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.
Jhampa July 24,88
To finish off the lectures, I want to change the emphasis a bit. A point was brought up. What do you do when you have a lot of sexual desire and it comes up in your meditation, and what do you do with it? In regards to the focus of meditation in the sense of our spiritual practice and becoming enlightened, enlightenment is very holistic. It is not that suddenly your spirit becomes beautiful and yet your body, your common desires are rejected out of your life. You have to have an inclusive process to become enlightened. The ultimate expression of enlightenment is that you are a perfect person in all facets of your being. Thus, you don't have rough edges anywhere.
Bringing that back to our own level, as we spiritually develop, we have to think holisticly. In doing this we have to relate to who we are. And in seeing who we are, trying not to avoid what comes up. In that we have to have our initial motivation, the underlying feeling that we have when we do our practice which is "I would like to become more relaxed." or "I want to become more spiritual." whatever the feeling is. And that is like the motive we have in our mind. We think that "I am only going to get better." That we are going to be nicer and everything is going to be beautiful. And sometimes it doesn't seem to be that way. But it is actually that way and it does get better. But we always have to come back to appreciating it is a holistic process that we are involved in. And by that I mean that all facets of our being should be dealt with.
In dealing with them all, as we become more whole, then we don't have any areas which we have not addressed. As we meditate, it sometimes seems that it's not as much fun as we would like it to be. We think that we are quite a beautiful person, we have really good energy and that we are alright. Then we meditate and all of a sudden we find that we have a devious mind, it is very manipulative. As you meditate you find that you sit there and find that you always interact with people and bring about a certain response from them, because that is your need. Another way is that you start meditating and then you find that you have a lot of desire. All of a sudden you find that there is an abundance of passion in your body and you think, I wasn't this way before! It sort of seems that you are going down hill a hell of a lot, and there is "Where is the tranquillity and peace when I sit down to meditate? All I see is my dirty face and I don't like that. I actually seem not as beautiful a person as I like to think myself!"
Or also you get really strong feelings, emotional feelings that seem to consume you. Like a sense of passion that seems all out of proportion for what you think you would like to be. It sort of looks like meditation did it to you but if we sort of distract ourselves from that, separate it, and look back at what is happening, we have to say that whatever we are is what we are. And when we start to meditate, we start to center and become much less intellectual, less philosophical. We start to be. And when we become a little bit more in our body, more centered, then the things that we are, the things that we have repressed, and the things that we have never dealt with start to surface because we are starting to get close to home base. And home base means that maybe we have a bad relationship with our father, mother, and actually we have never had the love that we would have liked to have had or felt, and suddenly we are stuck with a real sense of hate for something which we have really never dealt with. We never saw it. Many things become apparent.
We might say we were never this way before and it is the meditation. We reject it, lay the blame at the feet of the buddha saying "It is all your fault for making me this way, isn't that lousy?"
If we look at it though, we are coming closer to home base. I will speak from my own perspective in becoming a monk, at one point I thought I was pure as the driven snow. I was young, hadn't had any sexual or love relationships, I thought that was good. That I had my life squared away. After a few years, I found that I was fascinated with certain women and then I got into the initiation process. I received a very powerful initiation from about three different teachers and all of a sudden I was crying all the time, I was sort of pathetic, I found that I had a lot of unresolved emotions in regards to women that I had never addressed. I went into about a year and a half depression. It was a horrible thing. The incredible desire, and I was a celibate monk so I had to bottle it all up and yet it would bubble out all over. It was a difficult time in my life. I had a lot to work through.
I remember at one point I thought I am going to disrobe. Quit the whole thing and become an ordinary person again. Isn't that fantastic. Because I had all these emotions just tearing me to pieces. So I was walking down this road thinking about this, I remember. Then I went down and saw my teacher Lama Yeshe and I was all set to say it was finished, here was my robes. And Lama Yeshe must have intuited it and looked at me and said "You could never disrobe!" Oh! And that was it. I didn't think about it again. But it was sort of funny because he hit me in the middle of mid stride. And he must have seen I was obviously going through this over a period of a month or two. And he didn't say anything but hit me on the head with that statement and it put me back a bit and I kept my ordination going and I did another ten years and I did alright.
The point I am trying to make is, that at age twenty one I thought I was pretty good, I didn't have any so called emotional problems. I had never been crushed by any women, I didn't have nay heartbreak inside. I didn't have any unresolved passions that I hadn't fulfilled. So from my side I thought I was doing alright. But two three years later I had all this come up and I couldn't believe that this is part of me especially after the initiations where I started to come in touch with my own relationship to women,I found a lot of broken emotions and things which I had never resolved. And they had to be, and they had to be done skillfully.
