PARTING FROM THE FOUR ATTACHMENTS . part 3/6 (zhen pa bzhi bral) by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche
Anything else. Okay. We shall go through this then. Non-grasping. If you have a grasping, you have no view. If there is grasping, you have no view, right? If there is grasping, you do not have the view. A little bit more about that. Probably still a little bit more academic and intellectual but this time, let‟s explore a – because what I’ve been telling you is more how… the sutras have presented, very briefly, though, very briefly.
They present the non-arising, the emptiness, sunyata, nothing to grasp because everything is sunyata. If you are grasping you are contradicting with the truth. If you‟re grasping you have to have something to grasp. But there’s nothing to grasp. This much we, we understand. Okay. But now there’s a difficulty. Of course, because of us, you know. This sunyata, emptiness, non- arising – as I was saying, there is a difficulty, and the difficulty is this. I put in (Tibetan phrase) words. He is good, he‟s really good. We have two kind of weakness. We have overly believing in believable things. That‟s one weakness – overly believing in believable things.
The second weakness is – overly not believing in things that are not believable. In other words, you and I believe that this is a strawberry. You understand – because why? Because we are distracted by a lot of things. We are distracted by its – what do you call it? Pall? Pause? We are distracted by its shape, and of course the colour inside and then – Ah, yes, of course, this has to be strawberry. And then of course – the education – this is strawberry, from the kindergarten onwards. Then, of course, the function, you know – strawberry juice, it works as a strawberry. And then the consensus – we all agree this is strawberry. So it‟s a strawberry. So we„re distracted by existence. This is important, please don‟t forget, this is very important. One of the roots of depression is this. I’m telling you.
Then the other is things like next life, buddha-nature, you know, next life, past life, Buddha – where ? Yeah, yeah, yeah, this bronze statue, all of that, but where is the Buddha? Or things that, that we cannot, what you call it, grasp and think. Well the classic example is like the horn of a rabbit, and stuff like this. But anyway, practically things that we cannot – things that cannot be – it‟s unbelievable things, unbelievable things. Overly not believing to things that are unbelievable, remember? This is important to establish in your head because, what it does is this. We all have this. This constantly shifts us to nihilism and eternalism – all the time. Like that – so yet another cause for depression.
Uh, this going back, forth. And the Tantric people have another problem which we don‟t want to talk. They indicate another problem too, but which we don‟t want to discuss this right now. Existence, nonexistence, four plus four is eight, not five. Things like that. And this is serious. This is serious I don‟t know how to explain this. Even, even a meditator, when they look at mind, you can fall into this, this nothing. Mind has no colour, no shape, nothing. Or, some really, really, you can really go bananas. You know, halos, my mind with a shining heart shape, slightly broken these days, you know, like inner child – what is it? Inner child, isn‟t it? The California, all of that, aura, energy, the liquid, I don‟t know, all kinds of things like this. And this I’m serious really.
This has manifested the whole world. The whole world is manifested this way. There are people like, eh, Donald Rumsfeld, who are actually by-product of more the existence. Existence? Yeah, existence – the overly believing in believable things. By-product is Donald Rumsfeld. And then there are people who are distracted by non-existence like – what is his name? – film “Bowling for Columbine” – Michael Moore right. And there are people like Michael Moore or sometimes Chomsky. Is it Chomsky? Neo Chomsky – who, what is his name? Naomi? Naomi Chomsky, Naomi? Yeah, Noam – Noam Chomsky, right – kind of really sad, everything‟s not true – basically all the Liberals. Republican – oh, I am using my right, left hand to indicate. No, no, switch. (Voice from audience) That‟s true, that‟s true, yeah, exactly. So you understand? I’m talking about.
Things like Michael Moore – by-product of overly not believing in things that are unbelievable. That’s how the world, the whole work, not only as a nation, but even, even as you order a cup of espresso. By the time the espresso arrives to your, in front of you; by the time it goes inside your mouth, and it sort of slowly goes through you, there will lots of this thing, you know, like going to here, going to there, going to here. This is how we fall. It‟s a big battle, I tell you; it‟s a really big battle. I try to think about some, some practical, eh, examples. I can‟t think of it today. But anyway, so even Buddhism, in order to establish the truth, the ultimate truth, and in the process of trying to understand the truth, the habit of going this way or that way still influences us.
For this reason, for those who are going towards more this way, there are great beings like Nagarjuna, who could help, who could sort of, you know, straighten you up a little bit. And if you go towards more this way, there are people like Asanga or Maitreya, who would try to put you this way. This is not the Buddha‟s problem by the way. Because Buddha really – his teaching was very simple. It‟s just because we have these going back and forth problem, that‟s why we need to be, we need to establish the view this way. By the way, you know, all these words, my God, for it is not necessary.
Basically what I’m trying to tell you is that emptiness in the last sentence – emptiness within this last sentence, there is a tradition of teaching both the emptiness (sunyata) and the tathagatagarbha (buddha-nature). So emptiness, okay, this is what you can go back home with – basically. Emptiness is not a negation. It is not a pure negation. It is not purely saying no to everything. The emptiness, so when we say no grasping – Oh, yes, this is what Buddha said to Kashyapa – an ego grasping as big as Mount Meru is okay, he said, really; but a grasping towards emptiness, even as small as a sesame seed is very, very grave. It‟s this.
So, you know, emptiness is not a negation, it is not like evaporation of moisture, it is not an exhaustion of fire. It has its quality. And this quality is difficult to express. Because the moment we talk about the quality, you and I, as human beings like to think in terms of function, how to use. And religiously inclined people like you and me always like to think in terms of halos, and sort of very gentle look and blessings. You know, religiously inclined people like you and me, like to think in terms of blessings. Does this exist within that? Yes, it does. And this again – okay, there‟s actually a big, big – this is a big subject.
So, Khabje Dezhung Rinpoche, he said (Tibetan phrase) – he‟s “Calling the Guru”, slightly to the Tantrayana – it‟s okay, we use it as example. If you pray to the guru – this is after the Calling of the Guru – he said, the real blessing that a student can receive is when there is no more grasping. That is the quintessence of all of the blessings. It‟s very similar to what Jigme Lingpa also satd. In Jigme Lingpa‟s statement about how to make wishes – when you do the Protector practices, you know like Mahakala. He said, when hundred of what you wish does not come true, does not come, and yet when thousand of things that you dare not wish comes true, this is a fulfilment of the Mahakala or the Protectors.
And in this tradition here, non-grasping is the real blessing. Because when you have no more grasping, you have nothing to lose. Nothing to gain, of course, but you have nothing to lose. When you have nothing to lose, you have no stress. You have no – what do you call it? You don‟t have a reason to grasp towards something. Okay, so anyway, those who wish understand this emptiness and qualities of emptiness, please explore two very important traditions in Mahayana Buddhism, which is Nagarjuna‟s and Aryadeva and Chandrakirti and all of those people. And then there is Maitreya, Asanga, and the, eh, many other sort of, eh, tradition, I mean this two tradition who clearly explains the sunyata or the quality of sunyata.
Okay so that, sort of, I just, eh, sort of eh, have an intellectual, more of an intellectual approach to the understanding of non-grasping. Now as a practice, since this is a Mahayana, the actual practice of non-grasping, according to the Mahayana, has to come from hearing, contemplation. With the hearing and contemplation you develop a confidence to the truth of emptiness. Once you develop this confidence, then what? Then you do nothing. except stabilize this confidence again, and again and again. And how do we that? Through both meditation and post-meditation. During the meditation, you relax. Whatever comes into your mind, all you do is stare at this thought. We don’t make any judgement. You don‟t try to grasp, of course not. You don’t try to register if there is any good thought that comes in. You don’t try to reject if there is any bad things, bad thought comes in.
All you do is just stare and stare and stare. What happens is, as you keep on staring these thoughts – normally you do not stare to these thoughts. Normally you follow one of these thoughts. Once you follow one of these thoughts, you get entangled by many more thoughts. Then this produces the whole story of samsara. But this time as you just stare, gradually the thought begins to fragment and derail; and less and less entanglement. This, of course, does not mean that you will end up having no thoughts or no mind or no cognition. Yes no cognition, cognition is the word. What it does is it really weakens the strategy and the force of emotion, dualistic thoughts. When this gets reduced, everything that is considered good and important in the past is not necessarily good and important. Everything that is, anyway everything, basically your outlook towards the world will change. It does not mean that suddenly, you know, everything become like a heaven, because even heaven is just a concept anyway.
So at the same time as you develop this wisdom, you also, at the same time, simultaneously, gain compassion – compassion to those who have no knowledge of this kind of truth. And having no knowledge of this kind of truth, they roam around in samsara endlessly and pointlessly. To them you end up becoming very compassionate. And because of this wisdom and compassion together, everything ends becoming a tool, and especially as a bodhisattva, you apply generosity, discipline and patience – all these infinite bodhisattva activities to enlightenment of sentient beings. And when enlightenment, when you‟re in the process of enlightening all sentient beings, there is no fear, there is no exhaustion. You don‟t feel, ah, discouraged.
And more of this, I think we will talk tomorrow. Okay, if there, I think if there is no question, we will stop here. As one of those another means to make our life comfortable, I tell you, Buddhism is the worst; really it‟s the worst. It‟s really – Really! You read any sutras and shastras, it‟s the worst. It‟s not designed to make your life comfortable and happy. In fact it is the first thing that Buddha said – know the suffering, know the cause of the suffering. Buddha never taught the teaching, the Dharma to make this life workable, fixable. It‟s never the intention. This is important to know. And really, probably the modern Buddhist – they may not say this but the consequence of many things they say and they write, end up asserting that Buddhism is another gadget to make their life comfortable. I’m serious.
If there’s any closet American or the European, eh, neo-Buddhist here, speak up. I’m ready to argue with you here because this – this is very, very important. But I tell you I totally understand the resentment and resentment towards the issue of reincarnation. Many, many Buddhists seem to almost treat the issue of reincarnation as the Buddhist “fart”. That‟s something, that you know, like it is there and now, it‟s already sort of gone out – please, you know like sooner it evaporates the better. I don’t know whether you know this but this, this, there‟s a lot. I have myself thought about this a little bit.
I think there’re several reasons for this. I think one is – in India there was this big movement started by Dr Ambedkar and Dr. Ambedkar, himself was “Untouchable”. And as a protest against, eh, oh thank you; as a protest against the caste issue, I think, anyway, this a long story, Dr.Ambedkar converted to Buddhism and he even today, even as recent as last year, there was like two or three hundred thousand, eh, Untouchables taking, took refuge. Somehow it so happened, that Dr. Ambedkar and his followers, the Buddhists – their idea of Buddhism does not accept the reincarnation. They somehow insinuate that reincarnation is a Hindu business.
Unfortunately they tend to, sort of, shy away from any kind of subject of reincarnation. This is one. Another thing – in the West especially, this may touch some sensitive issues here. But I will be speaking this. You know things like – this is giving you an example. Like if you ask how about those innocent children and women during the World War II under the Nazis? They were innocent. You know, this children, all of these. Now for the Buddhist, especially if you‟re understanding the karma, the word “innocent” needs to defined. Yah of course, they, this children, they didn‟t do like any of this espionage, or any of this political, you know, they are not politically guilty or anything. But the fact that they suffered has got to do with karma or the cause and conditions of the past. And this, I think, for a lot of people is so difficult to accept, I think in the modern world. You understand? That’s just one – some of the many reasons why the, karma or the reincarnation is treated as a “fart”. I’m telling you this now.
The other, the other reason is as I said earlier, is this reincarnation business – the “tulkus”, like me. And it‟s getting really worse because suddenly every pregnant woman ends up, you know, sort of indicating they have a good dream. You know, you understand? And then, you know, then all the, you have heard all these, you know, like political and nepotism and all these things. And suddenly we have, never been before, never before in Tibet history this kind of situation. But now even a mediocre Khenpo dies and then he will have at least six reincarnations. This happens a lot.
So because, and this is a lot to do with geography, political situation and it is, it‟s very sad actually. I would say it‟s really understandable why some people feel almost like disgust towards all this reincarnation business. Because, eh, you know, within Tibet itself, it has created equally, I don‟t know, equally amount, I mean, reincarnated lamas have done a lot of good. They have also, now more than ever, brought so many questions. They have raised more questions than answers – so all of this is not helping the actual, actual phenomena of reincarnation.
Now for you and me today, to go through “If you have attachment to this life, you are not a dharma practitioner”, you and I need to accept reincarnation – especially if you are following a dharma path. And for that kind of thing, what kind of reincarnation are we talking here? This I want to explain a little bit. Actually sceptics, the scientists or objectivists who say they don‟t believe in reincarnation – yet, it‟s a kind of irony – yet they believe in time. This is puzzling. Anyone who believes in time, there is no reason why you can‟t believe in reincarnation. I will give you some explanation here.
