Buddhism is peaceful?

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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Tom » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:32 pm

Okay, I guess those are the documents then. I sort of expected more.  I still am a little hesitant to jump from  (1) wild claims about the superiority of one's own sect and the faults of others, to (2) the persecution of another sect and the physical destruction of monasteries, etc.  Even, Tsongkhapa says things like, "those who think that with emptiness there is no functioning and functioning no emptiness will fall into a terrifying abyss."

However,  I am no "Pabongkha supporter"… I have read in quite a few biographies accounts of monasteries being sacked in Pabongkha's name. At the moment I am translating documents about the history and lineage for one of my Lamas (Kagyu) and there are huge gaps because the monastery was destroyed by Gelugpas, and what has been lost is just irreplaceable. I have visited the rebuilt monastery in Tibet and seen the ruins (also due to the events of 1959) - it is tragic and shameful.

I personally find it hard to be convinced that it was not Pabongkha, but it was his secretary that gave such orders, or that it was out-of-control fanatics that did the damage - but that is just pure conjecture on my part so please ignore, Caz et. al. I understand that Pabongkha is a lineage lama to you guys and you may well be Vajrayana practitioners and committed to a certain view and so I get it and respect that.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Tom » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:49 pm

I feel a bit bad as my Tsongkhapa quote was a bit of a cheap shot and I stretched the meaning of the Tibetan however anyone interested in Tsongkhapa going after the other sects of his day should read his: དགེ་སྦྱོར་གྱི་གནད་ལ་དྲི་བ་སྙན་བསྐུལ་བ་ལྷག་བསམ་རབ་དཀར།
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:14 pm

I wasgoing to say in a month or two when I have another laptop and software reinstalled I would take another crack at it. But honestly I have other challenges at the moment and sectarianism is something I find very upsetting. So once things are up and running I will start on the Vinaya texts rather than Pabongkhapa, people's minds are made up anyway. Faith scares me, though, when it involves a refusal to be objective because of affiliation. It really scares me.

Everytime this can of worms is opened it makes me feel a little depressed actually. So many sad issues are connected to this whole mess, and people are so invested they put their discernment aside.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Tom » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:35 am

JKhedrup wrote:I wasgoing to say in a month or two when I have another laptop and software reinstalled I would take another crack at it. But honestly I have other challenges at the moment and sectarianism is something I find very upsetting. So once things are up and running I will start on the Vinaya texts rather than Pabongkhapa, people's minds are made up anyway. Faith scares me, though, when it involves a refusal to be objective because of affiliation. It really scares me.

Everytime this can of worms is opened it makes me feel a little depressed actually. So many sad issues are connected to this whole mess, and people are so invested they put their discernment aside.


To be honest I am not sure it is worth it Venerable. I have had a very very quick flick through the volume and nothing stood out as distinct from what we have already seen and I have spent a little time with a few interesting letters (btw it is not uncommon to have private letters in a sung bum. I have even seen letters received by a Lama included in his sung bum). As I began going through the text I started thinking, say we find the smoking gun - then what?

Put another way, do you have advice for those who have the 5th Dalai Lama in their prayers? Sectarianism scares me but not faith.

So, although I too am saddened by sectarianism, and have absolutely no time for certain issues still current, I am mindful to appreciate that faith in lineage Lama's such as H.H. the Fifth Dalai Lama or even Pabongkha, does not necessarily imply the practitioner is sectarian and certainly not that they are is in some way dull and unable to discriminate right from wrong. To loose sight of this I think is its own form of sectarianism.

Now I will shut up and get off the soap box!
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:51 am

Point taken, but I am not looking down on the intelligence of people, rather I mentioned them putting their discernment aside. Many of the people I have encountered who make this choice are more intelligent than I am, this is why I find it disappointing. It is not an attitude unique to our tradition either-I have seen this attitude amongst Kagyus and Nyingmas and also in Thailand and Taiwan.

