Friday Chat, TONIGHT @ 10pm Eastern Cont with Gems of Wisdom
- Buddhism Basics and Beyond ChatFridays at 10pm EasternGems of Wisdom by 7th Dalai LamaA reminder about our Friday Chat, this week will be continuing our discussion of the "Gems of Wisdom" by the 7th Dalai Lama. Come pull up a chair and join friends in a conversation on Buddhist ideas and practices. We will be starting at number 33 this week. See end of message for complete text. Hope to see you at the chat, below is the link to get to our room....cya there....RayJoin us in our peer led discussion, in the Buddhism, Basics and Beyond chat room, Buddhism Basics and Beyond (clickable link to Discussion Room). Our chat starts at 10pm Eastern.We will be continuing with the text Robes has found for us to share. He has written an introduction to the book and included the verses we will be talking about. I want to thank Robes very much for putting in the time and effort of getting this text for us. I hope many of you drop by to share your thoughts on the verses. I believe we are at number 13 this week.This is a "sampling" of the "Moral training" section of a book entitled, "Gems of Wisdom," made up of "Q & A Verses" written by the VIIth Dalai Lama, bsKal-bZang-rGya-mTsho, translated by Glenn H. Mullin, and published by Snow Lion, in 1999
The text is a part of "A Well-Arranged Collection of Songs and Verses of Spiritual Advice Connected with the Lojong [Mind-training] Tradition," a text that was "not written at the request of a disciple," but rather "are spontaneous creations of Kalzang Gyatso's pen .... composed in a single session, and not one word of them thereafter changed from the way it originally appeared."
"The Tibetan term Lojong in the above title means "spiritual transformation," or alternatively "training the mind." The nature of texts classified as Lojong is that they should contribute directly and immediately to spiritual transformation. The term has its origins in the lineages of Indonesian Buddhism brought to Tibet in 1042 by the Indian master Atisha Dipamkara Shrijnana. Atisha had studied Buddhism in many of the great monasteries of India, but became disillusioned by its emphasis on academic fluff. Rumors reached him
telling of the more vibrant forms that Buddhism had taken in Indonesia. Consequently he made the long and perilous sea journey to that land, where he remained for twelve years under the spiritual tutorage of an Indonesian sage known to Tibetans as Serlingpa-Chokyi-Drakpa, or (in Sanskrit) Suvarna-dvipi-Dharmakirti, "He [Who is] Famed for Truth (from the) Golden Islands"."
"The differences in the approaches to Buddhism that he encountered in India and Indonesia profoundly impressed him, and he became an advocate of the latter. Most of his lineages from Indonesia became
known as Lojong, or "Mind-Transforming." .... The character of this tradition was that it stripped away all the academic obsessions that surrounded the Buddhism of eleventh-century India and reduced Dharma to
quintessential contemplative practice based on oral transmission. The Kadampa school that descended from Atisha and his chief disciple Lama Drom-Tonpa (a predecessor of the Dalai Lamas) became famed in Tibet for the manner in which it used contemplative practice and simple living as defined by the Indonesian Buddhists (as transmitted to Atisha by Serlingpa) as the basis of training, and used the academic traditions of India as complementary studies while pursuing the contemplative life. Therefore Lama Drompa said,"
"Whenever I study I also contemplate and meditate.
Whenever I contemplate I also study and meditate.
And when I meditate I also study and contemplate.
This is the Kadampa way."
Every verse in the Seventh Dalai Lama's text is intended as a small contemplation. As the Seventh himself puts it in a closing verse,
"What is delusional and what is not?
To show their difference I wrote this song ....
Of useful hints from the tongues of sages,
Arranged as a precious string of jewels.
May they open the eye of realization that
Sees what to transcend and what to cultivate;
And may they attain to the sublime state
Of Inner Knowledge and Joy Without End."
Gems of Wisdom:
With single-pointed devotion I bow down
To Guru Manjushri, the Ever-Youthful One,
The supreme deity, the spiritual doctor
Who serves as an elixir to all beings,
Bringing them happiness and goodness;
Himself being a moon full with the all-knowing wisdom,
Having forever abandoned the
Faults of every samsaric imperfection.
A magician manifests a double;
one becomes two;
A questioner and an answerer appear
and string [together] this rosary of precious gems.
What is the great ocean
most difficult to leave forever?
The three realms of cyclîc existence,
which toss in waves of pain.
What is the powerful glue that binds us
to the unpleasant environs of worldliness?
Sensory fixations, which cling with attachment
to the enticing things of the world.
What is the great fire that rages
when we approach too closely to others?
Terrible anger that cannot bear
even the smallest challenge.
What is the thick darkness obscuring
the truth before our very eyes?
Ignorance, that has existed
since time without beginning.
What is the wild horse that throws one
from the mountain one is ascending?
Pride which thinks oneself superior
and dwells on one's own good qualities.
Who is the mischievous slanderer
causing one to part from close friends?
Painful jealousy, that is unable to bear
the joy or success of others.
What is the prison difficult to escape,
even though we hold the keys?
Entangled personal relationships,
such as attachments to family and friends.
What are the chains which bind one
even when one has left that prison?
Attachment to worldly activities
even when living in retreat.
What demon possesses one
and repays friendship with pain?
Misleading friends, who only increase
one's negative karma and delusions.
Who are the slippery monsters
that slide between love and hate?
False friends and those around us
who only pretend to wish us well.
What is the weight that brîngs down
the painful bubble of misery?
Any clinging one has to
superficial, transient affairs.
What is the load heavy to carry,
difficult to put down, and always harmful?
One's own samsaric aggregates,
that are conditioned by karma and delusion.
Who is it that everyone mistrusts
and is laughed at by all the world?
The person who constantly lies
and attempts to deceive others.
What sharp weapons slice hearts
when people meet with each other?
The saying of harsh and cruel things,
and the criticizing of others' faults.
What invisible wind brings weakness
and wanders without end?
Indulgence in babble and chatter
devoid of any meaning.
Who pretends to be a human being
but in fact is but a beast?
The person lost in unknowing and
with no interest in spiritual excellence.
What is the negative omen indicating
the advent of many misfortunes?
The exaggeration of beneficial qualities
in the objects that appear to the senses.
What is the strong and deadly poison
that, although small, brings great pain?
Small acts of negative karma done
without regret or application of the antidotes.
What is the body odor
easy to acquire but hard to lose?
Habits picked up from people
whose lives are far from spiritual ways.
What is the sharp thorn
quick to pierce but hard to extract?
Vulgar and insensitive ways
that negatively impact the minds of others.
Who suffer most deeply
of all the beings in the world?
Those with no self-discipline
who are overpowered by delusion.
Who are the most evil
of all beings in the world?
Those who use their strength and
power as a means of harming others
Who willingly makes himself into a slave
owned by everyone in the world?
The feeble-minded person
who has no self-confidence.
Who is most ridiculed
by the people of the world?
Those who, when they lose their worldly position,
also lose their spiritual perspective.
Who most infect the minds
of all the people they meet?
Those with harmful intent
but soft and cunning words.
What is the target
of countless arrows of misery?
The temper of the mind
unable to bear even small ordeals.
What powerful demon can topple
even the strongest person?
Wavering, indecisive thought unable to
decide on the right course of action.
What is the great fault that opens
the door to all negative qualities?
Holding oneself more precious than others,
a characteristic of lowly beings.
What is like a smelly fart
that, although invisible, is obvious?
One's own faults, that are precisely
as obvious as the effort made to hide them.
Who, like the parrot, becomes trapped
by his own ability to speak?
He who talks recklessly with
no heed for the impact of his words.
Who, like an old dog, becomes
more cantankerous when treated well?
He who fills with pride
when shown respect by others.
What is the one weed that
destroys the garden of happiness?
Mindlessness, that guards not against
negative karma of the three doors.
What cunning thief steals cherished
gems out of one's very hand?
Doubt, which is double-pointed
as regards spiritual practice.
Who is like the crazed war-elephant
that turns and destroys its allies?
He who holds negative thoughts
and harmful attitudes towards others.
What deadly sword cuts off
all the branches of creative activity?
The sword of denial, that does
not face the reality of what is.
What fishermen look for water
in dry, dead riverbeds?
Those who hope for spiritual progress but
cultivate neither wisdom nor positive energy.
What is the mountain on which the faster
one climbs, the faster one slips back?
Worldly possessions, that are spent as
quickly as they are laboriously acquired.
Who are empty-handed, even though having
run and searched throughout the three worlds?
The weakened living beings tossed in
samsara since beginningless time.