20 May 2016
The next session of the text in this chapter is on guru yoga (Naked Awareness p. 273). In the introduction, Karma Chagmé says “The best way to counteract obstructive forces, avoid pitfalls, and enhance your practice is guru yoga.” The central point of this practice is to realize the indivisibility of your own mind with the mind of the guru, or rigpa. It means that this practice is designed to melt away any sense of difference, any separation, between your ordinary consciousness of the present moment and Dharmakaya – to see your own face as the Dharmakaya.
Some people for many reasons may be more devotional than other people, the same way some are more artistic than others. Also, not being born in Tibet, not being raised with mantras and deities, this practice may not seem very natural. So what to do if you’re not devotionally inclined? Alan compared this situation with an arranged marriage – the couple may not be in love in the beginning but, if there are no objections, it ends up working well. This practice we’ve just done is very simple, very sweet, and straight forward; so, If you feel like it, just do the practice, even if you don’t have tears falling from your eyes. That´s ok! Just do the practice! In the beginning, when we look at our guru, what we see is just reflections of our own minds, our own karma – impure appearances. But as one purifies the mind in the Mahayana path and gets to the Path of Accumulation, one really sees the guru as a buddha, a nirmanakaya, not imagining and not pretending – one really has the sense of being in the presence of the sacred, of a buddha. The guru does not necessarily change during the years or lifetimes of practice but the veils of your own awareness fade away. And then, when one progresses on the path and achieves the second yoga, freedom of conceptual elaboration, then from this perspective, from rigpa, you see the guru as Avalokiteshvara , sambhogakaya – just as Khandro-la saw a thousand-armed Chenrezig when she met the Dalai Lama. Then Alan said that seeing our own guru as Amitabha will be very good for us; if we’re drawn to this simple practice, we should do it sometimes – let it be an arranged marriage! Faith is like intelligence, it’s like shamatha, it’s like learning how to play piano – you do it more and more, you cultivate what you have and it grows. Doing this practice you may receive blessings, know you’re receiving blessings and then you will know your refuge is really not far away. If you’re able to look through your guru, whoever he or she is, seeing his/her empty body, empty speech and empty mind, attending to buddha´s body, speech and mind, your guru will be Amitabha, Avalokiteshvara, or Guru Rinpoche. And then, at the end of your life, you couldn’t do any better than hold the sense of your guru placed on the crown of your head. This will be really a good idea.
Alan elaborated a little bit on how we deal with appearances according to the three turnings of the wheel of Dharma. And then when we come to guru yoga, the teachings of Amitabha, Avalokiteshvara, Guru Rinpoche, on pristine awareness, we don’t get it by observing appearances or by analyzing them very profoundly. The intended audience here in Dzogchen is pristine awareness itself – Padmasambhava is talking to your pristine awareness. Actually, your own pristine awareness introduces itself to your mind. The guru is there as a reflection, a projector, and he has the appearance of pointing out your own rigpa to you. And then Alan returned to the text, Naked Awareness, page 274, moving to bodhicitta, love and compassion. Alan encourages us to practice tonglen, within the context of pure vision, as described by Karma Chagmé on page 275, imagining our own form as Avalokiteshvara.
The next paragraph is on tögal or direct crossing-over. Alan commented that in those instructions, the posture is very simple, the gaze is very simple, and to do this practice resting in rigpa is also very simple – for those who have realized rigpa. There is nothing wrong about receiving teachings on direct crossing-over with no realization of rigpa. If you receive them, the seeds are there; so it’s up to you and your lama. Then Alan read and commented on the text up to the two paragraphs on dedication.
And finally, Alan said that tomorrow they will all be visiting Castellina Marittima! Khandro-la has already been there and blessed the land, and Alan wishes His Holiness to come and bless the land.
The meditation is on guru yoga and starts at 3:15
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