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This blog is created by a Buddhist living in Singapore. He embraces the Mahayana spirit of Bodhicitta, deeply respecting all Buddhist Traditions as expressions of Kindness guiding us on the path towards human perfection ~ Buddhahood.

He likes to post stuff that he had read or think is good to share here, sometimes he adds a little comments here and there... just sometimes..

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“Sariputra, if there are people who have already made the vow, who now make the vow, or who are about to make the vow, ‘I desire to be born in Amitabha’s country,’ these people, whether born in the past, now being born, or to be born in the future, all will irreversibly attain to anuttarasamyaksambodhi. Therefore, Sariputra, all good men and good women, if they are among those who have faith, should make the vow, ‘I will be born in that country.’”

~ Amitabha Sutra

When I obtain the Buddhahood, any being of the boundless and inconceivable Buddha-worlds of the ten quarters whose body if be touched by the rays of my splendour should not make his body and mind gentle and peaceful, in such a state that he is far more sublime than the gods and men, then may I not attain the enlightenment.

~ Amitabha Buddha's Thirty-Third Vow

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Teaching on Meditation - by Lama Yeshe

Lama Yeshe gave this teaching at Maitreya Institute, Holland, September 1981. Excerpted from Universal Love: The Yoga Method of Buddha Maitreya, edited by Nicholas Ribush, forthcoming from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, February 2008.

Source: flickr.com

Why does Buddhism put so much emphasis on meditation? It's because our mind is so gross and our memory so poor that we forget things easily and cannot recall our countless lives' experiences. The purpose of meditation, therefore, is to increase, or develop, our memory, or mindfulness, of reality.

Our distracted, fragmented thoughts, which we experience continuously every day, are countless. Nonsense repeatedly cycles through our mind, again, again, again, again.... It's like in the pictures of the wheel of life, whose hub shows a pig, a chicken and a snake going round and round endlessly. Like that, our pig, chicken and snake mentalities continuously reverberate in our consciousness, reducing our memory to almost nothing.

The meditation techniques that stop these three mentalities are very important. Without stopping these deluded minds we can't see the concepts of ego that we spontaneously experience in everyday life. They're very subtle, so without eliminating these gross minds it's impossible to see our ego's activity. That's why we meditate on the energy of our own conscious experience. By quieting and eliminating our gross mentalities we create the space we need to see the concepts of ego, to recognize the entity interpreted by ego, which is non- existent.

Source: flickr.com

Normally, religious people miss the point--we circle around it but don't make much progress because we keep missing it. What is the point? The point is to become revolutionaries and totally destroy our entire concepts of ego. This is a much more revolutionary ideal than any of the theories propounded by Marx-Lenin, Hitler or Mao.

The concepts of ego project an independent, self-existent I totally unrelated to physical matter, time, space, cause, effect or anything else, existing somewhere, untouchable. Our ego holds on to the self-existent I and never lets it go.

Based on the results of his own practice, Lama Tsongkhapa said that by contemplating our conscious experience we can cut our superstitious, dualistic thoughts and thereby discover our ego projections and realize shunyata in a flash. Like throwing a switch, the moment we discover exactly what the false conception is, at that instant we discover non-duality.

The most difficult thing to recognize is the entity held by our ego, and the only way to do this is to meditate. According to Lama Tsongkhapa there's no way to do it intellectually. To prove this, he quoted Nagarjuna: "The person is not of the nature of earth, water, fire, air, space or even consciousness. The person exists only as a conventional designation." Lama Tsongkhapa totally agreed with Nagarjuna: all phenomena exist only in name. So we should just leave things as they are --superficial names projected by superstition--and not try to find some real, self-existent entity beyond that.

Source: flickr.com

Some people think that first we have to study shunyata in order to understand it and then meditate. That's wrong. To realize shunyata, first we have to meditate.

The thing is that the gross symptoms of ego, the three poisonous mentalities I just mentioned, disturb, irritate and shake the mind, so without subduing them to a certain extent--and there are various levels to which they can be subdued --there's no way to see the unconscious levels of ego that hold the notion of an independent self-existent I. It's impossible. And that's the point. Therefore our approach has to be through meditation--the experience of contemplating the energy of mental clarity automatically eliminates those mentalities.

Otherwise, it's like Lama Tsongkhapa said --our enemy's hiding out in the jungle but we're looking for him in town. That's us--we practitioners are always busy doing something religious but never get anywhere because we miss the point and look for our ego in completely the wrong place.

Therefore it's very important to stop our "that-this" superstitious thoughts and we're capable of doing so. By simply remaining mindfully aware of the experience of our own energy without getting involved either subjectively or objectively in that-this thinking, focusing our mind and letting go, we'll no longer have a problem with distraction.

It's similar to our present situation. We're here in this peaceful Dharma center knowing that there are disasters and bloodshed happening all over the world but not getting emotionally disturbed. It's like that.

Source: flickr.com

When I say "let go" I mean to focus on the clarity of mind and just remain there without expectation or emotional conversation. As I mentioned before, when the full moon shines it doesn't have any expectation or thoughts such as "I'm illuminating the Earth." It doesn't think anything; it just illuminates. The fewer dualistic thoughts you have, the greater the peace, tranquility, satisfaction and bliss you experience--and satisfaction and bliss are antidotes to dissatisfaction, depression, aggression, distraction and all other emotional disturbances.

When we meditate on an object with continuous, focused attention, our sense perception no longer functions. In other words, we go beyond sense perception. Sense perception has a bad reputation in Buddhism because it's the door to delusion and superstition. Whatever our senses perceive is always an optical illusion; the nature of sense perception is such that it produces more ego and superstition.

Therefore meditators deem the sense world unimportant. Since whatever appears to their sense perception is illusory, they no longer trust or use it much, but Maitreya also emphasizes in his writings that the mind the meditator uses is the sixth, or mental, consciousness, which is not sense perception or sense consciousness.

When a fighter pilot first sees an enemy plane it might be a long way off but as that self-existent plane gets closer and closer he sees it more and more clearly and at a certain point can shoot it down. The moment it disappears he experiences a kind of emptiness, shunyata. Similarly, when our clear wisdom first tries to find our ego, it's not very obvious; it's hiding. But as our concentration deepens our ego finds it increasingly difficult to remain out of sight and eventually it appears right there in front of us. As soon as we recognize it we should destroy it, and the moment it disappears we experience shunyata. The nuclear missile we use to shoot down our self-existent I is mindfulness, the wisdom of intensive awareness, and we don't need dualistic thought to pull the trigger; the moment our ego appears, we shoot it down.

Source: flickr.com

When we reach the point of experiencing the non-dual I in this way, we should just let go and focus on our mind with clear comprehension. Also, the "non" in non-dual shouldn't make us feel lonely: "I feel so empty, I have no dear friend." To experience non-duality is to experience the universe. We should feel, "I am the reality of all universal phenomena," or "The reality of all universal phenomena is me."

But again, these are not conceptual thoughts. What I'm talking about is pure experience, what we call the enlightened, or dharmakaya, experience and, in a way, we can say it's the experience of the omnipresent love and wisdom of Maitreya.

However, the dharmakaya experience is invisible, and in order to communicate with sentient beings we have to emanate in a visible form.

Lama Yeshe gave this teaching at Maitreya Institute, Holland, September 1981. Excerpted from Universal Love: The Yoga Method of Buddha Maitreya, edited by Nicholas Ribush, forthcoming from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, February 2008.


1 comment:

  1. "The point is to become revolutionaries and totally destroy our entire concepts of ego. " This is so true. This is why all religions teach people to be humble. The root of our pains is our ego.


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