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About Khentrul Lodro Thay | Photo | His
Khentrul Lodro Thaye
Khentrul Lodro on
Calm Abiding Meditation (from 10/24)
Khentrul Lodro Thaye on
Bodhichitta and Practice 10/25/03 Minneapolis
Any errors are the fault of the note taker, not of the
That which changes our mind is the method, all spiritual
paths/religions. The method protects us from negative
actions or karma. All religions have the same goal of
ultimate happiness. There is only a difference in application;
some are more effective.
The basis is avoiding harming any other beings in speech,
body or mind.
In Tibetan Buddhism the best and fastest path is gradual.
Even a scattered practice can have benefit. But it is
best to follow an order of practice. It is important to
get the key points.
PART I - First develop authentic, pure motivation.
This is the foundation.
Also meet with qualified spiritual friend (teacher).
They can help you throughout the path. Continue to train
in the four thoughts. Continue to work on bodhichitta.
The key points on meditating on Bodhichitta will follow.
Meditate on the emptiness of all phenomena. Understand
emptiness well. Understand our Buddha nature, our own
true nature and the cause of our own enlightenment. How
is the Buddha nature in us? Ask the teacher. The teacher
has special insight into unity and calm abiding.
The teacher is the basis for tantric practice. You only
need one diety practice done well. Maha yoga is engaging
in diety visualization and mantra. Ani yoga works on the
subtle channels. We need to develop timeless awareness
of our own true nature. Our mind goes 100% change. The
teacher does pointing out instruction with us. Need to
do all this before higher practice.
Need to do the ngondro short practice. All the key points
are in 4-5 pages. It is very important to come to an understanding.
Shinatta and vispassana practice takes 2-3 pages. Hear
the teachings, contemplate, and practice. With Dzogchen
the teacher with one word or one gesture, one moment when
you are ready, will cause your understanding and enable
you to see your own nature. There will be rejoicing with
Dharma is practiced through intellectual questioning
If it doesn’t benefit the mind then it is not dharma.
Apply dharma to your mind no matter what lineage. Blend/mix
it with your mainstream practice. We always benefit from
dharma practice. Apply it to our experiences. Negative
experiences will become less and less; if worsens then
it is not dharma practice. Your compassion grows. Look
at your own experience.
The three excellencies – the method to insure perfection
- the beginning – bodhicitta intention
- the middle – indestructible virtue, understanding
- the ending – dedication of merit, this increases
Excellence is embraced by skillful means. It is the motivation
It is best to apply the three excellencies to any practice.
Enlightened intention is bodhicitta. For enlightened attitude
you need to develop Bodhicitta. These conditions are the
flower: Bodhicitta is the beginning or the seed; the middle
is the heat and soil; the end is the flower in full bloom.
Develop Bodhicitta so it becomes your experience. Bodhicitta
is two fold. First see the suffering in all sentient beings.
A compassionate wish is not enough. You need to wish that
they reach complete freedom, that is Buddhahood or enlightment
or the great perfection of wisdom. We develop this through
training, until it becomes our continual experience. We
need to develop this to the best of our ability. Pretend
until it becomes our experience. Enlightenment only comes
with Bodhicitta. The entire path and enlightenment has
Bodhicitta at our core. Before prostration or any practice,
The three virtuous motivations:
Bodhicitta is wanting all beings to reach enlightenment.
Never thinking about our own benefit. Only thinking of others,
never worrying about ourselves.
- engage in practice in order that I may have temporary
relief from suffering
- free from all existence for myself alone
- free all beings from suffering
Analytical mind training
Primarily looks at motivation. To create the causes for
happiness by virtue. Negative intentions and actions,
such as anger towards others, are adverse to our own happiness.
Negative intention hurts others and ourselves. Need to
reverse the mind, look out and benefit others. Turn the
mind inside out. We’ve been searching for happiness.
We’ve mistaken the path. Change to the honest path;
get rid of the degenerate path through practicing the
Four Immeasureables: equanimity, loving kindness, compassion,
Equanimity for all sentient beings. All beings have attachments
and aversions/anger in their mindstream . We have attachment
to our family and anger towards others. This is our bias.
We need to loose this. It is a very narrow scope. We need
to see that all beings have this bias. “May all
beings be free of attachments and aversions.” Meditate
on this, cultivate this again and again. Start with one
person, recognize they have a bias. Say:
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they were free from
attachment and aversions.
May they be free from attachment and aversions.
May I help them to be free of attachments and aversions.
I will pray to the three jewels so that all beings will
be free from attachments and aversions.
When bias starts falling away then work on the second
Loving kindness for all sentient beings who have not
found happiness. May all sentient beings find happiness.
Start with someone we love, make a wish for them. Then
your whole family, your friends, and friends with no connection.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they find happiness.
May they find happiness.
May I help them find happiness.
I supplicate the three jewels that they find happiness.
Compassion. Recognize that all sentient beings are suffering.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all beings were free
I wish that they be free from suffering.
May I help them to be free from suffering.
I supplicate the three jewels that they be free from suffering.
Joy is rejoicing in other’s happiness even though
it may be temporary and brief.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all beings were never
separated from their
I wish that they never be separated from their happiness.
May I help them to be never separated from their happiness.
I supplicate the three jewels that they never be separated
Do one Immeasureable prayer a day. Work up to doing it for
all beings without exception.
We want a kind hearted attitude. This cannot be bought;
not through bombs, quarrels, pain, terror, nor war.
This is difficult.
Through beginning-less time
We have been habituated
Only thinking of ourselves
More rare than finding a precious dharma jewel
Source of all happiness and peace
Train this mind
Over and over.
Think what if would be like if all beings cultivated
this right at this moment.
PART II – Main part, the non-referential
middle, action, engagement
Recognize grasping and fixating on all phenomena as real;
this is a mistaken perception. All confusion arises here.
The outer universe, beings, sensory experiences etc. are
just like the universe in our dreams. The habitual patterns
of the mind creat our daily experiences. This is an optical
illusion like a reflection on water; not true existence.
Study logic. Contemplate emptiness. Engage in virtuous
activity. We hold to three spheres of self, others, and
action. But, this does not exist. When doing prostrations,
PART III – Dedicate the merit.
Doing this for a gathering of wealth/merit in the future.
We make it inexhaustible by giving it to others. Merit
is illusory, beings are illusory.
Just as all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the past engaged
in virtue and
dedicated the merit to all beings, then, so too I following
in their foot steps
dedicate all this merit to all beings so they can be enlightened.
Example: Imagine you say mantras.
First cultivate Bodhicitta.
In order that all beings be free of suffering and keep
I will say the mantra.
The mantra is a dream, both the sayer and the recipient
Then dedicate the merit.
from Khentrul Lodro Thaye's Teaching on Calm Abiding
Calm Abiding meditation is the swift way. It is one point
focus meditation that helps one accomplish one's practice.
First you must establish the basis...kind intention. You
must cultivate this. Work with your intention which is
your motivation. Anger, jealousy, and pride are obstacles;
they are negative intentions. Move away from negative
intentions. Develop a noble attitude. Your mind wishes
all beings to be free from suffering and all beings to
be happy. Usually we have kind intentions towards our
family and those who help us. All others we have neutral
or negative intentions towards. Embrace all beings equally.
Each and every one of us and insects too, we are all exactly
the same. We all have the same wish. We need to embrace
them all with our mind. With our speech, we need to not
use careless speech. With our bodies do no physical harm.
Do this in our ordinary lives and in practice. All happiness
in the world is the result of kindness.
Now, physically remove yourself to a quiet place. Your
mind and body need quietude. In a whole day your mind
keeps being distracted; your mind is irritated all day.
The mind is distracted by the whole world and our lives.
Allowing the mind to settle into peace is peaceful abiding.
The mind is like distrubed water. You need to let it settle
so that the mud sinks to the bottom and the water is clear.
And the mind is spoiled in that it doesn't want to do
what we want it to. Thoughts in the mind are like a waterfall.
As we practice it becomes a river, then it winds through
a a flat plain, and then it becomes a placid lake. This
is the skillfull means method.
Reference Point: It can be a diety, a syllabel, an object,
but here we will use small sphere of light. It is actually
a medium sphere of white light surrounded by rainbow light..
It will get smaller as you practice over time. The sphere
of light is in the space in front of your nose. Focus
your mind on that. This is not a visual but a mental image.
There are two helpers, two qualities, for this meditation.
Mindfulness helps you not forget the focal point. And
vigilence helps the mind do what it is supposed to do...bringing
the mind back to the focal point. It is like tying the
horse to the post. You need a good rope and tie it not
too hard nor too loose. A balance. Try too hard and you
will become ill. Try too loosely and you will become drowsy.
Barely remember the focal point. And do this for short
periods of time, frequently, many times during the day.
Positioning: Use a small pillow to raise under the buttom
and back. Try for a good meditation seat. Be comfortable
and relaxed. Do not sit in the hot sun. 7 key points -
Gaze is open and downward into the empty space in front
of your nose.
Legs are crossed or in lotus position.
Spine is straight.
Hands are on knees or folded in lap.
Chin is tucked in slightly.
Tongue touches up behind the teeth.
Shoulders are open.
This way the channels are open to the wind energy and
this affects our thoughts. Straight posture moves our
thoughts; mind is easier to use, more workable. Poor posture
and our thoughts slow down. Best time to meditate is in
the mornig for one hour and in the evening for one hour.
Feel emotions when meditating? For anger, meditate on
loving kindness. To do diety meditation, place the deity
in front and higher than you. Stare at a picture or tangka;
place these throughout your house. Close your eyes and
know all the details.
All dharma helps us all.
About the teacher:
Khentrul Lodro Thaye Rinpoche spent twenty years studying
at Mardo Tashi Choling and Katok monasteries in Eastern
Tibet, Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok's Serthar Buddhist Institute
in Kardze, Tibet, and Penor Rinpoche's monastery Namdroling
in India. Acknowledged as a scholar of the highest level
(khenchen), he twice received the title of khenpo (equivalent
to Doctor of Philosophy).
In addition to having completed the traditional three-year
retreat, he has received the entire Nyingtik lineage (including
Nyingtik Yabzhi, Dzod Dun, Ngalso Korsum, Yeshe Lama, and
Chetzun Nyingtik) as well as many other empowerments, scriptural
transmissions, and explanations on the pith instructions
for Great Perfection practice (dzogchen). Khentrul Rinpoche
has also received the rarely bestowed oral transmission
of Khenpo Ngakchung's Nyingtik lineage. From Jigme Phuntsok
Rinpoche, Dodrubchen Rinpoche, Penor Rinpoche, and Katok
Moktza Rinpoche, he has received all of the empowerments
and scriptural transmissions for the Kama and Terma cycles
of the Nyingma school.
He has taught for many years at monasteries in Tibet and
India and is the abbot of Mardo Tashi Choling where he has
established a retreat center and shedra (Buddhist college).
He directs the education and spiritual practice of three
hundred monks, of whom there are seventy advanced-degree
candidates, sixty children, and twenty retreatants.