Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, Part Three, nyc, Oct-Nov 1997


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Course XI: Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, Part Three, NYC, Oct-Nov 1997



ACI 12, Class 1

PLEASE NOTE: Any Tibetan is totally written by what it sounded like. Therefore, correct spelling is not guaranteed.


About 12-13 hundred years ago. And, uh, this will be the ninth and the tenth chapter of the book. We’ve covered the first 8 chapters this year so far. Um, this book is not even taught in the monastery. It’s not part of the Geshe course, you know, uh, it’s not considered one of the five great books that’s in the monastery. And normally a monk at Sera or at one of the other monasteries, great monasteries, would study this on the side, like during visits by His Holiness the Dalai Lama or by in the old days by one of his … teachers. Um, so why do we spend a whole year on it? You know, um, it’s really perhaps the most important- one of the most important books in Buddhism. And it has survived since the early times of Buddhism, and people, you know, millions of people have studied it and it’s a very, very important book. Uh, if you have to perhaps decide what’s the most important chapter in the book- it’s the 9th chapter. Uh, so you’re about to study the most important chapter of one of the most important books ever written by man, or whoever (laugh), uhh, it’s a great honor to hear it, you know, it’s very difficult to get to hear it. I think you remember the story that we told when Master Shantideva taught this, uh, particular chapter, uh, in the monastery. He started to write off the throne that he was on. And only a few people even heard the end of the chapter. Uh, only those people who could read his mind, uh, and could follow him as he floated into the air, uh, away from the monastery, uh, heard the 9th chapter and there was this big argument about whether there was a 10th chapter or not. So, you’re about to hear the 9th and 10th chapter and I promise not to fly away. Uh, (laugh), and uh, you have to get in your mind what’s going on in this chapter. This chapter is about emptiness. It’s about the meaning of emptiness. Uh, when you look back on your life, you know, when you get old, you should get old, ok, and uh, when you look back on your life and you think about what happened in your life. Uh, if you can see emptiness directly in this life which is about 20 minutes or something. It takes about 20 minutes. The real Tonglam, direct experience of emptiness on the path of seeing. It takes about 20 minutes of a human life. I think you can count that, and you can count your first experience of real boddichitta which takes less than that- takes maybe 5 minutes, and then, uh, you can count if you ever have any tantric realizations, life of kirim and zogrim(?)- the two levels of tantra. Uh, they would take a kirim experience would take a few minutes and a togrim (?) experience would take a little bit longer. But, you could look back on your life after 60 or 70 years and say- those are the only times in my life that were important. You know, that few minutes in my life was the only important time in my life. Uh, the rest was just moving from one of those realizations to the other, you know, physically, and in time. But, if a Buddhist looks back at their life, at the end of their life, and if you can say: I’ve seen those things for half an hour or something, uh, that’s, that’s the only meaningful thing that ever happened in your life. You know, that, that’s a very profound statement, you know, that when you look back on a whole human life uh, from the time you were born that those were the only really important things that happened. Those were the most important things that happened. And you can easily see that, and you can easily uh compare to the rest of your life make thousands, millions of times more important than only the other days of your life- are those few minutes. And the whole purpose of being a Buddhist is to try to get to those few minutes, is to try to make those few minutes happen. If you can make them happen, you won’t suffer anymore. If you can make the direct perception of emptiness happen in this life, you see your future lives, you know uh which life it will all end. You see your own enlightenment. Uh, you see the Buddha. And you see all of these things directly. You know them. And no one can ever convince you anything else, you know. You know that you so them, and that’s, that’s the nature of that experience. And from then on, you will not have any major sufferings. From the moment you see emptiness directly there won’t be any major bad thing happen to you in your entire existence ever again. Uh, it can’t happen after that. You know major problems, you’ll get minor problems. You’ll have to die like six more times. (clear throat) But that’s all. And that’s nothing, ok, I mean, those are, that’s the power of that experience. If you reach it. Kirim or Tzorim. If you have those, uh, experiences, then you have the direct knowledge that in this life, very soon, you can become a complete Buddha. As, enter some kind of paradise. So really those are all that matters in your life. The rest is just logistical support. You see what I mean: eating, sleeping, friends, family, job, your body, uh, your mind. Everything else is just conditions for those to happen. And they don’t mean anything more than that, you know. If they can lead you to that experience then they had some meaning. And if they can’t, if you don’t get to one of those experiences, they probably didn’t have much meaning. Which is like a pitch for coming to this class, ok. This class for that, you know, the only reason for the ninth chapter is to try to get you to see emptiness directly. That’s what you’re here for. Uh, so so, and it’s very rare to hear the 9th chapter, and it’s very rare to hear it explained, uh, at all, so in the benefits I like that. So don’t don’t uh, it’s not, you’re not uh, this is not like one of those uh, they hand out those fliers around the city, I forget what they’re called- adult learning thing, annex thing- something like that. You know, like, this is not like how to write a good movie script or uh, a new yoga class, or or healthy living class, or. The point is not that. Just don’t think of this as a class. I mean, we call it a class- it’s not a class. If you get what’s going to happen what’s going to happen in the next 10 classes uh, you become a totally different kind of being on this planet and you will, and because of that experience you will not suffer in any major way again- period. I mean, it’s really like some kind of threshhold in your life if you can hear the 9th chapter. If you understand what it’s about. And if it leads you to see emptiness directly then you don’t need anything else in the world actually. And you can die happily. You know, and you will (laugh)ok. So don’t miss one of these classes, ok, uh, don’t don’t you know- there’s no other reason for your life really, you know, there’s nothing else in your life that matters uh, like emptiness. There isn’t anything. Uh, don’t kid yourself, ok. If you miss more than two, don’t come, OK? Uh, that’s a deal. I mean there has to be a certain energy in this room. And it has to be that people are committed to, to learning emptiness and to seeing emptiness. So, if you think you’re going to miss more than 2 classes then come on Friday night and there’s little lesson..ok? But people in this room now, if you stay, uh, don’t miss class, ok? And if you miss more than two, then as a point of honor, just stop and don’t come. And come back on Friday, you’re welcome to come on Friday, ok. But there has to be a certain level of energy in this class and a certain level of commitment. If you miss if you miss more than that then it means you don’t understand what we’re talking about at all. It means you don’t get it. And probably you could come on Friday night, Maybe in a few lifetimes you can get another chance, ok? Laugh. I’m not kiddin, ok?Uh, it’s a commitment. And and I’m not saying it for my benefit, you know, I, uh I’m just saying that in your life the things that happen; the events that come in your lifetime- very special opportunities compared to which you should cancel everything else. Where other things just don’t matter anymore. Even if they seem very very important. Uh, if you really know what’s going on. If you get that kind of event happening to you or that kind of opportunity, you should cancel everything. And just do that , you know. If it happens that something like that comes close to you, you should grab the opportunity and not even hesitate and cancel the other things. Even if they’re virtuous; even if they’re Dharma things. Uh, if you have an opportunity to understand these few things in your life. If you have an opportunity to experience them in your life then you should just cancel the other things, ok? Alright?

Uh, what does seeing emptiness do for you? What can it do for you? Uh, I’ll read you the definition, here, let me see. No more writing in my terrible handwriting (laugh). Now you have no excuse to uh, make your handwriting better, Ok, uh. Copy that. All the Tibetan I put up on the projector is on your homework, ok? So…..Um. By the way, this class is going to be a little tougher than the last one,ok? The 9th Chapter is hard. And, uh, I decided, I saw G.I.Jane the other day and uh, I got inspired by that drill sergeant, and uh, I’m going to kick a little but in this class. Uh, so, you gotta work hard. And don’t go home and think you’re not gonna work hard, because you have to work hard. And you’ll learn something. Cause if you don’t work hard you won’t learn anything, alright? I’m gonna make you work hard. Or you’ll leave.

They have this bell in the movie that you could ring if you were gonna give up, you know, Ah (laugh).

Say Dun (Dun) Kangshi (Kangshi) Numsu Du (Numsu Du), topay (topay) chima (chima) sopa (sopa) chopa (chopa) [all Tibetan here and hereafter I’m ot 100% sure of…]By the way you could do this in Tibetan track or you can do it in English track. Uh, if you do it in Tibetan track, you have to memorize everything that goes up on the board, ok? And you should, ok? You really should try. If you want to you can try to memorize just the English letters, alright, until you get to know your Tibetan letters. But you should really try, ok, if you’re on the boarder and you don’t know quite what to do, just do it. Ok, you have a lot better chance of seeing this emptiness in this life if you can learn Tibetan and read all the other scriptures about it, ok? Much better chance. If not, just for fun, and I don’t care about intellectually I don’t care. You know, if you, if there were hundreds of Lamas being nice today who could explain these things in English, and if all the books were already translated it wouldn’t matter. Uh, but there’s only about 10 good translations on this subject. There’s probably ten thousand books that exist on this subject. You gotta learn Tibetan. Don’t be lazy, just do it. Especially the people who are administering this class, ok, uh, so say: I don’t have to learn that because I’m making the announcements, so I’m uh doing the xeroxing, or I helped set up the altar. Uh, forget it. Of all the people here, you should be the best, ok? You should work the hardest. It means you’re gonna get a little less sleep for six weeks or something, ok? It’s no big deal. You will regret it later if you don’t do it. These classes will not last forever, you know. We are very luck right now. We have a place, we all have a human body that didn’t die yet, uh, you’re very lucky. (unclear)will not go on, uh, forever, so you have to take the chance when you have it, ok? Uh,

Dun means- in this case it means that thing- that object. Normally it means meaning. Uh,

Kangshi means which; that object which, Kangshi.

Numsu du topa means: if you perceive it directly. Numsu Du means directly. Numsudum.

Topa means to realize it or perceive it.

Topa- by that perception.

Chima means purity, everything in pure. Meaning your mental afflictions: jealousy, hatred, anger, desire are called impurities. And also eventually, the obstacle in your mind that prevents you from being a Buddha. Ok, there’s an obstacle in your mind that prevents you from being a Buddha. If you can remove that impurity you’d be able to see all the objects in the universe at one moment- in one moment. You’d be able to see everything in the universe. And you’d be able to appear anywhere in the universe that you want to appear, ok, and that’s, that’s Chima, meaning impurity is also removed. Chima means impurity.

Sopa means, I translate it as finished off. Like, completely finished. Ok, completely finished.

Sopa Chopa means it functions to do that. It does that. It does that thing. So how shall we translate this in English? Pause. I’ll try to do it the way I did it. Ummm: that object which is such that- that object which is such that if you realize it directly, it allows you to finish off every impurity, ok? It’s the object which if you realize it directly, allows you to finish off all your impurities.

That object is emptiness, ok? Another word for emptiness is ultimate reality. Ultimate reality. You can only perceive it directly in a deep deep state of meditation, with a lot of training, ok? And the whole experience of perceiveing it directly it takes in this life time for example, it could take like 20 years to get ready and then you see it, you know. Seeing takes about 20 minutes in deep meditation. In fact, if you can make contact with that reality it’s a separate reality; it’s a different reality, it’s a higher reality, ok? If you can make contact with that reality, it will stop in you every impure thing. You won’t, eventually it will stop your mortal body. You won’t have to die anymore. It will stop your bad thoughts even before that. You will not ever be able to have jealousy anymore. You won’t be able to get upset anymore. You won’t be able to have an un, un, a bad day or an unhappy thought- impossible, totally impossible. But the only way to do those things is to make contact with this higher reality- ultimate reality- emptiness. It’s a higher reality. And and to have any hope of reaching those things you must make contact with it. You must see it directly, ok? If you see it directly- if you make contact with it before you die, these things will start to happen. You know, your mental afflictions, your bad thoughts, your bad emotions will start to disappear one by one. Get less and less and less and then finally finish. Eventually, the body itself will start to change into a higher body, ok, into like a body of light. And that cannot- that’s all triggered by making contact with this thing. What does it mean to make contact with it? You know, do you touch it or something like that? No. In meditation, you make contact with it with your mind. With your mind, you make contact with ultimate reality. Just doing that for 20 minutes has the affect that for the next 7 lifetimes you can remove all of your bad thoughts, all of your suffering, and if you practice tantra, uh, in this lifetime, you can remove all those things, ok? In this lifetime you could remove all those bad parts of your mind and also your very body will start to change, and your body will change into a different body. And your world will change into a higher world, ok? And that’s all made possible by making contact with this object, ok, and that’s the definition. I mean, that’s the description of ultimate truth, ultimate reality. That thing which if you make contact with it, every impure part of your being will be changed, ok, so you must make contact with that. It’s only 20 minutes, it’s really weird, you know, 20 minutes in the presence of this object is enough to put you on the path. In the stream- it’s called stream mentor. It’s enough for you to enter this stream. And then you’re on your way out. It’s like on a conveyor belt or something. You don’t have a choice actually. From that moment on you’re on your way out. And that’s the direct perception of emptiness. This is the quality of ultimate reality; this is the quality of emptiness,ok, um. How does it do it, ok? How does it function that way? What happens after you see emptiness directly? Ok? That happens to be the first homework question.

Say: Ji ta (Ji ta), Ji ta (Ji ta).

Ji means destruction, destroyable.

Ta means view, view point.

It’s a way of looking at your world, ok, it’s a way of looking at your world. It’s called the view of destruction. The view of destruction, ok? What is it focusing uppon? If your name is Helen McGale it’s focusing on Helen McGale. Me and mine, ok, it’s focusing on me and mine, ok? It’s focusing on Helen McGale and Helen McGale’s arms, Helen McGale’s legs, Helen McGale’s mind, Helen McGale’s etcetera, ok? The five heaps of Helen McGale, ok? So it’s either focusing on you or your parts. Me or mine. What is it thinking about those parts? It’s thinking, those parts exist and this is difficult, ok, without my perceptions, ok. They don’t depend on my perceptions. They are not my projections. I am not creating this me and mine; they exist out there, on their own. They are not totally dependent on my own mind, ok? They have an existence of their own, even if my mind wasn’t there. Ok, they exist out there, on their own, whether or not I’m thinking about them. They exist out there on their own, whether or not I’m organizing them in a certain way, ok? No matter what I think about them, they would exist in any case. That’s false. Ok. And Ji Ta, the view of destruction is looking at those things and thinking: oh, they exist out there, on their own, independent of my mind. Independent of my thoughts. Independent of my projections. They exist out there on their own, ok? That’s the ultimate meaning of Ji Ta. Why is it called view of destruction- there’s two interpretations in the scripture. One says: what is it focusing on? Me and mine. Which is very destruction, ok?(laugh). You’re gonna die, ok, me and mine is gonna die, ok, however attached you are to your arm and your hand, you know, whether you like them, whether they’re wrinkly and hairy or or you know, whatever, you’re gonna lose them. They’re gonna be destroyed, ok? That’s one meaning of view of destruction.

What’s the other meaning? That the view itself is what? Destroyable. Thank goodness, right? I mean, you can destroy this view point. You can destroy this way of looking at things, and they you’ll be liberated. Why? This way of looking at things is the first link in the wheel of life- when you see that picture of the wheel of life and there’s these two blind guys walking along ignorant. Ignorance which causes suffering. The ignorances which causes every bad thing in your existence. From a taxi cab that you don’t like, upto your wife or whatever, you know.From the smallest thing upto the heaviest suffering you have- the suffering of cancer or AIDS, or something like that. Every version of suffering :mental and physical is caused by this way of looking at things. It’s all caused by thinking that about you or yours, your part. Why? Emm. It has mainly to do with feelings, ok? It has mainly to do with your feelings. The most important part of your body that causes trouble, the most important part of your mind that causes trouble is your feelings. I like this, this feels good. I don’t like this, this doesn’t feel good. And in order to get the things that you like, you hurt somebody. In order to avoid the things that you don’t like you hurt somebody. Because you think that’s the way to get what you want. Which is not true, ok? It’s not true, but it’s human nature. As long as you believe that this arm exists out there on it’s own, independent of your mind, you will believe that if you hurt someone, you can get what you want; that you can get what you want by hurting someone. I can get rid of the roaches in my apartment if I kill them. That’s like a classic wrong view.ok. Can you get rid of them by killing them? No. Will they appear to go away for a while? Yes. Is killing them what made them go away? No. Will they come back again? Of course, you killed them. You know what I mean? Or worst, ok. How does that all work? We have to talk about it, ok, we’ll talk about it. But when you do a bad deed to take care of this arm, a seed is planted in your mind. And then that seed grows into a new roach, ok? (laugh). The idea of a new roach. Seriously, no kidding (laugh). You have this feeling about you want your apartment clean, you know, so you kill these things, which is a bad deed. Because you think that’s how you get rid of them. And then the bad deed of doing that, of killing, of harming another being, is planted in your mind. And that causes you to see them again. Ok. If you didn’t think that way- if you stopped thinking that way, then you can, you can stop your suffering. And you can stop your bad thoughts, ok? That (unclear), stopping your bad thoughts is called: Nyande. Say Nyan De (Nyan De), Nyan De (Nyan De).

