The number of people who have finished their purification practice and have reached the first stage of buddhahood went up to 13 this week. Our sangha being 73 people in total this means that 18% of the whole sangha, almost every fifth person, has reached buddhahood. This means that all one's self-based habits have been weeded out and liberated from the mind.
Finishing purification of the mind is a very significant attainment in spiritual practice. It is reached by extremely few in the whole world. That so few attain it is because of various things like pedagogy, practices, dogmatism and so on. Anyhow, when all these factors come together to create ideal circumstances for one to learn and practice, results come fast, like it has been said many times in classical practice manuals of past masters.
In Pemako we practice "pragmatic dharma" where all questions are welcome and everything is openly discussed without secrecy. The way how we practice the dharma is like arts and sciences are practiced in the world, sharing knowledge and experiences openly, rather than keeping them secret or limited to a few. Based on that principle we commit and do the practice day and night until the fruit of buddhahood is ripened. Among my students who reached buddhahood there are men and women from all over Europe. They have normal jobs, lives and responsibilities. They are not super-yogis or -yoginis living in caves or special places, no. These people live in European cities such as Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Stockholm, Dublin and Zurich.
They practiced anything from 2 to 3½ to 5 to 8 years to finish their purification. The duration varies because maybe someone was ill at some point, or didn't practice for some time, or practiced less or more. Anyway, it is perfectly clear how anyone with an open mind and readiness can do this. As the founder of this method and lineage I am proud to be able to say that it works and delivers results, much like a mechanical machine. As an educated engineer, I always felt this is how methods, also yogic methods, should be, that they deliver results. Method cannot be called a method if it doesn't produce regular results. What do you call a TV that doesn't show you the programs on various channels? You don't call it a TV, you call it a broken TV, and they need to be either fixed or thrown away.
There is more to awakening or enlightenment or buddhahood than purification of mind but reaching the end of it (realizing emptiness of all phenomena) is the first liberator that lays the foundation for further refinement. At this point all things, thoughts, feelings, perceptions and experiences rest in zero without any power to create contraction. Day and night, the mind remains open, boundaryless, centerless, selfless and clear, or simply natural. This stage is so important and has been stressed by countless buddhist masters of the past for many centuries because at this point one has become freedom itself. No more stickiness, no more contraction, no more subconscious impulses, no more sudden surprises. That's done, the mind has been completely transformed and remains in its natural condition. And again, people who've put in the effort and commitment, and reached that live in the midst of us in Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Switzerland and so on. You can come to our local groups or retreats to meet us and scrutinize us as much as you like, if you like. And again, no one needs to believe a word I say but if you wish to know if what I say is true or not, you need to do the same practices. We have tons of free materials and guided practices on our website and youtube so knock yourself out.
I haven't written posts like this in a long time but for some reason I did so today. I guess you can call it an invitation. Feel free to do whatever you like with it.
Kim Rinpoche, 30.6.2022