The Power of Dependent Origination, London

Transcript of the teaching video:

The profound Dharma of all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas is very precious. I have a feeling that among the audience there are also highly realized beings like bodhisattvas and Buddhas, so I feel very uncomfortable sitting here. On top of that, there are also people who have a deep knowledge of the Dharma present, so I feel uncomfortable teaching in front of them. I imagine for myself, or I have the discriminating factor, that all those holy beings present are actually sitting higher than myself and making offerings to them. But if I want to escape, I don't know where to escape to.

From the point of view of introducing myself, there might be people who already know me, but maybe some people do not. I'm a lady from Tibet, born in Tibet. The topic of today is bodhicitta, and that by itself is a very precious topic. To hear about it and contemplate it is very fortunate. Even if you are a non-believer or a believer, from both perspectives it's important to generate a good mind and good intention. That’s true for all beings. A good intention means working for the welfare of all sentient beings. In a similar way, we have to practice altruism, love, and kindness, and we should make that a part of our life. With that as part of our life, we should move forward. We all have this kind of potential or aspiration towards Bodhichitta, loving-kindness, and compassion. We all share that same aspiration.

We have this potential in our mind, and these positive states of mind are already present. However, we also have afflictions like anger and attachment that have the potential to take over. Just having the mere wish for loving-kindness, and compassion, like a prayer by itself, is not enough. We should take this as an aspiration and walk in that direction, ensuring we get the right conditions to develop these potentials of the mind.

From a worldly perspective, we see that we have various conditions in life to enhance those positive qualities of the mind. Most people in the world follow the sensory perceptions, which is a coarse aspect of achieving happiness through the senses. It is not only coarse, but it’s not very stable. The happiness gained from sensory perception is not very stable, and the objects of the senses do not bring a stable form of happiness, as they are in the nature of change they are always changing.

We also need to combine our positive intentions with wisdom, which is very important for us as humans. When we try to generate positive intentions of the mind, it's important to use wisdom in analyzing when attachment is involved, for example, when we generate loving-kindness, and compassion. We need a basis, like the foundation of a house, to achieve more stable forms of happiness. Similarly, we should look outside at all sentient beings because they are exactly like us-wanting happiness and not wanting suffering. We take ourselves as a basis and extend that to sentient beings.

Our basis, or our house, we know is in the nature of impermanence; one day it will be destroyed, one day we will die. As mentioned before, it is very important to join our good intentions like loving-kindness with wisdom; otherwise, it remains quite shortsighted. We have to look at the world and sentient beings and have a wish to protect and help them, as they are like our mothers and fathers. We should try to generate a close connection with them by contemplating these aspects and of course guards our mind so that we don’t get attached. That attachment is not involved.

So we need the aspect of wisdom combined with those good intentions, and then we try to do whatever acts we do with our body speech and mind, for the benefit of beings. We try to think about how we can help ourselves and others through studying, praising, or helping others in various ways. If we think along these lines using wisdom, the mind becomes more subtle, and our good attitudes become more profound.

We strive for happiness and dislike suffering. We should see that all others are in exactly the same conditions. By seeing that and looking at this dependence when we are harmed, we don't like it. So we try to understand that and that’s why we generate compassion, loving-kindness for others. By understanding that relationship of how we would react if something happened to us.

When we get close to those beings and generate kind-heartedness towards them, it's important to prevent attachment to those who are close and aversion to those who are distant. We should use various reasons based on wisdom to maintain equanimity towards all sentient beings. That prevents, and we should prevent jealousy and competition in our lives by understanding these points that we talked about. Particularly that all sentient beings want happiness and do not want suffering, exactly like us. We should take that into account and we should work for the benefit of others.

We all have respect of course for the Buddhas and also for the sentient beings. If we look a bit deeper into these aspects related with our perception of them, we will see sentient beings are disturbed and have many wrong views, particularly the wrong view of the apprehension of the self, which we call ignorance. People misunderstand reality which is related to how we perceive our external and internal worlds incorrectly, which is what we call ignorance -  grasping at a self. This triggers afflictions like anger and attachment. We have to look on what actually causes and we see that they are rooted in ignorance. Although we want happiness and don’t want suffering, as long as there is ignorance, we cannot accomplish our aims of happiness and avoiding suffering.

