Q: Can you tell us about the Buddha? How can we best relate to the Buddha?
A: In the biography of the Buddha Shakyamuni, he was born as a prince. When he was born, there was a Brahmin who said a prophecy that, this individual boy will become a great great king, or will completely become an enlightened being if he chose the path of a yogi or a practitioner.
But the king, the father, loved too much to his son, and didn’t want his son to escape from the kingdom. There was a lot of fear and the king had a lot of paranoia. So, what the father king did was surrounding everything with the perfection, to distract the prince’s mind, and make him not to abandon the kingdom.
So, when Buddha Shakyamuni was a prince, he was very much loved by his father and very much cared, protected and served by his father and attendant. But the problem is that when you love somebody so much, and you tend to create some kind of a bubble for the person, whether it’s a Buddha, whether it’s a prince, whether it’s simply your son or daughter, and then you become a person that creating delusional bubbles, and make your beloved ones out of touch with reality.
One day, when the prince went for tour within his own kingdom, he saw the reality of people getting old, people getting sick, people dying, and all the different levels of suffering. When he saw all the reality of the suffering, then he finally had an acceptance that all the life that he had was a bubble, and that was an illusion, that was created into his reality so he did not escaped out of that realm.
In our scenario, as a practitioner, we don’t have a kingdom, we don’t have a father king, we don’t have that exact lifestyle, prince and princess and so on so forth. But at the same time, we can find all these in ourselves. We ourselves are the king that is blocking us to awaken ourselves to see the meaning of the reality. And as an individual being, we are also the Buddha himself. We have a nature of mind, that we need to have a sense of recognition, but that comes after.
Even we don’t have a kingdom to ourselves, our kingdom is our illusion. Our illusion is creating a bubble. With that bubble, we are in denial of any acceptance to the reality. And then we keep on pretending. We pretend with religious titles, religious ideas, social status, and so on. We implement in so many levels and then we pretend.
When you pretend, then you lose the touch of the Buddha. When you don’t pretend, that is the beginning footstep of relating to the path of the Buddha Shakyamuni or any Buddhas. Because when you don’t pretend, there’s only one direction that where you look at, and that is the reality of the suffering, that is the reality of your own ignorance, that is the reality of all the illusion and from the projection of our own state of mind.
Once you see that, there’s only one way that we can have some kind of a chain reaction, and that is having a genuine acceptance that and knowing that you have been in the bubble, knowing that you need to burst that bubble, and to live and practice naturally, without any worshipping mindset, and also without any superstition ideas, without titles, without hierarchy, and simply being genuine to ourselves and recognizing the own nature of our mind.
Once we recognize the nature of the mind, then of course, the genuine kindness and compassion will arise naturally. But before that we need to practice compassion. After when we have the sense of genuine recognition to our own state of mind, then the natural strength of the genuine compassion will arise by itself, will implement by itself.
With love and respect from Kalu Rinpoche
Facebook Live Q&A 19th. Apr. 2020