- The importance of belief
Belief, faith in the Guru, is so important. In the Great Perfection we rely on our faith or belief in the Guru. We do not attain liberation just by sitting in an empty state of mind or just by always learning. Most important is our belief. We take this energy of our belief, this power of our belief and it becomes one with us, it is absorbed in our mind stream. And then, it is not just belief, it becomes a state of realisation. Belief becomes realisation. Afflictions become bodhicitta. Belief is transformed into our true nature of mind.
- Everything becomes practice
Practice does not mean that we have to let go of everything, it does not mean that we have to change our whole life. You don’t have to let go of anything. Everything follows your mind! As long as you change your aspiration, as long as you change your motivation into bodhicitta, your whole life becomes practice. With the power of bodhicitta, everything becomes practice.
- The Guru’s essence
Your Guru represents the essence of all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, the essence of all the deities and all the Dharma protectors and all their qualities. This is your Guru. Just like a drop of water that enters and becomes one with the ocean, the Guru enters, dissolves into our mind stream.
- Continuously thinking
Our mind is very, very complicated. When we recite the mantras or the sutras, how many thoughts are arising within our mind? And, in the time when so many thoughts are arising, how is it possible to know whether we really have bodhicitta or not? It is difficult to say. What about ourselves, do we ourselves have bodhicitta in our minds? Why are we not able to transform or master our mind? Firstly, it is because we were not able to bring our mind to calm abiding, we have not really practised. And so, as a result, we are still influenced by material concerns. We are still influenced by this and by that, we are still thinking about this and that. While we are sitting or standing when we are reciting we are still thinking about this and that. What we are doing is just continuously thinking.
- The first requirement for attaining liberation
In regard to the standard for attaining liberation, what is the first requirement? Firstly, we must turn our mind to calm abiding. And, if we achieve this, if we turn our mind to calm abiding, then we will gain incredible practice experience. However, if our mind never turns to calm abiding we will always be projecting externally, the Dharma will never be absorbed into our mind stream and we will never bring an end to samsara. Are you willing to be free of saṃsāra?
- Praying to the Guru
Practise well, offer prayers to your Guru. One Guru can represent all the Gurus. He is the embodiment of all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas. We have this connection, and one Guru can represent all the lineage Gurus. For example, visualise me, then His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok, His Holiness Lama Achuk, Khenpo Chokhyab. Include them all into your visualisation and then include them into one’s root Guru as the visualised. Praying to the Guru is really, so important!
- A stage in the process
We understand the Dharma, we have belief in the Dharma, in these respects we are all very good. We have respect, we have cherishing, however this is just a stage in the process where we should not stagnate or stop; if we do this, then we will leave this world in this state of mind. The question is whether we have achieved the state of realisation within our practice.
- The aspiration of a Great Perfection practitioner
May I, as soon as I can, become just like Sakyamuni Buddha! May I become just like Guru Rinpoche so that, in the future, I may benefit all sentient beings from the lowest to the highest realms! This is the motivation, this is the aspiration of a Great Perfection practitioner. When we follow the Great Perfection practice, it is not that important what our actions are but what is our aspiration and how our mind is. These determine and make our actions the Great Perfection.
- Are you really a practitioner?
Are you really a practitioner? If you wish to become a practitioner, start by transforming the afflicted emotions into bodhicitta. This we can do, although it is a little difficult to practise. In reality, if you do not have great realisation in your practice, it is difficult to transform the mind. What we do first is to turn the mind to calm abiding. When we do that, we realise that this Dharma, this Buddha Dharma is really quite incredible. We get to turn this crazy monkey mind to calm abiding. Is this not the incredible blessing of the Guru? Is this not the incredible blessing of the Guru and the Three Jewels?
- The suffering of samsara has not arisen for no reason
The suffering of samsara has not arisen for no reason, it came about from many varied factors. From previous lives’ causes, we have these present life’s effects. And, irrespective of the cause and effect, whether the arising causes were positive or negative, they are going to continue. The continuation of this is samsara.
