How to Walk in the Footsteps of the Buddha

 


Shravasti, 20 March 2015

How to Walk in the Footsteps of the Buddha

Shravasti, 20 March 2015

In March 2015, Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche went yet again on pilgrimage around some of the most important sacred sites of India; only this time as a facilitator for Sogyal Rinpoche and a group of Rigpa students.

It was a glorious morning and the last day of the pilgrimage, which we spent at the Anathapindika Grove, the very place where the Enlightened One spent the most time. So, of course, talking about the Dharma is considered to be especially auspicious, and Rinpoche did not miss the precious opportunity. There he tells with his usual directness what it means to actually practise, and how we must make sure we approach Dharma practice. A roving tour of the Dharma, past, present and future.


Contents[Show]

Shravasti

Today we’ve all come to the Grove of Anathapindika, in Shravasti, India, the Land of Aryas, which was presented to the Buddha by King Prasenajit. The Buddha only ever benefits sentient beings and has been accomplishing that benefit for three incalculable kalpas, since the moment he conceived the precious mind of enlightenment until he reached complete awakening. All he has ever done is help others, which is easy to say, but if you really think about what it means, it’s extraordinarily vast and profound. Why easy? You just say the words, “The completely enlightened Buddha perfected accumulations and eliminated obscurations for three incalculable kalpas to reach enlightenment”. Easy, right? But now, think about it. First imagine the length of one kalpa, or aeon. Then multiply that by three ‘incalculable kalpas’ and you’ll arrive at the amount of time Buddha spent working towards enlightenment. He wasn’t merely roaming around in samsara. Motivated by his compassion, he worked to benefit sentient beings, to take care of their welfare, mainly by perfecting the six paramitas – generosity and so on. We, on the other hand, have just been going round and round and round...

The first of the six paramitas is generosity. So how did the Buddha perfect generosity? For example, he cut off his own head then offered it; then he cut off his limbs, gouged out his eyes, and offered them too. This is a very difficult practice, yet he did it more times than we can count. And this was how he perfected all six of the paramitas, always motivated by the wish to benefit sentient beings. It was this activity that led him to the attainment of enlightenment.

When undertaking any task, first we set an objective, then we accomplish the task. Likewise, the Buddha accomplished an ocean of bodhisattva activities for the benefit of all sentient beings as vast as space, and the result was that he attained enlightenment. When you invest time in worldly business, the result is that you become wealthier. The result of the ocean-like bodhisattva activities the Buddha accomplished as a bodhisattva, was the inconceivably vast merit of an Enlightened One. What kind of merit is ‘the inconceivably vast merit of an Enlightened One’? It’s the kind of merit that means he is able to bring about the benefit all sentient beings. How does he do it? He tames sentient beings with the great merit of his body and his speech, and the great equanimity of his enlightened mind, and with his great enlightened qualities and enlightened activities. These five are called the Five Inexhaustible Wheels of Ornaments. From the perspective of the Buddha, they never disappear and never come to an end. But for sentient beings, sometimes they appear, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they help beings, sometimes they don’t, depending on the individuals involved and the times. It’s like the sun and the moon. They are always in the sky, but sometimes we see them and sometimes we don’t. A Buddha accomplishes the benefit of sentient beings by manifesting the enlightened body, by turning the Wheels of the Dharma with his enlightened speech, by resting the enlightened mind in the meditative equipoise of great equality, and through his omniscience by seeing all beings. And this is what he was doing during the twenty-five summer retreats that he spent in this very grove at Shravasti. Plus he had, of course, manifest all the enlightened qualities and enlightened activities.

That Buddha spent time here is very significant. According to the teachings of the Shravaka vehicle, a patch of ground on which just one of Buddha’s feet stepped is extraordinarily sacred. So in a place like this where he spent twenty-five years, it is even more important that we think of him and receive his blessings. Followers of the bodhisattva vehicle, and many sutras like the Prajnaparamita Sutra, describe the world as having four continents, and this perspective has endured until today. The Secret Mantra Vajrayana’s perspective is that everything that appears is simply the natural manifestation of primordial wisdom as perceived by the Buddha – meaning everything that appears is without the slightest impurity, completely pure. Since impurity is impossible, the naturally-appearing mandala of primordial wisdom is the pure land of Akanishtha, endowed with the five perfections. And Akanishtha is here, now. It’s where we all are.

