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Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:14 pm
by Losal Samten
  • Each instant, put your heart into it again.
    Each moment, remind yourself again.
    Each second, check yourself again.
    Night and day, make your resolve again.
    In the morning, commit yourself again.
    Each meditation session, examine mind minutely.
    Never be apart from dharma, not even accidentally.
    Continually, do not forget.
- Paltrul

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:42 pm
by Seeker12
Avatamsaka Sutra, on the 1st Bhumi (Cleary p. 703)

"This intention of enlightening beings, furthermore, is aroused and guided by great compassion, controlled by wisdom and knowledge, sustained by skill in means, stabilized by will and determination, immeasurable as the power of buddhas, clearly distinguishing the power of sentient beings and the power of Buddha, focused on unfragmented knowledge, in accord with spontaneous knowledge, completely receptive to the guidance of wisdom and knowledge of all Buddha teachings; it is as ultimate as the cosmos, as enduring as space, abiding forever."

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:11 am
by Losal Samten
  • When you thereby extract the essence of the freedoms and fortunes, there are mental hindrances that can create obstacles for Dharma:

    In general, there is the idea that, while it is important to practice the sublime Dharma, practicing in future lives might also suffice. But putting this off to further future lives is procrastination, for if you have a body of the six types of beings other than the one that is endowed with the freedoms and fortunes, you will not have a chance to practice the sublime Dharma.

    Even to have a sublime human life, however you think about it—from the point of view of its causes, numerical comparisons, or analogies—is something so extremely difficult to obtain. So much so that in this life, I urge you to practice the sublime Dharma alone. Understand the certainty of how difficult it is to find these freedoms and fortunes.

    Turn your mind around!

    Even if you understand this, thinking in this life that there is tomorrow and the day after to practice the sublime Dharma and postponing it till later is a block due to laziness. Since death is certain, and the time of death is unpredictable, understand the certainty of death and impermanence.

    Turn your mind around!

    Not believing in adopting virtues and rejecting vices is another obstacle to putting the sublime Dharma teachings into practice throughout all your lifetimes. While you still have the support of a life that has these freedoms, understand clearly the certainty of cause and effect, how actions and their fruits inevitably ripen in each and every person.

    Turn your mind around!

    The path of liberation from addiction to saṃsāric phenomena may be disrupted by a mind that is addicted to existence. By contemplating renunciation through understanding the entirety of saṃsāra to have the nature of suffering, you must turn your mind around!
- Bamda Lama

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:45 pm
by Losal Samten
  • Nevertheless, these days householders are able to (1) undertake the occasional vows, including the practice of fasting, as explained in the Abhidharma’s treatment of the eight vows on the full moon, new moon, and eighth lunar day, and (2) permanently maintain a single vow, thereby abandoning one of the nonvirtues, such as killing or lying.
    • - For this reason, during auspicious times such as the full moon, do not wander about doing meaningless things. Rather, adhere to the paths leading to the higher states and liberation—namely, the eight occasional vows: the four root vows and abstention from intoxicants, wearing garlands, high beds, and meals after noon.

    Do not be idle on auspicious days such as the full and new moons. Observe the eight occasional vows, the infallible cause for obtaining rebirth in the higher realms.
- Jigme Lingpa

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:28 pm
by Nicholas Weeks
Speech having four qualities is well-spoken, not ill-spoken, and
blameless, not blameworthy, among the wise. What four?

A bhikkhu speaks only what is well-spoken, not what is ill-spoken;
what is Dharma, not what is not-Dharma; what is kindly, not what is
unkind; what is the truth, not what is false. This speech is well-spoken,
not ill-spoken, and blameless, not blameworthy among the wise.

This is what the Radiant One said, then he spoke further.

Now peaceful Ones say: first speak the well-spoken,
and second, speak Dharma but not its opposite,
what’s kind do speak, third, not the unkind,
while fourth, speak the truth but never the false.
Suttanipata 453

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:35 pm
by Nicholas Weeks
The deluded claim that the false is true, but they fail to see the truth in the falsity; the enlightened see that the false is not true, and so they are able to see the truth in falsity.
Fa Zang

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:50 pm
by Losal Samten
Mipham - On Pure Land Practice

  • When someone who has the love that wishes to protect all beings from degeneration and who desires to train in that [conduct] carefully inspects, they see how beings are fiercely oppressed by karma and afflictive emotions and are in lack of exquisiteness such as insight and the like. Thus, they see the best way to easily complete all the deeds of Samantabhadra for anyone who finds it difficult to practice the profound and vast paths is [simply] praying to be born in the Land of Bliss.

    The reason for this is because birth in the pure land is possible just through faith and aspiration on account of the buddha’s prayers and wisdom; you will effortlessly attain the exquisite qualities connected with faith after having been born there; and you will complete the entirety of Samantabhadra’s deeds without the possibility of ever regressing from the path.

    Perceiving the actual power of that approach, the King of Prayers states:

    • When it comes time for me to die,
      Let all my obscurations be dispelled
      Directly beholding Limitless Light
      I will go immediately to the Land of Bliss
      Having made it to the [pure land]
      May all my prayers be fulfilled without exception!

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:52 pm
by Losal Samten
Mipham - On Pure Land Practice Signs

  • In brief, after having understood the qualities associated with being born in the pure land and the way in which you are born there, you should strive to continuously generate as much faithful diligence as you can every day and night, and dedicate all roots of virtue towards being born in the pure land. If you practice in that way, there will be signs. Those of highest capacity will actually behold the guide Amitabha in this life, receive a prophecy, and gain assurance of being born in the pure land; those of middling capacity will receive blessings in the way of experience; and even those of lowest capacity will have dreams with the features of the pure land and the teacher.

    Though you may lack clear signs—let alone repeatedly engendering faith and aspiration in this life—if someone makes you hear the name of the buddha on the verge of death and you generate the aspiration to be born in the pure land, you will be born there. This is so because, no matter how clear your perception may be at the time of death, they possess an incredible power because of the buddha’s extraordinary prayers. Even remembering the buddha’s name in the intermediate state (bar do) will cause you to be immediately born in the pure land since you are easily transformed in the intermediate state and the power of the buddha’s prayers is extremely great.

    Needless to say, applying the key points of practice in this [life], at the moment of death, and in the intermediate state is crucial. It is thus only logical that anyone with intelligence and good fortune would take as a yogic practice this foremost method which conveniently draws the marvellous bodhisattva qualities into your mindstream with little difficulty based on the Bliss Gone One’s teachings.

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:37 pm
by Nicholas Weeks
This is the only place I have found Ju Mipham's text in English. Wonder if there is in print or some other site where one can read only the root text of Ju Mipham - no comments?

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:25 am
by Losal Samten
  • At all times, again and again, we should make vast prayers for the sake of all beings.

    When falling asleep we should think, 'May all beings achieve the absolute state'; when waking up, 'May all beings awake into the enlightened state'; when getting up, 'May all beings obtain the body of the Buddha'; when putting on clothes, 'May all beings have modesty and sense of shame'; when lighting a fire, 'May all beings burn the wood of disturbing emotions'; when eating, 'May all beings eat the food of concentration'; when opening a door, 'May all beings open the door to the city of liberation'; when closing a door 'May all beings close the door to lower realms'; when going outside, 'May I set out on the path to free all beings'; when walking uphill, 'May I take all beings to the higher realms'; when walking downhill, 'May I go to free beings from lower realms'; when seeing happiness, 'May all beings achieve the happiness of Buddhahood'; when seeing suffering, 'May the suffering of all beings be pacified'.

~Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:25 pm
by Nicholas Weeks
Very similar to chapter 11 of the Avatamsaka Sutra:

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:14 pm
by Nicholas Weeks
"Four conditions, Vyagghapajja, conduce to a householder's weal and happiness in this very life. Which four?

"The accomplishment of persistent effort (utthana-sampada), the accomplishment of watchfulness (arakkha-sampada), good friendship (kalyanamittata) and balanced livelihood (sama-jivikata).

"What is the accomplishment of persistent effort?

"Herein, Vyagghapajja, by whatsoever activity a householder earns his living, whether by farming, by trading, by rearing cattle, by archery, by service under the king, or by any other kind of craft — at that he becomes skillful and is not lazy. He is endowed with the power of discernment as to the proper ways and means; he is able to carry out and allocate (duties). This is called the accomplishment of persistent effort.
AN 8:54

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:33 am
by Nicholas Weeks
What is the accomplishment of watchfulness?

Herein, Vyagghapajja, whatsoever wealth a householder is in possession of, obtained by dint of effort, collected by strength of arm, by the sweat of his brow, justly acquired by right means — such he husbands well by guarding and watching so that kings would not seize it, thieves would not steal it, fire would not burn it, water would not carry it away, nor ill-disposed heirs remove it. This is the accomplishment of watchfulness.

What is good friendship?

Herein, Vyagghapajja, in whatsoever village or market town a householder dwells, he associates, converses, engages in discussions with householders or householders' sons, whether young and highly cultured or old and highly cultured, full of faith (saddha), full of virtue (sila), full of charity (caga), full of wisdom (pañña). He acts in accordance with the faith of the faithful, with the virtue of the virtuous, with the charity of the charitable, with the wisdom of the wise. This is called good friendship.

