maanantai 15. toukokuuta 2017

Guru Rinpoche's Pure Land

Guru Rinpoche's Pure Land

I would like to start this article by telling of a few recent events.

On an advanced retreat held at our center in January 2017, next happened.

We had finished our fourth practice session of the fifth day at the retreat and were about to have dinner. Karl, our head chef, brought in our food which was fish. I stood up from the couch and delighted of having a proper meal instead of mere veggies, I joufully announced, "Yes! Eating that is like entering Padmasambhava's Pure Land!". *BANG* At that instant I was hit with a huge blow of energy into my head, the back of my head on the right side. Seen with subtle visions, it looked like a meteor that shot across the sky and landed on my head. It was like getting hit by a boxer. I uttered, "What was that...?" and was stunned. I have gone unconscious many times so I know perfectly well how it feels just before the lights go out. It was exactly like that, hovering on the verge before the lights go out. I felt dazed and sat down on the floor and a few moments later lied down completely. It was like getting punched in the head, just without any pain, of course. At first I didn't know what was going on, and people around me, preparing the dinner were astonished what I was doing, lying there in the middle of the floor, with one hand on the neck measuring my pulse. I didn't pass out but as if having received a heavy blow on the head, I was trying to make sense what just happened. After a few minutes I could sit up. I figured there was a connection to when I loudly mentioned Guru Rinpoche's Pure Land but I was still unsure what was going on. I have never ever lost consciousness, or were close to losing it because of a spiritual charge. I did not even know it was possible.

After about 10 minutes, I was able to eat some. My legs were soft spaghetti and I knew I couldn't stand up or walk. After getting some food, I felt like closing my eyes to find out some facts of what was going on, while people around me were finishing their meals and talking. At this point, perhaps 15-20 minutes after the meteor hit me, the charge spread to my body, descended into the stomach, then to arms and legs.

This was something I had never experienced before. It was like combining very high intensity soft martial art (yiquan) practice with very intense rigpa-energy. It felt like Guru Rinpoche was practicing yiquan in my body. It was something very unusual that I hadn't experienced before in perhaps a few thousand sessions of guru yoga that I had practiced. After about 30 minutes, I told people they could tune into the charge if they wanted but they actually really had no choice because all the surroundings were swept by the power of the blessing. The power of it was really unique. This is hard to convey to others if they weren't there.

The only thing I can compare this is Amma's devi bhava with the exception that Amma's energy is motherly soft while this was intense and wrathful, yet penetrating. Guru Rinpoche's charge swept through the whole group.

As minutes passed the charge became more integrated with my body and my rational mind switched on again. After a few hours it had smoothened out while the reverberations continued for a few days afterwards.”

This happened in January. Now I know that we had visited Guru Rinpoche's Pure Land, Zangdok Palri, The Copper Coloured Mountain.

The same happened twice in February on the last day of another retreat and in a private online session with a sangha friend. It has also happened with less intensity while giving dharma talks, recorded here and here.

Pure Lands

Many buddhas have pure lands, or buddhakshetras. Buddha Amitabha's Pure Land (skt. Sukhavati) is probably most well known through Pure Land Buddhism which is widely practiced in China and Japan, also in the West. There are many other pure lands.

A pure land is actually a vibrational field, sphere or dimension which is governed by a particular buddha or mahasiddha. While none of the pure lands are out of reach of anyone, karmic connections with the governor of the pure realm is a key factor whether one can access it or is allowed to live there.

Pure lands can be briefly visited. For example if we have a sincere wish to visit Amitabha's pure land, it is possible. We only need to tune in with Buddha Amitabha and ask him to take us for a visit there. Then we can feel being transported to Sukhavati. If one has some skills of subtle seeing or hearing one may be able to perceive how it looks like there, who are there and so on. If one wishes to visit a pure land, any of them, sincerity and devotion towards the governor of that pure realm is essential. None of the pure lands can be accessed from the ego.

If we have the desire for it, we can be in tune with the governor of the pure land and the pure land itself. It is possible to live within the pure realm created by Padmasambhava while still in the physical body, living in the Earth-realm, if the connection has been well established.

The moment we leave this body, we are instantly transported to the Copper Coloured Mountain, not having to go through the intermediate states between death and rebirth (tib. bardo). If we had difficulties in subtly seeing and hearing the pure land while in the body, after death we can see everything that goes on in there just like we can see and hear what happens around us in the physical world now.

Guru Rinpoche's Pure Land is a beautiful place, not only aesthetically but also the beings there. Imagine a garden city where everyone has close karmic connections Guru Rinpoche himself, who have strong spiritual inclinations and who practice for the liberation of all beings. Imagine hearing Guru Rinpoche or other mahasiddhas like Yeshe Tsogyal give dharma talks, instructions and transmissions. Imagine meeting Guru Rinpoche in person so that you can see eye to eye. Everyone there is safe and supported with basic necessities, unlike here on Earth. Because of these reasons it is called a ”world of the buddha”.

Pemako – The Hidden Land of Guru Rinpoche

A while ago I was pondering that as Open Heart is the name of our method, what would be the name of our lineage, as methods are passed within certain lineages. As we were sitting in a cafe with Karl talking about this, all of a sudden we were swept by Guru Rinpoche's blessings and the word ”Pemako” popped into my mind. I didn't know what it meant so I googled it and got to know that Pemako is a special area in India and Tibet which is considered very sacred in it's connection to the Guru. Many great lamas and rinpoche's have been born, lived and died there.

If people die here (Pemako), they do not take
karmic rebirth; they go to the Pure Lands.
I do not tell lies. It is like that. Keep it in mind.
  • Guru Rinpoche

So traditionally Pemako refers to a physical area in the East but in this case, referring to our lineage and teachings Pemako refers to hidden realm of Guru Rinpoche, that is, his pure land. This realm is accessed by following the teachings of the Open Heart and by taking refuge.

Taking refuge Guru Rinpoche's Pure Land

For the above mentioned reasons and master's direct instruction, taking refuge in Guru Rinpoche's Pure Land is going to be added to our refuges.

Five Refuges

I take refuge in the Guru
I take refuge in His Pure Land
I take refuge in the Buddha
I take refuge in the Dharma
I take refuge in the Sangha

May all beings be free.

Thank you for reading.

- Kim, 15.5.2017