Losang Rinpoche continues his teaching on Padmasambhava's Guru Yoga, Prayer of Refuge. The second hour begins with a discussion on conventional reality and ultimate reality (also known as the Two Truths), emptiness, cultivating compassion toward all beings, the kinds of meditation we need to engage in, in order to truly establish a deeper level of practice, and other subjects.
Padmasambhava Guru Yoga, Prayer of Refuge
Myself and all sentient beings, boundless as space, take refuge in the
precious lama, inseparable from the Buddha.
In all the buddhas, dharma, and sangha we take refuge.
In the gatherings of the lamas, yidams, and dakinis we take refuge.
In the clear light of shunyata and dharmakaya, inseparable from my
mind, I take refuge.
MA NAM KHA DANG NYAM PE SEM CHEN TAM CHE LA MA
SAN GYE RIN PO CHE LA KYAP SO CHE WO
SAN GYE CHO DANG GEN DUN NAM LA KYAP SO CHE WO
LA MA YI DAM KHAN DROI TSOG LA KYAP SO CHE WO
RANG SEM TONG SEL CHO KYI GU LA KYAP SO CHE WO
Buddhism teaches that the source of our suffering can on one level be said to reside in our fundamental ignorance in believing that phenomena, and the self, possess an independent existence, or an inherent or fixed nature. Because of our misapprehension in this way, unhappiness inevitably results when we attempt to grasp at these illusory ends. At the conventional level, both objects, and ourselves, certainly can be said to exist independently; indeed our minds, grounded in our five senses, are habituated to both see and label them as such. A singing bowl is a singing bowl. Slightly less concrete: a rainbow is a rainbow. Upon deeper investigation however, neither phenomena, nor the self, can be found to independently exist, or possess such an inherent or absolute nature. Rather, all phenomena, all beings, are truly interdependent; empty of inherent nature or existence. Things do exist - Buddhism is not nihilism - but they don't exist in the way that we conventionally understand them to exist.
So how to cultivate a deeper compassion toward ourselves and others? Our deluded minds, relying on conceptual thoughts, obscure the unity of subject - the perceiver - and object - the thing perceived. How then can we apprehend our interdependence, when our minds themselves continue to delude us into believing in our independence and difference from each other?
To answer this, Losang la looks at two of the most important meditative traditions in Buddhism, Dzogchen meditation, and analytical meditation. Analytical meditation, grounded in the Gelug tradition of Lama Tsong Kapa, follows naturally from the way that many of our minds already work. So for example, we may meditate on the happiness of all sentient beings, or seeing all beings as our mothers. Who can find fault with such beautiful and essential meditations?
As even this still may be said to be grounded in our conceptual mind, and therefore deluded, the Dzogchen tradition might direct the meditator to free him or herself from such conceptual thought, and block thoughts altogether. In doing so, a direct understanding of the unity of all phenomenon, and the interdependence of all beings, true emptiness, our compassionate regard for all beings, naturally arises.
The morning concludes with the Medicine Buddha mantra,
TAYATA OM BHEKANDZE BHEKANDZE MAHA
BHEKANDZE RANDZA SAMUNGATE SOHA
... and a brief teaching at the very end on meditation technique.