First of all, bear in mind in Buddhism, ultimately we don’t believe in reincarnation. Remember we don’t even believe in a thing to reincarnate, to begin with. Everything – from emptiness, emptiness, from blah, blah, all of that – nothing, no increasing, no decreasing, no enlightenment, no ignorance, nothing – ultimately we don’t.
Relatively, specially according to Chandrakirti, (Tibetan phrase) without analysis, without theoretical analysis, without logic, completely “nyam nga” – how do you translate this “nyam nga”? (Voice from audience) – Prima facie? (Voice from audience – “Prima facie or at first glance”). Yes, at first glance, at first glance I think that’s good. That‟s good – because everything what we accept is basically at, at first glance. We don’t really remember everything, things like “Oh, see you tomorrow”. Who knows? You know maybe we don’t. Everything we do – “See you later” – everything. So on that level, we accept reincarnation. We accept. And there is a reason. Okay, furthermore, like between yesterday and today, you were here yesterday, wouldn‟t you? Some of you, many of you – you were here. If I ask you “Yesterday‟s you and today‟s you, are they the same thing?” Can‟t be same; otherwise you wouldn‟t be needing moisturizer because you don‟t change. You‟re, you‟re stuck. Again, if you said there‟re two separate things, then I have to teach all over again. What, what you have heard yesterday is not going to benefit you. It‟s not. But, relatively you have, we have to accept, you and I have to accept there is a continuum of you and me, from yesterday to today.
Actually the Tibetan word “yang” means “again” exist – can one say exist? Becoming – again becoming or again exists. And in a way, in a very subtle level, between yesterday and today, there has been again becoming or again existence. Within this level we can talk about reincarnation, but it is not as simple as that though because, eh, because somehow – yes since we are only teaching Mahayana – this is where the Tantra is good, you know Tantra people are very good at this but – let‟s forget that. In the Mahayana, somehow we have to establish that the mind and the body, although they have so much connection as a container and contents (Tibetan phrase) – they are separate noted entities. They are separate, two separate things. This is a fundamental relative view that needs to be discussed again and again and again.
To a certain extent you know, for instance, like you can think about New York now, but does not mean that your body is there. You can think of all kinds of things, but does not mean that you are physically doing it. Right? Ah, you can cut your hair but doesn‟t mean that a little bit of your mind is gone together with that. So this much we know. At the same, we also know if somebody steps on your toe, you’ll feel pain, not the toe only feel pain. You understand? You‟ll get upset. So a little bit on this level we understand, but on a much more subtle level, I think we can’t really accept like – okay, when I die my body is going to disintegrate, buried, and cremated whatever.
Then what – where does my mind go? This question is difficult to establish. This question is difficult to answer. I mean it‟s difficult; it‟s not like impossible. Just needs lots and lots of time to establish this. This, for instance the whole second chapter of the Pramanavarttikakarika – I think, right? Pramanavarttikakarika, by Dharmakirti, is dedicated towards that. But, anyway, what basically, I just, you know, probably, this is beside the point, I mean probably it‟s not important for your dharma practice if you are concerned about the practice. But I needed to clarify this – (༈ ) ”If you have attachment to this life then you are not a practitioner”.
Based on that logic, I mean based on that understanding what we have just gone through, as I said yesterday, not only that meditation course in the five-star resort but even the so-called Buddhist, the modern Buddhist, who don‟t seem to accept next life – for them – then I will not consider them as a dharma practitioner. Because they don‟t accept the next life, why they meditate? Must be for this life. They say this actually, some of them, they say that “You don‟t have to have a next life in order to have a purpose for meditating because by doing the vipassana this life, what it does is it‟s going to make this life comfortable, and more sober and sane and all that.
To be sober and sane for just this life, I tell you, it‟s not the end for that, for that dharma practitioner – anyway, according to these guys. Okay, the third point, ( ) – If you have attachment to this, if you have attachment, if you have attachment to (Tibetan phrase) your own self-interest, your own self-interest, you are not a bodhisattva. Mmm… (long pause) Wow, this is a very big subject. This is the heart of the Bodhisattva-Yana path. We are talking about the bodhicitta. And I hope, as there‟s no other way to put this, more clearly than this. “If you have attachment to your own self-interest, you are not a bodhisattva”.
Probably this is one of the best ways, but there is a danger here. The danger is – you know, we say this, even in our mundane life – “He‟s so selfish. He‟s, somebody‟s so selfish”. When we say somebody is selfish, he shouldn‟t be that selfish. I am so selfish. I shouldn‟t be that selfish. At that time, we are talking about detachment from one‟s own self-interest, but here talking about not interested in your own self-interest. Different – very different. When we tell somebody he‟s very selfish, we are not really worried about whether there is a self or not. We are only worried about whether he is selfish or not. Isn‟t it? In this chapter, in this section that has to be included. In fact, the fact that somebody is selfish – is a fundamental illusion.
Not only it is wrong thing, morally and you know, even appearance is not good, that somebody is only interested in themselves but fundamentally it is a deception. It is as strong deception as if you think. It is, it is really delusional. You know if you think you are a cow, right now, all of you, all sitting on that chair, really seriously thinking. You feel like what you call it? Regraduate, regug,- what? Regurgitating and if you feel like licking someone right this very minute, you can try if you like, but we will consider this as a delusion. You are not a cow. I don‟t see you as a cow. It‟s that, it‟s exactly same. Me, I, self – it‟s as delusional as thinking that you are a cow. You, you understand? You know like my tail is like wagging, what do you call it? Tail wagging, right? And I feel like licking somebody‟s face or moving your ears like this. Just like that. This level we have to think.
In this regard I will tell you this. Let‟s talk about renunciation first. When we talk about renunciation, what makes you think that renunciation is the right thing to do according to the Buddha dharma? What makes you think renunciation is the right thing to have right at the beginning. Oh, you know, you‟ll say – because all these worldly goodies – you know, they distract you, they entangle you, they make you addicted to this, they make you co-dependent, all of this, isn‟t it? This is all very well. This is all fine. This is all true. But this is not the right – this is not the ultimate answer, though.
It is you have to know this, eh. Why in Buddhism, renunciation – “ nges-‘byung” , “ nges-‘byung” – is stressed? Not because what you are going to renounce are evil, devil incarnate, seductress, not because they are some kind of, you know, evil thing. Not because of that. Fundamentally, of course, that also on the surface though, but the real reason is, they are all illusion There‟s actually nothing to renounce it.
There’s actually nothing to give up. It‟s your stupid mind thinking “Ah, his face really looks salty, you know, like what do you call it? Salivating, is it? You know really like salivating like looking at somebody’s face. You know it‟s all your delusion. There is no salt on your neighbour‟s face. This, so, let‟s say I‟m the human being and you‟re all cow. And you all are looking at each other and really attempting to lick the other person‟s face because you think there is salt. Is it salt that they are attracted? Something like that, isn’t it? What is it, then? I heard that it is the salt, anyway. Yah – then what will I think? I think you guys are really going crazy.
First of all, you are not a cow. Secondly, there is no salt! So what is it they wanted to lick? This is how pathetic the situation is. So when, we talk about reincarnation, no – renunciation – when we talk about renunciation, we are talking about really fundamentally, really knowing the truth of the samsara. When you know this truth of the samsara – suddenly, let‟s say your tongue is already about four inches out. And you are like one centimetre close to somebody‟s face, and this sweaty face, let‟s say. And then you wake up from being cow, and you are like THIS close.
You are about, then you “What! What am I doing?” How embarrassing! This is how you would feel, isn‟t it? So, re…, renunciation of the great arhats are a bit like that. (Tibetan phrase) This is what is written in the sutras. The vastness of the sky and the vastness of the (Tibetan word) palm? – palm of a hand – equal. Or the amount of gold and you know, dust – is equal. It‟s all again sandcastle. It is a game that children play. Why not, if you feel that it‟s kind of liberating them, yah, play along. But if it collapses, it‟s not a big deal. That is the true renunciation growing, isn’t it? If we think, if you are, eh, if you are to renounce something that is truly existing, really like a G-string, really, really like yummy stuff. If they are there – “Wow” – our battle is lost.
How many books there is in Kangyur that talks about illusion. Not so much actually. How many books in the Seattle library that talks about other yummy stuff? The battle is forever lost. You know billboards, advertisements, newspapers, education, friends, family, just – this is what I mean. If everyone becomes even a mediocre genuine dharma practitioner, the world economy will collapse – because there will no interest then.
