Saturday, 17 March 2012

Garchen Rinpoche's teaching on ice blocks and water

Garchen Rinpoche was teaching "live" from Los Angeles on 25-27 Nov 2011, about the Amitabha Buddha practice. This picture was a screenshot I took. I have transcribed and summarised a small part of his teaching here.

Garchen Rinpoche said that all humans have the Buddha nature. However we do not know that we possess that Buddha nature.  Take the analogy of ice blocks and water.  We humans are like ice blocks, frozen and deluded. Because we do not know we have Buddha nature, we are like ice blocks; when we meet together and interact with each other, we can hurt each other.  On the other hand, the water does not have such problem.  This is the ultimate difference between sentient beings and the Buddha.

Hence we must know how to supplicate to the Buddha, to obtain his blessings, protection and strength. We must supplicate to the Buddha because the Buddhas have promised to look after us. Therefore we must give rise to faith and devotion and in that way, we come close to receiving their blessings. 

It is like the example of a child who is very hungry. If he is hungry and yet his mouth is always closed or does not open his mouth, how can he take the food to fill his hunger? And no matter how much a mother loves her child, she cannot help him if the child does not open his mouth to take the milk. In the same way, the Buddhas cannot bless us if we do not make the effort to supplicate to them and to reduce our suffering.

Where is the 'self' we believe we have?  There is no 'self' in the body, and there in no 'self' the mind. We always thought of 'I'. We think there is the existence of the self-grasping 'I'. Yet we cannot find the 'I' externally. If we continue searching for the 'I', we continuously create samasara, we continuously create suffering. When there is no self, we give rise to the altruistic mind.  The mind will feel at ease whenever there is no self. Then there is peace in mind, and you will have happiness which arise easily.

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