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  #2332 - Sunday, December 4, 2005 - Editor: Gloria Lee

Your own practice can show you the truth. Your own experience is all that counts.

-Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, "Mindfulness in Plain English"

    "This silence, this moment, every moment, if it's genuinely inside you,
brings what you need.

There's nothing to believe. Only when I stopped believing in myself did
I come into this beauty.

Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that will say, 'Be more silent.' Die
and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign that you've died. Your old
life was a frantic running from silence.

Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence."


From Daily Dharma archives.
More Silence quotes at:

  Last night I came across this paragraph in Dudjom Lingpa's book, "Buddhahood Without Meditation: A Visionary Account Known as Refining Apparent Phenomena (Nang-jang)" (trans. by Richard Barron under the direction of Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche). This book is my lifeline and hardly a day has gone by without my spending some time in it since I first discovered it a year and a half ago. -Wyn  

"Furthermore, whether you realize emptiness by undergoing great difficulties in studying and training and so forth, or whether you realize emptiness without the slightest difficulty, makes no more difference than, for example, whether you find gold by experiencing great hardship or without the slightest hardship, right in your own bed, makes a difference to the quality of the gold."  -- Dudjom Lingpa    

posted by Wendlyn Alter to Dzogchen Practice  

  From "When Things Fall Apart" by Pema Chodron:

Sometimes we meet someone who seems to have a great sense of well-being, and we
wonder how that person got that way. We would like to be that way. That
well-being is often a result of having been brave enough to be fully alive and
awake to every moment of life, including all the lack of cheer, all the dark
times, all the times when the clouds cover the sun. Through our own good spirit,
we can be willing to relate directly with what's happening, with precision and
gentleness. That's what creates fundamental cheerfulness, fundamental

When we realize that the path is the goal, there's a sense of workability.
Trungpa Rinpoche said, "Whatever occurs in the confused mind is regarded as the
path. Everything is workable. It is a fearless proclamation, the lion's roar."
Everything that occurs in our confused mind we can regard as the path.
Everything is workable.

If we find ourselves in what seems like a rotten or painful situation and we
think, "Well, how is THIS enlightenment?" we can just remember this notion of
the path, that what seems undesirable in our lives doesn't have to put us to
sleep. What seems undesirable in our lives doesn't have to trigger habitual
reactions. We can let it show us where we're at and let it remind us that the
teachings encourage precision and gentleness, with loving-kindness toward every

posted by Jax to Dzogchen Practice  

   An Excerpt from the Kashmir Shaiva Tradition  

An interview with Éric Baret

Montreal, September 20, 1999

Having experienced moments of clarity, people then look for a way to remain permanently established in the state of awareness, only to find that it is impossible. In their search, they read sacred texts, go to meet wise men, study for many years with a great guru, meditate, do pranayama, yoga, change their diet, their habits, etc. But my experience and that of my friends has clearly shown that despite all this, one quickly reaches a point of saturation and seems to stagnate for years, even decades. It seems as if the thirst has not been quenched. As if something essential has been overlooked : could it be what is known as "grace" ? What is grace, where does it come from and how does it operate ?

There are many parts to this question. Let's first answer the last part. If we can talk about it, if we can understand it, and if it comes from somewhere, we cannot call it grace. Grace, according to the traditional approach, cannot be observed objectively. It arises of itself, from itself and it cannot come from anywhere but the heart. It is not dependent on activity nor can it be comprehended by the limited human mind. Nothing more can be said about it than that.

To come back to the beginning of the question, it is a good observation that first there is an insight and then there is a sadhana. The insight does not consist of seeing our true nature, for this is impossible, "being" can never be experienced; the insight is of what we are not. We see our mechanisms, our arrogance, our fears, our limitations, very clearly without experiencing any desire to change them. Facing these facts is an act of humility. Seeing clearly — what we are not — is what, in the East, is referred to as insight of what we are. It is important this be clear, because most people fantasize, think or visualize an insight of what they are, rather than an insight of what they are not.

Sadhana was never intended, at least according to the Kashmir Shaiva Tradition, to bring you back anywhere, because what has come without any cause, without any sadhana, is without cause. The first insight came unwanted or unasked for and nothing can make it come back. The whole process is determined by life. Sadhana is seen in the Kashmir Tradition as an expression of this insight, not as a way to come back to it. Otherwise it is yoga, in the dynamic sense, which is the core of a senseless idea that more can be created from less, a democratic fantasy. Sadhana is the art of expressing silence in everyday activities, that is to say expressing this evidence on the level of body and mind. That is why all the arts in the East are seen as sadhana: dancing, poetry, the art of war, the art of love. In India, music is sadhana for a musician; for a servant activity is sadhana; for a widow life without her husband is sadhana. All expressions of life can be seen as sadhana, can be seen to express this conviction that life is not about doing, acquiring or getting something.

There was a moment of availability in which this was clearly evident.

The awakening of energy and such things are an expression of consciousness on the mind and body level. The phenomenal plane cannot attain consciousness, but it can be enlightened by it : you can realize that your body and mind don't exist on the same level as your understanding, as your convictions. You see how much aggression, fear and desire fill the whole body structure and the mind with strategies. Then you knowingly tune your body-mind to reflecting this insight, this openness, to discovering the space within you.

Again, the technical part is not to create this openness, but to realize that we are not open. You can only feel how tense your body is, and silently observe it. In this silence, the body tensions are released and return to stillness. You realize how much you use the mind to express your will, and how much it is engaged in fears and strategies. You quietly observe it. Nobody asks you to like it or dislike it, to think that you should be different. You live with the facts: I am arrogant, pretentious, all this resonates within me now. I no longer aim at being different tomorrow. I lucidly recognize my limitations. In that very moment, when you see your limitations clearly, they can slowly dissolve into openness.

You cannot deliberately progress towards an open state, you can only see clearly that you are in a blocked state. So, you let your body-mind slowly become more open to your conviction that you can attain nothing. That you are going to die in total stupidity. You may die in the very next moment, so there is no time to reach anything, to achieve anything. In sadhana you live with the feeling that you are going to die the very next minute; thus, you no longer make strategies and you just do things for the sake of doing them. If you think that you will die within two minutes, what do you do ? Nothing. You don't call anybody, you don't think of anything, you just totally enjoy seeing, feeling, smelling, listening to the last seconds of your life, the beauty of life.

Sadhana is this feeling. You sit for the joy of sitting, you do yoga for the joy of doing yoga, you sing for the joy of singing. There is no time and life is too beautiful and goes too fast to have time to achieve anything. The slightest intention, like doing yoga because tomorrow you are going to get better, will not work : you may die before tomorrow. You go to satsang because it resonates in you now. You do yoga because grace calls you to do it; you take aim with your bow, you sing, but never with the feeling that you can reach anything. You do everything for the sheer beauty of it. Your life becomes your sadhana. Situations are only what we project them to be. Each possesses its own beauty when we don't ask it to be anything other than what it is. You become imminently practical, without any goal, or intention. That is the message of the Gita, when Krishna asked Arjuna to do what needed to be done and to put aside his likes and dislikes. It is of no psychological consequence that his master and parents are to be fought on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. So Arjuna does it because it has to be done. There is no future, no intention; he is just acting functionally. That is the meaning of sadhana from the traditional, non-dual point of view.

It seems that such grace often happens to people who never actively look for it. Are there some people more qualified than others to receive grace or does it just happen at random to poor unsuspecting people ?

If it seems to fall at random on people, it is because we don't observe closely. People who live according to grace may seem to have lived a very simple life, but I think it is their humility or our lack of clarity that makes it seem like that.

It is our lack of clarity that prevents us from seeing that people we imagine to be entitled to grace because they make huge efforts in sadhana, are in fact totally caught up in the becoming process. They live in a state of constant tension, in wanting to become something, wanting to be free. In wanting, there is no room for anything. Wanting to be free, wanting to be rich, to be beautiful, to have a red car, all amount to exactly the same thing. There simply is no room for anything in wanting. The few people who have been audacious enough to describe the descent of grace have all said that at that moment they were just silent and quiet.

Jean Klein said that he watched a bird on the Marina Drive in Bombay. Virgil realized that there was no rush to do anything. It only strikes in a moment of not knowing, not asserting; it can never strike in a moment of expectation, where there is waiting or a desire to attain something. Anybody seeking grace can only come to see his limitations. For those who are humble enough to recognize how undeserving they are of grace, who feel their inability to stop the dynamics that motivate them, who realize they are totally unworthy of grace because they constantly live in a state of expectation, this clear vision is itself grace. Nothing happens. When I believe that because I do yoga, because I meditate, or do this or that, I should come to grace, then it is extremely pretentious on my part. It is very clear that grace does not result from activity. Of course, in a profound sense everything is grace: looking for grace and looking for money is carried by grace itself. It is what we need. We should not change our lives: if one wants to do yoga, if one wants to earn money, one should go ahead. We just need to see that our motivations come from our lack of clarity. At some point we simply no longer expect anything from activity. We simply do for the sake of doing. Grace is nothing other than this becoming totally obvious. It is not seeing a white elephant or the full form of Vishnu; it is seeing how pretentious we are. There can never be anything else but that, that is the ultimate seeing. Wanting to see God is a fantasy.

entire [and long] article continues here:   

posted by Alain Larochelle to Dzogchen Practice  

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