LACK CERTAINTY, LACK IMPACT

Lack Certainty, Lack Impact

If we lack certainty about what we understand, we will lack the impact needed to achieve and realise our objective. Uncertainty leads to a lack of inner peace. Of course, certainty has many levels so, conventionally, we cannot say, “This is it!” but a firm stepping stone of certainty gives us a strong foundation for the next step. We need certainty to ‘boldly go’, to complete our efforts; then we can be ready for the next stage in our lives.

From the ultimate level, there is only one certainty,
and that is that we are pure consciousness,
embroiled and confused in a human form.

We need certainty in our uncertainty in order to jump off our present step, and into emptiness. It is ego fixation – an ‘I’ fixation – that holds us back from jumping: the Greek word for ‘I’ is ‘ego’.

If we cover up our uncertainty with bravado*, we merely obscure the feeling of weakness that we believe we must protect, and so we remain a projection, a mouth piece, instead of an expression of pure consciousness.

For years I wondered about the demonic forces in the world. How do they work?

The feeling of weakness creates a need to appear strong, to show bravado. Being ignorant of their true nature, beings are governed by the samsaric principles of desire and aversion, and they use these principles to ensnare others. Evil is Dharma in reverse.

Of course, this evil has a huge impact in the conventional world, but it is self defeating because the instigators will never find inner peace. They spend their whole lives calculating and propping up the lack of certainty that they have about their true reality.

There are three basic principles of the entire universe: the universal DNA. These principles – desire (attraction) aversion (repulsion) and ignorance (inertia) – are the demonic forces that control all sentient beings. To the enlightened, however, they are wisdoms.

What a crazy world we live in!
Gain certainty by turning everything on its head.
You are what you seek.

*Bravado: a bold manner or a show of boldness intended to impress or intimidate.

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STOP BELIEVING IN GOD TO KNOW GOD

Stop Believing In God To Know God

Our highest part is
pure consciousness, absolute consciousness, ultimate consciousness,
God consciousness.

Hebrews 13:5
God said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

Apart from not knowing who said God said this, could this statement be more practical?

As long as we believe there is a God ‘out there’, we will never realise that the truth is already within us all, and therefore we no longer have to believe. As long as we believe, we will never know. Why would anyone want us to believe rather than know?

Now read:
“ Never will pure consciousness leave you;
never will pure consciousness forsake you.”

For anything to be known, there first has to be a knowing, an awareness, a consciousness. It is consciousness that will never leave you, because you are consciousness. In its pure state, consciousness is just pure consciousness. It’s what, in essence, we are.

Our fate is in our own hands: either we stay in ignorance or we awaken to our enlightened nature. We always had a choice, but maybe it was kept from us.

Which makes more sense?

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POSITIVE DISSATISFACTION

Positive Dissatisfaction

Dissatisfaction is being no longer content or happy with something.

When evolving – rather than just looking for a change –
positive dissatisfaction is our stepping stone to the next level.

The level we are at is not wrong;
it has just worn itself out.

We find we cannot go back
to a previous way of thinking.

When karma is being undone, whatever we did previously no longer satisfies.

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WHAT IS MEDITATION, REALLY?

What Is Meditation, Really?

Meditation is the direct recognition of the nature of mind,
and whatever obscures it.
And that which obscures it can the method of meditation itself!
In the moment of recognition,
there is no meditation.

So, if we keep meditating,
we obscure our reality.

Meditation methods simply lead to being aware of awareness, and whatever obscures that awareness. While we are ‘meditating’, we are doing something. When we finally realise the nature of mind – our essence which is beyond the meditation – we realise that we are this mind essence, free of contamination. That is pure consciousness itself, where there is nothing to do. This is self realisation: realisation arises by itself.

But aren’t we supposed to keep watching the breath?

Watching the breath focuses the mind as a tool of mindfulness. We can spent our life doing mindfulness meditation and still not realise our true nature of pure consciousness … but we become pretty good at watching the breath!

It is not a matter of stopping thoughts. When we sit still, thoughts and impressions constantly bubble away; this is merely our memories, stirring. If we relate to this bubbling, these bubbles turn into thoughts and we are gone … off with the fairies. We live in this way, relating to everything, and it is for this reason that our conventional world is called ‘relative’ reality where we live in memories – a virtual reality – bringing our samsaric world into our meditation; by following our thoughts, we give them a seeming reality.

Realising and staying in pure consciousness is absolute truth. It is the origin of ‘absolute’ reality.

In reality, in pure awareness, we do nothing.
The programmed mind makes the body talk and walk,
while pure consciousness witnesses.

We still play our part
but it’s our past that has written the script:
in seeing that, we can rewrite, until we complete the play.

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THE NEXT STEP

The Next Step

Read
“Starting From The Beginning”:
the teaching is all about the beginning.
We doubt, so more text was created.

Remember,
“Beginner mind, Zen mind.”

The very recognition that we are dissatisfied
is the meaning of the unity of relative and ultimate truth,
and the path to enlightenment.

Constantly recognising a disturbance in empty cognisance
takes us through the levels,
refining and refining.

The clue is in the statement:
“The very recognition that we are dissatisfied.”

There is a recognition. There is a we. There is a dissatisfaction.

That which recognises is consciousness.
That which we call ‘we’ is a contrived identification with consciousness.
That which is dissatisfied is consciousness that does not recognise
its true nature of empty cognisance.

“We are liberated in the moment of seeing.”

When, through meditation, consciousness recognises
that it is pure, uncontaminated, empty cognisance,
the idea of ‘we’ is liberated.

Rather than “I am seeing”,
there is merely seeing.

In the very moment now, there is no I.
An I is created a milli-moment later, and confuses itself.
This happens so quickly that we don’t notice it
and so we live in ignorance of our true nature.

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STARTING FROM THE BEGINNING

Starting From The Beginning

We ask ourselves, “What’s it all about?”
What is ‘it’ ?
Is ‘it’ the world, or our life?

If we are asking these questions, it means that we are questioning the collective consciousness, the collective karma, the collective thoughts about life. The ‘collective’ may be our world, our country, our area, our family, but it’s all in our own mind. Karma is whatever we consented to hold on to in our minds; the ideas, concepts, feelings, the way we see things. Unfortunately, those ideas in our mind are not our own, as they belong to the collective.

The collective ideas have no reality.
It’s all make believe.
We’ve merely adopted a way of life.

For some, clinging to the collective is fine. It’s safe, it’s home. For others, it’s just plain bonkers … it’s competitive, argumentative, dissatisfying, depressing and delusional.

We have to be honest,
if we want to see clearly.

So we look for an answer to the questions of “Why am I suffering?” and “What is the cause of this suffering?” and “Is there an answer?” and “What do I do about it?”

We are now ready for the answer,
because the answers we have had so far
do not make sense.

These are timeless questions of which all sentient beings are aware. Most just fit in, living a while and then dying, never feeling fulfilled, but just existing.

Is there an answer to life, the universe and everything?
Yes, there is – and it’s right before us … get it? It’s right before … us. Right before … me. 😀

So let’s have a good look, rather than believing anything.
To start, we have to drop everything we have been told.

Believe nothing
and see for yourself.

Your own seeing is your teacher.

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BODHICITTA, PARAMITAS, OM MANI PEME HUM …

Bodhicitta, Paramitas, Om mani peme hum …
… all mean the same thing.

Bodhicitta, the paramitas, om mani peme hum are all the six perfections:
generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation/concentration, and wisdom

There is:
Relative and ultimate bodhicitta.
Relative and ultimate paramitas.
Relative and ultimate om mani peme hum.

Terminology can either liberate or imprison us.

It is all about understanding the sixth perfection of wisdom – emptiness.
Emptiness is the clarity of consciousness.
Some traditions start with the five perfections,
and others start with the sixth.

Depending on which tradition we follow,
the five perfections are reflected in one,
or one perfection is reflected in the five.

IT IS NOT AS COMPLICATED AS IT SOUNDS!
😀

In the ordinary run of life, generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation/concentration and wisdom are regarded as helping us to be decent and effective human beings, aren’t they? When we apply these to dealing with other people, they are altruism – a selfless concern for the wellbeing of others. It’s love.

All well and good. This is relative bodhicitta, because it deals with the relative world of me and other. Relative bodhicitta is the application of the five perfections (generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation/concentration), gradually leading to the sixth of wisdom, transcendent wisdom. It is hoped that wisdom becomes realised as emptiness – our essential true nature – the clarity of consciousness.

