Monday, 20 November 2017

Life will seem more infused with energy

Aro EncyclopaediaIt is not always easy to be kind, but it is also not that difficult because kindness flows naturally from our beginningless non-dual nature.  So if we remind ourselves constantly to be kind, we constantly put ourselves in closer contact with our primordial non-dual state. There is also something in the activity of kindness that has an effect on us. 

When we make the effort to be kind, we may find that it becomes increasingly effortless. It may begin to flow naturally, and make us glad that we can experience such warmth and openness. A truly kind act is an act of pure appropriateness and therefore whenever we are kind , there will be an element of appropriateness. Life will seem more infused with energy, and there will seem fewer obstructions. Kindness simplifies situations.

Aro Encyclopaedia Index: Kindness: The power of the awakened mind warrior, Ngak'chang Rinpoche 

Monday, 13 November 2017

The open-mindedness and kindness of lovers

Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon The lover's open-mindedness equates with wisdom inasmuch as lovers cannot remain lovers if they become closed-minded with each other.
The lover's kindness equates with compassion inasmuch as lovers cannot remain lovers if they entertain the possibility of causing each other pain or distress.
Kindness is elicited by the kindness of one's lover, and one's own kindness achieves reciprocal responsiveness: kindness escalates and becomes addictive.  Through the self-orientation of our grasping, self-orientation loosens of itself, and dissolves within the fluidity of the needs perceived in one's lover.

p147, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon  Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen,  Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-3-3

Monday, 6 November 2017

Romance lures us into spiritual practice

Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon Desire habitually promotes self-seeking.  The desire which drives romantic pursuit is no exception to this – apart that is, from the fact that something else occurs.  When we are drawn to the person we desire for ourselves – we communicate our desire to the one we desire.  In so doing – we are unsuspectingly drawn into spiritual practice.  The practice, into which we are enticed, is that of wisdom and compassion.  We begin to display unusual open-mindedness and uncharacteristic kindness – but what is more extraordinary, is that we feel inexplicably unthreatened in so doing.

p146, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon  Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen,  Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-3-3

Monday, 30 October 2017

Desire promotes the spiritual qualities of wisdom and compassion

Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon Samsara presents opportunities for realisation – simply by virtue of samsara's failure to function.  Samsara is a self-defeating self-frustrated cycle, which is unsuccessful even within its own terms.  Because duality cannot function successfully within its own parameters – it cannot help but provide opportunities for realising nonduality. 
As soon as we seriously examine samsara – we begin to find it somewhat implausible; and that, is an intriguing discovery.  The Nyi-da Mélong (a Dzogchen tantra from the Aro gTér) takes this intriguing discovery as one of an array of interwoven themes.  The Nyi-da Mélong explores the texture of romance from the perspective of the manner in which desire itself promotes the spiritual qualities of wisdom and compassion.

p146, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon  Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen,  Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-3-3

Monday, 23 October 2017

Tantra illuminates the nature of romance

Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon Vajrayana enables us to appreciate romantic relationship as containing immense potential for sensating with precision and passion – for living with pristine panache.
The potential inherent within the experience of loving and being loved expresses itself as the subtle oscillation of: pleasure and pain; hope and fear; gain and loss; meeting and parting; and, acceptance and rejection.  The energy of adoring and being adored is a communication which teeters on the brink of realisation – balanced between nondual consummation and consuming delusion.
Tantra illuminates the nature of romance in terms of how it functions as both spiritual potential, and potential neurosis.
p145, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon  Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen,  Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-3-3

Monday, 16 October 2017

The twilight language of Tantra

Wearing the Body of Visions  Language is simply a vehicle, and with Tantra in particular we speak of twilight language – language that bridges the known and unknown.  When we speak of Tantra, somewhere along the line, the intellect has to get left behind.  When words are used in this way, there's no choice but to feel the meaning.  There is magnificent spacious passion in Tantra, that gives birth to poetry of the most powerful kind – the poetry without poet.  Actually that's too constricting a statement.  What we're really talking about is the poetry beyond poet and no-poet – the instantaneous explosive nature of meaning.

p26, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 9 October 2017

Confidence allows divergence of view without hostility

Wearing the Body of Visions  Tolerance doesn't involve smoothing over all the differences, it means seeing the differences, and allowing them to be there without making any damming judgements.  Tolerance actually means having real confidence.
Divergence of view is possible without there having to be hostility.  If you have confidence in your own path, you don't have to denigrate other paths.  You don't have to shore yourself up by dismissing other systems – that is simply not necessary.
So let us by all means disagree with certain views.  But let that not make us angry or violent!  Let us also have the good grace to acknowledge the benefit there may be in systems that employ different concepts.  We could in fact approach this thing with great gentleness and humour!

p24-25, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 2 October 2017

Contradiction but no conflict

Wearing the Body of Visions   There's only a problem, in the contradictory nature of different paths, if you fail to realise that their differences lie in the difference between their bases (where you begin).  Their bases are different because the relative capacities of individuals are different.  This means that what is a useful method for one person, could merely be an obstacle for another.  Once you have a fundamental understanding of this, it becomes very simple.  Then, not only will there be no conflict between different vehicles of Buddhism as to how and when they are presented but; you'll also come to understand the methods of any religion. 
This is the true basis of tolerance.  

p23, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 25 September 2017

Inequality and active compassion

Wearing the Body of Visions We're all equal in the sense that we are all enlightened.  Then, we're all unequal in our experience of clarity or confusion.  In the ultimate sphere of existence there is no difference between people.  But in the relative sphere of existence there are relative differences between people and that can function usefully in terms of active compassion.
Say that a child acts in a spiteful way towards you.  You recognise that he or she has limited capacity to understand the outcome of their acts and how they're understood in the adult world.  It means you can make a lot of allowances for them.  It means that you can be kind.  You can be tolerant.  You can be forgiving.
It's all based on understanding; understanding that someone has less capacity; less intelligence; less insight; more pain; more confusion – whatever is the condition of the person.  If you know that someone is in more pain than you are, you can let go of any animosity that might arise in relation to what they do.

p19-21, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 18 September 2017

Avoiding confusion and sectarianism

It is important to have a broad view of the teachings of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism.  If you come across contradictions, then you avoid confusion by remembering that there are different vehicles and styles within the schools that each have their functioning principles.  Through this means you cannot possibly develop a sectarian view.  All the schools are magnificently suitable vehicles for liberation of beings, and at the level where it actually matters, they all have the same essence.

p226-227, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 11 September 2017

We can laugh at our compulsion, fearfulness, and wilfulness

Spacious Passion Through the development of spaciousness, our patterning can become totally open and transparent.  We can view perception.  We can recognise intention.  We can motivate responses.
When our patterning becomes transparent, we can laugh at the compulsion of our desire, at the fearfulness of our aversion, and at the wilfulness of our stupidity.  Every moment becomes an opportunity for freedom and realisation.
Ultimately, finding presence of awareness in the dimension of the moment is the experience of non-dual emptiness and form.

p150, Spacious Passion Ngakma Nor'dzin, Aro Books, 2006 ISBN: 978-0-9653948-4-0

Monday, 4 September 2017

I can be the good person who is disapproving of the bad habit

Aro EncyclopaediaThe more you try to force thought out, the more of a problem it becomes.  The more you disapprove of your own neuroses, the more of a problem they become.  The time to disapprove of them is if they are hurting others; and then in the moment.  But one does not go into punishing oneself for having them at other times.  If one is aware that one has patterns, then one has to say, I need to have some awareness while this pattern is performing.  If I punish myself for having the pattern whilst I am having it, then this actually acts as a screen which hides the neurosis – I can be the good person who is disapproving of the bad habit.   That means I never get to see this habit, this neurosis, because I am too busy being the person who is disapproving of it.  This is actually a way of maintaining the neurosis.  The only way I see through a neurosis is to be with it. This is a great value of silent sitting.

Aro Encyclopaedia Index: Compassion - Questions and Answers.
Ngak'chang Rinpoche. 

Monday, 28 August 2017

Multiplicity and Divergence

Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon 
Buddhist nonduality allows multiplicity and divergence.  At the level of emptiness – we are indeed all one: your emptiness and my emptiness—the emptiness of everyone—is the same.  However – emptiness is only one aspect of reality.  The other aspect is that which continually arises from emptiness: form.  At the level of form – we are certainly not all one, we are different.  Nonduality is the inseparability of this sameness and difference.

p23, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen,  Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-3-3 

Monday, 21 August 2017

Relationship with the teacher in Vajrayana

Illusory Advice  The relationship between teacher and student is fundamental to Vajrayana.  Within the theatre of this relationship you can become transparent to yourself, and through becoming transparent, your constricted sense of being is liberated.
Devotion to the Lama enables the student to be empty in relation to the Lama.  This allows the Lama to conjure with the form of the student’s neuroses to mirror them, so that they become transparent for the student.
If one is open to receiving transmission, then a great deal can be achieved in such moments.  Huge shifts can be made in an instant.  This is only possible within a relationship based on confidence in the teacher and openness in the student.

p59 and 62, Illusory Advice Ngakma Nor’dzin and Ngakpa ’ö-Dzin, Aro Books, 2015, ISBN: 978-1898185-37-6 

Monday, 14 August 2017

Vajra commitment

Aro Encyclopaedia Vajra masters may accept students’ vows of vajra commitment – but imposters to vajra mastery can only steal the loyalty of those they dupe. Those who are duped only need to recognise they have been duped, in order to be free of those who merely pose as vajra masters.

Vows can only be broken when they have been entered into with authenticity. Deranged poltroons may pronounce two people married – but their pronouncements carry no weight in either religion or law.

Vajra masters are the living embodiments of Padmasambhava and Yeshé Tsogyel, like our own Lamas Kyabjé Künzang Dorje Rinpoche and Jomo Sam’phel Déchen. We, on the other hand, are not vajra masters – and cannot be viewed as vajra masters. We are merely convivial vicars of Vajrayana – and nothing we say need be taken too dreadfully seriously.

Aro Encyclopaedia Index: Vajra Masters - The Body, Speech, and Mind of Vajrayana  སྔགས་འཆང་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་ / མཁའ་འགྲོ་བདེ་ཆེན་

Monday, 7 August 2017

Vajra monarchs

Aro EncyclopaediaVajra masters may be the monarchs of their kyil’khors – but their majesty is never haughty, arrogant, imperious, or desirous of droit du seigneur. Vajra monarchs are vastly wealthy in terms of appreciation of the phenomenal world and therefore have
no desire for excessive conventional wealth.

Vajra masters may be accomplished in karmamudra – but they reserve their skills for those disciples whose experience of the non-dual state pervades their practice, rather than for those who are merely young and conventionally beautiful.

Aro Encyclopaedia Index: Vajra Masters - The Body, Speech, and Mind of Vajrayana  སྔགས་འཆང་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་ / མཁའ་འགྲོ་བདེ་ཆེན་

Monday, 31 July 2017

Vajra masters, crazy wisdom, and wrathful Lamas

Aro Encyclopaedia Vajra masters may manifest crazy wisdom – but their ‘craziness’ is never prurient, predictable, hackneyed, clichéd, trite, or crass. Yeshé ’cholwa (Wisdom Chaos) is the inchoate efflorescence of primordial wisdom.

Vajra masters may be divine madmen—or divine madwomen—but their ‘madness’ is never self-oriented, self-indulgent, self-aggrandising, or self-obsessed.  sMyon Heruka (Mad Sainthood) is freedom from the bureaucracy of institutionalised experience.
Vajra masters may be wrathful – but their ‘wrathfulness’ is never peevish, irritable, surly, petulant, or aggressively impatient.  Wrathful Lamas are never serene in public and sadistic in private.
Aro Encyclopaedia Index: Vajra Masters - The Body, Speech, and Mind of Vajrayana  སྔགས་འཆང་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་ / མཁའ་འགྲོ་བདེ་ཆེན་

Monday, 24 July 2017

Non-duality as the term is used in Buddhism

Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon 
Buddhism is not a theistic religion, so it does not have to deal with issues of ‘creator’ and ‘created’ and whether they are divisible or indivisible.  Duality and nonduality are concerned with being and not-being – with existence and non-existence.  That is why we speak of emptiness and form rather than ‘creator’ and ‘created’.
In terms of meditation we speak of the nature of Mind, and that which arises as being non-dual.  In terms of the ‘meaningfulness’ of eternalism and the ‘meaninglessness’ of nihilism – nonduality allows meaningfulness and meaninglessness to be simultaneous facets of reality.  Meaning arises out of meaninglessness, pattern arises out of chaos – and they are undivided.  

p22-23, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen,  Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-3-3 

Monday, 17 July 2017

Pattern and Chaos

  The fabric of existence is a fluxing web or magical manifestation web of infinite dimensions.  Existence is a fluxing web whose threads are the energy of emptiness and form—of existence and nonexistence.  The style or pattern of individual existence sets up tremors in the web of which individual existence is a part.  One cannot ‘enact’ without affecting everything and, at the same time, being affected by everything.  Pattern affects patterns, creating further pattern.  Pattern evolves out of chaos and becomes chaos again.  Pattern and randomness dance together—ripples in water extend and collide with other extending ripples, a fish leaps to catch an insect, a wild goose takes to the sky, the wind blows, and a child throws a pebble into the lake. 

p82, Roaring Silence: Discovering the Mind of Dzogchen, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Shambhala, 2002, ISBN 1-57062-944-7

Monday, 10 July 2017

Kindness, motivation and intention

In our practice of kindness we should learn—first and foremost—to keep our noses out of other people's motivations.  Verbally assaulting others with self-righteous zeal is a grave sickness of spirit.  Certainly people act in ways that are worthy of criticism – but who are we to think that we have the authority to stand in judgement?  It doesn't actually matter if we are right or wrong in our judgement.  It is our motivation that is in question.  Motivation and intention are primary in Buddhism.

p59, Rays of the Sun, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books worldwide, 2010, ISBN 978-1-898185-06-2