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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Compassion of Wisdom toward the Shaky Mind

Part 3 The next question I ask on your behalf is,” How do bodhisattvas maintain the equilibrium of seeing things as they are, empty of inherent existence, and still see the point of view of suffering sentient beings?” The nature of the perfected state is creativity, otherwise how could it possibly help you become free? Bodhisattva activity is supramundane creativity, aligning others with higher being and purifying with joyful energies.

There are different classes of bodhisattvas, and most of these enlightened beings do not approach the sense fields of ordinary beings out of a correct concern of being imprinted by ordinary mind. This is possible due to holding compassion so they can heal the injured energies of the suffering being without taking on characteristics of illusory karma. This can be a problem for the new bodhisattva who still contains stains of ordinary experience even though the production of dysfunctions is gone due to enlightenment. This is especially true when new practitioners in the preparation stages toward awakening are energizing themselves by inquiry into the nature of reality and are creating really strange ideas about what is and what is not enlightenment.

There is a lack of correct perceptions that becomes mixed with energies freed prior to higher alignment. The grasping mind would like to realign these newly released energies into either the original contaminated form, a different contaminated fantasy form such as developing an inner deity like character or a different form than the one that is indicated by inner bodhisattva guidance toward perfection. As these energies are being released by removing blockages and confused states of mind and the innate view is being challenged on an interior level, the natural impulse is to want to bring them back into a familiar, contaminated pattern. Getting up from meditation, the meditator shakes themselves back into the familiar dynamic that they had before they sat down.

So, the rare and special guidance toward perfection is an alignment that perhaps you have not yet experienced and need to have this information so you can behave appropriately when it comes. Buddha emanated bodhisattvas are specially trained to avoid becoming entangled in the confused mind because it is such dangerous work for extremely subtle beings to adapt to work with gross energy beings such as human beings. The practitioner does preparation practices to purify themselves and is cautioned again and again to remain calm and not get caught up in agitation, fear, blame, and doubt regarding their practice or their environment. When the grasping mind is freeing energies which have been causing suffering for a very long time; the rule is do not disturb or annoy your own mind. It is not a suggestion.

You also do not disturb the mind of your mentor who is trying to facilitate your understanding of the preparations needed for your transformation. The mental models presented in the teachings change the practitioners thinking enough to make them candidates for the inner guidance being who facilitates the process for inner minds. Not only that, but outer mentor who is connected already to buddha guidance being acts as the advocate for your process. In the ordinary sense, you should interact with your outer mentor in ways that do not disrupt their meditation or take them away from inner work for the benefit of many, for trivial reasons. So, when you do contact the lama, it is done calmly and without disturbing your own mind also. That is what real practitioners do.

You have a further responsibility to respect yourself and your inner process. Inner mentor, bodhisattva or buddha level being, has the work of assisting transformation of the inner process in an energetically quiet atmosphere. In that way, the needs and the function of this world system is fulfilled in order to provide the environment for a practitioner to practice carefully. The power of the wisdom Buddha emanated bodhisattva acts as a midwife for the transformation stage and preparation by inner encouraging, cautioning and helping that birthing process of the transformation. Since all living beings are perfection itself, do not know it, and cause suffering for themselves and others by that misknowledge, wisdom bodhisattva, out of compassion, teaches.

So, my next question is, "Rinpoche, if I am not doing it correctly and am caught up in self-cherishing, how do I understand that inner mentor is performing acts of compassion toward me when I become distorted?" For the benefit of all sentient beings who will benefit in the future, we all want the preparation for final alignment to go steady and smooth even while you are operating with an innate view that encourages your confusion by innately projecting the transitory to be permanent. For someone who has faith and trust in the Buddha, the dharma teachings of transformation and practices and the sangha enlightened ones, the inner glance of compassion wisdom bodhisattva instantly relaxes and smoothly moves into another closer alignment with enlightened, vast being. This is due to preparation by meditation and purifying.

However, that same glance for the confused can feel awful and punishing. The cause of this confusion might be only a temporary obstacle that prevents the meditator from gaining the alignment by inner bodhisattva. The skillful practitioner will throw the contaminated ideas that arise from confusion far away and resume their relationship with inner mentor based on love and trust without looking at the confusion. The unskillful practitioner will make a bodhisattva into a devil.

Because of their unsteadiness in practice, practitioners who flip from trust and faith to mistrust and confusion are difficult to train in the higher tantras. They properly belong to baby Buddhism and not to higher trainings. If you wish to receive the higher trainings, then you must have some levels of control of your conflicting emotions. Those who cannot are not suitable for higher trainings.

Even from a state of deep energetic confusion regarding the way you actually exist, you have to take responsibility and learn discipline. You are not expected you to be perfect, there is nothing to be afraid of, and no one is trying to harm you but the roiling up of purification process might cause strange thinking. "Oh my gosh, I felt a bump, or somebody looked at me! I thought this, and I saw something that looked like a dark shape." Please get control over your emotions so you can be practitioners. Do not be afraid when wisdom bodhisattva comes and touches you. Do not be afraid. That would be very inappropriate.

My personal lineage in Tibet worked with meditators who were themselves highly trained, even initiating lamas who received the guidance or midwife-type process of transformation. Do not force me, or your present qualified lama, to be a baby Buddhism teacher when you could be capable of higher practices. From the great bodhisattvas, buddhas and from perfection itself, you are being called home. There are myriad experiences and trainings you will need before then. The Buddhas who have compassion for your confusion, will touch you and all sentient beings again and again on the interior to see who is ready for transformation in accordance with the deep law. Be ready and receptive to that touch. To be continued……

Friday, April 3, 2009

Compassion of the Wisdom Buddha

part 2 Let us leave aside how ordinary people see compassion, and think a bit about correct training in the human development of compassion and other higher levels. So, there are training stages possible; correct human compassion, then compassion training of the learner bodhisattvas, and finally, training in Great Compassion that comes from the perfected state.

Human beings are capable of learning correct uses of their outer bases or outer/inner bases in order to understand correct compassion. The outer sense bases are eye, ear etc connected to inner eye, inner ear up to consciousness/awareness interacting with self, others and the environment. This activity is almost always restlessly processing energetic data into meaning to be used as inner strategy for being alive where the primary awareness resides (whatever level that might be). This data easily becomes polluted by anger, trauma and other dysfunctions that prevent the altruistic motivation of compassion to be alive. The healing of the ability to learn and experience human compassion preparation toward the enlightened state must happen. Because compassion is vital to transformation, its preparation requires many different steps and levels in order for one to become truly skilled.

After enlightenment, compassion, combined with a cultivated sense of universal responsibility should remain even though the illusion is broken. Here I make a distinction between what I call learner bodhisattvas and buddha emanated bodhisattvas. The learner bodhisattva uses the prepared but partially developed inner bases to continue learning correct inner sense base compassion. This is the enlightened vast source of boundless energy that makes it possible to benefit limitless living beings.

In order to be of most benefit, bodhisattvas guiding living beings to liberation or enlightenment remain outside of human realm energies. Since bodhisattvas are beyond needing to stimulate the senses in order to satisfy personal desires that cause stress and confusion, they wisely remain beyond form in the correct manner, without seeking human form. They do not often enter into situations where they will need to activate the illusory sense bases and the innate view thereby creating illusory and painful karma that they do not actually have. That means very few bodhisattvas emanate into the human realm in comparison to their vast numbers. These learner bodhisattvas will eventually enter perfection after eons of experiences, skillfully benefiting others while remaining under the care and guidance of Buddha level beings.

After passing through more developed states, they eventually enter buddhahood, a defined state of being, now devoid of the remaining stains that prevented the omniscient state from arising. It is good to know that this state is natural in some living beings that never entered ordinary existence to avoid the error of thinking that all buddhas were once suffering human beings. The entry by a bodhisattva into buddhahood is a cause for rejoicing in higher level beings. At this point, the being is able to emanate forms at will and becomes skillful in bodhisattva activity by emanating while the inner base resides in stillness of perfection itself. It is uncertain at what skill level a buddha enters perfection completely, however, this entry into perfection stills all activities.

Perfection itself, now, (continues), emanating forms such as buddhas from absolute balance and stillness through Great Compassion compelled by the needs of living beings. The emanation process from perfection, to buddhas, to their emanations of myriad bodhisattvas is a miracle of compassion and highest universal responsibility only possible from that sublime nature. These buddha emanated bodhisattvas also do not usually enter the sense organs and the sense bases, but remain in a subtle form. This is the forms of which some are identified as the deities while the true identity of all buddha emanated bodhisattvas remains in perfection.

Who are the objects of the care of a great compassion bodhisattva? Perfected in wisdom, buddha emanated, bodhisattvas activity is toward sentient beings of different categories. Sentient beings or living beings are all those who are not yet enlightened or awakened to the illusory nature of ordinary reality without regard to their form, realm, location or even those in formless realms. One who is not actively being nurtured in development because they are not prepared to receive the specialized care is a lost one and a suffering sentient being.

As healing reverses the damage to the inner levels of suffering beings by myriad methods, gradually all of them will become capable of receiving direct care. In a technical sense, a careful practitioner is in a category of one who is being cared for and nurtured in the development stage and is not a sentient being. But sometimes a practitioner is a sentient being and sometimes not a sentient being because someone who is strongly practicing is lifted to higher development temporarily but easily falls back into samsara. Due to samsara and their karma, this higher state is not continuous for them and bursts of practice enthusiasm are often followed by periods of inappropriate suffering, so practitioners in general, are also called suffering sentient beings. To be continued….

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Compassion of the Wisdom Bodhisattva

part 1 We now turn the discussion to compassion of bodhisattva wisdom after completing Twenty Emptinesses of Chandrakirti. This important clarification of Nagarjuna's thinking answered many questions that arose at that early time in relation to Nagarjuna's new middle way philosophy describing the nature of reality. The writings and teachings of Chandrakirti are equally important to the writings and teachings of Nagarjuna. So much so, that many feel that without Chandrakirti, Nagarjuna's presentation would have been lost due to the difficulty of understanding what he meant. For those of you who have ever opened a book by Nagarjuna, respected it profoundly but not understand it, Chandrakirti did us a great service. We also discover in his writings that he was not just parroting or struggling to understand what Nagarjuna said. Chandrakirti had original thinking and opened up new levels of inquiry.

So, now you might also have questions regarding Chandrakirti or my commentary. For that reason, I asked myself some of the questions that you might be asking yourself in the future. I begin, "Rinpoche, if everything is devoid of the very thing that I believe is solid, real, and trustworthy inside and outside, the past, the present, and the future, and even the bodhisattvas are not the really real that I think they are, then how to bodhisattvas generate bodhichitta?" I ask the question, and then have to think about it for a while…

Actual bodhichitta is an authentic inner sense. The preparation practices and training you are learning are what is possible and what is needed while you are in the human realm with a human body and a human mind and an innate view. If the preparation practices did not take into account your innate view, it would just simply be another philosophical musing, isn't that so? So, the preparation practices take into account that you do have an innate view and do not expect you to be perfect or to hide your lack of perfection while you are trying to accomplish the important task of achieving transformation toward perfection. It would be a logical trap if only the perfect can become enlightened. It is our good luck that it does not work that way.

This innate view we can then look at like a cocoon that has given you parameters that you needed in order to emerge into another way of being. Like that butterfly, you must make efforts to be released from the cocoon in order to be strong enough to enter into another phase of your development. Now, that makes a lot of sense outside and inside. If that change is done carefully, the rest of the bodhichitta practices await the newly enlightened being beyond the state of lack of foundation support. One must enter into that state without the foundation of the innate view that solidifies perceptually what is not intrinsically real in order to be prepared enough to enter into another way of being and makes you suitable for learning something else. If that change is done carefully, it prepares you for entering into the rest of the bodhichitta practices.

Energetic transformation that was previously done in the human realm will cause you to energetically reject the lower nirvana of liberation for yourself alone and move onto other practices and further experiences to become a benefit being. There will be some who will enter liberation because that is all they would be capable of doing. Not everyone is capable of the bodhichitta path, not everyone has the powerful desire awakening, "I want to be of benefit to all living beings." That is why bodhichitta motivation is considered to be so special and unique because it places you into the trainings that allow you to become that benefit being. So, they enter into cessation, and they are no more. Or, they enter into a stasis kind of cessation with a need to satisfy some karmic result, and so they fall away from karmic temporary cessation, assume form and perhaps go back to ordinary being.

This emptiness of the actual way you are alive acts like a membrane that holds you away from all of life while you are presently receiving training, or it holds you away from all of life while you are trapped in cyclic existence and unable to leave. After the bodhisattva goes through many different kinds of training in many perceptual world spheres and pure lands, they become so skillful and so very needed that they become valuable and continue benefiting many. Eventually, they become so skillful that they become candidates for perfection, as though they could not help it.

Even though they reject the lower Nirvana again and again and again, at a certain point they have no control over it, and they become candidates for entering the perfected state. This is what we acknowledge to be a Parinirvana. After entering the perfected state, their nature and the nature of perfection are not different. Then from perfection, there emanates an intention that has the ability to enter into any form through a process of manifestation that I have described in other teachings. However arriving at the gate of human perceptual realm, the emanation from perfection has not moved from perfection. This is the one who is capable of observing the needs of living beings. This is not a form that is here to satisfy your every need, but here to observe and free perfection living under poor dynamics in the form of suffering ordinary beings.

The concern that they feel and their capacity to free that obstacle to development is called Great Compassion. Great Compassion can only be generated from the perfection state. All of the careful training that emerging learner bodhisattvas is compassion of the correct inner sense bases trained to use in the correct manner. Bodhisattva trainees are receiving training in compassion in using the correct inner sense bases, in the correct manner. So they are using their inner bases and senses, like you are using the human mind, human body, and your innate view to generate in the correct way, your stage of development in compassion. Why? Because compassion is so important that you must become compassion.

Now, many things that I am describing are said to be qualities and activities of dharmakaya, but I believe, the word dharmakaya has changed and become more related to interior human activities. Let us just say that the meaning of dharmakaya has become too well known, too familiar and everybody who is anybody is in the dharmakaya sphere. Their mind does not move from dharmakaya, and Lama sits on the teaching throne, remaining fully in dharmakaya while teaching. It has become a social dharmic respect and not an acknowledgment of the actual quality it had in ancient days by interior enlightened standards.

We are putting the state of perfection correctly beyond this lowered standard of dharmakaya as a known quality and one easily discussed so casually. If you are going to experience emptiness and the nature of the way that things actually exist, then you are in dharmakaya? No, and that would not make sense. There are many different levels and trainings and purifications and processes that one goes through before they enter the perfection state. For simplicity of explanation, one could not jump right from lack of inherent existence to the perfected state of dharmakaya. To be continued….

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Reality and What Remains

Fifteenth in a series. Number Sixteen of Chandrakirits exposition Twenty Emptinesses: Emptiness That is the Absence of Entities: “Since an entity arises from causes and conditions, it lacks the nature of being a composite. This emptiness of there being anything that is a composite is the emptiness that is the absence of entities”.

Entity is the self, the person or the object that arises due to causes and conditions that transcends the gathering of elements by giving it a name. What manifests as a single object does so in dependence on causes and conditions. For example, what is called a chariot is a single object that is different from the parts of the chariot even though it arises from the assembly of the parts. It did not exist as a chariot until all the parts were assembled, and the chariot disappears when the parts are disassembled, isn't that so? Therefore, it is not a true composite such as an assembly of parts that remain unnamed even though it may look like a chariot or have the potential to become a chariot. If it is named, it is an entity and is an illusory support for the parts. If it is possible to maintain bare perception without adding a super name it would be a correct view of a manifested composite object.

So, if you try as much as you can to not name the results of causes and conditions in order for it to have a special status in reality still it will not make it ultimately real. In other words, if you try to mentally prevent the result of causes and conditions to come to your mind, this will not help because you cannot do a mental jigsaw dance to see things as composites from causes and conditions only and still grasp at the innate view that solidifies into naming phenomena in order to perceive them. Without this naming element of the innate programming or the benefits of a correct conventional view after enlightenment the imbuing of perceptual orientation would result in mental confusion. It is a very interesting point, isn't it?

If someone assembles a chariot, and you refrain from thinking the word chariot or calling it chariot or assigning chariot to it at all, or you were someone who had never seen it before and therefore did not have the word by not naming it, you are still innately naming it in order to see it. Your ability to name objects is a function of the innate view that is spontaneous.

The Sixteen Emptinesses are now condensed into four classes of emptinesses that serve as a summary of the previous sixteen and are the elements of a tetralemma logical statement of Nagarjuna. His work, hundreds of years before Chandrakirti, would have probably been lost without Chandrakirtis elucidation. They are called the Holy Father and Son in early Indian Buddhism and founders or the Middle Way view that defines the highest Buddhist views of reality. So, the summary states: “It is not realism. It is not nihilism. It is not dualism, and it is not monism. It is not permanent. It is not, not there. It is not two, and it is not one. This is the emptiness of the four extreme positions”.

Point one: Emptiness of entities: “That which is named. In other words, not permanentism”. The first point rejects the relative world of apparent reality as not possessing the marks and signs of reality. This aphorism states the position refuting or denying permanentism or realism. Emptiness of inherent existence is everything perceived inside and outside, whether it is by karmic means or stimulation of the environment or others or by interacting, stimulating the mind, or even by the interaction of the perceptions creating ideas or concepts. You cannot say that everything is nonexistent, and only I exist, or only my ideas, or some philosophical point.

That which is accomplished by the inner and outer sense as well as the products of that and also the products of the products of your thinking is illusory. In other words, if I should think that I should move the chair out there to a different position or sending someone out to move the chair, and when they move the chair a bee stings them. All activities instigated by inner and outer phenomena, as well as the products of that activity, such as somebody else getting stung by a bee, also lack inherent existence from their own side.

