Message from Karma Thinley Rinpoche
Our founder shares his reflections for the holiday season:
Because of the sickness that arrived, this year has been a very difficult time for people. I hope next year will be much better.
As Buddhist Dharma people, Mahayana people, we always think of the Guru, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and remain hopeful. The lama, especially, is very important. Padmasambhava says, ‘If there is no guru then there are no 1000 Buddhas’. This means that each of the one thousand Buddhas needs a teacher. With no guru there will be no Buddha, if there is no Buddha then there is no Dharma. Dharma provides a great variety of teachings to benefit individuals. Lord Buddha taught many levels of Dharma and especially the Mahayana and Vajrayana that we follow.
There are three classes of teachings – the Theravadayana, the Mahayana, and the Vajrayana. Buddha taught the Theravadayana publicly. Then for those people who naturally have great compassion and love he taught the Mahayana. Then to some he taught the very secret Vajrayana, which is very powerful because it can lead to enlightenment in this lifetime even though one may have performed bad karma – even as bad as the limitless sins such as killing one’s mother or father. Milarepa is an example of such achievement. These teachings are not public. They are very secret because not everyone can reach enlightenment in this lifetime. Through the Mahayana practice of helping sentient beings, attaining enlightenment takes such a long time. But even when burdened with the very heavy weight of the worst kind of sin Vajrayana practice leads to enlightenment quickly. Buddha taught this very special Vajrayana path that is called ‘Sang ngag’ in Tibetan [‘Sang’ means ‘secret’, and ‘ngag’ means ‘mantra’]. The Theravadayana and Mahayana and ordinary people don’t understand Vajrayana; therefore for them it is secret.
Anyway, this sickness is making everybody confused or worried, and some sad, but next year I hope everyone can relax. Have a nice Christmas following your tradition of nice ceremonies, of which each country has its own. But be patient. Everything changes, changes, changes … all the time. So try to create compassion and love. Merry Christmas.
Generally, Lo’jong is very good to practice. People work very hard in samsara. For example, people in Nangchen still have to work hard in winter despite the snow and freezing temperatures. No one has time to work hard at dharma practice. So everyone try to do good things and don’t worry if the results of practice do not come quickly. Lord Buddha took five eons to reach full enlightenment. So continue to do your dharma practice, for example you can do the Chenrezig practice of universal compassion, reciting the special heart mantra of Chenrezig, Om Mani Padme Hung, or you can do the mantra of your deity practice. Mantra is very important.
Om Mani Padme Hung has very easy meaning to translate:
OM: means purifying gods, because they also have suffering
MA: means purifying the asura gods, who suffer due to jealousy
NI: means purifying humans, who suffer from birth, old age, sickness, etc.
PAD: (Pay) means purifying animals which suffer from ignorance; seeing each other as food, the big ones eat the small.
ME: (May) means purifying hungry ghosts who suffer from having no clothes, no food, and have to fight without weapons … they have so much suffering
HUNG: means purifying beings whose actions have resulted in experiencing the misery and suffering of the hells.
All the time recite this, or the mantra of other deities.
Reciting the mantra of White Tara is very, very good for everybody:
Om Tare Tu Tare Ture Swaha
Try your best to give rise to love and compassion.
To learn more about Karma Thinley Rinpoche, follow this link.