Dharma Roadside Dialogues Series

In Dharma Teachings, Lectures, Tsony by Tsony

Series of dialogue on various themes as we walk the path towards home.

#1 Calm Mind in Turbulent Times

Zoom Session given in Austria 12-12-2020

Calm mind in turbulent times. #1 The talk

Calm mind in turbulent times. #2 questions and answers

#2 A thin veneer of confusion on an ocean of wisdom

Zoom session from Bodhi path Natural Bridge, VA. USA

Having lost sight of the Buddha Nature which is the depth of reality in our mind, we swim among the rubbish of our emotional habits and patterns. Realizing the good news of our Buddha Nature, we can change our perspective and become rooted in the confidence of our basic sanity to face life’s challenges with grace and discernment. Like a golden swan in turbulent waters.

A thin veneer of confusion on an ocean of wisdom #1 Expose

A thin veneer of confusion on an ocean of wisdom #2 Dialogue

#3 Focus on your practice and remain true to yourself.

The film paying homage to Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche ends with these few words from Gyalwa Karmapa Thaye Dorje:

“The teaching of impermanence is the lesson that all beings even the Buddha himself must pass. I would like to assure you that, by focusing on your practice, staying true to yourself, this will have great, great benefit. We will be all connected in ways that transcend the boundaries of space and time.”

What do we mean by staying true to oneself?
Are they many ways to free oneself from what binds us?
Desire and renunciation?
How to live the contradictions between ordinary laws, and the law of karma?

Focus on your practice and remain true to yourself. #1 Exposé

Focus on your practice and remain true to yourself. #2 Dialogue

#4. Czech & Slovak Dialogue

Self directed compassion

Building up an healthy self

Steady practice but flexible Mind, or “butterflying”

“Without patience no virtue is possible, patience is the greatest virtue” Atisha

#5 Right Livelihood.

Right Livelihood #1 Exposé

Right Livelihood #2 Dialogue

Further readings:

Mindfulness and Meaningful Work: Explorations in Right Livelihood

#6 The Four Seals of Dharma

Beyond fascination and rejection, a path to peace transcending extremes

We are often caught between the fascination for the marvels of creation and the desire of liberation. They constitute a paradox that leads to cognitive dissonance and contradictory feelings.

How can we resolve this in order to find a way leading beyond these extremes, therefore contributing to our benefit and that of all, in particular in our close circle of near and dear like our children?

How to show them a way becoming an inspiring role model?

The Four Seals of Dharma are a way to explore this.

ཆོས་རྟགས་ཀྱི་ཕྱག་རྒྱ་བཞི་

༈ འདུ་བྱེད་ཐམས་ཅད་མི་རྟག་ཅིང༌།
ཟག་བཅས་ཐམས་ཅད་སྡུག་བསྔལ་བ།
ཆོས་རྣམས་སྟོང་ཞིང་བདག་མེད་པ།
མྱ་ངན་ལས་འདས་པ་ཞི་བའོ། །

All compounded things are impermanent.

All contaminated contacts are painful.

The Tibetan word for contaminated contacts this context is zagche, which means “contaminated” or “stained,” in the sense of being permeated by confusion or duality. The dualistic mind includes almost every thought we have. Why is this painful? Because it is mistaken. Every dualistic mind is a mistaken mind, a mind that doesn’t understand the nature of things. Whenever there is a dualistic mind, there is hope and fear. Hope is perfect, systematized pain. We tend to think that hope is not painful, but actually it’s a big pain. As for the pain of fear, that’s not something we need to explain. The Buddha said, “Understand suffering.” That is the first Noble Truth. Many of us mistake pain for pleasure—the pleasure we now have is actually the very cause of the pain that we are going to get sooner or later. Another Buddhist way of explaining this is to say that when a big pain becomes smaller, we call it pleasure. That’s what we call happiness.

All phenomena are without inherent existence.  

Nirvana is peace beyond extremes.

The Four Seals of Dharma #1 Exposé

The Four Seals of Dharma #2 Dialogue

#7 Meditation advices. Czech & Slovak Dialogue

#8. The Path of Accumulation

On the path of accumulation, the bodhisattvas, or ‘heirs of the victorious ones’, generate positive intention and bodhicitta in both aspiration and action. Having thoroughly developed this relative bodhicitta, they aspire towards the ultimate bodhicitta, the non-conceptual wisdom of the path of seeing. This is known, therefore, as the stage of ‘aspirational practice’. It is called the path of accumulation because it is the stage at which we make a special effort to gather the accumulation of merit, and also because it marks the beginning of many incalculable eons of gathering the accumulations.

The path of accumulation is divided into lesser, intermediate and greater stages. On the lesser stage of the path of accumulation, it is uncertain when we will reach the path of joining. On the intermediate stage of the path of accumulation, it is certain that we will reach the path of joining in the very next lifetime. On the greater stage of the path of accumulation, it is certain that we will reach the path of joining within the very same lifetime.

Questions:

One lifetime at a time

Once you have mentioned we should not take death as a deadline. It was very interesting advice. Some of us cannot make a lot of progress in one lifetime; sometimes I’m tempted to give up little bit.

– Can you elaborate about the long term and short-term goals?

– What are realistic goals?

– Continuous aspiration, developing mental stability and generating open welcoming benevolence comes from your teachings as good goals.

– What is missing, or opposite?

– What should be abandoned?

The Path of Accumulation #1 Exposé

The Path of Accumulation #2 Dialogue

#9 Transforming Suffering and Happiness into Enlightenment

by Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpe Nyima

Homage

I pay homage to Noble Avalokiteśvara, recalling his qualities:Forever joyful at the happiness of others,And plunged into sorrow whenever they suffer,You have fully realized Great Compassion, with all its qualities,And abide, without a care for your own happiness or suffering!

Statement of Intent

I am going to put down here a partial instruction on how to use both happiness and suffering as the path to enlightenment. This is indispensable for leading a spiritual life, a most needed tool of the Noble Ones, and quite the most priceless teaching in the world.

There are two parts:

1) how to use suffering as the path,

2) and how to use happiness as the path.

Each one is approached firstly through relative truth, and then through absolute truth.

Transforming Suffering and Happiness into Enlightenment #1 Exposé

Transforming Suffering and Happiness into Enlightenment #2 Dialogue

#10. Patience and Equanimity

The third paramita trains us to be steady and openhearted in the face of difficult people and circumstances. Patience entails cultivating skillful courageousness, mindfulness, and tolerance. In general, when we feel that others are hurting or inconveniencing us, we react with various forms of anger and irritation, instantly looking to strike back. When it comes to the paramita of patience, however, we remain as unwavering as a mountain, neither seeking revenge nor harboring deep resentment inside our hearts. Patient tolerance is a very powerful antidote to anger.

The three categories of patience are (A) patience with enemies, (B) patience with hardships on the path, and (C) patience with the ups and downs of life.

Patience and equanimity #1 Exposé

Patience and equanimity #2 Dialogue

#11.How to Transform our Dualistic Vision by the Awareness of Impermanence

 How can the recognition of transitoriness in daily life bring about the realization of interconnectedness and the unity of form and emptiness?
 How to look, with the help of examples, for evidence of impermanence throughout our daily experience to oppose our tendency to solidify, separate and freeze the objects of our perception?

Twelve Examples of Illusion:

Magic

The Moon in the Water

A Visual Distortion

A Mirage

A Dream

An Echo

The City of Gandharvas

An Optical Illusion

Rainbows

Lightning

Water Bubbles

Reflection in a Mirror

Impermanence and Illusion#1Exposé

Impermanence and Illusion #2 Dialogue

#12. The Great Yoga. Lojong 5:22

YOU ARE WELL TRAINED IF YOU CAN EVEN WITHSTAND DISTRACTION.

Lojong 5:22

In the moment of a negative thought or disturbance, if you can maintain your composure and naturally apply the methods to subdue it without feeling any strain, then this means you are well trained. The correction is quite automatic owing· to your proficiency in practice. Even in the midst of an upheaval, you can remain composed and continue to use the immediate conditions to train. Like an expert rider, you ·won’t fall off the horse even when distracted.

Being stable in your practice does not mean that you no longer have any self-grasping. Rather, it means that when it does surface it is remedied right away. Naropa once said to Marpa:

“Your practice has attained to such a level that, like a coiled snake, you are able to release yourself in an instant.”

It will be evident that you have accomplished your practice when the five great qualities of mind arise:

Bodhicitta: The first great mind is bodhicitta. The effect of a dominant and pervasive bodhicitta mind is a complete feeling of satisfaction. While you continue to train, your contentment is so strong that you have no desire for anything else.

Great taming: Your mind is so tame that you notice the tiniest mistake which creates a negative cause and correct it immediately.

Great patience: You have enormous patience to subdue your negative emotions and defilements. You have no reservation whatsoever when it comes to dealing with a negative state of mind. In other words, you continue to train your mind no matter what.

Great merit: When everything you do, say, or think comes from one intention- to benefit others- then you are one with the dharma practice. Simultaneously, as you perform your daily practice and affairs, merit is accumulating continuously. That, in turn, directly supports your positive activities generating ever more merit. In this way, great merit multiplies automatically.

Great yoga: The great yoga (practice) is ultimate bodhicitta. It is the vast and profound mind of wisdom that exposes the nature of reality. To possess and sustain this perfect view is thus the quintessential dharma practice. Through Mind Training you will achieve these five great qualities of mind. You have to earnestly train to develop them, as they will not come about through wishful thinking.

Yoga is a complex word with many meanings. In this context, it is appropriate to examine how the term is used in Tibetan. The Tibetan word for yoga is “Neldjor” (rnal ‘byor). “Nel” is the original awakened nature of mind, the dharmakaya or truth nature. “Djor” is a verb that means to reach or attain. “Neldjor”, therefore, means to reach the original nature of mind.

The arising of the five great minds will prove that the essence of the bodhisattva practice has become your nature. You will not engage in any negativity no matter how small. You are in control and cannot be swayed by negative emotions. For you, all the remedies go into operation quite automatically even when you are not paying too much attention. As the remedies are being applied, you remain calm and balanced. Most of your time is naturally spent working for others or for your enlightenment (which is also, in effect, for sentient beings).

One very important point is this: true compassion is not emotional. Mature practitioners have a clear view grounded in ultimate bodhicitta. They already know the nature of suffering itself. Their compassion is influenced by wisdom so there is no sadness or emotion involved. Unhampered and free of emotions, bodhisattvas help others in a sensible and appropriate way.

Guru Yoga Six Verses

Gyalwa Karmapa IX

 I supplicate the precious Lama,

Bestow your blessing to abandon self-grasping.

Bestow your blessing to be continuously free from wants and desires.

Bestow your blessing to stop doubts, and mistrust in the dharma.

Bestow your blessing that I realize the mind to be beyond birth, cessation and dwelling.

Bestow your blessing that confusions are pacified into themselves.

Bestow your blessing that existence is realized to be dharmakaya.

#13. Czech & Slovak Dialogue

What to do with the attachment to the methods of liberation?
Stand for your right and the art of negotiation.
Planning and mindfulness.
Conscientiousness in getting rid of the klesha.
Does Vajrasattva clean it all?