Click this link for Trungpa Rinpoche's brief remarks on the general and enduring topic of spookiness, as preserved by the Chronicle Project.
Happy Halloween to you all!
Since my purpose in life is to harness confusion, I guess we'll stroll out in the corral, and find out who will stand still long enough to take a saddle.
If you are outside, and you see a Joshua Tree, then you are in the Mojave Desert. That is a picture of one, above, just so you can familiarize yourself with what you might see if you come around these parts.
Well, now... there's a provocative analogy if ever I heard one.Those of us who live in deserts don't call them "deserts" per se; rather, we call them "arid lands," and one handy definition of an arid land is where, due to evapotranspiration and a basic scarcity of precipitation, you lose more water than you gain. Like Dr. Warner says, "...if you place a bucket outside on the ground and it never fills up, you are in a desert."
"Those receiving teachings should avoid six mistakes:
listening too soon, like a clay pot that has not been fired;
not paying attention to what is said, like a cup turned upside down;
not memorizing what is heard, like a leaky vessel;
tainting the teachings with negative emotional bias, like a pot lined with poison;
not following the spiritual path, like a contaminated container;
and taking pride in knowing just the words, like a broken vase.
Avoid any mistakes like these and listen to the teachings carefully, with undivided attention."
At first, when you are certain that you are going to die, you must cut all ties and attachment to this life. Confess from the depths of your heart any downfalls and breakages of samaya, harmful actions and so on. Devote not even so much as a single moment to feeling guilty about your own negative actions, fearing death, or being attached to this life. Instead, feel happiness and joy, and say to yourself: “Now I shall recognize the clear light at death. Or, if that is not possible, since I shall certainly use the bardo as an opportunity to travel to a pure realm such as Akanishtha, Zangdokpalri or Sukhavati, I shall be joyful.” Maintain, without ever letting it slip away, the strong intention and thought “I shall travel to the pure realms!”
Gently, in a relaxed way, as you settle into an experience of whichever practice is the clearest and most vivid for you, let go of the constituents of this life. Since you will be unable to practise any unfamiliar pith instructions, rely only on those practices which are clearest for you at the moment. These two points—settling into a practice in this way, and aspiring to travel to a pure land such as Zangdokpalri—are unsurpassable. In particular, it is absolutely crucial that you repeatedly form the intention to travel to the pure land of your choosing. It is exceptionally important to understand that even now, both day and night, you must never let go of this thought.---Patrul Rinpoche, A Brief Introduction to the Bardos
When you are young, you have a lot of energy to chase those fractious ones around, wrassle a saddle on them, and then congratulate yourself for doing a good day's work. When you are older, you learn to settle into the corral, see who gets nosy, and then stand still so they walk right up to you. There really is no substitute for lived-through experience.
"Labeling takes place in confusion, for what is nonexistant is taken to exist.Above, is a photomicrograph of two human cancer cells, seen just before they divide into four cells, viewed at 100X magnification. The photo was taken by Dr. Paul D. Andrews of the University of Dundee, in Scotland, and comes to us courtesy of Nikon Small World.
Given that the nature of things is similar to that of dream images, which have no basis,
how exceedingly strange it is to fixate on samsara and nirvana as though they existed in their own right!" -- Longchenpa
"In an instant, from the state of emptiness a white wheel with ten spokes appears. Unlike the wheel that you have been visualizing in your heart, this wheel is not flat and it does not have a rim. In fact, it is probably better not to think of it as a wheel at all, because that word is misleading. It might be better to think of its shape as something like some of the satellites we send into space, which are round with various spikes sticking out."Now consider, for just a moment, that you are infinitesimally small, and inside your own body, trying to describe the behavior and appearance of cells you see around you. Might not your description of what you observe be very similar to what Khenpo Karthar has given, above? By the way, that description was from his book, The Wish-Fulfilling Wheel: The Practice of White Tara (2003), which is very highly recommended.
"Imagine the hub to be a very, very large sphere of white light. Though it is said to have ten spokes, there are only eight spokes evenly spaced around the horizon. The hub is hollow and round except that the top and bottom are slightly pointed. They are therefore referred to as spokes, making ten spokes altogether. The eight spokes around the horizon are like ribs, and taper to a point. There is no break between them, but there is an arch between them like between the bones on the top of the hand. The spokes go all around, and the whole thing would be therefore appear circular if viewed from above. Inside the wheel and spokes it is hollow and inconceivably vast and spacious. The wheel is almost invisible because it is spinning very fast. The eight spokes are turning so fast that they are just a white blur, so you can only see a tentlike ball. This is the reason why we call it a wheel. It spins clockwise. The upper and lower spokes are turning in place. They are like an axis."
"Mind itself is a vast expanse, the realm of unchanging space.Longchenpa wrote that, and when I read what he wrote I begin to wonder. Maybe the reason why we have not yet found a cure for cancer is because we are seeking a material solution to a non-material circumstance.
Its indeterminate display is the expanse of the magical expression of its responsiveness.
Everything is the adornment of basic space and nothing else.
Outwardly and inwardly, things proliferating and resolving are the dynamic energy of awakened mind.
Because this is nothing whatsoever yet arises as anything at all,
it is a marvelous and magical expression, amazing and superb."
Stephen, in Singapore
K.R., in Greece
E.S.Z., in India
Cliff, in Ohio
R.B., in Australia
B.T., in Canada
Isabel, in Portugal
Jewel, in Arizona
A.C., in New York
J.R.S., in Florida
L.B.T., in England
W.X.H., in China
A.C., in Taiwan
N.S., in South Africa
N.E.A., in Russia
T.G., in India
Dave A., in Pennsylvania
J.C., in California
Leni, in Singapore
Jordan P., in Maryland
"Do not chase after the object of your hatred -- look at your angry mind (instead).The appearance of your anger, self-arising and self-liberated, is luminous emptiness.There is no luminous emptiness separate from mirrorlike wisdom.Right within hatred being self-liberated, recite the six syllables."
This evening Yangthang Tulku Rinpoche called and spoke with Gyatrul Rinpoche and Lama Chonam. He has confirmed that his health is strong and affirmed clearly that he intends to come to Orgyen Dorje Den to bestow the Rinchen Terzod. He said that "Gyatrul Rinpoche has asked me and the students are expecting me and so this is the year! I have every intention of giving the Rinchen Terzod and fulfilling this request."
We are sorry for the postponement--but it appears our merit may actually be sufficient for the transmission to occur!
We still have some logistical issues to work out, but we think we should be able to start the wangchen on Friday, November 26th.
We just heard the good news and wanted to let you all know just as soon as possible; the duration and suggested donation remain the same as was previously announced, but as we get more information regarding the starting date and the daily schedule we will let you know.
The Oryen Dorje Den Board of Directors
"[A]ll mundane and supramundane phenomena, without any distinction, are primordially enlightened as the mandala of vajralike body, speech, and mind. Thus [the mandala] is not accomplished through a path." --Rongzompa, Establishing Appearances As Divine
As an aside: I know of many, many cases where Westerners have experienced dreams or visions of Christian deities, only to be led to the Dharma in result. This is something interesting. In our polycultural society, you could say that one has an early and open opportunity to grasp all appearances as the same. You know, it seems that in Bhutan, or Thailand, or someplace similar, one doesn't have much choice. In America, if one actually seeks out the Dharma as a natural extension of one's spirituality, this is a little different.
"[A]ll apparent phenomena are nothing but delusion and there is, moreover, no freedom from delusion to be achieved by dispelling delusion. Delusion is, by its own essence, completely pure and, hence, enlightened. All phenomena are, in this way, primordially, fully, and completely enlightened. Phenomena appearing as various attributes are, therefore, indeed the mandala of vajra body, speech, and mind. They are like the Buddhas of the three times, never transcending the essence of complete purity. Sentient beings and Buddhas are not differentiated in terms of their essence. Just like distinct causes and results appearing in a dream, they are nothing but perceptions of individual minds brought forth by the power of imputation." -- Rongzompa, Establishing Appearances As DivineThe letter has already arrived for us -- maybe there is a lovely Laotian stamp upon it! -- but we think there is postage due. We rummage around in our pockets and purses, trying to find correct change. Maybe we feel we have to borrow from somebody to meet this obligation. Maybe we feel we have to go earn something. Maybe we feel we have to go down to the post office, and consult with the clerk. What shall we wear to the post office? Where is the post office? How shall we travel there? What must we say to the clerk?
"Likewise, unless ordinary body, speech, and mind are understood to be divine, and revered [as divine], their [divine] qualities will not be seen. However, it is observed that [divine] qualities manifest wherever [body, speech, and mind] are understood and revered [as divine]."
"When a single feather and a thousand worldsAre equally this Space,Who can say which contains which?Who can find limitsTo life's richness?"--Kyabje Tarthang Rinpoche