Words of Advice
by Chatral Rinpoche

Namo Gurubhyaḥ!

Precious master of unrepayable kindness, Pema Ledrel Tsal,
Remain as the crown ornament on the top of my head, I pray!
Grant your blessings so that we may find freedom here and now
From all the sufferings of saṃsāra and its lower realms!
Listen well, my dear disciples who are gathered here,
For all those whose hearts have not been spoiled, consider this:

The chances of finding a human existence are one in a hundred.
Now that you have found one, if you fail to practise the sublime Dharma,
How could you possibly expect to find such an opportunity again?
This is why it is crucial that you take advantage of your situation.
Conceiving of your body as a servant or a thing to ferry you about,
Do not allow it to rest in idleness for even a single moment;
Use it well, spurring on your entire body, speech and mind to virtue.

You might spend your whole life pursuing only food and clothing,
With great effort and without regard for suffering or harmful deeds,
But when you die you cannot take even a single thing with you — consider this well.

The clothing and alms needed to keep you alive are all you need.
You might dine on the finest meal of delicious meat and alcohol,
But it all turns into something impure the very next morning,
And there is nothing more to it all than that.
So be content with life-sustaining provisions and simple clothes,
And be a loser when it comes to food, clothing and conversation.

If you do not reflect on death and impermanence,
There will be no way to practise Dharma purely,
Practice will remain an aspiration, one that is constantly postponed,
And you may feel regret the day that death comes, but by then it will be too late!

There is no real happiness among any of the six classes of beings,
But if we consider the sufferings of the three lower realms,
Then, when you feel upset just by hearing about them,
How will you possibly cope when you experience them directly?
Even the happiness and pleasures of the three upper realms
Are just like fine food that’s been laced with poison —
Enjoyable at first, but in the long run a cause of ruin.

What’s more, all these experiences of pleasure and pain
Are not brought about by anyone but you yourself.
They are produced by your very own actions, good and bad.
Once you know this, it’s crucial that you act accordingly,
Without confusing what should be adopted and abandoned.

It is far better to eliminate your doubts and misconceptions,
By relying on the instructions of your own qualified teacher,
Than to receive many different teachings and never take them any further.

You might remain in a solitary place, physically isolated from the world,
Yet fail to let go of ordinary concerns, and, with attachment and aversion,
Seek to bring defeat upon your enemies while furthering the interests of your friends,
And involve yourself in all kinds of projects and financial dealings.
There could hardly be anything worse than that.

If you lack the wealth of contentment in your mind,
You’ll think you need all kinds of useless things,
And end up even worse than just an ordinary person,
Because you won’t manage even a single session of practice.
So set your mind on freedom from the need for anything at all.
Wealth, success and status are all simply ways of attracting enemies and demons.
Pleasure-seeking practitioners who fail to turn their minds from this life’s concerns
Sever their connection to the authentic Dharma.

Take care to avoid becoming stubbornly impervious to the teachings.
Limit yourself to just a few activities and undertake them all with diligence.
Not allowing your mind to become fidgety and restless,
Make yourself comfortable on the seat in your retreat cabin,
This is the surest way to gain the riches of a Dharma practitioner.

You might remain sealed in strict retreat for months or even years,
But if you fail to make any progress in the state of your mind,
Later, when you tell everyone about all that you did over such a long time,
Aren’t you just bragging about all your hardships and destitution?
All their praise and acknowledgements will only make you proud.

To bear mistreatment from our enemies is the best form of austerity,
But those who hate criticism and are attached to compliments,
Who take great pains to discover all the faults of others,
While failing to keep proper guard over their own mindstream,
And who are always irritable and short-tempered,
Are certain to bring breakages of samaya upon all their associates,
So rely constantly on mindfulness, vigilance and conscientiousness.

No matter where you stay, be it a busy place or a solitary retreat,
The only things that you need to conquer are mind’s five poisons
And your own true enemies, the eight worldly concerns,
Nothing else.
Whether it is by avoiding them, transforming them, taking them as the path, or looking into their very essence,
Whichever method is best suited to your own capacity.

