For example, if we try to meditate, all kinds of negative emotions can arise, which take away our ability to dwell in mental peace. If we try to do the generation practice of the deity, it's hard to have clarity of visualization because of negative thoughts.
If we were in a prison but our minds were stable, we would still have freedom and happiness. If we can generate loving kindness and compassion, it stops these negative emotions. These mental qualities you can't buy, but they are present within our mental continuum.
The mind of love and compassion can be brought to this pitch. If you can give this love and compassion to your spouse and child, you can do the same for others. If you examine there is no difference between the two, all beings have the same wish for happiness.
It will only create more anger to the authority, like adding wood to a fire. One can create friendships only through the practice of compassion. If you try to help others, even those who have tried to harm you in the past will be tamed.
When we practice dharma, we can make prostrations and offerings, but the most effective practice is bodhicitta. It may be able to tame the mind through other practices, but the real taming comes through bodhicitta.
Bodhicitta can only bring freedom and this freedom automatically brings joy and happiness. Those people with bodhicitta are free because whether they meet friends or enemies they have the same happiness and have no worries. Once you possess bodhicitta it is similar to a wish fulfilling jewel.
When Miarepa's sister found him in retreat she said there are no other beings poorer than they. He replied there was no person happier than himself, because he had total freedom and control of his mind.
He also replied that he was wealthy and a warrior. It's difficult to practice like Milarepa, but we should practice bodhicitta as much as we can. If you cannot, at least be mindful of these practices.
The cultivation of bodhicitta benefits oneself, because it is the ultimate source of happiness and is the only thing that can bring us lasting happiness and enlightenment. As this Yangzab practice is so profound and can bring us enlightenment quickly, if you have any questions of bodhicitta, ask them now.
A: A warrior is someone who can protect themselves from harm. In an ordinary sense a warrior destroys his opponents that might harm him. If you have an enemy who wishes to harm you and instead of taking revenge you remain calm and generate compassion, then your enemy will be calmed. That is the activity of a warrior.
Q: Why did Milarepa say he was rich when he was poor and in rags?
Q: Someone who can afford anything.
A: Maybe that's not the case. That may be correct in the ordinary sense. Can you say you are rich if you can gain all your satisfactions?
A: Milarepa was rich because he was fully satisfied. If you have millions of dollars, you can use your money in this life, but cannot take it with you in the next. Milarepa could take his merit. Does that make sense?
They were told they could pass through safely, but if they remained they would become ogres too. The women they had met wailed and begged them to stay. Many remained and only a few left. So now you can have tea.
Normally you would start by teaching the preliminaries, but that's not possible in the time we have. I have received the transmissions and commentaries, but have not been able to do the retreats themselves. But they cannot be different than the fivefold mahamudra, even though there may be differences in expression.
So we will go though the text. It begins with an homage to Guru Padmasambhava and others. It says if you don't know the lineage of the teachings, it will be difficult to accept them. Padmasambhava is an emanation of Vajradhara, a representation of the dharmakaya.
Since Padmasambhava was an emanation, he could benefit beings through miracles, but in order to teach people by his example, he left to practice in a charnel ground. Dakinis told him to go to another cave where Garab Dorje was practicing.
The queen advised the king to let their daughter leave and travel where she wished, so that the other kings would not be offended. Mandarava thought because of the merit from her previous lives she was born as a princess.
The kings asked her if she was sure she wanted to do this. She said yes. The king and his ministers said she could not go into retreat by herself and sent her off with five hundred servants. She met Padmasambhava who gave her teachings.
The rumor spread that she was having an affair with him. The king heard this rumor and became angry and declared he would give his treasure to anyone who could prove it. An ugly cattle herder came to the king and told the king that he had witnessed the affair.
They returned and told the king that Padmasambhava seemed to be a god and not a human being. This made the king even more upset. He seized Mandarava and threw her in jail and then built a pyre for Padmasambhava and set it ablaze. The fire continued burning for two weeks and the king was puzzled and sent his ministers to check.
The king offered his robes to Padmasambhava, which is how Padmasambhava is sometimes depicted, in the robes of the king of Zahor. The king pulled Mandarava in a chariot and offered Mandarava and his entire kingdom to Padmasambhava.
When they asked what their fathers' work was, she replied they shouldn't do ordinary work, because her plan was to build the stupa. Her mother begged for a piece of land from the king that could be covered by a hide from cow's head.
The king gave her the land and she took the hide and converted it to a rope which she used to circle the land.
The stupa's Tibetan name is translated as "allowed because I let it slip from my mouth." After completing the stupa one son made the wish to be reborn as a powerful master and was reborn as Padmasambhava. Another son made a prayer to be born as a powerful religious king.
One of the sons prayed to be reborn as a loyal servant to the other three and was reborn as Ba Salnang, a minister to the Tibetan king. It is said if you go to Bodhinath and make a prayer, the prayer will be answered.
When King Trisong Detsen was building Samye monastery he had difficulties because what he built was destroyed at night by evil spirits. After inviting Shantarakshita many things were calmed, but some evil spirits still created obstacles.
