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Awakening the Mind, Lightening the Heart

Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2019 год
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      Awakening the Mind, Lightening the Heart
Литагент HarperCollins

The Library of Tibet.The second volume in the prestigious Library of Tibet series.Building on, but independent from the first volume in the series (The Way to Freedom) Awakening the Mind, Lightening the Heart is a practical Buddhist instruction book to develop compassion in our daily lives through simple meditations that directly relate to past and present relationships.

Awakening the Mind, Lightening the Heart

byHis Holiness,The Dalai Lama of Tibet

The emblem of the Library of Tibet is the wind horse (lung da), a beautiful steed that brings happiness and good fortune (symbolized by the jewel on its back) wherever it goes. The image of the wind horse is printed on prayer flags in Tibet, which are then affixed to houses and temples, on bridges and at mountain passes throughout the land. The movement of the flag by the wind sets the wind horse in motion, carrying prayers for happiness and good fortune to the ten directions.

Table of Contents

Cover (#u585a5b84-e38b-56dc-abdf-273969eabc8e)

Title Page (#u216ae7c7-ec2e-522d-8ca2-972b0a839fb4)

Epigraph (#uf3edd079-1194-510a-a14b-3ba648c9a2f4)

Editor’s Foreword (#u479f4d1b-d814-59de-b9c3-b5ed52cd30ba)

Introduction (#ufbc17c55-8fe6-57da-9f1c-64df7863a22c)

CHAPTER 1: Motive and Aspiration (#ud98be202-eb9c-57e0-9c93-8a28daf634d0)

CHAPTER 2: Source and Qualities of the Instruction (#u2668ef8c-0c77-5646-802c-56fed12c135a)

CHAPTER 3: The Meditation Session (#u26f77409-f708-5fb9-a2e6-9fb8108de7d5)

CHAPTER 4: Creating the Perspective for Practice (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 5: The Awakening Mind (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 6: Calling the Awakened to Witness (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 7: Transforming Trouble into Fortune (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER 8: The Awakening View of Reality (#litres_trial_promo)

Verses for Training the Mind (#litres_trial_promo)

Also by the Author (#litres_trial_promo)

Copyright (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

EDITOR’S FOREWORD (#ulink_4bb5d4fe-2199-5b07-84ef-54dff6cd8b72)

The teachings on mind training set forth here by His Holiness the Dalai Lama are based on a text composed in the early fifteenth century by Hortön Nam-kha Pel, a disciple of the great scholar and adept Tsong-kha-pa (1357–1419). This text called Rays of the Sun is a commentary on an earlier poem entided the Seven Point Mind Training, whose lines are quoted throughout the book. This poem is reproduced in its entirety at the end of the book. By the early part of the present century Rays of the Sun had become somewhat rare and obscure. After the Dalai Lama’s senior tutor, Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, had heard it explained, it became one of his favorite works because the book combines, in a way that is succinct and easy to understand and put into daily practice, the qualities of the mind training and stages of the path traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Ling Rinpoche arranged for the Tibetan text to be reprinted and distributed, and he taught it himself. Subsequently, the Dalai Lama has taught it on many occasions, at Dharamsala where he lives, in the reestablished monasteries in South India, and at Bodh Gaya, where the Buddha attained enlightenment. Thus its popularity has been much revived.

His Holiness’s teachings presented here were translated and edited by the following team: the Venerable Geshe Lobsang Jordhen, a graduate of the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, Dharamsala, who since 1989 has been religious assistant and personal translator to His Holiness the Dalai Lama; Lobsang Chophel Gangchenpa, who also trained at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics and has worked as a Buddhist translator first at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala, and later, for over a decade, in Australia; and Jeremy Russell, who, with over twelve years’ experience working with the Tibetan community in Dharamsala, is editor of Chö-Yang, the Voice of Tibetan Religion and Culture, published by the Religious Affairs Department of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.

