Overview of the Common Preliminary Practices
By Khentrul Rinpoché Jamphel Lodrö
Rinpoché presents a general overview of the traditional preliminaries and how they work to prepare your mind for experiencing your most sacred truth.
These teachings were recorded at the Rimé Institute in Belgrave, Australia on February 05, 2015
00.01 – Motivation
Anything we do in the world, we have a goal and we have a process. Which means we have a goal and we have plan and then we have process. So if our plan is well thought out then the process, if we went carefully and mindfully and wisely, our goal we can achieve very well. So the spiritual goal is the greatest goal a human can ever make. You just have to remember that first. The problem in the world, people don’t see the absolute reality and people only see the relative reality. And people think this is the only reality. Therefore, people the life goal is like kind of survival and different levels of survival and live happy life. And this simple idea, which is very unrealistic expectation because you don’t have really good plan. The plan is always to simplistic or too rigid, uptight idea. For this reason, humanity never achieved this goal, has never been achieved, and will never achieve. And the spirituality, people think something secondary, part of living, part of survival. That’s the problem and should be the other way around. The spiritual, the spirituality should be the primary and the ultimate goal should be the absolute spiritual achievement. That should be. So we are just living in society and having family, wealth, all these things should be secondary, only condition to achieve this. If you can apply this very well, then it will work very well. But if you think different, other way, and achieving happy family, living comfortable life, always healthy and happy, that’s we aiming for wrong way. So this class and this practice system, we try to structure to understand what is our life goal and what our life time goal will be. For this reason, your lifetime goal, to reach Buddhahood. And the Buddhahood is not somewhere, and some place or you have to transform yourself, even you not transform yourself and rather, you just discover or you unveil your true nature. Your absolute true nature. That is our….this life goal, or bardo goal, which means after, during the die, after death, before rebirth or other lifetime. Anyway, we practicing this process. That’s our goal.
To achieving this, many people claims their way is the best, their path is the best. But there is no such thing as best for everybody. But there is best for whoever had this connection. So our goal is Kalachakra practice, our practice is Kalachakra path and our goal is reach Kalachakra Buddhahood. So Kalachakra system definitely the most comprehensive and comprehension, extensive and clear path on this earth, there is no doubt. For individuals, maybe this is not your best path, maybe your best path, but obviously you guys here come and try to participate, having some degree of inspiration, maybe the best path for you. So as I said before, achieving the greatest goal we need proper plan and proper process. For this reason, Kalachakra path has many levels of preliminaries. So the actual Kalachakra practice, completion Kalachakra practice we call Six Vajra Yoga’s, the indestructible yoga’s. But to reach this we have many layers of preliminaries. So today our topic, I overview what we going to practice in this twenty weeks. Ok.
In this process you have external four preliminaries and internal five preliminaries and unique two preliminaries and then you practice Kalachakra Six Yoga’s. But in this twenty weeks, your topic and your study and your practice is only external four preliminaries and internal five preliminaries. That’s all you do. But even that is little bit too much for twenty weeks. So for twenty weeks you study them and you try to be familiar with this and you practicing, try to practice, that’s really you doing. So you practice, this is practice actually for at least one year, until next January. Ok. Next January 2016. But your real study with me, the twenty weeks. So after twenty weeks I would have the senior students, they have another practice, moving to another level. Even this time you guys practice in your way. This is only your review. But for new people, this is your new practice, new study. Maybe not necessarily new for you, for some people, but still reviewing and for clarification.
First, the four external preliminaries. Another name we call four convictions of renunciation. So why? Why we need this preparation? Because we have so much attachment in our life. So we have to achieve non attachment, detached, many unnecessary or harmful consequences. Still we have you know like attachment, so that’s why we need to develop renunciation for this. Without renunciation, we will not practice properly. Even we will not get it, why we need to practice. For this reason, we talk about these four convictions.
First, to understand the karma. Which means the natural law, cause and effect. And then again people have problem to understand and people have problem to believe. Why? Because we not thinking properly, because when we talking about karma, we thinking something completely hidden. Yes? Some karmas of course is hidden. We know everything is not clear for us, everything is not obvious for us. Is billions and trillions of subtleties not obvious for us, so why not karma also, of course all karma is not obvious for us. But when we talking about karma, we are not talking about somebody developed the idea. And we not talking about somebody, some groups can agree and the other groups can disagree and is debateable. It’s not that. Actually, we talking about the law of the nature. We only imply this for our spiritual growth, but actually we try to understanding just the natural law.
So there’s four principles apply. We say ****(uses Tibetan term 20.09) which means you never account with karma you never created. Which means you never experience any karmic result for something you never created the karma. Impossible. Let’s think about, you have a farm, so you farming many things. You planting many things but you never plant tomatoes. Never grow tomatoes, impossible. You only grow what you plant and the farm is what is suitable for what kind of plant, what kind of grow. But if you didn’t plant, you will not expect and you will not expect it to grow and eat. Same thing with karma, because of natural law. Same way, you never experience karma you never created. We never planted in your mind stream. ****(Tibetan term 21.47) which means, if you created the karma, you will definitely experience. Definitely means if there is other conditions that didn’t stop it, didn’t interrupt it, only that. So which means you boiling water, and you put rice in it. It definitely will cook, unless you stop the fire. If you didn’t, definitely will cook. It is impossible it will not cook. It’s like that. So that’s why if we created the karma and we didn’t interrupt that karma that karmic plan, karmic propensity, if you planted, then of course you will experience. It is impossible you will not experience. That’s one thing.
The other thing…which means whatever you do, whatever you intend to do, in your mind, basically, what you desire to do, what is your intention, what your motivation, that is karma. That is your action, your mind action is karma, and that’s imprinted on your mind, propensity. This propensity will grow and become experience something else in the future at the right time. At the right moment at the right time, with right cause and conditions, you experience this. It means that. But then we think, “ok if I did one bad thing, then maybe I only experience one bad, one karmic consequence. If I do one good thing, maybe in the future, I have one good experience. I can experience one good thing, one happiness”. No. the answer is always grow. It always grows. Why? As you know, the plants and everything grows. Always, they have the right condition they always grow and small seeds become bigger, bigger. And also these big ones produce multiple other seeds and then they grow, so same thing, you know. Our good karma and bad karma both, it will grow. It will multiply if didn’t interrupt it. Ok, that is the third.
The fourth principle. Ok that means once karma is made, then inevitable to experience this? The answer is no, you can purify, always you can purify. Which means the other word is you can always interrupt. So you always can make no karmic result, you can make that if you doing well. That’s why….that means if you understand karma properly, karma, karmic action, karmic imprint and karmic result, and then anytime you can make all your actions become good karma. And you decrease all your bad karmas present and you already created bad karmas, you can decrease them. So that is the beauty of understanding the karma.
So all human beings and even all sentient beings want to be happy, easy, peace and comfortable, but nobody really achieve this completely. Nobody. Why? Because not thinking properly this natural law. Everybody understand, “ok if I have money and if I buy something I will be happy for a while, for short time”. Or anything like these things, if I have this kind. We have so many “if’s”. You know if I have this, then I’m happy, if I have this I am happy. Like that we all know. But we all don’t know is not necessarily will be happy, and not necessarily you have happy long time. Also we don’t know that it necessarily it will change, most of time it will be changed. So those things we don’t think of and also we don’t think of there is other cause and conditions involved. You know not this obvious cause and conditions, you know if I have this kind of relationship, if I have this kind of wealth, this kind of social status, recognition. Not only that, but this all have karmic force behind these things happening. We don’t know that. It’s easy to know this if we apply very well the cause and conditions we already know. Like whatever you plant will grow, and the chemicals together work this way, all these things also we know. If we be nice to people, they are happy and if we be mean to them they are not happy. We all know things if we apply, the same way, same structure, same law, if we apply this then we know. And if we be mindful about this, then we can do very well. But we don’t do that. Usually the human beings forgot all the behind reasons, and always try to do something in the obvious level. And we do all in a very uptight way, in fixed way, neurotic way and then it doesn’t work. So that’s really is…ok what does make renunciation? To understand karma. What do you think?
