Tag Archives: enlightenment

guru student relationship

guru student relationship

You know just now during the break many people are asking me questions such as the relationship between guru and the student. That is another big subject. And many of the student and guru relationship does not work or falls apart because first coming with the wrong motivation. Secondly, well wrong motivation of course is an impure perception already. And then while you are having relationship with the guru because of that impure motivation all the perception is also impure. I will elaborate this. Okay, you go to a guru okay, you go to a guru and your motivation is not for enlightenment but your motivation is to be near the guru you understand. To be near the guru. I want to stress this a little bit because I don’t know somehow watching many of Kungfu film, the Chinese Kungfu film, and also the Chinese history. I mean this is not a problem with the Chinese society alone. Tibetans have the same problem. Indians, I don’t know, I think they have the same problem. But because right now we are, I mean the Chinese society. Let’s talk about this. This seems to be a big problem, you know, what you call it. They call it, what, the big brother, ‘Ta Er Ker’ or something. When one Kungfu master dies he has to have a successor, isn’t it. The lineage holder. Isn’t it, lineage holder. Many of the Kungfu film is about two student fighting about who becomes the lineage holder, isn’t it. Not only in the Kungfu film but you read in a – even what is his name, master Huineng sixth patriarch,  Huineng . He had a tough time because some of the students didn’t want him to be the sixth patriarch. Didn’t want him to have the begging bowl and the robe. There was a lot of tough time. So what I am saying is some disciples, some students, some people come not for enlightenment but to become the ‘Ta Er Ker’,you understand, the big brother, the lineage holder. Or they want to become or – there are so many strange things like that. People come so that they can take photograph with the Rinpoche. Or the highest Lama is the best. And then later they can show it to a lower student and, see I am someone special. You better do what I say. You understand. I am kind of a special. There are so many I have noticed this. And these are all what I call impure perception. Because in Buddhism really the sole purpose of practicing the Buddha Dharma is to achieve enlightenment. Who cares about lineage holder or to become the second in command. Anyway, you should not be aiming for a second in command. You should be aiming for the first in command which is the enlightenment. That should be the real purpose. But this is easier to say then practice. Many people, many disciples, many many disciples, because their motivation is to be close to their guru, sometimes if the guru ignores them for about half a day, they go through a depression for sixth month. Depression, they eat prozac. Is it prozac. And so much pain, so much. And then if another student also becomes slightly favored, favored boy of the guru, then your situation becomes very insecure. Oh oh, I have a competitor. I have you know a competition. You understand. All this stems from a wrong motivation. Your motivation for enlightenment. Your motivation is to be recognized. To be the recognized person. And that is why we have pain. You see, why we call it impure perception, because it brings you pain. It really brings so much pain.

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

enlightenment is an absence of paranoia

enlightenment is an absence of paranoia

See in our head, most of the time, enlightenment is something tangible. The moment we talk about enlightenment, we are talking about a state, a place, some kind of a body, some kind of a dimension which has thirty two major marks, eighty minor marks and all this complicated descriptions. But if you really make it very easy and down to earth level kind of language, enlightenment is actually, simply enlightenment is an absence of paranoia. I am sure some of the more conservative Buddhist might raise there eyebrow but that is fine. I can talk with them. Is basically an absence of paranoia. And there are so many paranoia all the time. And do you know why there is all this paranoia? Perceptions.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

redecorate perception

redecorate perception

What we are now going to do is we are going to redecorate this perception. We are going to place them. We are going to manipulate them. We are going to work with it. Work with the perception. And then finally you will have a different kind of perception. Different way of looking at things. And that is what we call enlightenment.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

