How to Separate from Attachment - Science of Mind Day 1
The India International Centre, New Delhi, India
November 7, 2015
It is the seventh time now that The Foundation for Universal Responsibility of HH the Dalai Lama has hosted the Gyalwang Karmapa for a weekend of teachings in New Delhi. For this occasion, the stage of Indian International Centre’s main hall has been set up with a spacious white chair covered in red and gold brocade for the Karmapa, flanked by members of the ordained sangha in their burgundy robes, the eight auspicious symbols on backlit screens, and tall, double sprays of flowers in hues of red and white.
To explore the topic of this weekend’s teachings, entitled Science of the Mind, the Karmapa chose the famous verse, The Four Freedoms from Attachment, composed by the founding patriarch of the Sakya school, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo:
If you are attached to this life, you’re not a Dharma practitioner. If you are attached to samsara, you don’t have renunciation. If you are attached to selfish aims, you don’t have bodhicitta If there’s grasping, it is not the view.
Since these teachings are especially meant for Indians who have an interest in Buddhism, the Karmapa first extended his greetings to them for Diwali, the glittering festival of lights, wishing them a very happy holiday. Since it is customary to bring gifts of sweets, the Karmapa said playfully, “I should have brought some sweets for you but hopefully my talk will be sweet enough.”
The Karmapa began his teaching by saying that the text was a profound oral instruction, expressing all the points of the foundational and great vehicles or all three types of people (a teaching from the stages of the path or lam rim tradition). There are numerous commentaries on this verse, but it would be best just to focus on the verse itself, which is easy to understand and can be recalled again and again.
How does one listen to profound Dharma? Both the one giving the teaching and those receiving it should be clear about their motivations and their reasons, because it is a good motivation that makes for true sharing of Dharma. If you just come to the teachings out of curiosity, what you hear will not bring much benefit. However, if you come with a clear motivation and understanding of the reasons why you came, then the teachings will help to develop your minds.
When listening to the Dharma, you also need to keep clearly in mind a goal, no matter how large or small it may be. The Karmapa then provided an opportunity to experience what this might be like and asked people to reflect in a natural way about why they came while he chanted the refuge vow and the generation of bodhicitta. Having reminded people of the proper motivation, the Karmapa began his explanation of the first line of the verse:
If you are attached to this life, you are not a practitioner.
Since we are Dharma practitioners, the Karmapa commented, we have to recognize what it means to be one. This line can also mean that someone on the Dharma path investigates what is within their own mind. If we do not ask ourselves questions, then how can we know what is means to be a practitioner? And if we spend most of our time doing things other than Dharma, how can we become a true practitioner? The Karmapa asked, “Is being a real practitioner putting aside our family and the work that supports us and spending all our time on Dharma? Is it something separate like this?” Actually not, he replied. We need a stable livelihood and a happy household and do not have to give them up to practice Dharma.Otherwise, Dharma practice would be for the select few and not something ordinary people could do.
Dharma practice should inspire us and bring strength of mind. It is focused not on the temporary but the ultimate, on what can truly satisfy our minds and bring lasting joy. For this reason, the Karmapa explained, a true practitioner looks to future lives and not just what concerns this present one. Of course, Dharma practice will benefit us in this life, but our ultimate goal is a high and deep kind of true joy. The Karmapa commented, “Believing one hundred percent in past and future lives is not easy, even among Buddhists. In Kham we say ‘Believing is pretending to believe.’” It is difficult to believe in past and future lives because we are asked to trust something we cannot see.
Some people think, the Karmapa noted, that making prayers to a deity is practicing Dharma. If we are lucky and our prayers are answered, then our expectations grow. But this kind of result does not bring true happiness; it only increases our expectations. What we need is a goal for our lives that will benefit us when we come to the day we must die. At that time whether our mundane prayers were filled or not will not matter. What we need, he said, is something that has made our lives meaningful, that has brought true joy and confidence to our minds.
Taking an example from his own life, the Karmapa related that since he was recognized at the age of seven, he has had to face many difficulties and situations that he did not wish for. However, he kept in mind that he had a responsibility and the profound purpose of helping others, so temporary obstacles became a way to become a better person and strengthen his character, and also a way for his mind to become more spacious. If we let our minds get upset and disturbed, he noted, this will just stir up more problems.
The Karmapa’s talk was followed by a few questions. The first one, related to what he had just said, asked about what to do when obstacles arise. Should we fight them or just let things be?
The Karmapa responded: “The goal a practitioner has in mind is very important. If an obstacle is temporary, it’s not a problem. The actual problem is not accomplishing the ultimate goal of our lives, so we can take temporary troubles as a chance to improve ourselves and develop our resolve and courage. The real obstacle is to lose our inspiration and enthusiasm.” He added, “If our motivation is vast and stable, it will not disappear in the face of obstacles.”
