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Coming to know who you truly are

The vast wisdom bliss of Buddha manifests in forms of sensual beauty, light and sound. These images and mantras cause a sympathetic resonance in the mind drawing you toward wisdom-bliss.  This is the compassionate action of the Buddhas.

Devotion is the natural love response to what is most beautiful.  If a tuning fork pitched to middle C is tapped it will resonate with the single note. If it is brought close to another tuning fork not tapped, not resonating, the untapped one will begin to resonate as well. This is called sympathetic resonance. Devotion is the resonance in feeling to what is divine.

Silence is like a deep ocean undisturbed by any event.  Silence lives in and as the silent mind. Love is like the vast open sky embracing all appearances impartially. Love lives as the awakened heart. Love and Silence are the stronghold of the realized one and the inheritance of every being.

The mind is universal but if it is limited to the small size of the body then how can it function properly? Sense of body is also universal – all life a single body, this is the natural feeling of reality. But if limited to a single “body-self” how can compassion blossom? It is a question of coming to know who you truly are.

t.k. (Traktung Khepa, Traktung Yeshe Dorje) Eye to From is Only Love (Day 65)

Do Not Relax

There is nothing relaxing at all about Buddha’s teaching.  Buddha did not want you to relax.  Anything but.

These days there is a lot of talk of meditation for relaxation.  Well, that is nice, and it is lovely for people to relax – they need to due to the inherent stress of samsara.  But, if you meditate to relax it has nothing whatsoever to do with Buddha’s teachings or the deep of the spiritual path.  Frankly, you are better off going to the spa, or a baseball game, or having sex, or playing backgammon, seeing a movie.  You will get more bang for your buck in almost any of these.  If you understand the first noble truth then you will feel deep dissatisfaction and this dissatisfaction will not allow you to relax.  Frankly, you don’t need to.  It is not stress that makes you unhealthy, it is meaningless stress.  Many people how feel connected to a great cause will work tirelessly to accomplish it; day and night, lose sleep, eat poorly under stress, and yet they are radiant and, in a relative sense, happier than most.  Why?  Because it is not stress but meaninglessness that crushes the human being in spirit.

Buddha said he was like a man who is walking down the street and sees a house on fire.  Inside the house he knows there is a family fast asleep.  They are about to die in their sleep.  Buddha begins to shout and bang on the door to wake them up.  He does not want them to wake up to their condition and then chill out, relax, try to sooth themselves. He wants them to wake up and experience the dread, what Gurdjieff called “the terror of the situation.”  They wake up, they smell smoke, they feel the heat, they realize their house is on fire and their children are in immediate danger of dying a horrible death as they are. This is not a relaxing situation.  They work to do whatever they can to escape.

The night Buddha left home and family to engage the spiritual quest he stood in the doorway of his wife’s room looking at her and his new born baby asleep. He loved them deeply, profoundly. He was not able to abandon them because he did not care for them, but because he loved them so much, and he realized they would experience sickness, old age, death, alienation, and all the sufferings that all human beings experience. He felt deep in the intuition of his human maturity that there was another option. He could not be satisfied with any shallow consolation sold by society or experience – even those of a prince.  Imagine how he must have felt knowing his wife and child would feel abandoned. Yes, he expected to return with the teachings that bring an end to suffering – if he was right, but in the meantime they would feel hurt, abandoned, angry, betrayed. Standing there he must have been anything but relaxed. True spiritual aspirants are able to take into themselves the great turmoils of the human existential condition, they become an alchemical cauldron which can cook the stresses, tensions, facts of human experience. The All Good Mother whispers in our ear and her whisper causes the great dissatisfaction that can not be quenched by anything in samsara.  – t.k. (Traktung Yeshe Dorje), Original Innocence

Love is a kiln, your body mind a pot

Love is a kiln, your body mind a pot.

“Tokusan used the stick.
Rinzai uttered the Katsu!.
Gutei raised his finger and 
Daruma faced the wall ….. Right from the start,
there have never been fixed rules.” Zen Master Bankei

Hafiz rode to God on the name-bird Allah.
Kabir rode to wisdom on the name-tiger Ram.
Wang Bi to the Mysterious through unlearning all names.
Bassui – through listening,
the Baal Shem – inside singing,
Jesus – held a family lineage,
Do Khyetnse –in the arms of his sister,
Krishna – well his way makes the dawn blush in colors of love.

Some through volition,
some through non-doing,
some over here others over there.

You cannot know or determine the course of your spiritual journey, you can not even imagine it. The seed could never imagine what comes after breaking open. The flower would never guess the fruit. Our unfolding is only known in the living – the joyous surprise.

Love is a furnace, confusion the wet clay; don’t be to quick to judge another’s way you just show yourself to be an unfired pot. The unfired pot knows nothing of the fired pot’s condition. What emerges from the kiln’s blaze is not what went in.

Within that inferno brilliance outshines distinctions, all things are undone in brightness and only their light is known. This is like the unknowing and knowing that happen through the divine’s touch.

What awaits you after the blazing can not be guessed. Open the door, enter the fire. The colors of glaze, the patterns, even a master potter can be surprised. – t.k., Facebook (Traktung Khepa)

The Buddhahood of Mind itself.

The Buddhahood of Mind itself.

The Buddhahood of Mind itself.

The Buddhahood of Mind itself.

Mind appears one way. But mind is a trickster.  Unborn wisdom mystery puts on the clothes of this and that thought, identity, form and says, “Fooled you!” Mind’s functioning implies separation of self and appearance, mind and body, subjects and objects but then mind’s functioning is a liar.

On a cloudy day the sky looks grey but up above the clouds it is always blue.  From the ground the moon seems to wax and wane but in the moon’s own self experience there is only the one big round globe.  Mind seems to be born and die in accord with its movements and stillness but in truth is is one large open expanse of knowing’s possibility.

The Buddhahood of Mind itself.  Yeah, yeah you’ve heard it before from every Tom, Dick and Harry village Lama who went on to try and con you out of your money, get in your pants, require endless sycophantic kiss-assness (which you were eager to offer in your exchange of Catholic Guilt Shame Based Fear Religion for a new Asian flavor of the same) and so it seems a worn and tired, almost cliche.  But if you toss out your strategies and corruption then you will swiftly forget the shell game of most religionists and begin to take seriously the way.

It is a cliche but still, it is true. Mind itself is Buddhahood! Mind itself is Buddhahood!! Mind itself is Buddhahood!!! Take a deep breath, dust yourself off an reconsider everything.  Take off the facade of past efforts and strip naked of the presumed understandings.  Shake off the dreary sorrow of encounters with false priests born from one’s own false intentions.  There is a path whose nobility and beauty outshine all falseness.  It is offered freely and, while it does require intelligence, hard work, and discipline it is also joyous, uplifting and beautiful.

A Tibetan friend told me this joke.  “What does it take to become a Lama in America?  A red robe and a passport.” Still, this sad truth does not need to become the limit of your efforts.  Where one’s intentions and effort are authentic authenticity will manifest in the form of one’s teacher; and, while spirituality tends to devolve into business in the climate of human culture, that is not its (or your) limit.  Mind is, in fact, in its deep essence, nature, energy – Buddhahood itself waiting for you to realize it.  – Traktung Khepa,  Eye To Form is Only Love (Day 62)

Enchantment

From a 1994 talk by t.k. at a Drikung center:

Enchantment:

By and large every one is under a spell, enchanted. What, you may ask, are they enchanted by? Well, they are enchanted by the deluding mechanism of suffering. They are enchanted by the magic of samsara, enchanted by unreality, enchanted by delusion, enchanted by the power and untruth of duality. And in this spell, this enchantment of derangement, they wander the worlds of their own creation believing perfectly in the self-apparent logic of insanity. There is a story from the Middle East that speaks to this.

Once upon a time a man had a dream that the next day there would be an enchanted rain and anyone who drank the water from this rain would go mad. Of course, the rain would fall into every well, every river, every pond, ocean, cistern and all the water everywhere would become the method of this enchantment. The man, who recognized his dream as one of clarity and wisdom, woke the next morning and began storing water in barrels. He stored an enormous amounts of water so that he could remain unaffected by the magic rain and perhaps help his fellow man.

