Kopan Course No. 06 (1974)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Kopan Monastery, Nepal, 1974 (Archive #028)

The following is a combination of notes taken at the teachings and a transcript of taped teachings given by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at the Sixth Kopan Meditation Course in March-April 1974. They form an auto-commentary on the course text, The Wish-fulfilling Golden Sun of the Mahayana Thought Training.

You may also download the entire contents of these teachings in a pdf file.

Meditation One: Part II: Impermanence & Death

Day Eighteen
Monday, April 8
3 p.m.

(Page 51)

How should I make this perfect human rebirth highly meaningful? So, how to make the perfect human rebirth highly meaningful? According to one's own capability. The highest, the highly fortunate beings who have very high intelligence, according to one's equipment, can try to achieve enlightenment in the lifetime by receiving the realization of the absolute true nature and the fully renounced mind of samsara, and bodhicitta. On the basis of this, they practice tantra, and then it is possible to achieve enlightenment in that lifetime by fully, perfectly knowing the profound tantric teaching. Basically, they live life in an ascetic way, renouncing this life. For the very highly fortunate, intelligent beings, I think it is possible that even though the whole tantric realization is not achieved, on the basis of that, they achieve certain tantric realizations, and take rebirth with choice, with meditation. Even if that's not possible, then they try to achieve these three as things: the absolute true nature, bodhicitta, and the mind fully renouncing samsara. They try to make life meaningful in this way by achieving this.

These three are the principals of the path to enlightenment—the realization of the absolute true nature, bodhicitta, and the mind fully renouncing samsara—these are the essence of the whole path. So we should plan, we should make some project, make the decision to work, to use this life to achieve these things. Like a project, a decision to make business—no matter how difficult or dangerous it is, without caring about this you make the decision because you see a lot of benefit coming from it. Just like this, no matter dangerous it is, some people make this decision. Like carrying drugs to the West is very dangerous—you are checked through so many borders, the person is brave because he sees a lot of benefit coming out of that, because he made the decision, he doesn't care. It is very dangerous but he does it, just like this, we have to be brave. They make the will to do these things that cause danger to the life, that can cause so much trouble, no peace, that can cause one to be put in prison, many things. Just like this, we people easily make this decision, make this business. Why don’t we make business in this way, just like this, being brave in that way? This is worthwhile, there is no danger. Try to make a project like this, to obtain as much as possible in this lifetime, trying to get across to enlightenment as much as possible by putting your whole energy into it. This is like the people make business, putting their life in danger, spending their life—because of seeing so much profit coming, they give up their life in that way.

Just like people who make expeditions. For instance, they don't know when they make arrangements with the equipment to get ready to climb over the peaks, they can't say for sure that they won't die. They can't say for sure, but they try so hard, with equipment to protect them; however dangerous it is, because of the possibility of getting on top, receiving that pleasure, that reputation, because of that, they sacrifice their life—this present precious life, for such a limited goal. Even for the person who climbs and came back, what is the use? Then maybe the person gets a little bit of money, reputation, words, empty words, this and that—empty words that build his ego, that blow him up. But this is not forever; even the reputation, will the person get the reputation for all his life? He won't have the same reputation in his future life. If there was a reputation in all the future lives about how he climbed over the top, even then that is something else. But in maybe one year, or two years, then he's dead. But however, that reputation cannot solve all his problems—it only causes more problems to arise because the mind is not controlled, so it cannot cut other problems too; there are other problems. People who go for fights are the same thing—they give up their life for business and for getting a reputation, to get the temporal life support.

However many expenses are made, such as in the expedition, it is all just service to the evil thought. After the person's death, there is nothing to look at. Whatever the person can carry with him by doing those kinds of things, sacrificing his life, dangers, and so forth for the evil thought. After he's dead, the profit that he carries is only suffering. Therefore, if individual beings even have that much brave courage to sacrifice, to really sacrifice their life for that—such as people robbing, bank robbing, sacrificing their life in such dangerous work—even ordinary people sacrifice their life without meaning, to create the cause of suffering, so why can't we sacrifice to work for the path to enlightenment, for Dharma practice? Why can't we sacrifice our whole life for the Dharma practice that never brings one single suffering, and only results in happiness? The practice that ceases, stops all suffering that arises from beginningless samsaric lifetimes? Dharma practice is infinite billions of times worthwhile the sacrifice of the whole life. If you can sacrifice life for a dangerous thing why can't you sacrifice your life for a non-dangerous thing? No reason, no reason.

What encourages the person to sacrifice the life for temporal things, to create the cause of suffering? But when it comes to Dharma practice, such as renouncing the evil thought of the eight worldly dharmas, renouncing greed, ignorance, and hatred, when it comes to Dharma practice, the person gets afraid, the person gets shocked, tired, many things. Why? Why is he so brave in other meaningless work, but not for Dharma practice? Why doesn’t he have that much patience for Dharma practice, to understand Dharma, to meditate, to practice? Why doesn't he have as much patience for Dharma as he has for his other work? This is because as he's living in ignorance, he's always under the control of ignorance and he doesn't recognize the ignorance—the mind that always speaks to him, that gives courage, that doesn't permit him to continue Dharma practice, to meditate, that hinders him from practicing Dharma.

All these things are caused by ignorance, but the person doesn't recognize ignorance. So whatever his egocentric mind tells him, the person thinks is always true. Like the person who doesn't recognize the other person as a liar. If the person has a friend, a companion, who lives together with him, this person doesn't recognize that the other person always tells lies, always behaves in many cynical ways in order to get what he needs, and in order to avoid and destroy what he doesn't need. This person always tells him so many lies, gives jobs, work. But this person never recognizes the other person because he needs something, wants to gain something, sees something. That's why he's always obliged by the other person to do so much work. If this person doesn't recognize the other one as a liar, as very selfish and negative, this person, because of working for the other person, always get into problems, suffering. But this person never recognizes that it is because of listening to the other person as he talks, obliges. This person who is suffering doesn't recognize that work, that what he is doing causes problems. Like this. Anyway.

However, like this, one thing. Besides this, from beginningless samsaric lifetime until now we have been always sacrificing our life and working for the evil thoughts of greed, ignorance, and hatred, which has been causing all these temporal sufferings. Also, even though we don't remember the previous sufferings, this has been the cause ... (part of sentence missed) ... has been caused by that. Besides this, we have been sacrificing our lives for beginningless suffering. We have sacrificed that much for negative mind, which has no beginning. Because of that, still the suffering has not stopped, the ignorance has not stopped. If we worked that much for that, sacrificing, why, in this one lifetime, why can't we sacrifice our whole life, use the whole life, for Dharma practice? To work for enlightenment? Dharma practice is work for enlightenment. If you check up like this it is silly, so silly, very silly, very ignorant, a very deeply ignorant action. As we discover ourselves acting that way, it shows how much we are ignorant. We are unable to use life for Dharma practice, unable to give the life for the work of enlightenment, even for one lifetime that has only maybe fifty or sixty, or maybe ten years, several years, which is nothing. Which is nothing. Even in such a short period we cannot work.

We get afraid, shocked if the subject is a little bit heavy, a little bit difficult to understand; we get bored. That's really funny, I think. Suppose the person gets bored of ignorance, but the subject gets boring; suppose the person gets bored of ignorance, which is the cause of problems, but how can one get bored of the subject? It is so funny. The subject doesn't get boring, the table doesn't get boring, other things. You see, the subject doesn't get boring—people, books. The reason we get bored is because he has something. If there is something that you can't know, that is deep and heavy, it is good because that means your mind is ignorant: That means that by working on this subject, meditating, checking this deeper and deeper, further and further, continuously, the ignorance becomes less and less and less and the subject be comes more simple. So the person has the achievement, the person has this realization, the person has wisdom, Dharma wisdom of this subject. This is the way that the wisdom should be developed. The wisdom that causes you to receive enlightenment should be developed in that way.

Maybe, for instance even in ordinary school, working on any subject—ABC, math, grammar, any subject, work—at first you don't find everything easy. You don't understand. All of a sudden—one day, two days, you don't understand everything. You have to do so much homework, you have to do so many corrections. You have to understand how it is put together, like grammar. Mostly like this—if you know how to put the words together, you don’t need to go through the experience, the realization—you just need the understanding of the meaning, and then how to put it together. Then once the person knows how to put the words together, those grammatical words, then that's all, it’s easy.

This subject is not like this. Even if we find it difficult, we don't find it easy, at first it takes time. We have to work much, we have to make corrections with the teacher, so many things. So this is not just to understand the words, this is not just to set up the words together. We need to read these works, study, and so meditation—like the steps to enlightenment. Like this.

Anyway, that kind of thought—the mind is childish mind, childish mind. A child, a baby is like this: When the parents send the child to school, the child does not recognize he's going to school, learning these things, ABCD. The child doesn't like the parents’ project. The plan is to help the child to not get into temporal problems in his life. But the child doesn't want to go to school, he wants to play; he gets tired, bored at school, he doesn't want to go. Not because the child is enlightened or highly educated, not because of this. But it is necessary to push them to the teachings, otherwise, according to what the child says, all the time they play, with no education.

Like at present, you can write letters, read and write many things, you can go to different countries, you can find jobs, you can do many things. That is because of your parents, when you were a small little boy or girl, whatever it is. You were not interested to learn, so the parents played tricky, by playing, by making funny things, like ABCD letters in funny shapes, like a house, many things; and very tricky methods. Especially in American schools. The reason those old people have to play with children is because the child is not as educated as the old people; they don't have that big eye, big mind. The funny thing is, in Tibet—this is just a story. The way of giving education to a child is completely different. It is like teaching old people, straight. Not general things like teaching letters, a form of play, not so much. Anyway, it doesn't matter. That is just a story. So like this. For instance, now you can do it like this. That's because when you were small your parents, with their compassion, their loving mind, because you were born from them, because they don't want your life to get into trouble, they want you to have a good life, so even though you didn’t like to go to school, they tried to find so many ways and methods—teachers teaching children by playing with things, like this. Without them playing with the child, the child won't learn. Anyway, however, you know very well.

So when a person comes to Dharma and feels this, with this small mind like a child mind, according to the child mind, if everything is up to the baby, whatever he wants, then nothing happens, there is no education. Then he isn't among the group of educated people, he is out of that. Anyway, so just like this. If what to do is up to the ignorant mind, if the decision is up to the ignorant mind, then nothing is gained, the person gains nothing in this lifetime. If he's born as a human being, he gains nothing, besides suffering. So anyway, the final talk.

There was a great Tibetan meditator—the follower of the great bodhisattva, Atisha—called Geshe Chekawa. This great meditator Chekawa told another meditator, Puchangwa, "I would rather choose to be the person facing the mind through the practice of the graduated path even though the mind is not living in the graduated path, than to be a living being who has one-pointed concentration upon which one can live for many months without distraction, and having the magic power, the psychic power to tell the past and future.”

So this great meditator told the other meditator, "I would rather be a being whose mind faces the graduated path.” This means that one is willing to practice, following the graduated path even though the living being is not living in the graduated path, even though the living being does not have the realization of the graduated path—rather than a being who has these powers.” Because of these powers, even if there is resistance to the eyes, the eyes can see a very far thing, such as what is behind the mountain—this kind of power, predicting. However, this great meditator said that this is nothing new, that many beings have this, receive this, and get born in the suffering realms, the lower realms. Also, this kind of power or concentration that is unmovable, indestructible—this is nothing new. We have had these things many times in previous lifetimes, but because of not following the graduated path, we were born in the lower realms. Why? This great meditator thinks that this mind facing the graduated path, just willing to follow it, this is much more fortunate than having those kinds of powers. Because the person who has this mind facing the graduated path follows the graduated path meditation and practice as much as possible. So the person reaches enlightenment more quickly, as he worked that much on the graduated path in the lifetime.

(Peepee bell sounded)

Until the course finishes we have to suffer from the bell! I am joking! Please make peepee.

Question: Is it breaking precepts to break silence?

Rinpoche: It depends on what you say. Silence is not included in the eight precepts, those that you take in the morning. But it depends; if you tell lies, it breaks precepts. But silence is not included in them. Silence is to help you not break the precepts such as telling lies, things like this. Then it is your discipline. That's all.

So at least us, to make this, the lowest thing, we who are now human beings, who are higher than animals, who are cleverer, more skillful, more fortunate than animals that can work, manage in so many ways to gain happiness, we who have this human body now have so much chance—we should not again becomes animals. Since we came to this, we should not become animals again. Since we received this fortunate body, this rebirth, by working for many lifetimes, the most important thing, the lowest thing that should be done is to not become this. The lowest thing is this, to not be born in the lower realms. At least to make it meaningful, as we received a human rebirth, to obtain the meaning of the human being, which is different from animals, which is a higher rebirth than that of an animal. This lowest is the lowest aim, the lowest thing that must be done—otherwise, there is no meaning.

So, from this point of view, in regards practice, generally practice should look very far, should not look in front, short. This is a mistake; we should look very far. For instance, like the person who is supposed to go to the beautiful place where there are so many beautiful things that one can enjoy. It is very far, so if the person goes a few steps and the eyes do not look far into the distance, not making a plan to go further, going for a few steps, with the eye looking close, not looking in the distance where there is a beautiful place, expecting a short road very close, not expecting that much distance, but expecting to reach there, to that beautiful place, with only a few steps, he doesn't see the whole distance, so as he comes in a few steps with this expectation of getting there, he gets tired and doesn't want to go any further. However, with that kind of expectation, not knowing the distance of the path, how to go, he never gets to that desirable place; he never gets there. So just like this, it is necessary for the eye to look very far towards enlightenment, not just kind of a temporary psychic power, something like that, some limited realization.

