torstai 22. kesäkuuta 2017

My Life with The Masters

My Life with The Masters

When I was a small boy, living in an environment of great unease, I would go sit on my bed to pray for the happiness of all beings and do certain breathing practices. When I prayed the room would light up as if someone switched on the lights. It was as if I would enter a different realm, that of peace and subtle happiness. I would sit there for some time not thinking or doing anything being swept by the power of mere presence. Nobody had taught me this. Ever since I can remember I would do this about few times a week. This kept continuing for many years. At some point when I became a teenager I stopped doing these spontaneous sessions but nevertheless I would often be swept by the same feeling that made my mind utterly brilliant and peaceful. I would also often think of honesty and death. Also from my early teens I started to experience certain kind of blackouts* among ordinary actitivities, a few times a week. For many years I didn't know what they were.

*after several years of meditation I realised these blackouts were brief cessations (skt. nirodha).

At 28, after having started tantric guru yoga, I realised that those moments in childhood and youth were largely caused by visitations of mahasiddhas (masters) in their nonphysical form. This understanding struck me one day like a lightning bolt from a clear sky when I was repeating a mantra of a certain mahasiddha. Today I understand that all this happened because of my connection with the masters. They helped and guided me throughout those years of great distress.

I know some people who have experienced similar things in their lives. I also know people who have never experienced anything like that who for that reason have hard time understanding what all this means and whether it is even real. Personally to me such things are part of my everyday life. To me it is as common as having a breakfast every morning. Even though the apparent barrier of the physical world and non-physical world is transcended in this event, to me there is nothing strange, unusual or extra-ordinary in that. I have experienced it thousands of times in my life so to me it's normal.

In 2007, very soon after I realised the cause behind those events I started to receive yogic teachings and instructions from nonphysical mahasiddhas. Since then I have had a line open to them. The reason for this is in shared past lives with them. Sivakami, my teacher, also had such connections.

The Gift of Tantric Guru Yoga

By Great Transference we mean that the material body is integrated with the substance of the elements and disappears into the light. Those who have the capacity can continue to see it, but for those who are limited to a common vision it is as if it disappears. In short, those who manifest the Great Transference continue to live in light, give teachings and work for the benefit of all beings who have the capacity to get in contact with them”

- Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

”Guru Rinpoche is a field of awakened energy 
that took form in Tibet in the 8th century but 
continues to be active in the universe”. 

- Lama Tsultrim Allione

In Pemako buddhism the foundation of our practice is tantric guru yoga, being present with the gurus our hearts and minds open. This is just what the above quote speaks about. During the last decade when I have been teaching, I have seen hundreds of people who've had momentary (because of practice session) or life-changing (repeated practice) experiences because of the way guru yoga is taught in Open Heart. Our way is very simple and straightforward.

I have actually met people who before the session have told me that they don't believe anything important could happen through chanting the names of the masters, who an hour later have come to me in utter amazement telling me that they have never experienced anything like that, even during many years of meditation. I've seen masters do their thing on people numerous times.

I do not think one can become a living buddha without a tantric guru who is a mahasiddha him- or herself. One of the problems of the buddhist tradition is that it has mostly been passed down by teachers who are more or less samsaric beings. The Open Heart Bhumi Model is a way to find out whether some teacher is a living buddha or not. Many teachers have shifts and glimpses of their buddha nature but are not fully enlightened. Buddhas in the physical body are extremely rare even though they do exist. If one hasn't found such a master, in my opinion it is certain that one cannot attain buddhahood in this life. It is extremely rare that a piece of wood starts to burn alone by itself. It is much easier to get it burning by sticking a burning match to it. It is exactly like that with tantric guru yoga. That's the gift any of the mahasiddhas are willing to give to us, you included, at any time or place. You don't need initiations for that, only the name and/or picture of the master, and off you go.

The main benefit of tantric guru yoga, is that once you tune into his presence, your bodymind comes into contact with his. This means that the attainment of the guru meets with your present samsaric condition with the outcome that 1. your own buddhamind becomes evident while 2. your karmic body becomes flushed with his purifying blessings. No matter where you are you can be in living connection with Guru Rinpoche or any of the masters. Essentially there is no difference in meeting a master with a body or without a body because it is not the physical body that makes the master a living buddha.
Ahead I implied that in Open Heart we have a certain way of practicing guru yoga that is different from other ways of practicing it. The main differences to other forms of guru yoga are that

  1. there is no need for an empowerment,
  2. our techniques are short, simple and direct, and
  3. after the technique has been applied there is a thorough recognition of the experience in one's own bodymind, that is, a period of meditation.

Like I always say, and what Sivakami always emphasized, the main value of guru yoga is not in discussing or receiving instructions from the gurus. For some people who have strong karmic connection with them and there is a specific reason for that, this can happen but the main point is in energetic transmission and revealing of one's own natural state. That's it. This point strikes at the core of buddhism itself. 

About recognition

Even though it took a long time for me to get information of what had been happening to me all my life, I feel I have been lucky to have met several people who have had similar experiences like I have. In that respect Sivakami helped me the most. She had amazing skills in this regard. I have also discussed this in private with tantric teachers, some of who are famous gurus with large followings, from both the hindu and buddhist camps. Several hindu saints and adepts with their own connections to masters beyond the physical have confirmed my connection. I have been called a terton (dharma treasure revealer) and a tulku (reincarnation) by teachers inside the Tibetan buddhist tradition but this has been among casual conversation between friends and nothing authoritative. For years I felt it was a big problem because I had no formal recognition. As a friend of mine who is a Tibetan buddhist lama says, ”Many people are like dogs. The first thing they do is to sniff your ass”.

While it is my responsibility to teach and spread the immensely valuable Pemako buddhist teachings, it hasn't been easy partly because some people are quick to draw their conclucions without any formal proofs. It is true that I don't have the kind of proofs people are used to seeing but if one starts to look into the materials that I have provided, there is plenty of proof.

In the case of those who have already made up their minds about me and my work, the two-way exchange is over. When the barriers go up, people simply don't want to hear anything I say. I have been called by nasty names because I do not fit the norm and didn't graduate through the usual channels. None of the sceptics out there have come to meet me in person, or invited me over. It would have saved a lot of my time and energy, and in some cases the karmic backflow caused by the ill words of others, if I had a formal recognition. A formal recognition as a tulku alone is not a quarantee of anything but it would have helped. But there are more important aspects to this than just assuring sceptics.

Being who I am, doing what I do

Everyone has had past lives. Some remember them, some don't. I clearly remember many of my past lives, though not all of them. I distinctly remember having lived as a yogi in many traditions, both in and out of buddhism. I remember lives when I have done same or similar work that I do now, bringing buddha dharma to new people and new areas of the world, shaping it according to the needs and abilities of the people, often with the help of the masters. I also remember lives with several mahasiddhas, living and studying with them closely. All these things are as common as my own hands to me. Saying this does not feel special in any way. That's just my history and my personal memories.

If I analyse my own life, I can admit that I am not a perfect tulku. Before I took this body in my mother's womb, I agreed to take this job and be born in a country that had no culture of dharma at all. On the other hand Finland is a wealthy and peaceful country which is a good thing. Before I took this body I knew that my memory was going to be cut off and that it was going to get samsaric, proper samsaric, like it did. Looking back to my childhood and youth I am absolutely certain that I couldn't have survived without the active help of my gurus. Because of the difficult conditions I had to learn to use my common sense.

The good side of all that suffering was that it lead me to seek my way back to dharma and motivated me to practice. This burning kept me on the cushion for 8 hours everyday for the first 8½ years of my practice. If I had had an easier life there is no way my motivation would have carried me but because I suffered, I had no other choice than to sit and try to figure out what the hell was wrong with everything.

Padmasambhava's Pure Land Buddhism

Today I have been practicing for about 15 years and teaching full time for almost a decade, with a unique expression of buddha dharma that bears the name of Pemako buddhism. I say it is unique because as far as I know no other system of buddhism has same or similar expression, even though every system is based on the same universal principles. I couldn't have done any of this without my masters, nor would I have wanted to. As a samsaric being I certainly couldn't have created a training method like Open Heart and guided the sangha the way Guru Padmasambhava and others throughout the years have. Words cannot describe my gratitude to them.

Our practitioners know what I am talking about because they have gained experiences. They have read my introductions, tried the practices, experienced the effects and chosen to follow Pemako buddhism as their path. The excellent news is that they didn't start to follow this path because of my title, name or reputation as a famous teacher. Had I been formally recognised as a child by some high lama as a reincarnation of someone I might have ended up like many tulkus, being viewed a someone very special, lecturing from books with no first hand knowledge whatsoever, touring the fancy dharma halls of the world, being completely spoiled. No, thank you.

Like I said in my recent post, Introducing Pemako Buddhism, after a careful consideration I started to use a name and title given to me by my guru, Padmasambhava. I know that my title or Pemako buddhism for that matter, will never be accepted by orthodox buddhists at large. I did express my concern about this to my guru but it didn't change his mind.

I won't try to change the opinions of the orthodox buddhist mass but I would like to ask the sceptics to consider if they themselves would accept a dharma name and an honorary title from their gurus. I am absolutely certain that no one who respects one's guru and upholds his teachings would refuse it.

The main reason that makes me and my work unorthodox is that my guru doesn't have a physical body. For this reason I do not have his written certificate of me being his dharma heir. I do not have a paper which says that,

I, Padmasambhava am the founder of Pemako buddhism and have asked Orgyen Pema Rinpoche to do this work”.

Even though that is the case I don't have a document like that.

Meeting with doubt is not unusual in my position. In history, there has been many founders of new schools of buddhism who were critisized or even abused by the orthodox camp.

Whether a teacher is authentic or not, the only way to understand buddha dharma is through one's own experience. Because I have lived all my life, 38 years to date, with my masters I am confident that what they have taught me and what I pass to others is buddha dharma par excellence.

Thank you for reading.

- Orgyen Pema, 22.6.2017

sunnuntai 18. kesäkuuta 2017

Awakening and Zen by James Ishmael Ford

Awakening and Zen

by James Ishmael Ford

"In the Western Zen scene today words like enlightenment, kensho, and satori have been pushed to the background. Any emphasis on the experience of awakening has been minimized. There are reasons for this. And I think some of them are legitimate.

However, that acknowledged, the great project of Zen is nothing less than awakening. And, sliding over that, shifting the point to something else, is making a terrible mistake...

As it happened this minimizing of kensho was also the general stance within the Soto school. In a delightful illustration of this Huston Smith tells of visiting the “other Suzuki,” the renowned Shunryu Suzuki Roshi:

When, four months before his death, I had the opportunity to ask him why satori didn’t figure in his book, his wife leaned toward me and whispered impishly, “It’s because he hasn’t had it”; whereupon the Roshi batted his fan at her in mock consternation and with finger to his lips hissed, “Shhhh! Don’t tell him!’”When our laughter had subsided, he said simply, “It’s not that satori is unimportant, but it’s not the part of Zen that needs to be stressed.”

In fact others practicing within the Soto school would go much farther, denying the experience itself or denigrating it or its pursuit as nothing but a “gaining thought,” another dualistic trap...

So, in a reaction to D. T. Suzuki’s many writings, and in particular the focus found in that first book on Zen practice the Three Pillars a baby was thrown out with the bath water. Zen without awakening is a hobbled eagle. I suggest if we want Zen to be more than a mindfulness practice that will get us an edge in whatever project we want an edge in, we need to reclaim awakening as the central purpose of the project.

Zen is a spiritual process completely bound up with the actual world; it is not meant to be a philosophy. Nor is it psychology. It is about our awakening. And when awakening is brought together with our practices and the precepts, we begin to see the contours of what Zen actually offers to the world..."

"Kensho means “to see,” and its related term is Satori, which means “to know.” Both point to the great opening of heart and mind. Sometimes, in Zen mostly, they’re synonyms for that big thing. Although I’ve seen kensho to be used for lesser insights and satori for either the big one or sometimes even for the cumulative place that one on a path that attends to these things may at some point find themselves.

The reality is dynamic, even messy. And I like the term to be a bit messy, as well. I suspect it cannot be fully described. But we can take a stab at it. At least I’m going to here.

First, I would like to hold up the big thing that is awakening as I understand it. The deepest thing is a collapsing of one’s sense of self and other and finding a place of radical openness.

The rhetoric attached to this awakening is that it is a once and forever. I have a sense of that. And at the same time I’ve seen in others who have been recognized for their awakening as well as in myself that it isn’t an escape from one’s place in karma. As the famous Fox koan reminds us, awakening does not free us from the consequences of our actions. It doesn’t even free us from taking actions in the future that will have negative consequences. What awakening is, is an existential stance of radical openness. It does not mean there are no blind spots. It does not mean one is free of the play of those endlessly arising constellations of grasping, aversion, and death-grasping certainties. But, it does mean some part of the person who has had this experience sees or knows the freedom as well as being fully in the play of life and death. So, yes, once and forever. And, no, not free from karma or even stupid or possibly evil actions."

- James Ford, Zen-teacher of Soto and Sanbo Kyodan schools

Quotes from:

torstai 8. kesäkuuta 2017

Redefining Bodhisattvas

Redefining Bodhisattvas

A few years ago I read the following quote from Yasutani Hakuun Roshi, a famous Japanese zen buddhist master of the 20th century:

In the deepest sense, even the Bodhisattva Kannon (Avalokiteshvara) might be said to be attached to compassion, otherwise he would be a buddha, free of all attachments.*”

*quote from The Three Pillars of Zen, Philip Kapleau

Wikipedia gives the following definition of bodhisattva plus categorises three kinds of them:

In Buddhism, bodhisattva is the Sanskrit term for anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish and a compassionate mind to attain buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.”

  1. king-like bodhisattva - one who aspires to become buddha as soon as possible and then help sentient beings in full fledge;
  2. boatman-like bodhisattva - one who aspires to achieve buddhahood along with other sentient beings;
  3. shepherd-like bodhisattva - one who aspires to delay buddhahood until all other sentient beings achieve buddhahood. Bodhisattvas like Avalokiteśvara and Śāntideva are believed to fall in this category.

Bodhisattvas going up the hill

By bodhisattvas who are on their way towards the top of the hill, I mean samsaric beings who are still bound by their dualistic vision but who have the motivation and make efforts to become fully realised buddhas for the benefit of all beings, in this, past or future lives.

Bodhisattvas coming down the hill

As Yasutani Roshi and the third category of mahayana bodhisattvas in the Wikipedia article describe, some bodhisattvas like Avalokiteshvara are said to not have attained buddhahood but are still making their way up the hill towards it while simultaneously answering to the cries of those who suffer below them. This would mean that bodhisattvas like Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, Mahasthamaprapta, Akasagarbha, Ksitigarbha and so on, are still subtly deluded with an impaired vision,. This would make them samsaric beings.

It has always made sense to me to turn for example towards Avalokiteshvara, the embodiment of compassion, to receive his blessings and assiatance but it never made sense to me that he would still be a deluded being, more or less like me. At some point I started feeling that there must be some misunderstandings in this view. I would never take refuge in samsaric beings, regardless how subtle their delusion was. Neither would I recommend it to anyone.

One of my criticisms towards Tibetan buddhism and it's high lamas, who extremely rarely actually are living buddhas, is that their followers should not take refuge to lamas who aren't buddhas for certain. Doing this keeps the wheel of samsara spinning and is an impediment for actualisation of the buddhist teaching. If we don't know whether or not one's guru is a buddha or not, we need to find out to be sure. If we don't have ways of finding out, we have to start from the beginning and start thinking about it constructively. This matter cannot be left on faith. I encourage people to study the dharma and to revere and respect their teachers but not taking refuge in samsaric beings. The Open Heart Bhumi Model and it's analytical application reveals what the actual level of anyone's attainment is.

If bodhisattvas were buddhas in the making, they would also have to take refuge in buddhas and mahasiddha gurus, just like us ordinary samsaric beings. This doesn't make much sense.

My understanding is that sambhogakaya bodhisattvas, bodhisattvas of the energetic realms (deities), are fully enlightened buddhas who have gone up the hill to the top and then returned back down to reside on certain areas of the mind (ref. to Bodhisattva Bhumis) to help those who are trapped in the wheel of confusion and ignorance. For this reason bodhisattva deities are actually buddhas who have chosen to do their work from the bodhisattva bhumis (1-10), relating to the vast range of energy centers, that is, the mind of man (sem) and the various realms that can be accessed from each of these centers.

Thank you for reading.

Bows to the Five Jewels.

- Kim, 8.6.2017

torstai 1. kesäkuuta 2017

Pedagogy of Dharma

Pedagogy of Dharma

In many of my posts I have discussed problems related to the teaching methods of dharma. In constructive spirit, I am here continuing on dharma pedagogy in a casual manner.

Room for improvement

I often wonder how it is possible that there is very low pedagogical standards in transmitting of the dharma. When seeing how poorly teachings and practice instructions are delivered, anyone with some exposure to pedagogical studies probably wonders the same. If we think of any field of study, there are explicit requirements what the students are excepted to learn but unfortunately this doesn't seem to be the case in buddhism. Fortunately there are some exceptions to this rule but in general it can be said that dharma teachers would have a lot to improve in their skills. 

Practical example of poor pedagogy are extensive yet vague theoretical expositions with little or no relation at all to actual practice. Students listen to their teachers talk hour after hour, year after year and yet their understanding does not grow. I have joined many dharma events where teachers speak extensively yet never explain properly how the given theory is supposed to relate to the practice and have an effect on the minds of the students. I have seen people with over 20 years of diligent study inquire their teachers about the meaning of emptiness to which they were answered the same jargon of emptiness and compassion that is too symbolic to understand, just like it was 20 years before, and every year since.

If students weren't learning, that would make the bells go off in the head of an educated teacher of any other field of study but this doesn't seem to be the case in buddhism. Traditional teachers rarely seem to be able to think outside the box which is a great shame.

If the old ways and methods are not making practitioners (in plural) fully enlightened, or even making a notable number of practitioners evolved, then there is a need for comprehensive re-evaluation. If the old ways worked we would surely see a very different culture of dharma than we are seeing now. 

Like all old religions, buddhism also has the problem of having imbibed much cultural influences from the ancient cultures of the East. While these external influences give each tradition their distinctive outlook through ways, forms, rituals and religious and institutionalised features, this evolution of the outlook can make the core of dharma very unclear and murky. For many Westerners it is easy to see this in their native religion of Christianity but difficult in their chosen form of Eastern buddhism. 

While vagueness of instructions in buddhist meditation is common, at the same time teachers emphasize that the training deals with the mind. That is a valid point but at the same time is not helpful if the instructions actually are vague. Observing these two factors have lead me to think whether various teachers are able to comprehend the profundity of the teachings of the past masters, for example emptiness or the nature of mind which both are the bedrock of buddhist meditation. Vagueness of instructions indicates lack of first hand experience. If one has first hand eperience, one should be able to describe what theoretically seems complex, in a simple and straightforward language without any vagueness whatsoever. Scholarly jargon and excessive theoretical details only get in the way of direct understanding and experience.

Another example of bad teaching habits is talking voluminously yet not addressing the actual topic. It is amazing how some teachers give extensive series's of talks lasting days or even weeks and manage not to talk about anything that would actually be useful. Here the teacher only wastes the time of the students.

Some years ago I bought a set of DVD's on analytical meditation by a famous Tibetan buddhist teacher. The recordings contained 7 hours of talks. However, in all five discs, the actual topic was discussed for only 15 minutes.
On average, the teacher, adressed the topic for one minute about every half and hour. What did he talk about then? Praise and hype about the tradition, exciting and illustrative stories of past masters and their great efforts, and loads of silly jokes. Imagine if a school teacher did that. He would get kicked out in weeks or months because there are certain and strict standards.

Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche states: When I went to the United States for the first time, I was in New York and over that period Dudjom Rinpoche was also there giving a teaching. In the newspaper, there was an announcement saying, 
”Dudjom Rinpoche is giving the supreme teaching of Dzogchen”. Then some of my students went to receive the teaching and we discovered that Dudjom Rinpoche was actually giving a teaching about Refuge, Bodhicitta and other such things. He was teaching on the Four Teachings of Gampopa. He taught (the first) three, but he didn't give the fourth one. The fourth one shows how illusion is tranformed into wisdom. This kind of teaching is more commonly applied in Tantra but it is not necessary in Dzogchen. Many teachers give this teaching, and it is an example of how something can misleadingly be given the title of Dzogchen. It is not so difficult to understand. When you give the title of Dzogchen to something and then teach some technique of practice, how to do Puja, or how to do different kinds of visualisation and transformation, then it is not Dzogchen.”

Giving hasty and poorly defined practice instructions is another common problem. Especially in Tibetan buddhism teachers deliver long talks about the theory. These talks can last hours but when they get to practice instructions, they are too hasty and without the needed detail. I don't mean pithy or concise. After hours or even days of explanation, the teacher can explain the technique in few short sentences and never repeat what he said. I've seen geshes (doctors) and high lamas do this. This causes the students problems because they don't exactly know what they are supposed to do and how. I have met people who practiced for years on the basis of such instructions doing the practice wrong and without getting much benefits. Also, in ”guided sessions” teacher's verbal instructions can be of no use whatsoever again due to vagueness and carelessness. The teacher should always put himself in the place of the listeners, considering what they need to know in order to do the practice correctly. The position of a teacher is a highly responsible one because others rely on his or her instructions. For this reason, a teacher cannot assume that everyone knows what he is talking about, without asking them. The teacher should always make sure the students understand what is taught.

