Friday, March 22
I think the life looks really funny—it seems that we escaped from Tibet to a foreign country to give a meditation course. Anyway, there is a reason that you people have to come from such a far place, from different countries to the hill to take a meditation course from a primitive little boy. There is a reason. It doesn't matter even though we don't realize, don't see it. There are infinite reasons. There is a definite reason created by all of you and created by me. But you know, if I tell you the cause at this moment, even if I told you, it may not fit your mind. It may seem like nonsense. You may think—I am crazy—I need to be put in the hospital for treatment, for injections. The principal cause is this.
Secondary cause—there may be many secondary causes. How did we come to give a meditation course to Westerners? That is because the very first time, our first Western student called—she has many different names. Anyway, her big name is Princess Rachevsky, Zina Princess Rachevsky, something like that. Anyway, she asked, insisted many times that we give the meditation course. I didn't accept, you know, many times. Generally it is not easy, it is not easy teaching other people Dharma is not easy, is not easy. It has to have so many things, it is not easy. The mind has to be rich, like the worldly person, you know. What makes the worldly person rich? Having so many different precious jewels, or whatever possessions there are. Generally it is not easy, not so easy. So that's why I refused many times.
Generally, the Tibetan lamas, the other Tibetan highly realized lamas, those who gave teachings, they gave teachings with experience, not just dry words, like dried fruit, oranges. Anyway, when they gave teachings they gave them with experience. With deep understanding and living in the practice. Without living in the practice, there is no way for their experience to arise. For instance, if you want to experience coca-cola, then you have to taste it. Otherwise, how can you get the experience of that? So like this. Anyway, first they themselves, who have practiced and experienced well, from such a guru they receive the infallible, perfect teachings.
(Rinpoche was then asked to speak a little louder; those at the back were unable to hear.)
I am sorry. Which part didn't you hear? You didn't hear it all? You didn't hear anything, nothing you heard? The people at the edge, you didn't hear anything?
Answer: It's a little difficult.
It is very difficult, yes, I'm sorry you know. First you, first my language as perfect as your language, as you speak. It is not American languages and it is not English language. It is my own language!
What I am trying to say is that when the Tibetan lamas gave teachings in the Dharma to other people, they didn't give only the dry words. First of all they themselves live in the practice and then they receive the experience as they live in the practice. With that experience they give teachings to other people so it benefits them more, is much more blessed and powerful. Their giving teachings to other people is not cold, it is hot. It is very tasty, very effective. So anyway, I don't have any experience like that, no understanding ... also, I am not living in the practice, not living in the Dharma practice. My usual behavior, my daily life, is opposite to the Dharma. And I have no understanding of Dharma, so because of many of these things I am incapable of giving a meditation course. And also I have no hope that this one month meditation course can help you. But as I was you, even though I don't have any knowledge, not living in the practice, nothing, following the instructions of the guru becomes the best method of purification to be able to help other beings. So that is why the meditation course is given.
There is a purpose to seeking the new method. It is worthwhile. You are trying to seek a new method in order to make life better, and that is good. Worthwhile. But in regards methods, there are all different kinds. Anyway, it is the most important thing, you know, to seek the perfect, correct method. Why it is important? You have to spend all of this human life achieving that. So if you seek the wrong method then there is ignorance; you will build double, wrong conceptions, which lead you in the wrong way, which means wasting time; life is meaningfulness. That work is meaningless, resultless, because there is no progression, it doesn't make life better.
So at the very beginning, checking; checking is so important. Before you follow it, before you put your life in that, checking is so important. Checking—what is the use of that? Check whether it has the power to solve the problem, the mental problem. Because, you see, we are seeking it in order to remove the mental suffering, the mental problem. So that's why it’s important to check up whether this method has the power to clean all the wrong conceptions, the ignorance.
And also check up the beings who followed that method—has anyone been released from all suffering by following that method? Is there any follower who is released from all suffering, from all problems, by following that method? This is important. Has any other follower who followed this method received peace; the cessation of mental problems, as the founder of that method has explained? This is so important to check up. If it is something impossible for those past beings, for other followers, then it is also impossible for you to release them from all sufferings, from all mental problems, by following that method. That means that something is wrong with that method, something is not right.
If there are other followers who followed that method and made the experience of the path that was shown by the founder, and also those followers explained their experience, how they followed the path, then it is logical; then that method is true, logical. Even if you try that, it is possible to achieve it in the same way. It is also possible, definitely possible, to make the same experience by following the path as those past followers passed on those paths.
This time, the subject that I'm going to talk about and discuss is Buddhadharma, or the enlightened beings’ psychology or science. As he explained, as he fully explained, as he fully sees. If you hate hearing the name "Buddha", then use "psychology" or "science". Like this. The main subject is psychology and science. Anyway, the reason I am talking about this subject specifically is because the path or the method was shown and experienced by Guru Shakyamuni, Lord Buddha. The path, the methods that Guru Shakyamuni, Lord Buddha, followed, was shown by another enlightened being. So he followed it. He has made all the experience on all the paths. His work is completely finished. He has completed all his realizations, path. He has removed himself from every single mental problem, and with his experience and his incredible compassionate thought, he has shown the path to other living beings, to other followers.
Those other followers, the great numbers of other followers, they correctly meditated; they checked, meditated, followed the path, and received the realizations. So an infinite number of followers received enlightenment. Infinite numbers of followers, like stars, received enlightenment by experiencing the whole path. For instance, in previous time there were great numbers of pandits and yogis, in India, who had the complete achievement of the path and complete control of body and mind. Complete control of death and rebirth. They have the achievement of such infinite great powers. So as those great yogis and pandits, those great Indian yogis and pandits followed the teachings shown by Guru Shakyamuni and those Indian pandit yogis, so the Tibetan yogis and pandits have also made the experience, they also have achieved the path, and have proven it is true. If you are going to talk with details there is too much to talk about. There are so many teachings, so many teachings, you know, for other sentient beings, for other living beings, in order to know how to escape from suffering, from problems. There is much history of their life, how they practiced Dharma, how they achieved realizations, everything. If you hear their history it is mind blowing. Also as the great yogi, Milarepa, which Westerners are familiar with, and other yogis live in the experience of these teachings, and have gone through the experience of these meditations that we are going to talk about and discuss, meditate, and practice. Even now there are followers who are experiencing this.
Also one reason, as I spent time on this life, it has been the best medicine for my mind, if you want my own proof—to see the problem, to understand the problem, to solve the problem, these things help. So also I have faith because I have limited wisdom, as I proved, so therefore also I am glad to talk about precious subjects, teachings, that definitely help to solve the mental problems. Especially in such times, for such people.
I think many people, even in the West, even in New York State, many people feel that the material progression is not enough, that the external material progression is not enough. There is something else to make the life good, happy. That's true, that's true, that's very true. It is very true. The modern situation of this world shows this clearly. Anyway, however much the external progression is made, however much it goes higher, the problem in that country has never been ceased, never stopped—always there are different problems. One problem temporarily went, finished, temporarily stopped—then another problem. Always it is like this, always there are different kinds of problems, always other kinds of problems. You see, it is clear in the world, I am not judging it as bad, making progressions with external possessions; I am not judging, but I am talking about the evolution of it, what's happening. As much as it goes higher, bigger, the problems never cease. That means there is something missing in the method, something that is not perfect, something that is missing, something is wrong, something is missing. The method that ceases the problems is missing. So that's why, you see, as long as that is not done there is no way to cease the problems. They will always carry on. As long as people do not follow that method, that perfect method that ceases the problems, they will suffer with that problem—those different kinds of world problems. They can never cease recognizing them; there is something missing is such situations. People recognize that there is something missing in the method. Recognizing this is clever, wise, because this opens the door of peace. Like if there is a beautiful park with a gate, this is like opening the gate of that beautiful attractive park. So I think that is clever, not being caught in that material method.
If one is living in that method, the perfect method that can cease the whole problem, the mental sufferings, for those who are living in this method, living in the experience of this method, the material cannot cause you harm. It cannot give harm. In place of the material harming you, you can make the material useful; it can help you to receive everlasting peace.
So anyway, if I end up, that is this. Totally this. The cessation of all these problems, that which is real peace, the cessation of all these mental problems that is real peace is internal not external. That is not physical—not blood, skin, bone—nothing of this physical body which you can see. The cause that brings that perfect peace that we are desiring, that we are seeking, also has to be internal, as the result, perfect peaceful, is internal.
Perfect peace is not derived from external factors; that's why only material progression does not cease the whole problem. The root is different. Just like this; just like the poisonous fruit coming from the poisonous tree and the medicinal fruit coming from the medicinal plant, like this. The root is different. So as everlasting peace, perfect peace, is only an internal factor, it can only be derived from an internal cause, not an external cause. So what is this internal cause? What is the internal cause that brings the internal, perfect peace that we are seeking? That is following this method, this psychological method, this path that is shown by the Enlightened Being, Guru Shakyamuni. Following this path which brings the everlasting peace basically depends on subduing the three unsubdued actions of body, mind, and speech. The negative or unsubdued action of speech and body arises from the negative unsubdued action of mind, which is the creator. Therefore, if you keep the actions of speech and body negative, using them for the three negative minds, these three actions will always be negative and unsubdued. So it always disturbs us from receiving everlasting peace. These three actions always disturb the complete cessation of all suffering. This is the main, basic disturbance to our peace.
Why have we not received this goal so far, this state? Because even though those people who think there is only one life, not beginningless lives—which means that before this life there was another life, and before that there was another life, and death and rebirth, and death and rebirth, circling around like this, beginningless—people who believe in one life so far haven’t changed out life. That does not mean that ... anyway, it doesn't matter. Because we didn't change our life, we are always living in the same life, in the same situation. That means we are always living the old life, we have always been using the three doors, the actions of body, mind, and speech for those three negative minds of ignorance, greed, and hatred. This life is the old life, not new, the old life.
If we desire perfect peace and desire to help other living beings who are in suffering, then it is necessary to change the life, to change these three actions. To subdue these three negative actions. Subduing the negative actions of speech and body depends on subduing the negative actions of mind. Therefore, we should work, as it depends basically on the mind, if you came way down, it is like the book that we often read, look at.
During this one month course, what we have to work on more is the mind, that is the basic thing. Checking mind, cleaning mind, checking mind, cleaning mind, fixing mind. If it is dirty, clean it with a clean broom. If there is kaka, wash it with water. So, like this. My purpose, what I think, the purpose of this meditation course is not something to see, a light; it is not something to have, a kind of fantasy like an effect of a drug. Not like that. The purpose of the meditation course is to change these three actions, subduing the negative actions of speech, body, and mind. Try to use meditation; anything that we do during this one month, to clean the dirt of the mind, the dirt which is in the mind—means subduing the evil mind which is the main disturbance to any happiness, as well as everlasting happiness. This is my purpose. I don't know what purpose you have.
I don't have many beautiful subjects to talk about. I must talk mainly about suffering, so if people want to listen it's okay, if people don't want to, then leave it. Also, there is no subject to talk about that has not been experienced by Guru Shakyamuni and his followers, who had complete control over the mind; speech, body, and mind. If you expect, if you want something, then you can find it somewhere.
Thank you, that’s all.
There was one great yogi, called Padmasambhava, but who has many different names, the one who established the Dharma, Buddhism, in Tibet for the first time. This great enlightened being or yogi purified or controlled the evil hinderers, the evil beings who interrupt the teachings to explain Dharma and also the practitioners, the beings who practice Dharma. He controlled or destroyed, not with anger, not like we ordinary people destroying other people, but with great compassion, he controlled or destroyed the evil beings who disturb the Dharma practitioner, to spread the Dharma in Tibet. So after that, many pandits came to Tibet. Also as this highly realized pandit, Atisha, came from India to spread the teaching, the Buddhadharma, in Tibet in many different places. So anyway, what I am going to say is this.