The healthy economy really relies so much on continuous visualization of “cow”, and believing in it really wholeheartedly. Where did this come from? What? (Tibetan phrase).Yes, I am sorry, today, I am not thinking very well. It‟s all scattered. Right – ( ) Yes, that‟s right. So we were talking about “If you have interest in your own thing, interest, if you have attachment to your self-interest, you are not a bodhisattva”. This can be understood on this level which we just talk at. That‟s the highest level. Based on this wisdom, of course, even on the relative level – cherishing oneself; let‟s assume there is a self.
Even on that level, cherishing just oneself but not others, is from the management point of view, is wrong. It does not exist, you know, there is no such thing as me alone having fun, the rest of the people – who cares. It doesn‟t work like that. Everything is interdependent.
Oh, I don‟t think I have to elaborate too much. The whole situation on this earth is, the deterioration of the earth, is very much to do with cherishing the self. It‟s because of that, not because of George Bush at all. It‟s very unfair to blame him. It‟s because we need to take shower. It‟s because we need to, you know, sprinkle water on our mown, eh, this lawn. It‟s because we need to drive car, each and every one of us. Stuff like that.
And there is like the whole China, India, waiting to do that; already accomplishing to do that. So, actually, eh, someone like George Bush – I think he has purified a lot of the karma, for being the catalyst and the scapegoat for many of, every one of our individuals cherishing the self. So, I don‟t think I need to elaborate too much on this. Bodhisattva attitude is really a timely attitude. It‟s really one of the, probably, the only strategy to save this earth. It‟s not too late – Never too late. (Long pause)
So anyway, if I just briefly go through the categories for the bodhicitta – there is actually I think, I already mentioned this during the question and answer. There is relative bodhicitta and ultimate bodhicitta. And probably this is important. At the moment, most of our understanding of the bodhicitta has a lack of understanding of the ultimate bodhicitta.
This is n…ot good. Bear in mind bodhicitta must accompany, bodhicitta must never lose that ultimate aspect – the wisdom aspect. There is a reason I’m stressing this. Because we often hear people making comments “Oh, you must be a great bodhisattva”. And then we ask why? “Oh, you know, he smiles a lot and he never throws tantrum. He‟s so patient, too lenient towards our – this touchy feeling, our understanding of the lovey-dovey bodhicitta”. Not a good way to understand this bodhicitta. Bodhisattva‟s method is infinite. Nothing can, you cannot judge. Nothing. Bodhisattva‟s aspiration – we were talking about the aspiration yesterday – it‟s infinite.
I was told by my gurus, and it has to be like that and should be like that. It gives you the freedom. I myself when I am in a sober mood, I aspire. My aspiration is to become, I don’t know, it‟s doesn‟t matter which order, but I want to become, you know, Premier of China, President of the United States. That‟s what I aspire a lot. I have actually offered a hundred thousand butter lamps in Bodhgaya – aspiration is mainly to become a black woman Republican American president. So please if you are writing a will or something in the future, tell your children to, if in the future, like two or three generations later, if there is a woman, black woman, running for president – vote for her.
And also, also the president of the, eh, eh, the National Rifle Association – is it? Very much and, and there‟s also the Chinese premier. I mean, I‟m even considering the prime minister of Brazil, it‟s not a bad idea – stuff like that. I’m just sharing you this because I think the clear activity, clarity of the aspiration should be infinite. Of course, you can always settle with kind of self, selfish-oriented kind of not too courageous, but comfort, comfort-oriented aspiration like to be reborn as Bill Gates‟ pet dog. I’m sure you will have, I don‟t know, every day two sausages, but that could be not that productive. But who knows? Maybe other dogs can get some connection.
Within the relative bodhicitta there‟s aspiration, aspiration bodhicitta and application bodhicitta, as we talked yesterday. And we talked about aspiration bodhicitta as probably the safest for the beginners, the safest path to enter. Buddha himself said to a king, (Tibetan phrase) “Oh, King, you have so much things to do. You have subjects to take care. You have, you know, economy to take care. You have all your crewing to look after You have no time for reading and contemplation and all the others but I could give you an equally powerful method.
And finally, when the king heard the instruction, it happens to be aspiration. So aspiration bodhicitta, I think it is very, very important. It doesn‟t have to be aspiration that is already there, printed, composed – as I just demonstrated, it can be anything. But, the point of the aspiration is not just to become powerful and rich and influential and all that – but have the aspiration of making the sentient beings get connected to the truth, one way or another.