INTRODUCTION (#ulink_5aaba2d9-bd06-515c-a478-90c456c91d04)

The Buddha offered many different teachings, corresponding to the different interests and dispositions of those who came to hear him teach. Yet all of his teachings outline metho ds through which we can purify the mind and achieve the fully awakened state of enlightenment. Among the different sets of instructions, there is a tradition called mind training or thought transformation. This is a special technique devised to develop what we call the awakening mind, the aspiration to achieve enlightenment for the sake of helping others. This technique was transmitted to Tibet by the Indian master Atisha, who taught it to his Tibetan disciples. The first Dalai Lama received the transmission from Hortön Namkha Pel, and from him the transmission came down to my own root guru, the late Kyabje Ling Rinpoche (1903–1983), from whom I received it.

Its techniques embody the essence of the Buddha’s teachings: the cultivation of the awakening mind. I rejoice at the opportunity to impart this tradition, as I follow its practice myself. Although I do not claim to have all the qualifications necessary for giving such instructions, I have great admiration and devotion for them. I rejoice that this precious instruction, transmitted from the Buddha, has actually come down to a person like me in this degenerate age when the teachings of the Buddha have almost become extinct. Whether I am giving this teaching or you are listening to or reading it, we are not engaging in an act of competition. We are not doing it for personal gain. If this teaching is given out of a pure wish to help others, there is no danger of our state of mind deteriorating; it can only be improved.

We can achieve enlightenment only through the practice of meditation; without it there is no way we can transform our minds. The whole purpose of reading or listening to Buddhist teachings is to enable us to undertake the practice properly. Therefore, we should try our best to put what we understand into practice. At this juncture we have obtained this precious life as free and fortunate human beings, able to engage in this practice. We should seize the opportunity. Although it is important to take care of our livelihood, we should not be obsessed by that alone. We should also think of our future, for life after death is something we know little about and our fate is unpredictable. If there is a life after death, then it is very important to think about it and prepare for it. At this point, when we have obtained all the conditions necessary for practicing the Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha, we should concentrate all our efforts on doing so and make our lives meaningful thereby.

We can do this by engaging in a path that results in favorable rebirths in the future and ultimately leads to enlightenment. The ultimate aspiration is toward achieving the fully awakened state of Buddhahood, because even a favorable rebirth in the future is not very secure. Reflecting on the general and specific faults of the entire cycle of existence, this vicious circle of birth and death, will lead us to aspire for liberation from suffering. In addition, we should be concerned, not for ourselves alone, but also for the welfare of all others.

The special technique for transforming the mind is contained in a poem called the “Seven Point Mind Training,” which is elaborated on here in a work called The Rays of the Sun by Hortön Nam-kha Pel. What we mean by mind, thought, or consciousness is a very complex topic. It is worthwhile analyzing what is meant by consciousness or mind, especially within the context of Buddhist teachings, because according to the Buddha’s teachings there is no creator god; all phenomena have arisen in dependence on their own causes and conditions. We have to analyze what those causes are.

Just as the heat of fire is not created by someone else, for it is the nature of fire to be hot, and just as it is the nature of water to be wet, so there is a something called consciousness or mind, on the basis of which we have feelings of pleasure and pain. In general, if we do not know the nature of a particular substance, we will not be able to transform or make use of it. If we do not understand a country’s climatic conditions, we will not be able to judge the right time for planting flowers. Similarly, in order to bring about transformation in the mind, it is important first to identify what mind or consciousness is. Then we have to see how the mind is transformed.

Whether or not you accept the existence of something called mind or consciousness, it is clear that everyone experiences pleasure and pain and that everyone seeks happiness and shuns suffering. This happiness that we seek and desire comes about because of the mind. Therefore, we must identify the nature of the mind and the process by which we can train and transform it. In fact, a transformation of the mind can be brought about only by the mind. So we need to examine whether there is a state in which we can be totally free of all the negative aspects of the mind and what the actual process is for reaching such a state of freedom.

Pain, pleasure, and suffering are dependent on their own causes and conditions. Therefore, it is important to identify the negative aspects of the mind, which give rise to suffering, and try to overcome them. Similarly, we can improve the positive aspects of the mind, which bring about happiness.

Mind training means a technique or a process by which we can transform or purify the mind. All the major world religions, especially Buddhism, have techniques for transforming the mind. But here a unique method has been devised to train our wild and deluded minds. The reason the text is called The Rays of the Sun is that it outlines a technique through which we can dispel the darkness of ignorance within our minds. This darkness of the mind refers to our misconception of self and our self-centered, selfish attitudes, the negative aspects of the mind. Just as the sun’s rays dispel darkness, this instruction dispels the darkness of ignorance.

At the beginning of his work, the author, Hortön Nam-kha Pal, who was a disciple of Tsong-kha-pa, pays homage to him as a sublime master, invoking his compassion. The words sublime master refer to Tsong-kha-pa’s great qualities, his having abandoned attachment to the temporal pleasures of the world and his achievement of the highest realizations.

In verses following the homage to Tsong-kha-pa, the author makes salutations to the Buddha, the author of the technique for training the mind, to the Buddha of the future, Maitreya, and to the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri. The masters of the mind training tradition in Tibet, the Kadam teachers, are also mentioned. The author pays respect to the Buddha by elaborating his qualities, describing how he is the one who, motivated by strong compassion and love for sentient beings, practiced the six perfections and the four factors for ripening the minds of others, with the purpose of releasing them from suffering and leading them to liberation and the fully awakened mind.

Here, reflecting on how a navigator conveys a ship’s passengers to their destination, the author notes how the Buddha, piloting the ship of love and the awakening mind, leads sentient beings toward enlightenment. He too was once an ordinary being like ourselves, but due to the force of his compassion, he trained in the path and was able to transform his mind and achieve final enlightenment. It was compassion that motivated him to achieve such a state, it was compassion that perfected his achievement of enlightenment, and it was compassion that induced him to teach others according to their different interests and dispositions.

This is why the awakening mind is the root of all happiness and peace in the entire universe. In the long run it is the foundation for achieving the state of full enlightenment, but even from day to day, the more we are able to develop an altruistic attitude, the happier we will feel and the better the atmosphere we will create around us. On the other hand, if our emotions fluctuate wildly and we are easily subject to hatred and jealousy, from the very start of the day we will not even be able to enjoy our breakfast and our friends will avoid us. So unstable emotions not only disturb our own state of mind, they also disturb the minds of others. Such uneasy feelings cannot be blamed on someone else, for they are the result of one’s own state of mind. This is why an altruistic attitude brings a great sense of happiness and peace of mind.

The greater our peace of mind, the more peaceful the atmosphere around us. On the other hand, fear and distrust arise due to a selfish attitude and other negative mental states. A selfish attitude creates fear and insecurity, which in turn create distrust. So even for the people who have no special faith, it is important to have a peaceful mind. When the qualities of the Buddha are discussed, the awakening mind and compassion are always foremost among them.

CHAPTER 1 MOTIVE AND ASPIRATION (#ulink_592d3acf-3666-53e9-9ef7-215730d042ef)

As Buddhists, whatever Dharma practices we do, whether we are saying prayers or giving or listening to teachings, we should begin by reciting the verse for taking refuge and generating the awakening mind.

I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and spiritual community,

Until I attain the state of enlightenment.

By the force of generosity and other virtues,

May I achieve Buddhahood to benefit all sentient beings.

This verse encapsulates the essence of the Buddha’s teachings and especially those of Mahayana Buddhism, the Great Vehicle. The first two lines teach about refuge. The last two teach about generating the altruistic awakening mind.

All who take refuge have a feeling of closeness and trust toward the Three Jewels—the Buddha, the Dharma (his teaching), and the Sangha, the spiritual community of monks and nuns. This is the factor that determines whether or not you are a Buddhist. If you take refuge in the Three Jewels, you are a Buddhist; otherwise you are not. One can take refuge at varying levels of profundity, depending on one’s intellectual level. The more you understand about the nature of the Three Jewels, the more you will be convinced of their special qualities. Your seeking refuge in them will then be that much more stable and profound.

