I want to begin today with reflecting on what brings us to this lecture. What motivates you to be here today? What motivates you to be reading to this lecture?
In general, what motivates us to be interested in a teaching or doctrine?
Certainly, there are lot of immediate things that might come to our head. It is a good thing to contemplate or reflect on. Motivation impacts how we approach a spiritual doctrine. Generally speaking, there are three levels, or types, of motivations to be interested in any spiritual doctrine, or religion in general.
The first level of motivation we can call ordinary motivation, because it is completely natural and ordinary: everybody has this, if nothing else. It is to simply reduce our suffering, to simply be in a better place, and to produce better conditions for the future. Even if you are not religious, you still have this motivation. You just may not use religion or a spiritual doctrine in order to accomplish that. You may believe in something more secular like a doctrine of philosophy, or science. Many people use modern types of scientific knowledge in relationship to this ordinary motivation to improve our lives. Even if someone does not necessarily think about it in this way, this is really our basic motivation for anything in life, moment by moment.
The reason why we do anything, if we are not reflecting on it, is because we believe that is the thing that is going to get us closer to happiness or that is going to help us step away from suffering, to remove, or limit our suffering. Otherwise, why would we do anything? That is the core motivation we have: to increase our happiness. The Dalai Lama always states that everyone wants to be happy and no one wants to suffer.
Beyond this ordinary motivation, we have what we are calling a greater motivation. This is the one that is associated definitely with a spiritual doctrine: to achieve a state of salvation, Heavn, or Nirvana, or some type of ultimate happiness. Here, it is accepted that there is some transcendent or transcendental state we can achieve, and we can work towards that. Basically, every religion is pointing towards that. The question is: how serious we are and what are the demands that we must go through? Anyone that we would consider a saint would have to, at minimum, have that type of motivation, who is really using their whole life to acquire that type of state. That they are doing very good things.
The third level of motivation, which we are calling here limitless motivation, is really the motivation that we want to concern ourselves with in these teachings, if possible, and also what the topic of this lecture is today related to:. The limitless motivation is a complete awakening of .
In the middle motivation, the greater motivation, the motivation is to achieve a transcendent state of happiness. It is not necessarily to have the complete awakening of, to have complete wisdom. There is a slight difference there between the limitless motivation and the greater motivation. Because the greater motivation is a state of being in order to achieve some goal. The limitless motivation, on the other hand, is not saying, “I am going to achieve some goal as a state of experience.” It is saying, “I am going to sacrifice myself completely for all beings and continue to awaken . Not just for my own selfish needs, but because I become more beneficial for that goal of helping others.”
This third level is really the level of a true, in the real manifest world, a true Christian. Not a Christian in ideas but actually manifested. This is the third level of motivation.
We should really contemplate what brings us in to the teachings. What brings us here? The fact of the matter is, most of us enter into a doctrine like this based on the ordinary level of motivation. Most of us are looking for something because we do not want to suffer anymore, we are tired of suffering and we think, believe, or have some faith, that there is something better than our current state. There is nothing wrong with that ordinary level of motivation. In fact, we just have to acknowledge it, but we also need to acknowledge that there is something superior.
These levels of motivation bring us to different places. The level of motivations related to reducing our suffering in the here and now and to produce future conditions that are more beneficial, or nicer, works and it is good. If we enter into the teachings and that is the level of motivation that we remain at, sooner or later if we put these teachings into practice, you will undoubtedly begin to reduce your suffering and you will be in a better place.
At that moment there is a bit of a crisis in a certain sense. If your motivation was to increase happiness then, as a result, you may get that. If you do, then where is your motivation to stay in the teachings? This happens, the case where someone’s life is very chaotic and confused and by working on themselves, they reach a certain level. Things become clearer. They are able to achieve some goals that were difficult otherwise. They have more freedom, more money, a better roof over their head. Very coarse levels of suffering are transcended. If you do not have a greater motivation, you will find yourself having less and less interest in the teachings. Because you have gotten something out of it, and if there is a superior motivation, you may naturally, although you do not think about it, may not have your heart in the doctrine any longer.
In such cases, individuals begin to possess something they wanted to acquire (some happiness in life) and you think that is the final level of happiness needed. Certainly, there is no way you are going to apply yourself in a spiritual teaching if there is not some level of discontentment. If you are content with your level of being why would you change it? Why would you work to change it?
It is not that the person who has this crisis of motivation is truly content, it is that they may not be examining their true state. They may think they got what they need. They may not even reflect on it. There is just a sort of unconscious experience of using some motivation to take the time, like you all did today, to not be doing something else and to come here, or to listening to this over the internet. That performed some sacrifice today. You had to sacrifice something else to come here today. Nevertheless, many who are here today will not be here in the future. Such is the observed facts. Eventually such motivation can wear away. If you gain some happiness and you have no further motivation to engage the teachings further, the result is abonnement of the teachings.
The second level of motivation related to Nirvana, salvation, or Heaven, in the traditional sense. This is where we make a choice that we are going to dedicate our life to these teachings to, to live it, to work with these teachings our whole life. So, that is a higher ideal, and it is more powerful. When you get to that level of motivation truly, you remain in the teachings. It is easy to think that you have such motivation – there may be certain levels of our mind conceptually and intellectually that we have that level of motivation – but in our heart, in our bones, in our blood, if we do not have that motivation it will become clear. Because when you have that second level of motivation, and you continue working, there are times when things get worse, when your life doesn’t seem to be going as it should, things are taken away, you seem to suffer more. The spiritual friends that you had seem to change, or go away, or there is some conflict and you, may question if the teachings, if they are right or wrong, and there is a crisis in that level.
If you are truly at the second level of motivation it is not about any of those external factors. That level of motivation is because you, in your heart, know that this is your life and you make your life this doctrine. At this level of motivation, you are not questioning whether the doctrine is correct. You are really not concerning yourself if the external appearances seem to always be correct. You develop the level of faith, a very long-standing point of view, that in the end all the factors come together and that this is what you should be doing with your life. This level of motivation is developed through hard work.
The third level of motivation, the limitless motivation, the Christic motivation, the motivation of, the embodiment and the life of the , this is a type of motivation that says, “It is not about my salvation. It is about all of existence and all beings in that existence.” It is not just about “me” trying to get my liberation. It is about us all being interconnected and that true liberation only occurs when all of the interconnected, interdependent pieces, which is all of us together, are also going through that awakening, that liberation.
This is why true liberation is only related to that third level: we are all interdependent. Even the ones that achieve Nirvana, do not achieve complete awakening because of interdependence. Every once in a while, they have to return back to Earth and all sorts of things can happen, things can get worse. Unless you have this third level of motivation, related to, you are ascending on a very gradual type of path. Those who have the third level of motivation truly have a very direct path. We should reflect on all of this.
Certainly, as I said, the ordinary level of motivation is something that we all have. That is why it is ordinary. Whether or not we have these greater types of motivation, we need to reflect and on how we are actually living, responding and acting in the world.
This, as I mentioned, is a compound word. “Bodhi” means “enlightenment” or “wisdom” and “Cit” or “Citta” means mind. means “wisdom mind” or “enlightened mind” but more than that it is always associated with a type of Christic Will. A complete self-sacrifice for the benefit of others, because that is true wisdom. Wisdom that does not have that as a component cannot be true wisdom.
itself is a word that has many levels of meaning and application. Traditionally if you were to listen or read about Buddhism, particularly Mahayana or Tantrayana, you would find that is a word associated with the Mahayana and Tantrayana vehicles. The first thing you would learn is that the outer meaning of this word is “compassionate motivation to achieve enlightenment”, to work for the liberation of all beings.
But there is another layer to that.is fundamentally intertwined with this second half which is the comprehension of the real nature of reality, which we call “emptiness” or “voidness” or “shunyata.”
It is a very difficult, even conceptually, for us to understand: that everything is empty. Sometimes this phrase of emptiness does not strike our mind orin the right way. We use the word “emptiness” to denote an emotional emptiness, that is not what we are talking about here.
Emptiness means that all phenomena are composite: that they are made up of other things. Even physically we know that we can break down everything into atoms. Everything breaks down into pieces therefore there is no essential quality.
If you look at a clock on the wall there is no “clock essence” inside there. If you take apart all of the pieces of the clock and lay them on the table, there is no one piece that says that is the clock. We can do that with our body. We can look at our body, we can examine our body in, and we will not find a self in our body. If I lost a finger, I would still be just as much myself, my body would just not have the finger though.
Moreover, we can do that with sensations, and we can do that with mental phenomena. We do not find a self in our thoughts, and we do not find a self in our emotions. If we get a very stable mind, we cannot point to where the self is, even within that stability of concentration.
This emptiness is actually closer to freedom, total freedom. That is what emptiness really means. The emptiness is related to the glistening of light. The emptiness of light: light has nothing holding it down.
The outer level ofis related to the compassionate need to help others. The inner level of is related to our comprehension of the true nature of reality. There is a secret level, or most-inner level of , which is related to our subtle-body, related to the vitality, related to our energies in our body. This inner level or comprehension of the real nature of reality is something we first have to study conceptually, then we have to experience it in .
Let us talk about these three levels, first with the outer level. How do we actually develop? It is a wonderful concept but it is difficult to see how we actually work with this. How do we actually be compassionate?
It turns out is actually quite difficult for several reasons. Most bluntly, when things happen in life, we tend to not respond with the characteristics of. It is just not there: the first thing that comes is not . The first thing that comes is something instinctual, a reaction. All sorts of things boil out of our mind before we seem to even have a choice. If we observe our mind, we find a lot of things that have no quality of compassion. What can we do?
There is actually a lot that we can do.
In traditional teachings ofthey talk about the Four Immeasurables. These are four qualities that we can cultivate within ourselves if we are serious about wanting to be compassionate. For that first response, to have immediate compassion, you can actually meditate on these Four Immeasurables.
The first one is called “Immeasurable Love.” This is what I was saying, in the beginning of the lecture, that everybody want to achieve happiness and reduce suffering. We should be viewing all of our experiences, and interaction with other people, from that perspective.
Once again, that is easier said than done, especially when we see someone that is acting in a way that is very difficult for us to handle. The mind usually wants to make an adversary out of that person and see them as someone who just want to make you suffer, or is just causing you a problem. But if we take the view that everyone wants to achieve greater happiness and reduce suffering, then even if someone is acting in this way, you must see it motivated towards acquiring happiness.
How do you understand them criticizing you, or, not taking your words seriously, or lying to you, etc. How do you see that? From your perspective it does not seem that they want happiness, because they are causing this problem for you.
That is just it: just as we see that we do not have control over our reactions, the other person, these other people on our lives, do not have control either. Just as we are confused and suffer, other people do too. Even when the expression is very confused and chaotic, it still comes from that basic motivation for happiness, it is just wrong most of the time.
Many times, we are on that wrong side of that as well, right? When we immediately begin to go into not having love for other people, it is because we do not comprehend that everyone is trying to reduce their suffering. They just do not know how to work with it in a very skillful way, so we need to learn how to be skillful in our response, of course. Other times, it is our own mind that is being very egotistical and ignorant.
It does not mean that “Immeasurable Love” is just wanting to go around hugging everybody. This immeasurable love is actually comprehending you and the other. If you do not have a comprehension of those relationships you have in life, how could you possibly have love?
You have to meditate. There are meditations such as cultivating a love for people in the world. You start with someone who is very close to you. Someone who you can imagine. and feel overwhelming love for that person. to the point that you have tears. Then, you expand that, step by step, to other people who are maybe not so close to you, then people who are neutral, then people who seem to be causing problems and aggravations.
If you do this honestly, sincerely, you will find that are actually no limits to that. The limits that we place on our affection and love is imposed by our own confused state of mind. Due to our conditioned mind, this type of love is usually is restricted, because we are afraid and we do not want to be hurt.
“Immeasurable Compassion” is the next one. It is related to not wanting to see people suffer, and wanting to reduce the suffering of someone else. Obviously, this is related to love, all of these are related because they are, but compassion is specifically about wanting to reduce others’ suffering.
This has its pitfalls as well because we have to comprehend how it is to help someone reduce their suffering. Sometimes people ask things of us, and its actually something that even if we do it, and they are glad that we do it for them, it may not actually reduce their suffering. It is tricky. It is not just about being everybody’s servant. It is being well to serve their. It takes a lot of wisdom. There is no way to truly have or compassion if you do not have wisdom. Otherwise you end up just doing things, and you do not comprehend why you are doing them, and you may not always be doing good.
“Immeasurable Joy” is related to taking joy in the joy of others. We have to balance some of these qualities. When you are cultivating immeasurable compassion and cultivating seeing how many millions of people are suffering at this very moment, it can be overwhelming. You have to combine that with the immeasurable joy, because there are others who have great happiness right now. You have to be able to see both of those things with a lot of equanimity.
When we are talking about suffering, to do aon all the people suffering in the world, if that brings us down, so to speak, and makes us emotionally unstable, then we are not ready for that level of cultivation. We have to work on comprehending all those things. These types of cultivations should be helpful. When something brings us, destabilizes our equanimity, that means we have to inquire within to what is really going inside of ourselves.
Of course, the last one is related to equanimity itself.
“Immeasurable Equanimity.” This is related to attachment. When you have attachments, you lose your equanimity, because things go away, things change. If our mind – it is so simple from a conceptual perspective – if our mind is attached to a thing that changes, when that thing changes, our mind is forced to suffer. Yet, we only see the opposite. We like some thing and we think it makes us happy, but we ignore that we have attached ourselves to something that will one day change, and therefore we will suffer. It is really simplified. The attachment always forces the mind to suffer because everything always changes.
To summarize these up again:
We should know that this is always pointing towards. We should really want that. We should dedicate, if we are really trying to develop , all the positive qualities that we may have acquired through our spiritual practice. Dedicate it towards liberation of all spiritual beings.
That type of aspiration connects you to that type of vibration of universal compassion. We tune our heart to universal compassion, even if our antennae are just a little antenna, because we do not have a lot of growth, when we at least attenuate ourselves to that motivation, it helps us reduce our attachments. It helps reduce our suffering and it helps increase our wisdom.
The next type of cultivation ofwe can say is related to . The of our mind, transforming all of our poisonous qualities into virtues. That is the symbol of the peacock, because the peacock can eat poisonous plants. In Buddhism, the peacock is a symbol of the . All those beautiful colors of the peacock come about by eating poisonous plants.
The poisonous plants that we need to be transforming is our own mind, our own refuse, all of the darkness in our mind, all of these negative qualities. We know through the transformation of impressions, through retrospective exercises, looking at our past and trying to figure out what happened, we are essentially trying to transform those poisons.
In what is called a mind-training text, “Lojong,” called “The Wheel of Sharp Weapons Effectively Striking the Heart of the Foe” it is written,
“Thus Bodhisattvas are likened to peacocks, they live on delusions, those poisonous plants, transforming them in to the essence of practice, they thrive in a jungle of everyday life. Whatever is presented, they always accept while destroying the poison of clinging desire.”
That should be our perspective.
This text is very beautiful. It talks about destroying theby working with a very fierce deity, a fierce aspect of Manjushri which Yamantaka. Yamantaka has all sorts of weapons in his hand. He is surrounded by fire. He looks very fierce. The ferocity is towards our . The ferocity is actually . The fire is , but in a fierce aspect. Most of the time we are associating with the aspects that look very peaceful, that is true. There is that other aspect of which is very fierce. The enemy of is always our . It is the enemies inside of ourselves. All of the work of destroying our is in essence, liberating or purifying our psyche. That gives us the qualities of that begin to emerge.
We have the blueprints or the seed-plot of all these beautiful qualities in our mind, in our heart, and in our. However, there are a lot of weeds among them, those are our egos. There are a lot of poisonous plants, and by transmuting or by transforming all that poison, that provides the capacity or energy for all these beautiful aspects of our to emerge. We do not have to worry, in some respects, these qualities emerge from our when we make the room. When we destroy our these other qualities blossom. Those are all those beautiful feathers of that peacock.
In another aspect, those are the elements of our. We talked about the four or five elements a couple of lectures ago and how those elements are related to many different things, of course. We talked about the elements of ordeals. How we are psychologically challenged, and how those are related to the elements.
We return to that topic, because as it is stated in theof Arya Maitreya,
“Just like the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Wind, Bodhisattvas do not remain trapped by mental constructs.”
We have to take these elements that are in ouralready, so to say, this content of our experience, we have to extract the positive qualities from them. We have here five elements. Depending on the teachings, the level of the teaching, there could be four, five, or six elements. We are going to talk about five elements.
These are archetypal qualities that permeate space, therefore they permeate our existence as well. Generally speaking, we have to start with the lower elements before we perfect the higher elements. However, these are all interrelated. The highest elements are related to discernment and wisdom. Yet, we always return to the base. If we have perfect wisdom, we can go back and have perfect conduct on Earth. If you do not have any wisdom, how do you know how to live? It is pulling yourself up from the bootstraps – we must rely on a system of efforts to first work with the base elements.
The Buddha stated that generosity was really the beginning of acquiring these perfections or paramitas related to. Generosity is pretty much what it looks like, being generous. From this perspective, in the beginning, it is a very basic thing, just being generous. Being generous with your time, energy, wealth, or being generous with whatever you have to give.
Once again, you have to have some element of wisdom. If you give what you don’t have, if you are taking from someone else, if you are trying to manipulate the situation trying to look good, if you are motivated because you are afraid, none of those things are.
If you do something because you are afraid, that would be an impure act because it is based on a delusion of fear. Only when you have the right view of your actions, of your conduct, can it be developing. is something conscious, cognizant. If you do things and you do not know why you are doing them, it is not either. You have to know what you are doing and you have to have the right view. Right view means you are seeing how this is a beneficial activity. It is not an accident that you are looking to manifest these qualities. You understand this is the beneficial thing to do.
The Earth element is related to our solidity, our grounding. It is our grounding element. Our physical body is related to that. We live in our physical body throughout the day, then when we go to sleep, normally, we have noof what happens. It is very vague and we have to work to remember our dreams. That is because when you are in the physical body there is a type of grounding for the . Our is very weak and therefore lapses into incoherence when the body sleeps. The sensations of the physical body give us this ability to at least be coherent and to work, because when we are out of our body, we do not have enough to work outside of our body.
We have to start in the Earth, it is our solidity, our grounding. This body that we get, which is a very beautiful thing, a marvelous gift of our own inner. We believe that we are owners of our own body and everything just comes from “whatever.”
We do not have to think about the process of having a body. We have this laziness. We are given this body without any work so, we think, “I can do whatever I want with it”, “I can be lazy”, etc. There is a misunderstanding of the precious quality of this body that we have. If you have true comprehension of that, you do not waste your time.
