Tag Archives: bodhicitta

three types of vessles

three types of vessles

The three types of teachings taught to three types of vessels are briefly:

Teachings or the practice that involves abandoning the ten non virtuous actions, applying the ten virtuous actions or thoughts for the sake of next life, better life in the future. And then next life, better life. That is basically what we call teaching taught to the ??? . ???, I don’t know if we should call it lesser. Okay for the time being let’s call it lesser capacity vessels.

For the greater vessels, the teachings and the practice that involves basically ???, or the three kinds of discipline. Which is the discipline of discipline, ???, or the practice of the discipline. Practice of meditation and practice of wisdom. These are generally recommended to those who are greater vessels.

For the greatest vessel, among many other teachings, the practice and the teaching of bodhicitta mind, six paramitas and so on and so forth is emphasized.

Now here one thing we need to note it down is that all three types of teachings taught to three types of vessels are definitely not interested in this life. It has to be something to do beyond this life.

Parting from the four attachments, Nepal June 2009
(->videos on youtube)

tuning the motivation for teachings

tuning the motivation for the teachings

There are two indispensable method or a skill in order to, to achieve enlightenment. And they are purification of defilements and accumulation of merit and wisdom. If you closely observe the path of the Buddha you will realize a big aspect or character of path consist of this two elements, the element of purifying defilements and accumulation of merit or wisdom. Accumulation of the merit or the wisdom, and specially accumulation of the merit, such an important attribute of the path can begin even here, now, this very minute with the right motivation of listening to the teachings. And myself with the right motivation of sharing this teachings to you. And when I say right motivation not just to make ourselves loaded with all kinds of scholastic information. Not just out of curiosity, anthropological curiosity, but really genuine kind heart to help others and ultimately place them in the state of enlightenment. With this motivation, if you begin listening to this teaching then as Shantideva said, even if you fall asleep during the teaching, somehow you will accumulate the merit effortlessly. And I am not making this up, you can always refer to the Bodhicharyavatara. I think it is in the second chapter. So for this reason, I remind you to tune, generate, tune the right motivation, generate the right motivation.
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what is really bodhicitta

what is really bodhicitta

My answer to what is really bodhicitta. Bodhicitta is, put it very simply, bodhicitta is a wish – if you ask this question, what is bodhicitta, usually the answer is this wish and practice to enlighten all the sentient beings. But the word enlightenment has the connotation of nonduality. Because when we talk about enlightenment, enlightenment meaning awakened from something. Awakened from what? Awakened from a sleep, a deep sleep. And what is that sleep? What is that ignorance? It is non other than the dualism. So all the Buddhist practice, generosity, morality, including exotic methods in the Vajrayana, Tantrayana, such as visualization, all of this must be accompanied by the wisdom of nonduality.

Teaching in Brighton, November 2010

the biggest portion of the bodhicitta

the biggest portion of the bodhicitta

And also I think generally when people talk about religion, and religious practices, we do tend to talk about love, compassion, forgiveness. So somehow, and also in the west, of course many western religion like Christianity does seem to have all these elements. So immediately, when we talk about the bodhicitta, people tend to think bodhicitta is something to do with love and compassion, kindness. Of course, I am not saying that that is wrong. But this is not the end of the bodhicitta. In fact a big part of the bodhicitta is the nonduality. If you loose the nonduality aspect of the bodhicitta, actually if we loose the nonduality we have lost 99.99 aspect of the bodhicitta. We have lost. We may have a little bit of that smiling, touchy feeling kind of, I don’t know, do the right thing kind of bodhicitta. But yes, if we don’t have the nonduality, then we have lost big portion, really the biggest portion of the bodhicitta. And this is backed by lots of Sutras and Shastras. One of the Shastra that I am sure many of you have read such as Shantideva’s Bodhicharyavatara, right at the beginning of the ninth chapter Shantideva said: All these practices of the Bodhisattva practices such as discipline, mindfulness, meditation, vigilance, generosity, one pointed concentration, all of these are nothing, they are really nothing if it is not accompanied, or if it is not grounded to the prajna or the wisdom. But this is difficult as I was saying earlier. This is very difficult because, specially the nonduality as I am repeating again and again, it is not something that we can discuss, talk, demonstrate. The best we could do is to say a few words about it. Even though it is the most important part it is very difficult to express. So emotionally every time when we tempt to practice the bodhicitta we always end up holding on to the relative aspect of the bodhicitta which is usually love and compassion, all of that.

Teaching in Brighton, November 2010

sangha in the three vehicles

sangha in the three vehicles

Again, in the Shravakayana, specially in the Shravakayana, Sangha is usually referred to ordained, ordained with either two hundred fifty different kind of vows or three hundred something vows. Someone who has renounced the worldly life, someone who has permanently or temporarily adopted the life of renunciant. Those, only those are considered members of the Sangha. In the Mahayana, anyone who has taken the Bodhisattva Vow, anyone who has actually – what did he say, Shantideva, I forgot the word, the moment you have the bodhicitta vow then this person will become a Bodhisattva, this person will become object of veneration by gods and human beings. So basically anyone who has taken the Bodhisattva becomes Sangha, Mahayana Sangha. In the Vajrayana, anyone who has taken the five different Buddha family precepts, or four abhishekas, actually even three or five, three Buddha family precepts, five Buddha family precepts, or four abhishekas. They become Vajrayana Sangha. Basically those who are following the path to become Vidyadhara, the holder of awareness. Those become Vajrayana Sangha.

Teachings on Aspirations, California 2008

bodhicitta

bodhicitta

Bodhicitta, now that is the essence, the quintessence of the Mahayana teachings. Without that there is no Mahayana path. Really important. It is because of the bodhicitta a Bodhisattva never gets tired helping sentient beings. So in the bodhicitta – okay there is two kinds of bodhicitta, relative bodhicitta and the ultimate bodhicitta. Relative bodhicitta. Okay bodhicitta is not just wanting sentient beings to have some kind of a good time. Okay that is really kindergarten stuff. That everybody has. It is not just wanting them to have nice time. Bodhicitta is wishing the sentient beings to have enlightenment. Thus the subject is very big. If you keep on talking about it, I will never reach Johor Baru tonight I think. Anyway I want to clarify something here. Just out of my experience. You know sometimes we go to see the lamas and then some of these lamas are so gentle, so soft. And they don’t scold the student who has so much ego, so much pride, so much jealousy. They are so nice to them. And what do we say? “Oh he is a great bodhisattva. It is because of his bodhicitta he has been so compassionate. But I can’t stand this guys.” I think it is a good example. This kind of thing intrigues me because I don’t know whether the lama is a great bodhisattva or not. Sometimes you go and see these lamas, some lamas, who doesn’t give a damn about what people think or what his disciple – okay he might scold this disciple. Not for some petty things but because he wants to destroy his ego and pride. And he is risking it because he might lose his disciple by scolding. Okay next door there is a very good Rinpoche, who is gentle, soft, and all that. And this Rinpoche is going like this. Scolding, grill him and minced him. Risking, there is a big risk because he might go to the other. But this Rinpoche doesn’t care, he says what he needs to say. He says what the student needs to hear not what the student wants to hear. I think he is a bodhisattva. Why? I was talking about bodhicitta, remember. Bodhicitta is not just a wish to make someone sort of happy and give him a lollipop. It’s not that. Bodhicitta is really concentrating on making the other person get rid of their ego, pride, and all these emotions and make him reach enlightenment. And what is enlightenment? CCL [couldn’t care less], absence of paranoia. Remember? Bodhicitta is a wish to cut the chain of this unnecessary formalities and just all this rituals and habitual patterns and inhibitions. I mean inhibitions, that is right, that is the right word. We have so much inhibitions. First of all we have inhibitions as a human being. Secondly we have an inhibition as a Chinese, then we have an inhibition as a Buddhist. We have then inhibitions as Mahayana Buddhist. All kind of inhibitions. We collect more and more inhibitions and each time we collect the inhibitions are more sophisticated. Sophisticated inhibitions means more difficult to overcome inhibitions. That is what we do. So you know what I mean. A bodhicitta is a wish to enlighten others. That is a relative bodhicitta anyway. It is very necessary, amazing, so special. Without that Mahayana has no path.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

motivation to listen to teachings

motivation to listen to teachings

Now let’s go back to the motivation again. As I said, first of all, your motivation to listen to this teaching should be because you want to achieve enlightenment. Really. If not, if your motivation of listening to this teaching is to have a, I don’t know, successful buying or selling of a share or a stock market or something, won’t help. I will tell you honestly. All this, not one word will help you. Better go a business conference, or somewhere. Better you read some other books. This actually is the opposite I tell you. This tells you how samsara is futile, how they are meaningless, how they are useless. And then yet you go to a teaching and ask for, and look for a teaching that will make your business successful. It is wrong, it doesn’t work like that. That is the first motivation. The second is a Mahayana exclusive motivation. We should be listening to this teaching not only for the enlightenment of ourselves individually but also for the sake of all sentient beings. That is very very important. If you are a Mahayana practitioner that’s so important. Specially for the Mahayana practitioners. It is easier to the say then done. Just briefly. If we are Mahayana practitioner, you know how many Mahayana practitioner including myself, firstly we don’t practice much. Secondly, even so if we do practice, we are so worried about our practice and the result of this practice. We don’t really care about other people’s enlightenment. A Mahayana practitioner should not really care about the failure or the success of their spiritual practice. Mahayana practitioner must be practicing Dharma for the sake of others. If a Mahayana practitioner observes someone else doing spiritually or materially or worldly better than yourself and if you feel envious or jealous, that means the bodhicitta is not there. That means you are still more important than all the others. That needs to be changed and we have to think, we receive this teachings for the sake of all the sentient beings. That is the second kind of motivation.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

courages bodhisattva

courages bodhisattva

Then for those who can actually, those who have time, those who are more matured, those who are used to the infinite plan and the vision of the bodhicitta, or the Bodhisattva, then maybe what they can do is learn to generate the confidence. This is the second type of practice. Generating the confidence. Never thinking that enlightening all sentient beings is not my thing. It is such a difficult task. It is an endless task. How can someone like myself do this. Such kind of cowardly thinking, which is basically a type of a laziness. So in order to counter that, generating the confidence that: “Yes, I can do it. I will do it alone.” Trying to generate that kind of courageous mentality. As all the Bodhisattvas of the past have done, and of the future will do. This is what we call ???, the middle type of the Bodhisattva, mainly this is what they generate. Try to counter this laziness of condemning oneself. Generating the confidence. And with this kind of the Bodhisattvas, you try to abandon what we call ???, the four non virtues or negative. Four negative actions, which is deceiving a noble being, scandalizing or saying nasty things to the Bodhisattvas, some other Bodhisattva. And making some one, another person, who is actually doing something good, make them feel regret that they are doing that. With a deception in our mind, we basically deceive sentient beings. This is what a Bodhisattva must try to refrain. And then on top of that, apply what we call ???, four rightful practice of the Bodhisattva, which is basically: Not lying. Monitoring or ?leading or gearing or luring sentient beings into the Mahayana path. Making sentient beings, encouraging sentient beings to take the Bodhisattva Vow or generate the bodhicitta. And praising and saying good qualities about the bodhicitta and the Bodhisattva. These are what Bodhisattvas can do.

Parting from the four attachments, Nepal June 2009
(videos)

one moment of bodhicitta practice

one moment of bodhicitta practice

If you meditate one minute – this is Thogmed, Asanga said this – if you meditate on bodhicitta for one minute, effect of that actually is – one moment, he was saying, one moment of bodhicitta practice, effect of that actually guarantees hundreds of hundreds of other sentient being’s enlightenment, because it is like: If you you want to plant a flower, what do you need? First thing, even so you have fertilizer, a ground to plant, pot to plant, all of that, but what you need is a seed. If there is a seed somewhere on this earth, flower seed, then there is a possibility of planting flower. If you have no seed, all the other conditions, doesn’t matter how much space you have, how much flower pots you have, if you don’t have the seed on this earth at all, you can’t plant the flower. So a moment of a bodhicitta is already such a guarantee to many many many sentient being’s enlightenment. Just one moment. Of course after that moment, yes you may go through anger, jealousy, pride, all of that. But this is again where bodhicitta is so special because specially if you manage to dedicate this bodhicitta and anyway, the mind of the bodhicitta is something to do with wishing enlightenment for all sentient beings. So it is not an exhaustible virtue.

beauty of mind

beauty of mind

Just the fact that you are hearing the Dharma, this will cause some kind of a dent in your samsaric life. And that is already something to appreciate. Of course, we have endless stubborn negative emotions, it is not going to be easy. But as Saraha said: “Mind is like a gold.” The most beautiful thing about mind is it is something that can be trained, that can be transformed. And therefore all this infinite, almost inconceivable, seemingly conceivable kind of quality of the bodhicitta and the Mahayana path are actually achievable, they are all achievable.

Parting from the four attachments, Nepal June 2009
(videos)

bodhicitta of Lalaland

bodhicitta of Lalaland

Bodhicitta is not a policy of a Lalaland. Basically, bodhicitta should not be. I really strongly say this because you know, I will tell you a few reasons. I have heard this again and again. “Oh, so and so Lama is so good. He is so compassionate. He is so much bodhicitta.” Why? “He never get’s angry.” That is not a good reason. Because you could similarly say. “Wow, this Lama must be so great. Because he really got angry and beat me up. I was bleeding. He beat me up really badly, black and blue. He must have so much bodhicitta.” Then you are understanding a little bit of dependent arising. You see, if you think: “Oh he smiles a lot. How nice, look at him, he is so gentle, the way he walks.” Then it is a bodhicitta of Lalaland. We don’t want that.

Parting from the four attachments, Nepal June 2009
(videos)

bodhicitta and nonduality

bodhicitta and nonduality

Emotions such as love and compassion is something that we can get used to. We can cultivate. We can invest. And then through the love and compassion, because of the sense of empathy, sense of equality, it can bring the understanding of nonduality.
When we talk about bodhicitta, we have to talk about the nonduality. Bodhicitta without the nonduality is not a bodhicitta. Without the nonduality, without that, it is just not possible. It is not possible at all. But the moment you understand the nonduality, or in other words dependent arising, then, you know up to now when we say all sentient beings, when we say all, we have an interpretation of all. What does that mean? All the Chinese, all the Indians. That is already making quite a lot. All the Brazilians, all the Indonesians. So in our mind, all means – you know there is a very good Tibetan word called ???. ???, measureless, it is beyond measure. But the moment we talk about measureless, automatically we think in terms of something big, which is wrong. ??? is not big. All in Buddhism has nothing to do with all, big. Big, infinite. All has to be accompanied with the view, emptiness. If you understand the emptiness, the meaning of the all has changed. So then when you know these things, then bodhicitta, which is the mind to help all sentient beings, is not an idealistic Lala Land policy. It is doable. If you do for one minute, it has an one minute success. If you do it for one month, it has its own month effect.

Parting from the four attachments, Nepal June 2009
(videos)