Mahamudra Q & A With Lama Yeshe

Video

Lama Yeshe answers questions about mahamudra

By Lama Thubten Yeshe
Dharamsala, India (Archive #326)

This question and answer session was part of the first Enlightened Experience Celebration, hosted by International Mahayana Institute. The session was held at the Bhagsu Hotel in Dharamsala, India on March 17, 1982.

Lama responds to student questions about the practice of mahamudra after His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teachings on the topic. He explains how to meditate on the clean clear nature of one's mind and how to apply mahamudra to tantra. Lama's loving warmth, infinite patience and experiential style are, as always, profoundly powerful to watch.

The one hour and twenty minute video was filmed by Robyn Brentano and Roland Stutz. The video was transcribed by Nicholas Ribush and is fully subtitled. You can also read the entire transcript below, lightly edited by Sandra Smith.

 

Lama Yeshe meditating by the ocean, Sicily, 1983. Photo: Jacie Keeley.

All of you have come such a long distance for a short time to listen to His Holiness’s teachings. I’m sure from your side you must be very happy and from my side I’m very happy, and I enjoy for you, you know. It’s nothing if you can’t enjoy. Thank you.

And so, I thought, maybe, I can say hello and thank you so much, really. From my heart, I’m very happy all of you have come such a long distance for a short time, just concerning Dharma. I think wonderful; it makes me very happy. I can feel your heart is in Dharma. Thank you.

So, if there is any difficulty, or something which is not clear or makes you alienated, for a short time we can have conversation. Thank you. All right.

Those who are staying here, they get plenty of time, explain. I’m sure His Holiness Zong Rinpoche is going to answer everything, isn’t it? And those who are going back, I thought maybe good idea, so please, anything I can help you with to make easier your life, easily to grow, easily benefit for others and yourself, let me know. Yeah, thank you.

>

Also, no requirement that you have to give question. No need. If you have, you can do.

Q: [Audio unclear] Lama, I don’t think I understand so much because of my very poor English, and because the subject itself is very difficult. Could you simplify for me something about the way to meditate about this.

Lama: First of all, I’m sure you understand that mind is, the essence of mind is clean clear nature. It is like glass or a mirror taking reflection of phenomena. Why? Because its nature is clean clear. So therefore, just clean clear characteristic knowledge of the mind, OK?

Therefore, whether you are confused, whether you are miserable, whether you are blissful or whether you are fantastic clean clear, clear light character situation, doesn’t matter. But, you know, just look at, the nature, the fundamental nature of the mind is anyway, it is clean clear nature. You just look at it. It automatically, somehow, leads to clean clear. This is the particular mahamudra, the special.

Also, remember, His Holiness [said] that the fundamental mind or the subtle mind is already clean clear nature. So, recognize that, without sort of artificial editing, overestimate way or underestimate way. Right? OK, therefore, simply, I think simple, what you can do, my suggestion is that you just watching the view of your own mind. By then, the view of your mind watching, it slowly, slowly leads you to concentrate on the clarity of your own mind.

It’s like the rays of the sun. If you go through the rays of the sun you can lead to the actual sun, isn’t it? So, the same thing, the view of your own mind, if you look at it, slowly, slowly you find the clean clear nature of your own mind. The reason why I’m saying this, for the Western mind, we say that you meditate on your own mind. The question is, “How can I find my mind?” You understand? This is the question. So, my answer is this way: If you are watching your own mind view, somehow, that’s related to the clean clear nature of your own mind. So you let go. Good, right. I think so.

That’s kind of a little bit helpful for you? Or something more?

Q: I think I can work with this.

Lama: Yeah, that’s good enough, dear, that’s good enough. You don’t need anything. You just moment to moment, the mind just leave on the memory of your own clarity. That’s why mahamudra is something very simple. Understand? You can apply in any situation. Because normally we are busy with fantasy thought idea, so we are going to make it difficult. Understand? But we do have clean clear nature, twenty-four hours existent within us. So if you are busy with that, you are clean clear. Right? Thank you, all right.

In every situation, every situation, or when you meditate, just watching the clarity of your own mind and the view of your own mind. And at a certain point you reach clarity and the mind keeps on the memory on that and you let go, without intellectualizing or without analyzing, OK? This is one thing special.

Normally, lam-rim meditation—you know, you listened to so many lam-rim meditations—we analyze, many times we analyze, we intellectualize, remember? But this mahamudra is something emphasis, at a certain point we reach, we do not analyze but let go.

Because when the mind sort of analyzes, it’s like trembling, trembling, shaking, shaking. When an airplane is going or turning or something, then it’s shaking, isn’t it? But if we leave the mind as it is, let go, this is special mahamudra emphasis. OK? Thank you so much, all right.

