This transcript of Khentrul Rinpoche’s audio teaching has been lightly edited for easier reading.
Hello, all dear Dharma friends. Are you enjoying practicing the real Dharma? Are you shifting your focus to the Dharma? Remember last time I said, the most important thing is to shift our focus to the right way, not the wrong way. Take this opportunity and use it well. To be wise or foolish are the only differences Will you take this opportunity or not? And how soon will you take this opportunity? At this time we have the opportunity to shift focus and turn inward with great reflection. Because of these unusual circumstances give us the opportunity to focus, shift to unusual inner focus, a deeper focus, remember?
We have been forced to not do our usual activities, our usual external activities, our typical activities that we repeat and repeat century after century, again and again even though it’s meaningless. Nobody has ever found real meaning from these activities but still, we keep doing them, Remember? So this time, our focus is shifted, but for most
people the shift is on the virus and fear and worry and anxiety.
But we are Dharma practitioners so we should focus on the opposite. You know, the real opportunity, remember? So these things I talked about last time, so I’m not talking about this too much this time. Just remember even if we don’t have a lot of outside activities if everybody shifts their focus to the internet and useless chatting and many distractions on the internet, if you do that then it’s just laziness. Remember?
Laziness, the act of laziness, wasting time. So again, this is an obstacle for real Dharma practice. Real Dharma practice means it is not your task, it is not your obligation. It is real self-improvement, real self-strengthening. Real development to your true nature of enlightenment. Remember? So just that.
So this is very important. Today I’m going to talk more about elaborating on what Shambhala really is. And what a Shambhala Warrior really is. What does warrior really mean? So those things I’m going to talk to you about I’ll also talk to you about how the Kalachakra Tantra is special, and how it is superior, and how we deal with this virus and everybody’s mental problems.
Nowadays, it’s not just a virus. The far greater problem is mental problems. So how do we deal with this situation, how do we deal with this? We don’t need to have a lot of money, we don’t have to look to external activities, we don’t have to look for many other ways to deal with this. So, what we need is to just recognize what we already have. How we make good habits and engage with what we already have.
What do we already have? This means first we have to understand Shambhala. Shambhala has many levels. It’s meaning is purity, and the source of all happiness, enjoyment, and bliss. This is what Shambhala means. The levels of Shambhala we already have within ourselves. And we already have on this earth, we are already are, and this earth is Shambhala in many ways.
But usually, the traditional way of seeing makes everything narrow, we make everything small and we make everything difficult. Why? Because we have a small mind, an inflexible mind and that’s why we don’t understand Shambhala. That’s why we have so many problems, but we created these problems ourselves. So if we recognize that then we know how to stop making problems.
So that is our topic today. Put very simply; the ultimate Shambhala, the absolute Shambhala is your own true nature. You may not understand that yet, what Shambhala actually is, all divine pure light. You may think Shambhala is too far from you, but actually it is very close to ourselves. Even if we don’t understand this, we narrow down our mind to consider Shambhala or something similar to Amitabha Pure Land, or Akshobhya Pure Land and so forth. Even if we don’t understand this then what is it? It’s just that we don’t understand yet. A small mindset may ask, is Shambhala somewhere on our earth? Why would we ask if Shambhala was a particular place on earth? Because we don’t understand that the whole world is Shambhala and we don’t understand this because we have small mindsets. So then we have to say it is somewhere on our land. But even if we understand or believe it is somewhere on our land, that helps a lot.
That’s why the ancient texts explain it in that way. So just like a two-year-old child, who doesn’t understand really important things, you try to make a sentence small and simple, which is not one hundred percent accurate, but it is helpful for the child. And so you tell the child something they can understand. So the usual explanation of Shambhala as a place on this earth is like that. So, why is this very important? Even this beginning level of explanation of Shambhala is far better than any other description of pure lands. Even other religions or different Buddhist traditions’ description of Pure Lands, of divine, pure realms are not 100 percent clear, not so practical, and may come off sounding like some kind of fairy tale. Even if you ask many questions, there is no clear answer.
So Shambhala is not like that. Shambhala is explained much more in the Kalachakra tantra. The first Shambhala Dharma king, Suchandra, and Buddha Shakyamuni explain Shambhala in their discussion using questions and answers. That’s why it is much clearer than any other explanation. That’s one thing. The other thing is that it’s much more practical because of the Shambhala Pure Land and the Shambhala Pure Lands’ mission only talks of how to transform our earth, our world, our humanity. Any other Pure Land talks by different Buddhist traditions or other religions have very little description if compared to Shambhala talks. So that’s why Shambhala expounds on the most practical level, on a level we can connect with, it’s the most important for this earth, for humanity, for us.
