Friday, November 12, 2010

H.E. Garchen Rinpoche's Lecture on Samatha Meditation

This is the 33rd entry from my fieldwork diary. The original date is 17.10.2010.

*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.


Samatha ("calm abiding"), comprises a suite, type or style of Buddhist meditation or concentration practices designed to enhance sustained voluntary attention, and culminates in an attention that can be sustained effortlessly for hours on end. Samatha is a subset of the broader family of samādhi ("concentration") meditation practices.


"The meaning of the Heart Sutra has a great connection with Samatha meditation.

Appearance and existence, all has a single ground. The fruition of buddhahood is bliss. All phenomena are composites and lack any inherent existence.

Whoever sees the nature of mind is a buddha, whoever does not is a sentient being. Those who experience the natural state of mind are bodhisattvas. All sentient beings will realize that through the prayer of his aspiration.

The basic ground is uncompounded and rigpa (pure awareness) is self-arisen. The non-recognition does not affect the state of the mind. If one abides in the natural state of the mind, the mind is free from attachment to objects.

Samantabhadra abides in every mind."


According to Wikipedia:
Samantabhadra (Küntuzangpo, meaning "Universal Worthy") is a Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism associated with Buddhist practice and meditation. Together with Shakyamuni Buddha and fellow bodhisattva Manjusri he forms the Shakyamuni trinity in Buddhism. He is the patron of the Lotus Sutra and, according to the Avatamsaka Sutra, made the ten great vows which are the basis of a bodhisattva.
In the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana, Samantabhadra is considered a primordial Buddha in indivisible yab-yum union with his consort Samantabhadri.
Samantabhadra is usually presented with colour black.


"The basis of the mind itself is beyond death. It is the non-dual clarity of the mind and emptiness. The wisdom of equalizing - no distinction of phenomena as good or bad.

Ordinary sentient beings are obscured by negative thoughts. There is no grasping or fixation nor aversion in ultimate buddhahood.
All buddhas of the five families can be divided, they transform into the deities. Countless forms of buddha manifest.

Those who cannot perceive arise ceaselessly and continously. The Buddha-nature is unceasing. Different buddhas manifest as spiritual guides and assist those who are in need of training.

Fears are rooted in self-grasping and aversion of others. There arises a separation of the self. The great unconsciousness takes place at the moment of death and many beings lust for a physical body. Non-recognition of the clarity of the mind - unconsciousness. May you recognize your own intrinsic awareness.

Dualistic thoughts create doubt. Doubt is the most harmful. When we have doubt we give rise to grasping and fixation. We look at desire as the basis for taking rebirth in the human realm. If it's recognized immediately then it dissipates.
Within the natural state of the mind there is no grasping.

Anger in the mindstream creates much suffering and gives rise to the experience of the hell realm. Perceiving phenomena as harmful is the actual experience of the hell realm. It's important to liberate this negative emotion. Relax in the natural state of the mind.

If one looks in the face of anger, it dissipates. In this way the mind will become purified. Wisdom of clarity is achieved.
One should contemplate the suffering of these hellbeings and transform it into loving kindness. When negative emotions arise one should give rise to clarity. Awareness increases if you liberate these emotions (transforming them through your compassion). This brings about great benefit and good karma.

Pride gives rise to quarrels and abuse. If you purify this you'll give rise to faith in the teachings.
Jealousy and competitiveness give rise to a rebirth in the god realm. Jealousy manifests as feeling satisfied and delighted in others' suffering. The best method is to liberate jealousy through the power of the view that all sentient beings have been your kind mother.

Ignorance manifests in those who use alcohol or drugs like animals (they will wander helplessly in the animal realm).
Recognition and awareness in one's own mind is the greatest refuge. When the mind doesn't grasp at emotions and thoughts as real and true - that is the wisdom of clarity.

All sentient beings are identical to buddhas, they have the same basis of the mind. The minds of all sentient beings is one in nature.

Negativity is only a temporary obscuration so there's no need to give rise to anger and hatred. Every being has the same kind of attachment and aversion, they all wish to be free of suffering and they all want happiness.
By not recognizing the natural state of the mind one gives rise to the six lower realms of existence.

All sentient beings of the three spheres have the same nature of mind - we need to recognize this. How do they manifest? You can look at it in your own mind, you will find the seeds (jealousy, ignorance etc) of these realms there. Even excessive sleep is harmful, it can reinforce the habits of ignorance and laziness.

Negative emotions abide in the mind and give rise to negative karma. One the basis of understanding one should give rise to a natural state of mind."


*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. I was also on this teaching. Thanks for the precise and precious notes! Keep blogin! :-)

  2. Again and again i read these words and try to apply them in my daily life:) Thank's for posting!


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