Number Two: The Emptiness of Nonentities: “In short, nonentities are all uncomposite phenomena. Nonentities are empty of being nonentities, and this is the emptiness of nonentities, and so the nonentities of these three noncomposite phenomena: Space, pervading all phenomena and thought by schools to be a support for phenomena because it is a nonconforming object. Second, the cessation of the afflictions is considered to be a noncomposite phenomenon. The cessation of the afflictions occurs when there is wisdom realizing selflessness”.

That cessation is something that is by nature without causes or conditions and non-existent. When something such as the delusions that require an innate view as a support is destroyed by wisdom, they cease to exist in a special manner. Since they existed in the past due to the afflictions of the presence of craving and grasping of ordinary mind, there is a memory, "This was a suffering state that I have left, and now I am free." This special cessation is induced by the process that created the correct trajectory to arrive at the place of developing wisdom in the individual. This means that even when everything is done correctly and one arrives at the correct view, even this cessation is illusory, dream-like, and empty. This is very nice, isn’t it?

The third noncomposite phenomena are a class of strange data called ordinary cessation. For example, there is no ox, no elephant, and no snake in this room. Fantasy figments of imagination that are not possible to exist such as the horns or a rabbit or the child of a barren woman, in philosophical argument, are of this category. They are not only nonexistent in ordinary terms but also empty of inherent existence in their supposed existence. In that way, we cannot take refuge in fantasy objects or recreate enlightened beings as a kind of fantasy deity as an alternative to seeing things as they are. Believers in permanentism can fall into this error in their attempt to not listen to the ordinary world and create a fantasy world of their own making to rest and feed their craving mind.

Point Three: Emptiness of the Nature: “The nature of phenomena is that they have no essence. It is called their nature because no one created it. The nature is empty of itself, and this is the emptiness of the nature”. We cannot fall into the error of espousing a belief in the nature of how phenomena exist in reality while still remaining intact in the innate wrong view. Everything that can be named is empty and without the excellent support that you wish to have for your spiritual pride.

Point Four: Emptiness of the Entity that is Other: “Whether or not Buddhas appears in the world, the natural emptiness of all entities is proclaimed to be the entity that is other. Other names for this are the genuine limit and suchness. They are empty of themselves, and this is the emptiness of the entity that is other”. There is no struggle for objects and phenomena such as inner events, ideas, feelings, as well as sky, clouds, mountains, and other persons, and yourself, to exist in reality. Your struggle is to lose the hypnotic trance that holds you to a way of being in your body, mind, world, and cosmos, which is antithetical to how it actually exists. This distorted view is suffering itself. This intense remainder that is the essence of a noncomposite assembly is also empty of inherent existence.

This concludes the commentary by Domo Geshe Rinpoche this 31st day of March 2009 at the Hermitage. This is dedicated for the benefit of all sentient beings to ease their confusion and bring joy to the Buddhas and bodhisattvas by praising them in this method.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Reality and Keeping Your Ducks in a Row

Fourteenth in a series. Even though systems such as science, eighteen dharmas, sacred geometry, chakras, and more describe in detail the minute distinctions between abstruse points while defining phenomena, the results of that specialized study and scientific inquiry will not cause what is transitory to be intrinsically real. There are often implied affirmations that the methods are wisdom truth devices that reveal the knowledge of true reality.

Even sophisticated techniques considered secret or esoteric are empty of existence from their own side and are products of arising depending upon other elements, causes, and conditions. So, even if you created a machine that could tap dance on a star while we watched here from earth by magical means, and no one else knows how to do it but you, still it is empty of inherent existence from its own side. It is a product depending upon other elements, causes, and conditions.

Great Sage Chandrakirti states in his analysis to ascertain reality point fourteen -Emptiness of Defining Characteristics: “All composite and uncomposite phenomena have their own individual defining characteristics. These are empty of being themselves. This is the emptiness of defining characteristics”.

The discriminations you place on what is real and what is unreal still depends on your point of view of either a materialistic or spiritual nature while you are within the grasp of the innate view. This view that take the transitory and illusory to be real cannot even hold the advanced view of the composite and uncomposite simultaneously without mixing the characteristics that make them unique in manifestation. This attempt to synthesize a new view of compounded phenomena by making it like an uncompounded manifestation creates confusion that solidifies into attitudes such as thinking that reality arise into form by unusual methods while still under the influence of and relying on the innate view.

Nirvana or cessation and space are considered to be examples of uncompounded phenomena and are also empty of inherent existence even though they are not considered to have parts. So, composite and uncomposite phenomena have a common valuation in their lack of true reality but still remain valid in manifestation for the one holding the correct conventional view. Rather than the removal of all irritations and elements of suffering, true correct view sees the emptiness of phenomena without disrespecting it.

