“At any rate I must achieve enlightenment quicker and quicker for the benefit of all the mother sentient beings; therefore I’m going to listen to the commentary of the steps of the path to enlightenment.”
Please listen to the teachings well by generating at least this creative bodhicitta.
First one: usually in one’s own life, day and night, all the time, the innermost of the mind depending on, relying on Dharma, in whom the mind takes refuge, who the mind relies upon, the main thing is Dharma. In the depth of one’s own heart, the holy Dharma; not parents, not wife, not husband or material possessions, (but) the holy Dharma.
Then a question arises, thinking that the material possessions and these things won’t benefit at all at the death time, only Dharma. “Doing only Dharma, without obtaining any means of this life’s happiness, if one does only Dharma, won’t I become beggar, without having even the conditions, the means of living, the conditions to practice Dharma? Without having even these, the food and clothing, the means of living, the conditions to practice Dharma, without having even this, won’t I become a beggar?”
The fear and doubts arise. You’re saying it’s true, that nothing of these—reputation, receiving material possessions, all these things—will benefit at the time of death, except holy Dharma, it is true. But if one does only that and doesn’t try to obtain any means of the happiness of this life, if one does only Dharma, “If I do only Dharma, won’t I become a beggar, without having even the conditions of Dharma, the means of living, food and clothing?” You see, the doubt, the fear rises.
Well then, the answer is this: the innermost Dharma of relying on the beggar.
“Doesn’t matter even if I become a beggar, by bearing the hardships for practicing Dharma, the holy Dharma, even if I become a beggar, doesn’t matter. I will try to be able to practice holy Dharma, even if I have to live by begging the simple ordinary clothes and food, even if I have to practice holy Dharma by living on the ordinary, simple clothes, the food by begging. I will try to be able to practice holy Dharma.”
Then again the fear, doubt rises, “There is no way to complete my life; how can I complete my life? There is no method to live, there is no method to complete my life, if I try to practice holy Dharma being a beggar, without having collected even a little possession, I have no method to complete my life. I might die in starvation without having taken food, I might die without having clothing,” the fear, doubt arises. Then, when this fear or doubt rises, which disturbs to practice holy Dharma, to do pure Dharma practice; to counter the evil thought of worldly dharma, one should make determination like this, this is the answer. “In many past lives, I didn’t have experience of giving up my life for Dharma. Of course, it is worthwhile, this time, in this life, of course, it is worthwhile, if I am able to die by practicing holy Dharma,” making determination like this.
Then thinking like this, “Furthermore, generally in the world, all the rich people, all the beggars, are same, they all have to die. Rich people, one who has more material possession have longer life and one who has no material possessions, who is a beggar has shorter life—nothing definite like this, they are all same, they all have to die. There is no such thing, the rich people, the ones who are the richest don’t die, they have the longest life. Nothing definite, they are all similar, they all have to die. The rich people, how they die? They have accumulated so much negative karma, various negative karmas in order to make themselves rich, to collect all these material possessions. Then after that they die, after having collected so much negative karma in order to become wealthy. By experiencing, by bearing the hardships in order to practice the holy Dharma, if I am able to die, I have achieved great success. If I die by bearing the hardships for practicing the holy Dharma, I have achieved a great success.
“Rich people die; after having accumulated so much negative karma for them to become wealthy, dying by bearing many hardships for meaningless work, by bearing much hardship in order to create the cause of the lower realm, they die. If I am able to die by bearing many hardships in order to practice the holy Dharma, I have achieved great success. Therefore, in order to practice the holy Dharma, doesn’t matter even if I die by being cold, without clothing, even if I die of starvation, I won’t renounce the holy Dharma,” making determination like this.
The whole thing, in fact, how it is, this Kadampa geshe’s advice is not just to cheat oneself, which doesn’t happen like that; in fact it is not like that. It is true like this, in actual fact.
Then, the question comes, again fear with doubt arises, “If I don’t have any material possessions or surrounding people with me all the time, what happens if I get sick, what happens if I become old, couldn’t walk, couldn’t move? Even that time if I die, I need a servant to carry me when I die, I need a servant to serve me after the death, I need a servant to help me; at least when I die, at least I need somebody to carry my corpse out. How can it be left there in the room with bad smell, full of worms? At least I need a servant to transport my corpse!”
However, when fear and doubt arise like this, worries coming like this, that is clinging to the perfection of this life, even thinking like this. “I need like this, so what can I do? Without having any surrounding people, any material possessions, if I become sick, old age, power of senses lost, couldn’t walk, if I die, to take out my corpse, what can I do if I don’t have any material possession, any surrounding, those times, what can I do? It will be difficult for me,” worries and fear arise.
Even such as this kind of concern, clinging to the perfection of this life, the answer to that question, the advice, the way to think when such this clinging to the perfection of this life arises, is to think it is not definite at all that oneself will live long, until one becomes old; nothing definite that one is able to wait until one becomes old age for the death, without the death coming. Also thinking like this, “If I die, if I die suddenly with the thought of clinging to the material possessions, I throw myself in the lower realms. If I die suddenly with the thought of clinging to the surrounding people, I throw myself, I lead myself to the lower realms. Therefore, I will practice holy Dharma and by practicing holy Dharma, even if I die in the dried cave, or the solitary, isolated place without having one single person around, without having one single helper who looks after myself; even the corpse, like dead dog’s body, full of worms, even my corpse becomes like that, whatever happens, without clinging at all to surrounding people, material possessions, the property, I will practice holy Dharma, in the isolated place.”
As I mentioned yesterday, as I mentioned during these several days, you see, physically, even the person is living in the isolated place, not doing physical work, cutting off the work of the family, cutting off the physical, worldly works, the business, farmer, these things, by cutting off these works, even the body is in isolated place but the mind has not renounced the evil thought of the worldly dharma. If the mind is still following the evil thought of the worldly dharma, attachment seeking the happiness of this life, then the mind is not living, actually, the person is not living in the isolated place. The person is not living in the isolated place as long as he is following the evil thought of the worldly dharma. The body is in an isolated place but mind is not in isolated place. Being in isolated place, living in the isolated place, living in a hermitage, in fact in the teachings it says: Practice the holy Dharma by living in the isolated place. “By living in the isolated place” in fact means isolated from the evil thought of the worldly dharma.
Those who have seen Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings on the three principle aspects of the path to enlightenment, at the very end Lama Tsongkhapa wrote, “Practice this, actualize this by living in an isolated place, my son.” That meaning, to live in isolated place, in fact, is not to recognize the body being in isolated place, mainly what he is talking about is the mind being in isolated place. That means, mind being isolated from the evil thought of the worldly dharma, from the worldly thought. This is the real isolated one, who has cut off the clinging to this life. That person wherever he is living, even he is living at the beach, even he is living in the busiest city, in the most luxurious hotel, wherever he is, he is living in the isolated place. If he is living in the hermitage, he is in the isolated place.
Generally isolated place means also from self-cherishing thought; then isolated from the “I”-grasping ignorance, the ignorance believing the “I” is truly existent, there are different ways to think about it. Similarly the meaning of retreat, at least the retreat has to be retreat of holy Dharma. The retreat which is holy Dharma that is the retreat from the evil thought of worldly dharma, retreating from that, that is the actual retreat. Otherwise how much mantra the person recites, even the whole life he recites mantras and keep silence, doesn’t see anybody, keeping the body all the time in the cave, locked in the room, anyway it is not retreat, it does not become actual retreat, only worldly retreat, not retreat of the holy Dharma.
If he retreats from self-cherishing thought, then retreats from the ignorance—who doesn’t cling, who doesn’t believe or hold the “I” as truly existent, that person is doing retreat from clinging to the “I” as truly existent. Whoever has cut off this clinging is retreating from the ignorance holding the “I” as truly existent.
The point I have mentioned, however, to practice Dharma without clinging to any of these—body, material possessions, surrounding people, “Without clinging at all, I will practice Dharma in isolated place,” that’s what I’m trying to clarify, that actually, “isolated place” is mainly to do with the mental state, the isolated place of mind, mind isolated from the evil thought of the worldly dharma.
One of the meditators, whose story I told you two days ago, the meditator who experienced the karma of beating the monk, who is also Geshe Rabten Rinpoche’s student, one of my best friends, to encourage me when I sleep too much, when I become very lazy. When he was living in a cave, down below, between the mountains where there are Tibetan people living, he lives under, not so much big rocks but kind of big stone; his cave is not luxurious cave like the cave I have up on the mountain—this is modern cave, it’s cave to practice the eight worldly dharmas, to make it more powerful, it’s not a cave to renounce it, that’s why it’s made very luxurious, having lots of things inside, having lots of decorations. The Kadampa geshes’ caves, and those who have renounced this life, their caves, there is no decoration, nothing, just the bare rock, then put leaves on the foot, there is no spring bed, they use the leaves, put leaves and sit on that.
His cave is very low. One day he wasn’t there, he was somewhere else. One of Lama Yeshe’s disciples was staying there, so he invited, we had soup in his cave; we didn’t meditate but we had soup. It’s very low, even you can’t stand up, you can’t stretch your body up, you have to bend it.
There is one Tibetan nun, I think she lives in Nepal, her family is very wealthy, I think there is some relationship between them, I think, other people they tell him that she is his aunt or something, I’m not sure, she became his relative, she knew that he is a great meditator and all this, she knew, and she wanted to receive lam-rim teachings from him. So one day she went to see him by taking offerings of big round of butter, like cheese, how they make in Kathmandu, in the place where they sell the cheese, like that, big round butter—usually it is recognized that butter is kind of practical, useful thing for the monks (Rinpoche laughs) because they make Tibetan tea.
So, anyway, she went to ask for some teachings. She came in the cave, offered the butter and sat down on the bare ground and asked him to give teachings. Then he said, “I don’t know any teaching, I can’t teach, I don’t know anything” and he said “What I know is how to make prostrations, that’s all I know that I can teach you! If you want other teachings, you go see some other lamas, I don’t need the butter, you take the butter away.”
He explained to the nun, [about prostrations] “After you touch your forehead to the ground, then you should get up as quickly as possible. That signifies releasing from samsara, the releasing from samsara, so as soon as you touch your forehead on the ground, you should get up as quickly as possible; that’s all, that’s what I know, so you take your butter with you and you go away.” Somehow when, I don’t know what happened to her, whether she got angry or not, I’m not sure, anyway, he didn’t accept the butter, then afterwards, I think she had nothing to say so she left. In the beginning she insisted very much [for him] to give teaching, also he is her relative. Like that. So he didn’t care, even though her family is wealthy or whatever she is, relative or whatever she is, he did not care.
Those ascetic meditators who live in the hermitage, ascetic meditators like those Kadampa geshes, don’t keep anything, except if they are monks, then they keep the necessary things, like these yellow robes, the necessary things that are needed for the monks. Otherwise material possessions, decorations, like that, they keep nothing. Even when there are many people coming to make offerings, when the meditator’s presence becomes well known, they move the place, they go to another place, another cave or another country where they are unknown. When the people find out that he is a great meditator and start to bring offerings, things like that, then again they escape to another place, from one mountain to another mountain.
That’s how I see, in some ways, the Western young people who are called “hippies,” in some ways, somehow, kind of wandering, like ascetic meditators, kind of nothing definite, homeless. Wherever he goes, wherever he stays, every place, the whole world is home, nothing definite in regards to place, dislike having much material possession. In some ways kind of quite similar to the real ascetic, the mental ascetic, the outer looking is in some ways similar, except not having understanding, not having the mental ascetic, mind not being in isolated place; only physically in some ways it is similar.
So, in order to not let to attachment rise, those ascetic meditators don’t keep any material possessions, offerings, things like that, in their room. Many they don’t accept and many of them right away make offerings to the monasteries or their gurus, like that immediately they try to get rid of it. However, the whole thing is to not let rise attachment to material possessions, things like that.
Next is the three vajras.
Practicing the vajra which cannot be captured before, which cannot be captured. The idea is this: there is a mouse and the cat cannot catch; the mouse is very wise, very skillful and runs away from the cat. Even the cat has seen him, but the wise mouse runs away so the cat cannot capture. That’s what I’m saying, practicing the Vajra which cannot be captured, practicing before, the Vajra which cannot be captured, the uncapturable Vajra. Anyway, I will explain the meaning, then you will get the idea, but the reason why I use is like that example.
The meaning is this; making oneself unable to be captured by worldly people, from practicing Dharma. So now, from ones’ own side, one has made all those determinations, one did all the four reliances, did all these things: the innermost of the mind relying on the holy Dharma; then the innermost of the holy Dharma relying on the beggar; the innermost of the beggar relying on death; the innermost of the death relying on the dried cave or the isolated place. So one has made all these determinations, but then there is a danger, then there is a difficulty. From one’s own side, one has made all these four determinations, from one’s own side one has renounced all this and planned to practice the holy Dharma.
