The Ultimate Goal of the Center

The Ultimate Goal of the Center

Date of Advice:
March 2017
Date Posted:
January 2018

Rinpoche sent this letter to a Dharma center which was having a board meeting. In this extensive advice, Rinpoche discussed the importance of the center and the need for compassion, the ultimate good heart.

My most dear, most kind, wish-fulfilling ones who are attending this meeting,

How are you? I hope everyone is very well, physically and mentally.

Here at this center, which is a Tibetan Buddhist center, our ultimate goal is benefiting the six realm sentient beings—the hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, asuras, suras and intermediate state beings—and particularly the sentient beings in this world, and especially those in Australia, freeing them from the oceans of samsaric sufferings and bringing them into buddhahood, the complete cessation of all the obscurations and completion of all realizations. This is the aim of the center. This is why it exists. It is a place for sentient beings to receive teachings, to receive the kind, compassionate Buddha’s teachings, all the Buddha’s teachings put together: the Lesser Vehicle teaching, which reveal the four noble truths, and the Mahayana, or Great Vehicle, teaching, which includes tantra.

Until we ourselves and others realize the truth of suffering and the true cause of suffering, the wrong concepts that are in our minds, and the cessation of suffering, the oceans of samsaric suffering will not end. The cause of suffering is not outside but inside: karma and delusions. It is only by actualizing the ultimate wisdom directly realizing emptiness that there is an end to suffering. When we actualize the ultimate wisdom realizing emptiness, there is the cessation of the oceans of samsaric suffering, and we then realize ultimate peace and happiness. So you can see now, yes! There is an end to rebirth, old age, sickness and death by developing the mind, not by eating ice cream or hot apple pie or pizza. Not like that, not like that.

You can see that until then there is the suffering of pain, old age, sickness and death. It’s unbelievable. We and other sentient beings have been through this numberless times—the only thing is that we don’t remember. We don’t remember being in our mother’s womb, or even coming out of the womb. Even childhood things we forget. I even forget what I taught yesterday; I forget some things. So you can see how the mind is obscured.

It’s most frightening. It’s like being in the middle of a red-hot fire and not recognizing it and believing it to be pleasure. With that attitude we are continuously caught in the fire of samsara, burning and so forth, but we do not recognize it. This is coming from the wrong concept but we do not recognize it. If we recognize it, we can be out of the fire. Not only that, but one of the heaviest sufferings is following desire and not finding satisfaction. Desire functions to cause us to not discover the ultimate nature; it obscures the ultimate nature and so forth. It obscures our recognizing even the conventional nature, such as impermanence. That then becomes the basis of all the suffering.

Then the second level of suffering is the suffering of change, which is all the samsaric pleasures: food, sleep, music, sex and all kinds of other things. The individual looks for different samsaric pleasures, which have no end. Whereas Dharma happiness can be completed, we can’t complete samsaric happiness. With Dharma, we can complete the realizations. Why samsaric pleasure can’t be completed is because the pleasure is of the nature of suffering, caused by karma and delusions. It didn’t come from a pure cause but from an impure cause.

Those two sufferings come from the third samsaric suffering: pervasive, compounding suffering. The five aggregates that we have are under the control of karma and delusion, are pervaded by suffering and are contaminated by the seed of karma and delusion. The seed then compounds delusions and suffering, so we suffer now and in future lives. Especially for a Buddhist, it’s important to recognize this third suffering and to generate renunciation, the wish to be free from this suffering. By having renunciation, we can actualize the higher trainings of morality, concentration and wisdom, the basic path, and then we can be free from this forever. We can then be free from the two other sufferings forever. We can then achieve ultimate happiness.

You can see how the center is very important, so that sentient beings can learn about the path to enlightenment. The center is so, so, so important—more important than money; more important than all the riches you can possibly conceive of. You can see how everything depends on karma. Happiness and suffering come from the mind. Without Dharma there is nothing at all—no achievement of happiness, ultimate happiness. If we practice Dharma, success comes, our wishes succeed and happiness happens.

The center is for learning and reflecting and developing the Mahayana path, for actualizing the five paths and the ten bhumis. You complete the paths of method and wisdom, the collections of merit and wisdom, then you achieve dharmakaya and rupakaya. You can then be the perfect guide—you yourself are a buddha. You know all the past lives; you are able to read numberless beings’ minds at the same time; you see everyone’s level of intelligence and their karma and suffering, and you then see every single method that fits everyone to gradually bring them to buddhahood, total freedom from obscurations and completion of all realizations. There is not a single obscuration or ignorance that a buddha cannot see. A buddha can see all the karmas collected from numberless eons ago; they can see even the subtle karmas. They can see every single subtle karma of all the sentient beings. For example, a buddha can see even the cause of one single flower’s color and design, and karma that is created at an unbelievable distance from this world.

But of course it takes three countless great eons to develop this, so sentient beings have to suffer for an unbelievable length of time. That is why the Buddha taught the four classes of tantra. Even though with the lower tantras you can achieve enlightenment, of course you have to achieve a long life, lasting thousands of years, to achieve enlightenment, so still the sentient beings suffer. So the Buddha taught the Highest Yoga Tantra path to remove all their suffering and bring them to buddhahood the quickest, even in one brief lifetime. Therefore, you yourself can achieve enlightenment in the brief lifetime of this degenerate time because Highest Yoga Tantra has the greatest skills of method and wisdom, the transcendental wisdom of the simultaneously born primordial mind. When you achieve that in this life, you are the one who is able to achieve enlightenment in this life, to achieve the unified state of Vajradhara in the brief lifetime of this degenerate time.

So you can see how the center and organizing the center is very important. You need to have a teacher who can teach clearly and who is a good example for Dharma practice, a secretary and all the other necessary staff. It is most unbelievable. You need to obtain every single cause of these, for sentient beings besides for yourself. You can see the need especially for the Lesser Vehicle path, and the Mahayana Paramitayana and tantra, not just mindfulness breathing. Not like that. You need guidance in the whole path to complete enlightenment, not just one step. Even if you don’t practice, you need to know intellectually how to go to enlightenment. So the FPMT centers need to be able to teach the whole path to enlightenment, how to go through the whole path, not just breathing meditation. You can see how important the center is; the center is unbelievably important, so important.

Whereas a company is run for money, we should run the centers with compassion. When a problem comes, a company kicks out people immediately, but this is not our way. Especially our meditation centers should be run with compassion, not for money.

Here I am giving a general explanation to protect people’s minds and keep them in happiness and bring them to enlightenment. Take care of our mind; our work is to take care of others’ minds.

And as I mentioned before, some years back, in a letter to the center community, we need people who have good skills, who can help us to be better organized. We need professional experts to guide us to be successful in our work to benefit others. In the main committee taking care of us we need good professional people to guide us. We have hard-working people but we need more professionalism. We need to be legal; I heard there are so many rules now. And we need to understand our money situation. We cannot make mistakes here.

The meeting must be done with compassion, not ego or self-centered mind. Don’t bring out your self-centered mind. You must do your meeting with compassion, with the ultimate good heart, bringing happiness to others and, ultimately, enlightenment. So, I’m asking you, I’m begging you, please help with whatever intelligence you have. With the intelligence you have, discuss with each other and have the discussion with the strong wish to benefit others.

Have discussion on profit and loss. The finances must be clear; they need professional care. This is a big center and important. We need to be professional with the finances. Even if it is not possible to have a profit, at least there should not be a loss, for the benefit of others. We need good organizers. This is a big center with many different areas and we must work together. We need good communication with each other, so that we understand each other, so that we have good understanding. All the parts need to work together, like a car.

Thank you very much. See you, if not on the earth, then in the sky—maybe under a rainbow.

Thank you very much. I am hoping I can come to stay at the center early next year. I’m wishing that.

I’m taking this opportunity to thank everyone, starting with early directors and members and those who gave the land, and all the directors, benefactors, staff and volunteers since then up to now. With my hands together at my heart, I really, really sincerely thank every one of you, all of you. I’m requesting you to please benefit the center, to help in some way. Please! Most of all right now we need good people who are capable of taking care of the center and the people at the center, so that it can be of benefit to others.

I’m sending this from the snow mountains in Nepal, with love and prayer ...