This great yogi, Padmasambhava, said in his teaching, "Meditating without realizing mind is a liar.”
(If my language makes mistakes, please let me know.)
You see, so this has great taste, this has great taste. Meditation is supposed to cure the mental problems, so therefore there is the need to realize or to understand what the mind is. You see, I say it totally: to escape from this suffering and the cause of suffering, there is the need to realize the nature of the mind. Without going through that realization, without the help of that realization, realizing the mind’s nature is impossible, there is no way to achieve the cessation of suffering, no way to escape from suffering, no way to escape from delusions (another sense, suffering; another word is delusion; delusion is a mind problem). So the actual, the direct method, which is like the ax to cut the root of suffering, the root of delusion, is the realization of the mind nature. Without this realization there is no way, it's impossible, to achieve perfect peace; so realizing the mind nature is the fundamental. To realize the mind nature we need to realize the mind, understand the mind. You cannot realize the mind’s nature by forgetting the mind, by knowing the mind.
Also Guru Shakyamuni said in his sutra teaching, as he experienced it, "Without realizing form there is no way to realize the form’s nature.”
It is the same thing with the mind. There is the need to discover the suffering nature, the evolution of the suffering, in order to receive everlasting happiness. In order to discover the evolution of suffering and in order to avoid suffering, there is need for understanding the existence of the past and the future life. The understanding of that depends on the understanding of the mind evolution. So, at the beginning of the meditation there is a short subject on the evolution of the mind.
So, before that, there was some piece to read. The title of this book, The Wish-Fulfilling Golden Sun, is Wish-fulfilling Golden Sun! Mahayana Thought Training, is Mahayana Thought Training! That's all.
Page (i) Mystic Praise
This involves prostration and prayer. This has purpose, it has purpose. The person who reads this book should be blessed by the Enlightened Being's omniscient mind; here it says "guru.” Anyway, also it creates merits. Now, there is no need to explain the meaning of this. If we are going to talk about that subject, our mind would be impossible. Anyway, it's a very profound subject. Perhaps if we correctly practice the following meditations, then slowly maybe we can discover the meaning of that subject.
The man who, the blind man—but there is nothing to compare, the blind man is just to give you an idea, but there's nothing to compare. You are precious, you are fortunate, at such a time as you are seeking and also you are meeting it, as you are seeking, you are finding it. It's like that example, compared to that example. Blind, opening eye—that means just for one life, that life, opening the eye. But this eye, the wisdom eye, opening the wisdom eye in this life opens many other lives, many other future lives, numberless other future lives. It opens the eye, it helps and benefits infinite great numbers of future lives. So therefore there's nothing to compare to the example.
This book contains many different subjects that you never heard in your life, in many other lives, many different subjects. First, there will be a new subject that you will understand—as you come to seek a new method that you didn't realize before, that you don't understand. So what I mean is, there is nothing to be surprised about, nothing to be shocked about, if you want a new subject, if you come to seek a new method. These are true objects, true subjects that have been realized and discovered and experienced. Besides Guru Shakyamuni, all those infinite holy beings received enlightenment by discovering this subject and experiencing these meditations.
As I told you this morning, even now many Tibetan lamas, there are many other holy beings, who are experiencing these meditations, these realizations, by understanding all the subjects of these meditations. You may not understand, you may not see—it takes time, you know, if you try from your side to be able to discover that it is possible for other great numbers of practitioners, if it has helped so many other great numbers of beings to release from suffering.
So you have to expect that there is a new subject, even though you heard it before; you may think, "Oh! I read this book, that book, so many books, so many books, I don't want to hear any more words. I don't want to hear any more words. I read 100,000 Songs of Milarepa, Suzuki, many things, so many things, so many words. Now I don't want to hear anything." It's funny, people expect to receive realization of peace, the cessation of suffering from books, without depending on individual effort and practice. Intuitively receiving, just by reading books, expecting something to happen in the mind at the same time as reading the books, expecting something to happen in the mind at the same time as reading the book. How can that happen? It's not easy, you should not expect it to be that way. Of course, it affects something; of course, since the subject is Dharma, it always affects the mind. That is because of the power of the Dharma, the power of the Enlightened Being's holy speech. But just by that, just by hearing or just by reading, you cannot expect to cease all the problems right away. If that were so, then, if that were so, in place of giving medicine to sick people, one can read the prescription—then it causes, all of a sudden, the person to get cured. It doesn't work in that way; so just as that example, same thing in the teaching—just only reading is not enough; only listening, not enough. But first, that is necessary.
In order to experience, achieve, and see the realizations of the meditations, the most important thing is the practice with mind, putting the mind, speech, and body in the practice. That depends on understanding—understanding the method, the experience, the meditation. So that depends either on reading or listening, hearing. You cannot expect corn to grow out of glass flowers, and in the same way, you cannot expect your mind to gain everlasting peace without doing anything, without reading, listening, practicing, listening to the subject, or the teachings. For instance, people usually expect something to happen without doing anything, without planting any seed, without working with the mind; just like the example of expecting corn to grow from the glass flower.
For instance, to receive even a little ordinary knowledge—like making art, handicrafts, to make things—even this depends on looking at the example; even just this little thing depends on looking to the example of someone to show you. Even just this little example depends on something. When you learn A B C D you have to look at the letters, you have to be taught by another person—even just to learn the alphabet, as it depends on these things; it doesn't come out of your mind without depending on this, it's extremely difficult, extremely difficult. Even though there are beings who remember their previous knowledge. Whether you remember it or not, it's clear. So even that little thing depends on these things, so why not this? Why not such a profound method that ceases every single suffering and brings everlasting peace, which is the most important thing, more than other work, then any other goal of the worldly actions?
Also, just a lot of words doesn't mean much. Not practicing the words that you understand is not using them to solve your problem. Then what is the use of understanding, if you don't use it to solve your own problems, and help other beings; what's the use of understanding? Just knowing a lot of words, even if you know these words, already many times you have heard them, you should not feel pride thinking, "I know that word already, why does he keep on talking?" One should not feel pride; for the one subject that you heard before, you should not feel it is boring. When you feel something like this, that is the time—when you feel something like this, this is suffering for you. If you do not desire suffering, this is the right time to check up and give the solution. Then your wisdom is useful. Anyway, even though you have heard certain subjects before, many times, if there is no experience, no realization achieved, it means there is the need to practice, and more understanding of the subject. So it is worthwhile to listen without pride. Even though you have the experience of these meditations, you still need the progression of these experiences, so still it is worthwhile to listen.
The practitioners, the Tibetans, even very learned lamas or monks who have deep understanding of Dharma, because that great purpose to hear, to listen, is great, there is much profit that one can receive by listening to the teaching. Even on the same subject, by hearing that teaching again and again, even if they have such deep understanding, living in the deep practice, still they listen to the teachings on the graduated path to enlightenment. If even those great practitioners, thinking of such precious profits, and precious time and the chance of hearing teachings, if even they listen again and again, why not us who don't have the experience, realizations, and are not practicing? We get tired of even just hearing, we don't have that much knowledge. Why do we get tired of listening, of hearing about the same subject? Because we have small wisdom, small wisdom, not understanding well the value of the Dharma, the benefits of listening Dharma.
Also, one thing. Many people say, "My whole life I have spent in the West, reading so many things, listening to so many words, words, words; now I don't want to hear anything.” But it's different, you cannot make every subject the same. The subject, omniscient mind, the knowledge of the subject that explains the knowledge of omniscient mind, and the subject of the cigarette—you cannot think it's the same thing. How can you say this—by hearing this talk about the cigarette again and again many times, you don't want to hear about the knowledge of omniscient mind, the knowledge of the path that leads to that? It's silly, I think; it's silly and closes your own wisdom, puts dirt on your wisdom. Like the man who has eyes, but makes himself blind purposely. So if it's checked up by a person who knows about Dharma, it's an upset subject. You cannot say it like that. It's different. It's different. Hearing the words again and again, the subject of the cigarette, how it's made, this and that, and hearing again about the knowledge of the method to receive perfect, everlasting happiness, is different. It is so much limited in profit, you know, there is a big difference in the benefits. He thinks that the person who talks about that knows, but he doesn't know. He is maybe tired of listening to so many words in the West; they maybe talk, but he cannot make subject the same, he cannot put all the subjects on the same level; that is the mistake.
Cigarette—I am still talking about the cigarette, but it just happened, so I am not going to put another example. So listening about the cigarette, how tasty it is, how it's made, how it affects you--when someone talks about that, what affect does it have on your mind? There is desire, there is longing, suffering. Totally, suffering; it causes suffering. Power, power, as you hear that, in place of benefiting to make less suffering, greed arises, wanting to have it. And then, let's say you received it, you got the cigarette—now we are talking about the actual time, the other one is just hearing. So now actually he is smoking; but he thinks there is peace, but actually it is not real peace. That mind is in suffering, because if the person really checks up, it is not a comfortable mind, not a comfortable mind. That is just like the flies at nighttime; they see the flame is something good and they jump into the flame. It's not because they know that it's hot and it will burn them, so they can enjoy that; it is not because they understand this. Why is that life ended, finished in that flame, why? Because no one forces him, he goes himself—even if we try to keep him away he goes there; what problem does he have? He doesn't recognize that he has a problem. So that's how he is in that suffering. The ignorance, not recognizing, is one suffering; and the second suffering is wrong view, seeing something good, wanting to enjoy it. There is greed wanting to be there, seeing it as good or beautiful or something. That's how his negative, evil mind gives suffering to him, by leading the animal to the flame. Just like this, the same thing with the cigarette. The problem is not recognizing it, and the greed in it. In that ordinary taste, that pleasure, that taste-problem, there is suffering; there is greed in it, not recognized. So there is always suffering—when you hear, there is suffering; when you take, there is suffering; like this. There is a big difference in these subjects—listening to the subject of the path to enlightenment, the subject of suffering, the subject of enlightenment. This is always beneficial, there is no loss, it is always beneficial.
Anyway, even though the person does not understand the meaning, like a mantra, because it contains the incredible holy subject, the knowledge of the enlightened beings and the path, it has incredible power, even though you don't understand the meaning of the mantra. So just even hearing this affects the mind greatly. This benefits much. So anyway, it's similar—I am talking about mantra, but it's similar to this subject because the mantra contains all these subjects.
Any, the achievement of enlightenment, the final goal, the release from those suffering minds of greed, ignorance, and anger, depends on the achievement of the experience of different levels of meditation. That depends on practice, and that depends on understanding, and that understanding depends on listening, receiving the teaching. There are great, incredible benefits. As you hear the subject, it leaves an impression on your mind. As it leaves an impression on your mind it leaves an impression on your mind. So as it leaves an impression on your mind, that causes you gradually to understand the subject more deeply, and to receive it more quickly. That leads to the cessation of ignorance, and leads to enlightenment. That is the greatest benefit. So getting bored of listening doesn't mean you are clever.
Also if you know lots of words, even if have in the mind so many volumes of teachings, even though you can say them, you can express them, you can say them by heart, even that many hundreds of books on the teachings, even if you can say them by heart, even though you have words in your mind—if you don't use them, if you don't practice them, if you don't use them for practice, if you don't use them to subdue the negative actions of speech, body, and mind, it doesn't benefit, it doesn't help.
As Guru Shakyamuni said in his sutra teaching, "Even though I have explained the great, holy teaching, if you don't practice after listening, if you don't fully practice after listening, it's like the example of the patient carrying a big sack of medicine, but never curing their sickness; always carrying big sack of medicine, but not taking it. So by not taking it, it doesn't always cure the problem."
So it's like this. There may be some people who think like this—if there are, it is necessary to think of these subjects.
The Mind Is Beginningless
I think "birth" means one life, doesn't it? I think there is a difference between "birth" and "rebirth.” Usually this means one life, "rebirth" means reincarnated. This "birth" means the present birth.
It's the same thing you know. As there is a purpose to eagerly running after external possessions, there is definitely a purpose for seeking the truth. This part may seem kind of like throwing a little stone in the ocean, this part of the subject, but it will be clarified down below.
Second line, talking about principal cause; that is reason that the sperm and the egg of the parents are not the principal cause of the mind.
This is the meaning of mind. The mind has the ability to perceive objects. For instance, the body is physical. There are two things, the physical part and the non-physical part. The physical part is the part of the body that can be seen by the sense of the eye, which has color, which has shape; and the other part of phenomena that we have is a non-physical thing. Formless, but having the ability to perceive objects. For instance, the consciousness has the ability to hear the song and to taste the words, to perceive color and shapes, to feel rough and soft, as we smell; and consciousness, which is the power to remember, to see futures, to remember the past and the existence the objects, and the consciousness of the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body is the consciousness of mind. There are so many objects, their existence, consciousness of mind, not by the other senses. Also, it is very difficult to realize those objects, those phenomena by the consciousness of mind. Such as the nature of mind, the example that was said this morning, the nature of mind is the object of the consciousness of mind and has to be discovered by the consciousness of mind and has to be checked by the consciousness of mind. It is not an object of the senses. But more explanation will come afterwards. Anyway, it will be more clear as we read.
Paragraph 2 (Page 8)
The reason that even the dead parents should be alive means according to the wrong conception of the mind given here. If the mind spreads in the same way, they should also be the same because their blood continues through other bodies, even though they are dead.
Paragraph 4 (Revising the last four paragraphs)
This is talking as if the mind came from both parents, in which case it would be like this, but this is not possible. Some people may think that the combination of the father’s sperm and the mother’s blood that makes the baby’s body—but why does it have different colors, different things from the parents? There will be that question. First of all, talking about the mind and the body is different, we cannot make it the same things. Secondly, why do the children who are born from their parents have different colors, and are different looking, and have a different life, different knowledge, different personalities? This really proves, this is the answer, this really proves that the mind of the baby doesn’t come from the parent. That’s why there are different centers to their wisdom. That other logic doesn’t work with the mind—that the blood came from the parents, so the mind should be the same. Why is it different? Because basically the mind didn’t come from the parents’ mind, so that’s why he has all these different things, knowledge, wisdom personality—different things from our parents, different desires.
If the mind came from the parents' mind (paragraph 3), when the mother is happy and the father is angry, then the boy should be angry and happy at the same time. This is mental talk—physically he should look exactly like the mother and father; but it never works in that way. This proves that this mind didn't come from his parents.
Maybe people heard the word "karma.” This karma comes with mind. Karma comes with mind. So why does the boy have a different life, body, color? Because of the karma which is carried by the mind from previous lives. So the principal cause has nothing to do with the parents. Now I will make it clear. So if the mind came from the parents, the boy's karma should come from the parents and should be the parents' karma, and the mind the boy has should be the parents' mind, and the karma he has should be the parents' karma. The boy is the result, but there is a cause; so the cause was created by the parents. You see, it becomes ridiculous, nonsense—the boy becomes the parents, the parents become the boy. Why is there a discussion on the mind like this—this is just to give you an idea, to give a little detail about the mind.
Also, when the animal is born from a mother animal, like a cow, when you look at it, it looks similar, but it is never actually the same, never exactly the same.
Also, sometimes, for instance, in the West, the boy or daughter has such a strong inclination, such a strong intuitive desire or feeling, and wants to practice, wants to seek Dharma, which is completely the opposite of the parents' mind and wishes. The parents don't like what the boy or the daughter does or wants, in seeking new methods, spiritual methods. So this proves it well, this modern situation that is happening.
I think that's all. Thank you.
Questions? There are questions? I am sure everybody will have questions, but ...
Question: You said has anyone released from all problems by following this method; this is what wisdom proved. How can we prove, even if somebody lives this, that he has reached the goal, when we do not have the same mind as he has?
Answer: This can be proved, yes, this logic can be proved. There are actual histories. In different countries, it is not so ancient, it has been happening, such yogis, those great meditators who have been following this path. As they experienced it, they have shown it to their followers, it worked; it worked, it works. This is clear in Tibet, for those who practice, it is clear. Many of the practitioners who correctly followed it can really receive the experience of those other great yogis. This can be proven. There are many other things. Anyway, it doesn’t matter.
But the best way to clearly prove this is through your own experience, through your own experience. Putting the practice, putting the practice, putting the practice. Also, those holy beings, as they have that much great achievement of realizations within their mind, there are especially feelings and vibrations that can be felt by others. There are many things. Also in Tibet, there are many great yogis, there are many stories, different stories that show their power, which shows their achievement of certain powers. Many times they show their certain powers in different ways, which makes other people surprised and have devotion; there are many stories, besides the great Yogi, Milarepa. There are many holy caves, many things; many stones, many things where he put his footprints. There are many signs, many histories, many signs—like making stones; he danced on the stone and the stone took many deep footprints. These are symbolic, there are many other things. Also, there are many other ways. If you talk about histories, about their power, there is much to talk about. Also, if one achieve these meditations gradually, the gradual path, there is also a different level of power to achieve. Also predicting the past, the future is still being made. It also has this power. This is also through mental power; they predict past, present, and future things; this is also received through power, this is still ordinary. There are many histories about how they achieved control of the cycle of death and rebirth. At death time, completely dissolving, the body disappearing. When they want to pass away with power, with high tantric power, the body becomes light. There are many thing that happened in actual history in Tibet. Still we can visit the caves, and see many signs of their powers. There are many stories, many things.
First, in the West there must be also those like that holy being, but maybe because people’s minds are not ready, their minds are not woken up, so that's why there is no more influence, no more examples like those that happened in Tibet, in certain countries. Also that's why we find it difficult to understand such subjects. But anyway, all those many histories, those that are happening in early times, in different times, in past, different times, in different areas, physical ways, showing certain achievements of tantric powers, of high tantric realizations. Such as the great yogi Milarepa, to think of his poem, when he sings his poem, is effortless, is intuitive. It is so attractive, for many people, so attractive. He explains Dharma through people, but he has no need of effort for that. This means he has control over his speech; these are higher tantric realizations. There is much to talk about.
Now, at this moment, we cannot prove that we have this even in our mind. It is always at the point whether we can accept the mind or not, the existence of mind, the existence of consciousness. So we forget that as the mind is that limited, it is difficult to perceive the existence of those higher realizations. It is not such a point. Usually, even the "I" that we see, thinking day and night, every time, "I want to escape from suffering, I want peace, I want to be happy." But if someone asks, we must know the existence of “I.” But we don't know what it is. We can't prove even this.
If the past life's mind caused the present life's mind, and the present life's mind caused the future life's mind, that's why the mind is impermanent and continual.
The mind is the object of the logical relative mind. The mind is seen by the relative mind, so the mind is relative truth.
"Logical relative mind" is something, is ordinary thought, (11) the ordinary worldly thought, which sees the object: the mind without discriminating, without obviously discriminating, as it's independent.
Anyway, there are many stories.
The same point comes. So we don’t realize or discover the nature of the “I,” so we should see also the “I” as having no nature. Without nature, how do you think you exist? There's no way, no way to exist. What I mean is, for instance, if there is no nature of these posts, the tree cannot exist, there is no way for it to exist. There is nothing that makes it exist. Because of the existence of the nature of the tree, the tree exists. So, realizing the nature of the “I” is not yet our experience. If that were the point, if it was something that we could see, then there would be no reason to prove it, and that would mean that there is no nature of the “I” that exists until you realize the nature of the “I”. If there was no nature of the “I,” how could you realize the nature of the “I?” If there was no nature of the “I,” then because you don’t have the experience of it yet, you don’t see it, then there would be no “I.” If there was no existence of the “I,” there would be no way to discover the absolute nature of the “I.” There would be no way to fully understand what the real “I” is, so it would become very funny. You study, you spend your whole life studying, in school, in University, many things, still not really recognizing the “I” that we take the most care of. The reason is I don’t see it, don’t experience it, so you are not seeing, you are not understanding, you are not perceiving, you are not seeing, you cannot make the object non-existent. You cannot make the object non-existent, you cannot make the past life non-existent, you cannot make the nature of the “I” non-existent.
If, let's say, if there is no future life, if your life finishes like a candle, if this life is the only life, if there is no life coming after this, if this finishes like that, like the flame of the candle, if the life is like that, then isn't it better to finish, to die as quickly as possible rather than exist? Isn't that better? Because the longer you exist, you have to always look after your body. You have to keep yourself always busy to look after your body. You have to keep yourself always busy to look after yourself, to look after your ego or whatever it is. No matter how much you are rich, how much material you have, there are always problems, something is not right, something is not going well, there are always some problems. Different problems in different times, one after one. Problems of not being satisfied with things. Wanting more. There are so many problems, mental problems and physical problems, so many problems, such as sickness, such as pain; if you sit cross-legged for a few minute you get pain; so many problems. Wouldn't it be better to finish life as quickly as possible? Because if you finish life, there is peace, quiet, complete samadhi. There is no suffering, nothing; no mind, nothing. But people who believe that, why don't you try? Why don't you try that, really? Why does he try to exist as long as possible? It's the opposite. He doesn't have to fight, doesn't have to be involved in society, he doesn't have to be involved in all those different things. He has no problem with other living beings, no problem with you, with other living beings.
But he doesn't want that. He doesn't want to finish life as quickly as possible. He goes to the hospital, he takes care of himself in the best way. His feeling, his theory, the theoretical conception is different. I think it's really funny. Why is it funny? He believes he has one life, but actually it is doubtful in his mind whether there is even the existence of one life; doubtful. He says one life, but actually in the depth of his mind he is not sure, he is doubtful about the point; he doesn't check up himself, "Maybe one life, maybe not.” So I will say, is that his experience—did he prove there is no life coming after this? No, there is no proof. Maybe being doubtful is a little bit better than being completely involved in that wrong conception, completely involved. It's interesting, anyway, checking ourselves is interesting; checking our mind, what we believe, what we think, our own conception; it's interesting.
That kind of conception is mainly due to not understanding the evolution of the mind. The death of the person is not something that is proven with experience, is not something they wrote, that they said with their experience, with their own experience of their own death; not like this. And also this is not by fully seeing the mind power, not by fully seeing other person's evolution of death. But this is, rather, checking the physical body, without the mind power. The breathing stopped, the nerves are not moving, just like a tree: just this is the definition of death for that person. Just like the tree, when it is not dried, dead, it can grow, but when it is dead it cannot grow. So if it's checked up, questioned, this wrong conception would think also that the trees have mind, that the trees are like this wrong conception. It would think also that the trees have mind, that trees are like human beings, plants that can grow, like living human beings, and dead trees, plants, like dead humans. They would think in the same way, because they are only judging the physical appearance without the mind power. There is change, then slowly any changeable phenomena, sorry, every impermanent thing has changes, movement, changes, function, they can die. They all would have mind, they all would be living beings. So it doesn't leave any existence, any changeable phenomena which is a non-living being, such as wind—wind goes in a certain way, clouds go in a certain way, they all would have mind. They all should be living beings.
