Your Motivation Makes Any Practice Equally Beneficial to Others

[From a teaching on Essence of Wisdom: Stages of the Path, Part 15, by Lama Tashi Topgyal. Translated by Lama Yeshe Gyamtso.]

Any practice you do that is motivated by the sincere desire to help all beings — whether it is Chenrezig meditation, Guru Rinpoche meditation, meditation on a peaceful deity or a wrathful deity — all will equally help because what makes them help beings is your motivation. When we resolve, “May my every action of body, speech, and mind be helpful and beneficial to others,” then as long as we are acting and practicing with that motivation, then everything we do, especially every practice we do, will help others, especially those to whom we have a close connection, naturally. We have no need to search for any special technique or ritual or ceremony beyond that. We are like people who have a wish-fulfilling jewel in our hands and yet are looking around for some other resource. We have everything we need. We simply need to maintain that motivation.

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Whatever You Give is Truly Yours

[From a teaching on Songs of Barway Dorje by Bardor Tulku Rinpoche given at KPL in 2017. Translated by Lama Yeshe Gyamtso.]

Because of the practice of imaginary offerings we tend to be a little skimpy on the practice of actual offerings. For example,  if you can afford to make more offerings, you should not think that offering a single candle or a single stick of incense is sufficient. With actual offerings the point is not how much you offer, but how much it affects you to make that offering, how much of a change it makes in you. The practice of offering is an aspect of dharma and dharma is a means of changing, a means of ameliorating our character. So the question when making an actual offering is, does this touch you enough that it actually helps you change?

In the practice of actual offerings, the issue is not so much of what the actual offering is, as how it affects your mind. Because all of this is working with the power of the mind. I have to say these things because my job, my responsibility, is to be honest with you. So I have to say: We are all far more attached to ourselves than we are to the Three Jewels.

Nevertheless, the practice of offering, whether it is offering to the Three Jewels, or generosity to the needy, is extraordinarily powerful. The Buddha said, “Whatever you give is truly yours, whatever you keep is not yours.”
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Everything is Amrita

[From a teaching on Essence of Wisdom: Stages of the Path, Part 15, by Lama Tashi Topgyal. Translated by Lama Yeshe Gyamtso.]

What is the nature of amrita? What is really meant by amrita?

This is the key point: it’s not just that some things that exist, such as the five meats and five nectars, and so on, that have these special attributes. The view of amrita accomplishment is that everything in the environment – below the ground, on the ground, and in the sky –  all of the elements, all of the aggregates of sentient beings, all of the objects of the senses, and all of our kleshas — all of these fives — the five elements in the external world and within our bodies in the form of flesh, blood, warmth, breath, and space; the objects of the five senses; and the five kleshas — what appear to us as those things have really, from the beginning, been self-arisen, great, five amritas.

So the view is that everything is amrita. And it always has been. Therefore, it does not need to be changed. You don’t need to change things or sublimate them in some way into some kind of amrita. They are; they always have been. Nothing exists other than the five amritas. Briefly put, the view is that all of samsara and nirvana is amrita. And that’s why in our messed-up perception, we see five elements, five aggregates, five senses, five kleshas, and so forth.

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