Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: Profound Practices - Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 1699 times)

Offline UK Bodhi Association

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Profound Practices

Many spiritual seekers love to request exalted practices—Mahamudra, Great Madhyamaka, Great Perfection, Yamantaka, and so on. In addition, they are keen on visiting and paying homage to eminent monks, high tulkus, and famous masters…. These fans of grand Dharma feel that by so doing, extraordinary realization will dawn on them accordingly.

Well, this may not be the case. Whatever practices a person requests should match well with that person’s capacity. Unless the basic requirements for a practice are met, no accomplishment is possible.

One of the main disciples of Sakya Pandita, Gyalwa Yangonpa, is a well-known siddha in Tibetan history. He says: “People usually dash after profound Dharma practices while feeling dissatisfied with lower ones. They behold the grand, unfathomable practices with wonder and attention, but neglect to check if their own minds are ready. Although one could engage in the practice of Great Perfection, it affects nothing at all, because a practitioner of Great Perfection must be a qualified vessel for Great Perfection instructions. I have witnessed that teachings as valuable as a fine steed are babbled by people less worthy than a dog. Behaving against the Doctrine, they have no inclination to study and practice. What they say is no different from the melody of an appealing rapper, or the verbatim repetition of a clever parrot. Having received one or more teachings, we should carry them out by actual effort and practice accordingly. Having understood one or more teachings, we should let them permeate the mind thoroughly. Failing to do so is like pouring an immiscible powder into water, they don’t mix. The mind and the Dharma are a thousand miles apart; the two do not embrace each other in the least. Like lung lobes floating on top of the medicinal soup rather than dissolving in it, Dharma without practice becomes meaningless, floating words. (One will still blame everybody but oneself, be conceited and complacent, and complain to no end.) The significance of Dharma practice will never manifest.”

Whatever Dharma you have received, it’s necessary to let it suffuse your mind and put it into practice. The Dharma is not to be used as an ornament or an asset to brag about. In Sakya Lekshe it says: “The fool shows off knowledge by talking, the wise stores away knowledge in heart. Wheat straw floats on top of the water, a precious jewel sinks to the bottom.”

Spiritual seekers should not feel that “it’s always the other mountain that looks higher,” but instead start the Dharma practice from square one and proceed in a thorough, solid manner.

3rd of February, Year of RenWu
March 17, 2002

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Footprints on the Journey: Profound Practices - Khenpo Sodargye
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2016, 03:39:38 am »
You've made a good point. For those of us without a great teacher, a simple practice to learn well and keep returning to when we try other stuff is essential. I was always grateful to have read Shunryu Suzuki's 'Zen Mind Beginner's Mind' years ago, when I was trying things out at home by myself. The simple things are often the most powerful in the long run.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka


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