17 The Third of the “Four Greats”: Great Joy

07 Apr 2016

We begin by exploring the third in the sequence of “Four Greats”, which is Great Joy or Maha Mudita. For Great Joy, as for the other great qualities we’ve analyzed so far (Great Compassion and Great Loving Kindness), we start with one question, “Why couldn’t all sentient beings never be parted from sublime happiness, free of suffering? Alan explores the underlying assumption in this line of the liturgy, which is that it is only because we all already have a Buddha nature, that the question even makes sense. And if that is the case, then we continue with the aspiration: “May we never be parted from that sublime happiness”, generate the corresponding intention, and finally do the supplication, that allows us to carry through with our intention.

All four questions are explored in the meditation, which is on Great Joy.

After the meditation, we return to the the Mahamudra root text “Lamp So Bright”, and Alan continues the oral transmission and commentary for the Preparation section (stanzas 3-5), which elaborates on this theme from the perspective of great beings like Sakya Pandita, Dampa Sangyé, Shantideva, Atisha and Milarepa.

Alan finishes the session making the reference that, due to time restrictions, we won’t analyze Chapter’s 2 and 3 of Naked Awareness. These chapters deal, respectively, with narratives around karma (Chapter 2), and also an exploration of the laws and intricacies of karma (Chapter 3). He ends the session with the reference that, for such complex topics, there’s a distinction between the most common perspective of practitioners like ourselves, that understand this topic only through knowledge-based inferences, and that of the great adepts, for whom some of these very subtle realities of karma are seen through direct perception.

The meditation starts at 14:04.

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