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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.

JUNE 16 1991
Answer to question: You can claim ownership where you have the mind only, or everything is a reflection of my mind philosophy. A more subtle approach of reality is to say all phenomena are interdependent, so my existence here and now, if I look for the place where ownership can be placed, I cannot find it. I will find that my body is fully interconnected with the environment, my body is fully dissolved into this room right here. Every pore is inter connected. That is the first thought.
The second thought, mind. You cannot even claim ownership of the mind. It is the in put of parents, society, gurus, experiences. And there is still my conscious mind experiencing those, but there is no place of ownership. I am the product of what has been happening.
So you start to dissolve the sense of everything as a reflection of my mind, and start to realize that there is openness. Within that, you have arrived to a more subtle position than mind only. Within that there are blessings and things to be received, and whatever else is to happen.
You go to guru yoga, for example, the blessings of the guru is just to be with them. Because if they are a real guru, if they are really living in ultimate reality, then their being is fully open. Wide open. And their energy is realized energy. And let's talk about the real guru, the Buddha. Their being is energy patterns of compassion, wisdom, understanding, receptivity. And if you are around them and open, you pick up on that. It's like you get a tan from being in the sun. From being around the guru, you literally become the guru. In that way, there is incredible blessings.
So in a higher sense of philosophy, you do not look at the guru and say the guru is a reflection of my mind. You look at the guru and say yes, the guru is a reflection of my mind, I won't really see the real guru because I have delusions there still, but because I understand a little more subtle way of understanding it, I am going to allow myself to be fully open to the relationship of guru. With a real guru, then you get quality blessings. And so you just have to be with them.
There is no getting the blessing, no not getting the blessing, it us just being. And that is why you seek out holy people and hang out with the;m. Just being around them is the blessing. If you have that level of practice, the channel of blessing for you is like a river compared to going there and saying, may I please have the guru touch my head, bless me!!! That is a very uptight mind, very narrow minded, and looking at "I can only receive blessings the way that I somehow think the guru should do it!" A higher level spiritual practice has just, I am around someone who is very holy, and I am just going to allow my consciousness to fully open to the full vibrational pattern to mix with mind, and knowing and having faith and love and esteem and all of the quality of guru yoga, the guru that develops for you, upgrades you.
For me to even think of the Dalai Lama gives me goose pimples. A lot of it is just my projection. On the other side, I have had some interesting experiences with the Dalai Lama. So I have my faith that the guy has his act together. So I can play both sides of the fence. I can say yes, it is just my own mind, but on the other side, there is a big blessing going on here! And so I have got to learn how to put myself into that position. To be open to receive the blessings.
Pierro in India said, going to visit the guru is an interesting game you play of having incredible faith come out of you, but learning how to be open enough to see something come through. So it is a two way street. You do not go there crying out for blessings. But you do not go in there totally closed off saying there is no blessings coming. You have to learn how to be open.
I like using the analogy of playing golf. I am going to hit this ball really far. If I think that, I ruin it. If I sit there and say I have just got to relax totally, it won't work. I have to hit just the right balance of body, and the whole action. And when I do that well, when I give up clinging to any one thing, that ball goes! That is an interesting spiritual exercise. Learning how to get that right balance. Relaxation, and yet control.
When we take refuge, it is the mind seeking a way to protect itself from being confused, but real refuge should be the development of inner wisdom so as experience is developed, you develop a better refuge. You take two styles of refuge. Refuge in the external as in the image of the Buddha as something which inspires and motivates you. The other refuge is the internal one which is the development of our inner wisdom.
In the final phase of one's practice, when one's self becomes a refuge, so when oneself becomes enlightened. Thus it is not reliance on an external entity which is the key issue. There is external reliance because one needs to be guided in the path, there are many mistakes one can make, so therefore relying on a more spiritually developed person and on the Buddha and his teachings, these are appropriate. Yet the actual refuge is your understanding of the teachings, and finally, that you yourself will become fully enlightened. Therefore you will become the refuge yourself.
Within that thought you can think the practice I am doing is integration. It is going to become part of me. It is not that I am just under the protection of someone or something and as long as they are around, I am protected. The end result is you, yourself, become the protector.
With the object of the Buddha of refuge, there are different things you can look at. Body, speech, and mind. It is said that every pore of the Body of the Buddha has omniscient mind. It is not normal and physical like our own bodies, but rather in full consciousness. And not just relative consciousness, but fully realized consciousness. So if you were to approach the Buddha, it is said that even the hairs are omniscient. Therefore, relying on any part of the Buddha can be a source of great merit. Secondly, the Buddha's body is perfection. In the teachings it is said there are thirty two major and eighty minor marks of the Buddha. The size. Style, everything is in perfect physical proportion. When you think of the enlightened being, because you are thinking of the full manifestation of enlightenment in perfection, it has perfect quality from a human perspective.
When we visualize the Buddha's body for taking refuge, we should visualize that body which is the attainment of perfection. Not the perfection with no basis, each of the qualities of the Buddha's body is an expression of enlightenment activity such as the six perfections.
The Buddha's speech is beautiful and resonant to listen to. It has all the qualities of a beautiful singer, and also carries meaning unique to each of the individual listeners. At any one discourse of the Buddha, it is said that each will hear what is most appropriate for their ears to hear. So although it is said that the Buddha is teaching, each of us as individuals will hear what is appropriate for our own minds. It is like nectar for the ears and has great profundity and puts realizations into your mind very quickly.
The Buddha's holy mind has the three qualities of perfect wisdom, perfect love and compassion and perfect power. Perfect wisdom means that the Buddha's mind understands perfectly the nature of reality and is thus no longer bound by what appears to his mind. The Buddha's love means the Buddha has no bias. Within his mind is always the energy to be of benefit for all sentient beings, so the beneficial quality is always consistent. It is not limited to group or personal qualities. He would equally work for someone who presented him with beautiful gifts and someone trying to harm him. His mind is removed from prejudice or division. This is an important quality to reflect on the Buddha. The Buddha does not lay trips on people. He demonstrates his spirituality, but it is still required that one asks the Buddha for teachings.
The Buddha never taught without being asked to teach. He had received full enlightenment and was going to allow his body to dissolve. The various Gods in that area manifested and requested him with offerings, to teach for the benefit of all sentient beings. Having been requested, the Buddha said he would do this and spent the next forty years of his life doing so.
The Buddha inspires sentient beings by his aura, presence of sense of being of his enlightenment. And from there, those who have the right karma, the seed of goodness within them, request the teachings.
The Buddha has full power. Power in the Buddhist perspective is not power to change reality or change the outside world, but power of inner control and realization. He has full power because no one can afflict his mind. His mind lives within full realization. He is never assailed or controlled by others. And that is the ultimate power. To be in a position where one's mind is unaffected by whatever happens.
If the ultimate entity has power other than that, could change the world physically or change others minds by looking at them or something, then the Buddha because his nature is all loving, none of us would be suffering right now. He would have already enlightened everyone and we would be wonderfully happy. If an ultimate entity had perfect love, no being would leave us suffering. It would be a contradiction to say there is ultimate love and yet allow others to suffer if there was that facet of control. So full power means full power over one's mind only.
Refuge in the Buddha works for your mind in the way you have faith. You investigate the Buddha and examine why he is worthy of veneration or faith. They are worthy of respect because they have perfect wisdom, unbiased love and perfect serenity or self control. When you turn to them knowing they have these qualities, you can have some feeling of faith. Faith gives you a vehicle upon which to receive teachings and blessings. If you have no faith, there is no possibility to receive any teachings or blessings from the Buddha. But if you have some faith, then you have something within your mind which allows the Buddha to manifest things for you to help you become realized. It is not that the Buddha does something for you, but that he demonstrates something which brings your mind into realization because of your faith. And due also to the amount of purification you have. It is said that your ability to see the Buddha depends on purity of vision. If we lack that we will not see anything. But if we have a little purity, we might see something, but not in it's pure aspect. But if we have perfect mind, perfect wisdom, perfect realization, then we will see the Buddha in his perfect aspect.
We have a lot of karmic obscurations. And even if the Buddha appeared, we might not see the Buddha for whom he or she is. We might see something else because of our own lack of purity or vision.

Copyright 1994  Daka's Buddhist Consulting  All Rights Reserved