maanantai 12. heinäkuuta 2021

The End and The New Beginning


The End and The New Beginning

For all my life I've been a spiritual seeker and for all my adult life I've been a spiritual practitioner. I've meditated and done yogic practices about 30 000 hours and taught professionally since late 2008, for almost 13 years now. This project has been a priority and central focus of my life, always basically, and other things including relationships, financial security, other interests like hobbies and other career choices, and even my own family have come second to this. I knew I was making big sacrifices but I had to because I had no choice due to the constant existential pain that I was in. I was suffering of an illness of sorts. It was a struggle from day until night until day, over and over and over.

There is so much, a whole biography packed in the past 42 years. Those who know me closely, my students and close friends know how all this has been both a struggle and a journey of discovering practices and developing a method that has the power to actually smash the self-based confusion no matter how bad it gets. Oh gosh... Looking at it in retrospect, it was a hell of a struggle, loaded with relentless inner and outer obstacles and difficulties.

I feel the need to express how sorry I am for spreading my pain, frustration and anger on others, my students, ex-students, friends, ex-wives and girlfriends. I was in great pain and I could not prevent myself from spitting my poison on others. It was so hard to so many people that I've sworn to never to do what I've done again, in circumstances such as these. I could go on for the rest of the day just talking about the difficulties but that is not why I started writing this little update. Anyhow, I want to apologize.

So, all my life I've been a seeker and for the past 18 years I've been a full time teacher and practitioner. Then came a day when the whole project collapsed because the small self, in all of its expressions, ceased to be. Suffering, the sense of something being off, out of place or murky, stopped. It has been like this for 4 months to date, since my 42nd birthday. There is so much I have already written and talked about this over the years and of course there are the talks and commentaries from people of history so I'm not going to discuss this in depth here. I actually didn't even mean to write about this publically because I started to write about what I am going to say next but what I'm about to say next wouldn't make sense without saying this.

I've never sat in prison but perhaps I feel now like someone who after a long sentence is taking the first steps in freedom. It seems like a different, foreign and a whole new world, not in a woowoo kind of way but because the meaning of my life has entirely changed. I put my focus and energy into practice for such a long time and now when that is not necessary anymore, suddenly my attention and energy are no longer associated with the search. Therefore it's available for something else. With that comes a discovery of all these other things that life and the world has to offer, many of which I skipped or left without attention before. At 42 years and 4 months of age, it feels like my life has really just started. All the spiritual and existential stuff and meditation I don't need to worry, think or do at all anymore, and bloody hell, the absence of them is like a big empty canvas, suddenly waiting... simply available for something to be expessed.

I think I will continue to teach but I think that the way of it will change. I have established Pemako and taught tantric buddhism for many years but I think I won't teach (much) tantra anymore. I have trained and continue to train teachers who can continue teaching Pemako tantra.

Other than that,I don't know what I'll do... Suddenly my old love, martial arts, have come back into my life but I also feel like I might (finally) go to school and study something. Maybe I'll finally learn fine carpentry or study painting. Maybe I'll do something with animals. I don't know yet but all these options have been in the back of my mind for a long time. I'm just here, eyes and ears open, waiting for the most interesting fish to bite the hook.

I want to wish you all well, and I want to thank you for support and friendship over the years.

Kim, 12.7.2021

perjantai 9. heinäkuuta 2021

Insults from One's Teacher


Insults from One's Teacher

This is true but to be clear. Many teachers insult their students to point out their issues to them. I don't do this. If you do your practice, you can't avoid your bananas coming up. True, sometimes people don't realise that they have a dark night or that they are very angry but pointing this out to them is very different from insulting them to have the subconscious stuff come up. I am sure some teachers like this kind of "pointing out", by insulting them and it is good to ask why but I think that if one needs the practice, to solve one's existential problems, then you'll do the practice and persevere it, no matter how rough it gets. If the student is not ready, on the other hand, they'll quit and find some easier practice. That I would have to go into all this and start insulting my students on top of everything else, I don't think would be that helpful and would just be something extra for me, the teacher, to do. I have faith in the Four Noble Truths and our Pemako method.

Kim, 9.7.2021

sunnuntai 4. heinäkuuta 2021

Buddhanature in Inner Martial Arts


Buddhanature in Inner Martial Arts

Oskar: What are these qi gong exercises for? Any spesific yogic purpose I mean? (Comment to this video).

Kim: Hi Oskar⁠. I come from a tradition that combines dharma practice with martial and fine arts. But I realise it is very difficult for me to answer what would be the purpose of it. Well, there are common reasons, like learning to unify the body and to move with a unified body. This alone is a tremendously rewarding learning process and we can all understand what is the benefit of learning how to use and carry our bodies well aligned. You don't learn this from only doing sitting practices, nor you learn it from Western sports. From the purely physical perspective, Alexander technique is somewhat close to what is done in (specifically) Chinese "inner martial arts" but what is done inwardly in Chinese arts, that knowledge is entirely absent in modern sports and forms of exercise whatever they may be. The result of this can be seen how (fit) people carry their bodies, how people jog and so on. There is no inner structure, no inner composition or understanding how the body could be used in optimal fashion.

⁠Regarding the internal aspects of what I am doing on the video, I wriote this few days ago:

⁠What you are seeing on the video is atiyoga from one perspective of mind, while simultaneously using dynamic concentration (active mental pushing while doing the pushing movement). Here from the point of view of mind, the basic state and the action of dynamic concentration (in the form of physical and mental pushing) are of same taste, and not two separate things.

⁠Typically active mental pushing, called yi in Chinese, pronounced ee in English (the yi in yiquan, lit. intent), in inner martial arts is practiced just like mindfulness is cultivated by mindfulness practitioners. Mindfulness is always momentary and then you get distracted. Thosewith excellent concentration abilities can remain mindful for as long as they want but this doesn't mean that the basic state would be there as a sort of bedrock. So, to me, merely cultivating active mental pushing (yi) in yiquan momentarily, just like the practice of mindfulness, is incomplete. This is the reason why I spent years in dharma practice stabilising the basic state. Now when it is stabilised, I feel ready and very motivated to give my inner state an external expression, here through this movement. And as you can see there are no “gaps”.

⁠To me, all forms of practice have always been about reality and it's expression and this is also of course how Terayama Sensei taught. But even long before that,when I started judo at 7, I wasn't interested about belt colours or competing. It's been a life long haul and now finally, with unshakable confidence, I can focus on inner martial arts and bodywork.

