A Collection of Miscellaneous Aspects of Development and Completion
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (Author), Marcia Schmidt (Compiler), Erik Kunsang (Translator)
A few weeks back I have started writing about a series of books about Mindfulness and Meditation that I have recently read. I was looking for a way that will allow me to do this without altering the content of these books by adding my own understanding and filters, so I have started gathering some of the “quotes” that resonated with me while reading the book with the hope that they might open the appetite for the book or at least for the topic.
Let’s start from the symbolistic behind the title of the book. In the Buddhist culture the “Rainbow Body” represents the state for the body before its ultimate state of Pure Light. It is the highest state attainable in the realm of Samsara, the round of rebirth, before attaining nirvana. In a simplistic way one must obtain all colors before obtaining the Pure white. White contains all seven colors in forms of waves, hence the symbolism behind this Buddhist concept. Here is a comprehensive and concise article written by Paul Hansen about the aspect of colors in the Wheel of Life and the 6 realms of Buddhism.
Actually there is science supporting the concept of Rainbow Body, the spectrum of different colors that it comprises and the link to photons which light carrying particle. Light as we perceive it with our human eye and that often we refer to as white, contain the full 7 colors spectrum if broken into waves.
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche was considered one of the greatest Dzogchen masters of his time according to Wikipedia and he had four son who are all Buddhist teachers, among which Mingyur Rinpoche, the author of In Love with the World that I have written about in my previous post.
For me the book was difficult to read, but mainly because I was not so familiar with all the concepts, therefore I have chosen to offer the explanation of some of these concepts for you, dear reader, as you go along with your lecture.
The Three Vajras:
“We comprehend that everything is created by karmic deeds and our own disturbing emotions, and we discover how to purify and eliminate these” …”it is said that the result of learning and reflection is that one becomes gentle and disciplined. The result of meditation training is that disturbing emotions like aggression, attachment and dullness steadily decrease. This is the real sign of meditation practice.”
Devotion and Compassion
“By unifying compassion and emptiness, we attain true and complete enlightenment”
“Until now, our nature the enlightened essence, has been veiled in think layers of ignorance and disturbing emotions. Now we must recognize this nature as it is, free from all obscurations. But merely recognizing our nature is not enough. We must stabilize the recognition by applying it in practice, because if we do not familiarize ourselves with our own Buddha nature, we will inevitably fall under the power of disturbing emotions again and again. It is said “ you may recognize your essence, but if you do not grow familiar with it, your thoughts will arise as enemies and you will be as helpless as a baby on a battlefield.””
“So how can we make genuine progress in our personal experience? Chiefly through devotion to the Three Jewels. The compassion activity of the buddhas is like a hook that is just waiting to catch sentient beings who are ready and open and who are attended to this compassion.”
The Three Jewels according to www.lionsroar.com:
Buddha: The Teacher
This refers, first, to the historical Buddha, the original teacher. He was not a god but a human being like us, and his example shows us that we too can follow the path to enlightenment. More broadly, the buddha principle refers to all teachers and enlightened beings who inspire and guide us.
2. Dharma: The Teachings
The Buddhist dharma starts with the fundamental truths that the Buddha himself taught—the four noble truths, the three marks of existence, the eightfold path, etc.—and includes the vast body of Buddhist teachings that have been developed in the 2,600 years since then. It’s worth noting that the Sanskrit word dharma also means a thing or object in the conventional sense. In either case, the word denotes a basic law or truth of reality.
3. Sangha: The Community
The term sangha has traditionally referred to monastics and arhats in whom lay practitioners take refuge. This has changed in the West, where sangha has come to mean the community of Buddhist practitioners generally, both monastic and lay. Buddhists here also use the word to describe a specific community or group, and you will often hear people talk about “my sangha,” meaning the Buddhist community to which they belong.
“The state of enlightenment is totally beyond concepts. There is no joy or sorrow within it, such as being happy when one is pleased or feeling sad when one is treated badly. The state of Buddhahood is beyond all these. Because of this Buddha makes no preference between sentient beings; each one is like their only child. The compassionate “hook” or their enlightened activity if totally impartial and all-pervasive, like the sunshine radiating from the sun.”
“The link between us and the state of enlightenment is the faith and devotion.”
“But through attachment, anger and delusion, being only create negative karma for themselves, forging a path straight into the three lower realms. In the past, our mother sentient beings headed to there three unfortunate states; in the present moment, they are heading there again, and in the future, they will continue on the same painful route. Contemplating this, how can we help but feel compassion?”
