Change is continuous. Day by day, one season slips into the next. Day turns into night and night to day. Buildings don’t suddenly grow old; rather, second by second, from the moment they’re constructed, they begin to deteriorate….Think of beings inhabiting this universe. How many people born a hundred years ago are still alive?… We see the play of impermanence in our relationships as well. How many of our family members, friends, people in our hometown, have died? How many have moved away, disappearing from our lives forever? … At one time we felt happy just being near a person we loved. Just to hold that person’s hand made us feel wonderful. Now maybe we can’t stand him, don’t want to know anything about him. Whatever comes together must fall apart, whatever once fathered must separate, whatever was born must die. Continual change, relentless change, is constant in our world.

— Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

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His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

Day 4 (Final Day): Empowerment of 1000 Armed Avalokitehshvara – Delhi, India (25th June 2016)

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

Day 3: 108 Green Solutions in Our Daily Life – Delhi, India (24th June 2016)

Uncompromising Truth for a Compromised World

by 5th Samdhong Rinpoche, Lobsang Tenzin

Today when we talk about the Buddha’s teaching of selflessness or the not-self or Shunyata, people mostly cannot comprehend the real connotations of these teachings. And they always fall into the error of negating the relative self. When you speak of selflessness, they take it to mean that they are completely devoid of self, that self does not exist at all.

It is only in Buddhism and in some non-Buddhist Indian traditions that the Truth is classified into two levels: the Ultimate Truth and the Relative Truth. And these two need to be understood at their respective levels. They are two sides of one coin, yet they differ vastly. The key point is that, if you deny the relative truth, then you cannot realise Shunyata, but will fall into nihilism instead: the negation of everything.

The Buddha does not negate the relative existence of anything, but teaches that whatever exists in the relative or conventional sense, exists interdependently and the common-sense of the interdependent nature of things cannot be denied by anyone. It is truth; it is a fact. Things do not exist as we view them in this moment, we who do not realise the true nature of existence. The ordinary person views phenomena as existing by their own nature, complete and independent in themselves. They impute the quality of inherent existence to these phenomena, as they do to the self. But the fact is that relative phenomena, including the self, exist in interdependence on each other and on a myriad bases. This quality of interdependence does not imply that relative phenomena simply do not exist at all, but only that their existence is not inherent to themselves. In simple terms, if you remove the interdependent factors of which phenomena consist, the phenomena themselves would disappear because they have no inherent existence of their own, or from their own side. So unless you clearly recognise what is to be negated and what is to be affirmed, there is every chance of descending into nihilism. In this case, what is to be negated is the notion that relative phenomena exist absolutely. On the other hand, it is equally important to affirm that they exist relatively or conventionally. It is important to take care and be very cautious about this; that you should not negate the relative existence of self. But the self which we conceive of now as an absolute entity having independent existence from its own side is to be negated.

So, unless you very profoundly see how you conceive yourself, you will fall into the error, either of absolutism or of nihilism. But if your understanding of self is profound, then you can very easily negate the notion of an inherently-existent “I,” and that negation is Shunyata.

The simple negation of inherent or independent existence is Shunyata. The way we conceive of self, the way we conceive of phenomena, need to be very precisely and clearly recognised. Then you will realise that it is completely different from the real nature of the existence of self. So, it is quite a difficult process of analysis. But unless and until you realise what is to be negated, it is very dangerous to negate anything. You might negate the whole thing, and then you would fall down into nihilism.

So, it is very difficult to verbalise; but through meditation, through observation, you will realise how you conceive the self. It is not yourself which you negate, but that self of which you have formed a conception: that conception is to be negated.

At this moment, if somebody calls you or addresses you, you immediately conceive a self which is almost identical with body, mind, and speech: the gross combination. But you never conceive of self as something very subtle or very different than your conception of it.

Somebody hits you, and you feel that he has hit you, he abused you, he oppressed you: and at that time your conception of “I” is so gross, so monolithic, and so singular. There is the perception of the singularity of “I” which comes forward—a sense of the singular existence of “I,” and that is a misconception, and that misconception is to be negated.

After negating that mode of existence, then you will automatically understand the transitory and interdependent existence of the relative self — and when you realise the relativity of self, it will cease to create attachment or hatred — and it will see, since it is in the right view of self-existence, and it will automatically give you the right view of the existence of others, and then compassion arising from that profound understanding of the equality of all beings will come out naturally.

So, the negation is not negation of the relatively existent self, but the negation is the negation of how we view ourselves right now. That view is to be negated.

In the Canon and in the teachings the self as a whole, as an entity per se, is negated — but at that time the teacher is addressing you directly, attacking, as it were, the way you perceive yourself. It is a method for finding that which indeed is to be negated. So it sometimes seems as though the teachings are negating the total relative self. But we need to separate the teaching technique from the object which it seeks to accomplish. We need to separate these two and identify the object which is to be negated. Only then can the reality of selflessness be realised.

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All of the mundane and supramundane good qualities of the Mahayana and Hinayana are the result of serenity and insight…. An undistracted mind is mental one-pointedness, the serenity aspect, while accurate reflection on facts and meanings refers to discerning wisdom, the insight aspect. Thus, you must achieve all good qualities of the two vehicles through both (1) sustained analysis with discerning wisdom and (2) one-pointed focus on the object of meditation. You do not achieve them through one-sided practise of either analytical meditation or stabilising meditation.

— Lama Tsongkhapa

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Larung Gar Buddhist Academy

China issues demolition order on world’s largest religious town in Tibet

Source: http://www.tchrd.org/china-issues-demolition-order-on-worlds-largest-religious-town-in-tibet/

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

Day 2 (PM): Intelligent Choices – Delhi, India (23rd June 2016)

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

Day 2 (AM): Love and Compassion – Delhi, India (23rd June 2016)

谁能保证你下辈子还做人

嘎玛仁波切

佛陀讲“暇满人身难得”,我们不要以为做人很容易,这辈子过去了,不一定能投胎再做人。看看我们周边的其它生物,海洋生物、陆地上的生物等等这些众生,数量庞大,不可计数。实际上人类数量目前只有七十多亿。海洋里有数不尽的生物,陆地上一个大蚂蚁窝里的生命可能和一个城市的人口差不多;人体里的细菌有多少?我们的身体是一座微生物工厂,人体内有六十万亿细胞,每天生产出一千亿到一百万亿个细菌,远远超过全世界的人口。其实人在生物群体中,也只是非常可怜的生物而已,由于身体里其它生物的“叛乱”,随时都可能让人类丢掉性命。

人类情感很丰富,思维方式比其它众生更细腻与圆满,就是往前往后往左往右,方方面面我们都能思考。更重要的是,人类有喜怒哀乐,有想要远离痛苦、解决痛苦的思维方式,遇到问题会懂得寻找方法,这就刚好具备了修行的基础。当遇到生、老、病、死、爱别离、怨憎会、所恶临身、所求不得等等痛苦、挫折、烦恼、困惑之时,人们会思维如何从里面逃脱出来。你想逃脱的心态,就叫解脱,也叫出离心。具备出离心的人,在闻思修佛法的时候,会有一个良好的基础。

我们经常讲:富贵难修行。如果一个人身体健康、家境富裕,享受着天伦之乐、荣华富贵,即使说信佛,也往往是表面上信佛,真正让他拿起念珠,念念咒,拜拜佛,一般都不太容易。捐钱没问题,东捐款、西捐款,身上有的是钱,你让他去做点义工,没时间;你叫他去念经持咒,也没时间。拿自己在人间的福报进行一些上供下施他愿意,谈到修行就困难起来了。

这样的人,来世可能也还是个比较富有的人,不能生为富有的人类,也会生为富有的其它众生。比如像喜欢珠宝的人,这辈子做过一点善事,下辈子就会报,生下来身上还带着珍珠,变成珍珠蚌;或者变成珊瑚虫,守着一大堆珍贵的珊瑚,一生下来就很“富有”。喜欢房子的人可能就投胎成乌龟、王八、海螺、贝壳、蜗牛这些生物,一生下来就带着壳,各式各样的 “房子”有很多,都很漂亮,花花绿绿的,还有双层的。几百斤重的龟都有啊,它的壳上千年都不坏,前世一定也做了不少放生,要不然命哪有那么长?所以很多时候,你积的德不一定会成熟获得暇满人身,可能是成熟在其它方面了。

今生既然已投胎做人,在喜怒哀乐的无常幻变中,很多人也已知道,真要脱离轮回之苦,还是要踏踏实实学佛。就像伟大的释迦牟尼佛一样,他见到了生老病死等苦难,最终选择了舍弃荣华富贵苦修,终于寻找到了究竟解脱的方法。

学佛的人,到了往生的时候不需要恐惧,是快快乐乐地死,我们叫安乐死,实际上就叫涅槃,哈哈笑着就走了。等待死亡的过程也是快乐的,知道自己要为死亡做哪些准备,去恶行善,累积福报,忏悔罪业,自净其意,祈请上师佛菩萨的慈悲加持,心里有底儿,很踏实,就像密勒日巴大师讲的:“死亡非死亡,死亡是小成佛。”

不少高僧大德今生的业障已经清净,很快就可以成就了,来世可以成菩萨、成佛,所以修得好的,很多就盼着、期待着死亡的那一刻,四、五、六十岁就走的有很多;被众生一直祈请留下来,延寿利益众生的并不多,因为他们的使命完成了,就可以得到解脱。

我师父尊贵的土登曲吉扎巴尊者准备涅槃的时候,在成都的疗养院里,他就哈哈笑,笑得很开心,笑声特别大。隔壁还住着一个副省长,护士听到老上师的笑声怕领导睡不着觉,就来敲门说:“你们能不能不要跟老人家开玩笑,他笑得太厉害了。”而对于高僧大德来说,那个老的躯壳终于可以换掉了,就像换房子一样,小房子终于可以丢掉换个大房子,要成菩萨,要成佛,当然是非常高兴的事情。

如果不修行,根本无法从轮回的漩涡中逃离出来,谁能保证你下辈子还做人呢?

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Cultivate the thought of loving- kindness, for by cultivating loving-kindness, ill will is banished forever. Cultivate, too, the thought of compassion, for by cultivating compassion, you will find harm and cruelty disappear.

— Buddha

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