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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thought for Saturday ( + Spanish, French, German, Italian ) retranslations welcome!

"Speed of ordinary life and lack of training produces many unstabilized mental energies that remain stuck in you. That feels painful, scattered and makes you easily distracted! This is anti – yoga! Perhaps you have not processed them yogically into your inner fast enough to keep up with mental production. Perhaps you did not even know you were supposed to be doing this. Fewer thoughts and higher quality thoughts are a healing balm to quiet excess production of energy" ~Domo Geshe Rinpoche~~~

"La velocidad de la vida ordinaria y la carencia de la formación producen muchas energías mentales no estabilizadas que permanecen pegadas en ti. ¡Se siente doloroso, dispersado y hace fácilmente distrajiste! ¡Esto es anti – yoga! Quizás no los has tratado yogically en tu interior bastante rápido para mantenerte al corriente de la producción mental. Quizás no sabías hasta que se supuso que tú hacías esto. Menos pensamientos y los pensamientos de calidad más altos son un bálsamo que se cura para calmar la producción excedente de la energía" ~Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

"La vitesse de vie ordinaire et le manque d'entraînement produisent beaucoup d'énergies mentales non stabilisées qui restent enfoncées tu. Cela se sent pénible, dispersé et fait tu as distrait facilement! C'est anti-l'yoga! Peut-être tu ne les as pas traités yogically dans ton intérieur assez vite pour marcher de pair avec la production mentale. Peut-être tu même ne savais pas que tu étais censé le faire. Moins de pensées et pensées de qualité supérieure sont un baume guérissant pour calmer la production d'excès d'énergie" ~Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

"Die Geschwindigkeit des normalen Lebens und der Mangel an Training produzieren viele instabile geistige Energien, die in Dir stecken bleiben. Das f... See Moreühlt sich schmerzhaft und zerstreut an und lenkt Dich leicht ab! Dies ist Anti-Yoga! Vielleicht hast Du die Energien nicht schnell genug auf yogische Weise im Inneren verarbeitet, um mit der geistigen Produktion Schritt zu halten. Vielleicht wusstest Du noch nicht einmal, dass Du das tun solltest. Weniger Gedanken haben, aber dafür Gedanken von höherer Qualität, das ist der heilende Balsam, um die überschüssige Energieproduktion zu beruhigen."- Domo Geshe Rinpoche---

"La velocità della vita ordinaria e la mancanza della pratica producono molte energie mentali instabili che rimangono bloccate dentro di te. Questo ti fa sentire dolore, dispersione e ti fa facilmente distrarre! Questo è anti–yoga! Forse non li hai trattati in maniera yogica nel tuo interno abbastanza velocemente per stare al passo con la produzione mentale. Forse non hai neanche potuto supporre che tu stessi facendo questo. Meno pensieri e pensieri di qualità più alta sono un balsamo curatore per calmare la produzione di energia in eccesso" ~Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

Friday, November 27, 2009

Feelings of Flying and Other Unusual Experiences

"There are many with a karmic spiritual nature that naturally effervesces in meditation. This will sometimes cause extraordinary experiences, feeling light as a feather, heavy as a rock or feel like they are flying in the sky – all fresh experiences arising to those with previous development. It is a sign of karmic accomplishment from the past. However, this is not how we’re going to become enlightened, only a sign of capability to continue training begun earlier. It is not even a good substitute for a real spiritual practice" ~ Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

"Hay muchos con una naturaleza espiritual karmic que naturalmente effervesces en la meditación. Esto causará a veces experiencias extraordinarias, sintiéndose ligero como una pluma, pesada como una roca o sentirá que ellos llegan en avión el cielo – todas las experiencias frescas que se levantan a aquellos con el desarrollo anterior. Es una señal del logro karmic del pasado. Sin embargo, esto no es como vamos a hacernos aclarados, sólo una señal de la capacidad de seguir la formación comenzada antes. No es hasta un sustituto bueno de una verdadera práctica espiritual" ~ Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

"Il y a beaucoup avec une nature spirituelle karmic qui est en effervescence naturellement dans la méditation. Cela provoquera quelquefois des expériences extraordinaires, en se sentant clair comme une plume, lourde comme une roche ou aura l'impression qu'ils volent dans le ciel – toutes les expériences fraîches survenant à ceux avec le développement précédent. C'est un signe d'accomplissement karmic à partir du passé. Cependant, ce n'est pas comment nous allons devenir éclairés, seulement un signe de capacité de continuer l'entraînement commencé plus tôt. Ce n'est pas même un bon remplaçant pour une pratique spirituelle réelle" ~ Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

"Es gibt viele Menschen mit einer karmisch spirituellen Natur, die beim Meditieren nat... See Moreürlich aufsprudelt. Das führt manchmal zu aussergewöhnlichen Erlebnissen, man fühlt sich leicht wie eine Feder, schwer wie ein Stein oder als ob man im Himmel fliegt - lauter neue Erfahrungen, die bei jenen mit vorheriger Entwicklung auftreten. Dies sind Zeichen für karmische Fertigkeiten aus der Vergangenheit. Jedoch werden wir auf diese Weise nicht erleuchtet, es sind nur Zeichen einer Fähigkeit, in der Vergangenheit begonnenes Training fortsetzen zu können. Dies ist noch nicht einmal ein guter Ersatz für echte spirituelle Praxis."- Domo Geshe Rinpoche---

"Ci sono molti con una natura spirituale karmic che naturalmente effervesces in meditazione. Questo qualche volta causerà esperienze straordinarie, sentendosi leggero come una piuma, pesante come una roccia o avrà impressione che loro stanno volando nel cielo – tutte le esperienze fresche alzandosi a quelli con sviluppo precedente. È un segno di risultato karmic dal passato. Comunque, questo non è come stiamo per diventare rischiarati, solo un segno di capacità di continuare la formazione professionale cominciata ancora prima. Non è perfino un buon sostituto per una pratica spirituale vera" ~ Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

What is an Idea? (part three)

In our ongoing exploration of the meaning of “idea,” we see that skill in linguistic manipulation often means that our philosophy is correct by agreement among ourselves while others have unproved ideas. This is a cultivated talent of all good debaters. While we have principles, they have ideas (notions or opinions). Meanwhile, our group, (whatever that is), country, or community thinks about what is truly important and create principles of varying actual logical sense.

There is a story called, “The Lord of the Flies”, about lost boys living on an island with no adults, no education, fending for themselves. They invented strange rules, principles, and attitudes as well as an ability to punish others for seemingly innocuous reasons. It causes me to think about different cultural values. For example, I saw a documentary about the Inuit and their shamanic culture, which has a tremendous number of rules. I cannot remember the details but it would be as if I was going to take a cookie, I had to first turn around three times. It was like that to my thinking - very unusual and seeming unrelated to the issue at hand. If one did not perform actions in that correct way, according to the principles of their community, this might cause the entire village to starve in retaliation by the gods who were displeased. People who broke rules, little tiny rules, were made to pay huge penalties as well as confess and have dishonors heaped upon them. These, to my mind, are unusual ideas regarding rules.

So, we have ideals in the form of principles and others have ideas in the form of notions or opinions, because they cannot really prove it to our satisfaction. In a more positive way, “idea” and “ideals” are interchangeable as meaning guiding principles. Certainly, ideals determine how we treat or interact with others.

Democracy is a familiar example of a guiding principle based upon agreement among the people in this and other countries, producing certain sets of rules and structure. The Ten Commandments are another set that we could casually call a good idea, a very good idea. However, they are not just a good idea. They are guiding principles based upon divine inspiration – it came from God. So these guiding principles, ideas, or ideals, because they come from God, are impossible to criticize or change by even one word. It is divine law.

The ideals of Buddhism are presented to us in the active form of living ideas such as compassion, love, and caring for others. The value of seeking wisdom and other important concepts used as guiding principles are not just divinely inspired written in stone, but must be developed over a very long period of time and honed in skillfulness by the living organic being in order to benefit.

