So, good evening. All those, all the brothers and sisters and those whom I met in the past, met, or those who are first time, so happy to meet all of you.
So before the talk, to do meditation and prayer to pay homage to kind compassionate Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and the Triple Gem.
[Rinpoche recites Praise to Shakyamuni Buddha to “…chog tu de pe chag tsel lo.”]
Buddha’s basic advice, “to not engage in unwholesome actions, engage in perfect wholesome actions, subdue one’s own mind: This is the teaching of the Buddha.”
Then next, look at these causative phenomena, which includes one’s own life, one’s own body, possessions, surrounding people, friends, enemies, strangers, all these five sense objects, all these causative phenomena, look at these causative phenomena like a star.
So daytime when the sun rises you can’t see star. So, whenever, in the everyday day when we are talking, when we’re doing conversation, when we’re chatting, talking by telephone, whichever way, when we’re talking we’re labeling all the time. When we’re thinking, we’re labeling. When we’re talking, we’re labeling. Our mind is labeling, giving label “this” and “that.” When we’re in school, teacher is introducing label to us. Teacher is teaching us in school, in university, professors teaching, but what it is exactly, teaching labels, this and that, putting label, introducing labels, names, label, name. Giving a label on a phenomenon, a name, this and that. So when we’re learning, we’re learning labels, names. When we’re thinking, our mind is constantly making up labels, giving names, this, this, this. Name of the person, I, the doer, name, label, then action, do this, we’ll be doing this, he’s doing this and so give labels, names for the objects. Then somebody is doing this and that, so somebody, the doer is somebody, label, then action, then object.
So when we’re doing conversation, talking on the telephone, whatever, so the mind is constantly creating label, giving label.
So, just this one simple example of that. So, before you made in the noodle in the kitchen, before you mixed flour and, noodles or, before you mixed the flour with water and made noodles, before that, your mind gave the label “noodle,” “we’re going to eat noodles tonight.” So your mind gave the label “noodle,” but noodle is not made yet. There’s no noodle yet. There might be flour, but maybe you’re going to buy flour from the market. Maybe there’s no flour even. There’s no flour even, maybe there’s no flour in the kitchen, anyway, maybe you have to buy anyway. So, like that, “Oh, we’re going to eat the noodles tonight!” So that time noodle doesn’t exist. That time noodle doesn’t exist but the mind, the label is given, imputed but noodle doesn’t exist.
And then, because there is no base, the flour mixed with the water and then made this, made long, whether you put through machines or with hands made long , cut and then, made flat and then long. However, so that which receives the name “noodle,” so it doesn’t exist, it’s not there. So, the label is given, the mind has imputed the label “noodle,” but that time noodle doesn’t exist. But there is this flour mixed with water and then made long, fine, whether through a machine or whether with the hands, cut then made small ones. It is there but the label “noodle” is not given. Also that time noodle doesn’t exist.
So when does noodle come into existence? Is, this material which can receive the label “noodle” is there, then the mind gave, made up the label “noodle” and believed in that. So when that happens, the minute when that happened then the noodle [snaps fingers] came into existence. Noodle came into existence.
So, mind seeing this specific phenomenon, made of the flour, the long, so mind which sees that, made up the label “noodle.” Mind which sees the base made up the label “noodle” and believed in that. So, that’s what it is. That’s what it is. Noodle what exists is nothing more than that, nothing slightest more than that. It’s just basically, mind which sees that phenomenon, which has that particular design, then made up the label “noodle” and believed that. So therefore, what is noodle? What is noodle? It’s nothing other except what is merely imputed by the mind, what is merely imputed by your mind. Nothing other than what is merely imputed by your mind.
So noodle exists, but what it is is nothing other except what is merely imputed by mind. So it’s extremely subtle phenomenon, extremely, when you analyze what it is exactly, that phenomenon, it’s nothing other except what is merely imputed by mind. So this is extremely fine, very, extremely subtle. Extremely subtle, what it is exactly. It is not nonexistent, but it’s like nonexistent. It is like nonexistent. So, “like nonexistent” is big differences, if you put the word “like.” “Like nonexistent” means it exists, “like” makes difference like sky and earth, when we put the word “like.” So it exists, but it’s unbelievable subtle phenomenon, how the noodle exists, what is it exactly, how it exists, if we analyze.
