Ringu Tulku Calm and Clear Introduction (by Lama Mipham) 11th May 2002 am
This is a text that is a meditation instruction but based on general Madhyamika way of discerning and analysis. Analysis is important part in the studies but has to go down to experience.
Experience is most important thing and that is the basis. Important to say from beginning we talk about emptiness, shunyata and all these things which is very important part of Buddhism philosophy and meditation but it is always said again and again it is not denying, it is all about trying to see things as they are.
Everything we that do or study or contemplate or analyse from the study point of view of Buddhism we must take it clearly, it is not to be said thought like that otherwise trap,If I say I don;t exist doesn;t work because we do exist but what we are trying to say is " in what way do we exist.”
Do we exist in the way we think now or we react or kind of have the concept or at different levels. Or its a little bit different in a different way. This is what all the study is about, all the analysis is about is to ask a question, "the reality is it really the way I see it or is it not.”
When we ask questions and if we find there are certain problems or certain kind of contradictions, then we need to look at it and reflect and think more and go back to our experience and see how does it relate with that, so that is the main understanding.
Basically the whole reason why we need to meditate, study, do anything (I think this is something we really need to say it, of course you all know it that is why you are here and I am sure you have been reminded of this many times and therefore not really necessary, but to build up the reasons why we go through things.
I think I have to say it and it is also traditional according to Tibetan tradition before you do any practices you go back to beginning and try to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. It is often possible and it often happens that we are doing things very busy and seriously and then why are we doing this, sometimes you have gone a little bit out of the. and then if we go back to the beginning and see exactly why we are doing it we can come back to the main point because if you go deeply, too much into one thing we can go into the branches then you can loose the main thing.
So therefore it is always recommended that we reflect we remind at the beginning of every session, every teaching, every practice what are the reasons for why we are doing what we are doing. So this is very common knowledge but I think generally what is it that I want, what is it that I wish?
I think this is also the basis not only the spiritual path but the purpose for the life. What I wish what I really want something good for me and something good for others too. I wish well for myself, I wish well for others. I know that if it is only me alone that is having good things, have no problem that is not enough even for myself. If I am the only one that is OK and all the people around me are not OK then I am not OK therefore I want good for myself and others. Not just others around me but literally more or less everybody.
More and more people that are better and well the better for everyone. Interconnections between us make it not possible to enjoy myself in an isolated space. Generally we feel like that.
None wants suffering. Sensible person wishes no suffering for anybody. (If want someone to be better than themselves another story). That is the basis for what we call compassion and Bodhichitta, this is the ground. Since it is good for me to have all the good things and also good for others it is good for me too and I want this for everybody generally so I wish that.
So if there is anything that I could do to make this happen because there is lots of suffering, discord and I want this to come to an end. I wish all the sufferings to come to an end and eliminated completely. Not only for others also for myself. So is there anything I can do about it. I must find a way that would be most important to find a way to solve this problem, to bring an end to the suffering for myself and others there cannot be anything more important and more urgent than that.
I think this is the beginning of all searches. Everybody what they want to do that is the main basis of all searches. Whether you think about it articulately or not this is the basis.
So therefore the spiritual path is also that nothing different, completely the same it is not like this is a spiritual path being for a different purpose and other life path for a totally other purpose, I don;t think it is like that. All our life has one purpose, to find ‘happiness; you can call it if you like although I find that happiness has many meanings in different languages and different cultures it is just a word.
You want well, you want good things something free from problems, pain, suffering, that there is no problem but sometimes the word like happiness is strange sometimes in some places it means wealth. The main thing is how do we solve this problem? How do we get happiness you can call it if you like, kind of lasting. Main thing from spiritual tradition like Buddhism is not saying that material solution is not possible or not necessary. It is saying that whatever we can do to help ourselves and others either through material help or certain material means or any other means we should do it. In Buddhism it is strong although we call it spiritual it is not only spiritual, it is other means anything that can bring about more help we should do it.
Because in Buddhism we talk about this Interdependence dependent origination, causes and conditions anything can be and I think this interdependent, dependent origination this Tendrel (in Tibetan) and Pradiktiasamudpada (in Sanskript).I am sure you have all learnt this word, I think it is the first word to learn in Buddhism Tendrel. Say it "Tendrel” very important word.
Pradiktia - depending on things, based on things, arising on many causes, take something that came about through many causes and conditions
samudpada coming out, born out of, each and every many things,
The Tibetan translation is tenjing delwa jongwa; abbreviated to tendrel;
Tenjing - relying, based, dependent
tenjing delwa jongwa means: it arises with many causes dependent with many causes and relationship with many causes. This is abbreviated to tendrel so lets use this short form as easier to remember. So Tendrel is most important word in Buddhist philosophy actually, it is at every different stage, it is understood slightly different ways but basically at every stage. At Shravakayana stage, at Mahayana stage at vajrayana stage it is completely most important thing. Tendrel is everything matters as everything is based on many different causes and conditions, so therefore everything matters, it;s a many different things and lots of causes and conditions.
That is why in Buddhism there are lots of different things even astrology, medicine and all different things introduced because anything has certain effects and everything is not absolutely this also comes from this understanding, there are relative truths and absolute truths and then relatively everything matters so therefore material means is not unimportant even though they may not be absolutely true. So therefore whatever through material means or spiritual means whatever we can do to work on these and try to find a way to go.
That is the idea but then if you go deeper it comes that what is the like you have a suffering for instance, we are talking about first to get rid of the suffering of problems and pain. What is the way to do it. Material way e.g. if I am thirsty I drink water, if I am cold I put on more clothes, but as long as I have to drink water I have to be dependent on water so I cannot be totally free. I cannot be totally free of thirst because I have to be dependent that I have to drink something.
As long as I have to be dependent on something happening outside things happening so I cannot be completely independently free because whether I am happy or not depends on what happens out there all is based on circumstances. So whatever happens out there is not under my control so I cannot be completely free as my solution to problem is dependent on something I cannot control. If good weather I am happy if not good weather I am not happy, maybe tomorrow will not be good weather then I will not be happy so I am not free.
Maybe I can do a mantra there are weather lamas sometimes very good but not all the time. So there for e as long as I am depending on things cannot be free. So it has to come from within. A situation where I am in control. To gain lasting freedom it has to come from within where I am in control, I have the choice, it is under my power.