The Buddhist realms according to www.bbc.co.uk
Buddhism has six realms into which a soul can be reborn. From most to least pleasant, these are:
· Heaven, the home of the gods (devas): this is a realm of enjoyment inhabited by blissful, long-lived beings. It is subdivided by later sources into 26 levels of increasing happiness
· The realm of humanity: although humans suffer, this is considered the most fortunate state because humans have the greatest chance of enlightenment
· The realm of the Titans or angry gods (asuras): these are warlike beings who are at the mercy of angry impulses
· The realm of the hungry ghosts (pretas): these unhappy beings are bound to the fringes of human existence, unable to leave because of particularly strong attachments. They are unable to satisfy their craving, symbolized by their depiction with huge bellies and tiny mouths
· The animal realm: this is undesirable because animals are exploited by human beings, and do not have the necessary self-awareness to achieve liberation
· Hell realms: people here are horribly tortured in many creative ways, but not for ever - only until their bad karma is worked off
“Without fertile soil a see cannot grow into a flower. Compassion is like a fertile soil. The blessing of faith is like the rain that falls from above. When the seed of training the mind essence is planted in the fertile soil of compassion and is watered by the rain of blessings through our devotion, it will automatically grow.”
“There are Buddha fields above and lower realms below, in between are the effect of our own karmic actions.”
“Take this example: in one hand I have a diamond and in the other a chunk of glass. I say, would you like to buy it for a very good price? Now you are not sure which is the diamond, and which is the glass. Because of this doubt, you would have to say, “I don’t know” and you would never be able to purchase the diamond no matter how much of a bargain it would be. That is how it is to be in doubt. Doubt hampers every activity we do in the world, no matter what.
To sum up, we need devotion to enlightened beings and compassion to those who are not. Possessing these two, what is then the main training? It is maintaining non distraction. When we forget mind essence and are carried away, the demon of distraction lies in ambush. But with devotion and compassion, the practice of recognizing mind essence will automatically progress.”
The Qualified master
“Furthermore, he or she should be able to liberate others through compassion and loving kindness; that is a second essential quality”
“In the beginning, thoughts are like snowflakes falling on the surface of a lake. The lake is body of water. The snowflakes are also water. When they meet they mingle indivisibly. In the recognition of mind nature the thought has no power to stand on its own. It simply vanishes.”
“Thought activity, on the other hand, in a yogi’s mind is like writing on the surface of water. The thought arises, the essence is recognized, the thought dissolves.”
“The antidote for exhaustion is, from the very beginning, to relax from deep within; to totally let be.”
“ what becomes tired is the dualistic mind. Nondual awareness is line space – how can space become tired? The most excellent meditation is to be stable in non-dual awareness.”
“ it is this dualistic mind of continually affirming or denying that is exhausting. Awakened mind is the primordially free naked state called dharmakaya. So, sustain that with natural mindfulness, without fabricating a subject and object.”
“Do you know how a cat sometimes lies in ambush at the mouse hole? Some types of meditation are said to be like that. Whenever the mouse sticks his head out, the cat is waiting to pounce. He is waiting there tight up in hope and fear, hoping the mouse will appear and fearing it will not.in the same way, in some meditation practices one sits and waits for the awakened state to take place. Ad soon as rigpa manifests, one immediately catches onto it: “ I need to recognize rigpa! Aha! There it is, now I’ve got it” Trying to catch the natural state is tiring.
It is much better to rest in totally carefree state without attachment.”
“Tradition describes the three types of freely rested: as a mountain, as an ocean and as awareness. Let your body freely rest like a mountain. Let your breath freely rest like an ocean, meaning that your breathing is totally unimpededly as an ocean when its surface is undisturbed. Let your mind freely rest in awareness; in other words, remain in the nature of the mind.”
The true foundation
“I fled to the mountains to practice in solitude because I was frightened of death. Through practicing, I realized the nature that is beyond birth and death. Now I have captured the stronghold of fearlessness. That is how I practice.”
“Give up the thought “I am suffering! How horrible it is for me! Instead think:
May I take away all the pain and sickness of all sentient beings and may their stream of negative karmic ripening be interrupted! May it all be taken upon myself! May I take upon myself all the sickness, difficulties and obstacles which the great upholders if the Buddhadharma experience. May their hindrances ripen upon me so that they all are free from any difficulties whatsoever!”
On death…“These sounds, colors and lights are the natural manifestation of the buddha nature. They are in fact the Body, the Speech and the Mind or the enlightened state: the colors are the Body, the sound is the Speech and the light rays are the manifestation of the Mind. They appear to everyone, without exception, because everyone has a buddha nature.”
Instead, have the attitude of a traveler who is returning home while joyfully carrying the burden of the suffering of all sentient beings.”
“The sign of learning is to be gentle and disciplined.”
“without having to study we know quite naturally how to carry out the four negative action of speech: lying, using hard words, slandering, and engaging in idle gossip. No one needs to train the three negative actions of mind: ill-will, craving, and holding wrong ideas. We all seem to know quite well how to carry these activities.”
High view in this case means to pay close attention to how things are, such as impermanence. “Good meditation” does not only mean being skilled in development stage or yogic exercises; it means facing the fact that everything is impermanent. It also means to reach a point of nondistraction. In other words, one does not sleep at night, one does not fall into the delusory dream state, but is able to recognize dreams as dreams. During deep sleep, there is a continuous long stretch of luminous wakefulness. When one reaches this point there is no need to dwell on impermanence anymore.”
Hopefully this offered you some food for thought and maybe it even opened your appetite for further exploration.