My dear ones,
I hope you are well. I am now back in the USA for checking my health, medical and dental. It seems I have to check almost every piece of me.
What I would like to express is that all the 84,000 teachings of Buddha—I think the Buddha taught more, but these are the main ones—are to subdue the mind. Even one letter is not wasted.
As the Kadampa geshe said, even one letter of the Buddha’s teachings is to subdue the mind. Why? Because if the mind becomes negative the result is hell and if the mind becomes positive it brings us to enlightenment. The mind creates samsara. A negative way of thinking brings problems, however, if we have a different way of thinking, a happy way of thinking, then no problems. So, all the Buddha’s teachings are to subdue the mind, to stop harming and to develop compassion. This brings all the happiness up to enlightenment.
The teachings are divided into three paths: the path of the lower capable being—the essence is not harming others; the path of the middle capable being—the essence is not harming others; and the path of the higher capable being—the essence is to benefit others. The entire Buddha’s teachings are condensed into two: not harming others and benefiting others.
That’s why we should not keep weapons. If we keep weapons, like guns, it is the same as someone who has not met Dharma and has not practiced Dharma. It is like the American way, thinking, “If someone hits me, I have the right to hit them back, and if someone harms me, I have the right to harm them back.”
We should abide by the four virtuous trainings; this is what we should practice. If someone harms us, we should not harm them back, and so forth. Especially in retreat—the real meaning is subduing the mind, not just reciting the mantra.
There is a Tibetan saying that we should not retreat facing outside; in retreat we should be facing inside. This is not a complicated thing; this is a simple thing we should do. We should practice patience.
I don’t want to hear this is a Buddhist place and they have weapons! I really don’t want to hear that. We should be very humble, patient and have respect for others. This is what the meaning of being Buddhist is.
Thank you very much for understanding. This is my advice.
With much love and prayers ...