However, accepting that there is one life, there is no logical reason—if that is checked up, if one does research on it, there is no logic in it to prove. What I mean, making research means, I don't mean there is one life, but checking it with the evolution of this present life, the different situations, the purpose of different situations, as we have ...
Anyway, it is briefly explained here, so if you read this you check by yourself, thinking. There are different wrong conceptions set up like this, and then think as if this wrong conception is true: then it would be like this, like this, like this. This contains a number of the questions, there are two or three questions, but if you carefully check up and read well, there is a question and also an answer; both, they are here. Check up and answer the question of wrong conception.
Generally, I am sure you have so many doubts. So many things, but there is a discussion period made, so if you discuss it; if you talk much in the first subject, then it will take much time.
But How is it Possible to Receive Enlightenment? (Page 4)
There may be words that you do not understand, but further explanation comes in the following meditations.
The mind is like, the intrinsic nature of mind, is like very clean glass. Like transparent glass. So mind, for instance, at present our mind is obscured by obscurations and delusions—as the transparent glass is covered by dust. So having dust on the glass does not mean the transparent glass, which has the nature of being transparent, is one with the dirt. Having the cover of dirt does not mean that the transparent glass itself is one with the dirt. So, because the dirt which covers the glass is not one with the transparent glass, the glass is not one with the dirt, so it can be cleaned. How is there the possibility to make the glass clean by cleaning the dirt? Because the dirt, the temporary cover of the dirt, is not one with the glass; if it was one with the glass, there would be no way to make it clean.
So the same thing with the intrinsic nature of mind; the temporal obscurations are not one with the intrinsic nature of mind. If that is one with the intrinsic nature of mind, with ignorance, we make it simple ... ignorance, not understanding existence, not perceiving existence, not perceiving the nature of existence, not knowing the object—that is ignorance; ignorance is the obscuration. It is the obscuration; it is the interruption of the obscuration for the understanding mind, which is the opposite. It interrupts the growth of the understanding mind. The less ignorance there is, the more great understanding mind and wisdom.
Like if a glass is that much covered by dirt, the glass cannot be seen. For instance, if the eye-glasses are covered by dirt, we cannot see through them; as there is that much less of the dirt on the eye-glasses, we can see that much more. So just like this, the dirt is like the obscuration, the ignorance, the delusions, for example, ignorance. Like this. There is a possibility, even though it is covered by dirt, there is the possibility to see the objects, to see such immense, infinite objects, all kinds of different objects through this glass by cleaning the dirt. It is the same thing—by cleaning the mental obscurations, all the ignorance, all the delusions, the mind becomes enlightened mind, omniscient mind, the complete understanding mind, because there is no obscuration. Also, that may be quite an unbearable subject to us. For instance, obscuration, ignorance, is not one with the mind, is not one with the intrinsic nature of the mind. If it were one with the intrinsic nature of mind there would be no way progress with wisdom; there would be no way, no possibility, of developing wisdom. Why do we have the possibility to develop wisdom if we try to understand the subjects more and more, as there are that many numbers of infinite existences, why is there the possibility to develop the understanding wisdom? That is because the obscurations are not oneness with the intrinsic nature of mind. If I repeat again, just as the example that I talked about: if the dirt is oneness with the glass, there is no way to clean it. Unless you break the glass; that's not right. Thank you so much.
Those who keep books, anyway, generally this is recognized—the Dharma book is recognized as a holy book. Why is it a holy book? It contains holy teachings that explains about the holy path, the knowledge of the holy beings; like this. And also one reason—by practicing, by reading it, by practicing, it makes our speech, body, and mind holy. So I am not sure whether you have, I don't know much about the customs in the West, but usually ordinary people respect the kings, queens, or ministers, or the person who has knowledge of something, or the person who is rich, with a famous name. If that is worthwhile, why shouldn’t they respect this? If that is worthwhile, it is much more worthwhile and there is much power and benefit in respecting the holy book which contains the teaching, the explanation of the holy path and the knowledge of the holy beings. And also, by reading, by practicing, it makes you holy. If you search, a jewel that costs trillions of dollars is priceless. Priceless. If you check the benefits of this, it is also priceless, so it is greatly worthwhile to respect it. This is just a brief reason that it is worthwhile to respect it—if it’s worthwhile to respect even an ordinary being who has no knowledge, but who is rich and this and that. So if you don’t believe in this, even though you don’t believe in this meditation course discipline, you should not put books under the bed or cushion, or something used for sitting. A book cannot keep you warm, it has no hairs. You may catch cold! (I am joking!) So you should not put it down like this. You should not carry it with a cushion that you use underneath you. Always put it on your lap or in your bag or on a cloth, like this. So perhaps we can understand the reason it should be respected, if you have enough fortune.
Thank you so much.
Tonight we are going to try to train our minds with simple meditation. At the beginning of the concentration, in order to have good concentration, concentration power, to have less distractions.
So first, cross-legged. I think it is good enough but if that is difficult, it can be half cross-legged; the left leg a little bit loose, keep it like this, not keeping it up and this right one a little bit up. Keep it loose, because if you are not used to it, because of the bone, it won’t work right away. Then if you are not used to it, because of the bone, it is difficult; with bones, it doesn't work right away. If you try one that you will get a lot of soreness, a lot of pain. So if you can, sit cross-legged; if not, then a little bit loose. But then slowly, slowly you can make cross-legged by training, and have no trouble in regards to physical sitting.
Then the backside of the body should be straight. The back bones should be like a wall, straight, not like this. Straight like a wall, like a brick wall. I think it helps a lot for the concentration to last, to have a clear object in the thoughts.
And then the shoulders should be straight; and they too should not be joined, but straight like this. Not like this. Especially this time, if it is hot also it is not comfortable. Like this it keeps cool; there are also other purposes.
Then the hands like this; the left palm down below and the right up like this, with the two thumbs joined. There is a reason according to tantric practice. Like this I think it is simple; for many people in regards to physical arrangements, it is easy.
Then the head, the neck should not bend forward too much; there is the danger that the distractions of the meditation will arise, such as sluggishness, the danger of sluggishness. Also it can cause one to fall asleep. So if not this way, then like this (head back). This also doesn't help the concentration, it can become a distraction causing agitation, more scattering thought.
Usually the object of meditation is an object of mind, not an object of the eye. So if the eyes are closed sometimes, there is a danger that one will fall asleep or things like that, according to the person. So keep the eyes looking at the top of the nose, not so much down, and not so much up. If you drop a grain or something from the top of the nose, something that drops in the navel, then the eyes should be kept down, like to see the top of the nose. But one thing is also this—keeping the eyes on top of the nose is not something to look at here, but it helps to concentrate. When someone concentrates on something inside, the only keeping one like this helps. It keeps the whole mind inside.
If you bend like this you feel a kind of darkness here, and the object that you are concentrating on is not so clear—but if you sit like this, there is a kind of emptiness. It is sort of light, more comfortable, and there is less distraction to the meditation.
The tip of the tongue should be touching a little the upper side of the palate. If that is not done, there is the danger of spit coming. If you keep it like that it keeps it dry, there is no trouble. Then the mouth, of course, should not be open.
The Posture During Meditation (Page 40)
There are about seven physical positions to arrange before meditation, in order to have less distractions:
1. Cross-legged, then shoulders straight.
2. Then the two palms like this, the left below and the right up, and the two thumbs touching like this, like a triangle.
3. Then the backbone should be straight.
7. The neck should not be so bent, not so up.
6. The tip of tongue should touch the top of the palate a little but. The teeth should not be so tight, but kept loose.
There are benefits for each of these things. This is also the special technique of the great yogi, the guru Marpa. Also, sitting in this position doing meditation makes arrangements for you to be enlightened in the essence of the Dhyani Vairocana in the future. There are five Dhyani buddhas, five different aspects of buddhas, who appeared in that manifestation for different purposes to work for sentient beings. So anyway, it doesn’t matter even though you do not understand. That Dhyani Buddha has a white color, and that is the complete purity of the impure form appearing in that manifestation of Buddha. Anyway, this arranges for you to receive enlightenment in the essence of the Buddha.
Then, the most difficult thing is the mind. The most difficult thing is the mind. If it was something inside, blood or a certain part of the brain, then perhaps we could have an operation. If that were so, then maybe we could have a treatment to have minds without sluggishness, distractions, without thoughts or sluggishness in the mind, so that we could have the control to concentrate without being distracted. But without controlling the mind it is impossible. In order to control and focus the mind on the object, and concentrate for a long time without distraction, to control the sluggish thoughts, this can only be controlled by mind itself, by the mental method. By training, that mental method can control it. If it was physical or something that you could cut out, like surgery, like doctors do in the hospital—but this is impossible in this case. Why is it impossible? Because nothing of the body is mind, and the mind is no part of the body. Just like a man riding on a horse is not part of the horse, and the horse is not part of the mind, but wherever the horse goes the man goes, because he is riding the horse.
If the light disturbs you, maybe it can be taken out.
(some missing from this section)
Why are there these evil thoughts? Both thoughts are the cause of suffering. The second one, especially, sees the object in the wrong way. The first one believes that untrue happiness is real true happiness. This is an evil thought, because it is the cause of suffering; just like the example of recognizing the person disturbing us as the enemy. Why is he is enemy? Because he is disturbing us. Same thing, these thoughts are the cause of problems, so these are the actual enemy, these evil thoughts.
Think, these evil thoughts have been causing me to suffer in so many different ways from my beginningless previous lives. From the time I was born until now, this evil thought has been causing me different problems. Besides physically, many other things, for other people. Also, it caused many problems for myself—it causes me to suffer from many mental problems, and also physical problems, such as feeling cold, feeling hot, getting sick, trying our best and getting sick, so many physical problems. All this has been caused by these evil thoughts. These evil thoughts, besides causing many incredible sufferings until now, will spontaneously continue to cause me suffering also in the future.
So therefore this time, as I am born as a human being with a mind that has the power to recognize this evil thought causing problems, sufferings, and having such a precious chance, receiving a new method that introduces and makes you recognize the cause of the problems, the method, Buddhadharma; so this time, since this is the cause of the problems, I must extinguish it right away.
Then, now you should concentrate on breathing, breathing in and out. Purifying, dispelling these evil thoughts out. So as I explain, you put into action. When I breathe, concentrate on the breath; that does not mean to make noise, you don't have to make noise. You breathe out, not pushing, slowly you breathe out and slowly you breathe in.
When you breathe out from the right nostril, think that all the delusions, these evil thoughts, attachment in the comfort of this life and the self-cherishing thought, the impure conceptions, the impure mind such as greed, ignorance, and hatred, and every other delusion is being purified, out; as you breathe out slowly from the right nostril, all this delusion, all your negative mind that I have just explained is going out in the form of smoke. The aspect is smoke, the essence is those delusions—so it went so far, it passed, it has gone beyond this earth and disappeared, nowhere existing.
And now you breathe in through the left nostril, slowly. As you breathe in, breathe in slowly, thinking that from all the enlightened beings and great bodhisattvas, those holy beings, and arhats—those who are out of samsara, out of suffering and the cause of suffering—anyway, just thinking that from those holy beings you are receiving, with their compassion, you are receiving wisdom light. The aspect is light, but the essence is all the enlightened beings’ infinite knowledge, infinite understanding knowledge, supreme powers, and infinite, great compassion. All their realizations are in the aspect of light—and as you are breathing in slowly, think that you are receiving light from all of them. And all that light is received as it comes through the nostril, the left nostril. All of your body is full of knowledge light, all of your body becomes very transparent and light. And think that you have received all that knowledge, the infinite understanding of knowledge, and the infinite knowledge of supreme powers and infinite great compassion. Think that your body is full of light, and wherever the light covers, always there is knowledge, the essence of that. Also try to feel great happiness, bliss. Try to feel that your body is cleansed, that it became very light, because all of the delusions become empty, nowhere existing.
Now you breathe out from the left nostril, and as you breathe out slowly, think as before; all your negative minds, your attachment to the comfort of this life, your self-cherishing thought and impure thought and all other delusions, greed, ignorance, and hatred, are in the form of smoke, and all of them come out. All of them go so far. Think that they have gone beyond this earth, nowhere existing.
Now as you breathe in through the right nostril, think that those holy beings, all the enlightened beings, the great bodhisattvas, and arhats, from all those holy beings, as they are sending out their knowledge and realizations and supreme powers, they send it out in the form of light and you receive it. So as you breathe in, think that all this light comes in through the right nostril; try to feel that your whole body is full of light, becomes oneness with light, very transparent, and that you receive all that knowledge, infinite great compassion, and supreme powers.
And the third time, as you breathe out from both nostrils, think as before of those three—the attachment to the comfort of this life, and self-cherishing thought, the impure thought—and greed, ignorance, hatred, and many other delusions—all of these come out in the form of smoke from your nostrils. Think that all of those have gone beyond this earth, nowhere existing, completely disappeared.
Then as you breathe in slowly, same as before, from every enlightened being and the great bodhisattvas and arhats, from all those holy beings, you are receiving the light which is the essence of the infinite understanding knowledge, the infinite supreme power and the great compassion and all their realizations. As they are sending the light of knowledge and their compassion, think that the light comes in from one direction, from all directions, from all sides, because there is no such definite place in which those holy beings, those enlightened beings exist; there is no such definite place, like this, where the enlightened omniscient mind exists. Think the same thing as before; as the light is received within your body, the body becomes oneness with the light, becomes very transparent, feeling infinite bliss, feeling very clean and pure from all delusions.
So again, do the same thing: breathing out from the right nostril with all the delusions going out in the form of smoke, and you are breathing in through the left nostril, then visualize the light of knowledge. Then after this, again breathing out from the left nostril, purifying the delusions in the form of smoke, and as you breathe in through the right nostril visualize the light of knowledge, receiving this from the holy beings, the numberless enlightened beings and from other holy beings. Then after this, again you breathe from both—as you breathe from both, slowly, do the purification of all these delusions in the form of smoke going out, and when you breathe in, through both nostrils visualize light, wisdom light, the light of knowledge that you are receiving from the numberless enlightened beings, the great bodhisattvas, and the arhats, as they are sending this with their compassion to bring you into peace, into the state of everlasting happiness, and out of suffering.
So, you do this by yourself.
There may be merits created by listening to the teachings or by doing meditation with the pure thought wanting to destroy the delusions. Dedicate, "Due to these merits may I quickly receive enlightenment in order to help or enlighten other living beings.”
Dedication Prayer (Page 156)
Good night. Also, take care well of your body. If you don't take care well ahead of time you may get physical problems such as diarrhea or stomach problems.
Thank you so much.
Saturday, March 23
From the holy speech of the great holy being, the bodhisattva, who is also a great yogi and pandit, Shantideva. Shanti means peace, deva means god. Shantideva. There is much history of this great bodhisattva, who had complete control over death and rebirth. His speech, body, and mind lived always in holy, pure action. Not even a little movement of his was involved with evil or self-cherishing thought. Even a little movement was always done for other living beings to release them from suffering. Anyway, there is much history. He studied in India at Nalanda, a famous university in ancient times. He was one of the thousands of pandits and great yogis. So generally it was like this.
If we copy the behavior of noble beings, if we learn to live our lives from holy beings who lead pure, uncomplicated lives, who have well-subdued speech, body, and mind, who practice great compassion for other living beings instead of harm and negative mind for other beings, if we copy the life of such holy beings, if we act or live as they acted and lived, then it is definitely possible that we can also become holy, having well-subdued, controlled actions of speech, body, and mind. We can have an uncomplicated life, a life always living in peace, even though the whole world is in hatred, hassle, trouble, and problems. But that person who has such control, the well-subdued speech, body, and mind, such great holy thoughts, only desires to lead other living beings into everlasting peace. These beings never have problems, never have a confused life, never have problems. They never have problems because problems are something ... why are there no problems? Because problems are created by and arise because of the unsubdued speech, body, and mind. Basically the mind. There is no way for problems to arise for such noble or holy beings, because such holy beings' minds are always living opposite to greed, ignorance and hatred, such as living without being involved in the egocentric mind or the self-cherishing thought.
So these negative minds—greed, ignorance, hatred, the self-cherishing thought—these are the creators of the problems. When there is no creator of the problem within one’s mind, for that person there are less problems, much more peace. But for other beings whose minds are completely bound by these negative thoughts, self-cherishing thoughts, greed, ignorance, hatred, there are always problems. Even if there are no other beings with him, even if there is only himself existing, living in a cave in such a solitary place, so far from the countries, from the world, living alone in the cave, still there are problems arising. There are problems.
This is a good way to try if you want to make your life pure, pure from the impure life, the life which is always involved in negative actions, the life which is lived with negative minds, with those delusions. Also, there are many levels, as there are many different negative minds. As the person avoids each one, life becomes that much more pure. Just like a pot, if it is little bit cleaned, the dirty pot becomes a little clean. If half the dirt is cleaned, then it is a half-cleaned pot. Then if all the dirt in the pot is cleaned, the pot is completely cleaned. Just as in this example, there are also many different levels of negative mind. So as we gradually avoid each one, as we gradually practice, try to avoid each one, our life becomes more and more pure. If you want to lead a pure life, a generous life, a noble life, then it’s good to take the influence of these beings, to copy these holy beings who lived in the practice, who passed their life through those experiences and realizations, such as Guru Shakyamuni and many other holy beings. Also, many people read books, such as the autobiographies of Milarepa and the great yogi Naropa—there are not so many translated into English, but many people read the histories of these yogis.
If you want, if you desire such a high peaceful state, the realization of siddhi or whatever you call those supreme powers, if you desire these, then you should try to live as they lived. As they practiced the Dharma, you should try to practice in the same way. It’s definitely possible to receive the same realizations or path that they achieved, to achieve enlightenment as they achieved enlightenment. This is also very interesting, is greatly helpful and beneficial to your mind, to your confused mind and to your confused life. In order to solve the problem, it is very good. So then try to find out how this great yogi, having such great infinite knowledge, studied, and how he achieved it, how he practiced, and how he studied. The purpose of understanding this is to practice as those great yogis practiced Dharma.
But this also is not easy, to completely understand how they practiced, what realizations they achieved. To understand completely is not easy, this is also another problem. To completely know this we have to know Dharma. We have to know the graduated path, the whole path to enlightenment. We have to know the teaching that explains the path to enlightenment. This takes much time. So we desire to have a peaceful life, unconfused, but we often fall under wrong influence, we often copy examples from beings who are living, who are completely caught in worldly life, whose life is completely involved in evil actions of speech, body, and mind.
The reason I am mentioning this great pandit, the bodhisattva Shantideva, is because he is a great holy being, a bodhisattva, who went through the experience of these meditations. Therefore, as he instructs, as he said in his teaching, if you try to listen, if you try to keep his teaching, his holy words that he said with his experience by heart, then if you practice as he instructs, it is definitely possible that you will also reach the same level of realizations. Why? He was also a human being; he was an ignorant being before, and we are also ignorant beings. But release from ignorance—it happened to him, it can happen also to us. There is no reason that we cannot approach the same level of realizations, controls, or powers that he achieved. So what I want to say about his instructions, the final thing is, even when the ordinary being has sickness he should act as the doctor orders and instructs; he should act exactly as doctor instructs. Even when the ordinary being has sickness, he has to act exactly as the doctor instructs. Then why not the being who has the sickness of hundreds of delusions such as greed, why not? First they should follow the instructions of the enlightened beings exactly.
Question: Do different enlightened beings have different instructions?
Answer: No, because they have same level of understanding, because they are on same level of realization. Also there is no such thing as some enlightened beings helping this part of living beings, that part of living beings—there is no such thing as this. There is no certain number of objects, no exact number of beings who the enlightened beings work for. It is not like the enlightened beings work for sentient beings. It is not like our world, where worldly kings and presidents work for certain numbers of people, just one country, certain numbers of people in that country. It is not like this. As these beings, these worldly people working for country, for a certain society, certain people, is limited, so working for one country is also limited. Not like this. Not like this, this is completely different from the enlightened beings’ work. So that’s why I am saying there are no different instructions. But it is possible for enlightened beings to manifest in different forms in certain places for certain specific beings, appearing in different manifestations and working for them at different times. This happens if the time in that country or in that place changes, which means if the minds of those beings changes. This does not mean that the manifestation of the enlightened being that works there is like the member of one country going to another country to help.
Even if there is one manifestation of buddha, that does not mean that the other enlightened beings are not working, that they are taking a rest, not like this. There is no such time that they are not working, benefiting any sentient being, no such time, not one sentient being left. There is no sentient being that the enlightened beings are not working for, not benefiting. For instance, when one member goes to one country to help, if one member is sent from Nepal to help another country, the country of Nepal is helping that country. Anyway, more talk will come afterwards. Also, there is the question: as there is always, day and night, not one second that they are not helping some sentient being, then why we are still suffering, have confused lives, living in ignorance? Anyway, all the answers are in the meditations.
If I tell one example, it is exactly like this. The doctor always gives the medicine to the patients, always gives instructions about what to do, what to be done. The doctor always gives instructions, gives medicine, but the patient never follows instructions, and doesn’t take the medicine. Or maybe the person doesn’t take it at the right time, in the correct way. This is a problem. The doctor from his side is helping the best he can, quickly, in the best way, but the patient doesn’t work. He doesn’t act exactly as the doctor tells him to, so not being cured of his sickness is the patient’s problem. This is why it is the patient’s fault—however much he receives medicine, instruction, the patient does not get well soon. The work that is left is from the patient’s side, for the patient to try to correctly put his energy there. It is the same thing as us, the suffering living beings—that’s why we are still suffering and creating the cause of suffering.
The reason that I am telling you this quotation from this great bodhisattva is because sickness is still not the main disease. Sickness that can be temporarily cured by chemical medicine is still not the main disease. The delusions—basically greed, ignorance and hatred—are the greatest diseases, the worst diseases. Why is it the worst disease? These three, the negative minds, are the fundamental of all problems, the principal cause of all problems; they are also the source of all sickness, all mental sickness and physical sickness. If there is not this fundamental greed, ignorance and hatred, then there is no physical sickness. There is not even a small sickness, because there is no root. If there is no root so there are also no other problems, which are like the trees and the leaves and the fruit. There is no way for them to grow, because there is no root.
