First of all I want to say tashi delek and good evening. So today we will start with the refuge prayer as we did last time, and then mandala, and visualising our own guru and with that in mind, then we will start the session, okay?[Prayers] [REFUGE AND BODHICITTA PRAYER] sang gyé chö dang tsok kyi chok nam la
I take refuge in the buddha, Dharma, and Supreme Assembly
jang chup bar du dak ni kyap su chi
Until the attainment of enlightenment.
dak gi jin sok gyi pé sö nam kyi
Through the merit of practicing generosity and so forth,
dro la pen chir sang gyé drup bar shok
May Buddhahood be accomplished for the benefit of beings. [THE FOUR IMMEASURABLES] sem chen tam ché dewa dang dewé gyu dang den par gyur chik
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
duk ngel dang duk ngel gyi gyu dang drelwar gyur chik
May they be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
duk ngel mé pé dewa dam pa dang mi drelwar gyur chik
May they be inseparable from true happiness devoid of and suffering.
nyé ring chak dang dang drelwé tang nyom chen po la né par gyur chik
May they realize great equanimity, without attachment to loved ones and aversion to others. [SEVEN-BRANCHED PRAYER] chak tselwa dang chö ching shak pa dang
Through homage, making offerings, confession,
jé su yi rang kül zhing sölwa yi
rejoicing, exhorting, and supplicating,
gewa chung zé dak gi chi sak pa
whatever small virtue I have amassed,
tam ché dak gi jang chup chir ngo
I delicate it all to supreme enlightenment. [OFFERING MANDALA] sa zhi pö chü juk shing mé tok tram
The ground is anointed with fragrant waters and strewn with flowers,
ri rap ling zhi nyi dé gyen pa di
adorned with Sumeru, the four continents, the sun, and the moon.
sang gyé zhing du mik té pülwa yi
Through my imagining this as a buddha realm and offering it,
dro gün nam dak zhing la chö par shok
may all beings enjoy and completely pure realm. [GURU YOGA] penden tsawé la ma rin po ché
Glorious and precious root guru
dak gi ji bor pemé den zhuk la
who sits on a lotus-moon seat on the crown of my head,
ka drin chen pö go né jé zung té
Through your great kindness, having taken me as a disciple,
ku sung tuk kyi ngö drup tsel du söl
Grant me the accomplishment of the body, speech and mind of the Buddhas.
So we visualize our own guru, whether your guru is Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, Gelug, Jonang, whichever the tradition or lineage may be, you visualize that guru, I visualize my guru, Situ Rinpoche as my lifetime after lifetime guru, and that I visualize that as my witness, and as a guidance, and that in mind, and then I start this session.
So the topic, the name of the teaching of last time, was “lam zhugs kyi gang zag las dang po pa la phan pa’i bskyed rdzogs kyi gnad bsdus shuk so”. So basically, it’s the creation and the completion guideline for the beginner and the genuine practitioners. So these are the manuscript, experience manuscript. It’s not just a repeating method. It’s rather, Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thayé, his own personal experience, his own understanding, and putting down in a written language, so that all of us can understand and have more accessible, so you don’t have to be very knowledgeable about this. If you have a very common sense, common understanding, there’s almost nothing that you do not understand. So that’s one thing.
And the other thing I just wanted to tell you, this time, is that yesterday I was with my Himalayan group zoom, online zoom class, and I was saying one thing, and I think it’s very important to tell you right now, and that is our mindset, we practice, we should practice which we pursue, whichever we feel connected to, whichever we feel close to, whichever the lineage or tradition may be, but our perception towards Lord Buddha’s teachings should be universal. Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, Gelug, Jonang, Shangpa, all these traditions originated from the teachings of the Lord Buddha Shakyamuni.
Like an example, the Niguma’s teachings, the Niguma teaching of “sgyu lus” (the practice of Illusion), the practice of Illusion is not something that she created out of her mind. It is rather, teachings coming from the Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, the interaction between her, the interaction between the Shakyamuni and his student, and then it is retrieved from the 84 000 teachings, and then put it into a more practical approach and practice. And that became known as an illusion practice. It’s not something that Niguma created.
Because when we think about Tilopa, Naropa, Niguma, Sukkhasiddhi, we have this vision and biography idea that they have the teaching, they have the teacher that is only Vajradhara. Yes. If you just simply look at briefly, as part of the legendary story, then it is true. But if you study their “namtar“, in Tibetan we call it “རྣམ་ཐར་ – namtar”, “namtar” means their whole life story. If you read the life story carefully, then you can see, like an example, Niguma, her teacher was many Brahman masters, Buddhist Brahman masters, and then including the Saraha as well. And then eventually Vajradhara.
So like an example, Metripa, the great Shangpa master mahasiddha. So we know him as a yogi who has close connection with the Four Deities since he was a prince. But eventually his guru was the Shawaripa. So therefore we have to understand that none of the tantric teachings is out of nowhere. It is all originated from the Lord Buddha Shakyamuni. Whether you believe the Lord Buddha Shakyamuni gave teachings in the form of Kalachakra or not, either way, it’s coming from the teachings of the Lord Buddha.
So if it’s so difficult to think that Buddha Shakyamuni transformed himself in a Kalachakra appearance with a figure, with a tantric appearance, because it’s more appropriate to teach the tantra teachings. Yeah if it’s easier to see it that way, then it’s good. If it’s not easy to accept to see it that way, then it’s also fine. But the common understand is all the tantric teachings is not because coming from the mahasiddha, but rather it’s retrieved teachings from the 84 000 teachings of the Lord Buddha, and they examined more precisely, and then bring it to the more practical method for different practitioners.
And also, all the great masters throughout the history, there’s always, when it comes to empowerment, and teachings, it is always interlinked. And then when it comes to the institution itself, of course everything stays separately, it’s more to do with the management, it’s nothing to do with the lineage itself. So when you have to uphold the legal matters, the management of the financial matters, then of course everything is separate. But in the teachings of the Dharma, teachings of the Buddha, teachings of the great mahasiddhas, there’s no separation. All of them are one. So we have to see it like that.
If we look at the Sakya Gongma Rinpoche, you know Sakya Gongma, Sakya Trizin, the previous Sakya Trizin, he has received many empowerments from many masters. If we look at His Holiness Dalai Lama, he didn’t say that “I am Gelugpa, so therefore I will not receive any other empowerment”. He didn’t. He received many teachings, from many great different masters. So you need to, and just like that, previous Kalu Rinpoche he received teachings from many many masters, Nyingma masters, Gelug masters, Sakyapa masters, Kagyupa masters, Shangpa masters. So you need to have that sense of openness, but yet, the very important is when it comes to practice, you have to be more close minded. And more committed. More rigid. More dedicated. So that is very important.
What is happening nowadays is that our mindset, our mindset becomes very much fixation with oneself, and then when it comes to practice, then we say “everything is universal”. If you have that kind of approach “everything is universal” with a sense of, with a lack of principle, with a lack of commitment, wherever you turn, you are going to end up in a wrong result, with a negative result.
So when it comes to practice, whatever it may be, whatever the tradition may be, and then you have to be committed. When it comes to the perception of the teachings of the Lord Buddha, we have to see it as a universal. And then of course there’s an institution that is completely separate from all of these things. And sometimes it’s managed by good people, sometimes it’s managed by arrogant people, sometimes it’s managed by lack of understanding of life even. So these are quite distinctive, you have to make a distinction over time. And it’s very important, so that you don’t blame “everything is, Buddhism is bad, that tradition is bad, my lineage is good”, so you have to make a distinction over time. And I think it’s very important.
I was saying that last time so I just want to say this again. Because Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thayé, he is a Rimé. Rimé means a universal lineage holder, non-sectarian. So previous Kalu Rinpoche was Rimé. Taranatha was Rimé. Khyungpo Naljor was Rimé. Milarepa was Rimé. All the great masters, they are Rimé. So I think that’s one thing that we have to keep in mind in general.
But being chaotic doesn’t make you Rimé. Many people they mix so many different things together and then they become chaotic and then they call themselves Rimé, with no clarity in mind, with no clarity in practice. And then that’s not Rimé. That’s just chaos. It’s very simple. So I think it’s very important to understand what is the meaning of lineage, what is meaning of institution, what is meaning of all the mahasiddhas, and then also the meaning of Rimé, and lineage, and sectarian, non-sectarian, all these things. Understanding gradually, over time, it’s important. Not based on assumption right away. So that’s that.
Monthly ZOOM teachings by Kalu Rinpoche
Session 2 – June 6, 2021