What is balanced livelihood?

Herein, Vyagghapajja, a householder knowing his income and expenses leads a balanced life, neither extravagant nor miserly, knowing that thus his income will stand in excess of his expenses, but not his expenses in excess of his income.
AN 8:54

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:36 pm
by Nicholas Weeks
Lastly, a verse summation:
Energetic and heedful in his tasks,
Wisely administering his wealth,
He lives a balanced life,
Protecting what he has amassed.

Endowed with faith and virtue too,
Generous he is and free from avarice;
He ever works to clear the path
That leads to weal in future life.

Thus to the layman full of faith,
By him, so truly named 'Enlightened,'
These eight conditions have been told
Which now and after lead to bliss.
AN 8:54

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:01 am
by SunWuKong
"We are magical animals that roam" - by Roam; posted on anonymous chat board

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:20 pm
by Losal Samten
  • This lifetime passes like the weeping clouds
    Where dance the lightning garlands of the Lord of Death,
    And from them, day and night, there falls
    An endless rain to bathe the shoots
    That grow in the three levels of existence.

    The world and its inhabitants will pass.
    The universe is formed and then destroyed
    By seven fires, a flood, and then the scattering wind.
    The all-encircling sea, the continents,
    And even mighty Sumeru compounded of four jewels,
    All girded by the rings of lesser peaks—all this will pass.
    The time will come when all will have dissolved Into a single space.
    Remember this and practice Dharma from your heart.
- Longchenpa

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:27 pm
by Losal Samten
Part 1: Madhyamakasingha on Madhyamika's Buddhahood

The following are the objections raised against the Mādhyamikas of Mahāyāna:

(1) If you maintain the non-existence of gnosis (jñāna), what is then the nature of the nirvāṇa proposed by you?
(2) How does a buddha act for the sake of sentient beings?

These objections will be responded to in the following manner:

(1) For example, an oil lamp will continue to burn as long as sesame oil and a wick are present, and when the wick and the sesame oil are exhausted, the stream of lamplight will completely cease. Likewise, when ignorance, which is analogous to the wick and the sesame oil, is exhausted, the stream of perception, which is analogous to the lamplight, will automatically cease—that is, the stream of it will cease completely in all respects—without leaving behind even the slightest trace of it, be it as small as the hundredth split of a hair.

Thus a transformed gnosis has nowhere to arise from. Nirvāṇa, then, should be understood as that which is total emptiness.

[Objection]: In that case, how can your position not help but be annihilationistic.
[Answer]: I shall give an illustration. Listen!

If a person says: “There is no space,” does he propose an annihilationistic view? Similarly, for those who do not realize that mind, which is analogous to space, is nonexistent, although it is indeed primordially non-existent, we negate [the existence of the mind and thus also that of gnosis by saying: “It does not exist.”

We Mādhyamikas do not eliminate what is existent by making it non-existent. Hence how could our position be annihilationistic?

(2) I shall also answer the question regarding how a buddha acts for the sake of living beings: A spiritual son of the Victorious One, a lord of the tenth stage, who has attained command over all resolutions, views the totality of sentient beings (sattvadhātu) and thinks: “Those who wish to fulfil the objective of all sentient beings cannot do so without attaining the dharmakāya.” Thereupon he actualizes the dharmakāya instantaneously and then gains complete control over a resolution (i.e. in a way that its realization is secured even beyond his own existence in the world) of the following kind: “From the very moment I become fully awakened and until beings in saṃsāra have been entirely rescued may manifold [buddha]-Bodies and manifold [buddha]-Speeches unceasingly arise as infinitely as the sphere of space in accordance with the diverse karmic lots of sentient beings, and may splendid saṃbhogakāyas appear to the bodhisattvas.” Having gained complete control over such a resolution, he becomes one whose nature is emptiness, like the vault of the sky at noon in autumn, completely free from all the dust of appearances. That we call nirvāṇa.

The explanations regarding the existence of gnosis, strengths, powers, and the like, as well as self-cognition and the like were taught simply in order to prevent sentient beings from becoming frightened. Therefore, on the strength of the resolution of those who have power over their resolutions, and thanks to the presence of worthy sentient beings, there arise various [buddha]-Bodies, [buddha]-Speeches, and miraculous manifestations, and yet there is absolutely not the least thing that exists as an entity. If there is something at the stage of a buddha that exists as an entity, then what difference would there be between Buddhahood and all those phenomena that have the characteristic of being conditioned? Thus the analogies employed by some—such as the wish-fulfilling jewel and the pillar empowered by a gāruḍika—cannot be analogies in the full sense of the word, because the constituents of a buddha are not entities like these objects.

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:28 pm
by Losal Samten
Part 2 - Madhyamakasingha on the Necessity of Dharma Practice

[Objection]: According to your postulation, everything is simply non-existent, and therefore spiritual practices such as giving (dāna) would be pointless, while the so-called awakening (bodhi) to be attained would also end up being simply non-existent. Thus your theory would throw the established convention into total disarray.
[Counter-argument]: For example:

The eyes of a certain person are afflicted with the disease called ‘yellow eyes.’ As a result, the person sees in the space in front of him strands of tangled hair, clumps of wool, and other ‘floaters’. But since this person is wise, the following thought occurs to him: “These objects perceived by me are non-existent. They appear as such because my eyes have been impaired by an eye disease.” Does this person, thinking thus, nourish a misconceived notion? Would not that person strive to eliminate or treat his eye disease, which gives rise to false perceptions? Likewise, is there any fault in eliminating false conceptions, that is, the occurrence of conceptions relating to appearances of non-existing things—such conceptions being analogous to the vision of eyes impaired by yellow eye disease—and thus in revealing true reality, which in the end is the nature of entities, namely, the nonexistence of entities, and similar to space in being free from all the ‘diseases’ of appearances, just like the vision of eyes free from diseases?

We maintain that wholesome activities such as giving and their results are respectively like the giving of alms by an illusory person to another illusory person, and so forth, and the attaining of what is called awakening by that illusory person. Therefore, we do not propose throwing convention into disarray, the way the Materialists do.

Hence, first of all, one should determine the non-existence of a self—an issue examined previously on the basis of efficient logical argumentation—and thus abide in mere (i.e. essenceless) phenomena. Then the mere phenomena, such as the aggregates (skandha), also need to be made to ‘disappear’ through logical argumentation, as presented above, and one should then abide in the notion of mind-only. In the same way, the mind should be made to ‘disappear’ by means of extensive chains of logical argumentation, and should be viewed as the transcending of all extremes, as the coming to rest of the ‘dust’ of the marks consisting in appearances, as the non-being of a self, sentient beings, life-force, or the like, and as being devoid of the force of self-cognition.

For example, the more often a person relies on eye medication, the more his eye disease recedes. Likewise, the more one reflects upon non-existence, the more the disease of conceptualization recedes. And after a while, even the thought of nonexistence will be abandoned. In conformity with this idea, it has been explained:

Once the entity being analyzed
Is no longer perceived, by virtue of one’s reflecting “It is non-existent,”
The notion “There is not even
The slightest entity existent” is also eliminated.

Therefore, constantly strive with great diligence and with conscientiousness to realize the teachings thus explained.

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:37 pm
by Losal Samten
URL wrote:Master Gyokutan of Jokoji Temple was formerly a resident priest of Myokakuji Temple at Myogahara in Etchu Province. When he visited there in the spring of the first year of Kan'en (1748), he took Seikuro along with him. In those days, there were many Shin followers in Etchu, but only one or two in a thousand were thoroughgoing devotees with deep awareness of their ignorance. So, Gyokutan thought, Seikuro would have a great influence on those followers even if he did not say much.

Thus Seikuro, an old man of nearly seventy, was asked to travel a hundred li with Gyokutan. While walking along the toilsome road, Seikuro did not say a word of complaint. When asked if he was tired, he said, "No." Seeing that he looked very tired and weak, Gyokutan further asked him, "You say you are not tired, but you are walking with a limp, aren't you?" Seikuro replied, "It is true that I am physically tired, but not spiritually. As you see, I am an old man; I must look pitiable. Though my body is seventy years old, my heart is always Eighteen. Since lively Nembutsu gives me pleasure all the time, I never get tired."

When they came to cross a river, whose water was still cold, Gyokutan made a kind remark, "Although young, I don't like to cross this river. The cold water must be too much to bear for an old man like you." Seikuro replied, "I don't think this is painful at all. If Amida vowed to save those who could cross such a river in winter ten times, I might fail to meet the condition for salvation, for after crossing it a couple of times, I would give up. Thinking of the deep benevolence of Amida who saves me without requiring such a hard practice, I would not mind crossing a few more rivers like this."

Re: Dharma Gems

Posted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:14 pm
by Sennin
Calling the Lama from Afar:
  • Since pure awareness of nowness is the real buddha,
    in openess and contentment I found the lama in my heart.
    When we realize this unending natural mind is the very nature
    of the lama,
    then there is no need for attached, grasping, or weeping prayers
    or artificial complaints.
    By simply relaxing in this uncontrived, open and natural state,
    we obtain the blessing of aimless self-liberation of whatever
~Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche~