Padmasambhava Feast notes– Acharya Judy Leif – 2006

Feast practice in the Vajrayana came out of Hindu feast practice. In Ancient India, the “pure” Brahmin were shocked by eating meat and drinking alcohol.  This shock is lost on us. It seems to us more like having people over for dinner.

What we are eating is our neurosis, our ego. It is fixation, doubt and bullshit.  We are gobbling up our dark, conflicted energy and transmuting it to enlightened energy.  The notion of feast is ENJOYING all we normally avoid and turning the tables, extracting the essence of our experience.

Earthiness, community and celebration are important for feast.  Celebration of what we have instead of wanting more. It works with the obstacle of poverty mentality. 

“Hanging out with the guru” and feeling worth of doing so.

Ato Rinpoche introduced this practice to our community. There is an article on cynicism and devotion from the “Crazy Wisdom” seminar with Trungpa Rinpoche in Jackson, Wyoming included in the practice addressing the fear of us becoming theistic to Guru Rinpoche.

Previously, he stressed cutting through neurosis, cutting through his student’s spiritual materialism.  Cutting through your own trips and others’ trips. He stressed cynicism to cut through student’s “love and light” attitude.

In this seminar, VCTR first talked about devotion, and how it is essential to the Vajrayana path. This was before the 1st Vajrayana Seminary.

What IS devotion, and how does it not slide to perversion?  We need to balance cynicism and devotion.

The Padmasambhava principle – Dharma protection, outrageousness, and great power (to overcome any obstacle of small-mindedness and increase siddhis.)

Teachers sometimes overwhelm us to the potency of the path.

VCTR liked picnics in the snow. (laughs)  He did a short feast offering.  VCTR asked Judy repeatedly as a koan, “What is the difference between this and a picnic?”

This is about enjoyment without comfort. The feast offering is an offering sense pleasures, neurosis, and “getting enriched dharmic calorically.”  The ingredients of Sacred World…

This is entering into a sacred mandala.

“The Rain of Blessings” is well known through all the Vajrayana lineages. It can be a daily practice.  Any practice done properly will “do the trick.”  Some cave yogis do the same 3-page practice for 30 years.

In the feast, we can enjoy ourselves, and have a sense of shamatha/ vipashina, karuna, maitri, emptiness, meditation, mantra, and mudra.  It repairs samaya and acts as a mega-reminder.  We forget our appreciation for the rarity of dharma.

This practice also ties us into the interconnected maha-sangha.

Technically, this in Nyingma.  But in practice, everyone reveres Guru Rinpoche.

The Choppon in this practice is an ‘intermediary’ between us and the shrine.  They are supposed to physically join the energy.  You don’t need to be watching them. It is better to just “pick up on what is going on.”  Keeping threads with a sangha.

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