- 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.
Discuss and learn about the traditional Mahayana scriptures, without assuming that any one school ‘owns’ the only correct interpretation.
Jetsun Taranatha's Essence of Ambrosia, Contemplation on the Three Types Suffering
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.]
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].
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].
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.
Nicholas Weeks wrote:by Kalavinka PressAs 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
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
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.
- 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.
A new year and time for extra merit until next full moon. The two posts above should be deleted, along with the account of Nicholas. That was my mistake in trying to register again.
Excerpt From: Charles Goodman. The Training Anthology of Santideva.Here, what is faith? That faith by which people trust in four teachings. What are the four? They trust in the worldly right view that has cyclic existence as its scope.
They rely on the evolution of actions: “Whatever action I do, I will experience the result of evolution of that very action.” Even if their lives are at risk, they don’t act wrongly.
They trust in the bodhisattva way of life. Following that way of life, they do not yearn for another way.
They hear, and trust, the ultimate truth, the definitive meaning, which is that everything has the characteristics of profound dependent arising, no self, no sentient being, no life-force, no person, conventionality, emptiness, no characteristics, and no aspirations.
I think it may retain the posts, but the account was deleted as were the 2 others. You should be good to go.Nicholas Weeks wrote:The two posts above should be deleted, along with the account of Nicholas.
Shantideva - A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life wrote:8. Those who long to overcome the abundant miseries of mundane existence, those who wish to dispel the adversities of sentient beings, and those who year to experience a myriad of joys should never forsake the Spirit of Awakening (bodhicitta)
月影の いたらぬ里は なけれども 眺むる人の 心にぞすむ
.As the Candrapradīpa Sūtra says,
Innumerable offerings of many kinds,
As many as there are in a hundred billion trillion fields,vii
When always offered to the best among humans—
They all don’t add up to as much as a thought of lovingkindness
From The Training Anthology of Santideva.
Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
- If you want to help yourself, produce excellent bodhicitta.
If you want to help others, produce excellent bodhicitta.
If you want to serve the doctrine, produce bodhicitta.
If you want to the path to bliss, produce bodhicitta.
Although antidotes such as ugliness and so on
Do not utterly eradicate attachment and so on,
Supreme bodhicitta, the antidote for all of them,
is victorious over all that is to be abandoned.
The speed of bodhicitta is the lightning flash.
The depth of bodhicitta is the ocean depth.
The limit of bodhicitta is the vault of space.
The firmness of bodhicitta is the axial mountain.
If you possess the wealth of bodhicitta
It doesn't matter if you're attractive or not,
It doesn't matter if you lack fame and honour,
It doesn't matter if you have no other virtue.
- The philosophy connected with bodhicitta is supreme.
The meditation connected with bodhicitta is supreme.
The spiritual activity connected with bodhicitta is supreme.
The result connected with bodhicitta is supreme.
Even if a tirthika sets out the riches of the
Trichiliocosm, the merit created
Cannot compare with that created by offering
A single meal with bodhicitta.
Whatever work one engages in, one should
Do it after connecting it with bodhicitta.
Going from happiness to the culmination of happiness,
One reaches great bliss that never degenerates.
- When happy remember bodhicitta.
When sad remember bodhicitta.
When old remember bodhicitta.
When dying remember bodhicitta.
A thousand deeds apparently beneficial to others
Do not compare with the great surging deed
That is done for others' benefit
When one is in the grip of bodhicitta.
The person who meditates on the thought
"Wandering living beings equal to space
Are my mother", looks to be on the very verge
Of having Mahāyāna bodhicitta arise.
If one is in the possession of bodhicitta
It is fine of one is sick, fine if one is dying,
Fine if one is studying, and fine if one is meditating;
One seems to be fine no matter what one is doing.
To be without bodhicitta and yet
To feel oneself a Mahāyāni
Is like getting rid of all one's wealth
And yet thinking oneself to be rich.
When you walk, walk with bodhicitta.
When you sit, sit with bodhicitta.
When you stand, stand with bodhicitta.
When you sleep, sleep with bodhicitta.
- In order to discard the desires of this life it is important to continually contemplate their remedy--impermanence. If one does not give rise to the thought of impermanence in the early morning, then by noon all of one's activities will have been for the sake of this life alone. If one doesn't give rise to the thought of impermanence at noon, the in the afternoon all will have been done for this life alone. If all of your deeds have been done for this life, none of your deeds will have become the Dharma.
- Death ought to make us fearful right now,
For we mustn't quake in fear on the verge of dying.
We do the opposite; we're presently fearless,
Yet, on the verge of passing away, we will claw our chests with out fingernails.
- If you rely on them, they will not deceive you.
This is the exclusive quality of the Three Jewels.
So always go for refuge there!
- The venerable Upali then asked the Lord Buddha, "As the Blessed One has said, 'This monk has such a mass of merit'. In what way, Bhadanta, will such a mass of merit diminish, give out, and finally be exhausted?".
"Upali, I see no injury and harm more terrible than when one follower of the religious life entertains bad thoughts toward another follower of the religious life. In this way Upali, these great roots of virtue will diminish, give out, and finally be exhausted. So then, Upali, you should put this into practice: 'We won't even have bad thoughts toward a burnt stump, let alone a body with sensory consciousness'".
- In the context of compassion, Dromtonpa told a person from Kham named Jampal whose legs were injured: "Now, if your old mother were in front of you being bitten by a ferocious dog, and there was no one else around, you would certainly stagger toward her without remembering your injured legs. In the same way, if one gives rise to an unfabricated mind that perceives sentient beings beings as one's mothers, overwhelming compassion will come about in the moment one sees the suffering of a sentient being".
Kharagpa spoke the following:
- Even the slightest suffering now
Exhausts the evil you have done in the past;
In the future, you will certainly be happy.
So cultivate a liking for suffering.
Adverse circumstances are the spiritual adviser;
Obstacles are admonitions to virtuous practice;
Suffering is the broom that sweeps away evil;
Do not look upon these as unpleasant misfortunes.
- Even the slightest suffering now
- Minyak Kunzang Sonam
- Gonpawa said:
- In order to give up negative emotions, we need to know their shortcomings, their characteristics, their antidotes, and the causes for their arising. Having understood their shortcomings, one sees their faults and perceives them as one's enemies. If one does not understand their shortcomings, one will not realise that they are enemies. This reflection accords with Bodhicaryavatara and the Sutralamkara.
- In order to understand the characteristics of negative emotions, one studies the Abhidharma. At least one must study the characteristics of the five aggregates to understand the root and subsidiary disturbing emotions. When any emotion, such as attachment or aversion arises, one then thinks, "This is the one. Now this one has come up!" This way of identifying them will combat the negative emotions.
Moreover, from Gyalse Thogme himself:
- Training in taming the thoughts of the three poisons during the post-meditation stage
Is indispensable until all thoughts and appearances have arisen as dharmakaya.
Hence, remember it when necessary.
Do not let confused thoughts run wild [...]
- Minyak Kunzang Sonam
- Make petitions from below and blessings enter from above.
When you have first served your own benefits, those of others follow.
If you put non-agitation into practice the non-agitated dawns in your mind.
If you clear away the kleshas within, outward suffering dried up.
If you understand phenomena as illusory, the absence of preoccupations will be born in your mental continuum.
When your own accumulations are spread externally, the accumulations of others are gathered within.
If you hide your utterances within, you will be free of faults outwardly.
If you understand non-truth externally, inner fixations will dissolve.
If you reverse external addiction, awareness dawns within.
If you cut off outwardly oriented praprancas, subject-object dichotomies are disentangled within.
When you withdraw from external entertainments, virtuous efforts blossom within.
If you dissolve desire in your mind, bliss arises in your mental continuum.
When awareness has nothing on which to rest, the six heaps (the six senses) are disentangled in their own ground.
When you overcome internal kleshas, you are freed from external enemies.
If you dress in body armour in your mind, perseverance is born in your body.
When awareness is clarified within, the interdependent connections appear in the external world.
If you uncover samsara's hidden flaws, internal addictions are reversed.
If you rely on a mental continuum free of preoccupations, external appearances appear as illusory.
If the super-addictions are eliminated within, the absence of need for necessities dawns without.
If the eight worldly dharmas are levelled within, all that has to do with samsara and nirvana will dissolve externally.
If you stop troubling thoughts internally, outwardly you will find nothing to talk about.
If you understand the absence of of own-nature (svabhava) internally, then the need for acceptance-rejection does not arise.
"In regards to the eye of insight, Atiśa states:
- The view with the eye of insight has two [divisions]: seeing the nature of what does not exist and seeing the nature of what exists.
Whatever existence of the threefold world appears in the perspective of one with narrow vision*, that does not exist, and all the conceptualisations of graspable objects and grasping subjects, such as the appearances of the one hundred and sixty worldly minds and so forth, are seen to be not at all established, like a sky-flower and so forth.
Therefore, all conceptualisation without exception is a great stain to be washed. One should realise the equivalence of sky-flowers and mundane existence. Those with eye disease say they see hairs in the space [before them]. There is no difference between those with eye disease and transmigrating beings. Thus, the threefold mundane existence is equivalent to a sky-flower.