You do one thing perfectly and you attain everything - from the Big Love blog of The Life and Teachings of Lama Yeshe
From 1979: Even your enemy who tries to kill you is your best friend. by Adele Hulse, Big Love author:
Geshe Jampa Tegchok
Seated on a teaching throne at the end of the beautiful old chapel with its immensely high ceilings and stained glass windows, Geshe Tegchok gave his first talk at Manjushri Institute while wearing the oddest square-lensed blue spectacles. Later, Lama Zopa Rinpoche conferred a Chenrezig empowerment, followed by Lama Yeshe’s Tara Cittamani empowerment and six days of commentary by Lama. This was held in what had been the billiard room of the old Priory. Peter Kedge and Connie Miller taped everything. Of the 120 people attending that commentary, 105 stayed on for the retreat.
Lama Yeshe taught twice a day, and although the text lay open before him he did not teach directly from it. There are several different types of commentaries that can be given on a meditative practice. Traditionally, the first teaching explains the meaning of each verse, line and word. Only later will a teacher offer an experiential teaching on the practice. Contrary to tradition, Lama’s teachings were almost always experiential in nature.
Lama Yeshe’s descriptions of Tara were psychological and accessible, rather than textual. He presented Tara as a vehicle through which to discover one’s own intuitive knowledge and wisdom. “Men sometimes need contact with female energy, otherwise, they go crazy!” Lama explained. His language bridged the worlds between traditional orthodoxy and modern desire. Tantra became exciting and available as Lama Yeshe brought it to life.
Every day Jon Landaw led a review of the teachings. He had become an invaluable assistant, though Lama still teased him mercilessly, calling him, “My Jewish genius!”
From Lama Yeshe’s 1979 Tara Cittamani teachings:
Sometimes Dharma becomes a complete hassle. Let’s say you have promised to do this sadhana daily, you have commitment. But whenever you see Cittamani Tara you feel sick. “Oh, it’s already midnight!” And you are disaster. But if you can do it in two minutes, that’s okay. So instead of having guilt feelings, just go and do it. Sometimes Westerners take too many commitments and don’t know how to do them. In other words, they are lost again, lost in spiritual materialism. You don’t know what to do. Chenrezig and Tara and all these deities and you don’t know what on earth it means and you don’t understand anymore.
Instead of becoming helpful for you, Dharma becomes your enemy. Dharma becomes cause for neurosis and guilt. I think that is useless.
In each sadhana you’ll find a refuge prayer, maybe three times, five or six bodhicitta prayers, and some kind of Vajrasattva practice. One good bodhicitta meditation is enough. Put your emphasis on one thing and go quickly over the others. Do this rather than allowing your practice to become a disaster.
Atisha once said, “Tibetan people devote themselves to a hundred deities and don’t attain one, whereas Indian people devote themselves to one deity and attain a hundred.” I think Atisha is reasonable and correct. The Indian custom is much better than the Tibetan. That’s garbage. You do one thing perfectly and you attain everything.
Tara is a perfect example. If you practice every day and do retreat for months, years—maybe you do only Tara retreat for fifty years—then in fifty years, by attaining the realization of Tara, you can do anything. But right now, you are ambitious for other things because you don’t have anything. And the same thing happens with the Dharma. Let’s say that somebody is giving a really high teaching. “Wow! I want to take this one—this one is really powerful!” When you say this you are really on a power trip. You want power. If you are not realistic, then this practice is useless. I’m sorry; I have no room for this. Such a student will never have any satisfaction no matter how many teachings he receives, because he won’t have any practical sadhana within himself.
By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche (Archive # 119, Last Updated Aug 30, 2010)
Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave this teaching on anger at the 14th Kopan Course in 1981. This is an edited excerpt from Lecture 15, Section Four of the course. Click here to read more.
The real bravery, the real hero is the person who can fight anger, and can overwhelm and climb over anger. The real hero is the person who can face the most difficult and dangerous enemy—the inner enemy.
One person’s anger can kill sixty million people. That is how dangerous anger is—it is much more dangerous than an atomic bomb. There is no comparison between one person’s anger and an atomic bomb. Anger is much more harmful than an atomic bomb.
The danger of an atomic bomb is that it harms others and it can destroy the whole earth—more than half of the world—millions and millions of human beings and creatures. There are so many creatures—uncountable numbers in the water, under the ground, in the bushes and in the sky. There are so many, it is unbelievable. All this gets destroyed—not only human beings, but also creatures and so many buildings, bridges and cities. All these things that thousands and thousands of people for many years planned and spent so much money on, and worked so hard in order to collect the money to give to the workers—all these enjoyments, all the rich and comfortable apartments and the huge buildings, took so much time and effort. People put so much effort into building all this and in just one minute or one hour, it all gets destroyed. In so many of these cities, it is unbelievable how much effort people put into these things. They suffered so much to construct all this, then in one day or in one hour, it is all completely destroyed.
The danger of the atomic bomb comes from anger. If there is patience and no anger, this destruction would not happen. Even without talking about the narak realms, anger produces negative karma. Even without talking about karma, we can easily see how anger is so harmful and so dangerous. So then, if we talk about karma, it is unbelievable—when we think about the suffering result of that, there is no need to talk much. Today’s anger arises towards another sentient being, and this anger causes harm and suffering from life to life. The suffering result is experienced from life to life for a long time. Particularly if we think about karma creating a result that is similar to the cause, we understand. Because of the habit of getting angry in this life, we see that if we do not cease it in this life, again the habit comes out in the next life and anger arises, and so it goes on and on like this.
As it is explained in the Bodhicaryavatara by Shantideva, even if all the devas, the worldly gods, human beings and all sentient beings become our enemy, they could not lead us to the fire of the narak realms. Even if all sentient beings become our enemy and become aggressive toward us, they could not lead us into the fire of the narak realms. But if we meet the inner enemy, the unsubdued mind, this powerful enemy destroys whatever we need and it turns even great mountains into dust. Besides the fragile bodies of other sentient beings, it destroys even very solid, concrete mountains, and makes them non-existent.
So the real hero, the real bravery, is being able to face, fight and defeat the powerful, great inner enemies, such as anger, attachment and the unsubdued minds. We should face whatever is stronger in our mind—jealousy, pride or anger. If we can defeat this true enemy, the inner enemy, we are the real hero and that is real bravery.
All those leaders who have many ranks and medals due to killing—who were in a war and killed many people, and get extra colors and different materials—we think of them as brave. Especially when there is a scar somewhere on their hands or bodies where the bullet went through, we recognize them as so precious, and think of them as very important. We think of them as going down in history, with a long story, and we believe they are very important, brave and competent.
Similarly, we believe that someone who climbed a rocky mountain or a snow mountain is a brave and competent person. However, this is wrong. This person is not a real hero and it is not real bravery or real competency. Someone who is able to defeat the delusions and accomplish temporal or ultimate happiness is the real hero. The real bravery and the real hero is someone who is able to face the unsubdued mind of anger and attachment.
The real hero is the person who defeats the delusions and accumulates virtue in daily life. The real bravery is living in the precepts, because this means we have faced the delusions, the inner enemy. Living in the precepts is making war with the delusions, and a person who lives in the precepts is the real army, the inner army. That is a worthwhile army—an army that will accomplish nirvana and the omniscient mind.
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