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

(Images) by His Holiness The Seventh Dalai Lama

7thdalailama

Images

O guru inseparable from Manjushri and Consort,

Whose blessings fulfill all needs

And grant every mystical attainment,

Bestow upon me your transforming powers.

Hundreds of flies gather

On a piece of rotten meat,

Enjoying, they think, a delicious feast.

This image fits with the song

Of the myriads of foolish living beings.

Who seek happiness in superficial pleasures;

In countless ways they try,

Yet I have never seen them satisfied.

The bee of golden stripes

Flies from flower to flower,

Never pausing but for a moment.

This image fits with the song

Of the people of this degenerate age,

Who, powered by impure mind,

Change from friend to enemy in a moment;

I have never found a reliable one.

The turquoise fly of special hue,

Fills its stomach with excrement,

And then takes its load and wings proudly away.

This image fits with the song

Of those who polish and flaunt with pride

Their body-sack punctured by holes for the senses

And filled with bone, blood, pus, and urine.

The song of the fly, the boring buzz,

For a moment is sweet to the ear,

But, empty of meaning, it can please not for long.

This image fits with the song

Of how praise and the sound of one’s own name

Please the mind for a brief moment

And then fade to emptiness.

I have never seen them have lasting effects.

The six-legged wasp is proud in summer

To fly for a moment in merriment and pleasure,

But soon he will die from the cold.

This image fits with the song

Of the young man, handsome and robust,

Who stands strong, confident, and bold,

Not thinking that death soon will come

And lead him helplessly away.

The bee with its bee-perception

Seeks not medicinal plants

But follows the perfume of ordinary flowers

This image fits with the song

Of how most people of the present day

Turn away from saints and holiness

And, deluded, prefer to follow

Worldly men of wealth and power.

The bee, which depends on the flower,

Drinks its fill of nectar

And then shamelessly flies away.

This image fits with the song

Of how the people of this age

Uses the sages and spiritual masters

Who love and work for them;

And then they abandon them as enemies.

The young, freewheeling bee ties himself not

With attachment to places or friends;

He flies happily wherever he likes.

This image fits with the song

Of how those not bound by clinging

To the sensory objects of the world,

From the depths of their hearts aspire

Only to practice meditation and yoga

In peaceful, remote forests.

It is the last month of summer now;

Red and yellow flowers are in bloom.

A hot mid-day sun hovers above;

The flies and bees, friends of melancholy,

Dance and play before me

In a scene of honey revelry.

I, a vajra who opens in melody, watched them

And wrote this song of straight lines.

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.”

Tendencies (excerpt) – His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche

“Non virtuous actions have 3 types of effects according to Lord Buddha.
1)Ripened effect
2)Effect similar to the cause
3)Environmental Effect
So all non virtuous actions created from contaminated mind, contaminated mind means mind that thinks of oneself more important than the other. & all your actions are based on myself as opposed to others. That is contaminated mind. So contaminated mind creates contaminated actions, so contaminate actions have 3 types of effects. “
Ripened effect is the actions they ripened and they give us the effect. Example: if we kill, if we harm our parents, if we create schism, and it damages many people, example we talk negative things between 2 governments and they go to war, they kill millions of people, schism. If we talk and act in such a way that creates harm and damage to people in such an intense way, the ripened effect will be we take rebirth, the most severe is hell. One of the 8 hells. The next severest is to take rebirth as a spirit, or hungry ghost, the next severest will be as an animal.
So the immediate ripened effect, example killing.
Will be the 3 lower realms.
How we kill, the motivation whether we regret, the manner, on purpose or not, all effects how we take rebirth. Immediate ripened effect.
Second:
Effect similar to cause means what? Even after we have experienced number one the ripening effect, traces of that inclination will remain. Let me explain.
If we have killed, we take rebirth in hell, but we take rebirth in hells, to purify the karma of killing, but the intent to kill is not purified. The mind is still there.
So when we take rebirth again, we will be inclined to kill again and take rebirth in negative states of birth again and again. So what happens is: now the first karma is instant ripening of the result of the karma. Second is you still have to suffer the tendencies or the effects similar to the cause. So the very reason you went to hell was for killing, but when you come out of hell, you still want to kill. So what happens is: you still want to harm. Example: tigers. When they die, they collect tremendous negative karma for killing other sentient beings and creating fear, so when they reincarnate again, they will still have the tendency to kill.
Once they go down, they go down very low, that’s why some kids when you see them, they love to kill animals. They enjoy, they squeal! Some they can’t take it. They can’t take it at all, it’s very difficult for them. That’s the tendency resembling the original cause. They will suffer from that.
What’s the big deal about that? Because the tendency will make you do it again, even if you are in a new environment. So if you wipe your slate clean, and you start killing again. What’s the point? “
Another example that is stated in the text is:

If we always have sexual misconduct, we cheat on our partners, we lie to our partners, we use our partners for wrong things, or we do the wrong things with our partners that are wrong. If we have sexual misconduct, taking rebirth in the 3 lower realms is a given. And the ripening effect will be loneliness, cannot close our business deal, people we love don’t love us back, people create violence towards us. People want to harm us. People want to damage us. So when we have sexual misconduct, negative actions such as harm, damage, violence will come our way. That’s one, that’s what it says.

And even after you had purify your sexual misconduct negative karma, the effect similar to the cause, will ripen which is tendency. What is that? Let’s say that due to sexual misconduct, you took rebirth as an animal. After you take rebirth as an animal, when you come out, you’re human again, you will still have the tendency to not be true to the one you promised. So what happens? You create a lot of pain in their minds. And you know what happens is; this is your tendency. You will have strong attachment to other partners. What does that mean? You cannot be true. So that means you can be with one person, but you will be looking at another one and another one and another one … Plotting how to get them, plotting how to date them, plotting how to get close to them, plotting how to get intimate with them while you’re with that person.
Even if you don’t want to and you know it’s wrong, but you will keep doing that because that’s a residual tendency left which is in fact similar to the cause. Why? You didn’t hold onto your sexual misconduct vows.
So when you don’t hold onto your sexual misconduct vows, you have the ripening effect, which is the taking of rebirth in the 3 lower realms depending on situation.
Secondary, is, that even when you come out with a clean slate, the karma is clean, but the tendency is not. So the tendency is not clean, even if you want to go straight, you want to be with one person, one girl, one boy, one relationship, you cannot.
You will cheat, and lie, and cheat and lie, hurt your children, hurt your friends, hurt your neighbors, break the trust of your friends, and have a lot of enemies and people coming and beat you up, and they want to knock you over, they want to hurt you. Why?
Cause you can’t control yourself.
Why can’t you?
Cause tendency is there still. 
So holding onto the sexual misconduct vows are very important according to Lord Buddha, why? He is giving you knowledge. 
That’s why ancient cultures, truth is truth, never mind Buddhism. Truth is truth. That’s why ancient cultures like China, India, all these great cultures, very advanced, they are very strong about moral ethics.
If you have one person, you stay with one person. We don’t cheat, we don’t do all kinds of things, why?
They know that hurts people.
So Buddha goes one step further. The karma is very strong.
Third:
Environmental effect:
So I had explained to you the direct effect, the effect resembling the cause(the tendency not being able to get rid of it, the tendencies will grow)& what’s the horrible thing is; once you indulge in the tendencies, you will replenish that negative karma, clean slate becomes dirty again. So it’s like you filled up your petrol to hell, your car with petrol again, full tank. Think about it. So on the way to hell, your petrol keeps refilling. Why? Tendency similar to the cause is there.
So some people do retreats, they do retreat after retreat, they still can’t control their mouths. They still throw BF.
They still want power, they still want to be the top, they’re still greedy, why?
Maybe that karma for that action is purified, but the tendency is still there. So how to cut the tendency, we must hold our vows.
People say it’s very hard, why tell me why it’s hard, I know it’s hard, if you understand, easier to attack it.
This is Mind teaching by Lord Buddha by the way. “

Contemplate. A writing on anger by Guru Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. 

You know so much of our anger and expectations will disappear if we practice dharma. Whatever we are angry about with others there are just as many people angry with us for something else. They just don’t act in ways like we may show our displeasure.
The world will be filled with people who don’t perform the way we want and we judge them. When we overdo this, then anger arises.
Because we keep feeding our expectations and anger. Either we shout and ignore every single person that get on our nerves, or we just tone down what gets on our nerves. Number two option is better.
For the sake of harmony, progress and growth both on the inside and outside, we need to seriously be kind and tolerant to everyone. Because we can get wind disease (lung) and then we will be beyond immediate help. Anger is the biggest enemy of our lives. We don’t have to marry them, but be civil and courteous to those we have to work with and let them do what they can. To think we do more than others and others are not as good negates the whole purpose of doing something good…. Isn’t that such a simple and BASIC grass roots way to be a good person, with manners and even doing dharma? Of course it is.
– Tsem Rinpoche