Aug 23

Kalu Rinpoche | Stages in the Path of Illusion | Lesson 1 (Part 1)

First of all, I want to say Tashi Delek to all our participants and our translators and everyone here. And thank you for being here for showing such great dedication to the Dharma, regardless of the different timezone that we may be living, around the globe.

So, today, there will be two teachings combined together. One will be སྐྱེས་བུ་གསུམ་གྱི་ལམ་རིམ་, Kyepusumgye lamrim. Kyepusumgye lamrim is a little bit like…those who are with a smaller capacity and the medium capacity and the larger capacity and the methods and the practice for these different individuals to overcome and understand and reach enlightenment, and so on. So, these are the… one of the main foundation teachings that I will do today.

And, on top of that, I will combine together with the Niguma’s teaching. The Niguma’s teaching is also lamrim, like the progressive path, but it is a progressive path combined together with illusion. So, therefore, we call it in Tibetan སྒྱུ་མ་ལམ་རིམ་, sgyu ma Lam Rim. Kyepusumgye lamrim and sgyu ma Lam Rim.

So, try to see sgyu ma Lam Rim, the Niguma’s teaching as a primary teaching, and the Kyepusumgye lamrim as a preliminary teaching. Because in Kyepusumgye lamrim, the text is quite a large volume. And explanation is more detail. And on top of that, it’s not just the teaching, you know, to think think think…It’s a teaching combined together with the analytical approach. You know, you think about it, you think about it, you analyze, you meditate, you analyze, you meditate, you analyze, you meditate.

And that’s why I like this teaching very much. Because, of course, all the great masters, as you know, has a great method of giving teachings, and also their way of expressing towards the students with the great compassion and loving and kindness to all sentient beings. And among the many masters, I find Taranatha very simplified. His approach, his word, his method, his approach, his personality, you know, it’s very, very close to you. It’s a little bit like a brotherly connection.

And also, that’s what I feel when I’m reading his teaching, you know, he does not put himself too serious, you know, he tried to put with so many different examples. And he explained with so many different topics, which everybody can understand that you don’t need to have some certain degree, to understand that level of teaching. So even though it’s a large volume, it is very accessible to all the practitioners.

So that’s why I chose this topic. Because, of course, we’ve been doing the creation and completion, in the past few months, last year, this year. We’ve been also doing the six-armed Mahakala. We’ve been doing also four deities here in there. But there was always a moment that I tell myself that there’s so many of you, showing so much dedication to the Dharma, wanting to practice Dharma and wanting to practice not just the Dharma, but genuinely as much as possible , without any false knowledge, without any false perception, without any false intention. You know, so I’ve seen many of you have shown such a tremendous dedication. So therefore, I chose this topic, not because of random. It is because myself I read a few times. And each time I read it, and I find it more meaningful to share with others.

And then the beautiful part about this, the lamrim, is that it starts with, of course, like any other teachings with the refuge, bodhichitta, then the gratitude to the masters and the Three Jewels. But it, it goes slowly into analytical meditation. There is one line two lines, then there is a stage of analytical meditation. Analytical meditation, I think I need to explain to you right now, it does not mean analytical meditation in a sense that you have to think a lot. Analytical meditation means, of course, the way you have to use your intellectual knowledge of what you have learned, what you have heard, what you have received, and then also trying to make a sense out of it, you know, trying to make a sense out of it, a meaning out of it.

And then when you try to find a meaning out of it, you come to the conclusion, there’s no absolute meaning within that category of analytical approach, then you make kind of a progressive approach over time, time again and again. Then it gets… the first it becomes a little bit boring, maybe it can be exciting, maybe it can be emotional, it can be different impact for different individuals. It doesn’t have to be same, you don’t have to be in tears, you know. You don’t have to be ‘Oh, I renounce everything, now.’ You don’t have to be ‘Oh, I will practice starting from tomorrow and abandon everything.’ It doesn’t have to be like that.

For some individual it can be exciting, some individually can be emotionally, quite reflecting to oneself about life. And then for some individual, it is simply resonating what is the meaning of life and some reflection towards ourselves can be more simple. But either way, you know, the most important is that, it starts like that, and then gradually, your analytical approach and the quality of the mind of the analytical approach becomes more and more vast and profound over time.

So, analytical approach, from the Buddhist perspective, it does not stay the same from the beginning to the end. In the beginning, it is more rigid, it is more solid. And then slowly, slowly, slowly, that analytical approach of meditation becomes more and more and more subtle. And then at the end, Taranatha gives teachings about nature of mind.

And that I find it very beautiful. Because, some masters, they teach many things, but when it comes to the nature of mind, they kind of step back. They say, ‘oh, maybe I should not speak or maybe I should not teach, maybe the practitioner will be confused’, and so on. But in this lamrim Taranatha teaching, it has more of a progressive approach, and then with the analytical, with a rigid understanding, for our capacity of, you know, our capacity to understand, and then slowly it gets more detail and profound and then slowly becomes more subtle, and then possibility to recognize the nature of the mind.


Kalu Rinpoche
Teaching on Stages in the Path of Illusion,Lesson 1,Part 1
7th Aug. 2021