Look, listen and learn

Some of you maybe recall the classbook series “Look, listen and learn” by means of which we were to learn English in the 80s. Looking into your faces I can see that you do.

Well, I don’t want to talk neither about school today nor education in the known sense, more direct your attention to the sounding title per se. This title has us to look, to listen and learn from it. Today I want to talk about this listening.

The way we perceive things depends from our disturbing emotions. If we are jealous we perceive our environment as an ongoing jealous attack. If we are proud we think to recognise unbearable arrogance in others. If we are full of attachments (no matter which kind because some people are attached to their fear as if it were their greates treasure) then we see everything through these glasses etc. That means, no matter how much we try, all is stained by our own neurosis.

Hence it is all the more important to nurture our right listening. If the lama explains something we should listen relaxed,  in trust and with the heart. Mostly, we listen with our brains and still whilst listening the same gets moving to fight off, make nonsens of the heard and save it twisted to proof to Ego that noone but Ego itself is all occurings’ boss. It is heartbreaking. There are numberless examples.

I myself know this phenomenon from students ongoingly. If I ask someone to put something in that and that place the person hears to put it in a completely different spot and won’t believe me having not told him or her to do so.

A special example of this kind was once told by my Guru, Guru Vajradhara Chamgon Kenting Tai Situpa: Once a student came to see him with a wrapped fish and wanted Rinpoche to slap him with the same just as Tilopa had done it with Naropa. My Guru replied, “who told you that?” The student, “you did.” “No, by no means did I!” “Surely yes!” At that time the entire shrine room laughed and everyone saught it absurde that this student remembered the holy biography twisted as we know that Tilopa slapped Naropa with his sandal to free him of all concepts eternally into final enlightenment.

Our neuroses, our veils prevent us from seeing and comprehending things the way they are. We cannot think or wish away this pattern. We can only transform it. The means and methods to do so were given by Lord Buddha. We can receive them through the lineage. By carefully, unbiased listening trustfully, putting into action what we received and applying it we can become Buddha ourselves by this very blessing.

Chöje Lama Palmo