Thursday, October 21, 2010

As many buddhas as there may be in any world

Samantabhadra
Then the great enlightening being Universally Good, thus explaining
courses of eons, as many eons as atoms in the untold buddha-lands in the succession
of worlds, went on to make a vow:

As many buddhas as there may be in any world
Throughout the ten directions, throughout past, present, and future,
I honor them all, without exception,
Pure in body, speech, and mind.
With as many bodies as atoms in all lands
I bow to all buddhas,
With a mind directed to all buddhas,
By the power of the vow of the practice of good.
In a single atom, Buddhas as many as atoms
Sit in the midst of enlightening beings;
So it is of all things in the cosmos—
I realize all are filled with buddhas.
I laud all the buddhas therein,
Expounding in all languages
The qualities of all buddhas,
With endless oceans of manifestations.
With the finest flowers, garlands,
Musical instruments, perfumes and parasols,
The finest lamps and incenses,
I make offerings to those buddhas.
With the finest clothes, fragrances,
And mountainous baskets of aromatic powders,
With the finest of all kinds of adornments
I make offerings to those buddhas.
Whatever be the best of offerings,
I produce them for all buddhas;
By the power of devotion to the practice of good,
I honor and serve all buddhas.
Whatever evil I may commit
Under the sway of passion, hatred, or folly,
Bodily, verbally, or mentally,
I confess it all.
And whatever the virtue of beings everywhere,
Hearers, saints, self-conquerors,
Enlightening beings and buddhas,
In all that I do rejoice.
And all the Lamps of the Worlds in the ten directions
Who have realized enlightenment and attain nonobstruction
I seek as guides, that they may turn
The supreme wheel of teaching.
And those who wish to manifest extinction
I petition respectfully to remain
For eons as many as atoms in the land
For the welfare and happiness of all beings.
By honor, service, and direction,
By appreciating, seeking, and requesting teachings,
Whatever good I have accumulated,
I dedicate it all to enlightenment.
May the buddhas of the past be honored,
As well as those now in the worlds of the ten directions,
And may those of the future be at ease,
Filled with joy, having realized enlightenment.
May all the lands of the ten directions
Be purified, supreme, and filled
With buddhas and enlightening beings
At the tree of enlightenment.
May all beings in the ten directions
By happy and well;
May all beings' righteous aim be successful,
May their hope be realized.
As I am carrying out enlightenment practice,
May I recall my lives in all states;
In every lifetime, as I die and am reborn,
May I always transcend the mundane.
Learning from all buddhas,
Fulfilling the practice of good,
I will practice pure conduct,
Always free from defect.
I will expound the Teaching
In the languages of gods and dragons,
In the languages of demons and humans,
And of all living beings.
May those engaged in the ways of transcendence
Not stray from enlightenment;
And may all evils to be inhibited
Be thoroughly extinguished.
I will traverse the paths of the world
Free from compulsion, affliction, and delusion,
Like a lotus unstained by water,
Like the sun and moon unattached in the sky.
Extinguishing all the miseries of bad states
And bringing all beings to happiness,
I will act for the welfare of all beings
In all lands everywhere.
According with the conduct of sentient beings
While fulfilling the practice of enlightenment,
And cultivating the practice of good,
Thus will I act throughout future eons.
May I always be in communion
With those who share my practice;
Physically, verbally, and mentally,
I will carry out vows as one practice.
And may I always be with my benefactors,
Who teach me the practice of good;
May I never displease them.
May I always see the buddhas face to face,
Surrounded by enlightening beings;
I will make fine offerings to them
Forever, unwearied.
Preserving the true teaching of buddhas,
Illumining the practice of enlightenment,
And purifying the practice of good,
I will practice for all future eons.
Migrating through all states of being,
Having acquired inexhaustible virtue and knowledge,
May I become an inexhaustible treasury of wisdom and means,
Concentration, liberation, and all virtues.
As I carry on the practice of enlightenment,
May I see the inconceivable buddhas sitting among enlightening beings
In the lands as numerous as atoms
That are in each atom.
Thus may I perceive the oceans
Of buddhas and lands of all times
In each point in the ten directions
As I practice for myriad eons.
May I ever penetrate the eloquence of buddhas,
The voices of all buddhas which adapt to mentalities,
The purity of articulation of all buddhas,
By the sounds of the ocean of tones in a single utterance.
Into those infinite voices
Of all buddhas of all times
May I enter by buddha-power,
Turning the wheel of teaching.
May I enter all eons
Of the future instantly,
And may I act in all eons
Of all times within an instant.
May I see all buddhas of all times
In one instant
And always enter their sphere
By the magical power of liberation.
May I produce the arrays of all lands
Of all times in an atom,
May I thus perceive all the arrays
Of buddha-lands in all the ten directions.
Learning the teachings of
The Lamps of the Worlds to come,
I visit all the Guides
Who have passed away to eternal rest.
By occult powers, swift in all ways,
By the power of knowledge, all-sided,
By the power of practice, with all virtues,
By the power of universal love,
By the power of goodness, all pure,
By the power of knowledge, unobstructed,
Gathering the power of enlightenment,
Clearing away the power of acts,
Destroying the power of afflictions,
Vitiating the power of demons,
May I fulfill all powers
Of the practice of good.
Purifying oceans of lands,
Liberating oceans of beings,
Observing oceans of truths,
Plumbing oceans of knowledge,
Perfecting oceans of practices,
Fulfilling oceans of vows,
Serving oceans of buddhas,
May I practice, untiring, for oceans of eons.
The lofty vows of enlightenment practice
Of the buddhas of past, present, and future
May I fulfill completely,
Practice what is good, and realize enlightenment.
All who share in the practice
Of the sage of Universal Good,
The foremost offspring of all buddhas,
I name them good.
Pure in body, speech, and mind,
Pure in conduct, with a pure land,
As the sage is named Good,
May I become thus equally.
May I carry out the vow of Manjushri
To totally purify the practice of good;
Tireless through all future ages,
May I fulfill all those tasks.
May there be no limits to practice,
And no limit to virtues;
Persisting in infinite practices,
I know all their miraculous creations.
As long as the earth exists,
As long as all beings exist,
As long as acts and afflictions exist,
So long will my vow remain.
Let me give the buddhas all worlds
In the ten directions adorned with jewels,
Let me give celestials and humans supreme happiness
For eons as many as atoms.
Those who develop respect and devotion
On hearing this supreme dedication,
Seeking supreme enlightenment,
Will be most blessed.
They will have abandoned all evils
And all bad associates
And will quickly see Infinite Light,
If they have this vow of enlightening practice.
Great is their gain, worthwhile their life,
Auspicious their birth as humans;
They will soon be like
The universally good enlightening being.
Those who have committed hellish crimes
Under the sway of ignorance
Will quickly put an end to them all
When this practice of good is expounded.
Endowed with knowledge, distinction, and nobility,
Invulnerable to false teachers and demons,
They will be honored
By all in the triple world.
They will quickly go to the
Tree of enlightenment
And sit there for the benefit
Of all living beings;
They will realize enlightenment,
Turn the wheel of teaching,
And conquer the devil
And all its cohorts.
Buddha knows those who hold this vow to practice good,
Who cause it to be told of and taught;
The fruit of this is supreme enlightenment—
Do not entertain any doubt.
As the hero Manjushri knows, so too does Universal Good;
As I learn from them I dedicate all this virtue.
By the supreme dedication praised by the buddhas of all times
I dedicate all this virtue to the practice of highest good.
Acting in accord with the time, may I remove all obstructions,
May I see Infinite Light face to face and go to the land of bliss.
There, may all these vows be complete;
Having fulfilled them, I will work for the weal of all beings in the world.
Let me abide in the circle of that buddha, born in a beautiful lotus,
And receive the prophecy of buddhahood there in the presence
Of the buddha of Infinite Light.
Having received the prophecy there, with millions of emanations
I will work for the weal of beings everywhere, by the power of Buddha.
By whatever virtue I accumulate, having invoked the vow to practice
good,
May the pure aspiration of the world he at once all fulfilled.
By the endless surpassing blessing realized from dedication
To the practice of good,
May worldlings submerged in the torrent of passion
Go to the higher realm of Infinite Light.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Tao is a Silent Flower

