His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama – Kalachakra in Washington DC, Summer 2011

…(continuation of instructions on shamatha)

The key is a tight dosage of exertion, not too low or too high. If you learn to habituate your mind, in a few months, you can see results in keeping mind on object of meditation.

At first, you will be able to keep your focus for only for 1 or 2 minutes, then 10-20 minutes. Then, in a meditation session, the majority of the time you can keep the mind focused.  Be more cautious of laxity.

Insight meditation is common to Buddhists and some non-Buddhists. What is unique to Buddhists is the context – the no-self.          We take selflessness as object meditation after shamatha.  There are differences in the mode of practice. Discursive analysis is the key to special insight.

No-self in relation to the 4 characteristics of first truth of suffering. (Same as Vkr list) –

No self is understood in different ways in different schools.

The coarser your grasping at a ‘true me’ with ‘my things’, it is very heavy.

In the Middle way and the mind-only school, we talk about selflessness of phenomena. In fact, our perception of outside world is an illusion. This kind of teaching can be effective to cut attachment to outside phenomena. But, this doesn’t apply to inner world too. Mhadyamika would say there is no need for a dichotomy between the inner and outer world.

Understanding of emptiness is so important to cutting causes of suffering.

Infinite altruism and understanding of emptiness are the keys to cutting suffering,

My talk is not entirely empty words. 😉

In tantrayana, every moment is shunyata. Dissolution. The grosser level of mind is active, while the more subtle level of mind is inactive. In mantrayana, there is a different understanding of emptiness. Some masters say there is no difference in the understanding of emptiness between sutra and Tantra. Some say there is. It depends on the context. When it comes to the Emptiness of phenomena, there is no difference. But in the subjective experience, there is a difference. Sakya Pandita accepted this when it applies to clear light. But objective clear light is found in Mhadyamika. It is the same view as Mahamudra and dzogchen.

The Sakya school talks about union of clarity and emptiness (as presented in middle way).  Difference in 4 classes of mantra – primarily on focus – yourself as a deity. Very difference from meditating on emptiness or a flower.  Most pronounced in highest yoga Tantra- the mind imagined the subtle consciousness meditating on emptiness, not the Gross level.

When we talk about highest yoga tantra, are divisions – father, mother, and non- dual – sometimes non-dual is considered as containing the first two, but sometimes non-dual is a separate category.

One patsies – lotsawa- HHDL impressed with – dubba- understanding all philosophical systems- sukapa – master sukapa- the learned ones shine. Kalachakra-

in kriyayoga, there is only front visualization.

3 classes- secret initiation – father Tantra- those with wisdom empowerment- mother Tantra. 4th empowerment – union- should be considered non-dual Tantra.  What is unique about Kalachakra is that it is considered an explicit Tantra. The 4th initiation – in the hidden tantras, is provided obliquely, by means Os implication. In Kalachakra, is spelled out.  The way the form body is treated: guyasamaja- illusory body. Cultivating subtle body. In Kalachakra, It is used to cultivate “empty form” – Luke at moment of death. Focusing on upper and lower end of central channel- lowering red drop and raising white drop- the two merge, and the process of body dissolving through process, then attains empty form.

Emptiness without aspect is the emptiness of middle way.

Empty form- unique to Kalachakra. Leads to immutable bliss.

3 seeds-

1-live consort. Flow of sexual energy.

2- mutable bliss – interaction of wisdom seed- imagined consort.

3- immutable bliss- no movement or mobility at all in immutable bliss.

Through practice of great seal of empty form, 21,600 drops dissolve. That is roughly the number of breaths one takes in day. This presentation is similar to the presentation in trechod and thogal.  The other tantras, working with energies to get to clear light. In Kalachakra, working with clear light itself.

Dzogchen- Up to 8 vehicles of Tantra, one applied intellect. In 9th, it takes Yeshe – wisdom.

Dzogchen is unique – every mental state is permeated by clear light essence. Unique – presupposes a qualified guru and student. In proper circumstances, a teacher can directly introduce student to clear light nature of mind.

It sounds simple, but is not a simple approach. Distinction – sport, display level – in the midst of it, one can be introduce to rigpa and mind can be rested in that state.

Felt like raising problem – legitimacy of vajrayana in general, and Kalachakra in particular. It references Tibet, china, India and Shambhala. Many tantras refer to Uddiyana- and to land of ogres near uddiyana. Is important to not get caught in not only using conventional historical accuracy. Even heart sutra – the summit of vulture peak is very small and steep. Many of these came from pure visions. Sakyas talk about authentic scriptures from Buddha, and then authentic commentaries come, and then authentic guru, which leads to authentic experiences. In terms of establishing experiences, the order is reversed. We start with effects of our own practice, which changes way we view world; which leads us to raise esteem for nargajuna, Shantideva, and especially for Buddha. Not all of these can be understood conventionally.

