Generating the Motivation

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso given at Kunzang Palyul Choling on Ngondro:

Motherly sentient beings are spread throughout this universe.  As much as space has expanded, so sentient beings are extended throughout space.  We cannot perceive the edge of space, and in the same way, we cannot perceive the numbers of sentient beings.  Visualize the countless sentient beings that exist in this universe, and in the thousands and millions of other universes, which are also filled up with thousands and millions, countless, sentient beings.  Visualize and understand all sentient beings as one’s mother. And taking them as one’s mother, then generate compassion, realizing and experiencing the suffering of all sentient beings—all the different kinds of suffering, all the different kinds of obstacles, all the miserable lives.  Experience all these for oneself.  If one really tries to experience that, there is no way that one cannot generate compassion. You must generate compassion for all motherly sentient beings.  When you have compassion, then you really want to know how to help all these sentient beings. “How can I benefit these sentient beings?  I need some kind of energy, some kind of power.  I need all the qualities whereby I can benefit all sentient beings so that they can be liberated from cyclic existence, from the suffering of samsara.

When one has this strong desire to benefit sentient beings, then there is a way, a possibility, that one can give rise to the Bodhicitta, or the Awakening Mind. One thinks, “Now I need to get some kind of realization.  I really need some kind of power or energy or noble qualities or omniscient mind.  I really need to get enlightenment.  Otherwise how can I benefit all these sentient beings?  How can I help them?  How can I liberate them from cyclic existence?”

Astrology

Everybody’s feeling good right now. You’ll have to look long and hard to find a reason to complain.  Men and women are in sync, and kids are happy to join in.  The house of creativity, sports, kids, fun and love is highlighted.  So do something in that area.  You can enchant somebody, or be enchanted, by being yourself. Fall in love?  Why not?  A magnetic energy that can resolve differences and put everybody in a good light is pervasive. If you’re a detail person or someone in charge of adding things up, do it with a smile on your face.  Be generous, be merciful.  You’ll overspend for sure to impress somebody.  But it’s worth it.  Mark Nepo said “In a world that lives like a fist mercy is no more than waking with your hands open.”

The daily astrology post affects everyone.  Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently.  Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with children or family, some in work and so forth.  There are many departments of life.  Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Invitation

The following is an invitation offered to participants of the Palyul Ling Retreat in upstate New York:

After the wonderful experience of being in New York at Kyabje Penor Rinpoche’s center with our precious Palyul family, many people wish the summer would last. If you are one of these, Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo and the sangha of Kunzang Palyul Choling joyfully invite you to come visit our center and continue your practice experience.

We would like to share our lovely temple enriched with the blessings of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche’s first Rinchen Terzod outside of Tibet, and all the supports for Dharma practice. We have teaching and meditation rooms – open 24 hours a day for prayers, and a continuous prayer vigil around-the-clock.

If you like the outdoors, you can walk freely in our 72-acre peace park and enjoy the 15 Stupas that grace the property there. One of them contains precious relics of Terton Migyur Dorje, a gift from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, who consecrated the Stupa. Many people have experienced tremendous healing from circumambulating the Migyur Dorje Stupa with faith. For those of you with the transmission, we also have a private Tsa-Lung hut on the property and weekly practices there.

You will be welcomed by our large ordained Sangha – many of whom you know – and who uphold the practice calendar with daily tsog, and frequent group practices. All of this we’d like to share with you so that you may deepen your practice and fulfill your deepest wishes for enlightenment in this lifetime.

We hope you will visit soon!

www.tara.org

Easy to Understand Direction on Practicing Dharma

The following is an excerpt from the magazine Palyul Times:

Dearest disciples,

This is a talk on dharma, always bear in mind. We havenothing else then the concern for this and next life. The most crucial is to be concerned for the next life lest we will astray into the boundless realm of samsara and undergo bottomless sufferings. The triple Gem is the only protector which can save us from that. So it is very imperative, first of all, to generate enthusiastic devotion in the Triple Gem and then to properly put into practice what to take on and what to give up. Do not essentially concert, without any sense of contentment, in achieving the hard-to-accomplish wealth and pleasures for this life. Bascially, supplicate the Triple Gem. To depend on an authentic master is of utmost consequence, and whatever the spiritual master says has to put into practice. The difficulty of obtaining the precious human life endowed with freedoms and riches, uncertainty of life, the infallibility of cause and effect, the imperfection of cyclic existence and virtue of liberation — as explained in the outer Preliminary Practice by the master, train your mind with these four senses of reversing mind from the cyclic existence. Unless we have genereted the sense of renunciation from the world of samsara, we will not become any perfect but the apparition of the dharma practitioner. Until we attain enlightenment, we have to contemplate on the four senses of reversing mind from cyclic existence. If we practice thus, we can be able to merge our mind with the dharma. The essential foundation of Mahayana Buddhism is to generate the mind of attaining enlightenment, Bodhicitta. If generated, that alone will do, if not all is ruined. Bodhicitta has to be free from any bias or secterianism or else it will not become ideal. First, we have to generate bodhicitta towards our own beloved mother and subsequently, at all times, generate towards immeasurable sentient beings until unbearable sense of compassion is aroused in us. If, now, we constantly practice the twofold bodhicitta of aspiring and practical, diligently pefect in the six transcendent paths and meditate on the emptiness that is an aspect of ultimate bodhicitta; eventually and progressively the twofold obscurations along with intrinsic tendencies will be cleansed and the realization of ultimate bodhicitta will dawn. At that time, we can broadly benefit untold numbers of beings. The specific inner preliminaries are as such: taking refuge in the Triple Gem with deep respect and longing, and thinking that ‘whatever happens or suffering may overcome me, I rely upon you’; generation of Bodhicitta has to base on considering all beings as mothers and appreciating their infinite kindness, the practice of Vajrasattva that cleanses all obscurations of self and others, mandala offering, the method of accumulating merits for self and others; and Guru Yoga that bestows immediate blessings– to appreciably complete these practices and to make sure that our three doors (body, speech, and mind) blend with the dharma, is of utmost significance. Of course, we are untainted and liberated since the beginning-less of time, the outer existence is the pure realm, all the males and females are deities; however, we are bonded by the attachment to ‘I’ due to ignorance and perverted point of view. Thus, we perceive everything as impure and wrongly indulge in them, constantly falling victim to unending sufferings. Buddhas, due to their spontaneous and intense compassion, manifest into male and female peaceful wisdom deities, male and female wrathful deities, as the Lord in union with consort and so forth. All these are for the imperfect beings to realize and perk up. Visualization of their outer existence as the blissful sphere, all the beings inside as wisdom deities, all sounds as the resounding of mantras, all conceptual thoughts as the enlightened mind or wisdom, also to visualize the emergence and merging of the rays from the mantras and wisdom of concentration at the heart, to see everything as the supreme excellence existing from the beginning-less of time, to merge into the expanse of emptiness in order the perfection not be sanitized by attachment, to arise again as the wisdom deity with one face and two arms– all these practices of generation completion phases have to be put into practice, by all, as the daily routine in order to finally the level of Primordial Buddha, Samantabhadra. In addition, for realization of the ultimate point of view generate devotion towards the perfect master bearing him in your mind as equal to the unblemished Buddha. And then receive instructions on mindfulness (Shamatha) and, in stages, the instructions on directly revealing the special insight (Vipashyana). Be able to actualize realization on the naked awareness, and diligently practice without being dissipated the point of view until you accomplish the four visions (of Dzogchen). If you practice thusly, without the slightest qualm, you wil attain the perfect Buddha-hood in one lifetime. Due to intense distraction, if you are not able to accomplish this despite your ardent diligence, then it is impossible, if truth be told, to realize the ultimate meaning. So, try to accomplish as I told you and be of utmost advantage for your own sake.

Although, I, the lowly one, deprived of any quality or accomplishment of special abandonment and realization, have written this being unable to turn away from my disciples’ request for an easy-to-understand direction on practicing the dharma.
Patrul Padma Norbu

Astrology

Love is in the air, and love is looking good!  Happiness is here.  You can do and you can overdo!  Magnetic attraction is everywhere.  People are drawn to each other and to new ideas that seem just out of this world!  Have fun.  Something can be accomplished in fun that couldn’t be accomplished by hard, endless work.  You may as well have a party, since the day will feel like a party anyway.  The tree of fortune is full of good fruit, just waiting to be picked. It’s up to you. Even if nothing special happens to you today, be happy.  Helen Nearing said “Everybody can love in the place where they are. We can all add our share of love without leaving the room.”

The daily astrology post affects everyone.  Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently.  Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with children or family, some in work and so forth.  There are many departments of life.  Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Qualities of the Lama

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by His Holiness Penor Rinpoche called “Guru Yoga” reprinted here with permission from Palyul Ling International

The teachings we know of as Buddhism were first taught by the Buddha Sakyamuni. These teachings have been maintained by a lineage of living transmission up to the present day by those who have been inspired to follow the example of the Buddha and to study that path and transmit it to others. In any of the various Buddhist traditions we find that there are countless numbers of people who through their study and contemplation have become extremely learned and gifted with spiritual power and realization. But the reason why they teach and the reason why these individuals undertake to become learned in the dharma should not be to indulge in self-aggrandizement. One does not become learned in dharma in order to think of oneself as learned and to gain some special status. One does not teach others from a sense of personal pride, either. Dharma is maintained because it brings benefit to those who hear the teachings. That is the motivation behind teaching.

In order to become an authentic teacher of the tradition, it is not sufficient to simply read enough books to become very clever at the teachings and then set oneself up as a teacher. Rather, it is the case that one’s own teacher, a particularly realized individual, must give one permission to teach. It may also be the case that one will be graced with a vision of one’s chosen deity during which experience the deity will confer upon one the blessing and authority to teach.

