The Four Seals of Existence

The four seals (also known as the four emblems or marks) is a fundamental Buddhist teaching–some would say it is the view that defines Buddhist dharma, or teaching. The four seals, or emblems are:

1. All composite things are impermanent.

2. All defiled emotions are suffering.

3. All phenomena lack a self or inherent existence.

4. Nirvana is peace and beyond conceptuality.

To listen to a talk by Hal Blacker on the four seals, or emblems, follow the links below. This talk was given at the Real Dharma group in Fairfax, California on June 28, 2011.

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

[The talk begins with a short discussion of meditation].
[Errata: There is a reference in the talk to the Buddhist teaching on the smallest unit of time, the kshana, said to constitute 1/65th of a finger-snap in duration. This unit was mispronounced ekasana in the talk.]

Milarepa at Yolmo Kangra-Part 2

You who are the way of view, meditation, and action,
Grant your blessings so that I may dwell within the self-existing nature.
~Milarepa

Listen to part 2  in a series of talks by Hal Blacker, on The Song of View, Meditation & Action at Yolmo Kangra, by Milarepa. This talk continues to discuss the view of Mahamudra. Given at Real Dharma Sangha on February 1, 2011:

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

Ganges Mahamudra–Part 7

What joy!
With the ways of the intellect, you won’t see beyond  intellect.
With the ways of action you won’t know non-action.
If you want to know what is beyond intellect and action,
Cut your mind at its root and rest in naked awareness.
~Tilopa, Ganges Mahamudra (trans. Ken McLeod)

Listen to part 7, the concluding talk in a series of talks by Hal Blacker, on Ganges Mahamudra (Mahamudra Upadesha) by Tilopa. (Covering verses 21-28). Given at Real Dharma Sangha on January 11, 2011:

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

Ganges Mahamudra–Part 5

When you are free from ambition and don’t hold any position,

You will see all that the scriptures teach.

When you open to this, you are free from samsara’s prison.

When you settle in this, all evil and distortion burn up.

This is called “The Light of the Teaching.”
~Tilopa, Ganges Mahamudra (trans. Ken McLeod)

Listen to part 5 in a series of talks by Hal Blacker on Ganges Mahamudra (Mahamudra Upadesha) by Tilopa. (Covering verses 12-14). Given at Real Dharma Sangha on December 28, 2010:

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

Ganges Mahamudra–Part 3

The nature of mind is inherently like space:  It includes everything you experience.

~Tilopa, from Ganges Mahamudra (Mahamudra Upadesha)

Listen to part 3 of a series of talks on Tilopa’s pith instructions to Naropa on realizing the true nature of mind. Given at Real Dharma sangha on December 14, 2010.

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

Tilopa’s Ganges Mahamudra–Part 2

When you gaze into the sky,

Seeing stops.

Likewise, when mind looks at mind,

The flow of thinking stops and you come to the deepest awakening.

~Tilopa, from Ganges Mahamudra

Part 2 of a series of talks on Tilopa’s Ganges Mahamudra (Mahamudra Upadesha), given at Real Dharma on December 7, 2010. The talk covers verses 1-4.

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

Ganges Mahamudra

The darkness of a thousand eons cannot dim

The brilliant radiance that is the essence of the sun.

Likewise, eons of samsara cannot dim

The sheer clarity that is the essence of your mind.

~Tilopa, Ganges Mahamudra (trans. by Ken McLeod)

A reading of and short talk on Ganges Mahamudra (Mahamudra Upadesha). Given by Hal Blacker at the Real Dharma Sangha, on November 30, 2010.

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

Meditation is surrender

An attendee at Real Dharma Sangha’s weekly meeting on September 14 reported (inaudible on recording) that he had experienced in meditation an opening when he stopped “asserting” himself in the practice. In response, Hal Blacker gave a talk on meditation as surrendering, relaxing, opening and, ultimately, breaking through. There was also discussion about the meaning of life, the origin of everything and practice in difficult situations.

If the audio player does not work or appear in your browser, please click here.