The Tibetan master Gampopa is famous for being the foremost student of Milarepa, the great yogi. He is unique in that he fused and combined the practice of mind training, which many of you know from the Dalai Lama’s lectures, with realization of the nature of mind. His writing style is very much down to earth, advice for simple living and easy to understand guidelines for making sure that we are on the right track. Some of his advice takes form of small handy lists to memorize, ponder and measure oneself against.
This is Part Three and the end, which concludes The Lotus-Garden, the wonderful story of the previous lives of His Holiness the XVIth Gyalwang Karmapa as Dzalendara and Sun Moon. This wonderful story of Dzalendara is the precious nectar flowing from the lips of His Holiness the XVIth Karmapa, who told this story of his previous lives without any distortion or falsity. When he told the story, he made the wish that it may be the cause for reaching buddhahood for all those who read it, not only for those who feel faith and devotion but also for those who feel dislike or disbelief.
Enlightenment is like awakening from sleep. The thinking mind creates all the perceptions and phenomena of daily life, just as whatever you experience at night is created by sleep. When awakening from sleep, the dream disappears, likewise nothing remains of this present confusion when the distorted experience and thinking are completely cleared away.
Psychologist Vagn Palle Rasch aligns mindfulness and acceptance as preludes for personal change.
“We have to recognize what is present right now, but often it’s difficult to accept, because there may be unhappiness and dissatisfaction related to it.”
Interview with Drubgyu Rinpoche of Surmang Monastery in Nangchen, China by Lee Weingrad about the treasure revelations of Chogyam Trungpa: In Drubgyu Rinpoche I discovered an unexpected treasure, a spokesman for an era, a world that we can only imagine or dream about. But the monastery lay basically in dust and ruins, which dispelled any sense of romance about the meeting.
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.
We have the incredibly great fortune to have encountered the precious teachings of the Buddha as well as living teachers who offer us the opportunity to study those teachings and assist us in training in them. Such a situation is a source of rejoicing that fills my heart with gratitude. It doesn’t matter that the path is long and difficult; it is the journey itself that is important.
We trade one rigid, constricting way of being for another rigid, constricting way of being. And because we call the new way spiritual practice, we may tell ourselves and others that this is great, this is better, this is how and who we want to be in our practice and in our life.
We usually find our orientation exclusively among designations and objects, considering that as reality, but eventually discover that such interaction doesn’t hold the key to real realization. It is the greatest paradox, because it is the mystery itself, as if moving, dancing, projecting light through a liquid. There is nothing that we have ever known, or ever been that is other that this mystery.
Where despair feels like surrender, compassion has no quit in it. The doubting mind is also closely tied to fear, and it is a small and contracted state, but the mind of compassion is broad and clear and fearless. It imagines great things, such as clean water, and people being fed and housed, and gets to work to get them done.
I journeyed upstate to ask with my head bowed and palpable taste of angst: “Rinpoche, I really would like to become a monk and there seems a lot of obstacles to that”. With very happy air Rinpoche bowing his head in approval again and again spoke smiling, telling me that I should not worry, for it is clear to him that over time, slowly, slowly all the obstacles will be resolved and everything will be better.
This article concerns the relation between society and the idea that the release of the feminine in the individual will have large consequences in society, and why the focus on this process both in the individual, and in the collective is particularly important in our time. Therefore I will start by focusing upon the way the connection between the individual and society could be viewed, and explain why it makes sense to talk of a collective consciousness.