Easter Retreat 2016 First Talk

Good morning everybody, my way of helping you, teaching you is that I have 36 years of experience working with the mind, and I really speak so simple, so you can understand it so easily, and you can really remember.  And if you don't remember, don't practice, then nothing will change your life.  So, the first thing I want you to remember, is to say, 'I have a choice.'  Always remember, 'I have a choice,' is the number one way of thinking. 

I know every human being wants to be successful, everybody wants to be happy, everybody wants to be useful, but somehow, in this century you have been told that Europe's development is how to become wealthy, how to become successful.  They never ever said to you it will take its toll on you.  Stress!  If someone said to you the more things you want in your life the more stress there will be, it might put you off.  That is why your civilization never told you that.

When I look into why the Buddha's teaching is so precious it is because there is no discrimination, there is no gender difference.  Whatever part of the world you come from, whatever colour, race, religion, age, gender, we all want the same thing.  What you have been chasing is like trying to catch a rainbow and that is why you never have 100% satisfaction, see?   For example your partner, one day you think you have it, another day you think you lost it.  So always this, have, not have.  Losing what you don't want to lose.  Not able to keep what you want to keep, this is what Buddha found out when he practiced.  So, Buddha's teaching says it is not all about what you have, it's about how you manage to keep your own mind. 

When I am talking about mind this is something new to all of you.  Mind is the source of all your upheaval.  Emotion, thoughts, ideas, good, bad, right, wrong, whatever comes is called mind, wherever that comes from.  If you sit and you have all these wonderful ideas - where do these wonderful ideas come from?  When you have very awful ideas you should also sit and see where they come from.  Do they come from two sources or both of them come from one place?  If you found that it is both, then good, bad, right, wrong, happiness, unhappiness, all come from one source.  According to Buddhism that is called Buddha Mind.  Nowadays sometimes we call it a Buddha field.  If you have a field, meditation is to help yourself to plant the right seeds.  You know the right seeds: joyful seeds, gratitude, appreciation, stabilizing your mind.  That way you are planting the right seeds in that mind or Buddha field.  If you don't do that then, your Buddha field will have a lot of weeds, they automatically come and take over. 

The worst is called desire.  Not everybody has 24 hours of desire, but desire has many forms.  Some are very attached to human beings.  Some are very attached to power, position, wealth.  If you look into yourself, whatever you're pursuing so you can be the best, or whatever you’re desiring to own or have, it is causing you problems.  That is something you need to learn to let go of slowly.  So, you have to practice.  Because of this poison then it brings anger. Look at the animals who kill each other because of desire, and some people who have a lot of desire also kill other human beings.  So, anger is never useful, anger has never made anybody happier, or a more successful, fulfilled person.  I know some people encourage this saying there is nothing wrong with being angry, you should express your anger.  That is wrong!  Because, even if you are mentally angry, if you express anger, you upset the whole atmosphere.  You upset the whole lot.  So, if you express yourself it doesn't mean it is going to relieve you - no, it even makes worse. 

When we say meditate, first we need to calm our mind.  Remembering we a have choice.  So, choice means we apply thought or thinking or ideas, whatever brings more fulfilment and joy and being able to engage in other people. You should encourage that way of thinking.  If you have managed to become so self-centered you have this grievous negative mind, you are never going to get anything out of this except suffering, suffering, suffering. 

So, when I look in the world, when we have so many choices and all of you are all so highly educated, but your knowledge seems not to have helped you to overcome your suffering.  So, you should be asking yourself, 'all these things I learned as a child till now, what is it that I am supposed to have learned, if I haven't been able to pull myself out of pain and suffering?'  So, meditation is the only way to actually change our self. 

The things you learn are information, collecting knowledge, so if you want to write a book then it is very good, you should learn all the things you are learning or if you want to become a professor you can learn all these things but that will not change you, see?  In your head, you think you know so much, but then you have no ability to stop your emotion or your state of mind not to get into difficulties or not getting into suffering. 

Your state of mind is like very polluted water, very, very stressful, so many things you have to achieve in your life.  Some of you trying to bring up children by yourself.  You are trying to keep a job, trying to do all these many things, that is why I say your whole existence is based on a lot of stress, a lot of unfulfilled life.  That's not useful, we are human beings, where has your intelligence gone? 

