perjantai 6. heinäkuuta 2018

What Does it Mean to Be a Terton?

What Does it Mean to Be a Terton?

It is widely believed, especially within the Nyingma school of Tibetan buddhism, that only few chosen ones can receive dharma teachings mystically, non-physically, and be "dharma treasure revealers", or tertons. I asked my good friend and student Karl Eikrem to write down his initial account of receiving his first nonphysical teaching, or terma as they are traditionally called. In this video he reads his account (follow the link to read it) and then guides the actual practice that he learned. At the end of the video I read a couple of related quotes and expound the matter a bit more. I hope this sheds light on this matter and makes people think a bit more open mindedly about it all.

To conclude I would like to present a quote from Kunzang Dechen Lingpa, as stated by his close student Acharya Malcolm Smith:

My late teacher, an important terton, said if you want to be a terton, the only real requirement is faith in Guru Rinpoche. If you supplicate him strongly enough with genuine compassion for sentient beings, then you might be able to reveal terma.”



tiistai 3. heinäkuuta 2018

Psychologist on Guru Yoga

Psychologist on Guru Yoga

Q: Guru yoga is actually also a practice of developing devotion especially when practiced with a Tibetan buddhist teacher, is that right?

A: Yes, well, I have to say that is where I always went a bit against the grain. My devotion flows easier towards an icon such as Padmasambhava than to a living teacher because I could also see that this was just a human being with his habits. To see him as perfect you could say that I failed in this but I think I couldn't do it and didn't want to. I think if you do guru yoga well then everything the guru does, feels and says if perfect but also everything you do, feel and say yourself is perfect. It means your ability to be critical is also buddha. Now we are talking, that's something you can work with. But if your abilities are seen as confusion and everything the guru does as perfect I think that's a distortion if you'll allow me. It's a misconception of what guru yoga is.

Answered by Hans Knibbe, psychologist and dzogchen-teacher.

sunnuntai 1. heinäkuuta 2018

Not even a scrap of Tibetan culture by Keith Dowman

Not even a scrap of Tibetan culture
by Keith Dowman

I don't think we need even a scrap of Tibetan culture, including vajrayana buddhism, in order to recognise the nature of mind. If somebody walks in of the street here who never heard of Tibet or Tibetan buddhism and has a natural antipathy to anything other than American culture, is given the essence of dzogchen, there's no reason why that person should not attain immediately the same state that we have reached, having gone through that whole circuit of oriental culture and Tibetan buddhism.” - Keith Dowman

keskiviikko 27. kesäkuuta 2018

CR Lama's Unholy Style

CR Lama's Unholy Style


James Low talks about his teacher Chimed Rigdzin Rinpoche, also known as CR Lama:

"My main teacher is the late Chimed Rigdzin Lama, also known as CR Lama. He was a married lama who lived with his family and, when I knew him well in India, he taught in a university. He was a great scholar, a very powerful person, and he was not at all holy. He was very ordinary in his way of life. His qualities showed themselves without his making special claims about himself. In the lineages of Tibetan Buddhism there are many different styles of practice. Some lineages display themselves as being very pure and holy; that is to say, they set themselves in the domain of the sacred and create a mood which is separate from ordinary life. When you encounter that kind of setting you have the opportunity to experience something which is not like ordinary existence. Such settings tend to be ritualised and choreographed so that everyone knows their place and what they are, and are not, allowed to do. My teacher was, however, very much in ordinary life. He was very fond of university politics, supporting his friends and attacking his enemies. This is not holy activity. But oh, so very pleasurable! For many years I was his secretary, and I had to write, on the basis of his special English, very insulting letters. In order to enter his world I had to let go many of the assumptions I held about how to live in a proper way. In the end, in order to practise, we each have to find a style which is in harmony with the energy of our potential as it responds to each unique setting in which we find ourselves. Being in the mandala, or environment, that Rinpoche created was very disturbing, and yet it was also liberating. It opened the space to see that our world is indeed a construct of our beliefs and assumptions. Freeing ourselves from relative truth, from truth based on comparing and contrasting, involves a leap of faith. Encouragement to make this leap was Rinpoche’s wondrous gift."




lauantai 9. kesäkuuta 2018

What is Emptiness?

What is Emptiness? How to Make Sense of Emptiness?

Emptiness in sanskrit is shunyata. Emptiness is also called selflessness, I-lessness or me-lessness (anatman, anatta). Emptiness and selflessness refer to the self-empty nature of mind. This is the basis of buddhist thought and practice. One who has seen his mind to be completely without a self, has mastered the teaching of emptiness, is fully awake, that is, a living buddha.

The main reason why we suffer is the sense of self (skt. atman). We have thoughts, emotions and reactions within our mind and because of the accumulation of the self-thought, I or me, these mind elements make us convinced that we exist independently as separate entities. This is the basis of delusion and suffering (dukkha).

The buddhist path is concerned with interruption and putting an end to cyclic existence (samsara) through proper understanding of the nature of suffering and through proper yogic effort. Particularly insight meditation (vipashyana), also called by different names such as lhaktong or prajna, is what is unique to buddhist meditation. According to the teachings of buddhist masters vipashyana, lit. clear seeing, is the key to removing existential confusion (dukkha).

Buddhist teachings on emptiness such as the Heart Sutra famously states that, ”Form is emptiness, emptiness is form”. What is the meaning of this? Form refers to any sort of relative phenomena, physical or nonphysical. Relative phenomena occurs in one or two ways: 1. external phenomena reflected on the mind and 2. internal mind phenomena. If all phenomena are experienced empty, there is no cause for confusion to arise. If any phenomena appearing in the mind is not experienced as empty, and hence causes selfing, self-based reaction, this impulse can and should be used as fuel for vipashyana practice.

Points

Emptiness cannot be properly understood by contemplating the existence of external things, such as a chair or a desk. The only way to have a liberating insight is to see that selfing happens in the mind, not somewhere outside.

Emptiness needs to be understood through emptiness. Even though impermanence (anicca) and suffering (dukkha) are the other two pillars of buddha dharma it is the insight into the empty nature of mind that liberates, not the other two.

Understanding emptiness through insight is crucial for all buddhist meditators, and in fact to all who suffer of existential confusion.

Meditation on emptiness is not difficult or lofty, but simple, grounded and easy-to-understand when taught and applied correctly. If the instructions are vague and lack clarity, there will be no result or it will take unnecessarily long time. Without emptiness insight it is impossible to make sense of any buddhist teachings. This is so because all buddha dharma is built on realisation of emptiness (insight, awakening, kensho, semngo tropa). If the foundation of emptiness is not solid, there is nothing to build a stable house on.

In the long run, not having a proper insight leads to twisted dharma that is harmful and misleading. The imporatnce of direct insight has been stressed by numerous buddhist masters throughout the existence of buddhism. Without insight, the noncausal paths such as of zen, dzogchen and mahamudra are impossible to understand.

On societal and cultural levels the lack of experiential understanding of emptiness leads to great numbers of lost practitioners who are unable to have real faith about the buddhist path. For this reason the mahasangha of all beings doesn't reap true benefits through interconnectedness. All practitioners should first and foremost make sure that they understand emptiness through direct experience.

How do I know if my understanding of emptiness is right?

Insight, awakening or kensho means that part of one's deluded self-based mind becomes permanently deconstructed of the sense of self, me or I. Figuratively speaking, an insight makes a lasting hole in the wall through which the sight on the other side of the wall becomes easier to see. Without the hole one is shut behind the wall of self-delusion. An insight has a liberating effect. It makes a notable difference to have even a small hole in the wall, instead of having none, because looking through the hole instead of looking at the wall are two very different experiences.

Consecutive insights (bhumi openings), after the first one, keep making the hole bigger and bigger and in consequence it becomes easier and easier to see what is behind the wall. When insights are combined with regular daily practice, the outcome is that the separating wall becomes entirely deconstructed.

Also ”glimpses” into the self-empty nature of mind are needed. The difference between a glimpse and insight is that glimpse is not permanent.

When the hole is there our everyday life becomes a significantly different. A part of our narrow minded selfing has been permanently removed so this cannot not have an effect on our lives. Social relationships, work, creative work and other things in life are met from a more open minded and less opinionated place. Because selfing no longer happens the same way it used to, how the mind used to think, feel and react according to the self-based habits, life becomes more direct, more fresh and more intimate. This is the most profound change we can have.

There is nothing that can replace selfless insight because nothing else will deconstruct the sense of self. A simple indication that one matures in insight meditation is that one feels clear minded, open hearted, fresh and less reactive in everyday life.

Practical advice

In Open Heart vipashyana is practiced in both sutra and tantra forms. Sutra vipashyana refers to the Two-Part Formula for the first awakening and object-vipashyana instructions after that. Tantra vipashyana refers to Tibetan Heart Yoga which because of the unique aspects in the practice has the power to generate a whole series of awakenings, bhumi openings, within a relatively short period of time. These awakenings (bhumi openings) are matured (bhumi perfection) by regular practice over a longer period of time.

A practice hint: When selfing happens, pay attention to tensions in the head space. The area inside the head, pre- or post-awakening, is the place where the impulse can be effectively seen through.

Dudjom Lingpa's autobiography, p. 75:

Just as many springs and rivers in all directions merge as one taste in the vast ocean, likewise, all teachings without exception can be grouped as relative or ultimate truth. The two truths inseparable are fused within Great Perfection. If you understand the meaning of Great Perfection, you see the truth of the nature of reality. Connection to its vital instructions will carry you to the level of awareness holder.”


perjantai 8. kesäkuuta 2018

Taoist Master Attains Rainbow Body

Taoist Master Attains Rainbow Body

From book ”Qi Gong” by Baolin Wu

Du Xinlin, known as the Master of the Purple Luminescence, was an extraordinary modern seer. From his earliest childhood to his mystical passing from this plane, he lived his life as something more than a mere man. Tales of his feats of divination, martial artistry, and healing are recorded within the annals of both the Purple Cloud and White Cloud Monasteries.

At the age of 116, Master Du left the earthly plane. He lived his life as a towering mystic and master of the Taoist arts and had decided to dedicate his passing to a demonstration of the truth of his lifelong beliefs. What he accomplished was a manifestation of the power of Oi Gong few have ever attempted and no one had ever truly succeeded at in the modern era. His accomplishment is a significant event in Chinese cultural history. To present the inner teachings of 9 Palaces Microcosmic Orbit Oi Gong is a testament to his attainment and the fulfillment of his last living wish.

A few years before, when Dr. Wu was still living with him, Master Du told him that he believed that Lao Zi, Wang Chongyang, and all his other teachers were waiting for him in the Nine Central Heavens. As Lao Zi's disciple, he was ready to join him there. He told the young boy about the Rainbow Body that a worthy believer could cultivate inside his mortal body and that if his righteousness  merited it, it could leave the body with consciousness and spirit intact, instead of physical death, to fly up to Heaven in a rainbow of light.

Transubstantiation and eternal life that bypasses corporeal death has a long tradition in the East. It is known as hong hua, literally a form of the word "rainbow" that can be used as a noun or verb: The Rainbow Body is cultivated within a righteous person's physical body at the moment in passing. Taoist and Tibetan Buddhist tradition is peppered with stories of famous monks, hermits, and high lamas who attempted this feat by devoting their lives to meditation, training, and saintly acts. The ones who attained the RainbowBody were revered forever as saints and Immortals. Those who tried to pass over by "rainbow-ing" but did not succeed in leaving the world without a trace of their physical remains left behind were still venerated , the remnants of their bodies kept enshrined as holy relics. One such relic had been housed in the White Cloud Monastery when Dr. Wu was a boy there. It looked like a tiny, shriveled little man about a foot and a half high, covered in leathery, age-darkened skin. It was explained to him that if there were any portions of the Rainbow Body practitioner's body that had not been properly purified beforehis or her attempt, it would be left behind in a shrunken, desiccated form.

Master Du told young Wu the day and the hour he was going to Rainbow and made him swear to be there to watch his attempt, no matter what. Soon he became so focused on his future that he would spend the whole day quietly whispering, "I'm going, I'm going" to himself. In the beginning, the boy thought, "My teacher must be too old ... what is he talking about, all day long just saying, 'I'm going, I'm going!' Toward the end, when he had to return to Beijing for his studies, he remembers pleading with his master to stop worrying and continuously talking about it with him, assuring him that he would skip school and do whatever else he had to do to be there and watch him when he was ready to leave. Even with his childhood of Taoist training, the teenage Dr. Wu was still skeptical of his master's unconventional ways and crazy ideas. But when that particular day finally came to pass, Master Du attained his Rainbow Body. Ever since, Dr. Wu deeply believes.
The day before he was set to make his attempt, Master Du called his young student to his side. He told him, "Tomorrow I will be rainbowed. I am goingto my place in the Ninth Level of Heaven to do my practice there. I am going to continue my studies with my master Lao Zi and sit at his feet, learning what he teaches, but from now on you are going to have to study by yourself. You're going to have to work hard. Of all my students, you have learned much, but I am worried for you. You don't study hard, you are skeptical in your practice, and yet you absorb my teachings so well. All that I know, I must pass to you because none of my other students have the wisdom and insight that you barely realize that you possess. Because of the troubles in China, there is no time or place to find someone better than you to pass these traditions to."

As he sat in a tub of hot water strewn with fragrant flower petals, being washed by his student, he talked to him at length about the key points of 9 Palaces and 5 Centers Qi Gong. He told him of the real meaning of martial arts, When you learn martial arts, you are not going after specific movements, or their proper visual form, or if your hand moves correctly or not. You have to have the feel of a natural force living within you. If you feel it rising inside you, then you can bring it out with power and dynamism. Why does it take more than one person to catch, control, and subdue an insane person? They have left behind all the things that have separated them from their original abilities. Within your own original abilities lies your power. Why was Wang Xiangzhai (the founder of yiquan) so successful in his martial arts? Because he was able to bring out his own personal essence, his own unique force. There are special trainings to accomplish this. If you just focus on supple movements it might be good exercise, but if you really want to learn true striking power, true healing power, true energetic power, the basic foundation is Qi Gong.

They talked together like that all night, the student bathing the master, the
master transmitting his last words of wisdom, from eight o'clock in the evening to five the next morning. When Master Du had said all that he could,he faced his apprentice seriously. "I know you question what I have taught you, but tomorrow I will show you the reality of this knowledge. Of all mystudents, you are the one with the most doubts. You have difficulty trusting in me or believing in the teachings. But I believe, because I believe my owneyes. I believe in myself. I know you are a good student. You're a very smartperson. You have good comprehension and understanding, you can see things through, clearly and quickly. You have your own measure of wisdom. If tomorrow I fail to attain the Rainbow Body, all I ask is that you bury my remains in the place I have directed you. You can go on with your life and never think about Taoism again. I have high hopes that if tomorrow you seewith your own two eyes that I have indeed succeeded, you will vow to teach the 9 Palaces nine hundred and ninety nine times in honor of the truth you have been witness to."

That day, the temple was decorated with flowers and auspicious banners. Monks with musical instruments played continuously. Over one hundred people were assembled, including silent monitors from the Communist Party. Master Du sat in complete stillness and silence on a silken meditation cushion embroidered with dragons. At high noon, the moment for the transition had arrived. At first he remained immobile. At his side, Dr. Wu momentarily grasped his shoulder with a small shake. Suddenly his teacher flared with a burst of energy. Still enclosed in profound contemplation, his body began to levitate, spinning straight up from its cushion, rising by itself and revolving faster and faster. Turning so fast his body was a blur, he hovered for a fleeting moment just above the heads of the stunned onlookers. The solidity of his form shifted, became indistinct. His outline evaporated into red smoke; a piercing ray of red light shot straight through the center of the sun, transfixing him; and at once, the Master was gone. He had departed. No trace was left, except a pleasing fragrance that filled the courtyard for hours after.

How can this be understood? How can it be explained? For the rest of the afternoon, Dr. Wu and his companions were lost in wonder and shocked
speechless. They had been witness to proof of the heights a lifetime's study
in Qi Gong could achieve.






Receiving a Teaching from Sakya Sri

Receiving a Teaching from Sakya Sri

by Karl Eikrem

Hidden treasures, or mind treasures (tib. terma) are teaching that are concealed by a mahasiddha, such as Guru Rinpoche, for later discovery by yogins with karmic connection to the master. The reason for this is to make sure that authentic teachings, suitable to particular cultures are available for generations to come.

As impermanence also applies to the physical forms of dharma, teachings that have been in circulation for a long time, for example in old lineages, have a tendency to loose their efficiency because they get (1) outdated; that is their form is no longer suitable to a particular culture, mind set, paradigm etc., or (2) they get modified by teachers lacking in sufficient understanding of the underlying principles of dharma, rendering the teachings impotent or less effective.

Hiding termas to be revealed within future cultures is a brilliant way of avoiding this.

In this text I would like to write about my own experiences with receiving termas, particularly the first teaching I received from the wonderful 19th century mahasiddha Sakya Sri. 
 
To conclude I would like to present a quote from Kunzang Dechen Lingpa, as stated by his close student Acharya Malcolm Smith:

My late teacher, an important terton, said if you want to be a terton, the only real requirement is faith in Guru Rinpoche. If you supplicate him strongly enough with genuine compassion for sentient beings, then you might be able to reveal terma.” 

Find out more about Sakya Sri here. This text can be viewed as a video lecture by Karl Eikrem with additional notes by Kim Katami here.

***

In September 2017, my teacher Kim Katami and I did a short casual retreat at a cabin in Eastern Finland. One evening, as we were about to meditate, Kim showed me a picture of Sakya Sri on his phone. As soon as I saw the picture, my being was flushed with a warm presence and the room lit up with powerful blessings that clarified our minds. After a while of sitting and taking in the blessings of Sakya Sri, Kim said to me:

If you now ask for a teaching, advice or an instruction, you will get it.”

Being unfamiliar with the experience of receiving teachings from non-physical masters, I asked the mahasiddha to make sure to remove my doubts by making it obvious that this was not a product of my own imagination. 
 
Sakya Sri.
A moment after passing the request, my body started feeling very hot. In my mind's eye I saw a fireball, a bright burning star forming above the crown of my head. At first I was taken back a little by the sudden change of the inner environment, but I kept watching the ball as it took on a life on its own.

First it slowly descended from above the crown, through the skull and down the central channel within the spine stopping at the perineum. As it was moving, the ball of light was illuminating the central channel. I could see and feel it very clearly.

After sitting at the base of the spine for a few moments, the fireball started slowly going back up again, but this time it stopped at the crown inside the skull. Then the light started expanding upwards, splitting my skull open to form a sort of upside down cone of light emanating from the top of the skull. It felt like a volcano eruption from the top of my head. After that the whole central channel, still glowing, expanded to cover my entire aura, or energy field, an area of approximately 3 meters in diameter around my body. After a while the intensity slowly faded, until there was nothing but spacious awareness left. I remember experiencing an afterglow that lasted the entire rest of the evening, as well as a feeling of euphoria due to not having purified all karmic patterns.

***

During the time that has passed since this evening , I have received a few teachings from different masters, all of which have been less intense experiences. I actually realized that I have received teachings before the one described here, but because I had no framework with which to understand and make sense of the experience, there was no way for me to interpret it and make use of it.

Although some tertons, such as Dudjom Lingpa, seem to have been gifted with the ability of unlocking termas from childhood, it seems to me that most people need a framework to do so. This idea has lead to believe that receiving termas isn't necessarily that rare an experience, it's just that most people and cultures don't have this framework. Because of this, very few people are able to making use of these universal experiences.

I hope that the writing and publication of this short text, will be a small contribution to the general acceptance of the fact that human beings have the ability to communicate and receive teachings from non-physical beings, and that this again will help us move towards a more mature culture, one that embrace all the principles of dharma.

May all beings be free!


Dharma Sun Visualization of Shakya Shri

  1. Sit down, relax and recognize the basic space.
  2. Ask Sakya Sri to give a blessing for yourself, for it to benefit of all sentient beings. Receive it and feel it for few moments.
  3. Then visualize a bright sun above the head. See the bright light, feel the warmth of it. Bring the sun down the central channel, through the top of the skull and down to the base of the spine. Notice that it illuminates the central channel as it moves. Then, feel the light erupt from the base of the spine, shooting upwards through crown, like a fountain of light. See that, along with this eruption, the central channel expands to a diameter of 2½ to 3 meters so that it covers the whole aura. Feel it in your whole being.
  4. Leave the active visualization and enjoy the natural state for as long as you wish, at least 10-15 minutes.
  5. Give thanks to the master and dedicate the merit of the practice session to all sentient beings.



An Illiterate Attains Rainbow Body

An Illiterate Attains Rainbow Body

When I went to my master Changchub Dorje, I was educated up to the hilt in the intellectual sense. My mind was filled with everything I'd learned in the monastic colleges. I thought that to receive transmission of the teachings, elaborate ritual initiations were essential and I asked Changchub Dorje to give me a certain initiation. I asked him every day for days and days, but he always refused.

'What's the use?' he'd say. 'You've already received so many of those initiations from your other masters; initiations like that are not the principle of the Dzogchen teachings. Transmission isn't only received in formal initiations.' But no matter what he said, I remained fixed on the kind of perfectly performed ritual initiations other masters had always given me. I wasn't satisfied with his replies, and I wanted him to put on a special hat, prepare a mandala, and pour a little water on my head, or something like that. That was what I really, sincerely wanted; but he always continued to refuse.

Finally, I insisted so much that he at last agreed. He promised that about two months later, on the day of Padmasambhava, the tenth day of the Tibetan lunar month1, he would give me the initiation I wanted, the empowerment of Samantabhadra and the peaceful and wrathful divinities of the Bardo. This initiation is actually not very complicated, and a master skilled in such things
could have completed it very quickly. But Changchub Dorje had never received a formal education, and he was not used to giving initiations. When the long-awaited day finally came, the initiation took him from about nine in the morning till midnight. To begin with, he had to prepare himself by performing a rite of self-initiation. This took him until mid-day to complete. Then he began the initiation for me. But, not being formally educated, not only couldn't he read the text himself, but on top of that I could see that he didn't know how to do all the ritual things he was supposed to do. He wasn't that kind of a master.

So Changchub Dorje had a disciple present as an assistant who was himself an expert teacher, and it was he who prepared all the mandalas and ritual objects. Then this disciple began to read the text to tell the master what he had to do next. But when he read out that a certain mudra, or gesture, should be done by the master giving the initiation, Changchub Dorje didn't know how to do it, so they had to stop while he learned it. Then there was a whole long invocation that was supposed to be chanted, invoking all the masters of the lineage, and while chanting it, the master is supposed to sound a bell and a damaru, or small drum. Someone who is used to rituals can perform all this very quickly, but Changchub Dorje wasn't used to such things, and the whole situation became outrageous, a complete farce.

First of all he worked out with his assistant what was written in the notes to the text. 'Ah!' he said. 'It says here that you have to sound the bell!' So he took the bell, and for about five minutes all he did was sound it over and over again. Then it was read out to him that you have to sound the damaru. So he sounded the little drum over and over for about another five minutes. Then he suddenly said: 'Oh, now I see! You have to sound the bell and damaru together!' So he did that. But by then he had forgotten what it was that he was supposed to chant, so he had to go through it all again with the help of the disciple who could read.

Changchub Dorje himself hadn't had the kind of education that involves study, but was a practitioner who had manifested wisdom and clarity through the development of his practice, and it was because of this wisdom and clarity that he was considered to be a master. So he hadn't received the kind of monastic training that would have prepared him to give all the various kinds of formal empowerment, and he stumbled through the initiation he gave me taking all day and a good deal of the evening to do it. By the time he had finished, I was almost in a state of shock, as, given my own background, I knew very well how an initiation should be done, and it was nothing like this.

But by then it was nearly midnight, and we were all very hungry. We sang the Song of the Vajra together many times. This is a short, slow, anthemic chant, characteristic of the way Dzogchen works with ritual, that leads the practitioner into contemplation through integration with its actual sound, the structure of its syllables and melody ensuring deep, relaxed breathing. Then we recited a short Gana Puja offering, and we ate. After the meal the master gave me a real explanation of the true meaning of initiation and transmission, and I realized that despite all the formal initiations I had received at my college, I had never understood or entered into the true meaning of them.

Then, without interruption, for about three or four hours, Changchub Dorje gave me a real explanation of Dzogchen, not teaching me in an intellectual style, but talking to me in a very straightforward and relaxed, friendly, conversational way. Despite all my education, this was the first time a master had really made such a direct attempt to get me to understand something. What he said, and the way that he said it, was exactly like a tantra of Dzogchen, spoken spontaneously, continuously aloud, and I knew that even a very learned scholar would not be able to speak like that. Changchub Dorje was speaking from clarity and not just from an intellectual understanding.

Copied from Crystal and the Way of Light by Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche.

Nyala Changchub Dorje was Dzogchen master renowned as the teacher of Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. He was born in the Nyarong region of Kham and studied with Adzom Drukpa, Nyala Pema Dündul, his student Nyala Rangrik Dorje and the Bön master Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen (1859-1935).
Nyala Rinpoche led a community of Dzogchen practitioners in Nyalagar in the Dedrol area of Kham. He attained the rainbow body. Copied from here.


keskiviikko 16. toukokuuta 2018

Recognition of Steven Seagal by Penor Rinpoche

Recognition of Steven Seagal
by Penor Rinpoche



Statement by H.H. Penor Rinpoche Regarding the Recognition of Steven Seagal as a Reincarnation of the Treasure Revealer Chungdrag Dorje of Palyul Monastery
In February of 1997 I recognized my student, Steven Seagal, as a reincarnation (tulku) of the treasure revealer Chungdrag Dorje. Since there has been some confusion and uncertainty as to what this means, I am writing to clarify this situation. 
 
Traditionally a tulku is considered to be a reincarnation of a Buddhist master who, out of his or her compassion for the suffering of sentient beings, has vowed to take rebirth to help all beings attain enlightenment. To fulfill this aspiration, a tulku will generally need to go through the complete process of recognition, enthronement and training. 
 
Formal recognition generally occurs soon after a tulku has been identified, but only after other important lineage masters have been consulted. The newly identified tulku does not take on any formal responsibilities at the time of recognition. 
 
The next step of enthronement may or may not occur for a tulku, depending on the circumstances. Enthronement formally invests the tulku with the responsibility of furthering the activities associated with their particular tulku lineage. Thus, if there are specific teachings and practice traditions associated with their lineage, and if there are perhaps monks, nuns, monasteries, retreat centers, lay communities and so forth for which the tulku traditionally takes responsibility, then the tulku is formally vested with those responsibilities at the time of enthronement. In the event that an enthronement ceremony is conducted, it may take place soon after recognition or some years later. If the tulku is too young to assume their responsibilities upon enthronement, others may be entrusted to take on those responsibilities until the tulku is ready. 
 
Finally, a tulku needs to complete a formal course of training which includes years of study and meditation. This training reawakens the tulku's powers of insight and compassion and develops their skillful means for helping others. It is only after such training that a tulku is ready to take on the role of a teacher. 
 
In the case of Steven Seagal, he has been formally recognized as a tulku, but has not been officially enthroned. He has also not undergone the lengthy process of study and practice necessary to fully realize what I view as his potential for helping others. When I first met him, I felt he had the special qualities of a tulku within him. According to the Great Vehicle (Mahayana) of the Buddhist tradition, all beings have within them the potential for becoming Buddhas. With Steven Seagal I perceived this potential to be particularly strong as accords with being a tulku. In the past, whenever I have met someone that I feel is a tulku, I have always consulted with other masters of the Nyingma lineage such as Dudjom Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and other senior lineage holders. Similarly, after my experience of meeting Steven Seagal, I consulted with another important Nyingma master and with his concurrence, recognized Steven Seagal as a tulku.
With regard to the particular circumstances of Steven Seagal's recognition, while it is generally the case that tulkus are recognized young in life, this is not always so. For example, the great master Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö remained unrecognized for many years while he was an ordained monk at Kathok Monastery. He was over 30 years old, perhaps 35, and had completed his monastic education when he was recognized and enthroned as the first reincarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Wangpo. In his case, he had devoted his life to study and practice and was thus prepared for taking on the full responsibilities of being a tulku at the time of his recognition. 

 
Prior to my recognition of Steven Seagal I myself recognized another tulku late in his life. Kalsang Yeshe Rinpoche, a monk originally from the Palyul branch monastery of Shibo in Tibet and later at Namdroling Monastery in India, was recognized and enthroned in 1983 at the age of 51. He too had spent his life studying Buddhism and meditating before he was recognized as a tulku. Because he had cultivated his potential through many years of diligent study and meditation, he was able to become a teacher and is currently the head of our Palyul Center in Singapore. So, in short, in the Tibetan tradition there is nothing unusual about recognizing a tulku late in their life. In fact, the recognition of a tulku who has been born in the West is especially likely to occur later in their lifetime because it will generally take much longer for all the conditions that are necessary for such a recognition to come together. 
 
Steven Seagal has been recognized as a reincarnation of the 17th century hidden treasure revealer (tertön) Chungdrag Dorje (khyung brag rdo rje) of Palyul Monastery. Chungdrag Dorje founded a small monastery called Gegön Gompa near his native village of Phene in the Kutse area of Derge in Eastern Tibet. Though there are no monks there now, the small monastery building still exists and is well known in the area for its beautiful religious wall paintings. 
 
As a tertön, Chungdrag Dorje rediscovered teachings and sacred objects hidden by Padmasambhava in the eighth century. Such treasures (terma) were concealed with the intention that they would be discovered and revealed at a later date when the circumstances were such that they would be of particular benefit to sentient beings. Texts of the teachings discovered by Chungdrag Dorje have apparently not survived the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Sacred objects discovered by Chungdrag Dorje include an unusually shaped bell, a phurba (ritual dagger), the syllable 'A' carved in stone and pigments used to create the sacred wall paintings in his monastery mentioned above. Several of these objects have been preserved and are still kept at Palyul Monastery today. 
 
In the Nyingma tradition it is said that there are a hundred main treasure revealers and an even greater number of secondary treasure revealers. Among the latter it is not uncommon for the line of their teachings to eventually lapse. Though they were beneficial during the time they flourished, for various reasons some tertön teaching lineages have ceased. This would seem to be the case with Chungdrag Dorje. 
 
Now with regard to Steven Seagal, he was born centuries after the death of Chungdrag Dorje. It is not uncommon for there to be a lengthy span of time between the death of a master and the appearance of his or her subsequent reincarnation. My own tulku lineage is an example of this. There was a 130 years hiatus between the death of the First Pema Norbu in 1757 and the birth of the Second Pema Norbu in 1887. This is common in all the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. As for how these gaps come about, while tulkus are understood to have vowed to be continually reborn to help beings, it is not necessary for them to take rebirth in a continuous sequence of lives in this world. It is believed that they can be reborn in other world systems where they continue their compassionate activities, returning only later to this world system. This is how such lapses in tulku lineages are understood in Tibet. 
 
As for Steven Seagal's movie career, my concern is with the qualities I experienced within him which relate to his potential for benefiting others and not with the conventional details of his life which are wholly secondary. Some people think that because Steven Seagal is always acting in violent movies, how can he be a true Buddhist? Such movies are for temporary entertainment and do not relate to what is real and important. It is the view of the Great Vehicle of Buddhism that compassionate beings take rebirth in all walks of life to help others. Any life condition can be used to serve beings and thus, from this point of view, it is possible to be both a popular movie star and a tulku. There is no inherent contradiction in this possibility. 
 
As the head of the Palyul lineage of the Nyingma School and more recently as the Head of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, I have had the responsibility of recognizing numerous tulkus. The first time I recognized a tulku, I was ten years old. This tulku was the incarnation of the great Khenpo Ngaga. He is still living in Eastern Tibet and continues to strive, to this day, to promote the welfare of others. Since that time until now I have recognized over one hundred tulkus. In addition I have overseen the training and enthronement of over thirty khenpos (learned scholars) and I am responsible for the welfare of the many thousands of monks belonging to the Palyul tradition. My concern in seeking to nurture these tulkus, khenpos, monks, as well as sincere lay people, has been to benefit all sentient beings. It is out of this intention that I have recognized tulkus in the past and will continue to recognize them in the future as appropriate. 
 
In the case of my student Steven Seagal, I initiated the decision to recognize him as a tulku based on my own feelings about him. Neither I nor any of my monasteries have received or sought any sort of substantial donation from him. What is important to me are the qualities I have seen in my student. For this reason I feel confident that recognizing him as a tulku will be of benefit to others as well as to the Buddha dharma. 
 
Whenever there is a new incarnation born or recognized, I personally feel very happy because it is like you have one more brother or sister. I take delight in such occasions as they seek to further compassionate activity for others. Being recognized as a tulku is an acknowledgment of one's potential to help others. Such recognition does not mean that one is already a realized teacher. The degree to which tulkus have been able to actualize and utilize their potential depends upon how they have been able to use their past circumstances and how they currently use their present circumstances to develop their potential. Each tulku must work to develop themselves to the best of their ability. The essential point is that a tulku should strive to help others in whatever life situation they find themselves. It is out of such an aspiration to help all sentient beings that I have recognized many tulkus in my life and it is with this motivation that I recognized Steven Seagal as a tulku. If all beings seek to have this motivation, what need will there be for controversies and confusion over the motivations of others? 
 
Penor Rinpoche
1999


Hush! It's Secret!

Hush! It's Secret!

I recently joined a weeklong retreat with a well known Tibetan buddhist lama in England. I have read books of this rinpoche and find his style of teaching dzogchen refreshing among the larger field of vajrayana buddhism where only few seem to be proficient in communicating the natural state to others through their own living experience.

The retreat was attended by 160 people and was well organised. I joined the retreat because I wanted to take a breather from the hectic family and work life, and also to do my own practice and perhaps to learn something new. All in all it was a nice experience and I will probably join it again next year.

Rinpoche spent the first couple of days talking about shamatha and vipashyana meditations. He also taught some tummo breathwork. These sessions were recorded on video by volunteers.

On the 4th day of the retreat he started giving pointing out instructions. For those who don't know what pointing out instructions are they are verbal and nonverbal ways that the teacher uses for the students to have a recognition of their natural state, also called buddhanature. I give pointers such as finding knowingness, shaking (rushen) of the body and speech, shouting short syllables and many others. Even though I highly appreciate pointing out instructions and see the necessity of them, I do not think there is anything special to them. From the perspective of samsaric mind the natural state is more profound than anything else. But it still is the simple and direct awareness that each of us have which is more or less familiar to all of us already. Instructions by the teacher can be very helpful but having said that it is all very simple.

One thing that I find strange is that rinpoche's teachings were filmed up until he started giving pointing out instructions. Then he told the technical staff to ”Stop the recording” when he started giving instructions about the nature of mind. I have thought about this in retrospect and find it quite problematic for obvious reasons. The students who joined and paid a notable sum for the retreat could not get the recorded instructions that were the heart and soul of the whole event.

I think that the custom of not recording ”dzogchen” instructions comes from the medieval habit. This prevents the instructions from getting available to millions of seekers worldwide. I find that restricting pointing out instructions only to those present is wrong and actually in conflict with the view of compassion. I think this is unhealthy and merely serves the religious establishment as it keeps the business in motion.

I am happy to say that I do not belong to the vajrayana establishment. The elderly vajrayana is like a dying dinosaur with many ancient counterproductive habits with little to offer for the modern population.

I wonder how it is always so difficult for teachers, religous or otherwise, to prioritise the needs of the people instead of the needs of the establishment.

- Kim Katami, 16th May 2018.

Find many pointing out instructions from Open Heart YouTube-channel for free.

lauantai 5. toukokuuta 2018

Yamada Ryoun Roshi on Enlightenment Experiences

Yamada Ryoun Roshi on Enlightenment Experiences

Yamada Ryoun Roshi speaks of awakening experiences, difference of depth and clarity in them and finally how "the whole wall collapses" and one becomes a buddha. This is exactly how we talk about progressing through the bhumis in Open Heart. 


 

 

 

maanantai 30. huhtikuuta 2018

Buddha and Awakening

Buddha and Awakening

I was listening to a dharma talk given by a zen teacher. In the talk she gave an account of Shakyamuni Buddha's life, his search and his struggles.

"He searched for 6 years. He studied with three profoundly important teachers of the time. He studied various meditation techniques, he struggled with the ascetic tradition, he wondered from place to place, he had a few friends who were also on the path with him, and he became quite discouraged because he couldn't seem to break through his question which was why do we suffer, and what is the mystery of suffering, and how do we end suffering."
 - Enkyo O'Hara Roshi

Listening to this bit got me wondering of this like many times before. Shakyamuni, before his awakening, had the problem that despite of his utmost efforts he was doing wrong practices, practices that wouldn't and didn't get him awake from his suffering. As the story goes he studied with three masters of the time and came to master various states of meditation but these states would come and go without any permanent change on his mind. Also, Shakyamuni was neglecting his body by meditating too much and by not eatingand sleeping. He had studied with all the greatest yogis of his time but he just couldn't get to a place where the knot of his confusion would untangle. This is the problem I had and many others have.

So Shakyamuni sat down to concentrate and swore to sit as long as it would take him to break through. And it happened to him through sitting for a week. On the eighth morning as he lifted his gaze, as he was finishing his concentration exercise, he saw the star Venus in the sky. That simple and yet direct moment of seeing the bright star penetrated his sense of self. Through this awakening experience he had a shift from the self-based mind to selfless mind. And it set him free.

There are similar stories of awakening. One zen roshi I know woke up by seeing a tree leaf being touched by a gust of wind, after he had finished his meditation. Another zen roshi woke up by hearing the sound of his piss splashing in the urinal after his zazen. Awakenings through these kind of incidents happen. It happens but it is random.