So, if that’s the case, how do we make a great connection with Shambhala? The only way, the best way is the Kalachakra Tantra. You practice Kalachakra Tantra. You study Kalachakra Tantra. This is the best connection. Why? It’s very, very clear. Very simple. Because Buddha taught Kalachakra Tantra for the Shambhala King Suchandra. For the Shambhala Dharma kings, meaning Bodhisattvas. Another way you can understand Shambhala Dharma Kings is Universal Monarch. Can you understand Universal Monarch? There is no such thing as a Universal Monarch other than Shambhala Dharma kings. So if you know from somewhere else about a Universal Monarch that is not a Shambhala Dharma king, please tell me. But there is none, other than Shambhala Dharma kings and queens.
This Monarch, Shambhala Monarch, is the Universal Monarch. What do we mean by a Universal Monarch? This means they have the power to rule the whole universe. Rule doesn’t mean the usual samsaric king and queen (Monarch) way of ruling. It is liberation, for the liberation of all sentient beings, especially, the liberation of humanity. Humanity is liberated first. This is Shambhala’s mission. Who said that? I didn’t make this up. Buddha Shakyamuni says it in the Kalachakra Tantra in a discussion with the first Shambhala Dharma King Suchandra. So the mission of Shambhala is to liberate and transform this impure humanity; this impure, unbalanced world. That is the mission of Shambhala.
So, then what can we do, what should we do? We must understand this. Or, if you don’t’ really understand, you must believe, must believe in Buddha, must believe in a Dharma king. Why? Because this is the first step or condition to transform our world. You know, to liberate our world. That’s why we must believe. And then the second step, what should we do? We should practice. What is Shambhala practice? Maybe we cannot practice 100% of the Shambhala practices, but we must do something similar. What is similar? A similar practice is… love and compassion. That’s it. When I say love and compassion, you may think, oh, that’s not special. Every tradition of Buddhism talks about that. Other religions talk about love and compassion. Nothing special. Nothing new. Maybe that’s what you think.
But it is something new. It is special. Why? Because usually, people don’t understand what love and compassion are. There’s a misunderstanding. There is a universal misunderstanding of love and compassion. Why? Because again, we have small mindsets, we have inflexible mindsets and we have negative habitual patterns. So that’s why we don’t understand even love and compassion. How do we not understand love and compassion? When people say love they are typically thinking about attachment. The nature of attachment, desire, people only understand this way. Possessiveness, usually people only understand love like this, Oh, I really love this. I really want this. This is all they understand.
When you say compassion, again there is a misunderstanding. People think compassion is very sad. Other people’s suffering. We have this problem. Coronavirus blah, blah, blah. Most old people die. I’m very sad. People think this is compassion. Maybe this level of love and compassion is better than zero.
It’s better than being very insensitive. You are at least sensitive enough that you can see other people’s suffering. That is a little bit better than no compassion, no love, zero love, zero compassion. So this is, we can say a starting point, but real love and compassion are not this. Do you understand? Please listen carefully. So love is not about you wanting something. It is about enjoyment. You enjoy. When you love, you enjoy. It is not saying you want to possess something. It’s not saying you cannot be without someone or something. It is not that. You enjoy engaging with this. So that means, if you can enjoy many things, that means you have more love. If you can enjoy only very little, that means you have very little love. Please try to understand that. And then compassion is not about feeling sad and self-pity, or pity for others. It is genuine caring and not being scared not afraid; zero fear. No fear. It is the opposite of fear. Incredible determination and enthusiasm. Enthusiasm and no fear this is compassion. You see, you enjoy doing anything and you have no fear to do anything.
These together are the perfect union of love and compassion. Who doesn’t want that? Anybody? Everybody wants this. Definitely, everybody needs this and everybody has this potential already. You just try to get rid of bad, habitual patterns. If you do that, then you are a warrior. You are heroes and heroines. That’s what it means to be a warrior. A Shambhala warrior also means this. All Shambhala kings and queen’s and all Shambhala people are warriors. This is what it means to be a real Bodhisattva. Real Bodhisattvas are not crying and sad. Crying and sadness mean weakening your mind. As a starting point, yes. You see suffering, and you can’t cry, that means a callous heart, not so good.
But, if you go beyond that, then you don’t cry. You’re not sad. Why? Because it’s nothing new for you. It doesn’t change you or your mind. You already know this is the nature of suffering. But the good thing is you are not scared to transform this. And you are not fearful of transforming this.
People usually think, Oh, I liberate all sentient beings by myself. That’s ridiculous. Impossible. Do you know that? Everybody is struggling, organizing their own lives. How can you liberate all sentient beings? It’s so difficult to please one sentient being, how can I liberate all sentient beings This is logic. But this logic is for a limited mind. From the limited mind, the system produces this logic. So yes, according to this limited system, this logic is right. But if you want to be a Bodhisattva, you have to go beyond that logic. Okay? Because of the logic is limited because It comes from a limited mental system.
So you have to go beyond that. When you go beyond that, then everything is enjoyable. You love to do everything, and you are not scared to do anything. You have no fear to do anything. That means you have no fear or doubt to liberate all sentient beings. And you love to do this.
You enjoy liberating innumerable sentient beings. Do you understand this? This is the priceless real jewel. Usually, when we say precious jewels we don’t really mean precious jewels. Just some stone. You know, something is rarer than the other stones.
But really, really precious jewel, the ultimate, absolute precious jewel is this mind. And we already have this mind, it’s just that we temporarily have some dirt on the outside covering this jewel. So we have to clean this jewel. We just have to eradicate these habitual patterns. But that’s not hard. Why not hard? Because you are willing. If you’re not willing, you have already given up before you start. Then it is really hard. That is not only hard, but it’s also impossible. But you wouldn’t do that because you have Buddha
Nature. You have the perfect truth. You have the warrior nature. We just have to, it’s not discovered, but, we just have to unveil it. We just have to actualize our own truth.
So if you do that, then you transform this world. First, you transform your own world. This means you are stuck at home, you are stuck in a small room, self-isolated or whatever, or not completely self-isolated, but some of your family members you think are boring, you think you have so much, much more important things to do outside. But everybody thought like that for so many thousands of years and people didn’t really get anything important at all. So now, this is the time you can start your journey, your own mind, toward truth, your Buddha Nature, the absolute truth. Until now we are not living in the truth. We are in an illusion.
So now is time to start. You know this absolute truth. Explore the absolute truth. How wonderful is that? Think of that. Why do I say Kalachakra is so important? In general, yes all Dharmas talk about Buddha Nature and transforming everything. But how to transform, how we put this whole world, the three realms of external, internal, and the additional is only expressed so elegantly in the Kalachakra Tantra. That’s what I’m saying. So you see, for instance, the Corona Virus. So many people have so many fears. So much fear and anxiety, even depression. The whole world is looking now at what they are doing, what are their reactions?
You know, actually, this is nothing unusual. Absolutely. We have hundreds of thousands of death conditions every day, we are facing. But we don’t have the habit to think of it this way. We pretend we are not going to die, we don’t have death conditions, only Corona Virus, we think of it that way. So, I’m not denying there is Corona Virus in this world. I’m not denying there are many hundreds of people dying from this. But what I’m saying is this is usual, we have just shifted our focus this time. So that’s why we make a big deal. So, practicing Kalachakra Tantra is not this way. Practicing Kalachakra Tantra means you balanced the ecosystem. You balanced your body, health, mind. Healthy mind, healthy body, healthy attitude. Healthy perspective,
healthy motivation. This is the Kalachakra practice. If you do that, then, you are transforming and balancing the external world too.
Either you think the virus is external or internal. Seems like it is a little bit external, but then it also cannot live without a human’s body. So that means it seems like it’s internal. But it doesn’t matter. The external world, the internal world, they are also temporary and different. They’re also a little bit of a different aspect. Same nature, different aspects. Either way, the virus is not something evil and nothing to do with other sentient beings. Nothing to do with this universe. It’s not like that. It is temporary and unbalanced small particles. So if our mind has the right attitude, right perspective, right motivation; these make us balanced. This is a million times better than any other solution. Do you know that?
Any other solution is treating a symptom, not the illness. But this is balancing our mind with love and compassion. Then it is treating the illness. The root of the illness. You can see even somebody has less worry and a better immune system in the body, this the disease is not affecting them. Why? Because that means a little balance in their body, in their mind. This is limited balance but, still, it helps individuals But, if we balance our minds and body with real love and compassion, the love and compassion I’ve described, not the usual habits we had, our small idea of love and compassion; if we do this true love and compassion in our mind and then with this right attitude, right perspective, this brings balance to the whole universe, not just our body.
