Online teachings on the The Four Dharmas of Gampopa
On August 1st and 2nd 2020, Drupon Khen Rinpoche gave a two-day online teaching requested and organised by Hwayue Foundation in Taiwan. Rinpoche taught The Four Dharmas of Gampopa taken from the collected works of Gampopa.
Again, Rinpoche reminded the listeners of the importance of listening to the dharma with an attitude of faith, seeing the dharma to be precious and important. Warning that in the absence of this attitude the value of the dharma, that which leads sentient beings to liberation and omniscience, will soon be lost.
The four Dharmas of Gampopa are: dharma becoming dharma, dharma succeeding as a path, dispelling delusion regarding the path, delusion arising as wisdom
Rinpoche taught that we first have to identify what ‘dharma’ is. He explained that it is the methods that transform us, our way of thinking, for the better, and if that doesn’t happen dharma is not becoming dharma.
The teaching on dharma becoming dharma contains contemplations on impermanence, causality, and the defects of cyclic existence (samsara). They are not asking us to ignore our life, cyclic existence. We are encouraged to take a good look at it. To see the truth of it. To know that it’s not as stable, as happy, as truly established as we thought. By looking at it, our way of relating to it will start to change. And when we start to have a new way of looking at things, a new way of thinking that is different to that of ordinary sentient beings will emerge and thus we will not be born as a sentient being next time round.
But this thought also can develop the adverse side effect of feeling aversion towards one’s own suffering and wanting to free oneself alone as quickly as possible. So in the second step, dharma succeeding as a path, we try to let go of ourselves by cherishing others more than ourselves.
In brief, if we don’t look at cyclic existence, we’ll never come to know the truth of it. It is by not ignoring and rejecting what we perceive to be negative that we will move closer to the higher dharmas: dispelling delusion regarding the path and delusion arising as wisdom.