Why is Ullambana linked to filial piety?
Source: KMSPKS

The lunar seventh month is known as the Ghost Festival to many people where it is believed that the hell gates are opened, and ghosts are set free for a month. However, in the context of Buddhism, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is known as the Ullambana Festival or month of filial piety.

What is Ullambana, and why is filial piety linked to it?

THE BUDDHA’S JOYFUL DAY / SANGHA PRAVARANA DAY

According to the Ullambana Sutra, during the Buddha’s time, the Sangha (the community of Buddhist monks) were to stay indoors and practise diligently for three months during the rainy season in India as it is very inconvenient to ask for alms during this season of the year.

On the completion of the rain retreat that falls on the fifteenth day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, many venerables gained enlightenment. The venerables will gather and report to the Buddha on their meditation progress. The Buddha was delighted with the venerables’ progress, and this day became known as the Buddha’s joyful day and/or Sangha Pravarana Day.

ORIGIN OF ULLAMBANA FESTIVAL

Venerable Maudgalyayana wanted to repay the kindness of his father and mother after he attained arhartship. He used his clairvoyant powers to search for them, and he realised that his father was reborn in the heavenly realm, while his mother was reborn as a hungry ghost. She was suffering due to her attachment to the inheritance left by Venerable Maudgalyayana’s father; she did not follow his instruction to make offerings to Buddhist monks who came her way.

Venerable Maudgalyayana was deeply saddened and filled a bowl with food to offer to his mother. The food turned into burning coals whenever the food was placed in his mother’s palm and his mother could not eat. He approached the Buddha for help and advice on how he can help to ease his mother’s suffering.

The Buddha instructed Venerable Maudgalyayana to make offerings to the Sangha on the fifteenth day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. Venerable Maudgalyayana did as the Buddha advised, and the merits accrued helped his mother obtain a better rebirth.

MONTH OF FILIAL PIETY

The Buddha said that if anyone who wishes to practise filial piety can make offerings to the Sangha on this day. After the offerings are made, one can transfer the merits to their parents, past and present. By making offerings to the Sangha on this day, the merits and virtues will liberate parents of past lives and bless our present parents with health and longevity. This month is also known as the Month of Filial Piety.

To describe the nature of the mind, the analogy of space is used. The mind is likened to space because space has no shape, no colour, and no characteristic. It is free from any conditioning or characteristic at all. In this way the example of space provides a suitable analogy to describe the nature of the mind. But there are other aspects to the mind – its radiant clarity and unobstructed compassion – that space doesn’t possess.

— Yangthang Rinpoche

践行慈悲心的十三种方便
茗山长老

(一)利他——我常常思量“利己”,是我一人得利,而多数人受害;“利他”,是我一人受害,而多数人得利。一多相较,觉利己太藐小,而利他确很伟大,于是决定了意志:“宁可天下人负我,莫教我负天下人” 。也就和经论中“不为自己求安乐,但愿众生得离苦”、“上士恒勤求、自苦他安乐”的意思相同。我就本着这个意志,与人合作,愿意多吃些苦,少分些利乐,与人交往,愿意多吃些亏,少讨些便宜。尤其利害冲突关头,切记先为他人打算:宁可舍己利他,绝不损人利己;最低限度,利他而不损己,或利己而不损他。所以我立身处世,发一言,行一事,抱定这一个观念:一切以利他为标准。

(二)同情心——民国三十二年冬,我在衡阳因交涉寺产被无线电台台员用绳子吊起来的时候,身体感到非常痛苦,生命感到极大威胁,只得默念“南无大悲观世音菩萨……”希求菩萨通知太虚大师赶快营救:早来一分钟,使我早脱一分苦,若迟来半点,恐怕就往生了;那时心中极迫切的情绪,非身历其境者不知。就因为受过那次痛苦的教训,之后看到或听到他人及众生受苦,就如自己受苦,很迅速地努力抢救:如见他人跌倒,立刻去扶起,他人急难,立刻去排解,他人碰伤或中毒,多方请医去医治,他人溺水或失火,不避嫌怨去援救;尤其看到他人被吊或鱼鳖鸡鸭被人倒悬,心急如焚,总要想尽办法去解救。这些都是由于我的同情心的驱使。