The rain fell and the people went mad, but they all went mad together and in the same fashion. The result of this was that none of them knew that they were mad for they all perceived the world in like fashion. To the one sane man, it was obvious that all those around him were deranged and he tried to speak to them but they, of course, in agreement with one another, thought he was mad. Days passed and the sane man fell into despair over the loneliness of his situation. Finally, after the seventh day, he went to the town well, pulled up the bucket and drank deeply. Instantly, everything was different and he found himself in harmony with those around him.

There are two kinds of religion, one kind strives to make peace in the world of insanity and to guide people little by little along a path which one day, in some life, will allow them the freedom to want to wake up. This is exoteric, societal religion. This religion is careful to not disturb the sleepwalkers too much, to rouse their suspicion that something is wrong. It mixes good strong doses of hope and fear in with consoling messages and helps people to find some degree of balance. This is important, for without this type of method, people would tend towards greater and greater degradation. At the same time, this form of religion is itself often in opposition to the other, inner, esoteric path of Truth.

There is another path, the Way of Truth. This path is not so consoling. As the Nazarene put it, “I have not come to bring peace, but to bring a sword.” This deep religion, this spiritual force, requires courage, intelligence, hard work, creativity, and great capacity for independence. It is not a way for the “pashu.” A pashu is one with “herd” mentality. Those afraid to stand alone. This is a journey of bravery, a quest, a journey from the alone to the alone. The Way of Truth, the way that destroys the enchantment of samsara utterly, is a radical path in which one awakens from the dream of things the way they are to discover a vastly different orientation to everything. This great path of awakening has been taught by great adepts throughout history, but quickly, quickly, as fast as it can, society turns the radical teachings of liberation from the dream of ordinary life into a social construct which can support society and governmental structures. It transforms the way into a glue binding the conceptions of duality together in a way which always seems like it just might make samsara work. Luckily, alongside this, behind it, under it, is the stream of esoteric religion, and for those who are ready, the Guru appears. The way manifests from the very fabric of what a moment ago seemed like ordinary life.

Priests of exoteric religion, your friendly neighborhood religious professional or academic comparative religionist, can teach you some philosophy or better manners and some very good ideas, but they cannot wake you up. Within the domain of authentic esoteric religion, one must encounter the awakener. The professional religionist can teach some techniques, sell you some self-help, but they cannot intervene in the physics of delusion. They cannot set fire to the house of samsara. For that, one must meet a person who has smashed the idols of duality. The true iconoclast, the friend of the heart, is the one who is free beyond the conventional strictures of seeming ordinary life. They are not free of this or that, but free in and as the single mysterious dimension of reality. The history of such beings exists in the background of every religion, sometimes as the well known adepts such as Buddha, Padmasambhava, Jesus, Rumi, or as the lesser known holder of their traditions such as Saint Seraphim of Sarov, the Baal Shem Tov, Hakim Sinai, the avadhoots of every time and place.

The avadhoot is one who “shaken off” the structure of the egoic false personality and lives as the compassionate display of spiritual benefit. This tradition is not only found in the East but in every major western religion as well. The true Sufi Sheik in Islam, the authentic Tzadik in Hasidic Judaism, the Holy Father in the esoteric Orthodox Church. When these figures are not mere figureheads but living examples – the possibility of spiritual realization within their traditions – then they represent the intervention of the divine in the everyday world of meaty personalities. Because they have cast off the illusion of duality, they play a crucial role as the living force of the self-liberating dynamic of divine reality. Perhaps these beings will appear as ordinary, the most ordinary for they have no “need” to seem like special beings, or perhaps they will appear as crazy wise madmen, celestial jokers, wild cards in the deck of life. Unbound by the constraints that make the world seem like other than the play of awareness, they may appear in any guise that will help others.

These beings live to break the spell, the enchantment, which bind everyone to suffering. They live as the magicians of spiritual wonder and exaltation. To enjoy the company of such a one is to be brought into the dimension of infinite possibility. Even when they appear in the guise of ordinariness they are crazy, wild, mad for they do not live in the world we live in – they live in the dimension of birthless and deathless great bliss and their every action invites us to join the dance. This is the invitation of the adepts. This is the nightmare of the religious professionals who would like to keep you always happy in samsara and sell you a little more of the Eight Worldly Concerns at a 10% discount!

Those who have ears can hear. Those who have eyes can see. When the disciple is ready, the Guru appears. Before that, only salesmen appear before the gaze of the eager consumer.