30 Alan Leading the Toreadors Against the Bull of Reification

B. Alan Wallace, 17 Aug 2015

Before the meditation, Alan comments that shamatha practice includes going into “unexplored territory” resulting in eruptions in one’s environment, body and mind. To manage this, both Karma Chagme and Dudjom Lingpa in their own ways advise on the need to create sacred space by orienting one’s view with the preliminary practices discussed over the last two weeks including the Avalokiteshvara practice. The core armour against these eruptions is to be lucid in recognising the lack of inherent nature of mind if only by comparison with dream states where if lucid we do not reify what is presented in the mind.

The guided meditation is on resting awareness on the sense and mental perceptions as they arise, flow and dissolve, and observing what conceptualisation or reification occurs.

Alan then conducts us intelligently and playfully through a summary of one of the themes of the last week, namely the human propensity for reification of the personal, historical, religious, psychological, philosophical and the scientific. The reification that is the bull of the idol of materialism appears throughout, from the Bible’s golden calf allegory to the New York Stock Exchange’s 3 tonne bull statue. Alan suggests the ordained Sangha should use their reddish robes to fight the bull of all forms of reification! The clear message is that all such closely held attachments to conceptualisation and reification of conventional reality must be renounced on the Dharma path. The Buddha said “you are your own refuge.”

The meditation starts at 10:14.

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