…and briefly like that, the benefit of taking refuge. You know. It is good to remember, before meditating on refuge, the benefit of bodhicitta on the basis of the numbers, like this. Then when you meditate remember also the quotations—first of all one should have the understanding of the basic outlines, the meditation. The way we set it up by the lamas who have the lineage of the teachings of the graduated path to enlightenment, from Atisha. First of all, one should have, one should understand, one should remember the outline of the meditation. By understanding the outline of the graduated meditation, the meditation doesn’t get mixed up. In this way it doesn’t become a big mess.
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…he checks up then he gives advice, if the disciple’s mind is in danger by practicing tantra, like that, meditating on chakras, or things like that, a well experienced guru can see the way he meditate, the experience that he gets, that it’s going to be danger, things like that. Then he gives advice to prevent that. Always there is guidance like this. This is the way to meditate, to try to complete actualizing the path. Like for instance they meditate on shunyata. Then they frequently check whatever experience they get with the guru, and the guru checks that they are correct, whether it is right or wrong, or whether his mind is in danger falling into extremes or not. The well-experienced guru, who has perfect understanding of shunyata, intellectual and also experiential, corrects and he gives advice. In this way then there is no danger to the disciple that he might become crazy or fall into extremes, or things like that.
The benefits of taking refuge are, in many students, many Western students who have been practicing Dharma for many years, have refuge in their mind. So going for refuge by depending on what cause? There are two. Without these two causes there is no way to generate bodhicitta. If there are these two causes then the refuge automatically comes, it comes like this. What are the two causes of refuge? One is the aversion to one’s own samsara, the realm of the suffering transmigratory being.
A person who fell down in a big fireplace, a big hole in the ground full of fire, in order for him to get out says he wishes to be free from that. If he believes that it is such a beautiful place, it is such a beautiful park, if is he attached to that, he will never become free from that. He is unable to escape from that. So then he’s going to continuously burn in that fireplace. It will continue to cause the life danger. If he recognizes, this is the place that causes suffering, if he hate to be in that fireplace, then he has also aversion. as there is strong aversion, or the fear to be in that suffering place, then there is the strong wish to be free from that. To escape from that. This strong wish arises. Then in this way as the person wishes to be free from that, he seeks the object of refuge that he can rely on.
His friend is above the ground, and his friend drops down in the fireplace but the person who was down there, even though he has aversion to the fireplace, and the wish to be free from that, if he doesn’t have faith in his friend, if he doesn’t trust his friend who is above there, even if his friend sends down a very strong rope, if he doesn’t have faith in that person, he will not hold the rope. In order to get out of that fireplace, he should have the aversion, first of all he should have the aversion, the dislike, not being attached to that place, and also have faith in the friend, complete faith in friend, complete trust in the friend, so in that way he holds the rope and then in this way then he can escape from that fireplace. It is not sufficient having only aversion to this realm of the suffering transmigratory being. They feel aversion to all of samsara.
Instead of having the thought seeking the samsaric perfections, they should renounce samsara. There should be this thought. There should be this strong thought, this aversion.
If one does not like fear, then one doesn’t get scared, doesn’t get frightened at all. Nothing to do with the lower realm. Nothing to do with the lower realm of samsara, don’t get scared, anything. Anything happens, even if somebody comes to kill, cut the body in pieces, even if a mosquito comes to bite, there is the fear. When somebody comes to rob there is fear, why is this? Why should you be scared? Why? You feel scared. If one doesn’t like fear, stop all fear. Why don’t you try that. It’s ridiculous. Useless fear. Use that fear. Don’t let fear rise at all to anything, anytime. You can’t. But the useful fear, the positive fear, that is difficult to rise. To make oneself free from suffering of samsara is difficult. Why? I mentioned before, in the part on impermanence death, death is the cause of fear in your mind. Even if you dislike fear but fear rises, what is the use? You haven’t finish your work. It shows that you haven’t finished your work. The presence of fear that you haven’t finished your work itself is the root of the cause of fear. The root of the fear is within your mind, that is, your haven’t finish your work. You haven’t finished your work completely, destroying the root of the fear, the cause of the fear within your mind, which has been dwelling in your heart. So that’s why even if you dislike fear, fear arises, like this. As long as you don’t do something to the cause of fear, there is always fear. There’s always fear no matter how much you dislike it, that’s right. There is always fear even if you dislike meditating on the suffering of samsara, thinking, oh that’s fear rising, oh, oh, no good. If you think like this there is fear. If you ignore this the mind is full of fear, because you are not free from suffering of samsara. You are experiencing the suffering of samsara, you don’t have to meditate on it because you don’t want to be aware, that’s all. You are experiencing pain but you don’t want to be aware of it, you want to ignore it.
However in this way there is no hope. As long as the mind is not awakened, does not realize how the samsara is in the nature of suffering, there is no way to escape from the suffering realm, samsara. The suffering of samsara that we are experiencing each day is our daily life experience. Daily experience. It’s just what we are experiencing but we don’t want to think about. That’s all.
The understanding of fear, of the lower realm, the suffering of samsara, one’s own samsara. Then the reliance that the Triple Gem, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha have the ability to guide me from this suffering realm. A person who doesn’t have at all tuberculosis does not have to take TB medicine. A person who doesn’t have cancer at all has no need to take medicine for cancer. So same thing, if one is completely free from samsara then no need … this is not like the law, that is you should have aversion for samsara. If you are free from samsara, no reason. The mistake is that we are in samsara, and we still don’t have the full confidence, we still have not reached the definite stage where we will never be born in the realm of the suffering transmigratory being. We haven’t reached that state, the definite state, the path. We don’t have full confidence. We haven’t received full confidence to never be reborn in the realm of the suffering transmigrator.
So therefore, refuge. There is no way to achieve the blissful state of peace without being free from samsara, which is bound by delusion, and the unsubdued mind and the karma. There is no way to achieve this nirvana, the blissful state of peace, no way. No way. So therefore we have to take medicine. If you want to have peace, like the person who has TB wants to experience the peace, if he wants to be healthy, he should take medicine, by knowing how that disease is harmful. Same thing. Having refuge is medicine. As we are in the samsara, as we have this delusion, this disease in our mind, in order to be free from that we should take medicine. That’s the essential medicine, the foundation of the very root of the whole path. That is the refuge.
If the person himself doesn’t have fear of death, if he doesn’t have the wish to get rid of that, then in that way he doesn’t have fear of this disease, he won’t try to take medicine and he won’t go to the doctor. He won’t take medicine, he won’t depend on the help of a nurse, he won’t go to see a doctor. Even if he has found a doctor, and the doctor gave medicine, the nurse, he doesn’t trust in them. If he doesn’t have trust in them he wouldn’t listen, he wouldn’t follow the doctor’s prescriptions, how the medicine should be taken, and he wouldn’t take the medicine, if he doesn’t have trust.
So like that this example, the same thing in the practice of refuge. Why do we need two causes, the understanding of the fear of suffering of the lower realm and one’s own samsara and reliance, and having faith in the Triple Gem, thinking that they have the perfect power to guide oneself from these suffering realms. You think of the example—the patient and the doctor and nurse, the medicine. This is exactly as it is, refuge practice. Oneself if the patient with the unsubdued mind disease. Buddha is the doctor; Dharma is the medicine; Sangha is the nurse. You relate like that. Then this way then you can understand, why we need two causes in order to have refuge.
How much pure refuge one has within one’s mind depends on how strong the two causes are within one’s mind. As they are that much stronger, then the refuge within one’s own mind becomes that much stronger. In order to save oneself from ordinary suffering, from certain difficulties of life, to guide oneself from certain danger, it’s not necessary to take refuge, all the three objects of refuge of the Triple Gem. Even by taking refuge in the Dharma, by taking refuge in the Sangha, one can be saved from the ordinary sufferings, the life difficulties. But for oneself to be free from samsara it is impossible without taking refuge in all three, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, it’s impossible.
Like this, there are three causal refuges, three result refuges. The three causal are possessed by others, in the mind of others. There are three result refuges that one will achieve. One will become three result refuges. So, you see, by taking refuge, by depending on causal refuge, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha—Buddha is those who have achievement of omniscient mind, Dharma is the realization of what they have, the path in the mind of the other beings, then the Sangha who has the achievement of this path. Simple thought, just to get a simple idea. The attainer of the path, Sangha.
So those three are like the examples that I gave, doctor, medicine, nurse, like that. Then by taking refuge in this three, then we achieve the result, the three refuges. As the enlightened, omniscient mind achieved and showed the path, listen, try to understand and practice with the help of these three. Like the example of the doctor, medicine, and nurse. By relying on these three, we study, try to understand and listen, and then practice. In this way the path get actualized within our mind. The Dharma, the path fully seeing the emptiness, shunyata. The true cessation of suffering gets actualized in one’s mind. Then in that way as the absolute Dharma, the true path, the true cessation of suffering gets generated within one’s own mind, so one becomes Sangha. At that time one becomes the absolute Sangha. As the path is completed, within one’s own mind, then one becomes Buddha. As all the obscurations finish, the path is completed, so one becomes Buddha. In that way one achieves one’s own result Buddha. So one has actualized Dharma, one becomes Sangha, one becomes Buddha.
So when we take refuge we take causal refuge and resultant refuge. When we generate bodhicitta, I am going to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all the sentient beings.
In order to be free from samsara, one must depend on the three objects of refuge, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. It’s not sufficient taking refuge only to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, it is not sufficient. Just to not be born in the realm of suffering transmigratory beings, even if you remember and take refuge to Sangha or even if you take refuge to Buddha, just Buddha alone…
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…briefly like that. Then to whom one goes for refuge, to which object one goes for refuge, they are related, like this, the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. There is the relative absolute Buddha, the relative absolute Dharma, the relative absolute Sangha, like this, in regards recognizing the object of refuge. This word has been used, but I am not sure how exact it is. The Tibetan title is kundzob, all-obscured, like I use for the two bodhicittas. Then absolute refuge.
The manifestation of absolute Buddha is the dharmakaya. Then the manifestation of Buddha is the nirmanakaya. The dharmakaya is the absolute Buddha. Then the absolute Dharma is the true path and true cessation of the path. The relative Dharma is the eighty-four thousand teachings, the three divisions of the teachings.
These contain all the teachings—tantra and sutra teachings, in three divisions, in three titles, which explain about how to actualize the path. They explain the cause of suffering and true path, what is received from the true path, true cessation of suffering, and nirvana. Also the Vajrayana path, the Paramitayana path, enlightenment, and the qualities of enlightenment. It contains all the explanations. The base, path, and the result—the whole explanation. This is the relative Dharma. Then the teachings on the graduated path to enlightenment.
The absolute Sangha is the one, I think I mentioned before, not necessary to be a monk, it can be ordinary, it can be a layperson. It can be male, female, anybody who has the achievement of true path, true cessation of suffering. Fully seeing shunyata, true path, true cessation of suffering. So anybody who has this is absolute Sangha. It can be one person. But relative Sangha has to be a whole group of monks, full monks or those living in the 36 precepts. If there are four in number then they are relative Sangha.
Then how the Buddha is a worthwhile object of refuge. If we have that much faith in the Buddha, in the Dharma, and in the Sangha, devotion comes. If there is not that much devotion to Buddha, then there is also not so much to Dharma and Sangha like this.
So if you understand that well, how Buddha is a worthwhile object of refuge, if you meditate well, if you study well the scriptures that explain elaborately the qualities of Buddha’s omniscient mind, the unimaginable qualities of Buddha’s understanding and the compassion, power, if you read the sutras that contain Buddha’s life stories, the Buddha’s teachings, how Buddha works for other sentient beings, the whole explanations of infinite qualities, how Buddha has the power, compassion, then the definite understanding of faith comes.
Then also the trust—if one has that much trust in the Buddha, in Buddha’s work, then one has that much trust in his teaching. Then also the attainments of the Sangha. So in this way the refuge becomes very strong and pure.
Four reasons how Buddha is a worthwhile object for taking refuge.
The first one is that Buddha himself completely free from all the fears, from all the dangers, from all the fears of sufferings of samsara, from the blissful state of peace, the nirvana, from the fear of falling in that extreme. He is completely free from fear of samsara, and the fear of the extremes, and the blissful state of peace, blissful state of peace.
For instance, if both people in the water are armless, they can’t help each other. If both are blind, there is no way to help each other. So if one is blind, and one is not blind, the one who is not blind can help the other blind person. He is free from that particular difficulty, not having arms, so he can help. And if a blind person asks for help from the person who is not blind, that person can help the blind person lead him in the road, or to food.
So if Buddha himself has fear of samsara, he cannot guide us even if we take refuge. He is not free from the fear of the extremes, the blissful state of peace. If he is not free from that bondage, again he can’t guide us to be free from that fear of extremes.
One prisoner cannot ask another prisoner to free him. However much he makes prostration, each day 100,000 prostrations, however much he asks that person, he has no power to help him get out of prison. If he relies on somebody who has power in the government, if he takes refuge in that person then there is a way to escape or to leave from the prison.
So, in order to be free from samsara, from the fear of the blissful state of peace, to achieve enlightenment, we must take refuge in a fully enlightened being, like Guru Shakyamuni Buddha who is completely free from all the fears of samsara and from the fears of the bondage of the blissful state of peace. Then in this way we can be liberated from the fear.
In previous times when Guru Shakyamuni Buddha was in India, there was a king called Magyeda. When Guru Shakyamuni Buddha was coming for alms in the village where many of his followers who are arhats were, a crazy elephant that belonged to the king was put in front of Buddha. All his followers flew into space as the elephant came at them, afraid. Only Buddha was left in the road. Buddha spread out his hands like this and transformed five snow lions that surrounded the elephant, and then transformed them into a fire circle.
The elephant felt the heat and then ran to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and felt much bliss. As he was next to Guru Shakyamuni’s holy body, he felt incredible bliss, and the mind was so happy. Buddha subdued the elephant like this. Buddha subdued the elephant, the crazy elephant.
Then afterwards wherever Guru Shakyamuni Buddha goes, the elephant follows all the time, wherever he goes, wherever he goes. He even tried to come in the house. He couldn’t stand being without Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. The elephant was tied inside, so then Guru Shakyamuni Buddha transformed the stone walls of the place into glass, so in that way the elephant could see through this wall. Later, missing Guru Shakyamuni Buddha so much, with much worry, he jumped from the place between two mountains, and remembered Buddha he died and was born in Tushita.
So, thought-training teaching. Explaining the thought training… training the mind in the all-obscuring bodhicitta and absolute bodhicitta, two things like this. This time the main body of advice is training the mind in the all-obscuring bodhicitta. First to generate the thought of seeking enlightenment, one should generate the thought of seeking work for others. There are two meditation techniques. In order to rise the thought seeking the work for others, first one should try to see the sentient beings as most dear or most beloved. The way to be able to see all the sentient beings in the aspect of most beloved or most dear, first, train the mind in equanimity, then in the great equanimity, then try to realize the shortcomings of self-cherishing thought, then the benefit of cherishing others.
Then by remembering the benefit of cherishing others or by remembering the great kindness of other sentient beings then one sees all the sentient beings naturally in aspect of the most dear. Then according to the meditation technique of the seven point cause and effect, first train the mind in equanimity, then recognize sentient beings as one’s mother, remembering the kindness. Through this meditation one is able to see. By training the mind in this graduated meditation, after one realizes the kindness of the sentient beings, one sees all the mother sentient beings in the aspect of dear. Not the animal deer, having horns.
According to Lama Tsongkhapa’s presentation of the teaching, his main technique is to put together these steps, the way of training the mind in bodhicitta through the seven techniques of cause and effect and the great thought training. The seven techniques of Mahayana cause and effect went from Maitreya Buddha to Asanga, Chandrakirti, those pundits. The great thought training came from Nagarjuna to Shantideva, Lama Serlingpa, like this. Actually all the different meditation techniques, all these different lineage, Lama Serlingpa has received, then from Lama Serlingpa, Atisha, like this.
The way of training the mind in equanimity is as yesterday I explained. First you remember the example of three people, one who gave harm yesterday, and one who gave help today. Then think of another one who gave help yesterday and who gave harm today. The think of the third one who either did both at the same time or he didn’t do either; he is a stranger or indifferent person.
First you train and check like this example, then you relate this to your present enemy that you have now. Then you visualize your present friend, then you meditate on that. After, you have made the conclusion that there is no reason for anger at the person who gave help today, and there is no reason to get angry at the person who gave harm. There is no reason. So then after making this conclusion you meditate that this life’s present friend, to whom one is attached, and the present enemy that one has, whom one dislikes, with whom one gets angry in this life, one’s parents and all sentient beings surround one in the form of human beings, ageless. As you look, you watch your friend, what the mind says, how the mind reacts. This is my friend, you think, then why, why is this my friend? Because he loves me or he helps me or something like that.
Then think of the enemy, listen to what the mind says. It says, oh, I dislike him, because he doesn’t love me or he gave me harm or something, he disturbed my happiness, he said something. Then think in this case, tell that discriminating mind there is no reason to get angry, to be attached to this friend, because he also gave harm in this life or in previous lives. Remember that. There is no reason to be attached. He also gave me help in the past time. If you can remember that he gave help in the past years, think in the past. He has been extremely kind, taking care of me, taking care of this body, giving me much material—food, clothing, much material enjoyment, much help in numberless past lives, think like that. Then think, there is no reason for me to get angry at the enemy. Try to cut off anger and attachment like this. Then also more effectively, think, my getting angry at the enemy who gives me harm is no different from the non-human beings, the wild animals, the tiger. What’s the difference? Think like this, meditate on this personality of mind. Animals, snakes, tigers when somebody harms them they also give harm back. So what’s the point? What’s the point of getting angry? Actually it’s very true. As long as we don’t change our mind, as long as our mind is in such a state, all the time, like this, anger, attachment, partisanship, like this ..
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…since I was born in the mother’s womb, for nine months, ten days, she took the best care of me. Trying to protect me from the various harms. To keep me comfortable as much as she can. When she is eating, even if normally she likes to eat hot very hot food, thinking it might harm the baby, she tries not to eat extremely hot food or extremely cold food. Even when she lay down, even when she sat, she tried to make me comfortable, trying not to hurt me. She tries to not lift up or carry heavy things. Thinking that I will feel uncomfortable, she wears clothes that are very soft, not tied with a belt. Even though normally she works so hard, when I was in my mother’s womb, she stopped working because of me, to take care of me.
If she did not take care of me like that, I would be dead. I would not be a human being by now, especially if she had had an abortion. I would be somewhere else, not in this realm, maybe born as a fish, always seeking food. I might have been hooked with incredible pain, instead of having this human body and having the opportunity to meet and practice Dharma. I would have no sense pleasures if my mother had an abortion. So think of this. She didn’t do this. She took the best care of me. She has been extremely kind.
So the whole thing, the eight freedoms and ten riches that we have now completely came from her. Completely depend on her. Remember her kindness like this. When I was coming out of her womb, she had incredible pain, like her body was in pieces. If she did not bear all this pain, I wouldn’t have received this opportunity to practice dharma.
After I came out, she was extremely pleased, as if she had found a wish granting jewel. So happy. She forgot all her suffering. With her hands, all her ten fingers, she took care, kept me warm with the heat of her body. She fed me with the essence of her body. She looked at me with loving eyes. When she looked at others, she had a different face. But when she looked at me, she looked with compassion, with a loving smiling face. She took care of me with a compassionate mind. When she scolded me, it was always with a good sound, not with stress.
When she sat, she held me in her lap. When she walked she carried me on her back. I was just a big piece of meat. If you think this is really true—just a piece of flesh. For me it’s kind of scary. A new baby is kind of scary. I think, “I also came like this.”
I was a big piece of flesh, with some hairs on top, knowing nothing. Doesn’t know how to work, doesn’t know how to work, doesn’t know to speak, doesn’t know how to drink, doesn’t know how to make peepee, kaka. Like a big fish, sort of like that. The mother took care, protecting my own life from hundreds of sentient beings. If the baby is just left just on the bed, not watched for one minute, the baby would fall down. If the body is not tied with something or if there is not somebody taking care, watching, if she was away in kitchen or somewhere, something happened, within one minute, something happened, the baby was crying. It fell down from the bed, bumped the head on the floor, putting things in the mouth. If it is dust, it is put in the mouth. If the baby gets stone, it is put in the mouth. If there is a knife, it is put in the mouth.
If the baby is just left there without anybody looking, there is danger outside of being eaten or killed. If she herself wasn’t there, she hires somebody to look after the baby. Like this she has been extremely kind. At birth time, just a piece of flesh but then the mother made it possible to speak. She taught me how to walk, by lifting the body, like this. She taught me how to make peepee, kaka—all this is by the kindness of mother. At birth time I didn’t know anything like this. Who made me understand all this, all these human behaviors, the human behavior? Mother taught me. Mother taught me.
So actually the mother is the one who made me become a human being. When I felt cold she bought me clothes. When I was hungry she gave me food and drink. She brought whatever is best for me, not for herself. Even if I made peepee or kaka on them, she changed them three, four, five times a day.
Maybe not in the West but in other countries, like Tibet and other places, in Nepal, first the mother chews the food and then she gives it to the baby. Although she doesn’t touch another person’s snot, she wipes off one’s own with her hand. Even without feeling that the kaka is dirty, she cleans it. She bears much difficulties. She doesn’t think how boring it is, how difficult. With much compassion, she thinks, my baby, my baby. Keeping oneself, my baby, in the heart, in the very depths of her heart. Even if she goes for a walk, even if she goes outside, this is like her constant object of meditation, the whole day and whole night, worries about the baby. How is my baby. Even if she doesn’t have much money, even if she has difficulty to obtain money, to make me happy she buys toys. She buys toys. Not one toy, not two toys, not three, one small room full of toys. She spends so much to make me happy. Even if there is no use for the toys for herself.
Then she sends me to school. She makes much material expenses, for me to have a good life, a happy life. With much concern she sent me to school. She asked the teachers for special attention, to be nice to my child. Also even at home she tried to find private teachers to do best among the other students. Things like that. By making much material expenses, by paying fees or by, all these things.
After that, she sends me to college or university, all these things. However expensive, she is happy to give. If she did not send us to school, if she didn’t teach us language, if she did not do anything like this, by now we wouldn’t have opportunity even to write the teachings, even to make notes, we wouldn’t have the opportunity. So now, anywhere we go we find a job. We can work in an office. We write letters. We are able to communicate like this, able to find a job easily. We are able to make money like this easily. We are able to have a comfortable life like this. All this completely by the kindness of this present life’s mother. If she did not take care, we wouldn’t become like this. We wouldn’t have received this opportunity.
So therefore it is completely a wrong idea to think, “I am competent, there is nothing to do with my .. I live by myself. I work, I make money by myself, I do not depend on my parents. I do not depend on my parents, my parents, they are my enemy. They are completely my enemy, my worst enemy.” Parents completely become the enemy, the worst enemy that we don’t want to look at, don’t want to help. I did this. All this good comfortable life, this, I did this by myself. I did this job, I am educated, so that’s why I make money by myself. This is a wrong idea. There is no way for this to happen if the parents did not take care when one was small. Think like this.
The mother is more happy to die her than to let her baby die. She prefers herself to get sick, if there is a choice. She has to collect food, clothing, material possessions by creating much negative karma, cheating others, telling lies, killing other beings. And she did this to take acre of me, without miserliness, very happy to give to me. And she will experience the results of this negative karma. I get the pleasure, she experiences the sufferings.
So anyway, the conclusion is that there are four ways to think, four ways to think of the kindness. The mother has been extremely kind, giving the body. The mother has been extremely kind by bearing all the hardships. Also giving education.. in the teaching it is said “living in the worldly path,” that means these normal things, teaching how to walk, drinking, eating, the normal behavior, the human beings’ behavior. She protected life and gave kindness, gave education, and gave the worldly path.
What I explained is just very basic. When you meditate, not only on this meditation but any other meditation, you make the commentary by yourself. You make clear, with many examples. With your own experience. In this way the meditation become effective.
If you do not make this body that causes much trouble to the parents useful, meaningful, this becomes only a cause of suffering for them.
Meditate to think that way, to think skillfully about life.
…because we don’t have enemies to visualize, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have anymore anger. It doesn’t mean that. In case it is like this, difficult to find, difficult to recognize, to find, you don’t have an enemy just for that moment, just for that time. But we need to train the mind in controlling anger.
So therefore we should create, visualize somebody, a person who is criticizing you. Normally that is the worst thing for you, the most painful thing for you. Whatever is more painful to your mind, whatever is more hurting to your mind, that you think, oh this person is telling me like this, how ignorant you are, you are a pig or you act like a chicken. Depending on which word is more hurting, more harmful to your mind, remember that. For some people beating is not so harmful but criticism is harmful for the mind. It doesn’t make a wound, or cut the limbs, but it is much worse than cutting the body with a knife. We keep this in the depth of our heart, and we do not lose it for many years. Visualize a person telling you like this, and then check how your mind reacts to that person. Then use the reasons to cut off anger and attachment.
Training the mind in equanimity meditation like this brings a result. Let’s say you meditate like this in the morning session, and then after some time, maybe in the office or in a party somewhere, someone criticizes you. The situation you visualized is actually happening. So you think. You remember the reasons that equalize the mind, that cause anger and attachment to not arise. Think that there is no point for me to get angry at this enemy because he gave me so much help and benefit in the past life. There is no point in being attached to this person. Both have been my helper in the past.
In this way, you see that no matter how violent the person, how kind the person is, the mind is not confused. The mind is free.
Equanimity meditation like this is very important. This is a remedy to use in our daily life. This is a method to stop confusion, the problems with people. It helps very much if we practice like this. This is the real time to practice meditation on equanimity. Like you see the army that trains for many years. Meditating on equanimity in the morning is like this—even though we have not met the actual condition, we visualize it, and this is exactly the same as we do in the military. They train in many different ways, for many years. When the actual war comes, they are able to win over the enemy. To not lose the country, to gain peace in the country. In our daily life meditation, this is necessary. When we meet the actual condition, when we are in a dangerous condition, the daily life meditation should benefit us. When we are in danger of throwing ourselves and others into the lower realm, we should use it. Otherwise however much understanding of sutra and tantra there is, it is not much use. Like the person who gets sick and has all the medicine, but never takes it. There is no benefit in having the medicine.
So equalize all sentient beings—they have all given help, and all given harm. They have given more harm than help. Even when they gave harm, it was due to ignorance, not recognizing the past relationship, discriminating as an enemy. All sentient beings have been one’s own mother numberless times. First meditate on the present life’s mother, or whoever took care of oneself, the father or stepmother or anybody, whoever took care of oneself from child time, whoever has been kind. If it’s the father, you meditate on the kindness of the father. In the prayers, normally it’s to the mother sentient beings, why not the father sentient beings? Why can’t it be said, I am going to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all the father sentient beings? Or brother sentient beings, or sister sentient beings? Why it should be always mother?
When you meditate, you can meditate on father, if the father took care of oneself. So like this, all the sentient beings have been my father, extremely kind like this, numberless times. Try to feel the kindness with all sentient beings, by using the example of the present life’s father like this. If it is somebody else, an uncle or somebody else, it is the same thing.
The main point is to be able to see the sentient beings in the aspect of most dear. That’s what we are trying to see. To be able to see all sentient beings in the aspect of the beloved or the most dear, as the mother feels her son, her child. This is the main point, to remember how they are extremely kind.
Normally we use mother because it’s easier. If you check, normally if you ask children, whom do you like most, father or mother? They say the mother more than the than father. Generally.
So anyway, it is easy to discover the kindness and to see in the aspect of beauty so that’s why the prayers say mother sentient beings. In this way then also easier to feel the great compassion and the love.
Like this you remember the four kindnesses, how she has given the body, saved the life from many hindrances by giving material enjoyment, food, clothing, experiencing much hardship to give me the body, to take care of me, to give me reputation, to lead me in the worldly path. The mother has taught oneself all the normal human behavior.
Also it is very good to visualize the kindness of the mother—even in this present life she did not die, she gave me the body numberless times in the past life. Feel the depthlessness of the kindness of giving the body. Numberless times she died when I was in her womb, when I was coming out, due to incredible pains. And in order to protect my life, she has been kind, protecting my life from many hindrances, giving food, giving clothing, this is not the first time. How much food she gave me, if it was collected from beginningless lifetimes, there would be no space left. The same with the clothing and milk that she gave me—if collected, it would equal infinite space.
In order to take care of me, how many times she gave up her life. The dead bodies would fill infinite space. Try to feel the depth of the great kindness.
So it is really unimaginable, because there is no beginning. There is no beginning. She has been kind since before the earth began. Even Buddha’s holy mind cannot say when this began. When we are very poor and have no money and someone invites us for a meal, or a cup of coffee, the mind is extremely happy and we feel that person is very kind. If they pay for us to stay in a hotel for one night, how kind we will think they are. We will wish to help them in the future…
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…the kindness of the mother. Then try to realize how she has been extremely kind, numberless times in past life giving the body, protecting life, experiencing the hardships, bringing in the path of the world, like this.
Then after that you meditate on the father. Also he has been my mother numberless times, he has been kind like this. In these four ways he has been also extremely kind to me, numberless times in my past life. Then after that think with the friend, enemy, then after that with all the rest of the sentient beings. All the sentient beings have been my mother numberless times, extremely kind to me in the four ways.
After you have equalized your mind to all the sentient beings, hold that feeling, and do fixed meditation for a short while.
So when one has generated the realization of the equanimity, whatever conditions happen, the mind is very strong, can’t be easily changed. It is difficult for anger and attachment to arise whenever the conditions are happening. Then, just like when we see our present life’s mother we think, “That is my mother,” no matter how many other people she is with, you will feel the same thing intuitively. Even when you see a mosquito, flying around, drinking blood, you will think, “Oh here is my mother.” Even if you see a flea, or a snake, or a mouse eating you while you are still in bed. Just like you feel with your present mother, not just mere belief. Even when you see a tiger, a fearful looking animal, the thought of it being my real mother arises without any effort.
Like the great bodhisattva Atisha—when he sees animals suffering, he says his mother is exhausted, his mother is suffering. This comes because of the experience, not just imitating.
Once in Tibet in the forest a horse was having a difficult time; his head got stuck in a bush. Atisha told his close disciple Dromtompa, “That mother is having difficulty.” Just like we say Lord Jesus, Lord Buddha—Lord Mother. The Kadampa geshes who have generated this realization call sentient beings Lord Mother.
So until we generate such as this realization, we should train our mind in this meditation. Until we get such experience. After this then meditate on the kindness of the mother sentient beings. Think like this.
Related with the example, the present life’s mother is blind. Her eye is blind, mind become crazy, and with each step she goes toward the precipice, running towards the precipice, where there is danger to fall down, not having freedom, the mind completely crazy, can’t see whether there is a cliff. How does the son feel for the mother? Extremely unbearable. If your mother was in such danger, how would your mind feel? You can’t stand just relaxing there, without helping the mother, without doing something for the mother, without guiding the mother. It’s impossible to relax even a minute, to comfortably lay down, relax the mind, while the mother is in such danger. Then just like this, all mother sentient beings are devoid of the wisdom eye that discriminate what is to practice, what is avoidance. They are devoid of the virtuous friend.
The mother sentient beings’ minds are possessed by the unsubdued mind, the three poisonous minds of ignorance, anger, and attachment. The mother sentient beings become crazy, possessed by the spirit, the unsubdued mind. Each movement that they do, each little action with the three doors, all that negative karma, it like she makes the step towards the precipice, and they are in danger of falling in the precipice of the lower realm. So many of them have fallen, have already fallen in the lower realm, so many of them are falling.
Constantly they experience the three sufferings. The suffering of suffering, the suffering of changes, the suffering of the pervading compounding aggregates.
First, you watch the animal beings, the mother sentient beings, whether they are exactly like this or not, you try to see clearly.
Meditate, meditate whether they are like this or not.
Right now meditate, think.
You remember what I have just said then you try to see whether the mother sentient beings animals are like that or not.
First of all think, they have been my mother. They have been kind numberless times, first you feel that, then think, then think whether they are like this or not by remembering what I have just mentioned.
Think how they are constantly experiencing the three types of suffering.
And they are devoid of the wisdom eye the discriminating what to practice and avoid. And devoid of the leader, devoid of the virtuous friend, the leader of the blind one.
They don’t have freedom, they have no freedom. They are crazy, being possessed by the spirit of the unsubdued mind.
With each movement they create negative karma and again are in the danger of falling down.
Like that, think of the preta beings, the narak beings, the human beings, and the sura and asura.
Now, I have a little bit of the wisdom eye, to be able to discriminate what to practice and what to avoid. And I have met the virtuous friend to lead me in the path to enlightenment, so I have more opportunity than those sentient beings. If I want to help the sentient beings, I have the opportunity to free the sentient beings from suffering, to live in happiness, the path of happiness. If I have the opportunity to do this, I can do this. Because I have met the teachings, I have the wisdom eye, the virtuous friend, the leader, leading me in the path to enlightenment. If I do the work, if I help the sentient beings, free them from suffering and lead them in the path of happiness, helping them by obtaining the temporal pleasure for them, giving them food and clothing, this is not what’s needed. There is not one single temporal pleasure that they never experienced before. Numberless times in the past life they were born as kings of the realm of gods, they have incredible material enjoyment, and so forth. This did not help them, that didn’t help them. What is the thing that they need? To be devoid of all the sufferings and to receive the ultimate happiness, the sublime happiness, enlightenment. That’s what is needed.
So this is the best way to repay the mother sentient beings. So therefore I must repay them by making them devoid of all the sufferings and living in the supreme happiness, enlightenment.
So then after this, meditate on the great equanimity. This is the different from the previous equanimity meditation recognizing the sentient beings as one’s mother. Generally there are many reasons to obtain this great equanimity. In the absolute way there are three reasons—according to the all-obscuring truth, there about six reasons to obtain the great equanimity for one’s own mind, to actualize the great equanimity.
There are lama’s meditation techniques about the nine reasons, the three absolute ways, the six all-obscuring truths. But the simple reason to meditate on great equanimity is that there is not one single reason why I am more important than other sentient beings. Normally we intuitively believe, “I am more important than other sentient beings.” Among sentient beings, we cherish ourselves the most.
…it’s a very interesting name, I like that name very much, “Buddha grass,” it is possible it is planted it becomes Buddha. So after taking this the first time you get all kinds of visions like a dream. This is relating to your mind, relating to your interest, relating to your normal interest, relating to impressions left in your mind, relating to your normal interest, like doing things in the dream. You get various visions, without having a body, kind of traveling, seeing different colors, kinds of like the death process. This is not necessary to talk about because it’s your experience. Maybe I made a mistake. You think everything is like a rainbow, everything kind of not solid, like in the dream time, what you see in the dream.
If they see Dharma books, as they read then they become kind of similar to what the teachings say, the experience is kind of similar. In the teachings it is said that everything is like a dream, false, not truly existent. These things kind of become similar, reading the book of the death, seeing the different colors, the intermediate stage, the astral trip, the person feels his experience is real. Because he experiences similar to what Buddhadharma explains, he has interest and wants to study the Buddhadharma. He wants to practice meditation, and at the beginning he might be expecting peculiar things, some kind of tantric practice. Then gradually through that interest he tries to see a guru. The expectation of tantra practice, trips, astral bodies, rainbow bodies…the expectation is not right, but it’s very useful. By that he meets the perfect guru, and begins to understand the basic teachings, the fundamental realizations. Then he learns the graduated practice without confusion.
Then he has refuge, and then practices bodhicitta and shunyata. So taking the mushrooms, the Buddha grass—without having taking them they would not have entered the Buddhadharma, the opportunity to practice Dharma would not have happened. The method of meeting the Dharma depends on the external elements. It’s a method that fits the time, and the country. Without that there is no way to meet the Dharma. Not with everybody, but with most people. When I ask people how they entered Dharma, many say they have taken that and read the Book of the Dead or many of those books.
So I think even those things at the beginning help you to change, to meet Dharma gradually. Those are also the method of Buddha. The transformation of Buddha. But you should not understand that after having met Dharma, you should take it. This is the wrong way of understanding, if you understand if that way. I am talking about at the very beginning, when the mind was in such a level, because there is no other method that fit that mind.
Rinpoche: Flesh of the gods … I see, yeah, yeah.
Rinpoche: All right. Okay. Then?
But I don’t mean that all these things are transformations of Buddha and you should take it, all the time, like this. It doesn’t mean this. It doesn’t mean this.
Definitely there is a benefit for those who had no other way to bring the mind Dharma—the mind is so closed, so solid, conception is so solid. But if the person carries on, with no limit, there is a danger to lose the life. Especially after one meets the Dharma, there is no need to say. For one who practices meditation, after one has met the Dharma, that method is finished. Like the bridge is necessary before you cross the river, but after you cross the river you do not carry the bridge with you. In the teachings it is said that Buddha, in order to guide sentient beings, manifested as external things, in the elements, and where there is need for a boat or a bridge, Buddha was those things. If there is need for rain, Buddha’s holy mind takes the form of a rain cloud. Like that, whenever a virtuous thought arises in our mind, that is the holy action of Buddha’s holy mind. That itself is the virtuous thought rising, generating the graduate path, accumulating the good karma. That is the holy action of the Buddha, the Buddha’s holy mind. At that time the Buddha’s holy mind is working for oneself. Benefiting oneself.
How? This is a little bit difficult to understand, this point. It needs a long time meditation, long time purification and meditation, and you have to study. This is a little bit difficult to understand. There are many causes to generate the virtuous thought. The causal condition, the object condition, the self condition and the immediate condition. There are four conditions like this. Causal condition, the self condition, immediate condition, the object condition.
The dharmakaya, the holy mind of Buddha, is the self condition for generating the good karma, the virtue. Without depending on Buddha’s dharmakaya there is no way for the result, the virtue, to arise. There is no way to create good karma without depending on the dharmakaya.
Dharmakaya is the cause of our good karma, of our virtue. That is the meaning of this self condition. The Tibetan name is dak ten. Dak is self. Ten is condition. Any causative phenomena, any impermanent phenomena, always have these four things, conditions.
Buddha has shown the teaching that shows this is the practice, this is avoidance, what should be renounced. So by depending on that, by understanding the teaching, what is virtue, what is non- virtue, we practice, and then we accumulate good karma. As the Buddha has explained in the teachings, as we understand this, as we practice, then we have the Dharma wisdom, so with the Dharma wisdom we understand what is virtue and what is non-virtue, then we accumulate good karma. How we accumulate good karma is dependent on this dharmakaya, the holy mind of Buddha. So without the teaching of the Buddha explaining this, there is no way to have the wisdom eye, recognizing what’s virtue, what’s non-virtue.
Also there are other ways to understand, but much is enough, just simple. It is also very useful to remember this, especially on the path of refuge. Even in normal life, it’s good to remember, so in this way one is aware all the time how Buddha is working for oneself, how Buddha is guiding oneself.
Then the elaborate way, to understand the qualities of Dharma is the five paths, there are five paths. In the five paths, they are called the path of uninterrupted. So this path becomes the remedy of the different unsubdued minds. The path of interruption becomes the remedy to the different levels of the unsubdued mind. Simply we can think like this. The teachings that explain the graduated path to enlightenment, those are Dharma, and can achieve enlightenment from this graduated path and its teachings. The words, the teachings, are also the quality of the Dharma, one can think like that.
As I explained this morning, then also one can think with the tantra path. It purifies the impure airs then the impure view and conceptions.
The qualities of the Sangha are similar, and the qualities of Dharma, and how the Dharma guides oneself. When you think of the qualities of Dharma, what each path purifies, removes, this stops the wrong conception. In the same way, think of the qualities of Dharma, and how the Dharma guides oneself. By actualizing the Dharma you purify all the unsubdued mind, all the obscurations, all the wrong conceptions.
Then Sangha. A good way to think is the qualities of Sangha relate to the five path, the five lesser vehicle path, the Hinayana path. The first one who has the path of merit, he always increases the thirteen accumulation of merit, and also he has power of four knowledges, and is able to transform things. He has three from the thirty seven Dharmas of enlightenment. The second one, the path of preparation achiever, realizes sixteen divisions of the Four Noble Truths. Sixteen divisions, branches of the Four Noble Truth.
I will stop here.
…the one who has achieved the third path …we were talking about the qualities of the Sangha and just trying to understand the five Hinayana paths. The Sangha, the one who has achieved the third path, has knowledge fully understanding, fully seeing emptiness. He is an arya being, a higher being because he has actualized, he has generated the true path. We talk about true path and true cessation of suffering, you see, so he has generated the true path. He has the transcendental wisdom to fully see emptiness. Those other Sangha do have wisdom of shunyata, they have realized shunyata but not fully.
The fourth who has achieved the path of meditation is able to remove the 81 unsubdued minds. He reaches the path of no-need training. His mind is completely devoid of all the seeds of unsubdued mind. His mind is not contaminated with the seeds of unsubdued mind. Arhats have incredible psychic powers, infinite knowledge. To be able to go anywhere, any other planet, any other universe, with incredible knowledge, able to see past, present, and future, things like that. They see so many forms, so many materials, and with his psychic power he can make them very small. He cane make flames coming out of water, and he is able to fly in space, able to transform many things like this through the concentration of earth, the concentration of water, the concentration of fire.
Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s disciple, one arhat, Kungawö, after Guru Shakyamuni Buddha passed away, within one week he was able to lead 80,000 people in the path, the third path.
When he was giving teachings to many of his disciples, the maras came to disturb his teachings. They showed the miracles, making rainfalls of food, the food and material possessions. They transformed into beautiful ladies in the place where he was giving teachings, dancing round, trying to disturb the teachings, trying to make the disciples not actualize the path. The arhat Kungawo was able to transform all the maras, the hindrances, the materials, the food, into flower rain. Those beautiful girls, dancing, he put the garlands of flowers on the neck and they became ugly.
Just to have some idea about the bodhisattva who has the achievement of the rising path. He has a spiritual body, different from the arya beings of the Hinayana path. He does not have to go through death, to the rebirth and then old age, sicknesses. He doesn’t experience these things. He is able to transform, able to manifest in one hundred forms, this bodhisattva who is on the first level of bhumi. There are ten bodhisattva levels. And the first, the one who has reached the…
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…he is able to manifest the hundreds of bodies with 100 surrounding each one. He is able to check 100 universes with his psychic powers. He is able to see 100 eons into the past and future. He is able to do 100 concentrations and able to travel in 100 fields in the Buddha’s realm. He is able to receive teachings from the buddhas. He is able to manifest in 100 realms, able to transform. Also able to give teachings to 100 sentient beings, with different bodies at the same time. This bodhisattva who has achieved the first level, how much he can do work for others. And he abides in that state for 100 eons.
On the second level all the hundreds become thousands…able to transform 1000 holy bodies, go to 1000 pure realms, give teachings with 1000 bodies to 1000 beings at the same time.
Then it goes up to 10,000, to millions...unimaginable millions. For the bodhisattva who has reached the tenth level, I don’t know how to put it in words. In English it’s difficult, anyway. This is just to have some idea of the quality of the Sangha. Going for refuge by understanding the qualities, and by understanding the differences. There are about six differences. Before what I talked about is understanding the qualities, taking refuge by understanding the qualities.
Now taking refuge by understanding the differences. Anyway this takes time, it must be in another book, probably from the library, Geshe Ngawang Dhargye, the detailed explanations on the basis of the outline. Then you can read, you can try to understand from that. It is very useful to understand this, to understand the six differences. From this you can understand Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, the different characteristics of each one. That’s the first difference. The second difference is the different action—the action of Buddha, action of Dharma, action of Sangha, like that. Then different wishes. The different wishes of the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. Then the difference of attainment. Then the difference of remembering. The difference of increasing merit.
From this what we should understand, one very useful thing—actually the whole thing is very useful—but what we should understand is the difference of actions, the functions of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Understanding this, then we understand how Buddha guides, how Dharma guides, how Sangha guides oneself. This is what I explained this morning. The action of Buddha is giving teachings, this is the way that Buddha guides one. Buddha guides sentient beings. And the action of Dharma, how Dharma guides is that it removes the unsubdued mind, the obscurations. How the Sangha guides is that as we see that the Sangha has generated the path, the mind is happy to hear this. Then we think, “Oh by seeing the possibility, by seeing the possibility, I can also this, I can also generate the graduated path to enlightenment, like those Sangha.” So the mind is happy. It makes the mind of other sentient beings happy, to see this possibility.
Then taking refuge by promising is important. This is the one point that you should understand. The wish to achieve the blissful state of peace, to achieve enlightenment, or even the happiness of the future life, it is important. If one has such a wish, this is important. Otherwise it is the individual’s choice of going for refuge. If one has a two pointed mind, taking refuge in the Buddha but taking refuge in the wrong founder who shows the wrong path who gives the wrong explanation of what the absolute nature is, having the doctrine that there is no past or future life—there are one hundred reasons.
There are four major Hindu religions, the one religion called “one who throws far.” I think it’s to do with the wrong views, and it throws oneself very far from the body of happy transmigratory beings where there is the possibility to experience happiness. There is no such thing as past life and future life or things like that. But those other Hindu religions believe in reincarnation. However, things like sacrificing the body, burning the body—there are many kinds of practices that that, which they believe is the path to nirvana, to liberation.
If one takes refuge in both, the Buddha and the wrong founder who shows the wrong path, the refuge is not pure, and one loses the ordination of refuge. Even if one has taken the bodhisattva vow, the Vajrayana vow, pratimoksha vow, the refuge ordination is lost. It’s like that, the road on which goes one down, goes up the mountain, he wants to go down, he wants to go up at the same time, like this. If you want to check up, if you want to check how they are, then the way to check up is to study the text that explains the qualities of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, Buddha’s holy body, holy speech, and the mind of Buddha.
There is one text, I don’t know whether it’s translated into English or not, Special Admiration to Buddha. It’s written by an author who was great, who was very learned in Hinduism, who used to be a follower of Mahadeva, Mahashura or Mahadeva. In order to make offerings to Mahadeva, he went to Kailash, the mountain in Tibet, with his brother. They saw that Mahadeva was making offerings to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. So then afterwards, they entered the Buddhadharma; they studied Buddhadharma and became extremely learned pundits.
So he wrote one text called the Special Admiration to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, and he explained clearly all his experiences, how there are great differences between Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and those other founders. So he said, like this, I take refuge in you by renouncing other founders, why? Why? You are stainless, you have no mistake, you are devoid of all mistakes. The more I think of the other doctrines, the more I get devotion to you, Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. There is a whole text like this, clearly explaining all his experiences.
Some think that Krishna, Ram are transformations of Buddha, and then following that philosophy, following that path, is similar to this. Among animals there are transformation of Buddha—pigs, dogs, tigers, elephants, snakes, so one must follow, must behave like snakes, must behave like tigers. It’s important, whether Buddhist or not, the first thing is to study all the different things and check which has mistakes, which has more mistakes, which founder is devoid of mistakes.
So refuge is refuge and that’s the thought. Having aversion or the positive fear, suffering of samsara, the lower realm, and then complete reliance on the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, that they have the perfect power to guide oneself from this. This thought is not a consciousness. So this is the refuge. If one is thinking like this, then one is taking refuge, even if the person does not say the words of refuge, “I go for refuge Buddha, Dharma, I go for refuge Dharma, I go for refuge to Sangha.” Even if the person doesn’t know the words, if his mind is in such a state like this, he will have complete reliance on the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, the perfect power to guide oneself from those realms, the suffering realms. That is refuge. If one has that, then one has refuge. One has pure refuge. If one does not take refuge to others, wrong founders, then one has pure refuge, like this.
If this not explained to those who have just heard lam-rim for the first time…there are hindrances. Even though I talk so much about how important bodhicitta is, if you are not careful of the hindrances to generate the path, if you create the cause of hindrances, it makes things difficult. This is extremely important in daily life. If one is careless of this, it becomes a great hindrance to generating the path. It disturbs the happiness and success of this life and the future lives. So therefore this is a small thing, but it is extremely important to practice.
There are three things to renounce, to avoid. There are three things to practice, by taking refuge in Buddha, one should renounce following the wrong founder, for the benefit of oneself, in order to fulfill one’s own wish, to achieve this goal, as I mentioned before. And then by taking refuge in the Dharma, what one should avoid is giving harm to sentient beings, as much as possible. Hurting, saying bad words, hurting people, without any Dharma reason, without good motivation, without any beneficial reason to the person, criticism, hurting, saying rude words, harming creatures, any sentient being, renouncing giving harm to other sentient beings with the motive wanting to give harm. That is really something that we should try to avoid.
Then by taking refuge in the Sangha one should not follow, one should not rely on the wrong guide or the friend who has the wrong view, who does the completely wrong action, no understanding of past, future life, karma, things like that. If one follows those wrong guides or wrong friends, there is danger that one will listen to his idea. It does not mean that you should renounce, you should renounce that person as an object of compassion. This is completely opposite to Buddhadharma, but you should have compassion. Physically it is not necessary to be with them when there is the danger that oneself can be influenced by the person and follow the wrong path. This way the Sangha cannot guide oneself, like that.
So by taking refuge in Buddha then one should respect any paintings of Buddha, any statues of Buddha, even if they are broken, even if it’s just the head. Visualize it as the real Buddha, then if it is on the road, under the bed, somewhere, on the floor, then with respect, remembering that he is my object of refuge, who guides me in the suffering of the lower realm. Remember the qualities of Buddha, with respect, and put it in a higher place, a clean place, like that. Even if it’s a broken painting of Buddha, statue, like that. One should not put it on the dirty ground, floor, on the bed.
Same thing with the text. Even if it’s not a complete book, even if it’s one torn page, or a few lines. Similar with the statues. If it is on the dirty ground or under the bed, remembering that this is the teaching of the Buddha, which shows the path to receiving enlightenment, which liberates me from suffering, remember the function of Dharma with respect.
In Tibet they keep all the missing pages from books together somewhere, in caves, and sometimes they build a kind of stupa, a kind of round wall and put them inside of that, or sometimes we say mantras and burn them. Like that, they don’t just throw in the garbage.
And also one can’t discriminate like this with this statue, which has …
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…you can judge the person’s art, the handicraft, how the hand is skillful, but the holy body of Buddha, you can’t judge. There is no such thing as an ugly holy body of Buddha. There is no such thing as Buddha’s holy body having a broken nose. There is no such ugliness. So if one judges like this one creates negative karma. Also, one shouldn’t put the statue which is made of good material, gold, silver, very high, and the one which is made of mud, very poor material, in the bathroom or downstairs, on the steps or somewhere. One shouldn’t discriminate like that. It is the same, so however one respects the good material ones, one should respect the bad or poor material.
Also, especially in the front of the altar if farting, smoking cigarettes, making a bad smell, that’s no good. That pollutes the whole place—especially smoking cigarettes is worse than farting. In front of the holy object, the altar, one should respect. One should not stretch out the legs to the altar. One should always try to have good manners in front of the altar, even making offerings with much respect, as if you are actually in front of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. There is no doubt that Guru Shakyamuni Buddha is there, there are numberless buddhas, there are all the buddhas, wherever one is, wherever one is. On one’s head as you visualize Avalokiteshvara, there is Avalokiteshvara, there are all the buddhas. Everywhere, wherever one lives, wherever one goes. What happens then if one puts material on the Dharma text, on the statue, like shoes, or the cushions, or puts them on the ground, or steps over them without respect—these things pollute the mind and become a hindrance. Then when you start to meditate, you can’t remember anything. The first thing that comes is sleeping. The mind is completely dark, foggy, and it is very difficult to remember. Even in analytical meditation nothing is clear, doesn’t come clear, it is not strong, not effective, the mind being very foggy. Like that. Falling asleep. Those are pollutions. Those are different pollutions, therefore one should be very careful.
These are the three advices for the practice. So if you want to generate the realization of the graduated path to enlightenment, you have to practice these fundamental things, practice karma. Without practicing karma, without practicing these things, you create more and more hindrances, and there is no way. So therefore if you want to generate the rest of the path to enlightenment quickly then you should stop creating the cause of hindrances. Like that.
Then for the Sangha, one should not discriminate monks and nuns. Even though they are not Absolute Sangha, anybody who is wearing robes, one should respect, thinking this is Absolute Sangha. From one’s own side thinking, oh, he’s my guide, he guides me from the suffering of samsara, remembering the function of Sangha. One should respect even if the discriminating thought, the criticizing mind arises, try to stop it. by remembering the qualities, try to think, oh, maybe he is a bodhisattva, maybe he is Buddha, how can I criticize? Probably I am creating an incredible heavy negative karma.
One practice is mentioned—in the road, even when you see a piece of yellow clothe, red cloth, think, the Sangha who wears this robe has special knowledge, has special qualities. By remembering the qualities, the realization of moral conduct, put it in a high place. By taking refuge in the Sangha, this is one advice, to not criticize, to respect anybody who wear robes. Criticizing monks and nuns is very heavy negative karma. There happened so many stories in past time. With negative mind, with angry mind, someone said, “He is jumping like a monkey,” such a tiny negative karma but the person had to be born 500 times as monkey. So I think, that much on the advice of refuge.
The samsaric beings’ sufferings have arisen from desiring pleasure for oneself. All the pleasures of the living beings in the world have risen from the wish for happiness for others, from wishing happiness for others. As great Shantideva said in his teachings, “What is the need to talk so much? The child does work for oneself. Guru Shakyamuni Buddha does work for others, look at the differences.” Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, by renouncing the work for oneself, by renouncing self-cherishing thought, and cherishing others, by doing the work of others, achieved enlightenment a long time ago.
This is a mistake, only working for self, and having cherished only oneself from beginningless previous lifetimes until now—one is unable to be free from samsara, and to achieve enlightenment. Guru Shakyamuni Buddha was suffering, was wandering, similar to oneself, but then Guru Shakyamuni Buddha by renouncing work for oneself, by renouncing the self-cherishing thought, did the work for others, cherished others, and achieved enlightenment. So oneself is still left in the samsara. The root mistake is working only for self. Following all the time the self-cherishing thought.
So, anyway, without talking much, numberless sentient beings have received enlightenment, and still oneself is living, wandering in samsara. So as long as we don’t renounce the self-cherishing thought and cherish others, as long as you don’t change the work, as long as we don’t renounce the work for oneself and do the works for others, we will have to wander much longer in samsara than before in the future. So therefore cherishing others, doing the work for other sentient beings, is extremely important and a great advantage.
Like the great pundit Atisha was able to do great work for the teachings, for the sentient beings. In Tibet there are many sentient beings, and still his teachings benefit us—the lam-rim, still benefiting us, still doing great works for sentient beings. Like this, even though he passed away a long time ago, due to having generated the bodhicitta, renouncing oneself and cherishing others, Atisha met Tara, so many numbers of buddhas. Atisha was able to communicate, able to see many buddhas. To receive predictions. Any work that had to be done, Atisha could communicate with Tara, can receive predictions, can receive advice from Tara. Like we talk to each other, like that. This was due to his power of bodhicitta.
His guru, Lama Champa, also by doing this practice, having accumulated so much merit, having generated bodhicitta, renouncing oneself, cherishing others, was able to see Maitreya Buddha and received teachings.
Another of Atisha’s gurus, Lama Dharmarakshita, had incredible generating thought of bodhicitta, renouncing oneself, cherishing others. He saw a wounded dog and he cut his flesh and gave it to the dog, made charity, because of this practice, renouncing oneself, cherishing others. This became incredible, unimaginable purification, accumulating incredible merit, so that after he did this, then he was able to see Avalokiteshvara. Then Asanga, one of Maitreya Buddha’s disciples tried to see Maitreya Buddha for twelve years. He did not succeed, but at last he saw a wounded dog and had incredible, unbelievable compassion, so he cut his own flesh to feed the worms on the wounded dog, and picked them out with his tongue, without fear of dirt. As his tongue stretched out, the dog transformed into Maitreya Buddha.
Then suddenly he grabbed Maitreya Buddha, he kind of screamed, “I have meditated on you for twelve years, why you didn’t show up before?” Maitreya said, “I was always in the cave with you.” Then he showed the mark where Asanga had spit on him in the cave. Asanga requested teachings and Maitreya Buddha took him to Tushita and gave him the teachings on the Abhisamalankara in one morning, which was for him 50 years. This is all due to the power of bodhicitta.
One Kadam, one geshe Tsembuwa, his guru was one great yogi Ngakpa Choepa, who always flies in the sky. When he travels he always flies in the sky, surrounded by many dakinis. Dakini are female beings who have very high achievements of the tantra path and always they travel like this. They play music, they play drums, and bells like this. They go with his guru, Ngakpa Choepa, “having black color.” His disciple, Geshe Tembuwa, was a very simple monk, wearing torn robes. One day he went to the holy place call Devikoti. His guru went first. There was a big river and at the river was a lady whose body was full of leprosy wounds, terribly ugly. Ngakpa Choepa saw her and did not recognize her and did not help her across the river. He just left. But his disciple Tsembuwa came along and felt incredible, unbelievable compassion, no concern for the disease, so he took the lady on his back and tried to cross the big river. When he reached the middle the lady transformed into Vajrayogini, the female aspect of Buddha. She embraced him and without him needing to leave his body, she led him to the pure realm. This incredible compassion itself becomes incredible purification, a method for accumulating incredible merit.
There are so many stories like this. So in order to generate bodhicitta, if we want to swiftly generate bodhicitta in our mind, the special thought cherishing others, renouncing oneself, then we have to depend on special deity, the guru, the special deity. We are dependent on the guidance of the guru Avalokiteshvara who is inseparable from the guru. We should take refuge, we should follow them in order to quickly to generate bodhicitta. If you want to generate bodhicitta soon, loving compassion, one method is to recite the mantra of Avalokiteshvara. There is a short one and a long one. If we recite well this mantra, that’s one method to quickly generate and develop compassion.
People who normally recite much this mantra, laypeople, father, mother and even monks, usually people who recite this mantra have a very subdued and a very good personality, a very good heart. Due to the power of this mantra and this deity. Like this.
So this is one method to quickly generate bodhicitta. Then the meditation as we have being doing. You visualize Guru Avalokiteshvara then he become oneness with your mind. Become oneness with Guru Avalokiteshvara ‘s mind and recite the mantra. One pointed praying to Guru Avalokiteshvara, recite the mantra, then doing the practice of mandala offering, prostration, seven limbs, this is the way to quickly generate bodhicitta. For that reason, this is the purpose of taking the initiation.
So those who are taking initiation think like this. I must achieve enlightenment for the …
…part of the practice of the refuge, which is very important to understand, one that I forgot to mention, is that however difficult the means of living, one shouldn’t make a business of the holy objects—the Dharma texts or statues. Arya beings who are free from unsubdued mind and karma cannot be polluted or harmed by this. But otherwise there are many stories. There are yogis who were able to see Avalokiteshvara, without heavy obscurations, who had to go through incredible great pain right after they have taken food, the wrong livelihood food, that was offered by the benefactors who got that money by selling the holy texts. Usually Tibetan texts have long pages and each one might have four, five hundred pages, and this family had this text. They became poor later on and they sold all these texts to other people and with this money they tried to live. They offered food with that money, to this great yogi and three other monks. In the beginning he didn’t know, so anyway, he was asked by his guru—actually his guru was invited by the benefactor and the guru did not go, the guru send this great yogi and took three or four other monks to do puja at the benefactor’s house. The benefactor offered food, then right after this, this lama got a terrible pain, unbelievable pain inside the body. This lama, he checked up, and there was a letter AH, a white letter AH going through the body, having incredible pain wherever it goes. He communicated to Avalokiteshvara and Avalokiteshvara told him, “The reason you have pain right now, right after this food, is because of this wrong life food that you are eating. The money was obtained by selling texts.”
The other three monks didn’t get sick because this first lama had very thin obscurations, and so would experience the result right away. The other monks don’t receive anything because they will be born in the narak realms after death. To purify this karma obscuration, he told them to write this text in gold ink.
There have been many stories like that. Anyway, it doesn’t matter, that much is enough.
However, this is one thing you should understand. If you don’t understand then it becomes heavy negative karmas, a distraction for the mental development, and for practicing Dharma, to generate the realizations. One should do well this practice of the refuge.
Even when we read Dharma, the holy texts, we don’t point like this, with fingers, but with respectful hands like this, or even to statues, if you are describing what it is.
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…kind of scary. Then I think Lama Yeshe called her to buy something, then another English or American mother there, working together in the shop, was not speaking, kind of closed her face, and the other mother was kind of trying to help in the understanding. In the West, you don’t [fingers snapping] call people like this. It’s very bad, she said. Anyway, not necessary to tell more.
When you describe holy objects, do it with respect and hands like this. Don’t point like this, don’t read text like this, like this. In daily life whenever we eat, drink, always remember the Triple Gem, the dharmakaya, and make offerings. Whatever one drinks, whatever one eats, and also make three prostrations before going to bed, in the morning, visualizing Buddha, remembering Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, and make three prostration. After you get up, then before you go to bed, like this.
Then also with compassion for other sentient beings, try to lead them gradually in the path of refuge, by talking about the benefits, by talking about the qualities of Buddha, qualities of Dharma. Then there are branches, they are also like this.
Not giving up the refuge even if it cause life danger. Even playing games, one doesn’t renounce the refuge, the Triple Gem. Even if one has to die, not renouncing the refuge. If somebody makes the choice, either you renounce refuge or you die, you should choose the death, like this. If you don’t renounce, I will kill you. Even if one is in such danger, there is no other choice, if one gives up one’s life for refuge, one will never get born in the realm of the suffering transmigratory being. There have been many stories in past times. Outer beings put others in a dangerous point, you must choose, your life or renounce refuge. They did not renounce refuge and they preferred to be killed, but because the person died while remembering refuge, it was impossible to be born in the lower realm. So that much on the refuge.
