Teachings before Mitukpa Initiation, Taiwan 2007 (Audio and Unedited Transcripts)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Shakyamuni Center, Taiwan 2007 (Archive #1606)

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave teachings and a Mitukpa initiation at Shakyamuni Center, Taichung, Taiwan, February 25-26, 2007. Included here are excerpts from the teachings given before the initiation. It is not appropriate to post the recordings of the actual initiation.

There were also some general teachings given during and after the initiation, but the recording was not clear enough to publish online. Those teachings were able to be transcribed, though, and we have posted the edited version of the entire series (less the actual initiation) here.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Mitukpa Initiation Part One: Introduction

So just before the Mitukpa preparation and initiation, [pause] I think maybe there’s some new people to take the Mitukpa initiation. So however, maybe just a little bit introduction. [pause]

So the main purpose of taking the Mitukpa initiation it is not, to show, to get some power to show miracle or success in business or some power to do business or, however, so nothing like that. [pause] Or to get power or healer, that you become famous to heal, instant healer, however, this is to practice Dharma. [pause]

So Dharma, we have to get some idea of what means Dharma. Some idea. Even though the subject of Dharma is like limitless sky or oceans, the Buddha’s teaching, but practicing Dharma, what is really that. The real meditation or Dharma is something to, not to bring suffering but bring happiness to ourselves and to others, so that, to benefit others especially, who are numberless. So, [pause] which brings happiness, one meaning of Dharma is which brings happiness, causes happiness, beyond from this life, up to enlightenment. [pause] So that, all that is Dharma, one meaning of Dharma. Benefits means brings happiness beyond from this life. So that’s one definition of Dharma. Which benefits, which helps you at the time of your death, the most critical time, most critical life, point of the life, most dangerous, most critical, so which helps at that time and beyond from that.

Then another one, the other one, so that is because there is a continuity of consciousness, body and mind, the mind, it doesn’t stop. When the body disintegrate or stops it doesn’t, consciousness doesn’t stop, the continuation of the consciousness doesn’t stop like when the wax finishes, like the example when the wax finishes then the flame also stops, not like that. When the body disintegrates, when the body stops then continuation of the consciousness also stop, not like that. There is continuity of consciousness, from life to life. [pause] As this present life consciousness is the continuation of the past life consciousness, so like that similar it continues, goes to the next life. By the time next life, this life consciousness doesn’t exist when that happens but continuity of this goes to the next life. So that exists, that time. Just like yesterday’s consciousness doesn’t exist today but this ?time is the continuation of yesterday’s, then the continuity of, today’s time then continuity to tomorrow. But when the tomorrow happens, today doesn’t exist. So anyway, like that, so there’s continuity of the consciousness which goes to the next lives.

So, what rebirth the consciousness will take, suffering rebirth or the happy rebirth, which rebirth that consciousness will take, so there is no third, there’s only two, either rebirth the lower realms, rebirth of the suffering transmigratory being or the rebirth of the happy transmigratory being, there’s no third one of those. So that is dependent on, taking the body of the happy rebirth, the body of the happy transmigratory being that has to come from, doesn’t come from nonvirtue, that has to come virtue, the virtuous thought, virtuous actions. And the body of the suffering transmigratory being, that comes from the nonvirtue, it doesn’t come from virtue. So like the medicinal fruit comes from, the medicinal fruit, tree comes from the medicinal root and medicinal, the poisonous fruit, plant comes from poisonous root, so they have a total separate evolution, totally separate different cause. Just like by planting chili, which nature is hot, you don’t get result, sweet raisin, sweet nature like raisin, fruit, you don’t get. No matter how much you pray to receive raisin from chili it never happens, that doesn’t work. It is not nature. Chili is not the cause of a raisin, that which is nature of sweet, and by planting, so from chili comes chili, by planting chili you get chili, which is nature of hot. So by planting raisin, which is nature of sweet you get sweet result, raisin. So from the cause, the raisin, the result of the fruit will be same nature, sweet. So from the virtue result only happiness. From nonvirtue result only suffering.

