Training shouldn’t be optional

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/betrained.mp4

People willingly sign up to endure tremendous training, challenges, physical ‘torture’, mental ‘torture’, ‘abuse’ and even put themselves in situations that endanger their lives as you see in this incredible video. This is for the betterment of this life alone. Need we say more for future lives? A must watch short video in any case. They are taunted, made fun of and even encouraged to quit by superiors and peers. People can say this is psychological and mental abuse and the people who ‘perpetrate’ this are cruel and vicious. But remember, you signed up and you opted for it. You had a choice, so there is no victim card here to play. To get through it will toughen you up for life’s vicissitudes, hardships, realities, disappointments and really just make us accept life’s realities. Which makes it easier for ourselves and everyone around us because we accept, understand and well prepared. To expect something according to our projections and not getting it most of the time leads to bitterness and depression. Pretty much the sum of our lives in samsara. Some make it and many don’t from this tough training. Out of 150 that signed up, 42 made it in this incredible training which really represents life. The rest quit.

Some of the ones that quit complained, said it was too hard, inhuman, not achievable and even can cite psychological damage because of it. But all in all, it is training. And this is for the body and mind. This is for secular success. This reminds me of the monasteries. This reminds me of even organized Dharma centres and some of my tough gurus. You are put to training in many methods by the teacher and whether your teacher is a monk or drill sergeant if you want the results you go for it. Be just as committed as your trainer. You are being trained by people who know their stuff and committed themselves. Committed themselves to the training and to training you. You have to comply, do the training and then only you can enjoy the results. The results can last for your whole life and in spiritual terms for lifetimes. It is never handed to you. If you fail, you can blame the teacher, but then if you blame the teacher, everyone must have failed. Not everyone fails but you failed so it can’t be the trainer. Even the majority can fail and it is still your fault because that is usually what happens with tough and real training. Don’t revel in your failure just because you have many peers that also failed. Failure is failure. Some even encourage others to fail so they are not alone in failing. I’ve met people like that. They encourage others to leave the dharma centre, the retreats, guru, practices, their faith, samaya, commitments, meditations and works so when they leave, they are not alone and feel as bad or look as bad. Once they leave, what do you have to offer them? Back to the exact same thing they did before they joined the dharma or training. Why join, if everything was perfect? That does not make it better long term, because you still failed. The tougher the training, the more real the Dharma and the more honest it is, in all likelihood, more will quit citing abuse, too tough, not worth it or even saying they felt trapped. But then the trap is not the training in the Dharma. Because training in the Dharma is teaching you how to leave your samsaric trap and not stay in it. When you fail, you don’t escape but in actuality you stay exactly where you are. If where you are was fine, why did you enter the training in the first place? Dharma training is tough. Any training is tough.

