Without reliance on each of the three vehicles,the vows of individual liberation, of the Bodhisattvas, and of the Mantras-to cut that old tree of the three poison shat stands in the middle of the plain of samsara,How could there be means to transform beings of different mental dispositions? therefore,
be earnest in suppressing the root, the three poisons.(Sentient beings have a nihilistic view because of habits from previous lives. Now the people of Jambudvipa(our world system) have the good opportunity of meeting with the precious teachings. Their view however is in most cases one of nihilism. Even though they practice,
their view is primarily nihilistic. What we mean by Nihilism is believing only in this momentary life, believing what we see and hear and know of to be all that exists. If there is no sense contact with a phenomena a nihilist will refuse accept its existence. Essentially it is believing only in the material world and not believing in future lives, past lives, the Buddhafields or other realms.
For instance just because we cannot remember what we had for lunch on January 15th last year, does not mean a meal was not taken. Just as in this example, though we cannot remember previous lives, the mind is countinuous and has always existed. Nihilism comes from what Buddhists termed Barbarian cultures. The idea of democracy does not fit with Buddhism.
The Buddhist view is not democratic, communist, anarchist, or imperialist. Buddha’s teaching is not Eastern culture or Western culture, the Buddhist tradition is beyond culture, although it could be called a “Compassion Culture” or a “Culture of Positive Development”. It is a very precious culture not at all like ordinary cultures enmeshed in samsara. Buddhist’s state that all phenomena arise from cause and effects which are totally interdependent. This explains what beings designate ‘the world’
Buddhist view asserts our minds nature is pure, utter wisdom. This explains all aspects of our subjective experiences. Even though we are not currently barbarians, for many of us barbaric habits carry over from our past lives. Right now when we have met with the Buddhadharma we have a excellent oppurtunity to change our habits and wrong views.
Now that we have the opportunity, we need to develop pure habits and pure perceptions according to the example of the Buddha and his disciples who practiced the teachings. We need to develop the view that our impure perceptions, in other words all phenomena, are impermanent.
The Great Pandit, Ashvaghosha, said: Whether on earth or else in the heavens,
Once born, was there ever anyone who did not die? Did you ever see anyone?
Did you ever hear of anyone, or did you have any doubt?”
We need to think on impermanence to make for a meaningful life and to accumulate merit in this current life because without an understanding of impermanence we will not be satisfied because we will continue grasping, which as the Buddha taught, creates negative karma and the consequent suffering of sentent beings.
Thinking on impermanence will lessen our attachment and grasping. For those who do not understand impermanence, even if they are told about it, there is much fear of change and death. This is very mistaken. If you think the phenomena of your life are permanent then attachment will go on increasing and you will be reborn in samsara again and again and again. By meditating on impermancence then life is less like samsara. The truth of impermanence is very precious for by meditating on it we diminish samsara itself.
From Shantideva’s chapter on Wisdom:
By training in this aptitude for emptiness,
The habit to percieve substantiality will fade.
By training in the view that all lacks entity,
This view itself will also disappear.
Impermanence is not an idea created by the Buddha, this world is naturally impermanent, however people don’t recognize this, don’t believe this and don’t practice it and because of this the whole world is becoming barbaric. Everyone whether they believe or don’t believe in the Buddhist spiritual teachings can be helped by meditating on impermanence. Both those who believe in the teachings and those who do not will eventually die. The difference is that those who truly believe the teachings will prepare themselves for this transition.
From the Thiry-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva:
Close friends who have long been together will separate,
Wealth and pssessions gained with much effort will be left behind.
Consciousness, a guest, will leave the hotel of the body.
To give up the concerns of this life is the practice of a Bodhisattva.
Through the practice of mediation the Buddha’s wisdom body can be achieved in future lives or even in this very life and enlightenment gained. This result, enlightenment is the One Solution for all ills. It is emptiness stainless like the sky. This emptiness is our natural birthright through all of our lives because it is the true nature of our mind itself.)
How can one find happiness?
Buddha said even the smallest beings want to have happiness. In fact, all beings are looking for happiness. This is the wish that abides in everyone’s mind: To have happiness. But we do not really know what to do. This is why, even when we have the intention to attain happiness,
we engage many times in wrong activities such as stealing, killing, and lying. Even if in our mind our final objective is to be happy, even if we have the idea of happiness, we do negative and harmful actions to other beings and ourselves with our body and speech.
For beings long to free themselves from misery
But misery itself they follow and pursue.
They long for joy, but in their ignorance
Destroy it, as they would a hated enemy
(Bodhisattvacaryavatara Chpt. 1 verse 28)
This happens because we do know about cause and effect. We can begin to understand cause and effect by observing nature: When you plant a rice seed, for example, what finally grows is always rice. This is the effect. Have you ever seen a potato plant come from a rice seed?
In Buddhism, we give this relationship between cause and effect, the name karma. Karma means action. Karma can be positive or negative depending on our actions. The greater the amount of negative karma, the greater you will experience suffering. The greater the amount of positive karma, the greater is your happiness.
We speak of two kinds of interdependence: external interdependence and internal interdependence. External interdependence corresponds to exterior aspects, like the example we just mentioned with the rice seed. Internal interdependence is inside your mind.
Buddhism call the five poisonous thoughts: anger, desire, ignorance, pride, and jealousy. It is these poisonous thoughts that are the cause of our suffering, and also [the condition of] others suffering. We do not understand this. Further, all the luminous qualities we have in our minds come from the correct motivation to help other beings through love, compassion and patience. These are in reality the seeds of our happiness as well as [the condition of] others happiness.
Should a person live their life constantly fighting and creating confusion, others around them do not want to be close because they will also suffer. On the other hand, if a person promotes love and happiness, everyone wants to be close to them. Others feel comfortable and know that with them they need not be afraid. Unfortunately, from the bad habits acquired over many lives, we easily commit negative actions. We do not need any training from a teacher for this. We seem to fully know this when we are born.
To become a positive person, however, is a difficult process and requires lots of work. Most importantly we must develop our love and compassion towards other beings. The result is a positive and better life, a result for which it is worth working hard.
Without following spiritual teachings you may feel everything is perfect although in reality it is far from it. Through Buddha’s teaching people become more mature and suffused with positive qualities such as love, patience and compassion. You feel this way towards all beings not only your own close circle. Buddha is like our great unknown friend whose blessings come to us even without our realizing it.
(Some western Buddhist’s have become like prostitutes because they accept any kind of teacher and any kind of teaching without having true faith in any of them. Just as a prostitute knows many men but never obtains a faithful partner. It is not my intention for any students to be offended by this but only to make clear how vital a strong teacher disciple relationship is for making any progress on the path. You need to take your commitment to your teacher extremely seriously.
Khunkhyen Longchenpa said in his Magical Resting:
The developing and complestion stages, and so on, are not able to liberate by the essence of their path; they depend on conduct and advantageous circumstances. Lama’i Naljor is only the essence of the path itself, so the realization of the unconditioned nature is born in the mind, and one becomes liberated.
Therefore, Lama’i Naljor is more profound than all other paths. Lama’i Naljor is Guru Yoga. Maintaining Guru Yoga is a discipline of the mind, known as the Samayas of Body Speech and Mind.