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[This document can be acquired from a sub-directory coombspapers via anonymous FTP and/or COOMBSQUEST gopher on the node COOMBS.ANU.EDU.AU] The document's ftp filename and the full directory path are given in the coombspapers top level INDEX file] [This version: 2 August 1993] ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- SAKYA LOSAL CHOE DZONG CLEAR MIND QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER No 10 August-October 1993 Annual General Meeting & Shared Lunch The Annual General Meeting of Sakya Losal Choe Dzong, Tibetan Buddhist Society of Canberra will be held at 10am on Sunday, 12 September, at the centre. As this is not a usual Sunday session, only fully paid financial members of the Society can attend and vote at the meeting. All members are requested to kindly attend this meeting and have your say in the direction of maintaining and supporting the centre and its activities. At this meeting, the current committee will give an annual report of the society and the meeting will elect a new committe. As this is the first AGM since incorporation of the society, the attendence and contribution from all the members will help to pave the way for the establishment of an effective organisation to foster the Dharma to the wider community. Please come with any ideas, suggestions or criticisms you might have about running the organisation and its future direction. There will be a shared lunch after the meeting. BYO food, motivation, dedication and inspiration. Meeting on the Pilgrimage to India The proposed pilgrimage to India and Nepal in November is happening as scheduled. Those people who wish to join the tour in India with us but are making their own travel arrangements are requested to contribute their share to cover Lama's airfare. It will be approximately $200 for per person depending on the number of people. Any left over money from everyone's contribution after paying Lama's airfare will go into the kitty for the group's travel cost in India and for making offering in the monasteries. There will be a short introductory talk on the pilgrimage on Sunday 15 August after the regular session and there will be a preliminary discussion about the pilgrimage. Enshrining Generosity It is nearly two years since we first talked about ordering a traditional hand carved Tibetan shrine for the centre and some of you have already sent donations. The obstacles in making the decision to purchase a shrine are now totally eliminated since we have found a generous sponsor. Fiona, one of our member and dedicated practitioner gave a cheque for $2500 to buy a shrine as her going away present to the centre. On behalf of the centre and its members, Lama Choedak and the committe thank Fiona for her generosity and wish that she will have a successful year abroad and that she be always guided by the light of Dharma in her life as the shrine remain as a symbol of generosity and the focus of all practitioners who come at the centre. Let us all rejoice in her generosity! Well Done Fiona! Workshop on Mahayana Antidotes to Emotions Date: Sun. 19 Sept, 10-4pm, Cost $50 Conc. & membs. $40 Vegetarian Lunch provided Lama Choedak will conduct a one day workshop on specific Mahayana Buddhist antidotes to effectively deal with one's emotions. Most people who suffer from stress and are unhappy with their relationship or work are largely caused by their inability to deal with their emotions effectively. Buddhist teachings lists many effective techniques of antidotes (Nyenpo) to identify, transform and utilize emotions rather than being swept away by adventitious emotions. We have no real problems with other people except with our own emotions and its projections. Most of the time, we fail to capitalize the emotions as we fail to give sufficient time to see the true reason of the rise of an emotion. Before rejecting one's emotions and exercising restrain, transformation and extracting its essence known as the three approaches, one has to cultivate the awareness to distinguish oneself from the emotions before it can dragg oneself into old habitual patterns. Effective application of the prescribed antidotes to the emotions will give birth to a matured and wise self and one will free from the problems of past. A Workshop on Sleeping & Dream Yoga in Tibetan Practices Sun. 10 Oct. 10am - 4pm. Cost $50, conc. & mem. $40 Vegetarian lunch provided We all dream at night and day. We aspire to fulfil our dreams of our lives by devoting much of the time. Practitioners in Tibet do not keep a diary of things they did during the day, but they they do keep a record of their dreams at night. Dream Yoga is an extension of the practice of sleeping Yoga. All of us have prophetic dreams as what might happen to us in the future and we also dream of things that were dear to us in our previous lives. Dream Yoga is an advanced practice but there are some fundamental benefits by learning the basics of our dreams according to the Buddhist teachings. Some classical Buddhist interpretations of dreams will be also be discussed at the workshop. If you wish to attend these workshops, please book early to help us organise. Note: When there are