Then, the mind that makes this project should be strong, and should be wide. If the mind is not that wide, also the practice doesn't become successful, and the practice doesn't continue. You should plan, "No matter how profound the subject is, how much realization has to be achieved, I will definitely try, definitely spend my life to understand, to realize, and experience, no matter how profound it is.” Have a wide mind, the opposite of a little mind expecting a small object, simple, easy to understand. With this kind of mind, your meditation never becomes successful, does not continue—this is one of the main hindrances, and will not lead you to the different levels of practice and realizations. And the mind should not feel sort of tight. The mind that makes the practice of this gradual path a project should be a relaxed mind. It should not be a very tight, very crowded mind—“Oh, I don't think it is possible for me to understand this; it doesn't satisfy me because I don't understand.” If it is crowded like this, it doesn't allow the development of understanding. This hinders the development of the wisdom of the Dharma realization of the meditations, like this. So we should not have those kinds of mind.

So practice with these three, looking far to enlightenment, the project, the goal, having a wide mind, wanting to study, as deep as it is, wanting to practice meditation, as difficult as it is to do. A person who has a little mind cannot do it—for instance, if one is going to build so many factories and things, with a little mind one cannot do that because of many problems. It is difficult to get money, to receive things, many things, and because of a little difficulty, person with little mind think it is impossible, and the work never becomes successful. But a person who has a wide mind can make work successful, building those factories even though it takes a little time, even though it is difficult to get things, and though there are troubles. The wide mind doesn't care. Continuously working with that wide mind without caring about the little problems, the work becomes successful. It is the same thing with Dharma practice.

How Long is the Lifespan? (Page 52)
Paragraph Two

If someone has the question, "Why should it be a surprise that life changes so much?" Then someone has the idea thinking, "That's natural, let it happen."

Paragraph Three

" ... nature of it all." This not only New York city people, not only them. There are so many in other countries.

Paragraph Five

“ Our mind." Such as the unrealized mind of impermanence.

(Page 53)
Paragraph One

So during meditation time it is good to remember the whole side of page 51. Then starting with "How Long is the Lifespan?" down, and "I am becoming older,” the first and second paragraph. Then, the last paragraph, page 52. These are the fundamental meditations, the fundamental things that you should use by remembering it. These are the important subjects that can help one see impermanence, and receive the realization of the impermanence of your life. Then, on page 53, the first paragraph—these are fundamental things that are helpful, useful to realize how life impermanent.

As the sun rises, it quickly passes. This morning we were doing something, then the time went so fast. Like that, as the sun passes so quickly, as it changes that much, as it is impermanent, in the same way our life changes so fast, from birth until death, so quickly. Like the incense burning, like the candle, as they are impermanent, quickly finishing, just like life quickly changes, finishes. As they are not permanent, they quickly change; it is the same thing with the human life. Like this. Since you are born until death, until now, the sun rises and goes every day—death finishes like this. The day appears, and finishes, and night appears, and finishes—like this it is not permanent, it does not always continue, it doesn't always exist. As it changes, everything, all phenomena, all causative phenomena, change that much faster. As day goes, as night goes, as the sun goes, everything changes, becomes day, like this. Like the plants are all impermanent, as they grow becoming older and older, like this, from the time of growing, becoming older and older, they decay, they are impermanent. In summertime everything is beautiful, and in wintertime everything decays; nothing is permanent, nothing is definite, the color of the leaves changes like this. In the same way, the country changes, the whole earth changes; nothing is definite. Definite means something is always that form, that color, that aspect, always existing—nothing is definite. Like this.

It has been like this since we were born, since our mind was conceived in our mother's womb. From that time, however, there is a certain length of life, a karmic result, your previous karmic result. Either forty years, or twenty-five—a certain length of life that you can live is the result of the previous karma since your mind was conceived in your mother's womb until death for a certain number of years. It is definite that we all won't live for one hundred or ninety years, or any length of time.

For instance, even if you live one hundred thousand years, the number of those years start from the time when the mind was conceived in the mother's womb. It changes at the same time—when the mind takes place, the change of life, the impermanence of life begins. At the same time as the mind took place, the impermanence of our human life started. So it changes—even if we live one hundred thousand years, it changes. Starting from that time it changes, and each split second, each shortest second—I think the scientists today also have thousand of seconds—in each of these shortest seconds the life changes, does not last, does not last; it changes even in the shortest second. Also, it changes in minutes; as a certain number of seconds becomes a minute, there is also change to the life. Also, as the certain number of minutes becomes hours, the life changes. Then in one month it changes that much; in one month, or year. As long as the person has, if your life is one or two hundred thousand years, as it changes in one year, it also changes in one hundred thousand years. So just as it changes like this, it becomes older, it decays, starting from the time the mind took place in the mother's womb. The life starts to finish, to be closer to death even from the start, as each second finishes. It is the same thing in one minute, that much life is finished, closer to death. It is the same thing for each hour, day, month, and year. As that many years go, that much life is finished, closer to death, like this. So when the one hundred thousand years are over, then the life is finished, it is the time of death. However, even if there is that much length of time that we can live, it always gets shorter, as the person finishes life in that different time, closer to death, life always gets shorter and shorter, closer to death, finishing life, we who have only short lives, not that much, maybe six years, twenty years, fifteen, fifty, something round, depending on individuality. However, comparing our life to this one hundred thousand years, there is nothing to compare—our life is so short. We have just that much a length of time, starting from when the mind took place in its mother's womb, it becomes shorter and shorter, it starts to finish. As it changes, as it decays, in each split second, shortest second, that much the life is finished; one is that much closer to death. So however many years you lived, however long a time that you lived as a human being—so far you are twenty-five, you are twenty-eight, thirty, thirty-two, whatever it is. However, if you live that long, if your human life is that much finished, he becomes closer to death and the length of time that he is going to live becomes shorter, that much human life becomes shorter and closer to death. So however, whether you think I am old or young, whatever your age is, that much life has finished since you were born, that much life has finished. This is nothing to do with past things, past lives. So now, since we are born until now, between now and death it is closer, there is a shorter time from now until death than from when we were born until now. This length of time.

Dedication Prayer

Then tonight, first do purifying meditation on Guru Shakyamuni Buddha in order to purify the hindrances to Dharma practice, hindrances to the Dharma, to understanding the meditation. First of all do purifying meditation with Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Then after that, do meditation on the great difficulty of receiving…then do the checking meditation like you did before, with the evil thought of the worldly dharmas, checking your own life—try to see. Also try to see the always suffering troubles, that which are on earth, your life, all these things, the root—how they are caused by the evil thought, how this is the root, how the evil thought caused this. Do checking meditation on this, then do meditation on the great difficulty of receiving the perfect human rebirth as I briefly explained. Then do meditation on how life is impermanent, how life is fragile. On the basis of these fundamental subjects try to amplify, try to see as much as possible.

Question: During the meditation I find it difficult to concentrate on the topic of meditation you gave us because of other questions coming up during the day.

Rinpoche: It depends on the question and if is a question which relates to this subject it is good. It is not a disturbance to meditation, it is necessary, needed. Good, good. Thank you.

Thank you so much.

Day Nineteen
Tuesday, April 9
5 a.m.

In order for the action of taking ordination to become the cause of enlightenment, it is necessary that it first become a virtuous action that is possessed by a virtuous impulse—this is not sufficient. The action should be possessed by the pure motivation of bodhicitta. So think briefly like this, “From beginningless previous samsaric lifetimes I have been experiencing the suffering of the three lower realms and the sufferings of the three upper realms unceasingly until now. So in this lifetime, since I was born as a human being, I must close the door to the three lower realms, I must do something that will cause me not to be born in the three lower realms. Not being born in the lower realms and being born in the upper realms is not enough. Therefore, it is necessary to escape from suffering and the cause of suffering. But releasing oneself from this is not enough, as incredible infinite sentient beings are in incredible suffering. Therefore, at this time, as we have the chance—having received a perfect human rebirth and having met a teacher explaining the teaching and having the wisdom to discriminate between what is suffering and what is not suffering—as most sentient beings do not have the chance, as they are the source of all my past, present, and future happiness, therefore I am responsible for releasing all sentient beings from their suffering and enlightening them. In order to do this, to repay them in this way for their kindness, I must achieve enlightenment. In order to achieve enlightenment it is necessary to purify, to take Mahayana ordination.”

So, with this impulse, this strong, compassionate feeling, we must be willing to reach enlightenment only for the sake of sentient beings. Visualize the person granting the ordination as Guru Shakyamuni Buddha surrounded by buddhas, bodhisattvas and arhats, and think that you are taking the ordination in their presence.

Prayer No.1

At the end of the third repetition, think that you are fully receiving the ordination in the form of light.

Think, “As previous arhats followed the precepts, also I will observe the precepts until tomorrow morning.”

Prayer No.2, Mantra

Prayer No.3, Dedication Prayer

Dedicate the merits, “Due to the merits of taking ordination, may I achieve enlightenment soon by receiving the full realization of the absolute true nature, and help sentient beings by releasing them from suffering.”

Prostration

3. (continued) As I said yesterday morning, the benefits of keeping the precepts, of keeping away from the physical negative actions, the misconduct of sexual intercourse. The temporary result is that when we are born in the upper realm we will receive a beautiful human body, having good shape: like this. For instance, on the earth there are all kinds of people, with different shape; all these have good shape, have beautiful bodies, also have things that fit the face. Anyway, all these are the cause of all these results—due to creating the karma, due to following the moral conduct such as avoiding and abstaining from misconduct, the physical negative actions. The ultimate benefit is receiving the perfect, magnificent, enlightened being’s holy body.

Also, in this lifetime, losing the physical seed by doing these things, these vices also interrupts the achievement of tantric practice a great deal, the achievement of higher tantric realizations, such as the control of the seed. Achieving this realization in meditation, and using it for the cause of enlightenment, without it going out. The seed is the potentiality of the body, so if it is lost, the body becomes weak and as the body is the vehicle of the mind, the mind does not become clear, doesn’t have clear concentration, or clear visualization. Also, it interrupts the concentration, causing it not to last, causing many distractions to arise.

4. Then, the shortcomings, the suffering result, what telling lies can hinder. Besides the fact that it causes one to be born in the lower realm, even if the person is born in the upper realm, still there is the result of suffering, the result which is caused by that action. In that lifetime if you are born as a human being, other people will cheat you by telling lies, as much as you try to tell the truth, people don’t believe—things like this. As much as I tell the truth to him, always the other person sees it as telling a lie, things like this. So what makes this kind of evolution, when even if it is true, the other person doesn’t see it as true? What makes other people not believe it? This situation is caused by karma.

In ancient times one family lost a cow. Then they requested the king, and the king put the guilt on a person who didn’t steal the cow. Later on the king was born as a monk. Then in that time, a family lost a vow, so people were coming to look for the cow, to find out about the cow. As the people were coming to find the cow, at the same time the monk was dyeing a cloth a red color. Those people came to the monk and told the monk, “You have stolen the cow, because you are cooking meat in the pot.” The monk didn’t see it, but the other people really saw the cloth that was being dyed in the pot as meat that he was cooking. So other people came to really believe that he killed the cow, because they saw that he was cooking meat. As much as the monk tried to tell them, people didn’t believe, so he had to go to prison. There are many other examples, many times this happened—even on earth in modern times. Even though it was not the case, people think you are guilty, without choice you have to be punished, go through troubles, suffering, caused by previous karma where you cheated others.

Also, telling lies causes you to lose the power of speech; this is also impure.

Then, the benefits of this. The temporary benefits—even if the person is born in the upper realm, he is special, he becomes very reputable in the eyes of other people, very respected, and becomes powerful, easy to believe, easy to trust. Whatever he tells has the power to oblige the people to work, to control; like this. The ultimate benefits— [an alarm clock suddenly began ringing in the tent.] Take the watch to the kitchen so that it can have tea! The enlightened being’s holy speech, which has sixty knowledges. This is just a brief thing, just a summary; such a holy speech, which has sixty knowledges, such fantastic sweet speech, so that even just by hearing, one becomes peaceful. It pacifies the negative mind arising, it causes other beings to be released from suffering. Anyway, the speech is intuitive, effortless, and always continual to work for infinite sentient beings according to their minds, sharing different methods according to the different sentient beings’ levels of mind, in order to lead them to enlightenment, without effort. That’s all.

Then, in the morning time, begin with purifying meditation on Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Then, just quickly remembering the perfect human rebirth, and its great usefulness, check with the examples, cause, and numbers. Then, think how the life is fragile, impermanent. With wisdom as much as you can see, deeper.

Question: At the end of the meditation, what visualization is done and how does the visualization finish off—is it through the mantra at the heart?

Rinpoche: First you concentrate on the rays coming. Then after you become oneness with Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, after purifying yourself, then you concentrate on the lotus, sun, and moon, then the mantra and seed syllable in the center, your mind becoming oneness with Guru Shakyamuni’s holy mind and taking the seed syllable MUM, then visualizing all sentient beings in the form of a human being that equals the infinite sky. Like this you visualize. Then you send the knowledge rays to all sentient beings and purify all the obscurations that interrupt achieving enlightenment, and all the negative karma that has been created from beginningless samsaric lifetimes. Spend a little time on this, doing purification. After that, they become Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, and they all absorb into you. Then you do meditation on the gradual path.

