2023, December, Issue 75
More important than ideas
is that incredible spaciousness that is cognized
beyond openness, beyond space, beyond time,
in the motion of now unchanging,
being present in that;
Seen as bright magical appearance,
a grand brilliant reflection within the source,
the nature of this grand illusion
presents itself uncorrupted
uncorrupted by attachment
or ideas, or self;
Here in this stable condition
I see that
that motion of thought, energy,
I see that there is nothing stable
where consciousness forms,
or where attachment fixates to ideas
about this or that, or something that becomes
that, as waves reverberate in great swirls, crashing
energetic vibrations, beams of light
rays reflecting, cognizance vibrating
energetic colors shifting amid a field
a field of every possibility,
from this to that, sounds
all this commotion amid
that great unchanging
that extreme intense bright
beyond space or time
that, that, that
A poem from, Timeless Luminosity, pp. 133-134, © 2020.
My Root Guru, Namkhai Norbu, said many times that we must be present. Without presence in that state beyond all obstacles, there is no possibility of awakening. It is necessary to become completely relaxed, ready for mind to enter the Nature of Mind.
In order to become ready for awakening, we must practice a sort of state that is not affected by thoughts. This is referred to as Shamatha, or Peaceful Abiding. This helps us to become ready for a stability that is necessary when we begin to increase our wisdom or insight, which is really a way of allowing your own mind to open and let intuitive knowledge increase. It is what is really meant when we discuss capacity in Buddhism. It is what we allow in our heart and mind. When we are completely open, we awaken.
This brings back the notion of stability. For those of you who have practiced the Vajrayana, I don’t need to tell you about what a wild ride that can be. Working with energy, appearances, transforming everything with mind can be daunting. It is important to find some stability, or the practices will simply be too much.
At the base of Buddhism, is the simple practice of listening to breath. This is important for all who are on the Spiritual Path, even practitioners of Dzogchen. This return to peacefulness, is essential in preparing for all that may be encountered along the Path. It helps us to deal with the very unstable condition of thoughts. It must be understood that thoughts can never be stable. By their very nature, thoughts are simply mind in motion.
So, when a person enters the Path, by establishing the very compassion desire to awaken, one is establishing this through thought. The first thing to do is to calm down, find a little bit of shelter from the winds of karma. Peaceful Abiding meditation protects us from our own destructive tendencies.
When we decide to renounce, if that is what you must do, we practice to become mindful of that in all that we do. We accept a path of virtue, knowing that this will be necessary in the formation of our own foundation. It is important to build a strong foundation by accumulating good merit.
When you decide to live altruistically, working for the benefit of all beings, it is important to develop convictions that keep you on track with that promise. It is easy to become overwhelmed, when you are committed to helping others. People will wear you down with bad behavior. It’s very exhausting, and you will need to find stability in your commitment. To do this, you will have insight into the condition of all sentient beings, seeing clearly that there is no hope for them, unless you do what you can to help. With this, your resolve will continue.
If you find yourself drawn to the Vajrayana, be aware that this Path is very dangerous and not to be taken lightly. It involves more than you may imagine is possible. The Vajrayana is very intense practices. Some refer to it as the snake in the bamboo, because at one end is your liberation, and the other, your demise. Be certain before you make that commitment; however, I should also explain that I was all in, 100% with the Vajrayana, and it benefitted me quite well.
With all of these practices, there is really no stability. We learn to deal with instability through meditation. What we are really doing is preparing for when we are struck by realization. In that, there must be stability, or we will not be able to awaken. We must be present from the beginning of the Spiritual Path, right up until awakening.
Once you have realized the Nature of Mind, you simply remain in that state, as it is. It doesn’t matter what is happening, it’s all good. It is self-perfecting. All thoughts, all appearances are liberated in that eternal moment. Our mind is allowed to remain in motion. Stability is achieved by simply remaining in awareness. We are aware of our real condition. We remain aware of Timeless Luminosity, without wavering or plunging back into instability.
This is a brief overview of the complete Buddhist Path. Awaken now.
Blessings in Light,