Article Index

Studying

The heart is studying the Dharma, studying philosophy, with intention, not like university, which is intellectual study so that you can find a job and money; that's nothing to do with transforming your mind, just intellectual understanding, not to benefit others. When studying Dharma with the intention to have realisations of the path to enlightenment in this life, in this mind, of guru devotion, definite emergence, bodhicitta and emptiness; requests to the guru, accumulation, and purification help one to have realisations; all of this together. Not studying at university so that you can get a job later, this is a very mundane motivation. Even if the subject is Dharma, if that is your motivation, it isn't Dharma, but eight worldly concerns. What you are doing is the most important thing in life, especially the sangha, living in the vows. It makes life unbelievably precious, so precious, and with that studying Dharma. It is as if your life has become gold from kaka. You are doing the most important thing in the world, the most important thing in your life, and the most beneficial thing for sentient beings and for yourself.

Final Advice for Monks and Lay Residents

I want to say again how it is so important this monastery here, because in our organisation there is one other small monastery in Australia, built by Dr. Adrian. Nalanda Monastery has existed for a long time and I think it is the only Tibetan monastery in the West. There are many retreat places but I haven't heard of any other monasteries, and the reason is that it is so difficult. Therefore, you should feel that you are unbelievably fortunate to be a monk at Nalanda Monastery. Even in Switzerland, Geshe Rabten Rinpoche, who was my teacher in Buxa where we had very few texts, but I received teachings from him. They had very good conditions and under the guidance of a great scholar, many spoke Tibetan, debated, but none of them lasted as monks, and this included Alan Wallace who left to meditate on shiné but didn't complete. There may be one Australian monk left. Also, Antonio Satta was there for some time before he ordained. Here the conditions are not as comfortable as there, and it was cheaper there, but this monastery has lasted much longer. Even though some of the old monks, such as Thubten Pende disrobed.

It is a question of merit. If you don't have much merit, you won't last long. Even in great comfort and with a great master you won't last without merit. You need to make a lot of prayers and accumulate merit in order to complete your life in vows, this richest life, ‘the' life that accomplishes everything. It's very easy to accomplish liberation and enlightenment, and being ordained is the best basis for practicing tantra. So much merit and good karma is needed to live as monk. If you don't have merit, you won't last. Anyway, living this life as a monk, living in ordination, every second is more precious than a sky filled with wish granting jewels. So easy to achieve attainments.

Those who are living a lay life, with family, your partner is who you are going to practice Dharma with, patience, good heart, loving-kindness, and compassion with. Develop your mind with that person. Use that person by generating these qualities, use this person to achieve enlightenment in order to liberate numberless sentient beings and lead them to enlightenment, including this person. Especially always practice patience and the other perfections in order to achieve enlightenment. If someone is angry with you, you don't need to look outside, you have that most precious sentient being in your home that gets angry with you, scolds you, you can practice bodhicitta and let go of the self-cherishing and achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible. In this way, you can become a smart person and use this person in order to achieve enlightenment for all sentient beings. If a person wants to go away after some time, if your motivation is to practice Dharma, it shouldn't be a problem. Therefore, if you live a lay life, this is how you can practice Dharma. Your goal should be to benefit sentient beings.

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