This is the seventh entry from my fieldwork diary. The original date is 29.05.2010.
This time Drupon Sangyas' childhood friend, Khenpo Tamphel, joined in on our evening practice. Everyone read the 37 Practices of Bodhisattva together from the center's little yellow booklets.
Verse 9 from the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva:
"Like dew on the tip of a blade of grass,
pleasures of the three worlds
last only a while and then vanish.
Aspire to the never-changing supreme state of liberation -
This is the practice of a Bodhisattva."
"We get sick because we are ignorant. So we need to practice to become healthy.
Happiness is the state of liberation. We need to understand the meaning behind liberation. It is not a place. Liberation comes from our own habits and control of our negative thoughts.
We act out of anger and think with anger - we are not liberated, it's like our enemies control us. We are under the control of desire. When we are jealous, we only speak negatively and that leads to suffering. If we are slaves to our own negative emotions, we are not liberated.
How do we liberate ourselves from this? Through meditation, mindfulness and awareness. Love becomes natural through this. But it's difficult to be compassionate when you have negative emotions.
When we meditate we are plagued by various thoughts. When you are thinking, you are not meditating, even if on the outside you appear to be meditating. Focus on your breath. Witness each breath but don't keep any record. Do not become distracted. Do not expect any results either. Through meditation you'll discover that love and compassion is already there.
A thought is like a person that comes to you. So you just look at it, observe and then it dissolves. You are like a mountain and thoughts are like clouds. You can watch it but it cannot rule you anymore. The thought loses its power. That is the idea of liberation.
Anger comes in but we are not controlled by it. We need to get rid of our negative emotions. In every activity you must maintain mindfulness. You have to watch your mind. If you speak right words you will have good results. If you go into the world with negative thoughts you're harming others.
But we need to benefit others by being loving, kind and compassionate. If you are kind to people they will be happy.
We must develop good thoughts because these thoughts have great power that we do not see but they have influence. To benefit others - be peaceful and kind. This is the meaning of Buddha-nature.
We don't have to give material things, all that matters is giving love and compassion. When you meditate, negative thoughts disappear and compassion comes out to the surface.
We mustn't support our desires, it would be selfish. Other people make profit by our cravings. People take advantage but not intentionally - it is just the nature of an unenlightened mind. Attachment - aversion - ignorance.
If you want to know what true nature is - meditate every day, not just once a month. We need to follow a discipline. You need to become your own master and rule your own self, otherwise you will only spoil yourself.
Nirvana demands a certain sacrifice - the release from Samsara. But releasing oneself from Samsara is difficult. So try to lean to Nirvana's side at least 4 times a day and try to avoid being caught up in going back and forth between Samsara and Nirvana.
Going out of samsaric life can be frightening because we like security and safety.
MAN (mind) and TRA (protect). So the meaning of the word MANTRA is "to protect the mind from distraction".
During meditation you must think of everyone is like Chenrezig because everyone has Buddha-nature.
When everyone chant together it creates power."
Khenpo Tamphel closed his eyes and demonstrated meditation for us. He chanted OM MANI PADME HUM repeatedly and said, "When you say this mantra imagine it spinning inside you, spreading rays of light everywhere. The mind is confined to the circle and doesn't go beyond that. The mind becomes free of thoughts if you do it that way.
The mind is too used to thinking things. It tries to do something because not being occupied by activities leads you to not knowing what to do. The mind should always be in the present moment.
The true power lies in the mind, not in the mantra itself. The mantra is only for help."
*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.