Kopan Course No. 41 (2008)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Kopan Monastery, Nepal (Archive #1746)

These teachings were given by Kyabje Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at the 41st Kopan Meditation Course, held at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in December 2008. The transcripts are lightly edited by Gordon McDougall.

Lecture 13 is a talk on the beginnings of the FPMT by Ven. Roger Kunsang, who is Rinpoche's assistant and CEO of FPMT Inc. See also the Basic Philosophy of Buddhism, to listen to the audio files and read along with the unedited transcript for Lecture 10.  You may also download the entire contents of these teachings as a pdf file

Lectures 5 & 6: Causative Phenomena

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Lecture 5

RECITATION OF THE HEART SUTRA AND REQUESTING PRAYER TO THE LINEAGE LAMAS


[Rinpoche and students chant; Ven. Dondrub leads the chanting]

I prostrate to the Arya Triple Gem, Thus I have heard,

[Group recitation of the Heart Sutra, the short prayer that follows the Heart Sutra, and other prayers before teachings]

So, it’s the same meditation as I explained yesterday, with one-pointed devoted mind requesting the guru to receive blessing, which means the realizations from guru devotion up to enlightenment.

[Chanting of Requesting Prayer to Lineage Lamas]

Causative phenomena are like stars in the daytime. We can’t see the stars, and similarly, these phenomena appear as something real, in the sense, existing from its own side, so the Omniscience One and even the arya beings who directly perceive emptiness see them as totally non-existent.

Causative phenomena are also like the vision of the defected eye. All these things which appear existing from their own side are like the vision of defected eye. This is talking about dependent arising. And like a butter-lamp, in that it depends on many causes and conditions. We can look at causative phenomena like that.

And then, like an illusion. Again, all these appear as something real, existing from its own side, a real one, in the sense of existing from its own side, like an illusion does not exist from its own side.

Then, like a water bubble, showing the transitory nature, like water bubble. Things can be stopped at any time; they can perish at any time, like dew, like a water bubble.

Then again, like a dream. They appear real, existing from their own side, appearing like that, but in reality, there’s no such thing there. In reality, it’s totally empty, like a dream, like a dream.

Like clouds, they are transitory. When we look at the sky, there’s a cloud there, but the next thing it’s not there. Or, while we’re looking at a cloud, it’s constantly changing. Likewise, causative phenomena are constantly changing; they are under the control of causes and conditions.

So, the conclusion is, by meditating like this, looking at phenomena, their nature, like this, how the way they appear is permanent, or independent, then believing that way, this is totally opposite to the reality. Believing the concept, believing those hallucinations, ties us to samsara.

Meditate on the nature of phenomena, [how disbelieving the hallucination frees us] from the oceans of samsara and the cause, karma and delusion, and then allows us to achieve liberation.

DEDICATION
Due to the past, present and future merits collected by me, the three times’ merits collected by others, may I be guided by Lama Tsongkhapa, in all the lifetimes, may I be directly guided by Lama Tsongkhapa, being the Mahayana guru in all the lifetimes, myself, my family and all sentient beings. May we never be separated from the pure path, which is admired by all the buddhas. So, we do this dedication.

[Rinpoche chants in Tibetan]

And then, due to all the past, present and future merits collected by me, the three times’ merits collected by others, may I actualize Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings, unified sutra and tantra, living in pure morality, with a brave heart, and doing the extensive deeds of the bodhisattva for the sentient beings, and the yoga of the two stages which is in essence the transcendental wisdom, non-dual bliss and voidness. May it be actualized in my heart, in the hearts of my family members, and everybody who has a connection to myself, then, everybody in this world.

[Rinpoche chants in Tibetan]

As the three time buddhas dedicate their merits, I also dedicate all my merits in the same way.

Due to all the past, present and future merits collected by me, the three times’ merits collected by others, may I be like Lama Tsongkhapa, having the same qualities of the holy body, holy speech, holy mind, in all the lifetimes, and offer skies of benefits to all sentient beings and the teachings of the Buddha, skies of benefit to the teachings of the Buddha, offering skies of benefit to sentient beings and the teachings of Buddha, in all lifetimes, from now on and in all the lifetimes. Pray very strongly like that.

Okay, that’s it.

Lecture 6

SUTRAYANA AND MAHAYANA FIVE PATHS
The Dharma has absolute Dharma and conventional Dharma. So, when we have actualized the absolute Dharma, the wisdom directly perceiving emptiness, at that time we become the absolute Sangha—not only the conventional Sangha, but absolute Sangha.

Then, by completing the truth of the path, we not only cease the disturbing thought obscurations [but also cognitive obscurations]. This is according to one school, the Sautrantika school. There are five paths: the path of merit, the path of preparation, the right-seeing path, the path of meditation, and the path of no more learning. Within those paths, there are many details, many levels of attainment to be achieved.

By actualizing the right-seeing path, the third path, we are able to remove the hundred and sixteen disturbing thought obscurations, maybe a hundred and twelve, then by actualizing the path of meditation, the fourth path, we remove the final defilements of the disturbing thought obscurations and we achieve the path of no more learning, which is the Sorrowless State. We can abide in this Sorrowless State, this blissful state of peace for ourselves, for unimaginable, unimaginable eons.

Then, after some time the karma is ripened, and the Buddha sends beams to a being in that state. Then there’s teachings, an instruction that inspires the being to enter the Mahayana path, to achieve enlightenment. Then, by generating the root, great compassion towards sentient beings, then actualizing bodhicitta, we enter the Mahayana path to enlightenment.

So, according to that, there are five stages in the Mahayana path: the Mahayana path of the merit, the Mahayana path of preparation, the Mahayana path of right-seeing path, the Mahayana path of meditation and the Mahayana path of no more learning.

For that meditator, the disturbing thought obscurations are already purified, now what is left is the she-drib, the subtle [cognitive] obstacles or the obscuration to free in our mind. These need to be purified as well. By actualizing the right-seeing path [we remove some of the] subtle defilements and by actualizing the path of meditation, we remove the rest.

If we have entered the Mahayana path directly, without going through the Lesser Vehicle Path, by actualizing the right-seeing path, we remove the hundred and sixteen disturbing thought obscurations, then by actualizing the Mahayana path of meditation we remove the rest of disturbing thought obscurations and also the subtle defilements, as I mentioned before.

What I am saying is when we actualize the right-seeing path, with the wisdom directly perceiving emptiness, here in the Mahayana path, developing bodhicitta, possessed with the wisdom, we’re then able to complete the merit of wisdom, and merit of virtue, which is the cause of the dharmakaya, and the merit of virtue, which is the cause of the rupakaya—a buddha’s holy body and mind. We are able to complete that with the wisdom directly perceiving emptiness ceasing both the gross and subtle defilements possessed with bodhicitta.