workshops on Sundays at the centre, it is only for those who have booked and have paid to attend the workshops. One cannot just come thinking it is a regular session. Thank you! Gorum Publication As all the talks, courses and workshops given at the centre by Lama Choedak and visiting teachers have been recorded for the benefit of many, a group of people has been formed to transcribe and edit them. Pauline has spearheaded the transcribing work on the current series of lecture on Buddhism and social problems given on Sundays and half a dozen of tapes has already been transcribed. Others have shown interest in transcribing the series of lecture given on the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism last year. Once editing and proof-reading works of these series are completed we hope to publish them into small booklets. The publication is named after the famous "Gorum library" in Sakya monastery where some of the rarest Buddhist canonical manuscripts in Sanskrits were discovered in the early 40s. If you are interested in helping to edit, proof-read and the publication work, please contact Pauline. Ordination of J–ana Vajra Rinpoche The younger prince of His Holiness Sakya Trizin, who is known as Dhungsay Kushon Rinpoche took the Shramenera ordination in Lumbini at the auspicious occasion of the Great Sakya Prayer Festival held in Lumbini in last March. He was ordained by His Eminence Chogay Trichen Rinpoche with the assistance His Eminence Ludhing Khen Rinpoche and many senior Sakya Vinaya holders. The news of his ordination comes as the realisation of his wish to emulate Sakya Pandita and Chagyal Phakpa, the great red (ordained) pair of Sakya fore-fathers. Although it is very likely that his elder brother will be the next successor to maintain the hereditary lineage of the holy Khon family, His ordination as a monk will give the Khon family a chance to revitalize its significance in the Vinaya lineage within the Sakya tradition. The members of the Sakya Losal Choe Dzong offer hearty congradulations and respects to J–ana Vajra Rinpoche for his ordination. Lectures on Understanding Vajrayana Buddhism From 22 August, Lama's Dharma talks on Sundays will focus on a new topic, "Understanding Vajrayana Buddhism". Considering the importance of knowing the meaning and the role of a Guru, Dhyani Buddhas, meditation on deities, Mandalas, visualizations, initiations, Mantras and so forth, this is an important topic people cannot afford to miss. Vajrayana Buddhist meditation practices teaches how to transform our every day experiences of form, colour, art, movement, gestures, sounds and emotions into a complete set of inner universe which is comprised of interrelated forces and universal symbols thus shedding a light of understanding upon the problems of duality, time and space, ego and universe, causality and synchronicity. Framing Dharma Images Do you have any pictures, Wisdom calendar prints or Dharma posters you have been wanting to have framed, but haven't because its a bother and often so costly. Well here is a possibility. I can frame pictures at a reasonably low cost. The frames are simple, polished gold finish, just like the White Tara at the centre's shine. They are quite effective and permit one to benefit from having well presented Dharma images in one's home shrine. Enquiries call Liuz Riberio ph. 247 5898. Beru Khyentse Rinpoche to Visit Australia Beru Khyentse Rinpoche, one of the senior Lamas of Karma Kagyu school will be visiting Australia in October this year. Accompanied by several Lamas and a Canadian translator, Rinpoche will be giving teachings in Sydney and Melbourne and will conduct a 10 day retreat on Mahamudra near Pambula. Enquiries to Magaret Martin (064) 957226 or Luiz Ribeiro (06) 247 5898. Sharing Sessions On Sundays While Lama Choedak is away, students and members will be asked to take turn to lead the Sunday sessions and give a Dharma talk as we did last time two years ago. Everybody who took part enjoyed it and was great fun to speak and listen on every individuals own understanding of the Dharma. Fully paid members who wish to take part in sharing to lead the Sunday sessions between late November '93 to early January '94 are asked to write down their names next to the list of suggested topics and dates provided on the notice board at the centre. Sherab's Birthday Party At 5.00pm on Sunday 29 August, there will be a birthday party for Sherab, Lama's son at the centre. All members and friends are cordially invited for this occassion. Come and try some Tibetan momos! Special Full-Moon Night Tshog Offering At 7.00pm. on the Full-Moon night on Wednesday 1 September, there will be a special Chenrezig Tshog offering (food offering) and candle light ceremony at the centre. This is to commemorate the Anniversary of Tsharchen Losal Gyatsho, the founder of the Tsharpa sub-tradition of Sakya lineage and also to celebrate the birthdays of both His Holiness Sakya Trizin and His Eminence Chogay Trichen Rinpoche which fall in that week. As our centre is named after this great master, his anniversary will be celebrated each year. Beginning Ngondro Practice by Vivien Hinton I began Ngondro practice in November last since the Wednesday night combined Chenrezig -Ngondro session was introduced after the completion of the Ngondro teachings. With the visit of Chagdud Tulku, in December I was moved to begin a daily practice at home. I started ambitiously with 100 prostrations in the morning with a Dharma sister who was staying with me at the time. This was an incentive to set up a small shrine which has been moved several times, to find the suitable location. There was a lapse of several weeks after my friend left and my motivation sagged. I started again this time, as Luiz suggested in Clear Mind, Nov. 92 with fewer but nevertheless heartfelt half length prostrations. I visualized the Wish-Fulfilling Tree with all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas pleased with my effort and my body, speech and mind being purified with each prostration. I began keeping a record then and note with encouragement that I have sustained a modest but regular commitment for four months. With study and family commitments, I attend Wednesday night spasmodically, but when I do go, I find I get a real boost from practising with the enthusiastic group of regulars who come faithfully through the cold winter nights. We come ready to peel off a layer of clothing (as we want our negativities to peel off) as there is nothing like a hundred prostrations to warm you up. I am happy to report some immediate benefits like a simpler lifestyle, reduced stress etc. as Lama once said: "We have Karma lined up waiting to ripen from previous lifetimes, notwithstanding this one" so don't expect miracles. Rather he likened the effect to dumping a huge amount of water on a rock in one instant which would not effect the rock, but the same amount of water dripped onto the rock over years will undoubtedly produce an effect. Knowing this one tries not to create anymore negative Karma while purifying the negativities of the past. I can also report that having a shrine or simply a photograph of the Refuge Tree of Refuge Object (If you need a photograph ask Lama Choedak) with incense and candles in a place where one can practise at anytime is an incentive to practise Ngondro, White Tara or other Sadhanas. If I travel or spend the night elsewhere prostration is difficult or would raise eyebrows, so I maintain the practice by recitation of the Refuge prayer only. When my motivation falters, I try to remember that many people do not have the fortune to hear these precious Vajrayana teachings or possess time or even freedom to practise. I am fortunate to live in a place like Canberra with Dharma centres and a teacher like Lama Choedak. I have a sound body and mind and I must grasp this opportunity to practise while I can. Finally I would like to thank Lama for the thorough grounding he has given us in the Preliminary practices and encourage my Dharma brothers and sisters to maintain or begin Ngondro as a basis for daily practice. Is Practice an Informed Choice? by Lama Choedak Ngondro is an indispensable foundation practice for all those who have embarked on the path of Vajrayana Buddhism. By practising Ngondro with firm faith, inspiration, diligence and patience according to the unmistaken practices of the lineage and completing at least the prescribed number, one will cultivate a solid foundation which is so vital in one's Dharma practice. Even if one has mastered the knowledge of many Buddhist Sutras and Shastras, the true realisation and blessings of the Triple Gem, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and the lineage Gurus cannot be obtained until one truly cultivates Ngondro practices. While it is stimulating to hear the teachings on "Mahamudra", "Dzogchen" or "sudden realisation", the true realisation develops from the lesser to the greater degree by purifying one's negativities and accumulating virtuous deeds. In this real conventional world, application of the basic pinciples of the teachings are more important than the end result, as results whether obtained gradually or suddenly, are determined by the relevant causes and conditions. If it was not for the accumulation of merit and purification of negativitive deeds, there will be nothing to do on the path of enlightenment. Philosophers and dialectics can indulge in endless and obssessive debates on the differences of gradual and sudden paths, but humble devotees of the Dharma have to work for the cultivation of a firm foundation through faith in the Triple Gem, diligence in the purification of one's negativities; and unshakeable devotion in the Guru and his lineage. Practitioners who have not set their feet on the Ngondro practices can be seen drifting from one teacher to another or from one tradition another without any sense of direction and discipline in their practices. Disciples who appear to have had many teachers but lack true faith and discipline in themselves are lost for they fail to practise their instructions. Without considering requirements and committment of themselves as disciples, they will run hither and thither between different lineages like a person, who has failed to secure a healthy relationship. They will not have any idea of loyalty, friendship and endurance that is required on the path of Dharma, because they have not