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 8, 2017

The Retreat Concludes

We are concluding the Nepali step at Sharminub with a selection of metaphors and photos of the Amitabha offering feast that closed the retreat.

Since I didn’t know what to share with you from all the teachings that have been given, I decided to pull out all of the metaphors that Khenpo Gyaltsen and Jigme Rinpoche used. Some are traditional while others are more original. Happy reading…

Between each metaphor, a photo of the last moments of the retreat. I hope I’ll have wifi in Bodhgaya, so that I can continue sharing.

A Selection of Metaphors

To conclude the retreat, Thinley Drolma, Jigme Rinpoche’s niece who looks after the children, explained the history of the children’s situation and the team that takes care of them in more detail.

On Buddha Nature and Veils

The example of the sun and clouds. The sun shines equally on everything. Clouds create an obstacle, but they are temporary and circumstantial. They prevent the sun’s rays from reaching the earth. In the same way, Buddha nature is present but due to the obscuration of afflictive and cognitive veils, we cannot recognize the nature of phenomena. This is due to having unceasingly cultivated conceptual thoughts about phenomena. (Khenpo Gyaltsen)

For the Amitabha tsok, Jigme Rinpoche suggested making the purchases in the small shops around the monastery. We went with the monks to shop. The bodega owners couldn’t get over the quantity we asked for every time.

The Network of Blessing

This is the essential aspect of guru yoga practice: we remain undifferentiated from the lama’s mind. This is what allows him to always guide our potential. We don’t fabricate this. If we fabricate the presence of the lama, there are always problems. It is about remaining in a natural state, staying in this space, and keeping the mind open. I don’t know how a cell network functions, but it works everywhere. If we open to blessing, it is there. We have to open our minds in the same way that we open our phones. We have to open and stay open. To stay in this presence, we need to have the habit of it. This is how the presence becomes a reality. (Jigme Rinpoche)

The Acharya Prepared the Tormas for the Offering Feast

Purity and Grasping

The nature of mind (Buddha nature) is luminous clarity. However, there is an aspect of mind that is pure as well as an impure way of perceiving. The mirror is free of marks or smudges, but there are some individuals who grasp the forms in the mirror and others who do not.(Khenpo Gyaltsen)

Meanwhile, we prepare the feast, which is enormous…

Transformation into Wisdom

The ordinary forms of consciousness are not going to transform in primordial knowledge, into wisdom. The five forms of wisdom arise from an understanding. They are not the transformation of ordinary forms of consciousness, but rather the recognition of the former as confusion. The clouds that cover the sun do not become the sun; they fade away to let the sun shine. (Khenpo Gyaltsen)

Everything is ready; the ritual can begin.

Involved in the Conflict or Not

When there is a conflict and we are not involved, the situation seems easy to resolve. It’s like watching a movie. However, when we are involved, it becomes complicated to deal with things. Our entire lives can be contaminated by conflict. Our nature is Buddha nature; we do not perceive it. This is what leads us to live with complications. If we manage not to get involved with this internal conflict, then things can be resolved more easily. We manage not to get caught up in the obscurations connected with the human world. We perceive disturbances and, due to this, they are no longer a source of disturbance. It is not that there are no more problems; simply that they are no longer problematic. (Jigme Rinpoche)

Blessing Is Not Enough

In a restaurant kitchen, after the service, the kitchen is dirty and greasy. You need a cleaning product to easily get rid of the gunk. If you spray the product without doing anything, the kitchen doesn’t get clean. You have to scrub. When we receive blessing, if we don’t put in the effort to “scrub,” it cannot be activated. It is through regular and consistent practice that we activate blessing. Receiving blessing without doing anything doesn’t work. We also have to practice. (Jigme Rinpoche)

We split up the tasks: I lead the melody, Jungne and Paljor play gyaling, Drakpa and Ouangtchouk radong, Loïc and Audrey, drum, and Tseundru is chopon.

Samsara as a Toy

By practicing, we become inseparable from Amitabha Buddha. This means that our mind progressively actualizes the same quality as Amitabha Buddha. When we actualize this enlightened quality, everything that is not enlightened will dissipate. Greater and greater clarity and understanding take their place. Ordinary manifestation continues to appear, but it is no longer a disturbance. It is like a plastic toy that no longer has value to us. If it breaks, we don’t get angry, and we don’t throw a tantrum. With the actualization of enlightened qualities, the ordinary aspect of things has less importance for us, and a transformation takes place. This is becoming free from ignorance. (Jigme Rinpoche)

Sharing the Offering Feast

Butter and Buddha Nature

When we see milk, we know it contains butter, but we don’t see the butter itself until we have churned it. Milk has the potential to actualize butter. A dairyman knows this; the essence of milk is butter. It is not about thinking that we were perfect Buddhas once and we fell from this state at some point. The potential of kindness is present within us in the same way it is present in a Buddha. (Jigme Rinpoche)

Morning Session Dedicated to Thangka Blessing

The Diamond of Buddha Nature

Buddha nature refers to our own mind. It is like a diamond. What is a diamond? It is a stone; we need not add anything to it. There is no procedure that transforms the stone into a diamond. The stone is a diamond. We just have to remove the impurities that cover it, but it is already present. (Jigme Rinpoche)

Human Culture

If we have a European education, and we live in another country, we adopt the habits and customs of the other country. The same is true of Buddha nature; human habits, tendencies, and afflictions obscure our Buddha nature over time. Various influences obscure this wisdom nature, just as our culture influences us. There is no need to judge this; these three aspects simply obscure our minds. If we dissipate these obscurations, we will recognize knowledge itself. (Jigme Rinpoche)

This old man never budged beyond the doorway of the stupa hall where we were practicing. He watched for a long time, hands together with his hat. He seemed inspired, and then he left.

Visualizing Is Training in Presence

When we practice, we do not need to see but to know (to recognize) the lama or the yidam. Visualizing depends on clarity; it cannot be fabricated. We must familiarize ourselves with the form and the presence of the lama. This presence has a quality. If you visualize your wife or husband, and he or she is in front of you, then it’s like a ghost. If we think about our wife or husband, it is the quality of love for the person that will be present. (Jigme Rinpoche)

We await the Tibetans for the group photo. (They arrived shortly thereafter).

Lama Puntso

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