Point number Fifteen: Emptiness of the Imperceptible: “The present does not remain. The past and future do not exist; wherever you look, you cannot see them, so the three times are called imperceptible. The imperceptible is in essence empty of itself. It is neither permanent and stable nor impermanent and fleeting. This is the emptiness of the imperceptible”.

Looking for the present moment presents a difficulty, as there seems to be no dividing of time small enough to hold it! When you look at this more carefully, the past and future press upon and seem to consume the present. However, if we shift our approach, we can perceive a flowing current of nows that exist in and through us and through all of creation. This feeling is extraordinarily pleasant and heals all anxiety and stress. This should be the normal method of ordinary humans interacting with others and in their environment. Actions can be performed effortlessly. This is a more careful relationship with the human innate view.

Even then, mistaking what is changeable and impermanent to be a permanent state, the adherent of the flow of pleasant now, can solidify and grasp toward happiness or crave the pleasant feeling and miss the transformation that is needed for evolutionary development. Because it is based in the defective view, the precarious position can be shaken by events and that one can become angry and disappointed that their peace was disturbed, blaming and struggling to regain what now exists in the past. However, once the innate view is dismantled, the easy flow of now becomes natural because of perceiving the lack of intrinsic reality of the now.

As for the analysis, the past, by definition, is gone, and the future, by definition, has not yet arrived, and the present slips by so fast that by the time you have found this now, it is past! This traditional inquiry is done in order to deflate our false sense of security that causes us to believe that time is the excellent support for the craving mind to perform its restless activities. Without grasping toward time, all the structures that depend on time collapse carefully.

Further, for the less mature, it is suggested that the preliminary inquiry into time include a sense of the truly unsteady and transitory nature of time by its own actions. That means the perception of time is unreasonably flexible, allowing attitudes such as time bestowing happiness to enjoy life ending too soon or time causing our suffering to go on and on endlessly without a hope that time will release its grasp on us so suffering will end. This solidification of perception of time gives strength to the innate view that creates the baseline suffering of holding back change or momentary change. Even in happiness the grasping and clinging to events combined with time tries to prevent change and that suffering is real to the innate view holder.

All of the possible relationships toward the linear, event based, life process are convenient fictions to mark the passage that begins with birth and end in death in the human realm. Time as a perceptual construct, that cannot be perceived, is accomplished by making only a small amount of effort. To be so easily penetrated by ordinary analysis validates Chandrakirtis view as time being imperceptible. That evanescent imperceptible quality does not imbue it with a transcendent reality. Quite the opposite, it is a fancy frill of civilizations decline. To be continued….

Monday, March 30, 2009

Reality and Early Science Systems

Thirteen in a series. One of the obstacles to understanding reality is that your grasping is attached to your innate view that binds it to a compulsion to see it as real. It is then you will attempt to subjugate the analysis of ascertaining reality to your present understanding of your innate view as a demand for reality to be understood filtered through your innate view that you are not willing to give up.

There is no transitional view to the emptiness of true nature. We cannot present a semi-truth other than the words that I use and what you are experiencing while reading these words that explain the nature of what you have not yet understood. This also includes the movement of your mind and thinking about how you feel about the experience "Well, I would like, and then it must…no, it is not that, and then oh, well I cannot…."

This activity of perception stimulating mental and energetic structures acts as a transitional view toward your understanding the nature of all phenomena, but the defining factor for the correct view is that you either have it or you do not have it. There is no semi-correct view. You do not almost have the correct view. You either have it or you do not have it.

Once we begin serious study of the emptiness of true nature the nature of reality still remains beyond the grasp of the innate view during the study. You are either going to get it, or you do not have it. However, now you know that there is something called the correct view that exists beyond the confusion and that clarity is what you need to have in order to end suffering.


Students might correctly question here whether understandings that are transitional views are okay to stabilize energetically. The answer is yes, so that your energetic being on various levels has time to work with that and come into alignment with that understanding before you ask it to move again into further states of alignment toward a transformational event. For example, if we were given the task of moving a mountain, we would not try to drag the mountain by, say, getting the tractor out and trying to drag the mountain, but in fact we might even take the mountain apart bit by bit. That is what I might do, and then you would need to take the parts, and reassemble it in another location. However, if you really had to move the whole mountain at once, I would get a very, very big tractor, and I would move it very, very slowly. I might let the mountain rest in between movements, and like that is stabilization of energies to new ways of being.