Guru Padmasambhava gave many teachings of interpretative meaning at Samye to King Trisong Detsen's son, his ministers, and other students.. After that the disciples requested the teachings of the definitive meaning.
So Padmasambhava gave the teachings of the Yangzab. When he had finished, he said that he had given all the teachings of the peaceful and wrathful deities, but said that the king would not be able to accomplish all these teachings. He prophesied the king would be reborn and practice the teachings then.
If you ask what needs to be practiced, we cannot jump directly into the main practice of the text. We might find it difficult to hold onto the various teachings, and they might be confusing.
It's like a farmer who started growing potatoes and then dug them up to grow corn when someone told him it took less time, he kept doing this until he had no harvest at all.
There are 84,000 teachings and its important to hold one as your practice. But you can listen to other teachings. I'm not saying one teaching is more profound. It wouldn't benefit if you tried to do all the profound teachings.
If you have a good foundation in the four turnings you automatically are a good practitioner.
You are naturally inclined to spiritual practices. Without a good foundation in these practices you may have a desire to practice when things go well, but when you face difficulties the desire is not stable.
There's a Tibetan saying that when you have good times you wish to do spiritual practices but when you face difficulties, you blame the practice and stop doing them. The four thoughts start with contemplating the eight leisures and ten endowments of a precious human birth.
This caused his mind to change and he kept the teaching seriously after that. If the teaching is in your mind it cannot be taken away by thieves and authorities. You can even take it with you after death.
Q: Do the stories you told us also have a symbolic meaning?
A person can bless a site When Padmasambhava came to Zahor and taught the kings and his subjects, the whole valley became enlightened and the people vanished, because the valley had been blessed by Padmasambhava.
Milarepa said he blessed Lapchi and said if someone practiced there for one week it was worth several weeks at an ordinary place. This shows the place had been blessed by him. Likewise a holy site can bless a practitioner so that their practice becomes more fruitful.
A: You cannot practice them as shamatha.
You should think about them by considering each of the endowments and leisures and think how difficult they are to achieve by considering how uncommon they are.
That is how you can practice them. By going through all these points one comes to a point that one is fully convinced that they are difficult to attain and therefore this life is precious and one should not waste it. One you have this attitude you can say you have the result of the practice.
Q: How do sacred places hold their power?
A: When Milarepa meditated at a place some kind of energy was imprinted there. If a true bodhisattva lives a valley all sentient beings in the valley are connected to the practitioner through the movement of the wind and water and none will be reborn in a lower rebirth.
If someone has true bodhicitta, the local spirits are aware of this and are pacified and help rather than harm other beings in the area. Even if you don't practice in these places you will feel something different.
A: We can never find the present. We should be clear about this. We should know past history. And it is important to not have conceptual thought. But these are two different things. Without learning about past teachers we cannot come to the nonconceptual state of mind. If you say you should just not think about anything, you will not achieve anything except more tension. This will be explained later.
Q: What does Dzogchen mean?
To accomplish the two factors of the path you need to train in the accumulation of merit and wisdom. To achieve Dzogchen and Mahamudra it's indispensable to have the preliminary practices. To practice Mahamudra traditionally you must practice shamatha and the Six Yogas of Naropa.
By establishing this, one meditates on mahamudra. In the Mahamudra there are teachings that say that negative actions don't cause suffering and good actions don't bring happiness. We need to eliminate the grasping toward wholesome and unwholesome actions by seeing them as empty.
So how do we realize emptiness? When attachment and aversion arise, we need to see they have no real existence and are empty. If I see a cup is empty, I won't try to drink from it. If I see aversion and attachment are empty, I won't run after them.
Q: Isn't the view empty as well?
A: We need to establish that phenomena are empty of true existence. This can be done by analytical meditation, concentration, or other means. But this understanding does not possess the mirror like quality of the five wisdoms.
When a negative emotion arises the practitioner sees its empty nature and this transforms it into the mirrorlike wisdom. So you shouldn't pursue of the negative emotions, they will arise on their own.
A: It's not transforming emotions into wisdoms. There are no emotions different from the wisdoms and no wisdoms other than the emotions. But we need to experience then through practice. It's almost impossible to explain this through words. You need to experience this through meditation. If you experience this through meditation there cannot be many questions.
A: It's not just the preliminaries, there are other practices that haven't been described. True compassion only arises after the realization of Mahamudra. By realizing Mahamudra you see it is crucial that other beings to realize this and this generates the highest compassion for sentient beings.
A: The essence of mind is present in all sentient beings so there is no difference between an ordinary person and the realized practitioner. This mind is not created newly. It like the moon that is there whether it is cloudy or not. Whether you see the reflection depends on whether it is cloudy or not.
A: That's true. You have to do the preliminary practices first. But if you give the teaching it plants the imprints for the future. And there are some persons who due to their practice in previous lives can understand.
A: It's true, it's difficult to see the empty nature of the emotions. If you train in the empty nature of thoughts the awareness will get stronger. The ignorance that sees emotions as truly existent is false. If you follow the path you will get to the point of realization.