Facing ourselves: My religion is not deceiving myself (II.)

posted in: Tantra | 0

“…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…”
(check the whole blog, if you will, here >>)

Well, in reality I live in, that is not the case. And I love how Tai Situpa Rinpoche phrases it in the video clip below:

 

 

 

What do you think?
Are you dealing with your own rubbish?

Mahasiddha Tilopas’s blessings

posted in: Tantra | 0

Mahasiddha Tilopa’s blessings still reverberate and are readily available to all who empirically embrace this one simple fact that:
“There is no antidote,
not because the poison is nonexistent,
but because it is not needed.”

The supremacy (as per Siddha Marpa) of the Formless or Hearing Lineage:

“Although everyone has a lineage,
If one has the Dakini’s lineage, that is it.
Although everyone has forefathers,
If one has Tilopa, that is it.
Although everyone has a guru,
If one has Naropa, that is it.
Although everyone has oral instructions,
If one has the hearing lineage, that is it.
Although everyone attains enlightenment by meditating,
If one becomes enlightened without effort in meditation,
that is it.”
– Marpa

The above passage refers to the sacred teachings of the transference of consciousness, outlined in the Vajradaka Tantra:

“Those who engage in killing a brahmana every day,
Performing the five actions of immediate retribution,
Stealing, pillaging, and even rape,
Will be liberated through this path.
You will not be defiled by these non virtues.
And will far transcend the faults of samsara.”

May all fortunate ones attain these sacred teachings…

 

Spiritual Shadows

posted in: Tantra | 0


The appearances of the world are not the problem,
it’s clinging (or aversion) to them that causes suffering.
— Mahasiddha Tilopa

Many people are simply deluding themselves by believing that purity (renunciation of desires, passions, money, sex, enjoyments, material abundance, etc.) defines closeness to complete salvation or attainment of supreme siddhi (mahamudra).

Transpersonal or spiritual shadow (illusion, ignorance, delusion) is very, very difficult to recognize, and even more difficult to overcome…

… it is quite easy, however, by engaging in everyday life, fully.

Having a life (job, kids, money, hobbies, general passion for life, education, health, family…) is the way out of the aforementioned delusion.

Hevajra Anuttarayoga Tantra approach:

“One must rise by that by which one falls”

“By whatever thing the world is bound, by that the bond is unfastened”

“Beings are bound by passion and are released by utilizing passion”

Definitively a road less traveled. Most practitioners of any kind of spiritual path, swear by distancing themselves from the relative everyday life experience, believing that everyday life is not spiritual. In truth, it is their misconception that is coloring the everyday life…

It is my observation and indeed experiences that such an approach only leads to disconnect from the rest of humanity, denial of personal tendencies, and unrealistic, unreasonable, and un-grounded mentality.

That is none of me; thanks but no thanks. I love common sense, and I love living outside established humanmade religious traditions and philosophical systems (most of which downright deny everyday life and normal human existence). Of course, it seems it is easier for me to perceive relative reality as nondual. The sadhana I underwent aimed at full integration of nondual insights into everyday life, here and now, unconditionally and thoroughly. 

“The only way out is through.”
– Carl Gustav Jung

Four classes of Tantra

posted in: General, Resources, Tantra | 0
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 (begin to) 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

posted in: General, Resources | 1

“…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

posted in: General | 1

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!

posted in: General, Resources | 0

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?
See more in The Power of Everyday life >>

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 (started by Mahasiddha Tilopa), and if you meet the requirements for inner Buddhist Tantric teachings and other advanced Vajrayana skillful means, well, you are most welcome.

Inner Esoteric or Buddhist Tantric teachings in this context translate to the two higher yoga tantras, Mahāmudrā, and Mahāmudrā Chod. I do not teach entry-level tantras as these teachings are readily available from Tibetan monks who gracefully offer empowerments even to large groups…

The inferior is action tantra,
Performance tantra is superior to that,
The supreme yoga tantra is for supreme sentient beings,
And highest yoga tantra is superior to that.
– Vajra Tent Tantra, ch 13.

 

 

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: