Frequently asked questions
The most frequently questions, you have asked, are being answered by The Prime of The Spiritual Administration of the Buddhists of Ukraine, the head of Sheichen-ling monastery - Dorje Jambo Choje Lama.
Is it obligatory to make contemplation in lotus position?
Not, it is not obligatory. Vast majority of practices do not need to be in special position. This requirement is used for some specific techniques only. It is generally connected with breath and internal energy (lung) management. The general requirements to a position at a contemplation are stability of a position, unstrained straight back, relaxed belly, freely relaxed shoulders, straight head and neck position. While you are contemplating, you can sit on a chair (this position is one of canonic; particularly, future Buddha, Maitreya, is shown on images in such a position), on your knees (it is better to sit on a low chair, which were built for that), on a hard pillow or rolled counterpane in so-called Burmese position (your feet and both knees lay on a ground, inner parts of your feet look up, legs are like in cross-legged position, but not crossed), it is acceptable but not recommendable to sit in cross-legged position, since legs and back get tired with this position quickly because your knees do not touch the ground. You can contemplate while you are staying (your feet are a bit apart, palms cover each other and are situated a bit lower than your navel). You can contemplate while you are walking or lying (the last one is not recommend to do. If your consciousness is tired or feel fade, you will fall asleep. But on the other hand this position is very relaxing if you are too agitated).
Are Dharma practice compatible with business?
There is a good Buddhist parable on a subject of compatibility one or another action with practice.
One Teacher had two attendants, who smoked. They always argued about this. Eventually, they decided to ask their Teacher about this. Then they met after a while. One attendant continued smoking, another gave it up.
"Teacher had prohibited me from smoking," The non-smoker exclaimed.
"But I had been allowed," Smoker said. "What had you asked him about?"
"Is it permissible to smoke while you are contemplating?" .And he answered, "Not. But what did you ask?"
"I asked if it was permissible to contemplate while I was smoking". And he said, "Yes, it was."
Going into business is the same way can be as obstacle as a practice part. It depends on your motivation at the moment of action. If you are induced to go into business by the Three poisons (greed, hatred and delusion) or these three poisons are into business itself, even if your business is perfectly honest and do not outwardly break your spiritual vows, you break all your vows at once.
If you go into business to create favourable conditions for practice of yours and other people, to spread Dharma and glorify the Three Jewels, if you are not driven by worldly pride but you are driven by reverence for The Three Jewels and wish for helping all living beings to be free from samsara suffering due to invention of Enlightment matchless good, you observe all spiritual vows, even if you have not accepted them formally.
When Buddha was asked the same question by merchant Anathapindata, Buddha answered him that good of Liberation did not depend on presence or absence of property. That's why you can go into business as hard as you need, but do not let business use you!
Non-affection to money and all other temporary things are the most important condition of practice as for laypeople as for bhikkhu. In other case, we become like some virtual bhikkhu, who refer themselves to Mahayana tradition. They arranged about a Vinaya rule, which is used to explain inacceptance of money by bhikkhu this way. They arranged that monk must not deal with money, and it will be an example for laypeople to do the same supposedly. They say that laypeople must supply bhikkhu with all they need. Meanwhile, some interesting collision is appeared. Firstly, if money is evil in principle, then accepting that was bought from laypeople is already evil. Thus, bhikkhu assist its prosperity, being clean from "dirty money". Secondly, bhikkhu remain depending on money internally. We follow "internal logic" of these practitioners. If bhikkhu meets realities of a life, which money is a part of, his "liberation" will be destroyed, because it is caused by external conditions and vows.
These people calumniate Buddha, distort Dharma and disgrace their own Teachers! Because, if a consciousness is depended on external things this mush, this is not a Dharma, not a Path to unstipulated Enlightment. Real practitioner's consciousness remains invariable if he wears ascetic rags or tsar's clothes. Because he is freed from as attachment to wealth as attachment to poverty. This was told many times by Enlightened One itself and Dharma Teachers. Buddha taught, that monks mustn't be tied with gold, property and trade possession. But he warned us from TYING with them, possession feeling development, but not from presence such things itself.
Bay-Djan, the Great Chinese School Chan Teacher, the author of Bay-Djan's rules, which is monastic regulation for Chan monks, wrote such words about having laypeople activity: It depends on person itself, if we are punished for all these actions. If it is grasping and his thoughts are filled with acquisition and loss, he will be punished by all means. On the contrary, if he did not evade unpleasant duties, which are fraught with the Fall from grace to him and execute his duties frankly, if he carried about benefits, which it will bring, then if he worked all day, he did not do anything bad.
Those people, who say, that is a sin to go into business, even if it directs at kind - just do not know nor the Canon, neither Mahayana Teaching. It was told in Boddhisattva Vows: "Refusing to accept money, gold and other property as a charity because of fear to break Pratimoksha (monastic rules) is a sin of Donation Perfection Neglecting (dana paramita) for Boddhisattva. It was said also: "Refusing to break Pratimokha secondary rules for the sake of living beings is a sin of Morality Perfection Neglecting (shila-paramita) for a Boddhisattva".
Venerable geshe Tubten Ngavang explained this questions to his attendants from a point of Boddhisattva Vows observance. This answers were given in Germany in 1998.
"Refusing from acceptance of gold and jewels offering is a smearing action. These things must be accepted with a wishing of good to person, who gave this generous offering. … One of morality features, which are peculiar to Boddhisattvas, is that the other good is more valuable then their one. There are plenty of minor rules among Pratimoksha vows, especially those that relate to the monks and nuns. For example, do not cut the grass, do not touch the person of the opposite sex, etc. It is a fall to ignore the others good, paying all your attention to these rules."
Therefore consider your business not as means of enrichment, but as a way to express your love to the Three Jewels, to help your neighbours, which aim is to bring one to Dharma path and a personal practice of mindful non-attachment development to worldly things. And it will become Enlightenment Path to for you but does not plunge you into the ocean of suffering!
What do I need to practice in Vajrayana tradition?
- First of all, and this can surprise many "local" tantric people, you should know a basis of Teaching. This is necessary because the Vajrayana is fully based on Mahayana teachings, and all its terminology, symbols and philosophy are permeated by Mahayana sense. Let's make an example. Let's take an four-handed Avalokiteshvara image, which is rather simple. Nonetheless, it carries a block of general Buddhist knowledge: for example, four hands symbolise the "four immeasurable states, six kinds of decorations on his body -"Six Perfections or Paramitas", decoration with five petals on his head - "Five Wisdom", etc. And I have named a fifth of the symbols of this Yidam only! Incidentally, the word "yidam" means a Enlightened object, which is being held in our mind only, but not a real god, as our pseudo-tantrists believe. Thus, to create a visualization of correct image of Avalokiteshvara's Yidam, which constitutes an organized character of states, these practices should have been understood before, and ideally person must have "Four immense" and "Six Paramitas" practice experience and much more other things. In addition, he must lay the foundation for these practices or what does he compassionate to and what is he going to redeem himself and living beings from, in fact? To do this he must get stronger renunciation, which is developing through the perishable nature practice, samsara painfulness practice and etc. And these practices are just the foundation of ALL Buddhist schools and they were written in early sutras, which Buddha had preached before.
Further, the practitioner should ask his teacher for giving a suitable practice for him. Often students, being full of pride, ask Teachers to give them a initiation in a practice that they have chosen for themselves before. They are secretly dreaming to become a "cool" practitioner of "cool" Yidams. This is completely unacceptable! This behaviour shows that the student is a "dirty vessel" and honest Lama necessarily stop such a perverted way of self-aggrandizing.
If the teacher sees that it a "worthy vessel", it will give the student Lung, Wang and Tree or Blessing, Initiation and Admonition respectively. Tantric practice is impossible without these three things.
Giving Lung - Blessing, Teacher allows you to practice this practice thereby. He assumes responsibility for correspondence this practice with your psychological type and level of Teaching you gained. This needs reading out more or less long, formal text of the practice or Yidam's mantra to ensure that you are not mistaken, what practice you get.
Initiation, Wang, is introducing to the reference of the practice experience. It's like a flash of lightning for a man who lost in the darkness. This flash allows him to instantly see where he is and where he should go. This is a very important moment - the moment of direct experience but not speculation about "how everything must be experienced. " There are three ways to bring students to the state, which called Abhisheka - "Internal" or "Secret" Initiation to practice: Symbolic initiation, when given state is a result of conscious ritual, meditation; Oral initiation is initiation through a detailed or figurative explanation which provokes symbol-free illumination; and Direct One Initiation, when needed state is given instantly by Teacher. The last method is the most difficult because it requires both the highest qualification of a Teacher and high potential from attendant. This can be just a word, gesture, clap, or, on the contrary, "still as death" silence. But in any case, it should generate awareness of the sacred nature of this practice. However, value of these three methods is identical, since they pursue the same object, which is an "Internal Initiation" and it either has happened or not. If it is not, you are still stay out of practice, even if you will be told that you was given "the most direct Initiation".
Once you had Initiation experience and essential state of practice was received, even for a moment, you must learn to work with that flash, how to turn it into a uniform light. Admonition, Tree, is used for this purpose. Your teacher tells you how you should practice, what obstacles you may encounter, what to do with them and how to integrate practice into your daily life.
After that you need just follow these instructions carefully and persistently, relying on the internal experience gained at its Initiation.
Some people think you are not an authority on Teaching. What can you say about that?
I happened to read about it on some Internet forums, though it was not about Dharma, but about my biography, which I am always interested as they describe it in, because I always find many interesting facts in these descriptions. Also these discussions is about my eye type, beads length, beard type, colour of robe, etc. These ladies and gentlemen pass Dharma questions over very often. Probably, they do not understand that they discredit themselves as Dharma experts. I do not see why is some "Dorje Jambo" being discussed, but not Enlightened One's Words? If person thinks he is Buddhist school practitioner, why does he need Dorje Jambo's words? He has his own Teacher, his own Practice, his own understanding of Teaching. It will be better to make practice, but not multiply gossip. It is another pair of shoes, if there are no any practice but tinsel of rituals, symbols and external initiations. In this case and it is true, symbols and rituals are in the forefront. And talks about whose Teacher, Tradition, School or Lineage of Transmission is cooler on the first sight. This problem is exist, have existed and always will exist. It is a particular type of people, who Buddha himself talked in Dhammapada about, "This is a thing of old, Atula, not only of today; they blame him who remains silent, they blame him who talks much, they blame him who speaks in moderation; none in the world is left unblamed."
In regard to my "authority", I do all to people are not guided on authority, even if these authorities are Tulku three times and Rinpore four times. I do all to people study, understand and practice personally and be guided by their own internal experience born by practice. If someone start covers his/her lack of knowledge with my authority, I will be the first one who remind such a person Four concepts, which Teaching relies on. They were stated in "Chatuh-pratisarana-sutra":
- RELY ON MEANING, NOT ON WORDS (Artha-pratisharanata na v'jandzhana-pratisharanata).
- RELY ON MEANING, NOT ON WORDS (Dharma-pratisharanata na pudgala-pratisharanata)
- RELY ON WHAT WAS KNOWN, BUT NOT ON IDEAS (Dzhnjana-pratisharanata na vidzhnjana-pratisharanata)
- RELY ON EXACT MEANING, BUT NOT ON NEEDED EXPLANATION (Nita-artha-pratisharanata na nej'ja-artha-pratisharanata)
Repeating Buddha' s words, I say to everyone who both eulogize me and blame me: "'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness" - then you should enter & remain in them." (Kalama-sutta)
How to make my acquaintance with Buddhism?
If you do not know canonic languages (Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese languages), start from translations into Russian language. First of all, it is a Sutta-pitaka sutras and then, if you have such a possibility, study these works: "Abhidharma-kosha" by Great Teacher Vasubanghu, "Visudhamaga" by Great Teacher Buddhagoshi (it is in English and it is translating in Russian now) and Great Teacher Shantidava's "Boddhicharia-avatara". Then if you interested just in Vadjrayana, Natural Liberation by Great Teacher Padmasambhava, "Lamrim Chen-mo" by Great Teacher Dzonhava, "Jewel Ornament of Liberation" by Teacher Gampopa, His Holiness Karmapa IX Vangchuk Dorje's Mahamudra Eliminating the Darkness of Unawareness. I would recommend books of Anagarika Govinda and Namkhai Norbu. Of course, it is not a comprehensive citation, but it will give you undistorted understanding of Vadjrayana practice. In any case, no book replaces personal practice and competent Lama experience.
What is necessary to take up Buddhist practice?
First of all, it is a wish and a right motivation, which are developed with help of "Four Lo djong practice". The Refuge in Three Jewels should be taken for that. You need to ask competent Teacher for these practices.
How to find spiritual Teacher?
My Venerable Mentor Choichen Dorje-lama answered my question with such a story, "It would be need to go to Himalayas, climb on the most inaccessible place, found the most neglected monastery, and if you found someone there, it would probably be the most worth Teacher". On my question, why would it be the most worth Teacher, Mentor asked seriously, "If person lived in such conditions, he would not be attached to external things and his faith would be truly deep. Even if he did not know any line from the Canon, his Dharma would come from his heart and it would be more valuable than the hundreds of volumes. This person would worth being honoured as a Lama!"
How can I better start practice?
It is definitely from development of strong importance of practice itself. Without developing such qualities as Faith (Sanskrit: shraddha) and selfless devotion (Sanskrit: viriya) you can't be in Dharma. These qualities are also used for further practices, as car needs fuels. Without developing these qualities to the right degree, your practice will remain deadly-immovable, as it is immovable car without fuel and it does not matter how your car is powerful and expensive. The first practice, which opens The Gate of Dharma, is perishable nature practice. Some Teachers set Human Birth Treasure up on a first place, but I think it incorrect, because it breaks the order of the Four Noble Truth practice and common sense. Human birth treasure can be understood only after you understood what can be lost. My own experience can confirm it. I will quote "Mahamudra Eliminating the Darkness of Unawareness" by such the authoritative practitioner as His Holiness Karmapa IX - Vangchuk Dorje (1556-1603) to not to be unsubstantiated. "Of the four conditions for actualizing the practice, the causal condition is earnestly practicing to develop disgust (with samsaric rebirth) and to send off, as something to be turned away, your clinging (to it. Do this) by taming your mental continuum with (thoughts of) impermanence and by seeing the individual and general characteristics of samsaric phenomena."
The Enlightened One taught, that wish for liberation from samsara bonds must be developed to such an extent, as person wishes to rescue from fire in burning house.
That's why do not hurry to pick "tantric" initiation up, like a magpie, which takes any shining object. It is better to make "Four Lo djong" practice completely and you will not make mistake on this path!
Can practice of several Buddhist schools be done?
Just in case if all these practices are in one group. On the contrary, different practices can bother each one efficiency. For example, if you make hard stimulating practices (The Perishable Nature, The Samsara Painfulness, The Refuge, The Four Infinite States) and try to develop Shamadha serene, you will hardly reach a success. That's why it is better to make practice in accordance with one School techniques.
I do not know Tibetan language. Can I read prayers in the native language?
You don't just can do it, but you must do it. On the contrary, you will grow a dullness and aversion to practice. Recite a prayer by your own words keeping their order and internal content only. I would recommend to learn main short Tibetan prays, which reading allow you to feel your involvement in Tradition, which is not the least of the factors.
Why do these symbols and rituals used? Will it be better if we meditate only?
Symbols and rituals are used exactly for deepening and consolidation of your practice. If they are realised, they works like crippling for your practice and do not allow to disperse it in periods between contemplations. They consolidate and revive your practice. It has contemporary explanation. There is a concept of "anchor" in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). It is gesture, symbol or word that encrypts psychological state, emotion or image. Using this "anchor", either one or other states can be strengthened or weakened. Symbols, rituals, mantras, mudras and etc. are anchors or your practice, if you use them correctly.
How is strict compliance with rituals, symbols, appearance, used in some School, important?
First of all, do not confuse concept of school with this school decoration.
The Tradition, the School, the Lineage of Transmission are knowledge and practices system but not just colour of robe, ritual order or temple appearance. Indeed, if Teacher of some School can not share the Teaching on a essence level, using outward things, that Teacher does not have personal internal experience of that School practice. It is like person, who have visited some place, can describe it with a lot of ways, but person, who have not been there, can just repeat others talks. By the way, when the Enlightened One itself accepted gold-brocaded royal clothes from Jivaka, he said to monks: "The monks can wear rags if it helps their practice, but those monks who clothes do not matter for, can wear even royal clothes".
There is one more very important aspect of correspondence symbols with given area and it is connected with Boddhisattva Vows. In accordance to rules of Vows observance, you MUST use your appearance and behaviour to win people's favour to Dharma and avoid everything that repulses people. There are formed stereotypes of clerical person in different countries. Some circumstances must to be taken into account: climatic features, traditions, comprehensive perception of art and symbolism, if not, you break your Vows and hurt The Holy Threeratna. It is foolish to walk barefoot on Siberian snow. Our Order accepted daily black clothes exactly from these consideration (in opposite to Tibetan cherry-red clothes). Black colour symbolises renunciation of worldly life. By the way, black robes are not so non-traditional for Vajrayana. This colour is often used in Mongolian Buddhism. I would recommend to read His Holiness Dalai-Lama XIV interview, which touches these questions.
What is connection between martial art and spiritual Buddhist practice? Do all monks devote themselves to martial art?
Devoting time to martial art is not obligatory for practicing monks, but martial art is used as high efficient "practice guide" for main spiritual Buddhist practices and as favouring high-tantra practices (Annutara-Yoga-Tantra part), because develop unstipulated Pure Presence state (Tibetan: rigpa, Sanskrit vidya), which joins Clarity (Tibetan: shine, Sanskit: shamadha) and In-sight (Tibetan: lhatong, Sanskrit: vipasiana) states.
In addition, many attention is paid to work with psychic energy (Tibetan: lung, Skt.: Prana) at martial arts, which also favour Tantra practice. Martial art can also support physical health, during hours-long contemplations especially, which also favour more efficient practice. Proficiency in the martial art also gives an opportunity, if it is necessary, to protect the Three Jewels, other people and themselves from violence.
What is need to become a Buddhist monk?
In various Buddhist countries, traditions, schools, and even in various monasteries of one school, these rules are very different. In our Order we follow canonical rules, which were established by Buddha: attendant, who wants to be ordained, must follow initial obedient vows no less than four moon months. He have learnt the basic rules of monastic conduct for this period. Further, if his knowledge and behavior are considered as worth further initiation, he takes partial monastic vows (Tibetan: getsul, Skt.: Shramanera). After taking these vows, he is studying the Canon, rituals, spiritual practice not less than a year. If he is more than 21 years old, his knowledge and behavior are considered as relevant full monk initiation, he will allowed to take full monastic vows.
Can women come for practicing to Sheychen-ling monastery?
They can come, but only as laywomen, since it is the male monastery. Naturally, it is prohibited to live in the monastery for them.
"Tradition", "School", "Order", "lineage of transmission". What is a difference of these concepts?
Indeed, there is a thorough confusion in these questions. To explain these differences it should be understood how the Dharma is transmitted, and what lineage of transmission is. All traditions and schools of the Dharma go back to the same root - the Buddha Shakyamuni, who brought the Four Noble Truths into this world more than 2500 years ago. But because of spiritual strength and the ability to practice noticeably differ in different people, three different approaches to the implementation of the Four Noble Truths knowledge were identified soon: Chariot for people who listen to the voice, Shravakayana (which is now often called incorrectly "Hinayana") appeared for less abilities people, Chariot of Perfections - Paramitayana (now referred to as" Bodhisattvayana "or" Mahayana ") was preached for the highest abilities people, "The Diamond Chariot "- Vajrayana (Tantrayana, Mantrayana) was preached for average abilities people. In fact, the last two chariots are just two different methods on the Mahayana path.
Accordingly, teachers who "specialised" on practices of one or other chariot, in accordance with which Chariot helped them to reach Enlightenment appeared. Thus, the tree of Dharma was divided into three branches.
In accordance with a main rule of the Dharma spreading: accordance with "time", "place" and "person" and on a basis of these three Tradition - chariots, various Dharma schools appeared. They were based on certain aspects of basic Chariot. In Tibet, there are four main schools: the Nyingma-pa, Kadzhud-pa, Sakya and Gelug-pa (the defunct Kadam-pa the successor to). They are based on Vajrayana methods in their practice.
Each school has a main lineage of transmission, which always takes place from the Buddha Shakyamuni through the famous ancient teacher and mystical creatures - Yidams, Dakini and Dharmapala (which are a symbolic expression of some mystical revelation) to a founder of the school, who expressed it in a systematic form. This line extends to the teachers of presence.
For Nyingma-pa School, which methods and practices uses our Order, this lineage of transmission is following: Shakyamuni Buddha, Maitreya Buddha (the Buddha of the present and future time), Nagarjuna, Asanga, Dignaga, Aryadeva, Vasubandhu and Dharmakirti (as All-Buddhist Great Teachers, who laid the foundation of all philosophical and practical basis of Teaching); Samantabhadra, Vajradhara, Vajrasattva, Vadzhrakilaya, Padmavadzhra, Yamantaka, Hayagriva, Mahakala, Chemchog Heruka, Amritadzhnyani, Yandag Tur, Mahamantra, Mahavadzhradharma, Simhamukhi, Vadzhradakinya, Kurukula, Ekadzhati, Leiky Wangmo and others. The next is a mystical lineage of transmission. Vetalasukha (Tibetan: Garab Dorje), Mandzhushrimitra, Indrabhuti, Kukuradzha, Shrisinha, Dzhnyanasutra, Vimalamitra, Buddhaguhya, Lilavadzhra as a lineage of symbolic transmission of the Dharma. They are Vajrayana methods distributors), Padmasambhava (founder of the School of the Nyingma-pa and for nine classes of tantra Tantra methods systematiser in Tibet). The next go the Tibetan Teachers, from the first disciples of Padmasambhava to the current holders of the transmission line.
Next main lines divide on so-called "Lineages of secret oral admonotions, which are passed with the main lines of the School "heart to heart "on a basis of spiritual experience of a teacher to his disciples.
As to the Order, it is a later concept that appeared in various schools to serve the Three Jewels better. The main Order focus is to spread the Dharma. Orders are more united than traditional Sanghas and have higher demands to its members and stricter discipline that allows them to carry out their mission in a more difficult environment and to implement it more effectively.
How can I practice in a better way?
First of all, try to remove factors, that distract you from practice. If it is possible, minimize your worldly activity, ideally, go to a quiet, peaceful place. If not, then at least stop the guff and turn off TV and radio. Of course, we should stop using any intoxicating substances such as alcohol and drugs. If you can, give up smoking: nicotine is neuro-paralytic alkaloid, and therefore it dulls the ability to concentrate greatly and it blocks the energy flows in your body. In addition, cigarette smoking attracts evil spirits and turns away the spiritual guardians from you. Guru Rinpoche wrote about this.
Create a conducive to your practice environment. For example, create a small and inspiring you altar and contemplate in a special spiritual clothes (it is traditional white spiritual robes for the laypeople). If it impossible, put in front of you items that support your practice. For example, if you are practicing perishable nature practice, then you can put a skull in front of you, a photograph of a corpse or hang Sitipati Thanka. If you are contemplating Refuge, put the symbols of the Three Jewels: an inspiring Buddha statue (or Thanka), place the sutra (the symbol of the Dharma) and put a small stupa (a symbol of the Sangha), or hang Thanka depicting the Tree of Refuge. Visit, and if it is possible, contemplate in place that force your practice (eg, a cemetery for perishable nature practice).
Divide your waking hours on meditation cycles. Do not try to "breed" your practice, it is not eggs, and you is not a chicken. A single cycle of contemplation should be about 30 minutes: this will allow you to practice for a long time without fatigue. If you decide to retreat, divide a day on 8-12 half-hour cycles, and if you have usual life, then do 4 cycles (morning, lunch, evening, bedtime), or 3-cycle (morning, lunch, before bedtime), or 2 cycles (in the morning and before bed). If you can do only one cycle, it is best to do it in the morning. This will allow you to come to daily activity more consciously. You can do it in this way: contemplate for 30 minutes, then make prostrations or warming-up exercises for 15-30 minutes, or (if you can, do cum-nieu, lung-gom or qigong exercises. It is the best to do them), and then - next contemplation for 30 minutes again. This is especially useful for those who can devote time to one cycle of contemplation only.
Do not talk about your practice and do not discuss it with anyone except your teacher. If you do not do it, you lose little spiritual accumulation you have gained quickly. This does not mean that we should not preach the Dharma people who want to listen to the Enlightened One's Words. Indeed, it will strengthen your practice. However, your mouth must be numb immediately, as soon as it comes to your own practice.
Do not divide the practice on "lower" and "higher". It is a root decline. All practices are the essence of Enlightened One's Dharma! There is yours and not yours practice only, think of your practice as to cure for your illness which is called "ignorance". Why do you care about all other medicines?
And do not consider yourself to be too "advanced" practitioner, remember that "Nothing has been achieved, until all has been achieved!"
Do you consider yourself an enlightened Teacher?
Buddha keeps me from making such statements! I think, I am a preacher of the Holy Dharma, as well as an administrator, whose responsibilities include the creation of favorable conditions for Dharma spreading in Ukraine. When we started our activity at first, the authorities often confused Buddhists with Hindus, hatha-yogists, and it is not clear with whom else. They opposed Buddhist community activity, and based on the principle of "the less you are , the less we work." Nowadays Ukrainian Buddhists is small, but a force which authorities have to reckon with. Suffice is to say that we won a case of registration of our monastery in the Supreme Court of Ukraine, despite of opposition of the State Committee for Religious Affairs, As for me personally, I will pleased to resign from all my powers, when some Tibetan lama agrees to teach on a permanent basis in Ukraine, but not two - three day retreats, as many foreign teachers who visit post-Soviet space from time to time do. That is why we are building a monastery, to get a stable basis for continuing the practice, full training and a long stay of experienced Teachers in our country.