The cracked pot

I just came across a beautiful story at e-sangha, and I'd like to share it here....

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots,each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.
At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its complishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."

The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?" "That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them."
"For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers todecorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.
You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

So, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path.



These days I started a new project - the BonPedia online encyclopedia. It's a open wiki-style website where all knowledgeable people are welcome to contribute. On these web pages I will try to collect as much as possible useful information on the Bonpo tradition. Well, this is quite a mammoth project and it will take a while until one can use it like a wiki-site. Currently I'm the only contributor and therefore there are only a few entries and articles available at the moment, but I really hope to find a few people who have the time and the interest to work with me on this project.

Anyway, during the next few months I will continue to work on BonPedia and then we'll see how it works and if there is any interest in a project like this....

Live Webcast of Buddhist Philosophy Class of LTWA is now broadcasting teachings on Aryadeva's Four Hundred Verses on the Yogic Deeds of Bodhisattvas (Catuhshataka, bZhi rgya pa) with Ven. Geshe Sonam Rinchen.

The live webcasts are almost daily from 11 am to 12 pm (IST +5:30GMT). They are already broadcasting since last month, but one can download all previous talks as well.

Live Webcast of Buddhist Philosophy Class of LTWA

Words of Advice

from Kyabje Chadral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

Precious master of unrepayable kindness, Pema Ledrel Tsal,
Remain as the crown ornament on the top of my head, I pray!
Grant your blessings so that we may find freedom here and now
From all the sufferings of samsara and its lower realms!

Listen well, my dear disciples who are gathered here,
And whose hearts have not been spoiled, consider this.

The chances of finding a human existence are one in a hundred.
Now that you have found one, if you fail to practise the sublime Dharma,
How could you possibly expect to find such an opportunity again?
This is why it’s crucial that you take advantage of your situation.
Conceiving of your body as a servant or a thing to ferry you about,
Don’t allow it to rest in idleness for even just a single moment;
Use it well, spurring on your entire body, speech and mind to virtue.

You might spend your whole life pursuing only food and clothes,
With great effort and without regard for suffering or harmful deeds,
But when you die you can’t take even a single thing—consider this well.
The clothing and alms needed to keep you alive are all you need.
You might dine on the finest meal of delicious meat and alcohol,
But it all turns into something impure the very next morning,
And there is nothing more to it all than that.
So be content with life-sustaining provisions and simple clothes,
And be a loser when it comes to food, clothing and conversation.

If you don’t reflect on death and impermanence,
There’ll be no way to practise Dharma purely,
Practice will remain an aspiration, one that is constantly postponed,
And you may feel regret the day that death comes, but by then it’s too late!

There’s no real happiness among any of the six classes,
But if we consider the sufferings of the three lower realms,
Then, when you feel upset just by hearing about them,
How will you possibly cope when you experience them directly?
Even the happiness and pleasures of the three upper realms
Are just like fine food that’s been laced with poison—
Enjoyable at first, but in the long run a cause of ruin.

What’s more, all these experiences of pleasure and pain,
Are not brought about by anyone besides yourself.
They are produced by your very own actions, good and bad.
Once you know this, it’s crucial that you act accordingly,
Without confusing what should be adopted and abandoned.

It’s far better to eliminate your doubts and misconceptions,
By relying on the instructions of your own qualified teacher,
Than to receive many different teachings and never take them any further.

You might remain in a solitary place, physically isolated from the world,
Yet fail to let go of ordinary concerns, and, with attachment and aversion,
Seek to bring defeat upon your enemies while furthering the interests of your friends,
And involve yourself in all kinds of projects and financial dealings—
But there could hardly be anything worse than that at all.

If you lack the wealth of contentment in your mind,
You’ll think you need all kinds of useless things,
And end up even worse than just an ordinary person,
Because you won’t manage even a single session of practice.
So set your mind on freedom from the need for anything at all.
Wealth, success and status are all simply ways of attracting enemies and demons.
Pleasure-seeking practitioners who fail to turn their minds from this life’s concerns
Sever their connection to the authentic Dharma.

So take care to avoid becoming stubbornly immune to the teachings.
Limit yourself to just a few activities and undertake them all with diligence.
Not allowing your mind to become fidgety and restless,
Make yourself comfortable on the seat in your retreat cabin,
This is the surest way to gain the riches of a Dharma practitioner.

You might remain sealed in strict retreat for months or even years,
But if you fail to make any progress in the state of your mind,
Later, when you tell everyone about all that you did over such a long time,
Aren’t you just bragging about all the hardships and deprivation?
And all their praise and acknowledgements will only make you proud.

To bear mistreatment from our enemies is the best form of austerity,
But those who hate criticism and are attached to compliments,
Who take great pains to discover all the faults of others,
While failing to keep proper guard over their own mindstream,
And who are always irritable and short-tempered,
Are certain to bring breakages of samaya upon all their associates,
So rely constantly on mindfulness, vigilance and conscientiousness.

No matter where you stay—be it a busy place or a solitary retreat—
The only things that you need to conquer are mind’s five poisons
And your own true enemies, the eight wordly concerns, nothing else,
Whether it is by avoiding them, transforming them,
taking them as the path or looking into their very essence,
Whichever method is best suited to your own capacity.
There’s no better sign of accomplishment than a disciplined mind,
This is true victory for the real warrior who carries no weapons.
When you practise the teachings of the sutras and tantras,
The altruistic bodhichitta of aspiration and application is crucial,
Because it lies at the very root of the Mahayana.

Just to have this is enough, but without it, all is lost.
These words of advice were spoken in the hidden grove of Padma,
In the place called Kunzang Chöling,
In the upper hermitage in a forest clearing,
By the old beggar Sangye Dorje.

May it be virtuous!

Translated by AP
© Wu Tai Shan Clan 2004. All Rights Reserved

Words of Advice by Loppön Namdrol

You need to just sit and relax.

Take a proper posture. Expell the stale air.

Do Guru yoga.

Then relax. As one's mind slowly subsides, a vivid, clear and energetic radiance will emerge. This is not rigpa itself, but is instead the radiance aspect of awareness. Relaxing in this is the essence of tregchod.

If it does not arise-- it doesn't matter-- it is there anyway. If it arises, it doesn't matter, since there is nothing one can do to cause it to arise, nor will it ever subside. But it is revealed when one is sufficiently relaxed.

If thoughts occur, it doesn't matter, since thoughts do not exist outside of this state. If there are no thoughts, it doesn't matter, since this radiance is not product of stillness, no more than the lustre of clear water is a product of the settling out of detritus.

When one can "see" the radiance of awareness even in the midst of the chaos of concepts, then one's tregchod is moving ahead.

Otherwise, just relax and integrate into your primordial state.

A few words of advice on tregchod written by a so called "dzogchen pa" named Namdrol.

Source: E-Sangha

My Top 21 Albums

Since people asking continuously about my favourite music, I thought I'll share my top 21 albums from my favourite 21 artists....

08001: Raval ta Joie
Spain; 2003 (Reedición 2004)

Ali-Japtap: Living with a Ghost
USA, France, UK, Japan, Mongolia; 2003

Amparanoia: La Vida te da
Spain; 2006

Anoushka Shankar: Rise
India; 2005

Art Tatum: The Complete Pablo Solo Masterpieces

Björk: MTV Unplugged
Iceland; 2002

Buena Vista Social Club
Cuba; 1997
Buy @ Amazon

Curandero: Aras
USA, Spain; 1997

Dikanda: Jakhana Jakhana
Poland; 2002

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
Ella Fitzgerald's Website
Satchmo's Website

Gnawa Diffusion: Souk System
France, Algeria; 2003

Gypsy Reunion: Swing '93
France; 1993

Hossam Ramzy y Rafa El Tachuela: Flamenco Arabe
Egypt, Spain; 2003

Miguel Czachowski: Indialucía
Spain, India; 2005

Ivan Tucakov & Tambura Rasa: Viaje
Europe; 2006

Ojos de Brujo: Techarí
Spain; 2006

Road of the Gypsies: L'Èpopée Tzigane
Afghanistan, Albania, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland, Rajasthan, Roumania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Transylvania, Turkey ;1995
Buy @ Amazon

Steve Tibbetts and Ani Choying Drolma: Cho
USA, Tibet; 1997
Steve Tibbetts' Website
Ani Choying Drolma's Website
Mark Anderson's Website

Susheela Raman: Music for Crocodiles
UK, India; 2005

Thierry Robin: Gitans
France, Spain, Turkey, Pakistan, Rajasthan, India; 1993

Tori Amos: Little Earthquakes
USA; 1992