Thursday, June 23, 2016

Human Life is like a Moon Reflection

            Acho Rinpoche shared with the group a teaching given by Zhongsar Rinpoche. Zhongsar Rinpoche said mankind is just like monkeys. A group of monkeys saw a moon reflection on a lake and wished to pick up the moon from the surface of the lake. They formed a chain dangling from a tree nearby in order to reach the moon in vain. Finally, they all fell into the lake and were drowned.  
            Human life is the same as the moon reflection on the lake which does not truly exist. All our efforts and target settings will eventually be wasted in vain. From childhood, we were told by our parents, teachers and the entire society that this world is real and all things precious. So, we work very hard to achieve the numerous “accomplishments” in life in the form of education, family, career, wealth, status etc. People end up quarreling with one another over trivial matters such as a parking lot, different personal opinions etc. Actually, we will have to let go of all things in life when we draw our last breath.  
Venerable Haitao’s mother fell ill recently and he saw how bad his mother suffered from her illness. So, he realized that the greatest happiness in life is being healthy, without sickness. Most of the people, when they are still healthy, will find pleasures and happiness in all kinds of activity such as singing, gambling, having fun etc. Actually, those are not true happiness. The true happiness already exists when one is healthy. Acho Rinpoche told us that he had a serious giddiness problem yesterday and nearly fell down because of that. Later he realized that it was actually caused by his seriously bloating stomach. So, sickness can happen to anyone regardless of age and at any time, arriving unannounced. This is impermanence. However, he suggested that we should turn an adversity into  opportunity instead, by practicing even harder when we are hit by sickness. He hoped that we would continue to contemplate on these points and gradually relinquish our strong grasping of all things in life, after realizing their falsity. When a person has finally attained the state of enlightenment, he will not be fooled by the outer appearance of the worldly phenomena and would break free of the conceptual and dualistic thinking such as pretty-ugly, good-bad, pure-filthy etc. And, he would certainly not be engaged in any disagreement with anyone.

Reported by Sun-Moon KFS on 23-6-2016

Vajra Yogini Empowerment

The annual cosmic union between the heaven and earth occurred today. Acho Rinpoche conferred the Vajra Yogini empowerment to the practitioners who participated in the group prayer tonight. It was indeed a very auspicious occasion. Vajra Yogini holds the key to the successful accomplishment of the “inner heat” practice. All the inner heat practitioners must rely on Vajra Yogini to ignite their inner heat buried deep in their Root Cakhras. Acho Rinpoche told the group that he received great blessing from Vajra Yogini when he visited the Vajra Yogini Cave in Yunnan of China last year. Vajra Yogini told him that he should go to the main Vajra Yogini Cave in Gansu in future, by then She would personally give her blessing to everyone present. 
Acho Rinpoche transmitted the Vajra Yogini Practice including the visualization and the short mantra. However, he told us that the long mantra is even more powerful and that we should learn this mantra too. This special occasion is meant to plant a seed in the recipients which would ripen into fruition in future; it does not mean that the recipients are ready for the practice at this stage. When a practitioner has fully accomplished his Four Preliminaries, Guru Yoga and Deity Yoga, his inner heat in his Root Cakhra will automatically be ignited – at that juncture, Vajra Yogini will appear to give him the great blessing. Hence, Vajrayana is a gradual path that requires the practitioners to complete the required practices one after another, in an orderly mannerin order to attain the final state of enlightenment. 

Reported by Sun-Moon-KFS on 20-6-2016

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The True Purpose of Buddhist Cultivation

Tonight, Kheng shared with the rest two of his recent dreams. In his first dream, he was with Acho Rinpoche and Shao in the same room. Acho Rinpoche requested him to go outside of the room to take care of the traffic controls. He hesitated because he knew there was an ocean of sentient beings out there, too much for him to handle. In his second dream, he saw Acho Rinpoche showing both his hands, with the little fingers burning in flame. Acho Rinpoche told Kheng, “This is the kind of pain one will need to endure when he aspires to help the sentient beings to break free of the cyclic existence of the Six Realms.”

Later, Acho Rinpoche explained the meaning of these dreams. The first dream implied that the numerous sentient beings are just innumerable and one will just continue to reach out to them life after life. The second dream implied that when one aspires to bodhicitta (aspiration to help the numerous sentient beings attain enlightenment), he must be prepared to endure the tremendous pain that will ensue beyond his imagination. Master Lu fell very ill recently for the same reason of helping the numerous sentient beings by taking over their great sufferings in the form of fatal illness, at the risk of losing his own life. Such is the spirit of bodhicitta and the spirit of Mahayana. A cultivator who strives for his own well beings including those of his family will certainly accomplish the desired outcome but that is not the true purpose of a Buddhist cultivation. The true purpose of a Buddhist cultivation is to help the numerous sentient beings, related and not related to oneself, to break free of the cyclic existence of the Six Realms. A true cultivator does not take interest in just striving for his own benefits or for only a small group of people related to him.

          Acho Rinpoche shared a video clip that he saw on the Internet. There was a cultivator who had recently completed her 10,000th round of fire puja. However, she finally realized that only the 10,000th round of fire puja was applauded by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas because that was the only puja that she did for the sole purpose of dedicating the merit to her root guru who fell very ill in order to help the numerous sentient beings. Acho Rinpoche also reminded us that although there is a set of expedient methods in Buddhism that was designed to entice some of the people to the initial path to enlightenment including “wealth creation method” such as helping one winning a lottery, a Buddhist teacher should not promote such practice as it will increase the sense of desire in a person and lead him to a spiritual downfall. The true purpose of a Buddhist cultivation is none other than helping the sentient beings break free of the cyclic existence of the Six Reamls inherent with the numerous problems, and attain the ultimate state of enlightenment – Buddhahood. The fruit of enlightenment is totally unrelated to the secular wealth. Recently, someone requested the blessing of the 17th Karmapa Urgyn Trinley for wining a lottery, so that the former can help the propagation of the Buddhadharma. The wise 17th Karmapa told the requestor that one does not need to offer financial help to propagate the Buddhadharma as he can readily help through other means. Actually the irony is that, after one strikes a lottery, he may not even be interested to help the propagation of the Buddhahdarma anymore.

Lastly, Acho Rinpoche talked about the succession issue of a sect. Usually, a sect will vanish gradually after the passing of its founder who could not find a qualified successor in time. A qualified successor must be someone who has attained the same state of spiritual accomplishment as the founder in order to be able to sustain the continuity of the sect. Also, if the successor is too young, despite the fact that he is a reincarnation of another enlightened master himself, he will not be able to take over the heavy responsibility of a spiritual head in time. That is the reason why some of the Buddhist sects disappeared quietly after the passing of their founders.  

Reported by Sun-Moon KFS on 11-06-2019