I sang echoes of the past ages, Blessed were the words I sang, I sang with eyes shut and heart wide open, I believe that when there is no beginning there can never be an end. As naked as the wind I sat in freedom, as clouded as the clouded sky came my thoughts, I stared deep into thin air, and I found myself absorbed, again no where.
The single vehicle is the understanding that all teachings are personal advice on how to soften rigid mind-habits, letting go of pointless aims, and then settling into a gentle presence that is both calm and kind. Our attention simply remains for a while in this way, at ease in itself with nothing that needs to be held or cast away. This aware steadiness is often called shamatha, being calm, and it is the basis for all higher or deeper states of authentic insight.
I noticed two yogis were being held in high esteem. Since we were eating in the same tent, I had occasion to talk to them. I also noticed during the Drubchen that as everyone was chanting, doing mudras and so on, Drüpon Lama Karma and the other yogi just stared into space unmoving for hours on end. As I spoke to Drüpon Lama Karma, I realized he was a Dzogchen yogi who had done many years of retreat.
NO! Not Now but NOW! Most people associate Now with time and space. The ultimate Now is a self-existing awareness beyond the dualistic concern of ‘here and now’ and ‘there and then’ which are concepts of time and space. The authentic Now concerns not time and space. It is just a simple and natural presence. It is not what we experience nor is it different.
It is also called: Astral sound, Dharmata Swayambhu Nada, Divine Tremoring, Eternal Sound, Inner Sound, Music of the Spheres, Primordial Sound, Sacred Sound, Shabda, Sound of Creation, Sound of Silence, also Thunder of Silence, Soundless Sound, Transcendental Sound, Unborn Sound, Unstruck Sound, and The Word of God.
Midnight pools catch the brilliant lanterns carried by women in procession. Deep into sleep I follow them home. As their voices mingle with dawn’s first rays, light flickers across the trellised blossoms Late into morning I wake. The Swayambhu Stupa, long risen from the mist, gleams.
In Buddhism, the appearance of your surroundings doesn’t depend on the volition of a God bestowing or withholding his Kingdom. It depends on your mental and emotional disposition. If you’re angry, you look around and see enemies. If you’re happy, you look around and see friends. If you’re enlightened, you look around and see Buddhas. Your mental state shapes the realm you inhabit.
Chadral Rinpoche encouraged us to recognize our ‘true nature,’ because absolutely nothing else will be of any use to us in the long run. This and this alone is the chief and crucial point. In recognizing and practicing, one brings into balance all other factors in one’s life.
A brilliant article on fusing creative art with contemplative or spiritual practice, with a poetic ode to Allan Bridge a.k.a. Mr. Apology. “I know many artists for whom the seed of inspiration was first nurtured by close association with a spiritual and artistic mentor. Quite simply, there’s no substitute for the knowledge that you can glean up close from watching an inspired artist at work in the flesh, breathing the same air and directly observing the creative process as it unfolds. It is a form of knowledge that unfolds in a wordless fashion much like the truth of the Flower Sermon.”
Here is a meditation song to sing right after waking up. Such a song can resonate into every moment, every action, and give strength to make a day better by connecting with love and genuine presence. It comes from Padmasambhava, and the tune is original, the same as Tulku Urgyen sang in Tibetan, but the words are translated into English. Erik and I just recorded it this morning after waking up. Everyone is invited to use the song.