Thursday, August 6, 2009


Tara is a completely enlightened buddha who had previously promised to appear, after enlightenment, in the form of a female bodhisattva and goddess for the benefit of all beings. Her primary activity is to protect from the eight fears. Practiced in all Schools of Tibetan Buddhism her various forms are found in all classes of tantra - Nyingma and Sarma.

this is what ann & i did over the last couple of days. as a lama once told me, doing this kind of thing keeps you from doing harmful things. basically, this was a meditation instruction. tibetan buddhist meditation employs various methods of focusing the mind: chanting mantra, visualization, mudra, etc. mainly, it's a way of quieting our minds. our thoughts are, for the most part, not friendly.

it's really not so much where thoughts come from(though that's part of meditation mind training)but what we do w/them when they do come that's the issue. a thought can come from anywhere: a sound i hear while sitting, a cramp in my leg, a smell. like a cloud in a clear blue sky, it can just appear for no reason at all. the trick is not allowing it to become discursive, letting it simply BE a cloud in a clear sky which dissipates or drifts away out of our field of cognition. by discursive, i mean, rambling, one thought following on another & another & another. when you're sitting, that makes your mind a very busy &, inevitably, uncomfortable space. i remember discussing this w/various p'cola folks(lynn & mike, specifically)& them just not getting it. they seemed to feel their minds were just fine, thank you, even though they were miserable. they blamed their misery on external circumstances &, even though their external circumstances changed, were quite happy to continue blaming everything but their minds for their problems.

that's hard to do when you have a lama showing you what's what or when you're sitting still by yourself in meditation. the first time i sat down for meditation practice i nearly came out of my skin. it was a simple 20 minute meditation & i can tell you that my mind had LOTS to say to me about all kinds of things & none of it was very good. of course, that could just be me & whatever i happen to carry w/me through the world. point is, we ALL carry lots w/us through the world & a lot of it isn't fun. if you doubt me, try sitting still for twenty minutes. if you make twenty minutes, it will have been torture & nothing you'll ever want to do again unless you realize that the more you do it w/certain tools, it'll become easier & clearer & your mind won't try to harm you anymore.

At the invitation of Ven. Gyatrul Rinpoche, the Rahob Tulku, Thupten Kalzang Rinpoche*, will teach at Orgyen Dorje Den in August 2nd, 3rd & 4th. Thupten Kalzang Rinpoche will teach on the meditation practice of Tara. Tuesday, August 3rd & 4th, 7-9pm.

Those who wish to attain supreme enlightenment in a man's body are many, but those who wish to serve the aims of beings in a woman's body are few indeed; therefore may I, until this world is emptied out serve the aims of beings with none but a woman's body


Blue Train said...

Danny, Sri Aurobindo taught that thoughts could come in from outside the mind as well. He was instructed by Vishnu Bhaskar Lele to sit in seclusion for 3 days. He wrote:

"I did not think either of questioning the truth or the possibility, I simply sat down and did it. In a moment my mind became silent as a windless air on a high mountain summit and then I saw one thought and then another coming in a concrete way from outside; I flung them away before they could enter and take hold of the brain and in three days I was free."


bataille2 said...

ken, tibetan meditation believes that too. that's pretty much what i meant by saying the thought could come from a sound(like traffic noises)or a feeling(like being too hot or cold)etc. maybe i wasn't clear enough or maybe you're making another kind of distinction that i'm not getting.
the main point is that WHERE they come from isn't as important(tho it helps to watch for that in the beginning)as WHAT you do w/them when they arrive.
thanks. dj

Blue Train said...

Very much agreed that ultimately the key is what you do with them - and I assumed that the phenomenon of "external thoughts" is experienced in the Tibetan tradition. After all - real is real, regardless of the approach we take.

Mike and Lynn are typical of those who are immersed in the materialistic western model (where there is value to be found as well). To the Western mindset, the idea of any truth which cannot be corralled by the ordinary, egoistic mental processes is simply too alien. In India and Tibet, people are raised in an environment which is much more sympathetic to the spiritual side. If we can reconcile the spiritual knowledge of the East and the material knowledge of the West, then we can - as a race - move forward more effectively than if we maintain one at the expense of the other.