Ringu Tulku Rinpoche
Teachings in Karma Tengyal Ling, Menz
18 to 22 April 1998
Six Paramitas or the practice of the Bodhisattvas we talked about the in the Mahayana, Bodhisattvayana - I think we discussed this earlier also, in Berlin and many other places - the first thing that is emphasized is the aspiration. The first thing is our motivation. Motivation to try to have a kind of a right attitude, right motivation. Right is maybe not the right word, sometimes we talk about right, and then that sounds something like - what can you say? - it sounds a little bit too much right and wrong. What we are really talking about is not too much right and wrong, but better. Nothing is completely wrong, kind of „this is really wrong, it is bad, no good!“, that is not the attitude. Attitude here is that if we are bad, we want to be a little bit better, you know, little bit better and little bit better. It is not „this is completely bad, and this is completely good“, that is not the way. We are maybe not the best, but good also.
This way of thinking is important to understand, otherwise sometimes this misunderstanding comes that if you do not have that - because when we talk about the Bodhisattva ideals, aspirations, we are talking about the ideal, the real ideal. So therefore sometimes people have difficulties reading books like Gampopa`s „Jewel Ornament of Liberation“, this is how it should be, the ideal things, the way it should be ideally done, or ideally it should be like this. So then people think: „Oh, this is too difficult, this is not for me, it is beyond me. This is really too hard.“ This is I think the wrong attitude. Ideally it should be like this, but that is the ideal, what we aim for at the end, when we are really good at it, but not necessarily right now. We start, we know this is the way it should go, this is the way it should be at the top level, but now, whatever little thing we can do, we start that.
So therefore, when we talk about the Bodhisattva`s aspiration „We wish all the sentient beings to become enlightened, and I would make that happen“, that is a very very big promise. So therefore sometimes people think that is a little bit hollow, because it is not possible, or it is too far away, it is not within my - but this is the ideal, I would like to do that. But then, I do not have that kind of complete compassion and complete selflessness, and completely wishing only good for others all the time. The real compassion we cannot feel all the time. We are not that accomplished Bodhisattvas at the moment. But it does not mean that we cannot start somewhere. We have to start somewhere. So we start with that direction, but not completely fully. So if we do not feel ourselves completely like Avalokiteshvara, it is alright, we cannot expect to completely feel like Avalokiteshvara at the moment. So that is not bad. So if we think „because I cannot feel like Avalokiteshvara, so it is bad“, then we cannot start, because we cannot be Avalokiteshvara right now. So right now, talking about right and wrong all the time is maybe little bit too - can be mistaken easily.
This is also, I found - I do not know, maybe I am wrong - this I found very strongly. I do not know whether I should say it or not. The difference of the attitude between the East and West, you can call it, or buddhist and especially in the West, when I come, I heared people say, or I heared people think, that „You are a buddhist, and a buddhist should be completely non-violent. But you are violent. How can it be?“ Or „Buddhists should be like this, ideally, but you are not like that completely, how can it be? How can you say you are buddhist and do this things, or be like that, because that is not the ideal of a buddhist.“ Non of the buddhists would claim that they are living completely the ideal way. But they try, kind of, to train, slowly, towards that way.
So then, with that, the - here is that sometimes you kind of, I feel that when you are something, when you are whatever, you are Christian or you are Buddhist or you are what, you expect yourself to live by the complete ideal. Then you find that it is not like that, and then you have lots of problems, with other people also, with yourself also. You want others also live exactly like that, especially the others. Then it is lots of problems: „This person is not exactly living like that, he is a bad man“, or something like that. Then also on yourself too. So that is not the attitude, that is I think a little bit overexpectation. In that case, we cannot appreciate anything. We expect everybody to be completely ideal and perfect, and then we can only see the faults, because if somebody or something or me or you or wherever something a little bit below that ideal - „oh, that is not good, that is wrong, that cannot be, that is not right, this is a really bad person“, especially the lamas. And yourself too, it happens.
But if we accept that all of us are human beings, maybe some are more better disciplined, better than the others, but not necessarily that everybody is perfect. So when we have that acceptance, then I think we can appreciate if someone is a little bit doing good, somebody is a little bit trying to do something good, to be kind or to be - then we could appreciate, we could appreciate others, because we see the person`s - nobody can be completely perfect, but his good qualities, his or her endeavor to work on that.
And then also yourself, your own endeavor, your own little bit being able to do something better, or being a better person, or something like that. Then I think you can appreciate, and that is how we can slowly progress. So therefore this is something important to understand.
So therefore first this aspiration, trying to generate the aspiration of Bodhicitta, trying to generate and have a kind of goal, purpose, and the purpose is that I want to get rid of all the sufferings and pain and problems for myself and for all others, so therefore I want all the beings, not leaving one behind, the highest and the best, the complete enlightenment to attain, by myself and by all other beings, and towards that end I would like to work, towards that end I would like to direct all my efforts and all my endeavors as much as possible, and I would like to train in that direction, step by step, and then gradually. So that is my commitment, that is my purpose, that is my goal. If you say that, then you have got the Bodhisattva`s attitude, aspiration.
And that sometimes you take it as a commitment, as a vow, that you call Bodhicattva`s precepts, or you do not take it, but you have that. So that is the first thing, aspiration.
Now when you have that, now you want to do something. What is the things that you want to do? What is the things that you want to practice, so that that goal is attained? You know that you are going on the right way. So that is the six Paramitas.
The six Paramitas are the Mahayana path, the actual factors. It is believed that in these six Paramitas the whole practice of Bodhisattvayana is included. If you understand, and if you can practice these six Paramitas, then in these six Paramitas everything is included. That is the understanding. So therefore, if you can practice the six Paramitas, it is only the six Paramitas that you try to work on, and then the whole path is that, that is the action, that is the practice. So therefore it is often said, and it is written that the six Paramitas are the action of the Bodhisattva path, what do you call? The Aspiration Bodhicitta and the Action Bodhicitta, this is the Action Bodhicitta. Actually when you put this aspiration into action, what you do is the six Paramitas.
Now Paramitas is a Sanskrit word. „para“ means the other side, „mita“ means going, so Paramita means going to the other side, it means that it is not within these kind of, within our - what can you say - samsaric way of saying these perceptions, but it is beyond that, transcendental sometimes they translate it, Paramita sometimes they translate it is transcendental, transcendental wisdom.
So that means that it is not just say like giving, but it is giving also beyond our usual way of grasping, usual way of saying. So therefore it is the transcendental generosity, transcendental giving.
The Paramita is the word used as more or less unlimited, the word implies not only - implies something unlimited, something beyond a kind of a circle, or beyond a closed, limited circle, but going beyond that. It also shows, it also very strongly gives the meaning of the view, not just the fact of giving, but the way you see, this way of doing, through a kind of - what can you say - beyond the giver and given, kind of grasping. So when you are - your wisdom part, the wisdom part is very much emphasized in all these things.
Always we talk about two things, the giving and the Paramita of giving. The moral conduct, or good conduct, and the Paramita of shila. And likewise the meditation and the Paramita of meditation. So when one of these practices is practiced, and it is realized, and your insight, not just the doing, insight in this doing, is complete, becomes wisdom. Then it is called the Paramita. So the Paramita has this meaning or the indication of going beyond, transcending.
In other words, Paramita means, whatever positive things you do, if it is combined, or if it is supported, or if it is within the understanding or the realisation of the wisdom, if there is generosity and there is wisdom together, then that is the Paramita of giving. In the same way, if the wisdom - and you know wisdom from the Buddhist point of view is seeing the way it is, the view, the insight, direct insight of seeing the way you are, your true nature, that is wisdom. So therefore any kind of positive action, combined with the wisdom, that is the Paramita.
So this Paramita-word is emphasized, because if the positive deed ist there, but there is no insight, no seeing the truth, no wisdom, then - it is a positive thing, even then it is a positive thing, but it is not exactly Paramita, it does not completely liberate you from the samsaric state of mind. That is why Paramita is joined, or Paramita is added to all these different actions.
(Q: Due to the fact that the concepts are still there of what we do? Could one say that? If you for instance develop generosity without the wisdom to it, is it not called Paramita because the concept of what generosity is is still there. Could one say that?)
Not because of the concept, but because it is not Paramita. Anyway, this part of Paramita we will discuss only later. We will not start with Paramita. (laughs).
This also is another ideal, as to be transcending is another ideal, but we are not able to transcend, like become completely Paramita at the moment, but does not matter. We start with giving and all other things.
Now the six Paramitas are the Paramita of - what we call? - giving or generosity, there are different ways of translation, I do not know which is the best. „Jinpa“ is giving, so the Paramita of giving. Then the „tsultrim“, the Paramita of disciplin you call it, or Paramita of right living, maybe the Paramita of positive living. Then the Paramita of patience. Then the Paramita of diligence. Then the Paramita of meditation. And then the Paramita of wisdom - we call it wisdom. These are the six.
So why they are put in that order, we (you?) do not know. It is kind of different reasons. The first reason is that it is the way - one leads to the other, because one would lead to others. That is why it is put that way. How one would lead to others, it is said that if you practice giving, if you practice generosity you can say, then it becomes easier, the more you can give, the more you can give to the others, the more you can - the ability not to grasp and not to cling to things, not to become obsessed with things, not to become completely bound down to things, this exercise leads you to the second, that is the „tsultrim“, the right livelihood, or right action, or the discipline. Because when you are more trained not being too much obsessed, too much clinging, or too much holding on to things, then you can let go of the negative tendencies in you, negative habits in you, so therefore you are more easily able to discipline, so that is why after giving comes the right living.
And when you are trained more in this right living, obstaining from things, little bit more discipline, when you know this is the best thing to do, because if you do this, which is not the right one, or not the best one, then many of the negative results will come which you do not like, so therefore you are more - you learn, you understand this, and with this understanding, you act. So therefore, the more you are disciplined, the more you can live by the understanding of getting the environment, getting the situation, the livelihood, or the way of life where the chances of gathering the causes for more trouble, more problem, more suffering is less. That is the main thing about the discipline or the right living.
When that is a little bit more trained in, then you become more patient - no? If you are able to refrain from doing things which you are used to, but you know that is not good, so therefore you can let it be, let it go, you do not want - so when you train this, then you little more patient. Patience becomes (inaudible).
Then, after - if you are more patient, of the problems, patient about solving the problems that come anyway. When you are doing something which is very helpful, a big thing for yourself and others, then you know that lots of obstacles come, lots of problems come, lots of things which you cannot solve at the moment, lots of things which needs time, lots of things which is not so interesting but a little bit boring, but you know that if you go through them, if you have patience, go through them, then that is the right way.
So therefore this patience, the more you develop the patience, the more it becomes - your diligence develops. Because if you are patient, and if you do not get disturbed by the obstacles, by the problems on the way, by the difficulties, then your diligence, your enthusiasm develops, so therefore diligence comes - nothing can stop you, nothing can stop you, that is the diligence. You will keep on doing that, because you see the way, because you see the benefits of doing this, the way you are going. So therefore after the more you have the patience, the more diligence is growing. So therefore this leads to diligence.
Now diligence, if you have that kind of diligence, or enthusiasm - diligence and enthusiasm is the same thing, in Buddhism, in describing the word, the Paramita of diligence, it is said (tib: ....), that is the Tibetan word, the diligence, what you call diligence, is actually being joyful in the positive, having joy in doing the positive things. That is the diligence. The diligence is not just kind of drudging (dragging?) no, no, drudge? - there is an English word - there is no English person here? Is there any English person? (drudgery) Drudgery, yes. You explain what is drudgery? (... something becomes (inaudible) and routine, and becomes a drag) Yes, you just keep on doing, even if you do not like it (shows facial expression, laughter). You know. Diligence is not that, that you just have to go on doing it, because you have to go on doing it, and have to go on doing it (mimics). It is the joy of doing, that is diligence.
Therefore the more the diligence you have, because you are doing the right way and you know you are doing the right way, and you know the benefit of it, so you have (inaudible), which is concentration, which is unwavering concentration, which is - what can you say - which leads to meditation, which is actually meditation in a way. You are not distracted, undistracted. The diligence is your joy in doing things, and not being obstructed by things, we can overcome (inaudible), we can overcome the distractions. So therefore that is the right type of mind, state of mind for meditation. So therefore the more this diligence grows, the meditation becomes better. Leading to meditation, because when you are not distracted by negative things or thoughts and things like that, and you are concentrated, that is the meditation, then the meditation comes into the end naturally. So therefore leading to meditaiton.
So now meditation. Meditation is .. your mind calm, clear and not affected by the habitual tendencies, but clear and - clear, peaceful and undistracted. And that is the state of mind where the wisdom grows. The wisdom is seeing direct, having direct view of the way things are, the way you are. So exactely, experientially knowing who you are, so therefore it is the complete opening of eyes, complete enlightenment you can call it, or the arising (?) to way it is. So therefore, through meditation, if your mind can be clear, completely clear, and peaceful, and nothing, not too many in there. If suppose there is the thing, and in between there are lots of fogs and clouds and curtains and all these things, then I cannot see it clearly. But if it is very clear, there is nothing, then I can see it very clearly. So therefore when meditation becomes stronger, then the dimness, or the dullness, or the things in between are clear, so therefore it becomes more stronger, more conducive to have the wisdom grow. So therefore it leads to wisdom.
So therefore, in this way, the six Paramitas are also placed because one leads to the other.
Then another way of describing them in this kind of sequence is the more gross and subtle. The first is gross more, and then the practice becomes more and more subtler, and more and more subtler, or more and more deeper. In a way it is the same thing. So this way also this is done like that.
Now - maybe this is not the right place to talk about this - so anyway, so this is the how. Maybe you can take it as an introduction to the six Paramitas. So maybe I will stop here and then you can ask questions, on anything you like, and then we can have a little discussions, and then we have break, we have lunch, we go for a walk, if the weather is alright, and then we come back, and there are - you know the program. So if the weather is good, I was thinking that maybe we can have a longer break, and can have the next session a little bit later also. We can ask Horst about this. Maybe that is good.
So any questions.
Qu (Translator): I told them, because you said we were allowed to ask questions about any topic, I suggested football.
A: I do not think I will be able to answer many, but I can give my opinion.
Q: Rinpoche, Anna said that in Berlin, as you know, the group of the TTC is very concerned about the Dana, which they recommend belong to the first Paramita of giving, and she heard a translation for the Paramita of giving, joyful giving, not only the Paramita of giving, but joyful giving. And if that is so, she would like to talk about that a little.
A: I suppose so, you can say joyful giving (laughs). It sounds very good. (Makes it easier) Sounds easier. I think that is - I mean - whenever we talk about giving, or practicing this generosity, or giving whatever, always there is this voluntariness in it. Without the voluntariness then it is not giving, it is robbing. So when there is the voluntariness, then I think naturally there should your willingness, or joy of giving, and that is also - we will discuss this I think when we discuss giving, but to - what can you say - to develop this, the joy, develop the joy in giving, not just giving things, but everything you give, whatever, we will discuss this, but joy, the more joy the better.
It is said, there is a stanza, that the Bodhisattvas, the joy - there is a stanza somewhere, it is a very nice stanza: If somebody, a Bodhisattva, who is experienced, no, who is trained, or who is perfected in this Paramita, if hears the sound that somebody says: please give me, the joy that arises in his heart, or her heart, does not compare with attaining the enlightenment, or the first level of enlightenment. So somebody who is really kind of perfected, have attained the Paramita of giving, then if somebody has really attained the Paramita of giving, then if you say „Please give me“, and he or she would be very very happy. That is the understanding. So therefore it must be the joy of giving.
Q: I have a question about - you said generosity has to be combined with wisdom, what is this wisdom, is it possible for example if somebody is generous, cann`t he by himself from inside intuition develop this wisdom, or does it have to come from outside. Where does it start? And is there a possible by the way of living that you can develop it without knowing it, without studying it? Just by doing it?
A: I think that is what is being mentioned here, when this says that one leads to another. Then when you are giving, when you are perfected in giving, or this generosity you can call it, then your, as I discussed earliere also, as according to the book, I think it leads to less grasping, and therefore less clinging, and therefore more openness, and then slowly maybe it will lead you to more insight and more wisdom. But that does not mean to say that you should not also try to work on the wisdom side as well. The wisdom of course, it does not mean to say that wisdom has to come from outside, wisdom cannot come from outside, it has to come from inside of course. But this is the training.
When we talk about the six Paramitas, although it is written here and is said, and I explained it, that one leads to another, that does not mean to say that while one is doing one, you should not do anything else. All these six is kind of interrelated, and even in one you have all the six. And anything you do, actually it has the - all the six are kind of present there in a way. That is the right practice.
We sometimes say that even we put up this - how do you call that? - making the seven bowls with water, fill up the seven bowls with water, also should include all the six Paramitas. So how do we put the six Paramitas in filling up the bowls? They say that when you put up the bowls, then you give it with open mind, because you do not have too much stinginess on giving water from the tap, so you can give this water quite freely and with an open mind. Maybe if you give mineral water, then maybe it is too difficult (laughs). Anyway, giving is, you know that, that you can give it without regret, without any miserlyness, without any holding back, you have no problem offering this water.
And then the disciplin is that you clean it, you see that there is no dust in it, there is no negative kind of things, it is not dirty or infected by things, no insects are being killed or something like that, see that there is nothing going wrong. And then also that everything is in order, the bowls are kept in a straight line, and the space between are same, so you see that everything is - that is the second, the moral side, good conduct.
Then the patience is that while you do that, you do not get impatient, you have the patience to clean the bowl, you have the patience to put them one after another, and you have the patience that the bowls are filled not too much or too little.
Then the diligence, that you do it, you do it again and again, you take it off, you put it on, the joy of doing it, and doing it every day or whenever.
Then the meditation is that when you are doing that, at that time, your mind is on that. If your mind is not on that, you will spill the water, you will do lots of things. So therefore your mind is on it at this moment at least, meditation.
Then the wisdom is that while - you dedicate this, you remember while you are doing this that you are doing it for all the sentient beings, you want to make this offerings in the best ways, and then you want to dedicate that, and then you want to remind yourself of why you are doing this and things like that. So this is the wisdom part. So therefore in just filling the seven bowls also, which is the most mundane kind of thing.
So in the same way, whatever you do, whatevery you do, whatever practice you do, all six Paramitas has to be - not has to be, but can be there. And that is to see, I think that is one of the main things of the six Paramitas, that all your practices you do, you have a little bit of awareness that all are a little bit there. Then if all the six are there, that means that the practice is going well, the practice is beneficial and going well. If all are not there, then it is a little bit lob-sided. So therefore, you are aware that this is the way you practice.
Q: May I ask one more question about the interrelation between giving and taking, because sometimes ... (inaudible) ... it would be a gift for me to give something to you ... gaining something by giving. And another part of giving and taking ist that many people may have a problem to give, but some people also have a problem to take, to accept something.
A: I know that lots of people have difficulties to accept, to take, to accept what is given, even if it is help. I have no difficulty. I have difficulties giving, but I do not have any difficulties -(laughs). Maybe that is one training that I got very well as a Lama.
Maybe, I do not know, but maybe this difficulty to receive is also in a way related with giving maybe, because most of the time, if you receive something, then kind of you feel that you have to give back something, or something is expected, so therefore you do not want that. You do not want somebody giving you something, so that you have to give something more lateron, or something like that, either physically or emotionally or whatever. So therefore many people are very kind of - those who cannot accept I think I find that a little bit they are more closed, they feel very - a little bit closed. I think there is - maybe exercising in giving, or a little bit like that, maybe we should first exercise exepting. I think it is an exercise of opening. Maybe it comes together, because when you can give a little bit, I think you can accept a little bit also. And when you accept, you are open, open enough, so you do not mind giving something back. Or you are at least not afraid that you are required to give something. So maybe this is very interrelated.
And of course, usually, most of the time when you give something that is kind of a - when you are really able to give something, then it is in a way something receiving, because you not only get the joy of giving, but also in one way or another, whether you really believe what is said, the consequences of the cause and effect or not, but I think you receive more, you receive when you give. Because when you give, or you are able to give, then you become richer, in a way, because you have this -
It was very interesting, somebody who has been studying economics was telling me that in economics they were thinking about how to define rich and poor, in the real kind of sence. So they found, they said that in one person, I do not know who, but they find that the rich is those who have no - who feel that they have enough. Maybe these are not the same standard of somewhere else, but who have this capacity to feel that this is - it is not said in that words, it is said in very nice economic words, high terms and things like that, but the idea I got out of it is that the nation, or the people, or whatever, find this is sufficient, whatever is there is sufficient and not need for more, that is the rich. And then the more you feel insufficient, the more you need, something more you need, that is the deficit, then you need more, that is the poor.
This sounded very interesting because in a way that is true. Even if you have very little, but you are completely satisfied with it, then you are in one term, in one way you are richt, because you got whatever you want, you need. When you have got everything you need, then you are rich. But even if you have lots of things, but you do not have enough of what you need, then you are poor, because you still want more.
So in this way, when people are able to give a little bit, that kind of is the attitude „I can afford to give“, because I am not completely always wanting something from, but what I have, from there I can afford to give something. So therefore your sense of richness is growing in a way. Then also this is very much the way of the whole thing, the people, if you give something, you naturally receive something, whether you want it or not. So therefore it is also the - what can you say - not only the joy of giving, but then you will have the joy of receiving as well. So therefore this is I think a very important part to train on. Not only to give, but also to receive. But when you start having this little bit more ability to give, maybe your ability to receive increases as well.
One more thing, although we have not yet come to this subject of giving (laughs), but I think I should say this also, because I have across this many time, this problem, that people sometimes, you hear that if you give, then you receive, kind of that is natural way. And then they come afterwards and say: „Oh I have been giving him all this love and everything, but he does not give me back anything, and I am totally devasted because that is not happening“. I think that is a bit carrying the giving too much, to an extreme. Because naturally, generally, what you give, something is received back. But if you do it a little bit like business, then it does not work. You give something and then you expect something back, that way it is not - it does not work that way.
The more pure your way of giving, maybe more you become rich and receiving. But that is not - one should not take it that way, that you give, and then immediately you receive, and it is kind of - then it becomes a little bit silly.
Anyway, you want to say something?
Q: I just want to say, it is the motivation always that is important, while you do this.
Q: Just a little question, I understood that the Paramita of joyjul giving with the development of the other Paramitas is a preliminary practice to give up the illusion of being separate. In Germany in the word „give up“ there is also the word „give“.
A: (laughs) - maybe you can say it is a preliminary, or a practice, or a path to give up the illusion, the delusions, illusions and delusions, if you want to say it. Because this is the practice, this is the path.
Q: About generosity, also sometimes it is very easy for us, for me for example, when I have got something, I have something, and it is becoming a little bit difficult when I have the feeling, no, maybe I am giving away the basis of future - I say it differently, if my economic basis is a little bit weak, then of course it is not so easy to give, and then I have to think about how to maintain my economic basis. So maybe it is also a way to be generous to really take responsibility for my economic bases. Because if I do not do this, then I cannot give, and then I have a (?), okay, I cannot give, because I do not have, and so on. But the mistake is maybe also within me, because I was too stingy to create a economic basis to be able to give.
A: I think we have to take into account what is in the Bodhisattva`s path explained very clearly, that first whether what you give is something that you would regret or not, you can give something fully and freely and without regret afterwards, or without causing yourself problem afterwards. If you give something that for the others is not really completely makes any difference, but for you it makes lots of difference, maybe you do not need to give that. But this has to be looked also from all sides. But it is clearly mentioned that if you want to give something, first you see whether it is beneficial or not, how much beneficial or not. Of course if you give something, you give something, so therefore you are losing something, whatever out of what you have. Now here we are talking about giving something economic kind of thing, but you can give not just economic things, you can give everything else. So therefore, the thing is whether I am prepared for that or not, is the one thing.
Second is, how much benefit is there, in comparison to how much I lose. They say that if you lose more - I think this is very relevant to - of course we will talk about it when we go through the generosity section, but if I do not remember that time - it is said that suppose you are a medicant (?), or you are practitioner, or you are a retreatant, or something like that, and if you give something, if you give all your food away or something like that, then you cannot do the practice, you have to go and search for the food for many days, which you will not get easily. And the thing you give is not - is beneficial, but is not really saving a life of somebody or something like that, then they say it is not good give. It is better not to give than to give, because giving is causing more problem, not giving is more beneficial than giving. First thing is whether you are prepared to give or not, second thing is how much beneficial and how much loss, how much problem it is causing to you, and comparing that. If you are giving something, and you have to work for a long time to get it back, or something like that, but if it is saving say many lives or something like that, then again you can - so this all - what can you say - comparative. You cannot say: „Oh, yon cannot give anything, because it is economically bad for you“, or „you have to give everything, even if you are going bankrupt“. It is all this how important that giving is, or how much benefit that giving is doing to whom you are giving. That is very much discussed in this.
We have come to the first Paramita, that is giving, Paramita of giving or generosity. Now this is - I do not know whether I should go by the book, but it described, explained, in seven points. First: to understand and think about the benefit and the - the benefit of giving, or benefit and then the reverse, the benfit of giving and fault of not giving, or the advantage of giving and disadvantage of not giving. Then: What is giving, to understand the nature of the giving Paramita, second. Third: The different catagories of giving. Fourth: The explanation of these different catagories. Fifth: How to multiply, or how to make this giving, the benefit of this giving, multiplied, or increased. Sixth: How to make this practice more perfect and more pure. And the seventh: The result, the result of this Paramita, the result of giving.