Paths such as Dzogchen start with the sixth perfection – ultimate bodhicitta of wisdom/emptiness – and the five perfections (generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation/concentration) are naturally expressed as the continuity of that wisdom in daily conduct. But now bodhicitta and the paramitas change, because of the realisation of wisdom/emptiness, the clarity of consciousness.

With ultimate bodhicitta, there is nothing to hold on to and no expectations, so generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance and meditation/concentration are effortless as there is no ‘me’: these qualities are a continuity of wisdom/emptiness, the clarity of consciousness … and unconditional love.

So bodhicitta, the paramitas, om mani peme hum are all about love.
Wasn’t complicated, was it? 🙂

Spiritual terminology can give you spiritual indigestion.
True love is easy to digest.

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THE DRAGON’S ROAR

The Dragon’s Roar

The reason we turn to spiritual psychology for answers is that we desirea better life than this materialistic way of living. This desire can have one of two aspects: we either desire to know more and be happier, or we cannot stand by and see the suffering of others in the world.

Wanting a happier life – one with joy and love – and to understand the nature of mind is, of course, an excellent ideal. This is the path of desire.

The other path has the fury of a dragon’s roar, full of horror at what is happening to people. This is the path of aversion.

The path of desire is one of “All is well”. From an absolute perspective, all is well, but that is a personal realisation which does not relate to others.

The path of aversion is constant recognition that things are not right. All is not well. This makes the inner dragon roar because of the suffering that beings experience, enveloped in dark ignorance in the dungeon of existence. The dragon’s fire is knowledge light rays, fully dispelling the dark ignorance of the mind.

We need a balance of both.
But what do you think first stirred the Buddha?

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MEDITATION DOESN’T MAKE US OBLIVIOUS

Meditation Doesn’t Make Us Oblivious
Meditation is being aware all the time.

Some people believe that meditation means being oblivious – being unaware of what is going on around them. Maybe there are traditions were one becomes totally absorbed, but that isn’t Dharma.

Real Dharma is daily life. Meditation is the practice of the stillness of consciousness within emptiness: this manifests as compassion, where we care about everything we do and say.This is meditation reflected in our conduct in daily life, so the Dharma is practical. If we rely just on theory, change will not occur.

Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche said:
“Our conventional thought patterns
increase bondage to samsara,
and
aid liberation from samsara.”

That sounds like a wild, crazy statement, but it ‘s true. Samsara is the Sanskrit word for the vicious cycle of human existence in which we currently live. We seek happiness in temporary phenomena and this search for happiness is transient in that whatever we seek is impermanent, and so we go up and down. One could say that samara is our expectations that are never fulfilled.

But desire is also very precise and discerning, and is therefore a wisdom. The very recognition of samsaric phenomena in emptiness is the liberation we seek.

‘One-taste’ is remaining balanced.

Our view is not a matter of becoming oblivious to the difference between rough and smooth: we don’t become comfortably numb. It’s more that, although we have tactile consciousness and a mind to interpret that, we don’t merely react. We have equal taste due to pure perception.

There is no need to eliminate or reject the object that produces that sensory experience. The object itself is innocent; it is our reactions that are the problem. If we can’t remain balanced, we will make things worse for ourselves.

We can carry sensory pleasure on the path, without abandoning it. This doesn’t mean grabbing every experience in an excuse for indulgence: if we have a pleasant sensation, and can’t separate that from the contriving mind which is grasping at it, we will become more and more involved.

Recognise that the sensation is pleasant or unpleasant before letting the mind grasp. Understand the nature of what is going on; only then is there no problem with having the experience.

In the state of one taste, how is it possible to generate compassion?

Compassion is based on our ability to understand the pleasure and pain that others experience: those distinctions are the basis for understanding compassion.

Compassion is not being oblivious to others’ suffering. What we do about that suffering is up to our individual skill. Even though we may not be well educated, we still have a good heart – an open heart and an open mind.

Meditation is being aware all the time,
so that compassion is aware all the time.

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SPIRITUAL PATHS SHOULD HEAL OUR PSYCHOLOGICAL NEUROSES…

Spiritual Paths Should Heal Our Psychological Neuroses…
…rather then cover them up

Spirituality is the practical study of our psychological make up and beyond, to undo our neuroses rather than creating more.

The essence of any teaching – rather than the fixations on the paraphernalia – is the only thing that is important.

Spiritual awakening is justabout seeing: I seethat I am an idiot. How wonderful!

It does not matter that this primitive mind lacks education and sophistication, pure consciousness sees it all, now.

If we become so concerned about being a polished object to be admired, we will only delay genuine realisation.

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FINDING THE BUDDHA IN THE MUD PART 1

Finding The Buddha In The Mud
Part 1

Before we start a journey,
we have to know where we are going,
and why we’re going there.

This is especially true with our spiritual journey – the journey within consciousness – otherwise we could spend a precious lifetime in speculation, belief and hocus pocus rituals.

The mud is our confusion which is obscuring the clarity of consciousness; our spiritual path is therefore clearing away our own confusions and fixations.

In reality, our confusion never existed and so, our path doesn’t exist. We are what we have been looking for, from beginningless time; there is no journey.

There is a seeming path,
and a seeming me that seemingly traverses the seeming path
to seeming enlightenment.

In the idea of a path, there is a suggestion of an end to that path.
In reality, the end is merely an end to confusion
and thus, an end to suffering.

Pure consciousness has always been within the mud.
We have been at the end from the beginning!
We have never been without Buddha nature, which is pure consciousness.

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FINDING THE BUDDHA IN THE MUD PART 2

Finding The Buddha In The Mud
Part 2

The uniqueness of Dzogchen (the Tibetan word for pure awareness/pure consciousness) is the realisation of the goal without a journey. It’s not the only system: there is a plethora of spiritual traditions out there. Some get to the point directly, while others are vague and mysterious, and rely on the teacher’s favour.

Dzogchen tells us directly what the teacher is – the clarity of consciousness reflected in all phenomena. It is easy to see a speck within the clarity of emptiness. The seeing and the phenomena (the speck) are simultaneous. We are free in the moment of seeing. The speck and the clarity are a unity. Thoughts are emptiness. Emotions are wisdoms.

There two truths; the relative truth and the ultimate truth are inseparable. The seemingly real and the real are one, like a mirror and its reflection. Pure consciousness is aware of something arising within it. This is the point of division, where either wisdom or ignorance arise, and thus the secret life of the emotions is revealed.

On the path of the seemingly real, emotions imprison us.
On the path of the real, emotions liberate us.
How?
It’s all in the first instant of seeing.
That seeing is Buddha nature, which is pure consciousness.

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FINDING THE BUDDHA IN THE MUD PART3

Finding The Buddha In The Mud
Part 3

There are many spiritual paths offering vertical approaches to spirituality, where we do this and then this, and we get this – if we are lucky. The ‘lateral’ approach to spirituality is a matter of starting at the origin by asking what is obscuring this. We get to the heart of the matter by being introduced to the nature of mind through the direct pointing-out instruction.

First, we need a little warm up. We must see the mind at work: our goal and our path and our realisation are right here, right now. There is nothing to believe in, but just to see. Right here, right now is Buddha nature, which is pure consciousness.

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FINDING THE BUDDHA IN THE MUD PART 4

Finding The Buddha In The Mud
Part 4

Ordinary words convey conventional meanings, but those very same words can also have an extraordinary meaning. This extraordinary meaning cuts through the neurolinguistics we have adopted (neurolinguistics is the study of the neural mechanisms in the human brain that control the comprehension and reactions which govern our existence). Our understanding of extraordinary meanings to ordinary words will open the door to enlightenment.

We are neither what we think nor what we have been led to believe. Absolute reality is simple – extremely simple – and that is where the importance of practical meditation lies. Absolute reality is the seeing itself: we are free in the moment of seeing.

We have become so clever at being distracted by our creations that our cleverness obscures seeing. The purpose of meditation is seeing. Being aware. Being conscious.

When we use words merely as a nattering of parrots, ignorance will be our sentence.
Pure consciousness is beyond the charm of neurolinguistics.

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HOW DO WE VALUE TRUTH?

How Do We Value Truth?

Even though we may recognise and acknowledge that ultimate truth is pure consciousness, it’s sometimes difficult to appreciate something so ordinary – ordinary in the sense of not being anything, without characteristics, just clear. Being clear doesn’t mean we have no karma. Our karmic programming – our narrow mindedness – is recognised. Karma is the guide to our undoing! 😀

If we live in a culture that doesn’t value the reality of pure consciousness, it can make us wonder whether we are dreaming or not. It’s like gold: if we hold a lump of gold in our hand, it’s just a shiny metal, whereas if those around us value it, gold becomes precious (although it’s still a lump of shiny metal).

