The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

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yagmort
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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by yagmort » Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:30 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:35 pm
IME, as one progresses in their practice one needs less and less sleep.
could you please elaborate? i am at ngondro stage and have yet to be introduced into meditation practices. so far (refuge/prostrations, vajrasattva and a tad of mandala offering) i didn't experience anyhting like that. do you mean any practice in general or specific ones, like chagchen/dzogchen?

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conebeckham
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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by conebeckham » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:10 pm

yagmort wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:30 pm
pemachophel wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:35 pm
IME, as one progresses in their practice one needs less and less sleep.
could you please elaborate? i am at ngondro stage and have yet to be introduced into meditation practices. so far (refuge/prostrations, vajrasattva and a tad of mandala offering) i didn't experience anyhting like that. do you mean any practice in general or specific ones, like chagchen/dzogchen?
In retreat, you sleep sitting up, in your "meditation box," so.......you get used to it. Also, yes, when you have established some stability in meditation you do require less sleep.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

Pero
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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by Pero » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:42 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:10 pm
yagmort wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:30 pm
pemachophel wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:35 pm
IME, as one progresses in their practice one needs less and less sleep.
could you please elaborate? i am at ngondro stage and have yet to be introduced into meditation practices. so far (refuge/prostrations, vajrasattva and a tad of mandala offering) i didn't experience anyhting like that. do you mean any practice in general or specific ones, like chagchen/dzogchen?
In retreat, you sleep sitting up, in your "meditation box," so.......you get used to it. Also, yes, when you have established some stability in meditation you do require less sleep.
Is that how it's done in all four schools?
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

Sennin
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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by Sennin » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:46 pm

Pero wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:42 pm
conebeckham wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:10 pm
yagmort wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:30 pm


could you please elaborate? i am at ngondro stage and have yet to be introduced into meditation practices. so far (refuge/prostrations, vajrasattva and a tad of mandala offering) i didn't experience anyhting like that. do you mean any practice in general or specific ones, like chagchen/dzogchen?
In retreat, you sleep sitting up, in your "meditation box," so.......you get used to it. Also, yes, when you have established some stability in meditation you do require less sleep.
Is that how it's done in all four schools?
It's an option not a requirement.
ka dag lhun drup

pemachophel
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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by pemachophel » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:27 am

On Sleep

by Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpe Nyima

Sleeping but once can yield a hundred fault-filled dreams.
O Mañjuśrī, in your perfect wisdom you have awakened entirely
From the very heaviest of slumbers, long-acquainted ignorance,
And now your eyes are forever open wide—let everything be auspicious!

The unsurpassed Secret Mantra has its own uncommon methods for transforming sleep into virtuous activity, and even in the vehicle of transcendent perfections sleep can be made consistent with the path. Yet there are those who lack the skill to employ such methods and who still lose much of their time to sleep. Since this is a serious fault, proscribed by the Buddha, I will here offer some brief advice in two parts: 1) reflecting on the faults of sleep, and 2) having reflected, applying this in practice.

1. The Faults of Sleep

Glorious Śāntideva (Bodhicaryāvatāra VII, 14) says:

Take advantage of this boat, the human body,
To free yourself from the great river of suffering.
Since this boat will be hard to find again,
Now is not the time for sleep, you fool!

The free and well-favoured human form we currently have at our disposal is difficult to obtain. We can appreciate this by thinking about its causes or reflecting using metaphors or numerical statistics. And when we consider that this unique situation in which we find ourselves will not last, but will soon come to an end, we must turn to the Dharma with all the urgency of someone whose hair has caught fire and who is desperately trying to douse the flames.

With half our lives spent during the day and half at night, if we waste not only the nighttime but even much of the daytime too in idle repose, we will never attain any real diligence. Yet if we are able to practise virtue, then, as is taught in detail in the sūtras, cultivating bodhicitta even for the brief time required to milk a cow can yield vast merit––as vast as the particles of the earth are numerous. The Sūtra that Inspires Noble Intentions (Adhyāśayasañcodana) tells us:

Sleep is the source of many muddled views,
The squanderer of Dharma's noble virtues—
Knowing that it robs them of their diligence,
How could the wise ever take delight in it?

Once we have taken the bodhisattva vow, in particular, then, having pledged to lead innumerable beings to unsurpassable bliss, to spend time in sleep or idleness could only ever be a cause of shame before the victorious buddhas and their heirs. As The Ornament of Sūtras says:

When shouldering the destiny of all who live,
How could sublime beings ever dally or delay?

When the Abhidharma explains the types and functions of the various mental states it says that sleep functions to disrupt activity. This is readily apparent: even short-term aims and minor projects are spoilt when we become overly fond of sleep.

To put it simply, then, the Buddha and his later representatives taught that all mundane and transcendental accomplishments come about through diligence, and there is no greater opponent of diligence than sleep. If we constantly fall under the influence of sleep, then, it will surely bring about all kinds of mental faults, and these, in turn, will bring even greater problems.

What is more, one who has grown so used to sleep as to be under its control might well be physically present at a Dharma gathering, but what will be the point of spending an entire session drowsy and befuddled? Carrying on in this way, you will not retain even so much as a single verse! It would be like attending a great feast only to get up and leave without even having so much as tasted anything at all. Even opening great sack-loads of texts and staring at them intently will not bring conviction as long as sleepiness clouds the mind—it will all be as futile as attempting to seduce a eunuch! And when seeking to focus the mind in order to develop the wisdom born of reflection and gain certainty about the real meaning, the onset of sleepiness will prevent even so much as a single profound insight. But that is not at all; as it is one of the five faults in samādhi, sleepiness also prevents the arising of the wisdom born of meditation. Over time sleep degrades consciousness and blunts the intellect, naturally weakening the wisdom that discerns things and events. It inhibits memory and increases forgetfulness. On the subject of these many faults, The Sūtra that Inspires Noble Intentions says:

Whoever takes delight in drowsiness and sleep
Will find their intelligence thereby made weak.
And with the diminishing of mind's capacity,
Purest wisdom will remain forever out of reach.

And:

Whoever takes delight in drowsiness and sleep
Will find mind enfeebled and memory impaired.
Verses heard or recited will not be retained,
And teaching too will prove a constant strain.

Both The Sūtra that Inspires Noble Intentions and the dedication chapter of Introduction to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life explain that those who are excessively weighed down by sleep prove easy prey for harsh, non-human forces, who would steal their vitality. There have been many cases of intrepid warriors who, overcome with sleep, fell easily at the hands of much weaker opponents—and this is something we can witness directly for ourselves. In addition, the way in which excessive sleep can prove harmful to longevity is explained in such texts as The Staff of Wisdom. It was with all this in mind that the Omniscient Drimé Özer (Longchenpa) wrote the following in his Tale of the Rabbit:

As you lie about in sleep your plans all come to naught;
And, inattentive as you are, your enemies assemble,
While demons too seize the chance to strike—
Thus, without limit are the perils and pitfalls of slumber.
And to succeed, therefore, cultivate a diligence beyond compare.

It is not only mental qualities that are affected by sleep; the body's functioning too is also impaired. As sleep causes a reduction in the fire element it becomes harder to digest food, and sleepiness also brings a loss of appetite. Somnolence can also cause phlegm-related illness, skin disease, chronic fatigue, and other ailments. And it is also said to contribute to many other problems, such as flabbiness of flesh and discolouration of the skin. For a more detailed description of these faults you should consult The Compendium of Training or the sūtras.

The fact that sleep is so irresistible to us in this life is, as it says in the Prajñapti treatises, an effect similar to the cause. When we were born as snakes and other creatures in the past we grew highly accustomed to sleep and its cause, dimness of mind. Now, if we condition ourselves to sleep once again, it will not only bring problems in this life, but will also lead inexorably to effects similar to the cause in future lives. And this is why we must do all that we can to uproot this unhealthy tendency and eliminate it once and for all.

2. Applying the Remedies

You can counteract excessive sleepiness by reflecting on sources of inspiration, such as the advantages of diligence, or by contemplating signs of light. Alternatively, whenever sleepiness occurs, reflect on its faults. It says in Introduction to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life (VII, 72):

How hurriedly I would stand
Should a snake fall into my lap.
Likewise, whenever sleep or laziness occur,
I shall avert them with due urgency and haste.

We must be alert as we put an end to sleepiness, and we must make strong aspirations that we shall not succumb to it again in future.

All these points can be applied in order to avert sleep before it occurs and just as you are beginning to feel sleepy. In the midst of heavy sleepiness however, you can dispel it by getting up and walking about, or by gazing at the stars, or by splashing cold water on your face. There are also other remedies in Stages of the Śrāvakas (Śrāvakabhūmi). And the means of contemplating death which appear in chapter seven of Introduction to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life are also very powerful.

In response to a request from the virtuous ascetic Darlo, Jigme Tenpe Nyima wrote down in an instant whatever came to mind. May there be virtue!

Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2015. With gratitude to Alak Zenkar Rinpoche for his clarifications.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

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conebeckham
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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by conebeckham » Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:15 am

Sennin wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:46 pm
Pero wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:42 pm
conebeckham wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:10 pm


In retreat, you sleep sitting up, in your "meditation box," so.......you get used to it. Also, yes, when you have established some stability in meditation you do require less sleep.
Is that how it's done in all four schools?
It's an option not a requirement.
For Kagyupas. it's pretty much a requirement.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

Sennin
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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by Sennin » Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:41 am

conebeckham wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:15 am
Sennin wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:46 pm
Pero wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:42 pm

Is that how it's done in all four schools?
It's an option not a requirement.
For Kagyupas. it's pretty much a requirement.
I always thought it was a Kagyu thing, but I thought you all at least had an option for a bed. :shock:
ka dag lhun drup

smcj
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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by smcj » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:08 am

Sennin wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:41 am
conebeckham wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:15 am
Sennin wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:46 pm


It's an option not a requirement.
For Kagyupas. it's pretty much a requirement.
I always thought it was a Kagyu thing, but I thought you all at least had an option for a bed. :shock:
I’ve heard Nyingmapas get a bed. At least the people I’ve spoken to that did their retreat under Dudjom R had beds.

Here at Lama Norlha’s (Karma Kagyu) old geezers like me are given the option of a bed. It ends up taking all the available floor space in your room.

However I seriously doubt that’s an option in India. They’re still hard core.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

Sennin
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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by Sennin » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:54 am

smcj wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:08 am
Sennin wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:41 am
conebeckham wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:15 am


For Kagyupas. it's pretty much a requirement.
I always thought it was a Kagyu thing, but I thought you all at least had an option for a bed. :shock:
I’ve heard Nyingmapas get a bed. At least the people I’ve spoken to that did their retreat under Dudjom R had beds.

Here at Lama Norlha’s (Karma Kagyu) old geezers like me are given the option of a bed. It ends up taking all the available floor space in your room.

However I seriously doubt that’s an option in India. They’re still hard core.
I've also heard a person could lie down on their bed and when they wake back up get right back into it.
ka dag lhun drup

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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by Grigoris » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:07 am

When I lie down on a bed there is no getting me to "jump back to it" again!

If you don't want to waste sleep time, then do dream yoga. That way you get to sleep AND practice. Best of both worlds.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

Pero
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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by Pero » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:24 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:27 am
On Sleep

by Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpe Nyima
Well, this is one piece of advice I will not be taking to heart, no matter who it comes from. Couldn't disagree more with it. Unless it is not general advice, but meant for someone in long strict retreat (perhaps likely since it's for an ascetic) or someone further along the path than a beginner such as myself and many others. Also, sleepiness I could still understand, but sleep in general? In my opinion and experience it's the first thing to take care of in ones life. Of course perhaps good sleep wasn't so much of an issue over there back then so his advice was apt in general too.

https://www.healthline.com/health/sleep ... -on-body#1
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by pemachophel » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:22 pm

At Chatral Rinpoche's three-year retreat center in Godavari, Nepal, the retreat rooms are all equipped with meditation boxes. So this is not just a Kagyud thing. However, at Godavari, if necessary, you can opt out for a bed.

