The Tibetan master Gampopa is famous for being the foremost student of Milarepa, the great yogi. He is unique in that he fused and combined the practice of mind training, which many of you know from the Dalai Lama’s lectures, with realization of the nature of mind. His writing style is very much down to earth, advice for simple living and easy to understand guidelines for making sure that we are on the right track. Some of his advice takes form of small handy lists to memorize, ponder and measure oneself against.
This is Part Three and the end, which concludes The Lotus-Garden, the wonderful story of the previous lives of His Holiness the XVIth Gyalwang Karmapa as Dzalendara and Sun Moon. This wonderful story of Dzalendara is the precious nectar flowing from the lips of His Holiness the XVIth Karmapa, who told this story of his previous lives without any distortion or falsity. When he told the story, he made the wish that it may be the cause for reaching buddhahood for all those who read it, not only for those who feel faith and devotion but also for those who feel dislike or disbelief.
Enlightenment is like awakening from sleep. The thinking mind creates all the perceptions and phenomena of daily life, just as whatever you experience at night is created by sleep. When awakening from sleep, the dream disappears, likewise nothing remains of this present confusion when the distorted experience and thinking are completely cleared away.
A continuation from, A Story From the Infinite Mind of the Gyalwang Karmapa: The two princes built a grass hut in the forest and lived there together. During the daytime they taught the dharma to animals and at night they meditated. One day, while meditating, the younger prince, Sun Moon, saw that the time had come for them to go and spread the dharma in their own country and in other places where it was still unknown…
This story from one of the previous lives of His Holiness Rangjung Rikpé Dorjé, the XVIth Gyalwang Karmapa, was told in 1976, while his party drove through Jalandhara, a place in Himachal Pradesh. It was raining very slightly and peacocks were singing softly. His Holiness had the car stopped and said to his attendants, “I have come back to my motherland”. He then told the following wondrous story.
Most people never question their day-to-day experiences. They accept whatever is felt and perceived as real. Without examining anything we will never penetrate beyond this illusion to see the actual state of affairs. Instead, we will regard everything that is impermanent as being permanent, what is unreal as being real. What an unfortunate, superficial and mistaken way of perceiving things!
The single vehicle is the understanding that all teachings are personal advice on how to soften rigid mind-habits, letting go of pointless aims, and then settling into a gentle presence that is both calm and kind. Our attention simply remains for a while in this way, at ease in itself with nothing that needs to be held or cast away. This aware steadiness is often called shamatha, being calm, and it is the basis for all higher or deeper states of authentic insight.
Reading sections out loud invites us to delve deeper into the material. It is too easy to just skim over difficult material while reading by yourself but what you found difficult someone else probably did too. I’m always amazed in a class to learn what I read but didn’t really understand when someone inquires about it!
A profound praise of Mother Nature and the benefits of facing the mind in solitude, by Longchenpa – the mystic poet of Tibet.
The background for Tara practice in the Triple Excellence program, written down from the words of recent masters in the Tara lineage and original sources. It is important to know the source to fully trust that the teaching is authentic so one can practice with deeper confidence.
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