growth hormone
April 13th, 2011 

Phakchok Rinpoche

Dear Friends,
I hope you’ve all been happy and healthy. On this Guru Rinpoche Day, I would like to share with you a pith instruction which my master, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche repeatedly uttered. It is my hope that this heartfelt advice helps you and guides you on the path.  I suggest that you keep this reminder near you so that you are constantly watching your mind.

Mindfulness is the Mirror of the Mind

Obeisance to the king of self arising spontaneous mindfulness! I am the vajra of mindfulness –
Look, vajra brothers and sisters!
Whenever I am seen, mindfulness is maintained. I am the mirror of mindfulness,
Express clearly your careful mindfulness. Do not become distracted, watch the essence of the mind!
Mindfulness is the root of Dharma. Mindfulness is the main path.
Mindfulness is the cane, which sustains the mind. Mindfulness is the friend of self-aware wisdom.
Mindfulness sustains Mahamudra, Dzogchen, and Madhyamaka. Lack of mindfulness is defeat by mara (distraction/disturbing emotions).
Lack of mindfulness will lead you to be distracted by laziness. Lack of mindfulness creates more disturbing emotions and hence failure.
Lack of mindfulness is like a heap of shit. Lack of mindfulness is like sleeping in an ocean of piss.
Lack of mindfulness is like a heartless corpse – Friends I beseech you, maintain mindfulness!
Through the noble master’s sacred aspiration, may you all know the true face of mindfulness.
Me, this elderly monk called Jamyang Dorje, offer this awakening of mindfulness, to all friends with Dharma eyes.
May it be meritorious! May it be auspicious!

Sarva Mangalam,

Phakchok Rinpoche

April 11th, 2011 

KINSHIP CIRCLE needs help rescuing animals NOW! (Must live in Japan) Please call-- Bonnie Morrison at: 513-604-5509 (USA) or email dancnfeet1@hotmail.com

It’s now been one month since the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan and left the island nation forever changed.

The ongoing suffering of the people and animals in Japan after the 9.0 magnitude great earthquake, thirty-seven foot tsunami, and explosive atomic disaster at Fukushima’s Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, have not left my heart and mind since that ominous day of March 11, 2011. It is unlikely that even Hollywood with it’s ultimate disaster movies could have considered such a terrible fate for those living in Japan.

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H.H. Dalai Lama

What are we who are not there on the ground, who have contributed financially to a charity but want to do more, left to do? We can pray for Japan. His Holiness the Dalai Lama stated it would be very good if Japanese Buddhists were to recite the Heart Sutra on this occasion and that it may not only be helpful for those who have lost their precious lives, but may also help prevent further disasters in the future. In addition there, are four other Tibetan Buddhist prayers that would be most beneficial to recite for the people of Japan. They are: PrayerToAvertNuclearWar; Sampa Nyur Drupma; Sa Chu Me Lung; and Green Tara Terma.

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37 foot waves crash into Japan

I can only imagine what it must be like to experience that sudden jolt of life altering events that left the world of those living in Japan forever changed. Over 12,000 people died in the quake and tsunami that followed and there are estimates that another 14,000 are missing and presumed dead. But accounting for the missing hasn’t truly been addressed because the buildings housing local government resident records were crushed, then washed away by wave after pounding wave. Half a million people are now homeless from the natural and man-made disaster. Those who have returned home and some who stayed indoors in the evacuation zones are facing starvation as getting food to the isolated areas has proved difficult.

Copyright -Reuters

Before the twin disasters Japan already imported 60% of it’s food and is the world’s largest importer of corn. So many people living in Japan are going through an incredible amount of hardship, struggling with scarce food, water, and electricity. (The Tokyo region, powered by Fukushima, Daiichi is expected to face rolling blackouts throughout the summer, but it could actually go on for years.)

Livestock left for dead

Over 10,000 cows and other livestock are dead after they were abandoned in the fields, barns, and pens, by their owners who fled the radioactive contaminated air, land, and water, near Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant.

JEARS- Cats left behind in Fukushima

And untold numbers of pet dogs, cats, birds, rabbits have been left behind to fend for themselves when evacuees were told ‘no pets allowed.’

With all six of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants in peril because TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) has been unable to keep water circulating into the containment tanks of radioactive spent fuel rods that are cracked, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) calls the situation there “very serious” and 16 of Japan’s top nuclear experts say there is “no reason to be optimistic” about the grave conditions. A few nuclear scientists say even a hydrogen explosion, similar to a bomb, could happen there, spreading even more radioactive contaminants into the jet stream.

An executive of AREVA, a French company touted as being a leader in atomic energy and who has written a report about the Fukushima Daiichi plant problems after the quake and tsunami has gone so far as to say that “Clearly we are witnessing one of the greatest disasters in modern time.”

The “Fukushima 50″ Being Checked for Radiation

An end to the nuclear crisis in Japan is decades away and will cost several billions of dollars. The environmental damage done to the country of Japan and the ocean surrounding it is tragic and unfathomable. Two and a half tons of water is being pumped into the plant each day. That water is dissolving into steam, flowing into the sea, and onto the earth. It’s filled with radioactive elements.

Some nuclear scientists have right now declared one-third of Japan uninhabitable because of the radioactive contamination, and also say that those countries around the world who are touched by Japan’s jet stream will suffer and increase in illnesses and cancer.

Besides the ongoing nuclear crisis is Fukushima, Japan is home to ten percent of the world’s volcanoes. Japan is the location of four tectonic plates: the Pacific; Philippine; Eurasian; and North American and the 9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011 awakened 20 of the countries volcanoes. Japan’s Meteorological Agency has warned that the people should maintain vigilance against this tendency.

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PLEASE PRAY FOR JAPAN

Lama Tharchin Rinpoche

With much of Japan still in crisis mode, this is a frightening and especially perilous time for the people there, filled with much sadness and a lot of fear for those who lived through it. I knew that reciting Tibetan Buddhist mantras for every person and animal living there would be helpful, and just two weeks after the events in Japan I had the good fortune to interview Lama Tharchin Rinpoche about these things. Rinpoche is a Dzogchen (Great Perfection) master of Vajrayana Buddhism who was trained in His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche’s monastery, engaged in five years of solitary retreat, and then completed the three year retreat with three others under Dudjom Rinpoche. Lama Tharchin Rinpoche’s main teachers have been Dudjom Rinpoche, Chatral Rinpoche, Lama Sherab Dorje Rinpoche, and Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche.

Rinpoche did advise me that the most beneficial prayers for Japan are posted on his website, Vajrayana Foundation. For your convenience I have also listed them here with a brief explanation:

PrayerToAvertNuclearWar – Rinpoche told me that this is an excellent prayer to help with the atomic destruction that is going on now in Japan. It does not matter if the radiation was released because of a war. It matters that it is atomic and it is of arrogant making by ignorant humans who believed they were infallible.

Sampa Nyur Drupma – ‘The Prayer that Swiftly Fulfills all Wishes’ is a treasure composed by Guru Rinpoche and reavealed by the omniscient Longchenpa and Rigdzin Jigme Lingpa.

Sa Chu Me Lung – A prayer to Guru Rinpoche and his retinue of the four elemental dakinis to remove all obstacles caused by the four elements of fire, earth, water and wind. (The elements have turned negative against us because of our negative thinking)

Green Tara Terma – Green Tara is a savioress who represents compassion in action, she who can give aid from material threats, one of them being floods, like a tsunami.

March 15th, 2011 

A message from Phakchok Rinpoche this Guru Rinpoche day:

Dear All Near and Far,

I hope you have all been happy and healthy. I’m writing to you all from Ka-Nying Shedrup Ling Monastery where at present we are performing the annual Tsekar (White Amitayus/Buddha of Longevity) Drupchen (great accomplishment), a nine day ceremony based on a collection of liturgies belonging to the “Great Accomplishment Group Sadhana of White Amitayus”. This drupchen beginning on the 8th day of the fist lunar month of the Tibetan New Year brings forth auspicious circumstances for the practitioners two fold attainment of longevity and primordial wisdom.

