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!
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.
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.
One of the Mahāvākyas, or “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?”
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:
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.
The everyday practice of dzogchen is simply to develop a complete carefree acceptance, an openness to all situations without limit.
We should realize openness as the playground of our emotions and relate to people without artificiality, manipulation or strategy.
We should experience everything totally, never withdrawing into ourselves as a marmot hides in its hole.
This practice releases tremendous energy which is usually constricted by the process of maintaining fixed reference points. Referentiality is the process by which we retreat from the direct experience of everyday life.
Being present in the moment may initially trigger fear. But by welcoming the sensation of fear with complete openness, we cut through the barriers created by habitual emotional patterns.
When we engage in the practice of discovering space, we should develop the feeling of opening ourselves out completely to the entire universe. We should open ourselves with absolute simplicity and nakedness of mind. This is the powerful and ordinary practice of dropping the mask of self-protection.