His Holiness the Sakya Trizin

by Ngawang Ludrup (Yongsoo Sunim), 13/04/2015

His Holiness the Sakya Trizin is coming to Korea on May 5 and will give teachings from 8th-10th. His Holiness is the head of the Sakya Order, one of the four major orders in Tibetan Buddhism. He is one of three ‘Holinesses’ of Tibetan Buddhism; the others being His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness Karmapa. What does it mean to be a ‘Holiness.’ The term itself is from Catholicism, an honorific title for the Pope. These days, the term has found a nice home in Tibetan Buddhism. Are these beings truly holy? And what does it mean to be holy anyway?

From the Tibetan Buddhist perspective all beings are originally holy. Holy in the sense of being pure. Our nature is pure, incorruptible, and enlightened. The problem is that that we ordinary beings have yet to realize our true nature. And the holy beings, mentioned above, have realized this indestructible pure nature. So we call them holy. What does it mean to realize our true nature? This is a process of recognizing our pure consciousness imbued with wisdom and compassion. Those who have fully recognized this unchanging pure awareness, we call them holy. We all have the same potential, but they have realized the human potential for goodness, wisdom, and love. We have not. With practice and effort, we can become like them: fully relaxed, loving, kind, understanding, and awake. For this reason, they are quite worthy to be called ‘holy.’

How can we also become holy? As I mentioned, we are already holy but we don’t recognize it. The process of recognizing our inner purity is called meditation. It’s not about becoming a better person, but rather recognizing that we are already whole and pure. The reason we don’t recognize is that we have created so many limiting concepts about ourselves. We have too much junk in our heads. Meditation is not gaining something. It’s about throwing away all our limiting concepts and negative ideas. It’s a way to foster a more positive and pure view of our selves and the world. When we start to let go of all our concepts, our mind starts to become more still and peaceful, which is the mind’s natural state. We become more compassionate because we are also compassionate by nature. Most of our thinking is self-centered. We are concerned mostly about ourselves from morning to night. When we let go of our selfish thinking, our compassionate and wise nature is revealed.

We’re so addicted to thinking. We think, and think, and think. If all this thinking brought us benefit and happiness, it would be worth doing. However, our thoughts create more problems than happiness. Our mind can be our best friend or our worst enemy. All of our problems stem from the untamed mind, even though we may blame it on others. Conversely, great happiness can come from the tamed and stable mind. Actually true happiness can only come from within, not from outside. The happiness that we generally pursue is conditional happiness, meaning that we depend on outer circumstances like money, sex, pleasure, food, etc. This kind of happiness is only temporary and not stable. It creates attachment, which eventually leads to dissatisfaction and suffering. No one can enjoy perfect outer conditions all the time. Life is up and down. The point is to find the inner unchanging happiness. Then, we are happy and peaceful no matter the outer conditions. We have found inner wealth—the unconditional peace and love, which is our true nature. This May, a person who has found such unchanging happiness, a truly holy being will come to Korea!

See here for information on the lecture and here for the 2-day retreat.

About the author: Ngawang Ludrup (Yongsoo Sunim) is a Korean American monk ordained in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. He organizes the Korea visits and teachings of great Tibetan masters. He also teaches meditation. See www.shechenkorea.org

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