Lam-rim Teachings Australia 2006 (Audio and Unedited Transcripts)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Italian Club, Brisbane, Australia (Archive #1564)

The following are teachings given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Brisbane, Australia in June 2006.

Although the teaching event was titled Eight Verses of Mind Training, Rinpoche did not give commentary on that text. Instead he taught on various lam-rim topics such as stories of Asanga, samsara, guru devotion and emptiness.

Identifying the Gak-Cha

So as I have been saying in recent times that, other places, so, ordinary people or when we, in the normal conversation we don’t say “truly existent.” “Oh, that’s truly existent one.” We don’t use the words, “it exists from its own side” or “it exists by nature,” we don’t, that’s not common words we use. But we use common word in our conversation, and the common people, what we use and the people in the world use, in the place of saying, in the place of those philosophical terms what expressed from the text, “truly existent” and “existing from its own side” and “existing by nature,” but common people they, the term they use is “real.” And we also what we use, in normal conversation, we say “real.” So that’s all gak-cha, so that’s all object to be refuted. While you’re using the word “real,” while you’re using the world “real” in your conversation, when you’re planning a project or when you’re talking about how you’re so depressed, Oh, I have this problem, that problem, this problem, relationship problem, this and this, this, I’ve lost job and this problem, that problem, so unhappiness, or when you express how you’re so happy and all that, so when we’re using the word “real” if you check, so if we, that time how things appear, how that object appears, how your I appear to you that time, how it appears and how your mind believe, these objects, such as the I, whichever you refer “real,” whichever object you refer “real,” if you’re meditating at the same time, if you are conscientious or if you are paying attention, if you are meditating, if you’re meditating your appearance, you’re watching your appearance, appearance of the phenomena, I and action, object, so forth, how they appear, how does the friend, enemy, stranger, they appear to you and how your mind believe, so while you’re doing conversation saying real this, real that, so that is like in psychology terms, in the Western psychology terms, the emotional I, but in the texts, the truly existent I or the I existing from its own side or existing by nature.

So, Western psychologists they use the words “emotional I,” I think because, I think that’s something that makes sense because when you’re too excited then this I, this false I, the object of ignorance, the I which is not merely labeled by mind, existing from its own side, so it’s there, this false I is there, appearing, believe, it’s always there, but the times when it’s so excited, that time then becomes, those times then like a balloon, after you put gas, after you blow inside become big, bigger and bigger and bigger, so then it becomes very gross, very gross, and then times when it’s so upset, angry, when somebody criticizes you, when somebody blames you, criticizes you or when you’re just about, when there’s a car starting to come towards you, a car, the car, you’re going this way then another car goes and then turns this way, then, you’re going this way, another car comes, turns this way, then coming this way or the car coming straight towards you, then those times when the fear rises and then that false I becomes so strong. It’s always there but you don’t notice, because, or haven’t recognized that, false I, that is the object of ignorance, that is the object to be refuted. So didn’t recognize that.

So if you realize that one is totally nonexistent then you’re realizing, so that is the emptiness you’re realizing, discovering. But however, unable to recognize, so then during those situations then it becomes so strong or become very gross, so that fear rises. Similar when get so strong desire rises, same again, the emotional I become very strong, so becomes very gross. So in the view of this the real I become kind of stronger. So, kind of nothing else you can see, only that, this huge I. Nothing to think about except this. Something’s going to happen to this, this I’s going to die. The car comes there, from there, then fear that this I is going to die, but this I is not there. But this I is not there. This I is going to die. Car coming too close, Oh, no! This I’s going to, I’m going to die! But, I’m going to die, this I, that real I is not there. Not there. The I existing not merely labeled by the mind, existing from its own side, I that is appearing from its own side, on these aggregates, so that is the object of ignorance and that is what ignorance apprehends, so that is totally nonexistent.

If that is real, if that exists then that means ignorance is not a wrong concept. So if that exists then of course that concept which believes it exists then it’s a right concept. It’s a right concept, it’s not a wrong concept, it’s not ignorant. If it exists then that thought believing that it’s not wrong concept, it’s a right concept, it’s not ignorance. Then what is the root of samsara? Since there’s suffering, since you have to die, reborn, experience all the sufferings between, so there’s karma and delusion, so what’s the root of all that? So then you have to explain some other thought. So if this is true, so what we have been believing all the time, from this morning, from birth, from beginningless rebirth up to now. Not only from birth, not only from mother’s womb, the minute our consciousness took place on the fertilized egg, we have this belief, this appearance, this belief, the real I, the emotional I, not merely labeled by mind. And such this appearance and this belief, it exists even just before the consciousness took place on the fertilized egg, it exists even just before that. This concept, this ignorance, this concept believing that there’s such an I, believing that is true, not merely labeled by mind, that there’s I not merely labeled by the mind, existing from its own side, real I, so this concept it exists, because it existed before so that’s why when the consciousness took place on the fertilized egg there’s continuity of that there. If this ignorance, wrong concept, is there, so because of that, so how that happens is because there’s continuity before that. So, like that, from beginningless rebirth, the I appearing not merely labeled by the mind, which means existing from its own side, which means the commentary of the real I, what I’ve been saying before, the commentary, if we make commentary, when we say real something, real something, the common people, then if it’s described that, existing from its own side, exist by nature, truly existent, all that. Not just satisfied merely imputed by mind but something more than that.

However, so from beginningless rebirth, that this hallucination is there. I which is merely labeled by mind but appeared not merely labeled by mind, existing from its own side, so this is from beginningless rebirth believing this, from beginningless rebirth. So that’s why we are still not free from the suffering of death, rebirth and death, the circle and all the sufferings, each realm, so still not liberated forever, including the human beings’ sufferings.

So what I was trying to say is, so if one is meditating, pay attention while you’re doing conversation, while you’re thinking, while you’re doing conversation with people then you, what real this and that, so then it means the false object, the false I, that on these aggregates there is I not merely labeled by mind, existing from its own side and believed by ignorance that it’s true, hundred percent true, reality. So, one can say, if this is true, so that, or in other words, to make it even much more gross, very gross explanation, very gross, is that, so for the gak-cha, object to be refuted, so in order to realize emptiness you have to recognize that. First you have to recognize that. Then the next thing, after recognizing that, then you analyze on that by using all the logics, reasonings on that, then realize that is totally, by analyzing whether it exists or not, by using all the different logics, reasonings, then you realize that it totally nonexistent, empty, the wisdom sees that is totally nonexistent, empty. [pause]

So here, so very extremely gross one is that, yeah, so anyway, so like the, other ways of explaining the object to be refuted, there’s different ways of explaining but, it’s the same thing but there are different ways of expressing, according to His Holiness, His Holiness used to say, in the midst of, inside the base, for the table here, table, inside the base, ?gak chai _____ ______, within the base, the collections of the parts of the table, inside, within that there’s the table, so that used, His Holiness expressed like that. Or His Holiness Ling Rinpoche in Drepung Monastery many years ago then gave commentary on the Seven-Point Thought Transformation, so there Rinpoche said, the object to be refuted, what is that? And Rinpoche says, Undifferentiable the label and the base. So that is the object to be refuted. So I think it’s all come to, no contradiction, just the same, but, it’s all I think, of course you can debate, you can analyze, according to what His Holiness says and like that, you have to, different definitions of what is, different ways of explaining object to be refuted, so you can analyze in your view, while you’re looking at a table, how do you see the table, how does the table appear to you, how you see the table, so not by closing eye. If you close the eye you don’t see the table. But by looking at it, or a person. So, you’re looking at a tree or the light, so while you’re looking at it then analyze, meditate, how does it appear, how you see, so whether it’s against, whether it’s opposite to reality or you see according to reality.

So however, so I think, I guess, the different explanations, however, I think all those, I think if one check, [pause] perhaps there may be some very gross, it’s all false view, but it’s some very gross, some are more, according to the individual person, anyway.

So, [long pause] that, so [pause] on the, a person who has, I think a person who has recognized object of ignorance, the false I, that which is the false I, the object to be refuted is the false I, that which is the false I, so the one who has recognized the object to be refuted, the object of ignorance, concept of true existence, so for that, because able to recognize and become familiar so I think might be on the aggregates, then there’s I on the aggregates. Not I within the aggregates, inside the aggregates. Those who have become familiar, I think it’s not that way. I think maybe not, who’s not familiar, who haven’t recognized the object of ignorance then maybe could have those views, those false view, I within the aggregates, the base, within the base. [pause] I don’t know about undifferentiable, but there’s definitely, we have that view, that hallucination, undifferentiable, the I and aggregates undifferentiable, so that false view. But a person who’s become familiar with the object of ignorance, on the aggregates there is I that which is not merely labeled by mind, so existing from its own side and believed by ignorance, believe that is true. On the aggregates there’s I appearing from there. On the aggregates, like you put things on, like on the table you put these material objects, like that, on the I there’s I, sorry, on the aggregates there’s I, but, on the aggregates there is I appearing from its own side, so that’s what you call “real,” appearing, because appearing from its own side, so that’s what you call “real,” that there’s a real I, so that’s how we believe real I, this is real I. That there’s real I, it is real, this I is real, because appear, on the aggregates there’s I appearing from its own side.

So, yeah, so that’s what we point, in your mind believe that that’s real one, so real I. So while there’s no such a thing slightest even an atom, while there’s no such I, even slightest of atom, real I existing from its own side, appeared and believed, there’s not even an atom of that exist there on these aggregates. While it’s totally empty right there.

So what I was going to say, the very common one, the very gross one is that, without going through those details, the simple one, the false I that is the object of ignorance, just here, as I often say, when we do not analyze the I then the usual view we have or the belief is that inside the chest, normally you don’t think that the, normally you don’t think the self, the I, is in the stomach or in the toes, in big toes or small toes, or in the nose or in the ears, in the brain, in the fingers, I don’t think. So here not in the, you don’t think in the belly, you don’t think in the head, inside the head, inside the mouth, you don’t think I is there in the mouth…. Anyway, so inside the chest, somewhere here inside the chest, down below the neck and above the belly, so that’s, so making it extremely gross, false I, to introduce, so that’s the extremely gross.

So, when the car comes, when the car starts to come in front of your car, then suddenly incredible fear, shaking body, body, so even the face in the expression of fear, the expression of the body. However, so this I who’s inside this body, the chest, here somewhere in the chest, [pause] going to die, going to die, so scared this is going to die. But this is not there, this I is not there. There’s no such I there, that I is not there. Not there. That’s going to die. Not there. What you’re worried, death’s going to happen to this I, but that I which you believe is going to experience death is not there. It’s not there at all. If you look for can’t find there, so that’s the proof, when you look for, can’t find then that’s the proof it doesn’t exist. When you can’t find money in your purse, or what else?

[Tape change]