Special Practice Days

Chotrul Duchen ~ The Day of Miracles is Monday February 22, 2016 (the 15th day of the Tibetan Lunar calendar). During the first two weeks of the 1st Tibetan month it is celebrated that the Buddha Shakyamuni displayed a miracle each day to increase the merit and devotion of future disciples. It is said that the effects of positive or negative actions are multiplied 100 million times on the Day of Miracles, so practice is strongly advised.

Milarepa’ Anniversary is Sunday February 21, 2016, the 14th day of the 1st month of the Tibetan Lunar calendar. Practice is highly advised.

Marpa’s Anniversary is Monday February 22, 2016, the 15th day of the 1st month of the Tibetan Lunar calendar. Practice is highly advised.

The first day of the New Year of the Fire Monkey was February 8/9, 2016. In case you are not aware, it has been suggested to recite Shakyamuni Buddha’s Mantra and Praising of Buddha’s Twelve Deeds during the first two weeks of the 1st month (2/09/2016 – 2/22/2016) to accumulate merit. It is said that each day the effects of positive or negative actions are multiplied 10 million times during these two weeks.

May you have a Peaceful, Joyful, Prosperous and Happy Year of the Fire Monkey!

We thank Gampopa Vajrayana Buddhist Center for keeping us well-informed of important days to remember.

New texts have been added to the Sutras & Texts page of this blog.

May this benefit all beings!

milarepa3

Marpa’s Dedication

cropped-dsc00509.jpg

Marpa, Milarepa’s guru, is often exemplified as an enlightened master who integrated his Buddhist practice as a lay person. He was a family man and owned property, was a translator and lineage holder, and had disciples. What is sometimes overlooked in presenting a clear and descriptive picture of the life of Marpa is that he endured great hardship in order to study, realize, and stabilize his enlightenment. Indeed, we are not insinuating that today’s practitioners must follow the example of Marpa’s hardships and journeys. But we must look closely at the commitment and effort that is required in all Mastery.

Marpa sold all his possessions except one parcel of property in order to make his first journey from Tibet to India and seek his Masters, receive teachings, and practice. This first arduous journey took 12 years. His second journey to India, leaving behind family, business and friends, took 6 years, while his third and final journey to India took 3 years. Moreover, while living with his wife and family he went regularly into solitary retreat for years at a time, leaving the concerns of family and business to others.

Marpa invested a great amount of personal time and resources in order to seek and practice the profound Buddhist teachings. Of course, he lived within an environment and culture that supported his efforts. Or perhaps a better picture is that he created one. Marpa, as Gandhi might say, became the solution.

The point of bringing this aspect of Marpa’s life to light is to emphasize that there is a great commitment and effort involved in the process of cultivating the path of enlightenment in relation to self, culture, and nature. The spiritual masters of all traditions agree that renunciation, meditation, and realization in solitude are three of the essential keys in unlocking the door of conscious enlightenment – freedom from fear, anger, and confusion.  Cultivating and stabilizing an altruistic transformative spirituality is possible. (written by Venerable Ani Drubgyudma)

“To Achieve Buddhahood One Must Practice”

milarepa “…to achieve Buddhahood one must practice…

[Megom said] “For the rest of my life all I need is my Guru’s instructions. I have made up my mind, and sworn, to remain in hermitages all my life.”

[Milarepa said] “…one must have the determination to meditate alone…” “

“…Then on the eve of his departure to meditate in solitude, Megom asked the Jetsun to give him a teaching, effective yet easy to practice. The Jetsun replied, “Great merits have grown in me since I practiced these instructions. You should also follow them. Now listen to my song:

I, the Yogi Milarepa, see the Essence

By gazing nakedly up It!

I see Beyond-playwords, clear as the sky!

By letting go, I see Reality;

By resting at my ease, I realize

The voidness of all and everything.

I relax, relax, and come to the Self-Realm;

I let go, let go, and in the flow of Awareness

The pure and impure become one!

Because I search for nothing,

Thoughts and ideas are all cut off;

The perils of Samsara are thus forever crushed!

Since I realize that Buddha and my mind are one,

I no longer wish for accomplishment!

As the sun disperses darkness,

When Realization dawns upon one

Klesas and Nhamdogs vanish by themselves!

“…As instructed…he (Megom) went to a hermitage and meditated there alone…who [in his lifetime] helped many well-endowed humans.” (100,000 Songs of Milarepa, p403-406)

She said…”You are useless!”

DSC00781On another occasion, when Jetsun Milarepa went out [again] for alms, he reached the middle of a great plain and saw many people working on a house. He then lay down on the ground [near-by as if nothing were going on there]. The hostess said to him, “My dear Yogi, you seem to be unoccupied – here are some tools, please use them to work for us a little and I will bring you some hot food.” After a while she returned, and seeing that Milarepa was still lying there, said, “No wonder they say that some people deserve to be treated as good-for-nothing trash! You have plenty of time on your hands, yet you won’t do anything, not even a little patching work. You are useless!” Saying which, she went off and left Milarepa alone.

Then Milarepa followed her into the house where the workers were having their dinner, and begged for some food. The hostess said, “One who does not work with his lazy body should not bother to eat with his lazy mouth.” The Jetsun replied, “I did not help you to patch the walls because I was occupied on other business much more important than yours.” The patrons then asked him what this important business was that had drawn away his attention. In answer, Milarepa sang:

I bow down to all Gurus. Above all,

I take refuge in the Gracious One!

You see me as though I were doing nothing,

But I see myself doing something all the time.

On the plain of the uncreated Beyond-Extremes,

I was building busily the Dhyana Wall;

I had no time to patch clay walls.

On the Northern Plain of Voidness,

I was taming the wild goats of my desires;

I had no time to plough my father’s land.

In the realm of Not-two and the Word-beyond,

I was subduing the demon Ego;

I had no time to fight bitter foes.

In the Palace of Beyond-measure –

The Non-dual Mind-Essence –

I was busily attending my affairs;

I had no time to do household work.

In the Buddha’s Mandala of my own body

I was feeding my little child, “Awareness”;

I had no time to feed others and wipe their noses.

In the courtyard of Great Bliss,

I was gathering the Dharma wealth;

I had no time to make money in this world.

On the mountain of the immutable Dharmakaya,

I was herding the steeds of Self-awareness;

I had no time to tend other sheep and cattle.

With the clay of my flesh and bones,

I was building the Stupa of Immanence;

I had no time to make the Tsa Tsas.

On the triangular Heart Center,

I was kindling the lamp of Illumination;

I had no time to offer butter lamps to deities.

In the chapel of the Bliss-Void,

I was offering Immortality

To the Buddha of Dhyana-Mind;

I had no time to make material offerings.

Upon the paper of Immaculate Mind

I wrote the words of conquering desires;

I had not time to bother with worldly script.

In the Drinking Skull of Sunyata

I was mixing the Three and Five Poisons;

I had not time for priestly rules.

Filled with love and pity,

I was guarding all in the Six Realms;

I had no time to attend my kinsmen.

Before my Father Gurus,

I was brooding over their instructions;

I had no time for worldly actions.

In a quiet hermitage in the remote mountains,

I was practicing the Bodhi teachings;

I had no time to indulge in sleep.

With my triangular, shell-like mouth,

I was singing the song of Dharma;

I had no time for idle talk.

(100,000 Songs of Milarepa, p535-537)