Dependent Arising – Phakchok Rinpoche message in April 2013 สารจากท่าน พักชก ริมโปเช เมษายน 2556

Dear Friends Near and Far:
 
I hope you’ve all been well and that your dharma practice is flourishing. On 10th April, here at our main monastery in Boudhanath, Kathmandu Chokling Rinpoche kindly began bestowing upon us the empowerments and oral transmissions for Konchok Chidü (The Embodiment of the Precious Ones), a set of blessed treasure teachings focused on Guru Rinpoche that were revealed by the great master Jatsön Nyingpo (1585 – 1656). These empowerments were specially arranged for the lamas and practitioners from all the villages in Nepal, and lamas from more than forty states in Nepal made the journey down to Kathmandu for this precious event. While the five hundred+ guest lamas were seated inside the main shrine hall together with our own monks and nuns, the monastery’s entire front lawn and courtyards were jam-packed with other lamas, monks, nuns, and laypeople who had come to joyfully receive these rare transmissions. The entire event was sponsored by the Foundation, and this included giving lunch to everyone present (1300kg of rice per day!), as well as water throughout the day and afternoon tea. Of course this was a great expense, but it was also a wonderful opportunity to practice generosity, and on top of this it was inspiring as always to witness the relentless generosity, devotion, and gratitude of the Himalayan people, who in spite of being relatively poor made unstinting offerings day after day. We concluded yesterday with a long-life empowerment that was attended by more than 15,000 people, all of whom devotedly queued up in the monastery for six or more hours in order to receive the blessings in spite of the heat, dust, and crowds. At nine pm when everyone had finally received the blessings, I then began the final teaching session for the Nine Yanas retreat which was attended this year by many international students as well as about thirty of our young monks and nuns. 
 
During the Nine Yanas retreat, with teaching sessions crammed in between the intense schedule of empowerments, we talked in detail about the twelve links of dependent arising which are the focus of the Pratyekabuddhas (self-realised buddhas).  The twelve links are an extremely profound teaching, something that all of us practitioners need to reflect on repeatedly. These twelve links are explained in great detail by Buddha Shakyamuni in sutras such as the Rice Sprout Sutra which I would recommend you all to study and contemplate. In particular, we should understand the benefits of understanding the twelve links, which in short are as follows:
 
  • By gaining an understanding of the twelve links of dependent arising, automatically you will become very skilled in practicing the dharma because you now see and know that samsara and your suffering are in fact created by your own ignorance, nothing and no one else. Having understood that you will also know that the ability to relinquish samsara and gain liberation lies in your own hand;
  • You will naturally gain compassion, and not just superficial compassion but an authentic, grounded compassion towards all sentient beings who are trapped and suffering in this cycle of samsara because of not realizing the process and function of the twelve links;
  • You will gain deep-felt trust in the Buddha’s teaching which reveals to us so clearly the path to liberation; and
  • You will gain an understanding of capacity, how causes and conditions give rise to results; for example, how performing certain actions of body and speech (for example, practices such as prostrations, offerings, and supplication) can lead to profound changes in your own mind. 
 
Keeping the swift and powerful blessings of the Lotus-born One, Guru Rinpoche in my heart, I would like to request all of you to keep the points I have mentioned in mind – generosity, devotion, and gratitude, and the twelve links of dependent arising – and to endeavor each and every day to bring them to mind and let them seep deep into your heart.
 
As always, with many prayers and aspirations,
 
Sarva Mangalam,
 
Phakchok Rinpoche 
 
                                                                     www.phakchokrinpoche.org                                                                        www.cglf.org

The Three Gateways to Liberation – Phakchok Rinpoche message in March 2013 สารจากท่าน พักชก ริมโปเช มีนาคม 2556

The Three Gateways to Liberation
The Ground, Emptiness
The Path, Absence of Characteristics
The Fruition, Wishlessness
Dear Friends Near and Far:
I hope you’ve all been happy and healthy. I’m doing very well and at the moment in Kathmandu sitting in our annual Ngakso Drupchen. For today’s Guru Rinpoche Day, I would like to take you back to the roots. With all your varied backgrounds and the different stages you are in your practice, it is sometimes good to refresh yourself of the basics, the essence. And to those of you who are new to the dharma, this should be a good start for you all.
Buddha’s teachings are extremely vast and for that reason we are often left thinking, where to begin? When first entering or inquiring about the Buddha’s teachings, the starting point should be the view since this forms the ground of the practice to follow. When training on the path, the view should be in accord with the capacity of the individual and for this reason Buddha gave a variety of different teachings. The ultimate, essential view that the Buddha taught howeaver is none other than the profound emptiness and this is the first of the three gateways to liberation.
Having ascertained the view, the second step is to put this view into practice on the path. Yet if you do not know how to practice correctly, then your path will go astray. Thus to prevent us from going astray on the path, Buddha taught freedom from grasping and clinging and told his disciples repeatedly to not fabricate. This is the mode in which we should practice on the path; abscence of characteristics.
But what is the result of doing this kind of practice and holding such a view? One needs to know what the result is and not be mistaken about this. To use a simple example, if you are traveling somewhere you need to know the route and you need legs to get you there and eyes so you can see the path. But you also need to know something about the destination and also how will you know when you have arrived? Likewise, the fruition of the Buddha’s path is the collapse of all hope and fear, all notions and concepts; wishlessness.
In this way, the three gateways to liberation contain the essence of the ground, the path, and the fruition of the Buddha’s ultimate teachings. Thus if you can study, contemplate, and practice these correctly, your path will be unmistaken and will lead to perfect enlightenment without a doubt.
For those of you receiving this note and not knowing how or why and wondering what this note is all about. I can atleast answer the what part, and that is, for the last six years, I have been sending notes to my students all over on each GRD to gently remind them to not go completely astray fom the path and remind them of the three jewels and to bring thier mind home for few minutes and to basically take a pause!
Sending you all much love and affection from the Blessed Valley.
Sarva Mangalam,
Phakchok Rinpoche 
                                                                     www.phakchokrinpoche.org                                                                        www.cglf.org