Training is tough. It was tough with my gurus. It will be tough because our mind is tough. We fill our minds with all types of comforts and habituated views of how things should be and when it is not like that, we give up. We love to blame the trainer, the path, the Dharma, the method and all of that. But what people need to understand is, yes the training was hard, but did the trainees make it harder because they were spoilt, had wrong views, hung on to their comfort zones and refuse to really change? Are all trainees trainable immediately? Are they all cooperative and compliant and really willing to make a difference? Or when their most secret comfort zones were infringed upon, they left? Leaving is one thing, being bitter is an excuse to cover failure because you chose to join in the first place. No one forced you. You take responsibility for the choice. How to break away from samsara when you are still stuck in trying to be comfortable? Being comfortable actually has no place in spiritual or physical training. Achieving something has no room to be comfortable. Success and comfort are never in the same continuum. Success does not come from being in a state of comfort but challenging ideas and habituations that continuously keep us tied down to the deceptions that comfort zones, money, acquisitions, romance, travel and entertainment is the purpose of our lives. Anything you have now was either given to you for free or you worked past your comfort zones to achieve them. After you ran away screaming from the training, what did you achieve in your life that was substantial? Did you just go back to sleeping late, some feel good meditations, meeting friends, surfing on the net, travelling, eating, social occasions, endless dinners and non-stop holidays? Holidaying from what? You don’t really work much to even need a holiday? Maybe you even took up a course or two at a school, ‘busy’ on a blog, occasional unsuccessful dabbling in exercise, some self-help readings, dabble in the occult to divine for a  comfortable future? Maybe just nothing? You went back to what you were doing prior to the training. Now you have to justify to yourself and others why you quit the training. We can be honest or we can deceive for face saving purposes on why we really quit. You don’t go back to doing the same thing and more of it citing training was insane. What is insane is your blindness to see your comfort zones will lead you not where you wish but where you don’t ultimately desire. Maybe you will make a dent in this world for the better by quitting but most likely not. Because hard work, long hours, commitment, passion, consistency and sacrifice of comfort are the universal ingredients necessary for the outer journey and even more so for the inner journey. Whatever journey we choose and hopefully it will be both for our sake, by remaining in comfort zones, this will take time as well as overcoming comfort zones to inner success. Both take the same amount of time and time is used. One does not bear results and the other one does. Don’t waste time. It’s our choice, don’t blame if we quit. Better is to swallow the ego for our long term benefit and get back into the training. The journey does not end at death unfortunately and fortunately. This continues into the bardo and future lives. The Buddha was not wrong. The harder the training seems to be is a clear indication to ourselves of how far behind we are. How much we need it. All the more reason to train. For some it takes tremendous efforts to reach a goal and for others seemingly very fast. Whatever it is for us, start and keep at it.

As we age, get sick, wrinkle, slow down and all types of diseases invade our body let us know that time is shorter, all the experiences we had in the travels, food, romance, fun, kids and all that materialistic world had to offer will not help us one iota at the time of death. All the conversations we have with friends, kids, partners and so on will not help us in anyway. The experiences will just disappear as fast as the experience themselves. To experience something for the sake of experience is like gathering water in a cup with holes to drink. When the four elements shut down within our bodies, and the inner winds gather and when we are about to black out from consciousness forever, even the best friends and partners holding our hands will be of no help. We won’t even be conscious of them being there and holding us at the last stages. Then karma who is ever present takes over as it has been all along but more so now because we don’t have the physical to grasp onto anymore. Your wealth, experiences, position, power, name, poverty, beauty, friends, houses, properties, views, political stance, loans, savings, pets are all not going to help you. When you enter the bardo, only the karma you have accumulated in the positive will assist you now. The genuine meditations, the mantras, saving of animals, benefitting other beings, retreats, donations, offerings on your shrines, prayers to the enlightened ones, guru samaya, generation of the altruistic aspiration, altruism, destruction of dual view, works that benefitted others, releasing of phenomenal grasping, release of projections and attainments will help you and can help you. Everything else you spent time on when you were alive besides the spiritual attainments will be of no help. Your lifetime of experiences accumulated from books, people, travel, cultural learning, foods, money, savings, poverty, partners and positions will not be of any help and will be forgotten. You sink into black oblivion. Your possession that you held onto will be falling into the hands of others very soon. The oblivion is totally black for the time being prior to leaving our bodies. A journey into fear, the unknown and perhaps pain if we are not spiritually aware. Not studying a map prior to reaching a fork in the road, can lead you to the wrong direction. Not preparing spiritually and fool-heartedly engaged in only samsaric pursuits will bear its frightening consequences now. If you don’t like what you are reading, don’t blame me, but these are the condensed form of the teachings of the omniscient Buddha. I am not negative, or trying to psyche you or frighten you for the sake of it. If you feel frightened, it is because you are not prepared, not because I frightened you. I cannot frighten you about something that is not true because you can investigate yourself. Fear arises from knowing the truth of our existence if we do nothing about it. The truth is living a life of just enjoyments will use up the karma that supported it as Kensur Jampa Yeshe told me. But fortunately if you are reading this now, it means you can do something now. Start now. No more excuses and procrastinations. Even if you quit in the past, start again and don’t quit. Remember, consistency is the key. The key that opens the door to your vast inner attainments, true freedom, omniscience and finding your luminous Buddha nature. That is what Buddha Shakyamuni did. That is why we ‘worship’ and follow him. Why else do we follow him? Stop praising, chanting and meditating on what Buddha did to become a Buddha and nothing more, but engage in the same path Buddha completed. Please do it now. Actually just do it. No more excuses, justifications and taking refuge in a all saviour like comfort zone that is deceptive. Deception is impermanent too. No matter how many go along with your self deceptions and how good of a friend they are, deception will ripen into deep regrets. Friends that encourage quitting or deception may come and go but our sufferings remain. Remember, the Buddha’s wisdom in his teachings surpasses any views our ‘friends’ may have. Buddha’s wisdom is based on total lack of ignorance while our friend’s knowledge is based on pure limitations and obstructed by karma. Buddha’s omniscience also surpasses any form of education, knowledge, ‘wisdom’ and experience that can be offered in this world. No knowledge by ordinary humans can ever surpass the omniscient Buddha’s wisdom. Follow Buddha.