We are extremely lucky to have the opportunity to come to such a place, and now that we’re here, we’re extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to talk about the Dharma.

How to be a Dharma Practitioner

First we must admit to ourselves that we are dharma practitioners. In this world there are two kinds of people: those who agree with the Dharma teachings and those who do not. What we must do is think, “I am a dharma practitioner.”

There are many different kinds of teaching available these days. One of them, the one we follow, is the teaching of the Buddha. Of the many approaches offered by the Buddhadharma, we follow the Tibetan approach, which sees no contradiction between any of the three vehicles and therefore practises all three together. If you’re not certain that you’re a dharma practitioner, and if you don’t admit to yourself that you are a dharma practitioner, nothing will work. You might look like a dharma practitioner, but you won’t be one. So admit it. Think carefully, to check whether it’s true or not, then admit to yourself, “I am a dharma practitioner”. To do so is extraordinarily beneficial and really helps you abandon negative actions. It also helps if you try to accomplish the ten positive actions. In fact, thinking “I am a dharma practitioner” should bring great benefit. Even if you’re not absolutely convinced, thinking that you are a dharma practitioner will definitely help. The moment you act negatively – and everyone slips up sometimes – you’ll probably regret it. But even if you don’t, joyfully and earnestly apply yourself to being a dharma practitioner so that you will become the kind of person who never acts negatively. Whatever happens, you will know what to adopt and what to reject. So, start thinking of yourself as a dharma practitioner.

We must therefore give the dharma its due importance in our lives. The main thing is that dharma benefits others, which means you don’t only think of yourself, but act for the benefit of all sentient beings. Then with this motivation, practise the dharma as much as you can.

What I want to say today is that when it comes to dharma practice, we sometimes engage in dharma activities as a way of showing off, so we can boast about our practice, for example. This kind of activity doesn’t bring much benefit. Dharma must be applied to the mind. Only when the Dharma has become fully mixed with the mind are you a true dharma practitioner.

All the learnèd and accomplished masters, starting with the Buddha, have said the same thing: at its heart, the point of the dharma is that it tames each individual’s mind. This is extremely important. To practise the dharma for one hundred years, yet see no change in your mind, is a waste of time. Positive activities, like prostrations and making offerings, etc., will bring results in the future.

Renunciation

If you want to integrate these teachings into your mind, the first thing that you must think is, “I want to be freed from samsara”. That is the first key step. There is no form of buddhahood that can be attained while we remain in samsara, which is why the teachings tell us very clearly that renunciation – developing renunciation mind – is one of the most important steps on the path to enlightenment. And as we need to feel genuine renunciation, we must therefore reflect on the sufferings of samsara. By thinking about how much suffering there is in samsara, renunciation will definitely arise in your mind. The teachings add that our renunciation mustn’t be fabricated. We must cultivate a natural sense of renunciation.

How? Begin by fabricating renunciation. Reflect on the sufferings of samsara. Eventually, you will see that in samsara there is nothing but suffering. Think about that, and create a sense of it in your mind. By the power of fabricating that sense of renunciation again and again, at some point a natural renunciation will arise. That is one of the crucial points of the path. And no matter which of the three yana dharma approaches you follow, you must have renunciation. It’s absolutely crucial.

Bodhichitta

Once you have established renunciation, the best and most powerful approach to liberating yourself and others from samsara is bodhichitta. Bodhichitta has two aspects: the bodhichitta of aspiration and bodhichitta in action – you know this. This is bodhichitta.

There are three approaches to practising bodhichitta for those of the greatest, middling and lesser capacities. You can attain enlightenment first, then bring all sentient beings to enlightenment after you; or you can do both together by practising to reach enlightenment for yourself, while working to bring all sentient beings to enlightenment with you. Or there’s the approach of sending all sentient beings to enlightenment before you, and only after the last of them is enlightened, attaining the state of liberation yourself.

This is easy to talk about – we could discuss it for days – but to really integrate it into your mind is incredibly difficult. Think: “I will first lead sentient beings as numerous as space is vast to enlightenment, then I shall attain buddhahood myself.” But to genuinely feel it is difficult. And we always tend to think about our own enlightenment first, which, in itself, isn’t easy. And if that’s how you think, you’re practising the Hinayana. But what we’re discussing here is the Mahayana. In any case, “I must stay behind” is the root of this attitude, which makes truly integrating this approach into our minds extraordinarily difficult. And more than that, we must motivate ourselves with this thought, without wavering, while we perform the activities of a bodhisattva. What benefit is there in just thinking “I must stay behind”? None!

The more we study the teachings, the more we understand. And the more we understand, the more difficult practising the dharma actually becomes. If it doesn’t, it means you’re not really practising.

Once a person has understood how incredible a challenge practising the activities of a bodhisattva really is, and that the result is unimaginable enlightenment when your activities as a buddha are even more daunting than those of a bodhisattva, if they then makes every effort to follow that path, that person is called a ‘bodhisattva’. Reflecting on the suffering of samsara and accomplishing the activities of a bodhisattva are necessary if you are to perfect bodhichitta. Otherwise, just saying, “Oh, poor you! I am so sorry!” is no more than a ploy used by salesmen to fool people!

To be able to meditate on the ‘mind of enlightenment’ you need a vast and expansive mind. So you must extend that kind of vast mind to everyone, and generate the precious mind of enlightenment. Of course, at first you must contrive and fabricate. But the moment an uncontrived, natural sense of bodhichitta arises, you will have become a bodhisattva.

Remember, bodhichitta has two aspects: relative bodhichitta and absolute bodhichitta. Only by first meditating on relative bodhichitta will you be able to generate absolute bodhichitta. If you have no idea about relative bodhichitta, how can absolute bodhichitta arise? So, meditate on relative bodhichitta for a long time; eventually, the result – absolute bodhichitta, which is basically the realisation of emptiness – will arise. It’s a little bit like walking without stopping until you finally reach your destination. Bodhichitta is the true Mahayana path.

There are two main traditions for performing the ritual of taking the bodhisattva vows: Manjushri’s ‘profound view’ tradition, and Maitreya’s ‘vast conduct’ tradition. Even if you haven’t taken the vow formally, but have received an empowerment, you have taken the bodhisattva vows, because no empowerment is given without recipients first making the bodhisattva vows. So, there’s no one here today who hasn’t taken the bodhisattva vows.

‘Bodhichitta’ is ‘the mind of enlightenment’, and each one of us must check our own minds to see if we really do have a sense of bodhichitta. If you find that you do, you must now increase it. Initially, our bodhichitta is like a new moon on the third night of the lunar month – like the thin crescent moon in paintings, which the Buddha is pointing at. But however little we start with, it can always be increased. A lama doesn’t know whether you have bodhichitta or not, and reading a text won’t tell you either. No one else can know whether or not you have bodhichitta, only you.

But as you check your mind to evaluate your bodhichitta, you will need a little of the knowledge and understanding that comes from receiving the teachings and studying the text – which really isn’t easy. Nowadays, everyone thinks of themselves as a bodhisattva, don’t they. But it’s not like that. One crucial point you need to know is that when genuine bodhichitta arises in a person’s mind for just one instant, that person becomes greater than a thousand fully ordained monks and worthy of the prostrations and offerings of gods and men.

So there is a great deal to understand. Of course! But what’s more important is that you check your own mind! If you do, you might find that you don’t have any bodhichitta at all! And that’s probably the best thing that could happen, because it means that you have an understanding of what bodhichitta really is.

Bodhichitta and compassion take on many hues. And these days there are many different kinds of so-called bodhichitta practices. Some people say, “Oh, I am a bodhisattva, so I don’t eat meat”. Others say, “Oh, I’ll pay for you!” and imagine that means they are practising bodhichitta. But what you need is true bodhichitta, the kind of bodhichitta Shantideva explained in the Way of the Bodhisattva, which is to cherish others more than you cherish yourself. Not just one or two others, all sentient beings throughout the vast expanse of space. And not just to feel compassion for them, but to genuinely wish to establish them in buddhahood. That is what you need. Once you have bodhichitta, then you must act upon it, meaning that you help in any way you can, right? Do anything and everything that is beneficial – all the ‘activities of the four kinds’, pacifying, enriching, magnetizing, subjugating. Once you have true bodhichitta, you can lie, you can steal and you can kill people. This is what Buddha himself said.

Right now, in these degenerate times, it’s particularly important to check that you have bodhichitta. The dharma of transmission and the dharma of realisation are on the wane, but if you can meditate on and generate a little bodhichitta, it will still have some benefit.

