Turning On the Light

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Commitment to the Path”

Lord Buddha teaches us that we are wandering in cyclic existence, and that cyclic existence is tricky.  We are taught that cyclic existence is like that room full of furniture, full of obstacles.  You have to get through it, but lots of things are going to happen.  You’re going to go through events; karmic ripenings will take place.  There will be sickness.  There will be old age, and there will be death.  The only way you get out of old age is if you die first.  These are the rules.  That’s how the house works.

So that being the case, the Buddha teaches us, as well, that everything in samsara has a beginning and therefore has an ending.  Literally every time you meet and come together with a loved one, at that moment, you have given rise to the parting from that loved one. These moments, these cause and effect relationships arise interdependently; and although they seem to us to be separated by time, that’s part of our delusion.  Cause and effect arise interdependently.

So when we meet the great love of our life that we have waited for oh these many years, then we are also at that moment entering into the experience of separating, because it will happen.  Should we attain fame, fortune, whatever it is that our society teaches us that we want, then we should understand that the moment we have achieved this very thing, we have also given rise to its end. There is nothing one can accomplish through and within samsara that has any real lasting value other than to cultivate the mind, other than to cultivate the practice.  Only that brings results that are carried forward because it creates a virtuous mind and pure habitual tendencies.  But not one penny of the money we make, not one bit of any relationship, other than memory, will survive death.  We’ll all come together again, but it will all be different.

Lord Buddha teaches us that this is a constant, spinning, spinning, spinning in samsara. While each of us has in common the wish to be happy, we do not understand how to create the causes of happiness.  We think that to have more will make us happy or to be with somebody will make us happy or to be cured of something will make us happy or to change our lives and sail around the world or whatever, that’s going to make us happy.  But we find that ultimately it does not.  You can travel all over the place, sail around the world, have all kinds of relationships, make all kinds of money and you will find that in the heart, you have not attained happiness. We do attain temporary happiness. I feel pretty happy right now. But having lived with yourself for lo these many years, surely you must know by now that this happiness is so, so temporary.  It’s like the dew vanishing on the leaves every morning.  It’s like that.  That easy to lose. And there is no amount of positive thinking that is going to change that.  All you can do is make yourself crazier, crazier, crazier and more neurotic. You know you are suffering.  You know you’re not happy and you’re going, yes, I am.  Everything is fine.

So Lord Buddha teaches us that what we have to do essentially in our path is to turn on the light. Some of the furniture we’re going to have to move, get it out of the way.  That’s called pacifying obstacles, and we do that through practice.  Some of the furniture we’re going to have to climb on top of.  It’s just there and it’s going to have to be something we move beyond.  Some of the furniture we’re going to have to get under, Maybe we could liken that to undoing some of our poisons, like the five poisons that we have within our mind stream.  But whatever it is, things have got to change.

So Dharma is like that.  Dharma provides us a way to turn on the light.  You get the picture.  You see what is in your way and you decide how to deal with it. There are methods for how to deal with it,  but the big thing is eyes opened.  To wish and hope that everything is going to turn out well because, you know, I’m a spiritual person, therefore, da da da, whatever, is just not going to cut it, because you are still whistling in the dark.  You are walking through that room and you’re whistling in the dark.  Buddhism says, “Turn on the light.”

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

 

I Am Awake

Buddha Shakyamuni

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “The Foundation of Bodhicitta”

