New Real Dharma Media Page

Announcing a new media page on the Real Dharma website:

Audio teachings (and other media) will be posted on the new “Media” page, accessible from the “Media” tab on the Real Dharma website or here. Please check the Real Dharma Media page for new free Real Dharma audio teachings.

The first offering on the Media page is a talk on the Prayer of Samantabhadra.

Enjoy! May all beings benefit! Sarva mangalam!

How Amazing! by Lama Shabkar

(This pretty much says it all).

HOW AMAZING!
by Lama Shabkar

Eh ma ho! How amazing!
In both samsara and nirvana, the renown of the awakened state
Is heard everywhere, like thunder throughout the sky.
This awakened state is always within the minds of all beings.
How amazing that one is never separate from it for even an instant!

Not knowing that the awakened state is within oneself,
How amazing that one searches for it elsewhere!
Although it is as clearly manifest as the brilliance of the sun,
How amazing that so few see it!

Having no father and mother, one’s mind is the true Buddha.
How amazing that it was never born, so never dies!
No matter how much happiness and sorrow is experienced,
How amazing that it is never impaired or improved even in the slightest!

How amazing that the mind’s nature is primordially pure, unborn
And spontaneously present!
This self-knowing was naturally free from the very first.
How amazing it is to be liberated just by resting
At ease in whatever happens!

(adapted from “Flight of the Garuda”)

New Class on The Prayer of Samantabhadra

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Dear Friends,
I am happy to announce that we will begin studying the wonderful and powerful Dzogchen Prayer of Samantabhadra. (Dzog pa chen po kun tu zang po’i mon lam) tomorrow, Tuesday, November 19 at our Real Dharma meeting. This extraordinary text is often recited and studied in the Dzogchen tradition. It gives a short, clear and beautiful exposition of Dzogchen view and practice. The text will be available at class.
We will begin, as usual, with a short meditation at 7:30 p.m., followed by a talk and discussion. You are welcome to come as early as 7:00 p.m. for tea and socializing beforehand. (If you need directions or have any questions, please email).
As always, there is no charge for attending.
Everyone is welcome.
Mangalam! May all be auspicious!
Hal
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Samantabhadra (1)

You Are the Whole–Part 3

In this third and final talk in a series on the Upanishadic “great statement,” or Mahāvākya, tat tvam asi– “You are that” or “You are the whole”–the meaning of asi“are,” or being, is discussed. “Asi” is the limitless being that is common to both you, on the one hand, and the whole of reality, including both ultimate reality and the entirety of manifestation, on the other hand. Through understanding “asi” we know that we and the whole of reality are one.

The following talk was given at Real Dharma on October 8, 2013.

Listen online:

or download or listen by clicking here.

You Are the Whole–Part 2

In this second talk on the Upanishadic “great statement,” or Mahāvākya, tat tvam asi– “You are that” or “You are the whole”–the meaning of tat, “that,” is discussed. “That” refers both to brahman, the ultimate reality which is limitless nondual consciousness and being, and to the whole of reality, including both ultimate reality and the entirety of manifestation.

The following talk was given at Real Dharma on October 1, 2013.

Listen online:

or download or listen by clicking here.

You Are The Whole

One of the Mahāvākyasor “great statements” of the Upanishads, the nondual wisdom section of the Vedas, is tat tvam asi (तत् त्वम् असि ), “You are that.” This statement means not only that you are, in reality, limitless nondual awareness, but it also means you are the totality, the whole of the intelligent universe, comprising everything. Helping us see that we are not the limited, incomplete beings we usually think we are, but that we are both the source and the totality of the universe, is the goal of the teaching of Advaita Vedanta, a means of self-knowledge and liberation.

In the following talk, given on September 24, 2013, the tvam,  or “you” section of the great statement is examined–the analysis of “Who am I?”

Listen online:

or download or listen by clicking here.

Seeing Sameness

One way to recognize intrinsic awareness–the original wisdom we were born with–is to see if there is something that is always the same. The sameness that is being pointed to does not exclude difference or change. It is a nonconceptual awareness that transcends the opposites of permanence and impermanence, of difference and sameness. It is a sameness that is seen in difference, a permanence seen right within this world of impermanence, a stable presence that pervades all states of consciousness whether peaceful or disturbed, happy or sad.

Seeing this sameness is a doorway to the simple recognition of one’s own awareness as primordial wisdom.

In this short meditative talk (about 20 minutes long), Hal points to the possibility of recognizing innate nonconceptual sameness. This talk was given at Real Dharma Sangha on May 1, 2012. To listen, use the flashplayer, below:

or download or listen by clicking here.

Is there really a problem?

Most relgions seem to propose that there is some fundamental problem that needs a solution. Indian religions such as Buddhism and Vedanta see the problem as repeated death and rebirth on the wheel of samsara. Western religions frame the problem as sin and reconciliation with God. Then these traditions propose a solution–whether it is nirvana, self-knowledge or faith and union with an absolute reality. But in these times, we are becoming aware that each religion’s statement of the basic problem and its solution is historically conditioned. When we are exposed to so many vying formulations of the problem and its solution, can we be sure what the problem and solution really are, or that there really is in fact a problem at all? In the following short talk (about 14 minutes long), Hal Blacker proposes questioning the idea that there is a problem that needs a solution altogether.

This talk was given on April 17, 2012 at Real Dharma.

or download or listen by clicking here.