21 Beyond the Four Greats: An Extraordinary Resolve to Free All Sentient Beings

10 Apr 2016

Alan now goes beyond the sequence of The Four Greats (Great Compassion, Great Loving-kindness, Great Joy and Great Equanimity), to the Extraordinary Thought (tib. Lhag Sam), which expands on the momentum coming from these. It means “a resolve to free all sentient beings from suffering and bring them to to their fulfilment”. He points out that this is actually not yet bodhicitta, because the aspiration to achieve enlightenment is missing.

Recalling Padmasambhava, he reminds us the importance of combining the View and Way of Life. Nevertheless, we should not let one overwhelm the other. View here means viewing reality from the perspective of rigpa, and conduct relates to what needs to be done. Our conduct should be in accord with our highest view. He highlights that this brings a tension, but a sacred one, to this reality.

Alan then addresses the point that the process of engaging with people will always be by way of our own appearances. In this way we are like artists or novelists, painting reality with the colours of our own mind. Here, as long as there is aversion or attachment, our heart will not be at ease. He recalls the words of the Buddha that, “So long as these five obscurations are not abandoned, one considers himself as indebted, sick, in bonds, enslaved and lost in a desert track” (Sāmaññaphala Sutta). This relates to the point that, in the Dzogchen view, we are the all-creating monarchs in our own mandala. If we can then attend to everyone with this extraordinary thought to free all sentient beings, we bring that unconditional benevolence. This process is very healing, and at the same time, until all sentient beings are free, you are not at rest.

Meditation is on Developing the Resolve to Free all Sentient Beings.

After meditation, Alan returns to the text "Lamp so Bright” (page 6), and gives oral transmission and brief commentary to the section 2.2 - the main practice (of Mahamudra).

Meditation starts at 20:00

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