⁠I don't know what I can accomplish through this but because I took a vow of trying to bring zen arts to Westerners and people of the world, that is what I will do. 


- Kim, 4.7.2021 

torstai 1. heinäkuuta 2021

Doing nothing. Just stand.


Doing Nothing. Just Stand.

Kim: The most difficult thing in (chi gong, zhan zhuang or yiquan) practice is to remain perfectly and yet effortlessly aware. To apply intent (yi), whether gentle or explosive, is momentary. Yi is started, it is kept and it is let go. This is yi.

We can compare this to any kind of concentration exercise and as anyone who has ever tried to keep one's focus (yi) on a single task for anything longer than few seconds, the various thoughts, ideas, memories and impressions make the mind distracted. This is also the case in yiquan. Although not all yiquan methods use this, typically an yiquan practitioner uses certain mental visualisations to learn about (1) the necessary correct alignment of the body, where the body is unified and joints are open and (2) to study the mechanics of well aligned body by applying gentle or forceful visualisations. This whole methodology is based on the principle of concentrated focus and being mindful of both the visualisations as well as sensations in the body.

For a long time in my own yiquan as well as meditation practice, I was interested to find the kind of ”basic mind” that is always present, always clear and never distracted. For a long time when I tried to stand zhan zhuang or sit in meditation without doing anything, without yi, I would sooner or later get distracted by different mental fluctuations. Then as my practice kept progressing, I started having longer and longer periods when this undistractable basic mind was there. This in turn made it possible to really ”just stand, doing nothing”. Little by little, I could just stand, without using yi, without getting distracted.

To me personally as I have been a ”spiritual seeker” as well as a martial artists since I was a child, it has been a great relief to finally, after decades of searching, lots of practice, study and experimentation, to be able to ”just stand” without getting distracted. I have met and studied with a number of yiquan, chi gong and tai chi teachers but it is very difficult to find a person who would be able to discuss this (which is why I began this thread here now, in case others have this issue too). Anyhow.

My inner martial art practice has been on and off as I realised pretty early on that if I wanted to find and establish this ”basic mind” in my practice, I would need to focus on meditation first, and then only after that take it into martial arts.

I don't actually feel like a ”martial artist” anymore, not for a long time because I don't have any interest in fighting or match skills, not really even push hands.

Kim, 1.7.2021

tiistai 29. kesäkuuta 2021

Shakyamuni Buddha Claims To Have Attained Buddhahood

Shakyamuni Buddha Claims To Have Attained Buddhahood

According to Amitabha Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha makes a statement of having attained buddhahood.

Sakyamuni Buddha preaches in Amida Sutra, also known as Smaller Sukhavativyuha Sutra,

I have attained supreme perfect enlightenment, and for the sake of the people of this world, expounded this dharma (of Pure Land and Birth there through Nembutsu) which is difficult to believe for being beyond the common understanding of this world.”

Different translation of the same passage:

While being in this present world full of the five corruptions, I have accomplished this most difficult achievement and attained supreme perfect enlightenment. In addition, for the sake of the people of this world, I have explained this teaching (of Ultimate Bliss and Birth there through the nenbutsu), difficult to believe for being beyond the common understanding of this world. For that reason, all of the Buddhas praise me for this ‘most difficult achievement.”

torstai 24. kesäkuuta 2021

Avoiding Basic Mistakes in Dharma and Tantric Practice


Avoiding Basic Mistakes in Dharma and Tantric Practice

I feel fortunate to have have started with zen rather than tibetan buddhism because in zen you just start sitting practice from day one and you are recommended to do that a lot. You learn high work morals in terms of sitting and as far as I know, sitting meditation is considered a practice of advanced practitioners in tibetan buddhism. Beginners don't do silent sitting. That's what I've been told by a tb lama and if you look at ngondro, the preliminary practices widely practiced in tibetan buddhism, there is no silent sitting involved.

I am not at all saying that these preliminaries are ineffective, but I am saying that dharma practice, regardless of vehicle is about the mind and sitting meditation is the most direct way to begin to understand it. It is actually the easiest condition to understand anything because your physical body is kept still so the sensory input from the physical body and its movement is absent to allow a better look at the mind.

But even in sitting, we have two categories: active, which means doing some practice, like mantra or visualisation, and passive where you don't do these things. There are many people out there who do all these practices and the very moment they stop saying their mantra, they stand up and go do other things. This is a grave mistake where one skips the best part of tantric practice, that of enjoying the energies and blessings of the guru or the deity, and unifying with it, to reveal the basic state. It is a sign of ignorance about what and how tantra works, if you quit the practice session just after you utter the last syllable. If you don't sit after practices, you'll remain stuck with the external aspect of practice. Like I said, this problem is very common that actually reduces the whole tantric vehicle.

It is a common problem that tantric practitioners, whether they still work with preliminaries or have advanced to deity practice or dzogchen, have no idea about the energetic (inner) aspect of the practice, that is the heart and soul of the whole tantric vehicle. They also have no clue about the secret aspect which is nature of mind itself, also called mahamudra and dzogchen. The energy is there at all times but most have no clue about it and they are not told to sense and recognise it because even teachers have no clue, though they pretend otherwise. This is a pure fact across the board in the world of tantra and dzogchen today. What has the world come to when helpers have no clue how to help? Money, fame and popularity is the name of the game nowadays. You can play your games all you want but when death strikes you, you'll regret for having compromised your spiritual integrity and having spent your life in ignorant gossip. When your heart stops beating, it is all over and you're at the mercy of the karma that you didn't think was important to purify.

The consequence of having connections to excellent dharma teachings and lineages but not practicing and not having pure motivations is a direct gateway to taking rebirth where you have no dharma or teachers. Imagine the pain and suffering in a dark place where there is no light of your own soul... Imagine living a life or lives like that...

It is just incredible that people associated with dharma don't take the words of the masters seriously.