This quotation emphasizes that even to stop a little sickness such as a headache, one has to listen correctly as the doctor tells, so why not the suffering patients who are suffering from the great delusions? Why shouldn’t they listen, follow the teaching instructions of the Enlightened Being exactly? The reason is... you see, we all have been taking so many things, medicine for fever and so forth—since we were born until now, we have taken them many times, but the fever has kept on coming. It doesn’t completely stop the fever from arising. We have to find out—since we are living in such a situation, in this unceasing suffering situation, all the sickness, no matter how much we take medicine and try to cure it, again it keeps on coming back. So we should find out the reason that the chemicals, that these external things do not cut it completely, do not end sickness completely by taking them once. Taking the medicine once does not stop us from getting sick in the future. It does not happen. So it is important to check up—even though it cures us for one day temporarily, it does not completely cut us off; why is this? This is a good way, a really good way to check up. What is missing in this method? Why can’t the chemicals be completely cut off, why can’t we completely stop the sickness from happening, no matter how much the medicine is taken. Why is this? I think perhaps we may give an answer, we may have the answer in our mind—that all the diseases, all the problems, everything—I don’t remember the names, the scientific terms, but the atoms, the waves in atoms—perhaps you may have an answer in your mind like this. It’s all contained in the waves of the atom. According to scientists, there are atoms, there are waves in atoms, so everything is contained in that. So perhaps you may have an answer like that. Is that correct?
So, like this. With external methods, no matter how many times we have tried to cure the sickness, we have not completely ceased it and again, it keeps on coming. That is like the tree that has its roots underground, like cutting the tree again and again. It always grows back because the roots are under the ground. The roots that have the ability to produce the tree are under the ground, and always bring the tree, the branches and leaves. Just like this. Check up with this example, asking no matter how much I cut this tree it keeps on growing, why? It’s because there is ability somewhere, there is ability under the ground, there is some ability, power, something is there. That’s why it comes. So if I don’t want the tree to exist at all, I should destroy the seed, the ability to produce the tree. Just like this example, we should think about our sickness, check up on our sickness, on our temporal problems, our life problems. In order to destroy the root, first of all you need understanding to recognize it, you need wisdom to recognize it. By recognizing it, use your wisdom, and use the method to destroy it. With this understanding knowledge and action, it works.
Same thing, there is need to recognize the ability or the seed, the cause that brings these temporal problems. There is need for recognition, and for the perfect method, the actual method. Chemicals cannot destroy, cannot produce this power that produces these physical and mental problems—craziness, sorrow, so many things, thousands of things. Chemicals cannot stop the power or ability to bring these things that make us suffer. So we have to find another method, something else. Something else that has power, that can definitely destroy the cause of problems. That is the teaching, that is the meditation, the dharma. The perfect method that can really affect this, can really destroy this ability or this cause, this mental disease—that is only Dharma, nothing else can be found. Nothing else has the power to destroy this but the Dharma, shown by the perfected Buddha who achieved the Dharma, who completely achieved the Dharma, who completely finished the Dharma work. The Dharma is the sole method to cut the root of the problems. The Dharma is the method to cut the root of problems, and even the method to cut off the temporal problems, which are the result arising from that cause. Destroying the root causes the trees and so forth not to grow, not to exist, so it is also the method to destroy the rest. Therefore, whatever meditation we do, yoga or physical exercise, whatever action we do, if it is Dharma, if it becomes Dharma, then it helps, it affects, it helps destroy the root of suffering. Also, by the way, it helps the temporal sufferings that are the result stop, to not arise.
So meditation seems interesting, some kind of new subject, but it is so important to check up—how does it help, how does the meditation have the power to harm or destroy or purify the root of suffering? Is this action, this meditation opposed to greed, ignorance, or hatred? Is this action, this meditation, the opposite of the root of the problem—greed, ignorance, and hatred—is it the opposite of this? If it is the opponent of these, then it’s Dharma. If it’s not the opposite, if it’s a friend, if it’s a service or a friend, if this action is a service to greed, ignorance, or hatred, even if you spend your whole life living in a cave, that’s not Dharma, none of those actions is Dharma. Instead, it is all service, work for the negative mind, it is all action of the negative mind that only brings more suffering result, more problems, not only in this life but in many future lives. So this is the most important thing, more important than anything else. This is the most important thing, this checking. This is the most important thing because as long as the person doesn’t recognize this important point, then the person may think, “I am doing good, I am always spending time in meditation, I am doing this and that, I am living in a solitary place, in quiet, in a cave, on a mountain.” The person believes he or she is good, but the action is wrong. He or she has lack of wisdom—checking wisdom, understanding wisdom.
Usually we think that praying, going to church, sitting cross-legged, and reading or talking about Dharma books are spiritual things. Just because of the way the action looks, we always believe that it is pure, spiritual Dharma. But according to the individual’s wisdom, understanding and practice, those actions become negative, evil actions or positive actions. So the action itself is not certain, the action itself does not mean it is definitely Dharma or spiritual. Action has to be created by mind. Becoming spiritual or Dharma is created by the individual mind. So that’s why it depends on individual actions—Dharma or spiritual work depends on individuality.
So, if a person who never comes out, but hides in a cave in complete silence has no understanding of actual Dharma, no understanding of spiritualism or the definition of what is Dharma, what is non-Dharma, there is the danger that there is no difference between that person’s life and the life of the person who does business and who is not silent, who goes around and does all kinds of things. The physical work looks different, but actually, if there is no understanding of Dharma then there is the danger that those two persons’ lives are the same. There is the person who does all kinds of work in order to take care of this life, to gain comfort for this life, and there is that person who hides their whole life in a cave and has complete silence, not knowing what is Dharma, living that life, doing such actions with the evil thought that only seeks the comfort of this life. So no matter, even though they look different from that business person, both are the same, living an impure, negative life. It’s the same thing as having an evil life. The same thing. The other person, the business person, has also an evil thought that only expects the comfort of this life, so the rest of the actions are also done to gain the comfort of this life. It is basically the same thing. Both have an evil life, live an evil life, not a pure life.
So however much he believes that he is doing something good, he is living a spiritual life—there’s a right belief and a wrong belief like this. Therefore, my main emphasis, the main thing that I started to talk about this morning, is to emphasize this, to come to this point. So also for us, wanting to seek complete peace, the cessation of all suffering, and also the root of suffering, it is important to know this and do the spiritual action of meditating on Dharma. So we think the meditation course is easy—the meditation course is not easy. If you want to take the real meditation course, it is not easy, because the meditation course doesn’t have much to do with the physical body. The meditation course, from the point of view of Buddhadharma, is not easy. It is not easy, but if one does it, the real meditation, it is Dharma, it is Dharma and it is practicing Dharma. It has such incredible benefits, profit—even if you meditate, you meditate in one day, one hour, it helps a great deal to escape from the boundaries of suffering.
So, one should not think that meditation is only some kind of physical thing. This is the way that the past holy beings practiced the meditation, this is the way that Tibetan yogis, Tibetan practitioners, Dharma practitioners, meditate. Just sitting cross-legged, sitting, also people say, “I am going to meditate,” then they sit cross-legged as if that position is the meditation.
Anyway, the meditation has to be the method that keeps the mind away from negativity. So while we are meditating it is supposed to make the mind virtuous or positive, keeping the mind in virtue, away from evil thoughts. In order for the action of body and speech to become Dharma, the action of mind should become Dharma. In order for the action of body and speech to become virtue, the action of mind should become virtue. For the action of body and speech to be pure, the action of mind should become pure. Therefore, if you want, besides the schedule of meditation, even during the time of listening to teachings, during the action of listening to teachings, the physical sitting and action of listening, the mind should become spiritual, pure. It is important to have pure motive, to think like this.
I will repeat each day about motivation, but basically the fundamental idea is how to think, how to make the mind pure in order for the actions of listening to teachings, to become Dharma or spiritual, to become pure method—think like this. This is just to give you an essential idea—the whole problem, the life problem, the whole thing that is disgusting, that we do not desire, all are caused by the delusions of greed, ignorance, and hatred. So with strong aversion to the root of the problem think, “I can’t escape from this suffering until I completely purify these negative minds. Without purifying these three negative minds, escaping from sufferings, I can’t help other beings because I myself am in problems, so how can I help release other beings from suffering? So therefore, this is the basic idea, the essential idea in order to for me to escape from all these sufferings, these delusions, in order to help to release other beings from suffering with the achievement of the perfect everlasting peace. Therefore I should understand the methods, the path. Therefore I am going to listen to the teachings.”
This is the essential idea, the motivation, the way you should think in order to make your time and actions beneficial. Also, you check up—if you have that motive of aversion to the negative mind, and the wish to dispel it by listening to Dharma, by having that motivation your actions become pure. Then when we have problems and don’t want to experience them, we try to stop them with different methods. For instance, now we are feeling hungry, so in order to stop feeling hungry, we eat. Whether or not this is Dharma, you check up. This is the motivation of not wanting to suffer, and because of this aversion to suffering, we eat. Check up—this is just one example, but also taking medicine to solve the temporal problems, the disease—there are many other billions of examples that we do in our lives. So check up, discover yourself whether it is all spiritual, Dharma.
Rinpoche: So, did you check up? What did you find out?
Rinpoche: What doubts?
Answer: If it’s the right way.
Answer: The Dharma teaching.
Rinpoche: That’s why I am asking—good. That’s why I am asking you to check up. Even having doubt is good. First doubt arises, then through checking the doubt is resolved, and through that you achieve understanding wisdom. Anyway, this is not the same as the subjects that you study in the West, like learning machines or things like that. This is something, this is a subject that you have to fully discover, that you can realize through meditation, through your own experience of meditation, through practice. If you really want to see clearly within your mind, if you want to really feel the realizations of the meditations, you need practice and understanding of the techniques. It is not a subject that one can easily discover all of a sudden, that one can fully see or discover just by hearing words, just by reading. Of course it will be more difficult for you because of the old thoughts. The way the mind is conditioned. This is also why it is so difficult to experience and achieve the different states of meditation.
When you study some other things you quickly learn, but this subject you find very difficult—besides clear understanding, even just to believe in its existence. That is not only because of the conditioning of the old thoughts, but because it is a new subject, not only new to this life, but our mind has not been well trained even in previous lives. Therefore, most people find it extremely difficult, they cannot solve the problem of ignorance quickly. But ordinary knowledge, the way ordinary beings live, taking care of oneself more than others, engaging in evil actions of mind such as jealousy, pride, being smart in harming other beings. These things are not difficult, it is so easy for us to learn these things, so easy for the negative mind to arise, so easy. Such greed arises, how to be attached and use that evil action of body and speech. We don’t have to be taught by other people, it comes intuitively. It comes intuitively even for the animals, dogs, and insects—even tiny insects. The negative mind intuitively comes, those negative actions of body doesn’t need to be taught by other animals. I am sure that in the West the arising of the negative mind is not taught in school. Even when one is a baby, there is anger, hatred, greed—there are problems, mind problems, even when one is a baby. It intuitively comes, it doesn’t have to be taught. This is true not only for people in the human realm, but even animals, little puppies, insects—such as giving harm to others, killing other beings—not only for the purpose of eating, feeling hungry, but feeling hate, not wanting to see someone.
For instance, these dogs—when some new dog comes around here, it doesn’t wound them, it doesn’t do anything, but just seeing them around blows their mind, they cannot stand it, all of a sudden they have to run to chase it. It seems like they would like to chase that dog to the other end of the earth or somewhere. There is so much strong hatred, anger and jealousy for the other dog.
Question: A dog will chase another dog out of a territory as a survival factor. Once the intruder leaves the dog’s territory it will no longer be hated by the dog.
Rinpoche: But why, many questions. But why the dog gets anger seeing other dog coming into the territory, how does that arise?
Answer: Because it is a survival thing; the other dog is a challenge to the dog that lives there, to its food.
Rinpoche: So perfect, but the mind that makes the dog chase it, how does that happen? Is that taught by some other animal, people or something? How is that mind received?
Answer: I feel it’s an instinctive reaction programmed into its brain.
Rinpoche: “Instinctive reaction, staying in the brain.” It’s instinctive, so there is no cause?
Answer: Dogs have learned it through thousands of generations. (laughter) The aggression of the dog might appear to be a negative thing on that dog’s behalf but if the intruder ...
Rinpoche: So negative is instinctive?
Answer: I don’t think it’s negative, it just appears that way.
Rinpoche: It’s not negative, the dog is not negative?
Answer: It’s positive in that it maintains that dog’s existence.
Rinpoche: What’s your definition of negative?
Answer: Positive is something that maintains my existence, a positive action.
Rinpoche: Everything that you have is positive, everything that maintains you is positive?
Answer: Everything I have? Not necessarily, I don’t need clothes but I wear this as a custom.
Rinpoche: Your clothes are negative? I think your hairs are negative! (much laughter) I’m sorry!
So, before, human beings came from monkeys, and monkeys came from other animals, according to anthropologists. So they always put a physical cause—not a mental cause but always a physical cause. So the whole thing, whatever ... the negative mind, whatever ... any knowledge that exists in the living being would have come from this. How is it explained before the earth’s evolution?
Rinpoche: Atom is what makes the body.
Rinpoche: So, I think it’s explained before…anyway, what I heard is this. All came from monkeys and monkeys came from different animals, slowly like this, and the very original thing is from salt water; that water came from the ball that contains atoms. In atoms there are waves, energy.
Question: Who made the ball?
Rinpoche: This is something for you to check up!
That’s right, yes, there are many other things to talk about. If this is the answer there are many other things to discuss before. Without going down to the original, the main thing is to find the original, the creator of the atom that makes that ball. The atom that contains all this knowledge, the powers, the living being’s powers, the power of the mind, the knowledge, everything. Why there should be such an existence. If there is a creator, then who has created the creator? Why has the creator created such a world, living beings, suffering living beings. This is something worthwhile that you can check up by taking time, not rushing.
But I saw a scientific book which explains about this, a book that is taught in school. That book doesn’t talk much about beginning and end, it is not clear. It says that they don’t know. At first there are all kinds of books. So checking is interesting. It increases your knowledge, it opens the door of your wisdom and also, why should it be ended, why should this world be ended? All people prove this, the world ending? The whole of our solar system, the world becomes empty? Proved? Do all people prove this?
Answer: It’s proved by the influence. You cannot prove it, but if another star somewhere else is going to blow up, our sun may do the same thing. Nothing is permanent. It won’t be gone, it will just change.
Rinpoche: It won’t become completely empty?
Answer: This sort of life wouldn’t be able to live. No animals, no human beings, this life here.
Rinpoche: What about earth? Why does the sun have to rise, why does the sun have to become hotter?
Answer: The moon was once a living planet but it’s dead; it’s a dead planet.
Rinpoche: How do you know that?
Answer: I read it.
Rinpoche: You believe in everything you read. Then what about that which says it’s full of living beings on the moon? There’s also book saying that there is living being on the moon.
Answer: There is life but not in human form.
Rinpoche: But living beings, I am not pushing human being, like this.
Answer: Not human life on the moon.
Rinpoche: There is no human being living having black hairs and bald head?
Answer: There is life, but not as we know it, and it is dying, the moon, the planet.
Rinpoche: Then there is life, there is life?
Rinpoche: There are living beings on the moon. What do you mean living?
Answer: It’s a type of life within the rocks, very minute life but they claim that it’s life.
Rinpoche: What do you mean by living?
Answer: Cells, etc.
Rinpoche: Shells are living.
Rinpoche: All cells, all the physical matters, all the matters are life?
Answer: We claim that there is life in rocks all around, so it wouldn’t be any different on the moon.
Rinpoche: But you said cells are living. Cells are molecules? So I am saying, all matter is living? All matter has life?
Answer: Yes, all matter has life.
Rinpoche: How is the cell alive?
Answer: The cell is living because it breathes, it respires in and out like we do.
Rinpoche: How do you know that?
Answer: He read it too!
Rinpoche: Do you believe?
Answer: We watch a cell a long time under a microscope and we can see things being taken in and out of it. One can measure coming in and out.
Rinpoche: But it doesn’t prove there is life. There are the four elements, but they do not prove life.
Answer: Man is composed of cells, a number of cells, therefore each cell is alive.
Rinpoche: Man’s composed of cells, so man is alive? So same thing, your kaka is living because it’s composed of cells. Same thing, same thing with all matter, all atoms, molecules, cells?
Question: May I ask something? You always ask how we know something, then the people say they read it, but how do you know all these teachings—you read it too, but you experience it.
Rinpoche: I said I had no experience of these at the beginning of the course. (laughter) That’s because I want to take the meditation course from you.
It seems, this is something that you have to study for a long time, make research for long time. You have to check up for a long time. As you check up you will find more and more reasons; you can go deeper and deeper. There are different theories, like saying it’s created by god, created by atoms. I don’t hear how it’s created at the very beginning, but according to science everything is created by matter, atoms; there are many different theories. It’s good. There something in the evolution of living beings, how the mind started, how the living beings started on this earth, and how the earth started; there must be evolution. As it happened, as the fact ... so it’s worthwhile to check with logical reason, with more logic. Now we have to rely on logic because at the moment we don’t have the mind power to fully see the whole past and whole future. So in order to understand the subject correctly, the factual evolution, check whichever theory has more logic, which is proved by logical thought, which is logical, which can be proved deeper and deeper.
For instance, this present body is made up of sperm and blood from the parents. If the mind is matter, is an atom, is matter, is a physical thing, if it came from an egg, a fertilized egg, if it came from parents, then that child’s life should also have come from parents. It should be already there in a human body before the parents were born, before these present parents were born. If that were so then the parents should be the cause of suffering. They should be the cause because the whole thing came from the parents’ body, so this entire negative mind, all these mental problems, all physical problems, all of these would have come from the parents as they are the principal cause of the suffering. Then it would be like this. We who are suffering, who are mentally and physically suffering, all would be the fault of the parents. Everything, catching cold or being hot, any problem. You finding confusion in the subject—everything would be the parents’ fault. If the parents didn’t make us, we wouldn’t have suffering. If the parents didn’t give birth to us we wouldn’t have suffering. That’s not right. It would become, totally, the fault of the original existence. It becomes the whole lineage of the parents, the enemy, the cause of suffering. But it is not like this. The cause of suffering, the cause of problems is created by only oneself even though the body, the physical body, came from the parents, as the fertilized egg is the secondary cause. Also, it can be that the parents are ignorant, mentally uneducated, not having knowledge, but the children are much more knowledgeable. The parents are also like this, having different desires, personalities, but the children are different from them, generous, having noble, well-subdued behavior, having pure minds, never wanting to harm other beings. If everything came from the parents, it doesn’t prove why there is such existence.
There is much to talk about, many details. In Tibet there are many children who remember previous lives even in childhood. Without physically going to that country, they tell stories that happened in previous times when they were there. Also this has happened in the West, but people think it’s crazy. Through only physically checking, not really seeing the actual evolution, but guessing through physical checking, just guessing, some kind of definition is made—but there is no proof. Check up, beginning or end, no proof. This theory, which is not done with full understanding, with mind power, that never agrees. So first, people recognize this as crazy because people do not see. First of all, the child’s mind that says that is not their mind. Other peoples’ minds think the child is crazy also because of the theory of what they studied, what they are taught, because they don’t check up, just believing but not really checking up with logic, so this becomes the opposite to what the child says. Even if the child is saying the truth, it is recognized as crazy, nonsense, just like an animal. Just like a person who doesn’t know a jewel, a priceless, very expensive jewel, who doesn’t take care of it—a very primitive person who never saw jewels, who doesn’t know how expensive it is. When he sees it he doesn’t carry on—maybe he thinks one plate of food is more valuable than the jewel. This is because of not having understanding, the wisdom to recognize the jewel as a jewel. So like this there are problems, like this. The other person, who thinks it’s crazy, never tries to know whether it is true or not, he doesn’t check up, he never tries to know. Just making different statements, but not trying to check up.
There are many children in Tibet like this. But those children are more than other ordinary beings, those who don’t remember—they explain about their previous lives as monks, explaining the names of monks, many situations. They also talked about the monastery, things, the religious things without physically going there. There are many stories. Also about the present Dalai Lama.
There are two kinds of reincarnations—uncontrolled reincarnations, and reincarnations that take rebirth with choice. One is with choice, and uncontrolled reincarnation is without choice. Most ordinary beings don’t know where they will go when they die, only that the mind is in great suffering. They do not perceive where the mind is going, where the mind will take place. But even if the person wants to be born to a better life in such a place, country, to a wealthy family, this and that, they have choice. After the mind splits from the body, for most ordinary beings it takes rebirth in a suffering place, takes a suffering body. According to the arrangement, the cause is created by the person before the person has to follow. The person is shaped by that, has to be born in such a suffering place, with such a body, according to the cause that he has created before. Because why doesn’t the person have a choice to take, to be born in a better place as a better living being? Because the person has no control over the cause that he created, the cause that he already created. The person doesn’t control the cause that is created by the person’s negative mind; he doesn’t try anything to stop the result, the suffering rebirth.
The other kind of reincarnation is the one who takes rebirth with choice, as he wished and prayed in his previous life, as he made plans in his previous life, through Dharma practice, through meditation, through purifying negativities, through purifying the negative mind. When that being is a small baby, they check up many different ways. Before the seekers, the high lamas, come to see the baby, they check with other high lamas who have psychic powers, mind powers to observe and see where he incarnated, at which place, in which family. They check up with high yogis or lamas. Besides that there are many special signs that occur.
In Tibet there used to be special lakes, and when certain people go there if they put something in the lake—blessed pills, relics, or things like this—it shows the place and family, and what kind of baby. This is not only because of the lake, but besides the lake, something is situated within the lake and because of that power it shows where the child has incarnated. They check like this.
This is in the present time, but there are many stories of past histories, previous lives—how beings are recognized, how they are checked up, how the people discover that they are reincarnated lamas, such as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. This is not some ancient thing, billions and billions of years ago—this refers to the present Dalai Lama also. This is so clear, and it is not something that happened only many thousands of eons ago, but something happening as I am talking now. This is a modern thing. Not only in this case, but in the case of many other high lamas in Tibet. Also like this, as they in their previous lives had special marks on their body, the same thing, in their future life they have some marks on their body, which proves their mind, their previous life and reincarnation, many things like this. Recognizing things that belonged to the monastery before and telling the names of the monks is also common. So after all this checking, the other high lamas and members of the monastery come dressed as beggars in order to check up whether the child recognized him or not, carrying sticks and wearing clothes. They came to the family like this in the form of beggars, and the baby all of a sudden recognizes them, and calls the name of the lama. They also carried rosaries and things like that which belonged to the previous Dalai Lama. So this baby, the present Dalai Lama, all of a sudden picked them up and said they were his. Many things happened. There are many stories.
In ancient times in India there was one pandit who was debating with another person with different beliefs who said there is no past or future. He was debating, and as the other person didn’t fully see this subject the pandit told him, “I will show you, I will prove you the past and future lives.” He said that he would be born in the generation of a specific king. He promised this. Then he asked the man, the other person who didn’t believe in past and future lives, to mark his forehead with red color, going inside with the flesh, and then he took the pearl and he passed away. Then afterwards, he put the king of that country as a witness to prove his future life. Then I think the father of the baby wrote a book, and the king didn’t understood the subject written by a man who didn’t believe in past and future lives, so he could not give the answers. No one could give him an answer to that. Later on the father went out, and the mother was there, so the son gave an answer. The father came back and asked, “Who came into my home?” And the mother said “No-one came; the baby did it.” The baby said, “Now you know that I was the man who promised to be born again.” That life when he was born he had the mark on his forehead. There are following stories but I don’t remember them.
There is much to talk about according to the present history about reincarnation. You have wisdom, so to develop the wisdom, and the wisdom can progress, can understand the factual subject. Why it can progress? It is the nature of the wisdom. If you use it to check up, it can progress because it is the nature of wisdom and it is the nature of mind.
For one hour, do breathing meditation. Then in the second hour, concentrate on mind—the mind that thinks of the object; on that thought we concentrate.
First of all check up—how do you see the mind, feel the mind? Then, second, after checking that, concentrate on the thought, trying to be conscious spontaneously, keeping the consciousness on the thought without allowing the distractions to arise, such as forgetting the object by not remembering it. And not thinking of other objects, such as thinking of other objects besides that thought, without concentrating on the thought—not allowing these distractions. Trying to keep your mind, trying to concentrate on the thought as long as possible.
Question: Thinking of other objects is thought, isn’t it?
Rinpoche: Thinking of other objects is thought, yes.
Question: But we are not allowed to keep these distractions?
Rinpoche: Instead of concentrating on just thought, distractions are thinking of different objects, like your country or your home or your friends; things like this.
Question: That is thought too. Do you mean special thought or just looking at our thoughts?
Rinpoche: As you concentrate on thought, the appearance of the other objects will be lost. It will be lost. It is different. When you concentrate on thought other objects don’t appear. When you strongly concentrate on thought, yes, because what you are thinking is different—you are thinking of thought and going to a party—two different, so you concentrate on thought, your life in the West. It is different, concentrating on the thought, keeping thought as the object and concentrating on it. Thinking of things such as life in the West, and parents, many things is different, is not the same. When you concentrate on thought, the appearance of objects does not happen. Other objects appearing in the mind does not happen.
Question: I don’t understand.
Rinpoche: First you have to try.
Question: Do you actually visualize thought anywhere?
Rinpoche: Like when you concentrate only thinking of the light, other things don’t appear in your mind, other objects—only thinking of light, concentrate on light, just like this. When you concentrate on thought, other things cannot appear; but first of all try. Put it in action. So first you check up. Your feelings of the thought. How do you see it? Then after checking, then you concentrate on thought. So first—this is what should be done in the second hour—first you do breathing meditation.
Question: We should observe our thoughts?
Rinpoche: Observe little bit how it is, then after that you concentrate on thought, yes.
Do you need a repeat of last night’s breathing meditation? I think you understand.
Question: What is the origin of thought, so that we can have some perspective? If we assume it’s beginingless—but if we interpret at one point.
Rinpoche: What point? Oh yes, check up, you observe first, then you concentrate on thought. Check up yourself. When you are looking at me there is thought, the mind thinking of me; so just like this, from what place do you feel it? Anyway you observe by yourself.
So if you know how to do breathing meditation then it doesn’t need to be repeated.
Question: When the knees hurt and you are having pain, do you have some suggestion?
Rinpoche: Then concentrate on pain. Anyway, there are methods, many different methods, but I think do like this tonight. Check up the pain, observe the pain. Where is the pain? Check up. How the pain exists. Whether the pain is blood or bone, flesh, skin, whether the bone or flesh or skin is pain. How does the pain exist?
Question: Can you meditate as if the pain was somewhere else and stop the pain this way? Imagine the pain belongs to another body?
Rinpoche: You try. Did you ever try that way? Checking like this is also useful. Checking like this helps to understand the nature of the pain.
Question: So you come back to meditating about mind?
Rinpoche: Yes, yes, it’s related, observing the pain is related to the mind, yes.
Anyway, there are other techniques. Anyway, tonight if you have pain then check up in this way. Even if I tell other techniques they won’t make much sense to you. So you just check up like this. As much as you check, more and more deeply, that much it can help you to understand the nature of pain. Anyway, many subjects of the Dharma are extremely difficult to understand, even each word is difficult to understand, but just by hearing, nothing can be realized. Not all of a sudden, it takes time. It takes much time, so we need training, we need much meditation, training in the subject. So following as ignorance becomes ... is that much purified the wisdom can realize, discover that much.
We should not think, “I don’t understand these words or the meaning and this won’t help me.” Helping solve your problem and benefiting you comes through understanding, through realizations and understanding. So first, even though you don’t understand all of a sudden, you have to train in the meditation, you have to practice the meditation. Physical problems such as sickness, mental and physical problems, many of these—how these work, how these are caused by your negative mind, these evil thoughts, the wrong conception of the “I”, self-cherishing thought and impure thought such as these delusions, greed, ignorance, hatred. Further explanation will come in the following meditations but just to have a little idea—because of this, as the mind has no beginning, so this negative mind has no beginning. There is no such period in which this negative mind started, there is no such period. Like this. Just as the continuity of today’s negative mind came from yesterday’s mind, that came from the day before yesterday, just like this. And the previous life’s negative mind came from the previous negative mind. It has continuity like this, so like that it is beginningless, just the same as the mind. These negative minds oblige the person to create negative actions of mind and negative actions of speech.
There are many negative actions of mind, such as getting angry, greed, ignorance, miserliness, ill-will, heresy, jealous, pride—many negative minds. The first negative mind that I explain obliges the person to create this negative action of mind, and also the negative actions of speech, such as lying, such as harshly speaking with negative mind, such as deceiving with negative mind. Also, the physical negativities, the negative actions of body, such as harming other beings. Creating physical actions with negative mind. The physical actions that are done with negative mind, without positive mind, are evil actions. As these actions are created, these actions are thought, and they leave imprints, ability, on the consciousness. If these actions are positive, it leaves a positive ability or impression on the consciousness. If the actions are negative then it leaves a negative ability or impression on the consciousness. So then, many of these abilities, impressions, are collected by the actions in the consciousness, and all of these abilities are like the seed of a plant planted in the ground. So there are many different kinds of flowers planted in the ground, and as they are planted gradually they grow, producing the stem. In the same way, this ability, this impression that is left on the consciousness, gradually, at a different time, brings an experience like a seed bringing forth a stem. Then, the result is this—when it brings the experience, if it’s a negative impression that was left by a negative action, then the experience is negative. So that’s how the person gets different problems at different times. When the person is in a miserable situation, in a suffering situation, when the person has different problems, that being the ability, the impression that is left on the consciousness to fruition, and it is experienced. So this is the result of the negative action, and this is how this negative mind is the principal cause of suffering and problems. This is why it is so important, if you don’t want to suffer, to cut out and extinguish these negative minds. By extinguishing negative minds, there is no more ability or impression on the consciousness, and that’s how there is no more suffering. The fundamental method is change--making, creating pure actions of body, speech, and mind.
First of all, before meditation, try to cultivate the motivation as I explained yesterday. Suffering, of course, depends on conditions, but how that suffering is also caused by the negative, deluded mind. Without the source of the suffering, the deluded mind, whatever situation you are in, or whatever place, it will bring you harm. You will find problems from such external things as places, clothes, food, or meditation, many things, from even the temporal things that we collected in order to service the life, to protect the life from dangers. Even with these things you will find problems. For example, a person who has a lot of material things finds problems when someone steals his possessions or breaks his possessions. The possessor finds problems, he suffers when it gets broken, when it is lost, when it is decaying. There are many examples. Even with food—food is made in order to protect the life, but even this causes the person to suffer. Sometimes the food causes problem, makes one sick to the stomach, causes one to have physical sickness. There are many things. These are just an example of suffering due to many of the temporal things that we try to keep in order to protect the life. But without the source of suffering, the deluded mind, even with any of these external things, the person never suffers because there is no reason, no cause.
The wrong conception of “I,” self-cherishing thought, the impure mind, greed, ignorance, and hatred has been causing much suffering from beginningless lifetimes until now—since I was born until now. Even if you don’t believe in beginningless lives, even in only one life, destroying the cause of suffering, the source of suffering, is the person’s responsibility. Since there is no desire for suffering, then the person has to do something, has to work in order to stop the suffering and the cause of suffering. Therefore, these negative minds have to be destroyed. We have to work to destroy these negative minds. This is always worthwhile.
“These negative minds have never allowed me to achieve perfect everlasting happiness so far. Even now, these negative minds are causing me suffering. Also in the future these negative minds will continuously oblige me to suffer. They will cause many problems such as death, suffering, and rebirth—many sufferings—old age, sicknesses, and many other problems with the situations. So I must cut off, I must dispel the negative mind right away, and therefore I am going to do the breathing meditation in order to purify the cause of the suffering, these delusions.”
Concentrate on thought without allowing other distractions, as much as possible.
Dedicate the merits if there were merits created during the day. Think, “Due to these merits may I achieve enlightenment by completely purifying these obscurations and helping other living beings from suffering.”
Dedication Prayer (Page 156)
Rinpoche: Just one question—whether the mind has beginning. Has mind beginning?
Answer: I don’t remember that it started.
Rinpoche: Which one do you think is more logical?
Answer: Mind is eternal, everything is eternal, change doesn’t disappear.
Answer: The mind creates itself all the time.
Rinpoche: Mind is created by itself all the time? I see, I see. Isn’t the present life’s mind, isn’t today’s mind existing because of yesterday’s? Whoever gave the answer about the mind created by itself—how is the mind created by itself?
Answer: I don’t know but I feel like a void that is just called the consciousness. I can’t explain, I just ask a question.
Rinpoche: You don’t know how to see that mind is created by itself?
Answer: It’s like when mind is conscious of being created itself; it is just like saying mind is eternal, like saying no question you can ask about it.
Rinpoche: You mean there is no answer?
Answer: There is no question.
Rinpoche: There is a question, because I don’t know.
Answer: All our suffering comes from the mind. With the mind we have a very powerful weapon in our hands because mind is everything and we can obtain everything we want with mind. The difficulty lies in guiding the mind. This is the whole point, because at a certain point voidness, samadhi, whatever you call it, means mind is not working and there are no projections from the mind. So different systems arise to guide the mind and then there is silence, voidness, samadhi, proof, realization, god, whatever you want to call it.
Rinpoche: Yes, anyway, I don’t want to discuss that point, but there is another subject. What has that to do with proof of beginningless mind?
Answer: I don’t want to prove anything. I am trying to explain my point of view of the mind.
Rinpoche: You don’t want to know whether it’s beginningless or not?
Answer: I know nothing, that’s why I am here. I feel mind is beginningless, but the perception of mind, the act of realization of mind has beginning, whether perception is created by god, by animal, or human being there is a beginning of perception.
Rinpoche: You mean there is no perception in the previous life?
Answer: I don’t know about the previous life. Surely the mind can be beginningless ...
Rinpoche: How can our previous life’s mind still be beginningless?
Answer: I put forward the proposition that there is a universal mind that we all belong to.
Rinpoche: I see. So you are born from universal mind?
Answer: I am born with the ability to perceive the universal mind.
Rinpoche: Who created universal mind?
Answer: It is beginningless, of creation.
Rinpoche: How does it exist?
Answer: It is basic ...
Answer: It is important that we know these things?
Rinpoche: Yes, thank you so much. Good night, you are hungry.