If you manage somehow to stabilize your mind, it's like a good foundation.  Then inner healing means trying to become more positive.  Always willing to think, 'I want to be happy,' but then who doesn't want to be happy?  'I want to be successful,' but who doesn't want to be successful?  'I want to be rich,' but then who doesn't want to be rich? So, if you are able, to think that way then there will be less selfishness.  Don't always be thinking I want everything I, I, I.  The bigger the ‘I’ you have, the bigger the suffering that comes.

If you have joy, it really helps your mind go the right direction.  If you want to be successful, you think I want to have better job, I want money, but thinking like this we can never be at peace in this world because of interconnectedness.  We can never hope to have peace and harmony just thinking of only me or my race or my country.  Interconnected means, whatever is happening at one end of the world, it is affecting us every day of our lives.  So, we must not become so self-centered and so selfish.  Always whenever you are planning, thinking whatever you are wanting to achieve, always think, 'this is what everybody wants.'  Even if you care so much, wanting to solve the whole problem of the world, or even if you want to solve your own problem, and you have a very negative mind, a very stressful mind you will never help anybody.  You could be the obstacle to anybody's path.  We say, 'We want to benefit of others,' but if you have no wisdom, you have no stability in your life and you actually don't know what it is that you can offer to anybody. If you haven't managed to solve your own problems how in the world you can solve other people's problems?

So, I pray, saying, ‘Whenever it is possible, I would like to liberate and free all mother sentient beings, but to be able to do this, I must liberate myself first.'  So then when I achieve this there will be no mental blockage of 'Me', because 'Me' comes first because of insecurity.  'Me' comes first because of our weakness.  If someone is absolutely confident, joyful, happy, with no fear, you can think and really be involved, really helping other people's problems. 

Whatever is missing in your life, first of all you need to really work with the mind.  The reason is, mind is part of you.  It is you, it will never separate from you.  Job, profession, money, everything else will always separate, even if you found the most reliable partner, death will separate you. Even if you manage to get whatever you want in life something else will separate.  So, there is nothing everlasting, no reliability in outer things.  But if you are able to change the mind it is only thing we have.  So even if you were to die, when we say heaven or hell or experiences, who is having this experience?  It is mind that is having the experience.  That’s why from now onwards, say, 'I have a choice.  I'm going to learn to meditate to become a better and more caring and compassionate human being.' 

If you have a big problem of judgement it is the worst thing you can ever do because judging things makes your life miserable.  So, you have to say who actually said I was to be judge here?  You have to stop judging other people.  If you like to judge it is you who are going to suffer constantly because of your judging.

In Buddhism we say right view, wrong view.  Right view means you manage to think positively.  Whatever brings you a more benefit, whatever makes you a better person, whatever helps you to have a more stable lifestyle.  That is called right view.  Wrong view means even in the name of something good, if it stresses you, you are a failure.   Even if you think you are going to change the world for the better and do nothing but feeling sorry for yourself, feeling miserable, feeling hopeless, that's not doing any good for the world.  And meantime also you are losing peace in your mind.  What will help the world and your family, is if your life is really, stable, having an impartial, non-judgmental mind, a very, very positive mind.  Some manage to say, 'Lama we don't deserve happiness.'  Wrong!  And some of you say that is how I am, I am miserable - but you were never born miserable.  You picked up this habit.  Some of you know your miserable friend so long that you can't even give it up.  Yes!  Sometimes I help someone so they feel better, but they say ‘still I have insecurity, my miserable friend has been part of me for so long,' it's like you think that you are more comfortable being miserable than joyful.  Give up your miserable partner. Come to the joyful path. Yes! 

If you are joyful, people want to socialize with you, people like to talk to you, people say, ' I really feel so happy being with that person.'  They really like you.  If you keep your partner miserable as well as wanting everybody to be your friend, no chance! If someone says I have no time or I have something else to do, you should get the message. They are saying, 'I already have things going in my head I don't want your misery.'  So, please take responsibility.   It is easy to blame the world.  But, who creates the world?  We create this world.  So, stop blaming the world.  It's also easy to blame other people.  That is not going to make you better.  You will never change.  So, no judgement, means stop blaming anybody.  If anyone is to be blamed, blame yourself.  It's like a mirror reflection.  If there is no mirror there is no you, if there is no you there is no mirror.  Buddhadharma is so profound, see?  We should never blame anybody. 

