesn’t come from the love, it comes from the attachment, the expectations, from the idealizations. So basically we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. We do that a lot, we tend to do that, the same way, we want to be happy, everybody wants to happy, but the method we are going on about to become happy is completely the opposite. It is going to give us the opposite result. We are actually going to end up suffering. Because of the intention, Iwant to be happymeSo it is self-centered. So as long as you have that concept, it is impossible to really be happy. Because you are only thinking about this concept of me. The whole part of being satisfied is because you are not living the moment. The moment you live in the present, you have gratitude. The priority is not going to be me; it is going to be everybody else. When you have that, then you are super-happy. Because you don’t multiply that self pity. Anything good is multiplied, anything bad is not so bad. So that is also one of the main practices within Dharma is to be aware of your motivation. You love yourself, you help yourself, you learn, you grow. You take care of yourself, in order to help other sentient beings to be able to achieve the same. To understand the true nature of your mind. To understand your potential. All of these aspects is a practice of Dharma.

So going back to that part; creating the right conditions. To attract the person you are looking for maybe it is not a person. Maybe you just have to be with yourself. If you are lonely alone, you are going to be lonely, anywhere and with anyone. That is how it is; you have to learn to enjoy your company. You have to be able to because we are born alone and we die alone. That’s a fact. I am sorry I have to give it to you like that, but it is how it happens. OK?

We can only communicate to others through the five senses, if you think about it, unless of course you practice meditation and you reach telepathic realizations. You can talk to aliens. [Laughter] Unless, otherwise it is all about looking into each other eyes. To look into the window of the soul; the eyes are the window of the soul. Ooooohh, watch out I am looking at you. No I am just kidding. [Laughter] Through a hug for example, a smile, even cooking some food, playing some music, or singing or talking, there are so many aspects of communication of sharing of what we have, what we feel, painting. We are expressing the magic of life, ‘’Wow that is so artistic!’’. Why is it so artistic? Because it represents what we are looking for, which is the moment now, this happening, the magic that is happening, We forget about it, because we get used to it, then we start looking everywhere else, we don’t realize what we are looking for, our whole life is right in front of us. Well inside of us. The whole time, so when we stop we sit down; we stop searching; thinking and worrying, and all that and a real voice within. You can hear it, the voice of the heart, the gut feeling, an intuition.

So all these aspects and now I got lost. I wanted to come back somewhere. [Laughter] Maybe someone can help?

[Students call out love]

Ösel: Love? It always comes back to that right?[Laughter] Good point.Thank you, Richard. Yeah, the five senses. We are all communicating through that, if you take that away, how are you going to communicate? We are all isolated in ourselves, but if we accept it then we can be connected to everything, to everybody. Because there is no separation; in the ultimate definition of reality, which is very difficult to understand conceptually, because actually for us more like the basic. Like the conventional concept ideas, more difficult to understand. The ultimate reality there is no separation, right? There is no time, no distance, and no separation. That aspect is different right?

Normally from our normal, small potato, Mickey Mouse point of view, then we are alone. We have to start there; we have to start understanding and accepting them. If we don’t confront ourselves; if we don’t confront our problems, our issues, our traumas, our difficulties. Even the ones we actually ignore, many times we will be fooling ourselves, will be ignoring aspects of ourselves, we don’t want to take responsibility, or recognize. So while we are doing that is very difficult. We don’t recognize it is very difficult, so many times we need other people, to help us to see that. That’s why life is about sharing, about caring is about understanding, together learning from each other. 

You don’t learn from one person only, and nobody can teach you unless you learn. So you are the one who is learning, can’t teach a baby to walk, they have to learn how to walk. You can show them an example for them to learn from. So these are all these aspects, mainly you have to challenge yourself; you have to confront that aspect of yourself. Otherwise you are just by-passing. You are taking refuge in something in order not to have to do that challenge. Eventually you are going to have to come back to that, one day you are going to have to confront that aspect of yourself. Life is all about learning, and the day we are dying, we are still learning how to die, the process of that, even though we have done it many lifetimes. Like being a parent, even though we’ve done it many lifetimes. Or being born, it is not a new thing, every lifetime it seems like a new thing, because the memory the karmic memory is all there, the imprint is there; but the gross mind is not able to see that subtle aspect. 

That is why it is so important to meditate, because you sharpen the mind. You cut through the illusions. Then you are to perceive the very subtle aspects of life, starting with yourself and your mind. That is why it is a training, it is not like from one day to another I am going sit straight and do some mantras, and I am going to look cool, for people to think I am really advanced; and then I am going to show-off, because I studied this and I studied that, and I went to this initiation, and did that retreat...dah, dah, dah, dah. Then in the end, maybe you go somewhere and you get stressed, and somebody says something and you talk really badly to him or her because you were not aware. You don’t even recognize you are actually being unkind to someone, so that wouldn’t be real practice, because all of this practice is complementary to the warm heart. Main practice is warm heart. 

So you have three aspects if you want to, according to Dharma. Three aspects if you want to get out of samsara. Or to be liberated; or nirvana, or whatever you want to call it. It is just a concept for now. At least you have to know where you want to go, right? You have to have an aim. When you walk you look at the steps, where you are going, the road you going. You don’t look far away. You can’t think about step ten, if you haven’t taken step one. So it is a process. So there are three aspects, to attain that according to Dharma. One would be the method. So what is the method? It is compassion, nyingje, bodhicitta. That is the method, true compassion. Complementary to that you have the wisdom, sherab. Then the wisdom comes together with that, and helps you to put in practice properly, to give a direction, an aim, an objective. Then together with that you need the renunciation; because without renunciation it is very difficult. You have to be aware of samsara. Nge jung, right? To be aware of the reality. All the aspects your mind; and all that is going on outside; together with everybody else. So there a lot of things that we have to be coherent about, put into relativity with us, because that is how we learn based on our perspective, because we are stuck in our body right? It is not a prison, but if we chose for it to be a prison, it can be a prison. 

So that’s why adapting is very important. Every moment like when stress is coming or some difficulty, you stop, you breathe deeply. You ask yourself do I really want to invite this guest in? And give him the full power of my body, full control of my thoughts, full control of my actions and full control of my words. Do I really want to invite this guest in? An uninvited guest, why would you? It is a destructive emotion, that guest is bringing. The result is only going to be more suffering more pain, more harm. Unless of course you go through it, you feel it, you understand it, and you learn from it, and you correct that, like that, and change that. You make the effort not to repeat it.

Also to apologize, I think apologizing is so important. Even if you are not wrong! [Laughter] It is true. Why because you give space for the person, who did make the mistake to apologize to you. If you don’t apologize, “Oh, I didn’t do anything, it is not my fault. I am not going to apologize. It is his fault.’’ If you don’t give that space, and that person sometimes if they are very proud, then they will never apologize, so that will be just stuck there. And you’ll carry that, he’ll carry that. So it is good to apologize.

It is always good to say, “Thank You.” Always good to apologize. It helps a lot to bring up the frequencies, so people can communicate better. If we are grateful it is very easy to think about others, before yourself. Because for us to exist there are so many conditions have to come into place for us to be able to do what we do every day. I mean this body is just amazing it is working 24/7 for us; at our disposition, our tireless servant, which we don’t appreciate. We only think about the body when something is not working properly. Then what’s going on...aaahhhhh. Otherwise we don’t listen to our body, so important to listen to the body; because the body is working for us tirelessly. All the time the heart starts beating up to two weeks after when you are conceived, and from that moment on it never stops beating. Now that’s love. That is dedication. Wow! [Pause].

Ösel: Any more questions? [Ösel asks previous student] Is that good for you? Did that help? 

Basically create your base you are your best friend. You have you. And when you get to that frequency, you’ll attract that energy to you; but it very good sometimes meditating, you have female also in you. Sometimes when you are meditating, you visualize you are hugging your consort, your female part, your female side. It has a shape, it has a form, and you can embrace it because it is part of you.

[Inaudible voice calls from background.]

Ösel: Yeah. You can say that. That is part of the visualizations. Even though I am not allowed to talk about it. Just to help you have that idea. Because it is true, we are complete by ourselves. So never have that concept again. We are completely interdependent. We receive and we give, we are part of something. We are functional aspect of a much larger collective memory; so many aspects, very complex. At the same time is very simple. I am not going to get into that; I am trying to help out a little bit with the everyday life, everyday aspect. Of how to improve your life, of how to be happier. So more questions? Yeah. One, two, OK.

