About Me

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I study, and try to practice, Vajrayana Buddhism. My main areas of interest are Chod, Kagyu and Nyingma traditions as well as Buddhisms interactions with the West, pop-culture and engaged Buddhism.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I've arrived at Samye Ling Monastery after a hassle-free journey. There are tons of end of year Mahakala prayers over the next couple of days ahead of Losar, before we begin the annual 16 day Nyung Nay practice.

It's been three years since I did a 'full' Nyung Nay. I am really happy to be doing it again as I have had a lot of benefit from it previously.

This also means that this will be my last blog entry for a while, so I will wish both my readers a happy and healthy Year of the Male Iron Tiger, and hope that your practice and realisation grows.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Namo Guru!

Precious Root Guru, Glorious Dusum Sangye, in all my lives may I meet you face to face and practice the Dharma without even an instants thought for this life.

May utter digust with samsara be my default attitude and may the suffering of my enemies fuel this.

This body is an animated corpse ready for compost, bless me that I may see it so and renounce even mere consideration of this life.

This speech is the amplification of ego, bless me that I may see it as such and silence it at the root.

This mind is the Dharmakaya itself, bless me that I may directly perceive it as such without elaboration.
The anticipation is building.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

There is generally a lot of talk about compassion in various Buddhist circles and it often seems one of the things which attracts people to the Dharma in general. Often it's quite a vague idea of 'general' compassion, which in a sense is good as it shows people are open to the idea of compassion and are not trying to close themselves off from feeling it.

But from a Buddhist perspective what is compassion really about? Sure simply seeing images of concentration camps, Haiti, torture victims and slaughter houses will arouse some compassion in everyone. This however is only the surface of suffering seen and consequent compassion.

When we talk about compassion for all sentient beings circling in Samsara, we of course should feel compassion for their immediate suffering, right from the intense pain and terror of the hells realms to the more subtle suffering of 'unsatisfactoriness' which most of us are entirely oblivious to. The deeper tragedy behind these scenes of suffering is that generally they entail the generation of future sources of suffering. There is not even a sub atomic particle of happiness in samsaric mind, so even what is normally labelled happiness is both and experience of suffering to those who are sensitive to it, and a source of future suffering. Simply to survive we constantly generate negative karma.

Obviously having compassion for the deeper, or fuller extent of our shared samsaric misery is good, but again it's not something that can be kept at an intellectual level, it has to come from direct personal experience. Basically once we start to become aware of our own suffering and understand that others experience the same, compassion will naturally arise.

According to the doctrine of Buddha nature, we can see that samsara is completely uncalled for and that all the beings who think they are experiencing it, and consequently suffering unbearable torments for kalpas. Whilst I have no real understanding of Bodhicitta, and extremely little conventional compassion, this to me seems where the real tragedy is. All that suffering is avoidable simply by beings recognising themselves for what they are.

May all beings right now realise they nature of their mind as unborn and pristine Dharmakaya.
May deluded beings like myself develop both ordinary compassion and the precious Bodhicitta which is the source of all joy.