Loving Kindness and Compassion is the Basis of Our Practice (09 Jun 2011)

lovingkindness-GN-1If we can use bodhicitta and emptiness at every moment and in every thought, that will be most perfect. We must practice according to one’s capacity, not everyone is suitable to practice emptiness and great wisdom, not everyone is able to have such high level of understanding.

If you have renounced and have great compassion, seen how pitiful sentient beings are, considered the pain and sufferings of sentient beings, then no matter what you do, be it take refuge, generate bodhicitta, meditate, recite, listen to teachings, attend pujas, listen to the dharma and lineage, dedicate all merits to the sentient beings in the six realms, pray that they liberate from the suffering of hunger, birth, ageing, sickness and death, in this way, the power of these merits will be different. If you visualise that many beings are listening to the Dharma, you will create great merits and receive blessings! These aspirations will become the basis of all strength. This strength will enable you to be reborn as a human being in the next life, to be reborn where there are realised beings, able to learn the Buddha Dharma and realise the profound wisdom of emptiness.

If you think about it, how pitiful sentient beings are! How much suffering there is! Now that we have been reborn as human beings, when we are thirsty, we can drink, but the sentient beings at the abattoir, like the yaks, pigs, chickens, their pain, sufferings, hunger, we are unable to apprehend their sufferings! Nobody will give them a cup of water. They are constantly suffering from mental and physical pain. So we must pray that these sentient beings be liberated from pain and suffering. If you were very thirsty and had not drank for seven days, where there was water nearby, but you did not have the energy and strength to drink it. If at that moment, someone gave you a cup of water, how gratified and happy would you be? Similarly, for those who are not liberated from the pain and sufferings of samsara, and someone has dedicated merits to them, immediately they will feel the strength and blessings, that strength is from you, one who have learned the Dharma, participated in pujas and dedicated merits! Sentient beings are able to be free from pain and suffering because of your prayers and aspirations!

We are able to generate bodhicitta very well at the beginning but unable to do so in the end. Why is this so? That is because you do not care enough for the sentient beings. Every day, you are very detailed about what to eat, what to wear, what to do, but when it is for others, you did not pay much attention, like completing a job. Let me tell you, you shouldn’t do this! We must generate great compassion to work for others; we must place much more importance in helping others than in oneself!

Every night when you are in bed, you will think whether you are comfortable, but do you ever consider about the hunger and chill that a little wild puppy is facing outside? Have you ever contemplated about others pain and suffering? If you have, then you are a good practitioner! If you never given any thought about others, thinking of self only, you are not a practitioner at all!

lovingkindness-GN-2As a practitioner, we must give up self-centeredness! Every task that we do during the 24 hours, we must think about the sentient beings. You must let others feel joyful, happy and blessed when they see you as you walk, talk, look, blink, and even what you wear, When your body, speech and mind is pure, others who see you will feel especially joyful, and pure. When your speech is pure and is warm, it will be beneficial to others. If you are rough in your speech, others will be uncomfortable hearing it. If you stare, others who see you will run away. If you walk in a mocking way, others will feel intimiated, this is of great demerit! These sentient beings whom have been our parents in the past are future Buddhas, so we must treat every being with respect.

Lama Rinpoche once said, “When we see yaks, dogs, etc, we must look at them with a warm smile and generate loving kindness and compassion. Even animals can feel the warmth and feel the joy. Our every action should touch sentient beings, benefit them. When you step out of the house, you should think — I must praise every being that I come into contact with. I must speak nicely, make others feel warm and happy and not make others sad, angry, upset. I must let them be happy!” We must generate great compassion.

