Maandelijks archief: oktober 2011

Stoppen, rusten, helen

Standaard

 

Thich Nhat Hanh

Hier volgt een fragment uit een Engelstalige lezing van Thich Nhat Hanh, die hij gehouden heeft op 6 augustus 1996, tijdens de zomerretraite. De oefening van samatha, stoppen, is de oefening van het niets doen. We proberen niets te doen, alleen ons lichaam en onze geest toe te staan te rusten. Dat is niet makkelijk, omdat rennen en werken een gewoonte is van ons lichaam en onze geest. Daarom is het erg belangrijk je aan te sluiten bij een sangha, waar mensen zijn die in staat zijn te stoppen. In een retraite, waar je mensen aantreft die hier en nu aanwezig kunnen zijn, kan je profiteren van hun energie. Zij kunnen gelukkig zijn met de blauwe lucht, een klein bloemetje in het gras, met iedere stap die ze zetten. Ieder moment maken zij een stukje geluk. Ze rennen niet. Zij zijn in staat stil te houden en ieder moment van het dagelijks leven diepgaand te leven. Het is heel belangrijk hun gezelschap op te zoeken, want als je met hen in contact bent zal je dat ook kunnen, na verloop van tijd. Als je op je kussentje zit, of loopt, oefen dan om alleen maar in en uit te ademen en alleen maar hier te zijn. Want uit je bewuste hier en nu-zijn ontstaat liefde en zorg voor het lijden in je. Je bent er niet geweest voor jezelf, je hebt jezelf verwaarloosd. Geliefd zijn betekent omhelsd worden door de aandacht en de energie van degene van wie je houdt. We moeten er voor ons zelf zijn. We zijn gewond, misschien zelfs diep gewond, in ons lichaam en in onze ziel. Wie zal er voor ons zijn? We moeten er allereerst voor onszelf zijn. En de Boeddha zal er voor ons zijn, want de Boeddha is in ons. De oefening is hier en nu stevige grond onder de voeten te vinden, en aan te raken wat zich hier en nu afspeelt. Daar hoef je niet hard voor te vechten; daar hoef je helemaal niet voor te vechten. Sta alleen jezelf toe te zijn. We zijn geneigd te denken dat geluk, gezondheid en succes alleen binnen ons bereik komen als we erheen rennen. Daarom hebben we het hier en nu opgeofferd. We hebben het hier en nu gezien als een middel om ons in de toekomst dingen toe te eigenen. Van die neiging moeten we afstand doen. We hebben onszelf verbonden aan een bepaald idee van wat geluk is. We denken nooit gelukkig te kunnen zijn als we dit of dat niet voor elkaar krijgen, dit en dat niet kunnen veranderen. Vanwege deze binding leven we niet in vrede met onszelf. We proberen voortdurend iets te doen, iets voor elkaar te krijgen, maar misschien is het geluk er al. Alle voorwaarden voor je geluk zijn al hier. Je hoeft ze alleen maar te herkennen. Maar hoe kan je ze herkennen als je niet aanwezig bent? Misschien heb je niet beseft dat de zon aan de hemel een voorwaarde is voor je geluk. Neem één kort moment om te kijken. Dan zie je dat al het leven op aarde mogelijk is vanwege de zon. Al ons voedsel komt voort uit het licht. Als je zo naar de zon kijkt, dan zie je de zon als je vader, je moeder. De zon voedt je iedere dag. De zon is er altijd voor je. Misschien klaag je dat niemand voor je zorgt, niemand van je houdt, niemand aandacht aan je besteedt, maar de zon voedt je iedere seconde van je leven. De aarde, de bomen, het water, de lucht, de bakker, de boer, de vogels, de insecten. Sommigen van ons hebben geoefend om te stoppen en in het hier en nu te verblijven. Wij kunnen de vele voorwaarden voor ons geluk die hier en nu beschikbaar zijn aanraken, en ontdekken dat er meer niet nodig is. Deze voorwaarden zijn meer dan genoeg voor ons geluk. Stoppen is erg belangrijk. Zolang je blijft rennen en draven is geluk erg moeilijk. Stop. Als je stopt kunnen je lichaam en geest rusten. Als je stopt kan je de voorwaarden voor je geluk die hier en nu aanwezig zijn herkennen. De twee elementen van de boeddhistische meditatie zijn samatha (stoppen, tot rust komen, kalmeren) en vipassana (diep kijken). Soms hoef je alleen maar te stoppen, en plotseling is daar een diep inzicht in de werkelijkheid. Als de golven op het meer kalm zijn wordt de maan zomaar in het water weerspiegeld. Het meer hoeft niet vol onrust en ongeduld naar de maan te zoeken. Sta jezelf toe in het moment te zijn. Geniet ervan contact te maken met de verfrissende en helende elementen om je heen en in jezelf. Of je het nu gelooft of niet, die zijn er. Als je jezelf toestaat deze elementen aan te raken, zal het afval compost worden. Opnieuw zullen er bloemen bloeien in de tuin van je hart. Als je er bent voor je zelf, is er een energie die je omarmt – je pijn, je lijden, je angst, je wanhoop, maar ook je goede, positieve kwaliteiten. Het vermogen weer vreugdevol en gelukkig te zijn, lief te hebben en verdraagzaam te zijn – deze kwaliteiten wonen in ons. Wij moeten ze omarmen, anders kunnen ze niet groeien. Het zijn bloemen. Tegelijk moeten we ook onze angst, wanhoop en verdriet omarmen, zodat ze in compost kunnen veranderen en de bloemen kunnen voeden. Lijden is erg belangrijk voor ons geluk. We zijn niet in staat tot begrip en liefde totdat we weten wat lijden is. We kunnen alleen blij zijn met iets te eten als we weten wat honger is. In sommige streken van China zeggen de mensen als ze elkaar ontmoeten niet hoe gaat het ermee?, maar heb je al gegeten? Heb je al iets te eten gehad? Want ze weten dat honger en dood echt bestaan. Daarom wordt hun liefde op een hele eenvoudige manier uitgedrukt: heb je al gegeten? Heb je al iets te eten gehad?

We hebben de neiging de brokken pijn, verdriet en wanhoop die we meedragen weg te willen hebben. We maken een chirurg van de Boeddha of God, een chirurg die alles wat we niet willen van onszelf uit ons weg moet snijden. Maar in het licht van niet-twee zijn, zijn we niet alleen de bloemen in ons, maar ook het afval. We kunnen niet zomaar onszelf wegdoen. Soms zijn we liefde, en soms zijn we boosheid; liefde is ons, maar boosheid is ook ons. Dus moeten we liefde en boosheid op dezelfde manier behandelen. De Boeddha leert ons het niet-twee zijn van lijden en geluk. Dankzij de energie van aandacht kunnen we hier en nu aanwezig zijn en onszelf omarmen – ons lijden, onze wanhoop, ons verdriet, maar ook de zaden van vrede en liefde die verzwakt zijn doordat we ze niet hebben kunnen voeden en ze niet hebben kunnen helpen om sterker te worden. Waar het om gaat is te leren dat wat is te omarmen, en dat kan met de energie van aandacht. Liefste, ik ben er voor je. Als we van iemand houden willen we dat graag zeggen: Liefste, ik ben er voor je. Maar zorg er dan ook voor dat je er werkelijk bent. Je aanwezigheid is het grootste geschenk dat je je geliefde kan geven, maar er echt zijn is niet makkelijk. Je moet er voor honderd procent zijn, echt met je volle aandacht. De energie van aandacht heeft het vermogen iemand te helen en gelukkig te maken. In dit geval is het liefde voor jezelf. We weten allemaal dat de liefde die we voor een ander hebben afhankelijk is van onze liefde voor onszelf. Als we weten hoe we voor onszelf kunnen zorgen, hoe we onszelf kunnen voeden en genezen, kunnen we voor de ander zorgen. Dus ons eerste object van liefde is onszelf – ons lichaam en onze geest. Jezelf omhelzen in het moment, dat is de oefening waar het om gaat. Als je er helemaal bent zie je dat er niet alleen lijden is. Er is ook iets anders: het wonderschone leven, de verfrissende en helende elementen in je en om je heen. Kijk naar de hemel; luister naar de regen, glimlach naar de regen. Het is een wonder dat het regent; het is een wonder dat de lucht vanochtend blauw is; het is een wonder dat ik leef, dat ik kan lopen, dat mijn hart goed werkt. Er zijn zo veel dingen om blij over te zijn. Als er één boom in de tuin dood gaat vergeet je misschien dat de andere bomen leven. Als je je verdriet laat overheersen verlies je plotseling alles. Er gaat een boom dood in mijn tuin, ja, ik weet het, maar er zijn andere bomen, groen en gezond. Als je dat voor ogen houdt zal je niet verdrinken in je verdriet. Je zal sterk genoeg zijn die ene boom te redden, of te vervangen door een andere. Maak je hart zo groot dat je ziet dat de voorwaarden voor je geluk hier en nu aanwezig zijn, en dat onrecht, wreedheid en kleingeestigheid je leven niet kunnen ruïneren. Je kan dat allemaal makkelijk zonder wrok en boosheid verdragen, want je hart is groot. Stel dat je wat vuil in een rivier gooit: de rivier zou niet boos zijn, maar bereid dat vuil te accepteren om het in één nacht te transformeren. Als je dat zelfde vuil thuis in een bak water zou gooien, zou het water niet langer drinkbaar zijn. Maar de rivier, groot als-ie is, transformeert en heelt. Oefen dus om als een rivier te zijn, dat is wat de Boeddha ons aanraadt. Oefen om als de aarde te zijn. Of de mensen nu bloemen, parfum en rijst op de aarde gooien, of urine en uitwerpselen, de aarde is bereid het allemaal zonder enige wrok te accepteren, want de aarde is groot en heeft het vermogen te transformeren. Het is niet moeilijk onszelf te omarmen en het proces van heling te beginnen. Je hebt alleen een sangha nodig van mensen die dat ook doen en ervan genieten. Als je de meditatieruimte inkomt en gaat zitten met je eten, dan kan dat met een heleboel blijdschap. Zie het niet als een moeilijke oefening. Inderdaad, de hele maaltijd praten we niet, en we zitten de hele tijd stil, rechtop. Maar veel van ons vinden dat fijn. We hoeven niet te praten, we hoeven niet te denken, we hoeven helemaal niets: de hele maaltijd is er om echt uit te rusten. Een maaltijd in aandacht delen met de sangha, niets hoeven, alleen maar van ieder hapje genieten, in diep contact met het voedsel, helemaal zonder denken en zonder plannenmakerij – dat is de oefening van stoppen en rusten. Als je een peultje op je lepel hebt, kijk ernaar, glimlach, en geef het zijn ware naam: snijboon. Met wat aandacht en concentratie besef je dat de snijboon een stukje wonderschoon leven is, net als jij – jij bent een niet te bevatten wonder. Het peultje is gemaakt door de wolken, de zon, de aarde, de mineralen, de lucht, het water – alles. Het is een ambassadeur van de kosmos als je weet hoe het te ontvangen, er samen mee te zijn, het vol aandacht en blijdschap te kauwen. Een peultje eten kan veel vreugde geven. Waarom eet je een peultje? Om voedingsstoffen binnen te krijgen? Nee, je geniet gewoon van dat peultje, je geniet van jezelf, van het moment, van de sangha om je heen. We houden ervan ieder hapje dertig, veertig, vijftig keer te kauwen. In die tijd kauwen we niets anders, niet onze plannen, zorgen of angsten. Laat die nu slapen, ze zijn omhelsd door jouw aanwezigheid in volle aandacht. Eten is een oefening, een oefening om niets te doen, te stoppen. En met een beetje intelligentie kunnen we de tijd om te eten tot een tijd van vreugde maken. Misschien vind je het benauwend om niet te praten, te lachen, te bewegen. Maar dat zijn alleen maar gewoontes. Leer alsjeblieft de gewoonte om te rusten, dat is erg belangrijk. Ook als je op je kussentje zit tijdens de zitmeditatie oefen je om te rusten, net zoals tijdens de loopmeditatie, als je alleen maar de aarde aanraakt en beseft wat een wonder het is te leven en op de aarde te lopen. Ieder moment sta je jezelf toe er te zijn, en te zorgen voor je verdriet, je angst en je pijn. Misschien slapen ze rustig op de bodem van je bewustzijn, of misschien komen ze bovendrijven. Hoe dan ook: omarm ze. Omarm ze met je echte aanwezigheid, want de energie van aandacht is de energie om er voor jezelf te zijn, en voor de mensen van wie je houdt. De zon is er voor jou, de maan is er voor jou, de boom en het water zijn er voor jou. Zorg jij dan dat je er voor hen bent – en speciaal ook voor jezelf. Jij bent degeen die je het hardste nodig heeft. Roep je naam, roep in stilte je naam – die mens heeft geleden, ga ernaar toe en omhels haar, omhels hem.

Thich Nhat Hanh over het edele achtvoudige pad

Standaard

In augustus 2005 hield Thich Nhat Hanh, op de laatste dag van de zomerretraite in Plum Village, een lezing over het edele achtvoudige pad. Hoe kunnen we de juiste visie ontwikkelen, zodat we de juiste gedachte voortbrengen, de juiste woorden spreken en de juiste handelingen verrichten? Het achtvoudige pad wijst ons daarbij de weg. Een Engelse vertaling van deze oorspronkelijk Franstalige lezing werd gepubliceerd in het winternummer van de Mindfulness Bell 2005-2006. Een verkorte versie in het Nederlands verscheen in De Klankschaal nr. 23, voorjaar 2006.

Vandaag wil ik graag spreken over reïncarnatie, wedergeboorte en voortzetting. Als we een sinaasappelboom bekijken, dan kunnen we zien dat deze zich elke dag inspant om lang te leven. Elke dag maakt de boom bladeren en in de lente maakt hij bloesembloempjes, die sinaasappeltjes worden. Die sinaasappels bevatten zaden en op die manier verzekert de boom zich ervan dat hij voortgezet wordt. Hij kan niet anders.
Dat geldt ook voor ons. Als mensen zijn we van nature geneigd om ons erop voor te bereiden dat we doorgaan. Dus voortzetting, hergeboorte, reïncarnatie is normaal. Hoe zetten we onszelf voort? Elke keer dat je een gedachte produceert, is die gedachte een voortzetting. Die gedachte zal een invloed op ons hebben, op ons lichaam, onze geest en op de wereld. Het effect dat die gedachte heeft, is de manier waarop wij ons voortzetten. Het produceren van de gedachte is de oorzaak, het effect is hoe die gedachte van invloed is op ons en de wereld. Omdat de gedachte erg sterk kan zijn, kan hij pijnlijk zijn. Hij kan ons lichaam wijzigen, onze geest en de wereld veranderen. Dus denken is een vorm van handelen.
In het boeddhisme gebruiken we het woord ‘karma’. Karma is handelen, handelen als oorzaak en handelen als vrucht. Het produceren van een gedachte is ‘karmahetu’, karma-oorzaak. Die gedachte zal onze mentale en lichamelijke gezondheid beïnvloeden, evenals de gezondheid van de wereld. Die gezondheid, goed of slecht, is wat ‘karmaphala’ wordt genoemd: de vrucht van het karma. Dus karma is handelen, zowel handelen als oorzaak als handelen als vrucht.

Juist denken en juist spreken
Als we een gedachte voortbrengen, moeten we ons ervan verzekeren dat het een een juiste gedachte is, want deze zal ons fysieke en geestelijke gezondheid brengen en de wereld helpen zichzelf te helen. We moeten proberen op zo’n manier te leven dat we elke dag alleen goede gedachten voortbrengen, gedachten in de richting van het juiste denken. We moeten onszelf trainen om dat te doen.
De Boeddha raadt ons allen aan om juist te denken. Denken is handelen in de vorm van gedachten. Elke keer dat we een gedachte voortbrengen, draagt die gedachte onze handtekening. Dat is karma. Karma-oorzaak, karma-vrucht. Als het een oorzaak is, zal het leiden tot een vrucht. De vrucht zal bitter of zoet zijn, afhankelijk van de aard van het karma. Weet dus dat alle denken handelen is.
Als we iets zeggen, zal wat we zeggen een gevolg hebben voor ons lichaam, onze geest en de wereld. Juiste spraak zal ons vreugde en gezondheid brengen – fysieke en morele gezondheid – en het zal de wereld in de goede richting veranderen. We moeten dus proberen om juist te spreken, want dat leidt tot begrip, vreugde, hoop en verbroedering. Wat je zegt, is het zaad, het is de oorzaak. Het brengt in jou en in de wereld karmaphala voort, karma-vrucht.
Soms manifesteert de vrucht van de handeling zich onmiddellijk na de oorzaak. Soms duurt het maanden of jaren voordat de handeling een resultaat krijgt, maar vroeger of later krijgt de oorzaak een gevolg.

Juist handelen
De derde soort van handelen is de fysieke handeling, die je uitvoert met je lichaam. Met je lichaam kun je dingen doen. Je kunt iemand doden, een dier doden, een boom doden. Je kunt iemand redden, een dier redden, een boom redden. De Boeddha raadt ons aan om juist te handelen, omdat de handeling een gevolg heeft voor je fysieke en morele gezondheid en voor de wereld. We moeten ons ervan verzekeren dat onze handelingen zo mogelijk juiste handelingen zijn.
Jean-Paul Sartre was een filosoof in de traditie van het existentialisme. Hij zei dat de mens de optelsom is van zijn handelingen. Als een kind wordt geboren, heeft het nog niet gehandeld en is het dus nog niet bepaald. Maar zodra de mens begint te handelen, kunnen we kijken naar zijn handelingen en de mens zien. De mens wordt bepaald door zijn handelingen. Wat Sartre zei, ligt heel dicht bij het boeddhisme. Maar Sartres idee ging niet ver genoeg, omdat gedachten er niet in waren opgenomen. Uit onze gedachten komt voort wat we zeggen en doen. Denken ligt dus aan de basis van alle spraak en van al het handelen. We kunnen zeggen dat de mens de optelsom is van zijn gedachten, zijn woorden en zijn handelingen. Ik denk dat Sartre het daarmee eens zou zijn, want door het woord ‘handelingen’ te gebruiken, bedoelde hij ook ‘denken’ en ‘spraak’. Denken als een handeling, spraak als een handeling.
Handelingen, dus ook gedachten en spraak, vormen karma. We produceren deze energie elk moment in ons dagelijks leven. Je zegt voortdurend dingen en elke gedachte, elk woord, elke handeling die je uitvoert, draagt jouw handtekening. Dat is de manier waarop je je voortzet. Het gaat nooit verloren.
Lavoisier, een wetenschapper die leefde in het Frankrijk voor de revolutie, zei: ‘Er gaat niets verloren.’ Eigenlijk is hij een boeddhist. Wat je voorbrengt als gedachten, spraak, handelingen, beïnvloedt de wereld en op die manier zet je jezelf voort. Jouw voortzetting is je wedergeboorte en je reïncarnatie. Er gaat niets verloren. Als je ervoor zorgt dat je je goed voortzet, zul je een goede toekomst hebben.
Iedereen wil zichzelf op een mooie manier voortzetten. Daarvoor moeten we ons ervan verzekeren dat we goede gedachten denken, de juiste dingen zeggen en de juiste dingen doen. Dit zijn drie stappen op het edele achtvoudige pad dat de Boeddha ons aanraadt.

Juiste visie
Wat is de juiste visie? Juiste visie is onze manier om de wereld te begrijpen; deze brengt inzicht in de volledige werkelijkheid. We zijn zo vaak het slachtoffer van verkeerde visies en op basis van verkeerde visies creëren we lijden voor onszelf en anderen. Dus we moeten verkeerde visies, verkeerde waarnemingen vermijden. Als we doorgaan met lijden door geweld en terrorisme, komt dat doordat we geen juiste visie hebben. Terroristen hebben een verkeerde visie van zichzelf en van anderen en anti-terroristen hebben ook verkeerde beelden van zichzelf en van de terroristen. Daardoor blijven ze elkaar doden, dus we moeten dieper kijken om de juiste visie te verkrijgen. Met de juiste visie zullen we het geweld en terrorisme kunnen stoppen.
De juiste visie is de basis van al het juiste denken, spreken en handelen en daarom begon de Boeddha met de juiste visie. De Boeddha beschreef juiste visie op een precieze, diepe en heldere manier. Een juiste visie weerspiegelt wijsheid, de aard van het bestaan.
De Boeddha sprak bijvoorbeeld over de voorbijgaande aard van dingen, van verschijnselen. Ook andere wijzen hebben hierover gesproken. Zo zei de Griekse filosoof Heraclitus dat je nooit tweemaal in dezelfde rivier kunt stappen, omdat de rivier voortdurend verandert. Het is een feit dat alles verandert. De juiste visie gaat hand in hand met het inzicht in de veranderlijkheid van de dingen. Een visie die niet op die veranderlijkheid is gebaseerd, is een onjuiste visie.
Als we de juiste visie hebben, lijden we niet en kunnen we geluk creëren. Dit is niet alleen maar filosofie, het is het leven. Als je bijvoorbeeld problemen hebt met je partner en je staat op het punt om ruzie met elkaar te gaan maken, zou de Boeddha tegen jullie zeggen: ‘Lieve vrienden, sluit je ogen. Stel je je geliefde voor over driehonderd jaar. Wat zal er van haar geworden zijn?’ Als je kunt zien wat er over driehonderd jaar gebeurt, dan zie je dat het niet verstandig is om ruzie te maken, omdat het leven veranderlijk is. Als je veranderlijkheid kunt aanraken, als je je ogen opent, zal je niet langer boos zijn. Je bent gered door het inzicht in de veranderlijkheid.

Veranderlijkheid als oefening
Op intellectueel niveau ben je het er misschien mee eens dat de dingen veranderlijk zijn, maar in je dagelijks leven doe je alsof dingen blijvend zijn. De Boeddha praat niet over veranderlijkheid als een filosofie, maar als een oefening. We zouden moeten oefenen om ons te concentreren op de veranderlijkheid. Zo kun je je bijvoorbeeld de hele dag, terwijl je kijkt, terwijl je naar iets luistert, verbinden met het inzicht van de veranderlijkheid. Als je naar een bloem kijkt, zie je dat deze veranderlijk is. Als je naar iemand kijkt, dan zie je dat hij of zij veranderlijk is. Zo blijft het inzicht in de veranderlijkheid voortdurend bij ons. Dan is het geen theorie, maar een oefening in concentratie. Deze oefening zal je redden, waar het idee alleen van de veranderlijkheid dat niet kan.
Met behulp van aandacht kunnen we het inzicht in de veranderlijkheid levend houden en dat zal ons ertegen beschermen om onjuist te denken of te spreken. De juiste visie is dus de visie die de aard van de veranderlijkheid bevat.
We denken dat iedereen een afzonderlijke ziel heeft die altijd hetzelfde blijft, zelfs als het lichaam veroudert en uiteenvalt. Dit is niet de juiste visie, want het gaat in tegen de waarheid van de veranderlijkheid. Niets is hetzelfde op twee verschillende momenten. Dus als we de werkelijkheid van de veranderlijkheid aanvaarden, moeten we ook de waarheid van niet-zelf aanvaarden.
Veranderlijkheid wordt gewoonlijk beschouwd vanuit een tijdsperspectief. Als we het beschouwen vanuit een ruimtelijk perspectief, is veranderlijkheid hetzelfde als niet-zelf. Niet-zelf en veranderlijkheid zijn hetzelfde.
Als de zoon de vader als een verschillende persoon beschouwt, als iemand die veel lijden en problemen voor hem heeft veroorzaakt, dan wil hij zijn vader straffen met zijn woorden en daden. Hij weet niet dat hij, om zijn vader te laten lijden, zichzelf tegelijkertijd laat lijden. Het is belangrijk om te begrijpen dat jij en je vader dezelfde werkelijkheid delen. Jij bent de voortzetting van je vader. Als je vader lijdt, dan zul jij ook lijden en als jij je vader kunt helpen om niet te lijden, dan is jouw geluk ook mogelijk. Door het inzicht in niet-zelf kunnen we veel fouten vermijden, omdat niet-zelf vertaald wordt in de juiste visie.
Terroristen en anti-terroristen denken over zichzelf als twee verschillende entiteiten. De anti-terrorist zegt: ‘We moeten de terroristen straffen, we moeten ze uitroeien.’ En de terrorist denkt dat de andere persoon de oorzaak is van het lijden in de wereld, en dat deze moet worden uitgeschakeld om te overleven. Ze weten niet dat ze hetzelfde zijn.
Alle betrokkenen in een conflict moeten het inzicht van niet-zelf begrijpen. Als de andere kant blijft lijden, als er geen veiligheid, vrede of  begrip is aan de andere kant, dan kan er geen veiligheid, vrede of begrip zijn aan onze kant. Als beide kanten zich realiseren dat ze interzijn, als ze de aard van het niet-zelf aanraken, dan is er sprake van juiste visie. Met juiste visie denken, spreken en handelen we op de goede manier en dan kan veiligheid werkelijkheid worden. De juiste visie is een visie van de werkelijkheid die zich vertaalt in veranderlijkheid, niet-zelf en interzijn.

De aard van interzijn
Als we goed naar een bloem kijken, dan zien we welke elementen hebben samengewerkt om ervoor te zorgen dat de bloem zich kan manifesteren. We zien de wolken, die zich manifesteren als regen. Zonder de regen kan er niets groeien. Dus als ik de bloem aanraak, raak ik de wolk en de regen aan. Dit is niet alleen maar poëzie, het is de werkelijkheid. Als we de wolken en de regen uit de bloem halen, is de bloem er niet. Met het oog van de Boeddha zien we de wolken en de regen in de bloem. We kunnen ook de zon aanraken zonder onze vingers te branden. Zonder de zon kan er niets groeien, dus we kunnen de zon niet uit de bloem halen. De bloem kan niet afgescheiden zijn; hij moet interzijn met het licht, de wolken en de regen. Het woord ‘interzijn’ is dichter bij de werkelijkheid dan het woord ‘zijn’. Zijn betekent echt interzijn.
Hetzelfde geldt voor mij, jou en de Boeddha. De Boeddha inter-is met alles. Interzijn en niet-zelf zijn de onderwerpen van onze overdenking. We moeten onszelf oefenen zodat we de waarheid van interzijn en niet-zelf elk moment van ons dagelijkse leven kunnen aanraken. Je bent in contact met de wolken, met de regen, met de kinderen, met de bomen, met de rivieren en dat contact openbaart de ware aard van de werkelijkheid, de aard van de veranderlijkheid, de aard van interzijn, van niet-zelf, van onderlinge afhankelijkheid. Als je de werkelijkheid op die manier kunt aanraken, dan heb je de juiste visie. En als je de juiste visie hebt, zullen al je gedachten, woorden en handelingen juist zijn.
Dat is waarom het cultiveren van de juiste visie de basis is van de beoefening van het boeddhisme. We kunnen oefenen als een individu, als gemeenschap, als stad, als land. Als we zijn opgesloten in de gevangenis van onveranderlijkheid, van zelf, kunnen we niet de juiste visie verkrijgen.
Juiste concentratie
Om de juiste visie te cultiveren, moeten we aandachtig zijn. We hebben volop intelligentie om de begrippen ‘tijdelijkheid’ en ‘niet-zelf’ te begrijpen, maar die begrippen helpen ons niet. Daarom moeten we onszelf oefenen om de dingen in hun ware aard te zien. We moeten dit inzicht elk moment levend houden. Daarom is concentratie zo belangrijk.
In het Sanskriet is ‘samadhi’ het woord voor juiste concentratie. De begrippen ‘tijdelijkheid’ en ‘niet-zelf’ zijn wel nuttig, maar als begrip zijn ze niet krachtig genoeg om je te bevrijden, om je de juiste visie te geven. Dus je moet je concentreren. ‘Samadhi prajna’ is juiste visie, inzicht, dat aan de basis ligt van het juiste denken, juiste spreken en juiste handelen. Om prajna te cultiveren moeten we concentratie oefenen. We moeten in concentratie leven, om dingen op elk moment goed te kunnen aanraken. We leven intens wanneer we de aard van tijdelijkheid, niet-zelf en inter-zijn kunnen waarnemen in de bloem en we kunnen dit doen dankzij de concentratieoefening. Zonder samadhi is er geen prajna, geen inzicht. Concentratie is dus een deur die de ultieme werkelijkheid opent. Het geeft ons de juiste visie.

Juiste aandacht
Voordat we geconcentreerd zijn, moeten we aandacht cultiveren. Aandacht is ‘smrti’. Aandacht is de energie die ons kan helpen om de geest terug te brengen naar het lichaam, zodat we onszelf kunnen vestigen in het heden. Op die manier kunnen we naar de blauwe lucht kijken, naar de wolken of naar het kind dat voor ons zit. Dan raken we op een diepe manier het wonder van het leven aan. Dat is aandacht.
Aandacht is het vermogen om te herkennen wat er in het heden gebeurt. Als we pijn voelen, zullen we in staat zijn om deze te aanvaarden, om hem te transformeren. Als we volledig aandachtig zijn, beseffen we dat het koninkrijk van God bereikbaar is en dat de vreugde van het leven mogelijk is.
André Gide zei dat God geluk is. Dat vind ik fijn. En hij zei: ‘God is vierentwintig uur per dag beschikbaar.’ Ook op dat punt ben ik het met hem eens. Als God de hele dag bereikbaar is, dan is zijn koninkrijk ook bereikbaar. De enige vraag is of wij bereikbaar zijn voor het koninkrijk van God, voor geluk. Aandacht zorgt ervoor dat we bereikbaar zijn voor het koninkrijk van God, voor de wonderen van het leven om ons heen, op dit moment. Ik weet dat er veel boeddhisten zijn in Frankrijk, inclusief Jean-Paul Sartre, André Gide en de wetenschapper Lavoisier.
Aandacht wordt beoefend in Plum Village. We lopen op zo’n manier dat elke stap aandacht genereert. Als we ademen, als we onze handen wassen, als we koken, doen we dat allemaal in aandacht. De energie van aandacht voortbrengen is de basisoefening, want aandacht is de drager, de brenger van concentratie.
Als je ergens aandacht voor hebt, ben je geconcentreerd. De energie van concentratie is aanwezig in de aandacht. Als je doorgaat, zal die concentratie sterker en sterker worden. Met krachtige aandacht kun je in de realiteit doorbreken en tijdelijkheid als een realiteit ervaren. Je kunt inter-zijn, niet-zelf aanraken. De Boeddha begon met de juiste visie, maar ik wil graag beginnen met aandacht.

Juist levensonderhoud
Dan hebben we nog het juiste levensonderhoud, ons werk, onze baan. De Vijf Aandachtsoefeningen vragen ons om te kiezen voor levensonderhoud dat ons zal helpen om de juiste gedachten woorden en handelingen voort te brengen. Helaas zijn er ook soorten werk die ons schade toebrengen, die schade toebrengen aan het milieu, of die geweld met zich meebrengen. We moeten met aandacht kijken om te zien wat voor soort werk we willen doen, zodat we in staat zijn om juist denken en spreken te beoefenen en juist handelen in ons werk.
Onderwijzers kunnen op zo’n manier oefenen dat hun gedachten, woorden en handelingen hun studenten op elk moment van de dag voeden. De kinderen in hun klas lijden misschien veel. Misschien hebben hun ouders hun niet genoeg van de juiste soorten voeding gegeven. Misschien hebben ze niet de kans gehad om te leren juist denken, spreken en handelen en zijn ze daardoor gekwetst.
Als onderwijzer kijk je naar het kind en zie je het lijden. En je weet dat je met juist denken, spreken en handelen de wonden van het kind kunt helen. Je kunt het kind een tweede kans geven door de rol van de vader of moeder voor het kind te vervullen. De klas kan een familie worden. Als je een dokter of een therapeut bent, dan kun je hetzelfde doen. Als je begrip en compassie hebt, dan heb je veel macht, want als mensen bij je komen zullen je juiste gedachten mensen helpen genezen. Je kunt ze helpen omdat je jezelf hebt geheeld door de energie van begrip en compassie te ontwikkelen.
De Boeddha sprak van het juiste levensonderhoud, niet alleen voor monniken en nonnen, maar voor iedereen. Het juiste levensonderhoud helpt je om het juiste denken en spreken voort te brengen. We moeten de tijd nemen om naar ons werk te kijken, om te zien of het ons ondersteunt om elke dag juist denken en spreken te genereren.
Goede gedachten gaan altijd gepaard met begrip en liefde. Als je een beroep uitoefent dat met zich meebrengt dat je gedachten van boosheid en discriminatie hebt, dan is dat niet goed voor jouw gezondheid en voor de gezondheid van de wereld. Je moet misschien ander werk aannemen dat minder betaalt, zodat je de kans krijgt om goede gedachten en goede spraak voort te brengen. Het is mogelijk om op een gezondere, gelukkiger manier te leven. Als je de juiste visie hebt, zul je genoeg moed hebben om te stoppen met het pad van geweld en gehechtheid. Het juiste levensonderhoud is dus erg belangrijk, en we kunnen dit bepalen in termen van juist denken, spreken en handelen.

Juiste inspanning
De achtste is juiste toewijding, juiste inspanning. De Boeddha leerde hoe we onze energie moeten cultiveren en hoe we ervoor kunnen zorgen en hij leerde ook hoe we kunnen oefenen om energie te sparen. In de boeddhistische psychologie zien we ons bewustzijn alsof het twee lagen heeft. De diepste laag wordt het voorraadbewustzijn genoemd. It is altijd aan het werk, zelfs in onze slaap. Het voorraadbewustzijn ontvangt informatie en classificeert dit en het neemt veel beslissingen zonder dat het geestesbewustzijn, de bovenste laat, tussenbeide komt.
Als je een auto bestuurt, dan denk je dat het geestesbewustzijn het rijden aanstuurt, maar in feite wordt een groot deel van het werk dan gedaan door het voorraadbewustzijn, zonder dat we er bewust over nadenken. Als je dagelijks werk doet, speelt het voorraadbewustzijn een belangrijke rol.
Als het voorraadbewustzijn actief is, heeft het minder metabolische energie nodig dan het geestesbewustzijn. Het geestesbewustzijn heeft veel meer suiker, glycoceen en eiwit nodig om te werken. Op het niveau van het voorraadbewustzijn gebeuren dingen veel sneller en zonder veel verbruik, dus de meeste dingen worden afgehandeld door het voorraadbewustzijn en het geestesbewustzijn doet alleen het laatste stukje. In het voorraadbewustzijn zijn veel zaden opgeslagen, goede zaden en slechte zaden. Het zaadje van boosheid is er, evenals dat van wanhoop en bekrompenheid, maar ook het zaadje van compassie en vreugde.

Vier oefeningen om de juiste inspanning te cultiveren
Om de juiste inspanning te cultiveren, stelde de Boeddha vier oefeningen voor.
De eerste is: zorg ervoor dat je de slechte zaden geen water geeft. Je weet dat er negatieve zaden in je zijn en als ze zich manifesteren, zul je lijden. Dus laat ze vredig slapen. Als je naar films kijkt, artikelen of boeken leest of naar muziek luistert is er een kans dat een zaadje water krijgt en zich kan manifesteren. We moeten in aandacht consumeren, zodat de slechte zaden geen water krijgen. Als we elkaar liefhebben, moeten we een vredesverdrag sluiten: ‘Liefste, ik beloof je dat ik de slechte zaden in jou of in mij nooit water zal geven en jij moet hetzelfde doen. Jij hebt die zaden ook in je. Je moet ze geen water geven in jezelf en ook niet in mij.’
De tweede oefening is dat we, elke keer als een slechte mentale formatie zich manifesteert, ervoor moeten zorgen dat het weer gaat slapen. Als we deze te lang in stand houden, dan krijgt hij kracht in de basis. Als we het een uur lang in onze geest houden, dan heeft dat zaad een uur om kracht te verkrijgen. Dat is gevaarlijk.
De derde oefening is om de goede zaden wel water te laten krijgen, zodat ze de kans krijgen zich in de geest te manifesteren. Een dharma-lezing is bijvoorbeeld een soort regen die de goede zaden in je kan voeden. Als zij zich in het geestesbewustzijn manifesteren, zal het landschap veel mooier zijn.
De vierde oefening is dat we het goede zaad helpen om zo lang mogelijk in het geestesbewustzijn te blijven als het zich heeft gemanifesteerd. Net als bij een goede vriend die langskomt en goed nieuws brengt: je probeert dan om die vriend zo lang mogelijk bij je te houden.
Dit is wat de Boeddha leert bedoelt met juiste inspanning, toewijding en het duurzaam omgaan met energie. Het is heel concreet en praktisch en het wordt gedaan op een natuurlijke, ontspannen manier. We hoeven niet te vechten of te worstelen, we hoeven geen uitputtende inspanningen te doen. Op natuurlijke wijze en met veel plezier, kunnen we vreugde beleven aan deze oefening.
Dit zijn de acht juiste oefeningen die het edele achtvoudige pad vormen, dat de Boeddha ons allen voorstelt. Als een les het edele pad kan openbaren, dan is het een authentieke les
van de Boeddha.

De juiste visie op reïncarnatie
Voortzetting gebeurt nu, omdat je elke dag gedachten, woorden en handelingen voortbrengt die jouw handtekening hebben. We hoeven niet te wachten totdat dit lichaam uiteenvalt om ons voort te zetten.
De meeste mensen denken over reïncarnatie in termen van een permanente ziel. Dat is gangbaar boeddhisme, Maar we moeten opstijgen naar het niveau van de juiste visie. Voortzetting is een noodzaak, het is een waarheid. Maar deze voortzetting moet worden gezien in het licht van niet-zelf, van de tijdelijkheid.
Als je, bijvoorbeeld, mijn voortzetting wilt herkennen, kijk dan niet hiernaar (Thay wijst op zichzelf). Een deel van mijn voortzetting bevindt zich weliswaar hier, maar overal waar je om je heen kijkt, zie je andere vormen van deze voortzetting. Dus wacht niet tot het lichaam uiteenvalt. We zijn al begonnen met onze voortzetting. Je weet dat je de kracht hebt om te veranderen. Je kunt je verzekeren van een prachtige voortzetting. Stel dat je gisteren een gedachte hebt gedacht die je niet waardig was en dat je daar vandaag spijt van hebt. Je denkt: ik wil niet op die manier voortgezet worden. Je kunt die gedachte corrigeren, je kunt die voortzetting transformeren.
Als je de juiste visie aangeraakt hebt, zul je in staat zijn om een andere gedachte voort te brengen, een gedachte die je vandaag waardig is, een gedachte die begrip, compassie en geen oordeel in zich draagt. Op het moment dat je deze prachtige gedachte denkt, zal hij erop uit gaan en die andere gedachte van gisteren inhalen. En in een halve seconde zal hij in staat zijn om die gedachte te transformeren.
Je hebt dus een kans om het verleden te corrigeren. Dat is geweldig. We zeggen dat het verleden al voorbij is, maar het verleden komt altijd terug in nieuwe manifestaties en met die manifestaties kunnen we het corrigeren.
Als je iets hebt gezegd dat je niet waardig is, zeg vandaag dan iets anders, en dat zal alles veranderen. Doe vandaag iets anders gebaseerd op de juiste visie en transformeer de hele situatie. Dat kan.
Als je een sangha hebt die je steunt, als je wordt gesteund door de collectieve juiste visie, dan is het heel gemakkelijk om zulke gedachten, woorden en handelingen voort te brengen, om alles nu te veranderen, vandaag, om je te verzekeren van een goede toekomst, een goede voortzetting.
De les van de Boeddha is zeer diep en tegelijkertijd zeer praktisch. Deze les heeft de mogelijkheid om ons te helen, om onze pijn en angst te transformeren. Het is goed dat we genoeg tijd hebben om meer over deze lessen te leren en ze in ons dagelijks leven in praktijk te brengen.

Ju Mipham Rinpoche Namgyal Gyatso

Standaard

Biography Jamgon Ju Mipham Rinpoche Namgyal Gyatso

by Lhobpon Rechungpa and Eric Forgeng

Now, without deceit or exaggeration, I will write a little of his life that was visible to ordinary beings. The reason he is called “Ju” (“holding”) Mipham is because his clan originated as clear light deities who came to the human world holding (“ju”) a  rope.

His family originated with Achak Dru, one of the six original Tibetans who were born of the union of the Monkey Bodhisattva (an emanation of Avalokiteshvara) and the female Rock Demoness, whose descendant was a general of the king of Mongolia. These people later lived under the Dharma King of Dege, Tenpa Tsering. Many learned and accomplished people arose in this lineage, including many powerful ngakpas. From this lineage came one named Gyud la Do de, an emanation of Medicine Buddha. His descendant, Ju Gonpo Targye, was Mipham’s father.His mother’s lineage was called Mukpo Dong gi Gyudpa (the Brown Face lineage). This family was very wealthy and generous to the Dharma. One of them, called Cho Dar, was a minister to the King of Dege. His daughter Sing Chung was Jamgon Mipham’s mother.

Depending on this perfectly endowed family lineage, in the fourteenth Rabjung, in the Male Fire Horse year (1846), at a very auspicious time, in the region of Do-Kham called Four Rivers and Six Hills (Chu Zhi Gang Druk), in the place called Deng Chung, with many miracles, Jamgon Mipham was born. His Uncle, Pon Lama Drupchok Pema Tarjay, gave him the name Mipham Gyamtso (Invincible Ocean). When he was very young, the qualities of faith, renunciation, wisdom, and compassion were naturally present, indicating that he was naturally of the Mahayana family. Everyone who knew him said that he had only one thought: that his yidam was the peaceful and wrathful Manjushri and his Protector was Ling Gesar.

When he was six or seven he memorized the Certainty of  the Three Vows (Dom Sum Nam Nye) scripture, and he learned the preliminaries for white and black astrology. By the age of ten he was learned at reading and writing and had composed many texts. When he was twelve years old he entered the monastery as an ordinary monk of the Ogmin Urgyen Mindroling       lineage at a branch monastery of Zechen Ten Nyi Targye Ling, called Gyu Mohor Sang Ngak Choling. At that time everyone praised his accomplishment, calling him “Tsun Chung Khe Pa”, “Intelligent Small Monk.”

When he was fifteen or sixteen, after studying the very difficult Mindroling system of chanting for only a few days, and praying to Manjushri, he completely mastered it. In an 18-month retreat of Gyu Nyong he accomplished the Mra Seng Manjushri. He made many rilbu, and many miraculous signs were manifest. After this, he could accomplish any sutra or tantra without any effort, and no text was unknown to him.He went to many lamas to obtain the necessary lungs (oral transmissions),but he needed no study or teachings for any texts. When he was seventeen he moved, along with all the people of his region, to Amdo Golok. He proved very expert at divining the qualities of land and mountains for the safety of the people. At the age of eighteen he went with his maternal uncle, Gyur Zang, on a pilgrimage to Lhasa. He stayed at Gaden Dratsang for one month. Then he went on pilgrimage to all the holy places of Southern Tibet.

When he went to Lhodrak Kar Chu, all appearances arose as bliss and emptiness. Many qualities of realization arose in him and he remained in that experience for many days. He thought that these experiences were the blessing of the holy place of Lhodrak Kar Chu.He recounted this experience to his best friend, who was also his attendant.When he went to the Northern Plain, he had a pure vision of Sarasvati giving him a crystalline book.

Later, when he returned home, His Holiness Wangchen Garab Dorje bestowed upon him the empowerments of White Manjushri and Ling Gesar. All the canonical signs of having perfectly received the empowerments manifested. From the emanation of Lokeshvara, Dza Paltrul Rinpoche, he received the Wisdom Chapter of the Bodhicharyavatara in only five   days. Based on this, he wrote the commentary on the Wisdom Chapter known as the She Drel Keta Ka.

Particularly, prostrating his head at the lotus feet of the Lord of the Family with whom he had a karmic connection from innumerable past lives, the Lord of Dharma, Pema Ösal Do Ngak Lingpa, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, emanation of the incomparable Lord Manjushri, he engaged in hearing, contemplating, and meditating, becoming his main Heart Son.

From the first empowerment of the White Manjusri, which opened the door of the Dharma, he continually learned ordinary and extraordinary dharmas. Sacred instructions and the entire Dharma, including dharmas of the Close Lineage (Termas), main texts of Sutra and Tantra and, particularly, ripening empowerments of secret mantra, liberating instructions, and supporting explanations, were poured into Jamgon Mipham like the nectar from one vase completely filling another.

From Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye he learned grammar and epistemology, the arts of gilding, and other uncommon and common arts, and obtained many empowerments and authorizations of Manjushri.

From Dzogchen Khen Rinpoche Padma Vajra and many other lamas, he obtained an ocean of dharmas of sutra and mantra. He not only heard these dharmas but accomplished them perfectly. His self-arising pristine awareness, vast and profound like space, was victorious, by achieving the enlightened qualities of the Eight Confident Great Treasures:

Stable treasure of mindfulness
Intelligent treasure of discrimination
Realization treasure of realizing the meaning of all Buddhadharma
Holding treasure of remembering everything ever heard
Confident treasure of eloquently satisfying all sentient beings
Dharma treasure of completely protecting the Dharma
Bodhichitta treasure of the unbroken lineage of the Three Jewels
Accomplished treasure of the patience of the unborn Dharma of emptiness.

Jamgon Mipham’s kalyanamitra, or spiritual guide, was Juwon Jigme Dorje. From him he received the transmission of the Root of the Short Sutra. After this, Jamgon Rinpoche immediately taught this for one month.From Bumsar Geshe Ngawang Jungne he received, along with many others, the Uma Jukpa transmission. After receiving this, Geshe Ngawang Jungne tested Jamgon Mipham on his understanding. Jamgon Mipham’s replies amazed the Geshe so much that he announced publicly that although he himself had the name of Geshe, he possessed not even a small amount           of the intelligence of Jamgon Mipham.

From Ponlob Loter Wangpo, he received the Tsema Rigter logic of Sakya Pandita. From Solpon Pema, he received the Jam Cho Jang Sa and many others. Rinpoche received these transmissions, and then later gave very extensive teachings on these topics to others. Also, from Ser Shul Geshe Lharampa, Rinpoche received transmission of the           Abhidharmakosa.

In short, Rinpoche received teachings completely without bias at the feet of many masters of all lineages, Sarma and Nyingma,on whatever Dharma had come down to the time. Especially, from his Omniscient Lama, Khyentse Wangpo he received almost all the Nyingma teachings of Kama and Terma, the Uma Gyen, the Gyed Nyi (Uta Namje and Chonyid Namje),Vimalamitra’s Manjushrinamsamgiti commentary, Guru Rinpoche’s Men Ngak Da Treng, the Ka Gyed Nam       She, and so on. The meaning of all these teachings spontaneously arose in his mind.

In the center of the debating gathering of all the teachings and traditions,
Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche relaxed at ease like a fearless lion.

Everyone witnessed his fluency and command of teaching, debate, and composition, and no one could deny his mastery.

Jamgon Mipham himself said: “When I was young, I was present when many accomplished, learned lamas gave Dharma teachings, but I only seriously studied Dza Patrul Rinpoche’s teachings on the Wisdom Chapter of the Bodhicharyavatara. Later, in dependence on the kindness of my venerable lama and Manjushri, no difficulties with           study ever arose for me. I could understand any text simply by reading it casually. When I first began to study, the Sarma teachings were easier to understand. The Nyingma teachings were more difficult. However, I assumed that the difficulty was due to my own misunderstanding, and not to any fault in the teachings. I never had a doubt that these teachings of the profound lineage of the vidyadharas were meaningless. From this auspicious confidence my wisdom completely ripened. Later, when I looked again at these teachings, the profound essential points were only to be found in the Nyingma texts. I experienced the arising of perfect certainty.

“At that time, the Lord Protector, Khyentse Rinpoche, asked me to write some textbooks for our tradition. With the Buddha’s teaching in mind, I wrote some textbooks on Sutra to fulfill his command and improve my own understanding. In these texts, my explanations emphasized our own Nyingma view. Scholars of other traditions heard that I had           refuted their views, so letters debating my texts arrived from everywhere.

“My own motivation was to fulfill the command of my lama and to help revive the teachings of the Nyingma, whose doctrine  had become diminished and was like the painting of a butter lamp. These days there are very few who even wonder about the Nyingma view, much less investigate it. For this reason I hoped it would be beneficial to write. I wouldn’t otherwise have even dreamed of disparaging other traditions or praising myself. In front of those Buddhas who possess the eye of pristine awareness, I have nothing to be ashamed of. My own intention was to analyze for myself what is true or not. Even with no real thought of someone benefiting someone, it might happen that others benefit. If someone with the Dharma eye refutes me with scripture and reasoning, I should rely on him as a physician, and not argue with him out of anger. Thus, with honest intention, I have debated on occasion.”

Jamgon Mipham’s command of logic from previous lives manifested in many ways. When he was studying Dharmakirti’s text on logic (the Pramanavarttika), he dreamed of Sakya Pandita, who appeared as an Indian Pandita. Sakya Pandita said: “What don’t you understand about this text? It has both refutation and proof.” He then took a copy of the Pramanavarttika and divided it in two, saying: “You put them back together.” Mipham did so, and the book           became a sword, and all objects of knowledge appeared before him. Waving the sword once, everything was cut through instantly. He told Solpon Padma that after this he understood every word in the Pramanavarttika.

He also had difficulty with some passages the first time he read the Vinaya Sutra. He applied himself and read all thirteen volumes at one sitting, then said that there was nothing in the Vinaya Sutra that he did not understand.

One auspicious day, his root lama, Vajradhara Khyentse Rinpoche, placed many rare and precious volumes of sutra and tantra on an altar and made extensive offerings. He put Mipham on a high throne in front of them, and said: “I entrust all these teachings to you. Preserve them through teaching, debating, and composition. Help the Buddha’s teaching to remain in the world for a long time.” Thus, he empowered Mipham as a master of Dharma. At that time, Khyentse Rinpoche wrote a poem on the back of a beautiful painting of White Tara:
          Om Svasti Dzayantu!
          You directly realized the intentions of Mipham Gonpo!
          Like Manjushri, you have mastery of all knowledge!
          Like Dharmakirti, you are victorious everywhere!
          May your fame pervade everwhere like the ocean!

Once Mipham Rinpoche came before his root lama, Khyentse Rinpoche. The lama asked Mipham, “What practice did you do in retreat?” Mipham replied: “ While studying, I applied reason, and I have diligently practiced the creation stage.” Khyentse Rinpoche replied:“That is difficult! The Omniscient Longchenpa said, ‘Without doing anything, come to rest right where you are.’ By resting like that I haven’t seen any ‘face of mind’ with white skin and a rosy complexion, but I’d be alright anyway if I died right now!” Khyentse Rinpoche laughed out loud. Mipham understood this to be his lama’s practical advice.

When Mipham was staying in Chamdo there were rumors of a Chinese army invasion. Mipham’s attendant, Lama Ösal, was worried. Mipham said, “If I am to be the Rigdzin King, Drakpo Chakkor Chen, the Wrathful Wielder of the Iron Wheel, I should be able to handle them.” When Mipham was staying near Ga To, the Chinese army came near, but was not able to come close to the lama’s residence, and had to go away.

In short, considering his power of wisdom and realization, his motivation, his activity and accomplishment, and his learning and reasoning, it is indisputable that Mipham’s inconceivable liberation was obvious to all. The great writings of this holy being are excellent in meaning and composition, well organized, complete, pure, and clear. They are his blessed enlightened speech. His commentaries are not in any way different in words or meaning from the commentaries of Nagarjuna and Asanga and the Eight Great Vidyadharas. This should be obvious to those with the eye of Dharma.

Especially in this time, when the five degenerations are increasing, when the Buddhadharma in general and the teachings of the Nyingma in particular are becoming extremely weak, as if gasping for breath at the point of death, Mipham’s teachings are wonderful.Those who care about the precious teachings of our own and other’s traditions should treasure Mipham’s teachings in their hearts and honor them on the crowns of their heads.

Mipham’s most important students were Dodrub Rinpoche, Terton Sogyal, the Fifth Dzogchen Rinpoche, Gemang Kyab Gon, Khenpo Padmavajra, Katog Situ Rinpoche, Zhechen Rabjam, Gyaltsab Tulku, Palyul Gyaltrul, Karma Yangtrul, Palpung Situ Rinpoche, Ling Jetrung, Adzom Drukpa, Tokden Shakya Shri, Ngor Ponlob, and others. The great tulkus of Zhechen, Dzogchen, Katog, Palyul, Palpung, Dege Gonchen, Repkong and others of all lineages, Sakya, Gelug, KaGyu, and Nyingma, all became his disciples.

In the Water Mouse Year (1912), Mipham Rinpoche’s sixty-seventh year, he left his retreat, wrote his final testament, and concealed it. He said to his students, “Now, because of the times and my illness, I don’t wish to stay. Even if I did, it would be hard to be worthwhile, so stay in retreat. You have plenty of experience, so don’t rely on other teachers. We will meet again in life, death, and the intermediate state. Finally, we will be inseparable in the pure realms.

“Nowadays, if you speak the truth, nobody listens.If you lie, everyone thinks it’s the truth. I have never said       this before: I am not an ordinary person. I am a bodhisattva who has been born by aspiration. My suffering in this body is the remains of my karma, but from now on I will not have to experience karmic obscurations.

“Now is a critical time. In these last days, the barbarians are close to destroying the Dharma, so there is no point   in my taking rebirth. From now on, I will not take rebirth in impure realms. It is said that it is the nature of enlightened beings to appear continually until the end of time, staying in pure realms and benefiting beings with miraculous emanations by the power of prayer.

“Now, the illness from which I suffered is completely healed. I have no suffering at all. Day and night I only see visions of realization: rainbow light, spheres of light, forms of buddhas, and pure realms.

“Now I definitely will not stay, or take rebirth, I have to go to Shambhala, in the north.”

On his last day, the 29th day of the fourth month, Dzogchen Rinpoche and I arrived early and found the remains of Mipham Rinpoche seated upright in the vajra posture with his hands in the mudras of meditation and teaching the Dharma. We stayed with him while he abided in the expanse of the original ground. In the presence of many miraculous   signs, Mipham Rinpoche spoke the words “rainbow body vajra” three times before he dissolved into space like a rainbow just as the sun rose.

This is just a rough idea of Mipham’s outer biography, with no mention of his inconceivable inner and secret biographies. In general, Jamgon Mipham was renowned as a great scholar and meditator who had crossed the ocean of hearing, contemplating, and meditating.In his realization and activity he was no different from Manjushri,Vajrapani, and so on. For a being such as this, seeing deities and displaying miracles is not unusual. Here I have recounted just what I heard myself, without exaggerating or minimizing anything.

This was written by Samantabhadra Dharmakirti.

This was translated and adapted from Samantabhadra Dharmakirti’s short biography of Jamgon Mipham, found in Mipham’s collected writings, by Lhobpon Rechungpa and Eric Forgeng, during the teaching of the Beacon of Certainty at Tashi Choling, in the Spring of 2003.          
© 2003 Mipham Shedra http://www.miphamshedra.org/bioJuMipham.html
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The Essential Songs of Milarepa

Standaard

Rhymed and Classified in a Practical Order

I. Songs About Impermanence

1. Suffering of Birth
In the Bardo state the wanderer Is the Alaya. It stays nowhere, Driven by one’s own sorrow, It enters a womb unknown. Therein it feels like a fish Caught into crevice of rock, Sleeping in blood red and pus yellow, In all discharges it must pillow. Crammed in filth, it suffers pain, From bad karma one is to gain, Though remembering past lives, It cannot count four or five. Now scorched by heat, Now cold it does meet. For nine months it remains, In the womb with all pains, From womb by pliers as if pulled out, Head is squeez’d but safety is nought, Like being thrown into a bramble, When it bears all of a-tremble, Its body on mother’s lap with sorrow,It feels gripped by a hawk like a sparrow. When his body blood and dirt is cleansed, Like flayed alive its pains increas’d, When umbilical cord is being cut, It feels as if the spine does jut, When wrapped in the cradle, It feels bound by a girdle. He who realizes not the truth of non-born Never can escape from birth to be grown.

2. Suffering of Old-Age
When one’s body has been brought To be frail and all worn out, It dislikes old-age, There is of this no doubt. One’s straight body becomes bent, Steps are not firm and patent. Black hairs turn white, Arms have no might. One’s eyes grow dim, Ears are not keen. The head shakes, Pale are cheeks. Blood becomes dry, One feels to die. One’s nose will sink in, Teeth can’t chew anything. Losing control of tongue, Sweet sugar isn’t fun. One gathers foods and wine, But one can’t keep them fine. Trying not to suffer anymore, One only gets suffering in store. When one is told the Truth, But one’s faith is not growth, Though one has some kinsmen, They all his foes become. Though he hears some teaching, But nothing is changing, Unless one realizes the Truth of non-decay, He has to suffer old-age and not be gay.

3. Suffering of Sickness
Besides sickness old man has nothing to gain.From three main kinds of illness one suffers pain.The blood pressure does so increase,Troubles of organs can not release,In a safe easy bed, day and night,The sick person feels no comfort nor might,But toss’s about and groans in lament,Through all the karma of defilement.Though of some best food he eats,All that he takes he vomits.When you lay him in a cool placeHis heat still does not balance. When you wrap him in some warm clothes, He feels to an icy land close. Though friends and kinsmen gather round, No one sharing his pain can be found. Though physicians are present at home, No one can free him from harm. He who learns not the truth of the sick, For the holy Dharma he has to seek.

4. Suffering of Death
To repay the compound debts, One must suffer by one’s death. Yama’s guards catch the one Whose death-time comes so soon. Rich cannot buy it off with gold, Hero cannot cut it off with sword, Neither can the clever woman outwit it by a strike Nor can learned scholar refuse it by a teaching stick. When all the big nerves converge, One is crushed when two hills merge. All visions become dim, One remains with only sin. Neither physician nor gurus can Prolong the life of the dying man. Gods and devas vanish into nought, Breath has no inhalation but out. One can but smell the dead flesh, Like a lump of coal in ash. When dying some still count the dates, Others blubber about their bad fate, Some think of losing their health, Others of their remaining wealth, One loves the dead no matter how long, He can but let the dead be alone. To throw him in water or in the fire to burn, Or buried under land, the dead will not return. He who realizes not the Truth of Death, Should prepare the Western-travel wealth.

5. Eight Similes
When painting fades, where is the Padma (Lotus) This shows all things are like the Drama, It proves their transient nature. Think, then, you will practice Dharma. The blue flower vanished fast In the winter time of the frost. It proves its transient nature. Think, then, in Dharma you trust. The flood sweeps down from the vale above, When reaching plain it no more does rove. It proves its transient nature. Think, then, you will the Dharma love. Did we not see the green rice grow? Now their hull is in vale below. It proves its transient nature. Think, then, you will believe the Law. And see the elegant silk cloth, When a knife can cut it across, It proves its transient nature. Think, then, you learn of Bodhi-Class. When you cherish the most rare gem, Soon to others it will belong. It proves its transient nature. Think, then, to practice Dharma alone. See the full moon so bright and round, Few days after it will not be found. It proves its transient nature. Think, then to find the law profound. Did you not here have a son born, Who to final rest has long gone. It proves the transient nature. Think, then, you’ll practice very soon.

6. Six Realizations Facing Death
From extreme one is liberating Like the gallant lion is lying, In the snow at ease displaying.Without fear of any kind of falling.In this View I am so trusting. To the final goal, death is so leading. Joy to him who views thus, death brings The very mild and genial big deer. Horns having “many points in one taste mere” He sleeps the plan of blissing near In the practice do I trust so dear. Death leads to the path of liberation, Death brings joy to him who is practicing. The fish occupies virtues ten, With bright eyes in colour golden, Swims in the river of active ken, In his action do I trust often. Death leads to the Path of Liberation. Death bring joy to him who is in action. The Tigress of self-mind training, With nice stripes she is adorning, The altruism is her great glory. In the woods she is straight walking. I do trust in her discipline. Death leads to the Path of Liberation. Death bring joy to him who is training. On the paper of forms positive and negative, I write a long essay with my mind meditative. In the state of non-duality I watch myself and contemplate. In such a Dharma do I trust. Death leads me to Liberate, Death brings me the delight. The purified essence of moving Energy is like an eagle flying. On its wings of skill and wisdom To the holy cause of non-being. To such attainment I am trusting. Death leads me to the Liberation. Death brings joy to meditation.

7. Yogi’s Realization Against Death
Those who practice merely with mouthTalk much, seem to know more teachings,When times comes for passing away,To the space are thrown their preachings.When the clear light naturally shines,It is cloaked by blindness of sin.The chance to see the Dharmakaya,At death is lost through one’s confusion.Even though one spends his lifeIn learning holy scripture,It helps not at the momentWhen mind takes its departure.And those yogis have not sufficient meditationMistake psychic light as sacred illumination,Cannot unify the light of mother and of son,They’re still in danger of rebirth in lower station.When your body is rightly posed,Mind absorbed in meditation,You feel that here is no more mind,Yet it’s only concentration.Like starling fly unto the vast, empty sky,Awareness as pure flower, bright lamp shining,Though, it is void, transparent & vivid,Yet it’s only a Dhyana feeling.He who is with these good foundationsPenetrates Truth with contemplation,And prays earnestly to the Three GemsThe non-ego wisdom he will win.With the life rope of deep concentrationWith the power of kindness and compassion,With altruistic vow of Bodhi-heart,He can directly get the clear vision,The Truth of the Great Enlightened Path.Nothing can be seen yet seen all things,He sees how wrong were the fears and hopes,All were in his own mind yet nothing.He reaches the pure land without arrival,Sees the Dharmakaya without seeing. Without effort naturally sees all things, Dear son, in your mind keep all my sayings.

8. On Bardo to Gampopa
The sentient beings are Samsara. All are Buddhas in Nirvana. In nature all are equal, It’s Bardo-View, Gampopa! The all manifesting red and white Wonderful mind essence how to write. All but a true non-dualistic state, It is bardo practice it’s quite right. The myriad forms of illusion, The self mind has no arising, Both are in the innate-born-state.This is the right Bardo-action. The dream through habitual thought of last evening And knowledge of non-entity of this morning They are the same in the light of Maya.This is the Bardo when you are dreaming. The five sorrows and the five Buddhas Identify in the two Karmas, Glowing and perfecting in one-ness. This is the path of Bardo-Dharma. From the skill comes the Father-Tantra, From wisdom comes the Mother-Tantra, They unite in Third Initiation Of the nature ‘tis Bardo extra. Self benefit is in Dharmakaya. While other’s are in the other two kayas. Primordially there is but only one Not three, this is the Bardo Trikaya. From the womb gate is born the impure body, From pure form is born the pure Buddha body, They are but one in the light of the Bardo. This attainment of Bardo already.

II. Songs of Renunciation

9. Worldly Arbitrations
The advisor, meditator & go-between These three persons always cause discord & pain. The free man should be like mute taking no side And on the silent mountain he should remain. Property, kinsmen and native-land, These three make one fall into Saha-realm. One who would cross the river of sin, Should cut off the long attachment-chain. Self-conceit, pretense, and tricks, These three make one’s falling quick. He who would ascend upward, Should keep his mind straightforward. Scholarship, talk and discussion, Derive from pride-causation. He who would practice the Dharma Should be humble and next to nothing. Householder, work and career, These three disturb Samadhi. He who would gain the wisdom. Should keep only his Bodhi. Master, disciple, and learning, These three may cause the more pride. He who would like the Dharma Should be humble and kiss the Rod. Sorcery, magic and To Tze, Draw a yogi to evil deeds. He who would like the Dharma Think of the sound of Jolmo birds.

10. Four Similes: To Rechungpa
Like white lion living on mountainYou should not go to the valleyLest your nice mane become sullied.To keep it in good order you shouldRemain in snowy hill as you could.Like great eagle flying above mountainIt never falls into a holeLest your wings be broken as a whole.To keep it in good order you shouldRemain in snowy mountain as you could.Like the tigress passes the mountainAnd stays only in deep forestBut on plain you’d have no rest.To keep in good order you shouldRemain in snowy hill as you could.Like the nice and golden-eye’d fishSwims only in the central sea,Lest it let the fisherman to see.To keep it in good order you shouldRemain in snowy hill as you could.

11. Things Should Be Renounced
An action without meaning, Fearless and empty talking, And the profane pretension, These three things reject the Lore: I have renounced them before. You should have these three no more. The place that’s not fixed to pray, The group that quarrels too much, The status where hypocrites stay, These three things reject the Lore. I have renounced them before. You should have these three no more. The guru with tiny learning, The pupil with poor devotion, The friend who has no discipline, These three things reject the Lore. I have renounced them before.You should have these three no more. The wife who frequently complains, The son who needs strike and blame, The servant e’er needs more to explain, These three things reject the Lore, I have renounced them before, You should have these three no more.

12. To Gampopa
When you think of delicious meal, Eat the food of Samadhi Ideal, Realize that all food is only delusion, Hold to the Dharmakaya’s meditation. When you think of your native land, Dwell on the true home being at hand. Realize that all places are only delusion Hold to the Dharmakaya meditation.When you think of jewels and corn, Compare them with the heavenly gems. Realize that money is only delusion, Hold to the Dharmakaya meditation. When you think of some companions Take wisdom as your concubines. Realize that all loves are delusions, Hold to the Dharmakaya meditation.

13. To Rechungpa: Things Should be Renounced.
A son, a wife, and flame to extreme, Are three great fetters for a yogi. The practitioner should leave them. Prestige, enjoyment and goods like gems, Are three great hinderances to a yogi, The practitioner should renounce them. Relatives, disciples, and rich patrons, Are three great obstacles to a yogi. The practitioner should forsake them. Fatigue, sleep, and spirits like gin, Are three great robbers of a yogi. The practitioner should forswear them. To chat, to joke, to entertain, Are three distractions to a yogi,The practitioner should renounce them.

14. Refuses to Help Home Affairs
On the pasture of great blessing, Immortal sheep I am herding. I have no more time to watchAnimals of just blood and flesh. I leave them, Lesembum, for you. Like mother of love and blessing, The wisdom child I am tending. So I have no other learning To tend the nose of your offspring. I leave them, Lesebum, for you! On the rock hill of non-moving Stupa of mindfulness I’m making. I have no time to manage For you to mold those clay images. I leave them, Lesebum, for you. In the prayer room of my body I am lighting my lamp of Bodhi. I have no time to get a flagstaff For hanging the print’d sutras thereof. I leave them, Lesebum, for yourself. In my Maya body, I clean my thoughts untidy, I have no time to give To clean your room and cave. I leave them all for you. Among all the worlds form and way, I am watching the Maya’s play. I have no time to wash Your bowl, cup, tray and dish. I leave them all for you.

15. Six Deceptions
Temples are like stations for driftwood, Divine life! Though priests have such mood, But it is deceptive to me. Therefore leave such companions I would. (To talk and debate without meditation Is like womens quarrel and agitation.) I’m a man who cherishes peace of mind, Abhors all gossip and accusation.(The above two lines in parentheses of the second quatrain are written by myself as a supplement to the next two lines whichwere printed in the English translation as an incomplete quatrain.) When Tomo is kindled within, Woolen clothes are of nothing, I have no need of the long robe, All house works are disheartening. When renunciation grows within, All possessions are of nothing, Of business I have no need, All wealth to me has no meaning. When perseverance grows within, Son and disciples are of nothing, I have no need of any meeting, They would reduce my devotion. When the pithy methods are working Why would one need any preaching, For it only incites one’s pride. I’ve no need of books and learning.

16. Refuse the Offering of a Horse
My big horse is the mind prana,It has a silk scarf of Dhyana.Its spine is the true magic stage,Its gem-saddle is the seat of sage.Its crupper is the secret teaching,My spurs are the three inspecting.Head-stall is the life prana fine,Forelock curl is shown as the three times,Quiet within is its adornment,Its rein shows boldly movement,Bridle is the flowing allurement,Gallops along the middle path – the spine.This yogic horse, this stead of mind,Riding it one escapes the world,Reaches to Buddha Land the same kind.I have no need of your black horse,Go your way with any joy you find.

17. Refuse the Offering of a Boat
This land of blind view and darkness Is part of three realms of heavens, Full of thorns in craving meadow, Full of mud is jealous morass, Savage is the furious hatred, While pride is the sloping steepness. I have crossed the river four, And reach the Buddha Pureland shore, I’ve used the leather of Bodhi And made my boat hidden no more. I am a craftsman of deep faith, Use the dye of non-lust for form With thread and rope of devotion And three bindings as the anchor. Your boat I have no desire for, Dear patron, please leave me and go.

18. Refuse the Offering of a Wife
The lust-free Sunyata is the woman, Her compassionate face is so clement, The deep loving kindness is in her smile, Her dress is of red and white elements, Uses non-discrimination as her girdle, The non-duality as her ornament. Her white necklace shows the many-in-one, And the four blisses are her adornments. She is such a beautiful Dakini. Her real cause is the true accomplishment. This is my lovely holy companion I have no interest in your woman.

19. Refuse the Offering of Temple
Unborn-mind is the Temple I dwell with, Its top is the prana without moving. I create the pillars of reality, On the base of immutability. The crescent symbolizes growing yoga, While the great sun denotes perfect yoga,On the ground of my warm meditation, I draw an altar of observation. All the lovely flowers in my garden Are my practices of illumination. Encircling the pagoda of Virtues Is the ditch of Sunyata absorption. This is my great yogic monastery, Your worldly temple to me is of nothing.

20. Yogic Necessity
Because I fear the great rain, I seek for house to remain in, Sunyata is my good house, I find joy where I maintain. Because I fear the cold, I seek for clothes to hold, The inner fire is my dress, I find warm enough and bold. Because I fear being poor, I seek money out of doors, But find gems within, Myself is the donor. Because I fear great hunger, I seek for some food and beg, Samadhi is a good food, I feel hungry no longer. Because I fear the thirst, I seek for something to drink. Mindfulness is a good wine, I need nothing else to think. Because I fear being lonesome, I seek for a friend handsome. The void-bliss is the best one, I need no sweet friend to come. Because I fear going astray, I seek path which will not betray. I find the short path is two-in-one, I am not afraid to lose my way.

21. Yogic Possessions
The Alaya is my good earth, The secret teaching is the seed, Merits of Samadhi do sprout, The Buddha is the fruit indeed. These four are my holy formings, Your worldly ones are deceiving. You are only a slave laborer, I discard it without thinking. Sunyata is the warehouse, Supramundane is the gem, Virtues are the act and service, From non-outflow one is to gain. These four gems are property, Your worldly ones are empty, By magic spell you are cheated, I dislike and discard it. Buddha and Dakini are my parents, The immaculate Dharma is my face, The Sangha assembly is my kinsmen, And protectors all are of the same race. All these four are my holy family, Your worldly kinsmen are not like my grace. They all are deceitful and delusive, Without hesitation I do displace. The blissful brightness is my background, The blissful passing is my father, The two-in-one feeling is my skin, The experiences are my shirt and garter. All these four are my holy wives. Your worldly companions are delusive, They always are inclined to quarrel, I leave them who are so aggressive. The mindfulness is my new born baby, Merits of Dhyana are my infants, Comprehension is my lovely child Law-keeper is my youth-like pendant, These four are my holy good sons.Your worldly offspring are of nothing They are deceitful and delusive, Without delay I leave them as sin.(Some additional songs of the above two classifications, Impermanence and Renunciation, were selected and translated by me and may be found in my booklet New No. 95, “Milarepa: His Personal Teaching of Renunciation “)

III. Songs About Precepts

22. Some Things Should Be Forbidden
Become a Buddha if you will,Crave nothing, even a pill,Lest you should fall into a trap,And wander between good and evil.To your Guru when you serve,Don’t think you are the server,He is the one who enjoys,Or wishes will be fulfilled never.When you observe the precept Tantric,Don’t unite with those persons erotic,Lest you should be influenced by evil,And break all the precepts at any risk.When you engage in study and learning,Attach not mere words with proud feeling,Else dormant fire of passion might blaze,Your good thoughts and deeds be consuming.When you practice with a friend,Don’t keep many things at hand,Lest your virtuous deeds will ceaseAnd your devotion will end.When you practice the path of form,From the tradition of our home,Don’t curse ghosts of any personLest you should be troubled by demons.When you have got some experienceDon’t use power nor prophecy,Lest your secret words should be lostAnd lose all merits and mercy. Commit not evil deeds, Eat not beguiling foods, Be not burdened by the dead, Utter not the sweet words, Always be humble and modest, Thus reach the goal you would.

23. Fear Samsara and Keep Precepts
Alas! Is not Samsara like the sea,Drawing as much water as one can see,It remains the same without decreasing.Are not the great Three Gems like Sumeru,Can’t be shaken by pupils or Guru?Is not Samaya like a feather?No one cares if its sheds further,Are not monks rules like lepers corpse?Lying by road without concourse.Is not badger’s skin laid over seatsLike thorns pricking the eminent priests?Isn’t it true if people think of their guruIt is meaningless to lose their rules?Isn’t it true that monks along the lineAll ignore their good discipline?Bandits intimate with yoga we have known,Why should a yogi live in a town?Most people crave for rebirth and Bardo,Why cling to so many pupils they do.Are woolen clothes in the next life so dear?Why then those women do make so much here?Do people fear the samsara being vacant?Why then laymen and monks want more infants?Are you keeping food for your next life,Why then men do not like to give?Is there any trouble in heaven above,Why such a goal, men do not love?Is that any job below in hell?Why so many people like it so well?Do you know that all sufferingIn lower realms is due to sin, Hence all merits you should practice, When death comes you will have peace.

