2024, January, Issue 80
Imagine, if you will, seeing a world where everything is crisp, everything is in focus. Imagine being fully aware of all the elements, seeing through walls, over the horizon, seeing what every being everywhere is thinking—all of it. Imagine not just the world, but all worlds everywhere, throughout the cosmos, throughout the universe, throughout an infinite array of universes and all times that have happened, are happening or will happen. Imagine being aware of all of that in this infinite moment. Imagine every detail at once, all at once, all of samsara simultaneously with a state of bliss, nirvana. Imagine this essence appearing. What happens to you?
HO HO HO!
An excerpt from, The Frog: A Spiritual Autobiography, Spanning Many Lifetimes, pg. 278, © 2021.
I have been pondering a few different aspects of the Near Death Experience lately, some that people have asked me, others that seem like I need to explain more carefully. Some people come to me for advice, in much the same way that people approach lamas or other types of spiritual teachers. Some people even refer to me as Lama Robert or some other term of a similar nature. My advice needs to be useful and concise.
This last week, I had a minor heart procedure, nothing that really needs mentioning. It was something I’ve had before; however, I’m a bit of a mystery with some of my medical providers. I’m supposed to be dead. It doesn’t make sense that I’m alive; so, they poke, prod and probe my corpse to see just what is up with me.
They can’t find what they’re looking for.
My attitude, as they adjusted my meds, adding some, taking away others, injecting me with radioactive dye, putting me through all sorts of things, some of which involve my heart stopping, is that I really don’t care. If I die, I die. It’s not like there’s any sort of mystery there for me. I’ve let go of this life. What happens, happens, and it is all good.
So, this is at the core of why my experiences with the death bardo were so extensive, why I had the most full death experience possible, without actually becoming fully dead. I let go. I had no attachments to this or any life, I simply let it all go.
Now, cultivating this attitude of letting go happened years before my actual death, even hundreds of years before this life. By letting go of self, we discover who we really are. By remaining present in that attitude, we become aware. This leads to enlightenment itself.
How do we do this?
It starts right here, where you are. You simply look at the world around you, as it is. We look with whatever awareness you possess, by cultivating presence in this moment, not changing anything, just being present. We look at mind. We look at self. We use mind to see that there is nothing to all these things that we thought were real. If it’s not real, let it go!
So, remaining present in that knowledge, this knowledge that you investigate frequently, as much as it takes, you relax completely, with mind focused in an objectless way. You learn to be present in your own awareness. The world becomes crisp. This moment becomes fully open to all possibilities; however, you let it go before you even grasp or fixate on any of it. You simply let go of the illusions you feel inclined to create.
In this way, as you become more familiar with this sort of Spiritual Practice, you liberate your own clinging to cyclic existence. You are both completely relaxed, and you are aware of just what is happening here. This is the key ingredient for letting go, and we do this out of great compassion for ourselves, as well as all beings.
Since I had stabilized my Spiritual Practice in this way, I was not prone to all the elements of mind, all the turmoil, all the explosive energy and turbulence. My death experience was very fulfilling, very beneficial. I was able to come back, even though I had gone quite far. If I had not let it all go, there would have been no way to return. Clinging to life is actually something that keeps us from becoming liberated. It is clinging itself that leads to a very upsetting death experience.
We can also say that being repulsed by life can also lead to a very upsetting death experience. When we let go for the wrong reasons, it becomes very upsetting when we see ourselves returning or becoming reborn. This is why we simply remain present, not judging or fabricating beliefs of various kinds. We simply observe ourselves a little bit, then remain very calm. Within this calmness is the opportunity to simply let go.
When we start to see things as they are, not as we want them to be, we start to sense electricity in this eternal moment. We catch glimpses of Timeless Luminosity. We start to awaken. Clarity becomes our vision. We find ourselves entering a condition of awareness that has been there all along. Letting go completely, opening our heart and mind fully, we awaken.
Use this knowledge to awaken.
Blessings in Light,