As for the 5th, just be open to researching and knowing the history. I am not a huge fan of rnam grol lag bcangs but Phabongkhapa's texts connected with Chittamani Tara are profoundly beautiful an some of my favourites. But I don't wilfully close my eyes.

Perhaps having lived in monasteries in India during this conflict and seeing friends being impacted, and being impacted directly myself, all the misinformation perpetuated connected with this, as well as the real toll on y teachers and on HH, has made me more emotionally involved than should be the case.

However, I want people to be empowered with a little Tibetan so they can have informed opinions. That is really my only agenda in this thread. And if I can learn Tibetan, anyone can.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Caz » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:17 am

conebeckham wrote:
Caz wrote:
conebeckham wrote:So, is there anything that could possibly be in any of Phabongkha's writings that would lead you to believe that he was sectarian, short of explicit instructions to others to actually destroy monasteries, or worse? Or are these "polemics" as you term them merely specific instructions, skillful means geared towards individuals only?


Yes nothing short of direct commands to destroy monasteries and worse and even then I would still view him purely :.


Well, then..

On reflection, I've decided not to spend any further time weeding through the pages in an attempt to translate his sectarian statements and advice. They are there, I can assure you, but there's ample evidence, even in this thread, that any such statements can be defended by Pahabongkha's supporters--though I have to say that Caz's statement is more extreme than many would care to endorse. Such is the case in Tibetan politics and society--the "religious" affirmation is trotted out to support acts of power, often retrospectively......and so it goes, even into the 21st Century, and even into Western society and culture, and by an organization (NKT) that proposes to be non-(or even anti-) political and "trans-Tibetan." The irony is immense!

There is no limit to the things we will believe.


I sincerely doubt Pabongkha would have ordered such things anyway, as I said earlier on there are always extremists amongst students I would attribute such negativity to them rather then someone who has very clear experiences of the stages of the path.
I Dont and never have supported closing monastery's or desecrating statues that practice different traditions that would be foolish, I have always been taught other Dharma presentations are very precious and to be respected. But non the less I could not view Je Pabongkha impurely.

Kyabje Zong Rinpoche also explained the importance for Gelugpas of developing faith in the Gelugpa lineage passed down through Je Phabongkhapa and his principal disciple Trijang Rinpoche:
Kyabje Phabongka passed all of his lineages to Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang. He often said this in discourses. The purpose of this detailed exposition is to affirm the power of the lineage. If we lose faith in the lineage, we are lost. We should remember the biographies of past and present teachers. We should never develop negative thoughts towards our root and lineage gurus. If we do not keep the commitments after having received teachings, this is a great downfall. :rules:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Namgyal » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:32 pm

Jikan wrote:
conebeckham wrote:So, is there anything that could possibly be in any of Phabongkha's writings that would lead you to believe that he was sectarian, short of explicit instructions to others to actually destroy monasteries, or worse? Or are these "polemics" as you term them merely specific instructions, skillful means geared towards individuals only?

David N. Kay, in the book Tibetan Buddhism and Zen in Britain, claims that Pabonka's sectarianism was extraordinarily severe, and came in response to the Rime movement. Specifically, Kay claims Pabonka advocated the destruction of artifacts associated with Guru Rinpoche, and that such relics were destroyed, to cite one instance.

In 'Civilized Shamans: Buddhism in Tibetan Societies' Professor Samuel argues that Tibetan Buddhism is a spectrum between clerical and shamanic traditions, both essential to Buddhism but locked in a conflict that goes back to India. He also highlights the centralising pressure which seems to be inevitable in Buddhist societies, but which could never be completed in Tibet on account of the terrain. The dream of a unified Tibetan Buddhism was always hopeless because Lhasa could never exert complete political control over its vast territory. Pabongka Rinpoche is just another conservative monk-pandit having a go at some yogins; an ancient Buddhist tradition, and he is also not the first scholar to dream of a Royal Buddhism. I fail to see why he has such a bad press? So what if a group of ruffians allegedly acting in his name carried out vandalism? So what if he wrote a few extreme tracts for political purposes? There is no verifiable letter from Pabongka Rinpoche saying 'Kill those yogins and smash their icons!' so I am not convinced. My viewpoint is that Pabongka Rinpoche is simply one of the lineage teachers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who can do no wrong. Lama Zopa Rinpoche's opinion also carries some weight with me.
:namaste:
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Tom » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:04 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Point taken, but I am not looking down on the intelligence of people, rather I mentioned them putting their discernment aside. Many of the people I have encountered who make this choice are more intelligent than I am, this is why I find it disappointing. It is not an attitude unique to our tradition either-I have seen this attitude amongst Kagyus and Nyingmas and also in Thailand and Taiwan.