That is what you have to be aspiring for, the truth, to make the other people understand the truth, the ultimate truth, the truth. That should be the spine of the aspiration. As for the application bodhicitta, again it is infinite. Generally we classify six or ten paramitas. This is a good category to follow – some kind of guidance, guidance sort of structural outline. But as Shantideva said, many of the application bodhicitta is not really permitted to be practiced by beginner bodhisattvas, such as cutting your own limbs and feeding to hungry tigers.
And this is all because beginner bodhisattvas may have no enough understanding of the emptiness, and therefore the bodhisattvas, the small-time bodhisattvas, if they do it forcefully, it may create, it may cause disillusionment, loss of trust, loss of heart, loss of trust in their own confidence. So similarly many of the bodhisattva applications are something that you have to, you don‟t have to apply right from the beginning. This is important, by the way.
I can‟t remember the words today. Oh, yah, (Tibetan phrase). This is from the Bodhicharyavatara (Tibetan phrase). In fact there‟s two traditions of the bodhisattva practice – one coming from the Yogacara school and the other coming from the Madhyamika school. Most of the time in the Tibetan tradition – both exist, huh, we take both – most of the emphasis is on Madhyamika tradition. And in the Madhyamika tradition, there is something so nice, which is (Tibetan phrase) “All the bodhisattvas‟ activities and applications and discipline, I shall step by step engage, not right at the beginning”.
Say you have taken the bodhisattva vow today does not mean that you have cut your legs tomorrow. Step by step. In fact so well taught this one by Shantideva, he even suggested to give things by your right hand to the left hand like this. Days and days you have to do this – your giving. Then what do you do. You begin to give vegetables – slowly, slowly. See, because, “dewa shepa” sugata, blissfully gone sugata, blissfully gone path of the Mahayana should never be painful right from the beginning. According to your capacity, according to your ability, you apply.
And then Shantideva said, (Tibetan phrase) – If you tried to get used to it, there‟s nothing on this earth that he cannot get accustomed with. One day even to cut your neck for the sake of many, many people, you will not even budge or blink your eyes. You will do it like a swan plunging into the lotus lake, happily and willingly. Because Shantideva said – ah, bodhisattva is wise and because of his wisdom, it‟s like when he can see the profits, so to speak, of doing this out of, by doing this temporary small penance, but so much gain, he’ll plunge into this without any hesitation. Can we take a toilet break? I think it‟s better, yah. .
The second (Tibetan phrase) which is – lf you have attachment to samsara, it is not a renunciation – and the third (Tibetan phrase) – If you have attachment to self-interest, you are not a bodhisattva. Eh, the first one, the second one, see, actually even if you go to the first one, (Tibetan phrase) – If you have attachment to this life, you are not a dharma practitioner. If you can manage to abandon attachment to this life, what it does is, it takes you away from being a materialistic or being just a worldly samsaric being to the spiritual. You‟ll, you, elevate yourself from being ordinary worldly, materialistic, any ordinary being to a spiritual person. And on top of that, if you can abandon attachment to samsara then, eh, you have elevated yourself as a practitioner of the Shravakayana path.
And then if you can practice the third one, abandon attachment to self-interest, then you actually elevate yourself from being merely practicing the Shravakayana path to the Bodhisattvayana path. Okay, now still continue with bodhicitta – and we were talking about the application bodhicitta. And I also told you about, in order to qualify mind as bodhicitta – “citta” is kind of mind, you know, bodhi mind – in order to qualify mind, an ordinary mind, as a bodhi mind, it has to, has to definitely, you cannot do without, is that it has, that it needs the wisdom, which is therefore, eh, therefore we talk about the ultimate bodhicitta – okay. Now the ultimate bodhicitta is, as we talked yesterday, and as you have been told many, many times, of course the ultimate should be beyond expression (Tibetan phrase), cannot be expressed, cannot be contemplated, cannot be discussed, all of that.
And we talked about the salt, and remember the example, but we can talk about what is not wisdom first, so to speak, and then establish a view so that practitioners like ourselves can have some kind of vague idea that what we have imagined is not the ultimate truth. This is we talk about (Tibetan phrase) – how it appears is not how it is basically. It appears beautiful like a rainbow, you know, the bow, you know, the beautiful shape, all of that, but in reality it is just a temporary appearance, you know, something like that.
