Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tenzin Palmo's Teachings

Cited from the book Three Teachings, which compiles her talks in Singapore during a visit in 1999.

Every being on the face of this Earth faces challenges. As a person, we all also face challenges which are multifaceted. It is so important that in the short decades of this human life that we make full use of what unfolds in our lives, whether good or bad, to learn the lessons we have to. Hopefully more and more people can be touched by the Dharma, and together make this life the best one ever needed, in the face of all tribulations.

Take some time to savour the following teaching by this great teacher.

Q: Is there something that you would have us take away from this meeting with you?
A: I think that we are in this world apart from anything else to really cultivate the mind on many levels and to open up the heart. And anything we can do which helps us do that is a good thing.

We all come from many different backgrounds. We each have such different histories, not just in this lifetime but in many lifetimes, so we are all coming form very different places. And in this lifetime we all have very different lessons to learn and different experiences which we need to undergo to help us to grow.

If one considers us all as like little children, then what we are trying to do is to mature. And all of us are maturing at our own rates. Certain experiences will mature one person and not another. So it’s not that everybody has to do things the same way, or this is the right thing to do and this is not the right thing to do. For different people at different times and in different places, there are infinite amounts of experiences which have to be undergone, and some things which don’t need to be undergone at all.

But the goal is to really understand the mind, to bring clarity into our mind and to learn how to tame our untamed minds, our wild emotions, our wild thoughts, to really begin to understand our inner life and to cultivate the mind and to make the mind increasingly clear and full of genuine understanding. Along with that, to open up the heart with loving kindness and compassion, so that we really do experience the happiness and suffering of others, that we’re not just trying to make ourselves happy and cozy in this lifetime. That’s very important.

Dogs and cats have the same idea to make themselves happy and cozy in this lifetime. There’s more to it than that. The fact is that we are human beings. We should use our human potential and not just slip back into being glorified dogs and cats. Do you understand? I mean, all animals want to be comfortable, they want to have nice food, they want to have sex. We always know what is the most comfortable chair in the house because that’s where the cat’s sleeping.

It’s a tremendous waste of the human life to just devote our lives to that level. We have such great potential. If we think just being comfortable will bring us happiness, then we are very mistaken. Our happiness really lies in bringing happiness to others, so in whatever sphere of life we may be, we can all do that.

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