The next question asked: If we practice Dharma for future lives, how will it benefit us in this one?
The Karmapa replied: “When we say we’re practicing for next life, it means that we’re taking the benefit of the Dharma in this lifetime as a basis for future lives. When we practice Dharma, we are not wasting our time; on the contrary Dharma makes life meaningful. Then at the time of death we will not be disappointed, and at the least, we will not have regrets.” He continued to explain, “It is by having a result in this life what we can figure out the benefit in a future life. When we think about the benefit in the future, it means that there has to be a benefit in this life, for without it, there would be none in the future.” In sum, we should take the long-term view but not give up on this life.
The next question asked: How should we prepare for death?
In responding, the Karmapa spoke of the reflection on death and impermanence. “When we contemplate death and impermanence, this spurs us on to make efforts so that we make each day meaningful. From another perspective, thinking about impermanence is a preparation for death: everything is undergoing change from moment to moment; it is the nature of all things to come and go.” If we can accept things are they are, he stated, “we will have less fear of death and see it as a natural process.” We can also prepare for death by experiencing each day as an entire life time: we are born in the morning, go through the day of our life, and die at night.
The final question queried: How do we enhance our diligence or joyful exertion?
The Karmapa responded: “Diligence should be imbued with a sense of enthusiasm. And meditating on impermanence will inspire our diligence, since we will not want to waste this life.” We can also think about the benefit of Dharma practice. The Karmapa noted that these days people are very result oriented but that the results of Dharma practice may take time to appear so we need certainty and enthusiasm that allows us to stay the course. Reflecting on the benefits and deeper meaning of Dharma practice will allow to practice for a long time.
The teachings will continue tomorrow and are being made available through webcast translations into English, Spanish, Chinese, German, and Polish.
2 Apr 2017ChandigarhNaresh K Thakur n email@example.com
DHARAMSHALA: With his rival Trinley Thaye Dorje now a married man, who shed monk’s robes to get hitched with his childhood friend, the claim of Ogyen Trinley Dorje to the title of the 17th Karmapa and Rumtek Monastery throne has become stronger
Thaye Dorje, 33, married Rinchen Yangzom, 36, in a private ceremony attended by close family members in New Delhi on March 25 and announced it on March 30. His office described the couple as “close childhood friends” who have known each other for more than 19 years.
Karmapa is the title given to the spiritual leader of the Karma Kagyu sect, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism and are the oldest institutionalised series of rebirths in Tibetan Buddhism, preceding the Dalai Lama of Gelug sect. Currently, there are three contenders who claim to be the rightful reincarnation of 16th Karmapa. While Ogyen Dorje, who is recognised by the Dalai Lama as well as the Peoples’…
Editors note: This text was done by Michele Martin who conducted interviews with Tempa Yarphel, the search team and others. Mrs. Michele Martin allowed us to use it for our website. We are very happy about her generous offer and like to express our deep gratitude. Thanks a lot!An Amazing Story: Finding the Reincarnation of Tenga Rinpoche Part 2
An Amazing Story: Finding the Reincarnation of Tenga Rinpoche Part 2
by Michele Martin, Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, March 21, 2017.
The second time that His Holiness gave them information about the yangsi was during these ceremonies at Vajra Vidya Institute. The Karmapa arrived here on March 20, 2016 from Bodh Gaya, and on March 21, 2016, he began the three days of pujas in the radiant shrine hall of the Institute.
Two special altars had been beautifully arranged by the Karmapa himself: one for the Guru Yoga of Karma Pakshi in the morning and another for the practice of the Five Tseringma sisters in the afternoon. Said to reside in t…
Michele Martin Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India March 21, 2017
Ever since he passed away on March 30, 2012, finding Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche’s reincarnation (yangsi) has been awaited with great hope and deep devotion, especially in the Karma Kamtsang lineage. Before founding Benchen Monastery in Nepal, he was the ritual master for HH the Sixteenth Karmapa and famous for his detailed knowledge of vajrayana ceremonies and practice. When traveling in Germany, the Gyalwang Karmapa spoke about Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche on August 30, 2015: “While here in Germany, I had the opportunity to meet briefly with many students of Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche and share some remarks with them. It has been a while now since he passed away but during all this time, his students and I myself have been continually remembering Rinpoche. This recollection has caused our faith, devotion, and love for him to continue flourishing.
“Before Rinpoche passed away, he spoke a few words to me about his future reincarnation.…
Please note: Overseas visits will be finalised and confirmed only after obtaining all the necessary clearances.