So why are we so into everything that does not help us physically at the time of death and mentally and karmically? Because we have not studied, allocated the time for it, applied and lived Buddha’s teachings completely. We are not bad, but ignorant. But even ignorance is a chosen path and not inherently forever. We only surrendered to materialism because we are familiar with it and we did not surrender to our true selves, our true Buddha nature within. We did not submit to the truth of the Dharma yet. Everything we do now will be of no use if it has not been directed towards the inner attainments that Buddha so clearly spoke about.

This training video is powerful. Be best friends with determination, hard work, grit, sacrifice, consistency and results. Abandon enemies such as laziness, excuses, justifications, blame, distractions because they are bad friends to be with. Remember 42 passed the training out of 150. That means 108 persons found excuses, reasons, justifications to quit. That is the majority. The quitters will probably regret, curse, hate or talk about the nasty training to friends and family for the rest of their lives. Even perhaps will say they were mentally damaged because of it. Even if you quit, walk away nicely, don’t blame. Because blaming is playing the victim card to cover up. Many suffer much more than you and they succeed even more because they don’t quit. It’s just like in many Dharma centres including my own that I experienced for the last 40 years that more quit or sit on the side-lines than achieve. If you ask them to go slightly beyond, they will cite very quickly all the reasons they can’t, but the truth is they are unwilling because the ravages of karma has not caught up yet. Or perhaps karma has caught up. But the truth is training does not damage our minds, but comfort zones do. How can we leave samsara, the very place that deceptively shows us temporary comforts, by staying comfortable and not doing more, not achieving more of the inner journey? Training is hard. But do it. You are worth it. Do it long term and never give up. The more we put it off the more old age, sickness, inabilities, graspings, ‘responsibilities’, karma, habits and peers will creep in to ‘confirm’ we cannot do it. Don’t be okay with mediocre. Don’t be fine with failure. Don’t be fine with half past six results. Don’t be fine with non-completion. Because future regrets are changeable if we do something now. Complete the training. Stop being so eloquent and creative with excuses. You fool no one but yourself. You set bad examples. Complete the spiritual training. Be trained. After training you will realize and ask yourself why you endured so much unnecessarily for so long. Buddha is an example of a fully trained being.

Tsem Rinpoche

Quote of the Day

“Practice with the bodhisattva attitude every day. People can’t see your mind; what people see is a manifestation of your attitude in your actions of body and speech. So pay attention to your attitude all the time. Guard it as if you are the police, or like a parent cares for a child, like a bodyguard, or as if you are the guru and your mind is your disciple.”

龍德 上師:有智慧的人怎麼修福

一千多年前,韓國有一個新羅王朝,住著一對老夫婦。這對老夫婦,他們在一個貴族的家族裡面當僕人。僕人的小孩在當時,自然也是僕人。有一次下大雨,這個男的僕人,老先生,就冒著大雨去看主人的田莊稼,有沒有被大雨給沖壞了,結果不幸喪生淹死了。

這個貴族的主人也很仁慈,就說:你的父親幫我做事,往生了,我給你一畝田。大約兩千平方公尺的田地,送給這個僕人的孩子。有了這一筆田地,你就不用當人家的僕人了。可是這個小孩很不凡,這個小孩繼續忠誠侍主。

而且把他的母親,孝敬得妥貼貼的。然後聽說有一個修行很好的出家人,來到村子。他把這一筆田地,供養給那個出家人。他的母親雖然有一點擔心,她說兒子,這是你翻身的一筆土地,你供養給出家人是很好。但是你都給他了,你這輩子都只能當僕人了。這個小孩跟他母親說,媽媽放心,這筆土地是父親犧牲生命我才有的,我應該替父親修福做點事情。我把它供養給這位有德的法師,父親一定會很好。

媽媽聽了也很有智慧,她就想,她也不懂佛法。但是她覺得我的小孩這麼乖、這麼善良、這麼孝順,他將來一定會被老天爺保佑的。
可是當這個小孩供養法師以後,三天往生捨報。一般的人,邪見的人,就開始批評笑他。你看土地供養法師,三天你就完了,就死掉了。

當時社會的制度,僕人的小孩,就是沒有辦法翻身的。所以縱使這一位有德的出家人,他有很大的加持力量、祝福力量,也只能在出世間法加持他。他觀察這個小孩的因緣,這個小孩的來世,會成為一個非常優秀的領導人。所以這個出家人,就加持他投胎到一個有善因緣的家裡,當地一個德高望重的大官的家裡。

這個大官姓金,出家人連續三天,託夢給這個姓金的大官,說某某村莊的小孩叫做大成,他往生了。他會投胎到你家裡來,請你善待他,好好教育他。他會成為一個優秀的領導人,照顧很多眾生。所以他連續夢到這個事情三天,這個姓金的大官,就去隔壁村打聽。真的有一個叫大成的,一個僕人的小孩往生了。沒有多久,這個姓金的大官的太太就懷孕了。他當然一點都不意外,因為他心裡有數。這個大官給他的小孩取名叫什麼,金大城,金大城成為新羅王朝的宰相。

歷史記載,金大城當宰相的期間,是新羅王朝相當長的一段時間,安和樂利的時候。而且他對佛門有極大的貢獻,蓋了一個最有名的寺廟,叫佛國寺。又蓋了另一座寺廟,叫石窟庵。他為什麼蓋這兩座,歷史上這麼有名的寺廟?

當他知道他前世的母親還在,他把他的母親接過來,跟現世的父母親,共享天年。蓋佛國寺感念他前世的父母,蓋石窟庵感謝他今生的父母親。也就是說為人子女的,我們很多人過去都是很不堪的,都有忤逆不孝,都有做錯事,都讓父母親擔心失望。這些都不是最重要,不是最要緊的。

最要緊最重要是什麼?你有沒有功德來彌補這一些?如果你沒有功德,來彌補這一些,讓你的父母親的境界,能夠更高,甚至能夠解脫到佛國淨土去。而所造作的那一些惡業,讓父母親的種種的傷痛,就是給自己建造的地獄,將來沒有辦法解脫自己。

所以人生在世,如果你能夠修學佛法,不要忘記迴向現世的父母親,感念多生累劫、七世父母、六道父母。我們過去很多父母,在六道中輪迴。也許在鬼道,也許在畜生道,也許在天道,他們都需要佛法的功德來迴向,不要忘記感念報恩。

如果你是一個佛教徒,你有佛法可以受持,而你卻在孝道有虧,道業將難以成就。就算你很會修行,到最後的一品生相無明,快要破盡之前,你會憶起,沒有孝親尊師這一個事實,而讓你停止證悟。所以你說孝道要圓滿,藉由佛法才能圓滿。可是要成就佛道,孝道不實修、不體現出來,就像是蓋一座高樓,它是沒有基礎的。

你看我們在《佛說父母恩重難報經》有讀過:假使有人,左肩擔父,右肩擔母,研皮至骨,穿骨至髓,遶須彌山,經百千劫,血流沒踝,猶不能報父母深恩。這講什麼?你左邊扛著你的父親,右邊的肩膀扛著母親,遶須彌山一直走,一直遶,一直遶。經百千劫,不可思議地久,骨髓都磨穿了,血都淹過腳踝了,都沒有辦法報現世父母的深恩。

所以真的要思報父母恩的人,佛有講怎麼報,就是你要修學佛法,用佛法來度父母親,或者你要成就佛道。

Three objects, three poisons, and three seeds of virtue

Three objects, three poisons, and three seeds of virtue

From “Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness” by Chogyam Trungpa

“This slogan is connected with the postmeditation experience which comes after the main practice. Relating to passion, aggression, and ignorance in the main practice of tonglen* is very intense, but the post meditation practice is somewhat lighter.