Practical applications

So, what is an idea and how is it used in everyday life? In my opinion, one common method of displaying “idea” is a showing a copy of a pattern without consideration of how that pattern was formed. One could copy an idea and retell it to others. For example, in a recent renovation project at the Hermitage, the workman arrived, electricians, plumber, and carpenters asking me,
“What do you want to do here?” My eyes just sort of moved around here and there as if trying to escape because I have no fresh insight of what I was talking about and am relegated to reproducing a pattern, “Uh, uh, Jack said that he would like to have that wall over here.” I do not know why Jack said that or why that was important. Maybe Pema Dorje told Jack his idea, then Jim, Jack, and Pema Dorje talked about it, and I am telling the pattern to the actual workers. I have no idea why I am the one to have to do this, as I am not even a very good copier of that pattern! This becomes apparent when the electrician says, “Well, I don’t know. What if we do this?” I reply, “Oh, that sounds good too.”

The electrician removed an old fan in the outer Dharma hall, looked at me sadly and said,
“You know, the previous owners had that heavy fan just clutching onto one ceiling tile.” As we gazed at it together, he said, “You know, they installed it right next to the stud. Isn’t that interesting?” This probably happened 30 years ago and little did they know that they would be critiqued later on. Anyway, I digress, a copy of a pattern without consideration of how that pattern was formed. To be continued…

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What is an Idea? (Part two)

In our ongoing discussion of diverse meanings we ascribe to the word “idea”, it is good to keep an open mind so that we become more adept at listening and understanding others. This prepares us as excellent candidates for quality relationships with others as well as become more receptive to Buddhist dharma teachings.

Another method to discern the nuances of “idea” is thinking how we process the elements that we add to our worldview in the form of impressions. Have you ever seen the small toy, constructed of some kind of sticky rubber that looks like a frog’s tongue? You flip it out like a sticky whip and pick up something such as a piece of paper. Energetic, gathering of impressions are often like this – flliipt, fllupt. Whether we do that skillfully or not with our energetic inner bases of the senses, the nutritional needs of our perceptions must be satisfied somehow. Impressions are the real food of the senses in the form of data.

I understand that, during Communist time, the many orphan children in Romania were not so carefully cared for. They were not picked up and rarely hugged but were left in cribs and not stimulated in their senses. They had few incoming impressions, just looking at the ceiling. They had nothing to play with, or language instruction. There were even toddlers, three or four years old, who had never been handled. These children could not develop correctly. As they grew, many were unusually in need of psychological healing as well as lacking in ability to gather and integrate impressions. They were starved but did not know it. They did not energetically learn how to gather impressions.

As senses are stimulated, they will produce a harmonic or a dis-harmonic in your inner world. In addition, something happens in your personal perceptual world-view. What is stimulated in your perceptions or inner mental functions has a consonance, (a harmonic), or can become disturbed, (a dis-harmonic), in the perceptions that causes choices and other perceptions to change for better or worse.

Impressions are extremely important for the creation of ideas. So, the word, “idea,” can be the agreed upon language used to discuss the “whatever is known or supposed about something without giving it full weight or needing to agree.”


In ordinary language, that could also mean “opinion.” This is a personal belief or conviction that is unproved by general logical or social methods. By this, we can understand how many philosophies and even cultural values of other countries can become criticized as “ideas of others”. This meaning brings personal validation and pride in our philosophy, our convictions, or our ideas and relegates whatever ideas, convictions, or principles that others are holding as just their opinion.

However, if we examine this objectively and skillfully, we might even feel that we have a duty related to the important task of learning how to get along with others by using language commensurate with the effect that we wish to produce. In a flowing communication, one person might state an important principle or “idea” and the other might respond by saying, “Well, that is your idea.” You do not require too many more words than that to understand that means, “You are certainly well within your rights to think that, but you are probably absolutely wrong.

The more education that you have and use it, the more you become adept at manipulating language, and capable of tongue lashing others. Sometimes the other person does not even know it! It becomes a more educated, sophisticated way of abusing each other! Have you ever walked away from a conversation wondering, ‘Was that person disrespecting me or what exactly were they trying to say?’ Perhaps they left it up to you to figure that out later when they are at a safe distance! To be continued

How Hard Should We Wish for Others to Be Happy?

