Attendees at this weekend’s teachings by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche at Karma Triyana Dharmacakra in Woodstock, New York (“Exploring the Four Foundations of Mindfulness”) may have heard a different approach to the dharma than they had expected.
The Four Foundations of Mindfulness is one of Buddhism’s most famed frameworks for working with the mind and awareness, both on and off the meditation cushion. . . .
Prajñā does not refer to passive knowledge, such as knowing stuff on Wikipedia or knowing how to get from Vancouver to Halifax. Prajñā is the active inquisitiveness of our mind, its basic curiosity of wanting to find out how things really are. If we look at the Buddha’s own career, this is exactly how he started. He did not start with the answers or by following some religion, tradition, or code of behaviour. He started with questions. As Prince Siddhārtha he lived in his sheltered existence in the palace of his parents, who wished to protect him from the bad world (as most parents do). However, eventually he got out with his charioteer and saw things he had never seen before, such as an old person. He asked his charioteer, “What is that?” “This is an old person.” “Does this happen to everyone?” “Yes, even to you.” The same exchange took place when Siddhārtha saw a dying person and a sick person. When he finally saw a meditator under a tree, the charioteer explained, “This guy tries to overcome all the problems that you saw before.” Every time, Siddhārtha realized, “I do not really know what is going on here,” so he tried to find out, which is now known as the Buddhist path.
Thank you, Nalandabodhi Canada, for permission to repost the first selection from their new Paramita of the Month series of email posts, featuring our beloved Mitras. What’s a “paramita”?
Why is generosity the first paramita?
Our habitual minds are very much oriented to focusing outwardly, and particularly on our possessions, whereas the path to awakening has a lot to do with relaxing our tight minds and opening up our awareness. That’s one way we could look at the Mahayana’s approach to the “accumulation of merit”: we want to open our minds up by getting its tendrils connected to the experience of other beings.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ilqjL-tlcQ&feature=em-uploademail[/youtube]On his recent teaching tour of the Eastern US, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche spoke at Tibet House US. There he answered
On May 11 and 12, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche gave three talks at Tibet House in New York City.
During the morning session on Saturday, DPR pointed out that the main message of the Buddha is to work with our mind in order to gain a deeper realization:
“Our minds are like wild horses, running this way and that. They’re very beautiful, but untamed. We must first tame them with the lasso of mindfulness, or recollection.