Easter Retreat 2015 - Talk 4 Part A

Good afternoon everybody.  I am very happy to se you all once again.  And I do hope that you will go home feeling very much re-energised.  My prayer and wish is that everything I teach here will encourage you to become a wholesome person.  So, I thought that whether you have a belief or not, or if you follow a different faith, it makes no difference.  I think we should always remember that we have a choice. 

Before I start to talk and then I keep on talking, I said there will be an opportunity for all of you to ask me anything to do with meditation.  Have you managed to build a confidence in meditation so you’ll go home thinking, ‘I now know how to meditate’?  You don’t have to be fearful.  And ‘I now know why we meditate.’  If you ask in public, other people might benefit.  Once the question and answers are finished, I will give you some sort of schedule to go home with. 

Sometimes we are very laid back, human beings.  When things go very well, we don’t put effort into what is doing right.  And then when things don’t go very well, trying to pick up something is more difficult.  If you are a wise human being and you have been practising and you feel physically more sound, mentally healthier, it is because of this proper engagement. 

When you feel good, you should not give up the practising.  And then in a matter of time, it’s like you managed to charge your battery but then you let the battery run out.  Then trying to re-charge is not useful.  You should just keep charging the battery on a regular basis so that you don’t get sort of worn out. 

Samsara is not an easy place to go.  There is so much challenge waiting there.  And many of you are always thinking we live in a free world, but mentally you are not free human beings.  But with the teaching and with your commitment, you could actually gain freedom, because not government or anybody can give you freedom, except yourself.   Remember, ‘I have a choice.’ 

When we say, freedom, self-liberation, what enslaves us?  Our desire.  Our needs.  Our wants.  Our need to have a relationship.  Our need to have a big house.  Our need to have lots of money.  They are the ones that enslave our life.  They are the ones that cause us a lot of stress.  In that very disturbed mind, people never manage to think that everything they have been pursuing is nothing but impermanent.  You never can say, ‘I am rich and forever I will be rich.’  Or you can never say, ‘Actually, yesterday I was hoping to get something,’ and if I can get hold of that, you think that everything is going to be alright.  But then tomorrow you change your mind, see? 

Whatever you have been pursuing, as soon as you get it, it doesn’t even take more than a few days, then you need something else to pursue.  That is like a deep, deep ocean with a deep bottom, you throw things in there and you can’t fill the ocean - that means a very greedy mind can never be filled. 

Buddha’s teaching about gratitude, appreciation, is what you need to remember.  Always remember the things you have.  You can always think, ‘why is this Lama always cheerful?’  I don’t have many things like you people have.  I’m so grateful that Samye Ling feeds me.  You know, I’m so grateful that they give me breakfast.  And I’m trying to be very cheap Lama, I don’t even eat after noon.  After lunch, that’s it till tomorrow morning. 

I have to think, ‘I can’t be a burden to Samye Ling,’ because my upbringing says that if I am the Abbot of this place, no one is ever going to tell me what I can use or can’t use.  But we have been told that you should never indulge in public funds.  This public fund is for the good of all humanity.  So, we will never even touch it to indulge our own life. 

I can possibly enslave my sanghas.  But I carry my luggage, I never even ask them to carry one bag.  Wherever I go I carry my luggage.  I even have diabetes, high blood pressure, doctor says I have to take 6 meals a day.  I thought it was such an inconvenience.  It just ruins your whole structure.  So, I decided that whatever happens it means no big deal to me.  So, I decided that I will have breakfast, lunch and then nothing more till next morning.   No doctor agreed but recently research in the USA says that people like me should be doing what I’ve been doing for a long time.  Not eating each time your mouth is free, throwing things in. 

You should really examine your state of mind, what is it that makes you so stressed?  What makes you angry?  Maybe so much chocolate?  Yes, I’m not joking.  People who eat a lot of chocolate or sweets they become very temperamental.  You have to say, maybe it is not caused by something else because you can’t stop drinking so much chocolate or eating chocolate.  You should examine yourself, what makes you such an angry person?  So, before you have the opportunity to ask me, you have to really think, anger has no place in me, because anger disturbs your whole life.  It just makes your whole life miserable.  So, anger is not a good quality to have. 

So much overwhelming desire, attachment, is also useless.  Selfishness is the most useless thing you can ever have.  So, when I say you are here to come and pick up something, which when you go home, and you are able to implement, will make you wealthy forever – what I mean is a stable mind, a compassionate mind, a tolerant mind, a very, very forgiving mind.  Forgiving, forgiveness to others, is beauty, because when you learn to forgive others it frees your own suffering.  

It is never useful to beat yourself up, that is meaningless also.  If you never have some sort of confidence in yourself, you don’t respect who you are.  How in the world could you have a fulfilled life?  You must have we call in Buddhism, a confidence.  

So I want all of you to remember a few things I say, but they are the most precious things.  We meditate because we don’t like to see or hear nothing but misery and suffering, people enjoying killing each other.  Are we going back to savagery?  Where is wisdom?  Where has our thinking mind gone? 

Children can have nightmares, they can’t have a proper sleep if someone is bombing you everywhere.  Then if someone is shooting or killing how do you have security?  These are all called symptoms of madness, because we have lost anything to do with wisdom.  If we are human beings, we should not be the root of our own suffering. 

So I suggest, since you came here, whether you have belief or no belief, whatever your race or age, the one thing we all have in common is that we want to engage in a path that is for the benefit of all mother sentient beings.  You are going to practice something so that you will feel good about yourself.  You are going to practice so that you have respect for other human beings.  These sort of things you can do with a very stable mind.  A very tolerant mind can do that. 

Why is a stable mind so important?  Without a stable mind we are all over the place.  We get influenced by everything so easily.  Watching television, seeing newspapers, listening to people, we get influenced, influenced, influenced.  In a way it is like we are outside there, a feather, we blow away in every direction, whatever people say easily influences us.  Can you see that it is so bad?  We must have dignity, stability, impartial mind.  Who wouldn’t want that?  We should all have that. 

So, you should find the reason and the time to meditate when you go home.  Because that is the only thing you have.  Create time.  Give yourself the opportunity or chance to become this wholesome, better person.  You have to help yourself. 

But then I say when I talk, I get carried away.  You can ask me some things about mediation, mind, that is what I have been dealing with for so long.  But if you believe Buddhism, wherever we are we have built up this habit.  So, we must learn to practice, because everything out there you think you achieve something, but it is nothing more than mirage, hallucination.  There is nothing fixed, only your own mental fixations.  All the fixations you have everything is a mirage, see?

All your emotions, so real, so strong, how long are you going to be brewing your emotions for how many years?  Not necessary.  If you stop thinking about past, finished, gone.  Yes!  As simple as that.  It is the past that brings you back, see?  It is like me saying, ‘oh, I suffered so much when I was escaping, I suffer so much because I had to eat leather, I suffered so much because I had to go through such hard conditions.’  It is like I am digging my grave.  My English is improving!  (lots of laughter)  So, I use this language so that you people can be put off digging your own grave! 

If you have bad times no one says you have to go through them seven times, bad times!  Once it’s over, don’t bring it back to the present.  What you need to bring back now is joy, happiness, self-confidence, always saying, ‘No. I as a human being I will not be responsible for what is going wrong in this world’. 

Even if I am washing a cup or a plate, I never turn on the water full.  I am so economical.  I use cold water.  So, everything I do, in my 3 months of retreat (each year), I never throw even one spoon of food away.  It is Buddhist philosophy.  You don’t misuse your opportunity.  So, If I make food, I make enough to fulfil my needs.  Never, never throw away food. 

And if your mind is alright, you don’t need a hundred different types of things to eat to be healthy.  Healthy is how you feel about it.  I eat nettles and Tibetan tsampa for 3 months and I feel so healthy.  Yes.  I didn’t need to eat anything except nettles and tsampa.  For every lunch, same, same measurement, same quantity, same thing.  I have been so happy. 

If we can all sort of reduce our need, our imprint on this planet will be much less.  Maybe the earth will have some chance of recuperating.  We never think of this, how much we waste, only what we want, then everyone wants something for nothing. 

Practice.  Create time.  Knowing that is the only thing you can ever have.  A permanent change means a permanent change in your way of thinking, in your mind.  If you are unable to have a change in your mind, every change you have ever made externally is nothing more than a mirage. 







The Buddhist principle is to be everybody's friend, not to have any enemy.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Meditation means simple acceptance.
Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
Only the impossible is worth doing.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Whenever we see something which could be done to bring benefit to others, no matter how small, we should do it.
Chamgon Khentin Tai Situ Rinpoche
Freedom is not something you look for outside of yourself. Freedom is within you.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Hasten slowly, you will soon arrive.
Jetsun Milarepa
It doesn’t matter whatever comes, stop judging and it won’t bother you.
Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
Whatever obstacles arise, if you deal with them through kindness without trying to escape then you have real freedom.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
To tame ourselves is the only way we can change and improve the world.
Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche
I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Strive always to be as kind, gentle and caring as possible towards all forms of sentient life.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Every sentient being is equal to the Buddha.
Chamgon Kentin Tai Situ Rinpoche
Wherever and whenever we can, we should develop compassion at once.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche
Reminding ourselves of how others suffer and mentally putting ourselves in their place, will help awaken our compassion.
Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche