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Devotion in the Bardo

Devotion in the Bardo

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo offered during a Phowa retreat:

Now we’ll speak about the bardo of becoming. I forgot to mention to you that I’ve had many opportunities to practice Phowa on other people, and I’ve noticed that in every case, even if the person had […]

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Astrology for 12/21/2014

12/21/2014 Sunday by Norma

Bipartisan thinking characterizes today. You and others agree on what to do, and you do it! A zippy, cheery spirit permeates the environment. Spend time with people you love whose energy lifts you up. Someone is very happy for your company, be nice! A group endeavor is heading in a successful […]

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The Faint

The Faint

The following is an excerpt from a teaching offered by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo during a Phowa retreat:

Now I want to refer back to this book [Death and the Art of Dying by Bokar Rinpoche] to give you a couple of statements that I think may be helpful. When we last were together we […]

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Astrology for 12/20/2014

12/20/2014 Saturday by Norma

A strong emotional pull conflicts with a desire for freedom: you want to stay with a loved one and you want to run away! Fortunately, two open doors appear today. The first leads to philosophical thinking and travel, the second goes in the direction of groups. Join your friends, be steadfast […]

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The Path to a Joyful Mind

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Take Control of Your Life”

On the Vajrayana Path, the teacher will say, “I will beat you to death if you don’t straighten up.  I will just take a stick to you.”  You know, His Holiness [Penor Rinpoche] is famous for doing that.  He once had a Tulku who was dying and this Tulku was someone that His Holiness had a lot of hopes in.  Obviously there was some obstacle to his life.  What was it? We don’t know.  But His Holiness realized the Tulku was dying. So he went in to see the Tulku, and the Tulku must have said something that brought up His Holiness’ awareness of this obstacle.  His Holiness took off his mala and starting beating him with his mala, just beating him and beating him.  And the next day, the Tulku was completely well.

Sometimes the lamas are wrathful in order to remove obstacles.  Sometimes the lamas are so wrathful that they are more wrathful than any parent we’ve ever had and we see that. Or we love the lama so much that the wrathfulness of the lama seems like a big stick and we can hardly bear it. Or the disappointment of our lama seems like a big stick and we can hardly bear that. Then sometimes the lama says, “You are such a special being.  You are so intrinsically special, even your karma is special.  You are special to me.  I love you so much.  Come here.  Come on.”  And the lama says, “I love you.”  And the lama says, “I know you.”  And the lama says, “I see your heart. Feel that?”  And the lama says, “I have great gifts to give you. Dharma is beautiful.  It’s a joy to practice.  It’s everything the Buddha has offered.  I’ll set this immense banquet in front of you and you can eat the food of Dharma.  How beautiful.”

Of course the lama neglects to mention that Dharma is difficult, that the path is hard, that the things that we have to face about ourselves are horrible and ugly and the things that we have to change about ourselves are very hard work.  It’s very hard to change that ego-cherishing into pure generosity and bodhichitta.  It’s so hard. The lama may invite you to have some tea.  But if you have real potential, the lama’s going to smack you upside the head and say, “Straighten out, buddy.  That’s not the way to practice Dharma.”  And that’s the part that we should be grateful for.  Not only should we not get mad because that would be a big mistake; but instead we should say, this is the very nectar of the Buddha’s teachings.  The Buddha has instructed us how to ‘wake-up’ and now we must do the work of waking up.  When we practice Dharma, Dharma is something that we practice 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  There’s no Sunday in Dharma.  We’re just practicing the habits of our culture [having teachings on Sunday] and we know that you work. Otherwise, there’s no Sunday in Dharma.  Dharma is every day.  We shouldn’t come here to see an altar; there should be an altar in our homes.  To come here and practice is wonderful.  We welcome you with open hearts and open arms; but this should not be the only place you practice.  You should maintain your practice every day.

This is the way to be happy.  Because if you create the habit of practicing and doing some Dharma, making prayers and offerings, practicing say, Ngöndro every day, or even just reciting Seven Line Prayer every day, the mind begins to change.  It’s less inflamed, less needy, less concerned with what you want, less concerned with bad habits.  The mind begins to change in such a way that it’s less inflamed, more relaxed.  And a more relaxed and spacious mind is the prescription for a more joyful mind.

 Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo All rights reserved
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5 comments to The Path to a Joyful Mind

  • Karma Tsering

    Guru, please continue pouring the Dharma into my heart and my mind. OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA!

  • Karma Tsering

    OM MANI PEDME HUNG

  • Ani Hesper

    Thank you, Jetsunma. I need a major smack.

  • Michael C.

    “…Not only should we not get mad because that would be a big mistake…” –

    Karmic Weight from H.H. the Dalai Lama’s “Way to Freedom”

    “We should always be aware of the relative gravity of karmic actions. When the deed is motivated by very strong delusion, the deed is said to be very grave. The way in which the deed is actually performed also determines the karmic weight.

    >>>A single moment of anger directed toward a Boddhisattva would destroy all the virtuous collections that you may have accumulated over the last thousand EONS!<<<

    The result of an action can ripen within this lifetime or within the next lifetime or after many lives.”

    HH Dalai Lama THE WAY TO FREEDOM"

    Source: http://www.tibetanbuddhistaltar.org/karmic-weight-from-h-h-the-dalai-lamas-way-to-freedom/

    Yikes!

  • Michael C.

    So as not to follow our (my) ingrained habitual tendencies, please tame us (me) in whatever skillful means necessary by actually arising in the Rupakaya! simply seeing You in person during a group teaching is enough to rekindle the flame! i hope that You are well enough to give a short teaching or make an appearance today! =). if not then it is my fault, i must create the causes.

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