motivation

tuning the motivation

It is important to really check our motivation. Hopefully the motivation is triggered with wish to receive this teachings that one will reach enlightenment. I say this hopefully because most of the time when we practice, when we hear the teachings, or when we are practicing the Dharma, most of the time we don’t do it for enlightenment. Enlightenment is almost like a – if it happens, that’s good. But if it doesn’t happen it is also okay. Most of time we go to temples, we go to teachings, because we like to live happily. We want to make the life easier, happier. Isn’t it? Specially, this is the Asian weakness I think. We chant mantras for long life. Long life is not enlightenment. Long life is long life. We don’t know by having long life we are going to have a better life. We receive teachings so that one will be successful in whatever we are doing. Being successful is not necessary enlightenment. This is why I am stressing, what kind of motivation do you have. Do I have. Do we all have. Ideally, so called long life, success, good health, good marriage, good relationship, all this should be what we call side bonus. What the bodhisattvas, for the practitioners like us, this should be the bonus. Enlightenment should be the real goal, the ultimate goal. That should be our goal. And I am stressing this, because if our aim is wrong, right, if our ultimate aim – I am talking about two kinds of aims – ultimate goal or the aim, and relative bonus, temporary bonus, relative goal. If we have the right aim, specially the ultimate aim, then even something falls apart in our day to day life, the trust to the triple gem, the trust to the guru, trust to the path will always be there. Otherwise, in the course of my being Buddhist all this time I have seen so many people coming to the Buddhadharma, hoping so that their samsaric activity will be successful. That is their ultimate aim. Coming with that kind of motivation. And then of course our life so many things go wrong. That is the nature of life. Okay, today we are happy but who knows what happens tomorrow. A tomato stucks in your throat while you are enjoying a nice food of some of this wonderful hawker centers. And then that will be it. Your life has reached to the end. All because of a stupid tomato. And this could happen. Life is totally fragile. This is something that we have, that we so dearly clutch and grasp to. And that is our life and certainly life is the most fragile. And everything is, specially now, so fast, so fragile. And I have seen people with this kind of motivation, they come to the Dharma, practice the Dharma, and then of course something goes wrong and then they loose trust to the triple gem. “Oh, you know, Buddha is not helping us.” See the approach to the Buddha is very theistic, like any religion. Like Christian, or Hindu – maybe not Hindu – but Muslims. If you have that kind of attitude or motivation then your action what you are applying and your view is contradicting. So this is why I ask to really analyze why we are here. It is good to analyze like that. Even if it is intellectually.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

looking at things from a different dimension

looking at things from a different dimension

Really, it is so important for us to get used to this idea that this confusion that we have is definitely something that we can awaken from. It’s that easy actually. It is that easy. Try to educate yourself and train yourself not thinking enlightenment in terms of hallows, lights, omniscience, powers, six arms, going from here to Delhi without any passports, tickets or train. Just flying there. Try to educate yourself and think this way. Enlightenment is basically awakening, it really frees you from suffering. It is like a small child looking at a burning iron, hot, burning. And the small child is about to touch this. The parent say, no no, don’t touch this, this will burn you. At that time, in a way there is a little bit of an enlightenment because suddenly the baby knows this is really dangerous. From that knowledge has released the baby from potential dangerous situation. All we need to know, really, it is a matter of looking at things from a different dimension. And this is very possible.

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

enlightenment

tenlightenment

The idea of achieving enlightenment is basically to be free from delusion, confusion that we have. I want to emphasize this because our goal, the enlightenment, because we use exotic and, kind of exotic jargons, like enlightenment, exotic words like enlightenment, we tend to forget that it is something so near to us. We end up using all these jargons, phrases, and culturally also we are made to think that enlightenment is after many many years of practice. Of course I am not disputing that, but it is really important, enlightenment is basically a state of awakening. And although for some of us state of fully awakened maybe little difficult, specially in the beginning, a gradual awakening is so possible, is very much doable. It is right in front of us. To be awakened from this confusion is so profitable, it is the source of the happiness, it is what that will dispel all the pain and anxiety that we have.

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

three wholesome ways to turn everything into the path to enlightenment

three wholesome ways to turn everything into the path to enlightenment

Once again, we generate the right motivation. Not only this time, but at all times, whatever we do, we do, we try to do it with right motivation of wishing to enlighten all sentient beings. This must precede everything what we do. And whatever action that we apply at the end, it is important to dedicate the merit. And in the middle, while we are doing whatever we are doing, such as listening to the Dharma teachings, such as offering circumambulation to the stupa, making offerings of lamps or incense, it is important that we realize that all this is just an illusion. That virtues action is illusion, non virtues action is illusion, motivation is illusion, myself is an illusion, path is illusion, the result, enlightenment, is also illusion. If you think that way, it is called the three wholesome ways to seal everything as the virtues, as a three seal or three wholesome ways to turn everything into the path to enlightenment.

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