Host: Yeah, it’s nice when you talk about devotion, and you previously made the connection between clarity and devotion. And that almost, devotion is like a form of clarity right? Can you say a little bit more about that?
Kalu Rinpoche: Yes, yes. Devotion is a, many people when they think about the devotion, they think that “devotion is something that you must do”. It’s absolutely something that you must do. But is it something that you must “force” yourself with it? Absolutely not.
Because you cannot have a devotion, you know, just by itself, naturally. Maybe for some individual, like an example Gampopa hear the word, the name of Milarepa for the first time, then there’s a tears, sense of joy, beyond control, you know? So like that kind of a circumstance may happen, but please don’t consider yourself as one, [haha] you know, if you are one of them, you become one of them. No need to search and “be” that.
So devotion is not something that you have to force yourself to have it, but faith in Dharma is far more important. When you have a faith in Dharma, the teachings of the Lord Buddha, and then you reduce the fixation. When you reduce the fixation, and the illusion of the attachment, not over, not all of it, but as you progress of, on reducing it, and then sense of less attachment tend to reveal by itself. As that quality reveals, and then the way you see the teachings of the Buddha, the way you see the teachings of all the great master becomes far more pure. All by itself.
At that stage you are no longer struggling “whether you need to have a devotion or not” that doesn’t become part of the question or doubt.
But, so therefore, everybody needs to focus on the teachings of the Buddha, based on the love, loving compassion, as His Holiness Dalaï Lama always speaks about around the world, right? His Holiness Dalaï Lama is highly realised being, he can talk about so many different things, but yet, when it comes to the engagement to the general public, he will always emphasise on loving, compassion, Avalokiteshvara practice, you know?
So practice can be very simple. Practice can be very simple, but based on the compassion. When you practice compassion, not to the point where you have to go to the street to do something, you don’t need to prove to anybody. You don’t need, it’s not about proving to anybody.
When you practice compassion, based on the visualisation, the strength of the fixation tend to reduce by itself, as you enter as a habit, let’s say ཚོགས་བཟང་སྒྲིབ་པ་བྱང་བ “tsok zang dribpa jangwa”, you know? In Tibetan, ཚོགས་བཟང “tsok zang” means positive accumulation, སྒྲིབ་པ་བྱང་བ “dribpa jangwa” means dispelling or dissolving the negativity, isn’t it?
So the negativity will not disappear just by knowing “that is a negative”. This negative will only dissolve only when you accumulate the positivity. And how you accumulate positivity? What practice you do matters. So the practice we should choose is a practice of compassion, that is a opposite of our “self fixation”. And then when you practice compassion based on the visualisation, not challenging yourself in a real world, okay? My insurance doesn’t cover that [haha].
So when you develop that compassion based on the visualisation again and again, slowly by slowly, little by little, you are able to resist overwhelming negativity. Step by step. As you overcome, slowly, slowly, and then the clarity in mind tend to develop. And then compassion, genuinely, becomes your new version of reality. And then also the devotion to the great master, the teachings, far more become accessible to your heart.
Live with Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche on Wisdom Dharma Chats (28′ 22”)
Perspective on dharma in the modern world – 4th May 2023
To be continued …