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, 25 May 2020

We are not speaking in terms of nihilistic negation

  Form is the dance partner of emptiness – and emptiness cannot be understood apart from form.  Emptiness is the dance partner of form – and form cannot dance without emptiness.  Form could be said to be the apparently tangible aspect of experience and existence – but form is empty.  One can only understand form in the confident absence of tangibility.  That does not mean however that everything is nothing.  When we speak of emptiness as nothingness or voidness, we are not speaking in terms of nihilistic negation—but in terms of nothingness being inseparable from everythingness

p49, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 18 May 2020

A process of evolution

  Meditation is not a progression through stages, nor is it advancing or climbing.  Meditation is a process, not entirely dissimilar from maturing or growing older.  Development occurs over a period of time – but it is not gradual.  It is a fluctuating stream which contains gradual change, stasis, and sudden change.  This is precisely what occurs in terms of meditation.  Meditation is not based on stages as heavily defined segments of an established spiritual framework, but on a process that is taking place in those who meditate.  That process also takes place in the context of our living situations.

p79, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 11 May 2020

The dance of sub-atomic particles


 Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon  The elements are an array of characteristics which can be understood both in terms of duality and nonduality.  They express themselves at every level at which existence can be understood – yet they go beyond the sense-making remit of quotidian existence.  They travel into the sphere of unconditioned potentiality where language can no longer even hint at meaning.  The elements are the fabric of the Earth and the solar system in which it orbits the Sun.  Beyond that, the elements outstrip the extent to which science can currently see.  There is nothing other than the elements.  The dance of sub-atomic particles is simply the elements performing – arising and dissolving in a manner not entirely different from the way in which they perform within the facets of our perceptual continua.
p196-197, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen,  Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-3-3

Monday, 4 May 2020

With regard to ‘thought’ and ‘emotion’


Aro Buddhism   There is no difference between thought and emotion – in the same way as there is no difference between a breeze and a gale.  With the first there is simply the movement of mind – and with the second there is simply the movement of air.  In that respect, emotions are gusts of wind – or waves on the sea.  

Both the gusting of the wind and the billowing of the sea begin with a simple shift in time and space.  There is a single thought to which self-referential consequence is attributed – and this leads to more of the same.  This tends to generate squalls, storms, gales, and hurricanes.  

Emotional embroilment is the result of ocean of Mind failing to self-recognise – and understand its waves to be its fundamental nature.  There is no relaxation in this – and neither is there the opportunity to make creative use of the energy that prevents relaxation.

Posted by Ngak'chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen to sangha on Telegram, 18th April 2020

Monday, 27 April 2020

All our attempts to establish security fail


   We survey our perceptual horizon and categorise everything that appears on it as: proving our existence in terms of duality; disproving our existence in terms of duality; or as some vague neutrality, which presents no opportunity for manipulation either way.  All our attempts to establish security fail.  Our efforts fail because they are based on maintaining the illusion of duality.    
   There is no way that we can establish the security we’re looking for as long as we operate from the principle that duality actually functions.  In this sense, enlightenment is the continual realisation that duality is not functional. 

p108, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 20 April 2020

Liberating anyone and everyone

      The symbolic nature of Tantra is a reflection of the spontaneous creativity, that is inherent in the fabric of reality.  There is no aspect of Tantra that has been invented through the processes of a manipulative intellect.  Tantric imagery has all been spontaneously realised and communicated with the implicit function of liberating anyone and everyone into their authentic condition. 

p101, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 13 April 2020

Self-secret buddhas

 
Drala Jong Logo   Vajrayana begins with the premise that dualism is a state of prejudice against non-duality. On the basis of this prejudice against non-duality, infinite forms of prejudice will manifest in order to obfuscate non-duality.
Beings may exist in a state of dualistic distortion, but that which is distorted is a distorted version of non-duality. Because of this, it is possible to employ the energy of duality to transform “what seems to be” into “what actually is”.

Beings are self-secret buddhas and the powerful methodology of Vajrayana enables the realization of this through the empty form of the yidam. From the perspective of the visionary practices of Vajrayana, it is possible to transform every aspect of prejudice against otherness—of every possible description.


Ngak'chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen in Global BuddhistDoor Magazine  posted on the  Drala Jong Facebook page 20th March 2020  

Monday, 6 April 2020

Keep calm and carry on

Aro Buddhism   The best way that we know for people to keep calm—or become calm in the first place—is called ཞི་གནས་ / zhi gNas / Shi-né. 

This has been translated in many ways: the most common being Calm Abiding. Literally it means Peace Remain.   We usually translate this as ‘Remaining Uninvolved With What Arises’.  This is the only way there is – or has ever been.  There are many different practices.  There are many different mantras.  There are many different visualisations – but, basically, if one has no basis in ཞི་གནས་ then these marvellous practices will be of no use in any case.
  
So, this returns us to Silent Sitting.  If you are calm then, everyone around you will become calm – simply by knowing that you are calm.  The more people who become calm the calmer people will become.

Posted by Ngak'chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen to sangha on WhatsApp 14th March 2020

Monday, 30 March 2020

Like walking through a minefield


Illusory Advice   Life is a little like walking through a minefield – you never know when you might step on something—a circumstance of your life—that will explode a programmed pattern of perception.  If the cause is not encountered the reaction will not occur.  One of the principles of the monastic path is to regulate the secondary causes—in terms of life circumstances—as much as possible to avoid triggering unhelpful reactions that deepen patterning.  The tantric path however says: ‘Bring it all on!’ so that you have the opportunity to transform distorted perception and response into enlightened perception and response.


p169, Illusory Advice Ngakma Nor’dzin and Ngakpa ’ö-Dzin, Aro Books, 2015, ISBN: 978-1898185-37-6 

Monday, 23 March 2020

We are prejudiced against our own natural state

Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon Fear of otherness lies at the root of prejudice.  From the point of view of duality – nothing is as ‘other’ or dissimilar as the nondual state.  From the perspective of nonduality we are prejudiced against our own natural state.  In the condition of dualistic estrangement – our own beginningless enlightenment becomes alien to us, and we are therefore antagonistic to it in every form it assumes.  From this primitive antagonism every type of prejudice arises. 

p156, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen,  Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-3-3

Monday, 16 March 2020

The otherness of emptiness

Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon     Vajrayana is based upon the experience of ‘the otherness of emptiness’ – so otherness holds no fear for those who practice according to the principle of transformation.  Tantrikas develop vajra pride which—because it is founded on emptiness—allows the possibility of assuming infinite forms of otherness: otherness of colour, otherness of shape, otherness of gender, otherness of disposition, and limitless other varieties of otherness.  Every variant of vajra otherness is a glorious manifestation of the nondual state as it sparkles through the appearance of every permutation of our humanity.

p155-156, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen,  Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-3-3

Monday, 9 March 2020

Blue is blue


Aro Buddhism  The context of Vajrayana is one in which symbolism is self evident: blue is blue; green is green; red is red; white is white; yellow is yellow; raven caws; wolf howls, frog croaks, bull bellows; scorpion arches its tail; cockerel crows; snake hisses; pig shrieks; sky is azure; sky is grey; sky glimmers with stars; horse whinnies; rain is refreshing; leaves are green; tears are wet; skin is soft; espresso steams; brandy leaves a pleasant burning sensation on the palate; wind moves; snow flurries; water sparkles —— meaning is no longer hidden within the search for meaning.

Ngak'chang Rinpoche, posted on Telegram to apprentices, 21st February 2020, 
and The Bristol Talks: Ngak'chang Rinpoche on Vajrayana Topics on the Aro Community website.   

Monday, 2 March 2020

Glimmer with limitlessness


Aro Buddhism   The more one understands the symbolism of Vajrayana, the more one understands that everyday life IS Vajrayana – and, when that begins to become apparent, one’s life commences to glimmer with limitlessness. 

Empowerment performs itself all the time: at the bus stop; on the peak of a mountain; in the cinema; in the midst of a Finnish forest; in the bath; on Freak Street in Kathmandu; on horseback in the Laughing Water range of the Rocky Mountains; and, on the factory floor. 

This may sound banal, or profound, but the profundity of it is often too subtle to see. 
One has to authentically understand the context of Vajrayana if one is to stand a chance of everyday life exploding into symbolic meaning. 

Ngak'chang Rinpoche, posted on Telegram to apprentices, 21st February 2020, 
and The Bristol Talks: Ngak'chang Rinpoche on Vajrayana Topics on the Aro Community website. 




Monday, 24 February 2020

The Vajrayana that is already there

Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon Knowledge of Vajrayana is intrinsic to human beings, in the sense that Vajrayana is our condition.  It is the thread of continuity which runs through every aspect of what we are.  In this sense Vajrayana may be invisible – but it is also sharply and poignantly perceptible.  The Lama shows us the reality that Vajrayana is already there as the basic energy of our existence.

p68, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon  Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen,  Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-3-3

Monday, 17 February 2020

‘Thinking’ and ‘the thinker’

   In the non-dual state we are present with the free movement of whatever arises.  Thought is simply an ornament of perception.  ‘Thinking’ and ‘the thinker’ are not isolated events which solicit each other for reassurance.  Thinking and concept can simply exist as ornaments of the non-dual state – free of the artificial function in which they are goaded into providing proofs that we are solid, permanent, separate, continuous, and defined.
There is —actually—no way to understand the free manifestation of concept within the non-dual state from the perspective of dualism. 

p206, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 10 February 2020

Freedom

   Freedom is the absence of self-consciousness.  The absence of self-consciousness allows generosity, transparence, decentralised desire, uninhibited action, and spaciousness.  
Being free, you do not need to be pathologically alert – as if there were emotional predators within every crevice of the societal milieu.
Being free does not merely mean dispensing with diapers at the due time.  Freedom is the discovery of self-existent confidence rather than breaking free from ‘the ties that bind’.

p210, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 3 February 2020

Trust

   Trusting yourself  – in the sense of meditation, is a question of expanding—of slowly expanding the expression of sitting.  Through sitting, self-existent communication is discovered as the nature of the world.  It becomes a completely real world, rather than a world of bewilderment and pain.  You begin to trust yourself because you begin to trust the nature of the elements; the nature of your perception; the nature of your emotions; the nature of your physicality; and, the nature of your psychology.  It is all there to see and it is an open space.

p205, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 27 January 2020

Taking a shine

    When attraction and desire are awakened—and especially within the romantic sexual dimension—two things happen simultaneously: we shine, and we also perceive the shining quality of our focus of desire—we start to see being ‘in the pink’.  This is also why people’s pupils dilate.  The pupils dilate in order to see more of the shining quality.  This shining quality is the lustre of the primordial state as it manifests within the dimension of nirmanakaya.

p225, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7
   

Monday, 20 January 2020

There is great value in simple-mindedness


   Life has a way of becoming complex whether we like it or not – and then all we can do is to be simple in relation to it.  
There is great value in simple-mindedness – and especially of a certain ‘unsophisticatedness’ when it comes to Dharma.
Those who absorb too much in terms of ‘Dharma sophistry’ become blind to the precision, directness, straightforwardness, and fundamental wholesomeness of essential Buddhism.

p232-233, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 13 January 2020

Naturalness

   I no longer use the word ‘enlightenment’ when I can help it.  It has been horribly overused and does not actually represent a direct translation of a Tibetan or Sanskrit term.  We use the term non-duality.  The word ‘nowness’, as spoken of by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, is important in Buddhism – especially any tradition which emphasises silent sitting.  
We tend to discuss naturalness – but it has the same meaning.  Naturalness is relaxed.  Naturalness is relaxing into the present moment.

p234, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7