I think if you are a good meditator, you are much more in touch psychologically with yourself. You have to be. You can't think that you can meditate through things without having to deal with them. So when you have big emotions come up, you see that maybe you are not as pure in your heart as you thought you would be. You can't sort of deny it. You have to address that issue and ask what is going on here. Why do I feel this way? Or why do I manipulate people this way? Seeing that, you sort of adjust why you do it that way and begin to work with yourself. It is not an easy process, it is not like magic. That suddenly you are healed and beautiful. It takes a long time because you are getting close to home base. The person you are. The anger we have. The passion we have. The manipulative mind we have. All these things we have start to become revealed because they are not hidden any more. The are not just there in free form to express themselves. They are being scrutinized now. You are aware that they are there and that hurts. Sometimes it hurts like hell.
This doesn't mean that the meditative process is bad. It just means that you have never looked at yourself and you have never addressed these issues satisfactorily enough because they are still there. The point is to realize that it is part of your own home base which is coming open.
You could almost look at it with glee, happiness, because you can say now I really know where I have to work. It is something that if I work through this, I never have to do it again. It is resolved. If in one lifetime you very clearly identify a problem, go into it and resolve it, your next lifetime, it might come up. Let's say that next lifetime I try again to be a monk and again comes up the thing with women, whatever, I should go through it really quickly providing I don't blow it this lifetime and end up with all sorts of problems. As long as you have a very realistic approach to your life, and when something comes up, you look at it positively and say, "Alright, I'm going to resolve it this time. And it is not going to be a further problem in my life. I am going to grab a hold of it and I am going to fix it. And it might hurt. And it might Take a few years, but I am going to do it. Because it means never again in the next lifetimes I am going to have it. Even in this lifetime I am not going to be hassled." Emotion, feeling, personality trait, whatever, that keeps on getting in the way of being an O.K. person.
In meditating, realizing that a lot of our crud or bad side is going to come up, alright. No one is ever going to say that you are bad. And a really important facet is to think that no matter how ugly you seem to get in your own practice, the Buddha still loves you much as he she ever did. Enlightened beings don't dislike you because you start to become more deluded. And that is important. Because very often in our practice we might say well the last few weeks I have been angry, I have been bad, I have not been meditating, arn't I a bad person? Of course you then say well, Jhampa is not going to like me very much for that! I promised to do this and that. Jhampa is going to be angry. Buddhism is not going to like me too, and then it comes down to the Buddha is not going to like me any more. And that is not at all the case! As long as I am fairly clear minded, I should have a clear relationship with you. And if you are practicing that is fine, and if you are not, that is fine too. My affection should be the same. And certainly the Buddhas affection is the same. The enlightened beings don't dislike us if we all of a sudden get a lot of pimples on our face! In the sense that all of a sudden a lot of our delusions start to come out and we are really rampant with passions, anger, aggressiveness or whatever. It doesn't mean a thing. It is O.K. They are still there and they are waiting for that process to go through. If we were very together in our life, then that means, Say right now I have a lot of heavy delusion. What does that mean? What do I do?
The Dalai Lama in an interview with western people was very frank. "In my younger years," he said, "I had a lot of sexuality that I had to deal with. I was a monk, had been a monk since I was six, and my feeling would come very strong. I used to call my feelings in front of me and would talk to them. I would say, what do you want? And then I would say, is that practical? Is that would I would like to do with myself?" And he would have a dialogue with his feelings. And that way, "If my feelings," he said, "had a very good argument, well then maybe I would do it."
In regards to his own sexuality, he responded and decided that being a monk was better. It worked for my people and it works for me and my office and what I would like to do. So he said that to be a monk was the right thing for him. But he said it is very important to have a dialogue, a very real one, that you don't hide from a delusion when it comes to you. That you sort of grab it and ask what do you want. Would that make other people around me happy? Will it make me happy? And you ask questions to it. And then you let it respond to you. By thinking that it is your own delusion, you talk back to yourself.
And then you can set up the reasons why you want to be a particular type of person. Why do you want not to have a particular kind of delusion consume you. And then you work with it in a positive manner. And if you can, you try to resolve it.
When we meditate, we work with ourselves. We should never put ourselves down. You should never think that the enlightened beings think less of us, or that our spiritual friends, people we live with and such should be putting us down. It's alright whatever is coming through us, what we are experiencing. And as long as we are addressing the issue for ourselves, that is what really counts. I don't think it is necessary to make confessions to each other. What is important is that we have our own life within our own grasp and whatever we feel is happening, it is in our control and we are aware of it. And that awareness, that intention to mend it is the important part we need on our side. And then just the love and support and friendship each one of us can give is important. What our teacher can give is important. The sense that our own enlightenment nature and the enlightenment nature of all the buddhas is also there for us. Consistently there for is. It isn't rejecting us or saying, you are all deluded, I don't love you any more!
In your practice and as your practice develops, don't ever fall into that category of thinking that you are getting worse than you were before. Secondly you should look at it as a healing experience. If you resolve the issue for yourself, in the future it won't be an issue for you any more. Having to deal with a strong emotion with somebody whether it is a negative or positive one, whatever. It does go away from you. If you don't resolve it, it will come back and will hassle you.
Just to digress, when you have a feeling or a thought and you are fairly clear, you sort of have a bit of space and you don't have to act it out. But it is when you loose that little bit of space in regards to feelings and thoughts that you have, that you start to take yourself too real! Take children for example. And your child does something that bends your ego out of shape. Your ego gets very uptight. As soon as that child comes into your view, you have incredible intensity on that child and as soon as they do anything to even slightly validate your viewpoint, you fly off the handle, that is because you are taking yourself very real, the child very real, and you are intensively involved in the situation. If you can detach yourself from it, not feel so real about it, so identified with it, then you have the option at looking at your feelings, what the child is doing, seeing what is happening there! A little falls on our problem of taking our selves too seriously.
Maybe all of a sudden we get a big passion. We are meditating and as you say, your lower chakra energy starts becoming quite activated and you feel intensive passion towards somebody. If you can laugh at yourself that is fine. That is the best thing possible. You laugh at yourself and say isn't that a fun feeling! It sort of keeps a distance in engaging as in being real. And then you sort of say is it practical. I'm married or I'm not married. If I'm not, then fine. Is the other person married, and if not, then go for it. If you are both married, then there is problems. You should back off from it, it is not going to be a very good situation, it is messy, you have your own children and family etc. The thing is you say it would be very impractical to commit adultery, or to break up that other person's marriage. So you have that in your mind. Secondly, you don't take yourself so seriously. We all have our flights of fantasy. So you say, it is just a fantasy. And sure enough a week or two later you laugh at yourself and ask why you would have a feeling like that, it seems silly now. You didn't take yourself seriously.
I have this big emotional feeling for somebody. They are so beautiful and I am taking myself seriously, I am feeling so much passion for that person, I am very real. Well, you can really get ito it. Well then you have a hell of a thing to go through. You have got to sort of resolve your feelings, and then maybe you have flirted a bit with the other person so you have to deal with the fact that you are flirting. And was that real? And all these incredible emotions and so on. It is all because you take yourself and you take your feelings as being very real. I'm sure that we are all mature enough I mean, how may people have we fallen in love with and never said anything to them? Now they are not even an object of our consciousness. As a teenager I fell in love with so many people. Even as a monk I fell in love with so many people and I never really expressed that emotion to them at all and yet I am still alive today. I didn't ruin my life and I didn't ruin their lives and nothing came of it you know. The same thing. Apply that to yourself and say alright, right now I'm feeling a heavy feeling towards someone. Well, I've gone through this before. And then you sort of say, sure I've got this feeling right now, it bothers me a bit. But you at least sort of make some space in there and you laugh at yourself. Say, it's here again!
In having that space you don't have the same emotional hassle to go through. You can joke with it and poke fun at it. You can do that consciously. Saying like, !Hey arn't you stupid, you know, it's a silly thing, it would never work!" So a lot of the point in being able to manage your life well is also not taking yourself seriously as in the thoughts and feelings you have. A really good thing to remember is that from the time that you were born or became a conscious entity till now, you have had a lot of ideas about what life is about, the things you wanted to do. And yet there is a whole change. So why now is it different, why isn't now also changeable.
What I wanted to touch upon tonight was one, in getting closer to home base that it can sometimes become difficult for us but that is not bad. The spiritual community we have, our teacher we have and also the enlightened beings don't get further away from us. And then on the side of our own personal responsibility is to try to have a sense of humor with your own feelings. Try to talk with them rationally, realistically and try to be positive in looking at it. If resolved now, you never have to deal with it again.
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