sunnuntai 11. huhtikuuta 2021

Advice to Someone with Fear and Anxiety About Energy and Kundalini

 

Advice to Someone with Fear and Anxiety About Energy and Kundalini




Kim: Hello,

I read your email, all of it. I understand your problem/s. You've gone a long way with these issues and unfortunately you haven't met anyone before who could help you out with your problems. I am looking at your past and present experiences as a whole, and even if to you it might look like an endless mess that you cannot get out of or make sense, it is actually not that complex or difficult.


What you need is 1) a clear view of the path and its experiences, incl. energetics and 2) practices that help you to remove and pacify your fears, anxieties and whatever mental-emotional issues are there. You do not have psychotic features so all this is actually easy to manage, if you have the right tools and view. I've had similar issues myself back in the day and have students who have had similar things as you, so nothing what you have experienced is unique to your case. Perhaps you can feel some relief knowing this.


*


-You are over-concerned about sensations. If and when there is nothing wrong with you medically, it means that 1. it's all energetic and 2. you are just anxious and paranoid about it. It is common to different types of subtle sensations. None of what you describe is uncommon. They are not dangerous or weird in themselves. They are just sensations and energetic events. It is only when you don't know this simple fact is because you get anxious and scared about them. The only thing to pay attention to is the fear and anxiety, which are a form of self. Your problem is your "you" that gets scared and anxious. With this point we enter the world of buddhist meditation. I don't know if you practiced buddhism before but my impression is that you didn't, and that's part of the problem because you don't have clear view of these things. -We have three types of bodies: 1. physical, 2. energetic/mind and 3. awareness/buddhanature. Main part of your problem is that you are disconnected from your awareness/buddhanature and this makes you get extra-lost in that prana/energy/fear/anxiety stuff. So you should establish clear awareness in your being. This is actually very easy to do by tantric means. Read this and do the practice described in it: https://www.pemakobuddhism.com/111


The practice uses guru mantras that are explained. In tantra we turn to gurus who are fully enlightened masters for help. All we need to do is to be sincere in our request to receive their help that come in the form of blessings. This is guru yoga and it is the heart and soul of all tantric methods. You will notice that when you chant the mantra, your mind becomes clear and fearless, while you feel a warm soothing and pleasant energy fill you up. Don't worry, none of this is strange or scary. You can trust it, relax and just enjoy the ride. Try. You are also welcome to join any of the guided sessions lead by our acharya's or retreats taught by myself: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pemakobuddhism/events


These will solve your problems for good. You will see the positive benefit from your first session. Then you just keep taking the medicine. If you need advice, I'm here. * You either didn't listen or understand what I wrote to you before, so please go back and read my previous messages. When I say that it is safe, I mean it. When I say that energetic experiences are normal and that you do not need to be alarmed of them, I mean it.


You do not need to take a "leap of faith into the unknown" or anything like that but if you keep following the habits of fear and anxiety like before, it will take unnecessarily long time to sort this out. So!


Take it easy. Relax. When I give this simple instruction to relax, it means that you really need to relax. Relax your body, take a few deep breaths and let your breathing become relaxed. Your mind will calm down also. Within this relaxation you say a prayer request in your own words and invite Guru Rinpoche to you, or you can use his mantra to invite him over to you. Either way, he comes to you in person. A fully enlightened master actually comes to you in nonphysical form. There is no greater healer than that so please take advantage of that to your own great benefit! Little by little you learn to know him and trust him. Everytime you feel his presence, you can ask yourself whether it feels safe or not. He will give you great help to pacify your mind and its many fears and anxieties. This helps you to grow up spiritually.


perjantai 9. huhtikuuta 2021

Harvest Is At Hand

 

Harvest Is At Hand


All beings have buddhanature. All humans have buddhanature and of course, all practitioners have buddhanature. However, despite of this basic fact it is uncommon for practitioners to truly come to know themselves as perfectly fresh beings devoid of any delusion, abound with love and compassion.


It is a simple fact that very few people out of tens of millions of practitioners worldwide become graduates, fully enlightened buddhas, in a single lifetime. It means that from the methods that many people follow, most get small benefits while only few get great benefits. Instead of the majority of sanghas becoming fully enlightened buddhas or awakened to a mature degree, there arise one or two people who become to be considered as outstanding practitioners who are then seen as special. Yet, at the same time more than one or two people have a deep yearning to become enlightened.


This means that there is a gap between the innate potential and revealing it. This question has been burning in my mind since I became disillusioned about old, traditional, ”timetested” methods of yoga and meditation that actually didn't work well despite of backbreaking efforts. I know many who have had the same problem.


First of all, if you want to get true benefits of your practice (through recognising yourself as a buddha), you need to keep asking questions. This is something most people don't do because they trust those timetested methods along others. Practices, when practiced correctly, need and are required to deliver glimpses and insights of recognition on continual basis from the very beginning of practice until the final goal of buddhahood. As long as practice is continued, there should be no plateuing but if practice is continued and plateuing still happens, there is something very wrong with the practice! This is common sense.



Pragmatic Dharma



I teach and practice pragmatic dharma (See Vince Horn's article Core Features of Pragmatic Dharma). This means that in Pemako Buddhist Sangha we discuss openly and publicly about our meditative and spiritual experiences, incl. awakening experiences and enlightenment. Dr Daniel Brown, who has made public statements about the advancement of his students, incl. that two people in their sangha have attained buddhahood, is also an example of this. This is out of the norm in buddhist culture, though it has been done historically as well. We do this for the simple reason that it is highly beneficial for the whole community, and hopefully as beneficial to dharma culture in general.


For many years myself and our practitioners have talked and given written accounts of their awakening experiences, or technically bhumi openings and bhumi perfections. If I remember correctly, I started announcing awakenings (1st bhumi opening) of my students in the Spring of 2014 which is exactly 7 years ago. Since then I've kept giving brief monthly or bi-monthly reports about the advancement of our sangha members in Facebook. We do this in more detail in our closed Facebook group that is only for sangha members. 

 


We have a strong sangha of 70 people worldwide most of who attend several retreats each year, on top of their daily home practice. I began this post by discussing the gap between the innate potential of buddhanature and lack of knowhow to access it, so perhaps I'll say a bit more about that.


The Pemako method has several unique features. Not only is our method pragmatic, that alone gives a very different feel to it in comparison to secretive methods, we do practices that no one else in the whole world does, literally. I have discussed all of this on regular basis for many years so I won't repeat what I have said before but I'll remind that we haven't invented anything new, just reshaped and refreshed the form of our practice. It is the way how the foundational principles are formulated into exercises and how these exercises are understood and practiced, what makes the difference.


When people write me and tell about their training in other styles and then Pemako, one of the things they often communicate is their frustration of not getting anywhere. This stuck happens because people are not taught the basics well, in a simple language that they could easily understand. Then a whole new world opens for them when they meet Pemako teachings and learn the basics of tantra and dzogchen, taught in simple and no-nonsense manner. Opening of a new world means repeated recognitions of oneself as a buddha.


So, without exact knowhow the distance between the potential and lived experience of it, becomes impossible to catch up. Also from this basic problem many other problems germinate which is how yogas turn into religions. Vice versa, when the method allows recognition from the start many positive features come from it, such as harmony in the sangha (which is a rarity) and the journey from unawakened state to fully enlightened state becomes swift.



Fruition



Last month I wrote a blog about Long Cessations: How Buddhahood is Actually Attained. For context, please read it if you haven't.


In few years time I will be able to give detailed statistics on this, based on 8-10 cases, but at the moment it looks like earnest Pemako practitioners attain buddhahood, perfection of 1-10 bhumis, in 6-8 years on average. Soon and during this year, I will probably be able to break news of a handful of practitioners who have reached full fruition in their practice, including some personal details. Due to the uncommon nature of this information, the accounts will be anonymous for the public but as openly celebrated as any other awakening experiences within our sangha. Harvest is at hand.


May you be filled with the grace of the buddha within,


-Kim, 9.4.2021










maanantai 5. huhtikuuta 2021

Only Positive Qualities

 Within everyone of us, there is pure being that only has positive qualities. This pure being is buddhanature. It can be recognised by becoming aware of awareness itself. It feels very good and natural. Through repeated recognition, this buddha within can be stabilised in one's everyday life. You begin to see, taste and live it. Finally, all small-minded selfing can dissolve into it. This is exhaustion of all phenomena. Then we discover ourselves as fully pure and radiating beings of love and kindness, and we can't say, think or do no harm to anyone. We become buddhas,fully aware and entirely without a negative thought, living in our very bodies. This is simply becoming who we really are. It is wonderful.


-Kim, 5.4.2021

sunnuntai 4. huhtikuuta 2021

What is Awakening on the path to Enlightenment? - Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

 

What is Awakening on the path to Enlightenment?

I just found this lovely elaboration on Awakening by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche. The only part that I respectfully disagree with is the notion that seeing through the self takes a long time. With the most effective instructions like the Two-Part Formula (www.twopartformula.com) and the proper determination, Awakening can be achieved within days or weeks. - Ugi


»Although this is called the Sravaka stage because it represents the heart of the Sravaka vehicle, one should not assume that it is unimportant in the other vehicles of Buddhism. Milarepa, the great Vajrayana master, taught his disciple, the shepherd boy, the Sravaka meditation on not-self after the boy had shown signs of having great natural meditation ability. It is said that on being told to meditate on a small image of the Buddha he went straight into meditative absorbtion (samadhi) for a week without noticing the time. When he came out of samadhi it seemed to him he had only been meditating a few seconds.


At this stage one does not consider the emptiness of all phenomena but only the emptiness or lack of self in the person. The importance of this is that it is the clinging to the idea that one has a single, permanent, independent, truly existing self that is the root cause of all one's suffering. One does not need to have an explicit or clearly formulated idea of self in order to act as if one had one. 'Self here means the implied self which might also be regarded as implied in the behaviour of animals. Animals, just like us, identify themselves with their bodies and minds and are constantly seeking physical and mental comfort as they try to avoid discomfort and assuage pain. Both animals and humans act as if they have a self to protect and preserve and one regards this behaviour as automatic and instinctive as well as normal. When pain or discomfort arise the automatic response is to try to remove it. It is extraneous to the self and the implication is that the self would naturally be happy if all pain and suffering were removed.


Strangely, however, when we try to analyse our behaviour in relation to this self, we realize that we are very unclear as to what this self really is. Non-Buddhist thinkers have defined the self variously as resting in the brain, blood or heart and having such qualities as true or transcendental existence in or outside of the mind or body. To have any meaning such a self has to be lasting, for if it perished every moment one would not be so concerned about what was going to happen to it the next moment; it would not be one's 'self anymore. Again it has to be single. If one had no separate identity why should one worry about what happened to one's 'self any more than one worried about anyone else's. It has to be independent or there would be no sense in saying 'I did this' or 'I have that'. If one had no independent existence there would be no-one to claim the actions and experiences as its own.


We all act as if we had lasting, separate, independent selves that it is our constant pre-occupation to protect and foster. It is an unthinking habit that most of us would normally be most unlikely to question or explain. However, all our suffering is associated with this pre-occupation. All loss and gain, pleasure and pain arise because we identify so closely with this vague feeling of selfness that we have. We are so emotionally involved with and attached to this 'self that we take it for granted.


The meditator does not speculate about this 'self. He does not have theories about whether it does or does not exist. Instead he just trains himself to watch dispassionately how his mind clings to the idea of self and 'mine' and how all his sufferings arise from this attachment. At the same time he looks carefully for that self. He tries to isolate it from all his other experiences. Since it is the culprit as far as all his suffering is concerned, he wants to find it and identify it. The irony is that however much he tries, he does not find anything that corresponds to the self.


Westerners often confuse self in this context with person, ego or personality. They argue that they do not think of the person, ego or personality as a lasting, single, independent entity. This is to miss the point. The person, personality or ego as such are not a problem. One can analyse them quite rationally into their constituent parts. The Western tradition has all sorts of ways of doing this. The Buddhist way is to talk of the five skandhas, the eighteen dhatus or the twelve gates of consciousness. The question is not whether or not the person, personality or ego is a changing, composite train of events conditioned by many complex factors. Any rational analysis shows us that this is the case. The question is why then do we behave emotionally as if it were lasting, single and independent. Thus, when looking for the self it is very important to remember it is an emotional response that one is examining. When one responds to events as if one had a self, for example when one feels very hurt or offended, one should ask oneself who or what exactly is feeling hurt or offended.


If you are not convinced that you behave emotionally as if you had a lasting, single and independent self, then it is important to address yourself to this issue before moving on to consider the doctrine of not-self. Think carefully about pain and suffering and ask yourself who or what it is that is suffering. Who is afraid of what will happen; who feels bad about what has happened; why does death seem such a threat when the present disappears every moment, scarcely having had a chance to arise? You will find that your thinking is full of contradictions, inconsistencies and irresolvable paradoxes. This is normal. Everyone (exce'pt, perhaps, the insane) have a common sense notion of what or who they are which works (more or less) and enables them to function as normal human beings.


However, when the meditator addresses himself to what or who this self is, he cannot find it. Then gradually, very gradually, it dawns on him that the reason he cannot find it is that it is not there and never was. There is tremendous emotional resistance to this realization so it takes a long time to break through, but when it does there is an immediate release of tension and suffering. The cause of it has gone. The cause of it was a mental attachment to something that was not there.


Sometimes the resistance to the realization takes the form of irritation. One is used to being able to explain things to oneself rationally. Experience of the 'self is so direct and in a sense so obvious, there seems to be no reason to include it in one's rational explanation of things. On the other hand, when one does try to explain it to oneself, the whole thing is so irritatingly subjective it seems one could never reach any satisfactory conclusion. Instead of letting the mind rest in the actual experience of that paradox, one gets frustrated and irritated at not being able to form a water-tight explanation of what the 'self is. It is important to notice that and be aware of it. If one tries to just push that irritation out of one's mind, one will never have a deep realization of not-self.


Clinging to the idea o( self is like clinging to the idea that a piece of rope in the dark is a snake. When the light is turned on and one sees that there is no snake there, one's fear and suffering that arose from clinging to it as real dissolve. The snake never existed in the· first place, so it was simply one's clinging to that idea that caused the suffering and nothing "else. The wisdom that realizes not-self is like the light that revealed the rope was not a snake.

Clearly, in order to end one's own suffering, there is nothing more important than to realize that when one acts as if the body and mind constituted a lasting, separate, independent self, one unthinkingly attributes to them qualities which they simply do not have.


Nothing in the whole stream of mental and physical phenomena that constitute one's experience of body and mind has the quality of separate, independent, lasting existence. It is all change and impermanence, moment by moment and so none of it can be 'self and it is one's persistent effort to treat it as if it were, that makes it a constant stream of suffering (duhkha).

Realizing not-self is the first step to realizing the empty nature of all phenomena. That is why the first teachings of the Buddha concern the Three Marks of Existence i.e. suffering, impermanence, and not-self.


THE DREAM EXAMPLE


The Buddha often used the example of a dream to illustrate his teachings on emptiness and this example can be applied with increasing subtlety at each stage of the meditation progression on Emptiness. It is a good example for showing how the two truths, relative and absolute, work together. In a dream there is a sense of being a person with a body and mind living in a world of things to which one feels attracted or averse depending on how they appear. As long as one does not realize it is just a dream, one takes all these things as real and one feels happy or"sad on account of them.


For example, one may dream of being eaten by a tiger or being burnt in a fire. In the absolute truth no-one is being eaten or burnt, but still in terms of the dream one might really suffer as if one had been. The suffering arises simply by virtue of the fact that one identifies oneself with the person in the dream. As soon as one becomes aware that it is only a dream, even if the dream does not stop, one is nonetheless free to think, 'It does not matter; it is only a dream. It is not really happening to me.' The person that was suffering in the dream only arose as a temporary manifestation dependent on the condition of one's not being aware that it was only a dream. It had no separate, independent, lasting 'self of its own.


Understanding this intellectually is not enough to free oneself from the strongly ingrained habit of clinging to one's mind and body as a separate, independent, lasting self. One has to examine the stream of one's mental and physical experience again and again, reflecting on what one does or does not find until one reaches total conviction and certainty. Having become convinced of what is the case, one then has to meditate, resting the mind in this new-found knowledge until the veils caused by one's habitual patterns of thought have finally dissolved. At this point direct, unmistakable realization of not-self arises and it is this genuine experience that actually liberates one from suffering.«

-Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

keskiviikko 31. maaliskuuta 2021

21st Century City Buddhas

 

21st Century City Buddhas


The most difficult thing about awareness practice is to accept pain. Accepting means not having a problem staying with self-based pain but that is very hard and difficult because it is precisely the sense of me-ness that we both identity with and instinctually want to get rid of. There in the midst of all this is where buddhist recognition practice happens or doesn't happen. It is important to accept that the nature of dharma practice is that of willingly accepting pain and discomfort. Understanding this can save us lifetimes.


There is purity and perfection in everyone of us. This is the view that we should remind ourselves of because it both gives us direction and empowers us. We are, even if we suffer tremendously and are deluded, rich and complete wakeful beings.


When we are dealing with dirt, it is very important to sit as much as one's daily time allows. Yogis are meditators which means sitting in one's place of meditation. There you have your sacred spot, with the image of gurus, flowers, statues of buddhas, incense and your seat that gathers pure vibrations and helps you out of the internal mess. You might also have drinkable water or oil blessed by a teacher or guru to do the same. These are simple and very useful technologies. As is guru yoga.


Our aim is to realise buddhahood in this life. This means that we are playing in the top league. This means that our practice is not just one hour on the cushion but at all times. This also means that as the intensity of the training is high, there also needs to be sufficient rest and recovery time. You can't just keep going and doing too many things, without balancing it with rest and leisure. In order to keep going in an ideal manner, we need to find time in our daily life to rest and recuperate. In this way, we can do our practice effectively the next day.


There is no ready-set and tested model for 21st century city yogis and buddhas so we have to find it ourselves. By doing that is a great service to mankind.


Kim, 31.3.2021

sunnuntai 28. maaliskuuta 2021

How to Help Children with Panic Attacks and Scary Situations

 

How to Help Children with

Panic Attacks and Scary Situations


OK, gotcha. This is nothing unusual, though I'm sure it is troubling and concerning to see it in a young boy. You should surround him with guru's blessings, and/or the blessings of the refuge jewels. Ask blessings from GR and YT to him, also mother should ask. And you chant on his behalf. He is a small child and cannot chant in the way an adult can, so you two chant for him. As you chant guru mantras, NGR or NYT or both at the same time, imagine that the blessings surround and engulf him. This can also be done by combing, where you chant and with your hands put the charge into his body and aura. Having guru's presence in his bodymind, he will be able to relax and let go for a moment but it might only last for a short time. Then you do it again, and again, whenever necessary.


You should also play mantra music at your house or where the boy lives. Dosn't matter which mantras, whether Deva Premal or artists like that, Hare Krishna, hindu deities (there are relly good musical recordings of those) or buddhist mantras. The idea is to fill the atmosphere with pure energy and blessings.


You should also bless his food by asking guru's blessing and/or chanting few mantras for his food.


Fill him and his life with pure and safe energy. You simply pray for him and wish him good. That will check all the boxes and you will see a change in him. The important thing is to keep doing it. He will also learn many things from this as he sees and feels the effects of these practices. Maybe he starts chanting himself.


You can and should tell him about gurus who he can always invite to him to feel safe and comfortable. Children in general are very open and pure so they can actually see GR or YT coming to them. He will see and feel the light radiating from the guru so he will feel good about it in an instant.


You can also explain him about basic emotions of fear, panic, anger etc. in a manner that a child can understand it so that he can use the knowledge when he experiences it. Teach him how to see these scary experiences and visions in a down-to-earth manner. Tell him that he need not be afraid and that many people experience same things. It is important for him not to feel abnormal about strange experiences.


Finally, it is as important for you two adults to understand that these things happen and they are not uncommon. Children, like many adults, see these things. It will be easier for you to approach this situation and the child when you establish guru's presence in yourself, when you discuss these things with him. In other words, when you don't know what to do or are lost, call the guru to yourself, everytime, over and over again.


