Buddhist Philosophy

~ November 22, 2016 ~

Defining Dharma

Buddhist Philosophy • audio

Defining Dharma is an important place to begin. In this audio teaching recorded in Mexico in 2016, Tulku Migmar explains how we can understand where to begin. The teaching is also translated into Spanish here!

Ethics

First we must know about the Dharma and then about meditation. Dharma means the transformation of our mind. Defining Dharma is a complex topic. Sometimes it is explained as not falling into the negative actions. These negative actions consist of actions of body, speech, and mind. Negative actions create suffering for ourselves and for others. Another meaning of Dharma is “seeing the truth” or “reality,” or nature of phenomena, and of our minds.

Dharma also means “holding” the mind on good actions. When we hold, or maintain, our mind on good activities – that is Dharma. Buddha Śhākyamuni said, “Tame your mind.” Dharma also means “the path.” Our mind has different levels. Each level of mind requires a method that frees us and allows for clarity.

It is not necessary to have a profound intellectual understanding to practice Dharma or meditation. It is important, however, to learn Dharma through experience. Dharma is our mind. Dharma means understanding how we perceive things through our mind in day-to-day life. When our mind behaves or reacts in habitual ways, then we suffer.

That’s why when we learn Dharma or meditation, it gives us the way to transform our mind. By understanding our habits and our perception, we understand and experience how our mind works. For example, if we meet someone we like, out of habit, we have a perception. We smile and act nicely. If we meet someone we don’t like, then because of our habits we don’t want to smile. Or we smile on the outside, but inside we don’t feel the same way. And the smile is different.

Understanding Mind

Dharma means understanding our mind. Then if our perception is not pure our reactions and actions arise from that. Sometimes we don’t react to others out loud. But we complain a lot to ourselves in our mind. We complain and we compare. Where does this come from? It comes from perceiving incorrectly, negatively, and not purely.

A shortcut way of transforming our own minds is by seeing things purely and seeing the nature of our minds.

All beings want happiness. But happiness cannot come from seeing things negatively! And in the end, we are all seeking ultimate happiness. The only way this comes about is through transforming our minds.

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