Tag Archives: perception

seeing the Guru as the Buddha

seeing the Guru as the Buddha

Student: Hi. Thank you Rinpoche. I have heard about this gurus when I have to visualize it, don’t see them as a real person. Don’t see them as yawning and scratching. But just I am not enlightened enough to recognize a Buddha when I see it in the street. So if I see as a teacher I should not see him as a human being. And you said the opposite now. So, yes.

No no this is very good. When we say not see him as the human being, yes that is your aim. You have to think that he or she is the Buddha. You understand. But the entity itself, in order to communicate with you, let’s say your guru is like a what you think a sublime being is. With a hallow, you understand. Someone who doesn’t touch his feet when he walks on the earth, someone who flies. Someone who knows everything instantly. You know, someone who, if you have something like that, someone like that as your guru, you will not communicate. There will be no communication. We have already too many of those, how many ten thousand Buddhas, millions of Buddhas supposedly everywhere. This is not communicating. There is too many. This is like a statue you know. So the substance itself, the substance or the entity, the guru entity has to be, this is the challenge he or she has to have that human flaw and your challenge is to think that this flaw that I see is my own perception. He or she is the embodiment of the Buddha. That is your practice. We are talking about the complexity of condition. This is how human mind works. We are talking about creating a system that will dismantle all system including itself. This is the challenge.

Outer, Inner and Secret Refuge, London 2010

suffering because of impure perception

suffering because of impure perception

So you know we talked yesterday. What is life? Life is just a continuum perception. And if we have an impure perception we will suffer. Therefore we should change this impure perception. With what? With the love and compassion meditation. And the bodhicitta meditation. Through that we will alter this impure perception. That’s how you should understand.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

perception is all there is

perception is all there is

In all this talk of impure perception and experiential perception there is something quite important to know, specially based in the Sakyapa view. When we say perception, everything is your perception, and all these perceptions are divided in into three, impure, experiential and pure, we are not indicating that these are our perceptions but there is something else truly existent as a perceiver or something beyond this perception. We are not saying that. That is all there is, impure perception, experiential perception and pure perception. What we see is all our perceptions and these perceptions change all the time. And they do not exist as a truly, independently, unchangingly. They don’t. We have explained this again and again. Like a friend, you look at your friend and when you are looking at your friend you are perceiving a phenomena which you refer as my best friend. For now anyway. With a little bit wrong information or something happening between you two over night changes. Overnight changes. Tomorrow you look at the same phenomena and then you are looking at someone that cannot be trusted, someone who has betrayed you, ugly, irritating. Neither that good guy and this bad guy, neither that yesterday’s good guy and the today’s bad guy they do not exist as an externally independently truly out there. That is the really the fundamental Sakyapa view. You have to register that.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

love meditation

love meditation

So today we sort of briefly discuss experiential perception. Okay we have all this kind of impure perceptions. So what do we do? We try to alter this. We try to change this with practice. So what we call yogis experiential perception. So that is what we are doing. Very briefly. No time and I don’t know anything anyway. So time is just an excuse. There is many different ways to alter this perception. One most popular and most economical, user friendly, risk free, lot of bonus, lot of profit is called love meditation. Meditate on love, love and kindness. See you are now beginning to change, alter this perception. Love and kindness. Love and kindness is basically a wish to make sentient beings, you are wishing them to be happy. And not only wishing them to be happy but you wish that they know how to gather or they have the cause of happiness, you understand. That is love and kindness meditation. You wish them happiness, you wish the sentient beings happiness. That is a big term, happiness is a very big term. For some, a gentle stroke is a happiness. For others, whips and chains are happiness. So as a Mahayana Buddhist are you giving both? Whoever want stroke, whips and chains, are you going to distribute. What is a happiness of George Bush is an unhappiness of Saddam Hussein. What is happiness for Saddam Hussein is a turn on for George Bush. So how do you then meditate. So actually we know the happiness, when the Buddhist, when the Vajrayana talks about happiness they are talking about related to the Dharma. Everybody wants to be happy. There is no dispute between the Buddha and the sentient beings. As far as wanting to be happy. But the sentient beings don’t know how to gather the happiness. Instead they end up creating, gathering causes and conditions that will make them suffer. So now that you know anything coming from emotions, jealousy, pride, anger, desire gives you unhappiness. Any kind of experience coming from an absence of ego, absence of ignorance, jealousy, pride and all the rest gives you happiness. And this is the happiness that you are wishing the sentient beings to have. A few tips. It is easy to think may all sentient beings have happiness. It is kind of abstract idea. It is very easy because you don’t have, because it is all sentient beings so you don’t have much responsibility actually. So you should think like many Kadampa masters say while thinking may all sentient beings have happiness you should actually care each and every individuals happiness. So you should pick one. If you want your practice to be effective pick someone whom you don’t like so much. Or pick someone who you feel threaten by. Your competitor. You know, competition. You competitor is not necessary a business competitor or anything. Competitor can be everywhere. If you walk along the beach. And then suddenly you see beautiful person, a girl or a boy, and you two are alone. No competitor. And you about to chatter up. Chatter up. You are about to pick on a conversation. And just as you are about to talk somebody walks in and he is also quite handsome. Dramatic, oh now you have a competitor. Another soul. So competitor is everywhere. In your thinking, in our everyday day to day life there is a competitor. There is always somebody competing with you, to take over your position. To take over your – they might not actually they didn’t come there to take over. But you are paranoia thinks. Because you are paranoid. You have so much impure perception. You think: “Oh oh, here comes a competitor.“ For all we know maybe this person is there to help you. So that you can actually do what you want to do. But we don’t think like that. We are always paranoid. We think that somebody is going to take over your position. So pick an individual being and then start doing the loving kindness meditation. If you still need some kind of a format then use Atisha Dipankara’s method such as tonglen. Breath out, give all the happiness and the cause of happiness. Breath in, all the cause of suffering and the suffering of the others. Stuff like that. So okay, what is happening here. Big alteration of impure perception. Can you see that. See, in the past you have impure perception because you think you whatever ego has interpreted is most important. Now you are changing that. In the past you think, you are only thinking about your own happiness. You are not really thinking about others. Now you are forcing yourself, may the other be happy. May he or she has the cause of happiness. See there is a disruption of impure perception. If you keep on doing this loving kindness meditation, such a yogi will have so called experiential perception. And do you know what that is. Let’s go back to the beach. A yogi is walking on the beach. And yogi is seeing a beautiful person and about to start a conversation with this. Somebody walks along and interrupts. Ah yogi happy, may he or she. Please you two, go ahead. Have conversation. You walk. Experiential. See perception has changed now. No paranoia. You are okay. That is good. Couldn’t care less. They can talk. To their heartfelt, to their heart’s content they can talk, talk and talk.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

perception of enlightened being

perception of enlightened being

What kind of perception does enlightened being have? Very difficult to talk. I can only give you some example like an enlightened being will never enjoy a detective movie. Do you know why? Because The whole reason why you enjoy a suspense thriller is you don’t know what is happening until the end. That is why you watch.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

just a perception

just a perception

First of all, there is no other than a perception. When you say “it is just a perception” then you are indicating: “Okay, this is just a perception but this is real.” But in Buddhism everything is a perception. Okay, one. Second, when you are say “it’s just a perception”, as I was saying, you are seemed to be sort to of putting down the perception, as if it is not that important or it is not that powerful. Now this you are wrong. Perceptions are very powerful.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

three mistaken perception

three mistaken perception

Like for instance we look at our hand. We look at our hand. And every time we look at our hand and we talk about and think about our hand we have three mistaken perception. The first, we think this hand is the same hand I had yesterday. Isn’t it? The same hand. That is a mistake. That means that you are saying that the hand is permanent. Yesterday’s hand and today’s hand is same. That is what we think. You got it? That is a big mistake. That is not true. Yesterday’s hand is gone. Today’s hand is new. And after in about twenty years your hand is going to even look different. Have more wrinkles, less hair or more hair, I don’t know. It has to change. If we have the same hand then imagine when you are fifty and you still have a babies hand. It won’t even look nice. Every time the hand is changing, changing, changing. But we don’t see that. We think it is the same hand. That is one mistaken perception. Another mistaken perception is, we think, if we look at our hand, we look at it as a whole. We don’t see it as in parts. We don’t see it as skin, blood, vain. When we say let me shake your hand, we never say. Can I shake your bones and skins and your hair. We don’t say like that. So we have created this perception called a hand. And then some people are so proud that the have shaken hand with George Bush or Osama Bin Ladin or whatever, you understand. Hand also has many different kind of hands you know. This is a very ordinary hand like you know, pathetic, ordinary hand but Osama Bin Ladin’s hand, oh that is a very special. Dalai Lama’s hand, Mother Theresa’s hand, celebrity, Brad Pitt’s hand, wow that is even better isn’t it. Brad Pitt’s hand it the best. And maybe Catherine Zeta Jones, ah that’s the best. So we have this kind of misconception, I mean misinterpretation, misperception. That is a perception. Another problem we make is we forget that hand is dependent nature. The very movement of the hand, the existence of the hand, the liveliness of the hand, all depends on food, elements. So many many different factors. This we keep on forgetting. So this is how we perceive things, all the time, always always making – I am only using the hand as an example. Use it in all our matter. Relationship, okay. You have a boy friend, you have a girlfriend. When you look at your boyfriend, you make three mistakes again.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

changing perception

changing perception

In Buddhism, specially in the Skayapa tradition, the root of practice of the Dharma is changing the perception. Really, it is so important. This is what snang sum is about. Changing the perception. And changing the perception is really really important. Perception is ruling us all the time. In our every day to day life, it rules our life. And we have always, all our perception is mistaken perception.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

wealth of being natural

wealth of being natural

So the five emotions, they create five different kinds of perception. And this are the five perceptions that we have to alter, we have to get rid of. Impure perception – okay bottom line is this. Impure perceptions comes because of impure subject, impure, or because of defiled or as I was telling you the example before because you a wearing a lot of filters. At the moment, let me put another way. You must have heard the word yoga. Yoga. Yoga in Tibetan is called naljor. Naljor. It is a very interesting word. Nal in the Tibetan word, nal actually means natural. Jor is a bit like a wealth. So it is a bit like a wealth of being natural. Okay. So yogis are considered those who have this wealth of being natural. Based on this if you ask: “What is prajna? What is wisdom? What is wisdom in Buddhism?” It is our mind that is in its height of being normal or natural. Completely natural mind is the wisdom, unaltered, unfabricated, uncontrived. Not manipulated. Completely left alone. That kind of mind is so called natural mind. And this is what we are trying to achieve. But normality, so called normality is very difficult to define. Because what is normal for some people are not necessary normal for others. What is – sublime beings, saints and the sublime beings, when they look at us, everything that we see they think is not normal. Not natural. And the reason is: When we perceive things all our perceptions are filtered, contrived, fabricated, through six kinds of filters, or the five kind of filters. Anger, passion, ignorance, jealousy, pride, and many many other emotions. All our perception is perceived through this kind of emotions. That’s why perceptions, everything what we see is abnormal. Everything what we see, our perception is not right. What we see, what we experience, is not what it is.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

three perceptions

three perceptions

Snang sum teaching is basically altering our perception. So there are three perceptions we talk. The impure perception, the experiential perception and the pure perception. We can talk about impure perception quite a lot. Experiential perception we can sort of half guess and half sort of talk. Pure perception we have to do a wild guess. And then talk. So these are the three perceptions we talk, three 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

life is nothing but continuous perception

life is nothing but continuous perception

See, life, life, so called life, people ask the question: “What is the purpose of life?” But even before you ask this question, what is the purpose of life, what is life? This question you should ask. What is life? According to the Sakyapa masters life is nothing but a perception. It is a continuous perceptions. Perceptions after perceptions. That’s life.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

life is basically a continuous perception

life is nothing but continuous perception

So called life that we have is basically a continuous perception. That is all we have, nothing else. All we need to do is alter this perception. We need to look at it in a different angle. We are very sure that what we are seeing is definitely not what it is. ??? in the Tibetan words. ??? means how it appears, ??? is how it is in reality. Yes this is how it appears to each other. You look at me, I look at me and this is how it appears. But this is not what it is. And these two, not falling to how it appears, and really get acquainted with how it is, is what we call spiritual path. Even in our mundane world, we have the expression: “Appearance is deceiving.” Yes, all appearance is deceiving. We need to transcend that.

Parting from the four attachments, Nepal June 2009
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