Trulshig Rinpoche has died at age of 87. Supreme head of Nyingma lineage. Held up the vinaya, ordained over 10,000 monks. Every time a great teacher like this dies, the foundation of buddhadharma shakes, and it is more important that we practice. Reflect on this precious fleeting existence and the fragility of life……
The best supplication and offering is to practice with as effort as possible.
We have been talking about certain aspects of the essential points of Creation and Completion so one may see enormous skillful means of Vajrayana as precious, and through recognizing sadhana as skillful means, one may let arise in mind stream, and become support to practice. Fundamental nature of awakened emptiness and awakened nature of every other arising. Due to lifetimes of karmic arisings, impulses become strong, mind wavers from not having the certainty of view we try to understand. In order for wavering to be destroyed, indestructible confidence must arise in one’s mind stream.
Indestructible confidence is most important, the method of Vajrayana is to make such indestructible confidence arise. Seeing how things arise, what is the nature of manifestations arising in front of oneself, what is the fundamental nature of thoughts, and aggregates – recognize this, familiarizing, stabilizing this is the …. In order to make this happen, we have been taking quotes from Lochen Dharmashri, Terdag Lingpa, Jigme Lingpa, Padmasambhava, and others. These essential points should be seen simultaneously with study of sadhanas. They are the Essence. Also taming the mind with the exactness of liturgy. Training in mindfulness of the particulars of details, as well as that becoming brilliant through understanding what they mean, allows mind to derive 2-fold benefit. To recognize confidence in own mind is the 1st benefit, and the 2nd benefit, is to make all other beings free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
Yesterday we talked about the 3 vajras. Many teachers have given out of kindness. Jigme Lingpa: “where there is definite approach to 3 samadhis need to be understood. When there is a much more pervasive abiding in luminosity, where all projects are seen as arising of mind, unwavering confidence and certainty arises.”
When certainty is more stable, then Creation and Completion, Establishing 3 Samadhis is certainty. If a person has difficulty – and we all have difficulty – it is wavering, we know, yet we can’t abide completely within. In such case, they can take on the devotional training path, which is a more conventional approach. What is needed is taking the 3 Samadhis prior to the actual recitation of text. Where mind needs more depends on coming to one-pointed awareness. Not just knowing words, but relax from within into meditation state, incorporating devotional training path. Devotional training path is where various aspects of sadhana- any particular sadhana- settling into meditative stability of absorption/Samadhi of suchness/ Samadhi of total illumination prior to sadhana. When one begins sadhana, beginning with causal samadhi, then gradually step by step one goes into practices. This is for very new meditators who need to familiarize. Continuing as this is a very lazy approach. Trying to invoke other earlier approach is better.
5 Manifestations of Enlightenment
The essence of Creation or Utpatti stage is called the 5 modes of purification or 5 manifestations of enlightenment.
The Essence of purification is less in realization of meaning of each symbol. If you are visualizing without understanding meaning, is very solidified conceptual approach of less benefit.
- First, the Moon disk is usually first aspect, upon which vajra, deity, etc. is invoked. The symbol of the moon causes the purification of aggregate of form. All the different aggregates of form, belief form is… whenever moon arises, if mind can go to “nature of all form is similar to this moon disk,” one can see how all forms are spontaneous arising of mind. Solidity, fixation to solidity of form is purified through concentration of moon disk. This is called the Mirror-like wisdom. The Base of element purified is the element of space. Purification of all-ground consciousness. Anti-dote to afflictive ignorance. When mind arises with mirror like wisdom, it severs the causes of birth. In context of moisture birth, an even subtlety of seed is severed. Particular – it dissolves. In birth of womb, purifies element of father. In context of heat/moisture – purifies moisture. In context of egg birth, purifies the cause of the father. In miraculous birth, purifies empty aspect. Visualization of moon purifies form. Understanding true nature of form arises, it purifies arising of seeds of birth.