Kim, 24.6.2021

keskiviikko 23. kesäkuuta 2021

The Actual Experience of Freedom


The Actual Experience of Freedom

The typical human mind is characterized by self-centeredness. We have mental and emotional habits that all are magnetized by the sense of me-ness or I-ness. The more we put energy and belief into me-ness, the more contracted and unhappy we feel. Also, the more we give existence to this sense of I-ness, the less can we live according to what is considered universally good in humans. Egomaniacs can only think about the happiness of their own. This self-delusion creates very basic discontent in life, but there is nothing wrong in life as such. The discontent, the sense that there is something missing or wrong, is actually a good sign because it makes us ask questions. This is how we set our feet on the path of dharma.

Dharma is an ancient sanskrit word that I like to translate as ”teaching of reality”. The point of dharma, that is practiced through different yogas (not only physical), is to help us to recognise the reality of ourselves. Seeing the reality of ourselves comes through seeing through the self-centered fantasies and nightmares. The more we release the idea and belief of this small self or ”me”, the more we are able to see our lives, its events and happenings as they are, rather than how we'd like or expect them to be.

The theory of dharma is very simple and easy to understand but there is great depth in there because the human psyche is very complex. However, with functionable practices, it is actually very easy to set our feet on the path of dharma, or to begin seeing through the self-centered habits. From the very first shift in perspective, as the deep rooted idea of me-ness is released, we feel as if a tremendous burden gets lifted from our shoulders. And as you continue to have further awakenings or discoveries of reality, the freer, the better and the more natural you feel. So the main feature of the path of dharma is that throughoutyour practice, you experience shifts in your mind and with each shift you keep discovering your true nature or wakefulness, peace and kindness in more depth.

Then finally, as you keep having shifts – signs of successful practice – you come to a point in practice where all self-centered habits and patterns cease to be. You still think, talk, act, react, sleep, eat, drink, have sex and go to toilet but the sense of me-ness is completely absent. You cease to perceive yourself as a ”me” who has all these daily experiences that people normally have. In this way, your energy becomes full and has no holes. You still have thoughts like before but the sense of me-ness doesn't arise anymore so all you have, whether you have thoughts or not, is perfect existential freedom.

In traditional terms this is the attainment of the so called buddhahood but ”buddha” only means being awake. Being awake means seeing reality, like I just explained. It is not some mystical or heavenly state. Being awake means just that, being awake to reality. This has nothing to do with magical displays, religious miracles, levitating or such. We can all try to imagine how life would be without the sense of me-ness but the actual experience of freedom is vastly better than just dreaming about it. Obviously!

Thank you for reading and I wish you all the best in your path to discovering the reality,


Tiny mistakes are huge mistakes


Tiny mistakes are huge mistakes

Tiny mistakes are huge mistakes for yogis. For whatever reason, if you don't pay attention in a totally naked, raw and vulnerable manner, the shadows will remain. Don't congratulate yourself about progress and victories in practice. If you do, pay attention to who takes comfort in being congratulated. If this happens, if you're lucky(!), you'll find out that you're already making an ego trip of your successes. These are the games of delusion. Stay lucid and fresh! If you aim for full enlightenment in this life, you have to monitor the monitor that monitors self-based habits. Nothing less will do.


perjantai 18. kesäkuuta 2021

Basic Goodness – The Root of All Religions


Basic Goodness –

The Root of All Religions

What is common to all major religions is the element of worship of some higher, more profound or spiritual ideal. Christians, hindus and buddhists all have their objects of prayer, worship and meditation. In this way, practitioners of religion put themselves near to their spiritual idols and gain benefits from doing that. Typically these benefits include the sense of becoming peaceful, sober-minded, patient, tolerant and loving. It is fascinating that regardless of religious orientation, contemplatives of all religions are known by these same marks. From this perspective all paths seem to lead to same or very similar transformation and maturation of the human mind and heart.

What is also fascinating is the similarity of descriptions of inner experience among advanced contemplatives of different religions. They all describe unification with their chosen ideals, and therefore, transcendence of it. Christian mystics describe being unified with God or Christ and buddhist adepts describe realising the buddha within. Hindus and taoists describe the same thing. Isn't it extremely enchanting that based on their accounts, advanced contemplatives seem to go beyond the differences in doctrine but also seem to discover a common bedrock of pure radiance and its many positive expressions, that is beyond all and any of their former spiritual idols? This is transcendence of paths, stages, religious doctrine and idols of worship. The number of contemplatives who talk in this manner is low but nevertheless exists.

I never believed that there would be only one path or one way to existential freedom, that comes through transcendence of particulars. I never believed it because it didn't make sense to me.

All beings have pure and divine nature that cannot be given or taken away but goes undiscovered. That is the very reason why we live our lives in emotional pain and existential confusion, not knowing who we really are. Below the chaos and confusion of thoughts and emotions, there is incredible peace and clarity that is common to all beings. You are basically good! Utterly good! Discover this good in yourself and become an embodiment of it.

In this way, by becoming aware of who we really are, we tap into the common bedrock of all religions that is already in us.

Kim, 18.6.2021

torstai 17. kesäkuuta 2021

Sacred In Us

Sacred In Us

Hi friends,

I'd like to take a moment to remind you that there is a perfectly awake, calm, clear and sober being in you, at this very moment. This pure and sober being comes out every now and then, and you might remember incidents of having had a really clear mind that you don't normally have. Maybe you experienced this clarity on the day when you graduated from school, had your first child, got married or sang a song at friend's birthday party, for example. This clear mind is called buddha in buddhism, christ in christianity, or bhagavan in hinduism. All beings have this pure nature and you are not an exception to this rule. Actually, we don't only "have" this nature, we are this nature.

Our basic nature is abound with kindness and goodness. At this very moment, there is this bright and sober being in us, that is perfect as it is. So, find it in you, in your being right at this moment. Discover it and see how your energy shifts. We all know how it feels to be stressed, tense, anxious, angry and depressed. All these negative emotions make us feel small and contracted. We all know this all too well. On the other hand recognising our basic nature, releases our small-minded doubts and judgements, and we feel free and unhindered. It is very empowering to discover who we truly are!

Even if we have hard times in life, we have a mind that is always clear and sober, without irritation and anger, always fresh, realistic and positive. This is the sacred in us all. In you too, right this moment.

Kim, 17.6.2021

perjantai 11. kesäkuuta 2021

Emptiness and Compassion as Means to Attain Full Enlightenment


Emptiness and Compassion as Means

to Attain Full Enlightenment

Singh:>I completely agree with your view, before I discovered and more importantly grasped emptiness which is profoundly easy and difficult at the same time navigation seemed like fantasy. I don't have a clue why people don't get it. The Buddhist who are trained and get it, some of the them tend to get dogmatic about it.

