30 Tong Len practice and commentary

19 Sep 2013

The classic, developmental approach is to alternate between ultimate and conventional bodhicitta. It is so important to balance the cultivation of ultimate truth with development of the heart. Another approach is to develop Shamatha, Vippassana, Trekcho (break through) and Togal (crossover). Where is the balance? If you realise rigpa- ultimate bodhicitta, then relative bodhicitta arises spontaneously.

Alan then talks on the classical approach to the realisation of emptiness and contrasts this with realising rigpa first before realising emptiness: like being in a dream and developing shamatha, vippassana and then post meditation seeing all appearances as dream like. Then you get pointing out instructions and realise that you are not even conventionally located there. Now viewing that dream from the perspective of one who is awake. But it can happen that there is a breakthrough right there, without a step by step sequence, in an instant. Like becoming lucid in a dream, realise rigpa and by the power of that, seeing all phenomena as empty.

Alan then runs through the cultivation of bodhicitta: Cultivate the four immeasurables and on the basis of that, cultivate great compassion. Great compassion goes beyond “may all be free of suffering and its causes” and includes an aspiration, an intent, a commitment that I shall see to it. But who is the referent, who took on this resolve? It only makes sense that it is on the basis of rigpa that this resolve is made. Then by being aware of the depth of suffering in the world and knowing that suffering is not inevitable, not necessary, wanting to bring each sentient being to liberation and awakening. How can this actually occur? Only if I completely unveil my Buddha nature, so all the wisdom compassion and power is manifested, and from that platform you can liberate and awaken all sentient beings. So that is bodhicitta. And this, only after having developed loving kindness and compassion - the essence of tong len practice.

Alan also answers questions on how Dujom Lingpa receives visions and also on finding authentic sangha when returning back home from retreat.

Meditation starts at: 1:15

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