Saturday, November 02, 2013

Innocent Mind, Innocent Projections

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Mind and its projections are innocent.

They are very ordinary, very natural, and very simple.

Red is not evil, and white is not divine; blue is not evil, and green is not divine.

Sky is sky; rock is rock; earth is earth; mountains are mountains.

I am what I am, and you are what you are.

Therefore, there are no particular obstacles to experiencing our world properly, and nothing is regarded as problematic.

Chögyam Trungpa, from The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma Volume

Maitripa's Concise Summary of Mahamudra

Maitripa (1007-1078?)
Homage to Great Bliss!

Mahamudra is knowing that
all things are one's own mind.
Seeing objects as external is just noetic projection.
The whole of "appearance" is as empty as a dream.

The mind as such is merely a flow of awareness,
without self-nature, moving where it will like the wind.
Empty of an identity, it is like space.
All phenomena, like space, are the same.

That which is termed Mahamudra,
Is not a "thing" that can be pointed to.
It is the mind's own nature
that is Mahamudra [i.e., the Absolute State].

It is not something to be perfected or transformed.
Thus, to realize this, is to realize
that the whole world of appearance is Mahamudra.
This is the absolute all-inclusive Dharmakaya [i.e.,the Ultimate Embodiment of Buddhahood].

Uncontrived and just as it is,
the inconceivable Dharmakaya,
is itself effortless meditation.
Trying to attain something is not meditation.

Seeing everything like space, like a magical illusion,
Neither meditating nor not meditating,
Neither separate nor not separate:
Such is the Yogin's realization.

All virtuous and evil actions
Become liberated through this knowledge.
The sinful defilements become the Absolute Gnosis itself;
becoming the Yogin's friend, this is a fire consuming the forest of trees.

Where then is going or staying?
Who then needs to run to a Monastery to meditate?
If one does not understand this point,
liberation will be but a temporary event.

When the true nature is realized,
one abides in the unwavering state.
Whether or not one is in the state of Integration or not,
There is nothing to be corrected by antidote or meditation.

Whatever arises is devoid of self-nature.
Appearances are auto-liberated into the Sphere of Reality (Dharmadhatu).
Conceptual creation is auto-liberated into Absolute Gnosis (Mahajnana).
The non-duality [of these two] is the Dharmakaya.<

Like the flow of a great river,
Whatever occurs is meaningful and true.
This is the eternal Buddha state,
The Great Bliss, transcending the Worldly Cycle.

All phenomena are empty of self-identity,
Wherein even the concept of emptiness is eliminated.
Free of concepts, clinging not to mental projections,
is the Path of all the Enlightened Ones.

For those fortunate to connect with this teaching,
I have uttered these words of heartfelt instruction.
Thus, may all sentient beings
become established in Mahamudra.

Colophon: This exposition of Mahamudra (in thirteen four-lined stanzas) was given orally by the Master Maitripa to Marpa Chos-kyi-lodro, who translated it into Tibetan. It was translated into English from the original Tibetan text belonging to Bardok Chusang Rimpoche of Tingri by a Ngakpa-Yogin of the Dharma Fellowship.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Sustaining the Nature of Mind

Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
Sustaining the Nature of Mind Our nature does not go or stay anywhere since it is always with us. It does not become more present by going to the mountains and living in a hermitage. Our nature does not change according to circumstances. Therefore, moving about, staying somewhere, going or not going to the mountains – all these are superficial attributes that are not found in the basic nature itself. 

As you know, Jetsun Milarepa sang many songs, which were very pithy and beneficial to those who listened and understood. Among those songs is one he sang for a woman called Paldabum. In the song she is referred to as being a female lay practitioner. In those days, there were women who would practice a lot but still led the life of lay people. They took vows to do intensive practice on the 8th or the 15thor the 30th day of the Tibetan month, and in between they would carry on their normal work. Milarepa had many such disciples. Paldabum was very bright and devoted, and she asked Milarepa many questions. (…) She asked questions about how she herself, being an ordained woman, could combine Dharma practice with her daily life. As she related, “In the daytime I have to work, at night time I sleep, in the morning and evening I need to cook. I am a servant to all these tasks that fill up my life. In spite of this, I still want to practice. How can I do this? Please give me some advice?’

