Used Books for
by Jhampa Shaneman
These lectures were transcribed by T Vd Broek.
Heartfelt gratitude is offered for all the hours of work spent on this
Dharma activity. These talks are offered free of charge. They have been
Jhampa September 18 88 Guru Offerings
starts with "Arising from the sphere of great bliss, I manifest as a guru
yidam. From my clear body light and profusion radiates forth throughout
the ten directions blessing all places and beings therein. And becomes
most perfectly arrayed with only qualities and pure."
Two weeks ago I
talked about when you get involved in a more developed practice, rather
than just sitting there and breathing and sort of relaxing, it's important
to remember that you in your self are the most important thing. If you get
confused by teachings, you always should go back to your self and relax,
just breathe relax and be happy. It is always the point to come back to.
Last week I talked about in working for enlightenment, an analogy
about it, is something equivalent to when you fall in love so to speak
with the perfect person. When you feel really overjoyed, just wonderful,
the best, that is something like the consummation of becoming enlightened
in the sense that the happiness and the joy that you experience can be
understood in an analogy like falling in love. Like I said last week, when
falling in love with an ordinary person, there is the fact that you can be
betrayed by that person because although you love them in the mundane
sense, nowadays, people leave people a lot so there is betrayal. And the
other is that person you are with will ultimately die and so if you are
the one that is left you will have to experience the pain of suffering. In
that sense it is called a betrayal. You can be betrayed in the sense that
it is not always with you.
The analogy, though, still works. If you
were to become enlightened, you would have a non betraying experience in
the sense that you could never loose it. Enlightenment never leaves you.
And if you died, you would still have it with you. In that sense I was
trying to use the experience of being in love. And when you feel your
heart sing and you wonderful and sort of dance around...like when someone
you like a lot phones you to go out to dinner and you go "Wow!!!!" That
sort of energy! Anyway for those of us who can remember when we last got
asked to go on a date, prior to our being married.... Last week I spoke
about that a little bit.
This week I want to go with it again. It all
deals with great bliss manifesting within the sphere of great bliss. In
talking about enlightenment, I would like to have you all draw on your
information that you have gathered here in the last two or three years.
The enlightened being has two qualities in the state of omniscience. The
quality of having divine wisdom or the omniscient mind of wisdom,
understands karma, understands sentient beings for where they are
karmically at, and understands also the ultimate nature of reality. On the
other side it has infinite love, has deep love, caring, concern and trying
to help sentient beings become enlightened. Within the umbrella or within
the experience of omniscience are the two facets of the divine deep wisdom
It is said that the enlightened being's body, the full
physical body is the omniscient mind also. In fact it is said that the
body speech and mind of an omniscient being are all conscious. Whether it
is the tip of a Buddha's toe or the speech of the Buddha or it is the mind
of the Buddha, all are omniscient.
You should think of it in the sense
that every particle of being of an enlightened being is the omniscient
mind of enlightenment. For someone who has faith, those sorts of thoughts,
they are meaningful in the sense of just what the expression of
enlightenment is all about. In having that as the pinnacle of what full
omniscience is all about, the question was brought up, how is it that an
enlightened being still has compassion in a state of bliss?
about it for awhile. It is something equivalent to this. You have to be
imaginative with yourself. Say that right now you were given ultimate
freedom in the sense that you had no restrictions. Never had to eat food
any more. Never had to worry about mundane limitation. You were free of
all physical problems that you have. Free of all limitations. You could
fly. You could go where you wanted, as you wished. You are absolutely
free. Whatever your wish was in your mind, it is there! To speak of
nirvana, liberation, it means freedom. Think of it that if at this point
you had no limitations, you were liberated, like right now you could fly
through the sky.
You are flying through sky. And you are there ! You
have whatever you wanted to have. There is no problems. There is no coming
down. There is no having to pause and eat some food, go to sleep. You are
aware and conscious.... Get yourself into the imagination of that.
That is what enlightenment is like in the sense that they say it is
the ultimate omniscient mind completely liberated. With that, wouldn't
there be a sense of ecstasy? A sense of just glee? A sense of just bliss
within that. No more problems or hangups. On an eternal high. A term Lama
Yeshe used to use was everlasting happiness. That is the state of the
liberated being. Alright?
If you think about it, that state of freedom
is bestowed because the mind no longer brings itself down, no longer
limits itself. It is said in Buddhism that the mind is the creator. The
mind creates your existence. So then, if you had that freedom, without
limitation, your mind had ultimate freedom, and then you looked at
sentient beings. And the only reason that you had it was because you had
given up all the encumbrances, the limitations you normally put upon
yourself, like"I can't do this!" If you look at another person you could
see that they had the potential to be in ecstasy and everlasting
happiness, freedom. But they keep holding themself back by saying "I can't
do this! I can't become enlightened!" You feel really sorry for them
because they have it all but they can't quite make it. There is not that
little thing that lets them free of all those hangups. You have to throw
in some imagination. Like, if they could let go of it they could suddenly
fly in space.
That is very similar to what the enlightened mind when
it looks at a sentient being. Their time scape is much larger than ours in
the sense that they have lifetime after lifetime that they can look at.
They look at you. They look at you like saying, well, that person could
become free, could dance in the clouds. Have ecstasy. But all they do is
keep bringing themself down. They keep putting on self imposed
limitations, keep hassling themselves and keeping them at a low level. The
compassion of the enlightened being from ecstasy is like that. Relating to
the sentient beings, and so how they can, they try to help. And so they
teach things. Even Jesus Christ said I am the way, I am the light, do like
I say and you can move mountains! I'm not talking about moving mountains,
just about being happy!
Buddha talked about the freedom of the
omniscient mind. All the various traditions talk about divine ecstasy and
love of God or omniscience, whatever!
I am trying to co relate an
omniscient state of complete freedom. And then at looking at sentient
beings, and from that position it makes you sad. They keep hassling, keep
tripping, they are running along and maybe they start to get into the
thing and they trip their own feet and fall on their face. It's not like
anybody else tripped them, they tripped themselves. And then you have to
help them get up. That is like an omniscient mind's vision of us. An
analogy towards it.
Going back into the facets of an enlightened
being, and we will keep with the idea of ultimate freedom, like ecstasy
and freedom, ... that experience then, if we come back to the idea of what
an enlightened being is, is like a coin with two sides. The omniscient
mind side, the wisdom side, is that side which understands that all things
are one, pure. All things have, two, no independent self existence. We
talked about that lots. I said what is the ultimate nature of reality?
It's all things are interdependent. Or nothing holds independent self
existence. And yet everything is interconnected. There is the karmic flow
of things but nothing holds independent self existence. The best example
to use for our own experience is to take a deep breath and allow yourself
to just flow with ...well the breath came in my lungs, oxygen was taken
out and flows into my meat, my bones, my blood and some comes out of my
skin some comes back to my lungs, I am immersed in the atmosphere! The
humidity, the warmth. And also the fact that I have to be on the planet
the earth. I am immersed in the four elements. And I am 100% part of that.
One interdependent, or two, non self existent.
That is the omniscient
mind of the buddha, the wisdom side. The mind which understands no self
existence. That all forms are interconnected, interdependent, all forms
are not self existent, inherently existent. The other side of that is that
being of great love. This is something which differentiates hinayana from
mahayana practice. The hinayana practice goes for the ecstasy alone
without reflecting on the fact that anybody else has any problems. Just, I
want that ecstasy, I'm starting to experience it, chuck anybody else, I'm
going to go for it. That is striving for nirvana on your own. The mahayana
being, or the being with great heart, great compassion is the one that
also realizes that there is everybody else in the world just like
ourselves. And therefore it is really inappropriate to go for ones own
ecstasy, ones own eternal happiness. There are others and we should try to
help them. We are part of the world. And that is the great love.
those are the two great facets of the mind of the enlightened being. The
mind which understands the world is wide open, the universe is wide open.
Everything is interconnected. The other side, the love which is the
feeling of trying to help others give up their small minded hangups, their
limitations they self impose. Their conscious which keeps saying "I'm
this!", or "I'm fifty five years old. I can't do this any more." Sort of
imposes limitations on themselves. In the sense of imposing limitations on
your own spirit, alright? That sort of talks about enlightenment. Now we
come back to our position.
From the first line we said, "Arising from
the sphere of great bliss." The sphere means the nature of reality in the
universal sense. Like from this point to twenty trillion light years away,
all of that is in one nature. That is the nature of interdependence, the
nature of non self existence, that is the sphere, and I arise in the state
of great bliss. Now the state of great bliss had the qualities of one,
being fully free and liberated. So as much as we can appreciate or think
about it, we have that quality within our mind. Secondly, the bliss of
fulfillment. And this has a lot to do with the sense of, remember we
talked about bodhicitta, that it is like a wish fulfilling jewel. The
analogy is that if you had that jewel and you held it in your hands and
said, I would like a hundred thousand dollars right now. And it is there.
You know, a brand new car, and it is right there. That is a wish
fulfilling jewel. In Buddhism they say that the ultimate, or best of wish
fulfilling jewels is bodhicitta. It is the mind that expresses, has the
attitude that says, might I help all sentient beings, all living beings
with none left behind, all sentient beings, all creatures, come towards
enlightenment. It is difficult for me to do that right now, so might I
come to enlightenment so I am very powerful, very influential, very
effective, and then even more so, help them become. Like right now, I'm
not enlightened, I'm not omniscient. So I don't know what all people need.
But if I was omniscient, wouldn't it be nice? It would be like a
millionaire giving away lumps of money. Like you have the wealth so you
give it away. Right now I have only a little money so I can't do that.
Bodhicitta says I truly feel I would like people to be happy.
Relatively to be free of suffering, ultimately to have the freedom of
consciousness, the liberated state of being. To be in the best position to
do that, it would be good if I could become enlightened. And then I would
be in a very good position to be able to do that for people. And that is
the thought of bodhicitta. And that is referred to as the supreme or best
of wish fulfilling jewels. That attitude.
If you think of it, to come
down to mundane thought, like, the practices for anybody is to be one,
generous,two, moral, patient, enthusiasm, lots of energy, to be fairly
tranquil, have meditative concentration, and to have wisdom. The six
perfections. The general practices we have are those practices. Practising
generosity, they say if you practice it in an ordinary way... Well then I
find someone I would like to be generous to, I do a little bit of
generosity with them. Well the karma I get from it is one to one. If I
give to United Way, however many people they help, I get karma from that.
It is more powerful than giving to one friend. In that way if you think
about it, it is better if you have the awareness of the effect of your
practice of generosity. Same thing with practicing morality in "I am
practicing because I would like to be a moral person, because I don't want
to have any bad karma, I want to take a good future rebirth, I want to be
evolved!" Thats what morality is about, if you do that with the thought
that "I would like to be very beautiful and attractive to people so that I
can influence them so that they can practice better, and I am going to
practice morality so that I am spiritually uplifting for other people."
They say that mother Theresa moves people. She is a very moral woman and
she has completely dedicated her life to Jesus. They say it is uplifting
to be with her.
Same thing can apply to yourself. But it comes from
the thought that says from the benefit of many, I will practice morality.
That I might affect them in a positive way. Make them want to become moral
There is more powerful karma there because the mind is larger,
more broad minded. If you have bodhicitta, then the thought says "Might I
benefit all universal sentient beings, all sentient beings in existence
now!" which is pretty inconceivable, but we can just sort of say that I
want to have the broadest attitude I can. Every creature that I run into
and be with, even if I run over them with my car, whatever, might I
benefit them, that they can come slowly on the path to enlightenment.
Finally become liberated, finally become free of all their sufferings,
both mundane and ultimate. So you have that broad minded attitude. Then
each karmic action that you create, actually one, brings you closer to
enlightenment because it is good karma. The more good karma you have the
easier it is to become enlightened. On the other side it makes you more
broad minded because your karmic creativity isn't focused on me and I and
"I want to be happy!" It is rather focused on other people saying, "I want
to bring others into happiness. So when you give others something, we do
so purely, we don't have tainted interests. I mean you really feel love
and when you give to another person, you rejoice in that love and joy.
Like, I want to make you happy. And in your mind you say I want to make
all universal beings happy. So by this little action might I attain
finally the omniscient mind and the great wealth of being able to benefit
all sentient beings.
