KHENPO'S BLOG

Buddhism enumerates five stages of gestation that are described in both the Abhidharma-kosha-shastra and the tantras of Great Perfection. The descriptions are very detailed particularly in the tantras of Great Perfection. Despite the fact that the word “cell” was not used in these texts, the writing actually delineated the complex process of cell division (reproduction). Those with a medical background would be very surprised to discover that the depiction is in accord with that of modern medicine. The gestation period between the second instant of conception and right before the development of the six sense organs is designated name and form, which lasts quite a long time.

~Depicted from THE RIGHT VIEW - The Twelve Nidanas1—the sequence of cyclic existence

Taming the mind is like taming an animal. When the mind is desolate and in despair, we should practice how to face suffering and transform adversity into courage and determination on the path to liberation; when it is immersed in pride and carried away by success, we should contemplate all things are impermanent and all defiled phenomena are suffering to overcome arrogance. We must avoid the two extreme states of mind and abide in the middle at all times.

~Depicted from ARE YOU READY FOR HAPPINESS - How to Face Suffering and Happiness-Taming the Mind as in Taming the Elephant

There is no need to repeatedly contemplate the point about no-self in this practice. When the three practices are completed, simply reflect on whether the self exists or not. At that time, it will become quite clear: if dust particles do not exist and are empty, how can I exist? It is not possible. Once we have this profound realization of no-self, let the mind rest in this state. When the mind gets distracted, start the practice over again.

~Depicted from THE FOUR SEALS OF DHARMA - The Practice of No-Self

How is Cause and Effect Generated?Whatever action we take, whether it is killing, stealing, or freeing animals and giving, we no longer perceive its existence after the action takes place. However, a special energy is stored within the deepest level of our consciousness -- the alaya consciousness. Alaya is a Sanskrit word which means storage. It is like a computer disk which can store a great deal of information.

~Depicted from ARE YOU READY FOR HAPPINESS - Spiritual Equipment for Modern Times

We should not think that anything that is not discovered by science or proven with logic does not exist, as not everything can be measured by hard data. Things like rebirth or soul cannot be checked by scientific instruments, at least not for the time being. However, as science continues to break new grounds, it is entirely possible that one day we might be able to do that. For now, logic, as we know it, is rendered helpless in the field of parapsychology because our sense organs are not equipped to provide us with useful data to do this kind of analysis.

~Depicted from THE HANDBOOK'S FOR LIFE JOURNEY - On Death And Rebirth-What Life Truly Is

There is an example in the text. Once there was a king who killed an arhat. The next day, a downpour of innumerable jewels fell on his territory. The rain of jewels, becoming more precious by the day, continued for the next six days. On the eighth day, however, a ferocious pouring of mud came down and buried all his subjects. Why did the king have jewels rained down on his land after killing an arhat? It was due to the great deeds he had committed in the past lives. Even though killing an arhat was an extremely grave crime, virtuous karma from the past ripened first and hence his great fortune. But when good karma was depleted, the negative karmic results ensued immediately. Did the Creator arrange the sequence of events as non-Buddhists would like to think? No. The mechanism is the same as that of crops, whose harvest depends on the right combinations of soil, climate, sunlight and other factors. It is not man-made but the law of nature.

~Depicted from THE RIGHT VIEW - On Cause and Effect

Patrul Rinpoche once said: “If renunciation and bodhicitta are absent, a person cannot sow the seeds of liberation even after nine years of Dzogchen retreat.” We ought to reflect deeply on this statement: it is the most sublime Dzogchen that one spends not a few days or several months but nine years to practice; in terms of methodology, it is undertaken in retreat away from any contact with the world outside; despite this, one cannot sow the seeds of liberation because one does not have renunciation and bodhicitta. This should be enough of a warning. Without renunciation and bodhicitta, we may find ourselves in a position wherein the cause of liberation cannot be established even after nine years of Dzogchen practice! Thus, renunciation and bodhicitta are extremely important to any practitioner.

~Depicted from GATEWAY TO VAJRAYANA PATH - Entering the Vajrayana Path

First, Mahayana masters must have uncontrived bodhicitta. According to the sutras, if a person has uncontrived bodhicitta, although he or she may not be perfect in every way, we can take this person as our master when no other teacher can be found. We become disciples in the hope of receiving from the master the wisdom and skillful means conducive to our liberation, nothing else. If the master has uncontrived bodhicitta, he or she will at the least instill something good into our minds. In other words, the master will not use us for personal gain, and will try to the extent possible to guide us. So we can learn something.

~Depicted from GATEWAY TO VAJRAYANA PATH - Vajra Master and Empowerment

Some regard Buddhism as a kind of belief. Belief also means faith. Of course faith is needed in Buddhism, but it would be oversimplified to regard Buddhism as a belief since keeping faith is only one of the aspects of Buddhism.  The foundation and the priority of Buddhism are not about belief, but wisdom and compassion.  Although Buddhism does advocate the importance of faith, it is not unique to Buddhism; science also calls for faith.  For example, people today all want to promote faith in science.  If one does not trust science, one probably would not even dare to take airplane.  People take planes because they believe in the technology that allows airplane to transport people to their destinations.  It takes faith to accomplish anything in this world, the same kind of faith as in Buddhism. Therefore, it is incorrect to equate Buddhism with belief.

~Depicted from THE RIGHT VIEW - Buddhism—the Definition