From the Buddhist point of view, there is really a big tragic that is happening all the time. The fact that all beings, like you and me, and specially those who are walking outside here, you know, sentient beings, even so they are adorned with buddha-nature – wherever they go, buddha-nature goes – they just miss it all the time. That is the biggest tragedy. It is so near, it is just so closed, it is right here in front, even closer than in front of you. But most of us, we miss it. That is the biggest tragedy.
There is a Tibetan word called tshur thong wa. Tshur thong wa means one that sees this side. One that sees only this side. That’s the term, only. One that sees only this side. So by getting accustomed to things like precious human body and impermanence, what it does is, it suddenly begins to not only see this side, but then you begin to see other side. And that’s beginning to – your vision, your view, when it is no more limited to only this side, this life, then you have a renunciation mind. So that’s why you will see people with the begging bowl and very ascetic looking and very renounced looking but they are only looking at this side, still. So they are not necessarily renounced person.
The view, this is, the view is always difficult to talk. Because in order to understand the view, you have to have a slightly different kind of logic, you have to transcend your normal logic a little bit.
Many of the worldly views change all the time. It is only today in places like India the girls, mostly girls but also the men, they are working so hard to be slim. You rewind the Indian history two thousand years, Cholas and Gupta’s time to be plumb is really nice, to be, it is sensual, it is abundunce, it is considered good. And at the time I am sure everybody is trying hard to be something else. This at that time was the value. The value has changed. In China the same thing. I think in certain dynasty the small feet is considered really valuable I should say.
But the view that is taught by the Manjushri, if you have grasping you have no view, that doesn’t change. That is how it is and what it is right from the beginning. It has not changed, it is not going to change.
So here again we are going to the fourth point. Because view is very important. It is the view that decides. To establish the view we do the hearing and contemplation. Establishing the view is something that beginners must invest time and energy with. View, in the Tibetan word it is called ??. View is basically – okay again I will try to make it accessible, I try. But the danger is when I am trying to make it accessible, I always end up making the terms less than what it is. But this is always the challenge. The view is something like an idea also. Idea. And idea is very strong. If you look at our normal situation it is the idea that drives us. The idea of like– idea is also the creator of the value. It is actually, the idea, yes idea is the creator or the ground of the value. The value. So ideas also comes from causes and conditions. If you read cosmopolitan magazines, vogue magazines – I have to be little bit sarcastic here because there are some vogue people. If you read too many of these, then you develop a certain idea. That to be slim is a good thing. So suddenly to be slim is the view. So then you read the vogue magazine subscribed again and again, hang around with the vogue people, go to these specific special coffee shop where the vogue people hang around. Vanity fair is the right word actually, such a beautiful word, vanity fair. That is when you are doing the hearing and contemplation. You are doing the hearing and contemplation of this knowledge.
So a reliable non-deceiving but self corrosive path is necessary, self corrosive system is necessary. And under that comes the so called concept of triple gem, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. And specially Sangha, specially Sangha is the most self corrosive literally. Literally. So when people say the Sangha so tiring, all this ups and downs and people smell, their attitude and the way they talk and way they – that, you know, oh the Sangha has to be good , Sangha has to be powerful, Sangha has to be intact, Sangha has to be organized, Sangha has to registered under the society registration, act of this and that, all of this comes from materialistic approach. Actually, ya, actually the Buddha’s concept of a Sangha is a very very deep. It is one of the, I would say it is probably the most radical democratic system I would say. It is like I think – but this does not mean of course I am not saying that all the Sangha should fight each other, because our path is self corrosive, why not make it faster. Why not beat each other up? Why take time? I am not saying that. Because if you do that that actually means that you do not believe in self corrosive. That actually means that you believe in negation. You are nihilist. Now we have to be really lovey dovey hugging, we have to really meet each other every Wednesday. What is it, what is standard western Dharma Sangha schedule. Every Saturday we meet for the Avalokiteshvara meditation. Every weekend we meet for the shamata evening or something like that. This is very important, really important. And not only that, the whole structure of the Sangha, so important. But most important is the members of this Sangha must believe in the same truth. If one of the members of the Sangha believes that hey my anger is kind of permanent you know. My jealousy is not removable. Then he or she has to go somewhere else. That is very important. The view, the fundamental view.
The fundamental view of Buddhism is little difficult to talk. A great Indian philosopher, Nagarjuna, praised to the Buddha. He said: “I prostrate to the Buddha who has given up, who has abandon all the view.” So the fundamental view of Buddhism is actually viewlessness. This is already very difficult to understand.
As Nagarjuna said: “Those who can accept emptiness, everything is acceptable.” With this philosophy, with this as a view, there is nothing, not a single thing that cannot be offered on this earth. Everything. Because every single thing that you can think of, their true nature or the essence is nothing other then the emptiness. There is no such thing as “this is really something dirty, that cannot be offered”. Like a, I don’t know, used tissue or something like that. Or this is a gold or silver, we can make offering of that. There is no difference like that, first of all, from the ultimate point of view. Also from the relative point of view, Buddha has no preference. First of all we make these offerings not to please them but to accumulate merit. So as you chant this Dharani, or the short Mantra, please think that everything has become offering substances. And not only everything has become offering substance, be creative, like the one lamp has become billions and billions of lamps. One incense has become billions and billions of incense. And then all kind of offerings for the Arhats. For those who are Bikshus and Bikshunis we offer them robes, alms. For the lay or lay Bodhisattvas, or also the Buddhas in the form of sambhogakaya we offer them ear rings, nose rings and by all means, yes, Ipods, Cadillac. I usually think of Saks Fifth Avenue, ???. Things like that, whatever I think is nice. We all have a different thinking. So please thinking we are offering this we recite this maybe three times.
Most of us we just don’t even know how to not grasp to begin with. Because the moment we even think of not grasping that is already a grasping. So, the wisdom, when we are talking about the wisdom mind we are talking about nondual mind. A nondual mind is something so alien to us. Most of us we have not even tasted it. Even a fake one. So it is like, how to describe the taste of salt if you have never ever have a salt. Almost impossible. But somehow we know that the nonduality is what we need to establish. Until you do that, you are the victim of, as we talked yesterday, violence, emotion, defilements. And therefore, you will be bound by karma and therefore consequences and therefore samsara. So in order to really get acquainted with the wisdom, the closest thing that is, to the wisdom is actually ???, or mindfulness. This is taught in all the teachings from the Sharvakayana all the way to the Tantrayana. Mindfulness. Of course the word mindfulness gets more and more sophisticated and it has a slight different angle to each different approach. Which is a wonderful thing. So mindfulness is the most important, that is the closest thing to this no grasping, no duality, the view. Now, how do we accumulate this mindfulness. We need to – people like you and me, ordinary beings like you and me – we have no choice but we have to depend on condition. We have to because that is the only language we speak, that is only thing that we have. Conditioning. As I was talking to you with the Zen masters example, a thorn is necessary to take out the thorn. We as a follower of the Buddhadharma, we should do whatever it takes, whatever brings you mindfulness, we should do that. Or we should try to get it. It doesn’t matter it is sticker on your car to remind you the mindfulness. Whether it is an amulet hanging on your neck. If that is reminding you the mindfulness, we should do that. And of all the things that needs to be reminded, what we need to remind to ourself is Triple Gem. As I said yesterday, there is actually whole together a Sutra. If you remember and if you mindful of Triple Gem, then you are actually mindful of basically all the yanas. It is all inclusive.