To cover the remaining points of the 7 branch prayer HH Karmapa made brief explanations illustrated with a few stories, claiming there wasn’t much time, although he looks composed and completely at ease under the bodhi tree. In the afternoons he usually meets with various groups or people for public audience which, he explained, takes up to four hours a day.
From my notes:
People have many types of minds and attitudes but when we talk about mind we mean the way it presents itself. The most important one, the best of all minds is compassion. We may talk of the heart as mind. If our mind is like a country, the king is the heart. Intelligence is a minister.
Every single word of Buddhism is to tame our minds.
We need to give up harming others. Harming others comes when our minds are under the control of the afflictions. Grudges and anger harm us and prevent our happiness. Before anger harms anyone else, it harms us first. If you look at someone who is angry, he becomes like another person. He has an aspect of the hells. Misdeeds come out of our mind. Non-virtuous seeds turn into harmful misdeeds. We try to remove the seed so it won’t ripen. The root is our mind.
Sometimes we don’t see the affliction as being wholly negative. The root is poisonous and the plant is similarly venomous.
We need to have inner peace. Everyone spends all their time working. We lost our peace of mind. In Tibet people would work for 2 or 3 hours, then sit and drink tea. Now in the city people work all the time. We need to take breaks. Sometimes people kill themselves from too much responsibility.
Also it’s important to do something, however small, to help others.
A story of compassion:
One person was driving his car down the road; he came to a roundabout and a truck hit him. The truck driver came out and made a big scene. The car driver didn’t say anything.
It started to rain. The truck driver wondered why he wasn’t getting wet when he noticed the car driver was holding an umbrella over him. He then regretted his anger and said he was to blame.
The car driver was practicing compassion just by holding an umbrella over the angry man’s head.
It is important to make offerings that are not through deceit and pretense.
Flattery is a type of wrong livelihood. Worldly views, like propitiating gods rather than taking refuge is another. Pretending to have qualities you don’t have; or selling meat, alcohol, weapons or other people are all wrong livelihood.
Regret and Confession
If you made a big commitment in the past and then you break it, that leaves a strong imprint on the mind. Misdeeds can be purified through confession. Getting someone else to do our misdeeds or rejoicing in someone’s misfortune are both extremely wrong.
When confessing we do it through the power of remorse, recognizing our mistake, regretting it and resolving to refrain from doing it in the future. We need to cut our mental stream from our misdeeds. Holding onto the pain and suffering of our misdeeds is not the way to practice.
We need strength and fortitude to be patient with difficulties. Like the monks from Shaolin, who hold their breaths to make their body strong.
All beings in the 3 realms of samsara are in a perpetual cycle. They still don’t recognize that they are suffering. They don’t listen when it’s explained to them. There is almost nothing we can do. Meditate on this for two minutes.
The root of bodhicitta is great compassion for each and every sentient being in a totally unbiased way. The reason we gather here could be that it’s become a habit. Then we don’t give it much value. It is important to have a special way of thinking about coming here. Transform your motivation and develop a different attitude. If we practice for personal worldly aims it isn’t practicing the dharma. If we turn this way it’s hard to work with the dharma. There is a danger of looking like a dharma practitioner but being a worldly political person.
The more we rejoice the greater merit we get from it. It is a great method. It is important to rejoice in the virtuous lives of the lineage masters. As for sectarian views, this is really rejecting the Buddha dharma because it creates conflict which destroys the dharma. If you can use the antidote to destroy your own demons, that is the teaching of the buddha. Whoever it is that does something good we should rejoice. Rejoicing is the antidote to jealousy.
Request to turn the wheel of dharma and not to pass into Nirvana
Even one word has a lot of meaning. The Buddha spent 49 days in the forest before teaching. Only when he was asked would he teach. The Buddha does not do what he is not asked to do. It is the responsibility of the student to ask. We have good fortune but if we don’t realize it and recognize it, it won’t make any difference.
Please enjoy the slideshow of the third day of the Kagyu Monlam provided by the Kagyu Monlam Website team. (click on the image below to open it)