ARCHITECT OF ONE’S LIFE

JIGMELA RIMPOCHE

TEACHINGS GIVEN AT DHAGPO KAGYU LING THE DORDOGNE, FRANCE Copyright @ MANJUSRI FOUNDATION

We all agree that we would like to end suffering. Each person has weaknesses and faults unique to his/her own set of circumstances. However, there is something good inherent in all of us;

Big changes hardly ever take place. Relative Bodhicitta is the aspiration and determination to be enlightened in order to liberate all sentient beings from sufferings. awakened mind. We have to accept that things are not the way that we want them to be. mind. little by little. nor emotional. too far removed from our present situation. it means “enlightened mind”. which recognizes the true nature of all phenomena. Hopelessness might set in. And so the process continues. any attempt to change the familiar tracks quickly will likely fail. The reality we experience inevitably generates suffering. Bodhicitta is the complete opening towards what is not oneself. we have to start by taking the first step now.” recognize our own situation. We are afraid of failure on the one hand. Because our minds are now very much under the force of habit. Try to minimize the stress in every aspect of our lives. Patience and perseverance are therefore important if we are to succeed. Only little changes may occur from day to day which often go unnoticed. modify our ways to lessen the suffering. or “thought of enlightenment”. Nevertheless. We should therefore put into practice the following: 1. Only then can we be successful in finding a way to recognize our true nature that is neither superficial. We need to be aware and gain understanding of our situation.. the inseparability of the void and compassion. we are constantly developing hope and fear whereby our actions are tainted. we should adopt equanimity. and on the other. it might seem almost unattainable. If we look at the achievement of near perfect Bodhicitta on the level of the great Bodhisattvas. Acceptance will naturally reduce stress and enhance greater understanding. 3.” “I have failed. This will in turn give way to a clearer mind which will facilitate deeper insight into mind.” “The goal is mine. Change can only come about slowly. . we can start to change our reactions to them. It is the wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings. We develop stress and frustration invariably as we carry on everyday. There are two kinds of Bodhicitta: relative and absolute. Though the situation on the outside may remain the same. or Bodhicitta1. In application Bodhicitta. First. At the moment. we have desires: “The success is mine. Whether we are on a spiritual path or not. and purify our minds thereby increasing our awareness of the true nature of 1 Bodhicitta: translated from the Sanskrit. Our goal is Enlightenment.we all possess the nature of Buddha mind. Absolute Bodhicitta is enlightened mind. We are all different individuals so the results of our practice will be different for each of us. Our minds are unclear at the moment. we need to be aware of how and who we really are. We need to remove the veils in our minds so that our true Buddha nature may reveal itself. 2. We will then be able to apply the appropriate remedy for our maladies. we still have to live our lives. We must work on modifying our habits now and gradually our perception of things will change.

One possibility for positive change is to observe the relationship we have with other people. you never ask: “why am I like that?” or. First. Dysfunction usually comes from negative attitude. Do not regard them as obstacles. we are lost in trying to orient or adapt ourselves correctly in our lives. Whenever we do something. The conflict is created because they don’t act as I would like them to act. The progress and development of any one will have positive effects on the others. In our relationship with others. Bodhicitta. and clear mind are all interrelated. It is important to see our egos at work. This is a mistake. ‘I don’t want…and so forth’. Our expectations might have been too high. be reasonable and set realistic . The resolve to do what is right was good but lacking in application. you need the “other” to provide the opportunity. To reach equanimity. Suffering comes from “others” and our “milieu”. we immediately dismiss them as bad. etc. and with less conflict. Understanding their point of view will render any interaction easier. we decide to wait for an ideal situation before we act and as a result. then. people generate unpleasant situations which could be improved. helpful or annoying.” It is precisely these tendencies which develop aversions. Contentment is not pining always “for better”. or “for more”. Altruism is the preoccupation with other people’s welfare. By yourself. we must see clearly. But. mind training. more open. Acknowledge that they also have aspirations. You have created them by yourself. Ask yourself why. Contentment is key to openness. or.We put our hopes everywhere and that conceals the true condition of things and spoils our vision of the world. we can adapt our actions appropriately without being unduly emotional. we must raise a sense of urgency to be rid of it. we need mind training to develop good habits. our efforts in the “something” will not last long and it won’t work. This is where you can affect the big changes. Whether we are seeing things as good or bad. Often. is my method or my way of seeing things good or not?” The mistake is our general refusal to take other people into account. “why am I always saying. Take an everyday event that has gone wrong. it is usually in response to a personal need. equanimity. Avidity is natural in all of us: “I want things to be like this for me!” This type of thinking gives rise to frustration. They have the same aspirations as we do only from a different perspective. The smallest examples are usually the best to start with. to end suffering. Consequently. Otherwise. You might find your reasons for reacting are often: “I don’t like it!”. where there is a conflict. We should be patient and be modest in our expectations. Instead. we should always consider them first. we must take the time to examine the situation as it is. There is no longer contentment. determine what happened. Recognize your own reactions before any further undertakings. we never get started. Whenever we do not see results from our efforts. Likewise. You carry your bias into all your relationships. When we are at work. the method doesn’t work. we should observe like this: “ The poison is my own self-preoccupation. “That’s just the way I am!” Yet. or to “share the cake”. Equanimity means to see things as they really are. Sometimes.

We are prejudiced about what mind is and here are some misconceptions: mind is empty. Reflect and keep check of our thoughts and actions. Bodhicitta which includes benevolence is often absent from our mind stream. When our mind is less preoccupied. The same applies to people. Meditation is not to add something to. Most situations are fluid. A non-distracted mind is present in meditation. we can bring it back to the “here and now. we will see more of the present moment. Stability. We cannot be only charming and nice to people whom we like. . Benevolence always leads to positive mental states. We should examine for ourselves what is really unpleasant in a given situation. or." Stability of mind will enhance a deeper awareness of mind itself. For example. or to change the nature of the mind. clarity. Be vigilant lest we quickly give up after a few attempts. Contentment is a state where things are deemed satisfactory. Act out of benevolence even though this is not yet spontaneous for us at the moment. The result of positive action is assured though it might not be evident. you bought some rice at the market. Always make allowance for other possibilities rather than being closed minded. By thinking in this way. The same attitude that we adopt in our formal meditation should be applicable likewise in our active life. A deeper understanding of the teachings will develop. and lucidity are original qualities of the mind. the object of training is to allow for a clearer mind. When we are more centered and focused. but to remove the veils that obstruct the mind from manifesting itself properly. Usually. we have to stop the emotions and thoughts. The opposite of benevolence is tension. Feeling grateful is generally considered a positive state.and effective goals. Reflect on the people who grew the rice and give them credit. Remain open. too definite about our own views. we forge recognition. you then went home and cooked it for supper. a deeper understanding is then possible. Our idea is we have to do something but this runs contrary to meditation. benevolence leads to better resolution of conflicts. On the subject of meditation. Mind has the capacity to find its original clarity. To attain mind’s original qualities. It is wandering or following various chains of ideas. it is not focused. we think that once we have heard something. When the mind is disturbed. Bodhicitta requires us to look at other people’s viewpoints. it makes you feel much better. try to see if your thoughts make any sense. This principle should always be our prevailing interest. Through meditation. We have to accept that which occurs without changing anything. Peace of mind is not measurable unlike a stethoscope probe. There is a danger in taking the teachings too intellectually. Because of benevolence. Always engender benevolence when facing aversion. It is a matter of reasonable balance. Each time you recognize a link. The law of cause and effect functions well and without exception. we see them and we think we now know them. But we neglect our efforts to develop contentment. Always examine the meaning of what we are doing. Be aware and develop mindfulness. benevolence will increase. Contrary to the natural tendency of deluded mind which is usually not even aware of thoughts. Try to be flexible. we understand it all. we need to practice equanimity. We are not computers and profit and efficiency should not be our only concerns. Natural benevolence does not stay for long.

Humility is important about who we are or what we do. We should dispense with words and the descriptive terms for they are not “the state”. during meditation: when you don’t know how to meditate. leave it for a while. Meditation is like any activity. Naturally. let the body and mind to calm.not good or bad. We constantly have hopes and fears thereby giving rise to tensions .even when we are supposed to be calm. You are no longer meditating if you think like that. The disposition of mind during meditation is such that there is no expectation nor any idea of consequences. It is just like that .which means to let go and be in the present." that is. Don’t try to do anything. We should look upon it not as a source of conflict with the self. then. An analogy is like agitated water. Reduce the production of thoughts . or block it. There is first the theory. then it has to be put into practice. Lighten up……whatever happens. you . It is more effective if we reflect and consider whether an experience is useful for whatever reason. It has no importance and we just leave it. There is really no “good” or “bad” meditation. For meditation to be effectual. or judgment. and you think. walking is alright but running might make it difficult. you look at everything. you should not worry about whether or not you are contemplating. denying our actions if they were deemed negative. there has to be no expectation. As with water. Even the checking to ensure that there is no fabrication is fabrication again. More favourable conditions for meditation is a calm place with no rock music band playing. but for a better understanding of self. Complete silence is not necessary all of the time. inside or outside us. a change in light maybe construed as it is becoming more cloudy and then later. whatever particles are there will sink to the bottom and the water will become clear again. Whatever happens.” Am I meditating well? Is the room quiet? When will that noise stop?” The real obstacle is at that point when you expect or fear something. We have a tendency to always judge what we did in the past. For example. Or if you hear people talking.Meditation is not doing anything. you’ll be looking both internally and externally. Initially. it might rain. Be aware of how you function. The consciousness is present and exposed to the multitudes of phenomena. A good technique to apply is ”to allow to settle. after a few seconds. it will not stay clear anymore. All the “wrong” meditations are in fact “good” support for contemplation. during meditation. Just be there not doing or adding anything. “what are they saying”. For example. Terms for the contemplation are: no fabrication. meditation is not a state which can be described in its usual sense. if I try to take anything out. Meditation is making room for this awareness. The point is not to cover up the eyes or ears with our fingers. just let it go. The body must be in a calm state. Effort is necessary in meditation with the knowledge that it is a clear state without any expectations. There should be no talking. You will gradually learn to integrate all external events in the meditation such as people talking outside. We have to leave behind our habitual tendencies as described earlier. It is being in the presence of mind where there is equanimity. One should come back to the meditation and not follow the thoughts. there is no meditation again. we do not stop. This state of calm and lucidity of the mind is perfect presence like a tape recorder taking in everything that is happening without selection. so don’t interfere. no production. Like someone watching a show.

How we live and experience our lives now is important to help us reach the goal. and progressively we will form the habit of being able to accept any given situation. You ought to feel relaxed and comfortable while doing nothing. it also means that I was able to see it. You can practice meditation at any time. a few minutes in the beginning. and develop your understanding. When we are present and focused. emotions come on stage. The only obstacles to your meditation are your reactions to thought. We can carry the same training in contemplation into our daily lives. take the second of January for instance. Slowly integrate all the events into the meditation session.not serious contemplating. Mind is relatively clearer and more aware than at other times. look at all the events of the day. We begin with a non-fabricated state when there is not a tendency to fall asleep again. Meditation and daily life are not the same. We should clearly recall at any one moment our ultimate goal is to reach Buddhahood. Always being present in the moment. we will realize that very often we are actually somewhere else. as long as it is pleasant without tension. However. the veils which are blocking us have to be removed. There is always the tendency to check if it is good or bad. The process takes time but our condition will start to change for the better and the improvement will continue. When you start to feel restless and the not so pleasant anymore. Look at any one day. Venture deeper into life’s situations. But your meditation does not end there. better or worse.will fall again and again into the trap . some moments are deemed better than other times. until the goal is reached. Whatever happens. This understanding will reduce tension. become closer to other people. If you hold Bodhicitta in theory only with no application. and thinking whether something is good or bad. We should take refuge and develop Bodhicitta. you judge it to be good. then it means that the previous session or the one to follow will not be as good. A common stumbling bloc is we practice meditation to achieve some improvement or result. Even if your meditation was calm. you are no longer disturbed. Gradually we can build up this presence of mind. the more suffering will be removed. we can build a whole lifetime in one sitting. and then afterwards. you carry on the meditation in daily life as mentioned before. day by day. we make real effort to benefit everyone whom we might meet Then. Recognition is important: when I see something wrong. We start the day in a state or attitude of benevolence. slowly and gradually. How do we settle the mind? How do we establish “new tracks” and habits? We do it through training. During the day. if not 100%. In the meantime. During the day. During these periods. I had presence of mind only sometimes. The early morning is a good time. it is good because mind is there and it is aware. things . The value of what happens during meditation session has no importance. If you are sometimes distracted and you realize it. The process of training leads to more presence of mind both in meditation and also in daily life. it is useless. stop the session. In the same way. be more open. Choose an appropriate period of time. at least 10%. These are really the only real obstacles to meditation. The point is to see and let go. The ability to see means there is recognition. You will find that some events are easy to remember while others are just so difficult to remember. If we look carefully enough. I was totally absent in some parts of the day. The greater the presence of mind.

They come to know about the Tathagatha through one way or another. reflect upon what we have done during the day.this could be construed as positive. when one starts practicing the Dharma. it shows that you have presence of mind . Try to gain understanding and to see clearly in this way. There is on the one side. This is normal. It is really all relative. This is quite understandable since the premise of the entire Buddha’s teachings is that suffering is the cause. we carry the garbage of yesterday. and becomes “refuse” for the basement. It is recommended that we focus the mind and dedicate our actions to all beings. the first thing is to be aware that each person is endowed with the nature of Buddha. Generally. Probably you would have some days which are not so good.” Then on the other. one starts to see things as they truly are. and ultimately are led to Buddhahood. It makes sense then to look at ourselves every evening and start again tomorrow with modifications. We apply the same technique when we feel overwhelmed. Whatever the motivation at the beginning. “I live in a world made by 2 Tathagata refers to the essence of Buddha. If you forget about it. At the end of the day. Some people believe that the Dharma or teachings are altruistic and therefore are exclusive to those people who only want to look after themselves. we finish in a similar way. Take advantage of “guilt” by being aware of it so that we could do something positive to counteract it and develop a habit of doing so. Recall again this state of mind before going to sleep. Those of us who wish to do the same as the Tathagata 2 will decide to tread the path to enlightenment. Otherwise with every tomorrow. You should examine by yourself and try to reach some balance. . This could be reinforced during the day at any time. and then the motivation will naturally change. then meditation is necessary. it will smell! That is not good. Others lead a normal life but may wish to improve their circumstances. one will understand that nothing is possible when one is not concerned with the welfare of others." A few minutes in the morning and at night are all it takes. or the root of everything. On a practical level. Yet some of us want to stop the suffering. We have seen how meditation is the heart of the path to enlightenment. Regardless of whether the point of departure is due to selfishness or not. what we do is not good. Then. We will not repeat the mistakes hopefully because we are not stupid and will not persist in doing wrong. Whether our motivation is to reach Buddhahood or to stop the suffering. begin and end the day in this frame of mind. a clear consciousness able to apprehend the whole universe. the practice will inevitably reveal that others are important. Look at the time wasted during the day. If the events and activities are easy to recall. the path is the same. It depends on how our minds are attuned. To attain enlightenment may not be the goal for everyone. “ I’ll try to experience this consciousness free from suffering. another experience from our repertoire of experiences. Every evening. This is possible due to the free time during meditation when we are doing nothing. after a few years. at some point. There is however a common difficulty to overcome and that is: “I have no time. but more importantly. Look at that state of mind.will improve. Meditation enables us to relate with our experiences and learn to accept what is not so good. May all these beings reach enlightenment. Look at guilt.