You'll be alright and can grow together three of you. It'll be alright :)

 

Kim, 28.3.2021

perjantai 26. maaliskuuta 2021

Standing One's Ground and Abusive Relationships

 

Standing One's Ground

and Abusive Relationships


Hi Jan. It is like Trev said that some periods in practice may not have noticeable shifts happening but still there is gradual maturation taking place. Sooner or later, shifts start happening again. I would also like to point out that opening 8 bhumis is a rarity in the world of yoga. You can't find that many people in the whole world who have such depth, even if from 8 openings there is still some way to perfecting all ten. Let's not forget the big picture here  


When it comes to disrespectful and/or abusive behaviour in relationship, I don't have any sympathies for that. Stand your ground. Don't let anyone tell you're worthless. Don't let anyone take away your power, take you granted or treat you like a piece of shit. I was a very angry person, sometimes mean, in my first marriage and my wife split because of that. She did the right thing but at the time I was shred to pieces because I was unaware of all the shit I had brought into our relationship and didn't understand why she left. That woke me up from my bullshit. In the big picture, she did me a huge favour. Had she not divorced me we might still be together, me as angry as then, making both her and my lives miserable.


Relationships are difficult, that's for sure but having said that it should be clear to both parties that mean and abusive words do damage that is very difficult to repair. In dharma we say that "samaya" is broken. This means that the pure energy between two parties, whether wife and husband, or teacher and student, gets damaged or broken. It leaves a deep imprint in the subconscious mind, and those take lot of work to remove and repair. It is easier to repair it when both persons are practitioners but if the other party doesn't and there is no real self-reflection going on, you probably just end up enabling for the abusive behaviour to continue. We want to believe in the goodness of people and but the reality of samsaric self-absorbed mind is that it cannot help spitting its poison around. These are difficult matters to deal with, though there is also lot to learn from them. Having said that, never let anyone belittle or abuse you, or take away your power.


Much power and blessings to you. Like I always say, you are the real deal.


Kim

torstai 25. maaliskuuta 2021

Corona from the Perspective of Tantra

 

Corona from the Perspective of Tantra



According to tantra, epidemics and pandemics are a response by mamo-spirits that are "the main natural forces which may respond to human misconduct and environmental misuse by creating obstacles and disease." https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Mamo


Early last year, when the corona hassle started, I took this into meditation and felt the presence of mamos who were full of rage towards the mankind. Looking at what humanity has done on Earth, I don't blame them and understand why they feel that way. Most people would do the same if their and their loved one's lives were repeatedly abused. No doubt we would fight to live. Through this pandemic, mamos are doing the same on behalf of all flora and fauna, and the planet itself. In this way, mamos in the form of the virus, are acting as a medium of karmic retribution. This is the explanation of pandemics given by yogis and master meditators of countless generations from ancient times until today but of course most people are unaware of this as main stream religions and modern worldview is ignorant of such things.


Fransisco Varela said that man behaves like a cancer cell in the human body, destroying his own habitat. This destruction is true both physically as well as psychologically. People live and rule this planet without respect and it is not easy to find people who live in peace and harmony with their surroundings. It is not easy to find people who have pure light in their eyes and love in their hearts. The reality of mass extinction of species and global warming is widely known but too little is done about it because the mind of humanity is fixed elsewhere. From the perspective of sober and selfless mind, it is stunning to see how self-based ignorance of man actually creates such massive negative consequences. To make it worse, in the case of corona pandemic it is dealt by secular specialists and politicians who don't have the full picture and who don't seem to have an idea how to bring this to an end.


To put it in a nutshell, all this would go away if people became less selfish in their thoughts, words and actions because that would re-establish the harmony between him and the surrounding life. Reinstating basic kindness, morality, respect and compassion towards others would make the anger of the mamos melt away. But to be realistic, except in the case of few individuals, this is not going to happen and the natural disasters of great scale will continue to pound on humanity to remind it of its place in the whole. According to Eastern astrology, we will remain in dark times (skt dwapara yuga) for another 2000 years before the vision of reality begins to dawn on humanity. Consequentially I think we will see one massive disaster after the other for many generations to come.


So, what we are seeing is the karma of humanity in play, that is not the business or responsibility of mahasiddhas to intervene with. If you want to do something about it, pray and meditate. Bring goodness and sincerity back into your heart. Become aware of your selfishness and resolve to become a better human being. Think about your everyday choices and make better choices that have less environmental impact. Bless your life, your friends, your family, bless your food and all sentient beings. These are not difficult things to do. It makes no difference which God or gods, or buddhas we believe or don't believe in. The most important thing is to become aware of what we do in our everyday lives.


Kim, 25.3.2021


keskiviikko 24. maaliskuuta 2021

Pemako – The First School of Western of Vajrayana Buddhism

 

Pemako – The First School of

Western of Vajrayana Buddhism



I went to take a look at the pemakobuddhism.com-website, as I haven't done that in a while. I've been low key with writing and other computer projects for a while so I was surprised to see all these things, like 2PF, bhumi model, few books, RBY, long list of tantric deities, dzogchen metta, trauma therapy, pure land meditations, ceremonies and vows, list of preliminaries etc... so many things!


How in the heck have I done all that!? And when!? It feels weird to think that I've done all that. And there's an international sangha of 70 people from all corners of the world, monthly retreats and so on. Bonkers!


It's been a long road, I can tell you that. It hasn't been easy but when I die, I'll die a happy man without regrets. Since my karma ripened and I connected with dharma practice at the age of 23, I've put everything into it, not holding back, and it has carried me well, like a mother carries her baby. At some point I was asked to teach by my gurus and people who wanted to learn so I started teaching full time in 2008. That's over 12 years ago and I don't know... few hundred courses and retreats ago. It's been a long haul, a long god damn haul... That's what it took to get the first school of Western vajrayana buddhism up and running... That's not too bad.


All this sends me back down the memory lane... All the people I've met, all the silly mistakes I've made, all the childish ideas I had about enlightenment, 3½ years of burnout, thousands and thousands of working hours without pay, all the abuse and ridicule aimed at me, all the laughter and tears with my beloved dharma friends and students, all the heartache and pain, all the release, all those hundreds and hundreds of opened and perfected bhumis! What a ride... What a thunder!


But I fucking did it! I did exactly what was planned before I took voluntary rebirth into this body. I remember the time before my mind attached to the fetus inside my mother's womb. I remember leaving the world of the mahasiddhas, pure lands and subtle planes, where mahasiddhas wished me a good journey. That was 43 years ago. I just turned 42. Oh god, how I miss my home, those pure lands and planes of many eternal friends, masters of the mahasiddha family. Oh, and Mahasiddha Family! That's on the website too!


Earth is a samsaric realm, a war planet as some yogi called it. It's a hell of a place. A ruthless grinder! But I feel proud to say that I've done this work with so many people to give samsara a hell of a fight! That is what we have done and that is what we keep doing at Pemako! I won't have it any other way.


Now, I feel as if I have started my retirement. No doubt, it will be easier, a smooth and enjoyable ride from now on.


Oh, may the perfume of wild rose dharma caress the noses of all sentient beings... May the blessings of the buddha within strike all beings like thousand thunderbolts!