You can do this, visualizing sentient beings in the form of human beings and doing purification like this. Also, you can do, without doing this, as they are in different realms you send the knowledge rays, thinking that they all receive it, all sentient beings living in different realms, pretas in different realms. All of a sudden as they receive the knowledge rays whose nature is everlasting happiness, your mind which is oneness with Guru Shakyamuni’s holy mind, as they receive the knowledge rays, all of a sudden the suffering stops, the incredible suffering that they cannot control stops as they receive the knowledge rays, purifying all their obscurations and all their negative karma. Like this, also in this way, without visualizing them in the form of human beings. You can do it the other way or this way. That’s all.

Ann: How can they finish the visualization off at the end of period?

Rinpoche: After finishing, do meditation on the graduated path. Because, as I said, first you visualize Guru Shakyamuni. When you do the absorption to become oneness then, anyway, it is simple, think that a similar Guru Shakyamuni Buddha is coming out of him, a second Guru Shakyamuni Buddha comes out of his holy body and absorbs, melting in light, into you, and becomes oneness. Then, when you do meditation on the gradual path, when you start on the gradual path, as they have visualized the original one, knowledge rays come from Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, whose essence is the whole realization of guru practice up to enlightenment, but especially the realization of the human rebirth, the great usefulness of the human rebirth, the great difficulty of receiving the perfect human rebirth and its impermanence.

Especially these realizations that you are receiving are the essence of the light rays. You start it, then as you start, the rays come, then you do checking meditation on the graduated path, but at the same time you don’t have to visualize rays coming—you cannot do two things. Anyway, during that time it doesn’t have to be continuous, one doesn’t have to continuously visualize rays coming, but at the beginning, before you start the graduated path, it is important according to your mind, there is importance if you make meditation beginning like this. Then it has importance—in order to have less distractions, and also to see the meditation subject, deeper or more clearly, and to cause the real, strong feelings to arise more deeply and with more strength. This works according to our mind.

That’s all.

Ann: But when checking meditation is finished, how do you finish?

Rinpoche: Oh, I see. It is the same as what we did before. The throne gradually absorbs into Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, then it melts into light, then absorbs into you, becoming oneness. Then out of that state, your mind appears as oneness with Guru Shakyamuni’s holy mind, it takes the manifestation of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Usually, like this, such as in retreat times, if you can practice this technique in everyday life as much as you can, being oneness with Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, trying to see the manifestation of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha during the time even when you are working, especially when you do retreat, it is very useful to think this as much as possible, as continuously as possible, because it helps.

Trying to see yourself in this pure holy body, as a pure manifestation—stopping this impure vision of your body which is a projection of the impure mind has many benefits, so many benefits. Totally, this practice helps to stop you to always see the impure body—anyway, to cease your impure body, the impure skandhas, ceasing this ordinary view—also it stops you from having the impure mind.

The question that was originally asked—how do you actually dissolve the vision of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha? First you receive light from Guru Shakyamuni, then you visualize yourself in the form of Guru Shakyamuni, but at the end of that, when you finish your purifying, you have to get back to your own form again. You dissolve your own vision as Guru Shakyamuni. How do you dissolve that? You start by reading the mantra.

At the last, when you finish your whole meditation, what do you do with the mantra and yourself? Better not to dissolve; it is not necessary. It is better if you can carry on seeing yourself in that pure manifestation, rather than seeing the impure ordinary body that you ordinarily see, which causes a lot of problems. Anyway, totally, the benefits of becoming oneness, in order to achieve the same level of knowledge as Guru Shakyamuni, practicing this yourself, by always trying to see your mind as oneness with Guru Shakyamuni’s holy mind, your body as the manifestation of Guru Shakyamuni ‘s holy body. By ceasing the impure body, by ceasing the impure mind—to achieve the pure holy mind and the pure holy body of the enlightened being.

You can see yourself later on, if the mind gets purified in this way, by continuously practicing like this. As the mind gets purified, one can see one’s own body in the complete actual manifestation of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, as one’s mind gets purified like this. Also, this influences tantric practice; also in the tantric path, at a certain level before you achieve enlightenment you can see your holy body in the manifestation of that enlightened being as the
mind gets purified. So anyway, totally, the benefits to be achieved are totally like this. If you start to practice the tantric path, also it leaves the impression for you to communicate again, to contact Guru Shakyamuni Buddha again in the future. That’s all.

From the holy speech of the great bodhisattva, Shantideva, “Even thinking that one will cure sentient beings’ brain disease with the beneficial thought creates limitless merits. Desiring even that has infinite merits, so why can’t infinite merits result from desiring to cure the limitless unhappiness, the limitless samsaric suffering of each sentient being.”

So totally, what is emphasized is that even that little thought, thinking like that, to cure only the brain disease, the disease of sentient beings, no other suffering or sickness, only the brain disease, wanting to cure the sentient beings’ brain disease with the beneficial thought brings infinite merits. Then there is nothing to discuss, of course. Infinite merits like the infinite sky can be received by desiring to lead sentient beings to liberation, and to cure the limitless samsaric suffering of each sentient being.

First of all, like this, how does this bodhicitta have that much merit? Because the number of sentient beings is infinite. For instance, wanting to cure one sentient being’s brain disease has that much benefit. Then if the number is made bigger, as the person thinks of hundreds, thousands, there is that much benefits, it is the same thing. As the person thinks of numberless sentient beings’ brain disease, as he plans to cure that many, so the person creates that much infinite merit, like this. This is one way that it brings infinite merits, because of infinite sentient beings; like this.

For instance, even curing one sentient being’s disease with such bodhicitta, such pure motive of bodhicitta, is also a way for infinite benefits and good results to arise. There are two ways, like this. This is due to the power of bodhicitta. So, like this.

Therefore, each time that we are sincerely thinking, each time that we meditate, each time that we take ordination, each time that we do things, when we sincerely, really think this, besides curing all sentient being’s samsaric suffering, or even planning to do this, even to cure one bad disease of all sentient beings, such as brain disease, it is the same thing. Incredible benefits can be created by this, so why aren’t we planning to do these things for each of these sentient beings, why not? As we are born this time, as we are born as human beings having the chance to create infinite, incredible merits and purification in such a short time, even in a minute, so it is silly not trying to use the human life to create as much as possible, not trying to use as much as possible to work for enlightenment with bodhicitta. So think...

Question: What kind of brain disease?

Rinpoche: There can be many different kinds and types of brain disease. If you wait, perhaps you will get it!

“All mother sentient beings should be led to most supreme happiness. Who is responsible for releasing them, making them devoid of all suffering? To help or to repay mother sentient beings, to understand the sentient beings’ different personalities, different minds, all these things, then also our methods are limited, our individual methods to lead all sentient beings to enlightenment are limited, so therefore it is necessary for me to achieve enlightenment. In order to achieve enlightenment I must achieve the whole realization of the graduated path. Completely receiving the whole graduated path depends on understanding and practice. So therefore, I am going to listen to the holy profound teaching.”

The holy profound listening subject is the graduated path, and what we have finished is the perfect human rebirth, the great usefulness of the perfect human rebirth, and the great difficulty of receiving the perfect human rebirth. Then, the impermanence of the perfect human life—how life is impermanent.

So in order to make a summary, a total meditation on the impermanence of this life, it is useful to think in this way. If you look at the river, as the river goes past, that quickly the human life finishes. (Loud buzz from an amplifier sounds.) I think he wants to show impermanence! Just like this, also as the sun sets, that quickly also our life finishes. Like outer changes, such as incense, candles—this we can see clearly, we can see them more easily than our life. But as we see them outside, we don’t see our life finishing so quickly. If you check up like this, it gradually passes like this; if you check up it is easy to understand. However, it never stops without finishing. As the oil for a candle becomes less and less, finishes, just like this, if you check like this, it is easy. Just like this, the way that finishes also our life finishes so quickly. As time changes, summer, spring, as quickly as they change, in the same way our life goes faster, becomes shorter—as that finishes that much quicker, also life finishes quicker.

This is very useful. As you see things outside, they always relate to you, which is so useful. This too, checking meditation, is also very useful. This doesn’t make your mind deluded, it makes your mind aware of the changes, of life getting shorter, aware of the shortness of human life, your life. We see outside going by quickly, but we never check up our life. We always plan to have a long life, we completely believe that we will have a long life, not aware of the evolution of that finishing, even in such a short time. So it is very useful. As we see the outside evolution of change, it is the same thing; it is actual direct evolution. Our mind is most aware of this, it doesn’t realize this, so how can we spend our whole life with this one disturbance, this conception that doesn’t realize this hindrance, which disturbs the purity of our whole life, of living in a positive way, of living our whole life in Dharma. This is the greatest disturbance—not realizing the shortness of the human life, finishing life, finishing that quick.

Therefore the person, because of this wrong conception, the person does not think of Dharma, does not remember death, so the person doesn’t make any arrangement for the future life. Like this: as the person does not think, that person has no fear, the fear doesn’t arise. Because fear of the shortness of the human life and death, and also the suffering which comes after this life does not arise, even if the person knows the subject of meditation, even if the person is a scholar writing Dharma, thinking of a subject, his life does not change, does not become pure. Because his mind doesn’t change, because of wrong conception, he does not have wisdom, is not aware of this evolution.

Anyway, due to this wrong conception, thinking that the person will exist for a long time, that one doesn’t die right away but will exist for a long time, always having this idea, one has fear and worry, all these things, at death time. This doesn’t help anything, because there is nothing to do. The person cannot do anything at the death time, however much great worry or suffering there is, one cannot do anything at death time. There is fear and all these things—he knows he’s going to die now, there is nothing to do; however much negative karma there is, he has to carry it, all this garbage in his mind. As he created it, he has to suffer every single result; all these things were created by him. At that time, however much incredible worry and suffering there is, it doesn’t help at all because he has no time to practice, the time is finished, is gone; there is no way to solve the problem.

Just like this—as the flood is coming, flooding the house, time is destroying, taking away, ruining. So it is wise to check up ahead of time—check up whether there will be any dangers of floods, and try to check up in order to discover this danger. Then by discovering this, you have fear, and because of this fear, you make a dam so it won’t flood, so there won’t be any danger of losing the house, causing danger to your life. It wouldn’t happen, so then you would be peaceful, your life would be peaceful, with no worry. Just like this, it is necessary to make arrangements in life before death, before the danger of death, just like the flood. Before that arises, it is necessary to make this research or discovery and after the discovery, to make arrangements. If you have no fear of the danger, then you never make arrangements. So for this purpose it is necessary to do meditation on the impermanence of life and death.

So these are very useful. They are very useful for those who don’t practice Dharma. They are useful to make them realize this. Doing meditation on this also makes them seek the Dharma, to practice Dharma. It is useful also for those who practice Dharma, who meditate. It is useful to think frequently the whole time, so by thinking like this, it keeps the mind aware of the changes, the evolution, the shortness of the human life. This has much benefit. Also, many of those great yogis received all their realizations of meditation, their achievement of the enlightened stage by doing meditation, remembering the shortness of human life, the impermanence of this life, and remembering death. By remembering this, by thinking of this, it was all caused. Also, their capability, their power, their capability to live the ascetic life in a solitary place, and doing such vast profound practice of Dharma, as long as it takes time to receive those realizations, the higher path, as difficult as it is to achieve that, their energy, their incredible energy that makes them continue to gain this, as they planned, all these energies, all these things are caused by thinking of the impermanence of the shortness of human life, and death. These are the benefits of remembering impermanence and death. Their receiving enlightenment in that lifetime is also due to remembering the impermanence of life and death like this.

As I explained before, as quickly as you want to receive enlightenment, you have to put that much energy. For instance, for a car to go really fast you should have a good machine and fuel. To reach such a far place there is a long way, but if you want to reach it quickly, you need the energy to drive it. Just like this example. Anyway, it is necessary to have very strong energy in order to bear that much difficulty for Dharma practice and for following the path. Then it is possible to quickly receive enlightenment in that lifetime. So it is not easy. All this energy is due to remembering the impermanence of life and death—all the energy is built by this. So it is very useful. Also, after achieving enlightenment, continuously benefiting sentient beings is based on originally remembering impermanence and death, like this.

So remembering this, doing meditation on this is very useful. Even if one wants to receive an upper realm rebirth, it is done by remembering death and impermanence. Release from samsara also depends on remembering the impermanent life and death. It is the same thing with the ultimate, highest goal, the stage of Buddhahood. Also, remembering the impermanent of life and remembering death is also very powerful because, you see, there are 84,000 different negative minds. To stop the root—greed, ignorance, hatred—all these different wrong conceptions, all the obscurations which hinder the achievement of enlightenment, of getting out of samsara, all these can be ceased by remembering death and the impermanence of life. Ceasing all this is originally caused by remembering the impermanent of life and remembering death; it is due to the energy received by this. So remembering this is very powerful. Also, to lose even the temporal negative minds such as greed, ignorance, hatred, pride, and jealousy, remember the impermanent life and death. If you remember this, you lose these strong negative minds that make you uncomfortable, cause you suffering, and create so much confusion. You lose this if you remember, if you think of the impermanent life and of death. Why do you lose it? Because of the fear of death and the shortness of the human life. So it is very useful even to make one’s mind peaceful at present, and temporarily, to lose the negative mind. It is very helpful to remember impermanent life and death.

Besides remembering impermanent life and death it is useful at the beginning of the Dharma practice. By remembering this, it persuades the person to seek the Dharma, to practice, to meditate, and instead of following the negative mind, doing the opposite. This is beneficial at the beginning of Dharma practice, it is very beneficial to remember the impermanent life and death even when you are in the path, and it is also very useful to help you continue Dharma practice. It is very useful, very useful, very useful. By remembering this, the person doesn’t lose his realization, and besides not losing his realization, to continue to approach the higher path, this is very useful.

Then, how it is useful at the end, as I said before, the same thing.

