January 27, 2019

The Innermost Esoteric Teachings

If we have received the upadesha instructions of the aural lineage, the most sacred and holy of teachings, that’s it. There is nothing higher than that. There is nothing else to learn. There are only things lower than that we could learn about the world.

If we take that to heart, the instruction is that everything is perfect. It’s all good. It follows that anything leftover that says, “I need to do this,” or “I need to get that,” is disconnected to the goodness that is being discussed in the upadesha and didn’t understand the teaching.

We can, as the play of creation and completion, practice with these thought forms, who think they need something, as beings and liberate them all. And then we go ahead and live. The creativity aspect needs to be recapitulated in a certain way. It would be nihilism to sit around moping, “It’s all a big nothing.” On the contrary, let’s live our lives, have fun and not cling to what we do. Everything is playfulness, games and parties. Pick anything: it has no less meaning than the most profound thing and no more meaning than the most insignificant thing.

We go through each and every thought form, which are beings—but beings aren’t really beings—they are just a conglomeration of a sense of purpose and self. If all the beings arising—selves, mothers, fathers, lustful beings, stoic beings, cowardly beings, macho beings, teetotalers, drunkards and drug addicts—appear and play without clinging to any of their tendencies, then there is no hindrance whatsoever to realizing the Dzogchen view, and in particular, the most advanced Dzogchen view of primordial purity.

Primordial purity is even higher than looking at things as a dream. If we see the phenomena as dreamlike, then all we have to do is the final step, which is to realize how it can be that we are able to see everything as dreamlike. We can do it because things are primordially pure. They are not just okay, they are perfectly good. Creativity being good, we can go ahead and create. Up to this point we are a little gun-shy from creating and having all the hellish experience come back at us because of the negative karma we created. We thought if we had a war and kicked ass, then we would be victorious and gain all the booty. We didn’t realize there were ramifications to that. Then we get our asses kicked, too.

We thought creativity and being active was wrong, so we started to become nihilistic. It doesn’t help to be fake spiritually nihilistic: “Om, I’m a deep practitioner. I’m going to hide from everyone like a wounded deer.” That’s not quite the correct attitude of the wounded deer. A wounded deer isn’t someone who is merely sick of the world, sees that it’s not going anywhere and gives up on everything. That’s close, but it’s not exactly the meaning of the analogy of the wounded deer.

It would be childish and spiritually immature to believe the material world is bad. The upadesha instructions would make fun of that kind of thinking. A master can do whatever they want, including being involved with physical plane activities. To think physical plane activities are bad is in effect to curse the world. Dzogchen teaches the opposite: it’s all good. Everything is fine, but only for someone who understands that. It’s not a matter of trying to make it good but that it actually is good. When we realize that we become safe and no longer dangerous. We don’t harm beings anymore.

How can everything be good when much of our activity has been based on the premise that things are not good and consequently trying to fix them to make them good? Now we are hearing that we never had to fix anything? Yes, we never ever had to fix anything. That was an unenlightened state that we were in. If our car breaks down that doesn’t mean we don’t have to fix the car. However, we don’t ever have to have a sense that something is seriously wrong in the world because there is nothing really bad happening. For someone who has attained the transcendent state, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a beautiful day or a hurricane is hitting: they live beyond this life, in the world but not of it. They are not trapped in the nihilism of a single scenario.

We are like a person who has only seen one movie in their entire life, and they love this movie and watch it every day. They cling to the hero and heroine saving the world. They watch the same movie every day, day after day, and then one day somebody says, “Let’s do something different.” They object, “No, we have to see the same movie that we always watch.” Actually, however, there is not just a vast amount of possibility but an infinity of potential playfulnesses.

The upadesha instructions say everything is intrinsically pure. When we hear this we may have doubt because it may seem that conditions such as being cold, itchy or in pain are not good. And yet it is true that those things are good. According to the upadesha instructions, when we have the intuitive faith to accept that it’s all good, those things turn into bliss. Even though we had pain a moment earlier, it’s not pain anymore. Even though externally it may appear that we have a disease, we are not even suffering.

When someone becomes an awakened master they may manifest as a mahasiddha, a super-powered magical being. Iron Man or Superman are fictional characters, but the mahasiddhas are actual people with superpowers: siddhi. When people become masters, they can use this magical ability to change what we may consider to be a fixed law of physics. Conversely they could let themselves contract and die of a disease, but with no fuss, because there would be no clinging to the experience. Even though it might look to us as if something bad is happening, they wouldn’t experience anything unpleasant at all.

We can hear the upadesha instructions in this way, the highest and very most secret of secret instructions in the world, and go ahead and make corrections, or more accurately, let the thoughts, which seem to be ourselves, liberate regarding all of their wants, needs and desires. Within that state of peace and emancipation, we too can emerge like the phoenix with its creative power. We can enjoy the bliss of our own natural mind and the natural mind of every being. We can enjoy the company of the buddhas, who are all the beings around us, and remain in that wild state. In that state of purity, we would be stable in the Dzogchen view, and we can go back into the world and be a part of it, work in business or do anything we want, help people and teach the Dharma to them.

