Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stream of Continuous Non-meditation, Flow of Unbroken Samadhi

By Shabka (1781-1851)

Once my fortunate spiritual son Kunzang Shenpen asked me, "How should one remain in the nonmeditation samadhi that is like a continuous stream? What is meant by 'stream'? Is there any risk of confusing this with another state?" My answer was this song:

Having received the faultless instructions on Mahamudra or on Dzogchen,
The unique path traveled by countless
Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,
If you wish to remain uninterruptedly
In the nonmeditation samadhi
That is like a continuous stream,
You must do this:

Keep your body still;
Keep your voice silent;
As to mind, don't bind it: let it rest at ease.
Let consciousness relax completely.

At this time, attachment to "meditation"' and "nonmeditation" clears,
And mind remains without any aim or fabrication
In self-luminous awareness, vast and transparent.

To remain just like this
Is the view of Mahamudra and Dzogchen.
If intellect does not tamper with this state,
And if you are graced by blessings of your root and lineage gurus,
The view arises, clear as the sky.

Preserving this view continuously
With awareness undistracted,
In a continuity unbroken like a flowing stream,
Is what is called "nonmeditation samadhi, continuous like a stream."

If one has not recognized this,
One might simply let everything go
And lapse into an amorphous, ordinary state
That cannot be said to be this or that-
To be immersed in an indistinct vagueness.
This would be a mistake.

Although these two states are similar,
Insofar as neither is intentional meditation,
Nonmeditation samadhi that is like a continuous stream
Is just remaining in a vivid clarity
That is like a bright, cloudless sky -
Limitless, pervasive, transparent.

The other is merely a dull state of mind
That is nothing in particular:
A constricted, fragmentary, biased state
Lacking lucid clarity,
A vague and hazy stupefaction.

Apart from confusing these two states,
There is no other error to be made.

The Life of Shabkar: The Autobiography of a Tibetan Yogin
by Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol, Matthieu Ricard (Translator)
Published by Snow Lion, Ithaca, 2001

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