- Second is the Sun disk. When sun disk is visualized, know this symbolizes how feelings are born. Dissolved dualistic tendencies related to how 2nd aggregate – feelings born. Knowing feelings to be of mind – root causes of greed and pride dissolves. Also dissolves red element of female, in egg birth, – mother’s element – heat/moisture – heat – miraculous birth – earth element. Where one is able to rest in knowing what sun symbolizes, and recognizing feeling to be expression of empty mind, leads to arising of wisdom of equality.
- Third are the seed syllable and hand implements. In this Vajrayogini sadhana, these are a curved knife and kapala. In Vajrasattva, it is the bell and dorje. When they are seen, one recognizes the empty nature of aggregate of perceptions. When seen in their true nature, it exhausts the potential to bring about formations. Realizations of perceptions to be natural expression of mind dissolves affliction of desire. All speech and mental consciousness are purified. Both placed here – articulation of any kind completely exhausted – like, don’t like, so forth – completely purified. The very initial judging mind. Births – birth itself purified in all 4 birth possibilities. Consciousness entering into birthing process is purified. Heat/moisture – consciousness dissolved. All – at this stage, the karmic energy that goes into formation is dissolved. Birth is exhausted. In this way, aggregate exhausted through empty nature of expressions, wisdom of discernment unimpediedly arises.
- Fourth is blending of the elements and symbols in 1 taste, when one’s mind merges with symbols and implements. 1 taste is when deity’s symbols and implements are YOUR implements /symbols. What you are holding and what the deity is holding are the same. When the Pride of the Deity arises. When they arise in your mindstream. Arising of confidence of oneself as deity immediately purifies aggregate of formation – 4th aggregate – how things come into being. Clear recognition as manifestation of one’s own mind, dissolves afflictive emotion of jealousy. Jealous only occurs when there is other than oneself. If deity in front of self with bigger element, would you be jealous? The brilliant deity in front of you, and I am the unworthy, samsaric being full of neurosis. Trying to dissolve pristine deity into self, that is immediately letting formation become strong, creating neuroses. Thinking self and other distinct reconnects with jealousy and competiveness. When samayasattva and jnanasattva become of same taste, where is a form not of natural radiance of own mind? Brings about natural death of jealously. This is all-accomplishing wisdom. In relation to the 4 births – Every subtle energy that propels sperm, ovum and consciousness to come together. Not the things themselves, but the very energy that causes them to get together. This is the true abiding in 1 taste- kadak – this is the true ‘abiding in one taste’ in Dzogchen, also known as “indestructible truth.” This is not influenced by energy, the impulse maintained by habits. To cut through habits, have to train in a process of rigorous training . For example, In ngondro, there are 1000,000s – sitting, diligently sitting – in mantra – 1000000s of mantras. Joining mind in meditation –form or formless. All minds resist these so much because these methods train to cut through impulse. Like a right handed person trying to write with the left hand, or vice versa. We resist stillness. We resist silence. We resist nonthought. As long as resistance there, we need to rely on form practices. When the impulses are worn out, can rest. Where energy is diffused, birth doesn’t take place. Birth dissolves – you have bound mind into one-pointed awareness, allowing one to see true nature of aggregates you couldn’t see through chaos of being pulled. Truly see things as they truly are. Where one sees things as they truly are, wisdom occurs. True understanding takes place.
- Fifth is the full manifestation of deity, the generation of the Mandala and practice of Mantra recitation. This is the complete deity as yourself, front visualization, or both. You are deity and deity is you. That confidence purifies 5th aggregate – consciousness. Always propelled into solidification though “I”. Arising as deity allows self to be completely dissolved. This is the first time you get familiar with not being you as you think you are. When Daniel arises as deity, Daniel ceases. We are nothing but bringing together of impulses. Within arising of deity, separation of clinging to self arises. Subtle anger of separation ceases. Affliction of anger ceases. Wisdom of expanse – dahrmata- arises. Subtle grasping ceasing, 1st nidana- basic ignorance- ceases.
5 aspects of purification must be viewed in creation stage. When looking at hand implements, what mind should think? When looking at moon disk, sun disk, seed syllable etc, what should mind think? What kind of emotions is to be purified? These are resultants. Natural occurrence. Main important occurrence- Samsaric interpretation of what aggregates are, knowing that the moon disk – this is how form comes into being. Sun disk – feelings. Immediately invoking how the aggregates come into mind. Gradually, creation clearly understanding of how aggregates come into being.
Becoming familiar with the view, so the next time samsaric activities occur, you can take the view into activities seeing how they are nothing but arising of mind.
For all the aspects, study Mahayoga, which contain the main Creation and Completion teachings with an extraordinary amount of details there. But if all the points were taken down to 3 points it would be these: 3 Samadhis, 3 vajras, 5 manifestations.
This year’s vajrayana study is to really understand Creation and Completion mahagarbha tantra. All 3 versions. Jeanie will make available.
Books are expensive longer, middling, and shorter translations. Each study group should have 1 set.
Dharmashri contributes to LG.
Mahayoga in the most elaborate exposition of Creation and Completion. Longchenpa and Jigme Lingpa – core of creation and completion explains how a meditator may enhance their own practice. These above are the view.
2nd, how one can benefit from meditating correctly.
How to cultivate undeluded meditation? How can one do Creation and Completion without conceptualizing, to allow the previous 3 topics to arise? In this, are 2 aspects.
How to train on path of Creation and Completion from its basis according to diverse potentials.
To understand how 4 divisions/kinds of Creation and Completion are connected to 1 another. How these 4 stages fruition into 4 levels of awareness holder.
1. How to train on path of Creation and Completion from its basis according to diverse potentials. – 7 divisions.
- How to focus mind on the deity, or Bringing the mind to the deity. For those working with ngondro, this also applies to the Lineage tree.
- How to correct flaws or mistakes that involve changes that happen to visualization. one year have good visualization, some bad, have chocolate, happy deities, diet, sad deities.
- How to part from the deity.
- Bringing the deity to the path – to daily life.
- How to merge one’s mind with the deity.
- Connecting the deity to its essential meaning. (How to)
- Bringing experience and conduct to the path.
- Bringing mind to the deity.
- A person of superior potential. Superior potential in this case are those who practice diligently and regularly. Someone who ahs regular practice, much more familiar with practice. One should hold creation of entire form of the deity without clinging/fixation and visualize vividly complete form of the deity, luminous and radiant. One is able to hold entire visualization clearly with understanding ii is beyond any identifiable entity. Deity arises clearly and yet devoid of any form or rigidity. Arising of deity is inseparable with confidence of empty nature.
- A person of Middling potential. such a person who may not have acumen of highest- if visualizing clearly, they forget the essence. Or, they focus on the essence of the deity, but don’t visualize clearly. Can even see movement of eyelashes is superior. In the middling person, though, if the focus is on emptiness/luminous nature it makes details unclear. If this happens, one should try sudden recollection of the deities’ complete form, instead of sequentially, and then retaining that visualization of the full form. When the full form manifests, even if not clear, maintain awareness of presence for some time. When that has been established, gradually start focusing with various aspects, beginning always with clearly seeing from the chest to head- upper part of the deity. (Is that the torso? Ok, torso and head).From heart level to head. Like a portrait. ‘Head and shoulders’. (Laughter) After that, gradually move into seeing the right arm, left arm, waist, right leg, and left leg. Then, establish all the 5 limbs clearly for some time. Sequentially the 5 limbs should make what you are holding more clear. Like the slideshow (of the murals in Mindrolling) earlier, the images were blurry, and then came into focus. When the 5th limb appears, see that the appearance is much clearer. After, also include clearly the sun disk, moon disk, lotus, throne and so forth. Until one is able to become familiar, clearly visualize the form of deity, then settle into essence of what you are seeing, the aspects – 3 vajras, 3 aspects 5 manifestations… After some time working on view, focus again of clarity of deity sequentially can lead to moment where you are less dependent on sequence. Mind can go from view to meditation easier.