Then difficulty from the parents, from the relatives, the friend’s parents, the relatives’ friends, difficulty from them. Asking: “Oh you can practice Dharma, you can go to make retreat, not in hurry now, you have plenty of time, you can do it later, after a few years you can go to make retreat. What’s the point of torturing yourself, going in isolated place, torturing yourself, what’s the point? Oh, if you get sick who will help you, you will die, if you are in the cave you might get sick, who will help you? It’s not good idea what you think; better to work, better to stay at home, work to make your life very comfortable, make a lot of children, then it becomes very big family, many relatives, many brothers many sisters.” However, saying many nice things: “If you marry, if you make a lot of children we will help you with anything you want, we will give you property, house, we will give land so that you can do anything you want, you can make a lot of money. I will give you a factory, you can make a lot of money, you can enjoy your life, you can travel any where you want to. What’s the point of going to such a primitive place, you might get TB, you might get cancer, you might get diarrhea. You stay here comfortably, you work, you build a house, whatever you want, we will help you.”
Then also sometimes, “When you finish the work, then you can practice Dharma if you want to. If that’s what you wish you can do. Aren’t you foolish, such this comfortable, such this luxurious place, where there are many varieties of food, everything is very clean, where you can get everything, many varieties, whatever you like, all the material possessions, whatever you want, everything is here around, having such great comfort like this, having everything around, leaving this and going to a primitive place where there is nothing, just in the hut, that you are going to stay in a hut, primitive place where there is nothing, just bare land, nothing, where there is no supermarket, where there is no bar,” anyway, I’m joking. “You are fooling yourself, you are giving up all this comfort and going to such a place that you want to practice Dharma, that you want to make retreat or to stay. You are fooling yourself.”
[Saying] a lot of nice things, causing difficulty, capturing you from Dharma, making delay for practicing Dharma, saying how good it is to involve in worldly works, how the life would be happy, all these things, saying a lot of things—saying that they will help you, giving you food and clothing. “If you do this, then I will help you, if you will work with me, if you do business with me, then I will give your family millions of dollars,” anyway saying things like that
As the great Milarepa advised his disciple Rechungpa, “Son, if you are thinking to practice holy Dharma from the heart, and rise devotion from the depth of your heart, if you are not looking back towards this life and if you are following my truth, then Milarepa is saying, listen to this: the relatives are Mara who delay, who stops one, who prevents one to practice holy Dharma; the relatives are Mara who prevents one from practicing holy Dharma; don’t think, don’t believe it is true; cut off the clinging, the attachment to them. The food and material possessions are the spy of the Mara, food and material possessions are the spy.”
The first one, as I described just before, saying many nice things, one starts to believe it. “Oh that’s really nice what they say, oh that may be true, that really looks nice, really good,” then by believing it, one gets trapped in it. Once one gets trapped in it, then unable to practice Dharma—then the food and material possessions are spy of Mara, the Mara’s spy.
It gets worse and worse the more you become familiar with it. Generally with a spy, more and more you become friendly with that person, with the spy, he understands more and more about your things, he finds more about your things and as you trust more to spy, believing that what he pretends is true—he is pretending not being spy, kind of pretending he is not cheating oneself—by completely trusting in that, as one becomes more friendly then he finds more information about oneself, then afterwards one completely gets cheated. First pretending as a very good friend, as if he is very sincere, he takes you to the restaurant, gives you food and coffee then he tells very nice things, “What help do you want? I will help you any time,” then slowly, slowly, he finds out many stories about oneself and then he asks, “Do you have any LSD? I want to take.” “Oh, yes,” the other one says. “I want to buy,” then completely trusted what he said, then afterwards what happened, finally, you end up in prison.
Like that, Milarepa said, more and more, better and better, more and more, all the time like this, it gets worse and worse, the mind gets worse and worse and worse. Same thing the injections, the drug, the injections; first you try, then second time, third time, then get worse and worse and worse, afterwards you can’t control at all. Same thing with wine; first time you try, then second time, third time, forth time, then more and more and more you get familiar, it gets worse and worse, then very difficult to stop; same thing smoking.
Therefore, cut off the attachment. Milarepa says: “The objects of desire are the maras’ tying rope… I have forgotten the name… I think, what you put on the animals, lasso. So object of the desire are the maras’ lasso. It is definite that it ties oneself; therefore cut off the clinging.” Clinging to the object of the desire, the main thing it ties is oneself to the samsara.
Even the tiny creatures, tiny worms which cannot be seen by naked eyes, except by telescope, even in their mind there is ignorance, the view of the changeable. Like the animals, which carry shells, if you touch little bit on the head, it takes the head back, takes the head inside, like the tortoise when they get scared. They contract all their limbs inside, the small pieces which come out of the bone, like a rock, the piece which comes out, they keep inside when they meet something. When you touch the head or something; the long worms when you touch it, even the long worms they contract their body. Just by touching their body a little bit with grass, they jump; the long worms get so frightened by touching a little bit of grass.
There is one type of fly, I don’t know the name, I think normally it stays in the wood, kind of quite hard when you touch it, it has wings. When you touch it, it doesn’t move at all, pretends as dead. When you move it, like this, it just falls down like this. If you constantly watch without touching, after some time, few minutes, slowly it starts to move, because of fear, “Ah! now something is going to happen, something is going to happen to me.” You see, all those, even those long red worms, which come in the rain from the ground, those tiny creatures, you see, why they move their limbs, take them inside, why this one pretends as if he is dead—that is due to having fear, it’s because of having the view of changeable, this ignorance; that is what causes to have fear. Similarly, it happens with us; when somebody says two or three bad words, when somebody says two or three good words, sweet words from the depth of the heart, from very inside, rising up the truly existent “I,” on the view of changeable, appearing, rising up or appearing from very inside a truly existent “I,” uncreated, independent, truly existent “I”—those are the view of changeable.
So the second one: the extreme view.
The extreme view is this: there are two kinds in this. Similar to what we talk in the subject of shunyata, there is talk about the two extremes, not falling into the two extremes, abiding in the middle way without falling in the extreme of exaggeration or in the extreme of nihilism.
The extreme view is those two types. You are the “I,” which is held, the “I” which is perceived by the view of the changeable, this ignorance, believed as truly existent, as permanent—that’s the extreme of exaggeration. Also, believing that the “I” ceases at the time of death; this kind of belief, believing the “I” is truly existent, by doctrine, believing the “I” is truly existent, having this conception that the “I” is truly existent, due to doctrine, the “I” is permanent. There are many of the outer beings, many of the Hindu religious people, as they have doctrines, they have belief that the “I” is permanent and truly existent; also many who believe that the “I” ceases at the death time. Believing the “I” ceases at the death time is the extreme of nihilism.
Also believing by doctrine, intellectual belief, because of having met teachings, doctrines which have the belief that nothing exists; “I” does not exist, nothing exists. All thoughts, whatever you think, is object to avoid, whatever thought arises, doesn’t matter virtue or not virtue, it is something that has to be avoided; their attainment is not having any consciousness.
As I mentioned a long time ago, the attainment is not the cessation of consciousness or blank mind, not that kind of attainment: not having any thought, comprehending nothingness, not having bodhicitta, wisdom of shunyata or any kind of thought. Since it is thought it is object to avoid, cut off. Believing nothing exists; oneself, “I” does not exist; others do not exist; no samsara, no enlightenment, nothing like that—the view of extreme.
As I usually tell in the courses, if it is true that nothing exists, why should we take medicine when we get sick? Why there should be hospitals? Why should we wear clothes if there is no body existing? There is no point to eat food—to whom are we giving food? If there is no body, what is the point to work so hard in order to seek the means of living? Without doing one single movement one can just lie down on the bed without moving for months and months, days and days, years and years; just lie down on the bed, then see what happens.
Actually, in Australia just recently there was one old guy… he didn’t tell me, but I heard from somebody. I had taught just a tiny bit the beginning about ignorance, trying to introduce little bit about ignorance, how things are perceived, how we believe things, the “I” which exists and the “I” which does not exist. So this man, I think somehow he heard, I don’t know, he believed, or I don’t know how it happened, he thought the “I” does not exist. Where the Tara house is, in Melbourne, up on the mountain, where they built the Tara retreat house, just little bit down below there is water, what you call it—lake. There is a lake, quite nice, very nice lake actually. So this old man he went to swim, I don’t know, he went to swim or bathe and the water was extremely cold, then he discovered the “I” does exist. Before that he thought the “I” did not exist, then because the water was too cold, he really discovered very clearly that the “I” does exist.
It is like a whole house burned by fire completely, the whole thing completely red, oneness with the fire; if this does not exist, if there is no such thing as a house being burned by the fire, if it is not true, if this is not all-obscuring truth, a deceptive truth, if this does not exist, like a dream you see—if you dream that you are inside a fire, how long you are there, there is nothing to burn your body. Let’s say even if you dreamed for one hundred eons of your body being in a fire, constantly; even if you dream that much the body being in the fire, not one single part of the body is burned by the fire. When you wake up, not one single part is burned.
It should be like that if what we are seeing now—the self, other sentient beings, the material objects which are existing—do not exist at all, even in name, like things we see in the dream do not exist at all, even in name, as they are not the deceptive truth. What I’m saying is, if it does not exist—one’s body being in the fire, the house being burned, completely oneness with the fire, the whole thing, walls, roof, the floor, the whole thing oneness with fire—if it all does not exist at all, even in name, like things we see in a dream, it wouldn’t burn the body [no matter] how long one kept the body inside the fire. But it is not like that; can’t stand even two or three seconds touching even the fire of the incense, even two or three seconds holding the finger in the flame of the candle, we can’t stand it, it’s unbearable, immediately it burns the body.
If it doesn’t exist, then one’s own body wouldn’t burn by leaving it in the burning house. What happens if you just leave the body there, staying there constantly thinking, “Oh! the fire doesn’t exist, there is no burning, my house is not burned by fire, what I see, the house being burned by fire, doesn’t exist,” completely believing it doesn’t exist, just believing that. When the body starts to burn, “Oh! there is no such thing as fire, there is no such thing as the body being burned by fire.” If there is no fire, there is no reason why the body is burned, why the person is experiencing suffering by having contact with the fire.
The conclusion is this: if there is no suffering, then same reasoning, there also wouldn’t be happiness existing, there wouldn’t be disturbing unsubdued mind existing, there wouldn’t be samsara, there wouldn’t be nirvana, there wouldn’t be enlightenment. There wouldn’t be one single reason for the works that the people in the world do, there wouldn’t be any reason for any movement of the body, speech and mind.
The third wrong view is the view that believes there is no existence of four noble truths, Triple Gem, the law of cause and result—which involves also reincarnation, no existence of past and future lives. Also the wrong view exaggerating, like some Hindu followers believe that the world is created by Vishnu, Tibetan term is kiam jhu, I think it means Vishnu. I don’t know the Sanskrit name for those followers, those different religions. Some of the Hindu followers believe in the universal principle consciousness; they divide the whole existence into five, and the whole thing is created by the universal principle consciousness; some believe like this. The world is created by Mahadeva, the inanimate world and all the living beings are created by Mahadeva. Even though they haven’t created, but believing that they have created the whole thing. Such things like this.
Without talking much, let’s say Mahadeva or Vishnu or whatever it is had created the world. What I’m saying is, if they hadn’t created the world and the living beings, now all these different countries wouldn’t have to fight each other. If it wasn’t created then all these countries wouldn’t have to fight each other. All this wouldn’t have happened. All the beings who are living on this earth, all the creatures having much suffering, the human beings having much suffering, experiencing suffering of birth, sickness, old age and death, all the thousands and thousands of problems that they experience in their life, wouldn’t have happened.
If the world was not created, these living beings would not have the problems that they experience in their life; many people dying in starvation; being oppressed, tortured by other people and escaping from that country; being refugees, taking refuge in another country, and the other country not accepting them; like the Vietnamese, or what happened in Tibet, or recently around Thailand, they are going through much suffering, or Cambodia; so many hundreds of people dying in starvation that they have to go back to their own country, other countries do not accept them. Anyway, the whole world’s problems would not have happened; the beings would not suffer.
So the whole question comes simply just with talking, the mistake comes here, how it is not right. If they have created the world, why they have created the suffering, first of all, why they created the suffering? That’s one question, why did they create the suffering? If they haven’t created anything, then they don’t have to create extra things, they do not have to create happiness, suffering, all these things.
Second question is: in the very first place, why have they created the world? In the very first place, what is the reason that they have created the world, why did they have to create the world? What happens if they haven’t created, what happens, what mistake would come, somebody is going to suffer? Why have they created and what happens if they haven’t created the world in the first place, if they didn’t start the creation, what happens, what would have happened, some mistakes are what?
Then third, what happens is, because they created the world, created the beings, the suffering came. But the suffering is not directly created by them; the person might say that the suffering is not created by them, later, after a certain number of years, somebody started the suffering. Even if the suffering happened later, not directly created by them, however in the first place if they haven’t created the world, if they haven’t created the beings, there wouldn’t be suffering, there wouldn’t be the subjects who would experience suffering; there wouldn’t be the possession of suffering. So, actually the whole suffering, all the problems of the human beings and the creatures on this earth, why they have problems: whose mistake is that? That’s the mistake of those who created this world. It becomes like this. If they hadn’t created this world, then the living beings wouldn’t have all those problems, so the whole mistake is that the creation was started, that they have created. So like that, the blame for all the world’s problems goes back to the creator. That’s what happens. The way to check up is like this.
Holding the view as best: first one just believes that the view of changeables, the wrong view and the extreme views are the best, most pure views. Second one: some particular persons, by depending on the skandha, believe the type of view that they believe—view of changeable, the wrong view, extreme view—is the best. Such this deluded wisdom, believing like this, is “holding the view as the best.”
What is recognized as holding these views are the best, where it is pointed out, is the deluded wisdom, which believes these views are best and then, by depending on the aggregates of the person, these views what he believes are the best.
The next one, holding these moral laws and the conduct are the best. There are Hindu religious followers, who believe, always walking with one leg, keep one leg up always, recognize this moral law is the path to nirvana, always walking like this; jumping in the fire, letting oneself burn, such as these things; beating oneself as much as possible, recognizing that as purification. There are many and various ways that they are torturing themselves, which are believed as purification and the path to nirvana. Such as bathing in the river is purification, path to nirvana.
Then burning the body, they use the finger for lamp, for offering lamp, like candle, they tie with strips and then it becomes dried, I think, I don’t know whether they put wax or whatever they use for offering lamp; believing as it is the path to nirvana. Things like, there are many varieties. Jumping on the trident; you put many three-pointed tridents down in a big hole, then you jump, I think from the roof, from mountains! Put the trident down there, in the big hole, then if the center prong of the trident one goes straight through here, and if the two other points come here, that is recognized as receiving nirvana or something like that.
That time the person cannot speak, so you cannot ask: did you receive nirvana or not? There is no way to get an answer. Things are believed as path to nirvana. Keeping the body naked, the conduct which they believe is by keeping the body naked, putting dead body ashes on the body. There are some Hindu followers, they can remember one past life, two past lives, three past lives, some who can also see one future life, two, three future lives; after that they can’t see any more, then they believe, because they can’t see any more, they believe that is the end of the lives, that’s the end of the reincarnation. They have only that much power of clairvoyance, very limited power of clairvoyance, to see only one, two or three, certain number. After that they can’t see anything so, because they are unable to see beyond that, they believe there is no life after that.
Some who remember past life, they see their past life was dog, so what they believe is, after the dog rebirth they were born as human beings, so that’s the way to be born again as human being. Believing like this; this time I was born as human being because the past life was dog, so if I act, if I behave like a dog in this life I will be reborn as human being next life. So in this life, by having this conception, then they walk like dogs, besides two legs, also they put both hands on the ground and eat the food like dogs, exactly imitate the dog’s conduct. Make noise like the dog and eat food the way the dogs eat, believing that he will be born as human being next life. Also one who remembers that past life was cow, this life they imitate a cow, and then pig, like that. So that kind of thing, holding such moral law and conduct are the best, believing these things as the cause, liberating from suffering.
The six root delusions and twenty secondary delusions, from where they came; also all the suffering, which came from the six root delusions and the twenty secondary delusions, the sufferings, the karma, which came from those—all those came from ignorance, the view of changeables. All this came from that base, ignorance, the view of changeables.
Just briefly how such as the disturbing unsubdued minds, anger, attachment and those things, have risen, how they came from ignorance, the view of changeables. You see, when one is receiving benefit or receiving harm the…
Before mentioning that, one thing I left to tell, to clarify. There are two things in regards believing truly existent: believing truly existent, in regards ignorance, believing the “I” truly existent, and believing “my” as truly existent. The view of the changeable which is the root of all those disturbing unsubdued minds, all the karma, suffering, that is the view of changeable, the ignorance which believes “I” is truly existent, this one.
When somebody compliments, saying nice things, when somebody criticizes, during that time, from very inside, “I,” something which is not merely labeled, the uncreated, existing by it’s nature, existing from it’s own side, appears to oneself from very inside, then the ignorance clings to that; appears from very inside, this truly existent “I,” then the ignorance clings tightly, holds that. As it tightly holds that truly existent “I,” which appears from very inside, then it appears to oneself, this truly existent “I,” as the subject. As the truly existent “I” appears to oneself, the ignorance tightly clings to that, holds that, then that truly existent “I” appears as the subject, as oneself.
The distinction, the difference between the self which exists and self which does not exist is unclear, kind of oneness, unclear; this truly existent “I,” what ignorance holds and believes, as if it is oneself, as if it is the real subject who enjoys things, who possesses things, possesses the body, possesses the material possessions. As the ignorance tightly holds, clings to the truly existent “I,” which appears from very inside, this real one, so craving to the “I” rises from that. What makes to rise the attachment to the “I”? That is because of ignorance tightly holding the truly existent “I” which appears to oneself from very inside, which comes up from deep inside.
Similarly, like this also the ignorance holding “my,” “my possessions”; the ignorance holds “my” as truly existent—the body, material possessions, all these things—as truly existent, also the other sentient beings as truly existent. So, like this, attachment to the possessions; one’s body and material possessions, attachment which clings to that rises. Then as somebody gives harm, disturbs one’s own happiness, anger rises; when somebody benefits, helps for one’s own happiness, attachment rises to those surrounding people. The ignorance rises on the object, the strangers, who do not give harm or help, who do not disturb one’s happiness or help one’s happiness, the strangers; on the object stranger, the ignorance rises. Then on the basis of this, jealous mind, ill-will, pride and all those other disturbing unsubdued minds rise—on the basis of the view of changeable, which clings, holds the truly existent “I,” being the root.
As it is said in the Madhyamaka teaching, at the very first, by labeling “I,” one clings to the self; first, believing the “I” as truly existent, then clinging to that; then one believes “these are my possessions.” As one clings to “my possessions” also as truly existent, attachment rises on those objects, the possessions.
However, this ignorance, the view of changeable, by being root of the six root delusions and those other disturbing unsubdued minds, with those different disturbing unsubdued minds one accumulates karma. As one accumulate karma then one circles in the samsara.
The root of samsara: in regards ignorance, the view of changeable, there are two kinds. One is intellectual, that you believe like that because of the wrong, because of the doctrine, intellectually believing like that. One is intuitive belief, like how we believe now, how we are holding the “I” now, how we are holding the self right this moment, intuitive conception of “I.” Other one is wrong conception, intellectually you believe; one receives the wrong conception by having met a particular doctrine, then one believes, one accepts the “I” as truly existent.
So, there are two things, one is the conception of truly existent “I” which happened by having met a doctrine, which says the “I” is truly existent; the other one is intuitive conception of “I.” The wrong conception of “I,” which rises by having met doctrine, only human beings have. The other one, intuitive wrong conception of “I,” exists even in the mind of the creatures.
In order to cut off the view of changeable, this ignorance, one has to attempt to generate the wisdom realizing selflessness, which is the remedy of the view of changeable, the “I” grasping ignorance; by cutting off that, all the delusions, all the rest of the disturbing unsubdued minds get removed.
I think I stop here.
After this, then just this part, after the six root delusions, the five non-views, the five views that I just described. This is how the delusions, from the outline—I forgot to mention the outline in the beginning—the outline, how the disturbing unsubdued minds rise, the graduated, how they rise.
After this, the six causes of the delusions. If I go over the six causes of the delusions, I think, if it is made too short, it won’t make much sense. However, I think in the library, there must be, there is a small pamphlet, I think last year or year before, in one of the courses, Lama Yeshe gave an explanation of the six causes of the delusions. I think if you read that, it has more examples, explanations, so I think that will be sufficient.
“I must achieve enlightenment quicker and quicker for the benefit of all the mother sentient beings. Therefore, I am going to listen to the commentary of the steps to the path to enlightenment.” Please listen to the teachings well by generating at least the creative bodhicitta.
Yesterday, I didn’t complete the great yogi Milarepa’s quotation regarding the objects of desire, the maras’ lasso. Because of being attached to enjoyment of the sense objects, material possessions, as one enjoys more and more, the dissatisfied mind gets stronger and stronger and stronger like that. One passes the whole time just trying to get more and more, putting all the time and effort in that. Then one doesn’t get time to practice Dharma, one doesn’t find time to make retreat or things like that. Even though the person is a Dharma practitioner, being attached to the material possessions.
First of all, maybe there is no attachment to the person’s body, to the person, but being attached to the material possessions that were given by that person, which were given by the benefactor or whatever, being so attached. Then somehow that gives attraction, that makes to rise attraction to the people who give the material offerings, who give help; attraction or attachment rises for that object. Also if one is living in moral conduct then, after attachment rises to the object, other person who praises oneself, who gives material possessions, then that makes to get closer and close and it makes to lose the moral conduct, to break the moral conduct; one is completely overwhelmed by attachment, then unable to practice, unable to meditate without distraction, things like that.
First of all one gets attachment to material possessions, which are given by other people, then that makes attachment rise to them. Then afterwards, one is completely trapped in their hands; whatever they say one has to listen, one has to follow, somehow could not reject because of the material possessions, things that were given; so, if other person asks to do worldly things, non-Dharma, worldly works, one has to listen. If the other person asks to do non-virtuous actions, one has to listen. Kind of easily, without choice, easily it makes one accept, one is completely trapped, completely involved in the worldly work.
I met one monk, I don’t know how learned he is, but he decided, probably he planned to do the shamatha, tranquil abiding. Before that, easy way to do, easy way to achieve shamatha, tranquil abiding is by achieving the “taking the essence,” which either you can do with water or with flowers, pills made of flowers, different collections of wood flowers, which are not poisoned. You make certain number of days, it is up to the individual, normally seven days, it is uncertain. You cut the food less and less and less, like that. You make retreat. You bless the pills through deity’s method, the different aspects of Buddha, that method.
If one has achieved this, “taking the essence,” then, one can live on the pills, so it stops a lot of work. Like every day cooking food, these kinds of things which keep kind of busy, which makes one go outside to seek food, during the retreat, which keeps kind of busy to make food. So it saves a lot of time. Like that, by having achieved this, it saves a lot of time. Also it helps very much; it makes much less physical difficulty. There are no physical hardships, less tiredness, not much disease occurs. Also mind becomes very clear, very easy to meditate. There is no heavy, sinking mind; there is no foggy mind, sinking. Like very calm clear water, mind becomes the nature of very calm and clear, so that makes very easy to achieve shamatha, tranquil abiding.
So I think he planned to practice, kind of live ascetic life, and planned to do shamatha. I think he tried to do this, he tried taking the essence, I don’t know, flower or water, strong. But it’s not so easy; it has incredible benefits, this “taking the essence,” this method; again to do this needs quite strong renunciation. For a person who doesn’t have strong renunciation, very difficult, can’t face the difficulties. Before achieving this, one has to go through great hardships; it depends on how it appears, how difficult it is to the person, how it appears to the person, it’s up to his mind, how strong his mind is. If his mind is weak, then it becomes very difficult. There are many people who tried this, but couldn’t achieve. You know, those who have very weak thought of renunciation can’t achieve this. Half way through, they have to stop. Even if there is no renunciation of the whole samsara, what is needed is renunciation of the happiness of this life. Person who doesn’t have very strong renunciation of this life doesn’t become successful, when the person goes through the difficulties, before achieving, before completing the practice of “taking the essence.”
After, this body becomes extremely light; when you walk, like flying. There are so many benefits. Also person doesn’t get wrinkles; it’s the best way not to get wrinkles. Even you have white hair, it turns black, black or yellow, whatever it is, or blue. I’m joking.
So this monk tried this “taking the essence.” I think he planned to do shamatha. What happened was, during that time, when he was trying to do like this, trying live ascetic life, his brother is little bit rich, so his brother insisted, “Oh, you can’t, how?” His brother asked him, “That is silly what you are trying to do. You studied for a long time, why don’t you do the examination? I will be the benefactor to you, make offerings to the monks in the monastery, so why you do like that? Why you go to the retreat, doing like this, you are silly, you must do the examination. I will make the offerings. I will give all the money to make the offerings, to the monks in the monastery.” Then he listened to his benefactor, the brother. He listened to that, then he took the examination, to get the title of Geshe. After then he became more and more busy, busier. Then he was unable to complete the practice, the shamatha and those things.
This is just one example. Like this, one gets completely trapped in the hands of other people. That is due to the mistake of not having practiced before the vajra, which cannot be captured. One is unable to make oneself un-captured by others.
So, like great yogi Milarepa said: “The object of desire is the lasso of the mara, and the riding girl is the mara’s girl. If you practice like this, then you the son has the fortune to practice the holy Dharma.” Like this great yogi Milarepa gave advice to his disciple, Rechungpa.
From one’s own side, even one has made all those other four determinations, planning to practice Dharma by renouncing this life, but difficulty arises from relatives, from the parents, friends causing difficulty, not letting to practice Dharma, making delay to practice Dharma, not letting to go to make retreat in solitude place. Things like that, making delay or not letting to practice the holy Dharma. When this difficulty rises, how one should practice, the pure Dharma practitioner, how one should practice when this difficulty rises, caused by them; make oneself unable to be captured by them.