Kim: -Another thing that people don't get or miss is the gift of compassion and emptiness combined, as in great vehicle. Buddhists of the small vehicle talk incessantly about anatman and arhathood but few of them realise that arhathood is half way. It is not full and complete. However, I give credit to theravadans because in some styles of it, they actually do become arhats and even if it is not full enlightenment, arhathood is farther than what many mahayanis and vajrayanis attain. I find it curious and strange that this is the case.

-But the thing with cultivating compassion and including all beings in one's motivation, it is revolutional in terms of spiritual practice. You practice for everyone, not just that "I want out and each to their own". Compassion is the katalysator and engine of enlightenment, regardless of religion or doctrine. I've seen some christian contemplatives who have absolutely incredible "bodhicitta". Compassion is the fabric of mature psychology and mature spirituality. That's why it's emphasized in systems that aim for full enlightenment, call it buddhahood or becoming like christ. If one doesn't have such maturity, many selfish habits go unnoticed. This means that for theravada arhats there is a whole world system that is unseen for them but like I said, in buddhist teaching there are also basic problems how compassion is taught and cultivated. The reason why I say all this is because without compassion, emptiness meditation cannot be finished. Without compassion, one will not attain full liberation.

Singh:>I try to transcend dogma, there is no doubt the crystal clear teaching on emptiness are in vajrayana especially dzogchen and mahamudra. 

Kim: -Mahamudra teachings are excellent, especially Gampopa. However, be careful because there are many dzogchen teachers out there who do not understand emptiness, though they can tap into the clarity of basic awareness. Full enlightenment, also known as great perfection includes everything that appears in the mind.

Kim, 11.6.2021

Yogas With or Without Knowledge


Yogas With or Without Knowledge

I don't think that emptiness teaching is or was meant to start a new religion that we now know as buddhism. I think it was meant to fix the central problem in hinduism but then things went otherwise and a new religion was developed. It is a whole another discussion how is it possibe that there is so many basic misconceptions and misunderstandings in hinduism, considering that jnana yoga is one of the most basic forms of hindu yogas. There cannot be any other knowledge or jnana than knowledge of one's true nature. All other jnanas come far second and yet, it is these secondary knowledges that most hindu practitioners spend their lives with, left ignorant of one's true nature. That is a tragedy.

The way I see it is that both self-delusion and its removal through the teaching of shunyata are both universal. We have to reset the karmic counter back to zero (shunya) to be able to have the primary knowledge of our existence. However, considering that this teaching isn't available to that many people and it comes together with the religious packaging of buddhism, so people associate the teaching of emptiness with buddhism, Asia and so on, are signs that many things went wrong along the way for various reasons. If we look at great founders like Jesus and Buddha, I think what they meant to do was to offer and bring medicine for the humanity, not start their own groups for the sake of having a group. Although I feel that I'm a buddhist, often when looking at what goes on in buddhism, I feel like a complete stranger to it. It is just what Babaji told me years ago, that there is no this or that yoga, you could say no this or that religion. There is only that which works and that which doesn't in terms of existential confusion. People get so confused when faith and belief come into the picture and loose sight of what is truly important. To me there cannot be other type of dharma than dharma that releases dualistic (plus or minus) confusion into zero. And this was always the real meaning of yoga.

Kim, 11.6.2021

torstai 10. kesäkuuta 2021

Claims of Attainment by Jesus, Yuthok and Naropa


Claims of Attainment by

Jesus, Yuthok and Naropa

Jesus: "No one comes to the kingdom of heaven except through me".

Yuthok: "There’s greater merit in praying to me for one year than in praying to other gurus for a whole lifetime; there’s more merit in praying to me for a month than in praying to others for a whole year. Rather than praying to others for a whole month, by praying to me for just a day, one minute, or a mere instant, blessings will come quickly. If this isn’t true, for having deceived sentient beings, may all the Buddhas and their spiritual offspring of the ten directions smash my skull into pieces like shattered plaster.”*

Naropa: I am the Source of every Mahasiddha, I am their names and their poems, I am their Songs of Realization, And the Realization itself, I Am the ‘All Creating King’ And ‘Mother of All Buddhas’… That Pristine Purity From which all things Immaculately Come, And yet ultimately remains Completely Indescribable.”**

**Clark, Kiley. Stones to Shatter the Stainless Mirror:: The Fearless Teachings of Tilopa to Naropa (p. 140). UNKNOWN. Kindle Edition.

*Chenagtsang, Nida. Mirror of Light: A Commentary on Yuthok's Ati Yoga (p. 27). 978-1-950153-01-5. Kindle Edition.

Perfect Expression of Pragmatic Dharma by Guru Rinpoche


Perfect Expression of

Pragmatic Dharma

by Guru Rinpoche

"Whoever meditates on me meditates on all the buddhas. 

Whoever sees me sees all the buddhas. 

I am the union of all sugatas, the 'ones gone to bliss'."

- Padmasambhava

Always when seeing this quote and other similar ones from Guru Rinpoche, I can't help thinking how bold it is. I don't mean bold in egoistic way but to say, "I am the union of all sugatas", it's just something that ordinary beings don't say because they never even come think of such a thing! Only true masters, charlatans or crazy people say things like that. How can you tell which is which? By the signs.

It is such a strong and bold, and yet truthful statement. He is a mahasiddha and whoever is a mahasiddha, is a living embodiment of all buddhas (sugatas). All deities come to life through and in the realisation of a fully enlightened siddha.

Guru Padmasambhava is unique among siddhas for the fact that you can't find others who says it so directly. He doesn't water it down, he doesn't dance or play around it, and he hasn't got the slightest problem saying it exactly how it is.

To me, this is perfect expression of (pragmatic) dharma.

-Kim, 10.6.2021

keskiviikko 9. kesäkuuta 2021

Emptiness and Buddhahood


Emptiness and Buddhahood

Without emptiness practice, one cannot practice dzogchen. There is no such thing as dzogchen without the foundational realisation or insight of empty nature of mind. For this reason, we need to understand that we actually cannot practice atiyoga without complete purification. Without emptiness, dzogchen becomes entirely dualistic because the "natural state" is seen to be separate from thoughts and emotions. However, if you read any past master they make it clear that thoughts and emotions are not apart of the natural state. So what you need to practice is vipashyana, emptiness meditation, to release the sense of me-ness from all and any mind objects. In Pemako, we do this both by sutric and tantric means, sutric and tantric vipashyana. Sutric means to study, investigate and liberate selfing from the mind objects directly. Tantric vipashyana means to practice deities through their mantras and visualisations. Both result in directly seeing that whatever mind objects appear in the mind: any thought, any emotion, any dream, any desire, any fantasy or any subtle formless energy, is without this entity that samsaric beings refer to as "me" or "I". This solves the problem and this is the meaning of liberation in buddhadharma. From there, from emptiness of all phenomena, from exhaustion of all phenomena, great perfection or buddhahood is seen and attained. This means purifying the bhumis 1-10 and becoming a mahasiddha, or a buddha, whose mind has been exhausted of self-delusion. There are no distractions or bumps in the mind of a buddha, and no sudden surprises, no hidden blind spots... Completely clear and pure, radiating soft blessings...

Kim, 9.6.2021

tiistai 8. kesäkuuta 2021

Aiming for Cultural Change in Dharma


Aiming for Cultural Change in Dharma

Kim: I didn't come here just to teach a handful of students, even though they made it to the end of their practice. I've always had the feeling that I've come to create a big enough cultural change in dharma that keeps growing for centuries ahead. If I can reach enough people to leave behind 100 teaching mahasiddhas, there is a realistic opportunity. It takes not only a large number of enlightened teachers to make a small cultural change, but also a group of professionals running an organization, and money to run the activities. Just yesterday I was thinking about how amazing it would be to offer our center's residential training, with monthly retreats, for free. It would bring student material (as well as other things) to us. It would be easy to teach.

Ben: What are your thoughts on the historical buddha and how all of buddhism sprung from a single individual? Is it about leaving behind an army of enlightened teachers or does there also need to be a readiness among the culture? If so, do you think today’s culture is ready?

Kim: Hi Ben. Oh, enough people have been ready for ages... but the teachings haven't been there... and now when they finally are, they are ineffective, wrong or unfitting. Readiness is there for sure. Look at how eagerly so many people around the world practice... There are many many people who put all their spare time into practice. If they did practices that they understood and were suitable for this time and culture, they'd advance through the bhumis and become buddhas.

When I speak of leaving a mark to the world's dharma culture, I mean just that. Not changing it all but leaving a mark that stays and grows over time. Hakuin from Japan is a pretty good example of this when he revitalized rinzai zen few hundred years ago. He left, if I recall correctly 90+ dharma heirs. I can think of few good zen roshis from his lineage that are alive today, my late hitsuzendo master as well as monastery roshi being examples, and many other excellent ones from previous generations. Culturally speaking, they had the real thing going on for couple of hundred years, until it withered because of Hakuin. Historically speaking tb in Tibet was as strong if not stronger, until it crumbled down within the last 70 years. They had a culture that supports practitioners, and they had money and people. Now, like Japanese buddhism, Tibetan buddhism is mostly without the pulse of realisation, though there are few bright sparkles here and there.

All I can do is to speak, explain my plans for the benefit of the world society and continue teaching those who want to be taught. I cannot say if Pemako will meet my plans and expectations but I hope that our sangha takes this as seriously as death, and helps me to accomplish everything that can be accomplished. To quote Khandro Namsel Dronma:

"To tell you honestly, in my mind I have a very strong belief that the essence of life is only to have the realization of bodhichitta and emptiness... If I cannot help people to generate these things, our meeting is just a waste of time."

Until this year comes to its end, I'll have reported a number of people in our sangha who have reached the end of their emptiness practice, i.e. attained buddhahood or the 11th bhumi. Both before and especially after all mind phenomena has been liberated to dharmakaya, conduct becomes one's practice. Conduct means actualising bodhicitta. Actualising bodhicitta means helping others over to the other shore (parasamgate). That means meeting, working, talking and meditating with people. To do that we need dedicated people and resources which we don't at the moment have. Method that is no longer a hypothesis we now have.


lauantai 5. kesäkuuta 2021

Garchen Rinpoche About Bhumis + Kim's comment

Garchen Rinpoche About Bhumis 

+ Kim's comment

”As Milarepa has said: the empty clear mind just becomes increasingly clear as you keep meditating. That's what we call the Bhumis and the paths, the different stages. Even though they're given different names, it's just an increasing becoming clear of your natural state ...

So this is how the four yogas really are a gradual development of the realization of the mind. So even though we count and list different Bhumis and different paths and there's different teachings on that, this is really how we should see it.

This is also a very important teaching, the most important teaching by Milarepa where he said that the so-called Bhumis and the paths are the progressive realization or recognition of the clear and empty nature of the mind. The Bhumis and the paths are nothing but signs or road signs so you know where to go. You know where you're at. So practitioners need some kind of signs so they know they're on the right track.”

- From Garchen Rinpoche's introduction to the Four Yogas of Mahamudra (May 13th 2021), translated by Ina Bieler 


Kim: It is said here precisely how it is. All the grandiose and impossible-to-attain descriptions from commentaries and other texts are sheer nonsense that should be thrown away because the only thing they actually do is lead people astray. Old texts and traditions gather so much extra baggage and weird views that in the end it doesn't make any sense and has no relevance with the actual practice. Ignorant people should never not touch and alter the teachings of the masters.

The most important teaching of buddhism is gradual increase of clarity of mind, through emptiness of phenomena, that happens in stages just like is presented in Pemako teachings. Everything else comes far behind and pales next to this main point.

It is best to forget everything else and focus on realising empty mind that is loaded with compassion. If you do that wholeheartedly even for a year, your life will be different forever. If you take it all the way to completion, you'll change the lives of those you meet.

-Kim, 5.6.2021



keskiviikko 2. kesäkuuta 2021

We are Pure, Sober and Holy

We are Pure, Sober and Holy


Each one of us has tremendous spiritual potential. Essentially and basically, we are pure, sober and holy. After purification, we can perceive ourselves as bright balls of light that radiates joy and blessings all around us, at all times. This ball of light, our subtle body, is pure and clean, without the slightest dirt of selfishness in it. The same goes for our physical body. It is basically holy, pure and divine, every cell and muscle of it. We can glimpse that this is a fact and we can actualise this basic nature of ours through proper practice. All we need to do is remove the dirt that hides it.

-Kim, 2.6.2021

tiistai 1. kesäkuuta 2021

Cold Showers, Why I Stopped Them and Learning the Hard Way


Cold Showers, Why I Stopped Them and Learning the Hard Way

I started taking cold showers the first thing in the morning about 5-6 years ago. I was suffering of a burn out and bad insomnia so I had to find a way to wake up in the morning. Cold showers of about 20 seconds helped me to get my eyes open so that I could start the day and do my work. I kept doing this for about 5½ years until few weeks ago.

I thought that my burn out and insomnia of 6 years was the reason why I was getting colds and headaches easily from the slightest draft or slight wind when outside. I also experienced lots how my body would get overheated due to exercise or intensive meditation experiences which would in turn make me prone to colds and headaches. I had to constantly monitor temperature, draft/wind and my clothing, also during the night because I would very easily get colds during the night too.

It was constant pain in the ass for years but it didn't cross my mind until few weeks ago that the cold showers might not be helping but making it worse. So one day, 3-4 weeks ago, I stopped taking them, and already after 1-2 days I felt my body coming back to normal.

I don't know why my body reacted to cold water (as cold as you can get from the tab) by getting completely confused about its thermal maintenance but it did. Maybe this is because of the damage done by the long burn out and insomnia.

However, I don't need to keep an eye of the weather and temperatures any more than others do, and it is such a relief. I don't get colds anymore and so I don't need to take painkillers. It's such a dramatic change for the better.

I can take walks and exercise like normal people, and I don't need to keep my skin and head covered all the time. I feel like an ass for having done so much harm to myself by taking the cold showers, although they were helpful for some time too. But that's the story of my life: make mistakes, suffer from them and learn through the hard way.

The reason why I publish this bit from my personal life is because I think many have heard me talk about the benefits of cold water. There are lots of material from folks like Wim Hof that testify about the benefits of cold showers but if you have same problems like me, I just want you to know that this practice is not suitable for everyone, just like there is no one diet that fits all bodies.

At the same time I am greatful that I don't need to work around the clock anymore, get sufficient sleep and wake up fresh in the morning.

Balance in lifestyle is so important but at the same time it often is the case in the world today with work, studies and other types of commitments that we don't have a choice, and so we end up burning the candle at both ends. Looking back at the times of my hardship it feels both tragic and comical that I burned myself up by starting a new school of buddhism. That's pretty contradictory because aren't buddhists and yogis just supposed to have this radiant, settled and balanced chi at all times... but that's what happened. I can honestly say that I will never do it again in circumstances like these. So in case someone is planning to start a new buddhist school, take reincarnation in a buddhist country first, not in the West! Like I said, the only way I seem to learn is the hard way.

I wish you much love and clarity of mind,

Kim, 1.6.2021

Pemako Morning Coffee - Tips about Dynamic Concentration


Pemako Morning Coffee

- Tips about Dynamic Concentration

Ben: Got another question, this time regarding DC shouting. Trying to figure out the most effective way to practice shouting GR mantras.

I don't remember where but I saw Kim say recently to shout a couple hundred repetitions of a guru mantra every day (I think that's what he said??). I have been trying this but my question is, is it better to shout them for like 15 minutes or more straight and then rest in ati to feel the blessings, or is it best to do shorter periods and then spend some time in ati before shouting again to recharge. I hope I am phrasing this question ok.

I think the answer might be to try them out and see what works best, but would like to confirm if anyone has hints on this. It seems that for me, when I shout for a long time straight, like say 20 minutes, the blessings still do not last all that long. So I think doing it the way we do Pemako coffee, with 50 hung phets followed by ati, then another 50, then another 50, seems like it might be the best way. Is it ok or preferable to do GR shouting this way, doing 50-100 reps then rest, then another set to recharge the blessings, and so on? For me it feels like I really need to yank on it to get the blessings at an intensity where I can feel them properly.
I also remember Kim talking about the shinto, I think, initiation where they had to shout all day long. What do you all think about longer shouting sessions, like say doing an hour+ of GR mantra?

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Kim: Pemako coffee style is nice and compact. 50 reps at once makes a nice hole when you put some punch into it. It's a good formula. What I meant with few hundred reps is that you can increase the 50 to hundred at once. Doing more than what one is used to is good because doing DC for longer lets you forget that you're doing it while you're doing it and it teaches you how the body, when you let it, produces sharp loud sound in a beautiful almost effortless manner.

At Ichikukai Dojo we would shout for 3 days straight, with short breaks and 6 hours of sleep. Loved the shouting, absolutely hated the rest of it because you actually got punched by the seniors while you were shouting. Not kidding.

But longer shouting sessions, similar to longer chanting sessions, there is something really powerful about them. We've had 12 hour chantings of NGR and GR hoped few years ago that we would have 24's but we haven't had good opportunity for that yet. Actually I think we should just start doing it  

What you can do at home is to use the coffee formula for 1 hour, or 2, or 6, with short breaks for toilet and meals, and see how it works. Even when you put some punch into each syllable, you can manage it without getting (that) sore throat :)

Pemako Morning Coffee, guided practice:

maanantai 31. toukokuuta 2021

The Natural State Vs. Concentration Practices - Making Sense of It All


The Natural State Vs. Concentration Practices

-Making Sense of It All

Ben: One thing I've always had trouble wrapping my mind around in terms of Pemako's practice teachings is the reduced emphasis on concentration meditation. Techniques of gently focusing and resting the attention on the breath or a mantra or the space between eyebrows. These techniques were essential in the first five years of my practice. Awakening experiences, stabilizations, karmic purifications, all of these benefits arose from my concentration meditation practice.

For me, my meditation practice afforded me a stability, peacefulness, and a focus that made my subsequent tantric practice possible.

Then recently I had been listening to a Lion Faced Guru Podcast episode and something Kim Rinpoche said struck me. I have been contemplating it with a kind of marvel since then. To paraphrase him, he said: The tantric teachings of the Pemako lineage substitute the stability from shamatha with the stability of awakening and the natural state.

From a yoga advaita perspective, any stability mistakenly attributed to the ego self is really the misperceived stability of the Self. From the Pemako teaching standpoint, any stability found through concentration practices is not separate from the stability inherent to the natural state. Awakening to and stabilization of the natural state can therefore replace many years of meditation practice.

It was nice to have that discrepancy resolved in such an emphatic way.

Kim: Hi Dr. Ben. How have you been?  

We do do mantra repetition in gentle manner (don't we?) and it is very important. Though this has changed lately, I churned mantras day and night for years and years, and had "stabilizations, karmic purifications, all of these benefits". Especially guru mantras have a strong pacifying effect but this pacification does not lead to momentarily silenced mind but to gradual recognition of the natural state.

I've talked about the problems of shamatha meditation so much that I think people here are sick of hearing it, ha, but I can't relate to when you say, "stability, peacefulness, and focus". Sure, I developed a lazer like focus but at the same time, even when the mind was quiet, I felt like I was on a ego trip. I didn't feel good or natural at all. I had done lots of drinking in my previous years and shamatha felt similar to that in the sense of bypassing issues and not having real sobriety! That didn't begin to change until I was able to cut through all layers of the mind with tantric practices. During my purification practice I went back to trying shamatha every now and then but it felt as weird as it did in the beginning. The ultimate meaning of shamatha/shi-ne is the natural state. Because it is possible to skip gentle concentration practices that not only are unable to reveal the natural state (because it doesn't cut through the formless mind, the substrate) and are also so time consuming, why not go directly to the bedrock, the ground (bhumi) beyond instability.

>To paraphrase him, he said: The tantric teachings of the Pemako lineage substitute the stability from shamatha with the stability of awakening and the natural state.

- My question is: Why would you spend so much time on gentle concentration practices when it doesn't lead to the recognition of the basic state? Because Shakyamuni is said to have practiced meditative absorptions that he learned from his hindu teacher after he is said to have attained full enlightenment, is probably the reason why there is still lots of confusion about this whole one-pointed concentration/samadhi/jhana/dhyana thing. This in turn makes buddhists unable to see the mistake that golden chains are still chains, whether they are made of negative destructive emotions or subtle states of meditation. I find it extremely weird how most in this religion that is considered a wisdom tradition, make such a drastic mistake. I recall Tenzin Palmo contemplating this aloud in an interview, saying that even Shakyamuni Buddha couldn't help people get awakened. One thing is the ancient influence of hindu meditations and another is the lack of practices that directly generate awakening. There are not many of those but there are some, like the 2PF. Then on the other hand when people think of buddhist practitioners they think of smiling peaceful monks with shaved heads who sit in silent meditation. There has been systematic propaganda of monasticism going on for thousands of years, and now everyone is paying a high price for it because it has such a strong impact on the whole world, wherever buddhism is taught. Buddhism has had 2.5 thousand years to make a difference ad it hasn't even reached step one that you could say that the people of the world can trust the buddhist teaching, that it will help them to remove their self-based suffering, here's how it all works, here's how it is done. Incredibly painful.

Tenzin Palmo:

Back to concentration practices.

I learned everything from the dynamicity of concentration from a Chinese martial art called yiquan, or yi chuan, lit. intention boxing. See this video. I had done gentle concentration for years in meditation and then, through the three types of intention taught in yiquan, realised that intention can be kept at low volume, which is what is done in shamatha meditation for extended periods of time, but it can also be taken to higher volumes. In yiquan, there is shi li, which means to momentarily increase the intensity of focus, and there is fa li, which is sudden explosive intention or maximum intention in the form of explosion. Now, all of these are different expressions of concentration or intention but the outcome is very different. If we look at this from the perspective of yogic practice, the former leads to mental quiet and ability to focus on one thing, while the latter has the power to shatter the whole construction of the mind, and through doing so reveals that part of the mind that isn't affected or spoiled by self-based beliefs or notions. Yasutani Roshi, Japanese zen master, in his talk about just sitting or shikan taza said that one needs to sit in such an intense way that if someone touches you, sparks will fly. I think he was describing shi li sitting which if done for longer periods is exhausting because you use your vital energy to keep up that heightened intensity. This also misses the point of recognition of the basic state. Explosive type of concentration or shamatha has the power to cut through the whole self-construction to make the original nature appear. This original nature is nothing else than oneself as a buddha, or mahasiddha grounds, bhumis.

Buddhist tradition started with the first awakening experience that Shakyamuni had, that he didn't get from subtle states of meditation. These meditative states neither removed his existential dissatisfaction.

So what we do in Pemako is to put the horse in front of the cart, rather than behind it, and drive like a horse cart should be driven. What we have here is the absence of false or misleading ideas that take practitioners to subtle but strange places that they believe is the true teaching.

As far as I am concerned, the only practice in yoga is to recognise one's basic nature that is fresh, clear, sober, settled and devoid of self-based marks or habits. To me there is no other buddhist dharma practice except to recognise it and to unify our psyche with it, meaning to see the emptiness of all mind phenomena. What is a sign of proper emptiness practice? Awakenings! Bhumi openings! Bhumi perfections!

There is no other solution to suffering and confusion of the unnatural state, than the natural state, and that has nothing to do with being focused or distracted, being in meditation or not.

sunnuntai 30. toukokuuta 2021

Westernizing the Arts of Zen


Westernizing the Arts of Zen

Hello all!

I think there are many new members here who don't know the history of this page. I started it 10 years ago and have been somewhat active through the whole time posting interesting links and sources on the wall (scroll down to access).

I studied zen calligraphy and zen art with Terayama Tanchu Sensei, buddhist heir and student of Omori Sogen Roshi and Yokoyama Tenkei Sensei, until Sensei passed away in 2007. He was probably the most respected and widely known authority of zen art and zen calligraphy in Japan.

Myself being a Westerner, I have spent many years processing the meaning of zen art in the West because basically all the Western people/practitioners I've ever met cannot relate to the outer form of Japanese and Asian zen art because they are not used to black ink, white paper and other such purely Asian features. For this reason I've spent any years contemplating the meaning and expression of zen art in the West in a form that Westerners could relate to. I have shared my thoughts about this throughout the years, as well as developed my own style of painting in the process. 


No East, No West - Mu To Zai, by Terayama Tanchu Sensei

I think there is a treasure chest within everyone of us, modern citizens and artists of the world, that is waiting to be discovered (zen, awakening, enlightenment) that can then be expressed through different artforms. We have art tradition of our own in the West or wherever you might live, but what is missing is the pure and bright mind, soft heart and unified body that was cultivated together with the art form in ancient Asia. Here, there is lot to learn for Westerners.

Because of my training this topic is very dear to my heart so I hope to contribute to bringing Western or non-Asian art forms and teachings of recognised reality together.

OK, I just wanted to say few words of introduction and welcome our new members. Feel free to ask and discuss about these topics here.

Here is a video of my teacher Terayama Sensei doing a form of physical-awareness exercises. I haven't seen anyone move like that, not before or since :)

-Kim, 30.5.2021

Zen Art and Zen Calligraphy at FB:

perjantai 28. toukokuuta 2021

New and Fresh Zen!

New and Fresh Zen!

Today, I am reminded of my past training in zen buddhism and zen art. Due to many past lives as a zen buddhist, I always felt at home with zen, and I miss it. I miss that spirit.

Few years ago I sketched a zen method, basically a new zen tradition, and today I felt like writing a book about it. Well, a booklet since I'm not much of a writer but anyway. Terayama Sensei asked me to continue teaching after him but like he didn't continue the traditional syllabus of rinzai zen, I definitely would not use or write about the practices of traditional zen, because they weren't that effective for me or for Terayama Sensei. Sensei didn't teach koans because he didn't think they were that effective in relation to time and effort that you have to put into it. Later, he actually took up Amitabha practice and I can very well understand why. I always felt it would have been much better if Pure Land Buddhism had first spread to the West instead of zen... but anyway.

It is not diffcult to have recognition of buddhanature (j. kensho, satori) if we know how the mind works and how we can strike through it, to make the original face show up. While quietive methods don't work so well, dynamic concentration, together with bodhicitta, works in excellent manner. Many zen teachers say the same, that it is not difficult to have kensho but it takes a lot of time to integrate them. In a sense that is true but I have a different take on this.


Photo of Terayama Sensei and me in 2005, in front of Yamaoka Tesshu's Tiger and Dragon at Tsukuba Dojo, Chiba, Japan.

There is no buddhist practice other than recognising oneself as a fully enlightened buddha. In other words, kensho is the one and only practice. In other words, all the time spent in non-recognition is nothing else than samsara. 


Practitioners need to do practices that enable them to have this recognition at *every session* of practice. Practitioners need to do practices that enable them to have short momentary glimpses, and small and big breakthroughs (kensho) on *daily* basis, not just every now and then, or years apart. The training need not take decades but can be done in years through dynamic practices. This is the correct and the only way to understand samadhi for there is no other samadhi except wisdom (skt. prajna) and compassion (karuna) of the buddha.

This is a point that is hammered hard by the ancestors. One after the other they make it diamond clear that the practice of zen is the practice of recognising ourselves as buddhas. I know from my experience as a teacher and treasure revealer of tantra and atiyoga that this is possible from beginners to advanced bodhisattva-practitioners.

There are very different types of methods with very different types of practicing experiences than the ones we are familiar with. Like the masters of the old times, I am just making my voice being heard for those who have ears to hear. Maybe I should write that book.

I send my love and appreciation to Terayama Sensei. You encouraged me to ask questions that others didn't dare to ask. For that I am ever greatful.


torstai 27. toukokuuta 2021

150th Awakening


150th Awakening

I started giving guidances to awakening in late March 2014 and today, 7 years and 2 months later, I confirmed my 150th case. I haven't been that active giving guidances the past couple of years and it's mostly other Pemako teachers and instructors who now offer guidances, but every once in a while it feels good to do it again. Some of the 150 have been confirmations where the person did the processing by her/himself and I just checked if awakening had happened or not, but most of them were guidances, either through email or in person.

To me it has been a fascinating journey of learning about the Two-Part Formula (2PF) itself but also about the human psyche and mechanics of awakening. I remember back in the day that I actually was doubtful about the 2PF myself because I had learned that "there is no practice that can directly generate awakening". It took me 30-40 guidances to unlearn that view ? I could however feel and see the shift in every person from gross self-based state to me-less state in every guidance. That is something very special to witness... It's like seeing someone being born ? Now, 150 people later the 2PF keeps on delivering ?

If you're interested my students run this website where all the info about awakening is nicely offered.

-Kim 27.5.2021

tiistai 25. toukokuuta 2021

Dark Night of the Soul


Dark Night of the Soul

Dark nights is something we talk in our sangha a lot. Our teachers and instructors speak about this in regular basis because one of the problems out there is that people are taught practices of various types but they are not told about how rough practice can be, i.e. the dark night phenomena, and so they get into trouble, scared, overwhelmed and so on. Rough periods in practice are actually a good sign and a sign that the practice works but when people don't know this and they don't know what to do and what not to do, they usually draw mistaken conclusions. They think that there is something wrong with them, with the practice, with the teacher and so on, some even quit practicing because they get so scared.

However, the real reason for dark nights is one's own subconscious mind and the core meaning of the practice is to illuminate the subconscious. What is under the lid is being purposefully shed light on and stirred with different practices so that this material can then be used as fuel for insight/vipashyana practice.

It should be understood that actually doing this is not a fun ride but... doing this correctly leads to freedom and happiness that does not depend on circumstances. This is the only way to know ourselves as fully aware and awakened beings, as buddhas, as christs... What practitioners should learn is their limits. This is very important. They should know what they are doing and how much they can do without getting overwhelmed.

In tantra, we use guru yoga to keep things balanced as the presence of the guru brings calm and clarity, and doesn't stir things. During dark nights, we have the instruction not to practice wrathful deities because if you do, they keep stirring up the subconscious and bringing more stuff to the surface. How much one can take and use for insight practice depends on the individual. Those who are ready and understand how the practice works can take big leaps very fast. Those who aren't that ready or don't have a clear view have hard time making sense of it all and practice feels like a burden. Regardless of which type of a practitioner one is, there should be instructions how to go about it.

As a general note that I have said over and over again, there are great differences between sutris and tantric methods. It seems to be the case that those who practice sutric forms end up with problems like insomnia, psychosis, digestive and typical dark night emotions like anxiety and depression much more often than those who practice tantra. Tantric retreats also have much more natural expression in the form of chanting, singing, dancing, talking and socialising than quietive systems where you are to keep your gaze low, not talk and socialise and just do a lot of silent sitting. I think that unless one is very advanced in practice and insight, you shouldn't do quiet retreats that contain a lot of silent sitting because this is not a normal situation.

Kim, 25.5.2021