So the most important thing is, my suggestion is that you have to recognize that clean clear nature is existent within you all the time. You just recognize it. Remember? Especially, His Holiness said the fundamental clear light is always existent within you. Remember? I think so. And so, if you keep on the memory, then, good enough. All right, OK. Yeah, then?

Q: Lama, can I ask, if the nature of mind is clean clear, does it not need an object from which to reflect? Its like the tongue, which has no taste, but we must eat, therefore we can taste. So therefore, do we not need external concepts and phenomena?

Lama: Yeah, better you have, you’re right. Yes, we have.

Q: So these two, are they not dependent on each other?

Lama: Yes, they are dependent on each other. Better, as you say, better we don’t have external concept here. You understand? But unfortunately, the minute we open our sense perception in the world, the reflection comes. And we conceptualize, say, category, we put, this, that, that. This is the dualistic [thought.]

Q: That’s the problem.

Lama: Right, that is the problem. Right, right. For example, in my mind I’m watching you, the reflection of you is coming in my mind, but if I am not making artificial judgment in a conventional way, that-this, you are female or male, in such a way, it’s all right. But the minute I’m thinking, “You are this, that, this,” then it becomes disturbing, tornado, you understand? Yeah, all right. Yes, welcome, all right.

So, really, what she is saying, the point is, that reflection coming in the mind or the appearance coming in the mind, phenomena appearance coming in the mind, that itself is not the problem. The reflection of phenomena coming in our mind itself is not the problem. The problem is we sort of stimulate, “Oh, you are this, you are this, I am this,” making a kind of relationship in this way . That twists in a dualistic way and becomes shaking. That’s why I think in all our Western society, when you are watching, it’s difficult without shaking your mind. But if you have some way to not judge such artificial, “Oh, this color is this and that. Oh this red color is better, or this yellow color is better…,” you understand? This kind of superficial good, bad, you can somehow eliminate, isn’t it, and looking at the broad view of the reality. I think so. Thank you. Very good.

What I am saying, what we are saying here is that the mind is like a mirror. Taking reflection is the function of the mind. Taking reflection of phenomena is the function of mind anyway, isn’t it? All right. Therefore, instead of being busy with the object phenomena, instead of your mind being busy with this, that—this color or maybe chocolate, chocolate has many character, this, that—making sort of dualistic judgment, I’m just watching, or just memory of the subject, clarity of your own mind. Then it is super. Then it is super.

You understand or not sure. That’s right. This is the character. Instead of being busy with the object phenomena, you are more aware of the clarity of your own mind. Somehow I think my way is, that itself produces clarity in the mind. When you have memory clarity, your mind becomes clarity, clear, isn’t it? It’s automatic, somehow this is the perfect method of mahamudra. I think so. Right. Any more questions?

Also, one thing to remember, an important thing, when His Holiness said, “Awareness or meditation or concentration,” many Western people understood somehow two different subjects, remember? In the text, and His Holiness also said that, the memory, memory, you just leave the memory on the clarity of your own consciousness. That memory itself, holding continuously on the clarity, is meditation. Awareness is because the situation, whether the mind is clear or not, that itself is sort of judging. Therefore, one mind can be awareness and one-pointedness concentration meditation. That’s why we should not think meditation is something different than the memory. All right? Anyway, we say in Buddhism, when you have developed meditation your memory is increased. Isn’t it? If your memory is worse, worse, and you think you are meditating for a couple of years, that means you are doing something wrong. All right.

So it’s simple. I want you to understand, meditation is a very simple thing. As long you are aware of all memory, let go into your own clarity of your own mind. You are meditating, my point is. That’s all. All right. Then, something else?

So you just leave, you just leave, you just let it go, instead of thinking artificially, in an overestimating or underestimating way. Just leave the mind, leave as it is and keep the memory on the clarity, which is the fundamental nature of mind. You don’t need to make clarity. The mind is already clarity. Communicating or not? That’s the point. Normally we say, “Mind is bad, deluded, and we have to make it clean, clean clear.”  The mind’s nature is clean clear. All right. Clean clear is the characteristic of mind, philosophically and in meditation, in Buddhism. That’s interesting; also in dozgchen, also emphasis. You don’t put too much [emphasis] on “That, this, your own way, this, this, this, this, this.” You just leave it; leave it alone. The fundamental clear light, you know, your mind, leave it alone, leave it as it is. Its nature itself is pure from the beginning, from the beginning, from its origin. So, the pure, pure clean clear nature is existent within us forever. We don’t need to put effort to have that one. What we have to do is cut the tornado of superstition, that’s all.

Q: Lama, for instance, feelings like sorrow, we don’t know who can see that their mind’s in sorrow; that sometimes those feelings are very deep. Can we just leave it, let go? Is that what you’re saying?

Lama: Yes, yes, that’s right, yes. That’s right, yes. That’s a good example, that’s great. What she is saying is a good example. Let’s say, we have so much emotion, sometimes so much feeling toward some reality or some relative phenomenon. Still you build up this emotionally difficult. It’s the mind that does this, really. This feeling itself has the clean clear nature. Instead of looking at that object of feeling—let’s say you have a tremendous feeling with this object, you just say, “Oh, this is nice because it’s this way, because of this special drawing.” Don’t think that way, just see the feeling itself. That feeling is just mind, so its nature is clean clear. Again I say, remember, we should not be busy with the object. We always make conversation with the object. This is our dualistic [thought.] OK? So, we should sort of sit back and see the clean clear nature of our own feelings. Because feeling itself is mind energy, itself is clean clear. Subjectively, subjectively, whatever it is, I’m talking about subjectively. Subjectively, that feeling has object over subject. It’s just feeling in the mind, so if you watching it there, you discover it is clean clear.

Also, by the way, the reason why the mahamudra approach to meditation is on the clarity of our own mind, the reason is to lead to the universal reality of nonduality. That is the meditator’s experience. This is very important. I want you know, I want you know, this is somehow the nucleus of the mahamudra way of approaching enlightenment, by concentrating on the clarity of one’s own mind. Somehow, even though itself is relative clean clear, somehow this leads to the universal reality of shunyata. Because first of all, the clean clear nature of mind hasn’t got any sort of superficial idea and character of smell and taste and view, the five sense characters. It doesn’t have that. Communicating or not? Why? Because we are always busy; our conception is busy with the sensory phenomena world. So automatically we cut through the busyness of sensory conception and cut gross dualistic thought, so this leads to non-conceptualization or whatever you call it, shunyata. This is the beauty, OK? This is the beauty way to approach totality and great mahamudra.

My opinion is, I think this is super. I think this is really super, this is such an incredible method. It’s not something philosophically talking. It is the experience of the mahamudra lineage lamas, all those great yogis from India, like Tilopa and Saraha, like Nagarjuna. This is their experience. We don’t need to talk about this as something philosophically, that-this, isn’t it? You know, it’s experience. You just put [the mind] there and somehow something is happening; there is the experience.

Also it is sensible; it is so logical. For me, it’s incredible. Clean clear. You understand what I mean. OK? The mind hasn’t got any sensory character, sensory total character. Mind hasn’t got any form or color or some kind of substance energy. Its nature is sort of delicate; it is subtle already. So that you, subjectively, you are aware of the clarity of your own mind. So that automatically cuts through all the wrong conceptions and leads to the great mahamudra shunyata. That’s all.

Q: One must be sure about this to be able to recognize it.

Lama: [Lama laughs] Well, you don’t need to be sure, I tell you. True. That’s my opinion. It depends on what sense, also. I think, my point of view is, you don’t need to be sure. You know this is nothing dangerous. You are just watching the clarity of your own mind. It’s there; you are just watching. It’s like you are watching the ocean, the blue ocean. From a long distance if you watch the blue ocean, you can’t see any waves, just blue ocean. All right, I think not so much dangerous. All right, good, sure.

Q: Please, Lama, I’m spending many years practicing now, and [audio unclear], so it means kye-rim [generation stage]. I expect to spend many more years practicing in that way. I want to be able to put these ideas together with that. Only during that time at the end, or at the guru yoga at the beginning—during the death meditation and dissolution—only during that time does one do this type of meditation or can you relate it to the entire kye-rim practice also?

Lama: You can do it all the time. You can do it all the time. That’s right, you can do it all the time, not necessarily only that time to do. Not necessary, dear. For example, there’s a simple way that His Holiness suggested, remember? If you are doing the Six-session Yoga, remember, even he suggested doing the Guru Vajradhara absorption and unified, then your mind is unified with the guru, transcendental clear light wisdom, your mind is unified. So that experience, you have some experience, so that experience, that state of experience, that clarity, you contemplate.

You are just aware and let go, without intellect, without thinking: “Oh, my guru is like a banana or his mind is like chocolate.” Instead of thinking that way, somehow you try to energize simultaneously the developed transcendental wisdom, right? Remember His Holiness, that’s OK, remember? Then, as with each deity, when we meditate, remember, we had the shunyata section, the absorption section, you can do during that also. Or not do. Just you drink tea, that’s good enough. That is beauty, mahamudra is, you don’t need to set it up in such a way, these things. You just clean clear mind, which is twenty-four hours existent with you. I think so. That is beauty; that is beauty. I think the Western mind is understanding that one.

Q: So you don’t need any other object of concentration?

Lama: Right, right.

Q: I always have problems with that. Only clear mind, you must always remember that you have clear mind and you must find it.

Lama: Absolutely, that’s right. No need, no need for anything. That is the direct way to lead to the shunyata, paramita.

Q: I didn’t understand the last sentence.

Lama: That’s the way to meditate, it’s the way directly to lead to prajnaparamita, OK? Or the path to enlightenment. Actually, this makes sense. Well, of course, for Tibetan monks, for example, you know the great mahamudra texts didn’t say that, but I think, personally, if I comment, I say, “This the way to directly realize shunyata.” Yes. Why? Because any external object, we already complicated enough, isn’t it? You understand?

Already, every phenomena in the external world is for us an obstacle, so do that, instead of the busy external world, which is the problem anyway. So you are watching your own inside beauty of clean clear, most universal phenomena. I think if you are watching that, if you are busy with that, it’s the most perfect way to be content, to bring satisfaction. This my opinion. Super, I think very super. That’s why all these mahamudra lineage lamas, they discover enlightenment. They go beyond intellectual. They go beyond philosophy. They go beyond the doctrine.

Q: So you don’t have to do what I said?  You just must find something.

Lama: Yes, absolutely, yes. If you can do, that’s the best way. Right. You can do.

Q: Probably I should do both, when I do sadhana. [Audio unclear]

Lama: Yes, all right. You can do. Maybe I can give you some suggestion. You can do both. Do what you can, so the clean clear mind is like ocean. From the clean clear ocean, a fish, fish, Yamantaka manifests, isn’t it? Why? It is clean clear fundamental nature, it is clean clear, it’s like a rainbow body, it’s manifest. So it’s still clean clear nature. You see? Some people think when you visualize the deity, you are still visualizing the deity as substantial physical energy, like this [Lama holds up a biscuit and takes a bite.]  All right? That is the point.

Yamantaka is part of your clean clear mind energy. Still clean clear, but manifest clean clear body of your own mind. Right? Like a rainbow, remember? Like a rainbow; it’s inner outer clean clear reflection, remember?. You cannot visualize Yamantaka as substantial. It is like a reflection, it is like a rainbow. You cannot touch, like, “Oh, this is Yamantaka.” Is that suitable for you? That understandable, isn’t it? Oh good.

So you remain clean clear lake or ocean, and at the same time you reflect from there Yamantaka. Such a view, an infinite view, blue radiated light reflection. That’s right. And anyway, remember, the blue light is significant; [it signifies] nonduality. Remember? Remember or not remember? Remember? Blue light. I feel, any time I think about blue light, somehow it breaks my concepts. I think so, somehow, somehow. I don’t know why. Maybe somehow influence of, between blue sky and me. I don’t know, right?

Q: I didn’t understand, what you called the blue light.

Lama: Yes, whenever you think about blue, blue, blue, blue, somehow it breaks down, it cuts the concepts, right. OK.

Q: Kind of very important.

Lama: Yes, very important. It’s true, yes, that’s right. Also, some people think that when you meditate on such color, these things, they think you emanate something, you push this, these things. My understanding is it’s not like that. We are simultaneously born with color or experience. You understand? I’m not certain what I’m saying. You not catch? Some people catch. You see, when we visualize color, we push too. Somehow, when we meditate, the color comes out instant nature, somehow. Like the five dhyani buddhas, which have different colors, these things, so on. Somehow, during the meditation experience, intuitively those colors come, visually. I think so. All right.

So what’s your favorite color, which makes you blissful? When there’s a written answer, what is your favorite color? Whenever you remember, it makes you blissful, tranquility peaceful.

Q: Blissful, for my mind the best one which can, is red.

Lama: Red color? That’s good, that’s good, yes. That makes you, your color to make you blissful. Yeah. Hm. Yeah, red is good, red is going to the dakini, it emotionally attracts you. That is good.

Q: This question is concerning the difference between dzog-chen and mahamudra. [Audio unclear]

Lama: You are asking what is involving…[between mahamudra and dzog-chen?]

Q: What is the principal difference?

Lama: Principle same thing. [Principle is same thing, absolutely. Principle same thing, but some slightly different way of putting words together. Principle is the same thing. Essence of mahamudra, that’s why His Holiness, remember, also Panchen Lama himself, says that the principal meaning of mahamudra and dzog-chen or she-ji (?) or something, something, all are the same thing, the same meaning.

We have philosophically slight differences to defeat each other, but that’s all, that’s the only thing. But when you talk about mahamudra and dzog-chen, you shouldn’t do this so much, [Lama points to brain] this intellectual. You have to go beyond the intellectual, isn’t it? You understand. Also for us, for Westerners, we just need cake, we need to eat and taste and to solve problem. There’s no time for you and me to argue philosophically. You understand what I mean. So, there is a difference, of course, philosophically there is a difference. Let’s say, I make for example, you can make an argument, saying, “Why you talk about fundamental purity? You are still deluded.” You can make argument with me, isn’t it? Then I have to think about how to answer to you. Then it goes on, blah, blah, blah, blah. So we do have an argument. But not about the essential thing.

For example, all the Gelugpa people say, “How can you say fundamentally you are pure, clean clear already? Then you already, fundamentally, you are already a buddha, therefore you don’t need to meditate or receive teachings, because you are already a buddha, fundamentally.” That’s still words, isn’t it? Still words. For me, still words. I can talk about those kinds of things. All right.

Q: Then Lama, somebody is asking, if you do practice mahamudra then there’s no need to actualize all the practices, like Shakyamuni Buddha, all the other things? You can just practice mahamudra, then that’s good enough?

Lama: Well, I have to joke! It depends. OK, I was going to say, if you can meditate on mahamudra for twenty-four hours, you [don’t need to] do any sadhana, all right. Isn’t it? This is not true. [Lama laughs] That is the question. Also on the other hand, we need a lot of things, mental purification, to sublimate, to realize mahamudra. Therefore, we need to develop compassion, in order to eliminate obstacles, and we need Vajrasattva. Remember, Vajrasattva meditation in order to eliminate certain obstacles. So, those help for mahamudra. All right? Those help to develop mahamudra. All right, OK.

So now, this is very important, her question, this is very important. Sometimes Tibetan monks and Tibetan texts say if you do acting of mahamudra meditation, you don’t need anything, you don’t need anything. Then people understand, “Hey, that’s great, that’s great! So, now my lama is giving prostration, but I don’t like my clean good body to touch the dirty carpet or these things!” Or, “My lama is giving mani, mani, but this mantra is so complicated, I don’t like to do that. It’s not my culture.” Or, “This lama puts me to put bowls of water, these things. It doesn’t make sense. Why I don’t put orange juice?” [Laughter] “Water means nothing for me.” But the Tibetan system is you put water. So culturally, many questions come out. That is the thing.

Moment to moment, in order to adjust, in order to develop perfectly, you need those kind of preliminary teachings, preliminary practicing. You need those first, therefore, you cannot make such arrogant or elegant concepts, saying, “Now, I received mahamudra and dzog-chen, I only do that one, I don’t need [other practices.]”

I agree, if you can do twenty-four hours mahamudra meditation and you stay clean clear in blissful state, that’s super, super. I agree, you don’t need [to do preliminary practices.] Anyway, the purpose of practicing these things, the preliminaries, is to make clean clear. But if you are staying in clean clear twenty-four hours, what do you need that for? It’s like saying, “Buddha, don’t space out, you are staying clean clear, you bliss out, come on, do something, puja.” Isn’t it? Don’t need. That’s right. Therefore, be careful about those things, be careful. I heard before, too. I heard before. Yah, yah, I heard.

And also some people give up. Some people tell me, one of my students told me somebody was giving dzog-chen and they didn’t need to do anything else, therefore he said, “Lama, now I don’t want to do my commitments.” OK? OK. Thank you. But of course, I mean, if you can practice mahamudra, super. Very simple, OK? Thank you.

Q: [Audio unclear]

Lama: Not clear.

Someone else: Could you speak up, please? I can’t hear the question.

Q: [Audio unclear]

Lama: Divine pride, divine pride? [Audio unclear] Does somebody here speak Italian, English? Then other people can hear.

Q: [Translator repeats question] He said, they say there is a need for this pride, to practice tantra. How can I develop this pride to practice tantra? Is it because I don’t do meditation that I don’t feel this pride or mind? [Audio unclear.]

Lama: All right. Are you happy with your job as a doctor? Your doctor’s job? Do you feel beneficial for others, that your work is beneficial for others?

Q: I think so.

Lama: That is the pride.

Q: For me it’s my job. I don’t need to be proud.

Lama: OK, OK, now you misunderstood what pride is. Pride does not mean something conceptually saying, “Oh, I’m special.” Not like that. If you are happy with your job and you feel benefit for others and you feel yourself worthwhile, bas! That is the divine pride. OK? Bas! You have, you have, dear. You have divine pride, OK?

Now, concerning tantra point of view of divine pride, that is something similar, but a little higher. Now I’ll tell you why. Let’s say, practically speaking, when you are practicing mahamudra, let’s say this morning you meditate, somehow mahamudra. Slowly, slowly you touch point without too much agitation and disturbed in your mind, then, suddenly you feel a blissful sensation. “What is this? Who is this man? My Italian doctor man?” [Laughter] “Who is this man? Who is this man? Why is that one?” That quality, you have, you recognize you have the ability, your ability to have such kind of clean clear state of experience, that recognition is the divine pride, which eliminates thinking that “I’m the ordinary, worthless one.” Such concepts are useless. OK. The same thing, now this is a good example, same thing, this is when you are saying, good example.

Also, when you emanate yourself as Yamantaka, instead of thinking, “I’m useless, I’m not helping my patients. I spend so much of my energy and study, that, this, and giving medicine, these things.” You think it’s not helping. Instead of thinking that way, with ordinary concepts, think, “Most perfect developed method and wisdom, such enlightened state of Yamantaka.” So this way, that ordinary concept, ordinary concept that “I cannot do anything;” that “I am too negative to be as pure as Buddha is. I cannot deserve that, it’s not possible.” Do you understand? That’s wrong thinking. Therefore, I think you do have divine pride, dear. OK? I’m not worried. OK? True.

Q: Also should I change my work?

[Lama laughs]

Q: It’s possible to ask one question?

Lama: Now?

Q: Yes.

Lama: You can, whatever you want.

Q: I have two more weeks to stay here.

Lama: Right.

Q: I don’t know what you think it’s the best to do. It’s possible to go to hear teachings or maybe I have the opportunity to go to Nepal.

Lama: To go Nepal.

Q: Yes.

Lama: For what?

Q: Because after that I have to go back to start work, so I don’t know what to think is the best, to study hard here, then to go back?

Lama: I’ll think about it, how to make your life decision. [Lama laughs] OK, practically, what you can do is, His Holiness [Zong Rinpoche] is giving the chöd initiation and commentary, that’s the same thing again as mahamudra, talk about shunyata. It helps for your mahamudra, staying there, OK? And morning, evening, you retreat. Then, after that, you go back, with clean clear, to your job. That’s my making decision on your life. That’s better. This is my opinion, OK? Anyway, I’m just joking. You understand, you understand more. Good idea. How do you feel?

Q: I’m not sure if I understood right. Not to go to hear teachings more? [People chime in: Zong Rinpoche.]

Lama: His Holiness Zong Rinpoche.

Q: Oh, Zong Rinpoche?

Lama: Yeah, OK? Good, yes. So I’m suggesting this, making other people’s life decision, isn’t it? [Laughter] All right! I’m joking so much.

Jacie: Lama, we have some tea for the people, and some of the people have to leave tomorrow or the next day, so they’d like a chance to say hello. So we have tea and cookies outside.

Lama: All right. Now no question? Other people have no difficult questions? You, then you.

Q: Sometimes I recognize in my dream. [Audio unclear]I don’t know. This is a dream, but I don’t know what this is called.

Lama: That is good, that is good. No, develop more, more. Try to develop with that from beginning sleep until you wake up, try to be conscious. That’s very good. You are lucky one.

Q: When I realize I’m dreaming, I wake up.

[Students discussing in Italian, baby crying]

Q: He doesn’t know what he has to do when he knows that he is dreaming. He wants to do something. He wants to know what is the best thing to do.

Lama: Now you can stay in clean clear state. Remember, clean clear state.

Q. In my dream?

Lama: Yes, dream clean clear. The dream becomes mahamudra meditation. Great. Good, all right. Then?

Q: He’s trying to say that he had the experience that he perceived the phenomena, appearances, like a reflection in a mirror and this experience was lost afterward.

Lama: He lost?

Q: Yes. And he tried to reproduce it but he feels that it is not true research, that he can find it again to prove. He’s trying to get it again. But when he had the experience to see phenomena, appearances, as a reflection in a mirror. This would go and come back, but without a thought.If he tried to bring this experience again, it’s not successful.

Lama: All right.

Q: But it comes back by itself, and that experience he had for some time, but now it doesn’t. Now he wants to know what stage of mahamudra is that?

Lama: OK. If you have that kind of experience, because of the way you set up such way to experience, you just act without, without, you just put yourself in that situation, then poom! the experience comes, that’s all.

Meditation is, we are making the situation so the experience comes, pam! That’s why all technical meditation is making the situation to arising such realization experience. That’s why sadhana, all these sadhanas, the technical meditation is set up in such a way. That is the purpose of that one.

And also, the most important thing, I think, otherwise, when we have experience such meditation, such as you have, it is so valuable. This experience, your own experience, is nothing to do with intellectual, nothing to do with books, nothing to do with Lama’s words, nothing to do with that—it’s only your experience. Therefore, I think personally it’s so important, like insurance. This is the insurance of enlightenment, from my point of view. So it’s very important. Just keep that memory. Recollect that experience again, again, again. Yeah. All right.

