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S eries ofTeachings
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This publication is intended for those who have already received the transmission from the Master.
We strongly urge you not to circulate it outside that group of people and to treat it with the utmost respect.
Trascribed by Rita Bizzotto, Monica Gentile, Fabio Risolo English editing by Sophia Hoadley, Nina Robinson and Jim Valby
Shang Shung Edizioni 58031 Arcidosso GR, Italy tel: 0564 966039 e-mail: [email protected] www.shangshungedizioni. it
IPC- 294EN J- Approved by the International Publications Committee of the Dzogchen Community founded by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu
TEACHINGS AT THE TEACHERS' TRAININGS
Transcription from Oral Teachings Given at Tashigar Norte February 2002 June 2004 November 2005
Shang Shung Edizioni
TEACHERS' TRAINING Tashigar Norte, 15-23 February 2002
The Teachers' Training program is very important because we need people who have the capacity to teach, and who can develop that capacity for the future. That is the only way in which the teaching can continue. This being the case, those who take this responsibility must be perfect. If we do something in the wrong way - not conectly or not perfectly - that's how it will continue to develop. But if we have some qualifications in a perfect way, even if we develop day after day, n1ultiplying the number of people who learn and develop, son1ething good will arise. This is something very important. You know I always use the example of numbers, starting from number one we can arrive at n1any millions and billions. This is related to time and time is always moving ahead. After sotne years many of us will disappear, will no longer be on this earth. But time continues and so the teaching should also con tinue. This doesn't n1ean the teaching should continue in just any way; to be of benefit to people it n1ust continue in the cor rect way. If we develop something incorrectly, instead of being beneficial it is dangerous, it is negative. You know this very well. For that reason, since the begiru1ing I have been asking people who want to do the Teachers' Training to please observe your selves very well. You know that, in relation to doing practice or
learning the teaching, there are the aspects of body, speech and n1ind; there exist the aspects of tawa, gompa and chopa. What kind of point of view or knowledge do you have, in cluding intellectual understanding? For example, there is a book to sh1dy for the Base of Santi Maha Sangha, but the book is not everything; it is only the tawa part. But what practice have you done? What kind of capacity do you have for practice? How n1uch have you integrated it into yourself? What kind of nlani festation of your practice do you notice by yourself? It is not so difficult to understand. I am always saying that you only need to observe your tensions and problems with people in general. I am always receiving e-1nails fro1n people saying, "I have this problem and that problem". Today they have these problems, and tomorrow they have others. Of course, as we are in samsara in a dualistic condition n1any probletns exist; but when you feel you have this or that problem and you are also very upset be cause of your problems; if you have problems between practi tioners, problen1s of samaya, for exmnple, how can your gompa be perfect? So you n1ust understand these things. To teach other people you need at least to have that experi ence perfectly. Otherwise our teachers will be just like the ones there are today in general. Nowadays there are teachers every where - Buddhist teachers, Tantric teachers, Sutric teachers, Dzogchen teachers. But, for most of them, the purpose of their teaching and their activities is to do a kind of business. We don't need that. That is not our purpose. That is the reason why we started Santi Maha Sangha. We arrived at the fourth level of Santi Maha Sangha, but when we arrived at the fourth level I stopped. Why? Because I understood that there is no qualifica tion of the fourth level. I couldn't see it. Maybe I don't have sufficient pure vision. That 1neans that we are not realizing our purpose of Santi Maha Sangha. So now we are starting from the 6
Base of Santi Maha Sangha, so that son1eone will become quali tied to teach that. Many of you have the idea that you already know how to teach and explain. But if you think that is enough, you are fol lowing like parrots. Parrots can also repeat. We don't need that. Today there are many recordings and cassettes; you can listen to them; that's easier. For example, you can listen to them while you are cooking, working, or cleaning your house; there's no need to go and listen to son1eone. But that is not sufficient. You must understand. If you are presenting yourself as a teacher, you need that qualification. Also you must observe your chopa, your attitude. A teacher cannot be arrogant. A teacher must not be limited to only his or her point of view. Being a teacher means knowing how to enter the dimension of the student and knowing how to work with the circumstances. So, you see there are the aspects of tawa, gompa and ch6pa. You tnust observe and work in that way. If you feel you are not yet perfect, try to perfect yourself some how. Otherwise it is not good. Some people say, I like to teach because I can deepen my knowledge by explaining to people". Sometimes there is some benefit, but this idea is egotistic. You are only thinking of your self when you say, "I am learning more by explaining to other people". That is not teaching. I have told you many tin1es that, in Atnerica, for example, everybody uses a very nice expres sion, "I am sharing". But when we are working with the teach ing we give teachings. Teaching is g ivi ng, not sharing Teach ing is not thinking of ourselves, of our own interests; it is think ing of the interests of the students, the people who are inter ested. We dedicate ourselves a hundred per cent for that. That is not sharing. Sharing means, for example, that if we are eating together I eat half and you eat half. That is sharing. That means "
I am putting my interest first and then I am doing something for others. You
don't teach in that way. In general, in the teaching, we must learn that there are n1any dimensions. I have n1y dimension, but when I present myself as a teacher I am in front of many people. I am aware that all these people have their own din1ensions and I respect their dimen sions. I try to do tny best to satisfy these people .. But I am not only satisfying then1, I mn working to help them to understand what I am communicating. We really should work in that way with the teaching. Also to teach doesn't n1ean that you explain your fantasies or how you feel. You know very well that the teaching has its principle and its transmission. If you are teaching even the least thing related to the teaching, first of all you must introduce it. You n1ust explain what the teaching is, where it cmne from, how you received it and what kind of transmission you have. It is not that you are doing a workshop and explaining what you think. That's not the way of the teaching. The most important thing when we are teaching is to know that we are working with people who are interested. Of course, we are not doing any kind of n1issionary work. That is not our job. We are not interested in that at all. Some people think that we should spread the teaching here and there, but we are not interested in that. We are interested if people are interested. If sotneone is interested and they want to know and learn, then we do our best a hundred per cent for that person, to help them to understand what the real meaning of the teaching is. Even if we explain a kind of practice, we should explain not only the tech nique of practice, but also try to con1municate its purpose. Nowadays many people believe the teaching is a kind of tech nique. They say, "I went to a teacher and he gave a very interest-
ing teaching". When we ask what this teaching was, they ex plain how to do the practice, what kind of visualization to do, chanting mantra, etc. That is good, but that is just the technique of the practice. The most important thing instead is to under stand why we chant mantras and why we do visualizations. If we take a medicine we must understand why we take the 1nedi cine. If we are healthy and we have no problems and we take n1edicine, that means we are stupid. We don't need it. If we take medicine when we are healthy, we create problems instead of having benefit. In the same way, we don't need just a technique; we need to understand the real meaning and how it is connected to any kind of technique of practice. For example, in the Santi Maha S angha Base there are not many practices, but all of the practices are condensed to pro vide a kind of example, like models of practice. For example, in our Anuyoga and Mahayoga practices we don't do Hevajra or Kalachakra practices because they are very con1plicated. But we should know how to go to the essence. So there are very concentrated practices. Also, for people who like to apply prac tices in daily life or, otherwise, at least four times a month, we have the Long, Medium and Short Thuns and several Collec tive Practices. If you go to a Dharma centre, for exan1ple, you will see that they use many books to do their practices, many more than we have. We don't develop n1any books for doing practice, but we always keep the Short, Medium and Long Thuns and so1ne Collective Practices. Why? Because they are sufficient. But even though there are so few practices, tnany of our old practitioners still don't know them. They still continue to use books. I have seen this. You observe! If you are going to do the training, do you need to use books for the practices that we usually do?
When I was in the n1onastery of Derge Gonchen, the syste1n was that we had to n1en1orize at least four or five small volmnes of practices. I men1orized the1n. Not only I, but also all the monks had to me1norize them because we couldn't use books when we performed these kinds of practices in the ten1ple. We ( in the Co1nmunity) don't have to learn all these things. We only have small books. If you people who are going to do Santi Maha Sangha Teachers' Training are still using practice books that means you are not very interested in practice. Then how can you teach? I would be happy even if there were a hundred people really seriously doing Santi Maha S angha Training and becoming teachers. I would like that and I need it. But I only need people who have perfect qualifications. Even if they are not perfect like Buddha, the aspects of tawa, gompa and chopa should cor respond with the Dzogchen teachings. Then that would be alright. You must reflect on these things a little by yourselves. If you need to improve, then try to do that. Also, all the practices you should do· , particularly in the Base, you should do them not only to say that you did them, but you should do them well, because it is in your interest. If you have done them well you will have their qualifications. If you don't do then1 well, if you do them like those Westerners in Bodhgaya who only do prostrations in order to say, "Oh, I did sufficient prostrations to be able to re ceive teachings", then you won't obtain any benefit. This is what I would like to ask everyone. You know very well how impo1iant Teachers' Training is, you know ve1y well how many people we have in many places of the world who are really interested to learn, so if there is someone who really has the capacity to explain they can help. Being a teacher means
thinking you are going to help people; not thinking you are go ing to do something special. not thinking that now you have· a position. Being a teacher is not having a position; teaching is a kind of service. Some people say, "Then why do you sit a little higher than others and everyone listens to you?" I am sitting a little higher so that you can see and hear tne better. That is the reason. We really should also learn the aspect of chopa, attitude, very well. When Y?U present yourself as a teacher, you n1ust be aware of your attitude. In particular you should pay respect to others, not only Comtnunity people, but everyone. Also you should collaborate with practitioners, particularly in the Dzogchen Community. If you are a teacher it means you are really active in the Community and that you understand what the Commu nity is. Becoming a teacher doesn't 1nean going son1ewhere to morrow and opening your centre and becoming the boss of your centre. It doesn't mean that. If you do that you are outside of the Community; you are no longer in tny Sangha, because it doesn't correspond. But if you are collaborating with people, helping people and developing your capacity, that is good. Even if we did all the levels of Santi Maha Sangha, it wouldn't 1nean that we would really becotne like Garab Dotje. Maybe sotneone would, who knows? But in general it's not so easy, particularly as we are still in samsara. Samsara is always samsara. Even if we did all nine levels of Santi Maha Sangha, samsara wouldn't change, it is always samsara. But it is possible that we would have achieved some evolution in ourselves. So, having that knowledge and understanding is developing something in our selves, but not governing people, not showing a position, this is the first thing. I recotnmend to all people, when you have the idea of becoming a teacher, not to think that you have a posi tion, otherwise your qualification is finished. 11
Frmn tmnonow, when you are giving your presentation, we told you that the Teachers' Training doesn't n1ean that Namkhai Norbu will explain how we should be as teachers, how to teach, etc., and will give les sons for many days. Many people had that idea, but that is not Teachers' Training. I have already done that, always, also in Santi Maha Sangha as well as in other teachings and retreats. How many retreats have we done? You can go and visit Meri gar to see how many videos and cassettes of teachings there are. The conclusion of all this is that now we are going to do Teach ers' Training. Now this is your turn. How will you start, for example? You shouldn't think you are doing a kind of examination. You are not doing an examination. You are presenting how you teach. We want to know that. Tomorrow we will sta11. Who will be first tomorrow? We shall do it in the order of the requests that were sent to me. We are not choosing anyone. How shall we do it in practice? Like today, ton1orrow is not a very nice day according to the Tibetan calendar, so we' ll stati in the same way as we did today for transforming it into a good day. Then whoever teaches for one hour ton1orrow will go to the chair and sit atld also I'll give you a sn1all piece of paper saying what you should explain. You should explain this for one hour. When you are starting to ex plain, first of all you should introduce yourself, what you are going to teach, what it means, everything. For exatnple, it is as if you are somewhere and there is a group of people and you are talking with these people. Maybe some of these people know you or you know the1n; but maybe some don't know you or you don't know them, so you must introduce yourself. will observe everything. I already
When I teach in general, like in a retreat - not like today
where more or less everyone knows I am Namkhai Norbu - but when I give a public talk, then someone introduces me. Even though someone introduces me, sometimes I also introduce myself, because it's important. When we are talking with a per son, for example, we must know whom that person is. We must also present ourselves to that person so that they know with whom they are talking; otherwise that person won't be inter ested. Then whatever subj ect you explain, remember it is not only a technique - technique is only a part of it. But you should al ways keep in mind that any kind of argument, any kind of teach ing, has its aspects of tawa, gompa and chopa. You don't need to say that this is the tawa and this is the gompa of your subj ect, but you should know that they are aspects of it and you should explain them. And particularly, you must explain the real mean ing of your subj ect; you must not lose that. For that reason, if you are explaining any subject at all, if you like to you should be able to explain it for two or three hours. You can do this with any kind of subj ect because everything is related. Some people think, "Oh, I have to explain this subject but in the Santi Maha Sangha book there are only three lines", for example. The Santi Maha Sangha Base explains all arguments, not only one. But now you are going into more detail, you are going deeper into the knowledge of this subject. So you must know how to do this. So we need one hour of explanation. We want to see what your attitude is, your way of presenting, your way of explaining the aspect of tawa, and how it is related with gompa. If you have sotne experience, some knowledge of practice, it easily shows when you are explaining or giving teach ings to others. It is not necessary to say, "I did this practice for
two months, and I did this quantity of that mantra". That doesn't matter; we don't need to know this. So this is how we' ll proceed. Tomorrow we' ll have one can didate from I 0 o'clock until 11 and then we' ll break for a rest and then we' ll start again at 11. 1 5 until 1 2.1 5; two people in the morning and one in the afternoon at 4 o'clock. I'll always be present, but not as a teacher. I shall also receive teachings from three people ton1orrow. The other people, those who are doing the training and those who are not doing it, can also listen and receive. That's teaching. You can also observe how the candi dates teach, whether they are good teachers or not. Ifthey present everything - the aspects of tawa, gompa and chopa at the end, on February 24'" we will give them a kind of diploma, recogni tion that they can officially teach the Base of Santi Maha Sangha. So we should know what their capacity is and how they teach. There are also Yantra Yoga teachers and Dance of the Vajra teachers, but they will be after the Santi Maha Sangha Training. Some people have the idea of doing both, but I think it is better not to do then1 together. It is better to do only one at a time. We should aim for quality in everything we do, not quantity. If you want to do, for example, the training for both Santi Maha Sangha and Yantra, you can do one of these now and the other on an other occasion. There will be other occasions, particularly for Yantra Yoga and the Vajra Dance. They are easier to do. But there will also be other occasions to do Santi Maha Sangha Teachers' Training if there are people growing more qualified. -
Yesterday and today son1e people spoke fairly well, but they did not explain what they should have explained. They said only a few words on what I had asked the1n. If I give you an argu ment, even if you want to explain it for three hours, you should be able to do that - if you have studied and learned and if you have that knowledge. But if you don't have that knowledge, you show that you don't know what you should do and you begin to explain things that are not related to my question. So please, from tomorrow, you should explain what I ask, not what we should do or how the situation of the community is. If I say, "Would you like a cup of tea?'' you can't reply, "I don't want to go to the beach". There is no connection. Please remember this.
Originally we had planned to finish this Teachers' Training tomorrow because there were a lot more people who had re quested to be on the list, but many have not arrived here, and have not presented themselves. So today we have the last can didate for this training. Not everyone has passed. Only a few people have passed, because I am sorry to say, many people who presented then1selves were not really ready to be teachers; because being a teacher is a great responsibility for me, not only for you, for the teaching for the future. So I couldn't accept everyone, saying, "You have done something, that's fine". If I want to give you a present I can buy one and give it to you, but to tell you that you can be a teacher is another question. There are many aspects. I already told you at the beginning that it's not only a question of giving an explanation. That's only one aspect, the aspect of tawa. We observe the way you communicate, and how you present yourselves in general. We are also remembering and we know the character of each person. We should check everything, so it's not so easy.
FEBRUARY 21sr YANTRAYOGA
We have Yantra Yoga teachings in our community. I began teaching this many years ago and n1any students learnt directly fron1 me, not only in Italy, but also in other countries. But later I discovered that everyone was doing it slightly differently, and an Italian tradition had developed, a Neapolitan tradition, a Roman tradition, an Austrian tradition, an English tradition, an An1erican tradition, etc. Many Yantra schools had developed, but I had never taught it in that way. It is just like what hap pened with Buddha's teachings; Buddha never taught different schools, but different schools developed. It's very important that the teachings proceed in a precise way. In particular, the Yantra Yoga that we apply is a special Yantra. In general there are tnany types ofYantra in Tantrism. If you follow the Kalachakra, there is the jordrug and there is also Yantra; and similarly there's an other kind in the lamdre of the Sakyapa tradition ofHevajra. So in all the Tantras there are Yantras related to the dzogrim, to develop the capacity of tsalung. But the Yantra we apply is different. As you already know� the Yantra Yoga we practice is connected to the Dzogchen teach ings. It is a part of our teaching and is related to the transmis sion; it is not just a type of gymnastics. It's itnportant to keep this in mind. That's also why we start with Guruyoga. Because there have been so many different versions, we had to begin to check in an exact way. I couldn't check everybody, but I personally checked two students very precisely: Fabio
Andrico, who followed Yantra Yoga for many years when I taught it and, not only that, but also I later checked all his movements very precisely; and Laura Evangelisti, who I also checked per sonally. Then I considered these two to be instructprs, to correct all the different traditions ofYantra Yoga and to bring then1 into the correct tradition. This is why we do many different courses, and they also do special courses to check all the movements and to cotTect them. We have three levels. Many people have already learnt the first level and we now consider them to be correct, so they will becon1e teachers and they will teach in different places. That n1eans we are teaching Yantra in a more correct way. For this reason, when we do the Yantra Yoga Training - or the Vajra Dance tmnorrow- I need the two instructors to present the people they've checked in a precise way when they did special courses to thoroughly check people, to say whether someone is doing and applying it correctly. When they say they have checked some one and that everything they are doing is correct, I say, "OK". Then we do the training. But here 'training' is a kind of symbol. We cannot check everything; we have two instructors who have already done that. It is very important for the Yantra Yoga teachers and those of the Dance, and above all the Santi Maha Sangha teachers, that you present yourselves as teachers. You must remember that. This doesn't mean that you becotne a boss. It's not a kind of position. Many people immediately change their attitude when they present thetnselves as teachers; they feel superior. That is very bad. If you have this attitude you 1nust abandon it, you must change, because it's not good for you. The teaching is something like a miiTor. When you look in a n1irror you can see your face, and if you have any defects you
discover them. If you have some defects you must change. That is better for you. Also, particularly if people are presenting them selves as teachers, it means they are people who are communi cating to others. So, as we say in Tibetan, "A person who wants to help someone with a broken head must at least have a conect head himself- at least! " Otherwise he wouldn't be able to help. It's not difficult to explain in words, "You must do this or that", but first you must do it yourself. If you don 'r apply this yourselves, how can you ask others to do it? It's easy to say, but it doesn't correspond. I'm always saying to my students, "Be fore anything else, observe yourself: do you have any problems or not? Do you have any tensions or not? Do you have any problems with people or not, particularly in the community?" If you don't have any probletns with people, and even if there are some problems you can liberate them, then you have at least a small base. But if you write an e-mail to your teacher everyday, saying you have problem nutnber one, nutnber two, number three, etc., it means you have no base; otherwise there wouldn't be any reason to always ask for help. So, this is very ilnportant. particularly for people presenting thetnselves as teachers. First of all, for becoming a teacher, we must notice the fa mous 'ego ' : how is your ego? How does it present itself? Even when you are talking with people if you observe yourself well you can discover this from your way oftalking. When you speak with people observe yourself, "How atn I talking?" This is very hnpotiant; because otherwise the ego will never change, it will always develop. Any kind of teaching - Santi Maha Sangha, Yantra Yoga, Vaj ra Dance- everything has its principle, its transtnission. For example, I taught Yantra Yoga in the way I learnt it from my teachers; I didn't invent it. The same goes for Santi Maha Sangha�
I learnt everything fron1 my teachers. The same is true even if I prepare a very s1nall thing. For example, in the Dzogchen cmn munity we needed to have a practice book ofThuns: Short Thun first, then Medium Thun, etc., so I was thinking, "I should pre pare something, because it's necessary". But I didn't really have any precise idea how to do this. It is not sufficient that I only think, j udge and create, because it's something related with the teaching. It's no good thinking, "I feel it should be like this and this is OK". What you feel or what I feel has no value, because I am still always here in this samsara. You see how many bis cuits I have eaten this morning! For you! ( Ha ha ha.) This is the concrete situation, isn't it? If I didn't need to eat and drink and everything - then my feeling would have value. In these days, whilst we have been doing this training I have heard the phrase during the teaching, "I feel like this". But this hasn't any value. What you feel and what I feel has no value. For exan1ple, when I was coordinating the Short Thun I had been thinking of doing it for months, but I hadn't yet done any thing concretely because I still had son1e doubts about how to do it. Also when I taught Yantra Yoga, for example, I was al ways thinking one couldn't teach Yantra Yoga in the Tantric system because it's connected to the dzogrim and people must first receive initiation and instructions, otherwise I couldn't teach it. When people first asked me to teach it in Naples, I refused many ti1nes. Then I had a very clear dream with my uncle Tog den Ogyen Tendzin, two or three tin1es, where I discussed this with hin1 and I asked Togden, "People have asked me to teach this, what can I do?" Also for the Short Tlnm; when I thought about how to prepare this I didn't have a really precise idea, pat1icularly in the Anuyoga system of instant transformation, I didn't have a very clear idea about which Yidam to use, whether
it should be Guru Tragphur or another. Then I dreamt twice of n1y uncle Khyentse and once he explained everything about how we should do the Short Thun. This coiTesponds to real trans mission. This is an exan1ple to show that things are not just invented, or done according to how I feel. So it's very itnpor tant that you follow a principle. Yantra Yoga has its principle, the Vajra Dance has its principle, teaching - particularly the Santi Maha Sangha Base - everything has its principle; we don't in vent anything. Therefore you should apply and explain, do everything how you have learnt from n1e. I also apply and do everything the way I learnt from my teachers. This is what is called lineage. A lineage doesn't just consist of presenting something official in a docun1ent. It is son1ething concrete. Therefore it is very im portant to tmderstand, also with Yantra Yoga, that it is coru1ected to the teachings and transmission. An example is when you need to teach people who are not practitioners and you use some n1ovements like the Lungsang, etc. - it's not a good idea to teach the complete Yantra Yoga everywhere - you should explain to those who are following that Yantra Yoga is connected to the teachings and has its transmission and its final goal. You must present that. Who knows if those who are following will be interested in the teaching? Even if they arc not interested at first they could be interested later. If you don't ever explain, how can people understand? This is very important. And then - what to teach? You can teach Lungsang etc. and there are also some other movements that can be applied openly. We still haven't prepared a booklet to indicate to the people interested in gen eral what kinds of Yantras they can apply, but we can organise this. I've already organised son1e small sections on n1y com puter. I have done one for children and one for pregnant women
and another for old people who can't tnove very easily, like n1e - today. Some people like to do only gymnastics, and in such cases we can present something, but we shouldn't go into the n1ain Yantra Yoga because that's not good. This means you know that Yantra Yoga is a teaching and that it is related to the trans tnission. Ren1ember this.
FEBRUARY 22NO VAJRA DANCE
One of the Vajra Dance instructors is Prima Mai. Why is she an instructor? Because when I returned frotn Tsegyalgar to Merigar and we statied the Vajra Dance, I checked all the people and I saw that Prima had the most harmonious movements. So I asked her to try and enter deeper into the Dance, because she has movement with quality. Then I checked her movements. After a little while I also checked Adriana Dal Borgo; she was also very dedicated to the Dance. So they became instructors, because I have personally checked them just like the Yantra Yoga instructors. Then we began to do courses to correct those who had already learnt the Dance and teacher training courses for those who want to teach. As you know we have done many of these courses a11d people who are presenting themselves as can didates here today have already participated in these courses and have been checked. I haven't checked them all individually one by one. That would be ilnpossible, so this is why we have instructors. These are our candidates. As you see, for the Dance of the Vajra there's not even one single male, they are all female. In general, males and females are not the same; they are two dif ferent kinds ofbeings. Even if people say they're the same they're not the same. Also their movements are a little different in gen eral. It's difficult for a man to be able to do the movements of a woman, if he's not trained. There is a famous film, in which some men know the movements of women very well, but they
are trained; it's not a natural thing. The n1ovements of the Vajra Dance are natural; they don't belong to 1nale or female move Inents. So, knowing that, we should learn in this way, knowing that males are not very, very smooth in their movements like females, knowing that there are differences in their nature. Also n1ales must be a little more active with regard to the Vajra Dance because the Dance is very important for integrating the aspect of the moven1ents of our body into the state of conten1plation. This is very in1portant. So we hope that so1nehow males will manifest in the Vajra Dance. We already have female teachers. I want to say one thing to then1. Some of you have already learnt some type of dance, and you have that attitude a little. At the beginning maybe this can help you to learn more easily, but you must be very careful be cause, in general, people who dance move a little differently. This happens also in Yantra Yoga: those who have learnt Tai Chi Chuan, for example, when they practice Yantra they do it in a very strange way that doesn't really correspond with Yantra. It's the same with the Dance, when you observe well the people who have the attitude of knowing some kind of dance their way of n1oving their feet and hands, particularly their feet you will notice something. So you must be careful of this. You should learn the Vajra Dance; not let son1e other type of dance govern the Vajra Dance. That is not good. I have already told you that in the movements of the feet particularly and also the hands, Prima Mai is very, very correct, very hannonious, very special. If you observe you will be able to understand. If you don't look you cannot understand. So you tnust learn these movements well. Now, to conclude the Vajra Dance Teachers' Training, try to dance, even if the sun is strong.
Over these past days we have done the famous Teachers' Training and those who participated included the 15 people for Santi Maha Sangha, 9 for Yantra Yoga and 8 for the Dance of the Vajra. For Yantra Yoga and the Vajra Dance all the candi dates who presented themselves had already been checked, so their demonstration served only to show something, not really to check whether they are good or not. But the Santi Maha Sangha was a type of examination. We know that many people have already completed the first, second, third and also the fourth levels. Originally I thought that those who had done Santi Maha Sangha automatically had the qualification to teach what they had learnt. But I discovered that they didn't have it because it didn't correspond. So we need this Training. I can accept - In ore or less - only ten of the fifteen people who presented them selves. But I cannot accept the other five, I am sorry, because it does not correspond. Not even what they explained cone sponded, because when I asked for son1ething they should have spoken about that, but many people explained what they think, not the topic. When I ask for son1ething there is a reason why I ask for it, so they should have replied to what I asked. Not only that but also, as I already told you from the begin ning, in the Santi Maha Sangha, those who wish to learn, and above all those people who wish to be like teachers, as you know, you have a responsibility. Being a teacher tneans being responsible. It is not only about, for example, being able to an swer someone who asks you, "What is this about?" You can explain something, but that isn't really teaching. A teacher is sotnething like a doctor who is looking after his patients to cure 25
them. The teaching needs to have that function. So if you have problem, and you haven't overcome it, how can you help those people? For that reason it is necessary that the aspects of body, voice and mind, tawa, gompa and chopa, all conespond, even if not a hundred percent, at least more than half. Other wise it is not good, because there is such a responsibility. Firstly I have the nu1nber one responsibility because I mn giving au thorization to you. If there are ten teachers for Santi Maha Sangha I am happy, I need this. I would be happy if there were one hundred, two hundred or three hundred! But at the same tilne, even if there are only ten authorized people I am not only happy, but I am also very worried, because I know in general how the hutnan condition is, and I also know our people. We have a very, very strong ego and we always need a title, a name, or a position. So tomorrow when I give this type of authorization they'll think and show straight away, "I have this position". This doesn't correspond to the teachings, doesn't conespond to our principles. So I feel afraid of this, very afraid, not just a little. So, please, try to do your best, because I know the way that most of you are, how you do things. I can already understand it by your atti tude. I'll give you a very simple example. When we were doing the Training, I read the names of the people who were to ex plain a certain topic and then I gave thetn a small envelope which contained the topic to be explained. When the candidates passed in front of1ne to take the envelope I observed how they took it. Only two people, Costantino Albini and Jim Val by, took it with two hands; all the rest, when I gave it to them, took it carelessly and then they went by. This is not for me and for my position. Maybe you think, "He's egotistic, he needs them to pay a lot of respect! " That's not the principle. You know very well that I don't need this, that that
I don't have that attitude, I am always sitting and going and doing everything with people in a normal way. I don't need your respect. But I am presenting myself as a teacher for you. You must understand the significance of 'teacher' . A teacher is not just an image on a thangka or a photograph that you put on an altar and that you consider more important than a living teacher. That doesn't correspond. When we learn mudras, for example, how do we present them? When we say, "Padmasambhava, please, remember your samaya!" the samaya mudra is this, but we don't present it di rectly and rudely, we do it in a well-mannered, and polite way, doing the lotus tnudra before the samaya mudra. In particular in the Tantrism teaching, Vajrayana, there is a book called Lama Ngachupa in which there are fifty topics on how to pay respect to the teacher. I am not saying you have to do all these things, many of them are related to the custotns of the people. However they are meaningful. I remember the first or second time I went to Austria, to a Hinayana style Dham1a Centre, I remember we were doing teachings in the open, in a nice place in the sunshine. When I was explaining the teachings tnost people were lying down on the ground with their legs stretched out. I was explaining a teaching, a precious teaching, not just a simple kind ofteaching, I was giving a very important teaching. But I felt very strange because, for exatnple, Buddha said in the Sutras, "You shouldn't give teachings to people who bring weapons - knives, guns, arrows, etc. to the teachings - or who are wearing hats, etc. to the teaching". That's what Buddha said. Why? Because they are not paying respect, not only to the teacher, but also, not paying respect means not paying respect to the teachings. If people don't pay respect to the teaching it n1eans they don't know the value of the teaching. That's why you tnust not give them teachings. 27
You remember what 1 ey Clark explained about the three de fects of the student. One is like an up-side-down vase that noth ing can enter; another is a like a vase with a hole in it (in which nothing that is poured in remains inside) and the third is like a ditiy vase, (whatever you put into it) is mixed with poisons and etnotions. This is the san1e principle. If you teach people who are not seriously interested, and who don't consider the teach ings as precious and the path really seriously important, there is no function. That is an example. If someone is not paying re spect to teaching and to the teacher it is already a bad sign of the attitude of that person. I told you already that I an1 observing everything. That is not so difficult to understand. I remen1ber that some people - not now but on some other occasions - while we were doing a practice together, when we sang the Song of the Vajra, even if they were sitting facing me, they turned around and looked at the sky. I was in front of them. I saw 1nany people do that. They consider that the sky is more itnportant than the teacher. They don't understand what our real state means. They don't understand that the teacher represents our real state, not the sky. Already that shows that they don't know the value of the teacher and the transmission. One of the fifty points of the Lama Ngachupa says, for example, you must not walk on the right of the teacher because this shows a lack of respect. That's why, when we are walking around the Chorten, or Stupa, the Chorten stays on our right side. That is considered a good action. The text also says that when we walk in the sun shine we n1ust not walk on the shadow of the teacher. I atn not saying you shouldn't do that, but knowing about it you tnust understand what it means. It means paying respect. I don't need your respect, anyone's respect, but you must understand that.
During these days someone also talked about when Guru Padmasambhava gave the initiation of Vaj rakilaya. At the end Guru Padmasambhava said that the lineage of Yeshe Tsogyal would be more important than others. Why? Not because Yeshe Tsogyal was his consort, but because when Padmasambhava said, "Now pay respect to the manifestation of the mandala of Vaj rakilaya", everyone went and did prostrations to the man dala; but Yeshe Tsogyal went and prostrated to Guru Padma sambhava, because she understood that the 1nost important root of the tr-ansmission is the teacher, not the manifestation of the mandala. You know this history, don't you? But if you know it you must put it into practice. Putting it into practice means that I present myself as a teacher and you present yourselves as stu dents. You must recognise this, it is very important for you. This is one thing that is lacking in everybody. I haven't checked everything, I couldn't check your attitude in everything you do, but very simply, only when we did the exam, I gave you an envelope and I observed how you took it. This is simple, right? It's not that complicated. Then also it's not enough to j ust know how to talk, even if you can do it very well - like Capriles, who can talk for hours on Madhyamika and Yogachara - but you must also apply the teaching in a practical way. If you don't do this there's no value. This is called gompa. Also don't go too much in an intellectual way. We can learn in an intellectual way very well at University. Our University professors are very good at explaining and mak ing analyses, but there is no live sense. Having live sense means knowing how to go into things in a practical way. Going into things in a practical way means that if you have a medicine and you know how it works to cure an illness that you have, that is only intellectual knowledge; if you don't take it, it doesn't.help
you. It's not enough just to know about it and to be able to explain it to someone; you must also know how to apply it. You n1ust take it and overcon1e your problem and have that experi ence. Then you will also be able to help others to go in the same direction. That's what the 'practical way' means. This is what gompa means. So I really hope very much that all of you, particularly the Santi Maha Sangha people and then also the Yantra Yoga and the Vajra Dance teachers, don't think in1mediately, "I am a Teacher, I have a position!" but instead observe yotu·selves. What I am giving you is not only a kind of title. Try to correspond with the real sense. In that way you will have benefit, and also others can benefit. Day by day try to develop the practice, to becon1e always more concrete. This is something you should learn and do. Today I am here to do the Teachers' Training, and I'm giving you advice, but this doesn't mean I will always do this. You know very well that we are all in1pennanent, but the teaching and transmission must stay alive and continue. We need some thing concrete for that, not just a nan1e or title. This is what I wanted to say. Now we have a type of diploma for the people we consider have passed. Remember that all of the diplomas are for the ini tial level: of Santi Maha Sangha, of Yantra Yoga and of the Vajra Dance. They are not for everything; they are limited. For example, when you have this title for Santi Maha Sangha, what you n1ust teach is the Santi Maha Sangha Base, the topics con tained in the Base, not the first and second levels, even if you have done them, the diploma is not for those. Remember that. You see, on all the diplomas, there is a seal near my name. This is the seal of the Dharmaraj a. It is more than five hundred years old. 30
SANTI MAHASANGHA TEACHERS' TRAINING Tashigar Norte, June 2004 CONCLUDING TALK
Today is the last day of the Santi Maha Sangha Base Level Teachers' Training. We have finished the Teachers' Training, more or less, and now we must remind ourselves and under stand what the importance of this training is. Teaching means that somebody is going to teach. In general, there are many types of teaching, but when we speak of teaching a spiritual path, that means that the teaching is going to deal with the real condition of the individual. So, if we are going to do something in the correct way, we can help that individual, but if we do son1e thing wrong we can damage the individual. We need to under stand what are our capacities and what our understanding is. In general, many people have a strong ego. They always think, "Oh I know everything". Some people even qualifY themselves. They feel, "Oh I am not normal, I am a special person, I am a Daka, I am a Dakini". This means one is not Daka or Dakini, but one is conditioned by one's ego. This is very important to understand. In fact, tnany teachings explain that the cause of our human birth is pride. We have very strong pride, that is true. So it is very, very important that we observe our pride. Particu larly, if one becomes teacher, one does not have to think in1me diately, "Oh I am a teacher, I have a position". A teacher means somebody who has some knowledge and with this knowledge he helps others. In this case, this person should be very humble.
One has also to be prepared to make sacrifices if necessary. For example, if someone goes to teach in a place where there are not good conditions, one does not have to think, "I run a teacher, they must make good service for n1e, prepare a good house, etc." Sometimes people say, "Oh they did not make good service and we had difficulties". A teacher does not need any service. You have two legs, two hands, you know how to speak and can arrange things for yourself. All these concepts are re ally manifestations of ego. Particularly, when one becomes a teacher, one has to remem ber that these points are very, very important. You must main tain the idea of only helping others. That means maintaining the idea of how you can help- how you can make someone under stand what is the real condition. You are really ready to serve others and make sacrifices until they understand what the real condition is. If you are not presenting yourself as a teacher then you do your best, but you do not have that particular duty. When you are considered a teacher, that is your duty. Also, when one becmnes a teacher, one has to lea1n how to con1municate. Somebody may have already have experience of teaching in a school or university and have smne training in speaking. Somebody else, even if they have practiced and learned and trained and have knowledge, they do not have that kind of experience and when they start to talk with people they find it difficult. But this is not the main problem because one can train and learn how to speak. The important thing is to show that you are helping people and making service for them. It is not like giving an intellectual lesson. Teaching is not giving a lesson. In the teaching, the principle is that you have son1e knowledge, son1e understanding and you transmit this to others. If, for exrunple, you know how to repair a watch, then you
know how to open it and how to repair it. That means you have that knowledge. If one is interested to receive that knowledge, you show him how to open and close the watch and what one has to do. Really your duty is that the person understands per fectly what to do. Then your teaching is fulfilled and you also feel happy. But we are not teaching how to repair a watch. We are learning and transmitting the Base of Santi Maha Sangha. The Base of S anti Maha Sangha is to transmit the global basic knowledge of the nine vehicles, so in this case we should first learn and train ourselves, do the practice, become familiar with it and then we can inform and teach. That is the reason why we ask if one has really done the training sufficiently and not only read the words found in the book of the Base. In particular, one has to practice and have the experiences of the different prac tices, because one needs to have this knowledge to be able to inform others. If we are not entering in the knowledge with our experience, then we cannot conununicate. So this is the way we prepare the Santi Maha Sangha and how we communicate it. Also we should not always think, "I am only explaining the Base of Santi Maha Sangha according to this book." When one is teaching one has to be in the state of what he is communicat ing. That is why when we do any kind of practice and teaching we always deal with the Guruyoga. Guruyoga is the essence of practice, it is the knowledge of the Dzogchen teaching that we have received, and it is the transmission. Being in the state of Guruyoga also means that you are in the state of presence with your teacher, even if he is not physically present. The teacher represents all the Three Roots, and in particular, in relation with the Guardians. When we deal with the Dzogchen teaching in particular, this is also related with the Guardians. You remember that I fre-
quently say when we are going to teach, and in particular teach ing the principle of the Dzogchen teaching, we always ask the Guardians for permission. Guardians are those who make ser vice for the teaching, the transmission and the teacher. So we cannot teach without this presence. We ask permission and then we teach. So that is how we understand why we deal with Gu ruyoga. When you are speaking and com1nunicating with other people, you do not think, "Now I am going to explain the Base of Santi Maha Sangha according to this book, this argument." You are thinking, "Now there are people who are interested to learn, and I ask permission to my Master and the Guardians and try to cotnmunicate according to the interest of these people". If you observe so1nebody who gives teachings, you can see this very well. For example, sometimes if somebody is giving a teach ing, at the beginning, even if we ask him to talk loudly because we do not understand, that person still speaks in a low tone and it is not easy to understand. After fifteen minutes that person is speaking in a very loud voice. It means that person has enough voice to allow everybody to understand, so why did it happen so? It is because that person is thinking, "Now I am explaining this argument to the people". Then, of course, when you try to explain you do not have sufficient voice, but later you beco1ne more integrated with that argument and your voice develops. That is normal. If you know that if you are giving a teaching, a public talk, and you think, "These people are interested so I will con1n1unicate", then you can also have a sufficient voice to make people hear and understand. It is also very iinportant that fron1 the very beginning you talk loudly enough so that everybody can hear you. It is not necessary that you slowly develop your VOICe.
This is an example of how to communicate. Moreover� you do not think always, "Now I will explain this and then I will explain that". That means that you are preparing in an intellec tual way. You do not need to prepare so much in an intel lectual way. In particular, if you have some experience of the teaching, you have more or less the idea and then you need to work with circumstances and make people understand. When you are teach ing, you can also read on the face of the people. If you look at the people you may see when they do not understand, when they are not listening or hearing. That means that you are not communicating in the proper way and then you try to commu nicate in a more interesting way. Once I was in Japan and there were some twenty-five people. They had all listened to teachings before and had teachers. They were all sitting in the meditation position, with j oined hands and it seemed they were meditating. Some people had closed eyes, some had open eyes, but all were very stable. Then it seemed like they were not very concentrated on what I was say ing. So I wanted to see if they were really listening and started to give examples of very funny things and also some stories of Drugpa Kunleg, but even if I was explaining very funny things and laughed myself, they were still not laughing. Then I was very surprised thinking, "Why aren't they laughing?" Then I developed more this kind of explanation to try to understand what they were feeling. Still they were not laughing but insisted on their meditation positions. Then I laughed and said, "Even though I am laughing you Japanese people never laugh even though I an1 saying something funny". Then they started to laugh and continued laughing for some minutes. Later they changed their attitude and when I went to Japan the second tin1e, they changed their attitude and they became almost normal.
Another experience I remember was in a place near Tsegyal in a center where they were having a Theravadan retreat. In the real sense, they were doing a practice that we have in the Base of Santi Maha Sangha, and they invited me to give a talk. In that period they were having a retreat and when I arrived I saw a very beautiful garden and there were many people doing strange things. They were walking very slowly turning to one side or the other, but very slowly. They were not dancing though, simply walking very slowly. I thought they were like small chil dren or doing exercise. Then I asked and they told me that they were doing some practice like we have in the Santi Maha Sangha and I understood they were making that practice in Theravadan style. Then I went to the place where I had to give the talk. In that period I was teaching in Italian and Jolm Shane was translating into English. All the people were sitting in meditation position just like the Japanese. So I understood that they had that kind of attitude and tried to break that attitude a little by explaining son1ething strange. But it was not easy for them to laugh. Then I started to tell even funnier things and then they started to laugh. Even then, however, they laughed in a ritualistic way. I was very surprised and kept repeating the jokes to enjoy that way of laughing. John Shane understood what I was doing and he was also laughing a lot. Sometimes things like that happen. So when we are teaching it is very important we know the desire of people, what people like and how they understand. This is very, very important. You see, in the teaching of Bud dha, for example, there are not only three yanas, but it is said that there are also innumerable teachings. Nowhere did Buddha say that the teaching is set once and for all in a determinate way, because the teaching n1ust work with the condition of the indigar,
vidual. It is said in the Sutra that one should teach according to the condition, capacities and desire of the people. If we com municate in this way, people can understand and can be inter ested. This means that the teacher has to enter in the dimension of the student. It is never said that the teacher decides to teach in a particular way and everybody has to follow that way. If we work correctly, even if there are ten different desires and ca pacities, everybody can understand according to one's capaci ties and desires. In the real sense, the condition is unique; there is no difference. You remember that Buddha said, "This is the really profound luminous real nature of understanding". That is what the teacher introduces, but if we only repeat those words of the Buddha nobody can understand. For this reason we must work with cir cumstances and with the conditions of students. This is some thing very itnportant to understand for becoming a teacher. Moreover, by practicing year after year, we should be able to discover how precious the Dzogchen teaching is and how it is really the essence of all teachings. How it's very difficult to understand the real sense of that teaching. Fortunately, I have sufficient knowledge of the teaching from the grace of my teacher, and with n1y experience I can communicate to other people who are interested. So maybe you already have at least that knowledge, and for this reason I prepared the Santi Maha Sangha and made sacrifices in order that the teaching can be carried on in the future. I hope that it is a kind of guarantee that in the future there will be some continuation of this teaching. There is really the danger that the teaching will become only a form. Many people are dealing more with worldly situations; people are interested in power, position, money, etc. If we are going ahead day after day in that way we completely lose the
sense of the teaching. We know that and we try to take our re sponsibility. Taking responsibility means we should do the Santi Maha S angha and make some really qualified teachers who can carry on the teaching in an alive way. For this reason we are doing Santi Maha Sangha and in par ticular the Santi Maha Sangha Teachers' Training. This is some thing very important. Some people think that only translating books is hnportant, only collecting books is important, only building a nice monastery is important. All this is secondary. Maintaining the knowledge, understanding, alive transmission, this is important. So this is the purpose of Santi Maha S angha Teachers' Training. We have already done Santi Maha Sangha Teachers' Train ing in 2002, and we have a book where all the information re garding Santi Maha Sangha training is kept. In that year we qualified ten teachers. That training was for fifteen or sixteen people, but only ten qualified. Now we have four new qualified teachers. I want to say to all the new candidates who qualify, the important thing is how we communicate, and that knowl edge does not only retnain at the intellectual level because oth erwise there is not much value. That also means that when you have the possibility, now and then, you try to make some quali fied personal retreat. Futihermore if you listen to how other people explain, you can also learn many things. We have now fourteen Santi Maha Sangha teachers in total. We will also go ahead with the Santi Maha Sangha Teachers' Training in the future. But please, if you want to present as a candidate in the future, please prepare very well, not only on the arguments of the Base book, but you should train in how to communicate and become familiar with the practices. Then you can become a good teacher, and when you stati to teach you can
improve. After making one, two, three retreats you can learn a lot from yourr experiences. In this way I can be confident that those who present are good candidates, not only because they know the arguments, but also because they have real knowl edge. Remember that we have tawa, gompa and chopa. Tawa, the view, is related more to intellectual studies, what we learn. Gompa means being in the knowledge and dealing with it in one's existence. Chapa means attitude; if one is too limited, doing son1ething wrong and creating problems between students, then your chopa is not good. There is no need of the teacher or anyone else to tell you. If you can understand it yourself it is much better. So you check well if your tawa, gompa and chopa are sufficient for presenting yourself as a candidate. Now we give the diplomas for becoming a teacher of the Base of Santi Maha Sangha. Here is my name and here is your nan1e. And here is my seal, it is an historical one, you can learn about it. There are also two gifts. One is the drawing of the Guardian Dorj e Legpa. He collaborates with you if you do ev erything perfectly, but if you do not do things in a perfect way, then Dorje Legpa is not happy and things manifest naturally. The other �s Komadevi. Many Dzogchen teachings I give are connected with the Longsal Nyingthig, so for this reason I atn giving you this. Now do your best, train your experience as a teacher and deepen your knowledge in the various level of Santi Maha Sangha and in the future there will also be other trainings for teachers of the Santi Maha Sangha First Level, etc. We try to go ahead as much as possible. You ren1ember how itnportant this is, particularly for me. In my work, or even in my dreams, the Sat1ti Maha Sangha is always very itnportant. I told you when I had leukaemia and they informed tne, I thought that
my life was finished. At that ti me the only thing I was a l ittle worried about was the Santi Maha Sangha. I was not worried for the Dzogchen Community, my fami ly or myself, I was only sorry that I could not go on with Santi Maha Sangha because I know that the Dzogchen teaching is very, very important. What I have understood I communicated to my students and I wish that this knowledge continues in the future. If people continue this teaching, I am convinced there will be so1ne kind of evolu tion. Teaching really helps all beings, particularly human be Ings. Our human condition is impermanent and changing. This change we call development. When I arrived in Italy for the first time, for example, there were only a few televisions, but after some years it developed and now everybody has televi sion. The same thing with tape recorders, etc., now we have computers and Internet and we think this is something very so phisticated, but after five or seven years there will be other things. We don't even know the name of these new things. This is how the world changes. Many people consider this development is not very good. They speak of degeneration of Kaliyuga, and problems. Maybe the condition is that way, but we must integrate with that. If we have the capacity to integrate, then everything can develop. I always think it is a pity that when I was in the college there was no tape recorder. We could not remember how many things our teacher explained in a single day. Today we can register every thing and this is a positive development, not negative. In ancient times in Tibet there were no books. Even if we wanted to read and study, there were no books. But now it is very easy to find them, we can even make copies very easily. This is not negative, it is positive. So if we know how to man-
age and integrate then everything is fine, that is what we call Kuntuzangpo. So we don't worry thinking, "Oh, we are arriv ing in Kaliyuga and tomorrow there will be a terrible earth quake or son1e disaster of the ocean". A few years ago some body had this theory that California would go tn1der water. They even sketched a map of the area in US that would not be flooded and 1nany people got worried and concentrated in the area where Tsegyalgar is. But you do not have to worry in this way, you relax and enjoy and work with circumstances. If there is rain you take the uinbrella, when it does not rain you do not need it. That is an example of how to work with circumstances. You go ahead with your awareness, knowledge, and what you have learned. In this way, everything will go well. Also our teachers should communicate this knowledge to people without complicating things. Otherwise they think they are developing and read this book and that book, and in the end they complicate things. Books are always relative, son1etimes if you really have knowledge you do not need 1nany books. Also in the practice, going only with A is the most essential. So we should go directly to that point.
TEACHERS' TRAINING Tashigar Norte, 25-29 November 2005
NovEMBER 2srn S ANTI MAHA SANGHA
You already know that this retreat is called Santi Maha Sangha Teachers' Training. But now you n1ust understand that this means something more than just a title. You know what Santi Maha Sangha means. It is not a title of a book or a teaching. Santi Maha Sangha means Dzogchen Comtnunity. Many titnes we did courses of Santi Maha Sangha Base, First Level, Second Level, and Third Level. And there are many people who already did Santi Maha Sangha Trainings. We do Santi Maha Sangha Training to become dedicated people of Santi Maha Sangha or the Dzogchen Co1nmunity. Of course anyone can participate in the Dzogchen Con11nunity and follow the teaching. But if you are only following occasionally, then that is another question. If you are interested in the Dzogchen Community, then you must understand how it must be. I tell this to everybody, particularly to people who do Santi Maha Sangha Training. Because mnong them there are some who are not doing things in a correct way and still they want to go ahead. But in this case what benefit can we have? It is very simple to understand. For example at each retreat I'm saying that if you receive a teaching, it is related with transn1ission. That's why we must take care of the Dzogchen Conununity. I
have not only the responsibility of giving the teaching, but also
of taking care of that transmission. I cannot leave my transmis sion in the street. We do not know what will happen. For that reason we also need a Dzogchen Community and a Sangha that work and collaborate, taking care of this transmission. There is no way I can do it all by tnyself. You remember very well, after some years of teaching many people j oined the Dzogchen Community and there was no pos sibility to go ahead without a kind of coordination. So we started by forming Gakyils. That is why we have a Dzogchen Commu nity; and where there is the Dzogchen Com1nunity there is a Gakyil too. Maybe not everyone in the Dzogchen Community is aware of Santi Maha Sangha; but of course Gakyil members must be responsible and must act in a correct way. Really, not many people are manifesting that. Somethnes I feel very tired. I think, "What can I do?'' I have already given many teachings but so far there is no possibility that people understand. I really care about it. I always ask people who received transmission to keep the san1aya commitments, not only between teacher and stu dent, but also between student and student. When you receive the teaching together you are also connected by the Vajra rela tionship. I repeated that thousands and thousands of times, but so far many people don't care. They pretend to be practitioners, but they fight and create so many problems among themselves. So how can we go ahead? You must think a bit. When we say Santi Maha S angha Teachers' Training, teacher means someone who teaches others. Before teaching you must act correctly. How can you teach if you are not doing things in a correct way? It's not so easy. We must understand this point very well. If there is a Dzogchen Con1munity Gakyil, there are
