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Milarepa - Red Rock Jewel Valley - Unchecked

DISCLAIMER - This transcript has not been checked, and may contain mistakes and mishearings.

by Sangharakshita

... the message across a lot
S: It may well be the introverted thinking type that may know the subject much better; he
may have a more profound much more vast knowledge, and understanding of the subject but
he is not good as a teacher, because he is not aware of the student's needs and where the
student is at. So that is the sort of teacher you need and within the context of the Friends,
within, the context of the Order. An order member may be a very good teacher and really put
things across, but he may not have all that much knowledge. Whereas somebody else may
have a great mine of information but be a very poor teacher because he is too interested in the
subject and his own thoughts about it and -forgets all about the person he is meant to be
explaining it to. So one should watch over oneself perhaps in this respect if you are asked for
a reply to a question when one is asked anything on the Dharma. Come back always to the
question and the questioners needs.
So the question of temperament seems to be quite important.
________ You mentioned earlier about ego-clinging. I find it difficult to resolve where
ego-clinging--ends and where pride begins and vice-versa.- Pride in doing a bit of work or
preparing food, or something like that. Is pride ju2t a subtle form of ego-clingir
S: It is very difficult to distinguish, I mean in the Tantra, and in the Mahayana too, there is
reference to a positive pride. There is pride which presumably is not connected with
ego-clinging which is a kind of honest satis faction ~in and with what one is doing. It can
even be used as a kind of spiritual incentive for instance the Bodhisattva is exhorted to
reflect, 'How can I possibly do any evil deed or perform any unskilful action? I have taken
the Bodhisattva Vow, I belong to the family of the Buddha. I must not cause any disgrace to
the family to which I belong. flow can I possibly do that?' In that way he creates a postive
feeling of pride which helps him in his spiritual life.
_______; Well that is the bodhisattva. What about the majority?
S: Well try to apply it, try to translate it into your own terms. How would one do that. Well
take the example of cooking. One could have an ego clinging attitude towards it. 'Oh look
what a good meal I've cooked. how good I am, and I'm better than other people~ Other
people ought to acknowledge that I ought to be appreciated.' and so on. Well how would one
put it a1ong~the lines of the higher level of the Bodhisattva pride?
_______ Well that would be blatant ego-clinging.
S: No put it in terms of a good way, a positive way. (Pause) Well what should be ones
attitude . How should one go about a simple job.
Sagaramati; Do it to the best of your ability.
S: Do it t(b the best of your ability.
Do it so you can make as good a meal for everybody else as possible
S: Yes you could say, how can I not do it to the best of my ability. If I do not do it to the best
of my ability then it is just not worthy of me, not worthy of my supposed attitude to all my
friends. One could think in this way. This would not be ego-clinging. This would be
encouraging one to perform that particular service in a skilful way.
Kim Catala; You could put a bit of metta inte it couldn't you.
S: You could put a bit of metta into it. (Laughter) But that is a bitcdifferent from this
question of the feeling of pride, the healthy positive pride is non egoistic. Well you could say
how could I possibly not do it with metta. After all I am meant to be practicing the metta
bhavana every day, so it would be quite shameful to prepare a meal without metta. 'How
could I possibly do such a thing?' This would be the healthy positive sort of pr~de in that
situation. 'How could my food possibly not be full of metta, people ought to be overcome by
feelings of metta as they eat it.' (Laughter)
I think also we have to be very careful not to damp ourselves down by telling
ourselves every step, 'Oh that's the ego'. I have a friend who does this. She is a dear old lady,
I haven't seen her for several years and she writes me long letters containing lots of good
advice, every few months. She is well into her seventies now, always going on about the ego.
She writes'I was rather disappointed not to hear from you for such a long time but it was just
my ego.' (Laughter) Or else she would say
'I felt quite pleased when someone came to see me and told me how nice my paintings were
but of course that's just my ego!! (More laughter) Some good people they almost do this
every step, they are always apologising for their ego. They say, 'Well I did this quite well or I
made a good job of that, but I guess that is just my ego.' So this is not a very healthy sort of
attitude. It can be a bit,mechanical sometimes. This apologising in advance forestalling
criticism as it were by admitting that it is your ego. It may not be at all. You should not be
too ego conscious as it were.
Padmapani; Don't you think by not being so ego conscious one does have these clashes with
say order members.
S: By not being ego conscious? I think you have missed the point of what I was saying. I
mean don't be ego conscious in a self-conscious automatic sort of way. Why does a person
do that sort of thing, put themselves back? I gave some hint when I said to forestall criticism.
Why should one at every step trip over yourself and say, 'Oh that's my ego'?
Padmaraja; It is an inverted form of conceit.
S: It is an inverted form of conceit really, dressed up as non-ego. So if you are just mindful
sure that is enough.
I think some people think being mindful is sort~of ego (
_________; Ego bashing. (Laughter)
Padmapani; Maybe it is mindfulness in the ~ense that it is not integrated, there is a certain
amount of alien ation. It's like what you were saying Sagaramati, about right mindfulness
having a feeling quality to it.
S: Well you could even exaggerate a bit and say that right mindfulness is a form of metta.
Sagaramati; Well really you can t have metta without mindfulness can you.
S: No you can't. You have to call to mind certain individuals, at least in the course of one's
practice. You have to recollect them, and recollection is mindfulness, at least one form of it.
If you can't remember them and who they are then you can't practice metta. Ypu might say to
yourself, 'Oh I'm sure I've forgotten somebody. I'm sure I've left somebody out of my metta.'
A bit like Christopher Robin saying his prayers, 'I'm sure I have left somebody out, Oh yes
it's me!!' Christoper Robin says, Oh I remember now it's God bless me. So you might say,
'Now I remember it is metta for me!' (Laughter)
So Milarepa says, 'Soon a cluster of clouds rose from Dro Wo valley far away to the
E~t. Below this bank of clouds lies the temple of my Guru, the great Wranslator Marpa,
mused Milarepa. At this very moment he and his wife will be preaching the doctrines of
TAntra giving initiation and instruction to my brothers.' So it is the Vajra brothers, that is
how the whole discussIon arose. 'Yes my Guru is there. If I could go now I should be able to
see him. An immeasurable unbearable lOnging for his teacher arose in his heart as he thought
dispairingly of his Guru. His eyes filled with tears and he began to sing a song, 'Thoughts of
my Guru.'
"In thoughts of you, Father Marpa, my suffering is relieved; ~, the mendicant
now sing you a fervent song.
Above Red Rock Jewel Valley, in the East,
Floats a cluster of white clouds;
Beneath them, like a rearing elephant, a huge mountain towers;
Beside it, like a lion leaping, looms another peak.
In the temple of Dro We Valley rests a great seat of stone;
Who is enthroned there?
Is it Marpa the Translator?
If it were you, I would be joyful and happy. Though limited in reverence, I wish to see you;
Though weak in faith, I wish to join you. The more I meditate, the more I long for my Guru.
Does yoiar~wife, Dagmema, still dwell with you? To herl am more grateful than to my
~f she is there I will be joyful and happy.
Though long the journey. I wish to see her,
Though perilous the road, I wish to join her.
The more I contemplate the more I think of you;
The more I meditate, the more I think of my Guru.
How happy I would be could I join the gathering, At which you may be teaching the Hevajra
Though of simple mind, I wish to learn.
Though ignorant, I long to recite.
The more I (contemplate the more I think of you; The more I meditate the more I think of my
You may now be giving the Four Symbolic Initiations of
the Oral Transmission.
If I could join the gat~ring, I would be joyful and happy. Though lacking merit, I wish to be
initiatedThough too poor to offer much, I desire it.
The more I contemplate, the more I think of you; The more I meditate, the more I think of my
You may now be teaching the Six Yogas of Naropa; If I could be there I would be joyful and
happy. Though short my diligence, I have need for learning; Though poor my perseV-erence,
I wish to practice. The more I contemplate, the more I think of you; The more I meditate, the
more I think of my Guru.
The brothers from W~u and Tsang may be there. If so I would be joyful and happy. Though
inferior my ...

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