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When talking about auspicious circumstances for practitioners, the most perfect circumstance for realizing the correct view of emptiness is through generating complete non judgmental and genuine devotion to all the enlightened ones and to cultivate unbound and un fabricated compassion for all sentient beings. Some of you may be practitioners, some interested in practicing and some just receiving this message as a junk, to which I deeply apologize. For you practitioners and for those who are interested in practicing, when you do the practice, you need to have a certain goal or a boundary or a limit to where you want to reach.

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As mentioned in countless times in my past previous notes, devotion is the key. For devotion, you need to have unerring certainty in the dharma, grounded pure perception, and finally heartfelt kindness of the teachers and the teachings. With these intact, devotion will naturally arise. In the moment of devotion, we should sincerely bring to mind our root gurus along with the lineage gurus and think of their great qualities and with great admiration, supplicate to them. Knowing that it is only through the kindness of the gurus that we’ll be able to understand the ultimate nature of the mind, with such great gratitude, genuine devotion should naturally arise.

Devotion should be applied through supplication; physically through putting your palms together, verbally through chanting the supplication, and mentally by aspiring to become a good practitioner in any condition whether in happiness or in sorrow.

Your devotion shouldn’t be judgmental as well. If it is, then your devotion is not pure. Devotion is actually a measurement of how deep your understanding of your realization of emptiness is.

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Although all sentient beings possess the self existing wisdom, they are unaware of it and as a result beaten relentlessly in the illusory experiences of samsara and suffer tremendously. When seeing such, one should overcome with great compassion and pity. At a moment like this, one should genuinely aspire with great compassion for all sentient beings to be free from suffering and the cause of suffering. Compassion should be without bounds, without attachment, without judgment, without hope and well grounded.

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On this 10th day of the first month of the Iron Rabbit Year, Guru Rinpoche renounces his kingdom, practices yoga and meditation in the great charnel ground of Sitavana and attains liberation. Gathering under the matrikas and dakinis, he is known as Guru Shantarakshita.

Keeping you all in my mind on this auspicious day of the auspicious month of the auspicious year!

Sarva Mangalam,

Phakchok Rinpoche

November 25th, 2010 

‘Compassion and love are not mere luxuries.
As the source both of inner and external peace,
they are fundamental to the continued survival of our species.’

His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama

Reuters/Gene Blevins

A driving rain, wind, thunder, and lightening came down in Oakland, California tonight. The four homeless kids were huddled under the overhang on the Boston Market building with their three dogs under holey blankets, all of them trying to stay warm and dry.

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One of the boys, maybe 15 years old, saw me walk by and he asked me if he could have my leftovers. I had just bought myself a meal and told him that I hadn’t eaten yet. He apologized. I then asked him what they do with their dogs when they go inside, or when they go to sleep. They told me their dogs sleep inside their sleeping bags, at the bottom, near their feet. The dogs were shivering.

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I walked to my beat up up old truck and sat inside as the rain rolled off of my windows. I turned the key and almost started it, but then stopped. I thought about the feral cats I feed each weekend and how much I love them. Here was a young kid asking me for my leftover food. “They must be hungry,” I thought.

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I went back to the four of them and told them I would buy them each a meal if one of them would come inside with me to pick out the food. They were so excited. When a lady standing behind me saw what I was doing she gave me a few coupons to help pay for the food and Boston Market gave them a lot of food! I then walked to the next door pet store and bought each dog a can of food with a pop up lid.

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While we waited in line the kid asked me where I was from and I told him Portland, Oregon. I’m sure it must have been karma as he then told me that they had just come from there, hoping to outrun the rain. Homeless child sex trafficking rings are on the rise in Portland, Oregon and it makes me sad that there is no shelter for runaways there, a city I consider one of the most liberal and progressive in the country.

