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.


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."

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, 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


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:

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

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