Tag Archives: refuge

then Buddhism is collapsed

then Buddhism is collapsed

If you are listening from the classic Buddhist teachings, one truth is that all, everything that is made, everything that is gathered, everything that is put together, everything that is produced which basically is everything that we have, they are all impermanent. Nothing, there is nothing that is permanent. Before the Buddha, it was impermanent, while he was teaching it was impermanent. It is not because Buddha said all compounded things are impermanent somehow everything became impermanent. It is going to be impermanent looks like. Until a scientist or some technician manages to produce one produced good as a permanent thing the Buddhist refuge of I take refuge to the Dharma is not going to change. If one day scientist or engineer manage to produce something that will not fall apart yes then Buddhism is collapsed. Then I take refuge to the Dharma is completely collapsed. Then we should really go and have lot of fun actually. Otherwise, but until then, this is the truth. All compounded things are impermanent. All produced, made, put together, composed, created, fabricated, made are all impermanent. This is one truth that we take refuge. And that’s why we call it, we say I take refuge to the Dharma. When we say I take refuge to the Dharma we are not taking refuge to a book. Book is produced. It is going to fall apart. It is already falling apart. The truth is what we are taking refuge, this impermanence.

Outer, Inner and Secret Refuge, London 2010

the word refuge

the word refuge

So now, traditionally we talk about refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Out of that most important properly is taking refuge to the Dharma. Taking refuge to the Dharma means among many different meanings taking refuge to the Dharma is taking refuge to the truth. Actually I think the English word refuge maybe not doing the justice to the Tibetan word ??? or the Sanskrit word gacchami. But it still is okay because it has a little bit sort of a touchy feely kind of aspect which is good thing actually, it is necessary. Little bit of violin and all those are necessary, the hymns, the songs, all of those are also necessary. So refuge actually is not the right translation I think. Refuge, gacchami, or specially the Tibetan word, because gacchami has amazing many different meanings, ??? has one connotation of actually accepting the truth. That’s a very important one, accepting the truth.

Outer, Inner and Secret Refuge, London 2010

taking refuge to the present moment

taking refuge to the present moment

When we did three minutes of sitting we took refuge to this technique of, technique or a state of present-ness, this present moment. You just, you took refuge to the present moment. Okay. Remember I was telling you earlier, in order to take refuge you have some reasons why you take refuge. One of them happens to be fear. So when you take refuge to the present moment you are afraid of the past and the future. Or you are afraid of the habit of not being in the present. You constantly, we are distracted by the past experience, constantly we are distracted by hope and anticipation of the future. And this has brought only pain, suffering, dissatisfaction, anxiety, stress, however you want to put it. So now we learn to have this fear. Not good to dwell on the past. Not good to dwell on the future. Because those two only bring misery. So I take refuge to the present moment. This is just a demonstration sort of, example of the whole theory and practice of refuge in the Buddhadharma. And it is non deceiving because when you are just be aware of whatever is happening right this very moment, this present moment. You can experience it already, you are not occupied, you are not engrossed, you are not caught up by past and the future. In other words, you are not worked up. Most of the time we are all worked up. Stress, tense. You can immediately experience this, even now, for three minutes. Short it may be, but for three minutes it’s undeceiving. Just watching liberates you from the entanglement of thoughts, which produces emotion, which then produces strong habit which will stay within your system for long long long time and become very very stubborn. And then you alienate yourself. Then all the samsaric problems start. This we can already experience this. So being in the present moment, from the spiritual point of view, it is not deceiving.

Outer, Inner and Secret Refuge, London 2010

meditation and refuge

meditation and refuge

Meditation is a relative, it is a relative refuge. It is not an ultimate refuge by the way. Even though it sounds very important. In buddhism, in buddhadharma, we do meditation. And in many levels it is a practice of taking refuge.

Outer, Inner and Secret Refuge, London 2010

non deceiving aspect of refuge

non deceiving aspect of refuge

When we take refuge to somebody or something, it better be non deceiving. That’s very important. Non deceiving aspect of whole refuge practice and refuge concept is very very important. If I gave you some sesame seed and tell you that you can squeeze this and you might have some oil. Then it’s kind of not deceiving because there is supposedly oil inside the sesame seed. But if I gave you something else, like a stone or a paper, then that is a deception. So this, the whole process, whole logic or philosophy of non deception, non deceiving aspect of the refuge, that’s a very very important element of Buddhist philosophy of refuge. Why take refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Are they really non deceiving? It has to bear fruit you know, it has to answer your quest.

Outer, Inner and Secret Refuge, London 2010

three cause of taking refuge

three cause of taking refuge

Generally, a big generalization actually, there are three cause of taking refuge. Fear, compassion and devotion.

Outer, Inner and Secret Refuge, London 2010

most common Buddhist practice

most common Buddhist practice

We are going to talk about refuge, that’s very important. It is an indispensable practice and a theory in all the Buddhist teachings. Unfortunately sometimes refuge is referred as something like a, some kind of a preliminary practice or a study which is very unfortunate because even the most seasoned practitioners really need understanding and maintaining of practice of refuge. In Tibetan there is a saying ??? which means the distinctions of whether you are a follower of Buddha or not is made by whether you have taken refuge or not. At glance it sounds like you will be referred as a Buddhist only if you ceremoniously took a refuge which is of course to the certain extend true. But refuge actually is really a very vast, it’s a, one could almost say that the fundamental teaching of the Buddha lies within the refuge, the attitude of the refuge, the motivation of the refuge and the understanding of the refuge. In fact if you ask what is the most common, because there are many Buddhist schools or lineage or tradition in this world, and if you were to ask, what is the most common mantra if you like, or something to recite that is agreed by all tradition of Buddhism, it has to be refuge. And it is basically, I take refuge to Buddha, I take refuge to Dharma, I take refuge to Sangha. So this is recited in Thailand, in Sri Lanka, Burma, Tibet, Japan, everywhere. This is properly the most common prayer, supplication, mantra people practice. It is the most fundamental also. Even the most exotic and supposedly very high teachings like the Vajrayana cannot begin their practice without the refuge. Without the refuge, there is no base or foundation for the Vajrayana practice.

Outer, Inner and Secret Refuge, London 2010

vipassana

shamata

Now the vipassana. After developing a good foundation of shamata you then do the vipassana. There is many many ways of doing the vipassana. Basically vipassana is a wisdom that understands egolessness. That you can do as normally what the Shravakayana and Mahayana does. Analytical meditation, ???, you know, concentration meditation. But those who are practicing Lamdre like ???, the Hevajra practice. Hevajra practice is actually not other than the vipassana meditation. I mean actually a whole sadhana consist of both shamata and vipassana. For instance, if you are considered – okay let’s start with the refuge. You visualize the refuge object in front of you. Guru in the form of Hevajra, all of that. Even that, even that has a little bit of a shamata and vipassana. By visualizing the guru as a Hevajra. That has both shamata and vipassana. You know why? You visualize the guru in front of you as a form of a Hevajra, and concentrating on that has the shamata effect. Right? That’s the shamata. And you don’t normally, when you visualize the guru, you don’t visualize the guru as how you see, you know like His Holiness Sakya Trinzin for instance, but you transform him into Hevajra. His Holiness Sakya Trinzin has only two arms, right. But we transform him to sixteen arms, blue color, with a vajra ???, wrathful, fangs and all of that. What does this do? This cuts the impure perception of His Holiness Sakya Trinzin, a Tibetan, two arms, one who lives in Rajpur, one who goes to toilet sometimes. One who eats, one who does walk when he needs to come downstairs, but one who doesn’t fly down to the throne. All these are our impure perceptions. This impure perception comes from our ego so that needs to be cut out. So that is why we transform him as – because after all it is your idea. Right now we have enough merit to see His Holiness as the kind Tibetan lama who is so humble, so gentle. That is the only merit that we have. If we accumulate our merit more and more, maybe in few years, bluish color, sixteen arms, all of that. And then we accumulate more merit, more and more merit, one day you realize that guru is not other than your mind. And then that is it. That is the end of the Buddhism, end of the Vajrayana, no more going to the teachings at last. No more sadhanas reading you understand. No more of that. Even in the sadhana, like just visualizing the object of refuge has both a vipassana and a shamata. And then you take refuge, at the end of the refuge what happens, object of refuge dissolves into you. You see, refugee yourself, and object of the refuge become inseparable. That is a vipassana. That is a nonduality. That is complete different from ego. That is a vipassana. So likewise, all the path is designed to disorganize, chaos. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche has such a good term. He calls it orderly chaos. Mandala. The whole concept of mandala is basically a chaos. You are creating a chaos. When you are practicing the sadhana all you are doing is creating chaos. Because your impure perception is so organized, they are really organized. Schedule wise, what you call it, notes, calendar, task, reminder, alarm clock, schedules. Everything is so organized, all this impure perception. The moment the sadhana is applied, organized impure perception is now become chaotic. That is the mandala.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

guru as object of refuge

guru as object of refuge

Question: In most Buddhist traditions there are three jewels, the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, the community of monks. In the Tibetan Buddhism they added a fourth, the guru or the teacher. And I wonder what you think about that, particular in terms of its transmission to the west.

This is a very important question, yes. Guru. The word guru is stained now. Really, it has been stained unfortunately. But the guru principle, the practice of guru is actually quite an important in the tantric Buddhist system. And it’s really unfortunate that the human gurus have actually, many of human gurus have somehow managed to spoil that beautiful system. Actually you are supposed to – okay the fourth, you are talking about the fourth object of refuge. In fact more than fourth. In fact, according to the tantric Buddhism, guru is supposedly more important than the triple gem. So this is a big statement. But all this comes in the context of guru as the path. Now this is one message that always gets missed out. Because guru always is referred as a person who dictates your life. But guru must be, really, essentially guru must be taken as the path. Meaning – okay it is a bit like this. What do you want? You want enlightenment. Can you do it? Okay what do you want? You want enlightenment. You want it fast or slow? Right? That is the question. Fast. Do you want painless or – you know stuff like that. Painless is little difficult actually. Fast I think, fast. So actually, to put it very simply, in the Vajrayana tradition the guru principle is a bit like – okay if you want to have fast track so to speak, then first you have a choice to hire a person who will destroy you or not. Basically that is it. So you actually – okay order is you take first refuge to three gems, right. Triple gems. So you have accepted the Buddha path, the path of the Buddha. Now you want the speed, you want to do it very soon. Because you don’t have much time. Now there is a solution which is the Vajrayana and within the tantric Buddhism you are allowed, there is a solution and the solution is you hire or you get a person who will – basically you are asking him to destroy your ego, your emotion and all of that. So that way the guru becomes the path and I think that is quite important for the western aspiring tantric Buddhist to understand. Otherwise this guru as a figure is very dangerous, very very dangerous.

Projecting the Dharma, Yale 2008

successful reluctant person

successful reluctant person

I am little reluctant to send people to the caves. I want actually to do this: What I want them to do is, dwell in the lay person situation, have devotion and really have a trust to the right view which is emptiness or the four seals of whatever, interdependent arising. Take refuge wholeheartedly to the triple gem. And then, yes be the president, be the prime minister, be the business person, very competitive. But once you have this, specially the right view, what will happen is you will be actually much better business person. Look, this is what will happen. You will plan, you will have this plan. And because of the right view, one part of you will tell to you, it might not work, whatever you are planning. Your competitor doesn’t know this. They are so blind, it will work. So you are actually end up making plan A, plan B, whatever plan you make you also ready that any of this will collapse, any time. You understand? So this way what you will end up become? You become a successful reluctant president, successful reluctant prime minister, successful reluctant business man or woman. And this is what I think you should aim for if you are asking me.

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

Mahayana Refuge

Mahayana Refuge

In fact, bluntly speaking, when a Mahayana bodhisattva is taking refuge, not like all the other practitioners, who will take refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha to protect them from samsara only. Mahayana bodhisattvas they take refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha to protect them from both, samsara and nirvana.

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