Tonight, Acho Rinpoche gave a very crucial teaching about the practice of Budhdism.
Someone asked Sodaji Khenpo, “I do sadhana, mantra chanting, sutra recitation and meditation with vigour. Are these the real practice of Buddhism?” Sodaji Khenpo replied, “No!”
What then is the real practice of Buddhism? Sodaji Khenpo has the view that by doing inner reflection of one’s own mind stream and rejoicing in the good deeds of others are the real practice of Buddhism. Actually, what Sodaji Khenp is trying to say is that the real practice of Buddhism is just “mind training”. I have been stressing on the same point too – mind training.
Mind training simply means that one should constantly reflect inward, watching his own mental fabrications triggered by the external environment, including the inner thoughts and emotions. One should continuously watch his own mind and refine his mind set, and move away from his self-interest. Instead, he should learn to be more concerned about the interest of others as such practice will eventually help to eradicate his sense of ego (the source of all mental afflictions).
When a person practises the sadhana, mantra, sutra and meditation out of self-interest, he will certainly end up on the evil path; the highest level of achievement of such practice is none other than the King of Mara of the Mahesvara Heaven (the highest state of being within the Desire Realm). Therefore, mind training is the core teaching of Buddhism and the most crucial practice.
Is it alright then for a person to just practise mind training and forego the sadhana? The answer is “no”. However, if a person must sacrifice one of them for whatever reason, he should then choose mind training over sadhana. Although mind training can eventually help one attain the ultimate state of enlightenment, it is a very slow and gradual process. Sadhana is designed to augment the mind training practice, expediting the completion of the mind training. Therefore, mind training augmented by sadhana is the perfect path of practice.
A practitioner should be more concerned about the interest of others over his own. A practitioner should do inner reflection and watch his own mind stream, identifying his own shortcomings and make amend. He should not look outward and pick on the shortcoming of others. One should look inward into his own mind and change himself.
Last but not least, Vajrayanists must observe strictly the precepts of the Fourteen Root Downfalls of Vajrayana. Fellow vajrayanists must not create conflicts with one another. Instead, a practitioner should not pick on the shortcoming of others but his own and make amend.
This was a teaching given by Acho Rinpoche on 26 Sep 2015.