The four schools of Buddhist philosophers, the Prasangika, the Madhyamika school, the Svatantrika school and the Prasangika school, the second, Prasangika school, according to that philosophy view of how phenomena exist, the subtlest, the extremely subtle dependent arising, how things are, how things exist, how things are functioning, I, action, object, all, the whole entire phenomena.
So like the whole entire phenomena, what they are, how they exist, how they’re functioning exactly is this, the example how the noodle, the nature of the noodle, what is it, how it exists, in mere name, merely imputed by mind and functions in that way. Exist that way and cease also that way, came into existence in that way, birth, existing, ceasing is all in mere name, merely imputed by mind. The noodle, that these three things happening in mere name, merely imputed by mind.
So anyway, so extremely fine, extremely subtle, the border line of existing, not existing. The noodle , the existing or not existing, so it’s unbelievable subtle, extremely subtle. The border line existing, not existing, exist in mere name, merely imputed by mind.
So anyway, so therefore, many famous meditators made mistakes that…. [strange noise in background] I think we are given more examples. So not only noodle, also that sound. More examples of emptiness. More meditation, more examples of emptiness, more phenomena, more things, means more meditation on emptiness. So one extra meditation on emptiness. So anyway….
So many meditators make mistakes that, so extremely easy to fall in nihilism, nothing exists, because so subtle, unbelievable subtle, what it is, how it exists. So therefore, very easy to fall in nihilism, nothing exists. Or eternalism, things exist from its own side by its nature or, things exist from its own side or things exist by its nature, so inherent existence. So you fell, then here, then you fall in eternalism, so another extreme. So you don’t see the Middle Way view, you don’t see the truth, the ultimate reality of the phenomena, the ultimate reality of the noodle , so you don’t see it.
So, ignorant, not seeing the Middle Way view, devoid of the extreme, the eternalism, devoid of the extreme, the nihilism. So you don’t see the Middle Way view, so obscured, you don’t see the Middle Way view, so that’s ignorance, that unknowing mind is ignorance. So that becomes the root, or basis, of the delusions, so that ignorance not knowing, unknowing the ultimate reality of the phenomena, can’t see the truth, the Middle Way view, can’t see. Either you fall in nihilism or fell in the other extreme, the eternalism.
So, the Madhyamika school, the first one, Svatantrika school, rang gyu pa, so that philosopher, the noodle or the I, the self, so in the case of noodle, cannot see, cannot accept that the noodle exists in mere name, merely imputed by mind. Cannot accept that. Because that philosopher, their doctrine is that, believes that it should have some existence from its own side, there should be something from its own side, cannot be only, cannot be just merely imputed by mind. There should be something from the side of the noodle, existing. So, believes existing from its own side, believes existing by nature. So therefore, cannot accept merely imputed by mind. So, if you accept merely imputed by mind then for that philosopher it becomes like nothing, doesn’t exist, so cannot see Middle Way view so think this way, believe this way. So, here, didn’t fall in the nihilism, that it doesn’t exist, but fell in eternalism, because believing there should be something from its own side, there should be some existence from its own side. Except that it’s labeled by mind, but cannot accept merely labeled by mind, because why? Because believes there should be something from its own side.
I remember, a long time ago, one Sangha, one old Sangha member, so discussing, so we were talking about merely imputed by mind, then the, so that monk was saying, “How’s it possible that, cannot be possible, merely imputed by mind, existing, that it exists being merely imputed by mind, not possible! There should be something from its own side! There should be something.” So that person what he thinks. So I think that’s similar to the Svatantrika school belief, their philosophy.
So anyway, so like that, even the Madhyamika school, the fourth one, so Svatantrika school, even that one believes, as ?I said, philosophy like this. Accept labeled by mind, of course, but thinking there should be some existence from its own side. So therefore, cannot accept that exists in mere name, merely imputed by mind.
[Sound of Rinpoche drinking.]
So I think I drank the merely labeled water, but also I drank truly existent water. Truly, inherently existent water and as well as merely labeled water. One exists, one doesn’t exist. One just believed but it’s not there. One exists, not only believe but it exists, so….
So, [pause] as Lama Tsongkhapa explained in the teachings of the three principal aspects of the path to enlightenment, so when you see on one phenomenon the unification of emptiness and dependent arising so that time the analysis is completed. When you’re able to see, able to accept, able to see the emptiness and dependent arising, emptiness and existence, or emptiness and dependent, existence, what is that? That is dependent arising. So emptiness and existence unified on one phenomenon, like a noodle or I, so this, it is empty but at the same time, it is existing. So while it is existing it is empty. So the noodle, we just talked about noodle, so after this analysis, what it is, you see that it’s totally empty of existing from its own side, totally empty of that. But while it is empty you can see it is existing, so it is not completely nonexistent, it is existing, existing in mere name, merely imputed by mind, because there’s the base, because there’s this phenomenon, that has particular design can receive the label “noodle,” it exists, it’s there. It’s on the plate, it’s in the container. So therefore, what is merely imputed by your mind, noodle, believed in that, it exists. So this exist in that way. So therefore it is empty of existing from its own side, but at the same time, it is empty of existing from its own side and, so in other words, we can see here, when you say it is empty, in order to become a reason, it becomes a reason it exists. When you say it’s empty, this way of empty, not empty by name, not saying it’s not there. So, empty of existing from its own side or without mind being, without merely imputed by the mind, that it exists from its own side. So, empty of that. Empty of that.
So, when you say, therefore now here, when you say that something is empty, it becomes a reason that it exists. How it exists? Merely imputed by mind. So unified, emptiness and dependent arising. So, same thing the I is empty and, empty of existing from its own side, it’s empty means it exists, so exists in mere name, merely imputed by mind, so here again, unified emptiness and dependent arising. Emptiness and existence unified.
So, [pause] maybe just mention this anyway….
So, as I often mention, we have been believing not only in this hour but from this morning and from yesterday, from birth, one has been believing that there is a real I in this body. Not in the head, not in the hands, not in the toes, not in the legs, not even in the stomach, where there are so many stuffs there, I don’t mean “staff,” people working . There are so many stuffs there in the stomach. So, not there, not in the head, not in the neck, general belief is that inside the chest, above the belly, down below the neck. Somewhere here in the chest, somewhere this part of the body, inside, not outside. I is not outside, but somewhere here inside the body, inside the chest. When we do not examine, looks like it’s there. There’s a real I there hundred percent. No doubt! Hundred percent! No doubt, it’s there. No question. No question. You don’t go to see the doctor, ask for a check with the x-ray whether the I is there. Ask the doctor to check whether the I is there or not. Or operate. Do operation and check whether the I is there, whether the self is there. Or put a microscope and see, check whether the I is there, see, as one believes. Anyway, I’m joking, anyway.
That, there’s no doubt, hundred percent, believes, from the birth, from the mother’s womb, and from, this belief even the time when the consciousness took place on the fertilized egg in the mother’s womb. This belief, a real I there can be found, there, from the very beginning, from the very beginning of the conception, when the mind took, when the consciousness took place on the fertilized egg. Not that consciousness from there inherently exists from it’s own side, not like that. Not conceived that way, but took place, consciousness took place on the fertilized egg. So that’s why, took place on the fertilized egg so that’s why so many people, young and old, so many people they remember their past lives, so many children and old people they can see their, those who have more clear mind, clear memory, clear mind, like those who have much clear mind, clear memory, they can remember so many things. Who doesn’t have a clear mind, so many things forgotten, don’t remember, particularly childhood time. Things that has done longer time then can’t remember. So even in this life there is so many people can’t, there’s so much can’t remember, and then there are people who have very clear mind, can remember so many things, even from childhood time, even can remember from birth. I have met students who remember coming out of mother’s womb. So those who have clear mind, yes, can remember. So similar, so can remember life before this, where they were, totally remember. By using this life example, there’s some people can remember so much, and some people, those who, very unclear mind, then so many things forgotten, even the same day. I forget many things I’ve done the same day.
So, then when those people mind become more clearer through purification, purifying the pollutions, the defilements, the obscurations, do more purification, then memory comes back and can remember many things. Then, by actualizing calm abiding, the perfect meditation, shamatha, calm abiding, then Six Yogas of Naropa, with those realizations can, then those meditators, yogis, have very clear memory, can remember many past lives, where they were and…. I think Lama, I don’t remember hearing directly from Lama, Lama Yeshe, the founder of the organization, kinder than all the three-time buddhas, mentioned to one of the students that he went to this Iraq, not Iraq, maybe Israel or Iraq, totally I’m not sure of this, where there’s pyramids. Students: Egypt.] Egypt! Ah, Egypt. Egypt. So Lama went to see the pyramids in Egypt. So I think told that he remembered that a long time ago, many lifetimes ago, that Lama was there.
So, yeah, so the person whose mind become, lost so much memory, that’s due to cause and conditions happened, negative cause and conditions, impurity, so then by purifying through meditation, doing practices that which are very powerful to purify the mind, service to the guru, doing hard works, sacrificing the life for other sentient beings, not only the guru but also the, that’s extremely powerful but then also with compassion sacrificing the life for other sentient beings, with compassion, really bearing so much hardship, that becomes very powerful purification. Then those, so forth, I mean, then the practice of the powerful deities or the enlightened beings who specially manifested, whose special function is to purify the defilements, obscurations. So by doing meditation on that deity, those mantras, those can be purified. So then suddenly you remember, especially, for example, the Lama Atisha’s disciple, Dromtönpa, he was embodiment of Chenrezig, Lama Atisha’s translator in Tibet, Dromtönpa, who is embodiment of the Compassion Buddha, Chenrezig, working for Tibet, spread Dharma in Tibet, because the Snow Land, all those people are special object to be guided by Chenrezig, special karmic connection. But of course, not only Tibet; nowadays also we are in the West, as His Holiness, Compassion Buddha, in human form, that we receive many teachings from His Holiness and guidance, gives, receive so much advice in the life, how to live life and how to go about, how to achieve liberation, enlightenment, everything. So we receive so much guidance, so much blessing. So nowadays we, in the West, so many millions of people also, we are also, us Western people also special object to be guided by Compassion Buddha. So among the buddhas, there are numberless buddhas but special connection with Compassion Buddha, we receive guidance, so working for us.
So anyway, yeah, so Lama Atisha is the crown, he’s the top crown of the hundreds of, three or four hundreds of great pandits, great scholars but they are all highly attained beings. Not just only shamatha or realized emptiness, not only that, but achieved very high tantric path, great yogi, great scholar, very highly attained beings. So Lama Atisha was crown that time in Nalanda Monastery, so in India, whole India. So as there was degeneration happened in Tibet, the Buddhism, so people, degeneration happened that if they practice sutra they cannot practice tantra, if they practice tantra they cannot practice sutra, so they regard as hot and cold. Regard as contradiction, not practice for one person, graduate practice, they don’t see as a graduate practice for one person to achieve enlightenment, the Hinayana, the Mahayana Paramitayana sutra, Mahayana tantra, all these three levels of teachings taught by Buddha is for one person, it’s advice, teaching from Buddha for one person, it’s a graduate practice to achieve enlightenment, could not see this.
So anyway, Lama Atisha, Lha Lama Yeshe Ö, the Dharma king of Tibet that time then he invited Lama Atisha in Tibet. So he was so worried, unbelievable worried, so then one minister suggested to the king, Oh, there’s Lama Atisha in India. So the minute when the king heard Lama Atisha’s name, the king stood up and the king got unbelievable devotion, tears come from the eyes, then hairs from the pores of his body stood up and he put palms together, so ?felt much devotion to Lama Atisha the minute when he heard the name. Then, Dharma king Lha Lama Yeshe Ö decided to invite Lama Atisha in Tibet to make the Buddhism pure.
So the king went to look for gold to make offering to Lama Atisha. He sent gold offering before with Ngatso Lotsawa, another Tibetan translator-lama, to invite Lama Atisha but didn’t happen. Then he went to look for gold again, to make offering to Lama Atisha. I think maybe near Nepal, I’m not sure, so irreligious king captured him, the Dharma king of Tibet captured him, put in the prison. Then the Lha Lama Yeshe Ö’s nephew, Jangchub Ö, then went to the irreligious king, offered him the gold and the irreligious king said, Oh, still the size of the head is missing, so I need that. Then Jangchub Ö, the king’s nephew, went back to prison to tell the king, Dharma king. Then the Dharma king told the nephew that, Don’t offer any gold, even one handful, to the irreligious king. Send all the gold to India to invite Lama Atisha in Tibet. I will give up my life. I will die in prison, give up my life for the teachings, to spread the teachings in Tibet and for the Tibetan people. So then he sent a message, May I meet Lama Atisha in next lives. King sent a message.
Then, another translator, ?Gyal ?Gyaltsen, so went. Of course that time forest, there was no car, airplanes, cars . Now you can fly to Tibet. Now you can fly to Tibet by airplane. Anyway, so took a long time to go to India, Nalanda. So whenever there were difficulties, the road, unable to recognize which road to take, when there’s two roads like this, crossroad, then Chenrezig manifested in a child and guide them, guide the translator, ?Gyaltsen. Or sometimes manifest in old person and give advice, Don’t talk. Keep quiet. Don’t talk much to people that Oh, I’m inviting Lama Atisha, or become obstacle.
So anyway, then finally reached Nalanda in India and met Lama Atisha finally, and then reported everything, king passed away in prison and gave up his life to spread Dharma in Tibet, all that. Then the problems of Tibet, all the confusion. Then Lama Atisha he said, so now, I know everything so now I’m going to check to Tara. The Tara, the female enlightened being, who is manifestation of all the buddhas’ holy actions, to fulfill the wishes of sentient beings of happiness. So Lama Atisha said, I will ask Tara. And this did not mean asking Tara House. Not going to Tara House. I’m joking anyway.
So, so anyway, then Tara told Lama Atisha, advised, that if you go to Tibet your life will be highly beneficial, but seven years your life will be shorter. You’ll be highly beneficial in Tibet, your life, but seven years will become shorter. Then Lama Atisha said, I don’t care even my life become shorter, since if my life is going to be highly beneficial in Tibet. Then he decided, without telling, announcing in the monastery, all the pandits and the people in India, so quietly went to Nepal, like showing aspect making pilgrimage in Nepal, then went to Tibet. Because otherwise the Indian people and all the, Lama Atisha’s was great need in India, also for the Indian people, so they wouldn’t allow him to go. So anyway, yeah, so that was it.
So Lama Atisha came in Tibet and then wrote this teaching, A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment. So within a few pages Lama Atisha integrated the three levels of teaching, Hinayana, the Great Vehicle, the Lesser Vehicle and the Great Vehicle teaching, the Mahayana sutra, Mahayana tantra, so Lama Atisha integrated, all these integrated into a graduate practice for one person to achieve, this is a teaching for one person, all these are a teaching for one person, but graduate practice to achieve enlightenment. So then, in Tibet, Buddhism made pure and cut all the wrong views, confusion. Yeah, so like this, no contradiction between sutra and tantra.
So here in the countries, especially in Malaysia or Taiwan, those, some of these countries there’s, the Tibetan centers are regarded Vajrayana center, then there’s Chinese Mahayana , then there’s Theravadin . So, which gives some wrong view to the people, as it is something, as those teachings totally not connected. If you practice Vajrayana you can’t practice the Mahayana or if you practice Mahayana, you can’t practice Vajrayana or, however, Lesser Vehicle teaching, if you practice Lesser Vehicle teaching you can’t practice those others. So, which gives kind of wrong idea. So, recently I told in Malaysia that, in Nepal, so in Malaysia like that, the Chinese temples are the Mahayana then the Tibetans, they’re not Mahayana but that’s Vajrayana, then the Theravadins. But in Nepal, in Kathmandu the Newaris, the Nepalese, they think all the Tibetan monasteries are Mahayana and they are Vajrayana. The Newaris, Nepalese, We are Vajrayana. All the Tibetan monasteries, Mahayana. So now here the label changed. Here Mahayana, all the Tibetan monasteries. They receive all these great lamas from the four traditions, great lamas, those extensive commentaries on the path of the deities, that which makes to achieve enlightenment within one life, within a few number of years, in a very brief time of degenerated time, those unbelievable commentaries, teachings, on the deities’ paths, that which makes to complete the extensive merits, which takes three countless great eons in the Paramitayana, the Mahayana sutra, the Paramitayana. Here you can finish within a few number of years, by achieving illusory body, clear light, those things. So, I mean the education is happening and they’re doing retreat, so many people doing retreat, so many people doing retreat on that. But then the Newaris, the Nepalese, think, Oh, this is Mahayana. That means, I don’t know what that means. I have no idea. “That is Mahayana and we’re Vajrayana.” So, I don’t know, I don’t know exactly. I’m sure there’s enlightened beings, yogis, I’m sure, that’s possible, ?anywhere can happen. Even among the Muslims there can be enlightened beings, even among Muslims, Hindus. They’re carrying the name, outside looking Muslim, buddha, yogis, yeah, that’s bodhisattva, but outside looking Muslim, dressed like that, certainly, definitely can happen.
