(editor’s note: Khenchen Rinpoche also taught in October of 2011 at TMC Frederick on this Guru Yoga of the great Lord Jigten Sumgön (1143-1217), the founder of the Drikung Kagyu school of Vajrayana Buddhism and a teacher revered by masters of many lineages through the centuries.)
“You are so fortunate to be here together and share some dharma knowledge. This is something very precious. I believe this is not easy to get because of the collection of causes that brought us here. Our dharma sangha, practitioners from different places, Boston, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, is precious. You came here because of seeing benefit of dharma. You know how it is precious, how it helps to daily life. And of course it is the way to help others, and to enlightenment, the state free of all confusion and suffering.
In the world, everyone is busy to be free from suffering, to have peace and happiness. Regardless of what we do- politics, business, science – everything is for knowledge of more peace, less suffering. That’s the idea. Our Dharma has got that.
There is a long history. This method started with Buddha Shakimuni, 2550 years ago. That Buddha’s journey started countless, countless eons ago.
I’ve said this many times before, but it is good to remind. After Buddha taught, many great practitioners followed. Teachings went to many counties in Asia. People walked day and night, like Marpa Lotsawa who came from a high altitude to hot India. If you go to India these days, need water, pills, injections. Not then. No planes, trains, cars either.Those great teachers went for teachers to bring teachings to all sentient beings. Through their kindness and hardship, they brought it back to their home countries. Now in the west, transportation and communication is so much easier. Teachings are going throughout the world because it is needed.
Buddhism is of course a philosophy. It explains the interdependent nature of the relative state. More importantly, it gives us wisdom/insight into our inner mind. Mind is the most complex subject. Very abstract. Yet it is the one that rules whole worlds.
First, when you study science, the world came about from empty space. On that basis, clouds, wind, oceans, then continents manifested. Likewise, from the unobstructed emptiness of mind manifest phenomena. First, zero is the most important. No zero, no basis to count 1,2, billions. Likewise, emptiness starts everything. From your emptiness of mind, all afflictions started. This is the reality of phenomena. It is the mode of abiding.
Most of you were here for “Permissions and Prohibitions.” Everyone in universe wants peace and happiness. Because of that, causes of peace and happiness are permitted. No one wants unfavorable conditions. All causes of those are prohibited.
That is why these teachings are so crucial.
So, without a doubt, this is how it works. With or without choice, I have to follow. Makes sense? Sometimes you might resist. But, with your incisive background, you feel I have no choice, I know this is the way it is. If you don’t want to cook lunch, but you feel hungry, you have no choice. (laughs) You have to cook. If I don’t need peace or happiness, doesn’t matter, But that doesn’t work.
So, we first have to know how the mind is important in first place. Then, we have to have wisdom of the causes of happiness and suffering. It is because of interdependence.That’s why we study and practice the teachings. It’s not about being ‘spiritual’, or about being interested or not interested, It’s the reality of phenomena. This Is universal.It is Very important to understand, investigate, ask questions.
Sometimes we get the wrong message. Someone says, “You do this this this, is ok.” That is not the case. We need a powerful mind, but it depends if it’s powerful in wrong place and right place. When we are confused, we might make mistakes, which makes lot of suffering. But when we make clear critical incisive mind, can penetrate reality of phenomena. Not because someone said so, but because you know it.
Take Impermanence. It is not just a Buddhist belief. Not because someone said so, it’s the reality of phenomena. Not just philosophical understanding, it has practical application- apply in every moment. See the transitory nature, and think, “I am part of that.” Usually, we perceive of other things as impermanent, but don’t see ourselves as impermanent. (laughs) Everything is impermanent, including me. Then, we will know how to live moment to moment. Then, there is peace and harmony.
When we believe ‘I am permanent, everyone else is impermanent’, it’s us not believing, is holding belief ‘I am permanent.’ But if we are aware we are part of it, we know how to live with it. And know how to live in harmony with everything.
We need to go into more detail on impermanent. Same with suffering. “Everyone else is suffering, but when I am suffering, I can’t accept it. (laughs)” I am explaining just to get myself some idea. I’m also a practitioner. Every day I learn something new. (laughs)
Mind is powerful, since we have Buddha nature.
Today, we do a short guru yoga practice. This is very short, but also very profound.
Vajradhara Lama, embodiment of the Three Jewels, I take refuge in you, and will until I attain enlightenment;
“Refuge“- in the Three jewels.
The Three Jewels are:
1) Buddha– from absolute point of view- perfected 2 benefits- himself and others. Benefit of oneself is –
- Uncompounded. Buddhahood is uncompounded. Look at our minds. Look at what it has created. It comes from nowhere, is beginingless, without cause, yet it is there. –Is Buddha nature.Buddha realized that this exists, uncompounded. Look at your mind, some may see it, some may not se e it, yet if you ask where it comes from, won’t find it.Hidden, abstract. Ask, “Where it abides?” look thoroughly, you won’t find where it abides. Everywhere, nowhere, but it does everything- follows eyes, ears, etc.See where it goes? It goes nowhere. Where does it dissolve? It’s uncompounded. When you realize it, that is everything. That is Buddha state.
- Spontaneously established. All the piece and happiness when you realize that uncompounded nature, are spontaneously established by itself.When light is there, clarity and heat are just there.
You have to have all ability. That’s why we all individually need meditation. Of course you need a great teacher to show you the path, but you need to do it yourself.
For example, when the cook makes a delicious meal, when he eats it is delicious. But if guest doesn’t eat it, won’t taste it’s scrumptiousness.
Buddha is not a person out there. Buddha is a state you achieve, actualize.This is perfected one’s own benefit- dharmakaya.
Perfection of benefiting others- wisdom- knowing everything as it is- all the possibilities- has that kind of wisdom. Is not sufficient. Is required, important, but need compassion. Indomitable compassion, Buddha sees that all sentient beings have the same qualities Buddha has, but they are confused. So he/she gives the teachings. “You don’t need to suffer this way. Is a way to get out.
Analogy- Think of a very poor suffering family camping on the ground, with no food, and money. A miner comes along and tells them “if you dig the ground, you will find treasure.” They are already rich, but don’t know it.
From wisdom, Buddha sees this preciously, and through compassion, he teaches. And then ability – If everyone practices that. everyone without exception can clear up affliction.
Wisdom, compassion, ability – due to that, we take refuge.
2) Dharma- the word has many meanings.
- Every phenomena that exists. All knowledge to be known is called “dharma”.
- Also “dharma” is path to enlightenment.
- Also “dharma” means object of the mind – virtue, peace, and other meanings.
Dharma is everything that exists relatively and and in the absolute nature.
The Perfection of the enlightened state is Dharmakaya. From that, Buddhas manifest as Rupakayas.This manifestation is infinite.
In these we take refuge. We have that ability, quality within us, but we haven’t seen it. That’s confused in samsara.
In the Dharma, there are Two truths: Truth of cessation and truth of suffering.
The Truth of cessation beyond our concept. It is Beyond conceptual thought.I’m sure many of you have heard of, done Mahamudra, Dzogchen – heard of “beyond concepts”. It is non-duality. Because it is beyond perception, it is non-duality.
3 expressions of truth of cessation. Not just ceasing of cause of suffering, then, there are perfections of all excellent qualities aren’t just mere emptiness. Within that emptiness, all their excellent wisdom displays as compassion.
The more you realize emptiness, the more compassion is there. Indomitable compassion can arise from realization of emptiness. Fearlessness.
Truth of path- should become known through practice, as it purifies all delusions. When you have strong confusions, instead of being doomed in that, need to purify that – ‘this invites all mental garbage’ (laughs) ‘now what should I do? Maybe I should see movie, open TV? (laughs)” Instead of bringing dharma to mind, bring something else? Nah.
Dharma is the path that will help to purify all sufferings and confusions without exception.”
When you read dharma, think, “I understood that, it clicks in my mind.” But if you don’t practice, bad habit will repeat. And then you think “dharma not working. ”
It works. But you need to apply it, that’s why practice is important. Since dharma is mode of abiding of all phenomena, can understand. Some people say philosophy is easy, but practice is hard. Inveterate propensities are very hard, painful to break through. Some times you have to sacrifice things. Some people say they can’t give up some attachments.
