Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse - London 2010, session one; draft transcript
This is going to be traditional Buddhist teachings. It is going to be about refuge. So as it is required in the tradition I will first tune my motivation. Those who know how to generate the proper motivation please do so.
I noticed this in the past that sometimes when I teach without a proper motivation but actually having done fairly well with the actual logic and composition of the teachings it ends up confusing everyone, really not benefiting anyone. But at times, once in a while I remember tuning my motivation and then I teach something that does not make any sense, completely confusing but I meet people later and they say that really helped. So I think the motivation is very powerful.
We are going to talk about refuge, that’s very important. It is an indispensable practice and a theory in all the Buddhist teachings. Unfortunately sometimes refuge is referred as something like a, some kind of a preliminary practice or a study which is very unfortunate because even the most seasoned practitioners really need understanding and maintaining of practice of refuge. In Tibetan there is a saying ??? which means the distinctions of whether you are a follower of Buddha or not is made by whether you have taken refuge or not. At glance it sounds like you will be referred as a Buddhist only if you ceremoniously took a refuge which is of course to the certain extend true. But refuge actually is really a very vast, it’s a, one could almost say that the fundamental teaching of the Buddha lies within the refuge, the attitude of the refuge, the motivation of the refuge and the understanding of the refuge.
In fact if you ask what is the most common, because there are many Buddhist schools or lineage or tradition in this world, and if you were to ask, what is the most common mantra if you like, or something to recite that is agreed by all tradition of Buddhism, it has to be refuge. And it is basically, I take refuge to Buddha, I take refuge to Dharma, I take refuge to Sangha. So this is recited in Thailand, in Sri Lanka, Burma, Tibet, Japan, everywhere. This is properly the most common prayer, supplication, mantra people practice. It is the most fundamental also. Even the most exotic and supposedly very high teachings like the Vajrayana cannot begin their practice without the refuge. Without the refuge, there is no base or foundation for the Vajrayana practice.
So there are few things that you need to understand about the refuge. First, what is the cause of taking refuge, why take refuge.
Generally, a big generalization actually, there are three cause of taking refuge. Fear, compassion and devotion.
And each of them really we can go on and on discussing about. Each of this for many hours I think.
Then there is also, one should, one can talk about the quality or the logic if you like of refuge object.
Because when we take refuge to somebody or something, it better be non deceiving. That’s very important. Non deceiving aspect of whole refuge practice and refuge concept is very very important. If I gave you some sesame seed and tell you that you can squeeze this and you might have some oil. Then it’s kind of not deceiving because there is supposedly oil inside the sesame seed. But if I gave you something else, like a stone or a paper, then that is a deception. So this, the whole process, whole logic or philosophy of non deception, non deceiving aspect of the refuge, that’s a very very important element of Buddhist philosophy of refuge. Why take refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Are they really non deceiving? It has to bear fruit you know, it has to answer your quest.
So this are some of things that we can discuss today.
And also when we talk about non deceiving, two levels of non deceiving. Non deceiving relatively, and non deceiving ultimately. Because many times, many times for us, non deceiving relatively is misunderstood as non deceiving ultimately. This is a very big one actually. And both are important. Non deceiving relatively is important so that one can develop a trust towards non deceiving ultimately.
For those of you who just happen to walk in for the first time to some of this Buddhist teachings I will have to apologize with all the jargon and all this Buddhist and Indian thinking, Indian logic. But I guess I cannot really make it simpler or accessible.
Meditation has become kind of a very fashionable thing to do, looks like, in this part of the world. So I am going to use the meditation as an analogy to talk about refuge this morning, just briefly.
Meditation is a relative, it is a relative refuge. It is not an ultimate refuge by the way. Even though it sounds very important. In Buddhism, in Buddhadharma, we do meditation. And in many levels it is a practice of taking refuge.
For instance, we can already experience maybe three minutes now.
Okay, so what we are going to do is we are going to sit straight for three minutes only. And a few disciplines. Everything what we do has to have some discipline. You know even like not doing anything has some discipline. Even like really just hanging out needs some discipline. Because if you don’t hang out, if you don’t know how to hang out properly so to speak then it’s not really hanging out. Then you are engaging, you are already busy, you are already stressed. So everything needs discipline. Making a tea needs a discipline, making a coffee needs a discipline. Everything. So some kind of discipline is necessary. So in this case our discipline is to sit straight. I guess you are allowed to breath in and out. You can blink, no, you can swallow saliva. This is more for me than for you. And yes of course you are allowed to think whatever you want to think. I mean how can I control that one.
But other than that, no scratching, no yawning, no coughing. No sort of moving for this three minutes. And no visualization or anything like that sort. No visualizations. Whatever you are thinking, just noticing it and be aware of it. And that’s all. Not, if some hideous thought comes, not trying to get rid of it. If some really amazing good compassionate kind thought comes, not trying to register this. If amazing idea comes, also not really immediately writing it down or trying to think about it. Nothing like that. So before we do this, why don’t you cough and do whatever you need to do, scratch. Okay. So you are comfortable now? Okay we will start now.
So this I asked you to do it because we can use this as an analogy, as an example. Now here what we did, we took refuge to a technique. That is why it is not an ultimate practice of refuge, it is a relative practice of refuge. We took refuge to a technique. But remember I was telling you, a big element of the refuge has to be undeceiving. This to a materialistic oriented people, this is the biggest deception. While you do this three minutes of doing nothing, Footsie Down Jones are going up and down. Economy is going crazy. So if you are materialistic, yes this is a very big deception. But if you are spiritually, if you really want to seek a spiritual path, then this is not a deception.
Why? Because – for this reason first it’s important actually how much come to a proper conclusion, that how much you really want to take refuge to a spiritual path. This is very important before you take refuge, you have to come to a conclusion. And what does that mean? We don’t have much time to talk about this but if you ask me what is the real, what’s the real meaning of being spiritual or practicing a spiritual path? What is the purpose of following a spiritual path?
I don’t know other spiritual path but in Buddhism, if you are asking me for Buddhism, according to the Buddhadharma, then to take refuge to a spiritual path actually means from the worldly point of view, to take refuge to path of uselessness. That’s so important to accept. You have to really be brave and be ready to be useless, at least for three minutes a day. If you don’t have that, then your feet is, one is on the materialistic world and one is on the spiritual world. You will not walk. You will not manage to do your worldly, materialistic path properly, because you are thinking about some sort of spiritual path which will only frustrate you and make you feel guilty, you know, force you, you go completely behind while everybody is getting promotion and getting good job and all of that. I am talking from the very highest level. Spiritually you can’t also do properly because you are sort of attached to this worldly life. This is a challenge. We can discuss about this later but this needs to be sorted out first.
As I said earlier this is going to be a traditional Buddhist teaching. And in a traditional Buddhist teaching there is no compromise. I know nowadays we talk about meditation and stuff like that which seems to have lot of compromise. But if you are following a spiritual path and if you are genuine there is not so much compromise. Doesn’t mean that you have to quit your job and get rid of your family and all of that. No no, not at all. It is an attitude practice here. But this if you have time we discuss later.
So when we did three minutes of sitting we took refuge to this technique of, technique or a state of present-ness, this present moment. You just, you took refuge to the present moment. Okay. Remember I was telling you earlier, in order to take refuge you have some reasons why you take refuge. One of them happens to be fear. So when you take refuge to the present moment you are afraid of the past and the future. Or you are afraid of the habit of not being in the present. You constantly, we are distracted by the past experience, constantly we are distracted by hope and anticipation of the future. And this has brought only pain, suffering, dissatisfaction, anxiety, stress, however you want to put it. So now we learn to have this fear. Not good to dwell on the past. Not good to dwell on the future. Because those two only bring misery.
So I take refuge to the present moment. This is just a demonstration sort of, example of the whole theory and practice of refuge in the Buddhadharma. And it is non deceiving because when you are just be aware of whatever is happening right this very moment, this present moment. You can experience it already, you are not occupied, you are not engrossed, you are not caught up by past and the future. In other words, you are not worked up. Most of the time we are all worked up. Stress, tense. You can immediately experience this, even now, for three minutes. Short it may be, but for three minutes it’s undeceiving. Just watching liberates you from the entanglement of thoughts, which produces emotion, which then produces strong habit which will stay within your system for long long long time and become very very stubborn. And then you alienate yourself. Then all the samsaric problems start. This we can already experience this. So being in the present moment, from the spiritual point of view, it is not deceiving. Okay.
So now, traditionally we talk about refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Out of that most important properly is taking refuge to the Dharma. Taking refuge to the Dharma means among many different meanings taking refuge to the Dharma is taking refuge to the truth. Actually I think the English word refuge maybe not doing the justice to the Tibetan word ???chamdo or the Sanskrit word gacchami. But it still is okay because it has a little bit sort of a touchy feely kind of aspect which is good thing actually, it is necessary. Little bit of violin and all those are necessary, the hymns, the songs, all of those are also necessary. So refuge actually is not the right translation I think. Refuge, gacchami, or specially the Tibetan word, because gacchami has amazing many different meanings, ??? has one connotation of actually accepting the truth. That’s a very important one, accepting the truth.
So if you are listening from the classic Buddhist teachings, one truth is that all, everything that is made, everything that is gathered, everything that is put together, everything that is produced which basically is everything that we have, they are all impermanent. Nothing, there is nothing that is permanent. Before the Buddha, it was impermanent, while he was teaching it was impermanent. It is not because Buddha said all compounded things are impermanent somehow everything became impermanent. It is going to be impermanent looks like. Until a scientist or some technician manages to produce one produced good as a permanent thing the Buddhist refuge of I take refuge to the Dharma is not going to change.
If one day scientist or engineer manage to produce something that will not fall apart yes then Buddhism is collapsed. Then I take refuge to the Dharma is completely collapsed. Then we should really go and have lot of fun actually. Otherwise, but until then, this is the truth. All compounded things are impermanent. All produced, made, put together, composed, created, fabricated, made are all impermanent. This is one truth that we take refuge. And that’s why we call it, we say I take refuge to the Dharma. When we say I take refuge to the Dharma we are not taking refuge to a book. Book is produced. It is going to fall apart. It is already falling apart. The truth is what we are taking refuge, this impermanence.
So what is the fear? The fear is the constant forgetfulness. Constant forgetfulness of this truth such as going to West Field, John Louis, where else, Marks & Spencer – no going there is fine. But going there and buying as if you are going to live another thousand years. That indicates, that tells you that you have not taken refuge to the Dharma. Because that means that you are going to live long.
I’ll see you tomorrow for instance. Even that. See you later. We don’t know. Maybe there is no later. But constant forgetfulness of this impermanence indicates that you have not really taking refuge to this truth, this truth of impermanence. And this has caused, it is not like it hasn’t caused any problems, it has caused so much problems. People talk about ecology and what, global warming and all of that. Who do you think is the culprit, it’s the forgetfulness of impermanence. Insatiably thinking that we are going to be here for ever. Forgetfulness of that.
Yes, so, taking refuge to the Dharma therefore means taking refuge to the truth.
I also told you about two other cause of taking refuge, compassion and devotion. Where does the compassion fits into this. Once we know this truth that for instance, three minutes we were sitting, and maybe you didn’t notice because we are thinking about other things but for some of you maybe you have actually managed to just sit and be aware of whatever is coming right this very moment. And that must have given you some kind of an example that actually this releases you from, this liberates you from hope and fear and, you know the stories that entangle you. So then you realize, wow, this is a really kind of economical way of living. And kind of liberating and really very nurturing and enriching.
Then you look at all this people in the street with a small brief case and an umbrella walking up and down, up and down completely thinking about things. Trying to catch up, trying to compete. Trying to knock over somebody in many different ways. Then you suddenly realize, oh, if only they could sit like this for three minutes, three minutes a day, they are missing a lot. It is so, you don’t have to buy anything, you don’t have to download anything. You are just doing it, you can sit anywhere, watch this present moment mind. This you can do anywhere. You almost feel like just frustrating kind of compassion. If only people can do this. And that actually develops even a stronger motivation of taking refuge. You almost develop some kind of a sense of responsibility.
This again, if you have time, maybe we can discuss little later.
I was doing this, when I was talking about refuge. I just want to talk a little bit more about, a little bit ritual of taking refuge. Ritual is important I think. More and more I realize. Human beings, we need gadgets. Always had gadgets, always had, yes rituals. It’s a form of a communication. So physically we have gestures like this, prostrations. Verbally or with the speech there is a tradition of reciting the refuge prayers or supplications again and again. These are all technique, these are all methods to not fall into the habit of forgetfulness. Forgetfulness of forgetting the truth. It’s like a reminder. So much so that in all the Buddhist traditions we also have sort of refuge ceremony.
You actually go to somebody and say I want to take refuge. But you are not necessary taking refuge to this person. You are taking refuge to the truth, the Dharma. And the one who taught or revealed or discovered the truth, the Buddha. And the community that believes or that accepts the same truth, the Sangha. And you do this to a person, under a person, you sort of do this ritual with a person because it will strengthen , it makes the practice of refuge in your head, emotionally it helps you feel confident that you have taken refuge. So there is concepts like refuge vow that you can take. It is like a resolution.
You can in order to train your mind – okay I was using the example of sesame seed to explain the non deceiving aspect of the refuge. Accepting the truth such as the impermanence is not a deceiving path, it is not a delusion. It is true to the truth. Even though it is a relative truth, still it is true to the truth.
Now next question, important. Why does the Buddha come into this? Aren’t we, isn’t Buddhism supposedly, Buddha himself said, not to depend on a person but depend on the teaching. Isn’t Buddhism a path that does not believe in truly existing all mighty creator, a supreme being. Why do we have to take refuge to the Buddha? This is a very important question. Yes, for many of us, the moment we say we take refuge to the Buddha, for most of us, for most we can’t help but we think in terms of taking refuge to the Buddha who came 2500 years ago in a place called – two thousand five hundred years ago, six hundred years, two thousand six hundred years ago. India, not UK.
Man, not as a woman. As a prince, not as an ordinary person. All of that, most of us we think like this. That is actually not so bad, nowadays most of the people, the moment they say I take refuge to the Buddha, their mind automatically thinks about the golden statue they bought. Not gold, many of them are bronze. Fake ones. That’s sitting on your shrine somewhere. It is terrible. But that is how lot of us think when we say we take refuge to the Buddha. Now this one, but I am not negating this, this will do for some people. Why not? If it helps that is good because indirectly it is actually not deceiving.
Someone could be inspired by a statue in British Museum for instance of a Buddha, because of his serenity, because of the way he looks, I don’t know, because how the light falls on his face. And he or she may get inquiry about this person who came two thousand five hundred years ago. And then if he or she more diligent then he or she might end up finding some of his teaching and then it might indirectly lead him to a non deceiving path. So as a Buddhist I would say, relatively it is okay. But on a more profound level when we say we take refuge to the Buddha, again we are actually talking about a very very profound truth. We are not really saying we take refuge to the Buddha which is bound by time, bound by a place such as Shakyamuni Buddha, historical Buddha. But we are talking about taking refuge to the innate Buddha that we all have. Our true nature. The absolute nature of each and every individual of beings, us, animals, gods, ghosts, every one of us has this innate buddha nature. And that is what we are taking refuge to, ultimately.
Okay now this is a very, of course, specially for some of you new ones, very confusing. What do we mean by innate nature, innate Buddha. I will make this simple so that maybe everyone can understand the Buddhist concept of taking refuge to the Buddha. All of us human beings, sentient beings, not only human beings, all of us, people like me, you, all of us, we have all these negative qualities. We are just packed with it. Defilements, endless moods, bad moods, endless defilements, emotions, anger, pride, insecurity. All of this. This I don’t have to tell you, I am sure you know this. But none of them is not removable. Every single one of them are removable. This is a very important element, you have to really realize this. Everything, even though some of the emotions that we have is just so strong, you cannot possibly think that it is removable.
You cannot even imagine how can I remove this anger, this jealousy, this pride that we have. But the fact is they are all removable. And the reason why they are removable is they are all arranged, they are all fabricated, they are all made, they are all created. Therefore they can be defeated, they can be destroyed, they can be dismantled. It is a matter how much attention we pay. And even yourself you can experience this. Okay some of you you may consider yourself as someone who has so much anger. But when you have anger do you get – your anger, it cannot possibly go on twenty four hours. Sixty minutes an hour. Non-stop. Impossible. Have you ever thought about that? It is just not possible that you get angry like monotone, like aaannngggrrryyy . Not possible.
The desire is the same thing, even if you like to have a desire, like continuous, you cannot. After a while you become impotent. It just goes back and forth, fluctuates, isn’t it. So this proves that it is manipulatable. And also anger just doesn’t come suddenly out of the blue you know like falling from a sky. It always has something to do with thinking about the past, reminding it doesn’t matter a French window and then you suddenly realize your childhood and then think oh your childhood how you had been beat up by somebody or something like that. And then you get anger. Just because of the French window. Something like that. It is always, there is always a cause and condition. But of course our habit becomes so subtle it looks like out of nowhere our anger comes. Of course. Of course. You know, our boyfriends, our girlfriends, they are really in good mood, before they go to toilet. They go to toilet, and they come out. Bad mood. What happened in the toilet we don’t, you know like. You feel like that.
This is just very subtle but basically what we need to know is that emotions, no matter how strong, no matter how deep they are, they all have their cause and condition, they don’t come randomly. And this is a good news. This is the element of what we call innate buddha, buddha nature that we have. So our emotions are removable, our defilements are removable, purify-able, and that fact is what we are accepting when we say, I take refuge to the Buddha. That fact is what we are accepting, that fact. That is important. If you don’t accept that fact it is bit like you see your dirty dishes in the sink with all the sauce and things stained. And many of us who are really good with, who are cheerful people and who are really good with the washing dishes, you know when we see the dirty dish we get all excited, ha you know, I can make it spotless clean, shinny, within half an hour. Isn’t it. It is almost, if you see kind of a clean dish you feel like bit like you know, more dirtier the better. Like this. And that kind of confidence you have because you know it’s washable. That dirt is washable. That time, you have taken refuge to the innate clean dish.
That is why when you take refuge, when you are doing this, when you are putting it into the washing dishes and all of that, it’s a non deceiving washing dish path. It is never going to fail you. It worked yesterday, it worked the day before yesterday, it is going to work for me today. This is what we call taking refuge to the Buddha. Of course I am not negating, I am not sort of cancelling the sort of more touchy feely, you know, music, songs, and taking refuge to the Buddha who came, walked bare feet with the begging bowl in Mandhata street two thousand five hundred years ago. That is a tool, that is like a soap. That, Buddha is like a sponge, it is very necessary. It is really, it is good to have that actually. To the certain extent it is good to have it. Soon we are going to take refuge to the food I think.
So now you see the refuge is not a simple matter, it is a very, it is the spine of Buddhadharma. Some Buddhist come, oh I am only doing refuge. What do you mean by only? It is very important, so important.
Now, so okay, I understand, all compounded things are impermanent and I, also I won’t remember this every second, every minute, but I can understand that is the truth and I buy that truth, why not. And I also understand the Buddha, my dirts are removable and therefore I can also except that I take refuge to someone who taught two thousand five hundred years ago. This is also fine. But what is Sangha doing here? Sangha is a bunch of people who have all the ups and downs and who always create trouble and who never – and all sorts of Dharma politics and all of that. Why do we have to take refuge to the Sangha? That is very big.
Where is Steward. Where is your mic, do you have it? So do you want to ask some questions now?
Student: When you are speaking the other day in Oxford you mentioned that meditation is a bit of a trick in the sense that you use it to make sense as though I guess to work with relative reality. Would you say taking refuge in buddha nature is also a bit of a trick?
For now yes yes, very much. Anything that is a path is a trick. But that is a necessary trick so. Very important. That is a very important trick. Very very important. Because if you don’t have that, it is a bit like you have to want the oil right. First you have to want the oil. Then you have to believe that the sesame seed will do the trick. You have to also, together you have to believe that this piece of paper won’t do the job. All of that is necessary to build the path. And once the oil is extracted, oh sesame seed you get rid of it. No need.
Student: Is it a misunderstanding that taking a teacher is an aspect of taking refuge in the Buddha.
Oh, very good, very good. Yes. Are you coming back after lunch?
Can you ask me that again because – because that, I want to tell you few things about tantric Buddhism, tantric refuge. Because whenever we talk about the teacher, all of that, it has lot to do with the Tantra also right. Can you remind me that later. Because I don’t want to say everything now, I run out of things to say.
Oh many questions looks like.
Student: Hi. When I took refuge a while ago I was given a refuge name. Is that a common practice and why is it important?
Well this is all to remind you, it is like a, it’s all a reminder. Everything in Buddhism, all the rituals is to remind you actually, really. Fundamentally these are to remind you. But the problem is many times the reminders end up either becoming a culture or at worth it is even forgotten. I have a retreat center in Bhutan, the monks are doing three year retreat. And there is this monk, he has written this notes like don’t get distracted. He has it on the sealing, on the door, doorknob, everywhere. After about a year he said he is not even reading them. Doesn’t mean that he is not, he is very good with no distraction. He is totally distracted he said but this are just, he doesn’t even see them. Because he is just so used to it. Used to it, this is the challenge of the path.
So supposedly the name, cutting the hair, all that ceremony is – you know it is bit like wedding. You understand wedding is supposedly to remind you two are together. But then a second after the wedding is finished. I guess like what you call it, ring yes, here, like that. Maybe they should invent a ring actually. Nose ring would be really good. A hanging nose ring. Something to remind, but after a while it won’t work. You know like, I was thinking just the other day, Jigme Lingpa, one of the Nyingmapa master, he uses the weather to remind him the impermanence. But I was just thinking the other day, I don’t think it is going to work in England. Maybe nowadays but you almost feel like, it is just to often.
Student: Rinpoche I wanted to ask about this forgetfulness. I always think I am going to live forever.
Yes, me too.
Student: And no matter how much a contemplate, read, remind myself on the various teachings on impermanence, death and all of those things, I just in a split of a second I just forget. This is so strong this forgetting.
Student: Can you just give some advice.
This is a very valuable question. Yes. Buddha said.
Student: You know, working in Hospices, ??? all that, thinking about all the people who have died. It seems that nothing helps. So just please if you can just say a few things about this.
I don’t what will help. It is same with me. Exactly same. Kadampa masters they tell us something which is quite good I thought. They said, we all know that we are going to die. That there is no problem. We all do. One way or another, we know that. But what is the thing that is, we really need to remember is we don’t know when it is coming. We know for sure we are going to die, right? This uncertainty of the arrival of death that needs to be contemplated I think. That might help. Uncertainty aspect of the actual, the arrival of the death. Then there is many techniques like you are supposed to think it does work, you can try. And I warn you, these things initially will cause a little bit of sadness and depression but you asked for it this is the sort of in the package so you know doesn’t really matter.
What you are supposed to do is, when you say, when you apart from your friend for instance like this afternoon, you should really think like yes this is it, I might never see him or her. Don’t say this of course. But this is how you should think. This is it, this maybe my last time shaking hands with this person. Or go to like I don’t know, Hyde Park. Yes this may be it, this may be my last time. This actually does help. Things like that you can do, there are many techniques like this I think.
Okay one more question and then we take a break I think. I mean break or lunch? When is the lunch? Can we have a break for may fifteen minutes, ten or fifteen minutes. And then we actually come back and go other like forty five minutes and then have lunch. Because after lunch I don’t think we can concentrate that much.
Student: I think I am getting it wrong. Refuge has given me a confidence, a confidence in the fact that everything is impermanent. But with that comes a sense of, what can be perceived as pride. And specialness or even kind of feeling different from those who don’t have the understanding or it is perceived by them that I am think I am special because I understand that or have ??? of the understanding. How does one stop having this kind of pride.
I think you should have that pride for a while. Not for ever but for a while. This pride or this confidence, maybe it is a confidence. It is good to think I think, not necessary special but I am someone who has the right information kind of. I think it is important. You know Shantideva said, I like quoting this quotation, Shantideva, a great Mahayana master, he said: In order to dispel the suffering, the practitioners are allowed to have one ignorance. And that is thinking that there is an enlightenment. So I think it is good.
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche was born in Bhutan in 1961 and was recognised as the main incarnation of Dzongsar Khyentse (1894-1959). From early childhood, he has studied with some of the greatest contemporary masters, particularly H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
From a young age he has been active in preserving the Buddhist teachings, establishing centres of learning and practice, supporting practitioners, publishing books, and teaching all over the world. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche supervises his traditional seat of Dzongsar Monastery and its retreat centres in Eastern Tibet, as well as his new colleges in India and Bhutan. He has also has established centres in Australia, North America, and the Far East. These are gathered under Siddhartha's Intent.
For more info visit: www.siddharthasintent.org