17th Gyalwa Karmapa"Buddhism is a way of life through which we develop the qualities of our mind.
This way of life is very unusual, as it is a means to attain happiness without harming others.


Travel Log - In Nepal and India with Lama Puntso

See the original in French

December 4, 2017

Day 2 : Mosaic

Today, mosaic day: a different teacher for each session

The first session: linking into the network

Jigmé Rinpoche continued his teaching. He reviewed the nature of Buddha and on the meaning of the visualisation. Then he spoke of the connection that we establish with the bodhisattvas during the practice by way of a particularly fitting metaphor. He explained that during the practice, we always need and have the impression to establish a personal relationship with the bodhisattva or the divinity we meditate. But in fact, when we pray to a bodhisattva, it is as if we turn on our telephone so that it can connect with the network. It is neither a relation of personal exchange nor a personal link. It is the natural activity of the bodhisattvas who can link into us since, through confidence, we open to them.

When we talk about the spiritual process, usually we unite with an entity through the practice and in exchange we receive help. There is a form of dependence linked to this relationship. In Buddhism, it is an autonomous practice: our mind develops itself through support of the bodhisattvas in order to realise liberation. From one spiritual path to another the terminology is similar, hence easy to mix up the concepts; but it doesn’t work in the same way and the result is different.

At the end of this first session, Rinpoche concluded by saying that he had explained the meaning and that now a lama from Dhagpo would explain the words. He looked at me and told me to do it. I could only say yes, and in reality I was very touched by his confidence.

The second session: motivations

I find myself in front of the people to give an explanation of the practice as requested by Rinpoche. Audrey provided the English translation. In speaking of refuge, I drew on the three motivations: fear, confidence and compassion. We begin by taking refuge on the basis of the fear of our confusing situation, the cause of suffering and the wish to get out of it. Then, we take refuge through confidence and the qualities of the three Jewels, source of liberation. Finally, we take refuge with compassion for all beings, a source of enlightenment. We can apply these motivations to all situations. As the Gyalwa Karmapa says: keep the concerns, the worries, but don’t over-worry. As long as we are tainted with mistake and confusion, concern about the consequences is good counsel. Then, to have confidence in the opportunity that we have to put the qualities of the dharma into practice provides the means to respond to situations with more dexterity. And finally, to open to the suffering of others with compassion changes our perception of situations and obliges us to rethink our own point of view.

We couldn’t finish the explanation of the text in time because we had an unexpected visit at noon.

End of the morning: a visit from those in retreat

Lama Nygyam, monk in retreat at Sharminub, is also retreat master at Parping, not far from there. It so happens that the day before, ten monks in retreat came out of a three year cycle. They had gone into retreat two months before Shamar Rinpoche died, therefore they had seen neither the stupa nor the relics. The temple had been empty. They arrived, relaxed, made prostrations and recited traditional prayers (invitation to the three jewels, offering a prayer to the seven branches, a universal mandala and formulated wishes.) Once again, the same blend takes place: simplicity/density. A few circumambulations of the stupa then they left as they arrived.

Third session: no doubt about Buddha nature

Rinpoche asked Khenpo Gyaltsen to re-explain Buddha nature from a philosophical angle. We turned our attention to a serie of logic and good reasons to understand and adhere to Buddha nature. But since he only had an hour and a half, reduced to 3/4 of an hour with translation, he (too) decided to go straight to the essential point. In a few instructions, two or three metaphors and some question/answers, he gave us a clear reflection of just what is the nature of Buddha.

Drakpa translated khenpo Gyaltsen from Tibetain



“When there are no obscurations, Buddha nature is actualized. Obscurations are all of the adventitious veils that arise, circumstantial just as the afflictions, the karma and habitual tendencies. Their nature is the opposite of Buddha nature, which is pure since beginning-less time. The veils depend on circumstances just like clouds that mask the sun. Clouds can be eliminated but the sun, it shines all the time. Without wind, clouds remain in front of the sun. Adventitious veils are conceptual activities. Once they are dispelled, the light of Buddha nature can shine.”

(in response to a question) “It is said that all beings possess buddha nature, there is a container and its contents, a possessor and that which it possesses. But when we practice, it is not useful to lead the mind in this direction. The idea is to identify what comes up in the mind and understand its nature.”

As an English translation was necessary, Audrey assured this task.

His message is without equivalent: since the beginning-less time, we all possess Buddha nature and that if we uncover it, it appears. To do this, we need to dissipate the obscurations. About the method, he referred back to the relationship to the lama and the different aspects of confidence. In the end, he came back to the necessity of listening to the teachings, to keep them in mind in order to reflect upon them and in the end, meditate on them.

He also made reference to the fact that Rinpoche gave a part of the teaching in Tibetain: “When Rinpoche spoke to me in Tibetain, it was wonderful! If we understand Buddha nature and the nature of phenomena, all thoughts about there being afflictions or not will vanish. If we know Buddha nature, the absence of the nature of phenomena, all these considerations on the existence or the inexistence of afflictions will disappear. If not, we will continue to turn in the samsara.”

Each teaching session was also translated into German by Jungne.

After today, it is sure that we have a common understanding as a basis for practice: the qualities are already present, the mind is fundamentally clear, all that is left is to dispel that which blocks us from recognizing this natural clarity.

Lama Puntso

Dhagpo Kagyu Ling - Landrevie - 24290 Saint-Léon sur Vézère - France - 0033 5 53 50 70 75 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.