This beautiful thangka painting of the 10th Shamarpa Mipham Chodrup Gyamtso (1742-1792), in the Karma Gardri style of Eastern Tibet, was painted in the middle of the 18th Century, and is currently on display at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
Archive for June, 2011
Today, 15 June 2011, is “Saga Dawa Düchen”, the full moon day on which the birth, enlightenment and passing into Parinirvana of the Buddha is celebrated in Tibetan Buddhism.
“Saga Dawa” is the entire fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, which usually begins in May and ends in June. The seventh day of Saga Dawa is the date of the historical Buddha’s birth. However, the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and entry into Parinirvana at his death are observed together on the 15th day of Saga Dawa, called Saga Dawa Düchen. This is the single most important holiday in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Saga means “million”; Dawa means “moon”, so the “million multiplier”’ month is what it denotes. For all our activities, positive or negative, in each and every day of this auspicious month will be multiplied a million times. “Düchen” means “great occasion”, and it is said that on this day the effects of actions – positive or negative – are multiplied 10 million times. We encourage those of you who support the development of Buddhism in the UK to especially make wishes at this time for the success of the New London Buddhist Centre project!
Gazing intently into the empty sky, vision ceases;
Likewise, when mind gazes into mind itself,
The train of discursive and conceptual thought ends
And supreme enlightenment is gained.
- Tilopa (988-1069)
From: Tilopa’s Mahamudra Instruction to Naropa in Twenty Eight Verses Translated by Keith Dowman)
Q: Some dharma practitioners face life challenges such as being jobless and experiencing business downfall which affect their daily life as a practitioner. In this situation, which should come first? Dharma or business?
A: Firstly, you should try to understand what is Dharma or at least to understand the Dharma as a mental development and how to place the mind correctly with awareness and wisdom. With this understanding, one’s business or work will not be hindered and instead one will succeed greatly. It is said by the Buddha that the nature of all phenomena arises from the mind and so the mind is the primary and initiator of everything. If our mind is pure or clean from defilements, whether one talks or does anything, one will gain blissfulness. If our mind is pure and clear, then you will be able to perform every piece of work well and that includes your business, daily activities and handling of people.
“The Mahamudra path is called the path to liberation. If you are able to practice and when you realize the Mahamudra instructions that you are receiving, you will have achieved liberation. One must be a proper vessel, though, i.e., one needs to be a qualified disciple who is capable of receiving these profound instructions without distorting them.