13 Aug 2015
Before finishing the chapter Alan discusses the importance of building a sacred place of refuge which is not part of the external world. We take for real what we are attending to which, therefore, becomes empowered. Materialism is pressing in from all sides (entertainment, politics, etc.) and mental afflictions are not always regarded as so. By attending to this kind of external world we therefore empower it. If we keep reifying the outside world our practice will be difficult, so we need to do it with pure vision. To do that we deconstruct that which we have constructed and reified. However, to regard things as empty of inherent nature, especially the self, is a big step so the refuge is a kind of trust. Through intelligence we dissolve reification of the self and the external world into emptiness and we gain affirmation through our intuition, our Buddha nature. Alan goes on to explain that whatever karma we have accumulated, the blessings of the Buddha, Dharmakaya, are not contingent on karma, they are not ‘earned’.
The meditation is a silent Avalokitesvara sadhana.
Following meditation and during his teaching on the text (starting on p. 57) Alan addresses the subject of Gurus. He explains it is perfectly possible to have a root guru who doesn’t know you if there is a sense of connection, inspiration, benefit and faith. One may have many Gurus but if one enters the practice authentically one views them all as emanations of the root Guru. Viewing them in a hierarchy is introducing attachment and reification. When you really see with insight you have moved into a sacred place and Buddha’s blessings come in.
Silent Meditation begins at 29:25 and is not recorded.
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