Gem of Wisdom for Daily Reflection: 

The Discourse of Dharmapada Sutra at Losar

The Dharmapada Sutra is a collection of 423 stanzas of Lord Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings, arranged in 26 chapters in accordance to the theme of their subject. Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche gave the commentary of this sutra during the two-day Losar weekend of the Tibetan New Year at the Pathgate Dharma Centre in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England.

Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche giving teaching at the Pathgate Dharma Centre

Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche first taught the Dharmapada Sutra in 2007 at The Pathgate Summer Retreat in Greece, the teaching at the Losar weekend was the second in what is to be a series of Dharma discourses offering explanation and advice on how to apply the teachings of the Dharmapada Sutra in our daily lives.

Since this teaching was given during the most auspicious time of Losar, Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche explained that this special period is the perfect time to let go of unhelpful habits of the past. Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche began the teaching by explaining how the existence of everything we come to encounter in the world is the result of the activities of the mind - “Mind is the forerunner of all Evil states” - and that we should not allow our mind to be distracted by personal desire and aversion, but instead to see things more expansively, both in relation to other people and also in terms of cause and effect – for if your happiness is based on causing suffering for others then that action will undoubtedly return to you a thousand-fold.

After summarizing the first six chapters for the benefit of students who did not attend the first teaching, Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche went on to cover a further three chapters. Countless examples were given throughout to illustrate the suffering experienced in samsara by all beings – wandering constantly from hope to disappointment, through the process of birth; thriving and then degeneration back to nothingness. Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche then used many candid examples to illustrate how the sage - one who’s mind is grounded in true wisdom, who is balanced and well-disciplined - “seeks great delight in detachment and does not wander in samsara”.

Further impressing upon the students how action without mindfulness and understanding is merely an act of pretence which offer no lasting benefit, and that “It is better to have a single day in one’s life which is wise and meditative”, than a hundred years without following a time-honoured method.

Lama Dondrup Dorje  Rinpoche will continue with the next part of this teaching in a three-day event from 1st to 3rd May 2010 at the Pathgate Dharma Centre in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. If you would like to attend, please visit the Teaching Schedule.