Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Purity of Mind (清净)

We must be very careful with our mental activities. The mental strength of a Vajrayana practitioner can be enormous; it could affect the beings living in both the spiritual world and the human world, as both worlds actually co-exist within the same realm. A practitioner must constantly purify his own mind, speech and action, or he will get himself into trouble. Our thoughts can bring the spiritual beings to us: the Buddhas will come when you think of the Buddhas; the gods will come when you think of the gods; and the dark forces will come when you think of the dark forces. Their response is swift.

The Vajrayana trainings can produce strong mental power, especially when you chant the mantras and exert your mental strength, you can invoke the party that you are thinking of, especially the spiritual beings. So, we must be very careful with our mental activities.

Each time when I said I would go somewhere, the spiritual beings in that place would immediately come to me. For instance, when I was about to go somewhere to perform “soul deliverance”, the spiritual beings would know of my intent almost immediately. An advanced cultivator should be even more cautious about his thoughts. Be cautious of your mental activities and make sure that they are pure at all times.
When your mind is defiled, you will fall into the Three Lower Realms. So, the purity of your mind, speech and action is very crucial. Ultimately, you should be able to give up your own life and all your possessions, yet you will continue to maintain the purity of your mind, speech and action. Never harbor negative thoughts, no matter how ill others treat you, maintain the purity of your mind at all times. When your mind is defiled, your thoughts will be defiled, and you will fall. Do not end up in the Three Lower Realms when others end up being a Buddha.

Why did some followers of Sakyamuni Buddha become the Bodhisattvas and Arahats? For they had succeeded in purifying their own minds. If you choose to cover up your impurities with all sorts of reason and accuse others for being in the wrong, you are actually the one who is wrong. You should only accuse yourself for being wrong but never point your finger at others.

Let me repeat this, maintaining the purity of one’s mind, speech and action is very crucial in the spiritual cultivation. A practitioner must purify his mind, speech and action everyday, at all times. One must quickly realize the impurity of his mental activities and repent immediately - this is the only way to free oneself from the cyclic existence.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Impermanence (人生无常)

Dharma Sister Bing dreamt of my passing away. She felt sad and regret of losing a spiritual guide. She repented and regretted for not cherishing the presence of a spiritual guide. This dream tells us that life is impermanent. I have been stressing that 50 year-old is considered long life to a Tibetan. Tibetans’ lives are shorter due to the harsh living condition at high altitude. Master Tzonkapa nearly passed away when he was 58 year-old. His life was extended after the numerous longevity rites being performed for him. He passed away when he was 64 year-old. The 16th Karmapa passed away when he was 58 year-old. There were simply too many people passing away around 50 year-old. To me, 56 year-old is longevity. I cherish every single day, and I don’t think about tomorrow.

My attitude towards life is to cherish every single day and live in spiritual bliss. I will just accept what the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas give me each day, and I cherish the opportunity to live yet one more day, practice one more day, help one more sentient being and bring more happiness to others. I dedicate all my merits to the sentient beings. I do not worry about whether I will get up tomorrow morning. If my life ends now, I will be born again to help the sentient beings in future.

So, we should live in spiritual bliss everyday and transform all negative emotions into positive ones. Do not be perturbed by our negative emotions. Be prepared for the last moment. I hope that you will take this away and learn to cultivate your right thought every single moment. Cultivate your bodhicitta and contemplate the true meaning of emptiness. Do not think negatively. We should think about the impermanence of life everyday; there is not enough time, do not waste our time. Om Mani Padme Hum.

Signs of Spiritual Advancement (修行进步的现象)

We live in a troubled era created by a very huge collective karma of sentient beings. The sufferings of the sentient beings in this era are tremendous and they will trigger our inner sense of compassion. But most of the time, such compassion is lacking of wisdom. Compassion which is lacking of wisdom is not the true compassion. The compassion of the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas is beyond our comprehension. Most of the time, we end up with our own misinterpretations of what compassion is, when it is not.

I feel that the most crucial point about spiritual cultivation is the cleansing of our lust, hatred and ignorance. Cultivation is about self reflection. Ask ourselves, “What did I do when such thing happened in the past?” “How has my attitude changed over the years?” If we mellow into a more tolerant attitude towards a similar event over the years, and could finally laugh it off completely, we know that we have improved in our spiritual cultivation. Those are the signs of diminishing lust, hatred and ignorance in us.

Before you became a cultivator, you might be easily agitated by a very trivial matter. After you cultivated for a period, you might realize that suddenly you don’t seem to feel perturbed by the same matter anymore, although you might still feel a little agitation, you could finally just drop the matter. When you drop the matter, you have in fact improved in your cultivation. Next, when the same matter happens again, you will just not be bothered and don’t feel like commenting anymore as it seems too trivial to you now. When you are emotionally not affected at all, you have made further advancement in your cultivation. Finally, all things will appear trivial to you that you are no longer affected by them in anyway. These are the signs of spiritual advancement. When you are finally ready, you can then help the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in carrying out the enlightened activities of helping other sentient beings. Om Mani Padme Hum.