12 Oct 2012
Teaching. Alan continues the series on the 4 greats with great empathetic joy. When you become lucid in a dream, happiness arises from knowing reality as it is. As long as you remain lucid, nothing in the dream can cause suffering. Therefore, the instruction is to stay lucid by not losing the recognition of the dream as a dream. Shamatha helps you sustain lucidity. Vipasyana counters our ingrained tendency to reify everything. When you break through the substrate consciousness to primordial consciousness, the instruction is similar: don’t lose the recognition by sustaining the view of rigpa. There is nothing else to do.
Meditation. Great empathetic joy. Let your awareness permeate the space of the body and come to rest in the immediacy of the present moment. In the space before you, visualize Samantabhadra, the personification of your own primordial awareness, deep blue in color and radiating a sapphire light. Take refuge in the primordial buddha Samantabhadra, the dharma of all the buddhas, and the sangha of vidyadharas. Samantabhadra comes to the crown of your head, dissolves into indigo light, flows the your central channel, and reforms at your heart chakra. Your own body, speech, and mind become indivisible with Samantabhadra. Light permeates the space of your body and your empty mind. From this perspective, inquire 1) why couldn’t all sentient beings never be parted from happiness free of suffering? Arouse the aspiration 2) may we never be parted from such well-being. Arouse the intention 3) as long as space remains, as long as time remains, I shall do whatever is needed to bring this about. 4) May I receive blessings from the guru Samantabhadra and all the enlightened ones to carry through. With every in breath, light from all the buddhas flow in from all directions, saturating your being and purifying all negativities. With every out breath, light flows out in all directions, dispelling all negativities and doing whatever is needed to bring all sentient beings to lasting happiness without suffering.
Meditation starts at 13:21
This morning we turn to Maha Muditā - great empathetic joy and in this particular cycle that we’re going through , I’ve associated the Maha Karuna - the great compassion which is having that respect from blatant suffering that comes by achieving shamatha and resting in the substrate consciousness, but there simply is no pain, there is no suffering at all of body or mind. And then with great loving kindness Maha Maitri, associating that with realization of emptiness, and then as we turn to this aspiration of great mudita, empathetic joy, it is the aspiration, the resolve - may we never be parted from happiness devoid of suffering, free of suffering, and as you might guess I will associate this with realization of rigpa - pristine awareness. And let’s go back to my all time, utter most favorite metaphor and that is - becoming lucid in a dream. And that is once you’ve become lucid, then there is by that very fact of becoming lucid, I can’t say for every single lucid dream, but generally speaking, there is a euphoria, a sense of wellbeing, there is happiness, there can actually be a bliss and it’s not coming hedonically, it’s not coming from some happy things that are occurring in the dream, it’s coming from knowing the nature of the reality you are experiencing, so it’s really a eudemonic wellbeing, a little microcosm of actually being a Buddha, a little facsimile.
(2:16) So what’s your task, what’s your primary directive if you’re really intent on practicing dreaming yoga and using this as a platform for moving along to full awakening? Your prime directive is now that you’ve gotten lucid, stay lucid, don’t lose that recognition, don’t lose that knowing, that’s your prime directive, stay there sustain that, sustain that flow of knowing, the nature of reality you are experiencing at that time, namely recognizing the dream as the dream.
(2:49) So in a similar fashion, I’m really now laying out the fundamental structure of the utter essence of Dudjom Lingpa’s path of Dzogchen, which is really representative of the entire tradition, there’s nothing iconoclastic about his approach that is in terms of the formal meditation, first of all achieving shamatha, resting in the substrate consciousness then realizing emptiness and then thirdly, breaking through your conventional mind, breaking through the substrate consciousness, melting it so to speak, shattering so to speak and then breaking through to this dimension of awareness, of pristine awareness, primordial consciousness, and as soon as one has made that breakthrough, you’re a bona fide Dzogchen practitioner and you’re actually ascertaining rigpa. Then you really have one prime directive, you become awake, you are viewing reality now from the perspective of Buddha mind, perspective of rigpa. Don’t lose it! That’s it. You really don’t have any other practice, now just sustain that flow of knowing, sustain the flow of viewing reality from rigpa, therefore you have the Dzogchen view which is the view from the perspective of rigpa and Dzogchen meditation is nothing more or less than sustaining the view, now that you’ve broken through to rigpa just don’t lose it, sustain that.
(4:11) And then allow the whole path to rise up to meet you. Some people don’t even practice thogyal I mean the very right points, they do not even need the direct crossing over of the thogyal, they can simply break through and that will take them all the way to perfect Buddhahood, it happens. So there’s your simply practice, and it is called (ja de la ) devoid of activity, inactive, and why is that? Because we see, wait a minute, wait a minute, wonderful accomplished Lamas like Jadrel Rinpoche his name is actually ja del. The Rinpoche who is devoid of action. But no he’s not, he’s got a wife, he’s got two daughters, he is very active teaching, he has lived a long life, teaching and so on, so maybe he isn’t really an authentic practitioner since he is inactive? Well that’s about as likely as nothing. No, what does it mean Ja del? It means you not are activating your conventional mind, your ordinary mind, you are not slipping back into non-lucidity and working within that manifold. So you are leaving, you are di-activating your ordinary sense of I am, di-activating the ordinary mind, just turning it off and just dwelling in rigpa. And then whatever activity flows from that, that is spontaneous, that’s just flowing. And so we find great masters, Dilgo Khyentse Rimpoche incredibly active with so many, many projects and Dudjon Rimpoche and so forth. They are very active. But for those who are truly accomplished in Dzogchen, the activity’s coming right out of rigpa.
(7:35) So you asked for some names of still living and authentic Dzogchen masters, Yangthang Rinpoche, still alive, still teaching, I heard just recently, maybe within the last six months or so he was teaching at Lerab Ling in the South of France, this is one of Sogyal Rinpoche’s main centers, he is extraordinary, realizations – Shamatha, Vipashyana – Dzogchen, genuine realizations. Khenpo Namdrol, very, very knowledgeable, authentic, absolutely straight, impeccable integrity, he is one of the co- Abbots now of Namdroling Monastery, the primary Nyingma Monastery I think probably in all of India, something like 3,000 monks there, in the South of India, he is absolutely authentic. And another one who has more recently come from Tibet is Getse Rinpoche, also absolute integrity, straight, knowledgeable, so there’s three. That is of course not an exhaustive list, but they are all on active duty, still teaching, giving Dzogchen empowerments and so forth. There are others of course, but those three – total confidence. So, there can be our aspiration - why couldn’t all sentient beings never be parted from happiness, devoid of suffering? When you are resting in rigpa, you are now devoid of suffering, I mean you are beyond suffering, you are resting in a state of awareness that’s beyond time, beyond space, you are free, and it’s only a metaphor of course, but imagine being really deeply lucid in a dream, what exactly, where does the suffering come from? Where does suffering come from if you’re really deeply lucid, profoundly lucid in a dream? What’s going to make you suffer, alligators, cobras, bubonic plague, bad neighbors, a cold? There’s nothing there, you’re just surrounded by a field of empty appearances, none of those can give you any harm at all and your mind is dwelling in a state of being awake, which is by nature blissful. So there’s no in, there is no in for suffering, not from outside, not from inside, you’re free.
(8:37) So once again just to highlight, I know you’ve heard it before but just to make this absolutely transparent, some of you I know have had them in a non-lucid dream and then something happen, Tsongkhapa says the easiest way to slip into lucidity , to recognize a dream as a dream is while you are just cruising along, fairly ordinary person and then something really unpleasant happens, nasty, a nightmare, a shock, something really terrifying or whatever and also bizarre, really bizarre and then you recognize, oh, I must be dreaming, I am, I’m out of here! And so you have just a very short, or maybe you get excited, oh I’m dreaming, no I am not. Where did it go? Where did it go? So that’s the most common way to have your first lucid dream, is they’re really short, right?
(9:37) And as is often, if it’s a Dild, what Steven La Berge calls a Dild – a dream induced lucid dream, something happens in a dream that somehow kicks you into lucidity and there you are in the dream but knowing that it’s a dream. Well for most cases it’s very brief, because you just don’t have the preparation, number one you get really excited, your mind is scattered, it’s not relaxed, it’s not stable and so you get that insight and then it’s gone, a matter of seconds and it’s finished, right?
(10:07) And so you can see first of all how useful it would be for lucid dreaming and for gaining the realization of rigpa, that you’ve got a vessel there that when that realization comes up, and you actually do break through, you can sustain it, and that’s because your mind’ s stable, so shamatha. But then of course if all you have is shamatha but you’ve not really challenged this incredibly deeply ingrained tendency of reifying everything, including yourself as you are now, ordinary person, ordinary environment, my mind, oh poor my mind and my big yucky mind full of mental afflictions, I can’t stand it, it bugs me so badly, all of that, if you’re reifying everything, the Midas
Touch, which means you turn everything to mud. If you’re not out of that rut, even if you temporary break through, the old habits are just going to come in and freeze it over again and lock right in, it’s going to shut it down because you reify once again.
(10:59) So therefore it’s kind of common sense that if you’d like to break through to rigpa and then to be able to actually follow the Dzogchen teachings and that is now your only practice is to sustain the view, to dwell in non-meditation because there’s literally nothing for you to do with your conventional mind that you used to achieve shamatha, developing bodhichitta, the six perfections, practicing Lojong doing this and doing that all the same, but don’t do anything because there’s nothing to achieve, if you’re viewing reality from the perspective of rigpa, there’s nothing to achieve, just be awake and let the fullness of that, rise up and totally embrace you.
So shamatha then break down all the barriers of reification through realization of emptiness and then go to rigpa and then you are a Dzogchen practitioner, you really are a vidyadhara, you are holding rigpa, vidya means rigpa in Sanskrit, you are holding rigpa, you are holding your own ground in rigpa, not just your substrate consciousness, but you are holding your own ground, your deepest ground, your fundamental primordial ground, your home, ultimately home so don’t go anywhere and let everything flow out of that.
So there it is individually and then this aspiration of great empathic joy is - since this is the essential nature of every sentient being, why couldn’t we never be parted from that happiness which truly is utterly devoid of suffering, might we be, why not, it’s not like we have to acquire something we don’t have, it’s what we already are, so there is no acquisition. Why couldn’t we be, I shall make it so, of course that means I have to practice myself.
All right, whatever is needed, and then ok blessings, blessings, all the blessings, knocking down all the obstacles.
Good, let’s practice.
Let your awareness descend from the head right down to the ground, this non-conceptual ground, let your awareness permeate the empty space of your body not permeating flesh and bone, but permeating just space. Settle your body in its natural state, relaxed, still and vigilante.
Settle your respiration in its natural rhythm and releasing all thoughts pertaining to the future and the past, non-conceptually let your awareness come to rest in the immediacy of the present moment without conceptual elaborations. And then in the space in front of you visualize and bring to mind as clearly as you can, the iconic personification of your own pristine awareness, Samantabhadra, deep blue in color and holding a Vajra and bell, seated in the full lotus, blazing with such sapphire light. And as if looking into the mirror and if you will, take refuge, take refuge in this primordial Buddha, the dharma reveled by Samantabhadra and all the great vidyadharas of the past, present and future as our guides, our companions, spiritual friends along the path, you’re never alone. From now until my own perfect awakening, I take refuge in the guru, Samantabhadra, Buddha Samantabhadra, the dharma of Samantabhadra and all the vidyadharas, who’ve come to know who they truly are, Samantabhadra.
And in order to lead all sentient beings to liberation and awakening, may I myself ever so swiftly awaken to my own nature of Samantabhadra. Then inviting the guru Samantabhadra to the crown of your head, and facing in the same direction as yourself, imagine this primordial Buddha dissolving into indigo light, flowing down your central channel, and reappearing on a lotus moon and sun disk at your heart. Imagine your own body, speech and mind indivisible from that guru, Samantabhadra. Let this light at your heart permeate the empty space of your empty body, the empty space of your empty mind.
And from this perspective, arouse the question:
1) Why couldn’t all sentient beings never be parted from happiness, devoid of suffering?
[Then arouse the aspiration.]
2) May we all never be parted from such well-being.
[Then arouse the intention.]
3) And for as long as space remains, for as long as sentient beings remain, I shall do whatever is needed to bring this about.
4) And by the blessings of the guru Samantabhadra and all the awakened ones, may I be enabled to carry through with that resolve.
And with each in breath imagine the light of all the Buddha’s flowing in upon you, from above and below and all the sides utterly saturating your entire being and purifying all obscurations, all illness, all afflictions and all that harms.
And with each out breath, breathe out this light in all directions, dispelling all afflictions, all obscurations and doing whatever is needed to bring each sentient being to such a lasting state of wellbeing, utterly free of suffering.
And release all activities of the mind, release your mind, and rest in the natural luminosity and purity of your own awareness, empty and still.
Transcribed by Rafael Carlos Giusti
Revised by Cheri Langston
Final edition by Rafael Carlos Giusti
Posted by Alma Ayon