That is where the wish fulfilling jewel of
bodhicitta ripens your own karma very very quickly. And secondly, brings
about your own omniscience without really trying, brings about your
enlightenment without even trying. Your focus is other people. But in
being focused on other people, trying to be as pure as you can in your
interactions and your karmic interactions and being as broad minded in
attitude as you can... One you are collecting unbelievable good karma.
Two, you are naturally making yourself enlightened. Then tie it together
with that you are totally part of the universe, the wisdom side of it, and
you have the facets of how to become enlightened. One is I am totally part
of the universe, the other side is that I have love in my heart, I'd like
to help people. And that sense, that is the start of bodhicitta. It says I
would like to help all creatures, no matter whom and what they are, and I
would like to help in the mundane way by making them a little bit more
moral, trying to make them nicer people. On the ultimate side, I'd like to
give that ecstasy of freedom. I'd like to make them ecstatic, total
freedom, like they could fly through space, dance in the clouds and not be
cold. Even at twenty thousand feet you are not cold. Because you are
liberated. You don't have hassles like that.
In that then you have the
facets which is becoming enlightened. And it all depends on your attitude.
Ordinary attitude says "Me, I'm small minded, I'm Jhampa, I'm living in
this suffering world, and I'm unhappy and I would like to make things
better." However my attitude sets me up, I experience the world. It is
just that easy. It is really simple. I'm sure we all have some
appreciation of that.
So in tantracism, the whole point of tantracism
says, the first thing is called the stage of generation. In that it says
transform your attitude. Just sort of take your old mundane attitude and
first, with the side of wisdom say "My normal small minded self existence
that I feel so intensively is all wrong! I am completely interdependent
with the world, the universe. So one, loosen your sense of self existence.
You loosen your sense of self existence, your sense of egoism a bit by
starting to reflect on my total immersion with the world, solar system,
Like I am immersed in it. That is the wisdom side to help
dissolve a bit of the sense of independence. On the other side you have
your love and compassion. If you can start to appreciate it like
bodhicitta as the wish fulfilling jewel, it's the ultimate wish fulfilling
jewel. Its better than any mundane money that can give you cars or
something. It gives you the best karma because if you give things purely
with a sense of love, seeing the sufferings of others and really wanting
to help them become free, that on one side creates your cause for becoming
enlightened. On the other side it helps you become enlightened very
quickly. It has two facets. It fulfills yourself and secondly it fulfills
other sentient beings. That is why it is called the wish fulfilling jewel.
It fulfills both the purposes of self and of others. And it's function is
love. Love which feels and is sensitive towards others. Love which has
sensitivity and then has compassion, alright?
As an ordinary person we
are stuck being right here. I have talked in a very philosophical manner.
I am sure some of you think, "Well, it sounds like a nice thing, I'd like
to be devoted to that, but is it practical?" Yes it is because, one, your
attitude sets you up for right how you are right now. If you are sitting
here and you are thinking "Fantastic!", your attitude is alright. If you
are sitting here saying "Well it is alright but I just don't think I can
handle that." You put your own limitation, made a little fence around
yourself saying "I can only go this far. I can't go beyond that." It is
something that you have just done to yourself. It is important to
appreciate your own attitude sets yourself up with how much you can do
That is why being positive, being open minded is so
important. So on one side, if,... bodhicitta sounds fantastic. Well
actually if I think about it, if I give one small cookie to a small child,
and I say to that child, like, in my heart I feel that just as I give you
this cookie and I feel it is nice, I can see you enjoy that, I rejoice in
that, might I also be able to give all people cookies, like something
equivalent to that which makes them happy. In your heart you have an open
mindedness. It's not like you have to be too intellectual about it, you
give a cookie and then you have the joy arise within you which says, it
would be nice if I could do that for everybody! Wouldn't it be nice if I
had an inexhaustible supply of Dad's cookies!
If you have that, then
lets say you are giving cookies, giving money, giving a pat on the back
shoulder, give someone a bit of love, good feeling, whatever the activity
that you do, just have with it the joy that wouldn't it be fantastic to do
that for everybody. That is bodhicitta. It's not too complicated if you
get down to the essence of it. It is just the joy that says I wish I could
do that for everybody. If you practice it a little bit, like think about
the times you might have given something just to one person and you felt
really good about it. It just came along that all of a sudden you met
somebody and you did something and you got real high from it. That high,
that ecstasy, is part of the ecstasy of becoming enlightened.
about it. Think of a Buddha. An enlightened being. One, is that they have
an omniscient mind so they have bliss on their own side anyway. But on the
other side they have the bliss and fulfillment of knowing that their
interaction with others is going to karmically make that person more free,
more liberated, a double ecstasy in that!