“I don’t care”. Next we look at ignorance. we will improve. It will take time. At the base of any experience is this ego grasping. But when facing other people. we have to be aware that our mind is the Tathagatha. Be relaxed and do what is necessary. we think that we have the keys but somehow they don’t fit. It is in our experiences with other people that we find fuel for improvement. Most of the time an incident might be trivial. We have a tendency to want everything right now. After hearing the teachings. which is the root of suffering. it will still be painful for a while. Some regard it as a demon. We all have this first reaction of “I perceive”. They are essential to our success because through them we build up our resistance. it will take longer instead. Even happiness is a cause of suffering (for example. do it in a relaxed way. So it’s the same for everything. We have to understand that everything is suffering. if not recognized. but it is true that it underlies the root of all suffering. The attitude to develop here is a reasonable balance of reaction and acceptance. Fighting ignorance is not like starting a war. but if one does not see it truly for what it is. we have to strike a balance between being with others and our solitude. When ignorance diminishes so does suffering. there is a tendency to fight it. Meditation makes us more sensitive to others around us. So. But when we come out of our practice and face others. The danger is the tension while waiting for a result. there is not a problem. but it will improve. if my leg hurts and it does not stop. which is aversion. the anxiety actually slows or blocks the effect. Gradually. even though I knew of it and it would not get worse. For example. our emotions will surface. It is the first movement of our consciousness. Practically this is hardly ever the case. which is ignorance. The key is to be aware so that we can see things clearly. might become problematic and dangerous for ourselves and others. does it not state that everything is suffering? This fundamental axiom we have to understand. So it is the same for everything. as in the problem of the wood splinter.happiness and suffering”. Ignorance is not a force nor is it some energy to destroy us. In fact. we find then that we have not improved all that much. We want to recognize what is really taking place. Thanks to the interaction with other people. I can then tend to the pain. For example. We have to develop an attitude. . and see this world (of suffering) as it is and understand it clearly. my actions might be inappropriate and harm me instead. I might start to imagine that it might be cancer! Someone then tells me that there is a splinter there. “I don’t want”. Dispense with any preconceived points of views which would only cloud our perception. or. we must not exclude other people. we have a clearer mind. When we meditate. improvement will come. all my mental sufferings immediately disappear. We may then turn away but we have to consider our own efforts and input too. When you discover it. If we want to have enduring results. or. happiness will cease). to be aware that happiness is suffering. directly or indirectly perceive it: “I want”. it can be very dangerous. but simply opening our eyes to notice the little things which. The point is not to find it but to recognize it. There is no pre-established answer. we find “ego grasping”. When we are alone. which is desire. During our search to lessen our suffering. Each person has to find his or her own limits. It is not malevolent. But if I cannot see it clearly. If you rush too much. Each time we look. Whatever we do. Open a book to the “Four Noble Truths”.

This seeing is like seeing the seed or the sprout. a dualistic mode of perception: I and others. With practice. “Now. . It is interesting to look at the ego grasping in any experience. Mind is ever ongoing -. The more we know about ourselves. we should first gain awareness and then understanding of the “disturbing emotions”.. They have let me down. we have been told: “it is not good to be proud. we will see mental events. Going back to the botany example. It produces a lot of suffering yet one cannot get rid of it by waving a magic wand. We first gain understanding of the connection between flowers and fruits. Slowly and gradually we will realize that ego grasping is all pervasive in our experiences. the frustration is there. etc…” What was not said is that those emotions. are generally the things that our minds are pre-occupied with. It is the same here. and benevolence. The mind moves forward on “tracks” derived from habits. We have developed these tendencies from past experiences. This ongoing process cannot be adequately described with words. One can weaken these tendencies. When we let our consciousness drift away. Ego grasping is also the root of pride. Look at the attitude. It is normal to think like that nevertheless we should be aware of it. Generally. This is extremely important to realize because our expectations are the cause of conflicts when they are not fulfilled. “disturbing emotions” is merely a label. Either I myself was in the wrong. it is easier to get rid of the sprout. we don’t do anything. jealousy. not good to be jealous. By modifying our reactions in a more balanced way. These emotions are the habitual tendencies.a continuum. this is only possible if we have first noticed these habitual tendencies. anger. or. Take for example the study of Botany. we can slowly start to affect some changes in the habits. To be able to see it with some sense of humour is also helpful and necessary. Realize that when we are not vigilant. pride. In our relationships with others. sensations. jealousy. The same mind experiences both the avidity and the generosity. there is the ego grasping: what I like. Again. and so on. we are always expecting something. jealousy. We often pretend that we are acting for the welfare of others while at the same time harboring expectations. Ever since our childhood. etc. In fact. we only investigate or question ourselves when something has gone wrong or we are not happy. we find ourselves following our habitual tendencies which are nothing else but our egos at work. we tend to drift towards jealousy or pride or any of the other emotions. . The habitual reflex will change after having first noticed it. Within our familial and work surroundings. I don’t care. “I expect from… so and so. We should be aware that everyone everywhere is like that including myself. Develop openness. images. Don’t imagine that there is a “quick fix” to modify this attitude. How they grow and the sequence corresponding to the seasons. We cannot force a change to take place. we will learn over time to see more and more clearly how the mind acts due to ego grasping: pride. We will see our jealousy and pride. and “ego grasping”. In . I am frustrated: I thought I was right. We don’t know to what they correspond." which will then lead to frustrations. The term. . avidity. what I don’t like. and the other disturbing emotions. the better chance of liking and accepting ourselves. when we do examine these emotions. and to start working with it. they did not measure up!” In any case. At the base of our consciousness.etc. we have a lot of expectations. if we want to get rid of the plant.All the emotions are due to ego grasping. When we’re happy.

He also taught that “ it is not possible to free oneself without the “others”. We embark on a spiritual path taking into account all the implications of the law of cause and effect. To overcome ego grasping our success depends on our contact with others. Unless we retreat into solitude. The immediate result of the application of Bodhicitta is to stop rejecting our responsibility for whatever is happening. It is precisely in the alaya vinyana that all the karmic imprints are stored. There is no other way. there really is no “bad” versus “good”. we can see through all the negativity’s. Anger arises when something goes wrong. if we are vigilant. The same anger could be a quality of lucidity able to correct the situation and thus is very useful. we improve the way we live our lives and elevate ourselves by following the guidelines given in the teachings. Then we will arrive at a stage where we can take control over our existence. Only we can work on ourselves. to enlightenment. Bodhicitta is the antidote to apply to bring about the changes. we are striving towards enlightenment. we will continue to lean more towards negative acts. By being aware. it becomes a quality. the true nature of both mental and outer phenomena. There is nothing to reject. . The key here is not to reject but to recognize it. See for ourselves that our own happiness depends on their happiness. but unfortunately. we could bring about a change in the expression of the energy. Buddha said “I can give you the means to liberation but I cannot set you free.fact. How do we develop the necessary vigilance and integrate it into our experience? The goal is to perceive the true nature of our mind. we don’t have access to these levels of consciousness. We cannot develop qualities when isolated from others. a mere mislabeling. leading us to Bodhicitta. However. just different energies to be used in a beneficial way. Positive actions on the contrary enhance our progress on the path to enlightenment and provide much needed relief of immediate suffering. Be aware that they are unhappy. Insofar as it is recognized. not only do we live with less suffering. The effects of negative actions generate suffering while at the same time increase the two veils of habitual tendencies and tainted modes of perception. We should seize the chance to take advantage of our emotions when they arise in order to modify and change the habitual tendencies. To perceive the true nature of the mind is necessary. Our vision of any situation becomes more complete and thereby more precise. Slowly and gradually. It also means that our view encompasses all points of views. but rather. We need to put ourselves in the others’ place. That’s why it’s important to see and understand. Jealousy can be transformed into the quality of perseverance. We make an effort to be aware of what is positive and negative while on the path to enlightenment. What appears as pride can be changed to an energy of action. We will then have an opportunity to work with the negativity’s through our practice and turn them into useful qualities. from negative to positive. By being “conscious”. I can give you the tools to reach the goal”. This all base consciousness is now veiled by our habitual tendencies and our dualistic mode of perceptions. Recognition of our emotions is not meant for us to go against them or to get rid of them. Ultimate enlightenment is only attained through Bodhicitta. There is an all base consciousness which underlies all the sense consciousness and ego grasping called the alaya vinyana (tathagatagarba).