I’ve had some very candid talks with people who have taken the bodhichitta vows and who try to follow the instructions. Some of them have told me that they commit the root downfall of abandoning sentient beings five or even ten times in a single day! I said I thought that was very good, because it shows they are aware of what they’re doing.

Anyway, the bodhisattva vows can easily be taken again if you break them. But you need to be aware of breaking them. If you are, it’s a sign that you are checking your mind. “What use to me are many disciplines, If I can’t guard and discipline my mind?” [1]Verse V.18 from Shantideva, A Guide to the Bodhisattvas Way of Life (transl. Padmakara), Shambhala, 2011. But most of us don’t. If you do, many more thoughts start appearing about all sorts of things. But when you think, “I am a bodhisattva, I have never broken one of the root bodhisattva vows”, it means you definitely don’t know what you are talking about. It’s your pride talking. You’re just fooling yourself. Therefore, checking your mind is crucial.

When you practise bodhichitta, you have something to identify, whereas in Dzogchen there is nothing to see. Bodhichitta is something we can identify in our minds, and if we find we can identify even a little ‘bodhichitta’, we can then cultivate joy, and so on. “May gods and demigods and all the rest rejoice!” [2]Last line of verse III.34 from Shantideva, A Guide to the Bodhisattvas Way of Life (transl. Padmakara), Shambhala, 2011. It is also one of the concluding verses of the bodhisattva vows ceremony, the ritual for generating bodhichitta. If we find we have no bodhichitta, we must give birth to it. We can do something.

Dzogchen isn’t like that, is it? If you are not resting in the state of Dzogpachenpo, then all you can do is pray that it arises. But there is nothing you can do to produce it. When you receive an empowerment the lama introduces you to the nature of mind, but if you don’t recognize it, all you can do is pray to recognize it. Which is why I am telling you that practising bodhichitta is different from practising Dzogchen.

Anyway, what I’m saying is that you need to check your mind, using your intelligence. All sentient beings have some degree of intelligence and the capacity to know a little. There are differences between various beings and, of course some are more intelligent than others. For example, human beings have great intelligence. How do we know this? Because they are able to adopt what is positive, and recognize and abandon what is negative. When you are intelligent, you are able to work things out; you are able to use your intelligence to check your mind.

Who has the greatest intelligence? The Buddha inseparable from Manjushri! He is omniscient, which means he knows everything. After Buddha, those who have greater intelligence are considered to be wiser. Particularly if that intelligence is gained through meditation. If it is then used to understand things, you can understand everything. The Buddha said that the first five paramitas – generosity, discipline, patience, diligence and concentration – are all secondary to the sixth, wisdom.

When we talk about emptiness – the great simplicity free from all conceptual elaboration – ultimately, we have to admit that it is beyond words, beyond thought and beyond description. “Unborn, unceasing, the very essence of space.”[3]Rāhulabhadra, Praise to Prajñaparamita. That’s all that can be said about it, and all we can think about it. If you want more than that, if you want deeper insights into the truth of emptiness, you will need the intelligence that arises from meditation – genuine wisdom. The Buddha can understand emptiness. The problem is, he can’t explain it to sentient beings in a way that they can understand. So my point is, we should develop the wisdom that comes from meditation. And with that wisdom, we will be able to understand emptiness.

So many teachings and texts present the Prajnaparamita. The sutra teachings always say, “Thus have I heard, at one time...” Here, ‘at one time’ refers to the time when the wisdom that comes from meditation is aware of emptiness in the mind. Such a realisation is the result of the incredible effort that’s made to listen to and reflect on these teachings, which is then used to meditate on emptiness. When any phenomenon meditated upon is then ‘destroyed’, or seen to be non-existent, the practitioner realizes genuine wisdom. That is emptiness, and there is nowhere else to go.

The relevant quotation here is:

When something and its nonexistence
Both are absent from before the mind,
No other option does the latter have:
It comes to perfect rest, from concepts free.[4]Verse IX.34, Shantideva, A Guide to the Bodhisattvas Way of Life (transl. Padmakara), Shambhala, 2011, p.142.

