Easter Retreat 2016 Second Talk

Good afternoon everybody.  I am very, very sorry to see this heavy rain.  I feel very sorry for all those people camping in the field, because I wouldn't want to be sleeping there!  There is a lot of rain, but then to have the chance to learn such a virtuous path, a little suffering is acceptable.  Even more than acceptable, you should have joy.  But if I insist that we must have joy but those of you who are comfortable with being miserable want to remain miserable, it will be your choice.  I did tell you that we have a choice, so we can never force you by telling you, 'You have to be joyful’; that is not my view.  My view is that when we have a choice, we make the right choice.   If you would like to be joyful and happy you are welcome to join my Joyful Club.   And if you like to be how you are, you are welcome to be that person. 

This is about meditation practice and, simply to want to meditate, to want to find calmer state of mind without dealing with your poisoned emotions, is never possible.  The root of all our emotional upheaval is our poisons.   So, if you don't deal with those then there is no way you can hope to have a long period of peace and tranquility.   At the beginning of this session I read a short prayer.   If any of you have time, read the translation, this says how we would like to be when we meditate.  It is a very beautiful goal we are aiming to reach.  So, in Buddhism we say first thing we do is think, if possible, we want to renounce selfishness and, also to give up all the poison, and bring wisdom and unconditional compassion into our life to benefit all humanity.  Then there will be no judgement, no discrimination. 

If through the practice and through the motivation, you all have wisdom and unconditional compassion, that is what we call Buddha.  That's why nobody can destroy Buddha, because Buddha is not that golden statue or things carved on the rock or the painting on the thangka.  It's like with a picture of ourselves—if somebody destroys Lama Yeshe's picture, Lama Yeshe will still be talking nonsenses to you!  So, we are a Buddhist, Buddha cannot actually be destroyed.   Buddha is non-existent but the essence is absolute compassion.   Buddha does not discriminate.  When you consider the vastness of space, how many planets and how many cosmos are in it, but they mean nothing to the space.  It's so vast, so big, so untouchable.   There is no boundary, no limitation, and that is what Buddha's teaching is all about; tolerance, loving, caring.

If we really look deep in our heart, we see that some people are never able to show their loving kindness, always show their emotional indifferences, but inside they themselves are really suffering.   They don't know how to show their openness, their loving and kindness and forgiveness.  If someone is rude and difficult to get along with, if you have very good frame of mind you should be thinking my teacher is here constantly with me, showing me my own weakness, I will use this sort of circumstance to make progress.  Always think positively.  We have a prayer for this that says, for good or bad, right, or wrong, it is me who the Buddha is blessing so that I will be able to accept, cope and manage.  This is how it should be.  So, this will help us never, never to judge anybody.  Never ever blame other people.  It is the most beautiful philosophy that you will ever find because there is no discrimination, no gender difference, or anything like that. 

I always say I am so fortunate to be following such a wise path.   We as Buddhists never need to think we have, to convert anyone to Buddhism because according to Buddhism all of you are already Buddha.  So, if I don’t have to convert you, then what do I have to do?  I can show you, help you to gain this absolute confidence that you are as good as anyone else.  Never think I am not good enough.  Never think I am less than others, always think I am as good as any human being there is.  That is called self-confidence.  Self-empowerment is what Buddha taught.

Anything I am teaching, is what I have practiced.  Anything I am suggesting is what I practiced and made me who I am now.  So, I am not going to say anything because a text says it.  I am not going to bring you any example from a 100 years ago.  I am trying to tell you what is really in the here and now. 

So, you can ask me anything about how to meditate, how to work with the slippery mind.  Mind is very tricky.  If you sit and meditate, people will say, 'You are wasting your time.'  And when you meditate you feel there's no fun, you think 'I'm not achieving the things I want,' because you have such great vision, as soon as you sit you think your mind will be so peaceful.  It doesn't happen as soon as you sit, so you start to get tormented.  Most of you have never dealt with your problems, so when you learn to meditate it overwhelms you.  Why?  Because you are all very skilled at running away from the realities, the real issues you have, to deal with.  You say you have too much to think about so either you take a bottle, or go to party, or take something else, but those are all a temporary solution.  It's like you have a headache so you take aspirin but you don't look, into the root of your headache.  If you want to deal with the root of your ongoing issues you should confront them. 

So, this time I want you to invite your evil, the things you've been running away from, emotions or whatever it is you are fearful of.  Before you’ve done everything to avoid them, to escape from them, but this time, you can say, 'ok I am here, in a beautiful well-protected zone, Lama Yeshe has guaranteed that nothing is going to happen.'  You can say ‘now come, I am willing to accept.'  If you say that, nothing will come because there isn't anything.  Anything you have is your own self-created chaos in your head.  Yes, nothing is going to come, there will be no monster, I assure you.  So, the very best is for you to confront your inner issues, here and now.  And if you can be welcoming, nothing comes because they are your own self-created ghosts, there is nothing there to come.  This is the time you don't have to wear your armament, you don't have to be a different person, this is where you can be whoever you are.  You don't need to change, you don't need to pretend, you can be whoever you are.  This is called safety.  Nobody is going to abuse you.  Nobody is going to take advantage of your weakness.  You can see just how things manifest.  Before you run away you are inviting everything, so there is a difference. 

Then, does anybody want to ask anything?

Q.1  Let's say if I was to go back to London and sit in my bedroom and meditate and meditate and meditate every day.  How do I know when to stop meditating because if I have a problem do I go to speak to the teacher for some advice or just to stick to the meditation and try and see if I can work through the problem?   Sometimes when I have a problem I talk to myself for days when really, I should chat to someone to help me with the problem and then I can carry on, move on from that point.

ANSWER     Number one, you need to remember the motivation of your meditation is for you to become more stable, more tolerant and a more compassionate person.  So, if through your meditation these qualities are developing, you are going in the right direction.  But if you meditate and you become more impatient, more intolerant and project everything, you are totally wasting your time.  As far as your home is concerned, it is not the right place to learn meditation because the minute you sit at home then when the mind doesn't go in the right direction you will start to remember what you have, to do, your homework, cleaning, cooking, chores, you’ll remember things so you start to bring pen and paper.  So, home is not the right place to meditate, if you are in London you should go at least once a week to a community where there is a good quality of teachers.  There are many, many bad teachers going around.  Really, really many bad teachers.  You should be very, very careful, see if the teacher is promoting themselves.  Self-promoting teachers say, 'I am a very enlightened being.'  Some say, 'I know what you are going through, I know your problem, I know your past, I know your future.'  Run away from these people.  These are people, who are weak.  If you are very scattered and weak, you may feel that this teacher can help you, but those teachers are there to take advantage of very fragile, very weak people.  And Buddha's teaching says that if I am a Lama, I have many, many Samaya vows.  Even if I knew something about you I am not meant to say it.  I am never meant to take advantage of anybody.  You should really look for a proper teacher.  People say, 'Oh, I will give you enlightenment,' or, 'I know what you are going through,’ ‘I can read your aura, I can read your mind,’ ‘I can tell your past and future.'   Forget about that.  Nothing useful will come.  But if there’s a good teacher, they will always be saying they cannot perform miracles, that you have, to go through whatever it takes to change and improve your life. 

So, any meditator, any practitioner any person is following spirituality, the qualities they aim for must be becoming a more caring human being, a better human being, a compassionate human being, a non-judgmental human being.  If this happens, this means you are really developing the right qualities.  Yes, no religion can find a fault with such a huge quality human being, see? 

So, if you are developing that you are really going in the right direction.  Whether you are even meditating or not meditating it is fine because through your motivation you see that you will not get what you want by being negative.  You have, to have a positive mind, to have appreciation see?   How, in the world can you have appreciation and satisfaction when your mind is so dull and so lost and so negative?  You have, to have a good quality mind to appreciate, to see other people's qualities.  A good solid mind means nobody can shake you, see?   Nobody can bother you easily.  If you are disturbed by other people's opinions, or what they say or what they do, you are not in good shape, see?  You’re like a dry leaf, a little wind blows it in every direction.  The dry leaf cannot find a stable condition, can it?   You should be always thinking I must be centered.  Nothing should influence you.  You don't have to ask a teacher, ‘am I enlightened?’  You don't have to ask a teacher, ‘am I doing right?’  You know yourself that through practicing this, high quality is developing in your state of mind.  You start to see that you have more tolerance than ever before, you start to think more about other people's pain and suffering.  There is a strong, strong motivation to help those people who are genuinely suffering, with no condition, not saying ‘I will only help you if you follow my belief’.  That is a disaster.  It you say that, it is like you are humiliating those people who need help.  So no humiliation, it should be unconditional.  Human beings need help, so you are eager to help without any discrimination.  This is beautiful, it's supreme.  Yes!  You can see yourself, you can see what is your best wealth.  Stable and positive and compassionate mind is your best wealth, see? 

