Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Reverend Jim Jones--Jonestown: The Peoples Temple Mass Suicide/Death 1978

Reverend Jim Jones--Jonestown: The Peoples Temple Mass Suicide/Death 1978

Hello everybody. I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying your day. We had a few fires on the Fourth of July. This was due to the carelessness of people using fireworks too close to homes and dry woods. Here in Florida I don’t have to tell you we’re hitting heat factors over 100°. When you walk outside and get in your car and get it started and by the time the air is somewhat cooled down you are most likely drenched in sweat. It’s awful! Especially if you’re oily anyway like I am. I have always struggled with that but from what I hear it helps slow down the aging process but who knows. I’ve gotten completely off the subject friends. Lol. Please forgive me. ADHD slips through now and then.

James Warren Jones was an American cult leader. He started what he called the Peoples Temple, originally located in Indiana. Then in the 1960s, he moved the Peoples Temple to San Francisco, California. He gained quite a bit of notoriety when the Peoples Temple moved to San Francisco in the early 1970s. He was the head and dictator for leading the 1978 mass murder-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana, 918 members of his Temple including 276 children, were found dead by drinking cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. Many say Jim Jones is one of the prominent psychopaths in American history. The motive of the mass revolutionary suicide, (he had a unhealthy obsession with death when he was young and as an adult.) Revolutionary suicide I’ll have to explain in another blog. Anyway, according to Jim Jones himself, he wanted to  "protest the conditions of an inhumane world." Jones is thought to have shot himself in the head at the final stage of the mass suicide. He was found dead at the scene with a gunshot wound on the back of his head. Let’s not forget he was also responsible for the death of those visitors including Congressman Leo Ryan, was making a visit to Jonestown Temple to investigate human rights violation complaints against Jim Jones. Jones had six adoptive children and one biological child with his wife, Marcy. 

I’m going to use this particular cult as an example because it is based on Christianity. Exactly what I believe in. I have no illusions that all religions and beliefs can go too far. Or there is always somebody that just takes it too far as I said in my last blog. The Jonestown event is a great but heartbreaking example of that. Any religion or personal beliefs can get radical and this was one of them. I stipulated in my last blog I would write about Jonestown and Reverend Jim Jones a little further and explain. There are a lot of YouTube videos for you to watch, if you'd like. There are a lot of different tapes he purposely recorded himself to leave behind for everybody to hear. Typical narcissistic psychopath, in my opinion. There was a loudspeaker that played they said almost 24/7, using fear and mind control. Can you imagine hearing somebody go on and on and on? He did this while they slept! The people who were part of his cult were underfed and overworked. I bet the devil was sure dancing when that horrible event took place that day. This man was very cruel he was NO prophet of God. That’s why the Bible tells us to be aware of these false prophets. Many will try and claim this. title.

I’m certainly not exaggerating on anything I say. There were tapes found. He recorded that very violent event that was all over the news. Jim Warren Jones truly was disturbed... a very sick man. Sick with power. He was having sexual relations with men, women and even the young teenagers. When you’re in that kind of position you should not be getting intimate with anybody in your congregation but your wife. From what I understand, she turned a blind eye to all his sexual escapades. Just like with many others, and the human race in general, eventually his ego became so big as his power kept rising. That’s what initially caused him to go dark in the first place, in my humble opinion. It takes a special kind of person to be in that type of position. It’s a calling by God to be in that kind of leadership. It’s not for everybody. There are many temptations and the enemy is just waiting for that person to make a mistake. Or have a weak moment in time.

Let’s discuss from my research about what kind of childhood he had. A lot of times with people like this they don’t always have a bad childhood. But Reverend Jones had a raging alcoholic for a father. His mother would send him to vacation Bible school to help, I guess trying to shelter him from his father. But Jim Jones took to Bible study with great joy. He was never seen without his Bible. As a ten-year-old, they said he would give funerals to all the animals that would die in the neighborhood. But what’s very disturbing is that a girl who grew up with him and was latern interviewed, alluded to the fact that he killed a couple of animals just to be able to give them funerals. She mentioned he was always an "odd duck" for lack of better words.

He was a very handsome man. Also very charismatic. He had, I believe, that southern drawl similar to Elvis Presley. He just had a way with people and making them feel good and wanted, and loved. On the plus side, he was big into civil rights to stop segregation. He could’ve done so many wonderful things. That’s what makes me so sad. He was on the right track for a while. He even had the respect from some political figures at one time. And other people of that nature. The more everybody revered him because there was nobody else like him at that time in the Bible Belt community.  Sticking up for civil rights and speaking their mind whether you like it or not. No matter who you were. You have to remember it started in the 1950s and ended in the 70s.

Once he was able to move The Peoples Temple to Guyana, almost 1000 members followed him. In the United States people were starting to catch on to what was spreading around from former temple members that something wasn’t right. There would be public punishments in front of the whole congregation, slapping people and so-called beatings. There were very concerned family members. They just really wanted to get the other family members out. But he used fear to brainwash these people. In November 1978, the Congressman from California, Leo Ryan, along with other delegattes, the media, and concerned relatives flew to Guyana to see exactly what was going on.

Jim Jones ordered his death and everybody with him along with the people who left Jonestown. Fifteen people left and he couldn’t handle it. To him, that was a betrayal. The Congressman‘s assistant survived and I believe two cameramen from NBC as well. There were other survivors that were able to run into the jungle in the middle of the chaos, avoiding detecton. Thank God! Jim Jones had men surrounding that compound with a variety of military type guns. It was said that he even had grenades; however, I can’t confirm those allegations. But it wouldn’t surprise me. How did he get past U.S customs with cyanide and all those guns? That’s something that they never figured out, or maybe not telling. It could go either way. The point is the survivors and their families of the non-survivors still hurt very much over this. How do you get over a mass murder like that? I know some did drink the poisoned punch willingly but not all 274 children did. They did not have a choice. It’s heartbreaking.

People who are brainwashed and will kill at any moment people who would kill their own family members. This is how badly brainwashed they became a little at a time. Jones said they were all going to be in so much trouble. He told them since the congressman was dead, they would be back to torture the babies and kill all of them. Which was a huge lie. He lied to them and said that they had to shoot in self-defense. He didn’t tell them that they shot them all down -- he left that part out. He had them thinking people were going to come back to torture their babies and put them in prison because the the congressman and his group was shot.

In conclusion, this is an example where any religion can go radical or there’s always somebody your small group that takes it too far. Sadly this was one of those events.


Written by Jennifer Auld

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Dalai Lama Meets with Educators to Discuss 'Human Education in the 3rd Millennium'

Meeting with Educators Discussing ‘Human Education in the 3rd Millennium’

Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, India - This morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with 15 educators from India, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Finland, USA, Australia, Bangladesh, Britain, and Russia, who are participating in an initial roundtable conference on the theme, ‘Human Education in the 3rd Millennium’.

After His Holiness had entered the room and asked everyone present to relax, Project Coordinator, Margarita Kozhevnikova explained that the present conference was in preparation for a world forum about education. She outlined four areas of interest: education policy, being human, education for democracy and human oriented education. She introduced Scott Webster who was to moderate the morning session. He summarized what had been discussed so far.

He told His Holiness that as far as educators are concerned, things are getting worse. Schools and universities are increasingly focussing on training students in skills for jobs. Human flourishing is not addressed. If values come up, it’s only in relation to work and being a worker as opposed to being a human being. Education is being reduced to what can be measured. Teachers find they are unable to be creative so the opportunity to provide human education is lost. The policies that govern this are written by governments or by businessmen, not by professional educators.

There is a consensus among educators that there is more to being human than being an economic unit as a worker or consumer. Knowledge and skills have a role, but there is a need for values too. Following their discussions, participants in the meeting say there is a need to take action.

With regard to democracy, it seems to represent human freedom with dignity, justice and inclusiveness. It’s a moral way of living that is coming under attack in the face of rising populism and nationalism, which tend to be exclusionary. Teachers are eager to see democracy restored and strengthened.

In terms of pedagogy and how students develop, participants have noted that questioning can help us become better human beings.

Webster asked His Holiness how education policy might be challenged, what it means to be human, whether he thinks democracy represents human flourishing and what it means to be an educator.

“If education is supposed to have produced individuals living a happy life, in happy communities, in a happy world, it seems to have failed,” His Holiness replied. “We all want to live a happy life and yet every day on the television we can see people facing problems. There are unthinkable conflicts in the name of religion.

“Before they enter the education system young children’s basic human nature is fresh. They don’t care about their playmates’ religious, racial or national background. Their basic outlook is compassionate.
“Children survive because of their mother’s kindness and concern, which gives them a lifelong sense of security. Because we are social creatures, individuals survive in dependence on a group. However, once children go to school not much attention is paid to basic human values.

“Modern education evolved in the West with the emergence of the industrial revolution and a greater need for people to understand maths and science. Its goals tend to be materialistic, with little concern for peace of mind. Students are not taught how to tackle their anger, fear or anxiety. In the absence of any other solution, they turn to drugs and alcohol for relief. We teach physical hygiene from an early age. There seems to be a need for a corresponding sense of emotional hygiene. You can make a simple beginning by asking children if they prefer to see smiles or frowns.