When this seems to happen, you must again check your mind thoroughly, and ask, has it really happened, or not? It’s easy to sit with your mouth hanging open, staring blankly into space and think, “This is emptiness...”. But if something smacks you on the cheek, however lightly, you’ll react immediately – so there’s no emptiness there, right? If the moment your cheek is slapped, the slap is dissolved in its ‘Thwapp!’ sound, then that is emptiness. You are aware of the slap and of your tingling cheek, of course. Your wisdom recognises it. But not a trace of clinging is involved. If then, the slap is liberated within the expanse of wisdom, that’s it! The slap has been liberated. That is ‘true’ emptiness. And this is the example you should apply to every possible thought and situation.

Westerners often seem to think that when they meditate, they should enter a state that’s without a single thought. But just think about it. One of the qualities of a buddha is to have the omniscient knowledge of all things. How could a buddha have that omniscient knowledge without thoughts? So, do you really think we should have no thoughts?

Most beginners find when they start meditating, that they have more thoughts, right? So they try again to sit still, hold their breath, close their eyes and do all sort of things. But they quickly give up and walk away when they decide that what they’re doing isn’t achieving anything – people say, “My meditation was no good today.” And if there’s noise, or any disruption while they are trying to meditate, they complain.

Instead, when a thought arises, just let it. Like a snowflake instantly dissolves into a vast lake the moment it touches the water, when a thought arises, positive or negative, if it dissolves into the expanse of rigpa – the one who is aware – that is meditation. That is genuine wisdom. 

This is why Manjushri is so important to us. And here too you must check yourself. There is no need to accomplish an external Manjushri deity: it is the Manjushri inside us who does the checking. So we ‘use’ Manjushri. When we ‘meditate’, the absence of the inherent existence in phenomena is identified by wisdom.

To do this there are two approaches: the analytical meditation of the panditas; and the settling meditation of a kusali, a ‘beggar’. Panditas are people who read many scriptures, they think about what they’ve read over and over again, to finally establish emptiness. ‘Beggars’ are people whose lamas have introduced them to the nature of mind and they have recognized it. They then abide by that recognition, or ‘settle’ their meditation on that recognition.

Anyway, in both cases, the two accumulations of merit and wisdom are necessary. When the accumulations are perfected, the obscurations are eliminated. When the obscurations are eliminated – therefore no longer there – then you see. This is also important.

So, first you need renunciation for samsara, which you develop by going through all the stages of the path for individuals of lesser capacity. You then come to have a strong sense that, “I need to be free from samsara”. And for example, monks keep their more than 250 vows motivated by this thought. Actually all levels of Dharma practice are inspired by this drive to be free from samsara.

If you meditate on twofold bodhichitta, then you are a bodhisattva. Chinese and Tibetans scriptures explain this, and a little of that teaching has even reached Europe and America. In any case, you need to be a bodhisattva. Wherever there is a bodhisattva, an heir of the Buddha, then the Mahayana teachings are also present and the Mahayana path is practised.

I have been to Burma, where I spoke to a good monk. He had attended an English school, and he said that bodhichitta is very good, but nowadays very hard to find. He said no one these days seems able to practise bodhichitta.
I said, “ I think there might be some who do.”
“Where?” he asked. And I was stuck!
Someone with me said, “The Dalaï Lama!”
The Burmese monk laughed at that. Then I asked him,
“Do you know of a pure, genuine fully-ordained monk?”
“That is also difficult,” he replied. “But there are some who get quite close.”
“What makes you say that?” I asked.
“Because now is the time of degeneration – the degeneration of the teachings.”
“Why are they degenerating now?” I asked.
“Because the merit of sentient beings is being exhausted,” he replied, adding, “So it is very difficult to be a genuine monk. And even more difficult to generate pure bodhichitta.”
“These days, we don’t hear about any of you Tibetans walking around holding skull cups filled with blood – like the mahasiddhas; you don’t have practitioners like that anymore. Mahasiddhas used to fly around in the sky, didn’t they? But now? The dharma teachings still exist, the dharma is the same, but we’re living in a time when the teachings degenerate.”
That’s what he said. He brought up the subject himself, I didn’t say anything about it.

To me, the Mahayana approach is still a little easier than the Hinayana. To start with, the Mahayana isn’t complicated by the Hinayana’s hundreds of vows; and there’s no need to pay attention to different traditions. Also when the vows are broken, they are easier to restore – Mahayana vows can actually be restored. When your bodhichitta lapses, you can take the vows again and again and again. The root of bodhichitta is not to abandon sentient beings, which, at the very least, benefits you, so it’s already positive. “I must liberate all sentient beings” is ‘big talk’, but we are not yet at that level. If I am not able to liberate all sentient beings, will that inability bring me harm? No. Of course we need bodhichitta, but if we can’t generate it, well we can’t, and there’s nothing we can do about it. We need to think like a bodhisattva, even if we can’t really do it.

