Is this world samsara or is it part of the pure land? Actually, it is neither. Because it is empty, this world is nothing other than how we discriminate it. This world is samsara if we look at it from a samsaric point of view. This world is part of the pure land if we look at it from a pure point of view. So is our waking reality a training simulation orchestrated by Dorje Shugden or not? It is if we view it that way. It is not if we do not. The choice is ours.
We need valid reasons to be able to look at our life in this way. It is more beneficial to view it this way. By doing so, everything becomes part of our training to become a Buddha. This is how pure beings view it. For a pure being, this is a pure world. For an ignorant being, this is a world of suffering. The minds of ignorant beings are mistaken, the minds of pure beings are not. If we request Dorje Shugden to make our life a training simulation, he has the power to do so since all things are mere karmic appearances to mind and he has the power to manage what karma ripens if we request him to. On the basis of these valid reasons, we train in believing that it is, and through the power of this, it will be and become this for us.
So how can we view things in this light? The purpose of everything Dorje Shugden emanates for us is to forge us into the Buddha we need to become. He orchestrates what appears in our life optimally to the extent to which we request him to and that we have faith in him. But he leaves it up to us to make our own choices.
We can practice this according to completion stage by imagining our entire world is taking place inside of our indestructible drop. We imagine we are inside the emptiness of our very subtle mind of great bliss. This itself is inside the indestructible drop. To strengthen our bodhichitta, we can believe that we are living our life inside the hearts of all living beings. So everything we do in this space reflects into the minds of each and every living being. If we generate love, love is generated in the minds of all beings. If we generate the intention to attain enlightenment, this intention is generated in the minds of all beings. In summary, we can view our whole life as a bodhisattva training ground emanated by Dorje Shugden and taking place inside the emptiness of our very subtle mind inside the drop. We can view every object as a ripple on our very subtle mind emanated by your guru as part of our training.
When we understand the emptiness of ourself, our world and others, we realize our real task is to karmically reconstruct our dream from a world of suffering into a pure land for ourself and for all living beings in it. When we do this from the point of view of exchanging self with others, we view the delusions of anybody as our own delusions. It is part of the fabric of our mind that needs to be liberated from all delusions.
What makes accomplishing our task difficult is each being has their own mind and the law of karma applies to each mind. So they will only experience the effect of being in the pure land if they engage in the actions of the stages of the path from their own side and from their own free desire (because it is intention that creates karma). So the practical conclusion is we need to get each being from their own side to engage in all of the stages of the path to enlightenment.
So how do we do this? If we are a kadampa, the basic strategy we follow is that of the Kadampa Tradition of Je Tsongkhapa. What is this basic strategy of Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition: We become ourselves a fully qualified Kadampa spiritual guide who then forms other fully qualified Kadampa Spiritual Guides, who have the intention to form others, etc.
There are two levels at which we operate to get all living beings from their own side to engage in all of the stages of the path. The practical means of doing this can be understood as follows: The goal of helping others is to teach them to walk on their own. With somebody, we are like a spiritual parent. In beginning, we help people with whatever they are doing practically. Then, we help people transform whatever problems they have into their practice. Then, we work with them step by step showing how to solve their problems by changing their mind with the Dharma. Then, we help them by not giving answers, but by asking the right questions. Then, we do not indulge their delusions. Then, we should be willing to let them fall so they can learn to walk on their own. Then, we give them discretion within a box. Then, we help them in a supporting role to accomplish their own spiritual projects and aspirations. Then, we let them completely run on their own and just be there for them when they want to come to us for help.
The profound means of karmically reconstructing others can be understood as follows: We need to engage in the Guru Yoga of everything. People appear to us as ordinary because in the past we engaged in the mental action of assenting to our ordinary appearance. This planted the karma which ripens now in the appearance of others as being ordinary engaging in ordinary actions. By maintaining pure view, we plant the karma on our mind which will ripen in the future in the form of all beings engaging in enlightened actions. If we do this, later each being of our dream will appear to us to be engaging in the stages of the path to enlightenment from their own side. We need to be patient with this, a farmer does not plant seeds and expect the crop to ripen the next moment.
What are the benefits of this? First, by believing it to be true, it will become true. Because this view is a correct imagination, by believing it to be true, it will increasingly become our living reality. This will first happen as a conceived pure land – by believing this to be true, we enter the conceived pure land. When it becomes our habit to view things this way, we can say we are abiding in a conceived pure land. Later, this will happen as an appearing pure land – by relating to the pure appearances as if they were true, we create the karma that karmically reconstructs our dream world where it will actually appear to us directly to be true. The second benefit of this practice is it gives us a correct attitude towards our practice. Everything is important, but nothing is serious. We view life as a challenging game that we need to learn how to play well. The third benefit is we naturally create the causes to become a Buddha as quickly as possible. If this is the story of our life, we will live our life accordingly and everything we do will be directed at attaining enlightenment. The fourth benefit is we will draw out the best in others. What we relate to, we draw out. If we view everybody as Buddhas sent to help forge us into a Buddha, we will draw out their pure qualities in them.