Teachings, questions and answers on various topics, starting around the themes of Vipashyana and Mindfulness, from Mystic Yoga group retreat in Bodhicharya Meditation Centre, Sikkim.
Part 3 is missing the latter half of the session (Q&A).
Photo thanks to Mystic Yoga / Sudhir Maheshwari, Bodhicharya Kolkata.
by Maggy Jones
N.B. The questions were mostly inaudible. This is a summary of the answers
Mindfulness. Nowadays it is a form of meditation to make your mind more relaxed but if it is not done correctly it will not help much. Done properly it can clear obstacles and help your body to heal. Even if the body does not heal, it will help you to reconcile yourself. Story about the wise man who solved the problems by diverting the person’s focus. Do not focus on either the positive or the negative but allow the mind to be free. Our mind, in its essence has so much power, so much potential, everything can be purified and liberated.
In Buddhism all forms of meditation are contained within Shamatha, calming the mind, and Vipashyana, insight. – understanding and experiencing the true nature of things.
The mind poisons (kleshas) * are recognised as the chief cause of our suffering –. There are no winners in war, so why? The mind poisons are too strong. But remember these emotions do not stay – so wait before action. 3 ways to deal with this: 1st Let go. 2nd They will not last 3rd Not so important. N.B. “Letting go” is not “suppressing”.
Mindfulness – being aware of what you are doing; remembering what to do, and then you can let go. The 2nd solution is transformation; focus your mind on something opposite. 3rd is understanding how problems arise. Expectations cause many problems. Accept whatever happens.
Meditation is normally taught with View and Conduct. The three trainings. The View discriminates whether the Action will bring benefit. It is not necessary to meditate for long periods, just keep checking on your mind.
* ignorance, attraction & aversion (one), jealousy, pride, anger
Right view? In India when there is a difference of opinion they debate – not always on the subject matter but on how to present the truth. The Ultimate truth cannot be expressed in words because words use concepts. Story of the debates between 2 great masters Chandrakirti and Chandragomin which lasted for 12 years.
Relative truth is the way we see and experience things; ultimate truth is the way things really are. “Emptiness” is within the ultimate truth. There are 3 steps. 1. Impermanence. Everything we know will change, like it or not. 2. Interdependence. Everything arises from so many causes. 3. Understanding these two can lead to realisation of “shunyata”, emptiness. Anything is possible and there is nothing to fear – but it is difficult so we live in samsara. Look at your kleshas. Are they good for you or doing harm? Story of reconciliation between mother and daughter-in-law.
People sometimes don’t know what brings them happiness and cause pain. Have compassion for them but take action if they are causing harm. Might you be taking things too seriously?
It is difficult to love without attachment but they are different. Love is giving, attachment is grasping, a conditional love.
Introduction to the nature of mind. You cannot “see” the mind so how do you examine it? Everything is experienced through the mind, according to your view abilities, and attitudes. If you mind is in a good situation, external events, problems etc. will not be important. We know that everything is impermanent and interdependent and therefore has no solid existence; things come and go within shunyata.
Who is experiencing it? It is your awareness, your consciousness – the only thing that can “see” your mind. Sit quietly and look within. You cannot say it is not there; but you cannot “find” it. Its essence is emptiness, with the qualities of awareness and clarity, and the possibility of anything arising.
The problem happens when you say “MY mind”. There is no “me”. You must look in, to transform yourself; when this experience arises don’t change it, don’t judge, just let it be. Do not make concepts. Advice: 1st Do not meditate (you are then trying to do some-thing). 2nd Do not get distracted. 3rd Do not contrive. For these you need 1st understanding 2nd experiencing 3rd Realisation
Light hearted discussion on movies.
Focussing on our problems becomes a habit and slowly there is nothing but problems. You can never please everyone. If you receive criticism, examine it; if it is true take not, if it is not – why bother. 3 ways of dealing with emotions; 1st Letting go 2nd Transforming. 3rd Understanding. Use what works for you. Examine whether this brings benefit. How to let go? 3 ways: 1st emotions are impermanent 2nd delay action. Story of George Washington. 3rd Look in, and see what is happening. Be free.
Meditation is to bring mindfulness, being aware of what is going on and what you are doing. Then nothing will disturb you.
Rinpoche talks briefly on his publications.
The Five Aggregates * (Skandhas) cause our delusion. They are deep and hard to transform. Rinpoche elaborates. Difficulties for students when teachings are intermittent and one-off. The positive sides of negative emotions are wisdom and compassion. Compassion is not appreciated, but it is the basis of good human life. Develop a compassion with strength and wisdom. The more we can extend our range of compassion and love, the better the world. Comments on purpose of education.
* Form, feeling, perception, formation, consciousness.