The quality that we should be extracting from our laziness is diligence. A continual, almost methodical type of daily effort, daily work. In this way we become accustomed to new habits which are positive. Just in the same way that we are accustomed to, I think all of us today, bathing ourselves every day. We don’t have to make much of an effort to take a shower. Number one, it is a part of our routine and number two; we understand what will happen if we do not take a shower, we comprehend it. We do not need an external system of control or some reminding to have cleanliness, just to bathe ourselves. Some children, you have to tell you need a bath or a shower, and they develop that habit and the understanding. If they do not, they smell and that is not good for being in society.
There is a story of a yogi that was living in the mountains doing a tremendous amount of spiritual exercises and mediation. He came down and was living in the town. They had to tell him that he needed to take a bath. He said “OK”, he took a bath because he knew he was in society now. He never had to do that when he was living in the mountains. Then two or three days later they had to tell him again. “You have to take a bath every day because you stink.” It was not because he did not understand that, it was just not part of his habit. He had a habit of meditating all the time. He had the habit of doing all this spiritual work. He just never developed the habit, or lost the habit, of not bathing everyday because he did not live in society, he lived in the mountains. We live in society, so we need to know how to be diligent, have the right type of practices. In the beginning it is hard to start our spiritual practices. It is really difficult, but you need that diligence.
We have to carve a spiritual routine out of the rock of our life.
Earth is also related to a certain type of pride, which again is just related to the fact “this is where I was born,” “I was born with this body,” “I have all these things,” “I can do whatever I want.” It is like the element that we were born in, most people do not see it as something very precious. People lack humility, they just believe everything should be given to them, or everything was given to them. This is related to the first two paramitas; ethical discipline, and generosity. Ethical discipline is generating the new qualities, the new habits in a sense. When we really develop a new habit, it is part of our motion and momentum.
Related to the water element, we have the quality of fluidity or adaptability. Contrary to that is attachment, being attached to things. Water is very fluid, it flows, it can shape itself inside of the container you give it. It is very adaptable. When we have not mastered that, we have a lot of attachments, or aversions. It is also related to. is the ultimate attachment. Everything negative arrives from .
The opposite of that of course, is adaptability, the ability of being able to go with the flow, in the right way, not the wrong way. Then we develop transmutation and we develop a lot of strength. If we have a lot of attachments, the paradox is, that it feels as if it makes us strong, that it gives us a sense of identity. Actually, it is a weakness, because of what we said before: all phenomena change, things fall apart, things go away, people who are friends are now enemies, enemies are now friends, etc. There are attachments to things and attachments to other people. We attach our well-being to someone else then we are setup for a lot of problems. We gain a tremendous amount of strength when we work on our attachments because then we have to center ourselves in our real experience what is actually going on. That is a tricky thing, it can be very scary.
The next element, fire, is related to intensity and clarity. This intensity can be a very positive thing. What happens when we do not have control of that fire element, we have a lot of anger, hatred, and aversion. It is related to attachments as well because the opposite of attachments is aversion. That intensity, which tends to go towards hatred or anger, when you transmute that, when you eliminate those aspects, the quality that you get is love and compassion.
Hatred comes across very intense, but when you remove those aspects, instead of hatred or frustration, immediately appearing in mind you have love and compassion. Without hatred, the intensity of fire reflexively produces intense compassion out of your mind.
Again, that does not mean you adopt a very peaceful attitude and go around just hugging everyone. Sometimes you need to comprehend how to act, how you need to respond, how you need all of these other qualities such as patience, to be patient with someone. Sometimes we need a lot of patience. It takes a lot of time for people to change, it takes effort to change things. We need patience both with trying to change things as they exist today as well as when we are looking for something to happen in the future, something to emerge, or something to happen, we need a lot of patience.
After patience, in terms of the paramitas, is spiritual enthusiasm, sometimes called “heroic action”. This is more of an outward quality of doing the right thing, doing the heroic thing, the spiritual thing, the enthusiasm, to do the work. If you do not have patience, ethical discipline, and generosity, you will try to work, and you may have enthusiasm, but it is not spiritual enthusiasm. You are going to be sabotaged by your own impure element.
The air aspect is related to mobility. The mobility is related to the mind. The mind is always related to the air. The reason is there is a quality of the wind being able to blow very quickly. Our mind is able to fly off to things very far away from our practical affairs. We can think about something very conceptually very profound. Even though we have not been there literally, conceptually we can think about it. That is a good quality. We need to have that. We need to have philosophical refinement. We need the right concepts combined with the right practicality, of course.
It is a positive aspect of the mind, being very airy. The negative aspect is how the mind is so quick to be detached, to ruminate, and to spin its wheels without being on the ground of the Earth, without the practicality. The mind can go around the whole world, attached to fears and anxieties. Instead of thinking about refined concepts that help you get something useful, to obtain greater happiness, our mind is pulled down into negativity, attachments, fear, hatred, anger, paranoia, seeing everybody around you in a paranoid way: “What is really going on?”, “Are they really trying to get me down?”, “Why are they trying to do this?” All these ideas can just boil out of the mind. It takes a lot of refinement to work with that. That is a principle quality (paranoia, fear, etc.) you find everywhere today and we do not know how to handle it.
It is also related to these constant distractions. We are unable to focus the mind because we are distracted by sensations. If we are not distracted by sensations, we are distracted by our thoughts, those same fears and anxieties. Often, when you try to achieve meditative concentration, you reduce the external sensory inputs, your senses, you calm down, and suddenly you are left with what is left in your mind. That can be very troubling or very difficult because your mind is now taking full control over yourand your senses are not there to distract you from your crazy mind. When you develop meditative concentration, of course you have that stability of concentration, but through that you can acquire discernment.
Discernment means the ability to know one thing from another thing. To discern is to be able to know the qualities of anything. You cannot have discernment if you do not have a level of concentration. When you are concentrated you can begin to see. Even here physically, not talking about profound meditative concentration, even just sitting at the desk trying to get some work done, or trying to deal with somebody. Just to have presence, to see the elements moving within your psyche, and the elements moving within the person you are trying to deal with or work with. If you do not have presence or centeredness, you are like the tree with all the leaves blowing back and forth and cannot tell what is going on. If you have centeredness you can discern movements outside of your stability. Through meditative concentration we can acquire discernment.
The final element working our way up is the Space element which is related to the Akash or ether, the rarified space. The quality of space is expansiveness. It is something very primordial: the quality of total freedom, expansiveness, no limitations.
The poison and the extract related to this element is something very primordial. It is related to our primordial innocence, a type of ignorance, because we do not see things as they really are. We see things in a confused way, in a very fundamental level. Not just physically.
When you take the physical body away, you take the emotions away, when you take the intellect away, when you remove all those things and you are just, that level of being is also confused. It is because of that, that we end up developing all these problems.
Actually, the point of spiritual work is to transform that confusion into clarity, into profound wisdom, into. That is why we need . We do not currently possess it. If we currently had profound wisdom, we would not need this doctrine. It is a subtle concept to understand, because that capacity of profound wisdom also lies within us. Even though we do not seem to have it, we do, we just do not see it for what it is. The difference between someone who is not a Buddha and who is a Buddha is that they recognize their actual state. They know the real “suchness” of their own experience and of the world, both inner and outer.
If we want to develop, want this profound wisdom, we need to work on all of these elements. Many people get tripped up on one or another. People may even have a good meditative practice, they may meditate everyday but they may be lacking in ethics. We think of ethics as “Thou shalt not kill”, or “Thou shalt not steal”, if we do not examine it, we think of it in a very superficial way.
Actually ethics are very profound, and we have given lectures on this. Ethics are related with how the energy being transformed. It is the possession of knowledge of how you are using the energy of your mind and my heart. It is more than just these very egregious transgressions that we see in the world. To not steal something from the store is a simple precept. We need to look more subtlety in terms of ethics.
When we are trying to work spiritually, we need to not compare ourselves to anyone else in the world. We need to compare our actions to the perfection that lies within ourselves. We give a lot of lectures on ethics, so I will not go into detail.
Same thing with all these other paramitas. Patience for example. People want things to happen right away, they go into these teachings and want immediate results, and if anything is contrary, they cannot handle it, it is too difficult, so they leave the teachings. These are things we need to work on for our whole life.
In Tibetan Buddhism they use five elements and this color spectrum. You may have seen theflags that are often hung in Tibetan communities, or anywhere really today. They are called flags or Lung-ta. Those colors are related to these five elements that we are talking about. We are not going to break down these elements any further. Just know that those flags, which are little squares hung on a rope or thread, usually in a very windy place, like on top of a mountain or on a stupa, they are hung and always flapping in the wind. They are never taken down. They evaporate or disintegrate into the space. They are the elements being moved by those energies, moved by those winds, and they disintegrate in to space. That is a teaching. It is something we need to understand.
From the outer or basic level, they areflags, and they mean good luck and positive qualities. What we need to pull out of this in terms of : we need to understand what lung-ta really means, what these elements are really teaching us. Lung-ta means “Wind Horse” or “River Horse.” On these flags, you usually see a horse. Sometimes you might see some other animals. We are not going to talk about that, we are going to talk about just the Lung-ta horse. It is called the “Wind Horse” energy.
We need to clarify one little thing we may sound confusing. We talked about the five elements. Those five elements permeate all the levels of our Being. We have the physical body, then we have the body of our life force, our vital body, our prana or chi, without that level we do not have life in our body. The physical body, when it dies, is because the vital body gets separated and is no longer there. The vital body is related to all the processes of our life, both metabolic and caloric. It is related to sense impressions. It is also related to our endocrine system, our circulatory, all the movement, all the amazing capacities of our physical body, the reason why it works is related to our vital body.
The vital body is related to the four ethers. These are(the physical body), and (the vital or ethereal body.) That is the supra-dimensional or energetic aspect of our physical body. We break the qualities of that ethereal body into four levels.
The ether of life, which related sexual reproduction, we have the chemical ether related to metabolism, and two superior ethers called reflecting and luminous. The reflecting ether is related to memory, imagination, and willpower. The luminous is related to that light quality of being able to sense or see, both physically and internally.
When you know how to have meditative stability, part of that process is learning how to calm the physical body down. When you learn how to calm the physical body down, you are settling these ethers. Sometimes when you try to settle the body down things happen. Like an itch, or you ‘freak out’ and your hand twitches, it is because your vital body winds are knotted. They are not flowing well. That is the build-up of stress.
Learning how to settle that etheric quality allows you to work with the superior ethers. Instead of seeing physically, you begin to have clarity or insight to your mind. When clarity is good, the luminous vision shows you literal images in. That is exactly the ether that has these qualities when you fall asleep. If you have had the experience of halfway falling to sleep or being about to fall asleep and something wakes you up and you have a vision of something, a dream, you enter qualities of the ethereal body in relation to the mind when you fall asleep.
We are so chaotic and confused we are unable to remain cognizance. When we dream we have incoherence. In Tibetan Buddhism and other types of traditions, that energy is called “wind” energy life force, wind energy. You see these flags are flowing in the wind and this lung-ta or “Wind Horse” needs to be circulating through our whole body. The lung-ta or “Wind Horse” is related to our own energetic transformations and transmutations. These four ethers, this vital body, is related to this Lung-ta or Wind Horse energy. This “Wind Horse” energy has a set of jewels on top of it. There are usually five, for the five elements. These are “wish-granting” jewels which can be brought up, these elements rising up. This is really the inner, or secret level, ofthat we entering into.
Three levels of: First compassion for others; second comprehension of your own mind and what the true mature of reality is through mediation. The secret or third is the vital or alchemical transformation of this energy.
Thecomes down and condenses into our physical body, meaning the physical body is not something that is divorced from spirituality or divorced from our spiritual work. The qualities of our physical body are related to our vital body, and we need to work with them. If we do not work with it, even if you do all those other practices, they do not really do much.
What we are talking about here is this descending ray of creation. Without going into too much detail, this lifeforce energy that we have in our vital body, comes from somewhere. It comes from the cosmic absolute space. It comes from our Inner God. This lifeforce of the universe comes down into our physicality. It comes into us. That is why we are alive. The essence of that is found within our endocrine system, in our glands and hormones. Those gland and hormones are related to our. The pineal gland, the pituitary gland, the thymus thyroid, adrenal glands, and sexual glands, all have related to them.
Theare putting the energy from the superior worlds into your vital body. The vital body puts it into the chemicals of your physical body. We have to work with that. If you do not work with that aspect, then we are always confused. We lack a lot of strength.
This energy that come down into us transforms, and then gets agitated through our experience. If we do not know how to deal with that, we end up wasting our energies. We waste our energy in a lot of different ways. Mentally, emotionally, and sexually are the three main ways.