Dharma is a way to become better human being with a clearer mind, more peace, and happiness.
“I have been stuck in samsara for countless lifetimes, and we are so tenacious on path of samsara. If we were tenacious on path of dharma, would be less suffering by now.“ This is renunciation. Is renouncing the causes of suffering, not peace of happiness. On basis of mode of abiding, we need to renounce some things. We are not interested in suffering of samsara.
Path of dharma is purification, dispelling, and then antidote for all obscurations, defilements. If we can apply, dharma can be antidote for any type of afflictions and obscurations. You understand? Truth of cessation and truth of …
Taking refuge in Buddha, dharma, and…
3) Sangha– in this case, we are talking about bodhisattvas with great realization, above the 8th bhumi. Can normal sangha members like us be objects of refuge?(laughs)
Above 8th bhumi, bodhisattvas with knowledge similar to Buddha, knowing what is, knowing their innate nature and so forth.In the ultimate state, Buddha is Buddha, perfection of dharma teachings, and perfection of sangha. Ultimate refuge, that is “vajradhara lama…”
Where do deities exist? Inside or outside? Both. Each Buddha has a relative history – outside.When you become Buddha, harmonize selves totally, we become ultimate refuge. Ex. When you aren’t president, there is a president in the White House. But when you because president, you ARE president.
That is why we are practicing dharma. We should appreciate, enjoy and follow path. Discard all duality afflictions.
“I take refuge in you, until I attain enlightenment.”
This will help in your refuge practice as well. One day, we can become that nature.
Sentient beings, victims of confused-projection suffering, I generate the mindset for enlightenment in order to establish you all in the non-abiding state.
‘Sentient beings, victims of confused-projection suffering”
Sentient beings are suffering due to confusion, afflictions.We want to blame somebody anyway. At end “my suffering was created by my confusion, delusion.”This is the reality of samsara. Is very important we are aware of this. We know it, but need to recall this practice again and a gain and sue dharma to purify it.
Some people do suicide because of confusion. We become victim of afflictions, and feel we have no hope. They become objects of compassion.
Look in own mind: “how much I suffer due to afflictions. This is why I study and practice.”
Wisdom/compassion helps us, supports us, to purify. Look at suffering of all sentient beings. We usually have compassion for those suffering physically, but don’t have compassion for those causing suffering. In reality, those creating physical suffering are those really suffering,
We need to bring wisdom to confusion. Being angry, having resentment, doesn’t help. Buddha’s teachings give courage and wisdom.
“I generate the mindset for enlightenment in order to establish you all in the non-abiding state.”
This means to establish them all in enlightenment.This is short text, but has great meaning. I’m just giving very brief meaning.Was cultivating refuge and bodhichitta. (Need some energy- eats some fruit ;)) You can do that practice depending on realization, awareness – many levels.
Lord Vajradhara, Jigten Sumgön, you sit on a seat of the ten strengths, four fearlessnesses, and eighteen unmixed dharmas; your Major and minor marks of love, compassion, and bodhichitta radiate rays of light; and your Non-conceptual enlightened activities reach all migrators equally.
Visualization of Lord Jigten Sumgön himself as Vajradhara.
- “the strength of knowing places and non-places” – Knowing reality, strength of knowing places and non-places- if you plant barley, wheat will grow. If you don’t plant, won’t grow.Has very specific result. If you do 10 non-virtues, expect happiness? No. If you do any of the 10, will always bring suffering, if we practice any of 10 virtues, will bring positive results.
- “the strength of knowing karmic maturation” –Strength of knowing karmic maturation – Buddha can explain- karma we create that will manifest in a day, week,See Buddha’s life story. Someone will do virtuous action; we can say they will enter enlightenment.
- “the strength of knowing the various elements” – earth, wind, fire, air, space, mind – the elements- dhatus – 6 sense objects, 6 consciousness, – dhatu – ‘nature’ – ka – how we abide.