Nyande is an abbreviation for the Tibetan word for grief, uh, grief. Like if your mother died, the feeling that you’d have is Nyan, it means grief. And De means to go beyond that, to overcome that. So Nyan De means to overcome your grief. It’s a Tibetan word for Nirvana, ok? This is the Tibetan word for Nirvana. Nyan De.

Let’s run by again the connection between Jik Ta, this world view about this destroyable thing, and Nyan De, Nirvana. How do you go from seeing this arm as self existent out there on it’s own- How do you get to Nirvana from there? Ok? What’s the connection? And you have to understand that. Ok. Jik ta is the idea that this arm and the roaches in my apartment exist outside of my thoughts, outside of my projections. It is not put out there by my mind; they really exist. If I went to Kansas tomorrow those roaches would still be there, ok? If I die, those roaches would still be there. If all the beings in the world died, they would still be there. Ok? They exist outside of my projections, ok. That’s a wrong view. They are in my apartment because somebody put food somewhere, or they’re in there in my apartment because the guy next door is using poison and they’re all running over to my house. Or they’re in my apartment because my stupid friends used to leave sandwiches around the house and stuff like that. That’s not why they’re in your apartment, ok? That helped them get there, but the reason there’s a sandwich, and the reason your friend’s using poison, and the reason they decided to stay in your apartment is because you hurt something like that before. And now you have to suffer from them ok, it’s very interesting, ok? Jik Ta says those roaches came because of all those things. Wisdom says: yeah, they came because of those things, but who made the sandwich? Why did the guy eat the sandwich in my apartment? You know? And who made the roaches in the first place? How come there are roaches in NY, you know. They don’t exist in like, I was in L.A., I guess the part of L.A. I was in they don’t exist, ok. Uh, why? Why do they exist in one big city and not in another big city? It’s warmer out there? Ok, I mean why, you know? Because they’re coming from your mind. They’re a production of your mind. How that works we’ll talk about. Ok, But when you stop thinking that these things are self existing, you will stop killing the roaches. Because you’ll see that it’s a projection coming from your mind. And if you want more roaches, the best way to get them is kill them, ok Seriously. If you don’t see that, you don’t get it, yet, ok. By the way what would happen about everything, like for example: what’s the best way to get money? Give it away. Ok, that plants seeds in your mind that in the future you see more money. Ok, it works, it’s infallible, it’s….(unclear)later, ok?

I’ll catch you before the break, ok? How to get money? Give it away. How do you get rid of your roaches? Protect them. Ok? Rinpoche, our teacher, we have roaches, ok? Every night he would wake up at 1AM; he would go and put them in a cup carefully, and take them outside. For a year, you know, we have never had a roach in our house again. Seriously, you know. We had it very bad, you know. It’s by protecting that you get rid of them. It’s very interesting. It’s by loving your enemy that you can destroy him. Alright. If you don’t like an enemy, then just be nice to him, and he’ll go away or he’ll become your friend, ok. It’s very nice- it’s very nice. But by hurting them, you create more of them, ok. So if you get it, that’s the emptiness. If you get that those things are coming from your mind; once you get it, you’ll be able to get over your Ji Ta, your view of destruction. And then you’ll stop doing bad deeds. And when you stop doing bad deeds, your world cleans up. Your reality cleans up. Your body changes. You become healthier, happier. You meet- fewer bad things happen to you, and eventually you enter a Buddha paradise. So that’s the connection. If you can destroy this stupid mind, that says: all these things exist outside of my mind, ok. If you can destroy that and go to the other side that says: these things are coming from my own deed, what I did in the past, you know, this arm is being created by my good deeds or my bad deeds. Uh, then you can really make some progress. And then you can get rid of your bad thoughts, and you reach nirvana. And then you can eventually reach Buddhahood itself- enter a Buddha paradise. The arm will change. If you’re very very holy with your life, then the arm itself will start to change and you won’t be like this anymore. You won’t be stupid in the head, and you won’t be dead in the body, ok, seriously. And that’s the whole idea Buddhism. Buddhism is not to make you feel calm while you’re dying, ok? Uh, Buddhism is not to, you know, go around a happy face when a car hits you, you know, it’s not that, it really isn’t that. It’s to stop all those things, ok, permanently, forever. You won’t be in a world like that anymore. That’s why we’re here, ok. That’s the connection between seeing things as self existent, seeing things as existing on their own side, or, getting to nirvana- and getting to Buddhahood. That’s the connection; that’s your first homework question, ok?

How do you get rid of this destruction view, view of destruction? See emptiness. Understand the emptiness of this thing, ok? What happens when you get rid of that? You can clean up your mind and then eventually clean up your body, and you won’t suffer anymore, ok?

And clean up, by the way, you clean up all of New York, etcetera, ok, the whole geographical environment that you’re living will change, ok, and that’s the point.

Hmmm, that is G.I. Jane stuff! Let me see here, ok, the opening line of the 9th chapter. By the way, this chapter gets hard, ok? And just hang in there. In Tibet, in the monastery, there’s a custom, uh, we go to class, you know, 3, 4 hours a day, and then we go to bake. And the debate is like: (screams Tibetan debating words), you know, it goes like that. And if you don’t know Tibetan, it’s like, (laughter), and even if you know Tibetan, I mean, there is this Tibetan guy who, uh, called the police. And some of those monks are fighting, you know, uh, “you have to come quick”, you know. And they’re just shooting questions at you like that. And in the, and in the class it’s just about the same. Uh, but there’s a custom in Tibet that you just sit there. And even if you have no idea what’s going on, you sit there, and you ask for a blessing, you know, the words of a blessing. Someone is talking about that object which if you perceive it directly, you stop all suffering for yourself and other people. Someone is talking about that, so just sit there, you know. And people sit in those classes, you know. You can sit in the winter debates, there’s lots of people sitting there, you know (laughter), and they have no idea what’s going on, and. But after about a year or two you, you get it, you know, and then you start, you understand everything, you know. So what I’m saying is don’t get discouraged. This chapter is profound. (unclear). Hang in there, ok. I don’t care if you get 48s on your homework. You don’t get thrown out of this class for failing your homeworks, really. Uh, so stay, stick in there, you’ll learn a lot of things. If it wasn’t profound, uh, it wouldn’t be so interesting, ok? Uh, if it wasn’t a little difficult, it wouldn’t be so powerful. It’s very powerful and it’s a little difficult. So hang in there, ok? You get the blessing, ok. Alright.

By the way, the first thing that I mentioned about nirvana- there were some people in Tibet in the time, well, actually in the time of Shanti Deva, Master Shanti Deva also, who said: “You don’t have to see emptiness to get to nirvana. You need it to get to Buddhahood. But you don’t need it to get to nirvana.”

What’s the difference between Buddhahood and nirvana? When you get to Buddhahood, your mind can see every existing object. Your body changes completely into a body of light. And you can appear in any planet in the world simultaneously. Next to anyone you want to on any bus, on any planet. You can appear there, you know. You never know who’s next to you on the subway, ok? I mean, a Buddha, part of the point of getting to be a Buddha is that you can appear sitting next to- I mean, everyone who ever sat next to you on a bus in your life could have been a Buddha emanation. You don’t know. But when you become a Buddha, you get this ability to do these things, ok? That’s a lot different from nirvana. Nirvana is, is the point at which you are able to stop all your negative emotions; you don’t have any more negative emotions. That’s nirvana, ok? But both of them require one step before that. What’s that? You must make direct contact with ultimate reality. You must make direct contact with ultimate reality, ok.

So there were people in Gyaltsab Je’s time, the book we’re studying was written by Gyaltsab Je, student of Jetsong Kapa. And they said “oh, you need, you need to see emptiness directly to become a Buddha, but you don’t need to see it directly to reach nirvana.” And he said, come on, you need that power. You cannot remove your anger forever, or your jealousy forever, unless you see emptiness directly. It’s impossible. By the way, this is coming from a guy who just gave you about eight chapters of why these little tricks you can use to try to help remove your anger, and then when you get to the 9th chapter he says “by the way, they don’t work” (laugh).

You can reduce your anger; you can reduce your jealousy, uh. But until the time you make direct contact with ultimate reality, there’s no hope. You cannot remove anger and your other negative emotions. That’s nirvana, ok? That’s why he went through how to remove the view of destruction. Cause when you do, you can reach nirvana. You can reach Nirvana. You need it- you need to remove that to reach nirvana, and you must see emptiness directly to do that- to remove the view of destruction. That’s the connection, ok?

The next lines in the 9th chapter say “(Tibetan)” which means: all of these things that came before were said by the Buddha to be for the sake of wisdom. I’ll repeat that, ok? The opening lines of the 9th chapter say: All of this stuff that came before was spoken by the Buddha to be for the sake of wisdom.

Ok, what came before? I mean, basically, wisdom is number 6 of what? The 6th perfection, ok? 6 ways in which Boddhisattvas act, ok? 6 activities of all Bodisattvas. What are they quickly?

Giving. Yes, giving, like generosity, uh

Ethical way of life. You know, following a good way of life.

Patience. Which means not getting angry.

This one which means you like to do good things, ok? Like, you’re happy when you get a chance to do good things, ok?

Meditation. Call it meditation, ok?

Those are the 5 perfections that come before wisdom. And those 6 are the activities of a Bodisattva. That’s what this book is about; that’s how you get to be a Buddha,ok,

We’ll say them again:

Giving, ethical way of life, not getting angry, being happy to do good things, and then meditation. You need those five things.

So many Tibetan, uh, there was a debate even since India, what do these opening lines mean? When it says: everything that came before is for the sake of wisdom. And then, uh, some people said, “Oh, it’s referring to chapter 8. What was the subject of chapter 8? Meditation. Deep meditation.

Ok, why is that a good answer? (student replies)

Yeah, you cannot see emptiness directly. You cannot make that direct contact with ultimate reality. Which if you can do it for 20 minutes in this life- everything’s over. You know, you’re a stream (unclear). Everything is set. You know, you can’t screw up after that. You know, life is perfect after that. You know, you know everything about your future. You see it directly. If you can just do that for 20 minutes. You must go to see emptiness directly to make direct contact with that object- you must be able to get into a deep state of meditation. You must be able to get into this state of meditation. Ok, that’s why it makes sense to say- the 9th chapter, the opening lines, are talking about the fact that you must have chapter 8 to get to chapter 9, ok?

Which means, by the way, if you don’t meditate about an hour or two a day, you will never make contact with ultimate reality. And you will just die, like all the other people in the world are dying. Ok, hopeless, helpless dying.

If Buddhism is wrong, you just die. Ok? If Buddhism is right, you die and then you get to much worst things, ok? And very very long time. Ok? Uh, so that’s the choice you have, you know. Either make contact with ultimate reality or just die a normal death.

How do you make contact? You must be in deep meditation. You must- how do you get in deep meditation? You must practice about an hour or two a day. People come up to me, you know, “is it ok if I don’t meditate today?”

You know.(laugh) Yeah, if you want to die like that, I don’t care, you know, fine (laugh), you know, “Do I have to do my confession book today? Can I just skip the rest of the day?” Yeah, you know. If you want to, if you just want to die like that, I don’t, you know, that’s your privilege, right? That’s your right. Everybody has the right to suffer. Everybody has the right to die. You know, that’s your inaliable right, right? I can’t tell you, you know, not to suffer. If you want to suffer, suffer, you know. Don’t meditate tonight. You know, or wait till it’s too late so you have a lousy meditation, you know. Uh, you know, it’s your right. But it’s a stupid question. Anyway,

The other commentators have said “No no no, we’re talking about the other five perfections.”

The opening lines of the ninth chapter mean: you must have the other 5 perfections before you get to wisdom. Ok. The Buddha taught- the Buddha stated that the other five were for the sake of reaching wisdom, ok. So those are two ways of interpreting it.

Is way number 2, is way number one correct? Does it make sense? Yeah, it does. And Gyaltab Je says “not too bad, you can do it that way”

Which is a Myingat. What’s that Myingat? That the second way is better. When you say “Not too bad” it means, well, the second way is better. Which means, the opening lines of the 9th chapter mean: the whole schpeel that Master Shantideva gave upto this point was for the sake of getting you to wisdom. Ok, why do I talk about all of these perfections through this year? Because I’m trying to get you to the perfection of wisdom, ok. Now you get into a debate, and we’ll do that debate, and then we’ll take a break. Um, now people have said: Therefore, Master Shantideva thinks that you have to practice the other five perfections to see emptiness directly. Ok. . To perceive emptiness, or to understand emptiness, you must see the other five perfections- you must have the other five perfections come before. They say, Master Shantideva is saying: you can’t get to number six unless you do the other five. Unless you are generous, unless you live a good life, unless you don’t get angry, unless you’re happy about doing good things, and unless you have deep meditation. You can’t get to number six. You can’t have any understanding of emptiness. Is that correct? Wowww, ok. Some people say yes, some people say no. ehhh. Here’s the answer.

Jetsong Kapa used to have a memorizing contest with his friends. And, uh, I think he did like, I don’t remember exactly, I think it was a hundred pages one night. And, uh, so you can do a few lines, right? By the way, this is the longest one; you just happen to hit it early, ok? So don’t get scared, alright? You can’t really leave till the break anyway, if, if you provide. Again, you don’t have to do it in Tibetan, you can do it in English, alright? What I used to do in debating was, uh, I’d just pick out the main points. Forget all the “do” and “and” and “it” and “the” you know, you can reduce it to about four words that you really have to remember, ok? And if you find this class too demanding for you, come on Friday night, ok? But I don’t want to water the class down, ok? I want to make it a little GI Jane, alright. And you can do it. Ok, ready? Not quite. Ok.

Say LOPEN (lopen). Lopen means, it’s what I’ve been calling master. It’s a Chaga (?) in transcript. It means scholar. Master, scholar- master saint-master meditator, ok? Lopen. Master.

Shitso means Shanta Rakshita. I’ll spell it for you. Shanta Rakshita. Very famous Indian master of Buddhism. He talked about whether or not the 5 perfections have to come before you can understand emptiness, ok. So we’re quoting him. This is his position. Shantu, Master Shanta Rakshita.

TAR. Tar means: he said; according to him.

TONG YI. Tong yi means what? Emptiness. Ultimate reality, same thing.OK. Tong yi, ultimate reality.

TE SUM are the first two thirds of the procepts called TE SUM GUM. So I’d like to repeat it, ok? Te (te) Sum (sum) Gom (gom) Sum (sum). Te (te) Sum (sum) Gom (gom) Sum (sum).

Te means going to class and hearing about emptiness. Te means to hear. To learn, learning. Ok. Even if after the tenth class of this course you intellectually understand everything I talked about, which is unlikely, ok, it’s not enough. Te has to happen over and over and over again, throughout your life, every few months, you should be trying to get into a class about emptiness, ok. You should go again and again and again and again. Alright. Our heads are made of wood, and it takes a certain amount to sink in , ok. And this is recognizing Buddhist teaching theory. You know, it takes a certain amount of hours for it to reach the subconscious. You know, for it to really reach the inner core of your being, you have to hear it, frankly, several thousand hours of it. Ok.. (unclear) takes a lot of time. You have to sit there and sit there and sit there, and you have to hear it explained correctly and accurately many many hours, and then it will sink into your mind. That’s called TE.

Say “SUM” (sum). Sum means contemplating it. It means going home and thinking about it intellectually. You’re on the bus or you’re about to kill a roach in your house. Like the roaches are getting really bad and you remember this guy, “what, what was he talking about” and “why did he say that?” and “is it true or not?” and what, you know, you start wondering about it and thinking about it. That’s Sum. Sum means contemplation; thinking about what you TE, what you heard. Ok?

Gom which is coming up later, it’s not here, ok? Gom means meditation. Like you actually go into the state of meditation and you try to see emptiness either directly or indirectly, ok?

Can you perceive emptiness before the day that you make direct contact with it? Ya. You did while I was talking about it just now. During the last hour, you’ve had certain intellectual understandings of emptiness. You perceived emptiness intellectually very fuzzy, very dark, very incorrectly, but you perceived it. Ok? You had- when I say the word emptiness- if I talk about: Is my arm out there? You understood something. You have some kind of mental image about emptiness, ok? And when you go home tonight and think about it, uh, or the next time you kill a roach or something, uh, you’ll have another perception of emptiness, you’ll start to understand it more. Those are perceptions of emptiness. Is it the direct contact that takes you to nirvana and Buddhahood directly, fast? No. Because that’s SAD MUNDSUM, that it directly. That has to be direct. That has to be direct contact in deep meditation. But here we’re not talking about that.

KEE means: by the process of learning and contemplation.

(unclear Tibetan)..BEPA: is a fancy word for: Establish or to gain of clear understanding of something. Ok. You’re able to gain a clear understanding about emptiness.

JIN SOP. Jin Sop means: giving and the other four perfections, right? So it’s the first five. Jin Sop means giving and the other four. The first five perfections.

NGA means what? Five. Nga means five. Ok.

MUN DE DOP means: they come before, they come before.

MI GU means: they don’t have to. OK. This is Master Shantiva’s (?)position and it’s also accepted by all the great Lamas since then, and all the great Lamas before that. (Sneeze) Excuse me.

Ah, they don’t, you don’t have to do generosity, you don’t have to be Bodisattva moral, you don’t have to be perfectly avoiding anger, you don’t have to be perfectly joyful about good deeds, and you don’t have to be perfectly meditating as a Bodisattva activity to get an intellectual understanding about emptiness. I mean, anyone can come in this room and if they had half a brain, they can understand something about emptiness. Ah, so you don’t have to, you don’t have to go before for you to have a general understanding about emptiness, ok? That’s the first reason why those five do not have to go before you understand emptiness generally speaking.

I’m going to give you two more reasons. On you homework…3. OK, you have to give three reasons.

The first reason why you don’t need those other five perfections to see emptiness is that just to hear about it and to think about it, you don’t have to be a great generous person or anything like that.

For you to hear that word “emptiness” puts you above, above about a million other people in United States tonight. You have more good karma. Each person in this room has more good karma than about a million other people tonight. To hear the word “emptiness” come from someone’s mouth, you have more good karma already than about a million other people in America tonight. Period. Ok? Of course you need good karma to understand emptiness. But you don’t have to have those extraordinary Bodisattva activities. That’s the point, ok? You just need a few million years of good deeds, ok? Which you all have, ok? And which can wear out.

(snaps) About the time it takes the air to go between the hole. It’s a miracle that the air continues to go through these two little holes. If you think about it. Like for 40 years or 30 years, the air has managed to go through these holes a couple of times every minute. It’s amazing, ok? It doesn’t take anything to stop it, ok? The karma could wear out any minute. Somebody could choke on a cookie during the break, which you will be in about two minutes, ok? Uh…hope you don’t. We don’t have insurance for that, ok.

We’ll do one more and we’ll do the third one after this- fatal cookies.

I, I promise this is the longest part of the homework.

You’re probably thinking to yourself: if he keeps up this way, I’m probably going to have to spend 4, 5 hours studying this. That’s right, ok? (laugh). I’m trying to get you more TE. Alright? I’m trying to force you to, I’m trying trying to wrest away from your New York Times time. Stuff like that. So give up something for six weeks, ok? New York Times is a good choice. Ok. Stuff like that. A couple of movies. I, I studies Sanskrit, ah, I was an auditor, there were 60 people in the class and 3 of us were auditing and uh, the professor got up and said uh, “I’ve been in this university my whole life since I was 17 and now I’m 64 and a half and now I’m going to teach it the way I’ve always wanted to teach it, cause they can’t kick me out now” (laugh). He made us memorize many verses. And at the end there were three people left and it was the three auditors. Uh.

Say “TONG NI LA” (Tong Ni La), NI JUNG WE (Ni Jung We), NYONG WA (Nyong Wa), GYE WA (Gye Wa), LAAN (Laan) MUNDU (Mundu) DO (do) NIGU (nigu). OK

Tong Ni means: emptiness, we had it before. Ok. Tong Ni means emptiness.

Tong Ni La means: about emptiness. La means:about.

NYE GYE NOWA is a very difficult word, ok?

NYE means: mind.

GYE means: it changes your mind.

And NOWA means: an experience. Ok.

It means a deep, uh, understanding and experience of emptiness. A deep spiritual understanding and experience of emptiness. But not directly, ok? It’s where a deep understanding and a deep conviction in emptiness, but not yet of direct perception; not yet that direct contact. Like it’s just that you have a very very deep understanding of it. So deep that you’re certain about it and you know it’s true. Something like that. But you haven’t yet made direct contact with it. Like your mind’s been transformed by your understanding of it, and you have a deep conviction of it- about it. You understand it very deeply. But you haven’t yet made direct contact with it, ok?


KYEWA means to develop that.

LA means: for that also.

And then the rest is the same as the last one. The rest is the same.

VUNDU DOME GOME: those five do not have to come before. Ok?

For you to have a profound conviction, uh, profound understanding, spiritual understanding of emptiness, they do not have to come before, ok? You do not have to engage in those Bodisattva activities before.

We’ll do number three, it’s real short.


Kotsu shor, what’s Kotsu shor? Ya, anybody salivating? No. OK.

OK say “NYEN RANG” (nyen rang) KEE (kee) TONG NGI(tong ngi) TOPE (TOPE) KONG CHUN(kong chun) KEE (kee) FAK TONG(fak tong) NYANG (nyang) KAY (kay). Ok

Nyen Rang means: two kinds of lower lever Buddhist practitioners that had not reached Bodisattvas tracks yet. They are not interested in the Bodisattva track yet, ok, Hinayana.

Nyen means listen. These are people who can listen to all this stuff about saving all sentient beings. And they can even report it to others. But they can’t do it themselves, so they’re called : Nyen. Nyen means they can listen, listeners. They’re not interested in saving all people yet. But they want to be a good Buddhist, ok. And they can reach nirvana, and they can see emptiness, ok, But they can’t reach Buddhahood yet. That’s called nyen. Shravaka in sanskrit

Rang means: self made Buddhas. They’re not self made and they’re not Buddhist. But they’re called self-made Buddhas. These are also people on a lower track who want to reach nirvana but they’re not interested in saving all sentient beings yet, ok? Why are they called self-made Buddhas? They don’t have a teacher in this life. They’re running off their good karma of their past life of meeting millions of teachers before. In this life, without a direct teacher, they can achieve their goal. What is their goal? Just nirvana. They’re not interested in helping all sentient beings, ok. Necessarily, ok. Uh,

Tong ngi tope means: they do perceive emptiness. How? Kong Chun. Kong Chun means: through that third step in the learning process. What was the first step? Hearing a lot in class- many many hours. What’s the second step? Thinking about it when you get home. What was the third step? Meditating on it. Now we got to the third step. These people have a meditational understanding of emptiness, ok. They are perceiving emptiness in meditation. They have a thing called: fak tong.

Fak Tong means: one of the highest developments of wisdom. Where, we have the definition in the last class. But it’s a very great understanding and perception of emptiness. It means: special vision, special vision, special insight. Ok, fak tong. Fak tong.

Nyang Kay means: even they can develop that, ok? What’s the point? What’s the point of this third one? Even people who have no interest in saving all other beings- they don’t care about Bodisattva stuff- they can see emptiness, they can see emptiness. Now what are these three statements trying to prove. What were they again? Let’s go through the three, then I really will let you have a cookie. Somebody came up and said, what? You can’t , you can’t see emptiness unless you do those other five perfections. You can’t, ok, unless you are great at giving, morality, etcetera- Bodisattva way. You can’t see emptiness. And Master Shanti Deva says: wrong on three accounts, wrong on three accounts. First of all, any fool that walked in this room and had an ear, could hear what I’m saying….

(unclear) Oh, and you can even have a very deep understanding, I mean, not just be a schmuck off the street, you know. You can be a very dedicated Dharma student, have a deep deep understanding of emptiness. Deep so much, that you’re convinced that it’s truth, that your mind is changed completely. But even then you don’t need to have the five perceptions of Bodisattvas for that. You can do it without it, ok, although you need other virtues. And thirdly, you can be on a completely other track. You can be on a Hinayana track. You don’t care about saving all sentient beings. But you can see emptiness directly. They see emptiness directly, and they don’t practice all the perfections, ok. What’s that mean? It means the opening lines of the ninth chapter, by the way, we’re two lines out of a hundred pages we’ve finished, ok? You’re making great progress. Uh, when they say: the Buddha said all those other things were for the sake of wisdom. Was he talking about the five perfections? Not if you take wisdom to just be the direct perception of emptiness. You don’t need the other five perfections to see emptiness directly, ok. You don’t need to be a Bodisattva to see emptiness directly; you can do it without it. So what’s he mean? We’ll do that after the break, ok? So take a break for like ten minutes. We’re gonna run till nine thirty, so just get used to it, ok? After you finish writing, we’ll do something else. I still have to give you the punch line from the last one, right? For why, why do the opening lines say that all that came before was spoken to be for wisdom? And Master Shantideva and Gyaltsa Je said: look, we’re talking about the wisdom of a Buddha. We’re talking about omniscience. We’re talking about the ability to close your eyes and see every existing object in the universe in one moment- that ever was, is or will be. That’s pretty cool, ok? To close your eyes and be able to see every thought that every being ever had, is having now, or will have; to see everything that ever existed, or will exist, or that exist now. In one moment, to be able to do that, is the Buddha state of mind. That’s an enlightened state of mind. Now, if you want to get that, you have to have the other five perfections. Ok? And that’s the point. You can get rid of your mental afflictions, you can get rid of your jealousy, desire, etcetera, without those five perfections. But you can not reach that state of mind which is called : the ending of the obstacles through omniscience, ok? You’re having your mind now, some kind of block, mental block. Your mind is capable of perceiveing every object in the universe, but it has some kind of block right now. When you practice those five perfections and get to wisdom, you can remove that block. It’s very cool, it’s very interesting. You know, every mind sitting in this place has the ability to see everything in the universe. But something’s blocking you, ok, there’s a mental block which you have. To remove that block, you must practice those five, and then practice the perfection of wisdom. And that’s what Master Shantideva meant when he said: the other five, all of the other five are aimed at getting number six. You see, the other five are aimed at getting number six, in the form of omniscience. By the way, is a Buddha omnipotent? No way. Prove it. I’m suffering. OK. It doesn’t take anything more than that. Oh, but he could be a sadist, right? I mean, I’m suffering, he could stop it but he doesn’t stop it. You know, which is ridiculous. Buddhas also have all compassion. So if the Buddha were omnipotent, I wouldn’t be suffering. If I am suffering, it means a Buddha can’t do everything. Does that mean a Buddha doesn’t know everything? Not at all. The Buddha does know everything. The Buddha can’t do everything. Ok, because your suffering was created by your bad deeds. And it’s a projection coming from your mind, not his mind, or her mind. So it’s up to you to stop it. And he can’t, or she can’t. She can help you, he can help you, but they can’t, they can’t do it for you, ok? Or they would have already and we wouldn’t be here, in New York City, in 1997, with all the unpleasant things here, you know, ok. It just wouldn’t exist, alright? Alright, Uh, having introduced the concept of emptiness, now Master Shantideva will start to teach you how to see it directly. Which is the whole point of this class. To see it directly, you have to first get in your mind. And this is your meditation assignment for this week, it’s on your homework, ok. You have to be able to see in your mind roughly, what is ultimate reality, and what is not ultimate reality. You have to see in your mind, you have to be able to close your eyes and say: ok, ultimate reality probably looks like that. Have you seen it directly yet? Maybe not. Do you even understand it very clearly? Maybe not. But roughly, I think ultimate reality must be like that. And then the opposite must be like something else, you know. So mentally, this week, you assignment, you know, is to try to in your mind divide between: oh, this is probably ultimate reality, and this is the other reality, ok, the lower reality, ok. The lower reality is called: KUN ZOLT (kun zolt) KUN ZOLT (kun zolt). By the way, these are the two lines that come next, and these are where Master Shantideva explains the two realities, ok? He starts to talk about the two realities. One of them is called Kun Zolt. You have been in kun zolt reality your whole life, ok? Unless you are a very high being, unless you have seen emptiness directly, and I don’t know who in this room has seen emptiness directly, ok, I can’t tell by looking at your face if you’ve seen emptiness directly. You have to be careful, ok? But if you’re not one of those people, ok. (some one from audience- unclear) No, what I said when I said that was that from their description of their experience, you can tell it. If you’ve already seen it yourself, you can tell with certainty if they’ve seen it or not. If they talk for two minutes, and they’re not describing certain things, it’s definite that they didn’t see emptiness directly, ok? If you’ve seen it directly, you could interview them and if they would tell you. Cuase these tantric deities are very greasy, you know. And sometimes they don’t admit to anything, right… uh. So anyway, you don’t know. But suppose you haven’t, then your whole life has been spent in kun zop reality. Kun zop means: deceptive, false, ok. Deceptive reality, ok? False reality. So there’s ultimate reality, and there’s false reality. Ultimate reality is called: DUN DUM. Say DUN DUM DIEM BA, ok? Say: DUN DUM (dun dum)DIEM BA (diem ba), DUN DUM (dun dum)DIEM BA (diem ba)

The word for ultimate reality in Tibetan, is ultimate truth. Diem ba means truth. Dun dum diem ba means ultimate truth, ok? The word in Tibetan for ultimate reality is ultimate truth.

The word for what I call Kun Zup or deceptive, is deceptive truth. OK? Deceptive truth, ok? This pen is deceptive truth. This arm is deceptive truth. This room is deceptive truth. Your body is deceptive truth, and your mind is deceptive truth. And if you’re not, if you haven’t seen emptiness directly, you have spent your whole life in a world of lies, in a world of illusion. You’ve never seen anything correctly. You’re living in a deceptive reality, ok? The deceptive truth.

Why do they call it truth? Why do they call it truth? Why don’t they just call it deceptive reality? You gotta get used to that, ok. They talk about the two truths. It means the two realities. So why do they call them truths? You know, by the way, two truths, when I say two truths, you have to think: oh, he’s talking about the two realities. One of them I’ve been in my whole life. The other one, if I could make direct contact with it for 20 minutes, I would be out of here, you know? I’d be in a different place all together, you know. And what’s he talking about? What, when he talks about two truths, you have to think: oh, he’s talking about those two realities. Which one? Oh, the deceptive one I’ve been in my whole life, and the ultimate one, if I could touch it directly, if I could make direct contact with it, then it would change me forever. And I would be, I would see all my future lives, I would see my future enlightenment, I would meet the Buddha, etcetera. Ok, 16 wonderful things happen to you called the: 4 noble truths. That’s what 4 noble truths mean, ok. Anyway, but in Buddhist philosophy, they’re called the two truths, ok.. Why is, if I say deceptive reality which is all around you, everything about you, and everything in this room is deceptive reality, why do they call it truth? Why do they give it such a fancy name if it’s a lie. It’s like saying, you know, true lies. Why give it credit, call it deceptive? Yeah(to student). Say it again? Uh, Scott said because it functions, it works. What were you gonna say? Because it feels so real. And he said: because it’s not non-existent. That’s three interesting ideas. Ok, one person said: it’s true because it works. And that’s true, the first one, that’s not why it’s called truth, but it’s not, it’s an interesting idea, ok? It does work. The pen works, your shirt works, your mind works, your legs work, they’re gonna take you out the door when I finally let you go, ok? I mean, everything works. Something deceptive about, but it works ok? So that’s not bad. Uh, to say it’s truth because it exists, that’s not too bad either. I mean, it does exist, right? You can’t say it doesn’t exist. You go stand in front of a deceptive truth car and see if it breaks your deceptive truth leg, and gives you deceptive truth pain in the hospital. And you get a deceptive truth bill, you know (laughter). You know what I mean? It works, it really does work. There maybe something funny about it, but it works, alright? Uh, actually Jay’s answer is the correct one, ok? Uh, it’s called truth. By the way, where do they find it? Uh, we we had some special books input, we’er doing this computer project, we’re putting hundreds of thousands of pictures (unclear). We just got a shipment yesterday, so I was checking it, to see if it said anything about the two truths. And it’s Te Jong Rinpoche’s collective works, which is Rinpoche’s root Lama and the teacher of the current Dalai Lama. And uh, there it is, beautiful, you know, the two truths, here’s why they’re called truths, you know. And, uh, deceptive truth is, so now it’s in your homework already. Uh, so you can credit all those people working in the basement at 5th Street, in the dun.., in the basement. In the dungeon, yeah, but anyway, uh, it says: deceptive truth is called truth um, because you think it’s true. It seems to be true to a mind which is wrong. It seems to be true to a mind which is wrong. And that why it’s called, that’s why deceptive reality is called deceptive truth. It’s a fancy way of saying: it’s a lie, ok? (laugh). It’s true to a mind that doesn’t understand things correctly. You know, pink two headed elephants are truth to a very drunk person. It’s like saying that, ok. That mind, your state of mind now is wrong, all the time. What you see doesn’t exist the way you think it does, you know. You think those roaches exist from their side, so you kill them because you want to get rid of them. But you don’t understand that why they’re there has nothing to do with killing them or not killing them. And if you kill them, it’s the best way to get more. You just can’t see that. You look at a roach, you don’t think that. It wasn’t like the first cave man that was, you know, “wo oh oh” and he’d look at something to kill, and he’d say: oh, wait, it’s empty, it’s a projection of my own mind, you know. Don’t kill it, you know. We started killing, cause it looked like it made food. Does it make food to kill? No, why? Because it doesn’t make work all the time. It’s very interesting. I mean, if you really found a way to make food, it should work every time. Ok, every time you go out to kill something, you should kill something. And every time you kill something, you should be able to eat it. If killing made food, then killing would always make food, because killing is the cause of food. But it doesn’t work every time, so it’s not the cause, Wake Up! You know, come one, dude, can’t you see that? If lying was the cause of getting money, then everybody who lied would get money. But it only works part of the time, so that’s not why you get money; something else is going on. Ok. If you kill all the roaches, sometimes they go away, and sometimes they don’t go away. So it’s obviously not the way to get rid of them. Wake up, you know, wake up, this is causing all the suffering in the world is that. It’s very interesting. It’s very terrible. And it’s obvious that it doesn’t work. You know, if you had half a brain, you could see it doesn’t work, you know. Invest with risk or invest considerably, which is better? Neither one, obviously, you know. Obviously. It’s generosity, always works. Now, how are you going to confirm that is another matter, ok? We’ll get to that, we’ll talk about that. Anyway, so, it seems to be in a certain way and it’s not like that. But your mind is always in the background of a human mind, until you see emptiness directly, you believe in that thing about the roaches. You know, you believe it, and that’s a wrong idea. And that’s why that reality is called a lie. Is it a lie from its own side? No. If you put a Buddha in a room and showed him the same roach, would he see deceptive things? Would it fool him? No, ok. Deceptive reality means: deceives the mind of stupid people. You see what I mean? Like a Buddha can walk in a room and see the roaches and say: Oh, you want to get rid of them? Uh, take care of them, you know. Uh, he is not deceived by the appearance. So deceptive reality is named truth because it seems to be true to people who haven’t understood things yet. And that’s where it gets its name from. Does it mean when the Buddha sees this pen, that he doesn’t understand that it doesn’t come from a pen factory, it comes from your good karma. If you like all the stuff I’m writing. If you don’t like the stuff I write, this pen came from your bad karma. And it’s possible that one pen could come from one person’s good karma and one person’s bad karma, no problem. Because two people in this room, one could feel like: I wish that pen would run out of ink now. And the other one could think: I hope, I hope he writes more, ok? Yeah (to student). I’m sorry, say it again. (reaction:) Uh, actually, if he saw a roach, he would still get incredible bliss. He or she would have an incredible feeling of bliss from this. I mean, that’s a quality of Buddhahood. They might see a roach, actually not. They would see the roach as a tenth level Bodisattva. Seriously, ok. That’s true. So, what’s the homework today, ummm? That’s, name the two truths: deceptive truth and ultimate truth. Dun dum diem ba and Kun Zup diem ba. Are they actually two different kinds of truth? By the way, why is ultimate truth called truth? For a different reason, right? Deceptive truth is called truth, this is Tse Dong Rinpoche, ok, this is ACIP data shipment yesterday. Uh, why is it called uh, one of our sponsors is here tonight, so I’m just trying to advertise it. Uh, why is it called deceptive truth? Because it seems to be true to a mind which is mistaken. Why is ultimate truth called truth? Because it’s ultimate reality. It is the ultimate truth. It is the higher reality. And if you make contact with it for 20 minutes, everything is over. Ok. So one is called truth for one reason, because it seems to be true to a stupid in the head- all of us. And the other one is called truth because it really is ultimate reality, ok. Are they actually two different kinds of truth? Is, is a deceptive truth and ultimate truth, are these the two great divisions of truth itself? I ask you? No, one is a lie. One is false. Ok. So don’t write that on the homework. Are they the difference between the two kinds of truths? No. If not, why are they called truths? Well, one of them is called truth because to a mistaken mind, to ignorance, to JikTa, to the view of destruction, it seems to be true, although it’s not. It seems to be that if you kill those roaches, you can get rid of them. It seems to be that way, so it’s called truth. Why is it called truth, why is ultimate truth called truth? Because it really is true. It is, it is ultimate reality, ok. What object is divided into the two truths? If I say: this thing has two divisions: deceptive reality and ultimate reality, what is this thing? All existence, ok? Everything that exists is either on one side or the other. Everything that exists in the universe is either one reality or the other reality .It’s either the lower reality or the higher reality, ok? That’s all. Are we dividing truth into tow kinds of truth? No, we are dividing existence itself. We are dividing reality itself into two kinds of reality. Higher reality and a lower reality. What’s the higher reality? Ultimate reality. What’s the lower reality? Deceptive, so called lying truth. Ok, like that, alright? And those are the two realities. One more point and then, I’ll come to you, and then we’re done actually. I mean, you have been in the lying reality for your whole life. According to the highest schools of Buddhism: Madre Mika Posem Bika, you have never had a correct perception in your entire life, ok? You have, in the back of your mind believed that thing about the roaches, about every single object you’ve ever looked at, and you look at 65 objects per (snap) finger snaps. According to Buddhism, you have 65 separate perceptions every finger snap. 65 times one second times 60 seconds times 60 inutes times 24 hours, times, 7 days, times 52 weeks times how ever many years you’ve been alive, that many wrong perceptions you’ve had. Ok, every one was mistaken. And on the day you make contact with ultimate reality,, you will understand that. You say, my God, that was a lot of Boopers (?)(laughter) Seriously, I mean, it’s one of the four noble truths. You, you see it. So that is what was wrong, that’s what I was doing, ok? By the way, the ironic thing is that when you come out of seeing emptiness directly, you go back to seeing things wrong. Seriously, until you reach nirvana. But you know what’ s going on, you know you’re doing it, that’s a bid difference, ok? That’s what the (unclear) is all about. Until you ge to nirvana, you’re trying to get rid of that tendency. At least you know you’re crazy. There’s a difference between being crazy, and knowing you’re crazy, right? Alright, big difference. If after your see emptiness directly, you know you’re making a mistake, ok, but you still do it, you can’t help yourself, ok. And then you’re trying to get over that. Ok, did you have, I’ll answer a few questions and then we’ll try to stop within about 6, 7 minutes.

(student- unclear) Everything belongs to one or the other.

