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57753837-Gentle-Voice-Apr-2007

57753837-Gentle-Voice-Apr-2007

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Published by: Shenphen Ozer on Dec 11, 2012
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A NEWSLETTER OF SIDDHARTHA’S INTENT April 2007
IN THIS ISSUE
HOW TO LOOK FOR A GURU AND BE A STUDENTTENZIN PALMO’S NEW NUNNERYREADING ALOUD THE WORD OF THE BUDDHAUPDATE ON THREE YEAR RETREAT
 
Gentle Voice : page 2Gentle Voice : April 2007
Editorial
Welcome to a new edition of Gentle Voice. After manyyears of outstanding work our Editor, Lynne Macready,has handed over the role to me. I hope I can live up toher fine example. Gentle Voice connects the students of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche with his teachings, withhis work, with each other, and with the world of Buddhism. We are a part of something greater thanourselves as individuals and each one’s contributionexpands the whole. Buddhism is developing in the Westat an incredible pace. Every year more translations arepublished, teachings are given and centres established. Amassive cultural integration is taking place.Gentle Voice is a publication of Siddhartha’s Intent andis connected to all the other projects of DzongsarKhyentse Rinpoche, including the Khyentse Foundation,which funds monasteries, university chairs, scholarshipsfor both monks and lay people and other projects. We arealso linked to Lotus Outreach, which is helping toprevent child trafficking in Cambodia and providevocational training for survivors of trafficking. Ourspiritual home is the Dzongsar Monastery in Tibet andfour other monasteries and retreat centres in India andBhutan. Siddhartha’s Intent has branches in eightcountries including Australia and here we are particularlyexcited to follow the progress of the three yearretreatants at Vajradhara Gonpa in Kyogle. This is a bigmandala, a big circle, and it is exciting to be a part of it.We are also a part of the lineage established by thehistorical Buddha two and a half thousand years ago inIndia. Many of us have spent time in India visiting theholy places of pilgrimage such as Bodhgaya, and I planto include pictures and stories from these foundationalplaces of inspiration. New developments are taking placeall over the world and some of these will also befeatured. In this issue we include a further instalment of Dzongsar Khyentse’s teaching on how to look for a guruand be a student, an interview with the British nun,Venerable Tenzin Palmo at her newly built nunnery, areport on the three year retreatants and an account of thetransmission of the Buddha’s teachings in Bir. Much isnew but much endures. Things change but there is acontinuity empowering new growth.Sunyata (Di Cousens), Editor
Contents
How to look for a Guru and be a Student 3Next Three Year Retreat 5Reading Aloud the Word of the Buddha 6Realising the Potential of Nuns 7Announcements 9Book Review 10Practice Sessions for Students 12
In This Issue
About Siddhartha’s Intent
Founded in 1989 by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche,Siddhartha's Intent is an international Buddhistassociation of non-profit centres, most of which arenationally registered societies and charities, withthe principal intention of preserving the Buddhistteachings, as well as increasing an awareness andunderstanding of the many aspects of the Buddhistteaching, beyond the limits of cultures andtraditions.(http://www.siddharthasintent.org/about.htm)
Teachings by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
The Madhyamakavatara Series 3 Teachings in Sydney
This is one of the key philosophical expositions of emptiness and its study has been an essential part of Buddhist training in Tibet for many centuries.Though not very long, the text contains complexand subtle arguments in a condensed form. This isthe third in a series of four annual programs.Date: 15- 24 June 2007Address: Fred Hutley HallNorth Sydney Council200 Miller StreetNorth Sydney NSW 2060, AustraliaEnquiries: (02) 9420 1340australia@siddharthasintent.orgRegistration: www.siddharthasintent.org
 
Gentle Voice : April 2007
I've already said a lot of things about thestudent’s motivation, which should be thewish for enlightenment.And the teacher musthave the motivation to enlighten the student.That should be the guru’s main aim. If there's anything else, you can consider it abonus.
There is a fair amount of confusion amongstudents, especially within Tibetan Buddhismand probably also Japanese Buddhism. There is,of course, a fascination with the words of Gautama Buddha, but there's also a fascinationwith eastern cultures – with colourful Indianculture, chaotic Tibetan culture, bare, simpleJapanese culture, orderly Confucian Chineseculture. This fascination with culture and thewords of the Buddha can get mixed up. Most of the time, as Patrul Rinpoche said, fascinationwith the culture takes over. That’s how one losescontact with the dharma, the Buddha’s words.You have been chanting the Prajnaparamita or HeartSutra, the quintessence of the Mahayana sutras, whichstates, "No nose, no eyes … form is emptiness,emptiness is form …" and so on. There is no ceremonyin this; the closest thing to ceremony in it is theprajnaparamita mantra. There is no culture in it.However, even if one wanted to do without culture, youwill not find a way and it would be unwise to do so.Unless you are already accomplished (which means youhave already been groomed in a certain tradition), youcannot read the Heart Sutra and contemplate the words,without depending on a master, a tradition, a culture orteachings. It is almost impossible to get the benefit of itwithout depending on some kind of method. Theimportant point, though, is not to think that the method isthe dharma.Yet there is no black-and-white judgement we can make.If your Tibetan master prescribes that every day beforeyour meditation you must have a cup of butter tea assome kind of skilful means coming from the master'swisdom and compassion, then this is a skilful meansprescribed for you and it's what you have to do. But noteverybody has to learn how to make butter tea justbecause they are following Tibetan Buddhism.Anyway, seeking enlightenment should be the student'sprimary goal. Then all that we are supposed to practise –trust, devotion, renunciation, bodhicitta – should nothave any difficulty arising within us.Let's talk about devotion. The great siddha Sarahadefined devotion as trust in cause, condition and effect.For example, if you're boiling an egg, there are certaincauses and conditions you must have, such as water, apot and fire. Of course, the egg itself is the mostimportant thing, isn’t it? (And an egg is such a goodexample of ourselves: beautiful to look at, butcompletely closed.) Perhaps a kitchen would make iteasier. You can cook an egg right on the street, but it'svery uncomfortable and messy and in the process the eggmay not be cooked properly unless the cook is skilled.We're reluctant to rely on the cook these days, aren't we?But the cook is actually quite important in this case, asyou can see. This is why I think the guru is almost amust. When all the causes and conditions come together,even if you prayed for the egg not to be cooked, theprayer would not succeed. The egg will be cooked:there's no choice. When we cook an egg, what do wehave? Devotion. And when the cook, the water, the potand the other conditions are gathered together, we gain acertain confidence.
 
How to Look for a Guruand Be a Student
by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
 Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche at his library in Bir.
Gentle Voice : page 3

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