Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ringu Tulku Rinpoche on IGNORANCE

Last Weekend, Rinpoche taught a 2 day retreat on IGNORANCE which is the fifth Mind Poison.

Padmasambhava [Guru Rinpoche], the Indian saint who brought Buddhism to Tibet, said
Once the Negative Emotions [Kleshas] are gone, there is no more Dharma to be done
Ignorance is said to be the root of all the other kleshas.
It is a misunderstanding - not so much about how phenomena are, but about how I see myself.

I do not see the self as it truly is.

The indispensable precursor to working on this Ignorance, is to gain a deep understanding of Impermanence. Not just intellectually, but to actually change our perception - to realise impermanence.
We must begin to see clearly how change is always happening - all is constantly transforming all the time - nothing remains - that is how it is!

We come to see Interdependence as well as Impermanence - there are many causes and conditions creating whatever appears. There is never a single cause giving rise to any given effect. Phenomena are always complex and always changing.

This perhaps causes us to feel uncertain and anxious about the meaning of life - the ungraspability of phenomena leads to a kind of existential angst.
This leads us to search for stability in our lives - but we look in all the wrong places.
We develop a fundamental fear about the future.

If we are lucky, we will eventually discover by trial and error, from our own experience, that it cannot be found externally. The Buddhadharma shows us how stability, openness and contentment can only be found inside.

When we look inside deeply, even beyond all concepts, we may reveal the Wisdom of Dharmadhatu. And the kleshas will be perceived as the natural radiance of the mind - nothing more.
So there is no need for hope or fear.
We simply observe the Mind Poisons [and all phenomena] as they pass through our consciousness - waves on the surface of the ocean.

Then Rinpoche said something that struck me like a ton of bricks...

We imagine the negative emotions arise as a result of external provocation and if the world would just back off and give us a break then we wouldn't have them - Not So!

The Kleshas do not arise in response to external stimuli !

The seeds of negative emotions dwell deep within us.
They are just lying there waiting to react to whatever comes along.

In a way, we are like an accident just waiting to happen!

The problem lies within.

That's kind of radical, i thought to myself.
No need to change the whole universe. That wouldn't be doable anyway. My god... i can't even get the odd jobs around the house finished!

No... it's me... i am the problem!

In a way, this shocking news comes as a blessed relief.
Hard though it will be, i'm sure, changing me seems much more manageable!

At least i have a passing acquaintance with me
i know my patterns and habits
i know my good qualities and i will rejoice in them and water those seeds liberally
i know my darkness and i will welcome it like an old friend whenever it pops by
i will allow it to pass through my all new non-stick mind without clinging to it or getting stuck in its old script
i will apply myself to this work - the greatest gift i could ever give to my true self!

I have lived countless lifetimes in Ignorance - watering the seeds of negative emotions.
It may take some time, but i vow to work on my mind from moment to moment.
I won't give up.

The fabulous thing about Wisdom [Omniscience] is that it already resides within. I don't have to find it anywhere else.
And, once i realise the basic nature of my own mind, i will realise the nature of everything!
Because of interdependence and emptiness, i and everything else share the same essence - so by understanding my own nature, i understand the nature of all.
Therefore, we may come to see the Kleshas and All Phenomena [internally and externally] as the manifestation of our own mind.
In this way, self-liberating whatever arises becomes not only the sanest response to risings in the mind but it also remains as our way of life - from moment to moment.

There is no other Buddhist practice but this one.

This kind of wisdom approach will irradicate Ignorance completely revealing the true nature of our mind as Clarity.
This spaciousness is limitless.

Rinpoche went on to teach on the Nature of Mind...

Our Consciousness has many qualities but it is helpful to see it fundamentally as having 3:

1. Openness [Emptiness] - also known as Dharmakaya or Dharmadhatu

2. Awareness - also known as Sambhogakaya

3. Manifestation - known as Nirmanakaya

So it is natural for the mind to create - but we don't have to become attached to whatever arises
Thoughts, emotions, concepts, perceptions etc all arise from within the basic consciousness itself - like a drink that fizzes and sparkles by itself.

This is not a problem to be solved
It is just the way it is
Accept it and let it go

These Wisdom Teachings have helped us to realise our previous ancient misunderstanding.

I have always been OK!

This new perspective on reality shows us clearly that the fizz is not the drink - so to speak.
It is only passing through.

The Open, Aware quality of the Natural Mind manifests, on the most profound level, not as some kind of Void dullness.

Enlightenment is a very vibrant state indeed!

The mind becomes Blissful

And the more blissful the more compassionate.

There is no fear!

In the past,
Ignorance created confusion
Confusion created fear
Fear created all the other 4 Kleshas

Fear paralyses -

we become stuck in our habitual patterns

But those days are gone, darling...!
Don't have a nervous breakdown ... have a nervous breakthrough!
Time to come out of that DIY closet, sweetheart...!

Enjoy your life!
Why not?!
Nothing lasts... so...
Enjoy the good
Don't fear the bad!

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