Four classes of Tantra

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Two armed Chakrasamvara

There is so much disparity between various Esoteric (or Buddhist) Tantric practices that two practitioners of different classes of Tantra can hardly relate to one another. It is the inner capacity that distinguishes practitioners, in my opinion. Inner capacity to embrace subjective and objective realities with honesty, precision, and without self-deception (superstition, aversion (to ego, to emotions, to negative or dark side of existence, etc.). A daunting task, it seems…

Having received transmissions, empowerments and direct oral instructions in the Formless Dakini Lineage (started by Mahasiddha Tilopa), specifically into Chakrasamvara Tantra (Heruka and Vajrayogini sadhana) in the highest tantra class, I can understand the huge and almost insurmountable gaps between the classes of Tantra listed below.

Clarity is essential to me, especially since I am teaching these practices, so let us take a look at these four classes of Esoteric Tantra (adapted from the “Cakrasamvara Tantra, (The Discourse of Sri Heruka) A Study and Annotated Translation”, see a link to the book below) :

The Yogini Tantras (named the Mother Tantras in the Land of Snows later on) were well-known for their focus on sexual yogas, and according to some commentators, this is the reason for their superiority.

The Vajrapanjara, an explanatory tantra for the Hevajra, which is one of the most important Yogini Tantras along with the Cakrasamvara, describes the tantra classes as follows:

The method of the perfection of wisdom is called “yogini,”
who is served for the sake of union with the great consort
(mahamudra). The Vajrapanjara of the yogini is called the
“Yogini Tantra.” The art of all perfections is attained
through meditative states (dhyana) alone. The Hevajra
mandala, the Sarvabuddha[samayoga], the Guhyagarbha,
the Vajramrta, the Cakrasamvara, and the Vajrapanjara
are famed as the six Yogini Tantras.

The Yoga Tantras were taught for the sake of disciplining men.
Yogini Tantras were taught in order to assemble women.
Action (or Kriya) Tantras were taught for the inferior, and the
Practice (or caryatantra) Tantras for everyone else.
Superior Yoga is taught for superior beings, and Unexcelled
Yoga for those who surpass [them].

As said above, it is the inner capacity that determines which class of tantra one gets to practice. The text uses a rather harsh word “inferior” (for practitioners of the entry-level tantra, kriya tantra), but the message is clear.

Devakulamahamati comments on this passage as follows:

Action (or Kriya) Tantras involve the external visualization of the deity
as food, and so forth, and the earnest practice of purification, silence, and so forth.
Action yoga involves visualization [of the deity] external to oneself.
Yoga is the visualization of the experiential unity (ekarasa) of oneself and the
wisdom [hero] who arises from one’s own wheel.
Superior Yoga (or Yogatantra) is engaging in the great secret of supreme joy which
arises from the embrace with one’s consort (vidya).
Unexcelled Yoga (or anuttarayoga tantra) involves dependence upon
the supreme bliss that arises from the union of the vajra of
one’s deity with the lotus.

He (Devakulamahamati) depicts the two highest tantric classes as entailing sexual union with a consort. This is a matter which bears further investigation, as one would not expect that normative Buddhist organizations (of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, etc.), centered as they are upon the institution of celibate monasticism, would give rise to spiritual disciplines that would require a violation of the vow of celibacy.

I have observed that rarely do monks (I don’t know about nuns as I have met only one thus far) practice the highest yoga tantras; those that do, are labeled as Rinpoche, it seems…

Needles to say, one cannot just jump over to the anuttarayoga tantra expecting to reach fruition in a short time. Let us take a step back and examine our own inner climate and see if we are really relaxed, opened, and experienced (both in worldly and in spiritual matters) enough to be able to let go of the outer manifestations of Buddhist deities (kriya tantra is dealing with those), statues, names, forms, ceremonies, etc.

In reality, higher yoga tantras are not some religious or superstitious means to worship some separate enlightened beings. These highly esoteric practices are dealing with our (human) transpersonal and impersonal forces of awareness. And one has to be really free of the religious and superstitious mentality to effectively integrate these advanced practices…

___________________

The Cakrasamvara Tantra – an important and very inspiring text, to say the least.
Of course, it all makes sense only now, after years and years of daily anuttarayoga tantra practices. It would not contribute at all had I read it before, for the intellect cannot possibly comprehend the main topic of this important text (the secret):

“Why is it secret? It is because bliss and emptiness are not realized
without practicing it, that is, by Brahma, Vishnu, Mahadeva (or Shiva), the disciples (sravaka), or the solitary buddhas (pratyekabuddha). Thus it says in this text, the happiness of the divine and human states do not amount to one-sixteenth of Vajradhara’s.”

Be that as it may, here is the link to kindle edition on Amazon:

From beyond: the nirodha-samāpatti

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“…niroda-samapatti or ‘attainment of extinction’, also called saññā-vedayita-nirodha, ‘extinction of feeling and perception’, is the temporary suspension of all consciousness and mental activity, following immediately upon the semi-conscious state called ‘sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception’ (s. jhāna, 8).
The absolutely necessary pre-conditions to its attainment are said to be perfect mastery of all the 8 absorptions (jhāna), as well as the previous attainment of Anāgāmī or Arahantship…”
(Nyanatiloka 1998)

After entering the Nondual more or less at will for almost one year or so, profound anatta insight has manifested as I have shared above (blog on anatta >>). A month and a half after that insight, a thought about experiencing nirodha-samāpatti arose.

And it happened soon after that:

while lying in my bed, with closed eyes (no visual input) “entering” into Nondual and on to anatta using the entry of thoughts and feelings (just thoughts/feelings cognized, no observer or witness), it happened; slowly body awareness turned off, feelings of so-called tiredness just dissipated and thoughts vanished one by one. And consciousness manifested as thoughts/feelings just gently and slowly faded itself down to a complete stop. Total silence or stillness and swoon-like absence of everything and anything. Beyond perception and non-perception. No saying; can’t really adequately describe it, I admit.

I don’t know how long this state lasted, but afterward, everything instigated itself it seems (or whatever), everything became active again, thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations. Eyes were closed still, so the visual cortex was inactive throughout the event.

It was like a natural thing, an element of arising and ceasing of events. Only this time, there was no event, no perception, and no not-perception. It was the total absence of anything and everything. I cannot remember what was going on while in this state, as there was no I to remember anything and nothing at all was happening in that state.

Now silent joy is arising here as I share this; nothing overly special or extraordinarily mystical about it; just naturally unfolding events or non-events. Now, however, I realize that there is literally nothing that I could possibly base my existence or awareness on. Everything is impermanent, arising and fading away, by itself, independently liberated and interdependent at the same time and empty of inherent qualities.

So why am I sharing this?

In his detailed book on Buddhist sadhana Daniel Ingram shares on the topic:

“I mention this attainment because it is one more of those things that is found today but has often been relegated to the realm of myth and legend or has been forgotten entirely. It is not that Nirodha is necessary but it definitely is a good and useful thing to be able to attain. In fact, I have not yet spoken with anyone who had attained it who didn’t consider it among the absolute King Daddy of meditation attainments other than arahatship, as the depth of its afterglow never fails to impress and amaze. Hopefully, mentioning it will raise the standard to which people feel they can reasonably aspire, which is basically the whole goal of this book.”
(Ingram, p. 356, 2007)

Daniel’s words resonate with my reality very much.

_______________________

Interestingly enough, while this “non-state” manifested once or two times after the event described above,
I completely forgot about it after I entered the Vajrayana path. And it never manifested again.
My current understanding is that there is no need for that as the Mahamudra is not some trance, but natural living and breathing ground reality.

Important experience, though. In my case, the Sutrayana path laid the foundations for more advanced stages of insight…

Gone, gone beyond: anatta

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It is said that Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism (quite dissimilar from Tibetan Buddhism) is the third and last stage of the Buddhist path. 

The entry-level Buddhist path is Theravada or the Sutrayana or the Small Vehicle. It focuses on studying sutras and renunciation of the worldly existence.
The middle path is Mahayana Buddhism, the Great Vehicle. It focuses on compassionate transformation.
The exit-level Buddist path is Vajrayana or the Diamond Vehicle. It is the most direct and fast path as it does not entertain renunciation (it really doesn’t have to, despite what monks and nuns are practicing). It takes worldly existence, not as something to be renounced, it uses it as a path. In Vajrayana, the goal is the path (under the guidance of a true Tantric or Mahamudra Master, of course).

In my experiences, there is one attainment that is of paramount importance, no matter what Buddhist path one travels on:
anatta or an-atman insight.

And it really takes a direct empirical knowledge, no amount of sacred texts learned by heart, no mental acrobatics, and no symbolic interpretations will do, not even in a million years.

Without such direct attainment, all one is left with are the Vedic or Advaita level philosophical discussions or aforementioned levels of samadhi…

Here I share my attainment from years before I was introduced to Tantric Nondual Practices (Vajrayana):

The apex of transpersonal insights into Absolute reality as per Vedanta awareness teachings are sabikalpa, nirbikalpa and sahaja samadhi.
There is more to be realized, however.
In the realm of so-called Emptiness teachings or teachings of the kind Buddha, there is no self, no center, no agency, no God involved in the natural ground Reality: anatta or an-atma.

From my upcoming book, After anatta:

“…After three days of enjoying almost constant personal audience with Dr. John Rowan or “the living Buddha”, as I lovingly refer to him, I was sitting on a bench in a park, the sun was shining, and it was a warm, lovely autumn day. I was browsing through a book on integral psychotherapy and transpersonal identity development (Forman 2010), and it all started while reading the information about the Nondual.

But before sharing the anatta insight, certain notions are worth mentioning, I think.

In Kashmir Shivaism, ancient guidelines about obstacles to ultimate reality are outlined, so-called malas or impurities (Forman 2010, p.158):
– anava mala (the belief that any given person occupies particular space, i.e. I am here not there, and certainly not everywhere),
– mayiya mala (the belief that there are other objects outside of us, i.e. John is out there, not here where I am located). Basically that is the root perception of false ego, the illusory center of reference, according to my current understanding.

By the time I got through reading this, Nondual was already present (only seeing the seen, hearing the sound etc…), it seems the first two malas were recognized as false straight away: with the Kindle reader in hands, boundaries just vanished, and the little ego and also the well established and stable Causal realization was gone, gone beyond and what remained was seeing only images, hearing only sounds. It, the “I am Presence” (Causal Self) became only what five aggregates or skandhas, according to Buddhism (Form, Sensation, Perception, Mental Formation, and Consciousness) were offering from moment to moment, arising and ceasing.

It is important to note that I was at that point still able to switch back to the “I am” presence, perceiving the well known impersonal presence of the “True self”. For years I entered that state, hence falling back to the “I am” presence was happening so easily, I guess.

It was different this time, however: I realized with the aha! the moment that the “I am” presence in the center of my consciousness is exactly the same as the arising and ceasing manifestation which was being intimately experienced. The seen, sensed, cognized AS the “I am” presence – only that “I am” presence was not there anymore.

What instigated further insight, it seems, was comprehension of the third mala (or impurity) from Kasmir Shivaism:
– karma mala – belief that a person must perform an action, do something to remedy any given situation, say “I need to meditate to get enlightened”.

It happened a few moments after I read those words (obviously I was using the entry of mental formations and consciousness), everything just became crystal clear, no switching back to “I am” presence, for there was no one here, there, anywhere to switch to!

And I am not talking only about the little false ego (which, in my opinion, may also be called the Authentic Self from Centuar or Authentic level); I am talking about the “I am” presence, The Witness Itself.

For years, I was grateful to abide as a Witness, Omnipresent, and liberated, as it were, relatively free from mental/emotional/physical impressions, laughing at the drama I was continually witnessing. But now, the “I am” presence itself, or the One Witness was gone! Even the Pure abstract potential or the so-called Unmanifested “I am” (higher Causal level) was nowhere to be found! It seems that after years of entering samādhi at will, I was allowed to move on.

Only there isn’t anyone to give permission or anyone to be allowed to move on or do anything else. No one is here, it never was, and it cannot and does not exist, because events are unfolding on their own. No center needed. Phenomena are free, separated from every other phenomenon, not touching and yet interconnected but liberating as they come and go!

Gone (leaving little ego or the authentic self behind), gone (beyond the Causal Self), gone beyond.”

Next, nirodha-samāpatti >>

 

Self-compassion

posted in: General, Resources, Tantra | 0

No amount of (whichever) spiritual practice will do if I keep turning away from the coldness inside (which is manifesting as issues in or disconnection from, life) and hope that spirituality will somehow save me from it.

 

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside

Just a world that we all must share
It’s not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there’ll be
No more turning away?

