using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Fall 2005
fall 2005| 28 |buddhadharma cue, since no one else is going to do it at that time. Therefore, a sound understanding of mind essence could become the reminder that liberates in the bardo. The most essential benefit, however, comes from actually training in mind essence while you are alive; this is the only thing that will ensure true success. First, liberate your own stream of being through real- ization, then liberate others through your compassionate activity. proceeding in this way makes a human life meaningful. When I taught, some understood and others didn’t, but I kept at it just the same. This bold attitude has stuck with me and is now my style. I don’t know if it helps oth- ers much. The teachings on mind essence may be the most precious and secret. They may also be “liberation through hear- ing,” so that whoever hears them will be benefitted. So I feel it’s acceptable to give them from time to time. I don’t claim that everyone to whom I explain the essence of mind recognizes and trains in the genuine experience. There are many different types of students. Those who don’t recognize are inevitably preoccupied by fleeting phe- nomena and will get distracted. But even if they have not recognized the natural state of mind, anyone who has heard the essen- tial teaching, even once, will slowly grow closer to realization − so long as they don’t abandon the attempt entirely but continue to practice. Those who have recognized, and so have some trust in mind essence, cannot give up the dharma, even if some- one tells them to. This springs from confi- dence in their personal experience. LIKE OTHErS, tulkus obviously have emotions too. Just look at Marpa, the translator, with his incredibly strong emotions, blazing like flames. But the moment an experienced meditator looks into the nature of mind every thought and emotion vanishes like snowflakes falling on a hot plate. At that moment a meditator is truly free of any attach- ment. Marpa may have treated Milarepa with a lot of abuse, harsh words, and beatings − but that was totally unlike the anger of an ordinary person, in that there wasn’t even a shred of selfishness involved. You can’t only judge people by their behavior. Even though his kindness was bound- less, Samten Gyatso could be quite wrath- ful at times. Once in a while, I saw him slap one of his attendants. Sometimes I even had to bring him the cane and that scared me too, because even one whack would hurt − it was big! Occasionally, he gave more than a little tap. He could give a real thrashing, especially to his atten- dant dudul, who often had it coming. “With this guy, there is no other way,” Samten Gyatso once said. “He’s too dense, and a slap of the stick gets through to him; it’s effective for at least five or six days.” Afterward, dudul would act like a real human being, bright, and gentle − at least at first. Then he would start to be argu- mentative again, finding fault and loudly complaining about every little thing. “Why don’t you just let it drop?” I often told him, “Nothing is that bad. don’t you remember what happened to you last time?” But the story would always end with Samten Gyatso sending me to fetch the cane one more time. Oh my! Once, Samten Gyatso smacked him so many times I thought he wouldn’t be able to walk the next morning, but when I met dudul afterward, he was carrying on with his duties as if nothing had happened. The story often repeated itself, but he just wouldn’t listen. Once, I asked him about it and he said, “That was nothing. I don’t care that much. It hurts for a moment and then passes.” He too had a lot of devo- tion for Samten Gyatso. SHOrTLY BEFOrE Samten Gyatso died, I spent many evenings with him. He would lie in his bed and I would sleep on the floor beside him. One night, as we were talking, Samten Gyatso began to speak, for the first time, about his inner- most realization. “I never had special experiences,” he told me, “but as the years passed by, my trust in the authenticity of the dharma has grown. I am now confident in the truth of the three kayas. At the age of eight, I recognized the nature of mind and since then I have never forsaken it. Of course my diligence varied and I got distracted at times, but mostly I kept to the practice of mind’s natural state.” I heard him say this only once. Other than this, he never discussed such personal matters. NO MATTEr where he was, Samten Gyatso had a certain influence on people. There was no small talk; he didn’t leave any room for superficial conversation, just sincere questions about practice, for which he never lacked an answer. When he gave instructions, Samten Gyatso would foresee how his words would end up − whether they would be put to good use or not. To laypeople, whose main aim was mundane success and raising families, he would give the mantra of Avalo- kiteshvara − Om Mani Peme Hung − and teachings on trust and devotion. But he gave special attention to people who had dedicated their lives to deepening their experience and realization. With a sin- cere practitioner, he would truly share his heart. In either case, whenever someone left an interview with him, they were deeply inspired and full of admiration. Many old ngakpas [tantric yogis] lived around Lachab monastery and whenever they heard that Samten Gyatso had come home, they would immediately flock to his room to receive teachings on the dzogchen view. Sometimes they stayed throughout the night, not leaving until morning. These meditators, his closest disciples, marveled at the clarity of his teachings − and such seasoned meditators were very hard to impress. These old ngakpas loved Samten Gyatso and felt that his mind was com- pletely unimpeded. In fact, anyone who had a chance to discuss their medita- tion practice with him always came out amazed − no matter who, no matter how learned. Even knowledgeable scholars who had oceans of learning behind them became humbled on the topic of medi- tation experience in any discussion with Samten Gyatso. Finally, their initial air of self-assurance would dissipate altogether and they couldn’t help requesting teach- ings from him, asking one question after another. As Samten Gyatso imparted the essen- tial meditation practice, his majestic pres- ence would shine through ever stronger, intimidating even the most learned khenpo. The more anyone talked with Samten Gyatso, the more clearly they discovered how invincible his self-con- fidence was. This unshakable assurance signifies profound practice and personal experience. That’s the kind of guru I had. KUnGaKalSanG