- “the strength of knowing the various inclinations” – Buddha can see every person perfectly, see what they need – pratykeaBuddha, shyrvakayana, bodhisattvayana, all the various bhumis.
- “the strength of being able to know the faculties of sentient beings, superior and inferior” –Some of – some become aghast, because of strength of business.
- “the strength of knowing every path of travel” – Realms. What kind of path you take – think of all the humans in the world, they are all different.Buddha can explain. Definite right: positive direction. Definite wrong- what we do? Everything is so precise – is something is hidden. Need to practice, make everything clear.
- “the strength of knowing the completely pure and totally afflicted (sides) of entering dhyana of definite release, samadhi, and samapatti” –Completely pure and totally afflicted. Buddha knows both. Unaffected state- solitary realizer – Buddha can see what the state of a sentient being is.All different states of Samadhi– some achieve good Samadhi, but get reborn in lower realms.
- “the strength of knowing which is the recollection of former abodes”-countless, countless former lives.
- “the strength of knowing the Death-transference and birth.”- These 9 powers are related to knowing everything. Chinawa –
- “the strength of knowing the exhaustion of outflows” – afflictions. Buddha himself- afflictions are exhausted. This is all ‘knowing as it is”. Buddha is a state who has those qualities. Bob sapa. Why ‘outflows’? Ask terry. (ed note: Terry Barrnet, who translated this practice into english – jtr)
- “no fear of proclaiming, for himself, “all that is to be discarded has been discarded”” – I have perfected purification. No one can now point out ‘still you have this kind of problem.’ Buddha has no fear, because he did it.
- “no fear of proclaiming, for himself, “I possess all qualities”” – I have all compassion, qualities. No one can say, “You have this quality missing.” Ex. At time of Buddha, before he met Buddha, there was famous healer who knew all the medicines.One day he met Buddha, who took him to an area and asked the healer what each and every plant was that could create medicine. he couldn’t identify a few, but the Buddha explained those the healer didn’t know. The doctor said “there’s a greater healer than me.”
- “no fear of proclaiming, for others, “This is the path that is the remedy.”” – if you practice this way, that will dispel are the obscurations. Experiment. Buddha sees all problems, and sees what the attitude is.
- “no fear of proclaiming, for others, “These are the things to be discarded.”” –panja- something to be given up. Can say all causes of suffering, no one can claim that power (or better him).
- Confusion – physical, mental confusion
- Noisiness– doesn’t make lots of extra noise. (Idle talk)
- Forgetfulness – we forget, or get Alzheimer’s. Powerful teachers I have met don’t forget anything. Such mindfulness! If you want to be free from forgetfulness need to be mindful, more compassionate. Clear mind. More relaxed.One time, I was giving a talk. I was asked if Manjushuri would help Alzheimer’s. I said it would help, but what we really need to learn is to relax mind. Lot of things going into your mind. Can get to point of forgetting you have house key in your hand (laughs).
- Everything is in meditative state– no non-meditation state- walking, sleeping eating, etc.
- No “I like this, I don’t like that.” – the 4 Immeasurables is how to realize that.Buddha teaches kindness- if an excellent person who supports Buddha, and a terrible person who destroys teachings, he treats both equally.
- Everyone who comes to Buddha, he knows distinctively where they are.
- Always has, uh, (I forget (laughs)) – always same speed.
- Mindfulness– did before
- Did before- Samadhi all the time
- Wisdom awareness– always aware of everything
- Once liberated, can never undo it.
- Before starting any action, Buddha is aware – during, and after.
- Speech – same
- Seeing the future through- 2 obscurations – to liberation and to enlightenment/omniscience.
- Seeing the future – Buddha is great scientist. Knows everything.If you talk to a scientist about previous life, they can’t see, will ask “what evidence”. For Buddha, everything is clear and obvious.
- Seeing the present.
Great bodhisattvas on the 8 to 10 bhumis, have similar qualities, but don’t have the perfect qualities of a Buddha.Knowing these details should make your refuge practice a little richer.
Now, back to the visualization.
“You Sit on a seat…” – Lord Jitgon Sumgön embodies these dharmakaya qualities.
