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About Shenpen.Rinpoche

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  • Birthday January 10

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  1. The ultimate Bodhicitta is the bodhisattva wisdom cognizing emptiness. The cultivation of conventional Bodhicitta is requisite for the attainment of ultimate Bodhicitta. Thus, an Hinayana practitioner can't realize ultimate Bodhicitta, not cultivating conventional one...
  2. The Perfection of Giving 1. Giving of Dharma 2. Giving of Material Aid 3. Giving of Refuge 4. Giving of Love The Perfection of Ethics 1. The Ethics of Restraint from Negative Actions of Body 1.1. Killing 1.2. Stealing 1.3. Sexual Misconduct 2. The Ethics of Restraint from Negative Actions of Speech 2.1. Lying 2.2. Harsh Speech 2.3. Slander 2.4. Idle Gossip 3. The Ethics of Restraint from Negative Actions of Mind 3.1. Covetousness 3.2. Harboring malevolent thoughts towards others 3.3. Holding erroneous views 4. The Ethics of cultivating wholesome qualities 5. The Ethics of working for the benefit of others The Perfection of Patience 1. The Patience of not reacting to the harm from others 2. The Patience that voluntarily accepts suffering 3. The Patience of certitude in the Dharma The Perfection of Joyous Effort 1. General characteristics 2. The Three Types of Laziness 2.1. The self-indulgent laziness (laziness of discouragement) 2.2. The laziness of lethargy 2.3. The laziness of clinging to unwholesome activities. The Perfection of Concentration 1.The nature and function of Concentration The Perfection of Wisdom 1. The nature and function of the Wisdom that understands emptiness 2. The Four Point Analysis 2.1. Ascertaining of the object of negation 2.1.1. Appearance of it 2.1.2. The way things actually exist 2.1.3. The two modes 2.1.4. Searching for the self 2.2. Ascertaining the entailment 2.3. Ascertaining the absence of being identical with the aggregates 2.4. Ascertaining the absence of being separate from the aggregates 3. Avoiding Extremes 4. Interdependent Origination
  3. I'm not an expert in tibetan astrology, but this calendar seems okay to me.
  4. Yes, usually. Yes, if the whole work was really well undertaken, without bitterness for what we abandoned. To search truth and freedom you do not need to leave your wife and children. You can progress spiritually having a ‘usual’ society life. But somehow, you need more effort than if you are alone and go to live in a monastery or a cave. And if I follow what you wrote, it’s even more ‘meritful’ because harder. Because in this case, what is harder in fact? To coop with family, or to leave it behind We have to take in consideration that escaping the hardship a family life can bring might be more laziness than renunciation! As side note, I would also say that when you are engaged into a spiritual path, you have to choose extra-carefully with whom to make a family, in the sense that the partnership can be fruitful if you are for example practicing the same path, have common interests and motivation. Indeed, when the relationship is based only on desire, at one point it fades away, we are not happy anymore, and it’s not supporting a good practice. It also depends very much about how someone can ‘take’ things. Very spiritually, yes, it can be source of practice, and of spiritual benefit. Yet, I think we have usually enough things to deal with - which you can’t choose to coop with or avoid - to voluntarily suffer in order to accumulate merits or develop your patience. There is a ‘breaking point’ where it becomes masochism I don’t think that way. The attachment is not something external from you, or something which has a goal in itself. So, it’s not the attachment which helps you, it’s your own decisions, your own inner work. Also here, you might place a goal where there is none. I mean, what human kind is experiencing is what it has created, and the harder doesn’t mean it will understand non-duality sooner or better. “IF” we are willing to learn, and have the right understanding to deal with and change inside. But I still don’t think we need to harden our life on such basis, we have enough to practice with already And father no? It again depends how the person will take the situation. Such experience can be devastating and pulling into deep depression or even suicide! Integrated and understood into one’s belief, it surely can be a strong practice on attachment and understanding of karma. I’m sorry for those who do not understand or believe in the law of causality, because they often do not really understand why such thing is happening to them.Once, an orthodox priest told a mother who lost her child that it was her fault, because she didn’t go anymore to the church!! Awful. Bringing painful guilt on top of non-understood loss of only child! And such thing is only possible in tradition which doesn’t understand and explain the causality of phenomena as based on the law of cause and effect.
  5. Alexander, I understand what you say but it also all depends with whom you are going out, and where. Accordingly, people will have some type of expectations or other ones. I don’t drink beer (I actually don’t like the taste of it , and don’t do any drug, and no one with whom I would go out, and in the places I might go, ever reproached it to me The point is: you can also choose your friends and where to spend your time…
  6. What creates karma? = mistaken mind ie. on basis of misunderstanding the reality of phenomena, the mind "moves" towards illusions which it takes for real, and this movement creates the karma. A Buddha's mind is unmistaken, so, no karma.
  7. Yes, karma, under a form or another, is in the central part of Buddhism. The law of cause and effects is what shapes our lives in the positive or negatives direction, to my understanding, in all school of Buddhism. Some Zen masters are saying that reincarnation is unimportant, and do not focus on this matter at all; it doesn't mean they don't believe in it. http://www.zenguide.com/principles/karma_and_reincarnation.cfm
  8. The difference is mainly in the motivation. Bodhicitta is often translated as "compassion", but it's much more than that. It's about reaching Enlightenment for the sake of the others. Therefore, the methods also differ. Theravada practitioners will focus on reaching Nirvana, Emptiness, and once reached, will remain in it for eons! Mahayana practitioners will focus on helping others, wishing to reach omniscience for the sake of the others, reaching Emptiness as a means, not a goal. So, Mahayana teaches that there is an equal importance in practicing the skilful means and the Wisdom, included in the 6 Perfections (ie. Generosity, Patience, Ethics, Enthusiastic perseverance, Concentration, and Wisdom). As regard to Vinaya/Code of ethics, the vows and commitments are nearly the same. Without Ethics, no progress, no accumulation of merits. The Vajrayana Path is based on Mahayana. It adds some specific practices to transform every moment in practice, transforming the perceptions, the energies directly into the pristine nature of the Buddha practiced.
  9. The sense of humiliation is connected with our sense of ego and education. Tibetans have a different relation to the body than we do. In such case as the earthquake, there was no structure to 'store' the bodies, and no way to deal with them in any other way then how it was done. And since we are here with poor people, who furthermore have lost nearly everything in this earthquake, they even removed the clothes so that the living survivors can at least be warm (it's still snowing at this period of year, there). On usual people, the consciousness is living the body within 20/30mn, and quite rare are those who would meditate before to enter the bardo. So, it's not really a problem to dispose of the corpse soon as death... again, especially in such case, where corpse would rotten, causing smell and sickness for the living. While burning the bodies, all people around where reciting mantras and prayers, ceremonies were performed in monasteries. This is whole what can really be done.
  10. If someone serves you a dish with some meat inside, and another one knows you are Buddhist reacts like: "oh but I though Buddhist do not eat meat!". You can then explained that on your own you wouldn't buy or prepare meat, but here someone offered to you, and you prefer to respect the context rather than being too rigid or extremist. It can show that Buddhism is far from extremism, open minded, not rigid. People usually appreciate. I wouldn't take a chicken salad in presence of people whom I know might not understand my motivation, and could misinterpret my action, leading to disbelief in the seriousness of Dharma. Some could take this as hypocrisy, I see this as common sense, trying to adapt to the people I am with, for their own benefit. We indeed can't devide in good/bad simply on basis of food habit. You have some vegetarians so "tight" on their believes, criticising everyone who eats meat, "bitter" in life, dry in mind. And some other people eating meat reseanably, without much craving on it, more by habits or because served that way, with very good heart and mind. So, no black/white division in a middle way mind It's important to be honest with oneself, understand the "why" of what we believe in, and be subtle-minded enough to adapt, according to motivation, places, and time, while respecting the Words of Wisdom of Buddhas and Bodisattvas of the past and present.