"What limits a meditator creating the authentic wish for all others to achieve boundless happiness and freedom is hampered by their own undeveloped capacity for making effort. We need to make tireless efforts to make ourselves strong enough to make tireless efforts. A skilled practitioner wishing for happiness for others does not hold the idea “I am giving top effort here”, or “I am only doing a little bit of wishing today because I feel discouraged”. There is a correct, powerfully clean and innocent return to purity and joy for a practitioner making the great wish to bestow a cultivated model of happiness on all living beings" ~Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

"Lo que limita un meditator la creación del deseo auténtico de todos los otros de conseguir la felicidad ilimitada y la libertad es obstaculizada por su propia capacidad subdesarrollada para hacer el esfuerzo. Tenemos que hacer esfuerzos incansables de hacernos bastante fuertes para hacer esfuerzos incansables. Un practicante experto que desea felicidad para otros no sostiene la idea “doy el esfuerzo superior aquí”, “o sólo hago un poquito del deseo hoy porque me siento desalentado”. Hay un correcto, potentemente limpiar y vuelta inocente a pureza y alegría para un practicante que hace el gran deseo de otorgar un modelo culto de la felicidad en todas las criaturas" ~Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

"Ce qui limite un meditator la création du désir authentique de tous les autres pour accomplir le bonheur infini et la liberté est entravée par leur propre capacité non développée pour faire l'effort. Nous avons besoin de faire des efforts infatigables pour nous rendre assez forts pour faire des efforts infatigables. Un praticien qualifié voulant pour le bonheur pour d'autres ne tient pas l'idée “je donne l'effort supérieur ici”, ou “je fais seulement un petit peu du souhait aujourd'hui parce que je me sens découragé”. Il y a un correct, puissamment se nettoyer et le retour innocent à la pureté et à la joie pour un praticien faisant le grand désir d'accorder un modèle cultivé de bonheur sur tous les êtres vivants" ~Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

"Was Meditierer daran hindert, den authentischen Wunsch zu erzeugen, das alle Anderen grenzenloses Glück und Freiheit erreichen mögen, ist ihre eigene unterentwickelte Kapazität dafür, sich anzustrengen. Wir müssen uns unermüdlich anstrengen, damit wir stark genug werden, uns unermüdlich anzustrengen. Ein geschickt Übender, der das Glück Anderer wünscht, hat keine Ideen wie 'Ich strenge mich hier grösstmöglich an' oder 'Heute wünsche ich nur ein bischen, denn ich fühle mich entmutigt'. Es gibt eine korrekte, machtvoll saubere und unschuldige Rückkehr zu Reinheit und Freude für den Übenden, der den unermesslichen Wunsch hat, alle lebenden Wesen mit einem kultivierten Modell des Glücks zu beschenken." - Domo Geshe Rinpoche---

"Quello che limita un meditator la creazione del desiderio autentico di tutti gli altri di portare a termine la felicità illimitata e la libertà è ostacolata dalla loro capacità non sviluppata per fare lo sforzo. Abbiamo bisogno di fare sforzi instancabili per farci abbastanza forte per fare sforzi instancabili. Un professionista esperto desiderando la felicità per altri non tiene l'idea “sto dando lo sforzo ultimo qui”, o “sto solo facendo un po' di desiderio oggi perché mi sento scoraggiato”. C'è un corretto, potentemente ti pulisci e il ritorno innocente a purezza e gioia per un professionista facendo il gran desiderio di concedere un modello coltivato di felicità su tutti gli esseri viventi" ~Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Wonderment of Feeling Thankful

"Thankfulness must have an object. A dynamic tension arises between us and the object, producing a magical quality in us, a wonderment holding a special state of mind while simultaneously admiring and delighting in that sensation. We might think ‘Isn’t it a miracle that I have this?’ It is magic is because there does not seem to be any plausible relationship between the causes and conditions present in our life and the fact that this so nice thing is there. So, we perform a magical action of affirmation toward an unseen object such as God or a familiar benefactor such as a friend or family that heals our self centeredness and sense of entitlement, opening us to experience compassion and caring from others" ~ Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

"La gratitud debe tener un objeto. Una tensión dinámica se levanta entre nosotros y el objeto, produciendo una calidad mágica en nosotros, una admiración sosteniendo un estado de ánimo especial admirando simultáneamente y deleitándose con aquella sensación. ¿Podríamos pensar ‘no Es esto un milagro que tengo esto?’ Es mágico es porque no parece haber cualquier relación plausible entre el presente de condiciones y causas en nuestra vida y el hecho que esto cosa así agradable está allí. De este modo, realizamos una acción mágica de la afirmación hacia un objeto invisible, como Dios o un benefactor familiar, como un amigo o familia que cura nuestro mí centeredness y el sentido del derecho, abriéndonos para experimentar la compasión y preocupándose de otros" ~ Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

"La reconnaissance doit avoir un objet. Une tension dynamique survient entre nous et l'objet, en produisant une qualité magique dans nous, un émerveillement en tenant un état d'esprit spécial en admirant simultanément et en prenant plaisir à cette sensation. Nous pourrions penser ‘n'Est pas cela un miracle que je l'ai ?’ C'est magique est parce qu'il ne semble pas y avoir n'importe quel rapport plausible entre le présent de conditions et de causes dans notre vie et le fait que cela la chose ainsi agréable est là. Donc nous exécutons une action magique d'affirmation vers un objet invisible tel que Dieu ou un bienfaiteur familier tel qu'un ami ou une famille qui guérit notre moi centeredness et le sens de droit, en nous ouvrant pour connaître la compassion et en se souciant d'autres" ~ Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

"Dankbarkeit muss ein Objekt haben. Zwischen uns und dem Objekt ensteht eine dynamische Spannung, die eine magische Qualität in uns erzeugt, eine Ehrfurcht, die einen besonderen Geisteszustand festhält, während sie gleichzeitig dieses Gefühl bewundert und in sich an ihm entzückt. Man denkt vielleicht 'Ist es nicht ein Wunder, das ich dies habe?' Es ist ein Wunder, denn es scheint keine plausible Beziehung zwischen den Ursachen und Umständen in unserem Leben und der Tatsache, dass so ein schönes Ding hier ist, zu geben. Also vollziehen wir eine magische Handlung der Affirmation gegenüber einem unsichtbaren Objekt, wie z. B. Gott oder gegenüber einem bekannten Wohltäter, einem Freund oder Familienmitglied, und diese Handlung heilt unsere Selbstbezogenheit und unseren Verdienstanspruch und öffnet uns dafür, Mitgefühl und Fürsorge von Anderen zu erfahren."- Domo Geshe Rinpoche---

"La gratitudine deve avere un oggetto. Una tensione dinamica si alza tra noi e l'oggetto, producendo una qualità magica in noi, una meraviglia tenendo una disposizione d'animo speciale contemporaneamente ammirando e dilettandosi di quella sensazione. Potremmo pensare ‘non È questo un miracolo che ho questo?’ È magico è perché ci non sembra di essere qualsiasi rapporto plausibile tra il presente di condizioni e di cause nella nostra vita e il fatto che questo la così bella cosa è là. Così, compiamo un'azione magica d'affermazione verso un oggetto inosservato come Dio o un benefattore familiare come un amico o una famiglia che guarisce il nostro stesso centeredness e il senso di diritto, aprendoci per provare la compassione e avendo cura da altri" ~ Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

Monday, November 23, 2009

What is an Idea? (Part one)

We begin our discussion on idea in the spirit of the method we use to agree on terminology the way Tibetan Buddhism is taught in Geshe advanced Buddhist studies. If we cannot agree on terms and ideas, it will be more difficult to explain other concepts based on those. I am not using traditional dharma words here ideas those are for explaining the foreign Sanskrit concepts to Tibetan students. Since education in the West is diverse and culture is changing rapidly, it is good to have common ground in English also.

