But At The End, It Is All Of This Lost Game - Longchen Nyingthig Vietnam

But At The End, It Is All Of This Lost Game*

Hungkar Dorje Rinpoche’s teaching

29.01.2023, Zoom

­­­­­­Dharma Talk 7

We have been complaining (laugh) about everyone a lot, but we have reasons to talk about the faults, because if we do not know the not correct things then we do not know what is real and what is perfect Dharma. So therefore, I have been teaching or mind training many not-correct or many problems that is going on in Buddhist society and all over the world including Tibet. And I think it’s important for everyone to sometimes to pay attention on these things and when we see mistakes and problems about others’ actions then we should think oneself that oneself has this problem or has these mistakes or not. That is to really understand it, to know oneself is doing the real Dharma or not. For that reason, I have mentioned, I have pointed many, many, many problems that related to Buddhism right now.

“Ordinary worldly beings fail to be free from the succession of thoughts, but they cannot be blamed for that, because they are unaware of the nature of dependent origination. But then there are those who repeat the word dependent origination and true nature to others while arrogantly thinking they know the true nature. Even if you think this is not bad, how could it be good?” This is about some Buddhist masters or Dharma Practitioners who think they have very high view or achieve profound view, but actually not. Why? Because if it’s a pure view, then it generates a person to see everything pure, unlike when you see a lot of negative things about others and think,“ all that religion is wrong; that tradition is wrong.” For example, in Tibet, there are some conflicts or competitions among different Tibetan schools. They criticize each other and they see that their own tradition is the best and the most important. They become a sort of sectarianism. That is not good because correct view brings a real wisdom that sees everyone equal and sees things in a correct way. So, when you don’t have a correct view, it will create many problems or negative things.

It is very difficult to have a correct or high realization for those so- called like geshe or high beings or high masters. Then of course, it is very difficult for ordinary people to have a correct or high realization. Therefore, it is difficult for both: special people or so-called high position people and both like ordinary people. Therefore, we need to understand that reality, think correctly and meditate correctly and diligently to have true realization. If we look carefully, we’ll see “Both we and they still have the same affection for the world, and we have aversion and attachment to the basis of the Dharma. But ordinary beings do not have this residual fault of following worldly practices while being in a powerful position.” So, since we, including me, act in a position as Dharma teacher or held a special title (name), we need to try very hard to be better, to be a more real Dharma practitioner than ordinary people. Because if we aren’t endeavored to do that, then the faults or mistakes that we make are bigger than those created by ordinary people. Hence, for those people like me, we are using Dharma to lead people and to make their life more beneficial. We should be a better leader, a pure leader.

So, I think it is true since everyone has different jobs or responsibilities, but when it comes to Dharma practicing, everyone has to try to be purer, more real, sincerer to the Dharma, for the Dharma. Because if we don’t try very hard to be better, then it will harm the Dharma and non-Buddhist people who have bad or negative view towards the Dharma. Of course, Dharma is pure, Dharma is real thing. The problem here is the people. People are not pure and do not follow the instructions correctly. People sometimes use Dharma to benefit themselves which is the problem. So, I know the people (like) you, guys, and most of you do not do that because you probably do not have that kind of attachment. You do not desire that, you wanted to be ordinary people and ordinary Dharma practitioners, but people like me, maybe lama Dat, and maybe Lotsawa… because we work, we use the Dharma sometimes, then Dharma becomes a tool for us to benefit ourselves. And then this is dangerous. Therefore, we are the ones who really need to train ourselves to be better, purer and more real Dharma.

It is really something that we need to be very careful. Dharma is only for the liberation. Pure Dharma is the Dharma. Worldly dharma is not Dharma. So if we use the Dharma for your life, like this time, for worldly stuff like possession, money or fame or whatever, then Dharma becomes a poison. It really harms oneself. It created many conditions or causes to bring unhappiness and suffering to oneself in the future and at the same time it harms others because it brings an impure view from other people towards Dharma. Because they think, “Oh Dharma is like that? Oh, it’s the same as other people who try to achieve something for this life!” Therefore, Dharma people in general and those who have responsibilities in Dharma groups or organization in particular have to understand this reality and try to tame oneself first, then try to work for others. At least at the same time. Working for the Dharma means you work to tame yourself first and to tame others. This is the correct way to work for Dharma.

“That’s why heads of Dharma traditions and Dharma organizations are like donkeys wearing leopard skins.” (laugh). Of course, it’s a kind of negative saying but there are many of that. Dharma high and Dharma traditions and organizations are not the same: the outside and the inside are different. Maybe externally, they are Head of Dharma tradition or Dharma organization, but inside, maybe a lot of negative thoughts and maybe so many attachments to themselves and their own tradition, own people. Sometimes, they create big problems and destroy the harmony in the tradition or in organization which annihilates the Dharma’s blessings and power because of their bad actions of the mind, of their view, and of their conducts. That happens a lot, everywhere. Of course, we see a lot of problems in Buddhist communities all over the world, a lot of competitions and a lot of politics between the organizations and within the organization. People are fighting and competing, having jealous thoughts and so on. So, the reason for us to practice Dharma is to solve this kind of problem that is created by one’s negative thoughts. If we do not work correctly to tame or to destroy this kind of negative thoughts, there’s no reason or there’s no meaning to study Dharma for practice.

