7362RE: Rigpa Glimpse of the Day
- Jul 1, 20064. Seven-Limbed Practice
The seven parts of the practice are encompassed by two practices - the
purification of negativities and the enhancing of the store of merit. When
you engage in the practice, it is very important to understand that each and
every one of the seven limbs has its individual purpose and significance,
and only with such knowledge can you engage properly in the practice. The
seven limbs are: prostration, offering, confession, rejoicing, requesting to
turn the wheel of the dharma, entreating not to enter into nirvana, and
dedication of merit.
....For the practice of confession, which is the third of the seven limbs, it
is very important to have the factor of regret; without this factor there is
no possibility of purifying the negativities.... The great yogi Milarepa
said: "When I examined whether or not confession could purify the
negativities, I found that it is regret that cleanses them." In order to
generate regret, it is important to see the destructive nature of negative
actions and also to understand the law of causality.
Based on a disciplined mind, we experience happiness; based on an
undisciplined, untamed mind, we undergo suffering. We should think that if
we are not able to make any progress from our present state of mind, which
always indulges in negative thoughts, there is not much hope for us. So, if
we are able to think in such terms, we will be able to really see the
destructive nature of negative actions, and also that the store of negative
actions that we have is inexhaustible, like a rich person's bank balance.
Without the recognition of the destructive nature of the negative forces, we
will never be able to develop the deep factor of regret from the depth of
If we do not engage in a proper practice of dharma, it seems that we may
expend all our store of merit in mundane pleasures. It is very important to
have this faculty of regret in our practice of purification and confession.
-- from "The Path to Bliss: A Practical Guide to Stages of Meditation," by
H.H. the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso translated by Geshe Thubten Jinpa, edited
by Christine Cox, published by Snow Lion Publications
Wrong views and wrong convictions can be the most devastating of all our
delusions. Surely Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot must have been convinced that
they were right too? And yet each and every one of us has that same
dangerous tendency as they had: to form convictions, believe them without
question, and act on them, so bringing down suffering not only on ourselves
but on all those around us.
On the other hand, the heart of Buddha�s teaching is to see �the actual
state of things, as they are,� and this is called the true View. It is a
view that is all-embracing, as the role of spiritual teachings is precisely
to give us a complete perspective on the nature of mind and reality.
Because life is nothing but a perpetual fluctuation of birth, death, and
transition, so bardo experiences are happening to us all the time, and are a
basic part of our psychological makeup. Normally, however, we are oblivious
to the bardos and their gaps, as our mind passes from one so-called solid
situation to the next, habitually ignoring the transitions that are always
In fact, as the teachings can help us to understand, every moment of our
experience is a bardo, as each thought and each emotion arises out of, and
dies back into, the essence of mind. It is in moments of strong change and
transition especially, the teachings make us aware, that the true skylike,
primordial nature of mind will have a chance to manifest.
What should we �do� with the mind in meditation? Nothing at all.
Just leave it, simply, as it is.
One master described meditation as �mind, suspended in space, nowhere.�
There are those who look on death with a naive, thoughtless cheerfulness,
thinking that for some unknown reason death will work out all right for
them, and that it is nothing to worry about. When I think of them, I am
reminded of what one Tibetan master says: �People often make the mistake of
being frivolous about death and think, �Oh well, death happens to everybody.
It�s not a big deal, it�s natural. I�ll be fine.�� That�s a nice theory
until one is dying.
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