Therefore whether I can have complete lasting peace and happiness can call it liberation or whatever depends if I can do something about it from within. This is why it is called a spiritual path that it is something that is OK to work from outside but not final solution as it is from within. Final solution maybe something happens that I cannot control but how I react to it maybe that is basically within me. How I react to things how I perceive things so if I can somehow change my way of reacting. the way I relate to things then maybe there is a possibility.
But is it possible that a very difficult situation happening that I can react such a way that it is no longer difficult for me.
This is the basis for all spiritual training that it is most possibly probable that I can work on my way of reacting and then because the way I see things is the basic problem, the way I see things is the basic problem. Therefore if I see it in a way which doesn;t create a problem for me then I don;t have a problem. We can see things two different people can see things in totally different way one can be very satisfied one can be dissatisfied, one can be very happy and one can be very unhappy. And one person if in good mood everything looks much nicer if not in a very good mood then everything looks not so very nice.
Therefore this is the basic thing that the way that I see things makes the greatest kind of difference. Now if that is the case then what is the best thing to do what is the real solution and then if I can try to see things in a way which is not the way it is, say like this is kind of this is some rice in a bowl but if I see this as a wishful filling jewels or something totally precious if I try to see this will that solve the problem will that make me happy no because sooner or later I will find out that this is wrong this is not the way it is.
Whether I see something too good although it is not good or too bad although it is not too bad doesn;t solve the problem. So what is the main thing to do I need to see things as they really are. This is the most basic thing in Buddhism. This is the Buddhas discovery we have problems not because we see them as they are but because we see them distortedly, we are seeing ourselves a little bit distortedly, we are seeing others distortedly. We can understand that there is some distortion because when we look into our way of thinking and seeing we can see contradictions.
It is not because we have to see something totally nice that is not true it is not like that but we only have to see the way it is. That makes it possible that we are free from suffering. This is the logic that if we have to see something very nice but it is not true and that would make us totally happy and lasting happy if you say something like that that is not possible we would find out it was not true so that is not the solution.
We don;t have to do that ,that is the main instruction or finding, we don;t have to imagine or create something extraordinarily good and try to make ourselves believe that to get rid of the suffering or solve the problems of our way of seeing, we don;t have to do that. we just have to see the way it is, and that is enough .
So if that is enough, seeing the things as they really are, is enough to get rid of our sufferings, then why not, it should be possible. , it is just seeing things as they really are. So the real thing is to find out what the real thing is. That is Buddhist philosophy, so in all the teachings the only thing is to find out what is the ultimate truth how things really do exist. What is really the way it is and this is called wisdom. From Buddhist point of view it is not some thing that is not true, it is seeing the things as they really are, being able to be as you really are.
That is the wisdom. So it is all about rediscovering yourself. Rediscovering the way things really are so it all about clearing the misunderstandings and misconceptions. Seeing if there are any misconceptions and misunderstandings and trying to clear that. Sometimes enlightenment is described as a result, what is called tultop means a result that you get out of getting rid of. It is not something that is the result of getting things. I get this thing, I get this thing, I acquire a mug, I acquire a mandala, I acquire a flower and I become a lama.
Not like that it is getting rid of getting out of this misconception and misunderstanding so if all my misunderstandings and misconceptions is finished then I am called enlightened. So enlightenment or Buddhahood is called an accomplishment or achievement from a sense that it is getting rid of basically going back to the beginning in a way. So therefore as you all know we always talk about Ground, Path and Result.
Ground, we say ground, path and result especially vajrayana also in Mahayana. Why ground? It is a strange word isn;t it of course if you have heard it many times not. This is to say that result is the ground. the way it is the way things are that is the ground. If you can completely see the way it is that is the result. It is nothing different , the result is not from the ground and you go and go, up and up and then you get the result. It is not like that , the ground and result is exactly the same. Then why path? It is just that we are not seeing ground, just a ways and means to clear our eyes, problems that prevent us from being able to totally seeing the ground, be on the ground. ‘Seeing; I don;t like this word it is not like the concept of seeing I like this word ‘being; because it about experiencing, it is just being what you actually are.
Being able to totally be what you actually are. Then you have got the result. Any ways and means to do that is the path. The path is the method any kind of different method through which we can clear this misunderstanding or obstructions that completely stops us from seeing the ground. So the whole path of Buddhism is clearing this basic obstacle to be able to be in the natural state. This obstacle, the terminology for this is ‘ignorance;. Ignorance means that we are not clear enough that we are not there are so many different kinds of distortions and then on top of that there are habitual tendencies, because we are used to seeing some way so sometimes we little bit think maybe it is not like that but the habit goes on so we react like that anyway.
So these habitual tendencies and all these things is the problem this is called the ignorance. Therefore the ignorance then creates wrong way of seeing, and wrong way of seeing is what creates what we call negative emotions. If we see a little bit distortedly then all sorts of frustrations come up and ways of reacting. Sometimes we cling too much, sometimes we hate too much. Therefore the basic way, of course there are many methods this is something very important, there are many different methods and sometimes we need lots of different methods for different people, this is the main principle of Buddhism that although for the final enlightenment we need to get rid of the ignorance. In order to do this we need to clear the misunderstandings and for that, or not even misunderstandings but to work a little bit on the symptoms of the misunderstandings, like too much hatred too much whatever different kind of emotion, different kind of .
Then if any kind of method used on that is also a good thing, therefore there is nothing no method that is not used, It is said that anything that helps you, anything that helps anybody, in a little way or a big way or many ways is something good to use and use through that way. You have heard the story of Guru Padmasambava knew everything he attained immortality and is supposed to have studied with Anunda who was attendant to Buddha for many years and did not forget a word. Guru Padmasambava also studied all sciences and all great masters all different knowledge there he knew everything. One day he was travelling and saw smoke coming out of strange pipe. He said what is going on there and he went and found man making clay pots and then glazing the pots, a special way of glazing. He asked to learn to do this. Yes but you have to study for a few year. He spent many years as student of the pot maker learning glazing. That is kind of - maybe this would be useful sometime - So anything that any means any things that can be used to help or improve should be used.
Basically as long as we cannot see the things as they really are we cannot become free. So OK we use all these methods but we also don;t loose this main important thing to try to see things clearly and work on that. So that is the basic view to try to see what is what, what is really the way that things are at different stages. We look one stage then another stage, and another stage and at the end the concept that you build for the first is not maybe also the last but you have to go one step, step by step. So this book
Calm and Clear book Mipham Rinpoche. In Tibetan it is called The wheel of Analytic Mediation, it is meditation instruction based on analysis of Madhyamika philosophy, it is analytical meditation and it is a simple one and written by Mipham Rinpoche. I am sure all of you know about Mipham Rinpoche he is the Nyingma, if there is one person that the Nyingmas have to identify then this is the Nyingma, so he is the one to elaborate the views, the Nyingma tradition. His writings are regarded as the complete exposition of the real Nyingmapa way, very clear and elaborate. He was student, although he didn;t study that much, of Jangyang Khense, and Jamyang Kontral the great. He was born 1846 1914. His wisdom was not through studies more through, what can you say, blessing you can say in a way, spontaneous opening of wisdom mind. He did Manju_r_ practice and then he knew everything, I think it was white Manju_r_, he did a practice and then he completely knew everything.
When he went through Buddhist logic books had little problem, little confused, little bit and at night when sleeping he saw in his dream Manju_r_, Sakya Pandita I think it was and he said "oh this logic is very easy you just, it is all about gulpa and dupa, like negation and something, it is very easy” and he cut the book into two and put them together. In the morning when he got up he looked and there was nothing that he did not understand. This is the easy way you know, lets forget about this course and do Manju_r_ mantras. Then when he was reading he had little problem with Vinaya and he read the whole vinayas once and then everything understood. So everything like that he didn;t have to study. He was a student of Jangyang Khense and Jamyang Kontral and most of the time he was in retreat. Unfortunately he was not teaching too much actually he was more in the retreat.
That is the problem with the masters, those who know a lot don;t teach those who don;t know teach a lot, like me. So he wrote commentaries and had lots of students too and there are some disagreements between his students. Not too much maybe. Main student like Dzogchen Pema Tulku? and many others they present his philosophy a little bit like Rangtong, many others comment on his view like Shyentong. Mipham is a little bit like that, this is his small book comment. We will go through it slowly and discuss mostly, because when we go through a book sometimes the main questions in your mind is not discussed because it is not a question at this time.
So more time on discussion. Some ways to understand it much more clearly. So maybe today I just stop here and we discuss.
Q. You mentioned rice is jewels, and to see the rice as it is were you referring to it ultimately or conventional. Seeing the rice through conventional or ultimate cognition?
R. I think I was trying to give an example. Ultimately you have to see rice as rice. Ultimately rice is maybe not rice but ultimately the way it is to see the things as they really are is similar to seeing rice as rice. Now in case there is relatively there is some kind of method or way if you see rice as something different then that is no problem. If you have to use something because eventually if I say this is rice it is also lots of many ideas put together and say it is rice because rice itself is also many things so there is no absoluteness in rice.
But that is not the question now. I think I answer your question what I mean to say is that to see things as they really are is the absolute but if there is another method which will help you that is no problem but this is rice you can say but this is dust you can say too because if the rice is turned dust or it is atoms or it is saffron put on some kind of a (Rinpoche laughing).
Q. Vajrayana practitioners visualize things differently from how they are. Could you clarify this?
R. Vajrayana practice is a lot of methods the main features of vajrayana are many and very strong methods used to work on our habitual tendencies. Main difference. So in vajrayana you use two creation and completion. Completion is that seeing things as they really are. Creation stage is the method. This method, the creation method like visualization is is a creation it is something that is not ultimately true.
It is a method we have to use because we have such a strongly negative way of seeing we say " I am so unhappy, I am so sad etc” I see myself as the worst not so nice and lots of problems. The method is try not to feel that try to feel something different, not only different but nearer to how it is, this is the idea. We feel that we have lots of negative emotions feeling anxious, fearful, sad I think that is my natural way of feeling I am not understanding that these are all disturbances of my natural feelings. If I am completely natural and completely peaceful then I would not feel that I would feel more peaceful and joyful. So in a way we are artificial forcefully trying to feel the other way, the enlightened way, with the understanding. So therefore this is the relative truth. The method is used something is used which is not completely, ultimately real but based on the understanding that it is not completely untrue, it comes to the same truth because you are feeling your original way of feeling or your real way of feeling if you take off this negative feeling is that.
So we are using our way of seeing in a more positive way, because we have to see ourselves as a form,as a sound, as a feeling, so we have to see ourselves as a something like I don;t know what as a Buddha, enlightened. How does a Buddha look , we don;t know exactly but we make a form of that in our mind, like say Guru Rinpoche OK lets look like Guru Rinpoche. Because in end Guru Rinpoche and me are not different in true sense so there is no reason why I do not feel like Guru Rinpoche so I use this as a training to feel myself as Guru Rinpoche as one with Guru Rinpoche just right now. So this is a training, used as a training used as a method to .. then it can work.
That is why in the vajrayana you can see mandalas, there is no end to it so many different kinds of mandalas and deities this means there is no real one, it is just a method, it has symbolisms, what we use is as a method. It is all my different concepts, all my different emotions, all my different aggregates all my different elements all are deities means that they are not impure. So this understanding. What is impure or what I see as impure is not like that so therefore it is pure as concept is in my mind. What is not impure is pure because if it doesn;t make you, if does not make you deluded, if it doesn;t make you create suffering for you then it is pure. You work on that that is the method. As long as you understand this creation stages as method, and how this method works with your way of seeing, then I think it is a very strong practice. Then you can use this method, that method or you can use methods in whatever way it helps you.
There is nothing saying that you must do that only. In vajrayana practice especially at that level, creation level, I think it is very important to see how these methods are working on you, and why we do this. If we see this it is a good practice and it can be very strong also, as it is working on our habitual tendencies forms sounds thoughts altogether. But if you don;t understand that then it is not much of a practice, then it becomes like ‘This is a Tibetan culture that they created for 1000 years as they were so bored many hands many heads many things ” then it is not any more in a practice but it is to be understood that there are hundreds and hundreds of these practices and it is not to say that we have to do all of that.
This is not also the truth we get one or two main practice and learn deeply about that and then mainly the understand behind it and then slowly practice it, In whatever way it helps. If you understand deeply then vajrayana is very strong practice so understanding most important and that is why it is taught slowly not too quickly and you need someone to guide you and that is the main reason.
Q. When we see suffering how to put your teaching into action?
R. Of course lots of suffering and also we know we cannot help everybody and get rid of all the sufferings. Sometimes cannot help the person nearest to us, and they could be suffering totally unnecessarily and you cannot do anything about it. To help some is not easy it is very difficult. So much suffering and so much problem and many times there is not much you can do about it. So of course we feel bad. We need to understand first that there is a lot of suffering because we are in samsara. So not possible that everyone has nice time. Within that what can I do? If I understand that this is how the world is then maybe I can help myself first and then help others. I have only control over myself. I can;t control other persons. I don;t have much control on myself too but I must work on myself the first thing doesn;t mean I cant do things for others at the same time. First understand we have to accept suffering in the world and we don;t get totally overwhelmed. Very important.
Then try to do whatever I can at whatever level. Whatever level means if I have a little bit of food then I can give food etc. In many cases I cant do anything so I wish, pray, dedicate that in future I will be able to help a lot to help next life etc. But not to destroy my own peace of mind and become totally unhappy because I see suffering. If I cannot handle the suffering and get panicky etc. it does not help me or others, so I have to get used to it and accept it and then work for it. Like nurse training, faint when first see blood but have to overcome this in order to work.
We need to learn, we need to practice but also it not necessarily only time. I can have lots of time and do nothing it is not just about time it is about working with my emotions, it is a way of life, it is our attitude, my attitude I think our attitude is extremely important so how I see things doesn;t require any time it is how I see things. The way I relate to others does not need any time it is just the way I relate with others. How much I am aware of what I am doing, mindfulness does not need any time it is the discipline. So many of the practices is more dependent on whether I am really practicing or not on my willpower, my discipline, my mindfulness not on how much time I have. Patrul Rinpoche always said if you mix your mind with the dharma secretly that is dharma practice you don;t need too many instruments to do it, it is more like that. One needs to learn a little bit but for one to practice. I see it like this, when we go into retreats, when we do long time practices, formal practices - I see this as a training on how to practice, the real practice is in the life, when I really live the life and do my work and have children and problems that is where you really practice. That is real practice when emotions come up how you deal with other people, but of course we need training so this is like the formal practices.
Q. Make distinction between unnecessary suffering and suffering.
R. When I say unnecessary suffering no suffering is necessary but when I say unnecessary here I mean that it was like the person could do a little bit with their. You know maybe unnecessary was not the word. You know that if a person did just a tiny bit then you know the person could do it and you know that it is not difficult just a little way of seeing or being or giving something up but still they keep on doing it and still have problems it is something like that. [Self-inflicted suffering.] Of course I don;t mean the suffering is necessary I mean that it seemed very easy for you for this thing to change a little bit and then OK but doesn;t want to change even that. Like a habit.
Q. Pure perception related to means or if we could see them as they really are.
R. The reason for pure perception is to see things as they really are. In order to train in that you can use certain methods to feel within that. Real pure perception is to see that inpure and pure are just concepts and not correct in a way and therefore everything is pure. But that understanding is not that easy to bring into your experience and therefore you make a visualization at the moment of the pure land a mandala. That method of using a mandala as a meditation might slowly give you.that also is based on this understanding that nothing is impure but also the method of using so therefore this is a method which comes to that so that kind of thing is OK. That is the idea.
Q. Go back to where we started. Gave argument how we suffer and this is a method to find happiness. Talked about material things. Taking a drink but we cannot be removed from outside things so it needs to be inside change. Confidence of faith that lasting happiness is possible. Ordinary sense of wanting others and oneself there has to be a leap to a faith that there is lasting happiness. How to develop that?
R. You are right maybe I went to fast in reasoning. Whether it is possible to have lasting happiness or not. If it has to depend on outside circumstances happiness then can say impossible because cant depend on that. Second stage is if lasting happiness possible that has to come from within. Now question is it possible to change from within Possible transformation from within? There are always possibilities that you change and how you feel about it and this we can see from our experience we have misunderstandings and clear and then no problems. Ways to clear if it is a misunderstanding. This is something that we are going to go through the main topic. The whole of our perception that brings suffering is it based on misconception or not. If we can prove that yes this is a misconception that the perception that we have the way we see things, which brings sufferings and causes of suffering it;s a misconception, it;s a wrong way of seeing a kind of distortion, then it is certain that it can be changed. Because if it is a misunderstanding it has got to be clear because it is a misunderstanding. If it is a misunderstanding, maybe it takes a long time but it is not impossible not to be cleared. So if that is the case then there is a possibility. That is the logic I think.
S. How do you know when you are seeing things the way they really are?
R. We don;t know that is why we are having problems. We don;t know that why the problem is. It is not easy. First thing is to see whether there is a problem in our seeing and once we see there is a problem in the way that we are seeing then there must be something else. That is the whole practice to find out. Important not to make it like the conceptual thing. In Buddhism we say even if it is correct thing you say this is it. When we see it in a conceptual way it is not right. When we say you have to see things as they really are doesn;t meant you have to conceptually see things as they really are because just seeing conceptually as they are is not enough to get a wrongis a totally kind of right way of reacting. So we have to therefore not say conceptually this is a right way to see we have to experience that which is actually said to be natural which is totally simply you just have to be totally natural that is all that is easy to say we have so much fabrication and so much manipulated and built on so it is difficult for us to be totally natural. So basically at the end when you get dzogchen teachings it comes down to doing absolutely nothing. That is easier said than done. So you have to go through this understanding of what that exactly means. Because sometimes we say this is the highest thing do nothing and then you don;t get anywhere anyway because you don;t actually understand what it means.
S. Is there a reason for all this suffering?
R. I don;t know. When you say is there a reason for going through this then it is a concept behind that somebody there is an agent involved like a conspiracy that someone did it for some reason or other. Buddhist point of view don;t see it like that it is not thought about like for what reason it happened. Unluckily is the reason we didn;t see how things how things are missed the point. But not like.. this is something sometimes difficult question for certain cultural background. When we say we are deluded. Originally or basically it is just a misunderstanding it is not saying that first we were well and enlightened Buddhas and now we are deluded and it is not like that. It is that it has always been like this.
Delusion is like not knowing. Say someone never heard about Larab Ling and someone mentioned it and you came and found it and this doesn;t mean no Larab Ling before. He just didn;t know about it, but it was there all the time. This is said to be a little bit like that. The way we see things is because of our.the way we are deluded is described . But why is not really known.
S. Where is ultimate source of karma
R. Ultimate source of karma is ignorance. My own ignorance is my source of karma. Karma is only when we are in samsara. Therefore it is based on habitual tendencies and on our impressions given on ourselves and the way we develop in that samaric way. As long as we have distorted way of seeing things and we have negative emotions and we have the cause and effect of that we have karma and long as we have karma we are in the samsara. But as soon as the chain is broken or the ignorance is finished there is no karma anymore, there is no chain any more so it is finished. So therefore I think we can say that ignorance is the basis of karma. It is said that enlightenment is not within the karma. Karma is to do with my own habits, habitual tendencies. I have very strong negative emotion and I do something with that, that puts a strong impact on my personality, if I do a very strong positive thing that also puts a strong impact on my personality this slowly, this is how I am, the way I am this is because of my karma. All these different kind of things I go through, different kind of experiences I go through different actions and strong impacts I make on this all this together is my karma. By enlightenment you don;t as I understand it when you get enlightened the continuum state continues, but the karmic continuum no longer continues then you are freed from this karmic continuum then you continue with the.. the continuum is still there but the enlightened continuum not the karmic continuum because as long as you are in the karmic continuum then that karmic continuum you are not free because it is likethis is an example of course: If you have strong addiction then as long as you have that you are controlled by that but you continue with that strong influence so you are not free but as soon as that addiction is finished then you continue but you continue free. That thing that controls you all the time is no longer there. Same little bit like that I think.
Q. Is it possible to say that everything is energy like mountain for example?
R. First if you say everything is an energy you have to say what is energy? Define energy.
Q. A mountain reflects energy to the people who live on the mountain or do they reflect their energy.
R. Energy is a word that needs to be defined so if I say energy, you can say everything is energy but what is energy?
Q. Can we say soul, it is a different word from energy.
R. Energy soul? Then what is a soul? Energy is used frequently nowadays but I am not sure what energy is. Sometimes I feel that people are calling it an energy when they cannot see anything that they cannot put under scrutiny it is like this or like that; but something is happens, some effect is there some force but you cant really see it and then I think .people say oh this is the energy. So energy is a word a force that we cannot see. Is it like that is there an expert on energy here?
Q. Physical energy talk about it historically electricity etc. Now talked about as things that go between bodies. Two things
R. From Buddhist description of philosophies I am not sure this term is used. They use Tendil because of certain things then something happen, certain causes and effects then certain thing happens. If I would describe this energy from purely Buddhist terminology I would use tendil for it because it is .there is a philosophy system also like nupa In Abhidharma they talk about nupa and topa this nupa is like energy in a way and this is because the philosophy of Abidharma shadamowa what is it called baywashica and the other one sadantica is a little bit materialistic philosophy, they have to define everything through something materialistic you can say something there. How the cause and effect help what happens to make this happen so there must be something. So that then the word used is this nupa and topa it can be translated for energy. But at the Madhyamika level they don;t use these words because they understand that when causes cause and conditions are there then whatever the right causes and conditions the similar kind of result appears, there is nothing going from here to there but something effect of appearing. So when looking at it from that point of view then you don;t have to think aboutyou don;t have to use the wordconceptsomething in between. So that is why the concept of energyI think the word is not used....that is how it is usually described.
Q. As long as we have karmic continuum are we necessarily not free are we totally not free. It there a complete lack of freedom?
R. Kind of I think. You cannotbecause you are under the kind of.you are conditioned. So therefore even if you want to do certain things you need conditioning. It is not to say you are completely not free, you are free to do lots of things you are free to get rid of this karma also but as long as you are under the influence of the karma you are not fully free. That is the idea I think.
Q. As positive and negative emotions create karma does that mean we have to get rid of emotions.
R. When you say negative emotions especially negative emotions usually they don;t say that OK positive emotions but not too much positive emotions. Karma is more negative emotions. So therefore when you say that it is like this. I think this is an important question because people think when you say enlightened people think of a senseless vegetable or something like that but it has to be seen like this. Maybe I am mixing vajrayana and Mahayana but sometimes I find it easier to explain. My basic consciousness, my pristine consciousness which is undeluded consciousness is very clear, completely clear, completely vibrant, completely aware, and very compassionate from the sense that it is not like feeling bad about peoples suffering, joyful, very great joyful. That is our natural state of our consciousness, which is described as 5 wisdoms. That consciousness, the original consciousness is described as wisdom and also sometimes 5 wisdoms because of aspect of different vibrant activities or aspects. It is also sometimes described as 3 kayas from the aspect of its clarity, manifesting nature. Because the enlightened mind or enlightened aspect is not supposed to be not having any thoughts and no any arisings it is very clear and vibrant. Now because the 5 wisdoms is our true nature , the way we actually are but due to certain way of seeing certain wrong way of seeing or unclear way of seeing then we have distorted ourselves that is the idea. An example I am here, I look at myself in mirror now if the mirror is clear then I see myself as I am, the way I am. Doesn;t matter if I am nice or not nice but if I breath on the mirror it becomes blurred I don;t see my face clearly in it and I have a wrong view of myself, so whatever I do or think I base my identity on that how I see in my mirror. So now I think I;m good looking because I didn;t see my wrinkles, then I have a problem because I think I am much younger. So this brings distortions, this is negative emotions that is karma and everything is there. We react with strong kind of hatred, aversion attachment thing like that and when I deal with attachment and aversion then I create problem on myself that is the suffering. But if my vision or way of seeing things is clear I don;t have to have attachment or aversion. I don;t have to have fear and attachment. Attachment I think we have to understand very clearly because sometimes people have this misunderstanding that attachment is like to have no attachment means I don;t like anything or don;t feel anything or cant enjoy anything because I don;t have attachment so whatever is happening is not nice whatever even if nice thing I don;t like it because I have no attachment I cant see what is right and wrong I cant see what is good or bad I cant see what is beautiful or not beautiful that is not the idea. Attachment means if I have a thing I can be attached to good or bad things but when I say I am attached if having my hot water in this nice mug this is not necessarily attachment but this mug becomes a problem for me when like this is a nice mug this I must have if I don;t have this mug I am not happy, where is the mug now, I cant think of anything. What happened to my mug, when this becomes a problem for me then it is attachment. Attachment means that my way of grasping for this mug becomes part of a problem it creates trouble. In a way although our usual way of thinking is not very much like that, we have to be attached in order to enjoy it, but actually it is not like that, we can actually enjoy much more if we didn;t get attached. If I am not attached to this mug then I can really enjoy it I can be happy if the mug is there and I can be happy if the mug is not there. Even if someone has taken it I can still be happy. But if I am attached to it I can be unhappy even if the mug is there because I will be thinking when is the mug going to disappear all these kinds of things and when the mug is not there I am more unhappy. So that is attachment. So this is something I think. So when it is very much said those who are more enlightened and having less attachment and aversion are much more happy and joyful. We read through these songs of masters they are so happy and joyful because they are free from this when you are free from attachment and aversion then you become completely happy and joyful it is also in a way it is pure perception. Experientially that is the pure perception then there is nothing impure because it is OK everything is nice, everything is not nice against unnice but when you have no fear and then you are not attached to something then anything is in a way enjoyable. So that is the understanding. When you can totally do that then there is no bad experience because what is bad? You know that it is not a problem it is nothing bad in a way it is all good experience. I think that is something like that. And also if you literally define then when you have eradicated the root and mind poisons then you have only Buddhas. I think we have talked about this it is a very long term thing, enlightenment is a very long term thing. Shakyamuni said it took him countless eons to gain it and there is a debate on what countless means. It is not very encouraging. Some say how can it be 3 countless because countless is countless. Some say that countless is a number with 60 digits. Indians discovered 0 so they used it as many times. Each 0 has a name and 60 is called countless. So 60multiplied by 3 is called what 180 trillion? Doesn;t matter because time is relative anyway. Although it is said like that the Buddha Shakyamuni took 3 countless eons and future Buddha took a little bit more I think 37 countless eons but it is also said that it is possible to get it in one lifetime. Also qualified sometimes what is one lifetime. It can be after you are dead if you get enlightenment in the bardo it is counted as in the lifetime. Sometimes said that just one empowerment. But all of us could be all the lives we have spent before could have done something.
REST OF QUESTIONS FROM THE MORNING OF 11TH May 2002
Q. If someone gets Arhat then free of kleshas are they free of tupja and tajee but not free of ignorance?
R. Arhat there is discussion about these. How much enlightened is an Arhat. There is no debate about you know we talk about two obscurations and one is klesha obscurations of kleshas and another is shejeteba which is translated as cognative obscuration. This cognative obscuration some say Arhat is free from this klesha but not fully free of this other one. So therefore something a little bit clearer habitual tendencies ..i think we leave it there.
Q. Relationship between cognative obscurations and tajee
R. The cognative thing is said to be in Jangyang Kongtrul is described it as congee what do you call this alaya. Not being able to completely free of this alaya conciousness. Or not being able to transform the alaya conciousness into wisdom conciousness completely. That is said to be like that. So therefore there is s certain amount, very little, but habitual tendencies. It is said when the example given is like washing a cloth. When you wash a cloth the major part of the dirt goes away rather quickly and then what remain is very little but takes a long time. What is remaining is very little but very difficult to get out. Lots of effort and long time can do it. The shedyedupa is remaining, unclarity remaining, tendencies remaining takes long time to get rid of. Tajee finished by nurmonpa.
Q. Quite a strong emotional element in trajee
R. Trajee is quite strong but if trajee is still there you still have the causes for kleshas and in arhats no more causes for kleshes so it must be gone.
Q. The ground path and fruition
R. There is no mention of ground path and fruition in the text it is just something that I brought in somehow. Of course you can talk about ground path and fruition in Madhyamika I don;t know if it is down here or not. There is certainly different language used but I think more or less when we describe ground and fruit there is a difference of launguage how much kind of braod I don;t think too much difference in meaning. Difference in path. Although when we define the 9 yanas it can be defined in a different basis and even different yana levels. Although difficult ot understand the differences very subtle. I think at this moment in this book nothing much about that.
Q. This text was written why, from what historically?
R. I don;t know. Mipham Rinpoche became a completely realized very quickly at a very early age and then he travelled a lot and went all over Tibet and stayed in Sera and debated and wandering around Tibet. He came to Shechen but didn;t stay long and also stayed with Patrul Rinpoche he used to go and get empowerments from Jangyang Kentse and many times staying near Dhilgo Khyense area. So when Dhilgo Khyense born he was nearby and when he was born he wrote a letter d on his tongue. Dhilgo Khyense received teachings from him. He taught but not in a Shedra people came to him. Then his writings lots of volumes 35 or something like that that includes almost anything. Commentaries, treaties, lots of things on Vajrayana, on rituals also. Books on astrology, chemistry, medicine, art all sorts of things including a book on karmasutra, everything. Then he did lots of retreats also. Most of his works were compiled by his students after he had passed away. He said when he passed away there will be no incarnations. But then they got an incarnation in Shechen monastry and this incarnation died quite young. Some say maybe this is not his incarnation but he died so specially. He was very great on powa. He would do exercises with wooden cups put down and get them to throw up and he could throw up the 7 cups. When he died so many ringsails and so many different kinds of things. There is a biography of his I helped someone translate a small one.
I dont know how many of you have this translation of the book Calm and Clear so here is the 1st Root Verse:
The cause of confusion and frustration in life
Is the virulent passion of the mind
Distortion and dispersion, the causes of passion,
Must be replaced by incisive attentiveness
Which more or less says the same thing that we were talking in the morning.
Namo Manjusri it starts with this not here but in the Tibetan it starts with this Homage to Manjusri is regarded as bodhisattva of wisdom. We have many bodhisattvas but main 3 bodhisattvas Manjusri, Chenrezi and Vajrapani , representing wisdom, compassion and power/energy, the Bodhisattva of Energy (he laughs). Manjusri means usually depicts that the particular text is something to do with wisdom and therefore to the Homage ..when the translation of the kunjur was made they made this rule or classification that if the text belonged to the vinayana then say Homage to Buddha, if belonged to sutras because sutras is generally a discussion of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas then say Homage to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, if belonging to Abhidharma or more wisdom kind of text or teaching then at beginning say Homage to Manjusri. So homage to Manjusri and it was written in Sanskrit although this was originally written in Tibetan. This is to acknowledge that it was originally coming from India coming from the Sanskrit language so it was the tradition to use a little bit of Sanskrit to remember and appreciate the source of the wisdom. Then it says (he reads Tibetan) it is translated like this:
The cause of confusion and frustration in life
Is the virulent passion of the mind
Distortion and dispersion, the causes of passion,
Must be replaced by incisive attentiveness
So it says that whatever nepa here is translated as confusion and frustration this is a meaning translation. Nepa is wrong kind of is faults, problems bad things.
It is because of the power or effect because of the effect of kleshas. Usually translated as mind poisons good translation mind poison although it can mean anything. Nyurmo is something that is kind of something that makes you feel bad, kind of tiring, frustrating, really heavy makes you feel not good, here translated as virulent passion. I am not sure what virulent means. Oh virus comes from virulent, virus is virulent. It is this or not necessarily this? Do you think virulent passion is a good translation for kleshas? Anyway when this nyurmonpa is defined you talk about 3 or 5 nyurmopas, ignorance, craving and aggression (3) and 5 nyurmopas have pride and jealousy also. This 5 is opposite of 5 wisdoms so in a way this 5 can also be boiled down to 3 because the pride is a combination of ignorance and craving and jealousy is a combination of craving and aggression or attachment and aversion. This 3 nyumonpa not very much discussed in the Mahayana and Vajrayana level but also the nyumonpa is a little classified as tajee and nyurmo. In Abidharmakosha there is whole chapter on tajee. That is the same it is nyumonpa but not the root nyumonpa when it is not fully expressed. When you say like craving or aggression it is more expressed. Tajee is more when it is at the root level there is a possibility of having that because we have not got rid of the cause of it but we are not really completely aggressive. We are not totally aggressive or not craving I think that is the important thing to understand, that is the more important thing to work on that Tajee it is important to work on strong aversion and attachment but the more subtle one that is there with us all the time as potential because of this potential klesha we have mainly created by ignorance and ignorance is basically the dualistic view or I am not very sure whether this is the right one but usually what we talk about ego in the Buddhist terms not psychological terms, this is basis of dualistic view you can say view but it is not like concept dualistic way of perceiving. This comes from seeing myself as totally separate from myself that is why we call it dualistic because what I see a I is separate from everything else. When I say that it is much subtler than saying I am not you, even at my own when I experience myself, my own experience I say I am seeing I see and when you say I am seeing there is a saying experience and there is someone called I who is having this seeing experiencing. When I am saying I am hearing as if there is a hearing experience and then someone as I who is hearing. So when you say I am seeing, I am hearing, I am feeling, I am tasting all these experiences smelling and touching experiences going on and there is someone who is experiencing all these things, the one experience of seeing is split into two, one that is seeing and one that is the experience of seeing. So this is said to be the root cause of this dualistic view which turns into I need to see I want to see it I dont want to see it, this creates because of this assumption of a doer or experiencer in the experience of experiencing these 5 senses so therefore this creates an identity within this experience of the 5 senses who then has to I am seeing so what I see I want to see, I dont want to see and all the experiences are divided and categorised if something nice and not nice something nice I want it, if something not nice I dont want it. So therefore these other two what we call mind poisons or the root mind poisons aversion and attachment or craving and aggression is created because every experience is made into categories or judgements whether something want or dont want or neutral and if I want it I must have it. That is said to be the root cause of what is called the ignorance. The basic ignorance is the same as tansin sometimes translated as self-clinging, I dont know whether self-clinging is the right word or not but it comes down to this how the, where the dualistic this is what we mean dualistic in this sense when you say dualistic view is creating karma, it is not saying there is no two things, it is saying that my experience is split into two and you make it into two things. This is also the main thing when you talk in Buddhism about selflessness, it is mainly talking about that when you have one experience whether it is because all experiences have to be through 5 senses, seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling ..What else. When we go through this is not the problem 5 senses is not a problem but when we experience the 5 senses the assumption of a self which is experiencing the 5 senses what we call whether is ego or dualistic kind of maybe this is something that we have to go through later on because it is a very fundamental thing that has to be discussed deeply not very easy but when you say I am seeing then the I am seeing as it there are two things. And the seeing experience of course the seeing experience is there nobody can deny that but when somebody is seeing experiencing, is there an I separate from this seeing? Is there an I separate from this experience of seeing or not? That is the main question I think. But in our general experience or tendency like I am seeing there is I who is seeing something so it is kind of an I who is hearing. From Buddhist point of view the seeing is and experience that is an experience and then there is hearing, which is another experience. And all different experiences can go on as long as these aggregates are there and all these things but the I who is doing all these things is a kind of assumption it is a creation through our faulty vision you can call it. Because we created this I as a separate thing from the experience of seeing so therefore we have this dualistic view and therefore I want to see I dont want to see and we have samsara. And because of this I am seeing and then what I am seeing I dont like, what I am seeing I like, I want to have it, I dont want to have it, and then this aversion and attachment and because of that then all the suffering. I think this is talked of many times in all different kind of texts and I think we talked about it last year but you know when we have this kind of aversion and attachment or craving then immediately there is suffering that is why it is saying here all this nynmopa kleshas whenever there is kleshas or the kleshas is developed, fully bloomed the basic dualistic view that we described it is then potentially always ready to bring this aversion and attachment because when we have this basic virulent if there are right conditions the thing comes up, usually it is said that tajipamyenpa in the Abidharmakosha it is said that these three things have to be there, when these three conditions are there then the klesha is bound to arise, the virulent passion is bound. These three things are that tajipamayenpa that you have not given up that you have not got rid of the tajiee that is the root cause of mind poison that is what we have just described like the ignorance and the potential aversion and attachment till we get it out of our system till we can be completely clear about how the things really are that is tajee, that is one course, tajeepam. Then the second is when the object is near this is like say if it is attachment then something very nice is there, a very beautiful cup for instance or if it is about aggression then something not nice something ..but even these if these two are there it wouldnt totally bring up that thing you need sujimyenyeshe. This sujimyenyeshe is not easy to translate. Here is translated as distortion and dispersion and I think this is meaning translation not word translation suji is as accordingly sujimyen means not as accordingly that is word translation that means that how do you translate? Incorrect, inappropriate yes something like that. So when these three things when you still have the root cause of the mind poison and someone is there very provoking and you make this(line 3) distortion and dispersion.dispersion is what? Scatter you kind of work on that you put more .actually sujimyen is a very important thing to discuss this Buddhist way of seeing because this is the main thing how to work on this sujimyenyeshe and sujiyeshe this is what we can do. We cannot get rid of this object of our attachment and aversion because it is there anyway, it is not in our hands. It is not easy to uproot it just like that because we need to have the complete wisdom for that. But at our stage what we can do is this sujimyyeshe and shujiyeshe how to .the way we perceive it, wrong way of perception maybe, how we see, how we perceive, I think how we perceive distorted way of perception or we see it in a kind of inappropriate way, the three things and when these three things come together then we are bound to have this virulent passion coming up. So therefore here it says the most important thing is to work (line 4) Must be replaced by incisive attentiveness but the Tibetan is sujiyeshe it is the opposite of sujimyenyeshe in appropriate way of thinking or seeing and then if you can replace it by appropriate way of relating instead of inappropriate way of relating to that , if we can cultivate appropriate way of relating to it then this can change and then if that happens and we change our way of relating to it instead of inappropriate we can make it appropriate then this virulent passion may not take over so therefore then it may not cause the suffering which otherwise would have caused the suffering and if we let this inappropriate way of relating taking place then this nynmopa comes up, the klesha comes up which is either aversion or attachment and as long as we have this aversion and attachment then there is bound to be suffering that is the idea. How is it that there is bound to be suffering? Because of course if it is something not nice like aversion, it is not good, it should not happen, it is very bad, it cant be, it is so bad then I dont like it and I am suffering as I have something that I dont want I dont like so I cant be happy until that thing is taken away, eliminated. But even after it is gone, am I totally happy - no because it could come back thank god it is not there but. So therefore not even the absence of the thing you have aversion to can not totally finish your suffering having fear or aversion because even if it is not there we have fear and as soon as you have fear then it is not finished, the suffering is there. Fearing something negative, something bad will happen even if it has not happened that is where all the worries comes from, all the anxieties comes from therefore it is suffering, it is still suffering. In the same way even if something nice of course not nice things you can understand, but even nice things, it is a nice thing, it is wonderful, I must have it and then suffering, because as long as I dont have it I am suffering because I dont have what I want, not to have what I want is a suffering. I lack it I am lacking something that is not there, which I want, which is nice and it is not nice because it is not there. When I have it, even then I am not totally happy because I have it, this nice thing, but hopefully it will not break or when will it break, when will it go away, I have all the tensions. When it is gone then I am not happy because I have lost something that I like, I want. So whether I have it, whether I dont have it, whether I am in the process of having it any way I am not very happy that is why we have suffering, that is why there is suffering in this world, that is why there is suffering in Samsara because as long as there is this way of reacting is there in us we are in Samsara, that is what we call Samsara. And as long as we are in that Samsara way of reacting we are not fully happy because we know why because that is the way we react. So we have to do something about this way of reacting because as long as we dont do anything about this way of reacting it is not possible to have a really real happiness. We can have some satisfaction, we can have little bit absence of major problems and sufferings but there is always this little, not fully kind of, satisfied fully enjoyed because our way of reacting is like that aversion and attachment. We have to learn how not to feel in that way, either wanting or not wanting, clinging or fearing so how can we do that because it is the most important thing. Here it depends whether you will continuously have problems and sufferings all the time or not depends on this our leaning how to react in this way. That is why we say about reacting, the way to relate with experiences, so that is the root verse that we have to learn a way to react in a proper way and if we can learn a way to react in a proper way then it might change our way or reacting with these 3 mind poisons and then there is a chance that we do not have the virulent passion coming. Doesnt mean that we dont have the consciousness, or clarity of consciousness. We can enjoy and be appreciative of what is going on and what is there. We can see, we can discriminate clearly also. I think it is one thing that we have to be very, very clear about when we talk about not having aversion and attachment it is not saying that we should be very unclear, hazy about things, that we should not react we just have to sit like we dont see or hear and then even if we see something we dont know what is what. It may be nice, not nice, I dont know, I dont care. It may be beautiful, it may be not beautiful, I dont care, I dont know I am not supposed to see anything..it is not like that. It is supposed to be the less aversion and attachment, distortion we have the more clear it is supposed to become, discriminating awareness is seeing clearly, it is not supposed to become less by having more enlightened, more clear. The less our mind poisons become because we are under their power and our vision is affected by that and we cant really see clearly, something that is not so nice we make it very, very nice and something that is not so bad we make it so bad that it is too bad so when our way is less when the distortion is less the more clearly we can see things. So the discriminating wisdom becomes clear, it is not a judgement this is good this is bad it is seeing things from every side and because we can see thing clearly from every side very clearly we dont need to have any fear or clinging. We have fear because we cant see clearly, we dont know something must be there like the darkness, we dont know what is there- something like a devil or demon.
STORY (about head bigger than body and eye double size of head )
No one sees ghosts in the daylight.
This is not an easy job to do and this is the main practice generating, gradually developing wisdom. To develop the appropriate way to develop wisdom we have to work on our attachment, aversion and ignorance. Aversion and attachment ..ignorance is a very basic way of our reacting in Samsara. We can have intellectual understanding but to see it clearly and get out of it is the most difficult thing because then you are enlightened it is something we need to work on but first work on aversion and attachment. Usually traditionally most of the teachings are working on attachment first maybe I dont know why exactly. It is certainly not easy. I personally think that aversion is the most important thing and work on that first. But aversion and attachment are very similar and very dependent . All three are dependent in a way and if you uproot one then you uproot all three. Especially attachment and aversion because attachment is basically based on our fear. And also aversion on fear and therefore if we work on attachment we can work on aversion too. I think that is why attachment is very much ..so strong in us that it is sometimes not even we are not even ready to work on it. If you say work on aversion OK but if you say work on attachment you say do I have to?. So I felt easier to work on aversion because no one has too much resistance to work on aversion. To even begin to want to work on attachment maybe why to work on bitter pill. Attachmentmaybe I will stop here before you run away.
... more about Ringu Tulku Rinpoche....