24. To Lesebum: How to Practice Without Mistakes.
To serve a Lama without compassion, Is like worshipping one eyed demon. He and patron will get a lot of sin. Practicing Dharma without Bodhi-heart Is the selfish delusion of a fool, It will intensify the greed and hate. To give alms without equality, Is like paying back for someone’s feast, It will notify more hopes and To make offerings to the wrong person, Is like giving to money-imposter. It will bring more misery and poison. To give charity without compassion, Is like tying oneself to a pillar. It will bind one tighter without rising. Bearing a high view without practice, Is like a swagger bragging about, It will lose all one’s virtues and peace. To meditate without knowing the way, Is like conjuring a black magic horse, The false win will soon be spent away. Act in many ways without good Karma, Is like mad man coming from a hot spring, The more act the more apart from Dharma. Live a luxurious life with desires, Is like a nice silk dress but with stinking smell. It will be blamed but not any one admire. Attainment mix’d conceit and desire, Is like the children’s toy made of clay. It will soon be broken back into mire.

25. The Six Essential Precepts
He who though he’s mastered his semenAnd gained the power of attraction,If he relies on no Dakini Should not practice love-meditation. Such Karma mudra is dangerous, Like climbing a hill’s culmination. Unless he has great compassion And a vivid Yidam of Tantra For the purpose of law and men, Should not use the harmful Mantra. Nor should he practice healing yoga, Lest he be born as a ghost extra. Even if he’s mastered the prana-mind, If he can’t work through bodily power, And has no full attainment of maya, He should not bring a corpse in prayer Lest he should provoke the bad Dakini And get only trouble to himself forever. Except to one’s own Vajra Brother And qualified guru as Father, One should not reveal one’s experience To devotees of other parties Lest he should lose all his great power And get no power further. Secret instructions you should not give To those whose talent you observe, Having or not permit from above. But for the sake of one’s golden calf To those who ask you blindly give, Thus you’ll fall into sinful cave. If one is unable to be converted, One should not perform a fire pujaOr other tantric ritual In town or village as a drama. These should be performed only in Hermitage, for it is a Secret Dharma.

26. Three Occasions for Miracles
To convert the impious person, To get better meditation, To identify the three Siddhis, Except for these, there is no permission.

27. The Ten Difficulties
If a Buddhist be without benevolence How can he convert beings as Reverence? If spiritual longing he does not retain, How can merits for sentient beings he attain? If a great yogi has no perseverance, How can he get attainment and experience. If monks keep not the rules, How can they be a Guru? If a yogi violates Samaya, How can he obtain the Trikaya? If a Patron be lustful and mean, How can he get good repute and win? If a yogi talks nonsense, How can he be the great Reverence? If one acts with no virtue or good Karma, He will never know the truth of Dharma. If a trusted Lama becomes tired, He will find it hard to be admired. Though now you have faith to practice Dharma. Later you regret if not good learner.

28. Forget Not What Should Be Done
BeforeBefore faith and yearning arise for the law, Begging alms for enjoyment is not allowed. Before you have realized Primordial Truth, Boast not of sublime philosophy or rules. Before you have mastered the awareness, Engaged not in the foolish acts of blindness. Before you can be fed with sermons, Be not involved in wicked occultism. Before you can explain the teaching profound, By patriarchal knowledge you shouldn’t be harmed. Before you can increase your repute, Other goodness you should not dispute. Before you can destroy your craving within, Trust not charity as if ‘tis your right thing. Before you can stop habitual thought, Guess not when your prediction is brought. Before you have gained supreme attainment, Assume not you are a venerable Saint.Before you can master all practices and rules, Consider not you may now leave your Guru.

29. How to Get Sufficient Cause for Accomplishment
If there be neither karma nor condition held,In this life one would not obtain the Buddhahood. He who cannot put all trust in his teacher,Should not expect care & blessings in future. He who cannot satisfy his students,Should not expect to get good attendants. He who cannot master his own mind, No hope to lead others could he find. He who cannot hold the lineage tradition, There is no hope to get the realization.He who does not practice with great diligence, No hope to get the Buddha-like reverence.He who has not cut the bonds of duality,Can’t expect great compassion and reality. He who reveres not the chain of clinging,Should not expect an all-free-view teaching. He who has not seen self-mind in nakedness, Cannot behold the true nature in brightness. He who does not cleanse the evil purulenceShould not expect the unceasing experience. He who destroys not the attachment, hence, Expects not relaxation of the six sense.He who is not skilled in the voidness Samadhi, Cannot get the real omnipresence of Bodhi.He whose subtle sorrows still maintain,Has no trikaya to obtain.He whose moral rules have not been observed, Immediate happiness will not deserve.He whose two Sambharas have not been held. Should not expect to obtain Buddhahood.He who obeys not the guru father,Shouldn’t expect to guide all the brothers.He whose awareness has not been mastered fine,Should not expect the freedom from ghost divine. All appearance he cannot master and win, Should not expect to govern those three realms. He who has not transcended the mundane level, Should not cherish the “no good and no evil”. The yogi who a temple is leading Should not neglect rules and discipline. Knowing not the stages of experience principle, Should not try to check those practice of disciple.Without fulfilling practice of the instruction, Can’t expect in Bardo to gain Liberation. If precepts have not been observed in perfect form,One’s wishes will never be easily performed. He whose samaya rules have not been well observed.Protection by Bho Wa, Bho Mo is not deserved. He who obtains not the essence of holy scripture, Should not neglect the words and the symbol nature. If one has no five powers so fine, Should not be proud of external signs. If real experience one’s not able to find, He shouldn’t neglect to control his mind. IV. Songs About Paramitas

30. Six Paramitas: To Lodum.
Wealth is but a cause of diversion.He who can give all his wealth away,A prince of Heaven will be and stay.Noble is he to practice such teachingPrecepts which lead to the Liberation.He who does keep all the disciplinesTo lower state will never be falling.Noble is he to follow the great teaching,Patience is so good a Virtue.Buddha cherishes it very much,It is like armour of a soldier.All merits grown, no demons touch,Diligence makes the great path short,Without it nothing can be done,He who, day and night keeps it on,He is riding a horse to start. Meditation is between two, Deep wisdom and Merit too. All distractions can overcome Without practice it is who? Wisdom approach to the reality A treasure of Buddha and deity. He enjoys it without exhaustion Fulfills all wishes in his exertion. V. Songs About Meditation & Mahamudra

31. Exhortation about the Mind
Great is the skillful Tantric path, And the gurus pithy Instructions, Constancy and resolution. These three are most important things. Keep life prana at the key point, Mind-essence in natural state, Let all thoughts under self control. These three are the entering gate. Fulfill the precepts of Guru, Obtain the heart wishes of achievement, And self sacrifice without effort. These three are the great accomplishment. Outer demons and hindrance disappear, Inner desires and lust are no more, No disorder or ill of body These three absences one should adore. The skill and renounce in speech, And that of my eloquence, Knowledge of nature and mind, These three are my proficiencies. Clearly I see bliss is void of substance, Clearly I see things without difference, Clearly I see them appear beyond words. These three are the sights of experience When there is the Dharma meeting, Means and joy are too gathering, And all Dakinis congregate.These three are the holy assembly. These twenty-one mental exhortations Are consequence of my meditation. All Dharma seekers should respect them, My followers should pay more attention.

32. How to Settle Your Mind
How to settle your own mind at rest, The secret lies in letting go, Making no strain, doing nothing, Like sleeping child you should do so. Like calm ocean without waves, Like a brilliant lamp without wind, Rest your mind in peace. Like corpse without pride, Rest it steadfastly. Like sea without tide, Free from any kind of grind. Do you know how thought arises? Like dream is without substance, Like the vast sunless heaven, Moons seen in outer distance, Like the rainbow of maya, We could not find certain source. When the light of wisdom shines, They disappear, no more trace. Do you know how to cope with thoughts? Try to see the versatile clouds, Yet from sky they are not apart, Try to see the waves of the sea, Yet from sea they are not apart. Try to see the heavy thick fog, Yet from air it is not apart. Thus the frantic runs in nature. Yet from nature it is not apart. He who can weigh the awareness, Will know mind is rising in breath. He who seeks sneaking thoughts like thieves, Will know to watch this subtle mischief.He who finds the thought running outside, Knows the simile of dove and boat in tide. Do you know how to act and comprehendLike a bold lion, a drunken elephant, Shadow in mirror and lotus in mud? Thus you may act the same yet different. Do you know how to get the attainment, Dharmakaya gained in non-discernment, Sambhogakaya through the blissfulness,Nirmanikaya – one ray of enlightenment, Shajakaya through the innateness. Of these four ones I have the achievement.

33. Instructions of Meditation
Realizing not the Truth of many-in-one, If you are meditating in the great light, You have only kept the cling-view on. Realizing not the unity of void and bliss, Even though you may meditate on void, You could only practice like the nihilist. If you can’t keep meditation At anywhere and in any time You are still in delusion. If you realize not the plain-mind, Your practice is not of non-duality, And non-effort you will not find. Knowing not that self mind has no existence, Even if you practice non-discernment, Your effort is still not in transcendence. If your renunciation could not be found, Your actionless-state of meditation By the worldly hopes and fears is still bound. Knowing not how to refuse and hold, All doing surely will enmesh In the toils and molts of the world.

34. Advising Rechungpa To Train His Mind
Hard horn and solid wood Can be bound if one tries,But the harsh mind in moodHard to bind even you would.Tiger in south, yak in northCan be tamed if you tried,But pride of mind and mouthHard to tame even non-sloth.Hills and rocks, here and there,Both may meet without care.But the foe of mindHard to know, comes from where.Queens and kings, laws and cause,Can be avoided if you tried,But no one can evadeYama the Lord of Death.Mice in hole, bird in skyCan he catch by and by.Hard is to catch the mindAnd its fault e’en you try.The Dharma to speculateMay be done and ne’er late,But the self-mind to be void,Must try to meditate.Our father & motherMay be left if one tried,Evil is hard to leave,How change with fine feather?Jewels and house and ground,May be renounced if one tried,But the craving of pleasureIs hard to be voided.Even a lovely sweet-heartMay be left if one triedBut to leave soft warm bed,It is very very hard.

35. Some things Should Be Forbidden
When One is Practising MeditationWhen in the realm that is beyond,Do not let the playwords appear;Lest you should become very proud, It is good to let your mind be clear. When self liberation happens, Engage not in speculation, Lest meaningless acts be fallen, You have to keep meditation. When you hold to the void nature, Think of not many from the one, Lest you have to fall in future, Rest it at ease and keep it on. When mahamudra in practicing, You should leave the virtuous deed & speech, Lest your wisdom should increase nothing, Rest in non-act-state as our Teacher. When revelation is disclosed, Don’t be conceited or overjoyed, Care of the wolf in sheep’s clothing, Rest in non-act-state as a boy. When mind unites with conditions, Stir not worldly attachment, Lest you should lose meditation Rest in the state of non-movement.

36. Daily Life Meditation; To Rechungpa
Your old father sometimes sleeps But in sleeping he still keeps The sleep light in the darkness. May you all share the brightness. Your old father sometimes eats, Him, there is no food to cheat. Uses the food as the Homa [fire puja], Practices are all in Dharma. Your old father sometimes walks, At Truth in all steps he looks, Thought there is only space found, But all Buddhas he circles round.

37. To Dhampa Sanji [Padampa Sangye], Relieving All Sorrows
When demons come to harm you, Be aware, it is the timeTo apply your power prime. When pain and sickness harm you, Be aware, it is the time To keep your heart in good rhyme. Whenever delusion rises, Be aware, it is the time, Transmute it to the sublime. When lying in a place alone, Be aware, it is the good time To rest in your natural quiet clime. When mingling with many people, Be aware, it is the good time To bring all to the stage prime. When you come to drowsiness, Be aware, it is the time, Utter a PAI [Phe] to this crime, When any kind thought disturbs you, Be aware, it is the time, To lead it to the sublime. When mind runs after anything, Be aware, it is the time, To observe the suchness kind. This teaching of relieving sorrows Turns all opponents to good fellow, Whatever thought rises, you feel but joy, Whatever ill comes, you can employ. Whatever encounters make you feel gay, Whenever death comes, you go best way. This teaching makes all sorrows relieved, By Dorje Chang this law is to give. It is Dakinis life and heart, It is essence of fourth tantric part. It is the pith of the whispered school, It is the key to essential rules.

38. Mahamudra Instruction
I the Buddhist yogi see the essence By just gazing nakedly upon it. I see it beyond play words as the sky, By letting it go, I see the reality.I realize the voidness nature of things, By resting at ease in its entirety, I relax, relax and come to the nature, I let go, let go, come to purity.

39. Four Key Points of Mahamudra
Manifestation is the mind, Mind is the entity of light, Light is without any conception, These are the keypoints of the view bright. Delusion is the Dharmakaya, Awareness is the bright Tathata, In which there is no need of acting. This is the main practical data. In nature there is no good to do, Nor is there any evil to forbid, The void entity ne’er be disturbed, Such action is very good indeed. There is no samsara to renounce, Nor is Nirvana to attain, Just know yourself as the real Truth, It is the consequence you will gain.

40. Four Yogas of the Mahamudra
To cling is the cause of Samsara, To realize non-clinging is Nirvana, Which is the stage of perfect unborn. This is one main point of Mahamudra. Talks about two-in-one but seats on non-form, Talks about karma but commits no good, He is meditating on the blindness, In the true one-point there is no such mood, Realize non-clinging of the Vidya. In the natural bliss without playwords One sees the sign as clear as the sky, He would never be cheated afterwards. Talks about non-playwords, He still puts words on words, He sits with self-clinging,But there is no such records. Form and nature have no difference, Samsara, nirvana are the same, Buddha and men are in the one-ness, Sign of one-taste not mere names. Talks about that all-in-one He is still in duality. But in the stage of one-taste There is no such duality. Thought itself is the essence of wisdom Cause and effect both in the same kingdom, Trikaya are within one’s own body, This is the non-practice one should go on. Talks about the stage of non-practice, His mind is in the activity. He is still in the realm of darkness, But this stage is in bright reality.

41. View, Practice, Action and Consequence of the Mahamudra
Because I see the real face of the view,All the contrasting thoughts are dissolved,Hence I’ve no two kinds of ideas of old or new,The right view is void of others and self.When the practice is based on the one-point,There’s no nuance between evil and good.I have no two kinds of feeling joy or pain,The practice is void of feeling and mood.When I adhere to natural action,Like or dislike have no difference.I have neither craving nor hatred,The action is free from reference. As the consequence is of nature, Nirvana and Samsara are one. I have neither getting nor losing The result has nothing to be done.

42. Missings of View, Practice, Action and Consequence
The view is the wisdom of voidness,The practice is the light of non-clinging,The act is the holy play without lust,The fruit is nude of immaculation.Don’t miss the view through words and thoughts,Words alone can never be free from ego,The true knowledge should be gained within,To strive for the true one you should go.Don’t miss the practice by mere Dhyana,Concentration can’t lead to the freedom,Your wisdom should shine out within yourself,You should work hard in the mental kingdom.Don’t miss the action by your idle talk,You should be disgusted by worldly desire,They differ from the Tantric method,Unless you make them as aid, admired.Don’t miss the nude fruit by ignorance,When your delusive thought appears,Hard efforts bring only little result,You should strive for the true experience

43. Errors in the View, Practice, Action and Consequence
When you deepen the view profound, Be not misled by the knowledge, Chatter not about the voidness, Before you have awareness found. Though all things manifest as an echo, Yet they have their certain correspondence, Virtuous Karma should ne’er be neglected, Neither you should hold to them with ego. Revile not others with bigotry, Cling not to yourself fixed idea,First realize the true self nature,Then root up all the errors here. Before the great light shines forth, Cling not to the joy and voidness, Though you know all things are empty, Ne’er wallow in the happiness. Things themselves are empty, To which one should not grasp, Lest you stray in haveness, Which shuts the void with clasp. When one gets some worldly bliss, One’s thought will hold it and stay, Attached to such an ecstasy, He is troubled and goes astray. Before realization shines holy bliss, And five sense[s] get their special experiences, Engage not in anomalous methods, Lest you go astray out of ordinance. Besides the attainment of saving beings, One should not seek Buddhahood elsewhere, Before the essence of self-mind is seen, Take care of falling into hope and fear. Should you think of your body like Buddha, Ne’er deem it as that of Nirvana, Should your thoughts vanish out in reality, But never treat it as well as entity. The great merits and Pure Land Are manifested by wisdom, Never should one regard them As things in the Saha kingdom.

44. Subdue the Vinayoga
The snow lions paws are never frozen,If frozen, of what is it called King.He who has the three perfect powersAmong all the beasts, he is the best being.The eagle never falls down from the sky,If so, would not it be absurd and shy,As iron block cannot be cracked,If so diamond may be broken. Should one fear demons and evils, If so what is the Bodhi – wills, The foes of the right Dharma-demons, I really have pleasure to welcome. And pray you to stay here for a night long, Listen my sermon you would not be gone.

45. The Six Similes of Meditation
If there be obstacles, it is not space, If there be numbers, it is not stars, If there is a deep mountain Without shake it should maintain If there is the great ocean, No different drops should be mentioned. If one needs a bridge to pass, Not a true swimmer he is, If it is a rainbow, To grasp it, who and how? VI. Songs About Vajra Love

46. Answer to Dakini Tzerima
I have mastered energy and mind,May accept the mudra of your kind.’Tis true, among many offerings,Most fruitful is mudra we could find.Your face and lotus is full of bliss,Shell shaped nadi speeds the ecstasy,Protective mark is in your recess,Through elephant get true fantasy.You are the noble body of longevityBHAM and E shapes are in your lotus secret,And in my Dorje there is a Bija HUM,When combined with PAD as the semen great,Wisdom and merit both joined together.The Bliss of two-in-one thus dictatesThe four blisses and four moments areThe essence of the four Buddhakaya.Like the crawling of a tortoise,Should drop down slowly without loss,Then hold it in the channel central Like the camel with water control. When you spread all bliss in your body, The liberating mudra is ready: TIA is the bliss of equality, LE is Nirvana of reality. LA means the various coitus actions, KYI is the twixt bliss meditation, PHYAG is the intercourse this and that RGYA, Nirvana and samsara unite. LA is to contact this and act on that, KYI is do this and that and associate. PHYAG is the union of voidness and bliss, RGYA is the one beyond which nothing could pass. This is the most speedy path of union Which is blissful in both companions. Enable us to quickly be enlightened In illumination of wisdom, Leading to the great Dharmakaya, Obtaining great Sambhogakaya, Manifesting Nirmanakaya. This is a path of bliss and voidness Of no thought of no duality. This is a path of assistance By the Dakini to the reality. Following this good inspiring way Four Ladies you will in freedom stay, And remain in the realm of non-born Oh! Fairies you are always welcome.

47. To Dharma Bodhi
When the five mothers of five wonderful nerves Meet the father of five pure energies, The five sons of pure elements are born The five purities of true nature come. In middle nerve of palace beyond, The victory Buddha with great pleasure Shouts to the wombs of the four rainbow chakras, Gives the order of non-grasp non-pressure.By realizing all forms are the truth,I have held the mind as my wife’s face, So none of sentient beings of the world Are apart from embrace of true race. This is my companion the Bodhi-heart, Happy is this consort, never depart. VII. Songs About Recapitulation48. Six Gatherings Pious people are gathered in day time, Lovely Dakinis come at night. In morning tonic foods are brought, Evening dress need not be sought, In my soul turns Bodhi wheel, might Outer world and my mind unite.49. Six Goodness Good is the view of Mahamudra, Good is the practice of six yoga[s], Good is the profound love-vajra, Good is the last aim of Trikaya, Good is the deep grace of Kagyupa, Good are the instructions of Marpa.

5O. Six Guides
He dispels the dark and saves the blind, The accomplished guru is the guide. For fearing, craving, no clothes to hide, Free from both cold and warm is the guide. To grasp the darkness of Bardo of the blind, The yogic transformation is the great guide. To show the great path through all Buddhist lands, The master of prana-mind is the guide. Offering one’s body like words elide, The teaching of non-ego is the guide. The meditator who is in cave to hide, Leads himself to enlightenment is the guide.

51. Good Companions
The Dakini, Buddha and GuruAre the three for prayer in good rule.Buddha, Dharma and Sangha threeAre the refuges like a great tree.The Sutra, Tantra and Sastra,Are the three to which you should trustPrana, Bindu and all NadisAre the three for tantric practice.Bliss, Illumination and Non-thoughtAre three for meditation should be taught.Piety, Pure Thought and CompassionAre of Bodhi-path these three things.Bha Wa, Bho Mo and the Guards,To safety these are three guides,(Bha Wa is protective hero, Bha Mo – heroine)

52. Nobilities in Similes
Sitting on sun and moon, my gurusOf the succession are on my head.They are like a string of dear jewels.My mind has been blessed and so glad.The three great precious gemsE’er protect me and help,I am like their babyFed on his mother’s lap.On my right are the HeroesWho dispel all my hindrance,Like shades covering my headThere are my trusted reliances.On my left are the HeroinesWho bless me with great two Siddis,They are mother and sister,Embrace me like pagoda.Before me are the powerful guardsWho carry out all my ordersThey are like obedient servantsOften with me like my shadow.My view on truth is the great perfectionWith which I enlarge the Hinayana.It is like bold lion strutting in snow Fearless as I in the Vajrayana. My practice of wisdom and skill Is like the great eagles’ mighty wings With which I rear into heaven Without any fear or any falling. My action is full of strength and valour, There’s no more distraction or drowsiness. It is like a Tiger stalking in mood, Bold is he without dread or fearfulness. Having obtained the Trikaya, I save all beings with transformation, Like a golden fish that plays with glee In water he has no need of exertion. I am the yogi Milarepa, who From one retreat wanders to another, I am like the wild beasts who live In the mountains without flutter.

53. Every Man Needs Dharma
Superior men need Dharma,Without it they are like eagles,Even though perched on highThey have no meaning but wriggle.Average men have need of Dharma,Without it they are like Tiger,Though possessing great powerThey are of the earthly eager.Inferior men need Dharma,Without it they are like asses,Though they can carry a big loadBut no keen wisdom they possess.Superior women need Dharma,Without it are like pictures on wall,Though they could look so prettyBut no use neither great nor small.Average women need Dharma,Without it they are like the mouse,They are clever to get good food, But only a little thing in mouth. Inferior women need Dharma, Without it they are like vixens, Though they are so deft and cunning They have no value to listen. Old men have need of Dharma, Without it they are like old tree All youth have need of Dharma, Without it like bull not free. Young maidens need of Dharma Without it like the nice cows. All young people need Dharma, Without it like shutting flowers. All children have need of Dharma, Without it they will meet Demon. Everyone has need of Dharma, Without it no fruit or blossom. Those who want to live with meaning Should practice the Buddhas teaching.

54. flow to Gain Happiness & Avoid Suffering
He who knows his own nature imminentIs ever glad.He who knows not the truth & wrongly actsIs ever sad.He who is pure & in the nature restsIs ever glad.He who’s impulsed by objects and lust subjectsIs ever sad.He who knows all things are the Dharmakaya,Free from fear, hope and doubts, is ever glad.He who is impatient, talkative and rash,Being cheated by worldly desire, is ever sad.He who knows all things are his mind,Meets whoever is friendly is ever glad.He who squanders his life away,Buried in remorse is ever sad,He who has a perfect realization,At ease, in self-proved truth is ever glad. He who is enslaved by endless desires, And is always longing is ever sad. He who is freed from all forms and effort, And full of experience is ever glad. He who merely follows symbols and words, And never reflects his mind is ever sad. He who renounces all worldly things, Free from worry is ever glad. He who stores up grain and cherishes The women and kinsmen is ever sad. He who discards all those worldly ties, Knowing all is magic, is ever glad. He who sensualizes his body and mind, Often diverting himself is ever sad. He who rides the horse of diligence To the freedom land is ever glad. He who swears to practice the Dharma But still has sinful deeds is ever sad. He who leaves all this and that behind Practises pure Dharma is ever glad. (He who gets all this and that ahead And practices bad karma is ever sad) (The last two sentences were left out by the English translator).

55. The Conditions of Disciple to be Accepted
If faith rises from your heartAnd you take no heed of worldly gain,If you really want to follow me,Cut off the hindrance of kinsmen.Think that they are devils,Quench your craving for them,Money and food are the devil’s envoys,To unite with them is pernicious.They are still objects to hinder you,You must renounce them and all other things,Delight in pleasure is the devil’s rope,Cut off all desires is my only hope.Your partner is the devil’s tempting net,Watching the delusion you should not let. Native land is the devil’s dungeon, Falling in there is no religion. To escape and strive for the Dharma, Take the instant action you try, then In time your body of illusion will decay. ‘Tis better to practice Dharma without delay. Darting birds of mind will fly up anyway. ‘Tis better to the Pure Land wing your way. If you believe and follow what I have said, A worthy Dharma vessel you are so made, All pithy instructions & profound teaching Will be imparted and benediction be laid. My son! This is the start Of course on the Bodhi-way, You should be glad to go, I’m also very gay!

56. Guides Samadhi is the guide to know
The mind nature is like the sky, Who realizes one’s body is the Temple Knows the path and will be not shy. The steady faith is the guide to know Mundane and un-mundane are one, And that the four Buddha bodies Exist in merely one’s mind own. Non-clinging to objects is the guide, Six senses turn all hindrance into helpness. Hence one should be free from all dualities And reach the other shore of happiness. The upright Acarya is the guide Who clears away your doubts and clearly One should serve his Guru as Buddha, Happy is he holding mind freely. This cotton clothing is the guide That protects me in snowy mountain. Better to lie naked in snow Neither heat nor cold to retain.Identifying and transforming And Unities, all three are the guide That can crush all fears of Bardo, Life and death are freed from both sides. The path of the whispered is the guide, Distinguishes the legal from the illegal. Ones life prana goes to the central nerve Hence his mind and body have been settled well. Voidness and Compassion are the guide, One cuts off the jargon and play words. Surrounded by many enlightened beings, He will win more disciples afterwards.

57. Practical
Times When lying down in the bed, let Your mind unite with Avidya not. Recite mantra at evening,Pray to the holy one at night. At midnight meditate on Truth, When day breaks, prana to practice. Repent of evils in the noon When sun rises unite mind with forms.

58. The Most Important Things to Know
It is most important to knowThe rainbow-like Buddha body Is void yet appears then and now,It is most important to find. The devils have no-existence,They are [a] magic form of your mindIt is most important a rulePay your respects to the oneWho is the gracious Guru.It is most important to fearThe endless and useless worldlyAffair which should be renounced here.It is most important to noticeThe great Tomo and blissful hardwork Which is in the pure prana practice.It is most important to uniteDream yoga with illusory body,And practice them in day time and night.It is most important to awakeOn the Dhyana of great symbolFor the enlightened essence sake.It is most important to careThe instruction of “cutting through”,For the manifesting affair.It is very important thingTo have the pity and voidnessToward the unawakened being.It is important to be freedFrom many of those hopes & fearsIt is the Dharmakaya creed.

VIII. Songs About Realization

59. The Joys
My body is the holy mandalaWherein resides the Buddhas of all times,I offer all need and attachment,Happy am I without material crime.All beings are latent Buddhas,All realms are [a] self-created palaceWhatever I do is a playOf this Dharmakaya race,Wherever I stay is Pure LandWhich is Buddha’s holy place,Whomever I’m with are divinesI see them to interlace.With wisdom I am happyTo go outside to solace.On the paper of red and white forcesI use the ink of the true wisdomTo write the words and signs of five sensesThen become the Dharmakaya, the formsHappy and foolish book can’t harm.All sentient beings in SamsaraHave “thatness” but realize it not,Set in Samadhi of Trikaya Happy am I who feels death is nought.

60. To Bodhi-Dharma
Five twisted nadis are straightened by prana practice, Five moving pranas are straightened in taming peace, Five sullied elements are burned out, Wind in the central nerve become nought, No-errant thoughts, no necessity for me, To entangle my self with whatever may be.

61. Merit of Milarepa
Shown Rechungpa Sun and Moon on the tip of my ears Shines as radiant rainbow and reveal here,This union of wisdom and meritThis proves my steadfast right reality. Look, it is like watching the play goats, How it compares with worldly records. The five color rays from my nostrils Stream like many jeweled threads,They are the essence of marvel sounds Show my mastery prana profound, Through the Vajra reciting yoga It proves that my life force is prolonged. A red lotus opens in my mouth, Consonant and vowels are to touch, They go round and shine without limit, They are the symbol of vajra teaching, Beholding them with many earnest eyesRealize all Dharma is my speech. Look, it is like watching the play goats, How can it compare with worldly records From the center my heart streams,Glowing many holy bright beams This shows immutable Trikaya Void and mercy both are in dream Look! It is like watching the play goats, How can it compare with worldly records!

62. Bodily Altar
In secret wheel dwells Dorje Dangi With his retinue, Favour me bliss,Where joy and void unite through breath.In navel wheel there is Dem ChogWith his retinue, Give me joy,There sixty-two gods encircle him,May my vajra body be like boy.The dharma wheel is in my heart,Dwells Jedor and his nine deities,There’s the essence of three sattvas,Vajra mind is the entity
(Under the “three sattvas” in the English translation there is aquestion mark which may be answered by the below:Samaya Sattva – BodyPrajna Sattva – HeartSamadhi Sattva – The Top of the Bija) Between eyebrows there’s the white conch cakra,Dwells Buddha Yatama and some deities,Is the symbol of wisdom and merit,This is the real cakra of unity.The great bliss chakra is in my head,Dwell Sunwongduba and many gods,Nadis and bindus are united here,A cakra full of Bliss such as ne’er had.Son! If you can unite with these Buddhas,Your own Buddha body will surely appear,Your flesh one will become rainbow one,Such marvel you should have faith on and hear.

