And now a few words...
Good news from this summer of sorrows: Traleg Rinpoche lives. His yangsi, or tulku, or reincarnation if you prefer, has been found, approved and delivered to his home monastery in eastern Tibet. He is being enthroned there as I write. That means for the first time since the brutal Chinese invasion of 1949, all four rinpoches of Thrangu Monastery together again. Traleg was actually supreme among them.
The late Traleg Rinpoche was a peerless teacher. He was not only a master of Dharma but of human psychology: he had an advanced university degree. That made him so direct and so clear in his English you could not avoid getting his point. Dharma was not some psychological self-help therapy. He didn't want people messing around with meditation just so they could "feel better about themselves."
Traleg Rinpoche also had no patience for wishy washy, half-hearted plunges into spiritual makeover. He wanted us to wade all the way into the depth of Dharma. He actually made it seem, well not easy, but definitely doable and certainly reasonable. He went out of his way to give useful how-to. So in honor of his return and enthronement, here are a few words of his that may be of benefit to all.
From Traleg Rinpoche's commentary of the central Mahamudra text: Ocean of Certainty
"Each manifest physical act has a mental act that preceded it. Whatever we experience in terms of pain, pleasure, happiness and suffering is the result of the things we have thought and done in the past. Every thought we entertain and every deed we perform in this life leaves a karmic impression in the mind, which will determine our future...existence. ...
"In any case, you have to realize that no karma we create is this life is wasted. ... Whether we create negative or positive karma, it all leaves an impression in the mind. These impressions are like seeds that remain dormant until the appropriate conditions trigger them again and they come to fruition, which results in our experiences of happiness or suffering. ...
"Furthermore, whatever karma you create, it is your own. Karma cannot be transferred from one person to another or shared by others... We are each responsible for our own actions, and whatever we experience is the result of our own doing, not anybody else's."
"Even if you have managed to find a precious human body, you will be subject to the sufferings that are experienced by everyone without exception. These are the suffering of birth, old age, sickness and death. There is also the universal suffering of being separated from a loved one, being stuck with someone you dislike, coming in contact with people you hate and being separated from friends. Furthermore, everyone experiences difficulties in protecting what they have, either materially or in relationships. Everyone also experiences not getting what they want. There are various things we want and desire intensely, but circumstances make it impossible for us to acquire them. These sufferings are experienced by everyone without exception."
"Contemplating these aspects of samsaric suffering, which are experienced by each and every one of us regardless of position, wealth, beauty or talent, we realize samsara is an unsatisfactory state and something we should transcend. Generate a sense of despair from recognizing this true nature of samsara. Understand that the samsaric condition is a prison, because once you realize the imprisoning nature of samsara, you will develop an intense desire to break free. Once you have developed that intense desire to be free, your priorities will gradually change, because you will realize there is much more to existence that pursuing this or that temporary pleasure or happiness.
"Once you have a real understanding of the unsatisfactory nature of samsara, you will want to flee from it just as animals flee in all directions when a forest catches fire. ...The way to flee the samsaric condition is to accumulate the wealth of merit and wisdom. You should become rich in inner qualities and develop the richness of the mind."
~Sandy Garson "Wordsmithing to attest how the Dharma saved me from myself!"
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