By completing the two types of merits, our mind becomes the dharmakaya and our body becomes the rupakaya. In reality, it’s not this gross body. The complete, full explanation, the subtle explanation, the way to achieve the dharmakaya and rupakaya, comes into Highest Yoga Tantra. There’s a gross body, a subtle body and an extremely subtle body, and there’s a gross mind, a subtle mind and an extremely subtle mind. What goes to enlightenment is only subtle mind, the subtle wind, subtle body. The gross mind doesn’t go to enlightenment.

So, anyway, at that time then we become a buddha. This is the result time refuge. The Buddha has conventional Buddha and absolute Buddha. So absolute Buddha is the dharmakaya. Our mind becomes the dharmakaya, the mind of omniscience.

A BUDDHA MANIFESTS IN WHATEVER WAY MOST BENEFITS SENTIENT BEINGS
The absolute Buddha is that mind. The conventional Buddha is what manifests: the sambhogakaya or the nirmanakaya. The sambhogakaya is the aspect for the higher bodhisattvas, those pure beings. For the higher bodhisattvas, a buddha manifests in a sambhogakaya aspect. For ordinary bodhisattvas, a buddha manifests in the nirmanakaya aspect of a buddha. That’s still an aspect of buddhahood, the pure aspect for the ordinary bodhisattvas.

Then, for ordinary beings who do not have pure minds, who have impure karma, who cannot see the dharmakaya and can’t see a buddha in aspect of sambhogakaya and the nirmanakaya aspect, what they can see is only ordinary aspect, only ordinary form. Then a buddha manifests into ordinary form for them, even as an the animal in the form of animals to guide them.

As is mentioned in the Arya Sanghata Sutra—those who have read it may remember—the Buddha manifests as a preta, a hungry ghost, to the hungry ghosts to benefit for them. The Buddha manifests as an animal to the animals, in the form of a text, of Dharma scriptures, to help sentient beings.

I don’t remember where, but quite soon the explanation comes in the text, and it appears many times, how a buddha manifests differently for different beings. It’s very interesting. It’s mentioned in the Arya Sanghata Sutra and other scriptures how a buddha manifests in the form of Dharma texts.

A buddha manifests in the form of nagas to the nagas, manifests as hungry ghosts for the hungry ghosts, manifests as spirits for the spirits—in all kinds of aspects—in the ordinary form to benefit for the sentient being whose karma is impure, who can’t see a buddha in the aspect of a buddha.

There is no question about buddhas, but it’s mentioned by Nagarjuna that even bodhisattvas manifest as conch shell animals for seven lifetimes, intentionally, to protect other shell animals, to benefit many other shell animals. It is said that the shell has anticlockwise spirals, unlike the conchs we normally buy which are clockwise, and that is how to tell if the body is that of a bodhisattva, that mind has bodhicitta. Bodhisattvas will take on this conch shell life for seven lifetimes, intentionally—I don’t want to use the term “free will”—to protect or to benefit so many other shell animals.

Nagarjuna explained that if we keep this shell, where the spiral starts from outside and goes in, in the house and blow it, it brings harmony in the family as well as good health and maybe prosperity.

Even those higher bodhisattvas who have achieved the right-seeing path, who has achieved the path of meditation, who has achieved the bhumis, can do such unbelievable benefit. There are bodhisattvas who have achieved eighth bhumi, ninth bhumi, tenth bhumi—it’s just unimaginable how they can benefit sentient beings. We can’t figure it out; it’s difficult to understand the extensive benefit they can give to sentient beings.

Even their pores, the realms covered by them, is just unimaginable. It doesn’t fit to our minds. Their incredible capacity to benefit sentient beings is just unimaginable. So even they manifest, like atoms of the mountains, atoms of mountains, like that many they can manifest, to benefit to sentient beings. It’s just unimaginable, unimaginable.

They manifest in mountains or the bridge or water or things that are beneficial for sentient beings. Even in those forms they manifest, to be beneficial for sentient beings. If those great bodhisattvas manifest like that for sentient beings, then there is no question that the buddhas’ work for sentient beings is also unimaginable.

The buddhas have ceased even the subtle defilements, and completed all the qualities and realizations. Can you imagine that there’s no limit to their activities, the skies of activities that benefit us sentient beings in all kinds of forms, in all kinds of ways. It’s most unimaginable.

So, it is explained in the commentary of the Madhyamaka, the philosophical, in the Madhyamaka teachings, the last chapters, it’s explained how buddhas, bodhisattvas, [manifest] unimaginable aspects to benefit sentient beings, unimaginable, so it’s very inspiring.

Learning about this, understanding this, helps our guru devotion very much, to have that realization. I’m not saying I have that realization, I’m not saying that at all, but what I’m saying is that, it’s very, very helpful to understand this. It’s very helpful for the lam-rim guru devotion realization.

As I mentioned yesterday, if it’s definitely a hundred percent certain that the buddhas manifest to even help animals, then of course they will definitely guide us, as human beings, who can communicate, who can understand, who have a much greater capacity to learn and are much easier to guide than animals. They even guide animals by manifesting as dogs in their form, as pigs, in all kinds of forms, in order to benefit other animals.

This happened in China, at Wutai Shan, which I think means Five Pointed Mountain.5 It’s Manjushri’s holy place. Normally, anyone who makes a pilgrimage at Wutai Shan, sees Manjushri, who is embodiment of all the buddhas’ wisdom, the special deity to grant wisdom to the sentient beings. Sentient beings can develop wisdom by reciting the mantras, by doing meditations on Manjushri.

Anybody who goes to Wutai Shan sees Manjushri. I think that’s definite. But of course, the question is whether we can recognize him or not. As I mentioned the other day, anybody can see a buddha but the question is, since we are ordinary beings, whether we can recognize him or not.

There are so many stories. Sometimes, something happens that is not ordinary and if we watch, we can get some special feeling. There is the story of a Chinese person who was given a letter with the instruction to give it to a bodhisattva in a town. The town was described as having five peaks. So, the person knocked on a door and asked the person if there was somebody like that in town. The person said that they had a pig with that name and called the pig over. When he read the letter to the pig, the pig made a huge noise and then passed away immediately.

What did the letter say? It said, “Now your karma to benefit this world is finished. You should go to another realm to benefit the sentient beings of that realm.” That was the message.

The Chinese man who gave the letter was Manjushri and the pig was a bodhisattva. What this pig did was always let all the other pigs go first. This pig who got the letter, who got the message from Manjushri always went last, in order to protect the others. But after the letter was read, it made a big noise and passed away. That meant it left for another world, to benefit sentient beings there.

There are storybooks full of stories about pilgrimages and stories about Wutai Shan in China that are about Manjushri manifesting to children or old people. There are so many stories.

So, definitely the buddhas guide us, no question, definitely. Not only revealing path to us but also, in our life, manifesting as a woman, as a man, as children, as beggars, helping us collect merit, to practice charity, helping us to collect merit by doing charity, in all kinds of ways, all kinds of unbelievable ways.

Sometimes we are having problems and somebody comes along and gives us advice, showing the way, so many things. For us, this is just an ordinary person, maybe “this is a nice guy” or something, but still ordinary. Definitely, buddhas can guide humans. They even guide animals by manifesting as animals. They help animals, so no question they can guide us human beings.

Just a few words, then we’ll go back to the subject of last night.

WE BELIEVE IN APPEARANCE, THE OMNISCIENT ONE DOESN’T
Anyway, just to mention it a little bit here, our own appearance is nothing definite. Our own appearance is nothing definite. Whether what appears to us, what we see, is reality is not, that is uncertain.

As I mentioned the day before yesterday, it’s easy to understand. There’s no I there inside the body. If we look for it, we can’t find it. We discover it doesn’t exist.

But then there’s the appearance. Then there’s the hallucination, there’s the appearance. We believe it, we hold on to that, thinking a hundred percent it’s true. We have been believing this from beginningless rebirth—not from this morning, not from the birth, but from beginningless rebirths, thinking there’s a real I, existing, an independent one, existing from its own side, not merely labeled by mind.

But, you see, it doesn’t exist. The omniscient mind sees this view, but the omniscient mind realizes this is totally non-existent. What we have been believing from beginningless rebirths, this independent I, the arhats and those arya bodhisattvas with their wisdom see is total non-existent. Of course, they see our hallucination, the appearance and the way it is believed by us. The omniscient ones see it’s totally non-existent, totally non-existent, it doesn’t exist. They realize there’s no such thing at all. What we’ve been believing from beginningless rebirths, and what we hold onto it a hundred percent there, it’s true, all those arhats and higher bodhisattvas, even a buddha’s omniscience, of course, sees there’s no such thing there, it’s totally non-existent.

Not only the I, even for the aggregates, it’s exactly the same, exactly the same. We think of the body as something real, independent; we think of the mind as a real mind, independent, not merely labeled by thought—an independent mind and an independent body, and inherently existent, real body and real mind, in the sense we ordinary people use the term. When we use the word “real” that is what we believe: something independent, existing from its own side.

But those realized beings, those inner scientists, those fully accomplished inner scientists, the arhats and arya bodhisattvas, with their wisdom [Rinpoche laughs] see there’s no such thing at all; it’s totally non-existent. There’s no such body and mind. They see they are totally non-existent, empty, totally. The way they appear and what we believe, this mind, this body, these aggregates, there’s no such thing, they are totally empty, What they see is totally empty, completely empty.

They see our mind, our body are totally empty, but of course, as I mentioned the other day, they are not non-existent; they see that they existent, but not in the way that they appear to us and that we believe they exist.

It’s exactly the same with all form, with all these buildings, pillars, all these lights, all these forms. This sense of I, this form, for us here, everything seems real, meaning independent, existing from its own side, not merely labeled by mind. Wherever you look at form—these pillars, these lights, these thangkas, these carpets—everything seems real, in the sense existing from their own side. When we look at the sky, the sky exists; it’s real sky, existing from its own side. The trees are real trees, existing from their own side; when we look at a car, it’s a real car, existing from its own side; and the same with people, road, birds, pigs, dogs, cats, butterflies, whatever—everything is real, existing from its own side.

Unless we are a buddha, whatever appears to us is completely a hallucination. Nothing appears to us that as merely labeled by mind. And on top of that, for us ordinary beings, we not only see nothing as merely labeled by mind, but we think that what we do see is reality. What appears to us is totally opposite to how things exist, the opposite to reality.

The reality is what is merely imputed by mind. Therefore, it’s totally empty of existing from its own side. Nothing exists from its own side; it’s totally empty, empty of existing from their own side. Not empty of the thing, but empty of existing from their own side.

To make it short, anyway, our own view, sentient beings’ view is a complete hallucination. Whatever appears to us, to this eye sense, whatever it sees, the arhats, the higher bodhisattvas, the buddhas see, they discover with their valid mind, their wisdom sees all these things in our daily life that we see appearing to exist from its own side and believed it a hundred percent, all of these are totally non-existent, totally non-existent. There is no such thing, not even an atom of that, not even an atom of existing from its own side, not even an atom of that; it’s totally empty.

Whatever sound we hear, when we hear it, that sound appears not merely labeled. Whereas, the sound exists in mere name, merely imputed by mind and therefore it’s totally empty of existing from its own side. We can analyze that way. Whenever we hear a sound, like somebody coughing or my voice, we can analyze that, we can meditate on emptiness of that sound, that coughing or my voice.

Whatever sound we experience—somebody coughing, the clock making a noise, ding ding ding ding, dogs barking—whatever sound appears, it has nothing to do with the reality; it’s not connected with the reality, it’s totally false. It appears as existing from its own side, not merely labeled by my mind, and we hold onto that as true, as a hundred percent true. That’s a total hallucination, total false. The sound we believe in is a totally false sound.

The numberless arhats, higher bodhisattvas and buddhas with their wisdom discover this is totally non-existent; what we believe, what appears to us and we believe, there’s no such thing at all.

All the smells I mentioned yesterday, the incense smell, the exciting smell, the smell of the fart, the toilet smell, the smell of perfume—the reality is that there is a smell existing which is merely labeled by mind. There’s the base, which we label “smell.” It exists in mere name, merely imputed by mind, therefore the smell is empty of existing from its own side. Because it’s merely labeled, it’s empty of existing from its own side, okay? That’s not contradictory, the existing smell and the smell is empty is unified, is not contradictory.

Anyway, again, whatever appears to us has nothing to do with the reality; it’s something totally against reality, totally something else. The smell is totally something else, not according to reality, to how it actually exists. But we believe it and hold on to it, thinking this is a hundred percent true.

The numberless arhats, bodhisattvas and buddhas with their wisdom see what we believe, what appears to us is total non-existent, totally empty.

It’s the same thing with taste. When you eat chili pepper, when you eat sugar, it appears very hot from its own side, or really sweet from its own side. When you take sugar, you don’t think it’s merely-labeled sugar, merely-labeled sweet. When we’re in the shop, we don’t think that. When we eat sweet sugar, it appears real sweet from its own side, and likewise chili’s heat appears real hot, existing from its own side.

All the tastes appears as something real, independent, existing from its own side, and then we believe, we a hundred percent hold on to it as true.

Actually, in reality, we’re eating something that doesn’t exist; we’re hearing something that doesn’t exist; we’re seeing something that doesn’t exist.

Whatever body contact we have—soft, rough, soft, heavy, light, all these objects of the body sense—all appears real, independent, existing from its own side, not merely labeled by mind. When we walk, it feels truly hard or soft—I mean the shoes or the place—it feels something real soft, real hard, existing from its own side; it appears like that. We believe this is a hundred percent true. The sense of the body, the contact, being soft or hard—that merely labeled one exists, but it doesn’t exist in this way. The merely labeled one exists but doesn’t exist in this way. We experience the merely-labeled soft, the merely-labeled hard, that’s the reality but it doesn’t appear that way, we don’t experience it that way. How we experience it is something that doesn’t exist.

The numberless arhats, arya bodhisattvas, higher bodhisattvas and the buddhas, this smell, the way it appears, that we believe, this sense of contact, all this, is totally non-existent, totally non-existent, not even an atom of that exists.

This is the same with all the rest of the phenomena, permanent, impermanent, the object of the mind, of the six senses, all that. All phenomena come into two: permanent and impermanent. The emptiness is permanent, space is permanent. However, all this—impermanent phenomena, permanent phenomena—all this, for us, when we talk about permanent, impermanent, while we are talking about it, mentioning the name, how we believe it, how it appears to us, how you believe it, is something permanent, independent, not merely labeled by mind. Impermanent also appears not merely labeled by mind, independent impermanence.

It appears that way, and we hold onto that, independent, inherently existent. This has nothing to do with the reality, being merely labeled by mind, existing in mere name; it is totally something else. Even when we think of permanent and impermanent, even when we think of enlightenment and hell, while we are saying hell, while we are saying enlightenment, how do we believe it exists? How does it appear to us? Not according to reality.

The reality is it is merely-labeled enlightenment, merely-labeled hell, which means it is empty of existing from its own side. Clear? It is merely imputed by the mind. But to our appearance and belief, it exists from its own side, not from the mind; it exists from its own side, independent.

The numberless arhats, higher bodhisattvas and buddhas see all this is completely, totally non-existent, completely totally non-existent.

SEEING THINGS AS LIKE A MIRAGE
Especially buddhas see merely things are labeled by the mind, okay. Even the bodhisattvas and arhats have this hallucination. When they think of hell and enlightenment, all this, it appears as existing from its own side, but of course they realize it’s not true. Their wisdom realizes it’s not true. It appears to then like for us when we are aware while we’re dreaming. We are aware “I’m dreaming.” At that time, we have all these appearances but we don’t believe they are true. Because when we recognize the dream is dream, we have all these appearances but there’s no belief they are true. We realize it’s not true, it doesn’t exist.

This is similar to a mirage. After crossing the desert, we look back and it looks like there’s water, we have vision of water, the mirage, but we know because we have just come from there that there’s no water there, despite our vision of water. This is similar to how the arhats and bodhisattvas see things. Because there’s still a subtle negative mind which projects, which decorates the hallucination, truly existent, they see it that way, but there’s no belief in that, holding onto that as true, that doesn’t happen.

Unlike the arhats and those higher bodhisattvas, for those who haven’t realized emptiness, like us, not only do we have the hallucination, but we believe it’s true. That’s the biggest problem in our life; that’s the biggest suffering. Then all the other sufferings are based on that, all the other negative emotional thoughts are based on that.

What I am saying, for us, even enlightenment appears as independent, as existing from its own side, not merely labeled. And when we think of hell, again, it is an independent hell, almost like a permanent hell, independent, not only independent but a permanent hell. On top of that, we let our mind hold onto that as a hundred percent true, so it’s a total hallucination.

There is enlightenment, that exists, but it’s nothing else except what’s merely imputed by mind. There’s a hell, that exists, but it’s nothing else, except what is merely imputed by mind. This is the enlightenment that we achieve; this is the hell that we experience, not other than this, not other than what is merely labeled by the mind.

The other hell, the other enlightenment doesn’t exist, the way it appears to us, what we believe. Besides hell, even in daily life, when we think of problems, happiness in our daily life, “Today I have problems,” “Today I’m happy,” “Today I’m really sad.” Here, it’s the same, if we analyze it even the problem that we think, that we believe we have, doesn’t exist, doesn’t exist at all. The problem that we believe, the way it appears to us, the way that we believe, it doesn’t exist, even in mere name, even in mere name it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t exist.

And the same with happiness, the way it appears to us, and the way we believe, it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t exist at all, even in mere name.

The numberless arhats, arya bodhisattvas and buddhas, with their wisdom see all this. So, what I want to tell you is this—sorry, it got expanded—everything we see in twenty-four hours, day and night, from birth until death in this life—I said death, but anyway, just approximately include the future. [Rinpoche laughs] I mean, it depends on what future we’re going to have. We could develop the wisdom directly perceiving emptiness, and in this life or the future we become a buddha. It’s different those who become a buddha.

However, what I was saying, from birth until death, whatever appears to our mind, we believe, we have a fixed idea that it’s true—all this is totally non-existent. The numberless arhats, bodhisattvas and buddhas with their wisdom see this is totally non-existent.

The way the things have appeared to us from beginningless rebirths, and how we’ve held on to that, as a hundred percent true, the arhats, those higher bodhisattvas and the buddhas with their wisdom see, they realize all that totally non-existent, totally non-existent, totally empty.

LOOK AT CAUSATIVE PHENOMENA AS STARS
Therefore, in the verse that we’re reciting: “look at causative phenomena like stars,” it has that meaning. In the daytime, we don’t see stars, in the daytime we don’t see stars.

“Look at causative phenomena like stars,” the star is related to the object of ignorance, inherent existence, independence, existing from its own side, existing by nature, or in ordinary language “real.” It is what ignorance holds on to as a hundred percent true. Like the stars in daytime, when the sun shines, they disappear, they are empty, they do not exist. This is what the omniscient mind sees. All causative phenomena do not have any inherent existence; they are totally empty. That’s what the omniscient mind sees, and also the higher bodhisattvas and the arhats, when they realize emptiness. So that’s the meaning of “star” related to causative phenomena. That’s the first thing.

It’s good to think at that time, when we meditate, this is what the omniscient mind sees, what even the higher bodhisattvas and the arhats see. All the phenomena appear to us as real, as existing from its own side and we hold onto it, the ignorance holds onto it as a hundred percent true.

These causative phenomena, appearing real one, what we hold onto as true: they don’t exist at all, not even an atom of that. So, we need to meditate to see how they are totally empty of that. It’s very effective, It’s a good empty meditation, going through these words—there’s about six or seven—and looking at the nature of causative phenomena, meditating on the ultimate nature and the conventional nature. The ultimate nature is emptiness and the conventional nature is the impermanence, that it doesn’t last.

Anyway, since I brought up this issue, I’m going to just finish this one.

For those who are able to understand this, then you can meditate on it. It’s extremely powerful.

In our daily life when there’s some emotional thought arising, some attachment or anger, some negative emotional thought arising, this is an excellent meditation to do this. Even when there’s no particular such heavy emotional thought arising, at anytime, it’s incredible, it’s a great meditation, this one; it’s very, very good.

“Look at causative phenomena like a star.” Here, this is also example of the hallucination, gag-cha, the object to be refuted. We can think of causative phenomena in general, or in specific causative phenomena such as in our life, the I, our aggregates of body and mind, all this, our possessions, family, surrounding people, friend, enemy, stranger—these causative phenomena. We can relate to these particular things, these objects whenever strong attachment or strong anger arises in us. It is very effective to particularly remember this when specific causative phenomena cause very heavy negative emotional thoughts to arise.

DON’T GET ANGRY AT THE STICK
During the Bush father’s time, when the United States was fighting, making a war with Iraq, there was a missile that came from very far away, from many thousands of miles, and it aimed exactly on its target. The missiles came and blew up exactly what the soldiers wanted. That’s outside, but here we shoot the same thing to our real enemy, delusion. With wisdom, we eliminate delusion and we achieve liberation as well as enlightenment.

What I’m saying, we look at causative phenomena, this and this, at that time we can think of general causative phenomena but particularly in our life, our body and mind, surrounding people, families, friend, enemy, stranger, material possessions—whatever objects we get angry with or have strong desire for, strong attachment for or ignorance, indifference—those particular objects, it’s very good to use those. Then it’s like a bomb hitting just the right target, this meditation on our enemy, our inner enemy.

Actually, there’s no outside enemy. There’s a reason for everybody who gives harm to us, everybody who gets angry with us, everybody who criticizes us. There’s a reason, there’s a cause for that, and the cause is our mind. Anybody, any situation, even the mosquito biting us, the cause is our mind, attachment, anger, and of course no question about the root, ignorance. There’s no question, that’s the root. Ignorance, the concept holding things, holding the I, the aggregates as truly existent—that’s the real root, which means the self-cherishing thought.

In the past with these negative thoughts we harmed others, we made mistakes, did unrighteous actions, harmed others. What is happening now is the result. This mosquito biting us, that person who doesn’t like us, even from the first time he saw us, that person who scolds us, even that unknown person who gets angry at us—someone we’ve never met before—all these things are just results, just creations of this mind, caused by this mind, by these negative thoughts, especially the self-cherishing thought.

Actually, these are just like tools used by a person. All these things, people who are angry at us, people who are criticizing us, all these things are like tools. But the enemy, the real enemy is this one, our own self-cherishing thought, this ego, this self-cherishing thought, this ignorance, causing anger, attachment and these delusions. These other things are like tools, like the stick that an angry person beats us with. The real reason is our own negative thought.

It is very helpful to remember this, while somebody is angry with us, scolding us, talking about our mistakes. If we can remember this at that time; that this is the situation is a tool, used by these negative thoughts. This is happening now because in the past we harmed that person, we did some wrong action to that person. The harm they are doing now is just a tool. The main one, the enemy is there, our own negative mind.

It’s very good to remember this. We can meditate on this while the other person is shouting at us and getting really angry, while even the nose is very angry. (I’m joking.) The person totally changes, even the face, becoming angrier at us and insulting us. At that time, we can meditate, sitting cross-legged, like this. [Group laughs] Then, we can open our eyes and look at the person, like this, you know. [Rinpoche demonstrates] At that time if we do that, it’s very good.

At other times, no how much we do this, we can’t do this. [Rinpoche laughs] We forget completely. For so many years we do this [Rinpoche strikes a pose] only at that time you can’t do this, we forget.

Anyway, what I’m saying is, the main thing is to remember this. It’s our mind that caused that person to do this. It comes back to us; it’s caused by this self-cherishing thought, this negative thought. Remembering that is so good, so good; it’s unbelievable.

So, there’s no need to get angry, there’s no need to get upset with the person. The only solution is to take care of our own mind, to take care of our own life. As I mentioned, the United States sends missiles exactly to its target—they aim and it goes exactly. That’s like applying the lam-rim meditation, emptiness, renunciation, karma. Within the renunciation meditation there’s karma and impermanence, how life is in the nature of impermanence. Even going through this, looking at how causative phenomena are like a star, even that makes it so powerful.

There’s no reason at all to get angry with the outside condition like we feel obliged to. Really, it’s caused by this ignorance or this self-cherishing thought. What I am talking about here is the solution to that—the bomb to explode all that [Rinpoche laughs] to eliminate these negative thoughts.

We should feel pity for our harmers because they’re creating negative karma. By harming us they create negative karma and they get reborn in the lower realms. Even in this life there is no peace, no happiness, no peace; they suffer. So, they’re only an object of compassion, only an object of compassion. Even if they have cheated us, they have also created negative karma, and so they are suffering now and they will suffer in future, for so many lifetimes.

It is mentioned in the teachings, if we cheat one person, if we cheat one sentient being, we get cheated for one thousand lifetimes. If we cheat one sentient being, as a result of that, we get cheated in the future lives, for one thousand lifetimes we get cheated by others. I think this is mentioned in a commentary of Aryadeva’s teachings. If we cheat one sentient being, we get cheated by others for one thousand lifetimes. Why is it like this? Because karma is expandable. When we create the karma we will definitely experience it, whether it is virtue or nonvirtue, we will definitely experience the result, happiness or suffering.

We will definitely experience the suffering result of a nonvirtue as long as we don’t do anything, as long as we don’t purify that negative karma. If we actualize the exalted path, the Hinayana or Mahayana exalted path, the arya path, then we don’t experience suffering. Like the bodhisattva, if we achieve the bodhisattva’s exalted path, we have abandoned suffering: birth, old age, sickness, and death, all this, we don’t experience.

Until our mind becomes pure like the arya beings, the arya bodhisattvas, however, we have to experience the result of our negative karma, the suffering. It comes back to us, it gives us harm. But when our mind becomes pure, we don’t experience harm, we don’t experience suffering. Whether we receive harm or not is totally dependent on our mind.

A buddha, who has removed all the gross and subtle defilements, never receives harm. The Buddha achieved enlightenment at dawn, but before that, at dusk on the day before, those millions of maras attacked, throwing all kinds of things, but when they came close to the Buddha, they became flowers, they were all transformed into flowers, like a flower offering, so nothing was able to harm him.

Whether we can receive harm or not totally depends to our mind. As our mind becomes purer it doesn’t happen, like those arya beings, those bodhisattvas, so especially there is no question that the Buddha, even before enlightenment, could not receive harm.

THE HARMER IS ONLY THE OBJECT OF COMPASSION
What I’m saying is those who harm as are only objects of compassion. They are only objects of compassion. Even somebody who cheats us is only an object of compassion, because it is a result of our past negative karma. It is a result of our past negative karma when we harmed that being in the past, we cheated that being, so now the result is being paid back. The karma has circled around, because of our self-cherishing thought, the inner harmer that has harmed others in the past. The karma has circled back; it is the wheel of the sharp weapons, turned towards us, the wheel of karma turned towards us.

So listen here, listen here. We caused this. In reality, we caused those beings to do this, we caused them to cheat us, we caused them to kill us, we caused them to do all those things. So, really, how is it possible to get angry with them? How is it possible to get angry with because we caused them to do that, making them create negative karma, causing them to have to suffer so much in the future in the lower realms. Even in this life, even in the next life as a human being, in the future, they have to experience the suffering result. They have to suffer so much, life to life, not just one time in a human life, but they have to suffer so much, just for that negative action they did to us. It’s unbelievable.

Therefore, they are only objects of compassion. Even if somebody cheats us of billions of dollars, there is no reason to get angry with him. He is only an object of compassion, and we should only benefit him, only help him. We should help him, pray for him to be liberated from the oceans of samsaric suffering and the cause of suffering, karma and delusion, and to achieve enlightenment, to meet the Dharma, to actualize the path. We should pray like that.

We should never harm him back. If we harm him back, then we start again. We harm him back and we start the karma again. We’re experiencing the previous karma, but now we harm back and we start the circle again, to receive harm back again from him in the future. Whatever you do in retaliation, insulting or a court case or whatever, we receive harm now, by getting angry, but we also create the karma, we perpetuate the cycle of karma, and so again we will receive suffering result, to be harmed by him in the future.

And because karma is expandable, from that one negative karma, the result we experience will be for hundreds of thousands of lifetimes. To retaliate is to start it all over again, to start all those problems over again, to have to experience those problems again. We are starting again. Actually, it’s totally foolish. What worldly people think is the correct response, getting angry, is totally foolish. When we understand karma, Dharma, we see it’s totally foolish, totally foolish.

Normally, if somebody harms us, we harm them back. By doing that, we’re creating that again, we are making our suffering endless. We are ensuring we experience the suffering of the lower realms, and even in the human realm in future lives we will experience unbelievable, unbelievable suffering.

Therefore, if we don’t want to receive harm, the smartest thing to do is to never get angry. To control our negative thoughts means we stop receiving harm, so we should stop harming others, and if possible, on top of that, we should benefit them.

That way, we start a good karma circle. From that good karma, we receive help from others, we receive help from that sentient being in the future, for hundreds of thousands lifetimes. We receive help, benefit from that person. If we did something good for that person or for that animal—whatever the sentient being—if we created that good karma, the result is happiness, for hundreds of thousands of lifetimes. This happens from that one good karma, because the second outline of karma is that karma is expandable. From one act of negative karma, the result of suffering is experienced so much in one life and in so many lifetimes. In the same way, from one act of positive karma, the result of happiness is experiences, so much in one life, as well as for hundreds of thousands of lifetimes.

Then, of course, depending on the karma, there’s also liberation and enlightenment. What we achieve, what we get from that one action, doing that good action for that sentient being, besides all the unbelievable benefits and samsaric happiness we receive—long life, wealth and many things—while we’re in samsara, we achieve the result of liberation and enlightenment.

So, the smartest person, the cleverest person is the one who, instead of giving harm, stops giving harm and practices patience, and then, on top of that, if it’s possible, benefits others. Then, instead of receiving harm for so many hundreds of thousands of lifetimes, by living in morality, by taking vow of morality not to harm others, and by benefitting others, wow, we receive so much happiness, now and in the future lives, for hundreds of thousands of lifetimes. And then, depending on the karma, we can achieve liberation and enlightenment.

Then, even if somebody cheats us of millions of dollars, if we are practicing compassion, that makes us achieve enlightenment. If we practice compassion to that other being, if we cherish them, that makes us achieve enlightenment, and makes us liberate that sentient beings and all sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering, and bring them to enlightenment. This is what we get if we practice compassion. But if we harm them, we sue them, we harm them, then we’re continuously caught in samsara, continuously experiencing suffering, now and in the future, on and on, endlessly.

So, anyway, [Rinpoche laughs] I have to go back to refuge.

CAUSATIVE PHENOMENA ARE LIKE AN ILLUSION
So, anyway, as I mentioned, look at all causative phenomena as like a star. The next one is rab-rib, look at it the illusion caused by defective vision, unclear vision, the vision of defective senses. The example you see in the texts, our vision while we’re eating food, dropping hairs in the food. We have all kinds of visions, but they’re not true. Because of defective senses we have this vision, dropping hair in food or hairs coming down in front of our eyes. The actual sense is defective, and then we have wrong vision.

Causative phenomena are like this. Our life, our body and mind, our family, material pleasure, friends, enemies, strangers—all these things appear real, not merely labeled by the mind. What they are is what is merely labeled by my mind, but they don’t appear that way. They appear totally opposite, as real, as existing independently. On top of that, not only is there that hallucination, but on top of that, we hold onto this, we hold onto this, our mind holds onto this, our ignorance sees this as true.

All this is like defective vision, it’s exactly the same as defective vision, it’s a hallucination caused by defective senses. This is the same, rab-rib. It’s very clear, this is a total hallucination, like a defective vision of the senses.

The next one is Rab ma-nai tang. [?] Causative phenomena are like a butter lamp. A butter lamp needs butter, wick and so forth, it needs many causes and conditions in order to be lit. The light depends on many causes and conditions to make this exist. Similarly, by depending on many causes and conditions, all these things exist.

I think, maybe this is the gross way of meditating on dependent arising. Like a butter lamp, looking at it like this, how they are dependent arising. When you meditate on that, it destroys the concept of things as permanent, long-lasting; it bombs that concept of permanence, by looking at them as impermanent.

Then there is Rab rib man me tang gyu ma. [?] Looking at causative phenomena as like an illusion. That’s easy. It’s like the magician person, who can illusion you. I think it happened in India from time to time, the magician person gives you a big bundle of money, a huge bundle of money, and you really believe you’ve got it. Then after some time, you go back home, you find you didn’t have it at all. I heard this. It seems it happens from time to time, how the magician person illusions you, maybe with some business, or I’m not sure what, then you get home and it’s not there. This illusion.

All causative phenomena—all this life, all these things, family, property, possessions, all this—appear as something real, existing from its own side, independent, then we hold onto that, we believe it, like that person believed they got that huge amount of money and he really trusted that, he believed that; he didn’t recognize it was an illusion. Even his own body and mind doesn’t exist like that. So anyway, look at causative phenomena as like an illusion

Next, look at causative phenomena as like a drop of dew. A dew drop can fall down at any time, any time it can fall down, so showing impermanence. All causative phenomena—our life, all these things—at any time can perish, at any time. It’s so good to know that. If we meditate normally on this, if we think this way, that this is the nature of things, then one day, when something happens—our house is burnt down, we lost our bed, we lose our car, we lose our money, whatever—when something like this happens, because we have been thinking about the reality, that this can happen, it doesn’t surprise us, it doesn’t shock us. We know it is the nature of phenomena to happen this way.

Somebody who never thinks like this, who thinks things are long lasting, permanent, then it’s the opposite. That person gets an unbelievable shock and becomes so anger. It makes his life so unhappy, so unhappy and so sad. It makes a huge difference in his life, if that person doesn’t meditate. He holds the opposite view, that things are permanent, long lasting, thinking he’ll have this all the time. Then, when something happens, when reality happens, it comes as an unbelievable shock; there is such sadness, even a nervous breakdown or maybe he even commits suicide. When a family member is lost, when somebody is killed, whatever happens, he loses money or something, he’s so sad, he doesn’t know what to do then he wants to jump off a bridge, like in Sydney there’s a bridge where you can jump, and San Francisco there’s a bridge, there’s Golden Gate Bridge where you can jump. I think probably each country has some place where you can do these things. Some people, even though their house is very little, they climb some high tower and then jump. Because of this ignorance, seeing things as permanent, people can commit suicide. Nobody kills them; they kill themselves.

CAUSATIVE PHENOMENA ARE LIKE A WATER BUBBLE
Then, next one: Gyu ma sil wai chu da. [?] Look at all causative phenomena as like a water bubble. Look at all causative phenomena as like a water bubble. I don’t know, there’s different ways to explain this. The object of attachment can look beautiful, it looks beautiful, but it can be popped at any time.

This can be related to the object of anger, to all this, but generally to the object of attachment. It is something very beautiful, very attractive, but it can perish, like a water bubble can be popped anytime, so, so fragile, you see, say, nature impermanence, you see. So like this can be perished anytime, something can happen to this anytime.

This is a very, very good, very good way to prepare the mind, psychologically, to help ourselves prepare the mind in this way, which is the reality. This is the reality of phenomena. These things can happen, so we prepare our mind, and not get completely caught in the view of attachment, in the view of ignorance, in the view of attachment, not get completely caught in that. Without that, we can get a huge shock when some change happens, we get a huge shock, we can even become crazy. Then we need to rely on medicine, big piles of medicine, we have to take so much medicine but it still doesn’t get better.

So anyway, like a water bubble, this is impermanence.

CAUSATIVE PHENOMENA ARE LIKE A DREAM
Then the next: look at all causative phenomena as like a dream. Like dream here again is related to the hallucination. So, all these things—our life, our possessions, the people surrounding us, friends, enemies, strangers, family members, ourselves and our actions, the object, the view—all this is like a dream.

In a dream, everything appears real. In a dream everything appears real—ourselves, a real I, a real action, a real object, whatever we do. In the dream we become a millionaire, a billionaire, a zillionaire, a trillionaire; we become the king of the country, we become the president of the country, in the dream. [Rinpoche laughs] In the dream we have a house filled with gold, filled with diamonds. We have a dream, and everything appeared real, real, in the sense independent, existing from their own side, every single thing—ourselves, the I, the action—everything in the dream, but, not the slightest even atom of it exists. Like that, it is exactly the same, even when we’re not sleeping, not dreaming. In our life, everything appears like this. What everything is, is merely labeled by mind, but nothing appears that way; everything appears existing from its own side, something real, everything.

Then we believe, then we let our mind believe that all this is true, which is ignorance. So, this is exactly like a dream. Everything appears real, existing from its own side, and then we believe, we let our mind believe, we hold onto it a hundred percent, like in a dream. This is exactly the same. What is in the dream look like this, but it doesn’t exist at all. Here, it’s exactly the same, it does not exist. Exactly, all this, the way it appears, we’re holding onto this so strongly, but it’s not true, not even the slightest. So, we should look at all causative phenomena as like a dream.

CAUSATIVE PHENOMENA ARE LIKE LIGHTNING
Then, Min la lob sang. [?] Look at all causative phenomena as like lightning. That’s the impermanence. While there’s a flash lightning at night time, we have a human body, we see the phenomena around, the people, the house, whatever possessions around, in nighttime, if there’s lightning. In the flash of lightning, we saw all these things—they appeared and then they are gone; they appeared but then were gone. That appearance: something appears and then is gone.

It’s the same here. When we die, the day we die, we see that we had this human body, and all the family, all the property, possessions, all these cars, all these possessions, we had all this appearance, but now it’s gone. We had all this appearance, but it’s gone, stopped. So, it’s exactly like lightning, it appears and it’s gone. [Rinpoche snaps his fingers.] When we die, it happens exactly like that. We had all this appearance, this vision, this appearance of this life, of being a human being, all these possessions, these people surrounding us, our family, but it’s gone. [Rinpoche snaps his fingers.] Now, it’s stopped.

Lightning happens so briefly and then it’s gone. That is to remind us that all causative phenomena have this nature, that the nature of life is impermanent. What it’s saying is, therefore, that we must practice Dharma, we must practice Dharma. That’s the emphasis.

This is not just to make us upset, it’s not just to make us depressed [Rinpoche laughs] to bring our mind into an upset nature, into depression, it’s not that. This is the reality. Life is like lightning. We should look at the causative phenomena like lightning. Therefore, what it’s saying is we should not cling, that’s what it’s saying. Don’t cling. There’s nothing to get angry about, there’s nothing to get attached to, there’s nothing to get jealous about. There is no reason for any of the three poisonous minds to arise. There’s no reason to get attached to this I. So, basically this is the antidote.

When we think how this is the reality of causative phenomena, looking at life, our things, then we don’t see any purpose, any reason to be attached to these things, to hold on to them, to grasp on to them. We don’t see any reason. Our mind is free, our mind is free from attachment, from these negative emotional thoughts, anger and all this. This freedom helps us to overcome delusions, to overcome delusion and karma, to achieve liberation, then, with bodhicitta, to achieve enlightenment.

CAUSATIVE PHENOMENA ARE LIKE A CLOUD
Then the next one is: look at all causative phenomena as like a cloud. That means, it is good to mainly concentrate on the causative phenomena in our life in this way. That includes everything, the objects of anger, of attachment, our family members, the possessions—the whole thing, our whole life. It’s more useful this way. On the basis of this we can expand to include all other causative phenomena.

While we are looking at a cloud, we can see it now, but the next minute we look it’s not there. Or while we’re looking at the clouds, they are constantly changing, in every second, in every split second, second by second, even within a second, they are changing. Not only hour by hour, minute by minute, even second by second, even within second they are changing, because they are under the control of causes and conditions. They do not last, even within a second. Like that, all these causative phenomena in our life, all these things, they can perish at any time. Now it’s there, but the next minute it can change, it can perish.

And also, all these causative phenomena, while they exist, they are constantly, constantly, changing. This body, we can see the change from even a few years before, how it looks. How it looked a few years before to now, there have been changes. There were no wrinkles before, but now there are wrinkles; there was no white hair before, but now there’s white hair. We see the change, we see we are becoming older. This change is very gross change. What we see is very gross—becoming older, maybe the colors, walking, whatever.

Anyway, this change didn’t just happen today [Rinpoche snaps his fingers] this hour; it didn’t happen just today. This change didn’t just happen this week, or today—not like that. How it happened was, it has been changing year by year. It has changed year by year, it happened because it changed by the decay, changed in sense of decay. It has been decaying year by year. The year-by-year decay happens because of the month-by-month decay; The month-by-month decay happens due to the week-by-week decay. The week-by-week decay happens due to the day-by-day decay. The day-by-day decay—how we change, how we get older—happens due to the hour-by-hour decay, and that happened due to the minute-by-minute decay, and that minute-by-minute decay happened due to the second-by-second change.

Even that subtle state, that impermanence, even within a second it changes, even within a second it decays. It does not last, even within a second, it decays, even within each second it doesn’t last, it decays. Constantly, second by second, even within each second, it changes, it decays. That’s the nature of the causative phenomena.

Here, I’m talking specifically about our body. But when we think about anything, it’s the same. Whether it’s our own body or somebody else’s body, even a flower, or something, when we think like this, at this detailed impermanence, this subtle impermanence, we see that it doesn’t last, even within a minute, even within a second. That makes us think there’s nothing to cling on to, there’s nothing to be attached to. And it’s the same thing with anger.

This makes the mind be free, to have renunciation, to be detached to this, to not get angry or to have ignorance arise, all these things. It makes us overcome delusion and karma, to be liberated from suffering, and of course, with renunciation and bodhicitta, then to achieve enlightenment.

So this meditation is very important. That’s why I recite it at the beginning of the teachings. Just to meditate on this is great.

I think maybe I’ll stop here. [Rinpoche laughs]

So, sorry I didn’t finish the refuge and bodhicitta prayer, but maybe we’ll try tomorrow. I went somewhere else. I think took another road.

So anyway, I think we’ll do Vajrasattva.

DEDICATION
Due to all the past, present and future merits collected by me, the threes’ time merits collected by others, may the bodhicitta be actualized in my own heart, and in the hearts of all sentient beings, my own family members, in the hearts of all the students and all the benefactors. There are so many people in different parts of the world who bear so many hardships, offering service to the organization, to benefit sentient beings, and the teachings of the Buddha. As well as those who rely upon me, whom I promised to pray for, whose names were given to me.

Then, what’s the name of the person? Malaysia, Triang? The monk Sonam’s father died today, maybe more than an hour ago, just before I came down, some minutes before I came down. So, can we also pray for him to actualize bodhicitta.

In Malaysia there’s the center in the city, Columbia, Kuala Lumpur, not Columbia—sorry, Kuala Lumpur—there is center. There’s a center in Penang, then a few hours’ drive from Losang Drakpa Center, on the hill—what’s the name of that area? Huh? Triang. There’s a hill, then there’s a temple built, so the idea is to build more retreat houses. When you’re there, it’s so good, so good; it’s a little bit like Kopan Hill. From there, you get a very wide view; it gives a very good feeling.

Geshe Lama Konchog was there to bless the land and, maybe in a dream or something, he highly recommended the place; he said that the people who meditated there would achieve realizations, will achieve enlightenment or will achieve realizations, or Mahamudra realizations, I’m not sure. He had a high recommendation of that place.

So, anyway, one monk, Sonam, lived near the land. I think he was from Malaysia, but he lived near the land, Dorje Chang Center, in Auckland. He served there for many years. Anyway, I asked him to live there, to take care of it. His father died just before I came down. So, may the bodhicitta also be generated within him, okay, in the hearts of everybody in this world, and in the hearts of all the sentient beings, in the hearts of all the sentient beings.

Jang chub…

Due to all the past, present and future merits collected by me, the three times’ merits collected by others, may the bodhicitta be actualized in the hearts of all the leaders of the world, especially the leaders in Mainland China.

Jang chub…

Due to all the threes’ time merits collected by me, the threes’ time merits collected by others, may the bodhicitta be actualized in the hearts of all the people who follow all the different religions, and every one of their hearts, may the bodhicitta be actualized in their hearts. In whose heart bodhicitta is generated, may it be increased.

Jang chub…

Then we have received this perfect human rebirth which has eighteen qualities, and all the opportunity to practice Dharma, this is most amazing, most amazing, this is an incredible opportunity that we can practice, not only Lesser Vehicle teachings, but Mahayana teachings, sutra, Mahayana teachings Tantra. We have an incredible opportunity, by the kindness of Chenrezig, Avalokiteshvara, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, so we pray for his long life, and for all his holy wishes to succeed immediately.

[Prayers for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s long life and the success of all the holy projects]

[Students chant the long life prayer for Lama Zopa Rinpoche]

Maybe, when you do Vajrasattva, at your heart you can visualize the lotus and moon disc there, and then think all the sentient beings are there, and then you think that Sonam, this monk’s father, is there.

When you purify, nectar beams emitted from Guru Vajrasattva not only purify you, but purify all the sentient beings, and Sonam’s father is there in the heart, okay, and he is also purified. His name is Win, Wey, Wang, but I don’t remember exactly, so anyway just say Sonam’s father, the person who takes care of the retreat place in Triang, his father, okay. So, purify at the same time. Then you do purifying down, purifying up, then it is powerful purification.

The room is dark but when you switch on the light then the darkness suddenly becomes nonexistent there. Like the darkness, all the delusions, all the defilements suddenly become nonexistent, or, with the nectar, the light, the powerful light, all the mountains of garbage, all the defilements, are suddenly gone, washed out.

With Vajrasattva, you can do like this for people who have died, for whoever you want to, for somebody who is very, very sick. You want to purify, you want to help, so you can do that with the Vajrasattva meditation, purifying the negative karma of the person, the disease, the sicknesses, the spirit harm, the negative karma, the defilements —that’s four things—get purified. This is how you can benefit others.

Due to all the past, present and future merits collected by me, the three times’ merits collected by others, may I myself and my own family members, all of us here, all the students, all the benefactors, all those many people who sacrifice their lives for the organization, to serve others, to serve the teachings of the Buddha, and those who rely upon me, whose names are given to me, and may all others, in all the lifetimes, always to be guided by Lama Tsongkhapa, being the Mahayana guru, directly guided by Lama Tsongkhapa, and never be separated away from the pure path, that which is highly admired by all the buddhas.

Do the same with Sonam’s father. You can think in all his lifetimes may he always be guided by Lama Tsongkhapa, his direct guru, this is Sonam’s father. Due to all the three times’ merits collected by me, the past, present and future merits collected by others—others means all sentient beings, including bodhisattvas and buddhas—may Sonam’s father be born immediately in the pure land of Buddha, where he can become enlightened or the other thing is may he receive a perfect human body and meet the perfectly qualified Mahayana guru, the Mahayana teachings, may he achieve enlightenment as soon as possible. May he receive a perfect human body, and may Lama Tsongkhapa be his direct guru in all the lifetimes, and never to be separated away from the pure path that is highly admired by all the buddhas.

So everybody meditate, everybody do this prayer and dedicate for him.

As the three times’ buddhas dedicated their merits, I dedicate all my merits in the same way. Then think:

Due to all the past, present and future merits collected by me, the threes’ time merits collected by others, that which exists, but does not exist from its own side, which is totally empty, may the I, who exists, but does not exist from its own side, which is totally empty, achieve Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, which exists, but doesn’t exist from its own side, which is totally empty, and lead all sentient beings, who exist, but who do not exist from their own side, who are totally empty, who are totally empty, and bring them to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, which exists, but which doesn’t exist from its own side, which is totally empty, by myself alone, who exists, but who do not exist from its own side, who is totally empty.

Please dedicate to actualize Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings, the unified sutra and tantra in this very lifetime, within one’s heart and one’s family members, in the hearts of all the students, all the benefactors, so many people who sacrifice their lives to the organization, to serve, to benefit continuously to the sentient beings, the teachings of Buddha, in all their hearts as well as those whom I promised to pray, whose names were given to me, and in the hearts of everybody in this world.

[Chanting ]

Good night, thank you.

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Notes

5 Wutai Shan literally means “five plateau mountain” and is considered by Chinese Buddhists as the most sacred place in China.  [Return to text]