FreeSangha - Buddhist Forum

Schools of Buddhism => Mahayana => New Kadampa => Topic started by: Caz on September 02, 2012, 09:59:20 am

Title: A collection of advise.
Post by: Caz on September 02, 2012, 09:59:20 am
Kadampa Buddhism is a Mahayana Buddhist school founded by the great Indian Buddhist Master Atisha (AD 982-1054).

In the word, Kadampa, Ka refers to Buddhas teachings, and damâ to Atisha's special Lamrim instructions. Kadampas, then, are practitioners who regard Buddha's teachings as personal instructions and put them into practice by following the instructions of Lamrim.

By integrating their understanding of all Buddhas teachings into their practice of Lamrim, and by integrating their experience of Lamrim into their everyday lives, Kadampas use Buddhas teachings as practical methods for transforming daily activities into the path to enlightenment.
The great Kadampa Teachers

After Atisha, the Kadampa lineage was passed down through a succession of great Kadampa Teachers including Dromtonpa, Geshe Potowa, Geshe Sharawa, and Geshe Chekhawa.

These precious Teachers were not only great scholars but also spiritual practitioners of immense purity and sincerity.

They placed particular emphasis on the practice of Training the Mind (Lojong) by which all our daily life experiences, and especially all our problems, suffering, and difficulties, can be transformed into the spiritual path.
The New Kadampas

The Kadampa lineage passed from generation to generation until the fourteenth century when it reached the great Buddhist Master Je Tsongkhapa.

Je Tsongkhapa clarified all the teachings of Kadam Dharma and made them very accessible to the people of that time.

In particular, he showed how to combine Lamrim, and Lojong with Mahamudra Tantra in a unified daily practice.

Just as the union of study and practice was a hallmark of the early Kadampas, so the union of Sutra and Tantra was to become a hallmark of the New Kadampas, as the followers of Je Tsongkhapa became known.
Modern Kadampa Buddhism

After Je Tsongkhapa, the New Kadampa lineage flourished for hundreds of years, down to the present day.

In recent years, it has been promoted widely throughout the world by the contemporary Buddhist Master, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

By founding the New Kadampa Tradition, the International Kadampa Buddhist Union, Geshe Kelsang has created a truly global infrastructure to preserve and promote Kadampa Buddhism for many generations to come.
Title: Re: A collection of advise.
Post by: Caz on September 02, 2012, 10:26:59 am
When venerable Atisha came to Tibet, he first went to Ngari, where he remained for two years giving many teachings to the disciples of Jangchub O. After two years had passed, he decided to return to india, and Jangchub O requested him to give one last teaching before he left.
Atisha replied that he had already given them all the advice they needed, But Jangchub O persisted in his request and so Atisha accepted and gave the following advice.

Advice from Atishas heart.

How wonderful! Since you already have great knowledge and clear understanding, whereas I am of no importance and have little wisdom, it is not suitable for you to request advice from me. However because you dear friends, whom I cherish from my heart, have requested me, I shall give you this essential advice from my inferior and childish mind.

Friends, until you attain enlightenment the spiritual teacher is indispensible, therefore rely upon the holy spiritual guide.

Until you realize ultimate truth, listening is indispensible therefore listen to the instructions of the spiritual guide.

Since you cannot become a Buddha merely by understanding Dharma, practise earnestly with understanding.

Avoid places that disturb your mind, and always remain where your virtues increase.

Until you attain stable realizations, worldly amusements are harmful, therefore abide in a place where there are no such distractions.

Avoid friends who cause you to increase your delusions, and rely upon those who increase your virtue. This you should take to heart.

Since there is never a time when worldly activities come to an end, limit your activities.

Dedicate your virtues throughout the day and the night, and always watch your mind.

Because you have received advice, whenever you are not meditating, always practise in accordance with what your spiritual guide says.

If you practise with great devotion, results will immediately, without your having to wait along time.

If from your heart you practise in accordance with Dharma, both food and resources will naturally come to hand.

Friends, the things you desire give no more satisfaction than drinking sea water, therefore practise contentment.

Avoid all haughty, conceited, proud and arrogant minds, and remain peaceful and subdued.
Avoid all activities that are said to be meritous, but which in fact are obstacles to Dharma.

Profit and respect are nooses of the maras, so brush them aside like stones on the path.

Words of praise and fame only serve to beguile us, therefore blow them away as you would blow your nose.

Since the happiness, pleasure, and friends you gather in this life only for a moment, put them all behind you.

Since future lives last for a very long time, gather up riches to provide for the future.

You will have to depart leaving everything behind, so do not be attached to anything.

Generate compassion for lowly beings, and especially avoid despising or humiliating them.

Have no hatred for enemies, and no attachment for friends.

Do not be jealous of others good qualities, but out of admiration adopt them yourself.

Do not look for faults in others, but look for faults in yourself and purge them like bad blood.

Do not contemplate your own good qualities, but contemplate the good qualities of others, and respect everyone as a servant would.

See all living beings as your father or mother, and love them as if you where their child.

Always keep a smiling face and a loving mind, and speak truthfully without malice.

If you talk too much with little meaning, you will make mistakes therefore speak in moderation and only when necessary.

If you engage in many meaningless activities, your virtuous activities will degenerate, therefore stop activities that are not spiritual.

It is completely meaningless to put effort into activities that have no essence.

If the things you desire do not come, it is due to karma created long ago, therefore keep a happy and relaxed mind.

Beware, offending a holy being is worse then dying therefore be honest and straight forward.

Since all the happiness comes from the blessing of the spiritual guide, therefore always repay his kindness.

Since you cannot tame the minds of others until you have tamed your own, begin by taming your own mind.

Since you will definitely have to depart without the wealth you have accumulated, do not accumulate negativity for the sake of wealth.

Distracting enjoyments have no essence, therefore sincerely practise giving.

Always keep pure morale discipline for it leads to beauty in this life and the hereafter.

Since hatred is rife in these impure times, don the armour of patients free from anger.

You remain in samsara through the power of laziness; therefore ignite the fire of effort and application.

Since this human life is wasted by indulging in distractions, now is the time to practise concentration.

Being under the influence of wrong views, you do not realize the ultimate nature of things therefore investigate correct meanings.

Friends, there is no happiness in this swamp of samsara, so move to the firm ground of liberation.

Meditate according to the advice of your spiritual guide and dry up the river of samsaric suffering.

You should consider this well because it is not just words from the mouth, but sincere advice from the heart.

If you practise like this, you will delight me, and you will bring happiness to your self and others.

I who am ignorant request you to take this advice to heart.
Title: Re: A collection of advise.
Post by: Caz on September 02, 2012, 10:27:41 am
With the intention to attain
The ultimate, supreme goal
That surpases even the wish-granting jewel,
May I constantly cherish all living beings.

Whenever I associate with others,
May i view myself as the lowest of all;
And with a perfect intention,
May i cherish others as supreme.

Examining my mental continuum throughout
all my actions,
As soon as delusion develops
Whereby I or other would act inappropriately,
May I firmly face it and avert it.

Whenever I see unfortunate beings
Opressed by evil and violent suffering,
May i cherish them as if I had found
A rare and precious treasure.

Even if someone I have helped
And of whom I had great hopes
Nevertheless harms me without any reason,
May i see him as my holy spiritual guide.

When others out of jelousy
Harm me or insult me,
May I take defeat upon myself
And offer them the victory.

In short, may I directly and indirectly
Offer help and happiness to all my mothers,
And secretly take upon myself
All their Harm and suffering.

Futhermore, through all these methods practises,
Together with a mind undefiled by stains of
conceptions of the eight extremes
And that sees all phenomena as illusory,
May I be released from the bondage of mistaken
appearance and conception.
Title: Re: A collection of advise.
Post by: Caz on September 02, 2012, 10:28:48 am
Homage to great compassion.
This essence of nectar-like instruction
Is transmitted from Serlingpa.
It is like a diamond, like the sun, and like a medicinal tree.
The meaning of this text should be known.
The development of the five impurities
Will be transformed into the path to enlightenment.

The preliminary practise of training the mind

First learn the preliminaries.

The main practise: Training in the two Bodhichittas

Training in conventional Bodhichitta.

Gather all blame into one.
Meditate on the great kindness of all.
Train alternately in giving and taking.
Begin the sequence by taking from your own side.
Mount these two upon the breath.
The three objects, three poisons, and the three virtuous roots
Are brief instructions for the subsequent attainment.
To remember this,
Train in every activity by words.

Training in ultimate Bodhichitta.

Show the secret to the one who has acheived firmness.
Think that all phenomena are like dreams.
Analyze the unborn nature of cognition.
Even the opponent oneself is free of existing from its own side.
Place the actual path on the basis of all.
Between sessions, consider all phenomena as illusory.

Transforming adverse conditions into the path to enlightenment.

When the container and the contents are filled with evil,
Transform adverse conditions into the path to enlightenment.
Apply meditation to whatever circumstances you meet.
Applying the four preperations is the supreme method.

How to integrate all our daily practises.

This brief essential instruction
Should be applied with the five forces.
The five forces are the most important practise
Of the instructions on mahayana transference.

The measurement of success in training the mind.

All dharma is condensed into one purpose.
Hold to the principle of the two witnesses.
Always rely upon a happy mind alone.
The indication of having trained is reversal.
The sign of having trained is possessing five greatnesses.
One is trained if one is able to do the practise even when distracted.

The commitments of training the mind.

Always train in the three general points,
Remain naturalwhile changing your aspiration.
Do not speak about degenerate limbs.
Never think about others' faults.
Purify your greatest delusion first.
Abandon any hope for results.
Abandon poisonous food.
Do not follow delusions.
Do not retaliate to verbal abuse.
Do not wait in ambush.
Do not offend others.
Do not transfer your own faults or burdens on to others.
Do not misuse Dharma.
Do not aim at being the first to be the best.
Do not turn a god into a demon.
Do not seek happiness by causing unhappiness to others.

The precepts of training the mind.

Do all yogas by one.
Perform every supression of interference by one.
There are two activities: One at the begining and one at the end.
Endure both, whichever arises.
Guard both as you would your life.
Train in the three difficulties.
Practise the three main causes.
Become acquainted with the three non-degenerations.
Possess the three inseperables.
Train without bias toward the objects.
Its is important to train deeply and encompass all.
Always meditate on special cases.
Do not rely upon other conditions.
Apply the principle practise at this time.
Do not misinterpret.
Do not be erratic.
Train with certainty.
Be released by two: investigation and analysis.
Do not be boastful.
Do not get angry.
Do not be unstable.
Do not wish for gratitude.


Because of my many wishes,
Having endured suffering and a bad reputation,
I received the instructions for controlling self-grasping,
Now, if I die, I have no regrets.


Commentary to root text found in Universal compassion.
Title: Re: A collection of advise.
Post by: Caz on September 02, 2012, 10:30:01 am
Homage to the venerable Spiritual Guide.

I shall explain to the best of my ability
The essential meaning of all the Conqueror's teachings,
The path praised by all the Bodhisattvas,
And the gateway for fortunate ones seeking liberation.

You who are not attached to the joys of samsara,
But striving to make your freedom and endowment meaningful,
O Fortunate Ones who apply your minds to the path that pleases the Conqueror's,
Please listen with a clear mind.

Without pure renunciation, there is no way to pacify
Attachment to the pleasures of samsara;
And since living beings are tightly bound by desire for samsara,
Begin by seeking renunciation.

Freedom and endowment are difficult to find, and there is no time to waste.
By acquainting your mind with this, overcome
attachment to this life;
And by repeatedly contemplating actions and effects
And the sufferings of samsara, overcome attachment to future lives.

When through contemplating in this way, the desire for
the pleasures of samsara
Does not arise even for a moment,
But a mind longing for liberation arises throughout the day and the night,
At that time renunciation is generated.

However, if this is not maintained
By completely pure bodhichitta,
It will not be a cause of the perfect happiness of unsurpassed enlightenment;
Therefore, the wise generate supreme bodhichitta.

Swept along by the currents of the four powerful rivers,
Tightly bound by the chains of karma, so hard to release,
Ensnared within the iron net of self grasping,
Completely enveloped by the pitch black darkness of ignorance,

Taking rebirth after rebirth in boundless samsara,
And unceasingly tormented by the three sufferings-
Through contemplating the state of your mothers in
conditions such as these,
Generate a supreme mind of Bodhichitta].

But, even though you may be acquainted with
renunciation and bodhichitta,
If you do not possess the wisdom realizing the way things are,
You will not be able to cut the root of samsara;
Therefore, strive in the means for realizing dependent relationship.

Whoever negates the conceived object of self-grasping
Yet sees the infallibility of causes and effect
Of all phenomena in samsara and nivarna,
Has entered the path that pleases the buddhas.

Dependent-related appearance is infallible
And emptiness is inexpressible;
For as long as the meaning of these two appear to be
You have not yet realized Buddha's intention.

When they arise as one, not alternating but simultaneous,
From merely seeing infallible dependent relationship
comes certain knowledge that destroys all grasping at
At that time, the analysis of view is complete.

Moreover when then extreme of existance is dispelled by
And the extreme of non-existance is dispelled by emptiness,
And you know how emptiness is perceived as cause and effect,
You will not be captivated by extreme views.

When, in this way, you have correctly realized the essential points
Of the three principle aspects of the path,
Dear one, withdraw into solitude, generate strong effort, and quickly accomplish the final goal.
Title: Re: A collection of advise.
Post by: Caz on September 02, 2012, 10:31:07 am
Twenty-Seven Verses On Mind Training
Composed by Lama Je Tsongkhapa (1357-1419)

1) With body, speech, and mind fully aligned, I prostrate fervently before those rare beings, who are victorious over all notions of limitation, and before their spiritual daughters and sons. May a cosmic celebration of pure poetry, perfectly expressing the most subtle teaching of these victorious sages and the inheritors of their wisdom, now burst forth like an infinite garden in perpetual spring.

2) Gaze calmly with the clear eye of Prajnaparamita (Perfect Wisdom) upon universal manifestation, this beginningless tapestry woven from vibrant karmic threads of conscious beings, and listen to the harmonious symphony of interdependence. Purify entirely from the slightest shadow of negativity this boundless expanse of apparent struggle and conflict. With diamond-clear intention, instill faith everywhere. With mirrorlike wisdom, stabilize all chaotic minds.

3) If shadows of negativity are not dispelled immediately, these strange insubstantial absences of light gain immense potency with every new action, until even those who understand the dangers of negation will not have enough power to choose the way of Clear Light. Even those who study philosophy and speak eloquently are unable to release themselves from illusory darkness.

4) The full spectrum of struggling and aspiring humanity, from immature persons to advanced contemplatives, suffers the painful delusion of clinging to these empty shadows as they become filled with affective power by self-centered action and intention.