You should never, ever think I am bad all the way, no one is bad all the way.  Buddha says, 'Me as Buddha, you as ordinary human being, we have the same potential. The difference is that I meditated, I practiced, I followed the path of wisdom, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, always doing everything for the benefit of humanity.'  That is why he is called Buddha.  You want to have freedom.  The only way you can have freedom is to be less selfish, think more about others, caring, helping and when you can help have joy.  Have joy! 

Don't be so ambitious. You do 15 minutes, meditation and think where's my result?  I have spent 36 years practicing, 12 years of solitary retreat, even now 6 or 7 hours of every day is meditation.  But some of you say, 'I meditate, I found calmness, but then what?’  What?  Leave it alone.  If you found calmness, you think you need to be thinking something, or planning something.  Once you found calmness then you need to go on meditating longer and longer periods of time so you are never stuck in the past, never bringing the future. 

So, it's like one day out of this longer period of meditation calmness comes, absolute space, infinite space, only blue sky.  So, you don't need to wait until after calmness.  And then many of you, you say to me, 'Lama Yeshe should we suppress the thoughts?'  Totally, wrong!  There is nothing to suppress, mind is not a sponge.  So you can't suppress your thought.  Someone said to me, 'Lama Yeshe should we empty our mind?'  You forgot mind is already empty so you can't empty your mind.  So, this way of starting to learn meditation is a disaster. When you meditate, what I want all of you to do is to say, 'I meditate because I want to be a better person.  I meditate because I want to truly plant the seeds of unconditional compassion’.  None of you even has an idea of what true unconditional compassion is!  'I meditate so that I will have a very stable and non-judgmental state of mind.'  That is why I am meditating.  

So, when you are meditating, physically you are completely relaxed.  When you physically feel comfortable, relaxed, then I know all of you have creative minds, so thoughts will arise.   Some of you will be caught by your aversion or past, whatever you are trying to overcome.   Any thought to do with the past, during whatever length of time you plan to meditate, don't bring the past into now.   You don't have to say, 'don't come' or don't use any methods.  As soon as you see you're in the past just bring yourself back to the present.  So, you are not actually resisting or using any methods.  Then as soon as you succeeded, you will go into the future, because you don't know what to do.  So, you have to leave the future.  That means, if your mind goes into the future all your sitting will be useless, because you will start to plan.  So, if the future comes, you don't say, 'don't come future.'  Just say to your mind, 'Come back to where I am' with mind and body inseparable.  So, if you are able, don’t get stuck in the past, don’t bring the future.  

Then being in the present, if you are able to do this, we call it the highest form of meditation in Buddhism but also this is beginner's meditation.  Because with beginner meditation our aim is to have peace and tranquil mind, but the minute you start to use methods your mind gets busy so you can't, you don't have chance of getting peace and tranquil mind.  You're going to be so busy with methods. So, because I'm shortcutting you see, I'm helping you.  Because for many years I used almost 1,000 methods.  But when you keep on using methods, then at the end you still have to come to what I'm teaching now, being in the present moment with fullest awareness.  Sharp mind.  Not dull sleepy mind because a dull sleepy mind is never good for a meditator.  It will not bring you any good result.  Sharp, transparent, being in the present moment, then you relax completely.  Then you are not saying I want this type of experience or that types of experience.  You are not putting any condition. 

So, just be joyful, be happy to be in this very present moment.  If you are new to meditation, if your mind jumps into the future or past a million times, don't get impatient.  Just chill out, relax.  Just bring it back nicely, very gentle, very kind.  That's called tolerance.  Even if it’s a million times, don't worry about the numbers.  Every second it jumps into the past or future, just catch it and then come back to where you are - that means, prana-nadi inseparable.  This means, now finally you are wholesome, otherwise none of you is wholesome.  Your body is somewhere but your thoughts, your plans, are all over the place, that's why you are not always a fulfilled human being.  Yes, it's like the most important person in your life is always messing around planning something out there.  If your thought even goes out of these walls then your body is here, but your thought is out there, and that's not useful, so bring back here, with a lot of tolerance, a lot of patience.  Each time you catch it, instead of blaming yourself say, 'I rejoice.  Finally, I know how undisciplined my mind is, it has been jumping million times.  I've never noticed this before.'  You should think that way.  No need to be angry or upset because it's jumping too many times outwards.

So, if you keep on doing what I'm teaching, simple, easy, never need to think I need to get rid of something, there's nothing to get rid of.  Never need to think that there is something to bring into, there is nothing to bring into, except being in the present moment.  So, this is how you should meditate. 

If you meditate saying, 'I want to have tranquil mind.'  There’s no seed so it’s useless!  If you meditate saying, 'I meditate because I want to be better person, I want to be a compassionate person, I want to be a tolerant person.  I want to be person who cares for all of humanity.'  If you keep on remembering this, you will become that person. 

Many good people meditate, teach you meditation but they never have this, they never teach you, to practice for the benefit of all humanity.  You need to practice to increase compassion, tolerance, loving kindness.  This is an essential part of our everyday life, to have meaning in life. 

Usually you have no gratitude for what you have.  Appreciation.  Gratitude.  I want all of you to say, 'I am so grateful for the things I have.'  When you do that, then it's like you are finally filling up with your Buddha mind.  Otherwise, you never ever think that the things you have are a cause to be joyful or grateful.  You are constantly chasing things that you think you must have.  You will have not satisfaction that way.   It is like you will burn yourself up because you are chasing all the time.  You will never catch it because your mind is so unwise and jumpy.  Even if you think you will kill to get something now, if you manage to get it won't last with you for more than one week or month, then you lose your interest.  Then you will be chasing something else.  That is why you are all so stressed, see? 

But if you have stable mind, compassionate mind it’s different.  I am Lama and I never think I need insurance because I might die of starvation.  No Buddhist Lama has ever died of starvation.  I'm not so attached to my power or position that I always want to sit in a nice place.  I would really like to sit in a place like London, in the city, in the street with beggars.   I'm happy to pick up any food there, I have no problem.  I am very willing to eat what is there.  I am not attached to where I am, see?  I am willing to accept whatever is given to me.  So, I have a lot of gratitude and appreciation. 

I always think, 'Oh, Rokpa Trust is giving me a roof over my head and giving me food.  I’ve even reduced my food, I only eat breakfast and lunch so they can save dinner.  So, I am a very cheap Lama.  I'm not an expensive lama.  When I went to Europe some people were saying, 'A very high Lama is coming and we are informed that they need an expensive hotel.'  I said to them, 'I am a very cheap Lama you can put me up any place you wish.  I'm happy to go in any car you manage to bring.'  I'm happy, I am self-contained.  No one can give me anything to make me happy, because I am happy.  None of you can say that.   You may have everything but you still are very, very unhappy, very, very dissatisfied.   I don't have to have anything because I am already joyful.  I sleep with joy, wake up with joy.  I can't ever think of something negative.  If I go to the train, wherever I go by myself, if I see some ageing person, I always carry their luggage.  Sometimes they get frightened, sometimes they think what is this guy up to.   But I smooth them out, I say, 'I am a Lama, I will help you.'  So please wherever you go, whatever you do, young ones learn to help old ones and old ones learn to have wisdom.  A joyful ageing person is very useful and then young ones have something to look forward to.

I assure you it is a very good lineage that all your parents should not be put in old people’s home.  It is a miserable place.  If you have parents, you should look after them yourself.  Because you will get old one day and if you don't look after your ageing parents why should your children look after you?  When I travel around the world, all the ageing people's homes are the most miserable places you could send them.  It is like sending them to the slaughterhouse.  When you are taken in there you know you’ll never come back alive.  That's why old people have so much resistance to going into the old people’s home, because they know you are now giving them a sentence of death.  So, learn to look after your parents and old people.   There is nothing wrong to be helping other people.  When I travel in London Subway, many people give their seat for an elderly person like me.  Normally no white people get up but I saw some young Chinese people get up as soon as I come.  There's certain traditions.  If you are young you are capable, if there are old people coming, give help.  Doesn't have to be your close relative now but if you believe in Buddhism they may have been your close relative in many of your previous lives. 

Then if you can just remember saying, 'I don't have to bring anything, except being in the present moment.'  And relax.  For those of you then who have a problem then just calm, calm, calm, calm.

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