Yeah, yeah, Robin said a true point, and in fact it’s the next debate in this, in Master Shantideva’s text. Every object in the world possesses both kinds of reality, ok? Every object in the world possesses both kinds of reality. For example, this pen has the quality of appearing to be out here, independent o f your mind, and that’s a deceptive truth reality. But it also has a reality of not being that way in reality. And that’s it’s ultimate reality. In other words, every object in the universe has it’s own emptiness. You have to get used to that. Ok, every object in the world has the fact, that it’s not not the projection . You’ll get used to that. Ok, we’ll go through that later, I didn’t want ot get into it just yet. But, every object has both realities. There’s a famous saying in Madre Micha’s(unclear): if you took away one reality, the other one would have to be. It’s a big debate, you know. But if you took away this reality, there wouldn’t be any ultimate reality, cause ultimate reality is a quality of each object in this room. How many emptinesses are there around you? How many ultimate realities? We’re trying to make 20 minutes contact with this guy, called ultimate reality. How many available guys are there around you? I mean, every hair of Dr. Syche’s stubble has it’s own emptiness, you see? Every object in this room. Every scratch on the wood, has its own emptiness. You are surrounded by ultimate realities. Up to the (unclear) you know, you haven’t ever seen one of them directly. If you could ever see one of them for 20 minutes, you’d be out of here. But it’s like a big wall of pure diamonds, you can’t see it. It’s like a clear wall of perfect crystal. You can’t see it, it’s around you all the time. You live in it, you swim in it, and you can’t see it. It’s pretty weird, ok?

Yeah (student asks a question). I love that question. They always put like some tantric deities in the class and they ask the questions I forgot to cover. Um, some people call deceptive truth uh, relative truth. That’s just a lousy translation and I’m not ashamed to say it. It’s a crummy translation. The word has nothing to do with relative. Dop means fake. Kun Zop means fake. Lie, false,ok? It’s relative, I don’t know where they got it. You know, if anything is relative, emptiness is relative, ok. Because it’s dependently originating, but that’s another question. Ok. Lousy translation. I don’t know where they got it. You know. Maybe it’s the opposite of ultimate in some peoples’ minds? Yeah, yeah.

Yeah (student). It’s because you have what? (student) Right, ah, Fran said: suppose you come out of the direct experience of ultimate reality, and I just said: you’re still seeing things wrong but at least you know you’re seeing things wrong. Um, it’s the understanding that builds over the next 7 lifetimes, about what you saw, that allows you to eliminate your mental afflictions. Are you able to stop bad karma immediately? Not at all. It is not a TONG PANG (tong pang) TONG PANG (tong pang). Tong pang means: something you eliminate immediately when you see emptiness directly, and you will never have it again. And there’s only 2 or 3 of them. One is doubt. You will never doubt Buddhism again. You know, frankly, Buddhism is the only true religion. Sorry, you know. And you will see it directly; you will meet a Buddha. You will see your future life, you will see emptiness. You will see that you’re going to be enlightened. All those books that are being typed in by those poor monks are absolutely, every letter, is true. You know, and on that day you confirm it. And you never doubt anything about it again. You will never wonder about it again. You will never have the least question in your mind again. You will see it all with your own eyes, and you know that you’re seeing it, that’s another thing. So there’s no doubt. By the way, I’m not putting down other faiths- they’re fantastic, they bring great happiness to the world, they’re wonderful, you know. That was a joke, ok? Uh, it was true, actually, it really is true, but what I’m saying is that (laughter) No, I’m not making a joke. The other thing- morality, and the faith and those things is fantastic, they have kept the world together from blowing out for many years. Um, but what I’m saying: on that day you will confirm every single thing that I’m talking about. Directly, yourself. And you cannot doubt it again. What’s another one? What’s another thing you eliminate on that day? You can never believe that things are the way they look again, ok. They may look that way again, but you don’t believe yourself anymore. You know emptiness is correct. You know this is an illusion. You can never believe in it that way again. You can never really believe that the roaches exist from their side and not from your mind. And you can never really again kill them as happily as you used to. Will you still kill them? Yes, because you haven’t overcome your mental afflictions yet. But at least you know you’re wrong, you know. But you still have this impo, impotent from your past. But you will still do bad deeds. Bad deeds are not stopped at seeing emptiness. They slow down immensely, and then you have to use emptiness to get rid of them. The last thing you stop forever is believing that cutting yourself or doing some kind of suffering thing could be a spiritual practice. After that, you know you have to take good care of yourself. You know that your body is very important. This is a lousy, crummy, mortal body and you need it. So, and so after that, you take good care of it. You know, you don’t believe that it’s a spiritual practice to starve it, or to beat it, or to get it cold, or something like that. It’s called: (Tibetan). You get rid of that forever. But you don’t get rid of bad deeds forever, at that point, ok? You could still, because of the incidences of your past still collect bad karma. Does it go off? Does it create new lifetimes? No. Will it ever flower? No. Very cool. That’s another story.

Yeah (student). She says: uh, if you say, when you become a Buddha you see all the things of the three times, every object in the universe. But everything is your projection, how can you see every object in the universe? Well, guess what? Every object in the world, in the universe, is your projection and you see it. And by the way, you’ll be sitting there and saying: oh, I’m seeing this roach as a 10th level Bodisattva. And that’s because I was so good for so many years back in NYC, when after that class I didn’t hurt them anymore. That’s cool. It’s all a projection of my mind, and I really like it. You know. Deceptive reality works. You can get run over by a deceptive reality taxi cab, but you can also sit there and enjoy your deceptive reality Buddha paradise, you know. And you know he made it. And you can just sit there and be proud of it. You know, that’s ok, no contradiction.

(student). That’s a very difficult question. She says: can you see the suffering of other beings, because you can’t see anything bad, right? You can see that they are projecting suffering, got it? You see what I mean? I can look at a person and say: tantric deity, nice to meet you. They can be experiencing themselves as a miserable person. You see what I mean? No contradiction at all, because if they were not empty that couldn’t happen. Because they are empty, everything is possible. Ok, that proves why you can reach a Buddha paradise, by the way. And that’s cool. And that proves why one person in the room could be knocking on the door of a Buddha paradise, and everybody else is saying: this guy is crazy, this guy acts weird. You know, I don’t know what’s wrong with this guy. You know what I mean? Very possible. Completely possible, you know. In fact, it would probably look like that, right? Uh, it’s anyway like that, you know what I mean? Ok. We’ll stop, uh, pretty auspicious place to stop, you got something better? (laughter). No, we have like two minutes, go ahead.

Yeah, I’m sorry, that’s another, that’s another tantric deity there. Um.


Kun zop means that deceptive truth, which you now know means: reality as a, as a plain old screwed up mind sees it, ok. Kunzop dong means: and.

Mee is a filler to make meter, ok?

Dun Dum means: ultimate reality, ultimate truth.

Dane is a colon. So what he’s saying is: deceptive truth, and ultimate truth-

De Me: these, these-

Demba Ngi. Demba means truth, meaning, reality, right? One is called truth because to a screwed up state of mind it looks true. One is called truth because to an enlightened state of mind, or to a (unclear) state of mind, it’s true. Ok.

Ngi means: those two.

Ngi Sede means: we accept two truths. We believe there are two truths. We insist there are two truths, ok.

De means: I agree, I want, or that’s my position. Ok?

Um, let me make sure I covered all the homework.

There’s uh, I ask you for some root text which you’ll find in your reading, and that’s it, you’re free. I’m out of time almost, ok?

Again, I ask you this: this is a very profound chapter. It’s gonna get heavier, ok? Hang in there. It’s an extremely good opportunity. It’s basically, in my mind, I mean, you can believe me or not. You basically have a choice of dying a regular old lousy, and everything that you don’t come to this class for, you lose anyway. Or come to this class, and see if this stuff works, you know? See if it works. I say it works. And I say that if you, if you learn it, you’ll see that it works. And you can try it, and it’ll work. And these things will really start to happen to you, ok? You can do it, uh. You gotta put in some effort. If it was that easy, you probably would have already done it, ok? Uh, and if it was that obvious, somebody would have taught it to you already. Uh, but it didn’t happen yet, and you’re still suffering. And, uh, you gottta put in some effort. So don’t be wimpy, ok. And don’t say, don’t let the lazy mind take over and say: oh, 3, 4 hours of studying these weird scribbles, you know. Uh, I’m busy today. Forget it! You know, the busy thing you’re doing is just death, you know. You’ll just die, you won’t mean anything. It’ll be in that huge pile called: worthless days of your life. And then there’ll be this tiny little precious box of the 20 or 30 minutes of your life that really meant something, and you have to get to that deep experience. You can do it, but you have to put some effort into it, ok? And I’m not gonna make it easier. Cause I want to give you what you need to know. Uh, I could make it really general, and mushy, and uh, nobody would perceive ultimate reality, you know. So we’re gonna go for that, alright? So, buckle down and uh, don’t get wimpy, ok? Alright, uh.

Punsok’s gonna do a prayer.


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