Like A Fox Trotting Through A Fog*
The text of “The Melodious Sound of the Laughter of the Vidyadharas of the Three Lineages” is the brief explanation of the preliminary for the Dzogchen Longchen Nyingthig. This has two parts. The first one is the necessity of contemplating and analyzing the inner meaning of the Dharma. The second one is the main explanation of instructions. In the first one, we there are three small parts.
– One: The necessity of the Dharma for the world;
– Two: The necessity of the Dharma for those who are the known as followers of the Dharma;
– Three: The benefits of practicing the Dharma.
The necessity of Dharma for the world. Dharma is not only good and beneficial for the path of liberation but also for the worldly Dharma in the world. It is because we need Dharma to be happier and more peaceful. When people do not believe in the Dharma or don’t think Dharma is useful, then, of course, their life is different than people who have faith and believe in the Dharma, because all problems in the world come from non-Dharma. Happiness and good things in the world come from the understanding of Dharma or good actions. Therefore, Dharma is good for the world and the liberation, in both ways.
So, here we share some information related to this. Our outlooks and the strength of mind have to keep up with the fast and vast developments of our present time. Because, sometimes, the society is developing too fast and our understanding is not really able to follow up. There’s gap between them and our mind becomes very weak. Development is good. There is nothing wrong with it as long as your mind is indeed in the position, but sometimes, the development is too fast, and the mind cannot follow up. So, it’s a pressure for all our minds. Not only there is mental pressure from the material development, but the peace of mind is also destroyed. There is a mental turmoil so that the world of the mind becomes unstable and there are many inappropriate thoughts. That is what I think of the reality of the people. If we don’t have a mental power or the understanding correctly then development, material development can be a pressure on the mind. Then our mind will be sort of blank, unhappy, unstable, have no direction, something like that. Many inappropriate thoughts like ignorance, attachments, angers… all of these things. So, they need Dharma. Dharma is really necessary for the world.
[In people’s mind] there are powerful feelings of sadness, unhappiness, great mental weariness, harsh thoughts, jealousy, rivalry, false appearance using lies, deceit, self-hatred, yearning to be different, and so on. I think a lot of people are like this now. They are not really satisfied even though this world has developed a lot. They think “the world is not good for me!” They complain for everything. They don’t really blame on oneself at all, but they place blame on others. Maybe, they don’t actually know what they could do, who they are and whatever. Material things destroy the peace of mind while people have a lot of attachment to them. So, they lost in this world because they do not have a good understanding and a correct path. Therefore, we need to learn more about Dharma, we need to practice more Dharma so that we can benefit oneself.
Besides, a lot of people have narrow mind so they are easy to be happy and easy to be unhappy. It is like intense happiness and unhappiness. This is not really a good way of being. When you are happy or unhappy easily, it is actually a pressure on your mind. When you have an intense happiness for something small, it will change in a minute, so that is not a good nature. A good nature is like checking thing to go through with sort of understanding and calmness. If you are not calm, you will be very unhappy, very upset, very angry or something like that; it is not a good nature because it is not in correct position, your mind is out of control. Therefore, we need to have some strengths that keep our mind be calm and peaceful in no matter what kind of situation [we are in]. This is why we need to learn Dharma. This is the benefit of practicing Dharma.
One more thing is that sometimes we do not check ourselves, we don’t notice our own faults and problems. So, we should check our mind to see whether it is bad or good, peaceful or angry or whatever. We need to know what is going on in our mind. This is very important, I think. On the other hand, sometimes, we find our mistakes or problems with ourselves and we are very unhappy about ourselves. That’s not a good way of solving problem. There is no reason to do that but understanding the situation and to see clearly whatever going on in the mind is very important. [No need to be] but not mad or unhappy about that.
Then our need to be different. Sometimes, we wish: “Oh I wish I have,” “I must have that”, “Oh, I could be like that” or something like that. when we see others’ success, others’ wealth and fame and other [good] things. This is not really suitable in Dharma’s way. Of course, in the worldly dharma, that’s normal and maybe somethings good. If you do not have any wishes or dreams then you don’t do anything or try to be successful. But here we do not have to [be so]. We wish: “Oh I must be like that very famous one,” or very wealthy or whatever but we need to understand that everything has to have cause [and condition] to appear. When there are not enough merits and not enough conditions to be successful, then even though your mind desire these things, it is just useless thoughts and your brain will create some negative thoughts. Therefore, we should not be like that. We should be different. Here it means if you want to be a different person from others, we have to be a good Dharma practitioner.
Actually, according to Dharma wisdom, we are under ignorance. We follow our ignorance, our mental distractions. Whatever they say, whatever they lead, we just follow. That is actually directionless. Many people get lost so they do not know what to do. They end themselves because they do not see a really good direction in their life. Therefore, in samsara, according to the Dharma, everyone is lost or directionless. Tibetans often say “like a fox trotting through a fog,” which means no direction or do not know where it is going. Or they say “like a bird walking on the ground after being stunned by a stone from a slingshot,” which means after being shot, the bird cannot fly, thus doesn’t know what to do. Sometimes, we are like that, too. If we don’t study and practice wisdom, then more likely we are like this. This is not what we want to be. We need to be clear of everything, like what kind of path we want to take on and what kind of direction we want to go forward. So, it’s the reason to talk about the benefits of Dharma.
