At Kagyu Monlam Spain Rinpoche taught on the Aspiration of Maitreya.
by Maggy Jones
What is Monlam? An aspiration, a great wish from the heart. For our prayers, wishes to come true we must make a positive action then a positive aspiration. It is said when powerful people do a positive action then a negative aspiration – evil will happen. Story of the building of the stupa in Bodhnath. First do something very positive and then make a strong positive aspiration and dedication. It is said there will be a time of 1,000 Buddhas, (they will all be Brahmin Indian and men!)
We shall do 7 branch practice and generate bodhicitta. We shall try to generate wisdom and compassion and focus on the 6 paramitas for positive actions. (NB ANY being can become a Buddha.) If everyone wished we could have peace and harmony NOW. So why not? We don’t believe it is possible; we are too attached to our negative emotions and habits; we think they are justifiable. So we must prostrate to those who are free from these. Prayers
The blessings of Buddhas are always there whether you pray or not but how much you receive is up to you – like receiving sunshine. We receive blessings by accumulating merit, generating compassion and Bodhicitta. Story of Lady who invited Buddhas from afar. Bodhicitta is the highest form of practice. Jakarta tale of Buddha in hell realm where he generated Bodhicitta. If you have loving-kindness and compassion you will always have a good rebirth. The 2 Truths. The Ultimate Truth will never change but the Relative Truth is how we experience things and we can change this. All beings are subject to the 4 Sufferings – birth, old age, sickness, death and these are Relative Truths.
Mind? What is it? Where is it? It is unborn and unseen – but it is there. Know its nature and your problems will no longer exist. Start with Relative Bodhicitta and progress naturally to Ultimate Bodhicitta.
This confession is examination of our motives and negative emotions. Why? Because we do not recognise the power and importance of Bodhicitta and our wrong emotions take over. We must learn to control these. Dedicate all positive actions to bring all beings to happiness and generate Bodhicitta. This benefits you as well as others. Act according to your nature and don’t over-do it. Story of Bodhisattva who gave too much. Remember to take care of yourself – but not too much!
7 branch practice. 1. “Offerings” are also giving. 2. “Purification” is expressing regret for what you have done wrong in body, speech and mind. Let go and work on reducing negative emotions using mindfulness – being aware of what is happening when it is happening. 3. “Rejoicing”. Be happy with anything positive and it is the same as doing it yourself. 4. “Prostration” is usually at the beginning, showing respect to all beings. Story of an offering rejected through snobbery. Avoid people who crave respect.
7 branch prayer no. 5. Requesting teachings. We need to learn from the great Beings how to see the difference between the 2 truths and find wisdom. 6. We ask them to stay with us to show us their example of strength with compassion. We need kindness and compassion at all levels. This is not a weakness but can be intelligent and strong.
7. The dedication. Our aspirations and wishes are sometimes made in ignorance so here we wish for everything the Buddhas have wished.
Pray for the 6 clairvoyances – clarity of mind. Pray to be aware of 1. Selfless-ness of phenomena. 2. Selfless-ness of self together these are emptiness, the nature of mind. All phenomena are the nature of a mirage – both existing yet not existing. Yet our mind – not the “I” – experiences the awareness. Samsara is also a “mirage”.
Paramitas; “Paramita” means “the other side”, the enlightened way of doing things – not the ordinary. The 3 types of grasping – the “I”, the object, and grasping – the action. 1st Paramita. Jinpa, generosity. Nothing has a solid existence so giving should present no problems. 2nd Shila, good conduct, understanding the things you do that bring problems to self and others so you stop. Make this a habit. 3rd Zopa, patience. Patience with others and your practice. You cannot change others – only yourself. Story of Maitreya’s prayer. 4th Tsöndrü, diligence. Joy in doing positive things. The clearer you are about the positive purpose of working on yourself the easier it becomes. If it becomes too heavy you will give up. Your dharma practice should be like a hobby. 3 types of laziness. 5th Samadhi, meditation. At the 8th Bhumi you finally understand and the meditative experience becomes your nature. You are not a Buddha but you are close. 6th Prajna, transcendental wisdom. Experiencing the true nature of everything. Experience the three Kayas.