Keeping the right attitude or motivation of the mahayana path, please listen to the following
Zin pa choong na ta wa min. If you have attachment to this life, you are not a dharma practitioner. In order to practice that as we discussed yesterday we begin with laying the foundation of discipline. Among many methods of disciplining ourselves the most supreme one is taking refuge or disciplining oneself by surrendering to the buddha, dharma and sangha.
This very short and pithy instructions, if you have attachment to this life, you are not a dharma practitioner, really covers a lot of elements of the mahayana path. Not only the mahayana path actually, all the three vehicles. Since this is actually properly the primary foundation that we have to lay I am this morning going to again visit to this subject.
As I was talking to you, somehow the habit to attachment to this life is so strong that no matter much we think we renounce or go out of this samsara, samsaric thinking, without us even knowing we end up, unconsciously we always end up getting caught by this attachment. So something so, something a dharma practitioner has to be so careful with. Buddhism is so much flourished in parts of the world like Tibet, China, Japan. As much as we have so many of Buddha’s teachings even within the Tibetan approach generally the Tibetan approach, not only the lay people by the way, even among the sangha, the way we approach to the dharma, if you really think, it has something to do with attachment to this life.
I am sure you know, many Tibetan business man or lay people would ask the monks to come and do prayer at their home, it is called ?? or something like that, puja basically. And usually it is for everything, winning the lottery, to harmony of family, good business. The purpose of the puja is infinite. So and so is having a bad dream, or so and so unexplainable disease. Then you do a prediction, mo it is called, and then, it is a bit like a doctors job, then the lama, the mo performers they perform a mo or prediction and then they prescribe certain pujas. And then you do that. Of course I am not condemning this this is of course wonderful, you know connection to the buddha, dharma and sangha. But many of us – I do that too by the way, myself. Recently I was strike by some problems and I had to be hospitalized. Actually I always heard and saw ambulance, never ever in my life I have experience of going inside the ambulance. But this time yes. Of course all the thoughts of no attachment to this life is gone. You immediately call your gurus. I dare to even bother the great masters such as His Holiness Sakya Trizin which hospital I should get the operation, which doctor, which day, which time everything. From the spiritual point of view, strictly from the spiritual point of view, this is indicating there is still a strong attachment to the life. This life. So my approach to the refuge for instance actually, during those about a week or two was one point of my life were I was thinking about the Dharma more than usual. And I do it with attachment to this life.
And this kind of habit does exist in Tibet. It is now been taught to the Chinese, Europeans, and you know, it is almost become like a business. There are websites I believe in Taiwan where you can actually, really I am serious, where you look for the vacant monks who can do the puja of so and so. I think, I guess here in Nepal also. At certain places like capital of Bhutan and I am sure here, the matured good monks, the experienced monks in doing the pujas are just booked for months. They are reserved. You will not get much access to them because they are all reserved. Such is our approach to the dharma, also taking refuge to the buddha, dharma, sangha, that is how we always end up. And by the way this is something we cannot really, it is not easy to get really rid of, this attachment to this life. It is not going to be that easy. In fact because it is not going to be easy, abandoning the attachment to this life, is not going to be easy, it is therefore ??? or the refuge is recommended as the foundation of the practice. Because since we know we are not going to be able to do it by ourselves, maybe once in the blue moon when nothing go right, when everything is collapsing, then you tend to think about the dharma a little bit. But unfortunately this misfortune usually always gets corrected. Unfortunate. Because this pain, this loss, this anxiety which caused you a pang of inspiration, a glimpse of renunciation mind doesn’t last long. The moment everything is all right, moment everything is together, moment things are working, moment somebody is talking to you or you are getting enough attention or something, finished, the renunciation mind is gone. So it is really not easy to really abandon the attachment to this life. So we are asking buddha, dharma and sangha to protect us from this strong desire or attachment to this life. So taking refuge therefore is very crucial.