The 7 Preliminaries with Eva Natanya - 6 How to Refine our Refuge, How to Train on Bodhicitta

Eva Natanya, 13 Apr 2020

Eva (Yangchen) starts today’s session with a short meditation following the brief recitation of the Düdjom Tersar, up to the practice of bodhicitta.

Meditation starts at 1:28

After meditation Yangchen clears out the question of the refuge precepts. Rather than precepts, a literal translation would be ‘refuge training’, she states. Meaning, these indications are things to train on, in which to get better and better everyday. She draws from Lama Tsongkhapa’s Lamrim Chenmo to clear out what the meaning of worldly deities can be in different contexts. She emphasizes the importance of having a correct view of the reality we take refuge in, and encourages us to discern wisely between the objects that can provide ultimate refuge, and those that are merely relative sources of reliance, and to relate to them accordingly.

Eva then moves on to the teaching on bodhicitta in A Treasure House of Blessings. To begin, one develops the mind through the four immeasurables, then one performs the actual ritual, and finally one trains in prayer and engaging bodhicitta. Yangchen will just give some brief commentaries on the four immeasurables, covering what Düdjom Lingpa says in the text.

First of all, what to do after the Lake Born Vajra has said that training in bodhicitta in a dualistic way, like a mother looking upon her child, is “like hoping that the son of a barren woman could become the head of a household”? Well, this is the way to train (dualistically) until we are mature enough to be able to rest in pristine awareness.

Yangchen reads the four analogies to the four immeasurables given in the text. What stops us from feeling unbearable compassion? What is the subtle distinction between loving-kindness and compassion and how are they linked? What does it mean to generate the last two immeasurables, of joy and equanimity? Yangchen addresses all these things briefly.

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