H.H. the Dalai Lama, the most prominent contemporary figure in Tibetan Buddhism, teaches regularly on a variety of topics ranging from entry level lectures to profound oral commentaries on seminal texts covering subjects such as Wisdom, Compassion, Ethics, Nature of the Mind, Buddhism and Science, and Meditation and Psychotherapy. His office does a great job making the teachings available through its official webcast. Now they are available in a podcast here as MP3 audio files encoded at 64Kbps mono. If you rather see video, check out the “Dalai Lama Video Teachings” podcasts (available in Standard Quality and High Quality).
May 10th, 2009
Episode 29 of 409 episodes
Today His Holiness began by reading from the Songs of Milarepa. He then began teaching the introduction to the ninth chapter on wisdom of the Guide. As is said in the Heart Sutra, all the Buddhas of the past, present, and future achieved Enlightenment through following this same wisdom of emptiness. The wisdom realizing emptiness is the only gateway to enlightenment. Samsara arises from disturbing emotions. Disturbing emotions arise from distorted thoughts. Distorted thoughts arise from grasping onto intrinsic existence. It is only the wisdom realizing emptiness which eradicates the grasping onto intrinsic existence, thus eliminating rebirth in samsara, and allowing for full enlightenment. In order to understand the subtle emptiness, one must understand the subtle dependent origination, that is, the dependent designation. The understanding that all things exist through mere designation. While as sentient beings, equipoise and the post equipoise states are sequential. It is only when we are fully enlightened that they occur simultaneously. Benefiting others is the motivation to seek enlightenment for all sentient beings. So, bodhichitta, the mind of enlightenment, is the quintessential instruction. The enlightened state has access to all phenomena simultaneously. Guhyasamaja tantra states that Buddhahood is not owned by someone else. Therefore, it is not that someone else can bestow enlightenment upon you. Rather, it comes through your own effort of meditating upon emptiness. When we manifest the primordial clear light mind without wavering, that is enlightenment. This is the most subtle mind, absorbed in emptiness. Then His Holiness continued reading from the Compendium. Following that, in less than a day, His Holiness completed teaching the ninth chapter on wisdom from the Guide. What is reality? Around 3000 years ago in India, some believed that the self was solid, and intrinsically existing. Then came the Buddha. He said that no such self existed. If all things are empty of intrinsic existence, then why did the Buddha teach impermanence? This was to gradually ripen beingsï¿ minds to eventually understand the wisdom realizing emptiness. How do we distinguish an illusory man from a man? Neither exists at it appears. That is, neither exists independently. However, an illusory man is refuted by another valid mind. Then how do we distinguish nominal existence (existing by mere name and thought), from non-existence? For example, a snake versus a coiled rope perceived as a snake. Again, they are equal in that both lack intrinsic existence. But, the rope-snake is refuted by another valid cognition. Not so for the snake. It is only through deep reflection upon this dependent origination that we can understand dependent designation. Everything, then, may appear like watching a movie, there is nothing solid there. This is powerful equipment for reducing negativities, and enhancing positive qualities. Dependent origination is praised as the kind of reasoning to establish the emptiness of intrinsic existence.