sunnuntai 11. huhtikuuta 2021

Advice to Someone with Fear and Anxiety About Energy and Kundalini

 

Advice to Someone with Fear and Anxiety About Energy and Kundalini




Kim: Hello,

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


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


*


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


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


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


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


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


perjantai 9. huhtikuuta 2021

Harvest Is At Hand

 

Harvest Is At Hand


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


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


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


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



Pragmatic Dharma



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


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

 


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


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


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


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



Fruition



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


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


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


-Kim, 9.4.2021










maanantai 5. huhtikuuta 2021

Only Positive Qualities

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


-Kim, 5.4.2021

sunnuntai 4. huhtikuuta 2021

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

 

What is Awakening on the path to Enlightenment?

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

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


THE DREAM EXAMPLE


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


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


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

-Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche