THE TWO TRUTHS
This issue of Bodhi features teachings on two aspects of reality known as the two truths: ultimate or genuine truth and relative or conventional truth. In a general sense, relative truth refers to the conventional world of ordinary appearances, and ultimate truth refers to the truest, deepest or most genuine level of reality. According to the tradition of Nagarjuna, it is important in the presentation of the two truths to distinguish between them and separate them; in other words, when looking at absolute truth, one should not bring relative truth into it right away, and when looking at relative truth, one should not bring absolute truth into it. At the same time, according to Nagarjuna, an understanding of relative truth is the cause of understanding absolute truth. In fact, relative truth is seen as a method that is used to bring forth the realization of absolute truth. Essentially, the understanding of either one of the two truths assists the understanding of the other.
BRIDGING THE PARADOX OF THE TWO TRUTHS
by His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche
Paradoxes can be said to be one of the most common features of Vajrayana teachings; this is especially true in teachings on Mahamudra. In this context it is inevitable that everything appears and is presented in a paradoxical way. There is the relative truth, which is an undeniable fact, being right here in front of our eyes. And there is the ultimate truth, that which this relative truth really is. As long as we cannot bridge this paradox, Vajrayana Buddhism is an impossible issue. Once we have gained this capacity, we will be able to understand the Vajrayana teachings and to appreciate the actual meaning behind them.
EXPERIENCING THE TWO TRUTHS: THE MIDDLE WAY VIEW OF THE SHUNYATA, PT. II
by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
When it comes to the absolute or ultimate truth, the main practice of the bodhisattva is the complete realization of emptiness, selflessness, or egolessness. Why is the realization of selflessness such an important practice? It is important because, in order to cultivate a genuine heart of compassion, one needs to work with the idea of selflessness. As long as we have a strong ego-centered mind, no matter how hard we try, our compassion will still be limited. It will always be tainted by the self-centered view.
THE NATURE OF THE PATH
by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
Because we are making this journey to discover who and what we are, we have to start where we are. On the Buddhist path, starting where we are involves a certain degree of courage and fearlessness. It takes fearlessness to look in the mirror and see one's own face. We might have to look in the mirror in the early morning when we first get up, before we have taken a shower; or we might have to look at ourselves after an accident. Nevertheless, we have to cut through any fear of looking at that reality. Whatever is reflected in the mirror, whatever is reflected in our experience, we can be courageous enough to explore that reality further, accept it, and start the journey from that very spot.
SOCIETY AND ENVIRONMENT
SERVICE - EXPRESSING OUR PRACTICE
by Rodney Smith
Anything we do with passion can be done in a spirit of service. If it feeds us, it will feed the world. We sometimes feel we are not deserving of being fed. We may feel we are selfishly following our interests, as if we should be out there where the action is, where the problems are, not hunching over a microscope or gazing at the stars. But the world is more connected than that. The world is crying out for aliveness, not for a specific activity. Opening our hearts, through whatever means, serves the greater good.
WILL THEY STUDY? REMARKS AT THE FIRST NITARTHA INSTITUTE TEACHER CERTIFICATION CEREMONY
by Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen
Many people join Buddhist dharma centers and take refuge. When we ask if they have studied the Prajnaparamita Sutra, they do not even know the name of the text. They do not know that such great philosophy exists in Buddhism, whereas you debate it like mad Tibetans or mad Indian masters. What you have done in your debate is very special, and it is a great gift for our lineage and history.
Teaching Schedule of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche
Teaching Schedule of The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
Nalanda West Schedule
Wild Words: Crossword
Seeds & Sprouts: The Robber Chief
by W. W. Rowe
The Last Word: And the Grammy goes to...