Especially at death time, one great benefit is that this is so useful. At death time one can die so peacefully, with happiness, with a relaxed mind, with no worry at all. No matter if the relatives, the husband, and the wife are crying, if other people are suffering—the person himself can die with great joyfulness; like going on holiday, for a picnic. Definitely. Because the person who has been doing meditation, whose life has been spent doing meditation, every day remembers this impermanent life and death and continuously does purification, creating merits, trying to stop the creation of negative karma, creating as little as possible. This being who has a happy mind—this being has no trouble at death time.

Question: Is it really possible to be happy at the time of death?

Rinpoche: For those beings who have created so many merits, so much extensive merit, those beings are happy, their mind is happy at death time. Definitely like this it is possible, as I said.

When the pure Dharma practitioner dies it is like going back home, going for a picnic. For a middle level Dharma practitioner, at death time the mind is happy, without worry. For the lower Dharma practitioner, at death time there is not that much upset; one doesn’t get bothered by death. He doesn’t care, there is no upset, like this. This is due to purification and to the strong collection of merits, the great collection of merits. Due to this, the feeling comes when death occurs. One is not frightened at death time, which usually happens to ordinary people.

So anyway, it is beneficial to think of their remembering this and to meditate on these subjects rather than forgetting them, rather then making yourself forget this subject, rather than stopping yourself from remembering impermanent life and death. Why do people get shocked by this? Why do people get shocked when they are asked about age, saying, “Oh, you are ... oh yah ...”, saying, “You are only ---?” Why big shock? Why? Because it is the opposite of what you feel. It is the opposite of your wrong conception, what you usually feel and believe. So therefore the person gets shocked.

However young the person desires to be, to not change, age, how much person desires, no choice. Because as time passes, the human life finishes; and as the human life finishes, since one is born from the mother’s womb, one always gets older and older. You cannot stop it, however much you desire it, you cannot stop that change, you cannot stop the impermanent life, this evolution, you cannot stop it. So not remembering, trying to stop remembering, thinking of this, hearing of this, trying to stop looking at the old person, this does not help, does not make the change for the actual evolution.

So as I said before, as artificial change cannot change the age, it cannot make the human life not finish, not become old, not decay. However the person spends their whole life trying that way, externally, there is no choice. Until death time the person tries, from childhood until death—for a very small time the parents make him beautiful, artificial, then the child himself does so, until death. However much the person tries, nothing, whatever the person’s age is at death time, it doesn’t help anything. Anyway, like this. Forgetting death doesn’t help death not to happen. Even if someone tells you, you try to not listen, you close your ears: nothing helps to stop death; however you try, nothing helps.

For instance, as old as you are, as much as you try in that way, externally, actually by evolution you become that much older, you decay like rotten fruit painted outside, just like this. Actually, if it is painted outside, artificial fruit is nice. Anyway, as fruit looks so beautiful when it is fresh; then as time passes, it changes and gets older, it decays, so inside there is no good taste, it tastes kind of sour. Anyway, it doesn’t do anything to stop the actual evolution of decay. However, since the person goes through this evolution without choice it doesn’t help. However much the person tries in that way, the person has to suffer; however much the person tries to stop that evolution of suffering, he has to worry about old age, he has to suffer when death comes.

So he tries to forget it—it doesn’t help at all, it isn’t the best solution. If someone is coming to kill a person, as an enemy comes to kill a person, if the person tries to forget it, it doesn’t help. Forgetting it doesn’t stop the danger that the other person will kill him, or cause danger. There is something else. Therefore I am saying, rather than getting shocked, trying to escape because of fear, remembering the impermanence of life and remembering death is much more useful than trying to stop this fear. By thinking this, there are many great benefits; as we talked about before.

For instance, the great yogi Milarepa said, “I escaped to the mountain due to being scared of death and realized the absolute true nature of the mind. Now even if death occurs I am not scared.”

This is very tasty, very effective. If the body of the great yogi Milarepa, was in the West, it would be something that everybody hates; it should be put in prison right away, or buried, or hidden somewhere because of the way it looks. It was very blue because of not wearing clothes for a long time, because of leading the ascetic life, spending his life in austere practice. Spending his life in austerity means without possessions, temporal needs, however difficult it is, bearing all these difficulties and doing Dharma practice. However his outside body looks, in modern times people would hide him, wouldn’t want to look at him because he had no clothes on. His colors are not like you, strong ... anyway. But he doesn’t try anything external like this. By remembering this, he escaped from the fear of death by remembering death and the impermanent life. This is the benefit of this. By going to a solitary place, and realizing the absolute true nature, the reality of the mind, it is due to remembering and having fear of the shortness of the human life and death. This is caused by his realization of reality.

Therefore he said, “I escaped to the mountain by being afraid of death, and realized reality, the absolute true nature of the mind. Now even if the death occurs I am not afraid.” As he practiced in that way, remembering this, it helped him that much to escape from fear, released him from the fear of death before death arrived. This is wise, really wise, wise work, skillful method, rather than trying to stop it for the whole lifetime—there is still fear coming—but trying to stop it until death.

Also, one Tibetan yogi who wrote many texts and always had contact with the female aspect of Buddha called Tara, a woman who received enlightenment, who sees this particular manifestation of Buddha, he also thought that by remembering the impermanence of life and remembering death during his practice, and by creating merits and receiving realizations, he became fearless of death. He also said, “When the impermanent life occurs to me, I am not afraid. I can be a monk in the morning and I can take the pure body in the afternoon.” He's saying that has the power besides not being scared of death.

So all these are due to remembering impermanent life and death, so this is very useful. Also, by thinking this, one does not fill the negative mind, and one helps to stop creating negative karma, to create less negative karma. The more the person remembers this, the results happen. So it is very helpful, like this.

For instance, if one does not remember death, then one doesn’t remember Dharma—the method that makes one fearless. Dharma is the only method that causes one to do that, so if one does not remember death, then one doesn’t remember Dharma. These are the shortcomings of not remembering death. If the person does not remember the death and Dharma, it happens like this—because of not remembering death, also the person has no fear of death. So, as the person has no fear of death, then the person is strongly attached to the comfort of this life. The person spends most of his time only to gain the comfort of this life. The person spends most of his time for that, only to gain the comfort of this life. He remembers so many ideas, doing business, this and that, one after one, first doing one work, and then after that, finding another idea—only to gain comfort for this life. So doing this, his entire life finishes, is spent on that, working for attachment, for the evil thought that is attached to the comfort of this life. So therefore, the person doesn’t remember death. Because of working for this, the person cannot practice Dharma. Then, there is suffering at death time. Besides the whole life being used for creating the cause of suffering, there is no happiness at death time, no peace like this.

How does that happen? That is the same thing as before. Because, you see, the attachment is stronger, so the person is controlled by that, and follows this negative mind. Like, “Oh, I can do Dharma after two years, there is no hurry; maybe after one year, maybe after a few months I will do it.” Putting it off. Then, when that time comes, saying, “Maybe another month, or next year.” Then the time comes like that. There is danger in this way. One is not able to practice Dharma, even though one remembers the Dharma. This is also because of not strongly or frequently remembering death or the impermanent life.

Also, one problem is this—a person does something trying to meditate, trying in so many ways, but it does not become pure Dharma. He’s trying something, always trying to work something, but it is extremely difficult for it to become pure Dharma. That is because of the shortcomings of not remembering death.

This idea, this wrong conception is the hindrance that makes the practitioner not pure. We think every time, every day, every morning when we get up out of bed, “I will exist, I am going to live for a long time.” There is always this intuitive feeling, “I am not going to die, I am not going to die, I am not going to die today.” Every day there is a kind of intuitive feeling that, "I am not going to die today.” When we walk, when we sit—every time there is this feeling. So usually, anybody can say that they will be dead, “I will die some time, after a long period, after some time.” This is not enough, just knowing this is not enough. This happens to people who don’t meditate; “I will die after some time,” they say, “I will die after a long time.” But the problem is for the meditator and the non-meditator, and especially for the meditator, especially for us, even though we try to practice Dharma, it isn’t pure, and that is because of this wrong conception not remembering death, and always thinking, “I am not going to die today.”

So because of, “I am not going to die today,” how does it interrupt the Dharma practice from becoming pure? Because thinking that “I am not going to die today,” there is no fear of death. Thinking that way, the person goes under the control of attachment, attached to the comfort of this life. The way it works is like this—thinking, “I am not going to die today,” this continual feeling, there is no fear of death the whole time, and as there is no fear, the person goes under the control of attachment—attached to the comfort of this life. So the person works only for the comfort of this life; the person faces the suffering work.

For instance, because of not having this fear, even though you try to do something, to meditate, the meditation is not done with this strong motivation, with this thought that you are doing this only for the future life, without caring for this life. Throwing away the comfort of this life is like throwing away toilet paper—but this strong motivation doesn’t come, it doesn’t happen. So usually, even if the person doesn’t do this, they may have some idea of the future, but however strong the motivation, the desire for the comfort of this life is stronger. Sometimes, also, even though the person tries to do something, tries to practice Dharma, it is done to gain the comfort of this life, so it doesn’t become pure Dharma. Without having another strong motivation, only doing this to achieve the most supreme happiness, enlightenment, the cessation of samsara, only for the future life, nothing to do with the comfort of this life, not caring about anything, like garbage, this thought intuitively comes—”I am not going to die today.” It is always happening, arising. It interrupts the purity of practice because of this strong thought, this pure motivation which make this decision to do the action only for those goals.

Question: If you discover that practicing Dharma solves your temporal problems, that cannot be any kind of motivation for continuing your practice. If you suffer before you hear about Dharma, or practice Dharma, you’re suffering less, your temporal problems are going away—can that be a motivation concerned with this life?

Rinpoche: You mean to release from the problems of the temporal things? Thinking that by through your pure Dharma practice you can release from the problems of the temporal needs, by thinking this and having the idea knowing this and practicing Dharma, you mean?

Question: You discover through experience this makes you happy, and your temporal needs are met. Can that be a motivation for pure practice?

Rinpoche: But the Dharma that we are talking about, following the remedies of the negative mind, delusions, that is—even though you know that from this, you have had the experience before, and even though you know that it would make your present life happy, since you are practicing the remedy of the delusions, it is always pure Dharma, there is no danger. It is always pure Dharma, like this. The person had the experience of renouncing this life, the person had the experience that the problem gets solved, and even this life receives much happiness. Also that he can receive the most supreme happiness, the cessation of suffering after the future life, then doing the Dharma practice that is renouncing this evil thought, which means practicing the remedy of the negative mind. This is always Dharma, it can never interrupt enlightenment. In that way, the person is never attached to the comfort of this life. Even though the person knows, he is not attached, his work is not done with attachment to the comfort of this life.

The purpose of talking about shortcomings and benefits is important to remember and to know. Otherwise, we will have no interest. If we don’t see the knowledge of doing meditation on death and impermanence, you don’t see any value, and there is no energy for doing meditation on impermanent life and death. If you don’t do that, you don’t gain all these perfections which are received by doing meditation on this. So it is very useful to think of the benefits and shortcomings—what happens if one doesn’t remember these things. One does meditation on this, thinking of the benefits, and this is very useful. This gives energy for meditation on the impermanence of life and death, and one will not be shocked; there is interest, one is willing, and the person is happy to do the experience of these meditations, in place of getting shocked.

First, do the purifying meditation with Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. When the similar Guru Shakyamuni Buddha comes from the original one and absorbs into you and you become oneness with Guru Shakyamuni’s holy mind in the nature of great happiness, that transforms into the form of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, and then you concentrate on the circle of the mantra at the heart, reciting the mantra, your mind oneness with the seed syllable, and then make rays, and do purification for sentient beings, holding yourself as oneness with seed syllables like MUM, yellow in color. Do this meditation in the first hour. But before starting to do the meditation, cultivate the pure thought, “As I have been suffering in samsara, infinite sentient beings have also been suffering. They are suffering in the six different realms. Therefore, releasing myself from my own suffering is not enough, I must achieve enlightenment, so therefore I am going to meditate to purify my obscurations the hindrances to enlightenment, and obscurations, and all the negative karmas of other sentient beings and the infinite suffering of other sentient beings.” Then start the meditation.

(Meditation)

First, same as before. Visualize knowledge rays coming from Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s holy body, whose essence is the realization of the guru yoga practice up to enlightenment, especially the realization of the impermanent life and death. As you are receiving the knowledge rays you are receiving these realizations and knowledge from Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, with his infinite great compassion. Then recite the mantra. As you visualize the knowledge rays coming from Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, you can also visualize other sentient beings in the form of human beings, all surrounding you. They also get purified, by receiving knowledge rays from Guru Shakyamuni Buddha.

(Prayer and Mantra)

(Meditation)

“At this time I have received a perfect human rebirth which has the eight freedoms and the ten endowments. I have received at least most of them, which gives me a great chance to quickly receive enlightenment. This perfect human rebirth that I have received is greatly useful because the temporary purposes can be gained with this, and even the most, most difficult thing of all things, obtaining the ultimate purpose, can also be done with this perfect human rebirth. There is such great high advantage, as infinite as the infinite sky, incredible merits, purification, that can be created in a second, in a minute, in such a short time with this perfect human rebirth. And so this perfect human rebirth is that useful. Now I have received this.”

Think also as in the form of meditation, not just in the form of only listening, “So if I don’t receive enlightenment in this lifetime, if I do not release myself from the cause of suffering in this lifetime, whether I desire to be born again as a perfect human being, whether I desire to receive a perfect human rebirth again, as I am not released from the cause of suffering this time—what does my mind desire: to be born in the lower realm or the human realm after this life? Definitely I desire to be born in the human realm, to receive a perfect human rebirth again. I should receive this As I am not released from the cause of suffering in this life, I should receive the perfect human rebirth again in order to practice Dharma and cease the cause of suffering.”

So think, to receive such a perfect human rebirth better than this, is it easy or not? It isn’t easy. To create the cause that brings the eighteen results, is it easy? Do we find it easy or difficult. “It is all based on moral conduct and charity. Do I find following moral conduct difficult or not? Do I find following precepts difficult or not? To purely keep these precepts I find it difficult. For me to create the cause of this is difficult. It takes a lot of energy, a lot of time, and much creation of merits, and Dharma practice. So to receive it again in a future lifetime is difficult, really difficult. Therefore, at the moment, I have completely received the whole eighteen results, completely received the perfect human rebirth at this time—this is something, it is remarkable, something which is almost an impossible thing. It is really incredible. “Just before, I was twenty-five, before this was my age, I was just thirty-five, just before this was my age, before my mind was conceived in my mothers’ womb, before that I was in another stage, form, having long hairs.” Think of yourself, your mind, in that shape, such as a scorpion, a poisonous animal. “Perhaps I was like that, frightening insects, with such an ugly body, always killing other beings, other insects. My mind took such a body like that, not having any chances that I have now, as this present human body has, either in the form of a snake, that which frightens. Just people seeing the body frightens other people—just by seeing it, it gets killed by other people, having such a terrible, awful body. The mind had such an awful body like that. Now I have a body which is completely the opposite of this—a perfect human rebirth. Then the mind took such a body like that, but the mind was taken from that body to this one. I received this perfect human body. It is an incredible thing that the mind received this body that was the complete opposite of those lower beings’ bodies. It is almost an extremely remarkable thing, which is almost an impossible thing—receiving the perfect human body which is so much higher, has the chance to enjoy so much happiness, whose rebirth is much higher than those beings.

“So now that I have received a perfect human rebirth, does this last for a long time, this human rebirth, does this always exist?”

It doesn’t exist, it doesn’t always exist, it finishes in a time, it ends. This present body becomes empty in a time, soon. There will be a time, soon, that this body that is now here cannot be seen. Perhaps maybe in photos, pictures. This time will appear soon. It is the same with other people, the same. “Such and such a person is dead,” people will talk like this. This time will appear soon, as we talk now about other people who are dead. In a time the vision of this life will stop. Just like the day is finished, it is now dark, the vision of this life, no matter how much we think it is going to last, soon the vision of this life sinks, gets stopped. “All of a sudden, all of a sudden, “ Now I’m dying,” all of a sudden this comes. There is nothing else to do, only worry. We are crying, other people surrounding us, friends also crying, an upset environment, nothing real in the mind except the suffering, worrying. Not remembering Dharma or Buddha because of the suffering. There is such great fear of the illusive vision which is caused by delusions and the elements of the body not beings equal. Even now, all of a sudden when something happens, we don’t remember to take refuge, the mind is completely dark. Of course there are great sufferings, the mind is more uncontrolled at death time, more uncontrolled. So how can I remember to take refuge in the Enlightened Being?

“Even now, the friends and family who are enjoying, laughing and smiling—soon there will be a time when there will be crying, seeing your death, hearing about it. This present body that is always covered by clothes, at death time that body becomes like stone or wood, with no feelings, nothing. The body which feels unbearable by touching burning incense will be burnt in the fire. This body which is well-preserved soon will become ashes. This body which always goes round, cannot stay in one place, will soon be put in a box and buried at the cemetery; put in a box, and nailed shut. This body which cannot bear even a little flea will soon become full of worms, eating it inside.

“This body which always speaks, which can talk about all kinds of things will soon become a dead body, unable to talk. Now it has the possibility to tell all desires, but soon there will be a time when one cannot even see correctly, and you will not be able to explain your will. Even if there is a wish to leave a will, by losing the power of the elements, you cannot even move your tongue. This body which is kept in beauty will soon become a frightening body, a frightening corpse. Even people who are attached, attracted, will soon become an object they don’t touch, a frightening object they don’t touch. This body which always enjoys delicious food will soon be ended, will soon not have the power to swallow the drinks. Even when the person tries to put medicine or something in the mouth, soon you will only be able to open one eye, unable to move the body. Even when another person tries, the parents, wife, husband, relatives, or friends try to talk something about good, there is no method to talk, no power—only a big eye opening. And also soon, there will be a time when you don’t hear what the surrounding people say even though they try to mention some good methods because of the loss of the sense of ear.”

The meaning will come soon. Soon this body will be called a corpse. Soon this body will become something that people do not want to touch, that people drag by holding the edge of the clothes. The body that we always covered inside and outside with beautiful clothes will soon become bare.

“So such time is not sure to happen tonight, in this month, or next year. However, I am always getting closer to this time--this body is always getting ready and ready, closer. This body is always closer to becoming this.”

Now I think I stop the meditation.

As the mind nature has the possibility to receive enlightenment, does the nature of this post have the possibility to receive enlightenment? Dr. Nick answer. As the nature of mind has the possibility to receive enlightenment, does the nature of this post have the possibility to receive enlightenment? The mind nature has the possibility, but does the nature of the orange have possibility? Does the nature of the mind give the possibility to receive enlightenment? That is supposed to be correct. And then the nature of this orange—does it have the possibility to receive enlightenment? The mind nature gives the possibility to receive enlightenment, so does the orange give the possibility to give enlightenment?

Nick: It is difficult for the orange to practice Dharma.

Rinpoche: He’s really an Australian yogi! Does the nature of the orange have clear light? First of all, I make clear. The mind nature is clear light nature so is the orange in the nature of clear light nature?

Nick: The orange has no mind.

Rinpoche: Yes, then what about an animal which is in the shape of an orange?

Nick: The animal has mind and that mind has clear light nature.

Rinpoche: Then an animal which is in shape of orange. What did you say, because it is animal?

Nick: It has mind because it is animal.

Rinpoche: Isn’t the mind...

Nick: Animal is animal, no matter what shape.

Rinpoche: So it is in orange?

Nick: You said it is animal.

Rinpoche: The animal which has the shape of—I will talk another way. The consciousness which is body orange.

Answer: Possible.

Rinpoche: Which had taken the body of orange?

Nick: If it has mind it has clear light nature.

Rinpoche: Has or is?

Answer: Everything that is absolute nature is clear light.

Rinpoche: First we clear up with the yogi. Why is mind nature called clear light nature? You said orange nature is in clear light nature?

Nick: I said mind nature is in clear light nature.

Rinpoche: You say orange nature is in clear light because it is in mind?

Nick: Yes.

Rinpoche: So I am saying that nature of mind, why it is clear light nature? Why is nature of mind clear light, that’s all?

Nick: Because the scriptures tell us the mind is clear light.

Rinpoche: I am not satisfied. I am checking still.

Answer: It has no substance you can point out and say exactly what mind is.

Rinpoche: Because it is formless, that‘s why its nature is clear light. Is this your talk or what I said?

Answer: I am not sure.

Rinpoche: But you like it! Steve, why the mind nature ... 8:30 pm! We finish. Why is the mind nature clear light?

Steve: It is formless.

Rinpoche: Then is the nature of space clear light?

Steve: Yes.

Rinpoche: Phhhh, I see.

Steve: It has no form.

Rinpoche: Its nature is clear light. How it is clear light then?

Answer: Why do we meditate on all sentient beings as space?

Rinpoche: You came a long way. Joking!

Answer: We meditate on all sentient beings in the form of space.

Rinpoche: This must be my mistake of speech. As the sky is limitless, sentient beings are infinite. During meditation time when they are visualized in the form of human beings we think that they cover space, like this. So finish how the nature of space is clear light.

Steve: I would think ...

Rinpoche: You said all natures have clear light.

Steve: Because the nature of space is the same as the nature of mind.

Rinpoche: Is it oneness?

Steve: Yes.

Rinpoche: I see. Space is mind. Is the space your mind?

Steve: It can realize that. Not my mind because it is still dumb.

Rinpoche: Space, not other people’s minds become purified, become oneness. But as long as you have delusions it keeps you in the realm of relativity. Once enlightened, your mind is one with time, form.

Rinpoche: Oneness also. I see, so now, now the space of your mind.

Steve: Now my deluded mind?

Rinpoche: I don’t know your mind.

Steve: My mind, no.

Answer: Spaced out!

Rinpoche: Anyway, find out. Okay. Thank you.

Dedicate the merits for keeping precepts and doing meditation, whatever merits that have been created. “Due to these merits may I receive full realization of the absolute true nature, bodhicitta, and the mind fully renouncing samsara only for the sake of enlightening all sentient beings by releasing them from suffering.”

Thank you.

Day Twenty
Wednesday, April 10
5 a.m.

In order for the action of taking ordination to become virtuous and the cause of enlightenment, it is necessary that the impulse becomes of a virtuous nature. Just that is not enough—it should also be possessed by the pure motivation of bodhicitta. So briefly think like this, “I have been experiencing samsaric suffering from beginningless samsaric lifetimes until now. Still I will continuously experience the suffering without getting tired, without getting bored of it, due to the ignorance of not realizing the suffering nature, always continuously creating the cause of suffering. Myself not being reborn in the lower realm but in the upper realm, released from the bondage of samsara is not enough. Infinite sentient beings are suffering, and most of them have not received a perfect human rebirth and have not met a guru explaining the teaching, and have not met the Buddhadharma, and do not have the wisdom to discriminate between what is the cause of suffering and what is the cause of happiness. So, because of this, they continuously create the cause of suffering. Also, as they are the source of all my past, present, and future happiness, due to these reasons I am responsible, even though there are countless buddhas, bodhisattvas, and many beings, but as those sentient beings are in that much suffering, and as they have been that kind to me, it is necessary that I repay the kindness that I received from them. I am responsible. So what the sentient beings need, the best way I can help them, is to enlighten all sentient beings, and release them from suffering. In order to do this I must achieve enlightenment. Therefore I am going to take this Mahayana ordination.”

With this compassionate beneficial thought for sentient beings, repeat the prayer:

Prayer No. 1

At the end of the third repetition, as before think that you have received the pure ordination, and think that the ordination is in the nature of light, that your entire body is full of light.

“As previous arhats followed precepts, also I am going to observe precepts until tomorrow morning.” Thinking like this, repeat the prayer of the precepts.

Prayer No. 2, Mantra

Prayer No. 3, Dedication Prayer

Dedicate the merits of taking ordination, “Due to these merits may I receive enlightenment soon, by receiving the full realization of the absolute true nature, bodhicitta, and the fully renounced mind of samsara only for the sake of leading sentient beings into enlightenment and releasing them from suffering.”

Prostrations

5. The fifth one is taking intoxicants. The hindrance, temporary hindrance, is that even if the person is born in the upper realm, he will not have a strong firm consciousness or remembrance. Also, one will not have clear senses, not have clear acute senses. Then, one will have imperfect wisdom. The ultimate hindrance brought on by taking intoxicants. (The holy sign of the enlightened being has forty teeth. This aspect of the enlightened being, this manifestation has forty teeth which are equal—not one long, one small, not like this, all are equal.) This hinders receiving the enlightened being’s actual clear sense and satisfaction, like this. This is the knowledge of the enlightened being. By seeing just his holy body, as much as you see the holy body, how much you see, you never get bored, you never get tired of seeing it. It gives you the desire to see it more and more—you will never be satisfied from seeing the enlightened being’s holy body. You never get bored or tired. This is because of the realization, the power of the holy mind that always makes other beings’ minds happy by seeing it. Like this. Intoxication.

This is talking about the future, but also in this life it can interrupt or hinder. It is clear, those whose mind is intoxicated will become unconscious. Then, there is no discipline of mind, speech, or body. As mind becomes uncontrolled, mind, speech, and body become undisciplined. All of a sudden the person is completely different from his or her usual behavior. Even if the person has a nice personality, it gets changed at that time, so physically and with speech it also causes problems to oneself and to other people. Also telling and remembering all kinds of things, and not having discipline comes through the mouth. So, it causes a lot of trouble. Also by taking, by the mind being intoxicated taking alcohol, if the person has something in the mind, some evil thing harbored, kept in the mind, then because mind is not in the discipline, during that time whenever the person has a negative mind, it comes through the mouth easily. It makes other people get angry, and causes so many problems.

Also, depending on these things, it can cause a short life, affecting parts of the body such as the heart, the physical things. Also it can cause life danger, breaking things, like this. Also, it can interrupt your firm concentration, one-pointed concentration, concentration on keeping the subject without being disturbed by other things. Even though you are doing meditation on one specific subject, checking, you start—then after two, three minutes the mind is going. Sometimes the mind is like water, like waves, not peaceful. Also it can, intoxicants can interrupt the control of the chakras, the opening of the chakras through tantric practice; it can also interrupt the control of the circulation, to control of the motion, and the nadis. Something like this. Sometimes, when the person is sick, according to the person’s disease, wine and these things have to be taken as medicine according to that disease. But that is not opposite, because without curing that person’s disease one cannot do anything; the person cannot do any Dharma work. So it is important to cure that disease. But it should be stopped whenever the problem or the disease is gone; one cannot carry on all the time because of that reason.

There are certain ones also like this made of grains, that are made around here. There is something, the seed or ability that makes it wine, that gives it the ability to intoxicate the mind. A kind of power, yeast. The original evolution of this is from the evil beings who use it in order to destroy the teachings, to degenerate the teachings—the original starts from the seed, blood. Originally like this, a story about the worldly gods, samsaric gods. In previous time among these who were very beautiful, and strongly intoxicated by greed, there was one goddess called the “Poison Wine Goddess.” She manifested a flower that had five petals that was called the flower of the wine potentiality. So one part that came from this flower, if you put it over cooked grains, by this it gained the power to make the mind intoxicated. Like this. So this is how the original use was started, as explained by Buddha.

Generally, there are so many shortcomings—how it destroys the mind, the pure ability, the power of the mind and body. There is much. That’s all.

Question: They make a food from yeast extract, delicious food; is the food black?

Rinpoche: I don’t know. Tibetans have something, usually around here in this area they use it, it is powder but they make it dry, and then they mash it, and put it over… [general discussion on yeast followed—decided it wasn’t yeast used around here as referred to above]

However, it makes the mind unconscious. It can cause one to not have clear wisdom and to not have clear senses and to not have continual strong remembrance, clear consciousness. That’s all.

Then, in the morning, start the meditation with Guru Shakyamuni, purifying meditation with Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Then after that, then as we did last night, just go quickly from perfect human rebirth, and its great usefulness, and do meditation on the impermanent life. Think like last night about the changes of the present time and at death time. Then think how the life is finishing, how fast it is going—meditate on this. Also think that if the death happens right away, what can you do? Whether you are scared or not, these things, check up. Then people who came in for the last course, they can go down as they received the explanation, they can do the meditation on death. After impermanence and death, then go through the suffering of the three lower realms; you can gradually go down as you received the explanation. The rest of what you have not done, you do tonight.

For the new people, during the break time read the following meditations. That’s all. Read the following meditations and try, not expecting the most curious thing there is, not like going on, then at the last page not going like this—but try to have some idea, the essence of each part, the karma, the essence such as the outline set up, karma, samsaric suffering, general samsaric suffering, the essence, totalities—try to have some idea.

From the holy speech of the great bodhisattva, Shantideva, “To these sentient beings for whom the thought for one’s own purpose doesn’t happen, doesn’t even arise in a dream, how can it arise for the sake of others?”

The meaning of this is as follows. “Other beings” means beings such as one’s parents. Even those samsaric gods who have many thousands of eyes, who have these powers, who have temporal powers to help in receiving the temporal things, even for those beings such a thought, wanting oneself to be released from suffering and the cause of suffering, they wouldn’t even experience this in a dream. Therefore, how could it be possible, if that wouldn’t happen in your dream even for yourself, how could it happen wanting other beings to be released from suffering and the cause of suffering? It cannot be possible. So such a thought for one’s purpose, if it isn’t received even in dream, how could it arise for the sake of others?

Also, as I said before, this emphasizes for such a strong thought to arise, wanting to release other beings from suffering and the cause of suffering, it is necessary first of all to deeply understand and recognize one’s own cause of suffering and suffering nature. Also, now, even if we try to say “for sentient beings” from the mouth, in the depth of the mind the main purpose is oneself wanting to be happy, thinking it is the most important thing, more than anything else, holding this like Everest Mountain, thinking of it as the most important thing. What you see with your mind, the most important thing, is only this, not others. Why there is such thinking in the mind? That is because of this—not deeply understanding other beings’ suffering and the cause of suffering, and that is because not understanding one’s own.

For instance, if you want to achieve the beneficial thought of bodhicitta, without understanding suffering, without hearing words on suffering, there is no way to receive bodhicitta, no way. However much you expect it, there is no way for it to rise. Forget about that. For compassion, the great Mahayana compassion, to arise, as much you dislike hearing about suffering, as much as you desire to hear only happiness, sweet words that you like, it doesn’t arise for others. Even for the sake of oneself, the thought wanting to be released from suffering and the cause of suffering does not rise for those beings, or even for themselves.

So therefore, therefore, therefore such a possibility as this, the thought thinking of the purpose of other sentient beings, thinking to release other sentient beings from suffering and lead them into enlightenment, this thought, receiving this incredible beneficial thought, is a rare, difficult, rare thing. It is a remarkable thing. It is such a high thought, such a high thought; it is remarkable that this thought is possible to receive. Like having a rainbow in your room. As I can’t say it like I want to say it, I can’t put it into English as I want to say it, but like that—according to our personality and wish, what we think, compared to this, some kind of impossible thing will happen. But then from your side, if you practice the teaching, if you meditate, it is possible to change these thoughts into most precious thoughts, that take care of others more than oneself.

So as the great bodhisattva Shantideva, has admired the holy bodhicitta, therefore, as we receive a perfect human rebirth and in such a time having met the Mahayana teaching that causes us to receive bodhicitta, therefore it is necessary as much as possible to try to train the mind in bodhicitta in each day, as we have the time. Also, cultivate the pure motive of bodhicitta, in order for it to become the cause of listening to the teachings, and in order for the action of listening to teachings to become the cause of enlightenment, which is also the cause to receive bodhicitta.

So therefore, think, “All this, my mother sentient beings who are suffering in the six different realms, now should be released from all these sufferings and be placed in most supreme enlightened happiness. As I am their son I should do it. I should take the responsibility myself. So therefore, I must achieve enlightenment in order to have all the perfect supreme powers and understanding omniscient mind. So I am going to listen to the holy profound teaching.”

Generally—I repeat the reason—the purpose of repeating this outline, if I tell you, why I always repeat the beginning outline. Because it has much importance, generally. That is, to see the knowledge of the teaching. Also, from this, one can understand what subjects are contained in this teaching, what total subjects. And also, this is the path that all enlightened beings went through, and they received enlightenment. Also, the outlines contain the knowledge, the division of the teaching, so you can discover from the outline that it includes the whole teaching, that it has the ability to cause one to achieve the enlightenment thought. There are many benefits. Also, by understanding these things, also there is a point—it causes devotion for these teachings to arise. So if there is devotion arising for the teaching, listening to the actual subject becomes more effective for you. There are many important things; it is not just useless or unreasonable, there is much importance. Just the outline itself is very effective for the mind. It gives the whole idea of the teaching; what it is, how important it is.

Then, one thing, why do these meditations have outlines like this? Like this. Anyway, why there is a reason to follow the outlines like this? Without any outlines, just talk, talk, talk on the subject gets mixed. Then, as much as you try to meditate, actually it is not a quick way of receiving realizations; that takes time and it is not really that useful to you—just giving lectures, all mixed. For practical meditation, quickly realizing, to have a quick experience, to achieve the realization of meditation, if it gets all mixed up like this then it is extremely difficult. Like this—in the kitchen you have so much food; you put sugar and salt together, rice, so many things, it all gets mixed up, everything; all different kinds of wheat and pepper, it all gets mixed up. It is like this, like this. So when you want to make delicious food, good food, something, you get very strange tasting food by mixing everything—water, tea, curd—and then there is no way to get really good food, everything is mixed. So, like this.

This has such profound methods for going through the outlines, such profound methods of the yogis, great meditators, the highly realized yogis. Their methods, their skill is the way that they achieved realization, and the way they led their followers to achieve realizations more quickly, with less hindrances; like this. But of course, since each meditation such as perfect human rebirth, the great usefulness and so forth are all joined, all have connection; each meditation has a connection. But it is necessary to do practice, to do meditation in each part like this, and then gradually go. As you do perfect human rebirth meditation, by recognizing that it has value, after that, meditating on how useful it is joins to make it more understandable. By understanding the value, it makes one realize how difficult it is; by understanding this before it makes it easier to understand. Same thing—the meditation is set up according to the schedule here, first, second, and third meditation. Also, by understanding the first part of the meditation, it makes it much easier to understand the second part of the meditation. They are all joined like this—the mind doesn’t raise complication, so easy. Like this. Just like if foods are separated into different parts, and then if you want to eat rice you can eat only rice without getting it mixed with the other grains. If you want to make sweet tea, you need pure milk, pure tea, then sugar not mixed with salt, and you put it together according to your choice; you can make it easy, not complicated.

The reason I go through the outlines like this is because they are very important. But now, when we don’t have much understanding of each meditation, the outline itself doesn’t make much sense. But as you continue to do the meditation, the checking meditation on this subject, then as the mind gets well trained and has deep feeling, you will get the experience of these meditations. Even just remembering the outlines is fantastic, it is like you see the whole subject without going through all the words, all these long trips. Just remembering the outline, you see so clearly, with such great strong feeling. Now we don’t get this even by going through the trip, so it takes time. Even though it takes time, the mind should have patience. We should understand that these things, this experience, doesn’t come quickly.

The listening subject is the Mahayana teaching, the graduated path that all the past enlightened beings have received enlightenment through. We have discussed the perfect human rebirth, the great usefulness of the perfect human rebirth, the great difficulty of receiving the perfect human rebirth. Now, we are discussing how life is fragile, impermanent.

First you do meditation like we did last night—on the changes, the benefits, the shortcomings of not remembering death, and the benefits of remembering death. Then after this, do meditation on how the life quickly changes, finishes. Perhaps, I think, maybe, meditate thinking of this subject with the mind.

Question: What kind of charity is needed to obtain the perfect human rebirth?

Rinpoche: The main thing is that, generally charity includes (see page 145): charity guiding others from fears and dangers, charity of trying to protect an animal from the danger of being attacked, and those kinds of things. This is just an example, but there can be many examples, such as guiding the person from the danger of punishment. These are called (1) fearless charity. This means you help make the other person fearless. Then (2) Dharma charity. Dharma charity is explaining the Dharma to other beings.

Question: Would it be right to take a fly from a spider’s web or to stop an animal from eating another?

Rinpoche: Yes, that can be done, okay, can be done, yes. That becomes fearless charity, same thing. It is very helpful if you can think that the animal is suffering being eaten by others and also the other animal is creating negative karma.

Question: I don’t understand that. What if you take one animal from another? You’ll take the suffering from one and put it on the first animal, because as soon as you turn your back, he’ll catch another fly.

Rinpoche: No, no, I don’t mean because that by taking one animal that it catches, it stops all his bad karma. It doesn’t mean this. But the bad karma that he creates with that specific insect. Of course, already numberless bad karma has been collected, but still in relation to that one animal, he is guided from that danger. That does not mean that stops the creation of bad karma in the future. But by not allowing that, it helps the other insect to not create that negative karma of killing this animal. So that other animal doesn’t suffer that result, even though he has to suffer the result of other bad karma; it becomes less.

Question: What if there is an animal dying in great pain, with no hope of its life being saved—is it being helpful to kill it, to “put it out of its misery”?

Rinpoche: No, it doesn’t help. You are killing it, and also you are creating negative karma—it is not a solution, not a solution. The solution is this way—if that was the solution then every person, every animal, would have to be killed; this way you create your own negative karma. The best solution is to try to work to purify your own ignorance in order to become capable of cutting off the cause of their suffering, as when they are released from the cause of suffering they don’t have suffering. This is the best way, the best method. However, if you can cure it, it is okay; but momentarily you killing it doesn’t stop the future suffering. What I am saying is this.

Question: What would you do in the case where you maybe do like that and there’s an insect half dead, that you stepped on and it’s half dead?

Rinpoche: Then you blow and let it grow legs and wings—isn’t there such a thing, blowing on wood and becoming a human being? I am joking! You recite the Avalokiteshvara mantra and then you blow on it. It helps great deal. Also, there are other mantras that are very powerful, that help a great deal for the animal. By reciting this, your breath becomes blessed by the power of the mantra, so it also affects and helps.

Question: But if you take an insect from a spider’s web, aren’t you perhaps causing the spider to starve?

Rinpoche: No, no, no. Even if it dies of starvation, you taking the animal that gets stuck there, that doesn’t mean killing the spider. That does not become like putting the spider in a kind of place, a kind of pot where there is nowhere to run, like you catch a mouse and put it in something then it has nowhere to breathe, wanting it to die.

Question: When you blow a mantra on the animal, how should you be thinking?

Rinpoche: You can think like this. You can do the same thing that we did before, like we did with the dead people; you can do the same thing with the animal that you killed. You become Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, and then you do purification like we did before, you send rays from the heart thinking that the consciousness came to that, and then you purify with knowledge and then think that all their negative karma, obscurations and negative karma, which have been created from beginningless lifetimes, is purified like this. Also, then if you blow by reciting mantra, think that as you are breathing it, it is purification, like the rays coming, and also breath purifies all the causes of suffering and suffering itself. Also think that due to these merits may this insect, wherever it is suffering, be released soon from that suffering and receive a perfect human rebirth and by gradually receiving the perfect human rebirth receive the path and achieve enlightenment, like this. This is very useful.

What I was going to say is this—Dharma charity—also (3) material charity. Material charity is physically giving material charity and also desisting. Because, the whole point is this, whether you physically give or not, the whole point is to destroy miserliness and attachment which interrupts you receiving enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. In order to achieve enlightenment, your practice has to be committed. Completing your practice of charity does not depend on other sentient beings receiving materials from you, on all other poor beggars receiving material from you. It does not depend on this, it does not depend on this. Also, it doesn’t depend on not having any beggars left. Finishing charity, completing charity does not depend on this. Completing charity mainly depends on finishing the clinging thought for the possessions, such as one’s body—speech, body, and mind are one’s possessions—one’s merits, like this. Besides not being attached to the result, the temporary result that is received from charity, even in not having the clinging thought, possessing the thought, are the benefits of charity. Then all these things, the merits, the result of merits, everything, all your possessions of speech, body, and mind, all that you possess are all completely always dedicated for other sentient beings. When there is such capability, then the practice of charity is completed, it finishes.

Therefore, also even if one doesn’t have material things, one can still make charity by mentally dedicating for other sentient beings, which is really powerful, such a profound power, method. External material will not cover all sentient beings, will not cover all human beings on this earth, all the beggars. Mental charity is trying to lose, to destroy these possessing thoughts, this attachment, so that this charity covers all sentient beings. As the number of sentient beings are infinite, so when the person dedicates with his sincere mind, he creates that much incredible infinite benefit by dedicating. Each time he does this, he is closer to enlightenment, and it becomes purification, so that he creates that much merit, and he’s closer to enlightenment. As he’s closer to enlightenment, so he works for all sentient beings without limit, without effort. You are closer to this. You are closer to helping sentient beings.

So these things can help one to receive a perfect human rebirth. In previous times one lama, one meditator, I think we talked about him yesterday—he said that he can have the body of a monk in the morning and in the afternoon he can take a pure body. This yogi wanted to be born in the pure realm called Shambhala. This is a pure realm that has such perfect high enjoyments, and also it is a pure realm where there is the chance to receive all tantric realizations and receive enlightenment. That is the Kalachakra deity that His Holiness gave at Bodhgaya—so the pure realm of this deity. This yogi wanted to be born in that pure realm, to be born as the king of that pure realm in order to quickly enlighten sentient beings. In that life he tried to live a very strict ascetic life, not keeping many possessions, principally living in the practice of renouncing this life. This meditator requested one great lama, the Panchen Lama, who, like His Holiness, takes many incarnations. I don’t remember how many, but many incarnations. So in fact, this Panchen Lama, as he is the embodiment of Amitabha Buddha, the Limitless Light Buddha, he has something to do with that pure realm, has power. The meditator requested the Panchen Lama to tell him whether his purpose would be successful or not. The Panchen Lama said, “You, old man, have such strong desire, your purpose becomes successful, your purpose will be fulfilled.”

So like this, this idea, this example can help your mental charity, living in the pure Dharma practice. Also, you are making material charity and the material you have can cause you to receive a perfect human rebirth.

Generally, killing means that you have to have the will, the desire to kill. The action that you call killing must include ill will.

First, the way life is quickly finishing. The first plan, a 100,000 life—how quick it can finish in a second, in a month, in a year. First think of the 100,000 life finishing, becoming shorter by the second, day, month, and year. The 100,000 life gets shorter and shorter in each second, hour, each day, week, month, and year. The 100,000 lifetime is a certain number of seconds, a certain number of split seconds that starts from the time the mind is conceived in the mother’s womb. There are a certain number of split seconds, and in each time the spilt second finishes, from the very beginning start to finish. As one second finishes from this number, 100,000, that much the 100,000 life become shorter. So like this—by finishing each second from this, the number becomes shorter and shorter and shorter; it finishes so quickly. So quickly it finishes.

The same thing, “Since I was born in the mother’s womb, my mind took place there, and from that time I have created a certain length of life—either sixty or seventy. So this life has a certain number of years and a certain number of hours and minutes and seconds. It isn’t numberless. It has a certain number of shortest seconds. From the beginning of the human life until death time, my life has a certain number of shortest seconds. As the shortest second finishes, the certain number of minutes which is called a certain number of shortest seconds becomes less, it gets shorter. As it gets shorter, the hour which is called a certain number of minutes gets shorter. As the minutes from that number finish, the hour becomes shorter, finishes. The day that is called a certain number of hours gets shorter, finishes. Same thing, the week that is called a certain number of days, such as seven days, as each day finishes the week finishes, getting shorter and shorter. Same thing, the month that called on a certain number of weeks finishes, and then the month, and as the month finishes the year gets shorter; shorter and shorter. As the year finishes so whatever age I have, how much I live, if I am going to live…

“If the length of my life is about seventy, as each year finishes—seventy years is the group, that number of years. That number of years, that number of months, the seventy years which is the length of my human life is called the group. The number of years, months, weeks, days, hours and minutes is like this, and the shortest seconds. However many the number of shorter seconds there are, since the mind took place and entered that, each time as the second finishes, the shortest second finishes, my human life which is only about seventy years is finishing, continuously finishing. As it starts to finish, it gets shorter and shorter; the length of the human life which is about seventy gets shorter and shorter—from the time of the mother’s womb. Like the same thing—as there is a great heap of rice and you take each grain of rice, and each second as you take each grain of rice from that great heap, it gets lower and lower. Just like this my life finishes, getting older, getting closer to death.

“As each second, each number of seconds that makes up the length of my human life seventy years, as each of these finishes, spontaneously and quickly, I am closer and closer to death. Day and night, all the time while I am eating, drinking, sleeping, talking, and meditating, all the time I am getting closer and closer to death. From the time I was born in my mother’s womb until now, that many seconds from the group of seconds that makes up the length of the human life is already gone. So it is like running to death, always running to death without stopping, even for one split second.

“Same thing, this life, even if I live that much, to seventy, this has a certain number of breaths, a certain number of breaths—breathe in and out—a certain number of breaths. It is not countless, it is a certain number. So each time I breathe, my life finishes. As that number of breaths that makes me live that length of time gets less, life finishes closer to death. In one day there is a certain number of breaths, there are several thousand breaths in a day. So each time as it finishes, you are closer to death, getting closer to death, finishing each breath, each shortest second, but not knowing, just like that animal, just like that very upset, ignorant animal.

“Life is getting closer to death, just like the stone that is thrown into the sky—as it comes down so quickly on the ground each time, without stopping in space for even one second, continuously coming down, getting closer to touching the ground, just like this, life is spontaneously getting closer to death. As much as we say that we are alive, as much as we say we are alive, each time we are closer to becoming not alive, to death.”

First of all think like this, then after this, by checking like this, do meditation like last night. You should not just generally think, you should meditate as we did last night. As that physical body changes, in the future, what is going to happen, you should visualize your present body in that form, as it is happening right now, yourself in that situation. This is very useful. This is also a very special technique to realize impermanence and death. Thinking of yourself, and meditating that death can happen now, occur now, then meditating on the situation of the body, how it changes, how it looks.

Then there is such a strong feeling, such a strong feeling that it is really happening now, such a strong feeling, vision, feeling that it is happening now, which makes your heart beat, which makes you breathe. At this time you have the certain experience on the meditation of impermanence and death. Until such things happen, it is necessary to do this. The person has to do meditation like this until the person sees clearly. Now maybe it is just words. Then as you carry on the meditation continuously—now there is so much feeling, but the feeling will be deeper and deeper—because the mind is not so well-trained. As the mind gets well-trained, each time, continuously doing meditation, your feelings become much stronger and feel more and more true and real. Then because of this, you will not want to do meaningless work, any work that is to do with this present body, you won’t want to do. You will spontaneously work for enlightenment; you won’t want to spend even a short time for this temporal life’s body. This feeling will become stronger and stronger through meditation on impermanence, the shortness of life, and getting closer to the death, like this.

You will even not want to spend a short time shaving your beard, not wanting to spend even that much short time. For yogis who have had the experience of impermanence, who have achieved realizations on impermanence, even if a thorn has come into the body they do not even want to spend the time to take it out. One yogi called Geshe Kharag, a meditator, when he was in retreat in a cave he had the realization of impermanence. There was a thorn growing outside the cave, and each time he went in and out of the cave his clothes got stuck there. So each time he went out he remembered to cut it, but then he thought that he was unsure whether or not he would come back from making peepee. Then, when he went in again, he again got stuck, and was reminded to cut it, but then he thought that he was not sure whether or not he would every come out again. So like this he spent his whole life in a solitary place for meditation without spending the time to cut the thorn. This is the sign that he had the realization of impermanence. Like this. It is important to try as much as possible.

6 p.m.

Put your mind inside, check how it is. Cultivate pure thoughts by yourself.

I will try to finish the reading tonight, so doesn’t matter even if you can’t see. As I said, you meditate like last night. Generally, the point I am talking about here, about death—perhaps you people may think, “Our country is full of dangers, always people are dying, this and that, what we have been hearing before. What’s the point of hearing it again?” But this is different. It is easy to understand all this by looking outside, to an outer example, it is easy to understand yourself, it is easy. But we don’t do this. Generally it is easy to realize the impermanent nature of life by looking at outer examples that happened all over, but we don’t realize our own. How much we see other things happen in there.

Animals also have fear of death. When an animal gets killed or falls down, they also have the fear of death. But that is useless. Also, many times we, by accident or something, all of a sudden it happens that there is fear of life, fear of death, there is fear and worry about getting sick. But this feeling that happens to you, feeling afraid of death, this feeling does not carry on. After maybe one or two days you forget. If you are so scared, then after some time this strong feeling no longer exists. Whatever happens was useless in that time because we can’t use it for Dharma practice.

It is not enough that this feeling arises for a few minutes, losing the other one—that’s not only the point of doing meditation on impermanence. It is necessary to carry on this heavy feeling, it is necessary to carry on this fear of death, not just for a few minutes, but for one hour, like this. Because Dharma practice cannot be finished in one hour. We can see how lazy we are. Anyway, like this. So that’s not enough. It is necessary to carry on this feeling, this fear; this strong feeling, it is necessary to carry it on until you achieve, until you can make definite arrangements to not suffer at death time. Until you can make definite arrangements, where you can have full confidence knowing at the very least that you won’t suffer at death time, until this is definite, until you can make arrangements where you will be born according to your choice, then generally, it is necessary to carry on like this.

The purpose of meditating on impermanence and death is to achieve the higher difficult realizations, to carry on this feeling. And one thing, as I told you once before, just having the idea arise sometimes that, “Oh! I will die after some time, after a long time,” even people who don’t know anything about Dharma also think like this. This is nothing. If you have the realization of this, if you really have the fear of death, have the experience through meditation of the realization of impermanence, then these things cannot happen—such as falling asleep when you meditate. You do one or two minutes on the actual subject, and then the mind goes for a picnic round. This thing doesn’t happen because the person’s mind is so strong—the one who has strong realization and the understanding of impermanence, the mind is not like this, easily distracted, not like this. You see, thinking like this happens so easily, falling asleep, the mind getting distracted, difficult to bring to the subject of meditation—this shows that you need energy and this shows that there is the need to work on the impermanence of life and death. Because of not having the realization or experience of this through meditation, you cannot meditate because of a little tiny trouble, and also due to lack of experience of impermanence and death.

One who has a real deep understanding, the experience of impermanence and death, this meditator never gets shocked when he hears "renounce this life, renounce this life". When he hears this he never gets shocked, only pleased, never shocked. The person always finds it most powerful, most beneficial to stop, to cease the delusions. This person would find it easy, no matter how difficult. The person who has this practices with a pleased mind, with great happiness. Also, it is not difficult for him. That meditation is not difficult to practice. Why don’t we have the capability now to do this? Because we don’t have the realization of this.

Also one thing, through this, doing this meditation for this one month doesn’t stop your future problems that much. It is necessary, of course, that you are meditating now at this time, of course it benefits, it benefits, there are great benefits, I am not saying that it has no benefits, but in the future the problems cannot be ceased without continuing the meditation. So since this is to solve the problems, one should know how to do it. So just doing meditation here one or two days is not enough, and hearing someone explain it and then working on that is not enough.

Now from the depth of your mind think, “In time this whole world will completely become empty. Also I will not exist on this earth.” Think of the complete emptiness of all these things. “Therefore it is definite, therefore death is definite.

“No other cooperative cause can stop death. As it is not been possible, as it has never been possible so far, from previous times since the world started until now, therefore death is definite to arise. Life cannot be made longer without decreasing. Therefore—think your own life—therefore it is definite that death will occur. Also, death will occur without my having spent much time in Dharma practice while I was alive. No cooperative cause or external thing can put it off, can stop death from happening. At that time, no matter how many other people try to put me in the best hospital, wherever it is, with the best medicine, the most recent medicine, nothing will help. Nothing will help. Nothing will help to stop death—wherever one goes—to different countries for treatment and to whatever expensive hospital.”

Also think, “There is such an incredible number, generations of parents, parents of parents, parents of parents of parents. It has been such an infinite number, the number of those generations of parents, and now none of them exist. All those previous generations of the parents of the parents, and none of them exist now. Of all those previous generations of the parents of parents, there have been numberless—counting like this—parents going back, but no one human body exists, nowhere. All of them are dead, all gone.” Thinking also of your parents, also your grandmother and grandfather and also their parents. Think of those who are dead, such as the present father or mother, either or both, and the grandfather, grandmother. "So gradually, therefore, it is definite also that I will die, as they don’t exist. Same thing, soon the turn of the death will come to me. Therefore it is definite that my death will occur.”

Generally, the life of the beings in this world is not definite. They will live 100 years or 1,000 years, all the lives of the beings in this world, and generally nothing is definite in terms of the length of life. Particularly in this degenerate time, life is shorter and more indefinite. Much shorter and more indefinite than before. Therefore, the time of death is indefinite. People come from West to East, but are not certain to go back—without having time to go back, they die. Death is indefinite, the example is like this. Even if the person is going back to the West, before reaching home he dies on the way. He is not certain to reach home. Even if many people are sleeping, not having the time to get up. Many people start eating, and die without finishing food, without completing one plate of food. Many of them go trekking, and they die without having time to come back. Many people go out by car, without having time to come back home, and they die in between. People do not have time to grow, dying before they reach middle age, without becoming grown, without having time to become older. So many are born in the mother’s womb, without having time to come out. Some go to play without having time to come back from play—such as riding a horse, or football. So many people order clothes, and without having time to wear them, they die. Many people start to read a book, and without having time to complete it, they die. Also, so many people start to make projects, without having time to complete it, to finish, they die between. Many people go to war, to fight, dying without having time to enjoy home and come back. So many people go to their job, dying without having time to get a salary. Many people die even without having time to complete their talk. Many people die, breathe in, dying without having time to breathe out. These are examples of how the actual time of death is indefinite. How life is indefinite. These are a few examples to use in meditation.