understood the meaning of refuge and will therefore be reluctant to adopt foundation practices as they are enslaved by their own ego and procrastination. Until one can break one's old habitual pattern through the prescribed foundation practices one cannot modify one's old habit. It will be equally difficult to be able to see the amount of negativies which are haunting one's mind, so one fails to see how the three poisons of one's own mind are creating the sufferings. One will be so benumbed by one's own illusion that the need of the purification practice through Vajrasattva meditation will not even occur in the mind. Under these circumstances, the notion of restraining from non-virtuous deeds and accumulating virtue through the rite of Mandala offering will be almost impossible to imagine, let alone doing it with faith and devotion. For practitioners who are in that state of mind, even if the Buddha himself manifested in person, they will fail to see him, but will be looking for something else. This is the reason why people must become familiar with the four common foundations until their minds and hearts are matured by those basic teachings before learning the uncommon practices and leaping forward for high teachings. For those who haven't cultivated their foundation, no high teachings or high teachers will be able to help them as their faith in the lineages and teachings are yet to be cultivated. People who have not adopted a sound practice in their lives will not find happiness with whatever they might do with themselves. Unfortunately there are some teachers who profess the unsuitability of traditional practices such as prostrations and Mandala offering to their Western Dharma students. It is very likely that those teachers who dissuade people from following these traditional practices, never completed the preliminary practices themselves. Or else they may have lost faith in such practices due to their own failure to experience the real benefit of those practices. Deliberately telling the unsuitability of such practices is dangerous and misleading for they will water down the traditional practices. The over-emphasis on the reactive feeling of the individuals rather than how to overcome such feelings and their causes will loose the depth and quality of these practices. Authentic practices are aimed for the long term benefit of oneself and others. It is different from short term emotional patch up sessions. The practice of Dharma is not a sprint run, it is rather like a marathon. Trees which bear fruit take number of years to grow even if one takes all the appropriate care for the seed, sprout and so forth. One can buy artificial plastic trees made in Hong Kong for instantaneous decoration for an emotional party but they are not comparable with the natural trees. To be a stable practitioner, one must be patient and diligent for without these two basic qualities, it is difficult to be a practitioner. Diligence and patience will be truly tested when one experiences the difficulties of maintaining the practice. Why is it easier to start many shortlived relationships but very difficult to maintain one healthy relationship? Practising Ngondro not only establishes a healthy relationship with oneself but it is probably the best thing one can offer to oneself. While we may have come several hundred years after the eminent teacher who prescribed these practices, we still have the same negativities for which these practices were prescribed in the first place. One must have the wisdom to distinguish between authentic teachings of the past realised masters and the over-simplified version of ancient teachings into modern theraphy sessions. Sakya Pandita said: "The precious gems stay at the bottom of the sea-bed, but the unwanted rubbish floats on the surface of the sea". Fortunately there are still few true lineage holders who will protect such practices from the danger of deliberate degeneration caused by carelessness and disrepect. In order to find the precious gems of realisations, one must dive deeper into the ocean of practice without being disheartened by the discharge of one's own emotional negativities. True practice begins when one resolves to modify one's old behaviour by discovering one's own weaknesses and failures by adopting the foundation practices. One will prioritize one's practice, if it an informed choice which gives rise to have faith in the practice. As each day, week and year comes to their conclusions, one often wonders whether anything has been achieved or not. Well, if one is to faithfully follow the prescriptions of the Dharma by adopting these basic and yet most crucial practices in our daily lives, such question will not arise even at the time of death. Attending the Wednesday night practice sessions with fellow Dharma friends at the centre is a good opportunity where one can start to build a sound discipline in one's life. Buddhism & Social Problems by Pauline Lama Choedak delivered series of lectures on Buddhism and social problems during March and April of this year at the request of members and students who attend the Sunday morning sessions at the centre. These talks covered a range contemporary social problems including