Cutting Through Chain Reactions

Chain reactions occur in within the body, speech and mind.

We observe chain reactions in eating food, our actions, what we say, our emotions and our circling thoughts created by previous circling thoughts. ‘Chain’ is a good word; it means both events linked together, and a chain that binds and limits us. ‘Karma’ is the chain of reactions created from previous chains of reaction. Breaking the chain is breaking karma.

How do we achieve this?

We say, “Stop the reaction – stop the chain reaction.” Here, we need tools. The six paramitas of generosity, discipline, patience, perseverance, meditation and transcendent knowledge is the path of cutting through and realisation, and works two ways…

Some traditions explain these six ‘conducts’ as helpers along the path to realise transcendent knowledge, which is transcendent wisdom. This can take some time (so bring sandwiches).

Dzogchen starts with transcendent wisdom and then we see how this affects the paramitas in our actions. They are meant to consolidate our understanding of wisdom in our conduct. I call them the six ‘advanced paramitas’.

The six advanced paramitas.
These are the six paramitas within rigpa/pure awareness.

Rigpa Generosity.
Generosity here is non-fixation; there is no clinging. Rigpa generosity is not the generosity of giving away, which is a conceptual generation of merit. When it is included in rigpa, it belongs to wisdom – it is transcendent generosity. So we are practising generosity at the relative level and the absolute level at the same time, as they are inseparable.
The essence of generosity is non-clinging.

Rigpa Discipline.
In rigpa, there is no attachment and that is the paramita of discipline. In ‘being disciplined’ one may become conceited and attached. Discipline has the function of binding our actions so that we can remain in a virtuous state, but it has side effects; we can become conceited because we are so pure, and this can create a social I (the way in which relate to others). This can also happen with Rigpa/pure awareness itself; we can become attached to this view.
The essence of discipline in non-attachment.

Rigpa Patience.
While we are in the continuity of rigpa, there is timeless compassion without fear.
The essence of patience is spacious timelessness.

Rigpa Perseverance.
In rigpa, there is no effort, and therefore there is no perseverance. When we are distracted, we make effort.
The essence of perseverance is effortlessness.

Rigpa Meditation.
This is being non-distracted.
The essence of meditation is effortless remaining.

Rigpa Transcendent Knowledge.
This is Rigpa wisdom itself – pure awareness. It is wisdom resting in the ground in its innateness.
The essence of Rigps is clear view.

Within Rigpa, conduct is meditation in action – the six paramitas; our mind does not leave the clear view. Conduct is the six paramitas being automatically expressed, without effort; we will be naturally generous etc.

There are the paramitas that are practised with effort, and there are those that come automatically out of the pure awareness.

It is like a healing coming from within: if we are doing something wrong, when Rigpa is remembered, it will have an effect on our outer behaviour.

This is how we reduce and exhaust karma,
Cutting Through Chain Reactions

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