When the Buddha was asked how he knew he was enlightened, he touched the earth in this position and said “As the earth is my witness.”
Question: “Can Rinpoche speak to the free-floating anger that Americans are experiencing due to current events. How can we overcome this?”
Answer: “The great anger felt by some
people, when there is some outrage like
this, is expressed in various ways. As
Buddhist practitioners, what we are
concerned with is looking beneath the
surface, and realizing that this anger we
feel, we have to understand that our
anger and hatred is consistent with the
anger and the hatred of those who
committed these horrible acts. That anger
and hatred is not different, because it is in
one person versus another person.
Whether it is in a human being, an
animal, or any other sentient being, anger
is anger. Anger harms the person who harbors it, and harms anyone who is
exposed to it. The function of anger is to
harm. The karmic result is great suffering
for the person who expresses it .
Understanding these things, we can see
that the true enemy is not the body of the
person that has anger, it is not even the
mind, and it is the anger in the mind.
Anger is the true enemy. Therefore, we
cultivate compassion as the antidote to
our own anger. We know that we are all
connected, and because the nature of our
consciousness is the same as all others,
the nature of anger is the same .
Therefore, when terrible events like that
happen, which are based on anger, we
should spur ourselves onward to reduce
our anger, to meditate on compassion,
and if enough people do that, then the
level of anger in the world goes down.
This changes the minds of the enemies
who do these things. With less anger, and
less hatred in the world, the less there is
for everyone. It is beneficial to oneself; it
is beneficial to those people , and
beneficial to the world.”
–Garchen Rinpoche (Oral commentaries on the heart sutra in relation to Shamatha and Vipassana meditation and seven point mind training.
Many people receive empowerments, but few are ripened or matured through them. These days, the empowerments given seem to be a little different from the ones given in the old days. You may have heard stories about Tilopa and Naropa, great masters in the Kagyu lineage. Even prior to meeting his teacher Tilopa, Naropa was already quite an accomplished and realized person. However there still was something lacking. One day, he had a vision of his yidam who prophesied that he still needed to develop the full power of realization. In order to do so, he was to meet the siddha Tilopa who lived in a certain place.
Naropa left in search of Tilopa, went to the prescribed area and asked around. No one had ever heard of a siddha named Tilopa. They knew only the beggar
Tilopa. Naropa was directed to a ruin of a house from which smoke was coming.
He walked over and saw a dirty-looking beggar sitting with a tray of fish, some alive, some dead. He was taking the fish, one after the other, whether alive or
dead, tossing them into the fire, snapping his fingers, and then eating them.
At this moment, Naropa must have had some kind of experience, for otherwise Tilopa’s actions of killing animals and then eating them would have
been considered very evil. Naropa however felt great faith and asked, “Are you the siddha called Tilopa?” Tilopa replied, “I’m no siddha, just a beggar who does
evil things.” Nevertheless, Naropa prostrated and was accepted as Tilopa’s disciple. To kill sentient beings without accumulating negative karma, and to
actually benefit sentient beings instead, one must have the power to resurrect the dead, as well as the accomplishment of being able to guide them to liberation.
Having the faith that Tilopa was such an accomplished master, Naropa followed him. Tilopa gave him a very difficult time, putting him through twelve major and
twenty-four minor trials. You can read about them in Naropa’s biography.
One day when they were walking together they saw some field workers eating. Naropa, who had become Tilopa’s servant, begged a bowl of soup for Tilopa.
Tilopa ate the soup, pretending that it was the most delicious food he had ever eaten. Extremely pleased, Naropa thought, “I’ve been serving Tilopa for such a long time, but I have never been able to really please him before. I think I’ll go back and get him more of this soup.”
When he went back for the soup, there were no people around and Naropa thought, “If I wait for someone to come, I can’t be sure they’ll give me some. Maybe I should steal it.” As he was helping himself to the pot of soup someone of
course came by and said, “You’re no good! First, we give you some food out of kindness, but it wasn’t enough. Now, you come back to steal!” He was beaten nearly to death and lay there, broken, for several days before Tilopa happened by and asked, “Anything wrong? Are you having a hard time?” Naropa replied
“Having a hard time? I’m almost dead!” Tilopa blessed him and he became well immediately and they walked on. This wasn’t the last trial Naropa had to endure.
They continued in this way for many years, until finally one day Naropa asked Tilopa a question. In reply, Tilopa took off his sandal and smacked Naropa across
the forehead with it. Naropa blacked out for a short while and when he regained his senses, his realization was equal to Tilopa’s. That was a true empowerment.
These days, forget about a shoe! We get vases of gold and silver plating on our head for empowerment, but the realization doesn’t seem to take place in quite
the same way. A shoe might be better. In brief, many receive empowerment, but few are ripened.
– Chokyi Rinpoche (Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen: A Commentary on The Quintessence of Spiritual Practice, The Direct Instructions of the Great Compassionate One)
Although I have shown the means of liberation,
you must know that it depends upon you alone.
A siddha in Sanskrit means “one who is accomplished” and refers to perfected masters who according to Hindu belief have transcended the ahamkara (ego or I-maker), have subdued their minds to be subservient to their Awareness, and have transformed their bodies composed mainly of dense Rajo-tama gunas into a different kind of bodies dominated by sattva. This is usually accomplished only by persistent meditation over many lifetimes.
A siddha has also been defined to refer to one who has attained a siddhi. The siddhis as paranormal abilities are considered emergent abilities of an individual that is on the path to siddhahood, and do not define a siddha, who is established in the Pranav – the Aum, which is the spiritual substrate of creation. The siddhi in its pure form means “the attainment of flawless identity with Reality (Brahman); perfection of Spirit.”
The concept of siddhas is a prime notion in Jainism.
In Vajrayana Buddhism, a Yidam (Tibetan) or Ishta-devata (Sanskrit) is a fully enlightened being who is the focus of personal meditation, during a retreat or for life. The term is often translated into English as meditational deity.