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The boy told me one of them was going to San Diego, another would stay near San Francisco, and he himself and “the girl” were headed to New Orleans. This isn’t the 1960s and kids don’t hitch hike across the country to see the different states these days, and certainly not at that age. It’s a lie these forgotten ones tell themselves, and strangers like me, to hide their pain of being mentally, physically, and sexually abused at home, neglected by their family and friends. This group of kids didn’t even know each others names and perhaps the only thing they shared in common in this moment is that they all had left their home for one reason or another.

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Saudade Street Kid

The song ‘Saudade’ by Love and Rockets comes to my mind when I think of these runaways. It’s a Portuguese and Galician word that is difficult to translate, but it describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of which is now lost. It often carries a fatalistic tone and a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never really return.

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My prayer is that these homeless kids will know that there are compassionate people in the world who see them and who care about them. My hope is that they are free from suffering and the causes of suffering, and that they get a second chance to know happiness, and the causes of happiness.

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Category: Tibetan Buddhism  | 2 Comments
October 11th, 2010 

It’s official. Our old property manager ‘Betty’ is an evil woman. I’ve not even slept for six hours after a twelve hour drive from Portland, Oregon to San Francisco, California with four cats in the back of a Ford Focus and she’s sprayed the back windows of our house with a garden hose for fifteen minutes. (Those are our bedroom windows and she knows it. Her mother lived in this rental house before her death several years ago.) In the four years we’ve lived here she’s NEVER done that before today. She knows we’re home. Our car has been parked in front of our house since 4 A.M. this morning. The cats flew off the bed and she woke me from a deep sleep. She also put weed killer on the plants that the little birds once enjoyed in my tiny two by four foot front yard, and she didn’t get the unrepairable 1920s wall heater in our bathroom replaced, the one I talked to her about before we left to visit my mom a little over a week ago.

To think I was going to buy this old bitty a box of See’s Candy as a kindness for keeping an eye on our house while we were in Oregon, which is what she gets paid to do working for this same property management company she’s been with for many years now. I want to leave her small piles of dry cat poop in each corner of every room the day we buy our new house and move out for her behavior today. All right.. I won’t do that but right now I FEEL like I want to make her life more miserable as she’s OBVIOUSLY unhappy to be bringing me grief for no reason at all.

❀ How Can We Practice Compassion Towards Really Evil People? ❀

Phakchok Rinpoche says this is very easy:

“When you look at a child who is very ignorant and doing many wrong things, you naturally have more compassion towards that child than to one who does everything right. So you practice compassion like that. Evil people have the same wish for happiness that others do, and they have big problems. The bigger problem is ignored. Because of ignorance they are harming themselves and a lot of other people, this lifetime and in many future lifetimes.

You should gain more compassion for the evil people than for NORMAL people.

So I think a very important aspect of mind training is to experience, to imagine, and to understand all beings, to put yourself in their shoes. When you really understand the problem, the cause of suffering and the suffering all beings undergo, you will have compassion for them very naturally.

Mind is like that. Our mind right now is straightforward: ‘I like. I don’t like.’ It is judgmental. But if we understand the core problem, then I don’t think it is difficult to gain compassion.”

When I’m more awake and can actually drive without being bleary-eyed  I’ll go buy Betty, our childish, 70 year old unhappy and slightly evil property manager, the box of chocolates as I originally intended to do for her. Although it doesn’t matter to my happiness if she appreciates it or not my intention is to bring her some joy. Maybe that small box of chocolates will be the only sweetness she knows for days.

Category: Tibetan Buddhism  | 7 Comments
August 30th, 2010 
June 30th, 2010 

The 1st Jamgon Kongtrul lived from 1813 until 1899 and is revered worldwide to this day as one of the most brilliant stars in the galaxy of scholars and saints from Tibet.(1) He became learned in the ten ordinary and extraordinary branches of knowledge, and it became his responsibility to explain and compose texts, which incorporated a great number of teachings from both the old and new traditions, including the lineages of oral teachings, hidden treasures (terma), and teachings of pure vision.(2)

❀ Buddha Shakyamuni’s Prophesy ❀

Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye was prophesied by Buddha Shakyamuni in the Samadhirajasutra and foretold in many Treasure Teachings by Guru Padmasambhava. The following line from the Lankavatarasutra is taken as a prophecy referring to him: “In a later age there will come a great hero, called Lodrö the Guide, a teacher of the five sciences.”(3)

❀ Jamgon Kongtrul’s Family ❀

Jamgon Kongtrul was born into a Bönpo family on December 14th in the year of the water-horse in Rong-gyab. This little village is situated near Pema Lhatse, which is one of three sacred mountains in Do-Kham, East Tibet. His father, Yungdrung Tenzin (an illustrious Lama of the Kyunpo clan) was killed in a war that raged in his homeland. Jamgon Kongtrul’s mother, Tashitso, married Sönampäl after her husband’s death. He was a lay practitioner of Bön and transmitted the teachings and rituals of the indigenous tradition of Tibet to his stepson.(4)

❀ A Terton ❀

The 1st Jamgon Kongtrul was supposed to be a Terma Revealer, a Terton (revealer), just like Chokgyur Lingpa, but after seeing how the very ancient, sacred Termas of the past had been lost from this world he decided to preserve the past Termas by compiling them into volumes. He formally requested Chokyur Lingpa to please see if Guru Rinpoche would allow him to begin, while he also realized that by doing this work it might well mean that he would have to give up his own Terma that he was suppose to reveal during this time.

A few days later Chokgyur Rinpoche replied to the 1st Jamgon Kongtrul, “Guru Rinpoche is very happy with your proposal. Please proceed.” That is how we have the the Rinchin Terdzod today. Guru Rinpoche granted his permission for the 1st Jamgon Kongtrul to give up his duty of being a Terton (revealer) in paving the way for the 1st Jamgon Kongtrul to compile the Termas of the past.

❀ The Five Great Treasures ❀

Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye the Great authored and compiled more than ninety volumes of scriptures. They are referred to as “The Five Great Treasures, mDzöd chen lnga.” In the chronological (and not hierarchical) order in which he composed them, they are:

Shecha Dzö, Shes bya kung khyab mdzöd – The Encompassment of All Knowledge“ (an extensive compendium that succinctly elucidates the logical progression through the study and practices of the paths taught in Sutra and Tantra and the final fruition);

- “The Kagyü Ngagdzö, bKa’ brgyüd sngags mdzöd – The Treasury of Mantra of the Kagyü School” (a compendium of practices, ancient and new Tantras, accompanied by the completion stage of the Tantra, the rites of empowerment, and various authorizations);

- “Dam Ngagdzö, gDams ngag mdzöd – The Treasury of Precious Key Instructions” (the collected instructions of the Eight Great Lineages practiced in Tibet. These teachings reveal the essence of Jamgon Kongtrul’s open-mindedness since they are a collection of instructions gathered impartially from other sources rather than from his own summary of them);

- “Rinchen Terdzö, Rin chen gter mdzö – The Precious Treasure Teachings” (a collection of the Termas that Jamgon Kongtrul found, gathered, compiled, and arranged for initiations with the help of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Chogyur Lingpa);

- “Gyachen Kadzö, rGya chen bka’ mdzöd – The Treasury of Vast Teachings“ (a collection of writings, such as praises and advice, as well as compositions on medicine, science, and so on).(5)

❀ Like A Second Buddha ❀

The 1st Jamgon Kongtrul served all traditions of Dharma without any bias, through his teaching, practice, and activity. At the age of eighty-seven on January 19, 1899, he passed away.(6)

References:

[1][3-5] take from the Karma Lekshey Ling Shedra, http://bit.ly/db1h5e

[2 & 6]  http://www.jamgonkongtrul.org/namthar1.htm

June 21st, 2010 

A message from Phakchok Rinpoche on Guru Rinpoche day:

It is evening here in Boudhanath, Kathmandu and I’m sitting on my bed, drinking tea and watching the World Cup, the 1st Half of Chile Vs. Switzerland. Deliciously lost in time and deeply embedded in the samsaric way of life! At a time like this, if I try to recall the Buddha’s teaching on how one should spend their time, I am reminded of the “three different chakras”:

1. Allocating time for meditation
2. Listening, reading and reflecting on teachings
3. Engaging in actions based on good motivation

If possible, your meditation should be continuous and on a daily basis. The duration doesn’t matter; it can be for few seconds, minutes and later hours. When you make it a habit to meditate continuously, you’ll have fever problems with your mind and the emotions that follow. So for instance, while watching the World Cup and in the moment of jubilation/grievance for your team, you can meditate for few seconds and try to be mindful of those very feelings at that very moment. Isn’t that quite simple? Meditation, a term with ten letters, can sometimes bear a certain weight because of it’s length and meaning and thus people tend to be too careful with it. To a point where we build a complete new environment for it: the right place to meditate, the right time to meditate, and the right circumstance to mediate. And in the process of planning, we loose out on time and hence a day skips by followed by a week and then loose the entire momentum of wanting to meditate. So before you get entrapped in this repeated cycle, try not to plan too much and just meditate.

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Have the Right View

But before you engage in your meditation, you should have a good understanding of the meaning of the “right view”. The view of emptiness, the empty nature of all phenomena. Many of us engaged in our different stages and types of mediation are sometimes completely lost in the method and while doing so we truly forget the ground. Therefore, we should constantly reflect on the right view, emptiness. The great master Tilopa when instructing his heart student Naropa states that, “If you don’t understand the right view then your meditation and conduct will not be right”. It is like for instance, when someone is meditating, he/she saying, “I am meditating”. The very fact that the word “I” is mentioned, and the attachment to the word “I”, your meditation is not right.

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Be Like a Lion, Not a Dog

For the means for understanding and training in the right view and to understand emptiness, it is helpful to use Atisha’s technique of Burjom, getting rid of thoughts as they arise. And while investigating your thoughts, it is mentioned that one should be like a lion and not like a dog. No matter what kind of feelings, thoughts, and emotions arise, don’t chase after them like a dog. Instead, think of where theses feelings, thoughts and emotions are arising from and like a lion jump on the person throwing the stick rather than chasing after the stick.

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Check Your Emotions

In any kind of samsaric activities you are engaged in, try to do them with a good motivation and constantly check your emotions. My root teachers constantly states that if a person don’t have mindfulness, then that person is like a dead man. So while listening, reading, and reflecting on teachings constantly check what kind of emotion is present and be mindful.

Finally on this precious Guru Rinpoche Day, I want to advice you all to be calm while practicing and try to reflect on Atisha’s pith instruction and constantly look at your mind.

Keeping you all in my mind and my prayers.

Sarva Mangalam,

Phakchok Rinpoche

May 23rd, 2010 

Kyabje Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

❀ This Precious Human Body ❀

The body we have right now is called the precious human body.  In this world there are countless sentient beings and among all of them, the best one is this precious human body, which is very hard to obtain again and again. It is impossible to obtain a precious human body through demerit. It is only through the accumulation of merits in your past lives and the residual of incredible great positive karma that we can arrive in a body like this.

Having being born as a human is like arriving on an island of jewels. But if we don’t take any of them and just keep our hands crossed and go home empty handed, then what really is the point? So how do we make this precious human birth meaningful? It is only through practicing the spiritual path that one can make this precious human body significant. Without which you are just an ordinary human trapped in an ordinary human body.

