B. Alan Wallace, 28 Aug 2014
After The Seven Line Prayer of Padmasambhava we jump right into meditation. We continue practicing awareness of awareness.
Due to technical problems, however, Alan couldn’t give his talk after the meditation but promised to comment on the practice in the afternoon session.
Meditation starts at 06:15
Transcriptor’s note: due to technical problems and suboptimal sound quality, this transcription may be less than exact in some instances.
Meditation starts at 06:15.
Olaso. We’ll begin as usual - the seven line prayer, reciting it three times, and the vajra guru mantra… And I invite you this time, as we’re reciting the mantra if you wish, then you may have occasion to take the four empowerments, as we have done before, with the four syllables, the OM, AH, HUNG and HRI. And then we’ll pause briefly, for the dissolution of the guru into yourself, and then if you’d like to switch postures, that would be the time to do it. OK?
Transcriptionist note: The Seven Line Prayer and Mantras (in Tibetan and English) and Guru Rinpoche Mantras (in Sanskrit) are written below.
The Seven Line Prayer
HUNG ORGYEN YUL GYI NUP JANG TSAM
In the northwest frontier of Oddiyana,
PEMA GE SAR DONG PO LA
In the heart of a lotus
YAM TSEN CHOG GI NGÖ DRUP NYEY
Sits the one renowned as Padmasambhava,
PEMA JUNG NEY ZHEY SU DRAK
Who achieved the wondrous supreme siddhi,
KHOR DU KHAN DRO MANG PÖ KOR
And is surrounded by a host of many dakinis.
KYED KYI JE SU DAK DRUP KYI
Following in your footsteps, I devote myself to practice.
JIN GYI LAP CHIR SHEK SU SÖL
Please come forth and bestow your blessings.
GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG
Guru Rinpoche Mantras
OM āḥ hūṃ VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI hūṃ
Oṃ āḥ hūṃ Vajra Guru Padma Tötreng Tsäl vajra
SAmayajaḥ siddhi phala hūṃ
[05:54] You may shift your posture now if you wish.
[06:33] Settle your body, speech and mind in their natural states, and in order to make your mind relatively serviceable, practice mindfulness of breathing for a couple of minutes, counting 21 breaths if you find it helpful.
[12:03] And let your eyes be at least partially open and evenly rest your awareness in the space in front of you, without focusing your attention on that space, or on any visual object, or even on any mental object. Simply rest without meditating upon anything, without doing anything - simply being aware in the present moment, the awareness resting in its own place.
[14:30] Then as you rest there, without your attention being glued to any object, whether sensory or mental - your awareness is just free floating, without any directionality to it - you may ask yourself, am I aware of anything? Am I knowing anything? And instantly the awareness may arise: yes indeed, you are aware of something, you are knowing something. That is, of course, you are aware of being aware. You are knowing consciousness. So rest in that knowing.
[16:44] When you are simply resting your awareness in the flow of cognizance, without investigation, without input, you may call this shamatha. This particular method of shamatha is a matter, as I’ve said before, of gradually unveiling the natural stillness of awareness and the innate luminosity of consciousness, and thereby discovering shamatha rather than achieving it, or developing it. Now, following the teachings of Padmasambhava, still within the context of shamatha without a sign, without an object; let’s cross the threshold just barely into the domain of vipashyana, where we introduce a spirit of inquiry, with a question. What is this very consciousness that is concentrating? Probe it.
[19:15] Go deeply into your immediate experience of being aware, and then relax, release, all the while gently sustaining the flow of cognizance, that ever so simple, nonconceptual awareness of being aware. Intensifying your awareness of consciousness, in a spirit of inquiry, and release - intensify and release. Let’s continue practicing now in silence.
[29:10] Olaso. So I had some, a few comments for this morning, but due to technical difficulties, I’ll not share them now, the primary recording system is out, the secondary quality is not so good. So I will return to the topic, to this practice, this afternoon, after the afternoon session. We have now, from now until 4.30 to continue with this practice, because at 4.30 we’re going to move it up a notch. So every moment is precious. And I understand you now have all the materials you need for the daily collections, so - have fun. And also - really I think this is not irrelevant. The whole look into the scientific study, is not as I have said before, is not merely curiosity, to fill out the resume of some scientist, or anything like that.. It’s really, the motivation is to try to bring some benefit, so that people can be more effective in their shamatha practice, and find greater happiness. And so, that was my motivation, to post this to James, and then James’ motivation is the same, and so… Motivation. Why not? If your contribution can help other people more effectively achieve shamatha, wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing? So with that motivation, not just flat, ethically neutral, just curious… And it’s a completely fair study. It’s a hypothesis - I’ll say this much, won’t give away anything - its hypothesis that I’ve nowhere found in Buddhism. Nowhere is this stated that I’ve ever seen. But it came out of my studies and practices of Buddhism, and maybe [30:42 ?]. And if it is, that’s the way it goes! You know. And if it isn’t, that may be really beneficial. But it’s an utterly even study, and… So there’s no bias here. That is, there is no way you can try to prove my hypothesis wrong when you don’t even know what it is. Or, prove it wrong if that’s what you want to do. It’s just nice and even, it’s a good, clean, scientific study. And the implications could be helpful, if the hypothesis is correct. If it’s not, that will be interesting too. Then we’ll learn something more. OK? So this is good science. I think this is the first instance I know of a contemplative scientific experiment. Have fun, I’ll see you at 4.30.
Transcribed by Helena Ringnér
Revised by Rafael Carlos Giusti
Final edition by Cheri Langston