Manual of Madhyamika - CLASS NOTES 2
Class Five: Collecting Goodness and Removing Obstacles
The Antidote to Negative Karma:
NYENPO KUNTU CHUPAY TOB The antidote force for purifying negative karma.
The Three Poisons:
DUK SUM The Three Poisons, the main disease in our minds which causes poison three afflictions. These poisons are in our mind all the time, circulating constantly like poison in your blood. They hurt you, and are always with you. If could you get rid of them, you would feel much better. The three poisons are: liking things ignorantly, disliking things ignorantly, and ignorance itself.
SAK CHE KYI NGUPO LA YI-ONG DU NGANG NE impure of thing attractive appears to be
Liking something ignorantly means to like something which is impure, and will later change into suffering—being attracted to things in a way which can’t bring you ultimate satisfaction or happiness. The karma behind the object you’re attracted to will wear out and you will lose it. Ignorant desire misapprehends or mistakes its object; it sees the object and misunderstands it. When you see the object as anything other than your own projection forced upon you by your past karma, you are misperceiving the object. When you misperceive the object, then you can have mental afflictions toward it-”stupid” desire, or “stupid” disliking. When you perceive the object correctly—as an empty object which you’re perceiving a certain way because of your past karma—you can’t have stupid desire or disliking toward it. “Stupid” implies you would do something non-virtuous to get it.
Four Steps for Collecting Negative Karma.
2. You want the object
3. You are willing to do something unethical to get it
4. You collect bad karma
If step number one isn’t present, you can’t collect bad karma. If you understand that good objects only come from doing good, you won’t commit non-virtue to get good objects. “Stupid” liking and disliking is based upon being willing to do non-virtue because of ignorance about the nature of where good things come from.
Non-stupid liking or disliking is to have wisdom, to understanding the emptiness of an object while you are experiencing it. For example, wanting good things while understanding that you must do virtue to experience empty objects as enjoyable; or disliking unpleasant things and thinking that you must avoid non-virtue to avoid experiencing empty objects as unpleasant things.
Intelligent liking is enjoying something while understanding it’s emptiness, while understanding that the experience is forced upon you as a result of virtue done in the past, which you must experience as a good result. Revel and rejoice in your past virtue!
1. LENDRE KYI NAMYE LA MIKEPA actions/consequences all details don’t understand
2. CHANGSE SHE-KYANG DOR LEN TSUL SHIN DU MI JEPA a bit may understand, but take up/give up in the proper way don’t do
Even if we understand karma a little, we can’t control ourselves to do the right thing: we can’t apply what we do know very well; we are unable to do what benefits us and avoid what hurts us. We are constantly collecting bad karma at a vast rate. Purification must be well applied, serious, and consistent to overcome our non-virtues. If you do this, the purification overcomes the bad deeds and things will improve in your life in a noticeable way. Wimpy purification won’t have much noticeable effect. As you purify old bad karmas they ripen as small sufferings and things will seem worse to you. After the old collection of bad karma is used up in this way your life will begin to improve, unless you generate more non-virtue than you purify.
3. JANG SEM KYEWAY GEK – JONG
bodhichitta able to develop obstacle remove it
After you have cleared away the obstacles (negativities in your mind) to getting bodhichitta by doing the Four Forces, you must collect some positive energy—conducive conditions—which help bodhichitta to grow.
Three Levels of Rejoicing:
2. Being happy about you or another doing good things to get to nirvana. This mainly involves doing things to permanently remove your mental afflictions, and most specifically involves seeing emptiness.
2. KULWA Asking holy beings to teach dharma. Buddhist teachers normally won’t teach you unless you ask (three times is traditional), and you must ask in the right way. Asking in the right way means primarily to demonstrate that you’re applying what they’ve already taught you, and are making others happier rather than the opposite.
3. SOLNDEB Requesting your teachers to stay, not to pass on to nirvana, not to pass away. The act of asking them to remain creates the karma for them to continue appearing to you. If your karma wears out, your teacher will leave you.
4. NGOWA Dedication. Putting your good virtue in the bank to be saved and used for enlightenment, rather than cashing it in on temporary pleasures. If you don’t dedicate your virtues, they can be destroyed by non-virtue.
Four kinds of Dedication:
5. TONG SEM Generosity, Surrender. Total willingness to give up everything you have for other people—your body, anything you own, and all your goodness (good karma). This isn’t the perfection of giving, but a warm up for it.
If you don’t practice all five of these strongly and sincerely, you won’t get bodhichitta.
Class Six: Taking Joy
We have thus far described three steps that must be taken to successfully develop bodhichitta:
1. Doing the three preliminaries prior to purifying negative mental imprints.
1. Purifying obstacles
2. Collecting positive energy
3. The ceremony to get the wish
4. Taking joy, after the ceremony occurs:
GAWA GOMPA Taking Joy. Being totally happy that you took the bodhisattva joy meditating on vows. Having joy and dwelling on the emotion of joy. Being very happy that you took the ceremony and the pledge. This is a very important step after you have taken the ceremony; it cements it into your mind and sets the stage for your bodhichitta to increase and flourish after the ceremony. You must sit down and feel happy after the ceremony. This is very important.
1. SENG TUPA Uplift your heart. Be happy and pumped up that you made a commitment to help all others for the rest of your life. Just making the commitment is a great thing, even if you keep it weakly.
DENGDU DAKTSE DREBU YU; MIYI SIPA LEKPAR TOB
DERING SANGYE RIKSU KYE; SANGYE SESU DAK GYUR TO
From this moment on, my life has become fruitful;
Today I’ve been born into the Buddha’s family;
Now I have become a child of the Buddhas.
2. Now that you have this commitment, you should wish to keep it, and to keep it nicely. 3. Think about the rarity of what you have just done. You are one in a million. Of all those in existence, almost no one has bodhichitta. You have determined to make every act be for others’ benefit, to devote everything, to give up your whole life to try to reach enlightenment to help all beings be happy. This is the incredible rarity of getting the bodhichitta commitment.
1. DROWAY CHIDAK JOMPA Destroy the lord of death for other beings. The lord beings lord of death destroy of death is inside you. It is the condition which you are born with, your impending death. If you develop real compassion, you will be able to stop other people’s death, as well as your own. Only by developing compassion can you become fully enlightened and stop your own death, and then you can teach others to do the same.
2. ULWA JOMPA Destroy material and spiritual poverty. If you get poverty destroy real bodhichitta or take the wish, you are taking the first step toward being able to remove the poverty of others. You get to that state yourself (being freed of poverty) and teach others how to do it.
5. KYEPAR NGENSON GYI DUK-NGEL JOMPA Destroy the suffering of the particularly 3 lower realms of suffering destroy three lower realms (hells, craving spirits and animals) in particular. You eliminate the sufferings of beings, and you also eliminate the two causes of those sufferings:
1. NYUN DRIP Mental affliction obstacles are obstacles which primarily prevent mental affliction obstacle you from reaching nirvana, and secondarily prevent you from reaching full enlightenment. There are certain states in your mind which are preventing you from reaching nirvana. These obstacles are: mental afflictions themselves, and the tendency to see things as self-existent. Once you remove these obstacles you have reached nirvana. You must see emptiness directly to do this.
2. SHE DRIP Obstacles to total knowledge (omniscience). When you remove knowledge obstacle these, you become an enlightened being. You destroy the subtlest seed for seeing self-existence. After you have removed your mental affliction obstacles (which occurs on the eighth bodhisattva level), you must remove the obstacles to your omniscience (on bodhisattva levels nine and ten you are working mainly to gain omniscience) and destroy your subtle imprints to see things as self-existent. Obstacles to knowledge and mental afflictions obstacles cause all sickness, suffering, and death. By stopping them, you stop the cause of suffering. Be happy that you have committed yourself to ultimate compassion. Ultimate compassion involves finding out what really makes people get sick and die, and then stops those things.
Class Seven: Mental Afflictions and Wrong World Views
SEM-GYU MASHIWAR JEPAY SEM-JUNG
The definition of a mental affliction is, “A thought which ruins your peace of mind.” Reaching nirvana is to remove all of your mental afflictions forever. Mental afflictions hurt you because they make you unhappy. They ruin your day. Their function is to ruin your day. There is no unhappy state of mind which is virtuous, other than regret. Any unhappy state of mind is a non-virtue.
1. DU CHAK Liking things ignorantly (elsewhere called desire or attachment.) For this to be a mental affliction and therefore a non-virtue, you must like a thing which you see as self-existent in your mind. You like something self-existently and don’t want to lose it. To be a mental affliction you must misunderstand the object; this implies that you would do a non-virtue to get or keep the things you like.
2. KONG TRO Disliking things ignorantly (elsewhere called anger or hatred.) It means seeing something in your mind as self-existent and being willing to do non-virtue to avoid it. For example, yelling back at someone to get them to stop yelling at you.
3. NGA GYEL Pride, literally, “I, the king.” Feeling like you’re better than others, based upon real or imagined qualities. Self-confidence or pride which uplifts and motivates you is fine, and is similar to rejoicing in true goodness. But pride where you are very full of yourself and treat others badly, arrogantly, condescending, etc. is an affliction. Pride afflicts our mind. Pride also karmically leads to stupidity and dull mental faculties. You should focus on the impermanence of your good qualities.
5. TE TSOM Doubt, lazy doubt. Not analyzing and evaluating things with your mind. You don’t accept and fully pursue a teaching or practice because you’re too lazy to find out about it, to investigate, and to pursue it actively. You don’t feel like making the effort to clarify things because then you’ll have to act.
1. JIKTA Perishable view. This focuses upon something which will be destroyed. It focuses upon “me” or “my things”, and think that these things are self-existent. “Me” means my body, self, arms, legs, etc. “Mine” means my house, clothes, etc. You do all your non-virtues because of this; it’s the source of all the mental afflictions.
2. TARTA Extreme view. Holding that things are either non-existent, or that they never change. Having extreme views that things exist in the way that they appear to exist, or that nothing exists at all.
5. TSULTRIM DANG TULSHUK CHOKDZIN GYI TAWA
morality and asceticism believe they’re the best
To believe that mistaken spiritual hardships and morality are the best; including spiritual practices like starving yourself, causing yourself pain, beating yourself and the like. It’s no help spiritually to intentionally hurt yourself, to damage your body or mind.
Master Shantideva’s Battle Cry:
These six primary mental afflictions are the scourge of humanity, and are your enemy. They are your mortal enemy and cause you great suffering. This enemy has ruined you for all time. Make war on this enemy and annihilate it. Recognize, seek, and destroy them, literally; don’t tolerate them for even an instant in your mind. Cancer and aging are caused by the mental afflictions that created this suffering body. Stress, bad habits, every nasty thing in our lives come from them. So make war against them and don’t stop until the job is completely finished. The main weapon is to understand the emptiness of the object, to know where it’s coming from. Another tactic is to study karma and understand what mental afflictions will do to our future, and then to intelligently smash them. If you realize the severity of this problem, you will pay the price and do anything it takes. Ultimately, understanding emptiness is the only way to stop mental afflictions.
Class Eight: Secondary Mental Afflictions; The Six Perfections
7. YO-WA Pretense. Pretending you have qualities which you don’t have so that others will honor you.
10. CHAP-PA Hiding your faults. The longer you hide a fault the more the karma grows.
11. SER-NA Stingy, cheap, not generous, don’t want to give anything.
20. GUPA Scattering. Not being able to stay focused on one thing; distractedly going from one thing to another.
Where afflictions abide:
Is it possible to totally destroy the mental afflictions? The afflictions all come from ignorance— seeing things as self-existent—and they can be removed from our mind stream when we reach nirvana. Once we remove them from our mind, could they possibly hide out somewhere else, then re-infect the mind? There are three possible places where mental afflictions can reside: in your mind, in the outer objects we perceive, and in the senses doing the perceiving.
1. SUK SOK YUL LA MI-NE In the outer world. If mental afflictions resided in the outer world, then everyone would be infected by them, including arhats (who have eliminated mental afflictions permanently). So afflictions can’t be based in outer objects.
3. BAR LA MI-NE There’s no place else for them to go. If they’re not in the outer world, or in your mind, or in the sense powers linking the mind and the outer world, then there’s no place else for them to exist and they have been completely eliminated, with no basis to ever return and arise again. Once they are eliminated from your mind, they’re gone forever.
1. When you reach Buddhahood they can be done perfectly.
4. TSUN DRU Joyful effort. Enjoying doing good things.
These are the activities which can give you the karmic energy to become enlightened in this life. You must spend your life doing these things. “Perfection” means that you have perfected the state of mind which wants to do, and does these things. You want to give everything you have to help others, for example. Perfecting giving doesn’t mean that everyone has everything they want. It means that you are willing to give because you enjoy giving, regardless of the outcome; regardless of whether or not anything seems to improve from what you gave. You have perfected your attitude of giving.
Class Nine: Recollection, Watchfulness, and Freezing
Recollection is holding a virtuous object in your mind and not losing it. This refers to recollecting several specific things. Recollect your ultimate goal to become fully enlightened, recollect your virtuous practice for the day, and recollect the three close recollections:
The three close recollections:
1. First Close Recollections: Buddha Jewel. Walk around thinking, “I’m going for the ultimate goal, and I want to have omniscience, a body in paradise, and the ability to emanate countless bodies everywhere to help all beings.” Also remember the Buddha’s emptiness and your emptiness; this emptiness functions to allow you to become a Buddha. This last point is the essence of the Buddha jewel, and is very important.
3. Third Close Recollection: Sangha Jewel. Those beings who have seen emptiness directly. As you walk around, think of those who have seen emptiness. So, as you walk down the street, recollect your final ultimate goal (enlightenment), recollect the emptiness of a Buddha, the direct perception of emptiness, and those people who have seen emptiness directly. This is the ultimate recollection, thinking about various aspects of emptiness.
There is also another kind of recollection. With this kind of recollection you choose your virtuous activity for the day (for example, giving), and you keep it in the back of our mind and recollect it all day long. You should pick one thing and keep it in your mind as a practice until you get good at it.
Watchfulness is the mental alarm. When you lose your recollection of giving or emptiness, etc., the watchfulness in the back of your mind sounds the alarm that you’ve lost the object of recollection and concentration. Watchfulness watches your thoughts, speech, and actions.
Master Shantideva states that if there is too much sensory stimulation, it’s not possible to keep your recollection and watchfulness. There are methods to keep your mindfulness and to help tune out distraction and regulate your sense stimulation. One practice is dropping your eyes:
- keep your eyes down, look at the ground.
- look up to refresh your mind if you get bored, don’t get distracted.
- if you meet someone you know, look at them and greet them normally, don’t be weird or unfriendly, then go on your way.
- when you look up to refresh yourself, check for cars, telephone poles, etc. and be careful not to physically endanger yourself by looking down.
As you go through the six perfections each perfection is more serious and important than the prior one. Wisdom is the highest perfection and giving is the lowest. The bodhisattva levels (bhumis) are ordered according to the increasing sophistication of the six perfections. Level two is more important and difficult than level one. On the first bodhisattva level you have already seen emptiness directly with bodhichitta in your heart. Even though you have all six perfections on the first bodhisattva level, you are concentrating on perfecting giving. You get very, very powerful at the practice of giving. On the second level you are still practicing all six perfections, but you get really good at living an ethical way of life. When you are practicing the six perfections, concentrate on number one (giving) and get good at it. Then focus sequentially on getting good at numbers two, three, etc. Generally accomplish the perfections one at a time in the proper order. First get good at number one, then focus on number two, then focus on number three, etc. The reason that one perfection leads to the next is as follows: when giving, not being concerned with possessions, and not being attached to things are important attitudes to have. These attitudes leads naturally to an ethical way of life—if you’re not too attached to material objects and worried about keeping them, then it’s much easier to keep your morality. You’re not going to harm others, lie, etc. for those objects. An ethical way of life includes restraining yourself from negative actions, which leads naturally to the next perfection of not getting angry. Learning to restrain yourself, and to fight and struggle with your negativity is hard, and sets the stage to be happy when you do good things (perfection number four). If you have joyous effort, you will be doing good things non-stop day and night. You will focus on doing only that. The activity of concentrating your life single-pointedly on one thing leads naturally to concentrating during meditation. You must be in deep meditation to see emptiness directly, which is the ultimate form of perfection number six.
Situations in which you should “freeze”:
SHING SHINDU MEPA Stay like a piece of wood, freeze. This is mindfulness. When you wood like stay catch yourself in a misdeed, just stop mid-stream. Basically, when any primary or secondary mental affliction arises, catch yourself and stop it. Master Shantideva gives some examples of situations in which bad habits and bad deeds are likely to occur:
1. CHAKPA Liking something ignorantly. Ignorantly means you misunderstand its nature, and wanting it would make you do something unethical to get it.
