Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Renunciation

The first teaching of Buddha, 2.500 years ago, was the Forth Noble Truths.

. The truth of suffering
. The truth of origin of suffering
. The truth of cessation
. The truth of the path

And by reflecting on the four Noble Truth the 3 principles of the path towards enlightenment which are :

. Renunciation - that one wants to be free of the suffering of the cycle existence ( samsara ) -

. Generate bodhicitta mind - one cultivates pure altruistic intention to benefit all the other beings -

. Understanding the emptiness simply by cultivating the correct view on the depending arising and all things, which is an ego-free view.

Of course I'm not a dharma teacher to talk or write thoroughly about the Buddha's teachings but since currently I'm living in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Nepal, I thought i can share some of my experiences in relation to my understanding on how can one look upon the life itself and especially when life seems that is collapsing.
From the teachings that I receive up to now and from my personal study I understand how precious is one to come to the understanding of the truth of suffering and the causes of suffering - the two first noble truths - .
The understanding natural leads to a strong determination that one wants to renounce the suffering from his life and bring vastness of happiness instead.

There are 3 kinds of sufferings that one can experience :

. The suffering of suffering which easily all beings can understand the pain of pain. Physical or mental and all at a certain point we renounce this pain , as we don't want to experience it.

. The suffering of change. Our "un-contentment" mind always seek temporary happiness through possessions , relationships , reputation etc. but of course all these , is the case that are constantly change and our ego-view mind cannot cope with the change and thus we experience suffering.

. The pervasive suffering. Is the suffering that comes from the way we perceive all phenomena and the Self. The aggregates of the mind ( the 5 Skandas in Sanskrit )
- form
- sensation
- perception
- memory
- consciousness
Are polluted through the Buddhist point of view by delusions and karma , therefore all the phenomena we perceive to exist through the contaminated aggregates are creating causes for self misery continually throughout our life span.

So that why is important to understand the truth of suffering and the cause of suffering so we can make our first step towards renunciation. This is the first step towards enlightenment.

Then naturally questions arisen. How do I get out of this continuous suffering ?
What is the nature of this freedom ?
What is the path to attain it ?

Well I really cannot answer for you into this , but I'm sure that with self study and self investigation one can certainly give some answers but the most important is that there are tools out there ready for use !
The dharma teachings, if you learn how to listen to them and if you start putting them into practice, is one of the most powerful tools that one can have in order to taming the mind and remove all obscurations from it, so its pure clear nature be finally revealed.
The Tibetan Buddhism tradition that I'm studying, presented the Lam - Rim discourse to the world about one millennium ago, which are the stages to enlightenment.
One who can listen , study , understand and contemplate on Lam - Rim , he can transform his behavior.

Through the Lam - Rim are taking place 3 kinds of high trainings:
1. Ethic training - one becomes an expression of non-violence and a pure heart -
2. Single point concentration training - one is able to abandon all meaningless distractions into his way -
3. Wisdom training - one is able to abandon delusions of all kinds -

Absolutely hard work but it works ! I'm studying less than 2 months here , total beginner but I'm so impressed how life looks thought my eyes now. And I had a good "test drive" while I am here. Couple of weeks ago I learn that all my "possessions" that i left in India are gone. When I left Greece I took with me all my precious possessions. My favorites clothes, presents from my best friends, and of course my laptop with my hard disc , with all my teaching yoga material an accumulation of studying of the last years , a booklet that I was writing on yoga , all my memories with thousands of photos now lost and of course my precious Ashtanga authorization paper from Manju P. Jois. Because of my coming to the kopan monastery I thought that it was better to leave my stuff in India and make my time here more focus on the studies and more simple in my needs and way of living. So when I learn that everything were stolen for first time in my life I didn't freak out ! My first thought was for the person who did it because knowing who he is, I know that what he did is out of his weakness of grasping material possessions despite of the wealth life that he has ...I really felt so sorry for him.
After that I was still breathing ..! No anxiety , no panic. Still breathing . I couldn't believe that this reaction was happening to me and seriously it was the first sign that the transformation is actually taking place! To decide not to be merely labeled by my possessions and absolutely let go of that past get me somehow more free. And being able to stay at Kopan all these weeks, is making me feel that maybe for first time, that I am to my real" home ".

I dedicate this post to Lama Zopa Riponche , that is my inspiration and the lamp that i hold when i walk to the darkness paths of my ignorance