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Luminous Wisdom : Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche
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Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche
Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche

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Compassion

Great compassion is at the core of Mahayana Buddhism, of which all Mahayana aspirations are born. It would not be Mahayana Buddhism without great compassion.

The idea of great compassion, as elucidated by the Buddha, does not exist in any of the worldly schools of thought. The traditional Chinese culture upholds moral principles and the Western culture advocates charity and social welfare.   But the Buddha’s idea of altruism, demonstrated by the meditation practice of tonglen, for example, and the bodhisattva’s commitment to unconditional dedication to others, are unparalleled.

Depicted from "Buddhism-the Definition" by Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche.
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Since ancient times, the one thing human beings have always longed for is happiness. Yet, with all the progress in society, what we believe to be happiness has eluded us. The rapid decline in the index on global well-being has compelled all of us to rethink: What is happiness? How do we find it? In recent years, this topic has generated even greater interest.

Depicted from "The Tibetan Buddhist 
View on Happiness" by Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche

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Some people believe Buddhism opposes all forms of material enjoyment, enforces complete control over desire, and promotes ascetic practice. Actually, this is a misunderstanding. The Buddha said followers have the right to enjoy, not reject, what they are entitled to — wealth which is properly acquired or blessings accumulated during a past life from virtuous activity. The Buddha did not deny, to a certain extent, material goods can bring happiness. However, he made it clear not all happiness comes from material goods. He also said the happiness derived from material things is very short-lived and unreliable.

Depicted from "The Tibetan Buddhist 
View on Happiness" by Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche
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In the context of wisdom and compassion, wisdom can simply be put as realization of emptiness, which encompasses many meanings: realization of no-self, of emptiness pertaining to Madhyamaka of the exoteric school, and realization of Great Emptiness and Clear Light. From the point of view of the esoteric Buddhism, which also includes the view of the Great Perfection, emptiness and clear light are one and the same.

Depicted from "Buddhism-the Definition" by Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche.
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Wisdom

It means the wisdom of the Buddha, which is not quite the same as worldly wisdom despite some similarities between the two. For instance, the Buddha’s description of sahalokadhatu3, or the universe in plain language, and his views on the various worldly matters sometimes agreed and other times disagreed with that of ordinary people.  In any case, the Buddha had his reasons for making certain statements.

Depicted from 'Buddhism- the Definition' by Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche.

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To learn Buddhism is to learn wisdom and compassion. To attain Buddhahood means the manifestation of the inherent wisdom and compassion of Buddha-nature after all the obscurations have been purified. That is all it means.

Depicted from 'Buddhism-the Definition' by Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche.
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I have said more than once before that the Buddha is incomparable not only with respect to the view on emptiness, not-self and luminous mind but also in terms of seeking temporary happiness in the mundane world. In my opinion, Buddha Sakyamuni is the greatest thinker of all times.

Depicted from "A BUDDHIST'S MODE OF LIFE" by Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche
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Buddhism-the Definition

Is Buddhism a religion?

The word “religion” came from the West. If defining Buddhism by way of the meaning of religion, Buddhism cannot be deemed exactly a religion as the word “religion” connotes the recognition of a supernatural power or powers as the creator and governor of the universe, which Buddhism dissents. Some in the West do not see Buddhism as religion because of this. Those learned and respectable Buddhist practitioners in the past also held the same opinion. I too do not see Buddhism fit the Western definition of “religion” as Buddhism has never acknowledged the existence of the Creator.

Depicted from " Buddhism-the Definition" by Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche
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I gave many teachings in the past few years, but none from the Vajrayana tradition. It is not for a lack of ability to teach on my part but to avoid confusing you with the more profound teachings at this point of your learning process without additional benefit. In your current condition, those teachings would not help you find the right path or gain a real taste of the Dharma. So I decided to cut off all the complex details and gave you instead the concrete and practicable instructions for actual practice. However, did you practice accordingly? What have you learned if you did?

Depicted from "THE WAY OF LIVING AND THE MEANING OF LIFE" by Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche
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As there are quite a few of you in the class, it is understandable that you may progress at different pace. Still, if most of you only know the dharma theoretically rather than practicing it in daily life, the teaching will not be as meaningful. Asking you to write me a note can also serve as a kind of reminder that perhaps it really is time to take one’s practice seriously in view of the fact that no progress has been made after a long period of time.

Depicted from "THE WAY OF LIVING AND THE MEANING OF LIFE" by Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche
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