So the future lives, whenever you die, whenever the death happens, either today, this hour, tonight or this hour, whenever the death happens, so it is definite, taking rebirth for us, except the meditator, practitioner of the path of meditation, in the five paths to liberation, the path of merit and preparatory path, right seeing path, path of meditation, no more learning. So there are five paths to achieve cessation of all the suffering and cause, delusion and karma, the liberation that which is free forever from the samsara, from the circling, forever free from that. So there are five paths, so the meditator, the practitioner who has achieved the path of meditation, so that the samsara, the aggregates, that there is no continuity, there is no circling to the next, that meditator’s aggregates, which is nature of suffering, that caused by karma and delusion, the contaminated the seed of delusion, which nature is negative imprint, so continuity of that doesn’t circle to the next, because that meditator able to remove, able to cease, able to remove completely the cause of the delusion, the seed. So therefore, there is no cause for delusion so impossible to rise delusion, impossible to rise delusion forever, so therefore impossible to experience suffering of samsara forever. When there’s no continuation of that aggregates, that meditator’s aggregates, so except that.

So anyway, [pause] so the higher, arya bodhisattvas, a bodhisattva who has achieved the path of, right seeing path, path of meditation, so those bodhisattvas, they have totally abandoned the rebirth, the suffering rebirth, old age, sicknesses and death.

Then all the yogis who have achieved the five stages to enlightenment, who has achieved the clear light, especially the clear light of meaning, there is clear light of example and clear light of meaning, and there’s illusory body, impure illusory body and pure illusory body, the meditator who has achieved the clear light of meaning, that meditator, then not under the control of death. Able to overcome death. Not under the control of death, that meditator. Death is under the control of that meditator. That meditator is not under the control of death, the death is under the control of that meditator.

So at least we have to achieve those stages, from Lesser Vehicle path, Hinayana path, like one who has achieved path of meditation, no more learning or the higher bodhisattva who has achieved right seeing path or great yogi who has achieved the clear light, especially the clear light of meaning, otherwise, we have to reborn again and again, die and reborn, die and reborn and where? There are six realms, which is only nature of suffering, six realms, we take the aggregates, the [pause] our human, sura, asura, hell, hungry ghost, animal, those aggregates, in Tibetan called [Tibetan], so contaminated the delusion or the seed of delusion, cause of delusions and caused by, created, production of the karma and delusion. So, all the aggregates, the six realms of the, the six types of beings’ aggregates all only in nature of suffering. Nature of pervasive compounding suffering, all these, pervasive compounding suffering. So which is called in Tibetan [Tibetan].

So ?chakpa, as often His Holiness says in the teachings, the aggregates that which is under the control of karma and delusion, often that His Holiness says in the teachings, so what is said in the text ?chakpa, pervasive, so that’s one meaning. Other one is, for example relating to the present that we have taken the human rebirth, the aggregates, [pause] so aggregates, the body and mind, the mind, and then the collections of the body and mind.

If you a little bit elaborate, the mind, there is aggregates of feeling, compounding aggregates, from the fifty-one, generally speaking, [pause] six principal, anyway, six consciousnesses and then fifty-one mental factors. So you take out, from the fifty-one mental factors, aggregates, from the fifty-one mental factors you take out the feeling and the cognition, the mental factor that which discriminates this and that, bad and good, this and that, beautiful, ugly, all these, that which discriminates the objects, so cognition. So by taking out those two, then all the rest of the mental factors, the compounding aggregates. Then there’s the consciousness. Consciousness, then sixth one, the consciousness of the mind, then that’s what travels from life to life. So aggregates of form, feeling, cognition, compounding aggregates and the aggregates of consciousness, so the body and mind, the mind, so by little bit elaborating, so there is different types like that.

