Good morning everyone (Laughs).
Lineage supplication before I give a talk – then q and a, and overview of the whole cycle of teachings of the Ati Zabdon ngondro.
As we start to talk about the transformation of the creation of contaminated impure perception into pure nature, we think many times, “these practices are contrived.” This is because you live a contrived life now. All forms are contrivances of mind. In same way, what you think of sound, even subtle sounds, or a sense of intellectual knowledge of the emptiness of sound, are a contrivance. Thoughts are empty, but even the non-grasping at this point is contrived. We live in a contrived existence because mind labels it – even the labels “true,” “pure,” and “Buddha” are a contrivance. Since we are trapped in an elaborate contrivance, pure perception is a necessity, because mind isn’t able to understand completely letting go at this point, so mind needs a subtle reference. As long as mind thinks it needs a contrivance to rest on, even emptiness, there will always be a need for a relative reference. Mind isn’t mature enough to let go completely, so it needs a subtle reference. Even without form, without sound, even without articulated thought, the need is there to place your mind. Resting mind is placing the mind. You can call it “Dharmakaya,” but that is as good as solid rock at this point, due to the trickiness of the mind state that requires a reference- an elaborated unelaboration.
…the resultant reaction of the struggle arises in the form of defilements. Where there is no struggle, there is natural exhaustion of defilements. There is pristine bodhichitta, emptiness realization and truly relaxing in that. This is absolute bodhichitta. To realize this fundamental nature, whatever way we approach, the main intent is to get the direct experience of knowing the empty nature of mind and the vast sphere of various displays of projected sounds, projected experiences, and projected thoughts.
Every day, referring to the view of why you are practicing is essential. If you don’t remind self of view constantly, loss of view makes practice very technical. Then the mechanicalness of practices become strong, so it becomes like a physical and verbal experience rather than generating the genuine flavor of the view.
As it says in Terdak Lingpa and Lochen Dharmashri commentaries on the Ati Zabdon ngondro, there is a stress on the importance of constantly settling the mind.
…whenever you do ngondro practices, always keep the continuity of resting the mind, resting in the nature of your own mind. in those moments when distractions and habitual tendencies become strong, go into Prostrations, refuge, mandala offerings, guru yoga, etc. to unite body, speech and mind within own nature.
Following the instructions daily, it is essential that whenever you sit in a relaxed way and give your own basic Buddha nature time to breathe, to be free of conceptualizations. Never plan meditation. If you are too ready to meditate, you will always be ready to strategize “will it like this, visualize like that, then it will smile at me, and I won’t attach…” You will keep yourself entertained. Sometimes it will be a good day; sometimes it will be a bad day…
Going back into resting needs no calculated time. Whenever one has mindfulness, it is time to rest. Between the right legs lifting and left leg lifting, if mindfulness is there, rest in it. The rising and sinking of the agitated waves of one’s own thoughts and the sinking of agitation ceases by itself when one isn’t interfering with it. It ceases by itself without interference, where there is no interference. Don’t try to be clever. The rising and sinking has natural dissolution. Mind is obscured, but left as it is unmodified, it will clarify. Its Nature is un-modified when left without any participation from you. This should be seen as the Dharmakaya. There is No other need to define it. In resting meditation, keep this instruction in mind. Don’t modify, but rest in relaxation.
Guided meditation. (Summary)
Take into self the instruction of scanning your body from the crown of the head, slowly down the body to the toes and then back upwards for first stage.
Into what body can feel.
Into surrounding village and town.
As vast as possible.
When very stable, clear, immediately open eyes. You and that vastness inseparable. No plans, nothing to do. When sitting in resting space, thoughts arise; don’t think of it as other than the space itself. Absolutely allow resting in the space. Resting in the space itself is resting in Dharmakaya essence. Wherever you happen to find yourself, inside, outside, allow yourself to simply rest and follow these instructions.
You could be like this all this time, but you aren’t. Not only do you not stay like this, you color everything you think, everything you act, and everything you do. You think in terms of good and bad. Say “good and bad,” continually create a momentum, action, reaction, action… Action is not empty; action constantly bounces back. If you were the only person living in the world, there would be nothing to bounce against, but you aren’t. So not only do you create ripples, you create causes. Some humans could be free from at least delusion. why must that movement cause harm? Why must speech be harmful? There is no harm in thinking. But why must thinking be harmful? Because the Unceasing creation has the potential of harmful actions. They create the sediments we call samsara. We create many forms – that is deluded perception. Perceptions aren’t at fault: it’s the colors we bring in through the lenses of one’s own agitation that is later called ego. Ego is none other than the restless anxiousness that needs to assert basis of its restlessness, which becomes the basis of our experience. Resting in meditation is giving time to familiarize with what could be natural basis.
Being with that more and more is to allow the natural death or cessation of those potentials of negativities founded on restlessness to subside.