(三)恒顺众生——我当学僧,即随顺院长教师意旨,精勤修学;当教师,即随顺院长学僧意旨,认真讲课;当院长,即随顺教师学僧意旨,尽量栽培;当清众、执事、住持等,亦复如是,不存主观成见,随顺客观趣向,待人如是,待一切众生亦如是。我愿意如有春天的雨露,夏天的凉风,秋天的明月,冬天的的太阳,江海的轮渡,大陆的车辆,空中的飞机……做时代所需要众生所受欢迎的一个人。

(四)公而无私——我为了护持佛法,解决寺庙与学校纠纷,保障佛教寺僧的权益,兴办僧教育及公益慈善事业,曾于各地佛教会办过几百桩案件,打过几十桩官司,请过几次保护佛教的布告,不知走了几多路,说了几多话,用了几多钱,往往吃饭的时间过了就在外忍饿,衣服破烂了也无心再做,甚至身体病坏了也无心顾及,热心从公,忘却自己,只尽义务,不计权利,只顾天下肥,不顾自身瘦,总因为要学祖师为法忘躯,学菩萨为众生服务,学佛陀行慈悲之道。

(五)不害——我深信一切皆有因果,善有善报,恶有恶报,间或未报,乃是时期未到,故偶遇恶人憎我、妒我、谤我,甚至害我,我都不愿以牙还牙,以齿还齿;我想“自作孽,不可逭”,有自然因果存在,何用我去害他?我只可怜他的业障深重,善根浅薄,惭愧我无德感他,无法救他!而况害他,终致自他俱害,不害他,或可使他改过自新。看见他人阴谋害人,我也常以此意相劝。

(六)广修供养——我不贪穿,不贪吃,又没有一点嗜好,私人所得的衣物以及师友赠送给我钱,不用于佛教公益,即用于供佛施人;往往共办公益而各方捐款不足用时,便以私资补充,修建庙宇或装塑佛像翻印经典,亦常随缘乐助:平日买仁丹万金油十滴水等药品,随时救治病人,又将多馀衣服鞋袜饮食用物,随时舍给贫乏,有时打斋供众,有时出力帮忙,有时布施乞丐,有时周济难民;尤其人有急需,不敢说“有求必应”,但总想满人心愿;人有危难,不敢说“寻声救苦”,但总想尽力援助。

(七)忍辱无瞋——我虽不曾老,但养气功夫倒很有把握:在衡阳时,有一次我因房中遗失一本书,无意地问问同寮某师,某师认为我轻视他的人格,勃然大怒,指手大骂,我反陪笑向他解释。又有一次,甲师因挟嫌怀恨乙师,暗用我的名义,诬告乙为汉奸,并且潜入我房,偷盖我私章,乙被警备部提讯时,看见公文里有我列名盖章,信以为真,未几释回,便对我痛骂,甚至要和我拼命,我乃不动瞋心。有人因误会疑忌而责骂我,诽谤我,欺负我,侮辱我,甚至殴打我,我都逆来顺受,容忍无恨;像这一类的遭遇很多,我不但能够忍受他人的逼恼,更不愿自己逼恼他人,初,火气冲上时勉强捺下,久而久之,想发脾气反觉火不得上来了,我读熟了弥勒偈:“有人骂老拙,老拙只说好,有人打老拙,老拙自睡倒,唾沫吐面上,随他自乾了,我也省力气,他也无烦恼。” 这首歌好像为我写照。

(八)戒杀放生——我读过沙弥律:上自诸佛圣人,下至蜎飞蠕动,不得故杀。又读过古诗:“卷帘归乳燕,凿牖出痴蝇,爱鼠常留饭,怜蛾莫点灯。”“千百年来碗里羹,冤深如海恨难平,欲知世上刀兵劫,但听屠门夜半声。”我把这些话,深深记在心头,所以最怕走路踏伤蚂蚁昆虫,最怕信手拍死蚊蝇虱虱,我不愿人家养猫,怕它咬死老鼠,更不愿人家吃荤,怕他多造杀业;我曾规定每年四月八日尽量买鱼放生,平时遇见失去自由的动物,随时随地方便救护,又常常劝人素食,劝人戒杀放生,以冀共感祥和,挽回世界劫运。

(九)看护病人——我在岐山遭两次最危险的大病,生命几濒绝境,承少康和尚等,细微体贴,殷勤看护,赖以起死回生,因而感觉解除病苦,医药仅占十分之三,自己调养仅占十分之二,而看护人的功效实占十分之五;所以遇见他人有病,我很愿意看护。看护时,察其情况如何,按时进其汤药饮食,观其意向如何,随其意向代为动作,时时安慰他,处处顺从他,使其安心静养,勿行忧虑;到了临危之际,更要提他正念,助他念佛往生。

(十)不说使人烦恼的话——虚伪的恭维奉承,哄骗的花言巧语,诡诈的挑拔离间,粗暴的破口骂詈,都会引起人们的烦恼,我向来不愿说那一类的话,只愿说真实至诚语,质直柔和语,调停和解语,欢喜称赞语,使人听了,得到一种愉快的感觉!非万不得已,不说出一句使人烦恼的话。

(十一)和悦的容态迎人——我晓得人讨厌的是愁眉苦脸,欢迎的是悦色和颜,纵使我有什么忧虑悲伤,总放在自己心里,不愿表面上令人难看;任他“人情冷暧,世态淡凉”,我仍是笑脸迎人,慈眼视人;而况“有缘千里来相会,无缘对面不相逢”,岂可孤癖自高,骄慢自大?我参透了“今生人见喜欢者,前世见人欢喜故”,所以我待人的态度,总带几分笑容,还带几分谦光,敬意、恳挚、真诚。

(十二)弘扬佛法——我学佛以来,精勤研习十余年,从佛法里悟解了宇宙人生的真谛,使我精神上获得无穷乐趣,无上安慰。深知佛法的功德利益无量无边:可以解脱烦恼业障,可以增长福德善根,可以离苦得乐,可以成佛度生……只要人们信解修持,决定能得着这些功德利益。所以我不揣浅陋,随时随地,喜欢将自己所体验受用的佛法,以浅显通俗的字眼,或用纸笔供献人群,或凭口舌向人解说,一字一偈,不敢自秘,总愿人人同得法乐!同成正觉!

(十三)报恩的心愿——我常常想到三宝的加护,父母的养育,师友的训导,国家的保障,衣食的由来,房屋的庇阴,舟车的运行,什物的现成,天地的覆载,日月的照临,自然的优美,社会的互助……在在处处使我感到温暧,感到他们恩德无穷无尽;又想到“一切男子是我父,一切女子是我母”,“众生如父如母,如兄弟,姊妹,子侄”,他们都是我的亲人,我的恩人;我虽以种种方便,实行慈悲,仍恐势有所不能,力有所不及,总难报答于万一;所以在每天拜佛时虔诚默祷着:“愿与四恩三有,法界众生,同离苦难,同得安乐,同出娑婆,同生净土!”

“慈悲为室,方便为门” ,要由方便之门,方入慈悲之室。以上十三种方便,乃略就我常常运用面谈;假使详细演述,四摄、六度、五戒、十善、十一善心所、三十七道品等,莫不是我实行慈悲的方便,这里恐繁不录。

Our Essence of Mind is intrinsically pure, and if we knew our mind and realised what our nature is, all of us would attain Buddhahood.

— Venerable Hui Neng

Practising the Dharma
Retold by Esther Thien

Once, there was a man who decided that he was going to practise the Dharma. So he started to circumambulate. His teacher came along and said, “Oh, it’s very good that you are circumambulating stupa but it would be better if you practise the Dharma.”

So he thought, “I will do prostrations then.” The next day, in front of the stupa, he started to prostrate. Up and down he went, perspiring profusely. Then his teacher appeared and remarked, “Oh, it’s very good that you are prostrating but it would be better if you practise the Dharma.”

“Hmmm,” thought the man. “Perhaps I should be reciting Dharma text?” The next day, he was out there reading aloud his Dharma text, thinking that he was doing something holy. Again, his teacher came by and quipped, “Oh, it’s very good that you are reciting the Dharma text but it would be better if you practise the Dharma.”

By then, this man was utterly confused and perturbed. “Am I not practising the Dharma?” I was circumambulating the stupa, prostrating and reciting the Sutra. What, then, is practising the Dharma?”

His teacher smiled and replied, “Transform your mind.”

———————————————————————

This story tells us that the focal point is not on the external things. Rather it is the mind, or the mental state that one has when doing things that determines if one is practising the Dharma. We can never judge whether an action is Dharma or not, just by the action itself. We have to look at the mind that’s doing it.

That’s why in Buddhism, one’s inner motivation is emphasised again and again. In this way, we cut out all hypocrisy. If we are not mindful of our motivation and we think being religious simply means doing all these external things, then we get really lost. We may be doing something externally, but if we still have the same old mind and habitual tendencies to cling and reject, we are not transforming.

So always be mindfully aware and ask yourself, “Why am I practising? Why am I doing this?” Always look internally, at the mind that is doing it.

Not by a shower of gold coins does contentment arise in sensual pleasures. Of little sweetness, and painful, are sensual pleasures. Knowing thus, the wise man finds no delight even in heavenly pleasures. The disciples of the Fully Enlightened One delights in the destruction of craving.

— The Buddha

参禅用功指要——以《超脱真铨》为例
文|常静

学佛修道,参禅打七是修行的最上乘禅。如果不从参禅打七入手修行,不是落入人天二乘,就会落入魔王外道。不从参禅入手修行,修行往往会走入邪路。因此,古往今来的禅林大德,都主张通过坐禅习定明见自性,得大智慧。在如今的末法时代,“非参禅无以止妄,妄缘既息,定久澄清,水清月现,不待修止而慧光自发。”慧光发现之后,触途皆明,不被尘劳杂妄羁缚,即是解脱。参禅是末法时代禅门修行者最主要的修行方法。民国年间流行的《超脱真铨》一书中,详细讲述了参禅做工夫的具体修学方法。书中指参禅用功指要——以《超脱真铨》为例出,参禅者若能在参禅过程中深入领悟,并正确运用这些修学方法,就证入三摩地,超越生死,入佛知见。

一、要看得破

参禅本来是为了了道。若能了道就能知道生从何来,死归何处,不被尘梦幻相,富贵钱财,一切因缘假相所迷惑。所谓了道,就是要了脱生死。要了脱生死,就要参禅做工夫。参禅做工夫的基本方法,首先是要看得破。要看得世界身心都是假的,是四大五蕴和合而成的。既然能够看破世界身心,又要能放得下世界身心。如果放不下,说明还没有看破。若真能看破,自然就能放得下。书中云:“但尽凡情,别无圣解。参禅不能醒发者,无他。只为一切凡情还在心上打搅扰。”参禅者不仅要放下世界身心,还应当放下并且远离凡情。自由放下凡情,不被凡情所束缚,才能离道更近。

如果一个人能够将世界上一切俗情,并自己无始劫以来的无明、烦恼、习气,尽底掀翻,不留毫末,单单一个话头,现前所谓放下便安,别无他法。参禅者若能如此万缘放下,专注参禅,管保参禅克日成功。

二、要起疑情

起疑情是参禅过程中的重要一环。本书中也指出,参禅要起疑情。禅门常说,大疑大悟,小疑小悟,不疑不悟。参禅不需要另外生起疑情。疑情总在参究话头时自然生起。比如“父母未生以前,如何是本来面目?”“如何是”三个字就是疑情。“念佛的是谁?”“是谁”二字,即是疑情。“不是心不是佛,不是物,毕竟是个什么?”其中“毕竟是个什么”就是疑情。如今的参禅之人,动不动就说疑情生不起来。他们不知道,不是疑情生不起来,而是参禅之人不肯疑话头。话头现前,疑情自然显现。话头亲切,疑情自然亲切。一旦参到疑情打破,自然就能了脱生死。

三、要将“死”字贴在头上

书中认为, 参禅的人, 应当时时刻刻将“死”字贴在额头上。“死”就是无常,修禅之人常念“死”,厌离娑婆,欣求极乐的心才更真切。修禅之人常想到死无定期,修行才会更加勇猛精进。

参禅之人,昼夜六时,只知道有个话头要参究。壁立千仞,外事百不知百不晓。只如大死之人,心中只有口气相似。工夫到此,才与参禅宗旨相应。

四、要从动中做出,方为实得

参禅之人要从动中做出,方为真实有所得。参禅者在行路时,便问这个拖死尸走的人是谁;坐着时,便问这个拖着死尸坐着的人是谁;站着时,便问拖着死尸站着的人是谁;睡卧时,便问这个拖着死尸睡着的人是谁。乃至穿衣吃饭、上殿过堂、出做入息、屙屎放尿,以及风动云飞、水流花放、鸟鸣兽走,无一不是究竟话头处。动中得个入处,方得自在。如果是爱静恶动,不用说没功夫,纵然有些得力处,触境便破了,了没交涉。

参禅做工夫,全要如鸡群中,鹤立劲挺,不顺人情。若是怕人说个不好,工夫反会做得不好。

五、不愁不活,只愁不死

一般的谈禅之人,经常会说某人工夫做死了。这个人本来业识茫茫,无本可据,不值得与他论议。殊不知,何曾死来,果然能够死到至极处,未有不活者。天地之道,阴极转阳。就好像三冬冷到极处,自然春阳来复。因此,工夫做死之人,往往死到极处,自然有个悟入处。

六、话头疑情辊作一团

参禅者在参禅时,要身内外话头、疑情辊作一团。也就是在参话头时要生起疑情,生疑情时更要咬紧话头。当话头、疑情融为一体,分拆不开时,就仰不知天,俯不知地。行不知行,坐不知坐。千人万人之中,如入无人之境。功夫到此,方有少许相应分。

七、要如猫捕鼠

参禅用功要如猫子捕捉老鼠,睁开两眼,四蹄坚撑,只要捕捉老鼠到口。纵有人物在旁,也无暇顾及,只是一心专注老鼠的动向,待时机已到,一把抓住。

参禅也是这样,只是愤然要明了此事。纵然八苦交煎于前,也无暇顾及,只要究明生死大事。一旦参禅者心有别念,就会空费力气,一事无成。

八、要在本体上做工夫

参禅之人,要在本体上下工夫,方才与自己有益。不可在古人公案、言句上揪着不放,参究卜度,妄加解释。纵然一一领略得,终是贫人数他宝,与自己没有丝毫交涉。何况古人一言半句,如大火聚,靠近就会燎却面门,触之则丧身失命,哪里有你卜度解释的分。参禅者一旦涉及到思维,便与古人公案大相左了。于自己本体上,没有一毫末的益处。只有在本体上参究,才能见自本性。

九、要离心意识

参禅做工夫,要离心意识来参究。一旦参究工夫成熟,忽然之间言语道断,心行处绝,即得亲见本来面目。若是心意识卜度算计,终是业识茫茫,无本可据。纵然有点悟处,不过光影门头事。昭昭灵灵,对于本来面目,了无交涉。所以,迦叶尊者灭除意根,得佛正传。

十、全在心源体上参究

参禅若要得真实工夫,应当全在心源体上参究。不可寻言逐句,如果只是口头记问,不但于参禅无益,反而成为参究的障碍。书中指出,“如今的参禅之人,不在心源真实上参究,全在眼耳参禅。平时看了一些公案,听了一些言句,便当宗乘,自以为是。忽然遇到作家一锥,不觉失其所守。”很多参禅者,总是一开始没有遇到作家,到老翻成古董。神秀大师云:“身是菩提树,心如明镜台。时时勤拂拭,莫使惹尘埃。”黄檗禅师云:“尘劳迥脱事非常,紧把绳头做一场。不是一番寒彻骨,怎得梅花扑鼻香。”这两首偈语最亲切,可作为参禅者参究指导。学人时时提撕警策,工夫自然做得上。

十一、心要真切

参禅用功心要真切。心不真切,就会懈怠放逸。参禅者一旦懈怠放逸,则道业无成。如果用心真切,一切魔障都不会生起。若如此,则不愁大事不明,不愁生死不了,不愁不到古人田地。话头如金刚王宝剑,凡遇到内外魔境、佛境,但提起话头一截,则内外佛境、魔境全消。因此,参禅人的一个话头,便是了生死、出三界,继往开来,光前裕后,一绝大本领,当拳拳服膺,不使失去。

十二、要打成一片

参禅用功要打成一片,不可须臾间断,才是真工夫。真正参禅修定之人,如火烧眉毛,如救头燃。又如一人与万人敌,觑面不容眨眼。时时处处,谨慎对待,一心参究,方能渐入佳境。若如此,则能成大器,裕后光前。

十三、全仗觉照之力

参禅做工夫,全仗觉照之力,时时检点看工夫得力不得力。若不得力,要看病根在什么处。识得病根,便与一刀两断。得力处,看敌得生死,敌不得生死。悟后重疑,更加精进。一回觉照,一回精进,自然倒断,得大安乐。

十四、要行解相应

参禅做工夫要行解相应。行就是参禅的修行实践,解是对参究方法的悟解。修行人只有行解相应,修行才能如车之两轮,齐头并进。若只重视行,或者只重视解,就如失去车之一轮,难以前行。《楞严经》云:“虽有多闻,若不修行,与不闻等。如人说食,终不得饱。”日用动静语默之间,时时检点,看相应不相应。若行解相应,方为正知正见。若是行解不相应,终是邪解。须加践履,笃实之功,决定要求行解相应。如是则解有一分,行有十分,方是笃实履践之道。

