Teachings from Guadalajara: Days 1 - 4 (Audio and Unedited Transcript)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Guadalajara, Mexico, 2008 (Archive #1700)

Days 1-4 of an eight-day series of lam-rim teachings by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Guadalajara, Mexico, in April, 2008.  You can listen to days 5-8 here.

You can also read an edited version of this series here, and listen online to the public talk that Rinpoche gave prior to this series.

Day 3: Nature of Attachment

So, good morning.   So we are trying to do meditation prayer. What I want to say is that, even though it’s led in Tibetan language, but you can read in the Spanish, so you know what’s being said, you get some idea, so that’s very helpful. These teachings of Buddha, just by hearing the words it plants seed of enlightenment, it plants seed of liberation, enlightenment, so that’s ultimate goal what you achieve, so that arrangement, preparation, that which happens to your mind, the effect, but by also being aware the Spanish language, then also you know what you’re saying and you get some idea of the meaning, so it’s more powerful. So that’s all.

[Rinpoche chants the verses of Praise to Shakyamuni Buddha in Tibetan up to “Chhog tu dä pä chhag tshäl lo”.]

So yesterday I got distracted by talking this verse, so got carried away. So, anyway, the next verse is the very heart advice of the Buddha, the Omniscient One, because why the advice is to not engage in unwholesome action and engage in virtue, why the advice is given this way, because that’s according, that advice is given according to our wishes, because   if our wish, what we like is suffering, what we don’t like is happiness, then the Buddha’s advice might be different. What we like is suffering, what we don’t like is happiness, then the Buddha’s advice would be different, but that is not our mentality, that is not our wishes. Our wishes is the happiness, what we do not want is suffering, so, since that is our mentality, since that is our, that’s a common thing, not only us human beings, but even for the animals, insects, cows, horses, what’s that very large animal that doesn’t exist now? The very large one, very long one? [Students try to guess which one it is.] You see in New York, museum, you see the very large. [Students: Dinosaur!] Oh, dinosaurs.  Even dinosaurs, so now you don’t find dinosaurs here in this world, before, but not now.

So, anyway, so including dinosaurs, and no matter how large it is, no matter how small, insects, creatures, or the ones you see, the ones we don’t see except with the machines, otherwise we don’t see those tiniest ones, living in the water, in space, or even inside our body. So, anyway, seems our bodies are filled with those sentient beings.   So, one time I was going to United States from, probably from, I don’t know, from Taiwan or from Nepal, India, somewhere, so it was shown in the airplane, somebody made this video, so showing how the food goes, so eat biscuit, and how it goes down, it shows it, how the food goes down, it shows everything.   Then, inside the body, so then, it magnified, so many sentient beings, it’s like in the city, the highway, so many cars go this way and so many cars come this way, so many cars, so it’s always running. So, from here to kind of, in the body, it seems like that, those tiny beings, so they magnified, so that’s also in the West, also scientifically that is shown, not only what the Buddha said in the texts, besides that.

So, anyway, so it’s, it seems very interesting the whole body. There’s so much that we do not want to see, and, it’s so amazing. The whole body looks like a machine, the whole entire body looks like a machine, it’s amazing, whole entire body, machine. There’s all the things, bad things to go one side, then all the, when you eat food, it’s exactly like a machine inside. It’s very interesting, very amazing, every part of the body, it’s really amazing, exactly like a machine, it does, the ones which help, the ones which doesn’t help, and there are many things inside the body, like that. So, so many things dependent on each other, the functions. So, it’s quite amazing. So, I don’t think it’s created by parents, all the thing, putting all together, fixing all the things, that they spent many years in a company making it.  It’s not that. That many thousands of people invited, and, each parts make, that they pay money for all those people, and, like that. So, it’s interesting why we have such a body like this. It itself is amazing how, it’s like a machine that helps to another one, then it, helps to another one, it’s all, everything is dependent arising in the ?work, and then something bad, when it comes up, it ?limit our _____, it’s just quite, it’s inexpressible, quite amazing. [pause]

So the, in the Christian, what I hear is the very first human being that is created, [students make suggestions] Adam was first man created, the very first human being was Adam. No, there was one story that you don’t eat some dirty, something, advice you don’t eat, [Student: Apple.], apple, so who told, by Jesus or Adam, who told to not eat apple? [Students: God.] Ah lay!  God said to not eat apple, then Adam ate the apple, right? But who created Adam? [Students: God.] Only Adam?  So we’re all incarnation of Adam? I’m joking.  So, Adam was created by God, right? Ah lay. So what happens if Adam wasn’t created? What happens, if Adam wasn’t created? Then the whole world doesn’t happen, right? The whole world doesn’t happen if Adam wasn’t created. So, anyway, it becomes interesting that, if you analyze, it becomes interesting. So the apple, so the whole thing to do with the apple.

So, anyway, there’s different ways of saying. That’s one explanation is according to Christians, then there’s what scientifically, science is from monkey, right? That human being came from monkey, right, according to science, human beings came from monkey, or gorilla, or snowball man.  That means from Himalayan mountains. So, anyway, I’m not sure, that’s one explanation, from something from the water, you go back and back, back, back, something to do, some mineral or something in the water, some stuff in the water started, then all the animals, human beings, started from water, some stuff, I’ve forgotten the name, do you know? This is, I think, this is, huh? [Student: ?Deaveti.] Deaveti . But that’s the Mexican language, right?  [Student: Lati.] Lati, that’s more simple, it’s easier. Anyway, some material from water, some stuff, so that, then how that stuff started, originally, still you, if something exists then still you have to know the evolution of that. So anyway that’s seems one old explanation, so I don’t know whether every present scientist will agree with that or not, I’m not sure. So anyway, all that was past, so I think, I mean, a million years, how many million years since human beings started on this earth, so, how it started, very first. [pause]

There’s some, not quite apple, but there’s some, maybe I think durian, durian, the big fruit. Do you know durian, big fruit? Which is very, if you eat in the house, fill the house with smell, whole house, whole hall gets filled with the smell of that. [Students come up with names of fruit: ?duriana, ?ge-bye.] Ge-bye.  So whatever it is, ge-bye or whatever, anyway, so, in the, I think, Abhidharmakosha, I think there explained that the first human being, the consciousness came from the deva realms, form realms, formless realm, deva realm, the desire realm. The whole entire samsara comes in three realms: desire realm, form realm, and formless realm. So the desire realm, having desire in the sense, outside, sense objects, pleasures, by contact with those then pleasure, having desire in this, the pleasure, sense pleasure with the outside objects by contacting. So, desire realm. Then, form realm, the, pleasure, the happiness derived from meditation, so develop like that.

So, however, so the consciousness came from the form realms and then the, there was light on this earth, light, so the consciousness, the beings, their consciousness it came from form realm, higher realm, and then took, conceived on the light, light on the earth. Then human beings had, the very beginning human beings doesn’t have body like this, but they have the nature of light, body has light. So, you see some insects, they also have light, insect, some insect they, nighttime, when the sun ?went ?out then there you see blue or some green like, like, what do you call these flies? [Students: Fireflies.] Fireflies, yes. Fireflies or even the fish have the blue kind of light, something. So that even insects, there are many insects which have light. So anyway, so original human beings so they don’t have a body like this, but in the nature of light, because the consciousness took place, came from that form realm, then took place on the light, on this earth, then they have light.

So the, then gradually, because, that happened due to good karma before, to have light, body like the nature of light, so that is due to good karma past. But those beings, those original human beings, they’re not liberated from delusion and karma, not liberated, not having, illuminated by having wisdom directly perceiving emptiness, having done that, then, and the renunciation, renunciation of samsara which is, then you enter in the path, the path to liberation, of course you have bodhicitta, on the basis of that you have bodhicitta realization, altruistic mind to achieve enlightenment for sentient beings, then you engage in the Mahayana path to enlightenment. But didn’t have those realizations, the wisdom directly perceiving emptiness, nor renunciation, bodhicitta, didn’t have those very important, very essential path to liberation, to enlightenment, didn’t have. So the, but due to past good karma, so the very first human beings had like this, nature of light body. Then, because there’s past karma, they haven’t ceased the delusions, so then after some time, so in regards that body which they had light in the beginning, afterwards become degenerated the light. So that’s, what caused, there’s a condition? There’s a main cause, attachment, the main cause is attachment, delusion, but the outside condition is the dirty, the, some, I think, something impure, impurity, the damp, some wet earth, some wet earth or some…. [Student: Mud?] Mud, yeah, maybe mud, so, dampness, some impure. So due to eating impure, then the light degenerated, degenerated, then become gross body. So that is more logical, because depending on what you eat, it affects the body, healthy, unhealthy, and pollutes, pollutes the mind, pollutes the body, depending on what you eat, so it has that, what you eat is pure, impure, so that has, by eating pure, it has a positive effect; by eating impure, it has a negative effect to your mind and to your body, so there’s a normal thing. [pause] Just my own experience, not these days but a long time ago, because I was not eating garlic for a long time so didn’t have. So then when it happened, when there’s some garlic food, then you feel your body, I feel my body kind of not healthy, kind of gross, your body becomes sort of gross, kind of a feeling of gross, that’s what you feel, in the body. So that, so, some time ago, sometimes when there was garlic, then, I feel that, like that, so that effect, something you haven’t eaten. But if your life, if you’ve been eating all the time then you don’t notice, but if didn’t eat before then when you eat, then, you feel the effect to the mind and body.

So, that’s normal thing, that anybody can understand that ‘s normal thing, depending on what you eat, then it has effect to the body and mind, pure and impure. So, so that’s, that might be the reason in the, especially in the lower tantra practice, so that’s lower tantra, the Kriya Tantra, the very fundamental practice, I mean the, of course it’s based on renunciation of samsara, realizing how the whole entire samsara is nature of suffering, and total detachment, so mind is totally free from attachment grasping those, to the samsara. So that which makes the mind total in peace, peace and happiness, so didn’t have all those distractions, by grasping the samsara, samsaric pleasure, these enjoyments, things like that. So, and bodhicitta, and the right view, these things, so right view which ceases the root of samsara, the ignorance, antidote to samsara, and the bodhicitta, which, antidote to selfish mind, and which causes everything, whatever you do, cause of enlightenment. So, renunciation, which causes whatever, your attitude, whatever you do, then cause to achieve ultimate happiness, liberation from samsara, so like that. However, on those basis then, that which is sutra, then you practice tantra, the lower tantra, so then, very important practice, foundation, that to keep the body, to, the practice to keep clean, so, always to keep clean, so there it’s mentioned to, when you do those practice you can’t eat the meat and garlic or onion, then, those are major ones, then, there are quite a few other things to abandon. So it keeps the body very clean, sort of pure, and then that helps the mind to be pure. What’s the purpose of keeping the body clean, so it helps the mind to meditate, pure. So, there’s less obstacle, when you meditate, when the mind meditates, more clear, things like that, more clear.

So, then, so light disappeared, and the body became like ordinary after eating those dirty, impure ?stuff. Then the, because due to past karma, because you haven’t actualized the path, as I mentioned before, the path, you haven’t actualized the path that which removes, actualize the path which removed the delusions and the cause of delusions, the negative imprint, that didn’t happen, so then, because delusion is there, the past karma is there, so then the organs happened, the male-female organs, those, as the body get degenerated then male and female organs happened, result, which is result of past karma. Then, because of the past, imprint from past lives, attachment to, again, the opposite sex, so attachment, that’s not the first time, those human beings have gone through it in the past, took, as I mentioned yesterday, all the different bodies, the various different animal bodies, and then the male, female, all kinds, all kinds of human beings, and going through all these experiences, so having the light, body which is light, no ordinary substances, flesh and blood, bones, not like that, so that’s not the first, also that’s not the first time; we have gone through this numberless times, we are born like that numberless times, gone to higher realms, formless realms, then, we have gone through numberless times, even ourselves. So, anyway, so because there’s a past imprint, attachment to opposite sex in the past, from beginningless rebirth, the attachment like that, so, because the imprint, it’s like when you take a picture. You take a picture, and that leaves the imprint on the negative roll, leaves imprint figure, leaves figure on the negative roll, when you make a movie, when you’re making, when you’re taking a picture, then later it gets printed on the paper, it gets exposed.