and wisdom. Realize with caution that any anger. our awareness will become more and more clear. It strengthens the imprints in the consciousness which will in turn condition our perception of the universe. The benefit of regret is that it urges us not to do wrong again. At this Paramita: the perfection which leads to enlightenment. It can eventually evolve into a superior path of practice where more powerful tools and means are employed to remove the mental veils. Our awareness will guide us to minimize suffering for ourselves and others. The spiritual path demands a sharp awareness of negative acts. Having understood all this about karma. patience. we will act appropriately. One of the six paramitas are ethics. This also explains why we are the way we are now. It is important to note that you do not necessarily have to feel guilty. When we behave badly. for example. we can make it a habit to perform more positive acts because our awareness show us that we can make the experiences and the results of every day. on the other hand. It can be just as effective if we learn to take control of our lives by using the same method as discussed. the practice of ethics becomes more and more important. This does not just stop at the gross and outer levels but that it permeates our whole being. not only generate consequences but leave imprints in the all base consciousness. We can then engage in practices which can purify the negativity and spur us on to do what is right. We should feel regret for our bad actions as if we have swallowed poison: “If I could go back into the past. These imprints will condition our perceptions which have become the mere fruit of previous actions. we might be afraid of falling down. There are no external rules to follow. we will be able to perceive the positive character of what we do. and eventually. In time. As we advance on the path. diligence. The positive improvement will spread to our relationships with others. in our meditation. will leave imprints in our base consciousness and this will have an impact on future existences. however small. every night. in our daily lives. When we are wrong. Positive behavior is deemed positive depending on personal experience. or paramita 3. on the activities of the day. The emotions. in the need to keep always a watchful eye at what we do. concentration. As explained already. we are responsible and we know it. Ordinary qualities enable us to go beyond suffering. Recognizing the negative character of what we do is crucial. The path of Dharma is based on the infallible axiom of karma: that all causes and all actions have results. the alaya vinyana. The six paramitas are: generosity. What if we are unable to perceive the negative character of some action thinking instead that it was positive. We can form new habits such as the habit of reflecting. A positive example. All this comes about if there is real regret. positive acts always help to remove the veils which cover consciousness. is the “Chenrezi” practice of compassion. we don’t necessarily have to become Buddhists. The process of self correction can start at a mundane level. we do not and cannot make excuses anymore. We will correct and adjust ourselves. 3 .To practice the Dharma (Buddha’s teachings). discipline. I would not do it again”. What is ordinarily referred to as virtue becomes transcendental virtue. We must keep a watchful eye everyday in what we do. ethics is not a set of external rules but has its base in being vigilant. jealousy and anger.

idle talk (eg. speech. Be ever aware that all actions will bring results. “is it good or not?” If we look closely enough. This in turn will facilitate more positive actions leading to more peace of mind. Small actions can bring big results. and other qualities. Use our own understanding. avidity. Do not take for granted the little things that we can do.. we use the example of Bodhicitta and our good wishes for all beings. The opposite is also true. Generosity will open us to the ten positive actions. harsh words. by all means. to do “good”. We need to go beyond the confines of our ordinary perception and reasoning. you could. we can diminish agitation of our minds. What is necessary is the accumulation of positive actions in order to transcend the existing boundaries. perseverance. Strive to perform small positive things and refrain from small negative actions. Ethics will steer us to look at things as they really are. both are beyond intellectual understanding. they are faith and confidence. The latter requires our vigilance all the time. wrong view lying. Our practice won’t work if we don’t have a solid grounding in ethics. There are two qualities relative to the spiritual path which transcend the rationale of ordinary life. We need to develop the aspiration to achieve enlightenment. Deter someone from committing wrong. and can have unpredictable results. At . We can speak of ethics. On the surface. We are responsible for our actions. can be introduced. body. Only then can we try to enter the formal spiritual practice. try to be nice to people with awareness. Our practice can take us to higher levels. we really do not need to ask if we are honest. Protect life-even the smallest life. Both accumulations are important and are interrelated. This cannot be explained in ordinary terms but it can be experienced. It is essential to be aware of how we communicates with others. We can see how the spiritual path is all pervasive in all aspects of our lives . but the consequences can be grave. There is not a period of time for practice or another when we are not in practice. They are the performing of positive actions which will lead to good results and the lucidity of the mind where awareness is ever present. By acting in a positive way. taking what is not given (stealing). callousness. wrong sexual conduct We have a tendency to go and ask a lama. as a useful guide. Practice the two accumulations as much as possible. Mind: Speech: Body: envy. be it positive or negative. the ten negative actions involving the three categories. on the faults of others) killing. Everything is of consequence. and mind. This is only possible if we have a proper foundation. that is. We begin our practice with simple and ordinary experience which are readily available and easily understood directly in our everyday life. If you find yourself now more engaged in one accumulation. we have to encourage ourselves to do what is positive. We can refer to external rules if sometimes we are not sure. Even though it cannot be explained in words but the power of making wishes to benefit all beings can and will bring about strength in our mind which can purify negativity and make use of the power of wisdom. expand more time and energy in the other accumulation. If possible. malevolence. To explain what we mean by going beyond the ordinary level. ethics do not seem too important.point.

It is necessary to venture forward and investigate for ourselves. nothing is possible. We can go beyond the rational through rational logic and meditation. they are of the same path. The base is essential for our daily life while integrating all the aspects of practice to reach enlightenment. With a solid foundation. not to be misunderstood as nothingness. This is what is meant by understanding of the practice. how the purification practice works. 4 . Why some practices are long while others are short. This is the central theme of this teaching.that point we can perceive the irrational and really understand that we can only be happy by caring for the welfare of others. We will understand why the practice of Yidam4 can be so effective. we have to stand on a proper base. Yidam: An enlightened aspect of Buddha in the form of a deity to help a practitioner on his/her path to enlightenment. our formal practice and daily life are not on the same level but whatever the level. The base also serves to provide comfort and peace of mind while we are on the spiritual path. we will go farther and farther. Of course. We will understand the emptiness nature of things. Gradually. Through our formal practice. “completion phase” of the practice. there are reasons for the differences. everything is then possible. To become architects of our own lives. We will gradually grasp the meaning of the “developing phase”. The practice works yet the explanation lies beyond logic. Without it. and why we need a lama. our understanding will become deeper and sharper. how the different phases of the practice are useful will be understood after a while.

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