Think if you could stop
somebody from being stupid, like you see somebody doing something stupid,
and you know just the right word because you are omniscient, just the
right thing to say to them that makes them just sort of pause for that
moment, they don't act quite as stupid as they were before, wouldn't it
give you bliss because you know that they are getting their act together!
And maybe then after awhile when they started really being a positive and
productive person doing wonderful things, the ecstasy, the rejoicing that
they are becoming beautiful people, isn't that a bliss? So enlightened
beings have two blisses. One, the bliss of their own satisfaction. They
have ultimate liberated being. They have the second ecstasy of their
interactions are positive and bring other people into enlightenment.
To come back to ourself. We have on one side the wisdom consciousness
which says I am totally part of the world. On the other side we have our
love, our sense of rejoicing in any positive action we have in any
interaction with any other sentient being. That we have the love and the
interaction, and also the rejoicing which says I wish I could do that with
everybody. Wouldn't that be terrific? Put those two together and all you
have to do is give up that old attitude that says I can't do that any
more. Then you have the door to tantracism. And that is what the whole of
the tantric practice is about.
And that is why I spent the summer
saying, what is wisdom? Wisdom is interdependence. What is love and
compassion? Love and compassion is sharing with people, trying to be open
minded. That that whole nine yards. Everything is there. Tantracism, they
give you a little added emphasis. They give you the possibility of deity
yoga. Deity yoga says you are the enlightened being right now.
second line says, I manifest as a guru yidam. Saying that, if you could
allow yourself that saying, I am not a limited being, I am not just in
this silly little body getting older, feeling decrepit sometimes, I'm not
limited by that. Maybe I have those feelings sometimes, and then maybe my
body's good karma is running down a little bit, it doesn't mean my
attitude has to be hassled by that. Look at Rick Hanson. He wouldn't let
his body put him down. He was a moving character to be with. I even cried
when I saw him when I arrived back in Canada. Same thing. We don't have to
put ourselves down. We don't have to make ourselves limited beings. In
tantracism it says, allow yourself that extra inch that says, I can create
my own existence. The creation of my own existence is an enlightened
existence. What is the enlightened existence? It's the wisdom. It is the
love and compassion. And it's the joy in my love and compassion. Every
interaction that I have is a bit of ecstasy because I'm doing something
nice for somebody. I'm not right now omniscient but that doesn't mean that
I can't act that way!
And that is the other thing that tantracism
says. The common practice says you are a sentient being now, you are
working for enlightenment. And maybe if you are lucky at the end of this
lifetime you might make it to enlightenment, if not, then five ten
lifetimes or thousands more you might make it. It is called the gradual
path because you slowly make it to enlightenment. As you get more
positive, become a more dynamic person, so start practicing a bit better
and then you give up your old problems and hassles and become a little
more enlightened. That is called the path to the result. In tantra they
have the opposite to that. They make the result the path.
now, try to be the enlightened being. Sure you are not, but don't let that
hold you back. Say, the omniscient being in one, fully interdependent with
the whole universe. That is their wisdom. The enlightened being acts with
unbelievable joy in every interaction with every sentient being. That is
their bodhicitta in it's full state. So what I can do right now is, well
as much as I can to be broad minded. I try to rejoice in whatever small
action I create. And the added quality to that is that if you have a
tantric initiation, you manifest yourself as a deity. That phases of going
through that is first you start off with a great emptiness, the great
voidness. That is everything is interdependent. The sphere of one nature.
From within the sphere of one nature I arise as the Heruka, the divine
deity. And that deity, every molecule of of my being is omniscient. Like I
said, body speech and mind of the omniscient being is conscious. So every
atom of my being is conscious, every atom is bodhicitta, it's rejoicing in
the ecstasy of helping other sentient beings. And there is a great
tranquillity that I am completely a part of the universe. So you just
allow ourself to be in that state that I am part of the universe. So there
you have wisdom, love, and you have your mind approximating enlightenment
now, making the result the path. Making the result right now. Which then
becomes your path. It means that you have eliminated a whole bunch of
attitude, attitudinal changes because you have taken that attitude which
says I am omniscient right now.
In all tantric practices you'll have,
in the beginning you will start off with the mantra, the nature of reality
is pure and I am pure also. The nature of reality is totally pure. There
is no goodness and badness to it, everything is perfectly natural,
interdependent, expressing itself wherever it is karmically at right now.
And I am karmically pure. So from within that great sphere of emptiness I
arise. In Tibetan it goes from the sphere of great voidness I arise as the
deity. Within that moment then, you arise as a divine deity. And from that
you then think, every pore of my being is in ecstasy helping sentient
beings. Right now it is just an attitude. But if you start to get a little
more enlightened, your attitude becomes reality. Becomes the actual
situation that you are in.
So in the first two lines it just
identifies from the sphere of the ultimate nature I arise in great bliss.
Two blisses. First bliss is I am free and liberated. The second ecstasy is
that of my love. Every time I interact with a sentient being, it fulfills
me and it gives me a joy that says I feel wonderful when I help you. I
wish I could help everybody like that. It's a wishing state of wishing to
help all sentient beings. So you have two ways of having bliss. And it is
good to dwell on the bodhicitta side of it a little more because it is
more fulfilling for you. You will find more satisfaction in that.
that is why we talked of the ecstasy. Like when someone phones you up and
invites you on a date. You think wow. And while you get happy, because an
object which is very attractive to you is interacting with you. Saying,
hey, I"d like to be with you. So think of it right now. The most
attractive person of the opposite sex that you could find is right now
saying hey, I want to be with you. What you have is the polarity of you
being seen as an attractive person by someone you think is just wonderful.
There is that interaction and that is why you experience love and joy.
What you have to see is your bodhicitta, the feeling of wanting to
interact with other beings, the joy of that is the thing that you are now
making connection to.
You are the lucky one because you are making a
date with it and it will accept. It is just a matter of that you have to
change your attitude and it has accepted you. So there is your ecstasy.
There is the sense of fulfillment I spoke about last week in the sense
that that sense of fulfillment, that sense of being in love, being
eternally in love in a non betraying state, it will never bring you down.
Your bodhicitta has that quality. As much as you understand loving people
in an open pure way and wanting to share that joy that you have, then you
have the relationship, you have the eternal joy. And you have eternal
satisfaction, eternal fulfillment. It is even better than falling in love
with a mundane person because all you have to do is have the attitude and
you are in ecstasy.
On top of that if you can add a little bit as your
meditational experiences grow, you will start to realize the freedom of
consciousness, and with that comes added ecstasy. But you have to have
those two very thoroughly mixed or else you are going to end up on the
side of personal ecstasy, personal freedom. So it is good to spend more
time with your love and your interacting with sentient beings. That way
then, from that state of great bliss, then I arise as the guru yidam. And
being able to arise as a guru yidam arise through being able to receive
initiation, do your tantric practice and such, it relies upon having a
teacher who can transmit that to you, help you on the path. That is why it
is called a guru yidam. It comes from your guru, your teacher.
have arising as the guru yidam because that person introduced me to the
state of ecstasy, the ecstasy of altruism, the ecstasy of love and
compassion for others, and also the ecstasy is my meditation practices
generate and develop, I will get internal ecstasy, ecstasy of freedom of
consciousness. And that is tonight's talk.
That type of understanding,
as much as you understand that, that is how every tantric practice is. And
then there are a few higher refinements to it. In anything that you
practice, always make sure that you understand that always it is
bodhicitta, the love, the desire to help other sentient beings, and
rejoicing in helping other sentient beings, that is the one facet. The
other is that as much as you can understand that you are part of the world
to the atoms of your body, the very inner being of your being is part of
this world. That is the interdependence, and the other side is your love.
The two of those will bring you to liberation. One will bring you to
personal liberation, the other to the omniscient mind of enlightenment,
which is the great love and compassion to all sentient beings.
just have a quiet meditation.
Copyright 1994 Daka's Buddhist Consulting All