And why is this human body called precious? It is because of this body, that we can listen to precious teachings when they are explained and subsequently put them into practice. But if we waste such a precious thing like this, there is truly no greater loss than that. If we don’t practice the dharma then we are no different than an animal. So truly and honestly we should really persevere to practice the dharma.


❀ Practicing the Dharma ❀

To practice the dharma means having trust, diligence and being wise/intelligent. Trust means having complete trust and confidence in the Dharma, the teachings and in the one who taught the teachings, the Buddha.  Therefore having complete trust in the Buddha and the Dharma. Complete trust in the Sangha, the ones who upholds the teachings and therefore a feeling of gratitude towards the Sangha.  We need to trust in these three (Buddha/Dharma/Sangha).

Diligence means, in any kind of job you do, if you begin and do not finish then it is never completed. Therefore what carries you to complete that job is called diligence.

And being wise/intelligent is first of all what we gain from listening to teachings, from thinking about them and than later applying them. So when you hear something and you gain some trust and confidence then you have some insight that is called the knowledge through learning. And then when you think it over, the knowledge through reflection and finally the knowledge through meditation practice and having full confidence and trust in it. It is for that reason invincible to have trust. If one mistrusts then that is a great defect.

If one has no compassion and trust it is very hard to penetrate the very heart of the dharma. It is like someone who when seeing Buddhas and bodhisattvas flying in the sky think they are just showing off and when seeing a creature lying on the floor with it’s intestines flowing out and saying oh it’s his karma, everyone dies.

❀ Devotion and Compassion ❀

Compassion and devotion shouldn’t just be a show. And shouldn’t only be of lip service. It should be from the depths of our heart. Trust towards the teachings of the Buddha should be with pure appreciation. We need to have the kind of trust which is penetrating so that tears comes out of our eyes and the hairs on our body naturally stand, a kind of feeling difficult to remain in. Simply by uttering some empty words wont’ suffice.  When thinking of other beings you should have the kind of compassion thinking that they are all my parents and yet they don’t know what to do, they create immense pain and suffering for themselves, yet they are not aware of it. They have no idea about the ultimate truth, the true state of Samadhi. So they wonder from one life to the next in the endless chain of samsara. Therefore, the ones who are filled with overwhelming compassion for sentient beings and with unwavering devotion for the enlighten ones; they will without any doubt receive the blessings of all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas. Just to pay lip service and superficially act as if one pities sentient beings and respects the enlighten ones is not enough to receive the blessings. It has to be with hundred percent sincerity. So here are some signs of receiving the blessings, and they are when you no longer have to try to feel kind and compassionate, as it will come spontaneously and you no longer have to try to be deliberately respectful, as it will come spontaneously as well. Those are the signs. With a natural trust in the teaching and the consequences of karma, that is the real accomplishment of dharma practice. That is the real siddhi.

❀ Receiving the Blessings ❀

You may not be having a lot of knowledge and information of the dharma but if you have real trust in the three jewels and you have kindness towards other beings and acutely understand that in this life, nothing last forever, then you have already received the blessings of the three jewels. Otherwise just to know a lot of teachings can sometimes really resolve in nothing but conceit. Or thinking I have practiced so much and so many years of Shamatha and Samadhi. People who have a lot of practice behind them usually become more miserly and stingy. This is proof that the teachings have not taken affect. So what is the main mission at stake? It is after all about buddha-nature, which is the very identity within which the bodies, speech, mind, qualities and enlighten activities of all the Buddhas are complete. Actually the body, speech, and mind of any sentient being have its source or origin only in the body, speech, and mind of all the awakened ones. This unchanging quality is called the vajra body, the unceasing quality the vajra speech and the unmistaken quality, the vajra mind. The indivisible unity of these three is exactly what buddha-nature means.