*tonglen: “Sending and taking is a very important practice of the bodhisattva path. It is called tonglenin Tibetan: tong means “sending out” or “letting go,” and len means “receiving,” or “accepting.”Tonglen is a very important term; you should remember it. It is the main practice in the development of relative bodhichitta.

“These two should ride the breath.”

The practice of tonglen is quite straightforward; it is an actual sitting meditation practice. You give away your happiness, your pleasure, anything that feels good. All of that goes out with the outbreath. As you breathe in, you breathe in any resentments and problems, anything that feels bad. The whole point is to remove territoriality altogether.”

The three objects are friends, enemies, and neutrals. The three poisons are passion, aggression, and ignorance or delusion. And the three seeds of virtue are the absence of passion, aggression, and ignorance.

The practice of this slogan is to take the passion, aggression, and delusion of others upon ourselves so that they may be free and undefiled. Passion is wanting to magnetize or possess; aggression is wanting to reject, attack, cast out; and ignorance or indifference is that you couldn’t be bothered, you are not interested, a kind of anti-prajna energy. We take upon ourselves the aggression of our enemies, the passion of our friends, and the indifference of neutrals.

When we reflect on our enemy, that inspires aggression. Whatever aggression our enemy has provided for us – let that aggression be ours and let the enemy thereby be free from any kind of aggression. Whatever passion has been created by our friends, let us take that neurosis into ourselves and let our friends be freed from passion. And the indifference of those who are in the middle or unconcerned, those who are ignorant, deluded, or noncaring, let us bring that neurosis into ourselves and let those people be free from ignorance.

Whenever any of the three poisons happens in your life, you should do the sending and taking practice [tonglen]. You just look at your passion, your aggression, and your delusion – you do not regard them as a problem or as a promise. Instead, when you are in a state of aggression, you say: “May this aggression be a working base for me. May I learn to hold my aggression to myself, and may all sentient beings thereby attain freedom from aggression.” Or: “May this passion be mine. Because it belongs to me by virtue of my holding on to it, therefore may others be free of such passion.” For indifference, you do the same thing.

The purpose of doing that is that when you begin to hold the three poisons as yours, when you possess them fully and completely, when you take charge of them fully, you will find, interestingly enough, that the logic is reversed. If you have no object of aggression, you cannot hold your own aggression purely by yourself. If you have no object of passion, you cannot hold your passion yourself. And in the same way, you cannot hold on to your ignorance either.

By holding your poison, you let go of the object, or the intent, of your poison. You see, what usually happens is that you have objects of the three poisons. When you have an object of aggression, for example, you feel angry toward it – right? But if your anger is not directed toward something, the object of aggression falls apart. It is impossible to have an object of anger, because the anger belongs to you rather than to its object. You give your compassion to the object so that it doesn’t provoke your anger – then what are you angry with? You find yourself just hanging out there, with no one to project onto. Therefore, you can cut the root of the three poisons by dealing with others rather than by dealing with yourself. So an interesting twist takes place.”

It is important to know that we are responsible for our own “poisons.” Our emotions and reactions are our own. Other people may do things, circumstances may occur but the phrase “So and so made me so angry!” is not true. So and so may be the biggest jackass in the world but no one can “make” us anything. It is important for us, our well-being, our relationships, our view of reality, that we take ownership of our own emotions… the same is true for our expectations, resentments, cravings, desires, attachments, motivations, and delusions.

With this in mind, tonglen practice and an understanding of how the three poisons act in the world… our own personal world… begins to make a great deal of sense and becomes a very powerful tool towards transforming those three poisons in the three seeds of virtue.

http://thetenthousandthings.blogspot.sg/2008/09/three-objects-three-poisons-and-three.html
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