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Hearts and Minds

February 13, 2011 Leave a comment

The goal of psychological warfare is to induce or reinforce behavior favorable to one’s objectives.   Various techniques are used and aimed to influence a target audience’s values, beliefs, emotions, motives, reasoning and/or behavior.  It is used to induce confessions or reinforce attitudes and behaviors favorable to the originator’s objectives.  It is often combined with “black magic,” or what the military refers to as false flag tactics (those operations designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities).  Target audiences can be governments, organizations, groups or people (organized or not) and individuals.

How can anything like psych ops or psych warfare be associated with Dharma (teachings of the Buddha)? Unfortunately, it is rather simple.  It’s called Kaliyuga (the last of the four stages that the world goes through as part of the cycle of “yugas” described in the Indian scriptures).

Here on Protecting Nyingma we (the writers) have educated the world on two main topics, intertwined, yet seemingly separate.  We started out telling the world (we receive comments from all over the world, and our statistics tell us we are reaching far and wide) about a con man who used nothing less than psychological warfare against a Buddhist organization~ unbelievable, yet true.  It has been our aspiration that it would never happen to another Buddhist community; we could not bear the thought of not using this example of what happened to one Buddhist community and not helping the entire Buddhist family, regardless of Lineage, as an educational and benefiting point.   As we listened to the feedback, we soon discovered that while many people were awestruck by what had happened, and even more shocked this man continues to live as a “free man,” they wanted to have a better understanding of how something like this happens, and what they can do to protect their respective communities.  This question became our second main topic.

Our writers quickly got to work writing about why lineage is important, why there are rituals and how are they used, how Lamas are recognized and what the credentials of enthronement are.  We’ve also covered the myths of freedom, karma—cause and effect, the wisdom of the Dakini and many other posts, focusing specifically on the Nyingma school of Buddhism.  What we have learned is that our reader base became more interested in learning why, and more importantly how one man’s psychological warfare against a Buddhist community could happen, and how to prevent it from happening again.

Let’s go back to that word, Kaliyuga.

During this time of Kaliyuga, hate becomes commonplace, and humans display animosity towards each other.  Ignorance of the Dharma will occur.  People will have thoughts of murder for no reason, and worse, will not see the problems with that mental state.  Lust will be viewed as socially acceptable, and sexual intercourse will be seen as the central requirement of life.  A lack of morals will increase, and virtue will fade and cease to flourish.  People will take vows only to break them later, and will become addicted to intoxicating drinks and drugs.  They will find their jobs stressful and will go to retreats to escape their work. Governments will reign out of control and abuse the people whom they serve.

What will happen to humans is terrible, but what is worse is what will happen to our spiritual teachers, guides and friends.  Gurus will no longer be respected, and their students will attempt to injure them.  Their teachings will be insulted and desire will reign over the minds of all human beings.

There will be little merit, and the causes and conditions for enlightenment will cease to exist.

How does this happen…?

In degenerating times, when the habitual tendencies and poisons of people’s minds begin to take control, the potential for humans to disregard the very accomplishments of their Gurus and teachers grows exponentially.  Once the mind is out of control, and ignorance, greed, desire, run rampant, with no space for Dharma and virtuous activity, the karma then begins to take hold and we see people thinking they know more than the teachers, who have crossed the ocean of samsara and accomplished.  These people begin to think of themselves as spiritual leaders and guides when they have no accomplishments, no proof of accomplishments, no credentials, and no recognitions.  These are the very things that we Buddhists must look for when searching for our perfect teacher, and once we decide we have found a qualified teacher, as outlined in The Words of My Perfect Teacher by Patrul Rinpoche (great source for understanding the qualities of a qualified teacher in Buddhism), then we are never to abandon that teacher for they become our door to liberation.

The following is an excerpt from Gyaltrul Rinpoche’s commentary on Great Perfection, Buddha in the Palm of the Hand.

Where are these mistaken teachers? What signs can you watch out for? There are many such so-called teachers in this country, and I’ve seen situations where, in the name of Buddhism, a person mixes Hinduism, Taoism, a little Islam, mixing and combining traditions, trying to use Buddhism as a base while appropriating techniques from other religions so there’s no true beginning and no ending. Essentially there is no direction. Such a teacher may be very clever with words, there may be much to listen to, but the path is upside-down. Such a teacher will claim to be non-sectarian, saying this is why he is bringing all these teachings together. This is the New Age and he’s creating a new path without any already-established religion: It’s a religion of our times, the non-sectarian way…

Mixing traditions is like partying all the time: temporarily you’ll feel happy to have such an exciting life-going out every night, meeting new people, enjoying all sorts of new ideas and social relationships-but eventually you’ll become physically and mentally tired. Your money will run out. You might get into some fights, your mind will have developed much more attachment and aversion, and in the end there will be no good result.

When people believe themselves to be as accomplished as the great masters, then they cycle in their delusions of fantasy and self-absorbed dreams.  The sufferings of the world have no meaning, and the only thing that matters is their obsessions, which are usually targeted at the accomplished.  Their projections and perceived reality, paranoia, idiot passion, anger and hate become a way of life, and all the while they preach their accomplishments while showing only poisons.

You don’t need us to tell you about this.  Everything that is written here can be found in the wonderful works by Chogyam Trungpa, Patrul Rinpoche, Lama Chonam, Kalu Rinpoche, the Dalai Lama, Rigdzen Dorje, to name only a few.  You may be asking yourself, “Well, these other people just sound like they know more than I do, and how do I know whether what they are saying is a lie?”

If the above-mentioned authors still don’t help you, here is a true story.

It is from The Practice of Vajrakilaya by Khenpo Namdrol Rinpoche. (http://www.knamdrol.org)

More specifically, Khenchen is speaking about Rudras.  Khenpo Namdrol defines a Rudra in the following way:

The third type of Rudra is essentially negative, and is a tangible being, reborn in a malignant form as a result of broken tantric commitments in previous lives. Such a Rudra is usually accompanied by a retinue of other malignant beings, and as a group their main activity is to cause obstacles to the propagation of the teachings of the secret mantrayana.

In this particular story, Black Liberation and his servant had an opportunity to receive secret mantrayana teachings. Black Liberation misunderstood the teaching to mean he could act as he pleased, do as he wished, with disregard for cause and effect. His servant understood correctly, and they had a conflict of views. They took their dispute to their teacher, who confirmed the servant was correct. Black Liberation was furious, and had both his teacher and servant expelled from the village (he had an important father) after publicly humiliating them.

He went on to live his life according to his wrong view, and after passing away endured many lifetimes in various hell realms and many rebirths as a preta until he had exhausted enough negative karma to be reborn as a rakasa. He became very powerful, such that the Buddhas manifested a special, wrathful being to subdue him, understanding that such a being could not be subdued by peaceful means.

Vajrakilaya was born, and he and Black Liberation began manifesting in ever more menacing forms attempting to subdue each other. Eventually Vajrakilaya manifested in a form that gave rise to six secret mantras, which subdued Black Liberation and separated him from his retinue. In the end Black Liberation regretted his transgressions and offered himself as a “seat” for Vajrakilaya, remaining under his feet, listening to his pacifying teachings and constantly regretting and confessing the negative karma he had accumulated.

This is a much abbreviated re-telling of this story; please refer to Chapter Two in the book The Origin of the Deity of Vajrakilaya for a full account.

What this story helps explain is how someone can be focused simply on obstructing the Dharma and harming practitioners on the Path.

What we have here is a bad recipe for soup.  The broth has now become our degenerating time, Kaliyuga, and as if it’s not hard enough to practice, maintain vows, follow the teachings of the Buddha – even making an offering to our living teachers is getting harder to do – we now have to ward off evil doers who spend their entire days attacking pure teachers with pure lineages for no other reason than to fulfill their own egos, pride, and prejudices.  They have one goal, to destroy any and everything that seems precious to someone else. These pure teachers with pure lineages are rich in tradition and ritual, handed down literally from the time of Shakyamuni Buddha.

One might think, “Have they no understanding of the karma they are creating?”  This seems like a logical question, yet in these times, many of the students who have turned their backs on their Teachers have done so without ever realizing what they have done because they are so caught up in their own delusions, they no longer see the diamond behind the mist.

Here at Protecting Nyingma, we offer prayers, and our continued and dedicated service to protecting Nyingma, without a lot of fanfare or diabolical ramblings.   #Eh Ma Ho

 

 

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The Karma of Gossip

February 6, 2011 Leave a comment

 

The Karma of Gossip

Gossip is related to Right Speech in that it is a form of speech that can cause great harm to others.  In the Dhammapada it says: Where disorder develops, words are the first steps. If the prince is not discreet, he loses his servant. If the servant is not discreet, he loses his life. If germinating things are not handled with discretion, the perfecting of them is impeded. In other words, gossip can hurt others both directly and indirectly, directly by spreading untruths about a person that damage his reputation or his credibility, indirectly by helping to create an atmosphere which tolerates and even promotes such negativity.

Everyone thinks a little gossip between friends is not a bad thing and actually quite fun.  However, ask yourself if you would like someone else to be saying such things about you behind your back.  Would it hurt you to know if someone were doing so?  Of course it would.  And gossip can affect more than just one person.  In World War II there was a saying, Loose Lips Sink Ships. By engaging in gossip and idle chatter about others, in other words, the wrong people may hear and lives could be ruined or lost as a result.  We must always be mindful of our speech.

Why do people engage in gossip?   Usually it is a way to feel superior to other people when one is not feeling so good about oneself.  By knocking down others, the theory is that one can boost one’s own self-image.  The reality proves otherwise.

Practicing right speech and not engaging in gossip of any kind is particularly important for practitioners who have vowed to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.  The Venerable Gyaltrul Rinpoche once said that no one ever got enlightened by pointing fingers at others.  It is not the business of a practitioner to worry about others’ faults, only one’s own.  Gossip spreads dissension in the sangha, resulting in people falling away from the path or schism in the sangha, which the Buddha called a heinous sin.  It is one sin that can actually harm the Dharma by destroying the path.  It is right up there with murdering one’s mother or father or shedding the blood of a Buddha with a mind filled with hate.

The schism caused by the Dorje Shugden controversy in the Gelugpa School of Tibetan Buddhism is a good example.  It does not matter which side is “right”; what matters is the grievous harm it has done to the Buddhadharma and in particular to the guru devotion of those involved in the controversy.  Schism can result in the loss of confidence in our teachers and our sangha.  Hence it is a deadly poison to our path.

One can get some sense of the destructive consequences of gossip by observing the hateful gossip spread on the internet and on Twitter about Buddhist teachers and their sanghas.  Such gossip may cause confusion and doubt to arise in those who have no personal knowledge of these teachers, thereby robbing them of the opportunity to judge these teachers for themselves.  This could potentially prevent them from attaining enlightenment in this life because they were not able to connect with their teacher.

Bhikshuni Thubten Chödron spells out the karmic consequences of engaging in gossip in the Summer 2006 edition of Tricycle magazine.  In short, these are an unfortunate rebirth, suffering from a similar experience happening to us, the habitual tendency to engage in similar behavior over and over again, and residing in an unpleasant place.   Even more, engaging in such negative behavior obscures one’s mind, making liberation even more difficult.

As the Buddha said in the Anguttara Nikaya Sutta: If speech has five marks, O monastics, it is well spoken, not badly spoken, blameless, and above reproach by the wise. What are these five marks? It is speech that is timely, true, gentle, purposeful, and spoken with a mind of loving kindness.

This is the method for attaining happiness and liberation.

 

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The Karma of Lying

February 1, 2011 Leave a comment

In the Samadittha Sutta, the Buddha taught that lying, abusive and divisive speech were unskillful behavior, while abstaining from lying, abusive and divisive speech is skillful.  He goes on to say in the Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta, while giving instruction to his son, Rahula, that, “when anyone feels no shame in telling a deliberate lie, there is no evil, I tell you, he will not do. Thus, Rahula, you should train yourself, ‘I will not tell a deliberate lie even in jest.’”  The Abhidhamma lists Right Speech as abstinence from lying, slandering, abusive language, and idle talk.

Bhakha Tulku, in a teaching given at Kunzang Palyul Chöling some twenty years ago, explained the results of negative karma in that first there are the main result, a similar result, a reaction result, and a place or condition result.  If one examines the cause, then there is a direct result of that cause.  Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo explained in a later teaching, The Antidotes to Negative Karma, what these results might be.  In the case of lying, the direct result would most likely involve someone lying to you or about you or blaming you unjustly.  There would also be a similar result, meaning that the direct result would occur in conditions similar to the original cause.  Then there would a reaction effect, meaning that there would be the development of a habitual tendency to lying.  In other words the effect would not just pop out of nowhere but develop as a result of certain habitual behaviors.  The effect of place and habitual tendency associated with lying could include people failing to believe anything you told them or being wrongfully jailed without guilt.

The antidote to the negative karma of lying is to be very truthful in all matters, practicing Right Speech even to your detriment.  By applying the antidote, we are able to change our habitual tendency of lying and stop creating negative causes which produce suffering for ourselves.  It takes a lot of hard work to purify negative habitual tendencies, but the results are worth it as it will not only reduce our own suffering, but the suffering we cause in others we lie to or about whom we lie.

Lying, divisive speech, abusive speech and gossip all help create the environment in which all other negative behavior can take place.  For instance, the first reaction that many people had to the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords in Tucson was that hateful speech by ultraconservative talk show hosts and commentators was the root cause.  While the talk show hosts and commentators downplayed the claims, it actually was an accurate assessment in that it appears that the alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, had engaged in spreading hateful speech on the Internet and had connections to the hate group American Renaissance.

Lying has often laid the groundwork for horrendous crimes in the past.  Lies about the Jewish people in Europe helped create the environment where bloody pogroms and the horrors of Nazi Germany could take place.  Lies became the truth in many people’s minds, and the same holds true today.  Just look at the lies told about President Obama – that he wasn’t born in the US, that he’s a muslim, that he’s a socialist, and on and on – and how many people believe them to be true.  This is the ground which produces the fruit of hatred and death.  This is why the Buddha spoke out so strongly against negative speech and for virtuous, honest speech.  How can we ever hope to change our minds if we cannot control what comes out of our mouths?

 

 

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