Friday, September 30, 2011

Message no. 1 from Khenchen Rinpoche

The below is a message from Lama Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen. I felt happy I received it. Sharing with you here:-

I hope and pray that you are well.  I think of you in my meditations.  We are very fortunate having this precious human life and taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and following the path... Usually I can't write long letters because I don't know how to type but today I have a good secretary so I'm taking the opportunity to say a few things. 

Without the Dharma our life in samsara is only suffering or a condition of suffering and we create more causes of suffering.  We are also very smart creating the causes of suffering.  Since we have the Dharma in our life it gives us wisdom to penetrate the reality nature of the causes of suffering and causes of peace and happiness in this life and eventually for complete enlightenment.  So it is for our own benefit and for others as well that we utilize this precious human life as best as possible.  This precious human life is a venue to do all the good things. 

First, take a deep breath and release all the tension both physically and mentally and then contemplate all phenomena which is composite.  The nature of impermanence and the nature of disintegration.  Including our human body.  So by contemplating this, purify all attachment and anger. 

Second, this samsara is a state of suffering.  Either suffering of suffering, suffering of change or in the condition of suffering.  So contemplate this carefully and those who are suffering in the world, physically or mentally, including our enemies, develop sincere compassion wishing them to be free from suffering and to achieve complete enlightenment. 

Third, these manifestations, happiness and suffering within impermanence, are based on causes and conditions .  Nothing functions independently.  All are in the constitution of causes and conditions.  And all the causes and conditions are infallible.  So it is to our own benefit using our empirical wisdom, avoiding and purifying all the causes of suffering and creating and accumulating all the causes of peace and happiness.  As an example, avoiding the ten non virtues and practicing the ten virtues.  

With this understanding, we take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and keep the moral ethics.  This makes the person pure and a subject of respect.  And then, having kept the moral ethics well, for ones own benefit to free from samsara, cultivate Bodhicitta, the mind of enlightenment for all others.  Based on sincere loving kindness and compassion.  Remind yourself of this practice every day and every moment when you are working or sitting.  This will give us wisdom and courage to do good things in our daily life and for others.  This altruistic thought inspired all the Buddhas of the past and the present.  They adopted this mind, the universal mind of bodhicitta, and they applied and practiced it in their lives and they attained Buddhahood and benefited countless sentient beings.  We can also take that example and inspire ourselves and follow the path.  So when we do these practices, our main focus is to purify all the mental afflictions.  For example ignorance, anger, pride, jealousy and so forth.  They are called the three poisons or five poisons and so forth.  They are the root cause of all our suffering and conflict for the individual and for society.  Without touching base on this no matter how much we try the real peace and happiness is impossible to attain.  This kind of experience is shared by all sentient beings.  So Dharma gives us this wisdom to understand the reality nature of suffering and happiness.  The Dharma has also great method and skill to tackle all these causes of suffering.

To purify these obscurations and mental delusions, the Vajrayanna teaching gives great skill.  Through this method, one gets the opportunity to manifest into the form of the deities which is called Yidam practice.  Inseparable of appearance and emptiness.  With this we repeatedly manifest into the Yidam deity and dissolve into emptiness based on ultimate bodhicitta that is supported by moral ethics. 

Here I mention a few words of the purpose of the practice.  There are many other books translated as a reference on how to practice.  I want you to have real peace and happiness and to be free from confusion and ignorance which are the root cause of suffering.  I will say prayers for your good health and successful meditation practice. If you'd like you may place this letter on your Facebook or web page.

Khenchen K. Gyaltshen

Longlife prayer for Khenchen-la:-
In the village of Tsari, prayer flags are flown and victory banners raised,
Searching for the stainless ambrosia for sentient beings,
You honour the great kagyu masters with a garland of mahamudra,
Great Preceptor, You who is equal to the three jewels, please live long for eons and eons!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Someone wrote in an email, that :

What is faith exactly? The Abhidharmakosha tells us:

"Faith is full confidence in the law of karma, cause and effect, in the Four Noble Truths and in the Three Jewels. It is also aspiration for spiritual attainment, and a clear-minded appreciation of the truth."

There is another type of faith that is a combination of traditional faith, wisdom and awakening. It is called SHINJIN in Shin Buddhism. In order to have SHINJIN, we need to let go of our petty little ego and submerge ourselves in Amitabha's Vows of benefitting all beings.  When there is SHINJIN, Sukhavati is not somewhere else. It is right here and now. I share with you a poem on SHINJIN:-

Amida is truly amazing,
By His blessings,
I perform Amida's work.
In turn, Amida performs my work.
Amida and I -
Different and yet not different.
No Amida,
No I,
There is only Shinjin.
Namu Amida Butsu.

Take care, keep a clear mind always and save all sentient beings!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Panacea of Pure Nectar

The below is a prayer written by Yang Teng Tulku (from Sera Me) and translated by Jampa Jaffe for clearing away Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche's illness and other obstacles. It is a lovely prayer and I have extracted out the English version below for easy access and reading, instead of opening pdf file from the FPMT website everytime you want to read it. You can just come here to read it.

Panacea of Pure Nectar
Playing out your magical drama of all the Conquerors' three secrets -
Sole refuge, kind lama, Holder of the White Lotus - Tenzin Gyatso,
To you, from my heart I request: here, now,
Bestow the bountiful attainment of boundless virtue and well-being.

Through you, the youthful and smiling turquoise spiritual goddess - Tara,
Arisen from TAM withn a shimmering shelter of five-coloured light,
May Lama Zopa Rinpoche, consummate holder of Buddha's doctrine,
Have unwavering life, his awakening deeds spreading far and wide.

Through you, primodial lord, originator from whom all lineages proceed,
Spiritual father Manjushri - Lama Tsongkhapa,
May Lama Zopa Rinpoche, consummate holder of Buddha's doctrine,
Have unwavering life, his awakening deeds spreading far and wide.

Through you, a majestic chain of golden mountains -
The succession of the practice transmission of Ganden,
May Lama Zopa Rinpoche, consummate holder of Buddha's doctrine,
Have unwavering life, his awakening deeds spreading far and wide.

O fierce king of Vajrabhairava's assembly of deities,
Wrathful one of the three realms - Yamantaka,
Crush to utter dust the inner and outer dangers
To Lama Zopa Rinpoche, consummate holder of Buddha's doctrine.

Through you, the timely triumphant King of Medicine,

And your healing nectar-compound that alleviates all ills,
May the elements of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, consummate holder of Buddha's doctrine
Be ever stable, his life-essence ever strong.

O mighty Lord of Death and your aiding allies,
Who care for the followers of the Yellow Hat as though your own child,
Instantly dispel the inner, outer, and unseen obstacles,
To Lama Zopa Rinpoche, consummate holder of Buddha's doctrine.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mara Nature

I was reading an email on "Maras" when it occured to me that just as all sentient beings have the Buddha nature, so do we all have the Mara nature. Of course, I think neither the sutras nor the Buddhist masters talked about "Mara nature". It might also be the first time you ever heard or seen the term "Mara nature". Just think about it, if there is Yang, there will also be Yin. If there is light, there will also be darkness. Likewise, if there is Buddha nature, there is also Mara nature. If one has the potential to be a Buddha, one has the potential to be a Mara too. Anyway, Mara need not be an external being. It could exist as our over-powering fear, greed, etc. Our misconceptions of "self" is also a type of Mara. From Mara to Buddha, we have the potential to be anything we want. We have the potential to be the next Bill Gates because we have the "Bill Gates  nature" in us. Similarly, we also have the "Adolf Hitler nature". It is only a matter of which "nature" do you want to develop. Choose wisely. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Do Your Ngondros Properly!

Just an an encouragement to others to do their ngondros (preliminaries) properly, I am sharing with you events that occurred everytime I achieved a milestone in doing the ngondros. But I will not disclose what are my ngondros or what are the milestones. Noways people do not place that much importance on ngondros anymore. Their mind is focused on receiving the Highest Yoga Tantra ("HYT") but no desire at all on doing any ngondros. Or, they think they can do ngondros and HYT at the same time. Call me old-fashioned but as far as I know traditionally ngondros should precede HYT. Anyway, these are things that occurred along the way (in point form).

– got practice advice

– Get to go to receive a Great Initiation.

– Dreamt of red-faced Vajrapani protector (Ni-o in Japanese). Bought the statue from online. Customs released the statue without tax.

– received teachings on short Guru Yoga meditation. Did not know there would be a teaching on this, it was a surprise. Originally went there just to visit him.

– dreamt of wrathful Green Tara, re-discover book on Tara, received teachings on 21 Taras and their mantras, and suggestion to do 100k GT mantra. Later completed 100k of GT mantra in 2011.

– got to buy a Rinpoche’s book on meditation. One of only 2 books there. The rest had to order. I feel this book will be instrumental in my meditation practice. True enough the opportunity presented itself when I had the chance to do a retreat. The retreat turns out to be a significant spiritual milestone for me.

So, please do your ngondros properly!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Khensur Lama Lhundrup in his blissful form

The cremation of the late Khensur Lama Lhundrup is over and the Kopan monastery Sangha is waiting to open the cremation stupa. I won't be surprised if they find some relics left by Khensur Lama Lhundrup. In a dream of him several years back, he appeared to me in his blissful form. It was from that time onwards, that I had the thinking that he has achieved some sort of enlightenment. But which stage of enlightenment I would not know. However, I have been told before that if he does not leave behind relics, it also does not necessarily mean he has not achieved any attainment. Whether there are relics or no relics, the dream I had of him will always stick to my mind. The second time I saw him in his blissful form was not a dream but during the Long life Puja for him at LDC. At the beginning of the puja when he stepped up on the throne  while people were chanting around him, with a light shining from the ceiling above the throne, at that time, another glimpse of him in his blissful form appeared in my mind. At that time, I said to myself, "Wow, I am seeing the Buddha." And I felt my eyes becoming misty from the joy erupting at that moment. It was quite something! I pray that we will always be able to maintain contact and may he reincarnate again amongst us!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2012 - Good or Bad Year?

2012. Is it a good or bad year? I used to be interested to know what is in store for next year, especially whether it is a good or bad year. Every end of the year, I would read books on the predictions based on the chinese animal zodiac signs. I would follow what Lillian Too has to say, and what Joey Yap has to say and compare with other prediction masters. However since a year ago I have given up all these. I am not so obsessive with finding out whether any particular year is good or bad anymore. It does not matter anymore. I will deal with it, good or bad, as it comes. Now I am not thinking about the Mayan prophecy or Chinese I Ching prophecy or whatever prophecy about the end of the world in 2012 anymore.

When we read a bad prediction, we often scare ourselves for nothing. And if it is a good prediction, we let it go to our head and let our guards off. And due to that, get ourselves in trouble. A situation that is supposed to be good, becomes a bad one instead. So, don't waste too much time looking for analysis on whether 2012 is a good or bad year. Or, whether the world will end or not in 2012. It is better you worry that you might die before you achieve any spiritual attainments, i.e. that you will die an ordinary sentient being and hence in your next rebirth still not sure where you will be reborn and still wandering in samsara without a guarantee that you will be able to practice and learn the Buddha dharma again. Predictions using feng shui or other methods, no matter how accurate will not lead anyone to enlightenment. Better spend time doing repentance or purification practices. That may be the only hope we have of ensuring a smoother year ahead! Nothing else can. Ultimately, however, good or bad - both are to be transcended. That's what I understand we must be able to do. Right or not? :)  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Whole World is a Single Flower Conference 2011

Two thousand five hundred years ago on Vulture Peak in India, the Buddha picked up a lotus flower and demonstrated universal truth.

At the end of World War II, Zen Master Man Gong took a petal from the leaf of the Korean national flower, dipped it in ink, and wrote a rough calligraphy that read: "The Whole World is a Single Flower."

This means equality, harmony and peace. It means that you and I, the sun and moon, earth and sky, air and water, are fundamentally not separate or different. We each have the same root.

It was the great hope of Zen Master Man Gong that all human beings return to this common root, our original substance, and from the root, a single beautiful world flower of equality, harmony, and peace might again appear.

Zen Master Seung Sahn founded the Whole World is a Single Flower (WWSF) conference as a way to bring people from many different countries and traditions together in the spirit of unity and harmony.

