Following the Visit of His Holiness 42nd Sakya Trizin to Mexico Lama Jampa Thaye stayed on to give further teachings at Sakya Dolma Ling in the colourful Coyoacán area of Mexico City.
Entering the Vajrayana
The teachings on ‘Entering the Vajrayana’ were based on the final chapter of Lama Jampa’s book Rain of Clarity which introduces the stages of the path as practised in the Sakya tradition Attendees included the wider Mexican sangha from as far away as Leon, as well as sangha members from the Dechen centre of Kagyu Ling in Manchester who had also travelled over especially to attend the teachings.
The Three Vehicles of Buddhism
Speaking about the relationship between the tantric teachings and those of the hinayana and ordinary mahayana Lama Jampa said:
We cannot practise the vajrayana in isolation as it rests upon the preceding two vehicles. The vajrayana is the culmination of the preceding teachings because whereas the common dharma in the preceding vehicles presents a long path to enlightenment, in the vajrayana it’s possible to achieve enlightenment in a single lifetime.
The Transmission of the Buddha's Vajrayana Teachings
Lama Jampa outlined the transmission of the tantras from India to Tibet. He explained that the transmission of the vajrayana teachings comes ‘from the Buddhas themselves, so from an enlightened source down through an unbroken lineage’ . Next Lama Jampa taught about the different motivations for practising. For those who wish to practice the dharma primarily for the benefit of others, Buddha taught the Mahayana, ‘ an extensive and profound method of practice in order to benefit all beings.’ Lama Jampa explained that we develop our ability to do this by
Practising a method which is extensive and profound. It’s extensive because we have to practise many methods such as giving, moral discipline and effort etcetera, but it’s profound because we have to cultivate the correct view of the world, penetrating right to the heart of things. One leads to compassion and the other leads to wisdom. The motivation that motivates and animates this second group of disciples is bodhicitta which is total altruism.... We’re building the foundation for the vajrayana first as you need to have the bodhicitta motivation before you can consider the vajrayana.
The Special Characteristics of the Buddhist Path of Vajrayana
In explaining the special characteristics of the vajrayana Lama Jampa said,
All beings are already Buddhas but they are temporarily obscured. The one feature that distinguishes Buddhas and sentient beings is the presence or absence of the wisdom that recognises the nature of mind. So it’s not a difference in the continuum, it’s just the presence of wisdom or ignorance.
Answers to Questions on Buddhist Practice and the Buddhist Path
The teachings was followed by a Q&A session with questions ranging from ‘How do we know how well or not our practice is going?’ to ‘What is it like to be on the first bhumi?’. This last was asked by the youngest member of the sangha who had travelled over from Manchester to attend the teachings and was planning to share the experiences of her trip with her school back home.
Inititian of White Dzambala
On Sunday Lama Jampa bestowed the initiation of White Dzambala riding on a dragon from the lineage of Atisha which Lama Jampa himself received from both His Holiness 41st Sakya Trizin , now The Sakya Trichen, and His Holiness 17th Karmapa, Thaye Dorje.
Auspicious Causes and Conditions
At the end of the teachings Lama Jampa spoke of the two things that had come together this week: first of all the wonderful visit of His Holiness Sakya Trizin; secondly the generosity and work of the Mexican sangha in establishing the Sakya dharma in Sakya Dolma Ling. Lama Jampa encouraged the sangha to continue in their dual roles as practitioner and workers who will make the dharma flourish in Mexico. He concluded with advice on plans to extend the programme of activities at the Centre and the wish that ‘His Holiness and other princes of dharma will come here.’