Everything you are pursuing is unstable, everything keeps on changing, changing, changing.  And if you think ‘this is mine’, there is a lot of suffering.  Sometimes you have no choice but to let go and the sooner you let go, the less painful it is.  You try to build yourself up and one day you will fall down with a lot of pain and a lot of suffering.  But as soon as you think there is no chance of holding it and let go, you're freed.  It's like if you stand in a very muddy, wobbly path, you always fall down.   It doesn't matter what effort you make, you are always standing on very bad ground; it's muddy, it's slippery.  But if you stand on solid ground, the solid ground of compassion, stability, not expecting anything from anybody, it's very useful. 

Like your Christmas time, everybody says I give something, and so they expect something.  But that's called exchange of goods.  And if you have, to match what other people give you then you go broke.  You are broke and emotionally you are stressed because you are trying to match what people give you.  Sometimes our relationships are very bad, and because they give you something, you have, to give something.  They invite you so you have, to invite them.  So, exchange, exchange.  When this doesn't happen, after a few times they drop you.  That's because it is all based on giving with lot of expectation, there is no generosity in there.  If you want to give something from the bottom of your heart go to beggars, go to the people who need and give unconditionally.  It is much more beautiful than exchanging your goods with your whole family, see?   

I am a Buddhist Lama, I have two sisters in Tibet.  Forget about giving anything, I don't even write a letter to them or phone them.  Because I believe strongly what Buddha says, Buddha says every human being is your brother, sister, family.  Why should I have favouritism?  They are brought up in the Tibetan tradition from 800-900 years ago, so they don't mind me not calling them.  They don't mind me not giving them anything.  Because they know that if I am good Lama I should be impartial to everybody and help wherever the help is necessary, not based on whether someone is my relative or not.  I don't have that preference.  This is what I follow as the true path of Buddha's teachings, see?  Some of you say, 'Yes, I have lot of loving kindness, I do this for my family.'   That is not called loving and kindness.  Loving kindness is unconditional, you give something or help someone who you have nothing to do with.  When it is based on relationship with family, brother to sister, mother to daughter, it's a worldly way.  A true Dharma way is you unconditionally help whoever needs help.  My brother showed me this many times.    He gave people money without asking for anything.  Even he before he left for Tibet the last time, we have one guy with a big job here and my brother gave him £5,000 without asking for any receipt, he just gave it saying, 'I trust you.'  No argument, no expectation.  Now so far, I've not even had £1 back.  Also, my brother had some land in Dumfries, and his neighbour had horses.  My brother also likes horses so he said ‘you can graze your horses on my land’.  After a while the neighbour said ‘I have the right to put my horses on your land’.  Sometimes nowadays people are so greedy, they’re willing and happy to take other people’s things, not appreciating that other people have shown their generosity with no conditions.  So please be kind to yourself, there is nothing wrong to be kind to yourself.  Bashing yourself is never going to change you for the better or bring you fulfillment or joy.  Bashing yourself is the worst thing you can ever do.

Q. 2 I was just going to ask about noise, the level of noise in the modern world just seems so much with social media, television, radio, how would you recommend dealing with that, but still engaging with the world and taming your mind at the same time?

ANSWER                Number one, good discipline.  I don't have a telephone, I don't carry mobile, nobody knows where I am, otherwise all of you who have a mobile…..  Google knows where you are so you are responsible for all this, see?   Nobody can ever get to me unless I want to get to them.  So, we have a choice.   I made the right choice.  My people don't send me anywhere alone because if I get stuck in the airport, I have no telephone.  I can't even remember my own number, where to call.  I want to be free of thinking about a telephone and where I am going.  I want to have fluid freedom, see?  I feel so comfortable being stuck in the airport, I'm happy.  Yes!  So, nowadays they don't trust me so they send somebody with me, so I said to them, maybe you have to put a hole in me and tie me so they do not lose me, see?  

Don't blame what they show on television, just switch it off.  Stop listening to garbage, listen to less music, less bad news.  Instead you can go to the hilltop, hear the bird’s song.   Like, as soon as I get up I like so much hearing Samye Ling's birds singing.  These birds are in a paradise.  Birds are singing on every tree top everywhere.  And they have food fed by one of my residents.  Seven days a week, summer, or winter, so much food is given so they have food everywhere, nobody ever harms them so they can sing all day.  And as far as this modern influence is concerned you still have a choice because when I go around no one person has a free hand, they have mobile telephone or they’re playing stupid games, fishing, or golfing, or listening.  Children are given bad things to watch.  I don't do that, still I can function, see?  I'm not lost altogether.  I can still talk to you people here.  That shows you that you don't need all that information to be successful.  Because I am joyful.  Yes. 

People who carry mobile telephone, Google says where you are now, see, they are watching you every movement you make.  But because I have no gadget, they can't find me.  I am invisible Lama Yeshe.  Yes!   Joyful, invisible, and also, I don't rely on anything.  If I get stuck at the train station, I'm happy.  If I get stuck in the airport I am happy.  Wherever I am, I don't have an insecurity problem. 

Sometimes I am even wishing I would get lost!  I'm thinking, what fun it would be if I got lost for a few days.  Yes.  Having nothing and learning to beg.  There are very generous human beings, when I was in Dublin then went North to the Belfast ferry.  And Ani Lhamo and I were waiting for the ferry, and the man who was running this tea and coffee shop came and offered me a nice cup of tea.  So, if you just sit there nicely, they say, 'would you like a cup of tea?'  Everything comes your way.  Yes.  No preference.  As I said I am happy to pick up food from garbage.  Or not eat, see?   

You know I have diabetes.  The doctor said I have, got to have 7 small meals a day.  7 times.  I said that’s garbage, I'm not going to follow that, so I only eat breakfast, and a very heavy lunch.  They say it's bad for you, but it is good for me.  Then last year I saw an article from U.S.A that says people with diabetes should be doing what I am doing.  So, I eat a heavy lunch, if I measure my sugar at 5 or 6pm, it is a little high, but by tomorrow it has all gone down because there is nothing to eat till tomorrow.  So, see, we have a choice.  Did that answer you?

Q. 3   I've always wondered the difference between compassion and loving kindness.

ANSWER                Unconditional compassion doesn't exist in your western civilization.  Loving kindness is something you have, and unconditional compassion means something like, if you see terrible, terrible suffering and though you don't know that person, you have nothing to do with that human being or animal, seeing their pain really gives you a pain in your heart and you are willing to do something to help them, is called unconditional compassion.  You don't like to see whoever is suffering because it really makes such a pain in yourself.  Loving kindness is something you always do, compassion is unconditional.  There is nothing that you get out of it.  But you have total, total joy in doing something for them.    

Q. 4   In Dharma practice when you are doing your own practice, when you are doing pujas is that classed as meditation or is meditation separate?  What is the percentage of each?

ANSWER                Normally many of you instead of actually becoming wise you become judgmental.  You say, 'I like Buddhism but, I don't like all this Tibetan chaotic visualization and chanting.’  But if you look, into it, if you have a good state of mind, Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism is not saying you have, to do chanting or visualization or you must have something to do.  It’s because when you try to meditate, if your mind is very chaotic, you can't meditate.  It's like you change your goal posts so if you are able, to fully engage in chanting it is much better than when you are just busy with your mundane emotional thoughts.   So, if you are able, to shift from a mundane way of worrying or thinking, engage yourself in chanting, then you are achieving something. The same with visualization - normally you do visualization or chanting or reciting mantras, but when your mind is what we call pacified and tamed, then Vajrayana says this is all useless, you don't have to do any of this anymore.  You just come back to being in the moment, and that is what I have been teaching.  To all of you I am teaching the essence of the true Buddhist teaching.  Yes, so you only need this.

Q. 5  With meditation, with every sitting there can be a different experiences but sometimes I'm not sure if my brain is trying to trick me because it is still what one is actually experiencing, I don't know if there is a way to tell the difference.

ANSWER                  You need to always remember you are meditating to become a more positive and stable human being.  So, if you see the qualities are developing then that is ok.  Sometimes if you are very dull then you can use some sort of awakening method to overcome the dullness.  Otherwise when you see that your mind is busy, entertaining, yes, you have, to come out from that.   Yes, you have, to come out from entertaining your mind.  You just come back to what I suggested to you this morning with the meditation technique, being in the present, being with your body and mind inseparable.  Good thought, bad thought.  You never say, 'I reject.'  You never say, 'I don't want to follow.'  You just see it, don’t just go near there, just be in where you are.  OK? 

ANSWER                We can keep on improving because world is very challenging.  Everything you do, whether it is a job, you have, to get along with people, whether it is a relationship you have. to be really sound and caring.   With everything you do you have plenty of challenges all the time, so you must never, ever give up this regular meditation.  Like morning meditation, remembering start with a calm and positive state of mind and then bring that idea into your job or profession.  Wherever you go, whatever you do, you must remember to bring that principal idea in with you.  In Tibet, we go to many years of retreat and learn to have the fullest mindfulness in the box or sitting, no outside interference.  Once we think we have achieved this, then we have, to come out and take a challenge like this and still we must be able to bring this awareness in whatever we are doing.  Then really, the mindfulness or awareness or Buddha Dharma is with us all the time.  Ok? 