- Those of lesser potential are said to be those who have never done visualization before. This is a Learners’ approach, for learners for whom it is difficult to visualization. Those above should rely on looking at picture for several sessions, without trying to do visualization. Some of you are very hard on yourselves. Esp. those starting ngondro trying to do the visualization of the whole tree. Of course it is difficult, mind isn’t familiar with the form. Keep mind in picture. Mind becomes familiar with form. Any picture that you see. Of course, there is pure perception. “Beauty is in the eyes of beholder.” True – everything is of 1 taste. But OTOH, you wouldn’t be relating to a picture if we had view. Where mind is still stuck in relativity, duality, it is depending on deliberate meditation. In such a case, always pick something that is truly accurate. The image must have power to cut through emotionality. If there is a personal emotional attachment, it is wrong picture to try. Last night, Jetsunla was discussing the Rigdzin Tulku text, where Terdag Lingpa said “face of the deity must be such that it is not conveying a particular emotion.” Traditional thangkas have a non-emotional expression in the face. Allows one to go beyond. These days, deities look like us – Buddha looks like us, Tara like us. Traditionally, only when making a lineage holder may a personal humanness be made. Deities should have no describable emotion. Depending on meditators’ mind, should be able to see your mind reflected in face. Sometimes, one can see the deity’s face changed, since it is you. Jetsunla will talk about it more. Always rely on an accurate image or statue. Try not to rest your mind on free-hand drawing of deities. Line drawings should be relied on. Artist’s expression can come through. They paint Happy and sad Buddhas. Often when tourists buy thangkas, they relate to them – deities look like so and so. This interprets Creation and Completion. Such a picture/statue must be consecrated. In Tibetan, this is rag bags – elaborate consecration of statue/painting. A Vajra-achraya invokes deities and sees that image as actually indivisible from all Buddhas, so it is much more imbued with the true essence of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. When one is learning from a picture, always start from top to bottom. Important not to strain your eyes by being too focused, but don’t blink too much. Blinking will distract. This is auxiliary method of resting the mind. It should lead to being able to rest from looking and still see image. Should be able to progress to 2nd and 3rd stages. This is progressive path of learning creation stage. In beginning of learning to rest mind in creation, every meditator has these experiences. The 1st agitated movement of thought patterns is similar to cascading waters off a cliff. This is when mind still struggles with different kinds of movement, every sound, every thought affects how mind is resting in visualization. Such a meditator should realize this is a normal occurrence; this will have smooth and bumpy phases. There will be clarity and un-clarity. This is making mindfulness in motion. Gradual, with familiarly, the deity’s form will become more vivid, more clear, be less influenced by sound and thought. This is an example of attainment. At this time, even when eyes are open, are free from distractions. Said to be similar to analogy of a thief obtaining something hidden inside a container. A thief doesn’t know what’s in the container, but is still happy to have obtained the container. The meditator is able to retain clarity of visualization, even if understanding of essence isn’t there. It is very important at this stage,one must remind one’s self to be free from notion that body of deity is of flesh and bones. Ordinariness of body must be dissolved. Not flat or protruding, but translucent, as if made of light. Like an illusory figure, empty appearance, free of any corporeality, strengthening the luminous light-like nature of body itself to invoke notion of emptiness, but avoiding conceptual emptiness. Like a rainbow is made of, the same constituency is taken to body. “It is not solid” – that itself invokes the emptiness nature of the form. These are the ways of focusing mind on deity.
- Correcting the flaws. 7 main flaws.
- Forgetting the very essential focal points of visualization.
- Doubting one’s own ability in accomplishing practice.
- Succumbing to dullness of mind.
- Dissatisfaction, even when visualization is clear. Some people over-exert, suspicious of own efforts.
- The opposite of this, being satisfied with little attempts. Under-exertion, even though visualization is like a melted marshmallow.
12 other flaws.
- Hazy visualization.
- Vague view, vague visualization.
- When visualization form carries no shadow or darkness.
- When stability of visualization fluctuates in size.
- Appearance changes or fluctuates. Some days beautifully adorned, others one jewel, grumpy looking. Or make deity look like girlfriend, or bring someone else’s face to deity.
- Changes, fluctuations in shape.
- Changes in number. One day with full retinue, some days without.
- Changes in positions.
- Appearing only in colors.
- Appearing only as a form, without attributes, clothing, etc.
- Gradual disappearance. Become more tired/bored, the form of deity disappears.
- Incomplete appearance. – Only head, only eyes.
These are the 7 flaws. To correct these flaws, 7 antidotes.
- To remedy error of forgetfulness– forgetting teachings, really work with developing one-pointed concentration through mindfulness practices. Mindfulness practice is always strengthened by taking commitments. Commitments to strengthening mindfulness overcome flaw of forgetting teachings. Esp., in context of immersing self in business after leaving.
- Laziness– antidote is diligence and devotion – where there is no devotion, any kind of affliction hard to overcome. Devotion will not arise till you understand qualities of object. Must never be because someone told you to. The key is the more time to look into the qualities of the deity, Buddhas, Dharma, Sanghas, Yidams, Dakinis and so on. When you read a verse of Guru Rinpoche, or Longchenpa, look at enlightenment mind able to reveal such qualities. When you treasure the quality, that is the devotion in one’s self. Without patience to self, accomplishment, different adversities, diligence won’t be there. When these are there…
- Doubt and hesitation – more than any visualization, focus on basic space. Any time you have doubt in any practice, rest mind in the 3 samadhis.
- Dullness– when dullness comes respects your health, eat correctly, and adjust the temperature. Outer aspects still affect meditation.
- Where there is excitability, always lower the gaze. If you are by nature a person of higher neurosis, always learn to move in life with a lower gaze in meditation and in life, so mind is not so distracted. Mentally, practice disillusionment and revulsion of samsara, and contemplate the suffering of beings. Let mind be tamed.
- Over-achievers – Others who “tell people to be the best,”overachievers. Trying to excel at meditation. In own eyes, have to be the best. Go-getter. ‘Achiever.’ Doesn’t allow lucidity and ease of true nature to arise. Between a go-getter and lazy person, I will always choose lazy person. (Laughter) A lazy person can be inspired by many things. An overachiever is self-absorbed. For Over-exertion, there is no antidote but relaxation. But sadly, such people will often not relax. One can’t have relaxation put in them. The key to relaxation is kindness, joyfulness in accomplishment of others. To bring freedom from habit of competitiveness is learning to be happy in accomplishment of others. This is very difficult.
- Under exertion? The antidote is diligence. Also, Read about great masters. Knowing about lives of enlightened beings is good antidote for that.
Some things are beneficial for practice. To cultivate clear visualization of peaceful deities without flaws, cultivate the 9 traits.
- Form of deity should be soft.
- A very intense presence.
In the case of wrathful deities, these 9. Like vajra varahi.
- Parting from deity. To cultivate inseparability from deity. Relax into non-cepvoentitual for some time. Just as you relax and exhale. Not exactly in tandem with every inhale/exhale, sometimes should lead to non-conceptual resting mind, but not for too long; come back to clearly seeing deity. This will free the mind for…. Some people get so rigid, it will tire the mind. The tired mind will see another session as work. So to relieve one from being tired of creation, alternate with emptiness. Learning to part from the deity properly.
- Bringing the deity to the path – to daily life. During post-meditation practice, visualize the deity in various ways. Sometimes sitting, sleeping, lying on it’s back, lying on its stomach face down, very far from you, very close to you, sometimes very tiny, someone inside a mountain, under the ocean, extremely big, small in a grain of sand. This makes one’s mind very intertwined with the deity, is able to accomplish “the river like experience of familiarity”. Whatever movements occur, do not disturb mind. In post-meditation practice, clearly see deity in different activities.
- Merging mind with activities. To overcome any dualistic activity, fixation of meditator, or on mediation itself, one must train in merging mind indivisibly with the deity. To do this, rather than focus on form of deity, from time to time, esp. During mantra recitation, see it as your mind’s expression. “Mind is deity; deity is mind, what is difference between 2?” This is establishing mountain-like stability of meditation. When one is able to clearly establish this, leads to establishing the 8 measure of clarity and stability. Divided into 4 clarity, 4 stability.
Inseparableness must carry these.
- Absolutely steadfast
- Complete flexibility
Again arising as deity must have 4 stabilities. These two together should carry “mind is deity, deity is mind.”
- Connecting the mind of the deity, that has some aspects of Dzogchen view. Will be added to the pith instructions.