I would like to share the teachings and meditations HH Karmapa is giving under the bodhi tree at mid morning after reading sections of Milarepa’s life story. Many of these points are reminders taught in a startlingly vivid way.
- When you get rid of the root of dharma it is difficult to get enlightened. Negative actions can be purified, but when people get rid of the root of dharma it is worse than doing the five heinous deeds.
- One way is sectarian grasping: if one deeply makes allegations that our path is the only way, for example saying the Mahayana path is not Buddhist. All the teachings are methods to gather the two accumulations (merit and wisdom). If one path is not suitable for you, you cannot say it is a bad path, but you should pray that you will be able to practise it in future.
What is and what is not dharma?
- This is based on the practitioner and how it is benefiting them. Some people cannot be taught emptiness. Dharma is based on whether you are receiving benefit from it or not. We should not criticize the deep levels of the Vajrayana because dharma is beyond the limited mind. In the Chakrasamvara Tantra it is described as boundless and limitless.
- You should not criticize your own or others lineages, Buddhist or non-Buddhist. If you criticize other teachings you could be breaking samaya.
- Because the vinaya holds the dharma, they have to be in harmony. Schools fighting with each other will also destroy the dharma from within
- In the places where the sangha fights, even the insects will be harmed in future lives because the power of the positive has been destroyed. When negative powers become strong, it affects the whole area. Someone has to turn the wheel of dharma three times before the sacredness of these places can be restored.
- Make offerings to a harmonious sangha. Many people made offerings to the sangha in India and got enlightened.
- We should study all Buddhist traditions. If we want to attain enlightenment we have to study everything – all Buddhist schools, other religions. A Buddha has to understand everything to help beings.
- To criticize a bodhisattva is worse than killing all beings of the world.
Think of Metukpa. He is blue with his right hand in the enlightenment mudra, his left hand is in the meditation mudra holding a vajra. He has a black hat (like the vajra crown) with golden lights. Light radiates from the heart of Metukpa and enters the fontanel to the heart charka purifying the mind.
- Many of us are at the edge of finishing this life. If we don’t practise dharma we waste our life. We don’t even know if we will attain another precious human life.
- Practising dharma does not mean that life will always go well. Life has all sorts of aspects. We have to be joyful if it goes well and if it does not go well. If we get sick we should also be happy. We should take our suffering as an ornament. My suffering is a result of negative karma. Suffering should become a source of renunciation to make us understand the nature of things. It leads us to the Buddha and dharma.
- A great bodhisattva doesn’t make much distinction between samsara and nirvana. The main goal of a bodhisattva is to work for the benefit of sentient beings; enlightenment doesn’t matter.
- If negative emotions and actions are cleared, the causes of suffering are removed. Make the aspiration that if you have suffering it will not harm you.
- Commit not to allow indulgence in negative emotions. Go for refuge, do mind training. If our enemy has happiness, feel good. Then we know there is some mind training.
Look into your heart centre. See your sufferings like a dog, hit by a car lying wounded and bleeding in the road. A small white light becomes stronger and stronger and goes out of my body. That white light gets bigger and becomes a standing 2 arm Chenresig. His right hand is in the mudra of giving; his left hand is holding a lotus flower at the heart. Focus on compassion radiating throughout space.