Archive | August 2016

Dissolving Self-Cherishing

Whenever you engage in a practice, as mentioned here, for example the recitation of Manis, but actually in any activity, you should do it with the power of benevolence. This is a key point because there are those who make a mistake here: when they do a practice, their main thought is that if they do the recitation of Manis, they believe it will help them, and thereby help them develop some degree of personal attainment. It is inwardly directed, but again, it is only self-cherishing. Dharma practice, if done in this way can even reinforce self-cherishing, therefore you must avoid practicing in this way. Approach any activity with the thought that you are not just doing it for yourself, but rather, you do it explicitly for others. Your mind opens up completely, and you say mantras for all living beings, which automatically includes yourself. This is the benevolent attitude, the power of benevolence. The power of benevolence must inform all your deeds. It must be done with consistency, and constancy.

– Garchen Rinpoche

Going forward with Mani Monlam

Dear Dharma friends,

As of today, we have accumulated a total of  26,737,899  Mani mantras.

Although this is still far from our hopeful target of 100 million Mani mantras, it is still a great accomplishment for all those who have been trying their best to contribute and accumulate.  On behalf of everyone, I would like to thank you for your efforts and good energies for the benefit of all beings and to urge you to continue accumulating the mantra. I think it is very important to acknowledge how far a small group of us have come for these past 8 months and the kind of immense merit that has been generated from our commitment to make a bit of positive difference in this world for ourselves and others.

As we can see, many unfortunate incidents continue to unfold in this world, and from a larger perspective, its cause can be attributed to the thoughts of anger, jealousy and pride generated in the minds of beings. All actions that bring harm begin with a negative thought.  Furthermore, we can see many actions that seem to be done for the benefit of others but which are inwardly motivated by the coarse afflictions of anger, competitiveness and so forth. According to the teachings, if the motivation is negative, then even a seemingly positive act will yield negative karmic repercussions.

If we examine our own minds honestly, it is clear that we badly need to purify our own minds with love and kindness.  We cannot simply hope and wish for less problems in this world when we do nothing to change our own minds, letting it run out of control under its passions and emotions.  If we understand the Dharma teachings correctly, all causes start from within our minds, so it is very important to address this before trying to make external changes.

At the same time, one of the best thing to do is to recite Mani mantras that bring more love and kindness into the minds of all beings.  According to the Buddha, the sole cause of suffering is self-grasping and the afflictive emotions that arise from it such as anger and jealousy. The only cause of happiness is love for other beings.  All merits and positive conditions come to us in our present circumstances as a result of past positive deeds done for others with a mind of love.

Therefore, we need to first develop the causes of happiness further in our own minds if we are to bring benefit to others.  Then, with the wish to bring benefit to others, we invoke the blessings of all the Buddhas by reciting the Mani mantra. This is an infallible skillful method given to us by the enlightened beings to help ourselves and others. Instead of worrying too much about the state of the world or your life, work on your own mind, develop love and kindness and recite the Mani.  Then you can be sure that the causes of happiness are waiting in the future.

I personally have full conviction that reciting the Mani mantra will bring indelible and immeasurable benefits to all beings both in the short term and in the long term. I hope the same conviction accompanies you always. The perspective that Buddhists hold should be very vast and far-reaching. We are not only wishing only for some temporary improvement to occur on a small scale which may not even make much a difference say 50 or 100 years from now.  Instead, we are aiming for the complete liberation for all beings which is a goal which is so huge and all-encompassing that it is beyond our ordinary conception. Therefore, one with such a wide viewpoint is not easily shaken, discouraged or depressed by temporary adverse situations or obstacles.

Finally, please join me in rejoicing and making a dedication prayer for this vast merit of accumulating so many mantras:

By all the merits accumulated in this Mani accumulation, as well as all the merits accumulated by others, may all beings attain happiness and be free from sufferings in this life and ultimately reach Buddhahood swiftly.  May the Buddha-dharma flourish and the lives of the Dharma lineage holders and authentic teachers be long. May their activities be free from all obstacles and benefit many beings. Upon passing away from their present life, may all beings be reborn in the purelands of the Buddhas immediately without suffering and obstacles at death.

For more information on the practice to generate love and kindness, please read :
https://bodhiactivity.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/bodhicitta-teachings-by-lord-jigten-sumgon/