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