- Transforming the three poisons
Although we have aversion, attachment and ignorance we can transform them. And when we transform them, when we remove these three poisons, they become the five wisdoms. However, if we do not transform aversion, attachment and ignorance, we will continue revolving in saṃsāra. What do we mean by transform? In the past, we had a very selfish mind. In the present, we practise bodhicitta for the purpose of suffering sentient beings from beginningless time to now. We generate merit for all of them. And, as soon as you generate bodhicitta, you already are a bodhisattva.
- When we open up our wisdom
When we open up our wisdom, then we understand the true nature of this world. And, when we gain this understanding, we can let go of anything. We will not attach to anything anymore because we understand that all is not truly existent, all is illusory! Just like your dream at night, within your dream you know that you are dreaming. So, the people who understand the nature of this world, will continue within the dream but they will not get confused by samsara.
- Different appearances
Practise diligently and keep your practice simple. Every single deity, every single master’s Guruyoga is included in your Guruyoga. The dharmakāya is emptiness. The deities are emptiness. They just have different appearances. They all are the manifestations of Guru Rinpoche. Vajrasattva is the manifestation of Guru Rinpoche. The same is for dharmakāya, saṃbhogakāya and nirmāṇakāya. One Guru, one deity, one Dharma protector. Isn’t dharmakāya wisdom emptiness? Do not discriminate! Do not discriminate!
- The foundation of our practice
The foundation of our practice should be transforming our mind. Within the body, speech and mind, it is this mind where we must apply this practice. And in respect to the Buddha Dharma, where do we start practising this Dharma? We first bring our mind to calm abiding and then practise.
- What is renunciation?
What is renunciation? If we are always thinking of suffering and impermanence, maybe it is going to be difficult to motivate us in our practice. So, what do we do? We must understand that renunciation is knowing the true nature of this world. What we must really understand is what is the true nature of suffering and what is the true nature of happiness. This is renunciation. What are we renouncing? We are renouncing our misunderstanding, our ignorance and then, wisdom arises through the veil of ignorance.
- Giving rise to belief in our Guru
As soon as we give rise to belief in our Guru, we become one with our Guru. The Guru is our life’s guide to attaining enlightenment, so this gives rise to the mind, to this heart of unconditional love and gratitude. And so, our heart becomes full of cherishing and pure. When we gain a certain level of belief in our teacher, then, whenever we hear, see or pray to our Guru, it is a great blessing, it is a great energy and a reminder of the true nature of this world.
- This life on this earth
To come and be born on this earth, to have this life with the 18 freedoms and advantages is very rare and special. How fortunate we are that we came to this world as a human, that we can meet Buddhism and meet the Great Perfection, the highest level of Dharma. We are able to hear, contemplate and practice the Dharma! This result has not arisen from this life, but from many lives.
- Cultivate a pure state of mind
We, as practitioners, must cultivate a pure state of mind in order to attain liberation, in order to attain enlightenment or wisdom emptiness. And what happens after you have attained liberation? Then, the ability to liberate sentient beings is far vaster, you can really benefit all suffering sentient beings.
- Belief in our true nature
We have to practise these 4 syllables, bo-dhi-cit-ta! By doing this the merit is so auspicious! Practice is the skilful means, and Great Perfection is the essence of all the practices, it represents the ultimate methods. What is the essence of Great Perfection? It is belief. Belief in what? The belief in our true nature.
- Observe your thoughts
Observe your thoughts, their arising, and their subsiding. Observe the arising and the subsiding of your afflicted emotions. Through your practice, understand what is your true nature of mind, what is your Buddha nature, what is rigpa. Practice! Observe your mind! Apply the required antidotes. Practise diligently, practice conscientiously! Practice is like oxygen, do not stop your practice! Practise every day, practice according to the teachings!
- Buddhism is a science
Buddhism is a science, it investigates everything, the external world and our inner world. Buddhism investigates our inner world really thoroughly and through Buddhist logic and understanding we can, within our mind stream, leave behind many of our afflictions, suffering and this darkness of ignorance.
