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Wisdom Spotlight - Issue #10 - The Eight Worldly Dharmas

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Wisdom Spotlight

November 14 · Issue #10 · View online

A monthly spotlight on Dharma education and practice resources from Samye Institute.


Dear Student,
Tulku Migmar Tsering recently taught on The Eight Worldly Dharmas, the jikten chö gyé.  When we learn how to free ourselves from chasing after or avoiding these hopes and fears we can become authentic practitioners. Tulku-la advised us on how to skillfully avoid the trap of wasting our energy chasing after these worldly concerns.
The Eight Worldly Dharmas are:
– hope for pleasure and fear of pain
– hope for fame and fear of infamy
– hope for praise and fear of blame
– hope for gain and fear of loss
Tulku Migmar discussed how we are all steeped in worldly aims, whether they are “white,” “black,” or “subtle.” The “white” worldly dharmas are driven by self-cherishing, the “black” are driven by the fundamental three poisons (attachment, aversion, ignorance), and the “subtle” are driven by our attachment to phenomena. Primarily, he discussed the “white” worldly dharmas of self-cherishing, meaning being fixed on how one gains advantages (fame, wealth, and so forth) in this life. As Dharma practitioners with a precious human body, we have great good fortune, and as a result enlightenment is practically in the palm of our hand. But we need to take the opportunity now, because we cannot be sure what will happen tomorrow. What determines the success of our Dharma practice is our own mind, and the eight worldly concerns are what keep us from authentic Dharma practice. Worldliness means we seek to gain protection from what we fear and to gain happiness, so our motivation is actually hoping for some kind of profit from our practice.
Tulku-la pointed out that the real purpose of Dharma is to be an antidote to our attachment and aversion, but the eight worldly concerns in practice can increase in our afflictive emotions. So we need to beware of this and check our motivation. As Nagarjuna advised, don’t be influenced by the eight worldly concerns, which are a kind of trap for the mind. Examine yourself and what your motivations are: is my motivation mixed up with the eight worldly concerns? There is an old Kadampa pith instruction that you only have two witnesses: your teacher and yourself. Check yourself, Tulku Migmar reminded us: is what you’re doing increasing or decreasing negative emotions? Don’t be caught in attachment and aversion. Keep impermanence and your own karma from past lives in mind. Ask: am I truly seeking liberation for the benefit of others?
For the past five years, Tulku Migmar has been based in Singapore. At Rangjung Yeshe Oddiyana Singapore, Tulku-la juggles the multiple roles of lama, spiritual advisor, ritual specialist, counselor, organizer, cook, and center manager. He has also traveled extensively throughout Asia and North and South America teaching and inspiring students at many centers.
As a keen observer, he is quick to understand the difficulties faced by students from many different nationalities and walks of life. We rejoice that Tulku-la gave us useful and applicable advice on how to avoid these common pitfalls.
Watch the Zoom Recording:
If you would like to watch the teaching in its entirety, please click here to view the Zoom recording. You will be prompted to enter the access code, which is [email protected] Please note this code is case sensitive.
Links to Translations (Audio)
Wisdom Spotlight
If you are inspired to explore this topic further, you can find a short teaching by Rinpoche below:
Becoming an Authentic Practitioner
And if you found this talk helpful and would like to continue the process of self-reflection and exercises to train the mind, explore our short course: 
Training the Mind: An Introduction
Upcoming Events from Samye Institute
Senior Lama Teaching Series: How to Plan Your Personal Retreat Part Two
Becoming Radically Happy: A User’s Guide to the Mind
Annual Fall Seminar 2020
Tsok Bum Series: Tukdrup Gongpa Kündü (The Heart Practice of the Embodiment of All Realization)
White Umbrella—Sitatapatra or Dukkarmo—Torma Exorcism at Vajra Varahi Monastery, Nepal
Latest Wisdom Blogs
Samye Institute posts regular wisdom blogs, covering various aspects of Buddhist practice, ritual and education. Here’s what we posted in the last month.
Guru Rinpoche Day Teaching: Sustain the Treasure of Samadhi
Seeing the Buddha, Becoming the Buddha: Formal Meditation Instruction from Phakchok Rinpoche
Celebrating Lha Bab Düchen
Repaying Those Who Have Previously Shown Kindness
On Forgetting
Educational Resources on Samye Institute
For those of you who want to learn in more detail, we have the following courses available on our platform. Each course is presented in a structured way and also has access to forums and instructor support.
About Samye Institute
Do you know that we’ve published over 500 pieces of content since our inception? On SamyeInstitute.org we offer a large archive of audio, video, and written teachings including many teachings directly from Phakchok Rinpoche.
All of these articles include key points and many offer reflection exercises or contemplations. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to or watch these teachings before, we hope that you will take the time to explore them.
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