Chandrakirti analysis to induce shunyata, point number Thirteen: Emptiness of all Phenomena: “The eighteen potentials, the six types of contact, and from those six, the six types of feelings; furthermore, all that is form and all that is not, the composite and the uncomposite, this comprises all phenomena”.

Early materialistic Hindu philosophy moving toward a more inner view of manifestation developed a system to describe the physical world and its interaction with the inner subtle manifestation of the person. This information is easy to find elsewhere so only a brief description is needed here for the benefit of the analysis. The eighteen elements include the twelve sense bases. The eighteen elements are six triads of elements where each triad is composed of a sense object, the external sense bases, a sense organ, the internal sense bases, and the associated sense organ consciousness moving in changing relationships with each other. In other words, the eighteen elements are made of up twelve sense bases and the six related sense consciousnesses that describe all possibilities.

This analytical point of view presented by Chandrakirti to gain understanding of reality is an early scientific tool even more sophisticated than contemporary science because it includes the inner perceptions as well as the outer world. The eighteen potentials, the six types of contact, all that is form and all that is not form, the composite and uncomposite (a new view), this comprises and describes all phenomena. Although these systems are complex and give a supramundane view to substitute for a less sophisticated view that it replaced, we should not take them as describing true reality, but as a description of a system. It is a method of seeing all things as comprised of the eighteen elements in a dynamic relationship with the various sense bases and the six contacts. The Buddha, Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, and others, have refuted carefully these as descriptions of reality as empty and not the excellent basis for your grasping.

Another system developed and still used in Buddhism is twelve links of interdependent origination, another dynamic system using causes and conditions beyond human life span to describe the coming into being, growth, changes and decay of a living being. The description of the physical world is only used as it relate to the chain of becoming that is a description of suffering.

In regard to point thirteen of the analysis, someone might say, "Okay, so the phenomena in the form that they are appearing to me, such as a post or a cup, let us just say that I agree with you, Rinpoche that this is empty, just for argument's sake, but in fact there have been philosophers that have very carefully thought about these things and have stated that, of course the world is not what it appears to be! Do not be silly, Rinpoche. I have spent twelve years studying, and I am an adept in understanding the nature of reality based upon how it actually appears as an interaction of the eighteen elements in relation to the inner bases, so my system is correct to say that phenomena do not appears in the way that we think they do. They appear as objects and results of the eighteen elements. Reality is described as a combination of the eighteen elements.

This would actually not address point thirteen as Chandrakirti here is only opening the discussion that will be addressed in point fourteen. Here we already have controversies whether the system is defining phenomena or going beyond that permission and leading others to rely on them as reality descriptions. I call these systems quantifiers. I might find it useful to know how long my nose is and count my fingers, but does that help me know my true nature? Many believe that if they only had time to enter into a course of study such as the eighteen potentials, they would be able to understand the nature of reality. This is uneducated faith toward what will not satisfy. For those who actually do enter study the adherents of various systems become convinced that their system is a superior one for discovering reality when it is only science describing phenomena. Another system is the plexes of the chakras or centers. Does the chakra system talk about the inherent nonexistence of the chakra system? Heavens no!

That is what scholars say, “If you only could understand the eighteen potentials, if I could take an hour or two of your time, Rinpoche, to discuss the eighteen potentials, I am sure that you would have a better grasp on the nature of reality, because the eighteen potentials is the system that will help you understand that." It is only a system, and not the excellent basis for your grasping.

Many people in spiritual process today believe that there is something about the nature of reality and truth that has something to do with the chakras and it does not!! This is a system created for methods for purification, and it is actually part of the present Buddhist training that you are receiving. That is not to be discarded. However, when you received the training regarding the chakras by some, you are given to believe that they actually exist in true reality in a way that is consonant with the system, when in fact it does not. It is better to view them as tools and not worship the system as being the excellent support for the grasping of your innate view. To be continued…

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Reality and Your Religious Bell

Twelfth in a series There are virtuous objects that are connected to preparation practices for transformation such as Buddha statues, holy texts, and one's lama guiding your progress. Other phenomena not to be discarded are bodhichitta motivation, your meditation practice, and taking responsibility for what you have promised and are able to accomplish in virtue such as Dharma service.

This begins the commentary of point number Eleven, of twenty emptinesses analysis to ascertain reality by Chandrakirti. Emptiness of what should not be discarded. “What should not be discarded is empty of itself since this emptiness is its very nature. It is spoken of as the emptiness of what should not be discarded”.