  11. There are surely many definitions about "politic". From a certain point of view, every opinion or action in a society is a kind of politic. Buddhism in itself has the politic of "kindness" (always trying to genuinly help others) and Wisdom (analysis best solutions over emotional reaction). But Buddhists can have a various range of political opinions, of course, according to their spiritual development or lack of it. I believe that the cleavage between right and left is irrelevant from a wisdom point of view. There are good ideas and positions from both 'sides'. Too "right wing" ideas (too rigid and fixed on the past history) or too "left wing" ideas (too laxist and permissive) are both in mistake. Unfortunately, people are are often "clanist", they like to have a club, a circle (not to say a circus). Emotional insecurity and instability which influence people to gather, behave as a group, an entity withing which individual responsibility is blurred. In brief, for a Buddhist to belong to a "political club", suppose to dictate you what and how to think, indentifying you with specific stereotypes, doesn't make sense. It's narrow-minded and restrictive, where Buddhism aims at opening, broadening, our mind. The goal of Buddhism is: 1. to get rid, free, of limitation, concepts, pre-judgments. 2. to help others. We need Wisdom to understand the true nature of the reality we are in, not to be caught by emotions, to have a clear view; and we need Compassion to always act according to what is helpful for them first. A Buddhist could be involved into the politic of a country. A good Buddhist might be an excellent politician. Unfortunately, s/he might be very alone with such perception and motivation. Not involved in political circus, trick, blackmailing, bribing, etc. might exclude that good politician quite quickly from this field. There are other ways to help the politic of a country, it's to teach ethical values to those who will enter the field of politic, or to try awakening those who are already involved. Result limited by the good-will of those persons; but surely worth trying
  12. I do not know a Text which you could read about this. Doesn't it make sense the difference between a chimpanze (who can learn from you, observe your attitude, pacify his mind seing you calm, etc...) and a worm? Between a dog you can train to save other's life, to be kind with other animals and people, and a snail? This practice can be done for all kind of animals, it's basis is: whenever an animal is facing direct threat of death, you save him, recite blessing prayers and mantras, and place him in a safe place. And the practice can be done for many animals at once. It's about karma, and how it works. You cannot take the karma of others; you cannot make choices instead of others. If that would be possible, we would already all be liberated, because Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would do instead of us all mistakes, leaving us doing only positive choices,leading us to Enlightenment quickly. Unfortunately, it can't work this way. Killing instead of someone else will bring us negative karma, and might not change the choice of killing of someone else. I would personally have no problem to say that I do not like the taste of oyster, or that my organism doesn't deal well with sea food. Ideal anyhow, is to inform your host of your diet. Actually, it's been ages (over 20 years) that being invited, the host doesn't ask before if I do not have special diet...
  13. Is it to me that you are asking this question? I considere myself as vegetarian, since 25 years. Yet, if i would be invited somewhere where people didn't know I was vegetarian, I would eat was is served (oysters excepted, I surely can't live alive beings!). This, to do not upset the person who invited me, which could even turn against the faith I uphold (Buddhism). Or someone orders a pizza, and there are little pieces of ham or anchovy; I won't take them out with a pincette! Instead, as you mentioned, I will recite mantras and prayers for the dead being(s) It can also happen that I decide to order a salad with chicken in it, if comes to my understanding that it should be so, there and then, either to pray for that animal, or to adjust the vibration level of my organism in accordance with the activity I'm in, or will enter in. Supporting the pesticide industry by being vegetarian? First, what do animal eat? Second, on top of pesticide used anyhow for feeding these animals, you are supporting the antibiotics and hormons industries! Add to this that antibiotics and hormons will be ingested by consumers, creating resistance of some germs to many antibiotics... Antibiotics and hormons might infiltrate also into the water system, and be absorbed by all, meat-eater or not, generating new diseases and systemic dysfunctions. Meat industry remains one of the main cause of pollution of water, and cause of global warming. In Slovenia, if not mistaken, beside the Bio label, you have also the label 'Green Agriculture', with less pesticids and nearly same price than other vegetables. There is a parameter that you missed in your logic, is the evolution level of the animal. A bit hard to understand may be, but there is a difference between a pig and a worm in term of level of evolution towards spiritual evolution. This makes me say that I would rather acknowledge that my meal is the consequence of twenty worms dead than a pig. Plus, eating only meat will lead you quicker to death, than only vegetables. And if your wish is to help as many beings as possible, you should take care of the longevity of this precious human rebirth, right? Then, if in a buffet some people see you are vegetarian and ask you why, you can explain about the respect of life, and that 'might' make them think, may be reduce or end their consumption of meat, and less people eating meat, less animal killed. I have no reluctance to eat meat (given it is cooked in an healthy way ie. not to fat, and except liver) or to refrain from it. But for the above reasons, I remain vegetarian, far from being rigid about it.
  14. It all depends the reason for which people are vegetarian ie. mostly "health" or "ethical". Health, indeed, we find lot of inconsitency such as still eating sea food, fish, thinking this is more healthy - which is not even true as shells anf fishes are concentrating lot of chemicals and heavy metal found in water... For ethical reasons, nothing that requieres to be killed should be eaten, flesh of any kind. Animal flesh falls in the two categories anyhow, as it's not good for health and not good for ethical reasons... And, to eat a steak you *surely* need to kill, while to eat a salad you could be careful not to kill insects or worms.
  15. A nice video about the life of the Buddha, from BBC, on YouTube. Budda's life
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