Questions and Answers

Lama, maybe we have no laziness, but the fear and anxiety about ability of Covid infection make us distract from the practice. How about this  situation can be practiced?

Yes, this Covid situation can be unfavorable condition for our practice. As a Buddhist practitioner, I would say that, if you are sick, there are many things that you can practice like exchanging other’s difficult time with one’s happiness, virtue and good time because that’s something that you can do it very nicely because you can feel the pain. So you get like exchanging one’s good things with other’s suffering and negativities. 

If you’re not having any issue, but you are still having this fear and anxiety that “Maybe I might have or look at the world maybe my community might have this and that.” It also can be a really very much favorable condition because in this manner we know how, like there are many people who are living in some smaller islands around. Let’s take an example of Jakarta, Indonesia, Jakarta has all these facilities, the availability for facilities and all medical equipments and facilities. But there are many places, many islands of Indonesia where they don’t have lots of facilities. I saw in the news once, said by the chief of a smaller island says that “Oh if Covid comes, if this and that happens, we can’t check, we don’t have facilities, I might have to send you to Jakarta”. 

There are some people who live like a Queen or a King in some smaller islands. Because Indonesia is one of the countries where there are many islands, so if you own the island, you are pretty much like a Queen or a King over island, you can have a lot of facilities, you can have wealth, you can have a house of the gold, you can have a bed of the gold, whatever it is, you can have many assistants, cooks, mates, everything that somebody who literally cherish these worldly things might expect. You can be a billionaire or maybe you can have much more than a billionaire. But when such things happen, if Covid comes over there, suppose you are the person,

let’s just imagine that we are that person, we have everything,  at the same time we have that, if you have that Covid, what do you do? What you gonna do with the golden bed? What you gonna do with the golden house? What you gonna do with like 500 mates, like 50 luxury cars?  Yeah you have all the wealth to buy oxygen, from where you get it?  You are in the middle of island, you can’t go anywhere. 

When that Covid arrives, I saw in the news that some islands, they said that “We don’t have these facilities, if some issues, we will arrange something to send you to the Jakarta”, and I thought like there would be many islands who would be really fear, real fear. It doesn’t matter how rich they are, they have to rely to the rest of the world, they can’t make the car even if they’re rich, they can’t make the aeroplane, they can’t make the jet, they can’t make everything by themselves, they have to rely on others. Because of this lockdown, many rich people might have been through starvation, I don’t know, maybe. You have money and wealth, but, for example, in India they close the shops for quite a bit of time, if you don’t store the food, this and that I don’t know how that fast, well I really have no idea. 

So this kind of situation, let us understand, the worldly things are not promising enough, the mundane things are not promising. Forget about others, the human life, you might think that you are so healthy and all these things.  Yesterday, maybe day before yesterday, a friend of mine shared a small video in a news  about, it looks like a Muslim, maybe a Christian or something I’m not sure. He literally went to perhaps in hospital or somewhere, because he doesn’t believe in Covid, so he literally inhale from someone who is infected and later I’ve heard that the person died, so nothing stops. 

Doesn’t matter whether you believe in next life or not, you have to go there, doesn’t matter whether you believe that the transformation of the mind is important or not, it’s a fact, doesn’t matter whether you see the importance of meditation or not, it’s a fact.

At the end of the day, understanding Buddha teachings is not a help, it’s not gonna help at all. One and only thing that helps is practice of these qualities to transform oneself into something better, otherwise there nothing will help. But understanding all these disadvantages, even if we are just by ourselves in our home practice, transform our mind, try to study a bit more dharma so that you can implant into your practice, think about love and compassion again and again so that you can improve it, enhance it, make it more stronger. 

How can we practice compassion and patiencetowards someone who continuously hurt us? Should we stay in relation with them? 

To practice compassion and patience towards someone who constantly hurt us, if it is in a sort of a friend or any sort of relation or maybe it can be a friend, it can be even family members, it can be among the classmates or anybody else.

Generally patience and compassion in Buddhism, these topics or practices have been taught in a way that it is universal, for example the compassion, it’s very easy to practice compassion towards family members or the one that you care about, it’s always harder to practice towards the enemy. But still when our family members hurt, when a friend hurts or do something, then it can be even more difficult. 

You have that compassion, but you’re not happy with what the other person has, say or do or hatever it is, that’s even more hurting in that case you don’t have too. The compassion is there, certain amount of patience, the practice of patience will always be there, what you need to focus is that try to find mutual ground and understanding if it is important. Generally, in Indian society they have lots of beliefs, based on caste like “Oh your house belongs to a higher, my house belongs to a lower caste, this and that”. 

So when they get married and also they all ask “Oh when you get married your father didn’t give this dowry or your father gave so small or what did you bring? You bring nothing with your father, this and that”. I’m not sure how it goes with the rest of the countries, but in India this is quite, I’m not sure if it is very open, but everybody knows that this happens. When a woman get married to a man, then the woman brings like a lot of things that woman house has to give a lot of things to the husband house during the marriage. 

The husband house literally verbally asks or in often  at the last minute they asks double or triple, so that’s why the Indians which live around, if they give birth to a child from a very young age, so difficult, they literally save money so that they can give to the husband house when this small kid will marry in future. So Indians through farming they might earn quite a bit of amount, but the way they live, the way they eat is really sad. 

When you look at their plates, you can see or think that “This guy might not have more than $50 in his bank”. But if you really check the bank, you gonna find like few thousands at least. But the way they eat very less is also like few reasons, one to save some money so that they can give to the husband house, another is if they live a kind of luxury life, a kind of average life then when the daughter marries, the husband family will ask more because they think “Oh you live quite nice, so you must have a lot of money”. So they are kind of force to live as a poverty life, although they have money in a bank, but they can’t eat, they can’t wear. 

If they eat well, if they wear well, they have to pay well, because they’re gonna ask well. I usually tease a friend of mine, he’s an Indian. I know that he can earn quite a bit of amount from selling vegetables. He has a farm and  sometimes I help him with some advices, because sometimes he is not really smart with calculation and these things, so I help him sometimes with some general advice, so I know pretty much his wealth status. But the way he lives is really difficult because like I understand that this is not just an individual mistake, it is society mistake, the culture mistake.

So that’s why in every relation, this might happen in the couples as well that “Your father seems to be very rich right now, when you marry, your father give you this much of money and this and that”, some woman said then they might have been asked more. The reason why the husband and family didn’t ask more is because the father seems to be quite poor, after one girl married, the father lives a good life, so when they live a good life, the husband house like they are like literally pressuring the girl to get some money from the wife house, parental house, that is whole some samsara. So in every relationship, there is no need for individual mistake, that can be a wife mistake, it can be a husband mistake possibly,  but it is not necessarily has to be such a way, it is very much possible that it is not a mistake of a husband nor a mistake of the wife.

To continue such a relationship, I would say like this is very difficult to see in general, but we have to measure not just relationship, but if you drink orange juice, you are making a relationship with the orange juice, if you eat pizza, you’re making a relationship with pizza, if you study this book or that book, you’re making a relationship with this book or that book. Not just a relation with human, but we make this relationship with many other things that we contact in our life. 

Wearing this particular cloth or wearing this particular color or wearing a nylon cloth or a woolen cloth or any cloth, eating this food, that food, drinking this, that, whether you continue that relation or not, you can measure it by whether it’s helpful for you in growth. If having a relationship with the orange juice help you to grow in your physical hygiene, even is helpful for you in terms of your high physical hygiene, yes, continue. 

If it’s too much of that or too much of interaction, I don’t know, having too much of any food, it is not good for your body, then you avoid. So similar any certain, any sort of relationship, if it is helping you in your growth, then I would definitely agree to continue. If any relation just diminish you, make you weaker mentally, physically or any relationship that make you fit or stronger physically, mentally, then I would say that we can make, I know like in life there are lots of complicated things, but in general I would say something like this. 

Lama, we should see, for example, Covid as the fact or just conventional phenomena?

Yes, Covid is very much conventional, each and every phenomenon is very conventional, the reason of Covid is not inherently existence, Covid is a result of our own negative emotions, Covid is a result of a karma that we all have engaged collectively. Because it’s being caused by some causes, it doesn’t exist by it own without depending on others, it depends on the causes of collective karma, that’s why it happens.

The person who creates it, is just a condition. If we all don’t have a karma to suffer from the Covid, then we won’t be suffering from it, doesn’t matter if a person creates that. You see it’s really strange, a person might be living in the same room, same place, have been in the same place but some people get it and some people don’t get it, it very much depends on when it is one’s time to catch it, when your karma is ripening, then you will catch, when your karma is not ripening, you won’t catch. If you don’t have karma, you won’t get it. If you have karma, you will get it. But if you have a karma, then you will not get unless the karma or the cause encounters with a condition. Getting infected by a Covid is just a condition, if you have a cause, if you have a karma to get the Covid, if you never go somewhere, if you just disappear in some mountain just by yourself there is no way that you can get Covid because you are not letting the seed to attach, to come near moisture or the water. The seed itself doesn’t grow unless it is accompanied by the condition. So when you have a seed, you have to have a condition. I think many of us also have the cause to get Covid, it’s just not our time to ripen, or we have not met with such a condition through which that karma ripen.

I’m sure that if we stay together with someone who has Covid, very much likely that we also get it, like 99% we will get it, but this is just because we have that karma. Let’s say, Buddha appears as a doctor and help in the hospital, the Buddha may not get it, simply because Buddha has eliminated all the bad karma. When we have the bad karma, supposed we are doctor and we don’t use any equipments, then we start to treat the patients, we will be sure to get it. Because our karma, from the beginningless of the time, we have all the negative karma, we have done pretty much bad things. We get angry, get jealous, envy, ego, greedy, pride… all these things and because controlled by those negative emotions, we have done pretty much enough bad things in our past lives.

To get rid of those karma, there are two ways: either you purify or you experience the result. If you experience the result when you are a human, from one side, you should be happy because now you don’t have to suffer because that karma – In next life maybe we’re born is some animal, maybe it’s much more difficult for us to get rid of that. If we experience the result now, when we are human, we have condition, we know what to do, we know how to care and then we can eliminate that karma.

So, many of the great practitioners, they rejoice, they are happy when they have some sickness, when they have some difficult time, when they are human, because it’s easier to deal with the problem when we are human, any day all of us have the bad karma, so it’s easier to get rid of because we have medicines, we have care and lots of good conditions as a human.

Generally, all the sickness, each and everything that comes along our path, we don’t appreciate or we are not happy with. Any suffering is because of the karma, they all are just conventionally existence, not inherently existence. They all are emptiness – empty of inherently existence. In short, each and every phenomenon, whatever you see, hear, feel, taste or experience, everything is emptiness.

If you have more doubt or anything else regarding emptiness, pile up today, it is very nice, because many of people, they have certain wrong ideas about emptiness, they think that emptiness like “OK nothing exists”, they say the form is empty, no eye, no ear and all these, everything is no like that doesn’t exist. So that is a bit extreme, of course the eye exists, the nose exists. You all say no happiness, no Buddha, then why we need to practice, that is no happiness, then why we have to strive. With that view that is no salary then people will not go and work. Everything exist in a conventional level, not inherently but conventionally. So that is the difference that one should be able to have correct idea of this one.

We say that the eyes, ears, mouth and nose… the boat to samsara, because when we open our eyes, we see things and we get attach. But it is possible to also use all the five senses to practice, it means we use our eyes but instead of going to samsara, on the other way go to nirvana?

We have five senses, we have marvelous human brain, wonderful time, a correct understanding of dharma. It’s like when you have a million dollars, you can use it to all the best things, you can use it to something positive; it is totally in your hand, whether you use something positively or negatively.

So, the human rebirth, it is entirely up to you whether you use it positively or negatively, you have this wonderful, marvelous chance. In many sutras, the human rebirth has been explained as a wonderful boat, the human body is like a boat or a ship, through which you can go out of the samsara, you can literally get to the other shore of nirvana. For example, the physical body, instead of using it towards bringing or earning the wealth, fame, all the mundane things, mundane achievement of this world, if you can use this to practice then it is wonderful opportunity through which you can practice all the good things. The speech, instead of using that speech in all the mundane things, you can use that speech to say prayers, to say mantras, to help others, to advice, to teach. Exactly the same way, the ear consciousness, instead of using it in listening to all the mundane things, listening to other people go shopping or listening to the song and all thing, you can use this ear sense to listen to the teachings, to listen to the advices, to listen to those things which help you to improve and enhance yourself in dharma.

There are lots of wonderful qualities that we have and that we can use in all the positives. Most importantly, our mind is so capable, the human’s intelligence is very capable. Even though it is so capable to think about positive, to think about good things, to think about dharma, in 24 hours, we rarely use it, general people rarely use it toward positive. If you track, even all general persons track one’s mind, it is so ready to think something wrong. Thinking wrong is like running water effortlessly, but thinking positive is more like climbing a mountain, you really need effort, because that’s something you are used to. From the beginningless time, always that beings doing wrong, thinking wrong, doing wrong physically, verbally, mentally. That’s why thinking positive is more like climbing a mountain, while thinking negative, it’s more like water is flowing downward effortlessly.

Nobody can control one’s mind. The one and only person who can treat our mind, one and only person who can control our mind is just oneself. So, that’s why it’s very important to avoid our mind from negativities and direct our mind into positivities. If you definitely be like climbing a mountain, that’s why you are supposed to do, because that is when you can improve yourself, not just for this life, but for many lives, not just for oneself, but for the sake of all sentient beings. If we don’t do now, then the time, opportunities get lesser and lesser. If we don’t try to transform ourselves into better, more positive, then the chance that you have, the time that you have is getting lesser and lesser, because every moment we get closer and closer to our death.

We never know when it happens, but we can sure that we are getting closer and closer logically, doesn’t matter how long we live. It’s more like we are jumping from somewhere sky, we know that we are getting nearer and nearer to a death because when we crash on the ground, the moment we reach the ground, we gonna die. We are just in the space falling towards the earth. Last time there was a piece of thing that was falling from the sky, maybe a satellite or some parts of satellite, I don’t know, so the people literally watching it in the TV or internet, how far it is that it gonna fall. We are exact like that thing in the sky, we are falling, we don’t know when we gonna reach to the ground, maybe after one minute, maybe two minutes, maybe one hour or maybe two hours we are on the way to hit the ground.

Our time is getting lesser and lesser. So, instead of occupying your mind with negativity, instead of engaging in negativity, in saying negativities, thinking or doing negativities, we should try our best, even if just one positive action, we should to do it because that also counts. Maybe our human rebirth that we have now is also because of one positive action, one positive matter, because of this one positive action now, you may have a human rebirth in next life, very much possible. One negative thought, one negative speech, one negative physical action can literally make us blind for the next life. Next life you may be born in a human but you are blind, it’s very possible. So, each and every action, matter count.

In Islam, Sikhism,… they look at like majority, if you have done 51% of positive, then you go to the heaven, 49% doesn’t count. If you have 51 negative and 49 positive actions, the positive doesn’t count.

In Buddhism, everything count, it’s very logically. If you have 51 apple seeds and 49 mango seeds, if you put all in the field, not just 51% of the apple grow also 49 % of mango grow, because that is the seeds, as long as the seeds will grow, when the seed encounters with the condition, it will grow definitely. Each and every action of body, mind and speech count. That’s why we have to be very careful, even if is one negative action, try to avoid, even if is one positive action, even if is one positive thought, try to engage, even if is one negative thought, try to remove it.

Many of the things that we hear, see, feel, we always exaggerate. So, it’s very important to literally check our speech, physical action, what we do in day-to-day life and try to engage as much as possible. Because that’s the only thing that we will be able to carry to the next life. Even in this life, if we’re still very positive, happier, we can literally minimize many of the problems.

Suppose there are two people and there was a flood, the house of both persons is taken away by the flood. The one be stay positive, the other be stay negative. The one be stay positive, he can be calm, he can be happier, he can have the strength to work, to do again, to do this and that. The negative one, he will blame everyone like “because of you, because of this, oh I might…”, he will regret all these, bear all problems in his mind. The one be stay positive has more stand to recover. That one is wasting so much, he’s so hard energy into thinking negativities, this one is still using those energy into negativity, he can like literally start taking step towards positivity, yeah it can happen to anyone.  Not just with this flood, but each and every case, we can exactly use the same thing.

Can you recommend a meditation on emptiness to eliminate the negative state of the mind?

Emptiness of the person ourselves and also emptiness of feeling, emptiness of expectation, emptiness of the relation, emptiness of the happiness. So, these kinds of thing really help if we think about these things like, where are the feeling, life, happiness, relationship, worldly mundane things ? If we see all these things just being projected by mind and if we see that those things don’t exist by the way we perceive, especially expectation from the world or for many things else. This really help, and that’s something I find very effective.

Emptiness is also just a name?

Yes, emptiness is also merely imputed by mind, emptiness is also not something that exists by its own, emptiness is also something that our mind projects, so emptiness also doesn’t exist by its own. You have to have a base on which you project emptiness, for example, if there is nothing, then there is no emptiness of flower in the sky, because the flower in the sky doesn’t exist.

When I say ‘everything’ is been projected by mind, emptiness also includes in that ‘everything’, because emptiness exists, we even have misunderstanding about emptiness, when we think about emptiness, we think as emptiness exists by its own, but that’s not true. Emptiness also doesn’t exist by its own without imputed by mind or conceptual thought.

This is the topic that Buddha said, nobody is ready to understand. When Buddha became Buddha, Buddha sat 49 days without teaching. Buddha sat and realized the truth. Truth likes nectar, nectar likes truth. “Nobody will be able to understand even if I teach, so for instance, I will just sit here in the forest”, by saying that, Buddha waited for like 49 days to keep a teaching because as Buddha said, nobody will understands, nobody wait there to understand. So, when you call ‘Buddha, Dharma and Sangha’ or call ‘Sangha’, many people misunderstand that, the Sanga means ‘the monk’, that’s not true. Sangha means those beings who understand this emptiness very clearly. Whoever understands the emptiness very clearly, he becomes Sangha, then he will be able to explain Buddha teachings, he will be able to be the guide who can guide beings when Buddha is not around. So, he is the object of refuge on ‘Buddha, Dharma and Sangha’, so he’s like a nurse, when the doctor is not around, nurse will know what to do and how to take care of patient. So similarly, when Buddha is not around, those person who understand this emptiness clearly will be able to help, otherwise they themselves are in illusion, how they can help others. It’s more like somebody just be there, try to work as a nurse, you gonna have medical background, certain understanding. So similarly those beings, doesn’t matter whether is a monk or not or a nun or not, are called sangha to which we are supposed to take refuge, who understand this emptiness clearly.

I really don’t know how you say and how you got, but it’s really fun, and I enjoy very much if  saying this point. Maybe the examples and stories I said may be out of your head, let’s see. But I would really request all of you to think about those. I’ve been very careful with the words that I use and the way I explain, and also the stories very much all along with what I said, I’m looking forward to have any question, because that’s only way you can clarify and try to know it better and better, even if you have a glimpse of it, you will literally make fun of the suffering. In the life, there would be lot of pain and problem and unpleasant things, you will see those as a fun, you will be able to make fun of those difficult time, then you will be able to control. You just need a little bit of practice, that’s all.

When you can literally project and create through mind, you can create happiness even you are or have to stay in a prison, through the mind you can literally live a luxury life, otherwise, you live in a suffering if you don’t train your mind. So this is why Buddha said that ‘Don’t engage in any negative action, engage in all the possible virtue, subdue your own mind, this is the teachings of Buddhas’. The reason why we need to subdue our mind is because we create all the sufferings from our mind. We create all the problems, all the negative emotions from our mind: doubt, anger, jealousy, ego, greedy, like all of those things which hurt. So, you have to subdue that mind, control that mind, and overall the misunderstanding and ignorance, it creates everything, it acts as a cause of all the problems. Subdue your mind, when you understand the emptiness that’s when you be able to cut all the causes of the sufferings and problems in this life.

So we exist just because of causes and conditions, but at the same time, we exist because of the projection of mind, so how is the link between these two?

When we look at ourselves, when we think about ourselves, from one glance we feel that we are not been created by causes and conditions, when we look at a certain thing we see it is as a permanence. That’s why many people feel so difficult to face the change, because in their mind, they see as it is permanent, as it has to be the same, so this is why it is really difficult in all the break-up, because we project, we think, we expect as the thing should go the way it is forever. That’s why some people like literally to hold the wealth as they gonna live forever, what misunderstanding that our mind creates is the thing doesn’t change, thing has to be the way it is.

A small monk came from Tibet when he was very small as four-five, the monk came here. About 20 years, the monk doesn’t meet with the mother, so in the mother’s mind, it is like “oh, the small kid, my small, nice looking, chubby kid”. The mother came here to visit after 20 years, so the mother is meeting the boy after 20 years, Lobsang is his name. So when the mother came here, the boy is not four years only anymore, the boy is huge big, much taller than mother, it is been 20 years, now he is around 24, 25 or more, so when the mother came here, the mother was shock, mother doesn’t have any feeling. So people asked when the mother went back to the Tibet like: “Are you happy, how was it, are you happy when you met your kid?” Then mother saying in the whole words “I gonna go, I gonna meet my son”. The mother so disappoints, so mother hasn’t had  that close feeling toward the kid, in the mother’s mind it sticks a small, nice looking baby, a chubby kid, it is not anymore, it’s grown up as his father. So the mother went back to the Tibet, what she said to the friends? She said “I don’t know that is my son or not, but people then say Lobsang, it means people call him by the name of my son, but I don’t know that is my son?”

You see the mind expects as thing exist by its own, that is why when we break something that we really like, it hurts us. It shouldn’t hurt us, it is a nature, this is the way things are, it falls apart all the time, but our mind will not able to accept it. Yes, we are created by causes and conditions but we see as it is there independent without dependent cause and effect including ourselves. That’s why we have so much attachment to our body and think “ah, this is my body”. Think carefully, the body that you think ‘that’s my body’ is not your one, it is actually when the white and the red blood of our parents meet together, so that white and red blood is the cause of body, so that is not originally our body, so the body we think that is our body not actually originally our body.

We are so much attachment, ‘it is my body’, ‘I’, so what you mean by ‘I’? That ‘I’ that you think that through this body, it is a part of your parents. The mind, when we think about thing, if we think it’s independent, but it is not independent, it is just been created, the mind we see this as independence, is not real, is not true, it is all interdependence. So that’s why interdependence is definition of emptiness

The mango tree if it grows from a graft, it can give fruits faster than from a seed, although its life will be shorter. How can we apply for getting fruit faster in meditation? All the pros and cons are?

The way to get the fruit in meditation faster is when we have a nice teacher, nice guide, good condition, little bit of hard work, little diligence to get rid of these three laziness, so these are some of the ways of grafting to achieve the fruit of happiness, calm, peace, harmony, compassion,  contentment, satisfaction in our mind, in our heart, in our life. 

Our emotionslike anxiety, fear, stress… how to analyze, to break them down and to find their illusion like nature.
Why do we cry and what does it mean when we cry? 

When we have such emotions like anxiety, fear and some strong emotions, try to find where those emotions are and whether you feel such an emotion in some other situation, whether you feel such an emotion or  when it is with some other people, as I said, when the anxiety, anger, jealousy, envy, ego, fear, stress all these things have lots of exaggeration, so try to calm the mind and try to analyze it. 

And also the reason why we cry is surely because of this emotion, the one of the positive reasons why we cry is because of love and compassion. There is something very positive and also when we feel like crying very strongly within our mind, the tears rolling out of the eyes is just a way of expressing, that just the way to bring out the emotion that you have in your mind. But the emotion itself if it is positive, because of some positive emotions like love or compassion, this and that, then it is very good, but then we should use that force into solving it. If you think that person is so suffering, that sentient being or the poor animal is so suffering, if we’re crying, we have cried because of that, then we should make sure that when we have such a strong energy, very strong emotion which makes us cry, we should make sure it is very a perfect time to make some commitment to do something for those animals. There are two kind of people, who just cry and wait, but  there are people who cry and makes them stronger and do things for others. 

If it is the negative emotions, it can be any negative emotion, it can be like fear, it can be like axiety, depression, stress or suffering or a pain of separating from things that you wish to be or wish to achieve, not getting things that we wish, like this is how in the case of the small baby infants, they often cry when they don’t get what they want. But if it happened to us, then we should try our best to use that force into something very positive. 

I know someone who say that in her college many people get jealous on her, earlier she used to cry, cry and cry. Now when she encountered with such a situation situation where others are bullying her, others are making fun of her, others are getting jealous of her, she go to her room, close the room and read certain book, makes a limit level “OK, I’m going to read like hundred pages”.  

So it’s more like you are literally transforming that strong emotion and energy into building oneself, enhancing one’s knowledge, and then when you read like 40-50 pages, you have to go through a lot of meanings and there is also very good for you to distract.

If the sky is permanent doesn’t makecontradict impermanence? 

Here the permanence is something that doesn’t change by the cause and condition, impermanence is something that is changed by its causes. So impermanence has to be something which momentarily change so each and everything that we see with our eyes change everything, change all the times. Yes, the dust particles in the sky change all the time, the winds in the sky change all the time, but the sky itself never change, it was prominently there. But, of course, there is a very tiny classification that we have to make here, like there are things that people say and then people think, and then there’s a reality, for example, when we look at the dog, we see that “Oh, I can see a dog” then what you really see is the color and the shape of the dog.

If somebody say is the color and the shape that you see is what it really is, so is the color and the shape is really a dog? If the dog is color, the color of the dog is the dog? the shape of the dog is the dog? then no, the color of the dog is not a dog, the shape of the dog is not a dog. But still, people say that “We see the dog when we see the color and the shape of the dog”. So the same logic over here as well that when we look at the sky, we see something like some colors or this is exactly like when we look at the water, we see blue. But is there any color in there? No, it is just a reflection of the sky, isn’t it? 

So when we look at the sky, if there is no dust or if there is nothing out there, then we will see nothing. So we might see that sky has changed this and that  like that clouds might change. And in that sense, cloud is impermanent but not the sky. There was a good question. 

How is the one who is unequaled enlightenment? Hinayanacould get Buddhahood, not through Boddhisattva path?

There’s no way that unequalled achievement of the Hinayana whether Hearer’s path or the Solitary Realizer’s path, so there is no way that they can achieve enlightenment, the full enlightenment, the state of Buddhahood, unless they practice the path of Bodhisattva, they have  to go through these five paths by path of accumulation, preparation, seeing, meditation. That’s when they can achieve the Buddhahood, that’s why it says ‘GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE to achieve BODHI’. 

So we must go through this four point. And are we on the first level? No, we are not on the first level because we gotta have Boddhicitta, the genuine Bodhicitta, that’s when one enter in the first path, then slowly, slowly, the one achieves the special insight or emptiness, that’s when one achieves the path of preparation. 

When one see the emptiness really directly without any generality, without really relying on the conceptual thought, then one achieve the path of seeing because that’s when  you see the emptiness directly. When you have seen emptiness, you have to train again and again, that is a path of meditation, then you achieve Buddhahood. 

Dependent origination or interdependence has three layers, so which layers are there?

The gross, the subtle and then the more subtle interdependence. The gross is that the tree grows from the seed, we grow from our mother. The subtle is the parts. The most subtle has to go through the emptiness. 

Please save Buddhism in India. 

Yes, that’s what I would say and also Buddhism can be saved everywhere for the benefit of beings or to bring peace and happiness. Then each and everyone has a little bit of responsibility, I’ll try my best to play my role to reach Buddhism to those who wish to understand, who wish to practice.

When in Mahayana/ Vajrayana we want Nirvana but also to be reborn in a pure land through Bodhicitta, would that be a final destination or will the cycles of rebirth continue to happen after that?

Yes, even if you’re born in some pure land, that doesn’t guarantee that you will be there forever. If you wish to be born in pure land, it’s okay, but you go to practice from right now so that you can continue this practice even in pure land, that is something nice. But, even if you’re born in a pure land and you practice, there are time that you would go back over here in this world, because there are some realizations which you will not be able to develop in the pure land.

I would say that practicing Bodhicitta can also be a perfect cause to be born in a pure land, because to be born in pure land, you got have a very strong positive merits and nothing is better. To accumulate huge merits in a very less time in an easy way. I don’t think there is a better way to accumulate very strong merits in very easy way or very quick way than practicing Bodhicitta. So, if you practice Bodhicitta, each and every breath that you take with that motivation to achieve enlightenment becomes a huge merit than a million of person may not be able to practice and accumulate that sort of merits which is why I said that having a class today on the Bodhicitta is wonderful, so tomorrow you can think of it, doesn’t matter whatever you’re doing, whatever you’re eating, drinking, you’re walking or you’re cooking you can do that with the motivation to achieve enlightenment. If you’re drinking something you have this motivation to achieve enlightenment, there are many beings who are within our body, so we are drinking also for them, eating also for them. You’re cooking something for somebody or you, you can think “I’m happy, I’m cooking myself or I’m cooking for my family or friends so that they can have a healthy body, that so they can use their body to achieve enlightenment”.

We have 6 different minds from 5 sense consciousness and one mental consciousness, so from what we can have the emotions and how these minds can pilot such emotions. For instance, we see a cow, we have eye consciousness, so why it generates the thinking of “oh the cow is so nice” and the love toward the cow?

If you talk about ‘emotion’ like feeling is different, yes even emotion like for example like attachment, so forth. You can have attachment along with eye consciousness, at the same time, you can have attachment along with ear consciousness or mental consciousness.

Yes, because of your past habituation and your past karma with that object. It’s more like we grasp and attach to the such phenomena and we look, see, hear, taste or think, and that second remind which is like an emotion such as anger, jealousy, envy, ego or attachment, whatever it is. That just naturally go along with this because of our past habituation or past different karma.

Even I do not think of the next life, it still would come one day, so it is better that I neglect what would happen in next life?

Yes, even if you don’t think of the next life, it will come one day. So it better to do something instead of neglecting it. All the kids grow into adult, so it’s better to go and study, because the adulthood gonna come anyway, regardless you believe or not, you gonna grow bigger. When you grow bigger, you need to have career, work, knowledge and all these things, so it’s better that the kid study, instead of neglecting it because that gonna come. So, you’re better to prepare for it. If you have to jump from an aeroplane you’re better to prepare a parachute! Because neglecting it would be a big dangerous, because you gonna go there.

How can one know that he himself has achieved Bodhicitta? Is there any sign/ way that we can surely know a person has achieved Bodhicitta?

If his mind desire enlightenment so strong as a person in the darkest prison wish to get rid of that prison. A person who ready wishes to achieve Bodhicitta, then whatever he or she does, the mind that wish to achieve enlightenment always be there. If you are in a nice party then you forget that party for a few seconds or few minutes, it means that you’re still in the work hard because the person in a prison, even he has a nice dream over there, the mind that wish to be get rid of that suffering or that prison is always active.

One person when achieve Bodhicitta or great compassion, there are many signs: you can see beings suffering, you would have, maybe, tears in your eyes, the voice changed… These are some of the physical signs which happen at once, maybe, when something happen, the person with a bit emotions in some sense, and these signs continue in the person for about many years, it means that the person might achieve Bodhicitta or compassion.

So himself by checking the mind, others know him by some physical signs, not just for one time, two times or three times, but the physical signs appear to be existent in the person for very longtime then you might think that person might achieve something like that./.

There is this mindset: There is nothing to renounce because Samsara and Nirvana are the same. Sometimes, when we (student practitioners) in the state of pure joy, like being in the nature, we seem to feel that’s true (no separation between Samsara/ Nirvana). How do we know if what we think is not another trick of the ego?

Yes, there are some levels of happiness that you can achieve in this life. As I said, if you start to feel these, this is like a distraction to achieve something bigger. Some parents, when they don’t want to give a kid something bigger, the parents try to give a kid more candy to distract the kid’s attention. So it’s exactly also the Samsara and Nirvana. But Nirvana is not a place, it is a state of mind when the mind is free from all the negative emotions, completely free (eradicate completely), that state is called Nirvana. Samsara is our all five aggregates, our body, our mind… these are samsara. As long as we have this, there is no peace. We have such a body that give problems all the time, we take care of it, at the end, what it does? It gives pain. We do our best for ourselves then it does what? It is our all mind: anger, jealousy, envy, ego, pride, greed. There is nothing out there which give us pain, if these things are not there.

Many people tried to hurt Buddha, but Buddha didn’t get hurt. Because if you don’t have those emotions, if you don’t have ego, if you have love toward others, then doesn’t matter, whatever others say. If you don’t have such an expectation, for example, if you know that someone is crazy, and that person says a bad word to you that you are crazy, you will not get hurt. But if your friend says that you are crazy, it may hurt a lot. So, it is not what people said to you, it is you! You don’t expect that from your friend, so it hurts you. With the person who is crazy, you don’t expect anything good from him, so whatever he says doesn’t matter to you. Exactly the same for Buddha, doesn’t matter how bad they tried to come out with, doesn’t matter how bad people said about Buddha, they tried to do against Buddha, they tried to kill Buddha… but Buddha always had love and compassion towards them. And Buddha didn’t get hurt from those things. So it is not out there, it’s you, it’s in you.

As long as you have that sort of mind, as long as you have this impure body, you cannot avoid sufferings. Like the difficult times, or the pain, sickness and the death, something that one has to go through, as long as you have this body and mind, you have to go all those things unless you achieve enlightenment, unless you achieve Nirvana.

So, Samsara and Nirvana is totally two different sides. A certain nice feeling or blissful feeling is not Nirvana at all. When you have a nice time, it’s more like a clear water on the top; when nothing happens, when there is not much of movement, the dust goes below the glass, so the dusts on the ground, and you can see clear water on the top; that doesn’t mean you don’t have those dusts inside, the dusts is there. So, Nirvana means that water completely absent, completely separated from the dust. Now, you might see very clean on the top – you are not angry, “ah I’m having a nice time”,

you’re gonna feel a nice, a clean water or a sort of Nirvana – a blissful state, but remember, at that time, if somebody comes throwing a stone on you, it’s exactly like you throw a stone on that water, the dusts at the below start to rise and turn the whole water, exactly the same when somebody throw a stone on you, then you get angry, where you go? No more peace. No more happiness. That’s why Samsara and Nirvana is absolutely different, just the opposite sides, the one with suffering, the one without suffering; the one with negative emotions, the one without negative emotions.

Lama, likely there is no many people going in the path of Buddhahood, while there are many crowds in the path to the pleasure of this life or next life. What we could do? We can see their ambition is increasing and causing the troubles in the world nowadays.

Yes, it’s very true. This is a reason why everyone is still in Samsara. Therefore we have been doing wrong things, wrong things, wrong conception, misconception; so, we come to the samsara again and again, otherwise, we could be offspring of Buddha long ago. But we should think that we are very lucky to be able to have these teachings of Buddha, to have this faith towards these teachings, and to have ability to check if the teachings are verity.

