View & Conduct
Lama Tharchin Rinpoche

Guru Rinpoche said there were two aspects for Dzogchen practitioners. The first is to develop a spacious mind or view - limitless, open, free, and released. Secondly, one's physical actions with body, speech and mind must be perfect - ethical down to the minuetest detail. In the beginning, the latter is very important and then as one's view gradually develops, conduct takes care of itself automatically without effort, just by merely having the profound view.

Conduct is the ideal of loving kindness and compassion towards all beings equally. Without conduct, the highest view can be harmful because people think they have the view and that everything will be alright without paying attention to conduct. But they are only thinking that; it is not a true realization, so their reasoning is faulty. Patrul Rinpoche said that if someone says to you that they have the view but they don't show loving kindness - you should stuff their mouths with the shit of one hundred towns. So we don't emphasize only the view and neglect behavior; but also the opposite is incorrect - not trying to understand the view but examining conduct. If you practice only virtuous conduct for hundreds of aeons, enlightenment is never reached. We also need the wisdom of the view - pure buddha mind view. If you only practice only from the outer point of view - you are like a chicken – you are a bird, but you can't fly; but if you practice conduct and view, you are like a soaring garuda and everything unfolds very quickly in a single lifetime. Virtue and its practice does benefit one but it is not permanent and it belongs to world of relative truth that is defined in terms of good and bad, happy and sad, and so forth. Being a buddha is not a question of being happy or sad. Being a buddha is not at that level. Buddhahood trancendends those categories and that is why to attain buddhahood we have to work with both conduct and view. The point is we need to gather the two accumulations -- merit and wisdom. Otherwise we are always struggling and unbalanced in our life.


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