(by Dave Gilmour & Pink Floyd)
full text below

 

 

On the turning away

On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won’t understand

“Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away”

It’s a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting it’s shroud
Over all we have known

Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud

On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord

Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerized as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside

Just a world that we all must share
It’s not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there’ll be
No more turning away?

by Dave Gilmour & Pink Floyd

Please, save me

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It took a few years for me to really embrace the “role” of a teacher as far as Tantric Buddhism is concerned. My own Teacher had to repeatedly tell me to stop hiding and to open up, share my experiences, and what I received from Him. I am grateful to Him for not forcing me in any way…

I say “role” because that’s what teachers usually are: role-playing, for the most part, often appointed by some religious institution or certification or diploma, etc…

Well, in my case, there is nothing backing me up from the material world, no institution, religious center, and no paperwork. What is here, however, is what I received from my Mahasiddha Master, directly, in the Whispering or Formless Dakini Lineage.

And since My Master is obviously respecting my freedom of choice, I am inspired to do it differently. So, if you are considering taking empowerment in our Lineage, here is what you are kindly invited to keep in mind:

Path to (personal and spiritual) freedom is paved with freedom of choice and intimate effort, far beyond institutions and outside structures.
In other words, there is NO coercion in inner spiritual development & progress.

Coercion in this context translates to the action or practice of persuading someone to do something by using force, threats, or abuse so often seen in religious communities (more on this subject here: Abuse not welcomed here >>).

I say unassailable NO! to all dogmatic, rigid traditional and institutional systems that try to “save” people (see also: Imposing the Truth? >>), and in the process of “saving”, they ignore personal freedom and responsibility.

So, deification (worshiping a human being as purely divine, a practice so frequent in Tibet, India, Nepal, Bhutan, etc.) is quite immature from where I stand and completely out of the question. If you embrace these tendencies, please, move on.

I can not save you, and as a matter of fact, even Mahasiddhas can’t do that. You will have to save yourself, on your own terms, by your own effort in your own heart and mind, far beyond traditions, systems, and institutions. Can you live with that?

Do not expect me to push or pull you, to abuse you (verbally or in any other way), to tell you what to do and what not to do with your life. If you need that kind of “guidance”, please, move on.
More on this subject here:
Personal Responsibility >>
Little Buddhas >>
Idiot compassion >> and
Facing ourselves: My religion is not deceiving myself >>.

I love open, daring people, I adore independence, common sense, joy and happiness, sheer aliveness between us, the mutual flow of respect and understanding, and freedom far beyond religious establishments of any kind…

I agree with what Master Therion used to say:

“It is necessary that we stop, once for all, this ignorant meddling with other people’s business. Each individual must be left free to follow his own path.”

 

What I am saying here is that if you choose to follow your own path in the Lineage of Mahasiddha Goraknath and the Formless Dakini Lineage, and if you meet the requirements for inner Buddhist Tantric teachings and other advanced Vajrayana skillful means, well, you are most welcome.
🙂

 

 

Mahasiddha Saraha speaks

posted in: Mahamudra | 0

Marpa, the guru of Milarepa, has been brought by dakinis before Mahasiddha Saraha. Upon seeing Him, the signs of great devotion and love aroused (crying, hair all over his body standing on the edge, etc…).

The great Mahasiddha spoke these instructions on Mahamudra:

 

“NAMO Compassion and emptiness are inseparable.
This uninterrupted flowing innate mind
Is suchness, primordially pure.
Space is seen in intercourse with space.
Because the root resides at home,
Mind consciousness is imprisoned.
Meditating on this, subsequent thoughts
Are not patched together in the mind.
Knowing the phenomenal world is the nature of mind,
Meditation requires no further antidote.
The nature of mind cannot be thought.
Rest in this natural state.
When you see this truth, you will be liberated.
Just as a child would, watch the behavior of
barbarians.
Be carefree; eat flesh; be a madman.

Just like a fearless lion,
Let your elephant mind wander free.
See the bees hovering among the flowers.
Not viewing samsara as wrong,
There is no such thing as attaining nirvana
This is the way of ordinary mind.
Rest in natural freshness.
Do not think of activities.
Do not cling to one side or one direction.
Look into the midst of the space of simplicity.”