5) This apparent bondage, this clinging to shadows, is constituted by reactions of pleasure and pain, obviously or subtly rooted in self-serving motivation. By those rare beings who have gone beyond, who throughout all time abide in bliss as Buddhas, the true nature of reactions and their results is clearly known to be insubstantial. But the boundless expanse of self-oriented beings, who bind themselves inexorably to selfish motivation, therefore cannot liberate or even distance themselves slightly from egocentricity.

6) We should meditate carefully and thoroughly upon the inevitably binding nature of negativity, learning to discriminate sensitively and unerringly between the actions which negate the preciousness of others and actions which affirm and judiciously care for others. From this clear viewpoint, renounce all negation and strive with the total commitment of your being to become entirely affirmative of all life everywhere.

7) The seeds of action are positive and negative intentions. Any intention consciously rooted in selfless motivation, desiring only sheer goodness for all conscious life, will establish the stable ground of goodness and will universally generate rich results of goodness. Any intention even slightly weakened by selfish motivation undermines both the ground of our life and its fruits. Intention is the sole creative force of existence.

8) To cling to the intention of triumphing over another, the desire to prosper at the expense of any being or to indulge in the slightest bias against any being because of personal feelings of attraction or repulsion, these alone are the causes for whatever suffering exists in personal lives and in the universe as a whole. We should meditate ceaselessly on this revolutionary truth, remaining conscious of it during every moment of existence.

9) Those who attempt to deceive with words of advice that in any way exalt selfishness and depreciate selflessness become hopelessly lost in narrow-mindedness, obsessed with their own selfish interests. Such persons create the only error in the universe: diverting our precious care and concern for others to ourselves. This deception not only expresses hatred for Buddha's wisdom but is the absurd attempt to destroy universal Buddha nature.

10) To avoid decisively this disastrous way of hatred, bring to birth within your stream of awareness the maternal mind of totally positive intentions toward all beings as toward cherished children. This mind of kindness, supremely skillful in loving care, unveils the infinite value of every single life, demonstrating compassion as the meaning of existence. But the clumsy negative mind, operating blindly without concern for the preciousness of others, drains the nectar of meaning from human life. Cultivate diligently the selfless love that transforms every thought and action into tangible help for conscious beings.

11) The method taught by awakened sages to develop this skillful mind of kindness is to cut the root of all selfish projections by repeatedly and intensively studying Perfect Wisdom, meditating single pointedly on its essence in a state of contemplative stillness and stability. With the clarity and honesty of such concentration, projected worlds of self-serving desire will melt in the sunlight of meditation, like structures of ice, revealing the magnificent secret of our existence, its total significance and absolute justification, which is active compassion for all conscious life.

12) Such meditative practice brings to light the mind which envisions only the well-being of others, which is constantly grateful to all beloved beings for the immeasurable kindness they have poured forth through beginningless time as mothers, fathers, children, friends, benefactors, and teachers. This mind of goodness knows only the ceaseless longing to benefit all these blessed beings without exception in whatever manner and on whatever level imaginable.

13) To remember vividly during every moment the kindness that has been expressed by all beings, and to cultivate an intense and constant longing to return even a small portion of this kindness, unveils the true significance of life in all worlds. The person who fails to respond wholeheartedly to this call for universal kindness and concern is on a lower plane of development than animals, who are capable of experiencing immense gratitude.

14) Those who unhesitatingly embrace and tenderly serve all suffering creatures during this degenerate age, just as a loving mother painstakingly cares for even the most wayward of her children, they alone are the teachers of the holy life who authentically walk the Buddha Way.

15) The mind that faithfully and tirelessly serves and elevates conscious beings is sheer goodness, constantly giving the gift of itself, its faith in ever-expanding goodness, to all other minds thereby benefiting them in the most direct way. Of all possible forms of benefit on any level, the highest is to teach this practice of love, this indomitable faith in universal goodness, by the direct transmission of selfless awareness flowing transparently from mind to mind in accordance with the need and capacity of each mind. This is true teaching, tangibly transmitting the living energy of universal goodness, which becomes perpetually active in the recipient, even during the most pressing times of crisis, never evaporating into mere words or concepts.

16) During this blissful practice, continually cultivating the wonderful, ever-expanding mind of goodness, even the slightest lack of sympathetic joy disappears and awareness becomes more concentrated and selfless, while the selfish emotions and conceptual projections which compose this narrow conventional world are gradually effaced, and we are completely liberated. The brilliant sun of Great Compassion shines unobstructed. The spirit of wholehearted love in every thought and action constitutes the spontaneously radiating sunlight, effortlessly melting the mist of self-centeredness, vastly strengthening our constant efforts for all beings.

17) Beings benefit each other, consciously or unconsciously. Even enemies become profound benefactors in subtle ways. Those who clearly perceive this radical principle find no isolated object for hostile thought. They can discover and encounter only friends, benefactors, and inseparably related beings. This insight avoids aggressive thinking and allows the mind to expand endlessly into wholesomeness, generosity, and sympathy.