“Pursuing self-interest is legitimate, but we need to be wisely rather than foolishly self-interested. To be happy we need a positive attitude and the best way of doing this is to show concern for others—to take care of other members of the community. Education should explain how to develop peace of mind and maintain inner strength.

“In India we have the traditions of ‘ahimsa’ and ‘karuna’ and the practices for cultivating a calmly abiding mind and insight, ‘shamatha’ and ‘vipashyana’—mind is important. Not just on a sensory level but on the level of mental consciousness. Anger and fear arise on a mental level. If we had a map of the mind, a map of the emotions, we’d understand the workings of the mind much better and we’d be able to tackle our negative emotions.

“What destroys our peace of mind is anger, fear and self-centredness. The quantum physics observation that nothing exists as it appears, which corresponds to what Nagarjuna taught, can help loosen the grip of these negative emotions. I’m 84 now and I’ve thought about the wisdom understanding emptiness, compassion and cultivating infinite love for 70 years. I find this very helpful in securing peace of mind. And although instructions about these things are to be found in religious texts they can be regarded as means to better health and studied objectively in an academic way.

“When the education system is focussed on materialistic goals, as modern education too often is, those brought up under it tend to follow a materialistic way of life. In India I am trying to revive interest in the ancient understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions. I hope that in the long run India will be able to combine this ancient knowledge with modern education. If we can train teachers to promote ‘ahimsa’ and ‘karuna’, we can make a significant contribution to a more peaceful world. They can also learn that it’s possible to cultivate love and compassion through the application of intelligence based on scientific findings and common sense.

“This kind of meeting confirms that modern education is not sufficient. And for that reason I hope discussions will continue into the future.”

Responding to questions, His Holiness pointed out that democracy is rooted in having a sense of concern for others and respecting their views, similar to the concern a teacher has for her students. He confirmed that since human beings need to live together like brothers and sisters, the proper way to settle conflicts is to engage in dialogue and avoid violence and the use of force.

Acknowledging how serious global heating and the climate crisis is, His Holiness reported that a Chinese ecologist had suggested to him that after another 80 years the world will be like a desert. He noted that water resources are already diminishing alarmingly. He confirmed that solutions will involve everybody modifying their life-style, abandoning fossil fuels and turning to renewable sources of energy.

“Humanity is one community,” he declared, “and we have to use our intelligence to take care of each other. For democracy to succeed will depend on our motivation and employing our brilliant intelligence with warm-heartedness.”

Bringing the session to a close, Margarita Kozhevnikova mentioned that many educators want to impart human values to their students, but find little room in the curriculum in the system as it is. They are prevailed upon instead to provide measurable results in the form of high test and exam results.

The Ven Samdhong Rinpoché was pleased to share with the gathering that permission has been given for the launch of a six month teacher training course in ancient Indian wisdom in conjunction with Dharamsala College. There will also be 2-3 days training workshops to make them more familiar with secular ethics. It is hoped that 2000 teachers will benefit. Plans are underway to introduce elements of ancient Indian wisdom in schools from KG up to class 8.

Margarita Kozhevnikova thanked His Holiness for taking time to speak to the conference participants. Thanking her in turn for organizing the meeting, he told her that he regards Russia as bridge between East and West. He concluded that to build a better more peaceful world, we need to use our intelligence for peaceful goals rather than for producing ever more sophisticated weapons.

His Holiness invited all the participants and observers to join him for lunch.

Original link & photos: https://www.dalailama.com/news/2019/meeting-with-educators-discussing-human-education-in-the-3rd-millennium

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Witchcraft And The Occult On The Rise


Before I start, I would like to say that this is not targeting anybody of any religion whether I agree with it or not. Everybody has the right to believe in what they want to believe in. I respect that. As I’ve said many times I go at it with a biblical point of view. But I do not tear down what others believe in. I’m not perfect, no one is. And on the other side of that I will never deny or be ashamed of giving my heart and soul over to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. That doesn’t require being perfect. You’re allowed to still love Jesus whether you’re perfect or not. But no one is perfect. However, no matter what they do, if they repent God forgives. You can’t tell somebody they still can’t love the Lord Jesus Christ because of mistakes they made. That’s completely ridiculous. If they are in a leadership type of position that’s a different story.

I know that there are Wiccans that mean well. They want peace and joy and are genuinely kind people that have their personal beliefs. I spoke to one for about 25 minutes before I wrote this blog. They want peace. Just like any type of group or society or religion you’re going to have your radicals. Just like in politics. That’s a good example to use. You know someone going dark. Taking it too far. There are ‘Christian witches’ (oxymoron) now.  I received a couple of emails asking me if that was in the Bible, and it’s not. Christians that were also witches but for doing good. That will be a whole other blog that I intend to explain into further details about that. I’m seeing more and more of that as well.

I’m nondenominational. I believe in what the King James Bible says. So I guess you would call that Christian. I’m not a member of any church. In my humble opinion the churches just preach and preach about things that really make them look bad. A lot of them hardly read out of the Bible. They promise crazy things if you send them money and what happens is that leaves a bad taste in people‘s mouth, as it should. But it ruins it for the people who are honest and their church uses those resources to help feed the hungry or when there’s disasters like hurricanes and things of that nature. But there are still good churches around, don’t get me wrong, but it’s mainly turning into this new age from what I have been told.

Here’s a little information on a Christian Minister who took his beliefs way too far. Jim Jones was a man who was responsible for, I think, about 912 people who drank poisoned Kool-Aid. It was a mass suicide in the name of God. He wasn’t stable mentally. He took his beliefs way too far and wanted to be like God. He wanted to be worshiped and revered. Doesn’t that sound familiar? That’s exactly what Lucifer did in heaven. That 1979 event was the origin where that phrase was coined. ‘don’t drink the Kool-Aid’. I think. I will actually be blogging about that in more detail very soon. I just wanted to use Christianity as an example. I have no illusions, denominations just divide people. And I know some people in the church are very corrupt. Some of these churches are not safe anymore. They are cherry picking out of the Bible to their convenience. Or even worse, rewording it. They need to be preaching the word of God and explaining the end times. They need to dig into the Bible and try to save as many souls as possible. Yes, people should tithe, I believe you should give what you can. That helps them feed the hungry and help out in disasters, that’s the reason why. To do God's work.

There are so many accounts of evil spirits in scripture to really affirm the reality of powerful spiritual forces of evil and wickedness. Evil spirits (also known as demons or devils), are depraved and quite familiar with our human weaknesses and desires. They know them very well. Some are more vile than others. It is said that evil spirits speak to all of us to inject ungodly beliefs into us. These are thoughts that steer us away from our relationship in and with Jesus Christ.

YouTube is full of HUGE resources on how to summon demons, cast dark spells, blood atonement, etc. Some of you may not understand what blood atonement means. That is another topic that I will go into and explain. If I try to explain it now it would get too far away with our original subject. But it really blew my mind -- with just a few words I typed into the search engine generated all of this stuff and everything related to it. There are satanic temples being built. The  first one is in Boston. With a very large baphomet statue in the front. It will also show people doing stuff on camera going into places or playing with ouija boards and that is just opening the door to possible negative activity.

There is a gentleman who has a YouTube channel with a large following, I won't mention his name as I do not want to advertise for him, but he is showing step-by-step instructions on how to do all kinds of rituals. A lot of them have to do with summoning Satan and all kinds of demons. This individual has many viewers backing up his beliefs. They have the right, and he has the right to believe in that. I am just pointing out how easy it is to gain access to dangerous information. This person even showed how to do a revenge ritual and he even warns ‘be careful that you are mentally capable to handle any bad consequences you send that person's way, including death.’ This man has such a huge following and support. He claims to work with a lot of demons. He does demonstrations in the desert, in the woods... in different places. And thousands watch. And how many try to emulate it? God only knows.

This is scary. And it’s not getting any better, it’s getting worse. There are so many things out there to target the youth or anyone who is interested. They’re already trying to push pedophilia on people. They’re trying to groom us, by normalizing pedophilia. They want us to think ‘God pedophiles have been around for years’ (pedosexual is another term they prefer). They may not see it as a present danger. And all this blood atonement is quite real. As I said in any religion or belief things can go too far and go radical. There’s always somebody that will take it too far. You can count on it.

I feel like I need a shower after my researches. For real! There’s only so much I can research in a day without it really taking an emotional toll. That’s why I do it in increments. And when I’m done, I don’t think about that subject and I go on about things till it’s time for me to research and write a blog. I can’t dwell on it. If I did I’d go crazy. People need to be aware of it. Which is why I've written this blog and am writing many more--to help spread light and truth in these dark times.

Written By Jennifer Auld

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Dalai Lama Meets with Iranian Business People

Meeting Members of a Group from Iran


Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, HP, India - At his residence this morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama met 58 members of Iranian  CEOs of small and medium sized enterprises who describe themselves as messengers of peace. As His Holiness entered the room they greeted him with friendly applause.

“I’m very happy to meet people from Iran,” he told them. “Some people are suspicious of Iranians, but I recall that there are reports of links between Tibet and Persia during the time of King Songtsen Gampo during the 7th century. And whereas Persians were described as rich, the Mongolians were referred to as war-like.