Visit to the United Kingdom in May
Public Teachings & Empowerment on Saturday 20th of May – Sunday 21st of May
On Saturday, His Holiness will teach on the 8 Verses of Training the Mind across two session in the morning and one session in the evening. On Sunday, His Holiness will continue his teachings on the 8 Verses of Training the Mind in the morning, and then in the evening he will bestow the Chenrezig Empowerment.
Editors note: This text was done by Michele Martin who conducted interviews with Tempa Yarphel, the search team and others. Mrs. Michele Martin allowed us to use it for our website. We are very happy about her generous offer and like to express our deep gratitude. Thanks a lot!
An Amazing Story: Finding the Reincarnation of Tenga Rinpoche Part 3
by Michele Martin, Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, March 21, 2017.
Meanwhile in Kathmandu, the General Secretary spoke with Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche to let him know that he was going to Bodh Gaya to spend Gutor (days of Mahakala practice before the New Year) and Losar (New Year) of 2017 at Tergar Monastery with His Holiness. “What shall I say to His Holiness about the yangsi?” he asked. Nyenpa Rinpoche replied, “Don’t say anything at all about the yangsi. It’s best to keep quiet. His Holiness knows who you are. If he wishes to say something, he will. If not, then come back.”
So the General Secretary followed his plans and went to Bodh Gay…
Dorje is one of the three claimants to the position of Karmapa — the religious head of the Tibetan Buddhist sect of Karma Kagyu. An official anointment of a Karmapa has been long held up over differences between India and China, already at loggerheads over festering border disputes and diplomatic tensions.
But Dorje’s marriage has emboldened supporters of one of his rival claimants to raise the pitch and demand that New Delhi recognise Ugyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa.
For the past nine months, monks of the famous Rumtek monastery, 24km from Sikkim’s capital Gangtok, have been holding a relay hunger strike in support of Trinley Dorje. Thaye Dorje’s marriage has now prompted the…
DHARAMSHALA, MARCH 31: The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, recognized by the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has requested followers of Kamtsang Kagyu to refrain from speaking ill about each other in the wake of “recent events”, which has caused a stir in the Buddhist community.
Without making any direct reference to the recent news of his rival Karmapa Thinlay Thaye Dorje’s wedding, the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje wrote, “Recent events in the Kamtsang Kagyu may cause a lot of discussion both inside the lineage and out, and I am slightly worried about the possibility of people trading barbed words over it,” Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje wrote on his official Facebook page, without specifically referring to any particular incident.
Addressed as ‘a request to all my friends’, the Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje urged everyone to consider all the different sides of the situation before making any criticism. The 31-yea…
Tibetan spiritual leader Karmapa XVII Ogyen trinley Dorje became the initiator of the return of women to take full monastic vows, according to the portal «Save Tibet».
The Karmapa and the Dalai Lama insist, for the preservation of Buddhist teachings requires a community, consisting of four parts (full monks (elongi) full of nuns (gelongma), and women and men holding practising the vows of laity). In reality, however, the transmission line is a complete women’s vows broken.
«Monks and nuns can equally follow the principles of Buddha’s teachings and bear the same responsibility for compliance with these principles. However, there was a period when the nuns do not have the opportunity to fully practice the teachings and this is not the best way affected the status of Buddhism as a whole», — quotes the portal words Karmapa XVII.
Gelong or bhikshu — the highest degree of monastic commitment. Monks galangi observe more than 220 vows. It was decided that the restoration of full monast…
India has been a special place for him and the Karmapa says it has helped him personally gain in many ways particularly in developing his spiritual powers including patience.By: PTI | New De | Published: April 23, 2017
India has been a special place for him and the Karmapa says it has helped him personally gain in many ways particularly in developing his spiritual powers including patience. "Particularly for Tibetan people, India is a very special country. Many of them have fled to India from Tibet. So for all Tibetan people, India really occupies a special place in our hearts," he says.
"It has been 17 years since I myself came to India. Personally, during this period, there have been some difficult times. But since I came, India has helped me develop my spiritual powers including patience," Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa, told PTI in an interview.
The spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism has come up with a book "Interconnected: E…
The internet has brought people closer to each other but also needed is an "innernet" to make us feel our inter-connectedness inwardly too, Tibetan spiritual leader, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, said on Sunday.
"The information age makes us highly aware of our interconnectedness and the internet allows us to see how much we depend on one another. But we also need to have an innernet -- not just a connection on a material or outer level. We need to be able to feel our connectedness inwardly," said the Karmapa at the release of his new book "Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society".
The book, which came out of a month-long dialogue with a group of students from the University of Redlands, California, who travelled to Dharamsala to learn from him, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, outlines his vision for a global society that truly reflects the interdependence that is now becoming widely recognised and s…