So, we do not want to be a Dharma practitioner like donkeys wearing leopard skins (laugh). We wanted to be a real leopard, inside is leopard and outside is leopard, not inside is the donkey while outside is like the tiger. Most of the time we are like this. We have set of the seed which is difficult to eradicate. When we are not able to aware that one being like this and we are like this all the time, then it’s very difficult to realize this problem and really difficult to make changes. We spend our whole life being like this, like a donkey wearing leopard skin for whole life. I think that is a big lose and that is a big, big, big mistake. Therefore, we need to aware what is real Dharma and what is not. If we don’t understand what is good, then we don’t understand what is bad. Then we don’t have the power to change, right? We often think we are already OK, we are already good. So, this is a real problem that is mindset here. “In these times, science has progressed, and prosperity is like a swelling ocean. Human beings spend their lifetimes among material things, but because of their craving, there are endless ripples of suffering, fear, misfortune, and sorrow in their minds.” If we are not able to understand the real Dharma, we have a lot of problems in a very developed society if we don’t have a good realization and good wisdom to handle and to face difficulties. Then we are like this: a lot of suffering, fears and misfortune that distracted one’s mind and destroys peace in one’s mind. Then we are unhappy all the time. We get angry all the time. We get angry at people, at society, at everything, because of the lack for a correct understanding and lack of good conducts, and good actions. Of course, everything depends on causes, right? So, if we create bad causes, a lot of negativities and unhappiness, things will happen right now within in our lives.

“They put their trust and hope in material things, friends and so on, but that destroys peace of mind.” If we put our trust onto these things too much, material things and friends, then that is probably a problem. We need to trust and rely on real Dharma at the same time so that we can keep our minds peaceful. But when we put our trust and hope in material things, friends too much, that becomes a problem which destroys our peace of mind. Once we use Dharma as a tool to benefit ourselves, then that Dharma is not real Dharma, and that Dharma does not have the power to create this kind of peace in our mind but destroys it instead.

“When we see the essence of this, it is like a sad, deceptive dance, a sorrowful shame. It is like being alone in the dark dungeon with no one to rely on. Everywhere we see people carrying this unendurable burden of loss and gain”. It is true if we try to be successful in this way of worldly dharmas, just for this life, then it ends very sad. It doesn’t bring any good result. It’s not anything that is really reliable, but it is like sad and deceptive dance, a sorrowful shame because you don’t get anything in the end. Even though you have power, a name, a little fame and maybe a little richness, we lose when we lose our life, everything together. And not only of that, we have to go through difficulties because of our incorrect view and incorrect conducts. But at the same time, as we are too much into these things like this all the time, we don’t see ourselves “how it is like”. We think OK or whatever, but when you don’t see yourself, you are being in the dark. You don’t see yourself because the darkness of your mind is too heavy. Even though you think you are OK but from the view of Buddha Dharma, from the view of other correct people: You were wrong, you are under darkness. Therefore, we need to understand the benefits and the good things about being a real Dharma practitioner. We see everywhere people carrying this, these things, but at the end, it is all of this lost game, everything becomes negative causes for yourself and will also destroy many positive things about Dharma. People have negative views because of the results caused by bad actions of Dharma practitioners.

Here I’m trying to say that if we try to be like Dharma politician too much, then actually, in fact you don’t have anyone you can rely on. Everyone is afraid or everyone is unhappy because of self-fixation, right? Being too much selfish is always negative. Negative power that destroys the connection between the people, good friendship, and many positive things, thus we need to realize the benefit and the positive of being an open, honest and compassionate people.

“The purpose and the essence of the Dharma is to first diminish and then to eliminate self-fixation”. That is, of course we understand and that is real path of the Dharma practitioners and that is the use of Dharma. Dharma is only good when you use it to fix or to eliminate self-fixation, thus we need to understand the real or the only purpose of Dharma that is to eliminate self-fixation.

“That is the sole path and method of the Dharma. The preliminaries or the lesser or greater stages of the path, create in the mind something that was not there before, or they continuously increase by little that was there until, finally, there is a profound certainty that prosperity, power, and fame in this world are impermanent and should not be relied on or depended on.” If we understand the meaning of this paragraph, I think that is almost enough for us to study and to practice for our entire life. Of course, it’s difficult but I know everyone somehow understand the purpose of the Dharma. But then when we are on the path, when we are doing Dharma practice and we don’t remember this part, we become different. However, different understanding is probably a dangerous part. That is because we lack mindfulness. So being a Dharma practitioner, we need to have a strong, pure mindfulness. Mindfulness that reminds oneself to be real Dharma practitioner, to not be worldly dharma ones, or like politicians or something like that. So, we have to remember this for at least one week. Try to remind yourself this meaning every day.

I hope that the talk is good is beneficial is helpful to everyone. I also wish that everyone take the words into your hearts and to put the meaning into your Dharma practice, and it would be a great seed, great cause for you on the path to the liberation!


End of lecture on 29.01.2023


Transcript by Tri Minh Tara & Dieu Hue Excerpt from MP 3 Hungkar Dorje Rinpoche teaching MP3 Hungkar Dorje Rinpoche teaching 29.01.2023: https://lienhoaquang.com/q_jntu15i 

* English version and the title  have been sent to Rinpoche for approval.