Fall 2014 Shamatha, Vipashyana, Dream Yoga-logo

Fall 2014 Shamatha, Vipashyana, Dream Yoga

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This eight-week retreat will focus on three of the six transitional processes, namely: All these teachings will be based on the text The Profound Dharma of The Natural Emergence of the Peaceful and Wrathful from Enlightened Awareness Stage of Completion Instructions on the Six Transitional Processes, an “earth terma” of teachings by Padmasambhava, revealed by Karma Lingpa in the fourteen century. The English translation of this text has been published under the title Natural Liberation: Padmasambhava’s Teachings on the Six Bardos, with commentary by Gyatrul Rinpoche and translated by B. Alan Wallace.

This eight-week retreat will focus on three of the six transitional processes, namely: All these teachings will be based on the text The Profound Dharma of The Natural Emergence of the Peaceful and Wrathful from Enlightened Awareness Stage of Completion Instructions on the Six Transitional Processes, an “earth terma” of teachings by Padmasambhava, revealed by Karma Lingpa in the fourteen century. The English translation of this text has been published under the title Natural Liberation: Padmasambhava’s Teachings on the Six Bardos, with commentary by Gyatrul Rinpoche and translated by B. Alan Wallace.
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Location:

United States

Description:

This eight-week retreat will focus on three of the six transitional processes, namely: All these teachings will be based on the text The Profound Dharma of The Natural Emergence of the Peaceful and Wrathful from Enlightened Awareness Stage of Completion Instructions on the Six Transitional Processes, an “earth terma” of teachings by Padmasambhava, revealed by Karma Lingpa in the fourteen century. The English translation of this text has been published under the title Natural Liberation: Padmasambhava’s Teachings on the Six Bardos, with commentary by Gyatrul Rinpoche and translated by B. Alan Wallace.

Language:

English


Episodes

94 On The Journey to Sukhavati

10/15/2014
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As a bonus, at the end of our retreat Alan presented to us the teachings on Sukhavati from Karma Chagme. If you missed your chance for the three modes of achieving enlightenment, then it is definitely not Alan’s fault, with all the podcasts up to now you guys had your opportunities. If not, don’t start crying yet, there is still the light of hope on the Western horizon, and that’s Amitabha’s pure land. There are different levels of pure lands that can be reached by beings, depending on...

93 Becoming A Child Of The Buddhas

10/15/2014
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What better way to end a retreat than with Shantideva’s beautiful verses about embracing bodhicitta! The verses cited today are often used for the liturgy when taking the bodhisattva precepts. Shantideva’s verses are not meant as a teaching to an audience, they are more like an invitation for us in the sense of the “Ehipassiko”, the “Come and see” of the Pali canon, and Shantideva invites us into his own mind with them. When you take the Pratimoksha or the Tantric precepts, you need to...

92 Achieving Buddhahood By Doing Nothing…ha ha

10/14/2014
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In the silent meditation we are once again asked to balance earth and sky and to proceed at our own pace. After the meditation we finish the transitional process of meditation. The text shows how to get to the point from which you no longer affirm virtue nor do you reject non-virtue; you do not visualize anything; nothing is outside of it. Whereas objects are illuminated on the coarse level by substrate consciousness, on the deepest level they are illuminated by rigpa in the space of all...

91 Four Rivers Flowing Into One Resolve

10/14/2014
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On the penultimate stage to the cultivation of bodhicitta we return to the great resolve: I shall free all sentient beings. Alan points how that the deeper this promise sinks into you, the clearer it becomes that it only makes sense from the perspective of rigpa. Also, after having cultivated great compassion you are bound to go on to the other 3 greats - you no longer have a choice. Then the four are like four rivers coming together to a massive stream that will take you directly to...

90 An Approximation of Pure Land in Sight?

10/13/2014
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At the beginning Alan shares extremely uplifting news as what concerns “Project Contemplative Observatory”. After having failed to build one in India and in Santa Barbara it finally looks as if a promising piece of land in Tuscany is available. The land is cheap and big enough to support not only a contemplative observatory but also a mind center. With retreatants maybe even planting organic food there, it would truly be as close as we get in samsara to a pure land! After a silent...

89 Great Equanimity, and the Importance of Views

10/13/2014
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Alan starts by talking about his last dharma talk and once more making clear that his anger was not directed towards any person, but simply towards a certain view. This is important to stress because in the West often a view is conflated with a person. Alan emphasizes how important views are and they are clearly the most horrible non-virtue of all because they justify any kind of behavior. That is why also Dharma talks can be very intense and unpleasant. If a certain view is being burned...

88 Turning Up the Heat on Learned Ignorance

10/11/2014
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The session begins with a guided meditation on variations of taking the mind as the path, beginning with maintaining peripheral awareness of fluctuations of the breath before single-pointedly focusing awareness on the space of the mind and whatever arises there. Alan then returns to page 182 of Natural Liberation for further commentary on the lines we concluded with yesterday, “Due to being obscured by the three kinds of ignorance, they do not know the manner of their liberation.” Viewed...

87 Great Mudita

10/11/2014
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“Why couldn’t all beings never be parted from sublime happiness free from suffering?” This question beginning the meditation on Great Mudita, Alan says, is a synthesis of great loving kindness and great compassion. After contemplating the ingredients necessary to make ordinary happiness sublime happiness and the causes that lead to it, recall next the kindness of others whose actions helped bring you to this point on the path. In the Dzogchen view, when traced to its deepest source,the...

