Four Special Conditions Contemplations:
The Second Condition ~ Fundamental Condition
Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004.
Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon
Teaching Chapter 17 and Practice Chapter 16
The second condition is dhak kyen, dhak kyen, and in detail, dhak po kyenkyen. Dhak po kyen. Dhak po literally means honor. Here it means actually as a practitioner then it is very important to have a guide. Now Dhak po means also responsibility. If you decide to adopt a child and you become the dhak po of that child. Its education, its health, its well-being, your responsibility. Of course by the law of today when that child reach 18, then it is not yours anymore. Until that, your dhak po.
So the same way, in Buddhism our ultimate guide or dhak po is Buddha. And then second is Dharma. The third is Sangha. But Sangha represents Dharma and Buddha. Book does not teach you. Buddha we cannot learn from. Although essence of Buddha is inside us, now if we try to listen to it, all kind of words we will hear and hear. There is lots of people can hear voices. Voices. You know voices. Somebody tell them. Some of them OK. Others are very nice but not OK. For us, two and two is four, for them they don't know. Whatever voice tells them. Sometimes voice tells them two and two is one. Sometimes it tells them five. So very difficult. But very few really hear a good voice. But I don't want to take that risk, so I don't want to hear any voice. Too risky. What if I am hearing myself.
Now then this dhak po kyen also involves the guru, the teacher, the guru, because we are relying on guru to teach us the Dharma, to lead us to the enlightenment. So it is asking a lot, expecting a lot, and placing very big responsibility. So I used to say this to those people who asked me: "Do you like to be my guru?" Did you hear me, "Do you like to be my guru?" You heard that, right? So I said, "no". But when they said, "I want to be your disciple, I want you to be my guru", then I can't say anything. But if they tell me, "Do you like to be my guru?"; it's very easy for me because they are giving me a very good choice, easier choice. So I said no I am not breaking my Bodhisattva vow, I am just being honest. But if they said, "I want to be your disciple, and I want you to be my guru", if I said no, I broke my Bodhisattva vow. I cannot. Then I do my best. But most people O.K. But for some people, I have to hint from time to time, please don't be difficult. For some of them, even hinting doesn't work, so I have to spell it out. So from Vajradhara, Buddha Vajradhara until our guru is the lineage guru, gyu pe lama. So out of that, one of them our root guru. But no lineage, no guru. If you bring a book to me and ask me to teach you, and I have to check whether I have the lineage of that text or not. If I don't have the lineage, I can't teach you. If you want me to research on it, if I have time, I will do it. But no lineage, no blessing and no guru.
Now the second aspect of guru is the command of the Buddha. Because if Buddha did not manifest the command or the teaching, this just people like to call it teaching or advise, they like to call the gurus, spiritual friends, you know these things are kind of ego-friendly words. You know, ego-friendly words. spiritual friends, Buddha's advise. So like that. So people like us, people like me, we say Buddha's command, Buddha's teaching, guru, that's what we say. Spiritual master, that's what we say. Buddha did not manifest the command, there would be no lineage of Buddha's teaching. We call it ka ye lama or de shek ka ye lama.
So the third is everything is guru. You look at the sky you see how limitless it is, it just like our mind. You look at the cloud, it just like our thought, it comes and goes, it comes and goes sometimes it is so quick even the sunlight cannot come through it. Look at the river in the very, very narrow gorge, that is like a beginner of Samadha meditation, it just works very hard to maintain your awareness, all kind of thoughts and all kind of emotion coming and going, coming and going, and you try to maintain your awareness, it's like beginner Samadha. You look at the mountain, it looks like the nature of your mind, doesn't matter, it doesn't change. Always there. Come back up one year it's there, after two years it's there, after ten years it's there. So now there are so many things. Everything is teacher, we can learn from everything.
So now make it simple, everything is made out of five elements. So make an example with these five elements. Earth, like a mountain, or anything, mountain that represents, that is like devotion. It is foundation of everything. Because of earth, there can be river. Because of earth, there can be trees. Because of earth, there can be house. Because of earth, we can walk on it, we can grow food in it. It is the foundation. Then water, water makes things put together, you have just dry paste and you put water and make a pot out of it. You have dry powder flour you put it together with water and make it bread. Make it "Men Bou" (bread). So it is like compassion, compassion makes us and all sentient beings together. Brings closer. If everybody develops compassion, certain amount of compassion, there will be no conflict. If one develops compassion, other does not develop, still there will be conflict. But one who is compassion, he will not suffer. Then fire, fire symbolizes wisdom. It burns, it illuminates, means make light. So fire is like wisdom. We go into a room, which was locked for ten thousand years and no light, you just take little small fire in there, it will light the whole room immediately. It doesn't take ten million years to light it up, or ten thousand years to light it up. Immediately. Wind is like inspiration and experience. It will make things happen. It will move you forward. It will change and transform things. When wind blows in the cloud, cloud moves like all kind of things. If wind blows in the forest, all leaves can fly. So now the last element is space. Space is like mind. It is primordial. Nothing can change it. You build a one thousand story building, the space doesn't go anywhere. And you put down that one thousand story building, space does not come from anywhere. It is miracle. But that is the nature of space. That is nature of mind. This way everything is our guru.