Yes, so.  One more and I think we are going to miss the meditation so since you people don't ask me I will never allow anyone to escape without doing some meditation.  So, you all know, remember, think, we have a choice.  Choice of being happy or not happy is made by how we think.  So, if you sit down saying, whatever thinking makes you more positive, and engaging in the right way or follow the right path.  Whatever thinking makes you to do wrong things, and gets you into a wrong mood, wrong result you should avoid that.  So, this is, why meditation can be the only way to remind us of how we can change our everyday life and bring some form of satisfaction and happiness and joy.  And don't blame others or heart ache on all the things there are, you should be able to give up all these things.  Yes, we should be able to renounce these things.   So, you can really simplify.  If you only need to have a basic telephone.  And less stress, no one is going to chase. 

Once I was in Pureland, my brother said, 'you don't allow us to call you then I am worrying about you, can we please put a telephone in there so if something happened to you at least we can call you?'  I have a telephone, but I never phone out of there unless there is disaster and I tell Samye Ling people, it has to be if someone is dead then you can call me there.  Till then you cannot call saying there's a urgency then I will be in, out, in, out if there is urgency all the time.  So, I have a condition, whenever I go into my round house, every afternoon when I go I lock myself in.   Never think I want to go out.  Then I'm thinking, if I am dead how will they find out, they will have difficulty to get into the rooms so now I have, to think some other way of letting them know, if I am dead then they can, who knows, few days’ time maybe I am rotting in there.  Yes, but who cares?  Joyful path. 

No fear, no hope means, from Buddhism, death is opportunity, death is opportunity.  Like we're all when we came out, meant to be perfect, 70 or so thousand nadis.  All perfect.  Then every day one is drying out, two is drying out.  Wrinkles, grey hair, wobbling knees, and joints.  This is time to change this physical form.  So, nobody can ever keep up all the way so, when you get old sometimes you need to know it is better to go there and renew.  New body.  I do course on Holy Island, called MOT time, so we have, to climb to the top, see how healthy we are.  We have, to go around the Holy Isle and see how we are and then if we pass then give them good MOT.  If they don't pass, then lot of prostrations.  Yes. 

So, must have a meaning.  Don't kill yourself saying, 'oh I am so geared up to have a beautiful family,’ then you will be so miserable, so stressed.  There is not going to be some beautiful family.  Or you say I want to be so wealthy and I want to be so successful.  Nothing but stress, unhappiness, you will never succeed.  We as human beings, in Europe we have the best opportunity to change.  Needing less, wanting less.  Look after your well-being is the best solution.  So, really, really Europe can be leader in this.  We can keep a good environment, we can have really, good physical form and good state of mind.   There is enough food for everybody.  There is enough resources for everybody. 

So, you know, physically relax, mentally relax.  Then as I say, past comes, don't encourage, don't follow.  Future comes, don't lead.  Then I know most of you will not succeed with this so I'm going to give you little job to do.  So, if you find it is impossible to stay in that then you need something visual.  If you have this artistic mind, you put your focus on one object.  Just fully engage on that one object.  For example, look at a Buddha.  Then you can really look into it, up and down, how this Buddha is built.  How his body posture is.  If you are able, to anchor all your energy into one thing that is how the visualization works.  And you think it is too much then some of you are so used to breathing exercises.  Breathing is your life.  So, what you do is close your mind or eye.  Then you can breathe out from your navel.  Out and in, mentally count one, out and in, mentally count two.  I'm giving all of you two methods.  Those who feel comfortable looking into object really, truly engage your mind in the object.  If you are not successful, you are in bad place.  Then if you are not used to that, count the breath.  It is your life, you do not need to look for anything.  You feel you are alive.  So, just the breathing exercise.  So, if you can't manage with the other method I am giving, this is supreme. 

For me, I am willing to spend the remaining of my whole life to do that because I as a Buddhist, I know I have, to come back here many, many lifetimes.  I'm not in rush, see?  Not all of you thinking, 15 minutes is all you have is very wrong.  You should be thinking, 'I have many lives to sort it out,' no more pressure.  Yes, no more pressure, no more timing, just relax, chill out.  Yes, enjoy.



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