“I have certain commitments. As just one among 7 billion human beings, who all want to live a happy life, I’m committed to helping people understand that this can be achieved if they cultivate a calm, happy mind based on love and compassion. Simply put, if you can be compassionate and warm-hearted, you’ll be happy.

“Secondly, as a Buddhist monk I feel a moral responsibility to promote inter-religious harmony. On a philosophical level there are all sorts of differences between religious traditions, but the common message of them all is the importance of cultivating love. I’m convinced that religious harmony is possible—look at India where so many religious traditions have lived side by side for thousands of years. Because I value religious harmony I’m happy to meet members of other faiths, so it’s a real honour for me to meet you Shia brothers and sisters today.

“These days to see people fighting and killing each other in the name of religion, whether in Egypt, Burma or Afghanistan, is really unthinkable. Next week in Delhi I’ll be attending a meeting to celebrate diversity among Indian Muslims. I’ve heard no reports of friction between Sunnis and Shias in India, so I’ve encouraged my friends in Ladakh to take more active steps to reconcile differences between their brothers and sisters of different denominations.

“When I meet people of different spiritual traditions, I remember that at a fundamental level we’re all the same as human beings. In the part of Tibet where I was born, we had Muslim neighbours and as children we played together joyfully with no differences between us. Once I reached Lhasa, our capital city, with the name Dalai Lama, I found there was a small Muslim community there too. They’d been there since the time of the 5th Dalai Lama who gave them land on which to build a mosque. There were almost no reports of disputes between local Buddhists and these Muslims, who were peaceable, cooked delicious food and spoke with an impeccable Central Tibetan dialect.

“I’m looking forward to the coming meeting and hope that representatives of the embassies of various Muslim countries will also attend. I believe it will be an opportunity to promote religious harmony.”

Among the questions put to him, His Holiness was asked if Buddhists don’t believe in God, how do they account for creation? He replied that like Jains, Buddhists believe in life after life with no beginning. Whether you have a happy or difficult life depends on how you’ve conducted yourself before. Being kind and compassionate to others and avoiding doing them harm are good causes for a happy life in the future. The important thing is to make life meaningful—His Holiness mentioned that he appreciates how thinking of your fellow beings as children of a merciful God can help you do that.

Asked his response to the harassment of Muslims in Burma His Holiness explained that when he first heard about it he was in Washington DC. He expressed his sadness at what was happening and appealed to the Burmese Buddhists not only to remember the Buddha, but also to reflect that if he was there, he would have protected these Muslims. His Holiness explained that he had also expressed his dismay to Aung San Suu Kyi, who replied that the situation was very difficult and there wasn’t much she could do. As a mark of his sympathy and concern for the well-being of these displaced people, he directed the Gaden Phodrang Foundation of the Dalai Lama to make a donation towards their relief and rehabilitation through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The Iranians showed their appreciation with another burst of applause.

Before the occasion came to an end, the visitors gathered around His Holiness in smaller groups to have their photographs taken together—clearly very happy to have met him.

Original link & photos: https://www.dalailama.com/news/2019/meeting-members-of-the-iranian-impacters-club

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Dalai Lama's Long-Life Ceremony

Offering of a Long-Life Ceremony to His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, India - An estimated 7500 people packed the Tsuglagkhang, the Main Temple and Yard adjacent to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s residence this morning to participate in offering prayers for his long-life. The route from the palace gate to the temple through the yard and the temple itself had been richly decorated with garlands of flowers and bouquets. The pillars were painstakingly wrapped in coloured cloth. Tashi Shölpa, Gyal Shay and Lhamo dancers welcomed His Holiness as walked from his residence.

Inside the temple, which was filled with monks, sat representatives of Tibet’s religious traditions: from the Bön tradition, Menri Lopon Trinley Nyima Rinpoché; from the Geluk tradition, Jangtsé Chöjé, Gosok Rinpoché and Ganden Tri Rinpoché, Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin; Head of the Sakya tradition, Sakya Trizin, Ratna Vajra Rinpoché; also from the Geluk tradition, Sharpa Chöjé, Lobsang Tenzin; from the Karma Kagyu tradition, Situ Rinpoché; and from the Nyingma tradition, Ringu Tulku.

To the right of His Holiness’s throne, behind Ganden Trisur, Rizong Rinpoché, sat the Abbots of Sera, Ganden, Drepung, Tashi Lhunpo, Gyumé and Gyutö Monasteries, while to the left sat serving and retired Kalöns.

His Holiness greeted them with a broad smile when he arrived, before taking his seat on the throne. Looking out over the audience he saw six monks from Thailand and directed that they be seated with the Abbots on the dais.

The ceremony, conducted by monks from Namgyal, Gyutö and Kirti Monasteries began with a prayer invoking the former incarnations of Avalokiteshvara in India and Tibet composed by the late Trulshik Rinpoché. Next, the ‘Praise to the 17 Masters of Nalanda’ was recited. The offering requesting His Holiness’s long life was a rite focussed on Amitayus by the Fifth Dalai Lama and belonging to the collection of his Secret Visions. Its performance had been recommended by Nechung, the State Oracle, during the customary New Year trance and was offered by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and the People of Tibet.

At a certain point in proceedings, after the dispatching of the five dakinis, the Nechung Oracle and the oracles of Dorje Yamakyong, Nyenchen Thangla, and Kharak Khyung Tsün approached His Holiness in trance, dancing and offering prayers. They were followed by the representatives of Tibet’s religious traditions who paid His Holiness their respects and offered prayers. Tsog was offered to him.

Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay stood with Sakya Trizin as he made the mandala offering and recited from memory a long supplication to His Holiness to live long. The supplication mentioned that he has been inconceivably kind to the Tibetan people and has taught all over the world. He has encouraged harmony among the world’s religious traditions, the protection of the environment, and the preservation of the Tibetan cultural heritage. He has advocated non-violence. He has presented the knowledge contained in the Kangyur and Tengyur collections in terms of philosophy, science and religion and promoted secular ethics for the benefit of all.

The supplication ended, “May your life be as firm as an indestructible vajra, may the Tibetan people be reunited and may you return to Tibet to sit on the Lion Throne in the Potala Palace. Please guide us from life to life. We request you accept our prayer.” With that the Sakya Trizin presented a statue of Amitayus to His Holiness, followed by trays bearing the eight auspicious emblems, the seven symbols of royalty and the eight auspicious substances.

The religious heads and dignitaries from the CTA offered silk scarves.

His Holiness addressed the gathering. “People from the Three Provinces, representatives of our spiritual traditions and protector deities oath-bound at the time of King Trisong Detsen have made this Long-Life Offering—I’d like to thank you all.

“When I recently fell ill many people around the world, as well as inside and outside Tibet, prayed for me, and again I’d like to thank you all. Karma is such that if you haven’t done something, you won’t experience the consequences, nor will the consequences of someone else’s action ripen on you. However, because of close relations within a family and close links between teachers and students prayers between them can be effective. Those who prayed for me did so sincerely—I’m sure it will have been powerful and effective. Thank you.

“I can’t talk about my past lives, but in this life I became a monk and I’ve studied and practised, as Jé Rinpoché writes towards the end of ‘Dependent Arising: A Praise of the Buddha’:

“Becoming ordained into the way of the Buddha
by not being lax in study of his words,
and by yoga practice of great resolve,
this monk devotes himself to that great purveyor of truth.”

His Holiness described his deep respect for the 17 Masters of Nalanda. He observed that there had earlier been a praise for the ‘Six Ornaments and Two Supremes’, which overlooked several masters whose works were influential in Tibet. Consequently he composed his ‘Praise to the 17 Masters of Nalanda’ and encouraged the study of their respective treatises.

“I’ve given serious thought to emptiness,” he continued, “thanks to the encouragement of my debate assistant Ngodup Tsognyi. Later, when I reported to Kyabjé Ling Rinpoché my experience as a result of contemplating the Second Dalai Lama’s ‘Songs of the Correct View’, he remarked, ‘Before long, you’ll be a ‘space-yogi’. As Choné Lama Rinpoché put it, ‘It’s because of my teachers’ kindness that I have anything to say about emptiness, the luminous nature of the mind and bodhichitta’.

“As far as bodhichitta is concerned, I found my mind was transformed as a result of hearing Khunu Lama Rinpoché’s explanation of ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ in 1967. I’ve gained some experience of the view of emptiness and the extensive path of bodhichitta and I’ve shared it with others because I’ve seen them to be beneficial. I continue to generate bodhichitta on a daily basis and reflect on what Shantideva wrote:

"Whatever joy there is in this world
All comes from desiring others to be happy,
And whatever suffering there is in this world,
All comes from desiring myself to be happy.

If I do not actually exchange my happiness
For the sufferings of others,
Not only shall I not attain the state of a Buddha
Even in cyclic existence I shall have no joy.

As long as space endures,
As long as sentient being remain,
Until then, may I too remain
And dispel the miseries of the world.

“In this life I’ve been able to serve the Tibetan people and the Tibetan tradition and I’ve been able to show others how helpful an altruistic mind can be. Predatory animals only kill when they are hungry, but human beings do harm to each other on almost any pretext. In such a context we need to be more altruistic.”

His Holiness quoted the Buddha’s advice: ‘As the wise test gold by burning, cutting and rubbing it, So, bhikshus, should you accept my words—after testing them, and not merely out of respect for me.’ He observed that only the Buddha encouraged such a sceptical, reasoned approach. He noted that in his first round of teachings, the Buddha explained the Four Noble Truths and the 37 Factors of Enlightenment. During the second round he clarified the Perfection of Wisdom and in the third round he revealed the clear light nature of the mind, which is the basis for tantric practice. Thus, the Buddha gave his teachings in a progressive way.

Referring to his three commitments, His Holiness remarked that as a simple human being himself, he is committed to serving humanity. As a Buddhist he is committed to promoting harmony amongst religions, which as a result of its longstanding traditions of ahimsa and karuna (non-violence and compassion), flourishes in India. The aim of all religious traditions is peace. Thirdly, as a Tibetan, His Holiness reported that he has done his best to educate Tibetans in exile. Although it’s been difficult for him to be very effective in Tibet, in exile he has done what he could to support and enrich Tibet’s cultural heritage.

“Buddhism in Tibet is a complete tradition,” he asserted, “including the Fundamental Vehicle, the Universal Vehicle and Tantra. Shantarakshita, a philosopher and logician, established Buddhism in the Land of Snows. Sakya Pandita followed his lead when he wrote the influential ‘Treasury of Logic and Epistemology’. It’s on the basis of this that we’ve had successful and mutually beneficial interaction with modern scientists. I’ve made some contribution to general well-being over the last 60 years, but the unflinching spirit of the people in Tibet has been my inspiration. It’s because of them that we’ve been able to keep our culture alive.

“The First Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Gendun Drup, who lived to be 84, had no wish to be born in a pure land. Since I have the opportunity to benefit beings, it will be good if I’m able to live longer. I make prayers to him for his blessing that I may live another 10-15 years.

“Once I had a dream that I was swimming, even though I can’t swim, and Palden Lhamo was riding on my back. She remarked, ‘There’s no doubt you’ll live till you’re 110 years old.’” Applause rippled through the temple. “Other people too have dreamt that I may live till I’m 113. As I told people in Ladakh, what would you prefer, that you keep asking me to come here and there, or that I live long?

“People and gods have made this Long-Life Offering. I’m sure it will have a positive effect and I hope I will live to 110.”

Several auspicious prayers were recited as former and serving cabinet ministers paid their respects to His Holiness, concluding with the ‘Words of Truth’.

original link & photos: https://www.dalailama.com/news/2019/offering-of-a-long-life-ceremony-to-his-holiness-the-dalai-lama

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Dalai Lama on Generating the Awakening Mind

Generating the Awakening Mind

Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, India - Before His Holiness the Dalai Lama reached the Main Temple this morning, the ‘Heart Sutra’ was recited three times in the languages of the Buddhist Republics of the Russian Federation, Kalmykia, Buryatia and Tuva. Once he had arrived, greeted the eminent Lamas and the audience and taken his seat on the throne, the ‘Heart Sutra’ was chanted once more in Russian.

“So to conclude this series of teachings, today we’ll conduct a ceremony for generating the awakening mind of bodhichitta,” His Holiness announced. “As far as the awakening mind is concerned we need to understand that we are seeking to attain a state in which all defilements and faults have been eliminated and in which perfect realization—omniscience—has been achieved. Unsurpassed enlightenment is the goal you seek when you generate the awakening mind. You aspire to become a Buddha for the benefit of all sentient beings.

“In his ‘Entering into the Middle Way’ Chandrakirti wrote:

“Even those abiding in the first mind of complete enlightenment (bodhichitta)
Overcome those born from the speech of the Subduer Kings
And Solitary Realizers through their own merit's increase.
On the (ground called) Gone Afar he surpasses them with his intelligence.

“And at the end of the sixth chapter of the same work, he wrote:

“And like the king of swans, ahead of lesser birds they soar,
On broad white wings of conventional and ultimate (bodhichitta) full spread.
And on the strength of virtue's mighty wind they fly
To gain the far and supreme shore, the oceanic qualities of Victory.

“These powerful lines from ‘Entering into the Middle Way' echo the praise of compassion in the words of salutation.

“The mind of compassion, non-dual understanding,
And the altruistic mind of enlightenment (bodhichitta)
Are the causes of Children of the Conquerors (bodhisattvas).

“In terms of practice, compassion is important in the beginning, middle and end. The ‘Prayer of Maitreya’ states that bodhichitta is the factor that leads you away from the lower realms, to higher realms and finally to that deathless state where you are free from aging and death. Since the time of the Buddha, the great Indian masters who followed him cultivated bodhichitta. This is why we refer to the Buddha as the teacher, the Dharma as the actual refuge and the Sangha, like Nagarjuna and so forth, as companions on the path to enlightenment.