The way we seek refuge in the Three Jewels varies. One way is to entrust ourselves to the Three Jewels, viewing them as objects superior to us and seeking their protection, refuge, and support. Another way to seek refuge in the Three Jewels is to aim to become a Buddha one day by acquiring their supreme qualities of knowledge and insight. The two ways of taking refuge demonstrate differing levels of courage and determination. Some people seek the support and protection of a superior person in times of danger and hardship and need the backing of that person in order to accomplish whatever they set out to do. Such people are not really capable of doing things for themselves. However, others are more courageous. They might request some initial assistance, but they are determined to help themselves. They exert whatever effort is necessary to fulfill their wishes. They are intent on becoming independent, so they work hard to realize their goals and rid themselves of problems.

In taking refuge, there are also those who are not very courageous. They entrust themselves to the Three Jewels, praying that they may be given protection and refuge. They lack confidence and faith in themselves to ascend to the status of a Buddha. This is the attitude of people seeking only their own liberation from suffering and rebirth. Those seeking the liberation of all beings are much more courageous. They also entrust themselves to the Three Jewels and seek protection and refuge from them, but their primary aim is to achieve the supreme state of Buddhahood for themselves so that they can best serve others. Such people are determined to eliminate all the imprints of disturbing emotions and realize the impeccable qualities of a Buddha. This mode of taking refuge is farsighted.

Because it is clear that seeking refuge can take various forms and can be done on various levels, it is essential to think about the nature of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha and their special qualities while reciting the refuge formula.

By the force of generosity and other virtues,

May I achieve Buddhahood to benefit all sentient beings.

These two lines express the awakening mind. By cultivating this special aspiration, the individual aims to attain the highest state of enlightenment in the interest of all sentient beings. Starting from taking refuge, in all virtuous actions the practitioner thinks, “I shall engage in these wholesome activities so that sentient beings may be free of every misery and dwell in complete peace.”

The practitioner’s good deeds are not geared to self-interest. This aspiration is most marvelous, courageous, and expansive. By the power of this thought, the practitioner sows the seeds and lays the foundation for all the wonderful things in this life and the lives beyond. These lines contain the essence and root of the Buddha’s teachings. Although the verse is very short, its meaning is vast and profound. While reciting these lines, we should direct all our Dharma practices, such as meditating and giving or listening to teachings, to the benefit of all living beings. We should not pay only superficial attention to the words but instead reflect on what they mean.

Whenever we do any Dharma practice, we begin with this verse for taking refuge and generating the awakening mind. Usually we recite it three times, although there is no rule that we cannot say it more or fewer times than this. The purpose of three repetitions is to be able to reflect on the meaning while we recite it. Through this practice we should be able to effect a transformation of our attitudes, to positively shape our minds. To do this it may be necessary to recite it many times. Depending on your disposition, you might like to recite the two-line refuge formula many times, then recite the formula for generating the awakening mind in the same way. In this way you can concentrate on one thing at a time and make the practice more effective. After reciting the lines about fifteen times, there should be a change in your heart. Sometimes you may be so moved that there are tears in your eyes.

Only after engaging in a proper practice of refuge and generating the awakening mind should you engage in any other practices, such as saying prayers or reciting mantras. The strength of every subsequent practice depends on the quality and strength of your practice of refuge and awakening mind. It is doubtful whether merely reciting prayers without proper motivation is a Buddhist practice. It may be no more useful than playing a tape recorder. Therefore, developing a positive motivation is crucial in this context. The whole emphasis of our spiritual practice should be directed to creating positive and healthy thoughts and actions.

When we prepare a meal, we need to start with the major ingredients like rice, flour, and vegetables. Spices and salt are added later to lend flavor. Similarly, when the major objective of Dharma practice has been fulfilled by creating a positive and healthy mental attitude, other practices, like prayers, visualization, and meditation, also become meaningful.

All religions are meant in principle to help human beings to become better, more refined, and more creative people. While for certain religions the principal practice is to recite prayers and for others it is mainly physical penance, in Buddhism the crucial practice is understood to be transforming and improving the mind. This can be viewed in another way. Compared to physical and verbal activities, mental activity is more subtle and difficult to control. Activities of the body and speech are more obvious and easier to learn and practice. In this context, spiritual pursuits involving the mind are more delicate and harder to achieve.
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