Dharma Gems

Discuss and learn about the traditional Mahayana scriptures, without assuming that any one school ‘owns’ the only correct interpretation.
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Losal Samten
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Re: Dharma Gems

Postby Losal Samten » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:39 pm

Jetsun Taranatha's Essence of Ambrosia, Contemplation on the Three Types Suffering

    Cyclic existence with its three realms has the nature of the three or six or eight types of suffering. It is a storehouse of misery. I am completely surrounded by suffering. Suffering burns like fire; it roils like water; it gusts like wind; it oppresses like a mountain. Wherever I am, it is a place of suffering. Whatever type of body I inhabit, it is a body of suffering. Whomever I have befriended, it is a companion of suffering. Whatever I enjoy, it is an enjoyment of suffering.

    Three types of suffering pervade all existence. The "suffering of suffering" (manifest suffering) refers to all suffering that manifests as feelings of discomfort, such as feelings of heat, cold, illness and so on. The "suffering of change" refers to feelings of happiness from life and enjoyments to the bliss of meditative absorption. The "suffering of composite existence" is the basis for the other two types of suffering. It refers merely to the composite phenomena of these adopted aggregates that are the origin and field of cultivation for all suffering. When the aggregates are experiencing a state of simple neutrality, the term "the mere suffering of composite existence" is used.

    If I do not become free of this suffering, I will not become free of the other two. I must, by all means, become free from the three types of suffering.
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
ཨོཾ་ཧ་ནུ་པྷ་ཤ་བྷ་ར་ཧེ་ཡེ་སྭཱ་ཧཱ།།
ཨཱོཾ་མ་ཏྲི་མུ་ཡེ་སལེ་འདུ།།

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Losal Samten
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Re: Dharma Gems

Postby Losal Samten » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:03 pm

Jetsun Taranatha's Essence of Ambrosia, Contemplation on the Causal Links that Lead to the Attainment of Buddhahood

    I need to attain buddhahood. I therefore need to cultivate bodhicitta since it is the cause of buddhahood. The cause of bodhicitta is compassion. The cause of compassion is love. The cause of love is appreciation and gratefulness. The cause of appreciation is recognising all sentient beings have been my parents. I should meditate on developing these qualities in stages.

    -Meditate again and again.-

    All sentient beings are my parents--they have been so kind to me. Wouldn't it be right if they were to be free from suffering? Wouldn't it be right for them to be comfortable and happy? I will, therefore, attain buddhahood in order to establish them all in happiness. Once I have attained buddhahood, I will also place all sentient beings on the level of buddhahood.

    [... in the annals of the graduated teachings called The Necessary Stages of Mind Training in the Mahayana, this quote appears: "You should train your mind by stages in the seven causal links found in Atisha's extraordinary Mahayana teachings".

    Atisha's presentation of the seven causal links states that buddhahood is not without causes and conditions. Buddhahood arises from the cause of bodhicitta. Bodhicitta is born from a pure and excellent motivation. A pure motivation arises from great compassion. Great compassion arises from love. Love arises from seeing all sentient beings with affection. Seeing beings with affection arises from appreciation and gratefulness. Appreciation and gratefulness arise from developing the perception of sentient beings as your mothers.]
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
ཨོཾ་ཧ་ནུ་པྷ་ཤ་བྷ་ར་ཧེ་ཡེ་སྭཱ་ཧཱ།།
ཨཱོཾ་མ་ཏྲི་མུ་ཡེ་སལེ་འདུ།།

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Losal Samten
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Re: Dharma Gems

Postby Losal Samten » Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:36 pm

Jetsun Taranatha's Essence of Ambrosia, Contemplation on Love for Your Mother

    The mother who gave birth to me in this life has been extremely kind to me. First she held me in her womb for nine or ten months. During her pregnancy, she protected me, cherishing me more than her own life. She gave me my human body, my life, my energy.

    Then from the time I was born, she helped me with her own body. She cradled me with her ten fingers, warmed me with the heat of her flesh, nursed me from her breasts, tasted my food and wiped the filth from my bottom with her own hands. At the time that I was unable to do anything for myself and was as helpless as a bug, she cared for me.

    She helped me with her speech. She called out to me in terms of endearment. She praised me without reason. She extolled my qualities when I had none. Even when my performance of tasks was mediocre, she was overjoyed.

    She benefited me with her mind. She was constantly concerned about my welfare thinking, "I must ensure that this child of mine has a long life. I must make sure he does not get sick. I must make sure he is honored by others. Will people admire him? Will he be successful?".

    When I first learned how to sit up, learned to walk and spoke my first words, she was overwhelmed with joy. As I grew older, not only was she free of anxiety about giving me whatever she possessed, she did so joyfully. She wouldn't have had the slightest hesitation about giving me all the wealth and clothing in the universe.

    How exceedingly my mother helped me and cared for me! She loved me and was so kind to me! Would it not be right for her to be comfortable now and always? Would it not be right for her to be happy?

    I must establish my mother in unsurpassable comfort and happiness.

    [This meditation on love for one's own mother is the root of all practices focusing on the development of love. Because it is easy to develop love this way, it is important to continue practicing this contemplation until the experience of love wells up in you].
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
ཨོཾ་ཧ་ནུ་པྷ་ཤ་བྷ་ར་ཧེ་ཡེ་སྭཱ་ཧཱ།།
ཨཱོཾ་མ་ཏྲི་མུ་ཡེ་སལེ་འདུ།།

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Losal Samten
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Re: Dharma Gems

Postby Losal Samten » Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:55 pm

Jetsun Taranatha's Essence of Ambrosia, The Meditation on Compassion

    I must establish all these sentient beings in contentment and happiness. But when I look at the realms of sentient beings, it is apparent they do not live with happiness or the causes of happiness. They live with suffering and the causes of suffering. When they wish, they wish for happiness. They do not want suffering, but they experience it anyway. Happiness does not occur for them--misery is their only lot. For the most part, the suffering they experience is apparent. In the hell realms, they endure heat and cold. In the hungry ghost realms, they endure hunger and thirst. In the animal realm, they eat each other. In the higher realms, there is not one who does not experience manifest suffering of some kind: we have short lives, many illnesses, little freedom, famine and destitution and are forced to work, are injured by weapons and so forth. All beings in general amass the immeasurable causes of suffering. Some individuals are not experiencing intense, undesired suffering right now but are accumulating serious negative karma. They will go straight to hell when their breath stops. This kind of individual is even more worthy of my compassion than those who are actually experiencing suffering right now.


    How confused we are by appearances! Alas, what is to be done? What if my own mother's eyes could not see and her legs were broken? What if she were without a guide, without a walking stick? What if she were about to fall from the edge of a precipitous cliff? What would I do? I wouldn't hesitate for an instant but would run to grab her to keep her from falling off the cliff.

    All these beings who have been my mothers in previous lifetimes are in this very predicament--their eyes of wisdom are blind; their legs of method are broken. They are without a guide. They have lost their walking stick. They again and again engage in all kinds of negative actions, sometimes even when they know the action is wrong. They are slipping away from the path to the higher realms. It is as if they were on the verge of plunging into the abyss of the lower realms. How tragic that these beings are overpowered by the causes of suffering! How could I fail to protect them from suffering right now?

    Furthermore, beings in the three lower realms experience primarily manifest suffering. The beings in the three pleasant realms, on the other hand experience mainly causes of suffering.


    If those sufferings were suddenly to befall me, I would be unable to bear it even to a small degree. If I could not stand it, how do they manage to bear their misery? Those who actually undergo these sufferings, who experience the endless causes of suffering over the course of their lifetimes, who go from misery to misery without break, how I feel for them! May they be free from suffering! May they be free from the causes of suffering--karma and the afflictions. May I protect my previous mothers, the six types of sentient beings, from all negative actions and suffering. May I lead them out of Samsara, the place of suffering.

    [Reflect in this way again and again].
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
ཨོཾ་ཧ་ནུ་པྷ་ཤ་བྷ་ར་ཧེ་ཡེ་སྭཱ་ཧཱ།།
ཨཱོཾ་མ་ཏྲི་མུ་ཡེ་སལེ་འདུ།།

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Losal Samten
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Re: Dharma Gems

Postby Losal Samten » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:07 pm

Jetsun Taranatha's Essence of Ambrosia, Contemplation on The Causes of Perfect Dhyana

    I should abide in the causes of dhyana from now on. For dhyana to develop, I must reduce my aims and occupations. To reduce my aims, I must have few desires and be content. To have few desires, I must be satisfied with meagre food, clothing, shelter and a poor bed. Whatever possessions I may have, I will not be attached to them but will meditate to develop samadhi. If I do not have possessions, I will consider being destitute as good--not an obstacle to the Dharma. Whatever happens, I will be content with that.
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
ཨོཾ་ཧ་ནུ་པྷ་ཤ་བྷ་ར་ཧེ་ཡེ་སྭཱ་ཧཱ།།
ཨཱོཾ་མ་ཏྲི་མུ་ཡེ་སལེ་འདུ།།

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tomschwarz
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Re: Dharma Gems

Postby tomschwarz » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:18 pm

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
As for the dharma of nirvāṇa, there are many paths of entry into it.
However, if we discuss those which are crucially essential, they do
not go beyond the two dharmas of calming and insight.

How is this so? Calming (śamatha) constitutes the initial method
through which one is able to suppress the fetters (saṃyojana).
Insight (vipaśyanā) is the primary essential through which one is
able to cut off the delusions. Calming then is the wholesome provision
with which one kindly nurtures the mind and consciousness.
Insight then is the marvelous technique which stimulates the development
of spiritual understanding. Calming is the supreme cause
for the manifestation of dhyāna absorption. Insight is the origin of
wisdom. Zhiyi Meditation Essentials

by Kalavinka Press
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Losal Samten
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Re: Dharma Gems

Postby Losal Samten » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:10 pm

Jetsun Taranatha's Essence of Ambrosia

By training in the attitude of bodhicitta and the conduct of the six perfections, the mind stays fixed on religion by its own power and does not become distracted. Faith in the Three Jewels, vigilance with regard to action and result, and renunciation for samsara naturally arise. If tireless enthusiasm for meditating one-pointedly on the teachings develops, it does not matter whether you develop stable samadhi or not: You have grasped the point of the path, and the lesser path of accumulation has been born in your continuum.

The path of accumulation itself is reached when you attain to some degree a clear apprehension of the meaning of impermanence, suffering, emptiness and selflessness. This is called "the dhyana of incipient, approximating conduct". Then, through developing the power of meditation and the power of accumulating merit, you will have experience of form as being hollow and so forth. You will realise that the five aggregates are like an illusion and will gradually achieve a clear apprehension of the selflessness of phenomena. This is called "the dhyana that thoroughly distinguishes the meaning".

[...]

At first, until you grasp the essential point of the path, there will be some degrees of challenge in your practice. Therefore, it is important that you give up all other activities and apply yourself assiduously and exclusively to the practice of meditation. After a time, although you need to work on increasing your effort, the practice will become easier. At that time, broaden your activities: accumulate merit in a variety of ways and make a variety of aspiration prayers. By training your mind in this way, the path of joining will arise. By its own impetus, this wisdom will develop and become easy to engage with. At this stage, there is a great deal of subtle negative karma to abandon, of hindrances to be dispelled and of enhancement to be refined. Then, gradually, the wisdom that directly realises the true nature of all phenomena will arise. You will then experience only happiness upon happiness.
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
ཨོཾ་ཧ་ནུ་པྷ་ཤ་བྷ་ར་ཧེ་ཡེ་སྭཱ་ཧཱ།།
ཨཱོཾ་མ་ཏྲི་མུ་ཡེ་སལེ་འདུ།།

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Losal Samten
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Re: Dharma Gems

Postby Losal Samten » Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:08 pm

Gaṇḍavyūha Sūtra

    Oh noble son! Upāya is the father of Bodhisattvas. Prajñāpāramitā is the mother...

    The skandhas are known as māyā...
    The dhatūs and āyatanas are understood as the nature of the Dharmadhātu.
Lacking mindfulness, we commit every wrong. - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
ཨོཾ་ཧ་ནུ་པྷ་ཤ་བྷ་ར་ཧེ་ཡེ་སྭཱ་ཧཱ།།
ཨཱོཾ་མ་ཏྲི་མུ་ཡེ་སལེ་འདུ།།


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