So, by understanding those things, we should try our best to practice, it’s not like we will be able to force others, even think about such things. We practice and then try to express as much as we can, so that others also can be happy. If you don’t practice, there is no way you can share to others. To practice, you need to know first so that you know what is the thing you suppose to practice.

When Buddha became Buddha, he waited for 49 days. For 49 days Buddha didn’t give any teaching, because Buddha knew this not suitable for number four students, no one is suitable, no one is ready. Then After 49 days Buddha saw that now five students are ready. So, he gave teachings to the five students, these five students share to another, then another, then another. That teachings which were been giving 5 students now 5 millions, more people know the teachings.

So now, one person; I know, I am one person. I received those teachings from my teacher. From this one person, it goes to five, ten people; then from ten people it can go to many more in future, then, one day we can reach to the whole world. Because every tree contributes to avoid the crisis related to global warming, every tree cut contributes to prolong the disaster caused by global warming, every tree that we cut as a condition, as a cause of global warming. So every single thing matters, for example, if I die, the human being in this world become lesser. Always there is the birth of human but if I die, one less, infinite minus one is also infinite but it is lesser, a million minus one it’s not million anymore. So one person changes, the world becoming better; if two persons become better

tomorrow, the world’s becoming better. If one person becomes terrorist tomorrow, the world becomes worse than yesterday. So, each and everyone of you make it, you know Dharma, if you know what we have gone through today, I’m extremely happy.

With the five aggregates, likely it will start with the form, for instance, with the eyes we see someone, then we have the feeling, then discrimination,.. finally consciousness? 

Yes, you’re right, that’s right, so not just the eyes, but ears, because as I said, here the form doesn’t just mean the thing that you can see from the eyes, but here the form is the object of the five senses. And also, even with a blind, the eyes may not work, but the five other senses work or eyes may not work, but then he  can create a form in his mind, he imagines some forms in his mind, so even if the eyes don’t see, he can still have the form visualizing in his mind, I’ll have to ask the blind. 

It is very difficult because your eyes can see only color and shape, there’s nothing that eyes can see if it is not a color, if it is not a shape, then the eyes simply cannot see. So a person blind from a birth, he never have seen a color, he never seen a shape. The shape maybe you can understand by your hands perhaps, and then you can visualize a shape in your mind, but the color, I don’t know. Like to someone who never see a color, how would you explain color? I don’t know. Ah that’s a very good question, next time, I’ll try to know.

A wisdom giving without attachment becomes ?

Oh, yes, when you offer something, according to Buddhism, when you are practicing generosity, you should practice without being attached to what you were given, because generosity is not the action of giving. There is dāna pāramitā, dāna is more like the generosity, in Buddhism is the mind which wish to give, so if you are attached to a thing that you are giving, then it’s not a good practice of generosity. You and the motivation depends if your mind, a practitioner, you think that it is entirely for the sake of others. And without attaching to the thing that you are giving, so then it is a wonderful practice, it is exactly how it should be.

If I engage in charity for other beings with the purpose of practicing the six paramitas, can these personal goal to achieve them becomes an obstacle to become enlightenmentThe Six perfection sequence can’t change, right?

Ah a good, good question!

When you practice, for example, generosity in forms of charity or however it is,  no, it help others and also like this is what I’ve seen, and from Buddhist psychological point of view, I would say that if you practice generosity towards someone, it leaves a very strong imprint to practice generosity in that person. So it’s very much likely that the person will also practice generosity. So in a way you’re giving a thing, at the same time you also showing something, the act of kindness and when that person have something in future, that person will also show the kindness to others. It is very much possible, that’s how the mindset works.

Like if you get angry and you have a small kid with you and then you always get angry, it also leaves a strong imprint in the kid and then in the future, the kid also might get angry. If a person fight with one’s mother and if the kid see that and then it’s very much likely that the kid will hold, the kid will also fight with the person when the kid grows older. That’s how the mind works and also to show love and generosity, to be kind to kids is very important because that’s when they learn, and so it helps others.

So the sequence of paramita can it be changed?

You can focus more on morality and then when you practice morality, you can practice all the rest of others in the morality. When you practice diligence, also said that the same thing. I mean, among these six paramitas, you can practice anyone which you feel comfortable, which you want. It depends, if a person has a very bad habit of saying something bad or doing something bad or thinking something bad, maybe the practice of morality work first. Or if a person is very much disturbed, and then tickles mind or like can’t stop thinking about lot of things which is not really necessary,  maybe you can work on perfection of concentration.

If you are too kind and compassionate, but at the same time you encounter with many troubles, even if you are being compassionate and loving, then maybe you should practice a perfection of wisdom.

If you are super lazy, all you think of is sleeping or drink something which is not towards what you really want to achieve and then maybe practice of diligence is something that works more.

So it depends on individual, but as I said at the end of the day, you have to perfect, you have to reach these six practices to the perfection or to that paramita, then you will achieve enlightenment, then you will be able to help all sentient beings.

Imagine how like literally from my perspective, I think that Buddha is, one sun that we see every day, for me another sun is Buddha. Like the sun eliminates many issues like cold and any dirt, everything that grows on the earth is also because of the sun, nowadays maybe through technology, you might be able to grow some vegetables, I don’t know how healthy they are, but like every single thing that grows on this earth is because of the sun. Imagine like no food will be there if there is no sun.

Scientists say that the reason why there is no dinosaur now noticed because the sunlight couldn’t reach to the earth for like few 2-3 years because of all the dirts that comes out. When something falling down on the earth, I don’t know what that is called, this is how it is.

The sun, I was telling that the sun is one light, for me Buddha is another sun and Buddha may not help to grow many trees, but Buddha definitely helps to grow love and compassion within ourselves, and that changes the whole world. For me each and every happiness, peace, contentment comes from Buddha. Because through his knowledge I can see, even through some very difficult situation, I can find myself dealing with it very nicely without any issues.

I mean when I see that I’m even able to help others when they are having some issues, at the same time, even if I’m having issue much more serious than another person. Literally it’s more like minimizing or dominating my own issue or not even thinking about my own issue, even if the other person is much, much lesser issue, I am able to be there to help the person to get rid of the smaller issue, even showing the bigger issue that I might be going through in some sense.

So I think that’s trend, is also something that I see,  I appreciate Buddha and also the mindfulness meditation, all these things eventually come from Buddha. So might be practitioners are supposed to work towards that. And you maybe in some difficult situation sometimes, but then the satisfaction brings to entirely love for others, even if you are studying, wake up, sleep,  everything for others. You have to sleep because if you don’t sleep, you won’t have a good health and then you won’t be able to do much for others, that level of sleep is different.

During this pandemic I get so much angry on small things. So what should I do in this situation? Because sometimes I get angry for no reason.

So I would say meditation is a wonderful thing because you don’t need any other reasons to get angry. Anger is something that you generate fitting yourself when there is something imbalanced in your mind and that can be caused by internal factors as well as outer factors, but if you think that there is nothing happened, but I still feel a bit angry and this and that, then maybe meditation will be very effective, especially it can be concentration meditation for a quick or meditation on love, compassion, maybe meditation on self love by reflecting on one’s own positive qualities.

Sometimes when I meditate I think about some funny moments in my life. How can I stop that? It makes me laugh sometimes?

Generally, it depends on why a person meditate. If you wish to find some instant peace, happiness, love, maybe you can think about some instant funny moments. But it very much depends on what kind of meditation that you are meditating if you are meditating on concentration like an aim, and also meditation is a tool to apply the antidotes. Meditation is a tool with which you can apply the antidotes like love, compassion, understanding, patience, generosity, morality, wisdom; analytical meditation abilities are all these things. So if you are meditating to reduce the stress, anxiety, depression, anger, jealousy and ego, pride, these things, you gotta make sure that you don’t distract to other things than those antidotes, because there is the thing that will help us to do this, but generally it is no wrong in contemplating on funny moments, it’s more like we watch a funny video or we listen to some funny jokes and of course it brings instant peace and happiness to just generate a nice time. Yeah, there is also OK, not an issue.

In thequantum physics, the observer cannot be separated from object. Observer cannot separate it from object. That is really interesting and very similar to Buddhism.

Yeah, that’s very true. In Buddhists, there are like 4 different schools: The Great Exposition School, The Sutra School, The Mind Only School, and The Middle Way School. According to The Mind Only School you cannot separate the eye and the form. Form is one entity with the eyes, so it is just there is nothing outside, it is just in your eyes. For example, you’re sleeping and you’re having a dream, you can still see one hundred elephants in your small room which is not possible, there’s no hundred elephants in the room, but that might appear to your mind. In dreams it can be many funny things which may not exist, but everything has appeared  to the eye consciousness, but that is not real, not true. So Mind Only School says that it is exactly like dreams, there is no car or tree out there, it is just one entity of the mind. This is one entity of the eye consciousness, so the observer or the consciousness is not other than, there is no consciousness, there is no form which is different entity with the consciousness.  

Is emptiness similar to nothingness? Can you explain more of form and formless? 

Very different. You might find some people explaining emptiness as pretty much nothing else, but that is a huge confusion in there, huge difference, nothingness and emptiness. Nothingness, if I understand the word nothingness that it sounds like thing doesn’t exist at all, in that sense, form is not nothingness because form exist. But form is emptiness  which means that form exists, but it doesn’t exist the way it appears to our mind. Let’s see colours exist, ah we discussed about this last time that there are some animals who don’t see lot of colors, they’re like color blind so all they see is like maybe white and black and I don’t know if they see that sort of the four colors, but they can’t see lot of colors. So if somebody asked if color really exists by its own, there is a big question. No, it is all in the eyes, not out there. The color doesn’t exist by its own, so it is just in the eyes. It is just projected by the eyes which see it. So the eyes which project different colors can see different colors, the eyes which don’t project different color, don’t see different colors.

So form and emptiness are two sides of the coin?

Yes, form and emptiness  like you cannot separate form from emptiness and emptiness from form. What we see is projected by our mind and what we projected by our mind is what we see. Form is what we project by our mind and what we project our mind is the form. This is interesting and through the quantum physics maybe it can be a bit more clear. Trying to think about what quantum physicists say, and then it is lot easier, it is more like we get one closer emptiness, well, the thing about the illusion, thing about the magician and these things will really help us to get closer and to understand it closer.

Could we say that the Buddha nature is also empty? 

Yes, everything, Buddha, Buddha nature, sutra, emptiness itself, is also emptiness, everything. Each and everything is being projected by our mind, but the problem that we see as it is  interdependent, we see as it exists by itself without depending on mind, inherently exist, so that is what we are mistaken with. Oh, that was really nice question. Thank you. 

And also when we understand interdependence then we can understand emptiness?

Yes, if we are able to understand the most subtle interdependence then we already understood that emptiness. So, dependent origination or interdependence has three layers, when we realize the most subtle one, we have to go through emptiness. 

There is the time we realize emptiness?

Yes, interdependence is the definition of emptiness, without thinking interdependence, there is no way that one can realize emptiness.

Can we say that kindness is kind of a manifestation of the Buddhahood?

 I would say that everybody has the kindness within themselves, doesn’t matter it is big or small. The kindness is something that everyone has in their heart. So that kindness is possible, it is, the kindness, there because we have the nature of Buddha, we have the capability to enhance and increase and progress our mind to the mind of Buddha. So, all the negative emotions -selfishness and stinginess, these two are the real counterpart of the kindness. When the kindness activates, the selfishness and stinginess go down. So these two are not the nature of our mind. The nature of our mind is pure, free from any negative emotion, free from all the afflicting emotions, so the kindness is one of the real of our mind. Because we have the Buddha nature, kindness is possible.