We can agree that ideas are modules of mental process; one of your most important techniques for interacting with the world. This word comes from both the Latin and Greek, meaning, “to see.” In that way, it appears to be a way of describing the gathering of information, however, I also think it is not easy to definitively state, “both the Greeks and the Latin say that idea = to see.” We all understand the confusion possible from our own explorations in communication between cultures, certainly in my experiences of Tibetan language in understanding Sanskrit that predates Tibetan for Buddhist studies. There are also complications between other cultural influences in the English language, creating many unknown nuances to language until investigated.

This reminds me of stories I have heard about an unnamed European explorer who not only discovered Tibet, (to his own mind) as well as, (with extremely rudimentary Tibetan language ability), translated Tibetan texts that sound bizarre because of a lack of correct meanings of terminology. No Tibetan scholar… he would have been laughed off the debate court with that kind of language and understanding.

Therefore, in a similar respectful manner, it is likely that the Greeks had many nuances to this word, “idea.” We cannot impose our own standards upon their knowing in order for us to have a superficial understanding of what the Greeks said – “it means to see.” That would be immature and premature to an inquiring mind.

So, it is good to see fresh, so that we can derive the most benefit from ideas. We can agree that ideas are mental activities. Idea can also operate under the meaning of a “notion.” A notion also has a feeling of experiencing an unexamined or light-hearted result of superficially gathered impressions. This means that there is not much analysis or reflection used, either by lack of time or deep interest. This use of idea as a notion could also be applied to hurt someone by demeaning their thinking as useless, for example, “Well, buddy, you’ve got some funny notions there.” In that way, the idea has been reduced to a meaningless process going on in you that has little to do with logical possibilities. It certainly does not relate to correct thinking in their opinion!

On the other hand, one could personally have a notion, for example, to get an ice cream cone. In that way, you could use it interchangeably – “I’ve got an idea to go for an ice cream cone,” but if you do not want to give it full status you might choose to say, “I’ve got a notion to do this.” Certainly, if I examined it more closely, I would probably decide not to go, knowing how many calories, how little time, and how little I actually need an ice cream cone. Still, I have a notion to go there.

It could also be beneficial to use as a way to hold an unformed idea without giving it full status as an idea. It allows us to organize thoughts and interact with others or other ideas without losing correct logic. Therefore, it is a nuance of language to be able to have an unformed idea. If you say, “ I’ve got a notion to fly to the moon”– you do not have to own a spaceship or know someone with a spaceship. You do not even need education such as astronauts are logically required to have. Recently, I saw a movie about a young fellow who became a renowned rocket scientist called, “October Sky.” It was inspiring to see his dedication and enthusiasm. Even though he was a boy living in West Virginia with no hopes of ever becoming a rocket scientist, in fact, he did, and it was not a notion of his but a true idea.

Anyway, I could have a notion (idea) to go to the moon. What does it cost now, $20 million to go up into space? I do not need any of those things, only a partial idea in order to perhaps liven up some other unnamed thing. Perhaps I really mean that I am not happy on this Earth and I would like to go to the moon to escape. Perhaps I mean my nature is to fly high. We do not know where that notion is coming from. However, we can retain a part of language to express without needing to explain every single piece of information logically. To be continued….

What Are You Doing Here?

"You have only two purposes for arriving here in this world.The first is to learn, understand, and then to sincerely arise true compassion. These are three distinct educational and experiential modules. You might even be reading the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, keeping one of his inspirational books by the side of your bed, thinking, 'My goodness, these are such good ideas. I should try harder to put these into practice!" ~Domo Geshe Rinpoche ~~~

"Es gibt nur zwei Gründe, warum Du auf diese Welt gekommen bist. Der erste ist, um +ber wahres Mitgefühl zu lernen, es zu verstehen und es dann wahrhaft zu erzeugen. Dies sind drei völlig verschiedene Module, was Ausbildung und Erfahrung betrifft. Du könntest vielleicht sogar die Lehren Seiner Heiligkeit des Dalai Lama lesen, eins seiner inspirierenden Bücher auf dem Nachttisch haben und Dir denken: 'Meine Güte, das sind solch ausgezeichnete Ideen. Ich sollte mich mehr anstrengen, sie in die Praxis umzusetzen!' " - Domo Geshe Rinpoche ---