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.

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。

海濤法師 找到精進佛法的方向

因为你已经指挥别人惯了你不喜欢被指挥的。那我们出家就是要改变这个习惯。刚出家师父叫你东你就东,叫你西就西。叫你起来就起来,叫你睡觉就睡觉。你都会说打个电话都要问师父,不能随便打。为什么要这样做?把你的习惯改掉。那种自己自私,这种以为对的想法改掉。改掉,很久了一两年了,然后他才教你学佛。学佛学什么?帮助众生。每天帮人家扫水沟,帮人家洗衣服,帮人家弄饭,像我以前,有八个出家人,这个吃稀饭,那个吃白饭,这个用这个筷子,那个用那个筷子,那个加那个牛奶,我都要弄好。比女佣人更辛苦。但是很快乐,因为我在修行。

以前我做老板,我很会赚钱的。

出家以后,扫地板,清水沟,每天人家住完房间以后,我们出家人有人来住,我要帮他扫地,弄马桶,枕头要换。我想说我太快乐了。我能够出家,快乐,服务别人。然后服务到师父认为你这个人很快乐,每天叫你扫水沟,我以前擦地板,要擦得亮亮的。因为师父早上做早课赤脚,地上不能有一点灰尘。然后这样我们可以修福报。而且可以消除我的想法。不会跟人家吵架。叫你东就东,叫你西就西。师父说,你已经听话了,他才叫你看佛经。你才会听佛陀的话。不然,你会用自己的想法;(批评佛经,念一念,这本这么难念,这个可能不是佛讲的这样,楞严咒很难背,楞严经不是佛讲的等等)又有人开始骂。

人家就会说,那个好,那个不好。你这样就会伤害佛教,这个就是佛教讲的。分别执着。
对一个人有自己的想法的时候,他就会认为那个对,那个错。然后开始写书。写说这个对,那个错。批评佛教。伤害佛教。
所以我想各位我这样讲的意思是说,我们在印尼的华人还有一点福报,不会缺钱,对不对。还好吧。赚钱容易,因为印尼人懒惰,对不对。华人,人家还在睡觉,他还在赚。他在用脑筋赚。所以,有一点福报。但是问题有一点福报,也会不好,会骄傲。会听自己的。

各位一定要找一个师父。这个师父最好嚴一点。你不听话,啪,这样。把你打下去,不然,你不会进步的,你会讲,我都这么伟大赚钱,我还听你的?师父你要听我的。你对我好一点,我红包就给你。
所以我们秀英跟我说,(师父你、你都不笑的、我要去找别人了。别人师父对我很好。不定时打电话给我。还叫我来参加法会,你都不找我的。)
我说你这个东西不一样,重点是你要找一个你愿意听话的师父。你可以解脱的。不是听你的。各位这个观念你一定要弄清楚。不然你佛教的事情办很多,没办法解脱,没意义。所以你要修行,不容易的。

所以有些人要找我出家,我问他你去哪里。他说我不要,你还找我出家?你先去做那个,你要听话。我又不是叫你做坏事。不喜欢。。。我换地方。好。。。你就换师父,再换吧。

在佛教里面,很可怕的。不能换师父的。如果你已经正式拜了这个师父做师父,不能换师父的,换了你要下地狱的。所以你要拜师父要很小心,要好好观察这个师父,并不是他出名。
你要去皈依一个师父,你要好好观察他。他真的有道德,有慈悲,正知正见,不贪财,不好色,你要看清楚。然后,所以我来皈依这位师父。你就要听他的。这个师父如果坏,你听他的当然你会伤害,所以你要观察过,你才可以听。你不观察过,你听他的,他天天跟你要钱,叫你弄。。。你就完蛋了。你不伤害很大吗?
所以学佛要各位要很冷静,看佛经,什么是对,什么是错,可以。

然后,你要去拜师父。因为你不拜师父,你怎么解脱?出家人不去拜到师父,没有拜到本师释迦牟尼佛,他都不能證得阿罗汉。没有人自己证阿罗汉,除了佛陀。

每个人都因为有师父,然后,师父可以拜好几个,都没关系。
一个好的师父,他不会叫你不要去拜别的师父的。只要那个师父真的很慈悲,有他的道德,你赶快去拜。这个就是《善财童子五十三参》对不对。善财童子要成佛,所以文殊菩萨叫他要拜很多的师父。这样你才可以成佛。但是一个师父推荐一个师父,一个师父推荐一个师父,因为这些真正的菩萨,有发菩提心的正知正见,他不但不会嫉妒,他还知道哪个师父修得好。不是你自己去挑的。是这个好的师父会推荐你去拜更好的师父。

-海涛法师

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