First of all, good afternoon and Tashi Delek and thank you very much for a such a detailed and beautiful explanation. Thank you very much. And then The House of Tibet for organizing it, I have to say thank you very much and for inviting me over here, thank you again.
As you have heard the explanation from the Venerable here, about my journeys here and there, I will try to live up to that expectation.
So I think this is a very beautiful moment because you have a beautiful, our Tibetan culture here that is happening right outside, you get to taste a lot of different things, you get to see different things and you get to meditate also, so it’s a lot of combinations, so I think that is very good balance.
So before we start into meditation of the Niguma, I think I need to explain a little bit of history, just a general history, not so much into a history lesson but just a little bit of history. The Niguma, she is an incredible being and her realization is immense. And she said very clearly, when she had this great realisation, of course she had a different mentor and gurus and masters and so on, but she mentioned that “my Guru is not a human figure but the Buddha himself”, and that was the statement, that was the statement of her realization.
Okay? So she is an Indian lady, you know, born in Kashmir region and for many years throughout her lifetime she dedicate her life as in a solitude, as a yogini, a solitude lifestyle. And then, of course, due to her realization, the fame and the great teachings that came along with it, was her student called Khyungpo Naljor, he went from Tibet, all the way from Tibet, crossing through the Nepal border and then went to India and received her teachings. And then, there was a Five Jewels of Niguma that she gave, that special teachings such as Heat generating practice, Yoga, and then also the Illusionary body and mind, Dream yoga, Intermediate state practice, Transmitting the state of consciousness practice [Powa], The nature of the mind teachings of the Niguma, as well as a timeless aspect of the visualization practice, as well.
So, just in general, just a general information, is that in our Tibetan Buddhist history, there is a tradition of Nyingma, and Sakya lineage, Kagyu lineage, Jonang lineage, Gelug lineage, Shangpa lineage, all of these are different lineage, it doesn’t mean that is against each other. It is just a different teacher has their own interpretation of different, you know, teachings, slightly different method. But all the origin goes all the way back to the Buddha Shakyamuni. That’s number one.
Number two, that very example is His Holiness Dalaï Lama The Great Fourteenth, and he have shown the great example: he doesn’t say “I am part of this lineage or that lineage” rather receives teachings from the Nyingma lineage, Sakya lineage, Gelug lineage, as well as a previous Kalu Rinpoche as well, in terms of the teachings and some meditations, methods and here and there. So therefore, you know, ourself as a individual who are interested of Buddhist philosophy, or the path of the, Buddha’s teaching, to have that kind of a mindset is very important.
So, but the essence of the Buddhadharma’s teaching is not about worshiping the Buddha. Like the blind faith is not necessary in a Buddhist teaching, blind faith in general is, it’s a topic that you should not touch. Unless you are stuck in a desert! If you are stuck in a desert with no car, no water, nothing, no phone, no Wi-Fi then you need a blind faith: to believe that you can survive the next day and keep on walking, you need a blind faith. But in, in order to practice Buddhism, you do not need a blind faith but rather a common sense and understanding, with the wisdom that you have.
But in order to understand that, and to practice that and you need to develop the calmness and the subtleness of the mind, as well as the body combined.
You see? Like an example, we say that “Oh”, you know, in, an example in other faiths, we say that “I’m into this problem, and I want somebody else to solve my problem”. In the Buddhist, we say “I created this problem, I have to solve this problem”, it’s much better! Isn’t it? Less dependent, you know? Imagine that throughout your whole life you have to call somebody all the time. You have to cook, you have to call somebody. You have to go to toilet, you have to call somebody. You are sick, you have to call somebody. You want to go to pub, you want to call somebody. You meet somebody that you are in love, you call somebody. You separate from the person that you love, also you have to call somebody. Imagine the headache! Let alone the peace bringing to your mind.
So therefore, in, from the Buddhist perspective, we examine the state of the emotion, we examine the existence of the anger. Many people when they become Buddhist practitioner, they have this idea that they have to “abandon the attachment”, they have to “abandon the anger” so therefore “if you can’t abandon then you are Bad Buddhist” and you have to carry this guilt trip. That’s terrible. That’s not a Buddhist aspect. Feeling “guilt”, in French I think “culpabilité” that’s how you call it? “culpabilité ! ce n’est pas bien” [haha] okay? Buddhist path, without “culpabilité”, but awareness of the mind is a Buddhist path.
Carrying a “guilt” in your spiritual journey is not “awakened mind”, is rather “fixated mind”, you know? So when you practice Buddhism or practice meditation, you have to let go of your idea of the guilt because the more you dig into this guilt sensation, and emotion, and projection of the mind, there is nothing from it. You repeat that thousand times, million times, you’re going to be exactly the same as you dig few years ago, you know? so carrying on with the guilt is not your spiritual awakening, nor spiritual progress. But awareness of the mind is very important.
In order to develop the awareness of the mind, you should not say and demonize everything: like an example “oh, I have attachment – bad!” don’t say “I have anger – bad!”, you know, don’t brand it as something “really bad!” before understanding it, you know? We have so much suffering because before we even examine, we already brand as “bad! bad! bad! bad, bad” you know? then we feel overwhelmed. Then we tell ourself that “I have a bad karma” then we tell ourself “I’m a bad practitioner”, you know, “bad meditator”, then you end up doing nothing, you know? Then you say “oh what am I doing? what am I supposed to do?” and all that. So therefore, you have to let go of the idea that the feeling of guilt, and the “culpabilite” that has to leave behind.
And then also leave the idea behind of “I need to” you know “dissolve, disappear my attachment, because it’s bad!”, it’s almost impossible, you know? The attachment, because it can go from the very ordinary emotion of attachment, it can go to a very subtle level attachment. Like an example, I always say this “just because I wear red colour, doesn’t mean that I’m not attached” if you say “this looks very beautiful, can you give it to me?” I will say no. Because I’m attached. attachment can go very, very long journey.
So just because nobody is challenging you, just because you are happy in a beautiful temple, doesn’t mean that you are renounced from the attachment. Attachment is a very, very long journey. The fixation of the mind is a very, very long journey. But it doesn’t mean that you cannot finish, or you cannot abandon. You can. But in order to reach to that state, you need to, at least try to examine the very existence of the anger. Anger is something that we can overcome. Because when you identify the anger, to, to the very questions of existence: where is it? what is it? you know? And then, you come to the conclusion that the anger itself, in the very nature of the anger does not exist. It is the impression that it gives to you, it is the feeling that is given to you, but when you examine it, the existence of the anger does not truly exist.
And then when you have that kind of approach, examination, very “Middle Path”, very gentle approach, and then eventually, Buddhist teachings, Buddhist practice can become effective. So I hope it’s not too long, you can make it short.
Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche – Breathing and Niguma Meditation
September 8, 2023
La Grande Pagode de Vincennes – Paris
To be continued …