Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Buddha Nature

Buddha nature is continuously present in ourselves as well as in everyone else, without any exception whatsoever. It is in essence forever unobscured. It doesn’t increase or decrease. It is not sometimes covered or uncovered. It is totally beyond mental constructs. It does not change in size. It is not that someone has a big buddha nature and somebody else a small one. There is no difference in quality either. It is continuously present to the same extent in everyone.
To recognize the buddha nature present in oneself is called the view. To sustain the continuity of that correctly is called meditation or training. To mingle that with daily activities and act in accordance with the Dharma is called action or conduct. And to realize it as totally unobscured, like the sun shining with unchanging brilliance in the sky, is called fruition. We need to recognize the view; we need to recognize our buddha nature. Although it is something we already have, we need to acknowledge what we possess. The preliminary practices, the development stage, and so forth are all meant to enable us to recognize the buddha nature. They are like helpers, assistants.
To say “recognize your own nature, the buddha nature!” does not mean that we have to produce something which does not exist, like trying to squeeze gold out of a piece of wood, which is impossible. We must simply recognize what we already possess. But humans, who are the most clever and capable of all the different types of sentient beings, seem to be bent on totally throwing away this most precious wish-fulfilling jewel. The normal state of a human being is like someone who has found a precious wish-fulfilling jewel but ignores it, thinking that a fake piece of jewelry is more valuable. There is nothing sadder or of greater waste than this.
--Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in Repeating the Words of the Buddha

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A rare photo

The caption on this rare picture reads "jkclsitushengajamgyal" which supposedly means: Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, Katok Situ, Khenpo Shenga, and Jamgyal. It was photographed from a wall in Kham by my friend Mateo, the mad traveler. The first two masters are mentioned throughout Blazing Splendor.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Three-Year Retreat Begins at Asura Cave

This year, nearly 200 people participated in our traditional fall seminar at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling monastery in Boudha. Rinpoche taught an amazing text, “Naturally Liberating Whatever You Meet,” by Khenpo Gangshar, a teacher of Trungpa Rinpoche as well as Trangu Rinpoche. We all felt extremely blessed by Rinpoche’s lucid commentary. The participants all seemed very serious about practice and a wonderful feeling of support and harmony prevailed among the sangha. On the seminar’s break day, everyone was invited to join the celebrations for the beginning of a new three-year retreat in our monastery in Parphing. Eight monks started this retreat, most of them quite young. Rinpoche mentioned during the seminar that he was very touched that even young monks asked for permission to do a three-year retreat. When Rinpoche inquired if they were sure about this, since it would be three years and not just three weeks or three months, some of the monks started to get tears in their eyes, saying that they would like to do at least one valuable beneficial thing in their life, a three-years retreat! Rinpoche asked us to make aspiration prayers so that their retreat will be successful.
On the day of the celebration in Parphing, the athmosphere in the main temple was amazing and very touching. Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche as well as Chokling Rinpoche addressed the retreatants as well as their relatives and friends. Also, Chokling Rinpoche’s wife, Dechen-la, was present and blessed them. Rinpoche often said that Parphing is an especially blessed place, since it was at Asura cave where Guru Rinpoche gained realization through the practice of Vajrakilaya. We are happy to announce that new floors were added to the buildings closest to the hill. Soon there will be more retreat rooms available, built to western standards, including an attached bathroom. Everyone is welcome to use those rooms as soon as they are completed.

--written by Tina Lang