the groups of practitio ners that are responsible for the Dzogchen Community. These people must try to be conect and also to communicate and col laborate with others in a correct way. You must re1nember too that in the Dzogchen Community you have received from 1ne all the teachings and transmissions. Of course there is a very strong connection between myself and my students. If there is a concrete connection people nlltst pay respect for the teacher, not only getting up when the teacher is cmning. For example, when we do something related to the principle of the Dzogchen Community many people, also Gakyil mem bers, do it in a contrary way. What do you call this? Is it a cor rect way? I do not feel so. Particularly this year in the Russian Gar, in Kunsangar, we had a problem. I want to talk about this because there are many Russians here. You know very well that lately in Kunsangar we had no possibility to do big retreats; and so recently I did two retreats in Crimea. Before doing the sec ond Crin1ean retreat I invited Russian practitioners to try to or ganize a retreat in Moscow, but I was told that it was impos sible to get the permission and that it was better to do it in Crimea. So you know very well what the situation is; it is not suffi cient you think, "Oh, yes but we are Russian, we need to do the retreat in Russia". Of course I'd like to do it if there are con crete possibilities. So1ne people say, "You do not like to do re treats in Kunsangar". For me this is a ridiculous discussion; we know very well what is the real problem. In particular the Kunsangar Gakyil representative said to me in Merigar, "Oh, there is no problem, in Russia you can do everything". But I an1 not a small baby five or six years old; I know very well what is the situation: everything in Russia is getting worse and worse. If there are concrete possibilities to develop some centers in Russia in two or three years, then OK we will do it. also Gars and Lings. Gakyils represent
But now I am saying we should work with circumstances and try to be aware knowing what is the situation. When we finished the retreat in Crimea I asked Igor Berkhin, "Please in form the Gakyil that it is better to try to sell Kunsangar". Why did I ask Igor? Because Igor is a translator. Then Igor informed everyone and they said, "Oh, this is Igor's idea". But I said that it is better we try to sell Kunsangar before we have even more problems. Sometimes I also said that if there are possibilities we can create something new in Crhnea. In fact, as you know very well, for two years we have done retreats in Crimea and the political situation in Ukraine is not so bad. I live in Europe and I know the European political situation very well. I know what a democratic system means and Ukraine is trying to go in that direction� while Russia is going in the opposite direction and there is not any guarantee that we can do our activities there. But people said, "Oh, this isn't the idea ofNamkhai Norbu; this is the idea of Igor Berkhin because he wants to create a Gar in Ukraine". I replied, "Please don't accuse Igor Berkhin; he is totally innocent". But people insisted. Now, I don't know what is really their idea and what they want to do; if they only want to have a piece of land or a house they can go ahead in that way. But I do not consider that it is useful for the Dzogchen Commu nity. You see, for example, this is one problem manifesting. And then people think, "Oh, Namkhai Norbu is conditioned by Igor Berkhin". Maybe they don't know very well that I mn a Khmnpa and that conditioning me isn't so easy; my character is not that way. But I mn a Dzogchen practitioner and I know how we should work with circumstances. And now people are saying, "Oh, we want to have a place for doing courses of Yantra Yoga, Vajra Dance and Santi Maha Sangha". I think that we do not need a big place with tnany
problems like in l(unsangar; if you want son1ething around Moscow you don't need to buy anything. There is already the Dzogchen Community ofMoscow that recently has lost its place and is looking for a new one. There is not any reason for you to create two different groups; one is enough. It is really important that all Russian-speaking people think well and participate in the Critnea proj ect. I did my best so far and will do my best also for the future. You remember that I went to Russia every year when we had Kunsangar, thinking of all the Russian practitioners. You know that, and we can still have that possibility. But of course if people aren't interested there is nothing to do. In any case I always ask you to try at least to organize the webcast for people who gather to listen and participate to the teaching. This, in any case, is very important for many different countries. Many people, Gakyil members too, always come up with probletns, not only in Kunsangar. I am very surprised when people say, "Oh, I did Santi Maha Sangha Training, First Level, and Second Level, and we are in the Gakyil," and then they don't do what I'm asking thetn. You think a little: is it conect or not? It is better that you work in the correct way. While I an1 still alive I will do my best; I will also take care of Santi Maha Sangha so that we can go ahead in the correct way. You remember that I have already told you when I discov ered I had cancer that firstly I was worried for my Santi Maha Sangha Training, not for my family, not for Dzogchen Commu nity. Why? The reason is that Santi Maha Sangha is very impor tant for the continuation of our knowledge. For years I taught; for that reason people who follow Santi Maha Sangha and want to be teachers n1ust understand what they should do. I think really it is very important that you observe yourselves and think a little. 47
The Dzogchen Community and the Gakyils are not ordinary organizations; we collaborate with each other, that is why we established the Gakyil system. There is no hierarchy in the Gakyil system, even if someone says, "Merigar's Gakyil is the leader of all Gakyils". You al ready know very well: every Gakyil is autonomous; but of course Dzogchen practitioners are connected with the principle of the transn1ission. For that reason we should work in the correct way. We are trying to do everything in a more simple and less com plicated way. My son Yeshi told me for tnany years, "Oh, you shouldn't always travel so tnuch; for all the people interested to receive the teaching it is better to organize a webcast. All the different Community Gars and Lings must collaborate". Maybe many of you don't know that several years ago I pre sented a text called Fundamental Principles of the Dzogchen Community. I taught many times how all Dzogchen practitio ners and all Dzogchen Communities should collaborate, but many people of the Dzogchen Community didn't agree. Par ticularly I received so many criticisms from different people who said, "This does not correspond to the teaching". They taught 1ne Dzogchen, but I said, "Thank you very much, but I don't need your teaching! " I am trying to do my best o n the basis of what I know. For example son1e people have this kind of idea, "Oh, we want to receive teachings, but paying for the retreats, like in Merigar, does not correspond because Dharma must be free". So, if we don't need to pay for Dharma, what is the principle? We pay because we think that Dharma has some value. For example you chant with your mouth, "We are offering body, speech and 1nind". But if you have the capacity to offer your body, speech and mind, why can't you offer some money? You see, it doesn't conespond. We live in a modem society in the year 200 5 ; we 48
must understand what our situations and conditions really are. For exan1ple if you need to invite a teacher, who is paying? If your teacher gives a teaching, he needs a place to stay, food etc. Who prepares all that? Sometimes people are flying in the sky. When I sent Fabio for the first tin1e to Russia and Estonia to teach Yantra Yoga, they didn't give him enough food. So, day after day he felt very hungry and told them, "Oh, I need some thing to eat"; and they replied, "Yes, but we thought you were a yogi and didn't need food". Something simil ar happened when I went many years ago to New Zealand. I gave them my schedule consisting of a few days retreat. But when I arrived they had organized many public talks; there wasn't a single free moment. I said that it was impossible for me to manage their schedule; I wouldn't be able to perforn1 it and the following retreat too. They answered, "But we thought you never get tired because you are a realized being". Even if I have some realization, I still have a physical body just like a human being. You see how much water and tea we drink and how many things we eat just in one day. So we must understand our condition in a more concrete way without any fantasy. Santi Maha Sangha means Dzogchen Comn1unity. Learning and doing Santi Maha Sangha Training means beco1ning n1en1bers ofDzogchen Con1munity, trying to become a perfect prac titioner. I a1n not saying that all the n1embers of the Dzogchen Community are perfect, but if there are people working in a perfect and correct way, of course they can contribute to the Dzogchen Comn1unity and n1any teachers can arise. It is not so easy to be a teacher. Son1e people say, "Yes, I learn to teach, and when I teach I can learn more". You can do that as a kind of exercise, but teaching n1eans that you are already taking on a responsibility to con1municate son1ething to other people. In this case what you transmit should be 1 0 0 % correct; you 49
shouldn't invent anything, because inventing son1ething is not to learn teaching through Santi Maha Sangha Training. Firstly we learn the Base of Santi Maha Sangha in order to have a general knowledge, for example the teachings and final goal of Sutra and Tantra. Then we learn the Dzogchen teaching so we can understand how we can get into its real sense. We also do practices; that means we try to integrate that knowl edge. Chanting OM MANI PADME HUM like a parrot is not very useful if you are not really integrated. Once a Lama, who was doing a retreat on a mountain, heard sotneone chanting OM MANI PADME HUM and thought, "Oh, this is son1ething in teresting". Slowly slowly he looked outside and saw a parrot chanting OM MANI PADME HUM and eating many insects. Why was the parrot chanting OM MANI PADME HUM? Be cause every day this Lama went outside chanting OM MANI PADME HUM OM MANI PADME HUM and the parrot re peated the words. In our Dzogchen Community there are n1any people acting like parrots: they learn some words, repeat thetn and become teachers. I heard there are many teachers manifesting in North America and in Spain saying, "Oh, I am a student ofNamkhai Norbu", but sometimes I never met them. It is not so difficult to read some transcripts of my retreats and repeat what I said. You can repeat anything, but it does not have a great value. For that reason we need to receive transtnission; we integrate that trans mission in ourselves, and then we communicate it; in this case there is a benefit. Teachers must also know how to communicate to peop le; they should not only think, "I am a recognized and authorized teacher, now I can do everything". The first thing a teacher should teaching. For that reason we need also
do is knowing what are the conditions of the students, their
capacities, their knowledge, their experience, etc. You must not explain only what you want; you should enter into the dilnen sion of the students and you should know what is more impor tant to explain to make them understand. So, these are the most impo1iant points for teachers. Maybe 1nany of you already lmow how we do the Teachers' Training. We start tomorrow and the candidates will receive from me a small piece of paper. For the First Level Teachers' Training there are two questions that you must explain. But how should you explain? You must not think, "I am doing a kind of examination in front of the teacher". No, this isn't an examina tion. Rather you should explain for everyone. If you teach, how do you teach? Which way do you start? Which way do you end? Are the argun1ents you want to explain clear or not? How do you explain? How do you make people understand? Tomorrow we have for each person two arguments to ex plain in one hour of tin1e. Some people say, "Oh, one hour is too long; I couldn't explain so long tin1e". That means you didn't learn. Even if I ask a very simple question, you could explain for three or four hours showing how you learned the different subj ects. I an1 not saying that you should explain for two hours; j ust one hour is enough; that is your tin1e. This is what we will do ton1orrow at ten o' clock. When we finish with the First Level we have also two exmninations for the Base. Some people un derstood that we have also Second Level Teachers' Training but this is not the case. Second Level doesn't still exist. Till now we did only Santi Maha Sangha Base exan1ination, and I qualified some Base Teachers. For the Base examinations we have two persons who will get only one question.
Two persons will do the Santi Maha Sangha Teachers' Train ing totnorrow morning, with ten n1inutes break. In the after noon at five o 'clock we' ll have again two people. That means totnorrow we will have four people. You try to do your best, not only explaining, but also thinking a little what you are doing and what kind of responsibility you have. If people don't un derstand this point the Training is not very beneficial. So this is what I wanted to say for today as an introduction; its main point is knowing what the Santi Maha Sangha is. Re member it and increase your knowledge so that finally you can also have some benefit.
NOVEMBER 27 TII
O.K., we are at the end of our Santi Maha Sangha Teachers' Training; we did six examinations for the First Level and two for the Base. In the Base Training we had only one question, and for the First Level I asked two questions, but no one really replied in a perfect way to my questions. If I ask, for example, "Who is that person?" you n1ust reply who is that person, but not where is that person. Maybe you thought my first question wasn't important, but it was very im portant. If you want to work inside the Dzogchen Community for the future, what is your consideration of the Dzogchen Com munity? What do we need for the continuation of the teaching? Many people didn't reply. I am not satisfied at all . To this first question only Igor Berkhin replied, no one else. I mn not satis fied. Also for the second question, only two or three persons more or less replied. But if I ask, for exan1ple, "Which is the view of Mahayoga?" I don't ask the difference between Mahayoga and Atiyoga. Do you understand? I didn't ask how we must practice in the Mahayoga teaching. For all these reasons it seems to me we couldn't go ahead very well; I am very sorry. But �e will see; someone can pass, but no one will pass brilliantly; I am sorry.
NOVEMBER 28"' VAJRA DANCE
Today we have Yantra Yoga and Vajra Dance Teachers' Train ing. You have already prepared here a mandala, so firstly we do Vajra Dance examinations. You already know that for Vajra Dance we have two instructors. They teach and particularly con trol how you dance and how you comn1unicate. A good teacher n1ust not only know the tnovements, they must also be able to c01n1nunicate to the people. I have no time to check all the candidates, how they learnt and what is their capacity. For that reason I can only check Yan tra and Vajra Dance instructors. You already know that for Yan tra Yoga we have Fabio Andrico and Laura Evangelisti; for Vaj ra Dance we have Prima Mai and Adriana Dal Borgo. They are leading some courses and particularly they are checking one by one the practitioners who are interested to learn better and to be teachers. When we do Teachers' Training for Yantra Yoga and Vajra Dance, the instructor who checked the candidates should present them to me and I consider what they say regarding their capaci ties for dancing and communicating. Then I accept and give thetn the diplon1a, so they can teach. I don't know the capacity of each candidate, so I trust the instructors who are responsible if sotnething is wrong. For that reason, before presenting the candidates the instructors must check them well. Particularly for Vajra Dance we are still cor-
recting some 1novements; for that reason some people say that we are always changing. We are not changing, but fron1 the be ginning until now we hadn't enough time to establish all the aspects precisely. I an1 the only person who prepared all that was necessary for Vajra Dance and Yantra Yoga. Now we are checking the original books and son1etimes we can find smne thing that should be corrected. So there is no reason to be sur prised. We are not changing anything; we are correcting what is wrong.
Now we do Yantra Yoga examinations. You know that Yan tra Yoga is the first teaching I taught many years ago before giving Dzogchen teaching. Yantra Yoga teaching developed gradually; so now we have n1any students who are more or less expert and who are teaching it. We have two principal instructors. We worked together and checked all the n1ove1nents. For that reason I asked all Yantra Yoga practitioners, also who had already given lessons, to check their knowledge again with these two instructors. It doesn't mean that we are doing a kind of bureaucracy, but it is important that we don't create different ways of doing Yantra Yoga. That is very important also for Vajra Dance, because people always add or change something and then we have many schools and traditions. You already know that after Buddha's Paranirvana many schools and traditions arose. That is an example, because in the human condition we have so many limitations and a very strong ego. For that reason I checked and controlled n1any times
the two instructors and later I considered them teachers ofYan tra Yoga and of course I trust them. I cannot check every practitioner who is teaching Yantra Yoga; so these two n1ain instructors are responsible to check how other practitioners learn, apply and communicate. The two instruc tors introduce the candidates to me, and I give the1n the pennis sion to teach. This is our way to proceed. So far the Dzogchen Community is going ahead with me, because I am still alive; you know that. But when I will disap pear fron1 this world, the Dzogchen Comtnunity 1nust not dis appear. How will it continue? I am not saying that in the Dzog chen Community everything is negative; in the Dzogchen Com nlunity there are also 1nany good things that are progressing. I couldn't say everything is negative, but I couldn't say every thing is positive because that is the nature of our human condi tion. Reme1nber what Nagmjuna explained, "If there is trashima there is also nanagma" : where there is fortune, there is also tnisfortune. But what should we do? In the Dzogchen Teaching we try to be aware and do our best; this is what we apply, but not only through words; it must be son1ething concrete. For that reason, as I already said, I mn not satisfied with the answers to the first questions. Maybe you considered that only the second question was important. For replying to the second question you cm1 find very precise explanations in the First Level book; there is no question you couldn't find an answer there. Maybe you do not know how to study. When we study a book, for exan1ple, if there are ten different topics firstly we n1ust understand in gen eral all the topics, and then we study each one of them in a detailed way. But most of the candidates didn't reply to what I asked; they invented the answers by then1selves comparing
Dzogchen to Sutra or Tantra. I didn't ask that, so how can I be satisfied? For example when I asked the point of view, I didn't ask what is the method of 1neditation. If I would ask the point of view and its application, then you must explain also how we do practice. But Mahayoga is Mahayoga, Anuyoga is Anuyoga. If you are doing Santi Maha Sangha Training only to develop your knowledge, to have a better base of the teaching, that is another circumstance which is a little different. But here you are pre senting for Teachers' Training. That means you want to be a teacher. You should think a bit about it; if you want to be a teacher you must be prepared. You don't need to study many volutnes or to deepen particu larly your knowledge like when I studied philosophy in Tibet; but at least you must study the books I prepared for each level of the Santi Maha Sangha Training, starting with the Base, First Level, Second Level etc. If you learn well, then you can also understand why I asked the first question. For that reason I am really sorry; even if we tried for many hours with n1any candi dates, I cannot just say O.K., because I have the responsibility of maintaining the knowledge of the teaching. For me Santi Maha Sangha Teachers' Training is so1nething very serious, and so you n1ust do it seriously. That 1neans you must prepare very well and really feel it is important; then you present yourselves. Particularly for the future, if you want to present again for this Teachers' Training of the Base, First or Second Level, please prepare well. If you aren't well prepared, or are not sure of yourself, don't apply for it. It is very sad for n1e, n1aybe also for you. I run not happy when son1eone presents himself and doesn't pass. If son1eone doesn't present himself, there is no problen1; but if son1eone presents himself and is not
prepared, it may appear that I am very strict. But what should I do? I don't want to explain individually the exam for each of these eight persons; but if you want you can read all that I wrote in this exercise-book of the examination training. If you want to verify personally if it is true that you didn't replied precisely, you can listen again to the recording: which was my question and if your answer corresponded or not. If you like you can also check in the book of Santi Maha Sangha First Level. I consider that three people can pass, not eight; but also in this case, as I said yesterday, I am not satisfied; I am sorry. I thought the candidates had a clearer idea of the first question because it is very important. No one of you has replied to the first question in a satisfactory way. I didn't ask to introduce yourselves. O.K., this is the fruit of our Santi Maha Sangha Teachers' Training. We should try to do our best for the future. I consider Santi Maha Sangha Teachers' Training something very serious and important. You know in this world we have many Dzog chen Community places and many practitioners. We haven't only the principle of the organization; the main point is the prin ciple of the teaching and of the knowledge. For example, you see, we are getting older and older every day. Son1etimes when I meet sotneone, even after one day, it seen1s to me he is getting a little older. Why? Because we live in time and time goes ahead. What do we do when we get older and older? Fortunately we are practitioners: we have a path, we have a special path, the Dzogchen Teaching. We know how to apply and how to inte grate that knowledge because we received the transmission. Even if we are getting older we are not too worried because we have the Dzogchen Teaching. But you see: in this world many people,
when they get old, only wait for their death. That is not nice. One of the most important aspects for Dzogchen Community people is understanding how n1uch the Dzogchen Community is important: that is your fortune, n1y fortune, our fortune. So we know that point, we take care of it and we do our best. You can reflect a bit on how in1portant the Dzogchen COI11mun1ty is for the continuation of the teaching, particularly for our future generations. So we do our best and go ahead in that way.
NovEM BER 29TH
We arrived at the end of this Teachers' Training; there is not very much to do now, but it doesn't tnean that today our Teach ers' Training ends forever. We always continue because we tnust be aware of what exists the day after and so we' 11 do our best for the future. We must work with circu1nstances. Working with circum stances means that we live in this world, in this time; I am try ing to transmit Dzogchen teaching and you learn. The main point of the Dzogchen Community is taking care of the transmission, of the continuation of the teaching. Many people have the idea that the Dzogchen Community is just one of the hundreds of Dhanna centers existing in the world. That is a wrong vision. I always said that the Dzogchen Community is not only a kind of Dharma center; for that reason we are learning and we are deep ening the Santi Maha Sangha project. Santi Maha Sangha means Dzogchen Community; there are people who follow the teach ings for years, trying to understand, to apply, to learn. But of course there is no guarantee that after ten years you know any thing. The years always pass. Some people think about doing a re treat ofthree years, three tnonths, three weeks, three days, three hours; in this way they think to become realized ones, enlight ened. But three years pass very quickly and realization does not manifest. When we learn and do practice something similar may happen; it seems there isn't any progress. In this case I ask ev erybody, "Observe yourself j ust a little". I don't say, "You fol lowed the teaching for many years and now you are realized".
But if you have less problems in this society, less tensions, that is a kind of realization of the teaching, a fruit of your practice. The passing of years is not enough; the realization depends on your way of working. For example many people ask, "How long do we need to practice Shine to obtain the realization of the stable Shine?" No one can decide. Perhaps you need one week, one n1onth, one year; it depends on you. Firstly you must understand how you should do Shine fixation. Why we do fixation? Which is the purpose? If we understand and work correctly, n1aybe we can realize also in one day; maybe we can realize after few days. But if you don't understand, the practice takes long titne, also years and years. That it is an exatnple. When I was in the college I studied philosophy, the way to see and to establish the point of view, etc. Once our teacher gave us the practice of Shine related to the three visions in the Sakyapa tradition. So, to do fixation, we had to gaze at a blue flower put in front of us; whereas in Dzogchen Setnde we use a white A. Why blue colour? The reason is that blue color doesn't disturb our eyes. When the teacher explained I only understood to look at the blue flower; I didn't understand we had to do the fixation for controlling our thoughts etc. When I did the prac tice I put a blue flower on the wall and I looked at it but I didn't understand what should I do. For not having different thoughts I thought all the time, "Oh, there is a blue flower, there is a blue flower, there is a blue flower". That is an example. I didn't real ize stable Shine because I didn't understood. You see how is itnportant that we really know what we are lean1ing. For example, in Dzogchen Sen1de we practice Shine fixat ing on the white A very sharply so that thoughts do not mani fest. We do not think, �'I don't want thoughts". When we relax
the thoughts arise again and in that n1o1nent we can discover which kind of thoughts we have. Sometitnes we have strong thoughts which distract us; in that case we do the fixation more sharply. If there is no problem, we relax. This is a useful method to re-educate our mind and to obtain stable Shine. We need to understand it concretely. Similarly we must learn a bit what is the real sense of the Santi Maha Sangha. People don't care very much and think that the Con1munity is a kind of organization. Organization is rela tive; for example if you want to sleep sotnewhere for a night, you should prepare something. Maybe there are same snakes or dangerous anilnals, so you must be aware working with cir cumstances. That's why we need at least a bit of organization. Of course the organization isn't the main point of the Dzogchen teaching. When I presented my project to coordinate the Dzog chen Community and the Gakyils, some people were really up set and told me, "You said that the Dzogchen Community doesn't need any organization, and now you are going to do it: that is a contradiction". But I know very well that we live in this world, we need to eat, we need to sleep, we need to do everything like normal human beings till we becotne Mahasiddhas. But becon1ing a Mahasiddha isn't so easy. So we must be concrete and aware, working with circumstances. Being aware means knowing how the circumstances are. So, when you meet together, rather than chattering it is better you discuss and study a little about the real meaning of Santi Maha Sangha and how important is the Dzogchen Co1nmunity. If the Dzogchen Community had not been created, then what would be our condition now? A filn1 tells the story of a lady in a railway station. And depending on the chance that she is tak-
ing the train or not, her story continues in different places where she 1neets different people, different situations, etc. Our condi tion is quite the san1e because of our karma, of secondary causes related with circumstances. For exatnple if I had not con1e to Italy but had gone to Japan or remained in Tibet or India, the Dzogchen Cmnmunity would not now exist in the western world. In that case where would you be now? What would you do now? Reflect just a little. The Dzogchen Con1munity is very inlpor tant and it is related with the teaching and the transmission. You tnust try to understand this, deepening your knowledge. When I asked these questions for the Santi Maha Sangha First Level exrunination most people didn't reply. Someone said, "Of course I take care because I am in the Dzogchen Commu nity". But that is not enough; you n1ust understand what is the Dzogchen Community and what its importance is. If you don't reply that means you had never reflected on it. If you never reflected on it, that means you never understood its function and you are indifferent if the Dzogchen Community exists or not. For you a Dharn1a center and the Dzogchen Cotnnumity are the sa1ne thing, and that is not good. Even if you do not do any Teachers' Training you must rec ognize the value of the Dzogchen Con1munity. If you becotne a member of the Gakyil in a Ling, it is very important you under stand why you are doing it, what you are doing, how you are really contributing. Otherwise you think, "Oh, sotneone asked Ine to be a Gakyil member, I am taking this responsibility, I do my best. . . ". That is not enough. You must feel that it is impor tant. I say all these things on the base of my own experience. I am asking you, "Please, try to do your best." Of course I always say that we are Dzogchen practitioners, and so we try to integrate our body, speech and mind, our time,
everything, with Guruyoga. What does it mean dealing with Guruyoga? It n1eans dealing with transmission. Transmission n1eans that now you understand how to discover your real po tentiality. If you have not discovered it yet, you try to discover. Day after day you do practice, you work with practice, etc. This is the purpose. But also discovering isn't enough. Some people say, "Oh, yes, now I discovered there is no difference between n1e and Satnantabhadra or Vaj rasattva". That is true; if yoti are in your real nature there is no difference. But you are not always in that state and you show you have problems because every day you say, "Oh, I have a problem, what should I do?" Manifesting probletns means that we are not in our real condition. In this case we need to do practice and we should deal with Guruyoga, the state of transmission, developing it, so that we become more and tnore familiar with this state. If you have realization I will receive less e-mails. For ex ample I got up this morning at three o'clock and there :were 79 e-n1ails to reply. I worked till six o'clock but there are still 54 e mails to reply. What are people asking about? Always about their problems; no one says, "I have no problem". Finally I un derstood, "Oh, tny students are still not realized; at least they are not really integrated". If they were integrated of course their problems wouldn't increase. You see, this is a nice example: remen1ber it. I am not saying that a practitioner cannot have problems; you can always have problems. But if you feel that all your problems are heavy, that means you are not integrated with your practice. Of course, even if we have so many problems we should do our best in every circumstance. It doesn't mean that you don't care, thinking "Oh, I am a practitioner, that problem isn't im-
potiant, I tlu·ow it away". In this case you are not aware; you don't know how you should work with circtunstances. But there is a way of working with circun1stances: you don't charge and create proble1ns for yourself. This is a good sign for a practitio ner. Try to work following this method and if you are succeed ing also your social life will become easier. For that reason I always says, "Try to do Guruyoga prac tice." For a Dzogchen practitioner there is an easy way to do Guruyoga: if there is the possibility we sound A and we do the visualization of the white A in a thigle and then we relax in that state. I an1 not asking you to do the Long, Medium or Short Thun if you do not have this possibility. Some people say, "Oh, I an1 a Dzogchen practitioner; I don't like Anuyoga practices, the transfo1mation and ritual things." And they refuse to do these kinds of practices. Other people say, "Oh, that looks like a religion". They have a kind of rej ec tion of religion. But there is no reason to reject anything. Kun tuzangpo means ' everything is fine ' , because we do not need to reject anything. Of course we should work with circutnstances because we are living in circutnstances. So we do our best, not rej ecting anything. This is an example; we should work with circumstances pay ing respect to each other; that is connected with our samaya commitment. Paying respect to all sentient beings is fantastic, but at least you should pay respect to and collaborate with the followers of the teaching, who are related to you with the sanla ya commitn1ent, the transmission. As I always say, "We are in the same boat. We have many proble1ns, but we must never lack awareness. Many practitioners think, "Oh, I an1 a practitio ner; my practice is perfect," but then they don't pay respect to each other. Some people have the relationship of husband and
wife. Of course when they have positive emotions they feel very fine and there is no problem. But emotions are not stable and so day after day and year after year their feelings change. Now they discover the defects of the pat1ner and think, "My husband is full of defects, my wife is full of defects, we couldn't stay together". But they have followed the teaching; they have received the same trans1nission together from the same teacher. They are related with the Vajra transmission, but they don't con sider it is important. They only consider the relationship of wife and husband. So now they are becoming enemies and criticize each other. Think just a little; is it correct or not? Do they un derstand that they are creating problems to their samaya now? Where is their practice now? How can they consider that it is correct? Now their practice is not correct at all. So that means their awareness is lacking because they don't work with cir cutnstances. I don't say that husband and wife cannot separate. In the beginning it was very con1fortable to sleep together in the same bed, but now sleeping in one bed becotnes not so comfo11able, and also being in the same room or in the same house. So, you see, now they decide to separate. It is easier to separate when you have no children. Indeed children cannot live without fa ther and mother and if their parents separate what will they do? They feel bad. A child loves the n1other, but the father too. And now what can they do? Egoistically father and 1nother are fighting each other and say, "Oh, the children must live with me". It seetns that the children are only obj ects; but children understand what is going on and have very sorrowful feelings. That is wrong. So, you tnust be aware and pay respect to each other. If you want to separate, you can separate, but you must remetnber your Vajra
relationship. You must not fight each other, because there is also the relationship with your children. In any case you n1ust pay respect to each other and understand that each person has their own dimension, and you must pay respect to it. Also when you teach and communicate to people it is very important that you know what are the feelings of people. If sonle one is seriously interested and asks you to teach, you can teach if you have a perfect and unlimited condition. Ren1ember to be very precise while teaching, because teaching is related with transmission; for that reason you must not invent or tnix differ ent topics as university professors do. University professors don't care for transtnission because they haven't any idea about it and so they can write and talk in an intellectual way without any problem. But people who follow the teaching are related to transn1ission; for that reason you must explain in a perfect way, otherwise you create many problems. Firstly a teacher can have problems with guardians. Guard ians protect practitioners who have received the transmission. But if people are creating problems with the transmission it is not good, the guardians are not happy and punish them. So, we must be aware and we must try to do our best when we work with the teaching. If there is the possibility we can teach. But if we have no transmission and no knowledge, it is better that we don't do like university professors. It is very in1portant that you remember that. It is also very important to do collective practices, according to the circun1stances, not in a litnited way. For exmnple each Gar and Ling has a schedule so that practitioners can gather to practice together. If you want you can participate. Collective practices are very useful, firstly for learning how to do practice, secondly to increase your knowledge. When we are alone it is
easier to be distracted and so our spiritual feeling can decrease. is very ilnpot1ant to do our best and be aware. I think these advices can be useful for everybody. It
INDEX OF TIBETAN WORDS
Chapa Chorten Derge Gonchen Dorj e Legpa Drugpa Kun leg Dzogchen
spyod pa 3 9
mchod tien 2 8
sde dge dgon chen 1 0 rdo rj e l egs pa 3 9
' brug p a kun l egs 3 5
rdzogs chen 6, 1 0, 1 1 , 1 7, 20, 3 3 , 34,
3 7, 3 9, 40, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 5 3 , 5 5 , 5 6, 5 7, 5 8, 59, 60, 6 1 , 62, 63, 65
Dzogri m Gakyi l
rdzogs ri m 1 7, 20
dga' ' khyi l 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 62, 63
Garab Dorj e
dga' rab rdo rj e 1 1
sgom pa 3 9
G uru Tragphu r
gu ru drag phur 6 , 7 , 1 0, 1 3 , 1 4, 2 6 , 29,
3 0, 3 9
J ordrug Khyentse Kunsangar Lama N gach upa Lamdre
sbyor drug 1 7 mkhyen brtse 2 1
kun bzang sgar 445 , 46, 47 bla ma l nga bcu pa 27, 2 8 l am ' bras 1 7
Longsal Nyingth i g
klong gsal snying thig 3 9
dung bsang 2 1
Namkhai N orbu
nam mkha' i n or bu 1 2, 1 3 , 46, 5 0
s n a nag m a 5 6
s a skya pa 1 7, 6 1
sems sde 6 1
zh i gnas 6 1 , 62
6, 7, 1 0, 1 3 , 1 4, 1 6, 26, 3 9 thang k a 2 7
thig le 65
Thun Togden Ogyen Tendzin Trash ima Tsalung Tsegyalgar
thu n 9, 20, 2 1 , 6 5 rtogs I dan o rgyan bstan ' dzin 2 0 bkra s h i s ma 56 11sa rl ung 1 7 rtse rgyal sgar 23, 3 6, 4 1
y e shes mtso rgyal 29 yi dam 20