Now, in this world, there is an unbelievable number of people who commit suicide because of the pressure of getting wealthy and prosperous, pressure of love, pressure of competition, and so on. It is a reality that there’re a lot of people in the world commit suicide every year. It is not something easy to do but people still follow that karma because of the power of suffering or pressure. I think this is not very good. Among different levels of beings, humans have more happiness than others, but still a lot of people are going in darkness and suffering a lot. So, I think, Dharma is very necessary. Dharma is real wisdom, or good understanding. When there’s lack of good understanding, bad things can happen. For example, a lot of young people are going under bad situation right now because of the pressure to become wealthy and prosperous. For wealth a lot of people have tried very hard. They have tried everything they can, but it’s not easy to come the way they wish. When it turns into different way, it hurts their mind and they try to end up their life. As we see carefully on why people commit suicide, we’ll see that they want to be successful with the well-done parts and maybe other things, maybe for other competitions. This is because they are caught within pressure from their own internal thought and external things. Or there are some external reasons, things that made them very unhappy and very sad. Recent research shows that each year, many students commit suicide in here. And of course, the situation is similar in other countries. There’s not really enough happiness and peace in the society, thus many young people have destroyed their lives. This is not something that we really want to see. We want to see everyone peaceful and happy, but if we don’t do correct things, then it doesn’t come this way.
There many reasons for suicide, such as financial difficulties, disharmony within the family, having to pretend to be happy, growing old and so on. People sometimes have difficulties with their finance, and they end their lives. Sometimes, they have problems between the members of the family, and they destroy each other’s happiness and peace. Some people, when they get very old, they cannot be independent, they lose their interest of life, and they want to die. Some people get sick badly and cannot do things freely. It’s too much for them and they do not want to live any more. So, this is the real situations of human life. There are also many people who commit suicide for no particular reason but only the feeling of unhappiness and so. Such people really exist. There are quite a lot of unhappy people, both old and young, in this world. Sometimes they just kill others, right? They try to kill as many people as possible before killing themselves. They are just somehow unhappy and dissatisfied. This happens even among those with the fame, wealth and good looks. This is true there are many people who are famous and good look and very well educated and high position but sometimes they kill themselves because of being unhappy for somethings. It’s not suitable in the Dharma. It’s something very bad that one can’t do. So, try to practice and try to study Dharma to reduce this kind of negativities.
Some people say they want to kill themselves without really good reason. They say that kind of thoughts naturally arise in them. So, it could happen. People think different things. All kind of things we think [has] good reasons. This terrible state of affairs: [some] like taking risk or following others. They think this way: “I want to kill myself,” or “I want to die.” If we do not watch and control our minds, the mind goes crazy. That is the reason we need to practice we need to understand better. In other words, people do not correctly understand the nature changeability of things.
Why do they think this way, they have such a negative thought? Because they do not understand the nature of things, karma and interdependent origination. Many people are very bad although they do not wish that way. They really wish that things come correctly and in a good way but things do not come like that, then they hurt. Why they hurt? Because they do not understand the nature the changeability of things and also karma and interdependent origination. Because everything has a good cause and condition, only that way things appear correctly. When you do not understand this reality, you hurt yourself and you are sad, you are unhappy. You do whatever your ignorance says.
Many beings believe that this world and human life have naturally arisen and formed. They believe that the inequality of higher and lower status, or being rich and poor have come about naturally. So, people do not understand the cause and effect. They just think if you are famous and wealthy, you have family members then you have everything. They think essential purpose of human life is to fulfil all their desires and to take care of themselves. This is not a very correct way of thinking, seeing and understanding things, but that way of thinking forms the foundation for everything [for them].
Because people do not understand correctly how it [works]: cause and conditions, karmas and they think nature is not equal to them. But they forgot everything has its own cause and effect.
Even though we are in the modern society, the main foundation always is the essential part: understanding of karma cannot change, the way we see things we cannot change. Because if you change, then it is no more Dharma and they don’t need to be changed to be beneficial. Even though sometimes we say modern Dharma people, modern way of practicing Dharma, we use modern things like phones, computer, internet to study, to hear the teachings. This is ok but the understanding of cause and effect, trying to practice more good actions and avoid bad actions – these [rules of] conduct cannot change. Therefore, they have to follow the exact instructions from the Buddha and from our Lineages Masters.
The essential of Dharma is that it is the powerful method for attaining liberation. We need to know what liberation and qualities of liberation are and then be attracted to it, aspired to it. Then, of course, we have to listen, think and meditate on the teachings on the liberation. When you listen, you understand better. Then, you think this is really good, this is the way that has the power and blessings [for one] to really attain liberation. Then we have confidence and faith. At the same time, we need to have renunciation. So, we need to recognize the defects, difficulties and problems of samsara, and accordingly have a sincere rejection to Samsara. Now we probably understand the difficulties and problems of samsara but it is not deep enough. We need to study more and think in deeper way. Buddha said: “When someone practice, someone being in the path,” which means someone has to become the path. So, it is real too. The problem is that with you: “me and my path are different.” There is always difference that I am “me” all the time and my path is somewhere, maybe there; I am not really being the path (laugh). You have to be yourself as the path. You have to understand renunciation; your mind has to be fully renunciation and understanding. Therefore, we need to study well and have sincere rejection of samara. It is difficult to have a sincere rejection because samsara is beautiful and samara is good and we have a lot of attachments with samsara. [We have to] aspire to liberation from it. Without that we will not be able to attain liberation.
End of an expert on 25.12.22
Transcript by Tri Minh Tara & Dieu Hue.
Excerpt from MP 3 Hungkar Dorje Rinpoche teaching 25.12.2022: https://lienhoaquang.com/q_jv481lr
* This is an excerpt from the teaching given by Rinpoche at 25.12.2022, via Zoom. The title is created by the translator for the convenience of the reader.