It is important to understand reality. What is ultimate reality? What is conventional reality? How things appear and their actual nature? That’s also true for our mind. We should understand the true nature of our mind as well. Ignorance about the reality of the outer and internal worlds leads to not knowing, but knowing reality generates wisdom that generates our inner and outer as it is. We must distinguish between reality and the things that appear to us, and which aspects our mistaken which aspects are illusory like or which aspects have perception of a mistaken view. Then we see, as long as we have ignorance, we cannot fully comprehend reality as it is. It is important to see the difference between mistaken views or the distorted perceptions and the wisdom that understands actual reality as it is.

I went a little bit into emptiness, but it’s important. We talked about loving-kindness, and compassion, which are related to our view of the world and our behavior. Although most people strive for happiness and don’t want suffering, they often engage in incorrect views and behaviors. They create causes for suffering and abandon causes for happiness. People see suffering as happiness, impermanent aspects of reality as permanent, and selflessness as having a self. These are incorrect views of reality many sentient beings have.

Every day, we need to think about these aspects of the world and sentient beings, and prevent ourselves from making strong distinctions. For example, we protect our own family from harm or criticism and feel strongly about our own country but not for other country. This leads to distinctions between friends and enemies, driven by attachment to those who are close who we consider as friends and anger, aversion and hatred to those you consider distant or don’t like. This is true for places and countries. If you actually think about it, it’s like a joke because that’s an incorrect understanding of reality.

We need wisdom to understand these aspects. Without it, we create boundaries, wars, aversion to those we dislike, and attachment to our own people of our own country. By the power of aversion and attachment in this way, there are wars going on, and they produce all kinds of very dangerous weapons where things go all the way upto mass destruction. That is all rooted in these afflictions. We can clearly see these afflictions are the cause for suffering and by actions rooted in these afflictions, we ofcourse create various types of karma. If you look at what’s happening in the world because them, it’s very dangerous.

These karma and afflictions are rooted in ignorance and a self-cherishing attitude - these two are aspects of a grasping at a self. These two cause us to make distinctions between “us” and “them.” This happens not only within our family or those who are close to us but also globally between countries. That’s why people engage in wars for small purposes, like acquiring more property or land. All problems in the world and our lives are created by these afflictions, particularly ignorance, aversion, and attachment.

Then we have to look about sentient beings as we’ve said before. We should respect sentient beings, and the Buddhas, because all sentient beings can achieve Buddhahood, because the ultimate nature of the mind of sentient beings and Buddhas has no real distinction; it’s only the temporary or adventitious afflictions that makes a difference. All sentient beings can achieve Buddhahood through correct mind training and realizing the ultimate nature of the mind. Understanding this aspect generates respect for all sentient beings because they all have the same potential to develop and become Buddhas. And then your interest will move into the path. This is why we need the wisdom to understand what’s actually going on.

Whatever we engage in, whether in worldly life, study, work, or livelihood, we need a particular form of wisdom or intelligence. However, certain aspects of wisdom or intelligence can be mixed with afflictions. We must ensure that our intelligence is free of afflictions; otherwise, it won't be constructive. By looking at reality and our life in this way, the mind becomes vaster, and we understand its potential much better.

We should analyze our relationships with those close to us, like family and friends, and prevent attachment from taking over because it happens very easily. Compassion for our friends and family often gets mixed with attachment, so it should be a kind of compassion free of affliction. Similarly, our intelligence should be free of afflictions. When mixed with afflictions, we don't accomplish our aims and may lose our good intentions. Because compassion mixed with attachment can turn into aversion if the relationship or situation changes and we might lose our compassion for that individual.

It's important to have wisdom that is there but also intelligence free of any form of affliction. Understanding these aspects helps us see the causes and nature of suffering and the need for a pure, unstained form of intelligence combined with genuine compassion that is not mixed with an affliction like attachment, in this case.

So, in a similar way, we have to look at how things relate with each other, right? How cause and effect relate with each other, and how suffering arises, and how happiness arises. So, that depends on the mind, those aspects are very much related with the mind. When we look then at the current, the present world, then we see the majority of the people are not that much looking into these things of the mind. They're mostly thinking about, happiness that is gained through sensor perception, to the object of the senses, and mainly referring to the physical body.

And of course, in the present kind of scientific world, we have incredible external conditions, of different things that help us to have a comfortable life. And science has produced, through physics and other aspects of science, an incredible amount of conditions that help us to have an easy life. But that is not enough. We also need to develop the internal world.

The external world development by itself will not really produce ultimate happiness. Although in the external world, we have incredible conditions. We can take our phone and talk with a person on the other side of the planet, for example. There are incredible conditions we have coming from science. Of course, we can use that. But that by itself will not establish a kind of sustainable form of happiness or stable form of happiness.

And in order to achieve that aspect, we need the education of the mind. We need to understand mind science and in order to generate constructive states of mind that produce happiness, like kindness, compassion, practicing patience, efforts, and wisdom, and especially intention, for example. So, we can see that next to the development of the external world, we need a development of the internal world, the inner world of our mind.

And if we don't have this education of the mind, then although we might develop a lot of things externally, we will not really obtain a form of peace in the world, because most of the problems, as we just already talked about, of the different problems in the world, they're rooted in mental states. They're rooted in afflictions.

So, we need a combination. In the near future, we need a combination of two. We need, of course, the external development for our physical world or to have a good life, but also we need education of the mind in order to develop our inner world. Yeah, so both of those are important.

So then, we have to understand these aspects of the need for the education of the mind because the external development by itself of our external world is not enough. And you can analyze that for yourself. You can see if the external development brings real ultimate happiness or not. We have to examine that aspect if that's the case or not. And then we can analyze it and come to the conclusion that actually we need also an inner development, inner development of the mind.

Next to the external development of what we see in science or physics, we also need the internal development from the science of the mind. And if we look into that a little bit deeper, then also we see that actually we are not in control. We are controlled by our afflictions and controlled by karma. So that we are not in control, that's a good insight, because then we understand we need to abandon and we need to eliminate these afflictions.

Because we all like good things in life. We like nice clothing, nice food, nice livelihood, and also we like to achieve happiness. Although the majority of the people in this world are mainly referring to the happiness of the body, rather than the more profounder aspects of happiness coming from the mind. So, we need also that development, the internal development.

And then we can look at various aspects of our lives, that everything we can see as a foundation or as a house. We have our family, we have the world, even states of our mind like afflictions, you can also see as being a kind of a house in that way. And all these various aspects of the external world and internal world, because they have certain boundaries and they are kind of foundations.

And not only they have boundaries and have foundations, but also they're in the nature of change. And that's also important to see that we can change our mind, we can eliminate suffering. Because we see that the afflictions like attachment and aversion create a lot of suffering. And when we eliminate those afflictions, then we also eliminate suffering. So we can see there's a possibility of change, and everything is in nature of change and in nature of impermanence.

Our mind is a bit strange sometimes, isn’t it?

The mind is quite amazing in one way and quite difficult to understand in another way. And of course, there are different levels of mind, and it's important to understand the coarser levels of mind and the subtler levels of mind, and conceptual and non-conceptual aspects of the mind. Because by the power of more coarse states of mind and conceptualities, we might create a lot of problems for ourselves in our minds. So, the mental consciousness is very important. The mental consciousness, at one point, it creates a lot of afflictions, and mental consciousness from another side can help us to eliminate affliction. So, the mental consciousness is extremely important to be understood.

Although there might be different divisions, there are coarser types of mind, subtler types of minds, and sometimes, if you really go more deep into examining the different levels of mind, you can easily find a hundred or thousand different kinds of distinctions. And in a similar way, we see that afflictions also cause a lot of suffering, and these afflictions cause suffering for us and others. And that's why we make a distinction between us and them. But on the other side, the mind, if we use correct wisdom and correct mind training, we can even achieve liberation. Yeah, so in that way, the consciousness, the mental consciousness, is very vast and can be very profound.

So, to understand the mind in its coarser forms and its subtler forms is extremely important. When afflictions arise, the coarser forms of happiness, then the mind is much coarser. And then when we generate more compassion or more constructive waves of mind, then the mind becomes more subtle. Yeah, so that's kind of aspects of the mind we try to understand. And also, we know the various kinds of afflictions of the mind, or it's easy for us to have covetousness or harmful intent or ignorance.

We see that afflictions like aversion and attachment as well that they're very strong in our minds. When we talk about the renunciation, Bodhicitta, and emptiness, they are very weak. And here I'm just talking about my own mind. I don't know about the mind of you. But we can see by the power of habituation, certain aspects of the afflictions are extremely strong, while the positive states of mind are very weak. And that is just only by the power of habituation.

So, we should try to habituate ourselves in a strong way or determined way to habituate ourselves to these kind of principal aspects of the path, like the good qualities of the mind, loving-kindness, compassion, wisdom, etc. So, by doing so, then we even capable of eliminating negative karma, we capable of eliminating afflictions. And that's also an amazing aspect of the mind, the potential of the mind, of this mental consciousness.