In reply, Milarepa sang a song of four analogies and one meaning, five points. First he said, “Look at the mountain. The mountain is unshakable. Like that, train in being like a mountain, always steady and stable.” Then he said, “Look at the sun and moon. Though sometimes covered by clouds and haze, the sun and moon in themselves never change; their brilliance doesn’t increase or decrease, they’re forever the same. Train yourself in being constant, without waxing or waning.” The third analogy he gave was: “Look at the sky. Space is not made out of anything. Its nature is empty, and has neither centre nor edge. Train yourself in being free from centre and edge.” Then he said: “Look at the great lake: Though its surface ripples, the body of water remains unwavering. Train yourself in being unwavering.” Finally he gave the fifth point, the meaning, singing, “Your mind is the most important. Simply settle into yourself and look into your mind. Without being carried away by thoughts about this and that, be totally steady and meditate. That is the heart essence of meditation.”

Paldabum connected her next questions with the analogies Milarepa had just given. She said: “I can at times train in being as stable as a mountain. However, on the mountain various plants, shrubs and trees grow. What should I do? I can at times practice in a way which is unchanging like the brilliance of the sun and moon. But occasionally the sun and moon are eclipsed. When that happens, what should I do? I can at times train in being as steady and unchanging as the sky, but sometimes many clouds gather. At that time, what should I do? I can train in being as stable as the ocean, but sometimes great waves appear. At that time, what should I do? In the same way, when I’m simply looking into mind, sometimes many thoughts occur. At that time, what should I do?” Milarepa’s reply continued with these themes. He said: “When you practice in a way that is like a mountain, remember this: shrubs, trees and plants grow naturally on the mountain, sprouting, growing and perishing there. This arising, dwelling and ceasing of growth does not change the mountain in any way whatsoever. It is merely different expressions that don’t affect the stability of the mountain at all.

“Sometimes you are able to practice in a way that is unchanging, like the brilliance of the sun and moon. However, remember that the eclipsing of the sun and moon is not real and constant; it’s a momentary event that does not have any concrete substance in itself. It vanishes. It’s only the different expressions of the sun and moon, and does not affect the inherent nature, as they continue to shine naturally.

“Sometimes you are able to practice in a way that is unchanging, like the sky. Remember this: when clouds gather, they do not change the sky itself, no matter how dense or dark they are. The many different types of weather are a varied display, but the sky remains beyond change.

“Although you can practice like the ocean, remember this: when the surface is in turmoil with waves, there is no wave that exists apart from the ocean. It’s the ocean itself that manifests different expressions. No wave has a separate identity from the ocean.”

Milarepa continued:

“When different thoughts crowd your mind, remember that no thought has any existence apart from the empty cognisance of the mind nature. It is empty cognisance itself that takes the form of a thought, and is like varying facial expressions or moods, without any separate identity.” This is Milarepa’s instruction in sustaining the nature of mind.”


Awareness during seep

Nisargadatta Maharaj
Questioner: What do you do when asleep?

Maharaj: I am aware of being asleep.

Q: Is not sleep a state of unconsciousness? M: Yes, I am aware of being unconscious.

Q: And when awake, or dreaming?

 M: I am aware of being awake or dreaming.

Q: I do not catch you. What exactly do you mean? Let me make my terms clear: by being asleep I mean unconscious, by being awake I mean conscious, by dreaming I mean conscious of one’s mind, but not of the surroundings.

 M: Well, it is about the same with me, Yet, there seems to be a difference. In each state you forget the other two, while to me, there is but one state of being, including and transcending the three mental states of waking, dreaming and sleeping.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Accomplishing Mahamudra

Garchen Rinpoche

For those of us who really want to accomplish the meaning of Mahamudra we need to understand that daily, constantly, we have thoughts of self-clinging arising in the mind, thoughts conditioned by self-clinging. Even when drinking a glass of water we think—oh, this water is “mine.” This is “my’ water in “my” glass and “I” am drinking. This constantly reinforces this habit. As a result our self-clinging is like a huge mountain. If we can create the positive habit of making offerings of all our enjoyments throughout the day to the enlightened ones, then each time we do that it is like removing one grain of sand from the mountain of self-clinging. If we do this continuously again and again, then one day that mountain will be flattened. If on the other hand we don’t make mental offerings, then this concept of self continues to grow. So my great hope is that you will all continuously practice offering throughout the day. This is my great personal instruction to you.

Garchen Rinpoche, from the Millennium Teachings at Garchen Institute