Is something, is not easy to do all good, it’s not easy to make all happy and very difficult to deal with people, all these things and then you realise “oh ok, is samsara, it’s not perfect so what I am doing is quite silly, and my expectations are quite unrealistic”. If you realise these things and if you sad and disappointed or whatever, even that from the beginning, that is something good omen, is not bad omen really. So because that means you have condition of renunciation. Renunciation is not just sad, but if you have some sadness and some kind of mental factors arise, something you don’t have before, that mean, or something you already had before a little bit but this makes more clarify, that is part of renunciation. Makes renunciation, condition of renunciation. Ok. Not renunciation to understand karma, and karmic causes, the natural law, it’s not renunciation but this makes allow, arise your renunciation. Ok. When we say renunciation, it’s not something you give up because you cannot deal with. It’s not that, but you reduce your attachment because you can see the weakness, ok.
So the second, we call samsaric faults. Samsara means all our birth, aging, death, dying, death and then again, uncontrolling birth,are which means don’t know where born, don’t know what will be born, what kind of sentient beings we born, we don’t know nothing. We don’t know now, where come from, our previous life, what kind of sentient being. We don’t know all of them, still we just born again, aging, sick, dying, dead, again, bardo and we don’t know where we go and again all this repetitive cycle, never ending cycle that’s is called samsara. But this never ending repetitive cycle, Buddha sees as suffering wheel. Enlightened beings see this is suffering wheel. Why? Because never ending and repeating and repeating so boring and never ending. And which means no freedom, completely opposite of freedom. Without choice you are born, without choice you age, without choice you sick, without choice you die, without choice you go bardo, everywhere, you just like piece of paper in the wind. And then without knowing, without choice rebirth and ignorance and you don’t remember who you are and then again. If we think very carefully, we are just piece of paper, wind go up, we go up, wind go down, we go down. Kind of like that.
That cycle, repetitive, never ending and inside we have so much unrealistic expectations and disappointment all the time, constantly. Think of our lives, we work so hard, aiming for something achieve. Think of children, we work so hard to have our children yes? And then we have children, and then what do we do? Even more work yes? Even more work, we sacrifice so many things and do this more, never ending twenty years, work, twenty years later is finished. We thought finished and hoped finished. It seems like should be finished from the beginning when teenager time and they don’t listen to you or nothing and they think they are independent and everything, and then leaving your home, like that and then maybe you have a few months if you are lucky, very peaceful and you don’t have to do nothing. But then again, any problems they have, come back to you. If there is no problems, you never hear from them. Your twenty years work for nothing. Even tiny gratitude, even tiny gratitude don’t have really. That means are you a bodhisattva? Again no. The answer is no because you didn’t motivate that from bodhicitta. You motivate something silly if you think very carefully. So I’m not discouraging you ok. But just not only these children, children is just one example. Everything, most 99.99% they achieve in the world, not spiritual reason, only samsaric survival or ego reason. Everything is like that. So when we realise this and then decrease, hopefully decrease your attachment. And that is condition of renunciation. Renunciation means you not fixed on this idea. You may have children, you may have something, big house, may have something good social position, but you are not fixed on this. Ok. That means maybe you have tiny renunciation arise. Because you know it not take me anywhere, but this spiritual practice is for myself really. This will take me somewhere. Not really take me somewhere but we are bringing, unveiling these layers and layers of my silliness. So finally, I can unveil my try Buddha nature.
