Lopon Andre – first talk – morning 9/19
Begin with the right intention. The best intention we could have for anything we do on the land- meditating, studying, or hearing a talk is – being with the benefit for all sentient beings. May we all work with our own minds to be a cooling oasis for all sentient beings, to free all sentient beings from suffering, and ourselves as sentient beings from suffering. We call this raising bodhicitta: a sense of my intention is “I am expanding outward so I am working not for just my own benefit, but for the benefit of all.”
I also like to remember those who came before us, without whom we wouldn’t be studying Buddhism in an air-conditioned room. Going back to Shakyamuni Buddha 2500 years ago, all the way up to His Holiness Mindrolling Trinchen Rinpoche, who died in 2008, and of course His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and of course our dear Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche, who is director of our center. Just a sense of connection to lineage and a sense of connection to who we might be appreciative of. Continue reading
Maybe is it a good way to refer to the ati zabdon commentary of ngondro so those of you doing that ngondro have a strong foundation, especially with the understanding how important ngondro practices are. Ngondro has encountered all kinds of ideas – I’d like to say rumors. Somehow, modern day meditations imagine they can bring fruition to the Buddhist path through an intellectual approach only. Then comes practice of Vajrayana, mainly founded on the foundation of the Mahayana view. However, it is also very common, both for westerners and in the east, we think we want to do some practice to attain Enlightenment to benefit sentient beings, but simultaneously, there is a difference between action and aspiration. We want to hope to attain Enlightenment, wish to attain Enlightenment, but don’t have the courage to actualize Enlightenment. So, the tendency is there to retain tendencies of intellectual understanding only, with pitfalls of coming up with many impediments. Continue reading
(continued from part 1)
Calling the Guru from Afar
Now, to calling the guru from afar. Going back into ngondro text, where we stopped yesterday. Begin with:
At the crown of my head, seated on a lotus and moon seat is the glorious precious root guru. Accepting me with your great kindness, please bestow siddhis of body, speech, and mind.
In this way, at the crown of your head, visualize the guru. Thus giving rise to devotion, recite the Calling the Lama from Afar, which was given by guru Rinpoche to Yeshe Tsogyal. Wherever one truly has revulsion and turns to blessings of guru, than Padmasambhava will be there. If continuing, continue. Or, when the mind is distracted, rest. Or, do it as a preliminary to any other practice. It’s Up to you.
Whenever the mind rests in its own nature, and then wants to return to habits of following forms and sounds, instead of following those forms and sounds, immediately gather the mind into the space above your head on lotus and moon disk in the form of Guru Rinpoche or your own guru. Whatever arises immediately as the embodiment of the wisdom and compassion of the guru, immediately think of them and supplicate that one may receive siddhis of body, speech and mind. Continue reading
Good morning everyone (Laughs).
Lineage supplication before I give a talk – then q and a, and overview of the whole cycle of teachings of the Ati Zabdon ngondro.
As we start to talk about the transformation of the creation of contaminated impure perception into pure nature, we think many times, “these practices are contrived.” This is because you live a contrived life now. All forms are contrivances of mind. In same way, what you think of sound, even subtle sounds, or a sense of intellectual knowledge of the emptiness of sound, are a contrivance. Thoughts are empty, but even the non-grasping at this point is contrived. We live in a contrived existence because mind labels it – even the labels “true,” “pure,” and “Buddha” are a contrivance. Since we are trapped in an elaborate contrivance, pure perception is a necessity, because mind isn’t able to understand completely letting go at this point, so mind needs a subtle reference. As long as mind thinks it needs a contrivance to rest on, even emptiness, there will always be a need for a relative reference. Continue reading
“The Secret place” – at your heart- Of your yidam body- Chenrizig, Tara, Chakasamvara, Hevajra, the same as before. Then meditate on the holy lama –
Vajradhara. Who is Vajradhara? In the nature of the Nonduality of the body, speech and mind of Buddhas of past, present, future. Vajradhara – or like Lord Jitgon Sumgon, or like Milarepa. In your heart, light radiating- your mind is in that nature. If one abides in the state of the Nonduality of the holy lamas and ones’ own mind, purifies all obstacles.
With confidence and devotion – “Vajradhara or Lord Jitgon Sumgon is at my heart – the nature of all the Buddhas of the 3 times.” Meditate on that.
During refuge vow, the spiritual master says “this is the method to slowly attain enlightenment. But the cultivation of that, the practice of that relies on you.”
