03 Oct 2014

Alan started the teachings today with the question of how we know whether we are practicing dharma or not. After all, you could e.g. do shamatha just as a technique for relaxation. What makes it a dharma practice is when you have a definitive sense of emergence from samsara, coupled with a vision of the path that will lead you all the way up to liberation. If we want to further empower, to supercharge our practice, we should practice from the viewpoint of being indivisible from our root guru. After the silent meditation we went on with the Natural Liberation. Padmasambhava describes the method of apprehending the clear light of realization, which is equivalent to the vertical aspect of pristine awareness, leading into the depth of reality. Then he introduces a method for apprehending the visionary clear light of experience, and that corresponds to the horizontal aspect of pristine awareness, fathoming the breadth of reality. By doing this method one can become aware of the physical environment while being deep asleep. Alan compares that to out-of-body experiences of brain dead people, who can also have a clear apprehension of their surroundings, witness conversations going on etc. Then in a second session Padmasambhava explains a method that lets you fall into deep sleep with an energetic boost, by visualizing a red bindu within the central channel at your heart, and apprehending the clear light by this way. Alan then comes back to the question how much Buddhist background one needs in order to do such practices. According to his own guru, Gyatrul Rinpoche, it is sufficient if we are intuitively drawn to such practices, have faith, aspiration and a deep yearning to practice. After all, how do we know with what karmic seeds we were born with, we might be really qualified to practice this without even knowing our qualifications. Question: Q1: In empathetic joy the near enemy is frivolous joy, the remedy is loving-kindness. Could you explain that?

Silent meditation cut out at 14:08 min

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