Tuesday, October 26, 2010

H.E. Garchen Rinpoche's Public Lecture at the National Library of Estonia

This is the 28th entry from my fieldwork diary. The original date is 14.10.2010.

*Although I had written around 33 pages in total by hand (by the end of H.E. Garchen Rinpoche's lectures), there were still a few things that I had missed out on during his speech. Mostly due to the fact that I didn't write quick enough to catch everything that he had said, for which I am sorry.
I should also mention that the English translation of every speech was done by Ari-Ma, H.E. Garchen Rinpoche's American disciple and personal translator.


"We have taken countless bodies yet the mind has not died. There is not one sentient being who has not been our kind mother. All of us who have a physical body, all have one wish - to become free of suffering and find happines. All sentient beings seek for methods to find happiness. Even after death when we have a new body we still wish for it.

In this world, wherever we go, we can find those who are into scientific progress and who seek to find the causes of these things. We find that we do experience suffering and happiness. Yet if we look at various spiritual traditions, Buddhists seek to abandon the causes of suffering and happiness (the vehicle that is reliable on causes and results). Scientists try to improve our lives with scientific discoveries. Buddhists try to enlighten us and enlighten the causes of suffering and happiness. If we investigate the causes we may find that causes of suffering are many and happiness are few. What is first experienced as happiness later becomes suffering.

There are methods whereby beings can become free of these causes. They can be in tune with the views of some scholars. For example, Buddha in his lifetime investigated these causes - he realized that it is all in the mind, one finds the causes there. When we know the causes we have the means to become free of them, we have methods.

These teachings of the Buddha refer to cleansing of the mind. All of these appearances arise from transcendent awareness. The mind becomes attracted to outer objects in Samsara. It becomes contaminated with a dualistic mind like tainted water.
We give rise to ignorance which does not recognize the true causes.

If we look inward and investigate the natural state of mind we can ask ourselves what are the causes of suffering and happiness. Ignorance is not knowing how to look inward into the mind. It is called giving rise to the "I" or the self. Among beings this self-grasping is not obvious so it may be difficult to identify. The antidote is loving kindness, even during a moment of a small degree of love we are not self-grasping. It's important to train bodhicitta, it is the method to eliminate suffering.

Although the Buddhist views are numerous, the essence comes down to one point - it is taught in the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva. Suffering comes from wishing for your own happiness. If we experience altruistic kindness we can benefit others. We're praying that beings are free from self-grasping. Through the mind liberation is attained. We must cultivate this mind. We can look at the love shared by a mother and a child as an example. But this is narrow. So if we cultivate the understanding that all sentient beings have been our mothers in past lives, we can expand this love.

Buddhas come from the altruistic mind. You must cultivate bodhicitta throughout future lives. Suffering comes from self-grasping. Bad emotions are like seeds in our mind. So we need to realize that so we can love all beings equally.

If we wish to meditate we need to look at the natural state of the mind. If we practice meditation on the basis of love, the mind will become vast. When you have a mind of love it becomes naturally expansive like the warmth of the sun.
Self-grasping is the opposite of the mind of love. It's like a frozen block of ice. Love resembles a sun melting that block of ice.

When this mind is cultivated lifetime after lifetime we can attain buddhahood. But temporary benefit will only help us to be reborn in the higher realms. First we must cultivate love if we wish to follow the Buddhist path.

Calm abiding/special insight - what we see at first is that many emotions arise in the mind like particles of dust in sunlight. We recognize something of the mind we hadn't seen before - this is called special insight. It's the nature of self-awareness. It's like when we have a glass full of muddy water - if we let the mud settle to the bottom of the glass we may see the clear water.

There are some who will say that on the basis of calm abiding, special insight arises. This may or may not be true in some cases.
There is worldly and spiritual wisdom. It's not necessary to separate beings on the basis of this as Buddhists or laypeople for we all have Buddha-nature.

If we recognize the transcendent awareness of the mind, we realize the causes of suffering and happiness. For example, hatred is a negative emotion, it may even murder others. It's the negative emotions that poison the mind. What could cause someone to wish for suicide? A person whose mind is overcome with hatred.
Our birth is very precious. It's a gift that we are born into the human world.

With regard to this transcendent awareness, if we look at a glass of water and think of it as "my glass" then it is self-grasping. Within transcendent awareness we are able to see all buddhas. It is possible to cultivate this.

A beginner may have some experience of emptiness. It is through cultivating loving kindness that we give rise to empty awareness, it becomes stable. For transcendent awareness we need loving kindness. For a person who has accumulated loving kindness in past lives, he will immediately experience it naturally and recognize it in his current life. Such a person has transcendent awareness.

We can look at many countries in the world that have independence. Yet if we look at the people in these countries, their minds are not independent. If people do not recognize the causes of suffering and happiness, their minds are dependent. So we should maintain a continuity of mindful awareness. It needs to be cultivated without interruption.

If transcendent awareness becomes clear, the nature of cause and effect also becomes clear. One recognizes the negative emotions that arise in the mind. What we refer to as hell-beings have many seeds of negative emotions in the mind. If others do harm to us, the actual cause is something we have created in the past through our actions. Thus in this way we don't need to have any anger for that person. There will be limitless benefit if we recognize the causes of negative emotions.

In brief, everyone needs loving kindness. Without the kindness of our mothers we couldn't have this present body.
There are worldly educators who instruct us in our culture and society. Then there are spiritual teachers who give about benefit for us for many future lives. We should contemplate the kindness of our teachers and leaders, they have in the past endured many difficulties to establish a good quality of life for us. This way we give rise to a vast loving kindness and we will be happy wherever we go. This will be beneficial for everyone for many lifetimes.

There is not one single sentient being who has not been in one life or another our mother. Love is like a wish-fulfilling jewel."


*Important side note: These diary entries do not reflect every word the teacher said, and there may be some mistakes or misunderstandings, for which I am sorry and accept responsibility. In a few instances, I have interjected my own interpretation or explanation.

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou for writing and publishing these teachigs. These words are so valuable!


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