Renunciation is a Key to the Dharma and to Liberation (21 Dec 2012)


Gyalwai Nyugu’s teaching during morning practice session on 21st December 2012

Tashi Delek! Good morning everyone! Presently, many of our students have already started to practice the preliminaries. The main purpose of the preliminaries practices is to develop renunciation. I will give a simple exposition today on renunciation as it is very important,

Renunciation is a key that unlocks our awareness to the Dharma and to liberation. It is essential for everyone irrespective of what level of practitioner you are. If there is no foundation of renunciation, our minds will not be able to actualize Bodhichitta or realize emptiness.

The difference between the mundane (worldly) and supramundane (spiritual) dharma is renunciation. If our mental continuum does not have renunciation, regardless of how we learn Buddhism it will be superficial, without any true insight. Without true insight, there is no way to earnestly and sincerely appreciate and value the practices that bring about liberation.

There are some practitioners who are unable to give rise to faith in the Dharma. They are not able to relinquish fame and worldly benefits. When they practice, they are not able to persevere and their Dharma practice is up and down, sporadic– sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes diligent, sometimes lazy. These are symptoms of not having recognized the suffering of Samsara and lacking in renunciation. Before realizing emptiness, from beginning to end we should never leave renunciation. The renunciation is like the boat that enables us to cross the river.

Renunciation is not escapism or avoidance. Renunciation mind is recognizing the true nature, the essence of all phenomena, understanding impermanence and non-self. In this way we will not have attachments or bear strong desires. Most of our sufferings and disappointments come from not understanding the transient nature of phenomena and having a kind of adhesiveness or attachment to them.

renunciation-2Twenty first century society is very materialistic and an abundant way of life. There are many temptations and distractions. If one has no renunciation, these temptations and distractions can easily cause us to neglect the meaning of life and have a negative influence on our path to liberation.

When we respect and practice renunciation, we will naturally have courage and faith in liberation. We will be free of attachments to the external world and free of envy. We raise genuine certainty and understanding that no matter how samsara manifests itself, its nature is suffering. Therefore we must understand what the reality of this world is.

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