- The essence of this world
The essence of this world is impermanence. This is the true nature of this world. Who can change this? Today everything is good, tomorrow it will be very difficult. It is the natural way things are. Today we are healthy, tomorrow we are sick; for a while we are very wealthy, then we become like beggars. Oh, we may be beggars and later become kings. This is just the way it is. This is the result of the two fundamental laws of this world, the infallibility of cause and effect, and the true nature of this world which is impermanence.
- The happiest people
The happiest people are those whose minds are very pure, very open. They have very few requirements. They become like bamboo. In whatever environment they find themselves, they can be compassionate, they can carry on living. They only need something simple to eat, something simple to wear and no one brings troubles to them.
- Live in the moment
Live in the moment, practice in the moment. Repent everything, change everything, let go of everything. If you really can do this, you can attain enlightenment very quickly.
- Through the process of letting go
When we are starting to practice, of course there will be obstacles, maybe difficulties at home, with the family, with relationships. But let go! Gradually, go through the process of letting go. Look at the life of Shakyamuni Buddha, it took him three eons to attain enlightenment. So, what about us? Do not be too hasty! Most important is that you continue practicing, persist, and gradually the arising causes will improve.
- What we mean by confusion and ignorance
What do we mean by confusion and ignorance? These mean that although we have this true nature of mind, this Buddha nature, we do not know it. When you get to know this nature – rigpa, you need to practice, to be patient and go through the process of returning back to realizing this true nature of yours.
- When we are pursuing happiness
Sometimes we are pursuing happiness, however our methods of pursuing happiness cause problems. The sole purpose of our practices seems to be that we are embarking on the wish for our own happiness, that everything for us can be pleasant, and can be auspicious. If we use our wisdom and our awareness, we really wouldn’t be suffering so much today. People need wisdom, need compassion, they need to apply awareness. They need to leave behind this confusion, this darkness, this ignorance.
- When we are feeling sick
When we are feeling sick, think “how wonderful, what an opportunity, this karma has ripened; I have been waiting for this opportunity (to practice). In all my lifetimes, how much negative karma have I generated, how many sentient beings have I harmed?” Meditate on this suffering and think “May I substitute the suffering of all sentient beings. May I be a substitute to take on all the suffering of sentient beings!” We should really have this state of mind during our practice!
- While in pain
All the great realizers, look at what we consider to be negative as something positive. In their state of mind nothing is considered an obstacle, a difficulty or trouble. If we are sick, they teach us to give rise to renunciation. If our back is painful, we should say, “good, keep the mind pure and disciplined”. Pain will help us settle down. It is impossible that we do not have obstacles. Already our karma is very strong, so how should we approach obstacles? If you are sick, give rise to renunciation. If our back is in pain, it will help us calm down. Having pain is good and helps in understanding cause and effect.
- The power of this path
The Great Perfection is directly pointing at the very nature of mind. Simply maintaining recognition of the very nature of mind by following the Guru’s pith instructions is the power of this profound path. That is why most essential is that we have faith in your Guru.
- The right mindfulness
The right mindfulness is the mind without any thought. This pure state of mind is of clarity, of luminosity. When you start meditating, abide in a state which is not too lax, not too tight, abide in a state of equanimity, in a state of calm abiding. Then, support this calm abiding with the right mindfulness.
- Why we pay homage to our Guru
Why do we pay homage to our Guru? Because our root Guru is our Buddha on earth right now, he is the Buddha that helps us understand the teachings. He is our guidance, the lamp that dispels the darkness. He guides us out of the darkness of ignorance, he is our light in the darkness.
- Incorporate the three methods
Sometimes you are just reciting the words of a prayer, not really thinking about the suffering of sentient beings. When you really practice properly, when you really think of the suffering of sentient beings and really wish them to be free of suffering, this really has very great, very vast merit. In every practice that you do, incorporate the three supreme methods, aspiration, main practice and dedication. This is the way of perfecting your practices.
- Include bodhicitta
Every time you begin listening to any teachings, give rise to auspicious bodhicitta to benefit countless suffering sentient beings. The foundation of all Mahayana and Vajrayana practices is bodhicitta. In order to achieve the highest levels of Buddhism, whatever dharma you are practicing, – irrespective of whether you are practicing meditation, making lamp offerings, listening to teachings or circumambulation of mountains, it is important to include bodhicitta in your practice.
*image depicts Arya Shantideva, the compiler of the Way of the Bodhisattva
- The four types of liberation
When can we really say that we have entered the door, that we started practicing the secret Vajrayana? When we are clear about the four types of liberation. And what are these four types of liberation? In meditative concentration, there is liberation through [naked] bare attention, liberation as soon as it arises, self-liberation and primordial liberation. One liberates the random thoughts, the afflictive emotions. It’s not necessarily that we completely realize this, but we are very clear about this reason. Only then we have entered into the secret Vajrayana.
- The Guru is your mirror
The Guru is just your mirror. The mirror is your teacher. When you meet your teacher, then you know the state of your practice, what kind of person you are. It’s like looking in the mirror. You know what state you are in, where you floated to, what level of practice you have, whether your practice is right or not. This will all clarify in front of your teacher.
- If you have a method
No matter how profound the Dharma, if you have a method, you are able to practice it perfectly. It does not matter how low the Dharma is, if you do not have a method, you are not going to be able to practice it. It has nothing to do with one’s age, it is not because you are too old, this is not this reason. It is because you do not have a method. It does not matter how old you are, or how young, that you are not being able to realize the Dharma. If you have the right method, anybody can practice this Dharma as long as you want to practice the Dharma. You can realize this Dharma!
- What are pith instructions?
What are the pith instructions? They are what enables an afflicted sentient being, who has been afflicted since beginningless time until now, to transform this confused afflicted mind and to attain liberation. This can only be done through the secret Vajrayana. Only through the Great Perfection can we get this result.
- Start in calm abiding
Let your mind calm down. If you want to meditate and if you want to practice the ultimate Dharma, first bring your mind to calm abiding. If you want to attain Enlightenment, if you want to attain liberation, the first requirement or the very foundational condition, is that your mind must be able to come to tranquility, you must have calm abiding. After that, the teacher will teach you how to transform afflictions, to cut through afflictions, to overcome dullness and to transform your confusion.
- Objects for meditation
When you wake up in the morning, use this time to meditate. Many people say: “I can’t meditate!”. Look at the moon, look at the stars, look up into the skies, use [as objects for meditation] what is in front of your eyes. The moon, the skies, the mountains, they can all be the objects for your meditation.
- While you have energy
While you have energy and good health, stop all the samsaric activities. While you have the energy, use this time to practice, to meditate, and then, when our mood is not very good or when we are very tired, then, use this time to carry out the samsaric activities.
- Understanding renunciation
Start practicing properly, start practicing by repenting, start from taking refuge, and then, practice Bodhicitta. Many people do not understand renunciation. How many years have they been practicing, and they still do not understand renunciation? Everyday they are visualizing suffering. If you are observing suffering every day, are you not going to go crazy? Likewise, if we have so much suffering in our lives and we are still observing suffering, are we not going to go crazy? Renunciation is understanding the truth of this world, understanding the truth, the laws of all phenomena. Renunciation is knowing the true nature of this world.
- Important qualities
What qualities are important to be a Buddhist? Everyday we are talking about compassion, love, and kindness, but why is it that we do not have compassion, love, and kindness? Everyday we say wisdom, wisdom, wisdom, however when we are practicing why is it that we do not have any wisdom?
- Buddha’s appearances
Buddha has so many reincarnations. In regards to his future appearances, before the attainment of Buddhahood, Buddha made 500 great aspirations. You do not know how they may appear. They are not just those that are wearing robes and sitting on the Dharma throne teaching.