So when we read stories, watching movies, documentaries, whatever, happy family, and suffering, somebody went through a lot. All of them we think very interesting, sometimes we think I learn a lot, but this all we learning very little. Why we learning so little? Because we are so busy and so fixed on this, everybody’s idea, this repetitive cycle of suffering. We are too busy and too habituated in this, so now we are seeing this tiny parts of them, “oh this is not really….there is not much essence”. We learn this little bit, tiny, slowly. So that’s why also samsara is really important to know, so when we talking about samsara we are talking about six realms, three realms, we talking about this. Form realm, formless realm, desire realm, we have so many things to talk about. If you understand, if you learn more details of them very well, even much better, but tonight we not talk about all of them, but we just general talking very little of our suffering, our humans. And our human suffering also we talking very tiny, everyday people do things, very obvious things we talking about today. Why we didn’t thought about these obvious things before? We are too busy, no time to think deeply. Kind of like that really. So what is these yogis, their entire life stay in quiet cave, in solitary, what are they doing? They have time, basically they try to make time for them. To think deeply and to meditate deeply you know. But we don’t have time why? Silly reasons. So that’s why this is you know like, what do you call? Samsaric faults. Which means never ending and never have any essence. Enlightened essence? Of course, not but even samsaric essence we don’t have really. That’s why I’m talking about these children. The most we sacrifice for who? For children. Every single parent, yes? Do they do what they wish? 99% I would say they don’t. Many parents, they pretend they do, they pretend the children is great and everything. But I would say 50% of them they just pretending. Better to pretend because like….you just sad and disappointed and stimulate this again and again doesn’t help you or nothing, so better to pretend a little bit maybe better. And the other 49% maybe, they think their children are really nice and great. Why? Because they don’t have not much idea really than this idea, in general idea. So that’s why. Because the expectation, the expectation is not much from them, so that’s why maybe they think they do good. But if you think the reality, how much your children do for you, you compare what you sacrifice and do for them. Maybe 1%, maybe. If you are lucky 2%. The most I would say is 5%. I hope more but I don’t see. If really altruistic reasons, you know, ultimate goal Buddhahood then not too bad. So what we do? We already have children, we have to deal with them and we cannot abandon them yet. So at the moment, what we should do? We try to somehow, altruistic way, that’s all we can do at this moment. But we should know finally, at least maybe, at least at least, you make, what do you call, at least you can make vow inside yourself, until they are 16, 17, then I will not distract by them. At least. Ok you not abandon them, not abandon them, of course we not abandon any sentient being, but you will not be distracted by them at least. That you try. Or maybe, I am not attached with them anymore. Ok if they are really good children and they say “oh my mother, my father. They sacrifice everything for me that’s why I am here, so I want to repay and do something for them”. Wonderful. But if they didn’t, I don’t care, I just completely give up, renunciate. That’s we hoping. Ok.
So why do we have to do this? It helps you, your spiritual growth. If you not, it’s obstacle to your spiritual growth. So when you die, I’m talking simple way, when you die, what comes with you? Your children? All you sacrifice for these children, they come with you? No. All the wealth you have come with you? Never. And all the community and people praise you, they come with you? No never. Even if they want to come, couldn’t because karma separated completely. So what is with you always? Your own karma, your own spiritual growth. This one nobody can take away, even so much force, strong force come, or anything impossible to take from you anything, any methods, nobody can take from you. So we just have to remember that.
And then precious human birth we have to know third. We don’t achieve a lot in our lives, why? Because we are too busy for silly things. What silly things? All luxury, comfortable, all this ego, social expectations, all these things. That’s why we are too busy. That’s why we have no time for important. That’s why we not achieve anything. But if you know all these factors very well, and then we will achieve a lot. Who can achieve more? Does animal achieve more? Does hungry ghost achieve more? Does god, demi god anybody other six realms, do they achieve more? Or humans achieve more? Humans. Why? Your birth, human birth is not extreme of suffering and not extreme of the pleasure and we have a mixture. Which means we can experience suffering so we have chance to understand the suffering, so we have chance to renounce our samsara. Which means often people misunderstand suffering. Suffering ok, everybody have renunciation of suffering, nobody wants suffering, people think that. But that is only gross suffering, suffering of pain. In the book we say suffering of pain, or suffering of suffering. This anybody, nobody wants it, animals, insects anybody wants to avoid this, try to avoid, but of course we can’t really avoid, but try to avoid. But what are we talking about? Suffering means here….you know usually we think is happiness we think is nice. Let’s say you are enjoying ice-cream, but actually you are enjoying the suffering, what come from, where the ice-cream come from and what create from and the consequences will be. You know there is a chance you will be sick, there is chance you will be fat, chance you will have many, many things. But at least, at least guaranteed, if you ate ten kilos of ice-cream, you will guarantee not be delicious anymore. And you feel disgusted. You know. That shows is not really real enjoyment, true enjoyment, not real, it’s just artificial. These things if we understand, everything is like ice-cream, everything in our life, human life we think is good things. All like this, subtleness, and then we have some renunciation. Which means ok, nice, if nice things happen, is good, fantastic., but even not happened, we are not completely heartbroken and we are not going to die, still we just keep going. So that is strength. Why? Because of this kind of tiny renunciation helps you. Otherwise we are completely fixed on other way and we cannot accept at all so we cannot deal with anymore. So the suffering is nothing to do with, not really to do with the external suffering. Suffering is much more related internal our understanding and expectation, you know. That’s why small degree of suffering, 1%, a little suffering, only 1% is huge cannot bear anymore. Why? Because you don’t have renunciation at all. Which means you don’t understand the other factors. You are only fixed on one factor, this ice-cream is delicious, or this ego something, all this you know, social recognition or something you think is great and you are fixed on this, and you sacrifice so many things for this. And then you have so many disappointments come but still you keep going, keep going yourself this suffering. Like that. If then we understand other realms of suffering very well and why, and what causes, and then we will have some degree of renunciation.