As for the 5th, just be open to researching and knowing the history. I am not a huge fan of rnam grol lag bcangs but Phabongkhapa's texts connected with Chittamani Tara are profoundly beautiful an some of my favourites. But I don't wilfully close my eyes.

Perhaps having lived in monasteries in India during this conflict and seeing friends being impacted, and being impacted directly myself, all the misinformation perpetuated connected with this, as well as the real toll on y teachers and on HH, has made me more emotionally involved than should be the case.

However, I want people to be empowered with a little Tibetan so they can have informed opinions. That is really my only agenda in this thread. And if I can learn Tibetan, anyone can.


Yes, believe me I agree with many of your points in this thread.

Most of all I wish those who have faith in Pabongkha would appreciate the sensitive nature of the topic, especially for Kagyu pas and Nyingma pas whose monasteries were destroyed in Pabongkha's name, and if they need to broach this topic at all they do it not with defensiveness and accusations but with compassion and sensitivity.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby disjointed » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:40 am

Is it just me, or is Wan Wai Meng ( a student of Tsem Tulku) telling the origin story of the ghost from a perspective critical of the 5th to gain support for the ghost practice?
If there is a radical inconsistency between your statements and the position you claim to hold,
you are a sock puppet.
Make as many accounts as you want; people can identify your deception with this test.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Sherab » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:23 pm

Just curious - when the monasteries were destroyed by those 'overzealous' gelugpas, did Pabongka Rinpoche spoke out against it? Did he actively discourage such people from such negative acts?
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:30 pm

i dont know if you can get a truthful answer to that from anyone else except from the relatives or close lineage people of Pabonka Rinpoche, but a good question anyway.

but i have to say That Pabonka Rinpoche was a great master :anjali:
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby michaelb » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:08 pm

Sherab wrote:Just curious - when the monasteries were destroyed by those 'overzealous' gelugpas, did Pabongka Rinpoche spoke out against it? Did he actively discourage such people from such negative acts?

Difficult to say. Here is a small account of one of his students who sought to convert a Nyingma gompa to Gelug. I think it is improbable that Pabongkha didn't know of and endorse these actions. He was the Lhasa government's man in Kham and acting in a political role and had the power, or more power than anyone else, to say what happened and what didn't in that area. The account is actually about a image of Tara that protected its wearer from being shot:
The Cult of Tara, p239, Stephan Beyer, 1973. wrote:When the Lord Refuge of Dragyab died, his monastery was taken over, during the minority of his reincarnation, by a regent named Zangmar toden, who was a very different sort of man from the former abbot. Zangmar had originally followed the "ancient" sect (he had been a disciple of the great and famous Drugu SakyasrI of Sbderk'a) but then had moved to Ch'amdo, where he met and became the disciple of a Gelug lama named Master Refuge P'awang kawa.

Zangmar had fallen under the spell of this new and impressive personality. P'awang kawa was undoubtedly one of the great lamas of the early twentieth century, but he was a man of contradictory passions, and he shows us two different faces when he is recalled by those who knew him. In many ways he was truly a saint; he was sent to Ch'amdo by the central government to represent its interests and administer its Gelug monasteries, and he was sympathetic to the concerns of the K'am people over whom he had been granted jurisdiction, a scholar and an enthusiast for all aspects of Tibetan culture. But many eastern Tibetans remember him with loathing as the great persecutor of the "ancient" sect, devoting himself to the destruction throughout K'am of images of the Precious Guru and the burning of "ancient" books and paintings. P'awang kawa sent his new disciple back to take charge of the Gelug monastery in Dragyab; Zangmar, with the zeal of the convert, carried with him only his master's sectarianism and implemented only his policy of destruction. He tried to force the monks of Kajegon (who were technically under his authority) to perform the Gelug rituals, and when they obstinately continued to refuse he called in the government police on a trumped-up charge of treason.They raided Kajegon, broke its images, made a fire of its books and paintings, and beat its monks with sticks. The head monk, who carried with him by chance that day our image of Tara, tried to stop them; while one policeman threatened him with a stick, another shot him in the back. But the power of the thunderstone had not diminished during its repose: the bullet simply flattened itself upon the old monk's body, just as the yak's horns had bent upon the body of the servant. Everyone present was astonished to see that he was unhurt, and though the looting continued, the miracle most likely prevented the outbreak of real and bloody warfare. Those who knew about the image were further convinced of its power.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Sherab » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:10 am

michaelb wrote:I think it is improbable that Pabongkha didn't know of and endorse these actions. He was the Lhasa government's man in Kham and acting in a political role and had the power, or more power than anyone else, to say what happened and what didn't in that area.

Thank Michaelb. Did the destruction of the monasteries began while the 13th Dalai Lama was alive or after he passed away?
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby michaelb » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:58 am

More forced conversion than outright destruction, afaik, but yes this began before the passing of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. Lhasa was a long way away, remember. Pabongkha became most influential after that of course and particularly after Reting Rinpoche was forced out of his regent role.
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby Sherab » Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:57 am

michaelb wrote:More forced conversion than outright destruction, afaik, but yes this began before the passing of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. Lhasa was a long way away, remember. Pabongkha became most influential after that of course and particularly after Reting Rinpoche was forced out of his regent role.

If forced conversions happened while the 13th Dalai Lama was alive, did he issue an order to Pabongka Rinpoche to stop those conversions? If no, why? (I don't think distance is a good explanation if the answer to my question is no.)
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby waimengwan » Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:17 pm

If Pabongka really ordered the sacking of Nyingma monasteries I think we all have to start burning our copies of the Lamrim ~ 'Liberation in the Palm of your Hands' the only safe text would be the Lamrim Chenmo by Je Tsongkhapa. Plus such a sectarian action will create a lot of negative karma for Pabongka will he have gotten another good human rebirth again?
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:24 pm

We don't have to burn his works. Whether Phabongkhapa directly ordered the destruction is a point of contention, but I feel from having read some of his writings it is safe to assume his very sectarian attitudes and heavy handed criticism of other traditions led to those actions. To ignore this would be like burying one's head in the sand. Several troubling statements can be found in his Sungbum/ collected works.
But why would this mean we have to throw away Liberation? The instructions in it are still valid, compiled from many holy texts. HH Dalai Lama will give oral transmission for Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand this year at Sera monastery. HHDL would not do so if he saw no value in the text. Phabongkha's instructions on Chittamani Tara, for example, as well are both uncommon, profound and well laid out.

It is a mistake to assume though that Lam Rim Chenmo by Lama Tzongkhapa would be the only "Safe text"- there are far more texts than just LRCM and Liberation in Your Hand alone. There are many Gelug Lam Rim texts such as the most famous 18 listed below (http://www.jangchuplamrim.org/jangchup- ... mentaries/):

1) Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment (byang chub lam gyi sgron me)
by Jowo Je Atisha (jo bo rje dpal ldan atisha)

2) The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (lam rim chen mo)
by Je Tsong Khapa (rje tsong kha pa)

3) The Medium Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (lam rim ‘bring po)
by Je Tsong Khapa (rje tsong kha pa)

4) The Concise Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (lam rim bsdus don)
also known as Song of the Stages of the Path (lam rim nyams mgur)
by Je Tsong Khapa (rje tsong kha pa)

5) The Essence of Refined Gold – Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (lam rim gser zhun ma)
by His Holiness the Third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso (rgyal mchog sku phreng gsum pa bsod nams rgya mtsho)

6) The Easy Path – Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (lam rim bde lam)
by Panchen Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen (pan chen blo bzang chos rgyan)

7) The Sacred Words of Manjushri – Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (lam rim ‘jam dpal zhal lung)
by His Holiness the Fifth Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso (rgyal mchog sku phreng lnga pa chen po ngag dbang blo bzang rgya mtsho)

8) The Swift Path – Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (lam rim myur lam)
by Panchen Lobsang Yeshe (pan chen blo bzang ye she)

9) Essence of Fine Speech – Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (lam rim legs gsung nying khu)
by Ngawang Drakpa of Dagpo (dwags po sgom chen ngag dbang grags pa)

The texts above are Atisha’s Lamp for the Path together with the Eight Great Commentaries on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Jangchup Lamrim)

10) The Three Principle Aspects of the Path (lam gtso rnam gsum)
by Je Tsong Khapa (rje tsong kha pa)

11) Foundation of All Good Qualities (yon tan gzhir gyur ma)
by Je Tsong Khapa (rje tsong kha pa)

12) Destiny Fulfilled: The Spiritual Biography of Lama Tsong Khapa (rtogs brjod mdun legs ma)
by Je Tsong Khapa (rje tsong kha pa)

13) The Essence of Nectar – Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (lam rim bdud rtsi snying po)
by Kongpo Lama Yeshe Tsondru (kong po bla ma ye shes brtson ‘grus)

14) The Southern Lineage – Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (lho rgyud lam rim)
by Je Gendun Jamyang (rje dge ‘dun ‘jam dbyangs)

15) Zhamar Pandita’s Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (zhwa dmar lam rim)
by The Fourth Amdo Zhamar, Gendun Tenzin Gyatso (a mdo bla ma dge ‘dun bstan ‘dzin rgya mtsho)

16) Zhamar Pandita’s Treatise on Special Insight (zhwa dmar lhag mthong)
by The Fourth Amdo Zhamar, Gendun Tenzin Gyatso (a mdo bla ma dge ‘dun bstan ‘dzin rgya mtsho)

17) Liberation in the Palm of One’s Hand (lam rim rnam grol lag bcangs)
Spoken by Pabongka Rinpoche (skyabs rje pha bong kha bde chen snying pos gsung)
Compiled by Trijang Rinpoche (skyabs rje yongs ‘dzin khri byang rin po ches phyogs bsgrigs mdzad

18) Textual Outline for the Medium Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (lam rim ‘bring po’i sa bcad)
by Trijang Rinpoche (skyabs rje yongs ‘dzin khri byang rin po che)
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:27 pm

In addition you have texts of a similar structure from other traditions that are also extremely valuable to study:

Jewel Ornament of Liberation by the Incomparable Dagpo Lhaje/Gampopa (Kagyu)

Words of My Perfect Teacher by Dza Patrul Rinpoche (Nyingma)
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:35 pm

Links of His Holiness' transmission and teachings of some of those texts during last year's Jangchub Lam Rim event at Drepung and Ganden monasteries:

http://www.jangchuplamrim.org/media/audio/
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Buddhism is peaceful?

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:49 pm

Waimeng,

Since you seem to sometimes travel to Nepal and India anyways, why not make the time this December to go to Sera and receive the Lam Rim text lineage and teachings directly from HH the Dalai Lama?

Such an effort will plant the imprints of the entire Lam Rim firmly in your mindstream and create the cause to meet these teachings again and again.

If Geshe la and I were not renewing our European residency permits at that time, we'd definitely be going. This year it looks as if the best we can do are His Holiness' teachings in Dharmasala in April and maybe this summer in Germany.

If you organized a group of students to attend it would be even more merit.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2328
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

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