So now, exactly the same, so past karma, with the attachment and all that, so those objects, then left a negative imprint on the mind, on the mental continuum, then that time later, when the body, the light degenerated, the body become ordinary, then male-female sex organs happened, then the attachment arises because of having seen the object, because you haven’t, because the cause of attachment is there, the negative imprint is there, not having removed by actualizing the path, so therefore, then the object happened, and then, of course, cause of attachment is there, the negative imprint is there, from beginningless rebirth it is there, so, then the attachment arises from that. Then clings, clings on that, like that. So, so not only opposite sex but anything that attachment arises, anything that attachment arises it’s like that. Why?  

Anyway, some like bone, so, animal bone or human bone or some like to wear, like so much, probably for some people maybe more precious than gold. For that person gold maybe doesn’t mean much, but bone, this, some human bone, or some animal bone, or some, like so much to wear, so, very precious,  , so some people gold, so those people, maybe gold. So, anyway, some people like that. Then some people, that’s ridiculous, to get rid of, to throw away, they don’t want in the house. So, anyway, something to get rid of, and for somebody it’s so precious, want to wear. [Rinpoche drinks some tea.] So I put some fuels.  [Drinks more tea.] So, object of attachment, so there’s a reason, there’s a reason for that, that was created in the past. So, for some people that’s to be renounced, to be thrown away, or do not have interest at all. And some people, for some people that object, whether it’s a person’s body or whether it’s a material object, for some people that becomes the most precious one, so something to be so attached to, most attached to. For somebody, it’s something to get rid of, uninteresting. So, all those are imprints from the past, from past lives.

So it’s good to remember, since I’m talking here, this point, I’m going to mention this one. So it’s good to remember that it’s not so much the object, but this is something, I have this negative imprint, left on the mental continuum from past lives, so then the attachment arises to this object. So because of that, because of the negative imprint, left by past attachment to, on the mental continuum, so now the attachment arises to this object. So to remember that, by past habituation, past karmic imprint, so, it’s due to that, why you are attached to this, it’s due to that. So, to think more of the cause, why you are attached to this, to think more of the cause, then it’s very helpful, to think more of this past karmic imprint, so, then it’s very helpful, very helpful. So it’s coming from your mind, it’s not coming from the object’s side, it’s coming from your mind. That’s one method to give you peace, to give you freedom, to make you independent. If you’re looking for independence, then it gives you independence, or freedom, peace, inner peace from the, the control over the desire, you get control over desire and, stops all the, that, doesn’t find the reason to be attached to, so like that. Then, the universal compassion can rise, universal compassion, loving kindness, can arise, unconditional, without any expectations, without any, some expectation to yourself, to your happiness, from the object, without that, unconditional universal loving kindness, compassion, can arise, the sincere heart to help the other person, or the animal, or whatever.

The partial, impartial, so then there’s no partial compassion, loving kindness, so you have compassion, impartial. Otherwise, there’s, maybe there’s compassion to, maybe can be said to only your friends, or the, there’s no compassion to enemies, to people who harm you, criticize you, you have no compassion, you have no compassion to strangers, to the rest of the sentient beings, you don’t have compassion, only a few of those who are your friends, you have compassion. So it becomes like that, very limited, but it’s kind of more related to, maybe, somehow related to, I don’t know, attachment, I’m not sure, so should be analyzed. So, when you think like this, it’s the past imprint, why I’m attached to this, past imprint, past karmic imprint, so, then when you see this object particularly, then the attachment arises to that. So then, so that’s helpful, the, so it becomes interesting and then don’t get attached. If you think in this way, then you don’t get attached so much on that, on that particular object, like that.

So the evolution becomes, why there’s attachment, the evolution becomes deeper, very deep, evolution from many past lives, from beginningless rebirth, so it’s like that. It’s your mind made it beautiful, it’s your mind made it. And then at the same time, other people don’t see beautiful. So, one hundred people look at one person, so there’s many different views of that person, it’s very interesting. So if you ask each person how they see that person, very interesting, some very attached to that, find so hard, find so hard to separate from them, so hard, so if the person is going all over the world, you follow that person all over the world, if you can afford, if you have money, under the ocean, on the moon. Anyway, if you are able to afford then you will do like that. So anyway, so the one hundred people look. For somebody it’s becomes so inseparable, can’t separate from, day and night can’t separate from that. And for somebody, that person is nothing, So, according to their karma, according to their karma from the past. So, and sometimes, you remember sometimes, you meet that person on the road, but suddenly you get angry. There’s no memory, no harm was given to you in this life, there’s nothing, there’s no, you haven’t met that person before, before means in this life, but the minute when you meet, you get angry to that person, it happens, you get angry to that person, or you get frightened, you get frightened the minute you meet the person, you get frightened. The person is just there, not acting in any harmful manners, but suddenly you get so frightened to see that person or angry. So, that tells, you never met that person so that tells, that tells the existence of past life, so some negative situation happened, that person.

So there’s one lama happened in Tibet, his past life was killed by the Tibetan government, Tibetan government officials. So now, this lama who was executed by the Tibetan government, so he reincarnated, and in this life, when he sees the Tibetan government, he gets fear. So like that kind of situation happened when you meet some person, you suddenly get frightened, even if the person doesn’t show any harmful manners. So there’s something happening in the past, that person killed you or harmed you, so this, you had strong, so much fear with that person, that person’s past life, whatever it is, when that situation happened, that person harmed you, so, then that, the imprint left on the mind, now this time when you meet that person, even a different body but you get fear.

So all these things is telling you that past life exists, there’s a past life, and there’s a continuity of mind, life before this, there’s a continuity of your mind before you were born to these parents, before your consciousness, anyway, your consciousness conceived in the mother’s womb, so, the past life. It didn’t happen in the fertilized egg, the sperm and the egg from the mother, and then suddenly consciousness happened, then suddenly   without cause and condition, then suddenly consciousness happened. So not like that.   Then, otherwise, then these things wouldn’t have any reason, there’s not any cause why you get so afraid of this person, why you get so angry to this person. So, even in our life, with some people always you spend your life fighting, you live together but you’re always fighting, so, whether it’s family or whether it’s in the office or whatever, so they all have reason from past lives, it’s a continuation, there’s something happened in the past life, so then, that effect is experienced out. So you see that person that way. So, whom the attachment rises, and think beautiful, something nice. Then whom the anger arises, you see something, the, what’s the word? Something undesirable, sort of like harmful to you, then anger rises. So your mind’s creation, all this, your mind’s creation, so that, your different mind creation, then, when you change your mind, when you change your anger, when you change your discriminating thought, anger, attachment, you see them different. Whom you get, as I mentioned last night or yesterday, whom you get so much attached to, then one day anger arises, so you have a totally different view. Then, whom you get angry, then attachment arises to that, so you have a totally different view of the person. So, depending on how you think, depending on how you make your commentary of that person,  , so you see that person that way, you create, depending what commentary of the person you are making, thinking, which way you are thinking, then you see that way. So how you see that person, how you see the person, came from, is created by your mind. How you see the person is created by your own mind, created by your own mind. How you see the person came from your mind.

So not only the people, so here, anyway I’m going to pack up, so, not only, here I’m talking about the person, how you see the person, how you see this person depends on how you think of the person. If you look at it beautiful, you see beautiful. If you look at it ugly, you will see it as ugly. You think of all the ugly things, then you see ugly. So, so anyway, you think of all the mistakes of the body, all the things, then attachment goes away, escapes. Escapes, I’m just expressing. So, then attachment goes, attachment goes in the forest.   Run away. I’m joking, anyway. So, same, same everything, the flowers, all these other objects, same, whatever we see, everything came from our mind. Those trees, and the sky, the clouds. In the department store, all these, those many millions or many hundreds of thousands of all these makeups, paint the body, makeup, so many, and then dress, where you got dress, dress, dress, part of dress, then, all the different pants, different jackets, so many. So, however, then when you go to department stores, all this what you see, clothing or pots, so, how many billion objects are there, everything, what you see, what you see is a view of your mind, view of your mind, so it came from your mind, what you see it came from your mind, and how you see things, it came from your mind, how you see things.

There’s one break, right? There’s one break. There’s one break before, then again teachings? There’s one break and teaching, then, maybe 6 o’clock? I thought there was one short break, then there’s another teaching after six, something like that? One short break between, huh? [A student discusses with Rinpoche.]