Student: Hello Lama Ösel. Thank you very much for taking my question. I had one question, you talked about renunciation, and I wondered if you had any advice on how you would develop that, day by day, in situations?

Ösel: So renunciation. Renunciation is not about saying, now I am going to stop doing what I love the most. I am going to suffer in order to be happy. That is not renunciation. Renunciation is also not about, now I am going to take a lot of pain, in order to feel renunciation. It is not like that. It is not about the extremes, it is about the balance. So if you are able to start seeing more the whole process of how we interpret the experience of life. Then we start to get more renunciation. In a sense that we don’t grasp, get so attached to material objects, or formless aspects of our self. Because we aware of the reality, we can enjoy. We can experience it but without the grasping mind. Because we understand the reality, so that is also renunciation. It is not complete renunciation maybe but it is a start, it is a beginning. The word renunciation, is not a correct translation from nge jung; at least I don’t feel it is a complete translation. It is one aspect of it but it has much more to it. So nge jung keyba. [Tibetan] Also means so when you see, when you are really, really attached to something like a chocolate cake. So you have so much attachment, so much grasping. If you aware though that this chocolate cake by itself, is empty from its own side. 

The fact that it depends on everything; interdependently, in order to exist. That aspect is empty, is empty from its own side, doesn’t exist independently, is a collective, is a part. So when you start seeing things like breaking down, aspects and doing analytical meditation, and questioning reality. All of those aspects, it will help you transform that, because the chocolate cake in itself and the experience to the chocolate cake, is temporary (repeat). Just like the suffering, temporary suffering, and temporary pleasure. We got so attached that even sometimes we get attached to suffering. We get attached to being toxic somehow, it is a habit, and it is a pattern. We create neuro pathways, and we follow them. It is like a path in the forest, if nobody walks through the forest, everything will grow, and you can’t see any path. If you walk the same direction every day, same place, that path will maintain itself. Then it is very fast, you can use and walk the path very fast. You don’t have to go with a machete. Chopping down things, right?

The same way in the brain, the neuro pathways are like that the more you use them, you create the habit, and the easier it is to go back to that. That is why it is very important to be aware of your habits. That’s why this course is called Habit Alignment; we try to create new habits, so we can take those habits into our everyday life and incorporate them.

Was that your question? OK? So part of renunciation is to recognize it is just temporary pleasure and not to be attached to let it pass, like the thoughts, like the clouds in the sky. They come and go. Not to try to grasp, not to try to catch them, because there is nothing to take, nothing to catch. You can’t catch these thoughts, but you have this concept that you can, it looks solid, looks real looks like it is permanent. Afterwards you have a question, so she is going to ask.

Student: Hello my name is Lisa; and I just want to thank you for describing One Big Love. I experienced it yesterday, so I was in San Francisco, the Bay View area. People were underserved, and I was giving away coats and clothes and shoes. Yesterday there was a man who wheeled up in his wheelchair. He couldn’t walk, so he got up to look at the clothes I had, the coat that we had on the hanger, and he put it on, and he started dancing, he started twirling, he goes “I feel like I am in high-school’’. He was 62 years old, he said, “This is the coat I had when I was at high school, I had these shoes, these pants, and was with my friends." He was transported from 62 to high school, by putting on a jacket. That connection is why I continue to give away clothes, collect clothes, give them away. Because the first time I experienced that was when a man needed shoes, and he started tap dancing. Something like that is One Big Love to me. Thank You.

Ösel: Or a mother’s love also for her son. Actually that’s why Buddhism always talks about all mother sentient beings. So that you can relate to that love, because according to Dharma, we’ve been in the cycle of death and rebirth for a very long time. Everybody has been each other’s mother, at some time. Because it is such a long time, it has been eons. One eon I think is the life of a star. Many, many, infinite eons. So when you say all mother sentients beings, it helps you to relate through that unconditional love to everybody. A bug, a human, a mosquito doesn’t matter they were your mother at sometime. You are able to generate that unconditional love.

Student: Thank you so much for being here today, and sharing with us about One Big Love. I have a question about the opposite aspect of that. That seems to be appearing very much in our civilisation today.

Ösel: Opposite of what? Love?

Student: Yes.

Ösel: Would be indifference. Not hate? Indifference.

Student: Indifference as well as violence, or harming others; and how we can better work with that situation in our country, for example, and also with indifference to climate change; and our environment, and how that can.....

Ösel: So there is phrase, be the change that you want to see in the world. That is a very accurate phrase actually for this question. Because it is not about worrying about or criticizing or getting aggressive or resentful or negative or stressed about what is happening with people out there. Instead we are just participating in the same low frequency vibration. Instead if we just transform, we over valuing negativity. We are just focussing on some bad aspects. Actually in life sometimes things happen to you because they have to happen. We may see as something really bad at the beginning, afterwards maybe it is exactly what we needed in order to make that change. In order to get out of the comfort zone. I am not saying it is OK to be a bad person. I am not saying that at all. I am trying to give you a tool to adapt positively to any situation. So that means you can see the positive in everything. Because everything that happens, has a positive. [Ösel pauses]

So basically the work is within ourselves, the work is not with outside, with people and all that. Of course there is work out there; you have to start with yourself. If you don’t start with yourself and you start working outside, then it is going to be a disaster. You can’t love someone, if you can’t love yourself. You can’t feel not lonely, if you are lonely with yourself, you can’t feel not lonely with anybody. Unless you feel you know. These are aspects of something. Once it is in you that will reflect the reality that is around you. That is a little bit like my perspective in that. 

It is very difficult, people say we are destroying the world, poor planet, dah, dah, dah, dah. I don’t believe the planet is in risk at all. I feel humanity is at risk. The planet has been here for millions of years. Planet Earth, Mother Earth, Pachamama, she will sneeze, get a fever and that is it; wipe out humanity. She will continue no problem. It is us we have to be worried about, the next generations to come. The planet of course we have to worry about. We have to respect, have to adapt. 

We have to be like the animals, the native creatures of the planet, the animals; they are the ones who are part of the whole flora. They take care of each other, there is a whole kind of functionality, every single aspect of life, within earth; and we are there normally. We are like the parasite, instead of adapting to the circumstance, we want the circumstance to adapt to us, and we want to change everything for our comfort. It is a little bit like the king with the shoes, same story. We want to put leather everywhere. That’s what is happening, exactly. We don’t want to adapt, not only don’t we want to adapt; we want to overvalue negativity so much more. There are so many good things happening more than bad things. Even the bad things can be good things too; it is just a question of changing our perception, and creating the reality and putting our grain of sand, in order for that change to happen. You can’t expect there to be change, if you are not changing yourself. You can’t change anybody, you can give yourself space and time for that change to happen within yourself. Then through that you create the example, you create the circumstances for others to also learn from that aspect; from that example. OK any more questions? 

Student: Hello Ösel.

Ösel: Is it Larry?

Larry: Yes.I have very little discipline, and the older I get the less discipline I seem to have. I have some bad habits, and attachments I would like to get rid of; and it seems the more I try to get rid of them the stronger they get. In the past, I have got rid of a lot of bad habits by just doing them until I got sick of them. [Laughter]

Ösel: Did it work?

Larry: Yeah! [Laughter] It actually did, but it seems like kind of a dangerous path. [Laughter]

Ösel: [Ösel sighs] What was the first part you were saying? Laziness?

Larry: Yeah, laziness, undisciplined.

Ösel: Me too! We are in the same boat. I think you are rocking my boat right now. [Laughter] 

So I am going to talk about myself now. The body is not lazy. The mind is lazy. Just like the patience, you have to be patient with yourself. It’s not like you lost patience with that person; it doesn’t work like that, you lost patience with yourself. So the same way you are lazy, it not like it is difficult, oh it is your mind. Some people they have the most difficult circumstances, but they excel, wow! Some people have the best conditions, and they are just a total disaster. It is about the mind, how we think, what we want; but I have some good news for you Larry. [Laughter] Fifty percent is recognizing it, so most of the time people don’t see that aspect. Be it addiction or attitude, state of mind, the way they relate to people, many people do not see it at all. The fact that you see it is all ready fifty percent. That’s really good right? [Laughter]

Already the fact you have that thought, you are already creating the conditions to move in that direction, because that is a big part. The body is very amazing, you put your mind to it, and your body will adapt, will allow it to happen, it will create the condition for you to go in that direction.

So discipline it comes slowly, you can’t just suddenly jump from one day to another, start making small efforts, baby steps. You can’t expect to be jumping on the moon, like tomorrow, if humanity ever got to the moon, I don’t know. It is a question for another day, but if you want to be jumping on the moon, you have to start, studying engineering for example, to become an astronaut, right? I mean they are not going to send you to the moon just like that. So it is a process. 

So where do you start? You start like that. Fifty percent by recognizing, you have a problem, you have an issue, that you want to change that, you are creating the direction. That is already good, big step. I think you are doing really good Larry. Good job, congratulations! [Laughter] 

The rest is up to you in the sense we have to save ourselves from ourselves. That is basically what Dharma is telling us; I think all religions actually is going to be saying that any spiritual concept, philosophy is going to say that; “We can best our best friend, or our worst enemy’’, basically we have to save ourselves from ourselves, because of that because we are undisciplined, we are lazy, because we procrastinate, we relax. Procrastinating can be good, it is good sometime, we need it, but not all the time, it is like food, you can enjoy something, but if you eat too much, you don’t enjoy it. There is a phrase, it says less is more, and more is less. That is the balance, the middle way.

So good luck with your discipline. I need luck, too. I need the help and it is not easy so ;I understand exactly what you mean. As long as you take baby steps—slowly, slowly, slowly. Don’t push yourself too hard; don’t feel too guilty either because that is bad. That is bringing you down right? You look back, and wow; look to where I’ve got to now. So that helps you to get good motivation, pumped up. Then you go in the front where you want to go. Don’t despair, there is always a long way to go.

That’s why if we understand that we are learning every day, then we are wise. Because we are receiving information all the time, and we are interpreting the information, that is how we relate and interact with reality. If we are not learning, then how can we know? That is why Plato said, “The wisest man is the one who knows he doesn’t know anything.” Because we are constantly learning, if you are humble enough to recognize that, then you are wise. Because you are ready to adapt; to absorb, to understand, to really be present.

Do you want to do short pee-pee break? It is 2.22 pm. Shall we do that? Five minutes? Yeah? Is that OK Kim? Yeah, OK thank you. I am just going to go to the bathroom and maybe take a five-minute break, then we can continue with the questions. So think about maybe some questions. Some subject you would like me to talk about. Thank You. 

[Break]

Ösel: OK, so do more people have any questions? One, two, how many more people have questions? Three, so will do three questions and then we will wrap it up.

Student: Thank you Ösel-la. Would you say something about the path of the householder; compared to the path of the monk? My personal bias is that the Vinaya is very hard to keep as a monk or a nun, and I think I have more hope as a householder. [Laughter]

Ösel: Each person is completely different from each other; the base is the same, right? How our minds react, what we like not everybody likes the same things. The way we like it also, there are many different aspects to that. Of course I think a meditator who has been isolated for twenty years, in a cave and suddenly he has to have a family, a wife and kids, I think he would run back to the cave! [Laughter]

So I think actually in many aspects, to be a householder is more difficult, than to be a meditator in a cave. Sometimes that could even be spiritual bypassing. Oh, I am just going to retire to my cave. I am going to say I am really patient, because there is nobody there to make you angry. Of course you are patient, wait until you are put into a householder’s life; let’s see how patient you are then. That is a good question, right?

How do you practice patience with yourself, you have to have the triggers, the catalysts. So in order to have compassion, how can you practice compassion without other sentient beings? How can you practice patience? Even though the compassion starts within, you have to have compassion for yourself, to know what it is, and how to offer that patience and humility and everything. Of course it is a vice versa thing; that’s why like for me, I don’t feel comfortable sitting too high up. Because I want to relate to everybody as a friend, like we can relate to each other. For me; I learn from you, and you learn from me, it is not like I am teaching anything. I am just sharing something; you are the one who is learning, that is the main aspect. 

For me teaching, if you don’t learn anything, then I don’t teach anything. So it is up to you, not up to me. One of the aspects of guru, the translation would be spiritual friend. So it changes a lot, when you look at it that way, so we are all spiritual friends. We help each other, support each other, learn from each other, and many times we learn about ourselves through other people, many times what we hate most in somebody else’s aspect, is what we don’t like about ourselves. We see in someone else, and it affects us. [Phone rings in background] The phone, everybody is looking at the phone [Laughter] even though it is not so important; but the mind chases it. It is waiting to chase something all the time. We are always ready to go behind anything just like the wind with the grass; whatever direction the wind goes that is where the grass goes. 

That is how we are, where ever the mind goes we go after that. You want to be the captain of your boat, you don’t want to let the wind take you where ever the sail (is). You will most probably crash. So you want to use the wind, the sail to get where you want to go, you use it, you adapt. So that’s why always be aware of the mind, where is it going where is it moving? Observe, check. The more you check, the more you observe the more you learn about yourself. You can integrate that into your life be happier; because everything will be less, not so heavy. Like the bad things won’t be so heavy. Because you will be able to see the relativity; based on our perception. We choose how to perceive something, we have the power, and we are the ones responsible. Very easy to say not in my hands, we have to take responsibility. Ok which was the other question? Is that good?

Student: Very good thank you.

Ösel: Actually being a householder is great practice, very good practice. practice of patience is good, practice of hard work, discipline, humility, love, dedication, and understanding, great gratitude, empathy. So many different aspects, sometimes I think as a householder you can progress much faster than meditating in a cave. Because you are bombarded by cataclysms; all the time. [Laughter] You have no choice but to adapt. Many people ‘‘Oh, I’m in love, I’m in love’’, but you are idolizing something, like chemistry, chemical, endocrines, dopamine’s all that, finishes off, wears off after three years. It is about the time they give it, three years, physical chemistry. “I’m in love, I’m in love’’, when that finishes, the three years then suddenly, it changes a little bit the relationship. It is not physical any more. So if you don’t have a strong friendship, then after three years you have crisis. You are idolizing, you are setting yourself for disappointing. You want to change the other person, if you don’t want to adapt, you want the person to adapt to you. You want to make them how you want them to be, because then you will like them more. It is better for them, good for them. 

Each person is in their own point of evolution in their life. You can’t relate to them like I need this, he needs this, sometimes it is different. So it is good always gives the space. Two birds cannot fly if there is no space. If they are stuck, if birds acted like humans act when they fall in love, birds could never fly.  So much clinging, so much attachment. No space, what are doing, where did you go, who were you with? If you are with me only, then I’ll love you; but only if you are just with me. What? Then you shouldn’t say love you; what you should say is ‘’If you are only with me then I’ll be attached to you." That’s the way you should exist. 

So from my perspective, I’m talking from experience, like you have no choice. So I had my son, and I had to put him as priority. Even then there was difficulty with the mother, very difficult situations, because the love for the son was over-powering everything. The problems kind of disappeared, dissolved. So as long as you focus on the true love, then everything else will lose power. Especially if it is negative, if it is not helpful, if it is destructive, counter-productive, de-evolving. That is good and bad not to evolve or devolve for two people, to move forwards to move backwards, you always have that choice, it is never too late, it is always early. 

Ok which was the next question?

Student: Yes, I had a question. Ihave just enjoyed a wonderful period of time with you, and many fabulous people, and I am a newcomer to this, I am a native of this valley. So my question is, and somewhat understanding who you are and what you represent personally, within this tradition. My question is what is the role of tradition? Which I visualize as the taproot of the whole process. What we call Buddhism here. What is the role of tradition, how does that interplay with the kind of change that we are experiencing and continue to anticipate that emerges right here in this valley? What does adaptation and how do those things dance together in this kind of tradition? I ask you again because of what I perceive you represent; some kind of a new perspective, a little bit of a change. That is my question.

Ösel: So tradition would be if you think about the tree, it would be in the roots, the trunk of the tree, the base. Why because tradition is based on the experience of people, people who have been realized, truly realized not people who use information, power to control, like that. The actual people who have reached certain realizations and experiences and then they share that with others. The technique to arrive to that point, so that is why I think tradition is very important, but we have to be able to differentiate even within the institution.

There are two parts to the institution. The institution is based on the control and the aspect of power and influence, wealth that kind of aspect of the institution. Then the other aspect of the institution, which are the guardians of the teachings, philosophy, and pure form, untouched. That is the important part of the institution what His Holiness is talking about; which is much more important than gurus and tulkus; because that is what really keeps the teachings alive. That part of the institution. So we have to be able to differentiate that from one side.