– H.E. Garchen Rinpoche
There are limitless Buddhas of the past, limitless Buddhas of the present, limitless Buddhas of the future. The present Buddha is Shakyamuni. In beginning, Buddha gave rise to bodhichitta, and then practiced for three limitless eons until he attained enlightenment.
We can take in refuge in 3 jewels, and then attain enlightenment in one lifetime or in the intermediate state, or at least favorable rebirth and enlightenment within 1 or 2 lifetimes.
There are 2 systems in the world. In those, various religions and spiritual paths in order to benefit sentient beings temporarily and spiritually. All are of benefit. But the Buddhist view is that all beings can attain enlightenment. Beings are obscured by temporary stains, and are all Buddhas underneath.
Feast practice in the Vajrayana came out of Hindu feast practice. In Ancient India, the “pure” Brahmin were shocked by eating meat and drinking alcohol. This shock is lost on us. It seems to us more like having people over for dinner.
What we are eating is our neurosis, our ego. It is fixation, doubt and bullshit. We are gobbling up our dark, conflicted energy and transmuting it to enlightened energy. The notion of feast is ENJOYING all we normally avoid and turning the tables, extracting the essence of our experience.
Earthiness, community and celebration are important for feast. Celebration of what we have instead of wanting more. It works with the obstacle of poverty mentality. Continue reading
(editor’s note: This was part of a teaching Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche gave at TMC Frederick the weekend of October 1-2, 2011. This Lord Jigten Sumgön Guru Yoga was covered and practiced the morning of the first day before Rinpoche taught on his text “Prescriptions and Prohibitions: Their mode of abiding.” I plan to get those notes up in the near future. Khenchen Rinpoche had previously taught more extensively on A Guru Yoga that Brings the Dharmakaya onto the Path at TMC in the Summer of 2009. I will attempt to link to those teachings as appropriate. – JTR/LWWD)
…nowadays, more than ever before, we need that wisdom we can apply in our daily life. There are many levels of practice. If you want to go on retreat, you can go on retreat. If you want to go for years, you can do like Milarepa. You can read his life story. He utilized the optimal power of the human capacity in that very lifetime because of that he achieved the ultimate benefit. That why the precious human life has so much ability, opportunity it is there, if you choose.
Skype address to participants at Lotus Garden Ngondro program – 2-21-11 9:15 AM
A message that the lopons should all sit down a little bit more. (They keep spraining ankles (laughter)) Practitioners must believe in the power of purification of karma. That’s why you are all intellect (?). If you didn’t believe it, there is no way you could having confidence in possibility of enlightenment.
Exertion on path has to be honest, whole-hearted. Very strong confidence in accomplishment stage of realization that becomes cause of liberations of all sentient beings. The full enlightenment, freedom from samsara for self and other.
Of all practices, ngondro emphasizes this most important. What kind of a result we all believe in. must encourage meditator- to have the power to hold the result in your hand – results in purification of karma and attainment of merit. I think western practitioners have an immense emphasis of intellectualization of dharma. They are swinging between believing the view and having difficulties believing in it. Trying to have confidence to maintain the view- takes so much time, so actualization takes a backseat. Maybe because of that, modern meditators are overwhelmed by obstacles quickly. They want to believe in power of practice. But many of you encounter diseases- obstacles to self and those around, it is easy to be overcome by the Samsaric happenings. Overcome – it is crucial as we encounter different stages of like, encounter obstacles use that moment for greater encouragement to practice the dharma even more. So, the possibility of holding retreat is good. I hoped there would be a serious of retreats at Lotus Garden, and then more. Lotus Garden was intended to be a retreat land, for deepening of practice. 4-5- days is really very wonderful. Early, when I talked to lopons, there was skepticism that so many people would come and do all these. One said, maybe 2 will show up, maybe 10. But have been consistently strong. The lopons and the residents have been great. And senior practitioners– Judy, etc. (lopons here) – have encouraged themselves to practice. Continue reading
Guru yoga – teaching at Lotus Garden Ngondro program
This is a preview. (laughter) The real movie is in March at the guru yoga program. Jann and Cathie are just fab teachers. This has been an incredible retreat. Only one of them is here, but we’d like to thank the residents. [Thanks them by name.]
Again, remember what the proper intention is for any practice period, or giving or hear a talk. Flash on motivation of radiating bodhichitta and then remember the whole point is to achieve liberation for all sentient beings including ourselves. Keep that in mind instead of gathering knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Also, flash on the lineage- in particular the Mindrolling lineage, in part His Holiness and Her Eminence, and picture the continual flow of blessings from that lineage, and from our guru, even when she is sitting still (which isn’t often). Continue reading