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

Monday, 1 May 2017

What we actually are


Awareness is the uncontrived, unattached recognition of the experience of movement – the movement of the arising and dissolving of thoughts in the continuum of Mind, the appearance and disappearance of phenomena in the vastness of intrinsic space.  There is only the sheer exquisiteness of this movement.  This is what we actually are.

p87, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9653948-0-8

 

Monday, 24 April 2017

Tantra as the way that rejects all referential co-ordinates

Tantra is very much the ‘middle way’ that characterises all Buddhist vehicles.  The ‘middle way’ might be better translated as: ‘the way that rejects all referential co-ordinates’ – ‘the way that doesn’t seek to locate itself in known or knowable territory’.  This is the way that doesn't hold any kind of position or stance for establishing a fixed definition of being.  It doesn’t say: ‘I am here because that is there’; ‘I am now because I was then, and so I will be in the future’.  It doesn’t say:  ‘I think therefore I am.’  In fact – it simply rejects all ‘therefores’.

p9, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 17 April 2017

The difference between kindness and compassion

Compassion means more than simply being kind.  Compassion—or active compassion—is how we usually translate bodhicitta or changchub sem.  Compassion includes kindness, but kindness is but part of the spectrum of compassion.
Compassion includes appreciation, admiration, pleasure, wonder, enjoyment, and communication—fierce, florid, and fecund communication.
Compassion is openness to infinite pattern and to embodying any aspect of that pattern for the benefit of everyone, and everything, everywhere.

p130-131, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 10 April 2017

The emptiness and form of romance

Trust and respect are the emptiness and form of romance.  This means that you must listen to each other with open minds and open hearts.   You both need to feel valued and appreciated by each other – even for your perceived foibles and weaknesses.  Foibles and weaknesses must become endearing.  Having chosen each other you can now only celebrate every aspect of each other.  The only way forward, for any couple, is to find more and more to love and cherish within each other.

p31-32, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 3 April 2017

Humour and the hell of being a practitioner

The hell of being a practitioner is the state in which we begin to see through our neuroses, and yet we continue to afflict ourselves with them.
It can only stop through clarity and, to have clarity develop, we need humour.  We have to accept that we are both the dyed-in-the-wool neurotic and the practitioner who is trying to let neuroses go.  That is comical and we have to be fairly light-hearted about it.  With sufficient humour, we can simply be the space that lets these two lunatics dance.

p78-79, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 27 March 2017

Tantra is not concerned with seeking extremes

In the West, Tantra has seemed very tempting to the emotionally and intellectually wild.  This has been especially true among those who have inferred indulgence in full-blown hedonism to be the path.  However, although there is some connection with hedonism, with its characteristic quality of not holding back, this view is seriously lopsided.  Tantra is not concerned with seeking extremes.
It avoids utilising experience of any kind as a means of concretely defining the nature of reality.

p8-9, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 20 March 2017

Cheerfulness

If we cannot laugh at ourselves – we cannot laugh with others or cause others to laugh.  Laughter is a gift – and causing laughter is an act of kindness.  Laughter requires space – space to see the ridiculous in our situations as beginninglessly enlightened beings who create the illusion of duality.  That is really rather funny.  It is also rather sad, tragic – but that very paradox is what puts us at the pivotal point of the precious human rebirth.

p47, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 13 March 2017

Just be in the present moment

In the practice of shi-nè—remaining uninvolved—if thoughts come and go, simply allow them to lap like the tide.  If you get caught up in a thought-story and lose the presence of your awareness in the movement of breath –  just return to it as soon as you become aware of having drifted off.  There is no need to get angry or irritated with yourself – these reactions are just opportunities to indulge in referentiality.  Maintain an open, humorous and relaxed attitude.  Expect nothing.  Be attached to nothing.  Reject nothing.  Just be in the present moment. 

p83 and p85, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9653948-0-8

Monday, 6 March 2017

The empty nature of sensation

Tantra doesn’t exclude hedonism, but neither does it encourage it.  It is very much the ‘middle way’ that characterises all Buddhist vehicles. 
Tantra is not concerned with seeking extremes – even though extreme sensation can be cultivated as a powerful aspect of the path.  Fundamentally, Tantra neither seeks extremity nor avoids it.  The intrinsic power of any sensation becomes manifest through our realisation of its empty nature. 

p8-9, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 27 February 2017

Refuge

Refuge – what does the word mean in terms of dharma; and what does dharma mean?  Dharma—or chö—means as it isAs it is is actuality, and to ‘take refuge’ means to establish confidence in actuality.
To take refuge is not to seek safety and assurances. It is to acknowledge that any form of security is illusory.  The pursuit of security is the root of our dualistic dilemma. To live this view in every moment is the goal of practice.

p85, Rays of the Sun, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books worldwide, 2010, ISBN 978-1-898185-06-2


Monday, 20 February 2017

Open perception

When we open our perception, we do not feel constrained to anticipate events or people’s possible reactions.  Because our perception has opened, our responses naturally begin to flow from that free source, and motivation becomes less constricted by the need to establish ourselves as solid, permanent, separate, continuous and defined.  We become able to relate to life as it actually is.

p33, Rays of the Sun, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books worldwide, 2010, ISBN 978-1-898185-06-2

Monday, 13 February 2017

Letting go of our addiction to the thought process

The discovery of space begins with shi-nè.  Shi-nè is the practice of letting go of our addiction to the thought process. 
 
There is no special breathing technique.  Just let your breath flow as it will.  At first you should simply find the presence of your awareness in the inward and outward movement of your breath.  If thoughts arise do not try to block them.  Just let them be.  If thoughts drift away do not detain them or grasp at them.  Just let them go.  Rest your attention in the movement of your breath.  If thoughts come and go, simply allow them to lap like the tide. 

p38 and p85, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9653948-0-8

Monday, 6 February 2017

Responsibilty and kindness


What then does responsibility mean in the Buddhist sense of kindness?  It means that we are not separate from our world, or anyone in our world.  We cannot say of anything ‘This has nothing to do with me’.  We are not separate as beings.  This idea of connection is subtle, because our connection can take any form.  Only our innate kindness—liberated through meditation—can guide us to respond accurately.

p63-64, Rays of the Sun, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books worldwide, 2010, 978-1-898185-06-2


Monday, 30 January 2017

Tantra is the energy of being

Tantra is the energy of being; but we experience that energy through dualistic filters.  In this way we divide ourselves from the actual texture of our experience.  We divide ourselves through our attempts to re-construct reality, whilst we’re in the process of perceiving it!  It’s a ludicrously impossible task.  But; it’s a task in which we’re almost continually engaged.

p8, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 23 January 2017

The open dimension of being


The structure of thought, the convoluted geography of our personalities, the world of ideas is complex and subtle.  If we put ourselves in the position of thinking about the way we think, we have a tricky situation to say the least.  We are obviously limited in our thinking, by our style of thinking.  So; something apart from thinking needs to look at thinking.  But what could this be?  Buddhism describes this ‘something’ as the open dimension of being.  It is the discovery of space.

p38, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9653948-0-8

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Confusion

When you accept that sense cannot always be ‘made’, you can begin to appreciate space. We are all confused.  If we were not confused, we would not need to practise.
We need to be willing to remain with the taste of our confusion as the texture of life and allow it to be the random pattern of our everyday lives.
Confusion is merely the recognition of the amorphous quality of an existence which does not obey the protocol of samsara.

p18, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 9 January 2017

Kindness connects us to the non-dual state

Having a good heart goes further than anything in terms of empathising with the nondual state. Intellectual elaborations are not important.  Kindness is something you feel – a warmth and expansiveness which flows from our growing openness.  Kindness is our contact, our strongest link with the nondual state.  So much for law and order.  The essence of Buddhism is similar to anarchism.  Not anarchy in the distorted popular sense in which the word is understood—in the sense of dog-eat-dog-chaos—but anarchism in terms of  ‘no external government’.  Anarchism is the naturally manifesting inner government of awareness – unconditioned, present, direct and utterly responsible.

p49-51, Rays of the Sun, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books worldwide, 2010, 978-1-898185-06-2

Monday, 2 January 2017

Brilliant patters of energies

"Our being is a brilliant pattern of energies, a spectrum of possibilities. At every moment we have the capacity to experience the open dimension of what we are."

p3, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, 0-9653948-0-8