 

From the book:

Ground Reality Expanding

posted in: Anu yoga, Tantra | 0
Five Buddha families

 

The great vastness that is the dharmakaya is not totally blank or void. From the dharmakaya, all kinds of manifestations occur without any effort or thought. They are not separate from or different from the dharma kaya; they are manifestations of the potential of the primordial nature. According to the Dzogchen teachings, from the nonexisting nature— from the basic nature that is nothing whatsoever—all kinds of things arise naturally. Since things do not need to be created forcefully by someone, they are spontaneous. The nature of this spontaneity is known as rigpa, which is the nature of primordial wisdom. From that wisdom energy the five wisdoms naturally arise, and they are reflected as the five dhyani buddhas and all the vidyadharas.

When we do not have a profound understanding of reality, in the ordinary world the five wisdoms appear as the five aggregates, the five elements, the five colors, and the five poisons. Those conceptions arise because they suit our deluded thinking. In reality they are none other than the five wisdoms or the five dhyani buddhas.

Whether they appear as the five wisdoms and the five buddhas, or as the five poisons and the five aggregates, the five wisdoms are based upon the same primordial nature—the great dharmakaya. In whatever form, place, or time they arise, there is not one atom that goes beyond the primordial state. This is the essence of the profound true nature. However, because we are deluded by dualistic perceptions, we make distinctions between subject and object, and when we hold on to those notions, we create many different things around us.

To protect beings from this kind of delusion, the buddhas appear in many different forms. For example, among the various emanations are the buddha families of the five directions. The eastern buddha is Akshobya, the southern buddha is Ratnasambhava, the western buddha is Amitabha, the northern buddha is Amoghasiddhi, and the central buddha is Vairochana. On the absolute level, there is just one emanation of primordial wisdom; ultimately, there are no different levels. But in order to help remove our dualistic concepts or to dispel our ignorance, they appear as different buddhas. These buddha families are not separate families who exist in the various directions, such as the vajra family, the rich family who lives in the east, and the padma family, the aristocratic family in the west; that is not the point. They appear this way in order to lead sentient beings to nondual wisdom.

These symbols of wisdom are used to illustrate profound meaning. For example, the buddhas appear as peaceful, wrathful, or semi-wrathful, and as male or female. In terms of symbolism, the eight great male bodhisattvas represent the transmutation of the eight consciousnesses. The eight great female bodhisattvas represent the transformation of the objects of the eight consciousnesses. The four gatekeepers are the transmutation of the four extreme views about existence and nonexistence. They all have symbolic meanings.

(adapted from The Dark Red Amulet)

Facing ourselves: My religion is not deceiving myself

posted in: Tantra | 0

What am I doing?

Many sincere and dedicated practitioners on the Vajrayana path might still believe (or unconsciously hope) that the tantric path only deals with some exalted, truly spiritual, and absolute reality on the outside, which has got nothing or little to do with them on a personal level.

While this might even be the case with the outer Buddhist tantras (kriya tantra, charya tantra – the entry-level practices: learning some texts by heart, pujas on the outside, symbolism, wearing robes, ringing bells, voicing mantras, being good and polite girls/boys, etc.), it can not be further from the truth when it comes to the higher or inner Buddhist tantras: yoga tantra and anuttarayoga tantra (not to mention Mahamudra or Dzogchen).

In these high-tech tantric practices, everything is performed within, and the only aim is inner transformation (of ordinary perceptions and inner concepts)…

It is not an easy practice, though.

Why not?

Well, in my observations, simply because these inner tantras demand from the practitioner this one single thing, this one ability, and willingness which, at first glance, has got nothing to do with nirvana and other exalted Buddhist concepts and religious symbolism.

And yet, this one openness and willingness might be one of the single most important factors in the whole Vajrayana world (when and if one gets that far, of course).

What am I talking about?

Well, let us try to hear Chogyam Trungpa, a well known tantric master:

“Many people try to find a spiritual path where they do not have to face themselves but where they can still liberate themselves–liberate themselves from themselves, in fact.

In truth, this is impossible. We cannot do that.

We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to see our gut, our real shit, our most undesirable parts. We have to see that.

That is the foundation of warriorship and the basis of conquering fear. We have to face our fear; we have to look at it, study it, work with it, and practice meditation with it.”

– Chögyam Trungpa, 
Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery



 

Embracing the Science of the mind

From where I stand, it is truly a blessing (or better yet, a simple and undeniable fact) that we do not live in the middle ages anymore and that our science has made huge progress.

We do not need to take refuge in some old and superstitious dogmatic and religious beliefs. What was once described as demonic forces, for instance, are today clearly outlined only as manageable neurotic personal tendencies (based on extensive empirical and scientific research).

Also, we do not need to bow down meekly and a priori to some “spiritual” authority, as this has also been proven over and over again (in psychology research) as a particular childish and easy manageable neurotic personal trait.

Theocracy or cult mentality has also been recognized as quite unnecessary and even destructive in the modern world where personal responsibility is not only desirable, it is a must.

Dietification or worshiping humans as pure divine beings (a standard practice in the East, especially in Tibet and India) has been shown as quite dangerous and completely unnecessary, for donating life energy and responsibility for one’s own progress to some outer factor, well, that is neither wise nor practical in modern times (it never was, actually).

  • “If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change.”  – HH the 14th Dalai Lama

Of course, I do not feel Buddhism itself ought to change; I do firmly believe that most structures in which Buddhism is offered nowadays are awfully outdated.

And then we have the public enemy number one: the ego. In old times, ego has been blamed for just about anything. Well, not anymore.

Again, we live in modern society and have at our disposal modern means for our personal and spiritual development: humanistic psychology, for example. And in this modern liberal science, the ego is not taken as something bad but as an important part of our overall consciousness that needs to be gently taken care of (see books by Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Marshall Rosenberg, to name a few well-known authors).

And people that are still trying to eradicate, surpass or deny their own ego (and everyday life challenges that come with it) by renunciation, taking (psychiatric) drugs or psychoactive substances (ayahuasca, THC, CBD, etc) or by spiritual bypass (trying to avoid personal issues in everyday life) are meeting with defeats and emotional issues again and again.
I have seen this happen many times, in person. People are not really dealing with their own personal issues (maybe due to the reasons that Chogyam Trungpa has spoken about, see his quote above?) and after some time, they just get angry and disheartened.
It is dangerous to perform Vajrayana without really dealing with personal issues. Very dangerous.

As difficult as this might be to hear, the simple fact of the matter is that Buddhahood or Mahamudra or Dzogchen has got nothing whatsoever to do with any existing religion, tradition, culture, philosophy system or man-made (religious) institution…
…or as Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse said (I am paraphrasing here): “If you think you are a Buddhist (or anything else), you are not a Buddha yet.”


Growing up

It is a real challenge to perform Vajrayana practices in modern times, in my opinion. Renunciation is not really effective anymore (see what is happening in Nepal, for instance, where the government has withdrawn financial support from Buddhist monasteries and also take into consideration the tragedies that befell Tibetans with their focus on the renunciation for a thousand years…) and assuming personal responsibility seems to be a genuine way ahead…
…if we choose to grow up first, that is.

It is easy to be spiritual, isn’t it? Repeating mantras in a low tone, offering pujas, dressing as monks, traveling to sacred places, learning sacred texts by heart – and at the same time neglecting our own bodies, existential issues, intimate needs, and emotional cravings for love, trust, and connection.
Well, while all of the above is quite acceptable, as far as I am concerned, can it really lead to Buddhahood, Mahamudra and Dzogchen attainment that has time and again been presented as being completely and utterly open?
Hmm.
What do you think/feel?

Was Jetsun Milarepa wrong?

I have always felt awe and deep, deep, deep respect for the simple and yet genuinely sincere human being who also happens to be one of the greatest (if not the greatest) tantric masters of all times: Milarepa.

His sad childhood and family tragedy has left him bitter and bent on vengeance. He has murdered 35 people using the dark practices of black magic.I t was only after he met his teacher, Marpa, that he changed his ways.

And after all the dreadful and degrading actions against other human beings, and after years of performing anuttarayoga tantra, Chod Mahamudra and Mahamudra in solitude, what has he said (amongst other things)?

“My religion is not deceiving myself.”

I have always found this statement intriguing. Why has he said that? Why not: “My religion is Buddhism.”? Or why not “following my guru”, or “tantra” or something else entirely?

Well, in my humble opinion, this one statement conveys the entire wisdom of both tantric and Mahamudra teachings.

“My religion is not deceiving myself” indeed, for as long as I hide behind defense mechanisms (humor, projection, denial, suppression, intellectualization, escapism, altruism, etc.) and until I decide to come out of my own inner deceptions, no amount of “spiritual” practice will do.