The first WWSF conference was held in Korea in 1987, in conjunction with Zen Master Seung Sahn's 60th birthday. The conference was held partially at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, and also at Su Deok Sa temple, the head temple of our monastic family. The conference was a success, paving the way to the bright future of this event. The second conference was also held in Korea, three years later in 1990. This conference also included Dharma Talks and practicing together at Hwa Gye Sa and Su Deok Sa temples.

The third conference was held in 1993, half in Korea, and half in Hong Kong and in China at the 6th Patriarch's temple, Nam Hwa Sa. Many people participated in this conference, which was also attended by the Chinese monks from Nam Hwa Sa temple. Zen Master Seung Sahn gave a Dharma Talk, and a precepts ceremony was held at the temple, during which several of our monks received monastic precepts.

The next conference was held in Hong Kong and China in 1996. The theme of the conference was "Become one, help all beings," which was seen as more appropriate by the Chinese government than the original slogan "Just do it!" Zen Master Seung Sahn attended, as well as his best friend, the Great Master Byeok Am Sunim, the Cambodian Patriarch Maha Ghosananda, and many other people from around the world.

In 1999 the conference was held at the Providence Zen Center, in Cumberland, Rhode Island. In addition to the three day conference, participants got a chance to visit Boston, the Cambridge Zen Center, Chogye International Zen Center in New York, and people from far away took a trip to Niagara Falls. The group also visited historic Plymouth Rock, which Zen Master Seung Sahn referred to as the "Primary Point of the United States." Many people from Korea attended the conference, including the lay members organization from Hwa Gye Sa.

The conference in 2002 was held at Mu Sang Sa, on Gye Ryong San mountain in Korea. In addition to the conference itself, participants enjoyed a tour of important Korean temples.

In 2005 the conference was held in Singapore. Many people attended from Singapore and Malaysia, as well as coming from countries farther away, such as Korea and the United States. The conference included a tour to the new retreat center in Malaysia.

The most recent conference was held in 2008 at Warsaw, Poland. The conference tour included a trip to Warsaw, Krakow, Auschwitz, Prague, Budapest, and a memorable visit to Won Kwang Sa temple in Hungary. Many people attended this conference from abroad, with many Koreans from Mu Sang Sa and Hwa Gye Sa families together.

The above extracted from and for further details refer to:

This year from October 16th to 26th, 2011, the conference will be held in India at the Buddhist holy places, and includes going to Varanasi, Rajgir, Vulture's Peak, Bodhgaya, Kushinagar in India and Lumbini in Nepal. Check it out!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Last Words & Relics of Zen Master Seung Sahn Part2

Part 1 is in the youtube. Having seen his relics and been told of his stories, all doubts on his morality and enlightenment are now cleared. I now believe there is a purpose he did what he did. And it was only to benefit others. That's always in his thoughts. And the same for Chogyam Trungpa. Zen Master Dae Bong related a story on him too and even though the story has nothing to do with morality, it was clear the master was imprssed with this tantric master, which he expressed as "extraordionary" (I think). Hence, there is no blemish now in how I think of Seung Sahn Sunim. He is nothing other than Great Wisdom and Compassion! Anyway, for those who still doubted him, he did displayed the aspect of doing repentance for his misdeeds, if any, and he came clean with it. The end result of all that is a code of conduct for the entire Zen school, which is a good thing. And I thank him for still reaching out to me even after 7 years of his parinirvana. When I put Zen in "cold storage" some years back, I knew there is a purpose in my meeting him and receiving the teachings. Now it is clear that there is indeed a purpose in my foray into Zen.

I put my palms together and bow to Seung Sahn Sunim for not giving up on me! With his teachings and what I have learned so far, I have understood Zen and Tibetan Buddhism better. He would have been proud of me now for attending the retreat and survived! Thank you so much!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Khensur Lama Lhundrup has manifested death

With deep sadness, it has been announced by Ven. Roger of FPMT that the former abbot of Kopan monastery has manifested passing away at 11.10pm Sept 7 (1.25 am Sept 8 Malaysian/ Singapore time). FPMT centers have been asked to do Medicine Buddha Pujas. This means another of my beloved teacher has gone. May we have the fortune to meet with him again!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lama Zopa Rinpoche's condition has improved

The link above has short clips of video showing that Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche has improved a lot since the stroke manifested, especially the last 2 videos showing he walked with assistance and without much assistance around the Bouddhanath Stupa. REJOICE!