Lama Zopa Rinpoche
attention away from hallucination to the realities of life,
the nature of which is impermanence and death. This frees your
mind from delusion and karma so that you can bring an end to
the entire round of suffering, the cycle of death and rebirth,
and also eradicate even the subtle errors of mind, thereby attaining
enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings.
Reflect on the above
for a moment.
Now bring your attention to the
reality of the ultimate nature of the I, action, object
and all other phenomena - emptiness.
phenomena - our life, our body, our mind, our self, our possessions,
our relatives and friends, all other people - are changing,
not only day by day, minute by minute and second by second,
but every tiny moment. They do not last for a fraction of a
second. Because they are under the control of causes and conditions,
they are in a state of constant decay and can cease at any time.
This is the nature of our life.
If we can remain aware of this,
we will prevent our mind from coming under the control of the
delusions. This is the disturbing emotional mind that hurt other
sentient beings, preventing us from transforming our mind and
gaining realizations of the path to enlightenment. These delusions
stop us from seeing the ultimate nature of reality.
Therefore, First we must stop delusions
from manifesting, and then, by actualizing the remedial path,
we eradicate the imprints they have left on our mental continuum.
By destroying the seeds of delusion, we attain nirvana, ultimate
liberation from the six realms of suffering and its cause. This
is the benefit of being mindful of impermanence. When we free
ourselves of disturbing thoughts, we immediately experience
peace and satisfaction. We free ourselves from samsara, and
eventually attain enlightenment and then bring enlightenment
to all sentient beings.
emptiness. This is the
actual nature of all phenomena. Think how your I, actions, objects,
and in fact all phenomenaeverything that is called "such
and such" and "this and that" are
just names. Names have
to come from the mind; they
dont exist from their own side.
Names are labels applied by the mind. However, it is not just
that phenomena are labeled by the mind - they are merely
labeled by the mind. In other words, all phenomena - I, action,
object, everything - are merely labeled by the mind, in relation
to their base.
How things exist
going to elaborate a little on the subject of emptiness. The
way in which everything exists is by being merely labeled by
the mind. But that does not mean that everything the mind labels
actually exists. Even though everything exists by being merely
labeled by the mind, which doesnt mean that if your mind
labels something it automatically brings it into existence.
For example, say I cut up a huge
pile of newspapers into little pieces and my mind labels each
one "a billion dollars"that doesnt make
each piece of paper worth a billion dollars.
Even though my mind has merely
labeled those pieces of paper "a billion dollars,"
that doesnt mean each one has become
a billion dollars. If
it were possible for that to happen, we wouldnt have to
vote in presidential elections. We wouldnt have to put
all that effort into raising funds, campaigning, spending all
that money, holding inquiries, to elect the president. All youd
have to do would be to label yourself, "Im the American
president," and youd become president. If things
coming into existence were only up to the mind labeling them,
if thats all it took, then thats what would happen.
Whenever you wanted to be president, all youd have to
do would be to have your mind label yourself president and youd
could hypnotize you into believing
that hed given you a bag full of money, and you might
carry it home, believing you were rich, but later, when you
opened it up, thered be nothing there but cut up pieces
of newspaper. Thats one way of showing that it doesnt
existfor your own mind to discover that its not
true. Later, when youre not under the influence of hypnosis,
you realize that it was an illusion, that the money you saw
didnt exist. Everything was there for your mindthe
appearance of money and your mind labeling it moneybut
it wasnt money.
Another way of showing that it
does not exist is for other people not to see the money. Because
of the illusion created by hypnosis, money appears to your mind,
but other people, whose minds are not under the illusion, dont
see it. Therefore, it takes more than appearance and labeling
by mind for something to exist.
another example of something where your own mind can discover
that appearance and labeling by mind are insufficient to bring
something into existence. For instance, one night you might
have a dream in which you became king, got married in a huge
wedding ceremony, lived in a luxurious jeweled palace and had
many children. While you are dreaming, the appearance of all
this and your mind merely labeling it are both there, but when
you wake up you again realize it wasnt true. Youre
not king, theres no palace, no wealth, no princes and
princessesnothing. You dont have any of that.