“As long as you seek to run away from anything in the outside world,
You will never be liberated from the hallucinations of ignorance.
The time has come for you to renounce all this delusion.”
– Jetsun Milarepa

om ah guru hasavajra sarvasiddhi hum

 

 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Smile-Fear-Awakening-Heart-Bravery/dp/B00PIA1EZC/

Little Buddhas

posted in: General, Resources | 0

I am truly blessed to have a Mahasiddha for a teacher.
Mahasiddhas, as far as I can see, are completely free individuals, Buddhas in essence and actuality, completely unconditioned and free from everything, even from the path that lead them to complete freedom.

Mahasiddha Saraha is considered one of the first Masters of Mahamudra and Tantra (seen in the drawing).

Mahasiddhas are far, far beyond puny human intellect and reasoning and completely unfettered by human-made structures (religions, philosophies, various cultures, “spiritual” establishments, dogmas and doctrines, etc.). Being mostly Tantrikas (practitioners of Tantra) and Tantra Masters, they went all the way out of this deceptive world only to return, meaning they did not assume some religious role, or took part in some social charade; quite the opposite: they left all of that drama behind only to come back eventually, embracing everything that material energy (mahamaya) has to offer.
 
(see more about Mahasiddhas in “Masters of Mahamudra – Songs and Histories of the Eighty-four Buddhist Siddhas“).

 

What I received

My eternal treasure, my protector, spiritual master, and root guru is Goraknath Mahasiddha (see a photo of one of his emanations below).

Immortal by choice, forever preset here upon this Earth, sounding his damaru for all able adepts to hear.

Over almost three decades (of present life) He taught me many, many things, one being the most important:

There is no jumping

There is no jumping, meaning that no one and I mean no one (whether Joe Blow from some backward village somewhere or some elevated and amazing Guru in some religious establishment) can successfully avoid or jump over, well, anything really. Whatever we try to avoid, suppress, ignore or jump over – it all comes back (screaming, oftentimes), in one way or another, in this life or the next.

And I am not trying to be a smart ass here, I am sharing my observations (subjective observations, I might add, meaning, the present text is relative at best). And what I have observed in real life, is that whatever stage of spiritual development we might have attained (or hope we have), there is one area of human existence that always shows the true state of affairs: how we relate to each other.

Are we letting others be or are we projecting?
Are we really free from different opinions? 
Are we really contributing to the well being of others or are we only playing some role?

I have seen (self-proclaimed) advanced Buddhist act like a stupid idiot towards a fellow being; I have witnessed advanced and exalted Vaishnavas (devotees of Vishnu) being arrogant, violent and insulting towards other devotees; and, of course, we have all seen what is going on in Tibetan Buddhist and other “spiritual” communities around the world, haven’t we (I am referring to sexual abuses here).

And on the other hand, I personally met completely unassuming individuals that are sincerely trying to be spiritual and attain at long, long last at least some small measure of inner peace… but all they are attaining are only further inner disharmonies and pain.

Both, the exalted spiritual persons (by their standards) and the lost and ignorant souls, are making one big mistake, it seems: they are still trying to avoid something in their inner psychological climate. The former by trying to play spiritual roles, and the latter by trying to get out of the fuc*ed life they manifested for themselves. And neither are succeeding…

There is no jumping.

There is no jumping.

In all aforementioned cases, individuals still are (or were in the past), trying to ignore or suppress personal issues, inner intimate disharmonies, traumas from childhood (of this life) and all of them are still trying to be someone else. The question I am asking here is: how can we become truly enlightened if we can not or do not want to face our personal issues?

There is no jumping over personal issues, it is simply impossible. Emotional energy does not just vanish and disappear, it gets stored up in our subconsciousness. And no amount of pujas and mantras and whatnot will eradicate these suppressed emotions and destructive mental patterns.

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
– C.G. Jung

 

One really has to learn to walk first before one can run. And individuals in the above cases are still only playing roles, none of them really walking on their own two feet, in my opinion.

One has first to learn how to control the mind and emotions before truly spiritual attainments are to be attained. And, according to the Path Mahasiddha Goraknath is sharing with me, this can truly and thoroughly be done only on the path of embracing everything, including everyday life: our jobs, relationships, money, spare time, health, etc…

I don’t know about you, but I do not want to remain just a Little Buddha, all spiritual on the outside, but a mere insecure child on the inside.

 

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