So for this reason, this human birth is so important, and then we realise how so, so, so rare to find this human birth. We think human so, so, rare to learn this deep philosophy and contemplate this and then we see how much valuable our birth, more than any other six realms of birth. So that’s why the precious human birth we call. And also we learn not every human is precious human birth. Humans make without understanding this law of cause and effect and many things, humans make worst choice than any other being. But we will not do this because we see how valuable our life. And if we value it very well, if we realise very well, if we choice very well, choose very well and then we see this great opportunity, and then we see this is really precious birth. And the next question, ok, we find it, the most precious birth at this time, very, very difficult to find again. Very, very rare find this. It will remain until 100 years old? The answer is very, very unpredictable, absolutely unpredictable and until now we just live until this age, is so fortunate in some ways, but depend how you use it, before has been use it. But right now, from now on at least. So fortunate, but so urgent at same time, if you don’t use very well. So many conditions, everyday conditions of death, everyday around us, which makes absolutely have no guarantee even one single day. When we realise this, makes you really urgent, sense of urgency. Sense of urgency makes you very disciplined, diligent, perseverance.
So that’s why these four lead to Dharma, that’s why we call external preliminaries. If you understand this very well, study details very well, contemplate details very well, and then you lead to Dharma. So that’s why we call four convictions of the renunciation. Because the most of us, we not going Dharma, because we think we have many other things to do, so we have no time. Everybody says I have no time, I can’t make time. Why can’t you make time? Because you prioritising very wrongly. Everybody using this survival conditions, put as higher priority and put this spiritual practice and study, you put lower priority, that’s why you cannot find time, nothing else. But if you understand this comprehensive, extensive, details and importance, and then you can prioritise very well. So that means you have time. Then maybe you can think “oh this is contradictory, you said before you have no time, even one single day you can’t guarantee”. To understand this makes you have more time. Even, let’s say you only have seven days to live, but if every day you think I could be die tomorrow and I must do some precious, this human birth, you try, and then seven days you did much more than, you achieve much more than somebody who doesn’t have that sense. That’s what I’m saying, that’s why you have more time. So think about one year, two year, three year, four year, five year, and fifty years. Some people very surprised I said ten year program of Kalachakra practice, people say “oh what!!! Ten years!!! Oh my God, I cannot commit”. Why you can commit, you know like 50 years, 80 years, you can commit to many things, many silly things, you don’t know what the result will be. So how come you not commit only ten years that could take you to enlightenment. Even not take you to enlightenment this time, still you are building up for next time. Why you can’t commit to this? But people don’t think that way, usually thinking silly way, wrong way. So this four make you have renunciation. Is renunciation a law you practice. So then what is practice? Internal five preliminaries I said before.
First, what is the first practice? We call refuge, refuge. What is refuge? We have to think of. First you think why I need refuge? Am I not capable? Cannot, you know, take care of myself? The answer is probably not. No matter how much you have pride, no matter how skilful you are with worldly things. We have limitations. Everybody has limitations. We cannot jump ten meters. Probably I think I can guarantee, in this room nobody jump even ten meters. From this wall to there is eleven meters, can you jump? If is very, very steep maybe you can. So everything we have limitation, spiritually, very, very limited. Why? Because samsara too busy. So we need refuge really. What we need refuge? Usually, some religions formed based on people’s superstitious. Superstitious. So those, what they do, sometime refuge to the sky, refuge to the mountain, refuge to rock, tree. They are ok, maybe give you temporary peace in your mind sometimes, but not definitely the ultimate refuge ok. This time we aiming for Buddhahood, we aiming for enlightenment, fully enlightenment. Which means Buddhahood, which means no limitation, beyond complete everything limitation. For this reason, we cannot refuge any samsaric being ok. We cannot take refuge from any samsaric being. Why? Because samsara, remember cycle repetitive cycle of suffering, remember, so which means no freedom. When you take refuge has to be from someone who has freedom, not someone who doesn’t have freedom like yourself. We say *****(uses Tibetan term), which means somebody taken by river cannot save you. Somebody not taken by river have to save you, save you from the river, same thing. For this reason, we need take refuge from Buddha, not worldly beings. There are some you know evil, devils, you know like those things but they have limitation, they are not enlightened, so they cannot take you. So we take refuge in Buddha. Which means, Buddha means completely awakened. Everything relies directly, omnisciently, and no limitation, go beyond limitation. That’s “gone one”. “Gone one” means gone from the limitation really. And then ok, then people think ok Buddha means what? And then probably thinking the Buddha means the historical Buddha, people think that way. Is that Buddha? That thinking is so limited. That is thinking limited, that you make limited the Buddha. Buddha is more than that but that historical Buddha is one representation of the Buddha. Another word, the emanation of the Buddha. You can say Buddha, you can say only emanation of Buddha, or you can say Buddha, that doesn’t matter. You can refuge in that Buddha. If you think this, then you may “oh this Buddha is not any more here, he must be died. He died he isn’t here. How can I take refuge?” Which means Buddha is much more than this. Your own true nature is Buddha. Basically, internally, you take refuge in your own Buddha nature. Because usually people don’t do that. Always thinking something external. God, Buddha, whatever they thinking something angel, something external. But this time, you thinking, you understand the internal Buddha, your own nature. We call result Buddha which means when you practice very well, externally everything, and one day you unveil your own true nature, that means your result Buddha. But the causes of Buddha, the external Buddha, Buddha Shakyamuni, historical Buddha, Buddha Amitabha, Medicine Buddha, anything like this, all Buddha’s we can take refuge. What means take refuge? I just pray to them to please help me, save me? Is that it? No. this is only secondary, you can pray, yes you can call them, but this is only secondary, reminder. But what true refuge from them, you just have to trust. You just trust the Buddha Shakyamuni, our historical Buddha, what he says. And you understand why I trust Buddha. Because Buddha is compassionate, he is omniscient, even you don’t believe that, definitely you can understand that Buddha is a wise man, and compassionate man and he taught many good things in the world. That part, anybody cannot have doubt. So then easy to trust because Buddha have no reason to lie. Why lie for? So easy to trust, trust Buddha.
When you trust Buddha, and then you take refuge in Dharma. Which Dharma means his teachings, his realisations, he is showing what he went through and what he achieved. That he is telling us. So why not achieving this, why not you not trust in this. So if you trust, why you not practicing your own. Because Buddha Shakyamuni and you ultimately is same nature and same capacity. Just only temporarily you are not. So why not you emulating what Buddha Shakyamuni did? Even you cannot emulate 100% at this stage, but why you not working in that direction? So to trust Buddha we have to understand Dharma. When we see Dharma is faultless, that Dharma is so beneficial, then we have increased trust in Buddha and then we increase the respect of Buddha and then we increase the dedication of Buddhahood.