During analysis or eventually while meditating you are expected to enter into perceptual dissolution, the state without foundation which is closer to how things actually exist in their own nature. The fact that they do exist in the conventional sense continues to act as a support of your innate confusion, and that confusion as to how they exist should be removed. You will then be capable of learning other things, not because you remain in that state without a foundation. Did anybody think that enlightenment is a state with no foundation? One arises in the enlightened state! I think even normal philosophical inquiry sometimes produces different sensations in the body, mind and energetic system when new logic undermines current understandings.

These and other objects that assist your practice should be regarded as treasures connected to your virtuous karma and are not to be discarded out of a sense that, because they are holy and connected to the path to reality, they should be abandoned out of an intellectual understanding of the empty nature of outer and inner objects. These objects such as your mentor and also mental constructs, such as bodhichitta, are victoriously empty of inherent existence. They are victoriously empty of inherent existence. Most of them glow with inner aliveness and encouragement toward the correct view.

Even when your immature practice tries to solidify them, these forms persist in being correct objects of virtue toward the transformed state. These precious objects are held in esteem and do not enter a kind of grinding up of all phenomena in order to decay them to arrive at the knowledge of their lack of inherent existence from their own side. This is because they are already producing a kind of effect toward the correct view, being themselves correct objects of virtue. This also applies to bodhichitta motivation and other states of mind that are helping you toward the transformed state. However, they are also empty of the very thing that holds you away from understanding their true nature as empty of inherent existence.

They are uncontaminated in the way that consecration by means of emptiness holds them from being abused in their function. This is why even in the monasteries; they reconsecrate everything on a regular basis. They do something called rabnye to repair the blessing because as time goes on, peoples' innate views energetically change this victorious calling of emptiness. This is why holy places required enlightened beings to visit or to add to the cleansing of holy places. They have to be refreshed in this. Rinpoches are supposed to know this from their training. They are expected to be doing this kind of meditation work when they go to holy places, and they are encouraged to do that for the benefit of living beings coming to holy places.

Precious objects that have been plunged into emptiness to clean and then blessed are held in esteem and do not enter a kind of grinding up or destruction of all phenomena. They are easily perceived as empty. In other words, right now you might be thinking to destroy all inner traces of phenomena (makes chewing sound), it exists, it does not exist (chewing sound). You are phenomena? (chewing sound) I will not give you my respect because you have permanence. But, in order to arrive at the knowledge of their lack of inherent existence from their own side, you do not need to do this because they are objects that are attached to your process of transformation and display their emptiness.

Number Twelve: Emptiness of the True Nature: “The true essence of composite and all other phenomena is pure being. Therefore, neither the students, the solitary realizers, the bodhisattvas, nor the Buddhas, created this essence anew. Therefore, this essence of the composite and so forth is said to be the very nature of phenomena. It itself is empty of itself. This is the emptiness of the true nature”.

All created phenomena arise due to causes and conditions, whether they are virtuous or non virtuous in your estimation. This dependent arising is a feature of Madhyamika Buddhist philosophy and is logically coherent in understanding how the world and its contents arise. Our work here is not to teach you all of Madhyamika philosophy. You are free to explore the various philosophical positions. However, dependent arising is a very important feature of that and we have discussed dependent arising on numerous occasions.

So, the descriptions of dependent origination explaining how the world and its contents arise is not only coherent in gross manifestation, but it is also consonant with how things exist in higher stages and other realms of existence. At no time does the Madhyamika Prasangika philosophy depart from the microcosmic or macrocosmic ramifications of Chandrakirtis statement. Not only is this essence, that is core to deep wisdom being of Buddhism coherent, it is also consonant. Now, what I mean is that not only does it make logical sense from the ordinary point of view, but it also has a kind of hum in its correct dynamic. Does that make sense?

It is consonant with how things exist in higher stages of development and other realms of existence that also carefully display reality instead of dysfunctional fantasies. In general there is a connection between that which is beyond words and the logic of ordinary human valuation for dwellers of the human realm. This is the connection between reality beyond the barrier of the innate view and human beings interpreting the Madhyamika philosophy to enter valid relationship with higher-level beings such as buddhas. This is done so skillfully by Chandrakirti and others, so that the emerging meditator can come into alignment with correct human valuation of Buddhist learning and thereby enters into emptiness and then into union with the Buddha awakened ones via the human realm.

Regarding the actual way that phenomena exist in its generalized form, it has the flaccid and unsatisfactory element that you in your grasping are trying to apply your view of it as real. Its actual nature remains beyond the grasp of the innate view that takes the transitory, unstable and temporary to be ultimately real. The path of dharma to the perfected state will not be subjugated to the inferior view that you grasp toward and remains empty. To be continued…