Daily Archives: October 30, 2017

An Introduction to Ngöndro Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche

The Power of Perception
To understand vajrayana, know that we are talking about perception.
What is meant by the “complete” nature of perception? What makes a sound or thought
“whole”? Are they merely what you imagine them to be, or is there more to it? A very
traditional analogy is this: When someone comes to you with a complaint, are you able to
really appreciate the whole story whether you like that person or not? A wise person will
listen to the whole story and give an unbiased judgment in the situation. Any judgment based merely on appearances is an ignorantly made judgment, and any decision
will be very biased or partial. This example applies to the habitual ways we relate to everything we see, hear, and think.
Our judgments and opinions about appearances are very powerful, in that they become
causes that bring about effects. The karma we create builds a sphere of experience for
ourselves and for the world at large. Karma is propelled by our opinions and judgments, and when those opinions and judgments are not sane, they bring about negative karma.
No one intends to create negative karma. But a mind that does not perceive things sanely, or wholly, churns out unending amounts of karma. And karma dominated by ego’s biased views, preferences, and conveniences becomes negative karma simply by not seeing things clearly and completely.
An Introduction to Ngöndro
Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche

Vajrayana and the Mahayana View

The Mahayana emphasizes the need to understand the complete nature of all phenomena. It is a view of “wholeness.” Ordinarily, the mind merely connects with appearances: the appearance of forms, sounds, thoughts, feelings, and so on. We then make assumptions based on how things appear, how they sound, how they feel. This is a very subtle moment: this moment of grasping at some impression, clinging to it, and in that grasping and clinging, immediately articulating an assumption.
Simply put: you do not take time to fully understand what you see, hear, think, or feel. Your understanding arises from fleeting moments that can only produce assumptions, all of which are based on what you stand to gain or lose in the moment. This builds up sediments of deluded perception, through which you cannot see things clearly.
It is not the sights, sounds, thoughts, and feelings that are deluded; you
create delusions, through the speed of making biased assumptions. When the mind has no time to open up to the wholeness, or completeness, of appearances, the sediment of delusion settles into “good” and “bad” assumptions. And at that point, every form, sound, thought, and other sensation you relate is dominated by ego’s personal preferences and convenience.

From

An Introduction to Ngöndro
Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche

A Dog for Dinner? By Matthieu Ricard on July 25, 2017

Imagine that you are at a dinner party with friends, and the meat dish is so delicious that you ask your host for the recipe. Your host replies: “Oh that was our dog. You remember Toby? Well, here he is.” Suddenly the meat sticks in your throat and you feel disgusted and deeply troubled.
This situation occurs in South Korea, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and in quite a few other Asian countries. Yes I recently was asked to comment on a petition from South Korea, signed by 15,000 people, to stop this practice. It is estimated that annually 2.5 million dogs and thousands of cats are brutally slaughtered and eaten in South Korea and, throughout Asia, this figure increased to over 30 million.
In certain Asian cultures, dogs are not only eaten, but they are also subjected to terrible cruelties. According to a popular belief, if a dog is tortured before being killed, its meat is tastier. It is not unusual for dogs to be hung up by their hind legs and beaten severely before being cut to pieces and immersed in boiling water while they are still alive. They are sometimes skinned alive. Their skins are removed from the top down, the way a person would take off a piece of clothing.
Investigators from the animal rights organization, One Voice, reported seeing people in a restaurant beating a curled up and moaning dog with a club until it lost consciousness. Then they bled it outside on the sidewalk. Its blood spread under cages bursting with terrorized dogs waiting to undergo the same treatment. If anyone needs convincing, look at the disturbing video I was sent on South Korea’s dog meat industry through the Change.org website : https://www.change.org/p/the-venerable-matthieu-ricard
Dogs that are bred on dog farms live in miserable conditions. In South Korea, dog meat consumption is illegal, but the Government turns a blind eye on these practices. All breeds of dogs are used for meat, including stolen pets and abandoned dogs. They are confined to small, filthy cages, given rotten food and scraps which are unfit for consumption, denied space to exercise, and given no shelter from extreme weather conditions. They cannot even feel the ground beneath their paws as they are confined inside wire cages, raised off the ground.
Dogs are slaughtered in the most brutal and painful methods, often in front of other dogs which watch in fear for their lives. They are beaten, stabbed, hanged, butchered, thrown into pots of boiling water, skinned, electrocuted, or blow torched – often while still alive. A growing number of people in South Korea and China are expressing their disapprove of these inhumane tortures, which have to stop.
Of course, it is not dogs alone that suffer from our cruelty. Compassion should know no boundaries. Calling for an end to barbarian treatment of dogs, baby seals, and whales does not mean that it is fine to tolerate the mass killing of pigs, cows, and chicken. Humans kill six million land animals and 120 million sea animals every hour for their so-called “needs”. That is a lot of animals and a lot killing. In fact, in one week, that makes more killing than all the deaths in all the wars in human history.
It is about time to make a step further towards civilization and extend the circle of our compassion to the 8 million species that are our co-citizens on this planet.

Sparrow House

The function of eye consciousness is only to see visible forms, not to ascertain physical gestures or movements.  However, succeeding mental processes occur so quickly that ordinary people think that they see as if with their real eyes, the movement known by the succeeding mental process of investigation.

For example, when we see a hand moving, our eye-consciousness sees only the visible form.  It is not able to know that it is a hand or that it is moving.  the mind moves very fast, however, so the movement that the succeeding mind of investigation knows is taken to have been seen with the eyes.  Ordinary people can not distinguish between preceding and succeeding mental processes.  On the other hand, a meditator who has practiced insight proficiently can recognize the mental process of seeing visible form as distinct from the subsequent mental processesthat know it as a hand and movement.

The Pali text give the example of a swinging torch to clarify this point.  If a lit torch is twirled in the darkness, it will appear as a solid ring of fire to anyone watching.  If it is swung in a linear or triangualr pattern, then it will appear as a line or a triangle.  In reality, there is no circular, linear or triangular shape to the fire, only the red visible form that can be seen moving from place to place as the fire passes.  In reality, it is the succeeding mental processes that merge the visible forms that appear in different places and interpret them as a circle of fire and so on.  This is the actual example from the Pali texts.

Manual of Insight, Page 95

Mahasi Sayadaw