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

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