Sunday, June 21, 2015

Dzogchen teachings by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

I bow down with as many bodies as atoms in the universe to Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, I am eternally grateful for the karma that guided me to his pure teachings and with that in mind, I am sharing my connection with this teacher with all sentient beings so that all may come to happiness as soon as possible. Chögyal Namkhai Norbu is unique in streaming live his teachings, allowing his students to stay connected with him whatever their physical situation.

Below is a link to Chögyal Namkhai Norbu's teaching schedule:

Where to access the webcast: (Click on the live webcast tab to connect to the webcast at the appropriate time.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tilopa's Mahamudra Instruction to Naropa
              in Twenty Eight Verses
Homage to the Eighty Four Mahasiddhas!
Homage to Mahamudra!
Homage to the Vajra Dakini!
Mahamudra cannot be taught. But most intelligent Naropa,
Since you have undergone rigorous austerity,
With forbearance in suffering and with devotion to your Guru,
Blessed One, take this secret instruction to heart.

Is space anywhere supported? Upon what does it rest?
Like space, Mahamudra is dependant upon nothing;
Relax and settle in the continuum of unalloyed purity,
And, your bonds loosening, release is certain.

Gazing intently into the empty sky, vision ceases;
Likewise, when mind gazes into mind itself,
The train of discursive and conceptual thought ends
And supreme enlightenment is gained.

Like the morning mist that dissolves into thin air,
Going nowhere but ceasing to be,
Waves of conceptualization, all the mind's creation, dissolve,
When you behold your mind's true nature.

Pure space has neither colour nor shape
And it cannot be stained either black or white;
So also, mind's essence is beyond both colour and shape
And it cannot be sullied by black or white deeds.

The darkness of a thousand aeons is powerless
To dim the crystal clarity of the sun's heart;
And likewise, aeons of samsara have no power
To veil the clear light of the mind's essence.

Although space has been designated "empty",
In reality it is inexpressible;
Although the nature of mind is called "clear light",
Its every ascription is baseless verbal fiction.

The mind's original nature is like space;
It pervades and embraces all things under the sun.
Be still and stay relaxed in genuine ease,
Be quiet and let sound reverberate as an echo,
Keep your mind silent and watch the ending of all worlds.

The body is essentially empty like the stem of a reed,
And the mind, like pure space, utterly transcends
    the world of thought:
Relax into your intrinsic nature with neither abandon nor control -
Mind with no objective is Mahamudra -
And, with practice perfected, supreme enlightenment is gained.

The clear light of Mahamudra cannot be revealed
By the canonical scriptures or metaphysical treatises
Of the Mantravada, the Paramitas or the Tripitaka;
The clear light is veiled by concepts and ideals.

By harbouring rigid precepts the true samaya is impaired,
But with cessation of mental activity all fixed notions subside;
When the swell of the ocean is at one with its peaceful depths,
When mind never strays from indeterminate, non-conceptual truth,
The unbroken samaya is a lamp lit in spiritual darkness.

Free of intellectual conceits, disavowing dogmatic principles,
The truth of every school and scripture is revealed.
Absorbed in Mahamudra, you are free from the prison of samsara;
Poised in Mahamudra, guilt and negativity are consumed;
And as master of Mahamudra you are the light of the Doctrine.

The fool in his ignorance, disdaining Mahamudra,
Knows nothing but struggle in the flood of samsara.
Have compassion for those who suffer constant anxiety!
Sick of unrelenting pain and desiring release, adhere to a master,
For when his blessing touches your heart, the mind is liberated.

KYE HO! Listen with joy!
Investment in samsara is futile; it is the cause of every anxiety.
Since worldly involvement is pointless, seek the heart of reality!
In the transcending of mind's dualities is Supreme vision;
In a still and silent mind is Supreme Meditation;
In spontaneity is Supreme Activity;
And when all hopes and fears have died, the Goal is reached.

Beyond all mental images the mind is naturally clear:
Follow no path to follow the path of the Buddhas;
Employ no technique to gain supreme enlightenment.
KYE MA! Listen with sympathy!
With insight into your sorry worldly predicament,
Realising that nothing can last, that all is as dreamlike illusion,
Meaningless illusion provoking frustration and boredom,
Turn around and abandon your mundane pursuits.

Cut away involvement with your homeland and friends
And meditate alone in a forest or mountain retreat;
Exist there in a state of non-meditation
And attaining no-attainment, you attain Mahamudra.

