About Shang Rinpoche

Rinpoche’s spiritual pursuit began at a very young age and has spanned many years, in which he received lineages of all four major Vajrayana Buddhist schools—Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, and Gelug—from numerous lineage holders and great yogis of our time in India, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Rinpoche has acquired all the necessary empowerments, transmissions, and teachings to become a fully qualified Vajrayana master. Furthermore, Rinpoche is a recognized tulku (reincarnate lama), authenticated by eminent lineage holders and distinguished masters of our time.
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2014年9月18日 星期四

The One Thing Not to Forget While Panicking

Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche

The most important Dharma center for a practitioner is their external situation. All appearances are merely superb opportunities to practice. Whether the circumstances are static or dynamic, in rapid change or as stable as the unmoving earth, everything is just circumstances outside the mind, which should never influence us. We should face the six dusts with all of our senses while not allowing the mind to be disturbed. Through practice you can reach a state of no distinction between body, mind, the internal, and the external. All great achievers of the past took full advantage of every chance to practice. The year that Master Xuan Zang went to Nalanda University in India to study Dharma he ran into many difficulties. When he was in Sakala he encountered fifty or sixty robbers who stole everything from him and his traveling companions. Even though these robbers were extremely fierce and frightening, Master Xuan Zang was tranquil and unperturbed, and calmly converted them to Buddhism. Not only did the bandits spare their lives and return all their belongings, they even took refuge in the Three Jewels and took the five precepts.

From this story I can’t help but remember how Master Empty Cloud, when he was just over sixty, made a pilgrimage to the temple on Mount Wutai. When coming off the mountain, he ran into some soldiers from the Eight-Nation Alliance in the turmoil of war, one of which was a foreigner who rudely raised his gun to Master Empty Cloud. Upon seeing Empty Cloud totally unperturbed in the face of death, the soldier’s curiosity was peaked and he asked, “Could it be that you’re not afraid of death?!” The old monk replied, “If I’m meant to die at your hands then this is my karmic destiny, so go ahead.” Upon seeing the old monk so calm and unafraid, this foreign soldier was shocked, and let him go. When the Second Buddha, the Lotus Born, was building the Samye Temple, many supernatural beings manifested to disrupt the process. Anything that was constructed during the day would be destroyed at night. However, the Lotus Born was not intimidated at all, and instead used compassion and meditative stillness to subdue these supernatural beings. In the end these beings pledged to forever follow the Lotus Born and henceforth to act as Dharma Protectors of the Vajrayana, helping all practitioners to eliminate their obstacles until reaching liberation.

Usually our internal states are all-too-easily influenced by external circumstances, like ripples in a pool of water. Unable to put this ebb and flow in check and lacking in meditative stillness, people immediately get swept away by external situations. Those with a little bit more stillness also need to utilize mantras, shamatha and vipassana (pacification and insight meditation respectively), and oral tips to keep the mind in check. Very few people have strong enough meditative stillness to be able to deal with things as they come and allow them to leave no traces behind when they go. There are many ways to train the mind but beginning students can practice the skill of “controlling the situation, and not letting the situation control you” or “let the person control the situation, don’t let the situation control you”. Practice these until very familiar, when you're proficient you will find a gradual reduction in your mental afflictions and delusive thoughts. You will be in possession of a broader, clearer, and more relaxed mind. You may even be able to calmly transform any mental confusion. So we need to take full advantage of everything that happens in our daily lives. This way we can practice taking care of our minds as well as our meditative stillness. In the end the mind will meld with the external situations.

From Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche