Annual India Tours
These lectures were transcribed by T Vd Broek. Heartfelt
gratitude is offered for all the hours of work spent on this Dharma activity.
These talks are offered free of charge. They have been slightly edited.
I would like to talk on putting the practice into two areas, the area of understanding and that of activity. In dealing with phenomena such as people or relationships or environment, try to bring the practice back to the essence of those two areas because sometimes in dealing with them, they can become confusing. Depending on the relationships we have with different things, some are very clean and clear, and others are more complicated and we do get confused at times as to what is the right or wrong thing to do in regards as to what we are supposed to do.
The first fundamental position we have to take is that "I can only be responsible for what I manifest" because we cannot be responsible for what happens in the world around us or the people we interact with. We can certainly promote for others things which are good but we cannot be responsible for their response. So when you sit down in your practice you should ask yourself what is important? And what is important, you have a mind which is understanding and working with things. Also you have mind's motivation and moving you into actually taking up some activities. Always try to have those in clarity because it immediately puts the relationships we have in a clear position no matter how much they have got into being complicated or not so easy to work through. You have to withdraw yourself from the relationships that you have and then touch base with what I have to manifest. Thus you can have clarity and can immediately release yourself from the problems you might be experiencing and have more clarity about who and what I am and what I am doing.
The first point, that I can only be responsible for my self and who I am, I will share with you that my mother is dying. When I went to see her, I looked at her eyes and knew she was my mother, but she was not there. She had changed drastically and was very different. I had to process for myself what she meant for me as my mother. On the other side, I relaxed and tried to be calm about it. You should try to be positive and take from that moment what is beneficial and positive. You have to come down to that all you have with people around you is what you have done with them and what you consciously motivate yourself to do. And that is it. What you have done with the people and the world around you is all that you have.
I want you to bring that to mind for yourself. It is important for all of us. We all have to die! It really is waiting for us, it is not fictitious. And we will also have to deal with other people dear to us dying. And so at that point what is going to go on in our mind? What can we reflect on which will be meaningful for us? And it is important to realize that all you have is all that you do and what you consciously motivate yourself to try to do. Try to be clear on that point because when you do die you cannot readjust anything. You have what you have done and so you better be careful because you do not want to end up with a bummer, things which are regrettable.
The other issue has two facets. There is the mind and then relationship. This falls completely into the category of what I have described but is a little different because mind is, like when you sit here and think about what is being said, that if you have a very surface response to it, and you look at yourself as being a body that is there. Instead you should try to go a little deeper and realize that conscious awareness, mind, and by that I do not mean an intellectual mind, I mean your being, is there. And it is not a superficial thing, it is quite deep. So you should try to develop a deeper more powerful inner vision.
You do have tantric initiation so it should be quite easy for you. You should try to cultivate the vision of self as deity. And that does not mean that you should think I am the Buddha, but you do try to cultivate the body consciousness of a Buddha, meaning the body is clear. It is an energy. If you remember the initiation process, in the second initiation called the secret initiation, at that time you are given the red and white bodhicitta substances and then taught that the true nature of your enjoyment body is energy and mind. That is more real. Because how your mind is so your body energy manifests itself. So you have that realization because particularly in the intermediate state after you die, you can manifest any body you want. You do not have to be limited to the karma that you have. If you have a powerful mind you can create a body as you would like it to be. In that way you can transform yourself.
But we are in our bodies right now. And we can still use that understanding. We have our body sitting here doing it's thing. But rather than identifying with that, we should try to identify ourselves in a spiritual sense. We have received initiation. We have the capacity if we put our concentration into it, to generate a spiritual body, the body of ourselves as the deity. In that way the deity's body is clear light energy, it is like clear light crystal. So when you sit here, you can take your body consciousness, body awareness, like my body is sitting right now cross legged, and you should try to make it that right now my body is clear. It is free from distortion or darkness. You do not have that your body is meat and bones, and you are from your eyes forward, but rather your body's consciousness is clear. In that way you remove physical negativity or disability by visualizing very powerfully that you body is clear energy. And make it very clean energy. That actually makes you healthy.
The second phase is to understand that mind manifests just what it is thinking. If you understand that and you work with it, you can realize why it is important for you to start to work with your bodhicitta. Bodhicitta is the intention to do good for others. Your visualization of the spiritual body of yourself which is all that you have in relationship, like your being. And what your being does in regards to relating with others is all that you have.
So first you visualize that my body is in the body of the deity, it is clear light energy. Then the aspect it is appearing in is for the benefit for all sentient beings. Whether it is capable of benefitting or not is not an issue. You will be able to benefit others as you grow spiritually. So you do not need to worry about it. You do not make an appraisal of how much spiritual wealth or capacity you have to benefit others. You just know, whatever I have got, I spend that for the benefit of sentient beings.
So you visualize the body as an energy body. For example you can visualize yourself as Yamantaka. It is a powerful black body. Flames all around it. Then bring into that body visualization that it is fully for the benefit of all sentient beings. So it is not actually powerful energy which is destructive, but powerful energy which is fully beneficial. So if you are in a difficult situation, you need very powerful forces to change it. For example, if there is heavy duty pollution, we need very powerful ways to go in and remove or stop it. The same way when you are dealing with heavy negativity. In the world are many heavy negative forces. You need very powerful energy to be able to draw on, rely on, to work with that. And that is where you have Yamantaka, so you draw on that energy.
In that way when you think of that powerful form, then you should always have that it has the quality of being for the benefit of all sentient beings. And if you do not visualize quite as powerful and wrathful form, and think of yourself as being Tara or such, it is easier sometimes to see the energy of that form as soft, nice to others, and such. And if you feel you have powerful energy, you can actually feel that you bless them and heal them, whatever you do. That is all part of your practice. It is what you are doing.
The main point is, you come back to yourself, there is your mind. You mind should understand that you are not a material form but a spiritual form. In the second part of the initiation you are given the substances which help you recognize that you are not a physical form, but a spiritual entity. As you have that understanding, manifest in the aspect that it has quality of benefitting others. Then you are covered. If you think about it, in every relationship that you go into, you have the principle facets that are important. One, that I am a spiritual entity, not a material entity. Secondly, the manifestation of my energy is for the benefit of others. With this in your mind, you have clarity as how to how I can act in any situation. It does not matter how old the relationship is of whatever, you know immediately, this is how I respond. And then you try to not get caught up with old habit patterns which then make you act out the old habit pattern forming ways. You try to be a little more enlightened in your relationships with others.
That is what I would like to leave you with for the meditation. I would like you to try to spend some time thinking about death. Because I have shared with you something which is very emotional and powerful for me, I am sure that it will touch in you emotions which you have had. And that is a good opportunity to get in touch with that and try to use it for your benefit, not to make yourself depressed or something silly. But to use it for your benefit. To try to think about your own self, what you are and what you are doing. And maybe what you would like to do.
So try to spend some time on personal impermanence. And what am I going to be left with at time of my death? Will I be old and selfish and unhappy? Or open hearted and feeling good? That then brings you back to the moment because you create who you are with the way you think right now. It is worth while to think positive.
Copyright 1994 Daka's Buddhist Consulting
All Rights Reserved