So the first one is the benefit, benefit of giving, and the ill of not giving. So now it is traditionally said that the more you give, the more positive accumulations you make, and therefore the direct - what can you say - effect of giving is to be more abundant, to become abundant, to become - you can call it rich, and the less you give, then the more poor you become, or you become miserly, and the result is in a way poverty, and not having.
For many people the direct result of „if you give, then you become rich, and if you do not give, then you become poor“, I think is not easy to accept. But maybe it is not exactely that we just give, and then immediately you become rich.
But I think that maybe there is another way of thinking also, another way of measuring how rich you are, or how poor you are. There is one thing which is very clear of significant. In many of these Eastern kind of - you call it spiritual traditions, it is said that we are becoming in a way poorer and poorer, the time now is a little bit poorer and the life span is shorter, and then in the modern scintific way, they are saying that people are become richer, and lifespan is becoming longer. I think the interpretation of this is different. Because when we look from the materialistic point of view, the matter - the real kind of scintific point of view, then it is true, people are become richer, because people have more, those who did not have cars have cars now, those who did not have houses have houses now, and those who did not have heating systems have heating systems now, and the pay has risen several falts, many times more than before, and things like that.
But if you look from another point of view, that how much rich you are is not how much you have, but how much satisfacation you have. Then it is a different matter. Then it is a different matter, that maybe in the last century, in the olden days, they did not have much. As I remember, even in Tibet, as I remember, those who were called rich at that time were very poor actually. At most they had a horse, one or two horses, or maybe a few horses, and then nothing, compared to now, the material things. But very satisfied, thinking that „I am very rich, I have everything, not everything for I need, but maybe I can give others also“. That kind of thing. Even the farmers who had very little things, they could share and they could give others.
So therefore this attitude, the way we see things, for instance - and this is also in a way true, for instance, how much - so if you see that way, that the more satisfied you are, the more contented you are, the more big heart you have, then the more you have. If that is the criteria of saying how rich you are, then it is true: the more you give, the more richer you become. Because you can give that, you have the ability to give, you have the ability to be satisfied even with little bit that you share with others.
There are certain things, like sometimes people who have - I have seen it very clearly, that people who are - sometimes people can share a small room with many people, and whatever small income with many people, and feel very happy, and generous, and have no problem at all. But some people, who have very big houses and things like that, but even one guest is coming, then they feel completely freeked out. Because it is not enough, the big house is there, but that is not enough for even one guest. So the attituded of the people - .
You cannot say that it is not true, that if you give more, you actually receive more, and you actually become - not necessarily receive from somebody, but naturally become more richer and things like that, especially in the next life, that is a different story, that may be true too, can be true, should be true. But even in the kind of context of what we can see and what we can actually understand, also this may be seen like this. And also we can see that if you are really really stringent (stingy?), if you cannot give anything, then you cannot even receive, like the question we received before. And then if you cannot even receive some help or something from others, that is very unfortunate, isn`t it. You can not only give, but you cannot even receive, and you do not have. So therefore then it is really very terrible.
There was one - I read a book actually, few years ago, I do not remember the name, but this is a person somewhere from - not really Middleeast, but around that area, some kind of a - I do not know who, this person is kind of a thinker, or some kind of a philosopher. I do not know whether he is famous or not, but I just read his book, it is a small one. Quite interesting. I am kind of forgetting now. But what he was saying was very interesting. He gives his experience of seeing things, he is not really a philosopher, I think, he is kind of a medium, kind of person who can see the dead people and all this kind of things. Maybe he is making up, does not matter. So he was saying that those people when they die, an those are born in the hell realm, are very rich, he said that they have everything that they had before and even more. But they have to keep all those things in one room, and they have to sit there and guard it. And they have to be always there and guard it, and cannot meet anybody else, cannot go anywhere else, cannot do anything else, but just be with this wealth that he has. So that is hell. I thought it was kind of interesting.
So therefore I mean, if you are really that much kind of - cannot give anything, then it is a little bit like that, isn`t it. So therefore it is too much holding on, too much miserlyness, too much - is regarded as something very opposite to the opening, it is very closed, very - not able to share, not able to - only not able to share, but not able to even enjoy yourself, because you cannot share it, because you cannot even say everybody „Oh, this is so nice“. So it is completely closed. So therefore it is the more and more, then you can kind of become in a way little bit ill. So therefore most of problems come there.
So that is why the first thing Buddha talked about is the genrosity, he said, the giving, try to help, a little bit. Even if this is the main understanding, even if you do not have this natural kindness and compassion, to help other beings, even if - I mean most of the people have that, little bit, most the people want to give, most of the people want to share, most of the get moved when you see somebody having problems, and so therefore they naturally come foreward and help them and give them. But what he tried to describe, or what he tried to teach, is that even those people who are not like that, even those people very very egoistic, very very - you do not want to help anybody, even for them, he said, it is good to give. Because it is not only helping others, but it is helping yourself too. So therefore, unless you give, you do not receive. So therefore, even if you are the most selfish person, you should start giving. That is the message. It does not mean to say - of course, if you can, the best way of giving is giving without any expectation of the return. Giving without any expectation of a result, any wanting or desire for any result, you just give in order to help, give with the motivation and inspiration of trying to really help. That is the best way of giving. But even if we cannot give that way, even then, even if you are just concerned about yourself and concerned about nothing else, even then, in order to help yourself also, it is good to give. Because if you give, then you receive. That is the message.
There was once a person in Sikkim, when I was very - a child. He was called Latu Jeche (?) - we used to call him Latu Jeche, because he always said: „Latu jeche“, which means „thank you very much“. And he was very old, very old, and he used to go with a stick, and he used to do this `dekar´, some kind of a dance, the Tibetan way of doing this - it is not a drama, but some kind of one - monoact, mono kind of dialogue. Everything is auspicious, and a little bit of a mask, just one (shows) bord (?) with a little white beared. So he used to do that, and then he used to go around begging. So people used to say: He is become quite rich, because he is sending money to Dalai Lama. So he was very friendly with me, so whenever I met him, he would say: „Oh, Kujur (?), when are we going to return to Tibet?“ I said: „Maybe next year?“ „Oh ya, I think next year we will return“ (imitates a hoarse voice). He was very old, you know.
Once I asked him - and sometimes he used to take out an orange and gave it to me. Then I said: „Everybody is saying that your are very rich. Are you very rich?“ „Oh yes, I am really really rich.“ „How much money you have?“ (in low voice) „I have one twenty rupee note, one ten rupee note, and also two or three five rupee notes, and then lots of other changes“ (very low voice). Then every time he got this one hundred, it became hundred rupee note, then he used to go to the representator of Dalai Lama and give it to him. He said: „Please send this to Dalai Lama!“ So that was very impressive. So if you are really - he is rich, in a way. He felt he was really rich. He was going around, a little bit begging, and people used to give him some rice or somethings, some changes, and then he was always happy and playing with children, going around with this `dekar´.
So the second point is what is actually meant by giving, what is the Giving Paramita. It says `mashab de senje topa jo se tong wa tong´, that means to be able to give without an attachment, with an unattached mind. That is the giving. Now here unattached mind is I think very important. What we are trying to work on, especially when we are trying to work on our mind, the exercise, this first - little bit trying to work on our too much clinging, too much attachment to the things and to ourselves as well.
So therefore - in the Buddhist practices you even find, like you have seen in the different Sadhanas also, that we first even start with the imaginative giving, this visualised giving, we start with viusalised giving. You have heared this, you have done the practices. You create with your mind all different types of nice things, especially that you have lots of attachment to, and then able to offer it to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and all the beings who need them, or who even do not need them, I just offer them. So lots of these things, like creating with your mind and then making offerings, either with some little base, like the seven bowls, or something like this Mandala plate, or something like that, or sometimes even what you see around. If you see something that is not yours, but it is there in nature, like a nice flower, or a nice garden, or something really nice you see around, immediately, instead of saying „Oh, if I had this so great - I wish I had this“, you kind of say „I offer this to all the enlightened beings“, or to all the beings, or something like that. So this is the first way of trying to work on, trying to excercise the giving.
An then, when you have - then you come to the real giving. Then you try to give small things that you can afford without too much attached to it, like somebody said in morning, with joy. If you can give something with joy, something with really complete unkind of holding back, or that you can really give, then you give it. So this is what they say - it is said in the Bodhicharyavatara and things like that very clearly that - there is even a stanza which says that if you can give a cup of curry without any attachment to it, without regret, then give that cup of curry. When your mind becomes so big that you can give your body without any attachment, then you give your body also, for the sake of the other beings. So that is how this is excercised, slowly, slowly.
It is not to say that you want to become a Buddhist, or you are practicing Buddhism, so you have got to give. That is wrong. There are lots of people I have seen, even in Christianity, must be in Buddhist too: „Oh, I cannot do this, I cannot become a Christian, I cannot become a Buddhist, because I have to give everything“, or „If I do not give, then I am not a good one“, or something like that. You feel the pressure that you have to, even if you do not like to give this, or do this, you have to, because you have become something. That is not necessary. It is completely willingly, not just willingly, but joyfully. So if you feel like „I cannot do this“, or „I do not want to give this“, you every right to say „I do not want to give this“. Nobody can say - even if somebody says, it does not matter, let him say whatever he or she wants. But according to your own willing, then the practice becomes joyful, then with diligence, with joy, with enthusiasm.
Not that it is a compulsion in this way or that way, the compulsion can come from many different ways, the pressure can come from many different ways, you do not need any of this pressures. Even if there are - of course there are. Even if you say „This is completely volontary“, but if everybody is giving, then if you do not give, you feel not so good. So you have to give. Or if somebody is holding something in front of you „Please, it is up to you whether to give or not“ - it is a little bit difficult not to give. But it is alright. So this is the understanding.
Then in the Yatakas, of course you will find lots of stories about the Buddhas giving their body and things like that. You have heared this story of the (tib: tamo lujen (?)), the Bodhisattva who gave his body to the tiger. There is place in Nepal which is still called „Tamo lujen(?)“ , and this means „giving the body to the tigress“. So there is a story about this Bodhisattva, it is one of the former lives of the Buddha Shakyamuni. He was a prince, I think he was the youngest prince, there were three princes. He was generally compassionate being. So the three princes went into the jungle, to see the jungle and wandering into the jungle. And then they came to this place where a tigress had given birth to lots of cubs. Bud she was too weak to go for hunting, so she was completely weak and tired and hungry. So she was about to eat her own cubs.
So when this Bodhisattva saw this, he had such a great compassion for this, that he wanted to - he said „What do this tigers eat?“ Then they told him „He eats fresh meat and blood and things like that.“ So he was thinking that he could not find any fresh body, flesh and body, until he kills something, and that was not what he could do. So then they went away a little bit. Then he said „Oh, I have forgotten something, I must go back!“ So he went back, then he laid down before the tiger and said „Please eat me“. But the tiger could not eat it, because it was too weak. So then he took some stones or something and cut himself a little bit and then let the tiger eat him. So this was the place where it happened according to the story.
There are many stories like that, the acts of the Bodhisattvas of very highly attained, completely compassionate. But then for those Bodhisattvas, it was not difficult, he did not have any attachment to the body, he did have not difficulties of whatsoever, so therefore it was easy. But then that is not what we at this stage - I do not know, maybe some of you are great Bodhisattvas - are asked or supposed to do. So we are supposed to start with first working with our mind slowly, slowly, slowly, like the story I tell every time, this Anatapindika with his gold here and there, this way, small, little bit, and then getting used to it, and then slowly, slowly become stronger and stronger, and then having no problem. So therefore this is the main purpose of giving is to get rid of your own clinging and attachment to things, so that you feel free. If it is there, you feel very good, if it is not here, you feel equally good. That kind of thing.
So we have come to the third point, that is: How do we categorize, what kind of categories of the giving are. Then he sais that there are three categories of giving: material things, giving the material things, giving of fearlessness, or the protection, and giving of the Dharma, there are three kinds of givings. The giving of material is the giving the things that whatever things that you can give, even your services, even anything that is useful, that is helpful, that is not harming, but helping, that is called the giving of the materials. And giving of the protection is in whatever way, if some people have fear, have danger, have some kind of problems, then through whatever way you can, you give the protection, you give the fearlessness, you give the psychological or whatever protection. That is the giving of the protection. And the giving of the Dharma is giving of the Dharma, trying to - not only teaching, but through different ways, that people are ... (part missing. Translated back from German: this is regarded very highly to teach the Dharma, because through Dharma you can develop in a way to become completely fearless and learn how to be without fear, how to completely liberate yourself of all the sufferings. So therefore that is supposed to be the best gift, because then you are - it is something more lasting, something with the most kind of benefit, if you can do it properly. Because any material things that you give, any things you give, it is just then, it is very temporary, it is just for a short time, it will be maybe helpful for a short time, but it does not have a long lasting benefit.
It is the same more or less as the saying „If you give him a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach him how to fish, then you feed him for life.“ That is the kind of understanding. (Question: Is it an English saying?) I do not know, in English it is there, that I know, but I do not know other languages, it must be there in other languages too. It certainly does not come from Tibet, because Tibetans do not eat fish! Maybe somewhere from lots of fish eating, maybe Spain. (Britain is not bad, they have a lot of lakes) Yes, but I did not see Britains eating that much fish. (Fish and chips) Just fish and chips. (Daily) Daily (laughs) It is becoming less now, unfortunately, it is really nice food, fish and chips. I do not know why they are not eating that much anymore. Many of the fish and chips shops are being closed. Maybe it is the negative influence of the European common market? (or negative American influence, like McDonalds) Anyway - McDonalds is not bad too. At least to eat.
So this has two parts in it, this giving. One part is to help really others, and then another is to work on your mind, opening your mind, and working with your attachment and clinging and grasping. Two parts at one time, working on your mind as well as helping others.
So therefore, especially from the point of view, then sometimes we talk about these three main things that we are attached too: Your posession, your body and your deeds, positive deeds they call it. Like first your own posessions, this is mine, this is mine, my watch, my bell, my whatever. So once you say „This is mine“, you get really kind of - Also, I think, many times you have this „my bad things“ also, not necessarily only good things. „This is my bad days“, you know, „I had very bad days when I was young - I am very proud of that“. Something like that. So whatever this „mine“, „my things“. And then of course „my body“, and then - this is something - „my good, positive deeds“, they say, my `gewa´ (?), my positive, virtuous deeds. So these three.
My things, we can try to give through either through giving, or actually through releasing our attachment to it. And then sometimes we have these practices, the „Chöd“ and things like that, through which we imagine that you give your body also, so that it becomes very fat and very nice, very big, and then it can be eaten by 100 000 beings or something like that and fully satisfy. There is different kind of ways, whatever way, it does not matter, but in a way it is a way of working with your mind, exercising that you do not have that much attachment, that much clinging, that much grasping on things. Because we have sometimes too much. And then the more you have attachment to it, the more you feel pain, by fear of losing it, fear of hurting, fear of getting out of it.
So therefore they say, there is a saying, I think it is said by - I do not know who said it exactely, but it is one of the Lamas, he said: (tib: Saltong sundong lapidong galtchen ....), means that the posessions, the wealth, it is painful, difficult to accumulate, it is painful and difficult to preserve it, it is painful and difficult when you lose it. So therefore it is the source of a lot of misery. If you have not attachment, then there is no problem, or less problem. But if you are attached, then it is so difficult to get something, and even if you have got it, then you always have - it is not just when you lose it, but all the time, as stronger attachment you have, the more fear and worry you have about something might happen. So the whole exercise is to little bit losen our too much clinging, too much attachment. The less attachment we have, the more peace we have. That is the general understanding. We can be completely peaceful and have completely - when we have done away with any kind of clinging. This is the proportionate.
Therefore it is not always depending how much there is, how much you have, and how much you do not have. It is not necessary - I think this is very important to understand also, that „if you do not have anything, then you have no attachment“ - that is not true! That is completely not true! If you do not have anything, you can have as much or more attachment. Because your attachment is not depending on what you have or not have, but depending on the way your mind grasps at things. So sometimes you can have more attachment because you do not have. Most of the time you - because you say, if you do not have something to eat, you always think about food. No? So therefore you have lots of attachment to it.
So therefore here, when they are talking about attachment, we are not talking about having or not having, we are talking about the way our mind is working. Therefore this giving and sharing and letting your mind open up is an exercise, is a way of working. It is of course to help other beings with compassion and with kindness and with understanding. That is the most important part, that is the best intention and aspiration. But at the same time also working on your own mind and own state of mind, which is very important, because the more your mind is - it is the direct proportion of how peaceful or how strongly grasping - you can call it pain, how painful it becomes, how suffering, the proportion is like that. So therefore this is something one must understand.
Q: The proportion between the pain and the force of clinging to something - having an examination for example, or standing right before you have to take an exam, it might be extremely painful. For example in my case. I cling to maybe the reputation which is connected to the exam, something like that. But as well I need it for the work, for getting money and for my living. Of course there is the thought „to the hell with all of it, I do not care for the reputation, why should I take the exam“. But on the other side it is the sort of self-deception. So this is quite a paradox situation.
A: Not at all. Exam is not the problem. Study is not the problem. Getting pass the exam is not the problem. Your unnecessary worrying about it is the problem. Because those people who worry too much do worse in exams, because they just spend all their time on worrying, not on study, and then sometimes - I do not know here, maybe not, but other places - they even try to do some other means, and then all different kind of more worry, and they completely spoil the examination. You have to do exam, because - we have to study, the study, if you take it well, it is enjoyable, no? How nice to be a student, you will find only afterwards, especiall when you are a teacher.
Q: Intellectually, I know this. I am telling myself: you are stupid, why are you worrying? It is not necessary. But the tough thing is dealing with it. The emotion, the feeling is there. Intellectually I know, this is silly.
A: So what you do - of course, this is not easy, but this is the best method, best way - I mean, I do not have a just like a pill method - when you study, you try to study as much as you can, and then you make a schedule, that I study from here to here, and then I try to go through the points, the main points in my mind, and then let God decide, or let your Karma decide. If it has to be that you will pass, you will pass. If it has to be that you will fail, you will fail. So if you somehow decide like that - because sometimes even very good students fail, or do not good, due to many reasons, due to many different reasons. Sometimes even not very good students also get very high marks, it depends on what comes in the exam. Written exam is said to be - is an examination to see how much you know. This is a saying in India, I do not here, it is not - Oral examination is and exam to see how much you do not know. So sometimes there are questions which are very difficult, which you have never dealt, so you cannot. Sometimes there are questions which is more easy. I think when you have this examinations, we just study as much as you can, and then have a very good sleep. The very good sleep before the exam I find is the best. Some people stay up all night and study, study, study, and then in the morning they are just dizzy and have forgotten everything that they have studied. That is no use.
Q: I am trying to go this way. Intellectually I know, maybe I am a little bit silly, I always hope: Intellectually I know my way, exactely this way, and I hope that the pain must go away. But it does not go away.
A: A little bit worry will be there, but you do not need to have that much pain. You study and then - it will be alright, you do not have to be in pain. Your worrying and having pain does not help in any way. Actually it is harmful. Your concentration becomes less, your study becomes less. If you really study, if you concentrate on the study, then you do not worry, the pain does not come. The pain comes when you do not study. „Oh, I have to give the exam tomorrow, I have to go through all these things, oh“, but the book is still there. So you just take the book and go through it, while you are reading and studying, you do not worry. No? Of course some people have a general tendence to worry more, and some people have a general tendency - of course, completely worryless is not very good, because then you are not - you do not have the incentive. A little bit tension is alright, but not too much.
Q: Is it not attachment to worrying? I know that something like that exists, because I have it strongly, I am attached to worrying, I think if I stopped worrying, I am gonne fail.
A: Ya, you can do that. You can get attached to everything.
Q: Can you say that if there is pain, it is always a sign of attachment? For example you cut off your finger, and there is pain.
A: You cannot say that, I think. Well, they say that if you have a very high realisation, completely, then even if your leg is broken or your hand is cut, you do not have pain. Til then, you have pain. There was this - there is a story about - who is it? Some Indian master. What was it? I remember very clearly, but he did something very positive, by giving some of his limbs away or something like that, very very strongly. But then he did have lots of pain. And then there was a - then somehow somebody showed him, gave him some kind of introduction to the nature of his mind, and then, when he had this - through the pain, he understood it very quickly somehow, and then there was no pain.
I cannot say the story very well, I do not remember it very well, but anyway, the understanding is that as long as you have not the complete wisdom, what we call the wisdom, arising, exprientielly, not intellectually, experientielly, then there is pain. You can almost say that because in that case it is a little bit, because you do not understand, because you do not have the complete experientiel understanding of the way you are, or the way things are, so therefore you have pain. But then it is not - you cannot really say that you are not attached, in a way you can more or less say that, because you cannot say that you are not attached to your body. So because you are attached to your body, because you think this is your body, because we have this tendency of saying „this is mine“, so therefore if there is a cut, you have pain. But this pain cannot be eradicated by just - but that is I think experientially, in that case you can say that maybe also.
Q: ... on Wednesday I think you said that the first step after taking refuge was to meditate on the preciousness of the human existence, and then this afternoon you said that what we give has to be in relation to the benefit, when it comes to giving. Maybe it is my mistake, I am a bit confused about the differen value, I am astonished that a Bodhisattva giving his body and his life to a tiger.
A: This is a little bit different. When you say that we have this precious human body, and you should give according to your power of giving, we are talking about the way we are. If we give more than we can, then we regret, and then instead of going better, we go worse. It is not good for our practice. It is neither good for whom you give nor good for yourself, because it is - this is from the point of that. Now highly attained Bodhisattva, then for that person he can give his whole body, or he can spend many lives for just one sentient being, no problem. Because he does not have anything to worry about himself or herself, so it is only compassion that is working. So here we are talking about, when we say that we should give more than - that we should go slowly, we are just thinking about our own limitations, and what is the best way. Because if we try to do something that we cannot do, then our practice does not go in the right direction, we become discouraged very quickly, we become frustrated, we become desheartened, and then negative emotions come up. So therefore, instead of helping us to grow more and to become better, and lateron able to give more, we become disabled. It is not to say that we should not give, but it is to say that we should go slowly in training. If somebody has no problem to give, then it is alright.
Precious human body is another matter. When we are talking about the precious human body, precious human existence, we are talking about the very beginning, when we try to first - this is the beginning of the beginning. We try to appreciate what we are, and then we try to do something good in this life, because this is potentially very powerful life, and very good life, so we should appreciate this, and we should not misuse it, but use it purposefully, beneficially for ourselves and others, and this kind of motivation. But if you become a highly realised Bodhisattva, then precious human existence is no problem, it is not so difficult to get, it is not any more difficult to get.
Q: I have a question concerning the consequences of attachment to wealth. Because here in the west we all have very much material things, in comparison to countries like India for example, but the crazy thing is that people here, they are often very demanding, for example I saw a talk-show on tv, and there were some teenagers, and they said their opinion in what they demand from the parents, and I was really shocked about what they said, because I do not have children, and I do not have that contact, and so it was quite shocking to me.
(Rinpoche: What was that? What were they demanding?)
One girl, she said that it was her opinion that your are only the right person when you wear clothes which has a special label, and they asked how much you spend on those clothes, and she said something like 300 or 400 DM a month, and the woman asked where she got that money, and she said: from her parents, and she takes it granted to get this.
A: That is everywhere in the world.
Q cont: But when I was at this age, it was not like that.
A: Then you must be quite old. I am joking. What is the question?
Q: This habit to demand is expanding more and more, and there are more and more people who have very much, and who do not want to give away anything. And our social system is kind of breaking away these years, because there is the problem that nobody wants to share, and even the rich people, they do not pay any tax, because there are laws who make them possible to kind of hide there money. And there are more and more people here in the West who are very afraid what will happen in the future when they are old. It is a little bit stupid, because in India I think people do not worry so much what will happen in the future, why is it that it is so extreme?
A: That is not really true. It is the same everywhere. It is also not true that people here do not want to give, people here give quite a lot. It is not true that people here do not share, people here share also quite a lot. It is everywhere, the rich do not want to pay the tax. I think it has been all through the centuries, I do not know, but the richest family in India is Data (?), which is much richer than the Indian government, and never pays any tax. There are many like that, everywhere. So they can manipulate the tax-laws. There are different ways of doing it, which I do not say is completely bad also. They have lots of employment. That is a different story. So you cannot really - it is a whole human thing, it is nothing specially West or specially East, everybody is afraid of when they become old, or when they become sick, or things like that. It is everywhere, everybody. Actually it is less here, in a way, because so far you have such a good social structure, social security, at least you do not have to worry that you will die of starvation. But there, you could easily die of starvation. I have seen people dying of starvation, on the railway station sometimes you will find a sick person, just lying down, sometimes with all the flies all over, dying.
But then of course there is - the situation is - you cannot compare. Of course India has lots of rich people. Actually, recently there was a - I do not know whether it is completely true - it is a statistic, the statistics are sometimes quite - they say „lies, great lies, and statistics“, but they say that India has more millionairs than the whole population of America. But India is huge, the Indian population is - about 1000 million or something like that? There must be lots of very rich Indiens, the rich are really, really rich. But majority is poor, and very very poor, very very poor. But it is also in a way strange, you can say - maybe it is not strange - I know some of those who are the millionairs in India also, not happy at all, like same thing, not at all happy. The yogitars (?) are much happier.
I have a friend in Delhi, he always asks me to come and stay in his house. He has three big places in Delhi, one is a big house in the centre of Delhi, with swimming pool and everything, and another is a big farmhouse just outside Delhi, where he has three big houses and horses and about 18 acres of land, and another one is a little bit beyond that. He made a big area, planted trees allover, and then inside there is a garden, and then there is a park, and in the park they made small pillars like this, with lights, and also sound boxed. So you can put on a record in your house, and you can go into the gareden, and everywhere you hear the music. And he made an artificial lake in the middle of this garden, in in the middle of the artificial lake he has made a small island on which a small house. And he always invites me to come and stay there when I am in Delhi. But it is the most difficult thing to stay there. It is quite hard, I do not know what, they are very nice. And he has about ten or twelve foreign cars, Bagiro (?) and Lexus and Mercedes and BMW.
But generally in India, those who are completely poor, do not know when the next meal is coming, is quite happy. You cannot say they have no fear. Of course they have fear. They do not know when the next meal is coming. They get sick. They have problems. They have to educate their children. But somehow, you accept the situation. If you think about the situation of these people, you could easily go mad, because it is completely no future, completely you can see clearly, there is no hope almost. The best thing is, they could keep on living, the best possible thing that could happen is just survive. But they do not seem to be that much - they kind of accept this, and they just go around and - really, as happy as could be. It is very much the way we take it. If you think and think and think of the problems, then I think the problems become stronger and stronger and stronger in our mind, and they we really get - . People who have lots of things are much more unhappy.
There is a story - this would be my last story tonight. In Tibet there was once - you know, the Tibetan business men used to import tea from China, and then they had to pack it in leather. The tea, you cannot bring it like that in Tibet, you have to load it on yaks, and things like that, and always throwing off, if you just bring the packets, in one day it is all pieces. So they have to really put it into leather and then make water-proof an - . So this big business man, and he was sitting on top of the house, and then there were lots of workers down in the courtyard, doing this tea-packing. And then he was looking down, and he saw that these people are really happy, and they are singing, and they are telling jokes to each other, and always looks very happy. But he is not happy at all, he is very unhappy. So then one day he is thinking „is it really the fact that I have so much wealth, is it really the fact that I am unhappy because of that?“ Then he said, maybe I should see how it works. So one day he took a big - you know this lump of silver, these big silver things they had at that time, like the horse shoes, this kind of think he took, and then he had one, who was a very joyous and happy person, one of his workers, he put it somewhere in his bag, or in his posessions.
And then next day, he looks, and this person is not singing. This person is just working, a little bit - there is not joke, there is no singing, he is a little bit - just working, and he is thinking about something. And then after two or three days he goes down and asks him to come up, and then he says: „What is the matter? Are you unwell, or are you sick or something like that, or is there a problem? Because usually you sing a lot, and you are very happy, but the last few days I saw that you are not that happy, I do not see you singing and joking and things like that“. Then he said: „Well, actually in a way it is true, I started to thinking the last few days, because I found this big silver thing. Before I did not have anything to think, I just worked, and just feed myself, and there was nothing to look foreward to, or no plans, nothing, I did not have to think anything. So I was happy, before I found this big silver thing. But last few days, then I started thinking that maybe I have a chance, maybe I will become very rich, maybe if I invest this, and then I do some business, so therefore I have been thinking, how to do this the best way, so all these things I have been thinking, and so therefore I forgot to sing.“ So then this man said: „It is really true that this is the cause of my problem“. So he immediately left everything to his sons and then went away, and went to the retreat.
Q: Rinpoche, I have something to say. This Tara was given to you, and the other things, to bless them, and the woman to whom the Tara belongs, she asks you to fill it.
A: It is yours? To fill this, I do not have the mantras at the moment, but I will do a short one, quick.
So we have been talking about the six Paramitas, and of the from the six Paramitas, we have been discussing about the first one, which is the Paramita of giving. In this we were going to discuss this Paramita in seven points, and we have gone through more or less the first four points, that is 1. to be aware of the benefits of giving and the false of not giving, then 2. what is the nature of giving, or giving Paramita, and 3. what are the different categories, and 4. what are the two explanation of these three.
Now there is the fifth point, which is how do we increase, or how do we multiply the power of giving, or the benefit of giving. It is said that this giving, there is through skillful means, we can multiply it, that is what is said in the Sutras. It is said (tib: sharipush ....), this is the Buddha`s words, sharipu is Shariputra, one of his students, best students, and he said: Shariputra, the Bodhisattva`s, or in the Bodhisattva`s teachings, in the Bodhisattva`s Pitakas - This is said: „Shariputra, a good Bodhisattva, a learned Bodhisattva can make a small giving into a big giving.“ This is what he said. So how do we do that?
This is three, the three ways. The first is through motivation, through inspiration, aspiration, through wisdom, and through dedication. Through these three ways, we can multiply it. Now the first one is aspiration, this is regarded as most important. This is discussed not only when we talk about giving, but everything that we do, everything that we practice, every Dharma-practice, or anything that we do positive, or even negative. We said that it depends how the thing we do, how we actually do, becomes even a positive thing or a negative thing depends very much on our motivation, on our aspiration.
Even if it is a positive one, even if it is a positive aspiration, or a positive motivation, how big or how great this particular positive thing becomes, even a small positive action can actually become a big, great positive action, or a seemingly very big positive thing also can become not so big, a small one, because of our aspiration. Therefore the bigger the aspiration, the more stronger the aspiration towards the large - in order to benefit a large number of beings, in order to have the greater kind of benefits, then accordingly the positiveness of that practice also increases. So therefore they say that if you want to - even a small act of goodness, or a small act of virtue or positiveness, if you want to make it a very big, then you start with the best possible aspiration, which is the Bodhicitta.
I think we have discussed this many times before here and elsewhere also, but Bodhicitta, as you know, is a very strong aspiration, wish, motivation, whatever you call it, that I would like to benefit, I would like to eradicate the sufferings, sufferings of not just one or two beings, but every sentient being, every being. Not leaving even one behind. And all these beings, I want to get rid of suffering, and not just little suffering, but every suffering, completely, not just this kind of suffering or that kind of suffering, or this kind of problem or that kind of problem, but every problem there is ever, so all the problems for all the beings to eradicate.
And then not just that I want all the beings to have no suffering at all, but I want all the beings to have happiness and joy and positive qualities and positive things. And also that also not just a little bit of positive, or a little bit of joy, or a little bit of happiness, but the complete happiness, the highest ever possible happiness and joy and goodness, I wish that to all the sentient beings. That is Bodhicitta, and if I wish that from the bottom of my heart, that is the Bodhicitta, because you cannot have a better wish than that, you cannot have a grander wish - unlimited object, unlimited good you wish, for unlimited time. I do not want this just for a short time, but I want it for all the time, to all the beings. So if that is the motivation, then the what we call the genuine, the highest attitude, the highest aspiration of a Bodhisattva, Bodhicitta.
So now what we try to do in the practice is that we try to - we say this, or we try to think this way, or we try to say that whatever I do, good things I do, I do it so that this may happen. I want all the sentient beings completely eradicated or completely dispell all their sufferings and causes of sufferings, I wish that they get complete happiness, and I want this to all the beings, I want this for all the time, to them. In order to do that, then I would like to do something, and I would do this, maybe a giving, maybe a flower, maybe just a little bit, whatever, maybe a big thing. So this is the first thing, motivation. So through good motivation, aspiration, then, if it is genuinely motivation, then it becomes real positive thing.
A Tibetan kind of joke comes into my mind, but maybe it is not relevant here. It is not really relevant, but if you want, I can say. (Audience: Yes, please!) This is this Tibetan saying: You give a horse - what is the translation? - you give a horse to the greedy Lama, you give a sheep to a good-hearted monk, you give a cup of yogurth to the liberating yogi. It is said that it so happened, that once there was a man dying, a man died, of a very kind of rich family, and then this rich family went to the very high Lama, and asked him to come to do the prayers. But this Lama came with golden hats and borcades and clothes and very nice horse and retinue, and then he did the prayer, and they gave him a horse. But actually this Lama was just looking for „What they will give me?“, he was not very much - so he could not that much help. So he was only a little bit greedy.
But then he had a monk, who had a very genuine poistive heart, so he really was wishing that, although maybe he did not have that much power, or that much to completely liberate this dead being, but he had a very genuinely positive heart, and he prayed, and he did all these prayers very well. But they gave him only a sheep.
Then, when they left, a pilgrim came. He was very badly dressed, carrying a very heavy load on his back, just a pilgrim came. And he said: Can you give me somewhere to sleep? And they said: Alright, come in. But our father died, can you say some prayers? He says: Oh yes, I will try to say some prayers. And actually he was a very attained yogi, so he actually liberated this person, he did Phowa and things like that. But they did not give him anything, they gave him a cup of yogurth.
So that is why I said that it has maybe no connection with it. I do not know why it comes into my mind, but - what is the connection? (Audience: Because of the prayers. Because of the aspiration. Aspiration with which the prayers were done) Anyway, does not matter. (Audience: Aspiration does not always pay off) Yes, that is the main thing. You cannot see the aspiration, but aspiration makes the - maybe this story is not really relevant, but does not matter.
And then the second one - so therefore this aspiration makes it, this is always said so, whether something is very positive or negative, from the Buddhist point of view, your action is really depending on your aspiration, on your motivation, that is the main understanding. And then aspiration the higher, the bigger, the more benficial, or maybe you can call it more stronger aspiration, then the more greater positive it is.
Then the second way of increasing, mutliplying the positive dead is the sherab, that is the wisdom. Anything that you do with real insight, real wisdom, then becomes a Paramita, so therefore it becomes a very great positiveness. So therefore, whatever you do, you try to - first in the beginning of course little bit of our, as much as possible, our understanding, but later on with this kind of - what can you say - with the view, with the insight, if you can do it with that, or within that scope of the wisdom, then it becomes really liberating and really completely - what can you say - transcendental. So therefore the understanding of the true nature of our mind and true nature of the phenomena is therefore regareded as the key-point, from the Buddhist point of view.
When we talk about this wisdom, and about the phenomeny, and about the true nature of things, true nature of beings, and true nature of mind, when we talk from this Madyamika point of view, Mahamudra point of view, Dzogchen - all this different kind of things, it is not just a philosophy, it is the experience. And therefore it is, from a Buddhist point of view - of course we will talk about this when we go to the wisdom part, but the real liberating thing, the real thing that really transforms your state of mind from the Samsaric to the enlightened, is this wisdom. So therefore this is regarded as the most important thing, and so therefore we always try to, trough meditation, through understanding, through different ways, we try to generate this wisdom.
So even if you cannot, we cannot have the full insight and full understanding of this, we at least try to see that we are not too much kind of grasping at these things. And then sometimes there is even this meditation, like - slight (?) meditation, that we see that everything becomes empty, and then out of the emptiness everything appears, so this is a very common method used in most of the Sadhanas, whether you do the Chenrezig practices, or Tara practices, or whatever, we say: (om shine tam benza subhava emha go ham), which means: everything becomes Sunyata. And out of this emptiness, something appears. So this a little bit of training towards that end, that first we say: Everything disolves, everything disolves into kind of nothingness, and then out of nothingness, things appear, so that our usual way of seeing things as completely solid and completely independent and completely uncompromising you can say becomes a little bit softened. So therefore we see the interdependence way of being, little bit interdependence, little bit interconnectedness, this is what the wisdom is. We will discuss this afterwards.
And then the third point is the dedication. So whatever we do, whatever we give, whatever kind of giving we exercise, so at the end we try to dedicate the merit of this merit to again, the same way as the aspiration, as kind of Bodhisattva, Bodhicitta way as possible. I dedicate this small merit, whatever they may be, towards all the sentient beings, that they may become completely enlightened, and whatever - the same as the aspiration. So this also is the - they say that if you do something positive, and if you do not dedicate it, or if you dedicate it for a samll thing, then that small thing may happen, maybe not now, maybe some time after, may happen, and then the power of that positiveness is finished, and there is only this much power. But if you dedicate it for a big cause, then the power of that positiveness does not finish till that is achieved. It kind of lingers, it still multiplies, till that happened. It positive result comes again and again, till that is happened.
So that is the understanding. So therefore, with the skillful means of the Bodhisattva path, then the small thing that you do can also be multiplied many million fold. So therefore this these three things are a very important practice. So therefore all the practices, whether it is in Mahayana or in Vajrayana, it is the same thing, every practice is done within this three - what can you say - within this three thing, within these three principles. Therefore this is an important thing. It is not just for giving.
Then we come to the sixth point, and that is how to maintain the purity of the giving, and that is through compassion and wisdom, compassion and wisdom inseparable, in union, they say. If you have compassion, then it never becomes a kind of negative, it becomes completely positive, and if it is supported by wisdom, then it becomes a means to liberate from the Samsaric state of mind. So therefore, if anything, or this is not particularly only for giving, but any particular practice you do, any particular positive thing you do, if it is supported by wisdom and compassion together, then it is always going in the - not only the right direction, but in a big way the right direction. So that is the pure. Whether this is pure or not, depends on - or how pure is, how pure, can be judged from these two.
And then we come to the result, the seventh point is the result of giving, and the result of giving is - I mean, I do not think we need to discuss this too much, but - in the long run, in the
end - more immediately. The long run is of course, by perfecting the Paramita of giving, this is the Buddhist understanding - I do not know whether this is really relevant, but when you perfect the giving, you become the first Bhumi, you get the first Bhumi, and eventually the enlightenment. But for the short term they say, there will be no poverty, you get whatever is needed, and then everybody loves you - of course, if you give them, and then you are always in a kind of protected, and never wanting, or never wanting means never in scarcity and things like that. That is the general explanation.
But also, I have heared this from many different sources, that people who are very, who has had lots of difficulties, disabled, or feels very lonely and completely isolated, this kind of people, then they started, due to some reason or another, they started to come out, and they started to do something for others, or think of doing something for others, and then they say immediately their life changed. And then the more you kind of thought about doing something, helping in a way different kind of ways, but whatever, to do something for the others, then your kind of life completely changes, it became totally different, and the feeling of isolation, feeling of unable to do anything and things like that disappeared, and they become very confident and more happier and better. This is I think expressed and experienced by lots of people.
So I think there is lots of truth in it. If you just think about yourself and your problems, then it becomes too much, it becomes bigger. If you have one problem, and only I think about that problem, and then it becomes bigger and bigger and bigger. And especially if you just think about yourself or your future, like „oh, if I lose this, if I lose that, if that happens ...“, then you become more and more scared, and more and more - „if I become sick, if I become old, and nobody is around me, or everybody leaves“ - there is no end to the imagination. You can think all the bad things, and might happen also. Maybe not, maybe yes, there is a possibility. So therefore you can get scared, you can get panicy, you can get all negative things.
But if you start thinking little bit other way, if you do not think too much of ourselves, and then try to think little of others, „What can I do. What can I do to help somebody“. Especially some people say that if you make a - especially if you are that kind of people, too much worrying about yourself, and too much thinking about, or too much feeling isolated and lonely, then, if you start thinking about making a commitment of saying „I would do one good thing in a day, in order to ...“, little bit, whatever, do something for somebody, for the others. And you start to think this, and then they say that it becomes quite changed. Instead of being lonely and feeling bad and feeling completely - you become more outworldly, more altruistic, in a way more active, and thereby more compassionate and more happy. So this is I think - also maybe you can say is a result of giving. This is something we can see in our life also.
So that is more or less about giving, and if there are any questions. I do not think I have covered everything, but I think it does not matter.
Once I read a book, some of you have heared this from me, once I read a book called „How to become richer quicker“, and in this book - the book was really good, but one thing still I remember, there were many things, many chapters on „the sure way of getting richer quicker“, many sure methods of getting richer quicker. This man who wrote the book, he said he studied all the very successfull and rich people, and what methods they applied to become rich so quickly. And he said that there was - the General Motors became rich very quickly it seems - did it? So he said that the motto of the General Motors was this: „Give more of what people want, and give less of what they do not want“. He said that if you adopt this policy, then you become rich very quickly. So thought this was very - a little bit like - you know - so maybe the only difference between a good business man and a good Bodhisattva is the motivation. Maybe they are doing the same thing - „what they want, what they need“ - all the time, „how can I sell them?“ But the motivation is to get more profit.
So, that is all. No more about giving.
So that is all? You want to go home? You want to go to bed? But your bed I have heared are quite cold. My place is warm. I think about you, but I do not feel guilty. (Q: You do not give it away?) No, unless I get a better one.
Q: Maybe it is stupid, but it is about dedication. One dedicates after the practice, and sometimes my practice is very poor, I feel like I am dedicating nothing, I feel like I am trying to give something I do not have.
A: No, it does not matter, because you dedicate not just that particular thing you did, but when you dedicate, you dedicate all the good things you have done in the past, present and future. You say: „All these things that I do now, all the good things that I have done in the past, all these things that I might do in the future, all these I dedicate“, every time you do. That is the usual way, that is in the prayer.
And even if you have not done a very good practice, you at least tried. So that what I tried - And maybe because of the dedication your practice may become very good.
Q: After the dedication sometimes I put some private wishes, is this OK?
A: O yes, this is OK.
Q: Do they come true?
A: Maybe, we do not know. This is the usual way of doing, the tradition is: First you make this big dedication, and then you go smaller and smaller and smaller. First you say „May all the sentients become enlightened“, then you say „may the world have peace and prosperity and happiness and everything“, and then „may Germany have all these things“, and then „may Karma Tengyal Ling have all these things“, and then „may I!“ So you say the most important thing at the last.
So you have understood what the prayer says. This is the kind of what we have been talking about yesterday also. Most of you are very familiar with it, but this is the usual way that is recommended in Buddhism, especially in Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, that to remind ourselves of this aspiration, before every practice we do, before every prayer, before whatever we do, especially the positive ones, then to remind ourselves of this aspiration. So it is also tradition, it is actually very much part of the tradition, that before giving any teachings also, that the teacher first reminds of this, that all the sentient beings -
there is a way of saying, but does not matter, it is like „All the sentient beings, who have been our mothers, or who are like our mothers, I would like them to get rid of all the problems and sufferings, and have them attaine all the possible highest happiness and peace, which is the perfect enlightenment. I would like to help myself attain that for all the sentient beings, and towards that end, to contribute towards that end, I would listen to this teachings and try to put some of them into my practice, for that I am here, for that I would like to do this particular weekend, particular teaching, particular practice. So with that intention I am here.“
This is the kind of intention that one tries to generate, because it is said to be very important, because we are usually very much distracted and overcome by all other different kinds of emotions and thoughts and different kinds of influences, so therefore it is not completely natural that this kind of intention comes in us all the time. So therefore we intentionally generate this, intentionally say the words, then think about it and try to feel it. So by doing that, it is kind of training, it is training towards that, trying to generate that.
So therefore all the prayers in Buddhism are a little bit like this, as last time somebody was asking me: „Whom are we praying these things?“ Sometimes in Buddhist prayers you will find nobody to pray to, just the prayer „I wish it happen like this, like this, like ... may all sentient beings be happy ...“. To whom are you praying? That is a very important point to understand, that in the Buddhist way of thinking, of course there are - you can pray to also, there are Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and all the enlightened beings and beings at very different stages, who are not in the Samsaric state, or even if they are in the Samsaric state, very positive beings, who have abilities to help and things like that - but that is not the main thing.
So therefore when we are praying something, we are praying more - it is a wish, it is a strong intention, it is a strong more or less dedication, that by the merit, by the result of whatever good things, whatever positive things that I have done in the past, that I will do in future, that I am doing in the present moment, but the power of all of these positive deeds - because whatever comes comes through reasons and through causes and through the - what can you say? - through the auspicious coincidences, and a collection of different causes and effects, then this comes. So therefore a positive deed with a positive prayer is said to be one of the very strong causes.
And then also, you do not say that just because of mine, but also by the prayers and dedications and the compassion and wisdom of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and enlightened beings and those on the path, lineage and things like that, of the past, all of their prayers - because their prayer is the same, their intention and aspiration and then dedication is the same - so therefore by the power of all of them, may my prayers be answered. It is not really answered, here there is the - it is not - when you say „get the prayers be answered“, there is a kind of background (?) understanding that I am praying to something, and this being is answering your prayer, and then ... It is not - the prayer be accomplished, my aspiration be accomplished. So that is the main understanding.
Actually that is why - you know this, many Lamas say, when they give the teachings, that Buddhism, if you want to make it very simple, it is very simple, if you want to make it very complicated, it is very complicated. If you want to make it very simple, then the whole thing is: Just have a very good heart, kind and compassionate heart, develop that, and that is all. There is nothing much complicated, that includes everything. That is why His Holiness Dalai Lama also says again and again that „My religion is very simple, my religion is just kindness“. That I think is - talking about this Bodhicitta, Bodhisattva`s attitude, and this aspiration. So therefore, it is actually in a way the most crucial thing. When we talk about other things, like lots of difficult things and complicated things, but when you really come down to it, it is this. And if you are doing lots of other things, and very complicated, it is not there, the practice is not there.
It is not even - we do not know whether it is a Buddhist practice or not. But if this aspiration, this Bodhicitta is there, then everything is there. So therefore Patrul Rinpoche says again and again: „If this is there, that is enough. If this is not there, then it is not enough. There is nothing else can substitute this“. And he says: „There is no teachings in the Buddha which is not included in the Bodhicitta. All the teachings of the Buddha actually comes down to this, and all the teachings of the Buddha comes out to this. It is related with this, comes out of this, and it is all included in this. I looked into the Pitakas, I looked into the commentaries, I do not find any teaching which is outside of this.“ That is what Patrul Rinpoche says.
So therefore: If this is there, everything is there. If we do not have this attitude, you do not have the Bodhicitta, then it is no use doing all these practices, it is better that you just sit in a warm corner - he says this: Have a sunbath of your belly. That is the Tibetan way. In Tibet it is very cold, as you know, so usually people, especially the elderly people, make a wall, most of the time with cow-dung, but does not matter, and then you sit there, with a pot of tea - that is important, with a real peak (?) tea, with lots of butter, butter tea, we call it (cha njak pa), it is really like soup, a tea like a soup, a pot of tea like soup - and then have a nice sunbath of your belly. They do not have this notion of tanning, so they are not bothered about their skin very much. They are only bothered about their belly. The belly has to be warm.
If you are drinking your cold water, Tibetans do not feel it that good. Now they are learning a little bit, how to drink hot water. But hot water is said to be very important. This is not relevant, but if you want - you know it is said in the medicine books that the first patient was a person called Manu, the first illness was indigestion, the first medicine was boiled water. So if you have indigestion, if you cannot digest very well, your stomach is not good, then this is the best thing. I remember once my mother getting sick, and then the doctor said: You have to drink two or three mugs of hot water. She was trying to drink it, and she was feeling vomiting, it is too bad - it is alright (pointing to his own cup of hot water).
So now we come to the second Paramita, that is the - sometimes you translate as the Paramita of disciplins, Paramita of ethics, Paramita of morality, Paramita of right action, positive action. The Tibetan word for it is (tsül trim), „tsül“ means (tsül dun tünpa), „tsül“ means (tsül jinto): according to the right way, or accordingly, according to the right direction, according to the (tsul dan tengpa). And „trim“ is like law, order, disciplin. A disciplin that is according to the right way. And then the Sanskrit word for it is „Shila“. „Shila“ is more or less like positive action, good action. It comes from cool, coolness, actually „Shil“, „Shital“ is kind of giving coolness. Cool here is - I think in India cool is very nice word, it gets rid of the heat, the scorching heat, and things like that, so it refreshed and cold and things like that.
So this is also described here with the seven points. First the benefit of observing the Shila, and the harm or the fault of not observing it. Then to identify what is the Shila, or what is this good action. And then the different categories of this. And then the describing of these different categories. Then how to increase it, how to keep it pure. And then lastly the results. I think first here it is mentioned about the benefit of observing this, but then I think we have to understand first actually the nature of it. I do not know, maybe we can just go according the book.
So it says that the first, the benefit of keeping the Shila - I mean this is again very important to understand, from the buddhist point of view, it is very very important to understand that if you talk about the moral conduct and then the disciplin and the ethics, the buddhist ethics is not something which is - what can you say? - a divine command, which is not something that: This are the nine or ten or eleven things, that somebody made for you, and if you are abiding by that, then - if you do not abide, then you are punished. It is not like that.
These are from buddhist point of view, the action itself, to identify the actions - because the main understanding, as we have discussed before also, the main understanding is that some actions, or some way of being, thinking, causes more suffering, and some causes more happiness and joy and good things for ourselves and for others. So therefore the definition of positive action and negative action is: Those actions, or those activities and thoughts, which causes suffering and problem, to yourself and to others, is regarded as a negative action, a negative activity. And those actions which causes more joy and happiness and better way of life, or better state of being, that is called the positive. So the positive and negative is totally because of how this different actions may cause or result into this different kind of actions, or effects. So therefore it is not a kind of law made from the divine authority, but it is the natural way. Whether you believe in it, whether you do not believe it, it does not make any difference, that those kind of actions which causes more suffering is negative, those actions which causes is positive.
So therefore the whole point of the teaching is to make us understand, to make us aware and to make us to learn or to try to understand, what kind of actions and things would be causing more good things, and what kind of actions is causing more bad things, to ourselves and to others, harm to others and ourselves, benefit to ourselves and others. So therefore if we can see this clearly, or more clearly, then that is what - the Dharma`s work is finished, to give this. So it is up to us, now we know that this different kind of actions is going to cause this, this, this, and this kind of action might cause this, this, this. So therefore then it is completely up to us, what kind of actions we would like to follow. So therefore all these moral kind of ethics is totally based on a voluntary thing. The Buddha just gives the way. If you do this, this, this, these are the results. And if you do this, this, this, these are the results. So this is good for this, this is good for this.
It is an interesting way of doing, but it is even in the calendars you will find, the almanachs, and astrology. There will be written, like: This day is very good for robbery, or this day is very good for marriage, this day is very good for auspicious deeds, and this day is very good for negative deeds. It is never written: This is day is a bad day. It is just - every day is good something. So in a way it is in the same way. So it is up to us whether we want to do the good things or the bad things, what kind of result we want. So that is the whole structure.
That is why it is in here, the first things is by observing the Shila, or observing the Tsultrim, is the things that to refrain from doing those which is leading us to have more problem, and then doing something that will lead us to more help to ourselves and others. So therefore, so if we keep this, if you keep to this kind of discipline, or this rules, or things like that, then it would lead us to more and more peace, more and more environment where we can be more progress, or become better beings, more helpful to ourselves and more helpful to others as well. So if we do not do those things, and do something else, then we might become - we are actually gathering causes to be unhappy and have problematics, so therefore then we are bound to become like that. Nobody can do anything about it. So that is the whole understanding of Karma, and then the whole understanding of this moral disciplin also.
To understand how important it is to - it is not just enough, this is the understanding, it is just not enough to just pray, and it is not just enough to have a very good, nice and high philosophy, and high view. If our life is organised, if our work and life and everything is created in such a way that it is all creating trouble and problem and tension and things like that, then that will happen, whatever high philosophies and views and things like that we have or not. So this is the main understanding of this, that it is very important to be aware and careful how our decisions on the way we act is done. That is why it is very important.
That is why Guru Padmasambhava used to say again and again: You should have a very high and deep view and insight and philosophy, but your actual action, moral actions, you should have a very minute and very - what can you say? - very ground (movement with his hands of grinding between his hands) way of doing. Maybe that is not clear. The words say is this (ta wa nam ka le to, shö pa pa she we shup), that is what he said. (ta wa nam ka le to) means: Your view should be higher than the sky, very high, very broad, very - does not matter, whatever happens, very broad. But your action has to be very minute, more fine than flour. meaning that every little action you have to see, otherwise you just do whatever, „I am very highly - my view is very high, my philosophy is very deep, so I do whatever“ - and then you get the consequences of your actions. So that high view is alright, but you are trapped in your own actions. So all these problems of your actions come to you. Especially for those who have high views, Guru Padmasambhava warns. If you are really liberated, then it is a different matter maybe, but otherwise, you have to balance this. Otherwise you say that everything is non-conceptual, everything is emptiness, so you go and do whatever, all the crazy things. And then you get into trouble. So that is the understanding.
Also he says that (tawa jense shöpa menense), he says that for the view and the meditation, the higher you go, you go higher and higher, but for the actual action of your disciplin, you go down and down, means that the more you progress, the more you become minute, more become fine, more discerning, seeing things more clearly, even little things, negative things, that would harmful to others and ourselves, you do not do it, and things like that. So that is the main understanding of this. First knowing what is causing what. And this, the cycle of action and reaction, is there as long as you have the - as long as you are a samsaric being. So therefore, unless you are completely enlightened - then of course you would not do anything negative, because there is no need, but otherwise, till then, the cause and effect is very strong, so therefore we have to see. Everybody wants to have good things, but then how do we get this? Most of the time, we want to do something good, but then, if you do something, the bad kind of negative way and the negative result comes, so we get entrapped, so therefore this is the main understanding of this morality.
So therefore now, we come to the second, this disciplin, what is this disciplin, or this kind of tsultrim, shila. Now this is - the first thing, as we have discussed, is to recognize and be aware that these are kind of actions are causing problem, and these are the actions which cause more good. But then we also accept, with acceptance, that we are not all the time doing the positive thing. If we are naturally doing only positive thing, and have no inclination to do anything negative, then maybe this is not necessary, that disciplin, there is no need to disciplin anything, it is just natural. But because we are not like that, because we are inclined to do things which, even we know that that may cause problem and that may not be the most right thing to do. So therefore, when we are aware that this not a positive action, this is causing harm to ourselves and others, and then we try to refrain from that, that is the disciplin. With this understanding, voluntarily, and to help that - this is the whole thing, first you understand what are the - there are like for instance - this is the thing, as we have discussed earlier also, Buddhism is very simple, if you want to make it simple: Try to do whatever good you can do, whatever help you can do, whatever good to all others, but even if you cannot do that good, try not to harm. That is the main - one word about shila is: Try to do as much good as possible, but even if you cannot do that good to others and yourselvs, try not to do anything that causes harm, as much as possible. That is the main understanding.
So then, now, that is why we have all these different kinds of precepts, for instance. We have, in the Vinaya for instance we have first the refuge, that is not really kind of a precept, it is more like direction. Then we have the Upasika, the household precept - or actually this one day precept, first we have this one day precept, what is called as (Nyingne), then we have this Nyungne, that is not really in the Vinaya, but that is later on. I think we did this explanation of Nyungne - was it last year? So I do not need to talk about that. So this Nyingne is just one day, it is observing certain rules and certain disciplin for just one day.
And then we have the Upasika, or the (Genyen) precepts, which is five, if you become a full Genyen. But then it is not necessary that you take all five. You try to take first one, or two, or any of the three, or any of the four, or any of the five altogether also. So this is to - with the acceptance that as we can and we want to go foreward with this, then we take them, one, two, three, four, five - it is not that if you take just one, or if you do not take any of them, you are very bad. It is not like that. But as much as you want to do, as much as you are required to do, for yourself, you think that this is very important for me, and then it helps you.
Because here, this (Tsultrim ching no de), the nature of the precepts is that you make a promise to yourself, a kind of commitment to yourself, that because this, this, this actions causes problem and negative for myself and for others, so therefore I will try to refrain from doing those things. So when you make this promise to yourself, especially in front of somebody else, then it becomes something like - it becomes more binding, it becomes more strong, it becomes more real. It is a decision, actually. And so therefore, if you make a decision, then usually we do not go back, when you make a full decision. That is the whole thing.
It is the same thing as like giving up bad habits, like smoking or drinking and things like that. It always happens, I have seen very clearly, that those people who make a real decision „I am smoking too much, it is very bad for my health, and maybe bad for the others also“ - sometimes people say that passive smoking is more injurious to the health - whatever it may be - so you say that this is no good, it does not give any good for me, it is only bad for me, so therefore there is no reason why I do not stop it. It is me who is doing it, nobody is pointing a gun at you and asks you to smoke. So therefore I say: „I do not smoke, alright. I stop smoking“, so you stop smoking. Of course there is this habit, so you feel like smoking sometimes, so you are a little bit nervous for a few days. Then it is alright. Of course you dream about it, maybe, a few days, maybe you dream that you are smoking, and you think: „Oh, I have broken my promise!“
So this decision, I have seen all the time, with many many people, that when they make this real decision, then they really keep it, then not problem, they can do it, and after some time then they have no problem, even do not feel like. But those people who are hesitant, „Maybe I can stop, maybe I cannot stop, let me see whether I can or not for a few days“, those people never stop, those people cannot do it, because they are hesitant, they have not made the decision, they just - .
So this is the same way. If somebody really sees that this what I want to do, this is good for everybody, and keep on doing this negative things is not good at all, so I do not do it. So that is the kind of taking the precepts.
Usually there are ten, we talk about these ten negative deeds and ten positive deeds naturally in Buddhist way of doing, which is a little bit like Christian ten - what they call it? Not ten commandments? Ten commendements they call it? A little bit like that. They say that this - I think most of you know about this - all of you know about this? The ten negative actions, the ten positive actions? Everybody know? (not everybody) Alright. We go through it very very quickly.
First it is described as the ten negative actions, because first we try to refrain from doing the negative. This is the main understanding of this Buddhist - all these disciplines, that first, at least we try to refrain from doing the negative. And then, if we can, we do the positive also. That is the way. It does not mean that you do not do any positive, just trying to get out of negative, but refraining from the negative is also positive in a way.
So therefore we talk about these four negative deeds of the three of the body, four of the speech, and three of the mind, that is what we call the ten negative actions. So three negative actions of the body are killing, stealing and sexual misconduct. Then the four negative deeds of the speech are telling a lie, then slandering - you go between two friends and say: he is saying so and so against you, and then you go to him: she is saying so and so bad things, so you make these two friends quarrel. Or even if it is to enemies or whatever!
And then three negative things of the mind, that is (nabchen döchen), (nabchen) ist that you want - if somebody has something „I should have this, he should not have this, but I should have this. I should do something so that I get this from him“ (Q: envy?) Envy - it is not really envy, what is the word? (Greedy?) No, no. (Jealousy?) Yes, it is coming from jealousy, but not just kind of jealousy, but „I would like to have this“. Anyway, whatever - the German word you know? (Neid? Nein, zu envy hat er schon nein gesagt. Mißgunst? Habgier? Q: They want to know is it if you always feel like not getting enough, so you want all things) No, no, it is just that whatever others have, you want it yourself. (And you cannot stand them having it) Yes (Mißgunst). And then (döchen), that is hatred, „I want to harm this person or that person“, this hatred. And then (loka), that is the wrong attitude, wrong view we can call it. Very wrong view - like if you think that if you kill all these beings, it is very good for them, or something like that, completely wrong way of thinking. So these three are the mental negativities. So to refrain from them is the -.
And then to do the good, the positive things is like - instead of killing, giving life, or saving life. Instead of stealing, giving what the people need, helping. Instead of having this negative sexual misconduct, you just help people, and you be kind, not forcing, but being very good to each other, or having a good, disciplined way of life. And then instead of telling lies, telling the truth. Then instead of making separation by slandering, trying to bring people together, bring harmony, bring cooperation, and bring friendship, through different ways. You talk good about others, you talk good between friends. Then instead of having harsh words and hurting words, you speak nicely and softly, so that people are not just hurt, but feel good. Then instead of just gossipping, you speak helping words, comforting words, purposeful talks and purposeful discussions. So these are the four positive deeds of the speech. And then the three positive is, instead of feeling that what we just discussed, which we do not know the word, feeling envy and things like that, feeling rejoycing. If somebody has something, you feel very good about it. You wish that this person has even more, good fortune and things like that. And instead of feeling hatred and want to harm, feeling love and kindness. And then instead of having the wrong view, trying to generate the right view and try to have a broad mind, and try to see things clearly. So these are the ten virtuous deeds. This is very general. This is usually.
But then when you take the vows, we do not have these ten vows like that, it is also included, but in the Vinaya level, first we have these five precepts, and then like that.
If you have any questions, you can ask.
Q: I have a question refering to yesterday`s Paramita, is that okay? I was wondering how it is to give, to pass on what I feel is a merit for myself, from feeling joy. When I feel very joyful, very happy, because of things happening, I feel that it is a big deal of energy, flowing through me, mentally and physically, and I feel very good, and I wonder how I can make this beneficial for other beings as well. The question all in all is, is it possible to make the energy which comes with any kind of emotion beneficial for others.
A: You try that. There is nothing wrong
Q: And how do I do it?
A: Oh, you try whatever way you can. But I think if you feel good, if you have the different reasons to feel good, then maybe it is good, in any different way you can, to - what can you say? - to transfer you can call it, or to transmit, or radiate - I think if you are happy yourself in a way, that is in a way itself is a little bit of giving, because if you are yourself happy and joyful, then you make the person next to you also a little bit joyful, and then maybe you can give a chain of - .
Sometimes you can send a chain of good actions. Recently I read an article in Readers Digest, and this person was, he went to somewhere, I do not remember now, maybe Australia, or somewhere in Mexico, or somewhere like that, and then he broke his car and could not do anything. So he did not know what to do. So he was walking down to find some help. Then there were some farmers, and he said: „Can you help somehow? Where is the telefon? Where can I find somebody to repair this car?“ And they said: „Well, it is a little bit far, but take my truck and go.“ So he was pleasantly shocked. He said: „Really? Can I really take the truck?“ He says: „Oh yes, why not. You take the truck and go, and then bring it back.“ So he took the truck and went back, and did the whole thing, very happy, was very really happy, lots of problems solved, because he had to reach somewhere very important.
And then, after a few years, then they found the same situation, somewhere, in America or something like that. And they gave their car to this person. And he was really first completely shocked, but then he took it, and then he was so happy, and returned. Then they said: „Now we have given back that kindness.“ It is a nice, it is not as I tell, it is much nicer. So in way, this also kind of - and sometimes, when you are nice and joyful, then even if it is like you smile to somebody, that makes the person happier, and that person might again smile to somebody else. There is no need to be (makes grumpy face) all the time.
And then of course there are different kinds of practices also, like even this practices we do in Chenrezig and other Sadhanas, there is always this what we call as the (vejer chedur), radiating lights, or receiving lights, which is also the same. We try to radiate lights, then receive the blessings and enlightened kind of joy and things like that from all the enlightened beings, and then again radiate it to all the sentient beings, and all the sentient beings are being healed. This kind of things. These days sometimes people do a little bit of this kind of things, what they call Reiki and different kind of healing things, but this is already there in a way. So this kind of things also. Any different way, I think, it is a way of giving.
Q: I was wondering if I could do that for example with just the pure energy of for instance being impatient. It feels as if it is – it is energy to feel any kind of emotion, that is how I feel it, and the energy seems to be always the same. You knwo what I mean? It is just how identify, might it be joy, might it be anger, might it be impatience or whatever. I was wondering if I could use the mere energy of maybe being impatient, which I am a lot, of course, if I could use it the same way ...
Rinpoche: So you want to give everybody the impatience?
Q: No, exactely that not. Maybe that is stupid, I do not know. But I felt, it is energy, one could pass it on, without making other people being impatient, but just for the good of it, in a transformed way – I do not know.
A: I think if you want to really share something good, or give something good, whatever way, that is in a way included in a little bit of giving, I think it is included. Whether somebody is receiving it or not, not always you can say, even if you try to give something very very good, maybe it is not received. So it is not maybe – that is an important point, but that is not always under your control. But your trying to give something, share something beneficial is within your control, so you try to, that is the understanding.
Of course, if you try to give something, if you know – or you have to see that whether this is something not benefitting or harming. You have to see also sometimes that you cannot give everything that you have, or something like that. Sometimes you give too much, people not feel – sometimes you have to be a little bit – what can you say? – wise.
Q: (long question asked in German) Rinpoche: I did not get anything.
Translator: Rinpoche, Anna was referring to the situation when one works together in a group of people, and of course all these people have different habits and all these things. She says that if for instance there was somebody in the group who was intriguing, as an example (Rinp: Intriguing means?), intriguing is to slander, in a way, how should one handle it, she asks. If it is important to react to it in order to stop the pain which the group has through this slandering, and how does one do it, without hurting the person who one has to talk to, if one does not want to use harsh words. Because wants to create a happier future in a sense. And she wonders – she thinks of course the proper way would be to watch the effects that one´s actions have towards that person, all in all, but she says sometimes maybe quick help might be needed. So how does one start?
Another one she added, that she thinks that harmony, to have or to keep harmony and to keep a balance sometimes arguments might be needed.
A: It is not according to my experience. Well, actually, arguments you can say, alright, but it depends on how you argue. I think it is always the case, it does not matter what you say, but how you say it. You can say the truth, you can say a quite bitter truth, and if you say it in a nice way, in a skillful way, then it it does not become that bitter. But even if you have nothing really bad to say, but if you say in a way, then – I think the first thing and most important thing to keep into consideration, especially in a group situation, is that everybody has their pride, everybody has their ego, which is the most important thing for everybody. It is really very important not to hurt their pride. Otherwise then you have become his enemy or her enemy. So you say that this person does not like me. The moment you have this idea, that this person does not like me, then whatever you say is taken the wrong way, even if you say it nicely. Then you say: „Why this person is being so nice to me?“ No? Therefore it is I think very important not to hurt the pride.
In a group situation, sometimes things go wrong, and sometimes things go well. Many people make mistakes. But I think it is not through just – I think to react too quickly is sometimes not good. React a little bit later is sometimes better. If you are doing something wrong, in that moment: „Grrrhh!“ and then that become „Grrrhh!“ and then „Grrrhh!“ (mimics fighting) – sometimes let something go wrong, it is alright, we are never perfect anyway, so something goes wrong does not – a little thing sometimes -. Most of the problems come from very little things, some little things like – I do not know, I do not want to give an example. Very little things. So therefore, if you let it be, and then lateron, then maybe you review, and then say: „Maybe that we did“ – you cannot say „you did“, we have to say „we did“, because it is all kind of toghether. Maybe was not the right way, maybe if we do it this way, maybe it is better. And I think it becomes better.
Especially I think it is very important when you have a meeting or something like that, it becomes not so good, it does not make it better, to completely pinpoint all the time the mistakes. You have to correct the things, but then not just saying: „you did this, that was wrong“, or something like that, but past whatever is done by whom, finished. But of course he will understand it, or she will understand it. Then „maybe we should do it like this better next time“ or something like that. So sometimes it is good to clear – of course we should try to clear the misunderstandings and things like that, but if you make it very very too clear, and insistently that „this person was doing this, between us“, and things like that, I think that also generates bad feeling, and then it is not useful.
So I think the answer is: patience.
Q: And skillful means?
A: And skillful means, yes, but I think this what you call „right way of approach“ is I think the most important things. Because you say something, but the same thing you say in many different ways, if you say with a real – what can you say? – nicely and kindly and with concern, and as your own concern how to improve things. I found that the same thing can be said so many different ways, and that is I think the important part.
Q: Anna says she thinks it is difficult to say the truth sometimes. When the feelings are not nicely, you say that nicely, many people hate each other, and they say: „Oh, it is nice, you are so lovely“, and you can feel it is a lie.
A: You do not have to say that, I think. But I mean – you need to tell the truth, but not necessarily like „I hate you“. No use! What is the use of - ?
Q: But to say: „Do not tell me you love me, because I get the feeling you hate me“, that might be the right thing.
A: No, that is really bad (laughs). I do not think that is a very good idea. That is even worse, I think. Then you are not only saying that „You hate me“, but you are also saying: „You are a liar“.
Q: Is it about accusing the other ...?
A: I think whether somebody likes you or do not like you is a different matter. It is not the question. If you are a group, maybe somebody does not like you, maybe somebody likes you, maybe you think that person does not like you, but maybe she in a way likes you also. But anyway, you are working together, so therefore maybe he or she does not like you because he or she does not understand you, but maybe he or she will like you after some time, if you are nice enough. Or maybe you said something or did something that did this person hurt a little bit, so therefore he or she does not particularly like you. But that does not matter. I think if somebody conduct his things, or her way, in a nice way – this is I think important thing to know, it is always said also, that you cannot make everybody like you, it is impossible. So if you are trying to make people like you, then that is no use, you cannot make people like you. The only way, the best way is try to do yourself as much as possible, the right way. So you try to be more better person, more skillful in dealing with, more kinder, more softspoken and well – not criticising, because criticising never brings good – not telling bad about anybody, trying to be kind to everybody, as much as possible, and try to do the good things. And then, if you are doing like that, I think most of the time – I mean, people – maybe they do not – nobody can like you right in the beginning, they do not know what you are doing. But slowly maybe people can like you more and more. And even if they do not like you, then the way you are doing is good enough, it is alright. At least you can work together.
So I think it is very important try to become an easy person to work with. I think that is a very good thing, not only it is easy in the group, but also from the Dharma point of view, I mean giving, promising lots of things, like „I wish all the people have happiness and causes of happiness“, this is a very high thing, but the first thing to do is that you make yourself not too difficult for everybody around you, no? You have to begin at your place, where you are. So if you are too difficult to the next person that you are with, then you (?) this „I want to help all the sentient beings“, but too difficult to be with this next person. It is kind of a little bit funny. So I think it is very important. Also for yourself. If you are easier, if you become a person who is easier to work with and easier to be with, it is much more comfortable for yourself. Then you can work with people more easily, and then their reaction towards you would be more positive, because you are easy with them, so they are easy with you, so there is more – So therefore I think it is very important to do that. If somebody does not like you, forget it. You do not know who is liking you. It does not matter if people like you or do not like you that much. If you always think about who is liking me, who is not liking me, then I think it creates lots of problem.
So we are going through the Six Paramitas, as according to the Jewel Ornament of Liberation by Gampopa, more or less, and we have gone through the first Paramita, that is the Paramita of giving, and now we are on the second Paramita, the Paramita of Right Action, Right Conduct. So out of these seven points, we talked a little bit about the first one, and the second is on what is actually the nature of this disciplin you call it, so this we talked a little bit. And here, when we talk about this disciplin that we take on as a precept, so that we try to disciplin, we try to observe the actions, or the refraining from doing things that we know is negative, this is kind of four points to it.
He says (parul ....), the precept that you have received, that you go and receive it from sombody, or say that in front of somebody, in the presence of somebody whom you respect, whom you have some kind of a connection or trust or something like that, then you say: „This is what I am going to do“. So this is the usual way of receiving the precepts and things like that.
And then second is that you have a good motivation. Not that you take these precepts with some ill motivation, or some negative motivation, because sometimes that is also possible. So trying to take or make sure that if you want to take some precepts, or some kind of a disciplin that you want to observe, then try to see that the motivation is pure.
Then the third is – now the third part is important, because there are always the ways of – what can you say? Of fulfilling or reviving, if you break some parts of this precepts you take, or you make some mistakes, it is not final, you always can revive it, you always can correct it, or repair it. So therefore, to know how to do it, and have the willingness and have this determination to repair it when something goes wrong. Because – now here, all through this things, you will see this trend, this understanding of very strong acceptance from the teachings how not perfect we are, how imperfect we are. So this is the basis. We have to accept the imperfectness of ourselves, we have to accept the weaknesses of ourselves, we have to see this. So therefore we will certainly break some sections of some things, and we are not always under our complete control, so therefore we make mistakes. But when you make a mistake, that is not the final thing. Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody should make mistakes in order to learn. Because if they do not make any mistakes, then you cannot – of course, ist is good if you never make any mistakes, but that is not possible. So therefore people would certainly make mistakes, so if you make a mistake, it is nothing completely shocking. It is not completely unusual or impossible. It hast to be - it can be repaired, and it has to be repaired, and that is the way.
But that does not mean to say, that is the fourth point, that does not mean that you do not care, you do not care at all, whether you make mistakes or whether you break this precepts, you do mistakes all the time. Then you never – it is useless, you do not take it too seriously, you do not take enough care. So therefore, although we will make mistakes, and when we make mistakes, we can revive it, we can correct it, we can completely repair it, but we also have to see that we do not make the mistake again and again and again, same mistake again and again. So therefore we have to show some kind of respect to the precept, we have to show our care and commitment to the precepts. And also the mindfulness, the mindfulness that we have. Because we understood that to observe this certain disciplins would be good for us, and would be good for everybody, so therefore we take it. But sometimes we make a mistake. But then we repair it. And then we say that we will take care that this things not done again and again. So these are the four points which is important when we take this kind of – any disciplin action, whether it is a precept, whatever kind of precepts there are, or disciplins there are, these four things are regarded as important things to remember and to dwell upon.
So then we come to the third point, how many categories of these positive action or right actions there are. So this is three.
I do not know how it is translated in other things, they are translated in different ways. The first is what is called as (damba, nyeshö damba), is more like disciplin, more refraining from doing negative things, but the precepts you take and things like that, the disciplin itself. This is the first one.
And the second is the accumulation of positive things, as you doing positive deeds. It is not necessarily a disciplin of refraining. The disciplin is usually a kind of saying „This I cannot do“, or – so it is more like refraining from doing negative things. And the second is doing the positive things and helping, positive things.
And the third is helping beings, doing the benefit of other beings, working for the benefit of other beings. So these three is taken as the main three categories. So therefore the fourth point is to describe these different three kinds of right conducts, or right actions.
The first I think more or less we have discussed. This is from the Bodhisattva`s path. As you all know, when we talk about this moral disciplin, when you take the Bodhisattva`s vows, usually you have to take at least minimum one Vinaya vow also, that is the usual way. These Three Yanas, maybe you all know, maybe not, these Three Yanas are kind of one upon another, one based on another. So the first is the Vinaya. Vinaya is the moral conduct level. So that is for the – you can call it Hinayana, but it is basic Buddhism. So that is the good conduct, or the disciplin, moral disciplin, ethics of this is called Vinaya, and precepts of this called Vinaya. So the Vinaya is the first thing.
In order to take the Bodhisattva – then after Vinaya, then Bodhisattvayana, that is the Mahayana. The Mahayana`s precepts, or the Mahayana`s disciplin, or the Mahayana`s action or practice is called Bodhisattvayana, Bodhisattva`s precepts.
And then the Vajrayana, Vajrayanan precepts, so these three.
So the first is the Vinaya. So therefore it is very much emphasized that if you – the Mahayana is very much based on the – whatever you call it, Hinayana, or – Theravada is not really the right – Theravada is name of a school, but whatever the – basic buddhist teachings. And without that, the Mahayanan is not there, so therefore it is based on that. So therefore when you take the Mayanan precepts, like Bodhisattva`s vow, as a basis for it, you have to take one, at least the minimum Vinaya vows. So for instance in order to take the Bodhisattva`s vows, at least you take the refuge, that is the understanding. So that is why before taking the Bodhisattva vow, you say that „I go refuge to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and for the sake of all the sentient beings“, and then I take the - . And then what actually happens is that all the Vinaya becomes in a way part of the Mahayana, a Bodhisattva`s vows, or Bodhisattva`s precepts.
In the same way is the Tantrayana, Vajrayana. So if you have to take the Vajrayana vows, then you must take the Bodhisattvayana vows as well. Unless you take the Bodhisattva vows, you cannot take the Vajrayanan vows, because it is based on it. Without the Bodhicitta, no Vajrayana. Then it is – maybe you can call it something else. So therefore these are three ways like that, it is based on each other, it is included within each other. In Vajrayana, all three are included, all three are accepted. In Mahayana, the Vinaya and all this Theravada teachings, or the Hinayana teachings is included and accepted. So this is the way.
So therefore this is talking about the Mahayana level. So therefore the (dombe tsultrim), the disciplin thing here talking about is the same as Vinaya. So if you want to take the minimum from this Vinaya, then it is maybe refuge, or maybe one of the five layman`s precepts, or all layman`s precepts, or whatever, or monk`s, or full monk`s, like Gelong, or whatever. On top of that, then there are certain Bodhisattvayana precepts also. The Bodhisattvayana`s precepts are mainly not to give up, first thing is not to give up sentient beings. That is the main thing, not to give up sentient beings. Meaning that this sentients beings, I would like to help the sentient beings, I would like to have them all get rid of their sufferings, and things like that. So therefore, if you really give them up, you say that „Even if I will have a time to help them, I would never help them“. If that kind of an intention arises, then you have given up the sentient beings. That is what we call – that is the main braking point. But in the Bodhisattvayana, or Bodhisattva vows, it is very gradual. It is very kind of – it is very gradual. So therefore it is up to you, you can take the – it is not like Vinaya, Vinaya is very like – what can you say? – very organised. Not organised – straight foreward: this you do, this is good, this you do, you break it. It is black and white, more or less. If I take these five precepts, it is five precepts. If I break it, I break it, things like that. Very – what can you say – there is not much of – you break it, then you break it, they say it is like an earthen pot, you throw the earthern pot on the rock, and then – broken, you cannot do anything about it, finished. That is the Vinaya thing. These are the precepts I take, and these are precepts I keep, and I break it, then I break it. Right from the beginning it is like that. So you are - very specific things that you take, and then - .
But in the Bodhisattvayana it is not exactely like that, it is gradual. You take the Bodhisattva`s vow, and then you start with very small thing, like this good intention. And then slowly, slowly, the more you can do, the more you become stronger, the more you – like then slowly, six Paramitas working. Six Paramitas actually is one of the main things. And then there are more specific ones, and things like that. But slowly, slowly you go stronger and stronger and stronger, and learn and stronger you practice them. So it is not right from the beginning it is defined that this you cannot do, this you can do, not exactely like that. And also very much on the – in the Vinaya, intention is never counted. You do not take into account of the intentions. You break this means you break this, like if you say „ I do not steal“, but if you take something and go home, then it is finished, even if you wanted to give it to somebody who really needed it, does not matter. That thing is not taken into account.
But in the Mahayanan level, that thing is taken into account. So there they say that the negative deed, the disciplins, what you call the precepts of the body and mind, you cannot, because it is intention itself. So the body and speech, it is possible that you seem to do something negative, but it could be also positive. So therefore it is not completely necessary that you do something seemingly wrong, seemingly breaking the vow or something like that, but not necessarily wrong, because it was done for a very big purpose, for the interest of a larger number of people, or really to help somebody, or – if it is done with real genuine Bodhicitta, then even if it is kind of seemingly broken, it is not really broken. So therefore the whole structure is very much based on the motivation and intention. That is the difference between the Mahayana Bodhisattva-vows and the Vinaya vows. Otherwise then basically the first one, the (nyeshe dampa) or disciplin kind of vows are more or less same, whatever disciplins you have taken on, that is the disciplin.
Now all the – in the Bodhisattvayana, there are many, like – the main thing is, as I said, the first thing, is not to give up the sentient beings. But then there are four, and there are eight, and there are sixteen, and there are eighteen, and there are 240, and you can talk about it quite a lot. But it really does not matter that much, it begins with this, and if you are really with the good intention and with this thing, then it is all there.
(Q later during translation: Is it right my understanding, I understood we first for an example take the bodhisattva vow, of never giving up any sentient beings, and then we can take up groups of next four, and then next eight and sixteen vows? Or how was it?
A: No, no. You take the Bodhisattva`s vow, and actually when you take the Bodhisattva`s vow, you can start with just one this thing, and then slowly - you have taken the vow for everything, but your working on it can progressively progress, slowly become more and more harder – well, no, more and more joyful in doing lot and lot more.)
Now the second part, that is the accumulation of the positive deeds, means doing positive things. To try to refrain from doing negative things is alright, is very good. But that is not all. So not only refraining from doing negative things, but also doing something positive, something really working on this, like six Paramitas. The six Paramitas are very much regareded as this second group. Trying to generate and develop and increase and work on your giving, on improving your disciplin, and then increasing and developing your patience, and working with that, with all other beings, then enthusiasm, meditation, then wisdom, and all this kind of things, six Paramitas to on yourself and working to increase this kind of virtuous, this kind of positive things in you, working on that. That is also regarded as part of the disciplin, the second one.
And then the third one is on the ways and means to really work for the benefit of others. So as we have said again – I mean, without – this is the main intention, or main principle, or the main focus of the Bodhisattvayana is to help other beings. So therefore, how to do the help, how to help others, so this is the third point. So this is also a disciplin, like – they say that there are four – there are many things, but mainly the four things: (jinda, njema, töntön, tönchö).
First is (jin), means giving, through giving, through working to help others through giving. Unless you can give, then you cannot help anybody. So therefore giving, giving material support, giving different kinds of financial or material support, as well as giving Dharma, giving protection, so a sense of giving, sense of sharing with other beings. That is the first thing.
And the second is (njema), it is a way of talking, talking with – (njenbo) is like sweet, not just sweet talk, it is trying to be kind and nice, because if you are too harsh speaking, and too do not caring, then people cannot even come near you. So therefore you are softspoken, you know what you are talking about, you know what people – what kind of problems people have, so therefore you are nice to the people, actually the whole thing is being nice, nice and kind. Not only kind of giving – and throwing (demonstrates) „I am the giver, all these people are living on me. So you take it“ (harsh voice) With respect, kind, and soft. This way which is not hurting, liking, pleasing – is that the right word? Nicely, pleasingly, not just – compassion is what is in your heart, but this is more your action. You can have a good heart, but then can be very harsh actions. There are lots of people like that, who have quite good hearts, but then they really act quite – you know. Then people who do not really know, then they - . And then there are the opposite also, who are very nice, but then not so nice heart. Anyway, we are not talking about them at the moment.
And then this (jinta njenma töntün), that is that you are able to give what they want, trying to give what they want. (Q during translation: Rinpoche, the third point is a little different to you example of General Motors motto, what beings want and need in the way they need it. A: maybe little bit not exactely. This is: You want to help, but not just helping, but doing something, or giving something or helping what – do more what the people really need. Well, you can help actually where help is needed, and then doing that. So doing that, according to the people`s need and wishes, and not according to what you want to give.) It is not that you just go on giving, and go on doing something for, but give the teachings, give the guidance, whatever according to the need and what the people can receive and people can have and can be benefitted. Not just something very – kind of something ideal, that people would not know anything about, or have no benefit out of it, but you just keep on the – that is not the one, but what they really need, you understand. These are the things that one tries to develop. So that is why it is put into disciplin, the way you carry on. I think this very much applies to what Anna question, how to work on this in a group, same thing, it is the same thing.
And then the lastly is what is called (tönchö) is what you give others, or what you teach other, or the way you guide others, be able to live yourself to that. Being able to try to live yourself to that. Otherwise nobody will listen to it, no? It is useless, if you tell people to do something, and you are doing totally the opposite, then nobody will take that advice. So therefore not only able to give or try to give other people what they need, but according your instructions, your teachings, your guidance, you try to live by that, even if you do not need to. Say like if hight Bodhisattva, a very attained Bodhisattva, may not need any of these disciplins or any of these things, but if he or she wants to become, or has to help other beings, then her or she has to become an example for others, so therefore has to learn to live by the instructions and teachings and the guidance and examples that you give others.
So these are the four main things on that you train. You train yourself in order to help other beings. Otherwise you cannot help other beings. So these four things are very important, even in say like – even organisation, like she said in a group, if you have a group, then – I mean it is not that you are the giver, and then the others are receiver, but you give each other, and you receive, you take each other and things like that. But then you need all these three things, these four things. You need to be open and giving, you cannot be just completely rigid „I cannot give anything, this is my idea, nobody can change it, this is my something“ – it is give and take, is the main thing. If there is no give and take, there is not cooperation, there is no coordination, there is no interaction. So therefore the ideas give and take, the materials give and take, and sometimes even kind of – everybody is not always in the best mood, so you are able to give patient hearing, you give lots of patience and forebearance, you can say, and things like that. And then also take, sometimes people do not understand you, people misunderstand you, people are angry at you.
People used to say – in Tibet there is a saying, somebody who is in the position of a leader has to have an ear like that of a ruine - you know ruines? There are lots of ruins, like castles, buildings ruined. So when it is ruined, nobody cares about it, so whether it is raining, whether it is sun shining, whether it is blowing, it is broken anyway, so nobody takes care, it is just left there all the time. So a person who is in charge, or in the position of a leadership, has to have an ear like that, completely ruined, means whatever people say, you do not have to bother. If somebody says you are bothered, you cannot be, because people talk all the time, and they like to, why should they not. So if they complain, and if they talk, then immediately „Who is this? What is he saying against me? I must have a talk with you after this meeting! I must have a talk with you, I must have a talk with you (points to different people)“, then nothing happens, then very difficult. No? So therefore they say should have an ear like that of an ruin. So ruins just does not matter, whatever happens.
So therefore, this is the – anyway, alright. Maybe it is not good to talk too much about this. It is easy to say but difficult to do. But this is what we want to try to develop in ourselves, that is the main thing, I think. Not only to work on our trying to refrain from doing negative things, but also trying to do something positive, develop the positive side of us. And also develop in ourselves the right kind of attitude and the right habits or right ways, in order to help other beings. That is the important thing. I do not think too much, it is understood, I think. People can understand how it should be more or less. The difficult thing is not to understand how it should be, but difficult thing is to understand how I can do it – no?
Then we come to the fifth point, that is how to multiply or increase the power of our disciplin and good action. This is same as before, that we discussed yesterday, about giving, the same, through very clear and benevolent and great aspiration of Bodhicitta, the first thing. The second thing is through our wisdom or insight, having the insight of the nature of the things, the nature of yourself, the understanding the emptiness of the things, understanding the interdependence nature of the things, so this is the second point. The third point is through dedication, as we said before, whatever positive deeds that I do, through all these three different kinds of disciplins, in the ways of good action, then I dedicate it for all the sentient beings, that they may become completely enlightened. So this is the skillful means of the Bodhisattvayana, to increase and multiply the positive deeds.
Then the sixth also exactely the same as before, to keep this pure, to keep the disciplin, to keep the good actions pure, is through compassion and through the understanding of the nature of the things, understanding of the impermanence, interdependence and emptiness of the things. These two things, compassion and this, this is the way.
And the result, the results of keeping these good actions or living by the positive actions, or refrain from the negative actions, this is also as yesterday, for the long run and for the short run, the results. For the long run, of course to become enlightened, and also, if you have transcendet, if you have attained the Paramita of Shila, then you receive, you become, you attain the second Bhumi. As we have discussed before, there are ten Bhumis, the Bodhisattva, to become enlightened, there are ten Bhumis. The first Bhumi means, once you have reached the first Bhumi, or the first stage – Bhumi is like (sa), Bhumi means the ground, the first ground, the second ground, the third ground. So if you reach the first ground, that means then you have left Samsara, samsaric state of mind is left behind. So you have become – I do not know, maybe the English word would be you have become enlightened, but not fully enlightened, like a Buddha, but first Bhumi. So the second Bhumi is even higher than that, much stronger, much more. That is the second Bhumi. And eventually lead to the – because once you are in the first Bhumi, then there is no samsaric state of mind, so therefore then there is no obstruction for you to go back, so you just continue up. And there is no hurry also, because you do not have any problem with yourself, so therefore working only for the others and maybe little bit get rid of the very slight habitual tendencies and things like that, which is things that is not yet done away with, but that is slowly done.
And then the more near about result is to have the positive lives. Like when you talk about the difficulties of getting the precious human life, or precious human exictence, the main reason for receiving the precious human existence is also regarded as the right actions, or right way of – right conducts. So in the same way – also, not only in the other lives maybe, but also when you are abstaining from doing negative things, then naturally you do positive things, and that creates the environment, that creates the circumstances where you do not fall into negative, you do not fall into problems. You do not create a situation where there is more tension, there is more problem, there is more - .
This is is also this (tsultrim), or the right moral disciplin, is also regarded in the Buddhist scriptures as they say: It is like ground, if you do not have this, then no other things can also develop. That has a very deep meaning, I think. Because if you are doing something really negative, like if I gave a very bad example, say you have gone and looted a bank, and now you want to meditate, you cannot meditate, because your mind is all the time „When is the police going to come and knock at my door?“, something like that. So threrefore, you cannot have the peace if you are doing something really not right. So then you cannot do anything else, other positive also are not – you do not have the environment, the circumstances, the right auspicious interdependence to have the other positive things also grow. So therefore this is regarded as the ground, the preparation of the ground, to build all other positive things. So that is why it is regarded as important to have at least the basic clearing of – trying to abstain from being really really - negative things, that you understand it is really negative, or it is going to lead you to really problematic situations, then you better not do that. That is the understanding.
So that is all about this Paramita.
Q: Once I heared that when someone takes a precept, obstructions can or will come up or even increase, and that seems very strange to me, because I think refraining from doing the negative will bring positive results, so it may be that I did not understand it properly.
A: I did not hear this. I mean the problems could be any time, whether you take precepts or not. But I do not think when you take precepts -. Maybe this person was saying something like – only a very bad example comes into my mind, I will not say that. I mean – when you have not taken the precepts, then you are not aware how much you are doing those kind of things sometimes. So you are not aware how much you are inclined to do those things. But when you take a precept, then it becomes more clear. And then maybe – you cannot call it obstacle, but then you may feel like doing that more, not because - it makes you feel like that, but because that your inclination towards that kind of way, you are not aware, because once you have not taken the precept, then you do whatever comes, so you do not think about it, this kind of things, maybe, I do not know. But otherwise they say that if you take the precepts, then there is less obstacles, that should be the usual way of thinking. But of course it does not mean that you take some precepts, and then all your obstacles gone and everything goes completely smoothely and nothing happens, no problem. I think you cannot say that.
Q: It comes to my mind that the person also said that if practice of the Dharma increases, then bad Karma from the past could ripen faster, and that may be the point that even if you do good practice, bad things will happen.
A: Maybe this you heared like this, sometimes it is said that if you do very very positive, very hard practice, then all the negative Karma that you might have to experience, becomes small and very little problem. Which otherwise would have been a big problem can become a small problem and can come quickly. This is said that if your practice if very good, sometimes then you can completely eradicate all the negative Karma. So therefore sometimes the negative Karma, big negative Karmas can become very small negative results, and they can come as small obstacles, which if was not that practice, then would have been big problems and would have taken many lifetimes maybe to experience. Sometimes this kind of things is said. Maybe that is what you heared. That is explained that way.
This is also – like if you are practicing Dharma, and observing the nice precepts, and things like that, that does not mean that there is always completely right, everything goes well. So you still can have problems, and you still can have all these things. This is something important to – „Oh, I had been observing nice precepts, and I had been doing all this Dharma practice, still I have problem. Why is that?“ That is maybe something talked about. And then when you have this kind problems, even if you are practicing, of course it is not to say that when you practice then there is more problem. It is to say that even if you practice, there can be problems, why not. And when you have problems, one way you should use these problems as a way of practice. So therefore instead of thinking „Oh, oh, I should not have this problem, I am practicing so hard, it is so bad that I have this problem“. You should try to think it in a way that it is a good chance, all my bad Karma that might have to experience, the problems of sufferings, for all lifetimes in the future, may all of them come on this, and may this be sufficient to get rid of all my negative Karmas. And not just my negative Karmas, but of all the negative Karmas of all the beings. May this come on this, and this may be sufficient to clear away all the negative Karmas. So trying to see this way is regarded as a very important practice, in order to clear all the negative Karma of the future on this unfortunate thing that is happening on you. Taking that as a kind of practice, not having too much aversion to it, „Why should I have this? I should not have this, it is too bad.“ Instead of having this way of attitude, you take it as a good thing, you take it as a chance to practice, you take it as a small problem to solve a big problem. Something like that. That is one attitude.
This story I was about to tell you is a totally different subject. It is from the adventures of Katyana (?). There was one monk, a student of Buddha called Katyana, very – Arhat, one Arhat, one highly attained Bikshu, and he used to go very alone into desert and into very far away places. And then he used to have lots of different kind of very funny and very unusual things. So once he came across – he is the one who also talked about this (dosnit??). Once he came across – he was going and going and going, travelling all, then he came around a very – a place, in the middle of the desert he saw a kind of palace, so he looked in, and there was one person being eaten by four big ferocious dogs. And then he was very shocked, and he could not do anything. And then slowly slowly it went dark, the sun went away, and immediately when the sun went away, these four or I do not know. Maybe if it helps him to hate less, then maybe it is not that bad Karma. Because the bad Karma is the hatred, and the feeling of hurt and hatred and this, that is bad Karma. So there is a continuous bad Karma going on. So if this little bit of beating the drum or the box helps you to lessen that, maybe it is better, I do not know.
Q: Rinpoche, Madga replies to this question that Pema asked, added to it that during this kind of therapies, you not only think you beat a box instead of ..., but you know, you feel that this is the person.
A: I know that. I know.
Q: The motivation is not to hurt, the motivation is to stop hurting that person and to get rid of that hatred.
A: I know. What I am trying to say is this, that when you are beating the drum - not drum, the box, or the pillow, you are thinking, you are visualizing that you are beating that person, but you are actually not beating that person. So it does not hurt that person. So now the thing is whether your intention to beat this person, your arousing your anger or whatever, and then beating that person - that is negative, of course, that is also arousing the anger – but that anger is already there, which is almost possessed you for a long time, and which caused again and again lots of negative actions on it. So therefore you are now doing this to get rid of it. If you succeed to a little bit get rid of it, then I think the negative of visualising hitting this person with emotion is I think is better, is not worse, it is better than keeping this hatred in you, and therefore causing negative actions again and again. So that is what I am saying.
Q: Magda asks if it is not possible if you do these kind of exercises over and over again, that it becomes a habit?
A: Maybe, I do not know. If you do it too much.
Q: Anna says, if it is the wrong therapist ...
A: No, but I think it is to bring out something that is keeping there for a long time, then you try to take it out and more like face it. So I think – I do not know. When we do something, like when we express and emotion strongly, then that emotion becomes kind of relieved for a few moments, it is temporarily feels good. Even when we give a very scream, a sound, something like that, it is a little bit – then we feel - . So therefore it is a little bit maybe like that. I do not think this completely uproot all the hatred and things like that, but I think it also helps at the moment for some. I do not know. That is for those who do the practice to tell. But anyway, think we will stop here tonight. You want to say something? Alright.
Q: (long question in German, then translated) Rinpoche, Anna has something to say once more to the example, part of the example you gave, about meeting people with this kind of hurtful feeling in the chest. And Anna sais that she is not sure at the moment if this is more a statement or a question, but she still wants to say this. And she sais that she is not quite sure, she does not feel so well with what she feels like hearing when it is just said or just stated about people feeling kind of a painful stone in their breast, that it is just said these people simply are attached to this. Anna said that seeing the ultimate truth, the absolute truth is a very high thing, but we have to recon and recommend to that fact that we are living in a relative world and a relative state of being, and it is so that these people who feel this painful stone in their breast, these kind of feelings were very much imprinted on them when they were children, during their childhood days, to see life is painful, life is entirely suffering. To them it might be a real success to not be all suffering anymore but just have a painful stone in their breast. And Anna thinks that then it is important to help these people to slowly and step by step get more used to the thought that life is not all pain, but that there are joys in life, and to slowly but surely help them to let go of this habit of thinking of everything in their life meeting them as pain. And she just wants to know if you could see it a little like that as well or if you would not recommend it like that.
Anna: There are two small points, may I add? I said that they are imprinted in a way, they got it as a habit like other people the hatred or other things. And the other thing that was in between was that I am asking myself where is here the interdependence, that one human just doing this, one human becomes this person in relationships with others, so other people around. And when I hear these people are clinging to their pain, and they are building up their pain, and holding on to their pain, it sounds as if they themselves alone do that.
A: I think that – there are lots of sufferings going on the world – no? And all of these people who suffer, whether it is in the childhood or youth or – do not keep like that. Or they do? Anna: not all
R: Why not?
Anna: There are two major ways how one person becomes ...(inaudible) .., one is having certain cricumstances for a long time, always in the same way, and the other is to have some let us say traumas on certain very important stages of life. Now there are always people who are able to tend (?) to be better, ....
R: I think you are stuck at a very important point, because we are not talking about helping somebody to get out of this. We are talking about the person who is in that situation. We are always talking about the person who is in that situation, we are talking about myself who is in that situation, no? Here we are not criticising that person, saying that „This person is just holding on“, we are not saying that. (Anna: This is how I understood it) No, this is wront understanding. We are talking about the person who is in that situation, we are not talking about somebody helping somebody getting out of something. That is not the subject. We are talking about a subject that is: If I am in that situation, then why I am in that situation, and how I can get out of it. So if I am in that situation, and I have suffered a lot, and I have gained this habit, or I have become that person, I have been imprinted all this way, but I am the one who has become like that. No? Whether it is because of my father, whether it is because of my mother, whether it is because of my enemy, whether it is because of myself, I am in this situation.
So therefore, if I am in this situation, I want to get out of it. No? So how would I get out of it? If I say: „Oh, this is because of my father!“, you will never get out of it. (Anna: I agree) I have to start doing it myself. I have to start to get it out myself. No? (Anna: .... ) Yes, but this is different methods. But what I have to do is, I have to say that „I have suffered a lot in the past, all these things I have had, but that is my past. I am not suffering now. I do not want to hang on to this. That is the past.“ I do not say it is easy! I never said anywhere it is easy. It is not easy for somebody who has been like that for a long time. To deal with any of these emotions is not easy. But the only way I can get out of it is to release, to let it be, to let it go. And that only I can do. So therefore, whatever way you say it, my not letting go is the real cause for keeping this thing. No? If I could let it go, then it is not there. I can release it, I can finish it. But whatever reason may be, whatever excuses we can give, whatever reason – I mean, lots of reasons may be, but I do not let it go, and therefore I have it.
(Anna: ...there is a picture, like in a mud, like in a swamp, finding in a swamp the one place where the first step could be started. And that person has to do it herself or himself)
Yes, of course. You have to do it all through yourself, I mean.
(Anna: ..from the very beginning ..) But this is the wrong notion, that I should be helped. This is the wrong notion. If you think that „I cannot get out of it, I should be helped“, then you can never get out of it, because who is there to help? Nobody can help you. Is it true? You have to do yourself. The one who is in there has got to do himself or herself, to do it, because it is not possible otherwise. So as long, or as tightly hold on to – especially, actually, in a way „I am in this, this is my – you know, and I cannot get out it, unless somebody helps me, so I should be helped“ is itself not letting go. No?
(Anna: I need to ask you - you asked me one question, ... I ask you one question: How come that some people come out earlier and some people come out ...) Because they let it go. The sooner they can let it go, the sooner they come out of it. No? Yes. The sooner they can let it go, the sooner they come out. And nobody can help. I mean, people can help, but if you expect that somebody else will help you and till then I will just sit like this, then it is not possible.
You have to accept this.
(Anna: I believe in going to .... and you believe in letting go, maybe that is the difference in the picture somehow. Because I think with letting go – letting go is later, first step, and then ...)
Well, steps, I mean there can be many steps. But what you actually do is to let go. Through whatever steps. Of course it has to be done step by step. I mean you cannot just let it go like – throw it off like a ball. I never had that problem myself, so I cannot exactely say, but I think it is like that. No?
(Anna: It has to be done by the person herself or himself, sometimes .... like in Dharma, you need a little light (?) to understand something.) Of course.
Needs to be translated? (Katie: I can, it is not as long as it seems.)
So we are going through the six Paramitas, as according to the oral traditions of Gampopa, as explained in the Jewel Ornament of Liberation, and we have gone through the first two Paramitas, and now we are going through the third, which is the Paramita of patience. So this, as others, is described in seven points, and we have gone through the first two points, that is the benefit and the disadvantage of having or not having the patience, and then to identify what is patience and to give the nature of the patience.
Now we come to the third point, that is to categorize the different kinds of patience. So the patience is also categorized as three kinds of patience. The first is to be able to be patient, to be able to be patient at the anger and harm and negative deeds that people are doing towards you. The patience of anger, the patience of hatred, and things like that. The second is to be patient and to forebear, to be able to forebear the difficulties, the problems, the hardships that you have to face, encounter. And the third one is to be able to be patient about – this is more like patience means the broadmindedness, able to bear even very deep insights, not becoming afraid of something that you are not familiar with, like a deep philosophy or view something like that, you do not get scared. So this is the three kinds of patience.
That is why maybe sometimes patience, the word patience maybe not cover the whole thing, the `zopa´ , maybe it does, I do not know. So when we are talking about the – yesterday most of the questions we were talking about is more or less on the first type of patience, that is that when something happens to you, somebody being unkind to you, somebody is angry at you, somebody does something that is not so nice to you, then you get angry, and that anger, when it is nurtured, when you are not able to let go, turns into hatred, and then the stronger and stronger, and it becomes a very big problem.
Of course this is the – we discussed yesterday also that from the Buddhist point of view this is not something just that you get from your childhood, or from some circumstances, it is one of the main – what can you say? – one of the main causes or main ingredients of the samsaric state of mind. Without this, then your mind would not be in samsaric state, it will be enlightened. So therefore there is this seed. But this seed is there, but that is – you can have it – it is latent, you can say. So therefore it can be – when the circumstances are there, then it can come up, it can blossom. So therefore you always talk about all this negative emotions as – three, due to three circumstances. When these three circumstances arise, then they flare up, then they come up.
So these three cirumstances are, it is said (taji pawa maen ta ..... song wa je), that is from the Abidharmakosha. It says that you have not uprooted the causes of anger or hatred, the aversion is there, the root cause of aversion, the root cause which is aversion is very much there, the first cause. Then (jumin jewa nepa ...), then there is an object, the object that is kind of instigating that, something that is not nice, something that is undesirable, something that is putting a stick at your sore place. And then the (tsuji ...) means, then, even these two are there, if your mind is – the way of your functioning of your mind, or the attitude, or that kind – is in a proper way, is in the right direction, you can see clearly, and you can see with understanding and compassion, then it does not come up, but your mind is not clear, and not in the right way. So these three things, when they come up, then all these things come up. So that is the usual description. This is kind of general, we are talking about a general flaring, or general – any kind of negative emotion is coming out on these three points.
So therefore the patience is to work on this. The first thing of course is trying to get rid of the seed, the aversion. But that is of course very deep, that could be done through wisdom and things like that. But what we can do now is this third one, the third one we can maybe change a little bit, we can redirect a little bit. So that is where we work at the moment. And we all have this, I think most us, all of us understand that this anger itself is not the most important, it is bad enough, but it is not that – it comes and goes, if you can let it – there is anger, you are very angry, and you become red and blue, but then, if you can forget about it, it is alright. What is the most destructive, more lingering destructive, is the hatred. And that is what we try to deal with the most urgently, and most strongly.
So therefore in this matter – I had been thinking, and I do not know, but this question that always arises, about the – suppose you have had a big problem, or you have had a very strong experience, say when you were a child, or something like that. And then lateron it becomes something really solid, and it effects your life and becomes very difficult. This is just my opinion, so do not take it as the Dharma. But I feel that most of this is done when you undergo an experience, that you do not like – of course or like, does not matter – of course you feel bad when it is not so nice and everything, but that is not the main point, I think. The main point is afterwards, how you experience that time does not create – is not necessarily the cause for the problems that cause afterwards. But how you look at it afterwards, how you view it, how you take it, how you hold it afterwards, that I think is the one, or the circumstances, that is what we have – what we see, or what we perceive afterwards. So therefore I think we can change, we can change that perception afterwards, because it was not just because of that experience, but something the way you looked at it, the way you held, you perceived afterwards. Sometimes people say that the past can be changed. The past, whatever happened, cannot be changed, but how we see it can be changed. And that changes the past. So therefore I think it is important to revise and review the way we experienced, we saw things, and we received, and we experienced, and we – what can you say – the understanding, the projection, the whatever you call it, the experience that we held, of that incident of those kind of things. I think that is a very important point.
But this is not usually what we talk about when we talk about the patience. We talk more about our experience, how to deal with it the time, at that moment. But I think it is very important to talk about the past, because most of the time that you hold on to this, the hatred and hurt and all these things, is of the past. So there is a kind of a – you cannot deny that it is you, I, who is holding on to whatever way. Maybe the reasons of holding on to – for that person, it is very strong, it is important, very very important, and very very crucial. But if you look at it in another way, maybe it was not that crucial, it was not that important, it was not that – you can see something through many different ways, and if you take it very seriously, you can take even a very small thing very seriously and have a very bad effect on it.
This is the main problem, I think, so therefore the way we look at things, look at things now and look at things in the past, this is very important, I think. Therefore the patience is trying to see that the things happened was due to various circumstances, and various causes, and those beings or people involved that made you feel that bad, or did something nasty, themselves were not just victimizers, but victims themselves. Not just imposing something bad on you, only through hatred and really wanting to, but either due to ignorance, wanting to do something good, but did not know how to do it well, or out of fear or out of too much attachment, or overcome by some negative emotions were doing this.
Therefore it is not just the beings – this is something I think important to understand, and always reminded again and again in Buddhism, that the emotion of anger and emotion of compassion they say comes from the same source. What you mean to say is that when you see something happening that is not right, or that is not good, that you do not like, that you wish did not happen, then either you have anger or you have compassion, they say. Because if you say: This thing happened, that is not nice, that is very bad, this is the person who did this, or these are the persons who did that, then the anger comes. This person did this! But if you – it can go little bit further in a way, and say that this is the situation, which is very bad, and this should not happen, I would like to do something to work on this. So if the focus is not on the person, but on the situation, then they say it turns into the compassion, because then you are not directly blaming or accusing one person, but the situation, which is coming from many different sources. So therefore this is how we try to work on this. The thing is to try to see, try to revise our attitude towards the way we see things.
Another method they give is „be impatient“, being impatient with the anger or hatred or hurt or things like that, to say that – the moment you have the hatred, you have this negative thing, then you become painful, you have the suffering, you have the problem. So therefore the more you keep it, the more you suffer. And if it is inflicted by somebody, whoever, then this somebody you do not like, because that has inflicted that hatred or whatever, you want to harm. But actually the more we keep it, the more we harm ourselves. So therefore we say that „I do not want to keep this anymore, because if I keep this, I am harming myself. If I have an enemy, I should do something that would hurt this enemy, not myself. So therefore I should – I will not keep this in my mind, I will not have this hatred, I will – kind of an determination from yourself, because this is – what can you say? – this is the real problem. The problem is not what happened, or what is done to me, which gives me the more problem, but the keeping of hatred and hurt and all this thing is giving me more problem, and so therefore I should get rid of the most problem. So therefore I do not become patient towards that, I become impatient towards that. So through impatience.
This reminds me of a story actually, not really a story, it is a real thing. One of my aunts in Tibet, who later came to Sikkim and died in Sikkim – most of my male, all of my male relatives in Tibet could not survive, but this lady, one or two ladies survived. So she was tortured during this communist -, she was caught, and she was beaten, and she was hanged by her hands, and by this way, days and days and days and days, so badly tortured that she wanted to kill herself, she wanted to commit suicide. So she was thinking of a way how to do that, because she was not even allowed to do that. And then these people were going up and down, on the way kicking her a little bit, and then one was saying: „This old lady does not even die.“ That saved her life, she said. She was really going to die, but then she said: „No! Why I am going to die? They want me to die. Why should I die? I will not die.“ And then she stuck with that. And then she survived.
So little bit like that. If something is really making you suffer, like the hatred or things like that, then you should do the opposite. So getting that kind of an understanding and attitude is also another way of developing patience. By developing patience means you get rid of your hatred and anger and hurt feelings, from your own mind. So that is fighting back.
I think then we can go to the next, the second kind of – . First kind of patience is to work on your own anger and hatred and things like that, and then the second patience is to be able to forbear, to be able to work, face the difficulties and problems, you do not get disheartened too quickly. That is the thing. So being prepared, being prepared for whatever. That is the thing. Sometimes it is – I want to do this, I want to achieve this, I want to work, so that I get rid of all the sufferings of all the sentient beings, or I want all the sentient beings to get enlightened, or I want to liberate myself from the negative emotions, or samsaric state of mind, or something like that. And when that is the intention, that is the goal, then, if you think, or if you imagine that that would be too easy, that will be very easy, that is no problem, then you get trouble. It is not easy, and you get disheartened. But this means that we are prepared to face the problems, to be able to forebear whatever problems, whatever obstacles, whatever difficulties there may be on the way. So it is trying to, through understanding and through far seeing, you get prepared, you get prepared to go foreward, in spite of things.
And this is also in a way working on our emotions also. I mean working with our emotions is not easy, but not impossible. So therefore we have to work through our emotions. Maybe it is difficult, maybe it takes time, it does not go away very quickly, negative things, but I will do it, I am determined to it, and nothing can stop me doing it. That is the main – So that attitude, then, once that attitude, that kind of determination is there, then you will always work on it, you will always succeed. So therefore, this is the development of an understanding of being prepared to have problems, but still ready to face them.
So this is I think important, in any situation there will be problems, in any situation there will be obstacles, in any situation there will be things going wrong, or in any situation there will be people who are doing this and that, but then, whatever there may be, it is allright, this is the way, some things go well, some things do not go well, but this is what I want to do, and this I will do. This is best for me, and this is best for all others. So this attitude makes you kind of stable, determined, and then really on the road. So therefore you do not get shaken, this is the main thing, you do not get shaken easily. So to develop this, the determination, to develop this forbearance – this is something very –
I do not know, I think I should say it, whatever, does not matter – you know there is a kind of general thing, especially in the West, that you should not touch your emotions, the emotions are sacred, kind of - you do not say that, but – So if there is emotion, if you do something, then it will have very bad effect, it will be repressed, it will be this and that, so you cannot do anything. So you completely give over to the emotions, and the emotions take you and you just become like a – you know this yak, with the ring in the nose. The Tibetans have this – you have seen this picture of Kundun, no? He was riding on this yak, with the – so yak is a wild animal, very strong and very stubborn and very determined, but if you put a ring in his nose, then you can take him wherever you like. So therefore, if you become like that to the emotions, then there is not solution. So therefore there is a saying in Tibetan „na tang go le ti, rang tan rang te shi), that means: You take your own nosestring, on your own horns. Put the nosestring on your own horns, so that nobody can take it.
So like that – because emotions are emotions, comes and goes, and it is yours, it is nobody elses. So therefore you can just – it may not be carry like this (shows), it can be like this, it does not – the more you hold it like this, the more it stings, it is a little bit like nettles. You know nettles? If you just touch it a little bit, it will sting all your hand, but if you do like this (shows firm grip), it does not sting. Maybe you have not tried? So therefore, it is not just that, be too much carrying, untouched, but – because this is my emotion, if I do not want to have it, I just let it be, I do not – it is not easy, it comes back, and things like that, but it does not matter, let it come back, let it go – so therefore this way of attitude, work with it, try different ways, and then with the determination, that I will do away with this negative things, whether trough transformation, wether through different means, wether trough relaxation, I will use all different kind of means, and then I will work it out. With that way, then this it the king of developed.
So the third point is – I think it is more like broad-minded, tolerance of the ideas, and things like that. It is more like – the usual example is that when Buddha gave the teachings about Shunyata, and things like that, emptiness, then many people cannot fanthom it, cannot take it, so therefore they become lots of problems. So this kind of things, we are not sometimes able to hear the truth, we cannot face the truth, we do not have the heart, the ablility to face the truth, so therefore this is making our mind broad, and tolerance, so that we can see the truth and face it. Or broaden our mind, so that it is not just what we think, that is only the basis, and everything is rejected, but we can be more tolerant and more broad-minded and can take in more, and then be more objective, and things like that. So to develop this attitude and ability to be able to face the truth, in a way, and to be able to see truth, however different that might be from our usual way of seeing or however deep and vast and not to our – however bitter may it be, maybe you can say that. This is the third type of patience.
Now we come to the fifth point, and how to increase the positive power of this practice, that is the patience. This is same as before, by aspiration, Bodhicitta`s aspiration, compassion, aspiration with compassion and wisdom, the first. Second: Through wisdom and insight. And third: Through dedication. So we already discussed this, so maybe I do not need to explain once again.
And in the same way, the sixth also, the sixth point is also same. How to keep it pure is through compassion and through the understanding of the emptiness, and wisdom. So this is the sixth.
And then the last, seventh point is it`s results. So result also as before, immediate, temporary result, and then the ultimate result. The ultimate result is of course to become enlightened, and then especially to attain – when this Paramita of patience is accomplished, then it is said you reach, you achieve the third Bhumi. Until then, because of the patience, the patience is such a strong positive deed, it is regarded as the – the anger and hatred is regarded as the most negative, most strong, strongest negative, so in the same way, because of that, the patience is the strongest positive. So therefore something that really – there are lots of stories about how, but does not matter. It gives peace in yourself, the real peace, it comes from the tolerance. If you can get rid of your own hatred and hurt and things like that, then the real peace in the mind comes. This is the real kind of getting rid of the hell realm. Getting rid of all these negative kind of realms is this practice, working on your hatred, and on your clinging to the - . So that is the direct causing peace in yourself and also in others.
You can always see that if you are angry, then everybody is not happy around you. If somebody in a group, somebody in the family, if somebody in a place is angry, then everybody is nervous, no? So therefore we can see, it is very easy to see the result. So if one person is – at least one person can forgive, and work on this kind of things in a group, then I think that will hold the group together. And also in a family, in a person, if you can deal with your anger and hatred, then you are a peaceful person, you are a joyful person then, because you do not need to carry all the negative hurt feeling and hatred and aversion too much, so therefore you become naturally joyful. So therefore the temporary result of this is quite obvious.
So, that is all. Alright.
Q: (In German) Rinpoche, she says the third point of the categories of patience, she did not quite get straight with that for herself, because she thought that if you try to deal with these deep philosophies of Shunyata for instance, then she says it might just happen that she feels scared, that she feels frightened, and that it really takes her whole heart to really get in contact with that and think of that, and she does not quite understand where to apply patience there.
A: No, that is what we call patience. Not getting scared. Not getting scared is the patience. Why we get scared in a way is because we are – otherwise we do not get scared, we get scared when we see that there is something, some truth in it, but if we really look at it, we are going to disappear. It is completely changing our way of seeing. That is our usual way, that we like what is usual. It is very interesting, it is very interesting, I thought – say like, for instance, food, I thought people would like to have different food, especially when they are in a different country, to say „What this kind of people eat? It is just different, nice, interesting.“ But that is not the case. People stick to their own kind of food, wherever they go. They like their own thing better. Not necessarily better, but they more comfortable with that. Although there is nothing wrong with the other one. So we are very used to be, we want, we are very used to like whatever is familiar, cozy and nice, even if not that good.
There is my cousin, in Gangtok, and he comes to our place, sometimes very late, but he says: I must go back, because I cannot sleep very well unless I smell my dirty pillow. He lives alone, and he is kind of – he is alone, so – does not wash very much and things like that. But his pillow is there all the time, become quite hard, actually, and little bit smelly, but he says he cannot get sleep unless he smells that.
Remark (in German): Rinpoche, in the first place Anna wants to thank you very much for the teachings today. And she says she is very happy about what you said about the importance to review things, because that` s what she feels, the problems that one once had, or through the experiences one once had caused problems on and on in our life, and she is very happy that you stated that it changes slowly by reviewing it. And then second thing that she said was there is a kind of a slogan, invented by a therapist, she did not say who it was, but the slogan says: To suffer is easier than to make things disolve. This helps patients very often.
Rinpoche: To suffer is easier because it is familiar. It is your smelly pillow. Alright.
Q: Maybe it is more helpful to think about what causes the anger than to think about who caused it. But I wanted to ask this to get clear whether my idea is right, because I also learned that all effects, what appears in my life, created by myself, this is one way the Karma shows. Like the story yesterday about the person who ... by the dogs. Or something that I cannot be angry at others because ... But then this maybe also gets me stuck with being angry at myself about things. I want to know first is whether it is true that everything happening to me in this life was my own karma, and whether it is the same also for others. And with this first question together goes another one, yesterday you said something that made me not only look different at our own suffering - if problems come up, we should be happy because now we can work with them, and we can clean our karma. And we should not only invite our own problems, but that of others. And everybody calls his own karma, so how can we work the problems of others, take away their karma? Also in Christian there is a story of Jesus takes away your karma by suffering, being crucified, and I did not really understand that.
A: Let me see, how can I answer this question. The first thing was that if there is some negative thing happening to you, it is also my own karma, so therefore I do not need to be angry at somebody, because it is caused by my own karma. That is the first thing. That is true, in a way, that is true from buddhist point of view. Whatever happens to me, good things, bad things, is also my karma, and if you can except that, then I think it creates lots of space for forgiveness to others. And it also can reveive – taking the responsibility, taking the responsibility yourself, so that it is something you can disolve. It is something I can disolve, because it is my karma. It is the karma from the past. But when you have this understanding, or this way of seeing, I think it is not good to have this „It is my fault“, and you blame yourself. It is the faults of the mind poison, that is how you say. It is the mind poison that is in me, that has been in me, has been torturing me for so long, and that is why I have to work with this. So this is the attitude, that is the best attitude that you – it is not that everybody can have this easily, but that is the way towards which we try to go.
And then this other thing, about when you have a problem, or a suffering, and then you take say „May this be sufficient to disolve all the problems of others also“, this is an exercise on youw own, this is a practice. It is not necessary that everybody`s problem is finished. You cannot take somebody`s problems away just like that. But this is a kind of exercise, creating a compassionate and – compassion in you, and also acknowledge the suffering of others, so therefore you are not just concentrating on your own suffering. So therefore you are aware of the sufferings of others also, which you want and wish that is finished. So therefore it has an effect.
In Buddhism we believe in interdependence, it is not one thing, it is all, many things together makes one result. So therefore this might cause, this might have a very strong effect on working with the others. But it is not just „I take on the sufferings, and then immediately there is no suffering around“, that is not possible. But this could be a cause, because the causes can be many, and various, and small things also become big, and that is the whole theory of interdependence. So therefore it is not – I do not know, maybe the Christian idea of the Jesus Christ taking the sins of everybody else comes from this kind of ideas too. We cannot say. But we can see that there is still problem, suffering, even if Jesus Christ took all the sin away. So therefore it is not to say that when you do that kind of exercise, then everybody`s problem is finished. You cannot – even the Buddha could not take away. Otherwise the Buddhas would have done it long time before. So this is not to say like that – but still. That was all your question?
Q: May I ask some more? So I should not be angry at myself, I should not hate myself, but if I hate my mind-poisons, maybe it is that I cannot separate it, it is still some kind of hatred.
A: No, no. You should not see yourself as the mind-poison. That is the wrong way of seeing, from the buddhist point of view. The mind-poisons is like a disease. Suppose you are sick, suppose you have a flu, do you hate yourself because you have a flu? These mind-poisons are something that has effected you, it is not you, it is something that has effected you, which is harming you, which is making you feel bad, and do bad, makes you have runny noses and red eyes and high feavers and headaches, and all this kind of things. So therefore, as long as it is there, you have problems. So therefore it is because of that. If you have a headache, it is because I have an influenza, or I have something like that. So therefore you cannot hate yourself because of that. You have to do something about it. No? So that is the attitude. The attitude is that „This is the mind-poisons and problems that I have, so I must do something about it, or I will get more and more sick. So therefore I would try to do something“. If you see it that way, I think, then there is no problem.
I think there are some questions more, but maybe we stop here, and then I will give lots of time for the questions next session. Now we go away, and this is quite a nice day, so we have a real long afternoon out, I think. There is even a proposal that we cancel the afternoon teaching, if you like, we can do that also. Or we can have it a little later, even later than 4 o`clock, 4.30 or something like that. 4.30, alright, til then we really enjoy the day.
We are going through the Six Paramitas, and out of the Six Paramitas, we kind of went through the first three, and then now we come to the fourth Paramita, that is the Paramita of diligence.
So the Paramita of diligence, also, like the other Paramitas, it is explained here in this seven points, and the first point is the benefit of the diligence, and the disadvantage of not having diligence. It says that even if one has a little bit of one practice, a little bit giving one practices, a little bit of disciplin and patience etc., but if one does not have the diligence, if one does not have the joy of doing it, then one becomes lazy, one becomes disheartened, and when that happens, when one becomes lazy and too slow, or too uninspired to work on it, then one cannot actually achieve anything that is really positive, and one cannot thereby work for the benefit of others, one cannot help others, the benefit for the others is not accomplished. And also the positive deeds cannot be accomplished. And because our work, whatever practice we do, will not become strong enough, inspired enough, joyful enough, so that the result we cannot actually become accomplished in that. So therefore we cannot attain the enlightenment. So therefore it is one of the main Paramitas, one of the main practices, to generate, to try to generate this diligence, to generate the joy of doing it.
But if we have this – if we do not have the diligence, then all these problems will become, but if we have diligence, then none of our positive work or positive practices becomes less, or decreases. So everything positive thing increases all the time. So therefore it is the inspiration, it is the main cause for achievement of all the positive results. So therefore this diligence is particularly mentioned.
Diligence hast two kinds of main things, first one hast to see the necessity, the benefit of whatever you are doing, whatever the positive things that you are trying to do, whatever you are trying to achieve or trying to work on, whether you are trying to work on your negative emotions, or you are trying to work on help other beings, or whether you are trying to refrain from doing negative deeds and things like that, the first thing is that you have this clear understanding of the use of it, the necessity of it. If you feel that this is not necessary, this is not beneficial enough, this is not urgent enough, then you cannot have the drive to work for it. So therefore to get very clear the urgency and the necessity and the benefit of what you are working for, what you are aiming at. That is something first important, and most clear.
And then another side is to have the confidence of being able to achieve it, being able to work on it. One of the main problems of what we call the opposite of diligence is discouragement. So if you say „This is nice to do, this is important to do, but I cannot do it, it is too difficult for me, I am too bad for it, I am too – whatever, I am too small, I am too new for it“, anything like that, to discourage yourself – this is the against. What is most important obstacle to the diligance is discouragement, so therefore the increasing your determination, your willpower, to see that this not only necessary to do, this is not only important to work on, but this is something that I can do, and I will do. So this determination, and this working with the sense of strong confidance. It is actually working to develop the confidance, the confidance of being able to „Why can I not do it? It has been done by people in the past. All the Buddhas were just like any other people, but they become enlightened. So if anybody else can do it, why not me? It may take long time, does not matter. It may be little bit difficult, does not matter. It is interesting to be a little bit hard. When people want to climb the Everest mountain, just for fun, why not this also?“
We always talk about having no self-confidence, that is regarded as very bad, that obstructs us from doing lots of good things, that I cannot do, because I am not good enough, or things like that. So therefore in Buddhism we talk a lot about the Buddha nature for instance, that every being has the Buddha nature, every being has the essence of the Buddha. Not only all the human beings, but all the sentient beings have the same basic nature. And in our basic nature, the defilements, the problems, the mind-poisons are not there. The mind-poisons and problems and negative habitual tendencies are not part of our selfves, but they are something that is acquired, something that is affected. It is like a crystal ball (bowl?) which is affected by the dust, the dust is setteling on it, so therefore it is not clear. But as soon as you wipe it out, then it is clear again.
So therefore usually we have these nine examples of how a nature is: Like the sun behing the clouds, like the gold under the ground, like the – all different kind -. Like the treasure under your house, the treasure under your house is another very good example. If you are a very poor person, but just under the doorstep of your house there is a big treasure, but you do not know about it, so therefore you are not rich. But if you a little bit pulled up the floor, it is all there. So like that, it is very much explained again and again, that to attain the enlightenment, to get the realisation, is not something that comes from outside, is not something that you have to add to what you have not. It is not something that you have to get from somewhere else. It is already there, your own true nature has to be just cleared, has to be – only the confusions, the unclarity, the way you see it has to – you have to see it clearly, and you have to rediscover it, otherwise there is nothing else to do. So that is the understanding.
So when that kind of attitude, when we can see that way - to work on all this is in a way very difficult, because it is a habit, it is a tendency, it is a pattern that has been cultivated, that has been with us for a long long time – but in another way it is not very difficult, because it is a matter of just seeing through, it is just a matter of waking up. It is not a matter of trying to get something from somewhere where you cannot reach, but it is just to rediscover your own true nature. So therefore it is not that unachievable, or something that is very very far, or something that is completely beyond us. So therefore to have this understanding, this is something achievable and I can achieve it, and I will do it, because it is very necessary for my own sake, and for the sake of all the sentient beings. So to have this idea, to develop this understanding, and to develop this confidence, that is the most important part.
As we discussed in the morning also – after we had this discussion in the morning, somebody came up and said: „You said you cannot feel guilty, or responsible, for having the flue, but actually I feel guilty for having the flue. Everybody feels guilty here for having the flue.“ Is it true?
(A: Not everybody, but it is quite common.) But that is not right! Why should you feel guilty for – nobody wanted to have the flu, it just happened. No? (A: If you work in the Kindergarten you get it all the time) Not just in the Kindergarten, I have seen everybody the same. (A: It is some kind of weakness..... I am responsible for everything happening to me ... can pass on to others) That is a different matter, if you have a flu and you do not want to pass it on, and you want an excuse to sleep, if you do not want to pass it on to others, and then you do not want to go to the work, that is a different matter. Of course you do not like to get the flu. Of course it is not nice to have a flue. But what can you say? It is not because you desire to have flu. If you were weak, then it is because your system went weak. You did not want to be weak, but it went like that. So how can you feel guilty for that? You can say „I was weak, therefore I got the flu“, but how can you feel guilty for it? You did not make yourself weak, the weakness something, it happened with you, in spite of your not wanting it.
(A: There is a very well-known book in Germany, it is called „illness as a way“, and it is a kind of esoteric book, and there is the idea that every illness you get is the physical expression of an inner problem you have. So for example if you get a flu, it is a physical symptom that you have conflicts with your surrounding. And it you have problems with your skin, then you have problems with your borders, problems with setting limit, problems to say: up to here, and there is the border, that is me, and that is the rest of the world. And if you have Aids, it means that you are incapable to love someone. It was said in this book, and it has a certain scene in Germany, this kind of thinking has a very big influence... )
Of course then you will feel guilty for every illness (laughs). (Q: Does this one get crazy after a while?) Yes, that is happening. (Q: If one thinks like that, one surely is bound to go crazy, that is what I think.) (Q: Psychosomatic ...)
Psychosomatic is alright, but I mean this – I think it is a little bit going too far. Of course, the Tibetan Medicine also very strongly believes that all the diseases have an origin, one of the mind-poisons, negative is originating. But if you just say that this disease comes from just this, maybe it is a little bit too narrow, is it not. But then, even if it comes because of certain limitation, or certain problems within your system, or within your mind, or within your – the problem of guilt is a very big problem here, no? Especially in Germany? Is it special in Germany? (A: I think so.) (A: Maybe because of the Second World War) (A: In the Christian education, there is consent on guilt).
Anyway, this is not according to the – I mean, there is a little good thing about the guilt-feeling, you become a little bit more conscentious (Q: conscious?) – not conscious, conscentious, like if you do something bad, you feel not so good. That way it is little bit – because sometimes, in certain places of the world, there is not there, this conscientious is not there, and that is also a little bit of a problem. Then there is not guilt whatsoever, the guilt-feeling is absolutely not there in certain areas in the world, for the people. Which is also not completely good. People become very cunning and people become unscrupulous, and they do not mind telling a lie, they keep on telling lies, even if it is discovered, you do not mind about it.
But to be too conscientious, then again you become too much feeling guilty. So therefore I think all this is a matter of being the middle path, not too much. And also I think it is important – I always think this is a matter of excepting, a matter of excepting the way we are, a matter of excepting clearly the stage we are in, at the moment, of weaknesses as well as the strength. Because here – maybe I am wrong, but I find that in Christian education, or in the West generally, you say something, and then you always take the ideal as the thing you should be. And if you are not like that, then it is not good. This is the thing it should be. And then your ideal of what it should be is what you should be, and you cannot be below that. And if that is what it should be, then you never find yourself like that. So therefore you feel bad, because you do not have – the self-confidence is lower, you are not up to it. The image you create for yourself is sometimes too good, and then you look at yourself, and you are not like that, then you do not like it.
Sometimes you have the self-hatred. I think it comes from there, that because you drew it too nicely in the first place, and you looked into the mirror, and it does not look like that. Then you do not like it, because it is not like the drawing that you made. So you made an over-estimation in the beginning, and then, when you look at it, then you do not like it, and then you hate it. You hate because it is not the way you want yourself to be, or you hoped or wanted to be like that. So therefore then you lose self-confidence, because you cannot be what you wanted or you liked to be.
But I think the only way to work on this is to right from the beginning to find out that you are not that perfect, not draw that good a picture of yourself, first thing. Looking into the mirror, and then draw it, so that you know, yourself is exactely more or less like this at the moment, and it could be improved, you can make up, you can have all different kind of things. But if you say this, then we have a scope for improvement, because we know where we stand, we know what we look like, we know the weaknesses, we know the strength, and there is a space, we have space for improvement, there is a space for weakness also. So then we can work on it, our self-confidence does not become worse, our self-confidence becomes better, because we know where we are starting, and what I am at the moment. So therefore it is I think very important to have this right self-image, not too good, not too bad, but more or less as we are. And then not just to see the bad side, and not just to see good side only, but to see both sides. We are not completely bad, nothing can be completely bad, we are not completely good, nothing can be completely good, so therefore we can work on this thing, and we know where we need to work, where we need to improve, we know what we can do and should be done. So this I think is important part.
So when we talk about the diligence also, the building of the confidence is I think one of the main thing, the diligence is actually in a way building the confidence, building the joy of working on it. Not feeling bad and criticising. Again the diligence sometimes people misunderstand it, „I have to do, I have to do, and I am not doing enough“. It is not just hard work only – it is hard work, diligence is hard work, but it is not „I am not doing enough ...“, then you feel again guilty, and all this, „I am bad, because I cannot do enough ....“, that is not the right way. But to build up the confidence, to get rid of our dicouragement and feeling inferior, and feeling unable and feeling all these things, and then work on that: „I am not perfect, but there is lots of scope for me to improve, and why not? I can become better and better and better, and I can change, I can change for better. I can change for worse too“, this is also one thing that one has to – one can change for worse, why not. If one can change for better, one can change for worse. So therefore one has to make a point, endeavor to change for better.
So this is the diligence. The diligence, as I said earlier also, is defined as the joy in doing the positive. That is the diligence. But in the joy doing the positive, in the sense of being confident, being undiscouraged, seeing that what I want to do is achievable, and need urgent to be achieved, and then knowing where we stand, so therefore we know what to work on and how to go about it. So this is the nature of what we call the diligence.
And if we understand that, then – this is the important thing, because unless we have this confidence of working on it, then we cannot be – of course the diligence also is working hard, not procrastinating, this „I will do it tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow“, and then never do it. But also discouraged and „I cannot do it“ also is against it. So trying to do something, but with the confidence that it can be done. So that is the thing.
You want to ask a question?
Q: Rinpoche, she is refering to our topic this morning, and she says at work, if she gets attacked, she get scared, she gets anxious, and she feels unable to act. And because of that she starts to feel angry, even starts to feel hate, and she thinks that it probably is the right way, or the better way, to develop a sense for her own fear and instead of getting angry, trying to be able to act without getting angry.
A: Yes. But you know, you are attacked, when you do something – if you do not do something at all, of course even then people will attack you, but if you do something, then always there is something that some people do not like, or sometimes you make a mistake, or sometimes you do not make a mistake, but you tread on somebody`s toe – you know what you mean by that? – and so therefore somebody is not happy, that you almost can not avoid. Of course one should try to do their best, to be sensitive and kind and softspoken, nice to people, so that you do not hurt people while doing things. But if you do very well, people do not like it, if you do not do very well, people do not like it, so therefore there is always people who do not like it. So when that happens, I think the best attitude is not to bother too much about this. Because is we start worrying about what people might do and what people might think, and this and that, then it is completely useless, you cannot function. You become overburdened just by worrying, you cannot do any work.
So therefore, with the understanding that you cannot make everybody happy, so therefore the best, or the nearest that you can make everybody happy is yourself do the best, and then do not get into too many worries and too many things. So try your best and do it, and then do not bother what people say or think too much. Then it is more likely that more people like that. Otherwise you cannot do. Of course this trying to develop the compassion way, and dealing with it, and all this things is of course important. And try to not having any hatred is important, because having hatred is not only – it is very bad for you, the more hatred you have, then you become ill, you can say. So therefore even if people attacking you, you cannot clarify everything. If you start clarifying with everybody everything, most of the time it is not possible. Of course you will explain nicely: This is why I did it. But then you cannot always run after that, and you cannot rest until everything is clear again, that would be practically not be possible. So this is I think the best way.
And sometimes this so happens, that people attack you a lot, but then if you do not keep your mind to that side, but just do your thing nicely, then slowly maybe they change also, and they do not bother you. Sometimes people attack you more if you are more sensitive. If you are too responsive and too sensitive, and you are very caring for it, then more. This kind of attacks always happen, you do not too much worry and too much care for it. Then after some time people stop.
When I was very small, I went for a school. When we first came out of Tibet, then there was a school for all the refugees, where everybody, all the children were put into for a few months. And when I first went into the school, I was very small, and very big ear, and when I was walking towards a school, there were lots of children, and everybody was shouting: „Hey look! Big ear! Elephant!“ A few times I fight with them, but then I realised that it is no use. Then after: Elephant? Oh yes, elephant. Then they do not do any more, because it is not fun, because I do not mind.
Maybe we will quickly finish this chapter, and then we will discuss – I think we have some questions left, I think.
We are going through the Paramita of diligence, and now we come to this third point of this Paramita of diligence, how many categories, or how do we categorize different kinds of diligence. Now there are here everything is three, not necessary that always in three, can be more or less. Here (kochi tsondru, jurwe tsondru, and ?).
The first one is (kochi tsondru), that is the armour-like diligence. This is more like – I think we little bit discussed before, to get the encouragement, not getting discouraged, disheartened, to have the (now micorphone turned on) – now on, thank you. Well, again? Does not matter. It is three kinds of tsondrus, three kinds of diligence, and then the diligence of armour-like diligence, which is the – to put on the armour like, your courage and your confidence is not diminished. To work on it, to develop, to increase our confidence, our determination, our joy of doing it, the interest, that is the first thing.
And then the second is (jurwe trondru), that is keep on doing, just being not lazy, not putting away for tomorrow, which I always do. I was very like that, I am still like that, but once, I told the story before, I was so bad, because I piled up all the work, and then my table sometimes become like this (shows the piles), and then some days my uncle comes, and clears off everything, and then I do not find anything. So it takes days to find what I really wanted to work on. So it is a big problem. Even recently, when I went back to India, I had lots of mails. So I selected the mails like `to be answered´, `to be thrown away´ and things like that. And my room is just like – dustbin. So I went away somewhere, and when I come back, it is all clean, and all my letters have been burned. So I have not answered any letters (laughs).
So earlier one day in India, I was fed up with this, and maybe I was reading about (tsondru), I do not know, but I wrote very big letters, almost the size of the whole room, long, big, nice calligraphy, and said: „Eliminate procrastination“. You know what procrastination is? So put it in front of my bed, and felt very good. And then one of my friends came, and I went out just for a few minutes, and in my absence he wrote in small letters below it „From tomorrow“. So I decided to do it from tomorrow.
I find that this the source of one of the worst – what can you say? Pressure? (Q: distress?) What you have when you have lots of work. Not distress. Pressure – there is another word, you feel completely overburdened, what you call it? (suggestion in German) Yes, whatever that is. You do lots of work, but it is because you worry about it. Even if you have a little bit work, and then you just do not do it, but worry about it, then it is big pressure. It really makes you – it is very heavy. The more you think about, the more it becomes bigger. „Oh, I have to do that tomorrow! I have to do that tomorrow!“ Then I do not like to do it, and then it grows. Today I have to do something, and then tomorrow I have something else to do. Even to write letters, or something like that. Then today you received one letter, „Oh, I will answer it tomorrow very nice“, and then tomorrow you receive two letter, „Oh, tomorrow I will answer them“, and then, after one week, you have about ten, twenty, thirty letters, and then it becomes „Oh, I have to do all these letters!“ Then, after one month, then you have about a hundred, then you cannot get up. This is how everything is.
Therefore those people who completely – even those, I have seen very clearly, those who work in the office also, those who just clear the things quickly and done, they have no pressure. They just go home, and finished. Those who do not do that have lots of pressure, because they do not do anything, but they have pressure, because they have not done it. That is why it is important to be able to work on it now. It is always said, and I think it is very very true, the pressure of work is not how much you work. Even if you are doing something, even if it is hard work, I think that does not break you down, it does not really make you break down. But if you too much worry about it, and too much think about it, even if you do not do anything, it breaks you down. So therefore this is to form a habit.
First having this viewpoint, and having this confidence and all these things, that is very important. I think we must make it very clear, all these things that we have been talking about is one: Changing our way of seeing a little bit, changing the attitude, but two: Making it a habit. It is doing again and again, making it a habit. The practice is that, the practice is doing again and again and again. That is the practice, is it not? Any practice is doing that. Your understanding is very important, our understanding of anything, all this having a good way, a right way of seeing, clear way of seeing, positive way of seeing, and positive attitude, is the basis, of course that is very important. But understanding changes our being only to some extent. It does not immediately change the whole thing. Just the understanding goes to certain depth, it cannot go deeper thatn that. Even if we know about something, that does not completely transform our way of doing things, or our way of feeling. So understanding leads to, but does not transform or change our feeling. If we have to really transform our feeling, and way we are, and really completely from within, then that understanding has to go deeper and deeper, and become one with our system. And to do that is just repetition, do again and again and become habit. With the understanding, then again and again and again, so then it becomes more strongly, deeper and deeper and deeper. And that is how we go to really transform our - .
This is the understanding, this is very very important, like we talked yesterday also, we talked this morning also, about this letting go of the hatred, letting go of our problems, clinging, and things like that. To understand we should let go is important. But that is one thing. But just that would not make us let go, we cannot. So when we have to actually do this, then we have to this kind of exercise again and again and again. It is not that we just let go (breathes out), and finished. That is not possible. So therefore, everything, all of these things, it is doing again and again and again, and that is the practice. So the practice is kind of repeating, go on doing, going doing, so therefore then slowly slowly it gets into our being, and it becomes our habit. The positive way of doing becomes our habit. And when the positive way of doing becomes our habit, then we naturally become that way. So the second is to keep on doing, and not becoming lazy, or delaying, but regular, being regular, doing consistently, working on it in a consistent, regular, uninterrupted, unobstructed and – what can you say – not stopping doing it, and also not delaying it, continuously.
Then the third is (chopra min tsopa), not become complacent, but work enthusiastic, more and more enthusiastically. Do not become little bit doing, and then become complacent and satisfied, „Alright, very good, I have done“, but because of your understanding of how it is going, and the more you achieve, the more you become enthusiastic, interested, and joyful in doing that. So that is the third one.
So these three things is what you call the diligence. And to develop this is to develop the diligence.
Nowadays I have adopted a new system, the e-mail system. It is very nice, because you do not see how many mails you have not answered. It is just this small computer, and you do not know how many are there. Then I told my students: I will not answer any mail, except through e-mail. I am joking! But it is easier in e-mail, you do not have to find the paper, you do not have to find a stamp, you do not have to find an envelope. For a very lazy person, that is quite a thing. „Oh, I do not have an envelope now. Next day.“ Anyway, this is not the point.
Now we finished tsondru. Of course, when we are talking about this tsondru, the diligence, as the Paramita, then the Paramita Diligence is working for the (part missing).... wisdom, and the dedication. So therefore, this is everywhere. If you do something, do something more enthusiastically, more diligently, more strongly, and then with the intention, with the aspriation that „I am doing this for this purpose“. So the purpose in our mind. Because as soon – it happens in our life, and in everybody`s life, as soon as we lose the purpose, then everything becomes meaningless. Also lots of people get this sense of uselessness sense of emptiness, sense of very depressed state, because they do not find the purpose. The purpose is the most important thing. If everybody can find the real purpose for doing something, then I think the work, whatever, becomes light and interesting, and is nice. Not only that particular work, but the life itself becomes something more to look forward to. So therefore this purpose I think is most important thing, a good purpose, a beneficial purpose. A great purpose, that is not just for myself, but for all the sentient beings, and that also for complete liberation and complete enlightenment. Such a thing is I think the most ideal purpose. And towards that end you are going.
So if you have that kind of a purpose, I do not think anybody can becomereally depressed, can never become depressed. So therefore this is very important, the aspiration is real anti-depression tablet. It is very important to try to develop and try to work on and try to understand and try to generate. So therefore these three things on everything, whatevery you do, these three things is the framework, in which any other practice you do is in these three framework.
And then the sixth point to keep this practice of diligence in the pure. And that is as before, the wisdome and compassion, or the compassion and the understanding of the nature of things, like Sunyata, emptiness, and things like that. These two things. Compassion is not to lose our purpose, to bring up – as we know, if it is not, if it does not do with the compassion, then it becomes egoistic, then it becomes too much of aversion and attachment, so therefore it is for that. But then other one is also to not become too tight. If you see little everything in a sphere of emptiness, sphere of interdependence, sphere of little bit of illusion, then you do not get this too much tightness, too much „This is either this or this! I should do this!“, this tension. Therefore a little bit of the sense of emptiness, sense of illusion, sense of: it is important to do this, but even this is in a way not solid, not rigid. So when you get little bit of a sense of the understanding of the philosophy of emptiness, or the view of emptiness, it is the best way of relaxing, actually, the best way of releasing and realxing is to have a little bit taste of this, because then you cannot hold on to. You know there is nothing to hold on to. Therefore the moment you see, even a little bit of this, the delusion is a little bit scattered, so therefore this is something important. This is not something easy to understand, and easy to grasp, but from the buddhist point of view, this is the most important thing, which really attacks the root of our delusion and ignorance. The main thing is to find too solid, too structured, „this is this, this is this, this is good, this is bad, this right, this is wrong“, everything in a too much solid is a little bit scattered, and a little bit levelled (?). So more of your mind becomes broad and becomes spacious, and thereby more freedom and releaxed. And in a way more sense of more giving, more relaxed.
And then lastly, seventh, we come to the result of the diligence. The result is I think very easy to find out, without hard work, but this is something like – it is ususally, according to the ultimate goal, and then the result, and then the temporary result. But ultimate result is the fourth Bhumi. So this is regarded like this, this diligence first is generated, we try to do with effort, and then, when the diligence is perfected, it becomes effortless, that is the understanding. From effort to effortless. Because when the joy of doing becomes very developed, then it becomes effortless. So that is the main point.
But here I would like to tell the story. I think most of you know, the Milarepa`s last and most important instruction to his best student, Gampopa. Most of you know, but I will say it anyway. You know this Milarepa, the yogi and poet of Tibet, one of the most famous yogi of Tibet, and his best student was Gampopa, the one who wrote this book. And this Gampopa received all the teachings from him, he stayed with him for some time, then he received all the teachings, he did all the practice, and got all the results, he went very fast, because he was a special person. Then there was a stage, then he said: „Now you have your education, your understanding, and your teaching, I have given everything that I know, like pouring from one cup to another, it is nothing left, I have poured everything into you, so there is nothing left, so you have received everything, now you can go. You can go to central Tibet, then you can practice somewhere in a mountian called (Gampo Dar).“ So he was not very happy, but then, alright. So then he went to see him off, from the cave. Then there was small brook, a small river, so he went to this and then said: „Now, for the sake of auspiciousness, I am not going past this, you are going from here, you say good-bye now, and then go.“ So then whatever he said good-bye, and then was about to go.
Then Milarepa said: „Well, but the most secret and most important teachings I have not yet given it to you.“ Then he was not very happy, so then he made Prostrations, and he offered Mandalas, and he said: „Please, you said you have given me everything, and you have been so kind, I have received all the teachings, now please, give me this last, most important, most secret teaching.“ And then he thought for a while, and he said: „No, no, no, I do not think this I can give it too you, this is too precious, you go.“ So what to do? He left, crossed the river, and was going slowly away. And then he was quite far off, and then he said: „Come back, come back! You are my best student, if I do not give you my most important and most secret teachings, then whom should I give? So you come back.“ Then he came back very happy, and then he made Prostrations and offering of Mandala and everything, and then he sat there, thinking that now he is going to receive a really very wonderful, enlightening teaching. But what Milarepa did, he did not give any teachings, he just stood up, he turned his back towards him, put off his clothes on his head – he had just one single sheet of – and he showed his buttock. And he saw his buttock, and he looked at his buttock, it then he said: „This is my most important and secret teaching.“ But what he saw on his buttock was interesting, because his buttock had become hard, like under the feet it becomes hard, and that was because he was sitting all the time in rocks and things like that, and doing practice and meditation, so much so that he buttock had become hard like under the feet. He said: „This is my most secret teaching.“ This is to show that he did not become Milarepa just like that, by doing lots of practice. So this is his last teaching.
Once also Milarepa was asked by his students - he was such a great yogi, and highly achieved, really realised, and he could do miracles, and he could give teachings, and immediately can get completely realised, and things like that, he was such a great master, and highly attained, realised person, so they went to him and said: „Can we ask you a question?“ „Yes“ „You are so realised, and you are so great, and you are so – you must be an incarnation, and somebody of very great Bodhisattva or some Buddha or something like that. Whose incarnation are you? Please tell us!“ And then Milarepa said: „Maybe you mean to be very nice to me, but that is very insulting to Dharma, that question is very insulting to Dharma. Because by that you imply that just by yourself to practice Dharma, and you cannot attain anything, that you have to be the incarnation of somebody great Bodhisattva. I am nothing like that. I am just an ordinary person. But with the power of Dharma practice, I became like this.“ That is his answer.
So that is enough about diligence.
Q: You said that understanding of emptiness, you create more room, more space, to relax, and at the same time - I do not have any understanding of emptiness, my little understanding is that there would be the chance to take things less seriously, which leads to more relaxation, and leads to the opposite of diligence, not taking things serious at all.
A: A little bit that is good also. This is the understanding, that have the clear objective, have the compassion, so that you do not become completely laid back, but at the same time have also more of equanimity. That is the whole understanding, that is the balance. Because if you become too result-oriented, that does not bring the result. Because that is what we are all doing, at the moment. We want something, and the more we want something, the more it becomes hard. The more you want something, the more you become intense, more tense. You want something, because you think that if you have that, then you have more happiness, more contentment, more satisfaction. But the more you want something, the more is the opposite, the less contentment, less satisfaction, less relaxation. That is the paradox, that is our way of doing, the more we want strongly, the more anxiety, the more fear, all these emotions, so therefore then what we actually want, what we want this for is almost the opposite.
So therefore here the Dharma-way is to understand that clearly, and not to do this in that way. Not to say „I want enlightenment!“, and then become very, very stressed, because you want enlightenment. Then there is no enlightenment! No? So that is not the right way. It is important, you want enlightenment, you want no suffering for all the sentient, not only for yourself, but all, all these things, very clearly, but how to do that is not through the same way of taking it too seriously, taking it too strongly, therefore it is not become like the usual way of the tension-building system, not to make it into a tension-building system, but tension-releasing system.
So therefore this diligence, as we said earlier, it has to become a joy, it has to become effortlessness. It is not lazyness, but it is a different way of working, a different way of working hard. Working hard without the intensity, and without the anxiety, and things like that. A little bit is alright in the beginning, this is again the understanding: Now, at this moment, if we do something, because we cannot do completely the perfect way, therefore we are bound to have little bit of tension, if you do some hard work. But we aim to not become like that, but more - . So therefore, to work on this, then we try to see the wisdom side, the emptiness side, so therefore it gives little bit relaxed way of seeing it, spacious way of seeing it, not that too serious. We take it seriously, but not too seriously. And so therefore it does not completely overwhelm us. Otherwise it can overwhelm us.
We are going through the Six Paramitas, and we have gone through the first four, and now we come to the fifth Paramita, which is the Paramita of Meditation. Now this Paramita of Meditation also is given here in these seven points, first to give the benefits and disadvantage if working on meditation or not. And then it is what is the meditation, what different kinds of meditation there are, and then their explanation and how to develop it more in a multiplied way, an d then how to keep it pure, and then it`s result.
So the first, it is said here that even if somebody works, or tries to practice on this these last four Paramitas, that is like giving and good way of life, disciplin you can call it, patience, and diligence, even then, if you do not have the meditation, if we do not have the calm and clear mind, without distraction, then the mind will be distracted, and the mind will be taken over by the mind-poisons, and therefore it is not possible to get rid of the overpowering our mind with the mind-poisons and other distractions, so therefore, to get out of that, the meditation is the way, meditation is the important thing. So therefore, in order to find a way through our meditation, in our mind, that our mind is undistracted, is not carried away by the distractions and the mind-poisons, then that is the meditation, that is the benefit of meditation. So if we do not have that - the other things are very important, other things are good, but other things will make us only more positive, but not completely get rid of the root cause. Therefore the meditation is regarded as the most important practice.
Usually if we talk about meditation, we also talk about meditation at two stages, that is the Shamata meditation and the Vipassana meditation, or the Calm abidint meditation and Insight meditation. The Calm abiding meditation is the Shine meditation, that makes our mind calm.
The insight meditation, which is seeing through, which is exactly experiencing the way it is, which in this – when you talk about the Six Paramitas, is included in the sixth Paramita, the wisdom. So therefore when you talk about meditation at this stage – although we can talk both as same, but here is mainly more on this meditation of what we call as the Shamata meditation. Now our mind, as we know, our mind is at the moment completely governed by our senses. Our senses are more powerful than anything else, our senses react, and then that takes us over, and then the emotion and sensual contact, and thereby sensual grasping, and the emotion, that takes us over. So therefore our mind is not in control, but the circumstances, then the objects and things like that, that controls our mind. That is why we feel all the time in the grip of the situation. Our mind cannot be free from the situations, like if it is sunny, we feel very nice, if it is raining, we feel very bad. The use of meditation is to be able to feel same, whether it is sunny or raining. Whether it is sunny or raining should not make any difference to our mind, but it does, because our mind is controlled by the situations and the senses. So therefore the meditation is a way to be able to be in control, that we are not controlled by the circumstances, but we can be in control of the circumstances. So therefore the situation, whatever situation it is, need not necessarily affect us. That is the most important part of the meditation.
This is also one thing, it is – usually we always talk about the six senses, the eyes and ears and things like that, so at the moment our five senses are very, very strong, so what we see, what we hear, what we taste and touch is the thing that really almost controls us. But our sixth sense in a way is very weak. So therefore through meditation we almost generate this sixth sense, the power of the sixth sense, so that seeing and hearing and touching and smelling is not the most powerful, but that can be almost overcome, overshadowed by our mind. That is the meditation, the purpose of meditation.
There is a meditation chart, you must have seen this elephant chart, our mind is depicted like an wild elephant, wild, black, strong, completely elephant, and not just a wild elephant, but led by a monkey, our mind is like that, it is so stubborn, like elephant, so powerful, elephant is so big and so powerful and so – you cannot „sh sh sh“ and it will not go away. So it is like an elephant. And that also wild, you can just come around, and whatever is on the way, everything is stampeded upon, and then goes through. And that also not just like an elephant who is rather slow, but led by a monkey who never sits still for one moment, just jumps from this branch to that branch, and another this branch to that branch, and then alway doing something. This is the image given, kind of the situation of our mind.
So our mind is not under control, is not tamed, is wild, stubborn, is just going where it wants to, without looking here and there. And also it is not staying in one place, it cannot stay, it is just completely wild. That is the situation of our mind. It is not stable, it is not clear, it is not calm, it is not tamed, it is completely a shamble. Although we try to do some things, we try to work on the things that we have been talking about, but it changes and we cannot sit still, we cannot do something really concentrated, our mind goes off here and there and all the time. And then again and again all the negative come up. And then we cannot see things clearly, and therefore we are all the time getting into all different kinds of troubles. So that is the objective of the meditation, to work on. The meditation is to work on this mind, which at this moment is in this situation.
Now how to work with this meditation, how to work on our mind? First thing is to keep the mind under control, tamed, and keep the mind calm and clear, that is the main two things. To make the mind calm, and then to make the mind clear. These are the two things that is the main thing to be done. So how to do this, how to keep the mind calm and clear, or how to work, how to train ourselves, so that we can make the mind calm and clear. We need to make the mind calm and clear, because unless it is calm, it cannot be clear, unless it is not clear, it cannot see through, so therefore it cannot be freed. This is very important.
So the way, the principle is, that in order to calm your mind down, you have to calm it down. You cannot stir it up, and then expect that it will calm down. So you have to make it calm, means leave it alone, leave it undisturbed, leave it unmanipulated, leave it like the same – the Buddha used to say, used to give this example: Suppose you go to the river Ganges, and then get a pot whater, and you look in it, and it is completely dirty, there is sand, and mika (muck?) and dust and all this kind of things in it. So what can you do? How would you make this clean? He said: If you keep this pot of water at one place, and then leave it there untouched and undisturbed for a certain period of time, then the dust and the sands and the things will settle down, and after some time you look and the water is clean. He says: That is how we do the meditation. If our mind, if you do not disturbe it too much, if we let it rest, if we let it relax, if we let it be, then it tends to settle down, it tends to be more calmer, and then more stabilized.
And when it becomes calmer, and all the different kinds of arisings, and different kinds of negativity, different kinds of disturbances, distractions become more calmed down and settled down, then mind becomes clear. Mind becomes clear. And when mind becomes clearer, the more it becomes clearer, the more it`s natural quality, the natural power, the natural face of it comes up. Because the natural quality of the mind is Buddha nature, so therefore you can see the positive – not only positive qualities and positive powers of this mind come out, the positive powers like the wisdom, the positive powers like compassion, positive powers like the ability to transform something with your mind, the power to see through time and space, the power of knowledge. All this different powers naturally come up, because this is the natural qualities, the natural intrinsic qualities of our mind, which is in nature clear light, in the nature full of joy, in nature great bliss. So therefore the natural state of mind, the natural qualities of state of mind, naturally appears, naturally becomes clearer, and naturally becomes apparent, when the disturbing state of our mind is cleared and calmed and tamed. So that is the meditation.
So that is why, this is the most important point, I think, in Buddhist way of meditation, that you can have your mind calm and clear, and let it remain in that state. The more and more it gets rid of the distractions, the dullness, the acquired negative habits, and then the confusion, then all the positive side, all the good qualities, naturally comes up, because that is it`s nature. This is the most important understanding, when we talk about the Buddha-nature, when we talk about everything else, is that our mind is naturally completely enlightened, naturally pure, naturally good, there is nothing wrong with it naturally. All the problems we have, all the negative emotions, mind-poisons, negative habits and tendencies and patterns and all this kind of negative karma, and all these things are like defilements on it. It is like a covering, it is like the dusts and problems that is put into it and on it, not part of it. So therefore, the more we bring out our true natural way of being, or true natural state into the forefront, undefiled, uncovered, then all the good qualities and all the positive things come up, and therefore it becomes more and more powerful, and more strong and more compassionate and more wisdom. It is why we also believe that the intuition, the very strong intuition, foresights, and all kinds of powers of the mind come out of the mind being calm and clear.
So therefore in this drawing of the meditation, first you will find this elephant, the black elephant, totally wild, led by this monkey, and then you will find a person running after it, long way behind, with a hook and a rope. So this is ourselves, trying to meditate. Our mind is running completely out of control, very very far off, and we are trying to catch it up. So the hook and rope represent the awareness and mindfulness. We have no other way to work on this mind, except through awareness and mindfulness, because we cannot really put anything on it, really we cannot do anything else, just our own awareness and our own mindfulness, and that is the only two tools we have. So with awareness, awareness that this is like this, and we have to learn through awareness and through mindfulness how to let our mind make calm and tame. This is the real meditation.
So maybe we come to the second point on this. It is alright, wherever we come to the second point. So the second point is: What is the nature of meditation? The nature of meditation, it is said, is (chi ne ..), that means the „mind in home“, mind (nan do) means inside, at home, (gewala) means „on the positive“, (se tsche tö) means „one-pointedly remaining“, the mind remaining one-pointedly means undistracted, the mind remains undistracted in a kind of positively. That is the definition of the meditation, Shine-meditation. But how to do that? This is, as I said earlier, with only mindfulness and awareness. Now awareness, first of course, the awareness, that the way our mind is, at the moment. And then with this, that we would like to have this not like that, completely out of control, always giving us trouble and taking us everywhere we really do not want to go, and jumping into the mud, and do not want to come out of it, you know, the elephants do, the elephants like water and especially muddy water. So then what we try to do, to make the mind, find a way to make our mind a little bit less distracted. We try to get rid of this too much distractions, and too much dullness. That is the only way.
So how do we do that? We cannot just say: „I cannot be distracted! I do not want to be distracted!“ That itself is lots of distraction, and that would not work. So therefore, how to do is just letting our mind naturally, lightly, tenderly settle down, maybe on a point, on a focus, not too concentrated, just lightly settled. So we just relax. So therefore, the relaxation is the first thing to learn when we try to learn meditation. Because it is not: „Oh, I have to do (murmer murmer)!“. That is not the way. The relaxation is – because the more the relaxed, the more it little bit settles down. The more tension, then the mind becomes tense. So we are trying to untense, we are trying to do away with the tension, we are trying to make it natural, as natural as possible. If we try to make it too tense, or do too many things, then it is not natural. So therefore let it be very natural.
But when we say natural, again there is this misunderstanding, if we feel that natural is just let whatever comes into mind, do that, like „I will be really natural! Just now I want to go and run around naked!“, I would do that, or something like that, whatever. That does not mean natural. In the mind all different kind of things come up, and just to follow those thoughts is not being natural. What we mean to say is real natural, let it be, let it really settle down. Not too much react with it. It is natural that lots of things come up in the mind, that is where you have to deal, that is the main thing. When you sit down and look at your mind, you know, and you will realise how many thoughts come up, one after another, the kind of torrent, just like a bucket full. Sometimes we do not even realise, it is too much, too many. So we cannot say: „Oh, this should not be! This schould not be!“ We cannot stop it like that. We find a way, we find a relaxed way of letting them come, but letting them go. We do not cling to one thing, we do not get hold of one thing, and then trying to catch at one or two pieces in it, or anything like that, but let them be, let them flow.
This is usually the way our mind does. There is lots of thoughts, lots of things coming and going, it is like flowing in the river. And then we are trying to catch one or two things at the bank, and then we try to hold on, that is the thoughts, and then emotions. We try to hold on to these things, wich we cannot really, because it is all the time going, so therefore we have conflicts and problems, and things like that. So what we try to do in the meditation is, when we flow, let it flow, whatever comes, come and go and pass, like when you are in a train, you go around, and all the things come, but you do not hold on. If you try to hold on to something from the window, then it is problem. So therefore we just let it pass, let it go around. We feel relaxed, we do not feel disturbed by the things that are coming and going. Although lots of things come up, but let them come, do not get disturbed by them, just let them go. You do not need to hold on to them, you do need to fight with them, you do need to say: „Go away, go away!“ Just let it come and let it go.
So therefore slowly, this is the meditation technique, this is the balance, how you do it. You stay relax, and then very relax, go to sleep – so that is not meditation, sleeping is no meditation, because then it is sleeping. But meditation is awake, is alert, but still completely relaxed, and very easy, making the mind, and body also, at ease, comfortable, spacious, and not reacting like this (beats fist against other hand), fighting, holding on, or something like this. Just being. The peace coming out of it. Being peaceful, being natural, being at ease, so this is the way you do the meditation.
Many techniques there are, many different instructions on how to do this, how to begin with this. This is the thing, there is no dispute on the general way. There is not dispute anyway, but different techniques you can use, sometimes one try to work with something you put mind on little bit, because otherwise your mind is too much distracted and you do not know where your mind is going, so we try to little bit let our mind slowly settle down on one object, whether be it our breathing, which is naturally coming and going, or whether be it an object that is in front of you, like a flower, like a stone, or like a piece of wood, or a painting, whatever. We just let our ming be very calm and peaceful and very undisturbed, very relaxed, and then look at this or feel of this in a way, and then just be. And then when we find that our mind is racing out, to somewhere else, we find that we are here actually, but our mind is not here, we are doing kind of shopping in Berlin or something like that. Then we just do not fight, we just do not be too shocked or alarmed or feel bad or feel guilty or feel good, nothing, just remind ourself of be aware of wherever our mind is supposed to be. Just remind that. That is returning. You do not have to bring back, through all these roads here and there, and all these turnings and traffic lights, it is not necessary, you just remind of this, that is the meditation.
This is a very simple kind of thing, actually it is nothing complicated, it is a very simple technique. But of course it is not simple to do, it involves really working on our mind directly. It is one practice where you cannot be dishonest, there is no chance, you cannot deceive yourself, because you are directly with your looking at yourself. Therefore for many meditation is not easy, very difficult, because it is really directly looking at yourself. But it is not difficult, if you know how to do it, if you not put the tension on it, if you take it as a release, then it is not difficult. But we can make it very difficult, and when you make it difficult, then it is not right. The main problem with this meditation, or to understand or to learn how to do meditation, is this, to be able to understand really, within. To understand the words is very easy, but to really understand from our experience, how to relax and how to be natural, this one has to learn through experience. So that is the importance of meditation, not the importance, that is really the meditation.
To meditate, the first thing is to have a time to meditate, and when you have a short time, you make some short time, whenever, I mean long time is better, but short time is alright, they usually start with short times, and break many times in a meditation. So we find a place, usually they say that the better that you have a place which is regularly there, to give you some familiarity, stability, a cozy place, where it is inspiring and good to have small shrine, or something like that. So then, at the time you do the meditation first, you say that: From this time to this time, I do meditation, I relax. One should not take it as a work, one should take it as a time off. The meditation is taken as a time off, you have been busy all through – we are usually not busy just for eight hours, or ten hours that we work, we are busy 24 hours, our mind is busy 24 hours. Therefore we say: Let me get a brake, this 24 hours a day, and seven days a week, and twelve months a year, this working, that is too much, so let me get a brake, at least for ten minutes a day, or whatever.
So during that time, I really relax, I forget about all my troubles, I forget about the problems at the job, the problems at other places, all these problems I do not want to think about them, I just have a brake. And then you sit on - wherever, and usually, we sit cross-legged, and the most important thing, they say, is to sit straight, because they say that if your body is leaning towards right or left or front or back, then certain emotions come more strongly, and that disturbes, and that is not so good. So therefore a little bit straight. Sitting cross-leg is the usual way, and recommended way, sometimes they even do this Vajra-posture, where one leg goes up (demonstrates) and the other - . But I think it is not too bad, even if you cannot do that, you can sit on a chair also. I think that is not the most important thing, because as you know, the future Buddha is sitting on a chair, the Maitreya Buddha is always – not always, but most of the time, depicted as sitting on the chair. And that is not coming from now, that is coming right from the Buddha`s time. So therefore maybe it is not too bad, or maybe it is good, because then we are ready for the next Buddha.
But anyway, the most important thing is the relaxedness of your body. When we say that we have to have to sit straight, most of the time people become very tense, because sitting straight makes you kind of tense. But sitting straight and relaxed, very relaxed, and comfortable, your knees having pain, or something like that, you do not really have to bear it, you can change your posture. Having pain is no meditation, then your mind is on the pain only. Of course, if you are good at it, maybe you can make it into meditation too. But for beginning, it is not easy. So therefore being comfortable, at ease and having spaciousness, that is the three things it is mentioned. (de da, lu tang, yang da sum), (de da) means comfortable, (lo tang) means kind of relaxed, and (yang da) means spaciousness, at ease. These three is the main attitude of your body, as well as the mind.
The body is regarded important, to start with, because body is where your mind relates to. So therefore, when the body effects the mind directly, so your body is tense, your mind becomes tense too, and then the effect is reverse also, your mind tense, the body becomes tense too. There is nothing completely physical and completely mental only, it is all very much related. So therefore when you relax the body, and sometimes they say: Feel like the bundle of straw cut. If there is a bundle of straw, very tightly bound, and if you cut the thread, the rope that binds this, then it will fall naturally down. Some teachers even say: Feel as if all the cells of your body are smiling, which is also I think a very nice metaphor. If all the cells of your body are smiling, then you cannot be tense or uncomfortable. Whatever you say, you feel relaxed and at ease and in comfort, and then let the mind slowly, naturally – not concentrate, but be, slightly remember, or slightly dwell on something, or on nothing, it does not matter, and then then remain like that as naturally as possible.
And then, only thing is that when you find yourself – there is two things, disctraction and dullness. When you find you are distracted, or you are dull, then your mindfulness and awareness comes into, and that is where the meditation is. But this is the thing, not becoming too jumpy, „Oh, I am distracted!“, not too much overreacting, just naturally „I am distracted, but alright“, you just bring it back. So this is the work, meditation is this, relaxing, but when you are distracted, or when you are dull, then use the mindfulness and awareness to continue. You can say to bring it back, but not really to bring it back, but to continue. Let whatever distraction happend, happend, you do not even think about it, finished. All the time we are distracted. So that is the way.
Also one thing that is very important, is that you cannot sit one way, undistracted, for a very very long time, you cannot and should not. In the beginning you should break this meditation, they say. And that is like five minutes, or four minutes, or three minutes, whatever, you do this, and then you have a brake. Brake means you do not stand up and go away, but you stop meditation, you just relax, you do not use any techniques or anything, just completely relaxed, in that state where you have naturally be. Just a few seconds, or one minute, completely relax, and then again do this same. So this repeating few times. This gap is sometimes they say is more important then the actual meditation, because actual meditation „I am meditating“, and so therefore, whatever you say, there is some tension and some kind of a made up thing. But when you relax, then you are relaxed, so you are actually more natural and more meditating at that time. So therefore this is important.
And then another thing which is very very important is that the first stages -. Of course, when you first do, maybe you have good experiences and things like that, but after some time then you reach the first stage, and that they call it the „rushing water stage“ or syndrom or whatever you call, like waterfall, waterfall stage. That means that the thoughts and emotions are so strong that it is like waterfall. Waterfall means, the waters comes like rushing down, very forcefully, nobody can stop it. In the same way, you thoughts and emotions come so much, so many, that you feel that you cannot meditate at all, it is impossible, it is too much. This is said to be a stage, this is not that you have become worse. Most people who meditate think that „Oh, I have been quite calm and quiet and nice, but now I have lost it, I cannot meditate anymore.“ That is not the case. You have not lost it. You have attained a stage where you become more aware of how your mind is at the moment.
So therefore, when you – just now, we sit like this, and we feel kind of alright, but we are not aware, more subtle thoughts, deeper. So when we become little bit more settled down, little bit more calmer, we become much more aware of how it is going on. And then we get discouraged. But this is acutally said to be a stage, which is a good thing, it is a step foreward, it is a stage where this awareness is coming up. Most people who meditate stop there and forget about it afterwards, because they cannot do it anymore. But this is something where you have to understand, and then, if you can go foreward from there, then it is becoming calmer and calmer. So therefore this is the important to understand that if you think that you cannot meditate at all, then you might become a good meditator.
So this stage is important, because this is the first stage of attainment. So therefore, this way, then slowly slowly, then the mind goes, and slowly slowly it becomes more clear, and less wild, and less – and then at the end, what we call as (delu chen jang) and (sem chen jang), that is the result, that we will discuss afterwards.
So then the third point is the different categories of the meditation. Now there are three different categories are given, the first is what is called as (to we cho la de war ne pa sam ten), (to we cho) means `whatever you perceive´, to that all the Dharma, or the phenomena that you receive, (de war ne pa) means `remaining in peace´, in peace in whatever you see, it is kind of the attainment of the stability and the calmness, so that you are not disturbed, you have peace and things like that, the calm abiding.
The second is (yön ten du be sam ten), means to accomplish different positive qualities through meditation, like this intuition, intuitive power, the power of seeing and hearing far, and power of divine eye, and all different kind of powers also comes from this kinds of meditations. So this is the second. The power of (sung), (darane) and things like that, something called (darane), also that come from the meditative power, (darane) is if you have a certain stage of this meditation, then you can bless a sound, or something like that, and it becomes powerful for that purpos.
And then the third one is (sen chen tön je sam ten), is the meditation to help other beings through the meditation, how to help other beings, meditation in order to help other beings, or the meditation through which you can help other beings. So these are the three different kinds of meditation, or this calm abiding type of meditation, it is written down. It is not necessary that you can completely categorize in these one or two or three things, meditation can be of – (sam ten ji con taje), but they say that there is unlimited number of meditative states and things like that, so this is just mentioned here in three points.
Then we come to the fifth point, and that is how to increase or multiply the power of this meditation, as same as before, the three points: The Bodhicitta aspiration in the beginning, so even when we do meditation, first we try to remind ourselves of our Bodhicitta aspiration, „for this purpose, for the sake of all the sentient beings, that they attain complete enlightenment, for that purpose I am going to do this meditation“. Of course the meditation, how well the meditation progresses, it is not just – it is also how long you have to do. This is also very important, if you do only very little, you cannot achieve a lot. But also how you do is actually even more important than how long you do, because if you do not know it properly, then you cannot have the right kind of desired effect. But also it is I think very very important when you do the meditation, it is not too much impatient looking foreward to certain results. Of course we are doing because we expect something to happen. But then this always looking foreward to a result itself becomes the most, worst obstacle. Because then we do not do meditation, we just look foreward to some experience, and then it is no meditation. „What will come now? What will come now?“ Meditation is just relaxing in that particular way, and making your mind calm and clear, so therefore the looking foreward to some experience, or some result, is one of the worst obstacles to it. So that has to be understood, and accordingly – it is not easy, but accordingly, find a way of not doing that.
Then these three things of course, the aspiration, the wisdom, and then dedication at the end. And then also the six points the same, through wisdom and through compassion, that we keep it pure and not falling into working for the – because through meditation, it is not only that through meditation everything – you can sometimes gain lots of power and insight, lots of things, so therefore, if you are doing with negative emotions, or negative motivations, then it is not so good. So therefore, to clear the motivation, to make the intention more on the compassionate, and then the wisdom basis is to keep it in the right perspective, in the right direction, and on the right path, so therefore it is the important thing.
Then lastly the result, the result of meditation of course is the finally complete enlightenment for yourself and for others, and also the attainment of the fifth Bhumi, as it is mentioned in the Bodhisattva`s path, and then also to have the complete control over your mind. They say that when this meditation becomes completely trained, then (semche yang), you call it (semche yang) and (luchen yang), that means the mind is completely under your control, so therefore there is no need of any fighting with your emotions, or fighting with this or that, and conflicts, so you are free, you are free from all fear, you do not have to look –.
This is another thing, it is very important to mention – the result of the meditation, the purpose of the meditation, is not to have good experiences. You have lots of good experiences also maybe, but this good experiences is not the purpose, or the bad experience is not the purpose, but the purpose is to be able to carry any experience in the same way. What good experience comes, it is very nice, you do not mind, you are not afraid, you are free from any attachment or clinging or aversion to it. Even the bad experience comes, if you can carry it in the same way, that it is an experience, it comes, it goes, you do not cling to it, you do not have aversion – when that happens, that is the real result of meditation. Then your mind becomes – you become the master, and the emotions, the arisings and the sensual things do not disturbe. And when we know that whatevery comes, whatever emotions comes, whatever things come from outside or inside, cannot disturbe, cannot shake you, cannot throw you out of balance. Then you have the control, the training of the mind, then you do not have any fear. Your mind is then - in the drawings depicted as you are there, and then the elephant is just sleeping next to you, or wherever you go, it is following, it is completely tamed, you do not even need a rope on it, that is the image given. So your mind or your emotions are not taking you over, but you are their master, so wherever you go, they follow.
That is the complete peace and that is the complete clarity, and when that stage comes, the wisdom comes naturally. So that is the understanding, that it leads to – that is how one leads to another, the meditation leads to wisdom, because when you are perfectly in that control over you mind, then in a way you are in control over your body also, and then the wisdom arises naturally, and then there is – in the drawing, you are like that, and then from there, you are coming down, in a rainbow kind of a thing, riding on the elephant, with a flaming sword. Now because you are completely in control, and you have this wisdom, sword of wisdom, which can cut all the ignorance, so now you are coming down to work for the other beings, to cut the bondage of ignorance of all the sentient beings. So it is a nice picture, maybe you can get this kind of paintings.
So that is more or less the things on meditation.
Q: Rinpoche, Magda says that in an earlier teachings you gave about meditation , you explained that it would be good before sitting down doing the actual meditation practice, to do some breathing exercises, (through the left and right nostril), in order to let go of hatred and attachment. And Magda is wondering if it is possible you gave these instructione once more.
A: This comes from the Ngöndro practices, in the beginning of Ngöndro practices, but I think you can do it, if you like. Actually the breathing out, before doing the meditation, if you do a very hard breathing out, it is good, because then you are cleared, bad air is cleared, and oxygen, more oxygen and things like, so mind becomes more alert. So therefore I think the first is just blow off from your nose, like (demonstrates – through left nostril, closing right one), completely, they say it should be slowly, then big, and then slowly, it is completely everything, all the wind, not just from the lungs, but from the belly. This three times. And then you feel that all the negative emotions of attachment, and clinging, and miserliness, and all those kind of things go off. You can even make a visualisation of certain colours, usually like a little bit redish, but very murky and pollution kind. So you feel that this is all out, completely.
And then you do three times from here (demonstrates through right nostril), same way, and then you feel that your anger and hatred and all this related, all go out, in form of again kind of witish and grey pollution. And then you do three times from your nose. And then both the nose, and then you feel that in a king of dark-coloured, smoke-like breath, all the dullness, all the unknowing, ignorance, negative things, completely blow out. While doing this, sometimes you do like this also – but maybe it is not necessary at this stage, this is the main thing. And sometimes you blow out also three times from your mouth, and then think that every other negative, every negative whatever is still remaining, is going out. So this is the blowing out. And then you feel completely clean, and then start the meditation. This a usual way. But also, this is important, whenever you feel dizzy, not dizzy, dull, if you feel more sleepy or dull, it is good to do this. Again and again, makes you wake up, druing the meditation also. And usually, first time we wake up in the morning, you do this also, freshens you up, said to be good.
Q: I was trying, I did, but I thought maybe right nose like this, and left like this, so I got confused with it.
A: It does not really matter, I think. I think from here (from left nostril) is attachment, and from here (from right nostril) is the hatred, and from both is the ignorance.
We have to finish the Six Paramitas, so we have been going through the first five Paramitas, and now we come to the sixth one, which is the Paramita of wisdom. As we already discussed, all these five become Paramita only if the wisdom is there, so therefore the Wisdom Paramita is the most important of all. It is given last, because it is also the most difficult one to understand and to practice, although one hast to do it from the beginning also, one hast to try to generate the wisdom, try to work on it right from the beginning. This is not something we can just talk and finish in one session, but what we will try is to give you little bit of a resume of what is in the book more or less.
(chö je nam je ...) This is also described here in seven points, but a little bit differently. The first point is same, like to find out what are the benefits of generating the wisdom, or attaining the wisdom, or realising the wisdom, and what are the disadvantages of not having that. And then the second is: What is wisdom. And then third is: different categories of, different types of wisdom. And then fourth is: To detail, enlarge, or to describe what are these categories. And then the fifth is: How to understand them, how to get the knowledge or experience of them. And then sixth is: To get habituated, or how to become familiarised with these wisdoms. And then seventh is the result. So in these seven points, the wisdom chapter is discussed.
Now the first one is – it is said that a Bodhisattva, or a practitioner, if any person has all the other five Paramitas, has worked or trained themselves, or tried to develop all the other five of the six Paramitas, but if he or she does not have any wisdom, then, it is said here, that he or she cannot become enlightened, because this is the main thing. From buddhist point of view, the real seed, or the real source, or the real cause, the basic cause, the root cause of our problems of the samsaric state of mind, of egoistic way of seeing, whatever you call it, of dualistic way of seeing, all this, the basic cause is the unknowing, is the ignorance. Ignorance here is not the ignorance that you do not have enough information. It is not that kind of ignorance. The ignorance here is not beeing able to see as what it is, what you are, in way not know exactely what you are, that is the ignorance. So therefore, because of ignorance, we are in the samsaric state of mind, because of ignorance, there we go round and round in the Samsara, because of ignorance we suffer, because through ignorance, based on this ignorance, the other negative emotions, like aversion and attachment and pride and jealousy and everything is coming, so therefore the first and most important thing, in order to get out of this samasaric cycle, is to get rid of this ignorance. To get rid of ignorance means to get the wisdom, means to see the way, the true way, the real way of how the things really are. And that is what we call wisdom. If we do not have wisdom, if we do not do that, then we cannot get rid of the samsaric state of mind, and we cannot get enlightened, we cannot get realisation, so therefore this is the crucial point, this is the main, the most root cause, and therefore root cause for liberation too.
So it is given here in Gampopa`s teaching, that without wisdom you cannot get the enlightenment. Because it is something like a blind person, or many blind persons, who are left in the middle of a big desert, and then you do not know where to go, you cannot get out of it, because you do not have any eyes, so you do not know where you are going, so you go round and round and round. In the same way, the Buddha said, unless you have the wisdom, you cannot get out of the samsaric state of mind. That is the main benefit of generating, that is why it is so important to try to generate the wisdom.
Transcript: Maria Hündorf, Hamburg
© Dr. Ringu Tulku