Then of course we have to be able to differentiate the actual aspect of philosophy, any aspect is the lifestyle, and the attitude. So we can understand the philosophy very well, but if we don’t put it into practice, then there is not much meaning to it. The tradition of doing mantra, water bowls and prostrations, all of that has meaning. It is creating a habit in our mind, in our brain in our body; an imprint that is helping us to achieve, to understand the true nature of our mind. So these are all techniques that have been created for us to get there. We call it tradition, but it has a lot of meaning to it. People were probably wiser at that time. Probably, I can’t guarantee, but generally they were wiser. We have more information these days, how we use that information these days is different. We are losing our roots a lot, in many aspects, we are losing touch with our roots. Planting, growing that is just one aspect we are losing. 

How many people here actually plant and grow their own food? Four or five people; it is basic stuff. So just in that aspect it is very few, because we are in this new time, suddenly if you take out all the supermarkets, most of us wouldn’t survive, wouldn’t know where we are going to get our food from. Back in the day, people were wise enough to know where to find the food without supermarkets. Anyway that is just one more aspect. So tradition is really helpful if we want to be able to branch out, if we want to be able to really have different branches that can help people to find meaning in their life, to be happier, but in order for that to stay intact, we must have the tradition, we must have. Otherwise it gets really lost, it becomes kinda like, what would you call it? 

[Someone calls out - inaudible]

Ösel: It just becomes watered down; it is not the original nectar. It is like Lama Zopa would probably use an example as “the mark that the tea leaves in the cup after drinking it’’, that line; it becomes like that. Instead of having the tea itself you only have – what is it called? That line. It is a little bit like that, if you don’t have the tradition. Very difficult to really, it is very easy to misunderstand or misinterpret, so you can always come back to all that. I recommend to you to try everything, and see what works for you. Ultimately we are all going to the same place. 

You had a question right? Who was it? Oh Harvey.... Oh sorry, him.

Student: It is more of a confession.

Ösel: Oh a confession! [Laughter]

Student: Because he comes from Spain. The values of compassion and love and forgiveness. I believe in them, butwhen I get behind the wheel of my car; sometimes they go out the window. I get into mini road-rage. When you forget, you forget that you forget. This is to me difficult.

Ösel: Do you play music in the car? Do you put music, when you are driving?

Student: Sometimes.

Ösel: Is most of the times when you don’t have road rage is when you don’t have music?

Student: I never thought of this.

Ösel: Do you have road rage with music? Well it depends on the music if you have like Iron Maiden. [Laughter] It is easy to have road-rage. If you have something really melodious like the Tara Mantra. [Laughter] See you are creating the conditions.

Student: But it’s the other drivers, creating the conditions.

Ösel:Of course blame the other right? Easy thing to do; that is the first mistake we do.

Student:I get when I am alone on the road.

Ösel: Oh, you get road-rage when you are alone?

Student:No, no never. [Laughter]

Ösel: Oh, never say never. Justin Bieber he said that. [Laughter] He is a music artist.

So basically road rage is very interesting, because it means we are not aware of the moment, we are not with ourselves. Or maybe we are toomuch with ourselves. We can’t stand ourselves, that is when road rage happens. We can’t stand our mind, too much ahhhwwww, is so toxic. So we lash outside. It is a way of expressing ourselves. We have conflict and we have toxicity and frustration. The way we express it is like that [Ösel growls] like road rage or something. If we observe and we are aware we can transform, we can channel it, we can use that energy for something more useful. 

So it is important to be aware. Use it, if you are stuck in traffic, use that time, adapt to it, and use it for your own creativity. So when you are stuck in traffic, use it to do mantras and use it to practice patience, do some meditation, some breathing. Or just sit down and relax, and enjoy that time, be like this is my resting time. Instead if you are like [Ösel growls] instead of resting, completely contrary, you tire yourself so much you channel all this negativity and then you get to where ever you are going and you feel so tired, so exhausted.

Sometimes we do things that are going to complicate our lives, so much more and we still do it; even knowing it and having been doing it for so long. That is about habits also; we do things that are counterproductive. They take away our quality of life. We will still continue living, but the quality of our life will be diminished. So all these things we have to be aware of, we always have to be checking, observing. OK?

Anyways, anything else? No.

Thank you so much everybody for coming, for listening to my boring talking. I am sorry if I create any confusion or made any mistakes I am really sorry. Let us dedicate, OK?

[Dedication prayers]

Thank you.