Patrul Rinpoche on the Six Stains
This is the fifth in a series of excerpts from Patrul Rinpoche’s classic introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, Words of My Perfect Teacher. We’re using the Yale University Press edition, translated by the Padmakara Translation Group. You can get the book for yourself if you wish. We are not following any particular order in these excerpts. This one is in the chapter on The Difficulty of finding the freedoms and advantages, from the section on Conduct and the subsection on The Six Stains, on pages 12-14 of the 2011 edition.
The Six Stains
Pride, lack of faith and lack of effort,
Outward distraction, inward tension and discouragement;
These are the six stains
Your past joys and sorrows are like drawings on water:
No trace of them remains. Don’t run after them!
But should they come to mind, reflect on how success and failure come and go.
Is there anythings you can trust besides the Dharma, mani-reciters?
Your future projects and plans are like nets cast in a dry riverbed:
They’ll never bring you what you want. Limit your desires and aspirations!
But should they come to mind, think how uncertain it is when you’ll die;
Have you got time for anything other than Dharma, mani-reciters?
Your present work is like a job in a dream.
Since all such effort is pointless, cast it aside.
Consider even your honest earnings without any attachment.
Between meditation sessions, learn to control in this way all thoughts arising from the
Until all thoughts an percceptions arise as the dharmakaya,
This is indispensable – remembering it whenever you need it,
Do not give rein to deluded thoughts, mani-reciters!
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See More Excerpts from The Words of My Perfect Teacher on YoWangdu:
The Words of My Perfect Teacher
By Patrul Rinpoche and the Dalai Lama
Our friend, a Buddhist Studies professor in the U.S., notes that this is “an English translation of a Tibetan text on the path to enlightenment. The translation is really good and many Tibetan Studies scholars use the book in their Tibetan Buddhism classes.”
Description: “A favorite of Tibetans and recommended by the Dalai Lama and other senior Buddhist teachers, this practical guide to inner transformation introduces the fundamental spiritual practices common to all Tibetan Buddhist traditions...Patrul Rinpoche makes the technicalities of his subject accessible through a wealth of stories, quotations, and references to everyday life….quintessential introduction to Tibetan Buddhist practice. ” (5 stars/24 reviews)