Assuming the Center of the Mandala
Buddhism is a vast collection of teachings and practices. Some teachings are easy to learn and understand, others are complex. Forms vary yet the essence of buddhist practices is the same. Buddhism is a tradition of awakening from existential fantasy to existential reality.
Roughly speaking, buddhist yogas – meditations and yogic practices –can be divided into two categories,
primary practices that directly generate awakening from self-based delusion and
secondary practices that support the primary practices
This categorisation is oversimplification but at the same time we can easily see which practices and approaches generate instant recognition of wakeful awareness common to all mind phenomena, and which do the same but in a roundabout (long or short) manner.
Rinpoche's Pure Land Buddhism, commonly known as Pemako Buddhism,
begins with a primary exercise known as the Two-Part
Formula. The two parts or mind modes of the Two-Part Formula
(2PF) are selfless state and self-based state. What is unique to 2PF,
which is also the reason why it is so effective, is that the
self-based mode is purposefully brought back every time it
disappears. All thoughts come and go in the mind, and similarly the
I- or me-thought comes and goes in impulsive and random fashion. The
Two-Part Formula doesn't allow this and the sense of gross I, me,
mine-thought is brought back with the affirmation, so that it can be
investigated under the microscope of mindful awareness. Because of
these two factors together, recognition of selfless awareness and
affirmation, the grossest sense of self is put under pressure that it
cannot persist. Inevitably sooner or later there will be a shift –
awakening - in one's mind.
In our system of training, the technical term for this shift is opening of the 1st bhumi. From the tantric perspective it can be described as assuming of the center of the enlightened sphere or mandala, which in terms of tantric deities belongs to Amitabha Buddha. According to the categorisation above, the 2PF is a primary practice that's sole purpose is to generate awakening from self-delusion. This is the beginning of not only Pemako buddhist path but the beginning of all buddhist paths. Awakening is universal, there is no doubt about that. See Lion-Faced Guru Podcast episode titled Universal Awakening.
|Yourself depicted as Amitabha Buddha radiating as pure light and blessings|
As a human being whose existence is marked by painful self-based ignorance, my whole life I have sought for peace and harmony, and I know many who have had the same problem. Acting and reacting from a solid belief in individual self is a world of pain and suffering. This belief, this solidifed, calcified, hardened, crystallised thought causes problems and conflicts in endless ways. This belief, this stubborn belief, is the root cause of our suffering. The good news is that, on the other hand, it is none other than a deeply stuck belief, and as stubborn as it may be it is possible to remove it by investigation. It is as simple as that.
There is no reason whatsoever to think that we wouldn't be ready or fit for awakening, or that awakening should be postponed. Within you, me and everyone else there is a perfectly awake buddha living but she is dormant, as if asleep... Please, wake her up!
Help yourself and come in contact with the reality yourself. I have written extensively about awakening and its implications in Awake-book, that is free of charge.
- Kim Katami, 12.9.2020