A Ba Hu Mani Peme Hung Hrih


Kim



sunnuntai 14. maaliskuuta 2021

Report from the last two weeks by Ugi Muller

 

Report from the last two weeks


by Ugi Muller, Acharya and teacher-in-training



Around two weeks ago I experienced another shift. I felt a little bit stuck because the periods of thorough nonmeditation that had started to happen seemed to be gone again. So at one morning I was sitting and I asked myself what was going on. Where did the nonmeditation go? I mean, since the perfection of the 6th bhumi, stillness and settledness are always there when sitting and also pretty much off the cushion. However, that morning I realised that there’s a subtle grasp on this stillness. Together with a very subtle form of clinging to the constant vapours of the substrate mind that turn into thoughts. A very peaceful state but still dual and I kind of felt caught in it. Not knowing what to do, I then looked at my shrine. First at Shakyamuni, then at Guru Rinpoche and then at Gampopa. Until suddenly, Gampopa gave me a very direct instruction which I immediately understood.

What he said, was one sentence: “Cut through the bullshit!”

I knew exactly what to do and settled one-pointedly into empty cognizance. I noticed thoughts bubbling up from the vapours of the substrate mind but this time I didn’t waver. The second word of Garab Dorje “Decide upon one thing and one thing only!” came to my mind later. Sitting alertly in empty cognizance without wavering, there was no turning a little bit to that vapour (and thought) and just a little bit to this one. No bullshitting. It was like a firm stare but which was not attention-based. And a few moments later, cessation happened. All and every notion of duality was eaten up in this wide-awake, pure and luminous face of Buddha. It had something almost violent to it like if you press your finger on the end of a running water hose to increase the water pressure. I noticed all deluded tendencies to be eaten up immediately. No trace of a meditator left.

This probably lasted a minute (or longer). It’s hard to say because there was no trace of time-constraint left. I’ve had glimpses like that in the past but this time it was long enough to see what’s going on. And now I understand the difference between recognising the clarity aspect of the Dharmakaya and seeing the Dharmakaya directly. It’s not a difference in kind but in grade.

This opened up a new level of Atiyoga for me because now cessation is no accident anymore but available. It only needs that extra decidedness to cut through all the bullshit. No wavering, no half-heartedness, just mind directly looking at mind. “Confidence in the liberation of rising thoughts” is the third word of Garab Dorje. Oh how right he is! Emptiness for the win.

Even though there was some struggle with clinging to that “experience” the following 2 or 3 days, the 100% confidence remained and practice has been different. I’ve also noticed that emotions of jealousy, pride or subtle arrogance can’t hook me as before. No bullshit anymore for me, thanks!

This finishing line of the path to Buddhahood is again a very different animal on it’s own. And I’m eternally grateful for Rinpoche’s teachings and the unwavering support of the Mahasiddhas. With a special thanks to Gampopa to whom I have strong connection and whose pointing-outs never miss the mark. And to end this little report, I would like to include how Gampopa himself reported about his finish line and his crossing thereof in the first comment.

Thanks for reading & see you at the retreat later! ?

May all beings be free.



Gampopa reaching buddhahood in his own words:


»Then, the entity of that awareness was known like meeting someone known from before. The entity was seen standing out. Unlike with the previous meditation, it came as something that stood up, was very clean and clear, as something which had always been there.

Then, all previous dharma heard and all the guru’s dohas appeared vividly, as though the whole lot had been just dumped into my mind. And appearance flashed and flashed illusion-like; sometimes it came like it was just sitting there and sometimes it just came as the awareness’s own entity. That itself having become meditation, there was no meditation to do. With no meditator, all previous dharmas became just an outer husk, then the rigpa’s entity having gone to being without support, there was no longer a need to focus on rational mind. Sometimes it was empty, sometimes like an illusion. There was no need to apply conceptual analysis and examination to the appearances.

Sometimes, I would think that I should extend and extend the experience but that was the experience itself, too. I went to relying on realization. There could be no enhancement practice to make it greater. Well, the elder of Rongphu flew in the sky and this did provoke one enhancement of the realization—the way it was previously where all thoughts came as mist now was gone and I found myself thinking how joyful this was. Then thought went on to being luminosity alone. In that, thought was harmless. Then it occurred to me that none of it could be harmful. Then it went into being luminosity alone and from then on, till now, this has occurred without interruption. Then it was uninterrupted with no difference between night and day. For the yogin there is no dying and not dying. It occurred to me that there was no bardo.«


~ from: Tony Duff (tr.)- Gampopa teaches essence Mahamudra Vol. 2


perjantai 12. maaliskuuta 2021

Buddha Within Can Heal Traumas

 

Buddha Within Can Heal Traumas


Kim: I was reading some discussions among buddhist practitioners and saw this remark that "buddhist meditation does not heal trauma", which I have seen many times before. Well, there are different types of buddhist meditations but all in all my experience is exactly the opposite. However, it depends greatly of the teacher and the method/lineage one follows, whether psychological aspect is included and covered or not.


History of mankind is the history of trauma, so I don't believe that past generations of Asian practitioners didn't have traumas, and therefore healing of trauma must have always been part of the greater buddhist tradition, even if many particular lineages had and still don't have a clue about it. Now that we live in modern society, also all over Asia, I think it would be tremendously beneficial for dharma practitioners and teachers to learn about the basics of western psychology. The way I see it is that it discusses and adresses the same issues, just from a different perspective.


Anyway, in my experience, buddhist practice, which first and foremost is the practice of awakening or recognising one's own already wakeful and pure heartmind, is very much about healing of trauma, along with removing ignorance. In fact, I would say that there aren't other ways to really heal. By this I mean that through either buddhist meditation or western psychology one can potentially heal.


For those interested, here are recordings of Tantric Trauma Therapy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSEZ489DYaE&list=PLqTm9fV9DGhswnFhxIQR3kJwxKPw78186&index=5&fbclid=IwAR230ypa6uxrkeKwSAF3xW_2BYN5_Riu-YGzvtc-k4YB2goduktNZb6emHU


Ugi: I think what is essential about healing trauma is the position from which one approaches trauma. And there seems to be more and more agreement in western psychology and trauma research that the only position that can heal trauma is the position of wholeness/being already whole (and safe). One cannot heal trauma by coming from a self-image of being inherently broken/unsafe. Because the "trying to fix myself"-mentality re-creates the trauma again and again, always pre-supposing that I'm not already safe.

Leading trauma scientists like Bessel Van der Kolk recommend working primarily with the body and discovering safety in the body. Or also more mind-oriented modalities like Internal Family Systems by Richard Schwartz work with discovering and establishing some kind of non-conceptual presence first which doesn't take any position in the internal conflicts that started to develop with the trauma (and keep it alive).


So I completely agree with you that true Dharma practice naturally and very directly includes trauma healing. To say that buddhist practice doesn't heal trauma because buddhism isn't practiced correctly anymore is throwing out the baby with the bath water.