The highest level ofis related to . It is through the transformation of our creative sexual energies that we enliven our body and our mind. This energy that is descending from the , to the , energy coming down into all our levels of being; into our mind, into our emotions, into our vital body, and makes it into our physical body as well.
Normally we have this agitation, this sexual attraction, that is always happening and without knowing anything we want to expel it from our body. The reason why religions across the world, always puts special protocol or ethical conduct in relationship to sexuality, is because there was always a higher teaching behind it, that there is something very powerful there.
Today, most people do not know this. People may be doingon the Four Immeasurables, they may be trying to work with accordance with the paramitas and all sorts of practices, trying to do good, trying to transform your mind, but if you do not know about this aspect of sexuality , if you ignore that part, if you think you can just cut that part out and say, “That does not really matter, that is something else, I am just going to work on the qualities of Bodhichitta,” you are like a person trying to fill a bucket that has a hole in it. is a harmony with these cosmic forces, but in order to manifest those cosmic forces, you need to have a vehicle or vessel.
In the same way a battery is usually filled with a fluid, there is a chemical reaction going on in there. If you have a battery and there is nothing inside of it, you cannot use the battery for anything. There is usually some type of metal in relation to the type of fluid in the battery, there are different types of battery chemistries, in any case, the battery produces power. Our vital body is like a battery but it needs to be filled with that energy.
The energy is there, it is present, we feel it. We feel the impulse, but, it is like an agitation because we have not been taught how to deal with it. The first thing, when we see an attraction to someone else, is to expel that energy. Of course, yes, there are motivations to do that. With, hormones are released and there is a temporary euphoric experience. We think that is the entire point of sexual energy. We think that is it: procreation and sexual enjoyment. We are taught those are the only aspects of sexuality. However, there is the third aspect, which is spiritual. That is the most important aspect to transform our mind.
If you do not transform the way your hormones work, you will not be able to transform your mind and your heart. You will always feel like life is two steps ahead of you. When you do not transmute your sexual energy, you lack a clarity of what is wrong in life. You lack the ability to pay attention well. You lack insight. It is not that those things are completely gone, but when you begin to transmute the sexual energy, you realize, it was like you were living in a house your whole life with no lights on, and finally you turn the lights and you have clarity. Then you can see that is a problem. Then when you retrospect and try to figure something out about yourself, all of a sudden you have a little bit more insight, you have a little more clarity then something just appears in you and you say, “Oh I understand what happened there.” Those capacities are nourished by sexual transmutation. If you do not have energy, then you think about something, you lack the reflective, powerful, forces that we need to look into ourselves.
This energy, which is normally associated with the lowest aspects, the most instinctual, basic aspects of our life, is actually the key, the very key, to the highest spiritual teachings.
The problem is there is a lot of confusion about this. You can go on the internet now and find out all sort of stuff about, there are a lot of confused and bad things on the internet. There will be people who say that sexual energy is the source of spiritual energy, but then they say nothing about or desire. They will tell you that engaging in the most elaborate forms of these lustful qualities is going to grow your . What it actually does is grow your . Working with grows more suffering in your mind.
I will not go into all the details, but I want to talk about these qualities of sexual yearning and spiritual enthusiasm and how they need to combine in our spiritual practice.
There is really only one way in which they combine correctly, this is sexual connection or sexual union with a partner who you are committed to, and having a loving relationship with. Not a random hookup, not out of pride, not out of wanting to get ahead spiritually, but because you love the person.
You have a sexual connection in relationship with spiritual enthusiasm, meaning you are willing to use your sexual energy for the goals and aspirations of, because the , the one with the highest level of motivation uses all the elements for spiritual development, even sexuality. You can say most foundationally with their sexual energy.
You combine sexual connection with spiritual enthusiasm with the qualities of. This means renunciation of desire, transmutation of energy. Transmutation of energy means no sexual emission. This means no , no ejaculation no emission of any energy.
Knowing how to work with these wind forces, these pranic forces, through the power of love you transform the energy, it enlightens your mind and enflames your heart: that leads to spiritual awakening. That is what we are teaching in this tradition.
A lot of other traditions, even if they seem very profound and have a long lineage, does not mean they are teaching this. They might say they are teachingor Vajrayana, but they might not be talking about what we are talking about. You have to be careful. If you try to come into these teachings and you are using , you can actually grow your using , as I said. You can do the exact opposite. Instead of spiritual awakening, you have a type of awakening, but with your . It is literally the concept of becoming a demon – that you actually awaken with all your negative qualities. By awaken we mean perceiving all the dimensions of nature, having certain types of powers, having certain types of qualities not related to this physical world. You can awaken, you can get out of your physical body, you can meditate, but you are not concerned with developing , you are just concerned with selfish will, to do things, to get a little power, to have some pleasure, to manifest in a realm where you do not have so many problems There are all sorts negative ways.
There are a lot of naïve students that sense there is something special about, very important. If you do not know the full teachings, you may think there is this practice using sexual energy and it is very simple, to just express a much as you can and it will awaken, but this is a very wrong doctrine.
There are other, more specific, doctrines related to the reabsorption of energy after it has been expelled from the body. That is very bad. It will awaken yourin a very terrible state.
There really is a lot of power with. The old excuses, or the old rationale, for not teaching is that people would fall into Black . That is true, people fall into it. It is the greatest temptation, it is developing the .
In the world today, with all the information out there, we need to be very clear. We need to talk about what is right, that the true spiritual awakening is the sexual union with, with the transmutation of sexual energy.
“Sexual functionalism deprived of any spirituality and of any love is only one pole of life.
Sexual yearning and spiritual longing in a complete mystical function constitute in themselves the two radical poles of every sane and creative eroticism.” - Parsifal Unveiled
The sexual impulse is not bad. There is nothing evil about it. It isthat is evil. The connotation is that evil is that which defiles, or poisons our . We have the sexual impulse which arrives from the superior worlds into our vital body. We feel the sexual impulse in our blood, in our strength, but our egoic mind is right there ready to take it, to steal the fire. We need to learn how to steal the fire from the devil. The fire is what we need.
Remember, Prometheus steals the fire from gods, but it is the same fire, the sexual impulse. Prometheus is punished by being tied to a hard rock on a mountaintop. This hard rock of stone is related to our sexuality, the stone of stumbling, the foundation stone. It is also related to that mani stone which on top of that “Wind Horse”, the Norbu stone, the wish-fulfilling jewel. Tied to that rock, an element of the air, a bird comes every night, and eats the liver of Prometheus.
We know that the air element is our mind and the vulture eating out liver means the liver is where we have all the poisons of our blood and it tries to purify. This is the symbol of ouralways poisoning our body, our mind. We suffer because we do not know who to work with the air elements and we do not know how to work with that stone element, sex.
Instinctual sex is how we all know. That is just sexual connection because there is an impulse. There are no regards to anything spiritual, it is just very instinctual. There may be the shadow, or some hint of love at some point of a relationship, but that usually fades away because desire comes, becauseis always fed by the novelty of sex. Once the novelty wears off, it is just an act of instinctual repetition. Love goes away, and is completely gone.
This leads our winds to be scattered to the four corners of the Earth. Our spiritual elements are scattered to the four winds. When you emit the sexual energy, it has the essence of those winds and of those ethers. If you are not transmuting them, then you are scattering them. Then your energy becomes scattered. Then you become scatter-brained.
In Tarot and Kabbalahwrites,
“The marvelous reflex of the sexual energy in a form of a luminous whirlwind, like when a ray of light returns after crashing against a wall, comes to crystallize within ourselves as the Auric Flower. Thus, this establishes within the neophyte a permanent center of. ”
What this means is that the energy which is descending comes all the way from the Absolute and it mixes with all of our impressions here on Earth. The thoughts, ideas, and all qualities of our mind. Through that crossing of elements, we can extract the. We can transmute that energy. That energy we can say is like that “Wind Horse” going back up. That is what gives us spiritual knowledge and spiritual insight.
That reflex, that crashing, establishes within ourselves a permanent center ofrelated to the vital body. Without that, the energy just goes down. The energy comes into us, we feel agitated, we do not know what to do with it, inevitably it gets expelled.
If a person is of another type, they expel all of their energies through anxieties and emotional worries, as well, but most principally through, it gets expelled.
The energy goes into our blood stream, but there is another quality of energy that is not physical, related to our sexual energy. That is why sexual energy can give birth. There is something spiritual there. Those qualities can also give birth our conscious, give birth to our. When we expel them, we just do not have those qualities, they go down and out. When they go down and out, not just physically but spiritually, that is what gives birth to our .
Our sensual, attached, craving, ignorant, anxious, hateful,: all those qualities get enlivened, those egotistic qualities, when the energy goes out . The creative sexual energy will always create something.
The spiritual work concerningis to take what would be poison for us and make it into a nectar. Spiritual sexuality is sexual transmutation, it is to die on the cross of sex and to be born again in the four rivers of Eden. Remember we have the four ethers, if you are familiar Genesis four rivers related to four ethers. We work with that, we are born in Eden, born again in land of paradise. That is what is means to be born again. This level here of , sexuality, is always related to a stone. That is the philosopher’s’ stone, the stone of wisdom, the wish-fulfilling stone, the Mani stone in Buddhism. It is the foundation stone of the temple Jesus said we must use.
Jesus also said that is the stone everyone stumbles over.
The final slides here are about resurrection. We recently celebrated Easter. The culmination ofis the resurrection of . , from a Western context is the element of within ourselves: the motivation, the comprehension, and the activities of . works within us and eventually wants to resurrect within us. Paul states, in Corinthians 1:15, talking about the resurrection of dead,
“So also is the anastasis [resurrection] of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a psychikon [-image] body; it is raised a pneumatikon [spirit-image] body. There is a psychikon [ -image] body, and there is a pneumatikon [spirit-image] body. […]
So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.””
The Bodhicaryavatara is the essential manual in Tibetan Buddhism to study. The tenth verse of the first chapter is:
“Bodhicitta is just like the supreme kind of alchemical elixir,
For it transforms this impure body we have taken
Into the priceless jewel image of the Victorious One’s body.
Therefore, very firmly seize (this elixir) called bodhicitta!”
- Bodhicaryavatara, 1:10
In John 3 Jesus states:
“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
, from the Tantric aspect, is knowing how to work with the vital energies. In a commentary to the Bodhicaryavatara, Khenpo Kunpal writes
“It is just like the supreme kind of alchemical elixir, a type of mercury known as ’Gold Maker’, one ounce of which has the power to transform one thousand ounces of iron into noble gold; for if we embrace with bodhicitta this inferior body, consisting by nature of many impure substances, which we have voluntarily taken for many lifetimes for the welfare of others […], (then) it, (bodhicitta), transforms (this impure body) into the Victor’s body, endowed with the qualities of a jewel whose price cannot be fathomed, the wish-fulfilling jewel which grants protection from all impediments of worldly existence and peace [...].
Therefore, I advise you, “Very firmly and without wavering seize this special elixir called bodhicitta, which possesses such powers!””
- Drops of Nectar, Khenpo Kunpal’s Commentary on the Bodhicharyavatara
When we talk aboutas a substance in this tradition, we talk about the vital body, which is the ethereal body. Those superior ethers that I was talking about, when we work with , if we can learn to calm down the metabolic and caloric processes of the body, relaxation, if we learn to attenuate to the luminous and reflecting aspects of our mind, we can work with the superior ethers. You can see this clearly if you wake up very early in the morning and you meditate in a way that your physical body begins to fall asleep, but you remain attentive. You see these images appearing. It is almost like an image appearing in water in front of you. That is because it is related to the superior waters or superior ethers and you are able to see.
In the terms of the path of, related to the vital body, you have a transformation of your vital body in which those superior ethers can very easily now be associated with the internal worlds. You have very clear vision in your Astral body, or your Mental body, or your Causal body. You have experiences with a lot more clarity and luminescence.
“As we disintegrate the inhuman psychic aggregates, as we crystallize the, the highest part of the vital body will break loose from the lower part and will integrate itself completely with the Essence and with the virtues that have crystallized in the Essence. […]
When one achieves the creation of To Soma Psychikon — that is to say, the Christified ethereal body — then this serves as a vehicle for the Essence enriched by the attributes of the. This is how the Spirit-human is born in us. The Spirit-human will no longer be imprisoned within the dense body; such a person will become a glorious adept able to enter and leave the dense body at will.
In life there have been few who have succeeded in doing this. It is not irrelevant to cite Saint Francis of Assisi and Anthony of Padua, Christian mystics who have become examples and that will become examples for the people of tomorrow.”
- The Need to Crystallize the Soul (lecture),
When we are able to do that, when we are able to achieve that level of being, it becomes much easier to have meditative and spiritual experiences and to work in the internal world.
We can summarize all these aspects ofwith the central column. This central column is related to the middle way: not too much to the left or not too much to the right, The central way. The central column is related to the central channel they talk about in Tibetan Buddhism and other traditions, that central channel of energy which from , from the sexual aspect, we are always transforming or transmuting our creative energy. From the aspect of our volitions, our will is one with , we aspire towards that. From the rarified, abstract space, we have cognizance of Shunyata, that emptiness, that type of mystical knowledge which is always distorted when we try to bring it to our concepts.
Audience Member:is related with and is governed by the moon, so can we say that is the opposite of the white and black moon which in is called Eve?
Instructor: Yes, therelated to , it is the opposite of all those inferior elements of poison. We have as our foundation ( ), but trasforming the inferior elements into superior elements, and we go up. Every person needs to stand on something. If you do not have a foundation then you fall into the abyss
Audience Member: St Paul says, “Death is swallowed up in Victory.” Victory is, the mind, which we talk about extensively related to death, true death is in . So it means that Death is swallowed “up in”, which in turn means we have to swallow something from Death. Is it, as I understand, a psychological process?
Instructor: Yes. there is a lot more in Corinthians that is very beautiful. “The sting of Death is sin.” The sting, or venom, of our death is our impure elements and we have to transform that. Victory is related to our mind. In Kabballah, Victory is, which is above . When Paul is saying that Death, our impure elements, is swallowed up in Victory, which is the clarified enlightened mind.
In Buddhism they talk about Manjushri, the deity of wisdom. His fierce aspect is Yamantaka meaning; “Yama” means death, “taka” means “terminator of”, so Yamantaka means “terminator of death”. In Christianity we say we “with death we kill death,” that is resurrection. When we kill death, we resurrect in life. Life is related to that glorious bird, related to, to that peacock with all the glorious feathers. Sometimes is related to that white dove or a white swan. It is always related to a bird.
Audience Member: How do we transform the posion of our mind? How can we do it moment to moment? Let us say I’m driving my car and this person cuts me off and I am not present. How can I catch myself? Sometimes it is hard to catch it.
Instructor: Exactly! Things come out of the waters so quickly, like a crocodile. Have you ever seen a crocodile get its prey? You see nothing and then it just comes out of the waters. Our impulse comes right out of the waters. We are ready to scream at this person, or just be frustrated and shake the steering wheel, when they cut in front of us. It is so easy, no work need, in order to feel that way and act that way. We do not have to cultivate that at all. Butwe have to cultivate. Remembering , we have to say “Inside there, inside this thing that came out of my mind, the essence of my mind is inside there, trapped.”
Only in, can you go in there and work with it in a way that you are stable to comprehend it. At exactly that moment when the person cuts you off, you are going to be the person you are. You will be made known, because it comes out. There are levels of that. It comes out of your mind only but you keep calm physically. It comes out for a moment but you learn to let go. Those are all qualities approaching , when you are able to curb your mind a bit. That indicates some progress, but not complete death in that defect.
We just have to refine it, and refine it, and refine it, and keep working so that our whole essence is truly cognizant of that: instantaneously, spontaneously, manifesting . We work really hard to have these good qualities, but then life happens and then we see our real manifestation. When we are really working we have instantaneous manifestation or continual manifestation of . That is just the work, the whole work.
We should not be discouraged that it is difficult to train the mind and it is difficult to comprehend our activity. There is just so much. The amount that we can transform is so much. So just keep working, day by day.
Audience Member: So thenis obviously related to , which is the mind. But we are also talking about related to sexual energy?
Instructor: Yes. If I didn’t make it clear, theis related to sexual energy. drops as they are called sometimes. The literally, from a tantric perspective, is sexual energy… like the Kalachakra talks about the four drops, and those drops are related to our vital body, to our wind energies, and related specifically to our sexual energy, and how we need to transform it and why we need to move that energy up. The thing about Buddhism, there is a lot of good tradition. The traditional way of doing it: they do not want you to enter into the practice of sexual union until you have mastered meditative concentration and mastered the prana, knowing how to move that prana through other types of yogic exercises.
Audience Member: So after you have mastered the mind?
Instructor: Yes, if you have mastered the mind and have mastered ethics. The traditional way of entering into this upper type of knowledge is you have mastered everything else while working at the level of a monk or a, as a single person. Then they say “Now you have mastered meditative concentration, you know how to work with the energy, with ethics, all these things. Now here you go-now one monk and one have to get together and work together.” This is in Christianity too, in certain pockets. This is how emerged in the West because it was hard to manifest it in Christianity.
Member: Why are we doing it this way now?
Instructor: The reason why we need to have a new way is because we live in a new time. There is a lot of talk about the Aquarian age and new age type of circles and talk The real reality is that we are in a new age. It is very obvious that we are in a new age of information, fraternity, and sexuality. These are the Aquarian waters. That is why all of the information of the world is on the internet. You can get this Tantric teaching, if you know how to look in the right way you, will get lost of real teachings and tons of polluted teachings, about this or anything else in the world.
Today, the dangers of not teaching it are clearly, directly, worse than the dangers of actually teaching it. It is still dangerous, either way, because it is very powerful. Sexual energy is powerful, we need to have a lot of respect, but it is more dangerous to not talk about it.
People are falling into pornography addictions, masturbation addictions, and all sorts of other things that are going to lead into more suffering, We just have to be very clear. This new type of tradition has been taught by. He is a very high master. He is a Dhayani .
We can develop, if we do not have it already, some trust and faith that this teaching is positive for these times, even though it is very revolutionary and very different. We don’t need to worry about getting into problems because the teachings have been clarified so much. So long as we enter into the act of sexuality with a lot of love, with a lot of respect, a lot of. In these teachings we push very hard to show the common threads throughout all religion to show it is not just us improvising an opportunistic doctrine, looking to gather followers and gain money, or power, or anything like that. This is why I quoted the Bodhicaryavatara, why I quoted Paul, this is why we bring together all these elements, these common threads, so we can have some certainty that it is not me saying this, it was Jesus, it was Paul, it was Shantideva who said that.
Audience Member: Is there a growth period for spiritual birth?
Instructor: The spiritual birth is all the way to Resurrection. That is the short answer.
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