So put all the blame on one, the root. What is that one where we should all the blame? That is the self-cherishing thought. Because that is the root of all our suffering, what we experience in the six realms, in the human realm, sura, asura, narak, preta—because of self-cherishing thought. As it is like this in reality, by recognizing this, by understanding this, by depending on Buddhadharma, the Mahayana teachings, first try to recognize this, then put all the blame on the self-cherishing thought, the devil or the mara, the self-cherishing thought, which has been living in one’s heart.
Yesterday the quotation that I mentioned, the child doing works for self and Guru Shakyamuni Buddha doing work for others. Child means, normally in the family, the parents they work for family, they work so hard. The small child never thinks to take care of the family. The small child thinks how I can be happy today. Only thinks to play. They only seek only their own comfort, to play. There is no concern for the comfort of the family. Exactly like this, even if the parents have big problems, the child doesn’t know, child doesn’t recognize, doesn’t pay attention, even if they are sick, they are not aware, they don’t feel any kind of upset, nothing. Like that, the person who works only for self, that is the child. As long as oneself works for only the self, and doesn’t renounce the self-cherishing thought, one is a child.
It is said by the great bodhisattva Shantideva in his teaching, if one does not purely exchange one’s own pleasure and others’ suffering, enlightenment cannot be achieved. There is no pleasure in the samsara. I don’t know how to say this, it’s a little bit confusing.
Let alone the future life. Even the happiness of this life cannot be achieved. Is that right? Huh? Forget about the obtaining the happiness of future life. You won’t get. it That’s what I am saying, you won’t get it. And besides that, even the happiness of this life. Forget about the future lives, even the happiness of this life won’t be achieved. How much you wish, how much you expect, you won’t get it. That’s what it’s saying. He’s saying is if one does not exchange the cherishing oneself and renouncing others—instead of cherishing oneself, cherish others. Instead of renouncing others, renounce oneself. If this exchange is not done, then how is it possible to achieve enlightenment. Impossible. It’s a dream. Without doing this exchange, enlightenment is a dream, is hopeless. There is no hope to achieve enlightenment. Even while oneself is in samsara there is no pleasure, no happiness. And to have a happy life in the future life, forget it. There is no hope for that, forget it. However much one wishes to have happiness, one can’t obtain, one can’t receive it. That’s why great the bodhisattva Shantideva said even the works of this life would not be fulfilled. Forget about the future life.
For instance, if one does not exchange one’s pleasures for others sufferings even the servants find a very hard time with oneself. They become very disobedient and they don’t work for oneself. Even the employers and leaders and masters who give us jobs don’t give us salaries. There are much problems. In the world today there are always strikes—airlines and pilots, appealing for more salary. Between that the people find it hard to get the works of this life done. Everybody has much problems. So many people get problems. The government, the employers, the passengers, so many people by the way in their life have much problems. Then the people who work in the post office, they make strikes, then again so they have problems. Then the banks, those who work on the ships, who do the transportation, who work for sailing the ship, again they make the strike, and again it cause many problems to so many people. They don’t obtain the works of this life. Fighting each other, the salary doesn’t increase, then they stop working, it was first of all one’s person’s idea then he told other people, then more and more. Following the self-cherishing thought. Like this, more and more. It disturbs so many people’s comfort. Fighting each other, criticizing each other, killing each other, destroying, burning homes. Bombing. All these are shortcomings of self-cherishing thought. All these problems came from self-cherishing thought. As long as the self-cherishing thought is here, strongly living in one’s own heart, if one sees educated people, rich people then one feels jealous. It happened in the cities, many poor people become a group and they destroy the wealthy people. The poor people don’t like the wealthy people, they think all the money is in their hand, they are keeping all the money. They feel jealous because themselves they don’t have. They criticize wealthy people. Actually it’s nothing to do with their problems, the difficulty of their life is not caused by the wealthy people. They put the whole blame outside. First one person has the idea to destroy wealthy people’ shops, supermarkets, banks, the government office, the important places, then more people gather, following the self-cherishing thought, being jealous of others. It is not possible, even though they expect it. They end up with their life in the prison, or being shot, punished, torture—besides not receiving peace in the life.
So you can see all the time, what we see in the television, news, what we hear of everyday problems in each country—all these are based on self-cherishing thought, came from self-cherishing thought. So self-cherishing thought is very strong. The workers’ self-cherishing thought is very strong. The employers’ self-cherishing thought is very strong. So because both of their self-cherishing thought very strong, it is very difficult.
If one of their self-cherishing thought is renounced—if both the servant and the master have self-cherishing thought that is too strong, the worker can’t renounce, he can’t give comfort, pleasure to him. He can’t take others suffering, can’t cherish the master, he wants to work only for one’s own pleasure, doesn’t care about the sufferings of others. And the master has self-cherishing thought, very strong one. Like iron, very strong one. Only concern with one’s own pleasure, he doesn’t cherish the servant, the worker, only himself. Then they renounce others, like this.
So, you see, it is very difficult, so difficult, so difficult. For both of them, always to be harmonious, to have peace, is very difficult, because he is concerned only with his happiness. The other one is concerned only with his own happiness. It is very difficult to have a peaceful relationship, to have peace in the life. So this is the whole world’s problem. Between two people there are problems like this—you can see very clearly from self-cherishing thought. If self-cherishing thought is very strong then there is great confusion in life. Self-cherishing thought is the one that breaks all the harmony, in the society, between two countries, in the family, between two states, between the teacher and disciple.
If the self-cherishing thought is living in one’s own heart, very strong, then even the parents, even the Dharma friends, even the guru, how much they give compassion, don’t do bad action, do good action, from sincere heart, however much they give advice, however much the teaching says the cause of happiness is virtue, the cause of suffering is non-virtue so you must attempt to accumulate the cause of happiness and renounce the cause of suffering—as long as the self-cherishing thought is living in the heart, then it doesn’t go. The advice that is given by good friend or by the parents, from their sincere heart doesn’t go in one’s own ear. One can’t accept. One find it very difficult to accept. One doesn’t pay attention, one doesn’t listen. Being careless, being careless …
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Trying to give up, trying to renounce, creating good karma, creating the virtuous action, trying to renounce as much as possible, trying to give up. Finding it very hard to accept Dharma. Even though many other people can understand and are practicing oneself finds it extremely difficult to accept, extremely difficult to practice—that is the shortcoming of self-cherishing thought, that is the mistake of following the self-cherishing thought As long as the strong self-cherishing thought is there, one always listens to it, one doesn’t pay attention to others, however much the truth is explained.
The advice that is given by the guru is like this. Practice virtue, renounce harming others, from the very sincere heart however much advice is given, one finds it very difficult to listen, to accept, to practice—that is the mistake of the self-cherishing thought. As long as the self-cherishing thought is there, it’s very painful, it causes much confusion. Then feeling jealous when you see the friend, when you see another person who has more understanding of the Dharma. Again one receives suffering, when you see other people who have a better education, a better understanding of Dharma. There is suffering in the mind. If one is rich, or if one has a good education, and then again one sees the uneducated people, the poor people, there is suffering in the mind, one feels pride. These are because of the self-cherishing thought.
Even if one meets people who are equal in the education, in material wealth, in caste, the shape of the body, the color of the body—again, one feels competition, one feels competition. Again there is suffering in the mind, wanting compete, who is better. Wanting to show that I am better, I am better than him. Wanting to expose like this. Like this.
So as long as the self-cherishing thought is living in our heart, it makes so much suffering in the mind. As you meet the different objects, the sentient beings, even the non-living things, attachment arises if it is beautiful, and you want to have that for oneself, for the sake of one’s own comfort. If it is an ugly object, anger arises, it causes ignorance; if it is an indifferent object, not ugly, not beautiful, like this.
So it is very clear if you check up, if you meditate in a wide way, the daily problems that we experience and the problems of the world, of outside people—you can see very clearly how they are completely a mistake of self-cherishing thought. One person, such as Hitler, having created so much negative karma, so many millions of Jews killed, all those are shortcomings of self-cherishing thought. Shortcomings of his self-cherishing thought.
How powerful it is, how dangerous is the self-cherishing thought, how one person’s self-cherishing thought is so dangerous, so powerful and so dangerous. Not only it is dangerous for the person himself, but also to the rest of the world, to the rest of the countries. So think like this. Remember this example, of one who killed so many people—all this happened because of this self-cherishing thought, wanting to have power, reputation, to obtain pleasure for oneself. So by following the self-cherishing thought, as he listens to self-cherishing thought, if the self-cherishing obliges him to create all the heavy negative karmas, besides destroying so many perfections, the happiness of so many of the sentient beings—able to give incredible harm like this.
Then not only his self-cherishing thought, born in the naraks, many eons to experience suffering but this self-cherishing thought obliges him to let so many other sentient beings create negative karma together. All those millions of armies that he sent to kill, all the workers. What obliges them to create negative karma together is his self-cherishing thought. That one self-cherishing thought has thrown so many other sentient beings in the lower realm, in the naraks, by leading them to create negative karma. So you see how incredibly harmful it is, one person’s self-cherishing thought—it disturbs the rest of the world, you see, so harmful.
Similarly if you think about Mao. There are many examples of stories that happened in the past time—one person, in order to get power, in order to pleasure for oneself, by following the self-cherishing thought gave harm to so many sentient beings. Millions and millions of sentient beings.
So self-cherishing thought is one’s own enemy. The real enemy. There is no enemy, there is no enemy outside. Finding the enemy outside is because of the inner enemy, the self-cherishing thought. If you don’t have the self-cherishing thought, the inner enemy, there is no outer enemy. You see what makes us discriminate, what makes us believe, what makes to discriminate the sentient beings as enemy, that is the self-cherishing thought. If one doesn’t have self-cherishing thought, all the sentient beings are friends, one sees all the sentient beings as friends and relatives. One sees all the sentient beings as extremely kind. One sees all sentient beings in beauty, in the aspect of most dear. Even those who disturb one’s own pleasure, who kill oneself, who torture oneself, who criticize oneself—one sees him as a best friend, extremely kind. One does not find an enemy among all the sentient beings. So the self-cherishing thought, this is the real enemy.
Once this inner enemy is destroyed, this harmful enemy is destroyed, this harmful enemy which has been living there in one’s own heart from beginningless previous lifetimes, it becomes non existent, there is no enemy outside. All the outside enemy is destroyed, once this inner enemy is destroyed.
As Shantideva says, the thorn goes in the flesh, and if you try to burn and destroy all the thorns on the earth you will never finish cutting them. Also you cannot cover the whole earth with leather. But if you wear shoes of leather they cover the whole earth. No thorn can go inside.
Once this inner enemy that has been living in your heart from beginningless previous lifetimes is destroyed, then all the enemies are completely destroyed. One doesn’t find one single enemy. Even the animals, tigers, snakes, all those fearful animals, can’t give harm, they don’t become the enemy. One doesn’t find any enemy among the sentient beings.
You did not look at them the right way. You see, I told you the example. For instance, the master, the employer, who has a servant, if he is not concerned for the servant, but only concerned for his own pleasures, not changing the cherishing oneself and renouncing others—here I am giving example. Because of that problem also the servant would have problem, the money that he pays is very little, you understand? It is possible that he ask the employer, either with self-cherishing thought or without self-cherishing thought, possible one or the other way. But however this master, he finds difficult, he finds difficult, when he is asked for more money. Why? That is because of his own mistake. Why does he say he is not going to work without giving more money? That is his own mistake, you understand? The master finds it difficult, the master finds it difficult, unhappy without his workers. That is the mistake of one’s self-cherishing thought. Like this.
However, if one exchanges with the other, the confusion becomes much less. The master who is having problems with the world becomes unhappy, and this comes from his self-cherishing thought. Not only is he not paying attention to other’s suffering, but he has accumulated karma in the past and is experiencing those difficulties of life. There are many ways to think about it.
The conclusion is that we should pray to bring the world really in peace, to have real harmony and peace of mind in all sentient beings, pray to the Triple Gem to pacify the thought of self-cherishing in the mind.
Also from one’s own we should pray like this, and we should work, we should act to accomplish the mind peace for all sentient beings. Not on the mountain, not on the land, but in their mind, in their mind. So we should pray, we should wish, we should pray, we should act, we should work for that. First of all, one sentient being, yourself, first establish mind peace within one’s own mind, then if one generate the bodhicitta cherishing others, first within one’s mind, in this way one can do much more skillful work, to pacify the self-cherishing thought, the cause of the suffering of sentient beings. One can do the beneficial work, establishing the mind peace. It is very difficult to subdue the mind of others, other sentient beings without subduing one’s own mind.
The stronger, the less the self-cherishing thought there is, the greater happiness one finds in this life. There is much less confusion within one’s life, and also one creates that much less confusion for other sentient beings. One is able to offer that much more comfort, happiness to other sentient beings. Normally if the self-cherishing is very strong, no matter how much one is rich, no matter if one is living in a beautiful apartment made of jewels, even if the floor is lapis lazuli, all the walls are made of gold, eating always rich food, wearing the most expensive clothes that are made of gold, if the self-cherishing is so very strong then the mind is not happy even if you are living in such a beautiful apartment, so expensive like this, eating delicious food, expensive food, wearing rich clothes, expensive clothes, going with friends or in the expensive cars—if one has great enjoyment like this, the mind is not happy if one is very strongly self-cherishing. The mind is kind of painful, very painful, and there are so many enemies, including strong self-cherishing thought. There are many dislikeable people, friends, enemies, so many things to discriminate. The mind is not relaxed, not comfortable, in a person who has very strong self-cherishing thought.
However much the great enjoyment one has, rich food one is eating, wearing clothes, like this, one has great pain in the heart. One is disharmonious with the surrounding people. Being disagreeable, one can’t dedicate oneself for the happiness of them, and one is in one’s house with a very uncomfortable mind, with much pain. There is no peace even if one has great enjoyment.
If one’s heart is very good, not having strong self-cherishing thought, not following the self-cherishing thought, not paying attention to one’s own suffering, having more of happiness of other sentient beings, cherishing others more, if one has a very good heart like this, then even if one lives in the hut, the house made of grass, in such a poor condition like this, eating just very poor food, just one single rice, just one single dhal, like that, even just water to drink, no tea, no expensive alcohol, no expensive drinks—the mind is so happy. There is no painful mind, disliking somebody. The person is harmonious, very friendly with everybody. The mind is so relaxed, so comfortable, nothing to get scared of, nothing to feel difficulty with, in the life, in the mind. The mind is so comfortable and so happy. Even with just rice and dhal, nothing else, only water to drink, the mind is so happy. With happiness one can enjoy.
The person who does not have a good heart, very strong self-cherishing thought, in any country, wherever he goes, with whomever he stays, everybody turns into an enemy. He goes to, he stays here sometimes, he goes to Katmandu town, he stay with somebody and they become an enemy. Here the surrounding people become an enemy. In Katmandu, he goes to Katmandu, he stays with those people, then those surrounding people again become the enemy. Again you run away from them. Go to another place, in India, and then stay with some people, and again those become an enemy. You go back to the West, stay with some people, and again those become an enemy. In one or two days, one becomes a dislikeable object for them. An object that they hate to see. Everybody criticizes that person. Those old people tell even the new friends, “If he comes to your home, don’t look after him; don’t pay attention to him because he’s such a bad person, such a cruel mind.” Then the new people don’t like him.
People criticize him, and they don’t call him for parties. Wherever he travels, he finds it very difficult to stay. Others don’t take care of him. People find it very difficult with that person. He’s too strong, his desire is too strong in his own work. He doesn’t get along with other people. He has no concern for other’s pleasures. Nothing becomes agreeable. It is difficult to make him understand, make him listen…
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…the sentient being that we recognize as the enemy. Even if they kill, or cut the body in small pieces, even if the wild animals eat the body, they cannot throw oneself in the naraks. If one hasn’t accumulated negative karma to be born in the lower realm, with self-cherishing thought, they cannot throw oneself in the lower realm. But the self-cherishing thought throws oneself in the lower realms by obliging oneself to accumulate negative karma. So harmful, the self-cherishing thought. There is nothing more harmful than self-cherishing thought, anything outside, an element, fire, water, air, earth, any other living being, nothing is more harmful than the self-cherishing thought. The self-cherishing thought is so powerful, it can destroy all the people on this earth; it can destroy the whole world.
So you can see how dangerous the world is, how it becomes atomically dangerous, and can be destroyed in a minute. The self-cherishing thought can cause much danger like this.
So you can see how all the leaders of the country, as long as the self-cherishing thought in their mind is not changed, as long as their self-cherishing thought is not transformed, will there be peace in the world? As long as the self-cherishing thought in the people in this world are not changed and the leaders of the country do not change, will there be peace in the world, to not have any fighting, to not have any wars? It’s very difficult. Very dangerous. Very dangerous. The enemy that we should be scared of is the self-cherishing thought. Actually not the atomic bomb, not the bomb, not the weather, not fire, water, air. Not those. What we should scared of is the self-cherishing thought. This is what should be scared of and this is what we should destroy.
If the bodhicitta, cherishing others, renouncing oneself, is generated in the mind of all the sentient beings, in the mind of all leaders of the country, there is really definite hope. Then there is really peace in the world. You see, self-cherishing thought is very strong. You take a person, you see, human beings, one’s own comfort, one’s own pleasure causing suffering to other sentient beings, which is the field from whom one receive all one’s own happiness, perfections. To obtain one’s own pleasures, comfort, like this, to have a good body, like this, healthy, to obtain one’s own pleasure, we kill, torture the animal. Without even the thought that it is a sentient being, it has feeling. Just like we use wood or stone, thinking it doesn’t have mind, like that completely. Not having one single concern for the suffering of that sentient being, only concern with one’s own pleasure.
Think of yourself as a fish, then think of a person, completely concerned with his own pleasure, the self-cherishing thought, his body, like this. On purpose he made this iron, this wire, small wire to hook in the mouth. Then once you are hooked there is no way to escape. It is so painful. Then once it’s caught, it is still not dead. So much suffering, still not dead. Once it’s seen by a person, in the hand of the person, that person does not have one single concern, no compassion, for one’s own suffering, just like wood. The body is cut by the person with a knife, while it is living, alive. Think this, feel this. Think that oneself is a fish. How it is painful when the person is cutting the body, first of all hooked, secondly cutting the body completely in pieces. How it is so painful. When there is a small cut, when the tiny skin is off, how much pain you feel. When a small thorn goes in our flesh, how much pain you feel. Remember this.
One it is under the control, completely under the hand of the person, there is no single freedom, nowhere to escape at all. There is no other way for this being to explain, to say, “Please don’t harm me now, I will help you with something.” There is no way to say anything. There is no way to give money and say, “Please don’t kill me.” No way to ask, not one single one method. It is completely in the hand of that person, whatever he does. Even if he puts the fish in the fire, it is completely in his hand, even in hot boiling water—this is completely his self-cherishing thought, with complete concern for his pleasure, for his food, while living, moving, putting this kind mother sentient being is from whom she receives all the happiness, perfection in hot water. Feel this. Think of oneself as this animal, the lobster, fish. How great pain there is, unbelievable . E
Even if we put our finger in hot water, we can’t imagine how much there is. So when the whole body is put in the incredible hot boiling water, what great pain there is. This is done by self-cherishing. So harmful is the self-cherishing thought. Not having one single concern for the kind mother sentient being. The liquid is used to drink for health, or the meat is eaten. The bones are used for ornaments, or things like that, to make other things.
Think of butcher. Visualize that you are the sheep. Now you are in the hand of the butcher. You are sold in the hand of the butcher, with no freedom at all. Completely in his hand. You are in the line, think, “ I am in the line of all the sheep to be killed.” You see others killed. There is no way to escape. Tears come out. The body is trembling, shaking. The neck is tied. Even if one tries to run away, it is easy to catch you. You are in line, coming closer to your fate. There is terrible suffering, others are making suffering noises. However much you scream, there is no hope to be free from that suffering.
Then think, now one is completely in the hand of the butcher. For his own comfort, was sold, given in the hands of butcher. Then the butcher with his self-cherishing thought, with complete concern for his own pleasures, not one single concern for the sheep’s suffering. One’s hand and feet are fastened with the rope. Trembling, shaking. Even though you show great worry, fear, the sufferings of mind, there is no feeling for the butcher’s self-cherishing thought, he is just like stone, like wood. With his self-cherishing thought he cuts your neck. However much you scream, it doesn’t help. The self-cherishing thought is so incredible, so harmful.
If we meditate like this, putting ourselves in the place of other sentient beings, not only animals, but all human beings who have much confusion, criminal people, who are punished, who receive great torture—put yourself in that situation. Then put yourself in the place of the animal, and try to understand how self-cherishing is so painful, so harmful to oneself. This makes our mind aware of how it is with self-cherishing thought when one harms other sentient beings. We should meditate in the same way on the pleasures of giving and helping other sentient beings, guiding other sentient beings from the difficult life, from the suffering, and offering the happiness to others.
One is feeling so hungry, the suffering of starvation. Think, that is me. Put yourself in that situation. And if somebody gave you food what great pleasure there is. How the mind becomes so happy. Think of the mosquito. You visualize yourself as a mosquito. The stomach is completely empty. You can see this from the outside; it is transparent, completely empty. No food, nothing, incredible suffering of hunger. Blood is the only food that you can find. You come to get the food and suddenly you are crushed with the hand. You feel incredible pain—even without having gotten the food, you are killed by the person’s self-cherishing thought.
Think, also the other way. You suffered so much, created so much hunger, incredible hunger, so much suffering, then you find the food and the person makes charity, and you have great pleasure. Then meditate on the other way again. Meditating like this is very good to understand how harmful the self-cherishing thought is.
The conclusion of the shortcomings of self-cherishing thought is the thought of the “I” grasping ignorance. One clings to the self, one cherishes oneself, the self-cherishing thought arises, and in that way one accumulates various karmas, with the self-cherishing thought plant, in the field of consciousness. Then one is born in the naraks and experiences all the stems of the various sufferings, the various cold suffering, the various hot sufferings.
The self-cherishing thought causes one to be born in the preta realm. The seed of karma was planted by the self-cherishing thought, then the stems of the sufferings arise, one experiences the self-cherishing thought and experiences all the sufferings of pretas, such as the particular sufferings the outer obscurations, inner obscurations, food obscurations, hunger, thirst, feeling cold, hot, having much fear. The self-cherishing thought causes one to be born in the animal realm. It tortures one by causing one to experience all the sufferings of animals. The stems of the suffering come from the seed that was planted on the consciousness.
Then the self-cherishing though causes one to be born in the human realm. It tortures oneself by causing one to experience all the sufferings of the human beings, such as the eight sufferings. All the daily problems. All the daily life problems. It allows the stems of suffering to grow, the karmic seed of which was planted before on the consciousness.
Then also the sura and asura realm. The self-cherishing thought causes one to be born here and then tortures oneself so much by letting one experience all the sufferings. So the self-cherishing thought, from beginningless previous lifetimes until now has caused oneself to wander in the six realms, continuously to experience sufferings like this, until now.
Then the self-cherishing thought is the one that not allow me to receive enlightenment from beginningless previous lifetimes. It does not let me generate bodhicitta in my mind. That’s how it disturbs the achievement of enlightenment—as long as the self-cherishing thought is there, there is no way to generate bodhicitta. There is no way to practice, there is no way, to follow bodhisattva’s action, the six paramitas practices. The self-cherishing thought is the one that did not cause me to generate any realization—the three higher trainings, the three principle paths, the three high trainings, moral conduct, higher concentration, higher wisdom.
Even so many followers of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, after Guru Shakyamuni Buddha turned the Dharma wheel, so many of them received enlightenment, became arhats. The pundits Naropa, Tilopa, Marpa, Atisha, Nagarjuna, so many of them became enlightened, reached the path, so many followers of the Tibetan lamas, yogis, Lama Tsongkhapa, so many of those realized yogis, many of their followers, have received enlightenment. They generated the path. Like this some of the sentient beings have received, still I have not one single realization achieved in my mind. My mind is still completely empty. Not even one single realization has been achieved so far. All these are the complete mistake of the self-cherishing thought. The laziness, the great laziness, the sentient beings thought.
Even if the three time buddhas explain the shortcomings of self-cherishing thought, they can never finish explaining. As long as this mind did not change, as long as we don’t do something with this mind, even if we spend the whole life meditating in the cave, or even become very learned in Buddhadharma, however much great education that we have, however much Dharma we try to practice, it all becomes the development of the cause of the self-cherishing thought, the development of the “I” grasping ignorance.
