Sunday, August 13, 2017

Ajahn Chah
Just try to keep your mind in the present. Whatever arises in the mind, just watch it and let go of it. Don't even wish to be rid of thoughts. Then the mind will return to its natural state. No discriminating between good and bad, hot and cold, fast and slow. No me and no you, no self at all—just what there is.

When you walk there is no need to do anything special. Simply walk and see what is there. No need to cling to isolation or seclusion. Wherever you are, know yourself by being natural and watching. If doubts arise, watch them come and go. It's very simple. Hold on to nothing. It's as though you are walking down a road. Periodically you will run into obstacles.

When you meet defilements, just see them and overcome them by letting them go. Don't think about the obstacles you've already passed; don't worry about those you have not yet seen. Stick to the present. Don't be concerned about the length of the road or the destination.

Everything is changing. Whatever you pass, don't cling to it. Eventually the mind will reach its natural balance where practice is automatic. All things will come and go of themselves.” `

Ajahn Chah, A Still Forest Pool: The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Adverse Circumstances and Realization

H.E. Garchen Rinpoche

In prison in Tibet, the great Dzogchen Khenpo Munsel Rinpoche taught me this: “The extent of your realization will be known when you encounter difficult circumstances. You will not know the extent of your realization when things go well.”

When you find yourself in a troublesome situation, when you are in great pain, when an intense emotion arises, only then will you know where you are at with practice. Khenpo Munsel added: “Adverse circumstances reveal your hidden faults.” If you are able to hold awareness unwaveringly during such a time, and thus if you are not carried away by the force of the emotion, it is a sign that you have gained experience in practice. If you were to practice mindful awareness with great diligence for just a month, if you were to recognize even the slightest thought and not allow your mind to wander off into delusion for that time, even in such a short time you would witness great changes. Fierce afflictions would not faze you so much anymore, because you would have gained personal experience in observing the illusory play. There is in fact just one remedy necessary—mindful awareness. It is the single sufficient remedy that transforms difficulties inside and out.

—H.E. Garchen Rinpoche

Monday, March 07, 2016

Awakened mind of awareness

Guru Rinpoche
Look into the awakened mind of your own awareness! It has neither form nor color, neither center nor edge. At first, it has no origin but is empty. Next, it has no dwelling place but is empty. At the end, it has no destination but is empty. This emptiness is not made of anything and is clear and cognizant. When you see this and recognize it, you know your natural face. You understand the nature of things. You have then seen the nature of mind, resolved the basic state of reality and cut through doubts about topics of knowledge.

 This awakened mind of awareness is not made out of any material substance; it is self-existing and inherent in yourself. This is the nature of things that is easy to realize because it is not to be sought for elsewhere. This is the nature of mind that does not consist of a concrete perceiver and something perceived to fixate on. It defies the limitations of permanence and annihilation. In it there is no thing to awaken; the awakened state of enlightenment is your own awareness that is naturally awake. In it there is no thing that goes to the hells; awareness is naturally pure. In it there is no practice to carry out; its nature is naturally cognizant. This great view of the natural state is present in yourself: resolve that it is not to be sought for elsewhere.

Source: Nyingma Masters

Saturday, March 05, 2016

The Royal Seal of Mahamudra

The III Khamtrul Rinpoche,
Drodul Ngawang Kunga Tenzin

(...) Similarly, regarding whatever is in the field of the tactile sense organ, such things as fabrics that are soft or rough to the touch, this tactile sensation itself is your own mind. Avoid slipping into grasping or rejecting.

Whether soft or rough, do not try to find the mind anywhere apart
from the softness or roughness itself, but rest at ease right there without distraction. If a pleasant or an unpleasant feeling arises, recognize it and rest mindfully.

Likewise all thoughts arising in the field of the mental sense organ—
right or wrong, good or bad, subtle or coarse—are also your own mind.

Avoid liking the right ones and spurning the wrong ones. No matter what thought arises—good, bad, or neutral; subtle, tangible, or gross—recognize its identity through awareness and sustain it naturally. If any fixation arises, such as thinking of this and that in regard to thoughts of right and wrong, that itself is a fixating thought. So identify that grasping thought and rest on it at ease. In short, even when it is not the case of good or bad thoughts but is one of stillness and movement, avoid making choices. Do not taint with blocking or pursuing. If the mind is still, relax on the identity of that stillness. When it is dispersed, let loose in the identity of that dispersion. When still or when anything arises, relax on that. Keep to the very identity of what occurs, and sustain its
continuity without clinging elsewhere to good or bad.

In fact, no matter what perception of good or bad arises in the six sense fields—forms in the field of the eyes, sounds in the field of the ears, smells in the field of the nose, tastes in the field of the tongue, tactile sensations in the field of the body, or thoughts in the field of the mind—don’t judge as good or bad, and don’t indulge in likes and dislikes. Whatever appears, whatever arises, first identify it, then relax and rest in that state, and finally let it be released by itself.

For us, who have been in beginningless samsara all our lives due to very strong habits formed long ago, there is no way for thoughts of passion and aggression not to arise; these thoughts will no doubt occur!

Determined not to slip into delusion, you must identify these thoughts and let go directly on them. Rest in the state of knowing the nature of the very thoughts of attachment and aversion.

Lord Gotsangpa said:

"In general, the apparent myriad of phenomena is one’s own mind. Since phenomena and emptiness have never been abiding as two separate entities, there is no need to restrain cognizance within."


"When there is an appearance of a form in the field of the eyes,that appearance of form itself is one’s mind; the apparent form and emptiness are not two. By resting gently right on the form without grasping, subject and object become naturally liberated. The same applies to sounds, smells, tastes,
textures, as well as mental occurrences: by resting on the occurrence itself, it becomes self-liberated. That is to say, instead of meditating on cognizance, by meditating without grasping right on the outer objects of the six sense perceptions, the six senses arise as meditation and enhancement will ensue."

Siddha Orgyenpa said:

"Static or mobile things of the outer world that may be seen, including any possible inanimate object—such as earth, stones, mountains, rocks, houses, and estates—or the diversity of beings, both high and low, in the three spheres of existence—such as gods and asuras, and those in the three
miserable realms—no matter what is perceived, none of these things has even a single hair of existence as an outer entity.

They are the natural luminosity arising from the radiance of one’s own mind.

At the time of practicing this, proceed as follows. When inanimate things such as earth, stones, mountains, or rocks appear, don’t go into the fixation of perceiver-and-perceived in relation to the inanimate object. No matter how it appears, relax loosely right on it. Avoid tainting it with hopes for good experiences and fear of bad ones. No matter what appears, apply the central practice on that itself. Uninterrupted by any other thought, in that state rest loosely and at ease. Resting in this way, you do not need to block appearances, try to accomplish emptiness, or search elsewhere for an antidote. A vivid union of the inanimate object and awareness is what is called “using phenomena as the path,” “merging phenomena and mind into one,” and “seeing the essence of indivisibility.”

By doing so you are capturing the key point of practice.

If you don’t know how to relax right on phenomena in this way, but instead indulge by means of thought activity in a lot of corrections intended to improve the situation, phenomena
will not arise as meditation.

Also when seeing any of the six kinds of beings—high or low, good or evil, happy or sad—whoever it is, practice as in the case of an inanimate object. Recognize whoever appears, and in a state of nonmeditation, barely undistracted, rest loose right on it. By this, phenomena and mind are indivisible.

Do not regard present appearances in terms of fault or virtue. Avoid fabricating or modifying. Do not taint with the intention to reject or accomplish. Take them as the practice exactly as they are."

The method of resting should not be limited just to what we have seen. Using the six sense perceptions as the path should be carried out all the time as the main practice. Otherwise, although you may somehow maintain composure during formal meditation, later when encountering outer desirable objects of form, sound, smell, taste, or touch, you will respond with a total lack of determination, enjoy the sense pleasures in an ordinary way, and slip into delusion. If you turn
the wheel of passion and aggression or hope and fear, the training we discussed will not show up when needed. You would then be neglecting the great objective, so the crucial point and main purpose would be absent. Rather, during the main practice of meditative composure, and
especially at all times, you should learn to use all perceptions as they are in their own nature.