Why is it that regardless any nationals or race, when you come to Yachen Gar, you want to be near the Guru and do not want to be apart from him, and wish to stay by the Guru’s side? In my heart, there is only loving kindness and compassion, only love and no hatred, so many likes to be with me. A Guru’s every smile, walk, talk, action and contact with everybody is with great compassion, who doesn’t like that? How can you not love someone like that? You can also become a Guru! When you practice Guru Yoga, you do not meditate blankly. Your body, speech and mind must be connected with that of the Guru’s. If you wish to become like your Guru, you must practice like the Guru and follow his example. You must be conscious of your behaviour, do not scream and shout while walking, do not run about. Be mindful of every action. If all of you become like your Guru, how auspicious and happy will all beings be! Our life is all connected together, in form or formless, with other sentient beings, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and the world. So do not think that when you are troubled, it has nothing to do with others. You shouldn ’t think like that! If you are unhappy, those who have connections to you will be unhappy. So we must be mindful of our every action! You must walk gently and slowly, perform all tasks purely and warmly, to accommodate all beings. In this case, all beings, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will also benefit. Sangha represent Buddha Dharma, represent Buddha Sakyamuni, the behaviour, thoughts, practice will have an impact on the Buddhism. If sangha are full of hatred, jealousy, differentiation, no great compassion, that is a let down on the religion, on Buddha Sakyamuni and on Guru. So we must be mindful of our views, behaviours, and practice. Otherwise, we are unable to benefit from Buddha Dharma and unable to receive the blessings.

Loving kindness and compassion is the source of all happiness, and wisdom is the direction of our life. A person who has warmth walks differently from others, when his foot touches the ground, the sentient beings beneath his foot will feel his loving kindness and compassion and warmth. A person who is full of hatred, when his foot touches the ground harms the beings that he steps on. So no matter who, be it a person, animal, flower, grass and trees, we must treat them with a warm heart to benefit them. We must pray that our heart is like water, every being can drink; our heart must be like the sun, to shine on every being. Every sentient being who comes into contact with us will be able to achieve wisdom. If we make such prayers and aspirations in front of Buddha, Bodhisattvas and Guru, you will be able to achieve such great strength life after life.

Actually, Buddha Dharma is right here in our daily life. It is very important that we should continuously contemplate and observe ourselves. If we do not observe our daily behaviour in our practice, the teachings of the Great Perfection will not benefit us very much. When we think about every matter, use Bodhicitta in our every action, our behaviour will become Mahayana Buddha Dharma. Bodhisattvas do not come from empty space, they do not come from temples or rainbows, they come from our every thought and action. Whatever we do, we must think of sentient beings, make them joyful and happy. When your every action is filled with kindness as a part of your daily life, your future will be prosperous. You will be able to achieve great wisdom and merits, where life after life, you are able to benefit sentient beings.

lovingkindness-GN-3Our ability now is very limited, why is this so? That is because your Bodhicitta is very limited, as we are very selfish! Sometimes you feel that you do not have any power, life is very vulnerable, and that is because you did not practice Buddha Dharma from your heart! If you practice Buddha Dharma, things will be different. If you have loving kindness and compassion, you will be Bodhisattva Avalokeshvara; if you have wisdom, you will be Bodhisattva Manjushri; if you have emptiness wisdom, you will be Guru Rinpoche. Every sentient beings possesses Buddha nature, tathagatagarbha and are Buddhas. In the past, they have been our parents and in the future they will be Buddhas and Bodhisattvas! So we shall not harm any sentient beings, we must benefit all sentient beings, treat all sentient beings with loving kindness and compassion, purify oneself, that is then considered practice!

Lay practitioners need not divorce and forget about your family. You are not ordained people, and you learn the Buddha Dharma to broaden your loving kindness and compassion, to benefit the loved ones around you, your family, friends, colleagues and others who are connected to you, to benefit them and to develop your loving kindness and compassion.

If you only care to develop attachment, this attachment will only breed greed and hatred. When greed first arises, you feel warmth, but as greed increases too much, you will suffer. Today’s suffering will bring about future rebirth in hell realm. So when greed arises, you must recite Guru’s name, recite Amitabha Buddha, recite Bodhisattva Avalokeshvara, immediately recite the sadana for generating Bodhicitta, recite the aspiration prayers of Guru. Think in this way, “I am going to hell, but I do not want to go to hell!” Immediately pray to your Guru, recite Amitabha Buddha, and the greed thoughts will disappear. Your mind must be full of warmth and gentle, just like when I sing the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara mantra. I use loving kindness and compassion to sing. When you listen, everybody’s mind will have an inexpressible feeling, our body, speech and mind immediately receives blessings, this is the realisation power of Buddha Dharma and Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara!

— Compiled from 9 June 2011 recordings of Guru’s teaching —

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