B. Alan Wallace, 10 Apr 2020
Lama Alan begins by explaining that rather than meditation, this session will be devoted to a discussion on the way these Dzogchen practices fit into our particular cultural and historical moment. He mentions that while this pandemic is very severe and has created great adversity for many people, most broadly in terms of financial pressure, just like everything else, it will eventually pass. What will not pass, however, is the trajectory we have set as a species in terms of our destruction and pollution of the environment, the effects of which are projected to be catastrophic. Therefore, beyond the current pandemic, we must consider what would be of most benefit for humanity and the planet as a whole moving forward. Lama Alan explains that scientists have already given us the necessary knowledge about the nature of climate change, and that we have already developed the necessary technology to move towards lasting sustainability, but we simply are not taking the action. So, he asks, what is needed to turn things around? The solution he presents is one of a radical inner transformation that causes us to change the way we view reality, and from that, the way we live our lives and the way we look for happiness. It is a shift from materialism, hedonism, and consumerism, to a view that takes into consideration the whole of reality and the true nature of consciousness, and on that basis develops a way of life that aligns with the true nature of authentic wellbeing.
Lama Alan then refers to another prophesy that Dudjom Lingpa received from a dakini saying that if they cultivate the essential practice of Great Transference, one hundred of his disciples will achieve Great Transference Rainbow Body. Lama Alan explains that this is different from the Rainbow Body achieved after death when the body dissolves, which is quite common in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. In the manifestation of Great Transference Rainbow Body, it takes place during one’s life, one’s ordinary form dissolves into the absolute ground of reality, one becomes a completely awakened Buddha, and one is then able to manifest innumerable sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya forms, including one that appears exactly as you appeared to those around you just before you dissolved.
Lama Alan sees only something as powerful as this being capable of truly creating the revolution of perspective and priorities that we need as a species. He then muses on whether or not people of other religious, philosophical, and scientific traditions could potentially achieve this state without “converting” to Buddhism. He cites the examples of this in the Bon tradition of Tibet, and then references other compelling examples of Dzogchen-esque practices and possible manifestations of Rainbow Body in other religious traditions, citing particularly Francis Tiso’s book, Rainbow Body and Resurrection. He explains that the essential Dzogchen practices of shamatha, vipashyana, tekchod, and togyal, are radically empirical and do not explicitly have any cultural or religious trappings, such than someone from any background could in theory take the mind as the path, attain shamatha, and realize the nature of consciousness and the truth of reincarnation. And so on for the rest of the path. Finally, he says that while Dzogchen is certainly imbedded within the context of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, there is no reason why people from other traditions could not have their own preliminary purification practices, their own devotional practices, and then engage in the main Dzogchen practices and achieve all the same realizations as a Buddhist Dzogchen practitioner. And he mentions how wonderful it would be if among these one hundred Great Transference Rainbow Bodies, there were practitioners from many different traditions. This, he suggests, could be something that could actually turn us around. Therefore, he urges those who can commit fully to such a path to do so, and those who at the moment cannot, to support those pursuing this sublime state of realization.
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