09 Oct 2014
In today’s session Alan talks about the importance of purification and accruing merit in order to proceed quickly along the path. The Sanskrit term for merit is punya, and it literally means power. It is that which propels you along the path. And if you want merit to really flow, then think about what Atisha said about the ability to accumulate merit once you have achieved shamatha. Another way to supercharge your merit according to the Buddha is by concentration on suchness, which means emptiness. And finally, when you develop bodhicitta you accrue merit, and once you are on the level of engaged bodhicitta it will just be an ongoing flow of merit no matter what you do. That’s for accumulating merit. And how to purify? Well, how about shamatha, insight into emptiness and bodhicitta? If you might think that all this emptiness and Dzogchen stuff is just too way up for you, you can’t really do this, then this is one of the three types of laziness, the laziness of putting oneself down. So no excuses, especially since Alan lists the remedies for all three types of laziness! The realizations e.g. of emptiness don’t appear out of the blue, they come from hearing, reading, trying to figure it out, meditating about it, and sooner or later a true understanding will arise. This will still come and go, so you need shamatha to stabilize it, and to get so familiar with it that it becomes the natural way of viewing reality. After the meditation we return to Natural Liberation, continuing from yesterday’s topic of viewing hatred from the perspective of rigpa. Alan gives an advice that he himself has received from Gyatrul Rinpoche when anger comes up in the mind: Don’t be troubled, just look at it and try to trace it back to its roots. The same can be done for the other poisons; craving and delusion. You can trace them back to their relative origin, which is substrate consciousness, and from that perspective all three poisons are nothing other than luminosity, bliss and non-conceptuality. But here in Padmasambhava’s text they are seen not from the perspective of substrate consciousness, but from the perspective of rigpa, and that means that they are nothing other than the three aspects of primordial consciousness: mirror-like, discerning and Dharmadhatu. Padmasambhava states that from the perspective of rigpa hatred never comes into being, is empty of location, and doesn’t go anywhere. Which means, you can’t even lose it. If an Arhat thinks that he has cut hatred at its root, that isn’t really true. You just reduce it back to where it comes from, or better to say, it releases itself if you can rest in rigpa.
Silent meditation cut out at 27:25 min
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