Dear all Dharma brothers and sisters in the「Wake up with Dharma — 覺醒法語」group:
Venerable Khen Rinpoche Kalsang Nyima gave a teaching on the ‘Importance of Dharma practice at difficult times and for future lives’ in the ‘Wake up with Dharma HK’ WhatsApp group on 19-7-2020. The teaching is now available in text upon editing in respect. Please read the following edited English transcript and Chinese translation. Thank you.
Importance of Dharma Practice at Difficult Times and for Future Lives
Hello, my dear Dharma sisters and brothers in Hong Kong,
Hong Kong had many problems last year. This year it faces the virus [outbreak] issue. So Hong Kong has had been in problems for a long time. Right now many people cannot work. Many shops and restaurants need to be closed too. So everything in the world has changed with lots of problems. This is not just unique to Hong Kong.
So for that everyone worries about money and health, and feel really, really scared about sickness. This has made everyone not feeling very well.
So for that please take care of your health and your mind. The external situation has lots of problems. Then the mind has moved towards bad emotions, worries, and fear. When the problems of the external situation and internal mind come together, it can become extremely dangerous.
It is not easy to change the external situation. But you can try to change your inner mind with Dharma practice. This is very important. This is really useful. It is very helpful to your good health, peace, and relaxation too.
So how can we practice Dharma? Most of the time students would say, “Oh master, I would like to practice Dharma. But I do not have time for the practice. I am so busy.” Right now we cannot go outside and walk. So it is a very good opportunity for us to practice Dharma. Please focus on Dharma practice. It is a very important time and opportunity to practice Dharma now.
Yes, everyone worries about the future. If one does not have enough money, then how he or she can do with the future. But our next life is also our future. We may be able to live in the world for a hundred years or more in this life. But the next life is so long. It will not just last for some years. We will have billions and billions of lives that will stay and come to the samsara again and again. So if we have not practiced Dharma, then our next lives, i.e. our future will become very dangerous.
All of you have been busy with your jobs for many years. This is in preparation for this life. You have worked very hard day by day, week by week, month by month, and year by year for this life. So this time you will practice Dharma for your next life. It is extremely important. You will think about your next lives and Dharma practice is very important to your next lives.
It is 100 percent certain that we will die one day. Right now we have a precious human body. But our life is becoming shorter and closer to death day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, and second by second. When we die, our house, money, friends, family, name, power, and body cannot come with us. Everything needs to leave us. That time our consciousness will continue and need to go to Bardo and the next life.
At that moment, only the good and bad karma that we did will come with us. But over [the past] many years, our mind has been following ego, selfishness, ignorance, attachment, anger, jealousy, and pride. Our mind follows the five poisons and all our body, speech, and actions are full of bad karma. So we have done a lot of bad karma. Right now we have a good chance to cleanse the bad karma through Dharma practice.
But everyone does not have time to practice Dharma. They are busy with the job all the time. When they do not need to work, then they become busy with televisions and computers. Right now most people are busy with phones too. They do not have time to practice Dharma.
Most of our life [this life] has passed and it was used for making bad karma. We have been making bad karma all the time. But we do not recognize that we are doing bad karma. So if we have not done any Dharma practice in this life, and all we have been busy is for this life, we will need to go the hell, hungry ghost or animal realm when we die. Why is it so? It is because of lots of bad karma we did. But if we can open to our wisdom and compassion to practice Dharma now, then we can cleanse many bad karma. We now have a really good opportunity to cleanse the bad karma.
If we can practice Dharma really well, then we can go to the pure land of Amitabha in the next life. If we have good karma as well, we can reborn as good human beings and will be able to meet Buddhadharma too. When we practice Dharma again and again, then slowly we can reach enlightenment one day and will be able to help many sentient beings.
So you will think about these: how we find having a precious human body is about and the impermanence nature of our human life. We can get sick and die very easily. Or you can think about the samsara and its sufferings. You can think about the law of karma. If you can think like that, your mind can focus on Dharma practice.
Then you will be able to take refuge in Buddhas, Dharma, Sanghas, Gurus, Yidams, and Dharma Protectors. You will become less attached to money, job, and the samsara. Afterward, your mind can slowly focus on Dharma practice, and you can prostrate, practice Vajrasattva, mandala offering, and guru yoga. That would mean you can practice the four foundations.
Thereafter, you can practice many Yidams and Deities and your mind can visualize blessings from many Buddhas. Your mind can practice compassion for all living beings. Then your mind can slowly become softer and more relaxed. You can focus on your practice in Dharma.
When a lot of blessings from Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Gurus, and Yidams reach you, and your body and mind, your body will become warm and your mind will become relaxed and peaceful. Then you will be able to find happiness, peace, and relaxation in your mind at that time instead of the external world.
At that moment, all your worries, fear, and everything will disappear. While there may be lots of problems in the external world, your mind can still relax with meditation and Dharma practice. You can make many good karma and merits. If you have enough good karma and merits, then whatever you do and work will become successful, and your mind will become peaceful and happy. This power and blessing can also make all your family members happy. So for that, please now focus on Dharma practice.
Now you have an extremely good chance for Dharma practice. If you can practice Dharma, your mind can become relaxed and focus on Dharma practice. Then there is no need for you to go out. If there is no need for you to go out, then you cannot get this bad virus and sickness. So all Dharma sisters and brothers please focus on Dharma practice. Please do some Dharma practices for preparing for the next lives. Is that ok? This is critically important. Thank you.