Archive for the ‘Dalai Lama Atisha’s Lamp Los Angeles 00 EN’ Category

1 H.H. Dalai Lama Teachings Los Angeles 2000

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: I believe that humans are basically kind and gentle and that the use of violence goes against our fundamental nature.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: I believe that humans are basically kind and gentle and that the use of violence goes against our fundamental nature.

Teachings given at Los Angeles, CA 2000 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment

About one thousand years ago, the great Indian pandit and yogi, Dipamkara Shrijnana (Atisha), was invited to Tibet to re-establish the Buddhadharma, which had been suppressed and corrupted for almost two centuries. One of Atisha’s main accomplishments in Tibet was his writing of the seminal text, A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment http://www.sangye.it/altro/?p=1095#more-1095 , in which he extracted the essence of all 84,000 teachings of the Buddha and organized them into a clear, step-like arrangement that makes it easy for any individual practitioner to understand and practice the Dharma. This genre of teachings is known as lam-rim, or steps of the path, and forms an essential part of every school of Tibetan Buddhism.

In this teaching, His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives a commentary to not only Atisha’s revolutionary work but also to Lines of Experience, a short text written by Lama Tsongkhapa, who was perhaps the greatest of all Tibetan lam-rim authors. Continua »

 

2 H.H. Dalai Lama Teachings Los Angeles 2000

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: When we speak about the nature of mind in a Buddhist context, we have to understand that it can be understood on two different levels—the ultimate level of reality, where the nature of mind is understood in terms of its emptiness of inherent existence, and the relative, or conventional, level, which refers to the mere quality of luminosity, knowing and experience.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: His Holiness the Dalai Lama: When we speak about the nature of mind in a Buddhist context, we have to understand that it can be understood on two different levels—the ultimate level of reality, where the nature of mind is understood in terms of its emptiness of inherent existence, and the relative, or conventional, level, which refers to the mere quality of luminosity, knowing and experience.

Teachings given at Los Angeles, CA 2000 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment : General Introduction

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Studying these teachings is a bit like doing construction work upon our mind. This kind of work is not always easy, but some of its aspects make it less difficult. For example, we don’t need money, laborers, technicians or technology. Everything we require is already there, within our mind. Therefore, with the right kind of effort and awareness, mental development can be easy.

I sometimes feel a little hesitant about giving Buddhist teachings in the West, because I think that it is better and safer for people to stay within their own religious tradition. But out of the millions of people who live in the West, naturally there will be some who find the Buddhist approach more effective or suitable. Even among Tibetans, there are those who practice Islam instead of Buddhism. If you do adopt Buddhism as your religion, however, you must still maintain an appreciation for the other major religious traditions.Even if they no longer work for you, millions of other people have received immense benefit from them in the past and continue to do so. Therefore, it is important for you to respect them. Continua »

 

3a H.H. Dalai Lama Teachings Los Angeles 2000

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: There are various manifestations of consciousness. These include the grosser levels of thought, emotion and sensory experience, whose existence is contingent upon a certain physical reality, such as environment and time. But the basic continuum of consciousness from which these grosser levels of mind arise has neither beginning nor end; the continuum of the basic mind remains, and nothing can terminate it.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama: There are various manifestations of consciousness. These include the grosser levels of thought, emotion and sensory experience, whose existence is contingent upon a certain physical reality, such as environment and time. But the basic continuum of consciousness from which these grosser levels of mind arise has neither beginning nor end; the continuum of the basic mind remains, and nothing can terminate it.

Teachings given at Los Angeles, CA 2000 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment: Features of the Lam-Rim Teachings

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Atisha’s Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment

In terms of the lineage of the teachings of the two texts we will be following here, I first received the transmission of Lama Tsong Khapa’s text, Lines of Experience, from Tathag Rinpoche at a very early age, and later from my most venerable tutors, the late Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, who was also the master for my full ordination as a monk, and the late Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. Continua »

 

3b – H.H. Dalai Lama Teachings Los Angeles 2000

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: The basic continuum of consciousness, from which the grosser levels of mind arise, has neither beginning nor end.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: The basic continuum of consciousness, from which the grosser levels of mind arise, has neither beginning nor end.

Teachings given at Los Angeles, CA 2000 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment: Features of the Lam-Rim Teachings

Lines of Experience: Verse 1

I prostrate before you, (Buddha), head of the Shakya clan. Your enlightened body is born out of tens of millions of positive virtues and perfect accomplishments; your enlightened speech grants the wishes of limitless beings; your enlightened mind sees all knowables as they are.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

As we have seen, it is traditional first to present the greatness of the author in order to explain the validity and authenticity of the teaching and its lineage. Continua »

 

4 H.H. Dalai Lama Teachings Los Angeles 2000

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: The first three qualities of the spiritual teacher relate to the practice and experience of the Three Higher Trainings of morality, concentration and wisdom.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: The first three qualities of the spiritual teacher relate to the practice and experience of the Three Higher Trainings of morality, concentration and wisdom.

Teachings given at Los Angeles, CA 2000 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment : Relying on a Spiritual Teacher

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The qualities of a teacher

Lines of Experience: Verse 8

Although (there is much merit to be gained from) reciting or hearing even once this manner of text (written by Atisha) that includes the essential points of all scriptural pronouncements, you are certain to amass even greater waves of beneficial collections from actually teaching and studying the sacred Dharma (contained therein). Therefore, you should consider the points (for doing this properly).

Lama Tsong Khapa’s Lines of Experience is a key to the connections and relationships between all the various scriptural texts. Verse 8 presents how the teacher should teach and how the students should listen, so that both teaching and listening are successful and effective. Continua »

 

5 H.H. Dalai Lama Teachings Los Angeles 2000

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: The purpose of meditating on impermanence and death is to remind you of the preciousness of the opportunities that exist for you in life as a human being.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: The purpose of meditating on impermanence and death is to remind you of the preciousness of the opportunities that exist for you in life as a human being.

Teachings given at Los Angeles, CA 2000 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment : Becoming inspired to practice Dharma.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Levels of spiritual trainees

Lamp for the Path: Verse 2

Understand that there are three kinds of persons
Because of their small, middling and supreme capacities.
I shall write clearly distinguishing
Their individual characteristics.

Having explained how to rely on a spiritual teacher, in his Great Exposition, Lama Tsong Khapa goes on to discuss the procedure for engaging in the practices of the path. This is divided into two sections: how to inspire ourselves with enthusiasm for practice and how to actually engage in it. To practice Dharma successfully, we need determination and courage. Continua »

 

6 H.H. Dalai Lama Teachings Los Angeles 2000

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: There is a Tibetan saying, “If there’s one good thing about negativities, it’s that they can be purified.” 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: There is a Tibetan saying, “If there’s one good thing about negativities, it’s that they can be purified.”

Teachings given at Los Angeles, CA 2000 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment : Refuge, Karma and Precepts.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Taking refuge

Lines of Experience: Verse 11

After death, there is no guarantee that you will not be reborn in one of the three unfortunate realms. Nevertheless, it is certain that the Three Jewels of Refuge have the power to protect you from their terrors. For this reason, your taking of refuge should be extremely solid and you should follow its advice without ever letting (your commitments) weaken. Moreover, (your success in) so doing depends on your considering thoroughly which are the black or the white karmic actions together with their results and then living according to the guides of what is to be adopted or rejected. I, the yogi, have practiced just that. You who also seek liberation, please cultivate yourself in the same way. Continua »

 

7 H.H. Dalai Lama Teachings Los Angeles 2000

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: The Sanskrit term bhagavan has the connotation of someone who has conquered and gone beyond the state of negativity and limitation.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: The Sanskrit term bhagavan has the connotation of someone who has conquered and gone beyond the state of negativity and limitation.

Teachings given at Los Angeles, CA 2000 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment : Seeking freedom from cyclic existence

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Renunciation

Lamp for the Path: Verse 4

Those who seek peace for themselves alone,
Turning away from worldly pleasures
And avoiding destructive actions
Are said to be of middling capacity.

