Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

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monktastic
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Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby monktastic » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:09 pm

This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa

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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby monktastic » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:14 pm

This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa

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underthetree
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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby underthetree » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:20 pm

I'd also add: relax. Relax, relax, relax and keep on relaxing.

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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby monktastic » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:21 pm

This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa

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Astus
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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby Astus » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:49 pm

"in what way does an experience of "baby rigpa" differ from a "complete" recognition of rigpa?"

The difference is made in order to show that there is a difference between a practitioner and a non-practitioner (i.e. a buddha). The practice is abiding in the natural state, and the natural state is the result, so this way the result is the path. But we can translate it to make it clearer: it is about practising with the correct view in order to attain complete realisation. The correct view conceptually is emptiness, experientially it is not grasping anything as real. It is practice because one works with habitual tendencies that are gradually removed.

"Much of my time is spent in what I could call "thought-free wakefulness," or what feels like a self-aware presence. There is no sense of some concrete thing doing the watching, but there continues to be a sense that objects are being watched."

As Nagarjuna and many other masters have pointed out, there is no ultimate truth beyond conditioned reality. The term "ordinary mind" is usually explained as being ordinary in the sense of simple, uncomplicated, not proliferating views. There is another sense I like to add, and that is the expression's literal sense, our everyday mind that thinks, feels, remembers, wants, hurts, etc. If there is the idea that the true nature of mind is without all the usual content, that is a reification of an abstract self, it is an imagined nothingness, it is annihilationism. Whatever appears in the mind is just natural. Thoughts, etc. come and go. If you fuss about it, there is a problem. Whether you want to grasp or reject, pull or push, there is trouble. If you don't mess around, all is perfect as it is.

Milarepa taught,

"If you are happy practicing with mind,
Thoughts are the mind’s magical creations.
Be mind itself."


Read the full poem:
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby monktastic » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:18 am

Thanks Astus!

So if I understood your post correctly: so long as one is allowing this reflexive awareness to sustain itself, without grasping / clinging / avoiding, one is in the natural state and should proceed. In other words, being in the natural state does not presuppose some particular absence of dualities in one's experience, or other defining characteristics. Any time experience is allowed to unfold (relatively) unimpededly and without distraction, it is the natural state and is correct practice.

I think (a big) part of the reason I'm confused is that even prior to undertaking heavy shamatha practice 4 years ago, I felt somewhat capable of allowing reflexive awareness to shine forth without excessive grasping or distraction. Certainly my shamatha and vipashyana practices have strengthened this ability, but it doesn't feel intrinsically different. Yet, the practice manuals make it sound like even the initial realization of "natural mind" is a very difficult realization to come to on one's own. So either I have a knack for this sort of thing, or I'm doing it all wrong. Without meaning to sound immodest, I am beginning to suspect it is the former -- after all, I spent the better part of my youth investigating this on my own, as it is my passion.

This week I came across some articles suggesting that people look for a gap between thoughts, and many commenters indicated that they find this hard to do. From talking to friends, I've found that some can't even understand how it might be possible to be aware without thoughts. If indeed that is the starting position from which people are normally taught, then the abovementioned difficulty seems easier to understand. (I may even be mis-remembering what my own mind was like 5 years ago.)
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa

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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby monktastic » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:28 am

This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa

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Astus
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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby Astus » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:48 am

There are two defining characteristics: awareness, no characteristics. Well, it's actually one signless awareness. Attaching to any specific feeling, form, thought, impression, vision, etc., is identifying with something, taking an impermanent appearance as eternal. Why is it said to be difficult? Because it is our very basic habit to cling to thoughts and other things. Therefore one fails to differentiate between the content of the mind and mind itself. And when there is differentiation, the mistake happens again by thinking of "mind itself" as a thing, as a state.

Ajahn Sumedho taught a very easy method to see the gap between thoughts. First create a clear and strong thought, for instance saying in your mind "Om mani padme hung". Note how you start to say it in your mind, how you are saying it, and how it goes away. Then a break. A gap. Then you say it again in your mind.

