Taking refuge, taking that vow of refuge. If you have taken refuge then you have created yourself as a perfect vessel to plant or to establish hearing, contemplation and meditation.
If you have attachment to this life and if you do the hearing and contemplation, such kind of hearing and contemplation will only increase the wealth of pride. And obtaining such kind of wealth of pride will develop arrogance. The arrogance of despising those who you project as someone who has not, who hasn’t heard or contemplated. Hearing and contemplation done with an attachment to this life will also cause you to have jealousy or envy towards those who have hearing or contemplation. Such kind of hearing and contemplation will only generate the motivation of acquiring material wealth or worldly entourage or disciples. So therefore, such kind of hearing and contemplation will become like the cause of lower realm or lower birth. So Drakpa Gyaltsen says, ?..? therefore hearing and contemplation coming from attachment to this life, in other words hearing and contemplation which is motivated with eight worldly dharma, should be discarded.
Student: Rinpoche you are telling us that we should hear, contemplate, and meditate. I am little bit confused what is the difference between contemplation and meditation. And if you can explain.
Oh, contemplation has lots of analysis. Contemplation has lots of chattering. Chattering. Like talking, lots of talking. Oh this is not right, this is right, no no this is not right. Like that. This is good for me, that is not good for me, like that. You analyze. Contemplation. Argument. Lot of argument to yourself. Meditation, no chattering at all. We will talk little bit about meditation, and actually, maybe not today but from tomorrow onwards, we will do every day some mediation maybe I try to explain a little bit about meditation. Basically it is remaining with a one pointed mind. For instance you are sitting and meditating, and you are supposed to, I don’t know, look at this tissue, box. So then you are just looking at it. You are looking at it right, you are looking at it. Now if your mind is asking you, are you looking at it, while you are meditating. If your mind is asking you, are you looking at it, then you are not meditating. Then you are contemplating. Because you are asking are you looking at it. Similar if you are meditating on this, and you think today I am not looking at my tissue thing at all. Then again you are not meditating. You are contemplating. So there is a big difference.
Student: Thank you Rinpoche for the illustrations. Would you explain the difference between contemplation and meditation.
Oh, contemplation has a lot of analysis. Is this it, is this not it, am I doing right. You know, no no, Nagarjuna said this, not like that. It is not as much like a reading or a hearing, listening, it’s more like you making lots of stories in your head, debating. When you meditate, specially when you meditate, you see after hearing and contemplation you then come to some kind of a conclusion. Right? You have to come to a conclusion. Once you come to that conclusion, meditation you then no more you do the analysis. You basically try to get used to that conclusion. Meditation in Tibetan, many times, the Tibetan word for meditation is gom. Gom has this connotation of getting accustomed to whatever that view.
You know the logic is very limited. Logic is very very limited. Logic is a very good tool. Even in the Buddhist studies actually we spend a lot of time studying Buddhist logic. It is called pramana. Actually like standard Buddhist philosophy student will spend almost six years just study Buddhist logic. Very important. But we have always been told that the logic we study to value and to validate the view. This is always for the purpose though. Once you establish the view then you see – I think the Buddhist concept of hearing, contemplation and meditation, you must have heard this, this is a very important one. I don’t know, I dare say, I don’t know maybe I am totally wrong, this is probably a concept west doesn’t have. Maybe west has hearing and contemplation. Meditation I don’t know, maybe they have it in their own sort of way but for, specially for a spiritual path meditation is so important, so important. Because the logic alone cannot, logic can only bring you from A to maybe D. You know, A B – C –- D. That is about it then the logic will collapse. From there – but it has done its good job you know. Because somewhere when you are around C lots of dreams and physical experience and things like light coming from the nostrils and you know like visions of the Buddha and you know like sharman is coming inside you and stuff like, that will come and those are very dangerous. So for that you need logic. And once you combat them then what you need? You need daringness. Daringness. And what do I mean by daringness? I was telling earlier. To be useless.
Question: How can we determine if a teacher is a genuine teacher?
That is a good question. It is very difficult. I mean specially as a deluded being, people like us, we can’t, I mean our judgement. Even we judge that someone is really good teacher how much can we trust our own judgement. Many times our own judgement has failed us. This is why in Buddhism study, contemplation, not accepting Buddhism with blind faith, with blind devotion, is very much stressed, specially initially. By the Buddha himself. Again and again. Gang zag la mi rton, chos la rton, that is what he said, not to depend on a person but depend on the teachings that he give you. And not simple like that, it will always be an insurance if you like to study, to contemplate on the Buddhist texts. Study them. And then finally, once you are slightly matured, I would say, even all the other quality failed, maybe your teacher is not learned, maybe not gentle, straight enough, I don’t know. But one thing that I think that you should look for is a teacher who is not interested in himself. A teacher who is totally interested in you and fellow sentient beings.