2. TROWA Disliking things ignorantly. Disliking something to the point you would do something non-virtuous to avoid it.
5. TSANG DRUWA Criticizing, when you want to publicize others’ faults or mistakes.
6. YO-GYU Deceiving others, when you want to put on a facade or hide your bad qualities.
7. DAK-TU Praising yourself.
8. SHEN MU Putting down others.
9. SHEWA Scolding, yelling at someone.
Class Ten: The Perfections of Giving and Ethical Living The six perfections are activities to undertake once you’ve decided to become enlightened for the sake of all beings. This class covers the first two perfections: giving and living an ethical life.
The Perfection of Giving:
I. JIMPAY PARCHIN The Perfection of Giving. There are three categories of giving:
material things of giving
2. MIN JIKPA JINPA Giving protection from fear. Protecting others from harm,
not fearing giving thieves, muggers, etc.
dharma of giving
Things that make a karmic result more powerful: (giving is the example used)
1. GYUN DU JAWA Doing it in a stream. Give over and over again, continually. in a stream giving
5. PEN DOKPAY SHING Give to people who have helped you greatly, such as your helper to do special object parents who gave you a human body and mind with which you can reach ultimate paradise. Acknowledge this benefit.
6. DUNGEL CHEN GYI SHING Give to someone who is suffering, in trouble, tired, suffering someone of powerful stressed, someone who badly needs your help. object Anyone in real, dire need is a powerful karmic object.
Prioritizing the Perfections:
JAWA NYI DOM When there are two options, which one do you choose? Should action two converge you give to person number one or person number two? You need to prioritize your choices. You must do the higher perfection rather than the lower one when you can only do one or the other. For example, you should meditate rather than give, in a situation where both activities can’t be done. The higher perfections ultimately are of greater benefit to us and to others. Also, when practicing a single perfection, focus it toward a higher object rather than a less powerful karmic object. For example, give to the Three Jewels rather than to a person who doesn’t need your gift and is not karmically powerful, if the choice must be made. Prioritize to do the highest perfection to the most powerful karmic object to get to enlightenment the fastest.
1. Keeping your vows.
1. SHENDUN HLURLANG Totally go for it, do everything you possibly can to serve for others’ benefit go for it others.
2. SHEN DUWAY LAPPA Attract and entice others to practice Dharma. Make it others gather train affordable and easy to access. Don’t proselytize or preach, but if they’re somewhat interested lure them sweetly with either material things or through offering the dharma in a way that will attract them:
A. Use material things:
b. NU KYI SAMPA The level the student is on. Judge their level vessel of level and teach at their level, not above or below it.
c. GYACHEN MULA MEN MIJAR If you find a student with great potential, vast attracted lower don’t don’t teach them lower paths. Teach them capacity to teachings put the highest possible level.
A. MA DEPA PANG Prevent others from losing faith. Your activities as a losing faith prevent bodhisattva should prevent other people from losing their faith in Buddhism because of the way you’re acting.
B. LAM TUN PA Have good manners when you give directions and interact the path showing with others. Have a generally pleasing manner; be polite and sensitive to others’ needs. Be considerate and thoughtful.
C. NYELWAY KUNCHU Go to sleep properly, in a nice way. Lie on your right side going to sleep proper as you fall asleep. Think of some very virtuous object as behavior you fall asleep. Think that you’re going to sleep in order to wake up rested, so that you can do great virtue.
- Manual of Madhyamika - Reading One: Author, Structure, and History of the Text
- Manual of Madhyamika - Reading Two: The Benefits of the Wish for Enlightenment
- Manual of Madhyamika - Reading Three: How to Make Offerings
- Manual of Madhyamika - Reading Four: The Four Forces of Purification, Part One
- Manual of Madhyamika - Reading Five: The Four Forces of Purification, Part Two
- Manual of Madhyamika - Reading Six: Taking Joy
- Manual of Madhyamika - Reading Seven: How to Fight the Mental Afflictions, Part One
- Manual of Madhyamika - Reading Eight: How to Fight the Mental Afflictions, Part Two
- Manual of Madhyamika - Reading Nine: Awareness
- Manual of Madhyamika - Reading Ten: The Perfections of Giving and Ethical Living
- Manual of Madhyamika - CLASS NOTES 1
- Manual of Madhyamika - CLASS NOTES 2