So, maybe I have to explain a little bit about the right perspective or what Kalachakra means by the right perspective. The right Kalachakra perspective goes beyond this universe. But this universe is also Kalachakra’s appearances. Appearance means not real, but cannot appear without Kalachakra, So that means Kalachakra has full control of these appearances, this world, this universe. We have to understand this right view, right perspective. Then what is the right attitude? The right attitude is “oh, this virus is not something evil, this virus has some causes, which means something bad, something separate, nothing to do with the universe, nothing to do with us,” not like that. You are accepting, inclusive, this virus is an aspect of our own universe, our own body. So, we just need balance. We just need to equalize, equality. Not going too extreme. This virus temporarily brings a very small and tiny state of imbalance. This is not the only imbalance in our lives. We have a million other imbalances. We should treat them together to make balance, not just shift our focus only on this virus.
I’m not saying that you don’t try to isolate, that you don’t wear masks, that you don’t wash your hands. I’m not saying that. Those actions are part of the obvious temporary solution. Of course, we do that. But this is just trying to avoid some symptoms. if you really want to treat our root of the illness, then we have to understand this Kalachakra Tantra. That is the best solution. What is the right motivation? Right motivation means we want to balance the whole world, not blaming each other. You know, saying “somebody made this, it’s their fault”, not that. If somebody really made it, if somebody really wanted to destroy this humanity, and therefore made this virus, then they are going to be destroyed anyway, they are going to be destroyed by the Shambhala warriors anyway.
That means, not only the Shambhala warriors but our warrior nature of the mind, this love and compassion. They are going to be destroyed anyway. Why? They are not very strong, as Buddha already said in the Kalachakra Tantra, the extremists. But, he didn’t say extremist in a traditional way, a very small-minded way to explain because people didn’t understand at that time. People were very uneducated, village people who were fighting each other, trying to take over each other, killing each other. At that time, the Buddha explained that type of mind. So, in the 21st century, people still explain this in exactly the same way which is the wrong explanation. That’s why my Shambhala book explains everything in a better way.
So now I’m briefly explaining that. So, anything unbalanced, the Shambhala warriors, we wouldn’t say destroy, we would say that anything unbalanced, they will make balanced. In those ancient times, it was called destroy, the Shambhala army, the Shambhala soldiers are going to destroy this such and such. So then we identify it as some other kind of religion. These things are the wrong interpretation. The meaning is, anything unbalanced, if somebody made this Corona virus with the purpose to destroy humanity, then it means that whoever has this mind and the Corona virus will both be balanced. They are unbalanced and so they will be balanced through the Kalachakra Tantra practice.
Maybe we don’t have to wait for many years. If these imbalances come, this makes Shambhala arise, because Shambhala is the antidote of the imbalance. So that’s why we don’t worry. This is also temporary. So, we just have to make our own conditions in the right way, from the right perspective, with the right attitude, the right motivation, not bringing the bad habitual patterns. We take this opportunity to become a warrior our self, to become a Bodhisattva. Take this opportunity. Look inward, and first, make our own mind balanced. That means you are balancing the whole world, the whole universe. So that means you’re treating the illness of the virus, not the temporary symptoms.
Even if we make a vaccine, that’s still a temporary solution. But if we can make a real vaccine in our mind, you know, this real love and compassion warrior mind. This is a vaccine forever, for the whole universe, not just individuals. So that’s why. Everybody, can you understand? Can you do this for me? Can you do this for our universe? Can you do this for the Shambhala Dharma kings and sages? Can you do this for Buddha Shakyamuni?
I’m sure you can. We all can. Why? Because we all have the same nature, the Buddha Nature, like the Dharma King Suchandra, and the Dharma King Pundarika; the same nature as Manjushri Yashas, Kalki Aja. We have the same nature as all of them. We all have Buddha Nature automatically. Just temporarily, yeah, a little bit of a different level, so, we have the same nature. So don’t forget that, and take this great opportunity to study, at least to study. Understand what Kalachakra means. What Shambhala means. And then meditate on that. And what is real love? What is real compassion? You know, this love and compassion mean Kalachakra Tantra, inside the deity, Kalachakra masculine, and Vishvamata the feminine. Union together means this true love and compassion. Union together. Transforming this world means you enjoy the union of masculine and feminine. From this great blessing, reborn are the children of all the Mandala, the whole universe. That’s why the whole universe is pure, absolutely pure. So there is no room for a virus. There is no room for any dirtiness, any weakness. That’s why Kalachakra yab-yum, the union of the deities is within ourselves. So externally we cannot live without the feminine. We cannot live with the masculine alone. The feminine cannot give birth to anything without the masculine. Internally the same. We have to understand this nature. If you understand this nature then you are starting to understand Tantrayana.
If you are starting to understand Tantrayana, then you are starting to transform your whole world. So please, be with Tantrayana, be with Kalachakra union.
HUNG VAJRA SAMANTA SOHA