So, these aggregates that we have now, so that is pervasive compounding suffering. So pervasive, as His Holiness said, under the control of karma and delusion. So that’s why, because of that, that’s why we have fear, why the mind has to experience fear. Recently there was some question from, I think, I don’t know where, some Indian or, I think, Western person, Western audience, why there’s fear? So anyway, so fear, loneliness, depression, all these emotional thoughts, all these emotional, not compassion, you see, compassion is also emotional thought, devotion is emotional thought but it is not negative, it is positive, it’s a pure mind, compassion to others, compassion, wishing others to be free from suffering, so that’s, [pause] wishing others to be free from suffering, and to [pause] then when you take responsibility, when it is strong, when you take responsibility on yourself, not just wishing but free that, actually to help yourself to that sentient being to be free from suffering, so then when you take responsibility then that becomes, that compassion becomes great compassion. So, of course, here in the Mahayana, great compassion, that you take responsibility, not only wishing all sentient beings to be free from all the suffering and causes but you take actually the responsibility on yourself, that you are going to do it. So when you take responsibility, universal responsibility on yourself then that time, that compassion is Mahayana compassion. So it’s pure, so that is not, that doesn’t have self cherishing thought. Doesn’t have stain of self-cherishing thought, so pure. Purely thinking of others, purely thinking of, concern, purely thinking of that sentient being’s happiness, the sentient being to be free from suffering.

So however, [pause] so all these are emotional but it is pure thought, it is not, the devotion, all this, all this brings peace, when you feel strong devotion, to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, to guru, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, when you feel strong devotion there is peace in your heart, you feel peace in your heart, calmness, peace. Greater devotion there is, there is unbelievable peace in your mind. Your mind, your heart is not empty, you do not feel empty, your heart, you don’t feel empty, something full, the great peace, and mind is so calm, and happiness there is, inner happiness.

So anyway, there is so much suffering in the mind, fear, so much fear. [pause] So, everything is okay now, everything is okay now but Oh, I might get sick, I might die, however, so there is fear, fear not meeting desirable object, object of desire fear of not meeting, not receiving, not meeting and fear, and also there’s fear of meeting undesirable object, enemies, like discomfort, not receiving praise from others, so there is attachment to, for the comfort, happiness and there’s attachment to, so because of that then there is fear, worry to meet the discomfort, unhappiness. Because of attachment, there’s worldly concern, attachment to the praise and then there is worry, fear receiving criticism, because there’s attachment to receive praise from others, people, attachment to hear from people that you are a nice, that you are a wise person or that you are, whatever things you are doing, wise or successful or whatever, a beautiful person, however, there is attachment to, desire in those praises, then therefore worry, fear receiving criticism, the opposite, saying that, other people talking about your mistakes. So the minute when, because of attachment to the praise then there’s always worry, fear, to hear criticism. [pause] That you are stupid or you’re selfish or that you’re, anyway, all these things, so forth, ignorant or, however, ugly, or whatever it I, all this. Then same, if there is desire in reputation, that, there are so many people in the area, in the country, whole world, to say good things about your reputation, as there is attachment in that then there is worry, fear of opposite, bad reputation. So as there is desire in the material receiving, or birthday presents, I mean, this is just an example, but the degrees or whatever, the material receiving, so if there is attachment to that, grasping then there is worry, fear not receiving materials, the opposite, not receiving birthday present or however, so forth, anyway, I’m not going to elaborate.

So anyway, here you can see both problems, whenever there is attachment, clinging to this life, the worldly concern, these things, the comfort, shelter, house, or the food, clothing, so forth, then there is worry, fear, in the discomfort, unhappiness. So when there is attachment in the praise, worry because of that, worry, fear, receiving criticism. Or there’s attachment, grasping in the reputation then there are so many people saying nice things about you then there is worry, fear also bad reputation to happen, having bad reputation, or worry, fear to receive bad reputation. So when there’s the attachment to the material receiving then there is worry, fears, the opposite, not receiving.

So anyway, so you can see now, so you can see here now, so you can see here both are problems, both are suffering in the life, so when there is comfort, all this, suffering because the attachment, grasping to that, so that’s the fundamental suffering. When the opposite, the discomfort, unhappiness happens, dislike towards that, so unhappy. So same, so praise, criticism, good reputation, bad reputation, receiving material, not receiving material, so whatever in the life happens, both, whatever life happens, both are suffering because even the four desirable objects happened, which you might call success, I succeed, successful life, what the common people call, when you achieve these four desirable objects of this life, that is successful life. So achieved fame in this world, in the country, in the area, in the country, so success, or the receiving material, so able to make thousands, millions, thousands or hundred thousands, million dollars, or billion, success. Receiving praise, success. Having comfort, food, clothing, shelter, so forth, then success. What common people call success. However, so even when we achieve these things, suffering, that’s also suffering because grasping, because clinging on that. So when we have attachment, clinging to these things then there is no peace in your heart, there’s no peace at all. In your heart there’s no peace. Always there’s something missing. If you look at your life, if you examine your life, if you look inside your life, your inner life, your heart, it’s empty. Even though these things, four desirable objects you make, you did achieve, there is dissatisfaction in the heart. There’s always something missing, empty. Always life is empty. I am not talking about emptiness, but not that one, that one, every phenomena is empty, every phenomena is empty, every phenomena, one in essence, the emptiness [pause]

One more thing, why it is suffering, this worldly concern, why this negative emotional mind, why it is suffering? Why this is suffering even you achieve those four desirable objects? The very clear, even more clear explanation, so while, even one has succeed or successful life or achieve these four desirable objects, of course the other one is, yeah, food, clothing, anyway, shelter, money, friend, these things, [pause] so during my initiation, during my teaching and initiation then there’s the suffering of not getting sleep. [GL] So that’s during my time of initiation or teaching. So anyway, so here why these are, even though we succeed of these four desirable objects, as I mentioned, food, clothing, shelter, friend, money, all these, if you examine the nature of the mind, this attachment, clinging, grasping, if you examine the nature is not peaceful, the nature of that mind is not peaceful, there is no peace, if you examine. Some kind of tension, tightness to the object. Kind of mind becomes stuck to the object, like the ants, like the ants or the mosquitoes, they got into the candle wax, candle wax you can’t spread, or the ants got into honey, stuck, so anyway they can’t, stuck, so very difficult to help. So anyway, so nature of the mind is like that, got stuck to the object, not free. So you are not free, got stuck. Like a cow that tied with the ropes, fastened, to the stake, the tree, the rock. Or the bird, the bird leg tied with this rope and tied with a stone, so the bird can’t fly because tied with the stone, the leg gets tied to a stone, like that, so the mind, you see that mind is not free, stuck. What do you call? There must be some other word for it. [pause] So anyway, become sticky, so not free. You’re not free. You didn’t become, so that time, during those times you’re not a free person, like prisoned. Like those animals, like those insects that I mentioned, like that, tied up by the attachment to this object.

And then, not only that, so anyway this, even when we have success in the life, these four desirable objects, [pause] so the nature of these thoughts, not peaceful, effect what you get, during this time effect what you get from this desire, it’s not peace, it’s disturbing to your mental continuum. And not only that, disturbing to your own mental continuum, doesn’t give peace, whereas devotion, compassion, renunciation, contentment, loving kindness, bodhicitta, cherishing others, wisdom seeing emptiness, all this gives peace to you, to your mental continuum and nature of the mind is peace. So not disturbing to your mental continuum, gives peace and happiness. And it purifies the defilements, it purifies the obscurations, the negative karma, and it brings to liberation, to enlightenment. Now these other thoughts, the attachment, when we say we have success in the life, the people in the world, then there’s attachment there, these four desirable objects, so not only the effect what you get is disturbing your mental continuum, instead of bringing peace, it only brings dissatisfaction, instead of bringing satisfaction, only brings dissatisfaction, so only suffering. It only causes dissatisfaction, so that is major, one of the fundamental major suffering in the life. So even born in the human realm, even born as human being, even one is born as deva, deva realm, who has hundred thousands, millions, greater happiness, greater sensual enjoyment than human beings, so, but reality that have this dissatisfaction, this attachment in the pleasures then only causes dissatisfaction to the mind. So causes suffering, the fundamental suffering, problem.

So because of dissatisfaction then engage, to get these four desirable objects then kill others or kill oneself. It’s for happiness, kill others and when the problem is too much, relationship or something, that you, [pause] separation from the friend, from the desirable object, money or friend, lost money or didn’t get friend or didn’t get friend or companion, however, then when you can’t handle the problem, when the problem is too much then there’s not much space in the mind, then it is very easy, [snaps fingers] the first thing to commit suicide [snaps fingers]. Because you don’t have means, you don’t know what to do with these problems, so too much, so the first thing that comes, commit suicide. So that’s not free will, and that’s, you kill yourself because being under the control of desire and anger, all this, so not with free will.

