Length: 1.5 hr; Format: Audio/Video; Recording Quality: Excellent
Ringu Tulku Rinpoche gave two teachings at the Radical Compassion Conference at Naropa University on October 16-19, 2014.
“Lojong: Teachings and Practices on Compassion in Everyday Life“, is presented below.
A free eBook on Radical Compassion was published by Shambhala in assoication with this conference – see Interviews and Writings.
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SUMMARY OF THE TEACHING
Training our minds is the main practice. Mind training heals ourselves and others, works on our habitual tendencies and how we react. story of colony of lepers who got healed through this training
Tonglen: bravery to breathe in and feel others’ negativity: diseases, pain. We work on our aversion, which is the ground of our suffering. Tong=“give”; len=“take”.
First thing is to dare to face our fears directly. We have Buddha Nature, Basic Goodness, but how we react is due to self-centeredness, klesas, If we take in dark energy, that dissolves our own darkness and our innate kindness/compassion shines through. Radiance from our heart dispels darkness throughout the world. Darkness may have been in a room for thousands of years, but when we turn on light, darkness is dispelled in one moment.
Fear of loss of what we want, or getting what we don’t want.
Tonglen reverses this: we give away all the good things we like, even to people we don’t like, and take in everything we don’t like. Even if it’s only in our mind, tonglen reverses samsaric grasping. You can do this practice wherever, whenever you want. If you’re sick, angry, upset, do tonglen, take on all others’ suffering and see them as becoming happy and well.
Question: How do I know the difference between delusion and reality? (moon’s reflection and moon)
Answer: Moon’s reflection is not delusion, it’s just reflection. Delusion is what brings disturbed state of mind: “I must have moon (or) I don’t want moon.”
Question: How do I work with kindness if I am being taken advantage of?
Answer: Tonglen is a mind training. If you’re kind, you feel better. You have to be kind to yourself, to others. But you don’t have to do
everything for everybody. People always try to take advantage of you anyway! It’s up to you to decide what you can do and what you can’t do. You don’t have to feel bad if you’re asked to do things, since that is normal.
Question: I get physically ill with Tonglen, so I have had to stop.
Answer: If you can actually take on someone else’s pain, we can also take off their pain. The key point is that your own positive basic Goodness shines out like light – concentrate on others being purified, healed, transformed vs. holding onto negativity.
Question: How do you respond vs. reacting to people insulting you, especially friends?
Answer: Most people do respond positively if you are positive, but at times, people can be angry even if you are nice. It’s not because of you, but because of their own problems. You have to discover what the best way to respond is and understand that there is a problem on their side. When you act with anger, you go overboard and get exhausted. Focus on issue vs. person. Then it’s compassion, based on a way of seeing, so it’s long lasting. You don’t need to see it as an attack, but rather focus on it as a problem.
Question: Can you tell us one of the stories from the childrens’ stories?
Answer: Rinpoche told a story about when Buddha was a deer…
Question: How do I practice Tonglen when I’m having a good day?
Answer: You can send your good feeling to everyone, share it.
Question: How can I not get proud about how I’m so special doing Tonglen?
Answer: We learn from appreciation. Start the day with motivation to be helpful. During the day, do some meditation and tonglen. At the end of the day, reflect on what good things you have done, what negative things you have done and purify those. Say a mantra, if you want. Finally, dedicate positive things.
Question: What do you say to a friend who is using spirituality in megalomaniac kind of way.
Answer: You may not be able to help him. We need to accept that there are times we can’t help. If we think we alone can change the world, we don’t understand that there are many causes and conditions.
Summary by DS?
Compassion is ‘radical’ when it moves beyond ‘being nice’ or giving to our favorite charity, and becomes the very foundation of all our actions, the signature of our society.
Rinpoche will speak on ‘Suffering: Gateway to Compassion’ (Friday at 3:15 pm), and ‘Lojong: Teachings and Practices on Compassion in Everyday Life’ (Saturday at 11 am). He will also lead morning meditations (Friday-Sunday at 8 am).
Naropa is offering an early bird special before August 15th! All sessions will take place at Naropa’s Nalanda campus. Details of the conference are on their website and below: