My most dear one,
I want to tell you, the self-cherishing thought causes us to suffer, to experience the oceans of suffering in samsara, from beginningless rebirths. And now we are following that.
Normally, in the teachings and debate it is explained that all sentient beings are definitely going to achieve enlightenment, but even though that will happen, if we continuously follow the self-cherishing thought, then we will experience the oceans of suffering in samsara endlessly.
Not only that, this self-cherishing thought has also harmed the numberless sentient beings. There’s not even one sentient being—not even one insect or anyone, gods, the worldly gods—that we never gave harm to. We gave harm numberless times to all the sentient beings.
Therefore, this is the worst enemy, this is the real enemy. Then there’s the ignorance holding the I as real while there’s no such thing, what exists is only in mere name. This is the creator of our samsara.
So therefore, make it worthwhile, and not only this suffering, but even experiencing death, make it worthwhile. So the best is, like poisonous food, transforming it into medicine, like nectar.
So we take first, for example, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, all the obstacles to his long life and all the obstacles to the success of his holy wishes. We take that in our heart and give it to the self-cherishing thought, as well as to the ignorance which holds the I as real, the creator of our samsara.
So all the sufferings, all that, we give it to that, like bombing over the enemy, just as America, when they were fighting in Afghanistan, they threw missiles from very, very, very far, but they hit right on the target, on the army place. Then that burst in pieces, totally in one second. So, like that, we can destroy our enemy, thinking it is totally eliminated.
Then also all the holy beings who are in the world to benefit sentient beings, we take all the obstacles to their long life, and the obstacles to all their holy wishes to benefit others; we take that in our heart and give it completely—like bombing the enemy—to our self-cherishing thought, the ignorance holding the I [as real].
Then after that, we totally eliminate [the obstacles], so all the teachings of Buddha will last a long time in the world without obstacles and will develop. We take all the obstacles and give them to the enemy, the self-cherishing thought, the root of samsara, the ignorance holding the I, so that is totally eliminated.
Then after that, all sentient beings: we take their sufferings and the cause of suffering in our heart, and then totally bomb our self-cherishing thought, the ignorance holding the I as real. Then we totally eliminate that.
So this self-cherishing thought has been our main enemy, the cause of oceans of suffering in samsara from beginningless rebirths, the oceans of suffering of each realm.
As long as we follow the self-cherishing thought, the enemy, it will cause us to suffer, to experience the oceans of suffering of samsara without end. And not only that, because of the self-cherishing thought, we have harmed the numberless sentient beings from beginningless rebirth, so again it harms us and again we will suffer. This will continue in the future without end, so this is the real, the worst enemy.
Therefore, all the spirits who cause disease, the nagas and all the different spirits, all those different things are the condition for our sickness. There are 424 diseases, all those spirits who cause that, so that means we have to know that they are all harming the self-cherishing thought, the I, the self-cherishing thought. So that means all those spirits are extremely kind; they’re not harming us, they are benefiting us.
So, to achieve enlightenment, buddhahood, to free the sentient beings from the oceans of samsara suffering and bring them to enlightenment, to be able to do that perfectly, we need to achieve enlightenment, therefore we need to generate bodhicitta. And to generate bodhicitta we have to cease the enemy to the bodhicitta, the self-cherishing thought. We have to cease that, we have to eradicate that.
Therefore, all those sicknesses are so helpful because they are harming the self-cherishing thought—wow, wow, wow—they are harming the I, so they are helpful. All those spirits, all those nagas and all the different beings are so kind, extremely kind, so helpful to us.
Not only that, there are also the 360 kinds of spirit possession, those who cause obstacles and sickness and so forth, who harm us. They are harming the self-cherishing thought, the I, so they are really, really kind, unbelievable. So our enemy is the self-cherishing thought. Wow, wow, wow, wow. We only develop the self-cherishing thought and serve that, but we can see that they are harming the self-cherishing thought, the I, so wow, wow, wow, they’re so kind, so kind, so kind.
Then there are the 1,080 interferers that cause obstacles, but really, they are so kind because they are harming the self-cherishing thought. Wow, wow. They are actually our friend; they are all our extremely kind friend. Wow, wow, wow.
It is said by Kadampa Geshe Khamlungpa:
All the bad conditions are the virtuous friend.
And the obstacles are persuading us to practice virtue.
The suffering is the broom to clear away the negative karma,
Therefore, don’t have an unhappy mind;
Don’t look at it as an obstacle.
Wow, wow, wow, this is really, really, really, so unbelievably kind. We should realize and recognize this, instead of looking at it as an obstacle.
In other words when we’re dying, therefore we die on behalf of His Holiness, so [we are taking] the obstacles to his long life and obstacles to all his wishes. Of course, His Holiness does not have obstacles, but this is in the sentient beings’ view, according to our karma.
So think that we’re dying for His Holiness. Then, on behalf of all the holy beings, using the death for that, for them to have a long life and for all their wishes to succeed. And then all the teachings of Buddha, then all the sentient beings, for their happiness. It’s an incredible practice, it’s an amazing practice, really, really good.
So then, as you know, in Lama Chöpa, in the thought transformation section, it says when we meet unfavorable conditions, to utilize them in the path to enlightenment. So this is what it means, really, this is the best practice. So there’s not much to worry about if we can think this way. Wow, this is the best.
Kadampa Geshe Chekawa had been praying all the time to be born in hell for sentient beings but on the day when he was passing away he had the appearance of the pure land happening around him, so then he told a young monk that it seems he didn’t succeed in his practice.
This is really, really the best practice. Otherwise, we just feel so bad and torture ourselves. But this is to really benefit us, thinking like this.
Now, in this case you’re dying, so this is how to think. Even if you’re not dying, but just sick, this is a very good way to think. This is the best practice; it is more valuable than a wish-fulfilling jewel in the whole sky, this is the best practice.
So then, in other words we’re giving ourselves, like in chöd practice, we’re giving ourselves to the sentient beings, to the spirits, whoever it is that harms us. We’re giving our body then others don’t have to suffer, so it is like that, it is the best practice.
Then this itself becomes the best puja, the best, B, E, S, T, best puja, and we collect so many times skies of merits when we take their suffering, and then when we give away. I didn’t mention much about giving away—I might have explained before, I’m not sure—giving away our body in the form of a wish-granting jewel, numberless, to each sentient being.
Then the second one, giving away our enjoyments, also wish-granting, wish-fulfilling, every enjoyment. And then our merits, all the past, present and future merits, all the merits; we give all the enjoyments and all these merits to every sentient being. It’s unbelievable, unbelievable—wow, wow, wow, wow, wow—so many skies of merits, so many times, so many times are collected each time we do this, that’s just generally, so this is the best practice.
You see, by following the self-cherishing thought, we have harmed ourselves in the past, from beginningless rebirths, now and in the future, then that makes the samsaric suffering endless. Then, also [we have harmed] all sentient beings.
Therefore, now we see who the enemy is—the I—so then we take all these sufferings, [all the obstacles to] the gurus and all the sufferings of all sentient beings and give that to our enemy.
There’s a puja called lu zong where we make a figure of that person (an effigy) and then give that to the spirits, telling them that this is numberless, full of the great three-thousand-fold universes, so many, and how beautiful it is. So we recite like that and then it actually appears like that to the spirits.
For the sentient beings to be free from all the sufferings, we give ourselves to all sentient beings. This is fantastic! Regarding chöd practice, normally people are so intoxicated with the chanting, the damaru, all that, but many people maybe do not know so much about the meaning, the meditation. Basically it’s bodhicitta, emptiness and lamrim. Then, it becomes the best chöd.
Thank you very much!
With much love and prayers ...