The upadesha instruction is the final teaching. The last thing that we can learn in the world basically is primordial purity. After that there is nothing else to be taught. It is the most important thing that we could ever learn, but it is the last thing that we can be told. Most people’s minds aren’t clear enough, so they generally need to do a tremendous amount of preparatory practices first. The best thing would be to go ahead and realize primordial purity. May we be able to engage fully the realization of that.

January 6, 2019

Can You Believe in Heavenly Worlds?

There are teachings called Pure Land teachings, as well as teachings about buddha fields. In the Bible are teachings about the kingdom of heaven and angels. In effect, they are all the same thing.

Most people can’t really see these buddha fields because they are obscured, but they could potentially. The beings who can see these fields are bodhisattvas, especially those in the upper parts of the bodhisattva levels. They are able to contact buddhas and interact with them without having a physical person there necessarily. They are telepathically connected to the buddhas, whereas most people on an earlier level need physical teachers to instruct them and be intermediaries between the buddhas and themselves.

The more beings see the masters, the more they can start to understand the pure realms where they live: heaven, Dewachen, Akanishta. There are countless names and countless realms. There is not just one realm; there are all sorts of creativities that occur out of pure potential, which is dharmata.

People have become used to samsara, so they think that samsara is what is. Consequently, they become engrossed in arenas such as politics and popular culture. They actually could awaken and be totally connected and enter the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven really is imposed and impacted here even within samsara, but beings don’t see it because of their marigpa, unenlightened state. Buddhas see heaven, but ordinary beings don’t because of their obscurations.

There are innumerable heavens, and some of them have purgatorial levels. In other words, certain beings like Amitabha set up systems. Another person who set up systems is Jesus Christ, so that some beings, who are disciples, could go into lower parts or certain sections of pure realms when they die. There they can work for a number of months, years, decades, even hundreds of years in an excellent environment where they can move through, attain enlightenment and rectify all the problems they have, instead of going into another samsaric lifetime like the last lifetime and the lifetime before that and the one prior to that. It’s not necessary to do that anymore. Beings can do two things: they can attain enlightenment and then they are done, or they can be in line to go into a pure land through their spiritual practice.

That is why it is so important that people have respect when they hear of the Pure Land teachings. Some people are very skeptical when they hear about heaven, buddha fields or pure lands. They doubt such positive worlds can exist. They think it is a fairy tale. But the pure heavenly lands are just as real as the sun, moon and stars. As beings aspire to join in Amitabha’s heaven, they also learn not to cling too much to a preconception of what that might be. But mainly, they lose the nihilism of believing only in the social construct of an earthly existence being the only possible one.

Most people aren’t going to do what it takes to attain enlightenment in this lifetime. But they could at least set themselves up so that they will attain enlightenment in a pure land. What an amazing deal that is, Lord Amitabha’s deal. They should buy into that system. If they can’t attain enlightenment in this life, this, then, is the deal of a lifetime! If they don’t quite have what it takes to attain absolute perfect enlightenment here and now, they still can aspire to bodhisattvahood and request to be reborn in a pure land where they will receive accelerated schooling right into enlightenment. Even if it takes a thousand years, they will be trained in a wonderful setting where things like food, drinks, smells, touch, water, gems, even locations may be used to gradually awaken them.

To go even further about buddha worlds, buddha lands and pure lands, the basis of everything as it exists is pure. The very beginning of the Bible discusses the mystery of the universe, that God created everything and it was good. It was all good, every bit of it. The mandala that was created is nothing but the bodies of buddhas and pure buddha activities, pure buddha materials and pure buddha elements, all absolutely intrinsically pure. That purity was never lost. Beings can return to that quite easily, but they have to overcome the faithlessness they have had for countless lifetimes.

People are rarely intelligent enough to be able to ascertain the meaning of profound teachings, even after hearing them ten times. They will need to keep listening to them again and again, a hundred times or even a thousand times, until they have that aha experience over and over, not just dozens of times, but thousands and thousands of times. It would be of great benefit to try to have a thousand awakening experiences every day. Just as there are a thousand awakening lights in Lovestream, if people have a thousand wakeup experiences every day, they will make some serious headway.

All lands are ultimately pure lands. All the different realms and everything that was created was absolutely and intrinsically pure originally. Everything that exists, even samsara, is a display of these buddha lands on some level. However, because beings became confused, marigpa, they still need to aspire to bodhisattvahood, the stage that brings them to buddhahood.

There are many different types of spiritual teachings, such as Pure Land Buddhism, which is very popular in China; Tibetan tantra; Zen of Japan; the Theravada of Thailand, Sri Lanka and India, to name only a few. Although there are many types of Buddhism, in the end they are all the same thing. They are all skillful means taught for people who have certain propensities to bring them upward.

At a certain point some people find out that there are pure worlds. Some people are doubtful, others intrigued. These teachings are for that latter person, who responds, “I’m interested. I want to go there. I want to experience these pure worlds.” There are worlds that are pure, and they are not a myth that somebody fabricated. They are of the original, pure wisdom of God; they are the pure localities as God created them. Buddha fields are the realized pure mandala of all localities, of worlds. The places in which beings live, should they be able to see them, are the buddha lands. The beings in them are buddhas.