alcoholism, violence and sexual behaviour. The final session covered the importance of gratefulness. This might at first appear incongruous amongst the other topics, and certainly not the usual domain of the sociologist, but it ultimately proved to hold the key to curing many of society's ills. What follows is a brief summary of some of the issues he raised. At the outset, Lama Choedak challenged the conventional western view of social problems as unpleasant things going on somewhere 'out there ', perhaps originating in California, that as concerned (but innocent) citizens we need to go out and confront. There was discussion on the attractiveness of helping others, and how this can be the source of great personal pleasure for the 'helper'. Unfortunately, however, many of us have not reached a level which enables us to help other people at all. If this is true in our case, we should set our sights on achieving harmlessness - itself a challenging goal. He explained how easy it is for so-called "helping" to become actually harmful, particularly when our motives are more about fulfilling our own needs to be "needed" or when we are imposing our values on others. On the international stage, such 'helping' can lead to tragic ironies, such as when Americans or Russians try to help people in other countries. In the process there may be mass slaughter of the very people they set out to "help" - like the Vietnam was, for example. The Buddhist approach, Lama Choedak explained, is to recognise that all socxial problems start with the individual, and that to achieve the prerequisite stage of harmlessness towards other beings, we must, as individuals, learn to exercise self restraint. When we do that, we are already helping others. 'You can't clean with a dirty duster'. The five precepts are our guide. Various Buddhist practices are available to help us to keep these precepts. In the case of alcohol consumption, we are faced with many ironies. According to Buddhist teachings, our minds are already afflicted with the three poisons: greed, hatred and ignorance. To consume alcohol or any mind-altering substance is to introduce yet another dose of poison to already deluded minds. The consumption of alcohol and other mind-altering drugs is covered by the fifth precept. People drink to celebrate a happy event. They drink to calm down when they are overwrought, over-tired, even because they feel jubilant about something, or to fit in with social conventions. The notion that smoking and drinking offer release is, however, a fallacy. Any release which is felt is simply a habitual response, which can be transferred to other behaviour. Furthermore, statistics show that drug and alcohol consumption play a major role in accidents and violent crime. The substance that was intended to help even out emotions may well produce the opposite effect, and the celebratory drink may lead to tragedy and abject misery for the drinker and others in his or her life. By removing inhibitions which normally restrain our behaviour to some extent, drinking alcohol may be the direct cause of all the other social problems, including alcoholism, violence & sexual misconduct. Violence is often associated with alcohol and drug use. There is much emphasis these days on treating the victims of violence and sexual abuse. While it is important to help these people, some counselling tecvhniques tend to foster a victim menta;lity, which may inbduce feelings of helplessness in the person being counselled. There appears to be ageneral belief that talking about the past solves problems. But such talk may actually spread problem. While it may appear to provide temporary relief, it will not produce a solution. According to Buddhist teachings, it is not useful to dwell on harm that happened in the past. We must accept what has happened. When we do this, weare ready to use various medittation techniques available to us. But it is important to to remember that the suffering is in our own minds, and only we ourselves can heal our own pain. In addressing our own suffering, we are advised to remember that the 'perpetartor' is himself suffering more than we are. Otherwise, he would not have committed the violent act. The violence was only the tip of the iceberg. It was his way of crying out for help from the depths of his pain. After the event, he has still more suffering to face, and this will last not only during this lifetime, but beyond. An understanding of the Buddhist teachings on the perevalence of suffering helps us to 'depersonalise' our pain. The teachings help us to see suffering as it is, an inevitable part of this life, and to be prepared to seek a real solution. To blame other unfortunate beings for our own suffering will not help. The practice of Buddhist ethics opens the door to real freedom by helping us to take responsibility for our lives and to understand the consequences of our acts. This is not the same as a system of 'morality' which labels some actions as bad or others as good. Ethics is another area where the practice help really help. When it comes to tolerating undesirable behaviour from others, we do not gain much if we simply control our own anger and restrain ourselves from responding. That leads to more misery, because we have simply repressed our emotions. Eventually they will explode. Our aim is to accept the other's behaviour - after all, we have not always been perfect ourselves. Once we achieve this, the next step is to develop empathy. If our motivation is right and we have both patience and determination, we will be able to help him (or her). One way fo doing this is to share the benefits of a meditation practice such as Chenrezig or White Tara with the person who needs our compassion. In the talk on sexuality, Lama Choedak stressed that there was no implication that sex was 'bad'. As with other behaviours, it is how we use it that matters. There is a precept againts sexual misconduct, and another against harming others. In the BUdist context, any sexual behaviour, whether or not it involves contact, is harmful if it hurt another person. As the potential for harm is difficult to gauge, many may feel that it is not really worth the risk. Lama Choedak explained the benefits of taking a vow of celibacy, provided that the vow is backed by practices to help one to keep and understand the vow. There are a number of analytical meditation techniques available. Without access to such practices, the only snaction would be the thought that the vow is sacred, or that one might lose face by breaking it. It is not necessary never to be tempetd or never to think about sex. On the contrary, such thoughts can be used as part of the meditation practice. The practitioner can use both past experience and p[resent thoughts to strengthen his practice. There is no need for 'shame' about the past as long as one does not repeat it again. Ungratefulness is common in modern society. There is a lot of emphasis these days on the victims of injustices and on people's rights in all sorts of areas. Whilst this is quite reasonable, there is no corresponding appreciation of the undoubted good fortune in people's lives. This can lead to a general atmosphere of ingratitude, a response produced by ignoring the good and kind things that have been done for us and dwelling on the harmful things. Although not in itself regarded as a social problem, ungratefulness is actually the seed within the individual which produces socially undesireable behaviour and may lead to a whole range of social problems. Too often we focus on the symptoms rather than the root cause. Although not so prominent in Buddhist teachings as loving-kindness or compassion, gratefulness is a pre-condition to developing these qualities. For this reason, The Mahayana tradition stresses the importance of meditating on the knidness of ones mother. As first sight this may seem irrelevant to many. But when you actually make the effort to consider the pain, suffering and sacrifices she made in carrying you, giving birth and raising you, you will develop a feeling of gratitude towards your mother. Her example will provide you with a model for your behaviour - a model to help you develop compassion for others. It is important to distinguish here between the compassion which we develop in meditation and which is vaiable to all sentient beings on the one hand, and the type of compassion we experience immediately when we see someone hurt on the road. This latter is an emotional compassion, which depends on our being in a certain place at a certain time, and may vary according to our prejudices (we may care more about a cuddly koala than we about a snake , for example). It will disappear when the object of compassion is removed. Although of cource it is important to feel compassion and to act accordingly when we are confronted by other beings who are in trouble, this emotive compassion, which relies so much on our own pain face to face with the pain of others, is not the Bodhisattva model. Mahayana practitioners aspire to transcend this emotional level and to attain the motivation to liberate all sentient beings from the suffering of Samsara. Karma grows with the passage of time. What seems to be a small problem, if not dealt with right way, may spark a whole conflagration later on. Sometimes we may not recognise that we have a problem with a certain person or thing, and consequently we are unable to address it. However, if we are serious about incorporating the Dharma into our lives, we must be prepraed to practice total self-honesty in identifying our true thoughts and motives. Only then can we apply the remedies. The remedies themselves require us to have faith that they will work, courage to make major changes in our lives and determination to carry these through. These talks are highly appreciated by all who attended. In his analysis of the problems plaguing modern post industrial society and in the solutions suggested, Lama Choedak has shown us how to pluck the Four Noble Truths from the pigeonhole where many of us keep them, and put them to work in our lives. Transcripts are being prepared and edited for publication in the near future. Grading our Intelligence? by John Chen During the 2nd Annual Rejuvenation of Life Retreat last June with the Venerable Khenpo Migmar Tsering, the topic of the nine grades of intelligence was raised and here I share my understanding of the topic to the readers of this newsletter. The nine grades of intelligence are a combination of inferior, medium and superior intelligence and with a combination of inferior, medium and superior karmic maturity for cultivating the Way. Intelligence refers to a personÕs spiritual temperament to cultivate the Way in this lifetime by using a personÕs good healthy mind, speech and body. Human intelligence will certainly have a big influence, if it is used to cultivate the Way. The characteristics of intelligence could be degrees of a spiritual temperament (or aptitude), of a good healthy mind, body and speech, of being born in a favourable location and position for cultivating the Way, and having an analytical, inquiring mind to delve deeper into the maze of the deluded mind. Each individualÕs ability to do things when compared to others will also vary in degrees and the type of ability acquired by the individual. Each of these major characteristics can be subdivided further, such as the mind could have physical, emotional and/or mental abnormalities or handicaps, and be placed in a geographically unfavourable location. In summary, the standard degree of intelligence is determined by the individualÕs motivation to use this lifetime, the present moment to cultivate the Way. Thus, inferior intelligence refers to a person who follows the path to avoid an unfortunate, and aspires to attain a higher rebirth. Medium intelligence refers to a person who seeks to break the chain of rebirth and death, and aspires to attain Nirvana for his own sake. And superior intelligence refers to a person who aspires and pledges to practise for the sake of all sentient beings and who has taken the Bodhisattva vows (Mahayana and Vajrayana practices). Karmic maturity refers to how much meritorious and virtuous good actions practised and cultivated in the past, as well as in the present life. The characteristics of karmic maturity could be degrees of cultivating good human qualities, of practising the teachings, of creating good virtuous and meritorious deeds, of accumulating good humane actions, of perfecting what has to be perfected, of ripening our good and bad karma, of being connected to a good knowing adviser and being filial to ones parentÕs. Again, each of these major characteristics can be subdivided further, such as a person may have a good mind, but it is used to create fear, mistrust and disrespect for life. Good humane actions are things like having a good heart (Bodhicitta), being equitable and fair among men and beast alike, a will-power, patience and sincerity to do what is necessary to do, or have caring, compassionate and affectionate feelings towards another. Generally, inferior karmic maturity refers to a person who experiences a lot of bad karma, even though higher practises are cultivated in this lifetime. Medium karmic maturity refers to a person who is capable of cultivating higher practises but is hindered from progressing quickly by maturing bad karmic obstacles. And superior karmic maturity refers to a person who can cultivate higher practises to cleanse and purify the mind, and experience deep spiritual awareness of the bare nature of the mind as a result of these practises. The characteristics referred to under intelligence and karmic maturity are not exhaustive. They are simply an indication of the obvious ones. Each of these nine grades are only a reflection of a personÕs state of the mind at that moment in time and space. The next moment in time maybe the moment in time which evokes a response. If a response is not forthcoming, then we need to continue cultivating the Way by creating meritorious and virtuous deeds to bring our karmic maturity into the present and overcome them. Hence, the feeling that our perceived bad karma ripens sooner in order to deter our willingness to continue cultivating. When a response does occur, we must have the wisdom to understand, interpret it correctly, nullify it and then transform it into a positive action or store it away as a virtuous or meritorious deed. The purpose of doing this is to reunite our inner nature with the karmic lineage of our ancestors and progress further towards our own enlightenment. In the next issue I will briefly explain the nine grades of intelligence and karmic maturity using some of the characteristics above. Sakya Anthology Project A planning meeting between Gyalsay Tulku Rinpoche, Khenpo Migmar and Lama Choedak was held at Yerrimbol to work on a project to publish an anthology of the Sakya tradition to mark the 50th birthday (1994) of His Holiness Sakya Trizin. Names of some forty Sakya teachers and scholars around the world and suggested topics were compiled. Once all the contributors sent in their articles by the end of this year, there will be lots of translating, editing and proof-reading work to be done here in Australia. If anyone is interested to help this project in any way, please contact Gyalsay Tulku Rinpoche or Lama Choedak for details. Any contribution or articles for the next newsletter should be sent in by 15 October, 93. Please send memberhip or subscription fees if overdue. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- end of file

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