Another common problem is to use too little (or too much) time for the actual practice during dharma events. I've seen both examples. I recently joined a weekend dzogchen seminar of a famous Tibetan lama where literally 1 minute of a 90 minute session was used for practice that was hastily described the previous evening and was never reviewed. After I had survived my dumbfoundedness it was hard for me to comprehend what had just happened because it was both a pedagogical and practical disaster. How is it possible that a lama with decades of exposure to dharma would use his time for travelling to another country and then as a teacher do so poorly in making the crowd interested in the actual practice? I question this because after all that is said, it is the practice that matters, right? How can anyone practice correctly after one single minute of practice based on poor instructions? 

Ngak'chang Rinpoche: "I think that people who are associated with Shambhala center, may not know that Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche was the first lama ever to teach silent sitting as a group practice in the Tibetan tradition. This was really quite a radical move. It doesn't seem so radical from the perspective of theravada or zen but certainly from the Tibetan buddhist perspective. Khandro Dechen and I are always very happy if there are zen students who attend our retreats because they know how to sit. The Tibetan students tend to fidget because they are not used to silent sitting. So the reason why Trungpa Rinpoche introduced silent sitting as a group practice is because he wanted to establish a solid foundation for what came afterwards. In the dzogchen tradition we don't have group silent sitting because in the dzogchen tradition there are these ancillary practices. So for example when you sit and come across some obstacle then there are things you can do to that obstacle. There are certain syllables that are enunciated forcefully. Now as you can imagine if there is a whole room full of people who are all occasionally uttering forceful syllables its somewhat distracting. There are also changes in physical posture and there are also exercises that are sometimes quite athletic. However we have taken on this practice of group silent sitting because its extremely valuable in a supportive way as a sangha." from:

Some years ago I heard that there are no group meditations in Tibetan monasteries. For someone with a zen training history, this was a shock and I still don't understand how the Tibetans reasoned that sitting meditation was to be done alone at retreats, or by each person himself in the monastery. Surely sitting together with the sangha for a few hours a day would be (is) highly beneficial.

When teaching dzogchen, the teacher needs to be very careful and skillful in communicating, demonstrating and transmitting the natural state to the students. Ample time in practice together is an absolute requirement for that is the core of it all. All else is just support to this. This is the only way to properly pass the lamp of dharma, the lamp of the natural state. When this is achieved it is the recognition of the natural state that motivates the student, instead of secondary motives like the popularity of the teacher or his lineage.

Starting to do other things immediately after prayer recitation or mantras, without even a moment of conscious recognition, is another common fault. I have seen how teachers and students recite long prayers, from 10-60 minutes, but the moment they are done reading they stand up and get busy with other things. This  indicates a very poor understanding of the energetic side of dharma practice. If the blessings of the guru, The Three Jewels, Bodhisattva Vows, the deities (yidam, ishtadevata) or the energies of prayers are not well recognised by experiencing them in one's own body, heart and mind, then one is not really receiving the blessings, connecting to the lineage and therefore cannot get the proper benefit of the practice. The blessings and energetic charges, that do come about in all kinds of dharma practice from theravada, to mahayana and vajrayana, should be recognised and connected with with one's own body. Not doing this is like wanting to listen to a special radio show and carefully tuning to the right channel but then after tuning in, instead of listening to the special broadcast, beginning to do other things. I have seen dorje lopons (skt. vajracharya) with over 40 years of history do this. I think it is extremely unfortunate because this energetic aspect is the foundation of all dharma, and it is always there regardless of tradition or the vehicle.

Keeping it real

Dharma is about the mind, and mind is an abstract thing. But despite of its abstractness it is possible to speak, transmit and understand it in simple and common terms. If I look at buddhism, more specifically tantric buddhism and dzogchen, in the world today, there are many obvious issues there that would be easy to fix.

I do not claim to be omniscient but here I have discussed some problems that would be easy to fix, if the teachers wanted to. We cannot be too self-sufficient and merely rely on ancient ways. If we are willing to see and can admit, buddhism is not doing too well in terms of releasing suffering. 

We must always question fearlessly and analyse our ways so that we can see our faults. We also should listen and learn from others. Answering questions in a proper manner leads to more thorough understanding, real experiential knowledge. That is the only way to keep dharma alive.

- Kim Katami, 1.6.2017

Open Heart,