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The Six Fondnesses

The Six Fondnesses

A Teaching from Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in Australia.
As many of you will have experienced over the years Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche has a particular style of teaching. Very generous and inclusive.

During the Uttaratantra Shastra teaching at Bangalow, in Australia this year, there was a particular section in these teachings that caught the mind of many of us as being a most delightful and relatable explanation of the six Paramitas. I have only lightly edited this passage so those of you who have not heard Rinpoche directly can appreciate the humour and deep affection as well as the profound wisdom that infuses Rinpoche’s style of Teaching.

The Six Fondnesses

“ For the path dweller to be virtuous and to accumulate virtuous deeds is so important. To think virtuously is very important. However good deeds have so many obstacles. These obstacles can be categorised into the six fondnesses.”
“What are they – it is quite interesting – they are the six different kinds of love.”
Rinpoche invites a definition.  “What is love by the way?” (Audience laughter)

Audience responds with some words.

“Tenderness, yes tenderness. That is good. Tenderness I think I like. A soft spot. A Fondness.”
1. “ There is a certain type of rat that is always collecting things – a pack rat. This kind of attitude, a tenderness towards, a fondness for collecting attacks generosity, the first paramita.”
2. “ The next is a tenderness, a fondness towards not staying out of trouble. A very good one, this, I thought. A fondness to trouble.”

Mischievous?  (Audience)

“Mischievous is something kind of good. No? Well according to us it is,” ( Rinpoche and audience laughter) “ This fondness of not staying out of trouble becomes the obstacle to discipline.”

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Bangalow 2010 Photo by Bridget Gebbie

3. “The fondness to making the point is the obstacle to patience”
4. “ Fondness to carelessness is the obstacle to diligence “ Sloppiness. Yes. Sloppiness is good. Messiness. A fondness to Australians. No, No, No I am just…”
5. “ A fondness to be dependent, to be co-dependent. We have a fondness for wanting space, for respecting human rights but that’s all talk. Behind our actions we have a fondness to be dictated to, to be controlled by others. Fondness to be dominated by an object “
“ A bit like having a girlfriend or a boyfriend. To have someone who can change their mood faster than lightning. That’s terrible,”
(Lots of laughter)
“Basically we love dependency even though we talk about independence. This is the obstacle to meditation – samadhi. “
6. “Now this is a really good one. Fantastic this one. You know how the French  – I hope there are no French people here  – love smelly cheese.  We love disgusting stuff like pig’s nose. There is tenderness, a fondness for liking bad stuff, or for liking cheap stuff, so that is why we need wisdom.”

“ These things, these six fondnesses are the mastermind, the planner, the mover, the fixer of non virtuous deeds. They lead to non-virtuous action. They sustain, they enhance, the non-virtuous action. The six paramitas are there because these fondnesses need to be analysed and attacked.”

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.