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Showing posts from March 1, 2009

Sun and Moon

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This evening is a bit unusual; we are in the middle of an inocular eclipse, a rare type of eclipse. If we were in the optimal viewing place, which I understand is San Diego; we would be seeing a ring around the sun. The moon moves between the earth and the sun creating a ring around the sun.
Earlier today I went to the lumber store. There was an elderly gentleman and his wife there outside explaining about the inocular eclipse. He set up his telescope and turned it backwards to display the eclipse on a piece of paper. I stopped, looked at the paper on the sidewalk and at the eclipse in the sky. As I looked back at the paper, it felt like the image projected was not on paper but the original sun, moon event occurring very far away. My perception had bridged a gap between the appearance and the actual event that felt interesting.
The newspapers encouraged my perceptions regarding the importance of this event. Earlier, at the height of it at about 6:30PM, I went outside. There was defi…

Cosmic Luck Machine

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What is the ideal human life that supports a spiritual awakening? We need time or leisure to practice and ability or endowments to prepare for enlightenment. Leisure and endowment come from luck or fate you made by karma previously.

In the airport one day, I was attracted by some bright sparkling lights and found a machine where you get these little cards for a dollar or two dollars, sometimes five dollars. You put your money in, whatever you are willing to spend, and out pops a card that you scratch. Are you a winner? You do not know if you have the good luck you are depending on, and that is part of your karma. Even you put a lot of money in, thinking it will bring a better chance of getting a good card, you still don’t know.

However, you do possess some luck and perhaps not realize that you can manipulate it by making effort. That is the purpose of this discussion. You are capable of manipulating luck by understanding that it is possible, also being serious and realistic about what…

Why Do a Purification Retreat?

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The reason why purification practices such as rainbow purification or Vajrasattva are done in sequestered retreat environment is because purification is not pretty. I do not recall which purification is the least pretty. So, we enter retreat with determination and some important purpose to do strong purification practice. Or perhaps your lama is giving instructions and initiation into a deity such as Vajrasattva, Buddha of purification that includes commentary and group or private meditation away from your own home.

There may be a special obstacle you are experiencing such as a personal health problem or a meditation obstacle that not amenable to daily meditation. Some meditators will do a retreat for the health of a family member, success for their monastery, or even worldly goals such as personal success.

The state of mind to hold while on purification must be more careful than you might think. It is not a good idea to charge at the obstacle like a bull toward a red cape. By direct…

Mental Sinking in Meditation

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Mental sinking is an obstacle in meditation and the opposite of mental excitement. The mind wants to drift in a certain way so some antidote needs to be applied. Sometimes the mind drifts and like a little butterfly you dreamily fly to a flower, then think, “Oh, there is another nice flower over there. I think I’ll float over there and look at that.” This is done in a languid way, as though you were about to enter a dream state.

Mental sinking could also be the experience of heaviness in the body that is about to enter sleep. Sometimes from the far corner of the monastery we could hear snores coming from a monk and then everyone begins to titter. One of my American students was not feeling so well one day so she lay down behind the last row of students, and in fact she did start to snore.

You not have cold weather here in California, but people who come from cold cold weather know there is real danger in being exposed to extreme cold and begin to feel sleepy. If they cannot arouse them…

Santa Claus Thinking

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We want to emulate bodhisattvas beings. These heroes of Buddhism have achieved powerful levels of penetrating and clarifying their own nature. They break through and realign their understanding in the model of reality. Their sense of fantasy has been completely destroyed.

In a way, it’s like…when you were young, I am pretty sure you believed in Santa Claus. Nearly every American child believes in Santa Claus, even Jewish children. It comes as an important belief for children. You don’t have to be Christian to believe in Santa Claus.

When you were in grade school, I think you probably had strong faith in Santa Claus. You knew that through the efforts of Santa, all good things would flow if you just behaved yourself during November and especially December. Isn’t that so? Then some companion in the schoolyard or an older brother or sister whispered to you, “There is no Santa Claus.”

This would have arisen some kind of anger in your mind toward that person. They are blaspheming the one who …

24 Hours a Day Meditation

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Lord Buddha Shakyamuni said, “This is how I found the light and awakened mind. If you do it in this way, you also will awaken.” His method of explaining it was compelling, honest and clear. His accomplished followers later organized this process with Lord Buddha as the central jewel. The methods we use in the Tibetan system are sophisticated and inextricably energetically tied to the Buddhist path and unbroken lineages from Buddha Shakyamuni.

These are reproducible effects that we have not only learned, but also enthusiastically disseminated to others. To do that correctly means that even today, it will have the same results. Over thousands of years, these inner lines of transmission have been carefully preserved so that when the actual breakthrough comes, the light of dharmakaya (1) wisdom fully permeates our being. Only then will we understand perfectly what the Buddha meant by awakened mind.

Because the nature of dharmakaya is comprehensive it includes final preparation for extrao…

Deep and Gentle Longing for Altruism

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In gentler earlier times, I think calling and yearning for the awakening of the mind of bodhichitta was often inspired by less suffering ridden methods than used today. I have a book of love letters written in the 1600 and 1700’s. It’s very sweet and sincere. “I saw you buying a hat my lady, and my heart could hardly remain intact”. Beautiful poetry, “I can not forsake your image from my mind”. This imagery has a deep perfume of gentle longing and yearning. We not often see yearning with purity to it in our contemporary world, like these love letters. They continuously flow expression such as, “my heart, my love for you is true. I cannot tolerate being without your presence”.

It seems that modern society quickly degenerated into exhibited sensuality and cynical roughness that rips the glow and the dusting of starlight from the esoteric longing of these beautiful love letters. These love letters remind me spiritual beautiful poetry written toward the enlightened state. I used to writ…