Root of the suffering in our life is – to put it very simply – the root of the cause of the problem and the suffering that we have is looking at something completely not true and mistaking it as true and thinking it is true and clinging to that. Because even in our common sense you can tell when you begin to think something not true as true you have already asked for trouble. Sooner or later you are going to get disappointed. But this is easier said than done. And the reason is we have build strong habit to think something fake as truth.
I believe that we are going to talk about relationship and love and all those stuff today. And probably I am not the right person to talk about these things but on the other hand I maybe the very right person, because – this maybe little bit uncomfortable for some of you to hear but I have many teachers that I have received teachings from, they are, I would say, really Buddha in person. Their kindness, compassion, their tolerance. And in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition it is believed that the guru comes in many different kinds of manifestations.
So within this context I will say that I have also learned something so precious and awakening from a girl I fall in love madly. I tried to call her last night whether I could mention her name but she is not available. Right now all I could say is that she is a dutch. Very beautiful, free spirited. And her parents are kind of like bohemian hippie. So this was when I was around early twenties. With the permission of my main teacher I decided to go to London to study. And for the first time I left the traditional surrounding where there is things like brocades as a table cloth, high thrones, attendants. Basically really almost like a godly life in one way. I went to London and I was alone. And I learned lots of things like making breakfast for instance. And going to supermarket and almost buying a cat food, thinking that it is for human beings. So it was a big lesson. Actually I dare say this but many younger generations lamas, rinpoches, esteemed high lamas, I think they should go through this this is what I suggest actually. It should be in the part of the rinpoche training curriculum. They should fall in love – of course they should make toast and go to supermarket so on and so forth, but they should also fall in love and then this girl should reject him. Because then we know what is suffering. Because until then when we talk about the truth of suffering we are always talking about things that are written in the books like death, old age, sickness. All abstract stuff. Most of the lamas don’t know what is meant by paying bills. You know the pressure of living in the modern society. I have learned a lot but most importantly this girl taught me a lot. Because I was completely madly in love I think. Because she was very free spirited. Really extremely free spirited I would say. I think she grow up in a hippie community so for her, like she was like amazingly free spirited. Sometimes we would travel in the subway and then she would you know nudge me and say: What do you think of that boy? You know like somebody traveling, just ordinary passenger. And before long she would be talking to him and then after a few days they are already together. Just for a night or two. Not long. You know she discards him also. But she in her own way she was very loyal to me. But it was so painful. And here I am supposedly the lama who is supposed to teach the free spirit, non attachment, do whatever you want. There is this girl, jolly, all the time happy, and really giving me a really precious teaching. I must really consider her as one of my awakening teacher. So special I would say.
So I can I think in some ways maybe I could talk about relationship.
Now I like to point out, the word suffering again is overused. And it is kind misleading to lot of people. You know when I was teaching about four seals of buddhadharma, that all compounded things are impermanent, by large everybody can accept. Then, and with a good reason, they accept. They are very convinced. ?..? also if I say, when I was talking about all phenomena as emptiness, well, and also nirvana is beyond extreme, those two, they don’t even bother not accepting because most of the time, it is like, it pass this from the top, they don’t want. But you know, I have noticed, the second line, all emotions are suffering, oh my god, everyone, passionately disagrees with me. Passionately. Emotions, all emotions are ?..? And actually many people even try to correct me, maybe Rinpoche, maybe emotion is not the right word. And actually I think to the certain extend they are right. Emotion, ?..?, maybe the Tibetan word ?..? is much bigger than the word emotion. But to up keeping my stubbornness and also actually now deliberately I use the word emotion, deliberately. Emotions are suffering. ?..? Because people think: Oh yah okay negative emotions are properly of course suffering. But how about love? How about devotion? How about inspiration? How about creativity? How about ecstasy, how about all of that. Those are not suffering. This is where I think the definition of the suffering is something that we have to ponder.
Basically wherever you go within the samsara there is always a suffering. Three kinds of suffering, suffering of suffering, suffering of change and all pervasive suffering.
See, the question is why should we not have attachment to this life. So we visit the fourth one. Zin pa choong na ta wa min. Because it you are attached to this life or as long as you have an attachment to something, remember attachment, engrossment, infatuation, meaning even slight attachment means you have lost your sense, you have lost your rationality. Therefore you are bound to suffer. It is because of that. It is a strategy. It is actually, the whole dharma practice is, specially things like parting from the four desires, is really actually like a strategy, it is a life management.
All of us we have endless suffering, pain. We endlessly gather more and more cause of suffering. The root of this suffering, root of all this pain is dualistic mind. With this dualistic, ignorant mind we only end up seeing one dimension. Seeing one dimension of all this infinite dimension creates hope, creates fear. So by seeing single dimension or dualistic dimension also pulls ourselves further from this infinite dimension of everything. So in other words we make ourselves go through this poverty of dimensions. We just cannot use anything as everything. We are stuck with just a single dimension. And not only stuck with a single dimension. This single dimension that we are so attached to then creates lots of references. Dualistic references. And this kind of limited dualistic references will then create more suffering to oneself and many others. So this is why in the – actually all the teachings of the Buddha is to, how should i put it, is to open the multidimension, even so the dimension, the word dimension, is used mainly in the Tantra. Shravakayana, Mahayana, all of that, of course the Vajrayana, it is all to broaden so to speak our vision, our attitudes towards the phenomena.
Teachings on Tara, Deer Park 2010
I think the English word suffering does not seem to have the full potential to express the Sanskrit word dukha. Because I think the suffering, the moment the word suffering is mentioned, people always think it has something to do with a headache, stomachache or bankruptcy or accident or something like that. Whereas the word dukha is much more. I will give you a good example. The word dukha which is normally translated as a suffering actually is something to do with like you order a nice pasta and you have been told you are overweight, you can’t, you have diabetic problem, but in front of you this beautiful pasta with amazing sauce, the cheese, all of that. Really good, delicious. I will have it just for today. Just for today, from tomorrow onwards I won’t have. Which never is true. So after eating that what do you have. You have post pasta depression. Then you regret that you have eaten. Yes the Sanskrit word dukha really, many of these sufferings is not necessary painful as it is happening, as it is there. So from this point of view, everything what worldly people think as a happiness, the money, the position, the power, the influence, the friendship are all like this wonderful pasta. They all have the potential to produce post depression. If not already, so actually from the Buddhist point of view, so called, what we call happiness are all in the category of suffering. We don’t need many other reasons, one reason we can also tell you, its uncertain aspect. Everything is so uncertain.
According to Buddhism, the fundamental root of all the pain and the suffering that we have is because of clinging to dualism. You can say dualism is like equal to, I think the Christians talk about Satan, something evil. In Buddhism, dualism is the evil. So evil or negative force does not exist outside. As you long as you have the dualistic mind or dualistic distinctions, you will always have a comparison. Therefore dualism is like the source of the insecurity. Dualism creates the insecurity. It is dualism, it is the dualistic mind, that which we call pride. It is the dualism, that which we call anger, aggression, jealousy, passion, greed. All these emotions are basically a dualistic mind that has become so out of control.
Fundamental View of Buddhism, Moscow 2010
… when we talk about the second point, you can say, nobody likes the suffering. Of course not. So for you maybe it is easy to hear, that “oh well, you know, samsaric suffering, of course I don’t want.” Yes nobody wants, even the small insect, they don’t want the suffering. But the problem is, we don’t like the obvious samsaric pain, but we do like the samsaric glory. This samsaric glory, samsaric gain, samsaric beauty which is like time bomb, which will explode sooner or later. That is what we need to really concentrate and put the lower value, or no value at all. Basically it is easier for us to see no value in pain and anxiety. Much more difficult to see no value in samsaric glory.