Monday, November 01, 2004

Direct from the Source

When you read some of the amazing Kagyu texts and books in print in English today, I can't help but be awed and grateful for our good karma in having these clear and lucid teachings available in undiluted form at this time ... and so easily available too ... without having to climb mountains or travel half way across the world .... it's all right here ... wow!

I remember when I first came to the Dharma, there were far less books around, and many of them where highly interpretive in nature. Many sought to utilise very different concepts, terms and frameworks to traditional ones. For me in retrospect, there was much benefit in the ability of those texts and teachers being able to reach out to people using language they could readily understand. However, the mixing of Dharma with non-Dharma can be quite confusing when you don’t have the experience and understanding to be able to sort them out, and so there’s a downside there too, perhaps.

For myself, it seems as though many more people are able to benefit from a direct transmission of the teachings, undiluted and unmodified in form and content. I always used to marvel at how readily the traditional explanations made sense to me, and how hard I had to work to understand them when they were ‘translated’ into supposedly my own ‘western’ conceptual frameworks. And again, how right and direct the traditional Buddhist imagery was, even though I was being told that there was much there that was just ‘cultural’ in origin, and therefore could be dropped.

I guess our karma is different in this respect, and mine seems to make me receptive and responsive to the direct stuff! For others, a reworking into more culturally familiar terms seems to help.

How my heart leaps when I encounter the direct transmission – it seems to come from so deep within myself that its more me than me, more meaningful and central than anything could possibly be! Talking directly from ‘what is’ to ‘what is’ …. Impossible to describe … but so ‘right’ in the experience, and what really is the only thing that makes this life make sense. Purpose, meaning, ‘rightness’ … so very deep is this resonance, this finding again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"How my heart leaps when I encounter the direct transmission." This is my experience, too. I'm grateful there are western teachers, reaching so many new people. But I'm most grateful for my opportunities to drink in Tibetan teachers. Curiously, I have to give gratitude to China. Their invasion, their cruelty brought my beautiful beautiful teachers to the US. (And the rest of the world.)

Chodpa, where do you live?

Mahala ~ Crystal Lotus