Since self-cherishing thought is the root of all the sufferings, all life problems, the great hindrances to enlightenment of the whole bodhisattva path, as it has been giving harm so far it will continuously give harm in the future like this, even for samsaric pleasure. So therefore serving others is the moral root of all happiness, all the perfections. Therefore, there is no reason to cherish oneself, this is the worst enemy, so therefore this is the root from where all the suffering of samsara rises. So therefore there is no reason to keep it. So one must renounce self-cherishing thought, and generate cherishing others.
The meditation on cherishing others is in one way just a rough idea, that is, start from love and compassion. For instance, Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, on the basis of sentient beings meditated on love and compassion for all sentient beings, for each sentient being. Wanting the sentient beings to be free from all the sufferings, to have all the happiness, wanting them to achieve enlightenment for the sake of the other sentient beings. He wanted to lead the sentient beings in enlightenment. To lead them from suffering by himself. To achieve enlightenment for the benefit of other sentient beings, and this happened. Bodhicitta is generated from love and compassion, by depending on each of the sentient beings. He practiced all the six paramitas, moral conduct, charity, patience, all the rest of the six paramitas, for the sake of each sentient being, for their happiness. Then he completed the whole path for the sake of each of the sentient beings. Then he achieved enlightenment for the sake of each sentient being. He achieved omniscient mind for each of the sentient beings.
At the beginning when he was generating the great love and great compassion for all the sentient beings, if he left out one sentient being from all the numberless sentient beings, if he did not have compassion for one sentient being, then there would be no way to achieve great love, great compassion. If he didn’t have love, compassion, if he did not generate love and compassion to one sentient being, there is no way to generate great love and great compassion. Great love, great compassion are generated by depending on each single sentient being. That is very important. Extremely important to understand. So you see, depending on each of the sentient beings who harm oneself, the friend who helps oneself, the enemy who cuts one body in pieces, who tortured me like this, by depending on him, Guru Shakyamuni Buddha generated the great compassion, great love, generated bodhicitta, practiced all the six paramitas—he did all these practices for the sake of this enemy. He completed the whole Mahayana path for the sake of his happiness. Guru Shakyamuni Buddha achieved enlightenment for the sake of him, omniscient mind for the sake of him. Not only Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, all the buddhas, all the numberless buddhas, became enlightened for his sake. For the sake of this sentient being who harmed them, they generated the whole path, achieved enlightenment.
Then Guru Shakyamuni Buddha has shown Dharma. As Dharma was generated in the mind of all the sentient beings, there arose the Sangha. So Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. So all the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha in whom I take refuge, to free myself from the suffering of lower realm, from samsara, to receive enlightenment, free from the bondage of the blissful state of peace, all this happened by the kindness of this sentient being…
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Without depending on this mother sentient being, there is no way the teaching can exist. This kind mother sentient being who kills me, who has stolen my passport, who cuts my body in pieces, without depending on him there is no way that the teaching can exist because there is no Buddha. Without depending on this there is no way Buddha can happen, so there is no way the teaching can happen, there is no way the Sangha can happen, there is nothing. So there is no way for me to understand the teaching. No way to understand the teaching, no way to practice Dharma, impossible. There’s no way to have Dharma wisdom eye, to recognize the cause of happiness, the cause of suffering, without depending on this kind of sentient being. Then without depending on the kindness of this sentient being, there is no way to receive any pleasure for me, no way to receive any perfections, ultimate, temporal, anything, no way. Because all my happiness depends on virtue, creating good karma, and that depends on practicing Dharma.
So if Buddha did not show the teaching, there no way to practice Dharma, no way to create good karma. No way, you see? So this happened due to this sentient being. So all my happiness, all my past, present, future happiness, perfection, ultimate happiness, everything completely is received by the kindness, completely by depending on this kind, extremely kind mother sentient being. So for me, generate great love, great compassion, bodhicitta. Bodhicitta. That clearly depends on the kindness of this mother sentient being. Without depending on him there is no way I can great love, great compassion, no way that I can receive bodhicitta, impossible, no way that I can become a bodhisattva, that I can enter the Mahayana path, no way that I can complete the six paramitas, no way, impossible. No way that I can practice patience without depending on the kindness of this sentient being, without depending on this enemy, no way that I can learn patience. He’s my teacher, actually he’s my teacher, teaching me patience, to learn patience. Without depending on him there is no way that I can achieve enlightenment. No way that I can work for all other sentient beings as a buddha, without depending on his kindness.
Then one way to meditate on the benefit of cherishing, one cause to cherish other sentient beings, to meditate on the kindness of other sentient beings is to think that the everyday life, our pleasures, all the food, clothing, all the material possession, house, everything, how it came from the kindness of sentient beings. So one way is to think like this. Then after this then comes the actual practice of exchanging one and others. Actually make the determination to change. By generating great compassion, by remembering the suffering of other sentient beings, then take other sentient beings’ suffering. By generating great love, wishing other sentient beings’ happiness, dedicate all—body, material possessions, the surrounding people, merit, completely dedicate for all the sentient beings, the tong-len practice. Then after that, then bodhicitta. Think like that. Now this I am doing the visualization. Just visualization. This not enough. This way I don’t become enlightened, I just visualize. They don’t become free from suffering, so therefore it is my responsibility to lead them in enlightenment, to lead them from all the suffering, this is my responsibility. As the sentient beings have been kind to me, it’s my responsibility to do this, to fulfill this. If I don’t do it, who should do it? If I don’t do it, if I don’t do that, who should do this? It’s my responsibility to do this.
So therefore, who is able to do this, who is able to do this work of other sentient beings, lead them to enlightenment, free them from all the sufferings? Only Buddha. Only Buddha. Therefore I must reach enlightenment first. Like this, generate bodhicitta like this.
So whenever, day and night, all the time, day and night all the time, whenever the thought wishing to achieve enlightenment for the sake of all the sentient beings arises, when you can’t stand it, even a minute, when even if it takes a minute to enlighten the sentient beings, the mind is feeling that it takes eons, and you can’t stand even a second that the mother sentient being should be suffering. Just one’s own mother falling in the fire,. Like that, can’t stand even a second without bringing them to enlightenment. Having this intuitive thought, wishing to achieve enlightenment for others, feeling you can’t stand even a minute or second that they are in samsara. This thought, intuitively rising day and night all the time, without depending on effort, constantly rising, at that time that one has the achievement of bodhicitta. One has generated the precious thought, which is the root of all the happiness, all the perfections, for oneself, for other sentient beings. Like for instance, as I just explained, how Guru Shakyamuni Buddha has generated bodhicitta and how that has been so useful. How Guru Shakyamuni Buddha has generated bodhicitta, how his bodhicitta is so useful, so beneficial even for oneself now, understand the teaching like this. Able to understand the cause of suffering, having the opportunity to practice bodhicitta. Like Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s bodhicitta is extremely useful for numberless sentient beings, working for us now, if we have generated bodhicitta, like Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s bodhicitta, it will be so beneficial for all the sentient beings. It becomes the base from which all the sentient beings receive happiness, all the perfections, like this.
After some thought-training teachings, then transform the bad conditions, the cause of happiness, into happiness, utilizing the unsubdued mind in the path to enlightenment. All the three poisonous minds transforming in the path to enlightenment, use for this thought training practice. This is useful if one practices. It is just a matter of practicing, just a matter of practicing, just a matter of similar reason, whatever problems one experiences in one’s own life, whatever unhappy life one experiences, criticism, getting sick, having lost things, starving, not having any means of living, you seminaries it like this with the rest of all other, unhappy conditions.
So like this, when there is very strong anger then the way to utilize that in the path to enlightenment is to think there are so many other kind mother sentient beings all suffering with anger, accumulate negative karma, suffering in samsara. You generate compassion like this by thinking of the suffering of other sentient beings, then you think like this, “May I experience all the cause of suffering, the result of all the suffering, by myself, may I receive this in my heart, experience all the sufferings by myself.” Think like this, think like this. Then you visualize all the causes of the sufferings, all the anger and all the suffering, negative karmas, in a form of fog, going through the nose, inside the heart to the anger, like this. Then when you do that, anger is completely lost, it naturally is lost. Anger is lost, no more anger. Then think, all the sentient beings, then try to feel happiness. All the sentient beings become completely empty, completely devoid of anger. Like this. Like this.
So if you understand this one technique, you can do the same with attachment, with pride, any kind of unhappy mind—even just worry, just saying, you have some problem, you have much worry—same thing, all the sentient beings have worse suffering, much worry, much worse than yourself. Anyway meditate like this. Take other sentient being’ sufferings on oneself, like this. Dedicate oneself for other sentient beings. Like this with the disease, with anything, with an unhappy condition—you take all sentient beings, many with worse unhappy conditions, you take all of them, even the cause, and you dedicate your body, material possession, merit, without any attachment, to all other sentient beings, like that. Sometimes when the disease comes, this is the best.
One way, the Kadampa’s practice is, if you have pain, like me, in your backside, then you think of a hole, zero kind of space, then it gets bigger and bigger. You concentrate on that, it gets bigger and bigger, bigger, then the whole body completely kind of disappears. However there are many other meditation techniques. If you understand this, the understanding is not difficult, but the practice is difficult to do. If one practices this, same thing, it is very easy.
Then there are five powers, which contain all the practice for the whole of life, until death. In the evening after some time, if there is time, maybe somebody can read from the book Advice from a Friend, to be able to develop the thought training. Develop bodhicitta. Then after that the shunyata, absolute nature.
In the teaching it says, think all the phenomena experience, examine the wisdom, even the remedy, liberate in its nature. And the essence of path, place on all base.
First one, meditate on all phenomena as dream, which shows the practice of the illusory. Then the second one means examine the wisdom that meditates on shunyata. Meditate on that nature. Third, meditate on even the nature of shunyata, without any hindrances to concentration, sluggishness, and so forth—one-pointedly concentrate.
The meditation on shunyata is this. Any nirvana, samsara, any phenomena, yourself, everything that we see around, don’t cling, don’t cling. Don’t cling to it as it appears. Look at the reality of it, don’t cling to its appearance. Don’t cling to it as it appears, look at the reality. That’s the way I meditate on shunyata. Like this.
The person, the “I,” for instance Thubten Zopa, this “I” as you believe, as it appears truly existent, solid, so solid, so truly existent as it appears, it doesn’t exist at all, there is no way for it to exist. You believe there is a real “I” above the aggregates, like “I” am sitting here on this throne, like “I” am sitting on this throne. Like “I” am sitting, there is some kind of concrete on this throne, on five aggregates, solid, truly existent, like this. On these five aggregates, check on these five aggregates—my mind creates the “I.” On these five aggregates my mind creates the “I.” “I” is labeled, merely labeled on the base, the five aggregates. That’s all. That’s all. There is nothing more that exists than this merely labeled “I” by my mind, on this base of the aggregates. There is nothing else. That’s all. Just satisfy the existence of the “I” existing in mere appellation, that’s all.
On these five aggregates, there is the “I” that mind created, that’s all, nothing else. Nothing concrete, nothing real. Nothing truly existent from its own side, that’s all. That’s all. But not being aware of this, we believe there is the real “I” existing from its own side. Kind of very solid, appearing very solid to oneself. Like this. So this does not exist at all. Completely illusion. Even though the “I” is not the solid “I,” truly existent “I” at all, we believe it is. So we try realize this “I” is empty of the truly existent “I.” This is the way of meditation on shunyata, with the four analyzing reasons. We set the false view, the false object, this “I” grasping ignorance. Then whenever we do not find it, whenever it’s completely lost, then we have realized shunyata.
I think I will stop here.
So just for, auspicious reasons, the people like this. Then anyway, I am not sure what this course, this crash course, has benefited you or not benefited you, however, it can be found out by checking your own mind. How was your mind before taking the course, how is it now? If there has been some change, it is beneficial. If there is no change, it’s the same. If it’s the same, it’s the same. You made the course, if there has been some change, you made the course beneficial to yourself, you understand. If nothing is done, nothing gets changed, then the course is not used, not made beneficial to your own mind. Thinking it is more important to work for the future life than the present life, before attending the course there was not this thought. Now there is more concern to work for the future than this life—if there is a change like this, it’s the benefit of the course.
If there is a change like this, to work more for other sentient beings than for oneself, before that was not like this. Then this also is one benefit from the course. Now there is not so much concern for oneself, more concern for other sentient beings, to practice Dharma. This is the benefit of the course, like this.
Anyway, then try the good heart. The people here, some we see again. Some we might never meet again. So anyway, it is most important to try to have this good heart. This the root of happiness, for this life or the future life, and for others, then this is the root. I think that’s all.