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.

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.

The Everyday Practice of Dzogchen ~ A Teaching of HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

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.

~HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Read the whole teaching here

Mahamudra and Emptiness – An Experiential Approach

One day the great master Padampa Sangye asked his students to express their realization. Lama Charchung said:

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.

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.