Doesn’t Matter What You Call It

The bottom line. You will hear so many things; you will hear ‘dzog chen,’ and ‘mahamudra,’ and ‘uma,’ and all sorts of things. I have nothing against all of these. But I tell you: the bottom line is that this is supposed to be the real weapon which destroys the ego. If it is not hurting ego, then it is not working!

Our development really comes when we completely exhaust the ego or self-grasping, which we call in Tibetan ‘dag dzin’ or ‘den dzin.’ It has to hurt at that point, no matter if it is coming from right or left, whether it is right-wing policy or left-wing liberal policy, as long as the purpose is served.

If it is not hurting self-grasping, then the purpose is not served. That is the reason why ‘zhi ne,’ or ‘shamatha’ meditation is not considered good enough. Shamatha will build your stability of mind and your concentration power, so you have a horse which you can ride and go to war. But what are you going to fight your enemies with? The horseshoes or hooves? The other side may have a horse too! You need a weapon, whether it is a gun or a cannon, a sword or a spear or a lance. That is the real thing which hurts and can destroy. On the spiritual level that is the ‘vipasyana,’ [or] wisdom…

The bottom line is that this weapon must be sharp and lucid, and must really be able to hurt the enemy which actually is the object of negation. If it is achieving that purpose then it doesn’t matter whether it carries various labels like ‘mahamudra,’ ‘dzog chen,’ ‘uma,’ or ‘vipassana,’ ‘wisdom,’ ‘clear light,’ etc. It does not matter what the label or title is, if it is not hurting the ego-grasping, then no matter how big the title might be, it just won’t work. It might be called, ‘Direct Delivery of the Warm Heart of Buddha’ or ‘Express Delivery of the Buddha Mind,’ but the point is that it has to be able to deliver the goods.

That’s why Buddha said, ‘Check for yourself,’ and, ‘Don’t buy something I say just because I happen to be Buddha and I said so.’ He gave the example of checking the quality of gold. You have to cut the gold, burn it, rub it; and when you are satisfied, you take it.

I want you to remember that and then make your own decision, rather than be persuaded by advertisements, articles, propaganda or pronouncements, claims, conspiracy theories or any of that type of thing. Your own spiritual life is at stake now, so it has to be your own decision and that’s it.

On spiritual shopping. I have no objection if you people do some spiritual shopping, but if you over-shop, your credit card will have no balance left and then American Express will call you and get you and even send the debt collectors after you! That will make your life uneasy. So, reasonable shopping is necessary, but overdoing it is not good. Not only will you not have any credit left, but you may not have much time too; the time is limited. Having said that, you should not buy just before you check. What I have said up to now all relates to the first qualification which Tara mentioned.

~ Gelek Rimpoche, Cittamani Tara Extensive Commentary, 2008, p. 50

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