Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dudjom Rinpoche: On Meditation

So, here is a transcript of Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, Padmasambhava's Regent, teaching meditation. It is difficult to explain what that was like. These snippets and translations we find scattered around are, of course, rather magnificent, but they still cannot compare to the experience of being in his presence, listening to him speak.

He "took you with him," so for example, when he is speaking about relaxing and feeling spaciousness, you would begin to feel relaxed and spacious. What others sell, he gave quite freely. He would defy schedules, and planning, and if people wanted he would take as much time as seemed necessary. He did this because this is what he came here to do.

I found the following on the web, and my immediate thought was that I wanted to share this with you.

I set this up to auto-post today. While you are reading this, I am still on my "flexible boundary" retreat, fooling around with stupas, and pujas, and empowerments, and answering the odd question here or there (that is the flexible part), and the rest of the time just sitting around (that is the retreat part).

What are you doing?


Since everything originates in the mind, this being the root cause of all experience, whether “good” or “bad," it is first of all necessary to work with your own mind, not to let it stray and lose yourself in its wandering. Cut the unnecessary build-up of complexity and fabrications which invite confusion in the mind. Nip the problem in the bud, so to speak.

Allow yourself to relax and feel some spaciousness, letting mind be, to settle naturally. Your body should be still, speech silent, and breathing as it is, freely flowing. Here, there is a sense of letting go, unfolding, letting be.

What does this state of relaxation feel like? You should be like someone after a really hard day’s work, exhausted and peacefully satisfied, mind contented to rest. Something settles at gut level, and feeling it resting in your gut you begin to experience a lightness. It is as if you’re melting.

The mind is so unpredictable – there’s no limit to the fantastic and subtle creation which arise, its moods, and where it will lead you. But you might also experience a muddy, semi-conscious drifting state, like having a hood over your head – a kind of dreamy dullness. This is a manner of stillness, namely stagnation, a blurred, mindless blindness.

And how do you get out of this state? Alert yourself, straighten your back, breathe the stale air out of your lungs, and direct your awareness into clear space in order to bring about freshness. If you remain in this stagnant state you will not evolve, so when this setback arises clear it again and again. It is important to develop watchfulness, to stay sensitively alert.

So, the lucid awareness of meditation is the recognition of both stillness and change, and the quiet clarity of peacefully remaining in our basic intelligence. Practice this, for only by actually doing it does one experience the fruition or begin to change.

View in Action

During meditation one’s mind, being evenly settled in its own natural way, is like still water, unruffled by ripple or breeze, and as any thought or change arises in that stillness it forms, like a wave in the ocean, and disappears back into it again. Left naturally, it dissolves; naturally. Whatever turbulence of mind erupts- if you let it be – it will of its own course play itself out, liberate itself; and thus the view arrived at through meditation is that whatever appears is none other than the self display or projection of the mind.

In continuing the perspective of this view into the activities and events of everyday life, the grasp of dualistic perception of the world as solid, fixed and tangible reality (which is the root cause of our problems) begins to loosen and dissolves. Mind is like the wind. It comes and goes; and through increasing certainty in this view one begins to appreciate the humor of the situation. Things start to feel somewhat unreal, and the attachment and importance which one signifies to events begin to seem ridiculous, or at any rate lighthearted.

Thus one develops the ability to dissolve perception by continuing the flowing awareness of meditation into everyday life, seeing everything as the self-manifest play of the mind. And immediately after sitting meditation, the continuation of this awareness is helped by doing what you have to do calmly and quietly, with simplicity and without agitation.

So in a sense everything is like a dream, illusory, but even so humorously one goes on doing things. If you are walking, for instance, without unnecessary solemnity or self-consciousness, but lightheartedly walk towards the open space of suchness, truth. When you eat, be the stronghold of truth, what is. As you eat, feed the negativities and illusions into the belly of emptiness, dissolving them into space; and when you are pissing consider all your obscurations and blockages are being cleansed and washed away.

So far I have told you the essence of the practice in a nutshell, but you must realize that as long as we continue to see the world in a dualistic way, until we are really free of attachment and negativity, and have dissolved all our outer perceptions into the purity of the empty nature of mind, we are still stuck in the relative world of “good” and “bad," “positive” and “negative” actions, and we must respect these laws and be mindful and responsible for our actions.


After formal sitting meditation, in everyday activities continue this light spacious awareness throughout and gradually awareness will be strengthened and inner confidence will grow.

Rise calmly from meditation; don’t immediately jump up or rush about, but whatever your activity, preserve a light sense of dignity and poise and do what you have to do with ease and relaxation of mind and body. Keep your awareness lightly centered and don’t allow your attention to be distracted. Maintain this find thread of mindfulness and awareness, just flow.

Whether walking, sitting, eating or going to sleep, have a sense of ease and presence of mind. With respect to other people, be honest, gentle and straightforward; generally be pleasant in your manner, and avoid getting carried away with talk and gossip.

Whatever you do, in fact, do it according to the Dharma which is the way of quieting the mind and subjugating negativities.

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1 reader comments:

Yeshe Dorje said...