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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Recipe for Enlightenment (part two)

Before Tibetan teachers came to America, there were Buddhist teachers of other traditions; the Zen tradition, as well as from Sri Lanka, Burma, Viet Nam, and other places, who came to the West to teach. Even one hundred years ago, there were Buddhist teachers who came to America telling people about the nature of peace and goodness. They shared their cultural adaptations of ancient Buddhism and told the story of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni's enlightenment, so the transmission of Buddhism is not something that has just happened recently.

Before Buddhism came to the West, it went from India to China, Japan, Tibet, as well as many other countries. How marvelous, how wonderful that the sayings and teachings of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni were preserved and written and made available in recipe form for 2,500 years. That is a very long time to maintain and preserve a lineage of teachings. Part of the recipe for enlightenment is contained within the preservation and dissemination of the teachings, isn't that so?

Even with the presence of Buddhism in the West, it was often associated with the needs of Oriental immigrants and was unusual for ordinary people to study or practice. When the Tibetan teachers came to the West, there was a convergence of political unfairness perpetrated on Tibet by China, combined with peoples need to have the recipe for enlightenment offered by the Lamas of Tibet. There was something that Western people wanted, and the Tibetan tradition had something that caused people to want not just Buddhism, but they wanted to experience and be part of the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism as a political statement. This also means that the dissemination of Tibetan Buddhism very much welcomed non-Orientals as students rather than primarily serving their countrymen in a foreign country.

The descriptions of the enlightened state in the scriptures will definitely make your mouth water to taste enlightenment. Commentary and Buddhist poetry over thousands of years have touched and awakened myriad beings to want to experience and taste the enlightened state. We not only experienced the rare and lovely in the sayings of the Buddha and the direct teachings, but also in the commentaries written by those who were in love with inner development. They preserved the teachings in poetic form, prayers, art, music, chant, sculpture, and dance, which gave energetic, experiential feeling to the words.

Any recipe is comprised of ingredients as well as process. To gain best results we want to examine first the ingredients. Are they in the form that they need to be in for this recipe for enlightenment? Some ingredients for this recipe might need to be processed in other ways before they can be used. Perhaps the vital ingredient first needs to be pickled or marinated before it can be used in combination with other ingredients.

Some recipes call for the ingredient to be melted such as butter. Some might need to be absolutely fresh, whereas others need to be dried, such as chilies; or soaked, such as beans. Some ingredients even need to be ground up and become unrecognizable from their original form, such as wheat or cornmeal.

Like that, the meditator needs to have special states of mind prepared by using other kinds of meditations. One of these is cogitation meditation that takes a subject statement such as “I rejoice in the good deeds of others.” You then bring in examples from your own life, your experiences, and experiences of others without straying from the subject. This is done until the mind changes into a new valuation regarding that concept.

These various states of mind need to be prepared in other meditations so that you can recall them in order to use them in the main meditation. These are meditations comprised of all sidebars like reading a newspaper or magazine article, these are the sidebars of meditation but is not actually part of the main meditation. In doing careful cogitation meditation there is thinking regarding a particular issue by making this a subject of its own meditation time. That means there is an enfoldment of prepared ideas applied toward the main meditation rather than thinking about these during transformative meditation time, the main meditation time. The enfoldment of a completed cogitation ingredient allows the perfume to come forth in meditation.

The ordinary thinking is to have an idea, then you follow that to another idea, then link it out here and out there until you are no longer actually meditating on a particular issue, but just following your train of thought. This is not correct. It might not seem possible to do it another way because you think that you know what you think. You are right there with your own mind. Your mind and you are in continuous connection. The correct method however, is to unfold or unpack how you actually believe an issue to exist. You are ruminating in order to uncover what you actually think in order to change it to a more careful view.

This is very careful work and it must be done without fear. You want to understand what you think about a particular issue, for example karma; cause, and effect. “What do I know about cause and effect? What are the issues surrounding my understanding of cause and effect?” Like that, you begin to discover either how much you know or how little you know about a subject that is supposed to be part of your meditation already so that other states of clarity can arise based on your realizations.

This thinking strongly will facilitate the breakdown of strange logic held energetically and causing you suffering. This kind of rumination or cogitation should not be done by pushing or creating pressure on the mind. It is a gentle, genuine wish to understand what it is that you are actually thinking. Should you push, you might make your mind afraid, and then it is going to run and hide, and it is never going to tell you what it thinks. To be continued….

Friday, May 1, 2009

Recipe for Enlightenment (part one)

I have been thinking about cooking lately and looking through my recipes trying new combinations. Living out in the countryside as I do, surrounded by hay fields and mooing cows off in the distance, getting  exotic ingredients is impossible. I often substitute what I have, lots of fresh eggs, goat and cow milk, and herbs from the garden for ingredients that we can only order on the Internet. While digging in the cupboard to make something new, it occurred to me how very similar meditation is to cooking. Over the next several days I would like to share my musings with you.
You know, in Tibet, I do not recall that we ever followed recipes, but perhaps that was because I never cooked. In the monastery, we ate the food provided and upon arriving in America in the mid 70’s, I discovered creativity in the kitchen that made me somewhat famous with my students at that time. Some even encouraged me to write a cookbook. However, It is only here in my new life, since May of 2000, that I have discovered the fun of recipes; about the same time I discovered the fun of the Internet. I have spent long and happy hours searching the Internet for recipes, of which I only made, perhaps two things. On one Internet site, it is possible to enter the ingredients you have on hand and they will tell you whether you can make something out of those ingredients. That makes me laugh because this is very much like some peoples' spiritual practices. "Lord God, this is who I am. Take me, and make the best out of me because I am not going to change."
The analogy between meditation and food is interesting because they are both about nutrition. Perhaps you have heard about a special formula, recipe, or shall we say strategy, for enlightenment. I wonder why would you be interested in making this particular dish, or recipe for enlightenment. Perhaps you heard it was unusually delicious, and friends have been raving about how wonderful it is. You know, there is great enthusiasm for chocolate chip cookies; nearly everyone has a chocolate chip cookie recipe that is absolutely the most wonderful chocolate chip cookie in the world etc etc…. Like that, many are seeking the ultimate delicious chocolate chip cookie of spiritual experience, the ultimate wonderful. So, over a very long time, people not only have been telling each other how wonderful this recipe for enlightenment is, but they have also been writing about it. They have been writing it down, and placing it in the form of commentary and scriptures for a very, very long time.
I think everyone has times when they crave not just food, but a particular food and nothing else will satisfy them. Similarly, people heard about the powerful benefits of Buddhist practice long before Tibetan teachers arrived in America because folks had already read about those wonders in books. In my just before life, when I lived in Upstate New York, I had people come who had read The Way of the White Clouds by Anagarika Govinda that was written in the 1950’s and were interested in meeting the person that was mentioned or written about in that book. I hear that for a number of seekers this was their introduction to Tibetan Buddhism and they were on fire with a pent up need to know more. Some were gourmets, some were gourmands, and some were omnivores. They wanted something, and I must say that sometimes their discrimination was not that good, so they might have been eating chocolate cake and chili dogs and gotten an upset stomach.

However, all of them were starving for spiritual sustenance, back in the mid-1970’s. People were hungry, and even in the 80’s, they still wanted something important to chew on. They were enthusiastic, happy and excited, and displayed very little of the kind of spiritual pride that arose in the 90’s and up to the present time that I sometimes see. They would come from long distances to listen to a Buddhism teaching, witness a sand mandala being made, or monks doing chanting in some high school gymnasium. Now a friend might ask, "Do you want to come to a Dharma discourse? It is just around the corner," and they reply, "Oh, that's okay. Been there, done that." Many people are feeling like they are not hungry. However, many still have the same intensity and hungry enthusiasm of the early 1970s even though Buddhism is now more accessible and commonplace.

That reminds me of experiences that I had in my before when I lived in India after leaving Tibet. From time to time young people came to see me in my monastery in Kalimpong looking for spiritual guidance. I think some were probably smoking marijuana before they arrived at my door because they were very languid. They had some expectations of what or who they were going to see, some Rinpoche, and maybe they would even remember our name afterward. I am sorry, I should not talk like that, however, I have had so people come to me and say, "I met some Rinpoche, I cannot remember their name.” They would come to us, quite certain that we could help them learn how to fly, or if we just glanced at them, they would enter into Nirvana without making any effort at all. I have so many stories I have not even begun to relate regarding the expectations of people in those earlier days. There was no recipe for enlightenment. It was just, "Give me something I can feel. Give me something that I can take home with me and say that I have had an experience when I went to India." To be continued…
Ein Rezept für die Erleuchtung (Teil Eins)
In letzter Zeit habe ich oft ans Kochen gedacht und meine Rezepte studiert, um neue Kombinationen auszuprobieren. Wenn man wie ich auf dem Land wohnt, umgeben von Feldern und aus der Ferne muhenden Kühen, ist es unmöglich exotische Zutaten zu bekommen. Oft ersetze ich Zutaten, die man nur übers Internet bestellen könnte, mit dem was ich habe, viel frischen Eiern, Ziegen- und Kuhmilch und Kräuter aus dem Garten. Während ich im Schrank herumsuchte, weil ich etwas Neues kochen wollte, kam mir in den Sinn, wie ähnlich die Meditation dem Kochen ist. In den nächsten Tagen würde ich meine Ideen gerne mit euch teilen.
Wisst ihr, ich kann mich nicht daran erinnern, dass wir in Tibet Rezepte befolgten, aber vielleicht liegt das daran, dass ich dort nie gekocht habe. Im Kloster aßen wir das Essen, das man uns vorsetzte und als ich Mitte der 70er Jahre in Amerika eintraf, entdeckte ich meine Kreativität in der Küche, was bei meinen damaligen Schülern sehr gut ankam. Einige ermutigten mich sogar, ein Kochbuch zu schreiben. Aber ich habe erst in meinem neuen Leben seit Mai 2000 den Spaß an Rezepten entdeckt, ungefähr zur selben Zeit wie den Spaß am Internet. Ich habe viele glückliche Stunden damit zugebracht, im Internet nach Rezepten zu suchen, von denen ich vielleicht erst zwei gekocht habe. Es gibt eine Webseite, wo man die Zutaten eingeben kann, die man vorrätig hat und die dir sagt, ob du etwas daraus machen kannst. Darüber muss ich lachen, denn es ähnelt sehr den spirituellen Praktiken mancher Leute. ‚Herrgott, so bin ich nun mal. Nimm mich und mach das Beste daraus, weil ich mich nicht verändern werde.’
Die Analogie zwischen Meditation und Essen ist interessant, weil es bei Beiden um Nahrung geht. Vielleicht habt ihr von einer besonderen Formel gehört, einem Rezept oder sagen wir, einer Strategie für die Erleuchtung. Ich frage mich, warum ihr Interesse daran hättet, dieses bestimmte Gericht oder Rezept für die Erleuchtung zuzubereiten? Vielleicht habt ihr gehört, dass es außergewöhnlich lecker sei und Freunde haben, davon geschwärmt, wie wunderbar es ist. Wie ihr wisst sind Chocolate Chip Cookies unheimlich beliebt; fast jeder hat ein Rezept für sie, für die absolut besten Chocolate Chip Cookies der Welt, etc. ... Ähnlich suchen viele nach dem absolut leckersten Chocolate Chip Cookie der spirituellen Erfahrung, dem ultimativen, wunderbarsten. So haben die Menschen einander seit langer Zeit nicht nur von diesem wunderbaren Rezept für die Erleuchtung erzählt, sie haben auch darüber geschrieben. Sie haben es aufgeschrieben und seit langer, langer Zeit in die Form von Kommentaren und Schriften gebracht.
Ich glaube, es gibt für jeden eine Zeit, wo er nicht nur nach Nahrung verlangt, sondern nach einer besonderen Nahrung, und wo nichts anderes sein Bedürfnis stillen kann. Auf ähnliche Weise haben die Menschen lange vor der Ankunft von tibetischen Lehrern in Amerika von den machtvollen Vorzügen der buddhistischen Praxis gehört, weil sie schon in Büchern von diesen Wundern gelesen hatten. In meinem vorigen Leben, als ich in Upstate New York lebte, kamen Leute zu mir, die Der Weg der weißen Wolken von Anagarika Govinda gelesen hatten, das in den 50er Jahren geschrieben worden war, und sie wollten gern die Person treffen, die in dem Buch erwähnt oder beschrieben war. Für einige dieser Suchenden war dies ihre Einführung in den tibetischen Buddhismus und sie standen in Flammen und platzten vor Neugier, mehr zu erfahren. Unter ihnen waren Feinschmecker, Vielfraße und Allesfresser. Sie wollten etwas und ich muss sagen, manchmal war ihre Unterscheidungskraft nicht sehr gut, so dass sie vielleicht Schokoladenkuchen mit Chiliwürstchen aßen und sich den Magen verdarben.
Jedenfalls waren damals in den mitt-70ern alle ausgehungert nach spiritueller Nahrung. Die Leute waren hungrig, und selbst in den 80ern wollten sie noch an wichtigen Themen herumknabbern. Sie waren begeistert, glücklich und angeregt und stellten nur wenig von dem spirituellen Stolz zur Schau, den ich manchmal bemerke, welcher in den 90ern aufkam und bis heute anhält. Sie kamen von weit her, um eine buddhistische Unterweisung zu hören, zu sehen wie ein Sandmandala kreiert wurde, oder um Mönchen beim Chanten in der Turnhalle irgeneines Gymnasiums zuzuhören. Heute fragt sie vielleicht ein Freund: ‚Hast Du Lust zu einer Dharmaerläuterung mitzukommen? Ist gleich um die Ecke.‘ und die Antwort lautet: ‘Ach, schon gut. Hab ich schon mal gemacht.‘ Viele Leute verspüren keinen Hunger. Jedoch gibt es noch viele mit derselben Intensität und hungrigen Begeisterung aus den frühen 70er Jahren, obwohl der Buddhismus heute viel zugänglicher und weiter verbreitet ist.
Das erinnert mich an Erfahrungen aus meinem vorigen Leben als ich Tibet verlassen hatte und in Indien lebte. Von Zeit zu Zeit kamen mich junge Leute in meinem Kloster in Kalimpong besuchen, die spirituelle Führung suchten. Ich glaube, manche von ihnen hatten wahrscheinlich Marihuana geraucht bevor sie bei mir ankamen, denn sie waren sehr träge. Sie hatten irgendwelche Erwartungen, wen oder was sie sehen würden, irgendeinen Rinpoche, und vielleicht konnten sie sich hinterher sogar noch an unseren Namen erinnern. Es tut mir leid, ich sollte das nicht sagen, aber zu mir sind schon Leute gekommen, die gesagt haben: ‚Ich habe irgendeinen Rinpoche getroffen, ich kann mich nicht an den Namen erinnern.‘ Sie kamen zu uns und waren sich ziemlich sicher, dass wir ihnen das Fliegen beibringen würden, oder dass sie ohne irgendeine Anstrengung zu machen ins Nirwana eingehen könnten, wenn wir sie nur anschauten. Ich habe noch nicht mal damit angefangen die vielen Geschichten zu erzählen, die es über die Erwartungen der Leute in diesen frühen Tagen gibt. Es gab kein Rezept für die Erleuchtung. Es hieß nur: ‚Gib mir etwas, das ich fühlen kann. Gib mir etwas, dass ich mit heimnehmen kann, um zu sagen, ich hatte ein Erlebnis als ich in Indien war.‘ Fortsetzung folgt...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Dumbing Down of Our True Nature (part eight)

Many human perceptions are related to and give rise to feelings of solidity and permanence of the human experience. This is good! Before I said it was bad. Now I say this feeling of solidity is good. This is because it helps the actual beings emanated form, which is you, to take more seriously the work of preparation needed for transformation.
By your experiences created through your senses and consciousness, you become capable of deeper understanding that you need to change and learn. The heaviness and sense of suffering, both subtle and manifest, should alert you to the dilemma and cause you to seek methods to become free. If you had no suffering, you would not want to leave, but leave you must.

Therefore, we must overcome the innate view programming and awaken to another way of being; the next stage of the journey to perfection, our actual home. Now we understand more clearly that we do not want to damage the innate view prematurely on our way to the transformed state. If there is too sudden a shift in a person who is unprepared, there might be energetic disruption from pushing too hard. The inner and outer nerves can become shaky and damaged in ways that are difficult to heal. That is why there are injunctions in tantric vows forbidding teaching emptiness to someone who does not have the necessary preparations to understand. This means giving the inner pointing out, not introduction to the concepts.

Especially in the West, information regarding emptiness is so available and there is so much misinformation, it is probably good to have frank discussions. In the safe method of inner and outer preparation for enlightenment, information and guidance regarding the correct conventional view carefully changes the perceptions we hold toward the world. The mature intellectual view combined with compassion training and altruistic motivation will improve and heal our relationships with others, toward our self, and toward our place in the world. It also changes how we think about what is most valuable by eliminating behaviors that bring harm to the inner actual being. We become enthusiastic in efforts to make careful choices in how to spend our precious time, placing meditation and private time for contemplation as a necessity and not just a luxury if there is extra leisure. Most importantly, we develop an emerging sense of the value to use these new methods to gather healthy experiences we will need in the preparation for coming alive.

The initiation ceremony is an introduction to a valid dynamic with reality. Meditations done correctly, gradually make your perceptions pliable and receptive to the actual practice coming to the subtle mind or actual being. These energetic teachings in Vajrayana Buddhism are considered to be from the self-arisen Tantras, the teachings of transformation from reality as guided by inner mentor.

There will be perceptions associated with the innate view programming that will decay naturally from disuse, as you will not believe they are as valid. When you are not leaning on your perceptions of solidity as strongly, they naturally begin to decay. Perhaps sometime you wondered, “Well, why don't I believe that anymore when it was something that was so important to me?” You have already experienced many changes in perceptions in your life. It is like believing in Santa Claus, and now you no longer believe in Santa Claus. Even if they push your face in the dirt, you will not say uncle and believe in Santa Claus again. Once a perception has definitively changed it is very difficult to lie to yourself and say you believe the immature view once it is destroyed. Just like that, the intellectual and then the various levels of energetic perception become the minor breakthroughs needed in preparation for transformation!

There will also be a liquefying of certain perceptions rather than an abandonment that will cause you to lose interest in many dynamics that previously were very important to you. This is not disuse; this is liquefying, it is melted. There are various kinds of melting; this is about melting of perceptions that do not return because they are no longer needed. From the blessing process that can only come from inner mentor and your inner process, healthy new perceptions will be added. From inner minds connected to valid states through the increasingly denser vibrational levels, the energetic alivement moves until even the ordinary human mind is awakened. This will happen in dreams for a long time before the conscious outer mind becomes aware.

More importantly, the meditator no longer believes in the induced fiction that they are the one. The actual being, the one that was alive before you were born and will still be alive after you pass away is the one who is on the evolutionary journey. You are a temporary being emanated by the actual being that is in the location of the deepest development inner mind. You are illusory because you perform actions that correspond to inner actions without knowing that. You are dreamlike because you are alive within the mind of the actual being that is still unaware of yet higher being. You are not the one you think you are because the cues and clues of orientation in your world are not about you. You are not even the one that is alive, the actual being is the real you. That is the one on the evolutionary journey. This is why the inner-based view is more powerful than the outer-based view because most of the confusions are attached to the outer being, when actually they are nothing at all. They are nothing at all.

This quantum shift in perception from outer importance to value placed on inner being facilitates the correct relationship to arise with your own actual being. This is an important part of what is called the actual practice, the real practice. This energetic process of healing, growth, and the extremely important inner organization occurs within the actual being. You, as the caretaker while in the human realm then understand that the actual being, the real you inside, cannot make the necessary changes unless you facilitate it by admiring the enlightened state and wishing to leave the suffering state.

While meditating, do not attempt to seek pleasing yourself in order to achieve the feel-good feeling as a goal of the practice. Instead, think of that time as belonging to the actual being that needs time for this energetic healing who is preparing for the next stage of its life process. "I did not feel peace in my meditation today. Something is wrong. I think I will give up this practice because I did not get peace coming." Do not be like that!

When all of these powerful attitudes become connected to the Great Wish to be of benefit to all living beings, the inner being becomes a candidate for bodhisattva training. The minimum standard for bodhisattvas, real bodhisattvas, is awakening the mind of enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings and understanding that the human realm is illusory. Bodhisattvas only actually exist after enlightenment, so we say becomes a candidate for bodhisattvahood. Eventually, the actual inner being, now a bodhisattva hero, enters into a valid relationship with all living beings as a fully awakened Buddha Conqueror. The Buddhas hold the vision and spontaneous skills in methods that are expressions of energetic completions only when all living beings are free and safe in the perfected state. The end.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Dumbing Down of Our True Nature (part seven)

Using practical efforts to help others transform to the enlightened state, Buddhism sometimes changes into a system that attempts to erode the superstructure of the ego. This does not work as well as it should because the punishment of the ego will usually cause it to submerge, change or to adapt to the harsh methods to destroy it. You actually cannot crush the ego. The mind is very tricky and changeable, and so it remains, in spite of efforts to destroy it. However, it can very easily morph into a disgusting display of impoverished self-degradation that is totally fake. It is scary to watch a person attempt to control their ego by hiding self-cherishing in humility. They can even be hiding it from themselves.

The ego is suffering and needs to be separated from the overactive, over stimulated, and unaligned energetic state of confusion. The self-cherishing that is a feature of unenlightened existence as well as inappropriate pride need to be destroyed in order to be rescued from the suffering imprisoned state. The ego, a kind of organizational principle, needs to be healthy, flexible, and strong enough to withstand and flow with the rigors for preparation for transformation. The beaten down ego is useless!

Self-cherishing that holds I, me and mine as supreme receivers of all benefit and relating all events from that central position is gradually replaced by greater and greater concern for others. This is the systematic training of the Mahayana, the awakening of altruistic compassion. As a practitioner becomes more aligned toward what they will become in their next stage of development in the future, the veils and barriers that hold them into a particular view of solidity begin to erode. The meditator begins to experience both inside and outside, forms, colors, feelings, as well as energetic movements that do not seem to relate to the human experience. The gradual adaptation to an expanded view is done in meditation and not by becoming fascinated with these awarnesses as psychic powers to be used.

The innate view that classic Buddhist philosophy describes as taking the unreal to be real also takes the more subtle to be unreal. It functions as blinders to the myriad forms of life surrounding the individual. This is a ramification of the simplified parameters of the hypnotic programming called the innate view.

When the innate view is beginning to erode, that person very much needs a mentor to explain and to introduce the perceptual orientation from a new viewpoint. A transitional being that the human practitioner is becoming inside also needs to keep a good balance while they are gaining new understanding. The changes that they are experiencing are part of a natural and organic process of transformation. This natural process of evolutionary development is facilitated and guided from the outside by the enlightened mentor who has already been through the process. From the interior, where the Great Path continues, guidance developed by perfection itself in its compassion form of enlightened beings such as deity and inner and outer mentor will help the meditator.

So, how does the innate view help you in this evolutionary development? It helps by imprinting deliberately simplified parameters. Perhaps you think human life is complex but it is not! You live in a simple world, a very simple world. Deliberately simplified parameters allow the person in preparation for transformation to another way of being to learn small and careful lessons without distraction. That is why highly evolved practitioners seek to be reborn in the human realm. There are yogic practices specially developed for human practitioners who pass away before they complete training and are reborn here to gain proficiency in skills needed for the next phase of their development!

The completion stage of the advanced practitioner requires lifetimes that cause them to return to practice as well as benefiting others as part of that practice. Many of you are struggling with daily practice in early stages of becoming competent and yet even now you can appreciate the value of the human realm if you find the cultivated methods and teachings to continue practicing the inner yogas. These special yogic practices are for future stages of development. Important practices that inner yogic beings need to accomplish here in the human realm include preparation for actual compassion to arise after enlightenment.

Do you think that this compassion is going to be experienced before enlightenment? That is not possible, however, if preparation is done carefully, the actual compassion arises after enlightenment with further training. This actual compassion arises in order to prepare the new bodhisattva for entry into enlightened society of benefit beings. This higher functioning community needs the newly awakened one to become capable of getting along with many different kinds of beings in order to benefit them in their own process to perfection. Right now, most human beings cannot even get along with themselves, much less myriad other forms of beings. To be continued…

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Dumbing Down of Our True Nature (part six)

A traditional view of escaping the human dysfunctional state is very strong in Buddhist practice and meditation. The study of the workings of the ordinary and the evolving mind is unavoidable if we wish to become free of suffering. Buddha means Awakened One, and the process is literally one of awakening from the dream-like programming to a new alert state called enlightenment. The first stage of enlightenment, as a minimum standard is knowing that the perceptual knot that holds the dream like state to be authentic, is not real.

So, how does the innate view damage evolutionary development? How is the innate view preventing you from being and living right now in a pure land such as heaven or in some Buddha field? The reasons are both complicated and very simple depending on the stage of development of the individual. It is simple because the innate view is deceptive and false for someone who is close to transformation. The inner signs of impending transmutation inside become more real than how the world appears. If the meditator is careful and does not return to ordinary mind thinking they have found the goal, they will experience the event of enlightenment or awakening effortlessly.

On the other hand, evolutionary transformation is complicated for someone who has become enmeshed in karma and its consequences compelling suffering rebirths and is unable to gain enough freedom to think clearly. Confusion regarding how you are alive can divert your precious life toward goals and desires that are based on cyclic continuity of births and making decisions that will continue that. Further, due to these, the person will develop likes and dislikes based on confusions and develop obstacles to transformation, leading to the unhappy result that they cannot understand the preparation instructions to transformation when they are offered.

These issues are among the traditional problems associated with learning our True Nature. Another one is forgetting the instructions. Sadly, there are many people so enmeshed in suffering of many kinds that, not only do they not understand the instructions, but also they do not have an opportunity to receive these important preparation instructions for transformation. They are so involved in every day life and trapped in the machinery of their own karmic events, they are not even exposed to the path of preparation. If they do come into contact, because of obscurations or poor development it is meaningless. Poor development can also mean following a path that is not liberating, for example, working very hard to become powerful and able to control many as a goal. This definitely shows how the innate view can exacerbate damage to evolutionary development by seeing oneself and others as separate and unequal.

A student recently questioned, “ I understand Rinpoche, that if the innate view is held in our perceptions, we hold the perceptions of a human being. But if we held the perceptions of being located in the pure land, in fact we would be in the pure land.” It could be so, but that is not necessarily true. On one level of your being, you could have an intellectually held perception of a pure land, but energetically you could be nowhere near actually being a candidate for existing in a pure land. Instead, the location of your actual being could be alive in the energetic equivalent of some drunken bar. If it is not ready to be alive in a higher form, that means it is not prepared.

An important part of preparation is the energetic healing that has to happen in the essence being, the actual being. That is why initiation is bestowed, in order to model the correct dynamics of a new way of being and to facilitate this change and healing. It is also important to set in motion actions and motivations that will produce more beneficial results toward preparation for transformation. This can be done by anyone, whether developed in their innermost being or not. The path is open to all and not just to the pure.

Student: “You said earlier that when we are given the bestowals and become candidates for the human realm, there is a special kind of hypnosis that occurs with the actual being and also with this sense of a human being or this sense of self. Is the hypnosis of the perceptions broken from subtler to gross gradually, or does is it happen all at once?” First of all, the bestowals are not given to you, but to the one interior, the subtle being. To imagine the innate programming as though it is given to the human being is not so useful. That is because you are speaking through the filter of your innate view and still wish to be the one who is the actual alive one when that is not true.

From reality spheres of great compassion and guidance such as pure lands, and from Buddha fields accessed by quantum shifts in direction of our consciousness help arrives, just as we prayed it would. By logic, these changes facilitated in us should and usually do come from the more subtle toward the more gross. Nevertheless, a feature of existence of certain levels of development such as higher Buddhas is the quality of being unlimited. This means the Buddhas are capable of arising in any form and so it is not necessarily from subtler to gross.

Another way that harm can occur is by the innate view becoming too mixed with the teachings of Dharma or religion and become stylized and dry ritual and so the cure becomes a further disfigured dynamic. It is possible that the very pathways for the healing cure and release, can then become a cause for further confusion or suffering. There is also a strong possibility that the individual becomes disappointed in learning about higher spiritual life and winds up believing in nothing.

As we continue to discover how the innate view damages, we notice that it is also possible for the innate programming to become overly strong, too solidified and with too much sense of separation that is unhealthy. In that way, the individual loses the natural ability of the flexible mind to be able to accept the vast understandings of the path to perfection.

Instead, the guiding and sheltering care in the form of permissions to participate in human life should be viewed and used as a delicate employment of principles. “By the power of compassion”; this is how the reincarnate lamas and other awakened benefit beings see their existence in this world. It then becomes like a ballet, a dance, or a theatrical play. To be continued…

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Dumbing Down of Our True Nature (part five)

The innate view seems to be a primary cause of suffering in the human realm and has been given too much credit for its ability to make us suffer, in my opinion. This induced dream was created by a mixture of causes and conditions, and became a karmically caused result. We might see karma as a wrongness that we or others have perpetrated. This is not true, of course, as causes and conditions bring both positive and negative results, isn't that so? In the most basis distillation of the innate view, according to Buddhist synthesizers, is a mistaken inner and outer worldview that takes the transitory and illusory to be real.

However, it is an error to indoctrinate people with a view that everything is bad and wrong due to primal ignorance of true nature and also encourage them to rejoice in appreciation of human life. This will require a closer examination of the innate view to gain a careful understanding of these seemingly contradictory teachings. Very simply, the encoding of the innate view is the price paid for participation in the human realm. This compassionate imprinting is without regard for the reason we need to be here or we are forced to be here. Because the human realm is a specific place, not an example realm or a dream realm, the programming is specific to this realm. Because of this, many aspects of this programming are unique to human life, will do you little or no good in a later transformed state, and are discarded at the time of transformation. During the lifetime or the entry of the individual, they must be naturally connected by, for example, previous karma or induced by design. An ordinary being is an example of the former and an emanation bodhisattva, enlightened spiritual hero, is an example of the latter.

Karmic beings need to be weaned away from the addiction to the programming by becoming mature enough to create a new world view. This comes alive by the strength of an emerging sense of universal responsibility, the heart of the Mahayana or great vehicle of altruistic meaning and actions. It does not matter in this case if the causes within the individual are positive or negative, if they have created an uncontrolled cyclic series of arrivals in the human realm. In other words, we are bound by the attachment to the programming and within that become fascinated by the display of virtue or non-virtue.

The elements of the innate view do not define or demand how the individual world view is experienced and therefore cannot be a cause of the suffering that belongs to the confusion created by inappropriate use of the innate view. To prematurely destroy the foundation of the programming is an act of desperation of the manifestly suffering person wishing to escape the results of their confusion. The preparation for transformation needs to be done gradually by addressing the energetic dysfunctional display that continues to make that one a candidate for the human process. It does not benefit to make them unsuitable for human life without preparation for a proper future environment. This is why the lower Nirvanas are not places of permanent salvation.

Now we can describe some of the points of the programming that are addressed to a preparing individual who is ready to enter higher training.

Number one: There is a separation from others that actually does not exist in the perfected state. The individual is caused to be unaware that at the deeper energetic level of their actual being, he or she is perfection. This is not just a feature of the human realm innate view but is common to all views in all realms. However, in the higher realms, the sense of separation is less than what is experienced in the human realm.

Number two: There is a sense of solidity that gives rise to a different kind of confidence that a structure holds them. Otherwise, we would feel like we were floating. Within this structure, the individual performs actions and enters into different dynamics with other beings that experience a similar sense of solidity. This is correct connection, however in dream states many will experience release from this and float, move instantaneously, fly or experience other sensations while partially disconnected from the innate view. This sense can also be experienced during meditation and actually acts to prepare the meditator in an organic and natural method for a careful and confident transmutation to another way of being.

Number three: There are hypnotic blinders placed on the human mental faculties that prevent you from being alive to vast interior where life is actually experienced and the life force of the human individual resides. Although that appears to be a terrible thing to do and a feeling might arise to break out of this prison, it is more important to become aware that this does exist at this point, rather than damage it.

Number four: The innate view allows the individual to collect information within a simplified system that is linear. This allows beings to perform actions with enough time to make decisions and use an emerging sense of will power according to the values developed by experience and changes already stabilized. These actions, coming from and resulting in exhaustion of appearances are connected to and related to levels of being that are not able to use will power or discrimination. This application of mental functions uses energetic life force as well as creates energetic nutrition for inner levels by manipulation of ideas created by inner and outer events combined with memories.

The physical body has a sophisticated nervous system, part of which acts as a bridge to more subtle minds that can be affected by actions beyond their correct use imprinted by the innate view. For example, the limbic system can hold trauma by being imprinted and programmed. These are not part of the innate view and must be healed so the memories held there are not of distress and confusion but a kind of new knowing in the form of remembering. In the abuse of the innate view, there is workings of karma that bind and solidify further that individual to a confused sense of identity that actually does not exist except as a byproduct of the innate programming.

Number five: The deepest level of your development over a very long time is the actual being that has emanated into the human realm in order to make important changes for further development in the journey to perfection. That inner being is partially active and accessed in the human realm to imbue objects and others with awareness in order to interact and even to see them. This is connected to a primary function of human existence. For example, if I am looking at Jinpa across the room, I cannot see Jinpa unless I see me in Jinpa. After the first moment, I do not actually see Jinpa anymore; I only see me. This is a ramification of the first point, the induced sense of separation, a function of the innate view.

An important activity of the human realm is to seek closeness, perhaps as a consolation for this separateness. For example, a girl and boy fall in love and want to see and be with each other. However, only that very first moment before they even acknowledge that they have seen each other do they actually see each other, or in the Buddhist terminology, experience bare perception. In the second moment and after they only see themselves in the other. It is followed then by interacting with their own projected perception and memory of the first moment.
To be continued…..

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Dumbing Down of Our True Nature (part four)

In the previous column the nature of the inner being that is the real you inside was described. This being is the real practitioner inside; the energetic alive being that is capable of attaining the transformation of enlightenment after considerable preparation. This dramatic and sudden change causes it to transform energetically to another kind of being that has a profound effect on the emanation being, the ordinary person. This change also brings closure to its cycle of lives in the human realm even though its emanated form will continue to live out a human existence. The dramatic change usually causes the transformation to affect the person in the illusory human realm to wake up and become aware of their illusory nature. There should also occur a definitive break with the innate programming of the human realm.

Before that transmutation happens, you might wonder, if that inner one is the real you, then exactly who are you? What is your function? You should become a more careful caretaker and human facilitator of a sensitive process that includes preparation to transform in your actual being. Therefore, within the parameters of the possibilities of transformation in this lifetime, there are elements of the innate view that are important for the caretaker/facilitator to discover and learn.

However, the ordinary person before the inner awakening of enlightenment is not only bound by taking what is illusory to be real but also the defective egoistic view that they are the one. Understanding that the inner life is the actual being that emanates and owns the outer being and not the other way around often has the wonderful effect of a logical incongruity being resolved.

This is the real you that emanated into this human environment but remains in a more subtle form, connected the whole life but distinct from the body and outer mind. Your actual being cannot be here in its present subtle form. In its earlier times, after completing much energetic learning, the preparation for closure from that training place, that karmic realm, and that way of being, required a huge effort. In other words, you were not always a human being. You have lived in many different forms and many different ways of being.

If it completed energetic closure, it is unknown and unknowable if that was like enlightenment in that way of being. That means energetic closure has a barrier as does enlightenment and is generally impenetrable as memory. You are not going to return to being an ordinary suffering human being. You will then be connected to a different kind of being, an actual being that is an enlightened being from the view point of the human realm but not from the view point of perfections care. That energetic closure truly is the closing of a module of the journey.

From the point of view of a previous existence of the actual being, the human realm might be like a heaven realm or a pureland. Perhaps you prayed to the human realm, perhaps a far better place than before, to gain the human realm sphere. Your actual being then became an ordinary candidate for another way of being and received the permissions and bestowals that allowed it to emanate into the human realm for further growth and change according to the Great Path of dharma. The Path and dharma exists in many spheres or realms where living beings arise to experience the results of karma. This karma brings definite results by illusory methods such as participation in dream like realms such as the human realm.

These permissions to enter perceptual realms due to karma are as certain as mathematical results and come at a price. The cost of that permission to participate is the innate view. The cost is a special dream-like state, or hypnotic state, in both the actual being and its emanation, you, in order to participate correctly in a new environment. The human realm is a perceptual realm. That means you are only alive here due to specialized, complex instructions filtered through a set of perceptions that are your personal gateway to live here as a human being. In our Tibetan system, we say a human being is nothing more than a mass of perceptions, but I say it differently here to give you some different ideas to think about. The fact that it is true should not hurt you. To be continued…