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.
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.
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.
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche even describes boredom as a necessary part of our meditation practice: “Boredom is part of the discipline of meditation practice. This type of boredom is cool boredom, refreshing boredom. Boredom is necessary and you have to work with it. It is constantly very sane and solid, and very boring at the same time. But it’s refreshing boredom. The discipline then becomes part of one’s daily expression of life. Such boredom seems to be absolutely necessary. Cool boredom.”
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.
There is one meditation song in particular that opens up your mind. Practitioners sing it to call upon inspiration in times of need, to understand the hindrances for love and kindness, which are selfishness and basic unknowing, and to see the difference between being open or distracted during meditation. In that opening, we can experience how the awakened state is in actuality. Here is a version with soundtrack and lyrics, so you can sing along.
He is not a man one can ignore: beautiful with a face like Padmasambhava, a fine little mustache and eyes rolling like a half-wrathful half-passionate god, look into endless inner skies. When he sits on the vajra throne most people feel as if a buddha is sitting in their presence. His serenity and authority are complete.
An interview with Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche from 1985, about the nature of Dzogchen and recognizing the naked state of knowing. When asked, his reply was, “What is the use of the tiny light of a firefly when the sun has already risen in the sky?” referring to Trungpa Rinpoche’s presence in the West.
An interview with Peter Oudshoorn about his very interesting task of reconstructing the first large-scale Buddhist monastery in Nepal.
The background for Tara practice in the Triple Excellence program, written down from the words of recent masters in the Tara lineage and original sources. It is important to know the source to fully trust that the teaching is authentic so one can practice with deeper confidence.
What is the difference between an enlightenment experience and enlightenment? When after intensive meditation, or unexpectedly, you experience a totally naked state of mind, how do you proceed? What is real progress and what is its main catalyst? You will find the answers to all these questions in the following teachings by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.
To soar effortlessly, the mighty eagle needs two wings. One is just not enough. My teacher Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche often said this to illustrate, that a sublime balance of mind is needed when facing challenges, both from outside and from inside oneself. In good times and bad times, a much coveted secret is how to maintain an even keel, no matter what happens.
The meditator can take the inner journey of experience through Vajrayana’s twenty-five levels of understanding reality. All twenty-five share the same essence of oneness, the awakened mind of all buddhas.
A GIFT FROM THE LADY IN THE BRILLIANT EXPANSEView Post
When we look at our own lives, and at the world in general, the fact that we are ‘sleeping’ stands out very clearly. We live in a world in deep crisis. It is like a violent nightmare that requires us to wake up; as in truly wake up. We are like sleepwalkers, walking closer and closer to the edge.
With a satisfied nod, he turns to me and says, “Dzogchen practice is mostly done without a roof. After the lecture, tell everyone to walk off alone on the mountainside, sit down and work with the questions I’m going to give them. Just hearing is no use. Buddha must be discovered from within.”
You may wonder, is mind nothing? It still shimmers and flashes forth, like haze in the heat of the sun. You may wonder, is it something? It has no color or shape to identify it but is utterly empty and completely awake. That is the nature of your mind.
Imitate that and your body is now in meditation posture. But you are not the body. You are in a body. It is not the body that meditates; it’s the mind. Meditation takes place in the realm of consciousness: that in you which is aware and thinks, feels and experiences.
When chanting Padmasambhava’s sacred invocation, it is said that at first dualistic mind needs to approach the awakened state with the graceful bow of inner surrender. In this way the chant is a tool for awakening through song.
Tonight, or this morning early hours, I felt compelled to revisit the memory of a retreat. I share a poem, which is inspired by my stay at Nagi Gompa, Nepal.
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