Khandro Rinpoche 2012 annual retreat – talk 4: part 2: Patrul Rinpoche practice text based on Bodhicharyavatara – Elaborate explanations of Paramitas: Generosity

(continued from talk  4, part 1)

A Step by step guided meditation on the profound Mahayana text of Bodhicharyavatara by Patrul Rinpoche called “The Sun of Brilliant Clarity”

Elaborate explanations of Paramitas


Within the Bodhicharyavatara, the first and second and third, particular 1st and 2nd chapters are the first paramita of generosity. Chapters 4 and 5 are dedicated to the paramita of ethics.  Chapter 6 onward is straightforward, patience, then diligence, into Samadhi, into wisdom with the 9th chapter.  In the motivation or intention of Shantideva himself, further emphasized for Patrul Rinpoche. The 7 branch offering contains the essence of generosity. Historically, it is said Shantideva himself was a monk who had no possessions of his own. Therefore, when he taught the paramitas in the context of the Bodhicharyavatara, he referred specifically to those who had nothing to give, to his fellow monks, to who he gave the unique visualized 7 branch offering.  This is Exceptional for those who wish to give generously but who have nothing to give.  On the other hand, those who have the resources or material possessions to give must also actively give up of material goods, body, and merit and so on and so forth. Speaking again, Patrul Rinpoche says “the paramita of generosity must be able to contain these 4 aspects:

  1. One must give up stinginess.
  2. In order to practice paramita of generosity, one must Every day contemplate and strengthen non-grasping attitude
  3. Every day one should practice giving of one’s body for the benefit of others, giving possessions, giving one’s merit for the benefit of others
  4. For generosity to remain enthusiastic within one’s self, being able to contemplate joyfully on benefits of being generous is also essential.”

These four must be brought into ones contemplation.  Sometimes, we come across things like, for example, to my mind comes a group of very young nuns of Samtense. In one way, these little ones have nothing of their own. In many places, you find this.  Sometimes I think, of some of the wealthiest people, they are the most wealthy people I know. There is always an abundance of offerings, always an abundance of help, just being able to give so much. Very often, when we have butter lamp offerings, it is always the little ones who come up with…always volunteering.  On the other hand, some of the wealthiest people I know who are also the poorest (mentally).  “I am down to my last 10 million dollars. How will I survive?” It’s not what you have, but how you have it.  In the Story of Buddha, there were great emperors who would make great offerings to arhats. Patrul Rinpoche told a story of a poor old woman who saw the procession of the Buddha with an offering. The king thought “what merit (I have accumulated).”  The old woman thought, “how wonderful that the king can do this!” All she had was some oil she was taking home. She dipped some cloth into the oil and made a little butter lamp as an offering. Buddha at the meal said this old woman’s offering was far superior to the kings.

I’ve noticed about Buddhists that none of you are exceptionally rich, but you become poorer than you are when your heart/mind is stingy.  “Poverty mentality” means poor by mentality.  Mind becomes small, meek, meek, worry. You are back to hope and fear of self. No matter what you own, you worry about last 10 million dollars.  On the other hand, one who has 10 dollars may be most wealthy using 10 dollars to buy M and Ms for everyone. Not about giving something to someone, about the…the outlook of life to be generated, not so worried about tomorrow, make present moment into a peaceful environment.  For that, non-grasping is (essential).  Resting the mind beyond elaboration through shamatha- even for a brief moment, let go of self grasping, let go of concepts.

There is Courage (required) of being able to overcome poverty mentality, (which is going) against the culture we live in.  Parents and teachers teach poverty mentality. “It’s all about you.” The whole language and culture are all about you. You learn from early age to think about your own safety.  Therefore, kindness and generosity encounters these impediments. Reverse the culture of self-cherishing through Resting mind in non-elaboration thorough shamatha, settling down the mind, even for a moment, letting concepts go, jump into the water even if you don’t know how to swim.  See what happens if you leap into emptiness. If you don’t exert in hope and fear, what goes wrong? What actually takes place? Actually, nothing does happen, (so why is there) any worry?” nothing dissolves, Nothing goes away, nothing changes, so you can begin to relax a bit. Yes, for 23 ½ hours you can be apprehensive, but for ½ hour you can be without apprehension.  That soothes the mind, relaxes the mind form holding onto the self-grasping.  Training, familiarization, contemplating, resting in natural ease of non-apprehension, natural ease of not indulging self-cherishing tendencies, natural ease of not indulging in habitual patterns: these are Important to generosity.  In Post-meditation practice, give to others what is needed for other, but most what is most important: give merit. You create merit by protecting lives, when you don’t indulge in sexual misconduct, not lying, not speaking something harsh, by speech free from slander, by speech free from gossip, keeping mind free of …. by speech free from cynicism and critical ideas.  Emphasize good qualities and happiness of in others. And most importantly, from time to time, learning to breathe correctly, resting body, speech and mind in own nature.  Wanting to do something is not the ability to sustain. Eventually, you will be able to give and perfect patience that is a benefit that arises, and as Patrul Rinpoche says,When you have done something good, find happiness in that knowledge you have done something good.” Some think this might be attachment to good you have done, pride in the goodness. At this level, being completely free from pride is very difficult. You can dwell on positive pride.  Sometimes people are too severe on selves, and (When) you don’t allow self to enjoy accomplishments. This is it is beating yourself up completely.  That not being full of pride or not grasping to accomplishments often backfires and makes it difficult to return to merit, makes it difficult to return to cushion, so to speak. When you don’t celebrate your goodness, being good becomes tedious, there is nothing nice about it, and you associate being good becomes a task. This diminishes enthusiasm.  To make it continuous, it is very important to inspire self by being happy you are kind, rejoicing that you can accomplish generosity at it, and be joyful. For whatever generosity one practices to be paramita of generosity, whether a small thing or a big thing,    (Tibetan) these 6 factors big or small, these 6 factors must be there in being kind. .

These 6 points are essential. Many of us try to practice generosity, but we mess up one of these so they must be maintained in mind:

  1. For generosity to be practiced, we must first have a mind that wishes to give something. (Tom sem ) This is the intention to give. This is different from “a teacher told you to give, a parent told you to give, or a friend told you to give.”  You are giving without it becoming your intent is not your intent to give. YOUR mind must wish to give.
  2. One must give whole-heartedly. (Yon sem) –  All factors of the mind wish to give.  Sometimes we say, we say “the heart wants to give but the brain doesn’t.” something like that, don’t be like that. Paramita of generosity required the whole being wants to give.
  3. Unwavering giving. (mtit to pe sem)  is when what you have given remains unwavering. There is no regret after giving, especially sometimes, you give to someone, they are sympathetic, but then after a few days you they give negative feedback, and you have regret.  Once having given, the joyfulness of having given must remain unwavering in self.
  4. Must be joyfully given. (toy sme) This is not giving with sadness of reluctance, but mind should be giving completely.
  5. Must give undistracted.  This happens often in volunteering. You can’t say “You are distracted and have volunteered for something,” and then you face regret. Whenever generosity is being practiced, there must be must be non-distraction of mind.
  6. Mind must be clearly aware of generating the wisdom of discernment.  This is knowing what to abandon and knowing what to cultivate. Where discernment is sharply aware, it knows generosity is a virtuoso action to be cultivated, and stinginess is a non-virtue to be abandoned. Knowing the pitfalls of non-virtue and the qualities of virtue truly make it a benefit for all sentient beings.  That it is a positive.

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Filed under Dharma teachings, Khandro Rinpoche

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