| and devotion
to the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha and the Guru.
In fact, we can abbreviate these into just one-compassion-because, when
we talk about Mahayana, we talk about compassion. And the same compassion
is almost interpreted as devotion in Vajrayana. So this is the second
aspect of the name Khyentse, "tsewa" or
compassion. Compassion is not only sympathy. In fact, it is the mind that
understands equality, equality between oneself and others, equality between
bad and good, equality within all dualistic phenomena. That is compassion.
But for many of us compassion is very difficult to arouse. There are so
many obstacles to compassion and the opposite of compassion, which is
selfishness, attachment to the self, is very strong. And
there are lots of favourable circumstances for that clinging to the self.
I cannot talk about you, but if I talk of my own experience, I find it very difficult to have genuine compassion even for a few seconds. Even if I am reading the Bodhisattva Vows and prayers and supplications, or whatever, and even though I understand the meaning, always behind all that there is selfishness. You know, in the Mahayana sutras there are many different kinds of bodhicitta. But the most supreme kind of bodhicitta is the shepherd-like bodhicitta, someone who wishes enlightenment for all sentient beings, someone who wants enlightenment only after all sentient beings are enlightened. That kind of bodhicitta mind is very difficult to realise.
I do not know whether you have this or not. But I have this a lot. I do not care about other people. And I consider myself quite good, at least, even just wanting to get enlightenment. Many people do not even want to get enlightenment. But at least I would like to get enlightenment. Just for myself, though! It must be happening to you. When we make offerings to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, even though we say this is for the sake of all sentient beings, our mind is always aiming for a result just for oneself. So compassion for sentient beings is quite difficult for me. I guess this is one of the reasons why I also like Vajrayana where devotion is taught as a sort of higher interpretation of compassion.
At least as a beginner, as a very deluded being, when you begin the practice of devotion, you can start with one person like your own Guru. It is much easier to admire someone than to take the responsibility for everyone. And I guess I must be also pleasantly brainwashed by people like Jigme Lingpa. Jigme Lingpa said that years and years of chanting mantra and reading sadhanas and doing pujas is very good, but it is nothing compared to a minute of meditation because meditation penetrates our mind probably more. Then he said that years and years of meditation is nothing compared to an instant of remembrance of the Guru. And this is why I think that the practice of devotion is very strong and all-pervasive.
But I understand that many people have difficulty with devotion. For those who have seen great masters like His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (like myself I am very fortunate to have met him), I guess we have less of a problem having this sacred outlook. But for those who have to end up with people like myself, I understand completely why devotion is so difficult! Because, firstly, you do not even have much trust in the Guru anyway these days. Again, I am going to tell you about some of my own experiences, but I know many of you are old Dharma students so you have heard these things again and again. I was saying that complete trust in the Guru is quite difficult. For instance, recently when I was doing Guru Yoga practice, I practised it all according to the text, visualising the Guru in front of you and all of that, and at the stage where you ask for blessings, both supreme or uncommon blessings and we can also ask for common blessings. Of course, as supreme blessings we ask for enlightenment, the growth of wisdom, dispelling ignorance and all that. This is, of course, the ultimate aim of Guru Yoga. And then, in order to benefit people, we can also ask for blessings so that one can have longevity, no sickness and all sorts of worldly blessings.
I noticed that my seeking for beyond-worldly blessings was much, much less than for worldly blessings. I was not really asking to get rid of my ego as much as I was asking for longevity, success for my projects and so on. Then I realised this - that I was actually still attached to worldly life. In fact, I was using the Guru as something like a god to ask him for certain rewards. Then as soon as I realised that this was not a great thought that I had, I then thought that the realisation of that fault was also the blessing of the Guru. At times, when I manage to realise my faults, then out of -- CONTINUE --
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