There is no better sign of accomplishment than a disciplined mind.
This is true victory for the real warrior who carries no weapons.
When you practise the teachings of the sūtras and tantras,
The altruistic bodhicitta of aspiration and application is crucial,
Because it lies at the very root of the Mahāyāna.
Just to have this is enough, but without it, all is lost.

These words of advice were spoken in the hidden grove of Padma,
In the place called Kunzang Chöling,
In the upper hermitage in a forest clearing,
By the old beggar Sangye Dorje.
May it be virtuous!


True peace cannot be achieved by force or by merely invoking the word “peace”. It can only be attained by training the mind and learning to cultivate inner peace. Peace is a calm and gentle state of mind.

–17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje









现代社会是一个竞争的时代,对人才的要求越来越高,越来越多面化。我们要关心佛教文化未来的发展。因为有了文化,才能改变外在的行为、举止,进一步培养内 在的慈悲、关怀之心。有了慈悲心,就算别人对自己大发脾气,也照样爱护他、关怀他,这样对方会自觉惭愧而感恩,内心的愤怒也会消失。如果只有外在的知识,没有内在的修养,烦恼来了,不懂得消除化解,就会压迫自已,越来越痛苦,佛所说的法,我们要谛听、思想、学习、修持。学习佛法,会变得有智慧,心里的烦恼 慢慢减低,就会变得平和,变得圆满。

外在的文化、知识,加上内在的佛法修持,两者兼修,就是一个圆满的人生。在这样的一个时代,我们必须学会去展现自己的优势,学会抓住展示自己才华的机会, 我们要珍惜佛教的僧团与信徒们的奉献,明确自己的责任和义务,这才是赖以生存和发展的根本。也只有这样,自身的价值才会被发现,才会得到肯定和发展。如果 我们每一天的心灵都清澈透明,那就会感到幸福,才能够体会超越、完善的人生。





从前有位佛教徒,天天手持鲜花到寺院去供拜佛像,坚持不懈,从不间断。寺院里的无法禅师看在眼里,喜在心间,称赞他道:你常用鲜花供佛,来世一定会得端庄福报。这位佛教徒听了非常高兴,便问无法禅师:“大师,我到寺院用鲜花供佛,每次心中如同甘露冲洗般的清净。可是,在家中我又往往被冗杂的家事搅得心神不宁,在街市间往往被尘?搅得神志不清。请大师开示,怎样才能使我常保持清净呢?”无法禅师反问他:“那?你知道如何使鲜花长期保持鲜活吗?”“那容易呀! 只要天天换水,去掉烂梗,花朵就能保持鲜活了。”

无法禅师满面笑容:“那就对了,要让自己常保清净,就要保持心灵的宁静空明;要想净化身心,更要时时清扫内心的世界。”这位信徒顶礼谢过大师:“大师德高望重,能够让我顿悟,我今後一定常来寺院向大师请教,还想搬到寺院,住上一段时间,过过修行生活,并分享鼓钟梵呗的清净日 子。”无法禅师敛住笑容,指著这位信徒说:“你的身体就如同寺院,你的双耳就如同菩提,你跳动的脉搏就如同?鼓,你的胸腔呼吸就如同梵呗,你的言词举止无处不可以清净。为甚么一定要执著於寺院的形似,非要住在寺院修行呢?修行重在修心呀!”


一个人要善于发现幸福、感受幸福、品尝幸福。也许在收获幸福之前,体验的是酸辛、是艰苦,但重在品尝辛苦最终所带来的甘甜。有人把实现凌云之志,荣华富贵当作幸福;有人把平安度世,安居乐业当作幸福;有人把人丁兴旺,热闹非常认为是幸福。我认为,爱是幸福的源泉,所有的幸福都出自那个泉眼 ── 爱。




“人同此心”是这种连结的基础,爱使连结强韧,而且具有强大的感染力,因此连结不只存在於两人之间,还可以传十传百传千,连绵到无边无际。助人的迷人力量就在於此,信仰什么宗教不是绝对重要。助人不是表面上的“我给你什么”、“我为你做什么”,而是让人看见人性美的极致发挥。通过助人的行为,起起伏伏的 “小我”得以提升到对生命消长了然於心、和环境有所共鸣的“大我”境界。


这分没有分别心的慈悲大爱,让我们每一天都过著“很有意思”的生活,这就是人生的意义。为什?有人会活得没有意思呢?这是因为“分别心”太重——这件事我做不来,那件事不应该我去做……把人与事物和自己画分得清清楚楚,这样的人生实在很枯燥无味。如果能打开心门,将大地所有生命都视为与我们息息相关,属于 同一个“生命共同体”,这样就能不断扩大我们爱和怜悯的胸怀。

助人使生活过得很有意思,这里的“意思”有无穷的况味,它缘起於无分别心,视众生与我皆有连结。虽是帮助别人,也帮助了自己,自己得到快乐自由,也使得我们身处的这个世界更为和谐。有人认为,人生的目标在於拚命努力。他们却忘了思考:自己努力的方向是否正确?有人最看重物 质,为了拥有更多,不择手段,甚至从别人的牺牲中掠夺,造成世间许多的苦难。人生,什么才是永久、踏实的快乐?心中有爱,把为人群付出视为自己的本分事, 付出以後自己心很轻安、很欢喜,自然就很自在。他们虽然付出许多,身体也很劳累,但心中却是满满的感恩,这种无悔、无怨、无忧、无求的付出,内心的世界才 能体会到真正的美好、真正的自在。

Whether one is liberated or not is completely dependent on oneself. If we want to attain liberation, we have to create the cause which brings about liberation, and the cause is, reciting the mantra (OM MANI PADME HUNG, ཨོཾ་མ་ཎི་པདྨེ་ཧཱུྃ) out of loving-kindness and compassion.

— Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche

The World We Have
by Thich Nhat Hanh

We are like sleepwalkers, not knowing what we are doing or where we are heading. Whether we can wake up or not depends on whether we can walk mindfully on our Mother Earth. The future of all life, including our own, depends on our mindful steps. We have to hear the bells of mindfulness that are sounding all across our planet. We have to start learning how to live in a way so that a future will be possible for our children and our grandchildren.

I have sat with the Buddha for a long time and consulted him about the issue of global warming, and the teaching of the Buddha is very clear. If we continue to live as we have been living, consuming without a thought to the future, destroying our forests and emitting greenhouse gases, then devastating climate change is inevitable. Much of our ecosystem will be destroyed. Sea levels will rise and coastal cities will be inundated, forcing hundreds of millions of refugees from their homes, creating wars and outbreaks of infectious disease.

We need a kind of collective awakening. There are among us men and women who are awakened, but it’s not enough; the masses are still sleeping. They cannot hear the ringing of the bells. We have built a system we cannot control. This system imposes itself on us, and we have become its slaves and victims. Most of us, in order to have a house, a car, a refrigerator, a TV, and so on, must sacrifice our time and our lives in exchange. We are constantly under the pressure of time. In former times, we could afford three hours for one cup of tea, enjoying the company of our friends in a serene and spiritual atmosphere. We could organise a party to celebrate the blossoming of one orchid in our garden. But today we can no longer afford these things. We say that time is money. We have created a society in which the rich become richer and the poor become poorer, and in which we are so caught up in our own immediate problems that we cannot afford to be aware of what is going on with the rest of the human family or our planet Earth. In my mind I see a group of chickens in a cage disputing over some seeds of grain, unaware that in a few hours they will be killed.

The Chinese, the Indians, and the Vietnamese are still dreaming the “American dream,” as if that dream were the ultimate goal of mankind — everyone has to have a car of their own, a bank account, a cell phone, a television set. In 25 years the population of China will be 1.5 billion people, and if each of them wants to drive their own private car, China will need 99 million barrels of oil every day. But world production today is only 84 million barrels per day, so the American dream is not possible for the Chinese, nor the Indians or the Vietnamese. The American dream is no longer possible for the Americans. We cannot continue to live like this. It is not a sustainable economy.

We have to have another dream: the dream of brotherhood and sisterhood, of loving-kindness and compassion and that dream is possible right here and now. We have the dharma; we have the means; we have enough wisdom to be able to live this dream. Mindfulness is at the heart of awakening, of enlightenment. We practice breathing to be able to be there in the present moment, so that we can recognise what is happening in us and around us. If what’s happening inside us is despair, we have to recognise that and act right away. We may not want to confront that mental formation, but it is a reality and we have to recognise it in order to transform it.

We do not have to sink into despair about global warming; we can act. If we just sign a petition and forget about it, obviously nothing is going to change. Urgent action must be taken at the individual and the collective levels. We all have a great desire to be able to live in peace and environmental sustainability. What most of us don’t yet have are concrete ways of making our commitment to sustainable living a reality in our daily lives. We haven’t organised ourselves. We can hardly blame our leaders for the chemicals that pollute our drinking water, for the violence in our neighbourhoods, for the wars that destroy so many lives. It is time for each of us to wake up and take action in our own lives.

Violence, corruption, abuse of power, and self-destruction are happening all around us, even in the community of leaders, both spiritual and social. We all know that the laws of our country don’t have enough strength to manage corruption, superstition, and cruelty. Only faith, determination, awakening, and a big dream can create an energy strong enough to help our society rise above and go to the shore of peace and hope.

Buddhism is the strongest form of humanism we have. It came to life so we could learn to live with responsibility, compassion, and loving-kindness. Every Buddhist practitioner should be a protector of the environment. We have the power to decide the destiny of our planet. If we awaken to our true situation, there will be a collective change in our consciousness. We have to do something to wake people up. We have to help the Buddha wake up the people who are living in a dream.

Yet everything, even the Buddha, is always changing and evolving. Thanks to our practice of looking deeply, we realise that the sufferings of our time are different from those of the time of Siddhartha, and so the methods of practice should also be different. That is why the Buddha inside of us also should evolve in many ways, so that the Buddha can be relevant to our time.

The Buddha of our time can use a telephone, even a cell phone, but he is free from that cell phone. The Buddha of our time knows how to help prevent ecological damage and global warming; he will not destroy the beauty of the planet or make us waste all our time competing with each other. The Buddha of our time wants to offer the world a global ethic, so that everyone can agree on a good path to follow. He wants to restore harmony, cultivate brotherhood and sisterhood, protect all of the species of the planet, prevent deforestation, and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

As you are the continuation of the Buddha, you should help him offer the world a path that can prevent the destruction of the ecosystem, one that can reduce the amount of violence and despair. It would be very kind of you to help the Buddha continue to realise what he began 2,600 years ago.

Our planet Earth has a variety of life, and each species depends on other species in order to be able to manifest and to continue. We are not only outside of each other but we are inside of each other. It is very important to hold the Earth in our arms, in our heart, to preserve the beautiful planet and to protect all species. The Lotus Sutra mentions the name of a special bodhisattva: Dharanimdhara, or Earth Holder, someone who preserves and protects the earth.

Earth Holder is the energy that is holding us together as an organism. She is a kind of engineer or architect whose task is to create space for us to live in, to build bridges for us to cross from one side to the other, to construct roads so that we can to go to the people we love. Her task is to further communication between human beings and other species and to protect the Earth and the environment. It is said that when the Buddha tried to visit his mother, Mahamaya, it was Dharanimdhara who built the road on which the Buddha travelled. Although the Earth Holder bodhisattva is mentioned in the Lotus Sutra, there is not a chapter devoted entirely to her. We should recognise this bodhisattva in order to collaborate with her. We should all help to create a new chapter for her, because Earth Holder is so desperately needed in this era of globalisation.

When you contemplate an orange, you see that everything in the orange participates in making up the orange. Not only the sections of the orange belong to the orange; the skin and the seeds of the orange are also parts of the orange. This is what we call the universal aspect of the orange. Everything in the orange is the orange, but the skin remains the skin, the seed remains the seed, the section of the orange remains the section of the orange. The same is true with our globe. Although we become a world community, the French continue to be French, the Japanese remain Japanese, the Buddhists remain Buddhists, and the Christians remain Christians. The skin of the orange continues to be the skin, and the sections in the orange continue to be the sections; the sections do not have to be transformed into the skin in order for there to be harmony.

Harmony, however, is impossible if we do not have a global ethic, and the global ethic that the Buddha devised is the Five Mindfulness Trainings. The Five Mindfulness Trainings are the path we should follow in this era of global crisis because they are the practice of sisterhood and brotherhood, understanding and love, the practice of protecting ourselves and protecting the planet. The mindfulness trainings are concrete realisations of mindfulness. They are non-sectarian. They do not bear the mark of any religion, particular race, or ideology; their nature is universal.

When you practice the Five Mindfulness Trainings, you become a bodhisattva helping to create harmony, protect the environment, safeguard peace, and cultivate brotherhood and sisterhood. Not only do you safeguard the beauties of your own culture, but those of other cultures as well, and all the beauties on Earth. With the Five Mindfulness Trainings in your heart, you are already on the path of transformation and healing.

In the First Training we vow to cherish all life on earth and not support any acts of killing. In the Second Training we pledge to practice generosity and not support social injustice and oppression. In the Third Training we make a commitment to behave responsibly in our relationships and not engage in sexual misconduct. The Fourth Training asks us to practice loving speech and deep listening in order to relieve others of suffering.

The practice of mindful consumption and mindful eating is the object of the Fifth Mindfulness Training:

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well being, and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films, and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body and my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society, and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger, and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self-transformation and the transformation of society.

The Fifth Mindfulness Training is the way out of the difficult situation our world is in. When we practice the Fifth Training, we recognise exactly what to consume and what to refuse in order to keep our bodies, our minds, and the Earth healthy, and not to cause suffering for ourselves and for others. Mindful consumption is the way to heal us and to heal the world. As a spiritual family and a human family, we can all help avert global warming by following this practice. We should become aware of the presence of bodhisattva Earth Holder in every one of us. We should become the hand, the arms of the Earth Holder in order to be able to act quickly.

You may have heard that God is in us, Buddha is in us. But we still have a vague notion of what Buddha is in us and God is in us. In the Buddhist tradition it is very clear. Buddha resides inside us as energy — the energy of mindfulness, the energy of concentration, and the energy of insight — that will bring about compassion, love, joy, togetherness, nondiscrimination. Our friends in the Christian tradition speak about the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit as the energy of the Buddha. Wherever the Holy Spirit is, there is healing and love. We can speak in the same way of mindfulness, concentration, and insight. The energy of mindfulness, concentration, and insight gives rise to compassion, forgiveness, joy, transformation, and healing. That is the energy of a Buddha. If you are inhabited by that energy, you are a Buddha. And that energy can be cultivated and can manifest fully in you.

It’s wonderful to realise that we are all in a family, we are all children of the earth. We should take care of each other and we should take care of our environment, and this is possible with the practice of togetherness. A positive change in individual awareness will bring about a positive change in the collective awareness. Protecting the planet must be given the first priority. I hope you will take the time to sit down with each other, have tea with your friends and your families, and discuss these things. Invite bodhisattva Earth Holder to sit and collaborate with you. Make your decision, and then act to save our beautiful planet Earth. Changing your way of living will bring you a lot of joy right away. Then the healing can begin.

Thich Nhat Hanh 81..jpg

If our hearts are open, then love will come from unexpected sources.

— Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche

动静结合 调服自心