- To attain liberation: practice
As long as you want to attain liberation, practice! If you do not want to attain liberation then, why play Buddhism games? What are the objects of your refuge? The Three Jewels. Why do we follow our teacher, our Guru? To attain Enlightenment, to attain Buddhahood. So, protect your liberation, your Enlightenment well. Do not speak randomly, don’t go slandering the teachers, the Gurus or the true Dharma.
- Happiness and suffering go together
As long as there is happiness, behind it there is suffering. Happiness and suffering go together. As long as you have attachment to happiness, there is suffering waiting. As soon as we leave the happiness, the suffering appears. When we are happy, we do not realize there is suffering but as soon as happiness leaves, we realize that there is suffering that comes after happiness. Cut through these attachments!
- Where does Bodhicitta come from?
Where does bodhicitta come from? Is bodhicitta not this mind of ours? It is this mind of ours, isn’t it? Renunciation is this mind, wisdom is this mind, compassion is this mind. Remember, enlightenment is also this mind!
- What is being liberated?
All the Buddhas, all the great practitioners of the past, how did they attain Buddhahood? Through realizing their own inner minds. And what is being liberated? The afflictions, the confused mind, the afflicted mind, the mind that sleeps, the one that eats, the one that wants to drink water.
- By transforming the mind
Which Buddha has attained Buddhahood by practicing through the external world? Taking as an example all the Buddhas, from Samantabhadra to now, do they (realize) practice through external appearances? Not one of the Buddhas did this, with respect to all of the history and all of the Buddhas. They attained Buddhahood by transforming their mind, their inner selves.
- Returning to our true nature
What is bodhicitta? Within ourselves we have the true nature of mind, this inherent state of mind. How do we discover this true nature of mind within our lives? How do we return to this true nature of mind that is called bodhicitta? Everyone of us has the true nature of mind, everyone of us has Buddha nature. So, are we still having so much suffering, so many afflictions? We have a Buddha nature, why do we have so much suffering? Because we have not practiced, we have not practiced well.
- True nature of this world
When we understand the true nature of this world, we will naturally have renunciation, we will have bodhicitta, compassion. You will then understand all beings’ suffering of suffering, suffering of change and suffering of everything composite.
- No other Dharma
The source of all samsara is clinging. This is the essence of samsara, suffering. When you have incessant grasping, you have suffering. So the 84000 Dharma are for this purpose, to remove this attachment of ours. There is no other Dharma apart from these.
- Dharma requirements
What are all the Dharma requirements for? To purify our negative karma, so that all of our body, speech and mind karma can be purified. Practice, practice with purity. It’s quite simple.
- Looking within
Receiving the Dharma from external sources, means creating arising-causes-Dharma. True practice of Dharma is practicing within. So how do we practice looking within? We must bring back our mind. Don’t let it run outside or project outside, instead, reflect in. First, calm down your mind, gather your affliction in. How do we do this? By looking within, into your true nature of mind. Do you understand? You must look at the true nature of your mind. This is what we call practitioners.
- Karmic winds
We are sometimes very lazy. Laziness has no bodhicitta and the karmic winds of our karmic and conceptual obscurations will blow us in the direction of that karma.
- In a dazed state
Truly, being just in a dazed state (not positive, not negative), in a state of laziness or without awareness, you are not truly using your time to practice. And if we do not practice, when the time of death arises, what are we going to be able to handle? And we will never put an end to our suffering.
- No need for comforts
Why was it that Buddha Shakyamuni left his palace? Over there he had the comfort; you see, he had fame, fortune, status. It is because, in order be able to practice properly, he did not need all of these comforts. If he did not leave the palace, all sorts of difficulties and obstacles may have arisen.
- Rigpa mind
Our body will become old; this is for sure. But this Rigpa portion (of our mind) will always stay the same; it won’t get old this rigpa mind.
- Practice this great perfection
Why am I mentioning this to you? When we face death, we cannot deceive ourselves. Practice, practice this great perfection well! And if you do, for certain, one day you will attain liberation.
- Only Bodhisattvas
Padmasambhava said this is the age of nuns attaining Enlightenment quicker than the monks. Does this mean that the monk should think ‘oh, no, no, I cannot attain Enlightenment?’ No, it is just that nuns will attain Enlightenment quicker; before it used to be the monks. Padmasambhava said this is the most auspicious time to be practicing Buddhism and it is really so. However, men practice consciously and attain Buddhahood, and then, in the world, they will not be any men, there will only be Bodhisattvas.
- At the moment of death
[At the moment of death] All of these material concerns, all of these phenomena are not ours. For instance, look at my mother, if she didn’t practice well what would she be able to take with her? The only thing that would be able to follow her would be her own tears. However, as practitioners we do not have to shed tears. We can be full of cherishing and joy, be free and relaxed. What we could be facing is the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas and not facing the three lower realms. Really think about it! Every single one of us in the next few decades is going to face death. What this is helping us understand, is that the true nature of this world is impermanence.
- Whether you go in or out
Whether you go in or whether you go out, there is attachment, aversion, and ignorance. This is what everybody in the city is doing. In this environment, how do you practice? – we are not enlightened yet, are we? So, in this type of environment how are you going to realize the practices? It is very difficult to succeed.
- One day you are going to die
Great compassionate Dharma protectors and students, one day, you are going to die. I am also going to die; my mother has just died. What is this telling us?: that every single one of us is going to die, so do not have too many pursuits and do not get too attached. It is impossible that you will possess everything, and it is also impossible that you will have nothing. Master your practice well for your liberation and for your Enlightenment!
- Give rise to ultimate bodhicitta
We do teach very vastly for boundless bodhicitta, however as it is said in The Way of the Bodhisattva as taught by Shantideva, if you can just give rise to ultimate bodhicitta for just a moment, all past karma, all of those selfish thoughts, self-grasping from which we have hurt others, all our karma thereof, will be purified.
- Why practice bodhicitta
So why is it that we must practice bodhicitta? When we have realised bodhicitta, then, all our merit and all our practices have been perfected. With respect to bodhicitta, we start practicing with little steps, with little things.
- Treat it as practice
As it is often mentioned to you, whatever happens in life, treat it as practice. And everything in life will become your practice.
- Organizing our time
If we organize our time properly daily, truly practicing, then your liberation won’t be a problem. Your attainment of Enlightenment won’t be a problem. The problem that we have is that we spend all our time involved in material concerns. All you need to do is allocate three or four percent of your time to practice. Take my mother for example, she herded yak and sheep and raised eight children. And the way we grew up was not the way you grew up. Our life was very difficult, we grew up in the mountains. However, right from the beginning, she had great belief and when the time came to practice, she would not delay it or do anything else.
- Universal Rigpa
When you discover Rigpa, when you abide in Rigpa then, you are free of all negative emotions. The universal energy is called Rigpa. Everyone has Rigpa within themselves. But if you do not find it, you will continue existing at the level of trouble, negative emotions. And if you are living into that changing, always changing negative emotions, then life becomes very difficult.
- The simple thought to be of help to others
The simple thought to be of help to othersShantideva
Exceeds in worth the worship of the Buddhas,
What need is there then to speak of actual deeds
That bring about the prosperity and benefit of others.
- Accept your suffering
Your suffering, your mental suffering, if you cannot handle it and accept it, who is going to be able to do that for you? And the suffering that you are experiencing, who can really understand it? Everyone is experiencing their own world of cause-and-effect karma, and all the sufferings that we have experienced, what words are there to express all of the sufferings that we have had? Then, if we do not practice, in our future, we still are going to experience so much inexpressible suffering! So, with respect to your practice, again and again and again, you must place great importance on this.
- The state which considers others
Rigpa is very vast, a very broad state of mind. And it’s a state that naturally considers other people’s suffering, other people’s problems. So, people abiding in rigpa, their way of doing things is very different from other people (because they consider others).