So, it's important to analyze our mind well and to see the different levels of coarser and subtler states of mind. And we can see it very easily in our daily life. For example, if you go to bed in the evening and you fall asleep, you will see that the coarser states of mind of the sensor perceptions, they cease to exist. And then a subtler mind comes, and then the dream comes. And then the dream also is very interesting. It's just like reflection. It's like a movie that you can dream about all kind of aspects.

Yeah, so it's important to analyze these various aspects - are they coarser or more subtle aspects of the mind? - in order to understand more about this mental consciousness.

It's very clear that we need to understand the different levels of the mind, and we need to use the mind because we always say that we like to be a kind-hearted person, and we never say that we like to be a bad person, right? So, that's kind of a part of our nature that we aspire to be a kind person. And sometimes even we say, "I'm a kind person" rather than "I'm a bad person." So, it has kind of a natural kind of attitudes we all have.

Then, as we said before, we need the wisdom is very important in our mind trainings, and the wisdom should also be focused on space-like aspects that we see the vastness of all sentient beings and seeing their need for happiness and not wanting suffering. That's a very important aspect of our internal training.

Because the external world or the science or the education of science we have at the moment, we're able to produce incredible good conditions for livelihood, incredible conditions of machinery, and hospitals, etc., that give us a very good way of life. But even that, even those aspects within science, those aspects that create the right conditions for our lives, also comes from the mind, right? The scientists also, they use their mind to understand how to make a particular object. We see computers and things like that, it's all created by beings, human beings with consciousness. So, it means that that also comes from an education of the mind.

But that external or the education of these external developments is not enough. We need, in order to prevent problems from coming into our lives, in order to have a happier life with more satisfaction, we need to protect the mind. We need to guard the mind or subdue the mind, so to say. And that we can only do by understanding the different negative thoughts or the conceptualities related with those negative thoughts. But then also see that even afflictions and negative thoughts, they're momentary, they also change moment by moment. So, there's a possibility of change.

And the mind, as we know, the mind that apprehends various objects, the mind itself is not a shape or a color. Yeah, the mind itself, consciousness itself, is something completely different from the physical world. Then, in the current science, in particular science of neuroscience, for example, then we cannot really understand consciousness or mind itself. And why is it so? Because the equipment we have at the moment we use in empirical science is a kind of very coarse aspects. We can measure, we can only measure very coarse aspects, and the mind is much more subtler. So, that indicates that with current science, we cannot really completely comprehend what consciousness is all about.

But we can, without doubt, we can understand ourselves that we all want happiness and do not want suffering. That is kind of an innate wish we all share. And that's not too difficult to examine and not too difficult to come to the conclusion. But then if we'd like to abandon suffering and accomplish happiness, then also we should know and look at the stages of temporary happiness and ultimate happiness and look at the vastness of the mind and understand the actual reality of the mind and its objects, as well as try to develop things, qualities of the mind like loving-kindness.

Yeah, we have the technique of seeing all sentient beings as your mother, remember the kindness, etc. And then although not easy to generate these kind of mind trainings, but possible. And because it's possible, and the more you use wisdom in this way, then by the power of habituation, you can change the mind. And that is also true for challenging topics like rebirth or compassion. Also there we can use wisdom that understands the interdependence and the continuity of consciousness.

And then we can understand how to develop these qualities of the mind like loving-kindness and wisdom. And by doing so, by using in habituation towards that, then we eventually are capable of eliminating all the negative thoughts or eliminating incorrect forms of perception. So we eventually able to eliminate afflictions and the root of afflictions - ignorance.

We need to understand the different types of wisdom, that related with the coarser and subtle states of mind. And then we will move in a particular direction because most of the time we have afflictions in our mind and with those afflictions we make a distinction between us and them. And we have shortsighted state of mind, we only think about our family, and then there's problems in the family, and then we lose our patience, for example. So there's a constant habituation of creating the causes for suffering. Yeah, we have a strong habituation to harmful intents or covetousness or ignorance or jealousy, for example, and that are the causes of suffering. So we should try to abandon those causes of suffering or abandon those types of afflictions. And that is possible because we can see that those afflictions are not an innate part of our mind, they're not a part of the true nature of our mind, they are mistaken forms of consciousness as we say. And that's are already two reasons why we can eliminate using our mental consciousness, using wisdom that we can eliminate these types of afflictions. And we need to do that if we want to eliminate suffering because we have to eliminate the cause for suffering. And then not only for yourself, but then also for others. So we try to strive to eliminate causes for suffering for self and others to eliminate those causes for suffering. And that we can also see that these causes of suffering are not innate parts of the mind, right? These afflictions are not part of the mind's nature so to say. So that proves that we can separate ourselves from these adventitious afflictions.

And we all need happiness and don't want suffering, that's very clear. But most people in the world although they want happiness and don't want suffering, they don't really know how to create the causes for happiness and how to eliminate the causes for suffering, yeah, because many beings in the world today just constantly create these causes for suffering themselves. So we need to change that. Then we have to understand different types of suffering, we have the suffering of suffering, the suffering of change, and the all pervasive compounded form of suffering, and it's also important to understand those three types of suffering and with that understanding, we are capable of eliminating those types of suffering. Because often we are overpowered by or controlled by afflictions like attachment and aversion and we don't want them. But the problem is that most people don't want suffering but people lack the methods to eliminate these causes for suffering, to eliminate these afflictions. So the wish itself of wanting happiness and not wanting suffering, the wish itself is not enough, we need to use wisdom and in analyzing these aspects of the mind and then eliminating these afflictions.

And as we talked about before we have different boundaries of different houses, we have our own boundary of our own family or our own country. In the monastic systems, we also have monasteries and nuns in the different traditions, and there's a danger of saying that this is our view or this is our Monastery. So you make a distinction between us and them. And then you cannot really benefit yourself, you cannot really benefit others. So it's very important to eliminate these afflictions. Because by the power of attachment we have a strong inclination to protect our friends and everything that is harmful towards our boundary or our home or our family then we generate aversion towards those who harm. So that is not really very constructive. We have to eliminate those afflictions. How do we do that? By understanding Emptiness. Emptiness is a very important aspect of the teachings- the ultimate nature of reality.

If you believe in Emptiness or not, if you believe in Ultimate Reality or not that does not really make much of a difference because that Ultimate Reality remains the same. We can look at that all things appear to be established truly. Things appear in a permanent way. But if you will analyze you can actually see that things lacking this self of true existence, things are in the nature of change and by the power of understanding dependent origination we will understand emptiness and by the power of dependent origination we also see that things are in the nature of dependence. For example we see things are in nature of cause and effect - dependence right?

We have the dependence on parts and a collection of parts and we see the different types of dependence among the different elements. So that dependence that we see is only possible if things do not exist in and by themselves. Dependence is only possible if things lack true existence and this lacking true existence that's exactly what we call emptiness. If you contemplate these aspects and then you look at the root of these afflictions and you can eliminate these roots of afflictions with the understanding of emptiness, then you will generate the faith, of belief in in the possibility of the achievement of liberation. So by understanding these aspects with wisdom, we see that we can accomplish Liberation ourselves.

And it's important to understand emptiness well because there's a lot of misunderstandings regarding emptiness. For example to say the space between you and me that is emptiness. Then there's a danger of completely misunderstanding it and there's even a danger of falling into the view of nihilism.

So it's very important to get a correct understanding and that correct understanding of Emptiness comes by the power of dependent origination. The law of interdependence is very important to be understood well. If you understand this law of dependent origination well, then also you will understand Karma, you will also understand how negative types of karma produce suffering and how positive states of karma produce happiness. So that's kind of a dependence in our continuity of consciousness we call Karma. So that dependence is to be understood. If that dependence is understood well, then also we see that there is a dependence of impermanence. Things are in the nature of momentary change.

What happens with these afflictions like attachment and aversion, they basically grasp at things in inherent way or a true way that we grasp at objects or people to exist in and by themselves. And if you analyze these aspects, nothing exists in and by itself. If you understand this aspect of Emptiness correctly, then you will eliminate the establishment of true existence or grasping at a self, and then you will be able to eliminate attachment and aversion.

So it's very important to use the wisdom understanding these things, and then if you look at these aspects, then you will generate a real genuine form of renunciation. If you really understand the three types of suffering and you understand how the suffering is caused by these afflictions and you understand how you can eliminate these afflictions by eliminating ignorance, then your generation of renunciation of wishing to be free of the suffering of samsara becomes very genuine and very profound. So we need a separation of suffering, and we can see that suffering and the causes of suffering are not an innate part of the mind. They're not a part of the mind's ultimate nature. That is also a reason why we can see that it is possible to eliminate these temporary or adventitious afflictions and eventually achieve the state of liberation. We need this wisdom analyzing these aspects as we just talked about, and then we will eventually be able to achieve Liberation. And then before Liberation is achieved then using these aspects of wisdom, we are capable of generating positive states of mind as well on our paths like loving- kindness, compassion, and then eventually Bodhichitta.

We need these aspects of wisdom that, as we talked about already quite in depth, and then when we understand the reality better, then we will able to eliminate these afflictions like attachment and aversion. It’s not that we exchange attachment and aversion or something like that. It is the transformation of the mind, that's what happening. And why can we transform the mind, why can we eliminate attachment and aversion because they are rooted in a concept of "I" and "mine".

We grasp to an "I", we grasp to a "mine", we grasp to "I this", "I that", in similar way we grasp to "my house", "my work", "my family", so we grasp at a particular reality in a very solid and inherent true way, and our aggregates, our body and our mind for example, if you analyze you see they do not exist in that concrete way.

Our body and mind are in the nature of momentary change, for example. Then when by understanding this aspect of change or momentary aspect of reality, then we can see that states of mind also are in that same nature, like we have that aspect of constructive forms of mind like loving-kindness, being in the nature of cause and effect relationships or impermanence as well as aversion and attachment.

If you look a little bit closer to how to understand this reality better, then we could just look at the inner world and the outer world. For example, the body, the different bones, the flesh of the different parts of the body, and the different vessels and organs in the body, and then you see there is a dependence there, it does not exist in and by itself.

In a similar way, if you look at external objects. If it's your house for example, then the house might appear in a very solid independent way, but if you analyze it's made out of bricks, cement, and has windows and floors, so it's made out of many parts and those parts depending on each other.

So by understanding these aspects, for example, of your body and external objects, then you get a sense of what actually is the reality, and you get a sense that things do not exist that solid out there as we think they do. And the afflictions like attachment and aversion, they are exactly rooted in seeing things very solid. They're rooted in seeing objects, inner and outer objects, in a very solid way.

So then if you look at your body, for example, or outer objects, and you look how the way they appear in a very independent way, existing by themselves or existing truly or inherently, then if you really look, you cannot really find that aspect in your body, you cannot really find that aspect in external objects.

So things look very stable, but they are not that stable as they appear. And that is also true for many aspects of reality. If you look in the quantum world of subatomic particles, if you look in colors and shapes, we see the same kind of nature that things are not existing from their own side, that things exist in the nature of dependence, and that's an impermanent reality.

And by understanding that our body also momentarily integrates and momentarily changes, and by seeing those aspects, then using wisdom, then we also see that these afflictions like attachment and aversion, they just are misunderstanding reality. They just grasp at a reality that is not really there.

So that's how we can use wisdom to eliminate or initially reduce afflictions like attachment and aversion. And then eventually eliminate them. So we should see the body and our family, for example, and if we use these techniques well and we see the real reality of our body and our family and things around us, then we can develop and we can reduce these kinds of afflictions.

If we don't use this kind of wisdom and we just have a nice life and have a good job and take care of our family, take care of our children, then we're not much different from animals because animals can do the same thing. Animals, they can also take care of their children. But we have to go a step further and use our human intelligence to develop. And that human intelligence, to be developed, we use in order to see that things do not exist inherently. And by seeing so or understanding that ultimate nature of reality, we will reduce these afflictions like attachment and aversion.

And of course, we need a body. It's not that you have to give up your body. If you see the different parts of your body, that's not the meaning behind these points, but to see that if you look for this inherent body, you cannot find. You only come to the conclusion that the body is merely imputed by the mind. And the same is true for the objects around us. And although they appear in a very concrete inherent way, but actually that's an illusion. That is actually the illusion aspect.

And if you look from that perspective, then things become very precious. Then your body and the things around you become very precious if you have that kind of understanding. And if you also then understand the ultimate nature of the mind that can completely comprehend reality as it is, that is also very precious, isn't it? If you really can generate a mind like that?

So we have to understand the mind, and we have to understand how things appear to us. For example, at home, you might have a shrine or an altar. And although it appears in a very solid way, but actually it's all in the same nature of the clear light mind.

So we have to understand these aspects with wisdom, and then things in life become very precious. If you don't really engage in this kind of analytical approaches of wisdom, then your life will just be wasted, like just reciting "Om Mani Pema Hung” without knowing anything about the meaning of it.

So that's very needed to generate Bodhichitta, but not just Bodhichitta, but try to join Bodhichitta with wisdom.

Translated by Geshe Tenzin Namdak

Photos by Olivier Adam