People go on retreat because it enables them to have insight, and access to inner resources, of creativity, intelligence and love that they can’t reach as easily at home. This has proven itself from generation to generation, and in every culture where Buddhism has become established. When on retreat, we ‘dig a channel to the ocean’, so to speak, and then our daily practice is a matter of keeping this channel open, and drawing forth resources we all have available to use in our daily life, relationships, and social work.
A real practitioner is at ease in any situation, no matter where. Along with being at ease, there is some sense of being happy, but sad at the same time, kind of tender, in the sense of being weary of or disenchanted with samsara. Even if samsara has been left behind, there is still weariness with the entirety of samsara. This tenderness embodies devotion and compassion. This tenderness is what causes one to not turn one’s back to even a single sentient being.
Most people never question their day-to-day experiences. They accept whatever is felt and perceived as real. Without examining anything we will never penetrate beyond this illusion to see the actual state of affairs. Instead, we will regard everything that is impermanent as being permanent, what is unreal as being real. What an unfortunate, superficial and mistaken way of perceiving things!
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.
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.
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.
Reading sections out loud invites us to delve deeper into the material. It is too easy to just skim over difficult material while reading by yourself but what you found difficult someone else probably did too. I’m always amazed in a class to learn what I read but didn’t really understand when someone inquires about it!
When we all are more aware of these innate principles or qualities in us, we are able to benefit ourselves and others through a deeper understanding and a more cooperative, non-dualistic way of being in the world. When we isolate or separate the two, there is division, tension and competition. This duality can create anger, aggression, hatred, fear, dishonesty and many other mental and emotional disturbances.
Scientists studying memories have found that memories are a most creative affair, morphing over time and with each recalling, until they bear little resemblance to an actual event. Like everything else, memories are impermanent, making the very idea of them a bit self-oxymoronic.
To sever attachment to home, family, and friends, chödpas moved from valley to valley, village to village, sacred place to sacred place, charnel ground to charnel ground, staying only for brief periods in small tents and under trees before moving on. They would camp in groups, but only as close as the sound of a kangling could reach.
Go for the highest goal, the real deal: full buddhahood in this lifetime. I’m not saying lower goals aren’t needed. The simplest meditation attainments help, of course. However, going for the highest goal opens more possibilities and yields more benefits you are probably not aware of.
One of my first questions to a teacher was about emotions. In my mistaken view, Buddhists were people who had subjugated all their conflicts, and so they lived continually in a state of equilibrium, which, for me, made them unshakable, but also somewhat insensitive. If I practiced Buddhism, would I become a person in total self-control, cold and without emotions?
Lowell Cook, poet and author based in Nepal writes on how it is to be part of a major transmission of knowledge in the Vajrayana tradition. It was a unique and historic event with Dharma students gathering from all corners of the world to receive the empowerments.
A profound praise of Mother Nature and the benefits of facing the mind in solitude, by Longchenpa – the mystic poet of Tibet.
Trust is one of the basic qualities or life skills we need to learn and embody if we want to shift from living a life based on defense mechanisms and survival strategies to an open and authentic way of being and relating. We need trust to open up and surrender to a broader life perspective, to say Yes to moment-to-moment fresh experiencing of life as it is.
There is such a need for bigger hearts, vast minds, for more tolerance, kindness and attitudes that includes everyone. We have enough racism and so many other way to exclude each other. We all know how painful it is to be the left out, to be the excluded or even the suppressed minority. Sometimes for absolutely no reason.
When the self is seen to have no placement, no identity, and no enduring quality at all, the mind is sometimes elevated to Mind, and the error of a greater Self can occur. But if the self has no true reality, how can it be a place or thing from which, and in which thoughts, perceptions, and feelings occur?
When we are lucid during a dream, instead of following along with the content of the dream, we have the opportunity to do a variety of useful and insightful kinds of meditation practice. Doing meditation practice while dreaming is particularly interesting because of how quickly and responsively our mental states are reflected in the content of the lucid dream.
When I hear that crows don’t have teeth, the world is flat, painted cows can be milked, energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light squared, or nirvana is beyond extremes, I urge myself to have the discipline to examine and investigate what is being said, how those who’re saying it found their truth, and what their arguments and ways of thinking are.
When we say yes, but in fact, we really mean no, when we do things that we really do not want or simply follow what others have done, we are being co-dependent and not patient or generous! A co-dependent attitude may seem positive at first, but actually, it is generating low self-esteem and lack of confidence.