B. Alan Wallace, 18 Sep 2014

Because a runaway, ruminating mind may still be an obstacle at this point of the retreat, Alan leads a meditation that spirals through the well-known shamatha practices of open presence, tactile sensations of the breath, and taking the mind as the path before settling into objectless awareness.

Following the meditation, he answers questions about the role of vipashyana inquiry in awareness practice; a standard for judging the validity of views; dharmakaya as informed and informant; the logic of taking the fruit as the path; and what Buddhism has to offer to people who are mentally handicapped.

Meditation starts at 1:10

Download (M4A / 42 MB)


A bit of rumination coming up. Did I get it right. [laughter] So I thought it would be very timely today, to go back right down to the basics. This is not remedial. This happens again and again and again. As I mentioned before in the Vajra Essence, after he’s gone through shamatha, and gone through vipassana and stage of generation and stage of completion. And then he says now just, phew, rest your body like a corpse in a charnel ground, etc. right. So that practice it sounds like wasn’t that pre-shamatha you know that was like and there it is way way deep. So you know this is an image that comes up so often like a spiral that keeps on coming around. But each time it comes around it comes around in a deeper way. So I’d like to take you on a little bit of a spiral this time. So fasten your seatbelts, find a comfortable position, we’ll go right in.

[01:15] Meditation Bell

[01:36] Settle your body speech and mind in their natural states.

[02:42] Now in the e first phase of the meditation let’s try something really simple. Let your eyes be open. But now as if you were in a room with six windows, and you open them all wide so the fresh air can come in from all directions. Your whole room flooded with light. Sit very quietly, quite still. But open all the doors, all the windows of your senses. Bring your awareness out to the visual, the auditory, to all six. So you’re also vividly aware, of thoughts and images, memories and fantasies, desires and emotions. So let your awareness be wide open to all manner of appearances, all manner of experiences. And just be present, resting your awareness in the present moment with unwavering mindfulness free of distraction free of grasping. Within these six domains of experience you’re bound to be aware of the sensations of the breath, the fluctuations within the tactile field and continue to relax more and more deeply, setting your body at ease with every out breath. Whatever comes to mind, simply be aware of it, be present with it without reacting to it, simply sustain a flow of awareness. Some call this open presence, some call it choiceless awareness, some call it mindfulness, and some call it bare attention.

[06:26] So let all appearances arise unimpededly but without grasping onto or being carried away by any of them. Sustain the stillness of your awareness illuminating all the six sense fields. I call that a preliminary to shamatha. So now let’s begin shamatha. We begin a process of retreat, withdrawing our attention from all of the sense fields, all of the physical sense fields, apart from the tactile. If you wish to close the eyes or hood the eyes you may. If you wish to keep them open, that’s your choice. Continue to let your awareness be still but this time focus your attention. Select the tactile field, single pointedly, which means you’re withdrawing from the surrounding environment. Retreating and deliberately letting your awareness illuminate just the somatic field with its fluctuations corresponding to the in and out breath. When the in breath is long note that it is long when the out breath is long note that it is long. And as your body mind settles down when the in breath is short note that it is short when the out breath is short note that it is short. While your awareness primarily illuminates the space of the body and the sensations associated with the breath also be aware of course peripherally of what’s happening in the mind, the thoughts, images. Whether laxity or excitation has set in. And of course all the while let your awareness be still, utterly at ease, clear and cognizant as you note the duration of each in and out breath.

[13:15] And now let your eyes be at least partially open, but vacantly rest your gaze in the space in front of you without anchoring your attention on any visual object or appearance. Just rest your awareness in space. Withdraw your attention now. Withdraw your attention from the somatic field, and focus it single pointedly on the domain of the mind the space of the mind and whatever events arise within that space. Distinguish between the stillness of your awareness and the movements of the mind.

[14:54] Continue to let your awareness be utterly at ease, free of grasping, naturally still when grasping is absent. And as you slip into this flow, you will be able to simultaneously be aware, of the stillness of your awareness and the movement of thoughts images and other mental events. This we call single pointed mindfulness.

[17:02] Whenever you see you’ve been carried away by some thought or memory, let your first response to relax yet more deeply, to release. And by the very fact that you’re releasing all grasping the awareness naturally returns to its own place, its own natural stillness.

[19:15] And now relax even more deeply by releasing the effort no longer exerting yourself to attend to, the space of the mind, the thoughts and images that arise within it. Release even that, withdraw your attention, your awareness from the space of the mind and its contents, go yet deeper into retreat. With no exertion at all, let your awareness remain where it already is, resting in its own place holding its own ground. And simply being aware in the present without distraction without grasping but not focusing on any object or appearance.

[21:34] Doing nothing, striving for nothing, hoping for nothing. Simply being present, awareness resting in its own place, let the nature of your own awareness reveal itself to you. You won’t find it by looking for it, let it find you. But don’t wait, it’s already found you. Be aware of the awareness that is already there. That’s enough.

[24:24] Observe who is this one who is meditating. Who is the agent? Observe who is this one who is observing.

[25:15] Meditation Bells

[26:12] Olaso. I think there is no hurry to move on to the next bardo today. Tomorrow should be fine. I do want to have more time for conversation, for discussion but I also have some old mail to attend to. So why don’t I deal with this first and then hopefully there will be a fair amount of time afterwards for anything else that’s coming up in your practice. So in no particular order here’s a question from Guillermo. Everybody know who Guillermo is? There he is, everybody know him. That’s the guy over there, yeah. So he says, if I’ve understood correctly in the meditations in the search for the mind, I have an active role, asking questions and looking for answers. But in identifying awareness meditations I’m completely inactive doing nothing just being aware. Is the description ok? Yes, that’s correct. Yes, in the searching for the mind it’s an active inquiry, it really is vipassana. He is calling that whole section vipassana, but vipashyana has an active phase and an inactive phase, right. And so this is true everywhere. In the Gelugpa approach for example you’re really seeking out the object of reification, that is when you reify yourself, or the mind or anything else, you really seek out what am I grasping onto. What am I grasping onto. And then if you identify it, then you investigate that which I’m grasping onto as my mind or my very identity. So you engage in the analysis, does is actually exist, right. But then when you come to when you have some kind of breakthrough, some insight arising then as that arises you stop the investigation. and you just loosen up and rest in that knowing, rest in that knowing. And overall for identifying awareness, called rigpa mortuba, identifying awareness. That’s really not a matter of enquiry, it’s a matter of just being where it already is. So that was a long way of saying, yes.

[28:20] If the description is ok, why the identifying awareness meditations are called vipashyana, doesn’t that imply necessarily asking questions and looking for answers? So there was my answer. And that is you look and then when you have some insight then you don’t need to look any more. And you may recall there were two modes to that. What is the mind? What is the mind, the agent and so forth? But then he kind of scales it back, what is awareness itself, and is awareness itself findable, is it an entity? So you’re really doing that ontological investigation. In the best of all possible worlds, when you’re taking this very methodically, step by step, by the time you come to that searching for the mind, you’ve already achieved shamatha, so you already have a very clear phenomenological sense, experiential sense. What are the salient qualities, the defining characteristics, of consciousness, you already know that it’s luminous, it’s cognizant, you know that. And so then you’re probing more deeply. To see whether or not it inherently exists.

[29:22] So okay, Guillermo gets a double header here. Here’s Guillermo number two. In the commentary I find it very inspiring and beautiful these two ideas together. Page 120 something such awareness as this does not originate from the profound instructions of a guru, a spiritual mentor nor does it originate from your sharp intelligence. Due to this being, due to this being introduced by the spiritual mentor, pupils knowing their own nature, believing it and coming to certainty, the foundation is liberated in its own place. Yes, I agree, it’s good. It’s a good teaching. I think Padmasambhava. Thumbs up for Padmasambhava. Very good, no it’s beautiful, it really is. It keeps on coming back to that absolutely core theme of Dzogchen. Don’t look outside, don’t look outside for the Buddha. Don’t look to your guru as someone outside yourself. Don’t look to your intelligence in a way, intelligence in a way, is outside. I mean sometime we have it sometimes we don’t. If you intelligence at all is like mine, sometimes it’s very much on tap, sometimes not so much. You know if I’m really tired, I’m fatigued whatever, looking for my intelligence, it says what, not really there. So even that, and of course with alzheimer’s, senile dementia, brain damage, psychosis, then you say oh that very sharp intelligence I had, don’t have it anymore. I’ll leave this anonymous, but I knew one man, very eminent scientist, he just happened to be a scientist he could have been a historian, or an artist, anything but we know each other well. Very smart, very learned just really an exceptional human being and then senile dementia came and I didn’t visit him, because I was told he won’t recognize you anyway, so there’s really no point. So there he was I mean he was very very smart but then he wasn’t you know. So that just shows just like a pair of eyeglasses, you get it but you can lose it. Whereas awareness it can get shrouded, it can get covered we all know that. It happens every time we fall deep asleep. Where there is no explicit knowing of anything. But there’s one thing about awareness, it keeps on bouncing back. Even if you lose it for awhile, even if you die, or you become vegetative. It may not bounce back in this lifetime but it’s irrepressible, otherwise samsara would just run out of juice. It would say oh I’m tired, it’d run out of gas. Then we’d just be free of samsara, because it just got tired. But samsara is indefatigable, keeps on coming back again.

[32:12] So here’s from oh Camille. And I have to brace myself whenever Camille asks a question I oh oh, it’s going to be a big one. So given the non inherent nature of time, you see he didn’t mess around, he’s not asking what should do with my feet when I’m meditating. Given the non inherent nature of time, something past present and future, which implies that there are as many universes as cognitive frames of reference or systems of measurement. So far, all correct. Does that mean that all cosmological theories whether Buddhist, Christian, or Australian aboriginal dreamtime, my personal one if I have one, are all equally valid, since there is no ultimate objective reality out there? This has been around for awhile. This came up several days ago and I think I’ve pretty well addressed it yeah. I mean, certainly we can really investigate it a lot more deeply. Remember I gave the silly one of in my world Thanyapura is filled with Easter bunnies, remember that one? Well that can get refuted pretty easily right. But it is a facet, so I quoted Tsongkhapa first of all, and I think it’s quite, it’s simple but boy not trivial. And then William James coming in on the same theme, which is quite remarkable. But it shows that it gives you no place, a sharp scientist and there are many of them, they’ve learned don’t get complacent. The really smart ones, and there are a lot of them. I’ve met a lot of them. Don’t get complacent. Don’t lock onto some view some conclusion and say we never have to look at this one again. This one is absolutely certain. There was a lot of that in the 19th century. When Lord Kelvin said you know a great physicist the latter part of the 19th century, he said, I can’t quote him but a very close paraphrase, he said well we pretty much have now figured out how the universe works there’s really nothing more to be done in physics, except for fine tuning. He’s no fool, he’s no fool at all, a very very fine scientist, but they had been so successful with Newton and all that comes out of Newton and then James Clerk Maxwell took care of electromagnetism. They had the ether that was holding electromagnetic fields and so forth. He was absolutely certain they existed. He said that’s what we’re most certain of. It was really wonderfully ironic retrospectively. If I had been living during that time I wouldn’t have had a clue, but now we have the benefit of hindsight and say oh that sounds awfully silly. You know to say that’s what we’re most sure of when he actually said it four years after it had been disproved, by Michelson-Morley. The point here simply being that, especially in physics it is simply the most mature branch of the sciences we have. It started early got a head start. Before biology, and way way before before psychology, cognitive neuroscience and so on, but it’s had it’s maturity it’s had a chance to see boy we locked onto Newton. We thought he was the final word absolute space time matter energy his three equations. Now we know it’s absolutely true and then they found actually all of our fundamental assumptions were wrong. And so there’s been a real steep learning curve, especially in physics. Of saying well this is our best at this time, you know but it keeps you on your toes the really good open minded, deeply inquisitive scientist and contemplative, it keeps you on your toes when you think you’ve really understood something. Now I understand reincarnation, now I understand this, I understand that. I’ve nailed it and now I don’t need to ask any more questions. Then, well look out, maybe you’re not quite finished yet. So there is something quite refreshing, invigorating about that strategy of venturing out into the world and say well in my perception you know I’m seeing this violet cushion right in front of me, and I’m going to assume that is correct until something shows me otherwise. But then maybe it will, maybe I’ll find that I’m dreaming and suddenly it turns into a big mushroom, a big psychedelic psilocybin mushroom. And oh that wasn’t a cushion and so forth. So there it is, but as William James said you keep on reassessing, you look over your shoulder and then also you listen to other people. And you don’t get caught in one box thinking for example, only Buddhism has all the answers. I won’t go to Hinduism what do they know? Buddhism, the Buddha was omniscient not Hindu swami this and that. Buddha, I don’t need to look for anything outside of Buddhism. Or as we’ve seen from Freud and many others, science is not illusory. Science is not an illusion so don’t look outside of science for any answers at all. And so many would rather have no answer, than an answer that you would have to get from outside science. We’ve seen that and that’s where stagnation sets in like with the measurement problem and the mind body problem. Where there’s really been no progress for 135 years. A refusal to look outside the box that they feel comfortable in. Now Buddhists do that too. So do Christians, so do Muslims, so do a lot of people. It’s where we feel comfortable but it’s also where we stagnate, yeah.

[37:29] So second question, with respect to the theory of extreme existence, something information, information processing system could be hypothesized that dharmakaya is. Oh is dharmakaya is the informer whereby alaya is the informant. That’s an interesting idea. Well if I take a strict Dzogchen view to this, dharmakaya is the informant or the informer. Dharmakaya is the informer and dharmakaya is the informant. The whole universe is a soliloquy and we see that very evidently in these multiple revealed teachings, revelations you could say to Dudjom Lingpa in the Vajra Essences the first one I encountered. And just as a reminder there is Samantabhadra, so personification of primordial consciousness. There’s Samantabhadra manifesting in a particular way. Manifesting as a lake born vajra, and in this purevision called dak nang, pure vision of Dudjom Lingpa so there is this youthful lake born vajra his actual nature is Samantabhadra and he’s surrounded by this whole entourage or circle of bodhisattva disciples right. And each one has his, how do you say, archetypal name like Vajra of Pristine Awareness. It’s not quite like Jack or Fred you know, which suggests probably something more is going on here. All of them have archetypal names but they, in this vision, they really look like bodhisattvas, in this pure vision and they’re posing questions as if they really need an answer. And sometimes even debating, saying but I don’t see how that could be true, and then we have this kind of Socratic dialogue going on. And yet it’s stated right from the beginning that all of these are display. The whole realm this whole visionary realm that is coming to his mind, the Samantabhadra, lake born vajra, the teacher in the center, the bhagavan and all of the disciples round about, they’re all equally displays of Samantabhadra. So in that perspective then Samantabhadra is the beginning, the middle and tend. That’s just a straight Dzogchen view. Now from a relative, his holiness the Dalai Lama pointed this out, I’ve never seen it so clearly stated, and that is just taking he mentions Sakya, Nyingma and Gelukpa for simplicity’s sake I’m just going to go Gelukpa and Nyingmapa. By a brilliant teacher, such as Longchen Rabjampa and then going back to Padmasambhava for the Nyingma and then Tsongkhapa, Tsongkhapa is the towering peak for the Gelukpa. And if you look at the mode of presentation and we’ll get to that quite quickly when we go to the dream yoga teachings. You start reading it and if you have a Gelukpa background you say wait a minute that’s not what Tsongkhapa said. He would never say that, and you’re right he would never say that. So look like whoa well now, I don’t know, I like being a gelukpa. I’m not quite sure I want to stop being a gelukpa because that’s really not what Tsongkhapa said at all. And his Holiness, being a consummate scholar and practitioner in both realms, he pointed out the manner of discourse is different. There’s no question about it, the methodology some of the strategies, simple method of meditation as in vipashyana for example are quite different. But Tsongkhapa, Tsongkhapa is writing as if from the perspective of a sentient being. It is said that he was an embodiment of Manjushri. So the embodiment of enlightened wisdom. But his writings, his 18 volumes are writing as if he’s speaking from the perspective of a sentient being and he’s speaking to people with the perspective of a sentient being. Sentient being to sentient being. A more highly realised ones to less realized ones, right but sentient beings. He’s saying well look if you look at your experience, what do you see. Do you see any mental afflictions coming up, are you suffering, do you have the causes of suffering, are you always ethical, do you have samadhi? Do you have paranormal abilities, mundane siddhis, super, do you have those? If you don’t, if you do not, if you look within and you don’t see immeasurable supreme compassion, omniscient wisdom, inexhaustible power of dharmakaya. If that’s not what you see when you practice introspection, then you might draw the obvious conclusion, you’re a sentient being. And so get over it. That’s the way it is, but I will address you as such. That’s how you identify yourself with an enormous amount of evidence and I will address you as such and now let’s see how I can help. And then he lays out the lamrim, he lays out multiple stages, here’s what you can do, here’s what you can do step by step, step by step through the lamrim through the stages of generation a lot of things to be done. Through the stages of completion, a lot of things to be done. Through those true stages of highest yoga tantra you have the vase empowerment, the secret empowerment, the wisdom gnosis empowerment a lot to be done and each of these corresponds to practices yeah. And then finally finally finally you know what I’m going to say yeah. Finally comes the word empowerment, the final empowerment, the final initiation. And finally that’s where there is nothing to be done. And so there’s one strategy.

[43:17] And then we have the strategy of Padmasambhava and it carries through the whole Dzogchen lineage through Longchen Rabjampa through Dudjom Lingpa and so on. And they’re just cutting right through from the very beginning. And the speaker is a self knowing buddha and the self knowing buddha Samantabhadra, Padmasambhava, whoever it may be is just looking with x ray vision, but not delusional, but looking over in Camile’s direction and seeing the outer facade, the appearance of there being a sentient being and like with x ray vision looking right through that. Saying this is just a human shell and so [snaps fingers] it’s gone your life is just finished you know, 80 years 90 years whatever it may be [snaps fingers] oh yeah it’s gone, it was just like a little soap bubble you know on a windy day [snaps fingers] it’s gone. So you look right through that fragile outer shell of your body your mind and seeing, looking deeper and then seeing of course there is a substrate consciousness that it’s [snaps fingers] but then it’s [snaps fingers], another one coming up, another bubble coming up, and another bubble coming up. But then looking right through that, looking right through that, cutting through that substrate consciousness, but this all happens [snaps fingers] in an instant cutting through Camille, cutting through Camille’s substrate consciousness, cutting through right to rigpa. And say all right I’ve found my audience, I’ve now found my audience. I Samantabhadra, I address you Camille, pristine awareness, primordial consciousness that’s the dimension of you I’m addressing, attending to. I’ve identified you, now can you identify yourself? And so the whole discourse now is going, it’s not insulting your intelligence, never does that, doesn’t insult your substrate consciousness, I don’t know how you do that frankly, but it cuts right through it. It’s just like this is mind to mind transmission, just cuts right through. I’m addressing you, the person who is listening, the one who is aware. I’m addressing you, right down to your ground, identify yourself. So from that perspective, that is the Dzogchen view. Then the way of talking about everything else about Camille and Thanyapura and the suffering in the world and so forth is seen from a radically different perspective so one is seen from an enormously wise and insightful perspective as if from a sentient being. It’s not saying that Tsongkhapa was less enlightened than Padmasambhava or Longchen Rabjampa. It is saying that by a skillful means he recognized some people if you tell them immediately, your mind is dharmakaya, their response would be, no, it’s not. I have no evidence for that at all. There’s a nice story there, it’s worth telling. It’s a parable, it’s actually my favorite parable, and many of you have heard it but some of you have not. And people on the podcast you might not have heard it. It’s the Buddhist story. The Buddhist story of the prodigal son, who was a prince. It’s a lovely story, so listen closely, even if you’ve heard it before it’s very moving and it’s very deep.

[46:57] So there once was a young and foolish prince. He was the crown prince. In other words he was destined to become king and as a young man he went out to the market, the marketplace because there was an extraordinary illusionist who’d come to town. Nowadays we have that with a lot of technology, David Copperfield and others have tremendous technology to create, make these enormous, fantastic illusions. Well back in classical India it seems according to all the lore they didn’t have the great technology but they had samadhi, the great illusionist. This was common to Hinduism and Buddhism, they needed three things. They needed samadhi, they needed mantra and they needed some physical substance, a physical substance. And I checked what kind of physical substance, like a magical substance. Like psilocybin or peyote or what. No like a piece of wood, just for support. It could be anything like a piece of wood. But they needed three things samadhi, mantra and physical support. And with those three if one has really mastered this then the illusionist could conjure up all kinds of just amazing special effects that we now have in movies, 3D movies and so forth and so on. But this person could do it all with his mind. And now a footnote to a footnote. There is a yogi right now in the south of Bhutan, Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche, told me about him. He’s met him, he can do that. Remember I mentioned to some people, he can make, a leopard and a deer wasn’t it. Remember it, [inaudible response from the class], I don’t think it was a tiger but he had a couple animals he could just conjure up. He’s a deeply seasoned yogi, I don’t mean cooked, I mean he’s been meditating a long time. [laughter] And words come and they just kind of spill out sometimes. But Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche said he’s everybody knows this in that area but he can with his mind create an appearance of a leopard or a deer. I think it was two animals. And look at everybody look that’s a leopard but Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche he told me this when I was translating for him last spring in Bhutan. He said he went up to this yogi and said what’s the big deal about creating a leopard or a deer why don’t you create something meaningful like a Buddha image that would be much more interesting. So he kind of challenged him a little bit, but in any case this still is happening. So I have enormous trust in Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche. There’s no reason he would make that up, absolutely none. But again so if you believe it or not, so we go back to the story.

[49:32] There is an illusionist and I’m sure he can do a lot more than a leopard and a deer he can do the whole 3D special effects the whole show. And this young foolish prince he just got caught up in the whole story the whole illusion he was mesmerized by it. Totally enchanted by it. I mean deeply enchanted by it. And somehow he got disengaged, he got separated from his entourage and then but he just lost himself in these illusory displays, fascinated, mesmerized. And then the show was over. It all just kind of disappeared into space. And the young prince actually forgot who he was and he looked around, he didn’t see anybody he knew and nobody around him knew him and now the illusion is all gone. He’s become a complete amnesiac, had no idea who he was. He started getting hungry so he’s looking around but he can’t remember having any skills, can’t remember anything. Can’t remember anything at all. And then he finds some beggars. And he said well they know how to get some food. So he asked to join them, I think maybe he gave them some of his clothes. He had some nice clothes on and they gave him some beggars rags, rags, and he learned how to beg, as a way to get some food because he got hungry. And then days went by and weeks went by and months went by and people you know his clothes, now he looks like a beggar, he acts like a beggar, talks like a beggar, makes his living like a beggar. And now he knows who he is, he’s a beggar. So meanwhile back at the palace they’re frantic, they don’t know where the prince has gone, somehow they’ve lost him. And it’s a catastrophe for the whole kingdom. They’ve lost the crown prince, that’s a pretty big deal. The king is getting old, but they couldn’t find him anywhere. So who knows how long went by, days, weeks, months. Maybe even longer, who knows. So the young prince who now knows who he is. He’s a beggar, learned how to beg he does it well. Well, in his various wanderings about, he comes to one very nice mansion and thinks oh they would have some pretty good food here for sure. So he comes and knocks on the door. And lo and behold the lord of the mansion comes out. Obviously very wealthy, very dignified person and the prince looks up at him and says could you spare some food you know. I have nothing. I’m a beggar. Could you spare anything, any scraps even? Well the person who came to the door was the chief minister of the king. He’d actually come to his home and the chief minister of the king immediately recognized even though he was all dirty wearing rags and so forth. He saw immediately he recognized immediately who he was. And he just directly immediately accosted him but your highness, prince, you’ve returned. Fantastic, thank you, come come come. Where have you. And the young prince, the beggar he’s taken aback. And to put this a little bit in vernacular, colloquial, he says oh come on, wait a minute, I was just asking for food. I don’t need your sarcasm. Ah prince, come on. I know, I’m just, come on I just wanted some food. I don’t need your sarcasm, come on. Please, cool it, food or no food. No food ok, but don’t give me this stuff, I’m a prince. And then the minister saw he’s really an amnesiac. He doesn’t know who he is. So now he being a wise minister, he says oh he has to, the man must apply skillful means here. Cause I can’t just say it again or say it louder. Or hey, I really know what I’m talking about. So he has to apply skillful means. So he did. And he asked the young, the beggar, he said ah, I’m sorry, sorry, my mistake, but tell me I’m very interested in you, so you a beggar you know. Please tell me if you will, I’ll be happy to give you some food, but I just have some questions first. Tell me, where were you born? Where did you grow up? Who were your childhood friends? Who were your parents? Where do you come from? That’s a very reasonable question. And so the young, the young beggar prince he knew that, that was a fair question. And he probed within, that’s a question I should be able to answer. And he looked and not only found he couldn’t remember, but he recognized there was nothing to remember. As he’s trying to think of himself as a young beggar, with beggar parents perhaps. He recognizes not only that he can’t remember but there is nothing there to remember. There is no memory of having been a young child beggar, or who his parents were. And in that moment of finding that there was no origin to be found [snaps fingers] then he broke through his amnesia. And he recognized who he was. And in that moment then the chief minister, he recognized that his pointing out instructions had been effective. And he brought the young prince in. He bathed him, he gave him his royal garb and he immediately brought him to the enthronement room and he was enthroned as king. And in an instant he became king. That’s the story of the prodigal son in Buddhism.

[55:23] And the final question from Corrinne. From Camille I keep going to Corrinne. Camille, while past can be influenced by the present. While the past can be influenced by the present in a similar manner, future influences are present. Is it on this basis that taking culmination of the path in Vajrayana has a rational basis? You nailed it, yeah. That’s correct yeah. And I will add there are two ways of understanding, at least I am aware of two ways of understanding that. [clears throat] But the way you’ve articulated it, quite right. If the past is not inherently in the past, intrinsically just waiting there waiting there for us to infer it but more like Stephen Hawking and so forth which is very congruent with Nagarjuna’s theme of all three times being empty of inherent nature. Which means they must be empty of inherent sequence also. That immediately follows it, it has to follow it. Then the future is not inherently sometime later. The very existence of the future exists only relative to the present as the past exists only relative to the present. And so sure that’s one way of approaching this in a very rational way. And that is, especially happens once bodhichitta has arisen, once bodhichitta has arisen. Because once bodhichitta has arisen and especially if it’s irreversible bodhichitta, I’ll explain a little bit. When I first heard this I could not contain myself I was so inspired really. Because this is what I’ve been looking for, a path. And it was Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey teaching us Abhisamayalankara. ] After he taught us the Lamrim, he taught us the Bodhicharyavatara then he went directly to Abhisamayalankara, all of this under the direct auspices of His Holiness. But as Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, , this was about 1972 or so, was describing the path, he said well, The Mahayana path begins, you’ve actually entered the Mahayana path when having for some time however long it takes, you have been cultivating bodhichitta, rooted in the four immeasurables, rooted in great compassion, great loving kindness, great empathetic joy and great equanimity. Then you’ll have these spikes, I’ve often used the words spikes, you’ll have these surges of authentic bodhichitta arising. Where everything about it is authentic. You cherish others more than yourself, deeply rooted in compassion, taking on that resolve, that pledge that I shall liberate all sentient beings from all suffering and its causes in order to do so I must achieve enlightenment and it arises, right. But then as one has cultivated, then it tapers off. Then self centeredness comes in and again it dies down a bit, almost like a flame, it flares up and it dies down again. But one keeps on cultivating, cultivating, cultivating until eventually it’s called [? Tibetan 58:38] And that is your bodhicitta arises and then it just phew, it just now flows, you don’t need to keep on revving it up, you don’t need to keep on activating it. It’s now, it’s simply has become the flow of your mind. That’s your prime directive. Your desire beneath all your other desires. And I made a big mistake several years back, I think it was here in Phuket. I was talking about something of this sort and I was talking about how many layers of desires we have. And when you enter the bodhisattva path or when you really cultivate bodhichitta, that becomes your desire of desires, your most foundational desire, the deepest desire, core desire. But then we have secondary desires and tertiary and all the way up and so at one point I said that well I have many desires myself some are very trivial and some are quite deep. Bodhichitta certainly I aspire for that to be my deepest aspiration, but I was looking around one day this occurred I think may be the first retreat here, as far as I can recall. And I thought ok now what’s my most superficial desire. Way up in the crust, bodhichitta being down at the core. I just tried to pull it out of the hat. What’s the most superficial desire I have.

[1:00:00] Okay, I like dark chocolate over milk chocolate. [laughter] Boy was that a mistake. How many pounds I’ve put on? How much sugar I’ve eaten, how many, I can’t quite say tons, but, massive loads of chocolate have come my way since then. I’m thinking, why didn’t I say a porsche? [laughter] I like porsches over audis. Now that would have been really useful. One porsche would do you know, I don’t really need a whole lot but I had to say chocolate. So I have been inundated with dark chocolate ever since. Oh man. You know learn from your mistakes so be careful what you wish for. Because all I was saying was it was a really trivial desire. But the point being here coming back to the core. As you cultivate bodhicitta it’s [?1:00:55 Tibetan] means cultivating it, creating it, arousing it with effort visualizing, all sentient beings are my mother and so forth and so on. But then at some point it just then it goes effortless. It’s like shamata at the beginning, a lot of effort and then when you get up to stage nine phew slick, [?Tibetan 1:01:15] Unartificial, uncreated, unfabricated, effortless, phewt samadhi. You slip right in. So when that happens, when that happens that your bodhicitta now is just free flow, uncontrived, it just happens effortlessly. You wake up in the morning, His Holiness was asked, how do you wake up in the morning. He said the first thought is, bodhicitta. He wakes up, ahh bodhicitta is coming, right. Why not, why not start that now. It’s not too soon. When that happens, on the day that happens, that’s when the bodhisattvas and the buddhas rejoice. Another bodhisattva has been born. That’s it, that day that your bodhicitta is uncontrived just effortless, you’re a bodhisattva now. You’ve entered the Mahayana path of accumulation, the small stages, the small, medium and great stage. You’ve now entered the door. You are now a bodhisattva. And now the time clock, you know that three countless eon time clock, it’s begun to tick. [laughter] You’ve entered the path if you were going to follow the bodhisattva path, the Sutrayana path. Now you’re actually you know the time clock is on. Until then you haven’t started yet. But it is reversible on that first stage. It is possible that you could lose it. And there are stories of that in the Buddhist accounts. Wasn’t it Dharmakirti that almost, Dharmakirti, Dharmakirti or Dignaga, who was it. I think it was Dignaga, one of the two, one of the great logicians, epistemologists of the Buddhist tradition. He was debating with someone. Man I’m going off onto tangents a lot aren’t I? But they are good stories. Aren’t they? These are really good stories. I think it was Dignaga, but it’s a faulty memory, it’s an old memory. But he was debating with someone and just classic it’s what Indian, great pundits would do, they were debating. And the other guy was, just as I recall, I don’t remember all the details, but basically cheating. And at one point Dignaga just got so exasperated he said sentient beings are like this, I give up. They don’t want to be enlightened, they don’t want it. They just want to screw around. And so he took a tablet, you know they would write on tablets back then and he said here’s a tablet and he said, he threw it up and he said if this tablet falls to the ground I’m giving up bodhicitta. It’s just like, I’m so bloody tired of all this trying to lead people, lead people. And they don’t want to be lead, they don’t want to, they just want to have their own way, they just want to make their own point. They want to win all the arguments. I’ve had it. It’s hopeless, I’m just going to achieve enlightenment. I’m just going to achieve nirvana. And you know good luck everybody, but you know you just, you wore me out. So he takes this slate, and throws it up in the air, if it comes down I’m giving up bodhicitta. He threw it up. Up in the sky he sees Manjushri, holding the slate and he said something like don’t give up so easily. So he wasn’t allowed to give up his bodhicitta. So at what point, Andre, you must know this story, did I mangle it completely or is it good enough? Was it Dignaga, wasn’t it? [response from Andre inaudible] I think so too, yeah. Pretty close though, any case the gist of it was that. But the point is then, so I heard that, I heard about it when Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey] is telling us that I thought ok but then I definitely want the irreversible one. What do you have to do to make your bodhicitta irreversible?

[1:05:05] Because clearly that entry level that small stage of the Mahayana path stage of accumulation you could fall back. I don’t want to fall back. I really really don’t want to fall back. And then Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey told us well then you need vipashyana, you need vipashyana. You need the four applications of mindfulness. To realize this lack of inherent nature, of a real self, the autonomous controlling self, you need to recognize that, you need to realize that. And if you have then the armor of wisdom of knowing identity-lessness, personal identity-less that will do, that will do for starters. Then no matter how people behave, no matter how badly they behave, in general or towards you, then your bodhicitta is protected by your wisdom. And now it’s irreversible. So buddhahood can come in a relatively short time, relatively long time, it all depends on the skillful means that you apply. But from that point on it’s called the medium stage of the Mahayana path of accumulation. From that point on now it’s definite, you’re going to become a buddha. And you’ll never be a not bodhisattva. In all your future lifetimes you’ll always be a bodhisattva. Never once anything other, anything less than a bodhisattva. I heard that and that’s what I want. Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey told us if you’re starting to practice dharma as you are young person. If you don’t achieve bodhicitta in this lifetime, what is your life worth. What are you doing. What was more important than that. If you don’t achieve bodhicitta in this lifetime, why? How could you think something more important than that? He really got to me you know. So now coming back to your point. From that point then you can say all right you’re a bodhisattva, that means you are moving in the right direction every single lifetime. Which means there is a point in time exactly when, who knows, but there is a point in time when you’ll become a buddha. The Dalai Lama’s been asked, will everybody in the universe, hundred billion galaxies and then a hundred billion times that planets, maybe. Will everybody in the universe become enlightened? Will there come a time when all sentient beings are no longer sentient beings, they’re all enlightened? HIs Holiness was asked that. He said, don’t know, hope so. [laughter] Everybody has the capacity but we can’t say yeah this is how long it will take. Can’t point to it, but hope so. That means then we have some responsibility right. We can’t say oh well t if it’s all taken care of then I’ll watch. Let’s see how it turns out, you know, can’t do that. So again to come back to the point cause you raised an interesting one. Well if that’s the case then, if that buddha that you’ll become is not inherently separate from you in time, then you can reach out with your mental finger and pluck the future and take it into the present, since it’s not inherently far away. And say in that case I will take the fruition as my path. I’m going to be sneaky and that’s going to collapse three countless eons into may be as short as one lifetime. That’s skillful means. Tsongkhapa teaches it brilliantly, they all do but he’s really brilliant. And so that’s one way of looking at it right. But the other way of looking at it and that would be a good gelukpa way of looking at it. Hey it’s a reality, you’ve achieved bodhicitta, it’s irreversible bodhicitta. You’re buddhahood is a reality, it’s a done deal. It’s given, it will happen, it’s certain, it does exist. Well then in that case I want it, it should take it right into the present. That would be from that perspective of a sentient being. Where you dissolve your ordinary sense of identity into emptiness. And out of this ground of dharmakaya, indivisible from emptiness then you arise in that mode of taking the fruition of the buddha that you will be and drawing that into the present. But the Dzogchen perspective [is] a little bit different.

[1:09:18] From the Dzogchen perspective, the three times are simultaneous. The Dzogchen perspective is in the fourth time that views all the three times simultaneously. In which case you’re not reaching off into the future to pluck anything and draw it back in here, you’re saying but this is already true. There is a perspective, here it is right now. There is a perspective right now from which it is valid to say Camille is a perfectly enlightened buddha. Not later, not after you’ve achieved irreversible bodhicitta, before you’ve even begun to develop bodhicitta there is a perspective from which it is valid to say that Camille is a perfect enlightened being. And that perspective is your rigpa. From that perspective there is nothing to achieve. It’s realizing that which already is because the ground the path and fruition are all simultaneous. In the fourth time they’re simultaneous, that’s the great perfection.