Some great masters in Jonag branch practiced Kalachakra and got great results. Tsongkhapa had great realizations. If there is a transformation in your practice, then it is authentic. If there is no effect, then you can leave it.

HHDL knows some of his students that have attained amazing realizations that have surpassed me, even though I am supposed to be their teacher.

Today; entering the mandala.

Aspects of result present in the causal state.

In Kalachakra – 5 chapters,

  1.  cosmos,
  2. beings in that environment
  3. initiation
  4. generation stage
  5. completion stage: wisdom.

Day 3-

Since guru yoga is so important in vajrayana, many qualifications are required. Even in vinaya, Buddha said there were ethical qualifications of teachers – personal experience of 3 trainings, sense of caring for others, disillusioned with Samsara. In Mahayana, 10 qualities of a teacher – see Vkr notes. Ethics, experience of practices, resilience. Not reliant on titles or high thrones. In past, were short names and long list of realizations.

Now vice versa.

10 outer and 10 inner qualifications of teacher.

Further unique list in condensed Kalachakra.  Even stability of generation stage without foundation of emptiness and experience in Bodhichitta doesn’t work.  Choice btw a lay vajra master and an ordained master, one should get from fully ordained, regardless of realizations. Stayed explicitly in Kalachakra. Buddha said where the vinaya is, the dharma I’d there. If vinaya isn’t there, dharma isn’t there

In Tantra Yana, before you could receive a teaching as a guru, must be very careful. Both sides should watch the other – teacher and student.  Disciples must spy on would-be guru.

How to examine guru? In the vinaya, it says just as often we nay not see the fish Unser the water, but we can know it’s there by the waves above, you can get a sense of your would-be teacher by his speech, reputation (?), etc.

In lagunatantra – student qualities – 2 main-

1) Great interest in profound and vast path

Profound -wisdom realizing emptiness – and vast – great bliss –

2) Entering it seriously intending to do the practice in a correct manner.

Wheel of time- what is meant?

Time- the great bliss totally immersed in emptiness without form.

Wheel – emptiness with form- emptiness body mentioned earlier.

4 signs of nighttime and 6 of daytime- empty form arises and must be stabilized.

Wheel is union of Buddha’s body and heart-mind that encompasses everything.

Immutable great bliss – lot of discussion of great bliss in highest Tantra. Cultivating subtle levels of consciousness. As sentient beings, our physical constitutes can allow us to have experiences of great bliss when energy and fluids begin to flow. One of the most valuable is deep sleep, but also very difficult. Bringing grosser levels to rest so subtler levels can be allowed to manifest great bliss.

Tsongkhapa- one needs to seek path where bliss is combined with emptiness.

Often, deity in union with consort.

The seals – action, wisdom, and great seal.  Same point -what you see as sexual union is not the same as conventional sex. If the yogi can retain white fluid, then one can practice this. Must protect against emission of fluid. Important, otherwise, in the name if Tantra, free sex. In early 60s, a professor HHDL taught wrote a book about decline Buddhism. 1-monks collecting gold and silver. 2- supporters -kings, etc. -lose interest in funding Dhatma. 3- in name of tantrayana, practitioners drinking and having sex.  So, must go to original texts, which is authentic Buddha dharma.

Now the text- a Lot to cover so will fly like a jet through it. 🙂

Vase initiation- analogy of 7 stages of growth of a child. Water initiation- factors that cleanses body, 5 aggregates, and the 6th primordial wisdom element, indicated in Kalachakra emphasis on training subtle consciousness.

Nargajuna – chapter 18, 24, 6-

Shantideva 6,8 – “chapter 9, unless you know nargajuna well, may only add more confusion”

Root and secondary vows, importance

Insult a lady; it is an infraction of the 5th and 14th vows.

Now, 4 higher order empowerments – successive

Kriya – external very important

Taking on the bliss from sexual energy- compared to laughter of lover, seeing her,

Similar to how an insect eats into a tree, how the highest Tantra yoga practice eats away at the desire from which it was born.  Taking desire on the path when one is not ready can

Lead one to lower rebirth. Atisha “light of enlightenment”, celibates shouldn’t get these practices. Evidence these practices were abused.

Focusing on visualized wisdom consort is only (non-real consort) way to raise bliss-emptiness.

Great bliss-emptiness – 6-branch yoga- similar term used in other Tantra. Gurusamadra

Vitality stopping,

Kalachakra – entry of wind to central channel, concentration of wind – abiding, dissolution – dissolving in central channel.

Some have experience of entering the central channel and abiding, but not dissolution.

Vase initiation is now finished.


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