The correct understanding of emptiness is a practice itself. Just consider the fact that karma ultimately comes from thoughts. If you change your thought-patterns you change your karma. Emptiness teaches oneself that there is nothing really to attach to, nothing to identify with, nothing to rely on. So when there is nothing real found, nothing concrete attained, one can let go of it. Without clearly seeing that appearances are empty of self, one may enforce on oneself some calm and peace, but then after meditation everything starts again as before. So understanding helps to let go. When all is let go of, there are no reference points, it is just non-conceptual awareness, it is resting meditation.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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monktastic
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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby monktastic » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:59 am

This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa

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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby monktastic » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:24 am

Ah, sod it. Just re-reading the quote (from you) that I pasted in my first response makes it clear what to do in practice. So "nondual awareness" as it is used to describe the fledgling natural state need not be nondual at all. There may still be dualities inherent in one's experience. The "final" state of rigpa may be nondual in the literal sense, but prior to that all dualities should simply be ignored.

If indeed this interpretation is correct, I propose adding that disclaimer to the preface of every Dzogchen and Mahamudra text to save others countless hours :smile:
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa

passel
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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby passel » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:10 am

Tsoknyi R. gives a helpful piece of advice- working with rigpa, or baby rigpa, just persist in the practice, short times/ many times, and if you miss the mark, worst case scenario you wind up in unsupported shamatha. you earn merit and set the stage for future recognition. you gain stability so you don't spook yourself out of when you do recognize. kshanti paramita (patience). you just keep returning, letting confusion be a mindfulness bell, feel it as it is. even jigme lingpa in his autobiography sometimes confesses to not being sure if he's parked in the alaya, deluded about rigpa. that's devotion for the real world.
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby monktastic » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:06 am

This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa

passel
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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby passel » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:13 am

you don't have to practice nonduality, just notice it from time to time. you're not an experiencer experiencing experiences, that's just a bunch of ideas, only true when you're tangled in thought (ie. most of the time!). the sound, the hearing of the sound, and the hearer of the sound all show up together. they only seem to be different when we think about it, but right then, when the sound shows up *bam* it's nondual. that's basic pali canon stuff, it's in the nidanas. you do however need to practice shamatha, you can't just notice that, because it's a conditioned state, so it comes and goes and responds to cultivation and development. but if you train the shamatha there's just so much more room for things like noticing (and also it's easier to be decent which is pretty important).
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby monktastic » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:31 am

This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa

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Astus
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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby Astus » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:25 am

"I don't experience appearances as themselves being awareness"

If I think about this sentence literally, even imagining it feels absurd. Awareness is being conscious of something. If that thing is the consciousness that is aware of it, the whole thing collapses. I mean, logically. So that's not what is meant. The other end, that awareness and objects are separate is also ruled out, otherwise they had no connection to each other. In terms of practice, it is to be determined by looking for the gap or border between object and subject in the sensory fields. Of course there is no such thing. Another method is to search for the mind and the object if it's inside, outside or in between. Teachings on this are found in Wangchuk Dorje's Ocean of Definitive Meaning and commentaries. What it comes down to is that there is just the flow of experience, as in the examples of the mirror and the lake. Because everything is an experience, everything is mind. And since all experience are ungraspable and inconceivable, they are empty. When you relax and let sights, sounds, etc. appear and disappear as they are without fixating on any of them, you just open yourself completely, the idea of any viewer and viewed, hearer and heard becomes meaningless. Try to meditate on a single sensory gate, first perhaps using a fixed visual object. Then investigate what you experience.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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underthetree
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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby underthetree » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:53 am


Andrew108
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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby Andrew108 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:32 pm

Hi Monktastic,
One thing to note is that awareness as talked about in Mahamudra is more like an objective fact rather than a subjective experience only. What I mean by this is that a genuine realization is not really something that happens to you. What I mean by this is that realization in Mahamudra is not something brain-based. What I mean by this is that when you die and you no longer have your brain you will still be connected to the objective fact of realization. So realization has to be a recognition that your subjective ups and downs, wishes and wants, meditation abilities are an expression only. Soon enough you realize you don't have to try hard because you are the Mahamudra. So when you die you don't want to change death but you quite enjoy the ending of brain and perception in the body you called yourself. Then you get stuck with the objective fact of existence itself and how that displays. So real awareness is connected with the simple pure fact of existence.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby deepbluehum » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:39 pm

All these various pointing instructions you received have imparted authentic experience. Now slowly you stabilize.

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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby monktastic » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:13 pm

This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa

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monktastic
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Re: Thamal gyi shepa vs. baby rigpa vs. rigpa (etc.)

Postby monktastic » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:19 pm

Last edited by monktastic on Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa


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