In this very personal talk given to the Padmaloka Community and streamed to the Dublin Men's Sangha (who requested the talk) Padmavajra talks about his connection with Bhante Urgyen Sangharakshita, including his first and last meetings with him, as well as a number of other significant meetings in between. Padmavajra is in no doubt that his meeting with Bhante completely changed his life.
The talk was given on Bhante's second death anniversary on Friday 30th October 2020.
'Serenity, freedom from disease, joy and long life, the happiness of an emperor, prosperity; these the patient person receives while continuing in cyclic existence.'
Padmavajra's sixth talk on the Bodhicaryavatara explores Shantideva's thorough exploration of the perfection of patience. In this chapter, Shantideva brings our attention to the seriousness of the faults of hatred and anger.
He shows how such states of mind arise and gives a number of ways in which patience can be cultivated in relation to the various sufferings inherent in life, especially towards those who cause us - or our nearest and dearest - harm. It is clear that the practice of patience requires tremendous faith, strength and vision if it is to be perfected.
"What is so special about me?" - Shantideva's Perfection of Meditation
In the penultimate talk in his series devoted to the Bodhicaryavatara, Padmavajra explores chapter eight, the Perfection of Meditation (dhyana paramita). In this chapter, Shantideva tells us that in order to go deeply into meditation, we need to go into the solitude of body and mind, renouncing all worldly attachments and the usual way in which we relate to others. Having doing that, he shows how to develop an entirely new mind and heart, with a completely different way of being with others. This is achieved through the realisation of the sameness of self and others and the exchange of self and others.
"Why say many words. Fools do things for themselves, the Buddha works for the welfare of others. Just look at the difference".
"Like someone hankering for the pleasure and fruit of love-play"
Padmavajra's seventh talk on Shantideva's Bodhicarayvatara is an exploration of chapter seven, the Perfection of Vigour (virya paramita). In this chapter Shantideva, makes it very clear that without virya there is no Enlightenment.
He tells us what virya is, as well as what opposes virya, which include, sloth, laziness and self-contempt. He explains that virya is developed through the application of six powers: desire; pride; delight; letting go; dedication; and self-mastery.
"Having become patient one should cultivate vigour, because Enlightenment depends on vigour. For without vigour there is no merit, just as there is no movement without wind".
In his final talk exploring Bodhicaryavatara, Padmavajra introduces us to Shantideva's exposition of the Prajnaparamita, the Perfection of Wisdom. Here, Shantideva tells us about the two truths, the conventional and the ultimate, as well as of the true meaning emptiness, which is the cure for the terrible sufferings that we undergo. In doing this he gives us a glimpse of the Bodhisattva "respectfully teaching emptiness ... to those who imagine a real world". The vision of emptiness opens into the final chapter Parinamana, in which Shantideva dedicates the merit of his Bodhicaryavatara for the benefit of all beings. Shantideva's dedication describes the boundless creativity of the Bodhicitta.
"It is for the sake of Wisdom that the Muni taught this entire collection of preparations. Therefore, in the desire to put an end to suffering, one should develop wisdom."
'One should speak confident, measured words, clear in meaning, delighting the mind, pleasing to the ear, soft and slow, and stemming from love'
In his fifth talk devoted to the Bodhicaryavatara, Padmavajra explores chapter five 'The Guarding of Total Awareness'. In this chapter Shantideva makes vividly clear the importance of mindfulness and awareness of purpose in the Bodhisattvas life. Shantideva tells us about the centrality and power of the mind and the need for scrupulous attention to every detail of our lives.
His discussion of mindfulness embraces the importance of mindfulness of the body and it's movements, mindfulness of things, as well as mindfulness of others. He also reveals how we can develop and protect mindfulness. Shantideva's discussion makes it clear that the development of total awareness is achieved through a life wholeheartedly devoted to the Bodhisattva training.
Padmasagara leads through the Going for Refuge and Prostration Practice.
For an introduction to the practice, watch Padmasagara's video: https://youtu.be/UiC5xZQb8G8
Download the printouts to go along with the practice here: https://bit.ly/GFRprintout
Satyaraja leads through the visualization and mantra recitation practice of the Buddha Shakyamuni.
This practice is sometimes practised during retreats at Padmaloka and in fact used to be given at the time of an individual becoming a mitra.
The recording took place on Wednesday 6th May 2020 during a community silent retreat day at Padmaloka as part of a 2-day celebration of Wesak, otherwise known as Buddha Jayanti or Buddha Day.