Visceral Study of Spiritual Martial Arts

 

Visceral Study of Spiritual Martial Arts

I'd like to share something about hitsuzendo - the way of the zen brush - body movement and Yamaoka Tesshu Sensei's calligraphy. If you take this as a practice, it might change the course of your bodily (martial or healing) practice. My zen calligraphy and zen master Terayama Tanchu Sensei's main practice close to the end of his life was kusho (
空書, lit. empty writing) - writing in the air with one's hands and body. He would hang up a calligraphy or painting on his wall, study the movement of the brush and then trace it in the air with his hands and body movement. The idea is not to study Chinese language but to study the bodily movement of the past masters to better understand how they moved which in turn reveals something really interesting of their state of mind, or realisation. The basic idea of kusho is very simple. You could for example write your own name or some piece of text in plain block letters or cursive handwriting to try it out. The idea is to use one's whole body while applying different kinds of intensity of intent (c. yi/j. i, ) into the writing. What I mean by different kinds of intensity is that we could use our hand to write very lightly in the air, like writing with a finger on the surface of water (without making the water splash) or we could imagine tracing our finger one inch inside mud. With mud we would have to use more intention or concentration to get the thing written. Our writing could also be a combination of both light and heavy, combined with slow and fast. From here to enter the realm of "zen" we would have to be able to recognise the most basic state of mind or basic awareness, commonly called buddhanature (佛性) in mahayana buddhist schools.

In the case of a professional zenman this buddhanature should be present at all times and one's writing, whether in the air or on paper, becomes a play of intent, where intent isn't based on mindfulness (
) but on effortless basic awareness. Because of this fundamental difference in the degree of realisation (見性), the meaning and result of intent is not the same but becomes non-intent (無意) because mindfulness does not appear and disappear. This very point separates "zen calligraphy" or zen art from ordinary art. Anyway, the point of kusho is to write in the air or to trace the movements of masters' works with one's body. I am sharing here one of Yamaoka Tesshu Sensei's calligraphies. The large characters on the left read Namu Amida Butsu, which venerates Amitabha Buddha. The small characters on the right are a part from some sutra or poem. I don't know what it says but it's not important either for our purposes.

Tesshu is one of the most respected spiritual martial artists of all times in Japan. He died in 1888 so he is quite recent and this is why there are many of his works available. Tesshu was a martial artist of the highest kind who held several lineages of kenjutsu and kendo and started his own Muto/No-Sword school. To understand Tesshu's uniqueness, we need to know the order of the strokes in calligraphis characters. Generally, calligraphes are written in vertical lines from right to left. The strokes in characters are written from up to down, left to right, from outside to inside. The piece below is wrotten in cursive or "grass" script and doesn't look except distantly to what people associate with kanji, Chinese characters. Anyway, with these few instructions you can understand that you begin from the top right corner and how each character is formed. It would really be important to get the order right to get the point that I'm trying to make. When you do know the right order, then trace through the whole piece. Do it several times. Get the angles right. That is very important... because it shows exactly how Tesshu, the legendary spiritual martial artist, moved...

Now, I have analysed thousands of calligraphies but among all of them Tesshu is unique. No one out there moved like he did. People move like block letters but not Tesshu... It must have puzzled the heck out of his students and opponents who came to challenge him! If you study how he moved, you will see that because of his exceptional free flowing shapes, you can't predict his movements and that is the treasure to be found from Tesshu's works. Copying him opens up a whole different realm of bodymind movement that I have not seen elsewhere in my 35 years of study of the field.

-Kim Orgyen Pema Rinpoche Katami 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10158901778078136&set=g.257852984267435&type=1&theater&ifg=1


About Tantric Symbols and Energy System of Man

 

About Tantric Symbols and

Energy System of Man


I love all the tantric objects and I miss that aspect in my present work where the external aspect of tantric symbolism is noticeably less. Lama Bar-ché was just visiting me last week and he came to mention the use of kangling, a trumpet that is trad made of a thigh bone. Merely hearing him mention that made my heart went fireworks. I miss all those things, bold yet subtle external expressions of the vajra vehicle.


The way I look at a vajra/dorje is as an image of human subtle nervous system as an expression of pure nature of mind. I've explained this in my Masterclass of Tantra materials related to Rainbow Body Yoga. The way how I teach tantra has to do with bhumis and bhumis mean vibratory fields of energy centers, or fields consisted of many centers combined. Looking at a vajra in upright position, it directly shows the center point relating to the physical body and the aura, and then the two protruding parts relating to both the upper and lower energy systems outside the physical body, relating to higher bodhisattva bhumis and mahasiddha bhumis. In vajras there is always a center beam extending upwards and downwards from the center piece. That's the central channel. I am not surprised at all that tantrics of not only buddhism but other traditions as well, have seen visions of this symbol that we call vajra, for ages.


I think I'll grab my vajra and scorpion sword, put on some music, praise the liberation of all beings and dance around in my living room, to shake off the secular poison of my shoulders!


In my previous post above I wrote about tantric ritual items and it got me thinking about tantric or buddhist rituals in general. In buddhism there are many kinds of rituals some of which require lots of preparation. Some of these rituals take hours or even days to complete and as much or even more to prepare. Often external rituals look more or less the same. Usually there is a specially prepared altar where statues, symbols and offerings of various kinds are carefully placed on, there might be a fireplace where selected wood and other substances are burnt by the master of the ritual and her/his assistants, people might be doing prostrations and ritual dances with specially set steps and predestined movements, there might circumambulation of a temple, stupa or the seat of the present lama; there might be recitation of special prayers and mantras with particular mudras, and use of special ritual items and symbols. If you have joined some ceremonies and rituals you'll know that there is always a ceremonial form that is followed and carried out by the congregation in question. Learning these rituals can take a long time because some of them have very long and distinct forms.


I once read or heard that the forms of spiritual practices go together with the so called yugas, that are time periods according to the hindu and buddhist astrology. I don't understand anything about astrology but upon hearing it it made sense to me that few thousand years ago when the cycle turned to the darkest period of the yuga system (dwapara → kali → dwapara), spiritual systems were translated into more physical ritualistic forms from forms that weren't as symbolic and ritualistic before. Teachers of that time, several thousand years ago did this so that people could still practice the dharma and attain enlightenment. I once heard such statement that tried to explain the presently wide spread practice of external rituals. I think there might be some truth to it. Apart from the contemplation of historical events there is also the matter of whether internal subtleties of external rituals are understood or not. This I think is a very important question.


Buddhist tantra is a relatively new tradition. Buddhist tantra came from the marriage of buddhist philosophy and yogic and shamanic practices roughly about 1500-2000 years ago. However, prior to that yogic and shamanic practices have a history of up to 100 000 years, according to some historians. It is interesting to ponder this in the light of the fact that even if the main buddha of our time, Shakyamuni, lived only about 2500 years ago, buddhist history mentions a handful of buddhas before him who were the main buddhas of their own eras in the past. When asking when did these buddhas live, the tradition offers no answer. To me it is illogical to assume that there weren't enlightened mahasiddhas in the world before Shakyamuni. Actually, because some sources of Mongolian, Hawaiian and Polynesian shamanism teaches connection making with what we in Pemako buddhism call mahasiddha bhumis – centers high above and below one's body – I find it hard to believe that there wouldn't have been many, perhaps even numerous, fully enlightened beings in this world before the birth of what we now call buddhism or buddhadharma. There, despite of the absence of historical records, we will find an interesting reference to ancient tantrics and medicine men who likely had both shamanistic as well as spiritual – dharmic – knowledge and experience. Though forms change, the principles are always to be found from the heart and mind of man.


