Nagajuna’s Sixty Stanzas on Reasoning Part 9 Dzongsar Rinpoche

These are just some notes taken and comments by a confused and deluded practitioner, watch and listen to the talk.  This is mostly here so google might find it, and someone might stumble on to it. The video is by someone who knows what he is talking about, these notes are not.

So the talk starts with him saying he’s going to talk about the expedient and direct teachings.

But then he doesn’t talk about them but talks about  things that may help your practice.

Question of how to prioritize when you have children, bills, responsibilities you have to live in the world. In a world of being more and more designed to make you dependent. Deptenent on things like Phones need to be charged.

When he went on retreat where there was no networks, it  took him about two days to get over the habits of the phone. Then I did not matter, But then when the coverage came back immediately he was back in to those habits  and checking soccer scores.

It seems we live in a society where it’s getting cheaper and cheaper to get things that make you more and more dependent and it’s getting more expensive to get things you actually need like food and housing.

Too bad Buddhism doesn’t have strict rules. It would be easy, but in Buddhism sometimes it’s good to do something, sometimes it’s bad to do something. It’s hard to know. So how to practice in today’s world, in today’s mobile charging life? How do you do it when you don’t have time?

And how do you do it even when you do have time? Not surprising to see people in Nepal spend their whole day at a coffee shop instead of going to stupas or wherever and they wear malas on their wrists. They do less laundry because it seems to be yogic like. But the biggest obstacle is not knowing how to blend your life with Dharma. One of the big obstacles is culture.

Some cultural norms are instructive and can be very good. But for instance, Confucius ,  instructed to respect your parents. Buddhism also instructs to respect parents. But they’re different because the Buddhists see all beings as your parents.

I can’t say that doing 100,000 prostrations is strictly cultural, but it could be. But it can be just a checklist.

It’s good. Better than nothing. Maybe. But practicing cultural dharma is not necessarily progressing along the path or processing the person. Someone may be very ambitious and arrogant, very goal oriented and they could finish their prostrations quickly.

Does that mean they’re ready for the Vajrayana? Not necessarily. Maybe they should go back and do it again.

Being a mother with children could be dharma practice. Bringing children in front of a statue of the Buddha could be practice.

Please make more babies, make three. If you happen to be a practitioner and are making a connection to children, that could be a good thing.

 Tells a story about somebody who fixed a bell in a stupa. Some famous monk yogi or somebody fixed a bell in a stupa so a woman could hear it and later the woman became a great yogini.  a pigeon heard some dharma,  And later on she pigeon became a great practitioner and the person who read the dharma that the pigeon heard accumulated merit by doing that.

A pigeon who heard a sutra later became a great bodhisattva. It doesn’t matter if your children become Buddhists.

Who do you give these teachings to? You give them to someone who gets goosebumps when they hear of shunyata, this is who  should be taught.

Changing diapers can be more dharmic than being a monk. I know monks who freak out if they lost their iPhone. I know CEOs of places like Wells Fargo who would stop work tomorrow if I told them to stop work and go practice.

We should be like a cow who eats grass, eats the grass in front of them. They don’t think about maybe there’s 100’s of grasses, they just eat the grass in front of them.

You can accumulate merit while sleeping or even while having fun. You can accumulate merit in different ways.

Accumulation of merit and wisdom.

These two are two wings that you use like a bird, they are like two walking sticks. Merit and wisdom.

Wisdom. Hearing and contemplating

merit, lighting lamps. Lighting lamps and

but lighting lamps and other practices to accumulate merit can also become a cultural thing.

So it’s kind of a chicken and an egg thing. Practices can become only cultural and then Lighting lamps can become a cultural thing and people can create big industry to create lamps.

So then we have merit. And merit can be just listening to stories. Supposedly Manjushri, today I went by a lake and supposedly Manjushri created that lake by striking his sword on the ground. And the lake was created. Also, supposedly Manjushri was the son of the turtle. These stories may seem strange, but also they can be dharmic. If you can combine this idea of merit and wisdom, just the story of Cinderella, the Seven Dwarfs, or telling a story about Manjushri could have more merit than lighting a lamp. So some of these stories, because merit everything is truly nonexistent.

But it is one way to communicate, in another way they don’t do anything. But if you know how to blend the two, that is good.

 We are stuck with certain concepts like that striking a sword won’t make a lake. But Nepal is a magical place. There’re all kinds of problems of dog shit in the streets and tremendous corruption. But also, there’s many people here who believe that Manjushri was the son of a turtle.

And then maybe it was Manjushri, or maybe it was someone else. Maybe it was Nagarjuna who cut his hair and spread the hair around and trees grew. So if you accept some of these stories with a pinch of wisdom, this stupa, apparently a stupa nearby was responsible for producing Padma Sambava. Nepal is infested with dakinis .

Another story about a monk who practiced so diligently on Vajra yogini. And that one point some woman came up and tried to seduce him and being that he was a monk, he wouldn’t be seduced. But then later the girl’s face showed up, right behind those houses, in a huge face and basically said so you blew it because I was vajara yogini. But when you die, you’ll reach liberation. Or I don’t have the details.

It’s possible that Nepal could be more blessed than even Tibet or India. It was like the junction of where all the teachers passed through, and Nepal is a very magical place.

We want to accumulate wisdom, and we want to accumulate merit. We want to accumulate both.

We want to insert Dharma anywhere we can. Maybe just between lifting the toilet seat, we could remember to practice Dharma.

Merit and wisdom, they’re kind of different, but then they’re also kind of the same. It’s kind of like fire and wood. They help each other.

The wood diminishes, but the fire gets greater, and eventually both are exhausted.

 Wisdom, hearing, contemplating, shamatha. But maybe when you can’t sit still, when you can’t concentrate, you can’t do your contemplation. You could go light a lamp; you could go walk around a stupa. You could gaze at a stupa, and then maybe your practice will come back.

You might buy a little stupa in a little shop, and we think they have no meaning. But maybe a Russian millionaire buys a statue of a stupa and uses it as a chopstick holder. But maybe somewhere that inspires someone about the Buddhism.

If you are too embarrassed about sleeping with a pig and you’re too embarrassed to confess to a teacher, you can confess to a stupa. Then you could dedicate the merit,

the joy of sitting, the joy of contemplating.

Some people just hear the words shunyata and it brings goosebumps. It’s like when you see Cindy Lauper and you get tears and goosebumps. The way she swings her head, the way she holds her instrument, the way she sings her songs gives you goosebumps. But maybe you don’t get goosebumps when you hear about shunyata. But in another lifetime, because of accumulating, merit and wisdom, you may get goosebumps from hearing the message of shunyata, the same goosebumps you’d get from thinking of Cindy Lauper now.

The Joy of hearing about emptiness could bring you goosebumps.


Please share it. Thanks!