I wonder if Shakyamuni, before his awakening, ever knew why he had the yearning to seek. I wonder if he knew exactly why he was pursuing the ascetic path and then the yogic path until he woke up. I don't assume he did because had he understood that his suffering was caused by his sense of self, or me-ness, he would have been able to tackle it head on. But he didn't, his path testifies that. Apparently his ascetic masters didn't really know either why they were doing all the things they did because otherwise Shakyamuni wouldn't have needed to leave them to find the answer on his own.

Many meditators of the modern day share the same problem Shakyamuni did: I need to wake up but it just isn't happening even though I am doing everything according to the instructions of the tradition. Shakyamuni sat for 6 years, I sat 8½. I know people who sat up to 10, 20, 35 years (long days!) but were not able to break through. Many modern meditators have the same problem Shakyamuni did *2500* years ago. It is a valid question why it is so random.

There is no way to avoid suffering, or existential confusion, living as a human being. But there are definite ways for extinquishing the fire of self-delusion. We need to have an understanding what exactly is the matter. When we understand that we have to have a technique, an exercise, to tackle the issue. And thirdly it is very helpful to receive instructions from someone who is already there.

I hope that in another 2500 years techniques for awakening, like the Two-Part Formula, are a household name so that the future generations don't have to suffer the way we did.

- Kim Katami, 30.4.2018

The Two-Part Formula: http://www.en.openheart.fi/113



perjantai 27. huhtikuuta 2018

Pointing the Staff at The Old Man's Heart by Padmasambhava

POINTING THE STAFF AT THE OLD MAN'S HEART
by PADMASAMBHAVA



While the great master Padmasambhava was staying at Great Rock Hermitage at Samye, Sherab Gyalpo of Ngog, an uneducated 61 year old man who had the highest faith and strong devotion to the master, served him for one year. All this while Ngog didn't ask for any teachings, nor did the master give him any. When after a year the master intended to leave, Ngog offered a mandala plate upon which he placed a flower of one ounce of gold.



Then he said, Great Master, think of me with kindness. First of all, I am uneducated. Second, my intelligence is small. Third, I am old, so my elements are worn down. I beg you to give a teaching to an old man on the verge of death that is simple to understand, can thoroughly cut through doubt, is easy to realize and apply, has an effective view, and will help me in future lives.
The Master pointed his walking staff at the old man's heart and gave this instruction:

Listen here old man! Look into the awakened mind of your own awareness! It has neither form nor color, neither center nor edge. At first, it has no origin but is empty. Next, it has no dwelling place but is empty. At the end, it has no destination but is empty. This emptiness is not made of anything and is clear and cognizant. When you see this and recognize it, you know your natural face. You understand the nature of things. You have then seen the nature of mind, resolved the basic state of reality and cut through doubts about topics of knowledge.

This awakened mind of awareness is not made out of any material substance; it is self-existing and inherent in yourself. This is the nature of things that is easy to realize because it is not to be sought for elsewhere. This is the nature of mind that does not consist of a concrete perceiver and something perceived to fixate on. It defies the limitations of permanence and annihilation. In it there is no thing to awaken; the awakened state of enlightenment is your own awareness that is naturally awake. In it there is no thing that goes to the hells; awareness is naturally pure. In it there is no practice to carry out; its nature is naturally cognizant. This great view of the natural state is present in yourself: resolve that it is not to be sought for elsewhere.
When you understand the view in this way and want to apply it in your experience, wherever you stay is the mountain retreat of your body. Whatever external appearance you perceive is a naturally occurring appearance and a naturally empty emptiness; let it be, free from mental constructs. Naturally freed appearances become your helpers, and you can practice while taking appearances as the path.

Within, whatever moves in your mind, whatever you think, has no essence but is empty. Thought occurrences are naturally freed. When remembering your mind essence you can take thoughts as the path and the practice is easy.
As for the innermost advice: no matter what kind of disturbing emotion you feel, look into the emotion and it tracelessly subsides. The disturbing emotion is thus naturally freed. This is simple to practice.


When you can practice in this way, your meditation training is not confined to sessions. Knowing that everything is a helper, your meditation experience is unchanging, the innate nature is unceasing, and your conduct is unshackled. Wherever you stay, you are never apart from the innate nature.




Once you realize this, your material body may be old, but awakened mind doesn't age. It knows no difference between young and old. The innate nature is beyond bias and partiality. When you recognize that awareness, innate wakefulness, is present in yourself, there is no difference between sharp and dull faculties. When you understand the innate nature, free from bias and partiality, is present within yourself, there is no difference between great and small learning. Even though your body, the support for the mind, falls apart, the dharmakaya of awareness wisdom is unceasing. When you gain stability in this unchanging state, there is no difference between a long and a short life-span.

Old man, practice the true meaning! Take the practice to heart! Don't mistake words and meaning! Don't depart from your friend, diligence! Embrace everything with mindfulness! Don't indulge in idle talk and pointless gossip! Don't become involved in common aims! Don't disturb yourself with worry of offspring! Don't excessively crave food and drink! Intend to die an ordinary man! Your life is running out, so be diligent! Practice this instruction for an old man on the verge of death!




Because of pointing the staff at Sherab Gyalpo's heart, this is called 'The Instruction of Pointing the Staff at the Old Man.' Sherab Gyalpo of Ngog was liberated and attained accomplishment.



This was written down by the Princess of Kharchen, Yeshe Tsogyal, for the sake of future generations. It is known under the name 'The Instruction of Pointing the Staff.'



*TRANSLATED BY ERIK PEMA KUNSANG, RANGJUNG YESHE PUBLICATIONS

maanantai 9. huhtikuuta 2018

Al's Awakening Story

Al's Awakening Story
Read also:


In order for me to explain how I came to use the Two-Part Formula (2pf) I need to explain a little of my journey with Buddhism and practice first. In 2012, aged 23 turning 24, I found myself feeling increasingly affected by anxiety and low moods. In a constant striving for something better and rarely being able to experience or live in the moment, I had quickly climbed to a management position at work (working in complex needs supported housing). I was still unsatisfied, I was stressed and life seemed to be gleaming little of the rewards and fulfilment that I had thought it should. I had been married for a year and my wife were planning for the future, and I was happy. Or at least I had all the pieces in place that I thought should have made me happy, but I still did not feel fulfilled. I felt like I was always chasing something that eluded me.
I had heard about Buddhism and had been mildly intrigued by it having had a political interest in Tibet and the Chinese occupation for some years since my teens. I started thinking more about what I knew about meditation and Buddhism and, despite being a rather staunch Atheist, wondered if this religion/philosophy might hold some answers for why I felt the way I did. I moved to Stroud, Gloucestershire in 2012 and started looking for Buddhist  groups to see what it was all about. I didn’t like the look of some groups that I had heard about, this all seemed too religious for me. Eventually I came across a group called DharmaMind which had a weekly meeting in Nailsworth.
I sat with this group weekly for the best part of around 18 months thereafter. I introduced my best friend to the group and attended a few of the monthly retreats that the group held in Birmingham. I also went for longer silent retreats at the Theravadan monastery, Amaravati. I became familiar with the teachings of Aloka David Smith and committed as fully as I could with the practice. I felt deep and significant changes in my life, learning from Aloka’s teachings and coming in to touch with my own Buddha Nature. Buddha Nature or awareness has always made sense to me, I liken it to those glimpses of peace and ease that I have felt when on walks in the woods; feeling in touch with other things and comfortable with myself. I have always thought that this could probably be explained scientifically, like through the body’s natural release of endorphins or similar. Or you could explain it more spiritually. I have come to think that it probably doesn’t matter, but that we can all relate to that feeling, regardless of the language we use. Buddhism, I feel, gives some really useful language and tools to understand these things. Meditation being one of those useful tools.
In June 2014 I became a father after 2 ½ years of trying to conceive and had been through some really difficult times. I tried to keep the practice going but my commitment took a knock with the speed and trials of family life. But also I think I was more contented with life and didn’t “need” my practice as much (unwisely this was probably just as it bearing fruits for me!). Inevitably my practice took a knock though and I had only a little contact with the DharmaMind group until Aloka died in July 2015. I sat on and off after this and found it even harder to find space and time after the birth of my daughter in November 2016.
Come to November 2017 and my wife and I had decided to completely up our lives, give up our jobs and move from Gloucestershire to Devon with the kids, to be closer to family. This brought many of its own challenges, as can be expected, and once again I found my own wellbeing taking a knock. I felt many of the old patterns of behaviour and reactions returning like I felt back in 2012. This time though I had a bits and pieces of a practice established and a knowledge of good teachings thanks to Aloka.
It just so happened that in January 2018 I saw a post on facebook announcing that the DharmaMind sangha would be merging with Open Heart and taking on Kim Katami as a teacher. As I looked at Open Heart teachings I began to feel very insecure and angry; it felt so different to what Aloka taught. I also had a feeling of being let down; I needed DharmaMind again and took it for granted that it would be there still exactly as I left it.
However, something about the ideas I read stuck. The main thing that really stood out was this insistence from DhamaMind Sangha members that they had had awakening experiences by following the 2pf as set out by Kim Katami. I couldn’t believe that it could be as simple as it seemed to be explained, but I also couldn’t not try it out for myself. Awakening I thought was something that could only be attained by someone like Aloka. So I started giving this 2pf a go.
Essentially, after trying 2pf for a few days and feeling quite profoundly different, I had to contact Kim and ask to know more about his teachings and 2pf as a practice towards awakening – and I had to apologise for some defensive language I had use responding to DharmaMind-Open Heart merger announcement! Humble pie was swallowed as I explained to Kim that basically “damn, I think you might be on to something here!”
Kim began guiding me through using the 2pf via email contact; his messages and instructions seeming to know exactly where to nudge, where to call out nonsense and when to motivate. Initially I began to notice slight differences in my day to day experience after using 2pf, a slight lightness to my interactions and one morning in particular the strong urge to want to laugh at just about everything I came in to contact with. Physically, I felt a very interesting sensation building with pressure between the eyes. This grew with intensity I felt profoundly the difference between the first mode – sitting in open awareness – to the second mode – of reinforcing the self. In the second mode the pressure between my eyes grew and grew and other physical sensations; heat beating fast, tingling energy running from the middle of the body up to the head. I had never felt anything like this before in meditation. In the last year or so in fact my meditation before this time had become so stagnant, and I was so tired from life with the kids, that more often than not I simply fell asleep during meditation.
After just under 3 weeks of using 2pf and after around 5 days of having contact with Kim directly for instruction I felt a real shift. My sitting meditation started to become very peaceful and light - albeit with this pressure between the eyes - and during my day, at work and at home, I felt more at ease, calmer. Then sitting one Saturday evening using 2pf it changed; the pressure between my eyes expanded to the most intense that it had felt and I felt what I can only describe as a “rushing” sensation in my whole mind and body; like I was squeezing through a tunnel into the present moment. And then I felt blissful. And then I felt very fearful . I knew something had happened, something had changed, but after reading other people’s accounts which seemed only to describe bliss and peace, the fear was quite unsettling.
I contacted Kim even as the fearful feeling ebbed away in the hour after. The fearful feeling lingered in the background the next morning as well. Although in addition to that, I felt a great calm also. Kim explained that he thought awakening had happened for me, but that in addition, I had also “struck a vein of fear”. Kim explained that this was not strange and simply was moving through “subject self” that the 2pf looks at and gone into “object self” . Connecting with this fearful emotion strongly was not new to me, but I had simply not expected it at that time.
As the next day wore on the fear subsided entirely, and what grew then and over the next few days to follow was a peace and calm and clarity that was both wonderful to behold, but also was really fairly mundane! It felt like an old friend that was back. Life was not different and my day to day was not different, but yet at the same time there was a base level to how the world looked and how I felt that was very different. This initial phase felt almost like I was carrying a little light around.
As the weeks have moved on this has definitely changed, and this “honeymoon phase” has definitely subsided. My life has also hit some turbulent times and has been very difficult, financially, emotionally, and with relationships, because of the changes to our lives that my wife and I have made moving our family. However, there is a stark difference to how these difficult times have played out for me. I have not felt swept up as I would have in the past, I have not felt that the negative experiences (which have been real and out of my control) have been so globalising. I feel that this new way of being – which is also not new! – has enabled me to remain grounded. I have also noticed the ability to look at other people far more kindly, even when they have been difficult. I have felt I have more readily been able to thank them for their lessons. I have also felt more open to and aware of my own habits and reactions and better able to “see” them, even if I’m not always able to stop them. I feel more confident than I ever have in my life and more at ease and in touch with myself than I have ever been.
- Al

Links

The Two-Part Formula: http://www.en.openheart.fi/113
Awake! -ebook, free: http://www.en.openheart.fi/114
How to Become Awakened-talks recorded in Dublin: Part 1 and Part 2.