Pero,

If you are that attached to sleep, maybe that's the first thing you should give up. Machik Labdron would certainly have said that. :D

For me, this goes back again to the benefits of having a Teacher with Whom you have close, on-going contact. We can read all sorts of advice on all sorts of topics by all sorts of Teachers. So sometimes it's hard to know what advice to take personally to heart and incorporate into our life. If we always do what we personally feel like doing, we may not be doing what actually is best for us. However, a live Teacher can pinpoint exactly the most important points for each student to work on. As a for instance, some years ago, Sog-tshe Rinpoche told a roomful of Western practitioners that, instead of saying we had no time to practice, we should get up at 3 AM. I had been getting up at 4 AM for years but immediately took that advice to heart. Progress based on even an hour's more practice per day became quickly evident. I'd still be getting up at that time if another of my Teachers didn't tell me a year ago that, due to my health, I needed to go back to 4 AM "rise and shine" time. I took that advice and my heart condition did improve, hopefully allowing me more time to practice in the long run. In both cases, the advice I received was not the advice I wanted to hear at that time, but, when put into practice, turned out to be spot-on. For me, this also underscores the fact that one's spiritual needs evolve over time and a live Teacher (or Teachers) can take stock of those changes and help the student adapt their practice to them.

Sorry if I'm speaking nonsense. Just my two cents.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

Pero
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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by Pero » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:43 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:22 pm
At Chatral Rinpoche's three-year retreat center in Godavari, Nepal, the retreat rooms are all equipped with meditation boxes. So this is not just a Kagyud thing. However, at Godavari, if necessary, you can opt out for a bed.

Pero,

If you are that attached to sleep, maybe that's the first thing you should give up. Machik Labdron would certainly have said that. :D
Hehe, I think it's more of a need than an attachment, but can't deny I like to sleep too. There was a period when I started working when I used to sleep around 5 hours a day since I was a night owl but now had to get up early to go to work (unlike at the university haha). Of course my additional non-sleeping hours were not spent practicing, perhaps it would've been as you say below if they were. :shrug: Anyway, as time went by it became more and more difficult till I realized I can't go on like that anymore and prioritized developing a habit of going to bed earlier and increasing sleep time. It took me some time (I think a year or two to go from 1 am or later to around 22:30) but there has been a definite improvement in my life since then. I still get amazed sometimes how much a good night's sleep can do for my wellbeing, mood, focus etc..
For me, this goes back again to the benefits of having a Teacher with Whom you have close, on-going contact. We can read all sorts of advice on all sorts of topics by all sorts of Teachers. So sometimes it's hard to know what advice to take personally to heart and incorporate into our life. If we always do what we personally feel like doing, we may not be doing what actually is best for us. However, a live Teacher can pinpoint exactly the most important points for each student to work on. As a for instance, some years ago, Sog-tshe Rinpoche told a roomful of Western practitioners that, instead of saying we had no time to practice, we should get up at 3 AM. I had been getting up at 4 AM for years but immediately took that advice to heart. Progress based on even an hour's more practice per day became quickly evident. I'd still be getting up at that time if another of my Teachers didn't tell me a year ago that, due to my health, I needed to go back to 4 AM "rise and shine" time. I took that advice and my heart condition did improve, hopefully allowing me more time to practice in the long run. In both cases, the advice I received was not the advice I wanted to hear at that time, but, when put into practice, turned out to be spot-on. For me, this also underscores the fact that one's spiritual needs evolve over time and a live Teacher (or Teachers) can take stock of those changes and help the student adapt their practice to them.

Sorry if I'm speaking nonsense. Just my two cents.
Not at all, I understand what you're saying, thank you.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:52 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:22 pm
As a for instance, some years ago, Sog-tshe Rinpoche told a roomful of Western practitioners that, instead of saying we had no time to practice, we should get up at 3 AM
I hope he also took full responsibility for such things as car accidents caused by exhausted and sleep-deprived students of his, trying to work, practice and have a family life at the same time -- essentially, trying to live two lives at the same time, one of a dharmic "profesional," the other of a Western regular joe.
Last edited by treehuggingoctopus on Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by Grigoris » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:53 pm

One can also focus on making their awake time more productive. I think that advice is valid for somebody who's waking time is already full of practice and is looking to devote even more time to practice.

ie it is directed to retreatants and full time yogi.

Right now I could easily add at least another two hours of practice to my day, without impinging on my sleep time.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by yagmort » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:04 pm

yep i am joining Pero here. Dodrupchen advice as good as it sounds potrays the thing as merely a matter of attachment. i've seen people who are fresh and focused after just 4-5 hours of sleep. that's not my case though. it's more of my body requirement. like i said i can go with 4-5 hours of sleep for a week, but i will be drowsy and yawny as hell all day and far from being focused and productive and what's more later on it rebounds and i have to sleep for like 9-10 hours to recuperate. so in my case it's not a matter of me being lazy, it feels like a physical condition. a splash of cold water do nothing here sadly. that's why i asked if retreatants or anyone on that schedule just fight sleepiness or they do get enough sleep to be good for practice in 4-5 hours?

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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by Aryjna » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:10 pm

I have noticed that 1-2 hours of shamatha significantly reduce need for sleep. But for more complicated practices I think you need to be able o do them well enough to have the same effect. Also this may not apply if one has a manual job, does heavy weightlifting ,etc.

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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by yagmort » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:33 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:10 pm
I have noticed that 1-2 hours of shamatha significantly reduce need for sleep...
thanks, good to know. does it matter what time of day do you practice?

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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by Aryjna » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:40 pm

yagmort wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:33 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:10 pm
I have noticed that 1-2 hours of shamatha significantly reduce need for sleep...
thanks, good to know. does it matter what time of day do you practice?
I don't think so, but I am no longer doing this at the moment. It was a bit surprising when I saw that this is the case.

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Re: The Retreat Map--from Kongtrul's Retreat Manual

Post by pemachophel » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:53 pm

Hugger,

"I hope he also took full responsibility for such things as car accidents caused by exhausted and sleep-deprived students of his, trying to work, practice and have a family life at the same time -- essentially, trying to live two lives at the same time, one of a dharmic "profesional," the other of a Western regular joe."

Have you tried dag-nang (pure vision) yet? :D

The five transformations when listening to the Dharma:

1. The Teacher as whatever Buddha is associated with the teaching or as Shakyamuni, Guru Rinpoche, etc. In other words, if the teaching is about Manjushri, then the Teacher is Manjushri. If the teaching is about Avalokiteshwara, then the Teacher is Avalokiteshwara. If the teaching is originally by Guru Rinpoche, then the Teacher is Guru Rinpoche.
2. The place as that Buddha's field, e.g., Potala, Sukhavati, Pema Od
3. The time as the fourth time, i.e., the time beyond past, present, and future
4. Those other listeners as that Buddha's Bodhisatva/Bodhisatvi disciples or as Pawos and Dakinis
5. The Teaching as the highest, most precious Teaching which is most applicable directly to you

IME, if one listens to the Dharma with one's ordinary discursive mind filled with dualism and doubt, maybe yes, maybe no, hard to get much traction.

Similarly, hard to make much progress if one is "trying to live two lives," one Dharmic and the other samsaric. In my experience, the trick is to live one's life Dharmically regardless of the activities one is engaged in. There does not need to be any separation. There's a way to make any activity a Dharmic activity as long as it is not inherently non-virtuous. That's the skillful means of Vajrayana. But it all depends on dag-nang and, moment by moment, implementing those skillful means. As they say, practice makes perfect. Granted, this is easier said than done, but who said attaining perfectly complete, unsurpassed Enlightnement was easy?

Good luck & best wishes.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

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