Monday, 18 September 2017

Avoiding confusion and sectarianism

Wearing the Body of Visions 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 http://arobuddhism.org/books/entering-the-heart-of-sun-and-moon.html, 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 http://arobuddhism.org/books/entering-the-heart-of-sun-and-moon.html, 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

Monday, 3 July 2017

Grinning at chaos

If your practice of shi-nè (letting go of addiction to thought) facilitates the experience of emptiness, it will also facilitate the capacity to grin at your own chaos—and if you can grin at your own chaos, then you will have authentic pervasive compassion for the chaos of existence.  You will discover your innate goodness and that will naturally pervade the world.  Primordial goodness is that which grins at the illusions of the dualistic predicament—so sit and learn to smile.

p241, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 26 June 2017

Happiness is not accidental

Everything either occurs or does not.  That would appear to be a fact of nature.  Happiness, however, is not accidental.
To be happy, appreciate the sense fields and attempt to live more fully in the moment.  Do not complicate your experience with concepts.  Employ concept less than vision.  Employ concept less than hearing.  Employ concept less than tactility.  Employ concept less than fragrancing.  Employ concept less than savouring.

p239, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 19 June 2017

Painful emotions

Painful emotions are maintained though the process of thinking about them.  We continually regenerate our painful emotions by intellectualising about them – rather than experiencing them at the non-conceptual level.  The only way out is to let awareness find itself in the dimension of whatever emotion has arisen; and to experience it purely.  When we are able to let go of justification we are no longer as involved in maintaining the integrity of our self-image.  When this neurotic involvement is reduced, the energy of anger is no longer coloured by the need to prove our existence through the manifestation of aggression.

p145, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9653948-0-8

Monday, 12 June 2017

Non-dual anger

When ‘subject-object dichotomy’ dissolves into space, anger can no longer exist as anger but transforms into total clarity.  This clarity dispassionately reflects all that it sees.  Nothing is left out.  Nothing is added.  We see the whole picture in all its vibrant detail.  Non-dual anger is unconditioned clarity.  It is displayed by the brilliance and calmness of water.  The undisturbed surface of water perfectly mirrors the sky.  The crystal clarity of undisturbed water is incapable of bias or distortion. 

p145, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9653948-0-8

Monday, 5 June 2017

Khyil-khor is a wonderful dancing energy

The Tibetan word for mandala (Sanskrit for ‘grouping’ or ‘association’) is khyil-khor.  Khyil-khor is a totally interpenetrating energy.  It is not possible to exclude anyone from your khyil-khor or to be excluded from anyone else's. 
Ultimately, every being is part of your khyil-khor.  Everyone and everything is linked with your field of energy; and you are linked with theirs.  Therefore it is vital that we recognise this, or that we work towards this recognition. You cannot really ever feel comfortable in your own skin if you are attempting to be exclusive.  It is not appropriate, or accurate, to exclude anyone or anything; because that would be attempting to do something that is not possible.

p105-108, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9653948-0-8

Monday, 29 May 2017

The arts are bodhicitta

To be involved with the arts is to be involved with all beings – because all beings are endowed with sense fields which perceive the arts.  It is not simply the arts as they are commonly understood: it is the nature of artistic perception which is entranced by the totality of phenomena.  The arts are self-manifested – and any artist who understands this sees art in everything and everyone.  An artist sees all beings as artists.
This understanding of art as bodhicitta is central to the essential Vajrayana of the mahasiddhas.

p176-177, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 22 May 2017

The possibility of joy

Cowardice is the belief or faith in the possibility of survival – of the body, or of some aspect of  existence to which we adhere.  It is also a lack of appreciation for oneself which comes from a lack of appreciation for others – and a lack of appreciation for the wider context of being human.  When the need to survive takes precedence over appreciation – cowardice is born. 
You could try another approach—but be warned it is far more threatening: Always put the possibility of joy before the need to be safe.

p134-135, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7


Monday, 15 May 2017

Emptiness, clarity, and spontaneity

Wearing the Body of Visions  Spontaneity is acting in the moment, in accordance with what exists in the moment.  But this in no way implies acting without consideration of the future results of one’s acts.
For an act to be truly spontaneous, it has to spring from emptiness.
Spontaneity is the empty clarity that totally accepts the patterns that are perceived without being conditioned by them.  There is no sense of strategy or manipulation according to concepts of self-enhancement or self-fulfilment.

p100 and 101, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 8 May 2017

Treating the two imposters just the same

We need to accept the success or failure of whatever we do with a sense of wryness.  We need to treat these two imposters just the same.  With the discovery of experiential space we can let go of the emotional investment we put into all our plans and efforts.  Things actually become easier when we allow ourselves to play with our situation, rather than having to take it totally seriously.  The lightness of this approach is a manifestation of our developing clarity.

p90, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9653948-0-8