12 Sep 2015

Here we are running a fast-food café, and today we have a fresh dish: Balancing Earth & Space. When Padmasambhava says to observe your mind, you are doing something. The other approach is not doing anything at all.

The meditation is on balancing Earth & Space. Start with Mindfulness of Breathing, with an emphasis of deepening relaxation while not losing the clarity with which you began, for the first half, and for the second half on space (non meditation).

After meditation, Alan concludes the oral transmission & commentary of Chapter 5 on Identification, resuming from p.118. Identification is the first taste of viewing reality from the perspective of pristine awareness. Dzogchen meditation is simply sustaining the view. It’s like having a companion in a non-lucid dream that points out to you that this is a dream. Alan then continues by mentioning the different approaches to becoming lucid found in texts he translated from Pema Lingpa, Lerab Lingpa, and Dudjom Lingpa. The identification chapter is about becoming lucid, then staying lucid and investigating the nature of that reality. Then Alan gives some background from the 20th century. He says that when we hear something, we want to know: is this religion? Philosophy? Science? In Buddhism, there are assertions about: (1) Very hidden phenomena that only a Buddha can corroborate, who is viewed as a divine authority (inference based on authority); (2) Slightly hidden phenomena that can be known by inference based on logic; (3) Evident phenomena that can be directly known through mental and yogic perception. In Buddhism, you start religious, then you become philosophical, and eventually you end up scientific. Then Alan touches on the four Imponderables in Buddhism: (1) The range of powers a Buddha develops as a result of becoming a Buddha; (2) The range of powers that one may obtain while absorbed in dhyana; (3) The precise working out of the results of karma; (4) The origin the cosmos.

And how samsara has no beginning: we are unaware of the first moment of a wandering, non-lucid mind, of a wandering, non-lucid dream, and of a wandering, non-lucid rebirth. This is unawareness, the root of samsara. We cannot recall that of which we were unaware in the first place, so the first moment of each is unknowable. It makes no sense to attribute existence to that which is unknowable.

The meditation starts at 8:07

Course notes, other episodes and resources for this retreat are available here The text for this retreat can be purchased via the SBI Store. Finally, Please contribute to help us afford the audio equipment we rent to make these, and future podcasts freely available.

Download (MP3 / 82 MB)


This lecture does not have a text transcript. Please contact us if you’d like to volunteer to assist our transcription team.


Ask questions about this lecture on the Buddhism Stack Exchange or the Students of Alan Wallace Facebook Group. Please include this lecture’s URL when you post.