Showing posts from March 8, 2009

Sea of Compassion (Dharma video) part one

Just an Illusion

In buddhist gatherings you will often overhear someone say, “Oh, forget it! Anyway, everything is just an illusion”. They might briefly reflect at some difficulty that they created in the past and affirm now, “Oh, it was all just illusory”. Or like sour grapes, “Oh, who cares anyway!.” I feel some concern to hear this in this way because the illusory might become a handy trashcan, dumping place for a misplaced sense of responsibility. I can appreciate from one point of view the wish to avoid inner stress but on the other hand it demonstrates a lack of practical knowledge. The very dynamic that is a healing of the view that takes the impermanent to be permanent is set aside in order to continue bad behavior and blame it on the mythical “illusory”! When you affirm that something is an illusion with poor motivation or lack of skills that leads to the intellectual correct view, this is practicing a defective process that depends upon defective components and produces defective results.

Chained to Suffering

Shantideva- Guide to Bodhisattvas Way of Life - "Although wishing to be rid of misery, they run toward misery itself. Although wishing to have happiness, like an enemy they ignorantly destroy it."-There is a basic confusion in samsaric living beings. By primordial ignorance, living beings are misled as to the intention and purpose of being alive. The prime characteristic of living beings is seeking happiness and avoiding suffering, isn’t that so? If that is so, then why is it that misery has not decreased? If it’s the prime directive, then why has misery not been reduced, or eliminated? Given beginningless time, how is it that living beings can’t get rid of suffering? Student: They’d have to be escaping samsara. Rinpoche: But that is the prime directive of samsara to seek happiness. Student: If the efforts are not put to escape samsara but to grasping after it, it continues. Rinpoche:That is a logical inconsistency,how could the method for avoiding suffering and seeking happ

The End of The World: Smithereens!

Guide to the Bodhisattvas Way of Life by Shantideva chapter 1 verse14a. "Just like the fire at the end of an age, it instantly consumes all great evil." History books don’t mention the fire at the end of a great age, do they? Perhaps the book burned up. Nothing survives, nothing survives. You might think, “If there was just one man and one woman left, they could repopulate the whole world again, like Adam and Eve. We could hide them in a little cave under ground, and when it was safe they could begin again.” This is a version of the story of Noah’s Ark. When Tibetans heard this story, we thought that this was a memory of the great destruction and beginning. At the end of a minor age will be destruction by fire, water and wind. At the end of a great age, there will be the bursting of a planet, the entire planet would disappear. Is that scary for you? Student: No. Rinpoche: Alright, then I’m going on. Worlds have disappeared before. From physics and astronomy, we already und

Great Atisha, Motorcycles and Your Mind

Where does the courage to examine your own mind come from? At what point did you feel strong enough to peek…“Ew I don’t like that about myself. I see anger here.” You lift up the cover, “Oh I see jealousy. I don’t like that.” Perhaps at that point you put the cover down and pretended it not exist so on the outside you can still be the sweet person and inside you have all of this anger hidden. Other strategies need to compensate also. You cannot come into contact with potential objects of anger or jealousy. Since you and your nemesis cousin rarely meet you remain like strangers. Like that you might go through life. Don’t do that! It’s not even being alive. It is a fake kind of life. When we continue meditation practice we learn that everything not just love and light. Progress happens by our own efforts and courage to expose our self, like a kind of self-anarchy. There are anarchists with bombs wanting to blow up the world, but who wants to expose themselves? Who wants to expose the r

Sweet and Salty Buddhist Practice

It is not necessary to study everything in Buddhism to become enlightened. It is actually only necessary to study what you need to know to make your very next breakthrough. There are things that you know very well. However, you don’t know what you don’t know, You might be the kind of person who reads everything you can find on reincarnation because it is interesting to you and develop quite a good understanding about reincarnation. Another person might choose to pursue studies and practices to understand the nature of compassionate activity in the world. So, there are things that you know very well and things that you have never even heard about yet. In a way, most western practitioners are like Swiss cheese. There are many gaps in understanding and many things they know well. In another way, it is necessary to study everything. However, there seem like there is not enough time learn everything. When I first came to America in the early 1970’s I brought a few few books from India writ

Runaway Horses and Buddhism

For those who have ever received twenty-four hour Mahayana ordination vows I should tell the real agenda behind these Mahayana purification vows. The grand agenda is to tame your mind. This is not like taming a domesticated animal, like training puppies not to pee on the fancy living room carpet. Not like that kind of a taming, although I am feeling that in the process of gaining enlightenment for many meditators might feel that the enlightenment process should be like the untamed wild West. They want a sense of excitement, anticipation and infinite possibilities in an untamed rush toward the awakened state. An untamed mind is like a horseman whose stirrup straps slipped. I saw this in a movie – the rider is sliding underneath the horse, the horse is on top and the rider is on the underbelly of the horse just barely hanging on; his head is almost in the dirt. The reins are just flying in the wind and the horse goes anywhere it chooses. This kind of feeling comes more like the un