18) Never offering the slightest encouragement to hostility, never hesitating to embrace the concerns of others, pay complete attention to every altruistic impulse that arises in the stream of pure awareness. Contemplate the teaching of selfless compassion, calming and clarifying the turbulent flood of egocentric mind with the sweetest meditation. Renounce the meaninglessness of selfish life. Become devoted to the true meaning of existence: the spontaneous, active compassion for all living beings. If one does not refute self-centered motivation, the subtle tendencies of the mind can never be free from the gross or subtle disposition to negation.

19) Transform the intense activity of daily life into the harmonious expression and teaching of truth by affectionately reminding and being reminded that the bitter dark fruits of negating others are poisonous, to be most carefully avoided, while the sweet bright fruits of affirming others are life-giving, to be thoroughly enjoyed. Authentic delight exists only in serving others, and suffering springs only from harming others or insensitively ignoring the needs of living beings, all of whom are as intimately related to us as our own precious mother and father.

20) So sensitive an ecology is the interdependence of all, that the slightest attention and assistance to others creates moral elevation for ourselves and humanity, while the slightest indifference or neglect toward others creates moral harm for ourselves and our civilization. The faintest spark of ill will toward other beings can burst forth into a terrible forest fire, consuming vast expanses of sympathetic joy. Even the faintest negative reaction or malicious wish opens wide channels throughout our entire being for life-destroying poisons of negation and life-obscuring shadows of self-cherishing.

21) Cast far away from all precious humanity these lethal doses, these ominous shadows, by cultivating instinctive admiration and love for those who practice the way of selflessness. Adore such bodhisattvas for their irreversible vow to remain intimate with the struggle of living beings as beacons of love and as the light of panoramic vision.

22) Once identified with this luminous way of life, you will experience every moment as soaked in bliss, tasting the delight of compassionate responses to even the most negative actions of other beings. I have composed this poem of rapturous affection further to strengthen the diamond-sharp conviction of those already faithful to the path of wisdom.

23) Gazing back over these exuberant verses, I perceive an abundant banquet of poetry, easy to assimilate and to understand clearly. Entirely in accord with the teaching of the sutras and with the deep realization of awakened sages, these words are full of subtle nourishment. To contemplate their various levels of meaning is not only to taste the nectar of wisdom but is to walk the sublime path of compassion.

24) This surprising poem condenses into a few verses the profound and extensive teachings of my lineage. I have composed these melodic lines, like heavenly wish-fulfilling gems, to benefit the minds of all beloved beings. Those with strong capacity for meditation in action will deepen their insight into the nature of Reality by following these words into the heart of Buddha.

25) Some authors tie complex knots of philosophical terms, while others rave incoherently like mad persons. In the most beautiful hermitage, the snow mountains of Tibet, this poet, known as Ever-Expanding Mind of Goodness, has attempted to write with richness and lucidity.

26) May the bliss of the mystical fusion of transcendent wisdom with tender compassion fall like sweet summer rain from dark blue clouds, the motivation of goodness, skillfully and gracefully opened by lightening flashes of selfless awareness. May conscious beings in every realm and condition enjoy their glorious existence as the dynamic play of Lord Buddha's four modes of manifestation: transparent, universal, heavenly, and earthly.

27) Having become, through the medium of this poem, the powerful and eloquent speech of Divine Manjushri, speaking directly with the harmonious and melodious voice of the transcendent Wisdom Deity, may I and all my relations and companions, from small insects to tenth-level bodhisattvas, attain the blessings of primordial Buddha nature: infinite bliss, infinite fulfillment, infinite perfection, and universal conscious enlightenment.

This translation is from the book: Mother of All Buddhas by Lex Hixon
Title: Re: A collection of advise.
Post by: Caz on September 02, 2012, 10:33:23 am
OP Tsongkhapafan

I thought it would be an auspicious start to post this teaching from Venerable Geshe-la that was printed in a magazine some years ago.  Enjoy!

The Stages of the Path to Enlightenment
by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Inner Peace
As you know, we all wish for happiness and work very hard to fulfil this wish. From this point of view, there is no difference between people living in eastern countries and western countries. Although everybody seeks happiness and strives to achieve it, human happiness and peace are decreasing year by year, while problems and suffering increase. Even the environment nowadays is causing our health to deteriorate. It is difficult to find anywhere in the world which is unpolluted. The air we breathe is impure, our food is contaminated by chemicals, and because of this disease is on the increase. When we first meet people they may seem very healthy, but if we check we will find that everyone has problems, both physical and mental. Because our delusions or negative minds are so strong it is very difficult for anyone to maintain a peaceful mind.

Why can we not find the happiness we are searching for? It is because we are looking in the wrong place. We believe that happiness is found in developing our material world, yet no matter how materially wealthy we become our happiness never increases, indeed our suffering only seems to get worse. This clearly indicates that the way in which we search for happiness is not correct, and that we must seek happiness from a different source.

As Bodhisattva Shantideva says, the only source of pure happiness is the practice of Buddha's teachings, Buddhadharma. Through the practice of Buddhadharma we can cultivate a peaceful mind, and when our mind is peaceful we are happy, even when external conditions are very poor. On the other hand, if our mind is not peaceful we can never be happy, even if we enjoy the very best external conditions. We can see this clearly through our own experience. The source of real happiness is the development of inner peace. Without developing inner peace there is no outer peace, and no real happiness at all.

It may seem that the problems we face exist outside our mind, but if we look at this more carefully we will realize that they come from within. Even though external conditions may be difficult, by keeping a calm and peaceful mind we will not experience them as problems and our mind will remain happy. Happiness and suffering depend upon the mind. If our mind is happy, we are happy. As human beings we need certain basic conditions to sustain our lives, but to experience real happiness we need to cultivate peace of mind without which even the most luxurious external conditions will never bring us happiness. Instead they may only cause us greater suffering. We know this to be true. I feel that Buddhadharma therefore accords with our own experience.

In daily life we often meet with problems, perhaps with our family or at work, and these easily make us angry or depressed. At such times it is very helpful to go to our meditation room if we have one, or to our bedroom, and meditate to calm our mind and gain the inner strength to overcome our problems. Our worries and unhappiness will disappear and we will experience inner peace. Gradually we will notice a big difference in our lives. We will see that meditation not only removes our own problems, but also improves our relationships with our family and friends and makes them happy too.

Kadam Dharma
Whenever we meditate on or listen to Dharma teachings, we should do so with the precious motivation of bodhichitta, the wish to become enlightened for the benefit of all living beings. To generate bodhichitta we begin by developing a strong intention to benefit all beings. Developing this intention is very important because, although at present we may not have the ability to benefit all beings, this intention is so pure that eventually we will actually gain this ability. We should contemplate, 'All countless living beings are my dear mothers and they are all experiencing suffering. How can I bear this? I must protect them. Because only a Buddha, an enlightened being, can actually protect all living beings, I must attain enlightenment.' Once we generate this determination we then hold it single-pointedly for as long as possible.

In these difficult times, to attain full enlightenment, the final spiritual goal, it is extremely important to practise Kadam Dharma or Lamrim, the stages of the path to enlightenment. When the Tibetan King Yeshe Ö invited Atisha to Tibet, Atisha accepted mainly so that he could teach Kadam Dharma to the Tibetan people. From then on, Tibetans found it very easy to integrate all Buddha's teachings into their daily life. If we did not have Lamrim today, we would easily be confused by the great range and diversity of Buddha's teachings.

Buddha gave 84,000 different teachings to address the differing needs and problems of all living beings. Because these teachings vary so much in content and presentation, without Lamrim we would see many contradictions within them. In particular, those who study Buddha's philosophical teachings would have great difficulty in putting those teachings into practice, and no matter how extensive their knowledge became it would never lead to good results. If Dharma understanding remains merely intellectual, there is even a danger of its being misused.

We may have a strong wish to become a spiritual person instead of remaining ordinary, but without knowing how to begin, make progress on, and complete the path to enlightenment, as explained in Lamrim, we will be unable to engage successfully in spiritual practice.

During these spiritually degenerate times it is extremely difficult for us to solve our problems, control our minds, and develop a good heart, without a special practice such as Lamrim. Without Lamrim we will not know the real meaning of samsara, or the meaning of liberation. We will not even know the meaning of ignorance, though we possess it in abundance. By listening to and studying Lamrim instructions we will gain knowledge of all these points. We will come to understand the essential meaning of all the different teachings of Buddha and, most importantly, we will know how to put them all into practice. We can thus appreciate why the Lamrim instructions became the main body of Buddha's teachings after Atisha presented them in Tibet.

From a practical point of view all Buddha's teachings are included within the practice of Lamrim. Fortunately, although Lamrim is so extensive and profound, it is also very simple. Lamrim is an open teaching which is suitable for everyone. Not only Buddhists but also non-Buddhists can listen to Lamrim teachings and put them into practice. Lamrim is like medicine for the sufferings that arise from anger, attachment, and ignorance. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to, study, and practise Lamrim.

Those with experience of Lamrim will find Dharma teachings in everything they encounter, and in this way transform all their daily activities, even watching television or listening to the radio, into Dharma practice. We can practise Dharma without the need to give up our jobs or normal relationships, combining all our everyday activities with Lamrim and transforming them into the spiritual path. In this way all our activities become meaningful and lead to great results. Eventually we can completely unify our daily life and Lamrim practice. Lamrim is therefore a very special and unique spiritual teaching; I say this with confidence from my own experience.

Making Spiritual Progress
Through the practice of Lamrim we will learn how to control our mind and cultivate inner peace, and through this solve our daily problems and find greater happiness in this and in future lives. Especially by practising Lamrim we can make great progress along our spiritual path.

For instance through successful training in the meditation and practice on relying upon the Spiritual Guide, we experience the reversal of our previous lack of faith in our Spiritual Teacher and in Dharma, such that our faith is deep and unchangeable. This is the single most important realization we can achieve. This faith is the root of the spiritual path and the very life of Dharma practice, for without it we will not receive any spiritual blessings or attain realizations.

By successfully training in the meditation and practice on our precious human life, we experience the reversal of our previous lack of interest in pure Dharma practice. With this reversal we are inspired to use our human life in the most meaningful way possible, and we always have the strong wish to take the essence of our precious human life by practising Dharma purely. Working merely to have enough food and improve our external conditions is not the essential meaning of human life. Having a good job may be temporarily useful, but once we have stopped working and are travelling towards our next life it ceases to have any meaning and so lacks real essence.

To take the real essence of our precious human life we need to gain: (1) protection from lower rebirth, (2) protection from rebirth within samsara, and (3) full enlightenment. These three attainments are called the 'essence' of human life because it is only human beings who can achieve them. Non-humans such as animals do not have this great good fortune. Dogs, for example, may be highly intelligent, able to fight their enemies and care for their families, but no matter how intelligent or well-trained they are, they have no opportunity to gain protection from lower rebirth. For them, Dharma teachings mean nothing, and hearing them is like wind blowing in their ears.

Atisha identified three levels of Lamrim practitioners that correspond with these three levels of attainment: those of initial scope, intermediate scope, and great scope. Through practising Lamrim we will develop the strong wish to gain protection from lower rebirth, and with this wish we can then engage in the specific methods taught within Lamrim to gain this protection. This is the main focus of practice for a person of initial scope. There are two types of person of initial scope: ordinary and special. The first practise Lamrim to solve their present human problems and gain immediate happiness, whereas the second practise Lamrim to gain happiness in future lives.

Those with the strong wish to gain protection from samsaric suffering and who concentrate on the methods for attaining liberation are persons of intermediate scope, and those with the strong wish to become a Buddha, an enlightened being, with the motivation that seeks to benefit all living beings and who concentrate on the methods for attaining enlightenment are persons of great scope. To be a great scope being means almost the same as being a Bodhisattva. Through studying Lamrim we can gauge which level of spiritual practice we have reached and understand how to extend the scope of our spiritual development.

As explained by Geshe Dromtönpa, Atisha's teachings of Lamrim are called Kadam Dharma. The term 'Kadam' is Tibetan. 'Ka' reveals Buddhas teachings, 'dam' reveals Atisha's Lamrim teachings. The unification of these two is known as Kadam Dharma. Practitioners of Kadam Dharma are known as Kadampa Buddhists.

By successfully training in the meditation and practice on death and impermanence we experience the reversal of our previous attachment to this life. With this reversal our Dharma practice will become pure, and we will easily receive great results.

By successfully training in the meditation and practice on the sufferings of the lower realms we experience the reversal of our previous lack of fear of lower rebirth. Unless we establish genuine protection from lower rebirth in our mind, we are in danger of being reborn in a lower realm. Just as animals have the seeds, or potential, for attaining a human mind in the future, so we have the potential for an animal mind. If we die with a negative thought this potential may ripen, causing us to be reborn as an animal such as a pig or a fish. Enlightened beings see this clearly, and they warn us that we need to protect ourselves from such dangers.

By successfully training in the meditation and practice on refuge and karma we experience the reversal of our previous lack of protection from lower rebirth. With this reversal we achieve actual protection from lower rebirth. This is necessary because we cannot be sure that we will attain liberation or enlightenment in this life, and if we die before we attain these, we have no idea what will happen to us in the future. We need to prepare now to enjoy a human life in all our future lives so that we can continue with our spiritual practice until we reach our final goal.

By successfully training in the meditation and practice on the disadvantages of samsara we experience the reversal of our previous lack of renunciation. With this reversal we will have a strong, continuous wish to attain permanent inner peace, or nirvana, and this wish will open the door to liberation. By successfully training in the meditation and practice on the three higher trainings we experience the reversal of our previous lack of the permanent inner peace of liberation. With this reversal we will attain actual liberation from suffering. Liberation means the continuous experience of inner peace, life after life. By successfully training in generation stage meditation and practice we experience the reversal of our ordinary appearances and conceptions. With this reversal we purify our mind and thus experience only pure objects - a pure environment, pure enjoyments, and pure beings.

By successfully training in completion stage meditation and practice we experience the reversal of our subtle dualistic appearances. It does not matter if you don't know at present what dualistic appearances are, you can understand about them later. The meditations and practices of generation stage and completion stage, which give rise to the tenth and eleventh reversals, are exclusive to Highest Yoga Tantra.

When we attain the complete reversal of subtle dualistic appearances through completion stage meditation, we have reached our final goal, full enlightenment. In this way, we fulfil the wishes of our bodhichitta mind, and from that moment onwards we are able to benefit all living beings equally. The experience of these eleven reversals are the real attainments or siddhis that we attain through Dharma practice. In the root text of Training the Mind Geshe Chekhawa says: 'The indication of having trained is reversal.' This means that if we experience any of these eleven reversals it is a clear sign that we are practicing Dharma purely.