So, there are the outer explanations like this. It is necessary to put these on yourself. It is also necessary, when you do meditation on impermanence and the actual indefinite time of the death, as you think about other people, to also think about yourself. Also think that, “One day I will die somehow, not finishing something, not completing something.” Similar to the thought of other people, put it on yourself—then this becomes very effective. Somehow, however, we are definite to die either in the day or in the night time, either in the morning or in the afternoon, without finishing something. Breathing. Breathing out and dying, not having time to breathe in. It is definite that this will happen to us, that we will die in some condition, according to karma. Either at home, or out.

Also it is necessary to think of all these temporal needs, how there are more life endangering cooperative causes than life supporting cooperative causes. Therefore, the actual time of death is indefinite. Even the life-supporting things cause danger to the life, such as people dying, people eating fish or meat, and the bone going inside causing death. As in these examples, life-supporting conditions even cause life danger—such as the house collapsing, the roof falling down, things causing life danger. Such as money—because of that money you get killed by another person. These are a few examples. Such as also drinking alcohol, so much alcohol causing life danger. Such as drugs. Because of these reasons, also even the life-supporting things cause life danger, and the actual time of death is indefinite.

Especially, the body is like this water bubble, so fragile, so fragile. Each time as the body moves a little bit, something is always suffering, it is so easy to get injured. Therefore, it is so easy for the life danger to happen. Because of this also, the actual time of death is indefinite.

Also as I read this, also you meditate on this.

1. “End is due”. The time is uncertain because due to finishing the length of life that has resulted from the previous karma.

2. The time of death is indefinite, when factors sustaining life are unavailable. The actual time of death is indefinite.

3. Check it in your mind—whether you perceive it or not, whether you see it or not. The time of death, when it will occur, when you see it or not. Check also whether that is definite to happen after a long time, after ten years, that you can exist that long—whether you are sure or not. Check also whether you are sure, “I will exist until tomorrow.” As you always think you will live long, so check whether it is definite, whether you know definitely that you will exist tomorrow. The reasons that you have, check up that you will definitely exist tomorrow. Same thing, you check up tonight, whether you will definitely exist until you go to bed. What is the proof, check it up. If you don’t find any proof that makes you see that you are definitely existing, it is not sure, not sure. Totally, whether life will exist, whether you will have time to go to bed.

Perhaps your reason is, “Because I have the intuitive feeling that I will exist; I don’t see that I will die in such a time, but I have an instinct,” because you talk so much about “instinctive.” This instinctive feeling that you will exist carries on until death. This is the worst hindrance to Dharma practice. This is the reason that you may have. This carries on until the point of death. Even if death would happen after one minute there would still be this instinctive feeling. This instinctive feeling is the worst, greatest hindrance to the Dharma practice, which includes meditation, so many things.

Many people worry thinking, “What is the method to stop the distractions. I cannot concentrate, I cannot do this and that.” Why? That is because we are mainly distracted by this instinctive feeling that feels, “I will not die now, I will exist, I will exist. I won’t die, I won’t die today,” this instinctive feeling that we always feel. This causes the hindrance which causes the main concentration to not last. This should be destroyed, this conception should be stopped by doing meditation on impermanence and death. For instance, take the person who is so scared of a tiger, scared of the danger of a tiger. This person is always watching round, looking round, and never wants to, dares not to spend even a few minutes looking at something without watching. Why does he spontaneously concentrate on where the tiger is coming from? Just like the example works, it is the same thing with the person who realizes that the actual time of death is indefinite, who always thinks that he is not sure whether it will happen tonight, right after one hour, one minute—who always thinks the opposite. We always think, “Not die, not die, not die now,” but the person who has the realization of this through meditation, this person is the opposite. As in the example I told, the meditator is like this, always, with the complete opposite idea thinking, “I will definitely die after one hour, at this time, tonight,” like this, completely the opposite of that other idea. So because of this, the one who thinks, “Death will occur now or after one minute, one hour,” because of this the person has such great incredible energy to make any action perfect, pure. For the person who does meditation with this thought, there is no hindrance, the mind doesn’t get distracted easily. For this person the concentration lasts much longer because of this thought—the thought and the fear does not allow the person to be under the control of the hindrance, it protects the person from the hindrance.

During the break times you read part of refuge and karma. Also try to get the understanding of the meaning of the outlines, such as the meditation on samsaric suffering. So when I give brief explanations on that, then it is easy for you to meditate.

Did you find out last night, the answer?

Answer: Yes.

Rinpoche: What? Yes?

Answer: Many reasons. If it is really the nature of space, it would always be space, it would be permanent and it wouldn’t be permanent if it is dependent on things. If it was natural pure light, if it was just space it would have to be always space—but since it is permanent and since it is dependent upon things, its nature is pure light.

Rinpoche: Space, is space permanent?

Answer: No it’s impermanent.

Rinpoche: You said before permanent, if it is the nature of space then it is permanent.

Answer: Its nature is pure light, if its nature wasn’t pure light....

Rinpoche: How is it impermanent?

Answer: Always changing.

Rinpoche: I see. The main nature, is that causative? Is that causative? What makes it change?

Answer: Its pure nature.

Rinpoche: What makes it change?

Answer: The mind nature of space.

Rinpoche: I am not talking anything about space, mind nature.

Answer: Mind nature in its absolute is just shunyata, pure light; in its relative it changes because it is dependent upon phenomena, out of phenomena. On a relative level it changes.

Rinpoche: How it is absolute truth, causative?

Answer: How is it absolute?

Rinpoche: You said absolute truth changes.

Answer: The absolute truth doesn’t change, it is pure light.

Rinpoche: Mind nature doesn’t change—isn’t absolute nature mind nature?

Answer: It is in its pure nature, but since it’s got dirt on it, it’s got a relative nature; it actually doesn’t change.

Rinpoche: I see. When the person realizes the mind nature does the person realize relative nature?

Answer: He realizes both.

Rinpoche: So if the person realizes the mind, does the person realize relative truth?

Answer: Repeat?

Rinpoche: Another example. If the person sees his hand, does he see relative truth; as he understands his hand is the answer also relative? Does he also stand relative together?

Answer: Yes, both.

Rinpoche: So all people who understand hand understand what relative means.

Answer: People who don’t see absolute nature don’t see relative nature. The person realizing the absolute nature of his hand sees his hand but realizes its true nature. The person who doesn’t realize absolute true nature only sees the hand, doesn’t see the absolute nature of it. The person without wisdom does not see the absolute nature, only sees the relative nature. The person with wisdom sees both.

Rinpoche: So you say the person who sees the mind in the absolute true nature of mind is also relative nature and the nature of relative truth. Like this?

Answer: Yes.

Rinpoche: So does the person see also the impermanent nature, nature of impermanence?

Answer: Yes.

Rinpoche: How does the person realize together?

Answer: He sees that everything on a relative level is impermanent and always changing.

Rinpoche: Does the person see, as the person understands the mind and the mind nature does the person see all the other rest of existence’s absolute nature?

Answer: Yes, he sees absolute nature in everything.

Rinpoche: As the person realizes his mind and nature of his mind does the person fully see all existence?

Answer: Yes, if he sees completely his absolute nature then he sees all existence.

Rinpoche: Anyway, that is not possible. But from this, by realizing absolute true nature of mind, one can see gradually. It is easier, much easier. Because of the first absolute realization, he doesn’t realize the existence of others at the same time. Not like this.

Answer: But if he sees it in himself on the first level and sees the full absolute nature, then does he not see all existence as they directly see?

Rinpoche: He doesn’t fully see all existence. Not like omniscient mind. To fully see every single existence, only omniscient mind has it.

Anyway, like this. After realizing the absolute nature of one object, such as the “I,” then for other objects, gradually like this, it is much easier. With a little checking the person realizes the absolute nature like this. But anyway, just to realize the absolute nature of one object does not happen, the realization of other existences does not come together. The point is this, the original question is this—maybe you didn’t answer the original question. Why is the mind nature called clear light? This is the original question.

Answer: I think because on its absolute level it has nothing that can be put into words and it contains nothing, so it’s empty.

Rinpoche: It contains nothing, it doesn’t contain shunyata?

Answer: All you could say about it would be shunyata, nothing else could be still.

Rinpoche: Shunyata contains nothing?

Answer: I think shunyata does not contain anything. I am not sure of its definition.

Rinpoche: Shunyata does not contain shunyata?

Answer: The nature of mind is shunyata. That’s all to be said, it’s absolute nature.

Rinpoche: So absolute nature does not have absolute nature?

Answer: It has shunyata, the absolute nature is shunyata.

Rinpoche: Why does the mind have absolute nature, not having absolute nature?

Answer: Its absolute nature is just shunyata. That’s all that can be said.

Rinpoche: So shunyata ... Oh, I see. How is it shunyata?

Answer: If it wasn’t shunyata.....

Rinpoche: How is it shunyata, I am asking this.

Answer: If it wasn’t shunyata, this existence would be permanent, it would be real. This life would not be dependent upon anything.

Rinpoche: Its absolute nature is not shunyata, then what? Shunyata means what?

Answer: It means voidness.

Rinpoche: Oh, I see. Your life is voidness.

Answer: My absolute nature is voidness.

Rinpoche: Your absolute nature is voidness of what?

Answer: Voidness of voidness.

Rinpoche: So voidness of voidness should be something. What is that? It has to be something. If it’s the voidness of voidness of voidness, what is that.

Answer: Shunyata.

Rinpoche: As I was talking, for instance this mug, does it have clear light nature? As the mind nature is clear light, is the mug nature clear light?

Answer: The tea mug’s nature is shunyata. If clear light and shunyata are the same then yes, it is clear light.

Rinpoche: Mind is nature of clear light or not?

Answer: Is clear light and shunyata the same?

Rinpoche: How is it clear light? How is it?

Answer: Because it has no real existence, nature independent existence.

Rinpoche: But its nature is clear light. Why it is clear? So a mug, can a mug receive enlightenment?

Answer: No.

Rinpoche: Because its nature is clear light?

Answer: I don’t think it has the ability to realize its nature.

Rinpoche: But it’s clear light nature. The mind can receive enlightenment because the possibility is made by clear light nature. Why not the mug because the nature is also clear light?

Answer: I think our mind creates the mug.

Rinpoche: This is not answer, question.

Answer: It’s difficult question.

Rinpoche: Actually we talked at the second page. Somebody answer—whoever has blowing from the mind.

Answer: The nature of the mug is clear light, because the drinking mug doesn’t have any delusion.

Rinpoche: That’s what I am saying, I am expecting this answer. So that’s why I am saying has it the possibility to receive enlightenment? The mind can receive enlightenment because the mind nature is clear light.

Answer: It doesn’t have to try and reach enlightenment, it’s already there.

Rinpoche: So it is his enlightenment. Is mind nature clear light enlightenment?

Answer: It’s a pure manifestation of enlightenment clear light.

Rinpoche: So lucky! All your tea’s manifestation of enlightenment, very lucky, if you drink in that way.

Answer: If its nature wasn’t clear light, its nature would have to be a mug, so that means it could never be destroyed.

Rinpoche: So the mug nature is mug because it’s not clear light?

Answer: It’s clear light for the reason that as its absolute nature is a mug it wouldn’t be dependent on mental labeling or the person putting it together, it would be always existent.

Rinpoche: How is it called clear? Clear light?

Answer: I don’t think there are words that can actually describe what its true nature is, but the words used are clear light, shunyata, voidness, emptiness. We can’t communicate the other way to explain, we use words, and the words we use are clear light, shunyata, voidness.

Answer: What about mug?

Rinpoche: That’s why we don’t understand clear light, isn’t it?

Answer: Does the mug have to have a consciousness? It can exist on a relative level.

Rinpoche: Are you questioning or what?

Answer: Asking question, does the mug have to have consciousness in order to be void?

Rinpoche: In order to be void it doesn’t have to be consciousness.

Answer: Are you saying void and clear light have to be the same?

Rinpoche: I’m not saying that. It has absolute nature but it doesn’t have, there is no meaning to call it clear light.

Answer: Could the nature of mind mean clear light. The clear light can manifest itself at any energy level.

Rinpoche: If mind nature is clear light what?

Answer: It has the ability to manifest itself at any energy level since it is the same as space, light, it can...

Rinpoche: You are asking whether mind has that capability?

Answer: Clear light can manifest at any realm.

(question and answers missed here)

Rinpoche: It has no matter, no form, like space.

Answer: Because it is clear light nature it can manifest in any energy level, but because we can’t perceive the absolute reality, therefore we can’t because of delusion, the actual object only delusion. In order to see actual object we have to go through our delusions to get to the object.

Rinpoche: Sounds like getting closer, yes.

Anyway, the reason the mind nature is called clear light, why? Because, another repetition, because mind nature is not oneness with delusion, even though it is temporarily obscured by delusion. That’s all. The reason clear light gives the possibility to receive enlightenment is because it is not oneness with delusion, it is temporal, temporarily covered by the delusion, temporarily obscured by delusion. As the clear light nature is not oneness with the delusion, there is possibility to clean the delusion, that’s why it is possible to receive enlightenment. But for the mug, there is nothing to call clear light because it doesn’t have delusion, also it has no mind. Not new subject, old subject.

Dedicate the merits, “Due to the merits of keeping the precepts, doing meditation, listening to the teachings, may I achieve enlightenment soon by receiving the fully renounced mind of samsara, bodhicitta, and the full realization of the absolute true nature only for the sake of sentient beings to lead them into enlightenment and release them from suffering.”

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