To use the six sense perceptions as the path has many purposes. The initial effect is that you will cease to slip under the influence of the six senses thus giving them free rein, and phenomena will no longer negatively affect your meditation; later, phenomena will arise as ornaments; and finally, there will be no duality between phenomena and mind, and you will have arrived at the expanse of the great pervasiveness of the dharmakaya.


Friday, October 02, 2015

The True Source of Healing

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
There is no better protection than the refuge of unbounded sacred space, infinite awareness, and genuine warmth. Any external source of refuge is ultimately unreliable. Looking for refuge in money or material possessions cannot protect you from the pain of loss, because everything you have will be lost to you someday. No matter how good your health insurance is or how healthy your lifestyle, sooner or later you will suffer from injury or sickness; eventually you will die. Finding your perfect soul mate cannot protect you from someday losing your beloved through separation, divorce, or death.

With the inner refuge, you are not depending on someone or something outside you to make you feel secure. The first refuge, unbounded sacred space, is a true support because it is unchanging, indestructible, beyond birth and death, eternal. Whatever difficulties you face, the first refuge supports you in allowing your experiences and hosting them fully. The second inner refuge, the light of awareness, can never be diminished or extinguished by any cause or condition. Inner light is unceasing – forever luminous and clear. Even in the darkest of circumstances, you can trust that it is always there. You can also trust that the warmth of the third refuge is within you. It spontaneously arises from the union of openness and awareness.

There may be moments when you feel emotionally cold and dark, when it seems that all the light has gone from your life. But your experience and inner truth are not in sync – the light is always there. At these moments, access to the inner refuge may seem distant, but a sense of trust may bring you a glimmer of the inner refuge that can lead to a shift in the darkness of your experience. Trust is a necessary companion on the path. There is no situation so bad that you can't turn toward the three doors. As you become more familiar with entering and abiding in the inner refuge, you will begin to trust in its healing presence.

We all long for that inner connection, just as a lost child longs to reunite with his or her mother. When you connect with the inner refuge, you can rest in that space just as a child rests in his or her mother's loving arms, feeling protected, safe, secure, complete.
Beyond the Ego

There is a Tibetan joke about a yogi who leaves his hermitage to get supplies. Afraid of getting lost in a crowded marketplace, he ties a red ribbon around his leg. As long as the ribbon is there, he feels secure. But at one point he looks down and notices that the ribbon has fallen off. He frantically runs back and forth through the market, yelling, “I'm lost! I'm lost! Did anyone see me? I'm the one wearing the red ribbon around his leg.”

His reaction may seem quite silly to us, but most of us react in a similar way. We lose our job, or an important relationship comes to an end, and we feel lost. Who am I? We forget where we put our cell phone, and we panic and feel disoriented. Where am I? We have all experienced losing the red ribbon. But the truth is, we are never lost.

Drawing attention to stillness, silence, and spaciousness shifts your focus from feeding the insecurity of the ego to connecting with pure being. Anytime you identify with a sense of “I” – “I feel something”; “I have lost something”; “I am lost” – you are identifying with the wrong person. You are identifying with the ego, with your pain body, not with your true nature.

Being aware of the three doors is not work. In fact, the more effort you put into connecting with stillness, silence, and spaciousness, the more elusive the inner refuge seems. Connecting with the inner refuge is simply a matter of shifting your attention. If you are already still, be aware of stillness. When you are silent, hear the silence that is already there. Notice the spaciousness at the very center of your being. As you rest in awareness, you connect with your authentic self. The effort of seeking dissipates, and you areunbounded sacred space, infinite awareness, and genuine warmth – you are the inner refuge. The inner sacred space is so simple and close that if we search for it, we cannot find it. But it is always there for you, the source of all the elemental qualities you need. As the inner refuge, you are whole and complete in each moment.