Because many times we have perfect experience, but we have no recognition. We just throw it out into garbage. That’s poor. I think, that’s a good example, in the Tibetan system, they set up sadhana again, again, every day. Why? Because the experience, recollectively is built up. That’s why you have to do the sadhana, this technical meditation, again, again, again, repeatedly. All right.

I think that’s very important, very important. Well, for example, from my small experience, when I retreat I have certain experience. If I recollect all the time my retreat experience, one month retreat experience, somehow I’m satisfied. Somehow I’m satisfied. I’m not saying I have great experience, but somehow, I’m satisfied. Somehow, I don’t know, OK, that’s good enough maybe. You understand? I think all of us, you, I definitely believe you sometimes have a fantastic experience, clean clear blissful. No disturbing concepts. I say super. That memory you keep. That is experience. That state is experience. Also, it’s not somebody else’s experience that you are taking; it’s your own experience you are taking. Super.

Q: You have to do purification, you have to do mandala offering.

Lama: Yes, right.

Q: Why do some people do it with some rice and…[audio unclear] and the question was today, can we do mandala offering just with the mudra?

Lama: Can do, yes.

Q. Is it for some reason more powerful to do it with the [mandala set and rice] and why?

Lama: Yes, somehow, OK, I tell you. First of all, place you make such way, you make, [Lama shows mandala base using a plate] and secondly, you are putting so much substantial energy. It’s this energy, like atom, we somehow multiply or we increasing, billion, billion, billion, billion wonderful worlds, young children, [Lama looks at the kids in the room] well, you understand, a billion, billion universe we visualize and we are offering. Somehow our mind becomes one universe and then the energy of this universe you are offering. It’s increased and it energizes to you such richness within you. Normally we think narrow and “I’m poor, I cannot give,” you understand? The perfect thing, universal energy, you can give the world, isn’t it? You don’t need to bring something. So therefore, dear.

Q: I understand that. But the question was: is it more powerful [Lama: Yes, it is more powerful] offering with rice?

Lama: No, no, no, no. You do not need rice. You can do with lentils, dal. Dal, you know? Lentils?

Q: It’s not the same if I just make mandala offering with the hand mudra? Is that as powerful?

Lama: Well, that depends also. You cannot make generalizations. Let’s say, supposedly, His Holiness is doing it this way [Lama shows mandala hand mudra]. Now I’ve got maybe a situation! And you do huge like [Lama shows making offering with enormous mandala offering set]. And he asks me, what do you think? This lady, she’s doing on the golden plate like this, [making really high physical offering] huge, offering with these things, all offering, and His Holiness doing only this one [hand mudra], who is best? What can I say? It depends. If you have understood universal reality existent into this [hand mudra], you understand, all the paradise of Amitabha or Tara or Dagpa Khachö or everything, if you have universe clean clear, if you have image, then super, that’s good enough, dear, good enough. But we are, if it’s beginners and we have very little broad concepts; if we have narrow concepts, then difficult, right? So you catch now? [Student: Yes.] Oh good, thank you, dear, thank you so much. So, it’s difficult to make generalization, OK? Right.

Q: Lama, we hear much that the winds and the mind are very closely related. [Lama: Right.] And His Holiness is stating this in the teachings. What about the tig-le? How is the tig-le related to the mind? The drops, when they speak of the drops. How do the drops themselves and the wind, in the sense, how are they connected to that sphere of the mind? [Lama: Tig-le, you mean related?] Related to, yes.

Lama: Hmm, so simple. Those simple things, the most simple things in the world, you scientifically know already. For example, this flower. This flower is the combination of four elements: space, wind, water, fire, you know what I mean, four elements. Every energy contained in here is related to everything, so why are you asking how related with tig-le and how related with wind energy? Simple things, it’s so, so, scientifically understood, this one. No need for more Buddhist explanation, isn’t it? That’s it. Communicating, dear? Yeah, especially when you come Dharamsala, you know mind, body, wind, going together because you are cold, so your stomach is making brrr like that. No? It’s the culture, you know. Dharamsala. [Lama laughs] Himalayan hill station, whenever you go there, you always have too much gas here. I’m joking about that one, joking. Oh, so simple. OK, dear.

The function of movement is the wind energy, so each time the mind is moving, there is the wind energy movement. Then? If you haven’t any questions maybe I don’t keep you long.

Also, [do you have] a question which is a different one, that’s somehow disturbing you? That’s the reason I came. I didn’t just come to try to make you enlightened. I want to help you go to happiness, you know? That’s all. No gross levels (?), that’s all.

