For the dying process to not be painful and confusing, there must be preparation. Though we apply this common sense in most every area, death must be approached as natural, not eschewed as distasteful taboo. Masters of meditation experience death’s transition as a mere change of clothes, and have described it as best they can, motivated by great compassion. Yet crossing over is a solo journey, one we must each traverse alone.
The word root guru has a sacred meaning, that my teachers define in a very specific way: the person who not only tries, but succeeds in bringing about a complete change in your mind to such an extend that the grip of duality is loosened and that the nature of mind is totally laid bare in its naked state and can be accessed whenever remembered for the rest of your life. Perhaps the meditator only finds out many years later who the primary guru was.
The radical notion of allowing ourselves to be nourished by the hunger of desire is a turning towards the desire, rather than our automatic turning away from desire. We turn away from our desire by chasing the object of our desire.
A continuation from, A Story From the Infinite Mind of the Gyalwang Karmapa: The two princes built a grass hut in the forest and lived there together. During the daytime they taught the dharma to animals and at night they meditated. One day, while meditating, the younger prince, Sun Moon, saw that the time had come for them to go and spread the dharma in their own country and in other places where it was still unknown…
Living in a world focused on what is outside us, and not looking within, we are taught from a young age that we need to become something more than we are right now. We are encouraged to always be doing: we must learn; we must buy; we must acquire and achieve. And for absolute certain we must become better than we are right now just sitting here doing nothing. The Buddha taught the opposite. He said that by learning to let the mind be, just as it is right now, all our good qualities can unfold from within.
We may like to think that we know what the mind is – we speak of it so casually, but how well do we really know this mind of ours? For some of us at times, our inner state can change, and moods can appear as if out of nowhere, but is it destined to be as random as that? What control can we have over our own experience? When it comes to the mind, I’m thinking now, some things should not be a complete mystery.
This story from one of the previous lives of His Holiness Rangjung Rikpé Dorjé, the XVIth Gyalwang Karmapa, was told in 1976, while his party drove through Jalandhara, a place in Himachal Pradesh. It was raining very slightly and peacocks were singing softly. His Holiness had the car stopped and said to his attendants, “I have come back to my motherland”. He then told the following wondrous story.
Touch is such an important element in healing and also in our daily life. But how do we touch? One of the most important elements to touch in the right way is our mind, because if our mind is not in the right space, touch can become very different, even hurtful. Let’s look first at touching ourselves because if we do not know how to touch ourselves, then how can we touch others in the right way?
Where there is suffering, either in ourselves or in our world, it is because there has been a lack of attention, love, and understanding. Now, each breath, each look, each thought we direct towards ourselves can be brimming with love, Each step, and every attentive moment can be like a gentle caress.
At the onset of the after-death experience, phenomena have no structure and no recognizable features whatsoever, but are a tremendous display, the ultimate acid trip. It’s unlike wide open space on a cloudless day: something happens within that space, called sounds, colors and lights. The sounds are, Tulku Urgyen said, like 100.000 simultaneous thunder cracks, from all directions, above, below, everywhere. The colors are all colors of the rainbow, but much more intense than we normally see in this life. The rays of light are like sharp needles or swords, piercing through everything.