review by By Arlan Wise
The Martha's Vineyard Times
"A fundamental truth underlies all Dharma teachings:
every being has a basic potential Buddha nature."
Lama Jigme Rinpoche
With The Emotions” is a practical reminder of this basic truth
which serves as an organizing principle for one's spiritual practice.
The book is composed of a series of lectures given by Lama Jigme
Rinpoche at Dhagpo Kagyu Ling monastery in France in 1994, 2002,
and 2003 and it is published by the Bodhi Path organization here
on the Vineyard.
student of Buddhism needs a teacher and his transmission; one cannot
get the essence of Buddhism by oneself. That said, this is a well-written
book that describes how this ancient discipline works to conquer
emotional distress and quiet the mind. Lama Jigme Rinpoche's teachings
are clear and easy to read. He makes gentle use of repetition, reinforcing
the teachings without redundancy.
Jigme Rinpoche gives an explanation of the Tibetan concepts of Dharma
(the wisdom of Buddha), and Bodhicitta (the enlightened mind that
knows we are all interconnected and is dedicated to helping others).
He explains the root nature of emotive causes, and provides tools
for working with the emotions.
discusses the importance of meditation, yet stresses that meditation
alone is not enough to achieve equanimity. It is important to observe
one's mind and practice introspection daily. He suggests that we
let the first thought of the day be of helping others.
Tibetan word speaks of a view where everything is possible, and
anything can happen,” he writes. “In this scenario,
we need only to see clearly what is happening…. The point
is to expand our awareness.… We can be relaxed and energetic
at the same time. Our goal is to attain this state of mind ever
fresh, available, clear, and relaxed. A mind relaxed is a happy
mind. It is not the ordinary happiness, which is fleeting, but a
deeper happiness inseparable from the deep serenity or clarity of
Jigme Rinpoche makes three important points: 1. do not harm living
beings; 2. help others; 3. learn to tame your mind.
emphasizes the importance of patience. This process is lengthy and
challenging, but it is doable. One must practice day-by-day, week-by-week,
month-by-month, and as the time passes, you will notice a gradual
change in your perceptions and degree of inner contentment accompanied
by a calming of your mind. The Lama knows the nature of the western
mind, which wants enlightenment right this minute and expects instant
practice is like the grass growing.” he writes. “You
cannot see its growth from day to day. You know it is growing. Only
a few days later you would you see the grass visibly taller. Your
state of mind is like the grass. It improves if you continue to
apply the dharma daily, practice a little each day, reflect and
meditate regularly. A year later, you will feel a positive change
in you…. Change cannot be forced. We continue to work on ourselves
little by little. There is no other way.”
you can work with your emotions. No one else can take on this task
for you. You must step back from attachments to egoistic demands
in order to see more clearly and live without expectations. It's
work. It takes practice. In his book, Lama Jigme Rinpoche reminds
you why you want to do it.
to read this book brings benefit of the Dharma.
Wise is a sponsor for the monks at the Tibetan Buddhist Ganden Monastery
in Mundgod, India. She has received the Kalachakra Initiation given
by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She has also received His Holiness's
teachings in Dharamasala, India and New York City. She writes the
Times astrology column.
With The Emotions is available
Bodhi Path Center in West Tisbury,
at The Bunch Of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven, MA
or by calling the center at 508-696-5929.
available in Germany:
Bodhi Path - Buddhist Center
Tel: +33 7843-7232