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. More Info Please click Here.
Confucius once said to his students: “Only a truly virtuous person can impartially love or loathe others.” What Confucius really meant is that whether attending to public or private affairs, a true altruist considers the overall situation, instead of their own selfish needs. Guided by the principle of benevolence, they want nothing but to benefit others. Malice or greedy desires will never enter such person’s mind. Ordinary people are often self-centred. When a conflict of interest occurs, most people think first of how to protect or defend themselves, entirely occupied with their own selves, rarely taking others’ situation or feelings into consideration and they hold similar views on just about everything else. They judge other people based on their own emotions or intuition, without realizing that by doing so, they might harm the innocent or spoil others’ reputation.
With regard to this particular point, Confucius also said: “The virtuous will preserve all from wickedness.” This means, if a person understands the importance of practicing benevolence, they will not act in a way that could hurt themselves, much less cause any harm to others.
The concept of compassion in Buddhism is akin to that of benevolence in Confucianism. One should always be considerate of others. Don’t be like the greedy kingfishers, who only think of hunting their prey and burden themselves with fish that are much too big to catch or swallow. Yet, they are just following their hunting instincts. Similarly, if human beings blindly pursue what we need without any consideration for people around us, we will exhibit no altruistic qualities and lack the mind of compassion.
A person cannot be like an octopus who, in order to lay eggs, will find a hidden place away from all danger, to protect themselves and their offspring. They are so single-mindedly absorbed with self-defense that they neglect to take in any nutrients. As a result, their eggs are unhealthy and few in number. What’s worse, when a predator swims by, it’ll easily gobble them up. This is the consequence of attending only to selfish needs, which lack in both wisdom and compassion. Buddhism encourages neither pursuing perfection nor pessimistically giving up one’s life. Instead, everything should follow the Middle Way. A Chinese proverb says: “If the water is too clean, the fish will not be able to survive in it.” Being overly positive or overly negative does not lead to a happy life.
In fact, we need only to learn how to cultivate a mind that is as open as a thousand deep pools without any contamination. Towards all sentient beings, we should replace blame with gratitude, harm and enmity with love and forgiveness. Believe that people around us are all predestined to help us in some way, and because of this, we should repay them with loving kindness. We need to bear in mind that only by loving the flawed self, can we truly practice compassion. It is in fact rather selfish to demand perfection in everything. By unceasingly examining ourselves and reflecting on our own flaws, we are in fact treating others with compassion and benevolence. Rather than wearing a mask of grumbling indifference in our interactions with others, why not put down our arms, let down our guard and give rise to sincerity, genuineness, loving kindness, empathy and gratitude towards all people. Only when genuine love arises, will you see compassion’s form, just like a loving mother dotes on her only child.
In Mahayana, the practice of generosity is a crucial part in emulating the ways of the Bodhisattva. Generosity takes many different forms including the offering of body, speech and mind. Whether it is material or metaphysical, making offerings is instrumental in accumulating merits. It is mentioned in a Buddhist sutra called “Sutra of Cause and Effects” that merits created by generosity or karma by habits of frugality in our previous life are direct causes of our wealth or the lack thereof in this life. During Buddha Shakyamuni’s time, a couple was living not far from Buddha. They were miserably poor and felt especially sad when they could not join the affluent in alms-giving. The couple often discussed this, “This is because we did not accumulate sufficient merits in our past life. Look at us now! We have absolutely nothing to offer to the Buddha.” The couple got very upset and broke down in tears. One day, an idea dawned on the wife and she told her husband, “There is actually a way. You could give me away to a wealthy family to work as a maid in exchange for money which you could use to do alms-giving.” On hearing this, the husband said, “I could also work as a servant.” It took a few days before the pair found work at two rich households and could begin to donate everything they received as offerings to the Buddha and the sangha. It just so happened that the King had prepared a lot of fine food to offer Buddha and his disciples. When the King learned of the story of the couple, he was so moved that not only did he let the pair go before him to greet and make offerings, he also granted the couple a fortune. With the money, the couple was able to buy back their freedom and spend the rest of their life focusing on spiritual practice. This story is an example of the benefits of the practice of true generosity. Further in the past, during Buddha Vipashyin’s time, there was a bhikkhu named Yir. Whenever he could afford it, Yir would buy the best garments, bed sheets, and fine food to offer the Buddha and his disciples. He also knew that Buddha Vipashyin often walked barefoot and so, on the footpaths that Buddha traveled, he hired workers to lay down warm and smooth stone blocks. Moreover, he also had many beautiful trees and flowers planted along the path where Buddha would pass. As a result of these virtuous deeds, this bhikkhu was able to travel without touching the ground for the following few kalpas. Buddha Shakymuni also often created opportunities for alms-giving. Once he appeared to be suffering from a back pain and he told one of his disciples, “Please go to town and fetch me some warm water and herbs.” On his way, he met a rich, famous but frugal person called Biseluoxian who was reluctant to make any donations. The World-Honored One, through his supernatural ability, knew that this person was going to die in a few days. Because he did not believe in the Law of Cause and Effect and had incurred a lot of negative karma, he was destined to suffer in hell after death. The Buddha taught and moved Biseluoxian to become a faithful follower. He then made an offering of a fragrant bath to the Buddha. After taking the bath, Buddha’s back pain was cured immediately. A few days later, Biseluoxian passed away as predicted but because of the merits from offering fragrant bath to the Buddha, he passed on to the heavenly realm instead, avoided from being reborn in the lower three realms for 60 kalpas. In “Sutra of Forty-Two Chapters Divulged by the Buddha”, Buddha Shakyamuni said, “The merits of offering food to a hundred ordinary people is smaller than offering to one person who often performs charitable deeds. Similarly, offering to a thousand ordinary people gives smaller merit than treating one person who upkeeps the Five Precepts……” In “Sanghata Sutra”, it is said that there is much greater merit in making offerings to one anagamin (non-returner) than to all the sakrdagamins (once-returners) in the galaxy of a billion world systems; making offerings to one arhat produces much greater merit than to all the anagamins (non-returners) of the galaxy of a billion systems; making offerings to one pratyeka-buddha produces much greater merit than to all the arhats of the galaxies of a billion systems; making offerings to one bodhisattva who has pure aspirations produces much greater merit than making offerings to all the prateyaka-buddhas in the galaxy of a billion systems. From the above stories, I hope that we have come to understand the critical importance of generosity and making offerings. If we are able to compliment our practice with generosity, a lot of our obstacles will automatically be transformed and our merits will multiply. From Shang Longrik Gyatso Tashi Delek! https://www.facebook.com/tsalpa.kagyu
I found this the other day, and it is a pretty good introduction as to why somebody might want to learn Buddhism. It is fairly light on the science (mostly rhetoric), however it more than makes up for that with the generous and sincere enthusiasm that the presenter feels for his subject. He describes the basic concepts and his own motivations with a simple eloqence that is very inspiring.
As a bonus you get footage of a legendary master, Trulshik Rinpoche, as well as interviews with Matthieu Ricard (a monk and author originally from France), and beautiful scenery shot in the Himalayas.