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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chemistry of Change last part 12

So, while all of this is going on, while the effects are cascading from the interior, what is happening to your inner being, the real you alive on that other level of reality, during change? What is occurring is the actual being holding that energetic change until other messages come to damage it. It will hold the perceptual change in the inner form of energetic change until contrary communication arrives from you on the outside. The perceptions of your perceptions or how you feel about how you feel with all of the accompanying factors described in earlier columns begin to readjust. If it is not supported by careful behavior and holding away dysfunctional habits, the inner being becomes confused and reverts to an earlier stabilized condition. It does not matter whether that was a healthy condition or not, (usually it is not healthy). The general configuration of the perceptual organization returns to the only position that it can hold with the criteria and the process that it is currently able to experience.

The inner mentor, arrived by transmission, or an aspect of the actual being inner process in a more advanced person, is helping the actual being on its level of reality and knows the transitional stages needed for that particular actual being. It is not following general principles or guidelines, for example, arising bodhichitta by wishing all beings to be happy, but very specific energetic changes that are possible. Inner mentor, in Tibetan Buddhism is absolutely necessary because inner mentor knows by experience how to facilitate changes. This is the inner meditation that is going on inside. Perhaps you can already feel the actual being and inner mentor meditating together.

Of course, no change will occur with inner meditation unless the person facilitates it by outer meditation and care for the inner process by avoiding non- virtue, gaining virtue, steady effort in daily meditation and more. When changes happen to a certain level, this transformation acts upon the inner minds first and eventually presents a new perception to be considered as a candidate for inclusion in your outer mental functions, the last to know. A cascade or domino effect will definitely reach you due to the effects that change has on the increasingly more dense inner minds.

This perception is now a candidate for inclusion in your functioning brain, mind, ideas, and body. As I mentioned from the beginning of this series, the many possible effects that can be experienced might cause you to wish to rock, feel more liquid, feel surges of energy, your hormonal activity will go up and down and so on and so on and so on. The end.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Chemistry of Change part eleven

Let us look at the next part of our inquiry into changes in body and mind experienced in spiritual practice. How do perceptions of others help or harm changes while we are feeling in such a fluid and unstabilized condition? We already know that a balanced mind holds the opinions and observations of others in a careful way. That means that we do not become stubborn, inflexible, withdrawn or angry if people tell us what they think and we do not agree with what they are saying. For example, someone might say, “You’ve been meditating and now I think you’re weird.” We do not need to respond by becoming angry, inflexible and attack them in return. Who knows, maybe we did become weird. Maybe they are right!

New attitudes toward others arrive by deliberate training, developing confidence while destroying paranoia and fear. We should not immediately feel that we need to defend our self. This is a hard lesson to learn and practice, especially while in a fluid stage of stabilizing new perceptions and often at a loss for words.

Accomplished meditators do not criticize ANYONE. I say this, because it not only trains our emerging perception, so fresh and new, in how to interact with the world. It also trains the old perceptions to not be afraid and defensive. A defensive posture will clench energy, preventing clear thinking and creating a poor environment. Training our self in non-reactive behavior allows us to remember information of the benefits and drawbacks at the time of difficulty and not hours later. It gives us a calm strength of reasoning so that we can feel comfortable about changing while we are not pushing on the mind, which can have damaging consequences.

The opinions of others do not require us to retaliate, run away or express fear and anger. It also does not help to “stuff” anger or fear. We must become, as much as possible, calm and non-reactive in the face of others criticism. Otherwise, what kind of welcome is that for this delicate new spiritual perception? It should not matter what they say to you (as much as you are capable!)

However, there is a faulty world-view out there, alive and living in the minds of others demanding that you behave in a certain way. Isn’t that so? In spite of the fact that you just might shake up their limited world-view (which includes you as an unchanging element), you will be changing. You do not stop change just because the expectation of another’s world-view includes you not changing.

This world was never created to be perfect, as you probably already suspected. If it was perfect, no one would seek change and no one could ever become transformed. We already know that myriad beings have sought and transformed themselves by changing, and by no other method! If the changes that we are making reflect a change toward, or a return to, the natural and organic process of evolutionary development toward perfection, and we are not fooling ourselves, then the whole world can go suck eggs. This is how the great meditators of the past felt about others perceptions of who and what they should be. We are very happy to live in an accommodating and careful behavior with others, but when all is said and done, we will change. Each person decides for them self, “I will change. I am changing.” To be continued……

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chemistry of Change part 10

A careful meditator does not harm the changes in consciousness that have been cultivated in meditation. In a trained and skillful manner, he or she checks to see if they are grasping or holding a perception that could harm the new perception. A person is not alive without consciousness and the interactive tools of consciousness are perceptions.

The mass of perceptions that comprise a human beings mind are shaped by birth karma as well as experiences of daily inner and outer life process. Individual perceptions such as self worth, understanding the importance of precious human rebirth, racist feelings, altruism, or compassion are manipulated daily. We are shaped by outer events; meditation, peer pressure, and so much more that recreate us into the new and happy or perhaps unhappy person that we consider “me.”

Is there a harmful environment within the mind that will potentially damage a new beneficial perception? How do skillful practitioners of beneficial change such as seekers of enlightenment act in the face of the dilemma of harmful and helpful perceptions abiding in the same environment? It is not a good idea to go in there with a hammer and a chainsaw but instead use great delicacy. However, it takes a lot of experience to be able to do the kind of checking mentioned earlier.

There is a higher, skillful yogic process of checking, but most meditators are not objective enough to be capable. Perhaps they are able to do a rudimentary checking such as yogic breath checking, or they know their delusions so well that they hold them away by not feeding them in order for that new perception to stabilize. It is really marvelous; it’s a marvelous process.

Because this is so important, this is why meditators ask their outer guide if they will please check. Some strong experience has happened, they want to be checked to see what they should do next or are they okay or is stabilization going carefully.

On the other hand, for the unskillful meditator that can only tolerate his or her own habitual perceptions without making space for change, they will not accomplish anything. They might as well take up knitting because no real change will come and they are wasting their time. If we resonate with the unskillful and see our self as the kind of person who can only tolerate our habitual perceptions - no matter how bad those perceptions make us suffer, if I have to feel like totally me all of the time, then we cannot change to make any progress. Now, this of course, would not, be any of my students. Ahem…. Nevertheless, we have heard that it does happen sometimes.

The entire path and goal of Buddhism is about CHANGE and the accompanying transitional stabilization of these changes and NOT about knowledge. I say that again - the entire path and goal is about change and transitional stabilizations, not just a final stabilizing of the enlightenment experience but a systematic stabilizing of changes without the goal becoming the acquisition of knowledge. Now, as a scholar, I have to display shock at that concept…sort of [draws in breath] like that, little bit. In my just before, I was quite well known as a scholar, so I still have strong attitudes that scholarship is even more than good. However, I emphasize the need to discover real change much stronger. To be continued….

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chemistry of Change Part nine

New healthy perceptions die because the surrounding mental environment and existing perceptions cannot support it. The energetic or spontaneous logic is still too far apart. This is the reason ordinary beings are not enlightened! Up to this point, I say. Existing perception, up to this point, have damaged or harmed knowing the actual nature of reality that has been and is continually displayed. The Buddhas and bodhisattvas have prayed, and worked, and presented enlightened model to us forever.

The reason why new awareness perceptions often die before they can be used is that it cannot be supported by other existing perceptions. As we mature in meditation and skillful behaviors, there will be healthy perceptions we have previously cultivated and stabilized. These viable and vigorous perceptions act as a welcome to a new perception as belonging to their value system and gives the needed surrounding strength to survive. In that way, the mind is incrementally lifted with the arrival of each new careful, beneficial perception. The new perception remains as a kind of embedment that has a more enduring lifespan than a thought. That pushes out and replaces a no longer wanted and harmful component in the form of another perception which is removed. This is the skillful disassembly and re-assembly of the perceptions accomplished in Tibetan Buddhist meditations. The great sadhanas such as Lama Chopa, Chod, and many others are honed over centuries to create this very result.

For example, after reading about enlightened compassion Joe decides that he wants to experience the kind of feeling that is being described. Driving to work each day he listens to teachings on his iPod about compassion and feels happy. One sunny day, Joe laid in his hammock thinking about his life, the compassion that he uses and how he could change the way he interacts with others to display this new idea about compassion. Later, during meditation, a particular line in his sadhana recitation causes Joe to stop thinking in a kind of stunned silence while experiencing an energy shift happening in his body. When thinking resumed, Joe finished his mediation prayers and sadhana but now feels very different.

Now he realizes that he is in possession of a new perception, and begins to skillfully move into facilitating its stabilization. He notices that the taxes are not finished and decides that he is not capable of bean counting at that moment and forgives himself once again for not completing them. Emails can wait. Ahh, a cup of tea and sit in the recliner for a while seems the right thing to do… Nothing special to do right now, feeling strong energy in the heart center… inner process still meditating even though he finished meditation a while ago…. Will wait.

Later, Joe receives a call from a friend who begins to stimulate anger. Feeling anger arise, Joe skillfully ends the conversation rather that practicing the familiar anger that seems to be on its way out in the perceptual mixture that comprises Joes mind. To be continued….

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chemistry of Change part eight

We continue the discussion by exploring how our perceptions of our perceptions or mental states help or harm beneficial changes. How we feel about our own feelings, attitudes, or perceptions can either help or harm the progress of beneficial changes.

For the unhappy person who has a controlling type of nature, their present perceptions attack and whip that new perception, twisting it into its world-view! It will distort it until it dies. Even those who practice carefully for a long time have killed healthy new perceptions again and again

Perhaps feeling challenged in our attitudes or energetic pushing and pulling even in body sensations could cause the weak to abandon the search for reality or meaning. Some return to a safer place such as the religious practices they experienced as a child, even though they are capable of attaining enlightenment in this very life. In order to overcome the fear of change we return to core inspiration remembering that the desire for beneficial changes comes from the awakening Dharma in our mind. This marvelous process of awakening and anticipation of the enlightenment process that Lord Buddha Shakyamuni demonstrated in this world combined with altruistic principles of benefiting others, needs to comes alive in our mind inspiring us again and again. This desire includes a wish that our perceptions of our perceptions should be in alignment with higher functioning values toward ourselves, making us strong and capable.

This safe and reproducible set of marvelous perceptions allows the Buddhist practitioner to feel good about the changes that are happening. Instead of fear and apprehension, one could feel how marvelous it will be to end the relationship with an unhappy perception such as anger and not even feel it anymore! We could be experiencing the alivement of a principle such as the precious human rebirth or understanding causes and conditions after receiving a Buddhist teaching or reading a book such as Liberation in the Palm of the Hand. Then we begin to feel that we have some basis upon which to appreciate the changes in our perceptions that have such profound impact in our body and mind as well as how we express ourselves by speech.

Now, we can speed up the rate of beneficial changes by holding potential harmful perceptions in check while stabilization of the new positive perception is occurring. This means, for example, if we have natural tendency toward paranoia or anger, we might mentally or even actually put post-it-notes everywhere, including the mirror! We could even write it on the face of our eyeglasses so that it is the first thing we see. “Calm down! Relax! Nobody is trying to make me angry, this is a normal part of higher change happening.” If we can succeed in holding harmful habits in check, it cannot fight your new perception until stabilized. That is the one we want to be supreme – this new awareness, but it cannot happen unless we hold away bad thinking! This is the practical application of the behavioral changes that we practice in traditional Buddhism. To be continued…

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chemistry of Change part seven

Your new perception might have to adapt its criteria to accommodate stronger perceptions already present in the configuration of perceptions that I have called the mandala matrix. So, that insight, in the form of an actual energetic embedment, fresh, new, alive and beneficial in you, now has to struggle with other perceptions in order to be able to be used. It might even die. That new perception might perish because it cannot tolerate the conditions of the other perceptions abiding within the same mind. This is very common! Someone has a realization and is back into an ordinary state after a week or two, a day or two or even an hour or two.

That new perception, which took ENORMOUS preparation and effort to make that change, had to die in order for our STUPID other perceptions to have supremacy! This is not a whole worldview change but a single perception introduced so that the next part of the preparation can be accomplished.

It is a tremendous amount of inner preparation work for new perceptions even to arrive. It is sad to observe someone receive high perceptions in meditation or initiation and deliberately discard them by not understanding how valuable change is!

The meditator needs to reduce stress while this process is going on. We must not push on our mind while the new perception is adjusting. If we push on our mind, we will not get the desired result we are seeking, but a kind of disoriented, fluid, confused state. However, without training in how to behave, people actually perceive that as the spiritual experience. That is an amateur spiritual experience.

Please do not push or pressure your mind with stubbornness or emotional issues. There were students in the past that I suggested, “Now do this other meditation or stop doing that meditation” and they said, “No, Rinpoche, you’re wrong. I’m going to keep going because I know what I am doing.” I said, “You’re going to harm yourself if you do that.” I am saying, not because I personally do not want them to do it, but because the benefit will produce a higher result.

Do not push on the mind after changes experienced in meditation. When a feeling of a strange, fluid, confused state is happening, the western mind often says, “I’m going to find out the answers. I’m going to think about this strongly until I figure it out.” By that, you harm yourself!

There often comes a fluid, alcoholic feeling and the tendency is to think, “Ahhh, I had a spiritual experience. This is so exciting – AHHH!” However, effects in the thinking, brain-processing part of the trapped consciousness alive in human body and mind are not the actual process. Remain calm. Next, we will look at the how we feel about our perceptions and how that might help or harm us. To be continued….

Die Chemie der Veränderung (Teil 7)

Es kann sein, dass deine neue Wahrnehmung ihre Kriterien angleichen muss, um stärkeren Wahrnehmungen Platz zu geben, die bereits in der Konfiguration der Wahrnnehmungen vorhanden sind, die ich die Mandala Matrix nenne. So muss diese Einsicht in Form einer tatsächlichen energetischen Einbettung, die in dir frisch, neu, lebendig und wohltuend vorhanden ist, mit anderen Wahrnehmungen kämpfen, damit man sie überhaupt gebrauchen kann. Sie könnte sogar sterben. Diese neue Wahrnehmung könnte zugrunde gehen, weil sie den Zustand der anderen Wahrnehmungen, die im selben Geist vorhanden sind, nicht tolerieren kann. Dies geschieht sehr häufig! Jemand hat eine Einsicht und ist innerhalb von ein oder zwei Wochen, selbst von ein oder zwei Tagen und sogar von ein oder zwei Stunden wieder bei seinem gewöhnlichen Zustand angelangt.

Diese neue Wahrnehmung, für die UNGLAUBLICHE Vorbereitungen und Aufwand nötig waren, um dann eine Veränderung zu erreichen, musste sterben, damit unsere DUMMEN anderen Wahrnehmungen die Vorherrschaft behalten! Es geht dabei nicht darum die gesamte Weltanschauung zu ändern, sondern nur darum, eine einzige neue Wahrnehmung einzuführen, um den nächsten Teil der Vorbereitung vollenden zu können.

Damit neue Wahrnehmungen überhaupt auftreten können ist unglaublich viel Vorbereitungsarbeit nötig. Es ist traurig, zu beobachten, wie jemand in der Meditation oder bei einer Einweihung hohe Wahrnehmungen hat und sie dann vorsätzlich wegwirft, weil er nicht versteht, wie wertvoll die Veränderung ist!

Während dieser Prozess stattfindet muss der Übende muss seinen Stress reduzieren. Wir dürfen unseren Geist nicht antreiben während sich die neue Wahrnehmung ausrichtet. Wenn wir unseren Geist antreiben werden wir nicht das erhoffte Ergebnis erzielen, sondern eine Art desorientierten, gleitenden, verwirrten Zustand. Ohne gelernt zu haben, wie man sich verhält, nehmen die Menschen diesen jedoch als eine spirituelle Erfahrung wahr. Dies ist eine amateurhafte spirituelle Erfahrung.

Bitte bedränge deinen Geist nicht mit Dickköpfigkeit oder emotionalen Belangen, oder übe damit Druck auf ihn aus. In der Vergangenheit habe ich Schülern folgendes vorgeschlagen: ‚Mach jetzt diese andere Meditation oder höre mit jener Meditation auf.‘ Und sie sagten: ‚Nein, Rinpoche, du hast Unrecht. Ich werde damit weitermachen, weil ich weiß, was ich tue.‘ Ich habe gesagt: ‚Du wirst dir Schaden zufügen, wenn du das tust.‘ Ich sage dies, nicht weil ich persönlich nicht will, dass sie es tun, sondern weil der Nutzen, den sie davon haben, ein höheres Ergebnis erzielen wird.

Übe keinen Druck auf den Geist aus, nachdem du in der Meditation Veränderungen erlebt hast. Wenn sich das Gefühl eines seltsamen, fließenden, verwirrten Zustands einstellt sagt sich der westliche Geist oft: ‚Ich werde die Antworten darauf herausfinden. Ich werde intensiv darüber nachdenken, bis ich es gelöst habe.‘ Dadurch schadest du dir selbst!

Oft entsteht ein fließendes, alkoholisiertes Gefühl und dann tendiert man dazu, zu denken: ‚Ahh, ich hatte eine spirituelle Erfahrung. Dies ist so aufregend – AHHH!‘ Jedoch sind Effekte, die im denkenden, verarbeitenden Gehirnteil des Bewusstseins stattfinden, dass lebendig im menschlichen Körper und Geist gefangen ist, nicht der eigentliche Prozess. Behalte die Ruhe. Als nächstes werden wir betrachten, welche Gefühle wir unseren Wahrnehmungen gegenüber haben und wie uns das vielleicht hilft oder schadet.
Fortsetzung folgt.....“ Domo Geshe Rinpoche ---

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cyclic Existence

Cyclic existence, the karmic creation and exhaustion of
actions over many lives, self replicates and gives rise
to a sense of stability and safety that it does not possess.
The recycling of samsara gives an unreliable sensation of
familiarity that lulls ordinary beings into compliance with
an ever-evolving samsaric structure. This circling is all
illusory appearance that does not fulfill the promise it seems
to make as the excellent support of higher training toward
samsaric perfection. The sense of familiarity and learning
through experience gives rise to a sense of progress that is
by nature without essence.
excerpt Mystery of Emptiness & Love
Hermitage Buddhist Publishing 2009
Domo Geshe Rinpoche