The Tao is a silent flower which blooms through the night,
But the night through which it blooms is the flower itself.
No Tao, no flower, no bloomer, no night.
And for this reason, it blooms.

Ying Yang Taoism

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Eight Extremes - Nagarjuna

Based on dependent origination something occurs, yet
There is no arising nor passing away.
There is no nihilism nor eternalism.
There is no coming nor going.
There are not many nor one event(s).
Whatever tends to be elaborated becomes almost calm again and again.

Nagarjuna.

Nagarjuna
When you meditate it seems as though a lot of experiences arise. You see this, you see that, and it seems to pass into and out of awareness, each experience followed by another.

And yet as meditation deepens, the ability to clearly see 'things' or experiences fades away. This isn't because your awareness is getting duller or you are losing your ability to retain any clarity in meditation. On the contrary, it actually happens as awareness and clarity deepen.

As your meditation deepens you find that what formerly appeared as substantial now no longer has such a distinct and demarcated identity. You increasingly find it hard to see exactly where 'something' is, or where it isn't.

There seems little doubt that something is occurring, that something is arising. Yet you cannot in any way point to it, and say 'this is this' or 'that is that'.

Do things arise? I really have no idea.

Do they cease? I don't know.

Do they appear to arise - it would seem so. Where are they, or where were they - I have no idea. And so it goes.

Such definites as 'it does exist' fade away. They simply don't hold. And equally their negation - it doesn't exist' don't apply to what you experience, what you know - at all.

Mind is as it is. Experience is as it is. And there's little that one can say about it.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

What Colour is the Wind?

What Colour is the Wind?

Zen saying.

zen

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Savaripa on the Nature of Mind

In the process of searching for all that manifests as mind and matter
There is neither anything to be found nor is there any seeker,
For to be unreal is to be unborn and unceasing
In the three periods of time.
That which is immutable
Is the state of great bliss.

Savaripa.

Savaripa - Shavaripa
I thought I'd share this quote from Savaripa (Shavaripa) - the eighth century India mahasiddha.

Mahamudra meditation uses insight or vipassana meditation methods just like any other Buddhist path. Indeed, surprising to some it uses a lot of questioning, which is often thought to be more the realm of madhyamika rather than mahamudra. The texts don't always tell you *how* you work with questions - leading to the impression that it's a conceptual investigation. This couldn't be further from the truth.

One the mind is resting (through mahamudra shamatha) you can then turn mind on itself, and pose a question:

Where is my mind?

Once this question is posed, don't seek to intellectually understand the answer. Just rest in the what follows. Should a gap arise, then rest in that gap. Don't seek to do anything other than rest, right there. After a while, you could pose another question:

Where is experience?

Again, let go of intellectual speculation, and just rest in what follows. If an experience of where experience *is*, or more likely, of where it *isn't* arises, then rest in that. Should an experience of experience not being found arise, then rest in that. This is an insight into the lack of fixed location of experience - an characteristic that experience, or mind lacks.

Just rest there in that experience, if you can, and the experience may deepen. Or it might drop off, either into conceptualisation, or into distractedness.

What am I?

Rest there. You might find this seems to give rise to a shift. That shift may be related to what is arising in experience, and knowing that experience, to what knows that experience. Ultimately you may not be able to separate these - they are inseparable, but there's a definite shift possible when changing questioning to this aspect.

I generally don't ask 'who am I?' as that will most likely bring up all sorts of connotations which might not be helpful.

In this way we use the conceptual aspect of the mind to pose questions, and rest in whatever arises out of this.

When you are able to rest in the shift that results from both these types of questions, you may find a knowing arises, a knowing that there is nothing to be found, and no seeker either.

Please forgive my inane ramblings on practicing Mahamudra, inspired as they were by Savaripa's beautiful song.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dharma Song (excerpt) from Kalu Rinpoche

E Ma Ho!
How wonderful!

Remain relaxed, without clinging or contrivance
Within mind's nature, like space,
Free from any reference point
And with the vigor of vivid, mindful awareness.

Whatever outward or inward movement of thought arises,
Don't lose hold of the vital inner glow of the expanse of mindfulness.
Don't fabricate [mental states].
Rest your mind as it is -
It will be liberated into the absolute expanse.

Kalu Rinpoche

I was reading this song from Kalu Rinpoche last night, and thought I'd share the beginning of it.

Kalu Rinpoche
Rinpoche's description of Mahamudra meditation comes from the Shangpa Kagyu tradition, but is no different to the Kagyu teachings I've received. Rest in awareness, without trying to do anything - and mind will free itself, all of itself.

Don't take this or that as a vantage point, as a frame of reference, and indulge in comparisons. Don't strive after this or that. Just rest in awareness, just as it is. However it is - is fine. It's ok. It doesn't need to be anything else.

Whatever thoughts arise - it's fine. Whatever experiences arise - it's fine. Whatever arises that appears as outer experience - stuff seemingly going on 'out there' in the world, or as inner experience - stuff seemingly happening 'in here' - this dreamlike mirage of experience - just rest in that experience.

Kalu Rinpoche describes beautifully the difference between the resting and doing nothing of Mahamudra or Dzogchen, and the doing nothing of just zoning out, or being lost in thought. It's easy to imagine that you are doing Mahamudra by thinking I don't need to do anything - whatever it is, however it is .... that's Mahamudra. But what's missing there, in that not-doing?

Awareness.

... and resting in that.

Don't do anything in meditation - that's for sure. Don't try to fabricate anything, and make this or that experience arise, or try to get away from or transform this or that experience. But without awareness you are just lost. Lost in dualism and caught up in your 'normal' daydreaming state. This isn't 'ordinary mind'.

Just rest in whatever is - whatever is - without losing hold of the vital inner glow of the expanse of mindfulness - as Rinpoche calls it.

Rest in whatever is - and knowing will arise, and liberation is right there.

E Ma Ho!

How wonderful!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Simply Wait - Franz Kafka

You do not need to leave your room.
Remain sitting at the table and listen.
Do not even listen, simply wait.
Do not even wait, be still and solitary.
The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice.
It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

Franz Kafka (1883-1924)

Franz Kafka
I love this quotation - it really speaks to me about how easy it is to do something in meditation, to try to fabricate experience. It speaks so well of how I can let go of a sense of effort, of a sense of goal, or even of something to evaluate the meditation by, and how underneath that letting go there's often something else which I'm clinging to which in turn can be let go of.

The path to effortless meditation is often for me a shedding of onion layers. I see something clearly once my mind relaxes and rests in a seeing, and then I'm in a postion to simply let go. Not a 'doing' let go - just a 'letting go' which happens of itself.

Only then can I hope to see a more subtle clinging, or a more subtle fabrication.

I can't just drop it all at once, I find. And that too is part of the letting go.

Kafta describes beautifully the reorientation away from needing experiences 'out there' - the constant search for stimulation and meaning and resolution 'in the world', towards contemplation, towards knowing the nature of all that arises in experience. Instead of being transfixed by the seemingly dazzling variety of solid experiences, we find a dreamlike nature to experience itself, and of ourselves. And then, strangely enough, a fascination arises at this utter emptiness, yet play of appearances.

And Kafka's punchline here? That the nature of things will reveal itself, all of itself - it has no choice. Let go and be. Let go and allow experience to unfold. Let go and know.

You don't have to strive after a goal, of enlightenment, of freedom from suffering, as it will come to you on its own, effortlessly. Trust in that, and let go.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Rehearsing my life

I was just reflecting on just how much time I spend rehearsing my life, rather than, in a sense, just living it directly.

By this I mean .... how much time do I spend thinking about what I should do in the future? How much time is caught up in going through various scenarios of what should happen, what could happen, what might happen .... in myriad detail?

Compulsively these thoughts churn, end on end ... tumbling in my mind.

Me trying to get ahead of the game. Me trying to get on top, me trying to beat someone else in some way.

Trying to visualise better outcomes. Trying to get it 'right'.

And all of it imagined experiences, imagines scenarios of what might be.

So why am I doing this, out of control, compulsively spawning these versions of what could transpire?

Why am I not simply experiencing what is, right here?

Is the discomfort of sensations I don't fully want to experience the driving force? Is it that I can't fully allow these things to entirely permeate my awareness and allow myself to fully dwell in these things, however uncomfortable, however dull, is it this which compels me to spawn imaginary futures in which I rehearse life?

Of course being in the present and just experiencing life could mean just = fully experiencing these thoughts as *they* are what is right now as much as any bodily sensation, any feeling, any visual or auditory sensation, would be. Mahamudra has no enemies, especially not though.

Yet I tend not to experience it this way, at times. Thoughts are so seductive that I lose the open aspect of experience, the sense of thoughts in awareness, alongside all other sensations of being at that moment ... and just get sucking into the content of the thought, losing all else to awareness.

And so it goes on, rehearsing, rehearsing, instead of opening to life as it is .....

Sometimes it's like this ......