Help us to establish Drala Jong - a Buddhist Retreat Centre in Wales

Help us to establish Drala Jong - a Buddhist Retreat Centre in Wales
Help us to establish Drala Jong - a Buddhist Retreat Centre in Wales

Monday, 14 October 2019

The principle and function of mantra practice

Aro Encyclopaedia The principle of mantra practice is transformation.  Mantra is the form quality of emptiness, and the visualisation is the emptiness quality of form. Within Tantra the two are united as a means of transforming our dimension of being into that of the yidam.
Mantra functions through repetition in terms of overwhelming the conceptual sphere – we become entirely engrossed with the quality sphere of the yidam in terms of light and sound.
There is no room for ‘me’ there. I have to let go of the ‘me project’. As soon as I let go of the ‘me project’, the yidam irradiates my experience with referenceless enjoyment in which there are no compulsory projects.  One becomes the yidam and both sees and hears the world as the yidam.

Aro Encyclopaedia  Index: Dzogchen and Tantra: question and answer session.  Ngak'chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen

Monday, 7 October 2019

Complete freedom from inhibition

Chö-ku, long-ku and trül-ku, exist as a singular field – the fourth, or indivisible sphere of being.  This is known as dorje-ku (indestructible sphere) or ngo-wo-ku (essence sphere).  Chö-ku, long-ku and trül-ku manifest as three inherent modes of access to the unitary experience of reality.  But the experience of realisation sees no boundaries or divisions between them. 
Dorje-ku is the absolute undivided quality of enlightened nature.  This is the sphere of complete freedom from inhibition – the sphere of indestructible reality, in which dualistic fixations have no ground.
Whatever arises in this condition becomes an ornament of the enlightened state, in the instant of its arising.  From the pan-dimensional principle of tantra, in order to actualise this state – to become trül-ku – we need to unify emptiness and form though entering the sphere of energy.

p55-56, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4
   

Monday, 30 September 2019

The force of illusion

Enlightened intention arises out of the experience of the singular field of reality and because of this, it manifests methods of understanding itself which are reflections of our sense of dividedness.  This enlightened intention employs the strategy of the apparently separate spheres of being, as a means of communicating the nature of reality to those who have become confused by dividedness.  So; within the view of Tantra, this portrayal of division is an aspect of the skilful means that destroys divisiveness.  Tantra uses the force of illusion itself, to destroy illusion.  Tantra functions in this way, because the energy of delusion is none other than the play of our own enlightenment. 

p55, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4


Monday, 23 September 2019

Vulnerability and freedom

Shock Amazement   Shi-nè provides face-to-face experience with: insecurity, fear, loneliness, vulnerability, and bewilderment.  These underlying tensions are common to all – and create distortion whether or not shi-nè is practised.  Avoiding shi-nè is therefore not an answer.  Self-hidden vulnerabilities cause greater conflict in being hidden than in being exposed.  Clarity spontaneously arises from the discovery of openness within the practice of shi-nè.
Self-transparency manifests – and motivation becomes simpler in being seen nakedly.  A natural compassion arises – a compassion which does not need to be forced or fabricated.  This is the first real taste of freedom.

p25-26, Shock Amazement  : The four naljors and four ting-ngé’dzin from the Dzogchen series of the nature of Mind.
Khandro Déchen and Ngakpa Chögyam,  Aro Books Worldwide, 2018, ISBN 978-1-898185-45-1


Monday, 16 September 2019

An eager maniac

When we speak of employing desire, we’re speaking of the functioning of energy.  The intrinsic energy of desire is none other than the enlightened state.  This is what is meant by transformation or transmutation in Tantra.  To be a tantrika you have to be a good warrior; you have to be able to use whatever is at your disposal in terms of what you are – in terms of how you happen to be.
So if you’re an egomaniac, then you become an eager maniac.  You let your Lama make fun of your egomania; and you give up your investment, either in being embarrassed by it or in being defensive about it.
Your ego, or egomania, then becomes an aspect of your energy with which the Lama conjures.  There is nothing with which the Lama cannot conjure if the student is prepared to follow through – if the student is open to that process.

p125-126, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

  

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

An art form equal to any other

Drala Jong   Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen consider craftwork to be an art form equal to any other form of art (it is notable that the Lineage Holders also view art itself as inseparably connected with essential Vajrayana).  In fact, the Lineage Holders view Vajrayana craftwork as vital to the continuity of the lineage.  Likewise, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, Dung-sé Thrin-lé Norbu Rinpoche, Kyabjé Künzang Dorje Rinpoche, and Kyabjé Düd’jom Rinpoche all emphasized the benefits of undertaking craftwork.

In a letter to their students, Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen once wrote: “Some people see little value in craftwork in comparison with meditation – but what we have noticed about such people is that they seem to gain little benefit from their ‘meditation’.  Those, however, who enjoy craftwork – seem to change and show the beneficial changes one would expect to see in terms of meditation.”
Vajrayana Arts and Crafts  at Drala Jong  


Monday, 2 September 2019

Naked awareness

Shock Amazement   The need to continually confirm personal identity seems hard-wired – because there is a continually observable engagement in the activity of seeking existential assurances.  This is the dualistic penchant for unnecessarily clothing naked awareness in concepts. 
Non-duality is the state in which emptiness and form manifest as a seamless alternation in which each are aspects of the other – and have the same essential experiential flavour. 

p29, Shock Amazement  : The four naljors and four ting-ngé’dzin from the Dzogchen series of the nature of Mind.
Khandro Déchen and Ngakpa Chögyam,  Aro Books Worldwide, 2018, ISBN 978-1-898185-45-1

Monday, 26 August 2019

Meditation isn't ...

Shock Amazement   When it is said that ‘Meditation isn’t’ – it means that meditation is not a method of doing.  It is a method of not-doing.  There is no involvement in doing anything – there is simply the maintenance of presence in motiveless observation.  When it is said that ‘Getting used to is’ – it means simply getting used to – being.  This requires acclimatisation to the undefined dimension of existence – getting used to being referenceless.

p28, Shock Amazement  : The four naljors and four ting-ngé’dzin from the Dzogchen series of the nature of Mind.
Khandro Déchen and Ngakpa Chögyam,  Aro Books Worldwide, 2018, ISBN 978-1-898185-45-1

 

Monday, 19 August 2019

Romantic relationships

Drala Jong

The Aro gTér is a non-monastic lineage that emphasizes householder practice and non-celibate ordination in the style of ngakmas and ngakpas / naljorpas and naljormas.

The lineage is named after its founder, the female visionary Khyungchen Aro Lingma, who comes from a line of accomplished female practitioners that begins with Yeshé Tsogyel – the female Tantric Buddha who founded the Nyingma tradition and established Buddhism in Tibet together with Padmasambhava (also known as ‘Guru Rinpoche’, the male Tantric Buddha).
 


Providing equal opportunities for female practitioners, as well as integration of profound Buddhist practice into family life,  healthy families and romantic relationships are at the core of the tradition.

The Aro gTér  Teachings at the Drala Jong  website. 

Monday, 12 August 2019

Men and women need greater respect & appreciation for each other

Drala Jong  
Family environments which exemplify kindness, openness and an enthusiasm for life, are needed for there to be peace and harmony in the world.  For these qualities to exist as examples for children, men and women need greater respect & appreciation for each other.  The Aro gTér provides insight and methodology which are directly applicable to this need.

Ngak’chang Rinpoche & Khandro Déchen, Lineage holders of the Aro gTér, on Drala Jong: A Buddhist retreat Centre in Wales
 

Monday, 5 August 2019

Accountability: For anyone concerned by revelations of abuse

Drala Jong

For anyone who has been concerned by the revelations of abuse in the world of Vajrayana Buddhism, the Lineage Lamas of the Aro gTér Lineage have written a text outlining the five precept guidelines which all Aro gTér teachers, abide by.

“Those who approach the Confederate Sanghas of Aro can expect its teachers to abide by the five precepts – and by the ramifications of the five precepts in terms of their societal implications. Within the ethos of the five precepts, the lineage Holders, Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen—and the Aro gTér teachers who are their students—wish to provide the example of generosity, clarity, enthusiasm, creativity, and spaciousness.”

You can read the full article on the Aro Buddhism website.

Accountability  at the Drala Jong  website. 



