Letter to my students, January 2010

Hi, my dearest heart-students,

Where I live is the centre of Europe,
the beautiful country where everything is magnificent.
You can imagine wonderful creamy chocolate, tasty beer
and the joyful well-known statue of the Manneken Pis.
Of course, you know that this country is called Belgium.

I am reading one book called “The Bodhi Tree”.
It is a very nice book,
because it talks about Buddha's compassion
which is like a tree.

It is not just any kind of tree,
but the medicinal and wish-fulfilling tree.
Whoever comes across this tree -
by either admiring its view, or enjoying its shade,
colorful flowers or its sweet, crispy fruit -
impartially receives a lot of benefit.

It is a medicinal tree which can cure all illnesses
of dualistic conceptual turmoil.

The conceptual turmoil is totally self-oriented.
It is always concerned with one's ego, pride,
rivalry, jealousy, hatred and improper conceptual wondering.
In such cases our minds become partial
and are related to the activities of wacky entertainments,
which are endless and meaningless.

If we carry these two: dualistic thought and wacky activities,
they become more or less the cause of life in turmoil.
How can we a have successful and happy life in such a situation?
We can have it only through the impartial,
compassionate mind of the Buddhas, which is the bodhi tree.

This mind of the bodhi tree always produces
medicinal branches of compassion,
leaves of understanding,
flowers of loving kindness, 
and the fruit of realization 
which understands the truth.

Whoever of transmigrating beings makes use of them,
all their problems become pacified, such as those of unkindness,
lack of satisfaction and of the understanding of others conditions
and of ignorance about the advantages of a precious human existence;
which all come from turmoil of improper thoughts and activity.

Besides that, if we have the mind of the bodhi tree,
which is impartial compassion,
then through impartiality we are able to deal
with our lives within that turmoil.

We are able to make our lives successful and happy.
We are able to do so, because from the perspective of impartial compassion,
this turmoil is the great supporter to our happiness.
This tumultuous situation is our condition,
our base, source and cause of everything.

There is no need to abandon turmoil,
because turmoil is not turmoil.
Turmoil becomes the manual of the bodhi tree.

It gives a great condition and chance
for the mind of the bodhi tree to develop.

In “The Bodhi Tree” it is said:   
The mind that wants its own happiness makes samsara's cycle.  
The mind that wants others' happiness causes nirvana.   
This supreme mind bodhi-tree mind
is the natural state that exchanges happiness for suffering.

When we see such disaster and suffering in this world,
then by cultivating the mind of the bodhi tree
we lose the ideas of self-importance
and compassionate love to others awakens in us naturally.

Anyway, if we realize the true nature of phenomena,
then all differentiations of samsara and nirvana,
good and bad, suffering and happiness
- all become the quintessential equanimity.

In these situations there is no need to fear for such sufferings.
What is the difference between happiness and suffering
from the perspective of the natural state of bodhi tree’s mind?
There is absolutely no difference,
as both of them - happiness and suffering -
are the manifestation or the movement of natural state.

If someone understands the natural state of bodhi tree,
he himself becomes completely free from fear of suffering,
because the nature of suffering is the nature of the bodhi tree.

Buddha said:
Once you understand true nature of reality,
then the great equanimity of samsara and nirvana
becomes of one taste

Oh, truth!  
The true nature and reality:  
something spontaneously present, which is awakened,
 inherent treasure, which is the mind of primordial wisdom,
unborn and deathless,
 non-arising and ceaseless.

How wonderful when you understand that.
Then you are the great realizer of the truth.
You are the enlightened one.

You do not need to strive for happiness,
and you do not need to abandon suffering,
because both are the great qualities
 or ornaments of the natural state.

Through our realization
you always want to give
our inexhaustible happiness
to those tormented by suffering.

With this experience born in our minds,
you become the great hero,
the great giver of happiness to others,
and not the killer of others.

Oh, the mind of awakening enhancing my mind!

My mind full of joy - how can I lose it?
This wonderful mind
is the limitless aspirations
for others to be happy.

Through all my lifetimes
may I never be separated
from this wonderful mind.

the teaching of “The Bodhi Tree”
is inconceivable.

Once started,
how can I ever stop reading it?

Do you read this kind of books? Really?  

All the best from Patrul Rinpoche

Brussels, 22nd of January 2010