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,

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:

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.


Diary: Update of my practice


Diary: Update of my practice

For two weeks now, I've felt like taking foot off the gas and just enjoy in a relaxed manner. This is mostly due to divine mother/shakti/shambhogakaya-principle showing up spontaneously. I've also had brief cessations of the mind (100% rigpa) in short (30-60 minutes) intervals several times recently which is sort of like ping pong, where the ball bounces between the leftovers of the samsaric mind and buddhanature. These are different from the cessations from last year that lasted for days. Because of this ping pong effect, it feels like the net in the middle or the border between samsara and nirvana is about to disappear for good. My samsara for the past couple of months has been small or little in the sense that all the distortions of the mind that still happen are minor. There is much space and clarity and because the distortions are small, it is easy to become aware of and liberate them. But all in all, vipashyana is nothing like it used to be. It was hard work for a long time, now it is subtle and easy. I don't think it will be long until it is all over.

Reg. Pemako work and sangha in general. In January I suddenly realised something about the rainbow body. What I realised was that, just like I have pragmatized tantric mahayana/vajrayana which is focused on realising emptiness of all phenomena, the same is needed regarding the rainbow body and that's why I started a separate public group at Facebook to discuss this, as there are lots of people attracted about it. I am also working on a book about rainbow body, but like I said, I am taking it easy at the moment. I've stopped pushing projects and just enjoy the rest of the journey without doing too many things.

I wish you're all doing well. These are strange times due to abnormal circumstances. We just have to live through it. I hope your practice is going well also and that you reap lots of benefits from it. Please have confidence that you have buddhanature and that it is possible to actually realise and establish it in this life. Keep practicing and becoming one with mahayana motivation.

Much love,

Kim, 25.2.2021

About Empowerments and Practice of Tantra


About Empowerments and

Practice of Tantra

Question: May I ask about empowerments; I was listening to one teaching from Garchen Rinpoche a while back, it was an Yamantaka empowerment. Is the general idea that its not recommended to take empowerments from other teachers than Pemako let alone to practise that/those deities? Thank you

Kim: Your question concerns *tantric* teachings and empowerments.

You can take all the empowerments you want from anyone you like and practice what you wish but few things you need to know.

1) for someone who is still a beginner, having more than one teacher will make one's head spin, i.e. one can loose clarity regarding direction because it is like trying to travel on two boats at the same time and 2) due to slight differences in subtle energy between lineages, if one does practices from more than one teacher/lineage on regular basis, there might be some subtle friction, sort of like food that digests poorly, in the system. I speak from my own experience and remember Sivakami telling me of some of her students who started making good progress with her teachings that then deflated when starting second practice at the same time. The nervous system is simple in the sense that it cannot be tuned into more than one musical key at once.

Point number one I've seen quite a few times in my teaching career, that beginners minds get confused about direction when they try to follow two (or more) teachers at once. There is an old saying about digging wells, that to find water one should dig deep in one spot rather than dig many shallow holes. Same thing with practice. I think that especially in the US where there is a lot of selection, people dig shallow holes and consequentially don't make much progress.

There are some good teachers out there, such as Garchen Lama, so I see no problem in joining teachings and *receiving* empowerments as much as you like. However, keep in mind my second point. Whether some teachings from separate lineages match or not, you just have to test yourself.

I have joined many teachings over the years both live and online but I have purposefully avoided receiving empowerments from lamas who I didn't feel a click with. Empowerment also creates a karmic link with the teacher so I haven't wanted to create otherwise unnecessary karmic connections with lamas who I am not excited about, and also because most vajrayana teachings/empowerments come with rules and regulations aka samaya, that usually is strict. Because of these reasons I have not taken that many empowerments from living lamas. I have of course received hundreds of them from dead lamas  

As a teacher of this sangha, I highly recommend all to do some reading on whatever you wish to read and if you wish to join whatever buddhist/spiritual/psychological events/retreats you might be interested in, go ahead. But please understand my motive in saying that. I don't wish our sangha to be close minded or attached to Pemako. I don't wish our practitioners to become cultish even in the slightest. At the same time, joining other teachings, you will probably see yourself why I have critisized the established methods so much, so you will understand Pemako and my style of teaching better.

Finally, like I've said, if you find a better teacher and method that bears fruit more effectively than this one, choose that one. This is common sensical.

maanantai 15. helmikuuta 2021

Bhumis and Siddhis by Tsele Natsok Rangdrol


Bhumis and Siddhis

by Tsele Natsok Rangdrol

»Thus all ten levels and five paths taught in the common vehicles are perfectly complete and distinct within the mahāmudrā, the pinnacle of all the vehicles. Naturally, someone who truly manifests the four yogas will gradually—or immediately—complete every quality of the paths and levels. However, it is a special quality of the secret, swift Mantrayāna path that some don’t reveal these qualities as actually perceivable characteristics on the apparent level. For example, most beings, such as birds and wild beasts, are born from their mothers’ wombs and don’t become fully developed for a while. The gradualists are like that. However, the garuda, who is the lord of birds, and the lion, who is the king of wild beasts, already have their complete powers inside the egg or mother’s womb. At that time they can’t be seen, but as soon as they’re born, their three powers are fully developed so that they can accomplish all activities, such as flying in the sky with their mother. In the same way, some yogins do not have actually visible signs while they are still confined within their material bodies, but on being freed from the traps that are their bodies, the result simultaneously ripens as the fully developed power of their qualities. There are also numerous individuals who, having accomplished the path that unites method and wisdom, visibly manifest the signs of that path, such as miraculous powers and clairvoyance, in that very life.«

- Tsele Natsok Rangdrol, The Bright Torch, in: Mind of Mahamudra

Nagarjuna Describes Going Through Bhumis


Nagarjuna Describes Going

Through Bhumis

From Dharmadhātustava by Nagarjuna

Just as a lamp that’s sitting in a vase

Does not illuminate at all,

While dwelling in the vase of the afflictions,

The dharmadhātu is not seen.

From whichever of its sides

You punch some holes into this vase,

From just these various places then,

Its light rays will beam forth.

Once the vajra of samādhi

Has completely smashed this vase,

To the very limits of all space,

It will shine just everywhere.

. . .

Just as when the waxing moon

Is seen more in every moment,

Those who’ve entered on the bhūmis,

See its increase step by step.

On the fifteenth day of waxing,

Eventually, the moon is full.

Just so, when the bhūmis’ end is reached,

The dharmakāya’s full and clear.