“Your Major and minor marks of love, compassion, and bodhichitta radiate rays of light...”
32 major marks and 80 minor marks.– Metaphor for his perfection of love, compassion, bodhichitta- radiance to all sentient beings.
These qualities are named in uttaratantra and aajtsaya ma.. (Oh, just ask terry)(laughs)
“Your Non-conceptual enlightened activities reach all migrators equally.”
“Non-conceptual activities” – His activities reach to all beings that need it: no more, no less. In the Jewel Ornament of Liberation, chapter 21, Gampopa explains about that. In the uttratantra, there are the 9 similes for activities of a Buddha. Buddha’s activities flow freely, like the sunshine, with no effort.It is like water flows effortlessly.It is like the wind flows.Ex. Earth is basis of all Sentient beings. How much do we get benefit from earth? Without earth, we couldn’t survive. Still, we try to destroy the earth. We forget.
Without heat, without sunshine, nothing can grow. Without water, nothing can grow.See these things, appreciate, and rejoice. See how much we get benefit from this.There is a Tibetan saying that “The earth can provide enough for the needs of all sentient beings, but the earth can’t fulfill the wishes of one greedy person.”
If one man could own the whole earth, he would still look to other planets for more.
In the same way, Buddha’s activities flow freely to all sentient beings without exception. We need good karma to get that. That’s why we take refuge in Buddha. Embrace this quality in heart.
Establish the visualization in detail spontaneously. Then chant mantra, and light radiates to all sentient beings and purify all their defilements.
OM AH RATNA SHRI SARWA SIDDHI HUNG
Lord Jigten Sumgön’s name, which Buddha prophesized. The First Karmapa met him, saw him as a Buddha. Lord Jitgen Sumgön said his perfection of bodhichitta is why Karmapa saw him as Buddha.
Chant mantra as many times as you like, then say the blessing supplication prayer three or more times.
You are the buddhas Nagakulapradipa and Dipankara of the past,
Maitreya of the future, and Shakyamuni of the present; the
Reincarnation of Nagarjuna; the peerless Ratna Shri –
Lord Jigten Sumgön, I supplicate you.
Empowerment and dissolution
Light rays emanate from the lama’s body, speech, and mind and
Dissolve into my four places, thereby purifying the four obscurations,
Bestowing the four empowerments, and planting the seeds of the four kayas; the
Lama then dissolves into myself; my mind is now natural luminosity-emptiness.
rest in the mind-as-it-is
Relax, see clearly.
“The Four empowerments“
- Base foundation
- Fruition empowerment
- Doing path empowerment.
- From Lord Jigten Sumgön’s forehead, all Buddha’s qualities in form of white light shine into your forehead and purify all body imperfections – you manifest like Vajradhara – you can see a rainbow clearly, but not substantial.
- Red light from his throat to yours- all negative speech purified, transformed to wisdom speech, inseparable of sound and emptiness, like an echo.If someone says bad things, don’t pay attention, is an echo. J Good things, same. Non-attachment, non-aggression.
- Blue light from heart to yours –purifies all delusions, afflictions, purified. Your thoughts come and go like clouds. Don’t fix on them, just a display of the mind. Your mind in the nature of all the Buddhas.
- Then from navel level, yellow light- most subtle wisdom shines into your navel.
Then he melts into your head, all negative qualities purified, and you melt into emptiness.
“My mind is now natural luminosity emptiness.“
This is Mahamudra. You are not creating it, just revealing it, seeing it directly. Meditate there as long as you like. This practice is short, but so powerful. If you have no time,you can finish in 5 minutes. If you have time, it can take a couple hours. Any time you have. Relax.
Taking the practice into daily life
You can carry this meditation in daily life.
(note: these are pith pointing out instructions)
If you see a mountain, think “mind is like a mountain: stable, durable and immovable.”
If you see an ocean, think “Mind is like an ocean: vast and profound. no matter what storm create waves, can’t disturb it.”
If you see the sky, think “Mind is like the sky: clouds come, but can’t destroy sky. Likewise, afflictions can’t destroy innate nature.”
If you do this every day, will make your understanding of dharma more profound. If you read Calling the lama from afar, there is a final praise to Lord Jigten Sumgön. He was asked by one of his students after his paranirvana, where it would be best to find him. Lord Jigten Sumgön responded that “There no special place I will be. If anyone meditates, especially Mahamudra, I’ll be there.”
Lord Jigten Sumgön’s bodhichitta was so vast. Buddha taught the dharma, and later Nagarjuna taught the mode of abiding, but some scholars didn’t get it. Lord Jitgen Sumgön clarified it. Lord Jitgen Sumgön is not just a statue. He is the nature of wisdom and compassion. There is No difference between our enlightened state and his mind.
Through both the innate virtue and the virtue accumulated in the three times by all in samsara and nirvana, May I and all sentient beings filling space, none left out, Realize the co-emergent ultimate reality and Attain the final state of non-abidance in existence or peace.
After meditation, do dedication prayer.
Co-emergent ultimate reality is mahamudra. If you realize the very cause of samsara is the affliction of emotions, that itself is emptiness. When you realize that nature is emptiness, no afflictions exist. No afflictions are separate from that. This is the pointing out instruction. There is nothing more profound than this.
You sacrifice your time resources, enjoyment of other things to come here so, I tried sincerely to impart this.Even though I don’t know so much (laughs), I say these things, give you this opportunity, and you go for it. (laughs)
Existence is samsara. Peace is nirvana.
Ultimate dedication- all Sentient beings achieve ultimate state.
It depends on how you realize an energy, how you abide in it. When you are deluded, you are carried by afflictions, can’t say they are the same.This is a very Important point. We sometimes get Mahamudra, Dzogchen instructions, and we think we can be taken by waves of afflictions. But if you realize that nature, you aren’t carried away by the afflictions. If you are confused by that, you are contaminated by that.
Why do we study? Lot of things here are culture related, but the real dharma is the realization.
Questions and Answers
Any questions? Any ultimate questions? (laughs)
Q: quality of cessation-
A: When you study/ practice dharma, you will achieve fearlessness. Practice bodhichitta enough, you will achieve fearlessness.Then, you do guru yoga.
Wisdom- realization of emptiness. Supported by compassion = fearlessness.
Biggest source of fear? Attachment. Fear of losing what we are attached to. Grasping. Milarepa said once when he meditated on mountain, a deer chased by hunter dog ran by him, each hair dropping perspiration. Milarepa saw it with his mind. the deer felt it, and the deer came up to Milarepa. Milarepa said, “thorn-headed deer body, you have such fear of dog, and such hope you get away from dog, take refuge.” (The dog then came up to Milarepa) “Wolf headed dog, such fear of losing deer. With hope and fear, you wander in samsara.”
Look around. everybody in the world suffers from hope and fear. Hope is attachment. Fear is aggression.
If enemy comes, have fear. If relative comes, have hope. Sometimes people misuse high teachings from ignorance, and follow that mistaken understanding, and are overrun by afflictions and filled with chaos. That’s why the clear demarcation by critical insight. The difference is insight.
It is VERY important to understand Permissions and Prohibitions. I wrote this sincerely. If you do even 5 minutes meditation, do it correctly.
Lord Jigten Sumgön is in the space above in front of us.
If you have any deity practice, if you want to see yourself as that when doing this practice, can do that too, is good question. Are you closer to enlightenment? (laughs) Laughter.
Thought we could do it….
How to die with this practice
If you have this practice well, at your time of death- in your last breath, see Lord Jigten Sumgön, dissolve him into you, even if you are in a lot of pain, you can do that, and dissolve into emptiness.If you could die like this, no better place to die.
No need to worry ‘what should I do’?
I thought I’d give you idea. No doubt. We don’t have enough knowledge to speak about what Lord Jigten Sumgön was. I say this to give you benefit.
Thanks for coming and participating.I said what I could in a short couple hours.Though I’m just a visitor to the Center, not spiritual director anymore (laughs). I hope it flourishes.We worked many years to establish it, now I hope that this place can be used in best way to help people.