63. Instruction to Rechungpa
Ph! Son, one’s body suffices as temple,For the wisdom drop is the mandala sample.One’s own mind suffices as the great guru,All true knowledge comes from it as a rule.All other things suffice as the sutras,They are symbols of truth nothing betrays.Food of Samadhi suffices for living,In which all Buddhas come for and blessing. The Tomo heat suffices for clothes, The Dakini gives you the blissful dress.To cut off all ties is the best consort To live alone is a friend of duty. To treat foes as guest is to rid hatred. To treat hindrance as void is not so bad. They all are magic like plays of the mind, This is the only right way you could find.

64. Sermon to Rechungpa
When compassion arises in my heart, I feel all beings in the three realmsWhere they’re enslaved in fire so hot.When the teachings are kept in my mind,As the salt dissolves in water,I got absorption of a good kind.When the wisdom shines its light within,I feel as awakened from a dream,I can free from yes or no ideations.When one gets the bliss from the view right,He feels that each thing is free itself,Most dissolve into act, all is white. When one comes to essence of being,He finds the wisdom of realityLike cloudless sky is illumining.When pure and impure thoughts both cleared,He finds it is like silver mirror,The imminent bright wisdom appears.When Alaya Dharmakaya becomes,I feel my flesh and soul both break forth,Like the crushing egg when stamped upon.When one cuts off the rope of clinging,The existence of Bardo disappears,Like the long serpent without coiling.When l act without getting or losing.My mind is at ease I’m like a lionWith the power of three perfectionsVoidness, wisdom and manifestation.These three all are in illumination.They are my three inseparable dear friendsLike the sunshining its rays without end,Like dividing the horse from its yoke,The string of mind and sadness cutting,Inner and Outer distinctions are broke
,And my attainment is completed.

Parinirvana

If this booklet deserves any merit, may it be as a redemption for the mistakes and omissions made by the English translation of Milarepa’s Songs published by University Books, Inc

Honey on the razor’s edge

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HONEY ON THE RAZOR’S EDGE
The Nature of Gender and Romance

by Ngak’chang Rinpoche & Khandro Déchen

This article—written for a general readership—was commissioned by a magazine but was never published due to liquidation of the publishers. It was based on the book Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon by Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen, a commentary on the Khandro Pawo Nyi-da Mélong Gyüd (mKha’ ’gro dPa bo nyi zLa me long rGyud), which is a Dzogchen men-ngag-dé teaching from the gTérma of Khyungchen Aro Lingma. Entering the Heart of the Sun and Moon will be published by Aro Books in November 2004.

Intuition and logic; chaos and pattern – how do these words relate to romance? What significance do they have to ‘falling in love’? How do these word-pairs reflect the dance of relationship between men and women? The energy of these word pairs permeates every aspect of our lives: randomness and design; freedom and commitment; subjectivity and objectivity; gazing and scrutiny; non-rational and rational; appreciation and discernment; admiration and respect; sensitivity and strength; laterality and linearity; æsthetics and pragmatism; uncreated knowledge and active compassion; emptiness and form; wisdom display and method display.

What is there to be said about men and women that is beyond restrictive stereotypes? History is peppered with evolutionary, agricultural, and climatic forces that create their own slants on what is required of human beings. We cannot look to isolated historical periods for gender models which facilitate transformation. So is there a human male-female paradigm that lies beyond the individual cultures of the world? Eastern and Western cultures have devised models for women and men; but such models are all open to criticism, no matter how socially functional they appear. These cultural, or religious models become cages in which we trap ourselves and others. Some models are highly simplistic, and designed to maintain social order, and some reflect a patriarchal interest that is highly obvious. Both can be seen for what they are and rejected. Even models espoused by feminist women, appear to be adaptations of phalocentric models. We live in times of extraordinary heterodoxy, and are exposed to ever-changing ideologies of gender. Transpersonal psychology is exploring new gender models, in which men and women are free to evolve their own independent structures from the rich well of mythological archetypes. The interface of colourful antiquarian clues with psychological knowledge has generated new patterns as an interesting experiment with life; but according to Tantra, we should question our patterns, rather than evolving new patterns as reactions against previous ones.

With regard to the imposition of gender attributes, it is preferable for men and women to create their own models. But although this is obviously a way to break new ground, these models are also doomed to become prisons. The problem with new models, is that they are always ‘convex’. They are an imposition. They represent a smaller version of what we are. Convex definitions are always limiting. They are limiting, because they are defined. No matter how broad and subtle the definition – a definition, by definition, is always ‘a definition’. A definition is something brought within limits. A definition is a ‘defined area’ within limitless undefined space.

The ‘space’ of our being cannot be defined; all we can do is point beyond our current models. But how is that possible? In what way can we point beyond our models? The answer is that we cannot; but, we can allow ourselves to experience ‘concave’ definition. In contrast with the exploration of new definitions, the Tantric approach is somewhat radical; as it involves allowing ourselves to be defined by everything that is ‘other’. Tantra proposes relating with a gender-specific experience of reality. For men, the gender experience of the universe is female. For women, the gender experience of the universe is male. For yogis, phenomenal reality is female. For yoginis, phenomenal reality is male.

A ‘concave definition’ of what it is that constitutes masculinity or femininity, is one in which our ‘maleness’ or ‘femaleness’ is fundamentally beyond question. We do not need to be cajoled by modern-day savants of sexuality into believing that we have to ‘get in touch with our masculinity or femininity’ – it is already there. According to Tantra, ideas of ‘deep masculine’ or ‘deep feminine’ are actually just deeper dungeons. We do not have to define, or even know, what it is to be male or female, because being male or female is simply what we are. This is experientially evident to anyone who practises Tantra. There are no criteria to which the tantrika has to conform. If you are a yogini, a woman, that is simply what you are – and the same is true of a yogi, a man. According to inner Tantra, the ‘concave definition’ is that your gender is simultaneously fulfilled and transformed by your relationship with your environment. In the Tantric teachings of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, this is one of the primary vows. The vow is that we attempt to experience the entire spectrum of external reality, either as method-display (male) or as wisdom-display (female).

What do the terms method-display and wisdom-display mean? Our descriptions here will be finger-paintings of inner Tantra, so we should not be too impatient about defining these terms. We should not be blatant in revealing the visceral fire of relationships that are volcanic in their intimacy. When we speak of our lovers, we need to be cautious with our words. The knowledge that hovers above and below the surface of mundane expression should be left unspoken. Voluptuous landscapes of feeling should be left to be inferred. We do not intend to leave anything unsaid; but Tantra needs to disrobe itself according to its own precise passion – perfectly, and with fierce grace. It is neither wise nor practical to expose the heart of this sumptuous reality without creating a conducive atmosphere in which such shocking perspectives can disport themselves with vivid elegance.

It is obviously not easy to relate to the vows that exist within inner Tantra. It is not a straightforward endeavour to deliberately see in a different way – to see the entire fields of the senses as either male or female. It is not a practice, with specific rules that can be followed. There is literally no way in which a man or a woman could follow such oblique directives. However, it can be attempted. The ways in which it can be attempted are not immediately obvious; but, in terms of our discussion, we can look at the freedom allowed by letting go of ‘convex definitions’. We can reflect on the powerful sense of liberation that exists in not having to conform to limited gender guidelines of any kind, in relation to our individuality. The rapturous visionary context of Tantra is no place for conventional rationale. Within this poetic paradigm, we can only immerse ourselves in the efflorescence of our sense fields, and learn directly from the energy of what we are in relation to our lovers.

We need to be able to encounter Tantric theory in the same way as we might encounter poetry, painting or music. It has been said that Buddhism has much in common with science, philosophy and psychology; but Buddhist Tantra cannot be confined by such tight objectifications. Tantra has more in common with art. 20th century art, celebrates the uncomfortable counterpoint of conflicting notions, as an exploration of human experience. Art regards paradox as a convention rather than a challenge to convention. From this perspective the relationship of men and women presents a tremendous artistic challenge – the possibility of discovering the innate undividedness of intuition and logic; chaos and pattern; randomness and design; freedom and commitment; subjectivity and objectivity; wisdom display and method display. To arrive at such a preposterous realisation we need to be able to enter the view of Tantra, as art. Within this field of intuitive openness, the paradoxical undividedness of these word-pairs relate to romantic love as enlightened dance.

As we explore the perceptual field of romance, we discover that the intrinsic eroticism of being plays itself out in every aspect of existence. Tantra is often misconstrued as being a degraded form of Buddhism which focuses on coital positions. But although Buddhist Tantra includes human sexuality, its parameters are far broader than the perverse phalocentric methodologies which deify techniques and systematic approaches to love. Buddhist Tantra is fundamentally sexual; but the sexuality it expresses concerns the coital union of existence and non-existence. It explores the non-dual matrix of emptiness and form. It delves into the dramatic dimension of dance, in which we cannot extricate ourselves from the vast and subtle sexual embrace of each shining moment.

As human beings, within the perpetual prison of duality, we experience form-reality in terms of distorted gender. We experience ‘division’ in terms of mutually destructive patterns of attraction and aversion. Our relationships with each other reflect our estranged relationship with enlightenment. According to Tantra, the primary difference between women and men lies in the reversal of the outer and inner qualities of being. Women have outer wisdom qualities and inner compassion qualities. Men have outer compassion qualities and inner wisdom qualities. When we realise these qualities, we dance together as khandros and pawos; and our energies mirror each other. But when this realisation is not present we merely teeter and clump.

Within the Tantric vision, all women are secretly khandros, and men are secretly pawos. Khandro means ‘sky-dancer’. The sky dancer is at home in the fluid play of chaos – uninhibited by the need to concretise or define. She expresses the inexpressible through whimsy, the non-rational, and the unexpected. Pawo means hero or warrior, and signifies the pure appropriateness that has no need for the illusion of firm ground. The warrior is fearless, not because death has been nonchalantly objectified, but because death is experienced with every moment. For the warrior the birth and death of every Mind-moment are fully experienced – enabling him to live with totality in the present moment.

The khandro quality of women, manifests as outer wisdom-space in which her internal compassion plays. In relative terms; outer wisdom/sensitivity reflects itself in both the overt and subtle appearance of women as displayed through: intuition; fluidity; flexibility; resilience; adaptability; reflexiveness; empathy confluence; facilitation; resonance; sensitivity; receptivity; harmony; delicacy; softness; obliqueness; devotion; laterality of apprehension; plurality of perception; inchoate understanding; radiance and openness. But; when the connection with inner compassion/power is obscured through dualistic perception, the outer wisdom/sensitivity becomes weak, aimless and prey to manipulation.

The pawo quality of men manifests as outer compassion/power, which arises energetically from inner wisdom/sensitivity. In relative terms; outer compassion/power reflects itself in the overt and subtle appearance of men displayed through: intellect; objectivity; productivity; performance; angularity; acuteness; accuracy; precision; sympathy; methodology; systematisation; inventiveness; structural creativity; persuasiveness; directiveness; conclusiveness; linearity of apprehension; singularity of perception; reductivity; discrimination; discernment and rationality. But; when the vital connection with inner wisdom/sensitivity is obscured through clinging to dualistic perception, the outer wisdom/power stiffens into aggression, intolerance and manipulation. Unless a man is a true warrior, he finds the khandro terrifying – she completely undermines him with her inchoate spaciousness. Unless a woman recognises her khandro potential she finds the pawo overpowering – she is utterly overawed by his unending effectiveness.

Men need to be in contact with their sensitivity; and women need to be in contact with their power. Without this, we become distracted from awareness of our essential nature. Our energies become distorted and we flounder in a fog of forgetfulness, in which our outer qualities become, discordant. The person who could be our opportunity for liberation becomes our co-dependant imprisoned prisoner.

When a man loses contact with his inner-quality, his outer-quality becomes distorted. Disconnected from his inner khandro (his secret wisdom) his outer-quality becomes distorted. What should be spontaneously manifested compassion, becomes neurotic assertiveness. This assertiveness ranges from dominance to violence, depending to what extent his inner khandro has become occluded. With regard to his spiritual life, he could becomes an academic or a great debater. He could become a ‘cosmic gorilla’ with ‘spiritual muscles’ – a guru who claims to be the ‘world teacher’.

When a woman loses contact with her inner-quality, her outer quality becomes distorted. Disconnected from her inner pawo (her secret compassion) her outer quality becomes distorted. What should be spontaneously manifested wisdom, becomes decorativeness. This decorativeness ranges from inconsequentiality to superficial obsession with surface appearance, depending to what extent her inner pawo has become occluded. With regard to her spiritual life, she seems satisfied to arrange the flowers in the shrine room. She becomes a ‘delicate devotee’. There is no sense that she will ever actually practise; but if she does, she cultivates ‘beautiful experiences’ with which to ornament her psyche.

Women are attracted to the distorted male image, because they seek to reconnect with power. Women have a natural relationship with power; but if they fail to realise it, they become drawn to seeking it externally. However, women are also attracted to men through recognising the reflection of their inner pawo. Both happen simultaneously.

Men are attracted to the distorted female image because they seek to reconnect with sensitivity. Men have a natural relationship with sensitivity; but, if they fail to realise it, they become drawn to seeking it externally. However, men are also attracted to women through recognising the reflection of their inner khandro. Both happen to both: simultaneously – enlightenment and unenlightenment flicker.

As long as a woman attempts to find her inner pawo vicariously through seducing a man by means of her distorted outer sensitivity, she is likely to lose her power. She stands a good chance of being dominated by an emotionally inarticulate aggressor. As long as a man tries to obtain his inner khandro through wooing or coercing a woman by means of his distorted outer power, he is likely to encumber himself with a vacuous household servant whom he has stripped of inspiring qualities. Although these are caricatures of people who have worked hard to obscure their inner qualities; everyone finds themselves on a continuum that includes these caricatures. It is not possible to obtain what we want through getting what we want. We need to look within ourselves for completion rather than trying to find completion in other incomplete people. If we already have the connection with our inner pawo or inner khandro then we no longer need to find anything outside ourselves.

At this point, we can begin to dance with each other. Something else arises, which replaces our unrequitable need. Once this need dissolves into its own empty nature; a tremendous appreciation for each other can arise. This sense of appreciation arises, because we catch glimpses of completeness in ourselves. No matter how distanced we are from our inner qualities, our enlightened nature continually sparkles through. The frequency of sparkling depends on how much we cooperate with the sparkling or how much we resist it.

For a Ngakpa, one of the most important vows is never to disparage women. For Ngakpas, women are the source of wisdom, and their practice is to see the phenomenal world as female – as wisdom-display. When the world is seen as the scintillating dance of the khandros, the inner khandro is incited. The vow for a Ngakma is to regard the entire phenomenal world as male – as method-display. Men and women who enter into this reality, relate with each other through appreciation of the dance of inner and outer qualities. When we waken to the nature of our inner qualities, we are able to mirror each other. We are able to undermine each other’s conditioning rather than entrenching each other in dualistic patterns. It is not possible to describe or explain how to see the world in this way, because fundamentally this capacity itself arises from the open dimension of being in love. Falling in love is a spiritual experience if we can recognise it. If we can catch the reflection of our inner qualities before we have begun to concretise our relationship, then falling in love is the most remarkable opportunity that life has to offer.