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, 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



Monday, 12 October 2020

Then the mind begins to awaken

The rider must focus on the horse.  In this way, the rider is empty in relation to the form of the horse.  Through this relationship, the horse is able to respond fully, and achieve its potential.  The meditator learns emptiness in order to clarify the relationship with form, and thereby discover the nonduality of emptiness and form.  Then the mind begins to awaken.  

p10, Battlecry of Freedom  Ngakma Nor'dzin, Aro Books Worldwide, 2019, ISBN 978-1-898185-46-8  



Monday, 5 October 2020

The flow of whatever is

Shock Amazement   Being is continually poised on the brink of effortlessness – but continually creates distractions in order to sustain the sense of divorced individuation.  These delirious, distressing, and dreary deviations from effortlessness are the mechanisms employed to maintain the illusion of duality.  Nonduality, on the other hand, is completely relaxed in the flow of whatever is.

p39-40, Shock AmazementThe 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, 28 September 2020

A provocative irritant

Shock Amazement  As soon as shi-nè is practised with sufficient determination, it is discovered that ‘definitions of existence’ are a barrier to enjoying existence.  The barrier is built of feelings of insubstantiality, fear, isolation, agitation, and phlegmatic tedium.  Shi-nè is a provocative irritant to each of these feelings.  Life also irritates these feelings – but not as definitively.  The dualistic rationale continually seeks definition – so, in a sense, shi-nè causes the relaxation of that continual struggle for self-definition.

p31-32, 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, 21 September 2020

Worthwhile just as we are

We have ideas about ourselves—about how we should be or could be—and we want other people to believe those self-images.  We also want the Lama to believe these self-images.  
The problem is that as long as we want the Lama to believe our self-images we will never begin to practise.  We will never take the first step.  If we wish the Lama to accept us as being better than we are – there is no hope of anything apart from stagnation.  Once we have shed inhibition about dropping self-image however, the situation can improve radically.  We can then realise that we are fundamentally good – and that our goodness surpasses notions of worthy and unworthy.  We can be worthwhile just as we are.

p153, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 14 September 2020

Abandon inhibition

Facing yourself in terms of Vajrayana means acknowledging the worst and being prepared—immediately—to work with that as the basis of practice.  Once we decide simply to see what is there – we might see ourselves as pitiful specimens.  We might simultaneously see ourselves as fortunate.  A Vajrayana practitioner will naturally have talents as well as handicaps.  The important factor is being able to abandon inhibition.  The major inhibition is self-image. 

p153, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Earth, water, fire, air, space

    Earth is the nondual quality of solidity and intangibility.  Water is the nondual quality of permanence and impermanence.  Fire is the nondual quality of separateness and inseparability.  Air is the nondual quality of continuity and discontinuity.  Space is the nondual quality of definition and lack of definition.  As soon as we attempt to split the qualities and adhere only to the form qualities of the elements, we create samsara.  The form qualities of emptiness cannot be split from the emptiness qualities of form.

p27, Rays of the Sun, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books worldwide, 2010, 978-1-898185-06-2

Monday, 31 August 2020

This is here, that is there

With the arising of the elements comes the arising of time and space.  As soon as anything arises within primal space – co-ordinates come into being: ‘this is here, that is there. I look at this, then I see that. I see this on the background of that. I experience things in sequence.’  When there is no arising from primal space, time and space cease to exist.  In that condition these terms have no meaning.  The elements create direction out of their own intrinsic nature and time comes into being as the basis of their interpenetrating diversity.  From this essential visionary perspective, time exists as the flux that links endless focal points of tangible and intangible experience.

p75, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 24 August 2020

There is nothing wrong with thought

 Shock Amazement    There is nothing wrong with thought – even though some categories of meditation instruction would have you accept that this is the case.  According to Dzogchen, thought is a natural function of Mind – and, just as the other sense faculties are natural to physical existence, so too is thought.  Moreover, thought—according to Buddhism in general—is a sense-faculty, rather than a function that is separate from the senses.

p35, 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, 17 August 2020

Dzogchen becomes feasible

Shock Amazement     Recognition of the nondual state is the basis for approaching Dzogchen – but, in order to enter the path of self-liberation, perceptual phenomena must come to be perceived from the experiential standpoint which is empty of references.  It is only when the undivided nature of ‘that which arises’ and ‘that from which phenomena arise’ is first glimpsed that Dzogchen becomes feasible.

p17, 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, 10 August 2020

The nature of attraction

 Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon    We attract each other through evidence of our liberated potential – and this is visible to varying degrees, according to the spectrum of appreciation which our lives portray:
The more naturally we express what we are – the more relaxed we are with our capacities and capabilities.  The more unaffectedly we articulate what we are – the less we engage in artifice.  The more unpretentiously we convey what we are – the less we concern ourselves with the projection of a calculated persona.  The more we abandon the need to make demands of arising situations – the more open we are to the mysterious arising of khandro-pawo mirroring.

p150, Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen,  Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-3-3

Monday, 3 August 2020

Life teaches us moment by moment

    Everyday we are presented with opportunities to expand our hearts and disinhibit our innate kindness.  Everyday life is also the perfect place to observe how we are, because life teaches us moment by moment – whatever we feel in response to anything shows us the pattern of our perception.  In this way, if we are open enough and are honest with ourselves, we can learn a great deal about the way our energies are constricted.

p67, Rays of the Sun, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books worldwide, 2010, 978-1-898185-06-2

Monday, 27 July 2020

The only perfect morality

   The only perfect morality is awareness.  The only perfect morality or ethical position is awareness, because all actions which spring from awareness are choiceless pure appropriateness.
Kindness is as close as we can ever come to a moral approximation of awareness.  Having a good heart goes further than anything in terms of empathising with the nondual state.  

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

Monday, 20 July 2020

Whatever the consequences

   To hold to your word whatever the consequences would be about the strongest basis for the practice of Tantra.  I would also say that making a practice of keeping your word in this way would change your life significantly – the fabric of your existence would become Tantra; you would actually start to live that!  

p193, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 13 July 2020

There‘s no guarantee at all

   The purpose of the teaching is not to improve outer conditions.  Although, I would say that living according to the Tantric view would actually enable you to get much more out of life than you would have done otherwise.  I would say that your life would be improved in many ways.  This may sound contradictory, but I think that there’s a significant point here: you cannot judge the teachings according to the criterion of whether your life has ‘improved’.  You can only judge the teachings against your own evolution of awareness and kindness.  If your outer circumstances improve then that’s wonderful, but it’s not a sign of your practice. The concept that spiritual practice, or success in spiritual practice, leads to a life in which things increasingly work out to your advantage, is highly spurious.

p200, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4