Monday, 29 July 2019

Vivid displays

Shock Amazement      The ocean of Mind is referenceless – yet the play of Mind phenomena allows conceptual navigation.  There is however, no intention or design beyond the energetic play of that which arises within Mind.  Concepts arise in random-order; in arbitrary pattern – and as Mind-phenomena they are simply an aspect of the vivid displays of primordial compassion.    
 
p43, Shock Amazement  : The four naljors and four ting-ngé’dzin from the Dzogchen series of the nature of Mind.
Khandro Déchen and Ngakpa Chögyam,  Aro Books Worldwide, 2018, ISBN 978-1-898185-45-1

Monday, 22 July 2019

Naked perception

Shock Amazement     Rigpa is naked perception – a naked flame, which burns with or without fuel.  It is naked in the same sense that an unsheathed knife is naked.  Rigpa is pure and total presence.  Stripped of referential clinging to the illusion of duality, mind is self-divested through bare attention.  The essential reality of what exposes itself, is simply as it is. 

p29, Shock Amazement  : The four naljors and four ting-ngé’dzin from the Dzogchen series of the nature of Mind.
Khandro Déchen and Ngakpa Chögyam,  Aro Books Worldwide, 2018, ISBN 978-1-898185-45-1

Monday, 15 July 2019

A brilliant discovery is made

Shock Amazement     Finding Mind to be a referenceless ocean of space allows the dualistic knot of panic to untie itself.  In experiencing this space a brilliant discovery is made: being referenceless is not death.  If immanent incidence can be maintained in natural uncontrived presence—without sinking into oblivious drowse—spontaneous clarity is disinhibited.  Stars appear in the sky and their brilliance is reflected in the referenceless ocean of being.

p36, Shock Amazement  : The four naljors and four ting-ngé’dzin from the Dzogchen series of the nature of Mind.
Khandro Déchen and Ngakpa Chögyam,  Aro Books Worldwide, 2018, ISBN 978-1-898185-45-1

Monday, 8 July 2019

Meditation as civil disobedience

Meditation is our only our weapon against the repressive regime of karma and it constitutes civil disobedience in the form of passive resistance.  By allowing the development of experiential space through the practice of shi-nè—according to the four naljors—we discover our own intrinsic awareness.  The four naljors of Dzogchen sem-dé are the ultimate crimes against the ‘law of karma’ and are punishable by realisation – the final revolution and overthrow of the legal system.

p53, Rays of the Sun, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books worldwide, 2010, ISBN 978-1-898185-06-2

Monday, 1 July 2019

There can be some sense of dance …

The word ‘Tantra’ (Gyüd in Tibetan) means ‘thread’ or ‘continuity’.  The idea of thread here, is that whatever may manifest as our experience of being; the energy of our beginningless enlightenment is there.  From this perspective we need to arrive at a sense in which we can simply flow with the multiplicity of definitions that reality manifests.  There can be some sense of dance there, in which we swim with these currents and relax in these pools of stillness.  Tantra introduces us to the one taste of emptiness and form.  In order for this to be possible we need to develop an ability to actively savour dualistic tension; rather than experience it in some sort of victim role.

p34, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 24 June 2019

Emptiness and form

We need to observe the way in which we do actually seek emptiness when form becomes too oppressive.  We need to observe the way in which we solidify emptiness and crush our own freedom by attempting to make form come into being too quickly. 
Maybe, it would be interesting to allow things to remain undefined just a little bit longer than we usually do.  Maybe we could attempt to settle into the sense of uncertainty and feel the texture of that.  Some understanding needs to evolve, in which we come to regard experiences of both emptiness and form as beads on the thread of energy that comprises the nature of what we are.

p34, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 17 June 2019

Our own judge, jury, and prosecution

We actively feel the environment – seeking out anything which will justify our perception as being accurate.  This is karma – and this is the law we’re trying to break through meditation.
Karma is entirely how we perceive the world – moment by moment. So the ‘law of karma’ is not just law – it’s the entire legal system.  Our perception is the legislation and our responses enforce it.  We’re our own judge, jury, and prosecution.   

p52, Rays of the Sun, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books worldwide, 2010, ISBN 978-1-898185-06-2

Monday, 10 June 2019

What does it mean … to ‘approach Tantra’?

Approaching Tantra is what you’re doing now!  Tantra is not separate from the stream of reality that you are living all the time.  Especially when you allow yourself to enter into confusion – when you regard that as workable ground.  And when, the workable ground is one in which the ‘working’ itself is indeterminate.  That is very much the ground of Tantra. This is what you could call living the view. 

p118, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 3 June 2019

Perception

No-one else is responsible for how we perceive the world.  We accept and reject society’s influences and the influences of our parents and friends on our own terms.  We fabricate our own perception, and unless we discontinue the process and de-structure our perception, we’ll merely continue to be repressed by our personal totalitarian regime.  The responses we make to our environment will remain the same and we will attract the kind of circumstances which match our perception.

p51, Rays of the Sun, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books worldwide, 2010, ISBN 978-1-898185-06-2