[1:10:32] So here’s an older one also. Practices and conceptual framework, this is anonymous so I’ll just read it. The practices and conceptual frameworks that were presented are quite sophisticated and many of the references quite subtle and abstract, so I wonder what does Buddhism have to offer to the wide spectrum of mentally handicapped people? It’s a very compassionate and wonderful question. In the time of the Buddha there was already quite a highly developed Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine. The Buddha had his own personal physician. And of course he was a practitioner of Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Tibetan medicine is an offshoot of that, that I know. I’ve got that one right. I don’t know much about history but that one I know from Yeshe Dhonden. But the point being that there was a medical tradition in place already, and the medical tradition did have medications and so forth for not only a wide variety of physical, physiological illnesses but also illnesses related to the prana system and therefore to the mind. And so that, that whole issue of the mentally handicapped in so far as they can be helped, like psychosis or something like that, well that really was not, you don’t find a section of buddhadharma that I know of, I have to be careful here. But whether in the pali canon, the Mahayana, the Vajrayana, the Dzogchen and so forth, I’ve never seen a section ok here are meditations, here are some special therapies, for people who are schizophrenic, for people who are in the vegetative state, people who are profoundly, who are suffering from profound dementia, people suffering from brain damage, of one sort or another. This is what Buddhism, I’ve never heard of that. Andre have you ever heard of that? [Andre response inaudible] No I don’t think it’s there, I think we would have heard of it by now. So overall the Budhadarma, whether it’s in the Pali Canon, or right through the Mahayana, the Vajrayana, overall it’s primarily really intended for adults, because I’ve never seen, again my knowledge is very limited, I’m not being humble that just fact. I’ve never seen any, here’s the Buddha’s teaching for children of age 5-10. Or here’s a teaching for little little tiny toddlers and here’s the adolescent dharma from the Buddha. I don’t know of any such, you generally, the discourses are really the Buddha addressing adults who are of reasonably sound mind. Now they may be criminals, they may have done horrendous things. Like one was a serial killer, Angulimala, Angulimala. He was a serial killer, I mean really heavy duty. I mean nothing cute about it, he was really a that’s it, he was a serial killer. But he wasn’t insane, he was actually had a terrible teacher who told him this would be helpful for his path to enlightenment, it was crazy. But you know, we’ve heard about religious fanatics, they didn’t just crop up recently. So but yes, the Buddha had teaching for him. But now so there it is, as far as I know that’s the historical fact. They didn’t in the Buddhist monasteries in Tibet or now in India or Bhutan or so forth they don’t have special courses for, here’s Buddha’s theory and practice for the mentally handicapped, the psychotic, and so forth and so on. They just don’t have that. Having said that though might people now in our 21st century, are there people who are professionally trained to deal with the mentally handicapped, the severely mentally disabled, through psychosis or severe neurosis and so on? Are there people who do have that professional training which you don’t get as a Buddhist monk or scholar or yogi? Are there such people who are aware of at least some aspects of Buddhist theory and practice who are taking them and seeing if they can adapt them to a people with serious mental problems? There the answer is yes. Even schizophrenia I’ve hear of some research going on in Australia right now for schizophrenia. And of course for chronic depression there are a number of people doing very good work in that field. And there is a lot more, I haven’t covered all of the literature. So that’s where the if I can say, I don’t mean to be crass but a real growth industry of people of good heart, really compassionate hearts, drawing from their expertise in their modern training, psychiatry, psychotherapy and also using pharmaceutical drugs, they can play a very important role here, and then interface and drawing from, selecting from this whole array of practices from Buddhism and saying can we adapt these as we seek to adapt them for children, adolescents, and so forth. Can we also adapt them for the very elderly, the people whose minds are not so clear anymore, or people who are handicapped in various ways? So that is an area that I think has a lot of potential but we’re just now beginning to tap it. I’m looking at Camille still but that just kind of happened.

[1:15:20] So I mentioned three prerequisites following the path of no prejudice, that is being free of prejudice, yearning to put the teachings into practice, being perceptive, yes that’s from Aryadeva’s, his 400 stanzas. Can one conclude on the basis of what is categorized as a mental handicap in modern society that the concerned person is most likely not perceptive enough and therefore not able to practice the path? This is exactly where skillful means comes in. There are cases of severe chronic depression, is a good example because I know people working in the field, John Teasdale and Mark Williams, Mark Williams, yes Mark Williams and Zittle Siegel. I’ve met, I think I’ve met all three of them. And Mark Williams I know moderately well, these are all highly trained psychiatrists, psychotherapists and they really have been focusing on mindfulness practice. Basic Jon Kabat Zinn style mindfulness practice but they’ve but what they found over years and years of practice and research is, that if the person is, has really severe acute depression, you can’t teach them meditation. They can not practice it, but what you can give them is some prescribed, if you have the expertise, the appropriate psycho pharmaceutical drug to attenuate the symptoms so they can manage you know, get their head above water. The symptoms subside somewhat and then while they’re subsiding, then give them some meditation. And then gradually in the best of all possible worlds you can gradually wean them off the medication so they’re less and less dependent and then hopefully they can really have a recovery. So that would be one case. Post traumatic stress disorder, general anxiety disorder, insomnia and so forth there’s a whole list there. ADHD, ADHD people have it very severely, probably can’t meditate at all. But give them ritalin or whatever, adderall whatever the doctor prescribes and then if their symptoms are managed then see while their symptoms are managed, now well let’s try a little basic five minute session of mindfulness of breathing and then you may be able to wean them off. That has happened, happened very effectively. But again this is a lot research to be done. So is it conceivable that a person with down syndrome can get tangible even full benefit from Buddhist practice? It’s feasible and then therefore let the research begin, let the research begin. And what about autistic spectrum disorder, let the research begin. For those who aren’t perceptive enough, what does Buddha’s dharma have to offer, let the research begin. And what have you taught handicapped people, if yes which practices? The only, I never even thought of them as handicapped, I don’t know if that’s the right word. I’ve not, I have taught people in a scientific study, took place in UCLA and the University of Vienna in Austria. I have taught people with epilepsy. I actually it’s interesting I never thought of them as handicapped. I don’t know whether that is the right word or not, but I didn’t think that way. I just thought they have epilepsy and the it was a very modestly funded study very, rather quite a small number of people. And it was not a successful study. I taught them that what I thought would be most helpful some basic basic shamatha but what I didn’t know until after I had taught them, and I really found it immensely meaningful, I learned so much I might have benefited more than anybody else there. I got to know them. It wasn’t just come in I teach and go away. I got to know them, individually, all of them, each of them. And in some cases how they got epilepsy, they weren’t all born with it. I learned about them as individuals. And then I learned after the study was done why the meditations just overall not clearly beneficial at least not for the group as a whole, to my chagrin. And that is one of the, there are many things that can trigger epilepsy. I learned this when I was in Vienna. There was one man, remarkably intelligent he had quite severe epilepsy, remarkably intelligent youngish man maybe 30-35. And while when I was there, George Bush came to Vienna, not very popular there I believe. No comment. And but that means they blocked off a bunch of streets because the President of the United States is coming through. So they blocked off a lot of streets, so this fellow had a really hard time getting from his home to the university to get to this class. And he knew while he was getting a hard time because George Bush, and that really pissed him off. So by the time he got to this university laboratory setting for this class he was really upset that this American president he didn’t like anyway had really been an obstacle for him. And then he told me, we had a morning session afternoon session, he said I won’t be here for the afternoon session because I had gotten really upset now and that’s going to trigger an epileptic seizure, so I’ll have to stay home for the afternoon. So if that were the norm then I would say oh good, I can help with this. Buddhism has a lot to offer, for that type of irritation, that type of anger right. I said wow this can really help. But as it turned out, and here’s the sad news one of the things that can trigger another epileptic seizure is being very very relaxed and deeply calm. Didn’t see that one coming.

[1:21:05] So that relates to our practice here. And that is I’ve heard so many times here in Phuket, people would be in the midst of an eight week retreat and they’ll come to me for a weekly meeting and they’ll say well last Saturday I just slipped into this flow, I had the best meditation and it continued on to Sunday and into Monday and just like whoa this is what it can be like. The mind is so calm and peaceful such a sense of well being arising. It was Saturday, it was Sunday, Monday and then Tuesday the bottom dropped out. Just like crashed, my mind was all over the place, it was agitated, emotions coming up all over the place. Then I’d get really tired and dull and then it would be agitated and more emotions coming up that aye, yaye, yaye, it was going so well and then just crashed, crashed and burned. What happened? And what happened was your mind that when you do have these really good sessions this is when the mind is really settling in its natural state and as it does so, count on it, when the mind settles in its natural state, it stirs up emotions, memories, thoughts, mental afflictions of all kinds, and it’s all kinds. Low self esteem, hatred, lust, jealousy you name it. It stirs it up. As long as you’re splashing on the surface of the mind, then what’s coming up is just what’s triggered by what happened five minutes ago. But when you’re going deep into meditation, spending six, eight, ten hours a day, and you’re dropping anchor down into the depths of your mind. And as that happens, stirring up, stirring up the deeper the meditation, the deeper the stirring. Then emotions, memories and so forth that maybe have not come to mind for years or even decades will be stirred up and they come up to the surface. And these are called upheavals and it’s a sign as Dudjom Lingpa says, a sign of progress. After you’ve had three really good days and the next day you’re back on stage one out of nine, and maybe you’ve been here for six weeks and say aye caramba[whew]. How could this be happening? On that day say wow this is a real sign of progress. My meditation today really sucks, this is worse than when I never meditated at all. When I thought I was really quite sane. Now I’m really getting somewhere, because I’m really dredging the depths of my psyche. And having it come up, well of course that’s no fun. I’ve heard this a fair amount the last few days. The last week overall, not that much fun. It’s challenging to some people, you know. But was it dredging or was it merely a misfortune? Would it have been altogether better if we’d simply been able to avoid that, just not say something. Do something skillful and none of the disruption that occurred if it not, none of it happened, would that have been better? And my answer is maybe I don’t know. But it did happen, it did stir. And things come to light and we see it, it was an upheaval, it was an upheaval. View it. View it. That’s what we’re here for to practice dharma. Whether the upheaval is triggered by something internal, external, internal and external, when the upheaval happens that’s the time to practice dharma and nobody ever said it would be easy. I love quoting here I think it was Bette Davis, pretty sure. Remember, old age is not for sissies. Remember that one. And having seen my parents age, my mother passed away now at 88, my father still very much alive at 89, 90 in just a couple of months. It’s not easy. Not easy getting that old for so many reasons. Old age is not for sissies. Well shamatha is not for sissies. If you wanted to have a nice peaceful comfortable practice I’m not sure there is such, but shamatha isn’t it. One that will enable you to have padding to be able to cloak your body mind in padding so whatever comes up it will just hit a squishy surface and bounce right off, you know. Like global warming, the depletion of all the fish in the ocean and the contamination of groundwater and ethnic cleansing and just kind of like, gosh what a shame. Oh that’s too bad. Oh Oh but that’s the way it goes. Is that really the ideal? Don’t think so. So how then to deal with the upheavals. Whatever they’re triggered by, whatever they’re triggered by. If you have no mental afflictions, you might not have any upheavals. You’ll simply be in a world in which there is a lot suffering and a lot of mental afflictions. But you won’t have upheavals. If there’s nothing to heave up, nothing to upchuck, then you won’t upchuck, you’ll simply be responding with compassion, with wisdom, helping in whatever way you can.

[1:26:40] So this is where again I’ll end on this note. We have the ethics, the foundation, everybody knows that, sometimes we forget. On that basis, the of cultivation of samadhi, samatha, etc. On that basis the cultivation of wisdom. So there’s a nice linearity there a progression just like relaxation, stability and vividness. Not the same but a similar kind of thing but the really the splendor of this is not simply how well this is thought out, how wise, how effective ethics, samadhi, wisdom but also the wondrousness of the fact that as you’re cultivating your mindfulness and your introspection, developing samadhi, that this then returns the favor to your ethics, brings you greater intelligence, greater awareness, greater mindfulness to recognize more and more subtle modes of unethical and harmful behavior. So your samatha returns the favor to ethics as ethics is the foundation for samadhi, samadhi then enlightens, illuminates brings greater clarity to your ethical wisdom, your ethical intelligence. But likewise and the point and I’m just about finished here. With samadhi, so we learn the techniques we got the techniques, they’re not that hard. I mean they’re not easy but they’re not that hard to understand right. We’re doing them, oh I know how to do mindfulness of breathing. I’ve got settling the mind, I can do that awareness of awareness for a little while. I know how to do it. And then upheavals come up you know well if you’ve had no wisdom if you have no insight, no vipashyana, if you’re reifying everything you touch, everything you perceive, those upheavals are going to beat you to a pulp. They will mug you, they will torture you so much so that you might feel this is impossible I can not possibly develop samadhi. As soon as I go deep I get beaten to death and I try to go deep and I get beaten I get mugged at every corner. I can’t do this. I don’t know why it is, I think maybe I’m just intrinsically screwed up. I’m just not one suitable, you know. I have Buddha nature but I can’t get to it, because as soon as I go deep in practice all the crap flows up. Well that’s true. The question is, are you going to reify it or not? If you’re going to reify it, you are stuck, and indefinitely stuck. Whereas if you can let your wisdom, any insight, even one milligram of understanding of emptiness, filter into your samatha practice, then you’re in a position to start enabling those upheavals, the emotions, the mental afflictions to unravel themselves without having to edit out each one, one by one by one. You’ll see them as empty appearances, you’ll rest your awareness in its own nature and you’ll watch your mind heal. Not if you reify it though. But if you don’ reify it, if you can see it as empty appearances, empty appearances with no owner and no substantial inherent existence of their own. Then resting there in your own awareness which is by nature pure, luminous, clear and cognizant. You can watch your mind heal and the mental afflictions unravel, dissolve right into the space of the mind. That’s where wisdom comes and serves samatha and there’s the wheel of dharma. The ethics serving samadhi, samadhi serving wisdom, wisdom serving samadhi, samadhi serving ethics and a wheel of dharma. Hop into that carriage and it will take you all the way to enlightenment.

[1:30:12] And now how wonderful. Enjoy your evening, see you tomorrow morning.

Transcribed by KrissKringle Sprinkle

Revised by Rafael Carlos Giusti

Final edition by Cheri Langston


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