Recap of the view: the four seals
So, not to lose our thread or the context, we have talked about the view, meditation, action and result. And yesterday we talked about the result being not so much to do with “getting”, actually not at all. It’s more to [do with] “clearing” or getting rid of. That’s what we are aiming for. It’s like washing a cup. When you wash a cup, you’re not trying to make or get a new cup. You are washing the dirt. It’s like that. So for that, we need to apply a path in order to gain that result. It’s automatic, but we have to talk like this [even though the result is about elimination rather than gaining]. To reach to that result, maybe that’s a better word, to reach to this result, we apply a path.
A path consists of three almost indispensable attributes or aspects. (1) The view that we have talked about is very, very important. (2) And then practice or meditation. (3) And then action. Just to recap, the view is presented in many different ways, but one very popular [way] is the relative view and the ultimate view. To extend this a little bit, the relative view is sometimes presented in terms of what we call “the four seals”:
一條法道包括三個不可缺少的屬性或方面。(1) 我們談到的見地，這是非常非常重要的。(2) 然後是禪修。(3) 然後是行動。回顧一下，見地是以許多不同的方式提出的，其中一個非常流行的方式是相對見地和究竟見地 （譯：勝義諦和世俗諦） 。稍微延伸一下，相對來說，見地有時是以我們所說的「四法印」的方式呈現。
All compounded things are impermanent.
All defiled emotions or all emotions are pain.
All phenomena have no truly existing nature.
Nirvana or Enlightenment is beyond extremes.
So especially in the Mahayana, this how the view is presented. But I think we [have] talked enough about the view.
To qualify as Buddhist, a meditation or practice must go against dualistic mind
Now, [let’s turn to] “meditation” or “practice”. First I want to tell you this. To qualify [as] a Buddhist practice, any meditation or practice, whatever it is, must go against dualistic mind. That’s what the practice is for.
In today’s world, meditation has become very trendy. There are even several meditation apps. Now based on this [criterion], if you think about it, most of the meditation that is being taught, practiced, and marketed – even the so-called vipassana, which is used by a lot of people – is not really aiming to defeat duality, is it? If that [was really the aim], the app developers wouldn’t have a business. It’s really the opposite. Meditation is to make you feel relaxed. To free you from stress. To energize you. And so forth.
在今天的世界裡，禪修已經變得非常時髦。甚至有幾個禪修 APP。但如果要基於這個標準，你仔細想一想，大多數被教授、被練習、被推銷的禪修，以及很多人所謂的內觀，並不是真的以打敗二元對立為目的，不是嗎？如果是以這個為目的的，APP 開發商就不會有生意了。它實際上是相反的，禪修是為了讓你感到放鬆，把你從壓力中解放出來，讓你精力充沛，等等等等。
This is where stakeholders [i.e. masters and lineage holders] really have to be careful. I was joking with an Indian yoga teacher. He’s a really good yoga teacher, actually. I think he’s one of those last remaining authentic yoga teachers. I told him, “It’s too late now. Yoga is gone. Finished”. It has become [its own] separate phenomenon. It’s like the whole purpose of yoga, the view of yoga, and even a lot of action or the technique itself has become like the Mexican food served in America. Or like a ramen shop run by the Chinese in Sydney. Yes, it does look like ramen. But it’s not really ramen. And in the modern world, the packaging is what’s attractive. So the packaging takes over.
The meaning of meditation and mindfulness
So let’s go through this little bit more. [What we mean by] practice or meditation. Because the word dhyan, chan, zen, gom in Tibetan is really about getting used to and getting accustomed to. [Getting accustomed] to what? [It is] to get accustomed to the view that we have been talking [about for] one and a half days. That’s what it is for.
You can’t possibly think that sitting straight is our [purpose or] end. How can you think that? That would be so easy. Just put a stick [to keep] your spine [straight]. You can’t possibly think that sitting on a cushion is the end. [You can’t possibly think] that [this] is what Buddhists are aiming for. And anyway, we have to be careful about using the word and the language “mindfulness”, because mindfulness has the connotation of being careful. Mindful as in “Beware, be mindful”. Really? Is that how you want to exhaust your life, [by spending] your whole life being careful? That doesn’t sound at all good, does it? Panicky all the time, mindful?
Whatever method takes you closer to the truth – I have to repeat this again and again – that is the path. That is meditation. Now having said all of this, of course, sitting straight or isolating yourself from your kitchen to the living room, or from your living room to the shrine room, or from your house to a mountain, or from the city to a under a tree in the forest – all these have been prescribed and encouraged by the masters of the past, because they do have benefit. Yes, the chance of you getting closer to the truth, closer to the view, is higher by you sitting straight than by lying in a hammock. Probably. For a lot of people. But also [there is the risk of] spiritual materialism. “How many hours I could sit? How straight can I sit?” Those can also be a very big distraction.
Any practice can be considered vipassana if your motivation is to see the truth
[Let’s talk about] the word “vipassana”. Vi- in Pali is “suchness”, “that”, “that which is”, “the real thing”, “the real deal”, “the real McCoy”, “the true color”. Passana is basically getting used to that. Getting used to it. So, in this sense, it is not wrong to consider what we did yesterday, [with me] talking like this and you listening, [as we are doing] now, it’s not wrong to also consider this a vipassana session. Especially if you come with the motivation, “I want to know the truth. I want to meet the real McCoy. I want to see the real color. I have been distracted and entangled too much by all kinds of fake things. I want to see the truth”. If you come here with that motivation, and [the motivation to] decipher and pull the rug out [from] this solid duality, then even listening, debating, and reading can be easily considered as vipassana.
讓我們來談談 Vipassana 這個單詞。Vi 在巴利語中是真實的意思，「就是那個」「真實的東西」「本色」。Passana 基本上是「習慣於此」。所以，在這個意義上，把我們這幾天的這種「我說你聽」也算作 Vipassana，絕對是沒錯的。特別是如果你帶著這樣的動機來：「我想知道真相。我想看到事物的本色。我已經被各種假的東西分心和糾纏得太多了。我想看到實相。」如果你帶著這樣的動機來到這裡，並且希望破譯，希望抽走堅實的二元對立的地毯，那麼即使是聆聽、辯論和閱讀也應該被視為 Vipassana。
And now think about it. [What about] offering flowers to a temple [with the aspiration] “With this, may I see the view”. Burning incense. Rituals. Going to a temple. Shaving hair. Changing robes. All this is an act of Vipassana. It is. But [how does this look to a] modern, skeptical, scientifically-minded person? [Someone who] has the residue of Abrahamic religious thinking? “What are you doing? Flowers? Incense? That’s Indian and Tibetan stuff. And it’s a ritual. It’s not scientific. It’s shamanist stuff”. But when it comes to sitting, especially if you’re British, “Oh this is jolly good. This is harmless”. So you feel comfortable with that. Which is fine. If that is what you are comfortable with, you should do that. But there are people who never, ever sit. All they do is chant mantras and [turn] prayer wheels. The whole time. All they do is [turn] prayer wheels and chant mantras, but their motivation is to see the view. Those [methods] should not be discarded. They’re very important. Really good.
現在想一想。當你在寺廟供花的時候，能想到「通過我的供養，願我能了悟見地」；或同樣地，在燒香的時候；做儀軌的時候；去寺廟出家，剃除頭髮，更換長袍的時候，如果能這樣想，所有這些都是 Vipassana 的一種行為。但是，對於一個現代的、持懷疑態度的、有科學意識的人來說，尤其當他的亞伯拉罕宗教思想殘餘，和他的科學意識碰撞到一起的時候，他會說「你在做什麼？鮮花？香？那是印度和西藏的東西。這只是儀式，這是不科學的，是類似薩滿教的東西。」但是當他涉及到打坐，尤其是對於英國人而言「打坐是很好的，是無害的」。其實這是好事。如果這是你覺得舒服的事，你應該這樣做。但是有些人從來從來沒有打坐過，他們一輩子所做的，就只是持誦咒語和轉經輪 （譯：仁波切的手在比劃轉經輪） ，但他們的動機是為了了悟見地。那這些方法就不應該被丟棄，它們非常重要，真的很重要。
Whereas even meditation is not a spiritual path if your motivation is for a better samsaric life
You know, I belong to this second department. I just can’t sit, because it’s so boring. Yes, maybe for 10 or 20 minutes once in a blue moon. But I love my shrine. I love these flowers and incense. It moves me. It makes me almost teary. Sitting. It’s boring to me. I belong to this [second group]. This is really important you know, and this is why motivation is so important. If your motivation in doing vipassana is so that you can have better sleep, so that you can be stress free, so that you get energized, so that come Monday you [can] be ruthless in destroying the earth by doing all sorts of business, [then you’re] not really following a spiritual path. Your vipassana has become just another gadget to make your life quicker, faster, more profitable, etc. It’s just like a fax. Or like a laptop. It’s like a vacuum [cleaner]. Your vipassana has become a household appliance. Like blind or shades [for your windows]. Or it has become like a massage.
你知道，我屬於這第二類人。我就是坐不住，因為太無聊了。是的，也許偶爾會坐10或20分鐘。但我愛我的佛堂，我愛這些花，這些香，它們讓我感動，讓我流淚。這就是為什麼動機是如此重要。如果你做 Vipassana 的動機是為了讓你有更好的睡眠，讓你沒有壓力，讓你得到能量，讓你在週一的時候可以通過做各種生意來無情地摧毀地球，那麼你就不是真正在走一條精神之路。你的 Vipassana 已經成為讓你的生活更快、更方便、更富裕的另一個小工具，等於一台傳真機，或一台筆記本電腦，一個真空吸塵器，一個家用電器，一個百葉窗，或者是像一次按摩。
I’m not saying you should not do that. Of course, please buy as many household appliances as possible, and have as many massages as possible. And yes, along with that you can do meditation if you want. But you need to know the view. And anything that takes you closer to the view, even if it means a heated argument with somebody, if that’s taking you closer to the view, you are a fortunate being. Your life has become worthwhile. So with that in mind, if you look at the recipe of the classic vipassana you will understand what I’m talking about. Basically the classic recipe, on the most fundamental level of Buddhadharma, has three ingredients of vipassana. Three characters [Ed.: characteristics]. I think sometimes they call it three marks. Anicca, dukkha and anatta.
我不是說你不應該這樣做。當然，請盡可能多地購買家用電器，並盡可能多地去按摩。也就是說，如果你願意，請盡可能多地打坐。但是你需要了解見地。任何能讓你更接近見地的事情，即使是與某人發生激烈的爭論，如果這能讓你更接近見地，你就是一個幸運的人，你的生命已經變得有價值。所以，考慮到這一點，如果你看一下經典的 Vipassana 的配方，你會明白我在說什麼。在佛法的最基本層面上，Vipassana 有三種成分，我想有時他們稱之為三個標誌：無常（Anicca）、苦（Dukkha）、無我（Anatta）。
(1) Anicca (impermanence)
Anicca is probably the most easy to chew. It’s good to begin with. Anicca is impermanence. That is the truth. Impermanence. That is a raw truth. It’s not mythical, it’s not religious, it’s not a revelation. It’s the raw, blatant, obvious, ridiculously here-and-now truth. Change. Impermanence. But again, here we have to be careful. Many people always end up thinking, “Oh, Buddhism [talks about] impermanence. [It’s] the harbinger of the bad news. Buddhism always talks about death and impermanence.” Well, I have to sort of blame this on the lamas and especially on the monks and nuns, because that’s one of the tricks [used in monasteries] to make them practice the Dharma more. But actually, impermanence is not just that. Impermanence is not only bad news. It’s also good news. Because of impermanence, you can do lots of things. There is hope. Thanks to impermanence, things change. This is [something] that you need to know.
So [perhaps you will] go to a cosmetic shop today and buy moisturizer. Yes, by all means, you must buy moisturizer. It’s really important, even according to Shantideva, the Mahayana master, who [compares the] body to a servant:
You know, you have to pay a wage to your slave. It’s a salary. Yes, pedicure, manicure. Please. You must do whatever. Shampoo, grooming, whatever. You must do it, by all means. But today when you do it, [try to do it with] this idea that “Yes, but you know, it’s just inevitable that it’s going to change.” Not necessarily getting old, by the way. But it’s going to change. Change, anicca, impermanence. So when you buy hand cream, as you pay for it, think “Yes, it will help a little bit, but while it’s moisturizing, it is also dry.” While it’s becoming more the foundation, [all the] while it loses … [Ed.: DJKR doesn’t complete the thought].
你必須向你的僕人或奴隸支付工資，買保濕霜是一種工資。是的，腳趾護理，手指護理，洗髮，護髮，所有這些，請你儘管去做。但是，今天當你做這些的時候，試著用這種想法去做：「身體是不可避免地要改變。」不一定是變老，它只是會改變。無常就是改變。因此，當你買護手霜時，當你付錢時，要想：「它會有一點幫助，雖然它是保溼的，但手還是會乾燥。」 （眾笑） 希望這能成為一個基礎的想法。
Buying moisturizer and the Seven-Eleven vipassana
If you have that, yes, it’s a Seven-Eleven vipassana. It is, really. I have the backing of all the scholars and saints of the past, I’m serious. I’m not making this up. That is a vipassana. I would rather you go to a grocery shop and buy food and think, “It is possible that I may never eat this food”. I would consider that a much more profitable or rewarding vipassana than hours and hours sitting on a cushion [without this view of anicca] and getting really bored and in pain and whatever. It’s so important that you know this.
如果你有這個想法，這就是一次 7-11 Vipassana。真的真的，我有過去所有的學者和聖人的支持，我是認真的，這不是我編的。這是一種 Vipassana。我寧願你去雜貨店買食物的時候想：「我有可能吃不到這個食物。」我認為這是一個更有利或更有價值的 Vipassana，而不是幾個小時坐在墊子上，那將變得非常無聊和痛苦。知道這一點是非常重要的。
Similarly, [suppose] you are depressed, you’re really not happy. You’re sad. You’re really feeling hopeless. Then also [you might] tell yourself, “How many times have I been sad in the past? How many times? Just so many, and none of them stayed”. Yes, some of them sort of lingered a little bit, but there are a lot of times you are happy. Many times, I’ve seen some of you depressed people. I’ve seen with my own eyes, you had good times. Many times. So that’s possible. It’s, “Okay, this morning I’m not so happy. But it’s very possible this afternoon that I’ll be happy”. Like that. That is really getting closer to anicca. That is getting closer to the view. That is practice. It’s so important that you know this.
This culture, this kind of thinking and attitude is important. Because I think many times we wrongly measure “Oh, he or she is a great practitioner”. What does that mean? [Are you simply saying that] he sat for many, many hours? We don’t know. I would like to hear a day when some Australians say about other people “You know, he’s a great practitioner. Every time he goes to Seven-Eleven, or every time he buys a moisturizer, he thinks about how while it’s dry, it is also moisturized”. You understand? That’s a good yardstick or indicator of how you define practice.
Change is the truth, but we try to forget it and cover it up
That’s anicca. Change. Change is the truth. Change is a view. But as blatantly obvious as it is, it’s difficult. Again, yesterday we talked about our habitual patterns. Yesterday, the Chinese should all have cried for New Year because it means they’re getting old. In about a month’s time, all the Tibetans should cry for having their New Year. Every time your birthday comes, you should mourn. You should wail, “Oh, tomorrow my birthday is coming. I’m getting old”. But we don’t think like this. We cover it up.
It’s the same thing [with] all our plans, scheduling, diary books. In Singapore airport I saw a diary book for the year 2021. It’s already on sale. Shocking isn’t it? A 2021 diary book. Actually, at that time I thought “Wow, will I ever see this year 2021?” So there is that habit of eternalism or permanence, [which is the opposite of] annihilation. Permanence. It exists. We have that. So, yes, as blatantly, simply, and obviously that this truth is so ever-present, it doesn’t mean that we dwell on it. Actually we do all kinds of things to forget it. That’s what samsaric beings do. We try so hard to forget the truth.
這和我們所有的計劃、日程安排、日記本是一樣的。在新加坡機場，我看到一本 2021 年的日記本，已經開始銷售了。令人震驚，不是嗎？當時我想「哇，我還能看到 2021 這一年嗎？」所以，我們有永恆主義的習氣（或叫常見，與虛無主義/斷見相反的），持久性、存在性的習氣。所以，即使如此露骨的、簡單的、明顯的、永遠正確的真理，但這並不意味著我們能接受。事實上，我們做了各種各樣的事情來忘記它。這就是輪迴眾生所做的，我們非常努力地想忘記這個真相。
Our so called samsaric living is that. To tell ourselves as many lies as possible, to constantly live in denial. That’s how it is. So [facing the truth of impermanence] is actually a good beginning to [practicing or meditating on] the view that we have been talking about yesterday and this morning. Impermanence is not a bad word. I think this will do [as a translation of “anicca”].
(2) Dukkha (unsatisfactoriness)
Now the next one is much more subtle, much more profound, and probably much less blatant and obvious. Dukkha. [It is sometimes translated as]“suffering”, but this word is really not good. I think the Thai and the Burmese have managed to translate this as “unsatisfactoriness” or something like that. Probably that’s better than “suffering”. There should be a Buddhist conference where we discuss this.
I think the word “suffering” that the Buddhists have been using is not only misleading, but it has also really done damage to Buddhism. No-one wants to hear Buddhadharma, because they think that Buddhism is going to talk about suffering. The truth of suffering. Right at the beginning, they hear the truth of suffering. Who wants that? Try to talk to teenagers, they all want to have fun. And they think they’re having fun. And many of them actually are [having fun].
We’re not in Syria. We’re not fighting in a war. There’s the next app to download. There’s the next episode to look forward to. Nice coffee shops. There’s a nice beach. I’m fairly okay, sort of healthy. Yes, sunsets. That’s kind of nice also. Sunrise. And we can sleep. We have nice beds. We have a lot of good soft music. A lot of jazz music. Night life. Wow. These things are all good. So I think the word “suffering” is not right. Dukkha is a very good word, by the way, I think Sanskrit is actually such an important language. I found out that Sanskrit has 72 words for “love”. What a great thing, isn’t it? So good. Love. I’m sure the Latin language is as rich.
我們不是在敘利亞，我們沒有身處戰爭，我們永遠有 APP 等著我們去下載，有下一集電視劇可以期待，有漂亮的咖啡廳，有漂亮的海灘。我過得還好，算得上健康。我們有不錯的夕陽可以看，有日出。我們可以睡得著，我們有漂亮的床，我們有很多好的輕音樂，有爵士樂，有夜生活。哇喔，這些東西都是好的，所以我認為「受苦」這個詞是不對的。梵文中的苦，就是一個非常好的詞。順便說一下，梵文是一種如此重要的語言，我發現梵文有 72 個表達愛的詞。多麼偉大的事情，不是嗎？我相信拉丁語也一樣豐富。
Anyway, dukkha has something to do with unsatisfactoriness. It’s never satisfying, is it? Freedom of speech is never satisfyingly free. Democracy is never satisfyingly democratic. Fashion, food, technology, everything. Beach house. Also the word dukkha has the connotation of what in Tibetan we call tsimpa mepa. We just never come to that day of “Okay that’s it”. Conclusion. It’s always work in progress. We have never really lived one hundred percent as we planned. And then suddenly your children will have their children, and then you have to act like a grandparent. And you’ll be happy. Yes, [being a] grandparent is good. Grandchildren. But things have begun now. So, [it’s] never ending. As the Sakyapa master Drakpa Gyaltsen said:
Our whole life is spent preparing
It’s always arrangement. Preparation. We’re always preparing for the next thing. Life is just preparation after preparation. So the real pleasure or [real] life has never really arrived as we wished. And even though it may arrive momentarily, because of its uncertainty there is unsatisfactoriness. That’s what dukkha is all about.
正如薩迦派大師札巴堅贊 （譯：薩迦派第三祖） 所說：「我們總是在為下一件事做準備。」生活只是一個又一個的準備。因此，真正的快樂，真正的生活，從未如我們所願般到來。即使它暫時到來，因為它的不確定性，仍然會有不滿足感。這就是「苦」的全部內容。
And again, as I’m presenting this, I think I have presented it in sort of a negative way, but it should not be negative. It can be very fulfilling and rich. And amazing. Maybe I’ve got the wrong idea about this, but I made a new friend He’s really very wealthy, and it made me think a lot. He has no house. And he also doesn’t really rent a place. So he always stays in hotels. He must have stayed in several hundreds or thousands of hotels. And always really good hotels too. He comes here also, he stays in The Rocks. And also he doesn’t stay in big rooms. You know how some hotels have big rooms and several rooms [together in a suite]? No, [he just stays in] a standard room. And I was asking why [does he live] like that. He said “Oh, this is much more satisfying”. Because, he said he doesn’t have to hire a maid. The hotel has maids. And also he shops much less, because the hotel room doesn’t have much room to store his shopping. Stuff like that. It’s quite good, isn’t it?
It’s life planning. I don’t know what you think, but I think many of us, especially young people, you really need to think about [your] lifestyle, about [adopting] a different kind of lifestyle now. The world has changed. Many of us have been trying to live as we lived before, [but] it doesn’t really apply [any more]. It just gives you more headache anyway. You see? This is dukkha. If you understand dukkha, I think your lifestyle gets better actually. You know what to do. Like, “I may never see Machu Picchu, so I better take a leave [of absence from work]“. Something like that. I think I’ve talked about that in Australia before.
Let’s take someone like me. I’m almost sixty. Even if I live to a hundred years, there are only about forty years left. How many pairs of jeans do I need? Forty jeans? Eighty t-shirts? Maybe a hundred toothbrushes? How many pairs of underwear do you reckon? It depends, doesn’t it? But you know what I mean. Planning your life. Understanding dukkha. Because most of the time we don’t know this [i.e. we don’t realize this], so we shop as if we are going to live for a thousand years. So then you get deprived from other aspects of life.
看看像我這樣的人，我快 60 歲了，即使我活到 100 歲，也只剩下大約 40 年，我需要多少東西？四十條牛仔褲？八十件T恤衫？也許一百支牙刷？你猜要多少條內褲？這要看情況？ （眾笑） 但你知道我的意思。在規劃你的生活時，請瞭解「苦」。因為大多數時候，我們沒有意識到這一點，我們好像要再活一千年那樣去購物。於是你就被剝奪了生活的其他方面。
So again, understanding dukkha is nothing negative. It’s just simply knowing that there you are [never] going to be a hundred percent satisfied forever and ever. It just doesn’t exist. And in any case, many times you call that aspect “excitement”. Adventure. Understanding that is vipassana. Understanding that intellectually first, and then slowly, slowly getting used to that truth. Okay, so these first two aspects of vipassana [anicca and dukkha] are on the relative level. I would call them relative truth vipassana.
再次強調，理解「苦」絕不是消極負面的。只是單純地了知，你永遠也不會有百分之百的滿足感，不存在的。很多時候你會感覺「興奮」和「刺激」。理解這一點就是我們所說的 Vipassana。首先從理智上理解這一點，然後慢慢地慢慢地習慣於這個事實。Vipassana 的前兩個面向「無常」和「苦」是在相對層面上的，所以我把它們稱為「世俗諦 Vipassana」。
(3) Anatta (nonself)
The third one is anatta. I think we have talked about that enough. Selflessness. Well, I put it in a different way, “It’s there, but it’s not there. It’s not there, but it’s there”. Shunyata. Emptiness. No arising, no cessation, no abiding. No self. [The practice is] getting used to that. However you get used to it doesn’t matter. As long as your action, your motivation, and the method that you apply brings you closer to that [realization of the view of nonself], you are doing vipassana on anatta.
Again, I’m repeating this, but it’s very important. How you do it really doesn’t matter so much. I would say for most of us, and this is what I’ve been telling my friends and so-called students. After hearing what I have been telling you, yes I think it’s something to do with the definition of practice. Okay, you have heard the view. So how do I practice this? I think the definition of practice always gets hijacked by some sort of ritual. For example, the ritual of sitting every day this much or that much. Chanting this much or that much. Lifestyle. Refraining from certain foods. All this is okay. Fine. But more than that, the definition of practice is how much are you getting used to or closer to the truth? This is what I think you need to apply.
And I’ve been telling many of my friends that I think like for someone like me, maybe the best way is [something like] guilt. Maybe it’s worry or concern. “Am I getting used to this? Am I getting closer to the truth? Am I getting closer to the view?” This concern. You may never sit. Actually, I don’t believe that most of you will sit. Even those who sort of pledge “I will sit every day [for this number of hours]”. Maybe after this [teaching], you may get inspired for about two weeks and then that’s it. You will not do it. I know this. I am a good example myself. I get so charged up and inspired by seeing Bodh Gaya, and then suddenly a few months [go by] and then this kind of inspiration doesn’t last long.
But, you know, I feel guilty [that I’m] not practicing enough. And I’m very happy that I’m feeling this guilt. I feel that this is the blessing of my masters. I think my masters have really given me so much blessing to make me feel guilty that I’m not practicing enough. “I must practice. I must practice. Tomorrow I’m going to practice. Starting from tomorrow, I will do this. New Year’s resolution. I’m going to do this from now on”. I think this is bankable [i.e. you can bank on this] to bring you to the view.
How the Buddha started on his Dharma path in his previous lives
To help you with this, [you can do] prayers. For me, it really works. Prayers. Aspirations. Actually, how did Shakyamuni Buddha [end up becoming the Buddha]? We are now telling a story of course, of how he began his path. We’re not only talking about Shakyamuni as Siddhartha, but we are also talking about his previous lives. Long, long before. Initially. How he began. How he ended up having an awkward feeling. How? There are three reasons, and they are quite interesting.
The first reason is that he got so annoyed by pride, his own and others’. That’s number one. The second reason is that he was tired of dukkha. He was tired of this endless unsatisfactoriness. He does this, and he’s not satisfied. He does that, he not satisfied. He was so tired of continuously not being satisfied. He said, “Okay, that’s it. I’ve tried this. I’ve been here, been there. I’ve done this, done that. I’m still not satisfied”. He was tired of that. The third reason is a good one. He realized that these negative emotions, defilements, and attachments are removable. Let’s say he got angry in the morning, and even though he wasn’t doing any spiritual practice or meditation, by the evening he was okay. He wasn’t doing any practice. Nothing. He wasn’t a spiritual person at all. “Oh, that’s funny. So the anger goes? Wow. Emotions don’t stay? Desire doesn’t stay. Wow. Jealousy doesn’t stay? That’s a great thing.” He found that.
So with these three he got the motivation [to practice], and he began. And when he began, he did three things. First, he practiced generosity. The second one, and I am always so moved by the second one, is aspiration. Generating that aspiration, generating the motivation. And of course the third one is the most important, which is generating bodhichitta. That’s how he began his Dharma path.
Should we take a break? I think so. When I talk too much, I lose the thread a little bit. So let’s take a break.
宗薩欽哲仁波切，於 2020年1月25-27日（農曆新年）在澳大利亞悉尼的新南威爾士大學，給予了為期三天的教授，題目為《見修行》。英文部分由 Alex Li Trisoglio（仁波切指定的佛法老師）聽寫，並分段和添加標題，發布在 Madhyamaka.com。中文部分由 孫方 翻譯。並在翻譯過程中，根據視頻做了文字上的修訂，所以中英文部分可能會有可忽略不計的微小差別。照片為課程現場。