“To achieve Buddhahood we also need to realize emptiness. The Middle Way propounded by Nagarjuna is important, so much so that Bhavaviveka criticized what he called Asanga’s and Vasubandhu’s recklessness in neglecting to accept and follow it. However, if we only read Nagarjuna, we won’t reach a very deep understanding. Addressing the challenges posed by other points of view has the effect of broadening and enriching our sense of discernment. Studying a variety of treatises has a clarifying effect.”

His Holiness explained that to conduct the ceremony for generating the awakening mind you can follow the extensive rite described in Asanga’s work the ‘Bodhisattva Grounds’, or the shorter version in Shantideva’s ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’. He suggested that today he would use the verses that begin, ‘With a wish to free all beings ...’

He observed that the Buddha is someone who has travelled the path and teaches from his own experience how to overcome afflictive emotions, ignorance and their residual stains. By following his teaching we can eliminate all mental defilements, because of which he can be seen as the highest teacher.

His Holiness called on the audience to imagine the Buddha in the space before them as a living person surrounded by his Eight Close Disciples, Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and so forth; the Seven Patriarchs like Kashyapa who came after him; the Seventeen Nalanda Masters, Nagarjuna and Asanga and their followers; the 84 Great Adepts (Mahasiddhas) such as Saraha and so forth.

His Holiness digressed to mention the distinction drawn by an 18th century Lama called Nyengön Sungrab between teachings that constitute the general structure of Buddhism and specialized teachings. Teachings belonging to the Sutras and works like Nagarjuna’s ‘Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way’ constitute the general structure that anyone can follow. Tantras, such as Kalachakra, that involve working with channels, winds and drops are specialized teachings intended for specific disciples.

Continuing to describe those imagined gathered around the Buddha His Holiness mentioned Tibetan masters as well as their Indian mentors: Nyingma masters like the 25 disciples of Guru Padmasambhava; Sakya masters of the LamDre tradition; masters belonging to the three Kadampa lineages; masters from the four major and eight minor Kagyu traditions and masters of the Renewed Kadampa tradition, the Gandenpas, Jé Tsongkhapa and his disciples.

“These figures are role models for us in terms of practice of the profound and extensive paths. Taking them as witness to your generating the awakening mind of bodhichitta you generate much merit and wholesome energy. Shantideva summarizes the benefits of generating the awakening mind,

“Whatever joy there is in this world
All comes from desiring others to be happy,
And whatever suffering there is in this world,
All comes from desiring myself to be happy.

If I do not actually exchange my happiness
For the sufferings of others,
Not only shall I not attain the state of a Buddha
Even in cyclic existence I shall have no joy.

“We have to make bodhichitta our main practice. When I was about 13 years old, with Ngodup Tsognyi’s active encouragement, I took great interest in emptiness, but bodhichitta seemed remote to me. However, after I came into exile and especially after I received an explanation of ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ from Khunu Lama Rinpoché, I began to integrate bodhichitta into my practice. Over time, as a result of effort, it has become close to me. You should do the same. Generate bodhichitta, pursue the practice and what happened to me can happen to you.”

His Holiness asked the congregation to kneel on their right knees and, keeping the visualization he had described vividly before them, to recite the Seven Limb Prayer—prostration, offering, confession—taking the Buddha and so forth as witness, rejoicing in their manifest qualities, requesting them to teach, beseeching them not to pass into the state of peace, and dedication. Following that, he led them in reciting these verses three times.

With a wish to free all beings
I shall always go for refuge
to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
until I reach full enlightenment.

Enthused by wisdom and compassion,
today in the Buddha’s presence
I generate the mind for full awakening
for the benefit of all sentient beings.

As long as space endures,
as long as sentient being remain,
until then, may I too remain
and dispel the miseries of the world.

At the end His Holiness encouraged those gathered before him to recite these verses three times every day after they wake in the morning and three times again in the evening. He explained how cultivating bodhichitta and setting an aspiration for enlightenment at the beginning can set the tone for the whole day, enabling you to spend your time meaningfully in the service of others. Then, at the end of the day, you’ll be happy to dedicate the virtue for the benefit of all.

In conclusion His Holiness recited verses of dedication from the Samantabhadra Prayer followed by lines from the end of the Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment.

Likewise may I dedicate
Just as the skilful Samantabhadra,
With pure body, speech, and mind,
Pure actions and pure buddha-fields.

I shall give rise to the aspirations of Manjushri
For this bodhisattva practice of all-embracing good,
To perfect these practices
Without discouragement or pause in all future eons.

In regions where the supreme, precious teaching has not spread
Or where it has spread but then declined,
May I illumine that treasure of happiness and benefit
With a mind deeply moved by great compassion.