Q: Lama, could I ask one more, one last question? [Lama: Yeah, OK.] I need advice as well, and that is, when most of us here go back to jobs in the West and there is perhaps, not hostility but certain ignorance about the Dharma, and a lot of people say about Buddhism, “Oh, it’s selfish, you go on retreats, you look after yourself [Lama: That’s right], you’re so happy you don’t care about anybody else.” I think I know the answer to that inside, but it’s very difficult to say. Could you please give us some help with answering those sort of criticism.

Lama: Well, to become Buddhist does not mean you have to go on retreat. When you have a healthy mind, Buddhism says better not to retreat. Better to work with sentient beings, remember? Therefore, I think the idea of retreat or these things is when your mind is not clean clear, you need some kind of resource and making some kind of powerful rejection, then you retreat. But if your mind is clean clear, better not to retreat; better to work with social [service], to help other people. Remember, His Holiness saying that.

Therefore, that’s the wrong attitude, thinking that if you become a Buddhist, you will become selfish, you will be alone, you will go on retreat and stay without depending on other people, that’s wrong. I think so. Therefore, I think practically, all of you, going back to London, somehow you can set up meditation on the subway. [Lama laughs] Anyway, I think it’s good things you give some simple meditation, like relaxation for those people, business people, workers. That’s a way you can serve, do social [service]. I think so. You can do. Not necessarily giving sophisticated philosophical talks, or in this case, technical meditation. Just give simple meditation, how to relax. And behind these meditations give some kind of philosophical [talk] about how the mind operates in such a way. So you can talk about it that way. All right? I think so, yes. I think definitely Buddhism is for everybody.

So therefore, there are many, many different methods in Buddhism because of individual needs. So the individual somehow has a personal way of practicing. I think so, all right? All right, I think so. Sure. Therefore, I think, sometimes I feel Buddhism is such a huge subject. When Tibetan monks talk about Buddhism, sometimes it becomes some kind of huge project, sort of like a long arrangement by the university.  Like a subject at the university. I think for the businessman it’s very difficult, isn’t it, to have time as a student, as a university student. Therefore, I think, somehow instinctively, if you use certain [simple meditations] he comes down, and satisfied, and clean clear and can do a normal job without aggression, without disturbance. Good enough. So we should simplify the Buddhist meditation in such a way, adjust it for society people.

A good example, let’s say, is the Maharishi, his transcendental meditation, so many people do this. For me, I think, some kind of good report that all businessmen, almost all people in Europe, do this kind of meditation. Super. I believe it helps. As long as it helps sentient beings to make better and to satisfy their daily life, I think it’s worthwhile. Any kind of method they use. Don’t you think?

Anyway, you know, to touch, magnetically touch, other people’s mind, you need something. You can’t say, “Here is mahamudra. [Lama lunges forward] I want to touch you, to touch your mind.” They will freak out. “Here is the entire lam-rim.” Western people are going to say, “I don’t want the entire lam-rim, that makes me so heavy.” So therefore, we should make somehow simple meditation, but it can be so profound and it can develop somehow in the lifetime. Right, I think so.

For example, let’s say, when we do lam-rim meditation, I suggest always, at first, at the beginning, people should calm down. In order to calm down they should do breathing, nine-point breathing. It’s so simple. From the breathing meditation, first they watch their own physical awareness of breathing and movement, the motion of the body, then slowly they go back through the feelings, their sensation and their concepts. So, lead to mahamudra teaching through simple meditation. It looks simple, looks simple. It is not simple. But I think suitable for the Western beginning mind. Sure, very good.

I think for you people, at least ten or twenty people, your friends, will come. If they are difficult and tired and something like that, you call them, stay with relax. Even if you meditate for ten minutes, somehow, somehow, somehow, I don’t know, somehow it is all there. That is the beauty of meditation. That’s helpful for you, a little bit? All right, thank you. So we need, somehow, to simplify the Buddhist meditation. Instead of the Tibetan way, we can have a tremendous way arrangement. I think so. Yah, thank you.

Jacie: Lama, maybe we can let people get their tea.

Lama: I think so, yeah, I think much better, I keep you a long time. Thank you so much. Thank you so much all of you for coming, for just receiving teaching from His Holiness, mahamudra. I am very happy. You bring, my heart, really, truly, that your heart is in the Dharma. And especially, in such a short time, you give up everything and just come. Thank you so much from my heart. I’m really grateful, OK? And I’m sure, every energy movement from when you start beginning to think about this, everything doing things, it’s  beneficial; it’s truly Dharma, you have to give up all your things. I’m very grateful and I feel this is significant, truly bringing Dharma to the Western world. I’m content. So therefore, thank you so much.