Sutra and Tantra with Gen-la Khyenrab

Tantra Training

‘In his Sutra teachings Buddha gives us great encouragement to accomplish the ultimate goal of human life.’ As we received teachings and we did retreat all last week on these Sutra teachings, receiving great encouragement to accomplish the ultimate goal of human life, which is the supreme attainment of enlightenment. You all know that, don’t you? Lots of nods everywhere.  ‘Yes, we knew that! Yeah!’ The ultimate goal of human life, the ultimate attainment that we can reach with this human potential we now have. We can attain enlightenment.

So all the Sutra teachings Gen-la Dekyong last week principally explained renunciation, the supreme good heart of bodhichitta and the correct view of ultimate truth, emptiness. These three principal parts summarize the whole of Sutra, and are encouraging us to take the essence of our precious life and to try, to strive to realize its ultimate goal and accomplishment it, enlightenment. ‘This goal will be accomplished quickly through the practice of Tantra.’ It says here, ‘This goal will be accomplished quickly through the practice of Tantra.’ So we’ve all heard that Tantra is the quick path. What is it the quick path to?

To enlightenment. OK? So as you may have read on the publicity card for this Summer Festival, it says ‘Practicing Sutra teachings is the basic foundation for practicing Tantric teachings and practicing Tantra is the quick method to fulfil the ultimate goal of Sutra teachings.’ So I’ll come back to this again — this mixture, this Union of Sutra and Tantra. So very important for us to try anyway. Maybe at the beginning it all seems contradictory. Sutra, Tantra — they seem very different. but hopefully as we relax and enjoy and try to meditate and practice, we will start to gain a feeling for how this is true.

This union of Sutra and Tantra it’s so true that we need both. I am going to shut up and read from here. ‘As explained in part one, our world does not exist from its own side. Like a dream world it is a mere appearance to our mind.’ Fantastic! What a place to start! ‘Our world does not exist from its own side. It is a mere appearance to our mind. In dreams, we can see and touch our dream world but when we wake up we realize it was simply a projection of our mind and had no existence outside our mind.’

 Are you switching off yet?

How many times did you hear this this year at your center? Probably your Resident Teacher and your other Teachers are already teaching this many, many times, aren’t they? This world is a mere appearance to our mind when we are dreaming we see and touch things in our dream but when we wake up we realize it was just a projection of our mind.

This is correct. It’s true, isn’t it? We tend to just kind of sleep a little bit, thinking ‘I’ve heard this, I’ve heard this.’ ‘In the same way, the world we see when we are awake is simply a projection of our mind and has no existence outside our mind. What a fantastic place to start a teaching! Our waking world, this world now that we’re seeing this teaching, this attempted teaching by me it’s just a projection of your mind and my mind. Our collective minds together projecting this appearance. Fantastic! So Milarepa said. He said this great quote ‘You should know that all appearances are the nature of mind and mind is the nature of emptiness.’ ‘You should know’ we don’t know but we should. Okay?

This is Milarepa. He said ‘You should know that all appearances are the nature of mind and mind is the nature of emptiness.’ Okay. So for some of you maybe this is like ‘Oh goodness I’ve completely lost my path already after six minutes of this teaching!’ I’m sorry but that’s the way it is. (Laughter) Why are you laughing? I don’t know.

So our world is the nature of our mind. Ourself, we are the nature of our mind, the food we’re eating it’s the nature of our mind, our friends are the nature of our mind, everything is the nature of our mind. Great! And our mind is the nature of emptiness. Meaning it lacks existence from its own side. It doesn’t exist from the side of the appearing objects.  All the things that I’m seeing, touching, tasting, smelling, they are appearances coming from inside.

They are not coming from outside. So this is incredibly good news. This is such good news, isn’t it?  Because if your suffering samsara, if your miserable life existed from its own side, what could you do about it? Absolutely nothing! You just get miserable.  My life exists truly. My misery is true.  Nothing to do. But because the truth is, the actual truth is that it is a projection, it’s an appearance of our mind. Okay? All we need to do is to change our mind, isn’t it? So we project something different! So in the book which I haven’t time to read everything, Geshe-la explains that Tantra is the quick method to purify our mind, completely purify our mind.

That’s its job. the Tantric methods are methods to quickly purify our mind. If our mind becomes completely pure, our world, ourself, our enjoyments, our activities, everything that we do becomes completely pure. Then we always think ‘Oh, then what happens to the impure world? When I get  liberated and enlightened, what happens to it?’

It disappears! Disappears! Where does it go to? Nowhere! It didn’t come from anywhere except from your own mind. Now you’ve purified your mind, that world’s disappeared just as the nightmare you had last week has disappeared, hasn’t it now? ‘Phew, goodness! Thank goodness that nightmare is over I’m never going back to that!’  This is what it must feel like attaining liberation and enlightenment by purifying our mind. The bad dream is over.  (Like John Lennon singing) the bad dream is over and a good dream is coming, the pure land is coming through purifying our mind. This is the great good news that we can understand and practice.

When we receive Tantric empowerment we can engage in these incredibly purifying teachings So there’s this incredible sentence I have to read out. ‘Attaining enlightenment is therefore very simple: all we need to do is to apply effort to purifying our mind.’