How to Practice Pure Life Release

Dear Dharma brothers and sisters,

Our Venerable Khen Rinpoche Kalsang Nyima gave a teaching called ‘How to practice pure life release’ in the WhatsApp group in the morning of 17 April 2021. Please read the following Chinese translation and edited English transcript carefully before the life release. Thank you!


How to Practice Pure Life Release

Good morning Dharma brothers and sisters, 

Some Hong Kong and Macau students will practice life release tomorrow for my birthday. This is very good. I thank all of you. 

So, life release is very, very important because all living beings are important lives. All living beings protect their own lives. Small insects also protect their own lives.

So, many fishes enjoy in the sea. But they are suddenly being taken to the market by human beings. People use a small place to keep many fishes together. They (The fishes) suffer so much and are killed, cut, and eaten suddenly. Their situation is very, very difficult.   

This suffering and pain of the fish is the same as that of human beings. If someone kills us, how much pain and suffering would bring us? That is the same as what the animals have. 

But right now, human beings are so powerful and have taken control over all animals making them suffered so much. So, this is a very poor situation. 

Then we buy the fishes and bring them to the ocean. We do not know how many days they can live (survive) in the ocean. Fishermen may take them some days later. However, even for one hour, two hours, one day, or a few days, if the fishes can just be freed and relaxed, they can get so much peace and relaxation. They can enjoy themselves. So, this is very, very useful and helpful to them. Therefore, life release is very, very important. 

For example, someone takes us to jail. Many people are being put together in a small house. Some people are staying above us. It is not easy for us to breathe. Then each of us is being taken to outside to be killed and eaten. How much is that suffering to us? Suddenly, someone comes to help us, takes us out of the house, and gives us happiness. How happy, useful, and wonderful is that? Life release is the same as this (example). The fishes are suffering in the market and are being bought for life release. It is very useful and meaningful. So, for that, life release is very, very important. 

But the most important of all is our motivation. 

When some people buy fish (in the market), they take photos and post them to show other people. ‘I am doing some good thing,’ and ‘I am doing something.’ Some people go to a life release, go to the market, and then take so many photos for posting to call for donation and take the money. 

So, if the motivation is for name, money, and something else, this is not good karma. This is not a genuine Dharma practice. This motivation comes from selfishness and ego. This is not real Dharma. 

So, for that, we need to arouse compassion to all living beings, especially having compassion towards all the fishes and sea animals, ‘May I be able to help them. May I protect their lives. May I help them free from samsara and bring them to Buddhahood. For that, may I do this life release with Dharma practice.’ This pure motivation is very important. 

Secondly, when you start the life release, some people will become busy with photo taking and sending to other people. They think, ‘I am doing this,’ and something like that, etc. This is very crazy. This is not Dharma practice. When you arrive at the boat, you will need to focus on Dharma practice. 

You will need to visualize blessings from all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas be sent to the fishes. You will need to chant the mantras very clearly. If you can really concentrate on Dharma practice, these blessings together with the mantras for the fishes would become very powerful. 

We first need to arouse compassion. Then we visualize all Buddhas’ blessings be sent to all fishes. They (The fishes) receive so many blessings. That benefits the fishes so much. Maybe this power would enable them to reborn as human beings and meet Buddhadharma. Or they can be reborn in the pure land. So, this is very, very important. 

The last thing you will do at the life release is dedication. So that, all living beings can become Buddhas. This is very, very important. Then after that, (you pray that) may Buddhadharma remain long in the world for all living beings. May all the great masters, especially His Holiness the 17th Karmapa and your own guru live long for all living beings. Then we will pray that the world to be in peace, especially for the existing COVID-19 problem in the world. You will pray to cleanse the sickness in the world. 

I lived in Hong Kong for a year. I carefully checked how the students were doing. 

So, some students take care of Dharma practice very well. They focus a lot on Dharma practice. They are doing very well. 

But some students either may not understand the meaning of Dharma, do not care about Dharma, or have very big habits for samsara. I do not know about that. 

So, some students practice Dharma very well, and some only focus on samsara. 

When many people come together, then the students (they) become crazy wishing to show something like power, name, and something else. They only focus on those things. 

When many people are together, some students will try to check who the new students are. They make friends with them and then explain something to them. They will try to take away some money by donation. 

When there are many people, some students go there for taking photos. They want to take photos and then post the photos. They want to show to other people like, ‘You know I am doing really something like this,’ and ‘We are doing something like this,’. They want to show to other people that they are doing a life release. 

Some people (students) are coming for jealousy. When others do hard work and very well, they become angry and jealous. Then they talk saying others are doing something. They talk very badly at others. 

So, these people (students) come to a life release for samsara only. Some are for names. Some are for donations. Some are for cheating new Dharma students. Some would like to show others what they do and take photos with the fishes. They want to show the photos they take with many people. They want to post photos to show to other people. These are what happen to many students. 

So, for that, for those who really want to practice Dharma, you will need to pay attention to (your) Dharma practice. 

When other people talk bad things at you, this is good for your patience practice. When problems come, you know very well that samsara is full of suffering. So, you will need to arouse more compassion towards them. You need to be more relaxed with meditation. There are many good opportunities for practicing patience, compassion, and mind training.

If you forget to practice Dharma, then you will get angry, become jealous, and lose your peace, making so much bad karma easily. So, for that, be careful with the crowd gathering time. Be careful at that time. Be careful with your own body, especially your mind. Do not make bad karma with the life release practice. Do not make bad karma when going to the center. 

There are many crazy people there. No matter how much has been explained to them, they do not listen to that. No matter how much was asked and requested, they never change themselves. So, we need to arouse more compassion towards them because they have very big habits. Their ignorance is very big. They would like to do good things. But they do not know how to do good things. They only follow their selfishness, ego, and the five poisons. This situation happens everywhere. So, for that, (please) be careful during the gathering time. 

So, the most important of all is to begin the practice with your pure motivation. Secondly, during the puja, you will focus on Dharma practice. Lastly, you will make a pure dedication for all living beings to attain Buddhahood. These three points are very, very important for practicing life release and so do not forget them. If not, your time and money will become meaningless. You will practice this life release and make it meaningful for all living beings. 

Thank you.

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