“I don’t see mind, I see wisdom.
I don’t see beings, I see Buddhas.”
–from a talk by Garchen, Rinpoche.
Discarding Guru and Buddha together,
I can’t find such a thing as faith or devotion!
Destroying both divine Dharma and worldly opinion,
I have no effort or practice!
Mixing Buddhas together with sentient beings,
I can’t find anything to accept or reject!
I don’t know how to speak of realization!
Ask those of Central Tibet to explain!
~from Lion of the Siddhas: The Life and Teachings of Padampa Sangye (trans. David Molk)
Lama Mipham (1846-1912), a great teacher in the lineage to which I belong, spelled out 4 stages of realization that apply to both Mahamudra and Dzogchen:
1. All appearance resolves into consciousness.
2. Consciousness resolves into emptiness.
3. Emptiness resolves into awareness.
4. The union of bliss and emptiness, or bliss and awareness.
In the talk reproduced below, inspired by the above quote from Lama Charchung, and working with Lama Mipham’s 4 stages, I attempt to speak experientially about consciousness resolving into emptiness and realization in Mahamudra. This talk and discussion occurred at Real Dharma Sangha on December 6, 2012.
or download or listen by clicking here.
The Mahasiddhas were unclassifiable and often eccentric yogis of medieval India and Tibet who pointed out ultimate reality in direct and unconventional ways. Non-monastic, and not depending on dogma or ritual, their approach toward Mahamudra and Dzogchen teaching may hold the key to the transmission of genuine awakening to the West.
Hal Blacker gave the following talk on Mahamudra, the Mahasiddhas and their inspiring example and potential significance for the modern West at Real Dharma on November 29, 2011. To listen, use the flash driver:
or download or listen by clicking here.
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!
Don’t take appearance inside!
Don’t project inner conceptions outside!
Don’t enslave body to mind!
Don’t occupy mind with body!
Don’t attend to view or meditation!
Leave mind unfabricated, just where it is!
~from Lion of Siddhas: The Life and Teachings of Padampa Sangye, trans. David Molk
Lately I’ve been reading Padampa Sangye, the great Indian siddha of the 11-12th century, who visited Tibet, Bhutan and China. Some say in China he was known as Bodhidharma, the legendary founder of Zen. (!) Some say he was also known as the famous sage Kamalashila in India. Some say he lived hundreds of years. In any event, it seems certain that he taught in a style that was unique and unclassifiable (in Tibet, the people were unsure at first whether he was a Hindu or Buddhist siddha), yet powerful and direct. I hope to share some more of his teachings here in the future.
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.