86 Ripened and Liberated

10/10/2014
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Before the meditation, Alan elaborates on the importance of preliminary practices and the accumulation of merit in order to prepare the mind. However, that is not enough since merit can be lost, especially when generating anger towards a bodhisattva. Therefore, what are the signs that purification is happening? When one ventures into deeper practices, one can get some sense that obscurations are attenuating. Then, the practitioner gains serenity, inner calmness, contentment, composure,...

85 Bringing wisdom to the cultivation of great loving-kindness

10/10/2014
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Alan highlights the practice of balancing earth and sky. The core of the practice is to develop a deepening sense of ease, relaxation and groundedness, while at the same time maintaining and accentuating clarity. Alan explains how he started to practice earth with the Theravada tradition and how everything unfolds until getting to dzogchen. In this session, we return to great loving-kindness. Alan quotes a sutra from the Pali canon in which Buddha addresses for lay people the types of...

84 How To Acquire The Stars Of Merit For Your Practice

10/9/2014
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In today’s session Alan talks about the importance of purification and accruing merit in order to proceed quickly along the path. The Sanskrit term for merit is punya, and it literally means power. It is that which propels you along the path. And if you want merit to really flow, then think about what Atisha said about the ability to accumulate merit once you have achieved shamatha. Another way to supercharge your merit according to the Buddha is by concentration on suchness, which means...

83 Great Compassion - Unveiling All Layers Of Suffering

10/9/2014
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Whereas the Four Immeasurables are the best friends of Vipashyana in weakening the mental afflictions before wisdom finally gives them the rest, the Four Greats go much deeper, lifting the last veils to become a fully awakened buddha. In this meditation of Great Compassion we attend to the different layers pertaining to the question why all sentient beings couldn’t become free from suffering. We should take this question really serious, it is not meant to be a philosophical question. Alan...

82 Scientific Materialism on its Deathbed, or the Scent of a Revolution

10/8/2014
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Alan reminds us that the text by Padmasambhava strikes one as religious and mystical if viewed from a eurocentric perspective. However, it is utterly important to acknowledge that while eurocentric concepts have been of great value in certain areas, these are CONCEPTS - not truths. Thus, if one steps outside the domain of eurocentric culture one has to be careful with applying the same concepts and frameworks. In a buddhist context, the text appears and presents itself as sound science,...

81 Equanimity, or This Little Light of Mine

10/8/2014
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Once again we come back to the culmination of the 4 immeasurables: the cultivation of equanimity. By way of referring to the Dalai Lama as well as a Tibetan aphorism Alan emphasizes the importance of wisdom and compassion. We need both and they need to be balanced. As what concerns the meditation, Alan asks us to release all identification with the body, mind and even awareness (almost like Watzlawick in his explanation of “the pursuit of unhappiness” Alan gives an easy recipe: if samsara...

80 Nothing on Which to Meditate

10/7/2014
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In his brief instructions before the silent meditation, Alan reminds us of the importance, before all else, of releasing control of the breath. After the silent meditation session, Alan returns to his commentary on the text (page 178, Natural Liberation) and explains the meaning of the statement, “When meditating, do not meditate on anything at all, for in the absolute nature of reality there is nothing on which to meditate.” At the conclusion Alan answers the questions: - How different is...

79 Aspects of the Guru

10/7/2014
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Alan begins by emphasizing once again the importance in Dzogchen of the relationship between the student and the guru. In Sravakayana practice the guru is regarded as an emissary of the Buddha. In Mahayana practice the guru is viewed as if he or she is the Buddha. But in Dzogchen it is paramount for students to view both the guru and themselves as being free from the illusory qualities of a sentient being. The faith students have in their guru, in Padmasambhava, or Samantabhadra is rooted in...

78 External and Internal Space

10/6/2014
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Alan reminds us that the advanced practices of “not meditating on anything” (page 176, Natural Liberation) are intended for those who have already achieved Shamatha and the insights of Vipashyana, and identified rigpa as well. The job at this point is to rest there in pristine awareness and view the display of appearances from that vantage while releasing subtler and subtler forms of grasping. After 44 years of gathering data, Alan has confirmed for himself the hypothesis that once the...

77 Compassion from the View of Pristine Awareness

10/6/2014
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Alan prefaces the meditation with his reflections on compassion being a hard sell to avowed materialists. If not sick or dying, cultivating your own hedonic pleasure seems a good bet. But materialists who truly open their hearts to the suffering so apparent in the world today, risk being crushed by despair. Materialists, Alan says, must protect themselves from their worldview with an Orwellian-type “double think,” denying the hedonic states of others. But true protection from despairing over...

76 The Transitional Process of Meditation

10/4/2014
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Alan starts the session commenting on the importance of the sense of community and supporting each other. Emphasizing this, he explains a story of Ananda to illustrate that having spiritual friends is the whole of the practice. After the silent meditation and before entering into the third and final bardo that we will be focusing in this retreat, Alan does a recap from the beginning of the teachings to place in context the upcoming chapter. The overall theme is the decrease of grasping. If...

75 Meditation on compassion and the three types of suffering

10/4/2014
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This short podcast includes a meditation on compassion focusing on the three types of suffering: suffering of suffering, suffering of change and pervasive compounding suffering. Meditation starts at 05:31