A teaching by Khenpo Kalsang Nyima Rinpoche
Given on the 5th of September 2016
As I said before, the ultimate mode of abidance of all phenomena is primordially the nature of emptiness. Nevertheless, the mode of appearance is that all conventional phenomena have arisen in dependence on causes and conditions. It is a dependent arising.
In order to understand this, initially, we have to receive teachings from a virtuous spiritual friend. In between, we eliminate exaggerated concepts of reality and generate trust and conviction that all conventional phenomena arise as an interdependency of causes and conditions. It is extremely important to generate conviction that the ultimate mode of abidance of all phenomena is primordially the nature of emptiness.
It is similar to the situation of somebody who has to travel. That person would have to know properly the path on which he will be going. Merely knowing would not eradicate my difficulty. A mere explanation would not eradicate the difficulty, neither. Nor would merely reading many books and having vast knowledge eliminate the difficulty. Knowing and then practicing is what should be done.
For example, one person knows how to make different kinds of food of many different countries in the world. Knowing this is very important, however having made the food, if you do not eat it, you might die from starvation. Just like this example, despite knowing the meaning of the Buddha Dharma and having studied a lot about the Buddha Dharma, if you do not practice directly, there is no method in your mental continuum to tame the afflictions and abandon the negative karma. Practicing directly and properly the view, this is what is called meditation.
Understanding the conventional reality, which is infallible dependent arising, you need to practice meditation on the meaning of that. How should we meditate on the meaning of that? At first, think repeatedly and gradually about the miseries and difficulties of Samsara and the lower realms and meditate time after time about the meaning of that. Take as an example the suffering which you are experiencing right now on this very body and think about the fact that in the lower realms the experience suffering is hundreds and thousands of times greater than that. Thinking in this way time and again, have firm trust that the nature of the three realms of Samsara is suffering. Think that you should strive in the method which liberates you from the fear of Samsara and the lower realms. Think that you need a method to be liberated from the suffering of Samsara and the lower realms. If you meditate and repeatedly think about the fact that you need a method to liberate you from this suffering from the depths of your heart, then in dependence on the practice of meditation, you will generate something similar to renunciation in your mental continuum. This renunciation will bring about the necessity of having to engage in the path which liberates you. Think, if I do not get liberated, it is absolutely insufficient. Furthermore, there is absolutely no superior method than the Dharma which can liberate me, therefore, I need to engage in meditation. Now I have attained this precious human body of leisure and endowments and while having this body of leisure and endowments, I certainly have to practice properly the Buddha Dharma. If I do not practice now, since the time of death is uncertain and the conditions which bring death about of are unknown, I don’t know when I will die. Think that there is nothing certain about the time of death and have very few plans towards the future. In this way, meditate repeatedly about the human life with leisure and endowments which is difficult to find and about the impermanence of death.
If you do not practice properly the Buddha Dharma now, in the future life, it is not as though you will disappear like fire gets extinguished and water gets dried up. Since your mental continuum will have to go on continuously, think time and again about the fear of Samsara and the lower realms from the depths of your heart. Think that I must practice properly the Buddha Dharma. Meditate directly until a change is created in your heart. Other than the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, there is no other source of hope and refuge for a liberation method. Think that nothing else such as power, clothing, housing, wealth, name, fame, friends and relatives are of benefit.
The Buddha Shakyamuni is the teacher who showed the correct path, the Dharma which he taught is the path of practice and the Sangha are the associates who help to accomplish the path. Go for refuge to the three Jewels.
Since life times without beginning, due to cherishing the self, you have been immersed in immense non virtuous negative actions wishing victory for yourself and loss for the other. The method for averting this negativity is the wish to place all sentient beings, who are as vast as the sky, in the state of Buddhahood. For this purpose, I will practice the holy Dharma properly. Just as I want to attain happiness, all beings also want to attain happiness. Just as I don’t want to encounter suffering, so do others not want to encounter suffering. I am only one, while others are immeasurable. Hence, others are more important than me. Since I have been taking birth from lifetimes without beginning in Samsara, there is no sentient being who has not been my parent. During their parenthood, they have protected me from immeasurable harm and have brought me immeasurable benefit. They were completely kind to me. Even if you look at this very lifetime, all the food, clothing, possessions and qualities are all attained in dependence on others. Therefore, think that for you to become happy, others are very important. In short, generate love compassion and bodhichitta.
The cause which creates the wondering in Samsara is non-virtuous negative actions and therefore, make a repeated promise that even at the cost of your body and life, you will not create non-virtuous negative actions. Think that in the everyday life, I will do my best to abandon the non-virtuous negative actions. If I accumulate with a kind heart and good intention virtuous actions, the result will be happiness. Therefore, since you are someone who wants happiness, while having a benevolent and kind attitude, make efforts to the best of your ability to engage in virtuous actions.
Actually practicing the abandonment of non virtue and engaging in virtue, in the everyday life, this practice is called the practice of meditation regarding the mundane correct view.