Eventually we must be able to offer our head and limbs as an act of generosity. But the instruction for beginner bodhisattvas is that to start with, it’s better not to try. If you did, it could cause problems. Meaning that cultivating bodhichitta is a long-term project, and you should build up your bodhisattva practices slowly.

Today, the true teachings are disappearing fast, but they do still exist, because there are still people who know about the dharma and can talk about it. The problem is that no one actually practises it. To tell the truth, amongst Vajrayana practitioners, there are no mahasiddhas any more. Noone who can show signs of realisation – if there were any, we would know. But that’s how it is.

And these days you can also forget about finding a real arhat. Good, fully-ordained monks, bikshus, are extinct – at least in the Tibetan tradition. I don’t know about the Theravadin monks, but Tibetans who wear robes are disappearing fast. And this is why I think the teachings will flourish more widely through the bodhisattva approach.

Besides, bodhichitta vows can be first made in the presence of a teacher, but also in front of a support, like a statue. Which makes bodhichitta a slightly easier practice.

On top of that, as we have all received empowerments, we must practise the Secret Mantra Vajrayana as much as we can. The root of the Secret Mantra Vajrayana is to train in pure perception, which is the most important point for a Vajrayana practitioner. And then there’s Dzogchen meditation. You Westerners like to meditate, right?

I think the tradition of empowerment will disappear very soon. Why? Because there are so few lamas nowadays who have the capacity to give empowerments. Who is there? You can count them on the fingers of one hand. Why are there so few? Can’t all lamas give empowerments? Yes, all lamas can go through the motions of giving empowerments, but those who can actually meditate on the mandala of the infinite purity of all that appears and exists, and release students’ dualistic clinging through the empowerment, are rare. When the lama gives the empowerment, he must be indivisible from the main deity of the mandala. Unless he can do that, he cannot grant empowerment. If the empowerment cannot be granted, then that’s the end of the Secret Mantra Vajrayana – that’s the end of these teachings.

Yet, these days, all the Tantras can fit into one computer – but what’s the point? Therefore, we are in the final kalpa – the final period of time during this age that these teachings, which are still reasonably intact, are available but far less accessible. Although we are approaching the end, the teachings are still present in the world. So for those born in times like these, to meditate, or to think about the teachings in the way I’ve just explained, can be really beneficial.

If, as you meditate, you reflect again upon the sufferings of samsara and develop a sense of renunciation, it will be beneficial. If based on renunciation, you meditate on compassion, then you will become a bodhisattva, an heir of the Buddha. You also need to know that there are different levels of bodhisattvas. First you’ll become a small-time bodhisattva, and as such you must meditate on and give rise to wisdom. Then you must develop your wisdom, your intelligence. How? By thinking! By checking yourself! If you spent as much time with your mind as you do on your electronic devices, there’s no doubt that you’d actually see progress, from one week to the next! Your mind will improve, thanks to wisdom. So you must use your wisdom and intelligence. And as you are all probably practitioners of Secret Mantra Vajrayana, you must also cultivate pure perception.

Rigpa people always begin their practice with the Verses of the Eight Noble Auspicious Ones. In the first verse there’s the line, “...all appearance and existence is completely pure, its nature spontaneously perfect”, which means that everything that appears and everything that exists is primordially and utterly pure. The text goes further by saying that the Victorious Ones, and all the great bodhisattvas reside in the ten directions. So, we invoke and prostrate to all the buddhas and bodhisattvas – the eight tathagatas, the eight bodhisattvas, the eight symbols, the eight goddesses, and all the series of ‘eights’. In return, we ask that everything we do will work out well. Only if everything that appears and exists is pure can a blessing ‘make’ it pure; if there were no purity, how could a blessing make anything pure? Who could give the purity? That is what you need to understand.

I promised to help Sogyal Rinpoche on this pilgrimage and I’ve done as I promised. He asked me to teach and I said I’d do my best. Whether it’s been beneficial or not, that’s it! Today is the end of our pilgrimage. This afternoon we do the tsok together and that’s the end. Tomorrow we’ll be in Delhi.

Translated by Gyurmé Avertin
Edited by Janine Schulz


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