Monday, October 28, 2013

Three Postures in Thodgal


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"First, the lion's posture is as follows. Join the soles of your feet in front of you. Plant your vajra-fists on the ground between your legs, and look up into the sky. That is the dharmakaya posture and gaze. For the sambhogakaya posture, plant your knees and elbows on the ground and support your cheeks with your palms. Point the soles of your feet outward, and gaze directly in front of you. However, if appearances of the clear light do not manifest, alternately run your gaze to the left and right and up and down. Rest your gaze wherever those appearances are most clear. For the nirmanakaya posture plant the soles of your feet on the ground, press your chest against your knees and clasp your knees with both hands while interlacing your fingers. Straighten your spine, and gaze downwards."......


Northern New Mexico.....April 2016


Dudjom Lingpa (1835-1904) : Thodgal Instructions


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Dudjom Lingpa (Tib. བདུད་འཇོམས་གླིང་པ་, Wyl. bdud 'joms gling pa) aka Chakong Tertön (Tib. ལྕགས་སྐོང་གཏེར་སྟོན, Wyl. lcags skong gter ston) (1835-1904) — a great Nyingma master and tertön whose revelations fill twenty volumes.

Now as for the stages of the main practice, at first you determine the ground by way of the Breakthrough, then the initial moment of impure consciousness emerges in the aspect of an object, a subsequent conceptualization fastens onto it, and delusion sets in. Now, in contrast, in the Leap-over, the initial moment of consciousness is transformed into an appearance of clear light, and by experiencing the very nature of consciousness, all impure appearances dissolve into the absolute nature and vanish. Knowing how that occurs is the indispensable, sublime point of the Leap-over, so recognize it!

If you do not recognize this vital point, however much you meditate, you will go astray on the path of dualistic grasping, and you will not progress along the grounds and paths of liberation. Thus, once you have truly realized the manner in which the whole of samsara and nirvana is none other than your own appearances, finally all mental states and appearances of the impure cycle of existence will forcefully be transformed into displays of the clear light, reality itself. So this is the practical guidance on the great transference. By truly recognizing the entrance to this path with the wisdom of realizing identitylessness, originally pure reality-itself, beyond mental investigation, the absolute nature free of conceptual elaboration, will be experienced with the eye of expansive wisdom. Unlike nebulous, obscure meditations and intellectual fabrications, with the eye of wisdom you directly see the precious, spontaneously present absolute nature, the reality-itself of the expanse of clear light.

To practice these instructions, at the outset you must firm up your posture, for if this is not done, the absolute nature, bindus, and the vital energies will be dispersed in all the channels and elements of the body, and they will not manifest. As an analogy, if a snake is not squeezed, its limbs will not become evident, but if it is, they appear. The posture is accordingly of tremendous importance.

First, the lion's posture is as follows. Join the soles of your feet in front of you. Plant your vajra-fists on the ground between your legs, and look up into the sky. That is the dharmakaya posture and gaze. For the sambhogakaya posture, plant your knees and elbows on the ground and support your cheeks with your palms. Point the soles of your feet outward, and gaze directly in front of you. However, if appearances of the clear light do not manifest, alternately run your gaze to the left and right and up and down. Rest your gaze wherever those appearances are most clear. For the nirmanakaya posture plant the soles of your feet on the ground, press your chest against your knees and clasp your knees with both hands while interlacing your fingers. Straighten your spine, and gaze downwards.

Here is the significance of those postures. With the dharmakaya posture, the soles of the feet are joined in order to constrain the afflictive vital energies in their own place. The vajra-fists are placed on the ground to cut off the pathways of the afflictions. The gaze is directed upwards to open the vision of primordial wisdom. With the sambhogakaya posture, pointing the soles outward causes the vital energies to flow easily. Pressing your knees against your chest balances the heat and cold elements of the body. Pointing your knees and elbows at the ground blocks the impure apertures. Supporting your cheeks with your palms balances bliss and emptiness. By directing your gaze straight in front of you, primordial wisdom settles in its own luminosity. With the nirmanakaya posture, the soles of your feet press on the air mandala in order to suppress the power of the karmic vital energies. By pressing together the fire mandala of the thighs and the fire mandala of the belly, the impure vital energies of samsara are extinguished right where they are. By pressing together the water mandala of the knees and the fire mandala of the palms, the heat and cold elements of the body are balanced. By pressing together the fire mandala of the palms and the fire mandala of the armpits, cold disorders are dispelled. By pressing together the water mandala of the backs of the hands and the water mandala of the throat, heat disorders are dispelled. By gazing downwards, the eye of omniscience is opened. Even if you look straight ahead or turn your gaze upwards, the eye of omniscience is still opened, so there is no difference. You may direct your gaze wherever you find the greatest clarity.

Moreover, it is not necessary to use all three postures. Rather, you may stay in any of the postures that facilitates the arising of the clear light and that you find comfortable and suitable. If you like variety, you may shift from one posture to the other and from time to time apply yourself to other spiritual practices. If you want nothing complicated, strive in meditation continuously throughout the day and night. Those who can meditate only during the day and not through the night should constantly practice throughout the day. The practice is to have three special sessions during the night and to intermittently train in the dying process. (1)

The important thing for the senses is that you look with eyes partially open and that you do not suddenly open them wide, for that will dull your vision, and it will prevent the appearances of the clear light from manifesting; so do not rigidly fix your gaze. The important thing for the vital energies is that you practice breathing gently through your mouth through a little opening between your lips and teeth; and pause for a moment with the breath exhaled. As for the object of your gaze, in the beginning for about one month, during the daytime direct your gaze one cubit(2) from the sun; then the [practice during the] night will clear away any problems of heat increasing in the eyes due to the sun.(3) In order to achieve stability in the clear light, gaze at the moon in the same way.

At night if you gaze at a flame, by looking above it with your eyes half open, at first you will see nothing more than something like an orange bale of hay. After awhile, the absolute nature will appear and bindus will arise in the form of quivering lines. Finally, beautiful, limpid visions of the absolute nature and bindus will appear clearly and extensively. Remain with your body unmoving like a corpse in a charnel ground; keep your voice silent, avoiding all articulation; and do not exhale through your nose but slowly breathe through your mouth without impeding or forcing it. That is the reliance upon the crucial point of letting the channels and vital energies be, without retention or manipulation. Remain without moving from the state in which consciousness experientially emerges as the clear light, without the mind being modified in any way. Wherever you are, by keeping the body straight, all the channels and vital energies will be straight, and once the mind has dissolved into empty awareness, you will be stabilized in that state.

The explanation of the channels and bindus of the path according to this yana is called Ati-anu, so you should come to know them correctly. The mouth is the aperture through which coarse, impure mental afflictions, vital energies, and mental states manifest, and the nose is the subtle aperture for subtle afflictions, vital energies, and mental states. Here is the way they move. In the lungs, channels having the width of a straw of wheat are filled with that which is called the exhaled and inhaled breaths. If they increase, heat disorders arise, if they decrease, cold disorders occur, and if the breath flows smoothly, there is a balance of the heat and cold elements of the body. In one day, there are 21,600 breaths, which are like mounts for mental ideation. Therefore, even though there are profound methods for forcefully constraining the vital energies and mind by retaining and manipulating the channels and breath, they may be enormously obstructive and misleading.

The six kinds of lamps(4) of the ground of the nature of existence are the avenues by which primordial wisdom arises, and the eyes are the evident apertures of primordial wisdom. The ears are the hidden apertures of subtle primordial wisdom, and they are the pathways by which consciousness apprehends appearances, so you train in their sounds. Through the evident apertures of primordial wisdom, you train in the clear light that illuminates the darkness. Dream appearances are the avenues to the manifestation of stainless vision, and by familiarizing yourself with the clear light, emanation, and transformation, the appearances in the transitional process of becoming can be emanated and transformed. From that you can emanate a pristine nirmanakaya buddha-field and accustom yourself to transforming the appearances of the intermediate state.

Here in order to experience the visions of the embodiments and primordial wisdoms there are three kinds of lamps of the vessel. The quintessence of the body is the citta lamp of the flesh at the heart, the inside of which is soft white. This is called the lamp of the channels, the quintessence of the channels, and hollow crystal kati channel. It is a single channel, one-eighth the width of a hair of a horse's tail, with two branches that penetrate inside the heart like the horns of a wild ox. They curve around the back of the ears and come to the pupils of the eyes. Their root is the heart, their trunk is the channels, and their fruit is the eyes.

The quintessence of the apertures is called the fluid Lasso lamp. That consists of three kinds of lamps of the vessel. Although the three kinds of lamps of the vessel are given three names, in reality they refer to the same thing, like a root, trunk, and fruit. Thus, in the context of the path, they are simply called the fluid lasso lamp.

As for the three kinds of lamps of the vital essence, the lamp of the pristine absolute nature is the quintessence of the five outer elements. The transformation of impurities into the five-colored lights of the empty essential nature of the quintessence is called the absolute nature, and because of the purification of the reification of impurities, it is called pristine. The element appearing as space, transformed into the quintessence, is blue and light blue. The element appearing as water, transformed into the quintessence, is white and gray. The element appearing as fire, transformed into the quintessence, is red and brown. The element appearing as earth, transformed into the quintessence, is yellow, pale yellow, and dark yellow. The element of air, transformed into the quintessence, appears as green, tan, and light green.

At first, in whatever color the impure visions appear, when they are transformed into the absolute nature, they still appear in that same color. As for the visions of the absolute nature, at first they are of the nature of such things as the sun, moon, and a flame, bearing all five colors, filled with rainbow patterns of the absolute nature, like brilliant brocade. This rainbow weave arises as horizontal images. Beginners may achieve stability in this by gazing for a month at the sun and a crystal during the daytime, at the moon during the nighttime, and by gazing at a flame while indoors. At the beginning, shimmering images arise, after awhile they become more stable, and finally they remain motionless. At that time, look at a clear window, dispense with the flaws of enjoying or not enjoying the beauty or lack of beauty of the light images. Then a whitish blue emerges which is not that of the external sky, but know that it is important to rest in a state without attraction or aversion to its qualities.

To transform the five inner elements into quintessences, the element of the quintessence of the mind is transformed into blue and it appears as such; the element of the quintessence of the blood transforms into the color white and appears as such; the element of the quintessence of the flesh transforms into the color yellow and appears as such; the element of the quintessence of warmth transforms into the color red and appears as such; and the element of the quintessence of the breath transforms into the color green, and appears as such.

As for the lamp of the empty bindu, the five quintessences appear in circular forms, so they are called bindus. Although they are spherical, without corners, in your vision they appear like concentric circles due to throwing a stone in a pond. The interior of the so-called hollow crystal kati channel is filled with the lights of the five quintessences, and a form of an indestructible bindu is present in that space. By gazing at that with the eye of wisdom, the interior of that channel becomes evident and arises in the form of outer appearances. Without grasping onto them, your own channels will illuminate themselves. If you grasp onto the visions of the absolute nature as being external and onto awareness as being internal, you will fall into the error of dualistic grasping.

In the domain of that pristine, absolute nature, the lusters of awareness called vajra-strands appear like moving, floating threads of gold. That is the initial phase. After awhile they appear like pearls threaded on a string, and finally they emerge in the form of full and half-lattices. They are the basis from which the two kinds of lamps of vital essence arise, called the lamp of self-arisen wisdom and the self-knowing sugatagarbha.

The four lamps of the path of appearances are the fluid lasso lamp, the lamp of the pristine absolute nature, the lamp of the empty bindu, and the lamp of self-arisen wisdom. The four lamps of the contemplative path are combined in one. Know that synthesizing them, then applying yourself to practice is of the utmost importance. If you practice in that way, unlike the mentally constructed, vague meditation as in the Breakthrough--the reality-itself of the clear light will directly appear to your senses, so they are called the direct visions of reality-itself. This is not like meditating on substantial, human- like deities that are strenuously conjured up by the mind, as in the stage of generation. This alone is the practical instruction for achieving stability in the great experiential displays of the embodiments and primordial wisdoms, thereby liberating the actual three embodiments within yourself. This is superior to the ordinary kinds of transference involving the three recognitions, (5) a path by which you visualize shapes and colors and propel yourself aloft, as it were. This has the distinction of the great transference by which you transform all appearances and mental states of samsara and nirvana into the absolute nature of reality-itself.

Due to continuously practicing single-pointedly in that way, the potency of the vase empowerment strikes the materiality of your body, so that you have no wish to move your body; due to the potency of the secret empowerment permeating your speech patterns, you have no wish to speak; and due to the potency of the wisdom empowerment striking your mental continuum, your attention remains wherever you place it. This is real quiescence that is devoid of signs. Thus, since all coarse and subtle ideation is calmed in the ocean of the original ground, it is quiescent; and since awareness remains without fluctuation in its own state, it is still.(6)

By transforming appearances and mental states into displays of the embodiments and primordial wisdoms, there is an exceptional vision of the clear-light appearances of reality-itself, so this is called insight.

From the impure state of samsara, since you truly know the reality-itself of the Breakthrough, the nature of existence of suchness, you see the truth of reality-itself. Due to achieving a great, unprecedented vision of reality-itself, this is the Very Joyful [ground]. With the first visions of the Leap-over, you come to the confidence of never returning to samsara, so you implicitly achieve the first ground of the sutra path. On the mantra path, all delusive appearances and mental states come to maturation in the nature of the clear light, reality-itself; ignorance is transformed into awareness, and you implicitly achieve the ground in which awareness holds its own ground. At this time, even if you die and are interrupted [in your practice], you will be reborn as a tulku, and you will have embarked on the path of liberation. The outer signs are that the appearances of the absolute nature are majestic and stable, as if the curtain on them had been opened; and bindus appear, ranging from the size of fish eyes to thumb rings.

This is the way the experiential visions progress. Initially, vital energy fills you inside from your heart up to your throat, or various sorts of illnesses or disagreeable pains may occur. Randomly moving throughout the exterior and interior of your body, staying in no one place for long, these disturbances arise due to the potency of the vital energy of primordial wisdom striking the ascending wind. After awhile, they increase and your throat may become sore and blocked so that food is obstructed and coughed out. You may lose your appetite, have trouble breathing, and lose your voice. Then they increase yet further, and disturbances arise due to the potency of the vital energy of primordial wisdom striking the life-sustaining wind. Then you may experience mood swings from joy to sorrow and from desire to hatred. Due to the potency of the vital energy of primordial wisdom striking the descending wind, when the disturbances increase, urine and excrement are blocked and cannot be excreted, and when the disturbances subside, they are expelled constantly. Due to the potency of the vital energy of primordial wisdom striking the pervasive wind, when those disturbances increase, the body becomes swollen, and when they decrease, all the flesh of your body withers as if it were becoming a corpse. Due to the potency of the vital energy of primordial wisdom striking the fire accompanying wind, when the disturbances increase, sweat emerges from the body and great heat arises; and when they subside, you get goose bumps, your complexion deteriorates, and you shiver with cold.

Finally, all the winds combine and enter the channels and elements of the body, and sharp pains arise in all the channels. Movements of the winds permeate your whole body, inside and outside, giving rise to various illnesses such as combined heat and cold disorders. The body becomes swollen, boils and sores appear, dire illnesses arise, medications and divinations go awry, bad omens appear, and individual channels and joints become painful. Gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and lymph disorders may arise, and you may become lame, blind, deaf, or mute, and may pass out. Know that various random kinds of pains may arise in the body.

You may engage in various kinds of behavior, acting coquettishly or shamelessly, like someone afflicted with a disease. In short, know fully well that due to the functions of the channels, winds, and elements, these bodily pains will not be the same for everyone, so there is no one criterion for recognizing them.

As for your speech, you may find yourself singing various songs and melodies, babbling, speaking offensively, having your behavior not conform to your speech, not living in accord with your words and acting contrary to them, and speaking uncontrollably as if your words were uttered by an insane person. Such speech is nonsensical and random, So recognize this!

Like the noises made by a madman, your mind may ramble aimlessly, without being able to remedy or alter it in any way. Due to the disorders in your heart and life force channel, at times you may weep, groan, sigh, exhale forcefully, or constantly want to be on the move, without being able to remain in one place. Your environment may seem so miserable that you do not want to stay where you are, and you may constantly experience a wide range of confused emotions. So recognize this! You may have various sorts of visions of gods and demons or random sensations of hunger, thirst, heat, cold, and so on. These are the outer signs of the appearances of the clear light.

At the beginning stage, remain motionlessly with your face completely covered, and bindus from the size of the dots on dice up to the size of thumb rings will appear. At times, the visions of the absolute nature, together with the bindus, will not be evident, but the luster of awareness will appear in forms called vajra-strands. At times the bindus of the absolute nature will not arise, then they will fluctuate in size, and they will become unclear, no matter how much you try. On occasion, the visions of the absolute nature will repeatedly appear in the expanse of clear light in spherical forms of five-colored lights. Those are the criteria of familiarity with the practice.

At this time, even if your life comes to an end, you will go straight to a nirmanakaya buddha-field, with no intermediate state. By gaining greater familiarity with this practice, the visions of the absolute nature will appear resplendently like loosely woven cloth, and they will appear in the sky in the form of dangling lattices and half-lattices. In the midst of the visions of the absolute nature, all sorts of images may appear, such as stupas, lotuses, white conches, wheels, vajras, jewels, swastikas, swords, spear-tips, images like stacks of books, and various forms of letters and animals. Whatever appears, those are visions of the absolute nature, so know that it is important not to mistake them for bindus. Bindus will appear in round shapes, gradually growing from the size of thumb rings to the size of cups and on to the size of round shields.

At the beginning stage, the lights of awareness, called vajra-strands, no broader than a hair's width, radiant like the sheen of gold, appear to move to and fro, never at rest, like hairs moving in the breeze. Even as they stabilize a little bit, they become clear and lustrous, temporarily wavy, and they slow down somewhat, appearing like deer running across a mountainside. Then as you become somewhat more accustomed to the practice, they appear like strung pearls, and they slowly circle around the peripheries of the bindus of the absolute nature, like bees circling flowers. Their clear and lustrous appearance is an indication of the manifestation of awareness. Their fine, wavy shapes indicate liberation due to the channels, and their moving to and fro indicates liberation due to the vital energies. Due to the qualities of purifying the bindus, the presence of bindus on curves [of the strands] indicates that one will be liberated. By the power of meditation, they appear in the forms of lattices and half-lattices, transparent like crystal, radiant like gold, and like necklaces of medium-sized strung crystals. The criterion of having thoroughly familiarized oneself with the practice is that they appear indeterminately, but they remain stable, without moving or vibrating. In this case, the name of the cause is also given to the result, and that is the vajra-strand luster of awareness. They are the luster of awareness, so they gradually become as stable as awareness itself. They are not the real, self-arisen lamps of awareness and wisdom.

Once the beginner's phase has passed, the visions of the absolute nature become beautiful, clear, and stable, and they take on various divine forms. Although they may increase and decrease, before a single inner sign has arisen, the appearances of such outer signs are premature, like a dzaki flower that blooms out of season. So that does not constitute progress in terms of experiential realization. Even when the inner signs occur, the outer bindus of the absolute nature may become indistinct. That happens to some people who have a dominant water element, and the elements of their channels are such that the development of their experiential realizations proceed like a slow foot race. If that is mistakenly identified as progress in meditative experience and as reaching consummate awareness, even if visions occur that would seemingly indicate the extinction into reality-itself, in fact one has in no way gone beyond ordinary consciousness. Indeed, one is proceeding in the opposite direction, contrary to the tantras, so this is an enormous error. It is important to know this.

Even if muddled outer signs and vivid images are present, recognize the importance of the emergence of the inner signs. Although experiential visions may appear to your inner consciousness, if the outer signs are unclear, that indicates that you will not be able to gaze at the clear light for sustained periods, and there will be obstacles. Know this as well. When experiential visions homogeneously arise inwardly, the visions of the Breakthrough are aroused, causing the meditative experiences of the Leap-over to be disrupted. However, when the visions have not matured into the clear light, the potency of the clear light has not been perfected. If they stop, the visions of light will not develop, and that indicates that the eye of primordial wisdom has not entered the eye of wisdom.(7) Therefore, you should constantly strive in the practice.

When encountering that situation, some people develop their minds with meditative experiences, then travel to many regions and finally succumb to adversities. Consequently, they get stuck there and do not achieve liberation. Some people encounter images of the bodies, speech, and minds of buddhas which are actually apparitions of maras, gods, and demons--and due to visions from the power [of progress in meditative experience], words of Dharma appear to them as written letters, and they are consumed by the desire to write them down. Out of lust, they consort with women, and consequently claim to be treasure-revealers. There are many such people who bring ruin to themselves and others. Due to extrasensory perception and visions in dreams, some people perceive good and bad things in themselves and others, and they leave such things as hand-prints in rock and other objects. Signs may manifest due to the apparitions of gods and demons, causing them to declare themselves to be siddhas. They then take a consort and take control of those around them. Laying the foundations for prestige and great deeds, they spend their whole lives in constant, relentless striving. Those who spend their lives tricking others with magic rituals to dispel obstacles and wander around begging and seeking wealth without satiation are possessed by maras and demons. Even if they become renunciates and gurus with great followings, they are deludedly involved in the eight mundane concerns and the negative conduct of maras.

Some people take meditative experiences to be illnesses and regard conducive circumstances as demonic. When they receive medical treatment and perform rituals, they become confused by all kinds of divinations and diagnoses, and they become overwhelmed by speculations. Upon noting bad dreams and evil omens, fantasies arise even more forcefully, and those outer manifestations are apparitions of gods and demons. Any of the 404 kinds of illnesses in the body, including disorders of the wind, bile, phlegm, and combinations of them, are inner manifestations as bodily pain. If you regard them as being truly existent, you fall into error, and you will either die or deludedly fall under the influence of objective adversities.

Some people go through various kinds of unbearable miseries and ecstatic experiences, all of them arising as secret manifestations called joys and sorrows. If you cling to them and reify them, you will stray into error, and you will not attain liberation. Due to misery and discomfort and pain in the life force in the heart, people sigh and feel like weeping, and everything they see and feel seems to be of the nature of suffering. Then they restlessly yearn to escape somewhere where there will be no human intruders, and when they come to such a place of solitude, they yearn for companionship and moving around. Overcome by desires and cravings, they find they cannot remain in solitude, and they scramble after anything that will bring them pleasure. That is falling into error, so recognize this!

Frightened by suffering, your body, speech, and mind become agitated, impelling you to become active, and that is a great mistake. Some people become depressed at the miserable pain in the life force in their hearts, and out of despair when they wander from one village to another, this seems to help. Then when they come around to their own homeland and so on, before many days have passed, uneasiness arises again just as it did before, and they wish to be on the move again. Such people wind up squandering their whole lives.

Some people's minds are filled with doubt and vacillation, doubting that they can ever come to certainty , and they waste their lives by repeatedly traveling to many lands. Some are carried away by viewing their teacher's counsel as being wrong, and they fall into false views. Others take their own meditative practice to be harmful, and they constantly feel regret and wonder what to do. They think that if they were to go to some other famous spiritual teacher, that might help. Nowadays there is not a single spiritual teacher who is well versed in the nature of this path, the manner in which meditative experiences arise, and so forth. Thus, fearing that their reputation will decline, they cannot admit they do not know and are not familiar with those things. Some of them teach things that are their own mental fabrications, then tell others that their meditation is wrong. Others say, "Your guru doesn't know how to teach, so you have been proceeding on a false path. Do this instead..." Teaching that their own level of instruction is all you need, they heap praise upon it. There are a great many who pompously declare that they can transfer their realization to others, saying, "I shall grant you my realization, our minds will merge, and you will simultaneously perfect all grounds and paths." If that were possible, the buddhas would have transferred their state of realization to sentient beings, and samsara would already be empty. Specifically, if the minds of all the buddhas' sravaka and pratyekabuddha disciples received the buddhas' realizations by having their minds merged with the buddhas', why would they be drawn far beyond the Hinayana? Do not place credence in pretentious assertions about transferring one's realization.

Some people think they have no craving for the eight mundane concerns. Others who have not developed their minds in the slightest become obsessed with various visions they experience. Those spiritually blind people never critically examine the way they wander about in delusion, then claim they have reached the state of the extinction into reality-itself and think their own delusions have vanished. Accomplished scholars scorn such attitudes and demolish them with their weapons of scriptural authority and logic. So individuals who enter this path should be careful in this regard.

Even if you succeed in other Dharma practices, you will not achieve the highest state of liberation in this very lifetime. Consequently, maras will not be jealous or angry, so they will not create obstacles for you. If you do come to the culmination of this path, you may achieve liberation in one lifetime and with one body. In this case the might of the terrifying Lord of Maras is dredged up, the maras are aroused to jealousy and aggression toward those advancing towards the state of spiritual awakening, and they are sent out to create obstacles. They then create problems and manifest objective apparitions to lead people astray.

By practicing single-pointedly, without succumbing to such obstacles, the appearances of light increase, and as soon as you settle in meditative equipoise, all appearances become totally pervaded by light and bindus, with no intervals between them. Ordinary phenomena that appear due to looking at impure phenomena with the eyes, are seen with the eyes of the flesh. The appearances of the absolute nature, of bindus, or of [vajra-] strands arise simply by attending to the visions of light. They are derivative of the manifestation of wisdom, so they are said to be seen with the eye of wisdom. During meditative equipoise, the displays of the absolute nature and of bindus increase, stabilize, and become continuous, and they are said to be illuminated by the eye of primordial wisdom.

The consciousness that manifests the visions of the clear light during the initial phase is called the eye of wisdom. Wherever the eye of primordial wisdom, free of dust, is directed, it illuminates whatever it sees until the visions of the absolute nature, the bindus, clear light, and divine embodiments are seen. Then due to the sharp pinnacle of primordial wisdom, free of fluctuations in the clarity of the eye of wisdom, all appearance, both while in meditative equipoise and otherwise, transform into displays of light and rainbow bindus with ever increasing clarity. In the end, appearances of earth and rock vanish and dissolve into continuous, omnipresent displays of visions of light. That is the criterion for have acquainted oneself with this practice. Impurities have been transformed into the vital core, and the vital core has been transformed into the five lights, and they become manifest. That is the criterion for perfecting the power of progress in meditative experience. At this juncture, the larger bindus cover the sky and earth, while the smaller ones variously appear as small as grains of mustard, and they appear in aggregates of five. Within the visions of the absolute nature appear the doors, roof, Dharma wheel, crowning parasol, strings of bells, and silk hangings of a palace.

Individuals who embark on such a profound, swift path, who have the fortune of combining their karma and prayers, will experience the spherical images of the first phase even at the time of death. At that time, they will expire in the nature of nirmanakayas. Finally, once the power [of their progress] has been perfected and nothing appears other than the fivefold aggregates of bindus, they will be liberated as sambhogakayas, without experiencing the intermediate state.

To present this in terms of the grounds and paths, when you come to the state called progress in meditative experience on the path of the Leap-Over, that is identified with the fifth ground of the sutra path called Difficult to Practice. These meditative experiences are unbearably painful, and under their influence one experiences craving and confusion. Therefore, when one comes to this stage, since it is very difficult to follow the path to its culmination, this is called Difficult to Practice. On the mantra path all the appearances of birth and death in samsara are cut off, and one does not perish. This is the achievement of the state of a vidyadhara who has mastery over life itself.

Then the appearances of reaching consummate awareness, in which awareness matures into its vital essence, are as follows. The upper portions of the divine embodiments appear in the midst of all the fivefold aggregates of bindus, while the lower portions of their bodies appear in forms of clouds of light. One half of their bodies appears as if it were separated. At that time, by practicing continuously, eventually entire divine embodiments will appear. The white, solitary embodiment, replete with the ornaments of a sambhogakaya is Vairocana; the blue embodiment is Vajrasattva; the yellow embodiment is Ratnasambhava; the red embodiment is Amitabha; and the green embodiment is Amoghasiddhi. By continuing in constant practice, the embodiments eventually appear in the form of male and female deities in union; and they arise together with their entourages of the four male and female bodhisattvas.

As a result of further, continuous practice, assemblies of the five buddha classes appear in spacious, vast palaces, beautifully adorned with all manner of ornaments, clothed in various silks, blazing with rays of light, and adorned with bindus and minute spheres. By familiarizing oneself with that more and more, volcanic mansions appear that are inwardly constructed of three tiers of skulls, while outwardly appearing as palaces. In their midst are mandalas of ferocious blood-drinkers. The deities and consorts are embraced in union, and single male deities appear dressed in fresh elephant skins, tied with belts of human skin, with lower garments of tiger skins, each bearing weapons. They appear in all sizes from the larger ones as vast as the sky, and the smaller ones as tiny as peas. The entire universe appears to be filled and totally pervaded with rainbow light and blazing fire. Objects as small as the head of a pin are filled and illuminated with divine embodiments with all their ornaments. That marks the perfection of the potency of reaching consummate awareness.

The mark of one's speech at this point is that one's voice is soothing and enchanting, like songs sung by the children of kumbhandhas. In addition, various words of Dharma, legends, and knowledge of linguistics, poetry, and composition naturally emerge. Appearances arise as symbols and as scriptures, and the meaning of all oral transmissions and practical instructions flows forth like the current of a river. Words of melodious songs and so on inspire others' perceptions of the world, and their minds are blessed.

The bodily signs are that your body vividly appears as mudras of the five buddha-classes, like the appearance of a reflection in a space of limpidity and luminosity, like a mirror-image. The body appears as a variety of reflections, as light as cotton, with no sense of materiality. As an indication that bodily parasites have been released into the clear light, it becomes free of lice and nits. White hair turns dark, bright white new teeth grow in, and your muscles become youthfully strong, and wrinkles clear away. The perceptions of others shift simply by laying eyes on you, and they experience faith and reverence. With the blazing forth of the warmth of primordial wisdom, all thoughts of clothing are discarded, there is no longer any sense of being cold, and you experience continual blissful warmth. Casting off all thoughts of food, you can live for months and years on the food of samadhi, the power of bliss and emptiness. In each pore of your body are displayed unimaginable kinds of abodes of sentient beings as well as buddha-fields. That indicates the achievement of mastery of miraculous emanations. With your mastery of incarnation and emanation, you manifest an inconceivable number of emanations in an unimaginable range of abodes of sentient beings, and in a single instant you guide an inconceivable number of sentient beings. You manifest an inconceivable number of emanations in an unimaginable number of buddha-fieds, where you make myriads of offerings, receive empowerments, and open up an inconceivable number of avenues of samadhi. Such transformations are displayed in your own and others' fields of experience, and you send forth and disclose unimaginable emanations and miraculous displays. Due to your pristine perception, appearances arise as displays of buddha-fields, and due to the pristine purity of the mind-itself, the universe arises as a display of divine embodiments. Due to the pristine purity of your voice, sounds arise as wheels of Dharma. Pure appearances pervasively arise as displays of those three pristine purities, without even a speck of impure appearances.

Once the union has been mastered, the many avenues of the impure cycle of existence are purified, and can be united with the great bliss of the absolute nature. Once liberation has been mastered, simply by focusing your awareness you can bring to a state of liberation even someone who has committed the five deeds of immediate retribution. Once you reach mastery over the elements, you can transform all things into gold, silver, and so on; and phenomena are mastered such that you can transform water into fire, fire into water, and so forth. Once you have mastered the ayatanas(8) of the five generic emblems, you can transform your body into the five elements, have your body take on the shape of other creatures, and manifest yourself in various emanated forms. Once you have mastered all stages of birth, dying, and aging, when you want to transcend the three worlds, you will become awakened in the absolute nature of the dharmakaya, Samantabhadra. This occasion is called awakening in the great openness above, without reliance upon any of the virtues, vices, causes, or effects of all your lifetimes. Without reliance upon the qualities of your karma or the appearances of the intermediate state, all mental states and appearance naturally awaken by themselves, like the dawn breaking in the sky, and there is no death.

Reaching the state of consummate awareness on the path of the Great Perfection means that you implicitly attain what is called the eighth ground on the sutra path, and you also implicitly achieve the state of what is called a Mahamudra vidyadhara on the path of generation.

Moreover, due to the inconceivable differences among people's metabolisms and faculties, there is a corresponding, inconceivable array of meditative experiences. Thus, they are not uniform and there are no definite criteria for them. The foregoing descriptions are simply metaphorical and symbolic. You must examine this with awareness and ascertain that all appearances are of the nature of meditative experience. So recognize this!

O Vidyavajra, by practicing in that way, enthusiastic, courageous individuals do not need to be concerned with such issues as the acuity of their faculties, the quality of their karma, or their age, as is the case on other paths. They are said to be of superior faculties solely due to their enthusiasm and courage. Therefore, when those who integrate Dharma with their lives, without becoming frustrated in their meditative practice, experience the outer and inner appearances of reaching consummate awareness, without confusing one for the other, all phenomena will appear only as lustrous light, and no ordinary appearances will ever arise again.

Finally, like a full moon, the appearances of all embodiments and bindus gradually decrease in number. From your brain(9) a white mass of light, like a billowing cloud emerges in the space in front of you. In its midst appears an aggregate of five bindus, in the center of which appears Vairocana with his consort, adorned with sambhogakaya ornaments, and surrounded by four similar deities in union. Above, below, and all around those divine embodiments, vajra strands arise in the forms of dangling lattices and half-lattices, like rosaries of clear crystals. Then blankets of light, white like the moon, emerge from the hearts of those embodiments and penetrate down into the point between your eyebrows. For seven or five days those blankets of light appear as ornamental bindus stacked up like upside-down conch bowls. Finally, they dissolve into the point between your eyebrows, transforming your body into a mass of light. You thereby receive the immutable body-vajra empowerment.

At this point, even if you die, with no intermediate state, you will experience the central buddha-field called Ghanavyuha and achieve stability. There the entire ground is composed of precious crystals. It is so vast and all-pervasively immense that it rivals the dimensions of space itself. Its surface is smooth and even, like the face of a mirror. When you step down, it gives way, and when you lift up, it rebounds. As the soles of your feet touch the surface of the ground, the primordial wisdom of bliss and emptiness blazes forth. Clouds of delicious aromas spread forth from hills covered with medicinal plants, and the whole ground is completely covered with brilliant lotuses of various colors. The sky is criss-crossed with lattice patterns of rainbow-colored light, and forms of rainbow canopies, parasols, victory banners, and pennants appear in it. It is surrounded all around by a great moat of water bearing the eight excellent qualities, and on its shores are pebbles of various precious substances, turquoise meadows, and golden sand. All around inside them are immense, majestic, lightly filled forests of wish-fulfilling trees. In the groves around its ponds are flocks of birds that are emanations of buddhas, white like the color of conch, yellow like gold, red like coral, green like emerald, and blue like lapis-lazuli, as well as other colors such as black, tan, and variegated. Their beautiful forms are pleasing to behold, and their lovely voices proclaim words of the sublime Dharma, as they circle around the ocean and alight on the wish-fulfilling trees. In the rivers are innumerable, lovely, enchantingly beautiful goddesses emanated by daughters of the devas, nagas, gandharvas, and kinnaras, who are constantly making clouds of offerings and rendering service.

In the center of that buddha-field is a square palace with doors on each of its four sides, produced by the natural appearance of primordial wisdom. Its east side is composed of crystal, its south side is composed of gold, its west side is composed of ruby, and its north side is composed of emerald. Its roof is of lapis lazuli, and its exterior and interior are spacious and luminous. Its whole floor inside is made of precious rainbow crystals. When the light of the sun and moon streams through its windows, the floor becomes covered with rainbow light and bindus. Jewel lattices and half-lattices hang from its walls, and parasols, victory banners, pennants, and silk ribbons flutter in the wind, giving rise to words of the sublime Dharma, which are heard by herds of lovely deer. This vast, spacious palace is beautifully adorned with thresholds, Dharma wheels, and top ornaments of the sun and moon. It is exquisitely designed and is replete with all ornaments.

In its center, adorned with rainbows and a mass of light is a broad, high, jeweled throne supported by eight lions. On its lotus, sun, and moon seat is the Bhagavan Vairocana, adorned with all the sambhogakaya ornaments, of the nature of the purified aggregate of form, the embodiment of the primordial wisdom of the absolute nature of reality. He is surrounded by an immeasurable assembly of bodhisattvas on the tenth ground, and he is constantly turning the wheel of Dharma. Recognize the importance of occasionally bringing that buddha-field to mind even while you are still on the path.

O Vidyavajra, when you who are following this path finally go beyond that stage, red-colored light emerges from your throat spreading into the sky in front of you. In the midst of that light a fivefold aggregate of bindus arises, in the center of which appears Amitabha with his consort surrounded by the four male and female bodhisattvas. Between them are red vajra-strands in patterns of lattices and half-lattices, like rubies strung together. From the hearts of those divine embodiments rays of red light appear which strike your throat in the form of a string of bindus, like inverted ruby bowls, and stack there. They appear to dissolve into your throat for twenty-one, seven, or five days. You thereby receive the secret vajra empowerment of unceasing speech, and you achieve confidence.

At this time, there is a discontinuity, a shift of appearances, and in an instant the entire ground, vast and spacious, is composed of rubies. When you step down, it gives way, and when you lift up, it rebounds. The whole ground is completely covered with brilliant lotuses with blossoms of various colors. The whole environment in all directions is completely surrounded by inconceivable buddha-fields. There are naturally arising ambrosial ponds with jewel pebbles, golden sands, turquoise meadows, wish-fulfilling trees, ambrosial springs, rainbow canopies, and various parasols, victory banners, and pennants. Unimaginable offering goddesses are constantly making offerings and rendering service, and in the center of all this is a palace composed of rubies. Its inner walls are white on the east, yellow on the south, red on the west, and green on the north. Its roof is blue and blazes with blue light, and it is adorned with all ornaments and fine attributes. In its center, is a lotus, sun, and moon seat upon a jeweled throne supported by eight peacocks. On it sits the Bhagavan Amitabha, red in color, adorned with all the sambhogakaya ornaments and garments, of the nature of the purified aggregate of recognition, the embodiment of the primordial wisdom of discernment. He is turning the wheel of Dharma for an immeasurable congregation of bodhisattvas on the tenth ground. You are instantly transported into their midst, you stabilize there, and achieve confidence in this state.

Then when you move beyond that point, blue light emerges from your heart into the space in front of you like a billowing cloud, and in its midst arises a five-fold aggregate of vast, spacious blue bindus. In their center is the principal deity Aksobhya with his consort surrounded by the four male and female bodhisattvas. Adorned with all manner of ornaments, lattices and half- lattices of blue vajra-strands arise in the spaces between them like garlands of vairata. From the hearts of those divine embodiments blue light billows forth, penetrating down into your own heart, where bindus stack up in a column like inverted lapis-lazuli bowls. They appear to dissolve into your heart for ten days or longer. You thereby receive the wisdom-gnosis empowerment of the undeluded enlightened mind, and you achieve confidence.

Even if there is an interruption at this time, with no intermediate state, your appearances will shift, and you will experience the southern buddha-field of Abhirati, as vast as the absolute nature itself. Its surface is smooth and limpid, like the face of a mirror. Its color is blue like lapis-lazuli and it is criss-crossed with lattice patterns of rainbow light. Verdant hills of medicinal plants are beautifully adorned with various flowers, wish-fulfilling trees, lakes of water bearing the eight fine attributes, golden sands, turquoise meadows, jewel pebbles, and unimaginable goddesses making offerings, singing praise, and rendering service.

In the midst of the sky and intervening space adorned with all manner of lovely ornaments is a square palace with four doors. Its exterior is blue in color like lapis-lazuli and blazes with light. Its interior is radiant and luminous with the colors of the five primordial wisdoms. In its center is a jeweled throne supported by eight elephants. Upon it is a lotus, sun, and moon seat on which sits the dark blue Bhagavan Aksobhya, adorned with all the sambhogakaya ornaments, of the nature of the purified aggregate of consciousness, the embodiment of mirror like primordial wisdom. One hand touches the earth, while the other is in the mudra of meditative equipoise. Around him is assembled an innumerable Sangha of bodhisattvas, who are listening to the Dharma from the Teacher while bowing their heads in respect. As your appearances shift to this, you will attain liberation.

When you move beyond that point, yellow light emerges from your navel into the space in front of you like a billowing cloud. Immediately, the whole ground becomes luminous with yellow light like the color of gold, and all other phenomena arise as displays of yellow light. In the midst of that mass of light a five-fold aggregate of large bindus arises like a round shield, and in its center is Ratnasambhava with his consort, surrounded by the four male and female bodhisattvas. Lattices and half-lattices of blue vajra-strands arise in the spaces between them like garlands of amber. From the hearts of those divine embodiments yellow light billows forth, penetrating down into your own navel. In that continuum of light bindus appear to stack up in a column like inverted golden bowls for five or seven days; and finally, they dissolve into you. You thereby receive the primordial wisdom vajra empowerment, free of signs and words, in which all excellent qualities are perfected. E

ven if there is an interruption at this time, with no intermediate state, your appearances will shift, and you will experience the precious buddha- field of Srimat, as vast as the absolute nature itself, in which the whole ground is like the color of refined gold. Its surface is smooth and even. It is filled with grassy hills of medicinal plants blanketed with various flowers, ambrosial ponds, purifying springs, and a myriad of clouds of offerings of such things as wish fulfilling trees. In its center is a palace emanated by primordial wisdom. Its exterior is like the color of precious gold, and its interior bears the colors of the four kinds of activities from the natural potency of the five primordial wisdoms. In its center is a jeweled throne supported by eight supreme horses. Upon it is a lotus, sun, and moon seat on which sits the Bhagavan Ratnasambhava, whose body is adorned with the signs and symbols of enlightenment and with all the sambhogakaya ornaments, of the nature of the purified aggregate of feeling, the embodiment of the primordial wisdom of equality. He is surrounded by an immeasurable Sangha of bodhisattvas to whom he is constantly revealing the Dharma. With the emergence of these appearances, you will achieve liberation.

When you move beyond that point, your body appears as five lights, and from it emerges a mass of dark green light into the space in front of you. In its midst appears a five-fold aggregate of five-colored bindus of light, like a rhinoceros-skin shield. In it is the principal deity Amoghasiddhi with his consort, surrounded by the four male and female bodhisattvas. The images of their bodies are limpid, they are replete with all manner of ornaments, and blaze with a magnificent mass of light. Everywhere above and below them vajra-strands appear in the forms of lattices and half-lattices, like turquoise garlands. As for the upward and downward extensions, from the hearts of those divine embodiments green light billows forth, like the color of emerald, penetrating your genital region. In that continuum of light bindus appear to form in a column like inverted turquoise bowls for ten days or so; and when they are complete, they appear to dissolve into you. You thereby receive an empowerment that grants you mastery over the spontaneously present divine embodiments and displays of primordial wisdom.

At this time, even if your appearances shift, you will experience the buddha-field of Karmaprapurana, in which the whole ground blazes like the color of emerald. The entire environment is replete with all manner of ornaments and fine characteristics, and in its center is a palace, bearing all wonderful qualities. Its exterior is green like the color of emerald, and its interior is of the clear, luminous colors of the four kinds of activities from the natural potency of the five primordial wisdoms. In its center is a jeweled throne supported by eight pheasants. Upon it is a lotus, sun, and moon seat on which sits the Bhagavan Amoghasiddhi, whose body, green in color, is adorned with all the sambhogakaya ornaments, of the nature of the purified aggregate of compositional factors, the embodiment of the primordial wisdom of accomplishment. He is surrounded by an immeasurable assembly of bodhisattvas on the tenth ground for whom he is constantly turning the wheel of Dharma. As your appearances shift to this, you will achieve liberation.

When you receive the vajra-empowerment of spontaneous, original perfection and you go beyond the final purification of the visions of meditative experience, all the mandalas of the blood-drinking deities in the skull mansions appear to you. Rising up into the sky above, you let out a terrifying roar and appear to dance in various ways, causing all realms of the universe to tremble and shake, the great earth quakes with a great roar. Consequently, the entire animate and inanimate universe dissolves into the nature of light, and, with a wave of your hand, your own body disappears into the realm of light.

At this time, you will achieve the four great confidences of fearlessness. What are those four? Due to arriving at the ground of your own being, the dharmakaya, the nature of the original protector, the primordial buddha, even if you have a vision of buddhas filling the whole of space, you achieve the great confidence in which there is not the slightest bit of faith or reverence for them. By coming to spiritual awakening within yourself, in which you can be neither benefited or harmed by any other causes or effects, you achieve the great confidence in which there are no hopes for the ripening of effects from their causes. By coming to the ground of your own being, which is originally free of birth, cessation, and abiding, even if you are surrounded by a thousand assassins bent on murdering you, you achieve the great confidence that is devoid of even the slightest trace of fear. By experiencing the state of the originally pure, primordial protector, and coming to the state that is originally free of delusion, you achieve the great confidence in which there is no anxiety concerning samsara or the miserable states of existence.

Then the appearances of the absolute nature, the bindus, the divine embodiments, and the buddha-fields gradually vanish like the full moon waning to the point that it disappears into the moonless sky. Finally, awareness is awakened as the ground, and you come to the nature of the dharmakaya. The fundamental root of self-grasping is destroyed, and the mind of grasping is extinguished. The ray of dualistic grasping is severed, thereby extinguishing apprehended objects. Conceptualization involving dualistic appearances is extinguished, so you expand into the even, pervasive nature of the equal purity of samsara and nirvana. Your body becomes like a corpse left on a charnel ground, so no fear arises even if you are surrounded by a thousand assassins. Your speech becomes like an echo, reverberating back all the sounds of others. Like a rainbow dissolving into the sky, your mind expands into reality-itself, free of conceptual elaboration, a great, all-pervasive state beyond all dimensions.

O Vidyavajra, an individual who has extinguished the appearances of all phenomena into the absolute nature of reality-itself has far exceeded the tenth ground of the sutra path known as the Cloud of Dharma. Such a one has implicitly reached the supreme ground of a spontaneously present vidyadhara on the mantra path. Still the most subtle of latent cognitive obscurations arise, and like the illumination from a flash of lightning in the sky, on occasion your body appears, for just the duration of a hand-wave, as a body of light in an expanse of light. Recognize that appearances and the mind occassionally separate, and speech and words of Dharma are sometimes uttered as they were previously. When this phase is completed from ten days to ten months, the most subtle of cognitive obscurations vanish into the absolute nature. This perfects the power of primordial wisdom of knowing reality as it is, and you gain mastery of the originally pure ground, the primordial dharmakaya. By perfecting the power of the primordial wisdom of seeing the full range of reality, you gain mastery over the spontaneously present divine embodiments and the displays of primordial wisdom. As the originally pure youthful vase body, you are transformed into a totally perfected buddha, and you become all-pervasive.

Those having superior faculties are liberated as a great transference embodiment, extending infinitely into the all-pervasive dharmakaya, like water merging with water, or space merging with space. Those having medium faculties attain buddhahood as a great rainbow body, like a rainbow vanishing into the sky. When the ground clear light arises, for those having inferior faculties the colors of the rainbow spread forth from the absolute nature, and their material bodies decrease in size until finally they vanish as rainbow bodies, leaving not even a trace of their aggregates behind. That is called the small rainbow body. When the ground clear light arises, the material bodies of some people decrease in size for up to seven days, then finally only the residue of their hair and nails is left behind. The dissolution of the body into minute particles is called the small transference. For those of superior faculties this dissolution of the body into minute particles may occur even during the Breakthrough.

O Vidyavajra and the rest of you assembled disciples, listen and consider this. 
These are the superior qualities of the spontaneously present youthful vase body. 
The obscurations of ignorance are dispelled in the absolute nature; ascending to the dharmakaya, beyond the total-ground, lustrous primordial wisdom manifests, and it transcends lustrous clarity. 
The primordial wisdom of seeing the full range of reality manifests, and primordial wisdom transcends the mind. 
Natural spiritual awakening within yourself surpasses traveling to buddha-fields. 
Free of all the extremes of conceptual elaboration, it transcends causality of dependent origination.
Imbued with the eight freedoms,(10) it transcends all actions and their effects. 
The absolute nature and primordial wisdom are equally pervasive, transcending mundane existence. 
Perfectly complete buddhahood, imbued with nine surpassing greatnesses is praised by all the jinas."



(1). This refers to the preceding practice of imagining the dying process as a preparation to the main practice of the Leap-over.

(2). To protect your eyes, it may be better to direct the gaze about six feet away from the sun.

(3). Although the daytime practice of gazing near the sun may impair one's vision, it is said that the nighttime practice of gazing at the moon may actually enhance one's vision. Most important is that one carefully examine whether one's practice is damaging one's eyesight and to alter the practice if that occurs.

(4). The use of the term lamp (Tib. sgron me) is, of course, a metaphor, for the essential nature of these lamps is luminosity.

(5). The three recognitions (Tib. 'du shes gsum) are recognizing the channels as the path, one's own consciousness as the traveler on the path, and a buddha-field as one's destination.

(6). This sentence gives an etymology of the Tibetan term zhi gnas (Skt. samatha), translated here as meditative quiescence.

(7). The eye of wisdom sees appearances of the absolute nature, of bindus, and vajra-strands that arise simply by attending to visions of light, whereas during meditative equipoise the eye of primordial wisdom sees the displays of the absolute nature and of bindus as they increase, stabilize, and become continuous.

(8). These ayatanas presumably refer to the five 'signs,' (Tib. mtshan ma, Skt. nimitta) that eventually arise due to meditating on the generic emblems of the five elements of earth, water, fire, air, and space. These practices are discussed in B. Alan Wallace, The Bridge of Quiescence: Experiencing Tibetan Buddhist Meditation (Chicago: Open Court, 1998) in the chapter "Quiescence in Theravada Buddhism."

(9). The Tibetan term here (dung khang) literally means "conch abode," but it refers to the brain.

(10). (1) The freedom of the formed observation of form, (2) the freedom of the formless observation of form, (3) the freedom of beauty, (4) the freedom of limitless space, (5) the freedom of limitless consciousness, (6) the freedom of nothingness, (7) the freedom of the peak of mundane existence, and (8) the freedom of cessation. (Tsepak Rigzin, Tibetan-English Dictionary of Buddhist Terminology (Dharamsala, India: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1986) p. 236.


Northern New Mexico.....October 2013


THODGYAL. Thodgal (thod rgal)


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thod-rgal / Thodgal - passing over the summit (the development of vision practice in the Dzogchen Upadesha)


"The term Thodgal (thod rgal....Sanskrit: vyuthtkrantaka)...literally means "direct" (thod-rgal du) in the sense of an immediate and instantaneous transition from one location to another, where there is no intervening interval of time. Thus some would translate it as 'leap over'...but it is much more immediate than leaping about. Also, when we say 'vision' (snang-ha) we are not talking about visualization( (dmigs-pa) which, for example is used in Tantra. Visualization is a process which involves the working of the mind. However with Trkchod we have moved into a dimension beyond the mind and with Thodgal, one continues in this direction. Rather than visualizations created by mind we are talking about an integration with vision, with whatever arises spontaneously to vision while the practiiioner is in the state of contemplation. Therefore, the master of contemplation through the practice of Thekchod is an immediate prerequisite to the practice of Thodgal...Otherwise there is the danger of becoming caught up in one's visions, becoming distracted by them and believing them to be an objective reality. It is precisely this attachment to one's impure karmic visions that got the individual caught up in samsara in the first place.......John Myrdhin Reynolds....'The Oral Traditions From Zhang-Zhung'....Page 33


Taught by Lopon Tenzin Namdak, .....Devon retreat, May 1991 .....

In the Dzogchen Upadesha teachings we have the practices of Thegchod and Thodgal. Thegchod means we enter into and continue in the state of contemplation (rig pa), the Natural State (gnas lugs). Thodgal means that while in the state of contemplation the potentiality of the Natural State (rig pa 1 rtsal) has the occasion to manifest spontaneously as vision. The medium for the manifesting of this potentiality is either sunlight total darkness or the open space of the sky.
The ultimate result of this Thodgal practice is the attaining of the Rainbow Body or Talu (ja lus).
Indeed Thodgal does possess a method for dissolving the impure physical body at the time of death or even before and then the Rainbow Body of Light manifests. But this is not a process of transforming an impure physical body into a pure Sambhogakaya. The method Proper to Dzogchen is not the path of transformation as is the case with the Tantras but the path of self liberation. So the procedure in Tantra and in Thodgal is quite different. To effect a transformation in vision and in energy Tantra employs visualization in terms of Kyerim and Dzogrim practice. We visualize ourselves in a Sambhogakaya form whether this be a peaceful or a wrathful manifestation. But in Dzogchen there is nothing to be visualized and nothing to be transformed. The visions which arise during the course of Thodgal are not visualizations. Visualization represents the work of the mind; visualizations are created by the mind. But Dzogchen is a state beyond the mind. So these visions which arise in Thodgal are not created by the mind or by unconscious karma but they are a manifestation of what is already primordially present in the Natural State. The vision is not something created by causes but it is Lhundrub (Ihun grub) or spontaneously perfected. Since the Sambhogakaya is already fully inherent in the Natural State it simply manifests. Dzogchen alone discloses our real nature;
To realize the Rainbow Body means that we have practiced Thodgal and not some other method. The visions that arise are not specifically created but appear spontaneously (Ihun grub) in the presence of secondary causes such as sunlight, total darkness, and the clear open sky. They arise spontaneously from the Natural State; no Kyerim or Dzogrim practices must be done first as preparation. All that is required is the capacity to remain with stability in the Natural State. This is called stable Thegchod. Then the Thodgal visions come automatically whether in sunlight or total darkness or in the empty sky. Gradually all the pure visions of the deities arise and these visions develop by way of four stages (snang ba bzhi) until completion. Then they all dissolve into the Natural State. Our personal reality of pure and impure vision (snang ba) dissolves into Reality (bon nyid) which is the Natural State. At the same time that our visions dissolve our physical body also dissolves because it is just one manifestation of our impure karmic vision. Our normal everyday impure vision has the same source as the Thodgal pure vision - and now both equally dissolve into their source the Natural State. There is a single Base, the Natural State, but there are two Paths - impure karmic vision and pure vision, and two Fruits or results - Samsara and Nirvana. Returning to the ultimate source then the potentiality of the Natural State manifests as a Rainbow Body, the real Rupakaya.


Excerpt from Golden Letters: The Three Statements of Garab Dorje

With regard to the Das-rjes, in each case the master in question attained the Body of Light at the time of his death, when he dissolved his physical body into the dimension of the space of the sky.

1. Tshig gsum gnad du brdreg-pa, "The Three statements That Strike the Essential Points, " of Prahevajra or Garab Dorje(dGa'-rad rdorje)

2. sGom nyams drug-pa,"The Six Meditation Experiences," of Manjushrimitra ('Jam dpal bshes-gnyen)

3. gZer-bu bdun-pa, "The Seven Important Points," of Shrisimha (dPal gyi seng-ge mgon-po)

4. bZhags-thabs bzhi, "The Four Methods for Remaining in Contemplation," of Jnanasutra (Ye-shes mdo)


From Tenzin Wangyal "This second part with its practices is very similar to the practice of Togal Even though it is not Togal it uses those methods. The means for stabilizing the mind in the experience is through the threefold training or three methods. Before you train the actual development of visions and experiences through the Dzogchen Togal practice you have to make absolutely sure that your pure awareness in the state of contemplation is a hundred per cent stable in the experience of Dzogchen Tregcho. You know that you first have to stay in pure Dzogchen contemplation perfectly without any movements or any visions at all, then Togal will be effective in integrating experiences in this very state of pure awareness or non-dual contemplation. For this development or for the purpose of gaining stability in the contemplation there is a series of three practice methods and special circumstances to be applied consecutively. These methods are related and produce gradual development; first you train in the dark, then you gaze into the sky and finally you look at the sun.


Before one can practice Thodgal, one must first purify the twofold obscurations and master the state of contemplation throught Trekchod practice, a releasing or a cutting through of all one's tensions and rigidities. If one does not first perfect Thekchod as an absolutely necessary prerequisite, then the Thodgal practice will be little better than watching a cinema show. Although one practices Thodgal not in the state of ordinary consciousness but in the state of contemplation, there is nevertheless the ever-present danger that one will become attached to the visions that arise.

Excerpt from: The Golden Letters : The Three Statements of Garab Dorje, the First Teacher of Dzogchen, Together With a Commentary Garab Dorje, John Myrdhin Reynolds (Translator)


The Heart Drops of Dharmakaya teachings were composed by Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen, a Tibetan master who upon his death in 1935 achieved the rainbow body, in which his physical body dissolved into light. Shardza Rinpoche was one of the most influential Bon teachers of his time; his works are used as textbooks in many Tibetan monasteries.

Thod rgal meditation postures... the 3 postures (lion elephant, rishi) in Heart Drops of Dharmakaya. ... going with the Dzogchen Serzhün and the Bonpo Khandro Nyingthik....(Khandro Nyingtik (Wyl. mkha' 'gro snying thig) 'The Heart Essence of the Dakinis' — one of the 'Four Sections of Nyingtik' (Nyingtik Yabshyi). ...

The Khandro Nyingtik cycle itself consists of the Twelve ‘mother’ and ‘child’ Tantras of the Takdrol Gyü, the ‘Three Last Testaments of the Buddha’, and other teachings amounting to a total of sixty-five different categories. When the pith instructions are given according to the Khandro Nyingtik, it is these Twelve Tantras of the Takdrol Gyü and Three Last Testaments which are quoted as references


Northern New Mexico.....October 2013


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dzogchen Sanskrit Glossary...Needs Edit

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Information about these terms will be found under the listed Tibetan equivalents in the Tibetan glossary, which is in English alphabetical order. abhisheka: dbang abhidharma: mngon chos Abhirati: mngon par dga ba absolute: don dam accept and reject: blang 'dor action: spyod adding and taking away: 'du bral affirmation and negation: dgag sgrub affirmation: sgrub Akanishta: 'og min alaya: kun gzhi alayavijñana: kun gzhi rnam par shes pa all at once: cig char all-pervading, all-encompassing: phyam gdal all-sufficient: gcig chod alpha-pure: ka dag amrita: bdud rtsi analysis: dpyod pa antidotes: gnyen po anu: a nu appearance: snang ba artificial: bcos Aryan riches, 7,: 'phags pa nor bdun as it is: rang babs, rang sar, rang mal asura: lha min ati: a ti: rdzogs pa chen po authentic: yang dag Avalokiteshvara: spyan ras gzigs avaricious: rngom Avici Hell: mnyal ba mnar med pa awakened: sangs awareness: shes pa ayatanas, 12: skye mched bcu gnyis bardo: bar do bhagava-t-an: bcom ldan 'das Bhrama: tshangs pa: Hindu creator god bhramin bram ze bhuta: byung po bhuumi: sa bias: ris bindu: thig le bodhicitta: byang chub sems bodhisattva: byang chub sems dpa' body speech and mind: honorific: sku, gsung, thugs; non-honorific: lus, ngag, sems buddha activity: phrin las buddha qualities: yon tan Buddha qualities: sangs rgyas kyi yon tan buddhadharmakaya: sangs rgyas chos kyi sku: = dharmakaya. buddhahood: sangs rgyas caste: rigs cause and condition: rgyu rkyen ceaseless: ma 'gags, 'gag med. certain: nges chakravaritin: a'khor lo bsgyur ba'i rgyal po chandali: tsa nda li characteristics: mtshan charya yana: see theg pa dgu chörten; mchod rten cliff: gyang sa clouds of offerings: mchod sprin co-emergent: lhan cig skyes pa coarse: rags collection of oral instructions: man ngag sde compassion: thugs rje complexity: spros pa concept: rtog pa conceptions: dmigs pa confusion: 'khrul pa Conquerer: rgyal ba. consciousness 5/6: rnam shes lnga/drug contrived: bcos coronation vase: spyi blugs created: bcos crystal: shel gong dakini: mkha' 'gro dedicating the merit: bsod nams bsngo defilements: dri ma deity: lha detail: rim pa developing stage: bskyed rim dge a'dun: followers of the Buddha's teachings. dharmakaya: chos sku dharmata: chos nyid dharmas: chos dharmdhatu: chos dbyings dharmin: chos can dhatu: dbyings, khams dhatu: khams khams: realm, element. dhatus, 18: khams bco brgyad Dhupa: dhu pa: goddess of incense. dhyana: bsam gtan dhyanas, 4: bsam gtan bzhi direct liberation: cer grol discontinuity: rgyun chad discriminating awareness wisdom: so so rtags pa'i ye shes discriminating awareness: so so rang rig; so sor rtag pa discursive thought: rnam rtog display: bstan, bkod disturbed: rnyog doer of all: kun byed dön: gdon drowsiness and discursiveness wildness: bying rgod eggshell: rgya ego: bdag eight consciousnesses: tshogs brgyad eight examples of illusion: sgyu ma dpe brgyad eight extremes: mtha' brgyad eight kinds of suffering: sdug bsngal brgyad eight ordinary siddhis: dngos grub thun mong brgyad eighteen dhatus: khams bco brgyad element: khams, rigs eliminate or establish: dgag sgrub eliminate: log emanation: sprul pa embodiment: 'du ba empowerment: lung, dbang emptiness with all the supreme aspects: rnam mchog kun ldan stong nyid empty: stong pa enlightenment: byang chub ennailment: gzer bu environment and inhabitants: snod bcud, rten dang brten pa equality: mnyam nyid equanimity: mnyam nyid essence: ngo bo snying po establish: sgrub eternal: ye eternalism: rtag lta etherial: sang seng even: phyal ba examination: brtags pa examine: brtags pa examineation: dpyod pa exhaustion: zad pa, rdzogs pa exist: yod pa experience: rang snang experiences: nyams extremes: mu mtha' fabrication: bcos false conception: kun btags family: rigs father tantra: pha rgyud fine and coarse: rags phra five aspects of sadhana: cho ga rnam pa lnga five buddha activities: phrin las lnga five buddhas: bcom ldan 'das lnga: five certainties: nges pa lnga five colors: kha dog lnga five desirables: a'dod pa lnga five elements: 'byung ba lnga five eyes: spyan lnga five families: rigs lnga five kayas : sku lnga five kinds of mind: thugs lnga five kinds of speech: gsung lnga five paths: lam lnga five perfections: phun sum tshogs pa lnga five qualities: yon tan lnga five root kleshas/ poisons: rtsa ba'i nyon mongs lnga five skandhas: phung po lnga five wisdoms: ye shes lnga Five buddha families: see five buddhas, five families. fixation and grasping: gzung 'dzin fixation, fixated object: gzung ba. fixator, fixating subject: 'dzin fixed: nges flickering emanation etc: 'gyu ba four extremes: mtha' bzhi four fearlessnesses: see chapter 6. four great terrors: a'jigs chen bzhi four individual true apprehensions: meanings, words dharmas, powers. four kayas : sku bzhi four kinds of birth: skye ba bzhi four legs of miracle: cho 'phrul rkang pa bzhi four manners of birth: skye tshul bzhi four maras: bdud bzhi four mudras: phyag rgya bzhi four noble truths: 'phags pa bden bzhi four purities: see ch. 6 four seals: phyag rgya bzhi four, the, propitiation and so on: bsnyen sgrub bzhi. four times: dus bzhi four ultimate realizations: rtogs pa bzhi four yogas of atiof maha of mahamudra: rnal 'byor bzhi four Bhrama viharas: tshangs pa'i gnas bzhi four elements: khams/ 'byung ba bzhi four immesurables: tshad med bzhi freedom: grol ba freedoms and favors, 18: dal 'byor bcu brgyad: Ch. 1. fresh and relaxed: lhang nge lhan ne from all eternity: ye fruition: 'bras bu fundamental luminosity = gting gsal fundamental state: gzhi gnas not = shamatha gandavyuuha: stugs po bkod pa Gandha :Gandha: goddess of perfume. gandharva: dri za garbha: snying po garuda: khyung gather: 'du ba. gelong: dge slong genuine: yang dag Gita: gi ta: goddess of song. glorification exaggeration and deprecation: sgro 'dogs dangskur 'debs good and evil: bzang ngan gotra: rigs grasper & grasped: gzung 'dzin grasper/grasping subject: 'dzin pa great full ocean: gang chen mtsho great perfection: rdzogs pa chen po ground: gzhi groundless: gzhi med guard samaya: dam tshig srung ba guru: bla ma heart-essence: snying po higher perceptions: mngon shes higher realms: mtho ris highest yoga: shin tu rnal 'byor hinayana: theg dman hungry ghosts: yi dwags ignorance: ma rig pa Immense ocean: gang chen tsho: AKA rnam snang incidental: glo bur included: 'du ba, 'dril ba, 'ub chub individual insight: so so rang rig individuating characteristics: rang mtshan Indra: brgya byin insight: rig pa instantly: skad gcig par, cig car intellect: yid special cases intellect-consciousness: yid kyi rnam shes intention: dgongs pa interdependent arising: rten 'brel 'byung ba intrinsic-: rang-, rang bzhin gyis- Ishvara: "the Lord,"a Hindu creator god. jang: byang jetsün: rje btsun jinyépé yé shé: ji snyed pa'i ye shes jitawè yé shé: ji lta ba'i ye shes jñana: ye shes jñanasattva: ye shes sems dpa' kagyü: bka' brgyud kalpa: bskal pa kama: desire karma: las kaya: sku kinnara: mi'am ci klesha: nyon mongs knowledge: shes pa kriya: kri ya, bya rgyud let loose: rang kha yan liberation: grol ba limit: rgya chad limitless as the sky: mkha' mnyam loka: sems can rigs drug lokayata: rgyang phan Longchenpa: klong chen rab 'byams pa Longdé: klong sde Lord of death: shin rje lord: mgon pa, bdag po, mnga dbang, rje lower realms: ngan 'gro luminosity: 'od gsal luminous appearances of what does not exist: med pa gsal snang. luminous: 'od gsal madhyamaka: dbu ma mahamudra: phyag rgya chen po mahasandhi: rdzogs pa chen po mahasattva: sems dpa' chen po mahasukha: bde ba chen mahasukhakaya: bde ba chen po'i sku Mahayana: theg chen Maheshvara: dbang po chen po maintain: skyong Maitreya: byams pa major and minor marks: mtshan dpe major and minor marks of a buddha: mtshan dang dpe byad mandala: dkyil 'khor manifest: mngon gsum Manjushri: a'jam dpal mantra: sngags mantrayana: sngags kyi theg pa mara: bdud marks: mtshan measure: tshad meditation: bsgom pa, mnyam bshag, bsam gtan memory: dran pa mental contents: sems las 'byung ba middle: bar mind: sems, yid mind: itself-nature of sems nyid mind-only: sems tsam mindfulness dran pa Mipham: mi pham miracle: cho 'phrul mix: 'dre ba. mother tantra: ma rgyud Mount Meru: ri rgyal rab mudra: phyag rgya Muni: thub pa nada: na da nadi: rtsa nadis, three: rtsa gsum naga: klu natural freedom: rang yan natural state: gnas lugs, rnal ma natural state: gnas lugs tshul natural: rang byung, rang bzhin gyis etc. nature: rang bzhin, gzhis negation: dgag neither established nor cleared away: sgrub bsal med net: rgya, dra ba neutral: lung ma bstan nihilism: chad lta nine yanas: theg pa dgu nirmanakaya: sprul sku nirvana: mya ngan las 'das pa, zhi noble ones: 'phags pa non-dual: gnyis med non-men: mi ma yin non-obstruction: 'gags med: zang ka non-thought: mi rtog pa not adding and subtracting (taking away): 'du bral med Nyingma: rnying ma nyingthig: snying thig object, kaya: yul sku: the object of enlightened perception is the kayas , having the essence emptiness and the nature of luminosity. object: yul obscuration: sgrib offering substance: rdzas omniscience: kun mkhyen, thams cad mkhyen pa'i ye shes one taste: ro gcig one's own insight: rang gi rig pa one's own seat: rang mal opposite: ltos oral instructions: man ngag: ornament: rgyan overturned: ru log paramita: pha rol tu phyin pa partiality: phyogs particularizing characteristics: rang mtshan pass the pass: la bzla ba path of splendor of vivid rainbow colors: khra lam lam path: lam perceiver, wisdom: yul can ye shes perception: dmigs pa perfect: rdzogs perfecting stage: rdzogs rim perfecting yoga: yongs su rnal 'byor phenomena: rnam pa phenomenal world: snang srid pith: gnad play: rol post-meditation: rjes thob power: rtsal powers of mind: dbang po prajña: shes rab Prajñaparamita in Eight Thousand Lines: yum bar ma prajñaparamita: shes rab pha rol tu phyin pa prana: rlung prasangika: thal 'gyur pa pratyekabuddha: rang rgyal precipice: gyang sa preta: yi dwags primordial: gdod nas, thog nas primordial: ye projection: rang snang, kun btags, rang gzugs pure appearance: dag snang pure bhuumis: dag pa sa purified: dag, sangs, sbyangs Pushpa: pushpa godddess of flowers. puja: mchod pa, cho ga qualities: mtshan, mtshon Ra hu: Demon, planet, or dark area responsible for eclipses. rakshasas: srin po real: don du, dgnos realization: rtogs pa, dgongs pa recognize: ngos bzung reference point: gtad so relative: kun rdzob renunciation and realization: spangs rtogs. resolve: gtan la 'bebs pa rich display: 'byor ba'i bkod rigdzin: rigs 'dzin: awareness holder. royal treasures, 7: rin chen sna bdun rupakaya: gzugs sku samsara: 'khor ba: srid pa sacred outlook: dag snang sadhana: sgrub thabs, cho ga Saha: This world called the realm of endurance. sakyong: sa skyong: earth preotecting (king) samadhi: ting nge 'dzin, Samantabhadra i: kun tu bzang po mo samapatti: snyoms 'jug samaya: dam tshig samayasattva: dam tshig sems dpa' sambhogakaya: longs spyod rdzogs pa'i sku sampannakrama: rdzogs rim Sangha: dge 'dun Saraha: Sa ra ha sattva: sems dp'a sattva-yoga: sem dpa'i rnal 'byor sautrantika: mdo sde pa sealing: rgyas thebs: phyag rgya self existing equanimity: lhun grub mnyam pa nyid self-existing: lhun grub, rang gnas self-insight: rang rig self-liberation: rang grol self-luminosity: rang gsal: self-nature: rang ngo separation of clearing away: dbye bsal seven fold service: prostration, offering, confession, rejoicing, requesting to teach, asking the teacher to remain, dedicating the merit. Shakyamuni: sha kya'i thub pa shamatha: gzhi gnas shang shang: shang shang Shastra: bstan bcos shentong: gzhan stong Shijé: shi byed Shiva: drag po, dbang po shloka: sho lo ka shravaka: nyan thos shuunyata: stong nyid siddhi: dgnos grub sign: rtags: tshad simple: spros bral simplicity: spros bral single dot: nyag gcig six higher perceptions: see mngon shes six realms: rigs drug six perfections/ paramitas: Ch. 8 pha rol tu phyin pa six perfections/ paramitas: pha rol tu phyin pa drug six realms of beings: rigs drug six senses: tshogs drug, dbang drug skandhas: phung po sky: nam mkha' solid: dgnos space of the dhatu: dbyings space: dbyings, go, nam mkha', bar snang Space: Spaciousness klong spheres of activity: spyod yul spheres of apprehension: spyod yul spontaneous: lhun grub stage: rim pa straying: gol sa Subhuti: rab 'byor subject: yul can substance: rdzas subtle: phra ba subtlest: shin tu phra ba suchness: deji bzhin nyid sugata: bde gshegs pa sugatagarbha: bde bar gshegs pa'i snying po support and supported: rten dang brten pa Surya: the Hindu sun god. sutra: mdo svatantrika: rang rgyud taking and leaving: btang bshag taming: 'dul ba tantra: rgyud tathagata: de bzhin shegs pa ten bhuumis: sa bcu ten dharmic activities: chos spyod bcu ten directions: phyogs bcu ten masteries: see Ch 6. See ch. 6 ten natures: rang bzhin bcu ten virtues: yon tan bcu tenuous: sang seng the 20 downfalls of bodhicitta: see Ch. 8. the 4 hidden intentions: see Ch 8. the 5 pranas: rlung lnga the dhatu: khams: = dharmadhatu the four abhishekas/ empowerments: dbang bzhi the four jewels: dkon mchog bzhi the nature: ngo bo the ten unwholesome actions: yon ten bcu the three kinds of alaya: kun gzhi rnam gsum The four kinds of birth: skye ba bzhi thing: dgnos po things as they are: gnas lugs tshul thirty seven factors of enlightenment: byang chub yan lag gsum bcu so gnyis three gates: sgo gsum three jewels: dkon mchog gsum three kinds of suffering: sdug bsngal gsum three mandalas: dkyil 'khor gsum three natures: rang bzhin gsum three poisons/kleshas: dug gsum three purities: dag pa gsum three samadhis: ting nge 'dzin gsum three times: dus gsum three worlds realms: srid gsum, khams gsum Three levels: sa gsum tirthika: mu stegs: Hindu, extremist. tonglen: gtong len total goodness: kun tu bzang po training on the bhuumis: sa sbyang transition or change: pho 'gyur transmission: ngo sprod transparent: zang thal traversing treading the path: lam bgrod treasury: mdzod trikaya: sku gsum true meaning: nges don tummo: gtum mo turbid: rnyog turning the wheel of dharma: chos kyi 'khor lo 'khor. twelve ayatanas: skye mched bcu gnyis twelve divisions of the Buddha's sutra teachings: bstan pa'i dbye ba bcu gnyis twelve links of interdependent origination: see ch. 8 rten a'brel two accumulations: tshogs gnyis two acumulations: tshogs gnyis: accumulation of merit and wisdom. two bodhicittas: byang chub sems gnyi two cessations: 'gogs pa gnyis two kayas : sku gnyis: dharmakaya and rupakaya, chos sku and gzugs sku. two sattvas: sems dpa' gnyis two truths: bden gnyis Two benefits: don gnyis twofold purity: dag pa gnyis ultimate point: 'gag bsdam unborn: skye ba med uncompounded: 'du ma byas universal: rab 'byams unmixed: ma 'dres unobstructed: 'gag med, thogs med upa/ charya: u pa, spyod rgyud upaya: thabs upayayoga: = upa utpattikrama: bskyed rim vaibha.shika: bye brag pa vajra holder: rdo rje 'dzin pa vajra master: rdo rje slob dpon vajra: rdo rje Vajradhara: rdo rje chang vajradhatu: rdo rje dbyings vajrakaya: rdo rje sku Vajrapani: lag na rdo rje Vajrasattva: rdo rje sems dpa' vajrayana: rdo rje theg pa vasana: bag chags vase of coronation: spyi blugs vast: yangs vessel and essence: snod bcud Victorious One: rgyal ba vidya mantra: rigs snang vidyadhara: rig 'dzin vinaya: 'dul ba vipashyana: lhag mthong virtues: yon tan Vishnu: khyab 'jug vision: dgongs pa visualize: bskyed vividness: sal le ba warrior abhi.sheka: dpa' bo dbang We: = one. There are actually no we's in the text. This was a way VCTR dealt with passages without pronouns that require some specific pronoun in English, following Longchenpa’s directions for the use of I and we in practice. wisdom of appearance: snang ba'i ye shes wisdom of equality: mnyam nyid ye shes wisdom of manifestation: snang ba'i ye shes wisdom of nature: ji lta ye shes wisdom: ye shes wish-fulfilling gem: yid bzhin nor bu without support: rten med without transition and change: pho 'gyur med. yana: theg pa yanas of cause and characteristics: rgyu mtshan theg pa yé shé: ye shes ye: primordial There is no creation or creator in Buddhism. The nature is beginningless and eternal, much as God is described. yidam: yi dam yoga tantra: yo ga: rnal 'byor rgyud yogachara: sems tsam, rnal 'byor spyod yuga: age
************************** Northern New Mexico.....June 2016 **************************

Dzogchen Notes...Needs Edit


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42. This work is part of a trilogy. The other titles are similar to this one except for substituting bsam gtan, dhyana/ meditation and sgyu ma/ illusion for sems nyid, mind. This points out a central point of ati, that this very world of samsara is the world of, when we can relax and let it be so. 43 the Buddha. 44 In the purity of enlightenment phenomena are called ornaments of the essence, emptiness. 45 The Buddha jewel from the three jewels. 46 Mostly concerned with emptiness. 47 The three jewels are the Buddha, Dharma, and Sa.ngha, Each is the subject of a paragraph above. The one on the Sa.ngha is the one that mentions the (Sa.nghas of Shravakas and so forth. 48 In addition to their existence as none other than the primordial nature of buddhahood. 49 arya sangha. 50 Whoever does even a little of the Buddha’s work of enlightening beings will gain the good karma of going to the celestial realms. There they will receive excellent teachings and complete the path to enlightenment. 51 Rang bzhin bdag med de bzhin nyid yin kyang. Rang bzhin: nature, naturally, intrinsically; bdag med: selfless, egoless; de bzhin nyid: suchness, nature, the (ultimate/true) reality or nature of things which is identified with the great emptiness beyond concept. Everything including beings is really suchness that is intrinsically selfless. Though that is the case… 52 Ourselves. 53. Central = where the Buddha's teaching is taught. 54. Done extremely perverted evil deeds such as the five inexpiables. 55 Phun sum tshogs could also be rendered “perfect” or “complete.” 56. Having the perfections pertaining to oneself, and having the perfections pertaining to others altogether perhaps. 57. This passage consists of mnemonic cues, comprehensible only if one already knows the list. 58 The three realms: Desire, pure form and the formless. 59. dpyod pa. 60. sems 'byung. 61. rtog. 62. spyi la dmigs par mthong ba'i rtog pa. 63. blos shes bzhin. 64 Rang rig ye shes. Those wishing to stay closer to second turning terminology with the approach of direct apprehension of emptiness say something like “personal awareness wisdom.” Those emphasizing the non-dual approach of the third turning say something like “self-awarness wisdom. Both approaches affirm emptiness as absolute truth. 65 “Gzung a’dzin” is most often translated grasper and grasped, in a sense meaning subject and object. Later Longchenpa will say that it should not be so understood. 66 The Buddha. 67. Great: beyond mind and not mind, all-inclusive. 68 Bdag nyid, “self,” might also be rendered “nature.” 69. rig pa: TRungpa Rinpoche liked to translate this insight (= wisdom) because the same word is used for conceptual understanding. Also awareness or apprehension. Sometimes “kaya and wisdom” is used to express the enlightened object and perceiver. 70 Actually it says “having” the clouds, but it is difficult to make that work in English. 71 It is a heavier burden than the hgher vehicles. 72 Womb of Space. 73 It says, since we a’byor what mind really is it is alled a’byor wa. A’byor ba can be translated unite, attain, favor, or wealth in different contexts. 74 Proper: Chos bzhin, which could also mean dharmic. Dharma: chos. 75. I.e. monks and lay-people. 76. The seven aryan riches, 'phags pa nor bdun, faith, discipline, generosity, learning, decency, modesty, and prajña (knowledge). 77. Below, upon, and above the earth. 78. sa gsum: over on and under the earth. 79 Dbang po might also be Indra. 80 They have become brilliantly accomplished through ascetic practice. 81. gser gyi ri bdun the 7 golden mountains from the Abhidharmakosha: surrounding Mt Meru mu khyud a'dzin, rim rnam a'dud bent, rta rna, horse's ear lta na sdug, Pleasing-to-the-eye seng ldeng can, Acacia Forest gshol mda'a a'dzin, Plow (handle) gnya'a shing a'dzin Yoke Holder ES Beyond Mt Meru and completely surrounding it like curtains are seven mountain ranges, each forming a square. Cf: Myriad Worlds, p. 110. 82 Trapezoidal. 83 The name is in fact duplicated here and in a number of other texts. 84 Following the Abhidharmakosha and the translation in Myriad Worlds, the continents and islands In Sanskrit and Tibetan are: East: (Puurva)videha : lus a’Phags po Majestic Body, deha :lus Body, videha : lus a’Phags; South: jambudviipa, a’Dzam bu gLing, caamara : rNga yab Tail Fan, Avara- or Upa- caamara : rNga yab gZhan Other Tail Fan; West: Godaaniiya, ba lang sPyod, shaathaa, g.Yo ldan Crafty, uttara : lam mchog a’gro Treading the Perfect Path; North: (uttara)kuru : sgra mi snyan, kuru(va): sgra mi snyan Unpleasant Sound, kaurava sgra mi snyan gi zla Moon of Unpleastant Sound. 85 Sudarshana, lta na sdug. 86 Sgra gcan. This is also the name of one of the planets, but here it is a king of the jealous gods and his realm. 87 Mgul ’pheng can. 88 thags bzangs ris tentatively identified as bi.mlatsihra. The term often applies to teeth, in which case the Sanskrit is arivala. The same Tibetan is also used to identify Vemacitra, Splendid Robe, the Buddha sage of the realm of the jealous gods, however the tshig mdzod chen mo lists thag bzang ris as a king of the jealous gods. 89 Sometimes Increasing Merit, bsod nams a’phel. 90. It contains a thousand squared or a million worlds. 91. It contains a thousand cubed, or a billion, worlds. However, Mipham argues in his commentary on Kaalachakra that the proper meaning is a realm of three thousand worlds like ours, and cites texts that have this approach. 92. The first buddha of the present eon. 93 The order of channels and energies was reversed for metrical reasons. 94 De bzhin gshegs pa’i snying po: the womb or essence of the One who has Gone to Bliss, i.e. the Buddha. 95 Life. 96. As a name = Kuvera. 97. Below, upon, and above the earth. 98. Forces of sudden affliction by madness and calamity, for Tibetans personified as demons 99 The same as the six kinds of beings, combining the gods and jealous gods. 100 Alchemical elixirs of life. 101 Human birth. 102. lto 'phye, a sort of python demi-god, not the same as naagas, the serpent spirits above, usually water-dwelling. Typically they are depicted with the top half of a human being and the bottom half of a snake. They are so huge they can put the world under their arms. Rig a’dzin, read rigs a’dzin, “those holding the family of…” not translated. 103 Because having gained enlightenment ourselves, we can help others. 104 Sa skyong. 105 I.e. get enlightened. 106. 'phags pa'i nor bdun. 107 Except for this part the verses naturally fall into four line stanzas. 108. A passage in very long verses. Sukhaavatii: The western buddha field or pure land of “great Bliss.” 109 They: The blossoms who metaphorically are beings blossoming into buddhahood. 110 I.e. rising. 111 Rgyu skar. These have a relation to the moon’s course like that the constellations of the zodiac have to the sun’s. 112 Because of doubting it nevertheless. 113 Rgya shug can mean juniper of a small grain plant. Here it is a ci bi ka fruit tree. 114 Only spirits are mentioned in the commentary, so byol song probably does not refer to animals. 115 grum bum, kimbandha, a kind of human bodied animal headed yaksha spirit or demon that usually lives in the ocean and may send attacks of sickness. 116 Again, lto a’phye here seems not to refer to snakes, but spirits with partial serpent bodies, such as nagas and the earth lords also called lto a’phye. 117. The precious wheel, gem, queen, elephant, horse, treasure-vase, and minister. 118. lus srul po ES. 119 The gods. 120 dpang read dbad. 121 Merits of body, speech and mind. 122 The three types of suffering. 123. These are the three poisons or root kleshas. 124. shes pa. 125. yul so so. 126. sems, the sense identified with grasping. 127 skye mched 128. yul can gyi blo. 129 Toward which we have positive, negative or neutral feelings. 130. rang ngo. Our own nature. 131 gzhan dbang: Literally “other powerdness.” 132 mtshan nyid chad pa'i kun brtags. 133. mtshan nyid, rnam grangs. mtshan nyid is the same word logicians use for the defining characteristics discovered by valid reasoning. The word is one of the categories refuted by madhyamaka (what isn't?) but even there it is allowed validity conventionally. Here, provocatively, it is simply equated with being wrong, and distinguished from the accountable, which here is the sphere of conventional truth and falsity. 134. kun btags. 135. rin po che sna bdun. 136. It could also be said that if everything is mind, the term makes no distinction and is meaningless. 137 Illusory hairs, “floaters” in the eyes. 138. don spyi. 139. This appears to be addressed to an exponent of madhyamaka who holds that external objects truly exist from a conventional viewpoint, though not from the viewpoint of analysis for the absolute. 140. Ordinary language distinguishes my sensations (personal appearances) of this flower from the flower itself, although there is no double vision of both at once. For example, if I close my eyes, the sensations vanish, but the flower does not. 141. gnyis med can mean either both are not (existent) or not two = non-dual. 142. Red and white can have the sense subjective and objective. 143 Literally gzhan dbang, “other power” or -dependent. 144 Or “categorized.” 145. khams. 146 false conceptions, relativeity and complete perfection. 147. srab mthug. 148 Usually it is said that on blazng iron ground the minions of the Lord of Death draw black lines on the bodies of the beings in this hell. Then they are cut to pieces along those lines. They are rejoined and the same thing happens over and over. some accounts call it the Black Thread hell, saying that after they are cut apart they are sewn together again with black thread. 149 Free from strife: Aviha : a’thab bral. Twin gods: yaama: mtshe ma’i lha. See explanation below. 150 Here, it does not say “years of such days,” as above. 151 They are tortured in iron houses that are each within another iron house. 152 The Tibetan nyi tshe ba, literally “of one-day life,” can mean short-lived, restricted, limited to one or a few individuals, etc. 153 According to the Mahaavyupatti the Sanskrit is variously renedered (-shrona ko.tii kar.nah:,(sona kuti kanna in Mahaavagga V.13); it means Born under the star sravana with ten million ears. 154 Dra ba can. The meaning is probably “having latticed (windows).” 155. Wooden clacker. 156 Also known as the River of Ashes. 157 This is filled in from other descriptions. Literally it says “seeing nice shady pits.” 158. Or fermenting grain. 159. Iron trees of Hell with sharp leaves and thorns. 160 Following tshig mdzod chen mo, brang breng read breng breng. 161 The Lord of Death. 162. 1 having blisters chu bur can; #2 having bursting blisters, chu bur rdol ba can 3 swo tham tham pa: teeth chattering 4 achu 5 ALAS!, kye hu 6 ut pa la ltar, like an utpala lotus7 pad ma, lotus 8 pad ma che, great lotus. 163 Their sufferings. 164. Guenther reads this as "the country of Magadha." 165. khal: #25-30 lb. 166 Including the hottest part of the year in India. 167 klu. These include both snakes and serpent like spirits. 168 Another naga king 169. ngal snabs read nar snabs. 170. nyer len gyi phung po. Khenpo Palden Sherab Rinpoche explains this by saying it means the skandhas are closely associated with suffering. etc. Another common interpretation is that the skandhas perpetuate their own samsaric existence 171 spron read sbron. 172. Erik Schmidt. Four Currents: 'dod pa, desire; srid pa, existence; ma rig pa, ignorance; log par lta ba, wrong views. 173 Mere mental consciousness that does not have the attachments of the kleshas. 174. Air. 175. The first dhatus appears to = physical element, while the second also seems to have the sense of the 18 dhatus. 176. gzung ba’i rtog pa. 177. ‘dzin pa’i rtog pa. Sometimes dpyod pa instead of rtog pa. 178 Appearance is used here in such a way that “false appearance” would be redundant. 179. dbyen spyos. 180 The realm of pure form. 181. Cf. a second account below. In general it is said that dhyana 2 eliminates concept and analysis, dhyana 3 concentrated joy, and 4 bliss, leaving several other factors such as those named. 182. in the god realms. 183. cf. ‘bras bu lnga - rgyu mthun gyi ‘bras bu dang, bdag po’i ‘bras bu dang, skyes bu byed pa’i ‘bras bu dang, rnam smin gyi ‘bras bu dang, bral ba’i ‘bras bu ste lnga’o,//. the five fruitions are the fruition according with the cause, dominant fruition, being-producing fruition, fruition of ripening, and fruition of separation. The last applies only to good actions. 184. Dharmakaya 185. Sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya. 186. 1 Passion, 2 aggression, and 3 ignorance; 4 all acting or as 5 imprint; That to be abandoned by 6 seeing and 7 meditation; The higher bhumis relatively 8 impure and 9 pure. This summarizes the relationship of the nine examples to the defilement removed and the level of the path on which the removal occurs. 187 Those who fixate conceptually established emptiness of composite dharmas become nihilists who deny the validity of the kayas, wisdoms, buddha qualities and so forth. 188. kha myag. It affects the mother too. 189 Because the elements are unreal. 190 brkams: either “have extreme craving” or “dried up.” 191 dar yug chen po literally means “great silk scarf/ banner.” 192. The six perfections and compassion. 193. The glossary to the Rain of Wisdom q.v. says they are like the seven aspects of supreme union: evidently natureless, filled with the wisdom of bliss-emptiness, possessing changeless mahasukha, they have all enjoyments without suffering, their changeless wisdom bliss is uninterrupted, they are filled with the great compassion. Taming others in all the times and directions they have continuity. 194. Erik Schmid’ts Dictionary lists The Arya-subhapariprcha-nama-tantra Good Army Tantra, but not a sutra. 195 That is, to become enlightened one need only realize the space-like emptiness of the kleshas, skandhas and so on. 196 Cultivating virtue. 197. The five powers and faculties of a buddha. 198 As discussed above, also known as the four thoughts that turn the mind: How the freedoms and favors are so difficult to obtain, how all is impermanent and death is certain, karmic cause and effect, and the faults of samsara. 199. karma. 200 A sign of accomplishment. 201. That accomplishes wishes. 202. A river of ashes and boiling water in the fourth neighboring Hell. 203 Noble, exalted or venerable lord. 204 Fill the taste of sense... Omitted for metrical reasons. 205 “Death when life ceases” Omitted for metrical reasons. 206. mhkhan po, upadhyaya. Learned one, teacher, preceptor. This is the way the teacher is thought of in hinayana, as opposed to the guru of vajrayana 207. Hee there are slight variants: Bodhicaryavatara: ci nas ting ‘dzin brtson pa ni As for trying to keep samadhi in every way. This commentary: ci nas rtse cig sems kyis ni ============================ bdag gi yod ‘di gar /spyod/dpyod ces.//think “where is mind 208. This commentary: srog la bab kyang srung shig ces. Bodhicaryavatara: thams cad ‘bad pas...with every effort. 209. This commentary: spyan lnga. Bodhicaryavatara: spyan sna before their eyes. 210. This commentary rnams. Bodhicaryavatara: rnam. Pronunciation and meaning the same. 211. This commentary: chags pa. Bodhicaryavatara: chags par. 212. Bodhicaryavatara” sa rko rtsa. This commentary: sa brko rtswa. No difference in pronunciation and meaning. 213. Bodhicaryavatara: dor. This commentary: btang. Can be synonymous, but might not. 214. Bodhicaryavatara: brtan pas com par. No difference in meaning. 215. Bodhicaryavatara: ‘am, or. This commentary: dang, and. 216. This commentary: slu sems, Bodhicaryavatara: bslu sems. No difference in pronunciation or meaning. 217. This commentary: ‘gyod, Bodhicaryavatara: ‘gyed: No difference in meaning. 218. This commentary: yid ni brtan por. Bodhicaryavatara: de ni brtan par, referring back to another “yid.” Same meaning. 219. Bodhicaryavatara: brtan stable, trustworthy. this commentary: brten: supporting, trustworthy. 220. Bodhicaryavatara: bcas dang. This comentary: dang bcas. No difference in meaning. 221. Bodhicaryavatara: yid ‘di this mind. this commentary: yid ni, as for mind. No real difference in meaning. 222. This commentary: sprul zhing nga rgyal med pa ni: Without emanation and pride: Presumably an error. Bodhicaryavatara: sprul pa bzhin du nga med par. 223. bsngo. The same word is used for dedication the merit. 224 A kusulu yogin renounces all activity except for eating, sleeping and elimination. 225 “Two perfect accumulations... two obscurations.” Omitted for metrical reasons. 226. Sa dkar can: place having white earth. 227. byis pa gson: child or fool listening. 228. dgrar bcas: with enemies. 229 It is not good to abandon the quest for enlightenment and seek rebirth in heaven by performing good deeds. However, being deceived into the bad paths of samsara that lead to the lower realms is far worse. 230 They take refuge in deities of these. 231 Technically three asamkhya kalpas would be 3 x 1050 kalpas. 232 Nirmanakayas. 233. Body, speech, and mind. 234. gsung rab yan lag bcu gnyis - twelve divisions of the teachings. 1) mdo ‘i sde. = discourses or general teachings. 2) dbyangs kyis bsnyad pa’i sde. = hymns and praises. 3) lung du bstan pa’i sde. = prophecies. 4) tshigs su bcad pa’i sde. = teaching in verse. 5) ched du brjod pa’i sde. = aphorisms. 6) gleng gzhi’i sde. = pragmatic narratives. 7) rtogs pa brjod pa’i sde. = biographical narratives. 8) de lta bu byung ba’i sde. = narratives of former events as examples. 9) skyes pa’i rabs kyi sde. = jataka narratives of former births. 10) shin tu rgyas pa’i sde. = extensive teachings. 11) rmad du byung ba’i sde. = narratives of marvels. 12) gtan la dbab pa’i sde. = teachings in profound doctrines. mdo sde dbyangs bsnyan lung bstan tshigs su bcad ched brjod rtogs pa brjod dang de ltar byung gleng gshi shin tu rgyas dang skyes rabs bcas. gtan phab rmad du byung ba’i sde rnams so Sutra and geya vyaakaraaaa and gaathaa, Udaana and nidaana, avadaana and ityukta, Jataka vaipulya, adbhutadharma, and upadesha. 235. dge bsnyen - layman, lay devotees, virtue obtained, people with the five precepts not to kill, not to lie, not to steal, not to take intoxicants, not to engage in sexual misconduct, upasika. The five to be renounced for laymen, layvows. see also under renunciate and layman, dge tshul - novice, novice monk, shramanera. novitiate. the precepts are those five with the addition of afternoon food, singing and the wearing of ornaments, the ten to be renounced by novices. dge slong - fully ordained monk with 250 precepts, --ma nun with 350. 236. Like buddha family. 237. The Tibetan for “jewel” in this case literally means “rare and excellent.” 238. The new transmission schools call the inner tantras anuttara yoga, and say that it has within it father, mother, and non-dual tantras, e.g. Hevajra, Chakrasamvara, and Kalachakra. The nyingmas usually say that beyond mahayoga are two more vehicles, anuyoga and ati yoga. This passage has been phrased to work in both cases. 239. gzungs can also mean to the power of retentiveness of what is learned on all levels. Guenther said “spiritual sustenance.” 240 That is, as being pure. 241. kun tu sbyor ba gsum - the three fetters. 1) ‘jig lta = ‘jig tshogs la lta ba -view of a transitory collection, futile view, perishable view. – satkaryadrsti, wrong view believing in the real “I” and mine in the many impermanent, perishable entities included within the five perpetuating skandhas. 2) tshul brtul mchog ‘dzin -holding a discipline as paramount. 3) the tshom nyon mongs can -possessing the klesha of doubt. 242 Of the ten non-virtues. 243. rgyal srid rin chen sna bdun - the seven precious royal possessions. 1) ‘khor lo -, rtsibs stong -1000 spoked wheel. 2) nor bu -, yid bzhin nor -wish-fulfilling gem. 3) btsun mo -queen 4) glang po elephant -, khyu mchog glang herd-leader or bull elephant. 5) rta mchog- excellent horse - 6) khyim bdag -steward. 7) dmag dpon -general. 244. gzhan ‘phrul dbang byed - constantly enjoying pleasures provided, one of the 28 classes of gods in the desire realm, land of controlling other’s emanations, the Paranirmitavasavartin gods, Heaven of controllers of others’ emanations, the 6th heaven in the realm of desire gods. 245. Youth, prince. 246. Dharma, meaning, definitions, and brilliant confidence. 247 All this is the first. 248. the eighth bhumi. 249. This and “at the end above: rgyun mthar. 250. The four dhyanas, four formless attainments, and samapatti of cessation. 251. Or forgotten. 252. These are buddha qualities. 253. The three kinds of tulkus: sprul sku gsum, here bzo ba’i sprul sku, skye ba’i sprul sku, mchog gi sprul sku. Elsewhere sna tshogs sprul sku, various tulkus who are the same as working tulkus, bzo ba’i sprul sku. This phrase has sometimes been rendered emanation of artistry or created nirmanakaya; ‘gro ‘dul sprul sku and rang bzhin sprul sku: The working or various tulkus are gifted individuals, artists, craftsmen, scientists etc who so benefit beings. The born or taming tulkus are the rinpoches usually called tülkus, who have taken human birth in order to tame beings by the Dharma. The supreme tulku is the Buddha. 254. Here, as in the name of the Gyalwa Karmapa, karma is synonymous with buddha activity. 255. nges par ‘byed pa’i cha dang mthun pa bzhi: drod, rtse mo, bzod pa, ‘jig rten pa’i chos mchog. 256 Siddhis. 257. The three Faiths (dad pa gsum). Sincere faith: dang ba’i dad pa. conviction: yid ches pa’i dad pa. and irreversible devotion phyir mi ldog pa’i dad pa. the three kinds of faith. inspired, aspiring, and confident faith or confidence. Another common list is: faith of faith, faith of desire and faith of trust. 258 Renounce. 259. From the passage below gzungs seems to mean mantric practice. However gzungs sprin ye shes can be a cloud of spiritual wisdom attained through practicing path of seeing. 260 The first kind of selflessness realizes the emptiness of a real self that owns the dharmas it perceives and those same dharmas insofar as they are regarded as owned by it. It does not realize the selflessness of dharmas altogether. Abhidharma Buddhist philosophy shares this approach with the Samkhyas etc. The second approach is most typical of pratyekabuddhas, but is perhaps easiest to understand if we think of the mind-only school. It realizes the emptiness of grasped objects because of interdependent arising, but tends to cling to the reality of the grasping perceiver and perception. Having realized the emptiness of the object and perceiver of individuals and the emptiness of the object, but not the perceiver, of dharmas altogether, these individuals realize “one and a half” of the two egolessnesses. 261. Good, evil, and neutral. 262. An onion is good western equivalent. 263 The immeasurables. 264 Meter 265. The commentary says nine. 266 In discipline, samadhi and prajña. 267 Clouds of Dharma. 268. Among the animals. 269. lto ‘phye. A class of hungry ghosts. 270 Madhyamaka and mind-only 271. Gold, silver, turquoise, coral, pearl, emerald, sapphire. 272 rgyan gyi mdo. 273 hostile and... 274 ... phenomenally existing within the ten directions. 275 A variety of excellent... Omitted for metrical reasons. 276. Kettle -drum style. 277 Some lotuses like the blue utpala are day-blooming, and some like the white kumut are night-blooming. 278 “Adorned with a rabbit’s... Omitted for metrical reasons. 279 rgyu skar, the lunar equivale nt of the solar zodiacal constellations. 280. I.e. the Buddha. 281. Attaining the first bhumi, supremely joyful. 282. ’khor gsum: Subject, action, and object of an action. 283. dmigs med: Can also mean non-conceptuality, non-perception, imagelessness. 284 Goodness in accord with liberation. 285 Here the students say the names that were given them in the ceremony. 286 Nye bar ’tsho might also mean “cure.” 287. This seems to be a summary corresponding in a general way to Chapter 51 of Cleary’s translation pp. 328 ff. There are differences in detail. Thomas Cleary, Entry into the Realm of Reality, Volume Three of the Jewel Ornament Sutra, (Shambhala: Boston), 1987. 288 By miracle. 289. Cf. p. 339 of Cleary Look at Sudhana, son of compassion and love, universally kind; Welcome tranquil eyes, do not flag in practice. 290. Next verse. The differences here seem to come from differences in translation in different versions. 291. The same also means kindness. 292. P. 349 Cleary 293. Cf. Cleary p. 350. This is summary. 294 Cf. Cleary, p 352. 295 This continues until Cleary, 365. 296 “Alternate sending and taking...”, omitted for metrical reasons. 297 As a self. 298 This is from verse VI.119 from the chapter on the perfection of patience. The first half of the verse says, “Therefore, the Sage has said that sentient beings are a field and victorious ones are also a buddha field.” Field here means a situation in which progress can be made toward enlightenment. 299. Shantideva says dpung. Longchenpa explains this as dpung tshogs: troops. I.e. it is a metaphor of battling evil. 300. grel chen substitutes ‘dun pa “aspiration. 301 V.42 There “It” refers to “not losing the effort of samadhi for even an instant,” in the previous verse. The verse continues, “Thus at the time of generosity it is taught that discipline should be sent into equanimity. 302 Cutting the bud so that a lotus can bloom 303 And most importantly a monk. 304 With a turban. 305 rim read rin. 306. The Triskandha Sutra, tr. in ed. Bereford Mahayana Purification Practices, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives Dharamsala, 1978. 307. ‘phags pa’i nor bdun - the seven noble riches/ faith, discipline, generosity, learning, decorum, modesty, and knowledge, knowledge/ intelligence. 308 The great compassion is beyond the limitations of ordinary concepts of compassion and noncompassion. Other analogous phrases, such as “the great emptiness” are similar. 309 Or “true.” 310 Fill in the blanks with the appropriate name and transgression. 311 Self and other, according to the commentary that follows. 312 Of shravakas, pratyekabuddhas and bodhisattvas. 313 They are chaste. 314 bsdu ba'i dngos po bzhi: the four means of magnetizing/ attraction/ conversion and gathering/ ways of winning devotees/ gathering beings/ positively influencing/ benefiting others samgrahavastu 1) generosity, giving, sbyin pa. 2) pleasing/affectionate speech, kind words, snyan par smra ba. 3) meaningful conduct, appropriate teachings, don spyod pa. 4) accordant meaning, consistency in behavior between words and actions, don mthun pa. Erik Schmidt. 315 Of the shravakas, pratyekabuddhas or bodhisattvas, as appropriate. 316 Directly the three below. Longchenpa does not say explicitly how his two kinds of compassion are discussed in the passage, and how his three categories relate to the three in the passage. 317 Which does not exist according to Buddhism. 318 See commentary below. 319 The three higher trainings in discipline, samadhi and prajña. 1) lhag pa tshul khrims kyi bslab pa. 2) lhag pa ting nge 'dzin gyi bslab pa 3) lhag pa shes rab kyi bslab pa. 320 Nagas are said to be very wealthy. 321 Also “associate with...” 322 8.34 323 See Longchenpa’s commentary below. 324 The two aspects of being seen as if with closed and open eyes. Also meditation and post-meditation, though described as separate in the following quote, are combined with a single nature. 325 Referring to the three lines immediately preceding. 326. mthong ba’i chos la bde bar gnas pa’i bsam gtan. Erik Schmidt. sder gnas read bder gnas 327. dpyod pa. Rtog dpyod: conception and discernment, ideas and scrutiny. 328 Discussed below. 329 Roughly, the distinction is that contemplation is concerned with practices limited by samsaric forms and concepts, while meditation transcends these in various ways. Thus it is almost the reverse of Catholic usage of these terms. 330 Conceptually described, the logial teachings of emptiness and so forth. 331 yang dag. The truth of the true relative. 332 The literal meaning of the Tibetan kun rdzob is “disguised in a costume” or “spurious.” The translation “relative” was used because some pure forms of kun rdzob, as presented below are neither disguised nor spurious. That does obscure the meaning of some passages like this where the literal sense is primary. 333 The same point is made when madhyamaka says that no entities bear the analysis. 334 If absolute and relative are separate, what appears in a true and absolute way does not appear in a confused and relative way. However, what in true reality does not appear at all cannot appear in a confused way either. 335 Isolated nihilistic emptiness is false 336 If the absolute is being defined as being beyond complexity, i.e. characteristics, this causes problems in Buddhist logic which presupposes that for all entities either any given characteristic or its negation will apply 337 The Tibetan has a similar repetition “‘gro bar ‘gro.” 338 As explained below. 339 Those of the shravakas and the pratyekabuddhas, and the Mahayana. 340 Low caste people or shudras. Omitted for metrical reasons. 341 Impurity of life, (tshe'i snyigs ma) impurity of view, (lta ba'i snyigs ma), impurity of conflicting emotions, (nyon mongs kyi snyigs ma) impurity of sentient beings (sems can gyi snyigs ma) and impurity of time (dus kyi snyigs ma) 342. rngam glog is also the name of a deity. 343. This can also be a name for Mount Meru, which has sides of precious substances. 344 stsogs = sogs = etc. omitted for metrical reasons, 345 Breaths, or corellated with them. 346 dpa’a bo dpa’a mo: this also means daka and dakin.i 347 with backwards kiku. 348. Lord of the mandala, Vairochana and his consort Akashadhatvishvari. 349. ...Three mandalas. 350. rdzogs can also mean perfection. The exhaustion of samsara is the perfection of enlightened reality 351 Or exhaustion. 352. The net of nadis and prana, which when mastered gives mastery of the network of interdependence. 353 By that goes. Omitted for metrical reasons. 354 The nadis. 355 body, feeling, mind, and dharmas. 356 mi tshangs spyod pa. For persons with views and disciplines of chastity, such as monks and nuns, refraining from sex. For others, refraining from improper sexual objects, as explained above. 357 External samaya of body... Omitted for ,metrical reasons 358 I.e the path for removing defilement 359 This was the outer. 360 Worse than the former. Omitted for metrical reasons. 361. tana gana = sbyor sgrol, union and liberation. Liberation sometimes = killing. The other action is consuming intoxicants in feast practice. These five are the negation of the five precepts of getsul vows or which often accompany refuge vows for lay disciples. 362. The five amritas. some versions have brains instead of human flesh. rakta: menstrual blood, thought to be the feminine contribution to an embryo. White bodhicitta, semen, 363 Literally “immovable.” Also a secret symbol for urine. 364 bud med is a common word for women. Literally it means “indispensable.” This verse seems to refer to menstrual blood. 365 Vajra substances, these five amritas. 366 An epithet of the sun. 367 Samadhis and five rites. Omitted for metrical reasons. 368 Human excrement. Omitted for metrical reasons. 369 yang ba. 370 and so on. Omitted for metrical reasons. 371 The one taste of emptiness and great bliss. Wheel means something like sphere or mandala. 372 ...It is said. Omited for metric al reasons, 373. “Wish-fulfilling kayas and amritas.” Omitted for metrical reasons 374 bsam du med also has the sense of inconceivable and beyond thought. 375 rten ‘brel here does not assert a causal connection in the relative sense. 376. Sambhogakaya 377 They are rectangular, but one side adjoins the palace. 378. Beams over the main shrine area that protrude. 379. (lda ldi) - silk tongues tied together at the upper end in garlands, a particular kind of offering hung on house tops, fringe or tassel, string of beads or flowers, cloth wreath. 380. also name of deity , Deje Tsegpa. 381. The roof structure over the square. 382. tsong tsong. 383. bsil ba dang, zhim pa, yang ba, ‘jam pa, dvangs pa, dri ma med pa, lto la mi gnod pa, mgrin pa la mi gnod pa bcas yon tan sna brgyad dang ldan pa’i chu bzang. 384. sometimes also azure 385. tshon gang as above. 386. pi wang 387. . Omitted for metrical reasons. 388 The one taste of emptiness and great bliss. Wheel means something like sphere or mandala. 389. ‘byung ba. 390. noose. 391. “Appearance:” confused dualistic appearance of external objects etc. 392 With mind. 393. Skyes pa: might mean person, birth, or object of arising. The overall point would be the same. 394. This split in time distinguishes the terminology from the more common use of the same words to refer to the simultaneous split of non-dual vision into the duality of subject and object. 395 Not translatyed becayse the translation is disputed. 396 sems. This is the same word used for mind, just above, but it can also mean thought, wish attitude, etc. Presumably it means something a little different here, since here sems does have color and shape etc. 397. Ma dros pa: Unwarmed. Also Lake Manasvowar which never gets warm. 398 Go and beings are ‘gro and ‘gro ba in Tibetan. 399. ‘gro: The primary meaning is go, but there is a sense of “liberated from existence as a sentient being” as well. 400 The point is not obvious, However the commentary seems to say that if it existed in the present it would involve changes of arising and ceasing and so forth. 401. 402 rtog dpyod: These terms occur above in the discussion of the dhyanas. 403 Or in doing what is useless. 404 Nihilistic emptiness. 405 In India the sky is very clear in the autumn. 406. Another pen name of Longchenpa, dri med ’od zer, “Spotless Rays of Light.” 407 Desirable and undesirable objects of the five senses. 408 Mind has no fixed conceptions about reality. 409 Which realizes that all things are equally emptiness. 410. rang mtshan: individualizing characteristics. 411 They cannot be made empty, being empty already. 412 Which purport to be apprehensions of external objects other than oneself. 413 What they seem to be and what we believe them to be. 414 rtogs goms, has realized and is familiar with it. 415 In particular, evil... Omitted for metrical reasons. 416 “Therefore for...” Omitted for metrical reasons. 417 zhi gnas, literally “resting in/existing as the ground.” 418 As for this, by... Omitted for metrical reasons. 419 Into enlightened wisdom. 420 As opposed to a fully enlightened buddha. 421 gzungs sprin: a technical term for clouds of wisdom that arise during the path of seeing, involving vision of buddha qualities buddha fields and so forth as described. Gzungs has the sense that the visions of wisdom are grasped and retained. 422 This line is obscure, and commentary is required to know what even the literal reading is supposed to be. See Longchenpa’s commentary on the twentieth and twenty-first knots just below. 423 As described in Liberation by hearing in the Bardo (bar do thos grol) etc. 424 They do not practice yogic breath control 425. Ripples in the air, transitory light forms on a wall, mirages optical illusions. 426 “...Bodies those weapons did not exist. Omitted for metrical reasons. 427. dmigs can mean perceived, conceived, imagined, or taken as an object of attention. All are relevant and in fact are related in the way we deal with objects. 428 This refers to the mind, rather than the color and shape of the body. 429. Of an individual and of dharmas. 430 The grasping is mental experience. The appearing object appears to be an external object, but is empty. 431 kong du chud means comprehend or assimilatae, but also literally take into the belly. 432 Cross to the other shore of the ocean. Omitted or metrical reasons. 433. Literally source of proliferation, skye mched, which has a negative connotation like the spread of fire or plague. This space is still a nonthing dharma. 434. Usually neither perception not non-perception. 435. The nine dhyanas have a particular focus, so they are to that extent consciousness rather than wisdom without reference point. 436. According to Trungpa Rinpoche the third is effort. The point is still emptiness of mind, but rather than analytical or illusion-like emptiness, spontaneous presence and activity is emphasized. 437. sems = bsam thought or mind = contemplation; and mindfulness = exertion according to Trungpa Rinpoche 438. Second time. 439 ‘dzin pa, which Longchenpa above treated as conceptual fixation subsequent to grasping. This is one of a number of passages where that interpretation is not easily applied. 440 Excluding the northern continent of the four continents. 441. thog bsring Erik Schmidt’s dictionary. 442 The nine greater greater etc. as above. 443 bcom ldan ‘das, also used to translate bhagavan. 444. gnyis med Yogachara typically interprets this as non-duality, and madhyamaka as both not (truly) existing. 445. A Poisonous cucumber causing thirst and then death. 446 There will be rebirth as a god. 447. They don't fit the list in the root verses. E.g. malice and desire are not mentioned at all there. 448 Shamatha is supposed to cut through conceptual complexity. If the object is conceptualized these dualities will arises. 449 The power of display or manifestation of the essence. 450 yid la byed pa bcu gcig. 451 rtog dpyod: These were previously discussed as factors of dhyana. 452 Bindus of the five buddha family colors. 453 It will not be realized. 454 Ati emphasizes the experiential aspect of the view. 455 Realization of these teachings. 456 The first seven bhumis. 457. The moon, with its rabbit's image. 458 Of the different world realms. 459. The continents and sub-continents. 460. Dense: stug po, typically found in stug po bkod pa. Literally elaborately ornamented. Depicted by the symbolism of this iconography is the density of structure expressed by saying that all the worlds are inside an atom, all eternity is in every moment etc. 461 Kayas. 462 Sambhogakaya. 463 The fourth division of time, in addition to past, present and future. 464 or “exaggerations of.” 465 “Purification” is byang and “perfection” chub. The “kaya of manifesting enlightenment” is mngon par byang chub kyi sku. 466 “Purified” is sangs. “Expands” and “blossom” are rgyas, the components of Buddhahood, sangs rgyas. 467 Zhi: “pacified” means both that this kaya is at peace, and that complexities are pacified, that is, do not exist, in it. 468 Two truly existing things. 469 Since both eternalism and nihilism are refuted, there is, of course, a sense in which it is correct to say neither is established. The sense of “neither” that is refuted is one where even denial presupposes that the two things denied area coherent possibilities. Madhyamaka denies this. 470 The kaya of spotlessness and dharmakaya (nondual with wisdom.) 471 The same as the three prajñas, hearing, contemplating and meditating, according to Khenpo Tsultim Gyatso. 472 Khenpo Tsultim Gyatso seems to have a text that says that it will not be realized by even those with the wisdom body. In that case the pure levels and buddhahood are contrasted. The ultimate meaning is the same 473 Gandavyuha is stug po bkod pa. Stug po is dense, thick or abundant. 474 Protecting structures that surround the palace. 475 Woven with gold, and perhaps with jewel decorations. 476 The animals are throne-supports, and the lotuses, suns and moons make up seats. 477 Blood. 478 Other lists, such as that in the Mahavyupatti (MV) differ to some extent. The divisions are accordng to Khenpo Tsultim Gyatso. 479 As do the palms. 480 Sometimes just the heels. 481 sku ni bdun mtho ba. MV 250 (15).{BDUN MTHO BA}: (-saptotsadah) -saptotsada; Of seven spans (in stature). (Note: This is usually supposed to mean "having seven feet, etc. The Chinese says having the seven places full or rounded off). 482 Some read this as “strong chested.” 483 MV says, they reach to the knees. 484 KTG: Cheeks. 485. In the upper and lower jaw. 486 A minor mark in MV. 487. Cuckoo. 488 Khenpo Tsultim Gyatso. 489 The following list, with some variations in wording, is identical to MV 268ff, except that (27) here is (60) there I have followed the tshig mdzod chen mo in a number of the translations, however. 490 MV 281 says “nang pa ltar,” like a swan. 491 byi dor: or clean up, decorate, make smart. 492 MV 493 Spyan ni/ dag. In MV this is (60) with the other marks pertaining to the eyes. 494 Here MV has, “{SKU SHIN TU GZHON MDOG CAN}: With a juvenile body.” 495 Because he is not distressed. 496 ES: bil ba fruit or a peach. MV reports that the Chinese has bimba fruit (momordica monadelpha). Some sources have the SK (-bimba pratibhimba darshana vadanah) TT {ZHAL LA GZUGS KYI GZUGS BRNYAN SNANG BA} In his face "the images of objects" may be seen 497 MV 319 “..or the trumpeting of an elephant.” 498 MV 328 adds spyan (rnam par) dag, “ (completely)pure,” here, instead of above. 499 MV 331-{SPYAN DKAR NAG DBYES SHIN PADMA'I 'DAB MA'I MDANGS LTA BU}; The white and black of his eyes (the pupils) like the brightness of the leaf of the hamala lotus flower. 500 MV 336, the ears are thick and long. 501 Following MV 338. 502 At the hairline. However MV 338 translates, “broad and open.” 503 They have dakini bodies and animal heads. 504. The bodhisattvas see the pure relative. Since buddhas see things as they are, their seeing is called absolute. 505 Including the intermediate directions, northeast and so forth and above and below. 506 nges pa lnga : Five certainties are: 1) The certain place is the Densely Arrayed realm, Akanishta ('og min stug po bkod). 2) The certain teacher is Vairochana Gangchentso (rnam snang gangs chen mtsho). 3) The certain retinue are bodhisattvas of the tenth bhumi (sa bcu'i byang sems). 4) The certain teaching is the greater vehicle (theg pa chen po). 5) The certain time is the "continuous wheel of eternity" (rtag pa rgyun gyi bskor ba). 507. G variations of phenomena as teacher. 508. rang bzhin, 'gro 'dul, sna tshogs. 509. Akshobhya in the root verses. 510. Sometimes Padmakuta. 511. = Sambhogakaya. 512 The major marks. 513 Nirmanakaya and sambhogakaya. 514 Than those of his family. 515 kun rtog ye shes = so sor rtog pa’i ye shes. 516 kun tu ‘od, samantaprabha, the eleventh bhumi of constant illumination, one of the three levels of buddhahood, sangs rgyas kyi sa gsum. 517. so sor yang dag rang gi rig pa bzhi. Awareness of Dharma, meaning, definitions, and brilliant confidence, (chos, don, nges tshig, spobs). 518 rin chen bdun : Seven precious substances. usually ruby, sapphire, lapis, emerald, diamond, pearl and coral. Sometimes the list includes gold, silver, and crystal. 519. gyer kha are little brass jingle bells from the little bangles on garments up to cowbell size. 520. These are abilities to cure different diseases. 521 Which would make ten. 522. yan lag drug bcu'i dbyangs. 523. . 524. Created, born tülkus, and the supreme nirmanakaya, the Buddha. 525 This story appears in the Mani Kabum. 526. Remaining in the Tushita heaven, entering the womb, being born, proficiency in the arts, enjoying consorts, renouncing the world, practicing asceticism, reaching the point of enlightenment, conquering the host of Mara, attaining perfect enlightenment, turning the wheel of dharma, passing into the final nirvana. Lists vary. 527. 528 o rgyan rdzong. 529. dri med ‘od zer, another pen name of Longchenpa. Working names into the verses is a common Tibetan literary device, 530 It should be received with respect like the worlds of the Buddha. 531 In Indian mythology the sun is drawn by seven horses. 532 Or an atom of solidity.


Northern New Mexico.....October 2013