How do we value truth? We may find that the forces of the materialistic world aren’t so shiny and attractive any more. We observe the collective, and note how differently we see life now: by observing how so many are caught up in this and that, we remember how we too were trapped, and we value no longer being so.

Valuing pure consciousness is valuing the moment now; valuing whatever arises in that clarity. Whatever arises is karmically produced, and so it is our teacher. Value karma, for within that karma is our hidden talent.

Our hidden talent is the ability to express pure consciousness in everything we do and say.
We all have this talent. It’s called love.

From the Gospel of St Thomas, found in Nag Hamadi in 1945:
“The Kingdom of God is inside you and all around you;
not in a mansion of wood and stone.
Split a piece of wood and I am there.
Lift a stone and you will find me.”

There is truth everywhere.
Truth is in the seeing.

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KARMA IS OUR UNDOING!

Karma Is Our Undoing!

Karma is our fixations about whatever we think we are.

It creates our moods,
where we are comfortably numb to our – and others’ – reality.

Noticing this illusion cuts through all that crap.
Acknowledging that crap, we avoid falling into more crap.
This is how we transcend the levels of consciousness.

Karma is a residue from our past.
It teaches us about our reactions in this present moment.

If we stop reacting, the past is released = undone!

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GOD WILL COME

God Will Come

We will ultimate find God
when we stop looking, and see.

Silence is an eloquent teaching.
In that, we ultimately find God.

In silence, God comes.
Words obscure.

God is absolute consciousness,
which is pure consciousness.

But who are you, and who is God?
Same, same.

All we have to do is
shut up.

This is why I no longer believe in God!

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BIG BANG OR BIG GOD?

Big Bang or Big God?
Neither!

In an infinite universe of infinite space, how could one big bang suddenly decide to happen without a cause? If there was a cause, then there was something present before. Likewise, why did a God suddenly decide at a moment in infinite space and time to create one inhabitable planet?

Big bang and God have something in common: they are both said to have come out of nothing, and that is impossible. The universe is an infinite, continuous chain reaction. Every thing comes about due to causes and conditions.

There are infinite big bangs and infinite gods in an infinite universe.
If there is neither one Big Bang nor one God, what is it all about?

Big Bang or God?
Both!

From a Buddhist perspective, the big bang is the Eureka! moment: it is the realisation of the nature of consciousness. The moment when we wake up and see. That wakefulness is God. It’s all internal. It has always been internal. When Tulku Ugyen said, “We are free in the moment of seeing”, he meant that that was the moment of pure consciousness.

What is Love?

In realising the true nature of mind – pure consciousness – we realise that this is the very same nature of all sentient beings. Sadness arises because they are unaware of their true nature. That sadness is love. In infinite space, there are infinite beings, all with the potential of infinite love.

We could call that love which is within everyone, ‘God’ or ‘supreme consciousness’ – or empathetic love. The juice of life.

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MIND-FULL OF EMPTINESS

Mind-Full of Emptiness

This is the path to enlightenment: the complete picture.

There are two aspects to complete enlightenment: one is consciousness-awareness and the other is its purity of emptiness.

There are also two ways of coming to this realisation. We can start either with mindfulness (which is our conduct) that leads to the clarity of emptiness, or we can start with the clarity of emptiness, and use mindfulness as our conduct. It may not sound like it, but these are two different approaches.

If we start with mindfulness, we are creating the right circumstances for realising the wisdom of the clarity of emptiness.

If we start with the clarity of emptiness, we are mindful of that realisation which is expressed through our conduct, in everything we do.

So what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is … the five paramitas, the five perfections: generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation/concentration.

There is a sixth perfection which is transcendent wisdom = the empty clarity of consciousness.

This is how we address (deal with) our karma, our programming.
It is also how we undress (eliminate) our karma, our programming.

Once we realise – through experience – that we can only be pure consciousness, we may be left with a feeling of, “Shouldn’t life be better now?” and “Am I enlightened?” When we realise that we are not enlightened on the ultimate level, we may feel incredibly disappointed – but this is only part of our journey.

The actual path to enlightenment is the application of the six perfections (paramitas). “Oh, I’ve heard of them; they’re in the ordinary refuge prayer, but I want the secretteachings!” If we think like this (and it’s perfectly understandable), we have missed a vital – and very helpful – instruction.

The ordinary refuge prayer:
“I go for refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
By the merit of practising the paramitas,
May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all beings.”

Really and truly, that is the path. These six perfections – generosity, patience, conscience, perseverance, meditation and transcendent wisdom – are what we apply to all situation. All situations that arise are due to our karma; karma is the result of previous action that controls our reactions. It’s our personal programming, and it’s pre-written by us. The six perfections are a method to clean up karma. Karma cleaning = formatting our programming.

Much depends on the way in which we work:
We can start with the first five perfections (paramitas) to make us decent human beings, thus preparing us for the sixth perfection of wisdom, which is the realisation of pure consciousness/pure awareness. However,everyonewho wants to be a good and decent person applies generosity, discipline, patience, perseverance, concentration.

It is only when wisdom is present that the perfections become powerful, automatic and transcendent.

The pointing-out instruction is the golden roof, but we also need mindfulness as an expression of right conduct to support that golden roof.

If we build the foundations first,
we won’t know how high we have to go before we can construct our roof:
that could take a long time.

If, however, we start with the roof – the fruition –
we will find that the foundations to support that roof
are no different from the roof itself.

Our path is our confusion about how high that roof has to go.
In reality, there is no separation between roof and ground.

Even though we receive teachings, we are still left with our heap of karmic programming. We may not like it. We may not like ourselves. We may think life is pointless. It is here that we advocate or rely on the six perfections, to first be kind to ourselves and then to others. Incidentally, the six perfections are encapsulated in the mantra of compassion, OM MANI PEME HUM. We either chant the mantra for years and hope we will be compassionate, or we understand the meaning of those words and apply them, giving up the wishful thinking.

Compassion is the combination of practising the six perfections of generosity, conscience, patience, perseverance, meditation and transcendent wisdom for the benefit of all beings who are suffering in the six psychological realms (hell, hungry ghosts, animal, human, jealous god and god realms).

The result of mind-full of emptiness is love.
Genuine compassion for all.

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WE ARE ALL UNIQUE

We Are All Unique

We may all be pure consciousness, but we are all wired differently (due to karma) and so, we express differently. Even though we may be pure consciousness, we don’t all co-mingle into one huge mass (although maybe the Buddha, Christ, Krishna and other enlightened beings sit and smile together as there’s nothing to talk about … who knows. 🙂

As humans here on Earth, we have a unique expression: this may manifest in a frozen way or a fresh, juicy way. Our pattern of behaviour fixes us into a personality, and we cling to that for safety. But it’s not safe – it’s vulnerable and defensive, isn’t it? However, with the realisation of our pure nature of uncontaminated consciousness, the expression that manifests will be truly unique, and will work for the benefit of others, whereas the old brain was self-centred.

With this realisation, we may find that we are not so clingy, uptight and depressed, and we don’t have such high expectations. Now, we are freer to engage in activities because we drop them on completion in order to deal with the next appearance that occurs in the mind. When we walk, we look at the next step, rather than holding on to the one we’ve just completed. That’s how we progress, and that’s how we deplete karma.

Our expression of love changes.

Our emotions may become bigger …
and brighter …
and wiser …
and empathetic …
and compassionate …
and sad …
never lonely …
so much to care about …
My list can be summed up in one word: sadness.
My sadness was with a heavy heart, but now it’s not.

Your list will be different; your wiring will be different.
Who care wins!

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SEEING THE TEACHER AS THE BUDDHA

Seeing The Teacher As The Buddha …

…is a cultural hot potato!
It depends our aptitude: Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga or Jnana yoga?

Bhakti yoga is the path of devotion – adore the guru.
Karma yoga is the path of action – adore the ritual.
Jnana Yoga is the path of wisdom – adore pure consciousness.

Each path has a combination of all three, but one will be dominant.

The Buddha told his followers:“After I am gone, do not think you will have no teacher; the Dharma will be your teacher.”

Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist teachings could be said to be leaning towards Guru Yoga/Bhakti yoga, where the teacher/lama is seen as the Buddha. If the lama says jump off the roof, you jump. However, we do need to keep our common sense, and be aware of so-called ‘crazy wisdom’ stories. Crazy wisdom stories are meant to bring clarity rather than speculation. The Dalai Lama said, “It is the student who gives the teacher the authority.”

The Four Reliances
(and there are many variations of this)

Rely not on the person; rely on the teaching.
Rely not on the words; rely on the meaning.
Rely not on what’s cryptic: rely on what’s proven.
Rely not on consciousness; rely on pure consciousness.

In reflecting the emptiness of phenomena and consciousness, all phenomena is our teacher: all phenomena is therefore the Buddha. And that very recognition is the Buddha. That is the emptiness of both phenomena and self.

When we think a person knows something that we do not,
we have to stand under that person.

If that person passes on the light,
we then have the light
and we understand.

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RENUNCIATION

Renunciation

Renunciation: the formal rejection of something,
typically a belief, claim, or course of action.

There comes a time when we know that we know. We know we are efficient, and that makes us happy. We know how to guard ourselves against troubling people. We know what to digest and what not to digest – in both food and what others say.

We are good, human beings, and we know it. So far so good.

It is here where we need to be cautious and guard against our own abilities and – dare I say it – righteousness and arrogance. We are starting to hold on to the subtleness of being. Spiritual knowledge can turn good karma into bad karma quite easily.

This is when we consider humility – the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance. Humility is not subservient: it has a indestructible, diamond quality about it, brought about by the formal dropping of ideas about how good we are and what we think we know.

We might have those good qualities, but our efficiency may start to trouble us, leaving a lingering residue: a clean clear break is needed.

This moment is true advancement, but it could appear disconcerting for those who aren’t ready. We go back to square one, and let others claim what they want to claim. We no longer claim anything. A situation arises and we deal with it and let go. If it comes back, we deal with it and let go …

Renunciation is wisdom
because renunciation brings true, inner peace.
We stop chasing, trying to impress.

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THE POWER OF EMPTINESS

The Power Of Emptiness

It is in the power of the realisation of emptiness that the dualistic patterns of consciousness cease to be able to function.

Without the realisation of emptiness, consciousness will continue to express itself, but in a frozen way, a dualistic way.

With realisation of the clarity of emptiness, no residue is left: everything that arises in the mind is liberated, without any attachment.

The substitute for emptiness is ego – the sense of I – where an automatic programming comes into play at every moment, controlled by dualistic reactions that have been stored in our memory.

Without the realisation of emptiness, there can be no freedom, because dualism means that the mind is focusing on ‘something else’ to which it reacts, creating further karmic memories which imprison us and limit our experience.

With the realisation of emptiness, karma can’t be reinforced because, in order for karma to be created, there needs to have been a reaction.

Karma is our programming: it is something pre-written. When we do not merely react, our karmic load is emptying. We still have memories, but now they do not govern or control us.

Can you see the danger in this knowledge?

The enlightened will see this as the path to freedom.
The endarkened will see this as the path to denying freedom to others
by overloading their minds so that they remain imprisoned.

Do you think that is possible?
Sitting on the wall is not an option.

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I MET THE DEVIL LAST NIGHT

I Met The Devil Last Night
… and the devil’s name was bureaucracy.

Bureaucracy creates the word.
The word becomes interpreted.
Interpretation creates chaos.
The devil laughs at this chaos,
as we become part of his order.
Order out of chaos.

The antidote:
The word is never the truth.
The truth is that which experiences the word.
Interpreters are part of the bureaucracy.
Take nobody’s word for it; use common sense.

Common sense is common to all.
Common sense is pure consciousness,

Bureaucracy”: excessively complicated administrative procedure.

Organisations adhere to procedures and rituals. This binds us all: the word ‘religion’ means to bind.

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LED TO BELIEVE

Led To Believe

Led to believe
… and we believe

How’s that for a magic trick?
How’s that for neurolinguistic programming?!

Demonic activity:
And for my next trick,
you will believe that your beliefs
are your own ideas”.

Belief:
an acceptance that something exists or is true, without proof.

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‘I’ AND EGO

‘I’ and Ego

These are not separate entities.
The word ‘I’ comes from the Greek ‘ego’.
Ego is a self-identification to which consciousness clings.

A lie must have an element of truth in it to be believed.
We are led to believe in our self-identity.

The truth is pure consciousness,
but consciousness became trapped into believing in a self-identity:
it lost its freedom,
and forgot its true nature of being pure consciousness.

We keep wandering off!

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TOGAL IS AS NATURAL AS WE CAN BE

Togal Is As Natural As We Can Be

What is Togal?

First, we are introduced to the essence of mind, which is emptiness.
Then, we are introduced to cutting through thoughts arising in emptiness.
Finally, the qualities of the view naturally express themselves from emptiness.

Er … so where is Togal?
Oh, you missed it?

Its qualities are reflective, complete, impartial, sapient and infinite.
These are our innate qualities
that naturally arise when obscurations recede.

Er … where is Togal? What about the visions?
Oh, you still missed it?!

For ‘vision’ read,
‘way of seeing’.

.

.

.

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IF PHENOMENA WERE REAL

If Phenomena Were Real

It takes time to get one’s head around this!

If all phenomena were real,
then phenomena would be permanent, andnever change.
Everything would be frozen.

If phenomena changes,
then phenomena has no permanent reality
and so,
all of creation is an illusion.
Why would anyone create an illusion?

It takes time to get one’s head around this,
as it is significant in teaching us what, in fact, reality is.

We act as if everything is real, important, and everlasting.
We become attached,
and then upset when that phenomena is taken away,
or proven to be an illusion.

We value love, don’t we?
But is that love or is that clinging desire?
Is it more for our benefit
than for the benefit of another?

True love does not cling.
True love is detached
because it wants nothing in return.
Love isn’t 50/50; it’s 100%

True love is only in the moment now, and does not linger.
If it lingers, it turns into emotions and suffering – and even hatred.
All this because we think things are real!

In truth, reality is that which sees, recognises and realises
the reality within us all,
and that is the timeless reality of pure consciousness.

Love is carefree.
It is dropped at every moment
for the next moment of love to be fresh, without residue.

That’s the real thing!

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TURNING CONCEPTS ON THEIR HEAD

Turning Concepts On Their Head

From the ordinary, relative point of view,
the enlightened attitude is extraordinary.

From the enlightened point of view,
the relative attitude is extraordinary.

From the enlightened point of view
enlightened view is being ordinary.

From the ordinary, relative point of view,
the ordinary, relative point of view is extraordinary.

From the enlightened point of view,
all phenomena and self are empty of true reality.

From the ordinary, relative point of view,
all phenomena and self are solid, and to be played with.

If we keep picking at it, it will never get better.
When we leave it alone, it gets better.
When healed,
the ‘wound’ is seen as never having existed.

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WHAT IS THIS EVIL IN OUR WORLD?

What Is This Evil In Our World?

What is this evil in our world?
It’s us!
What is this goodness in our world?
It’s us!

We have two potentials: enlightenment and endarkenment. Simply put, we all have a dark side of impure consciousness, and a light side of pure consciousness. Selfishness and selflessness. Most of us dwell in the middle, confused.

Universal knowledge is neutral, but may be used to deliberate ends.

On the edges of society, there are those who are endowed with empathy who are genuinely working towards enlightenment and the benefit of all sentient beings. There are also those lacking in empathy, who work towards their own personal gain and cause suffering to others

Both ends of the spectrum use this universal knowledge deliberately.

Those of us in the middle have become indifferent to what is going on: we ignore our intuition, and turn a blind eye to subtle, seductive influences. That which is evil works – in a subtle way – towards keeping our eyes closed. That which is enlightened works – in a subtle way – towards opening them.

If we are looking for the evil in this world, we must first look at our own ignore-ance.

In this period of world history, we are allowing the dark side to take hold. The balance will change when people wake up to reality, as opposed to the seemingreality.

“But what about those evil globalists?”

We consent to their activities because we fall for their glittering, digital trinkets. We rely on others for our salvation, rather than looking within. Our bodies are manipulated, our brains are manipulated, our consciousness is manipulated. If we live in Plato’s shadow cave, then we live a lie, and are deceived.

Both the enlightened and the endarkened know about the human frailties of desire, aversion and indifference. This is the law of the universe – attraction, repulsion and inertia.

The only difference is that the enlightened know emptiness and the endarkened do not. Emptiness has to be experienced: only then we can do no evil, Evil cannot understand emptiness because, in emptiness, there is nothing to gain.

Come out of the dark and into the light.
The view is fine.

😀

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BUYING INTO THE PACKAGE

Buying Into The Package
– Materially And Spiritually

The package:
to accept that an idea is right and allow it to influence you.”

The Buddha’s main point was not to take his word that you are pure consciousness; see for yourself!

This is why practitioners finally go into isolation, so as not to be influenced: they drop the package entirely. Until then, his teachings are a generalisation, and we have to make it personal!

There are spiritual teachings, translations, commentaries and rituals on the nature of reality. We may accept this approach and allow it to influence us, or we can take to heart the very essence of those teachings and personally investigate to see if they are true or not, rather than merely accepting what we’ve been told.

It is the same with ordinary life: we can buy into being that job, title or status, and the ethos or custom of our family or country – or we can find the way which genuinelysuits our temperament.

When we look at our ‘temperament’, we find that it is our personal set of confusions. Clearing those confusions is our way, our spiritual path; realising those confusions is our tool for empathy to work for the benefit of others. It is that which is our uniqueness. We may be in a group, but that does not mean we all feel the same way. On observation, we can see people squeezing themselves into a stereotype, which looks very uncomfortable! We have to realise the specific desires and aversions that bind us, and we may discover that these are usually dependant on others.

The Buddha’s teachings are generalised: it is only when we see for ourselves and test for ourselves that those same teachings become personal. They become a reality.

Everything that is created is dependant on parts and conditions, so no thing exists inherently, in its own right. Everything is therefore empty of true reality, because parts and conditions change and rearrange themselves, thus bringing about other creations – and this also applies to that which we refer to as ‘me’ (the package, the skandha). The universe is infinite: there is no one moment in time when everything started.

Meditation = cutting the strings to the package!

This is why practitioners finally go into isolation, so as not to be influenced: they drop the package entirely.

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THERE’S NO I?

There’s No I?
That’s confusing – and little upsetting – isn’t it?

Here, we have to tread the path of the middle way – not too tight and not too loose. Saying there is no I does not mean that you do not exist; that would be daft. But we do not exist in the way in which we see ourselves. We form a view of ourselves via reflections in the mind, while ignoring that which is seeing. This same mistake we all make … shocking isn’t it?

We also see ourselves in the light of a ‘social I’, whereby people respond to us and we bounce off that reflection, creating an association.

The mind has been fed ideas generation after generation, and we have come to believe that these ideas are us. That has been our reality for a very long time. Can you see the duality and confusion so created? It’s like going the the cinema; we believe in the pictures and react to them, but it’s all an illusion with sugary drinks and pop corn. Illusionists make money out from us believing in a virtual reality.

We are actually consciousness. Within that is pure consciousness, which has neither name nor description, and is empty of bias or distortion.There is no viewer, but just the view. If consciousness gets caught up in a viewer, this gives rise to an I: we relate to the view and make judgements, and this creates our illusory reality. Whatever is viewed is temporary as it comes and goes, while the viewing does not change.

Still confused – and maybe a little upset?
We were born into a cinema full of people who believe what they see to be reality, just like Plato’s shadow people in the cave. Stopping and taking a good look at what has been happening, we realise that we have been living within others’ projections.

Are you now very confused and upset? 😀
It can all be a bit of a shock. The closer we look, the worse it gets. The better our understanding, the happier we are, as we no longer believe in others’ caves!

I’ve been engaged on this investigation for fifty years, and it’s still a shock! The shock is that people do not realise their potential. Why is this? There is evil all around, causing us to believe in virtual reality in a digital cave – and you don’t have to be religious to realise this.

The ‘I’ is now just an empathy-tool.

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DO WE HAVE TO BE SPECIAL TO BE SPIRITUAL?

Do We Have To Be Special To be Spiritual?

The Buddha saw that everyone has Buddha nature, but we’re asleep. The word ‘Buddha’ merely means awake and pure, so from that point of view, no one is special … equally, we are all special 😀 .

We do not need titles, shaved heads, long beards, robes, thrones, fancy buildings, hoards of devotees. We don’t have to be monks and nuns. We only need an open heart and an open mind, uncluttered with elaborations and rituals. The important thing is to have genuine compassion born from empathy, to be able experience and feel what others feel – and we cannot do this in an spotless, ivory tower, merely quoting text. An empathetic mind and heart is what matters.

‘Spiritual’ merely means non-material; that is consciousness. We all have consciousness, and the potential to realise that we are that consciousness. If we wrap ourselves up in ‘spirituality’ and ‘religion’, we will not experience the rawness of life. The Buddha had to do just that. He left the safety of his father’s palace and saw for himself the poverty, ugliness, old age, sickness and death in the world = suffering.

We have to do the very same thing – experience life with all its deceptions, knocks and trauma. It is only through genuinely experiencing suffering that we will wish to escape this suffering: in this way, compassion for others is engendered. Until then, we will enjoy the nightmare of conformity, covering up how we truly feel – in the same way as everyone else.

There is nothing special about enlightenment from an absolute perspective. It is only special from a relative point of view, and a relative point of view is ignorant of the absolute point of view.

We’d all like to think that we’re special, but in the realisation of non-duality, special doesn’t exist.

We have space all around us, don’t we?
We are aware of this space, aren’t we?

Space itself is empty,
and we are aware of this emptiness of space.

Likewise, pure consciousness is empty,
and we are aware of the empty nature of consciousness.

Space and awareness are therefore a unity.
Inseparable.

Space is a symbol for the empty nature of consciousness,
so instead of searching for a holy place,
look at space!

That empty space is a reminder of the essence of our being.
No exotic toys needed!

😀

There is nothing inherently wrong with titles, shaved heads, long beards, robes, thrones, fancy buildings, hoards of devotees – but we may reify them, cling to them, become bound to them … the word ‘religion’ means ‘to bind’.

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NO ONE BECAME ENLIGHTENED BY MEDITATING

No One Became Enlightened By Meditating

“No one became enlightened by meditating:
they became enlightened by
dropping the meditation.”

Meditation is the method to come to stillness in the mind, to arrive at empty essence, to realise the non-duality that there is no ‘me’ and ‘meditation’; there is just clear seeing. Once we arrive at the emptiness of clear seeing, we drop the method. If, having arrived, we still apply the method, we are using effort and trying too hard; this is counter productive. We become too serious. To counter this, we need to be familiar with dropping, by “Short moments, many times,” as Tulku Urgyen advised.

Meditation is all about total relaxation, without going to sleep; it is being awake! Relaxing into stillness, we become the stillness, and realise pure, silent, clear awareness. Isn’t it wonderful when we stop doing anything?

Of course, effort is needed in the beginning to cut through the mental clutter and habitual mind games, but once awareness is recognised, awareness/consciousness becomes still, open, and receptive. First, we need boot camp; correctional taming for the adolescent mind by kind nourishment. Then, when we have learnt to be happy, we become the happiness itself.

The intelligent meditate.
The wise do not.

At a certain level of understanding, the world starts to look very crazy and challenging, but we have all ‘been and there, done that’. Empathy is the essence of compassion, and compassion is the realisation of the unity of emptiness and cognisance – the same nature as all sentient beings.

‘Softly softly catchee monkey’ is applying generosity, discipline, patience, perseverance, meditation and wisdom – the six perfections. In Dzogchen, we first realise wisdom, and then the rest follow naturally: other traditions start the other way round. Wisdom is knowing the true reality of all sentient beings, which is pure consciousness.

A word to the wise; start with wisdom, it’s quicker!

NB “A word to the wise” is a shortened version of the phrase, “aword to the wise is sufficient”which basically means that I’ll say one word and you will be wise enough to know exactly what I’m talking about. There is a connotation of the information being passed in a secret way.

Of course, this ‘passing on’ works both ways, as we are constantly being passed ‘wisdom’ that put us to sleep. 😀

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WE BECAME BEWILDERED …

We Became Bewildered …
and lost track of ourselves,
our true nature.

We are extremely subtle, pure consciousness that became bewildered about itself and so we downgraded into gross consciousness. This is how sentient beings take on a form to match their clinging to ideas.

Even if we do not see the relevance of reincarnation, the effect of this clinging is happening at every moment. Look at how we dress ourselves, how we think of ourselves, what we call ourselves, what we surround ourselves with, what type of work we do, our interests, what draws our attention … all this builds the picture of that which we call ‘me’. And it’s quite gross, when we are, first and foremost, extremely subtle, pure consciousness. Can we deny that?

We became bewildered and forgot this. We are – distracted, and so forget what we are. To ordinary humans, this must sound ludicrous, but to a spiritual practitioner, this is sanity as it indicates how far we have become removed from our true nature.

The good news is that when we recognise that we have forgotten what we are, we have remembered! Most have forgotten … and remain forgetful – but they will all awaken in their own good time. The interesting thing is that, in this dark period of humanity’s history, people are awakening to the extreme greed of those who are killing the Earth and humanity (they think there are too many of us).

There is enough for all,
but not when some want it all.
Because of desire, we create excess.
In simplicity, we have abundance.

First, we have to realise how powerful we are. If we are indeed extremely subtle, pure consciousness, then what is more powerful than that? We are not bewildered creatures who have to be led by others; we are supreme, enlightened beings. In Buddhism, it is suggested that we are wisdom-beings with light bodies in the formless-realm, but through bewilderment, we downgraded our status into the form-realm due to desire. Are we not governed by desire, and its opposite, dislike/indifference?

Realising this, we are no longer bewildered. We never were bewildered – we only believe that we are bewildered. Now the healing can start. That healing comes about when we no longer just react, scratching habitually at our wounds. We no longer collect more karma, more bias, more programming, more prewritten scripts. Enlightenment occurs when all bias is dissolved.

Recognising that we are bewildered and biased
is the path to enlightenment!
Our spiritual path is to recognise and uncover our own confusion.

Have a carefree day!

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EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING IS OUR TEACHER

Everyone and Everything is Our Teacher
And this is how life becomes worthwhile and delightful!

This not about having a worthwhile and delightful life in the physical material world. It is about being able to see and recognise that pure state within, which is aware, intelligent and wise. It is the source of all that lives. It is our very own reality that we mistake as just being perception when, in fact, it is our primary essential nature. Call it spirit, consciousness, God, universal truth, or the real ‘me’ rather than the projected programme – the graven image – we inherited from collective human behaviour. We can break out of human, assumed limitations …

“I don’t know”.
What?!
If you say, “I don’t know?”,
WHO KNOWS THAT?

This is about the moment we see. “Eureka!” “Thank goodness!” “I knew that all along!” “What a relief!” “Why didn’t I see that before?” You know that feeling …

Confidence destroys doubt. The physical teacher and the scriptural teacher are there to help us realise the inner teacher – and theteacher of all phenomena. To quote the Buddha, “Do not take my word for it; test it for yourself.”

How does this work?
Whenever we encounter another person or some thing, alertness arises, doesn’t it? In that first moment, we know we are alive. That is pure, conscious awareness. The essence of this conscious awareness is emptiness. Emptiness is pure, being uncontaminated by poisonous or polluting  concepts, our stock of biased ideas. In the moment of clear seeing is pure consciousness. This is our original state, our pure being. It is here all the time, so it is timeless. It is what we have always been looking for!

We are that knowingness, awareness, consciousness in the pure emptiness of the moment now.

However, that moment now becomes clouded because of the habitual pattern of feelings, thoughts, emotions and reactions, and so we forget that first moment. We enter a dream-state of circling thoughts, and so go into our routine; we tense up and twitch. This is because we haven’t recognised the serenity of the inner teacher, and so don’t recognise the teacher of all phenomena because we were too busy reacting to outer phenomena.

The inner teacher is the clarity of pure awareness. When this is established, acknowledged and realised, then any distraction in the outer world becomes a reminder – our teacher – of this clarity of pure awareness. We see our reactions for the first time. There is absolutely no reason to feel guilty about our feelings, thoughts and emotions: these are part of being human. But now we acknowledge them. We are free in the moment of seeing! “Eureka!”

Now, even our so-called enemy is our best teacher! We ‘see’ our strongest reactions! Take pride: this is the wisdom of equality where, even though we may think we are superior to others, they, at some time, will realise what we realise. Jealous is seeing a quality in others that we recognise: that recognition means that we have that same quality within us. Anger is mirror-like wisdom, where the mind brightens at that moment. Desire is discriminating wisdom. Ignorance is not knowing that we know – and this brings us back to …

“I don’t know”.
What?!
If you say, “I don’t know?”,
WHO KNOWS THAT?

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THE TRUTH IS NOTHING NEW

The Truth Is Nothing New

The truth is as old as the infinite universe, in any dimension.
What is this truth that is as old as the infinite universe, in any dimension?
It is that which perceives this infinite universe, in any dimension.
What else can it be?

Well? Well? Well? What is it?
You!

That which just perceives is pure consciousness.
What else can the truth be?

When we look for the truth
– the ultimate truth –
we discover that it is us.
We are what we seek.
What else can it be?

Whatever we see is merely our teacher,
for without seeing – pure consciousness – nothing could be known.

We are the omicron – little O – and the omega – the great O!
It’s that simple.

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THE STRONG SERVE THE WEAK

The Strong Serve The Weak

In a good world, the strong serve the weak:
confident compassion.

In a bad world, the weak serve the strong:
insecure subservience.

In a good world,
the weak can realise their potential.

In a bad world,
the weak stay subdued.

However,
through Dzogchen teachings in a bad world,
we can quickly realise our potential because,
in the very recognition of the weakness of a bad world,
we realise that we are, in fact, strong!

This is no point in complaining.
We just have to see, and be aware.
We can change our world at any moment.

Good, eh?!
😀

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EVIL IS SUBTLE

Evil is Subtle
Evil creates and reconditions our karma.

We all have the potential for enlightenment, but there is a darker part of the human condition, which we could call selfishness, or ‘evil’. Evil needs a cause in order to create the ‘right’ conditions to its advantage: the cause and the conditions are the human mind. We are constantly being led by the nose into mistaken beliefs. This is akin to the Solomon Asche Experiment, which is in constant use to make us to conform, despite our inner conflict of conscience.

Everything that happen in the world has a cause that creates conditions for further causes. It is like a huge, eternal game of chess. Do you think evil does not know how our minds work? As long as there are sentient beings, there is evil present, although this evil is an illusion manufactured by an illusionist who is deluded about actual reality: this illusionist is our self-image.

Telling people that seeing is believing is a misunderstanding of the word ‘believe’.

BeliefAccepting something is true, especially without proof. Accepting a statement by someone as  being true.

“Seeing is believing” is said to mean that, if you see something yourself, you will believe it to exist or be true, despite the fact that it may be extremely unusual or unexpected. Hence, the Solomon Asche Experiment. Seeing is believing … is it?

This is exactly what an illusionist does: makes us see something so that we believe it to be real. On a stage, this may be fun, but in worldly affairs, this is evil at work in its subtlest form as it is the very cause of human suffering and wars. The jobsworths* will not see the evil as they are merely conforming to the Solomon Asche Experiment; “Monkey see, monkey do.”

Belief has mistakenly become synonymous with ‘knowing’, and is held to be more important than knowing if we consent to others’ mistaken assumptions.

The Buddha said,“Do not take my word for it; test it for yourself.” This is exactly why I’m devoted to the Buddha’s teaching. It is such a relief to no longer rely on beliefs.

When Tulku Ugyen said, “We are free in the moment of seeing”, he meant that that was the moment of pure consciousness.

*A jobsworth is a person who uses their job description in a deliberately uncooperative way, or who seemingly delights in acting in an obstructive or unhelpful manner. The term can also be applied to those who uphold petty rules even at the expense of humanity or common sense.

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SECULAR, SYSTEMATIC EXAMINATION OF REALITY

Secular, Systematic Examination Of Reality

We don’t have to be religious or spiritual
to experience our primary nature of consciousness.

Secular examination is based on our human faculties of logic, empathy, reason and moral intuition, none of which are derived from supernatural revelations. We see, we know.

However, when using logic, empathy, reason and moral intuition to examine reality, we are looking at the essence of human faculties – pure consciousness – rather than the everyday, conventional, consciousness that we think of as being normal.

Reality is that which never changes: if it changes it is only a seeming reality. Reality is timeless. Seeming realities are made up of parts, causes and conditions, and so are subject reto change and time.

In order to see and to know, we first have to stop our mind from wandering off in its usual fashion, clinging to a ‘self’ image and conventional ideas of ‘normal’. To see clearly is to know clearly, as opposed to an ‘I’ interpreting what it sees, and therefore what it knows: a ‘self image’ is only a projection. After all, we have to be an honest scientist, examining through a clear microscope what, in fact, reality is.

In order to see and to know, we need to train or tame our squirrel-mind (which rushes around, collecting tasty morsels and burying them for later), and that means slowing down into silent, unbiased observation.

To tame the mind so that we can be that clear microscope, we first focus our attention one-pointedly, so as to cut through the clutter of conventional patterning. Traditionally, this entails watching the breath, while the other senses are fully open. We note that we wander off, and in that noting, we remember to return to the breath. We are just observing the breath, with itsinhalation, pause, exhalation, pause. It’s like that – try it and see, as this systematic examination is experiential, rather than a scholarly investigation.

Gradually, as we relax, we notice the space in the pause between breaths. In that space, we become aware that awareness is present. We now turn our attention on that awareness. There is no rush: if we wander off, we merely return to watching the breath.

The breath now takes care of itself, and we relax into the awareness. At some point – whether through instruction or through coming to a conclusion – we realise that we are, in fact, none other than this awareness, and that is consciousness. In pure consciousness, there is nothing other than consciousness.

If we think that this is boring, then we cannot have an uncontaminated microscope with which to examine further.

When seeing has clarity, we reach the same realisation of all the spiritual masters: we are empty of modifications, and that pure consciousness is beyond religiousness or spirituality. We arrive at the realisation of non-duality, rather than the twoness of ‘me’ and ‘the experience’.

The secular approach is not dressed-up.
We don’t have act a certain way (you know what I mean!)
It is just a matter of quietly being.

Now, we can approach life with clarity.
We are no longer sucked in by our own self image,
or that of others.

We do not have to believe anything.
Just seeing is the clear light of bliss –
or, as I prefer, the clear light of relief.

We are free in the moment of seeing.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF VALUING OUR TRUE REALITY

The Importance Of Valuing Our True Reality …
… rather than wandering off into vacant distractions

When we can acknowledge that the way in which we live and love is unsatisfactory, then we are on the path to enlightenment: the realisation of what we and all phenomena truly are. The only way to do this is to sit in stillness and see it happening within us. This is the practice of meditation, concentrating and going beyond our circling thoughts and the everyday routine.

The world around us objectifies, putting a label on everything and downgrading experience; we could say de-humanising or even de-spiritualising experience. We value things as being more important than the reality of the thing itself, and have become so involved in a subject-object relationship that we create our own confusion, and live within that.

Our confusion comes about because we do not value the reality of pure awareness within us. We probably think that this is something in a galaxy far far away, whereas this perfect reality is here, right now!

But we doubt, and so become half-hearted. That’s why we keep wandering off mentally, downgrading all experiences into mundanity. In spiritual endeavours, we cannot be half-hearted as we need to fully experience the rawness of life in order to see its reality, rather than covering it up with sentimentalities.

We forget all about pure perception, pure awareness, and so, we limit experience, believing in the seemingreality of an object as opposed to the moment of perception itself. That moment of pure perception is what we are. But we are always calculating the value of things, and that has become more interesting than valuing the reality of our being, which is pure consciousness.

May the knowledge light rays destroy ignorance” is a line from a prayer to Manjushri. Knowledge is the realisation that pure awareness radiates wisdoms. Wisdoms from pure awareness are effulgent, being the brilliant expression of compassion. That is the reality of the entire infinite, universe – to be crystal clear in order to destroy ignorance.

But we keep wandering off into the mundane. The more we investigate our reality, the more we value it, and the more profound spiritual statements become: the more the realisation, the more the compassion … and the more one’s heart sinks …

But that shows us the way!
The devil is a great teacher.

The more we see, the more the pattern of our behaviour changes. Our expression has to match our seeing: as the view expands, so must our conduct. This can be a little frustrating, but change does happen, and we gradually learn how to express the inexpressible, using the wisdom of the light rays (the qualities of the Buddha families: reflective, discriminating, all encompassing, equalising, and spacious).

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“THAT’S TOO DEEP FOR ME!”

That’s Too Deep For Me”
People are fooled into believing that they cannot see

“That’s too deep for me!”This is a phrase I often hear when the subject of consciousness is brought up in conversations. I explain that consciousness is just our natural awareness before thought … and that is where the conversation ends. It seems strange that we can be so disconnected from consciousness, and so connected to thoughts.

When talking about problems in the world and what’s behind them, it comes down to the manipulation of consciousness.

Stop saying, “I don’t know”! We do know. We do see. We are the knowingness itself. We are only confused because we’ve been told confusing things and so, of course we’ll say, “I don’t know”.

This the same as Plato’s allegory of a shadow on a cave wall: we think that the image on the wall is our reality, when we are locked in a cave of conventional thinking.

Plato’s Cave

Plato’s cave

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 10.22.55

It’s the same wherever we go!

We can, at any moment, step outside this confusion, precisely because we see the confusion. That’s it! It’s that simple! We are not confused, but we have been made to believe that we are.

If familiarity with consciousness is taken out of circulation, then we are imprisoned. Consciousness nowadays is equated with perception – whatever we perceive – rather than the perceiving. The key to freedom is consciousness being aware of consciousness. Once we realise that we are that consciousness, we can no longer be enslaved by the shadows in our mind.

As long as we limit ourselves to a ‘me’, we will never go deeper.
Start meditating today. See for yourself, and step out of the cave!

Education is the kindling of a flame,
not filling a vessel.”
Socrates

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WHY I STOPPED WORRYING ABOUT TOGAL

Why I Stopped Worrying About Togal

I gave up on Togal – the great mystery of gazes and visions – to just concentrate on seeing clearly … it’s far simpler! Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t! Life is too short to have mysteries hanging over one’s head: it’s like living in hope that one’s lottery numbers will come up, or that the teacher to see that you are worthy. That will never happen, so it is we who have to know.

There are descriptions of Togal online, but they seem to be based on over-elaborate manipulations of our vision. Tibetans are very colourful. My wife and I were at a monastery on a hill just outside Kathmandu in Nepal, and we were taught a secret teaching by the lama: “Go outside and do the four-fold sky-gazing practice”, which entailed staring at a cloudless, blue sky and realising subtle emptiness. So we did that. Then came back and had supper. What was that all about? There was no further discussion.

Some teachings aren’t explained enough, while others are over-explained. It all depends on who is talking. To a Tibetan, visions and dreams are very important, but to others, perhaps we need a more straightforward explanation, a sequence of understanding and experience – and not all traditions use the descriptions of Togal.

Togal in Dzogchen is our natural, spontaneous presence at its finest level.

This is not a secret. It is just something to be personally realised; clarity joins up the dots.It is not a intellectual, scholarly exercise for which we get points; it is genuine experience. When the text mentions ‘visions’, it may simply mean the qualities of essence seeing clearly.

‘Rigpa’ is Tibetan for pure consciousnessorempty awareness, and has two aspects – Trekcho and Togal. Trekcho means ‘cutting through concepts’ = seeing clearly, and Togal means ‘direct crossing’ or ‘the direct approach’ = seeing clearly immediately. Concepts are acknowledged immediately upon arising, and spontaneously realised as emptiness. This ‘seeing clearly’ represents the natural wisdoms. It’s the Dharma made practical.

Before we can look at cutting through and the direct approach, we have to recognise that empty awareness or Rigpa has three qualities: emptiness, awareness and the unity of the two, which is compassionate activity. It may sound pedantic but it’s very important to see this clearly, for if either emptiness or awareness are missing or forgotten, then we fall into the extremes of ‘Nothing is real’, or ‘Everything is real and permanent’: in this way, we dwell ignorance, and therefore there can be no truly compassionate activity.

So, the one empty awareness prisms into these three qualities, called ‘Kayas’; Dharmakaya (emptiness), Nirmanakaya (awareness)and Sambhogakaya (the compassionate unity of the two).

Rigpa is clear-seeing, like a crystal. This empty awareness or pure consciousness crystal further prisms into five qualities: reflective, discriminating, all encompassing, equalising, and spacious. These wisdoms are the natural outcome of Rigpa.

Mirror-like wisdom.
Discriminating wisdom.
All-accomplishing wisdom.
Wisdom of equality.
Wisdom of space allowing the other four to operate.

The clarity of these enlightened activities translates into pacifying, enriching, magnetising and destroying. Tögal bring this spontaneous presence to realisation. This is practical Dharma. Happy now? 😀

Healthy and Safety: Please do not poke your eyeballs for the phosphene effect … 😀 😀 😀

NB. If you know better, please comment! 😀

A phosphene is a phenomenon characterised by the experience of seeing light without light actually entering the eye. The word ‘phosphene’ comes from the Greek words phos (light) and phainein (to show). Phosphenes that are induced by movement or sound may be associated with optic neuritis – a demyelinating inflammation of the optic nerve.

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THE DUALISTS

The Dualists

We sentient humans live and believe in a state of duality. Duality means two. Everything is related to me. In spiritual terms, consciousness is always relating to something. Me and other. This is so ‘normal’ for humans that we do not notice the actual reality of non-duality – the reality of empty consciousness – pure consciousness.

Ordinary consciousness relates to things, feelings, thoughts, people, places, stillness, and even meditation. It is this relating that created a ‘me’ and ‘mine’; a separation between object and subject. This relating awareness is relative truth, our conventional truth. It’s all we know … so we think.

We do not notice that we are, first and foremost, consciousness, before things or thoughts arise. That first instant of consciousness is pure consciousness, pure perception, absolute truth, non-duality. It is from this that everything is known. Before “Oh, how lovely!” on seeing a flower or “Oh, how awful!” on seeing a dead rat, there is just seeing, just perception, just consciousness. It is that which we constantly miss. We scoot over that moment now, and land up in our feelings, thoughts and emotions about that thing which has become so precious or abhorrent to us. We have just lost our sanity – our sound mental health – and we have become irrational. Whether we feel that life is wonderful or life is hell, these are both just temporary states of duality.

Being spiritual is more like being a scientist, a psychologist, a detective, an objective observer: one who knows when and how to be impartial, take care and apply love.

Being the ultimate observer, there are not two. Actually, there isn’t even an observer, as that entails relating to observation. There is just observing. We could call that the pure observer, which is none other than pure consciousness. Reality has to be constant, and never changing. If a thing changes, then it has no reality – just a seeming reality. It is because we think this seeming reality is real that we suffer. The word ‘suffer’ is a heavy word and may sound extreme, but we get so involved with the seemingly real that this isthe cause of our suffering – when it hits us in the face!

Incidentally, time is only related to things that change. Universal space and the space of pure consciousness can never change and, as such, are timeless.

We just need to balance duality and non-duality. Of course we need to relate to things and one another, but this doesn’t mean that we do not have to forget our prime source – non-dualistic consciousness.

It’s a sort of double act. Me and my shadow. It’s like wearing two hats, one for the relating to the world and the other for pure reality. Sometimes, if we are skilful, we can wear two hats at the same time! This is living in the unity of the two truths.

If we remain divided, we remain partial, and so cannot love.
In emptiness, there is impartiality, and so we can love.

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DOUBT

Doubt
A feeling of uncertainty.

Doubt everything.
Gain confidence in the doubt.
Until the moment of enlightenment,
we will have doubt.
😀

It is in the awareness of the doubt
that we can trust.
We cannot doubt awareness.

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WHY DON’T WE WAKE UP?

Why Don’t We Wake Up?

“I am awake!”
We only think we are awake.

We are as awake as in a dream.
Being awake is being awake to reality,
rather than a seeming reality.

All perception takes place in the brain among the neurons and axons. The brain is our cinema, our big screen, watched by constant consciousness. All phenomena out there has no permanent reality, and our ideas about that phenomena out there also have no permanent reality. It all comes and goes.

We fall in love and get too close; we find fault and attraction turns to repulsion. We get divorced … and then look for more of the same. This is our dream world with all its ups and downs, coming to you today on the big screen! We believe in our dream … but we’re not totally confident in it, and therefore we feel vulnerable.

So, what is ‘waking up’?

Waking up is notabout what governments are doing to their people, or what disguises corporations are employing, or what the media and public relations are manipulating, or how psychologists are playing with our minds.

Waking up is realising the viewer of the big screen. That viewer is pure consciousness. The big watcher, the supreme watcher, the omniscience.

Realising that this is what we are is waking up to reality!

Now all those ideas and thoughts about whatever’s out there are just passing comments at the bottom of the screen. It’s called News Ticker, and this is what fills our lives, our attention, our awareness, our consciousness. We get so involved that we live the dream – and this dream is loaded with suffering.

We wake up by being still in body, speech and mind. Be aware, rest in that awareness, realise that we are that awareness. That is pure consciousness. We have been wake all the time, and we never knew it.

We cannot wake others because they have to want to wake up, as that means that they are aware that they are sleeping … tricky! They need to see ‘something’ that switches on the light at the right time and in the right place. Don’t take it for granted that we have woken up because we’re on a spiritual path. We merely go through the same routines, rituals and teachings until … and then we rest there!

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.”

Rabindranath Tagore.

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CONSCIOUSNESS IS THE GO-BETWEEN

Consciousness is the Go-Between
… the messenger

Consciousness goes between that which is perceived
and the realisation of pure, inner essence.

If the messenger gets distracted by outer phenomena,
it loses contact with the pure, inner, absolute sovereign
and becomes a slave to idols.

This messenger has many names: Manas of the Upanishads, Hermes of the Greeks, Mercury of the Romans, Apt of the Ancient Egyptians … It is the organ of the mind that fetches messages by scanning the mind for information: some may call this the voice of God.

Incidentally, if the message isn’t quite clear, ask for clarification. This can be immediate or could take time – or there isn’t enough data. It is a messenger that clarifies.

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HUMANITY’S MENTAL HEALTH

Humanity’s Mental Health
A war on humanity

Good mental health is the number one priority for humanity: with this we can cope with anything.

But when we look around, we see that our minds are constantly being bombarded to create reaction. It make one wonder who is doing it. Ever seen this?

Esoteric                   Exoteric

Knowledge is neutral: there is the esoteric knowledge for the few, and the exoteric knowledge for the many. The knowledge of the few can control what the many are allowed to know. The cap stone illustrated on the dollar bill will always remain separate from the rest.

From a spiritual viewpoint, the good news is that those who think that they are on the esoteric side are, in fact, on the exoteric side because there are deeper levels of understanding the same knowledge. They still have not realised the true nature of the esoteric, which is pure consciousness. This knowledge has to be practised in order to be seen, rather than theorised about. Pure being or pure consciousness is beyond all dictums.

The knowledge
All sentient beings are subject to three failings: ignorance, desire, and aversion. This being so, we become easily addicted, and can thereby be controlled. In Buddhism, these failings are known as the three poisons – but that is only at the lower levels of Buddhism. At the highest levels, these very poisons are wisdoms: they are the medicine that heals!

The wisdom
When we realise our true nature – which is pure consciousness, empty of any contamination – then whatever arises within that emptiness is immediately and clearly seen. These negative poisons are now our aid! We never need to fear the emotions again as we cannot be controlled either by them or by anyone else.

Good mental health is a clear mind.
Sounds radical? Just look around.
We are free in the moment of seeing!

Simple meditation sees.
Good mental health loves unconditionally.

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OUR MENTAL HEALTH

Our Mental Heath

Life is all about good mental health.
With a healthy, peaceful mind,
we can cope with anything.

How do we get started on our quest? First, we need a question.

When we’re young, we are attacked by trauma after trauma, with hormones exploding all over the place. It’s always been thus. We get angry, depressed, frustrated, doubtful, lonely and impatient, and find that no one can listen to us, and we annoy everyone. This … is normal! 😀

We have a good heart that loves, but cannot express itself for fear of rejection. This … is normal! 😀

Why isn’t anyone listening? Because everyone has gone through exactly the same experience, and became too busy to listen any more. This … is normal! 😀

So, what is that question? That question is: “What’s it all about?”

What is it all about? This is the same question that we all ask – and then many of us forget all about it. Some of us, however, continue to ask that very same question: “What is it really all about?”

First, we need to calm down a little, so that we can have a healthy mind-space to clearly see what is bugging us. There’s no point in just following others, as they may be totally lost as well :D. The more we ask a question in our own mind, the more we will attract possibilities. Many have no question, and so have fewer possibilities.

We all want a happy life; we want to know that life has been fruitful and not a waste of time. This is not to condemn others’ choices as, at the back of everyone’s mind is still the question, “What’s it all about?” We merely delay the inner answers by entertaining ourselves.

Our own mind holds all the keys to satisfaction. Once we ask a question, this leads to other questions and so we learn sequentially, as we are all individuals with one thing in common – consciousness. Conscious awareness tells us everything we need to know. It does not giveus the answer; it isthe answer! This … is normal! 😀

Consciousness is the go-between.
It is consciousness that perceives the constant changes
that come our way.
And consciousness can be conscious
of our constant inner reality.
That which never changes.

When we realise this consciousness, it intelligently applies wisdom and skill to everything we do and say. We might still be sad at the world, but that very sadness is, in fact, love. Even though we may find like-minded people, our mental health is down to us, and our own self-discovery.

Sadness in love is normal.
Love is our ultimate responsibility.
Love is that great.

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TREKCHO

Trekcho

Can we liberate our thoughts?
Can we stop being controlled by thoughts?
Can we stop our habitual tendencies?
Can we stop being ‘us’?

Yes.
But it’s not so easy to stay liberated 🙂
This is because we identify
with the karmic build up in our brain.

First, we separate thoughts from consciousness.
Then we see that they are, in fact, a unity,
because it is by virtue of consciousness that thoughts are seen.
Now, when a thought arises,
it is seen immediately
as the presence of consciousness.

Upon recognition, thoughts are liberated spontaneously.
We just need to get out of the old habit
and become familiar with this new process of realisation.

In Tibetan, this is called Trekcho:
liberation upon arising.
Thoughts are inseparable from Dharmakaya/emptiness.

It’s nothing fancy.
We are free in the moment of seeing.

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