The Meaning of Enlightenment
We should understand the meaning of 'enlightenment'. When I first came to the west, I wondered how the Tibetan word for enlightenment, 'jangchub', could be translated into English. But I think the English word 'enlightenment' is very beautiful. Although both Buddhists and non-Buddhists use the word 'enlightenment', I think their understanding of its meaning is very different. If we ask people what they think enlightenment is they may talk of 'seeing the light' or of attaining a 'body of light', so I think they probably believe that enlightenment refers to external light. However, Buddhist enlightenment is inner light of omniscient wisdom.

Our ignorance of self-grasping is inner darkness that obscures our understanding of ultimate truth and prevents us from seeing the true nature of things. Fortunately this inner darkness is not permanent, but changes, sometimes increasing and sometimes decreasing. Through the kindness of Buddha Shakyamuni we have many special methods for improving our wisdom, and by practising these methods together with training in love and compassion for all living beings, we can eliminate ignorance completely from our mind.

When our mind is completely free from ignorance and its imprints, we will attain the inner light of omniscient wisdom which has the nature of bliss. According to Tantra, at that time our continually residing body and mind, as well our environment become the nature of blissful omniscient wisdom.
We should start now by improving ourselves, gradually become a Bodhisattva and eventually become an enlightened being, a Buddha. Because all obstructions to knowing will have been removed from our mind, we will be able to see everything - past, present, and future - directly and simultaneously. We will have completed our training in love and compassion, and have the ability to benefit all living beings without exception by bestowing blessings, guiding them along spiritual paths, and emanating whatever they need for their happiness. How wonderful!
Title: Re: A collection of advise.
Post by: Caz on September 02, 2012, 10:34:08 am
Sanskrit title : Bhagavatiprajnaparamitahrdaya

Tibetan: Chom den de ma she rab kyi pa rol tu jin pai nying po.

English: Essence of the perfection of wisdom, the blessed mother.

Homage to the perfection of wisdom, the Blessed mother.

Thus i have heard. At one time the Blessed One was dwelling in Rajahriha on massed Vultures Mountain together with a great assembly of monks and agreat assembly of Bodhisattvas. At that time the blessed of was absorbed in the concentration of the countless aspects of phenomena, called ' Profound Illumination'.
At that time also the superior Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, the great being, was looking perfectly at the practise of the profound perfection of wisdom, Looking perfectly at the emptiness of inherant existance also of the five aggregates.
Then, through the power of buddha, the venerable Shariputra said to the superior Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, the Great Being, ' How should a son of the lineage who wishes to engage in the practise of the profound perfection of wisdom ? '
Thus he spoke, and the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, the Great being, replied to the venerable shariputra as follows:
' Shariputra, whatever son or daughter of the lineage wishes to engage in the practise of the profound perfection of wisdom should look perfectly like this: subsequently looking perfectly and correctly at the emptiness of inherant existance also of the five aggregates.
' Form is empty; emptiness is form. Emptiness is not other then form; form is also not other then emptiness. Likewise, Feeling, discrimination, compositional factors, and consciousness are empty.
' Shariputra, like this all phenomena are merely empty, having no characteristics. They are no produced and do not cease. They have no defilement and no seperation from defilement. They have no decrease and no increase.
' Therefore, Shariputra, in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no discrimination, no compositional factors, no consciousness. There is no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no taste, no mentality; no form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no tactile object, no phenomena. There is no eye element and so forth up to no mentality element and also up to no element of mental consciousness. There is no ignorance and no exhaustion of ignorance and so forth up to no ageing and death and no exhaustion of ageing and death. Likewise, there is no suffering, origin, cessation, or path; no exalted awarness, no attainment, and also no non-attainment.
' Therefore, Shariputra, because there is no attainment, Bodhisattvas rely upon and abide in the perfection of wisdom; their minds have no obstructions and no fear. Passing utterly beyond perversity, they attain the final nivarna. Also all the Buddhas who reside perfectly in the three times, having relied upon the perfection of wisdom, became manifest and complete Buddhas in the state of unsurpassed, perfect, and complete enlightenment.
' Therefore, the mantraa of the perfection of wisdom, the mantra of great knowledge, the unsurpassed mantra, the equal to the unequalled mantra, the mantra that thoroughly pacifies all suffering, since it is not false, should be known as the truth. The mantra of the perfection of wisdom is proclaimed.


' Shariputra, a Bodhisattva, a Great Being, should train in the profound perfection of wisdom like this.'
Then the Blessed one arose from that concentration and said to the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, the Great Being, that he had spoken well: 'Good, good O son of the lineage. Its is like that. Since it is like that, just as you have revealed, in that way the profound perfection of wisdom should be practised, and the Tathagatas will also rejoice.'
When the Blessed one had said this, the venerable Shariputra, the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the Bpdhisattva, the Great being, and that entire circle of disciples as well as the worldly beings-gods, humans, demi-gods, and spirits-were delighted and highly praised what had been spoken by the Blessed One.
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