Good morning everyone. So this morning we did a session of shamatha as a way of reminding ourselves that without the foundation of stable calm attention, simply learning produces a lot of mental excitement. It is very easy to lose calmness, awareness, effect on environment. We are trying to balance a lot of material, learning history, including history not by practitioners. Who were the ancestors? What did they teach? How were they preserved? How is all that integrated? hear, contemplate, and integrate by taking that knowledge in in non-conceptual space of awareness. That becomes power when it is part of your mindstream. Shamatha–vipashyna is the bridge.
Just like that beautiful stupa in the slideshow, we know stupa has symbolism – bhumis at the spire. Can’t have that without the foundation. You need shamatha for stability and vipashyna for wisdom. [First, practice the] Four Foundations of Mindfulness, to see experience as non-substantial yet apparent. Then, practice the 4 Limitless Ones to build compassion. Then, practice the Vajrayana, [to] let it manifest, seeing things as they are. Instead of waiting for things to be perfect, which is the samsaric approach, we are seeing them as perfect, which is Vajrayana approach.
As a tie-in with Khandro Rinpoche’s teachings on the Bodhicharyavatara, I thought it would be cool to include Movement Eight of Symphony No. 5: Requiem, Bardo and Nirmanakaya by ‘New York Minimalist Composer Phillip Glass *‘ which draws most of the words of the choral piece from Chapter 3 of Shantideva’s Bodhicharyavatara which Khandro Rinpoche specifically stressed should be brought into the continuum of one’s being.
Mr. Glass also uses words from Chinese philosopher Mencius and from a 1st Century wandering ascetic Rabbi that seem to be conveniently ‘forgotten’ by some of his supposed modern-day followers.
(continued from part 2)
Step by step guided meditation on the profound Mahayana text of Bodhicharyavatara by Patrul Rinpoche
The Bodhicharyavatara was taught by Shantideva first. But Patrul Rinpoche is said to have spent 80% of his life teaching this text. He is regarded as one who lived in accord with the dharma, setting very high example for all the teachers from the later 19th, 20th century who trained in how Patrul Rinpoche taught. He said “if there is a single text that is the life-force of the dharma, it is the Bodhicharyavatara.” He received it 108 times. He taught it in public gathering more than 100 times, entrusted to them that they needed to have it taught to them 100 times and teach it 100 times before they’d understood. There was hardly any lineage master not untouched by Patrul Rinpoche. After he died, he had 1000s of disciples, and so forth. The only things he had when he died was the robes he was wearing, the bowl he ate in, and a copy of the Bodhicharyavatara. It is very important when we engage in contemplation that we don’t bring the profound teaching down to our level. Continue reading