Showing posts with label sakya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sakya. Show all posts

Oct 11, 2007

Is it magical or coincidence?

Coincidence happens all the time. However in the recent Kalachakra Puja by His Holiness Sakya Trizin at the OCM Indoor Sports Centre, Kuala Lumpur, I believe it is more than pure coincidence.

The Sun is set exactly above the head of His Holiness during the climax of the puja. The shrine and stage where His Holiness seated was glowing although I have no idea how it actually happened (perhaps science can, I'm not sure). And right after that a flock of bird actually flew by outside and too bad I did not managed to capture it. But there's a guy in front of me who captured everything on his video camera.

Many people did witnessed that magical moment that evening.

Oct 1, 2007

Empowered weekend

It was a tiring weekend but an empowering one.

My parents come all the way from Kuantan and we all went to the Kalachakra Puja at OCM Indoor Sports Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

Hopefully I'll be able to write a post about this weekend as all the pictures are in her camera as well as some books which I bought yesterday which I want to share the content with Buddhists who come into my blog to search posts about Sakya.

On the 5th October 2007, His Holiness Sakya Trizin will be conducting Vajra Kilaya Initiation in Aman Puri at 7.30 p.m. For those who are interested to attend dinner with HH earlier at 5 p.m. can contact Ms Choon Lan @
012-638 5051. The Sakya Centre in Aman Puri, Kepong, is under the guidance of Guru Phurla Rinpoche.

And I'll be posting the updates on my campaign "HCFoo-Meet-Nadal" as soon as possible.

Sep 27, 2007

HH Sakya Trizin is in Malaysia

His Holiness Sakya Trizin is already in Malaysia. The head of the Sakya lineage will be in Malaysia for about one month as part of HH Asia tour.

Read, FL Sam's post as he went to KLIA to welcome HH yesterday. Read the comments in his post for other activities going on too.

For the Kalachakra Empowerment this Saturday and Sunday at OCM Indoor Sports Centre opposite Stadium Negara, check out my previous post here.

Sep 24, 2007

HH Sakya Trizin @ OCM Indoor Sports Centre, Kuala Lumpur

As part of His Holiness Sakya Trizin's tour to Malaysia, His Holiness, the present head of the Sakya lineage, will be conducting a two-day Kalachakra Empowerment at OCM Indoor Sports Centre opposite Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur from 2 p.m. onwards on the 29th and 30th September, 2007.

From my source of information, these session will be until night. Admission is free.
Kalachakra is considered the most advanced form of Vajrayana practice and it certainly is one of the most complex systems within tantric Buddhism. For more information about what Kalachakra is, you can visit wikipedia or here.

Sep 18, 2007

HH Sakya Trizin visit to Malaysia 2007

It's been many years since His Holiness Sakya Trizin visit to Malaysia. Coming along with HH is Lama Lekshey, who was here last year with Luding Khenpo Rinpoche and was seen on a documentary on Discovery channel.

HH will be traveling throughout Southeast Asia between September 13 and October 26, bestowing teachings and empowerments, including Kalachakra and others. The
venues include Singapore and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Kuantan, Ipoh, Penang, Sungai Petani, Kuching and Sarawak).

HH will be arriving Malaysia from Singapore on September 26. For the full schedule of HH visit to Malaysia, click on this link or the pictures below.

May 1, 2007

Happy Wesak Day - words of wisdom by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

Happy Wesak Day to all Buddhists!

Since I'm back in hometown I have the opportunity to write a blog based on piece of writing by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, who is also better known as Khyentse Norbu in the filming industry for his work on The Cup and Travellers and Magicians. Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche is the first Rinpoche I met when I was just a small kid and he is the reason my family take refuge to become Buddhist followers.

This piece o
f writing was written by Rinpoche in 1984 in Sydney, Australia. Here it goes:

Your Own Wisdom Is Your Own Best Teacher

It is important to know how precious our human life is for now we have the chance to choose the correct path. We should not waste time - time goes while you wait. We must make sure that we do not fall into the trap of samsara in the next life. Karma rules our life - our incarnation - and all. Karma will follow you as a shadow wherever you go and wherever you are reborn. It does not matter which sect you follow, you must know who you are whatever you are doing. Buddhism teaches you the essence reality of yourself and the reality of phenomena. The reality of phenomena is never dualistic. There is no effort or difficulty to abandon or adopt - our ignorance obscures this. We ourselves create our own difficulties. We fight and waste much time and energy for nothing. We gamble our life - our own life - for nothing. If you know reality everything is pure and equal - there is no I and you. There will be no suspecting or fighting each other for appearance. Enjoy your appearance and don't criticize others. Fish don't blame us for not seeing the water as their home and we don't worry about what fish think of water. There is no dualism truly existing outside - it is just a creation of your mind.

Mar 24, 2007

Q&A on Buddhism - part 8

Disclaimer: For non-Muslims or Buddhists only unless if you are reading this for knowledge purpose. This is a Q&A session with HH Sakya Trizin.

This is the continuation from part 7.

Q: What is 'Mantrayana', Your Holiness?

A: Mantrayana or Tantra, actually is method. The first intentions, and the final goal, are exactly the same as they are in Mahayana, but since the Mantrayana is direct, more intelligent and has more methods, it reaches the same destination from the same starting place much more quickly: the difference is as between travelling by train and by aeroplane. The Mahayana practices consist mainly of meditation through thinking about things, but in the Mantrayana, our bodies are also extensively used. By knowing and using our bodies, we can reach our destination much more quickly. Now, many things are required for an aeroplane to fly, such as fuel, wind, the design of the machine, and so on, and in the same way, when we try to attain realization in the Mantrayana we practice not only in thought: we visualize different Mandalas, repeat Mantras, and so on, and you can say that if these practices are correctly followed, realization will automatically arise.

Q: Is this the only difference between Mahayana and Mantrayana?

A: The Mahayana is called the "Cause Yana", the Causal Path, and the Mantrayana is called the Result Path. In the Mahayana, you work only to create the right causes by practicing giving, moral conduct and so on. These practices are very valuable and correct, but they are still very different from the immense qualities of the Buddha. But in Mantrayana, you imagine yourself right from the beginning in the form of the result - the Buddha, in one form or another. By this practice, the result - which is the same as the practice - will arise and consequently Mantrayana is called the Result Path. Right from the beginning, you think of yourself as the Buddha with all the qualities, the thirty-two major signs, the eighty minor signs and so on.

Q: Is it wrong to think of ourselves as the Buddha?

A: Indeed not. It is said in Mahayana, too, of course, that the nature of our mind, of our entire organism, is actually Buddha, and always has been. However, we have not realized this and we are wrapped up in an illusion, so consequently we suffer. If the obscuration and defilement were intrinsically part of our mind, purification would not be possible. Coal will not become white, however much we wash it, but since the nature of mind is pure, it can be purified. Since other beings have attained Enlightenment, it is clear that it is possible for us, too, that our minds can also be purified.

Q: The teaching of rebirth is unfamiliar to the West. Can one practice Dharma effectively if one does not accept rebirth?

A: According to our definition of the practice of Dharma, no. We say that, whatever you practice, however high or good it may be, it is not Dharma if it is just intended for this life. Dharma is what you practice for the next life, so the idea of rebirth cannot be separated from the idea of Dharma. The law of Karma is an intrinsic part of Dharma and future rebirth is the result of present causes.

Q: Many people in the West might deny the universality of suffering.

A: Buddhists however say that, whatever you are in Worldly Existence, there is suffering. It is wrong to ignore the continual presence of suffering. One should not hide from suffering: one should know its cause and try to avoid creating the causes of suffering.

In the next part, we will look at what HH Sakya Trizin had to say about the ego-lessness doctrine taught by the Buddha and the mind.

Disclaimer: This interview was taken from the book "Pointing Towards Vajrayana" published by The Singapore Buddha Sasana Society Sakya Tenphel Ling. The Palden Sakya Centres of American Buddhism Sakya Shei Drup Ling actually holds the right of this text.

Mar 3, 2007

discourse on happiness by Sakyamuni Buddha

This is taken from the Sakya Resource Guide website. So, what is happiness in the Buddhism point of view? Read this and enjoy.

Discourse on Happiness

I heard these words of the Buddha one time when the Lord was
living in the vicinity of Shravasti at the Anathapindika mona-
stery in the Jeta Park. Late at night a deva appeared whose light
and beauty made the whole Jeta Grove shine radiantly. After
paying respects to the Buddha, the deva asked him a question in
the form of a verse:

"Many gods and men are eager to know
what are the greatest blessings
which can bring about a peaceful and happy life.
Please, Tathagata, will you teach us?"

(This is the Buddha's answer):
"Not to be associated with the foolish ones,
to live in the company of wise people
and to honor those who are worth honoring-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To live in a good environment,
to have planted good seeds
and to realize that you are on the right path-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To have a chance to learn,
and to be skillful in your profession or craft
and to know how to practice the precepts and loving speech-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To be able to support your parents,
to cherish your own family
and to have a job that you like-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To live correctly, to be generous in giving,
to be able to give support to relatives and friends
and to live a life of blameless conduct-
this is the greatest happiness.

Discourse on Happiness

"To avoid doing bad things,
to avoid being caught by alcoholism or drugs
and to be diligent in doing good things-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To be humble and polite,
to be grateful, and content with a simple life
and not to miss the occasion to learn the dharma
this is the greatest happiness.

"To persevere and be open to change,
to have regular contact with monks and nuns
and to participate in dharma discussions-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To live diligently and attentively,
to perceive the Noble Truths
and to realize Nirvana-
this is the greatest happiness.

"To live in the world,
with your heart undisturbed by the world,
with all sorrows ended, dwelling in peace,
this is the greatest happiness.

"He or she who accomplishes this
will remain unvanquished wherever she goes.
Always he will be safe and happy-
This is the greatest happiness."

-Mahamangala Sutta (Suttanipata 1)

fund my Buddhism studies in Kathmandu, Nepal

If you have noticed the side bar on your right, there's this 'Fund my Studies' ChipIn widget. My intention is to raise $850 (which include tuition, room and three meals a day) to study at the International Buddhist Academy next year. The course will commence from June 4th to September 15th each year.

I will sponsor my own flight tickets and living expenses which may comes to about RM4 000. During the 3-month course, I will go through the philosophy class as well as learning Tibetan language. Below is the course outline:

The Moonlight Distinguishing the Views, by Kunkhyen Gorampa (1 month)
This text is praised due to its clarity in identifying and critiquing the three major interpretations of Madhyamika philosophy which developed in Tibet, comparing these approaches with the classical Indian sources. Studying this text instills a correct understanding of the Madhyamika view, particularly regarding the definition of inexpressibility and emptiness. [Check out my previous post on emptiness which mentioned about the Madhyamika philosophy]

Abhidharmakosha, by Acharya Vasubhandu (the first two chapters in 2 months)
This is the key text used for the study of abhidharma within the Tibetan traditions due to its systematic and exhaustive treatment of ontology, psychology, cosmology, causality, states of consciousness, etc. It is an indispensable text for all students of philosophy and is considered a vital part of the Buddhist path. As was said by Buddhaghosha, "Those who study the Abhidhamma literature experience unending joy and serenity of mind."

If you would like to chip in a few bucks (or more), kindly click on the ChipIn button. You contribution is much appreciated. I will keep you updated about this course from time to time.

**Update** I've removed the ChipIn button because I'm funding my studies through sponsored post and Adsense.

Mar 2, 2007

Q&A on Buddhism - part 7

Disclaimer: For non-Muslims or Buddhists only unless if you are reading this for knowledge purpose. This is a Q&A session with HH Sakya Trizin.

This is the continuation from part 6.

Q: How should we understand Emptiness?

A: Emptiness is actually only a name. It doesn't mean that all things are empty or void. Every religion tries to explain the true nature of phenomena, but all have come to the conclusion of something existing, either positively or negatively. Ordinary people do not think much about phenomena and their origins, but the more spiritual people do, and wonder why things exist and where they come from. Christianity concluded that all things are created by God. An early Buddhist school, Sarvastivada, concluded that, although gross things do not really exist, atoms - so minute that they can have no sides facing different directions - do exist as basic elements.

A more advanced Buddhist school, the Vijnanavada, decided that ultimately nothing exists externally and that the things we seem to perceive are only projections of mind. However, when the Madhyamika philosophers examined phenomena, everything seemed to disappear and they could find nothing. They were not satisfied by the explanation that God created everything or that tiny atoms existed, and they reasoned that it was impossible for subjective mind to exist if objects did not exist, as mind and objects are as interdependently inseparable as are right and left. So, if there was no external matter, there could be no mind.

The Madhyamika concluded, after a very scrupulous examination, that there was nothing, ultimately, that could be clung to as really existent. Positive things could not be found, negative things could not be found, nothing could be found which could be accepted as really existing because the true nature of all things is beyond existence and non-existence, beyond thought, and inexpressible. Shantideva said, "The Absolute is not an object of mind; it lies beyond mind. It is something you cannot describe; it is the wonder of the incomprehensible." However, when we talk about such things, we have to name them, so we call it the Emptiness, but really Emptiness is not something that can be named, it is inexpressible.

Of course, this is all 'ultimately'. Relatively speaking, the Madhyamika accepts whatever ordinary people accept, but the writings of this school do show an experience of the inexpressibility of all things.

Q: Isn't this critique of phenomena merely a logical paradox? Can it have any bearing on daily life?

A: Of course it does. When you realize the Ultimate Truth, you are free from suffering. We are in suffering because we haven't awakened from the relative illusion. We are wrapped up in this relative illusion and, due to this, we hold things as real; we act and hence suffer and create many more causes of suffering.

Q: So the real point of attachment?

A: When you are no longer attached to things as real, you create no further causes of suffering.

In the next part, we will look at what HH Sakya Trizin had to say, if it is okay to think of ourselves as a Buddha.

Disclaimer: This interview was taken from the book "Pointing Towards Vajrayana" published by The Singapore Buddha Sasana Society Sakya Tenphel Ling. The Palden Sakya Centres of American Buddhism Sakya Shei Drup Ling actually holds the right of this text.

Feb 14, 2007

Q&A on Buddhism - part 6

Disclaimer: For non-Muslims or Buddhists only unless if you are reading this for knowledge purpose. This is a Q&A with HH Sakya Trizin.

This is the continuation from part 5.

Q: Love and compassion are good, but doesn't there come a point when it is better to be angry with people? Is anger ever justified?

A: Maybe, if the intension is white, even though the action is black. Even if you are angry, if it is with the thought of benefiting a being, your anger arises from compassion, and whatever arises out of compassion is good. If the root is medicinal, even if the fruit appears bad, it will be medicinal.

Q: Buddhism is often thought of as leading to negative and passive behaviour.

A: This is true if you enter and abide in Liberation. But if you enter the Great Way, instead of selfish desire for liberated quiescence, you have compassion which is the active desire for benefit of all beings.

Q: Buddhism is sometimes said to be atheistic because it holds that there is no God.

A: Buddhism does not believe in a God as the creator of the world and, in that sense, you might say it is atheistic. If however, God is something else, a divine compassion or a divine wisdom, manifest in the form of a deity, you might say that Buddhism is not atheistic but polytheistic.

I intend to make this short for easy reading. In the next post, we'll look at what is Emptiness, a term often used in Buddhism.

Disclaimer: This interview was taken from the book "Pointing Towards Vajrayana" published by The Singapore Buddha Sasana Society Sakya Tenphel Ling. The Palden Sakya Centres of American Buddhism Sakya Shei Drup Ling actually holds the right of this text.

Feb 11, 2007

3 months programme @ the International Buddhist Academy

I always have this dream to be away from the city life for a couple of months or so and fly all the way to Tibet, India or Nepal to learn Buddhist philosophy and learn Tibetan language. However, I'm still very much attached to my current life here i.e. completing my masters. While waiting for my chance in the year 2008, perhaps I should share with you this place called the International Buddhist Academy (IBA) in Kathmandu.

Perhaps you might say, hmm...another post about Buddhism from HCFoo. Well, I rarely talk or share with my friends about Buddhism until recently. Perhaps it has to do with what's happening around the world lately. For your information, when I'm blogging about Buddhism, I prefer to use the term "philosophy" instead of "religion" because I believe in sharing Buddhism related topics in a very general way that can be accepted by everyone as information and knowledge.

Back to the IBA, the academy was founded by Ven. Khenpo Appey Rinpoche (who came to Malaysia many years ago), and was inaugurated officially in 2001. In addition to providing teachings on the Buddha Dharma, the Academy also has various on-going projects, including the computerization of Tibetan scriptures, translation projects and publication.

Daily Schedule
The 2007 programme will run from June 4th to September 15th. Lessons are being conducted 6 days a week from Tuesday to Sunday. The courses are rigorous and intensive, requiring students to submit assignments, write a final exam, as well as readings of recommended books and articles to prepare for the classes. Mondays are generally left for students to explore the Kathmandu Valley, visit lamas, extend their visas and mingle with the local Tibetan community of Boudhanath. IBA will also organize guided tours of major cultural sites of the Valley.

The regular daily schedule are as follows:
07:00AM Breakfast 08:00AM Philosophy Class 09:30AM Tea break 10:00AM Tibetan language class 11:30AM Lunch Break 02:00PM Revision class 03:30PM Tea break 06:30PM Dinner

During the last week of the term, a final examination will be held to assess the student's understanding of the course material.

For more information about the teachers qualifications, the complete 2007 programme, fee structure (very reasonable), academy facilities, travel information, registration, contact information, etc go to the IBA website. There are also interesting videos about the students and the programme for streaming.

Feb 6, 2007

Q&A about Buddhism - part 5

Disclaimer: For non-Muslims or Buddhists only unless if you are reading this for knowledge purpose. This is a Q&A with HH Sakya Trizin.

This is a continuation from part 4.

Q: Are the hells metaphors for states or amounts of suffering or do they really exist as described in the Buddhist ‘Sutras’?

A: Something really exists, I think. Actually it says in the Sutras that they really exist much more terribly than they are described because, it says, the Buddha didn’t fully describe them. If he fully described them, people would have fainted.

Q: How real are they?

A: They are real as the life we have today. Yes, many people think that they are not real, like a dream. But actually, we are happy and unhappy in dreams, just as real as we are when we are awake. This present experience also is not real, but we think everything around us is real. Hell is as real as this. Of course hell, also, in reality, is not real. This is also not real. What is this, then?

Q: Do the Buddhas suffer?

A: No, they never suffer. They are absolutely free from sufferings.

Q: Do they see suffering?

A: They don’t see suffering, either.

Q: Then how can they help people who are suffering?

A: They don’t suffer. This answer is one of the differences between the Sakya and Gelugpa orders; the Gelugpas say that the Buddhas do see suffering and we say that they do not. The man who has awakened from sleep doesn’t have dreams. This impure Samsaric scene of suffering is like a dream; it’s like an illusion. So the man who has awakened from this illusion can never dream again. But, due to his Bodhicitta, (Enlightenment-mind) and his compassion, help for others spontaneously arises. But the Buddha himself never sees suffering. For him, all things are transformed into pure appearance.

Q: Is the Buddha involved in ‘Karma’?

A: He has achieved the final Karmic result, the highest and the best possible results of Karma.

Q: Can anything happen to us that is not the result of our own actions?

A: No, never.

Q: Can the Buddha perceive the results of his or other’s acts

A: Yes, for instance, there have been many prophecies, but I don’t think the Buddha sees or perceives these results. Where there is a need for a prophecy, it just arises spontaneously.

Q: Can we modify the results of past acts?

A: Certainly. The Vajrasattva meditation can purify many of our past bad actions, but in any case, the creation of good causes and merit is very helpful and necessary.

In the next part, we will get more answers from HH on Buddhism.

Disclaimer: This interview was taken from the book "Pointing Towards Vajrayana" published by The Singapore Buddha Sasana Society Sakya Tenphel Ling. The Palden Sakya Centres of American Buddhism Sakya Shei Drup Ling actually holds the right of this text.

Feb 2, 2007

Q&A about Buddhism - part 4

Disclaimer: For non-Muslims or Buddhists only unless if you are reading this for knowledge purpose. This is a Q&A with HH Sakya Trizin.

This is a continuation from
part 3.

Q: Is animal rebirth really possible for a human?

A: Yes, definitely. There are many stories of animals being reborn as humans as a result of good actions and of humans being reborn as animals, too, as a result of bad actions. Some animals are extremely kind, especially to their offspring, and by working very hard they can create enough causes to achieve human birth.

Q: Why is human birth so important?

A: Human birth is extremely precious because, through human life, one can achieve not only high rebirth and Nirvana, but also one can practice Dharma and get Enlightenment.

Q: Does it really help us to think a great deal about impermanence? We always know we are impermanent, and thinking about it too much might make us miserable.

A: Yes, it does help. Tsongkhapa said, “A prisoner has only one thought: When can I get out of this prison? This thought arises constantly in his mind. Your thought on impermanence should be like this; meditate on impermanence until this state of mind arises.”

Q: Are we really in the position of prisoners? We often do find things pleasant in Worldly Existence.

A: But that pleasure isn’t permanent, is it? That very pleasure can lead to disaster, can’t it? So we are happy now, but we never know what might happen in the next hour. There may be a complete disaster. Since pleasure is impermanent, since it is very uncertain, you are not actually happy because your pleasure is colored with anxiety. In fact, you are never happy because you don’t know what will come and thus anxiety is inevitable there.

In the next part, we will get to know from HH about suffering.

Disclaimer: This interview was taken from the book "Pointing Towards Vajrayana" published by The Singapore Buddha Sasana Society Sakya Tenphel Ling. The Palden Sakya Centres of American Buddhism Sakya Shei Drup Ling actually holds the right of this text.

Feb 1, 2007

Q&A about Buddhism - part 3

This is a continuation from part 2.

Q: How does this help us? The practice of Buddhism will not make us less impermanent.

A: It will not make us less impermanent, but it will give us the certainty that, in our coming lives, we will have less suffering. The practice of Dharma, of religion, means – briefly speaking; avoiding non-virtuous acts; and performing virtuous acts. When you behave in this way, it is obvious that you will be happier in the future.

Q: Does it mean that, since we expect less from this life, we will also suffer less?

A: Yes, that too, but more important, by thinking about impermanence we will be moved to practice Dharma quickly. The thought of impermanence helps us to speed up our path a great deal.

Q: What are the six realms and their sufferings?

A: As I said before, no matter where you are in Worldly Existence, you are suffering. Suffering is of three kinds: the suffering of suffering, the suffering of change, and the suffering of conditioned existence. The suffering of suffering is when you have a headache or something like that. It is simply suffering which everyone accepts and thinks of as suffering. Then the suffering of change is the suffering undergone through perception of change. You are with friends today but you have to depart; when you go, you meet enemies. Nothing stays, and seeing this, we experience the suffering of change. The suffering of conditioned existence means the unsatisfactoriness of worldly activity. We do many things in the world but are never really satisfied. There are always more things to be done, which we cannot do and this frustration is suffering.

The lowest of the six realms are the Hell-realms, of excessive heat and cold, and the 'neighbouring hells' which are also states of great suffering, and which last for incredible periods of time. The cause of these states of suffering is hatred. Then there is the realm of hungry spirits who are tantalized by food and drink they cannot swallow. This is the result of desire and stinginess. The animal realm is well known to us and birth there is caused by ignorance. The human realm, too, we know. The fifth realm is of the demi-gods who are constantly engaged in war with the gods, out of jealousy and who will thus naturally suffer in their next lives. The gods seem very comfortable. They enjoy great pleasures and immensely long lives, but sooner or later experience old age and death. As they have done nothing but enjoy themselves, they will not have created the merit to achieve high rebirth and will fall into states of great suffering. The three lower worlds' beings experience the suffering of suffering exclusively; humans experience all three, but chiefly the first two, while the gods suffer mainly the last two.

The last of the Four Recollections is of Karma, the law of Cause and Effect. In the Buddhist view, everything we have today and everything we do has a cause in the past. In fact it is said that if you want to know what you did in the past, you should look at your present situation; whether you are rich or poor, ugly or beautiful, this is the result of past actions, as the future, whether happy or otherwise depends on what you do today. Everything you do today will produce a result in the future. If a tree's root is medicinal, the flowers, the leaves, the bark and everything that grows on the tree, will be medicinal, and like this, an act that grows out of the opposite of desire, aversion and ignorance will produce happiness. If the root of the tree is poisonous, then everything that grows on the tree will be poison, just as acts of desire, aversion and ignorance produce suffering.

In the next part, I will extract a simpler Q&A about the importance of human rebirth. We'll also look at whether we should think a great deal about impermanence.

Disclaimer: This interview was taken from the book "Pointing Towards Vajrayana" published by The Singapore Buddha Sasana Society Sakya Tenphel Ling. The Palden Sakya Centres of American Buddhism Sakya Shei Drup Ling actually holds the right of this text.

Jan 30, 2007

Q&A about Buddhism - part 2

A continuation from yesterday's interview with HH Sakya Trizin.

Q: Your Holiness, how should we practice?

A: At the beginning of all Buddhist practice come two very important things: meditation of the Four Recollections and taking Refuge.

The Four Recollections are of the difficulty of getting human rebirth, of the impermanence of all Samsaric things, of the sufferings of Worldly Existence and of the law of Karma, which means of Cause-and-Result.

Generally speaking, it is very difficult to be born as a human being. We think that there are many human beings, but if we compare our numbers to those of other beings we realize how few we are. (For instance, in each of our own bodies there are millions of germs, microbes, viruses ad so on). So statistically the chances of attaining a human life are very poor. In any case, there are many places of rebirth, which are of no use to a being, as he will be unable to meet with the Buddha’s teachings in them. There are eight unfavorable places of birth: the realms of hell, of hungry ghosts and of animals, of barbarians, places where religious teaching is incorrect, where there is no Buddha, certain God realms and the realm of dumb people. Yet even if we get a human rebirth, there are ten necessary pre-conditions: it is necessary to be born in a place to which the Buddha has come, a place in which the Buddha actually taught the religion, a place where the teaching is still alive, where the teachers are kind enough to teach, and where there are still Buddhist followers such as monks and lay followers. There are also five external circumstances required of oneself: one must not have committed any of the five limitless downfalls, as this would create great obstruction.

This difficulty is explained in other ways, also. The cause of human rebirth is the performance of virtuous acts and keeping correct moral conduct, and since very few people are aware of this, human birth is rare by its cause. By nature, it is much easier to be born elsewhere. The difficulty is illustrated by an example: imagine a blind tortoise living in the ocean. Floating on the surface of the ocean is a yoke. The tortoise comes to the surface only once a century, yet he stands a better chance of putting his neck in that yoke than we do of being born in human form.

The recollection is of impermanence: the Buddha said, “The three realms of existence are like a cloud in autumn: the birth and death of beings is like a dancer’s movement; a being’s life is like a waterfall, like a flash of lightning in the sky; it never stops even for a single moment and, once it starts, it goes inevitably to its conclusion.” Everything is changing: outside the seasons change; spring gives way to summer, to autumn and winter. Children grow into adults, adults become old; hair turns from black to white, the skin shrivels and life fades. Isn’t that so? Everything changes constantly. There is not one single place where one can escape impermanence. Since everything changes constantly, one never knows when the end will come. One may be in perfect health today and yet die tomorrow. We know two things of death: it is certain to come and we have no idea when it will come. It could come at any moment and there are many things, internal and external, that can cause it. Thus, if you want to practice Buddhism, you must realize that it is necessary to start immediately. You can never be sure of a tomorrow in which to do anything.

In the next part, HH will answer on how the practice of Buddhism will help us.

Disclaimer: This interview was taken from the book "Pointing Towards Vajrayana" published by The Singapore Buddha Sasana Society Sakya Tenphel Ling. The Palden Sakya Centres of American Buddhism Sakya Shei Drup Ling actually holds the right of this text.

Jan 29, 2007

Q&A about Buddhism - part 1

Disclaimer: For non-Muslims or Buddhists only unless if you are reading this for knowledge purpose. The Q&A published here is based on the book "Pointing Towards Vajrayana".

I have a very good book called "Pointing Towards Vajrayana" published by Singapore Buddha Sasana Society which featured an interview with His Holiness Sakya Trizin along with many other short articles. Instead of circulating the book (which might get lost along the way), I believe I should just share it in the blogsphere.

The Q&A with HH Sakya Trizin is my favourite part of the book. I find it helpful especially for you guys out there who are new to Buddhism.

Q: Your Holiness, why should we practice Buddhist teaching?

A: I would like to answer this by describing the three types of persons who practice Buddhism. Generally speaking, from the smallest insect on up to the most intelligent human being, there is agreement: all want happiness and all wish to avoid suffering. The majority of human beings do not understand what the cause of suffering is, or what the cause of happiness, but in the teachings of Buddhism and in their practice, you will find the answers to these questions.

Q: What are the causes of suffering and happiness?

A: The Ratnavali of Nagarjuna says, “Every action arising from desire, aversion and ignorance produces suffering: every action arising from the absence of desire, aversion and ignorance produces happiness.”

Now, as I said, there are three kinds of people. Like all other beings, the lowest person wants happiness and wants neither suffering nor rebirth in the lower realms of existence, so he practices Buddhism to create the causes of rebirth in the human realm or in the heavenly realms of the gods. He does not have the power or the courage to leave Worldly Existence completely. He only wants the best parts of Worldly Existence, he wants to avoid he worst parts, and that is why he practices the Buddhist religion: in order to get a higher rebirth.

Now the middling sort of people understands that the whole of Worldly Existence, no matter where one is born, is suffering by its nature, just as fire is hot by its nature. He wants to get out of it altogether and attain Nirvana, the state that is entirely away from suffering.

The highest person realizes that, just as he himself does not want to suffer, and does want happiness, so also do all living beings have the same fears and wishes. He knows that, since we have been born again and again from beginningless time in Worldly Existence, there is not a single sentient being who has not been our mother and father at one time or another. Since we are that close to all sentient beings, the best person is one who practices Buddhism in order to remove all these countless beings from suffering.

In the next posting, we will continue to get to know how we can practice Buddhism.

Dec 27, 2006

Fund-raising to build Sakya Institute and kesa sponsorship

Recently, Guru Phurla Rinpoche was here in Malaysia. He has been coming back regularly especially since the setup of his Sakya centre here in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur. In his visit, I've only managed to attend Guru Phurla Rinpoche's teaching of Medicine Buddha and Vajra Kilaya.

If you are trying to look for any English website about Guru Phurla Rinpoche, you won't be able to find one (yes, there's none). I think this is simply because he is a Tibetan/Mandarin-speaker and spreads his dhamma teaching mainly in Taiwan, China, Malaysia and Singapore. I'll try to communicate with Guru Phurla Rinpoche or the committee members at his centres to see if it's possible to have a website for people to access into.

In this visit, Guru Phurla Rinpoche told us that there will be a puja ceremony in August 2007 to raise fund to complete a Sakya Institute (*look at the brochure on the left) for Buddhist Studies located in Ching Hai. Construction couldn't be continued because of insufficient fund. RM230k is needed to complete the building alone.

This Sakya Institute provide a decent environment for lamas (buddhist monks) to study Buddhism. Sponsorships will also enable the institute to provide teaching materials as well as to cover the basic expenses for lamas such as kesa (tibetan robes for monks) and food.
For further enquiry, please contact the following person-in-charge at these Sakya centres:

Taipei, Taiwan:
Taiwan Tibetan Vajrayana Sakya Sherabling Foundation
5F, No.289 Chengde Rd., Sec. 4 Taipei, Taiwan, Ro.O.C.
Tel: 886-2-28822475
Fax: 886-2-28822476
Hp: 0933-879548

Kaohsiung, Taiwan:
7F, No.175 Foren Rd., Kaohsiung, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Tel: 886-7-7245489

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 012-638 5051 (Ms Choon Lan)
Singapore: 9617 8018 (Ms Phang)
*Please note that my translation of the brochure is not complete simply because I'm not Chinese-educated. So, for more information, drop me a message or contact the Sakya centres above.

May 10, 2006

meet up with Rinpoche and Lama

I've always been a devoted Buddhist. Even in my past lives. When I was a child, my parents would brought me to attend dharma teachings by Tibetan monks. I remember the first Rinpoche I met was Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, when I was just 6 or 7 years old. He is also known as Khyentse Norbu, the director of The Cup and Travellers and Magicians.

Another Lama whom I haven't met for 20 years was Lama Jamyang Lekshey. The last time I met Lama Lekshey was when he was here in Malaysia with my guru, H.H. Sakya Trizin.

So, my sister and I decided to meet up with Lama Lekshey who was here last week with Luding Khenpo Rinpoche and another two Lamas. They were staying at Eastin Hotel. It was a great feeling to see Lama Lekshey again after two decades. Both Rinpoche and Lama Lekshey speak fluent English. We chatted for awhile with Lama and Rinpoche before we leave as there were other guests. My sister and I managed to snapped a picture with Rinpoche.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...