A tree spreads its branches and puts forth leaves,
But when its root is cut its foliage withers;
So too, when the root of the mind is severed,
The branches of the tree of samsara die

A single lamp dispels the darkness of a thousand aeons;
Likewise, a single flash of the mind's clear light
Erases aeons of karmic conditioning and spiritual blindness.

KYE HO! Listen with joy!
The truth beyond mind cannot be grasped by any faculty of mind;
The meaning of non-action cannot be understood in compulsive activity;
To realise the meaning of non-action and beyond mind,
Cut the mind at its root and rest in naked awareness.

Allow the muddy waters of mental activity to clear;
Refrain from both positive and negative projection -
leave appearances alone:
The phenomenal world, without addition or subtraction, is Mahamudra.

The unborn omnipresent base dissolves your impulsions and delusions:
Do not be conceited or calculating but rest in the unborn essence
And let all conceptions of yourself and the universe melt away.

The highest vision opens every gate;
The highest meditation plumbs the infinite depths;
The highest activity is ungoverned yet decisive;
And the highest goal is ordinary being devoid of hope and fear.

At first your karma is like a river falling through a gorge;
In mid-course it flows like a gently meandering River Ganga;
And finally, as a river becomes one with the ocean,
It ends in consummation like the meeting of mother and son.

If the mind is dull and you are unable to practice these instructions,
Retaining essential breath and expelling the sap of awareness,
Practising fixed gazes - methods of focussing the mind,
Discipline yourself until the state of total awareness abides.
When serving a karmamudra, the pure awareness
of bliss and emptiness will arise:
Composed in a blessed union of insight and means,
Slowly send down, retain and draw back up the bodhichitta,
And conducting it to the source, saturate the entire body.
But only if lust and attachment are absent will that awareness arise.

Then gaining long-life and eternal youth, waxing like the moon,
Radiant and clear, with the strength of a lion,
You will quickly gain mundane power and supreme enlightenment.
May this pith instruction in Mahamudra
Remain in the hearts of fortunate beings.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Seven-Limb Prayer


I take safe direction, till my purified state,
From the Buddhas, the Dharma, and the Highest Assembly.
By the positive force of my giving and so on,
May I actualize Buddhahood to help those who wander.

May the surface of the land in every direction
Be pure, without even a pebble,
As smooth as the palm of a child's hand,
Naturally polished, as is a beryl gem.

May divine and human objects of offering,
Actually arrayed and those envisioned
As peerless clouds of Samantabhadra offerings,
Completely fill the sphere of space.
(1) I prostrate to all you Buddhas
    who have graced the three times,
To the Dharma and to the Highest Assembly,
Bowing down with bodies as numerous
As all the atoms of the world.

(2) Just as Manjushri and others
Have made offerings to you, the Triumphant,
So do I, too, make offerings to you, my Thusly Gone Guardians,
And to your spiritual offspring.

(3) Throughout my beginningless samsaric existence,
In this and other lives,
I 've unwittingly committed negative acts,
Or caused others to commit them, and further,
Oppressed by the confusion of naivety.
I 've rejoiced in them – whatever I've done,
I see them as mistakes and openly declare them
To you, my Guardians, from the depths of my heart.

(4) With pleasure, I rejoice in the ocean of positive force
From your having developed bodhichitta aims
To bring every limited being joy
And in your deeds that have aided limited beings.

(5) With palms pressed together, I beseech
You Buddhas of all directions:
Please shine Dharma's lamp for limited beings
Suffering and groping in darkness.

(6) With palms pressed together, I beseech
You Triumphant who would pass beyond sorrow:
I beg you, remain for countless eons
So as not to leave in their blindness these wandering beings.

(7) By whatever positive force I've built up
Through all of these that I've done like that,
May I remove every suffering
Of all limited beings.
By directing and offering to the Buddha-fields
This base, anointed with fragrant waters, strewn with flowers,
And decked with Mount Meru, four islands, a sun, and a moon,
May all those who wander be led to pure lands.
Om idam guru ratna mandala-kam nir-yatayami.
I send forth this mandala to you precious gurus.

 I take safe direction, till my purified state,
From the Buddhas, the Dharma, and the Highest Assembly.
By the positive force of my giving and so on,
May I actualize Buddhahood to help those who wander.

(Yan-lag drug-gi smon-lam)
from Shantideva, Engaging in Bodhisattva Behavior
(sPyod-'jug, Skt. Bodhisattvacharya-avatara)

translated by Alexander Berzin, 2004

Monday, May 18, 2015

Entering the Dharma Gate

Entering the Dharma Gate
Though grief in the Ocean of Samsara
Is preached, and its renunciation is urged,
Few people are really convinced...
And renounce it with determination.
Though knowing that life will ever turn to death,
Few feel uneasy, or think that it will end.
Though their life is blessed with good prospects,
Few can practice abstention for a day.
Though the Bliss of Liberation is expounded
And Samsara's pains are stressed,
Few can really enter the Dharma Gate.
Though the profound Pith-Instructions
Of the Whispered Lineage are given without stint, few
Without fail can practice them.
Though the teaching of Mahamudra is expounded
And the Pointing-out demonstration is exercised,
Few can really understand the Essence of Mind.
To the hermit's life and the Guru's wish
One can always aspire, but few
Can put them into practice.
The perfect, skillful path of Naropa
May be shown, without concealment,
But those who can really follow it
Are very few. My dear lad,
You should follow in my footsteps
If in this life you want to do
Something that is worthwhile.

-- Jetsun Milarepa

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind toward Enlightenment

"The day is already done. Our lives are that much less
We are like fish in a shrinking pond. What joy is there in this?
Great assembly!
We should be diligent and vigorous, as if our own heads were at stake.
Only be mindful of impermanence and be careful not to be lax."

Samantabadhra's Verse of Exhortation/Admonition
One: This human life is precious! The result of aeons of merit ripened into the perfect form to reach enlightenment. The perfect opportunity know your true nature through the magical play of suffering and joy that is the human life. 
Imagine that a giant turtle slept on the bottom of a vast ocean, only awakening to take a single breath once per 100 years, Imagine that upon this vast ocean were a ox's wheel, at the mercy of the winds and waves. Only the times that upon taking its 100 year breath, the turtle's head enters straight through the wheel, will a human birth occur. Think of this great thing you have achieved through your past actions! How wonderful you have been! Homage to you who through your good actions find yourself at the door to freedom! Don't give up now!
Think of this and practice the dharma as if your hair is on fire!
Secondly: this life is short! Likened to bubbles floating on the surface of the water! Big bubbles, small bubbles, some instantly vanish, some last a little while, but in the end all bubbles, all due to burst within one instant and the next! Don't waste even a second of this precious opportunity, you do not know when you will have it again! Toss aside laziness, doubt, self-depreciation, you have no time for them! Cultivate compassion and devotion in the three jewels!
Think of this and practice the dharma as if your hair is on fire!
Thirdly: Friend! The dharma is the only thing you can take with you when you die, your only guide to navigate the bardo! Do not abandon this friend for attachment to self and others! If you were to lock yourself in a box, surrounded by armies of the Asuras themselves, the Gods themselves could not save your from death! No wealth, no friends, nothing but the dharma can help you when Mara comes to drag you through the Bardo, terrified and confused! Take refuge in the three jewels, the perfect vessel to navigate all troubled waters! Why would you embark upon the most dangerous journey without a guide, without a life raft?
So be sure to have your friend at your side! Cultivate that friendship now and Mara will have no hold on you, into the pure lands of bliss you will be guided, free from suffering and able to help others!
Think of this and practice the dharma as if your hair is on fire!
Fourthly, this life with its people, places and objects can be likened to the three sufferings! And you, friend, a condemned man or woman, sitting at a marvellous feast set in your honour, full of pleasures, but at the end of this feast you will be lead away and executed! How can you sit there and feast, you have been lulled, you only have moments left to live! Why fill your belly with food, your mind with sense pleasures? What good will they be for you in but a moments time? Turn your bowl upside down, place your hands together, down onto your knees drop, and in your final moments go to the three jewels for your salvation!
Your corpse is with you now, you are walking about in it, feeding it, entertaining it! At you mad?
Your hair is on fire! The flesh of your face, your eyes engulfed in smoke! Each breath thick and acrid bringing you closer to death! Put out the fire! What could be more pressing, more important, than your own head?
Cultivate these four thoughts as if they were your only child!
All merit is dedicated to sentient beings: may all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering, may all beings be happy and have the causes of happiness!