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, 1 March 2021

It will be whatever it is

Awakening will occur at the time it occurs. It will be whatever it is. It will arise from whatever situation it arises. The responsibility of the practitioner is simply to practise.

p176, Battlecry of Freedom  Ngakma Nor'dzin, Aro Books Worldwide, 2019, ISBN 978-1-898185-46-8  

 

Monday, 22 February 2021

When it arises

Let go of the past. Each present moment is a new opportunity. Do not let past grievances distort the relationship with whomever or whatever is in the present moment. The past is the past. Leave it there. Awakening—when it arises—will be in the present moment.

 p161, Battlecry of Freedom  Ngakma Nor'dzin, Aro Books Worldwide, 2019, ISBN 978-1-898185-46-8  


Monday, 15 February 2021

Love is there

Love is there when the artificial divisions between us dissolve into the iridescent spectrum of our beginningless nature. The love which radiates from our primordial state cannot help but sparkle through – no matter how insecure, frightened, isolated, anxious, or bewildered we become.

p5, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen,  Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-3-3

Monday, 8 February 2021

Something completely delightful happens

When the quality of our experience becomes more spacious, something completely delightful happens.  This sense of space enables us to develop the ability to see the pattern of our continual attempts to manipulate the world – according to what we imagine would be our advantage.  Once we start to see these frantic manipulative strategies as something artificial, they begin to lose their hold on us.  Seeing the patterns of distracted-being, and recognising them as such, is the beginning of clarity.

p96, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9653948-0-8

Monday, 1 February 2021

The most subtle aspects of our perception

Light and sound are the most subtle aspects of our perception, but we should not take the words ‘light’ and ‘sound’ too literally. Light and sound simply equate to a level of experience, and to a manifestation of energy that can be pointed at by those words. It is simply that our sense faculties of smell, taste, touch, and cognition are not adequate as vehicles to open up that realm of experience.

p17, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9653948-0-8

Monday, 25 January 2021

The natural relationship between all beings

We can only share the experience of love if we relinquish our definitions of who we are and what we propose to become. We become besotted with each other when circumstances align themselves in such a way that we catch glimpses of each other’s beginningless nondual being.  These glimpses are rays of light in the sky of our being. In these glimpses we see our own intrinsic nature reflected back. Our love for each other is a rapturous reflection of the love which exists as the natural relationship between all beings and all situations.

p4, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen,  Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-3-3 

Monday, 18 January 2021

Moments of magic

In spite of our compulsion to distance ourselves from the texture of our experience, we do also value the qualities of immediacy and spontaneity. Most people can remember moments of magic in their lives; moments when their consciousness was naturally expansive. Moments when there was a feeling of spaciousness – when everything unfolded with a sense of wonder and ease. This is possible when we have unguarded moments – moments when we forget to mix in our pre-structured concepts with what we perceive.

p32, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9653948-0-8

Monday, 11 January 2021

An enormous difference to our lives

Accepting sole ownership of our emotions can make an enormous difference to our lives.  Unless we accept the responsibility of owning whatever we feel, we will not be able to embrace our emotions as the path.  As soon as we accept that we cannot actually justify our feelings, we can start to approach our feelings openly.  To let go of justification requires that we let go of our experientially claustrophobic habit of referentiality.  With some sense of space we can begin to experience our emotions as they are; rather than as if we had rehearsed them.

p92, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9653948-0-8  

Monday, 4 January 2021

A theme that runs throughout history

In a situation where you are feeling very hurt, it would be helpful to tell yourself that: ‘No-one has done anything to me – someone has merely done what they wanted to do; because they wanted to be happy.’  The fact that the thing which makes another happy makes you miserable, is a theme that runs throughout the history of human beings on this planet.

p92, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9653948-0-8  

Monday, 28 December 2020

The fire of wisdom can burn away illusion

To practise Tantra is to plummet into wisdom-fire.  The word ‘fire’ is used because fire transforms solidity into emptiness and shows us the empty nature of the material world.  Fire is a fascinating element – it’s both tangible and intangible.  You can’t pick it up – you can only pick up what it’s burning. It’s intangible and yet it destroys or devours tangibility.  It has great power to transform substance, yet it seems to be substanceless.  So wisdom-fire as a Tantric term carries the sense in which wisdom; that is to say primordial wisdom, can change the world as we perceive it quite radically.  The fire of wisdom can burn away illusion – it can reduce our own hard and substance-orientated concepts to ashes. 

p12, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4  

Monday, 21 December 2020

We have to let go of what we are

Dying means letting go of self-image and self-conception.  We have to let go of what we are and open ourselves to what we can un-become.  From a Buddhist point of view it is unbecoming not to un-become.  In order to un-become, we must let go of security and find the security of insecurity.  We must discover the freedom of insecurity in which security and insecurity dance as nondual display.  If we cannot let our past preconceptions die we have no future, and cannot experience the present.  Unless we can die, we cannot be alive in the moment – and the moment is all we ever have.

p87, Rays of the Sun, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books worldwide, 2010, 978-1-898185-06-2

Monday, 14 December 2020

The merest marginal moment

The question of death however, is subtle.  It is not merely an issue of when the last breath is taken.  Death pervades life.  Death is a continual presence.  Death assumes the form of: conclusion, termination, removal, exodus, exclusion, subtraction, confiscation, separation, parting, loss, departure, and in fact – any finale.  Death can be the merest marginal moment in which something mutates, misfires, or changes.  Death is not simply the day-by-day shift of the aging process which adds its lines to our faces, but the infinitesimal truncations which enable ‘old versions of ourselves’ to die and be replaced by rebirths in each passing moment. 

p182, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen,  Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-3-3 

Monday, 7 December 2020

People ...mostly could not help themselves

Apart from the sense of bemusement, there was an inherent obligation to be kindly rather than indulgent – whenever the choice lay before me.  People were as they were – and mostly could not help themselves.  I had come to understand that I could—and therefore should—step outside the framework in which I had to take offence at anything. 

p350-351, Goodbye Forever: miscellaneous memoirs of an English Lama, Volume One Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books Worldwide, 2020, ISBN 978-1-898185-51-2 

Monday, 30 November 2020

Gö kar chang lo vows


The fact that I’d taken gö kar chang lo vows was always with me.  It affected everything I did or said.  I had become careful: far more careful than I had ever been before – but also curiously carefree.  The vicissitudes of life were vaguely like a pantomime: they were scenarios with which I had to engage with whatever earnestness seemed suitable to the occasion.  It was possible to be earnestly light-hearted in the face of whatever came along.
 

p350, Goodbye Forever: miscellaneous memoirs of an English Lama, Volume One Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books Worldwide, 2020, ISBN 978-1-898185-51-2 

Monday, 23 November 2020

Romance goes beyond limitations

How can one be open to romance when one is tied up in limitations which govern how it can occur? Basically we need as few limitations as possible.  Body type is a limitation which causes people to restrict themselves too much – especially at this point in history.  People have been surprised to hear us say that a yogi or yogini should be attracted to all body types: peaceful, joyous, and wrathful.  That is to say: thin, sensuous, and large.  One cannot entertain concepts of being a tantrika if there are body types to which one could feel no attraction. 

p152-153, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen,  Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-3-3

Monday, 16 November 2020

Existential kaleidoscope

A kyil’khor can be created from coloured chalk dust.  Unexpectedly a wind blows – and the pattern is no longer what it was.  One can grieve the lost pattern – or enjoy the mingling of colours and the strange shapes created by the staggered disintegration.  Life appeared to be some sort of existential kaleidoscope in which the meaning could only be in the moment.  If one tried to extend the meaning beyond the moment – the meaning could become increasingly meaningless.

p167, Goodbye Forever: miscellaneous memoirs of an English Lama, Volume One Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books Worldwide, 2020, ISBN 978-1-898185-51-2 

Monday, 9 November 2020

There is a gap there

If we want to cultivate some understanding of what is meant by emptiness, we have to look for the reflections of emptiness within the mirror of the world of form. We need to look at the moments when our experience is transitional; when one sequence of events seems to conclude, and the beginning of another has not yet become obvious. There is a gap there – and that gap is emptiness.

p33, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 2 November 2020

Simple, ordinary, and direct

Bodhicitta is its own success.  One who has authentically taken the bodhisattva vow is spontaneously pleasant and accommodating – a gentleman, a gentlewoman.  Seriously considering the benefit of others before oneself deflates the pneumatic pressure of duality.  It is extraordinarily simple, ordinary, and direct—saints of all denominations have been doing it for thousands of years.  They all did the same thing.  They let go of self interest (the individual salvation of the pratyékabuddhayana) and are therefore free of the strategising ploys which inhibit cheerfulness. 

p122, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 26 October 2020

Simple, blunt, uncompromising

When we commit ourselves to practice and to opening, we commit ourselves to change – and when we change, we die.  We have to die in order to change.  If we cannot die we cannot change.  This is a simple, blunt, uncompromising statement of fact. 

p87, Rays of the Sun, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books worldwide, 2010, 978-1-898185-06-2

Monday, 19 October 2020

Obsession

I'd succeeded and failed simultaneously.  The failure?  That was obvious – but what of the success?  That comprised of my having had the single pointed intention to do what I had done.  I'd carried through with a plan.  I'd not given up.  That was important for a Buddhist practitioner.  The lengths to which obsession carries a person, in terms of activity, is the mark of someone who stands the chance of realising goals in Buddhism. 

p75, Goodbye Forever: miscellaneous memoirs of an English Lama, Volume One Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books Worldwide, 2020, ISBN 978-1-898185-51-2