In this reference to turning away from worldly pleasures, we have to understand that according to Buddhism, even things and events that are conventionally regarded as pleasurable are ultimately all dukkha, that is they are of the nature of suffering and dissatisfaction. When the Buddha explains the path that transcends suffering, he is referring not only to painful experiences but also to conventionally pleasurable ones. This understanding is not unique to Buddhism, but common to both Buddhist and non-Buddhist schools in India. Continua »

 

8 H.H. Dalai Lama Teachings Los Angeles 2000

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: When you are happy and things are going well, you should practice bodhicitta, because it will protect you from becoming inflated with ego and from disparaging or insulting others. When you are suffering and facing adversity or misfortune, you should also practice bodhicitta, because it will protect you from losing hope and feeling depressed.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: When you are happy and things are going well, you should practice bodhicitta, because it will protect you from becoming inflated with ego and from disparaging or insulting others. When you are suffering and facing adversity or misfortune, you should also practice bodhicitta, because it will protect you from losing hope and feeling depressed.

Teachings given at Los Angeles, CA 2000 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment : Cultivating the altruistic intention of Bodhicitta

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Lamp for the Path: Verse 5

Those who, through their personal suffering,
Truly want to end completely Continua »

 

9 H.H. Dalai Lama Teachings Los Angeles 2000

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Make this firm resolution: “As a Dharma practitioner, from now on, I must work for the benefit of all sentient beings. I will attain buddhahood for their sake, to liberate them from suffering and lead them to enlightenment,” 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Make this firm resolution: “As a Dharma practitioner, from now on, I must work for the benefit of all sentient beings. I will attain buddhahood for their sake, to liberate them from suffering and lead them to enlightenment,”

Teachings given at Los Angeles, CA 2000 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment : The ceremony for generating Bodhicitta.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Introduction

To participate in the ceremony for affirming and enhancing your generation of the altruistic intention, first visualize that Shakyamuni Buddha is here in person, surrounded by such disciples as Maitreya, Manjushri, Nagarjuna, Arya Asanga and the other great Indian masters of the past, whose writings we continue to enjoy and derive benefit from to this day and which serve to open our eye of awareness. Reflect upon the kindness of these masters, as well as that of the Buddha and the bodhisattvas. Also imagine the presence of the great masters from all four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism—Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyü and Geluk—going back to when Buddhism first started to flourish in Tibet in the seventh to eighth centuries. Practitioners from other Buddhist traditions should visualize the lineage masters and historical teachers of their own traditions in the assembly. Continua »

 

10 H.H. Dalai Lama Teachings Los Angeles 2000

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Meditative concentration is the king wielding power over the mind.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Meditative concentration is the king wielding power over the mind.

Teachings given at Los Angeles, CA 2000 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment : Bodhisattva outlook and action.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Taking the bodhisattva vows

Lamp for the Path: Verse 18

Having developed the aspiration for enlightenment,
Constantly enhance it through concerted effort.
To remember it in this and also in other lives,
Keep the precepts properly as explained.

If you have taken a formal pledge of bodhicitta, you have to abstain from the four negative factors and cultivate the four positive ones to ensure that your practice does not degenerate in this and future lifetimes. Continua »

 

11 H.H. Dalai Lama Teachings Los Angeles 2000


His Holiness the Dalai Lama: When you understand dependent origination, you can reject any notion of independent existence—existence not dependent upon other factors. Things and events are dependently designated because their identity is derived in dependence upon other factors.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: When you understand dependent origination, you can reject any notion of independent existence.

Teachings given at Los Angeles, CA 2000 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment: The Perfection of Wisdom.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The importance of the perfection of wisdom

Lamp for the Path: Verse 41

When the practitioner has gained calm abiding,
Higher perception will also be gained,
But without practice of the perfection of wisdom,
The obstructions will not come to an end.

According to Mahayana Buddhism, of all of the Buddha’s discourses, the essential teachings are those in the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, which present the two aspects of the path. Their explicit subject matter is the profound view of emptiness; their implicit subject matter, the stages of the path, or levels of realization. Continua »