- Labour for the good of others
Enslaving others, forcing them to serve me,Shantideva
I will come to know the state of servitude.
But if I labour for the good of others,
Mastery and leadership will come to me.
- Settle down
If your mind never settles down, you will never understand what practice is, you will never know what liberation is, and you will never know what the blessing of the Guru is. The only thing that you will get is you will hear what the other people are saying about their experience, their realizations; these may increase your belief, but you will not have that experience. Why? Because you have never settled down and practiced properly.
- Like the spring
These emotions of ours are like the spring. The water comes bubbling after spring just more, more, more – all the time, continuously. This is what our afflictive emotions are like – just like the spring. These afflictive emotions are never ending.
- Transform your mind
If you have not transformed your mind, it is not possible that you are going to be able to practice or realise these profound practices. We must transform our mind to that state of purity, that precious state of purity, that we have sufficient meditation and meditative stability and sufficient belief and then our practice will be easy.
- Crazy monkey mind
The crazy monkey mind always considers: ‘I’m the most important, I’m the most important!’ This is called selfishness and living like this is a very unhappy state. One has very few friends and even people who love them, their family, might leave them as well.
- Master every day’s meditation
Make sure that every day you practice, and you practice well. Master every day’s meditation. And at the time of your death, it is not death that has arrived, it is your liberation that has arrived. The attainment of Buddhahood has arrived, not death. It all depends on how we have practiced, so definitely make your practice and your liberation number one, the most important thing.
- Rigpa: The true nature of mind
Rigpa is the true nature of our mind. It’s that radiant portion/aspect/quality. We can still practice; we can develop it. When we abide in Rigpa, many of these negative emotions that arise, they will naturally disappear. Although they might still arise, they will naturally disappear. In this way, these (negative) thoughts will not become actions.
- The great power of your teacher
And what is your teacher? – he is a Bodhisattva. And anybody can give rise to bodhicitta – this is bodhicitta. You see him (your Teachers) externally just like a normal person, but inside, these great practitioners have great bodhicitta – they are all bodhisattvas. And this is the great power of them.
- Death: a never-ending game
Death, in reality, is just an expression of not having practiced properly. As long as you have practiced well, death is not suffering. It can be faced with cherishing. (It may be) the end of samsara, the beginning of nirvana. This is death. And on that day, the attainment of Buddhahood has started. If we do not practice, then samsara is never going to come to an end! It is a never-ending game.
- Perceiving now the faults possed by “I”
Perceiving now the faults possessed by “I”,Shantideva
The ocean of good qualities that are in “other”,
I shall lay aside all love of self
And gain the habit of adopting other beings.
- The preliminary practices
Before we practice the teachings, there are some preparations we have to do. Regarding the preliminary practices, they are the essence, the core or the foundation and on the basis of preliminaries, if we practice well, then we arrive at the main practice of Dzogchen teachings.
- The goal of every act
The goal of every act is happiness itself,Shantideva
Though, even with great wealth, it’s rarely found.
So take your pleasure in the excellence of others.
Let them be a heartfelt joy to you.
- The way of the Bodhisattva
To subdue jealousy is the way of the Bodhisattva; to subdue anger is the way of the Bodhisattva; to subdue attachment is the way of the Bodhisattva.
- The Dzogchen teachings
We are disciples of Lama Rinpoche and also, we are practicing the Dzogchen teachings. We all know how supreme the teachings are, the benefits of Dzogchen and the attainments that the Dzogchen teachings can offer. All the great masters from all across the world have been teaching Dzogchen and they are still teaching it now.
- A Great Perfection practitioner
Practice is the mastery of your mind, and on this foundation, do not let one arising thought go, do not let it become action, and then you really are a Great Perfection practitioner!
- Cooking all your food at once
[Regarding teachings] The more you listen, the more you see, it is not the best; it sometimes becomes an obstacle. Just like food, it does not help to cook all your food (at once). You cook only what you can eat, if you cook more than that, it is a waste. The same is with the Dharma. It is important that you take the Dharma and that it is absorbed into your mind-stream. Digest it! And then, every day, apply it. Put it into action in your daily life, and this is called practice.
- A stone in the water
Every day, we can take these practices to heart, include them into our daily activities, like eating our food. We want to absorb it, digest it and then, we get realization and experience. Otherwise, if there is just listening, listening, listening, I can teach you for 24 hours. But what will the use be? Then you will become just like a stone in the water. Take a stone, a rock out of the water; even if it had been in the water for a hundred years, a thousand years, when you pull it out, you break it open, it is still dry inside. No water has been absorbed into it.
- Like the open sky
Many of your practices or your problems you are not able to resolve. (Why), because what I have told you today, tomorrow you will return to your own problem. You are still attached to the problem. So, the problem still exists. If right at the beginning you just let go, you would not have to come to see me to get an answer. If your mind was open, the problem would have been resolved, just like the open sky, the clouds in the sky; just like the clouds dissipate in the sky. They are no longer evident. Just like your problems. If you let go, they leave your mind.
- Harmful beings
Harmful beings are everywhere like space itself,Shantideva
Impossible it is that all should be suppressed.
But let this angry mind alone be overthrown,
And it is as though all foes have been subdued.
- Everything is fine
Everything is fine. I say over here, ‘it’s fine’, I say over there ‘fine’, this is just where I want to sit. When you have something to do, instead of giving rise to all sorts of afflictions and unhappiness, why do we not just think ‘wonderful’, ‘this is the best thing’, ‘what a great opportunity’. This is how I do it. Then, your practice has improved. Then, you have a high level of realisation or practice. This, we must definitely practice; if we do not do this, how is our practice going to improve?
- Safeguard your training
Those who wish to safeguard their trainingShantideva
Must carefully protect their minds.
For if the mind is not protected
They will be unable to safeguard their training.
- State of realization
The state of your realization is not how long you can look into the sky for. The real realization is what your practice is like in any environment, that you do not give rise to any afflictive emotions no matter what is happening. This is the evidence of a great practitioner.
Irrespective of what you face, no afflictions arise. Understand? Understand? Understand?
- Negative habits
Be careful of cultivating negative habits. Do not develop negative habits of attachment, aversion and ignorance. What you must be able to do is face good and bad.
- Sunlight and practice
As soon as I go outside, there is sunlight. When, within your mind, within your heart there is no light, then, the sunlight cannot find you. All that sunlight does is find your body. If you have sunlight within your heart, within your mind, wherever you are, there is sunlight. This is important to practice, wherever you are, open that mind of yours, place yourself in the worst position and practice. What is practice? Those things that we are not willing to do, we go and do. Those things that we are not willing to undertake, we undertake. What we are not willing to face: we face! This is what we call practice.
- The cause of problems
Of course, there is a lot of suffering; why do we have so many problems? It is because we do not want to let go. And why we do not want to let go? – if we let go, we are going to be free. Where is the suffering going to come from? Where will these problems and obstacles come from? All these problems and obstacles that you experience, nobody else caused them for you. You caused this for yourself.
- Experiencing suffering
When you place so much importance on fame and fortune and these material concerns, your life is full of suffering. You do not see that death is coming closer and closer, and still you are so attached to these things, you do not let go of them. You are still concerned about material concerns, relationships [..], and all of them are just impermanent.
Then, we experience suffering.
- Mindfulness’ rope
If, with mindfulness’ rope,Shantideva
The elephant of mind is tethered all around,
Our fears will come to nothing,
Every virtue drop into our hands.
- Attachment and separation
No matter how attached you are to your friends and family, you are going to part. It does not matter how much you love somebody, and how much they love you back, one day, you will still part. All these material things, fame and fortune, no matter how much you have got, one day you will be separated.
- Magical appearances
All things, then, depend on other things,Shantideva
And these likewise depend; they are not independent.
Knowing this we will not be annoyed
At things that are like magical appearances.