The friends, relatives, for whom one has much love, who are like one’s heart, even the eyes become full of tears, with much worry, even the eyes become full of tears—without changing one’s mind at all, like the vajra mind, indestructible, unchangeable, vajra mind, inseparable in the sense of inseparable from the holy Dharma, like the vajra mind, without changing at all, making determination to practice the holy Dharma purely, being in a solitude place without any attachment, without any worry, making determination, like this. I explained yesterday, the different meaning of the solitude place. Like that, how much they scream, even if they follow one, how much they scream, even the eyes full of tears, however, not changing, keeping the mind as the vajra, mind being like vajra.
Before I said like the vajra mind, in a sense, not separating from the holy Dharma, it’s ok. Being like a vajra, which cannot be destroyed or changed by them, by their screaming, by their talk, by their showing even kind of upset face, not changing the mind, like a vajra, which cannot be destroyed, which cannot be easily changed by them; making determination to practice pure Dharma, without any attachment to the family, to the surrounding people, without any attachment and worry to them.
This is what he means, “practice the vajra, which can’t be captured, before.” Seeing oneself in the worldly life, worldly work as essenceless, then seeing the practice of holy Dharma as meaningful; seeing this and then, having aversion to the worldly life and worldly work, escaping from the worldly life to the isolated place, in order to practice holy Dharma. Making oneself unable to be captured by the worldly people.
The conclusion is, making one unable to be captured by the worldly people, from practicing Dharma. If this determination is not done before, then even oneself has intention to practice, great intention, determination to practice holy Dharma from one’s own side, even one has planned to practice holy Dharma, they disturb, they don’t allow oneself to practice holy Dharma. Therefore, there is need for determination before, to make one unable to be captured by them, from practicing Dharma. This is like preliminary practice, it can be said, practice the preliminary vajra, which is unable to be captured. I think it can be said also in that way.
The next one: Leave the careless vajra after.
When the person wanders after having renounced this life, the outside people complain, how he is terribly poor, beggar, how much they complain, how much they criticize, how much they make fun of the person, saying: “Oh he is such foolish person, he has all,” for instance, saying like this, “He has four limbs, his eyes not blind, able to hear every thing, why he doesn’t he go to work, why doesn’t he do a job, do something. He is a lazy person, extremely lazy person, living on begging without doing job. He is a foolish person, he is crazy, everybody works for food, he begs, he is crazy, everybody works so hard for their food, but he begs, crazy person, lazy.”
“Terribly poor beggar,” how much people say like this, kind of feeling disgust to see oneself, how much other people feel disgusted, see oneself in disgust and criticize, or how much other people say, “He is divine, he is a divine god,” or, “He stays in the cave, he doesn’t need luxury house, he doesn’t need to depend on surrounding people, family, he doesn’t feel lonely, there is not these difficulties, he is able to live wearing rag clothes, on simple food, he must be god, he must be transformation of divine, must be son of the god.” I am joking.
How much other people praise, “how good, how good he is.” Even they say Buddha, even if they believe Buddha , how much they say nice things, even if they say extremes, they believe and respect as Buddha, they compliment as Buddha; or they criticize as devil, “he is devil,” the lowest thing they can say. Whatever they say, highest Buddha or lowest devil—the worst they can say, devil—whatever they say does not matter. “Whatever they say does not make any difference to me,” thinking like this, not caring what they say.
When I discussed the four desirable objects and the four undesirable objects, the eight worldly dharma, as I mentioned at that time—if you care about the reputation, if you care so much what people say, then you can’t practice Dharma, it becomes hindrance. So, “Whatever they say, for me it does not make any difference. Whatever friends say, whatever the relatives or parents say does not make any difference to me.”
Caring about, keeping their face, anyway, caring about friends and relatives is the originator of many vices, negative karmas. Caring, paying attention and following what they say, is the originator of many negative karma. By following what they say, paying attention and following what they say one accumulates various negative karma.
“Anyway, caring about what they say is hindrance for me to practice the holy Dharma.” By understanding, recognizing, thinking this, then make determination, “Therefore I must renounce,” make determination. “Therefore, I must renounce following them with attachment, being care of them.” So this is what it means to leave the careless vajra after. You see, after one has renounced this life, as one wanders, all the country people, family, relatives, friends, whatever they say bad, whatever they say not caring, being careless of the reputation. Thinking, “Caring about reputation, being careful whatever they praise, the highest, god or Buddha or something, or the lowest, devil, whatever they say, caring about reputation; being careful of the friends and relatives is the originator of many negative karmas, and hindrance for me to practice Dharma.” One must practice holy Dharma by renouncing this; being attached to reputation, relatives and friends.
Next one: the transcendental wisdom vajra accompanies oneself.
That is making the determination to not break the pledge, not breaking the promise one has made to practice the pure Dharma by renouncing this life; not passing from this, not breaking this. Without breaking this, completely renouncing all the essenceless works of this life, making determination, to make equal the life and practice, with the unshakable, unchangeable firm thought of Dharma, with the unchangeable firm thought of the holy Dharma.
You see, how many years, how many months, how many days there are to live, making it equal with the practice of holy Dharma. How many days there are, for instance from now, until death time, how many years there are, how many months there are, how many days there are, making the life and the practice equal, not the life is longer and the practice shorter, not like that. Usually the Tibetan lamas, the meditators, pray for the life to be equal with the practice of holy Dharma, like great yogi Milarepa. “May my life be equal with the practice like Milarepa.” This prayer is recognized as a very important prayer. If one’s life becomes equal with the practice of the holy Dharma, then the whole life becomes highly meaningful, it never gets wasted.
To be able to do that, one should have unshakable or unchangeable firm thought of the holy Dharma. If the mind gets easily overwhelmed by the disturbing unsubdued mind such as attachment, then one cannot practice, the life becomes unequal with the practice of holy Dharma; it makes more of the life that is wasted and not so much of meaningful life which practices holy Dharma. That’s why making determination, “without breaking the promise that has been done, renounce completely all the works of this life, which are essenceless and with the unchangeable firm thought of holy Dharma make the life equal with the practice of the holy Dharma.”
So you can understand the transcendental wisdom vajra, means having this unchangeable firm thought of the holy Dharma, all the time, it accompanies oneself.
The last three: being in exile, having reached and received.
So the first one, being in exile means being out of the line of the human beings, like the person who does the behavior of craziness, who behaves as being crazy. Because of their behavior, they are out of the line of the normal human beings, completely recognizing all the perfections of this life as enemy, being dissimilar, being different from the top people in the country; any kind of top people and the lower people, being different from their life, from their conduct, being different from them. One’s life is different, dissimilar from them, then practicing the holy Dharma.
The way to think, here, the way to understand, the main thing is the attitude. As I mentioned so many times before, all the people in the country, in the world, even kings, ministers, presidents, generally any top people, how much they are wealthy, how much higher rank they have, the attitude is attachment seeking the happiness of this life. All the time, they prevent as much as possible bad reputation and all the time they try as much as possible to receive good reputation, all the time. All the time, they try as much as possible to receive materials, they try to prevent as much as possible not receiving. They dislike not receiving material, they dislike criticism and they have aversion when they meet suffering. Attachment to happiness and receiving praise; always the aim is to obtain food, clothing and reputation. The aim is the happiness of this life; the whole work is done for that. Similarly, the lower people; also the attitude is the worldly concern, the evil thought of worldly dharma. The aim is the happiness of this life, whatever different work they do, it is done for this.
Oneself who has renounced this life, the Dharma practitioner who has renounced seeking the happiness of this life, the attitude the evil thought of the worldly dharma, having that aim, all the conduct of body, speech and mind trying to obtain the happiness of this life, the four objects of desire—for one who has renounced this life, for the Dharma practitioner, these are what one has renounced. What the rest of the people in the country they do—that is what one has renounced. All the actions of body speech and mind of the practitioner, oneself, are not worldly dharma; the rest of the people, any of the higher people, any of the lower people, are worldly dharma. So, you see, one is completely out of the line of the human beings; actions different, attitude completely different, completely opposite.
As I mentioned one morning, some of the students go to the West straight after the course and try to practice little bit hard, they try little bit, as there is little bit energy which has not faded away, the leftover energy, anyway, I’m joking, I’m joking. So at the beginning, one tries to face the evil thought of the worldly dharma, at the beginning, for a few weeks, few days, while one is doing one’s job, feeling no connection with the surrounding people and feeling oneself is living in one’s own world, that those people are living in their own world. This is because the attitude is different from them, and also the conduct is different, the conduct naturally becomes different from them as the attitude is different. That’s how one feels when one starts to practice the remedy little bit, when one tries little bit to destroy the evil thought of the worldly dharma. So this is what it means, being out of the line of the human beings, or human beings of this life, human being who are concerned about this life, better to put it this way: oneself being out of the line of the human beings who are concerned of this life, the worldly beings.
The next one: reaching the line of the dog... or pigs; I’m just joking. Reaching the line of the dog: whenever there is a crowd of dogs, you have to get inside of that, then you reach in the line of the dogs. I’m just joking.
You see, the dog who stays at the master’s house, how bad reputation he has, how good reputation there is, makes no difference to him. Even if he doesn’t get drinks, even he doesn’t get food, how much he starves, how much difficulty he has, he continuously tries to look after, tries to protect the property, the material possessions. If some unknown person comes or somebody comes, whatever he can do, he tries, barking, all these things, if he is able to he bites. Anyway, how much difficulty the dog has in his life, not getting food or drink, somehow he continuously stays at that same place, the master’s place. Then as much as he can, continuously looks after that place, tries to protect it as he can. (Rinpoche laughs) He doesn’t have clothes, even though he doesn’t get food, even doesn’t have good reputation. So like that, oneself bears the hardships, not caring about food, clothing and reputation, in order to practice holy Dharma, how much hunger and thirst there is, how much one experiences, practicing holy Dharma continuously.
What the dog does is looking after the master, the attitude he has, bearing all the difficulties, is all done for the happiness of this life. All this is meaningless work. For the Dharma practitioner, oneself, like the external example of the dog bearing all the difficulties, continuously practice the holy Dharma, bearing all the hardships, if one wishes to practice pure Dharma and if one wants to. What I’m saying is this, it is very difficult, one who cannot bear suffering, one who cannot bear at all the hardships, difficulties, one who seeks much happiness, pleasure for that person, it is very difficult, generally, to practice. Even just to practice pure Dharma, if he is unable to bear the suffering, hardships, seeking so much pleasure, that itself is hindrance to complete the Dharma practice, for the Dharma practice to become successful. It’s very difficult to generate the realizations of the steps of the path to enlightenment, except if one’s mind was well trained in past lives, then just comfortable, very easily bearing any difficulties of hunger, thirst, cold and hot. Then the inner difficulties, having short sleep, renouncing the pleasure of sleep, renouncing the sense pleasures; without bearing the difficulties… the comfort, such luxurious life, first of all difficult to practice pure Dharma; even if one tries to practice, secondly very difficult to complete, to generate the realization of the steps of the path to enlightenment.
I think there is some advice given by Geshe Chengnawa, cherishing the sentient beings more than Buddha. In order to achieve enlightenment there are four different things to practice, which are opposite to what the common people think. The common people cherish Buddha more than sentient beings; they cherish their happiness rather than suffering; they cherish the people who give help rather than the people who give harm; they cherish themselves more than others. That is how the common people do. Oneself, if one wishes to achieve enlightenment, it should be the opposite: cherish the sentient beings more than Buddha; cherish other sentient beings more than oneself; cherish suffering more than happiness; cherish the sentient beings who give harm more than the sentient beings who give help. The main point, what I want to say is why we should cherish suffering more than happiness.
Anyway I stop here.
Generate the motivation of bodhicitta, thinking, “I must achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all the mother sentient beings, therefore, I’m going to listen to the commentary of the steps of the path to enlightenment.”
There might be some pamphlet, which talks from one of the previous courses, which contains the explanation of the six causes of the delusions; I heard, I do not know if anybody has found or not. If somebody finds later, maybe it can be read in one of the sessions. Actually, the subjects which are contained in the explanation of the six causes, most of them I think I have already spoken at the beginning, before the actual meditations on lam-rim, before it started. It’s just a matter of calling a different name for each, giving different title for each one and making classifications, but I think actually the meaning was already explained. You see, one who attempts always to control the disturbing unsubdued one, who always tries the mind to not be overwhelmed by the disturbing unsubdued mind, should not get involved in the six causes of the disturbing unsubdued minds; one should try to keep away from the six causes of the disturbing unsubdued mind. Somebody who wants to practice holy Dharma, facing constantly, who wants to constantly face, practice the remedy to the disturbing unsubdued mind.
After this, the shortcomings of the disturbing unsubdued mind, what Maitreya Buddha said about the shortcomings of the disturbing unsubdued mind. Just abbreviated explanation of the disturbing unsubdued mind: whenever the disturbing unsubdued mind arises, the mind becomes nature of non-virtue, it changes the object from virtuous object to non-virtue.
Then each time the disturbing unsubdued mind arises, the seeds or the impressions, which are planted on the consciousness, become stabilized. The more the delusions arise, the impressions or the seeds, which were planted on the field of the consciousness, get stabilized. Also, as the disturbing unsubdued minds, anger, attachment, those things, arise, each time as they arise, they make a continuity to arise again in the future, so like this it becomes unceasing. The disturbing unsubdued mind becomes unceasing, continual, then as the disturbing unsubdued mind arises, the person involves in the vices, the non-virtuous actions.
If the person is living in the moral conduct, in the ordination, then the person breaks, degenerates the ordination, then the person involves in wrong actions, which makes oneself an object that holy beings abuse, that holy beings feel kind of upset with. Then no happiness in this life, no happiness also in the future lives.
Each time the disturbing unsubdued minds arise, it makes further and further, more and more distant from nirvana, from enlightenment. As the disturbing unsubdued mind arises, it makes, whatever virtue one is committing, whatever one is doing, the disturbing unsubdued mind stops it continuing, degenerates the virtuous actions. It makes oneself and other sentient beings evil; besides the delusions making oneself evil by accumulating negative karma, it obliges also other, it makes also the other sentient beings follow in the same way and also lets them accumulate non-virtue, by letting to arise disturbing unsubdued mind in their minds.
Then also, rising disturbing unsubdued mind makes life difficult. For instance, it makes life difficult to receive, it makes to become less the perfect surrounding, the helpers, the necessary means of living, the material possessions—they become less and less, and one finds more and more difficulty in life.
One who follows the disturbing unsubdued mind, who accumulates negative karma becomes object to be abused by the Buddha, even the protectors, the Dharma protectors, even object of upset. Also, as one follows the disturbing unsubdued mind there is danger of killing oneself, also killing other sentient beings. Such sufferings as these arise. Also, by following the disturbing unsubdued mind more shortcomings, like one does the non-virtuous actions like stealing, causing harm to other sentient beings; one has to quarrel with other sentient beings, one has to go to court, receiving bad reputation. Also, in the future life, even one gets reborn as human being, one gets reborn in an outlying country, where there is no teaching existing, where there is no lineage of the ordination; that kind of place, where there is no freedom to practice holy Dharma; or being born in the lower realms, things like that. So, by recognizing the delusions, as soon as they arise, by recognizing, “This is my real enemy, who doesn’t give one single benefit, who always gives harm,” by recognizing as real enemy as soon as it rises, then one should put the whole effort, in many ways one should attempt to stop it.
Kadampa Geshe Langri Tangpa, as it is mentioned in the stanzas of Mahayana thought training, “Examine… whenever the disturbing unsubdued mind rises, as it makes evil to oneself and others, the moment the disturbing unsubdued mind arises,” first of all it starts like that, that stanza, “Examine, and the moment the disturbing unsubdued mind rises, as it makes evil oneself and others, practice immediately to dispel it.”
As Kadampa Geshe Langri Tangpa mentioned, the way to control, for oneself to not be overwhelmed by the disturbing unsubdued mind, how to do? “The disturbing unsubdued minds, they are so strong, unexpectedly they arise, so how should I stop rising the disturbing unsubdued mind, how should I control?” Geshe Langri Tangpa explains the way to control or the way to stop rising the disturbing unsubdued mind, the stanza starts, the very first thing it says is “examine.” Examine what? Examine the mind.
I didn’t mention the beginning of the verse; it starts like this, “In all the actions examine the mind.” That’s how it starts, the verse, this one stanza. The moment the disturbing unsubdued mind arises, as it makes oneself and others evil, therefore practice immediately to dispel it. So, “in all the actions” means the four basic actions that one does every day: eating, walking, sitting, sleeping and all the rest of the actions one does. In all those actions constantly, whatever action one does, constantly watch the mind, all the time. Examine the mind, like the guard standing at the door of the house, watching if there is any thief coming, waiting, constantly watching, waiting at the door, constantly watching whether any thief is coming to steal the material possessions from the house. So, constantly watching, examine the mind, whether the thief, the delusion arises or not. Always watch the mind with remembrance and awareness.
How to watch the mind? with remembrance and awareness. The guard, just watching at the door of the house, just watching the house, not watching whether the thief is coming inside the house or not, not trying to recognize that, just watching the house, that doesn’t help. Just looking at the door of the house can’t stop the thief coming in and stealing the material possessions. Even the thief came in the house, still watch; even the thief has picked up the whole material possessions, still watch. Even if he has taken out, he took from the house and put everything in the car, still watch. That kind of watching doesn’t help. After having seen the thief coming, stealing the material possessions, having recognized that, being aware of that and knowing that he is supposed to keep the possessions from being stolen—having recognized the thief, if he does only watching, that doesn’t help. Even the person is aware the delusion is arising, if he doesn’t try to control or avert it, lets the delusion continue to arise… such as anger, one is aware the anger is arising but not trying to dispel it—that is like watching and letting the thief steal all the possessions. Within one or two seconds the anger has completely destroyed the merit; so many causes of nirvana and enlightenment completely destroyed by letting the thief, anger or heresy, enter the house of the mind.
So, watch with remembrance and awareness and then, when the delusion arises, understand that the moment the delusion arises, it makes evil oneself and other sentient beings, it has been obliging oneself to experience samsara from beginningless lives, and this will continue; it will oblige oneself to experience samsara endlessly. By remembering this, practice immediately without delaying even a second. Immediately means: without delay, even a second, practice to convert, to dispel the delusions of the unsubdued mind. How? With method and wisdom; method and wisdom contains the whole lam-rim meditation, from the beginning up to the end—destroying the disturbing unsubdued minds with method and wisdom. Wisdom, realizing the subject, the object which causes to rise delusion, and the delusion itself—the whole existence—are empty. Recognizing these existences are empty, as they are empty in fact; “Oh these existences are empty,” as they are empty. Then method, using such as compassion, love and bodhicitta; destroying the delusions with method and wisdom.
This method and wisdom contains the whole teaching of sutra and tantra, because the whole teachings, if they are totalized, come in two: method and wisdom, the whole teaching of the Buddha.
The great bodhicitta Shantideva said in the Bodhicaryavatara how the disturbing unsubdued mind is so powerful, the disturbing unsubdued mind is very scary, it’s a very frightening thing, very powerful thing, more than outside enemy. As Shantideva is saying, “Even if the sura, asura, all the sentient beings, arise up as enemy, all become enemy of me, they can’t lead me in the fire of the unbearable suffering state of the narak, but this powerful disturbing unsubdued mind, even one disturbing unsubdued mind, the enemy, whatever it meets, even the great mountains can be destroyed completely in one second, without leaving even any dust. The enemy, the disturbing unsubdued mind, even one can throw me into the unbearable state of the narak in one second.”
If one becomes friendly with an external enemy, the enemy’s anger is pacified and he stops harming one. But no matter how close one becomes to the disturbing unsubdued mind, it gives more harm. Instead of receiving benefit like the outside ordinary enemy, one receives only harm. As one becomes closer to this mind, becomes more friendly, the harm grows greater. It doesn’t become less and less. Like this, the disturbing unsubdued mind is incredible, so powerful, very frightening. When you think of your own disturbed unsubdued mind, when you think of the disturbing unsubdued mind in other people, it’s very frightening. For instance, like the first war, second war, millions of people who got killed by the explosion of the atomic bomb, other countries, without mentioning all the creatures, first of all, so many millions of people got killed, then by the explosion of the atomic bomb—how much they suffered. All this perfection that they built for so many years, many thousands, the thousands of people in different lives, the people in different times, so many thousands and thousands of them, worked so hard, many expenses, worked so hard to develop, to create all these perfection, different people who lived in different times, worked so hard, put so much energy, all this, spend so much money, energy, time, life. This, one day completely gets destroyed, completely, millions of people put energy to actualize all this perfection, the whole thing completely gets destroyed in a minute.
All this danger, all this harm came from the disturbing unsubdued mind, which is formless, colorless, which cannot be touched, which cannot be seen by the eye, which is shapeless and colorless but incredible, so powerful, how it is so incredibly harmful is like that. You see, the world is in fear of the atomic danger, that is also actually not so much the atomic, but is the danger of the disturbing unsubdued mind.
People, so many countries, always they have meetings. When somebody makes an atomic bomb, they always have a meeting not to use it. Each time, when each country makes an atom bomb, they always have a meeting to not use it, then that country says, “Oh yes, we don’t use it on anybody. This has only been developed to protect our own country.” Not to be used on anybody but only to protect one’s own country. The atom bomb doesn’t give food, doesn’t give clothing, so how can it protect? When there is drought it doesn’t make rain. The only way it protects is by destroying other countries, destroying other sentient beings. However, the whole world is in fear of the atomic explosion, everybody is having fear, small countries, big countries, having fear of each other. Even those who have weapons have fear of each other.
Actually if all the leaders of the countries don’t have a disturbing unsubdued mind, if they don’t have jealousy, if there is no anger, if there is no attachment, if there is no dissatisfied mind, then there is no problem, how many weapons there may be. Even if there are mountains of weapons, there is no problem, there is no fear, no need to fear. No matter how many material weapons there may be, there is no need for fear, no need to fear harm. So actually, weapons are not the object to be scared of. The object the people in the countries should be scared of is the disturbing unsubdued mind. And then try to pacify that, try to eliminate that.
When there is no self-cherishing thought, when there is no disturbing unsubdued mind in the minds of the leaders of the countries, as there is no self-cherishing thought, the other one is what? Cherishing others. So there is only receiving benefit, only help. The whole action is completely changed. Instead of giving harm to others, only help. The whole action is completely changed. Instead of giving harm to others, only help others. Then there is real peace in the world. When you watch the minds of the people in this world, the minds of the leaders of the countries, the disturbing unsubdued mind is very difficult to control. The disturbing unsubdued mind is very easy to arise; such as anger, very easy to arise. It’s so easy for one country to destroy another, it’s so easy to happen in a minute, so easy. It is just completely dependent on the mind.
The whole thing, the whole world’s problems are dependent completely on the mind. It’s just a matter of making less, pacify more; either making the disturbing unsubdued mind strong or make it more peaceful. So, the whole problem came from the disturbing unsubdued mind. The world problem, how millions of many people suffered in the second –which war? Second? (Student, “Yes”) —all those things, unbelievable torture, all that came from one person’s disturbing unsubdued mind. Even one person’s disturbing unsubdued mind is so incredibly harmful for millions of people, it can give great harm. When you watch like this, the disturbing unsubdued mind in the minds of the people in the countries, when you concentrate on the disturbing unsubdued mind, it’s kind of frightening. When you look at it, when you watch it, for me it’s sometimes kind of frightening. It’s kind of surprising that the third world war did not happen so far. It’s surprising, according to the power of the disturbing unsubdued mind.
However, the way to control the disturbing unsubdued mind, the way to practice the remedy of the disturbing unsubdued mind is like how the Kadampa Geshe Ben Kungyel practiced. Usually the lineage lamas of the lam-rim teachings emphasize that one should practice the remedy for the disturbing unsubdued mind. Kadampa Geshe Ben says, the way he practices, what he says is, “I have nothing else, except holding the pointed short spear at the door of the mind; watching at the door of the mind, holding a pointed short spear. I have nothing but that. If he, the disturbing unsubdued mind, becomes stronger, I also get stronger. If he becomes loose, I also become loose. When he gets stronger, I also get stronger. When he becomes loose, I also become loose.” (Rinpoche laughs) That’s how the Kadampa Geshe Ben Kungyel practiced, that’s how he controlled his disturbing unsubdued mind. He said that was all he practiced. Whenever it rises, one should immediately practice the remedy.
I will talk very briefly on the next outline: collecting karma.
Generally, the meaning of karma, the definition of karma is the mind which came from mind. Mind which came from mind is the meaning of karma, meaning of the action. Generally, that’s the definition. Karma is not a principal mind but a secondary mind. Details of this you can find in Geshe Rabten Rinpoche’s teaching on the fifty-one secondary thoughts or minds. Many people must have copies. If you want to study more about the mind, the definite nature of the mind, the definite types of mind, the different thoughts, if you read that you will get the basic idea. However, the karma, action, has two things: action of mind, action of thought. When I finish, afterwards, you can understand what the difference is.
First of all, if you are going to tell a lie, the motivation is the mind, then the action. The motivation to tell a lie is the mind which makes to move, which makes the speech to move. That’s the mind. The action of that, while the person is telling a lie, is a secondary mind which comes from the consciousness, which comes from that motivation of the mind, the motive of telling a lie, which makes to move the speech; which persuades, which makes to move the speech. That is the action of mind. That action of mind is a secondary thought. From where it came is the consciousness or the principal mind, as it is translated, the principal mind or consciousness. While the person is telling a lie, the action which persuades, which makes to move the speech, that action of mind is the secondary thought. One has to understand this. Nothing of the action is the principal mind; it is not consciousness and not the principal mind. Any action is the secondary thought.
So now, the action of thought is the action of body and speech. The actions of body and speech are the action of thought. From the disturbing unsubdued mind, many various karmas are collected; unfortunate karma, fortunate karma and immovable karma. Three different kinds of karma are created by the disturbing unsubdued mind, which means the ignorance, the view of changeable—the very first of the twelve links.
The non-virtuous actions, the unfortunate karma—such as taking others’ lives, stealing, those things, done with the non-virtuous motivation, seeking the happiness of this life—causes to be born in the evil-gone realm. The fortunate karma, accumulating fortunate karma with the motivation of seeking the happiness of the future lives, causes to be reborn in the realm of the happy transmigratory beings, the human beings or the gods of desire.
Immovable karma, the particular karma which is called immovable karma—in the realm of form, there are seventeen categories. They are divided into the four levels of concentration. The cause to be born in the realm of form, to abide as a form god, the first category, the second category and the third category, there are three categories, the first three levels of concentration—the cause to be born there is the immovable karma.
How it is: first of all, one gets bored with the sense-pleasures; one gets tired of the outer sense pleasures. One seeks the inner pleasures which are derived from concentration. One renounces the outer sense pleasures and seeks the inner pleasures of concentration. The inner pleasures of concentration such as shamatha, the pleasures derived or received from shamatha, by having achieved shamatha, but without having realized the absolute nature, also without having renounced the whole samsara. Seeking the inner pleasure of the concentration, enjoying that causes to be born in the realm of form, such as in these first second and third categories, the first three levels of concentration. Again one gets bored with the inner pleasures which are received from concentration. Then one seeks the indifferent feeling; one gets bored with the happy feeling, the pleasure derived from concentration, one gets bored with it, again one renounces that. One seeks the indifferent feeling. Then one accumulates, as that person is seeking the indifferent feeling, neither happy nor suffering, that creates immovable karma; that karma causes the person to be born in the fourth level of concentration. Once you have accumulated the immovable karma to be born in the first category, second category, third category and the fourth category, it doesn’t change. The level of concentration does not change. Those karmas do not have change; there is no movement, which is why they are immovable.
But fortunate karmas, which throw the rebirth in the realm of the desire, and the unfortunate karma, the results of those karmas change. How it changes? For instance in this life one took ordination and made many offerings, much charity in this life, but afterwards the ordination degenerated, got broken, so what happens? Because the precepts degenerated, afterwards, what happens if without having done any purification or anything, the person dies, what happens? If he kept the precepts purely or if he purified the degeneration, according to tantra, what has to be done and according to sutra, the different ways of confession, to purify—if the person dies after the precepts have degenerated, then, if the person kept the moral conduct pure, without degeneration, the result of that, having made so many offerings, having made so much charity, this fortunate karma, he will be reborn, he will receive a perfect human body, having perfect enjoyments, having all the necessary means of living. Because the precepts were degenerated, if nothing was done, if the person dies after that, then the person gets reborn in the animal realm, such as the naga. If he still has faith in karma, if he hasn’t changed his faith, he gets reborn in the animal realm of the nagas, having incredible material enjoyments. Because the precepts had degenerated he has taken an animal body but he has the material enjoyments, great sense pleasures, which he was going to experience in the human realm but then he experienced the result of charity and offerings in the animal realm.
Also, you see, even the person who is going to be reborn in the narak, he took a human body in this life, even though he is on the way to narak, he is already born as intermediate stage narak, in the intermediate stage of narak, already in that form, or preta or animal or whatever it is, but due to the power of Secret Mantra or due to the power of the lama, it is possible, through the profound power of the Secret Mantra to change that intermediate stage. Even though he is on the way to narak, he changes on the way. One who is in the intermediate stage, changes and gets reborn in the realm of the happy transmigrating beings, again born as human being. Changes the intermediate stage of the narak into the intermediate stage of human being, then he gets reborn as human being.
The example is like this, I think according to Mahayana that it is possible to change in the intermediate stage by the power of the Secret Mantra, the power of the lama, that is, I think, according to Mahayana way. But according to Theravada it is not accepted. After craving, grasping, then having change of the rebirth… I think what is accepted is, immediately, whatever of the twelve links, craving, grasping has arisen at the time of death, one takes in the intermediate stage and one gets reborn in whichever of the twelve links, which body of the twelve links it is, then it takes that body.
I think I stop here.
The cause to be born in the first level of concentration, that karma doesn’t cause to be born in the second level of concentration, it is kind of fixed; it has no change in the result. So, that is why it is called immovable.
Lecture 44, December 5th, Lama Thubten Yeshe
All right now, I don't know. First of all one thing, fundamental, one has to understand that each of us, our nature, our reality is good thing. Good thing. What I say, you have to understand, each of us, good thing. You see it is a serious thing. It's not sort of I make compromise with you.
The Buddhist point of view, the human nature is inborn or originated with purity; it is already separate from the delusion, from the sin or negativity, or whatever you think. It is already separate. You don't need to separate. When I say this… let us say this is the human nature, our pure human nature. This nature is already separate from the clouds of delusion, clouds of delusion coming from here, from here, from here, isn't it? Kopan hill this morning, the fog is coming from here, to here, to here. But this foggy nature is not Kathmandu's nature, it is not Kopan’s nature. It is already separate, isn't it? We don't need to make separate.
I want you to understand, I talk about the essence of what you think about, negative and the essence of the human being. Being already they are separate nature, separate character. But coming always like this. Always coming like this, you know, isn't it? This is the problem. So, for that reason when we meditate, if we contemplate on our own energy of consciousness or our original nature, it is already sort of beauty, purity, pure object already. So, our mind becomes neutral and pure. I think that is the most important thing. Even you cannot [do more], just can be neutral, you don't see bad side, you don't see good side, you don't visualize good, you don't visualize bad, just so; that's why the breathing exercise.
The point of the breathing exercise is not thinking fantastic, you are a meditator. But you bring from the cloud, sort of just medium, just medium, no morality, no immorality, but medium. That is also good enough; if you can bring, that's good enough. Somehow, that nature is also liberated, isn't it? Because sometimes we are so sensitively in already, you know, we can't get out, stuck. This is painful; Buddhist point of view that is the pain. Just this sort of nature, neutral, if you can stay, it's good enough.
So, we should understand this way and then you have some attitude that your nature, your own nature is the Buddha nature. Your own nature developed, this make clear—you are the Buddha. You should understand this one. For some reason religious people, we always emphasize: "Special is god, special is Buddha; Buddha and God are special", (general laughter) you know, I look... (Lama growing) (general laughter) From Buddhist point of view you disrespect yourself.
It works psychologically; actually when you disrespect your own nature, then for sure you disrespect other human beings. For some reason it works that way because you can't see your own good things, good value. So, "I'm heavy burdened, so all those people heavy burdened." "I'm the heavy burden, so, other people should be heavy burden." It's a dangerous thing, isn't it?
It's not easy to practice bodhicitta. Not easy. First of all, you should be reasonable, your own quality is something, “I can do something, I can develop, I can become a bodhisattva, it's possible,” and this way the same thing, other people same possibility, both sides. Then you can see the beauty of other human beings. You don't need to push (Lama slaps his forehead) "Other sentient beings are very nice, yes, yes, yes..." (Lama slaps his forehead again. Lama laughs, general laughter) You beat yourself. “All mother sentient beings kind, oh, should be, lam-rim says, lam-rim says.” (General laughter) It's not that way, it's not that way. It's logical. It's kind of natural, reasonable reason that all mother sentient beings are kind. Logical, there is logic. It's not something we are making psychological story.
So, now, remember we say cloud of attachment, cloud of craving desire, cloud of other things coming, cloud is coming. Those clouds, we are giving name, hatred or negative or whatever, we are giving name. We don't say in Buddhism that all sin is negative. We don't say that. First of all let's say, you people are listening too much lam-rim. lam-rim is Mahayana teaching, therefore, much emphasis on self-cherishing thought is sort of the biggest problem in the world, in the lam-rim, isn't it?
It is a problem, but not necessarily it is the impure, it is the sin, it is negative. Not necessarily. Attachment can be positive. Why? If you don't have attachment you don't have this precious human rebirth. This precious human rebirth comes from attachment. No? Oh you people shocked, now I'm shocked too! (Lama laughs, general laughter) Attachment is also a precious thing—really true.
That's why, many young people question: "Why I am existing? Why on this earth?" (general laughter) This question comes, doesn’t it? "There is no reason I came in this earth, be unhappy. Better I cut myself." The answer is that: your grasping mind brought this body to this earth. The answer is simple. You cannot blame god, you cannot blame Buddha; you cannot blame anything. Our grasping, individual grasping mind brings result in this life. And so we are existing, isn't it? So we are lucky. The attachment, the result of our body, we are here, isn't it? And we are able to think, able to understand, able to comprehend what is going on within us and our world. So, we are grateful to the attachment. It's true.
Same thing, eight worldly dharmas—remember? (Lama laughs, general laughter) In the lam-rim? Eight worldly dharmas; also sometimes we are grateful too to have eight worldly dharmas. Why? First of all, without going eight worldly dharmas, how can be completely liberated? Even Shakyamuni himself, he went through eight worldly dharmas, isn't it? It is evolution, existence. So, we have to go through eight worldly dharmas; then sometime, we reach beyond eight worldly dharmas, can liberate or become enlightened.
Therefore, Lama Je Tsongkhapa himself says in the great lam-rim, the lam-rim Chen.mo, that the eight worldly dharmas have a white aspect and a black aspect, they have a mixture aspect. Lama Je Tsongkhapa explained clean clear. We do, we do. Our worldly dharma, one aspect is maybe good aspect, then through going there, then another thought coming to add, isn't it? So then, the result is sort of mixed. But still good, still good.
You cannot say philosophically and in the lam-rim also, you cannot say that attachment is negative. Sometimes western people are very sensitive, that every aspect of the lam-rim talks about, attachment is the biggest problem. Therefore, must be completely black and negative. Lama Je Tsongkhapa says "No." Logically we can see, our human lives, Buddhist point of view, all human life, our body comes from positive mind. The positive mind produces the body, which has the ability to enjoy, to enjoy. So, we have to understand correctly.
I'm not saying you misunderstood but human beings, we have limitation. When a certain aspect shows strongly in lam-rim, then “Wow! everything that has to do with attachment is negative. So I am completely negative. The world is completely negative.” Then it becomes more dark, you know. Because you project it, you interpret it in such a way, exaggerated.
I want you to understand clean clear that… the thing is, we have the distinction: negative, or Western terms maybe sin, and positive, two things. The attachment, desire, can be negative or sin, and can be also positive, which produces pleasure, samsaric pleasure, human pleasure, solid pleasure. You understand; ability to enjoy world, seeing world beautiful and whatever you think is ok. So you cannot say all desire is negative, only producing pain. Wrong. You should not think that way. It produces some pleasure but temporary pleasure—aaaaahhh. (Lama laughs, general laughter) Now I'm not sure.
Ok, that is the distinction. You see, clear, very clean clear. Temporary pleasure, we are not saying temporal pleasure is always bad. Temporal pleasure, temporal happiness, we cannot say you reject that one. Then what is left over? If you reject temporal happiness, then what do you have? You haven’t got eternal happiness yet, isn't it? Not yet, isn't it? What is left over is only misery, isn't it? You know what I mean?
This is the important thing. We should not be mistaken, we should have temporary pleasure. We can enjoy. But the thing is, we should not too much squeeze ourselves; and try… this temporary pleasure is, the mind wanting to believe that this is the best happiness—which is totally delusional, over estimate conception. It's like thinking that this cloud is coming, "Ah, this cloud is wonderful, oh this is permanent, oh I wish…” you are dreaming, isn't it?"
Same thing, any pleasure in our human lives, we should recognize its characteristics of the temporal: it goes, it comes. And we should expect limitation. Its nature is limitation. Therefore, our expectation should be exactly, you put expectation according to its energy. You cannot put: tremendous, "Ah, this is the everlasting, eternal happiness, oh, oh, oh, oh.” We cannot, this is the delusion; this is the fantasy.
So now, I want to say this way: in lam-rim, Mahayana Buddhism, incredible sort of talk about the attachment. Attachment and self-cherishing thought is really a big problem. “Therefore, I want to give up, I want to give up that. From today, I want to give up attachment." What do you think about that? It's not possible, dear. (Lama laughs, general laughter) Not possible, it's sort of too much, too much ambition mind. You should have understanding. Attachment is a problem according to every day life with our too much fixed idea, without having reasonable expectation. This is the problem, yeah, ok.
Then you should work out slowly. “I'm grateful, I understand that one, but it takes time. Certain things I can handle now, certain things I can still do this way, but perhaps Mahayana method, I have sort of a little bit mixed.” Remember mixture? Little bit white, little bit black. “That's all I can do at the moment.”
So, not totally black; the result is coming sort of mixed result, rather than totally black. Kind of, you have to sort of, individual, that's the thing, individual judgment, how to handle attachment. According to individual experience and the ability, and time to time also, one has to judge. But not necessarily thinking, seeing all attachment as negative. It’s not true. You understand? It’s not true.
I want you to understand, if you think that one, then 24 hours… if I say this way, you can see: until the eighth bodhisattva bhumi, you don’t remember? I think you know. First the collection path, remember? And then the preparation path—this is quite a long journey, it takes time (laughter). Then the seeing path, which is the beginning of the first bhumi; from the first bhumi to the second bhumi and then until you reach the eighth, still there can be some attachment. Attachment has degrees. So how can we say, I mean, we are beginners. I mean, I cannot judge everybody is a beginner. I mean, who knows who is a buddha, who is a bodhisattva. Maybe you already are eighth bodhisattva bhumi!
