04 The Revolution of Preliminary Practices - Precious Human Rebirth

01 Aug 2015

Alan starts by commenting on Asanga’s teachings on Mindfulness of Breathing, comparing them with the Theravada approach. He adds that a major theme throughout all the Buddhist teachings is relaxation. In fact he points out that the Buddha has perfected relaxation: at that level, all activity is effortless. A tiny facsimile of this can be seen on the path to shamatha. In the first phase of shamatha, we need to relax without losing clarity. This first point is especially important for people living in the modern world. Before jumping into the meditation, Alan comments that he is here to save us some time in order to achieve enlightenment, as HH the Dalai Lama said in the past. He adds also that in contemplative inquiry it is very important to maintain a flow of non conceptual cognisance, because this is the starting point that will eventually lead to the realisation of rigpa. So it is very important to sustain it from the very beginning of shamatha practice.

The meditation is on Mindfulness of Breathing.

Teaching: Alan starts the explanation of the preliminary practices by drawing from Dudjom Lingpa’s text “The Foolish Dharma of an Idiot Clothed in Mud and Feathers,” where the author presents the essence of the preliminary practices. Alan comments that currently we have a Precious Human Rebirth, with leisure and opportunity. This can be the life in which we can find a path. There is continuity of consciousness and right now we are sowing the seeds of our future. Alan asks: What is life? Is it a short story or a never-ending story? Alan concludes by quoting Drom Tompa: “Give up attachment to this life and let your mind become Dharma.”

Questions: 1) When practicing awareness resting in its own place with 20% peripheral awareness of breathing, if we go from there to awareness of awareness, if our eyes are closed, is that a problem?

Meditation starts at 23:30

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