So, I’m going to stop here. So the other one is, yeah, this attachment clinging to these four desirable objects, not only causing disturbance to the mental continuum, especially causing dissatisfaction, continual dissatisfaction, the main suffering, that obscures the mind, the other effect what you get from that, the desire in the four desirable objects is that it obscures the mind, obscures the mind to see the reality of life, reality of the object, so obscures the mind to see life and phenomena, causative phenomena, which are nature of impermanence, and makes, obscures the mind to see the nature impermanence, it obscures. So, by seeing them nature of impermanence then it stops attachment to them and that brings you to liberation from samsara, so discovering that they are nature of impermanence as they are, so that is opposite, to not arise negative emotional thought, attachment, so it helps to free from that, to overcome, so gradually to cease, [pause] because this realization, impermanence, so control the negative emotional thoughts, such as the desire, then it helps to realize emptiness, to realize the nature of emptiness, so then that ceases the cause of delusion, the seed, so that’s how you’re able to achieve liberation.

So anyway, so this attachment in these four desirable objects, so even though we say, succeed, but however the other thing is that it obscures the mind, so to, one’s own life and the causative phenomena, nature of impermanence, which are nature of impermanence, then that the body and so forth, such as this body which is nature of impure, dirty, which is nature of that, then this attachment obscures the mind to realize this is dirty, and then look at it as clean, wrong concept. Then that’s how we circle continuously in samsara, it happens with these wrong concepts.

The other one is permanence, looking at it permanent while it’s impermanent. Then while it’s dirty, looking at it clean, pure, and then the other is the samsaric pleasure, that which is temporary pleasure, doesn’t last, it doesn’t last, it doesn’t increase, whereas the happiness of Dharma can be increased and can complete and you finish the work of practicing Dharma whereas samsaric pleasure doesn’t increase, it doesn’t last, not only doesn’t increase, but doesn’t last and also becomes the suffering of pain, when it ?degenerates, the suffering of pain. So pleasure itself, why? Because pleasure itself is nature of suffering. So we label the, feeling which is only nature of suffering, we label as pleasure and that’s why it doesn’t increase and more we continue the act, it doesn’t, not only that it doesn’t increase but it doesn’t continue, even that doesn’t happen. So then you put effort again and then again, it goes on, so ?to dissatisfaction. So therefore, even samsaric pleasure is only suffering in nature. If you analyze, if you meditate, if you analyze, you discover only suffering. That’s what the wisdom discover, only suffering. But in the view of attachment, hallucinated mind, as pure, as real, pure happiness. That which is only suffering in the view of the wisdom, but in the view of the attachment, hallucinated mind, only pure happiness, real happiness. So again this attachment, clinging to that, is another cause of samsara, that makes to die and reborn continuously.

So you see, what I was saying before, the attachment, even we succeed these objects but the attachment grasping this, why this life is still suffering, even though we call successful life but it’s still suffering, why? Because the nature of the mind, suffering, not peaceful, effect what you get is disturbance to your mental continuum, no peace. And on top of that, these negative emotional thoughts, this attachment, obscures the mind, obscures your mental continuum, so that’s why I was explaining this last part, how this obscures to see your life and causative phenomena, which is nature of impermanence, obscures to see them, look at them permanent, obscures to realize impermanence, and then the samsaric pleasures, which is only nature of suffering then makes to, obscures to see samsaric pleasure only nature of suffering, then look at it opposite, look at them real happiness, pure happiness. Then the dirty, such as the body, like this, which is nature is dirty, then look at, obscures the mind to realize that. So then, when that realization is not there then attachment look at, the wrong concept looking at it as clean, then attachment rises. So while all these are empty, it obscures the mind to discover they’re empty. Then, concept, wrong concept that they’re all something real in the sense existing from their side and then again on the top of that, on the basis of that, then attachment rises again.