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
(continued from part 2)
The Four Reminders
It is possible your shamatha is distracted. If distracted, following thoughts sound, forms, and going back to mental chatter, read the first verse of the Four Reminders. *
This precious human existence is, like an udumbara flower, difficult to attain.
If found, it is of greater benefit than the wish-fulfilling jewel.
However, having attained such a precious existence just this once,
we do not accomplish the ultimate aim of great benefit,
but instead waste it meaninglessly.
Guru, embodiment of the Three Jewels, look upon us with compassion.
Bestow your blessings so that we fulfill the meaning of this precious existence. Continue reading
Just a time lapse of the four seasons set to the song “Just Another Day” by musical icon Brian Eno. Nice graphic reminder of change and impermanence.
(Originally posted Friday, September 5, 2008)
I’ve been asked by a few people to talk about ‘The Four Reminders”, which are in the Tibetan (/Bhutanese/Nepalese/etc.) tradition the very bedrock of the Buddhist path. Everything else is built upon these. as my teacher Khandro Rinpoche has said many times, “Any obstacles that can’t be overcome, it’s simply because one has not contemplated the Four Reminders enough.”
For you non-buddhists, this will give you a good overview of the core of what we practice.
So, here they are. At the top of each, I will include the traditional passage from the Karma Kagyu and the Drigung Kagyu describing each of the four. I will also include how -I- contemplate them daily, in hopes that some of you might be able to adapt it to your own practice lives.
Why the focus on the preliminaries? Rinpoche focused only on them before the empowerments. She always focuses on them so much. Why? If you get the basics in a deep way, a physical “submitting to the universe” (R), a cleansing occurs that opens up. The four reminders are the tent stakes. J Can have the most expensive tent, but without good stakes, it can still blow away. There are common spiritual crisis, and unhealthy behaviors that the 4 Reminders are the remedy. One year Rinpoche challenged some newer students, asking them to bring out suggestions of problems and issues. She could say which reminder’s weakness could be responsible and why to every single one.
“To bring about the fruition of this precious human birth, you need to remember death and impermanence.” Continue reading