It‟s all like this table, for instance; (Tibetan phrase) this table – temporarily it is a transitory collection of few things put together and then suddenly in our habitual mind we think it‟s a table. That’s all there is; and it functions as a table, of course. And consensus – yes, everybody agree this is table. But from the time that you walk in, if I have been sitting on this instead of this, then you‟ll be thinking “Oh, Rinpoche is sitting on a strange chair today”. So the idea of table will not exist right from the beginning. So what we can do to approach to the ultimate bodhicitta is through hearing and contemplation and meditation. Through hearing, what do we do? What we have been doing is kind of, I hope, you know, we are doing hearing and contemplation. Hearing is what you are doing now. Contemplation is actually a wage, waging a war between your, eh, theory and emotion. That‟s basically kind of contemplation.
Is it really, you know, is the theory really working with your emotion? And I tell you because some of you who have been studying giant philosophy like Madhyamakavatara, you will know that Chandrakirti had used different opponents to argue with. And please, you should never think that Chandrakirti is such addicted to argument. If you think of this properly, you will realize all those opponents are the representatives of our emotion.
They represent our stubborn, logical, rational emotion of mind. That‟s how we establish hearing and contemplation, and then meditation. Once, you establish a confidence, vague will do actually, but if you have a really strong confidence, even better; then what do we do? You know, once you; it‟s a bit like this – you are learning a language, which you have never learned before. And then the teacher gives you a shape which looks like this and then teacher says “This is kha”. Let‟s say you are learning Sanskrit, and that is, and then what do you have to do? You have to get used to that.
So that in your normal time, I don’t know, let‟s say there is a big fire and then you have to really, you know, exit yourself from this room and the only sign is this Sanskrit letter “kha”. So at that time you‟ll immediately remember this, so to speak, you understand? You just have to get used to that – that view, so through the hearing and contemplation, you develop a certain confidence. Okay yes – five aggregates are not self, form is not self, you know, things like that, argument, all of that.
You should not spend too much time on this. If you spend too much on this you become very intellectual and the intellectual analysis never ends. Who was it? Some Kagyupa master said (Tibetan phrase) – You know, until your discussion stops, there will never, there is no end to questioning and answering. No end to, so any way, you develop this confidence, and then you have to get used to it, used to this view. So for that what do you need? Well, one thing we know what we need – is we need a stable mind. If your mind is not stable if you mind is a bit like a (pause) hook, sharp hook? Lots of sharp hook on the wall.
And if all the phenomena are bit like eh, crumpled-up sweaters, and then you throw these sweaters on the wall, one way, one way or another, one of these hooks will hold these sweaters. And these hooks, if the hooks are kind of solid and big and, you know, kind of big solid hooks, it is kind of okay, because it is easy to take it out.
But most of these hooks are very tiny, you know, sort of very, very tiny hooks , and the hook itself is so tiny that, that almost like a thread, so that the sweater that you throw on this – the thread and the hook become, you know, intertwined and very difficult to undo this thing. So you need a stable mind. So what do you for the stable mind, to really develop the stable mind? You apply some tricks. And those tricks are wonderful, I tell you.
Those tricks are – we bring another hook. Say “Here try to throw your sweaters only on that hook. The rest of the hooks, every time you feel like throwing your sweaters on the other hook – don‟t, throw it only on this particular hook. This is what the shamatha people do. They tell you to concentrate on breathing in, out, in, out, or something like that. Or I don‟t know, a small stick or a book or a Buddha statue or something like that. Basically it is a trick. I’m sure you, you know. I no need to tell you, you know, stupid to think your air that is coming from the nostrils is so divine that by concentrating on that will lead you to enlightenment. It‟s got nothing to do with that – it‟s just a trick.
By, by forcing yourself to think only that, only throw on this one hook. What it does – in the beginning it makes you realize there‟s all these hooks, all these hooks which you have never realized before. You are actually looking at these hooks and think that they are part of the sweaters, remember. By concentrating on one hook, then you realize “Ha, there‟s so many hooks”. So many, many meditators – they go to the instructors and say “I can‟t concentrate. I‟ve too many thoughts”.
I am actually designing a medal, by the way. Any time, every time when a student come and say “I just can‟t meditate. I‟ve too many thoughts” – I‟ll give them a medal. I am designing a really nice beautiful medal. It is the biggest achievement, I tell you. This is the first ever, you know, victory. At last, you know who‟s the enemy. Until now, you are like this, sort of kid, who is in the middle of a battlefield, who knows something terrible is happening, but you don‟t really know who is the enemy and who is the friend. You are lost. Now you know, at least from whom you should be escaping from.
To Be continued…..
Click Herer: Part 4