How to Practice the Dharma
How to Practice the Dharma
I am the reincarnation of this disciple. The sixth reincarnation moved to Bhutan. When he died, his students went to the 16th Karmapa, who recognized me as his reincarnation. My root lama is Khyentse Rinpoche. I built a monastery in Bhutan named Lhodrak Karchu, which has 250 monks.
Today we will discuss how to practice the dharma. Mind can either be pure, impure, or neutral. Dharma is how we think when we have a pure mind. I will now give you the details. The main point of dharma is to benefit all sentient beings.
By thinking of the sufferings of all beings, we form the resolve to become enlightened for their sake so we can benefit them. Merely wishing to benefit beings is insufficient. We need to practice and have devotion to the Buddhas. There are four points to generating bodhicitta.
We should not distinguish between enemy and friend. In truth, there is no such distinction. Our enemies in past life might now be our friends, or vice versa. Friends can become enemies even in this life. Or even in a single day.
One should meditate like this not just for one person, but for all sentient beings. One should feel this is happening to me when you see someone suffering. From this we generate the desire that all beings be happy.
There is both absolute and relative bodhicitta. Relative bodhicitta is also divided in two, aspiration and actual. One is just the wish to benefit others and the other is carrying the wish out by cultivating the six perfections.
The second perfection is morality. If one has a wish that someone comes to harm, we need to practice morality to turn this around. If we can recognize our negate thoughts and deeds one forms the wish to replace them with positive ones. We need to pray for the person we wished would come to harm.
Patience is control of our anger. Our first thought may be something negative, but we should recognize our anger and control it. One of my teachers was imprisoned by the Chinese for twenty five years.
The fifth perfection is concentration. It means to focus the mind and not let it go here and there. Focussing on compassion and loving kindness are forms of concentration. We need to control the mind.
The sixth perfection is the perfection of wisdom. Knowing that happiness comes from merit and suffering from demerit is wisdom. There three kinds of wisdom are hearing the teachings, thinking about them, and meditating on them.
Even one prostration done with the motivation of bodhicitta is very powerful. Without bodhicitta we cannot become enlightened, whatever our wish. We have to think our life is very precious and short. So we cannot leave the practice of bodhicitta for tomorrow.