The Buddha simply displayed enlightened activity and he gave teachings on enlightened activity. It has not been the custom of those who have truly obtained realization or those who have obtained a high level of realization (perhaps not complete realization but a high level of realization), and certainly has not been the custom of any of the Lamas in my lineage, to speak of themselves in that regard. It has only been their custom to give of themselves unceasingly and to strive constantly to do better.  To strive constantly to give more and more and more. They do not speak of themselves in that way. So compassion has many different facets; but the way that Bodhicitta should be understood in the world is that it should be understood as a display of the primordial wisdom nature. But again we are not able to display that nature because we are not acquainted to it. The difference between ourselves and the enlightened Buddha is that the Buddha only described himself as, “I am awake.” He said, “I am awake.”  Students asked him, “What is it about you? Are you a king?Are you a master? Are you an enlightened one? Are you a great being? What are you? ”  He only said, “I am awake.” That is all. Awake to that nature, awake to that nature that is inherent in each one of us. And being awake to that nature absolutely ensures that effortless enlightened activity will be shown. That activity will always lead to enlightenment. The Buddha’s teaching has lead to enlightenment in students many, many uncountable times—full visible enlightenment with all the signs. And so that activity must be understood as the very essence of compassion. Any activity that leads to enlightenment is the essence of compassion.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo All rights reserved

Awakening from Non-Recognition: Video Teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

The following is a video teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo offered at Kunzang Palyul Choling in Maryland.

 



Video streaming by Ustream

How do we awaken to our true nature? Jetsunma describes the state of non-recognition in which we live and describes how to transform that into a state of awareness of our true nature.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Discerning the Qualities of Awakening

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

To describe the precious state of Lord Buddha, and the other Buddhas in that miraculous state… When Buddha was asked “are you a God? Are you a man? A great Rishi? A saint?” “Who or what are you?” Lord Buddha simply said, “I am awake” so simple and pure. No bragging. Awake!

Of all the things Buddha ever said I think this is the purest and must succinct. Awake. He did not go on about “marvelous experiences.” He said that his mind, merit and meditation had ripened his mind completely. He proved his Enlightenment through the miraculous fruits of his life. That is how one knows about the qualities of Buddhahood. By conduct and evidence. One cannot simply decide. Unless the manifestations are there which concur, no way. We should never accept baseless claims, especially about spiritual accomplishment. It can ruin your life.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama says the Chinese are his Gurus because they taught him impermanence, by destroying Tibet and her people and faith. As a young monk he could not think such cruelty possible just for a land grab and power. He was so innocent! A true Buddha in every way.

I have never called myself a Buddha or “Enlightened Being.” I’ve taught of the need to follow a pure teacher with bodhicitta. What other people call me is of no concern. It makes me happy when my Gurus said these things, and I love the old stories which I sometimes recall. But what ordinary people say doesn’t matter much. I have students that support and love.

And there are those who hate, and I don’t know why or who they are. Yet they venerate themselves to the degree that people bow and scrape or they are banished and put down. That is not Dharma and it never will be until the darkest time. Then the glorious Buddha of the next age will be born. May it be soon! I would sing his Praise and honor his name, this Buddha of the future. But many people call themselves “His name” and praise themselves as the incarnation. I won’t contribute to that. It is delusion and self cherishing. That circus show is not helpful. We have a planet to save.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Awakening

A poem by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

AWAKENING

I am Love.
I pour myself out
on the waters…and the
Earth.
Over time and space
I pour, I am,
never ending.
I encompass all
Unto Myself.
I am pregnant with
Creation.
I penetrate all.
I am fulfilled–
Love.

I am Light–
The Light of the One;
of the All..
Radiant, life-giving.
I am…
To BE.
I declare my Self
in all things
And it is so.
I find my Self
in Creation
and bear my Self
forth
triumphant!
And all is perfect
because I am.
Light

I am Spirit.
I am the song and the
Breathe
of the Infinite.
The sound and essence
of the most subtle
One
I bring to you your birthright
on silent, soaring
wings.
Behold, I come quickly.

Look within–
I am here.
I speak to you,
from deep within you.
And now you hear me.
You let me heal you.
You let me radiate from you.
You let me claim you as
My own.

Let us make a pact,
You, who I am.
To know our oneness.
To renounce duality.
To know only Truth
For I speak to you
even as you call
to Me.
“Awaken…Awaken..
This is the beginning.”

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved


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