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”)

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.

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.

Special Event: An Evening With Kenny Johnson ~ Tuesday, January 24

SPECIAL EVENT

Tuesday, January 24, 7:30 p.m.

Real Dharma is honored to present an evening with Kenny Johnson, author of The Last Hustle.

THE LAST HUSTLE

AN EVENING WITH KENNY JOHNSON

Tuesday, January 24, 7:30 p.m.

The Common Well

85 Bolinas Rd., Suite 8

Fairfax, CA 94930

 Hustler, pimp, thief. Kenny Johnson was a career criminal who spent 20 years in prison, when he was transformed by a profound spiritual experience. Now he proclaims the availability of grace, redemption and liberation for all. Kenny is the author of The Last Hustle, his story of crime and spiritual liberation, and is the founder of This Sacred Space, a program for currently and previously incarcerated individuals.

Like a lion coursing through the snow: The Song of Lama Jungne Yeshe

When Padampa Sangye asked him to express his realization, Lama Jungne Yeshe sang:

Like a fatally ill ascetic,
Seek to remember your own death!
Like a lone man struck with leprosy,
Seek realization of disillusionment!
Like a stone thrown into the sea,
Seek realization of irreversibility!
Like a bird seeking worms,
Seek realization of undistractedness!
Like meeting your only child,
Seek realization of recognition!
Like a lion coursing through the snow,
Seek realization beyond fear!

                                                                       ~~From Lion of the Siddhas: The Life and Teachings of Padampa Sangye (translated by David Molk)

Exploring Nondual Awareness

Nondual awareness is our natural state, always present and underlying all experience. But how can we see it and feel it vividly for ourselves?

In general, there can be said to be two approaches. One is to just rest, not altering anything. The other is to use inquiry, first to distinguish consciousness from its contents, and then, through further inquiry, to see that consciousness and its contents are not ultimately separate–consciousness’ contents are the appearance of consciousness, like waves are the appearance of water.

In this talk, our weekly Real Dharma group experimented with bringing nondual awareness to consciousness through group dialogue and inquiry. This was an experiment in open-eyed dialogic meditation. I think that most of us felt the experiment worked.

To listen to our session, conducted at the Real Dharma group on November 1, 2011, use the flash driver below.

If you are unable to use the flash player, listen or download here.

Demolishing the Ridge Pole

Soon after his enlightenment, the Buddha described his discovery of no-self like this:

Seeking but not finding the house builder, I traveled through the round of countless births. Oh painful is birth ever and again! House builder, you have now been seen. You shall not build the house again. Your rafters have been broken down; your ridge pole is demolished too. My mind has now attained the unformed nibbana and reached the end of every kind of craving.  ~ Dhammapada, 153-154

In the following talk, I suggest that this demolishing of the “ridge pole” of the illusion of self may occur as a natural falling away when one discovers and rests in one’s true nature as consciousness, rather than as a result of an unnatural assault on the notion of self, using concepts or artificial practices. This is a healing process of going through the fundamental sense of being a conscious being–rather than trying to destroy it.

To listen to the talk, given at the Real Dharma group on October 18, 2011, use the flash driver below

If you are unable to use the flash player, listen or download here.