So it isn’t simply a question of ordinary people developing enough cleverness to be able to talk well about the dharma. The true benefit of the teachings doesn’t come about through an ordinary approach, because that more ordinary approach tends only to feed one’s own pride and conflicting emotions. No benefit that can come out of that. It is only when the teaching is a selfless gesture to benefit others based upon an authentic transmission that we really have the benefit that is necessary for the dharma to be maintained.

If we take into account all of the teachings of the Buddha, including all of the commentaries on those teachings by the great mahasiddhas – the learned pundits of the Indian, Tibetan and other traditions of Buddhism – it would be impossible for a single individual to try and put all of that into practice. This does not mean that there is any aspect of those teachings that are useless and have no function. The Buddha Sakyamuni turned the wheel of the dharma in three successive transmissions during his time in the world. In vajrayana when we consider the thousands of volumes that collectively known as the buddha dharma, including the 84,000 collections of the Buddha’s teachings and the 6,400,000 texts of tantra, it is obvious that no single person could absorb and practice all of that.

Astrology

Ok, someone has done a bit of work and you’re here to tell them what’s wrong with it. The job needs revision but try to revise in such a way that everyone is happy.  You can correct things without damaging someone’s ego or wounding their spirit.  If the other side is incommunicado, go back and try again.  If you have gotten corrected, be accepting.  This is an excellent day to attend to health matters, choose a new doctor, or get a tune up of any sort.  A perfectionist is on the job, which is better for machines than for people.  “Hannah Arendt said, “In order to go on living one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism.” Be gentle with yourself and others. On another front, do your absolute best to look fabulous today.  Brush up, spiff up, it’ll make all the difference!

The daily astrology post affects everyone.  Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently.  Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with children or family, some in work and so forth.  There are many departments of life.  Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

The Blessings of the Guru

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo from Palyul Ling Retreat Center in upstate New York:

From the three syllables in the Lama Guru’s three places white, red, and blue light rays emerge.

OM…the white ray from Guru’s head to the disciple’s head, blessing one’s body.

AH…The red ray from the Lama Guru’s throat blesses and purifies the disciple’s speech.

Then HUNG….the blue ray from the Guru Lama’s heart pours forth to mix with the disciple’s heart.

The precious Tantric Initiations are just so! In this way blessings and ripening are conferred from Guru to student directly, like milk from mother to child. May the precious Guru remain and the Lineage and transmissions remain unbroken for countless aeons, and may all without exception be Liberated from suffering!

May Palyul remain the perfect source of refuge and stainless Dharma activity in the world!

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

The Importance of Oral Transmission

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by His Holiness Penor Rinpoche called “Guru Yoga” – reprinted here with permission from Palyul Ling International

Regardless of the particular level of teaching or practice that we are discussing in the Buddhist tradition, whether it be Hinayana, Mahayana or Vajrayana, the process of spiritual development is one of the student relying upon a teacher. We may call that teacher a lama, a guru, or whatever, but the essential point is that there is an oral transmission that takes place in which a teacher teaches the student: the student listens to the teachings, absorbs their meaning and puts them into practice.
There is a reason for this emphasis on an oral transmission. From the time of the Buddha up to the present day, the buddha dharma has always been transmitted and meant to be transmitted orally, ensuring that there is a living tradition that is still embued with the blessing and power of the original teachings. It also guards against the possibility of so-called teachers simply coming up with their own ideas. Instead, the teacher passes on a proven tradition of teachings.

This makes the buddha dharma different from other kinds of learning where it may be possible for people to innovate. In such realms of learning it may be appropriate to come up with new systems of thought or to introduce new ideas. But when we are talking about the buddha dharma, every teaching must connect with the original teachings of the Buddha in order for a teaching to be valid. The teachings cannot be something that someone is simply coming up with on their own. The teachings are something that the teacher passes on.

Similarly, in other types of human knowledge it may be permissible to present information in a manner as entertaining and pleasing as possible. But although it is important for dharma teachings to be presented in a manner which is pleasant to hear, it is most important that the transmitted teachings have the power to bless and influence those who hear them in a positive way – not only in this lifetime, but in future lifetimes as well. So even though the teaching of the dharma should be elegant and well-presented, what is most important is the blessing of the essential message.

Astrology

Home matters beckon.  Wherever you are, stay in touch with your roots.  Communication is essential, and you need the feeling of connection that springs from a solid grounding.  Today things change, and it can seem as though the earth is shifting beneath your feet.  Two modes are apparent today.  First, emotion, and second, enthusiasm.  Mix the two as best you can.  Mark Nepo said “I am becoming water; I let everything rinse its grief in me and reflect as much light as I can.”   Sadness could seem to be the dominant theme of the day, but not necessarily!  Love blasts in like a parade, a mariachi band, and cheers up the entire scene!  You have the power to make others happy today.  Go ahead and do it.

The daily astrology post affects everyone.  Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently.  Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with children or family, some in work and so forth.  There are many departments of life.  Look to see where the dynamic affects you!