❀ Buddha-nature ❀

If we don’t recognize or acknowledge in our own experience what is the unchanging quality of this buddha-nature, then it is more or less like entering into the entrapment of the physical body of flesh and blood, our speech being entrapped within the movement of breath to become voice and voice that appears and disappears. Our consciousness becomes fixated upon a perceiver or the perceived. In other words, fixation on duality that arises and ceases for each moment, in other words, thoughts that come and go, one after the other in an endless string of thoughts continued from beginning less time and just goes on and on. That is how our normal state of mind is. If we don’t recognize our own nature in this very lifetime, we are then incapable of capturing our natural seat of unchanging self-existent wakefulness. Instead, we chase after one perishable thought after the other so that samsara becomes endless. Being overpowered by this involvement in thought day and night, life after life. Unless you become free of conceptual thinking, there is absolutely no way to truly awaken to enlightenment.


❀ The Supreme Method ❀

Great peace is when the conceptual thinking subsides or calms down. And there is such a way for that to happen. The thoughts which are an expression, while thinking if you truly recognize that you are in natural phase, which is buddha-nature, at that same moment, any thought vanishes by itself leaving no trace. That brings an end to samsara. So the basic way for that is the supreme method, once you know that one method is there anything superior to that you need to know? And this way is something, which is already attained in your self, it is not something that we need to get from someone else, by bribe, search for and finally find. It is not necessary at all. Just recognize your own natural phase and you have already transcended the six realms of samsara. That way is what one asks for when asking a master to please give instruction on mind essence. This is the most precious which one doesn’t need to search for outside, it is in your self. This is called the Buddha being placed in the palm of your own hand. That is an analogy which means, at that moment, you don’t need to seek for the awakened state somewhere else. If you line up all the money and wealth of the whole world in a big heap on one side and on the other side the recognition of buddha-nature, the nature of our own mind then what is more valuable if you were to choose between the two? Obviously, you should without a doubt choose recognizing mind essence as being much more valuable. This is called the amazing Buddha within.

If you have a wish-fulfilling jewel and yet don’t use it, then the endless samsara lies before you. Isn’t there more trouble? This is something we really need to think about. This is the real crucial point. If we didn’t have this innate buddha-nature, who can actually blame you. This buddha-nature, it is the identity of the three kayas of all Buddhas.

And in closing:

Although my mind is the Buddha, I failed to acknowledge it
Though the essence of thought is Dharmakaya, I failed to recognize it
Though the innate natural state is uncontrived, I failed to sustain it
Though this naturalness is the true state, I failed to trust it
So Guru, please look upon me with compassion and grant your blessings
That I may quickly turn my mind towards the dharma
And have no obstacles on the path and quickly have diligence to practice

* The above teaching was given at Nagi Gonpa by Kyabje Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche with Erik Pema Kunsang as his translator.


April 27th, 2010 

❀ ORGYEN DORJE DEN (ODD) IN ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA ❀

Invites you to join them for a historic Dharma event.

ODD Shrine Room

❀ VENERABLE GYATRUL RINPOCHE ❀

Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche

At the request of Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche, Yangthang Rinpoche will bestow the transmissions of the Rinchen Terzod.


❀ THE RINCHEN TERZOD ❀

The Rinchen Terzod, the Treasury of Precious Termas, was compiled by Jamgon Kongtrul the Great with the blessings of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Chogyur Lingpa. The precious collection includes many of the major termas that had been discovered before 1889 and is extensive. It will take over three months to confer the entire cycle of hundreds of empowerments.

❀ VENERABLE YANGTHANG RINPOCHE ❀

Venerable Yangthang Tulku Rinpoche

Yangthang Tulku Rinpoche is an emanation of the great Vimalamitra and the immediate reincarnation of the Terton Dorje Dechen Lingpa. Rinpoche is a main lineage holder in the Nyingma Tradition and one of the most highly respected Buddhist teachers in the world today. Gyatrul Rinpoche says that …“Yangthang Rinpoche is truly a precious jewel.”


❀ SUPPORT ❀

Please consider becoming a sponsor for this rare and auspicious event. Your generosity and support for this program is greatly appreciated! For more information and to register please contact: orgyendorjeden@gmail.com