There is no limit to expressing reality and there is no limit to creating valid ways for recognising reality in the midst of fantasy. Tantra, and it's elder sibling shamanism that still exists today, has always had a very outspoken, fearless and openly expressive outlook in its art and practices. In India and Tibet, as well as in shamanistic traditions all around the world, there is wide use of human and animal bones, hides and jewels of various kinds, for example. Still now practitioners of Tibetan vajrayana buddhism (in Asia, some in the West) use ritual instruments made of real human thigh bones and skull cups made of real human skulls.

I look at the present situation of Tibetan buddhism with some interest, with some hope, and with some heavy heartedness because I am not sure whether it will survive or not. Those lineages that are translated and reformed to suit the Western practitioner, I have no doubt will survive but those lineages that refuse from this, that seems to be the majority, will inevitably wither and die in short time. It is a simple fact that practices and methods need to be made understandable and relatable to the people around us. Only then there is a chance for the particular dharmic tradition to become an integrated part of the culture.


This is the reason, even if it is dear to me personally, why we don't use but little of the colourful paraphernalia of traditional buddhist tantra in Pemako buddhism. In a sense, in Pemako teachings, I have torn it down to the basics, teaching tantra and atiyoga from the inside out, not the other way around which makes bone trumpets, skull cups and whatnot unnecessary. Sometimes when Tibetan buddhists stop by to say hello, they notice the uncomplex nature of our training method and wonder whether we are even tantrics – vajrayana buddhists - because outwardly we don't do many of the things Tibetan vajrayana buddhists do. Our practices are built on the same principles though.


I firmly believe that tantra is a fit for many people living in modern cities all around the world. In the absence of spiritual realm and religion in this post-religious world, whether christian, buddhist or otherwise, some people are naturally drawn by methods that are outspoken, fearless and openly expressive, like tantra has always been and remains to be. Quietistic and renunciative (sutric), as well as secular methods speak to many but I believe that the future of tantra in the modern world might even be stronger than it ever was in the history. It is a new and I think very fertile situation to introduce tantra to a culture that is built on the foundation of moral fairness, justice and democracy.

Also, looking merely what internet accomplishes in terms of spreading information and teachings is very significant.


In the light of the present circumstances, I simply think that those people with karmic ripeness and readiness (merit), who find their way to tantric buddhism have no limit to their realization, and the potential of tantra is fully utilized.

keskiviikko 3. maaliskuuta 2021

Long Cessations: How Buddhahood is Actually Attained

 

Long Cessations:

How Buddhahood is Actually Attained


Tomi: "I have started to have full Rigpa moments; yesterday it lasted for two hours."


Kim: Reg. "full rigpa moments". These are long periods of the mind entirely ceased. This is directly experiencing "emptiness of all phenomena", the whole mind from 1st to 10th bhumi empty. I say long because they last much longer than few seconds or minutes. It means literally experiencing oneself as a fully enlightened buddha.


Awakening experiences (bhumi openings) are usually brief. They are like flashes of all lights of a house switched on but it (cessation) lasts only from seconds to few minutes. Despite of the briefness of bhumi openings and perfections, these breakthroughs indicate that the type of practice is correct because despite of their briefness at this stage of practice, cessations are directly seeing one's buddhanature, which is the heart and soul of all dharma and spirituality. There is no dharma other than awakening experiences.


Based on several accounts of our sangha members, this begins to happen roughly around the perfection of 1st-6th bhumis. As you keep perfecting them and have smaller perfecting shifts (for ex. 7.1, 7.2, 7.3) inside major perfections (7,8,9), durations gets longer. For example, let's say from 1-2 hours, to 4-5 hours, to 12 hours, to 24 hours to 48 hours. The longest I've had so far was 60 hours or 2½ days nonstop in August 2020 when I was (still am) working on perfecting the 10th bhumi.


So, when someone has more than six bhumis perfected (and all 13 open), it means that her or his mind is more than 50% purified. In other words, in the mind of such person, one's natural state has become prevalent over self-deluded state, and because of this cessations start getting longer and longer, or in other words, one doesn't only "begin" to see oneself as a buddha but really gets to try living as one. This keeps happening until insight of emptiness penetrates into all bits of the psyche (1-10 bhumis).


So with what Tomi here calls "full rigpa moments", we are talking about not partial, nor short but complete recognitions during which one gets to live, breathe, taste, touch and act as a fully enlightened mahasiddha for hours or days, depending how long it lasts. During these moments we really get to experience how life is for a mahasiddha. Through this experience we really come to know what purity and freshness (suddha/kadag) are. We come to understand why they call it the "great perfection" that is "unexcelled" (anuttara samyak sambodhi). Again, it is very different from brief glimpses... You get to live as a mahasiddha, that's it!


Nine Pemako sangha members so far have told me they've had these lasting anything from an hour to half a day. This indicates that we are approaching buddhahood as a group of individuals in the near future.


We have been reminded again and again by past masters, such as Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, who said that in his lifetime he met "many men and women" who had attained buddhahood, that it is "not a fable or a fairytale" and that it is possible indeed for people "world over". These words can be found from his book Repeating the Words of the Buddha.


Living grace and guidance of our gurus, Guru Rinpoche and Yeshe Tsogyal; correct view of emptiness that unites samsara and nirvana; correct view of compassion that is equal to all sentient beings; correct application of practices that in the case of Pemako many are unique to our method; committed internal work to make us strong and fearless in the face of hardship; and faith in the teachings of mahasiddhas who've lived before us. That's how we've made it work.


-Kim, 3.3.2021


lauantai 27. helmikuuta 2021

If you listen, I got you - Training Teachers and Instructors of Mahasiddha-style Yoga and Tantra

 

If you listen, I got you


Training Teachers and Instructors

of Mahasiddha-style Yoga and Tantra


"If you listen, I got you". -Eubie Blake, jazz pianist

What Eubie Blake means is that if he gets the listener's attention, he will catch the listener through his music. Catching the listener means to get the listener disappear in the direct nonconceptual experience of music. We've all experienced getting lost in music where the sense of small self disappears and authentic enjoyment comes forth. We begin to sing and dance, we begin to enjoy. I heard Carlos Santana say this about Miles Davis, and instantly thought about Pemako and our teachers in training.


Becoming and serving as a Pemako teacher has few important requirements. First, one has to know the method through first hand experience. Two, one has to have stable recognition of one's buddhanature, i.e. at least all bhumis open. Three, one has to be suitable to be a teacher in terms of social and organisational skills. All three make one fit to begin one's service as a teacher. At the moment we have nearly ten people doing their training.


Over the years I've discussed other traditions, their teachers and teaching styles, their pros and cons. There is the path of scholars and there is the path of yogis. Ours is the latter type. I recall Dr Nida calling this the "mahasiddha style".


I want our teachers to be able to "get you", like Eubie Blake. I train teachers who know what people look for and know how to give it to them, so that they don't leave our training sessions "belly empty", without real experience, or head spinning with fancy, scary or uninteresting concepts. I've always emphasised direct experience and tantric or atiyoga transmissions which is the mahasiddha style. I confess (gladly!) that I haven't even opened the suttas, recordings of Shakyamuni's teachings except maybe twice in my life, for a brief moment. I haven't read books, sutras and tantras, because that way didn't speak to me but nevertheless, looking at my students, I feel confident to say that I've been able to "get them" as so many of them grow into the recognition of themselves as buddhas so fast and effectively. During my days of traditional training I couldn't even dream of the pace of progress my students have. I yearned, dreamed and busted my ass for 8½ years for the first bhumi opening! I'm actually glad it all didn't work for me either because it lead to even greater dissatisfaction and disillusionment about the establishment. When that happened, time was ripe for me to begin receiving teachings from past masters.


I have used this methodology of direct transmission and introduction because that is how my masters have taught me. I remember Guru Rinpoche telling me few times to read some of the teachings he'd given to some past tertons but I just never got around to it. I bought the books but chose to use the time of reading to hanging out with my guru, him, instead. I will always choose to spend time with my guru (through tantric guru yoga), instead of reading. Seekers seek to find the truth of existence or to know themselves because they feel they are lost in life. Seekers are entangled in the net of their self-delusion. Someone who has stable recognition of buddhanature (all bhumis open) lives most of the time freely and happily because 13 major breakthroughs through the bhumi chakras enables that. When such a person knows what introduction into the nature of mind is and how it happens, there is no way avoiding directly helping or pointing out the nature of mind to others, and that is "getting them". This is an instant relief and discovery for seekers.


What is transmitted and pointed out is our effortlessly satisfied nature, so fresh, spontaneous and free of fixations, where there is no existential confusion and neither solutions to remove it. What is pointed out and transmitted is the vision of reality. That is how I'm training our teachers.

I am also training 15 people as Pemako acharyas (pron. uh-chuh-ryuh) or instructors, who once they finish their training in the Spring of 2021, can give extensive introductions, short courses and retreats to newcomers, hopefully mostly at live locations rather than the internet. These people are from Scandinavian countries, central Europe, UK, Russia and United States. Out of these 15 trainees most have stable recognition and some of them lead sessions at our main Facebook page which all are welcome to join, https://www.facebook.com/groups/pemakobuddhism/


May all beings be free and happy,


-Kim, 27.2.2021

perjantai 26. helmikuuta 2021

To Abide or Not to Abide, That is the Question

 

To Abide or Not to Abide,

That is the Question


Few days ago I heard of this man, Dhammarato, a former theravada monk and teacher in the Thai tradition of hinayana buddhism. I like his style and presentatioin very much but here, (video starts at 59:15) he says something interesting in reference to the four stages or paths leading up to arhathood which is the end point of hinayana buddhism. He says that even arhathood is temporary and that it needs to be kept up or it starts going back. I've heard the same thing from Daniel Ingram, who is also theravadin.


See Dhammarato at Guru Viking interview: https://youtu.be/istI9kK1cAg?t=3561


Technically speaking there are two main types of nirvana or liberation: 1) abiding nirvana that is attained by arhats and 2) nonabiding nirvana that is attained by buddhas/mahasiddhas. Nonabiding nirvana doesn't go backwards and there is no more practice to be kept up because all of selfing from gross to subtle to very subtle are liberated. In terms of the 13 Bhumi Model, the first type of nirvana is the perfection of bhumis 1-6, the second one is 1-10. Here you can directly see the difference between hinayana motivation which is self-liberation and mahayana motivation which is to attain full enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. In short, because of this difference in motivation, mahayana practice accesses layers of the mind/psyche that for hinayana practitioners goes unnoticed and because of this, they say that some sort of effort or vigilance is always needed or that cycling continues endlessly, like Ingram has said after his claims of arhathood.


People should know and have confidence that because all beings have buddhanature, pure ever-wakeful and fresh being within them, it is also possible to become one with it, in other words, to remove all of the self-based dirt of the layers of the mind (bhumis 1-10). We should have faith in the words of the past mahasiddhas and use our intelligence to remove all superstitious, grandiose or anxious ideas related to it. We should not let lesser views of either historical or present sources cloud the meaning of the past and present mahasiddhas. We need to take into our hearts the essential point that anyone has the potential to attain buddhahood, full enlightenment, in this body. No one except ourselves and the views we adopt can take that potential away from us.


I bow to all beings with joy and folded hands. I bow to samsaric beings of all types and forms. I bow to angels, gods, sages and beings of light. I bow to all who are making their journey through the four hinayana paths, and I bow to those who have reached abiding nirvana. I bow to mahasiddhas who abide not in nirvana and who have entirely dissolved their self-based karma, for the sake of all beings in samsara.


May all beings be free,


Kim, 26.2.2021 

 

Trevor: I don't know how hinayana practitioners can be satisfied with arhathood. The cycling is not only unpleasant, but it's literally an experience of confusion. It's also pretty damned obvious when it's happening if you're in the habit of paying attention, which they should be!

Devotion to all beings is so clearly the only permanent way out of the cycling, and feels waaaaay better.


Kim: I heard Bhikkhu Bodhi, a famous hinayana translator, shifted to mahayana some time ago, after a lifetime in theravada or started mahayana while still a theravada monk. So maybe some get it and change for a bigger gear but those who don't...


Well, like I wrote, view is everything. If you think it doesn't go farther than that and think that the cycling just continues even for noble arhats, and you don't have the merit to meet mahayana, well then you're happily and ignorantly stuck there, in the state of liberation/nirvana which remains separate from samsara. That being the case, you have no chance to advance in vipashyana to the end of one taste/same taste, the third stage of mahamudra meditation, which is the sameness of samsara and nirvana. That is the theoretical and practical difference of selflessness (anatman) and emptiness of all phenomena (shunyata). We are talking about extent here.


Abiding nirvana is entirely dualistic because of this but without bodhicitta the fact that both samsara and nirvana are empty will never dawn in the mind of an arhat. In a sense you could say that shravakas, those who pursue hinayana path, are taking a break of mahayana and the cost of this holiday is to not have the full vision of reality. Despite of this, you can sense from those who appear to be arhats that they have lots of confidence in their achievement.


Tantric yoga gives us a major blessing in the form of constantly making us feel like shit. Them wrathful deities keep digging out our painful and blind spots, while bodhicitta keeps stretching the subtle body open, like yoga postures do to the physical body. That's the way to buddhahood, if we practice well.