Audio Teachings by Gelek Rimpoche
The Human Being
According to Gelek Rimpoche, all basic Buddhist teachings are edicated to transforming negativities. Through learning, analyzing and the practice of meditation, we can clear our negative thoughts, ideas and habits—the obstacles to our spiritual development.
In this lesson, Rimpoche explores our nature as human being and asks the fundamental question, “who are we?” We have a name, job, and family relations that seem to define us, but who is that “me” that gets insulted, and responds with anger? Right now, our negative emotions dominate. Rimpoche quotes Tsongkhapa who explains that Buddha nature is within us, but it needs to mature.
How Can We Improve Ourselves?
Can we improve ourselves? And if so, how do we do it? The Buddhist goal is to become a Buddha, but our goal right now should be to become a better person as we move closer to that ideal.
In this lesson, Rimpoche teaches us how to recognize our delusions, which we all have but tend to deny. Our delusions are anger, attachment, hatred, fear, laziness, wandering mind, and ignorance. It is important to examine the ways these manifest in our life and how we reinforce them through habitual patterns. We improve when we begin to intervene in our habitual negative reactions.
What is Buddha Nature?
Buddha nature is the basis of our spiritual practice, and the basis on which we are trying to uplift and improve ourselves. Buddha nature is the pure part of ourselves that continues on after death.
In this lesson, Rimpoche explores reincarnation and its relationship to Buddha nature. There are two Buddha natures: static Buddha nature, and Buddha nature that is able to grow. When we engage in learning, analyzing and meditating, our static Buddha nature becomes a growing Buddha nature. Our growing Buddha nature eventually clears all delusions and becomes awakened mind.
Signs that Buddha Nature Is Activated and Growing
As we die our awareness shrinks and our consciousness becomes very subtle. At that point, we lose control, so either our negativities or our wisdom will take over. At death, our Buddha nature may or may not be activated. Moving from static Buddha nature to growing Buddha nature is the basic principle of transforming negativity.
In this lesson, Rimpoche lists the signs that Buddha nature is activated, even though obstacles, or delusions may be present. Because of our negative habitual patterns, it is hard to overcome our delusions. Rimpoche reviews negative habits and their antidotes, and contrasts eastern and western types of laziness.
Questions and Answers
Rimpoche answers questions from students such as: If mind cannot become form, how do manifestations occur? What is Buddha nature? Is it a quality of the mind or a potentiality of the mind? When someone dies, is there something the living can do for them or is the deceased only subject to their own karma? What is the distinction between brain and consciousness?
Absolute and Relative Truth, and Dependent Origination
The Buddha taught that there are two truths: relative and absolute. They are sometimes called: “conventional and ultimate truth.”
In this lesson, Rimpoche explains the necessity to embrace both truths, because it is through relative truth that absolute truth is revealed. Also, Rimpoche explains the concept of dependent origination, or dependent arising, that everything is dependent on causes and conditions. Our positive qualities and experiences, as well as our negative qualities and experiences are dependent on the causes and conditions that we have created. Therefore we have room to play. We can alter our habitual patterns (the causes and conditions of our negativities) and create the positive experiences and qualities we desire.