And then we call sangha. What is sangha? Sangha means not Buddhahood yet necessarily, but they took….somebody emulate Buddha’s practice and they going in that direction and they become noble being, which means we call Arya being. So they are not ordinary sentient being, they are not ordinary human being, they are extra ordinary human being. That’s why they have wonderful stories. They don’t do what people usually do. So we read their stories and we understand and we increase trust and respect of them, so we can dedicate our life like them. So that is refuge of sangha. And then we have practice together, study together, we sharing our life together, we sharing our thoughts, we sharing our honestly, we sharing our appreciation, we sharing our respect and we practice each other to love, kindness. These people also we call ordinary sangha. Which means ordinary compared to this wonderful sangha, Arya beings. Maybe ordinary but maybe you are not completely ordinary when you compare to the others who never even thinking this and they are so busy in silly reasons. Compared to these people you are really sangha. So you support each other, you encourage each other. So you supporting each other, and encourage each other and anybody has good ethics and attitude in you sangha, everybody try to emulate this person. That’s what we doing refuge in sangha.
Ok, but why we doing this for? For myself? That’s a big question. This comes from Mahayana and Hinayana. So if you say “oh yer I’m doing all myself, I want enlightened, that’s all” and then becomes Hinayana path. Which means ok, absolutely nothing wrong, that is wonderful still, because you will achieve Nirvana. Which means free from suffering, free from samsara. But we not encouraging this, in our tradition we are encouraging altruistic mind. That’s why second, internal practice called Bodhicitta. So Bodhicitta means this supreme, altruistic mind. Which means we completely transforming our mind and attitude than normal. Normal is always myself is the primary and all other sentient beings are secondary. That is normal state of mind. So we not doing this. As long as you practice Bodhicitta, as long as you practice the Mahayana path, you thinking oh, first you thinking your current mother, how kind to the baby, how much she sacrifice. Before we say, before we talking the mother’s side, and we say you too much sacrifice for these silly reasons, so need to consider, you know there are two…you not losing compassion, you not not caring or anything like that, but you have to know this is also sometimes very big distraction, that we be reminded. But right now we flip around and we thinking how mother, now we think as a child, ourself and how mother sacrificed for me, how the parents sacrifice for me, how much they did for me, how kind to me. You have to think of the mother’s, how much they sacrificed for the child. And the Buddha text saying mother’s choose oneself die rather than the child is sick. Which means the child incredibly sick and suffering rather than this, I choose myself die. This we know is so often the mother’s child put first, oneself second. That is only nobody else, maybe some fathers do, some father’s. Let’s say 50% of father’s and 90% of the mother’s. nobody else do? Brothers do and sisters do? Lovers do? No, no, never, never. Some do, ok, I accept individuals. I would say not too much ever. But when we say something big majority, we can say never or these big words.
Ok so, that’s why, then we think this, then we think all sentient beings, each of them has been mother. Each of them we receive these things from them. So for this reason, all sentient beings are really our mother’s, but what they do? What they want? Every single mother sentient beings want happiness, peace, comfortable, enjoy, but do they do the causes of enjoyment, happiness? No, they do the opposite. Why? Because ignorance. So that’s why you arise your compassion. So then you think I don’t want to reach Buddhahood only for myself, leave all sentient beings in suffering. I want to be benefit all sentient beings forever and ever. Before I reach Buddhahood or after I reach Buddhahood, I want to benefit all my mother sentient beings. Why? Because it is terrible to think oneself cares only oneself not any others. It is common sense actually, in the samsaric world, naturally we care ourselves and others always secondary, but the idea nobody thinks this is great. Even the reality like this, but intellectually or how to say, the idea, nobody thinks this is great, everybody thinks this is no good. And any sentient being appears to put other’s first and oneself less, everybody must, everybody think, nobody disagree that this person is so bad, he put other’s first, nobody. So that means shows that reality should be that way. That’s why realise here, I want to reach Buddhahood, but the reason I want to reach Buddhahood is not just I don’t want to suffer. Included? Of course, I don’t want to suffer why not, but this is not primary my goal. My primary goal, all sentient beings, all mother sentient beings don’t want to suffer. For this reason I want to reach Buddhahood because if I don’t reach Buddhahood, it doesn’t matter how much I wish, how strong I have feelings toward all sentient beings, I can do very little. The practical level I can do very little. That’s why I reach Buddhahood, because if I reach Buddhahood I can do limitless. So that is the motivation. This motivation changes entirely your practice. Somebody have this attitude, somebody don’t have this attitude, they doing the same thing, physically and practically, but the result, huge difference, because this single attitude. That’s we call Bodhicitta. Ok. So this multiplies all of your actions, all actions, your attitude, your practice, everything, completely multiply. Because all the merits, karmic result, everything come from our attitude, our motivation. So now you see the refuge practice you distinguish from, you above the samsara, your reasons and your goals and you taking refuge from where, everything goes beyond samsara. But this Bodhicitta takes you beyond Hinayana, beyond the selfishness, beyond the self important, the self. You go beyond that. So that means this is absolutely good foundation to practice any other very high skilful methods, Tantrayana practice. Even tantrayana practice, the most high practices, you don’t have any more motivation. This motivation is good enough, perfect. But you have to have this motivation otherwise your skilful, the high tantrayana practices, Kalachakra practices could go the wrong way, if you don’t have this motivation, this true refuge, this Bodhicitta. That’s why important.
And then what we have problem. We have karmic problem. Right now ok, we know where we take refuge, we know very well. We know what our attitude should be, we inspired by this Bodhicitta attitude, but still we are same physical body, we are in the same position. All the karma, trillions and trillions of karmas still in our mind stream, so we don’t know what obstacles arise, how many thick negative karmas we have covered, obscurations to unveil our Buddha nature, we don’t know yet. So we provide Vajrasattva purification. Which means very powerful way you can purify your negative karma. So we not go into details of this but we have to know why and what for. This time the Vajrasattva purification is not just only for general reason to purify negative karma, but specific reason, specific obstacles, later your high practices obscured and could be obstacles come, so you cannot attain these practices so that’s why we provide Vajrasattva purification.
And then ok, Vajrasattva purification provided which means we have dirty clothes and we need wash so we have washing machine, we have soap and everything, water, that’s good but, do I need anything else? Of course you need something, something to eat, something to drink, not just clean clothes, is not good enough, you need somewhere to sleep, or you need something else isn’t it. You not just wash away this dirtiness, but also you need good things. So similarly, you need merit, you need lots of merit to even enter in this path, the next path, that’s why you need a lot of merit. So I am human, I have limitation, I’m still busy in the samsara, so how can I achieve a lot of merit? That’s why introduce the skilful methods to increase your merit. That’s why introduce this mandala practice, mandala offering. We not go to details this time. So, you know really accumulate huge merits. Which means you have foundation, otherwise your foundation is not stable for later practices, that’s why this provide for you. Ok. Then we say….that means, that doesn’t mean you only practice mandala and not doing any other meritory practice, doesn’t mean that. They just introduce extra methods to increase merit, but you do other things as well.
Ok. What else we need? We need blessing. What is blessing? Blessing means….usually people think blessing means something good feeling. But blessing is not necessarily feeling. Maybe blessing come through the feeling, come through the emotion, come through anything, but the blessing is what is it? Make another condition to achieve success next practices. Where they come from? Guru Yoga. Why Guru Yoga? Because your own Buddha nature not access yet for yourself. And the external historical Buddha not present for you. And any other Buddha not really present for you. In general we don’t know anybody is Buddha in this world. So the methods you understand the Guru, your spiritual friends, the best your spiritual friends is emanation of Buddha. Better understand this, even you don’t understand but you try, you can try, normally nobody try this. I don’t think anybody try this usually. Usually people don’t even get this idea. What do you mean? Doesn’t make any sense. But this is taught through tantrayana practices, Vajrayana practice. Taught to the Vajrayana practice, the indestructible path. So you need a key. This is the only key. So you have to try the key. So that’s these things you are going to learn in twenty weeks ok. And then after that you have unique two preliminaries, much higher, much, much higher practice. They are really real Tantrayana practice in general, but for Kalachakra we still call preliminaries, but they are real Tantrayana practice. So, I run out of time so I stop here then. I didn’t think take one hour. So the next few weeks we discuss these individually, hopefully effectively and also very, very helpful if you have any questions written down and or quotes you want to share, maybe before the class we discuss, very important. Any questions tonight? No? ok then
1.33.15 – Dedication
- September 23, 2017
Raw transcript created by Vanessa Mason