十五、要真心发现

参禅做功夫要真心发现。真心共有五种。第一要发大勇猛心,痛念生死,如处火宅,如在水中,极欲跳出。第二要发大信心。要相信自心即佛,一切万法,悉本吾心。第三要发大惭愧心。彼为圣贤,我亦当尔。但现在为什么彼为圣贤,我却为反复。一想起来,真正可羞可耻。第四要起真疑情。单提话头,不生起二念,废寝忘食,如愚如鲁,疑团不破,誓不干休。第五要得大悟门。与佛齐眉,一知半解,全没交涉。不见十地菩萨说法如云如雨,终未指出向上关子。有以上五种真心发现,不愁生死不了,不愁不到佛祖地位,不愁不悟向上一著故。三乘胆颤,十地魂惊。凡愚岂可不发勇猛,速求出此无量火宅。

十六、不可一刻失正念

参禅做工夫不可一刻忘失正念。所谓正念,即如实忆念诸法之性相而不忘失。若能做到一相无相,是名正念。《法华经》云:“唯此一事实,余二则非真。”这是正念《金刚经》:“应无所住而生其心。”这也是正念。《圆觉经》云:“於一切时不起来妄念,於诸妄念亦不息灭,住妄想境不加了知,於无了知,不辨其实。”这也是正念。若人静坐,纯清绝点为禅,失正念。或将妄心遏捺,令妄心不起,如石压草,也为失正念。或如剥芭蕉叶,观想身如虚空,心如墙壁,为落空亡的外道,魂不散的死人,也为失去正念。常存不辜负之心,工夫自然得力。父母生育我,师长剃度我,莫辜负师长父母,天地负载我,日月照临我。莫辜负天地日月,佛祖教诲我,善神默佑我。修禅者切莫辜负佛祖善神。且人身难得,莫辜负人身,人身犹是假我,性灵方是真我。莫辜负自己性灵,斯则一切不辜负。如何保全性灵不辜负,要全空一切相,方才不染不著。否则,尽是妄业,永沉识海受苦。

以上这些关于参禅做功夫过程中应当注重修学的要点,是《超脱真诠》一书中的主要思想观点。现代的参禅之人若能在参禅中善加利用,不仅能保证正确的修学方向,还能收到事半功倍的参禅效果。

If all the merit of taking Refuge were to take a physical form, the whole of space, entirely filled, would not be enough to contain it.

— Patrul Rinpoche

The Essence of the Doctrine
by Lama Dudjom Dorjee

When a doctor makes a diagnosis of a specific disease to a patient, she prescribes a specific medicine which, if taken in the right amounts and at the right times by the patient, will eventually cure the disease. At the point the disease is cured, the medicine becomes unnecessary. This is the essence of the doctrine of the Buddha dharma — when certain kleshas and afflictive emotions are identified and the specific practices are applied as an antidote for these poisons, eventually these negativities are overcome and liberation from suffering is attained.

For instance, when we encounter negative emotions, the confused mind perceives no separation between itself and the emotion: the two become conflated and suffering is perpetuated without interruption. However, the skilful mind perceives the negative emotion as separate from the mind itself, that it represents the mere appearance of a dependently-arisen phenomenon empty of any inherent existence.

In order to dig up the root of afflictive emotions, the practitioner must first learn the essence of Hinayana doctrines. No matter how many times we cut down a tree, if the root remains below the surface, the tree will grow back the following spring. The same principle holds true for the tree of negative emotions: no matter how much we engage in dharma practice to remove the appearance of negativities, as soon as the causes and conditions come together once again, like the sun and rain that nurture the roots, the afflictive emotions will reappear. Thus, the skilful practitioner must learn the essence of the doctrines of the Hinayana path in order to dig up the very root of these negativities.

To actually use these negative afflictive emotions as fuel for our practice and bring them onto the bodhisattva path we must learn the essence of the Mahayana point of view, which welcomes all difficult or painful experiences as opportunities to expand our practice.

Finally, from the Vajrayana point of view, we can actually transform these kleshas into the wisdom of the Vajrayana practice itself. This is possible as the afflictive emotions are recognised for what they truly are, when their basic nature of perfect purity is understood beyond conceptualisation.

All things may be seen correctly or incorrectly; and so it is that they possess a dual identity. The ultimate is what is seen correctly, the wrongly seen is superficial truth, it’s said.

— Chandrakirti