Guru Yoga
Teaching by Lama Zasep Tulku Rinpoche
September 1998, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Q: What does one do when you realize how the mind works? (Inaudible) What is the next step?

Rinpoche: You're talking about, like Mahamudra meditation, I think. You first develop awareness of mind, observing mind, being witness of your own mind, thoughts arising. Then stay there, then ceasing, then keep coming, going. So you are observing your thoughts, so you see all kinds of levels of minds, emotions, thought patterns, delusions, and virtuous mind. All kind of mental events -- comes and goes, it's like the waves, comes and goes. So you watch and observe.

So you actually gain great realization from that, observing your thoughts, emotions. You gain realization of impermanence, you can gain realization of emptiness. You can gain realization of non-attachment and renunciation, also compassion perhaps. And so you continue. But if at some point, if you feel you're stuck, then you need advice from teacher, where to go.

Q: On the last line of the first stanza of "One Hundred Deities of the Land of Joy" does that mean sons and daughters, what does that mean?

Rinpoche: Well, it means sons. We have a thanka painting of Lama Tsong Khapa, and he has two chief disciples called Gyeltsap Je and Kedrup Je, so usually in visualizations, he usually has two disciples next to him, kind of like attendants. They're also emanations. One is emanation of Chenrezig, the other one is emanation of Vajrapani. Himself is emanation of Manjushri, so when we do sadhanna, we request him to come down with his two disciples, or sons.

Q: Did he have any disciples who were women?

Rinpoche: Tsong Khapa? Oh yes, many. His mother was also his disciple and his teacher as well. His mother was actually a highly realized lama. And she reincarnated many times until recent times. His mother's incarnation was called (??). Last one died in Chinese prison during Cultural Revolution, in Shanghai.

I had the good karma to see the skull of Lama Tsong Khapa's real, actual mother. The last time when I went to Khombu monastery. I was going around in temple. The tour guide said, "Don't tell anybody, I'll show you something. Come up quietly." He took me upstairs in top of the temple to the inner room. He said, "Come here." He said, "I'll show you Lama Tsong Khapa's mother's skull." On his mother's skull, on the top of the skull, there is OM letter appeared. The bone itself has the OM letter, it comes out, like what do you call? Embossed, in relief. It's sticking up, you can touch the OM. After meditating OM, OM, so many years, the bone is changed. Actually OM is sticking up, you can see the OM. It was a wonderful experience.

Q: Was there a time when there were a lot of enlightened females, is it a cycle?

Rinpoche: Long time ago there were a lot of female teachers. In India and in Tibet as well. There were always female teachers, and one problem that we have is that most of the female teachers, their life stories are not recorded. There is no books, no texts. One reason for this is that the female enlightened beings, they didn't have a lot of disciples. The reason is, many female teachers and enlightened beings, a lot of them had children, they lived at home. They didn't really give formal teachings. They're occupied with having children and so forth, but they were highly realized beings. They were recognized by other lamas -- "She is emanation of Tara. She is emanation of Vajrayogini, so on." So they didn't have disciples. This is one reason.

Also, there were female teachers, like yoginis, who were wandering around, themselves living in caves and villages. Also, it's partly because of society, you know, male chauvinist society. So the people always go to men teachers, lamas who have many disciples, they don't go to female teachers. And also female teachers are modest and humble, so they just don't care if they have disciples or not. They just do their own practice. So there was none recalled in stories, unfortunately. But there was many teachers, enlightened ones. And long time, of course, there were more female teachers. I think it's possible, it's true, there will be more women teachers in the future.

O.k., I'd like to end here, now. 


Onward Onward to Shunyata

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