Dear friends near and far,
As always, I hope this message finds you well, healthy and happy. On this Guru Rinpoche day, I would like to share with you a few verses of advice by Dza Patrül Rinpoche.
“Dharma that does not benefit your mind
is Dharma only in name, not in substance.
If your mind does not change one bit,
even a hundred years in retreat is only source of hardship.”
In these times, we are all facing ups and downs, highs and lows. In the face of such circumstances, we speak of practicing the Dharma, but to do so it is essential to generate true compassion, faith, and belief in karmic cause and effect in our hearts and minds. These are the key points of Dharma that we need to remember. Don’t practice Dharma only in name, practice Dharma in substance; that is, Dharma that truly benefits your mind.
“You may have mastered the meditations of generation and completion,
But if these are not suffused with genuine bodhicitta,
Other than sowing the seeds of rebirth within the delusions of samsara,
They will not help you to reach the state of omniscience.”
In order to reach the state of buddhahood, we either need to establish the correct motivation, or the correct view. If you do not from the start lay the foundation of the correct view or the correct motivation, you will only be led astray from the path and away from the fruition. The correct view, however, is very difficult, or even impossible, to establish from the start. This view is the view of emptiness, or of the nature of mind, rikpa, primordial wisdom. But since we cannot reach the right view immediately, we need the correct motivation. The correct motivation is bodhicitta, which arises based on compassion. We need bodhicitta in order to practice the six transcendent perfections, and to further practice the generation and completion stages. Therefore, please cultivate bodhicitta.
“Tame your mind; tame your mind; tame your mind with Dharma!
If you tame your mind with the four mind changings,
Though you may not have the view, meditation, recitation, generation, or completion,
You will not stray away from the path to liberation.”
If you do not tame your mind, no matter what practice you engage in, you will not reach the state of awakening. Therefore, whatever practice you do, you need to base yourself on the evaluation of your own experiences in order to move forward on the path. The reason why we call Buddhists “inner” (nangpa) and non-Buddhists “outer” (chipa) in Tibetan is because non-Buddhists believe that all phenomena of samsara and nirvana arise from an outer cause, such as a creator god, for instance. Buddhists believe that all phenomena of samsara and nirvana arise based on one’s own inner mind. Therefore, Buddhists chiefly teach about the mind: how to tame the mind, how to recognize the nature of mind, and so on. Thus, we are not calling non-Buddhists “outsiders” because they don’t belong to our “insider” group; rather, it’s about where we focus our attention, inwardly or outwardly. Therefore, it is extremely important for you to tame your own mind.
So, my prayer, my reminder to you on this Guru Rinpoche day as you read this message, is to please make sure not to deceive yourself. Don’t lie to yourself. Many people actually cheat and lie to themselves. But don’t lead yourself astray in this way, please.
With all my love and prayers,
This is such a wonderful teaching and reminder for me as I work with what I am facing in this weekend ahead. Thank you!