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, 17 June 2019

Our own judge, jury, and prosecution

We actively feel the environment – seeking out anything which will justify our perception as being accurate.  This is karma – and this is the law we’re trying to break through meditation.
Karma is entirely how we perceive the world – moment by moment. So the ‘law of karma’ is not just law – it’s the entire legal system.  Our perception is the legislation and our responses enforce it.  We’re our own judge, jury, and prosecution.   

p52, Rays of the Sun, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books worldwide, 2010, ISBN 978-1-898185-06-2

Monday, 10 June 2019

What does it mean … to ‘approach Tantra’?

Approaching Tantra is what you’re doing now!  Tantra is not separate from the stream of reality that you are living all the time.  Especially when you allow yourself to enter into confusion – when you regard that as workable ground.  And when, the workable ground is one in which the ‘working’ itself is indeterminate.  That is very much the ground of Tantra. This is what you could call living the view. 

p118, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 3 June 2019

Perception

No-one else is responsible for how we perceive the world.  We accept and reject society’s influences and the influences of our parents and friends on our own terms.  We fabricate our own perception, and unless we discontinue the process and de-structure our perception, we’ll merely continue to be repressed by our personal totalitarian regime.  The responses we make to our environment will remain the same and we will attract the kind of circumstances which match our perception.

p51, Rays of the Sun, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books worldwide, 2010, ISBN 978-1-898185-06-2

Monday, 27 May 2019

This unwithheld approach

When we embrace our emotions in Vajrayana practice, we begin to operate in a more magnanimous way.  We embrace greater emotions: greater appetite, greater rage, greater passion, greater speed, and greater abandon.  With this unwithheld approach we begin to lose track of our referential ground and our referential boundaries.  Then we have nothing to gain or lose—we simply have the existential fact of what is—whatever it is. 

p148, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 20 May 2019

The 'Law of Karma'

Awareness means relinquishing the police state of karmic-vision and assuming personal responsibility.  Karma is the sum total of our perception in all it’s excruciating intricacy.  The ‘Law of Karma’ is different from externally enforced societal law, because ‘karmic law’ is directly consequential and self-implementing.  We perceive the world in a certain way, and react to it in accordance with that style of perception.  This is what is meant by karma.  There’s no injustice in this kind of ‘law’ apart from the injustice to the non-dual state perpetrated by karmic patterning. 

p51, Rays of the Sun, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books worldwide, 2010, ISBN 978-1-898185-06-2

Monday, 13 May 2019

The Buddha of our time

Padmasambhava is the Buddha of our time; for anyone interested in these teachings – this is something that needs to be taken to heart. Padmasambhava is both a personal relationship and a vast sphere of meaning and luminous experience. Padmasambhava is the Buddha whose teachings and practices become more powerful as our condition of confusion as sentient beings becomes more intense. To really practice in the Tantric tradition, Padmasambhava has to be understood.  He has to be understood as embodying the depth of meaning and influence that goes completely beyond the reach and range of the rational mind. Without a sense of the vastness of what is in encompassed by his name, it’s impossible to have a useful relationship with Tantra.

p133, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 6 May 2019

Inclusivity

There is space for historical academic research, and there is space for the reverential attribution of teachings to various personages.  There is space for people who want to get as close as they can to the words of Padmasambhava and Yeshé Tsogyel—and there is space for people who want to go for the essence irrespective of the nearness or distance of its historical origin.  Buddhism is a vast field of wonder for its sincere practitioners, and so many, many, many different methods are encompassed within its parameters.  We feel that it is preferable to come from a position of inclusivity rather than exclusivity.

p51, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

    

Monday, 29 April 2019

Desire

The Vajrayana texts—both Tibetan and Sanskrit—portray Vajrayana as a magnificent banquet of the senses.  Naturally then, as teachers of Vajrayana, we encourage desire.  Desire is the sensory scenario in which lust and liberation are indivisible.  Desire is inseparable from chang-chub sem.  This is both subtle and easy to misinterpret – which is why we place  such emphasis on silent sitting.  Without recognition of emptiness, desire is merely self  orientation.   

p51, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 22 April 2019

Passion beyond passion

We see desire as an important aspect of the path.  Without desire there is no compassion, as desire is the energy of appreciative communication.  This is not spoken of in Sutrayana or the outer tantras.  From Mahayoga onward – desire is fuel for the fire of discriminating insight.  Desire is the passion beyond passion: compassion.  It was Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche who first described compassion as ‘the passion beyond passion’.  From an inner tantra point of view, lust is simply the dualized form of the appreciative communication of bodhicitta.

p50, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

  

Monday, 15 April 2019

Awful misunderstandings

To avoid misunderstandings turning into awful misunderstandings, the crucial factor is to believe that the friends you cherish are basically well intentioned towards you and that they are plagued with at least as many misunderstandings as you.  It is not the misunderstandings that are the problem – but the reaction to them.  Misunderstanding without: being hurt, taking offence, anger, peevish resentment, indignation, self-righteous rage, or temper tantrum … could actually be a cause of humour.

p30, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

      

Monday, 8 April 2019

Great expectations

In life situations there is always malleability as long as we have a spacious view.  There are unending possibilities for creativity in our circumstances – but we need an open view to see them.  There are continual challenges which allow us to improvise – but we need an open view to meet them.  This open view, however, is not based on fantasy or fear – it is simply based on being here, without great expectations.

p22, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

      

Monday, 1 April 2019

Every moment we live ...

If practice is a strong priority we should avoid weakening it by letting our other priorities contend with it.  So we should just sit.  When we get home, we should just sit.  We should sit again tomorrow morning and continue sitting in that way.  Every time we sit should be the first time, and every moment we live should be the last moment.  Remember to make friends with death, and let present sensations flow like sand through your fingers.

p143, Roaring Silence: Discovering the Mind of Dzogchen, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Shambhala, 2002, ISBN 1-57062-944-7 

Monday, 25 March 2019

Confusion

No one enjoys confusion, but as long as we cling to our dualistic vision, we will always translate not knowing as ‘confusion’.  We don’t like confusion because within the space of confusion definitions become vague and intangible.  That makes us feel insecure.  Accepting or relaxing in that insecurity is in itself a practice. 


p143, Roaring Silence: Discovering the Mind of Dzogchen, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Shambhala, 2002, ISBN 1-57062-944-7  

Monday, 18 March 2019

Clarity and motivation

Once silent sitting practice becomes part of your life, clarity will begin to develop.  When you start to gain a little clarity, there will be a much stronger motivation to practice.  Once you see the value of practice in your life, you’ll be motivated to make further discoveries—and then maintaining motivation will no longer be a problem.  Motivation has to propel you into practice—but there it must stop.  If you fill your sitting space with the desire for progress, you’ll stifle your developing awareness.  So letting go of motivation is critically valuable.  When we sit, we should sit without purpose—without hope or fear.

p144, Roaring Silence: Discovering the Mind of Dzogchen, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Shambhala, 2002, ISBN 1-57062-944-7  

Monday, 11 March 2019

Promises

Only make promises to yourself that you know you can keep, otherwise you’ll never have confidence in yourself and you’ll find that you won’t be able to make promises to yourself at all.  Being able to make promises to yourself is keenly meaningful.  It’s a way of giving your life real direction and enabling something positive to happen – especially if you link your promises to the wish for the liberation of everyone everywhere.   

p144, Roaring Silence: Discovering the Mind of Dzogchen, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Shambhala, 2002, ISBN 1-57062-944-7
  

Monday, 4 March 2019

Embracing the sensation of anger

Anger does not help.
Anger merely occludes our ability to see clearly.  With the discovery of space we find ourselves able to respond openly about how we feel.  Tantra does not inhibit us from taking action based on heart intelligence.  If we allow people to destroy us, or our shared environment, we are certainly not doing anyone a favour.  So, in the practice of embracing the sensation of anger, there is a need to rely more on our own intrinsic space, experienced through the practice of shi-nè, than on the neurotic thought processes and habitual responses that usually infest conceptual consciousness.  


p144, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9653948-0-8


Monday, 25 February 2019

A delicate balance

It is a delicate balance: to acknowledge emotional needs, on the one hand, and to have a sense of these needs being conceptually generated on the other.  This balancing act requires the experience of emptiness, because without it, we either indulge ourselves or brutalise ourselves.  The experience of emptiness, in this sense, helps us to view our emotions with a degree of humour – with more sanity and true perspective.

p143, Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakpa Chögyam with Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 1997, ISBN 0-9653948-0-8
 

Monday, 18 February 2019

The effort required to make the bed beautifully

Being a warrior means that we can accept the reality of what we are – including our fear and apprehension.  We see our fear and we step beyond it.  
We can discard the yearning for security and move into a greater sense of spaciousness in which heroism applies to the effort required to make the bed beautifully.  To do anything well requires confidence in the potential beauty of each moment.    

p143, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 11 February 2019

Cheerfully and without resenting yourself

Silent sitting is essential.  All you need to do is accept what you are feeling and stop fighting.  You can relax with the situation – and take whatever happens as it comes.  Decisions made on the basis of accepting yourself—albeit temporarily—‘as you are’, can be made more cheerfully and without resenting yourself.  You need to be at ease with how you are at the same time as moving on – and that requires space, the space of silent sitting.    

p137, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 4 February 2019

The fabulous friction which illuminates our Buddha nature

Our entire assortment of wearying neuroses are related with all other beings.  All our wearying experiences are founded on our association with all sentient beings.  Without the sense of our practice being involved with the entire sentient situation, there is no compassion – and therefore no enlightenment.  Every detail of this ‘wearying world’—these seeming obstacles—are essential to realisation.  Without this ‘wearying world’ we cannot find enlightenment.  Without the responses we receive from our world, we would be bereft of the fabulous friction which illuminates our Buddha nature.  

p43, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 28 January 2019

Dizzying heights of boredom

With respect to shi-nè – until you get seriously bored, you will not give up the illusion that there is something to be gained apart from what you are. 
Boredom plays an extremely important role as the altimeter of emptiness.  The spacious view of Dzogchen is only available once the dizzying heights of boredom have been recognised as freedom.   Boredom then transmogrifies into an ethereal translucent boredom.  It will still necessarily have an aspect of unease with it – but that is the key to an open dimension. 

p77, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7

Monday, 21 January 2019

Desire and neurosis

  It is not so important to see desire as neurotic or not neurotic – it is only important to observe your behaviour and the reaction to that behaviour.
If you seem to be upsetting people and causing problems then the desire is likely to be neurotic.  If your behaviour evokes delight and merriment then your desire is likely to lack neurosis.
     p185, Emailing the Lamas from Afar, Ngakpa Chögyam and Khandro Déchen, Aro Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9653948-5-7


Monday, 14 January 2019

The primary function of the Lama

It is the Lama who gives us access to countless powerful methods of realisation.   
Lamas are teachers in a larger sense.  Lamas are not conditioned in any way by the style they adopt.  They may utilise many different styles according to the personality, capacity, and circumstances of those whom they teach.  Whatever method is implemented by the Lama, it transcends the function of the method as it is usually employed.  The Lama is in a completely different category.  So if we are to approach such a person; we need, at least, to be open to the unexpected.  We need to be prepared to question our range of perceptions and responses.  We need to be open to having our rationale actively challenged.
The Lama’s function is to mirror our intrinsic enlightenment.  The Lama shows us the nature of what we actually are.     

p145, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4

Monday, 7 January 2019

Fresh, and somewhat fabulous

Infinite variety isn’t particularly predictable or unpredictable according to non-dual perception.  When perception and field of perception are undivided, there’s no need to relate to phenomena as either predictable or unpredictable.  All phenomena are unified in the compassionate quality of their arising, so there’s no sense in which anything has to be approached with suspicion.  There is no plan that needs to be made.  There is nothing that has to be taken into account.  The arising of phenomena is simply delightful.  Infinite variety has the quality of continual surprise in the sense of wonderment.  But this wonderment has nothing to do with anything being either expected or unexpected. Phenomena are simply fresh, and somewhat fabulous. 

p136, Wearing the Body of Visions, Ngakpa Chögyam, Aro Books, 1995, ISBN 1-898185-03-4