jewels from lama yeshe

unfortunately Jon Landaw’s course in Buddhist Tantra hosted by the Maybe Logic Academy was cancelled but I have been enjoying the text by Lama Yeshe, the Transformation of Desire into Tantra. my personal experiences Philip Farber’s Altered States course have an interesting and valuable resonance with Lama Yeshe’s generously concise descriptions of Guru Yoga – the practice of attuning to one’s inner guiding guru and embodying a deity through the crown channel into the heart and remaining present through it, with it, in it, in the unity… the creation trinity pops up again, the manifest power of the 3:

“Seeing the underlying unity of our guru, the deity and ourselves is not something we do only during formal meditation practise. We need to practise guru yoga – identifying ourselves with the guru’s essential buddha nature- during every moment of our life. Instead of always thinking about our miserable, dissatified mind, we should cultivate the recognition of our fundamental unity with the absolute guru residing within. Even if our most egotistical mind is arising, instead of adding fuel to it by identifying strongly with this deluded state, we should try to recognise that very mind as the enlightened totality of the guru-buddha nature… then suddenly the deluded mental energy can be utilised and transformed in such a way that it is digested into great wisdom. This is the outstanding teaching of tantra. When you develop yourself fully so that your entire inner potential is realised, then you yourself become a deity, you yourself become a buddha. This is the ultimate aim of guru yoga.”

it seems to me that the tibetans have delivered their ancient wisdom through profound paradox: their lineage is like a magnificent flower that has been carefully cultivated far away from the eyes of the world and it has finally gone to seed. the flower dies but the seeds have travel far and wide. the fact that their teachings cannot inspire a consumer-pilgrimage of spiritual tourism is no accident. impermanence is part of the teaching. after centuries of seclusion, the timing of the tibetan seeding comes in the midst of the quickening of mass consciousness, in a zeitgiest of self-empowerment.

it no longer seems precocious to me to authenticate my own pantheon of helpful deities to guide me on the path of Great Being.

those of you who have expressed doubts about the integrity of your visualisation process may find encouragement in the words of Lama Yeshe:

“A major difficulty facing us is that we naturally have a much easier time accepting the reality of our gross sensory experiences than we do believing in the reality of our visualisations. It is common to feel, ‘although I can see myself as made of light, this is just a game that I am playing with my mind, it is not real. But my physical body is real; I can actually touch it and see it in the mirror’. What we have to learn is that the experiences we have through our imagination and those we have through our senses are exactly the same! Both exist only for the particular mind experiencing them; they have no ultimate reality from their own side. A major difference, is that our ordinary senses keep us bound to the circle of continually recurring dissatisfaction and suffering while our visualisations of conscious bodies of light, and practises such as the absorbtion of the guru, introduce us to the very subtle, fundamental level of our being. With this very subtle mind of clear light we can break out of the prison of our ordinary gross conceptions and experience the unceasing happiness of full enlightenment.

If you have not tasted the bliss of your fundamental mind, and have not seen for yourself how you can achieve a state of penetrative awareness and openness far surpassing what you now feel is possible, naturally you will be very skeptical. You probably think that the pleasure you feel, say, when you eat an icecream is real, and whatever bliss you might experience during a meditation is just an illusion. The only way of overcoming such skepticism is by becoming more and more familiar with your own inner reality until eventually it is undenieable. And it is by practising guru yoga, and the other transformative methods that follow from it, that familiarity with the deeply blissful character of your own mind is achieved.”

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