However, we see that we are at this stage and that stage is incredibly higher, we cannot completely release the attachment. But slowly, slowly by dealing with the gross levels: “These things I have to work out.”
You see, that's why we should not be so idealistic. "How fantastic Lama, I now discovered attachment, is best thing". Then you go back home and say to your father: "Your problem is your attachment." (Lama laughs, general laughter) Then you say to your boyfriend: "Your problem is your attachment." Then you crush everything, bam bam bam bam. Then one day they are going to put to you like this: "Your problem is ..." Oh yes, that's true, that's true. Practical, you know. Philosophically we understand clean clear. But practically we have to be reasonable. As the lam-rim explains, the attitude towards our pleasure, worldly sense pleasures, is kind of reasonable. So, if you can see some benefit for yourself and for other people, even in small things, as much as you can, you do. That's good enough.
I want you to understand that the expression of Buddhism or the expression of lam-rim seems “Now I should be suffering. I should be suffering.” Buddhism says: "I should be suffering!” West says, “I should not suffer, I should have pleasure.” So therefore, I now crush Eastern way of thinking. (Lama using his mala as a whip) “I can't put together now.” You feel that way sometimes, isn't it? (Lama laughs) Is that not true? That's not true.
Buddhism and the lam-rim wishes all sentient beings to discover eternal bliss, eternal peace. The enlightenment experience, that is the goal, isn't it? Therefore, one thing lam-rim emphasizes is that you should not have the concept that this is the only happiness, giving pleasure. That's all, simple. “If we have this one, this is the only happiness.” (laughter) “This is the whole universe, you know? No other universe. There is no Australia. This is everything. There is no US. This is the only universe.” Such a narrow small mind. This is the problem. Specially, this happiness is ok, reasonable judgment, you can enjoy but tremendous unreasonable judgment grasping, that results in more pain. That's all Buddhism talks about.
You should have pleasure. You should not feel guilty, first of all. Let's say, my connotation pleasure. Pleasure is sort of, now I talk about my own sort of commentary now. Pleasure I talk about. Pleasure is sort of little bit satisfying at the moment. Things going ok (Lama laughs). And I am not totally disturbing. I get some pleasure. That's good enough. You should accept this. Instead of "Oh, I should feel guilty," that should not be. You should be as much as possible happy. That's all. It’s true. If you are too much irritated, how can you be peaceful? If you are irritated, disturbed, you can't give happiness to your surrounding. Not possible, isn't it? Not possible. Even if you want, even if I cry to you and say, "I want to give you happiness, (Lama crying) I want to give you happiness, I want to give you happiness." Can I give you? No! You don't know how to handle this man. (Lama laughs) "He wants to give me happiness, but he cries, cries." Then you say: "I want to give you happiness." Then you cry. The only result is each other cry, you know. Well, that's not possible.
So therefore, if you have some pleasure, reasonable pleasure, sort of calm, clear, even if you feel that to some extent the seeking, grasping mind is there but even you feel sort of loving kindness to each other, you enjoy that. You should not feel guilty.
Also many of our students at Kopan, they say: "Wow, now I should help other people. Since I'm born up to now I never have helped anybody. Now I want to help. Now I want to go to Africa." (laughter) They do. They go there. (Lama laughs, general laughter) A couple of months later they came back, "Oh, I cannot do". That should not be that way. This is an unrealistic idea. You can't. I know my dog is suffering. What can I do? I should sleep with my dog, I feel guilty. I say: "Oh, I love my dog, tonight I'm going to sleep with my dog." What would people think? I think people would think, stupid, isn’t it? I think you should say, "Ridiculous." Not necessary, is it? So you see, kind of reasonable, isn't it? You should not be guilty. Certain things you can do, certain things it takes time.
It is good to change attitude as much as you can, you know, that you can do, practically. It has method and exercise in lam-rim; you have to use those methods. Normally too much concerned with oneself; instead one becomes whole world and there is allowing to see other people, to change the self-cherishing attitude into holding others dear as much as you can. It's reasonable way. Don't force. You should never force. You should never force. "That should be because lam-rim said so." No, you should check up. Sort of easy going inside, then reasonable.
The Buddhist point of view, without some dedication for others, I think, you never get any satisfaction. I think all religions agree. It's not Buddhism, you know. All religions, all great men, everybody agrees. It's also logical. For that reason we practice bodhicitta. When we say loving kindness, it's not, you show "ha, ha, ha," like this, you know. This doesn't mean loving kindness. Loving kindness is understanding, touch into some reality, then it becomes loving kindness.
All beings want to be happy, don't desire suffering. And the same time, doesn't matter how much other people are confused but the inner quality of that human being is purity. Potential is to be clear. So, by knowing this respect, then you can have loving kindness. Then you can have patience also. You don't have sometimes, if other people are irritating," "Oh, he is hopeless, he's hopeless, I've no time, good-bye." You're not giving, you are not seeing that potential. You are not giving time and space.
Now, one of my points is, I missed maybe this one: I didn't talk about that one. Sometimes I jump; I don't have rules, you now. Remember, when I say "concerned only with the temporary pleasures of this life", "for the pleasures of this life you can do anything", you make limitation. "I have this life, this is my life, I should have as much pleasure as possible." Believing this is the only pleasure you should have, time and space you have. “Therefore I can do anything; I take as much as possible advantage." This attitude is dangerous. This attitude is limited; the mind is a dangerous one. You understand? I want you clean clear.
This is common in the West, isn't it? You know we are Westerners. We know they don't talk about past lives, future lives. You haven’t heard so much. I mean, some people maybe heard but don't talk about it. I am making generalization of Western culture. Western culture is: "This is my life, I'm born, I'll die. The worst thing that can happen is that I'll die, that's all. So from this I should have all kind of pleasure that exists in the world, I have to experience it. So, for that reason I can do anything." That is the dangerous one. I think that's simple isn't it?
Why is it dangerous? This is the limitation. This mind itself has an incredible sort of pressure, concrete attitude. So then, you can do anything. Then you can do any immoral action. Point is you can do immoral action by seeing life is packet, which is totally ridiculous, ignorant. You make limitation of you and the world and beings. But we should not be lazy either. (Lama laughs) "Oh, we have so many lives, to do whatever, who worries, I relax." "I don't care if this life I cannot do, then next life." It's really true, isn't it?
As a matter of fact, this one, concerning this life packet, being concerned with only the comfort and pleasure of this life, remember lam-rim, there are three sections, isn't it? First section, middle section and great section, isn't it? (audience: "Yes") Yeah? Alright? O.K.
So first one, dealing with that mind and observing the karma: Because this ridiculous mind can do any action, so we are watching. If you do immoral action, maybe ten immoral actions perhaps you go to the three lower realms. Remember? You know. (Lama laughs, general laughter) This condition is only that attitude. You are only seeing this packet of these temporal pleasures. There is no room for other thoughts, for other possibilities. This one is too dangerous. If you are not observing negative karma, it can lead to a kind of condition of life. I want you to understand clearly.
So therefore, my suggestion is, you should enjoy as much as possible. But same time, don't grasp too much. Use this moment to enjoy eating an apple and have some satisfaction, a certain peace. Use this, and the next step to more last the pleasure of apple. Makes sense or not? I think that's simple, you know. Appreciation, this apple, grateful, I have something, comfortable. That is good. But only this way is not enough. Actually the Buddhist attitude is more, "I want more." Don't you think? "I want more pleasure. This pleasure is nothing." (laughter) That's right, isn't it? Another way of saying is "Yeah, I have pleasure, you give me coffee, that's good, I enjoy myself. But that is also not enough. Specially if I...this one, becomes miserable again.” Ok, so free from that, maybe you enjoy that but release this grasping one—you can call this renounce, you can call renounce, not so much into neurotic situation. You can call this renounced.
Then remember there are two bodhicittas: relative bodhicitta and absolute bodhicitta, remember? The absolute bodhicitta is not having the craving, the concrete, craving attitude, holding concept of concrete on our five aggregates and oneself and the world, then—completely free! So, these two things are actually necessary. It's not good enough you have good attitude. Good attitude is greatly beneficial, essential. At the same time a lot of wisdom we need, a lot of wisdom we need. Everywhere in the world actually people do having loving kindness naturally, I tell you, everywhere in the world, don't think they have no compassion in the West, that's not true. West people, East people, everywhere, they do have loving kindness. To some extent they do have but what they are lacking is wisdom. Definitely, lack of understanding; lack of understanding makes even your loving kindness become completely black. I'm not sure, maybe you are thinking: "Wild!"—I say, without wisdom even your small loving kindness becomes completely black. That is not possible? Not sure. I think I'm sure. (laughter)
Without wisdom, maybe first beginning there is small wisdom then, too much emotion, the loving kindness, action going through the feeling of cloud. Feeling cloud? Emotion? Then completely end of, black. That makes sense or not, makes sense? I think I am sure.
First in the beginning, loving kindness, simple way, normally, we have sort of common sense, when this loving kindness functions. When enters that feeling, emotion, then it becomes dark dark dark dark dark and ends up completely black, self-cherishing.
I repeated two times. I think that should be enough. But check out that one. Because our mind has limitation, our loving kindness becomes sneaky, sneaky, so weak. Maybe first beginning strong like this, then when enter through this atmosphere, through process went, then it becomes weak weak weak weak weak, then disappears.
So then, ok, sharp wisdom, penetrative sharp wisdom behind loving kindness you need. Then your loving kindness becomes indestructible nature. No one can disturb you. I think so. I believe personally all human beings, even dogs have some loving kindness for each other. I believe. But not having intensive wisdom and awareness. So, it cannot cut through this false conception, cannot cut. So, completely enter into darkness shelter. Ok, I think it's simple.
So, at least this meditation course, at least if you can learn that comprehension, can observe your own mind. Somehow you are using method to bring mind from too much clouding into even middle, not too much sort of beautiful, penetration or meditation or concentration, but sort of middle, if you can bring, that's good enough. That means you begin, you can handle your mind. I think it’s incredible. It's good enough. Unable to handle the mind is incredibly painful.
And the world becoming impure we say, many people talk about it. It came from each of us, isn't it? We cannot blame the world, we cannot blame the world. So, each of us is responsible for our own liberation and responsible for our own karma, as much as possible to live our life every day reasonably, without too much trouble of the negative mind or attachment or whatever you call it, all those things. And then, that's good enough. Maybe I not talk so much. It's not necessary. Instead of I talk bla bla maybe better you ask questions. Thank you, thank you so much.
John Schwartz: "We don't have much time, Lama. I'll give you this one first. On page 41 of the lam-rim meditation outline being used in this course it says that birth as a male (laughter) is listed as one of the eight favorable qualities of Dharma study practice. Is this interpretation of Buddha's teachings really meant to discriminate against women (Lama laughs) by citing her form as a hindrance? That's the first part. I'll just read you the second part. It says: Can an individual reach Enlightenment in a female form?
Lama: Is it still doubtful? (laughter) Amazing. Sure. It is no discrimination, actually for the man and the female in this life, even this life, from the beginning up to end, enlightenment is possible. Many Lord Buddha's texts and sutra say. And you cannot say... Where is the Tara? (Lama looking for Tara's tangka) ...Tara is much lower than Guru Shakyamuni. Is equal, completely, all these Buddhas, female aspect, male aspect are equal realization. Realization is equal. I don't think that is the question, you worry about that. No problem that. I think that's good enough. We don't need too much talk about it.
But historically, when Tara took bodhisattva attitude she says that there are so many male aspects of the Buddha. There is not so many female, so therefore, she determined: "My life, all the time female, female aspect and leading all sentient beings into enlightenment." So you can see. But then also can see us individually. If we are not strong, we can also be weak by believing "I am sort of being lady, therefore I can't do." If you believe then it becomes reality. (Lama laughs) Isn't it? If you believe, "I can do anything, I can see my potentiality," then that is the liberated attitude.
Remember, normally I say, bodhicitta, wanting to help other people, lead to the highest destination; enlightenment attitude bodhicitta, this itself is already sort of enlightened. Normally I talk about that way. It is. That attitude itself has sort of quiet, peaceful already. When you begin to actualize bodhicitta, actually I call you small Buddha. Ok? This I make up for the communication. Why I say Buddha? You a little bit opened; Buddha means opened not closed. That means when you opened, you are a little bit understanding, then you are more liberated. So, matter of fact you are small Buddha. I think so. True. That's right. I mean Buddha has strict philosophy. Buddhism has, this is Buddha, isn't it? We have, philosophically. But practical view point, I can call anything, words, words I can give. Ok? More?
John: I think we have time for maybe one more question.
Lama: Sure. I think now until eight o'clock, isn't it?
John: Seven thirty we ...
Lama: Not seven thirty, come on.
John: Some people call themselves Christian-Buddhists or Buddhist-Christians. Is it possible to be both Christian and Buddhist? Or is this a contradiction of terms?
Lama: No. I think it is possible. Why not? It depends on attitude. Example, let's say being Catholic. Let us talk about being Catholic. I'm Catholic, you know? (laughter) I'm Catholic. My interpretation of Catholic is: I believe there is a quality of god. Buddha explained god quality actually. Do we? We explain, we have sort of similar quality of Christian god.
Let's talk about Jesus. If I am Christian, Catholic and I believe Jesus is sort of helping all mother sentient beings; I look about, Buddha also helping similarly. Then many, many like Jesus, many, many like buddhas. What is the problem? What deity is, they understand some kind of bigger nature, rather than this apple—remember? Remember they understand bigger nature, bigger value of human being, and I understand too. Depends on what you look at; really true. Depends on what you look at, what value you put on that. I think that's all.
Practically there is some aspect, different rituals, Buddhism and Christianity, there is difference. But if you take real essence what they are practicing, I don't think there is too much big difference. What is different, I think philosophically, I cannot say it's all same thing, sort of, making like soup, you know. Because philosophically Christianity does not have, as explained by Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths and scientific explanation of reality, absolute reality. I mean they do have absolute, god is absolute, isn't it? But, they have different explanation. One way is good—god is absolute. So, who discovered god is absolute? No one can discover god is absolute. God, absolute is beyond our conception, isn't it? Remember Christians, they say God, no one can know. If you try to know, you compete with God, you are stupid, isn't it? Not possible, is it. God is THE absolute, omniscient. And we are the limitation. Anyway, what I'm saying is: Christians do have absolute explanation, but different. That's all I can say. Very different philosophically, I think different than Buddhism. But still you can practice loving kindness, helping other people and keeping straight your morality. I tell you, my experience when I travel in the West, I feel Christian people are very straight people. Excuse me, this is my impression. I mean, this is my experience. Many people I see, very strict in keeping morality. I think it’s great, great. I'm really grateful. Even somebody just accepts good and bad for other people and these things. I think it’s great.
So, conclusion is, we should also rejoice in non-Buddhist religions, I think we should rejoice. First of all in the world, many people are not concerned with karma, moral karma, immoral. Nowadays it’s very difficult, isn't it? The Christians have this kind of explanation. Perhaps not explained, “because this, because this, because this,” in so many details. Sort of say, "Because god said so, that's enough." So you want know more. That's all, I think that's all for this question. Thank you.
John: Lama, this one says, some of us have jobs that we like...
Lama: …good. (Lama laughs, general laughter)
John: ...and through which we think we can help others. How do we understand and apply renunciation to this life?
Lama: (laughing) So simple. You have a job, you take salary and enjoy your life and not too much this one before. Now I'm not going to use language, not too much this one, isn't it? I think it's so simple. No? That's not enough? (laughter) That's enough or not? I thought this is enough.
Actually that's good question. The thing is, I personally feel that our Westerners, when we go back to our life, our environment and the society giving comfortable life, you should accept. That is there, it’s there. At least a comfortable bathroom is there! You don't need to do any effort almost; society offering effortless. You use that one, grateful.
The thing is, in the West, the problem is too many ideas; too much ideas and too much pulling each other. "I push you, you do this. You push me, I do this." Isn't it? Indirectly and directly; even strict, everywhere pushing each other. I think certain things you can take, certain things. Not necessarily you do everything. But in the West you have to do, "because my life is this." Remember? Life is a packet, you know? "He has, I should have." "I want two." (laughter) This is the complex in our society. This is almost, you cannot avoid. You are there, isn't it? They are there. They are point of view. Television says: "You should buy, otherwise you're crazy." Ah, don't take seriously. "Wait a minute, please give me time." (laughter) Television says: "Tomorrow at such and such place, night club,” and at the same time there is at such and such place is playing such things. "What can I do? I want to go to both sides. I am only one." So that kind of things is kind of pressure. I think you know, actually. "Ok, it's good. If I have time I go, I enjoy. If I don't have time, ok." There is nothing to be guilty, some losing—not losing, actually. In the West we think we lose, isn't it, if you cannot do. You're not losing. Better you save your salary also. Anyway, I think that's ok. Yeah, thank you. That's good enough,
John: How is it possible to transform desire and particularly sexual desire into Dharma motivation and action?
Lama: That I answered already. Remember? Craving desire, attachment can be positive. If we don't have sexual desire, you understand? This body is existent without sexual desire—existent or not? It's true. You should think really grateful, some appreciation. I’m not joking. You think I'm joking. Ok? I'm not contradicting teachings, you understand.
So, craving desire can be positive, but one problem is that when the result of craving desire comes, when the pleasure comes, if you too much grasp again, then it becomes pain. That is the problem. However that human relationship, and having this sexual relationship, if you have the giving attitude, bodhicitta attitude, giving, other people need, time to time, then that is transforming. There is no conflict even between couples because one’s sort of dedicated attitude giving what is needed.
Actually that is my interpretation; it is also scientific. Let's say, if we don't have any contact with each other, what happens? How many men become crazy? How many women become crazy? Now I talk about scientific level. There is energy, man and female both have some energy; to some extent, time to time period, some people do need to express this, otherwise completely nuclear and then one day explosion comes and he becomes crazy. It's true. We have to go—it's not everybody, it's an individual experience, we have to go.
Example some married people, they are married, maybe they don't need sexual contact even one year, maybe once. Even they are couple. Also to do with psychological pressure, anyway in Buddhism we think psychological pressure. Western science think there is energy if you do not, explode, there is no room. There is no room. Anyway, have to freak out. That's the Western explanation. I asked many Western doctors. They tell me there is energy somewhere; if you do not release that, the energy becomes too much, then it is a problem. I mean some you can see, some you can see that it is true. But in Buddhism we believe it is psychological matter, it is not necessary energy released, that energy expresses such way to use. That is the most important thing. I think we don't need to talk about that too much.
However, even you lose energy, as long as you have the attitude, and also couples coming together, there is a purpose: to really help each other as much as possible. I think that's wonderful, that way you can transform it. Shakyamuni himself, one time when he was monk he married twelve years one lady, lady who is without having sexual contact she will die. For that situation he married, he give up his vow, he married twelve years. So it is good, that way, if we have bodhicitta attitude, then it is very good. Anyway, even if you don’t have bodhicitta attitude, you just feel reasonable, worldly, he or she need help, they need help, they need to express some strong connection. So use that energy, that is the sort of key to express close relationship. And if they need time to time, you give. I think that's so simple, isn't it? If one can do that way, that is so simple, you don't need any big meditations. (Lama laughs) If you can't do meditation, you can do many different ways.
You see, the problem is, the sexual contact itself, you cannot say, it is negative. First of all, what is sexual contact, what is sexual desire? I think it takes time, isn't it? Anyway, the sexual contact itself is, you cannot say negative. Let's say it this way: the man and the female they join together sexually, how can you say that it is negative? You cannot. You cannot say that itself is negative. The thing is, problem is. Ok, what makes problem? I tell you now, ok. When we have sexual contact we lose comprehension, awareness, we lose. That is the problem. I'm not sure what I'm saying. (laughter) Ok, that's why, Buddhist meditation, what we try to approach, I tell you it's true, I want you to know, having blissful experience, at the same time you're awakening.
… as much as possible you can have sexual contact. Well ...isn't it? I mean, precise, isn't it—some precise meaning or not? I'm not sure. How you feel that one. That is the problem, ok.? So, having concrete grasping, desire, losing consciousness and awareness, what happens is, result is, more desire comes up, isn't it? Karma, each time you produce karma, it just finishes that’s ok, one time, ok it’s finished, ok. Not like that, the energy you build up so that will happen again. I think this is true, problem.
If one has concentration and energizing blissful, produce more satisfaction, more concentration, one should do more. Well, it's logical, isn't it? What is the problem? Anyone who has negative, sort of negate, through Buddhism or through the religion, you can defeat me now. Come on, give question about that. Yeah, tell me, tell me what I'm saying. If you think it's something, something that is question, come on, we debate. We debate, come on, come on!
You see, actually Buddhism is extremely precise. Remember when we tell lies? Telling lie is normally negative, isn't it? You know what I mean, negative. Telling lie to change other people’s mind is negative. But if somebody is coming with a gun and says: "All these Kopan people are learning about the devil. I will kill all these people." If I say, "These people left yesterday, why are you coming?"—it's telling a lie. But as long as I have the right attitude—I am not saying, I have the right attitude—as long as I do have the right attitude, compassion, some kind of sympathy, Buddhism thinks that is not negative, is it? You understand? The action that you do, itself you cannot say it is completely black, it depends which attitude is coming, pushes you to this action, then you can tell whether that is negative or positive.
So therefore, what I'm saying is, the sexual contact itself, you cannot say it's negative, come on. First of all what is sexual contact? Male and female joining together, that is what we call sexual contact in the West. I like, we do western style. Come on. That is Western style sexual contact or not? (Lama showing new mudra with both hands) (Lama laughs, general laughter) It's true. If we not contact, we don't understand each other, again we produce more confusion, isn't it? What I mean is, the sex joined together, that is sexual contact or not? (Shasta: `Yes, it is.') Yes, isn't it? O.K., you say yes. (Lama laughs) Ok, if that coming together is sexual contact, I cannot say that is negative, you know. It can be positive, it can be negative. It can be medium too. That's right, exactly. If you put together, no feeling, no nothing, then medium, isn't it? (Lama laughs, general laughter) It doesn't produce any reaction, you know, medium. Yeah! I think that's enough about this.
John: Lama, what is laughter?
Lama: Laughter? Silence is laughter. Total silence is laughter. That's enough.
John: Why is it meritorious to circumambulate stupas?
Lama: What does that mean?
John: Why is it good merit, why do you gain merit by circumambulating stupas?
Lama: Very good question, yes, very good. Normally, anyway we are circling. First of all I have to tell you, since we were born, up to now, we are going (laughter) anyway, that's not new thing, you understand. Anyway, we are going 24 hours like this, you know (laughter). So, instead of thinking such mundane objects, mundane, deluded objects, circling, circling; the comprehension or memory of totally opened wisdom, and thinking "This one is the liberator, this is the source of enlightenment," and then you go around: make you quiet, peaceful. I think it’s so simple, isn't it? So simple.
Why? First of all, of course, when this stupa was made, the person who made, actually, the sort of attitude, the symbol of the totally enlightened mind, built in such a way... You see, the stupa has many parts; first foundation, then there are paths, twelve paths, penetrative such way going and then the top point, totally sharp wisdom, isn't it? Sharp wisdom, cutting through concrete conceptions or concrete visions; I mean, that's good enough, isn't it? Normally we don't think that way. So the memory of that, going around, very good; good enough, because some people need that kind of practicing, they cannot have sharp wisdom sitting like this, but using their physical energy, by the memory of that they could use. So the many things, Tibetan prayer flags, prayers, these things and many different examples, my mother and my father, they used to, they sitting at night. They sit at the table (Lama humming mantra), I mean they work so hard. The minute they have time, they do this one. Same time they have six, seven children and many workers, still they do commitment. Isn't that beautiful? They used it like tool, do something and it’s good for them. Sometimes in Tibet, lamas methods for different people to use. So, Buddhism in Tibet tries to help everybody, everybody, doesn't matter what you do, even butchers or whatever, they do some Dharma, according to their ability, according to their environment. So, that's usual, sometimes prayer flags, sometimes mala, sometimes prostrations, sometimes… I think that's all. Then? One question maybe?
Hermes: Lama, that was my question. Geshe Jampa Gyatso gave an example of a fly that was sitting on a piece of cow dung that was carried around stupa by the rain. It had no virtuous motivation at all but still it received a precious human rebirth because of that.
Lama: There is some vibration, itself has some vibration, he received vibration. That's good enough, yes. Let's say, even if you are there, I don't know who are you but still I receive some vibration near you, isn't it? Similar, I think, similar. So, it should be that way. It's true. Ok, I think so, vibration is there. Even those dogs, example those dogs, they don't exactly communicate for Dharma, but still these dogs can receive some vibration of Dharma. Possible. One time, one Lama giving teachings, one pigeon came, it always stayed and listened. The next life that bird became Vasubandu, remember Vasubandu? I'm correct, isn't it? Vasubandu remembers, as many books that could fill a house are in his memory, he remembers every word of these Buddhist texts. That came from when he was this bird, he listened and he took this vibration-blessing and next time he was able to handle that one. Possible.
Example, look at this, I make example. When you listen to lam-rim, you look about, subject coming, this way, this way, certain subject comes, it comes Whoom. That happened to you? Certain subject is flavor for you. "Wow, this is incredible, this I had heard before, I thought, now this man is telling again." I have this kind, when I listen to lam-rim from my Lama, certain part of lam-rim I like so much and certain lam-rim not so much. (laughter) Doesn't make my heart shake, in other words. There is some energy, some reason; I feel, my interpretation, I have some practice, some previous life. And that's why certain points comes out, my heart is little bit fertilized. Same thing, I'm sure, each of you when you hear lam-rim, certain parts they come out, you feel very comfortable and you like that one, sort of in your heart to practice. Certain things just don't shake your heart, isn't it? "I'm ok, it's O.K., but doesn't shake my heart. I don't want to practice this, some part." You feel that way. I think that must be according to your life experience.
Yeah, you think now we have to stop? Alright. So, we still have time. I'll try to come up again. Thank you so much.