So anyway, but generally speaking, what I heard is, it’s just from father, the family generation is the father teach the son how to do the rituals, like Vajrayogini practice or some, basically something like that, how to do the ritual things, so the father teaches son, son teaches the grandchildren, so that’s what I heard, anyway. Not so much as teaching public, didn’t hear really giving the whole explanation, study, Lesser Vehicle teaching, four noble truths, then on top of that bodhicitta, Mahayana Paramitayana teaching, then on top of that, Vajrayana, the whole flavor, the whole richness, the whole path. Then, the particular path of deity, like Vajrayogini, whatever, which is based on all this, I didn’t hear taught. But there’s some rituals how to do, doing prayer or rituals taught from father to son then son, like that.
But anyway, so they believe they are Vajrayana and that all the Tibetan monasteries are just Mahayana. So in the Chinese, the Malaysia, those places, the Tibetans are Vajrayana and they are Mahayana. So anyway, the label changes. So which gives people wrong view that, because there’s no way to practice Vajrayana without bodhicitta, without emptiness, right view, without renunciation, without four noble truths, without renunciation to the suffering of samsara, cause of samsara, so renunciation, there’s no way to generate bodhicitta to sentient beings, then there’s no way to practice tantra. So if you practice tantra, if you practice Vajrayana without those two, without bodhicitta, renunciation, understanding of the four noble truths and renunciation to the samsara, cause of samsara, so then your practice, even you’re doing very high meditation, tantra, dzgog-chen or, graduate completion stage or dzog-chen, even you are doing very high meditation on chakras, winds, drops, however, it doesn’t become Vajrayana. Because also there’s no understanding of emptiness, so there’s no way to become, there’s no way to practice one mind unified of wisdom and method, the wisdom understanding emptiness. So, that is the meaning of the Vajrayana, so the one mind, not separate mind, not two separate minds, one mind practice wisdom, another mind practicing method, that according to the Paramitayana path, the sutra Paramitayana path, then you practice method and wisdom cooperatively, but by separate minds, to achieve enlightenment, buddha’s holy body, rupakaya, and holy mind, dharmakaya, for sentient beings, to benefit for sentient beings.
So in tantra, here, you have to practice, the special thing in tantra, one mind practices method and wisdom. One mind practices method and wisdom, so unified of the method and wisdom. So that’s the great skill in tantra, Vajrayana, so that’s what becomes so powerful, like atomic bomb, that purifies the defilements much quicker, within one life, in a brief lifetime of degenerated time, so powerful to purify the defilements and collect extensive merit in a short time. So without emptiness, without idea of emptiness, the ultimate reality, then there’s no way to, even you’re trying to practice Vajrayana doesn’t become Vajrayana, so one side is missing. Even you visualize the deity, focus on the deity, but the other wisdom is missing, so it doesn’t become Vajrayana.
So then, motivation has to be bodhicitta to practice Vajrayana. Then motivation has to be, you feel unbearable the sentient beings, the desire realm sentient beings and form realm sentient beings, formless realm sentient beings, all these sentient beings, so you meditate on, you see how they are suffering, that includes every sentient being in desire realm, form realm, formless realm, so seeing how all these are, being under the control of karma and delusion and attacked by the suffering of pain and suffering of changes, temporary samsaric pleasure and suffering of changes, then the pervasive compounding suffering, the aggregates which are nature of suffering, caused by karma and delusion, contaminated seed of delusion, that which compounds this life suffering, compounds future life sufferings. So then, by feeling compassion unbearable to them, and then to free them from all the suffering and causes, to bring them to enlightenment, then for that, success of that you need to achieve enlightenment. Then that’s how you generate the thought of seeking enlightenment. So the bodhicitta is a combination of those two, seeking the happiness of other sentient beings and seeking the enlightenment, for that reason then oneself to achieve enlightenment, such as that, the two wishes, then such as this, the principal consciousness...